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Farfalle Veggie Salad

This salad is so beautiful and colorful; purple, red, yellow, orange and green. The proverbial colors of the rainbow. I used fresh and frozen veggies, and it has more veggies than pasta. I would say, that is a fresh tasting nutritious pasta salad.

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Need an idea for lunches for school or work? This salad will meet that need. It makes enough for multiple meals and can be served cold or room temperature (preferably).

  • 12 oz. farfalle (bowtie) pasta, gluten-free
  • 1 head, cauliflower, purple, cut into bite size, steamed
  • 2 c tomatoes, cherry, variety of colors, quartered
  • 1 c corn kernels
  • 1 1/2 c edamame, shelled, steamed
  • 1 lime, zested, juiced
  • 1 tbsp All-Purpose Seasoning
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast

In a large pot cook farfalle according to package directions. I used Jovial (my favorite brand) and it cooks for 10 minutes. Drain. Rinse with cold water and set aside.

Meanwhile, steam cauliflower for about 5 minutes. Long enough that the cauliflower was softened but still has a bite. Rinse with cold water and set aside.

In a very large bowl combine all the ingredients and stir thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.

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Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

Note: I added greens to this salad when it was served.

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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.

 

 

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What to do with Bits and Pieces? Mini Chickpea Frittatas/Savory Muffins

What to do with all those its and pieces leftover from unused ingredients? Make mini frittatas. Frittatas are one of the best ways to use up all those ingredients leftover from other meals.

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For instance, I had some kale, part of a red pepper, half an onion and some cherry tomatoes. There was not really enough for soup, but enough to make some mini chickpea frittatas. These are great for batch cooking. I made them in a bakery size tin (6 well), however, you could use a 12 well tin as well. They came out perfect, light and airy. You could call them savory muffins.

Need something quick for breakfast? These are perfect. They are great at room temperature, loaded with protein and nutrient rich veggies. They are easy to change up anytime. Just use what little bits and pieces you have leftover from other recipes.

Veggie Mixture: 

  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 1/2 c red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 c kale, chopped
  • 1/2 c tomatoes, cherry, quartered
  • 1 tbsp garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp vegetable broth

Combine all ingredients into a large pan over medium-high heat. Cook until veggies have softened and onions are translucent. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 c chickpea flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp savory blend
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 tsp black salt
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric

Whisk together all dry ingredients until they are well combined. Set aside.

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Wet Ingredients:

  • 1 c water
  • 1 lemon, juiced

Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and whisk thoroughly. Stir veggie mixture into chickpea mixture. Make sure it is combined completely.

Pour into muffins tins.

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Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

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Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

Note: These are great serve for part of a brunch, or any other meal.

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How to Build a Better Salad

What is nice about salads is that there are no real boundaries, O rules. Well, maybe one rule – Fresh. Freshness is a pretty key factor to making a better salad. There are a couple of things that make better salads. One of those things is – Variety. Here are some ways to make your salads standout.

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Variety of Lettuces – Use two different kinds of lettuce. In this salad I used two different kinds of butter lettuces. One was red and one was green. Of course, color was the obvious difference, but also taste and textures were different. You could try arugula for a peppery bite or romaine for crunch.

Lettuce Combinations:

  • Butter Lettuce/Romaine
  • Iceberg/Spinach
  • Arugula/Butter

There are so many different types of greens to mix and match. The possibilities are endless

Variety of Veggies –  Try using two or more veggies. I used carrots, radishes, red bell pepper and celery leaves. Use what is in season. By using seasonal foods you will have the best quality and flavor.

Variety of Fruits – Fruits add another dimension to your salad. Often it will add a touch of sweetness. This salad had cherry tomatoes, a peach and avocado. These different fruits add freshness, sweetness and creaminess.

Herbs – Herbs are often left out of salads, yet, they add so much more flavor. I used some cilantro. It does not take much of an herb to raise your salad to the next level.

Nuts/Seeds – This is where you can get a little crazy. There are so many possibilities. It takes only a tablespoon or less of nuts/seeds to vary the texture of your salad. I used my Seed & Spice Blend.

Spices – Toast your seeds and nuts in some spices before you and them to your salad. Toasting the seeds and nuts makes all the difference in their flavor. The flavor will be intensified and so will the spices, especially when you combine them together. I toasted my seeds and added my Smokey Southwestern Seasoning to them for additional flavor.

Dressings – Dressings are a wonderful addition to finish the salad, however, they are not necessary if the rest of your salad is flavorful. Just s squeeze of citrus can amp up the flavor of your other ingredients in the salad making them each standout.

Think outside of the box. Do not be afraid to try different combinations and have fun. Just think of how nourished your a going to feel.

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Kale, Radish & Avocado Salad

I made this salad for a class that I am taking. It is a simple, yet delicious, and only takes minutes to put together.

  • 1 small bunch of kale, any variety, bite size
  • 1 avocado, pitted and flash removed from skin
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 c cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 radishes, sliced paper thin

In a large bowl combine kale, avocado and lime juice. Massage kale with the avocado and lime juice, until it is mixed thoroughly. Massaging the avocado mixture into kale leaves help soften the leaves.

Plate kale mixture and top with cherry tomatoes, radishes, and Seed & Spice Blend.

Seed & Spice Blend:

  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin kernels
  • 1 tsp Smokey Southwestern Seasoning
  • 1 tsp nutritional yeast

Add sesame seeds and pumpkin kernels to a small fry pan over medium heat. Toss gently until seeds become aromatic and are slightly golden. Remove from heat.

While the pan is still warm add the Smokey Southwestern Seasoning and nutritional yeast. Toss all the ingredients until well combined. Sprinkle over salad.

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Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Air Fryer Brussel Sprouts

My Air Fryer is mostly a french fry fryer, so I thought I would try brussel sprouts in the air fryer. This recipe has three ingredients, not counting any sauce. Some of you are probably a little more experienced with the air fryer then I am. I have not had it very long, but I plan on trying out some new recipes using this wonderful machine.

Combine all the ingredients into a bowl and toss until the brussel sprouts are coated with the seasoning.

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I have a Nuwave air fryer, The directions call for preheating at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.

Add sprouts to air fryer basket and cook for 10 minutes. Pause cooking process to shake sprouts about half way through. The sprouts are done when they are fork tender and caramelized on the outside.

Serve with your favorite sauce. I like maple syrup.  You could do a combination of maple syrup and stone ground mustard. Both ways are tasty.

Note: You may have to take out the smaller sprouts and continue cooking the larger ones.

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Chickpea Garden Frittata

I have been wracking my brain on how I could make a Frittata without eggs, of course, and without soy. Then I remembered a recipe using chickpea flour for the eggs, perfect.

What I like about frittatas is that you can put just about anything in it and it always turns out good. It is a great way to use up some leftovers and make it a completely different kind of meal or flavor profile.

I will break the recipe up into three different easy steps: Veggies, Dry, and Wet Ingredients. One thing nice about this is you use one pan for the sauteing and baking. I think less cleanup work is always good.

This particular recipe is heavy on the veggies, but that is how I like it.

Veggies:

  • 1 c onion, diced
  • 1/2 c celery, diced
  • 1  red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 tbsp vegetable broth, plus more as needed
  • 2 Roma tomato(es), diced
  • 1 tbsp garlic clove, minced

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In a large nonstick/ceramic pan add onion, celery, red bell pepper and broth. Cook veggies until onions are translucent and the celery and red peppers are softened. Add tomatoes and garlic. Cook until garlic is fragrant and the onions are just heated through.

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 c chickpea flour
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tsp All-Purpose Seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp black salt
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric

Combine all dry ingredients onto a large bowl and whisk together.

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1 c water
  • 1 lemon, juiced

Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and let the batter set for about 5-10 minutes. The batter will thicken during this time.

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Add veggies to batter and stir until well incorporated.

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Pour batter back into pan and put into oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes. A toothpick should come out clean.

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Note: This perfect for any meal or any occasion. Also I like to serve this with a Balsamic Syrup.

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Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Blueberry Crumble with Sweet Potato Cream

I had went to the grocery store when I returned from a trip. I bought blueberries without realizing I already had some hiding in the refrigerator. So now I have a ton of blueberries to use. The blueberries are the inspiration for this summery treat.

The sweet potato (white) makes a luscious creamy sauce. If you do not like sweet potatoes, try the white variety they have a different flavor. Hard to believe this sweet sauce is made out of veggies.

Filling:

  • 4 c blueberries, fresh
  • 1/2 c coconut sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon, ground
  • 1/4 tsp ginger, ground
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg, grated
  • 2 tbsp lemon, juice
  • zest of lemon
  • 4 tbsp arrowroot/cornstarch
  • 3 tbsp earth balance or almond butter

In a large bowl combine all the ingredients and stir so the blueberries are coated. Spoon into a baking dish (rectangular cake size).

Crumble Topping:

  • 1 c GF rolled oats
  • 1 c pecans, chopped
  • 6 Medjool, dates, chopped
  • 4 tbsp GF Flour Blend – Vegan
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon, ground
  • 1/4 tsp ginger, ground
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg, grated

Mix together all the ingredients and spoon on top of the blueberry mixture.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bakes for 30-35 minutes. The fruit mixture should be bubbly. Let cool about 10 minutes before serving. Top with Sweet Potato Cream.

Sweet Potato Cream:

  • 5 c sweet potato (white), cubed, steamed
  • 2/3 c maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 – 1 c water

Peel and cubed sweet potato into 1 inch cubes. Steam potatoes. (You can either use a covered pot with a steamer basket or your microwave.) The potatoes should be fork tender. Let cool completely.

Combine all the ingredients into a high-speed blender. Start with a 1/2 c of water and add more as needed, until it reaches a smooth and creamy consistency and your desired thickness. Chill. for at least an hour.

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Easy Blueberry Banana Bars

These bars are a great on the go breakfast or snack, or if you are going camping or hiking. They are portable and incredibly easy to make. This is a one bowl recipe that is packed with fruit flavor.

Have a couple of bananas past their prime, but not enough for bread or muffins? This recipe is perfect for them.

  • 2 bananas, very ripe
  • 1 1/2 c gluten-free rolled oats
  • 3 dates, pitted, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp walnuts, chopped
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon, ground
  • 1/8 tsp ginger, ground
  • 1/2 c blueberries, fresh or frozen

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8 baking dish with parchment paper.

In a large bowl mash the bananas with a fork.

Add in oats, dates, walnuts, vanilla, cinnamon and ginger. Stir mixture until well combined.

Fold blueberries into oat mixture.

Spoon mixture into prepared baking dish.

Bake bar mixture for about 30 – 35 minutes. the edges will begin to turn brown.

Let cool for about 5-10 minutes.

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Share. Eat. Enjoy.