Tag Archives: Vegan

Roasted Guacamole

Roasted Guacamole 2

Here is a slightly different take on guacamole for Cinco de Mayo this year! In this recipe, the tomatoes, onions, and garlic get a slight roast, and the avocados get a grill treatment before mashing together. It really takes the dish up a notch!

Roasted Guacamole

Roasted Guacamole 1

Serves: 8-10

Ingredients

3 Ripe Avocados

2 cups Grape Tomatoes

½ Red Onion, sliced

6 Garlic Cloves

1 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 Lime, juiced

½ cup Cilantro, chopped

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400⁰ F.
  2. Combine tomatoes, onion, garlic and olive oil on a baking sheet and toss to coat. Bake until tomatoes burst, and onions are slightly brown; about 25 minutes.
  3. Preheat grill to medium heat. Cut avocados in half and remove pits. Grill on lightly oiled grill, until warmed through and grill marks are visible; about 10 minutes.
  4. Allow all ingredients to cool enough to handle.
  5. Remove avocado flesh from peel, and mash with lime juice.
  6. Mince roasted onions and garlic and add to avocado mash, along with tomatoes. Mash all together.
  7. Add cilantro and salt and pepper to taste. Mix. Enjoy warm or cold!

 

Happy, healthy eating!

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Black Bean Enchilada Ravioli

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These are so fun and delicious! These came about because I really try to only cook one meal for all of us, but my toddler can’t handle some more complicated foods very well yet. Enchiladas are definitely out! But this makes enchiladas a finger food!

If you have older kids, they can even help fill and seal the ravioli. I used store bought won ton wrappers and enchilada sauce, but if you have the time and want to, feel free to make your own. They’d be amazing that way! Pan fried or boiled like traditional ravioli, you’ll want to try these out!

Enchilada Ravioli  

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Serves: 8 (serving size: 6 ravioli)

Ingredients

1 Package Won Ton Wrappers (or homemade ravioli dough)

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 medium Onion, chopped

1 small Sweet Bell Pepper, chopped

1 medium Zucchini, chopped

1 can Black Beans, drained and rinsed

¼ cup Black Olives, sliced

3 Green Onions, sliced

Coconut Oil for pan frying, if desired (or high-heat oil of choice)

1 can of your favorite Enchilada Sauce, or homemade

Avocado, lime, and cilantro for garnish, if desired

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Saute onion until soft, and add pepper and zucchini.
  3. Cook until vegetables are soft and slightly browned.
  4. Add black beans, olives and green onions. Heat through.
  5. Cool slightly. Add vegetable mixture to a food processor. Pulse until vegetables are all chopped very small (you don’t want a puree).
  6. In each won ton wrapper, place about ½ tablespoon vegetable mixture. Seal by wetting a finger and running along the perimeter of the wrapper to uniformly wet the edge. Fold in half and make sure to press all the air out before completely sealing.
  7. If pan frying ravioli, heat oil over high heat and add ravioli. Cook just a few minutes on each side before draining on a plate with a paper towel. You will likely have to do this in several batches.
  8. If boiling, boil a large pot of water. Drop ravioli, one at a time, into water. Ravioli will float when done. Remove from water.
  9. Toss ravioli in warmed enchilada sauce.
  10. Serve hot, garnished with a lime, avocado, and cilantro, if desired.

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Happy, healthy eating!

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Grilled Okra

Can you believe summer is almost over?!  Where is the time going?  If you’re anything like us, you’re using the grill as much as possible before the snow starts to fly.  I usually end up throwing as much of the meal as possible on – not just the protein!  Grilled vegetables are delicious, and this okra is no exception!

Okra is often billed as a Southern vegetable, and about the only place I see it in Pennsylvania is on the menu at Cracker Barrel.  But why can’t we enjoy it north of the Mason Dixon line?  Usually, okra is either deep fried, or used in jambalaya.  I love a good jambalaya, but not so much in the midst of summer.  And deep fried okra is packed with fat and calories, making it a tasty, but not so healthy side dish.  I think the reason so many people overlook this veggie is that it has a tendency to get slimy, especially if you chop it up.  This preparation takes care of that!  I used a package of frozen okra, and just thawed it before using it, but if you can get fresh, that’s definitely better.  Not only is this side dish delicious and not-slimy, but it’s easy and takes very little time – perfect for weeknights!  Simply toss the okra in olive oil and garlic, throw it on the grill, and cook until it’s slightly charred.  That part is important because it makes it crispy almost like fried, but without all the fat.  Dig in, and enjoy this Southern treat – healthified!

Grilled Okra

Grilled Okra

Serves: 4

Ingredients

16 oz Frozen Okra, thawed
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 tsp Garlic Powder
Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat grill to medium heat.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and toss to coat.
  3. Grill okra about 10-20 minutes, turning once, to desired doneness.

Grilled Okra Nutrition Facts

Happy, healthy eating!

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Zucchini Fettuccini

Zucchini Fettuccini

Wow, it’s been a long time since my last recipe!  Since our son was born, things have been pretty crazy, so I took some much needed time off, just to figure out my new life.  Now that things are settling down a bit, I hope to be posting much more regularly again.  Dear Son is now 4 months old, and just getting ready to be eating food, so don’t be surprised if some homemade baby food and kid-friendly fare pop up here and there!  🙂

Today’s recipe, though should appeal to both young and old (and everyone in between) I think!  This is more of technique than a recipe.  Zucchini fettuccini makes a great light side dish, or add some meatballs or a sauce with beans or tofu for a full meal!  My garden is bursting with zucchini, as zucchini has a tendency to do, so I decided to try to make some “pasta” with it for something a little different.  I quartered the zucchini lengthwise, and removed the seeds.  They get really mushy, and I just didn’t want that.  Then I just used a vegetable peeler and sliced the zucchini lengthwise so it was really thin like fettuccini noodles.  From there, it’s just a matter of cooking it in your favorite sauce, and adding your toppings of choice.  Easy and fun!

This is what it looked like after using the vegetable peeler:

Zucchini Fettuccini Raw

The dish turned out great!  The skin on the zucchini adds awesome fiber and nutrition, and it keeps it from falling apart.  And because it’s so thin, it’s not tough at all.  Zucchini has a great mild flavor, so it works perfectly as a pasta with tomato sauce.  I can really imagine it being great with any sauce you like, though.

Zucchini Fettuccini

Zucchini Fettuccini 2

Serves:  4

Ingredients

1 Zucchini, large
3 cups Pasta Sauce of choice

Directions

  1. Quarter zucchini lengthwise and remove seeds.
  2. Use a vegetable peeler to cut zucchini, lengthwise, into thin strips.
  3. Heat pasta sauce in a large pot.
  4. Add zucchini strips to pasta sauce, and cook until tender.
  5. Serve with meatballs and/or parmesan cheese if desired.

Zucchini Fettuccini Nutrition Facts

Happy, healthy eating!

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Roasted Cashew Nut Butter

Cashew Nut Butter on Toast 1

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving here in the states.  I definitely did!  I hosted the holiday this year, and I made the turkey with homemade stuffing, mashed potatoes, turkey gravy, cranberry orange relish, and homemade rolls.  Everyone else brought the rest of the dishes.  I was honestly just so tired and hungry by the time dinner came that I didn’t even think to take pictures.  I guess you’ll just have to take my word for it that everything was great. 🙂

I recently bought a 10 pound case of raw cashews.  Because I love them!  And because I wanted to experiment, and the price was right.  I almost feel silly posting this basic nut butter recipe, but it’s one of the first things I made with them.  Handsome Husband hates peanuts.  WHAT?!  That’s right.  Won’t come near anything with peanuts or peanut butter in it…or me after I’ve eaten those things.  But we both love cashews!  So I thought cashew butter would be a great start.  Cashew butter turns out to be a little lower in calories than peanut butter, but is just a tasty!

I roasted the cashews first for more flavor.  Make sure you spread them in a single layer on a cookie sheet.

Cashews Single Layer

They take a while in the food processor, but keep at it!  The cashews will turn into something like cashew flour first, and after a few minutes will resemble something more like cashew butter.  You’ll have to scrape down the side of the food processor several times.  Mine formed itself into a ball when it was done.

Cashew Butter in Food Processor

This is amazing on toast, and I’m planning to make some cookies out of it soon.  It is nice and creamy, and it sticks to the roof of your mouth in a delightful way.  It retains the slightly sweet qualities of the cashew, and my husband loves it!  Score!  I will be using this frequently in place of peanut butter.  And it’s really easy.  What could be better?

ROASTED CASHEW NUT BUTTER

Cashew Nut Butter on Toast Close up

Makes about 1 cup

Ingredients

1 ½ cup raw cashews
1/8 tsp salt (optional)

Directions

1. Spread cashews in single layer on baking sheet. Bake at 350⁰ F for about 10 minutes, or until fragrant.
2. Allow to cool for a few minutes, and transfer to food processor. Add salt if using. Process until smooth and creamy. This is take several minutes, and you will have to scrape down the sides of the processor several times.
3. Store in a sealed jar in the refrigerator to prevent oil separation.  I originally assumed the oil would separate because it does in other natural nut butters.  But I’ve had my cashew butter sitting on the counter for a few days now, and it’s not separating – and it’s much more spreadable!

Roasted Cashew Nut Butter Nutrition

Happy, healthy eating!

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Thai Pumpkin Curry Soup

Thai Pumpkin Curry Soup with Garnish

I’m pretty disappointed at the overblown pumpkin frenzy this season.  It came earlier than usual, and everyone is trying to cash in on it.  Sadly, this led to a lot of sub par pumpkin treats – most of which aren’t even reminiscent of pumpkin.  I love the taste of pumpkin.  I mean, I like it sweet, savory, and all by itself.  But even though I look forward to pumpkin season all year, this will likely be the only pumpkin recipe from me until next year.  I’m just over it.  But the recipe I have to share with you today is different from your typical pumpkin pie or muffins.  This is one of the many fantastic ways to use pumpkin in a savory application.  Pumpkin is also an amazing fruit (that’s right – it’s technically a fruit, along with all its squash cousins!) with awesome nutritional qualities!  It’s low in calories (when not in dessert-form), a good source of fiber, and an excellent source of vitamin A.  It also boasts some vitamin C, copper, and manganese in smaller amounts.  Oh, and it’s delicious and versatile!

A few months ago, I bought some toasted pumpkin seed oil, and I’ve been patiently awaiting pumpkin season ever since.  It’s supposed to be excellent for things like salad dressing and pasta, and I have no doubt!  But I really wanted to use it in a soup to compliment pumpkin.  The oil has a rich toasty taste – you can definitely tell its source!  I will be experimenting more with it in the future, for sure.  It has a low smoke point, so it’s not good for high temperature applications, but it’s great for using raw, and for roasting and light sautéing.  You can absolutely make this soup without it, though.

I also recommend using an immersion blender for this recipe, but a plain old blender will work, too.

This soup is the perfect dinner on a cold fall evening.  It’s quick and easy, and the flavors won’t disappoint!  The coconut milk brings a creamy quality to it, without going overboard on calories or cholesterol – and that makes it vegan friendly, too!  You’ll love how filling the soup is, and the slightly spicy notes from the Thai curry paste really complete it.  I used a whole pumpkin that I roasted in the toasted pumpkin seed oil, but canned pumpkin (not pie filling) will work just as well and save time.  I also roasted the pumpkin seeds in the oil, with a little salt and pepper.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Roasted pumpkin seeds are one of my very favorite fall treats, and they make the perfect garnish.  What I learned this year from other bloggers is that there’s no need to drive yourself crazy cleaning the seeds.  Just separate them from the “guts” as much as you can and toss them on a cookie sheet.  No oil really needed, but I’ve been dying to use my new oil!  Roast at 400 degrees for about 20-30 minutes – toss halfway through.  And that’s it!  Any of the remaining pumpkin pieces roast up nice and crunchy, and you’ll love it!

Now for the main event!

THAI PUMPKIN CURRY SOUP

Thai Pumpkin Curry Soup with Garnish Close up

Serves: 6

Ingredients

1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 medium Onion, Chopped
2 ½ – 3 cups Pumpkin Puree
1 can Lite Coconut Milk
1-2 Tbsp Thai Red Curry Paste

Directions

1.  In a large pot, heat olive oil and sauté onion until soft and translucent.

2.  Add pumpkin puree, coconut milk, and red curry paste, and bring to boil.

3.  Blend with immersion blender until smooth.  Alternately, puree soup in blender in small batches.  Return to pot and bring to simmer.

4.  Serve hot, garnished with toasted pumpkin seed oil and toasted pumpkin seeds.

Thai Pumpkin Curry Soup Nutrition

Happy, healthy eating!

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Homemade Vegetable Broth from Scraps

Vegetable Broth from Scraps

It’s been a crazy week!  Well last week was.  Handsome Husband and I took a trip to Boston for the week for some fun-filled touring before the baby comes.  We took in tons of history, and tons of amazing food!  More about the awesome eats next time, once I can get all the pictures organized.  You’ll love it as much as I did, I promise!

I wanted to share this broth with you.  It’s so flavorful, has no sodium, and it’s free!  What could be better to make all your homemade soups with?!  For the broth, you’ll want to start saving all your vegetable scraps – put them in a zipper bag in the freezer until you accumulate enough.

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You can save pretty much anything you want, but you may want to steer clear of vegetable with a very strong flavor, or dark color – like beets, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, etc.  Feel free to save herbs, onion skins, the insides of peppers, carrot skins, celery leaves, spinach and lettuce.  Just don’t save anything that is passed its prime or moldy, of course.

Throw everything in a big pot with whatever spices you like (bay leaves, peppercorns, mustard seeds, etc.), cover with water, and simmer for about an hour.

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Then strain it and cool it.  Pour it into containers or zipper freezer bags.  Store in the refrigerator for about a week, or in the freezer for longer.  Probably months to a year, but I bet it won’t last that long!  Tip: If you freeze the broth in freezer bags on their side, once frozen you can stand them up in a line in a basket for easy selection.  This works with all kinds of liquids.  That way, nothing gets stuck forever on the bottom of the pile!

HOMEMADE VEGETABLE BROTH

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Makes: 6-8 cups

Ingredients

4-6 cups vegetable scraps

2 Bay Leaves

5 quarts Cold Water

Directions

1.  Place all ingredients in a large stock pot, and bring to boil.

2.  Reduce temperature and simmer for one hour.

3.  Strain it all through a fine mesh sieve, and press to squeeze out all broth.

4.  Cool completely, and store in freezer bags to containers in the refrigerator or freezer.

Happy, healthy eating!

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