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Greek Spaghetti Squash

I was wanting to make spaghetti squash differently so I put a little Greek spin to it. A simple, yet delicious spin on spaghetti squash.  While the squash is roasting you can prepare the filling. Dinner will be ready in about 30 – 40 minutes.

  • 1 Spaghetti Squash
  • vegetable broth for sautéing
  • 1/2 c onions, diced
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 14.5 oz canned tomatoes, diced – do not drain
  • 15 oz can chickpeas, drained, rinsed
  • 2 tbsp kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1 tsp oregano, dried, plus a little more to season squash
  • 1 tsp dill, dried, plus a little more to season squash

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Cut squash in half horizontally and scrape out seeds. Season squash with some of both oregano and dill.

Note: Rubbing dried herbs between your fingers will help release more of their flavor.

Place squash cut side down on a prepared baking sheet. Bake until tender about 30-40 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet sauté onions, until translucent and softened – use vegetable broth as needed. Add garlic, oregano and dill. Stir until well mixed and then add chickpeas. Stir to coast chickpeas with onion mixture. Sauté for a 2-3 minutes. Add tomatoes and thoroughly mix all the ingredients together.

Using a fork shred the squash into strands into the skillet with the chickpea mixture. Thoroughly stir mixture until well incorporated.

Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Note: For a pretty presentation you can return the squash mixture to the squash and serve it in the squash.

 

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Moroccan Chickpea-Stuffed Acorn Squash

As I have mentioned I have been taking a cooking class for professional certification in Whole Food Plant Based Cooking. One assignment was called the black box, kind of like the show Chopped. We had to use some greens a starchy vegetable and then whatever else we wanted. This is what I cam up with. It was so good I thought I would share it with you.

Note: This recipe is for 2, but it can be multiplied easily to feed more people.

  • 1 acorn squash, sliced in half with the seeds scooped out
  • 1/2 c onion, finely diced
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1/8 tsp cumin, ground
  • pinch cinnamon, ground
  • 1 c chickpeas, rinsed drained
  • 1/4 c vegetable broth + more sautéing
  • 2 tbsp cranberries, dried
  • 5 oz. baby spinach, stems removed
  • 2 tbsp cilantro, fresh, chopped
  • 1 tbsp sliced almonds, toasted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.

Place squash on prepared pan, cut sides-down. Bake until tender, about 40-50 minutes.

Meanwhile, while the squash is roasting add onions to a large dutch oven over medium heat. Cook onions until they are golden. Add vegetable broth as needed to sauté onion.

Stir in garlic, cumin and cinnamon. Work spices into onions. Cook until fragrant. Stir in chickpeas. Coat chickpeas with onion mixture. Add cranberries and vegetable broth. Cook until cranberries have plumped.

Add the spinach by the handfuls. As the spinach begins to wilt add another handful, until the spinach is wilted. When all the spinach is wilted, stir in the lemon juice.

Fill the acorn squash with the chickpea mixture. Garnish with the fresh cilantro and toasted almonds.

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Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Tuna-Less Tuna Salad

This is another assignment for my cooking class. I think this tuna-less tuna salad would be great for lunches. It has only a few ingredients, which makes it quick to make. I do like to let it chill for at least a half an hour so that the flavors meld together. If you can make it the night before that would be ideal.

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained, rinsed
  • 1 tbsp onion, dried, minced
  • 1/4 c celery stalk, diced
  • 1 tbsp kelp granules
  • 1/2 c Cashew Sour Cream or vegan mayonnaise

In a large bowl, using a pastry cutter smash the chickpeas. Add the rest of the ingredients and thoroughly mix. Chill for at least 30 minutes.

Serve as a sandwich, dip, or on top of some salad greens.

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Coconut Braised Chickpeas with Spinach & Sun-Dried Tomatoes

This is a flavorful and satisfying dish. Chickpeas, spinach and sun-dried tomatoes simmered in coconut milk with garlic and ginger. Your house will smell amazing. Ladle this over brown basmati rice and you have a perfectly balanced meal.

  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp ginger, fresh, minced
  • 1 lemon, zested, juiced
  • 1/2 c sun-dried tomatoes, julienned
  • 1 – 15 oz. can chickpeas, drained, rinsed
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red chili flakes
  • 6 oz. baby spinach
  • 1 – 14 oz. can lite coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp ginger, ground
  • 1/4 c cilantro, chopped, garnish

In a large dutch oven over medium heat sauté onions until they are translucent. Add garlic and ginger. Sauté until garlic is fragrant. Add lemon zest, chili flakes, and sun-dried tomatoes. Cook for 1-2 minutes.

Add the chickpeas and stir to coat them in the tomato mixture. Cook the chickpeas until they get a little color to them and they are heated through.

Turn the heat down slightly and add the spinach by handfuls. When the first handful is slightly wilted and another and continue until all the spinach is wilted.

Add coconut milk, ground ginger and some of the lemon juice. Bring to a simmer. Taste for seasoning. Add remaining lemon juice if needed.

Serve immediately over brown basmati rice and top with cilantro.

 

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White Bean and Tomato Ragu

This is a simple, yet, flavorful meal. It requires very few ingredients and is made in under 30 minutes. The ragu would be great for meal prep for your lunch during the week, just double the ingredients.

  • vegetable broth for sautéing
  • 3/4  c, onions, chopped
  • 1 tsp All-Purpose Seasoning
  • 2 tsp garlic,minced
  • 1 pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 15 oz. can cannellini beans, rinsed, drained (1 1/2 c)

Add onions and All-Purpose Seasoning to a large skillet. Cook over medium heat, until onions are translucent. Add garlic and continue to sauté until garlic is fragrant.

Add red pepper flakes, tomatoes and cannellini beans. Stir and cook until thoroughly heated.

I served the ragu over polenta medallions. However, you could serve it over rice, pasta or eat it all by itself.

DSC_0048 59Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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One Pot Spinach, Chickpeas & Cherry Tomatoes Penne

This is such a colorful dish. It is one of my standard pasta dishes that I have made for years. All the veggies are just heated through so that they still have that freshness. A hint of lemon adds a little brightness and a dash of red pepper flakes for a subtle heat. It is perfectly balanced and veggie packed.

Besides being flavorful and delicious, it is all made in one pot. That means less clean up and more time for other things.

  • 12 oz. brown rice penne (I like jovial)
  • 3/4 c onion(s), chopped
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 5 oz spinach, fresh, stemmed, chopped
  • 15.5 oz chickpeas, drained, rinsed
  • 3 c cherry tomatoes, fresh, halved (I used mini San Marzano tomatoes)
  • 1 lemon, zested, juiced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp All-Purpose Seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 c nutritional yeast
  • vegetable broth for sautéing

Prepare penne according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.

Add onions to the same pot that you cooked the penne in. Sauté onions until they are translucent. Add vegetable broth as needed to keep onions from sticking to pot.

Add garlic and sauté until fragrant. Add remaining ingredients and sauté until heated through. Return penne to pot and thoroughly stir ingredients until well combined.

Note: For a more saucy pasta dish mix together 1 c vegetable broth and 2 tsp of cornstarch/arrowroot to make a slurry. Then stir in vegetable broth slurry in to pasta mixture.

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Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Easy Shepherd’s Pie

I have been wanting to make this for months, but it was just plain too hot. It still is too hot down here in Florida, but I cannot wait any longer. I am in the mood for autumn and this Shepherd’s Pie.

This recipe serves four, but is easily multiplied to feed a crowd. The filling is simple to make, just add the ingredients together and stir. Now that is easy. You could even assemble ahead of time and pop it into the oven when you are ready for a comforting meal.

Topping:

  • 2 c russet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 c nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp All-Purpose Seasoning
  • Plant milk (I used plain unsweetened almond), as needed

In a medium sauce pan cook potatoes over high heat. Potatoes are done when you can easily smash them with a fork. Drain potatoes.

Smash potatoes whichever way you prefer. I used a pastry blender and it worked well. When the potatoes are smashed add the remaining ingredients. Start with about 1/4 cup of plant milk. Add more plant milk as needed. Mix well, until potatoes are creamy. Set potato mixture aside.

Filling:

  • 1 – 15 oz. can Lentil soup
  • 3 c mixed vegetables, frozen, thawed
  • 1/4 c nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 c onion(s), minced
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp All-Purpose Seasoning
  • 1 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine all the filling ingredients in a large bowl. Stir until completely combined.

Pour filling into an 8×8 baking dish. Top filling with potato mixture.

Bake for 30 minutes, until potatoes are golden brown. Let col for 5-10 minutes.

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Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

 

 

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Warm Lentil Salad with Confetti Veggies

This lentil salad can be served with greens or without. Either way it is a healthy, protein packed salad. Delicious is the perfect word for this salad. Tired of your everyday salads? Then gives this one a try. You can serve hot or warm as a side or a main salad.

The recipe is great for those that like to meal prep. You can use home fries (pictured below) or mashed potatoes as a base. It really does not matter because they are delicious all on their own.

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  • vegetable broth, for sautéing
  • 1 c yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 c celery, finely diced
  • 1/2 c carrot, finely diced
  • 1 tsp All-Purpose Seasoning
  • 1 tbsp garlic clove(s), minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 c lentils, rinsed
  • 2 1/2 c vegetable broth
  • Cilantro Dressing

In a large skillet on medium, heat 1-2 tbsp vegetable broth. Add onions, celery, carrots and All-Purpose Seasoning. Saute until they are slightly tender, about 5 minutes.

Add garlic and bay leaves and saute until fragrant, about 30-60 seconds.

Add lentils and saute with onion mixture, about 1-2 minutes.

Add broth to vegetable mixture and bring to a boil. Cover skillet and reduce heat.

Simmer until lentils are fully cooked and tender, about 45 minutes.

Combine lentil mixture with cilantro dressing. Stir until thoroughly combined.

Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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O’Brien Refried Bean Quesadillas -Transformation Meal

Transformation Meal? What is that? A transformation meal is taking ingredients from another meal and making into something completely different. This is one of my favorite ways to cook.

I have brought to you different ways to do this before. For instance, I started with my Warm Spinach Artichoke Dip. Then I used the Warm Spinach Artichoke Dip to put on a baked potato for a lunch the next day. I still had some leftover and used as a filling for my Spinach Artichoke Lasagna. Finally used the remaining for an appetizer and made Roasted Baby Potatoes topped with Spinach Artichoke Dip. Lots of different meal ideas from one main starting dish. That is a tranformation meal.

Yesterday I made Refried Bean Tostadas. I have plenty of refried beans leftover so today I am going to make O’Brien Refried Bean Quesadillas.

  • 2 Food For Life – Brown Rice Tortillas
  • 1/2 c Refried Beans (from Refried Bean Tostadas), warmed
  • 2 tbsp chili-lime jackfruit
  • 3/4 c O’brien potatoes, frozen
  • vegetable broth, as needed to cook potatoes
  • 1/4 tsp Smokey Southwestern Seasoning
  • salsa, favorite, garnish

In a large skillet add potatoes and Smokey Southwestern Seasoning. Cook over medium to medium-high heat until potatoes have browned.. Transfer potatoes to a bowl and set aside.

Layer refried bean mixture, jackfruit and potatoes on a tortilla. Like making a sandwich place the remaining tortilla on the top.

Using the skillet that you browned the potatoes in, cook quesadilla to a golden brown. Turn quesadilla over to brown the other side. Transfer to a cutting board and cut with a pizza cutter.

Garnish with your favorite salsa.

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Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

Note: I like to use O’Brien potatoes because they have peppers and onions already in the mix. The potatoes add a great texture to the quesadilla.

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Refried Bean Tostadas

These tostadas are quick and simple to make. They would also be great for appetizers or an after-school snack. I served ours with a sliced fresh peach for lunch. You can make them as simple or elaborate as you want. There really are not any rules for these. Let your imagination go wild.

  • 1 16 oz. can of fat free refried beans
  • 1/2 c salsa, favorite (I like Newman’s)
  • Corn tostada shells
  • 1/2 c chili-lime jackfruit, shredded
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 5 tomatoes, cherry, quartered

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium sauce pan add refried beans and salsa. Stir beans and salsa until well combined. Cook over medium heat, until bean mixture is heated thoroughly. Set aside.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Place tostada shells onto mat.

Spread bean mixture onto tostada shells. Layer jackfruit on top of the bean mixture. Scatter a few pieces of tomato on the top of the beans and jackfruit.

Bake in the oven for about 5 minutes. Remove from oven and top with chopped avocado.

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Serve. Eat. Enjoy.