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Meatless Monday: Lemon Infused Zucchini Bean Salad Recipe

10 Jun

TiV Lemon Infused Zucchini and BeansSome of the most delicious dishes are so simple, inexpensive and fast, it’s almost a crime.  This dish is equally as good hot, room temperature or straight out of the refrigerator so it makes an awesome meal yet the leftovers are perfect for lunch at work or school.

My Greek Cypriot mother in law makes it with fresh black eyed beans something here in the States, I have yet to find.  (If you know where we can find some, let us know!)  It’s a dish the kids love as well and is filling, also great to serve with a high quality dense bread to absorb all of the “liquid goodness” 🙂

***This also goes very well as a side with our Vegan Cypriot Greek Meatballs -Keftedes***

Of course you can add your spices as we often desire in our other dishes but we would encourage you to keep this one simple and enjoy the flavors of these few ingredients on their own.

TiV TIP:  Not only are organic zucchini’s eliminating a ton of harmful chemicals and free radical damage to your body but there is so much more flavor in organic produce, period.

For 1-2 people, you will need:

  • 1 can of white beans or black eyed beans
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 zucchini sliced in even chunks
  • pink Himalayan salt (or salt of your choice)
  • olive oil
  • **lemon infused olive oil**  (not a must have but a nice little final touch!  If you have never tried an infused olive oil, treat yourself and try it 🙂

TiV Lemon Infused Zucchini and Beans Frame

Simple Steps:

TiV Zucch Bean Steps Frame

Add olive oil to pan (this is one of the few dishes that we are heavy on the olive oil… a few tbsp).  Heated on medium heat.  Add zucchini (we sliced longways once and cut larger sized chunks) and cook until soft, about 7-10 minutes if larger, 3-5 if you prefer chopped size.

Add drained and rinsed beans (removing some of the salt to add our own), sprinkle some salt to taste (we love pink Himalayan but if you don’t have it, use what you do have).  Add to bowl.

Squeeze at least 1/2 lemon and top with a small bit of lemon infused olive oil or plain if that is what you have.

TiV Zucchini Beans finale Frame

Meatless Monday:  Simple, delicious, inexpensive, healthy and a great protein choice.  Try it!

Mo’s Vegan Lentil Sloppy Joe Recipe (with 15+ Pictures) (Sloppy but Scrumptious)

11 Apr

Sloppy Joes are an American comfort food that are just as enjoyable without the meat and some of us may argue, better!  If you have kids or other loved ones that think that they don’t like lentils plain, this is a great way to make a fun meal that is full of protein and good nutrition. 

You don’t have to be labeled a “Vegan or Vegetarian” to make this and it’s a great way of cutting out the cholesterol for at least one meal.

High in Fiber and Protein, Low in Fat, Sodium & ZERO Cholesterol. 

(Meat eaters or anyone interested in calories, fat, etc…Check out the nutrition information below)

TiV Sloppy Mo Joe final 2You have several options with this recipe so play around with it!

  • Instead of lentils, we also enjoy using soy meatless crumbles or TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein).  I just wanted to share with you a recipe for once that is without it because so many of us have lentils in a jar or bag somewhere in our pantries.  Another option is doing half and half which gives a nice texture.
  • You can totally cheat and use a can or a packet for the spices and/or sauce, of course.  We always have these simple spices & ingredients in and it doesn’t take long to throw it all together.
  • Instead of a roll you can always serve this plain, as a side dish or over rice.

This is the healthier of my Sloppy Mo, err, Sloppy Joe recipes… Enjoy!

TiV Sloppy Mo Joe ingredients

Here is what you need at a glance…

TiV Sloppy Mo Joe Lentils and carrots

TiV Sloppy Mo Joe Bell Peppers

2 cloves of garlic, cumin, coriander

Put lentils and water in pot on high

Once boiling, add carrot

Misto with olive oil or grapeseed oil, add onions and bell peppers

Add salt, cumin, coriander, & chili pepper

Worcestershire sauce and agave or sweetener of your choice

Some tomato sauce and a sprinkle of oregano are optional- more suggestions included

TiV Sloppy Mo Joe ready

What you need for 4-6 servings:

  • 1 cup lentils dry (rinse well and make sure there aren’t any stones)
  • 1 carrot diced (if organic, wash and leave the skins on… your body will thank you)
  • 2 1/4 cups of water  (*I don’t use a lot of salt.  If you normally salt water, go for it)
  • olive oil, grape seed oil or water
  • 1 cup of diced onion
  • 1 cup of diced bell pepper (we used red and yellow and snuck in some green sweet Italian pepper)
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp of brown sugar OR 1 tbsp of agave OR both  (or sweetener of your choice) (see my note below)
  • 1-3 tsp salt  (I just use 1 tsp-I am not a huge fan of salt but most people I speak with are so taste before you add)
  • 3/4 tsp cumin
  • 3/4 tsp corriander
  • 3/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp oregano (optional)
  • 1 cup of tomato sauce OR 4-5 oz of tomato paste and 1 1/4 cups of water OR (I’m cringing saying this but if you don’t have either, ketchup.  Not my first choice but the kids love it.  This time we used the tomato paste and water)

Directions:

TiV Sloppy Mo Joe final close up1.  Pour 2 1/4 cups of water into pot with 1 cup of lentils and bring to a boil.  Once boiling add chopped carrot, mix and simmer for 20-30 minutes until tender, mixing it at times.  Drain any excess water.

2.  In medium to large pan, add a small amount of water or olive oil and heat on medium.  Add onions and peppers and cool on medium low until the onions are translucent.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant.

3.  Add lentils to pan and combine Worcestershire sauce, salt, spices and sweetener of choice.  (**If you are are not used to using sugar and prefer to steer clear of too sweet, use the agave.  If you are used to foods with a lot of salt and/or sugar/sweeteners I would just use the tbsp of brown sugar.  I chose to use the tbsp of agave which was nice for me but added a teaspoon of brown sugar for the kids :()

4.  Add 4-5 oz. of tomato paste and 1 1/4 cups of water or 1 cup of tomato sauce.   (Adding a teaspoon of oregano is optional)

5.  Simmer until thickened and soft (liquid evaporated) but it should not be mush.

6.  Eat as is or add to hamburger bun/ roll of your choice.

I was curious about the nutritional content when it came to ground beef vs. lentils since I used to eat mine with ground beef years ago.  If you’d like to see for yourself what the facts are WITHOUT the other ingredients.

Beef:  Ground, Cooked 85% lean meat/ 15% fat  VS.  Lentils, TiV Sloppy Mo Joecooked/boiled without salt

    • Serving Size:  Beef:  LESS THAN 1/2 cup (3 oz.)   vs.  Lentils 1 full cup  (7.5 oz.)  (You would have to double the amount of Beef or cut the lentils in half to make this even on a kaiser roll.  I’m going to double the beef considering that would still be less than what a restaurant would serve)
    • Calories:  Beef (6oz) 408,  Calories from Fat 220 (> than half)  VS.  Lentils 1 Cup/ 7.5 oz  230 , Calories from Fat  12

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Crazy Carrot Wednesday- 20 Carrot Recipes to Try!

27 Feb

A rainbow of carrotsIn my quest of having the family get in the habit of trying new foods, I bought some purple, orange and golden yellow carrots.  If anything, it was worth seeing the expression on their faces that made it all worth it!

I happen to need to eat with my eyes first so the more color on our plates, the happier I am that we are serving a nutritional plate of goodness for each of us.  If you can’t find purple and yellow carrots at the store, keep an eye out for one day that they may have them in the future.  In the meantime, if you haven’t eaten many carrots lately, I’m sure you will be successful in finding a recipe or three that you and whoever you are cooking for, will love!

Fun carrot facts:

  • Carrots were not originally orange.  Back in the day they were purple or red with thin roots
  • What’s up, Doc?  Maybe Bugs Bunny was on to something since the first carrots were grown for medicine
  • Research shows that colorful carrots may help prevent heart disease and cancer & reduce cholesterol
  • Eat/drink too many orange carrots and you WILL take on an orange/yellow pigment in your skin (called Carotenemia) because of beta carotene, a form of Vitamin A in the carrots

Question:  Are carrots better for you eaten raw or cooked?

No one loves a glass of fresh carrot juice better than I (although, I will admit, I will stick with drinking orange carrots since the purple carrots have a slight peppery taste and the yellow are a bit sweet and mild).  I happen to eat half of my meals raw each day because there are many nutrients that are lost when cooked one way or another.  However, there are exceptions to the rule when it comes to eating and being able to process certain foods.  (So the answer is both!)

colorcarrotstryitveganPicture bubble wrap for a moment:  when it comes to nutrition and eating certain foods, there are a ton of nutrients that are inside the item but you have to pop all the nutrients out.  This is one reason why it is SO important to chew your food well which most of us are very guilty of NOT doing.  50-100 chews per bite is what is recommended to ensure that you break down the food and make it accessible for your body to absorb the nutrients.  This is why juicing is a great thing from a nutritional perspective because it pops all the “bubbles” releasing the nutritional benefits (especially kale!)

  • Research has shown that when you eat a raw carrot, only 3% of the entire beta-carotene (Vitamin A) is released.
  • Falcarinol is a substance found in carrots that has been found to reduce the risk of cancer (cancer cells grow more slowly when exposed to it)
  • When boiling or steaming whole carrots, you lose 30% of falcarinol
  • When boiling or steaming pre-cut, small carrots the loss is higher at 60%.
  • Boiled/steamed carrots are easier to digest and preserved antioxidants (carotenoids) rather than frying.

Ok, now that you know more than you thought that you would ever want to know about this common (or not so common) root veggie, go on out and try some of these awesome ways to enjoy this nutritious wonder!

(Common sense input:  if honey is called for, substitute with agave or other sweetener.  Butter, use earth balance.  Etc)

  1. Fresh squeezed carrot juice  (can be as addicting as cigarettes?)
  2. Roasted Carrot Soup
  3. Carrot salad
  4. Roasted carrots
  5. Carrot muffins (using earth balance as opposed to butter/margarine)
  6. Hummus and veggie wrap
  7. Vegetable sushi
  8. Potted carrots (great idea for the kids!!!  with a vegan ranch dip)
  9. Simple carrot fries
  10. Moroccan Carrot Dip
  11. Marsala glazed carrots with hazelnuts
  12. Carrot cake cupcakes
  13. Marmalade Candied Carrots 
  14. Roasted Vegetables with Pecan Gremolata
  15. Carrot cake oatmeal
  16. Carrot pancakes
  17. Lunch Box carrot slaw with apples and vegan yoghurt
  18. Carrot, Avocado and orange salad
  19. Marinated dill carrots
  20. Brown sugar sweet overload carrots

Enjoy 😉  TiV

Vegan Cheesy Enchiladas Recipe- treat yourself to Mexican tonight!

31 Jan

tryitvegan enchiladas with quacamoleThis is a fairly simple recipe and a family favorite!  Loaded with protein and no cholesterol, there is a ton of flavor and  great textures, this is sure to please! The cheese sauce also makes an incredible dip for nachos, chips, vegetables plus don’t forget Super Bowl and, of course,  perfect for this dish.

 

When we first introduced a Vegan diet in our house, this was one of my “best sellers” for the kids and DH.  Hook, line and sinker, they LOVED it and it has since become a monthly dish.  We don’t serve it with any other side dish since it is incredibly filling and we keep it fairly simple but you can go crazy with the toppings!

Sadly, leftovers normally sit in the fridge until it’s time to clean it out however with this dish, it is a different story 😉  (I’m actually looking forward to lunch tomorrow, nom!)  The recipe serves 5-6 people.  Enjoy and let me know your thoughts!

What you need:

  • 12 tortillas
  • 3 cans of beans of your choice (we used kidney, pinto and black beans, 14 1/2 oz. cans each)
  • 2 cans of enchilada sauce (15 oz. each)
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • Salsa (fresh is best, we grabbed some pre made at Whole Foods)
  • Guacamole (see above)

tryitvegan enchiladas insideCheese sauce:

  • 2 cups of water
  • 1/2 cup unbleached flour
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp mustard (ground)
  • 2 tbsp vegan margarine (earth balance) (can be omitted if you are watching calorie intake)

Extra topping suggestions that we skipped but you may like:

  • vegan sour cream
  • chopped cilantro
  • chopped olives
  • shredded vegan cheese

Start cheese sauce on the stove (medium heat) by adding flour, nutritional yeast, salt & garlic powder into a small pot and stir or whisk in the water and continue to do so until it is thick (6-8 minutes).  Take off of stove top and stir in mustard and earth balance, if using.  Pour some into a bowl for later (1/4-1/2 cup to drizzle on before serving)
tryitvegan enchiladesIn large pot on medium heat, pour 1 1/2 cans of the enchilada  sauce, beans, 1/2 cup of salsa and onions and mix together.  Pour remaining enchilada sauce on the bottom of of your pan.  Place tortillas in pan, coating the bottom with sauce and spoon mixture into tortilla, roll up and place in pan side by side.  Continue until all 12 are wrapped.  Pour vegan cheese mixture on top and pop in the oven (350) for 35 minutes.

Use a spatula (wooden works too) and serve with a scoop of guacamole and salsa.  Drizzle some of the remaining cheese sauce on top.

Margarita, anyone?  😉

So… Try it!

~M~

tryitvegan enchiladas vegan     tryitvegan enchiladas close up

A touch of citrus for dinner: Mandarin Orange Chick’n (Gardein) & Cauliflower with Garlicy-Lemon Zested Crumbs

27 Jan

TryitVegan Gardein orange chickenAfter nearly a week m.i.a. with a virus, it is safe to say that food was not something I was preparing, let alone, eating.  I have to admit, I had not been to the store in a week and didn’t know what was left in the fridge so my first night back in the kitchen and it was a fairly quick fix!

~The vegan chicken that may be too much like the real thing~

I was not prepared for everyone to enjoy this as much as they did and the boys, who still do eat meat at times when getting food from out of the home, enjoyed this chick’n the most *wink!  I’m thinking it was the texture… so if you have any meat eaters, give this a try!  Normally, I would serve this with some brown rice, which we were out of tonight, so some vegetable pasta did the trick and some awesome cauliflower (never saw those two words together?  Yeah, neither had I before tonight.)  My taste buds are still a little bit off or actually, missing all together so the texture may have been a little too real for me but after this past week,

TryitVegan Delish Cauliflower ingredients organic bread crumbs garlic lemon zest olive oil parsleyI’m not the most reliable when it comes to food tasting when not all senses are working up to full throttle.

TryitVegan cooliflour with breadcrumbs zestThe kids went back for seconds and, in addition, my eleven year old finished off my plate so… totally kid & omnivore approved 😉

The cauliflower dish is a must make next time you grab a head of it and I would guess that you would turn some “cauli-haters” into “cauli-lovers” this way.

Within 30 minutes you will be able to have dinner on the table so a quick fix as well!

Here’s the deal…

TryitVegan Gardein mandarin orange crispy chicken

For the chick’n dish, grab a bag (or two) of the Gardein Mandarin Orange Crispy Chick’n in the freezer section of your supermarket.  I popped the contents on a pan and baked for 17 minutes on 425 and heated the sauces (which are in bags) in a mug of hot water.

For color, I grabbed a couple of bell peppers (red and yellow- organic, go crazy!) and heated them (1/2 a pepper each) on medium low heat with simply some water so they don’t stick to the pan.

 

If you are making the cauliflower side, you need to prepare it by washing and cutting it into small florets and they will need more time in the oven (425 for 20 minutes or until slight coloring/browning).  Great part is you can have them both in there together.

What you need (we served 5 with no leftovers): (organic if you can… go crazy!)

  • cauliflower head cut into florets
  • Olive oil (1/8- 1/4  cup plus 2 tbsp on the side)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of bread crumbs (I did 1/2 cup with 1/4 cup olive oil and would half it next time)
  • organic lemon -zest of entire lemon
  • one garlic clove minced
  • parsley
  • salt & pepper

Toss the cauliflower with olive oil, salt and pepper and spread out on a baking sheet, cooking for 20 minutes on 425 or until slightly browned (toss/flip halfway through).  While baking, grab a pan, heat on medium and warm remaining olive oil.  Include bread crumbs and mix until slightly browned (2 minutes) then add lemon zest, garlic, salt and pepper until fragrant.  Chop up a tbsp of parsley and toss it in, empty into bowl and once the cauliflower is done, sprinkle on.

Our final meal looked something like this:  (thanks to finding the idea for the recipe here)

  Tryitvegan dinner Gardein mandarin orange chicken with delish cauliflower garlic lemon bread crumb style copy TryitVegan Gardein mandorine orange chicken  TryitVegan cooliflour with breadcrumbs

Try it!

~M~

 

 

 

 

 

 

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