Showing posts from May, 2019

Roasted Summer Squash and Red Potatoes

We roast vegetables a lot. It's our favorite way to cook up many different veggies at once, and it's so simple and delicious that it's become our go-to dinner. I wanted to shake things up a bit, so we did a new combo of veggies, summer squash and red potatoes, and added a breadcrumb coating to try a new crispy texture. 

The breadcrumbs get brown and crispy in the oven, and they add a little bit of a crunchy bite to the tender roasted veggies. We ate our crispy veggies with quinoa and steamed broccoli, but you could also serve this easy dish with some sauteed spinach and baked beans, or over salad with garlic bread. Those are just a few ideas but the sky is the limit for this yummy dish!

It's fun (and tasty!) to change up our old habits sometimes. :)

2 medium yellow squash, chopped into bite-sized pieces
8-10 red potatoes, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
pinch salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried …

Vegan Big Mac

I'm so encouraged by the quality of Beyond Meat and Impossible Burgers, and I really love that I can buy Beyond Meat products right in my normal grocery store! They taste just like regular burgers, it's truly unbelievable 😲, and the best part is that you can enjoy them without harmful effects on the environment, animals, and your body. 

For long-time vegans and vegetarians, this development in meatless options might not matter so much (i.e. I don't often crave the taste of meat or wish I could eat a "real" burger), but for new or transitioning vegans and vegetarians, this will likely be an amazing breakthrough giving them one more reason why it's #easy2bvegan. For that reason, I am inspired to find ways to veganize classic non-vegan foods to prove that going meatless doesn't mean you have to sacrifice!

Here is a super easy Big Mac taste-alike recipe that's totally vegan and so good.

Everyone knows that the best part of the Big Mac is the special sau…

Mini Beet Pastries

I love that frozen puff pastry is accidentally vegan. It's one of my favorite things to experiment with, especially because it's so dang delicious, and unpredictable! I'd say these experimental beet pastry pillows definitely came out my signature #imperfect, but they certainly tasted perfect!

They were fun to eat with our hands and we dipped them in even more of the white bean garlic sauce because we couldn't get enough. These may look difficult, but if you get past the imperfect appearance and just focus on the taste, they were super easy to make and a really satisfying dinner.

These mini beet pastries signify all that I'm about: delicious food doesn't have to look perfect, and trying new things is sometimes messy (and that's okay!).

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed in the refrigerator for 40 minutes
1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided
1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp …

Teriyaki Portobello Mushrooms

It always amazes me how meaty portobello mushrooms can taste, and how perfectly they can take the place of meat in a dish. When I looked at the pictures of these teriyaki portobello mushrooms, I had to do a double take - they almost look like pieces of steak!

I know they don't taste like steak per se, but I would argue that they are similarly dense and smoky in flavor, and they leave you feeling really satisfied. The teriyaki sauce works so well with the flavor and texture of these mushrooms. We served them with roasted broccoli and white rice for an easy and healthy dinner.

If you're a new vegan and you have a craving for meat, try substituting portobellos instead - I don't think you'll be disappointed. And your body and mother Earth will thank you!

2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp vegan butter (I use Earth Balance)
3-4 portobello mushrooms, sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp teriyaki marinade
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
pinch salt


Orzo Salad with Chickpeas

We had a half empty box of orzo in our cabinet for a couple of weeks (months maybe?). I had bought it as an ingredient for another recipe and didn't have any other use for it. I decided to get creative and think up ways to use this cute little orzo pasta. A pasta salad with vegetables and chickpeas seemed like a perfect idea.

Hubby executed this recipe by making a simple lemon and olive oil dressing and tossing it all together. He said it only took as long as the pasta takes to cook - 10 minutes! This was a super refreshing dinner that we both loved. It was a great big bowl of healthiness after a long day of work.

It also tastes great the next day after marinating in its dressing in the fridge overnight. I suggest making enough for leftovers!

1 1/2 cups dried orzo pasta, cooked per instructions
1 1/2 cups cucumber diced
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
6 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp lemon ju…

Miso Roasted Eggplant

I posted a recipe not too long ago that mentioned my desire to find more ways to cook with miso. A friend of mine commented: "miso and eggplant is really yummy, you should try it!" I'm so here for the food and recipe recommendations, and you know I'm up to try almost anything. So naturally, I set out to make miso and eggplant!

This recipe is really simple: roast eggplant with olive oil, whisk up the miso sauce, spread it on the roasted eggplant, and broil for a few more minutes. It's so simple, and I find that the tastiest stuff always is. It's also good for you, which is always a plus!

We had our miso eggplant over a big bowl of tri-color quinoa. You could choose to make this as a side dish or serve it over a different grain of your choice. Definitely dont skip on the toasted sesame seeds because they add a nice crunchy texture and nutty balance to the flavors.

1 Tbsp sesame seeds
1 large eggplant, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
2 Tbsp olive oil

Lemon and Capers Tofu

My mom makes chicken piccata or "lemon and capers chicken" quite often for dinner. It was always a favorite of mine because of the brightness of the lemon flavor. I decided to recreate this favorite dish with tofu, and it turned out just as good! It's important to press the tofu really well, or even better, freeze the tofu and defrost it before pressing and slicing it. It helps make the tofu denser in texture and less delicate.

You start by lightly frying the tofu, basically like little tofu cutlets, and then make the lemon sauce, and lastly let the tofu simmer in the sauce to soak up all the delicious flavors. You could add a little white wine to the sauce if you have it on hand, but definitely don't skip the capers or parsley because they add a perfect balance of flavor and freshness.

I think this will become a staple in our household as well with a well-earned place on the bi-weekly rotation. I hope you think so too!

1/2 package extra firm tofu, presse…

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Oatmeal raisin cookies are a silent favorite. I'm not sure why, but for some reason they get a bad rep and are sadly underrated. It's a shame because they can be so delightful from that touch of cinnamon and nutmeg, and the raisins get warm and gooey in the oven. The best is when they are fresh out of the oven and perfectly soft!

Cookies are such an easy dessert to make in a flash. They only take one bowl to mix up the dough and only 15 minutes in the oven. I love to whip up a batch whenever I'm craving something sweet. Homemade cookies are so much better than store bought, and only take a little effort.

I made these delicious cookies to bring to work and share with colleagues to boost morale during a particularly busy week. They were so good, I almost ate them all before I could bring them to work! Everybody loved them and they were gone in a flash.

1/2 cup vegan butter at room temperature (I used Earth Balance)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup flour

Quinoa Bowl with Corn Salsa

I love a big bowl of goodness. I especially love when that goodness includes beans and salsa. There's never a bad time for rice, beans, and salsa. This healthy bowl uses quinoa instead of rice to amp up the protein, black beans, and a homemade corn salsa that is an easy and delicious way to freshen up a staple meal like this one.

The corn salsa is spicy from the jalapeno and sweet from the corn. I used canned corn but you could also use corn cut off the cob, either steamed or grilled! I made the salsa a day ahead and let it marinate in its juices overnight.

You could double this recipe and bring it to work as a healthy and satisfying lunch every day of the week!

Corn Salsa
1 8oz can corn
3 plum tomatoes, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, de-seeded and diced
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
juice of 1/2 lime
1 tsp salt

Quinoa Bowl
2 cups cooked tri-color quinoa
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
1/4 cup diced red pepper
1 clove ga…

Beet Hummus

We love colorful meals. I always try to add a pop of color to our plates. Tonight we added a very bright pop of color with this beet hummus. I find canned beets to be so versatile that I always keep a can on hand for when I need that secret ingredient. Tonight it's the star of the show!

Not only is it a beautiful color, but the beets also bring a unique sweetness to this hummus. Just like regular hummus, it would be great with raw veggies, spread on slices of baguette, or as a dip with chips! Next time you want a new special dip or healthy snack food, give this beet hummus a try!

We ate ours with couscous and falafel over fresh spinach. The beet hummus made this meal taste fresh, light, and special.

1 can sliced beets, drained
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 Tbsp tahini
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp water
½ tsp cumin
salt and pepper

Chop the beets and place the in a blender. Add the garlic, chickpeas, tahini, oliv…