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Baked Penne with Creamy Tomato Sauce and Lentil Meatballs

This was an easy to throw together meal. I had the penne in the pantry and both the Creamy Tomato Sauce and the Lentil Meatballs in the refrigerator waiting to be used. Everything could be assembled ahead of time so when you got home from work you could pop it in the oven and in 30 minutes a meal is ready. Just enough time to get yourself comfy.

Note: I would make a full recipe of the Lentil Meatballs and freeze half the recipe for another time.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cook penne according to package directions in a large dutch oven. Reserve about a coup of the penne liquid before draining the penne.

In the large dutch oven that you cooked the penne in, combine the penne, Creamy Tomato Sauce, Lentil Meatballs and nutritional yeast. Add pasta liquid as needed. You want the sauce a little soupy because the penne will soak up some of the sauce as it bakes.

Bake for 30 minutes. Garnish with some fresh basil.

This would be great served with my Easy Focaccia Bread.

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Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Lentil Meatballs

I made these because I was wanting to try my hand at using lentils in a different way. There is no need to cook the lentils before making the meatballs. By soaking them the lentils keep their texture, yet are tender.

This is one of those combine everything together type of recipes. One of my favorite kinds.

First Blend:

  • 1/2 c onion, chopped
  • 8 oz. portobello mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp All-Purpose Seasoning
  • 1/2 c walnuts
  • 1/2 c nutritional yeast

Combine onions, mushrooms, All-Purpose Seasoning, walnuts and nutritional yeast into a food processor. Process until the ingredients are well incorporated.

Second Blend:

Add lentil, tomato paste, GF All-Purpose Flour Blend and GF oats to the food processor. Process until all the ingredients from the first blend and the second blend are completely combined.

Refrigerate for 30-60 minutes for the ingredients to firm up.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.

Form the lentil mixture into golf ball size balls. This recipe makes about 24 lentil balls. Place the lentil balls onto the prepared baking sheet.

Bake for 15 minutes. Turn lentil balls over and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

Serve with pasta and a favorite sauce, or in your favorite grain bowl.

Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Creamy Tomato Sauce

This is my favorite red sauce. Well, actually it is more of a pink sauce. I always seem to have marinara sauce on hand and I always have my Cashew Béchamel – Basic White Sauce either in the freezer or the refrigerator. When you combine the two – Wow and Yum. You do not have to settle for one or the other. You can have both.

You can always use a jar of marinara as a shortcut, but homemade is the best. Make a big batch of Marinara and freeze it in 2-3 cup increments. Then you will always have some ready for a quick meal.

Combine the Marinara and the Cashew Béchamel – Basic White Sauce into a large pot. Cook over medium heat until heated through.

Use as you wish. Pizza Sauce. Pasta Sauce. Dipping Sauce…

Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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JB’s Lemon Tahini Dressing

This is an all-purpose dressing for bowls, salads, roasted vegetables, whatever your mind can think of. It has the perfect balance of creamy, acid and sweet. It can be made in a jar with just a few shakes.

Combine all the ingredients into a mason jar. Seal jar with lid and shake vigorously. If needed, add more water to thin out the dressing.

This should last at least a week in the refrigerator, if it lasts that long.

Drizzle. Eat. Enjoy.

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Cookie Dough Bites

This is an updated version of my Chocolate Covered Cookie Dough Bites. I think they are even better than the original. They are protein packed and addictive.  I am just giving you fair warning now.

Dough Ingredients:

  • 1 can (1 1/2 c) chickpeas/garbanzo beans, drained, rinsed
  • 6 dates soaked in hot water, drained
  • 1/2 c gf oats
  • 1/4 c peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 c water (1 tbsp at a time)
  • pinch of Himalayan salt

Combine dough ingredients into a high-speed blender. Blend on high, adding water as needed to loosed the dough. (I used the water that I soaked the dates in.) You might need to scrape down the sides periodically.

Blend the dough until it is creamy and smooth. Transfer the dough to a large bowl.

Stir-In:

  • 1/2 c chocolate chips, Vegan/GF, chopped

Add chocolate chips to dough mixture and stir to thoroughly incorporate the ingredients.

Chill in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.

Roll the dough into walnut size bites and place on prepared baking sheet.

Freeze dough bites until they have firmed up. Store in a sealable container in the refrigerator.

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Share. Eat. Enjoy.

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Baby Greens Quinoa & Chickpea-Pea Falafel Bowl

I like to make a batch of Falafels and use them to make different kinds of meals. I made this bowl with part of a batch of Chickpea-Pea Falafels. This bowl had the perfect combination of ingredients.

This recipe makes 2 servings.

  • 4 c Baby Spinach & Baby Kale
  • 1 c Tri-colored Quinoa, cooked
  • 6 Chickpea-Pea Falafels
  • 1 c cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 tbsp sunflower seeds

Layer all the ingredients in a bowl and top with your favorite sauce. I like the Creamy Cilantro Sauce or maybe the Green Goddess.

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Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Easy Chickpea-Pea Falafels

This recipe is easy and adaptable to go with your likings. It is a twist on my Easy Falafels GF/Vegan. The mixture ia all made in the food processor so there is minimal cleanup. I always like minimal cleanup.

  • 1 1/2 c chickpeas
  • 1/3 c peas, frozen
  • 1/2 c onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp Himalayan salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp coriander
  • 4 tbsp oat flour

Note: You can use the canned variety of chickpeas, however, make sure they are rinsed and drained.

Note: Oat flour can be made by grinding rolled oats into a spice grinder or food processor.

Combine all the ingredients into the food processor and process until it is thoroughly combined and resembles a crumbly dough.

Transfer to a bowl and cover. Refrigerate the dough for 1-2 hours. The refrigeration helps the dough to firm up and the falafels hold together better.

Form dough into 12 little patties. Cook the falafels over medium heat in a non-stick skillet. Make sure the skillet is hot before you put the falafels in the pan. Cook each side until a deep golden color.

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Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Raspberries with Healthier Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

I made these for us on Valentine’s Day. They were the perfect combination of fruit and chocolate.

Note: You will have Healthier Chocolate Hazelnut Spread leftover. It can be used for so many things. So don’t worry I’ve got some ideas coming your way.

Fill a zip lock bag with the Healthier Chocolate Hazelnut Spread. Remove air from the bag and close Snip the corner of the bag. Twist the bag so it is easily held in one hand. Squeeze some on the Healthier Chocolate Hazelnut Spread into the raspberry cavity. Repeat.

It is that easy.

Share. Eat. Enjoy.

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Mini Mexican Chickpea Burgers

These are actually a twist on my Easy Falafels, using Mexican flavor seasonings. It is a nice change from the Mediterranean flavors. They can be made in batches, frozen and then reheated for a quick meal or snack. They have only 6 ingredients. That’s pretty easy.

Note: You can use the canned variety of chickpeas, however, make sure they are rinsed and drained.

Note: Oat flour can be made by grinding rolled oats into a spice grinder or food processor.

Combine all the ingredients into the food processor and process until it is thoroughly combined and resembles a crumbly dough.

Transfer to a bowl and cover. Refrigerate the dough for 1-2 hours. The refrigeration helps the dough to firm up and the burgers hold together better.

Form dough into 12 little patties. Cook the burgers over medium heat in a non-stick skillet. Make sure the skillet is hot before you put the burgers in the pan. Cook each side until a deep golden color.

Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Spinach Pesto Farfalle with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Chickpeas

This is a flavor packed 30 minute meal.  The roasted tomatoes add so much flavor that just bursts in your mouth. The roasted chickpeas add a wonderful texture to the farfalle. The Spinach Pesto not only adds flavor, it adds tons of nutrients. I love when you can make delicious feel good food in 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the tomatoes on a non-stick or parchment lined baking sheet around the edges and the chickpeas in the center of the baking sheet. Sprinkle All-Purpose Seasoning on top of the tomatoes and chickpeas.

Roast the tomatoes and chickpeas for 25 minutes, stirring halfway through the roasting time.

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While the tomatoes and chickpeas are roasting bring the water for the farfalle to a bowl. Cook farfalle according to package directions. The Jovial brand takes 10 minutes to cook.

Make the Spinach Pesto while the water is coming to a boil, and the tomatoes and chickpeas are roasting.

Drain pasta and return to pot the pasta was cooked in. Add the Spinach Pesto, roasted cherry tomatoes and chickpeas. Stir until all the ingredients are well combined.

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This is great with my Easy “Cheesy” Focaccia Bread.

Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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