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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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Banana Donuts with Maple Glaze

I have a bunch of bananas that are past their edible on their own so I needed to come up with something to use them in. Most of them I will probably use for banana bread or muffins, but I want something else – Donuts.

In the spirit of fall being just around the corner I decided to do a maple glaze and add some fall spices. I may live in warm weather, but still love all the fall flavors.

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 1/2 c almond milk, vanilla
  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Stir all wet ingredients together, until well combined. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3c Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Blend
  • 1/2 tsp +1/8 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/3 c maple sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon, ground
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg, ground
  • 1/8 tsp ginger, ground
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan salt

Whisk together all the dry ingredients, until well combined.

Combine dry and wet ingredients together and stir.

Spoon batter into a Zip-top bag. Snip the corner and pipe batter into donut pan.

Bake 10-12 minutes. Set aside to cool for at least 5 minutes before trying to unmold the donuts.

Maple Glaze:

Combine all glaze ingredients and thoroughly stir.

Dip donuts into glaze. Twist donuts as you remove them from the glaze to prevent drips.

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Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Roasted Vegetable Stew over Brown Rice

Batch Cooking is the way to cut your time in the kitchen significantly. So far I have made the following meals out of the batch cooking of vegetables I made recently. There was some Buddha Bowls and a salad. This recipe is using the last of the veggies to make a hearty Roasted Vegetable Stew that I will serve with homemade GF Bread.

  • Roasted Vegetables from the batch cooking, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1c White Beans, leftover from the salad
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) Tomatoes, diced
  • 1 1/2-2 c Vegetable Broth
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1 tsp All-purpose Seasoning
  • 1 tsp Coconut Aminos
  • 1/4 c Nutritional Yeast
  • 1-2 c Short Grain Brown Rice, Cooked

Combine veggies, beans, tomatoes, 1 1/2c vegetable broth, bay leaves, all-purpose seasoning and coconut aminos in a large Dutch oven.

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Simmer until flavors have melded together and the stew is heated through.

Stir in nutritional yeast and add more broth if needed.

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Ladle the veggies over the brown rice.

Serve. Eat. Enjoy

Note: Short grain brown rice is my favorite brown rice. It is also called sticky rice. It has a wonderful chew factor. I have been using this in place of long grain brown rice.

Note: You can make this in the slow cooker. Just set on low and add the slurry just before you are ready to serve.

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Simple Brown Rice

Cooking rice is very simple once you get the rice and cooking liquid ratios correct. The stove top method is easy and a mostly hands-off process. This method turns out perfectly cooked rice every time.

Simple, is the word for making this rice. Add your ingredients into a pot, check it periodically and there you are making perfect brown rice.

  • 1 c brown rice
  • 2 c vegetable stock/broth

Note: This recipe makes 3 cups of cooked brown rice. When I make a larger batch I do add just a little more liquid (ex. 1 pound of rice to 5 cups of vegetable broth).

Add ingredients to a large dutch oven. Stir rice and broth.

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Cover dutch oven with a lid. Bring rice to a boil over medium heat. Turn down temperature so the broth is at a simmer. Cook until all the broth has been absorbed by the rice.

Let rice set for about 10-15 minutes, then fluff rice with a fork.

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Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

 

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Savory Spice Blend

I have two spice blends that I use the majority of the time; my All-purpose Seasoning and my Smokey Southwestern Seasoning. Both are enjoyed equally, yet I might have a new seasoning blend that possibly will ascend to the top. It has a combination of both the All-purpose and Smokey Southwestern with a few additions.

Herbs and Spices are so important to cooking. They impart flavor and in some cases additional nutritional value to your dish. So do not forget to season and pump up the flavor and the nutrients to your food.

Note: You can find the recipes for both my All-purpose and Smokey Southwestern Blend seasonings in the basics section on my site, or you can purchase them pre-made in my store.

Combine all ingredients into a mason jar. Cover mason jar with lid and shake to mix together ingredients.

Sprinkle. Cook. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Meatballs – Vegan

I made these so I could have the Game Day Meatballs that I have made for many Super Bowls or special occasions with the rest of my family. I usually make the meatballs for parties, Super Bowl, Christmas Eve and when I need to make a dish for a large group.

Instead of the usual beef or turkey used for meatballs I decided to make a vegan meatball with portobello mushrooms and brown rice. The recipe is easy and can be finished in the oven.

In a large dutch oven add onion and portobello mushrooms. Cook over medium-high heat until onions are soft and lightly browned. Add broth as needed to keep from sticking.

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Add garlic and cook 3 minutes more.

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Transfer onion mixture to food processor.

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Add rice, bread crumbs, flour and all purpose seasoning.

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Pulse until the mixture makes a dough like consistency.

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Form into meatballs. Let meatballs rest for about 30 minutes so that they firm up.

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat. You can spray the meatballs with some oil if so desired.

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Bake for 15 minutes. Turn meatballs over and bake for 15 more minutes.

Remove from sheet pan and drain on some paper towels.

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Serve with your favorite sauce.

 

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Thanksgiving Ideas: Sides and Desserts

Every year we go to my in-laws for Thanksgiving. They make the turkey and the rest of us divide up all the other dishes. I usually do veggies, desserts and rolls. I am going to change it up this year and bring a few new items to the table. I thought I would share a few ideas for sides and desserts, just in case you want something different, or you just do not know what to make.

Sides:

dsc_0041.jpgRoasted Brussel Sprouts, Cranberries and Butternut Squash

Sweet, tangy and hearty all in one place. This dish is so colorful and tasty.

DSC_0009 14Roasted Asparagus

You only need 8-10 minutes and these are perfect and ready.

DSC_0003 33Roasted Rainbow Carrots with Honey Drizzle

Everything is better with a drizzle of honey.

DSC_0006 12Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Zucchini

A little sweet and savory in one dish.

DSC_0013 2Parsnip and Cauliflower Puree

This is a play on mashed potatoes with less carbs.

DSC_0001 10Orange-Ginger Carrot Puree

This is one of my favorites. You get a hint of orange, ginger and a little sweetness. It is so good.

DSC_0001 3Brussel Sprouts with Cranberries

This was the first dish I made with brussel Sprouts. I did not like brussel sprouts before this dish. I am a converted brussel sprout fan now.

There are plenty more sides on my website. I hope this will give you inspiration for your Thanksgiving table.

Desserts:

Where to begin? Pumpkin probably.

DSC_0035 5Pumpkin Scones with Maple Cinnamon Glaze

These would be great for a continental breakfast.

DSC_0042Apple Cider Custard

Make this the day before and let it set in your refrigerator. The flavors will meld together and make this so luscious.

DSC_0007 5Fudgy Chocolate Cake

This cake is so good. Do not be misled by the title, it is not as dense as you would think.

 

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Chocolate Delights

This is one of the family favorites. It does take a little bit of time, but is totally worth it.

I started with Pumpkin and I will end with pumpkin. After all it is Thanksgiving.

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Pumpkin Cheesecake

This is a must have on our Thanksgiving table.

There are more ideas on my website. May your day be filled with love and gratitude. Remember to be thankful and enjoy your time with family and friends. It is Thanksgiving after all.

 

 

 

 

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Skillet Apple Pork Chops

This is such an easy, flavorful meal and it is cooked in one skillet. I love one pan/skillet meals. Most cooks I know love to cook, but hate the clean up. I fall into that category. So if I can make a meal with little cleanup I am all for it. What is so nice about this is that it has only 7 ingredients and most of them you probably have on hand. I thought I would take advantage of the last of the apples that are in season and make this delicious meal.

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  • 1 1/2 tbsp avocado oil, divided
  • 4 (6 oz.) pork chops
  • 1 1/2 tsp all-purpose seasoning (see website)
  • 1/2 c chicken broth (low-sodium)
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 2 medium apples, thinly sliced
  • 1 small onion, thinly vertically sliced

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 1/2 tsp oil to pan.

Pat dry pork chops with paper towel. This helps the pork chops to get a good sear. Sprinkle pork chops evenly with half the seasoning. Add pork chops to pan; cook each side until golden brown. Remove from pan.

Combine broth and mustard; stir well.

Add remaining oil to pan. Add apples and onion to pan. Sprinkle remaining all-purpose seasoning onto apple mixture; stir. Cook apple mixture about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in broth mixture. Return pork chops to pan, cook until liquid is reduced by half.

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Serve. Eat. Enjoy.