Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Sweet Enchiladas with Cilantro Avocado Cream Sauce

Sweet Potato, Black Bean, Spinach, and Pepper Vegan Enchiladas

Yield: 4 Enchiladas

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped (~2 cups)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup sweet potato, chopped (or zucchini)
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 handfuls spinach, chopped
  • 1 can black beans (~2 cups), drained and rinsed
  • Enchilada sauce or Pasta sauce (about 2.5 cups)* see note
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1.5 tsp ground cumin
  • 1-2 tbsp fresh lime juice, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder, or to taste
  • 4 whole grain tortilla wraps (I used Food for Life Ezekiel)
  • Cilantro Avocado Cream Sauce, to pour on top (recipe below)
  • Green onion & chopped cilantro, to garnish

1. Preheat oven to 350F and grab a baking dish large enough for 4 enchiladas. Pre-cook the chopped sweet potato, by simmering it in a small pot of water for about 5-10 minutes until just tender. Do not overcook. Drain and set aside.
2. In a large skillet or pot, add 1 tbsp oil and bring to medium to low heat. Add in the chopped onion and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until translucent. Add in garlic and reduce heat to low and cook for a couple more minutes. Now add the chopped pepper, pre-cooked sweet potato, drained black beans, and chopped spinach. Cook for about 5-7 more minutes on medium-low heat.
3. Now add in your enchilada or pasta sauce. Stir well, and add in your seasonings: nutritional yeast (optional), cumin, fresh lime juice, salt, garlic powder, chili powder- all to taste. Adjust seasonings if necessary. Stir well.
4. Scoop about 3/4-1 cup of the mixture onto the bottom of your casserole dish and spread out in a thin layer. Scoop about 1/2-3/4 cup of the mixture onto each tortilla and wrap, placing the fold down on the casserole dish. Repeat for the remaining 3 tortillas and leave a bit of filling left to spread over the top. Sprinkle with vegan cheese if preferred.
5. Bake tortillas at 350F for 18-20 minutes. Meanwhile, make your Cilantro cream sauce (see below). When enchiladas are cooked, remove from oven and pour the sauce over top. Garnish with chopped cilantro and green onion. Serve immediately. Makes 4 enchiladas.
Note: Depending on what kind of sauce you use, you will have to adjust the seasonings to taste. I used a pasta sauce so I likely needed more seasonings to achieve the taste I desired.

Read more: http://ohsheglows.com/2011/05/04/vegan-enchiladas-with-cilantro-avocado-cream-sauce-2/#ixzz3PgcdqUJG

Cilantro Avocado Cream Sauce

Inspired by Kathy’s Cashew Cream Sauce.
Yield: ~1.25-1.5 cups
  • 1 & 1/4 cup avocado flesh
  • 2 tbsp water, or more as needed to thin out
  • 2-3 tbsp lime juice, to taste
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar (optional)
  • 1 cup packed fresh cilantro
  • 1 tsp kosher salt, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 3/4 tsp ground cumin
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper, to taste

1. In a food processor, process the avocado flesh and water until creamy. Now add in the rest of the ingredients and process until smooth and well blended. Use immediately for best results.

Read more: http://ohsheglows.com/2011/05/04/vegan-enchiladas-with-cilantro-avocado-cream-sauce-2/#ixzz3Pgcjafen

Adapted from Time Crunch Vegan Enchiladas.

Vegetable Quiche Bites

Vegetable Quiche Bites

Prep Time: 15 minutes bake time: 40-45 minutes depending on which oil you useYield: 24+ mini quiches


For the food processor
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbs grape seed oil or coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 heaping tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 12oz package of extra firm tofu, cubed
To (finely) chop:
  • 1 cup spinach (or any dark leafy green)
  • 1 cup broccoli
  • 1 cup mushroom
  • 1/2 cup grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup green onion
Step 1: Blend the food processor ingredients
You want to start out with the cashews. Just the cashews.  

DSC_0005As you can see, the cashews aren’t ground into a fine pulp. Rather, it’s broken down to tiny little bits. 
After that, add all the other food processor ingredients (oil, milk, nutritional yeast, salt, smoked paprika) but the tofu. We’ll save the tofu for last.
As far as oil preference, I’ve found that different oils produced a different quiche. If you’re looking for a light, airy quiche, use  grape seed oil. The batch containing coconut oil was more moist and hearty, so if that’s what you’re all about, use coconut oil. The ones photographed here contained coconut oil, but I’ll admit that I prefer the taste/texture/results of grape seed oil in this recipe.
Now, what I like to do with the tofu is plop in the cubes while the food processor is turning. I don’t know if it does anything special, but I like to think that it’s less overwhelming for my appliance.
Once all the tofu is mixed in, you’re going to be left with a strange concoction: the base! Pour/gloop the base into a big bowl. Set aside.
Step 2: Place chopped veggies in the bowl
If you haven’t chopped your veggies yet, now is the time to do so.
You can use other veggies. Once your vegetables are chopped, place them in the same bowl as your base. Mix.
Step 3: Pour and bake
These quiche bites use a mini muffin pan. A regular muffin pan will not yield the same fantastic results; it’s too heavy and thick, causing the quiche to fall apart.  
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Get out the mini muffin pan. No need to spray the pan, the mixture has enough oil in it to moisturize the pan.
Stack them high.   
If you used olive oil or grape seed oil, your bites should be ready in 40 minutes. Coconut oil, bake them for 45.
Take them out and let them cool down for 5 minutes. They’ll seem a little moist when you first take them out, but the cooling process will help them harden a bit.
It's easy to see which quiches were overstuffed… oops!

Step 4: Spoon out quiche bites
'Fork out' the quiches (with a fork). 
Inspiration and credit: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/73253931414519376/

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Beans and Mushroom No-Meatballs

Meatless Balls. A combination of beans and mushrooms, simple seasonings and a splash of red wine really boosted the flavor too. Plenty of garlic, some onion, Italian-seasoned Panko (gluten-free) bread crumbs, other spices and some parsley. I chose pinto beans simply because A. I had them on hand and B. I know their brownish color would look "faux meatball" like.

..that being said you could easily use any soft bean like cannellini or even black beans. You just need to be able to mash the cooked bean with a fork. Garbanzo beans are probably a bit too firm and flaky for this recipe. The mashed beans really help to bind the rest of the ingredients with their natural stickiness.

You can also change up the variety of mushrooms you use. I used oyster mushroom, but shiitake or portobella would work too. Even plain old white mushrooms (which are a bit firm and crumbly when raw) would work since you are sauteing them first to make them tender. 

Method. The instructions are long, but the technique is very similar to making veggie burgers. Mash and saute. 

Spaghetti & No-Meatballsvegan, makes about 8-12 no-meatballs (depending on size)

1 1/2 cups (1 - 15 ounce can) beans, drained/rinsed in hot water
*I used callenini beans or pinto beans
3/4 cup white onion, diced

1/3 cup parsley, finely chopped

1 cup mushrooms, finely chopped
I used shiitake mushrooms
2 Tbsp red wine

1/2 cup Italian-seasoned Panko breadcrumbs (fine)

2 tsp chopped garlic (roasted or raw)

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp fine black pepper

1/2 tsp chili powder (or 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes)

1/4 cup nutritional yeast (or more bread crumbs)

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, for saute

 spaghetti pasta (any variety)
 marinara sauce chopped basil or parsley garnish
 vegan Parmesan on top (optional)


1. Start by opening your can of beans and rinsing the beans very well in hot water. This will help soften the beans for easy mashing. 

2. Add the rinsed beans to a large mixing bowl and mash with a fork, very well.

3. Prep your ingredients by chopping the parsley, onion and mushrooms.

4. In a large saute pan, over high heat, add 1 Tbsp of olive oil. When oil is hot add in the onions, mushrooms, parsley and garlic. Saute for about 4-5 minutes, reducing heat to medium about a minute after cooking.

5. When the saute mixture has reduced in volume quite a bit and onions caramelizing, turn off heat and add in your splash of red wine. Turn heat back on to high for one more minute. 

6. Just before you turn off the heat you can add in the salt, chili powder, pepper and any additional spices you may like to add. You can taste the mixture and it should be slightly "over-seasoned" since the beans have not been seasoned yet.

7. Fold the saute mixture into the beans. Then fold in the bread crumbs and the nutritional yeast. Your mixture should be quite sticky and thick now. Add more yeast or bread crumbs if your mixture needs thickening.

8. You can either place your mixture in the fridge to chill for a half hour (to help with handling, or just go right into the saute process.

9. Saute the meatless balls: Heat a splash of olive oil in your saute pan and add your formed balls. I like to roll my formed balls in a bit of the bread crumbs before placing on the pan. Cook over medium-high heat for about one minute on each side. You really just want to cook and caramelize that outside edge of the balls.  

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Thai Spring Rolls

Servings: makes 8 
2 large carrots, julienned        
2 julienned green onions        
1/2 julienned sweet red pepper

 1 julienned cucumber 
1 tspn olive oil
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 pinch sea salt
1 (3 ounce) package dried bean or rice thread noodles (better than cellophane noodles)
16 rice paper, rounds softened 8-inch
1/8 cup slivered fresh basil or 1/8 cup mint

1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro 
1/4 cup of ground peanuts
 Sesame seeds

 Mint leaves (option)

In a large bowl, combine the carrots, green onions, olive oil, red peppers, peanuts salt and pepper: toss well. Let marinate at room temperature for 10 minutes, stir frequently.

Peanut sauce 
1/3 cup hot water
2/3 cup peanut butter (fresh ground peanut butter breaks down better than a brand name)
1/3 cup liquid aminos (or soy sauce)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup maple syrup 
1/4 cup dry sherry

In a separate bowl, combine all peanut sauce ingredients together and stir. Serve as a dipping sauce with the spring rolls.

- Place the noodles in a medium bowl of hot water and soak for 10 minutes, or until the noodles are softened.
- Drain well and cut into 2-inch pieces and set aside. 

Soften the rice-paper rounds before rolling them, fill a large bowl with warm water.
- Dip each rice-paper round into the water for 10 seconds, or until softened and translucent.
 - Place about 2 Tablespoons of the noodles and about 2 Tablespoons of the vegetable mixture 
- Sprinkle with cilantro and basil (or mint) leaves.
- Fold the bottom edge over the filling; fold in both sides and roll up tightly.
- Press to seal
 - Add sesame seeds to tops

- Place on a plate seam side down; cover with aluminum foil if traveling. Do not stack the rice papers; they will stick together.
- Refrigerate for 10 minutes (you may also make these ahead of time and refrigerate for several hours).

Thursday, May 14, 2015

One Pot Pasta


One Pot Pasta
- 12 oz linguini
- 12 oz cherry or grape tomatoes halved  or quartered if large
- 1 onion thinly sliced
4 cloves of garlic or more
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 sprigs basil, plus torn leaves for garnish
- 2 tbsp extra virgin oil, plus more for serving
- coarse salt and fresh ground pepper
- 4.5 cups of veggie broth or water
1/2 cup of Marsala wine

Serve with nutritional yeast

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

Roasted red pepper pasta with a creamy, savory-sweet red pepper sauce and fresh basil or parsley.
Incredibly satisfying: light, healthy and simple.
Healthy Benefits
Red peppers contain almost 300 percent of your daily vitamin C intake. Besides being a powerful antioxidant, vitamin C is also needed for the proper absorption of iron.  

Red bell peppers are a great source of vitamin B6 and magnesium. Vitamin B6 is also a natural diuretic, so try stocking up on red bell peppers to reduce bloating and prevent against hypertension.

Red bell peppers help support healthy night vision. Red bell peppers are high in vitamin A, which helps to support healthy eyesight, especially night vision. So when it comes to bell peppers, seeing red is a good thing!

Red bell peppers are packed with antioxidants. The combined effects of vitamin A and C create a great antioxidant capacity, and with lycopene in the mix, the red bell pepper becomes a top notch superfood. Lycopene is what makes tomatoes and peppers red. Red peppers are one of the highest veggies in lycopene, which has been successfully tested in the prevention of many cancers including prostate and lung.
Ingredients   13 calories per serving (serves 4)
12 oz linguini or other noodles
2 red bell peppers
2-tbsp olive oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Sea salt and ground pepper
1.5 cups Unsweetened Almond Milk
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1.5 tbsp cornstarch (or arrowroot powder or other other thickener of choice)
Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
Fresh parsley or basil, finely chopped

- Heat oven to 500 degrees and roast red peppers on a baking sheet until charred (about 25-30 minutes). Cover in foil for 10 minutes, then remove the charred skins, seeds and stems. Set aside.
- Cook pasta, drain and set aside.
- While the red peppers are roasting, bring a large skillet over medium heat and sautée onion and garlic in 2 Tbsp olive oil until soft (about 4-5 minutes). Season with a pinch of salt and black pepper and stir. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Transfer sautéd shallot and garlic to blender with roasted peppers, almond milk, red pepper flakes, nutritional yeast and cornstarch.
- Blend until creamy and smooth. Adjust seasonings as needed, adding more salt and pepper or nutritional yeast for flavor. You want the flavor to be robust since the pasta doesn't have much flavor.
- Once blended, place sauce in the skillet over medium heat to thicken. Once it reaches a simmer, reduce heat to low and continue simmering.
- Once the sauce is thickened to desired consistency add the pasta.
- Serve with fresh parsley or basil on top.

Fun fact: 
Bell peppers also known as sweet peppers are native to Mexico, Central and South American region from where they spread to the rest of the world by Spanish and Portuguese explorers during 16th and 17th centuries and now grown widely in many parts of the world as an important commercial crop.
  1. Bell peppers are the only member of Capsicum genus that does not produce capsaicin, a lipophilic chemical that can cause a strong  burning sensation (or simply the hot taste) when it comes in contact with mucous membranes. The absence of capsaicin in bell peppers is related to a recessive form of a gene that gets rid of capsaicin. It is actually why the are called sweet pepper at times.
  2. Peppers are actually fruits. Why? Simply because they are produced from a flowering plant and contain seeds, though, most people think of them as vegetables.  
  3. Peppers were named by Christopher Columbus and Spanish explorers who were searching for peppercorn plants to produce black pepper.  
  4. The peppers have different names. In many Commonwealth of Nations countries, such as India, Canada, and Malaysia, as well as in the United States, they are called bell peppers  Australian and New Zealand  natives call the fruit Capsicum, the British simply call it Pepper while the Japanese call it  ’パプリカ’(papurika)
  5. In terms of nutrition, it is a fact that bell peppers are rich sources of antioxidants and vitamins
  6. Compared to green peppers, red peppers are known to have more vitamins and nutrients and contain the antioxidant lycopene. The level of carotene, like lycopene, is nine times higher in red peppers. Red peppers have twice the vitamin C content of green peppers.
  7. The pulpy white inner cavity of the bell pepper (usually cut off and discarded) is a rich source of flavonoids and can be eaten.  
  8. Bell peppers can be eaten at any stage of development. However, recent research has shown that the vitamin C and carotenoid content of bell peppers tends to increase while the pepper is reaching its optimal ripeness. Bell peppers are also typically more flavorful when optimally ripe. But remember the sweeter the bell pepper, the more calories it will have. Red pepper highest number of calories compared to other colored peppers. 
  9. The taste of ripe peppers varies with growing conditions and post-harvest storage treatment; the sweetest are fruit allowed to ripen fully on the plant in full sunshine, while fruit harvested green and after-ripened in storage are less sweet.
  10. Bell pepper is an excellent source of vitamin C at 117 milligrams per cup. (That’s more than twice the amount of vitamin C found in a typical orange.) Simple math: one green bell pepper is equal to two oranges. Spare the cost of two oranges; get a single bell pepper, stay healthy and live longer…
  11. Traditional Chinise Medicine (TCM) used bell peppers as a natural treatment for certain medical conditions relating to digestive issues and blood circulation such as indigestion, loss of appetite, swelling frostbite(Injury or destruction of skin and underlying tissue) and stagnation
  12. Red bell peppers are sweeter than green ones because bell peppers sweeten as they ripen. Green peppers are less sweet and slightly bitterer than all the other color varieties.

Inspired by The Perfect Pantry  Loosely adapted by LAUREN'S LATEST