Roasted Veggies & Quinoa (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

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Since I have classes most evenings during the week, I have to plan meals that I can prep beforehand so that we can have a hot, healthy dinner as soon as class is over. This one is very easy to get ready, then pop in the oven. I generally roast my veggies on a lower heat, like 300…I turn them on before I head out to Bootcamp, then when I’m done an hour later, they’re ready. YUM!

I always make enough for my Hubs and I to have dinner, plus lunch the next day. Feel free to adjust the amounts based on your needs!

Roasted Veggies and Quinoa

Here’s what you need:

  • 4 Cups Quinoa, cooked

Veggies (Get creative and try new things! This is just what I used.)

  • 2 Cups Frozen Broccoli Florets
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper, chopped
  • 3 Small Potatoes, diced (any kind will do)
  • 2 Carrots, cut into wedges
  • 4 Slices of Red Cabbage
  • 2 zucchini, diced
  • 1 Cup Mushrooms, sliced
  • Seasonings I used: salt, pepper, garlic, italian seasoning, nutritional yeast, fennel seeds

Garlic Dressing

  • 1/3 Cup Tahini
  • 1/2 Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 2 T Coconut Aminos
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Minced Garlic
  • 1/4 tsp Sea Salt

Here’s what you do:

  • Add all Garlic Dressing ingredients to a small bowl and whisk together. If it’s too thick, add more almond milk until it’s the consistency you like. Then, place in the refrigerator.
  • Prepare quinoa according to package instructions. (If you don’t need to prep this meal, then you can wait until the veggies go in the oven to get the quinoa going.)
  • In a small saucepan, saute the mushrooms until they are soft, about 5-7 minutes. Set aside. (If not prepping, you can make these closer to when the veggies should be done.)
  • Preheat oven: 300 for slower roasting, 375 for quicker roasting.
  • Line 2 baking sheets with Parchment Paper.
  • Add broccoli to one baking sheet, then the rest (minus the mushrooms) to the other.
  • Sprinkle with seasonings of choice.
  • Bake an hour at 300, or 30-40 minutes at 375, or until the veggies are tender and golden brown.
  • Line a plate or bowl with quinoa, top with your roasted veggies & mushrooms, then drizzle with the garlic dressing.
  • Enjoy!

 

 

 

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Vegan Chili Mac

One of our favorite meals before we became vegan was Chili Mac. Over the weekend, I veganized it! It turned out really great, so I thought I would share! We had wanted to try this new shredded cashew cheese that we found at our health food store (for all you locals, it was Village Foods). It was made by Parmela Creamery, and had far less ingredients than Daiya, so of course we wanted to give it a taste! Let me tell you… this stuff is DELICIOUS!

This is so super easy to make and it makes a lot! It’s one of those meals that’s even better the next day. 😀

Vegan Chili Mac

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Here’s what you need:

  • 8 oz Package of Gluten Free Brown Rice Elbow Pasta (I used Field Day Organic)
  • 2 Cans Pinto Beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 2 14.5oz Cans of Tomatoes and Green Chilies (I used Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted Tomatoes with Medium Green Chilies)
  • 1 Package Beyond Meat Feisty Crumbles
  • 2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 2 tsp Cumin
  • 1-2 tsp Sea Salt (depends on your taste)
  • 1-2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 T Chili Powder
  • 1 Package Shredded Vegan Cheddar Cheese (I used Parmela Creamery Aged Nutcheese Shreds)

Here’s what you do:

  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • In a large bowl, stir together the pinto beans, tomatoes with green chilies, the package of Beyond Meat Crumbles (I tossed them in frozen), and all of the spices.
  • Cook pasta for approximately 7 minutes. Since it will be baking, it doesn’t have to be completely done.
  • Drain pasta and rinse with cold water.
  • Add pasta to the other mixture and stir well.
  • Pour into a 9×13 baking dish and put in the oven to bake for about 30 minutes uncovered.
  • Remove from the oven, and sprinkle the cheese all over the top.
  • Place back in the oven until cheese is melted -or- if you like it a little crispy on top, put it under the broiler for about 5 minutes or until it’s as crispy as you like it.
  • Let it cool for about 5 minutes before serving.
  • Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

Spinach Pesto Lasagna Rolls with “Cream Sauce”

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So, my Mom, Husband and I have all gone Vegan. I’ll write more about the “why’s” later. Until then, check out: Forks Over Knives, What the Health and Eating You Alive. So eye-opening!

I’ve been posting pictures of our meals on Facebook, just to show how yummy Whole Food Plant Based meals can be (gluten free also). Since I’ve had some requests for the actual recipes, here’s the one for the Spinach Pesto Lasagna Rolls with “Cream Sauce” that I made last night. They were SO good! 😀 ❤

 

Spinach Pesto Lasagna Rolls with “Cream Sauce”

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Here’s what you need:

10-12 brown rice lasagna noodles

“Cream Sauce”:
1 cup cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons arrowroot powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Pesto:
2 cloves garlic + 1 teaspoon garlic powder
3 cups fresh basil, loosely packed
1/2 cup shelled pumpkin seeds + extra for topping
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Ricotta:
1 1/2 cup cashews, soaked at least 2 hours
juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
½ cup water
1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper

Spinach:
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
16 oz baby spinach

Here’s what you do:

Cream Sauce:
Drain cashews. In a blender, combine all ingredients and blend until completely smooth.

Pesto:
Place all ingredients in a blender  and blend. It should not be completely smooth. Thin with water to get it into a spreadable consistency. Reserve half for the inside of the rolls and half for topping.

Ricotta:
Drain cashews. In a blender, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth.

Spinach:
In a large cast iron skillet, saute garlic in olive oil for about 1 minute, then add about 8-10 oz of the spinach (setting aside the rest) and cook until wilted.

Make the noodles:
Cook noodles according to instructions on package. You want them to be more al dente. Once cooked, drain them in a colander and run them under cold water to make them suitable for handling.

Assembling:

  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly spray a 9×13 inch casserole dish or line with parchment paper.
  • Spread about 3 tablespoons of ricotta mixture evenly over each lasagna noodle.
  • Spread about 1-2 teaspoons of pesto on top of the ricotta mixture of each lasagna noodle.  (Alternatively, you could mix half of the pesto with the ricotta to cut out this step.)
  • Line about 3 tablespoons of spinach mixture over the ricotta/pesto mixture.
  • Use the rest of the fresh spinach to cover the top of the mixtures of each lasagna noodle.
  • Carefully roll each noodle up and place them seam side down in the casserole dish.
  • Pour the white sauce all over the rolls.
  • Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes, until edges are lightly browned and white sauce is thickened.
  • Remove from oven, spread on the remaining pesto and sprinkle extra pumpkin seeds on top.
  • Place under broiler until the tops and pumpkin seeds are golden brown. This doesn’t take long, so watch it carefully!
  • Remove, serve and enjoy!

 

Fall is Coming Chicken Soup

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I got a little excited this past weekend because of the cool front that came through. Lows in the upper 50’s was something to celebrate, even if it did get up to 85 during the day. I mean, that’s cool weather for us Texans, right? We wanted something “fall-ish” for dinner, but nothing too complicated because we were busy outside (had to get those fall decorations out!). I figured a nice chicken soup would do! Now, when it comes to soups and stews, I don’t do measurements. I just start dumping things in until it tastes good. 😀

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2lbs Chicken (I used chicken breasts, but whatever cut you prefer will do.)
  • 6-8 Celery Stalks, chopped into roughly 1 inch pieces
  • 1 Small Bag of Carrots, chopped into roughly 1 inch pieces
  • 2 Bell Peppers (any color is fine), chopped
  • 2 Onions, Chopped
  • 2 Shallots, Chopped
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Chopped
  • 1 Big Handful Fresh Baby Kale
  • 1 Big Handful Fresh Baby Spinach
  • 1 T. Coconut Oil
  • Herbs & Spices to taste: Salt, Pepper, Thyme, Rosemary, Garlic Powder, Sage, Basil, Bay Leaves

Here’s what you’ll do:

  • Put chicken in a stock pot (I believe mine is a 10qt.) and cover with water. (Leave about 2 inches at the top.)
  • Add in your Herbs and Spices.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 1 hour.
  • Add Celery, Carrots, Bell Peppers, Onions, Shallots, Garlic and Coconut Oil.
  • Bring to a boil again, then reduce heat back to low, cover and simmer for about 30-45 minutes, or until the carrots are soft.
  • Remove Chicken and shred with a fork, then put it back in the pot.
  • Add in your handfuls of Kale and Spinach, and simmer for about 10 minutes more.
  • Remove from heat and let it sit for about 10 minutes, then serve.

Enjoy!

**This makes a lot, and tastes even better the next day!

Savory Beef Stir Fry

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The other day at the grocery store, I noticed Michael loading up on something while we were in the produce section. He was excited that the hatch chili’s were in season, so he was quickly filling up that plastic baggie with his find! We’ve been finding various ways to use them, so, I thought I would spice up some stir fry, and they gave it just the right amount of heat. 😉

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1lb Beef Cut for Stir Fry, or Top Round Steak thinly sliced
  • 2 Hatch Chili’s, sliced
  • 1 of each: Green, Yellow & Red Bell Peppers sliced (alternatively, I have found pre-sliced bell peppers and onions in the freezer section at Kroger. It’s much cheaper, faster and easier! 1 bag would do the trick.)
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 1 Clove of Garlic, minced
  • 2 T. Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 T. Sesame Seed Oil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Sesame Seeds for Sprinkling
  • 2 Cups Long Grain Brown Rice, Cooked (This takes about 40-45 minutes, so I always get that going first.)

Here’s what you’ll do:

  • In a small bowl, mix together the beef, balsamic vinegar, sesame seed oil, garlic, salt & pepper & set aside for about 15 minutes to marinate.
  • Grease a skillet with non-stick cooking spray and heat on medium-high.
  • Toss in your beef and marinade and saute until the beef is browned.
  • Add in your hatch chili’s, bell peppers and onions and cook until they are soft.
  • Serve on top of your cooked brown rice & sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Enjoy!

**Makes 4 Servings.**

Salsa Chicken Salad

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I’m going to give you the easiest way to make lots of tasty chicken, with almost zero effort. Ready? Here it goes:
Take 4-5 chicken breasts and 1 jar of green salsa (make sure there’s almost 0 sugar!), toss it all in the crockpot and let it go, let it go!!! 4-5 Hours on High or 6-8 Hours on Low. Once it’s done, you just take two forks and shred it all up. Easy, right? 🙂
You can eat this on its own, put it over brown rice, or in a whole wheat tortilla. The possibilities are endless. I put mine over a salad for a super healthy lunch or dinner.
Salad Mix:
• Spinach
• Romaine Lettuce
• Purple Cabbage
• Shredded Carrots
Toppings:
• Salsa Chicken
• Raw Sunflower Seeds
• Kalamata Olives
Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing:

Mix the following in whatever size glass jar or container you might have. I use an old olive oil bottle and it works perfectly:
• 1 Cup Olive Oil
• ½ Cup Balsamic Vinegar
• 1 tsp. Salt
• 1 tsp. Pepper
• 1 T. Garlic Powder or Chopped Garlic
• 1 T. Italian Seasoning (i.e. Oregano, Basil) Even better, use chopped fresh oregano and basil.
Shake it all up!

Enjoy!

Cottage Pie

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If you’ve noticed, I like to make one dish meals. Mainly because I can get them together ahead of time, then pop them in the oven while I’m teaching a class. While this one is easy to make, it does take a little while, primarily because of the bake time. It’s yummy, nonetheless!

Here’s what you’ll need:

• 1lb Ground Turkey (at least 93/7)
• 1 Onion, chopped
• 1 ¾ Cup Beef Stock
• ¼ Cup Worcestershire Sauce
• 2 heaping Tbs. Cornstarch
• 12oz. Frozen Mixed Vegetables (peas, carrots, green beans, corn) (uncooked)
• Thyme, Garlic Powder, Salt & Pepper to taste
• 4 Medium-sized Sweet Potatoes
• 1 tsp. Coconut Oil

Here’s what you’ll do:

Bake the potatoes:
• Heat oven to 450.
• Line baking sheet with foil.
• Wash & dry potatoes, make little pokes all over with a knife, then place on baking sheet.
• Bake for 35 minutes.
• Turn them over, then bake for another 35 minutes.
• Remove from oven and let them cool completely.
• Slice them open, and using a spoon, scoop out the insides and place into a bowl.
• Add salt, pepper and 1 tsp. of coconut oil, then mash altogether with a fork.
• Set aside.

Make the turkey:
• Brown ground turkey and onion in a medium skillet, then drain off the liquid.
• Mix the beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, cornstarch and spices together, then add to the turkey.
• Add mixed vegetables
• Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes.
• Place into a medium casserole dish, then add the mashed potatoes to the top
• Fluff the potatoes with the ends of a fork

**If you will be serving right away, place it under a broiler for about 10 minutes, or until the potato peaks are golden brown.

**If you will be serving later, then you will bake it at 350 for about 35 minutes, or until it bubbles.

Enjoy!