Archive for Dips, Mixes and Sauces
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.
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!
A while ago we polled our readers on Facebook to see what direction they would like us to go in the new year. More vegan recipes, vegetarian, low oil? We asked and you overwhelming answered with more vegetarian recipes. During the last few months of my pregnancy I started craving eggs. I’ve always believed in listening to your body so I gradually started incorporating organic, pasture raised eggs back into my diet. I usually have an egg or two every few weeks and this 7 layer salad is one of my favorite ways to enjoy them. Truth be told it’s the dressing that totally makes this salad. Years and years ago I used to love Kraft’s Creamy Poppyseed Dressing but if you take a look at the stuff that they call ingredients you won’t see anything you’d want to put in your body. I decided to recreate the dressing myself and I love the results! My husband and I have been on a binge with this dressing. We’ve used it as a standard mayo replacement on sandwiches, we’ve dipped bread into it and I’ve even used it as a pizza sauce! While I love a good 7 layer salad don’t stop here with this amazing dressing. Also, feel free to mix and match your favorite veggies in this salad. I know traditional 7 layer salads usually include tomato but I’m not a fan of them in my salads so I left them out in this recipe.
- 3 cups chopped or shredded romanin lettuce
- 1 bunch radish, stems removed and thinly sliced and quartered
- 1 1/2 cups diced cucumber
- 1/2 cup diced onions, yellow, red or even green
- 2 cups fresh or frozen peas
- 5-6 hard boiled eggs, peeled and diced *omit for a vegan version
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese *use Diaya cheese for a vegan version
- 1 cup slivered almonds, toasted
- 3/4 cup mayo or sour cream *use a vegan variety for a vegan option
- 1/3 cup vinegar
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp coconut nectar
- heaping tbsp dehydrated chopped onion
- 1 tbsp poppyseeds
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- In a large bowl layer the first 6 ingredients in order.
- In a smaller blender add the mayo (or sour cream), vinegar, canola oil, coconut nectar, dehydrated onions, poppyseeds and salt. Blend until well mixed.
- Drizzle the dressing evenly over the top of the salad (you may not need all of it). Sprinkle with cheddar cheese and top with the toasted almonds.
- Serve immediately or chill in the fridge until ready to serve.
Makes 5-6 servings.
Leftover dressing will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 1 week. Salad should be eaten right away after preparing.
I love using flavored oils to put new spins on ordinary salads and create interesting new flavor combinations. Almond oil is a sweet, delicious oil that works well to create a sweet and sour dressing that is delicious on salads, pasta and even as a dip for veggies. If you can’t find almond oil at your local grocery store try substituting with walnut or hazelnut oil. They won’t be as sweet so you may need to adjust the amount of honey but the dressing will still be delicious!
- 3 tbsp white or golden balsamic vinegar
- 1 small shallot
- 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup + 1tbsp almond oil
- 1-2 tbsp honey or brown rice syrup
- sea salt to taste
- Place all the ingredients in a small blender and process until smooth.
- Taste and adjust the amount of honey and salt to taste.
Makes approximately 1/2 cup.
Store leftover dressing in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
I was preparing to chop up a head of cauliflower for soup the other day but instead of cutting it in my usual method I cut the stem off the bottom and then made slices through the whole head. The middle pieces held together by the core and looked kind of cool, like a tree. I thought it was so unique looking that I should make something with it. I love how cauliflower tastes when it gets browned and caramelized around the edges so I decided to start with searing the steaks and then because I had the leftover loose pieces of cauliflower I chopped them up and made them into a savory sauce to top the steaks.
My son in law likes to quote from a favorite book “If you always do what you always did then you will always get what you always got”. It’s so fun that a little change like how I cut a head of cauliflower can turn into a new recipe that not only looks good but tastes great too.
- 1 head yellow cauliflower
- 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1/2 cup diced red onion
- 1/2 cup diced red pepper
- 1 tsp sea salt, divided
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper or to taste
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/8 tsp cayenne or to taste
- 7 ounce jar no salt added tomato paste
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
- Remove the leaves from the cauliflower and trim the stem so it is flush with the bottom of the florets. Place floret side up and slice 1/2-3/4 inch slices across the head. The outer slices will fall apart but they will be used in the sauce so that’s ok. You should have at least 4 center slices that hold together into “steaks”. Set aside the steaks. Roughly chop the loose florets and set aside. You should have about 3/4-1 cup.
- Heat 2 tbsp oil in a skillet over medium high heat and add the onion, red pepper, chopped cauliflower, 1/2 tsp salt and black pepper. Sauté until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin and cayenne. Stir and continue to cook another 1-2 minutes.
- Add the tomato paste, vinegar and water. Stir to combine. Reduce heat to low and cook 4-5 minutes while you brown the cauliflower steaks.
- In a large skillet or griddle heat the remaining 1 tbsp oil. Carefully lay the steaks on the skillet and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 tsp salt. Cook 3-4 minutes on each side until brown around the edges and tender but not soft.
- Carefully transfer the steaks to individual serving plates and top each with 1/4 of the sauce and 2 tbsp parsley.
Approximately 4 steaks with 1/2 cup sauce each.
You can use any color cauliflower for this recipe but the yellow looks the nicest. Store leftover steaks and sauce in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.
This week’s throwback recipe is a celebration of fall. The crisp cool air, the colorful scenery, the PUMPKIN! What better way to welcome the beginning of fall than with these amazing pumpkin spiced donuts with creamy pumpkin frosting?! Grab a glass of apple cider, put on a warm and cozy sweater and enjoy your pumpkin donuts while dreaming of all the delicious fall recipes yet to come.
For the donuts:
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour or brown rice flour
- 1/2 cup coconut crystals (do not substitute with maple syrup, honey or any other liquid sweetener)
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp ground ginger
- 1/16 tsp nutmeg
- pinch of cloves
- pinch of allspice
- 1 tsp vanilla powder or vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup non dairy milk
- 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup cooked pumpkin puree (canned is fine)
- 3 tbsp melted coconut oil
For the frosting:
- 1 cup cashews, soaked for at least 2-3 hours then drained
- 1 cup cooked pumpkin puree (canned is fine)
- 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon
- dash of nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp vanilla powder or vanilla extract
- 1 tsp coconut nectar
For the donuts:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl add in the flour, coconut crystals, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, allspice and vanilla powder (if you are using vanilla extract, wait and add it with the wet ingredients). Mix well and set aside.
- Place the milk, vanilla (only if using vanilla extract), vinegar and pumpkin puree in a small saucepan over low heat. Once the mixture is slightly warm add the coconut oil. Stir continuously until the coconut oil is completely melted. Set the mixture aside and let it cool down to room temperature.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix together. Do NOT over mix. You should have a light and fluffy batter.
- Lightly spray your donut tin with olive oil. Fill each donut mold with batter about 1/2 to 3/4 full. You should have just enough batter to fill each donut mold of a 6 count tin.
- Bake donuts in the oven for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Place a sheet of wax paper or parchment on your countertop and turn the donut pan on top of the paper. Gently tap the back of your donut pan and the donuts should pop right out.
- Let the donuts cool completely before adding any toppings. Enjoy plain or top with Creamy Pumpkin Frosting.
For the frosting:
- Place the cashews in a food processor and process 1-2 minutes.
- Add in the remaining ingredients and process until you have a smooth, creamy mixture.
- This frosting be used to frost donuts, cakes or other pastries. Also great in place of cream cheese on bagels and toast.
Makes 6 donuts and 2 cups frosting.
Leftover donuts can be stored at room temperature for up to 24 hours or in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Frosting can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
In my house we have 3 seasons – spring, summer and FOOTBALL! We are big football fans and Sunday’s are usually spent munching on delicious snacks while watching our favorite teams. This week’s throwback recipe is one that you will usually find me whipping up each Sunday. Grab a bag of chips cause you’ll need them to scoop up all this deliciousness!
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can (15.5 ounce) no salt or low sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo (be sure to check that there are no added chemicals, preservatives and sugars), minced
- 3 limes
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp water
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 package (10 ounces) frozen corn
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- 2 ripe avocados
- 2 cups tomatoes, seeded and diced (about 4 medium tomatoes)
- 1/4 cup scallion, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp ancho chili powder
- 1/4 tsp ground pepper
- 3/4 cup shredded cheese of your choice, (Like Manchego, Chihuahua and Queso Fresco, Queso Blanco, Oaxaca, Monterey Jack or White Cheddar. Try Daiya for a vegan option.)
- Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions and saute just until soft, about 3-4 minutes. Add 2 of the minced garlic cloves and saute for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Place the can of black beans in a food processor and add half the onion/garlic mixture along with the chipotle pepper, juice from 1 lime (about 2 tbsp), cumin, water and 1/2 tsp salt. Process until smooth and set aside.
- Add the corn to the skillet with the remaining onion mixture and place on low heat for a couple of minutes or just until the corn is thawed. Stir in half the cilantro.
- In a small bowl or plate mash the avocado with the juice of the second lime. Set aside.
- Place the seeded and diced tomatoes (see note for seeding tomatoes) in a separate bowl and add the juice of the 3rd lime, scallions, remaining cilantro, red pepper flakes, remaining clove of minced garlic, ancho chili powder, remaining 1/2 tsp sea salt and pepper. Stir until mixed.
- In an 8 x 8 glass baking dish, spread the bean mixture evenly over the bottom. Next spread the corn mixture over the beans. Repeat with the avocado and then the tomato mixture. Last, top with the shredded cheese and serve with tortilla chips. Dip in!
Makes approximately 9 servings.
In this dish it is best to remove the seeds from the tomatoes so that the tomato layer isn’t too wet. I find the easiest way to seed tomatoes to be to cut a core out of the center, turn the tomato upside down and then just gently squeeze until the seeds run out.
Leftover dip can be stored in the in the fridge for up to 3 days.
There is so much information about the nutritional benefits of kale that you would have to be living on a deserted island not be aware of how good for you this wonderful vegetable is. It’s the king of the crucifers and often referred to as the healthiest vegetable on the planet. Knowing about all of kale’s goodness that means everyone is eating copious amounts, right? Two thumbs up for those of you who answered yes. To the rest of you I ask, why not? The complaint I hear the most often about kale is that it’s bitter. For those of you who have kept your distance from kale because of it’s bitterness this Kale Pesto might be just the thing to change your mind. Meaty walnuts and sweet balsamic vinegar lend their flavor and texture to leafy green kale leaves and blend together to make a wonderfully rich and nutritious sauce with just the right amount of sweetness.
- 1 bunch lacinato (aka tuscan or dinosaur) kale, roughly chopped – about 4 cups
- 1/2 cup walnut halves
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
- Place all of the ingredients into the bowl of a food processor. Process until desired consistency. Taste and add another tablespoon of balsamic vinegar if more sweetness is desired.
- Serve tossed with roasted vegetables, as a sandwich spread, pizza topping, salad dressing, pasta sauce, crostini topping, cracker dip or any other way you choose.
Makes approximately 1 cup
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
There is no need to remove the stems from the kale before processing unless the stems are really thick.