Vegan Recipes

Lima Bean Soup

This Lima Bean Soup Recipe is a nice comforting light meal. It has very nice subtle flavors that meld well together. My family and I find the simplicity of the soup satisfying and not necessary to add any salt or added flavorings. I love how this is a super inexpensive meal too!

-Jodi

Serves 8

 

INGREDIENTS

1 pound dry lima beans, 8 cups water
4-5 carrots, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
32 oz vegetable stock
4 cups water
3 tablespoons olive oil

DIRECTIONS

1. Soak beans overnight in 6-8 cups of water. The next day, drain and rinse beans until water runs clear. Discard the bean water, and set beans aside.
2. In a soup pot, heat oil and cook vegetables about 5-8 minutes or until onions and celery are translucent.
3. Add water, vegetable stock, and beans to pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 2 hours or until beans are tender.
4. Place a hand mixer in the pot and blend some of the soup for added thickness. Or, place 2-4 cups of soup in a blender and mix until creamy. Add back into the soup pot. * I highly recommend doing this last step, because it adds a nice thickness to the soup.

vegan gluten free brown rice and wild rice pilaf with fresh basil and pine nuts

Basil and Pine Nut Pilaf

This Basil and Pine Nut Pilaf is a really great recipe that uses up leftover rice. Thanks to Jessica  who gave us this recipe a few years back. It’s got nuts, fresh basil and garlic. Yum! Hang on to this recipe for a quick side dish this week.

~Jodi

 

Below are Jessica’s notes along with the recipe. Enjoy!

This is a brown and wild rice pilaf with a great blend of savory flavors – fresh basil and pine nuts…yum.  I have found that making pilafs with brown rice is much easier in a rice cooker.  You simply cook the rice in a flavorful broth and then toss in the rest of the ingredients after the rice is cooked.

2 cups brown rice (I prefer short grain)
¼ cup wild rice
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 large cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/2 cup fresh basil (or more!), finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste

COOK RICE:  Place brown rice and wild rice into a rice cooker with the broth and turn it on.
SAUTE ONIONS/GARLIC:  When rice is soft, saute onion and garlic in oil in a large pan over medium-high heat until onions are translucent.
COMPILE PILAF:  Add the rice, toasted pine nuts, and basil to the onions and garlic.  Toss until well mixed.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Note:  This recipe can also be made as a way to use up left-over rice.  To do so:  Pour 1/4 cup water or broth over 4 cups left-over rice and heat in microwave until warm.  If rice is especially dry, you may need to add additional water.  Saute onion in oil.  Stir sauteed onion, almonds and golden raisins into rice.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Unless you cooked your rice in broth, using leftover rice may not be quite as flavorful as following the original recipe.

Note on toasting pine nuts:  put pine nuts in a pan over medium heat and once pan is hot, stir constantly until starting to brown and a nutty aroma is released.  This process makes nuts much more flavorful.

Slow Cooker Wheat Berry Cereal

This is a recipe that my hubby remembers eating as a kid and requests it every so often because it really sits good in your stomach. We tend to eat it more in the winter months because it is a warm cereal, but any time of the year is great. This Wheat Berry Cereal is hearty and filling and good at keeping you satisfied until lunchtime. Wheat berries are full of protein, potassium, folate and fiber. Serve with your favorite whole wheat bread, and top with fresh fruit for a nutrient-rich breakfast.

-Jodi

 

INGREDIENTS

2 cups wheat berries
5 cups water
1/2 tablespoon salt
brown sugar for sprinkling on top (optional)

 

DIRECTIONS

1. Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Cook on low for 8-10 hrs.
2. Drain wheat berries. Serve in cereal bowl topped with brown sugar and your choice of milk. The cereal is also good topped with fresh fruit. Enjoy!

 

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Vegetarian Burritos with beans, avocado and vegetables

Ultimate Burritos

Ultimate Burritos were an easy staple vegetarian recipe during my college years.  It was just so easy to always keep a package of tortillas and some cans of beans on hand, and I always had a good supply of fresh vegetables to use in them.  My roommates would see me eating these and would be in awe at my gourmet dinner compared to the mac n’ cheese and ramen noodles they were eating.  I didn’t even spend much more time or money on my food.  Besides being inexpensive and easy, this is a fantastically fresh, delicious and balanced meal.  And a balanced meal is what I needed most to keep my body healthy and my mind active.

-Jessica

 

1 can black beans
1 can kidney beans
1 cup corn
whole wheat tortillas
Monterrey jack, Colby jack, cheddar, or vegan cheese, grated
lettuce, torn
tomatoes, diced
onions, finely diced
green bell pepper, diced
avocados, diced (or guacamole)
sour cream or plain yogurt
salsa or hot sauce

 

Directions for a crowd: Stir together the 2 cans of beans and corn in a medium bowl.  Microwave the mixture until hot.  Meanwhile, heat the tortillas, one at a time,  in a pan on the stove over medium-high heat.  Have each topping in a separate bowl and let each person create their own ultimate burrito.

Directions for the single college student: Stir together the 2 cans of beans and corn in a medium bowl with a lid that can be stored in the refrigerator (use this mixture all week long!)  Place a tortilla on a plate and line the center of it with a few spoonfuls of bean mixture.  Cook in the microwave for 30-60 seconds or until beans are warm.  Meanwhile, heat a medium fry pan over medium-high heat on the stove.  Remove the tortilla with beans from the microwave and place it in the fry pan.  Cook  until the tortilla has reached your desired level of crispiness.  This process combines the speed of cooking in a microwave with the improved crispiness of heating in a pan.  Place back on your plate and top with the rest of the toppings.  Roll up, and watch the envy on your roommates faces.  Or better yet, make them one too!

 

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Thanksgiving healthy snack for Kids

My daughter and I had so much fun making healthy Halloween snacks that we thought we’d better create one for Thanksgiving too. We ended up creating this darling fruit turkey with fun big eyes and colorful feathers. It is a great snack to make with your little ones for a Thanksgiving festivity. My 5 year old had so much fun and feasting on it afterwards was a great treat.

I really didn’t have to help much- just a little with applying the peanut butter.

 

-Jodi

 

Makes 4 Turkeys

Ingredients:

1 large apple, cored and sliced in half, and then slice in half again horizontally
1/2 orange, peeled, separated into slices, and then cut the slices into small chunks.
few grapes, raisins, or apple bites
1 graham cracker sheet, broken into 4 pieces
nutella spread, thick peanut butter, or cream cheese
*mini marshmallows
12 tooth picks
Directions: 

1- TURKEY HEAD- to make the face, we used a graham cracker for the head, squished mini marshmallows and raisins for the eyes, orange slice for the beak, and a piece of apple skin for the waddle. Glue everything onto the graham cracker with peanut butter.
Attach the graham cracker turkey head to the apple with another dab of peanut butter.

2- FEATHERS- Poke 4 toothpicks into the back of the apple. Slide fruit bites onto the toothpicks. That’s it! Enjoy!

*You can use whipped cream cheese for the eyes instead of marshmallows to make it with less sugar.

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Barley and chickpea salad with basil almonds and golden raisins recipe

Beautiful Barley and Chickpea Salad

Hulled barley is a more natural and fibrous alternative to pearled barley because it has its bran still attached.  Dried chickpeas (garbonzo beans) are much less expensive than the canned version.  The disadvantage that both of these foods have in common is that they take so long to cook and soften.  This recipe makes use of the advantages while minimizing the disadvantages by cooking them together in a slow cooker.  Plop them in the slow cooker with some chicken or vegetable broth and a few hours later come back to toss them with a delicious combination of herbs, nuts, golden raisins and dressing.  The result is a beautiful and absolutely heavenly side dish that is easy, nutritious, and inexpensive.

 

1 cup hulled barley, uncooked
½ cup dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
4-6 cups chicken or vegetable broth (or water + bullion)
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dijon mustard
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
2 Tbsp slivered almonds, toasted
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup green onions, thinly sliced
¼ cup chow mein noodles (optional)

 

SLOW COOK: Place barley, chickpeas, and broth in a small slow cooker.  Cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-7 hours or until soft.  Add more liquid if necessary.  When done, drain any excess fluid and cool to room temperature.
DRESSING: Whisk together vinegar, olive oil, mustard, salt & pepper.  Set aside.
MIX: Place softened barley & chickpeas in a medium sized bowl.  Add basil, almonds, raisins, & green onions.  Pour dressing over the combination and stir until well-mixed.    A sprinkling of chou mein noodles on top adds a nice crunch to the salad, but check the label if you choose to use these, as some are still made with trans fats.

Note:  If you would prefer to use pearled barley and canned chick peas, simply cook the pearled barley according to package instructions then mix the cooked barley and canned chick peas with the rest of the ingredients as instructed above.

 

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roasted vegetables recipe seasoned with olive oil, sea salt, and italian seasonings

Oven Baked Herbed Vegetables

When I first tasted these delicious potato wedges I literally went bonkers over them.  I devoured a whole plateful and begged my friend Nina for the recipe.  She graciously shared it with me and it has become a regular in our home.  This is a great side dish for parties or when company comes over.  It is very easy to prepare and takes very little time.

-Curt

 

MAIN VEGGIES
Potatoes (red, white and russet)
Red Onion
Yams

OIL AND SEASONINGS
Olive Oil or Grape seed Oil
Sea Salt
Italian Seasonings
Optional: Be creative. Try lemon pepper or any commercial mix’s.

 

OPTIONAL VEGGIES
parsnips
carrots
green beans (whole)
turnips
rutabagas
winter squash
peppers (green or red)
whole cloves of garlic
eggplant
asparagus
beets

 

PREHEAT: Preheat oven to 450°.
PREPARE: Clean veggies and cut into wedges and place in a large mixing bowl. After the veggies are together, drizzle olive or grape seed oil over the tops of them. Add seasonings and salt to your own tastes and with a large mixing spoon stir well, making sure each veggie slice is lightly coated with oil and seasonings. The oil will keep the seasonings coating the wedges.
BAKE: Layer on baking sheet coated with a bit of cooking spray and bake in oven at 450° for 40 minutes or until tender and browned.  At the very end, if needed, turn the oven to BROIL for around 3 – 5 minutes or until you get a desired roasted color.  Serve with ranch or blue cheese dressing or dip of your choice.  They are especially good with my Karma Curried Dipping Sauce (check it out in the sauces/condiments section). Or they are great alone!

 

Note: Don’t get hung up on exact measurements of seasonings or the oil. Just add enough oil to lightly coat the volume of veggies you are baking. Then add seasonings and salt to your taste. This is a fun easy recipe, be CREATIVE!

 

 

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Easy slow cooker vegetarian refried beans recipe

Slow-Cooker Refried Beans

What’s easier than opening a can of re-fried beans, smothering them on a tortilla and chowing down?  Its a great snack and can be part of a great meal.  This recipe makes it possible to have the same easy snack available and have it be less expensive, more delicious, and all natural.  With only a few minutes of preparation, throwing ingredients into the slow cooker and then mashing them up afterward, you can store the beans in an air-tight container in the refrigerator and use them all week long!

-Jessica

 

2 cups dried pinto beans
6 cups water
1 tsp salt
1 onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp ground cumin

 

SLOW COOK: Add all ingredients except for cumin into a large slow cooker.  Cook for 4-5 hours on high or 8-10 hours on low or until beans are very soft.
MASH: Drain beans, reserving the liquid.  Mash or blend adding just enough reserved liquid to achieve the texture you prefer.  Add cumin.  Taste and add more salt if necessary.  If you prefer spicier beans, you can also add  green chilis (fresh or canned) and any other seasonings you would like to try.

strawberry spinach salad recipe with poppy seed dressing

Summery Strawberry Spinach Salad

Sweet, tangy and perfect for a summer picnic – this salad recipe gets families to eat their spinach!

-Jessica

4 cups spinach, loosely packed
1 cup strawberries, sliced
2-3 green onions, sliced
1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted

DRESSING
1/3 cup oil
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
3 Tbsp honey or agave (or 1/4 cup sugar)
2 tsp Dijon mustard
½ tsp salt
1 tsp poppy seeds

 

BLEND: Blend all dressing ingredients together in a blender until well mixed and frothy.
COAT: Place spinach in a large bowl.  Pour just enough dressing over the spinach leaves to lightly coat all the leaves when tossed.
TOSS: Add the strawberries, green onions, and toasted slivered almonds.  Lightly toss.

 

 

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stir fry recipe made with fresh ginger, bok choy, snow peas, pepper, and onion served over brown rice

Colorful Asian Stir Fry

This Colorful Asian Stir Fry recipe has FLAVOR and is gluten-free! I am picky with Asian food, because I need a lot of flavor.  A little soy sauce doesn’t cut it.  The subtle spiciness of fresh ginger and red-pepper flakes mixed with soy sauce, vinegar, and the natural flavors of the vegetables is quite delightful.  You will also love the variety of textures in this dish – the soft bok-choy leaves and rice, the crisp vegetables, and the crunchy cashews.

-Jessica

4-6 cups prepared brown rice
6-8 ounces shrimp, chicken, or extra-firm tofu (optional)
3 Tbsp soy sauce
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
½ cup water
1 Tbsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp canola or vegetable oil
1 large red onion, cut into large chunks
2 medium carrots, sliced rather thinly (¼”)
3 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced or grated
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
6-8 oz. snow peas, ends trimmed if desired
1 bunch/head bok-choy, chopped coarsely
1 cup whole cashews
¼ tsp red pepper flakes, finely ground or crushed
1 cup canned pineapple tidbits or chunks for garnish

 

RICE: Start cooking the brown rice before chopping the vegetables for this dish, since the rice can take about 45 minutes to cook (follow package directions).

SAUCE: In a small bowl, stir together the soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, water, and cornstarch.

PROTEIN: If choosing to include shrimp, chicken, or tofu – cook this first and then add to stir fry during the last few minutes of cooking.  If using tofu, saute in a little bit of oil and soy sauce until it has shrunken and is a golden brown.  This will provide better texture and flavor.

STIR FRY:  Heat oil in a wok or very large fry pan over high heat for about 1min.  Add the onion, carrots, and ginger and cook for 5 minutes, stirring regularly.  Then add the garlic, red pepper, snow peas, bok choy, and cashews and continue to stir regularly, cooking 3-5 minutes more or until the vegetables start sticking to the bottom of the pan.  If using meat or tofu, add it in once the bok choy has wilted.  Then add the liquid mixture and the red pepper flakes, stirring constantly for 1-2 minutes until the sauce is thickened and vegetables are tender-crisp.  If you would prefer more sauce, an additional ¼ cup water can be added.  Serve over rice and garnish with pineapple.

 

 

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mango sorbet with lime recipe

Mango Sorbet

Sorbet is predominately frozen pureed fruit, and this sorbet recipe is just about as pure as it gets.  It is like slurping up a fresh mango!

-Jessica

 

2 1/2 cups fresh mango, pureed
1/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup water
1 Tbsp lime juice (approx. 1/2 lime)

 

HEAT: Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer until all the sugar is dissolved.  Pour into a separate container and cool in refrigerator for 1-2 hours until completely cooled.
MIX: Stir together the sugar water mixture, the pureed mango, and lime juice.
FREEZE: Pour into a 1-quart ice cream maker and freeze as directed by manufacturer.
FINISH: Serve with fresh berries.

NOTE:  Sorbet can be made with many different kinds of pureed fruit.  Try pineapple, strawberry, and any other kind you think would work well!  Lemon juice can also be substituted for the lime, which makes for some more variation.

 

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Tropical Stir Fry with cashews, pineapple, coconut and vegetables.

Aloha Tropical Stir-Fry

This recipe is a fun and easy spin-off of the traditional Asian stir-fry.  The pineapple chunks and shredded coconut really adds a delicious twist.  Aloha!

-Jessica

1 lb tofu, cut into 1/2” cubes OR ½ lb chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 Tbsp cornstarch
3 Tbsp soy sauce
¼ cup water
3 Tbsp canola or vegetable oil
1 red onion, cut into 1 inch chunks
3 bell peppers (a mix of red, yellow, orange, or green), cut into 1 inch chunks
6-8 oz. snow peas
1 cup whole raw cashews
1 20 oz. can pineapple chunks or tidbits in juice (keep the juice!)
brown rice, prepared according to package directions
shredded coconut, for topping

 

SAUTE: Saute tofu or chicken in a bit of olive oil until thoroughly cooked.  For tofu, cook until golden brown for best texture.
MIX SAUCE: Place cornstarch in a small bowl.  Stir in soy sauce and water slowly to prevent clumps from forming.  Set aside.
STIR-FRY VEGETABLES: Heat oil in a large fry pan or wok.  Add vegetables and cashews and continuously stir.  If starting to burn or stick to pan, add part of the pineapple juice.  When vegetables are just tender-crisp, add the cooked tofu or chicken and the can of pineapple with its juice.  Stir the sauce again to make sure cornstarch is thoroughly mixed, then stir into vegetables.
FINISH: Serve over brown rice and top with shredded coconut.

 

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Healthy Pasta Vert Stir Fry recipe with Avocado, Zucchini, Asparagus and snap peas

Pasta Vert

This healthy stir-fry type pasta recipe is a simple way to add more vegetables into the pasta-lovers diet without skimping on flavor.

-Jessica

1 box whole wheat pasta (any type works fine), cooked
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups asparagus, woody ends removed, and chopped in 2-inch segments
2 cups sugar snap peas or snow peas
1 cup zucchini, cut in half and sliced in 1/4” slices
½ cup pesto (or to taste) – see pesto recipe in the sauces/condiments section
1 large avocado, cut into bite-sized chunks
1/3 cup pine nuts (optional)

 

BOIL PASTA: Cook pasta according to manufacturers directions.
SAUTE VEGETABLES: Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat for 1 minute.  Add asparagus, pea pods, and zucchini and sautee, stirring often for 4 minutes or until crisp-tender and bright green.
COMBINE: In a large bowl (or in the pasta pot), add the pesto to the cooked and drained pasta and stir until it is well-coated. Add sauteed vegetables.
FINISH: When plated, top with avocado chunks and pine nuts.

 

Vegetarian sandwich with avocado peppers cucumber tomatoes and sprouts

Avocado Veggie Sandwich

Avocado is truly the king of veggie sandwich recipes.  It is easy and outrageously delicious.  There are quite a few variations of this sandwich that I have sampled in different  natural foods cafe’s while on my travels.   I have made these for guests on many occasions and it always goes over in a very big way.   This is a fairly simple sandwich to make.  It starts with layering a whole wheat bread slice with a seasoned avocado spread.. then is topped with layers of cucumbers, green pepper, and tomatoes, monterey jack cheese and alfalfa sprouts… all on whole wheat bread. It’s totally outrageous!

-Curt

 

Whole wheat bread
Cucumbers (peeled & sliced)
Tomatoes (sliced)
Green and /or red peppers
Alfalfa Sprouts
Sliced Monterey Jack Cheese – (or vegan cheese)

 

PREPARE:  Scoop out avocado and mash in a bowl till smooth.  Season with garlic salt and chopped green onion to taste. Slice remaining veggies and cheese and set aside for the construction of sandwiches.
FINISH:  Layer a slice of whole wheat bread with avocado spread… then simply layer remaining veggies & cheese on whatever order captures your imagination.  Top with sprouts and last layer of bread and cut diagonally.  Pierce with a toothpick and serve!
OPTIONAL:  Spread a bit of low-fat mayo on top layer of bread. (watch out for the fat!)

 

brown and wild rice pilaf recipe with almonds and golden raisins

Honeymoon Rice Pilaf

On our honeymoon in Seattle, my husband and I ate at a fancy restaurant overlooking the ocean.  The view was beautiful and we ate fresh seafood with the most amazing rice pilaf on the side.  It was so good that we made a point to study it carefully and then tried to re-create it when we went home.  We did well and honeymoon rice pilaf is now a favorite in our home, for the memories and for the taste.

-Jessica

 

2 cups brown rice (I prefer short grain)
¼ cup wild rice
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
½ cup slivered almonds, toasted
½ cup golden raisins

 

COOK RICE: Place 2 cups brown rice and ¼ cup wild rice in a slow cooker.  You can also cook the rice over the stove according to package directions, substituting broth for water.

SAUTE ONIONS:  When rice is soft, saute onion in oil in a large pan over medium-high heat until translucent.

COMPILE PILAF:  Then add the rice, almonds, and golden raisins.  Toss until well mixed.  Add salt to taste, if needed.
USING LEFTOVER RICE: This recipe can also be made as a way to use up left-over rice.  To do so:  Pour 1/4 cup broth or water over 4 cups left-over rice and heat in microwave until warm.  If rice is especially dry, you may need to add additional water.  Saute onion in oil.  Stir sauteed onion, almonds and golden raisins into rice.  Add salt to taste, if needed.  Unless you cooked your rice in broth, using leftover rice may not be quite as flavorful as following the original recipe.
Note on toasting almonds: Put almonds in a pan over medium heat and once pan is hot, stir constantly until starting to brown and a nutty aroma is released.

 

 

 

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zingy bean salsa recipe with beans, pepper, tomato, corn, onion and cilantro

Zingy Bean Salsa

This hearty salsa recipe is full of flavor and with its many colors is as fun to look at as it is to eat it!  It is also extremely versatile.  Try it as a dip with corn chips, as a filling in a tortilla wrap, as a topping on a veggie burger, or as a perfect pot-luck salad (see note).

-Jessica

 

1 15-oz can black beans
1 15-oz can pinto beans
2 cups corn
1 ½ cups chopped tomatoes
½ cup chopped red bell pepper
½ cup chopped green bell pepper
½ cup minced red onion
1/3 cup minced cilantro

¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup fresh lime juice (or red wine vinegar)
1 tsp salt
fresh ground pepper to taste
½ cup crumbled feta cheese (optional- for an extra zing!)

 

COMBINE: Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.  Cover and let marinade in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving for maximum flavor.  Though flavorful, this salsa is very mild.  If you prefer a spicy salsa, feel free throw in some minced hot peppers- but start with just a little, you can always add more.  Serve however you’d like!  (see ideas at top of page.)

 

Note: This salsa can be converted into a delicious salad – a perfect side dish to bring to a pot-luck dinner or to simply enjoy in your own home.  To the already prepared salsa, add:

4 cups prepared quinoa or brown rice
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
2-3 Tbsp lime juice (or red wine vinegar)
½ tsp salt (or to taste)

Almond Broccoli Soup recipe- great for freezing and perfect for a light meal anytime of day

Almond Broccoli Soup

This Almond Broccoli Soup recipe is very healthy and goes well with a nice slice of multi-grain bread. It’s great for the freezer, which makes for a quick healthy light meal any time of the day. We love eating this for lunch with some hearty bread.

 

 

2 large heads broccoli, chopped into small chunks (including stalk)

2 tsp olive oil

2 cup onions

4 tsp tamari or soy sauce (preferably reduced sodium)

2 tsp thyme

2 tsp marjoram

2 tsp nutmeg

2 tsp dill

1 tsp black pepper

4 T almond butter

8 cups vegetable stock

4 tsp lemon juice

4 T fresh parsley, chopped

 

 

Directions:

Heat oil in large soup pot over med heat. Saute onions, tamari and spices for 2-3 minutes. Add chopped broccoli and cook for several minutes (stirring frequently). Add the stock and almond butter; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the broccoli is almost soft. Do not overcook broccoli. Let the soup cool down and purée in a blender or with a hand blender. Pour soup back into pot and add the lemon juice and fresh parsley. Serve while warm.

 

* NOTE: You can also use different vegetables in this recipe such as carrots, potatoes, squash and cauliflower. Each are nice variations.

 

 

This recipe is adapted from Deepak Chopra’s, The Chopra Center Cookbook.

 

 

healthy crunchy green bean recipe with almonds

Green Beans Almondine

A must have side dish for Thanksgiving, and goes well with all sorts of other meals.  Its really not much harder than making boring steamed green beans.  You simply stir in a delicious nutty coating.  If you want to boost your intake of vegetables, boost their flavor with recipes like this one!

-Jessica

 

1 lb green beans

1 – 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil, butter, or a combination of the two

1/2 cup chopped almonds

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 tsp salt or to taste

 

1.  Green Beans:  Steam the green beans for about 5 minutes, or until they turn bright green and are just barely tender.  If you don’t have a steamer, you can also boil them.

2.  Almond Topping:  While the green beans are cooking, heat the olive oil and/or butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the almonds and cook them, stirring frequently, until you can smell the nuts toasting – about 5 min.  Stir in the garlic and cook for about 1 minute more, stirring constantly.

3.  Mix:  When the green beans are done cooking, put them into the skillet with the almonds and stir until they are coated.  Sprinkle with salt.  Put the green beans into a serving dish and any almond topping left in the pan can be sprinkled on top.

Grilled Tofu

Grilled tofu is easy to prepare and is a great alternative to that hunk of meat on your plate.  Tofu easily soaks up whatever flavors it is cooked in, so a quick soak in a delicious marinade is just the ticket for this fully flavored recipe.  Delicious served with brown rice and a side of stir-fried veggies.  For variations, try grilled tofu using your other favorite marinades.

-Jessica

 

1 14 oz. block firm or extra firm tofu, drained

Marinade:
¼ cup soy sauce or low sodium soy sauce
4 tsp vegetable, canola, or olive oil
1 tsp sesame oil
1 ½ tsp dark brown sugar, packed
1 ½ tsp fresh ginger, finely grated
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes or hot sauce

 

PREPARE: Cut tofu crosswise into 6 slices.  Place in a single layer on top of 3-4 paper towels.  Top with another layer of 3-4 paper towels and set a baking pan or cookie sheet on top to press out the extra water.  Take care to choose a pan that is not too heavy.  After about 2 minutes, repeat the process with fresh paper towels twice more.
MARINATE: Stir together all marinade ingredients in a large pie plate.  Place tofu slices in a single layer and let marinade for 8-10 minutes, turning over every couple of minutes.
GRILL: Heat up either a George Foreman type grill or a ridged grill pan over medium heat.  Lightly oil the surface.  With a spatula, carefully place tofu slices onto the grill and let cook for about 3 minutes on each side or until grill marks appear.  Turn only once.

Cocoa Almonds recipe with cinnamon, agave nectar, raw sugar, cocoa powder and sea salt

Cocoa Almonds

4 cups whole raw almonds
2 Tbsp agave nectar, or honey
3 Tbsp maple sugar, or raw sugar
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp sea salt

 

Preheat over to 250 degrees. In a medium bowl coat almonds with agave nectar. IN a separate small bowl combine maple sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon and salt.

Sprinkle over almonds and stir until well combined (sprinkle on a little extra maple sugar or raw sugar). Bake almonds on a parchment lined cookie sheet for 20 minutes. Stir and bake for another 10 minutes. Cool and enjoy!

 

 

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Weight Loss Soup Mexican recipe with cabbage, zucchini, red pepper, mexican seasonings, greens, and squash.

Weight Loss Soup – Mexican Style

A while back, I ran into a friend who had lost 40 pounds. He was in a weight loss contest at his work, and was in last place till he discovered this amazing weight loss soup concept! Then he surged to first place! He claimed it was all due to an amazing vegetable soup recipe where you EAT AS MUCH OF IT AS YOU WANT – you feel great and don’t go hungry! Here is the recipe, but I’ve adjusted it a tad making it more flavorful and a bit more healthy. It is a hearty soup FULL of only vegetables. Low fat, high fiber, flavorful and satisfying. Eat it all day long! This is one of the most life changing recipes I have come across.

 

VEGETABLES
1/2 CABBAGE Chopped fine
3 Stalks Celery chopped
1 Zucchini Diced
1 Red Pepper chopped
1 Onion chopped
5 Green Onions chopped
2 Cans Green Beans (or fresh grean beans)
1 cup frozen corn
1 Cup butternut squash peeled and diced
2 Cup Chopped Kale
1 Yam diced
1 Cup Chopped Spinach
2 Quarts water

 

SEASONINGS
2 8 Ounce Can V8 Juice
4 tbls chili powder
1 tsp cumin
3 tsp Cosco No Salt Herbal Blend

(optional)
3 tsp Vegetable Boullion*
Minced Garlic
Sea Salt

 

1. ONIONS & GARLIC: In a large soup pot, add olive oil, minced garlic and onion. Saute till golden brown. About 10 minutes over medium high heat.

2. WATER & VEGGIES: Add water, seasonings and chopped vegetables. Add more water if needed. Simmer on medium heat for about 30 minutes or until vegetables have softened up.
3. FINAL SEASONING: Once the soup is cooked, add final seasonings. I then blend about 3 cups of the soup and add back in to make it a bit creamy and thick.

Cabbage salad recipe with cucumber, red pepper, and tangy poppyseed dressing

Cabbage Salad

I remember my dad making this salad in order to entice his social teenage son to stay home and eat dinner with the family.  He would call out, “Justin!  I made coleslaw!” and my brother would run down the stairs and say, “Really?!”  And he would eat with us.  True story.  It is that good.  This is an atypical coleslaw recipe in that the dressing is oil-based instead of mayo-based.  Its sweet tangy-ness has a real freshness to it.  A perfect side dish for a picnic or barbeque.  Or to get your teenagers to spend time with you.

-Jessica

 

½ green cabbage, chopped small
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1cucumber, sliced and chopped into triangles
1 red bell pepper, chopped

 

Dressing
¼ cup red wine vinegar
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup sugar or ¼ cup warmed honey
½ cup canola oil
½ tsp ground mustard
¾ tsp salt
2 tsp poppy seeds

 

Chop all vegetables and place in a large salad bowl.  Put all dressing ingredients into a blender and blend until well-mixed.  Pour dressing over salad and toss.  Cover and store in refrigerator for several hours before serving for maximum flavor.

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Miz Helen’s Country Cottage

Beans & Rice recipe caribbean style with black and pinto beans, cabbage and banana

Caribbean Beans & Rice

This version of a Caribbean inspired dish is an incredible festival of exotic flavors.  The colorful medley of spicy black beans are layered on a bed of brown rice, then accented with a variety of individual toppings such as cashews, bananas and salsas. Not only is this recipe nutritious and full of flavor, but it is also great fun building your own individual creation with the various ingredients. Have at it!

-Curt

 

MAIN INGREDIENTS
4 cups cooked combination of long & short grain brown rice
1 can black beans
2 can pinto beans
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup red bell pepper diced
3/4 cup green bell pepper diced
1 small yellow onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
5 tsp Piccapeppa sauce (sold at most stores)
1/3 cup raisins
salt & pepper to taste

 

TOPPINGS
Salsa
Cashews
Lime (fresh cut for squeezing)
Banana, cut
Chopped Green Cabbage
Fresh cut ripe tomatoes

 

BOIL: Cook rice as directed on package.
SAUTE: After rice is cooked, saute garlic & onions in olive oil in a large skillet.  Just as onions are almost translucent, add minced peppers and  saute long enough for the peppers to just become tender.  Add beans, cooked rice, raisins, cumin, and Piccapeppa sauce.  Heat thoroughly stirring occasionally.  Salt & pepper to taste. salt & pepper to taste. Pull from heat and set aside.
FINISH: To serve, start by making a bed of rice on each individual plate or bowl. Cover with spicy bean mixture and then let person add toppings from bowls of ingredients listed above.  Have fun and enjoy!

Oatmeal with steel cut oats and soy milk

Homestyle Steel Cut Oats

Homestyle Steel Cut Oats are a healthy, delicious easy way to start your day off right. Steel cut oats are whole grain oats  that instead of being rolled, are dried and cut into pieces with steel.  Look for them in the bulk foods section of your grocery store.  Steel cut oats do take longer to cook than rolled oats, but their texture is worth the wait.  Chewy and a little bit crunchy…No mushiness here!

-Jessica

 

MAIN INGREDIENTS
1 cup steel cut oats
3 1/2 cups water
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk or soymilk
1 teaspoon vanilla

 

MIX-INS
cinnamon
brown sugar
honey
maple syrup
raisins

berries
bananas
granola
nuts

 

COOK: Bring water to a boil in a large pot.  Add oats and salt.  Reduce heat to low and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
ADD: Stir in milk and vanilla.  Cook for an additional 10 minutes.
MIX IN: Mix in cinnamon, brown sugar, raisins, berries, nuts, or whatever will make these oats delicious for you!

Serves 4-6

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Vegetarian minestrone soup recipe with beans and vegetables

Minestrone Soup

I first tasted this vegetarian version of the classic minestrone soup at my brother Brookes home.  I thought it was incredibly good.  This recipe is full of beans, pasta and vegetables and has a rich, fresh taste.  Garnished with a little parmesan cheese and it is to die for.  I have designed this recipe to be cooked in one pot for simplicity and ease.

-Curt

 

BROTH
7 cups water
1/3 cup dried barley
2 cups dried macaroni
2 tbsp. Olive oil

SEASONINGS
1 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
1/4 Tsp white pepper
salt & pepper to taste

VEGETABLES
1 1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced carrot
1/2 cup diced celery
2 cups chopped tomatoes
1 cup frozen green beans
1 can kidney beans
2 cups chopped purple cabbage
1 can garbanzo beans
2 cups dried macaroni
2 cup chopped spinach
1 cup peas
1-8 ounce can tomato puree
1 15 oz.. cans tomato sauce

 

Optional
Zucchini
Mushrooms
Potatoes
Broccoli

 

BOIL: In a large soup pot, heat 7 cups of water to a slow boil.  Add barley and cook for 20 minutes.  (If you want to cut down on the cooking time, omit barley and go to step 2.)
COMBINE: When barley is just getting tender add olive oil, seasonings and macaroni.  Slowly boil for 5 minutes or until macaroni is just starting to soften.
FINISH: Add the rest of veggies, beans etc. except spinach.  Cook over medium heat for 20 minutes.  Add spinach and cook an additional 5-10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender but not overcooked.  Salt & pepper to taste and serve with parmesan cheese on the side.

Oatmeal applesauce cookie recipe with applesauce, chocolate chips, nuts, flax seed, olive oil, whole wheat flour, and stevia

Oatmeal Applesauce Cookies

I personally do not like overly sweet cookies.  These cookies were developed with the notion of having a low-fat, low-sugar cookie packed with whole grain goodness. Where you got a bit of dark chocolate and a hint of sweet, but that left you with a healthy feeling rather than a sugar low.  These cookies have become a standard in our home. I make them when I go on road trips. What is incredible about these amazing cookies is you can snack on them and they sustain you when a real meal isn’t available.  Try them… they are almost like a meal replacement!

-Curt

 

WET INGREDIENTS
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 – 4 oz. small containers of unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cups olive oil
16 drops stevia
2 tsp. vanilla

 

DRY INGREDIENTS
2 cups whole wheat flour or multi grain flour
2 cups oatmeal
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp baking Powder
1.5 cup chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, cashews, almonds, macadamia nuts)
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup carob chips
1/4 cup flax seed

 

PREHEAT: Preheat oven to 350° F degrees.

MIX: Mix wet ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients.  Add wet into the dry and gently mix together only enough to blend thoroughly but without overworking the dough.    (If needed add a bit more milk or flour to achieve the correct texture of cookie dough.)

SPOON & BAKE: Drop by the spoonful on a greased cookie sheet  and bake at 350° F degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

 

NOTE: Don’t get hung up on exact measurements of nuts and chocolate. Mix in what YOU like. I prefer lots of macadamia nuts and a bit of extra dark chocolate. Try various dark chocolate chips… or throw in some dried cranberries. Make these your OWN.

 

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Quinoa with Roasted Veggies recipe; carrots, zucchini, red and yellow peppers, sprinkled with italian dressing

Quinoa with Roasted Vegetables

We are excited for autumn in our house. To celebrate the changing of the season, we’re going to roast vegetables with the super grain, quinoa. This easy quinoa with roasted vegetables recipe is good as a one-dish meal or as a hearty side. Feel free to substitute a root vegetable for the zucchini but make sure to allow for a longer cooking time (about ten more minutes).

 

 

Ingredients

3 medium carrots, cut into 1/2″ pieces

2 small zucchini, cut into 1/2″ slices

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 yellow bell pepper, chopped

1 medium sweet onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth

1 cup quinoa, rinsed

Italian dressing

salt

optional topping: shredded parmesan or romano cheese

 

Directions: Cut carrots and zucchini in half and into 1/2-in. slices; place in a large bowl. Add the peppers, onion, garlic & salt. Pour enough italian dressing on to coat all veggies; toss to coat. Transfer to a 13-in. x 9-in baking pan coated with cooking spray.

 

Bake at 400° for 40-50 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Set aside to cool.

 

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring broth to a boil. Add quinoa. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat; fluff with a fork.

 

Transfer quinoa to a large bowl; stir in the vegetables. Sprinkle with cheese; serve with lemon.

 

Yield: 4 servings.

 

 

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Tossed Caprese Salad recipe with cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarrella tossed with balsamic vinegar and olive oil

Tossed Caprese Salad

This is probably my number one favorite side-dish recipe during the month of August when I have lots of cherry tomatoes and fresh basil from the garden.  Slice them up, add some fresh mozzarella and voila!  A beautiful and delicious summer dish.  – Jessica

 

 

2 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced in half or quartered, depending on size

1 cup fresh mozzarella cheese, diced to the same size as the tomatoes

1/3 cup fresh basil, cut small

olive oil 

balsamic vinegar

salt and fresh ground pepper (optional)

 

1.  TOSS:  Combine the tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil in a medium sized bowl.  Drizzle a small amount of olive oil and balsamic vinegar on top – to taste.  If desired, also season with salt and pepper to taste.  Toss it all up and enjoy!

Quick mango salsa recipe with cucumber, cilantro and red onion.

Mango Salsa

The words mango and salsa in the same sentence get me all giddy inside. Yep, this sweet mango salsa recipe is a real winner. Serve with tortilla chips and voila, you’ve got an amazing appetizer your guests will go nuts over.

 

3 mangos, cut small

2 cucumbers, cut small

1/2 red onion, chopped

1/2 bunch cilantro, finely chopped

juice of one lime

salt to taste

 

Directions: 

Combine the mango, cucumber, red onion, cilantro and lime juice; mix well. Season with salt to taste. Serve with tortilla chips.

 

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Summer Sprouted Bean Salad with Avocado

Summer Sprouted Bean Salad

We found this great new product at Costco “Organic Sprouted Bean Trio”  by tru Roots. It’s a quick – cooking and nutritious blend of lentils, adzuki and mung beans. Perfect for soup, salad or side dishes.

These are very easy to cook.  Combine 1 cup sprouted bean trio with 3 cups water or broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let stand for 10 minutes or until desired tenderness is achieved. Drain excess water and serve. If you like lentils and beans, you will love this trio!

Here is a quick summer salad using this bean trio. Enjoy!

 

 

Cook 1 cup of beans according to package directions. Cool.

 

Add:

1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half

1 medium avocado, cut into 1/2″ pieces

1/2 cup orange or yellow sweet peppers

fresh cilantro, rosemary or basil chopped

*You can use any fresh veggies and herbs in this salad

 

Dressing

Whisk together:

3 T. olive oil

1 T. balsamic vinaigrette

1/8 t. dry mustard

1 t. agave nectar or honey

salt and pepper to taste

 

Pour dressing over salad and enjoy!

Vegetarian Tacos

I love tacos. I love the crunchy shells. I love the fresh crispy cold lettuce and cool tomatoes along with the hot filling you can easily make in your crock pot or on the stove. Because I think tacos are so dang groovy, I had to create my version of a healthy vegetarian taco. I think these are simply marvelous! They are incredibly tasty, and yet amazingly healthy too. Full of filling and healthy lentils, brown rice and seasonings. Your kids will even be chowing down on these hummers.

-Curt

 

BASE RECIPE

1 cup lentils

1 cup brown rice

6 cups water

1 cup TVP (meat substitute) (optional)

SEASONINGS
1 packet Taco Seasoning
2 tsp chili powder
4 tbls ketchup
salt to taste

TACO TOPPINGS
Crisp Corn Taco Shells
Shredded Lettuce
Grated Cheese
Light Sour Cream
Salsa or Hot Sauce

 

1.  Add lentils, brown rice and water into a crock pot.  Add seasonings and slowly cook until thick, tender and full of flavor.  TVP can also be added to this blend.  Just keep adding water if needed.

2.  Serve buffet style with crisp taco shells, fresh cut tomatoes and lettuce, grated cheese, avocado, sour cream, salsa, etc.


Note: A quick way to make a variation on this amazing meal is to make a “taco salad”. Simply cook up the seasoned lentils and brown rice. Then layer it in a bowl, and top with shredded cheese, shredded lettuce, crumbled multi-grain chips and salsa. It is fantastic!

 

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Lemony Quinoa & Avocado Salad

Lemony Quinoa & Avocado Salad

This vegetarian salad recipe is zingy fresh but with the quinoa, garbanzo beans, and avocado it is more substantial than a typical leafy green salad.  Also because the spinach and cilantro is so finely chopped it makes it faster to eat 🙂   I keep finding new favorite salads.  This one is my new favorite.   – Jessica

 

1 15 oz can vegetable broth (or just under 2 cups)

3/4 cup dry quinoa

2 cups fresh spinach, packed

1 bunch cilantro

1/4 cup sweet onion

2 cloves garlic

1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half

2 medium avocados, diced

 

Dressing:

juice of 2 lemons – about 1/2 cup

zest of 1 lemon

2 tsp dijon mustard

2 tsp olive oil

2 tsp agave nectar

1/2 tsp cumin

salt and pepper to taste (just a dash should do)

 

 QUINOA:  Bring the vegetable broth to a boil.  Turn the heat down to medium, add the quinoa and cook uncovered for about 12 minutes or until there is just a little bit of broth left in it.  Remove it from the heat, fluff it with a fork, put a lid on it, and let it sit for 5 minutes.  The rest of the liquid should absorb into the quinoa.  Once that has happened, place the quinoa in bowl to cool.

GREENS:  In a food processor, blend the spinach and cilantro until finely chopped.  You can do this without a food processor, it would just take more time.  Put the chopped greens into a medium sized serving bowl.

ONIONS/GARLIC:  Finely chop the onions and garlic (food processor works best here too.)

COMBINE:  Add the finished quinoa (if it has cooled), onions, garlic, garbanzo beans, and tomatoes to the greens and stir it all up.

DRESSING:  Whisk all the dressing ingredients together.  Pour the dressing over the salad, add the avocado, and gently combine.

 

Store in the fridge until ready to eat.  It tastes better if you allow the flavors to set for a while before serving.

Note:  Because of the lemony dressing, the avocados will not brown for a few days, and this salad makes delicious leftovers!  

 

 

Adapted from The Diva Dish

Tart frozen yogurt with berries

Tart Frozen Yogurt with Berries

Search no further for the perfect 4th of July dessert!  I am a huge fan of tart frozen yogurt, and with the right tool, this can be prepared so, so easily.  Top with sweet strawberries & blueberries (or any sweet fruit!) to create a fresh, healthy, and perfectly delightful summer treat.  – Jessica

 

serves 4-6

 

3 cups plain greek yogurt (non-fat works great)

2 Tbsp agave nectar (or honey or sugar)

3 cups berries, whole or chopped depending on size

agave nectar for drizzling (optional)

 

 

 SWEETEN:  Stir the 2 Tbsp agave into the yogurt.  This is optional, by the way.  I am one who LOVES plain yogurt, and don’t need mine sweetened.  I believe I’m in the minority, though, and you’d probably want to sweeten it for guests.  2 Tbsp is just enough to retain the yogurt’s tartness while keeping the super tart bite off.

FREEZE:  Pour the yogurt mixture into a 1 1/2 quart electric ice cream maker.  Following manufacturer’s instructions, let it run for about 20 minutes or until the yogurt is thick and as frozen as frozen yogurt is supposed to be.

TOP:  Serve up the yogurt into individual cups and top with berries.  Drizzle a little more agave on top if you would like it sweeter.  Serve immediately!  It melts quickly.

vegan black bean soup with fresh lime, salsa.Garnish with crumbled tortilla chips

Easiest Black Bean & Salsa Soup

Our friend, Jodi, makes this Black Bean & Salsa vegan soup recipe to go with her tortilla patties for a super quick & healthy dinner. The limes and cilantro give it great flavoring. It would also accompany our spinach tortilla wedges or even a simple quesadilla perfectly.  This soup really couldn’t get any easier or better!

 

2 15-oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained

1 1/2 cups vegetable broth

1 cup chunky salsa (experiment with different kinds!)

1 tsp cumin

1-2 limes

cilantro for garnish

sour cream (non-vegan option)

 

 BLEND:  Blend half of the beans and all of the broth in a blender until fairly smooth.

 ADD & HEAT:  Pour the blender contents into a medium sized saucepan over medium high heat.  Add the salsa, cumin, and the rest of the beans.  Stir occasionally until hot.

 TOP:  Ladle the soup into 4 bowls and top each bowl with freshly squeezed lime juice and cilantro. It is also delicious served with a dollop of sour cream in addition to or in place of the lime juice.

 

 

Dairy free strawberry ice cream recipe

Strawberry Ice Cream

Home-made, sugar-free Strawberry healthy ice cream in a matter of minutes!  This non-dairy recipe is as creamy and delicious as it looks.  Frozen fruit, coconut milk, and vanilla.  In the blender.  Pure and simple. Deliciousness!

 

1 banana, sliced and frozen
1 handful of strawberries, frozen
1-2 tablespoons coconut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Place the frozen bananas and strawberries into a food processor. Start blending then add in the vanilla and coconut milk. Just enough for it to blend together but not too much, we want it to be really thick! Once it is nice and smooth but still very thick scoop it out and enjoy! It needs to be eaten right away as it will not keep very well in the freezer. Makes 2-3 servings.

No Bake Raw Almond Peanut-butter Cookies

No Cook Peanut Butter Cookies

This is the ultimate quick & healthy no bake cookie recipe. Filled with flax, oats, wheat germ, fresh ground peanut butter, raw almonds and pecans, it is filled with energy and super tasty. I add a little dark chocolate chips for a hint of decadence. I make a batch and leave them on the counter and before long, they are gobbled up. That said, these store quite well. You can make up a batch and have them ready to eat for a week or two in the fridge without them going bad.  – Curt

2 cup rolled oats
1 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup sesame seeds (optional) 1 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup wheat germ* (optional) 1/2 cup flax meal
1 1/2 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup raw agave nectar OR honey 1/2 cup canola or grapeseed oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips or carob chips

 

  1. CHOP NUTS: Finely chop almonds and pecans and add into a large mixing bowl.
  2. COMBINE AND FORM: Add all other ingredients mix well. Form into small balls, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter and place on serving dish. If needed, wet hands to make the cookies so that the dough does not stick to fingers. Also, use a tad of water and/or a bit more peanut butter if the cookies aren’t sticking due to lack of moisture. That is it! Just create little cookies and serve.

 

 

Note: The key to making these cookies is to have enough of the moist ingredient to make the cookies bind together. Peanut Butter is the key ingredient for binding. If the cookies aren’t sticking together add a bit more peanut butter. I get fresh ground peanut butter from the health food store when possible. If you haven’t tried that before, it is amazing! ALSO it is very helpful to keep your hands wet when forming the cookies so they don’t stick to your hands. And, the water on your hands will add a little moisture to the outside of the cookies to keep them together.

 

* Omit Wheat Germ to make Gluten free

Green Bean Tofu Stirfry with almonds - quick & easy

Chinese Green Beans, Tofu & Almonds

This delicious, quick and healthy Chinese Green Bean Almond & tofu stir fry recipe is loaded with healthiness! Cut up a bunch of fresh green beans, and crank up the wok! It starts with browning the tofu cubes, then adding the almonds and green beans with your favorite stir fry sauce. It’s bursting with flavor! Everyone will be coming back for seconds!

1 Package of FIRM tofu
4 cups of cut fresh green beans

1/2 cup raw almonds olive oil or canola oil corn starch
Stir Fry Sauce (your favorite recipe or pre-made from a bottle)

  1. BROWN TOFU: Cut tofu into 1 inch cubes. In a large mixing bowl, lightly coat with corn starch. Gently sprinkle and turn tofu till corn starch is sticking to parts of the tofu. Then, add to a hot wok with oil. Gently stir every minute or so until the tofu is browned. Remove tofu and put back into mixing bowl until after beans are cooked.
  2. GREEN BEANS: Saute cut green beans and raw almonds in wok with heated oil. Stir regularly. I sometimes add a bit of water to the wok and place lid on walk. This creates a great steam chamber which is a way to cook beans without as much oil. When beans are just tender, and almonds toasted, add your favorite stir fry sauce and gently stir in. Add tofu at the end and lightly mix in as to not break up the cubes. Serve and enjoy!

Note: It is so important to eat raw fruits and vegetables. But, sometimes it is just hard to grab an orange or apple or banana and just eat it straight. But, if you can cut it up in little bites and mix it with a few other fruits, somehow it becomes this fun exotic experience of fruit indulgence! Give it a try! Make it a regular in your snacking and cut up whatever you have on hand. You’ll feel refreshed and healthy! 

Healthy breakfast or snack recipe of whole grain toast with almond butter and strawberries

Strawberry Almond Toast

I know that this is a really simple recipe, so you may be thinking “Why post this?”  It is because when you are hungry and in a hurry (which is often in many of our lives), snack items will either make or break your health.  We will continue posting occasional healthy snack items.  So stay tuned!  This Strawberry Almond Toast is a fantastically quick and filling snack or breakfast item.  I got the idea from my friend, Cambry, who loves peanut butter.  She was telling me how delicious strawberries and peanut butter are on toast, and I though…hmmm…it’s probably good with almond butter too.  And it is!  (Peanut butter is great, too.  You choose!)   – Jessica

1 slice whole grain toast (try our English muffin bread or grain mix bread recipes)
1-2 Tbsp almond butter
1-2 strawberries, sliced

Compile and eat!  Try sprinkling on some sliced almonds for an added crunch.

quick & easy delicious fruit salad recipe

Easy Fruit Salad

This fast simple fruit salad recipe is the ultimate refreshing snack or side dish. When you are in a hurry and just want something healthy to snack on in front of the tv and want to feel refreshed and energetic, try cutting up simple fruits into bite size pieces of happiness. It is so quick to do, it is surprising we don’t do it more often. You can really use any fruits. These are the basic ones that people usually have on hand. Live uncooked fruits are so good for your health. Full of vitamin C and enzymes, you’ll want to make a habit of making this snack or side dish for your health.

Banana

Watermelon

Orange

Any Melons!

Pineapple

Pomegranate

Apple

Strawberries

Grapefruit

Blueberries

Cantaloupe

Any Berries!

1. CUT FRUIT: So easy. Just cut up the fruit and serve in bowls. Grab a fork and dig in!

2. DIP: You can serve this with a side of flavored yogurt or fruit dip as an option.

Note: It is so important to eat raw fruits and vegetables. But, sometimes it is just hard to grab an orange or apple or banana and just eat it straight. But, if you can cut it up in little bites and mix it with a few other fruits, somehow it becomes this fun exotic experience of fruit indulgence! Give it a try! Make it a regular in your snacking and cut up whatever you have on hand. You’ll feel refreshed and healthy! 

Garlic Red Potatoes Recipe with Herbs

Garlic Herbed Potatoes

This tasty red potatoes recipe cooks up quick and easy. Smothered in herbs and browned to a golden perfection. Serve them with a side of ranch or any dip, or just eat them straight out of the skillet. I boil the potatoes first till they are just tender. Then chill overnight. You can store the ready potatoes in the fridge till you are ready to cook them up in the skillet. They key is to saute lots of garlic in olive oil, then adding the potatoes into the toasted garlic. Then smothering the potatoes in herbs and sauted till golden brown. I cook these up and the pan of potatoes is usually devoured within minutes!

Small Red Potatoes (about 15) Olive Oil
2 tsp Minced Garlic
5 tsp Herbal Seasoning Blend

(I use Costcos Kirkland Brand No Salt Herbal Seasoning)

Sea Salt to taste

1. PRE BOIL POTATOES: Boil the red potatoes till JUST TENDER. Don’t over boil. Drain and allow to cool. Though not critical, I find cooling the potatoes in fridge overnight produces better potatoes.

2. SAUTE GARLIC: In a large skillet, heat a fair amount of olive oil. Add minced garlic. I use a commercial jar of pre-minced garlic for ease. Brown garlic till it is toasted to a golden color. This adds a full flavor to the garlic.

3. ADD POTATOES and HERBS: Add potatoes to the skillet. I then take my spatula and chop the potatoes in half in the skillet while they are browning. Smother the potatoes with the herbal seasoning. Don’t by shy. Do not over stir the potatoes. Allow to brown for a few minutes, then turn. Repeat till potatoes are browned. Add sea salt to taste and serve with a side of ranch.

 

Note: I use Costcos KIRKLAND BRAND ORGANIC NO-SALT SEASONING. It is incredible. But, you can use a variety of herbs. Try rosemary, sage, italian herbs. But always use garlic as the base. Experiment. The key is to add lots of herbs, and then to allow the potatoes to brown without over stirring

Vegan Raw Chocolate Pudding recipe with avocado, bananas & cocoa

Raw Chocolate Pudding

This delicious healthy Raw Chocolate Pudding recipe made with avocados, cocoa and bananas will amaze you! The recipe is not only quick and easy but vegan too. My co-worker Jodi brought this pudding to a party at my home and we LOVED it! Give it a try, I bet you won’t be disappointed.   – Curt

1 avocado

1 banana

1 T + 1 tsp honey or agave nectar (for vegan friendly)

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1/4 tsp fresh lemon juice

1/3 cup vanilla soy milk

3 strawberries or 3 T shredded coconut for topping (optional)

Blend avocado, banana, honey, cocoa powder, lemon juice and soy milk in food processor. Chill 1 hour. Serve topped with strawberries & bananas or shredded coconut. serves 3-4

Note: For a tropical taste, you can substitute soy milk with coconut milk.

healthy oriental gluten-free salad with rice noodles, tofu and spinach

Oriental Noodle Salad

This healthy Oriental Noodle Salad recipe is a FAMILY favorite – easy, gluten free and vegan! The dressing is really tasty, and forgiving. You can adjust according to taste and it is also good with a little fresh ginger or peanut butter (for a thai peanut flavor). * This recipe makes A LOT of salad! Great for a dinner party or lunch with your friends! This recipe was inspired by our great friend Ali Eisenach’s Oriental Salad in her “When Life Gives You Friends” cookbook, visit her at lemonpoppycake.com.

 

Dressing:

1/2 cup oil (you can use olive oil)

4 T. sesame oil

3/4 cup soy sauce

2/3 cup red wine vinegar

4-6 T. agave nectar (adjust to taste)

1/2 t. pepper

Combine dressing ingredients in a blender and pulse until combined.  Set aside while you cook tofu and noodles.

1 T. coconut oil

1 lb. extra firm tofu, cut into 1″ pieces

12 oz. rice noodles (or more)

Cook tofu in coconut oil In a large skillet until brown and crisped on the edges (season with a little salt). Remove from heat. Boil noodles until soft. drain and set aside. Pour half of the dressing directly onto the noodles and let marinate while you prepare the salad ingredients.

 

In a large bowl combine:

6-8 cups spinach

4 green onions, diced

1 large orange, peeled and cut into sections

2 red peppers, sliced (you can use orange or yellow peppers)

2 cups sugar snap peas

 

Add noodles, tofu and pour remaining dressing on top. Eat right away or chill before serving (I generally like to toss all the ingredients together right before serving…if you need to prepare noodles and tofu earlier in the day, just cover or place in large zip lock bags in the fridge until you are ready to serve). If you choose you could substitute the tofu for chicken. Enjoy!

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Easy & healthy Peanut Butter Banana Protein-Shake

Peanut Butter Banana Protein Shake

This Peanut Butter Banana Protein Shake is one healthy protein shake recipe I make almost every day. Or an occasional variation of this one. I recommend it highly as there is something about the protein and the ingredients in this protein shake that totally balances out your body. What’s more, it’s filling enough to be a meal replacement. The creamy frozen banana creates an almost milk shake consistency and supplies potassium and fiber. The ground flax meal is a super food filled with fiber and omega 3 oils. The little bit of peanut butter along with the protein powder adds a slow burning protein to rebuild tissues and provides a good brain fuel. The dates and almonds (along with being healthy and having fiber) add a beautiful extra taste creating the ultimate tasty mind boggling shake. I have introduced this to many people, and I hear back from my legions of devoted shake drinkers that they also drink it daily, as they feel so crazy fantastic afterwords!  – Curt

 

2 cups rice milk

1 cup ice

1 frozen banana

1 scoop (about 3 tbls) protein powder

   (soy, whey, rice – your choice)

1 tablespoon natural peanut butter

3 tablespoons ground flax meal

1 – 2 dates (pit removed)

small handful of raw almonds (about 15)

 

  1. FREEZE BANANA:  I keep a large zip lock bag in the freezer with peeled bananas ready to go. Freezing the bananas helps create a colder more ice cream texture to the shake. However, it isn’t mandatory they are frozen.
  2. COMBINE IN BLENDER: Add rice milk, frozen banana, protein, ice, flax, peanut butter and dates. Blend thoroughly till smooth.
  3. ADD ALMONDS: At the end of the blending cycle, add the raw almonds and blend for just a bit more. This allows the almonds to be a bit chunky and ads a little crunch to the thick shake.

 

Note: As in many of my recipes, I recommend being flexible with the amounts for the shake. The main thing is to get it as thick as you can as your blender can handle. I like the Vita Mix or Blend-Tec mixers. But there are other good ones as these are a bit pricey. The ice and the frozen banana give it the cold thick shake consistency. Vary ice accordingly. 

 

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Vegan sandwich with hummus avocado cucumber red pepper and lettuce: Easy Avocado Recipe

Yum Hummus Sandwich

This is a simple, mellow, easy, comfort-food type hummus avocado sandwich recipe.  Mashed avocado and hummus make this vegan sandwich filling and satisfying.  ~ Jessica

 

whole grain bread  (try our English muffin bread)

hummus (try our simple hummus)

1/2 avocado, mashed

cucumber slices

red pepper slices

lettuce

 

Spread hummus on one piece of bread and the mashed avocado on the other.  Compile the rest of the ingredients into a sandwich.  It’s that easy.

whole wheat vegan bread with texture and taste of english muffins

English Muffin Bread

I love English muffins, but they seem so time consuming to make – and I really have found that whole grain bread products are much better when they are homemade and fresh. So, when I came across a recipe of English muffin BREAD on One Good Thing by Jillee I was stoked!  What a great idea.  It’s just about the EASIEST way you could ever make a loaf of bread, and the finished product tastes like and has the spongy texture of English muffins (This is just more moist – so even better!).  Seeing this recipe made me want to modify it to make it whole grain.  I got right to it, and here is the result.  It makes GREAT toast and is super yummy with freezer jam!   – Jessica

Makes 2 loaves (double the recipe if you want 4 loaves.  You can freeze extras.)

2 3/4 cups warm water (90 – 100 F)
3 1/2 tsp instant yeast (also called rapid rise, quick rise, or bread machine yeast)
2 Tbsp wheat gluten
1 Tbsp salt
4 1/2 tsp sugar
5 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour

MIX:  Mix all ingredients together.  No need to knead, so you can do this either in a stand mixer with a dough hook or in a big bowl with a sturdy spoon.  Make sure you mix it up well, so that all the flour is well incorporated.  The dough may be lumpy and that is okay.  If for some reason the dough seems really dry and isn’t holding together, add a little more water.
PAN:  Spoon the dough into 2 well-greased loaf pans (mine are 4 1/2 x 8 inches).  Cover them with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with cooking spray on one side.  Put that side down, so that when the dough touches it, it won’t stick.  Let the dough rise until it doubles.  When it is doubled, it should reach the top of the pans.  This could take 45-60 min.  When it is almost done rising, preheat the oven to 350 F.
BAKE:  Bake at 350 F for 25 minutes.  Brush the tops of the bread lightly with butter (you can also just take the stick of butter and rub it on top of each loaf).  Put the loaves back in the oven and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes – just until golden brown.  If you prefer not to brush butter on top, you can skip that step.  Take the bread out of the pans ASAP and cool on a rack.  The warm bread is heavenly with honey or jam spread on it, but it is easier to slice when cooled.

 

Find us at Carrie on Vegan Link Parties!

Hummus recipe with chick peas, tahini, and seasonings

Simple Hummus

If you have never made your own hummus recipe, you have got to try it.  It is SO easy!  And it is fun making something so easy that turns out just as well (if not better) than as when you buy it.  Hummus contains lots of health stuff – protein, fiber, and healthy oils.  Use it as a dip for vegetables or pita triangles or spread it on a veggie sandwich.  Sure beats mayo!  – Jessica

1 cup dry garbanzo beans or chick peas (makes 2 1/2 cups cooked.  If you prefer to use canned, use almost 2 cans)

1/4 cup tahini sesame seed paste (optional)

1/3 cup lemon juice

1 tsp minced garlic

3/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup water

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper or to taste (start small)

1/4 tsp cumin (optional)

2-4 Tbsp olive oil

 

  1. COOK:  Cook the dry garbanzo beans in a small slow cooker with 4-5 cups of water.  Turn it on in the morning and several hours later, check back to see if they are soft.  There isn’t an exact time here.  Drain the water.  You should have about 2 1/2 cups beans, now.  If you would prefer to use 2 1/2 cups canned beans, that is fine, too.
  2. BLEND:  Place the cooked garbanzo beans along with all the rest of the ingredients besides the olive oil in a blender or food processor and blend.  If it is too thick, add more water little by little and stir it down to the bottom before blending again.  (I find that it is easier to use a food processor than a blender for this recipe because there is more room around the blade.  Once I blend it in the food processor, I transfer it into the serving bowl and then blend it again with an immersion blender to get it super smooth.)  Taste, and adjust salt and cayenne to how you like it.
  3. FINISHING TOUCHES: Spoon the hummus into a bowl and pour olive oil on top.  Garnish with another sprinkle of cayenne and a parsley sprig.

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Find us at Gluten free homemaker  Link Party

raw gazpacho with tomato cucumber red pepper v8 juice

Quick and Healthy Gazpacho

There are some recipes that are categorized as “super healthy”. This is one of them. I created this for times when I needed super nutrition. Freshness and the most live healthy ingredients for when I needed a boost. Most of this I gathered from other recipes. I just added a few things that gave it an extra zing. I also wanted this to be fast. Easy. For flavor an optional ingredient is spicy V8 for added body. I also add a super immune superhero, apple cider vinegar which also ads zest. This is mostly all fresh live foods, and will give you an instant pick me up. – Curt

 

7 tomatoes

2 Cucumbers

3 Stalks Celery

3 Red Peppers

2/3 cup parsley chopped fine

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

2 – 8 oz cans spicy V8 Juice

3 cloves garlic minced

1 Red Onion

Salt to taste

 

1. Chop all vegetables super fine and combine in a large bowl and mix well.

2. Add minced garlic, V8 and salt.

3. Blend roughly about a half of the mixture in a blender on low which creates a fine texture and body to the soup. Pour back into the bowl and stir in.

3. Stir Apple Cider Vinegar at the last. Allow to chill for a few hours.

 

NOTE: In the summer months, when you have lots of veggies and fresh tomatoes, this is one of the most flavorful fresh dishes in the world. When I want to go on a healing cleanse, I always make a fresh batch of gazpacho and keep it on hand. You an eat it for a few meals a day. You feel great and the live fresh ingredients bring healing and cleansing. There are many variations of gazpacho – the apple cider vinegar and parsley are superfoods that work well with this traditional recipe.

 

Find us at Carrie On Vegan Link Party!

sweet and savory salad recipe with nuts cranberries pears and apples

Woodhouse Salad

I have a friend, Ammie, who is THE salad queen.  She has given me several different salad recipes that are all unique and incredible.  What I love about this one is that it has a really nice blend of sweet and savory.  The nuts and lettuce provide the savory, and the fruit and dressing provide the sweet.  If you would like to make it an entree salad, you can add some cubed chicken to it. This makes LOTS of salad – perfect for a pot-luck or social, but you may want to half it if only a small family will be eating.  – Jessica

 

1-2 heads Romaine lettuce
1 cup cashews, toasted (I used almonds – any nut will do)
2 apples, cubed
2 pears, cubed
1 cup dried cranberries

Dressing:
3 Tbsp agave or honey (or 1/4 cup sugar)
3 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp finely chopped onion
1/2 tsp prepared mustard (I like Dijon)
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup oil (choose your favorite)
1 1/2 tsp poppy seeds

 

1.  SALAD:  Tear or slice the lettuce into bite-sized pieces.  Top with nuts, apples, pears, and cranberries.
2. DRESSING:  Combine all dressing ingredients in a small bowl or cruet with a lid.  Shake well.  (You could also blend it).  There will be more dressing than you need for this salad, so don’t pour it all on.  Right before serving, pour on just enough dressing to coat, and then toss the salad.  OR, if you expect to have left over salad, serve the dressing on the side so that the lettuce doesn’t wilt.

fingerling potato and asparagus skillet for healthy gluten free dinner

Rosemary Fingerling Potatoes & Asparagus

This is a quick recipe that is delicious. I cook this in a cast iron skillet to brown the potatoes and asaragus really well. I par boil the potatoes the day before so they don’t take long to cook up. The potatoes and asparagus are a great combination. They are seasoned by cooking them in olive oil, garlic, onion, mushrooms and rosemary. – Curt

 

COOKED IN SKILLET (preferrably cast iron)

About 12 Small Fingerling Potatoes

6 – 8 Stalks Asparagus cut into 3 inch pieces

12 Mushrooms sliced

3 cloves garlic, chopped 1 Red Onion sliced 3 Tbls fresh chopped Rosemary

or 2 tsp dried rosemary olive oil

Sea Salt

 

1. Pre cook the potatoes by boiling them lightly just till barely tender. You can cook them the day before for ease. 2. Add a little olive oil in skillet, and add chopped onion and garlic. Saute till browned. 3. Add potatoes and rosemary. Slowly cook in skillet till potatoes are browned, turning them when needed.

3. Add asparagus and mushrooms. Continue to cook and turn till asparagus is tender. Another tip is to add a bit of water to the skillet and cover with lid. This creates a steam chamber which creates an affect where the entire skillet cooks more evenly. Lightly season with sea salt. Serve and enjoy!

NOTE: Don’t worry about the exact amount of potatoes and asparagus. This can be altered to the proportions you like. This cooks up quite quickly if you have the potatoes lightly boiled before you brown in the skillet. Fingerling potatoes are very tasty and make a nice presentation

Healthy fruit smoothie for breakfast or a snack

Fruit Smoothie

Fruit smoothies are sweet, delicious, and very refreshing without any added sweeteners! They are excellent for breakfast or for a summer treat.  All one really needs to make a great fruit smoothie is fruit and a good blender.  All the rest is optional!  Experiment with combinations of fruits and juices. The most economical way to make good smoothies is to buy fresh berries and bananas when they are on sale and then freezing them yourself.  Any time you are ready for a smoothie, you can draw from your frozen fruit stash and make one within minutes!  Another reason to use frozen fruit is that it makes a nice, thick, smoothie without adding any ice, which dilutes the flavor of the fruit.  We personally like to include a frozen banana in most smoothies which gives a full body and texture.  Fresh squeezed lime juice adds a lot of dimension, as does coconut milk.  Which is your favorite combination?

-Curt and Jessica

 

FRUITS
Banana
Strawberries
Pineapple
Peaches
Apricots
Apple
Raspberries
Cherries
Blueberries

 

LIQUID
Apple Juice
Orange Juice
Pineapple Juice
Coconut Milk
Plain Yogurt
Cows Milk
Soy Milk

 

EXTRAS
Orange Juice (or other fruit juice) Concentrate
Lime juice
Lemon Juice
Chopped nuts (raw & unsalted)
Freshly ground Flax seed

 

EXPERIMENT & BLEND: Start by placing all of the fruit needed to make the smoothie into the blender.  Add about a cup of liquid and blend until the consistency is smooth.  You may need to add additional liquid if blending requires it or until the desired consistency is obtained. Obviously, more liquid will create a thinner smoothy, while less liquid will make a thicker smoothie.  A twist of lemon and/or lime will add a little zing.  Using yogurt or milk will add some protein to help keep you full longer.  If using a liquid other than juice, adding some orange juice concentrate will add more flavor without using too much liquid. Experiment and come up with combinations that work best for you!

 

healthy and refreshing green smoothie drink to renew energy

Green Drink

I learned this recipe from an old herbalist years ago who used to tell anyone who was sick to drink lots of these to renew their health. It is a real easy way to get deep green veggies into your diet without having to tediously chew them up. You will feel the healthiness immediately after drinking one of these! They are also good for helping our overly acid bodies become more alkaline, which is optimal for ideal health! – Curt

 

BASE JUICE
1 1/2 cup pinapple juice
1 1/2 cup water
1 cup ice

 

GREENS
KALE – about 3 leafs

OPTIONAL GREENS
Spinach
Parsley
Beet Greens
ANY DEEP LEAFY GREENS!

 

Just blend it all up!

 

NOTE:  Adjust pinapple juice, water and greens to your desired consistency. I like to dilute the pinapple juice as straight juice without halving it with water gets to sweet. But, you can adjust the proportions to what you like. The main thing is you are drinking a great dose of pure green energy!

 

Whole wheat toast with avocado easy healthy lunch snack

Whole Grain Toast with Avocado

Avocados are full of creamy deliciousness.  Why?  They are full of healthy monounsaturated fats.  It is for this reason that avocados make great spreads.  I like to use avocado in place of butter on my toast.  Perhaps not for breakfast, but as a snack or part of a lunch.  This recipe is super simple.  But many of the best recipes are!

~ Jessica

 

1 slice whole grain bread

1/2 avocado

salt or garlic salt, to taste (optional)

 

1.  Toast the bread.

2.  While the bread is toasting, put the avocado and a tiny amount of salt or garlic salt (if using) in a small bowl.  Mash it up with a fork to your desired consistency.  I like to leave it a little bit chunky.

3.  After the bread is toasted, spread the avocado on it.  Yum!

crock pot polenta with spinach and red peppers healthy dinner

Spanish Polenta and Butter Beans

Spanish Polenta and Butter Beans gluten free recipe. The ultimate spanish comfort food – you will not be disappointed with this mildly flavored, creamy textured dish.  Polenta can be time consuming to make with lots of stirring over the stove top.  This recipe calls for using a slow cooker instead.  This means no long bouts of stirring and no lumps!  For an even quicker and easier version, purchase 2 prepared tubes of polenta.

-Jessica

 

POLENTA
2 cups whole grain cornmeal
6 cups boiling vegetable or chicken broth
salt to taste (if using bullion
for broth, no salt needed)

 

BEAN-SPINACH MIXTURE
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 red pepper, diced
1 15-oz can butter beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups raw spinach, packed
¾ cup vegetable broth
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
½ cup shredded Monterey jack cheese (or vegan cheese)
salt and pepper to taste

 

PREPARE POLENTA: Spray the walls of a slow cooker crock with non-stick spray and sprinkle in the cornmeal.  Add the boiling broth and whisk until lump free.  Cook on high for 2-3 hours or on low for 7-9  hours until very thick.  Pour and spread into a large bread pan, casserole dish, or baking sheet, sprayed with a non-stick spray, and refrigerate until completely cooled and “set.” This may take a few hours.
SAUTE POLENTA: Dice polenta into ½ inch cubes.  Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat, place polenta cubes in a single layer, and stir occasionally for about 10 minutes or until starting to brown.  Transfer to a dish and set aside.  You may need to do this in 2 batches.
MAKE BUTTER BEAN SPINACH MIXTURE: In the same large saute pan, reduce heat to medium, add 1 Tbsp olive oil and garlic and stir for about 30 seconds.  Add onion and red pepper and cook for 3 minutes or just until tender.  Stir in beans, spinach and vegetable broth and cook until spinach is wilted – about 3 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Stir in vinegar and cheese.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
FINISH: Place a layer of polenta cubes on each plate and top with butter bean spinach mixture.

Raw vegetarian wrap sandwich recipe with avocado bean sprouts and carrots

Raw Veggie Wrap

These raw vegetable wraps with avocado are super easy to make on a hot summer day.  Light and refreshing they are also very nutritious.  Very handy when you don’t have much time or are on the run.

-Curt

2 large tortillas
4 leaves romaine lettuce
1/2 ripe avocado, sliced
2 green onions, sliced
mung bean sprouts
1/2 cup grated carrot
1/2 cup grated zucchini
1/2 cup grated raw sweet potato
6-8 leaves fresh basil
Juice of 1 lime
garlic salt to taste

 

PREPARE: Microwave tortillas for around 15 – 30 seconds, until soft.
FINISH: Remove tortillas from microwave and cover each tortilla with lettuce leaves.  Place equal portions of avocado, grated veggies, sprouts across each tortilla. Sprinkle with garlic salt, Lime Juice and top with basil.

easy dinner sweet potatoes with black beans and tomatoes

Loaded Sweet Potatoes

This super easy recipe is filling, fast, & packed with nutrients!  It can be made just as easily for a single person as for a large family (Just reduce or increase the amount of ingredients used). Microwave the sweet potatoes, and load on the toppings!

-Jessica

4 small sweet potatoes or yams
2 cans black beans
1 can diced tomatoes with Italian seasonings

Optional toppings:
Monterey Jack cheese, grated
Green onions, sliced

 

MICROWAVE or BAKE: Microwave or bake sweet potatoes until tender.  This should only take about 4 minutes per potato in the microwave or about 45 minutes in a 400 degree oven.  Be sure to pierce each potato with a fork before cooking.
SIMMER: Combine black beans and tomatoes in a small pot over low heat.  Simmer until hot, stirring occasionally.
FINISH: Slice the sweet potatoes in half and top with black bean mixture.  Sprinkle on additional toppings.

 

ready in 5 minutes.

Serves 4

Rainbow Couscous with zucchini summer squash mushrooms and carrots

Rainbow Couscous

Rainbow Couscous recipe is made from wheat and is delightfully light and fluffy.  It is used in middle-eastern countries much like rice is used elsewhere.  In this recipe, the couscous is topped with a variety of bright and flavorful sauteed vegetables.  You’ll feel like you’re somewhere over the rainbow eating this one!

-Jessica

4 cups prepared whole grain couscous, according to package directions
2 Tbsp olive oil
½ pound extra firm tofu or 1 chicken breast, chopped into bite-sized pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ medium red onion, thinly sliced
2 cups raw broccoli, chopped
½ medium zucchini, sliced (about 1 cup)
½ medium yellow crookneck squash, sliced (about 1 cup)
½ pound sliced mushrooms
1 red bell pepper, chopped into chunks (about 1 cup)
1 green bell pepper, chopped into chunks (about 1 cup)
1 cup carrots, thinly sliced
¼ cup cold water
1 tsp cornstarch
3 tsp vegetable or chicken bullion
salt and pepper to taste
½ cup cilantro, chopped

 

PREPARE: Prepare whole grain couscous according to package directions in order to make
4 cups.  While couscous is cooking, the rest of the meal can be made.
SAUTE: Place oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat.  Add tofu or chicken and saute until fully cooked.  If using tofu, cook for several minutes, until it has shrinked and is starting to look golden brown.  This will give it a more firm texture.  Add all vegetables and cook 3-5 minutes, or until tender-crisp, stirring frequently.  Add a small amount of water to the pan, if the vegetables are starting to stick or burn.  Stir ¼ cup water, cornstarch, and bullion together in a small bowl.  Stir the mixture into the vegetables and turn the heat down to low.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and add chopped cilantro.
FINISH: Serve immediately over prepared couscous.  Garnish with pieces of cilantro.

 

Note: When sauteing vegetables, don’t over cook them or they will turn limp and lose their color.  Shoot for bright, tender-crisp veggies!

Steel Cut Oatmeal recipe, easy and healthy

Oatmeal Porridge

Oats are truly a “superfood.”  A warm and comforting bowl of fresh cooked oats seem to be the perfect breakfast. A bowl of cooked oats is a clean, filling fuel for the body that lasts through the morning.  Oats have been shown to regulate cholestorol along with a variety of health benefits. Real rolled oats are not as refined as the regular quick cooking oats, which means you get more nutrients and fiber.  Look for rolled oats in your health food store or in the natural foods section of the grocers.   Top with a bit of milk and sweeten with pure maple syrup or honey.  Sit back and enjoy an age old classic.

-Curt

 

COMBINE:
2 cups spring water
1 cup whole rolled oats or steel cut (no instant)
a pinch of salt

OPTIONAL:
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3 teaspoons raisins

 

OTHER TOPPINGS:
Milk or Soy Milk
Pecans
Bananas
Berries
Honey or Pure Maple Syrup
Granola

 

COOK: If oatmeal comes in a package, follow the cooking instructions provided.  If purchased in bulk, cook oatmeal in twice the amount of water to oatmeal.  Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally.  When the oatmeal begins to thicken and bubble up, remove from heat serve with 2% milk, pure maple syrup and whole wheat toast.

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Three-Pepper-Fajitas recipe, easy

Three Pepper Fajitas

Three Pepper Fajita recipe is quick, filling, healthy, easy, and delicious!  Ole!

-Jessica

 

fajitas
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 red pepper, sliced into strips
1 yellow pepper, sliced into strips
1 green pepper, sliced into strips
1 red onion, sliced
Optional:  Zucchini, Mushrooms, Potatoes and broccoli.

8-10 whole wheat tortillas

 

seasonings
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
½ tsp salt

optional toppings:
shredded monterey jack or cheddar cheese
cilantro
guacamole
salsa
sour cream or plain yogurt

baked potato recipe with vegetarian toppings such as broccoli, vegetarian baked beans and steamed veggies

Baked Potato Buffet

What a great meal and easy recipe. A large baker potato, right out of the oven with a table full of toppings.  Man could not be in a happier state!  A great meal for large groups… or if you are eating alone, just pick out which topping you want and keep it simple.

-Curt

 

Large russet Idaho potatoes, baked in the oven or in the microwave

TOPPING IDEAS:

Barbecued Beans
Shredded cheese
Cottage Cheese
Vegetarian Chili
Steamed Broccoli
Steamed Veggies
Chives
Butter (go easy)
Lo-Fat Sour Cream (go easy)
Corn
Peas
Salsa
Cheese Sauce

Guacamole Perfection easy avocado recipe

Guacamole Perfection

Avocados made into this Guacamole recipe are just amazing. I believe a good easy guacamole recipe with some hearty tortilla chips can be a meal in itself. Or, the perfect compliment to a good healthy well made Mexican main course. We make ours with fresh avocado mashed just enough, but leaving nice chucks of raw avocado. The additional flavors of cilantro, tomato, green onion and lime juice achieve guacamole perfection!  Adjust the following ingredients to make your own excellence in guacamole creation!

-Curt

 

4 medium avocados
few tablespoons of fresh minced cilantro
1 tomato finely chopped
1 stalk of green onion finely minced
lime juice from one lime
garlic salt to taste

 

PREPARE: Cut avocados and spoon out into a mixing bowl.  Mash just enough, but leaving some nice chunks of avocado.
MIX: Chop remaining veggies and gently stir in along with lime juice and garlic salt. Mix in the amount of ingredients to your tastes. There is no right or wrong – just variations!

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Vegetarian panini sandwich recipe with onions and peppers

Grilled Vegetable Sandwich

This is a great sandwich recipe!  Built on sliced whole wheat french bread or a substantial crusty roll… grilled onions, peppers and mushrooms are stacked high, then topped with cold tomatoes, olives, cheese and lettuce.  For those who want to live a little… add a bit of ranch dressing and wow!   Definitely worth the effort!

-Curt

 

TO GRILL
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp dried basil
1 clove garlic
About a dozen mushrooms, sliced
1 red onion, sliced
1 green pepper, sliced

 

OTHER INGREDIENTS
Black olives, sliced
1 tomato sliced
lettuce
swiss or provolone cheese (optional)
ranch dressing (optional)
1 loaf whole wheat french bread or some w/w rolls
salt & pepper to taste

 

SAUTE: Slice onion, green pepper and mushrooms and saute in olive oil and basil & garlic until onion is just translucent.
FINISH: Slice french bread in sandwich sections .  Spread a little ranch dressing on the bottom slice (optional) and top with some sauteed vegies, then some olives, sliced tomatoes, salt & pepper to taste, sliced cheese and lettuce. Add top layer of bread and serve.

 

Note: The sauteed veggies can be a bit moist, so do not use regular bread with this sandwich or the vegies will make the bread rather soggie.  Whole grain french bread  or rolls are substantial enough to hold up just right.

Vegetarian Chili Recipe with beans, chilis, and olives

Lost Mission Vegetarian Chili

When I lived in New Mexico I fell in love with the many variations of vegetarian chili that I was able to sample. This recipe was inspired after driving the back roads from Albuquerque to Santa Fe and visiting an old, incredibly romantic looking mission. We had many a bowl of great chili during those great adventures, and whenever I make my chili, my memories go back to the the dusty back roads, lost missions and quaint cafes of New Mexico. This is a very fresh tasting chili, full of hearty beans, grains & vegetables. It can be served topped with a bit of grated cheddar cheese and a side of tortilla chips and salsa.

 

BASE

3 red onions, diced
6 cloves garlic, crushed
4 cups water (adjust as needed)
3 cans pinto beans
1 can red beans
1 large potato, diced
1 yam, diced

SEASONING
1 8 oz Cans Tomato Sauce
4 Tbl. chili powder
1 Tsp. cumin
1 Tsp. garlic powder
Salt & pepper to taste

EXTRAS
(jazz it up the way you want)
1 can black olives, chopped
2 cups frozen corn
1 red pepper, diced
1/2 green pepper, diced
2 – 4 oz cans Diced Green Chilis

 

1. In a large stock pot, saute diced onions and garlic in olive oil until browned.  Add water, beans, potatoes, & yam and slowly boil until potatoes are tender (about 15 minutes). If needed, add a little water.
2. Turn the temperature to medium heat and add the rest of the ingredients and seasonings. Add more water if needed… and Allow chili to slowly cook until all the veggies are just tender and the chili is rich and full of flavors. You may want to adjust seasonings to taste adding more chili powder, cumin, garlic or salt & pepper to your individual preferences.
Serve with a bit of grated sharp cheddar cheese and a side of cornbread and/or chips and salsa.

 

Note:  Chili Powders can very in flavor and intensity. It is recommended you season gradually. Add most the seasonings then add more if needed. Adjusting the seasonings a bit can vary the flavor. Add more or less of garlic, chili and cumin to give it your preference of flavor. The carmelized onions and garlic are a must to give a rich full flavor.

Caramelized pineapple recipe; serve with yogurt, ice cream, or berries

Caramelized Pineapple

Delicious with a bowl of ice cream, frozen yogurt, or even just by itself.  This recipe is an easy alternative to eating plain fresh pineapple which can also be a delicious dessert by itself!

-Jessica

 

1 whole fresh pineapple
brown sugar (optional)

 

SLICE: Peel and slice the pineapple into ½ inch thick rounds.  Then cut out the cores.

SPRINKLE: Arrange the pineapple slices on a baking sheet in a single layer and sprinkle lightly with brown sugar, if using.

BROIL: Place the tray under the broiler  – about 6 inches from the heat.  Cook until the brown sugar melts and carmelizes – anywhere from 2-5 minutes.  Watch carefully so it doesn’t burn.  If not using sugar, broil until warm.

FINISH: Serve hot with ice cream, frozen yogurt, berries, or by itself.

Vegetarian Breakfast Burrito recipe with tofu, potato, veggie sausage, and peppers

Breakfast Burrito

What an amazing breakfast concept. Making a portable concoction that tastes great and super nutritious! Instead of the traditional breakfast burrito full of eggs and meat, this healthier recipe is made with seasoned tofu stir fried with fresh veggies and packed with tasty stuff like veggie sausage, potato, peppers and cheese.  I stir fry up a batch of the “tofu fillings” and simply wrap it with fresh salsa in a whole grain tortilla.. The fillings can be stored in the fridge and can quickly be made into future burritos by easily wrapping up and microwaving.  Wrapped in aluminum foil they can keep warm while you haul them off to work or wherever your morning takes you!

-Curt

 

MAIN FILLING:
1 package tofu
1 Tbls tumeric
3 Tbls soy sauce
1/4 cup green onion
1/4 cup diced green pepper

1/4 cup diced red pepper
1 cup chopped bok choy
1 cup grated cheese (or vegan cheese)
(we suggest swiss or yarlsburg)
Salt & pepper to taste

OTHER OPTIONAL FILLINGS
Potato – cooked diced
Mushrooms
Veggie Sausage

Whole wheat tortillas
Fresh salsa

 

COOK: In a large hot skillet or wok, pour a bit of olive oil and add tofu. Mash tofu till it resembles scrambled egg texture. Add seasonings: tumeric, soy sauce and stir in. Add in cooked veggie sausage and chopped veggies. Stir fry till mixed in and the veggies are just tender. Add cheese and stir in till cheese is melted throughout. Turn off heat and prepare for assembly.
FINISH: Spoon filling into whole grain tortilla and top with salsa. Wrap up and enjoy!