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Baked Macaroni & Cheese – WFPB

Macaroni and Cheese is a favorite comfort food of mine. There is just something about it, that I cannot even put into words – mmmm. This recipe is veggie packed, nutritious and delicious. Waiting for it to come out of the oven is a task in itself.

This recipe does require a blender to blitz the sauce. Be careful when blending, because the ingredients will be hot off the stove when you blend the sauce. Make sure you leave an opening to let out the steam. I would not want you to get burnt.

Serve with your favorite green vegetable and a side salad. Now your set for a fabulous meal.

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Bread Crumb Mixture:

Combine all the crumb mixture ingredients and stir. Set aside.

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sauce – First Part:

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 1/2 c yellow potatoes, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 c raw cashews
  • 2 1/2 – 3 c water

Combine ingredients into a large dutch oven. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer.

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Pasta:

While veggies are cooking, prepare macaroni according to package directions.

Drain pasta. Transfer to a 9×13 baking dish. Stir in all-purpose seasoning and nutritional yeast.

Sauce – Blending – Part 2:

  • Ingredients from dutch oven, including liquid
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp miso paste
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 c nutritional yeast
  • 2 tsp Savory Spice Blend

Blend until creamy. Taste for seasoning.

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Mix sauce in with the pasta. Make sure you use plenty of sauce. The macaroni will absorb some of the sauce as it bakes.

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Top pasta mixture with bread crumbs.

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Bake for 30 minutes, until sauce is bubbling.

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Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Forbidden Rice Salad Spring Rolls

The last Spring Roll recipe I brought to you was made with Quinoa. This new recipe uses Forbidden Rice or Black Rice. Forbidden has a wonderful unique flavor. I also used the Forbidden Rice on a salad. Anyway you serve it it is delicious.

These are easy to assemble once you get the feel of the rice paper wraps, and you do not over soak or fill them. Spring Rolls are a favorite in my house. Once you try these I think they will be in yours too.

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  • Rice paper wraps
  • Baby Spinach leaves
  • Forbidden Rice Salad
  • 1 yellow squash, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 carrot, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 mango, cubed
  • Asian Dressing, one recipe, for dipping

Lay out your ingredients for easy assembly of Spring Rolls.

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Soak each rice paper for about 15-20 seconds (just so that the rice paper is pliable) as you make each spring roll.

Lay out spring roll unto work surface. Layer ingredients.

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Fold sides inward (like the sides of an envelope).

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Start from the bottom, tuck and roll ingredients, making a tube. Set aside. Repeat.

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Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Asian Forbidden Rice Salad

This is another recipe from my cooking class (with adaptations). Mix the rice with some fresh spinach or kale and you have a fresh nutritious salad that your family will be wanting more.

I have made Forbidden (Black) Rice before. It has such a wonderful unique flavor, compared to any other rice.

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Rice:

  • 3 c cooked Forbidden (black) Rice
  • 3 tbs chives, minced
  • 2/3 c carrot, shredded
  • 1/4 c bok choy, shredded
  • 3 tbsp cilantro, fresh, chopped

Mix ingredients in a large bowl.

Dressing:

  • 3 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp miso paste
  • 1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 1 1/2 tsp ginger, fresh, grated
  • 3 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil (optional)

Whisk together all the ingredients in a measuring cup with a pouring spout.

Combine rice mixture and dressing together in a large bowl. Stir until mixture is well incorporated.

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Cover bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. By doing this step the rice soaks up the dressing and the flavor.

Garnish:

  • 3 tbsp sesame seeds

Serve rice mixture over some greens. Eat. Enjoy.

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Mexican Fiesta Salad

This salad is so fresh tasting and filling. I made this salad for one of my assignments in a cooking class that I have been taking. I am almost done with the class (about 82% complete with 32 days left for completion). It has been a fun and learning experience.

Top this salad with Avocado Ranch Dressing and you have Fiesta City. With the combination of cooked and fresh ingredients it is a cinch to throw together.

Note: The ingredient measurements are for two salads. You can adjust according to the servings you will be making.

  • 1 bag of Sweet Butter Blend Lettuce
  • 1 c frozen corn, thawed or microwaved
  • 1 can black beans, drained rinsed (I had some extra leftover)
  • 8 grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 c brown rice, cooked
  • Avocado Ranch Dressing
  • Smokey Southwestern Seasoning

Note: The recipe for the Smokey Southwestern Seasoning is in the Basics section on my site. However, it is also for sale, pre-made in my store site.

Sprinkle corn, beans and brown rice with Smokey Southwestern Seasoning. Stir.

Microwave the corn, beans, and brown rice just until warm about 30-60 seconds.

Assemble salad.

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Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Savory Vegetable and Baked Tofu Bowl

I was doing some batch cooking this weekend to have some ingredients for the rest of the week. I made a big pot of brown rice and a sheet pan of roasted vegetables. This makes a good start for the upcoming week.

To make this bowl I used these ingredients along with some baked tofu and fresh items to add a little more dimension, flavor and nutrition to the bowl. I like to add something fresh along with cooked items when I make a bowl. This bowl hits the spot.

Note: I did not give any measurements for the ingredients. You know how hungry you are, and can gauge the amounts.

Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Fruit & Granola Chia Pudding Bowl

I have never been a huge breakfast eater. It is not that I do not like breakfast foods, I do. I guess my body is still asleep even if I am not. However, I am trying to break that habit of skipping breakfast.

This bowl is perfect for someone who is not used to eating breakfast. It is full of nutrients, yet, not heavy feeling. I am really liking this bowl of goodness.

  • 1/4-1/2 c Chia seed pudding
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 1 c strawberries, sliced
  • 1/4 c homemade granola

Note: You could prep this in mason jars for quick grab-n-go breakfast or snack. Then you have no excuses for not eating breakfast.

Layer ingredients: Chia Seed Pudding, Fruit, Granola.

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Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Cheesy Penne with Roasted Vegetables

I had made two sheet pans of roasted vegetables the night before. Used some for the Quinoa bowl with Roasted Veggies. Now I have lots of wonderful roasted veggies to work with. I am thinking penne with a “cheese” sauce, and of course the roasted veggies.

Previously I posted the “Cheese” Sauce. Here is the link for the recipe. Also, for the roasted vegetables (no oil used).

  • 12 oz brown rice penne
  • Roasted Vegetables
  • 1 “Cheese” Sauce recipe

Make penne according to package instructions.

Prepare “Cheese” Sauce recipe.

Add roasted vegetables to the “Cheese” sauce just when it starts to thicken. When sauce is at desired consistency add cooked penne. Stir.

Note: You could bake this in the oven after assembling. The sauce will not be as creamy if you bake this like a casserole, yet it is still as tasty.

Serve. Eat. Enjoy. Let your health start in the kitchen.

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Quinoa with Roasted Chickpeas & Veggies

Roasting vegetables is probably my favorite way to cook veggies. I can roast a large amount of different veggies at one time. By cooking the veggies this way I save time later in the week because most of the work is all done.

I made a big pot of quinoa and added the veggies to complete the meal. I will have plenty veggies and some quinoa leftover to do with as I wish for another meal. I will share that post another time.

Quinoa:

  • 1 c quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 c vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose seasoning
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 lemon, zested, and half the lemon juiced

In a large dutch oven add quinoa. Toast quinoa over medium heat. This could take up to about 10 minutes if your quinoa is still wet from rinsing.

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Note: I like to toast the quinoa to develop and intensify the nutty flavor that quinoa is known for having.

Add vegetable broth, all-purpose seasoning and garlic.

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Bring broth to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover pan. Cook until the quinoa looks like it has burst open and you see little rings. Add the zest and juice from the lemon to the quinoa and stir.

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Roasted Vegetables:

  • 3 medium zucchini, cut into half moons
  • 8 oz. sliced mushrooms
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes
  • 1 can drained, rinsed
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose seasoning, divided

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line two separate sheet pans with parchment paper.

Note: I learned that you do not want to put two wet vegetables on the same pan to roast. Too much liquid releases between the two vegetables. You can see this with the zucchini and mushrooms. Next time I would roast them with other vegetables separately.

Evenly spread out veggies onto the two sheet pans. Sprinkle 1 tbsp of all-purpose seasoning over vegetables on each sheet pan.

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Roast veggies for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, stir the veggies on each sheet pan. Also, switch the sheet pans positions and roast for another 10 minutes.

Remove from oven.

Assemble bowls.

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Eat. Serve. Enjoy. Let your health start in the kitchen.

Note: The recipe for the all-purpose seasoning is in my basics section, or you can purchase it already pre-made at my store.

 

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Tofu Scramble

I will be honest I am new to this Tofu thing. For some reason this ingredient gets me thinking of a show that was on TV back in the 80’s that starred Michael J. Fox. Yes, I know I am starting to date myself, but anyway. The show was called – Family Ties. There was this episode where the mother is starting to make meals with Tofu. Well, you can guess what happens, the family starts freaking out. Tofu is a hippie thing, and so on. Just thinking about it makes me laugh.

Here I am many years later and I am using tofu. I have read many posts and recipes online using tofu as a substitute for scrambled eggs. One thing I like about this ingredient is that is  so versatile and it can take any flavor you wish to give it. I had some Garlic Mushrooms and Greens leftover from the Creamy Polenta and Garlic Mushrooms with Greens I had made for dinner.

I decided to make a scramble using the tofu and the leftovers. Using just a few additional spices I was able to make a wonderful light and creamy “egg” scramble with nourishing veggies.

  • 1 pkg soft tofu, drained, and pressed about 20 minutes
  • Garlic Mushrooms with Greens (leftovers of choice)
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 3/4 tsp All-purpose Seasoning
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric
  • pinch of black salt

Note: You can make the All-purpose Seasoning yourself with the recipe that is in my basics section on my site, or you can purchase them pre-made on my store section.

First you need to remove some of the liquid encased in the tofu. I used a simple pressing method. There is no real need for a tofu press, but if you like gadgets go for it.

Wrap tofu in paper towels or dishtowels, whichever will work. Place in a shallow rimmed sheet pan. Lay a cutting board on top of the tofu. Now it is time for some weight. I used a large dutch oven (cast iron/ceramic). This is perfect because it is heavy. Now let it set and do its thing.

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In a large skillet add the garlic mushrooms and greens and cook over medium heat to remove any extra liquid. You especially want to do this if you are using mushrooms. You do not want your scramble turning a funky grayish-brown color because of the mushroom liquid.

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Stir together all-purpose seasoning, turmeric and nutritional yeast.

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Add tofu, and seasoning mixture.

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Stir all the ingredients until well combined and heated through. The tofu should resemble scrambled egg bits.

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Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Note: Need it to go? Wrap the scramble into a burrito tortilla, or make up a couple for a quick grab-n-go breakfast during the week. Change the stir-ins to whatever bits and pieces of leftovers you have in your refrigerator. There are so many possibilities waiting for you.

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Chia Pudding Parfait

I have made Chia Pudding numerous times, yet I have not posted a recipe. These parfaits with the Chia Pudding are great for making a large quantity. This makes 6-8 generous servings.

Parfaits are great for breakfast, snacks, or even desserts. Make them in a mason jar and they are perfect for grab-n-go.

Strawberries are in full season here in Florida. In our area there is a Strawberry Festival that has just started up this past weekend. There are strawberries everywhere, even in this parfait. You can use what ever fruit that is in season. That is what is nice about this parfait, it is good anytime of year.

  • 2 c unsweetened soy milk
  • 1/2 c chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup, plus extra if desired
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2c in season fruit
  • homemade granola for topping

Whisk together soy milk, chia seeds, maple syrup, vanilla extract and salt. Set aside for 15 minutes.

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Stir chia mixture after 15 minutes.

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Cover chia mixture and refrigerate for 8 hours to overnight.

Assemble parfaits: Blueberries, Chia Pudding, Strawberries and top with granola.

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I made one to eat right away in a pretty little glass and the remaining I made some in mason jars.

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Note: Some people do not like the texture of Chia Pudding. A remedy for that is to put it in a smoothie and blitz it all together. By this you are still getting all the fiber, protein and omega- 3 fatty acids. No wonder they call Chia seeds a super food.