zucchini noodles with creamy red pepper sauce + kale
okay. first thing’s first: go out and buy a veggetti. not only will it make this recipe 100x easier for you, but you’ll become addicted and want to start spiralizing everything. seriously, trust me on this one.
needless to say, this recipe is for zucchini noodles. i’m obsessed with these things for a few reasons… and those reasons are a] they’re effing good and b] they’re easy to make. this recipe only takes about 20-30 minutes to whip up from start to finish. that includes prep and cook time. the measurements below make about two servings. you will need:
… for the sauce:
- 8 oz. [approx.] of fire roasted red peppers [the kind that come in a jar], sliced in quarters lengthwise
- 1/4 c. olive oil
- 2 oz. soft, plain goat cheese
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 4-5 fresh basil leaves
- salt + pepper to taste
… and for the zucchini noodles/kale:
- 2 medium zucchinis, spiralized or very thinly sliced
- 1 c. fresh kale, chopped
- 2 tbsp. coconut oil
1. place all of the ingredients for the sauce into a food processor [a blender also works] and purée until relatively smooth [about 2-3 minutes].
2. transfer the sauce mixture into a small saucepan and cook over medium heat.
3. once the sauce has heated [but isn’t boiling], transfer it back into the food processor and purée again to smooth out any lumps [another 2-3 minutes]. set aside.
4. place the spiralized [or sliced] zucchini, chopped kale and coconut oil in a medium saucepan and mix it all up while cooking over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
5. in a serving bowl, combine the sauce and zucchini noodles together.
6. serve hot [you can garnish each serving with a few fresh basil leaves] and enjoy!
kale salad with lemon tahini dressing
salads are my go-to when i’m looking for a quick, no-effort lunch or dinner. depending on what i have in the kitchen, it’s typically as easy as throwing a bunch of veggies, sometimes fruits, nuts and seeds together in a bowl and tossing it with some salad dressing. i avoid store bought dressings as much as possible because they typically contain additives, preservatives and extra calories… things we just don’t need. i like experimenting with making my own dressings to keep things interesting and change up the flavors here and there. this lemon tahini dressing served over a fresh kale salad is definitely one of my favorites. kale is great as a base for a salad because it contains lots of protein and fiber, is packed with other vitamins and minerals and is much more filling than other greens like romaine or iceberg lettuce.
for one serving of the lemon tahini dressing you will need:
- 1 tbsp. tahini
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- juice of 1/2 of a lemon
- salt and pepper to taste
to make the lemon tahini dressing, simply combine all of the ingredients listed above in a small bowl and whisk together until smooth.
the salad here contains [measurements are approximate]:
- 2 c. fresh mixed kale [you can buy this in most grocery stores ready-to-eat]
- 1/2 c. grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 of an avocado, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp. sunflower seeds
combine all of the salad ingredients with the lemon tahini dressing, add a little salt and pepper and enjoy!
spicy vegan spinach + white bean soup
the weather in new york has been just miserable this week. so miserable that i’ve had some serious trouble getting out of bed in the morning [the sound of rain hitting my window can keep me in bed all day if i don’t have anything to do], i’ve skipped a few of my workouts and literally all i want to do is lay in my bed, listen to serial [if you guys haven’t checked this out yet, get on it] and eat soup. so, last night, i did just that.
i threw together this vegan spinach and white bean soup in under 30 minutes, so it’s quick and only requires a few ingredients, but still has lots of nutrients and health benefits. spinach is full of calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and believe it or not, protein, the beans add even more protein [yes, you can get protein from non-animal sources] and the cayenne pepper is great for clearing out the sinuses, revving up the digestive system and warming the body up while packing a little punch. the coconut milk makes it rich and creamy, giving it that homestyle comfort food feel we all love, especially during the cold winter months. the recipe makes about two servings, so feel free to double or triple it if you want to make a big batch to have on hand for the week! you will need:
- 2 c. vegetable stock
- 1 c. coconut milk
- 2 handfuls of raw baby spinach
- 1/2 of a yellow onion, diced
- 2/3 c. cannelli beans, drained and rinsed [about half of a 16 oz. can]
- 2 gloves of garlic, minced
- 1 inch chunk of fresh ginger, peeled
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- cayenne pepper to taste
- in a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat for 1-2 minutes.
- add onions and garlic to pan, stirring over medium heat until the onions start to turn golden-brown.
- place the spinach in the saucepan, stirring until the leaves begins to wilt.
- add the vegetable stock, beans and cayenne pepper and stir.
- bring the soup to a boil over medium heat. once boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover and let simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- after 15 minutes has passed, add the coconut milk and ginger, stir, cover and allow to simmer for another 5-10 minutes.
- remove the ginger, serve hot and enjoy!
fall favorites: vegan butternut squash soup
in addition to apple crisp and all pumpkin errthang, butternut squash soup is one of my favorite seasonal dishes. i wanted to make a vegan butternut squash soup and since i’ve never made it before, i followed a recipe from vegan holiday kitchen, which is what i’m sharing with you today! this recipe makes about 6-8 servings of soup and is a liiitttttllllleee time consuming, so make sure you start about an hour and a half before you actually want to eat. you can also make this ahead of time and re-heat later for a quick and easy dinner on nights when you don’t have time/are too lazy to cook!
you will need:
- 1 large butternut squash
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 1 medium apple, peeled and sliced
- 2 c. vegetable stock
- 2 tsp. curry powder
- 2 tsp. ground ginger
- pinch of nutmeg
- 14 oz. can light coconut milk
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 c. kale leaves for garnish
first, you will need to prepare the squash:
- preheat the oven to 400° and line a glass baking dish with aluminum foil.
- slice the stem off of the squash [if applicable], peel the squash and cut in half lengthwise [you will need a fairly large/sharp knife to do this].
- scoop out the seeds and place both halves face down in the baking dish, covering with aluminum foil.
- bake for 45-60 minutes or until the meat of the squash can be pierced easily with a fork.
- remove from the oven and once cooled, slice into large chunks and set them aside.
once the squash as been prepared:
- heat about half of the olive oil in a large pot and sauté the onion over medium heat for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown.
- add the apple, squash, broth, curry, ginger and nutmeg and bring to a steady boil. cover and let simmer for about 10 minutes.
- transfer everything into a blender or food processor and purée until smooth.
- transfer the puréed mixture back into the pot and stir in the coconut milk, bringing to a gentle simmer over medium heat for about 10 minutes.
- while the soup is cooking, sauté the kale leaves in a saucepan with the remaining olive oil until cooked through and slightly crispy.
- ladle soup into serving bowls [or mugs!], season soup with salt and pepper to taste, garnish with a couple of kale leaves and enjoy!
spaghetti squash with baby kale + pears
hapy friday, everyone! i hope you had an amazing week and are as ready for the weekend as i am! this post was not originally on the schedule for this week, but i received a spaghetti squash, among other things, in the mail from my parents early in the week [yes, that happened, they have a decent sized vegetable garden back in pennsylvania, which is pretty awesome], so i decided to do some experimenting and i wanted to share the recipe with you just in time for the weekend.
spaghetti squash is actually a lot easier to make than i expected it to be and the combination of flavors in this recipe is perfect for this time of the year. for two servings, you will need:
- 1 spaghetti squash
- 1/2 c. whole milk ricotta cheese
- 2 c. fresh baby kale
- 2 pears, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp. toasted sesame oil
- 2 tbsp. crumbled pecans
- salt + pepper to taste
to prepare the squash:
- pre-heat the oven to 400°.
- cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.
- place both halves of the squash face down in a baking dish with about 1″ of water in the bottom.
- roast the squash for 45-50 minutes or until you can easily poke holes in it with a fork.
- remove from the oven and let cool.
- use a fork to shred the inside of the squash, placing the “spaghetti” in a bowl on the side and leaving about 1/2″ of squash inside the shell.
for the filling:
- add the ricotta cheese, baby kale, pears, salt and pepper to the bowl with the shredded squash and mix together well.
- scoop the mixture into the squash shells and place back in the baking dish [face up!]. you may want to line the bottom of the baking dish with aluminum foil.
- sprinkle the crumbled pecans on top and drizzle with toasted sesame oil.
- bake for another 15 minutes at 400°.
- remove from oven, let cool and dig in!
have a great weekend! tomorrow i’ll post that healthy lifestyle staples that i promised you on monday, so come back soon!
spicy cauliflower crust pizza with spinach + mushrooms
i think that i’ve mentioned more than once that i am completely obsessed with pizza. seriously, it’s my favorite food and i could never live without it [i’ve tried before and failed miserably]. unfortunately, while pizza is not the worst thing i could be eating, it’s not exactly something that i can eat whenever i feel like it, so when recipes for cauliflower crust pizza started popping up everywhere, i knew i had to give it a try. i adapted this recipe to make it just a little bit healthier, added some sriracha to the sauce à la lucifer’s pizza and topped it off with my favorite veggies. i was literally blown away by the results.
for the crust you will need:
- 1 large head of cauliflower, chopped
- 1 egg
- 3/4 c. daiya shredded mozzarella vegan cheese
- 5 cloves of garlic
- 1 tsp. oregano
- 1 tsp. basil
- red pepper flakes to taste
for the toppings*:
- 1 c. marinara sauce
- sriracha sauce to taste
- 1 c. daiya shredded mozzarella vegan cheese
- 1 c. raw spinach
- 1/2 c. baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
*remember, you can always swap out or add to the toppings listed here to something more suited to your preferences!
alright, here we go!
- preheat the oven to 450° and bring a saucepan of water to boil on the stovetop.
- place the cauliflower in the boiling water with a dash of salt and boil for 3-4 minutes [cauliflower should not be very soft].
- drain the cauliflower and place in a food processor with the garlic cloves. pulse until a course meal forms. it’s very important to make sure you don’t over process the cauliflower. you do not want a paste.
- line a baking sheet with paper towels and place the cauliflower on it. place more paper towels on top of the cauliflower and firmly press down, absorbing as much moisture as you can.
- transfer the cauliflower into a large mixing bowl and stir in egg, cheese, oregano, basil, and red pepper flakes.
- grease a large baking sheet with coconut oil and place the cauliflower mixture on the baking sheet, pressing it together firmly so there are no gaps and forming it into whatever shape you would like.
- place in the oven and bake at 450° for about 20 minutes. while the crust is baking, mix together the marinara sauce and sriracha. set aside.
- remove the crust from the oven after 20 minutes or once the edges have started to brown. spread the sauce, extra cheese, spinach and mushrooms on the crust evenly.
- bake for another 10-15 minutes, until the spinach has slightly wilted and the mushrooms have cooked through.
- let cool, cut into slices, and enjoy!
kelp noodle stir-fry
i was recently diagnosed with an under-active thyroid, and since then, i’ve spent a decent amount of time doing some research on natural ways to support thyroid function. i came across this article about the health benefits of kelp and was immediately intrigued. kelp is a type of seaweed that happens to be another one of nature’s superfoods, loaded with vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and amino acids. it also contains levels of iodine high enough to stimulate a lagging thyroid and boost a metabolism that might not be fully up to speed.*
naturally, i had to give this a try! i picked up a bag on my way home from work along with some other ingredients for an asian-inspired stir-fry dish. because the kelp noodles do not have to be cooked, it only takes about 15-20 minutes to whip this up. the following recipe makes two servings. you will need:
- 12 oz. kelp noodles, drained [they come in a bag filled with water]
- 1 head baby bok choy, each leaf sliced in half length-wise
- 4 oz. shiitake mushrooms
- 1 c. grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 tbsp. fresh ginger, ground/grated
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp. toasted sesame oil
- 1 tbsp. tamari
- sriracha sauce to taste
- gomasio for garnish
first, in a wok or large frying pan, heat the toasted sesame oil, ginger and garlic on medium heat for 1-2 minutes, then add in the bok choy, mushrooms, tomatoes and tamari. sauté until all of the veggies are cooked through [about 3-5 minutes] and then stir in the kelp noodles. add as much sriracha as you would like [i used quite a bit for some heat!] and sauté for another three minutes. once you are ready to serve, garnish with a few shakes of gomasio and enjoy!
has anyone else ever experimented with kelp noodles?
*i am not claiming that kelp noodles can cure a thyroid issue. if you think you might be suffering from an under active thyroid, get in touch with a practitioner who can help!
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