Archive for October, 2011
Meet my current obsession and daily lunch and dinner for the past week. I love everything about this salad. The sweet butternut squash, the sautéed kale, the chewy Kamut and the toasted pine nuts. YUM! You NEED to make this salad. First make the Enchiladas with Homemade Sauce (also completely yummy!) and with the squash that you have leftover you already have half your salad ready to go!
If you’ve never had Kamut before I highly recommend giving it a try. It’s an ancient wheat grain that is known for it’s rich nutty flavor. It has a chewy texture when cooked and holds it shape and texture extremely well. If you can’t find Kamut try substituting with barley or even lentils.
- 1/2 butternut squash *see notes
- 1 onion, diced
- 4-5 cloves roasted garlic, minced (if you don’t have roasted garlic use 2-3 cloves regular garlic)
- 1 bunch kale, destemmed and chopped
- 1 cup cooked Kamut *see notes
- 1 tsp rosemary
- 2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
- 2 tbsp dried cherries, chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
- Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Add onions and garlic and sauté until the onions are translucent.
- Add in the remaining ingredients and cook over low heat until kale is tender and the squash and Kamut are heated all the way through.
Makes about 4-5 cups.
Serving size 1 cup.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 150.5, Cal. from Fat: 38.5, Total Fat: 4g, Sat. Fat: .5g, Carbs: 26.5g, Fiber: 2.5g, Sugars: 5g, Protein: 4g, Sodium: 19mg, Chol: 0mg
Store leftover salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
If you didn’t make the enchilada’s (you know, you really should!) then peel, deseed and cut your squash into 1 inch thick cubes. Place on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and cook in the oven at 350 degrees for an hour.
To cook your Kamut, soak 1 cup Kamut overnight. Then add additional water if needed to equal 3 cups and bring it to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 40-45 minutes or until tender. If you’re not able to soak it overnight increase the cook time from 40-45 minutes to about 2-3 hours. The water should be completely absorbed when the Kamut is done cooking.
I guess with the cooler temperatures we have all been looking for some heartier meals lately. My son in law Cliff especially has been requesting some real ‘stick to your ribs’ kind of dinners. Given Cliff’s limited vegetable tolerance it has been a challenge to come up with recipes that fulfill the hearty factor and taste good too. This is one that got his approval.
If you have someone in your life that is a little hard to please or skeptical of a meatless meal being filling and tasting good, then give this tasty casserole a try.
For Bean Casserole
- 2 tbsp olive oil plus extra to grease the casserole dish
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, soaked in warm water until soft, diced
- 2 bell peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded and diced (I used 1 red and 1 yellow for eye appeal)
- 2 cups organic frozen shelled edamame or 2 cups cooked beans like anasazi, pinto or kidney, etc.
- 2 cups low sodium vegetable broth, divided
- 1/2 cup Sweet Heat Chili Sauce
- sea salt to taste
- 1 tbsp organic corn starch
For Polenta Topping
- 1 cup organic polenta (corn grits), some brands call it quick cooking. It should be the kind that cooks in about 5 minutes.
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 3 cups water or follow directions for your polenta
- 1/2 cup frozen corn
- 2 tsp olive oil
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 2 quart casserole dish with oil.
- Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic. Saute for 4-5 minutes or until the onions are soft.
- Add the tomatoes, peppers and edamame. Saute another 3-4 minutes.
- Reserve 1/4 cup of the vegetable broth. Pour the remaining 1 3/4 cup into the skillet along with the chili sauce. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to low.
- Mix the cornstarch with the reserved broth. Pour into the skillet and stir to combine. Once the mixture has thickened slightly turn off the heat and set aside.
- To prepare the polenta bring the water and salt to a boil. Add the polenta and reduce heat to low.
- Cook 5 minutes stirring occasionally or follow the instruction on your package of polenta.
- Remove from the heat, stir in the corn and 2 tsp olive oil.
- Pour the bean mixture into the prepared casserole dish and top with the polenta mixture. I find it easiest to spoon small amounts of polenta all over the casserole and then smooth out with the back of the spoon (dip the spoon in water occasionally to keep the polenta from sticking).
- Bake uncovered about 30 minutes or until the casserole is bubbling and the polenta is slightly browned.
Makes 6 hearty servings.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 312, Cal. from Fat: 97.5, Total Fat: 10g, Sat. Fat: 1g, Carbs: 43g, Fiber: 6.75g, Sugars: 9.6g, Protein: 9.6g, Sodium: 493mg, Chol: 0mg
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
I’ve been having some weird and unusual cravings the last few weeks (I’m not pregnant, just weird!). One of my cravings has been for Asian inspired food. Specifically pot stickers! Now these corn fritters don’t taste anything like pot stickers but the dipping sauce that is usually served with potstickers is infused in these fritters and the Asian flavors definitely come through.
I didn’t get a chance to serve these to my kids to see if they liked them or not. Why? Because my husband and I ate every single one of these straight out of the pan. We both burnt our tongues and it was soooo worth it. : )
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 cup finely chopped chives
- sea salt to taste
- 4 tbsp low sodium soy sauce or tamari
- 3 tbsp brown rice vinegar
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1/2 cup non dairy milk (I used oat milk)
- 2 cups sweet corn (you can use frozen or fresh, if frozen thaw first)
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp freshly minced ginger
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup olive oil
- In a medium bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and chives. Add in the tamari, vinegar, sesame oil,and milk. Stir well.
- Now add the corn, garlic and ginger. You should have a thickish sticky mixture.
- In a large saute pan over medium high heat, heat up enough olive to cover the bottom of the pan. Once the oil is hot add about 3 tbsp of the fritter mixture to the pan. Add as many more fritters to the pan as will fit.
- Pan fry the fritters for about 2 minutes, flip and cook for another 2 minutes or until each side is golden brown. Note – you want to keep your fritters about 1/2 inch thick or less. If they get too thick the inside won’t cook properly.
- Remove fritters from pan and place on 2 or 3 layers of paper towel (this will help absorb any excess oil).
- These are good served hot from the pan or room temperature.
Makes approximately 10 – 12 fritters.
Serving size 4 fritters.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 448, Cal. from Fat: 192.5, Total Fat: 22g, Sat. Fat: 3g, Carbs: 54.5g, Fiber: 8g, Sugars: 7g, Protein: 12g, Sodium: 967mg, Chol: 0mg
Leftover fritters (not that I would know!) can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. For best results reheat in the oven.
Life is pretty much back to normal. I like it that way. I’m still a little bruised and pretty numb but I’m back to doing all the stuff I always do everyday.
The first time I had potato soup was back in ancient days, 9th grade, and I was trying to impress my boyfriend with my cooking skills. I offered to make him lunch and asked what he would like. He said potato soup. Oh no, now what was I going to do? I had never had potato soup. He opened a cupboard and took out a can of good ole Campbell’s soup. Saved…I thought. I opened the can, added milk and heated it up. I tasted it before serving it to him and thought, “I’m still in trouble. This tastes like…well, it doesn’t taste like anything. I might as well serve cornstarch out of the box as it would have more flavor.” He picked up his spoon and ATE IT. I asked how it was and he said, good. Good? Good, really? Needless to say he wasn’t my boyfriend for much longer, not that it had anything to do with tasteless soup.
I’ve come to realize that food, like life should never be boring even if it is ‘healthy’ food. While potato soup is not meant to be knock your socks off full of spicy flavors, it can be sweet, creamy, tasty, warm in your tummy good. It’s also not at the top of the nutritional chart so I added a few additional ingredients to ramp it up (get it??… ramps are called wild leeks…ramp it up?).
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 leeks, washed and thinly sliced (green and white parts)
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 4 potatoes, peeled (if preferred) and diced
- 1 cup shredded cabbage
- 1 tsp sea salt or to taste
- 1/2 tsp black pepper or to taste
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 1 cup organic soft or silken tofu (this is optional to add more protein)
- 1/4 cup chives, finely diced (optional garnish)
- Heat olive oil in a large dutch oven or soup pot. Add the leeks and sauté until soft.
- Add a 1/2 tsp salt and the garlic. Sauté 1-2 minutes more.
- Add the carrots, potatoes, cabbage, bay leaves, remaining salt and 6 cups vegetable stock.
- Bring to a boil and then lower heat to a simmer. Cover and cook 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the vegetables are tender.
- Turn off the heat and add the tofu. Blend with a stick blender or in batches in a food processor. Caution: Be careful when processing hot liquids in a food processor.
- Serve garnished with chives.
Makes approximately 10 cups.
Servings size 1 cup.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 180, Cal. from Fat: 30, Total Fat: 3.4g, Sat. Fat: .4g, Carbs: 34g, Fiber: 4g, Sugars: 3g, Protein: 4.5g, Sodium: 294mg, Chol: 0mg
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
There are weeks when I seriously can’t come up with a new recipe to save my life. My creative juices have run dry. Those are the weeks when dinner is a bowl of cereal or toast with peanut butter. You think I’m joking, but I’m not!
This last week I was banging out the recipes. It was a Mom of the year moment! My family LOVED this cheesy taco bake. Even my EXTREMELY picky daughter ate this right up. And if a round of 2 thumbs up wasn’t good enough, this dish freezes well too! I actually made a double batch and froze individual servings. My husband has been eating them for lunch now that the weather is slightly cooler.
Since I was serving this for my whole family I kept the spicy level pretty low. For those that like a little kick in their meal try adding some Tabasco or Hot Sauce to bring it up a notch. Enjoy!
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp whole wheat flour
- 6 heaping tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 tbsp Taco Seasoning
- 4 heaping tbsp Homemade Enchilada Sauce
- 1 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp low sodium vegetable broth
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 can (15 ounces) no salt added black beans, drained and rinsed
- 7 ounces organic firm tofu (you can also substitute with quinoa or any other protein source)
- 8 ounces whole grain pasta of choice, cooked
- 1/2 cup Homemade Croutons, finely crushed
- 1 1/2 cups cooked rice (optional, I added rice the third time I made this and we really liked it!)
- 4-6 ounces shredded cheese (optional – see notes)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a medium sauce pan heat olive oil over medium high heat. Once the oil is hot add the flour, reduce heat to low and stir until completely dissolved.
- Add in the enchilada sauce and broth. Stir well and then add the nutritional yeast and taco seasoning. Mix well, remove from heat and set aside.
- In a large sauté pan add 1 tbsp broth and heat over medium high heat. Add onions and sauté until translucent.
- While the onions are cooking, use a fork and mash the tofu into small crumbles. Add the crumbled tofu and black beans to the pan and stir well. Remove from heat.
- In a large bowl add the cooked pasta (and rice if you are using), the onion, bean and tofu mixture and the cheesy enchilada sauce. Stir well and transfer mixture to a 9 x 13 glass baking dish.
- Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top (if using) and then the croutons. Place in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.
Makes 10 servings.
Nutrients per serving without optional ingredients: Calories: 218.5, Cal. from Fat: 71.5, Total Fat: 8g, Sat. Fat: .5g, Carbs: 27g, Fiber: 6g, Sugars: 2g, Protein: 10.5g, Sodium: 48.5mg, Chol: 0mg
The use of shredded cheese in this recipe was 50/50 in my house. I used Daiya shredded cheese which I am not a big fan of. It tastes ok but overall I’m happy to go without it on my meals. My daughter and I both preferred this dish without cheese. My husband and son both enjoyed it with the cheese. If you want to limit the fat and calories then try going without any cheese.
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Leftovers can also be placed in freezer safe containers in the freezer for up to 6 months. Reheat in the microwave in a microwave safe container.
Like with any pasta dish when you reheat the leftovers the dish tends to be a bit drier than when you made it. I actually make an extra batch of sauce that I freeze in little 4 ounce containers. That way when I heat up a batch of the taco bake I also have a bit of extra sauce I can add at the same time.
Can there be too many pumpkin recipes? I don’t think so. This pumpkin cream sauce is one of my favorites. Oh, who am I kidding? Pumpkin recipes are like children. How can I have a favorite? I love them all. Anyway, this one is really good, creamy and delicious with savory herbs to make you sniff in appreciation before you even taste a bite. Don’t stop at putting in on pasta. It’s great on roasted vegetables or mixed in with quinoa or rice for a quick risotto like side dish.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 medium leeks, cut lengthwise, thoroughly washed and thinly sliced
- 1 tsp sea salt, divided
- 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 3-4 fresh sage leaves, thinly sliced
- 1 cup non-dairy milk
- 16 ounces whole grain fettuccine, cooked
- 1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, minced
- 1/2 cup Homemade Croutons (optional)
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sage and sauté until slightly brown, 3-4 minutes. Add leeks and 1/2 tsp salt. Sauté until tender about 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Place the leeks in a food processor with the milk and process until smooth.
- Return the leek mixture to the skillet and add in the pumpkin puree, remaining 1/2 tsp salt and bring to a simmer.
- Simmer 3-4 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
- Add the cooked pasta to the skillet and toss to coat.
- Serve garnished with parsley and croutons (optional).
Makes 8 servings.
Nutrients per serving (sauce only made with unsweetened soy milk): Calories: 128, Cal. from Fat: 71, Total Fat: 8g, Sat. Fat: 1g, Carbs: 11g, Fiber: 3g, Sugars: 3.5g, Protein: 3g, Sodium: 487mg, Chol: 0mg
Mixed with pasta this recipe is best eaten right away. If the pumpkin cream sauce is kept separate then it can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Snickerdoodles are one of my favorite cookies. I actually like them better than chocolate chip! I’ve tried countless ways to make a healthy snickerdoodle and never was able to come up with a winner. Considering that snickerdoodles are mostly sugared butter that is baked into a puffy cookie I pretty much have zero hope of finding a vegan snickerdoodle that I can eat. That’s when my brilliant hubby suggested that I make a snickerdoodle truffle! DUH! Why didn’t I think of that?! Truffle is my middle name. I can make anything into a truffle. Now these truffles are not warm and puffy like a traditional snickerdoodle cookie but they do taste just like one and are totally pop-able, chewy and delicious! Enjoy!
- 1 cup Medjool dates, pitted (about 18 dates)
- 1 cup unsalted cashews
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp + 1/2 tsp cinnamon, divided
- 2 tbsp raw coconut crystals
- In a small bowl add 1 tbsp cinnamon and 2 tbsp coconut crystals and mix together. Set aside.
- Add the cashews to a food processor (or powerful blender) and process until you have a grainy sand like consistency.
- Add in the dates, vanilla and 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Process until the mixture is smooth and completely incorporated.
- Using the palms of your hands, roll about a tbsp size of the dough mixture into a ball. Repeat until you have approximately 14 truffles. Roll each truffle into the cinnamon/sugar mixture.
- You can either serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.
Makes approximately 14 truffles.
Serving size 1 truffle.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 147, Cal. from Fat: 40.5, Total Fat: 4.5g, Sat. Fat: .5g, Carbs: 27.5g, Fiber: 3g, Sugars: 22g, Protein: 1.5g, Sodium: 5mg, Chol: 0mg
Store leftover truffles in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
As much as I love Mexican food, photographing it is a big ‘ole pain in the you know what! Refried beans – YUM! Photographed – big pile of poo. These enchiladas – FREAKING YUMMY! Photographed – not my best shot. Don’t let the picture fool you, these are the best enchiladas I’ve ever had! I binged on these for a week after I first made them. They freeze really well too. When freezing them add a bit more sauce than you would normally. You can reheat in the microwave or the oven and they are simply delicious!
Ingredients for Homemade Enchilada Sauce:
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tbsp whole wheat flour
- 3 tbsp chili powder
- 12 ounces no salt added tomato paste
- 2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- sea salt to taste
Ingredients for Enchiladas:
- 1 large butternut squash (use half for this recipe and half for this recipe)
- 2 small onions, diced
- 1 1/2 cups cooked lentils (you could also use 1 can of black beans)
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- salt to taste
- 6-8 whole grain tortillas
- 3 cups enchilada sauce (recipe above)
Preparation for Homemade Enchilada Sauce:
- Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and stir until completely dissolved and smooth. Stir in chili powder and cook for 1 minute.
- Add tomato paste, vegetable broth, onion powder, cumin, and garlic, and stir to combine. Cook over medium heat, stirring every so often, for about 4-5 minutes. Add salt to taste.
- Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Preparation for Enchiladas:
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Peel, de-seed, and cube the butternut squash into 1 inch thick cubes.
- Toss squash with a bit of oil and salt, and spread evenly on a baking sheet. Roast for 1 hour or until soft, stirring once during cooking.
- Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Transfer half of the cubes to a large mixing bowl and mash with a potato masher or a fork until smooth. Store the other half in the refrigerator for later use.
- Add nutmeg, cinnamon and cumin to the squash. Stir well and set squash aside to cool completely.
- In a large saute pan, add a splash of vegetable broth and over medium high heat sauté the onions until translucent. Add the lentils and continue to cook until the beans are warmed all the way through. Remove from heat.
- Spread 1 cup of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 9×13 glass baking dish. Spoon the squash filling evenly onto the tortillas.
- Next spread the lentil and onion mixture evenly onto the tortillas and loosely roll.
- Place filled tortillas seam side down in the baking dish and top tortillas with the remainder of the enchilada sauce.
- Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.
Makes 6-8 enchiladas.
Serving size 1 enchilada.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 309.5, Cal. from Fat: 61, Total Fat: 10.5g, Sat. Fat: 1.5g, Carbs: 44.5g, Fiber: 9.5g, Sugars: 6g, Protein: 10.5g, Sodium: 192.5mg, Chol: 0mg
Leftover enchiladas can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. After that they need to be stored in the freezer for up to 6 months.
My husband loves rice so for his enchiladas I added 1/4 cup of rice to each enchilada. It was superb! I also added some refried beans to mine and it was delicious!
Also, you can add a little cheese to the inside or sprinkle on the outside if you like. I preferred mine plain but for my husband I added some Daiya Cheese.
It’s the time of year for spooky tales and here’s my tale. It’s not about ghosts, goblins or things that go bump in the night, but of a graveyard. A food graveyard filled with the remains of failed recipes deemed unbloggable. This biscuit recipe was almost buried before it’s time when Sarah taste tested it and said it didn’t have enough flavor (actually she said it was boring). I thought it was ok but put the recipe in the “to be buried” pile. The next morning I was in a hurry to get out the door, looked around for something quick to have for breakfast and saw the ‘boring’ biscuits. I like to have protein with my breakfast so I smeared the biscuits with peanut butter and abracadabra, no more boring. That led me to substitute some of the oil in the recipe with peanut butter, adjust a few spices and suddenly the biscuits were saved from premature burial.
Sweet potato biscuits are great as an accompaniment to chili, soups and stews or as a quick on the go breakfast option topped with a little additional peanut butter or maple syrup.
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 tbsp unsweetened creamy peanut butter
- 1 1/2 – 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 2/3 cup Homemade Almond Milk
- 3/4 cup mashed, cooked sweet potato
- 1 tbsp raw coconut crystals
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- 1/8 tsp ginger
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp unrefined peanut oil
- oil to grease baking sheet if not using a silicone baking mat
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place a silicone mat onto a baking sheet or lightly spray the sheet with oil.
- Stir the coconut oil and peanut butter together in a large bowl.
- Add 1 1/2 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. With your hands or a pastry cutter work the oil into the flour until you have coarse crumbles.
- In a separate bowl stir the coconut crystals, allspice, ginger and cinnamon into the mashed sweet potato.
- Add the milk and stir to combine.
- Pour the potato mixture into the flour mixture and mix just until combined. Do not over mix.
- Mix in remaining whole wheat pastry flour if the dough is too sticky to handle easily.
- Place the dough on a floured surface and roll to a 1/2 inch thickness. Cut with a biscuit cutter and place on the prepared baking sheet. If in a hurry you can drop the biscuits by the spoonful onto the baking sheet (my preferred method *see notes).
- Brush with the peanut oil and a sprinkle of finishing salt (salt optional).
- Bake 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.
Makes 12 biscuits.
Serving size 1 biscuit
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 122, Cal. from Fat: 41, Total Fat: 4.5g, Sat. Fat: 2.5g, Carbs: 17g, Fiber: 2.8g, Sugars: 2.25g, Protein: 2.4g, Sodium: 278mg, Chol: 0mg
If making drop biscuits the dough should be slightly stickier so you probably wouldn’t need the additional flour.
Store leftovers in a sealed container or zip bag in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.