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 🙂

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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Guest Post: Aunt Apple’s Apples

My sister makes these delicious apple treats all the time for my kiddos (and everyone else). Think an awesome healthy version of an apple pie. Since they are such an unbelievable hit (they have even caused a name change ;)) we wanted to share them with you! Perfect time for the Autumn and Jewish Holidays too! My kids will eat these at any meal, any time of day! Enjoy!!!

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Aunt Apple’s Apples

I’m Marisa’s sister Jillian, but my wonderful niece and nephew know me as Aunt Apple. I started making my special apple dessert about two years ago, and they love it so much, I give it to them for every family get-together. It’s vegan, very low fat, low sugar, low carb, high fiber, and most importantly, it’s delicious!

Ingredients:

  • 6 apples (I like using organic Fuji or Gala, but any type will do)
  • 1 tbsp of cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 tbsp of brown sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup of raisins
  • 1 cup of Bisquick
  • 1/4 cup of butter flavored Crisco (or other vegan butter substitute)
  • 3 tbsp boiling water

The very first thing you want to do with this recipe is make the dough for the crust; the more time it has to hydrate, the easier it will be to work with. Mix the Bisquick with the Crisco and boiling water, then knead it all together. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator.

The next step is to plump the raisins. You can do this really easily by microwaving the raisins for two minutes with half a cup of water, then draining whatever water is left. If you want the raisins to be even sweeter, you can use fruit juice instead of water to plump them.

Then, you take the apples and cut them in half horizontally. Then, using a sturdy melon baller, scoop out the core, making sure not to puncture the skin of the apple. After you’ve thrown away the core, use the melon baller to scoop out as much of the fruit as possible, and set it aside for the filling.

When you’ve hollowed out all the apples, roughly chop all the scooped out pieces, and mix them with the sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and raisins. Toss everything thoroughly to combine.

Now, fill each of the apple with the filling up to the brim.

(If you want to make your dessert gluten-free, your prep work is over, and you can just skip down to the baking specifications.)

Next, take your chilled dough out of the fridge, and roll it out on a non-stick surface or a floured surface. Slice it into thin pieces about three inches long for your lattice crust. And then make a little hashtag on each apple half. Gently press the ends of each dough strip on to the apple.

When these are all completed, put them in a casserole dish. Now, pour a tiny bit of water on the bottom of the dish between the pies, cover the whole thing with tin foil, and bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Then uncover the pan, and cook the apples for another 20 minutes, or until the crust is nicely browned.

You now have your very own Aunt Apple’s Apples! There will probably be some water left at the bottom of the pan, so move those treats to another vessel, and enjoy!

 

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.

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