Category Archives: Entree

Asian Buckwheat Soba Noodle & Chicken Bowl

Now who doesn’t love a gorgeous bowl of noodles doused in asian flavors with a bit of crunchy peanuts and grilled chicken?  Throw in some fresh, crisp vegetables and scallions and before you know it there’s an asian invasion inside your mouth.  Wow I am really on a roll lately with bad puns…

I found these noodles at this AMAZING gluten free store that is unfortunately 2 miles away from my house. I say that because it has an incredible selection which makes my eyes bulge and my money disappear.  The appeal of packaged gluten free goodies is often too tempting and I opt not to indulge but some hearty gluten free pasta can be a girls best friend when in a pinch.  Fortunately for the BF though because this was an on the fly meal for him, which he gobbled up faster than I could clean the kitchen.

The saddest part though is that I made this months ago, like maybe in June?? :/ I took the pictures and then left them to hang out on my phone till tonight when I was cleaning through the clutter and all the 1,000’s of apps I have & don’t use.

This is your fairly classic combination of asian flavors and as always make to order for your own taste buds!

Ingredients:

1 serving buckwheat soba noodles (always check for GF if needed. Soba does not guarantee it is GF)

1 carrot julienned

1 serving pre-cooked chicken

2 scallions cleaned and sliced

1 tsp grated fresh ginger

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tbsp tamari

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 tsp oyster or fish sauce

1 tsp red chili flakes

1 tbsp rice wine vinegar

**flavorless or peanut oil to saute, or for lighter version use low sodium vegetable broth

Directions:

-Boil noodles according to directions.

-Mix sauce ingredients, tamari-vinegar.

-Add oil or veg broth to a deep skillet, bring to medium-high heat and add carrots, ginger, garlic.  Saute for 2-3 minutes until carrots soften.

-Add noodles with a bit of pasta water if needed and mix together.  Add your chicken & sauce ingredients & mix till everything is coated and warmed up.

-Remove from heat and add scallions and 1 tbsp crushed peanuts or sesame seeds if allergic to peanuts.

Put in your favorite bowl and eat up!

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Sweet & Spicy Greek Turkey Meatballs

Before I talk about food I have to acknowledge the significance of the storm Sandy and send my thoughts and prayers to everyone affected.  Living in NJ it is especially shocking to just see the incomprehensible amount of damage, losses and lives changed forever- in places that are only miles away.  I feel almost ignorant speaking about this in the comfort of my heated apartment with all modern day conveniences available but I hope during a school break to make time to volunteer for those whom have lost everything.  If you are looking to lend a hand here’s a link How to Help

Now switching gears a bit, a meatball recipe not originally mine but Giada’s that I have been eyeing for a while now.  Her show is one of my selected TiVO series and although they are all re-reruns right now I enjoy watching her because she makes everything look so easy.  Luckily these meatballs were really easy to make and so freaking delicious.  I made some changes by using lean turkey (although I do like lamb 🙂 ) reducing the cinnamon and using gluten-free breadcrumbs instead of couscous. Therefore my result was much denser than hers but we didn’t mind it.

I was weary about all the cinnamon and didn’t want this to turn out badly so I only used 1 cinnamon stick and used 1 tbsp cinnamon in meatball mixture and probably 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon mixed in with the sauce.  I also used fresh mint instead of dried and next time I might add some more fresh herbs to the sauce since I love fresh herbs.  And yes, they were boyfriend approved.

20121103-121857.jpgI had mine over raw zucchini noodles and boyfriend had his over whole wheat penne. As you can see I like my meatball:sauce ratio about 1:1/4 cup.  I thank the acid reflux angels that were with me when I scarfed this down because I was not going to leave anything in my bowl no matter what. (I sometimes suffer from it when using too much lemon, coffee, eating late at night…etc.)  Even the thought of not sleeping because there is a fire-breathing dragon in my esophagus did not stop me.  Thank you angels.

I can’t wait to throw these puppies on a gluten-free roll with some Daiya mozzarella and piles of sauce.  I plan to also make a vegan mushroom based version of these in the future which I know will be amazing and will keep you posted. 🙂

20121103-121929.jpgGo here for Giada’s recipe

Purple Cauliflower, Carrot & Two Lentil Curry

Some cosmetic changes here- what do you think?  I think I’m pretty content with it considering my severely limited technical skills.  I’m not even going to tell you how much time I spent on it.  I guess I have “Sandy” to thank for this. Or “Frankenstorm” or whatever they’re calling this wicked rain for the next 5 days?!? I hope everyone is in a safe and dry place.  Do I really need to fill my bathtub with water??

I am loving all things lentils right now.  I feel like I need to make up for lost times we should have had together.  So I will do my best not to put up 100 lentil recipes in the next month but I can’t promise anything.  I am the type of person that when I find a new ingredient or a forgotten favorite, I eat it relentlessly until I get sick of it.

I’m loving lots of cauliflower lately too.  It’s such a modest vegetable with its white, lackluster appearance you would never know it is a “superfood”.  Packed with nutrients, fiber and oh this lovely purple variety has anthocyanins which are scientifically proven to eat up cancer cells.  Who doesn’t love that?

So if you’re a regular visitor of my blog you know I’m a huge Indian food fan.  I have spiced up my eggs, sandwiches, and desserts with Indian spices like ginger, cumin, coriander and the latest favorite is fenugreek seeds.  I have mentioned them once before since they are filled with lots of health benefits you would never suspect.  Some health benefits in just 1 tbsp is they have 20% RDA of iron, 3 grams protein, 3 grams of fiber, and trace amounts of copper, calcium, zincmanganese and magnesium.  They have also been used medicinally for hundreds of years to improve those lovely female symptoms, as well as digestive troubles.  It has been clinically proven to help with insulin sensitivity and to have cardiovascular benefits.  So with the endless list of health benefits I have begun to add 1 tsp of seeds to my smoothies in addition to the regulars like turmeric, occasionally red maca powder and matcha green tea powder {typically not all together} With all the other ingredients you can’t even taste in a smoothie but be sure you have a good blender because you wouldn’t wanna chomp down on these tough little seeds.  Alternatively, you could grind to a powder first and then add.

But I digress from this lovely, very easy curry which I made to have ready for lunches or dinners.  It’s what you might call a “one pot wonder”.  Curries may seem quite intimidating with the sometimes lengthy list of ingredients and foreign spices, but it really is such an easy dish to make.  Plus then if you are not a huge spice or heat fan, you can lessen the amounts to suit your taste.  I definitely encourage you to dabble in Indian cuisine if you have not yet tried, it can be extremely healthy and comforting without much skill required.  Did I mention crazy delicious?!? Plus curries are so versatile you can make it with practically any seasonal vegetables.  I used carrots and cauliflower but feel free to use some of your favorites!

To prepare lentils:

1/2 cup red lentils, soaked at least 8 hours

1/2 cup green lentils, soaked min 8 hours

1.5 cups vegetable broth

small handful curry leaves

Directions:   {red lentils cook faster than green lentils, so if you need the “perfect” texture keep them separated from soaking to cooking.  I don’t mind and didn’t notice that one was more/less cooked than the other.}

Rinse them in a colander and check for stones or debris.

Soak them for at least 8 hours in filtered water- {this is not required but I soak all nuts, beans, seeds and grains to reduce phytic acid and make easier to digest}

Rinse again in a colander till water runs clear.

Put 1.5 cups vegetable stock in large pot and bring to boil.  Add lentils and reduce to medium simmer with lid on.  Check and stir.  You may need to add more broth depending on how you like your lentils.

When all the liquid is gone, add curry leaves and pour into a small bowl, set aside.

Ingredients for Curry:

1 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil

1 tbsp butter or ghee

1 tbsp fenugreek seeds

1/2 sweet onion chopped

1-2 cups baby carrots chopped roughly

2 tsp curry powder

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp cumin

2 tsp red chili powder

3 garlic cloves

1- 1 inch piece ginger minced or grated

1/2 can tomato paste

1 head cauliflower, purple or regular chopped

1/2- 1 cup vegetable stock

Directions:

 Use large pot and add coconut oil, butter or ghee.  Add fenugreek seeds and once fragrant add chopped onion and carrot, saute for 3 minutes.

Add dry spices and stir well to coat.

Add cauliflower, garlic, ginger, tomato paste, and vegetable stock.  Stir everything well and put lid on with medium simmer.  Check in 10 minutes for the cauliflower to be fork tender.  Taste and season as you like.

You could add fresh cilantro but I didn’t want it to overpower the curry leaves so I left it out.  You could also make it richer with canned coconut milk which is always delicious.

 

Now all I need is some fresh naan…yummm.

Sprouted Lentil Loaf with Sweet Potato & Mushrooms, Vegan,GF

Say what? Lentils? Sprouted? Do I plant it?

I am guessing those who are new to lentils and sprouting are thinking some of those thoughts. Well, if lentils and sprouts are new to you, allow me to introduce you. Lentils are a seriously underestimated “superfood”. They are packed with protein, iron, b vitamins, fiber and lovely properties to help balance your blood sugar and lower cholestrol. Yeah I know, you have been missing out on a seriously healthy food. Plus it gets better. When you “sprout” things you can triple the amount of nutrients in them- without lifting a finger. No it’s not exactly magic, but just nature doing its thing.

You can sprout any seeds like sunflower or even quinoa as well as beans (not outta the can silly- gotta be uncooked) and lots of other things. All you have to do is soak the grain or seed overnight in filtered water, drain and rinse it well the next morning, and let it chill on the counter in a jar or mesh strainer. You can get a fancy sprouting jar but it’s not necessary if you have a strainer. Those lentils sprouted for I think 3 or 4 days, which just means every few hours I rinsed the lentils (which is especially why I like using mesh strainer) and just let it hang out on my counter in the strainer.

So when you are sprouting you are actually re-activating enzymes that had these “enzyme inhibitors” on them otherwise they would be sprouting all the time and go bad very quickly. That is another thing- when you sprout the amount will double in size and they only last about a week so make sure you are going to eat them!

So with all of these sprouts I thought I was going to do a sprouted lentil hummus but then I changed my mind and decided to try a lentil loaf. Which is kinda funny since last week I made a Spinach Turkey Meatloaf even though I didn’t show you guys 😉 Plus I just got lots of great produce like sweet potatoes, carrots and mushrooms so the decision was made! Oh and you know I’m going to tell you this was super easy right? And I don’t think I need to tell you how healthy carrots, sweet potatoes and mushrooms are…

This is the perfect lunch or dinner for the week and if you have a food processor you just made your life a whole lot easier. Oh and did I mention it’s boyfriend approved? Yes I was not even going to ask him to try it but he did- and then took another taste. And then asked if he could have some for lunch. And we know he is a mans man when it comes to all things “loaf” so I encourage you to try this on your picky men. And if you don’t want to put the tiniest bit of effort in and sprout your lentils then just cook them according to the package. There are lots of different kinds so make sure you follow the directions! 🙂

Ingredients:

(If you sprout, take 1 cup raw lentils and follow the sprouting directions– will make 2-3 cups)

**Ignore the broccoli in the photo above, it didn’t survive

2 cups sprouted or 2 cups cooked

1/2 sweet potato, grated

1 cup baby carrots or regular

1 white onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves

1 package preferred mushrooms, I use baby bella

1 tbsp butter or butter sub

1 tbsp olive oil

1/4 cup vegetable broth

1/4 cup cashews

soy sauce

Chili powder, cumin and coriander to taste

Directions:

-Preheat oven to 350, grab loaf pan and lightly spray with non-stick

-Chop mushrooms, carrots, garlic and cashews by placing in food processor and pulsing till roughly same size as the lentil. If its powerful enough do your sweet potato as well, but I grated mine by hand.

-To a large, deep skillet add butter, oil and veg broth to medium-high heat. Add white onion and saute for 2 minutes. Add all processed vegetables.

-Season well with salt and pepper. I also added chili powder, dash soy sauce, cumin and coriander but feel free to season as you wish. (I had wanted to use sage and thyme but I have neither right now.)

-Pulse your lentils to desired consistency, I did it till them were fairly broken up but not completely. Add them to the skillet and continue to taste and season. No perfect measurements with these things just do what taste good 🙂

-Press into loaf pan and cook in the oven for about 15 minutes. {I bet this would be great in muffin tin to make perfect portion size! I would double the batch and freeze the rest!}

– It will crisp the top but the inside will remain soft. If you want a crispier loaf, I suggest using day old bread as you would with bread pudding or how I make regular meatloafs using Stoufers Stuffing Mix. I would use half of the package and just mix it in at the end, you may need more liquid so add small amounts of vegetable broth. ( I can’t vouge for results though I haven’t tried this, just a suggestion)

* I wanted to keep mine gluten free so I didn’t use any bread or bread crumbs.

This would be a great vegan option for Thanksgiving!

I sliced about 7 large slices and have my lunch packed for the week now. Yummy and comforting vegan superfood! I am going to try a BBQ version of this soon so stay tuned! 🙂

I am thinking of making some mashed cauliflower to go with this.  Talk about a nutrient dense meal!

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20121021-144832.jpgI am loving fall right now, how about you?

Asian Broccoli and Almond Chicken Salad over Brown Rice

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Back to school next week and it will indeed be a stress induced apartment here. I will be diving head first into my masters program while the BF starts law school. So I have been trying to plan meals ahead or what is easiest to make because I know I’m not going to want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. (Well I want to but it’s just not going to happen) And considering I probably won’t have access to a microwave to warm up school lunches, they need to be able to travel and be eaten cold. So does that look like chinese take out? Cuz it’s not!

But the good news is this is just as easy to make and of course a lot healthier! I love being able to satisfy my cravings for salty, greasy junk food without all the consequences that usually come after eating them. This seriously requires no skill or chopping or slicing or dicing. Literally a matter of throwing ingredients in a dish, bake, stir, eat. So you have no excuses! Go make your lunch for the week!

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Recipe serves 2

Ingredients:
1/4 cup uncooked brown rice
2 chicken breasts with marinade (see below)
2 scallions sliced, green parts only
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1 cup frozen broccoli
-1 tbsp sesame seeds

Directions:

-Cook 1/4 cup brown rice with 1/2 cup water and splash of sesame oil and tamarind paste. Prepare according to directions and check when a little water is done, you may need to add more.
-Meanwhile put your almonds and scallions in a large enough bowl to mix everything.
-Thaw broccoli in microwave for 30 seconds-1 minute and toss in bowl with almonds and scallions.
-When the chicken is finished cooking, allow to cool slightly so you can pull apart pieces with a fork and then throw it in the bowl. Pour the marinade over everything and should help warm the broccoli to completely thaw. (Snag the big pieces of garlic unless you’re a weirdo like me and love eating big pieces of garlic)
-When the brown rice is cooked toss in the bowl and stir everything together. Taste to see if you need any more soy sauce, vinegar…etc. I like lots of black pepper and then finish it with sesame seeds. Bam! Lunch for the week. Or if you have an appetite like me, maybe two days 😉

Ingredients for Chicken Marinade
-2 Chicken Breasts
-2 tbsp tamarind paste
-4 tbsp gluten free soy sauce
-2 tbsp sesame oil
– 1 garlic clove cut in half
-1 tbsp sugar (I use coconut)
-juice of 1 lime
-2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
-1 tbsp fish sauce

Directions:
-preheat oven 350 degrees
I use a glass bread baking dish and stir everything together, coat chicken and throw it in the oven. Check after 5 minutes, flip and check again after five minutes. Should be about done, double check because everyones oven is different.

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This would be really delicious hot or cold 🙂

Caramelized Shallots, Cheddar, Sweet Potatoes & Kale Bread Pudding

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Last weekend the Bf and I went to a nearby farmers market and picked up some goodies. Oddly enough I was the one who wanted to go and he came along at the thought that there was a cigar store there (I know, I hate it). Funny thing is, he ended up getting more than me! He left with some local ham, gorgeous loaf of rye bread, cubanelle peppers and shallots. I got a few apples (been craving them for so long!) eggplant and tomatoes. So after 2 days he decided that the bread (that cost almost 5$ which I won’t even spend on a GF loaf for me) is no good anymore. WOAH- not according to me it’s not. So I began to think of how to redeem this loaf of bread he so thoughtlessly took for grantite.

My first thought was meatloaf but I made one not too long ago so I wanted to mix it up, plus it’s not exactly “summer fare”. Then I remembered I have been wanting to experiment with a bread pudding recipe and even more reason to make it because then his lunches for the week are covered! Win win!

So the sad part here is I cannot eat this but you could just as easily make this gluten free, especially if you have a crappy loaf (unfortunately there are many out there) that you don’t want to waste or like me you have failed 5, 6, 7 times, (ok I lost count) at making your own gluten free loaf that you are satisfied with. But thats for a whole nother post.

Now that I knew what I wanted to make I decided I wanted to use up the sweet potatoes that were in my fridge and after some googling I came across this recipe which I slightly modified. I thought I would sneak in the BF’s least favorite veg, kale. It is just so nutritious but I know I can’t force him to eat it. That is unless I smother it in shallots, cheddar and sweet potatoes. Yes I sort of treat this the same as a mom with her picky eaters. Plus it’s another way to nix the meat products without him realizing he’s eating a vegetarian meal 😉

20120816-214140.jpg I’m very very sneaky

Oh and what else is awesome about this recipe? It’s super easy. Maybe 15 minutes of prep AND cooking (not including oven time).

Feel free to trade out the ingredients for your favorite combinations. I’m already thinking of an Indian version of this, like Matar Paneer Bread Pudding- that would be epic. But then should I use naan instead? Hmmm….Like my ultimate comfort foods piled into one dish. Maybe I should wait till summer if officially over before I indulge in the carbs and cream sauces 😉

So go here for the original recipe since my modifications were basically cutting most of the ingredients in half and using a square pan and not a rectangle.

20120816-214933.jpg Maybe because this one kind of a 1 pot wonder, that’s why I found it so difficult to make this look good in photos. But I think you get the picture (no pun intended) that this is gooood or at least thats what he told me. 🙂

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Almond Crusted Chicken over Kelp Noodle Stir Fry

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So it’s been a looong time since I have wanted some chicken. But lately I have really wanted some chicken nuggets- an old best friend I haven’t seen in a long time. Except I didn’t want that false 30 ingredient stuff that they call food. I wanted some homemade crusty and almondy chicken. And let me tell you it was about as easy it is to go through a drive through.

I have been eating almonds like they are going out of style. I don’t know what has stirred up my craving for them but I think I eat them 1, 2, 3, ok 4 times a day. It doesn’t help that I caved and bought the cocoa dusted kind- they are like crack Well what I presume to know about crack. That is that it is really addicting… you know what I mean.

My other new favorite thing lately are kelp noodles. I have had them for awhile but I actually didnt want to eat them. This is a result of trying shirataki noodles a year ago and not loving them. I did eat them after preparing them but the whole fiber thing did not pan out well for me. Plus dealing with the fishy smell and difficult to chew texture was enough for me to not go back. So when I looked at the kelp noodle texture I was expecting them to be very similar. But after I kept seeing them pop up on other blogs and people raving about them I thought I should at least try them. The verdict–>love love love them! Unlike shirataki noodles you can actually chew them and they have a crunchier texture which I am all about. Plus its great that they are super low in calories and high in vitamins like calcium. And no fishy taste or smell! I picked mine up at Wegmans and got a 1 lb. bag for around $4.30. Not too bad considering a box of gluten free pasta cost about the same or more and delivers less nutrients and more calories. So I call that a win win.

If you can’t tell already I am totally obsessed with Asian flavors, and sweet and spicy things. So to make this recipe even more fool proof I just sautéed some broccoli and julienned carrots with garlic, ginger and some store bought sweet and spicy sauce. Which I totally took credit for when BF said, “Wow I really like the sauce” 😉 I didn’t experiment with having him try my kelp noodles and served his with just the veggies. Although he is a trooper with a lot of my strange food I wasn’t going to risk wasting these.

20120808-153120.jpg They are just too good.

This meal hit my comfort spots on so many levels and was completely guiltless. If you could hear the crunch when I bit into that chicken and to think that this recipe is actually quite slimming because almonds are known as being synonmous as a belly flattening MUFA. (At least in my world 🙂 )

So go spend the 5 minutes it takes to make this and then come back to your computer to thank me 😉

Recipe for 1
Ingredients I didn’t measure anything to give or take, kind of fool proof
1 chicken breast soaked in non-dairy milk for 4 hours or more
1 egg
1/8 cup arrowroot powder/or other gluten free starch for dredging
1/4 cup sliced almonds
handful of gluten free breadcrumbs
2 tsp favorite seasoning blend unless using seasoned breadcrumbs
handful of kelp noodles, (or more!)
1/4 cup sweet onions chopped
1 cup frozen broccoli, thawed
1/2 cup julienned carrots
up to 2 tbsp jarred sweet and spicy sauce
1 garlic clove
1 tsp minced ginger

Directions:
-Soak chicken in almond milk to prevent drying when cooking.
-Remove and shake off excess milk before dredging.
-Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line baking sheet with tin foil (make sure it can handle the heat!)
-Set up dredging bowls and put flour in 1 bowl, scrambled egg in another, and almonds combined with breadcrumbs if using. I crushed up almonds a bit with my hand.
-Coat chicken in flour all over, then move to egg and coat well, then move the almond and crust really well. for that crunch!
-Spray your tin foil and lay chicken directly on, I find this works better than using a cooling rack and I didn’t need to flip but everyones oven is different so take a peek after 5 minutes and make the judgement call.
-My chicken was done in around 15 minutes

For stir fry sauté onions on med high heat. Add broccoli and carrots and cook for 3 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and continue to stir and cook until veggies are cooked, should only take 3-4 minutes. Then I just took off heat and mixed in kelp noodles and the sauce.

Top with chicken and dig in!

And then if your like me and want to completely ruin your healthy dinner, indulge in an entire box of raisnettes because your BF won’t help you eat them and you can’t just use pure will power to stop reaching into that box while watching the new Batman movie because it’s been years since you’ve done that too! 😉

Baby Eggplant, Maitake Mushrooms & Forbidden Rice Indi-asian Fusion

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I love love love forbidden rice. It is not something I frequently see in the grocery store but I can tell you when I spotted it I scooped it up right away. I’m not even a huge rice person but there is something about the flavor and texture. It has this chewiness that other rices don’t have. Maybe thats why the Emperors made it “forbidden” 100 years ago in China. That’s where it gets its name from and they made it off limits to everyone else. They believed it made them especially strong and that it contained exceptional benefits. Well lets just say they were on to something. Forbidden rice is jam packed with anthocynanins which are like super powered antioxidants that are found in all “purple” foods.  It  actually has a deep dark purple color which you see when you cook it.

So I have had this lovely ingredient patiently awaiting in my pantry for its call into a dish and that time finally came after I made a trip to a nearby Asian grocery store. I picked up some Maiktake mushrooms also known as hen of the woods. They are really pretty looking and they have great earthy flavor.

20120724-200545.jpg Just a few health benefits of these mushrooms is that they can boost the immune system, help you lose weight because they are high in fiber and low in calories, anti-cancer properties by activating macrophages which are your “good guys” in your immune system and they can help lower blood sugar levels.  Just to name a few.

When I was thinking of what direction I wanted to go with this dinner I couldn’t decide between Asian or Indian, so I’m sure you can assume what I did. Yup I combined them. I’m not sure this is for everyone because it had a lot of flavor but I really enjoyed it. I wanted to use some Indian spices that I have had and not really cooked with them much. Some cumin seeds, coriander seeds and a few fenugreek seeds. I wanted to use these because they too are packed with nutrients which I was not aware of before I made this. Did you know 1 tbsp of cumin seeds has 22% of your daily iron needs? Fenugreek seeds too have 20% your daily iron needs as well as almost 3 grams of protein and fiber. Together these seeds have been shown to help lower blood pressure, cholesterol, ease digestive problems and help prevent cancer! Who knew these seeds were actually superfoods!

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So although I wanted to throw all of these into the dish I also have been loving miso paste lately and wanted it to join the party. I consider this to be another superfood because it is alive with good bacteria to help your tummy. It also taste really good. So I wanted to use a smidge of this with a bit of love from tamari and some chili flakes for heat 😉 But really just a smidge.  In case you have never worked with it before just make sure you add it once your food is taken off the heat so not to kill the healthy bacteria.

Ingredients:

-Up to 1 tbs of cumin and coriander seeds

-1/2 tbsp fenugreek (these amounts really depend on your taste)

1/4 cup uncooked forbidden rice

1/4 cup vidalia onion

1 garlic clove

3 maitake mushrooms

1 cup baby eggplant diced

*optional, vegetable stock for healthier stir fry

*optional dinosaur kale leaves chopped

1 tsp miso paste

splash of tamari

sprinkle of chili flakes

Directions:

-Cook forbidden rice according to package

-Once it is almost done, begin toasting your seeds in large enough frying pan over medium heat.  Toast them until it smells fragrant but becareful not to burn.  You may or may not use oil (I don’t).

-Add splash of oil or vegetable stock,  onions, mushrooms and eggplant and saute over medium-high heat for 3 minutes.  Add either another splash of oil or more stock and add your kale and garlic.  Cook until wilted.  Season with tamari and chili flakes.

-Once everything is cooked, remove from heat and stir with rice.  Add miso paste and stir well.

*If you don’t want the whole seeds in your dish, use a coffee grinder after they have been toasted and cooled.  Then sprinkle over the onions when you begin to saute and stir well.

Vegan Spaghetti Squash “Hamburger Helper” tossed in Avocado Mac and Crispy Chickpea Nuggets

Seriously Yum and seriously comforting. I created a new word to help best describe this dish- “carb-tastic” I am not really sure exactly how I got to putting this meal together but I am really happy with what I ended up with. The bonus is that it is pretty much as easy to put together as that funky boxed stuff.

Oh and whats that your asking? Crispy chickpea nuggets?? Yeah I know I’m really excited about it too. It is all thanks to VeganMommy with her chickpea tofu that I am so happy to have found! And it is SO easy to make and cheap!

20120724-102617.jpg Since me and soy are not friends so its a bit of a bummer that I can’t enjoy tofu especially since I actually like it. Not that I think all vegetarians or vegans need to eat it to be healthy at all but there are so many cool things you can make with it like dips, scrambles, desserts… which have been off limits to me until now. I am thinking up a lot of cool ways to try this out but I really just wanted to crisp it up for this dish to mix up the textures.

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For the “hamburger” part I used my go to millet-mushroom combo and just crumbled it all over. It’s my favorite ground meat substitute and obviously much healthier. Although this is very comforting it is packed with vegetables, vitamins, minerals, fiber and protein. I don’t think it gets much better than that.

Oh and what do you think of my DIY food board?

20120724-103654.jpg I’m taking baby steps to upping my photography because I know I am not interested in making dishes I see unless it comes with a great picture. I have been wanting to do this for awhile because it is so easy and really makes a difference in how your photos look. I just love turquoise and now I want to paint everything in this color 😉 I am trying to think of a good color to paint the other side to really utilize it the best I can. I would love a bright yellow but I’m not sure how that would contrast with a lot of food, any thoughts?

Look how much the yogurt parfait pops against the blue background

20120724-104819.jpg I still have a long way to go, but it makes taking pictures with my iPhone more fun, hehe 🙂

For the rest of the dish I used an archived favorite, Avocado Mac & Cheese but I added some scallions, chives and roasted garlic (obsessed). I nixed the goat cheese and used lots of herbs de provence, love that stuff

This recipe comes together really fast ones the spaghetti squash is finished roasting. A recommendation for those somewhat intimidated vegetables like the winter squashes, beets, root vegetables… that seem to require a lot of time are really made so much easier if you roast them soon after buying and then just throw them into the fridge so they are ready whenever.

Ingredients:
-Prepare the chickpea tofu unless you can have regular. (If you are like me and not a huge fan of chickpea flour this is not the same and I don’t find it to have that overpowering taste)

-1/2 small spaghetti squash
-1/2 shallot minced
-3 garlic cloves
-handful of grape tomatoes
-handful of zucchini chopped
-1/4 cup tofu chopped

Directions:
-Preheat oven to 375 and roast the spaghetti squash for at least 30 minutes until it pulls apart easily with a fork.
-Wrap the garlic cloves in tin foil and place on baking sheet to steam and sweeten them. Also throw chopped tofu on with light cooking spray and season to taste.
-While that is in the oven sauté the shallots, grape tomatoes and zucchini for 5-7 minutes till cooked.
-Grab your magic bullet or food processor and blend your Avocado Mac (recipe above)
-Once the squash is done and cooled enough to handle, scoop out the inside with a fork. Blend your steamed garlic with avocado mac and mix with spaghetti squash to coat. Stir the sautéed vegetables and go to your happy guilt-free carb place 🙂

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Crispy, crunchy, creamy, meaty, savory, deliciousness!

Vegetarian Grape Tomato, Green Pea & Parmesan Spaghetti Pie

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Don’t you hate when you realize you didn’t need to boil off an entire box of pasta for one person? Now there is a ton of cold, plain spaghetti in your fridge and you have lost any desire to make it magical. Enter the spaghetti pie which is so easy its ridiculous and so delicious its comforting. Plus this is easily made gluten free with your favorite gluten free spaghetti or in the past I have used spaghetti squash which is more “bikini friendly” being the time of year it is.

With dishes like this they are so easy for packing work lunches (plus you get to look like martha stewart 😉 ), I literally cut it into four slices and put each in their own to go for BF to take to work. Bam no more thinking about what to make for the rest of the week! Or if you don’t want to commit to just one flavor of this you could either put different ingredients on one half of the pan or pour just the “base” (see below) into large muffin rounds and then put different ingredients in them like sliced carrots and mushrooms or eggplant and roasted peppers, get creative!

This recipe uses eggs but you could just as easily use an egg replacer for a vegan version and daiya for cheese topping. This is so easy and so affordable to make, I plan on using it often for a quick fix lunch or dinner.

Ingredients:

-Around 2 cups cooked spaghetti or spaghetti squash

-1 cup green peas, thawed slightly

-1 cup sliced grape tomatoes

-2 garlic cloves minced

-1 half vidalia onion chopped

-3 eggs

-around 1/4 milk or preferred non-dairy, unsweetened

-small handful chopped fresh parsley

-1/4-1/2 cup parmesan cheese

Directions:

-Preheat oven to 375

-On medium heat saute onions until transuclent.

-Add peas, garlic, and grape tomatoes. Let the garlic saute for two minutes and then add the spaghetti. Depending on how sticky it is you may need to add some oil or you could toss it very quickly in some boiling water to loosen just becareful not to overcook.

-Meanwhile beat eggs with milk and season with salt and pepper.

-Once the peas are tender but not mushy and tomatoes are slightly wilted take off heat, add parsley and pour into round baking dish or muffin molds if using different ingredients. I used 9 inch glass dish. Spread evenly and top with milk mixture.

-Bake for about 15-20 minutes, (start checking after 15) and once it looks like it is almost done top with parmesan cheese and seasoned breadcrumbs (I was out of them) and continue to bake another 3-5 minutes until cheese is melted.

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