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Greens & Broccoli Salad

This salad is a mashup of a greens salad and a broccoli salad. I had brought this salad to a gathering at church and came home with an empty bowl. I love to bring things I know I can eat that is delicious, plant based and good me and the others that will partake. I do not usually advertise that the dish is plant based, but I love seeing their reactions when they taste my food, and then I give them the whammy – It is plant based.

Dressing:

  • 1/2 c almond yogurt
  • 1/2 c vegan mayo
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sweetener (I used coconut sugar)

Combine all of the dressing ingredients and set aside.

Note: You could replace the almond yogurt with Cashew Sour Cream. Also, you could leave out the vegan mayo and just go with 1 c of almond yogurt or Cashew Sour Cream.

Salad:

  • 1 head of broccoli, chopped into florets
  • 2 heads of romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1/2 c dried cranberries
  • 1/2 carrots, matchsticks
  • 2 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 2 scallions, chopped

Prepare a large bowl of ice water and set aside. Bring a large pot of water to a simmer. Blanch the broccoli florets in the simmering water. When the broccoli begins to turn a deep green and has softened slightly, remove the broccoli from the simmering water and place it into the ice bath. This will stop the cooking of the broccoli.

Remove the broccoli from the ice bath and let drain on a dry cloth. You do not want the broccoli wet. It will dilute the dressing and make the romaine leaves soggy. No one wants a soggy salad.

Combine all of the salad ingredients into a large bowl. Stir all the ingredients together so that they are all coated with the dressing.

Chill salad for at least 1 hour.

Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Baked Spanish Rice Tostadas

I had some Baked Spanish Rice Casserole leftover so changed it up a little and made baked Spanish Rice Tostadas. The crunch of the tostada shells is a perfect variation to the original Baked Spanish Rice Casserole.

Warm Baked Spanish Rice Casserole in a large skillet over medium heat. While the Baked Spanish Rice Casserole is warming in the skillet warm the tostada shells in the oven.

Note: I usually begin to preheat the oven at 350 degrees and put the shells in the oven while it is preheating. By the time the oven is preheated the shells are warmed.

Build your Baked Spanish Rice Tostadas. Garnish with your favorite toppings.

Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Spaghetti and Lentil Meatballs

This meal came together so quickly, because I had most of it already prepared. I had the Lentil Meatballs and the Marinara already made. I just had to combine them and make some GF spaghetti.

That is what happens when you have done some batch cooking ahead of time.

Simmer the Lentil Meatballs in the Marinara Sauce until they have heated through. I have found the Marinara Sauce tends to thicken substantially because of the Lentil Meatballs, so if you do not like your sauce as thick as we do just thin it out with some vegetable broth or water.

Cooke GF Spaghetti according to the package directions. Rinse. Drain. Return the spaghetti to the pot that you cooked it in. This helps dry up some of the residual water that might be left from the rinsing- draining process.

Layer a bed of spaghetti and the Marinara Sauce and Lentil Meatballs.

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Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Baked Spanish Rice Casserole

This is a great dish to bring to a cookout or to a gathering. I have been thinking of making this for a few weeks. Most of the preparation is hands off and it only requires one pot. Now, how easy it that?

  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 10 oz. diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1 tbsp garlic clove(s), minced
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 15 oz. tomato sauce
  • 2 1/2 c vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp Smokey Southwestern Seasoning
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 c brown rice, long grain
  • 1 15 oz. black beans, drained, rinsed
  • 1 14 oz. jackfruit in brine, drained, rinsed, shredded
  • 1/2 c nutritional yeast
  • 1 c corn kernels
  • 1 c green peas
  • 1 lime zested, juiced
  • 1/4 c + more for garnish fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • Cashew Sour Cream, garnish

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine onion, tomatoes, garlic and tomato paste into a food processor. Blend ingredients until it turns into a sauce.

Add tomato sauce, vegetable broth, Smokey Southwestern Seasoning, and bay leaves into a large dutch oven and stir. Cook sauce until it begins to simmer.

Add brown rice, black beans, nutritional yeast and jackfruit to the sauce and stir thoroughly. Cover dutch oven with a lid or aluminum foil and bake for 60 minutes. No Peeking. If you peek, you will let out the steam. The steam is what helps the rice to cook perfectly. So there is no peeking for 60 minutes. After 60 minutes check the rice for doneness. If rice is not done add some more vegetable broth or water and cover rice and cook a little bit longer.

When rice is done fluff with fork. Stir in corn, peas, lime and half of the cilantro.

Garnish with remaining cilantro, avocado and Cashew Sour Cream.

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Easy Peppers-Orange Soup

I love it when I can transform ingredients into something totally different than what it was initially used for. I made some sautéed peppers and onions to go with something in a meal I was making. There was plenty peppers and onions leftover, and I did not want the same thing. By using two additional ingredients I was able to transform those simple peppers and onions into a wonderful creamy soup.

This soup has a hint of orange, just enough to make the soup more interesting. I sprinkled a few pumpkin seeds for added texture and some fresh cilantro for added flavor and freshness.

The recipe starts from the beginning – The Sautéed Peppers and Onions.

  • 1 onion, medium, thin slice
  • 1 bell pepper of each color, red, yellow, orange
  • 1 tbsp All-Purpose Seasoning
  • 1-2 mandarin oranges, peeled
  • vegetable broth
  • pumpkin seeds, garnish
  • cilantro, garnish

Note: I like to use a large dutch oven to sauté the peppers and onions, because of the large cooking surface.

Sauté onion, peppers and All-Purpose Seasoning over medium heat, until onion is translucent and the peppers are tender. If needed add vegetable broth to unstick the vegetables and deglaze the pan.

Transfer peppers and orange(s) to high-speed blender. Ad just enough vegetable broth to help with the blending. I started with 1/2 c. Add more to achieve your desired thickness.

Pour into bowls and garnish with pumpkin seeds and cilantro.

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Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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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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Baked Spanish Rice

This is an easy, inexpensive meal to throw together. It is packed with flavor and hearty enough for even the voracious eater. It smells amazing as it bakes in the oven. I had all the ingredients in my pantry so there was no need to go and make a special trip to the grocery. There is such satisfaction when a meal comes together with little effort.

  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 10 oz. diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1 tbsp garlic clove(s), minced
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 15 oz. tomato sauce
  • 2 1/2 c vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp Smokey Southwestern Seasoning
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 c brown rice, long grain
  • 1 c corn kernels
  • 1 c green peas
  • 1 lime zested, juiced
  • 1/4 c fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 avocado, diced

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine onion, tomatoes, garlic and tomato paste into a food processor. Blend ingredients until it turns into a sauce.

Add tomato sauce, vegetable broth, Smokey Southwestern Seasoning, and bay leaves into a large dutch oven and stir. Cook sauce until it begins to simmer.

Add brown rice to the sauce and stir thoroughly. Cover dutch oven with a lid or aluminum foil and bake for 60 minutes. No Peeking. If you peek, you will let out the steam. The steam is what helps the rice to cook perfectly. So there is no peeking for 60 minutes. After 60 minutes check the rice for doneness. If rice is not done add some more vegetable broth or water and cover rice and cook a little bit longer.

When rice is done fluff with fork. Stir in corn, peas, lime and half of the cilantro.

Garnish with remaining cilantro and avocado.

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Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

 

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Asian Noodle Bowl

I love Asian Noodles, but I can only have them when I make it at home due to gluten issues. This is such an easy recipe. I already had some sauce prepared, and some packages of veggies and baked tofu.

This recipe is under 30 minutes to make. Great for a nutritious weeknight meal. What takes the longest is making the pasta. You could actually make the pasta ahead of time. Then you just have to warm everything up.

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  • 12 oz. brown rice noodles
  • 10 oz. stir fry veggies
  • 8 oz. snow peas
  • 8 oz. water chestnuts, drained
  • 1 package of baked teriyaki tofu, cubed
  • Chinese Brown Sauce, 1 recipe
  • sesame seeds, garnish

Prepare pasta according to package directions.

Add the stir fry veggies and snow peas to the pasta during the last two minutes of cooking time.

Drain pasta and veggies. Return to pot.

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Add water chestnuts, tofu and Chinese Brown Sauce to the pasta mixture. Stir.

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Cook until heated through. Only 2-3 minutes.

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Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

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.