Eggplant Tofu Lasagna

We all love lasagna but we definitely don’t all love how it makes us feel afterwards. Filled with dairy and gluten, it is a super heavy meal that is hard to justify eating every day. Thankfully, I’ve created a vegan and gluten friendly version! With four large servings that each pack 9 grams of protein for only 90 calories, you can safely eat the whole dish, no stomachaches required.

Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 large eggplant
12 oz firm silken tofu
2/3 cup marinara sauce
1 cup spinach
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
6 basil leaves
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
2/3 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

DSCN5810.jpg

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Slice eggplant into roughly 1/4- 1/2 inch slices. I sliced my eggplant into coin shapes but lengthwise would be preferred. Salt eggplant slices on both sides and arrange into a colander in the sink to remove excess water/bitterness for 15 minutes. Rinse salted eggplant slices well and dry thoroughly. Lay a baking sheet on top and place something heavy on top to soak up the excess moisture.

In a food processor combine final 8 ingredients until smooth consistency is achieved. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.

Oil an 8×8 baking dish and spread a thin layer of marinara sauce on the bottom of the dish. Lay eggplant slices in an even layer on top of the sauce. Top eggplant slices with 1/3 of tofu cheese mixture followed by an even layer of 1/3 cup of spinach and then more marinara. Repeat this process two to three more times until all ingredients are used.

Place entire dish in oven for 20-25 minuts until eggplant is slightly browned and sauce bubbles.

Remove and let cool for at least 5 minutes.

DSCN5826.jpg

Advertisements

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

dscn5774

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.

dscn5781

Butternut Squash Soup

I’m back!

It has been a while since I last posted but sometimes life is busy and recently I just haven’t had time to blog. However, I have not stopped cooking and I have plenty of recipes up my sleeve to share with you all!

To start off, I wanted to bring you a seasonal recipe, butternut squash soup! This is a lighter take on the beloved classic that it super easy to make and something all will enjoy.

Ingredients:
1 large butternut squash
1 teaspoon olive or coconut oil
1/3 large white onion
1 teaspoon salt
4 garlic cloves, minced/diced
1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Dash of cinnamon
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2-4 cups vegetable broth
1/2-1 cup non dairy milk (I used cashew)
1 tablespoon butter or olive/coconut oil

dscn5739

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut your butternut squash in half and use a spoon to remove the seeds.

Spray each side of the butternut squash with olive or coconut oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place your the squash face side down on your lined baking sheet and place in the oven for 45 to 55 minutes, until brown and caramelized. Remove squash from the oven and allow to cool, still keeping it face side down.

While the butternut cools, place a teaspoon of olive or coconut oil in a sauté pan and heat to medium heat. Dice 1/3 medium white onion and place into the sauté pan. Once onion softens, place the minced garlic cloves in the pan and allow to sauté with onions for an additional minute. Turn off heat and once slightly cooled, place this onion garlic mixture into your blender.

Now that the butternut is cooled, using a spoon scrape the insides into the blender as well. Begin by adding 2 cups of vegetable stock and a half cup of milk of choice in the blender along with all the spices, maple syrup and tablespoon of butter/oil. Puree the mixture until smooth. To achieve desired thick/thinness optionally add more vegetable broth and or milk. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy on its own or sprinkle with breadcrumbs or toasted nuts for a heartier dish.

dscn5757

Cheesecake Popsicles

Even though my OG favorite dessert will always be ice cream, sometimes a more portable and lighter alternative is exactly what I’m craving.
I came up with this recipe after realizing I had perfectly good cottage cheese in the fridge that had an expiration set for the end of the week. Not sure what else I would do with it, I decided to craft a recipe.
Thanks to the cheese-ness of the cottage cheese and creaminess of Greek yogurt, these pops really do have the essence of cheesecake.
These are also the perfect light snack with under 40 calories and 3 grams of carbs, yet almost 7 grams of protein! So have a pop, or 2 or 3!

DSCN5540

Ingredients:
1 cup cottage cheese
½ cup plain Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1-2 tablespoons milk of choice
Sweetener to taste
Optional ¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:
Place cottage cheese in a blender and blend u too curds are broken up and consistency is smooth.
Place remaining ingredients in blender, optionally adding more milk if mixture is too thick.
Evenly pour mixture into 6 Popsicle molds.
Freeze 5-6 hours or overnight.

DSCN5552

Garlic Balsamic Mushrooms

One of my favorite items at the Whole Foods salad bar is the balsamic mushrooms. The simple flavor combo gave me the inspiration to make my own super quick mushroom side dish. What’s great about this recipe is it only takes minutes to make but has rich flavor without all the added oil.

DSCN5513

Ingredients:
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ tablespoon Vegetable broth/water
1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Directions:
Spray a pan with coconut or olive oil and place minced garlic in the pan. Stir around for a minute to lightly sauté the garlic.
Add in the sliced mushrooms.
Stir the mushrooms around frequently and add in your veggie broth/water so mushrooms begin to sizzle. Allow mushrooms to cook for an additional minute and then drizzle on the balsamic vinegar along with the onion powder and black pepper. Mix around mushrooms thoroughly so they are evenly coated by the balsamic vinegar.
Once mushrooms achieve a browned color with golden edges, they are complete.

DSCN5509

Cauliflower Alfredo

The problem with so many creamy fattening foods is that they are so darn delicious. You can go to the store and buy many “light” alternatives, but while these options may be lower in calories, they are often sky high in chemical additives and strange ingredients you can’t pronounce.
So what’s a health and taste conscious person to do? Experiment and make your own recipes of course!
I’ve been using cauliflower a TON lately as a swap for things from rice to oats to mashed potatoes. One night while I was making a cauliflower mash I noticed the creamy texture you can get from pureeing cauliflower and thought, wow this could make an awesome sauce!
This recipe is super simple and you can adjust it to your own tastes with additional seasonings like cayenne, or a more buttery flavor with a tablespoon of butter or olive oil. With a vegan option and 2 ginormous servings for 60 calories, it’s an all around win.

DSCN5337

Serves heaping ½ cup servings or 4 heaping ¼ cup servings

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups raw cauliflower florets (160g)
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2-4 tablespoons grated parmesan or nutritional yeast (to desired cheesy taste)
1 cup unsweetened cashew milk
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper

Directions:
Place all ingredients into a medium pot and bring to a boil. Cover the mixture and let it simmer for around 15 minutes until cauliflower is completely soft.
Using a blender or food processor, blend the mixture until smooth.

Serve on top of pasta, zucchini noodles, veggies, or just about anything! Maybe not ice cream though…

DSCN5346

Spiced Cauliflower Tomato Soup

Soup is the best thing in the cold months. Even out here in California, temperatures are dropping and I love warming up a nice cup of soup when I come home.
To really get full though, I like thick or chunky soups and this recipe certainly does not disappoint.
This soup is super tasty, ultra thick and under 60 calories per cup. Oh it’s vegan, gluten free (duh) and 3.5 grams of fiber!

DSCN5074

Makes 5 1 cup Servings

Ingredients:
1 large white onion
3 cloves garlic
4 cups cauliflower
1 small hot chili pepper
3 cups organic vegetable broth (add more for thinner soup)
¾ -1 cup diced no salt added tomatoes
½ teaspoon each oregano, thyme and black pepper
¼ teaspoon cumin
Salt to taste

DSCN5070

Directions:
Cut onion into smaller pieces and mince garlic cloves.
Spray the bottom of a large pot with olive oil over medium heat. Place onions and garlic in the pot. Stir occasionally until onions soften.
Cut chili pepper and place it into pot along with cauliflower. I used frozen cauliflower but fresh works well too.
Stir around until cauliflower softens (around 5 minutes).
Add in vegetable broth and tomatoes, stir, and turn up heat and wait until soup comes to a boil.
Once at a boil, turn flame down to a simmer, cover pot, and let cook for 25-30 minutes.
After the 25-30 minutes are up, add in spices. Taste mixture to see if you would like to adjust your spices.
Using an immersion blender or a regular blender, blend the entire soup and then you’re done!
Note- this freezes well so feel free to keep out what you will eat within a few days and freeze the rest in an airtight container!

DSCN5082

Tomato Veggie Sauce

Whenever I go on vacation I do my best to use whatever I have left in my fridge as to not waste. Some things I will freeze, bake, or dry to preserve them for longer, or I will get creative and make some recipes!
I decided to use up my extra veggies to make an onion tomato sauce that I tossed with zucchini noodles for dinner the night and then I places what I had left of the sauce in the feezer to use for a later time. This is the recipe I created with what I had on hand but feel free to improvise with whatever you have!

DSCN5206

Ingredients:
2 garlic cloves, minced
⅓ large white onion
1 ½ cups grape tomates
3 large celery stalks
⅓ cup parsley
1 cup vegetable stock
½ teaspoon dried rosemary
¼ teaspoon each chili powder, black pepper and dried oregano
⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

DSCN5188

Directions:
Spray a medium to large sized pot with olive oil and saute the garlic with the onion until translucent. Add in the grape tomatoes and celery stalks and cook while occasionally stirring until celery is softened and tomatoes are blistered.
Add in 1 cup of vegetable stock and bring mixture to boil.
Add in parsley and cover pot and reduce flame to a simmer.
Let sauce cook for 25-30 minutes.
Remove lid and either using an immersion or regular blender, blend sauce until it is smooth.
Use as a dip, sauce for pasta or veggies and more!