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!!

Healthy & Decadent V

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 🙂

Kale Caesar with Marinated Portobello Mushrooms – Kale Salad Challenge #5

I love all Kale Salads and this one was especially deelish. Not everyone is into sea vegetables, but this dressing manages to be chockfull of them without anyone being the wiser, super healthy goodness! They add such a great saltiness to this already super creamy dressing.

Kale Caesar with Marinated Portobello Mushrooms

Kale Caesar with Mar

2 heads of Kale

Chop up or tear pieces of Kale. Massage the dressing into the kale with your hands and top with mushrooms. Yum! Enjoy 🙂

Avocado Sea-sar Dressing (vegan, almost raw, gluten free, soy free)
Recipe from choosingraw.com
Yields over 1 cup

1 large Hass avocado
1 tsp vegan Worsterchire sauce
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
Juice of two large lemons
3 tbsp mellow white miso
1 small clove garlic
1 tsp spirulina
1 tbsp nori, kelp, or dulse flakes (or a mix of all three, which is what I used)
3/4 cup water (or more if needed)
*2 tbsp olive oil (optional)*

Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender till smooth. The olive oil is totally optional, but it lends a little added creaminess and richness to the dressing.

Marinated Portobello Mushrooms

3 1/2 cup portobello mushrooms, sliced
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup agave
2 tablespoons  Nama Shoyu or Tamari
2 tablespoons Herbamere
3 tablespoons herbs of choice – I used oregano and bail

Blend all ingredients except mushrooms for about 10 seconds. Place the marinade, along with mushrooms, in a large plastic container or zipped bag and seal well. Toss around until well coated. Refrigerate and let sit overnight, tossing to coat from time to time. Strain the mushrooms out prior to serving, but reserve the marinade to use as a salad dressing for another time.

Cinnamon Apple Pancakes

We have been all about weekend pancakes lately and are always all about apples! And seriously who doesn’t love pancakes!! These were super easy and quick to whip up. Just had the urge and then 20 minutes later we were all eating pancakes.

Cinnamon Apple Panca

Cinnamon Apple Pancakes
Makes 12-15 pancakes

2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 – 1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup water
1 cup almond milk (or any non-dairy milk)
1/2 cup applesauce
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Combine dry ingredients, then add the rest and mix well
  2. Spoon batter (~ 2 tablespoons) onto a hot griddle. Cook until pancakes have a bubbly surface and slightly dry edges (1-2 minutes). Flip pancakes and let cook for an additional 1-2 minutes until golden.
  3.  Serve with Maple Syrup and Enjoy 🙂

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3rd Birthday!!!! & Artichoke Pesto Pasta Salad

My amazing & beautiful kiddos turned 3 this last week. Beyond hard to believe but so wonderful to watch them continue to grow and surprise us all the time! We had a fun birthday party to celebrate them 🙂 Just a few food & goodie bag pictures and a yummy Vegan, Gluten-free, Super low-fat pasta salad that we served. FUN!!! Love big celebrations of course!!

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Artichoke Pesto Pasta Salad

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Artichoke Pesto Pasta Salad
Vegan – Gluten-free – Low-fat
Number of servings: 4
Recipe adapted from blog.fatfreevegan.com

1 cup basil, packed
1 can quartered artichoke hearts (packed in water)(I used 1/2 water, 1/2 marinated in oil)
1-2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp. nutritional yeast
2 tbsp. vegetable broth
1/2 tbsp. lemon juice
salt, to taste
8 ounces whole wheat pasta, cooked (I used quinoa brown rice pasta)
1 large tomato, diced
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (optional)

Place the basil, about half the artichokes, garlic, nutritional yeast, vegetable broth, and lemon juice in a food processor and process until it becomes a thick paste. Add salt to taste.
In a serving bowl, combine the cooked pasta with the pesto and mix well. Add the remaining artichoke hearts, the tomato, and the (optional pine nuts) and toss. Serve at room temperature.

 

Oil-Free Chocolate Zucchini Walnut Muffins

Crazy Blizzard prep! Been playing inside all day, what else to do! Bake 🙂 I love to cook & bake with my kiddos. It can often be twice my mess, sometimes involves a meltdown or 2 but it really is fun and I love teaching them about their food. We wanted to bake but I still wanted to keep it healthy. Thank you Oh She Glows for these Oil-Free Chocolate Zucchini Walnut Muffins!  They were super excited to make (and eat!) muffins! We loved grating the zucchini together and measuring all the ingredients.

I used twice the zucchini so ended up with 10 mini muffins on top of the dozen full size ones. But my kiddos loved the “baby muffins” too.

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Oil-Free Chocolate Zucchini Walnut Muffins
Recipe adapted from Oh She Glows
Yield: 1 dozen muffins

  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsp water)
  • 1 & 1/4 cup lightly packed shredded zucchini, skin left on (I doubled this) 
  • 1 & 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
  • 3 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose) (I used 1 1/4 WW Flour and 3/4 cup AP)
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt
  • 1/2 cup cane sugar
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life mini chips)
  • 2/3 cup walnuts, chopped

 

1. Preheat oven to 350F and lightly spray muffin with oil or grease with Earth Balance.

2. Mix flax egg in a small bowl and set aside. Grate zucchini using a grater box (regular grate size). Set aside.

3. Mix almond milk and apple cider vinegar (or sub fresh lemon juice) in a small bowl and set aside. It will curdle, but this is the point as we’re making vegan buttermilk.

4. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar).

5. Mix together the wet ingredients (flax egg, almond milk mixture, maple syrup, and vanilla) and then pour over dry ingredients. Stir until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips, walnuts, and shredded zucchini.

6. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin filling each tin 3/4 of the way full. Bake for about 15-17 minutes at 350F, or until muffins slowly spring back when touched. A toothpick should come out mostly clean. Cool in tin for 5 minutes. With a knife, loosen around the muffin edge and transfer to a cooling rack until completely cool. (Mine took a bit longer because double the zucchini made it a little more moist, so took about 5 extra minutes to bake) 

 

Simple Carrot Soup

Last week we had a wonderful afternoon at Stone Barns. I guess winter keeps away most of the crowds so we basically had the place to ourselves. We got to feed the chickens (greens and lettuce!), see the sheep, ducks and beautiful greenhouses. Then we went to cafe and ate a great lunch! We had the Carrot Soup (every time I am there the soup is Vegan, so it might always be!) and my kids loved it! Picnics outdoors in the winter tends to scream Soup! haha

We wanted to recreate the yummy soup for dinner. On the Stone Barns site there was a recipe for Simple Carrot-Ginger Soup so I made this and adapted it just a bit 🙂 Just simple and delicious! I’m sure you can jazz it up with some herbs or coconut milk for creaminess but it was delicious as is.

Stay warm everyone!!!!! Soup will be perfect food for the storm!! 

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Simple Carrot Soup
Recipe adapted from stonebarnscenter.org

3 tablespoons butter or olive oil
2-1/2 pounds of carrots—peeled and sliced
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic
6 cups vegetable broth

Melt butter or heat olive oil in a large soup pot.
Over medium heat, add onion and garlic, and cook until tender (about 7 to 10 minutes.)
Add carrots and a dash of salt.
Cook for five minutes then add the broth.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, until carrots are tender.
Purée. (I love to use the immersion blender in the pot, so no need for transferring hot soup!) 

Spinach Rice Gratin

This made a awesome weeknight meal! We used pre-cooked and leftover rice which made this super easy and quick to throw together. The whole family loved this! It went fast so we didn’t even get a pic of it cut into slices!

Spinach Rice Gratin

Spinach Rice Gratin
Recipe adapted from 101cookbooks.com
gluten-free

2 1/2 cups leftover/pre-cooked brown&/or white rice, room temp
1 1/2 cups cups well finely chopped spinach
8 ounces firm organic tofu, crumbled
15 black olives, chopped
1/2 medium red onion, diced
1/2 cup pine nuts or almonds, toasted
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup shredded Manchego cheese (or Parm, or Gruyere)
5 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Rack in the top third. Grease a 10-inch round baking dish, casserole pan, oven-proof pot with a bit of olive oil.

In a large bowl combine the rice, spinach, and tofu. Stir in the olives, and red onion, pine nuts and olive oil. Now stir in 1/2 cup of the cheese. In a small bowl whisk together the eggs, and salt. Fold the eggs into the rice mixture, pour into the prepared baking dish, and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake for 30 minutes or until the casserole is set, and the top toasty and golden. Remove from the oven, and sprinkle with remaining onions, olives, and nuts. Sprinkle with a bit more salt before serving – or taste and get a sense of whether you need any.

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Super Fast Avocado Pasta

I am all about cooking with the kiddos whenever possible 🙂 Today for lunch we made our Avocado Pasta, similar to This One that I make for them normally that they love, but this time we did it all in one bowl (and a pot) 🙂 They loved it and were even super happy to take turns mashing (and tasting!) Lunch was deelish but cooking together and smiles around (and green mouths!) makes it that much sweeter!

Super Fast Avocado P

Super Fast Avocado Pasta
2-3 servings
Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Vegan, no cook/raw sauce

2 avocados
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon dried Basil
1/2 teaspoon dried Oregano
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Flax seed oil
12 ounces- 1 lb of pasta (we used Trader Joes Fresh Rice Pasta – made it even faster, cooks in 2 minutes!)
ground black pepper, to taste
cherry or grape tomatoes, cut

  1. Boil water and cook pasta in a large pot
  2. In a bowl combine avocado, garlic, lemon juice, oils, salt, basil, pepper and oregano. Mash with a fork till creamy.
  3. When pasta is done, drain and mix with sauce.  Garnish with tomatoes. Serve immediately. YUM!

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