June 12, 2013

Crunchy Cashew Thai Quinoa Salad with Ginger Peanut Dressing

Crunchy Cashew Thai Quinoa Salad with Ginger Peanut Dressing

As you’ve come to expect, this is another quick & easy dinner.  The scents of the dressing are heavenly and the flavors come together perfectly.  There just isn’t much more that needs to be said about this gorgeous and delish-dish from Ambitious Kitchen (say that three times fast!) except that it makes a lot (serves the five of us {with seconds} plus a couple small lunches the next day).

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups shredded red cabbage
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • ½ cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup chickpeas
  • ¼ cup green onions, diced
  • ½ cup cashew halves or peanuts (honey-roasted is good)
  • Fresh lime, for a bit of tang

Dressing

  • ¼ cup all natural peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 3 tablespoon soy sauce, gluten-free if desired
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Water to thin, if necessary

Instructions

  1. Rinse quinoa with cold water in mesh strainer. In a medium saucepan, bring 1 ½ cups of water to a boil. Add in quinoa and bring mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and let simmer for 15 minutes or until quinoa has absorbed all of the water. Remove from heat and fluff quinoa with fork; place in large bowl and set aside to cool for about 10 minutes. You should have a little over 2 cups of quinoa.
  2. To make dressing: Add peanut butter and honey to a medium microwave safe bowl; heat in microwave for 20 seconds. Add in ginger, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame and olive oil then stir until mixture is smooth and creamy. If you want a thinner dressing, simply stir in a teaspoon or two of water or olive oil.
  3. Add the dressing to the quinoa.
  4. Fold in cabbage, red pepper, onion, carrots, cilantro & chickpeas into the quinoa. Garnish with cashews or peanuts & green onions. Serve chilled or at room temperature with lime wedges if desired.

May 7, 2013

Indian Lentil Sauté with Kale and Asparagus

Indian Lentil Sauté with Kale and Asparagus

I’d intended to prepare something different for dinner tonight but couldn’t find the recipe where I thought it was saved.  This dish from, Bev Cooks, was the last thing on my menu for the week and it looked simple enough so I tossed everything together in less than 30 minutes.  My daughter had a friend over for dinner and her family is Indian, so I was secretly pleased when she announced, “this looks exactly like what we eat at home.” – and then proceeded to gobble up every last bite.  Yay me!  I doubled what’s shown below and it made enough for three adults, three teens and a very cute, eight year old.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup green lentils
  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoons freshly minced fresh ginger
  • 1 Tablespoons(or more!) Indian curry powder
  • 1/2 bunch asparagus, sliced into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 bunch kale, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 lemon
  • coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions

  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the lentils and cook until tender, about 25 minutes.
  2. Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium high. Add the onion and sauté until it starts to soften, 5 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and bloom 30 seconds. Add the curry powder and a pinch of salt and pepper. Continue to bloom the spices for another 30 seconds, or until fragrant.
  3. Add the asparagus and sauté until bright green, 2 minutes. Add the kale and continue to sauté until wilted, another 2 minutes.
  4. Drain the lentils and add them to the kale mixture. Toss to combine. Sprinkle with lots of cilantro and a good squeeze of the lemon juice.

Serve with more cilantro and lemon juice!

April 15, 2013

Baked Blueberry French Toast

Baked Blueberry French ToastClean eating is the theme of this recipe & originally, that is what the blogger over at The Gracious Pantry titled it but, seriously, that’s just way too much of a title for something so simple.  Do not, however, let its simplicity fool you into thinking this breakfast-for-dinner is anything except phenomenal.  Not to sound like an advertisement, and only to remind myself, but I used Oroweat Health Nut Bread; it has walnuts and sunflower seeds that seriously put this over the top in my mouth.

Lastly, next time I make this, I’m going full-vegan and omitting the eggs altogether, using 8 bananas (the original recipe calls for 8 egg whites).

Ingredients

  • 6 cups cubed, whole grain bread (I used the entire loaf)
  • 3/4 cup applesauce
  • 5 bananas
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries

Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the applesauce, almond milk, honey, extracts and cinnamon. Using an immersion blender mix until thoroughly combined (you could also mash with something…but mash it well so it coats the bread evenly when poured over top).
  2. Oil a baking dish (about 9 x 13), and fill it with the bread.
  3. Pour the liquid mixture over the bread and allow it to sit for at least 30 minutes, mixing once or twice to be sure all parts of the bread are moistened.
  4. Mix in the blueberries.
  5. Bake the casserole at 350 F. for about 30-45 minutes or until there is no longer any liquid between the bread.  {I baked it (convection oven) for 30 minutes.}
  6. Allow to cool a bit and serve.

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Vegan Enchiladas with Cilantro Avocado Cream Sauce

Vegan Enchiladas with Cilantro Avocado Cream Sauce

Just good food, from Oh She Glows.  That is all.

The recipe below says it’ll make 4 enchiladas, so I doubled it and came out with a full 9x13 dish of enchiladas.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup sweet potato, chopped (or zucchini)
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 handfuls spinach, chopped
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • Enchilada sauce (about 2.5 cups)
  • 1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder, or to taste
  • 4 whole grain tortilla wraps (I used Food for Life Ezekiel)
  • Cilantro Avocado Cream Sauce, to pour on top (recipe below)
  • Green onion & chopped cilantro, to garnish
Cilantro Avocado Cream Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 & 1/4 cup avocado flesh
  • 2 Tablespoon water, or more as needed to thin out
  • 2-3 Tablespoon lime juice, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (optional)
  • 1 cup packed fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper, to taste

Directions for Sauce:

1. In a food processor, process the avocado flesh and water until creamy. Now add in the rest of the ingredients and process until smooth and well blended. Use immediately for best results.

Directions for Enchiladas:

Pre-heat oven to 350*

  1. Pre-cook the sweet potato, by simmering it in a small pot of water for about 5-10 minutes until just tender. Do not overcook. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet or pot, add 1 Tablespoon oil and bring to medium to low heat. Add in the chopped onion and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until translucent. Add in garlic and reduce heat to low and cook for a couple more minutes. Add the chopped pepper, pre-cooked sweet potato, drained black beans, and chopped spinach. Cook for about 5-7 more minutes on medium-low heat.
  3. Add in your enchilada or pasta sauce. Stir well, and add in your seasonings: nutritional yeast, cumin, fresh lime juice, salt, garlic powder, chili powder - all to taste. Adjust seasonings if necessary. Stir well.
  4. Scoop about 3/4-1 cup of the mixture onto the bottom of your casserole dish and spread out in a thin layer. Scoop about 1/2-3/4 cup of the mixture onto each tortilla and wrap, placing the fold down on the casserole dish. Repeat for the remaining tortillas and leave a bit of filling left to spread over the top.
  5. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Meanwhile, make your Cilantro cream sauce. When enchiladas are cooked, remove from oven and pour the sauce over top. Garnish with chopped cilantro and green onion.

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Savory Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

In case you haven’t noticed Maynard has stopped eating meat.  Yep.  All meat.  There are many reasons, and factors that went into the decision but I’ll spare you the agonizing details and just continue posting yummy food for you to enjoy.  One day, we may go all-out vegan, but for now we’re still working out the kinks (baking vegan is a challenge when you’re used to using butter and eggs in abundance!)

This recipe comes from Zoe Dawn – it’s simple, filling and somehow, amazingly enough, my kids ate it.  And then?  Went for seconds.  It’s a win win.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium head cabbage
  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 3 T uncooked brown rice
  • 2 T chopped fresh parsley (2 t dried)
  • 2 t salt
  • 1/2 t pepper
  • 1 banana, mashed 
  • 1 3/4 cups plain tomato sauce
  • 1 cup canned tomato chunks
  • 2 T honey

Directions

  1. Put the head of cabbage in a pot. Cover with water. Remove the cabbage and bring the water to a boil. Turn off the heat. Submerge the whole head of cabbage in the boiling water and cover. Let sit for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the quinoa according to package directions.
  3. In a small skillet, sauté the onion, then turn off heat and add the rice, parsley, salt, pepper, and banana.
  4. When the cabbage is done “cooking”, remove it from the water onto a cookie sheet with sides (to catch any remaining water). Very carefully, remove 12 leaves. Cut the thickest part of center rib out of each leaf, about 1 or 2 inches. There will be a little V in the middle of each leave. Divide the meat filling between the leaves and roll up jelly roll fashion, but tucking in the ends so the filling stays put. Place the rolls in a deep casserole dish.
  5. Pour the tomato sauce, tomato chunks, and honey over the rolls. Cover and bake at 350 for about an hour and a half. Let the rolls set a few minutes before serving.

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Vegan Smoky Sweet Potato Burgers

Smoky Sweet Potato Burgers

I made these last week and therefore do not have a story or quip to go along with the recipe.  I do, however, highly recommend you make these today because they’re just that good.  Credit goes to How Sweet Eats.

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups coarsely mashed sweet potatoes (or yams), about 2 large potatoes
  • 2 bulbs of roasted garlic
  • 1 cup cannellini beans (rinsed and drained if canned)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup oat flour (or all-purpose, wheat, etc)
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cumin
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 avocados, sliced
  • 2/3 cup plain coconut Greek yogurt
  • handful of kale
  • 4 whole wheat buns
  1. Pierce potatoes all over with a fork and place on a paper towel, in the microwave. Microwave for 5 minutes, then flip and cook for 5 minutes more. Remove, slice in half and let cool until you can scoop out the flesh.
  2. In a large bowl, coarsely mash beans with a fork. Add in sweet potato and mash together, then add in spices, salt and pepper, minced garlic, banana, panko and flour. Mix together until combined, then place bowl in the fridge for 15-20 minutes. This helps form them into patties
  3. While mixture is chilling, combine yogurt with 2 bulbs (squeezed out) of roasted garlic cloves, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper in a blender or food processor. Process until smooth then set aside until ready to use.
  4. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Remove mixture from fridge and form into 4-5 equal “dough” balls, then place in the skillet and flatten with the back of a spatula. Allow them to brown, before flipping - about 5-6 minutes.  Flip burgers & cook for another 5-6 minutes until browned.
  5. Assemble by topping burgers with roasted garlic cream, kale and avocados!

To roast garlic, see this tutorial.

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March 10, 2013

Vegan Tacos with Jicama & Cilantro

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We were invited to a friend’s house for a Mardi Gras party this weekend and were asked to bring something to share.  After digging through Google for a few minutes, I found these two recipes found at Lunch Box Bunch & Babble and combined them to make something amazing!  Jicama, cilantro and lime combined with the black beans and salsa make magic on a tortilla.  No, seriously.  Magic.  These can be served warm, but since I was taking to share, I just loaded up two bowls (one with beans and salsa, the other with the salad), took the bag of tortillas and called it pot-luck.  This will make a perfect hot-summer-day option because no cooking is involved and could make a great go-to lunch for the week.

Makes enough to stuff 20 tortillas (and then some!)

Ingredients

  • 20 pack flour tortillas, warmed
  • 2 cups fresh chopped tomato salsa (I used my favorite jar of salsa)
  • 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed

Combine salsa, beans in a medium bowl then refrigerate until ready to eat.

Jicama and Cilantro Mexican Salad

  • 1 large jicama, peeled, thinly diced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves and stems, finely chopped
  • 1 cup red seedless grapes, halved
  • 2 avocados, diced
  • pepper, to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • dash of cayenne

Directions for Salad:

1. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl.
2. Toss well.
3. Chill for at least a half hour to allow flavors to marinate and mix.
Serve cold with beans and salsa mixture over top of tortillas.

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