Monday, December 30, 2013

Sriracha, Cilantro and Lime Roasted Chickpeas

**My daughter found this delicious recipe (on website) and we made it because she wanted a healthy snack! I love having kids that like to look up recipes and try new things!  We doubled this recipe and next time will triple it.  It is a good snack to take to a movie, on a trip, or just for a daily snack.  Enjoy!

Sriracha, Cilantro and Lime Roasted Chickpeas
1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas (garbanzo beans) (I use organic beans)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce* (We used extra because we like spicy!)
1 teaspoon lime juice (1 lime)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped (We love cilantro so we used half a bunch)
1 teaspoon grated lime zest (1 lime)
*Sriracha Sauce is a Thai pepper sauce available at most grocery stores. Look for the bottle with a rooster on it.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Rinse and drain chickpeas. With a paper towel, pat dry the chickpeas. Not to worry if some of the skins come off. In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil, Sriracha sauce, lime juice and sea salt. Add chickpeas to the sauce and toss to coat. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and pour the chickpeas evenly on the pan. Place in the oven and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, stirring halfway through, until crunchy. Add cilantro and lime zest to the roasted chickpeas and toss to coat. Allow to cool and serve. Best eaten warm … and with a beer. (We had to cook them for about 50 minutes.  Then we turned the broiler on and finished them in the broiler to make them crunchy…about an extra 5-10 min.  Do not store in a sealed container or they get soft.  Cook them until they are crunchy)

Monday, December 2, 2013

Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pumpkin Seeds

From: Whole Foods online recipe box

**I LOVE brussels sprouts but my family..not so much!  These were a hit with everyone except my teenage son.  I think he didn't even give them a chance.  They are delicious!

2 pounds brussels sprouts (The bag at Costco is 2 pounds)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/4 cup raw green pumpkin seeds (I buy these at Trader Joe's)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Wash and cut the brussels sprouts in half or quarters.  Put in a large bowl and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Place on a rimmed baking sheet.  Roast, stirring once, until sprouts are browned and just tender when pierced at the base with a paring knife, about 25 minutes.  After roasting, place back in bowl and drizzle with maple syrup.  Toss the pumpkin seeds in and stir until sprouts are lightly coated with syrup and seeds.  Serve immediately.

Serves 5-6

Quinoa breakfast bowl

From: Ohsheglows blog
Breakfast is always challenging for me because it's hard to get enough protein when you don't eat eggs.  I love this dish and make it one day and have leftovers for the following day or two!  It is very easy.

1 cup quinoa (rinsed)
1 can light coconut milk (14ounce) from Trader Joe's  (If you use another brand use regular coconut milk…some light milks aren't very good)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
dried cranberries
nuts (pecans or walnuts)
hemp seed/chia seed
**You can buy all these ingredients at Trader Joe's!

Rinse quinoa and place in sauce pan with can of light coconut milk, vanilla, and cinnamon.  Cook covered for 15 minutes or until the quinoa is cooked.  Stir.  Place desired amount in bowl and top with nuts, dried cranberries, hemp seed, and chia seed.  I add extra almond milk to taste.  Put left over quinoa in a sealed container in the refrigerator.  Reheat leftovers in microwave and top with ingredients.  Enjoy!

Cherry tomato marinara with Spinach

I made the name of this dish up because my friend gave me the basic recipe and I've just made it using my own measurements.  It's a little bit of this and a little bit of that…measurements are not exact but you can't mess it up!  It's a favorite with my kids as well and it is fabulous!!! Enjoy!

Ingredients:  (I don't measure so these are approximate measurements for my family of five…reduce the amounts for less people)

1/4 cup olive oil
Lots of fresh garlic minced (I used at least 10-12 large cloves…I love garlic!)
4-5 pints cherry tomatoes (I buy the large container of grape tomatoes at Costco because they are less expensive.  I use two of the large containers)
Lots of spinach (I buy the large container of organic spinach from Costco and use at least half of the container)
fresh basil
pasta noodle of choice (I used farfalle)
salt and pepper to taste (I did 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper)

Saute the fresh minced garlic in the olive oil for 3-5 minutes.  While the garlic is cooking, make the noodles according to the directions.  Then add the cherry tomatoes to the garlic mixture.  Keep the heat on medium  and cook the tomatoes until they get shriveled and wrinkly.  Then mash them up with a potato masher until it makes a chunky marinara sauce.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Then add spinach and simmer until the spinach is wilted.  Serve over noodle of choice and add fresh chopped basil on top.  Soooo delicious!!

Serves: 5

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Black Bean and Butternut Squash Burritos

By: Oh She Glows blog (

*Another winner dinner!  This was a hit....all 5 of us loved it!  I did all the prep ahead and threw it together in 15 minutes after my son's volleyball game.  An easy dinner on a night you don't feel like cooking.  Just a little prep time is all you need.  I will definitely make this again very soon! Enjoy!

Yield: 4 burritos or 3.5 cups of filling
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, cubed, & roasted (save yourself time and buy it at Costco.  It is in the refrigerated section.  It is cubed and organic!)
1/2 cup uncooked short grain brown rice (yields: 1.5 cups cooked)(Another time saver...I buy my rice from Trader Joes.  I buy the organic pre cooked brown rice that is frozen.  Just heat up 1 bag for 3 min and you are done!)
1-2 tsp olive oil
1 cup chopped sweet onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 red pepper, chopped
1 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
2 tsp ground cumin, or to taste
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
One 15-oz can black beans (about 1.5-2 cups cooked), drained and rinsed
3/4 cup Daiya cheese(I didn't use this.  I don't like anything fake and this cheese tastes yucky to me)
4 tortilla wraps (large or x-large)
Toppings of choice: (avocado, salsa, vegan sour cream, spinach/lettuce, cilantro, etc)

1. Preheat oven to 425F and line a large glass dish with tinfoil. Drizzle olive oil on squash and give a shake of salt and pepper. Coat with hands. Roast chopped butternut squash for 45 mins. or until tender.
2. Cook brown rice
3. In a large skillet over medium-low heat, add oil, onion, and minced garlic. Sautee for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Now add in salt and seasonings and stir well.
4.  Add chopped red pepper, black beans, and cooked rice and sauté for another 10 mins. on low.
5. When b’nut squash is tender remove from oven and cool slightly. Add 1.5 cups of the cooked butternut squash to the skillet and stir well. You can mash the squash with a fork if some pieces are too large. Add Daiya cheese and heat another couple minutes.
6. Add bean filling to tortilla along with desired toppings. Wrap and serve. Leftover filling can be reheated the next day for lunch in a wrap or as a salad topper.

*I put avocado slices and additional slices of onion in mine.  I also topped with Salsa.  There were no leftovers since my family devoured it!  Next time I will double so I have left overs :)

Butternut Squash Mac 'n Cheeze

By: Angela (Oh She Glows) blog (

*First off, this is DELICIOUS!  I never eat "fake" cheese...I don't like it and I don't like how it's processed.  This is a delicious side dish that even my 3 kids ate.  My husband loved it and I will make again very soon.  It is a little time consuming so prepping ahead sure helps.  I did this in a casserole dish and added the bread crumbs...yum!!  Enjoy!

Butternut Squash Mac ‘n Cheeze: Two Ways

Butternut Squash idea from Lou. Cheese sauce adapted from my Mac ‘n Cheeze II.
  • 1/2 butternut squash, peeled and chopped (yields: 3.5 cups raw) (I buy it from Costco.  It's organic and sold in cubes..easy!)
  • 3/4 cup raw cashews (Unsalted.  I buy these at Trader deal)
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk, or more to thin out (I used unsweetened rice milk)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
  • 6-7 tbsp Nutritional yeast (provides the cheesy consistency)(I bought this at Sprouts in the bulk food section)
  • 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp or a bit more of dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp Tumeric powder, optional (gives the orangey colour)(I used this)
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp Paprika + more to season
  • Your pasta of choice (I used ~450 grams/4.5 cups dry penne for the casserole) + mix-ins
1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet.  In a bowl, season chopped squash with some oil (~1 tsp) and kosher salt (couple pinches) and stir. Add to baking sheet and roast in oven for 40 minutes, flipping once half way through baking.
2. If making the baked casserole: Process 1 slice of bread + 1 tbsp Earth balance until crumbs form in a food processor. Set aside. If you plan on enjoying it straight from the pot you can skip this step.
3. Assemble your cheeze sauce ingredients (cashews, non-dairy milk, garlic, lemon, salt, nutritional yeast, pepper, mustard, seasonings) and add just the cashews to food processor. Process until a fine crumb forms similar to corn meal. Now add in the rest of the cheese sauce ingredients and process until smooth. Leave the sauce in the processor as you will be adding the squash.
4. Cook your pasta according to package directions. When squash is finished roasting, add it to the food processor and blend it with the cheese sauce until smooth. Adjust to taste. The sauce will thicken up with time. If at any point the sauce becomes too thick, you can add a bit of milk to thin it out.
5. Drain and rinse pasta with cold water. Now add the pasta back into the same pot and add your desired amount of cheeze sauce on top. Stir well. Add in any desired mix-ins like peas or broccoli. You can either heat this up in the pot, or pour it into a casserole dish (I used a 4 cup dish), sprinkle on breadcrumbs + paprika, and bake it at 350 for about 20-25 minutes. 
The sauce will thicken up with time. If at any point the sauce becomes too thick, you can add a bit of milk to thin it out.
5. Drain and rinse pasta with cold water. Now add the pasta back into the same pot and add your desired amount of cheeze sauce on top. Stir well. Add in any desired mix-ins like peas or broccoli. You can either heat this up in the pot, or pour it into a casserole dish (I used a 4 cup dish), sprinkle on breadcrumbs + paprika, and bake it at 350 for about 20-25 minutes. The casserole will serve about 4 people if you use 450 grams dry macaroni or penne. Store any leftover sauce in the fridge and use within a few days.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Thai Tofu Quinoa Bowl

I found this recipe on Pinterest. This is a fabulous dish!!  Everyone loved it...even my teenage son!  The flavors are incredible and I like the "kick" that the Srircha adds.  This is a great one pot meal for those hot summer nights!  It fed our family of 5 and I have a little left over for lunch tomorrow.  Enjoy!

For the quinoa:
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth (I use vegetable broth)
  • 1 package extra firm tofu ( 15 oz), diced
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 2/3 cup chopped scallions
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds (optional)
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
For the Sauce:
  • 3 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon Srircha
  • 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoon creamy peanut butter
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 lime, juice
  • 1  teaspoon grated ginger
30 Minutes Before Cooking: Drain and rinse the block of tofu. Wrap it in a clean dish towel (or paper towels), and place it on a rimmed dinner plate. Place another plate on top and weight it down with something heavy, like a can of tomatoes or a heavy skillet, to press out some of the excess liquid. Let sit 15 – 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350°. Toss the tofu, soy sauce, and sesame oil in bowl. Place the tofu in a single layer on a lined baking sheet. Bake for 35-40 minutes tossing every ten minutes to crisp the tofu on all sides.
Toast the quinoa: Place a medium sized saucepan on medium low heat. Add in the dry quinoa and toast for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and nutty in scent.Pour toasted quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and rinse thoroughly. Return to pot and  add in the broth, lower heat slightly, cover, and cook for 12-15 minutes until all liquid is absorbed. Fluff quinoa with a fork once cooked, and set aside.
Make the sauce: Place the peanut butter in the bowl first and throw in the microwave for 10 seconds to melt slightly. Add in remaining ingredients and whisk well to combine. Set aside.
Toast the almonds: Place the almonds, sesame seeds, and vegetable oil in a small saucepan. Cook or medium low heat, stirring occasionally, until the almonds are a deep golden brown.
Toss together the quinoa, vegetables and herbs, tofu, and 3/4 of the nut mixture. Pour over the sauce and toss well to combine. Spoon into bowls, top with remaining nuts, extra lime and Sriracha if desired. Can be stored in fridge up to one week.

Racing Plant Strong

Don't let anyone tell you that you can't race without eating meat.  I hear all the time "you need more protein to compete like you do".  That is a myth.  I get plenty of protein from plants, nuts, beans, tofu, etc.  I just competed in a marathon this past Sunday and qualified for the 2014 Boston Marathon!  I was 8 minutes faster than I was 4 years ago, and back then I was eating meat!  I feel stronger today, and healthier, now that I've cut animal protein out of my diet.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Chinese Salad


*I wanted a salad to go with my spring rolls so I turned to the internet.  I found this Chinese Chicken Salad recipe and made it without the chicken.  It is a healthy makeover recipe so it is different than the typical Chinese salad recipes out there.  It was awesome!  The whole family loved it.  I will absolutely make this again.  It does require some prep time so I prepped my veggies in the afternoon and tossed it together at dinner.  It made great leftovers the next day.  Only dress the amount you will eat, that way the salad doesn't get soggy the next day.  Enjoy!


3 cups purple cabbage, shaved or thinly sliced
3 cups napa cabbage, shaved or thinly sliced (They sell this in a bag already shaved at Trader Joes)
2 cups bok choy, thinly sliced
1 cup sweet peas, roughly chopped
1 large cucumber, peeled and cubed
3 mandarin oranges (you can use canned if you need to...just rinse thoroughly before chopping)
1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
1/2 cup green onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup raw/unhulled sesame seeds, toasted
1/4 cup almonds, chopped and toasted

1 small carrot
1/2 cucumber, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup cilantro (stems included)
2 tbsp fresh ginger
1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tsp honey
juice of 1 lemon
Pinch of sea salt
Freshly ground pepper

*Prepare the leafy purple  cabbage, napa cabbage, and bok choy by slicing thinly with a sharp knife.  Then, shop/cube/slice the sweet peas, cucumber, mandarins, cilantro, and green onions.
*Toast sesame seeds by placing them in a small frying pan over medium heat.  After a few short minutes, you will notice a toasty smell and hear light pops-place them in a dish to cool.
*Roughly chop the almonds and place them in a toaster oven or regular oven at 400 degrees until toasted.  Set aside to cool.
*Prepare the dressing by throwing everything into a blender or food processor.  (I used my Vitamix).  Taste and add more salt, lemon, or honey to your liking.
*When you are ready to serve, use a pair of tongs and large bowl to toss salad ingredients with dressing.  If you know that you will use some for leftovers, keep the ingredients separate and toss before serving.

Avocado Spring Rolls

From: Nature Box delivered

If there is one thing you need to try, it's these spring rolls!  I altered the recipe by cutting out the chicken since I don't eat meat.  They were fabulous!  My children loved them as well with the peanut dipping sauce.  They made great left overs the next day for lunch and traveled well to school for a healthy lunch for my girls!  I love how my girl's friends are always intrigued by the healthy lunches they bring.  This recipe takes some prep work but it is so worth it!  Makes a great appetizer as well.  On a hot Arizona day, this was the perfect meal!  I served my Chinese "chicken less" salad along with the spring rolls for a hearty dinner.  Enjoy!

12 rice paper wrappers (found them at Sprouts in the Asian food aisle)
1 cup arugula (Trader Joes has organic washed/bagged arugula)
1 cucumber, julienned
1 carrot, peeled and julienned
1/2 red onion thinly sliced
1 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled, and thinly sliced (I used 2 avocados since I love them!)

For the spicy peanut sauce:
1/4 cup peanut butter (I used organic creamy)
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp hoisin
1-2 tsp Sriracha (I used twice this...I like spice)

*Working one at a time, wet rice paper for 10 seconds and transfer to a work surface.  Pace arugula in the enter of each wrapper and top with cucumber, carrot, red onion and avocado.  Bring the bottom edge of the wrap tightly over the filling, rolling from bottom to top until the top of the sheet is reached, being careful not to tear the rice paper.  Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling.

*To make the dipping sauce, whisk together peanut butter, water, hoisin and Sriracha in a small bowl.  (I wanted a thinner consistency so I added slightly more water)

*When storing, do not have them touch because the rice paper is sticky.  You don't want them sticking together.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Speedy Sweet Potato Chili

Speedy Sweet Potato Chili (found this on a blog)
vegan, serves 4
**This dish is delicious!  My family loved it.  I added chick peas to the kidney beans and lentils.  I also added celery, carrots, corn and topped it with avocado.  It was a one pot meal I will make again!  It says it serves 4 but mine served 6 easily with the added ingredients.  

1-2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium sweet potato, peeled/diced into large cubes
1 12oz. can cooked red kidney beans, drained/rinsed
1 12oz. can cooked lentils, drained/rinsed
1 6oz. can tomato paste, organic
2 Tbsp dark chocolate chips
2 Tbsp chili powder (use less if you like your chili mild)
3 cups vegetable broth
1 small onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
salt + pepper to taste
1 bay leaf (optional)
optional: Add 3/4 cup corn if desired (fresh corn in summer adds a seasonal tone)

garnish ideas: vegan sour cream or Vegenaise + sprig of cilantro or parsley + crushed peanuts

1 avocado, thinly sliced or diced (1/4 of an avocado to each serving dish)
(optional: toss avocado in fresh lime juice)

* Add more or less veggie broth according to your thickness tastes
* For a cheezy accent, add in a scoop of nutritional yeast or to serve
* For ultra cocoa-y chili - add more chocolate chips or a tbsp of cacao powder
* If you do not have lentils or kidney beans, you could sub with other varieties of beans like chickpeas or navy beans
* Adding grains is another way to pump up your vegan chili. Try kamut, quinoa, barley or basic brown rice
* This chili re-heats like a dream and delicious as leftovers
* Add more veggies like chopped celery, diced carrot, chopped kale or whole tomatoes
* Add a diced vegan sausage, crumbled tempeh, TVP or other high-protein ingredients if you want a "meatier" (vegan chili)


1. Prep your ingredients: peel and dice your sweet potato. Dice your onion and pepper. Rinse your lentils and beans.
2. In a large pot, over high heat, add the olive oil. When hot, add in onion and peppers. Saute for a few minutes until onions become translucent.
3. Add in the sweet potato, bay leaf and veggie broth. Cover with lid and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until broth is absorbed and sweet potatoes are tender.
4. Once sweet potatoes are cooked, add in the lentils, beans, chili powder, chocolate chips, tomato paste and optional corn. Simmer over medium until the flavors all melt together and the chili thickens. Reduce to lowest heat setting and allow to simmer until ready to serve. If your chili is quite thick, cover with lid to keep in moisture. If it still seems a bit thin and watery, simmer uncovered to thicken.
5. Taste test and add salt and pepper to taste. 
6. Serve warm with avocado and other optional garnish like cilantro

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Chickpea Quinoa Cakes

*I made this for dinner and thought I'd love it since it's made with quinoa and chick peas...two of my favorites!  It was REALLY good!  Even my teenage son liked it.  The avocado dip is a must with it.  The only problem I ran into was the cooking time was WAY off!  I ended up turning the oven up to 400 degrees and they browned much quicker.  The picture on the left is before I cooked them..the right is after.  Enjoy!

Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes


For the cakes:
1 10.5 ounce can chickpea, drained and liquid reserved
4 stalks green onion, chopped
1 garlic clove
1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
3 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp whole wheat flour
2 tbsp chickpea liquid (plus additional, as needed) I used extra
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

For the Lemon avocado dip:
1 avocado, halved, seeded and mashed
juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
1 heavy pinch fresh ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 (I did 400 because they never browned at 350).  In a food processor, pulse together the chickpeas, green onion and garlic until coarsely pureed, about 2 minutes

Transfer chickpea mixture to a medium mixing bowl and stir in quinoa, tahini, whole wheat flour and chickpea liquid until well combined.  The resulting mixture should be moist but not too wet.  You may need to add another tbsp of chickpea liquid.  Stir in paprika, salt, and pepper.

Add the panko bread crumbs to a small plate.  Form the chickpea quinoa mixture into equal size balls (I used a large melon scoop).  Roll each ball in the bread crumbs and transfer to a parchment or silicon mat lined baking sheet.  Flatten slightly to form 3/4 inch thick discs.  I used the bottom of a glass to flatten cakes.  Bake in the oven until light golden brown, about 18-20 min.  This depends on the oven.  Keep an eye on them if you decide to bake at a higher temperature.

While the cakes are cooking, make the avocado dip.  In a small bowl, mix the mashed avocado, lemon juice and zest, salt and pepper.

Serve the cakes warm or at room temperature with a side of dip.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Polenta with Black Beans and Mango Salsa

From:  The Starch Solution
By: John McDougall, MD

I'll admit...I was a little afraid of polenta.  I had never made it before and was worried that my family wouldn't like it.  Well, no need to worry....this meal is fabulous!!  I will be making this again very soon.  My kids liked it as well.  Polenta reminds me of corn bread.  In my picture, the polenta cakes are underneath the bean and mango salsa mixture.  I bought my polenta at Trader Joe's.  It was inexpensive and organic (which I always prefer).  I made my mango salsa, but if time is of an issue, Trader joe's sells a great mango salsa.  I will also double the amount of polenta I make next time.  We are a family of five with 3 teenagers.  The recipe made enough of the bean/mango mixture.  Enjoy!

1 package (24 ounces) cooked polenta, cut into 1/2 thick slices (It is sold in a tube)
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 orange or yellow pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 ounces) crushed tomatoes
1 can (4 ounces) green chiles
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
Dash or two of Tabasco (I used many dashes!)
Fresh ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 cups mango salsa (recipe below) or store bought mango salsa

Preheat oven to 375.  Place the polenta slices on a nonstick baking sheet and bake 15 minutes. My polenta stuck so I would recommend spraying the baking sheet first.  Also, I flipped my polenta over after 15 minutes and baked another 5 minutes.

While the polenta bakes, put the broth, onion, bell peppers, and garlic in a large saucepan.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften, about 5 minutes.  Add the black beans, tomatoes, chiles, chili powder, cumin, hot sauce, and black pepper to taste.  Cook 10 minutes.  Taste and add more hot sauce if you wish.  Stir in the cilantro and remove the saucepan from the heat.

To serve...arrange a few slices of polenta and top with bean mixture.  Top with the mango salsa.

Mango Salsa:
2 cups peeled and chopped ripe mango (I buy the frozen mango chunks at Trader Joe's and let them thaw....much easier!)
1/2 cup chopped onion, fine chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1 fresh jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
fresh ground black pepper

Put above ingredients in a bowl.  Add 1 tbsp of warm tap water and stir to combine.  Add more salt/pepper to taste.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to a week.

Not-Tuna Spread

From:  The Starch Solution
By: John McDougall, MD

Ok...I'm so bummed that I forgot to take a picture of this!!  It is DELICIOUS!  Don't let the name scare you.  I will post a picture when I make it again in several days.  This is so good that my teen daughter requested I make it again.  I tripled the batch and ate it for lunch all week.  I topped it with avocado slices to add extra protein and it was great.  It tastes delicious inside a whole wheat pita.  Also, I added more than the 1/4 cup of tofu mayo.  Just put enough in for your liking.  Enjoy!


1/4 cup Tofu mayonnaise
     *1 package (12.3 ounces) silken tofu, drained in a fine mesh strainer
     * 1 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
     *1 tsp granulated sugar
     *1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp mustard powder, 1/8 tsp white pepper
     *Combine all of the above in a food processor and process until mixture is completely smooth.
       Transfer to an airtight container, cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to a week

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 cup finely chopped scallions
1 tbsp lemon juice

Place chickpeas in a food processor and process until COARSELY chopped, or mash with a bean masher.  You do NOT want this smooth so go easy on processing.  Place in a bowl, add the remaining ingredients, and mix well.  Chill for at least 1 hour or up to 4 days.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Farm Salad

From: Zinburger Restaurant

*Our family ate out the other night at Zinburger.  We ordered this salad and loved it.  My daughter found the recipe online.  It takes work chopping up the ingredients, but it is worth it!

Spring mix (finely chopped, portioned 1ounce each) 1 each (I bought the spring mix in a bag at Trader joe's and used half of the bag)
Cooked Red quinoa 1/3 cup
Garbanzo beans (rinsed and drained) 1/3 cup (I added double this amount)
red radish (diced small) 1/4 cup
carrots (peeled and diced small) 1/4 cup
cucumber (peeled, seeded, and diced small) 1/4 cup
tomatoes (seeded, diced small) 1/4 cup
green cabbage (diced small) 2-3 ounces (I bought the grated cabbage in a bag at Trader Joe's.  I just used half the bag)
Avocado (diced small) 1/2 avocado (I used the whole thing)
chives (minced) 1 tsp (Since I had to buy a container of fresh chives, I used about triple this amount)
champagne vinaigrette 2 ounces
kosher salt 2 pinch
ground black pepper 2 pinch


Champagne Vinegar 32 oz
Granulated Sugar 11 oz
Blended Oil 64 oz
Honey 7 oz
Dijon 7 oz
Kosher Salt 2.5 oz
Fresh Ground Pepper .5 tsp
Blend ingredients together.
Toss all the ingredients together for the salad and then toss with the dressing.  If you aren't eating all the salad that night, only toss what you are eating.  The salad stays good for the next day if you leave off the dressing

Quinoa Wilted Spinach Salad

By: Taste of Home

*This is a great salad!  I served it as a side dish and everyone loved it.  My daughter is taking the left overs to school tomorrow so that is always a good sign that it is a hit!  I did make some changes....I do that a lot! :)

-2 cups water
-1 cup quinoa
-1 package (6ounces) fresh baby spinach, torn (I used about 18 ounces since I love spinach.  I chopped
  it into small pieces)
-1/2 cup dried cranberries

Dressing Ingredients:
-3 tbsp olive oil
-2 tbsp orange juice
-1 tbsp maple syrup
-1 tbsp red wine vinegar
-1 garlic clove minced
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/8 tsp pepper
-1 green onion finely chopped (we love green onions so I used the entire bunch)
-1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted (I used 1 cup and I bought unsalted dry toasted pecan pieces at Trader
  Joe's so that saved me time)


-In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil.  Add quinoa.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 12-15 min until water is absorbed.  Remove from the heat; fluff with a fork.

-In a large bowl, combine the warm quinoa, spinach and cranberries.  Stir until the spinach wilts.  For dressing, in a small bowl, whisk the oil, orange juice, vinegar, maple syrup, garlic, salt and pepper.  Stir in onion.  Pour over quinoa mixture; toss to coat.  Sprinkle with pecans.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Israeli Couscous with pine nuts and parsley

**This is a DELICIOUS side dish!  I thought it sounded weird since it had a cinnamon stick in it, but it was great!  The whole family loved it.  It made enough to serve a hungry family of 5!  I used the pearl couscous (you can buy it for less at Trader Joe's).

3 Tbsp butter, divided (I didn't use butter since I don't eat butter...I substituted olive oil instead)
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup shallots, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups Israeli couscous
1/2 large cinnamon stick
1 fresh or dried bay leaf (I used dry)
1 3/4 cups chicken broth (I used vegetable broth since I don't eat meat)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup parsley, minced
zest of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup raisins, optional (I used golden raisins from Trader Joe's.  I loved the raisins in it!)
black pepper, to taste

Melt 1 tbsp butter in a large saucepan (I used no butter/oil. I dry toasted them) over medium-low heat.  Add pine nuts and stir until golden brown.  Transfer to a small bowl.

Melt remaining 2 tbsp butter (I used 1 tsp olive oil) in the same pan over medium heat.  Add shallots and sauté until golden.  Add couscous, cinnamon and bay leaf, and stir often until couscous browns slightly.  Add broth and salt and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until liquid
is absorbed and couscous is tender.  Remove from heat and stir in parsley, pine nuts and lemon zest.  Add the raisins and season with black pepper.

Grilled Veggie Shish Kabobs


This is an easy and delicious marinade for veggies!  My whole family loved it!

1/4 cup light soy sauce
3/4 cup olive oil (I used less since I try to avoid oils)
1/8 cup worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp dry mustard
2 tsp salt
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp oregano
1 1/2 tsp ground pepper
2 cloves crushed garlic
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 tbsp honey
1/4 cup pineapple juice

12 cherry tomatoes
12 slices Japanese eggplants
12 mushrooms
12 small onions
2 yellow peppers, cut in 1" squares
12 slices yellow squash
12 slices zucchini
12 fresh pineapple chunks

1. Marinade:  Blend all ingredients together in blender for 1/2 minute
2. Pour marinade in ziploc bag with all ingredients and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (or overnight)
3. Arrange veggies on skewers, grill on medium high heat turning a brushing with marinade until done

**This made at 5 skewers but only 1 was left by the time I took the picture!  

Monday, February 25, 2013

Lentil & Sweet Potato Stew

From: Clean Eating Magazine  By; Emily Christopher

**This was a hit with the WHOLE family!  I love when I make a dish everyone likes.  I did add two ingredients to it that weren't on the recipe (those are in blue at the bottom of the recipe).  This feeds at least 8.  It will make for good left overs!

-2 tsp olive oil
-1 yellow onion, diced
-1 celery stalk, diced
-1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-pinch of sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
-2 cups dry green lentils, picked over
-1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
-1 bay leaf
-4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
-2 plum tomatos, seeded and diced
-1/4 cup chopped fresh italian parsley

Ingredients I added:
-fresh organic spinach
-acini de pepe pasta (cooked according to package)

In a large pot, heat oil on medium.  Add onion, celery, carrot and garlic and sauté, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3-4 minutes.  Add salt, pepper, lentils, potato, bay leaf, broth and 2 cups of water; stir to combine.  I added an extra cup of vegetable broth to thin it down a bit.  Bring to a simmer and cook until lentils and potatoes are tender, 15-20 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in tomatoes and parsley.  Remove bay leaf.  When I served this I placed a handful of fresh spinach in the bottom of a bowl.  Then I added a 1/2 cup of pasta.  Then, I put the stew ingredients on top.  I stirred it all together and added a bit more salt to taste.  The spinach and pasta really added a lot to the recipe.  

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Garlic Roasted Chickpeas

From:  Clean Eating Magazine Jan/Feb 2013

*As a mom of 3 teenage kids, I'm always looking for healthy snacks.  All 3 of my kids loved this!  I was so excited...I will make this easy recipe again.  The original recipe calls for 1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese, but I deleted it since I don't eat dairy and am trying to limit my kids dairy intake.  

2- 15 1/2 oz cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans).  I buy organic.  Drain and rinse well.
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp minced garlic (I did 2 because we love garlic)
1/2 tsp sea salt (I will use 3/4 tsp next time...I think they needed a touch more salt)
Fresh ground pepper to taste

-Spread chickpeas on several layers of paper towel and let dry for 30 min

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a medium bowl, combine oil, garlic, salt and pepper.  Add chickpeas    and toss to coat.  (If you are using cheese, add the cheese into the bowl as well)

-Spread on a baking sheet and bake for 45-50 minutes until golden and crispy.

*This is a great snack for a road trip, seeing a movie, after a workout, or any other time when you need a healthy snack!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Breaded eggplant

This was my first attempt at eggplant.  I loved it and so did my husband and kids!  I will definitely make it again.  I followed the directions but ended up turning the oven up higher and cooking longer to get it nice and crispy.  It tasted liked it has been cooked it oil but it was much healthier being baked. j

2 large eggplants
1 10 ounce bag organic bread crumbs (I couldn't find these so I used italian bread crumbs)
2 cups Bob's Red mill Organic whole Wheat Pastry Flour
2 tbsp dijon mustard
2 cups organic soy milk (I used plain almond milk since I didn't have soy milk)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees (I cooked mine on 475 because I couldn't get it crispy at 400).  Put parchment paper over a pizza stone or cookie sheet (they recommend a pizza stone).  You can peel the eggplant before you cut it if you prefer.  (I washed mine with vegetable wash and left the skin on-it tasted great).  Cut it into 1/2 inch rounds.

Get 3 wide shallow bowls.  In one bowl whisk the milk and dijon mustard.  In the second bowl, put the flour and in the 3rd bowl, put the bread crumbs.

First, flour the eggplant.  Then, dip it in the milk mixture coating both sides.  Lastly, put in the bread crumbs and coat both sides.  Place on the parchment paper and spray generously with olive oil.  Turn each slice over and spray other side.

It says to bake for 15 to 20 minutes.  I baked 10 minutes then flipped each piece over and baked another 8-10 min depending on when they got lightly brown.  You want them crispy..not mushy.

**I cooked whole grain pasta and put 2-3 slices of eggplant on top of the noodles and topped with my homemade marinara sauce (recipe on blog)

**This recipe made a ton!  Next time I will only make half this amount because I didn't like the leftovers.  They did not reheat well.  


This is my mom's homemade marinara recipe.  I usually double the batch when I make it so I have lots of leftovers to freeze.

4 (14oz) cans diced tomatoes
5 cans tomato paste (small cans)
1 large white onion
4 tsp italian seasoning
2-4 tbsp dried basil (If i have fresh basil in my garden then I use that instead)
2-4 tbsp parsley (I normally use fresh italian parsley but dried works as well)
1-2 tsp oregano (I use 2)
package of sliced mushrooms
1-2 tsp kosher salt (I use 2)
1 tsp pepper
4 large garlic cloves minced

Heat onion and garlic in large pot with a tbsp of water to keep the onion from sticking to the pot.  When the onion is softened (2-3 min)  add all the above ingredients.  In addition, mix approximately 1-1 1/2cups water in to reach desired thickness of sauce.  Simmer for 3 hours or more with lid off or it becomes too watery.  Stir periodically.  Taste sauce and season accordingly.

**If you have a crockpot, put all ingredients in a crock pot on low for 8 hours.  The sauce comes out perfect!  No need to sauté the onion and garlic beforehand.  Just throw it all in and turn it on.

Use it on top of your favorite noodle.  I used it on top of my baked eggplant...everyone loved it!