Miso Acorn Squash

Happy last day of 2016!

Before we end the year I thought I would leave you all with a super quick and healthy recipe. I had never cooked acorn squash and I was very happily surprised with how it turned out! This marinade could be used for any type of squash or pumpkin or really any vegetable for that matter.

If you do not have miso readily stocked in your fridge, I highly suggest you buy some! It has a slew of benefits including:

  • Probiotics. …
  • Improved digestion. …
  • Lowers blood pressure. …
  • Many Nutrients including copper, manganese and vitamin k

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Ingredients:
1 Acorn squash
2 tablespoons miso
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce/liquid aminos
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon coconut sugar
1/2 tablespoon melted coconut oil
1/2 tablespoon sesame oil

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 F. Cut squash in 1/4- 1/2 inch slices.

Whisk all ingredients but squash in a large bowl. Place squash slices in the bowl and using hands or tongs toss to coat.

On a parchment or silpat lined backing tray, place squash slices evenly so they do not overlap. Allow slices to bake for 45-60 minutes, flipping half way through until tender to a fork and crispy on the outside.

Optionally sprinkle with sesame seeds.

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Vegan Oatmeal Cookies

Merry Christmas Eve and happy first night of Chanukkah!

The holidays are a great time to enjoy special treats, but not everything that tastes good has to be terrible for you. I baked up these oatmeal cookies a week ago for some skeptical friends and they were shocked at how delicious they were. Both gluten free and vegan, these cookies get their chewy texture from coconut oil and a nice molassesy flavor from coconut sugar. They are also really quick to make and easy to bring along to your next holiday party.

Makes 20 cookies

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
1/4 cup milk of choice
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
2 tablespoons apple sauce
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup gluten free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
1/2 cup coconut or turbinado sugar
2 packets monk fruit/stevia
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

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Directions:
In a small bowl mix up flaxseed, milk, coconut oil and apple sauce into a bowl and let sit for 5-10 minutes to gel and create your flax egg. Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine all remaining ingredients.

Once the flax mixture has thickened, pour this into the larger bowl of try ingredients and thoroughly combine. Using your hands, form the dough into a large ball in your bowl and place into your freezer for 15 minutes (allowing the coconut oil to re-harden).

When ready to cook, preheat your oven to 350 and remove the dough. On a greased or silpat lined cookie sheet, drop heaping tablespoons of dough. Lightly flatten the tops of each of the cookie dough balls and place into the oven for 12-16 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool.

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5 Minute Tofu Cabbage Roll-Ups

This recipe is another one of my more idea recipes than an actual step by step one. I end up making these a lot actually either for a snack or dinner when I am in a pinch. I generally go for the spicy route but you can use whatever seasonings you desire. Get creative with your marinade or make it easy for yourself and use a store bought sauce such as teriyaki or BBQ. I also like to place my filling in cabbage leaves but feel free to use taco shells or wraps!

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Ingredients:
Tofu
Marinade: I used 1 tablespoon siracha, ¼ teaspoon each of chili powder, paprika, onion powder and garlic powder, ½ tablespoon rice vinegar, 1 ½ tablespoons tomato paste with salt and pepper to taste
Cabbage leaves
Salsa/pico de gallo/vinegar based slaw
Optional: additional vegetables, seeds or herbs for topping

Directions:
Mix together marinade ingredients into a bowl. Once fully whisked, crumble tofu into the bowl with the marinade. Toss to coat and let sit for at least 10 minutes in the fridge. For added crispiness, you can add almond flour or an other flour of choice into the mixture for a more “breaded” texture.
Spray a sauté pan with coconut oil and once heated, place marinated tofu into the pan. Using a wooden spoon, continuously mix around the tofu so it does not stick to the pan. You want the tofu to brown and become crispy.
Once complete, remove tofu from pan and place desired amount in lettuce cups. Top with sauce and veggies of choice.

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Served with salmon wrapped asparagus and garlic toast topped with bruschetta

Cheezy Green Bean Crisps

Happy New Year everyone! Wishing you all a happy and healthy 2016 filled with delicious food of course.
Let’s start this year of right with a super simple snack. I find that when I make my own snacks at home, they’re less processed than what I can buy in stores, I save money, and I get to make recipes exactly for what I crave. When I have healthy snacks on hand it makes it a lot easier to eat well and not tear open a bag of chips.
For this recipe I used a dehydrator but you could also try baking them in the oven though they may not achieve the same crispiness that you get from using a dehydrator. Feel free to change up all the spices to make it exactly to your liking!

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Ingredients:
16 oz green beans
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/3 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon chili powder

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Directions:
Place all ingredients in a bowl and toss to evenly coat the green beans.
Place in your dehydrator for 8-12 hours until crispy and enjoy!

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Grain-less Pumpkin Cake Muffins

With Halloween tomorrow, I thought I would step up my pumpkin game and create some yummy muffins. Nothing screams this holiday’s signature flavors more than pumpkin, and fortunately for all of us, pumpkin is actually good for you! Low in calories and high in vitamin A and fiber, it can be added to a variety of both savory and sweet dishes.
The muffins turned out even better than I thought they would! However, if you are looking for a dense muffin, these won’t be it. They have more of a cake-like consistency, hence “cake muffins.” I’m thinking of coining the term “cuffin” right now…

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You could even use this recipe to create a loaf or a cake. Just adjust baking time accordingly.
Oh and each muffin is only 100 calories but packs 5 grams of protein with only 11 carbs, three of which are fiber, making this muffin perfect for any time of the day.
Have it for breakfast, a snack, dessert, or even served with lunch/dinner in place of cornbread in your meal.

Ingredients:
1 cup almond flour
¼ cup coconut flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (I ended up just using 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon and ¼ teaspoon each nutmeg and cardamom)
2 tablespoons granulated stevia (or honey/agave/maple syrup)
2 tablespoons honey/agave/maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 eggs
¾ cup pure pumpkin puree
⅓ cup light canned coconut milk
⅓ cup unsweetened applesauce

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Directions:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease a loaf pan with coconut oil.
In a large bowl, whisk together the almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, stevia, and salt.
Add in each of the wet ingredients and stir until well incorporated
Pour the batter into a muffin tin to create 12 individual muffins.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Once removing muffins from the oven, let it sit until cool before removing from pan and slicing.

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To create a delicious yet healthy protein frosting, combine a tablespoon of plain/vanilla Greek yogurt with a touch of honey and a dash of cinnamon. This will create enough frosting for 1 muffin so multiply accordingly!

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Creamy Kale & Zucchini Pasta/Dip

Sometimes my best recipes come out purely out of an effort to use up the contents of my fridge. I was in the mood for something quick and healthy, yet comforting and delicious all at the same time.
I had some veggies I wanted to use up before leaving for the weekend so I just began roasting and blending and the result was super tasty (all the while I got to feel like a mad scientist in the kitchen)!

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This recipe creates a great stand alone dip for veggies or crackers, but combined with some gluten free pasta, it makes a creamy and nutritious sauce. I chose to serve mine topped with smoked salmon for extra protein and a salty bite. It is perfect for a filling and simple Sunday night dinner or for any night of the week.

Ingredients:

1 large zucchini
½ of a small onion
2 small cloves of garlic
3 cups kaleDSCN4539
⅓ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
Olive oil (spray)
Salt and pepper to taste

Pasta of choice- I chose TJ’s Organic Brown Rice & Quinoa Fusilli Pasta
Optional: smoked salmon

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 400F. Slice zucchini into ¼ inch strips and cut your half onion into chunks.
Peel the cloves of garlic.
Grease a baking sheet with olive oil. Place zucchini and onion onto the baking sheet and either spray or drizzle additional olive oil. At this time you may also place the garlic on the baking sheet for a roasted garlic flavor.
Place baking sheet into the oven for 15-20 minutes until veggies are lightly browned.
Meanwhile, steam 3 cups of kale.
Place kale, Greek yogurt, zucchini, onion and either roasted (or not roasted) garlic cloves in the blender. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Blend until fairly smooth but leaving some small vegetable chunks.

To make the pasta dish, simply use your pasta of choice and prepare according to package instructions. Once finished, reserve about ¼ cup of pasta water.
Strain pasta and pour into a large bowl. Add in your desired amount of sauce and slowly pour in pasta water while stirring until desired consistency is achieved.
Optionally, top with smoked salmon.

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Great served with my vegan garlic cauli mash!

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Cauliflower Rice Sushi

So unless your head is under a rock (and no judgement here, rocks are pretty sweet) you’ve probably heard of cauliflower rice. Basically you throw some cauliflower into a food processor or blender and whiz it up to magically create what appears to be white rice. You can use this “rice” in place of regular rice in many dishes.

The endless possibilities of cauliflower rice set off a lightbulb in my head- why not make sushi with it?! By no means is regular rice the devil, but by replacing it with cauliflower you are left with a nutrient filled but less calorie dense alternative- which basically translates as an excuse to have more wine.

Makes 1 roll

Ingredients:
1 cup riced cauliflower
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon egg whites
1 sheet nori
Tamari/Braggs liquid aminos

Possible Add-Ins:
Cucumbers
Avocados
Bell peppers
Carrots
Mango
Sushi grade fish
Tofu
Sesame seeds (to sprinkle on top)
…seriously whatever you want, this is the perfect time to clear out your fridge…

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Directions:
Create your cup of riced cauliflower by either hand grating it or using a food processor or blender. Place your riced cauliflower in a bowl and microwave for 3 minutes.

Add the egg whites to the cauliflower rice, stir it around and place it back into the microwave for another minute.

Remove the bowl from the microwave, add the rice vinegar and place your cauliflower rice into the fridge.

Once your “rice” is completely cooled you can begin assembling!

Place your nori sheet onto a flat cleaned surface and dump your rice onto the center of the sheet. Using your hands or the back of a spoon, spread the rice evenly onto the nori sheet.

Now it’s time to start adding the good stuff. Start placing your fixin’s onto the center of your sheet. Make sure that if you have several slices of the same ingredient that they are the same size so the ingredients line up well and it rolls up nicely.


rolling cauliflower sushi
Finally, your sushi is roll-ready. roll up your sushi, and for optimal slicing results, place your whole roll into the fridge for about 15 minutes.

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Once it is cool to the touch, slice and enjoy with a side of your favorite soy sauce/alternative.
finished cauliflower sushi in circle

Crispy Tofu Tacos

Taco Final 1

Serves 2-3

Ingredients you NEED:
1/2 package firm tofu
1 tablespoon Sriracha (if you don’t like hot, use a mild hot sauce or tomato paste)
5-6 drops liquid stevia/teaspoon agave/sugar/honey
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup almond meal
1 teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Dash of cayenne
Salt and pepper to taste
1 lime
1 tablespoon oil (grapeseed, canola, even olive or coconut)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Corn tortillas

Ingredients that aren’t essential but make the dish INFINITELY better:

Slaw/cabbage mix mixed with red wine vinegar, salt & pep
Bell peppers
Onions
Guacamole/avocado slices
Salsa
Tomatoes

Directions:
Take your tofu and blot it dry with a paper towel. Doing so will take out some moisture and allow it to better absorb the flavors you’re going to add. Next, cut the tofu into ½ – ¼  inch cubes.
Mix together the Siracha, sweetener of choice and balsamic vinegar into a bowl and throw in your tofu cubes and gently stir to coat.

Tofu Dry Mixture

In a separate bowl, combine the almond meal and seasonings (chili powder, paprika, cumin, garlic powder). You can totally adjust the spices to your liking and feel free to use a pre-made taco seasoning to make things a little easier. After you’ve given your little tofu cubies a few minutes to soak up that siracha goodness, dump them in your almond meal mixture and coat them real goood. Not coated=not crispy and we’re trying to disguise these soy nuggets as much as possible so the boyfriend doesn’t realize what he’s eating.

Crisped Tofu

Begin heating your skillet with a tablespoon of oil. Any type of oil will work, just know that any non-neutral tasting oil will impart its flavor on the tofu. Sauté your minced garlic for a minute and then add your tofu, stirring occasionally so all the sides get nice and crispy. When the edges are nice and browned, turn off the heat and give it a good squeeze of lime and a sprinkling of cilantro/parsley.
To serve this, while the tofu was crisping, I sautéed some onions and peppers in some olive oil on the stove. I microwaved each corn tortilla with a damp paper towel in the microwave and topped them with some of the cabbage that I let marinate for about 10 minutes with the vinegar and salt and pepper and added the sautéed veggies and then the tofu. Finally, I topped mine with some guac, sliced tomatoes, salsa, and a drizzle of lime juice.

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Dinner is served. All done in about 20 minutes so Casey is happy. Boyfriend thinks he’s eating cubes of cheese so he’s happy. Meal is full of fresh produce and plant protein so belly is happy.

I’d say this was a success.