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Saffron Chickpeas and Spinach Soup

I was inspired to make this soup when I saw a similar recipe in a magazine. I knew when I saw it I was going to make this within a day.  What was nice is that I had everything in my pantry or refrigerator. I love it when a plan comes together.

This soup is creamy by blending half of it in the blender. Yet, it still has a chew from the unblended part. It is bright from the addition of lemon. The lemon works really well with the chickpeas and spinach. There is a special ingredient too – Saffron. The saffron can be pricey, but it is so worth it in this dish.

  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 tsp ginger, minced
  • 2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 8 oz, mushrooms, sliced
  • 12 oz cauliflower rice
  • 1 tsp saffron threads
  • 1 bay leaf, dried
  • 2 lemons, zested and juiced
  • 2 cans chickpeas, drained, rinsed
  • 4 c vegetable broth, divided in half
  • 1/2 bag baby spinach, roughly chopped

In a large dutch oven over medium-high heat add about 2-3 tbsp of the vegetable broth onion, mushrooms, cauliflower, saffron, bay leaf and lemon zest to the the pan. Cook until onions are translucent and softened; stirring occasionally. Add chick peas. Stir until heated through. Transfer half of the onion mixture to a blender or food processor. Add 2 cups of the vegetable broth. Blend until mixture is creamy. Return blended mixture to dutch oven and stir. Add remaining vegetable broth and spinach. Stir and cook just until spinach has softened.

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Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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The Chunky Monkey

My husband bought me a Vitamix for Christmas. I am so excited to be using it today. This recipe is designed for two, but can be modified for more. I initially made it into a smoothie, but then you would have to delete the chunky part, because it was incredibly smooth and creamy. So I thought I would change it up to a breakfast bowl. Then you can choose how you would prefer to eat/drink your breakfast, with a straw or a spoon.

Then I thought, this does not have to be for breakfast, it could be a snack or a dessert. So I had to change the title from Chunky Monkey Breakfast Bowl to just: The Chunky Monkey, because you can make it or it eat any way or time you want.

Note: If blending for a smoothie I would add 3-4 ice cubes to give it more of a cold shake feel, or you can use frozen bananas.

  • 3/4 c almond milk
  • 1 tbsp almond butter or peanut butter
  • 1 tsp monk fruit
  • 1 tsp raw cacao
  • bananas (2-4)

Combine, milk, nut butter, dates and cacao in a blender and blend until smooth. Add more milk if needed to bring to your desired consistency. Taste for sweetness. If needed, add another date.

Place sliced banana(s) in bowls. Pour blended mixture over bananas. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

Note: You can store any leftover sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Smoothie

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Peanut Noodles with Vegetables

What is nice about this recipe is that you probably have all the ingredients in your refrigerator or pantry. This recipe is vegan, however you could add some chicken to it for your carnivores and it would be just as good.

I am actually eating this while I type this post, because it is that good and I could not wait. There are a few advantages to this dish. 1) I used the leftover vegetables that I had roasted for the Forbidden Rice and roasted Vegetables Bowl. 2) This dish only takes 20 minutes to make.  3) You can serve it hot or cold. Either way it is delicious.

  • 8 oz pasta of choice
  • 1 c pasta water, reserved before draining pasta
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 tbsp, garlic, minced
  • 1/4 c peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup or Date Paste
  • 3 tbsp coconut aminos (low sodium soy sauce can be substituted)
  • 3-4 c chopped vegetables
  • Sprinkle of red pepper flakes
  • Cilantro, fresh, garnish

Pasta:

Cook the noodles according to the package instructions. Reserve 1c of pasta water, then drain well in a colander.

Sauce:

Combine Pasta water, ginger, garlic, peanut butter, maple syrup and coconut aminos in a medium size saucepan over medium-high heat.

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Stir sauce continuously until well combined.

Pulling it together:

Return pasta to pot that they were cooked in. Add vegetables and sauce.

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Stir. The sauce will thicken and stick to the pasta. Sprinkle red pepper flakes and cilantro. Stir.

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Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

Note: This recipe serves 4. However, you could double it and have leftovers for lunches the next day. Also, use whatever veggies you have on hand. I did and it turned out great.

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Smokey Southwestern Black Bean And Forbidden Rice Bowl

This meal came about by combining two delicious ingredients with a few toppings. I first made the Smokey Southwestern Black Bean Soup. The next day I made a Black Rice and Roasted Vegetable Bowl. This is the mashup of the two. This meal is packed with nutrition, fiber and total goodness. I added some fresh avocado, coconut yogurt and fresh herbs to make it the perfect bite. The yogurt adds a tang and creaminess; while the herbs add freshness, and of course the avocado is just plain good. I am really liking the combination of the two meals.

Since all the ingredients are already made it is just a matter of assembling. However, I will add the links from the two separate meals so that you have the recipes.

These are the portion sizes I used for this serving. Assemble in order of ingredients.

  • 1/2 c Forbidden Rice
  • 1 c Smokey Southwestern Black Bean Soup

Warm in microwave until hot. Add remaining ingredients in order.

  • 1 heaping tbsp coconut yogurt
  • 2 slices of avocado
  • Cilantro for garnish.

Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Forbidden Rice Bowl and Roasted Vegetable Bowl

I had some Forbidden Rice at a restaurant sometime ago. I cannot remember the restaurant or when it was, but I do remember how good it tasted. I had purchased a bag of this delicious rice with intentions to make this delectable rice myself. I bought the Forbidden Rice and then put it into the pantry to be forgotten. The rice was found when I decided to clean out and organize my pantry.

To my surprise and delight I found this treasure and decided to bring it to you. Forbidden Rice is also called Black Rice due to its color, yet when it is cooked it turns into a purplish hue.

I hope this will inspire you to try something new this week. It is still as good as I remember.

Forbidden Rice:

  • 2 c vegetable broth
  • 1 c Forbidden Rice (black rice)

Roasted Vegetables:

  • 2 c carrots, sliced
  • 1 c parsnips, sliced
  • 1 bag broccoli (12.6 oz) frozen
  • avocado oil
  • All-purpose seasoning
  • Fresh Herbs, garnish

In a medium size saucepan add vegetable broth and rice. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer and cover with lid. Simmer about 30 minutes, or until liquid is completely absorbed. Fluff rice with fork.

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Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Scatter carrots, parsnips and broccoli onto a sheet pan.

Drizzle avocado oil onto veggies. Sprinkle all-purpose seasoning onto veggies and stir.

Roast veggies for 25 minutes. Stir veggies midway through roasting time.

Assemble bowl:

Layer your base – Forbidden Rice

Top with veggies and fresh herbs.

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Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

 

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Smokey Southwestern Black Bean Soup

I had been planning to make this soup for days. The day before I did all my dicing and mincing so that while we were out and about the following day we could have a hot and nutritious soup cooking away in the slow cooker. Every few hours my husband would say, “It smells so good.” I love hearing that from him.

Serve this with a slice my Gluten Free Sandwich Bread and you have a filling nutritious meal. This makes enough to have some for lunch the next day and freeze some for a future meal. That is what I plan on doing.

Since I did all the prep work the day before all I had to do was put all the ingredients into the slow cooker, set it, and let it do its work.

  • 3 cans Black Beans, low sodium
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 c carrots, diced
  • 1/2 c celery, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 can tomatoes, low sodium, diced
  • 2 c corn, frozen
  • 15 oz butternut squash, cubed, frozen
  • Smokey Southwestern Seasoning
  • plain coconut yogurt, garnish
  • cilantro, garnish

Into a slow cooker (crock pot) add all the ingredients, except the yogurt and cilantro. You will be using those to garnish each bowl of soup. Make sure you generously season with the smokey southwestern seasoning.

Set slow cooker to low and let it go all day. Stir occasionally, and taste for seasoning. I added more seasoning when I did a taste test.

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Serve with a dollop of non-dairy yogurt and some fresh cilantro.

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Brussel Sprouts and Cranberries 3.0

This might just might be my favorite version of Brussel Sprouts and Cranberries. The original version was Brussel Sprouts and Cranberries. The second version I add butternut squash, just as appealing and tasty as the first. However, this version ranks right up there with the first two.

The 3.0 version uses an orange and pecans – Yum. Just a little twist, but oh so good.

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  • 1 pound of Brussel sprouts, halved
  • 1 c cranberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1/2 c pecan, pieces
  • 3 tbsp vegetable broth
  • All-Purpose Seasoning 
  • 1/4 c maple syrup

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Spread Brussel sprouts, cranberries, pecans evenly onto a sheet pan.  Drizzle vegetable broth over veggies. Generously sprinkle all-purpose seasoning onto veggies.

Roast in oven about 20 minutes or until Brussel sprouts are fork tender.  Stir vegetables about midway through roasting time.

Drizzle Maple syrup over veggies. Stir. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Posted on 4 Comments

Easy Fruit Cobbler

I have been thinking about making a cobbler for a few days. I had some berries frozen in the freezer that would work just fine. That is what is nice about this recipe. You can use fresh, frozen and even canned fruit and they all turn out wonderfully. Serve this with a scoop of ice-cream or whipped cream and you have a easy and tasty dessert in no time.

This recipe has no refined sugars, or gluten, and can be adapted to be a Vegan recipe.

Place the stick of butter in a 9×9 or 11×7 pan. Place pan in oven and preheat oven during this time to melt butter. Melt butter until browned. The browning of the butter will add a richer, slightly nutty flavor to the butter.

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Meanwhile, blend together flour, maple sugar, baking powder, salt, milk, and vanilla. blend until well combined.

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Add batter to browned butter. Do not stir. Sprinkle fruit and pecans on top of the batter.

The pecans give the cobbler some added texture.

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DSC_0037 12Bake for 60 minutes, or until golden brown.

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DSC_0035 20Serve with ice cream or whipped cream. Share. Eat. Enjoy.

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Posted on 4 Comments

Pumpkin-Cranberry Cookies

I had about a cup of pumpkin puree left over from the pumpkin maple scones I had made. I was trying to think of something to make with the remaining pumpkin so it would not go to waste. I do not like waste, especially food. I had been thinking of making some type of cookies, and then I remembered I use to make some soft and fragrant pumpkin cookies. Perfect! I had to search for the recipe, and then change it to fit how we eat now compared to those many years ago.

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I first did not realize it, and was a little bit surprised, but these are VEGAN. Yep, I said the V word, and they are so delicious. My house smells incredibly good from baking these cookies.  They are cooling on the counter. I can’t wait anymore, gotta have one now.

  • 3/4 c maple syrup
  • 1 c pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 c almond butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/2 c Paleo All-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1 c dried cranberries
  • 1/2 c pecans, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line sheet pans with parchment paper.

Mix maple syrup, pumpkin puree, almond butter and vanilla.

In a separate bowl mix together dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cranberries, and pecans.

Mix dry ingredients into pumpkin mixture. Stir until well combined.

I used an ice cream scoop so the cookies are of substantial size. that is just the way I like my cookies. Bake 15-18 minutes. Let cool for at least 5-10 minutes. Share. Eat. Enjoy.

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Pumpkin Scones with Maple-Cinnamon Glaze

I have been thinking about scones for weeks. Since I love the flavor of pumpkin and maple I thought I would combine the two and have one great scone.  You can definitely taste both the maple and pumpkin. These are perfect for any time: breakfast, snack, afternoon tea, or a “just because” treat. They would make wonderful home-baked gifts.

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Dry Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c maple sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 c paleo all-purpose flour
  • 6 tbsp cold vegan butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

In a medium bowl combine dry ingredients: maple sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, salt and flour. Whisk to thoroughly to combine.

Using a pastry blender cut butter into dry ingredients until mixture resembles a coarse meal.

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c pumpkin puree
  • 1  flax egg (1 tbsp flax meal/3 tbsp water)
  • 1/2 c almond milk

Mix together flax egg and set aside for about 15 minutes.

In a separate bowl combine wet ingredients.

Fold wet ingredients into dry. Form a disk about an inch thick. Wrap with plastic wrap and chill for 30-60 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.Cut disk into 6 pieces. Place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Bake until golden brown. 12-15 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet.

Maple – Cinnamon Glaze:

Mix together glaze ingredients

Drizzle glaze onto each scone. Place on a cooling rack and let glaze set.

Note: Store in refrigerator if you have any leftover.