Spring Pasta Salad

Today really felt like SPRING! So amazing outside!!!!! While we were playing outside I got the idea to make a pasta salad! It just felt right, so seasonal and perfect! LOVE!
I normally make things on a large scale but this was just for my kids’ lunch and husbands’ dinner😉 So if you want to make this bigger, double or triple the recipe! This salad will taste great right away but also will get more tastier as the flavors get to mingle in the fridge! Yum!

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Spring Pasta Salad

1/2 a box of pasta (1/2 pound) elbow or other
1 cup of cherry tomatoes, chopped
1 cup bell peppers, diced
1/2 a cucumber, diced
1/2 a can of black olives, quartered
1/2 a can of chickpeas
1/2 an avocado, chopped
1/8-1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/8-1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
salt & pepper, to taste

1. Bring water to boil and cook pasta according to the pox.
2. While pasta is cooking prep and chop all the veggies and place in a large bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and give a good stir.
3. Once the pasta is cooked, drain and cool for a few minutes. Then add to the bowl and stir to incorporate.
4. Chill further and enjoy!

And here it is as lunch for my littles🙂 Fun!!!

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Healthy & Decadent Vegan Chocolate Pudding

Another fun snack with the kiddos🙂 It took a little bit to get the right texture. First I used just a silken tofu and it was more like A DELICIOUS chocolate milkshake (which we loved drinking!), but not the pudding we were looking for! By adding the firm tofu, it was pretty perfect and had that pudding/mousse consistency and chocolatey deliciousness!! Plus considering the ingredients I was super happy for us all to snack out on this! YUM!!

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Healthy & Decadent Vegan Chocolate Pudding

1 package silken tofu (the aseptic packaging kind)
1 package firm (or extra firm) tofu
4 heaping Tbsp raw cacao powder (adjust to taste)
6-7 Tbsp agave or maple syrup (Start with less and then adjust to the sweetness desired)
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 tsp pink himalayan sea salt

Super simple! Blend together and adjust to taste🙂

Coconut-Cashew Veggie Curry over Rice Noodles

I just had the most amazing month of eating! I completed the Veg Whole 30! Felt a bit cliché doing a January cleanse, but I loved it! And did it with a group of amazing women, and that always makes everything so much more fun🙂 The Veg Whole 30 is no-grains, no-dairy, and most importantly No Sugar (of any kind, including stevia and maple sugar!) ! I did eat legumes/soy (which the traditional Whole 30 eliminates) as I wanted to make sure to get enough Vegetarian Protein.

I feel really good and am going to keep this rolling by doing 100 Days of Real Food. I primarily eat this way, but not so strict! So inspiring and excited for more🙂

As I slowly come off my Whole 30 month I am excited to add things like Rice Noodles and non-refined sugar sweeteners back into my life!!! I used to make a ton of curries and I was inspired to start off with this yummy take on curry! I cooked so much this last month, I feel newly refreshed and inspired in the kitchen!

Michael doesn’t always love coconut milk so I made it a coconut-cashew sauce and it was delicious!!!! I have to say though that after not eating grains for a month, I was SO full after eating this! Very satisfying!!!

I also enjoyed a few pieces of Raw Vegan Not Your Sugar Mamas Salted Caramel Raw Chocolate! Yum! It had been a while😉

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Coconut-Cashew Veggie Curry over Rice Noodles

  • 1 can Coconut Milk
  • 1/2 cup cashews, plus more for topping
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 head of cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 sweet bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 a bunch of fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 1 package of extra-firm tofu, cubed
  • red curry paste
  • salt
  • rice noodles (brown or white)
  1. Soak cashews in water for 30 minutes-overnight. Drain and recover with water in a Vita-mix or other blender. Add coconut milk and blend. Add diced tomatoes and blend till smooth.
  2. In a large pot brown the tofu and remove for later use.
  3. In the same pot add coconut mixture above and 1/2 – 1 tablespoon of red curry paste to a large pot over medium heat and whisk. Add chopped veggies (minus the basil and bell pepper) and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover for 15 minutes (or until cauliflower and sweet potato are cooked). Add the cooked tofu, bell pepper, basil, avocado and salt to taste. Stir to combine and heat for another 3-5 minutes.
  4. While the curry is cooking, boil water and cook noodles according to directions.
  5. Plate noodles and curry over top. Top with some cashews. Super enjoy!🙂

Veggie Tacos or Lettuce Wraps

I love when meals are 100% success! With little kids this always feels like a big win all around! This was one of those times! Yeah!!! My kids LOVE guac and tomatoes and of course pretty much any toppings! So instead of assembling their tacos for them I opted to bring everything to the table in bowls, where we had fun constructing them (they used sprouted tortilla wraps and I had the lettuce wrap). They were happy, I was happy and the food was amazing! Life is Amazing! Then Michael came home and loved them too! Happy Wife & Mama! I have always loved❤ lettuce wraps and this was a great family solution!

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Veggie Tacos or Lettuce Wraps
adapted from www.adventuresinanewishcity.com

  • 1/3 cup olive oil, divided
  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2-3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1/2-1 jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 1 medium eggplant (or 2 small), peeled & diced into 1/4″-1/2″ cubes
  • 2 cups mushrooms, diced
  • 3 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 block of tofu, pressed & cut into 1/2″ cubes
  • 1 head of Butter or Bib lettuce, leaves separated to make taco shells &/or tortilla wraps
  • toppings (we used Guac with jicama & jalepeno, Red & Orange Peppers, & Cherry tomatoes, quartered & for me hot sauce)
  1. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in garlic and lemon juice, and cook for 1-2 minutes, making sure not to burn the garlic. Add jalapeno and onion. Cook until onion softens, about 3 minutes.
  2. Stir eggplant, mushrooms, and spices into the skillet. Drizzle remaining olive oil on top. Reduce heat to low, and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the eggplant softens and reduces in size, about 15 minutes.
  3. In a separate pan add just a drizzle of oil and add the tofu. When sizzle to have a nice char on each side before turning, so a few minutes between stirs (I know this feels hard to do, but it makes for the best tofu!) Once good and seared, add to the eggplant mixtures and continue to cook for a few more minutes until ready to serve.
  4. Spoon mixture into lettuce “shells” and add any additional toppings.

Happy New Year Fruit Rainbow :)

I hope everyone is having the most amazing beginning to 2016! This Fruit Rainbow really makes me smile. I saw a similar idea on Pinterest and had to reproduce myself! Of course this was a huge hit too!!! Fun!

The recipe is pretty simple. Just cut the fruit to size and follow ROY G BIV for the fruit order on skewers!

Enjoy🙂

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Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Apples, Hazelnuts & Brown Butter Dressing

It is not officially fall yet, but the start of school inspired me to make this Autumn Salad. The kids loved the hazelnuts and apples and we enjoyed the whole salad. Such a full flavored, rich yet citrusy fresh dressing! Enjoy! Happy fall! Happy September!

Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Apples, Hazelnuts Brown Butter Dressing

Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Apples, Hazelnuts & Brown Butter Dressing
Makes 4 to 6 servings
recipe from thekitchn.com

1/4 cup hazelnuts
3/4 pound brussels sprouts
1 small (or 1/2 large) crisp, red-skinned apple
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon red or white wine vinegar
4 teaspoons lemon juice, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the hazelnuts on a rimmed sheet pan and toast for 10-15 minutes, or until nuts are lightly golden and skins are peeling away. Wrap nuts in a clean dish towel and let steam for a minute. Rub nuts with the towel to remove as many skins as possible. (Not all of the skins will be removed, which is fine.) Roughly chop the nuts and set aside.

Shave the brussels sprouts by gripping the stem end with your fingers and using a mandoline to slice as thinly as possible down to the stem, or until the sprout is too short to safely slice. (Alternatively, you can use a food processor to shave the sprouts. Trim and discard the stems and use the slicing blade of the food processor to finely shred the sprouts.) Place shaved sprouts in a large mixing bowl. Halve and core the apple, then use the mandoline to cut into slices about 1/4-inch thick. Place apple slices in a small bowl and toss with 2 teaspoons lemon juice to prevent browning.

Have a small Pyrex or other heatproof liquid measuring cup ready. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, swirling occasionally, until butter is dark brown and smells nutty. Immediately pour into the measuring cup to stop the cooking. Let cool slightly.

In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, remaining 2 teaspoons lemon juice and salt. Slowly drizzle in the brown butter, whisking constantly, until dressing is thick and emulsified. Repeat with the grapeseed oil. Taste for seasoning. Pour the dressing over the brussels sprouts and mix in thoroughly with your hands. Add the apples and nuts and mix.

Salad can be assembled ahead of time and refrigerated for several hours or up to overnight. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving. If making more than 2 hours ahead, add the nuts just before serving for best texture.

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