Archive for Dinner
I’ve always been a fan of pesto but a pesto featuring one of my favorite nuts – oh yeah. I love this flavorful pesto salad that Chef Matthew from Living On The Veg whipped up for us this week. It’s simple but so delicious and perfect for lunch or dinner.
Enjoying raw pistachios in their shell has always been one of my favorite snacks. Cracking them open takes a little effort, but the reward is well worth it. Using them as a substitute for pine nuts can add an interestingly flavorful change to what you call a customary pesto recipe, and help your budget a bit too. Pairing this untraditional pesto with protein rich quinoa, ripe heirloom tomatoes, and fresh spinach leaves is a surefire way to get your taste buds to become your best friends. You can also try this pesto recipe with other dishes, such as pastas, risotto, squash noodles or use it as a spread, topping or even make a salad dressing with it, the possibilities are countless.
~Chef Matthew from Living On The Veg
For the pesto:
- 2 cups packed basil leaves
- 1/2 cup shelled raw pistachios
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tbsp garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp fresh black pepper
For the quinoa salad:
- 4 cups cooked quinoa
- 2 cups packed and chopped spinach leaves
- 1 cup finely diced heirloom tomatoes
- 1/4 cup finely diced red onion
- 1/4 cup finely diced orange or yellow bell pepper
- 2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
- Place all the ingredients for the pesto, except the oil, in a food processor. Start the processor and slowly pour in the oil. The pesto should be creamy but still have a bit of texture to it.
- In a large bowl mix together the quinoa and pesto until evenly coated. Add the remaining ingredients in the bowl and gently toss until mixed.
- Serve immediately or place in the fridge until ready to serve.
Makes 4-6 servings.
Leftover salad can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
You can easily double or triple the pesto recipe and use it in a number of different ways.
Light and fluffy with a slightly nutty flavor millet has become my favorite grain not only for it’s taste but also for it’s nutritional value. It’s high in fiber and rich in B vitamins, niacin, B6 and folic acid, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium and zinc. Like quinoa it is a complete protein and is gluten free.
This past week my sister has been visiting with me, escaping the cold weather of Michigan and enjoying the warm California sunshine. She happens to be a cilantro lover so I made this dish especially for her. If you happen to be a cilantro lover as well you will definitely want to give this recipe a try.
- 1 cup millet
- 1 tbsp plus 2 tsp olive oil, divided
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup corn, fresh or frozen (thawed)
- 1/2 medium onion, diced (1 cup)
- 1/2 red pepper, diced (1/2 cup)
- 1 jalapeño, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup minced cilantro
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 2 lemon, 1 juiced and 1 cut into wedges
- 1 tsp salt or to taste
- In a skillet heat 1 tsp oil over medium-high heat. Add the millet and toast until the grain is tan.
- In a saucepan bring the water to a boil. Add 1 tsp oil and the toasted millet. Return to a boil then cover and lower heat to a simmer for 20-25 minutes or until all the water is absorbed and the millet is tender.
- In the skillet used to toast the millet heat the remaining 1 tbsp oil. Add the onion, pepper, jalapeño, garlic and salt. Cook until the vegetables are tender. Add the corn and cook until heated through. Transfer to the pot of millet and stir.
- Add the tahini and lemon juice and stir thoroughly. Add the cilantro and stir to combine.
- Can be served warm or chilled. Garnish with lemon wedges.
Makes approximately 4 cups
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
This sandwich might just be my newest obsession. I’ve always been a fan of tempeh but this is downright amazing! I’ve been pairing the smoky tempeh slices with all sorts of yummy veggies like spinach, avocado, sprouts, cucumber, red pepper and onion. One of my favorite versions is adding a slather of Sun Dried Tomato Pesto and piling on the veggies – YUM! No matter how you top it, this healthy and delicious sandwich is sure to make meal time taste a whole lot better!
For the Smoky Tempeh:
- 2 eight ounce packages organic tempeh, cut lengthwise into 1/8 inch slices (a pizza cutter works great for slicing the tempeh)
- 1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce or tamari (gluten free if needed)
- 3 tbsp grade B maple syrup
- dash of liquid smoke
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp water
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp neutral oil
For the Sandwich:
- 2 slices of your favorite bread, toasted if desired
- toppings of your choice (lettuce, avocado, spinach, onion, tomato, sprouts, cucumber, etc)
- 1 tbsp or so of your favorite sauce (I used some Ranch Dressing but Dijon mustard, some Pumpkin Seed Pesto or my favorite – Sun Dried Tomato Pesto would be great)
- In a small bowl whisk together the soy sauce, maple syrup, liquid smoke, nutritional yeast, water, onion powder and garlic powder. Set aside the marinade.
- In a large shallow dish lay the tempeh slices out in a single layer (if you need to overlap make sure to turn the slices every so often so that they can all marinade). Pour the marinade over the tempeh and let marinate for at least 30 minutes.
- Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Remove the tempeh slices from the marinade and place in the sauté pan making sure not to overlap the pieces (work in batches if needed). Discard remaining marinade.
- Cook the tempeh slices for about 2-3 minutes on each side or until they are nicely browned and slightly crispy.
- Remove the cooked tempeh from the pan and let cool on a plate lined with a couple of sheets of paper towel.
- To assemble the sandwich, add a couple of pieces of smoky tempeh to a slice of bread along with your favorite toppings and a tbsp or so of sauce. Top with another piece of bread and enjoy!
Makes enough smoky tempeh for about 4 sandwiches.
Leftover smoky tempeh can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
My husband is a big fan of baked potatoes and he loves crumbling up the leftover smoky tempeh slices and topping his baked potato with them. They are also great for adding to your salad as faux bacon bits!
Eggplant is one of my favorite items to work with. It’s royal purple beauty is a sight to behold but this glorious fruit’s beauty isn’t just skin deep. It’s good through and through and plays nicely with others lending it’s mellow flavor to whatever it’s paired with like this toasty sandwich topped with Lemon Garlic Aioli. Check out the Eggplant Stacks in the notes section at the bottom of the page for a lighter option.
For the sandwich
- 1 medium/large eggplant, unpeeled and cut into 1/2 inch rounds (approximately 8 pieces)
- 4 portabella mushrooms, stems and gills removed (about the same size around as the eggplant)
- 24 or so grape or cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 cup baby spinach
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 1/2 tsp sea salt, divided
- 1 tsp lemon peel granules *see notes
- 1/2 tsp black pepper, or to taste
- 1/2 tsp garlic granules
- 1/4 tsp onion granules
- 1/4 tsp oregano
- 1/4 tsp marjoram
- 8 slices whole grain bread (gluten free if needed)
For the aioli
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- juice of 1 lemon
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tbsp dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp unsweetened soy milk or other non dairy milk
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Sprinkle 1 tsp salt evenly over the eggplant slices. Place in a colander in the sink or over a bowl and let sit for 1 hour. Rinse and pat dry with paper towels. You can skip this step if necessary but the eggplant is firmer and soaks up less oil when prepared this way.
- In a small bowl mix together the lemon granules, remaining 1/2 tsp salt, pepper, garlic, onion, oregano and marjoram. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush both sides of the eggplant and mushrooms with oil. Arrange on a single layer on a baking sheet (cover the bottom with foil or parchment paper for easy clean up). Sprinkle evenly with the herb mixture.
- Roast 5 minutes and then add the tomatoes to the baking sheet. Roast an additional 20 minutes or until the eggplant and mushrooms are tender and lightly browned.
- While the vegetables are roasting prepare the aioli.
- In a small food processor ( I use a Magic Bullet style blender) add the lemon juice, garlic, mustard, milk and salt. Process until smooth. Add the oil and process until thickened.
- Toast the bread then spread 4 pieces with a layer of aioli. Arrange 2 eggplant slices and 1 mushroom on each. Add 6 tomatoes and spinach to each and top with remaining bread.
Makes 4 sandwiches.
If you can’t find lemon peel granules you can make your own by peeling off the rind of a lemon (no white pith). Cut into thin strips then lay it on a baking sheet and dry at the lowest setting in your oven or dry in a food dehydrator. Once dry, grind in a spice or coffee mill until finely ground. Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place.
In warmer weather you can prepare this sandwich on the grill for a quick and easy summer time meal. Cooking time will vary.
For a lighter version skip the bread and make Eggplants Stacks. Start with one piece of roasted eggplant then layer on the mushroom (cup side up). Fill the mushroom with roasted tomatoes. Spread on the Lemon Garlic Aioli, add a little spinach and then top with another piece of eggplant. Maybe slide in a piece of roasted red pepper too if you are in the mood!
I used to be a BIG fan of Chinese take out food. When my husband and I were first married we probably got Chinese take out at least 4 times per week. Now it’s been many many many years since we’ve had take out but that doesn’t mean we can’t still indulge in one of my favorite meals – chow mein! This dish has easily become a familiar family favorite. While I’m not a fan of making separate meals for everyone in my family this is one dish that is easy to make to suit each person’s likes and dislikes. My kids love it with broccoli and carrots, my husband prefers mushrooms, onions, peppers and pineapple and I’ve shared my favorite version with you below. As a bonus – this dish can be on the table in less than 15 minutes – what’s not to love?!
- 6-8 ounces cooked chow mein noodles *see notes
- 1/2 cup sliced snow peas
- 1/2 cup diced carrots
- 1 cup shredded napa cabbage (or other Chinese cabbage)
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced red pepper
- 1/2 cup diced green onion
- 3/4 cup sliced mushrooms (shittake or any variety will work – don’t mind the picture above, I totally forgot to add the mushrooms!)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp minced ginger
- 1/4 cup Nama Shoyu, soy sauce or tamari (gluten free variety if needed)
- 3 tbsp brown rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil, divided
- 1 tbsp coconut nectar
- In a small bowl mix together the garlic, ginger, Nama Shoyu, vinegar, 1 tbsp oil and coconut nectar. Stir well and set the sauce aside.
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large sauté pan on high heat and add the chow mein noodles. Pan fry the noodles until one side starts to get crispy.
- Push the noodles to the side of the pan and add the vegetables. Stir fry the vegetables for about 2-3 minutes. Add the sauce, stir well and continue to cook for 1-2 more minutes.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!
Makes 1 serving.
For this recipe I used Annie Chuns Organic Chow Mein FreshPak Noodles. You can use any type of noodles that you’d like, just make sure they are cooked first. Soba noodles would also be good in this dish.
Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Can you believe that I spent the first 24 years of my life thinking that I hated avocado?! Crazy, right?! Luckily, one fateful night at dinner I ordered an entree that didn’t mention it contained avocado and I was too hungry to send it back so I buckled down and ate it – and thus began my love of avocado. Living in California there is always an abundance of avocados and I’m always looking for fun new ways to add them to my favorite dishes. I’ve been craving pasta salad lately and the thought of a creamy pesto sauce sounded perfect. This pesto is hands down the tastiest I’ve ever had. I love how the lemon and miso add a salty and slightly tart flavor to the creamy avocado and walnuts. I only wish I had made a double batch because there were no leftovers after my family and I had this for lunch. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
For the Creamy Lemon Avo Pesto:
- 1/2 cup raw walnuts
- 1 small avocado
- 1-2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- large handful of spinach (about a cup)
- 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tbsp chickpea miso (a sweet white miso would also work well)
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tsp sea salt or to taste
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
For the Pasta Salad:
- 10-12 ounces pasta of your choice
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
- 1/3 cup diced red onion
- 2 carrots, chopped or diced
- 2 ounces sliced black olives (optional)
- Prepare the pasta according to the directions on the package.
- While the pasta is cooking add all the ingredients for the pesto sauce, except the olive oil, to a food process or blender. Process for a few seconds until a chunky sauce forms.
- While the machine is still running, slowly add in the olive oil until you have a smooth, creamy sauce.
- Once the pasta is cooked, drain and add to a large bowl. Add the broccoli, pepper, onion, carrots and olives if using. Stir well.
- Pour the pesto sauce over the pasta salad and stir well until throughly mixed. Place the salad in the fridge until chilled and serve immediately.
Makes 4-6 servings.
Leftover salad can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. This salad makes for amazing leftovers and is a great dish to have on hand for a quick and healthy lunch.
The pesto sauce is very versatile and can be used as a spread on a piece of toasted bread, a topping for a baked potato or as a veggie dip. It also makes a terrific pizza sauce!
I love lettuce wraps and I love veggie burgers so you can only imagine how thrilled I was to see this latest recipe from Living On The Veg. One of the things I love most about raw food is the intense flavor that everything has. The combination of veggies, nuts, seeds and sauce make flavors pop and create amazing textures. If you’ve never ventured into the world of raw foods this is a great place to start!
Making a raw burger recipe is a total must for our house. It is foods like these that remind us of hanging out with our families, because to be honest that is what most quality time with the working parents consisted of, a trip to get burgers. So it is not a surprise why these flavors bring out the warm feelings in the heart. With all the condiments added to this burger, it makes a winning combination of flavor invited to any event that celebrates the wonderfulness of life and health. I love making a comfort food into a delicious health inducing meal that brings about fun memories. So without further adieu, it’s burgertime!
~Chef Fuji from Living On The Veg
- 1 cup raw walnuts, soaked and rinsed
- 1 cup mushrooms (variety including crimini, portabello, maitake, and/or trumpet)
- 1 cup carrots, roughly chopped
- 1 cup celery, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup tomatoes
- 1/2 cup radishes
- 1/2 cup beets, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup apple, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup onion (red or yellow will work)
- 1/2 cup greens (choose chard, mustard, spinach, kale, and or beet greens)
- 1/4 cup Nama Shoyu (for a gluten free option use a gluten free tamari or soy sauce)
- 1 tbsp liquid smoke, optional
- 1 tbsp black pepper
- Place all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until the ingredients start to form together.
- Form the mixture into burger size patties and place on a nonstick dehydrator sheet. Turn dehydrator to 115 degrees and ‘cook’ until the tops are completely dry, about 5 hours.
- Flip the burgers over onto a mesh dehydrator sheet and continue to dry for another 10 hours or until achieving the dryness you prefer (remember that once you add condiments the burgers will soften up a bit).
- Serve on crisp butter lettuce and top with your favorite condiments.
Makes 8 raw veggie burgers.
Leftover burgers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week. Reheat in the dehydrator if desired.
This is without a doubt the best soup I’ve ever had and I’ve had a lot of soup in my lifetime. I’m in love with the creamy smooth texture, the simple yet comforting flavor and the garnishes – yummy! I love that each person can make this soup be whatever they want. I love it topped with roasted fingerling potatoes, a sprinkle of Daiya cheese and dash of chives. My husband loaded his soup with Italian Sausages, caramelized onions and sautéed mushrooms. No matter how you serve it up it’s bound to be delicious! This soup is also oil free for those that follow a low or no oil diet. Almonds take the place of the oil without sacrificing the richness that oil normally brings plus they create an amazing creaminess. Spring might be right around the corner but there is still plenty of time to enjoy this amazing dish!
For the soup:
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- heaping 1/2 cup blanched slivered almonds
- 2 large russet potatoes, peeled
- 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
- 1-2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 cup Earth Balance Organic Whipped Buttery Spread (optional)
For the optional toppings and garnish:
- Daiya Cheddar Cheese
- finely chopped chives or parsley
- fingerling potatoes, diced and roasted
- caramelized onions
- sautéed mushrooms
- diced tomatoes
- sautéed or roasted broccoli
- chopped Italian Sausages
- Place your peeled potatoes in a large pot of cold water. Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are tender.
- Drain the water and potatoes from the pot and set the potatoes aside.
- Return the pot to the stove and add the vegetable broth. Heat on medium high heat. Add in the almonds and let them soften in the broth for about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat if needed to keep the broth from boiling.
- Add the potatoes, nutritional yeast, salt and Earth Balance (if using). Stir well and remove from heat.
- Using a handheld blender (you can also transfer the ingredients to a high powered blender) process until you have a thick and creamy consistency. Reheat if necessary before serving.
- Ladle the soup into bowls and load with any of the optional garnishes and toppings that you’d like. Enjoy!
Makes 6-8 servings.
This soup makes for excellent leftovers. It’s best when storing the leftovers to keep the soup and the garnishes/toppings separate. The soup will keep for up to 5 days in the fridge.
SooFoo – such a fun name isn’t it? I wish I could take credit for such a creative title but SooFoo is actually a new product that just hit the shelves of my local health food store and it sounded so interesting that I just had to give it a try. SooFoo, along with being fun to say, is actually a mix of super healthy organic grains and is pretty delicious all by itself. SooFoo is a mix of barley, black beluga lentils, brown lentils, buckwheat, green lentils, long grain brown rice, steel cut oats, rye berries and Yera Cora rojo wheat berries. To get acquainted with this neat product I decided to make a simple salad. I loved the texture that all the different grains brought to this dish. You can easily substitute with any of your favorite veggies and if you can’t find SooFoo on the shelves of your local grocery store then simply use your favorite grain instead. I’ve already been playing around with different SooFoo recipes so enjoy this one for now and keep your eyes peeled for even more creative ways to get your SooFoo on!
- 3 cups cooked SooFoo
- 1/2 cup finely chopped zucchini
- 1/2 cup quartered cucumber
- heaping 1/2 cup grated or julienned carrot
- 1/4 cup finely diced tomato
- 1 cup cooked kidney beans
- 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced kale (chiffonade style)
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion
- 1/8 cup finely diced fresh parsley
- 1/8 cup diced green pepper
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup low sodium tamari or soy sauce (gluten free if needed)
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/8 tsp thyme
- 1/8 tsp basil
- sea salt to taste
- In a small bowl mix together the last 8 ingredients. Stir well and set the dressing aside.
- Add the remaining ingredients to a large bowl and pour the dressing over top. Mix well.
- Serve immediately or let chill in the fridge until ready to serve.
Makes 6-8 servings.
This salad is great for leftovers. It can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
I adore spring rolls. They are so versatile and you can’t really go wrong when making them. You can add any of your favorite veggies along with rice or noodles and serve with a side of delicious dipping sauce – an easy lunch or dinner. I was playing around a few weeks ago trying to come up with a new dressing recipe and the results ended up being thicker than I wanted. I loved the flavor and realized that it would make a better spread then dressing anyways so I paired it with some crunchy vegetables, wrapped them in a spring roll wrapper and I had one delicious creation. I used the dipping sauce from my Perfect Potsticker Wraps but it would also be great with some Savory Peanut Dipping Sauce.
For the Creamy Ginger Spread:
- 2 green onions, roughly chopped
- 1 shallot, peeled
- 3 tbsp grated ginger
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 6 tbsp neutral oil (sunflower or safflower are good choices)
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp miso (I used chickpea miso but a sweet white miso would work too)
For the Crunchy Spring Roll:
- several bok choy leaves, dark leafy green part only
- handful snow peas, ends trim and cut into thin strips
- 1/2 an orange bell pepper, cut into thin strips
- 2-3 ounces rice noodles, cooked according to the directions on the package
- 1/2 a cucumber, peeled if desired, seeded and cut into thin strips
- 1 avocado, cut into thin strips, optional
- sprouts of your choice, optional
- mushrooms, optional
- 6-8 spring roll wrappers
- Place all the ingredients for the ginger spread in a blender and process until you have a thick paste. If the mixture is too thick or won’t blend add another tbsp or so of oil or water if desired. Set aside.
- Dip each spring roll wrapper in a bowl of hot water for about 3 seconds. The wrapper should still be somewhat stiff (don’t worry – it will soften as it continues to absorb the water!).
- Lay the wrapper on a smooth work surface and add a generous dab of creamy ginger spread. Evenly distribute the spread along the middle of the wrapper.
- Add a layer of bok choy, snow peas, bell pepper, noodles and cucumber. Top with any of the optional ingredients.
- Take one end of the wrapper and fold it over your ingredients. Gently roll away from you as you tuck the filling toward you.
- Using a sharp knife, cut the spring roll in half and serve with your favorite dipping sauce.
Makes 2-3 servings.
Spring rolls are best when served right away. You can store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge but be aware that they tend to stick together.
For a truly raw meal try substituting the spring roll wrapper with Pure Wraps – they are made entirely from coconut meat!