Lunch / Dinner

Spaghetti Squash Pizza Casserole

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a fun, relaxing & veggie filled weekend. The featured image above is all the recipes that will be posted this week!

img_1988We had an apartment full of pups on Saturday. No complaints as my dog was pumped to have some friends over. If anyone wants to train a dog & give it to me so that my dog can have a sibling, please feel free 🙂

Alright, Spaghetti Squash Pizza Casserole… slightly confusing name but pretty on point. This recipe is 100% vegan, made entirely of veggies, delicious & filling.

I call it a casserole b/c the spaghetti squash base in not crispy like pizza but thick & soft like a casserole. This is then cooked, stacked with plant-based pizza options, & cooked again. The absolute best thing about this pizza is that you could eat the entire pan & only feel healthy about it 🙂

So let’s get to the recipe so you all can have a bowl full of pizza inspired veggies tonight.

Spaghetti Squash Pizza Casserole

  • Servings: 1-4
  • Difficulty: medium
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Ingredients

Spaghetti Squash base/crust:

  • 2 T ground flax
  • 6 T water
  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 1 T Nutritional Yeast / Nooch

Plant-based Pizza Topping Ideas:

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  • Organic Pizza Sauce
  • Sliced zucchini
  • Thinly sliced beets
  • Peppers
  • Mushrooms
  • Spiralized Sweet Potato
  • Smokey maple bacon tempeh
  • More nutritional yeast
  • Crushed red pepper
  • Fresh basil

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Cut 1 spaghetti squash in half, de-seed & cook face down on the parchment paper for 45 minutes.
  4. Prepare flax eggs by mixing the ground flax & water in a small bowl. Set aside for 5 minutes to set.
  5. Once squash is cooked allow to cool slightly & then use a fork to scrape out the insides. (Can prepare spaghetti squash, cover & refrigerate up to a week before to save time). img_1904
  6. Add all base/crust ingredients to a bowl & mix with a fork until just combined.
  7. Pour half or all of the spaghetti squash (depending on how thick you want your base) into a 8×8 pan. Flatten with a fork.img_1905
  8. Bake for 10 minutes at 400 degree.
  9. Remove from oven & stack with desired toppings.
  10. Bake for another 25 minutes.
  11. Allow to cool slightly & devour. –No judgement if you grab the entire pan & a fork like I did :) -Enjoy!

*You can also make mini individual pizzas with the same cooking time & instructions.

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What plant-based toppings will you stack your pizza with?!

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Breakfast · Lunch / Dinner

Sweet Potato Toast

Why to love this recipe:
  1. It really could not be any easier to make
  2. It lets you be creative & use what you have on hand to make a yummy meal
  3. It’s filling & yummy
  4. It can be a quick breakfast or you can really dress it up & make it a complete meal for lunch or dinner
Image result for sweet potato nutritionWhy to love sweet potatoes:

They have a mighty nutritional punch!

  • One medium sweet potato contains over 400% of your daily needs for vitamin A
  • as well as an abundant of fiber & potassium.
  • They have more nutrients than regular potatoes, with fewer calories.

Sweet Potato Toast

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • One large sweet potato

Some Topping Ideas:

  • Plain greek or non-dairy yogurt, sliced blackberries, fresh mint
  • Organic pizza sauce, pre-roasted & sliced beets, nutitional yeast/nooch, fresh basil
  • Nut butter, banana, cinnamon, goji berries

It’s toast so be creative! Avocado, hummus, scrambled tofu, mashed beans, salsa…..

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F
  2. Wash & dry your sweet potato. Leave the skin on.*
  3. Cut your potato lengthwise into 1/4” thick slices.
  4. Pierce each slice with a fork to help steam escape & improve the texture.
  5. Lay slices flat on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat.
  6. Bake for about 15-20 minutes at 400F. **
  7. Allow to cool slightly & add desired toppings.

*Eating the skin adds more nutrition such as fiber & potassium. In addition, baking or toasting them preserves more nutrients than boiling.

**Note: You can also make sweet potato toast in a toaster. Toast on the highest setting of your toaster until tender when pierced with a fork.

What toppings will you use?!

 

Breakfast · Dessert · Snack

Ginger Breakfast Cookies

So my cookie pic isn’t the most exciting, buttt these breakfast cookies are simple to make, yummy & a great grab & go for breakfast or a snack.

So how are these healthy?

  • No baking sugar
  • All natural
  • Uses ginger, which has many health benefits (see juicing post for more information)
  • Offers fiber & protein from oats, coconut flour, pumpkin puree & banana

Image result for molasses health benefitsThese cookies contain 1 T of organic blackstrap molasses.

Molasses adds the best flavor when looking for a gingerbread taste!

I like to compare blackstrap molasses to dark chocolate. It’s not as healthy as a carrot, but it is a better for you sweetener that offers many health benefits as well.

 

 

 

Ginger Breakfast Cookies

  • Servings: 9 small cookies
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

Dry Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 c quick or rolled oats
  • 3 T coconut flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 T freshly grated ginger root*
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

Image result for ginger root*Ginger roots keeps for 6 months stored in an airtight container in the freezer. It is easiest to grate when frozen as well. I recommend cutting the root into thumb size chunks before freezing for easiest use.

Wet Ingredients:
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 T organic blackstrap molasses
  • 1/3 c pumpkin puree
  • 1 ripe mashed banana

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Stir to combine.
  3. Add the wet ingredients & mix well.
  4. Spoon an ice-cream scooper size amount of dough onto a baking pan lined with parchment paper or a silpat. Flatten into a cookie shape.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes at 350F.
  6. Let cool before eating. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

Is there anything you would top these cookies with?!

 

Breakfast · Dessert · Snack

Fudge Protein Donuts

I hope everyone had a fun holiday weekend!

I was at my parent’s cottage so I made some snacks ahead of time to bring & whipped up some bars there using whatever I could find in their kitchen that would work.

Of course the majority of my time wasn’t spent in the kitchen. We boated, biked, & were out in the sun as much as possible.

K, let’s talk about these donutssss. They are dense, fudgey, sugar-free, vegan, packed with protein & my favorite… yummy enough for dessert, yet healthy enough for breakfast.

Image result for sugar killsWe are so used to adding a whole cup or more of baking sugar to recipes. It’s not necessary! My baking sweetening secret is to use bananas, unsweetened apple sauce, dates, & occasionally a bit of pure maple syrup or raw honey. I sweetened these donuts with one ripe mashed banana which also helped to hold everything together & provide the fudge texture I was looking for.

Forget cutting carbs! Try combining healthy flours & grains in your recipes. These protein donuts are a combination of almond, coconut, & oat flour.  I used Bob’s Redmill almond flour/meal, but you can also make your own by simply grinding almonds in a food processor or high speed blender (Be careful not to over process or oils will be released & almond butter will start to form).

Here are some other flours to try out. Do some research on each flour before replacing in recipes. For example, coconut flour is extraordinarily absorbent & less is needed than most flours. You generally want to substitute 1/3 C coconut flour for 1 C grain-based flour. You also need to increase the amount of liquid.

Protein Fudge Donuts

  • Servings: 7
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

Flax Eggs:
  • 3 T ground flax
  • 9 T water
Dry Ingredients:
  • 3/4 c almond flour
  • 1/2 c oat flour
  • 1/4 c coconut flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • Dash of ground cloves
Wet Ingredients:
  • 1/2 tsp coconut extract
  • 1/4 c organic pumpkin puree
  • 1 ripe mashed banana
Toppings:
  • PB2, prepared (Could replace with any other nut or seed butter)
  • Cacao nibs
  • Bee pollen (not vegan)
  • Toasted coconut chips
  • Organic shredded unsweetened coconut

Directions

  1. Spray 7 donut holes with non-stick baking spray.
  2. Mix flax egg ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside (at least 5 minutes).
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients.
  4. In a medium sized bowl, mash & mix the wet ingredients.
  5. Pour wet ingredients & flax eggs into the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.
  6. Distribute batter among the 7 donut holes.
  7. Bake at 300 degrees for 15 minutes.
  8. Let cool & top with desired toppings (optional). Enjoy!

My Favorite topping was the prepared PB2 with Toasted Coconut Chips 🙂 What will you top yours with?!

 

Breakfast · Snack

Veggie Juicing

Happy Friday! Before this long holiday weekend I wanted to send you on your way inspired to create some healthy juices.

I like to make both smoothies & juices as they offer different health benefits.

  1. Juicing extracts water & nutrients from produce & removes the indigestible fiber.  Without all the fiber, your digestive system doesn’t have to work as hard to break down the food & absorb the nutrients. This makes the nutrients more readily available to the body & in much larger quantities than if you were to eating them whole.
  2. Smoothies use the entire fruit or vegetable, which includes the fiber.  Due to the absorbed fiber, smoothies tend to be more filling.

I use only vegetables in my juices because I don’t want the added sugar & when you remove the fiber from the produce, the liquid juice is absorbed into your blood stream rapidly. Juicing fruits causes a spike in blood sugar.

Just because I use only vegetables, does NOT mean my juices taste bad!

Let me share some of my tips on making a yummy veggie juice.

  • Use cilantro or mint. In my juices which makes about 3 mason jars of juice, I use almost a whole cup of either fresh cilantro or mint.*
  • Add one whole lemon & lime.
  • Add a thumb of ginger root**
  • Use cucumber, celery, or cabbage in all of your juices as they provide the most liquid.

*Mint & cilantro offer many health benefits, they aren’t just for taste. Mint  benefits include proper digestion & weight loss, relief from nausea, depression, fatigue & headache , treatment of  asthma & memory loss. Cilantro rids the body of heavy metals, helps with stress, lowers anxiety, improves sleep, protects against colon cancer & neurological inflammation.

**GINGER… I LOVEEEE ginger.

My favorite benefit not listed, is that ginger has been thought to be a mood booster. I add it to my juices & smoothies & grate about 1 T of ginger root into my veggies while sauteing them.

 

Here is a simple veggie juice recipe that you can modify as desired:

 

Veggie Juice

  • Servings: 3-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 2 large cucumbers
  • A package of celery
  • 1/3 head of purple cabbage
  • 1 red beet
  • 1 golden beet
  • 1 c or package of fresh mint or cilantro
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 lime
  • 1 thumb ginger

Directions

  1. Simply add veggies at a time to the juicer & press. (Be careful with the cabbage. I have noticed that it can clog my juicer, so I clean out the chamber once or twice while adding the cabbage.)
  2. Add the juice to mason jars or another seal-able container & store in the fridge. I like to drink my juice within 5 days for best results. Enjoy!

What veggies do you like in your juice?!

 

 

 

Breakfast · Lunch / Dinner

Chickpea Pancake Omelette

I am excited for this post because it incorporates 3 of my favorite things, 1) Chickpeas 2) Pancakes  3) Veggies.

Why do I love chickpeas?

  1. For their Nutrition:
    • 1 c of chickpeas contains 15 g of protein & 12 g of fiber
    • 1 c also equals 269 calories & 4 g of fat, none of which is the unhealthy saturated or trans varieties
    • They are a source of 10 different vitamins
  2. Image result for Chickpeas to chickpea flourFor their extended uses:
    • You can eat them straight out of a can (rinse them first)
    • You can cook, bake or roast them
    • You can turn it into chickpea flour*, which you can also buy
    • I have used chickpeas in breakfast recipes, salads, lunches/ dinners, & many desserts/ snacks!

*To make your own chickpea flour: Simply place dried chickpeas into your food processor or high speed blender. Pulse several times until the chickpeas are broken down into a fine powder & a flour begins to form. Do not over-process because the flour will turn into a paste – which I also like to use, just not when I am looking to make flour 🙂

Chickpea Pancake Omelette

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

Batter:

  • 3/4 c chickpea/ garbanzo bean flour (I used Bob’s Redmill)
  • 3/4 c + 2 T unsweetened plant-based milk (More if needed; you don’t want the batter to be too thick. Desired consistency of pancake batter)
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 T nutritional yeast/ nooch
  • 1/4 tsp Italian zest seasoning (I like Flavor God’s)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp Himalayan salt

Sauteed Veggies:

  • 2 T diced red onion
  • 3 baby peppers: red, yellow & orange
  • Small handful of zoodles / spiralized zucchini
  • 2 baby carrots, thinly sliced
  • 2 long flat kale leaves, stem removed & torn into pieces
  • 4 Brussels sprouts, shredded
  • 1/4 of a golden beet, thinly sliced
  • 1 T fresh chopped cilantro

Toppings:

  • Avocado
  • Beet hummus (recipe if Falafel Buddha Bowl post)
  • Black bean salsa
  • Nooch
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Sliced Peaches

Directions

  1. In a measuring cup, whisk together the chickpea batter. Set aside.
  2. In a heated nonstick skillet, saute all veggies on medium heat. Remove & place on a plate.
  3. Pour half the batter into the pan like you would a pancake. Add the veggies to one side of the batter.
  4. Wait for bubbles to form & the batter to firm up & then gently fold over one side to cook another minute. Cover with a lid, turn off heat, & allow to steam for a few more minutes.
  5. Garnish with desired toppings or make a whole bowl out of it! Enjoy 🙂

What veggies would you use?!

Lunch / Dinner

Veggie Bowls & Protein Talk

Every vegan & vegetarian out there knows the annoying question, ‘But where do you get protein if you don’t eat meat?’ Then we calm our-self down from pulling out our hair & remember that many people believe the misconception that only meat has protein. Then we get the fun task of sharing a world of information with them!

First off, read some books or watch some documentaries! I like the book ‘In Defense of Food‘ & Netflix has a great selection of documentaries including Forks over Knives & Vegucated.

To make things simple, VEGETABLES HAVE PROTEIN!!! Not only do they contain a healthy amount of protein but they also are rich in fiber which meat is not! The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that the average american is getting twice the recommended amount of protein & lacking in their daily fiber.

Outside of veggies I get my protein from lentils, chickpeas, nuts, nut flour, quinoa, couscous & more. Most recently I have been on an edamame kick! A half cup of cooked edamame contains 94 calories, 4 g of fat, 16% daily fiber & 8g / 16% daily protein.

One last thing before we dig into some recipes… Now, I know that we were all raised with the same meat, dairy, vegetable food pyramid. You know how workouts & exercise plans have changed over the years due to research in order to make them more effective & yield better results? Well, the same has happened with food. I want you to consider this as your new food pyramid. Give it a shot, try it out, what could it hurt?!

So now that we have plant-based protein somewhat discussed, let me share some easy, quick, protein & fiber packed bowls to make for lunch or dinner. Get ready because I have FOUR yummy recipes below 🙂

Buddha Bowl

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • Rainbow cauliflower
  • Shredded brussels sprouts
  • Spiralized beets
  • Sliced radish
  • Light Life Foods, tempeh
  • Rainbow Carrots
  • Tahini*
  • Pomegranate Seed

Directions

  1. Marinate tempeh in liquid aminos (I use Braggs. This is a healthier alternative to soy sauce), set aside.
  2. Simply roast or saute all vegetables except for the carrots
  3. Saute tempeh on medium heat for about 5 minutes on each side.
  4. Add everything to a bowl.
  5. Top with the carrots, tahini & pomegrante seeds. Enjoy & be full 🙂

*Tahini is simply ground sesame seeds that are blended or processed until it reaches the consistency of a nut butter. This paste offers many health benefits, including healthy macro-nutrients & a range of good-for-you vitamins & minerals. Try making your own!

Sweet Potato Pizza Bowl

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • One sweet potato
  • Organic pizza sauce
  • One yellow pepper, chopped
  • 1 T diced jalapeno
  • 1/4 c black beans (drained & rinsed)
  • 1/4 c vegan cheese
  • Pizza seasoning (i like Flavor God)
  • 1/2 c cauliflower rice
  • 1/4 c roasted or canned corn
  • One rainbow carrot, chopped
  • Handful of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

Directions

  1. Poke the sweet potato with a fork several times & bake at 400 degrees for about 1 hr or until cooked through.
  2. With about 10 minutes left, cut open the sweet potato & top with the pizza sauce, pepper, jalapeno, black beans, vegan cheese & pizza seasoning.
  3. Steam the cauliflower rice for 10 minutes.
  4. Lastly, assemble your bowl! For the base add the cauliflower rice, carrots & tomato then simply add your loaded pizza potato. Enjoy!

Nourish Bowl

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • One serving black rice ramen
  • 3/4 c orange cauliflower florets
  • Handful of snow peas
  • 1/2 c chopped purple cabbage
  • 1/4 c Upton’s Naturals italian seitan
  • Liguid Aminos
  • Half an avocado
  • Small handful sprouts
  • 1 nori sheet, torn into pieces
  • 1/4 c pomegrante seeds
  • Nutritional yeast / nooch

Directions

  1. Cook ramen according to directions
  2. Steam the cauliflower & snow peas until soft – about 10-15 minutes
  3. In a sauce pan, saute the cabbage & seitan in some liquid aminos for about 10-15 minutes.
  4. Add everything to a bowl.
  5. Add in the avocado, sprouts, nori & pomegrante seeds.
  6. Sprinkle desired amount of nooch on top. Enjoy!

Protein, Rainbow Plate

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 4 brussels sprouts, cut in half
  • 1/3 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/3 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • Handful of baby kale
  • Handful of spiralized zucchini
  • One pre-cooked baby beet, sliced
  • Frozen veggie patty (I like Morning Star or Dr. Praegers)
  • Liquid Aminos
  • Italian Seasoning (i like Flavor God)
  • Beet hummus
  • Pea Mash
  • Nutritional yeast/ nooch
  • Fresh basil

Directions

  1. Simply add all veggies & patty to a sauce pan.
  2. Saute in desired amount of liquid aminos.
  3. As veggies start to cook & patty starts to soften, chop up the patty & continue to saute mixing everything together. (Total saute time about 15 minutes)
  4. Add everything to a plate or bowl.
  5. Add drops of beet hummus & pea mash (recipe in my Falafel Buddha Bowl blog post).
  6. Sprinkle with desired amount of nooch & top with a fresh basil to taste. Enjoy!