Showing posts from November, 2017

Chickpea-Vegetable Quinoa (Vegan & Gluten Free)

Chickpea-Vegetable Quinoa (Vegan & Gluten Free) An easy, quick, one pot meal for everybody!
Quinoa is an amazing grain.  It is a great source of protein and cooks up really quickly compared to other whole grains.

This recipe is almost as simple as making quinoa from a box (but you get to control what goes into it!).  This would make an excellent weeknight meal when you are almost too tired to cook.

You start off by sauteing the onions in a little olive oil.  Then you add the fresh and frozen veggies into the pot and cook them until tender.  Then you stir in the seasonings, quinoa, and water.  Cook for about 20 minutes, and your done!

Serves: 3-4

Ingredients:1 TBSp olive oil1 onion, chopped1 clove garlic, minced1 carrot, pelled & diced1 stalk celery, diced1/2 cup green beans (I used frozen)1/2 cup pepper strips (frozen here too)1 cup quinoa, rinsed1 1/2 cups water (or vegetable broth for added flavor)2 cups cooked chickpeas (from dry or low salt canned)1/2 tsp onion powd…

Oatmeal-Raisin Muffins (Vegan & Gluten Free)

Oatmeal-Raisin Muffins (Vegan and Gluten Free)
I definitely enjoy cooking with oatmeal.  I already used it to make pancakes and veggie burgers, so I decided to make a muffin next!  It's cheap, it's easy, and it's healthy.  What's not to love?

These muffins are tender, sweet (but not too sweet), and are packed with amazing flavors like cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla. They make a very portable breakfast or snack too!

Ground chia seeds act as the binder in this recipe.  To grind the seeds, simply place them in a coffee grinder (one dedicated for spices and seeds would be best) and blend until you basically have a flour.  Hydrate them in warm water and allow to sit for five minutes.

This recipe also requires you to make your own plant based buttermilk.  The good news is that it's super easy to do.  Pour the soy milk right into your medium mixing bowl.  Stir in the vinegar.  Let it sit for about five minutes.  By the time you are ready to assemble the wet ingredients, i…

Lentil-Zucchini Buritos

Lentil-Zucchini BurritosYum
The other night I was craving Mexican-y food, but I absolutely did not want black beans.  I decided to use lentils as the protein, sauteed up with some onions and zucchini.  It was amazing!

In frying pan, you simply saute up all the ingredients, then simply layer into your burrito and enjoy.  It's really easy to make.  If you make the lentils ahead of time, this would make a really nice meal to make in a short amount of time.

I topped my burrito with fresh tomatoes and red onions.  You could finish yours off with whatever you happen to have on hand: salsa, guacamole, scallions, fresh cucumbers, etc.

Serves: 6

Ingredients:1 TBSP olive oil1 onion, chopped1 zucchini, quartered & sliced2 garlic cloves, minced3 cups cooked lentils1/2 tsp cumin1/2 tsp paprika1/4 tsp oregano1/4 tsp parsley1/8 tsp cayennepinch of salt
Directions:In a saute pan heat up your oil over medium heat.  Add the onions and saute, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 3 mi…

Carrot-Raisin Oatmeal Pancake (Vegan & Gluten Free)

Carrot-Raisin-Oat PancakesYum
My 2 year old is (quite unsurprisingly) fond of pancakes.  The problem, is that pancakes tend to be full of processed wheat, refined sugar, and not much else.  I decided that I wanted to give these a nutritional twist; with whole grains from the oatmeal, fresh veggies from the carrot, and unsweetened raisins.  It only contains a tiny bit of coconut sugar for sweetness, and even that you could probably omit.

These pancakes contain absolutely no flour (except for the oat flour that you make yourself from oatmeal).  If you choose to use gluten free oats, you could make this recipe completely gluten free!

Chia seed replaces the egg as the binder and soy milk replaces the dairy, making these completely vegan, as well.

Serves: 6
Ingredients:1 cup soy milk1 TBSP apple cider vinegar1 TBSP ground chia seed3 TBSP warm water1 1/2 cup old fashioned oats1/2 TBSP coconut sugar3/4 tsp baking powder1/2 tsp baking soda1/2 tsp cinnamon1/4 tsp nutmeg 1/4 tsp salt1/2 tsp va…

Black Bean-Sweet Potato Burrito

Black Bean-Sweet Potato Burrito Yum
 Does anything pair better with black beans than sweet potato?  Didn't think so.  These delicious flavors form the base of your burrito.  Feel free to dress them up with whatever you can imagine!  I used red onion, fresh tomatoes, and salsa.  You could also use avocado, guacamole, scallions, peppers, etc.

All you need to do to make your burrito is to saute the onion in your oil, then brown up your potatoes, and finally stir in the black beans and seasonings.

Then, you can spoon it onto your wrap, top it with whatever toppings you enjoy, and eat!  This was a really quick and easy weeknight dinner.  I hope you enjoy!

Serves: 4

Ingredients:1 TBSP olive oil1/2 onion, chopped1 clove garlic, minced1 sweet potato, quartered lengthwise & sliced thin1/4 tsp salt1 can black beans1/2 tsp cumin1/4 tsp oregano1/4 tsp parsley1/8 tsp thyme1/8 tsp cayenne
Directions:Warm your oil in a saute pan over medium heat.  Add the onions and saute, stirring frequent…

Lentil-Potato Soup

Lentil-Potato SoupYum  The other night I was in need of a seriously satisfying hearty dinner.  Also, I didn't have the time to soak and cook beans from scratch.  Lentils provide really deep flavor in addition to cooking up pretty quickly.

This is a super simple recipe.  All you need to do is saute the onions in the olive oil quickly, then add the remaining ingredients and let simmer on low.  It's the perfect meal to cook up when you can't pay close attention to what you're cooking.

Serves: 4
Ingredients:1 TBSP olive oil2 onions, chopped2 potatoes, cubed2 carrots, peeled & sliced1 stalk celery, diced6 cups veggie broth1 cup lentils1/2 tsp cumin1/2 tsp parsley1/2 tsp thyme1/4 tsp cayennesalt and pepper to taste
Directions:Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat.Add onions and cook, stirring frequently for 3 minutes or until the onions begin to look translucent.Add the veggies, potatoes, broth, and seasonings to the pot and bring to a boil on high heat.Once boil…

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Roasted Pumpkin SeedsYum Between jack o lanterns, soups, and pies there are a lot of reasons to cut into those giant (and not-so giant) orange squashes.  One of my favorite reasons to disassemble a pumpkin are the seeds.
Pumpkin seeds are not only delicious, they are also a great source of protein and fiber.  And the best reason? My toddler is totally pumpkin seed addicted.
You don't have to limit yourself to pumpkin seeds either.  Butternut squash and acorn squash seeds are equally delicious (although the yield per fruit is less).
The way that I always made them with my mom was to soak them in saltwater in a jar overnight, and then bake them in the oven with a little oil in the morning.

Allow them to cool and then transfer them to a bowl where they can be stolen by tiny hands while you are trying to take a photo.  Seriously.

pumpkin seeds (whatever your pumpkin yields)enough water to cover1/4 tsp salt per cup of seedssmall amount of olive oil for greasing the cookie…

Pumpkin Soup (Vegan & Gluten Free)

Pumpkin Soup
As the temperatures drop, is there anything more warming or comforting than a nice hot bowl of creamy soup?  I can't think of anything.  This soup is simple, with only 10 ingredients and is very fun to make on a cold afternoon.

Soup is a great accompaniment to any dinner, but I have to be honest, I have been eating this soup for breakfast lately.  It is warm, which makes me feel invigorated when the house is a bit chilly, and it feels great to start my day with healthy vegetables.

This soup begins with roasted pumpkin.  I just hacked it into quarters (no reason to make it pretty, right?) and then roasted it in the oven.

Simmer all of the ingredients (except the soy milk) in a covered pan.  When everything is nice and cooked, hit it with an immersion blender.

Then stir 1/2 cup of your soy milk into the soup.  Ladle the soup into individual bowls, and stir in another 2 TBSP of soy milk into each portion for the pretty two toned effect.

Serves: 6
Ingredients:2 whole …

Chickpea Stuffed Zucchini

Chickpea Stuffed ZucchiniYum These zucchini boats make a nice, fresh, light dinner.  I mashed the chickpeas very lightly creating a more rustic, chunky stuffing.  If your prefer something smoother you could mash it more or even put the stuffing through the food processor.

This recipe begins with zucchini that have been split in half lengthwise,.  You need to scoop the insides out with a spoon.  If you wish, you could make it a bit easier on yourself by scoring the sides of the zucchini with a knife.

Then you fry up all of the stuffing ingredients in a pan while your oven is preheating.  The stuffing consists of chickpeas, onion, garlic, the diced insides of the zucchinis that you hollowed out, and some seasonings.  I have used red and white onion in this recipe, and either tastes great.  Once the ingredients are cooked, you just roughly mash the stuffing with a potato masher.

Finally, you will spoon the stuffing into the empty zucchinis and bake on a greased cookie sheet. 

Serves: 4…

TVP Chili

TVP Chili
My husband requested a chili recipe that does not include beans.  I wanted to make something a bit heartier and more filling than a simple veggie chili (although those are great too).  TVP (which stands for textured vegetable protein) is a filling plant protein.  It is a dried soy product that is the byproduct of the soybean oil making process.  It is dehydrated, so you have to soak it in boiling liquid in order to prep it prior to cooking.  Rather than soak it in hot water, I choose to use some home made veggie broth that I made the day before.  You could use pre-packaged salt free broth as well.

The first time I made this chili, it came out somewhat watery, despite the long cooking time.  I made two adjustments from the first attempt.  Firstly, fry the tvp with the veggies for at least 5 minutes before you add the tomatoes, to get as much water out as possible.  Secondly, when you are simmering the chili, leave the lid ajar to vent off some of the steam.

Serves: 4


French Toast with Pumpkin Marscapone

French Toast with Pumpkin-MarscaponeYum
This is not diet food.  This is delicious, real, satisfying food.  This is not an everyday breakfast, but for a special occasion (maybe your having company the morning after Thanksgiving?) it is a nice treat made from real food.  We hear all the time, how real dietary change comes from making a lifestyle change-not going on a diet.  I think that a lifestyle of real food has to include a decadent treat, now and again.  If you want to adapt this for a more calorie restrictive diet you could switch out the half and half for whole milk (or whatever you have in the house).

I used a sprouted grain bread because that is what I had on hand, and I really enjoy that kind of bread.  You can experiment with using different kinds of bread, anything you have on hand should work.

I tried to make a pumpkin French toast a couple of different ways.  They were abysmal.  We shall not speak of them.  The mistake I made was trying to find a way to incorporate the pu…

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Stuffed Acorn Squash
Tired of baking acorn squash with maple butter and maple syrup? Me too.  Acorn squash deserves to be more than a delivery system for maple syrup, brown sugar, and butter.  This recipe utilizes only a tablespoon of maple syrup (and even then it's only to balance out the tartness of the cranberries).  The natural sweetness of the squash and apples combined with the earthy crunch of the walnuts and the fresh tartness of the cranberries basically summarizes everything great about fall.

This dish features raw cranberries.  That's what I had in my fridge, but also I wanted to use an ingredient that was free from processed sugar.  I added a hint of maple syrup to balance the tartness.  If you want to use sweetened craisins (I would recommend the reduced sugar ones) I would omit the maple syrup or substitute a little apple cider.

We had this as a side dish, but there is no reason that you have to eat it that way.  Because of the walnuts, this would make a grea…

Farmer's Pie (AKA Lentil Shepherd's Pie)

Farmer's PieYum
Shepherd's pie is named for the individual who's job it is to guard and take care of the sheep.  This pie has absolutely nothing to do with sheep.  There is no lamb or mutton, so why would I call it "Shepherd's" pie?  I guess I could have called it Sheperdless Pie, but I liked the idea of Farmer's Pie.  Maybe that name resonated with me because it moves the focus away from a central ingredient (meat) to the whole dish.  The potatoes, peas, corn, lentils, etc. all would have needed to be cultivated by a farmer, so that's who deserves to be celebrated in the name of this dish.

Anyway, by any name, this recipe is hearty and filling in addition to healthy, vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free.  I used ground flax seed to thicken the base instead of flour and I used olive oil and some reserved cooking liquid from the potatoes, so this dish is very allergy friendly.  There is no wheat, soy, egg, dairy, nut, or peanut in this recipe making a g…

Mango-Carrot-Lime Smoothie

Mango-Carrot-Lime Smoothie
Yum This smoothie was definitely a hit with the smallest member of our family!  I was happy that it was sweet enough from the ingredients and didn't need anything other than soy milk, mango, carrot, and lime.  This smoothie is a great way to get more veggies into your morning.  Plus, it has a great tropical flavor that makes me feel like I'm on a beach (even if I'm just sitting in the middle of my toy strewn living room).

Serves: 2

Ingredients:1 carrot, peeled and sliced thinly1 cup frozen mango chunks1 1/2 cup unsweetened soymilkjuice of 1/2 lime1/2 tsp lime zest

Directions:Place all the ingredients into a blender and run until smooth.

More Breakfast Recipes:Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes (Vegan)Whole Wheat Double Apple-Cinnamon Muffins (Vegan)Green Smoothie (Vegan) Carrot Hash (Vegan)