Archive for Dinner
I recently read an article in Bon Appetit magazine about the nutritional benefits of parsley. Actually, the article was about a chef with rheumatoid arthritis who has written a cookbook called Hero Food and relates how he found that parsley as well as some other of his favorite foods improved his health. I really love parsley and it got to me wondering why I don’t use it more. Not only does it have anti-inflammatory properties it helps boost the immune system as well. One of my favorite ways of eating potatoes are Parsleyed New Potatoes. I’m definitely going to be adding some parsley to my garden, right beside the potatoes. What a perfect pairing.
- 16 small new potatoes about 1-1 1/2 inches across (fingerlings, red potatoes or any thin skinned potato will work)
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup finely minced fresh parsley
- 1 tsp sea salt
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Boil whole potatoes until tender when pierced with a knife.
- Remove from heat and drain.
- In a small bowl whisk together the remaining ingredients.
- Lay the potatoes out onto a foil lined baking sheet and gently press down with a fork or spatula just until the skin breaks. The potato should still hold together not be mashed.
- Brush the oil mixture on each side of the potatoes and bake 10 minutes. Turn over and bake 10 minutes more or until golden brown. You can also do this in a non-stick pan on the stove if you prefer.
- Serve topped with a sprig of fresh parsley if desired.
Makes 4 servings.
4 potatoes per serving.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 193, Cal. from Fat: 89, Total Fat: 10.5g, Sat. Fat: 1.5g, Carbs: 21g, Fiber: 4g, Sugars: 0g, Protein: 4g, Sodium: 482mg, Chol: 0mg
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Reheat in the oven or in a skillet for best results.
Do you ever have those weeks where you feel like you’re running around from one thing to another and the next minute it’s bedtime and you’re beyond exhausted? Yeah, me too. Weeks like that make it hard for me to get in healthy and delicious meals so I like to throw together simple dishes that I know will fill me up and give me the energy I need to make it through the day. This salad involves some chopping (you can always use a hand chopper to speed the process along if needed) so I like to get everything prepped and ready to go ahead of time, then I can quickly throw everything together in minutes. It’s perfect for lunch and for dinner I will sometimes switch out the pasta for a bit of cooked quinoa for a higher protein meal.
For the Loaded Veggie Salad:
- 2 cup chopped salad greens
- 1 cup chopped red cabbage
- 1/2 cup finely diced green onion
- 1/2 cup finely diced carrot
- 1/4 cup finely diced red, yellow or orange pepper
- 1 cup cooked pasta of your choice
- 1/2 cup crushed Smokey Bacon-y Almonds
For the Sweet Italian Dressing:
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp coconut cyrstals
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp poppy seed
- 1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Place all the ingredients for the dressing in a blender and process until smooth.
- In a large mixing bowl gently toss together the salad ingredients. Drizzle with the dressing and toss one last time until evenly coated.
Makes 3-4 servings.
It’s best to serve only the amount of salad that will be eaten right away. Leftover salad ingredients should be stored separately from the dressing and only mixed together when ready to serve.
Spring has sprung and with it the arrival of an abundance of veggies! My farmer’s market has been loaded with avocados, gorgeous carrots of all colors, fresh peas, beautiful leeks, onions and delicious peppers. I love a good pasta salad and with all the fresh veggies I stocked up on this week I knew this dish would hit the spot. The creamy avocado hemp dressing is loaded with healthy fats, omega 3′s and protein and is so yummy you’ll want to grab a spoon and dig in! For the salad feel free to use any of your favorite veggies and even throw in some nuts, seeds or grains for a fun twist.
- 12 ounces pasta of your choice
- veggies of your choice, cut into small pieces
- 1/4 cup hemp seeds
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 tbsp freshly squeeze lemon juice
- 1 ripe avocado
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 2 heaping tsp of smoked paprika
- 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp brown rice vinegar
- dash of soy sauce
- Cook the pasta according to the directions. Drain and place in a large bowl. Add in the veggies and set aside.
- In a blender add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth. Add to the large bowl and toss to mix well.
- Serve immediately or chill in the fridge until ready to serve.
Makes 2-4 servings.
Store leftover salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2-3 days.
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.
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.
Kale and quinoa have been the darlings of the health food world for some time now but I have to say while I love kale and quinoa I don’t want to eat it everyday for every meal. While they are both really good for you super foods it isn’t super to eat the same thing all the time. Our bodies need a variety of foods to ensure that all our nutritional needs are being met and eating the same thing gets boring which can lead to making unhealthy eating choices down the road.
This salad is just the thing for including a variety of foods in your diet and the marinade is bursting full of so much flavor it will take boring right off the menu. Come with me and explore the meal possibilities beyond the over marketed kale and quinoa for an inspiring change of taste.
- 2 Globe eggplants, cut into 1/2 inch dice
- 1 large red onion, cut into 1/2 inch
- 1 red pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch dice
- 8 ounces white or cremini mushrooms, cut into 1/2 inch dice
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 lemons
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2-1 tsp black pepper (start with less and add more if you are a real pepper lover)
- 1 tsp garlic granules
- 1 tsp onion granules
- 1 tsp oregano
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp honey or coconut nectar
- 1 cup cooked chickpeas
- 6 ounce package or jar of plain or grilled artichokes
- 3-4 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a small bowl zest the lemons (you should have about 2 tbsp). Juice the lemons. Add 2 tsp to the bowl with the zest setting aside the remaining juice for another use.
- Add the salt, pepper, garlic, onion, oregano, vinegar, mustard and honey. Stir. Add the oil and stir briskly until combined.
- In a large bowl combine the eggplant, onion, red pepper, mushrooms and 2 tbsp of the marinade. Toss to coat.
- Place the vegetables on a large baking sheet (or two sheets if necessary) in a single layer. Bake 40 minutes or until lightly browned and tender. In the last 5 minutes of roasting add the artichokes and chickpeas.
- Remove from the oven and place in a large bowl. Toss with the remaining marinade and parsley. Serve and enjoy.
Makes approximately 6 cups.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1-2 days. This salad is also good served cold.
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 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!
When my husband and I were first married we had a weekly date night and would often go out for dinner and then see a movie. One of our favorite restaurants was The Capital Grill and I always looked forward to their amazing spinach salad. The salad featured fresh shredded cheese, diced egg, toasted almonds, cranberries and bacon pieces topped with a sweet and sour dressing. I must have gone through about 15 attempts trying to perfect a recreation of that dressing since it’s the key to that delicious salad. Since I wasn’t including bacon in my version I decided to incorporate it into my dressing so that I still get that great smoky taste. I added a bit of egg to my salad but for a vegan option simply omit.
For the dressing:
- 1/2 cup canola or other neutral flavored oil
- 2-3 tbsp coconut nectar
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup diced sweet onion (if sweet onion is not available use a yellow onion)
- 1 tbsp Dijon
- 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tbsp dehydrated onion
- dash of liquid smoke
- sea salt to taste
For the salad:
- 5 cups spinach
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (Daiya shreds work as a great vegan option)
- 1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 2 hard boiled eggs, peeled and diced
- Add the ingredients for the dressing to a blender and process until smooth, making sure there are no chunks of onion left.
- In a large bowl add the spinach, cheese, almonds, cranberries and egg. Drizzle with dressing and toss.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!
Makes 2-3 servings.
Store leftover dressing in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
I can hardly believe it but the little tiny bundle I brought home from the hospital is now a crawling, rolling, on her way to walking 6 1/2 month old! Needless to say I don’t have a lot of extra time on my hands and spending hours in the kitchen whipping up meals just isn’t on the agenda. I need quick, filling and healthy meals that I can make in 10 minutes or less. This delicious salad is just the thing. I can throw some quinoa on the stove and while it cooks I can get the vegetables and dressing ready to go. I love that the leftovers are perfect for lunch the next day or even as a side dish with dinner. A simple, easy salad that is ready in no time!
- 2 cups cooked sprouted quinoa (regular quinoa works too)
- 1 cup thinly sliced red cabbage
- 1 cup thinly sliced or grated carrot
- 1/2 cup sliced green onion
- 1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp coconut nectar
- sea salt to taste
- Combine the first 4 ingredients in a large bow. Set aside.
- Whisk together the oil, vinegar, coconut nectar and sea salt.
- Drizzle the dressing over the salad and top with toasted almonds.
- Serve and enjoy!
Makes 4-6 servings.
Leftover salad can be stored in the fridge for 1-2 days or 4-5 days if dressing is stored separately.