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Cranberry Strawberry Cream Cheese Tartlets  

 

These amazing little cream cheese tartlets are the perfect dessert for the holidays or any day you need a little treat. The tartness from the cranberries perfectly compliments the sweet cream cheese layer and cookie crumb crust making them irresistible. They are little but oh so big on flavor. 

 

Crust Recipe:

2 cups Annie’s organic cinnamon Bunny Grahams - these contain honey and are not 100% vegan. Feel free to substitute a Vegan cinnamon graham cracker instead.

4 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil

Place bunnies in food processor and process until small crumbs. Add coconut oil and process until mixture begins to stick together.

Arrange 12 cupcake papers in a cupcake pan. Spoon equal amounts of graham cracker crumbs into each cup and push down with a spoon.

Cream Cheese Recipe:

1 8 oz container plain Tofutti Better than Cream Cheese 

4 tablespoons organic sugar

2 teaspoons pure vanilla

Place all ingredients in mixing bowl and whip with a mixer or hand-held electric whisk until light and fluffy. Spoon equal amount over graham cracker crust. 

Cherry Apple Cranberry Sauce Recipe

1 cup fresh cranberries, washed 

2 sweet apples, peeled and diced

1 cup frozen strawberries 

1-2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup

Mix all ingredients in a small saucepan and simmer about 15 minutes. Mash with potato masher and add one tablespoon of chia seeds to thicken. Let cool and refrigerate until ready to use.

Spoon equal amounts on top of cream cheese layer and refrigerate until ready to eat.

Enjoy!!

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Cran-BERRY Good Holiday Casserole 

 

Did you ever throw random ingredients in a dish, toss it in the oven, and hope for the best? That's what I did yesterday.  I was grabbing some potatoes to bake and came across some beautiful beets I had purchased at my last farmer's market run.  I figured I could just throw them in the oven while the potatoes were cooking. But, I only cooked with beets a few times without much success. I usually juice them or eat them raw in salads. But, then my mind started spinning. Hmm...how about tangy cranberries, some citrus flavor, and a touch of cinnamon? 

So, I began peeling and chopping the beets. They are a bit messy! The color does wash off your hands but try not to get it on your clothes. I tossed them in a casserole dish, added fresh cranberries, clementines, chopped apples, cinnamon, ginger, a touch of date sugar, a little water, covered it up, set the timer, and hoped for the best. 

I was doing some holiday decorating and went outside to put up the lights and when I came back in the house smelled absolutely amazing! I thought even if it didn't taste good the smell was delicious. 

After about an hour of cooking the beets were finally tender. I was excited and worried. Would it taste as good as it smelled.  Well... I LOVED it!! The apples, clementines, and cranberries cooked up into this wonderfully amazing sauce that coated the beets just perfectly! I couldn't stop eating it! It surprisingly went well with the baked potato and Avocado Rueben that I was having for dinner.  Sometimes when you least expect something to taste good it surprises you! I ate almost half the casserole myself. Try this recipe when you're having guests over so the delicious smell can fill your house with a warm holiday vibe. Plus, they just may enjoy it!

Beets not only taste good but they are rich in a variety of essential vitamins and minerals, making them an excellent addition to your diet. The beet benefits to your health are impressive and somewhat surprising too when you consider their widespread positive attributes such as their ability to help with exercise performance, to ward off cancer, and to help purify the blood too.  Beets naturally contain nitrates. The type of nitrates found in whole foods like beets is actually very beneficial for boosting energy and performance.

I ate the rest for lunch the next day and went on a six-mile hike in the woods without getting tired. Maybe it was the beets!

So make beets a regular part of your diet. You can bake, juice, or eat them raw. Any way you slice them they're delicious and you'll receive lots of healthy benefits. 

Recipe:

Heat oven to 400 degrees

3 large beets, peeled and diced 

1 cup fresh cranberries

2 clementines, peeled, and cut

2 apples, chopped

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 cinnamon sticks

Freshly grated ginger, about 1 tablespoon 

2 tablespoons date sugar

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 cup water

Place all ingredients in large casserole dish, mix well, cover, and place in preheated oven. After 30 minutes stir, cover, and return to oven. Cook 30 minutes more or until beets are tender. Stir well, squeeze additional juice from a clementine on top, and serve warm.

Enjoy!

 

 

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Cranberry Apple Oatmeal

 

It seems like cranberries are only available around the holidays and they only show up as that sugary, creepy solid chunk of sauce that slides out of the can perfectly.  I have to admit, I loved cranberry sauce. I loved the taste and how It balanced out those heavy traditional meals.  Now, I’m afraid to even read the ingredient list on the can. So, canned cranberry sauce may be part of my past but fresh cranberries are definitely part of my current diet. They are tasty, versatile, and the beautiful color compliments almost anything. They're delicious in fresh juice, smoothies, and even oatmeal. So, ditch the creepy canned sauce and add some fresh cranberries to your diet.

And, the health benefits of cranberries are incredible! 

Did you know that cranberries contain one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants of any fruit? They protect our cells from free-radical damage and have the ability to reduce body-wide inflammation. They boost immunity and prevent infection-causing bacteria from sticking to the urinary tract walls. Plus, they are an excellent source of vitamin C, manganese, and fiber.

So, grab some cranberries and get cooking some healthy delicious food!! 

Recipe:

* 1 cup fresh cranberries

* 1/2 cup water

* 3 apples, diced (about 3 cups)

* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

* 1 tablespoon dried cranberries

* 1 cup old fashioned oats

 

- In a medium saucepan add water, fresh cranberries, apples, and cinnamon. 

- Simmer for 5-10 minutes until apples and cranberries are soft.

- With a potato masher or fork mash up apples and cranberries a bit.

- Add cinnamon, oats, dried cranberries, and cook another 3 minutes. Add additional water if needed

- Divide between 3 bowls and add toppings.

 

Toppings:

1 apple, diced

Raw sunflower seeds

unsweetened coconut

Cacao Nibs

Cinnamon

Pure maple syrup, optional

 

Makes enough for 3 bowls

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Black Bean Veggie Fajitas

This recipe has been swirling around in my head for weeks maybe even months! It's my take on Chili's Black Bean Veggie Fajitas. Although eating out is not my thing once in a while I can be persuaded and actually enjoy it. I'd rather spend my money at the grocery store or farmer's market but when I'm with my mom she insists on paying. So, If it makes her happy of course I'll go. 

We decided to go to Chili’s one day while at my daughter’s soccer game. Surprisingly, Chili’s had a black bean veggie fajita dish that sounded great. My mom, my daughter, and I shared the fajitas, a salad, and house made guacamole. I personally don't care for tortillas so I ate mine without. We were all pleasantly surprised. The spicy black bean burger, grilled asparagus, black bean dip, pico de gallo, quacamole, and seasoned rice all pulled together for a delicious meal. All the flavors and textures had me wishing I had more. It was that good! 

So, later that week for my mom's birthday I convinced her to go to Chilis again. This time we ordered a whole meal each plus quacamole. Well... it was delicous but so filling. We both had leftovers for dinner. I think my mom had leftovers for days. 

Ever since then I've been wanting to recreate the recipe at home. Last week I finally remembered to buy the ingredients! I was so excited to make it that I woke up Saturday morning and started cooking. Who says you can't have fajitas for breakfast. 

I used leftover rice from sushi bowls that I had made during the week and I bought prepackaged black bean burgers to save time and to give it that restaurant taste. I roasted some banana peppers and cherry hot peppers for an added touch but next time I would skip them and just add more asparagus. Sometimes, I make things more difficult than they need to be. But the pico de gallo, black bean dip, and chili lime sauce are a must.

So, sometimes eating out can open up new possibilities and create a whole new way of cooking that I never would have discovered on my own. So, for that reason I'll let myself be persuaded every once in a while and take a chance on eating out.

 

Recipe:

* 4 cups cooked brown rice

* 12 corn or flour tortillas -optional

* 1 1/2 pounds fresh asparagus, washed and woody ends snapped off

* 4 spicy black bean burgers, homemade or store bought

* Toasted sesame oil

* Tamari

 

- Heat cast iron grill pan on medium for 4 minutes. Add aparagus, drizzle with 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seed oil and 1-2 tablespoons Tamari. 

- Let sizzle and stir until browned. 

- Remove asparagus.

- While pan is still hot add bean burgers, drizzle with a teaspoon or two of sesame oil and one tablespoon of Tamari

- Cook 2 minutes, turn, and cook 2 minutes more until browned. 

 

Black bean dip:

* 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

* 1 cup salsa, mild or medium

* 1 cup frozen corn, thawed 

* 1 jalapeño, seeded and diced small

* 1 clove fresh garlic, crushed

 

- Pour black beans into a medium size bowl, using a hand masher mash beans slightly, add remaining ingredients, and heat until warm on stovetop or in microwave.

 

Pico de Gallo:

*1 large ripe organic tomato, diced small

*1/2 red or white onion, diced small, about 1/4 cup

*1 small jalapeño, seeded and diced small

*5-7 sprigs of fresh cilantro, finely chopped

*1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice

*sea salt to taste

 

- Place all ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine. 

- Taste and adjust salt to taste. 

- Use immediately or refrigerate until ready to use up to 3 days. 

 

Chili Lime Sauce:

* 4 tablespoons vegan mayo, I used Just brand

* 2 cloves garlic, crushed

* 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

* Sriracha to taste

- Whisk all ingredients together until smooth.

 

 

- Divide rice between 4 plates or large bowls.

- Top with asparagus.

- Slice bean burgers into strips and place on top of asparagus.

- Top with black bean hummus, pico de gallo, drizzle with chili lime sauce, and top with fresh cilantro.

- Divide all ingredients between 3-4 tortillas or skip the tortillas and eat as is.

 

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      Thanksgiving Side Dishes        We all know we love the side dishes more anyway. My favorites were always the mashed potatoes, stuffing, and gravy.  I still love these tasty side dishes but now I make them plant-based. They taste just as good as the originals! So, create a fabulous celebration around lots of Vegan side dishes. Lighten up on the fats and sugar and instead of going into a food coma after dinner enjoy a walk or some early Black Friday shopping.       Sprouted grain bread stuffing   6 slices sprouted grain bread lightly toasted  1 small white onion diced  1 stalk of celery sliced  2 cloves crushed garlic  1 cup Portabello mushrooms diced  Fresh Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme about 1 tablespoon of each chopped.  1 teaspoon Tamari or soy sauce  1/4 teaspoon sea salt  1 cup vegetable broth     Preheat oven to 400.   Place bread slices on a cookie sheet and bake 10 minutes, turning half way until lightly toasted. Cut into bite size pieces and set aside.  In large frying pan heat 1 teaspoon coconut oil. Sauté onions and celery about 3 minutes.  Add mushrooms, herbs, garlic and sauté 3-5 minutes more until everything is tender. Add salt and Tamari.  Add vegetable broth as needed to keep vegetables from sticking. Add in bread and toss to coat with herbs. Pour remaining vegetable broth over entire mixture and stir well. Add more broth if needed.  Spoon into oiled baking dish and cook about 15-20 minutes until browned on top. Serve with Savory mushroom gravy.      Maple Glazed Sweet Potatoes   2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed - about 2-3 cups  1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk  1/4 cup pure maple syrup  1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon  1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger or 1/2 tsp. dry  pinch of sea salt  1/2 cup chopped pecans     Preheat oven to 425.  Place all ingredients in a large sauce pan except pecans. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes. Transfer to a oiled baking dish, stir in pecans, and bake 10-15 minutes until lightly browned. Best served immediately.       Savory Mushroom Gravy   1 green onion, sliced thin  1 cup mushrooms, chopped small  1 clove garlic, crushed  Fresh Thyme and Rosemary - 1/2 tablespoons of each chopped  2 teaspoons Tamari or soy sauce  1 cup Vegetable broth  1/2 cup plain unsweetened soy milk or veggie broth  1 tablespoon gluten-free or other healthy grain flour     In a small saucepan over medium-low heat melt 1 teaspoon coconut oil. Add onion and mushrooms and sauté until browned. Add garlic, herbs, Tamari and cook few more minutes. Add 1 cup veggie broth and bring to a boil. Reduce and simmer. Mix flour with 1/2 cup milk or broth and stir well.  Pour slowly into pan while mixing ingredients together.  Stir and cook until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and serve warm over stuffing or mashed potatoes.      Cherry Apple Cranberry Sauce   1 cup fresh cranberries, washed   2 sweet apples, peeled and diced  1 cup frozen sweet cherries chopped  2-3 Tablespoons pure maple syrup  cinnamon,optional     Mix all ingredients in a small sauce pan and simmer about 15 minutes. Leave chunky or mash with potato masher for thicker sauce. Will thicken as it cools.  Serve warm or refrigerate and serve cold.

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Thanksgiving Side Dishes

 

 

We all know we love the side dishes more anyway. My favorites were always the mashed potatoes, stuffing, and gravy.  I still love these tasty side dishes but now I make them plant-based. They taste just as good as the originals! So, create a fabulous celebration around lots of Vegan side dishes. Lighten up on the fats and sugar and instead of going into a food coma after dinner enjoy a walk or some early Black Friday shopping. 

 

Sprouted grain bread stuffing

6 slices sprouted grain bread lightly toasted

1 small white onion diced

1 stalk of celery sliced

2 cloves crushed garlic

1 cup Portabello mushrooms diced

Fresh Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme about 1 tablespoon of each chopped.

1 teaspoon Tamari or soy sauce

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1 cup vegetable broth

 

Preheat oven to 400. 

Place bread slices on a cookie sheet and bake 10 minutes, turning half way until lightly toasted. Cut into bite size pieces and set aside.

In large frying pan heat 1 teaspoon coconut oil. Sauté onions and celery about 3 minutes.  Add mushrooms, herbs, garlic and sauté 3-5 minutes more until everything is tender. Add salt and Tamari.  Add vegetable broth as needed to keep vegetables from sticking. Add in bread and toss to coat with herbs. Pour remaining vegetable broth over entire mixture and stir well. Add more broth if needed.

Spoon into oiled baking dish and cook about 15-20 minutes until browned on top. Serve with Savory mushroom gravy.

 

Maple Glazed Sweet Potatoes

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed - about 2-3 cups

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger or 1/2 tsp. dry

pinch of sea salt

1/2 cup chopped pecans

 

Preheat oven to 425.

Place all ingredients in a large sauce pan except pecans. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes. Transfer to a oiled baking dish, stir in pecans, and bake 10-15 minutes until lightly browned. Best served immediately. 

 

Savory Mushroom Gravy

1 green onion, sliced thin

1 cup mushrooms, chopped small

1 clove garlic, crushed

Fresh Thyme and Rosemary - 1/2 tablespoons of each chopped

2 teaspoons Tamari or soy sauce

1 cup Vegetable broth

1/2 cup plain unsweetened soy milk or veggie broth

1 tablespoon gluten-free or other healthy grain flour

 

In a small saucepan over medium-low heat melt 1 teaspoon coconut oil. Add onion and mushrooms and sauté until browned. Add garlic, herbs, Tamari and cook few more minutes. Add 1 cup veggie broth and bring to a boil. Reduce and simmer. Mix flour with 1/2 cup milk or broth and stir well.  Pour slowly into pan while mixing ingredients together.  Stir and cook until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and serve warm over stuffing or mashed potatoes.

 

Cherry Apple Cranberry Sauce

1 cup fresh cranberries, washed 

2 sweet apples, peeled and diced

1 cup frozen sweet cherries chopped

2-3 Tablespoons pure maple syrup

cinnamon,optional

 

Mix all ingredients in a small sauce pan and simmer about 15 minutes. Leave chunky or mash with potato masher for thicker sauce. Will thicken as it cools.  Serve warm or refrigerate and serve cold.

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Loaded Potato Soup🥔🥔🥔

Cold temps outside call for warming foods inside. I love creating vegan recipes that taste amazing. This loaded potato soup is bursting with flavor and sure to warm your body and your soul on these cold days. Make it a meatless day everyday:)

Recipe:

* 4 large potatoes, diced 

* 2 teaspoons olive oil

* 1 large onion, diced

* 2 stalks celery, sliced

* 4 cups vegetable broth

* 2 teaspoon thyme 

* 1 teaspoon sea salt

* 1 cup plain unsweetened soy milk

* 2 tablespoons Arrow root powder or flour to thicken, optional

* 4 green onions, sliced thin

* Vegan cheese, I used Chao brand vegan slices, creamy original

* Vegan bacon bits, I used Bac'uns brand

* Salt and pepper to taste

 

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

-Toss potatoes in olive oil, 1 teaspoon thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and place in a single layer on a greased baking pan.

-Cook 30 minutes or until brown, turning halfway.

-Prepare the soup while the potatoes are baking.

-In a medium size sauce pan sauté onions and celery with a few tablespoons of vegetable broth until browned. Add remaining vegetable broth, thyme and salt.

-If using thickener, add to soy milk, mix well, and stir into soup until thickened. 

-Divide potatoes among 4-6 oven proof bowls (depending on their size), ladle in soup. -Top with cheese and place in oven for a few minutes until cheese is melted. 

-Top with bacon bits, green onions, and enjoy!

 

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      Cinnamon-Apple-Beet Smoothie Bowl  Sometimes the oddest array of ingredients come together to make an unexpected delicious surprise. I started with just wanting to create a vibrant red smoothie with beets but, as I added other superfoods and essential oils it became a delicious power bowl, perfect for breakfast and tasty enough for dessert.    Smoothie Recipe:  * 1/2 cup unsweetened cashew milk  * 1/4 cup canned pumpkin   * 1 large sweet apple, save some to dice on top  * 1 small raw beet, peeled and chopped  * 1 tablespoon ground flax seed  * 1 drop Young Living Cinnamon Bark essential oil  * 2 drops Young Living Orange essential oil  Toppings:  * unsweetened large flake coconut  * cocoa nibs  * dried cranberries   * diced apple  * 1-2 tablespoons Daiya strawberry cream cheese   * 1-2 tablespoons organic red raspberry jam  Place all Smoothie ingredients in blender except oils and blend until smooth.  Pour into bowl and stir in oils.  Top with toppings.  Enjoy!!   

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Cinnamon-Apple-Beet Smoothie Bowl

Sometimes the oddest array of ingredients come together to make an unexpected delicious surprise. I started with just wanting to create a vibrant red smoothie with beets but, as I added other superfoods and essential oils it became a delicious power bowl, perfect for breakfast and tasty enough for dessert.  

Smoothie Recipe:

* 1/2 cup unsweetened cashew milk

* 1/4 cup canned pumpkin 

* 1 large sweet apple, save some to dice on top

* 1 small raw beet, peeled and chopped

* 1 tablespoon ground flax seed

* 1 drop Young Living Cinnamon Bark essential oil

* 2 drops Young Living Orange essential oil

Toppings:

* unsweetened large flake coconut

* cocoa nibs

* dried cranberries 

* diced apple

* 1-2 tablespoons Daiya strawberry cream cheese 

* 1-2 tablespoons organic red raspberry jam

Place all Smoothie ingredients in blender except oils and blend until smooth.

Pour into bowl and stir in oils.

Top with toppings.

Enjoy!!

 

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Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

 

 

There’s nothing more satisfying than a warm bowl of soup on a chilly day. This soup hits the spot every time. Butternut squash, sweet potatoes, and carrots combine in a sweet and savory blend of soul warming goodness. Topped with homemade sprouted bread croutons and toasted sunflower seeds it’s hearty enough for a meal.  I’ve been making this soup for years and it always taste delicious and gets rave reviews from family and friends.  

 

Recipe:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Use convection if available. 

 

  •  1 large or 2 medium butternut squash (around 8 cups) peel, cut in half, scoop out seeds, and cut into cubes.  Save the seeds and toast them for about 5 minutes and use as toppings
  • 2 mediums sweet potatoes (3 cups) peel and cut into cubes
  • 2 large carrots peel and slice about 1/2 inch thick (1 cup)
  • 1 sweet onion cut into large chunks (1 cup)
  • 8 Roma tomatoes, halved
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano

 

-Spray large baking dish with cooking spray. 

-Spread vegetables in a single layer. 

-Mix olive oil, salt, garlic, and half the oregano in a small bowl. 

-Pour olive oil mixture over vegetables and mix well until well coated 

-Place in preheated oven and bake 1 hour, turning after 30 minutes. If using non-convection you may need to cook longer until vegetables are tender and browned.

-Spoon cooked vegetables into large pot on stove.

- Add 4 cups vegetable broth, remaining Oregano, bring to a boil, reduce, and simmer 10 minutes. This is a thick hearty soup so don’t be tempted to add extra liquid. 

-Puree soup using a  hand held immersion blender. Or let cool a bit and blend in blender a few cups at a time. 

-Spoon into bowls and add salt, pepper and homemade croutons or toasted sunflower seeds.

 

Croutons:

-Cut 4 slices of sprouted grain bread into small cubes. 

-Place in baking dish and spray well with coconut cooking spray or some olive oil. 

-Sprinkle with sea salt, pepper, and garlic powder and mix well. 

-Place in oven with vegetables for 10 minutes, turning after 5 minutes. 

 

This recipe can be easily doubled.  It freezes well so save some for a cold snowy day. 

 

Enjoy!

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      Tangerine-Pumpkin Smoothie Bowl 🍊🍌🍊  Hope you didn't indulge in too much Halloween candy. If so get back on track with this immune boosting smoothie. Tangerines and pumpkins pack a powerful antioxidant punch! Tangerines are a significant source of vitamin C. Plus, both tangerines and pumpkins are great sources of fiber and protein.  Tangerine oil Boosts Digestive Health  The essential oil of tangerine keeps your stomach in good condition by maintaining the proper flow of digestive juices and maintains the right balance between the acid and bile so that excess acids are neutralized. It soothes the stomach and gives relief from inflammation.  It helps your stomach continue to function properly.  Wow! This is one powerful smoothie! Try it today😉  Recipe:   1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla cashew milk  2 tangerines, peeled   1 frozen banana, cut into chunks  1/3 cup canned pumpkin  1 teaspoon cinnamon  1 tablespoon ground flax seed  4 drops Young Living essential oil   Place all ingredients in high speed blender and blend until creamy. Pour into two small or one large bowl and top with toppings.  Enjoy!!  Toppings:   sliced banana  large flake coconut  tangerine pieces   1 mango, diced  fresh grated ginger      raw pumpkin seeds, optional    

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Tangerine-Pumpkin Smoothie Bowl 🍊🍌🍊

Hope you didn't indulge in too much Halloween candy. If so get back on track with this immune boosting smoothie. Tangerines and pumpkins pack a powerful antioxidant punch! Tangerines are a significant source of vitamin C. Plus, both tangerines and pumpkins are great sources of fiber and protein.

Tangerine oil Boosts Digestive Health

The essential oil of tangerine keeps your stomach in good condition by maintaining the proper flow of digestive juices and maintains the right balance between the acid and bile so that excess acids are neutralized. It soothes the stomach and gives relief from inflammation.  It helps your stomach continue to function properly.

Wow! This is one powerful smoothie! Try it today😉

Recipe:

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla cashew milk
  • 2 tangerines, peeled 
  • 1 frozen banana, cut into chunks
  • 1/3 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seed
  • 4 drops Young Living essential oil

Place all ingredients in high speed blender and blend until creamy. Pour into two small or one large bowl and top with toppings.

Enjoy!!

Toppings:

  • sliced banana
  • large flake coconut
  • tangerine pieces 
  • 1 mango, diced
  • fresh grated ginger    
  • raw pumpkin seeds, optional

 

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      3-Bean Pressure Cooker Chile        If you haven't used a pressure cooker, you are missing out on the easiest and fastest way to cook. Plus, it creates a flavorful dish in minutes that taste better than hours of simmering on the stovetop could ever do.  Using canned beans and tomatoes makes the recipe super simple. I know canned goods have their dark side but look for organic and BPA free brands. Even the big brand names are providing them now. In the long run a few canned ingredients in a fantastic vegan chili is healthier than fast food any day! You can also skip the sautéing of the onions and peppers and just throw it all in, turn it on, and walk away. And if you have absolutely no time at all, buy the onions and peppers pre cut. The Instapot also has a timer. Put everything in the pot in the morning, set the timer, and have it ready when you walk in the door.      There's no excuses!     Recipe:  * 1 large onion, diced  * 2 large red peppers (any color will do), chopped   * 1 15 oz can each of black, kidney, and pinto beans, drained and rinsed  * 3 large cloves garlic, chopped small  * 1 16 oz bag of organic frozen corn  * 3 tablespoons chili powder  * 1 tablespoon smoked paprika  * 1 14.5 oz can petite cut zesty jalapeño tomatoes  * 1 15 oz can tomato sauce   * water      Turn Instapot on sauté and let heat a few minutes. Add onions and a few tablespoons of water and sauté a few minutes. Add peppers, cook a few minutes more until browned adding water as needed. Add remaining ingredients, more water if it's too thick, and set on high 5 minutes. That's it!  When finished let cool naturally for about 10 minutes or release pressure slowly.      Place in a pretty bowl and enjoy!

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3-Bean Pressure Cooker Chile

 

 

If you haven't used a pressure cooker, you are missing out on the easiest and fastest way to cook. Plus, it creates a flavorful dish in minutes that taste better than hours of simmering on the stovetop could ever do.  Using canned beans and tomatoes makes the recipe super simple. I know canned goods have their dark side but look for organic and BPA free brands. Even the big brand names are providing them now. In the long run a few canned ingredients in a fantastic vegan chili is healthier than fast food any day! You can also skip the sautéing of the onions and peppers and just throw it all in, turn it on, and walk away. And if you have absolutely no time at all, buy the onions and peppers pre cut. The Instapot also has a timer. Put everything in the pot in the morning, set the timer, and have it ready when you walk in the door. 

 

There's no excuses!

 

Recipe:

* 1 large onion, diced

* 2 large red peppers (any color will do), chopped 

* 1 15 oz can each of black, kidney, and pinto beans, drained and rinsed

* 3 large cloves garlic, chopped small

* 1 16 oz bag of organic frozen corn

* 3 tablespoons chili powder

* 1 tablespoon smoked paprika

* 1 14.5 oz can petite cut zesty jalapeño tomatoes

* 1 15 oz can tomato sauce 

* water 

 

Turn Instapot on sauté and let heat a few minutes. Add onions and a few tablespoons of water and sauté a few minutes. Add peppers, cook a few minutes more until browned adding water as needed. Add remaining ingredients, more water if it's too thick, and set on high 5 minutes. That's it!  When finished let cool naturally for about 10 minutes or release pressure slowly. 

 

Place in a pretty bowl and enjoy!

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      Roasted Red Pepper Soup     The Fall weather is finally drifting in bringing about shorter days and cooler temperatures. I'm ready to curl up in a blanket and snuggle by the fireplace with a warm bowl of soup. This roasted red pepper soup is brimming with warmth and taste perfect for snuggling by the fireplace or hanging out by an outdoor fire pit with friends.   It's so good that I couldn't stop eating it! I've been a little obsessed with smoked paprika lately. But, it gives everything a little extra smokey flavor and tastes so good. So, don't skip the smoked paprika or the red pepper flakes. It's worth it!  Make some this weekend, embrace the cooler temperatures, and snuggle up with someone you love!   Recipe :  * 4 large red peppers, washed but not cut      or 10 small red peppers  * 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil  * 2 stalks celery, sliced thin  * 2 green onions, sliced  * 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped  * 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes   * 2 teaspoons smoked paprika   * 1 28 ounce can organic crushed tomatoes with basil  * 1 13.5 ounce can unsweetened coconut milk,  shake well  * 2 cups vegetable broth  * Salt and pepper to taste  * Corn and  fresh basil  for toppings     Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place peppers in baking dish, drizzle 2 teaspoons olive oil over peppers, toss peppers around until well coated, sprinkle with salt and pepper, bake about 20-30 minutes, turn halfway through, and bake until blackened on both sides. Let cool before cutting.  When peppers are cool peel off skin or leave on for more flavor. I like to leave the skins on. Remove seeds and chop into pieces.   Heat large sauce pan on medium heat. Add 2 teaspoons olive oil, green onion, celery, and sauté about 1 minute or until browned.   Add red peppers, crushed red pepper, garlic, smoked paprika and 1/2 cup vegetable broth. Let simmer for a minute or two to blend flavors.   Add crushed tomatoes, remaining vegetable broth, mix, and let simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly then blend with an immersion blender or place in blender and blend well or leave little bits for texture.   Stir in half a can of the coconut milk, taste, and add more if desired.  Pour in bowls, swirl with coconut oil and top with corn, fresh basil, and salt and pepper to taste.  Enjoy!!

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Roasted Red Pepper Soup

 

The Fall weather is finally drifting in bringing about shorter days and cooler temperatures. I'm ready to curl up in a blanket and snuggle by the fireplace with a warm bowl of soup. This roasted red pepper soup is brimming with warmth and taste perfect for snuggling by the fireplace or hanging out by an outdoor fire pit with friends. 

It's so good that I couldn't stop eating it! I've been a little obsessed with smoked paprika lately. But, it gives everything a little extra smokey flavor and tastes so good. So, don't skip the smoked paprika or the red pepper flakes. It's worth it!

Make some this weekend, embrace the cooler temperatures, and snuggle up with someone you love!

Recipe:

* 4 large red peppers, washed but not cut

    or 10 small red peppers

* 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

* 2 stalks celery, sliced thin

* 2 green onions, sliced

* 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

* 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 

* 2 teaspoons smoked paprika 

* 1 28 ounce can organic crushed tomatoes with basil

* 1 13.5 ounce can unsweetened coconut milk,  shake well

* 2 cups vegetable broth

* Salt and pepper to taste

* Corn and fresh basil for toppings

 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place peppers in baking dish, drizzle 2 teaspoons olive oil over peppers, toss peppers around until well coated, sprinkle with salt and pepper, bake about 20-30 minutes, turn halfway through, and bake until blackened on both sides. Let cool before cutting.

When peppers are cool peel off skin or leave on for more flavor. I like to leave the skins on. Remove seeds and chop into pieces. 

Heat large sauce pan on medium heat. Add 2 teaspoons olive oil, green onion, celery, and sauté about 1 minute or until browned. 

Add red peppers, crushed red pepper, garlic, smoked paprika and 1/2 cup vegetable broth. Let simmer for a minute or two to blend flavors. 

Add crushed tomatoes, remaining vegetable broth, mix, and let simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly then blend with an immersion blender or place in blender and blend well or leave little bits for texture. 

Stir in half a can of the coconut milk, taste, and add more if desired.  Pour in bowls, swirl with coconut oil and top with corn, fresh basil, and salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy!!

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      Pan Seared Brussels Sprouts with Secret Sauce     Yay! It's Brussels sprout season! Who doesn't love Brussels sprouts? I think even as a kid I loved them. They're just so cute and tasty. Of course they were probably boiled and dripping in butter. But, this easy recipe requires only 2 teaspoons of olive oil and delivers lots of flavor. So pull out your cast iron pan and let's get cooking.   Recipe :  * 1-2 pounds Brussels sprouts, about 30 large  * 3 large shallots, sliced  * 2 teaspoons of olive oil  * sea salt and fresh pepper     *Cut sprouts from stalk, cut off hard bottom, and wash.  *Using slicing blade in food processor slice sprouts. It may be more like shreds but that's ok.  Or you can slice them thinly by hand. Depends on how much time you want to spend.   *Heat large cast iron pan on medium heat for 4 minutes.  *Add 1 teaspoon olive oil and brush to coat pan.  *Add shallots and cook about 1 minute until beginning to brown.  *Add sliced sprouts and 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Cook 2 minutes, turn and cook 2 more minutes. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sea salt and fresh cracked pepper and cook 4 more minutes, turning occasionally until nice and browned.   Secret sauce:   *2 Tablespoons Earth Balance Mayo with olive oil  *2 Tablespoons organic ketchup  *2 teaspoons Franks Red Hot or Sriracha to taste.  Mix well and drizzle over warm Brussels sprouts.  Add more salt and pepper to taste.     Enjoy!!

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Pan Seared Brussels Sprouts with Secret Sauce

 

Yay! It's Brussels sprout season! Who doesn't love Brussels sprouts? I think even as a kid I loved them. They're just so cute and tasty. Of course they were probably boiled and dripping in butter. But, this easy recipe requires only 2 teaspoons of olive oil and delivers lots of flavor. So pull out your cast iron pan and let's get cooking.

Recipe:

* 1-2 pounds Brussels sprouts, about 30 large

* 3 large shallots, sliced

* 2 teaspoons of olive oil

* sea salt and fresh pepper

 

*Cut sprouts from stalk, cut off hard bottom, and wash.

*Using slicing blade in food processor slice sprouts. It may be more like shreds but that's ok.  Or you can slice them thinly by hand. Depends on how much time you want to spend. 

*Heat large cast iron pan on medium heat for 4 minutes.

*Add 1 teaspoon olive oil and brush to coat pan.

*Add shallots and cook about 1 minute until beginning to brown.

*Add sliced sprouts and 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Cook 2 minutes, turn and cook 2 more minutes. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sea salt and fresh cracked pepper and cook 4 more minutes, turning occasionally until nice and browned.

Secret sauce:

*2 Tablespoons Earth Balance Mayo with olive oil

*2 Tablespoons organic ketchup

*2 teaspoons Franks Red Hot or Sriracha to taste.

Mix well and drizzle over warm Brussels sprouts.

Add more salt and pepper to taste.

 

Enjoy!!

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      Pumpkin Spice Hummus     Pumpkin spice hummus is delicious and super easy to make. You can't even taste the chick peas. When it comes to feeding kids healthy foods sometimes you have to tell little white lies to make sure they are eating nutritious food. So, if you have picky eaters in your house, don't even mention that it is made from chick peas and chances are they will never know.  Call it Halloween dip and they'll gobble it up without any complaints.  Chickpeas nutrition truly proves what an amazing superfood chickpeas really are!   Chickpeas, or garbanzo beans, are a great source of plant-based protein (14.5 grams per cup) and fiber, iron, zinc, phosphorus, B vitamins and more. With so many vitamins and nutrients, chickpeas benefit the body in a number of different ways. Here are the top six health benefits of chickpeas:   1. Helps Control Blood Sugar Levels    2. Increases Satiety and Helps with Weight Loss    3. Improves Digestion Thanks to a High Fiber Content    4. Helps Protect Against Heart Disease and Cancer    5. Provides Essential Vitamins and Minerals    6. Great Source of Plant-Based Protein   What are you waiting for? Try some today!   Recipe :  * 1 can organic garbonzo beans (chick peas), drained and rinsed  * 1/2 cup canned 100% pumpkin   * 1 teaspoon coconut oil  * 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract  * 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup  * 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice  * 3 tablespoons water  Place all ingredients except water in food processor and turn on. Process about 1 minute, stop, and scrape down sides. Turn back on and add water 1 tablespoon at a time and process a few minutes until smooth and creamy. Taste, adjust spice, and add more water if needed.  Serve with sliced apples. This also makes a great sandwich with peanut butter.    Enjoy!    

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Pumpkin Spice Hummus

 

Pumpkin spice hummus is delicious and super easy to make. You can't even taste the chick peas. When it comes to feeding kids healthy foods sometimes you have to tell little white lies to make sure they are eating nutritious food. So, if you have picky eaters in your house, don't even mention that it is made from chick peas and chances are they will never know.  Call it Halloween dip and they'll gobble it up without any complaints.

Chickpeas nutrition truly proves what an amazing superfood chickpeas really are! 

Chickpeas, or garbanzo beans, are a great source of plant-based protein (14.5 grams per cup) and fiber, iron, zinc, phosphorus, B vitamins and more. With so many vitamins and nutrients, chickpeas benefit the body in a number of different ways. Here are the top six health benefits of chickpeas:

1. Helps Control Blood Sugar Levels

2. Increases Satiety and Helps with Weight Loss

3. Improves Digestion Thanks to a High Fiber Content

4. Helps Protect Against Heart Disease and Cancer

5. Provides Essential Vitamins and Minerals

6. Great Source of Plant-Based Protein

What are you waiting for? Try some today!

Recipe:

* 1 can organic garbonzo beans (chick peas), drained and rinsed

* 1/2 cup canned 100% pumpkin 

* 1 teaspoon coconut oil

* 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

* 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

* 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

* 3 tablespoons water

Place all ingredients except water in food processor and turn on. Process about 1 minute, stop, and scrape down sides. Turn back on and add water 1 tablespoon at a time and process a few minutes until smooth and creamy. Taste, adjust spice, and add more water if needed.

Serve with sliced apples. This also makes a great sandwich with peanut butter. 

Enjoy!

 

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      Kale Chips     Kale is a powerhouse of nutrition. Plus, it loves the cold weather, so kale is usually available at the farmer's market right up to the end of the season.  Wether you love kale or hate it everyone loves kale chips. These crispy tasty bites of guiltless pleasure will be gobbled up as soon as you make them, so make extra.  Among all 100 of the World's healthiest foods, kale tops the list in terms of lutein content. Lutein is perhaps best known for its supportive role in eye health, and in particular, for its ability to protect different parts of the eye form potential damage by light or oxygen. Along with protecting your eyes from damage, it boosts your health with 1180% vitamin K, 98% vitamin A and 71 % vitamin C per 1 cup cooked. Wow! Talk about a superfood!  What are you waiting for? You can incorporate kale into your daily diet by eating it raw in a salad, juicing it with apple and lemon, steaming it with garlic and olive oil, or baking it crisp for chips. Kale chips also make great tasty toppings for soup instead of croutons and your kids will love them. I promise :)      Recipe:   I bunch kale, tough stems removed, roughly chopped (6-8 cups)  1 tablespoon olive oil  1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice  1/4 teaspoon sea salt  1 tablespoon nutritional yeast, optional- adds a cheesy flavor     In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Use your hands to massage the kale until it's softened and evenly coated with oil.  Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place kale on baking sheet in single layer so they cook evenly. Bake 15 minutes, turn, cook 5-10 minutes more or until crispy and browned. Let cool a few minutes and Enjoy! Store in an airtight container. 

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Kale Chips

 

Kale is a powerhouse of nutrition. Plus, it loves the cold weather, so kale is usually available at the farmer's market right up to the end of the season.

Wether you love kale or hate it everyone loves kale chips. These crispy tasty bites of guiltless pleasure will be gobbled up as soon as you make them, so make extra.

Among all 100 of the World's healthiest foods, kale tops the list in terms of lutein content. Lutein is perhaps best known for its supportive role in eye health, and in particular, for its ability to protect different parts of the eye form potential damage by light or oxygen. Along with protecting your eyes from damage, it boosts your health with 1180% vitamin K, 98% vitamin A and 71 % vitamin C per 1 cup cooked. Wow! Talk about a superfood!

What are you waiting for? You can incorporate kale into your daily diet by eating it raw in a salad, juicing it with apple and lemon, steaming it with garlic and olive oil, or baking it crisp for chips. Kale chips also make great tasty toppings for soup instead of croutons and your kids will love them. I promise :)

 

Recipe:

I bunch kale, tough stems removed, roughly chopped (6-8 cups)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast, optional- adds a cheesy flavor

 

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Use your hands to massage the kale until it's softened and evenly coated with oil.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place kale on baking sheet in single layer so they cook evenly. Bake 15 minutes, turn, cook 5-10 minutes more or until crispy and browned. Let cool a few minutes and Enjoy! Store in an airtight container. 

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      Chickpea "Tuna" Salad  Packed in a juicy ripe tomato, scooped high on a crunchy bed of lettuce, or just sandwiched between two slices of hearty grain bread, this tasty salad is perfect for lunch, dinner, or any time hunger strikes. Full of plant protein and bursting with flavor, it just may become your favorite quick fix.   This was one of my first Vegan recipes when I first started my health journey over five years ago... and now it's a weekly staple. Sometimes we change it up too. My daughter likes honey mustard, I like adding sliced grapes, and my husband likes it with ketchup. To each his own, I guess!  This is an easy meal and the combinations are endless and delicious. So, make it your way, there's no rules.   Enjoy!   Recipe :  2 15-ounce cans organic chickpeas, drained and rinsed.   1 small red onion, diced  3 scallions, thinly sliced  2 T. capers or olives, chopped  2 dill pickles diced  1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped or 1 tablespoon dried dill  1/4 cup walnuts, diced   Place chickpeas in large bowl of a food processor and pulse until small flaky pieces or mash by hand with a potato masher, transfer to a large mixing bowl, add remaining ingredients and mix well.   Dressing :  3 T. Earth Balance Mindful Mayo with olive oil  1 T. Dijon mustard or spicy brown mustard   1 T. apple cider vinegar, optional  Whisk all ingredients in small bowl until smooth, pour over chickpea mixture, and stir well.  Add sea salt and pepper to taste. Double dressing for a creamier salad.  Serve on your favorite bread, on top of a bed of lettuce, or scooped into a fresh ripe tomato.  Serve immediately or refrigerate up to 5 days. 

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Chickpea "Tuna" Salad

Packed in a juicy ripe tomato, scooped high on a crunchy bed of lettuce, or just sandwiched between two slices of hearty grain bread, this tasty salad is perfect for lunch, dinner, or any time hunger strikes. Full of plant protein and bursting with flavor, it just may become your favorite quick fix. 

This was one of my first Vegan recipes when I first started my health journey over five years ago... and now it's a weekly staple. Sometimes we change it up too. My daughter likes honey mustard, I like adding sliced grapes, and my husband likes it with ketchup. To each his own, I guess!

This is an easy meal and the combinations are endless and delicious. So, make it your way, there's no rules. 

Enjoy!

Recipe:

2 15-ounce cans organic chickpeas, drained and rinsed. 

1 small red onion, diced

3 scallions, thinly sliced

2 T. capers or olives, chopped

2 dill pickles diced

1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped or 1 tablespoon dried dill

1/4 cup walnuts, diced 

Place chickpeas in large bowl of a food processor and pulse until small flaky pieces or mash by hand with a potato masher, transfer to a large mixing bowl, add remaining ingredients and mix well.

Dressing:

3 T. Earth Balance Mindful Mayo with olive oil

1 T. Dijon mustard or spicy brown mustard 

1 T. apple cider vinegar, optional

Whisk all ingredients in small bowl until smooth, pour over chickpea mixture, and stir well.  Add sea salt and pepper to taste. Double dressing for a creamier salad.

Serve on your favorite bread, on top of a bed of lettuce, or scooped into a fresh ripe tomato.  Serve immediately or refrigerate up to 5 days. 

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      Cinnamon Raisin French Toast with Caramelized Bananas   Sweet cinnamon French toast is a breakfast everyone can agree on. Crispy on the outside, gooey on the inside, and drizzled with pure sweet maple syrup. Who wouldn't love it? I love to veganize old favorite recipes and create even better versions.  French toast was a must for the transformation and definitely a winner!  I started with this fabulous sprouted grain cinnamon raisin bread from Beta Bread Bakery, perfectly seared in a cast iron pan, topped with maple glazed bananas, sprinkled with a few walnuts, and for a moment life is good! If only everything was that simple.   At least your morning can start off perfect! The rest of the day is up to you!🌟   French Toast:   6-8 Slices sprouted cinnamon raisin bread  3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla cashew milk  1 Teaspoon ground cinnamon  1 Teaspoon pure vanilla extract   2 Tablespoons ground flax seed  Unrefined coconut oil  Cooking spray  Mix milk, cinnamon, vanilla, and flax seed in a shallow bowl. Let sit about 5 minutes to thicken. Heat cast iron pan about 4 minutes on medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon coconut oil to pan and spread evenly. Dip each side of bread into mixture to coat each side. Don't soak. Lay bread in pan and let cook 2-3 minutes, spray top of bread with cooking spray or brush with melted coconut oil to help from sticking, flip, and cook 2-3 minutes more until nicely browned.       Caramelized Bananas:   4-6 very ripe bananas, peeled and sliced  2 tablespoons pure maple syrup   Chopped walnuts for topping  Heat large non-stick pan on medium heat, add 1 tablespoon maple syrup and bananas, cook about 1 minute, turn bananas, add 1 more tablespoon maple syrup and cook 1 more minute until browned.   Serve warm on top of French toast with walnuts and enjoy!

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Cinnamon Raisin French Toast with Caramelized Bananas

Sweet cinnamon French toast is a breakfast everyone can agree on. Crispy on the outside, gooey on the inside, and drizzled with pure sweet maple syrup. Who wouldn't love it? I love to veganize old favorite recipes and create even better versions.  French toast was a must for the transformation and definitely a winner!

I started with this fabulous sprouted grain cinnamon raisin bread from Beta Bread Bakery, perfectly seared in a cast iron pan, topped with maple glazed bananas, sprinkled with a few walnuts, and for a moment life is good! If only everything was that simple. 

At least your morning can start off perfect! The rest of the day is up to you!🌟

French Toast:

6-8 Slices sprouted cinnamon raisin bread

3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla cashew milk

1 Teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 Teaspoon pure vanilla extract 

2 Tablespoons ground flax seed

Unrefined coconut oil

Cooking spray

Mix milk, cinnamon, vanilla, and flax seed in a shallow bowl. Let sit about 5 minutes to thicken. Heat cast iron pan about 4 minutes on medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon coconut oil to pan and spread evenly. Dip each side of bread into mixture to coat each side. Don't soak. Lay bread in pan and let cook 2-3 minutes, spray top of bread with cooking spray or brush with melted coconut oil to help from sticking, flip, and cook 2-3 minutes more until nicely browned. 

 

Caramelized Bananas:

4-6 very ripe bananas, peeled and sliced

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup 

Chopped walnuts for topping

Heat large non-stick pan on medium heat, add 1 tablespoon maple syrup and bananas, cook about 1 minute, turn bananas, add 1 more tablespoon maple syrup and cook 1 more minute until browned. 

Serve warm on top of French toast with walnuts and enjoy!

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       Black Bean Burgers   Beans are a staple of a Vegan diet. Bean soup, bean salad, and of course bean burgers. Beans of all kinds are an important part of a healthy diet. The have been around for 1000's of years and they have been consumed by some of the longest lived civilizations. They contain complex carbohydrates important for fueling our bodies. One 1/2 cup serving of black beans contains 8 grams of protein, 6 grams of fiber, 15% of our daily value of Iron, and only 120 calories.  Eating beans daily can help you lose weight and reverse diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.   I've tried many recipes and have settled on this quick and easy recipe as my go to burger. Toppings make the burger! Experiment with different sauces, veggies, and peppers. You can have a different taste each time. Our new favorite sauce is from Just a Vegan Chipotle mayo by Hampton Creek. It has the perfect peppery kick to take an ordinary bean burger to extraordinary. Yes, it is that good. 😋 I personally like to forgo the bread and place my burger on top of a big plateful of lettuce, onions, tomatoes, banana peppers, and chipotle mayo. Then I have room for herb infused baked French fries. Yum!     Enjoy!         Black Bean Burger Recipe:      1 can black beans, drained and rinsed  1 sweet potato, peeled, cubed and steamed (about 1 cup) optional  1 green onion, sliced  1 clove garlic, crushed  1/4 cup mild or medium salsa  1 Teaspoon chili powder  1 Teaspoon garlic powder  1/2 Teaspoon cumin  1 Tablespoon ground flax seed      Place beans in large glass bowl, mash by hand with a potato masher leaving some bits of beans. Add remaining ingredients except sweet potatoes and mix well. Add sweet potato, mash slightly leaving some chunks. If mixture is too wet add more ground flax seed. For best results refrigerate mixture for about an hour before cooking. This step is recommended but not necessary.      Heat large cast iron skillet on medium for 3 minutes. If using other type of pan heat accordingly. Lightly oil pan or spray with cooking spray. Divide mixture into 3-4 patties. Place all patties in pan, lightly oil top of patties or spray with cooking spray, cook 4 minutes before turning, turn and cook 4 more minutes until brown on other side. Cook few minutes more on each side if needed.     *Burgers can also be cooked on an oiled baking sheet in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes, turning halfway through.      Place on a sprouted grain roll and top with onion, lettuce, tomato, banana peppers, and chipotle mayo. Or skip the roll and place burger on top of a bowl filled with all the toppings. Great either way!      BBQ Bean Burgers      Replace salsa with BBQ sauce and add 1 Tablespoon McCormick's Grill Mates barbecue seasoning. Sprinkle seasoning on top of burgers while cooking.     To make a large batch of burgers, soak 1 pound black beans overnight and cook accordingly. Follow above directions using three times the amount of all ingredients. Makes about 12 burgers.

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Black Bean Burgers

Beans are a staple of a Vegan diet. Bean soup, bean salad, and of course bean burgers. Beans of all kinds are an important part of a healthy diet. The have been around for 1000's of years and they have been consumed by some of the longest lived civilizations. They contain complex carbohydrates important for fueling our bodies. One 1/2 cup serving of black beans contains 8 grams of protein, 6 grams of fiber, 15% of our daily value of Iron, and only 120 calories.  Eating beans daily can help you lose weight and reverse diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. 

I've tried many recipes and have settled on this quick and easy recipe as my go to burger. Toppings make the burger! Experiment with different sauces, veggies, and peppers. You can have a different taste each time. Our new favorite sauce is from Just a Vegan Chipotle mayo by Hampton Creek. It has the perfect peppery kick to take an ordinary bean burger to extraordinary. Yes, it is that good. 😋 I personally like to forgo the bread and place my burger on top of a big plateful of lettuce, onions, tomatoes, banana peppers, and chipotle mayo. Then I have room for herb infused baked French fries. Yum!

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Black Bean Burger Recipe:

 

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 sweet potato, peeled, cubed and steamed (about 1 cup) optional

1 green onion, sliced

1 clove garlic, crushed

1/4 cup mild or medium salsa

1 Teaspoon chili powder

1 Teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 Teaspoon cumin

1 Tablespoon ground flax seed 

 

Place beans in large glass bowl, mash by hand with a potato masher leaving some bits of beans. Add remaining ingredients except sweet potatoes and mix well. Add sweet potato, mash slightly leaving some chunks. If mixture is too wet add more ground flax seed. For best results refrigerate mixture for about an hour before cooking. This step is recommended but not necessary. 

 

Heat large cast iron skillet on medium for 3 minutes. If using other type of pan heat accordingly. Lightly oil pan or spray with cooking spray. Divide mixture into 3-4 patties. Place all patties in pan, lightly oil top of patties or spray with cooking spray, cook 4 minutes before turning, turn and cook 4 more minutes until brown on other side. Cook few minutes more on each side if needed.

 

*Burgers can also be cooked on an oiled baking sheet in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes, turning halfway through. 

 

Place on a sprouted grain roll and top with onion, lettuce, tomato, banana peppers, and chipotle mayo. Or skip the roll and place burger on top of a bowl filled with all the toppings. Great either way!

 

BBQ Bean Burgers

 

Replace salsa with BBQ sauce and add 1 Tablespoon McCormick's Grill Mates barbecue seasoning. Sprinkle seasoning on top of burgers while cooking.

 

To make a large batch of burgers, soak 1 pound black beans overnight and cook accordingly. Follow above directions using three times the amount of all ingredients. Makes about 12 burgers.

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Fresh Tomato and Garlic Sandwich

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Fresh Tomato and Garlic Sandwich

My all-time favorite sandwich is fresh tomato and garlic. It might not sound overly exciting, but when all the components are just right it is down right delicious!

Take a freshly baked Kalamata olive roll (Beta Bread Bakery is my preferred choice!), top it with a thick slice of tomato brushed with fresh garlic and extra virgin olive oil, and finally a sprinkle of pink Himalayan sea salt. Simplicity is everything when putting together some lunch in a hurry, be it for yourself or as a backseat snack on the way to soccer practice and it doesn't get much easier than this!

Besides tasting fantastic, this sandwich also comes with its health benefits. Garlic is recognized as one of the most beneficial vegetables you can eat. For thousands of years, it was actually believed to have medicinal properties. Here are a few good reasons to add garlic to your daily diet. 

* Garlic supplementation helps to prevent and reduce the severity of common illnesses like the flu and common cold.

* Garlic ranks as one of the top vegetables in preventing cancer.  

* High doses of garlic appear to improve blood pressure of those with known high blood pressure (hypertension). 

* Garlic supplementation seems to reduce total and LDL cholesterol, particularly in those who have high cholesterol.

* Garlic contains antioxidants that protect against cell damage and ageing. It may reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

* Garlic has known beneficial effects on common causes of chronic disease, so it makes perfect sense that it could help you live longer.

What are you waiting for? Grab some garlic today and eat it everyday!

Recipe:

1 large ripe tomato, sliced into 4 large slices

2 kalamata rolls, or sprouted grain bread

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, crushed 

Pink Himalayan sea salt to taste

Mix olive oil and garlic in small bowl, spoon evenly onto tops and bottoms of 2 rolls, sprinkle each with salt, place two slices of tomatoes on each bottom half, sprinkle tomatoes with salt, top with top half of roll, and enjoy.  

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      Zucchini Noodles, White Beans, and Marinara Sauce  Zucchini season is beginning to wind down but, I'll keep spiralizing until they're all gone. This recipe is great for those large zucchinis that were hiding in the garden all summer or your neighbor is giving away by the basketful. Grab them up and start making zoodles (the official name of zucchini noodles) At least that's what I read.  But, even with the bigger zucchinis the noodles are juicy and tender and perfect sautéed with garlic and olive oil. I added some white Cannelini beans for added protein and topped it with marinara sauce.  Within in minutes you have a hearty delicious meal!   Try it today!   Recipe:   1 large zucchini, spiralized on medium blade, about 8 cups  2 large cloves garlic, or 4 small, crushed  1 tablespoon olive oil  1 can cannelllini beans, drained and rinsed  1 tablespoon dried Italian seasonings   Sea salt and pepper to taste  1 jar marinara sauce      Heat large cast iron skillet 3 minutes.  Add zucchini, garlic, beans, olive oil, and seasonings.  Stir frequently for about 2 minutes until zucchini is softened.  Remove from pan, season with salt and pepper, and top with marinara sauce.  Enjoy!!

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Zucchini Noodles, White Beans, and Marinara Sauce

Zucchini season is beginning to wind down but, I'll keep spiralizing until they're all gone. This recipe is great for those large zucchinis that were hiding in the garden all summer or your neighbor is giving away by the basketful. Grab them up and start making zoodles (the official name of zucchini noodles) At least that's what I read.  But, even with the bigger zucchinis the noodles are juicy and tender and perfect sautéed with garlic and olive oil. I added some white Cannelini beans for added protein and topped it with marinara sauce.  Within in minutes you have a hearty delicious meal! 

Try it today!

Recipe:

1 large zucchini, spiralized on medium blade, about 8 cups

2 large cloves garlic, or 4 small, crushed

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 can cannelllini beans, drained and rinsed

1 tablespoon dried Italian seasonings 

Sea salt and pepper to taste

1 jar marinara sauce 

 

Heat large cast iron skillet 3 minutes.

Add zucchini, garlic, beans, olive oil, and seasonings.

Stir frequently for about 2 minutes until zucchini is softened.

Remove from pan, season with salt and pepper, and top with marinara sauce.

Enjoy!!

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       Roasted Sweet Baby Bell Peppers   I got an incredible buy on these vibrant little peppers. It was the end of the day at the farmer’s market and the nice farmer lady overfilled a bag with these little gems for the same price as the tiny box of six would cost. Awesome!   But, they were so pretty I didn’t want to use them. They decorated my table for days and made an appearance in another Instagram picture but I knew I had to cook them before they spoiled. I’m so glad that I did!   A little olive oil, salt, and smoked paprika transformed these baby bell peppers into sweet and smokey, juicy little bites. I ate most of them on their own but saved a few for roasted red pepper hummus. Yum!  Maybe I’ll hit the farmer’s market late again this week and get lucky with another great buy!   Recipe :  Preheat oven to 425 degrees (convection if available)   20 assorted colored baby peppers, washed and keep whole  1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil  1/2 teaspoon sea salt  1 teaspoon smoked paprika   Toss peppers in olive oil and spices.  Lay in a single layer in a glass baking dish. Bake 15 minutes, turn, and bake 15 minutes more or until nicely browned. Let cool a few minutes before eating.      Hummus Recipe:   1 can 16 oz can  Garbonzo beans, drained and rinsed  1 T. tahini  (sesame seed butter)  1 T. extra-virgin olive oil  1 T fresh lemon juice  1/2 tsp. sea salt  1/2 tsp. Cumin  1 large garlic clove crushed  3 T. or more water     Place all ingredients except water in food processor.   Turn on and blend for about 5 minutes adding water as needed until smooth.  Taste and add more seasonings if needed. Drizzle on some hot sauce and serve with grilled zucchini, grape tomatoes, fresh carrots, cucumbers, peppers, or use as a spread on wraps and sandwiches.  For roasted red pepper hummus: Let peppers cool, remove stem and seeds, add a few to the hummus and process.  Chop a few and stir in at the end.  Enjoy with sliced cucumbers and baby carrots.  Yum!!                                          

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Roasted Sweet Baby Bell Peppers

I got an incredible buy on these vibrant little peppers. It was the end of the day at the farmer’s market and the nice farmer lady overfilled a bag with these little gems for the same price as the tiny box of six would cost. Awesome! 

But, they were so pretty I didn’t want to use them. They decorated my table for days and made an appearance in another Instagram picture but I knew I had to cook them before they spoiled. I’m so glad that I did! 

A little olive oil, salt, and smoked paprika transformed these baby bell peppers into sweet and smokey, juicy little bites. I ate most of them on their own but saved a few for roasted red pepper hummus. Yum!

Maybe I’ll hit the farmer’s market late again this week and get lucky with another great buy!

Recipe:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees (convection if available)

  • 20 assorted colored baby peppers, washed and keep whole
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

Toss peppers in olive oil and spices.  Lay in a single layer in a glass baking dish. Bake 15 minutes, turn, and bake 15 minutes more or until nicely browned. Let cool a few minutes before eating.

 

Hummus Recipe:

1 can 16 oz can  Garbonzo beans, drained and rinsed

1 T. tahini  (sesame seed butter)

1 T. extra-virgin olive oil

1 T fresh lemon juice

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/2 tsp. Cumin

1 large garlic clove crushed

3 T. or more water

 

Place all ingredients except water in food processor. 

Turn on and blend for about 5 minutes adding water as needed until smooth.

Taste and add more seasonings if needed. Drizzle on some hot sauce and serve with grilled zucchini, grape tomatoes, fresh carrots, cucumbers, peppers, or use as a spread on wraps and sandwiches.

For roasted red pepper hummus: Let peppers cool, remove stem and seeds, add a few to the hummus and process.  Chop a few and stir in at the end.

Enjoy with sliced cucumbers and baby carrots.

Yum!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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