Category: Vegetarian Page 3 of 11

Cherry Tomato, Asparagus & Quinoa Spring Salad

We just came back from an amazing weekend in Raleigh, North Carolina, where my husband and dad (whose 66th birthday is today!) finished the Half Ironman Triathlon. They swam 1.2 miles, biked 56 miles and then ran 13.1 miles! It was a HOT day, but they did it! All of their hard work is preparing them for the Lake Placid Ironman on July 24th. I’m working on a post about the experience from this weekend, so stay tuned for that post later this week 🙂

In the meantime, I wanted to share a recipe for a salad I’ve made a few times already this spring, mainly because of how simple it is. It’s a dish you could bring to a potluck or enjoy for lunch or dinner.

And it includes one of the veggies that is in season here on the East Coast – asparagus!asparagus-closeup

Asparagus is one of my favorite springtime foods that is incredibly versatile and easy to make. You can steam it, bake it, saute it, or grill it. You can even use it as an ingredient in soup, but I’ve yet to try that.

I came up with this recipe after spending a beautiful afternoon with my friend, Lisa, and her two kiddos. When I got home, I took a look at what was left in the fridge and decided to put this salad together. The ingredients are simple – quinoa, onions, garlic, tomatoes, lemons, and asparagus.

This recipe embodies the wise words of Julia Child…Julia Child Quote

Think of this recipe as a template or a guide. Start with a cooked grain like quinoa or rice + onion and garlic base + 3-4 cups of veggies of your choice + vinaigrette. The other day when I made it, I threw in some arugula. Another time, I might use spinach instead or sub in some roasted red peppers for tomatoes. Use what you have 🙂

Cooking does not have to be stressful, and using templates like this can make it more fun and freeing!spring-quinoa-salad-aerial-coverspring-quinoa-salad-closeup

Ingredients

1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed (will yield about 3 cups cooked)
2 cups water
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium red onion, diced
2 cups grape tomatoes
1 bunch asparagus, woody stem (bottom 1″) removed and the rest chopped into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup water
zest and juice of one lemon
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh basil, leaves rolled and thinly sliced
coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Combine 1 cup quinoa with 2 cups water in a medium pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for 12-15 minutes or until almost all of the water is absorbed. DO NOT STIR QUINOA. Remove quinoa from heat and leave covered for 5 minutes to steam. Remove lid and fluff with fork. Set aside.
  2. Add olive oil to large skillet over medium heat. Saute onions for about 5-6 minutes or until they begin to soften. Add tomatoes and cook for 6-8 minutes. Add asparagus and 1/4 cup water. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until asparagus is crisp tender and still bright green. Remove from heat. Add vegetables to quinoa and toss to combine.
  3. Whisk lemon juice, zest, garlic, salt and pepper together. Add olive oil and continue whisking until evenly combined. Pour dressing over salad, sprinkle basil on top, and toss everything to combine. Serve warm or chilled.

Hail, Caesar! Kale Salad {Hubby-Approved}

Caesar salads are one of the most universally loved salads…even for people who don’t like salads that much.

Since removing dairy from my diet a few years back, I’ve had to get creative about how to recreate the tastes and textures I enjoyed for so many years from things like cheese and Caesar dressing. I’ve tried a few recipes, but none really worked for me.

Until this one.

It’s from one of my favorite blogs – ohsheglows – written by Angela Liddon, who is a fellow lover of colorful, vibrant, plant-based foods. I’ve been making recipes from her blog for years and LOVE them.

I knew I had to try her Caesar salad recipe.

I’m SO glad I did! My husband, Bill, and I CRUSHED this salad. As in, we ate almost the whole thing in one sitting 🙂

The dressing was thick and creamy and had just the right amount of tang. We used rosemary Chickpeatos instead of making Angela’s chickpea croutons, but I plan to try her recipe for those at some point in the future. chickpeatos-full-bag

The only ingredient that I didn’t have already and had never bought before was Worcestershire sauce. And you don’t have to get the vegan version, as the recipe suggests. Just use what you have!

Also, try not to let new ingredients in recipes intimidate you. Grocery stores offer more options than ever these days, so I’ve not had a problem finding things. The natural / health food aisle of the larger grocery stores carry most of the ingredients in recipes I post on this blog. My favorite stores locally are MOMs Organic Market, Whole Foods, Wegmans and Trader Joe’s.

You have to try this recipe! It’s delish 🙂

*Click here to get the full recipe for this Crowd-Pleasing Caesar Salad from ohsheglows!*

vegan-kale-cesar-aerial

 

 

Bill’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Bites

My husband, Bill, is in the process of preparing his mind and body for an epic life event – his first Ironman triathlon in Lake Placid, New York this summer.

With only one triathlon under his belt, he knows what he is about to do in a few short months is no small feat, but he is determined to make it happen.

He’s training with my dad, who has completed five Ironman races since starting at the age of 56, and will be competing in his sixth Ironman with Bill at the age of 66.

Dad Bill Columbia

Bill has been diligent about his training, putting to use the discipline he’s learned as a lifelong athlete.  His training schedule is rigorous and requires activities like four-hour bike rides on a Saturday morning and 5:00 a.m. swims at the gym in order to be guaranteed an open lane.

People often ask me, “Are you going to do one?” (Translation: Are you going to swim 2.4 miles in a lake, bike 112 miles through the mountains, and then run a marathon (26.2 miles)?)

Hmmm, let me think about that…probably not 🙂 It doesn’t appeal to me in the least!

What does appeal to me and what I do enjoy is making sure Bill is well fueled and nourished. Eating well is an often overlooked aspect of athletic training. It’s critical for ensuring your body has enough energy and strength to endure long training hours and essential for speeding up the recovery process.

By modifying his diet over the years, Bill has connected why and what he eats with how he feels and functions. We eat as Michael Pollan suggests – real food, not too much, mostly plants – so our diet is packed with nutrient-dense foods. He eats the way he does to fuel and nourish himself, so he can perform physically at the highest level. One of his favorite fueling snacks, especially on the days of early morning workouts, are these chocolate peanut butter energy bites. PB Choco Bites

Packed with healthy fats, fiber and protein, these little no-bake bites are energy-dense, meaning a little goes a long way.

For someone like Bill, popping a few of these before, during or after all of those hours of training stokes his fire, since he’s burning a lot of energy. But for the rest of us, one or two a day will do.

Like most of my other no-bake bites, these tasty treats require a food processor, so if you don’t have one yet, I would highly recommend adding it to your wish list. They’re not super expensive but are incredibly versatile. We have a Cuisinart one and use ours just about every other day!

PB Choco Bites Title

Ingredients

  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (I love Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free oats or Trader Joe’s)
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1.5 cups Medjool dates, pitted (find these in the produce section of the grocery store)
  • 2/3 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt (add 1/4 tsp more if your peanut butter is unsalted)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Put oats and shredded coconut in the food processor fitted with the S-blade and run until it reaches a fine meal, about 45-60 seconds.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and process until everything is evenly combined.
  3. Form dough into 1-inch balls with your hands and roll gently between your palms to even out the edges. Store in the fridge or freezer.

Cheezy Cauliflower Nachos {Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free}

We’re in the FINAL stages of our kitchen renovation, and I can’t wait to show you all the before and after pics! It took so long to find the right styles and materials, and we spent so long looking through different kitchen designers melbourne for some inspiration (we heard they were really good)! So I am finally excited to see our before and after pics to see how far we have really come. I’m waiting for some frames to arrive to hang up artwork, and then I’ll reveal the final look. It’s been very exciting! 🙂

On Thursday night, we decided that we’d had enough of eating dinner in our basement. We brought most of our kitchen stuff upstairs and started putting food, cups, plates, bowls and other accessories in their new homes. For the first time in my life, I have a pantry and soft close drawers and doors! It’s the little things.

We decided to break in the kitchen by making our first dinner in the new space that night. And we shared some pretty nasty champagne to celebrate! Me and Bill Cheers

Inspired by a recent visit to the AWESOME MOMs Organic Market and cafe in Hamdpen, I decided to take a stab at making vegan cauliflower nachos, a dish they had on their menu at the Naked Lunch cafe. My friend Katie and I split it the other day when we met up for lunch, and it was delicious!

As a kid I never ate beans, brown rice, avocados or scallions, so everything in this dish represents quite a few transformations along my food journey. Our taste buds are highly adaptable, so give foods you’ve previously sworn off a second chance!

Since removing dairy products from my diet (here’s why I did), I’ve missed some of the creamy goodness dairy-based foods provide. But, because my body feels and functions so much better without them, I don’t consider it a struggle to be without them. And that’s what motivates me to find alternatives like the cheese-y sauce used in this recipe.

The “cheese” sauce has a bit of a kick to it (back off the cayenne if you want less).

Cheese Sauce CloseupIt’s creaminess comes from the cashews and tahini, two ingredients I use in a lot of my recipes that you can find at just about any grocery store (find tahini in the natural food aisle or international aisle in the Mediterranean section).

We haven’t made this cheese sauce in over two years, and Bill liked it so much that he said, “We need to make a batch of this stuff every week!”

From start to finish, this recipe comes together pretty quickly, as the cauliflower takes very little time to roast and the cheese sauce can be whipped up in a matter of minutes in the blender.

Vegan nachos pic

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 15-ounce can no sodium added black beans, drained and rinsed (Eden Organic or Field Day Organic are our go-tos)
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 batch noocho cheese sauce

To learn more about the ingredients in the noocho cheese sauce, check out this blog post I wrote about it previously.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Toss cauliflower with olive oil and a few pinches of sea salt and pepper. Roast on a baking sheet for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown and a fork pierces through easily. Remove from oven and set aside.
  3. Add rice and beans to a medium bowl and stir to combine. Top with roasted cauliflower, avocado, scallions, and noocho cheese sauce.

Ginger Lemon Energy Bites {Gluten-Free, Paleo}

We’re approaching the final week of construction on our kitchen (YAY!), which has been going on for almost two months. I’m excited to get back in my kitchen so I can come up with more delicious, nourishing recipes to share with you!

One piece of equipment I’ve had access to throughout the remodel process is my food processor. It is one of the most versatile and useful tools in our kitchen. We use it to shred cabbage and carrots and to whip up hummus, pesto, and chocolate avocado pudding.

But we use our food processor most often to make raw, no-bake energy bites, including these Cherry Chocolate Brownie Bites, Coconut Chai Almond Butter Bites, and Snickerdoodle Donut Holes.

I wanted to come up with a new no-bake bite recipe to celebrate my friend Jinji’s birthday. She makes our favorite chocolate treats that I slowly savor on a weekly basis, so I thought I’d check with her to see what flavor combinations she might like. Lettuce Party Card

Citrus

Coconut

Ginger…LOTS of ginger.

Ginger for Jinji 🙂

I took her inspiration and combined a few tastes and textures that I thought would complement each other and came up with my newest no-bake recipe!

The bite from the ginger, zing from the lemon zest, tartness of the cranberries and a pinch of salt come together in a special way in these energy bites. For more energy bite recipes, check out this page.

Ginger Lemon Bite Closeup Ginger Lemon Bites TrioGinger Lemon Bite Wrapper

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
  • 2/3 cup Medjool dates, pits removed
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon ginger root, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

Directions

  1. Process cashews and coconut in a food processor until it reaches the consistency of a fine meal/flour.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and process until the ingredients start sticking together.
  3. Shape dough into a small ball with your hands and roll to smooth them out. Store in the fridge or freezer.

Cran-Apple Quinoa Salad {Gluten-Free}

I love this time of year.

After coming out of the East Coast winter that never seemed to end, I’m excited to see the blossoms blooming, hear birds chirping as I wake up, get back into running and hiking, and lighten up my meals.

As the weather warms up, I find my body craving lighter, more refreshing foods. I love my soups, stews and winter squashes (see you in the fall, butternut!), but the bright colors of springtime foods draw me in!

Today’s salad is a new take on a salad I first tried about two years ago. I swapped out a few ingredients and ended up with a colorful bowl of tart, crunchy, sweet, and citrus-y goodness.

I hope you enjoy it! 🙂

cran apple quinoa salad

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed until water runs clear
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 thumb-size piece kombu (optional!)
  • 1 teaspoon honey (I use raw honey)
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup diced tart apple, such as Granny Smith
  • 1 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup of thinly sliced scallions
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped almonds, lightly toasted
  • Coarse sea salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Rinse quinoa in a fine mesh strainer until water runs clear. Fill medium saucepan with 2 cups water and add quinoa and kombu. Bring to a boil then cover with a lid and reduce heat to simmer for 10-12 minutes. Once water is just barely absorbed, remove from heat and leave covered for 5-7 minutes. Remove lid and fluff quinoa with a fork. Spread quinoa on a parchment-lined baking sheet to cool and prevent it from clumping together. This last step is optional but really helps!
  2. Whisk honey, lemon juice, salt and olive oil together in a small jar. Set aside.
  3. Put cooled quinoa in a large bowl and add apples, celery, cranberries, parsley, scallions and chopped almonds. Pour dressing over salad and toss to combine evenly. Add more sea salt and pepper to taste.

10 Cauliflower-Powered Recipes {Vegan, Paleo}

I was teaching a workshop about Eating for Energy last week at a company, and one of the employees said she would love some creative ideas for how to use cauliflower, so I thought I’d dedicate an entire post to it.

This one is for you, Deb!

For starters, cauliflower is one of the most nutrient-packed yet under appreciated veggies out there. This less colorful cousin of our beloved broccoli happens to be one of the best foods we can eat, yet very few of us eat it!

mash

Cauliflower is one of Dr. Fuhrman’s GBOMBS, which are the most powerful, nutrient-packed, antioxidant-rich, anti-inflammatory, immune-boosting, disease-fighting foods on the planet! Most of what we eat on a daily basis are GBOMBS. To learn more about them, click here.

Here are just a few more reasons why you’ll want to add more of this cruciferous vegetable to your life:

  • Packed with vitamin C and other powerful antioxidants that helps our cells protect and repair themselves from damage, which is essential for optimizing our health
  • Contains sulforaphane, a compound that has been shown to kill cancer stem cells, thereby slowing tumor growth, AND improve blood pressure
  • Source of potent antiinflammatory nutrients. Chronic inflammation (caused by stress, what we eat, lack of movement, etc.) can significantly increase our risk of cancers and other chronic diseases, so we want to do anything we can to reduce inflammation!
  • Supports our body’s detoxification (“clean up”) process, which is important because we are exposed to so many environmental and dietary toxins on a daily basis

To learn more about the awesomeness of cauliflower, click here or here.

Most of us are familiar with eating raw or steamed cauliflower, but there SO many other ways to use this versatile veggie that taste amazing!

Why not try something a little more exciting? 🙂

You can roast it, make a substitute for mashed potatoes out of it, turn it into a pizza crust, whip up a batch of cauli-fredo fettuccine sauce (don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it!), and use it to make soups creamy.

Check out the links below to 10 recipes that will make you fall in love with cauliflower.cauli collage.jpg

Roasted Buddha Bowl by oh she glows

Roasted Cauliflower in Lemon Tahini Sauce by Vegetarian Times

Easy Cauliflower Rice by All Recipes

Smoky Roasted Cauliflower by Tori AveySmoky-Roasted-Cauliflower-5-640x480

Fancy Pants Curried Cauliflower Steaks & Mash by RNKcauli2name

Caulifredo Sauce with Zoodles by RNKcaulifredo

Cauliflower Pizza Crust by The Detoxinista

Detoxinista Pizza Crust

Photo Credit: The Detoxinista. Used with permission.

Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Mash by RNKcauli mash cover.jpg

Creamy Rosemary Sweet Potato Soup by RNKIMG_8875Soupbanner

Garlic & Red Pepper Cauliflower Hummus by Our Fifth House

garlic-red-pepper-cauliflower-hummus

Photo Credit: Our Fifth House. Used with permission

What are your favorite cauliflower recipes?

Feel free to leave a comment below with a link!

I love hearing from you 🙂

Sunny Cran-ola Bars {No-Bake, Nut-Free, Gluten-Free}

One of my coworkers has peanut, tree nut and coconut allergies, so I challenged myself to make something she could enjoy along with everyone else for a cooking demo I taught today at work.

That’s how these bars came to be.

They’re slightly sweet, salty, tart, crunch and chewy – lots of tastes and textures to keep your taste buds happy!

bars on plate

The main ingredient is sunflower seed butter, which is where this recipe gets its “sunny” name. I’ve written about Sunbutter in a previous post here. You can find it at any grocery store (often in the natural food aisle) and at Target and Walmart. Target sells it in single serve to go packets, which is super convenient.

I shared a variation of this recipe back in the fall for a healthy snacks for kids cooking class but changed it up a little bit, so you wouldn’t need a food processor to make it. I also swapped out cranberries for raisins and used less sweetener overall.

This recipe comes together in about 5-7 minutes, so it’s easy to make in a pinch for an energizing snack!

cran cover

Yield: 20-24 squares

Ingredients

  • 3 cups whole rolled oats (I love Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free brand)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • Heaping 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup sunflower seed butter (or peanut butter)
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon honey (add more if you want sweeter)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Water, as needed

Directions

  1. Line an 8 x 8 pan with parchment paper. Combine oats, cinnamon, sea salt, pumpkin seeds and cranberries in a medium bowl and set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat sunflower seed butter and honey on medium-low, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
  3. Pour liquid over oats and stir with a spoon or your hands to combine. If it’s too try, add water, 1 tablespoon at a time until it sticks. Once everything comes together, press mixture into lined pan, using the back of a spatula or excess parchment paper to press it down and flatten the top.
  4. Refrigerate for at least an hour to set. Lift parchment from pan and cut into squares. Store in the refrigerator.

The Best of Broccoli: 10 Awesome Recipes to Try

There’s a lot of talk about “superfoods” these days.

It’s easy to become overwhelmed when we hear about all the nutrient-packed foods we “should” add to our diet like maca powder, goji berries, and spirulina. Given what I do for a living and because I like experimenting with food, I often have these foods in my pantry. They’re fun to add in to desserts, smoothies, chocolate bark and even trail mixes.

BUT, do you have to stock up on specialty superfoods like these in order to be well nourished? 

Nope!

There are so many amazing everyday foods we can eat that don’t cost a lot of money, are easily accessible, and, in most cases, are already familiar to you.

I’m going to be focusing on highlighting some of these simple superfoods over the next few months to encourage you to take different spins on how to make them more exciting. Whenever I get into the mode of experimenting with new ways of cooking the same food, it makes me want to eat it more often.

The first food has always been my favorite vegetable.

Broccoli!

Loaded with fiber, bone-building calcium, and immune-boostingcancer-preventive, anti-inflammatory, and detoxifying compounds, broccoli is one of the most nourishing foods we can eat. Fortunately, there are so many amazingly delicious ways to prepare it.

The recipes below showcase this nutrient-packed super star in a number of ways – in soups, lightly steamed, sauteed, and my favorite way…roasted!

Roasted broccoli is quite possibly one of the most delicious foods on the planet, especially in recipe #9 for Garlicky Roasted Broccoli and in recipe #6 as a pop of color and texture in THE BEST dairy-free mac and cheese.

broccoli collage

Here are ten of my favorite broccoli recipes. Add one or two to next week’s meal plan!

Lemon Lentil Vegetable Soup by Meghan Telpner (easy and delicious soup, especially with avocado slices on top!)

Broccoli, Avocado & Lime Salad by Deliciously Ella

Roasted Buddha Bowl by oh she glows

skilletgoodbroccoli soup

Tangy creamy quinoa broccoli salad

IMG_3284

Garlicky Roasted Broccoli (AKA Crack Broccoli) by The Kitchn (use 1/2 tsp salt not 1 tsp!)

Easy Peanut Butter Oat Energy Bites {Video}

My coworkers are the best taste testers. When I’m experimenting with new recipes, they are the brave ones who often try them out and give me feedback before I post them on here.

So far, this is the feedback I’ve gotten about these tasty bites:

YUMMMMMM

Delicious

Such a good treat 🙂

Sooooooo good!

PB Bite

Making these Peanut Butter Oat Energy Bites is super simple, fun (and messy!), and they are easy to take and eat on the go. You can enjoy these as part of breakfast, a snack or even dessert!

Most oat energy bites have coconut in them, and I know a lot of people aren’t the biggest fans of coconut, so I thought I would do some tinkering to make this recipe coconut-free.

The subtle saltiness from the peanut butter, sweetness from the maple syrup, nuttiness from the flax seed and crunch from the cacao nibs make these treats fun to eat.

I made this video to show you exactly how to make them!

Because you really need to get in there and get your hands sticky and messy, if you have kids (or just want to feel like one!), this is a recipe you’ll want to try.

For the full list of ingredients (and more mouthwatering pics), see below.

PB Oat Bites CoverPB Oat Bite

No-Bake Peanut Butter Oat Balls

These delicious peanut butter oat balls make a great snack or part of your breakfast! I use cacao nibs instead of chocolate chips to keep the sugar content down, but you could also use mini chocolate chips if you'd like!

Course Snack
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 30 bites
Author Rachel Druckenmiller

Ingredients

  • 2 cups rolled oats gluten-free
  • 1/2 cup hemp seeds
  • 1/2 cup ground flax seed
  • 1 cup natural peanut butter
  • 2/3 cup honey You can use 1/2 cup for a lower sugar count!
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao nibs or mini dark chocolate chips
  • Pinch fine grain sea salt

Instructions

  1. Set the peanut butter and honey at room temperature for about 15 minutes to warm up and for the PB to soften. If the peanut butter is too hard, you can also soften it by gently heating it in a small pot on the stove top with the honey.

  2. Mix all ingredients in a bowl and stir with your hands to combine. It will be messy (but fun!).

  3. To help the mixture "set," put the dough in the fridge about an hour, so it is easier to work with. It'll seem too wet, but don't worry, that will make it easier to work with once it's had time to come together. It's easiest to start making the bites using a cookie scooper, but you can also shape them into balls using your hands and then gently roll them. Store them in a glass container in your fridge or freezer.

Recipe Notes

I use raw cacao nibs instead of chocolate chips because they add a nice crunch and don't have all the sugar from chocolate chips.

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