Tomato-Vegetable Pasta Sauce

This is a basic outline for creating a quick sauce that includes lots of veggies and can be done with most of the veggies you happen to have in your home. We used onions, broccoli, carrots and corn but I bet cauliflower, peas, squash, spinach, eggplant, peppers and mushrooms would all work great! 🙂 Perfect for CSA’s! We chopped all the veggies up small as we were using a food processor for the fun of pushing buttons. The kiddos were LOVING this and the before and after veggies, but this also helped everyone eat more veggies too! Love that! Super easy and fun to make your own sauce! Enjoy!!!

Tomato-Vegetable Pas

Tomato-Vegetable Pas2

Tomato-Vegetable Pasta Sauce
1 can 28 ounce crushed tomatoes
2 onions, chopped (or in our case in food processor, the kiddos LOVED to press the buttons)
1 cup broccoli, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
2 ears of corn, cut from cob
1 tablespoon of sugar
bit of fresh basil, cut (we only had a bit but you can add more if you have it!)
3 tablespoons of olive oil
dash of dried basil (I only had a little bit of fresh basil, so wanted to add a bit more)
dash of oregano
2 teaspoons of salt
dash of garlic powder
dash of cumin
1 lb pasta (we used gnocchi tonight, but that is just because the kids pulled it out of the pantry and requested :))
*(optional) greek or soy yogurt

1. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and cook onions for 5 minutes. Add broccoli and carrots and cook stirring occasionally another 5 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, corn, sugar, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and spices (reserving the fresh basil till 5 minutes before serving).
2. Simmer for a few minutes or up to a half hour depending on when your pasta is done or when you want to serve dinner 🙂
3. While sauce is simmering cook the pasta and combine when done.

*Optional – add greek or soy yogurt to the sauce for extra creaminess.

Cauliflower Mac & Cheese: Healthy Vegan Cheese Sauce Yum!

So this was awesome!!! We are lucky that our kids eat a ton of veggies but this was still an awesome way to serve them! Everyone loved it! Enjoy this tasty and super healthy dish!

Cauliflower Mac & Ch

Cauliflower Mac & Cheese – Healthy Vegan Cheese Sauce Yum! 
Gluten-free, Vegan

1 cauliflower, cut into florets
handful of baby carrots
1/4 cup cashews
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, or to taste
1/4-1/2 teaspoon pepper, to taste
pasta of choice (we used GF penne pasta)
Fresh parsley, for garnish

  1. Add cauliflower & carrots in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a low boil. Once boiling, cook for another 8-9 minutes until super tender. Drain.
  2. At the same time boil water for pasta and cook as instructed by package. Drain when done.
  3. In a high-speed blender (we use a Vitamix) blend the cashews and a 1/4 cup of water for 30 seconds. Then add the cooked and drained cauliflower & carrots, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Blend until a super smooth.
  4. Add sauce & pasta into a pot and stir, till just combined. Salt, to taste
  5. Serve with parsley sprinkled on top

Creamy Avocado Pasta

Sometime you just want a home cooked meal but haven’t planned anything and haven’t gone shopping to cook. The kids are always well fed but sometimes we get left a little behind 😉 This is a great meal that took literally the time to boil pasta to create with all ingredients I always have at home. Super simple and deelish, the best!

Creamy Avocado Pasta

 

Creamy Avocado Pasta
4 servings

2 avocados
Juice of 1 lemon + lemon zest to garnish
1-3 garlic cloves, to taste
1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
1/2 cup Fresh Basil or Spinach
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 lb of pasta
ground black pepper, to taste
Pine nuts, for garnish

  1. Boil water and cook pasta in a large pot
  2. In blender or food processor combine garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil and process until smooth. Add avocado, basil, and salt and blend until creamy
  3. When pasta is done, drain and mix with sauce.  Garnish with lemon zest, black pepper and pine nuts. Serve immediately.

Mashed Potato Quinoa Puffs with Sriracha Mayo

Happy Passover! If you celebrated the last two nights, I hope they were joyous ones!! We are stuffed, exhausted but had a great time!

This year I made a bunch of new dishes (and some old favorites!!)  and they all came out super deelish!! I wanted to concentrate on some kid friendly dishes that I knew the adults would love too. We had fun as a family cooking these up together. So sweet 🙂

This one was a perfect appetizer for Passover or really any party 🙂 It was a hit both nights and we are super happy to have some leftover! I doubled the recipe to make sure we would have enough and will do next time since they everyone loved them!

Mashed Potato Quinoa

Mashed Potato Quinoa Puffs with Sriracha Mayo
recipe adapted from http://brazenkitchen.com

Mashed Potato Quinoa Puffs

1 lb. potatoes
1 cup cooked quinoa
2 cups very finely chopped greens such as lacinato kale, swiss chard or spinach
1-3 cloves garlic, pressed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or Earth Balance Soy-Free Spread
¼ cup almond milk or rice milk
Salt and pepper to taste
vegan mayonnaise
Sriracha
ketchup
lemon juice

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Cut the potatoes into 1 inch cubes. Steam or boil until soft. Drain.
  3. Mash the potatoes well or put it through a ricer.
  4. Once the lumps are gone, add all the ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  5. Using a tablespoon, form into 1 inch balls or using two tablespoons, form the into rough “quenelles” or oblong discs. (I used a mini ice cream scoop/cookie scooper)
  6. Drop into parchment lined cookie sheet.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes. Turn the puffs and bake for another 15 minutes.

Sriracha Mayo

  1. Mix Sriracha and mayo to your desired spice level
  2. Kick up with some ketchup and lemon juice.

 

Easy Slow Cooker Lentils

My friend Dina told me about a super easy slow cooker lentils recipe. It was really yummy and beyond easy! There is something so nice about placing everything in a slow cooker and hours later having a hot cooked and deelish meal waiting for you! Perfect for weeknight dinners 🙂

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Easy Slow Cooker Lentils

2 cups brown lentils
1 1/2 cups quinoa
1 chopped onion
3 cloves minced garlic
1 tbsp fresh grated ginger (I keep mine peeled and frozen so it is super easy to grate )
1 tsp each garam masala, turmeric, cayenne, cumin
Salt to taste

Mix all of the above in the slow cooker and put in enough water to cover by an inch plus. Cook on high for 2-3 hrs or low for 3-4 hrs. (add more water if needed) I served it with yogurt and chopped cucumber. Deelish!

Creamy Polenta with Barbeque Seitan Sauce

As you know we LOVE polenta over here 🙂 What is not to love; creamy, smooth corn goodness! And what makes this even better is a deelish, hearty sauce over top 🙂

Just a couple of past polenta dishes: Vegan Creamy Polenta with Sausage and PeppersMushroom and Kale PolentaPolenta & Shallot SquaresPolenta with Nectarine-Blackberry SalsaPolenta with Black Beans, Pan-Fried Tofu & Roasted Coconut Tomato SauceSlow Cooked Corn Polenta and Chiles and Polenta Vegetable Casserole.

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Creamy Polenta with Barbeque Seitan Sauce

1 1/2 cups water, divided
3 teaspoons tamari, divided
1 large onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 teaspoon stone-ground or Dijon mustard
8 ounces coarsley chopped or grated seitan
4 cups cooked polenta (see recipe)

Heat 1/2 cup water and 1 teaspoon tamari in a large pot. Add onion, pepper, and garlic and cook until onion is soft and translucent. Add remaining 1 cup water and 2 teaspoons tamari, tomato sauce, sugar, chili powder, vinegar, peanut butter, mustard, and seitan and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes. Spoon the cooked polenta into bowls and top with the sauce. Enjoy 🙂

Apple Cider Caramel Dipped Apples

No I am not joking with this! SOO good! This is one of those awesome desserts that no one would believe is actually vegan 🙂 Perfect for this beautiful Autumn Apple Season!

I whipped up the caramel sauce, sliced some apples and deelish!

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This is just a basic recipe that you can then play around with for many variations.

  • You can change up the cider to another liquid (chai, vanilla soy, pear juice, coconut milk, tea, etc)
  • Use 1 tsp to up to 3 Tbsp corn starch – the more you add, the thicker the sauce will become. (I am going to use more next time since as it warms up out of the fridge it became a bit runny – see picture below)
  • The lemon juice is optional but really complimented the warm apple cider flavors quite nicely.

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Vegan Apple Cider Caramel sauce
recipe from kblog.lunchboxbunch.com (love this site!!!)

1/2 cup apple cider
1/2 cup vegan shortening (I used Earth Balance shortening sticks)
1 cup vegan dry sugar
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1-3 Tbsp corn starch (I used 1Tbsp – next time more – see above)
1 tsp ginger powder
Dash cinnamon
2 Tbsp lemon juice
pinch of salt (opt’l)
1 tsp molasses (opt’l)

1. Dissolve the corn starch into the cider.
2. Add the cider/starch to a sauce pan with the other ingredients. Bring the mixture to a boil – stirring constantly. When the bubbling becomes intense, reduce to medium heat and continue stirring until the mixture thickens a bit. Optional – use a food processor or (better) an immersion blender to add some air into the sauce.  If you don’t have anything to whip the caramel with it will still turn out fine – just a bit less airy.
3. Remove from heat. Pour the sauce into a bowl and chill in the fridge for at least an hour. Once chilled, use sauce as you wish in recipes!

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Tofu Lettuce Wraps with Peanut Sauce

I am obsessed with Lettuce Wraps! I think it is the ultimate light fresh meal. Typically the filling is cooked and hot, but it being so warm out I wanted a nice cooling easy no-cook meal.

I have always loved the ones at Gobo and also at Wild Ginger. I thought it was about time I made my own 🙂 I am so happy I did, loved this meal!

What is your favorite lettuce wrap recipe? I want to try out some more variations!!

Tofu Lettuce Wraps with Peanut Sauce

2 blocks extra-firm tofu, diced
4 carrots, grated
4 stalks boy choy, shredded
1 sweet onions, grated or diced
2 red bell peppers, diced
1 cucumbers, peeled and grated
4 tablespoons mint, chopped
3 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons lime juice
4 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
3 inches ginger, peeled and grated
2 jalapenos, diced
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
24 large boston bib lettuce leaves, washed and patted dried
24 peanuts, chopped

  1. In a bow, combine tofu, carrots, bok choy, onion, pepper, cucumber and mint.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the oils, lime juice, rice wine vinegar, ginger, jalapeno, and salt.
  3. Add tofu and veggies to the peanut sauce and toss.
  4. Serve on lettuce leaves garnished with peanuts.

Coco-Almond Quinoa Risotto with Saffron Mushroom Gravy

Just reading the name of this recipe makes my mouth water with how good it was!!!! To me this was perfect date/impress/romantic/thank goodness for leftovers food.

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Coco-Almond Quinoa Risotto with Saffron Coconut Mushroom Gravy
recipe from kblog.lunchboxbunch.com
makes 8-9 cups (lots of leftovers – half recipe to serve just a few, but if you are like me make the whole thing!)
Risotto:
4 ounces coconut milk
8 ounces almonds, sliced
2 cups scallions, sliced (1 bunch)
16 ounces quinoa, dry (about 2 1/2 cups) – rinsed
5 1/2 cups water
1-2 Tbsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 cup white mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 tsp herbed sea salt

Gravy:
8 ounces coconut milk
2 Tbsp maple syrup
2-3 Tbsp nutritional yeast, pinch salt
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 1/2 cups sliced white mushrooms
a spoonful of cooked quinoa risotto
1/2 tsp saffron (optional)
add a splash of water if you’d like a thinner gravy

1. Using a large pot – bring your water and a pinch of salt to a strong boil. Add the rinsed quinoa. Cover with a small vent and allow to boil for 10-12 minutes on med-high heat.

2. When the ten minutes is up, remove the lid completely from the large quinoa pot. Not all the liquid will be absorbed. Add in: all your almond, scallions and a splash of coconut milk. Also grind in some fresh pepper.

3. Stir with a wooden spoon and turn the heat down a bit. The ingredients will begin to absorb more of the liquid and a thick risotto will begin to form.

4. Next add in the nutritional yeast, maple syrup (just a splash), garlic powder and risotto mushrooms. Continue folding the quinoa until a moist thick consistency forms. Like a very thick oatmeal. Turn heat off and begin spooning the quinoa out of the pot and into a serving/storage bowl. You can also begin plating your quinoa.

5. In the same pot, you will make the gravy. It’s OK if some of the quinoa ( a few spoonfuls) remains in the pot. This will help to thicken your gravy.

6. For gravy: add all the gravy ingredients and stir on medium until sauce thickens. Allow saffron to bloom. Remove from heat and spoon gravy over top plated quinoa – or transfer to a gravy serving bowl.

7. Plate your risotto and then add the gravy. Garnish with fresh pepper and plenty of mushrooms from the gravy. ENJOY!!

Plated Risotto

Plated Risotto

Risotto

Risotto

Gravy

Gravy

Pecan Miso Soba

This makes a big bowl of noodles, so you could always half the recipe if you don’t want so much. But this is such a deelish recipe it might be good to have leftovers or just more people to feed! Such a simple sauce to whip up but with such a complex flavor. I am sure this sauce would be amazing sauteed up with some veggies or just drizzled over steamed veggies. Yum!

Pecan Miso Soba Recipe
Serves 4-6

12 ounces soba noodles
1 small bunch of asparagus, sliced thinly, 1/4-inch thick
1 1/2 cup pecans, toasted
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 medium clove garlic, peeled
6 tablespoons mellow white miso paste
6 tablespoons white wine vinegar
3 teaspoon agave
2 big pinches salt (or to taste)

  1. Boil a large pot of salted water. Cook the soba as directed.
  2. 30 seconds before the pasta is done, add the asparagus to the pot and then drain the noodles and asparagus together.
  3. Toss with about 1/2-whole recipe of the sauce – adding more to taste. I ended up using most of the dressing.

Pecan Miso Sauce

  1. Puree the pecans, olive oil, garlic, miso paste, vinegar, and agave together until smooth. Adding salt to taste.

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