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  • Super Star Lentil Taco Salad

    Dreaming of warmer days and summer fresh vegetables, I made the next best thing and put together a simple and savory lentil taco salad. Fresh tortillas are topped with tomato seasoned lentils and perfectly grilled chili spiced veggies. Finish with sliced avocado or guacamole, some chopped cilantro or parsley and drizzle of hot sauce and you have yourself a lovely meal. This took me about 25 minutes to put together, including the homemade tortillas I made from scratch! (Which are soooo easy, if you'd like to know how please just email) Here is the recipe, very versatile, full of healthy plant protein and perfect for a quick weeknight meal.


    Star Lentil Taco Salad

    Serves 2-4

    Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 15 minutes

    Ingredients:

    1 1/2 cups green or brown lentils
    3 cups vegetable broth or water
    1 cup chopped tomatoes (canned or sun-dried are fine)
    1 1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp turmeric
    1/2 tsp black pepper
    1 tsp chili powder (or to taste)
    2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
    1 cup red onion, sliced
    1 cup mushrooms, sliced
    1 cup red pepper, sliced
    1 cup broccoli, cabbage, or brussels sprouts, sliced
    1/2 cup cilantro (or parsley), chopped
    1 tsp medium-high heat oil (avocado, canola, grape seed, coconut)
    1 avocado, sliced
    corn tortillas, 2 per person

    Other vegetables to use: carrots, potatoes, cauliflower, zucchini


    1. Combine lentils, broth or water, 1/2 tsp salt, tomatoes, turmeric, and black pepper in a medium pot and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer, and let cook for 15 minutes until lentils are soft and liquid is absorbed

    2. While cooking lentils, heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Add chili powder to oil and stir. Add all veggies, onion through broccoli and saute until lightly browning and softening, about 5-10 minutes. Add cilantro, 1/2 tsp of salt (or more to taste) and 1 Tbsp of balsamic vinegar. Stir and remove from heat.

    3. Individually warm tortillas in a pan to soften and gently wrap them in a clean dish towel to keep warm.

    4. When lentils are done cooking, stir in 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar (or lemon juice), and add salt if needed. Place a heaping spoonful of them on plate, top with sauteed veggies and sliced avocado. Cut tortillas into triangles (like cutting a pie) and arrange around lentils and veggies.  Drizzle with hot sauce if desired and serve!

  • Crispy Spiced Cauliflower & Okra

    Okra, if you're not familiar with it, is a tasty little pod that is common in Middle Eastern, African, Indian, and Southern dishes. Pros: It has a unique, mild flavor, is very high in Vitamin C, fiber, and folate, and can be cooked a myriad of ways. Cons: it is sometimes hard to find in stores, and the pods contain a somewhat slimy substance, a mucilage, that can either be used to thicken a stew or gumbo, or minimized by roasting in the oven as we do here. Okra can be found in many local international grocery stores, including Indian, Asian, African, and Middle Eastern, and may be available at stores like Whole Foods or Trader Joe's. Our local (and preferred) source in Seattle is Lenny's Produce in Greenwood, which is a great little place for many unique fruit and vegetable finds at great prices. If you can't find okra or aren't a fan, make this with just cauliflower or cauliflower and mushrooms instead! Wonderful with a side of basmati rice, this is a fast and very healthy dish that can be prepared easily on a weeknight. The spices are quite fragrant in this, and not only satisfy our taste buds, but also offer us many medicinal benefits. Spice liberally!


    Crispy Cauliflower and Okra

    Serves 2-4

    Prep time: 10-15 minutes Cook time: 20 minutes

    1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
    3 cups okra, cut into one inch pieces
    1 tsp salt (or more to taste)
    1 Tbsp whole cumin seeds
    1 tsp ground turmeric
    1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
    1 Tbsp brown mustard seeds
    1 Tbsp high heat oil (avocado, coconut, canola, grape seed)
    1 Tbsp rice flour (or potato starch)
    2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
    2 tsp fresh lemon juice


    1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees and place tablespoon of oil on metal baking tray.

    2. Chop okra into one inch pieces, discarding top caps, and pointy bottoms. Chop cauliflower into uniform florets. Place both on baking sheet and use your hands to toss in oil. Sprinkle with rice flour, all spices, and salt and toss to coat again.

    3. Place in oven and bake for 10 minutes, toss well for even browning, and bake for an additional 10 minutes until cauliflower and okra are both browned and crispy. Sprinkle with freshly chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lemon juice just before serving. Enjoy with a side of basmati rice, a nice tamarind chutney, a simple dal, or a la carte!

  • Homestyle Lentil Walnut Bolognese

    This sauce is a universal crowd pleaser, with few ingredients (and easy to find ones at that),  you simply set it on the stove and let it simmer away until serving. Earthy and hearty this is a go-to sauce for spaghetti, as a filling for vegan lasagna, or spooned over steamed veggies. The walnuts give a significant boost of healthy fats, oils and protein, while lending a “meatiness” and flavor that is unsurpassed. This recipe makes quite a large batch, so feel free to half it or freeze some for a later date.


    Vegan Lentil Walnut Bolognese

    Serves 8-10 Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook time: 35-45 minutes

    1 cup yellow onion, chopped
    3 cloves garlic, chopped
    1 can of diced tomatoes, 28oz
    1 can of tomato paste, 6 oz
    3 cups water
    1 1/2 cups green lentils
    1 1/2 tsp brown sugar (optional)
    1 cup crushed walnuts
    2 Tbsp oregano (fresh or dried)
    1 Tbsp medium-high heat oil (canola, avocado, grape seed, etc)
    1 tsp salt
    black pepper to taste


    1. Heat the oil in a very deep skillet, or medium pot on medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring often.

    2. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, water, lentils, and brown sugar and stir well. Let simmer, covered, for 30-40 minutes, until lentils are tender but still hold their shape.

    3. Add crushed walnuts, salt, pepper, and oregano and stir well. Serve over pasta of choice, roasted spaghetti squash, or use as a sauce filling in your next veggie lasagna.

  • Sunflower Seed Pesto Pasta

    Here in Seattle, we wait all year for the local heirloom tomatoes, fresh basil, and abundance of fresh  fruit to enter the markets. And when it finally does, it's time to really take advantage! This savory, light summer fare is the perfect way to end a workday. It's fast, easy, satisfying, and can be dressed up or down depending on the day. The vegetables included are completely flexible, any of your favorites will work, so be creative with what you have on hand. This dish comes together in no time (though there are a few steps), just get all the ingredients out and follow the steps below, it should take 20-30 minutes to come together. The sunflower seed pesto is spectacular on it's own, and if you don't have time for anything else, at least make this and spread it on some toast. The light nuttiness of the sunflower seeds mixed with the punch of the fresh garlic, and the bright taste of basil is wonderful and really captures the essence of summer. As always, completely vegan, gluten and soy free. Enjoy!


    Sunflower Seed Pesto Pasta

    Serves 2-4 (depending on hunger)

    1 box gluten-free pasta (I used Ancient Harvest quinoa spaghetti)

    Pesto
    1 cup basil
    1/2 c sunflower seeds
    1/4 cup olive oil
    3-4 cloves garlic
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp sugar
    1/4 tsp black pepper
    1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
    1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

    Sauteed Veggies
    1 cup chopped broccoli
    1/2 cup chopped red onion
    1 cup sliced crimini mushrooms (optional)

    Tomato Marinade
    1 cup sliced/diced cherry or heirloom tomatoes
    1/2 tsp sugar
    1/2 tsp sea salt
    1 tsp balsamic vinegar
    1 tsp olive oil


    1. Mix tomatoes with oil, vinegar, sugar and salt in small bowl. Set aside.

    2. Bring water to a boil for pasta. Cook pasta as directed. Drain when al dente.

    3. Sauté veggies on medium heat for 5 minutes in a bit of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

    4. in food processor combine sunflower seeds, garlic, basil, salt, sugar, pepper, yeast, oil and lemon juice. Process until creamy, scraping down sides as needed.

    5. Combine pesto with warm noodles, serve topped with sauteed veggies, tomato marinade, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar if desired.

  • Black Bean and Orange Breakfast Tacos

    These tasty little black bean and orange breakfast tacos are protein packed, filled with veggies, and super fresh tasting from a hint of freshly squeezed orange juice. If you make the bean filling ahead of time and pre-slice your tomatoes, you will cut preparation time down to under five minutes! The filling is a combination of sweet onions, crimini mushrooms, fresh corn,  black beans, and freshly squeezed valencia orange juice. Set in a toasty corn tortilla and topped with fresh arugula and chopped tomatoes these are heavenly. Play with the filling and topping ingredients once you have the structure down. Avocado would be great, as would chopped red pepper. These would make for a lovely brunch as well!


    Black Bean and Orange Breakfast Tacos

    Makes: 4 Preparation time: 5-10 minutes

    1/2 cup black beans
    1/2 cup onion, thinly sliced
    1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
    1/2 cup fresh corn kernels (or frozen)
    2 Tbsp orange juice (freshly squeezed if possible)
    1/4 tsp sea salt
    1/4 tsp chili pepper
    1/4 tsp paprika
    1/8 cup nutritional yeast
    freshly ground black pepper
    1 package corn tortillas
    1 ripe tomato, diced
    1/2 cup fresh baby arugula (or lettuce)
    1 avocado, thinly sliced (optional)


    1. In a skillet with a bit of oil, saute onions, mushrooms, fresh corn, and black beans for 4-5 minutes until onion is soft. Add nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, chili pepper, paprika, and orange juice and mash with a potato masher. Set filling aside in a small bowl.

    2. Wipe out skillet, add 1 tsp of oil and heat corn tortillas on each side.

    3. Fill each tortilla with a bit of greens and bean filling. Top with tomatoes and avocado if using. Enjoy!


  • Garlic Broccoli with Coco-Peanut Sauce

    This simple sauce of peanuts and coconut milk is draped over tender garlic broccoli creating a perfect union of savory flavors. It's one of those dishes that comes together so quickly, you may feel unsure you included all the ingredients. But worry not, it really is that easy. Perfect by itself over a bowl of verdant broccoli, or add a bowl of steamy brown rice, or toss it with a mound of chewy rice noodles for a filling meal. Add in more sauteed veggies to up the ante, thinly sliced mushrooms, onions, peas, asparagus, you name it. Give it a try, really tasty and satisfying!


    Garlic Broccoli with Coco-Peanut Sauce

    3 heads broccoli, chopped into florets and small stems

    2-3 cloves garlic, chopped

    1 Tbsp olive oil

    Coco-Peanut Sauce

    1 cup canned coconut milk

    2.5 Tbsp creamy peanut butter

    1/2 tsp sea salt

    1 tsp brown sugar

    1 tsp rice vinegar

    1/2 tsp turmeric

    1 pinch cayenne pepper


    1. In a skillet saute garlic in olive oil on medium-low heat for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add broccoli and turn heat to med-high. Saute for 3-5 minutes until broccoli is bright green and browning in some spots.

    2. Prepare your sauce. To a small saucepan, add all sauce ingredients. Whisk together over medium low heat until combined, thick, and bubbly.

    3. Spoon generously over broccoli; and rice if desired. If serving with rice noodles, toss to combine.

    Enjoy!