Archive for Kid Friendly
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.
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!
I’ve been in a breakfast rut lately and I’ve been looking for a much needed change of pace. One look at these amazing mini loaves and I knew I had found my newest obsession. I’m a big fan of the lemon blueberry combination and I love the thick, dense cake like texture of these loaves. This might just be one of my favorite Living On The Veg recipes! Enjoy.
As a child, I remember my mother being a fan of lemon flavored desserts, and I was a fan of dessert in general, so I became fond of this flavor as well. As an adult and chef, I have grown to appreciate the combination of fragrant citrus with a sweet touch, and continue to use this harmonious combination in many of the recipes I create. Spring is a refreshing season, the flowers in bloom, and the aromatic breeze enlighten our senses, and that what I have created with this recipe, thanks Mom!
~Chef Matthew from Living On The Veg
- 2 cups garbanzo-fava bean flour
- 1/2 cup potato starch
- 1/2 cup arrowroot powder
- 1 1/2 tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp xanthan gum
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 2 cups hot water
- 2/3 cup melted extra virgin coconut oil
- 1 cup + 3 tbsp coconut crystals, divided
- 3/4 cup So Easy Applesauce
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tbsp lemon zest
- 2 tsp vanilla powder
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Lightly grease loaf pans with coconut oil, and set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl add the garbanzo flour, potato starch, arrowroot powder, baking powder and soda, sea salt and xanthan gum. Whisk gently to combine well.
- In a small bowl blend together the applesauce, vanilla powder, coconut crystals, lemon juice and zest. Add to the dry ingredients, as well as the coconut oil, and hot water. Bring together with a spatula and mix well.
- Once throughly mixed add in the fresh blueberries and fold in gently. Portion into loaf pans, top with a sprinkle of coconut crystals and place in the oven on the center rack.
- Bake for 15 minutes, rotate, and continue baking for an additional 15 minutes or until done. The finished loaves will be golden and bounce back when pressure is gently applied to center.
Makes 6-8 loaves depending on the pan that is used.
Once cooled stored leftover loaves in an airtight container in refrigerator for up to 3 days.
White chocolate!!! Need I say more?! The possibilities are endless and oh so sweet! Enjoy this spring inspired recipe from our favorite chefs at Living On The Veg.
During the holidays it is a little more difficult when you have children that eat different. It is hard for family to understand that your child dsoes not eat store bought items. It seems to my family that my children are always lacking at these times because they can not eat the wrapped junk food their cousins and friends are eating. So as my girls got older, and before they could notice the looks of sympathy from adults, I devised a plan. I encourage them to search for hidden treats around the foliage. It is fun for these extremely social little beings. After they collect the themed, shiny sugar laden tidbits we give them to their friends and family. Well now aren’t they the popular ones?! They do it with zeal because they are giving, and they are met with smiles. Then I have cute, delicious, and special treats waiting when they are done. Interestingly I notice they do not gorge on these foods, I believe since they are made with real ingredients. You can pour these into any theme mold to have White Chocolate anything!
~Chef Fuji from Living On The Veg
- 1 cup cacao butter
- 1/2 cup macadamia nuts
- 1/2 cup coconut crystals (more or less depending on your desired sweetness level)
- 1/4 cup lucuma powder
- 2 Tbsp vanilla powder
- 1Tbsp mesquite powder
- 1 tsp pink salt or sea salt
- Melt the cacao butter in a small dish either in the dehydrator (for a raw version) or by placing the dish over a large pot with hot water.
- Add all ingredients including cacao butter to a high powered blender and blend until smooth, scraping down sides if necessary.
- Pour the chocolate into molds of your choice. (I used silicone bunny molds – silicone makes it very easy to remove the chocolate)
- Place in fridge until firm, about 20 minutes.
- Pop each chocolate from the mold and enjoy. They can then be wrapped in cute and shiny cellophane or foil to be enjoyed for the holiday.
Makes about 8 candies but this will vary depending on which mold is used.
Leftover chocolates can be stored in the fridge until ready to serve.
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.
I love making my own almond butter. Not only is it cheaper than buying it premade but you can make so many yummy varieties. Here’s my current favorite. So simple yet so delicious!
- 2 cups roasted almonds (you can use raw almonds but roasted adds a great flavor)
- 1/4 cup coconut crystals
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp sea salt (if using salted almonds you can omit this)
- Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until you have a smooth creamy mixture.
Makes 1 cup.
Store almond butter in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Whoever thought up the idea of Sunday brunch is a genius in my opinion. You sleep in, run, hike, bike, go to church or whatever your favorite thing is and then you have the best of both breakfast and lunch all combined into one fabulous meal. Easter brunch is the best of all brunches and my absolute favorite. We have here for your brunching pleasure sweet muffins bursting with sunny tropical flavors. Happy Spring!
- 2 cups white whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
- 1/2 cup coconut crystals
- 1/4 cup lucuma powder (see notes)
- 4 tbsp powdered soy milk
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp vanilla powder
- 1 cup crushed pineapple, reserve juice
- 1 banana, mashed
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pans with paper or foil cups. Set aside.
- In a large bowl add all of the ingredients except the pineapple and banana. Stir well.
- Add the pineapple, banana and 1/2 cup of the reserved pineapple juice. Stir to combine. Add more juice if the mixture seems too thick.
- Spoon into prepared muffin pans. Bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
Makes 18 muffins. Serving size 1 muffin.
If you don’t have lucuma powder or haven’t heard of it before it is well worth purchasing. Lucuma is an exotic fruit native to the Peruvian Andes and is considered to be a superfood as it contains potassium, iron, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and zinc. Lucuma has a sweet flavor like caramel or maple. It’s great in baking, smoothies, ice cream and so much more.
Store leftover muffins in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days or freeze for up to a month.
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!
Have you heard the birds singing lately? They always seem to me to sing most joyfully in spring. Well, all that joyful warbling got me thinking about the seeds the birds eat and seeds got me thinking about how I like seeds as much as the birds do. So, here is a little pate I whipped up to celebrate spring. Three healthful seeds combined with bright lemon and ginger and a little herbaceous parsley to add a touch of fresh green the color of new leaves budding out on the trees. It’s no wonder the birds are singing so beautifully with so much goodness and beauty to be thankful for. Enjoy!
- 1 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup hemp seeds
- 1 cup chopped green onions
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped parsley
- 1/4 cup diced celery
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
- 2 tbsp tahini
- 2 tbsp Nama Shoyu or other soy sauce
- 2 tbsp chickpea miso or other yellow miso
- Soak the sunflower and pumpkin seeds overnight or at least 8 hours. Drain and rinse well. Place in the bowl of a food processor.
- Add the hemp seeds, garlic and ginger. Process until ground, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth and creamy.
- Spread on your favorite crackers, roll in collard greens, use as a dip for veggies, spread on bread with tomato and lettuce for a delicious sandwich or any way you choose.
Makes about 12 servings. Serving size 1/4 cup.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
I rarely get cravings for sweets. Mostly it’s weird things like Caesar salads, potstickers or onions rings. But the other day I happened to drive by The Cheesecake Factory and I was reminded of their cheesecakes which I used to love. I really wanted something creamy and delicious and there is nothing better than a chocolate peanut butter combo. I played around with this recipe until I got it just perfect – a crumbly cookie crust, a smooth and creamy peanut butter mousse filling and a delicious chocolate topping. There is a reason why I made these in single serving jars – you’d have a hard time not eating the whole dang pie! Luckily, these cute little mason jars hold a perfect serving of deliciousness. Enjoy!
For the crust:
- 3/4 cup finely ground chocolate graham crackers (you can substitute with any of your favorite graham crackers or shortbread type cookies, for those on a gluten free diet make sure to use a gluten free cookie)
- 6 Medjool dates, pitted
- 1 tbsp coconut nectar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
For the pie filling:
- 1 ripe avocado
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- 3 tsp cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup non dairy milk
- 1 tbsp + 2 tsp coconut nectar
- a pinch or two of sea salt
For the chocolate topping:
- 1/3 cup of your favorite chocolate chips, melted
- Place all the ingredients for the crust in a food processor and pulse until you have a sand like consistency. Evenly distribute the crust mixture into 6 half pint mason/canning jars.
- Press the crust down with your finger or the back of a spoon until you have an even single layer.
- Wipe your food processor clean and add the ingredients for the filling. Process until you have smooth consistency (stop once or twice and scrape down the sides of the processor as needed).
- Add a layer of filling to each of the mason jars. Use a spoon to smooth out the top.
- Add a teaspoon or so of melted chocolate on top and use a spoon (or your finger) to evenly distribute in a thin layer.
- Place the jars in the fridge for about 15 minutes or until the chocolate tops have hardened.
- Serve straight from the fridge or let sit for about 5 minutes at room temperature.
Makes 6 single servings.
Store any leftovers by placing the lid on each jar and storing in the fridge for up to 5 days.