Tag Archives: quick

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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Vegan, Simple, Fast and Delish! KID APPROVED Jason Wrobel’s Cilantro Lime Pesto Pasta is a MUST TRY!

8 Jan

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“Dinner is ready!!!!!”

Have you ever heard a child SCREAM because his entire meal is green and they decide that, due to color, it will not taste good?  (Let’s not kid ourselves, children aren’t the only ones)

After an absolute dinner FAIL the other night, my guilty conscious went recipe hunting and landed on Jason Wrobel’s recipe for Cilantro Lime Pesto Pasta.  (Jason is a Vegan cook and also has the Cooking Channel’s, “How to Live to 100” a new, humorous but educational show that just aired for the first time Sunday.  Check it out, it’s worth it!)

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Dinner was served in record timing due to the fact that the recipe is filed under the category of “easy” so even a non-cook can’t mess it up. (Ahem)  I made my signature “No less than 15 ingredient salad” and you see the end result which I was pretty proud of.  My one son, on the other hand, gave me an expression that I will do my best to imitate…

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“Really???  Green pasta?  Oh no… are those…(dun dun dunnnnnn) OLIVES??  Great, another Mom dinner fail”

(Ironic Mommy side note:  Even when we make zucchini pasta, it isn’t as “green” as this dish.  Not that it should matter but if only this kid KNEW what he ate at times!”)

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I was hoping that this would at least make up for my last disaster and not only did it, it far EXCEEDED the expectations of everyone.  What a DELICIOUS spin on pesto!  My only addition were some roasted organic cherry tomatoes that I threw in the oven while the pasta cooked to add some more color.  It was like winning the lottery you guys, I had five very happy FULL people and I was redeemed!  “Mmmmm’s” and “ohmygodthisissogood” came from the (full) mouth’s of babes so with that said, I recommend for you to TRY IT!

 

(No animals were injured, hurt (or eaten 🙂  ) during this cell phone photo shoot.  This Jersey girl likes her leopard, what do you want me to say.)

So what do you need?

  • olive oil
  • pasta (we used a lb instead of 8oz. with the remaining amounts of ingredients)
  • 1 cup black olives, pitted and quartered
  • 1/2 red pepper, diced
  • 1/4 raw pumpkin seeds
  • 2 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves, tightly packed
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, preferably cold pressed
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, plus more for garnish
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons nama shoyu or tamari (oops, I did forget this one)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • hemp seeds, for garnish (and this one)

Directions

Make the pasta according to directions.  Original directions called for a tablespoon of olive oil in the boiling water which I chose to skip.  Once al dente, drain and empty into a mixing bowl where you want to add the olives, red bell peppers and pumpkin seeds and mix well.

Easy pesto:  Grab your Vitamixer/blender or food processor and put basil, olive oil, cilantro, pine nuts, lime juice, garlic, nama shoyu, salt, pepper and cayeene and blend.  Combine the pasta with pesto and mix well.  Serve with a sprinkle of hemp seeds, black olives and pine nuts.  I also roasted some cherry tomatoes and added them for more color.

To view the original recipe click here

Apple Match Stick Fries: Reducing the risk of some cancers, cardiovascular disease, asthma and diabetes

7 Jan

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This morning I posted a link on Twitter that speaks of the great health benefits of apples (HERE)  Thanks to my mandoline, we have found some creative  ways to make snacking on an apple a bit more appealing to even those who insisted that they didn’t like apples.  
 
With much more focus on eating smaller meals with healthy snacks twice a day, apples are a great go-to for all ages.  With over 7000 different varieties around the world, there are at least a handful that will make your mouth water.  (For an apple directory, try HERE)
 
Cardiovascular disease and cancer are the two top killers in North America, choose apples for preventative measure considering they are loaded with phytonutrients (plant nutrients) that are known to reduce the risk of some cancers, cardiovascular disease, asthma and diabetes.  (http://www.nutritionj.com/content/3/1/5)
 
Give your palate a treat, pick some apples the next time you are out and make a point of including an apple once a day in your diet, however you choose to slice, dice or bite it 😉  Your body will thank you!
 
Try it!
-M

 

 
 
 
 

Check out what the kids (big & small) had for lunch: Vegan Steak Marsala…

1 Jan

Vegan Chicken Marsala

Maureen:  “JUST SAYIN’… The 13 year old thanked me for his lunch today.  If that gives you any idea if the kids would like it…”

Ok, we will say it.  There are some vegetables that we like better than others and mushrooms are definitely classified under the “other” category.

YET, we have made them a staple in our weekly diet because when a few other ingredients are added to cover up enhance the taste, you are left with a delish’ dish that has the consistency of meat while tricking your eyes and taste buds.

Personally, we like sauces and lots of it so we do make more for us but for you, play around with the recipe and Try it!

For two hungry people (or for you and gift yourself of a leftover!):

  • 3 Portabella mushroom caps (look for organic if you can)
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 2 tbsp oil (olive or grape seed)
  • 3/4 cup of Whole Wheat or Unbleached All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup Marsala wine
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • salt and pepper
  • pasta, rice, quinoa or couscous for underneath (we used pasta this time- you decide but start it before your “steak”)
  1. Slice up one mushroom cap into flat slices the size of a penny or dime.
  2. Dice Green onions and mince garlic
  3. Add oil to pan on medium heat
  4. coat the two whole mushroom caps with flour and place in hot pan.  I cooked them for 3-4 minutes on each side and removed from pan
  5. add chopped mushrooms, garlic and green onions and cook until soft, just a few minutes
  6. I added the wine and broth with a couple of tbsp of flour and thickened up the sauce putting the temperature on simmer
  7. I added a little salt and pepper
  8. place both mushroom caps in sauce and allow to absorb the flavor…
  9. serve over your rice/pasta/seed/grain

Once again, the technique may not be the best but as I’ve said before, I’m not the best cook.  With that said, I need to eat with my eyes and then my mouth and I like tasty food that leans on the healthier side.  I wish that I had learned of this earlier because I think I would have enjoyed this back when I was eating meat, in case you have any omnivore friends or family 😉  Try it Vegan!

 

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Greek/Cypriot Macaroni with meat… the Veganlicious version!

29 Dec

Greek/Cypriot Macaroni “me kema” (Macaroni with meat… the Veganlicious version!)

Warning!!  Aroma fills the kitchen quickly and attracts family/friends before food is ready!”

One dish that my Cypriot/Greek mother in law taught me is a favorite in our house.  Once I went Vegan and stopped buying/handling/eating meat, I found a better, tastier alternative minus the added cholesterol and so-full-I’m-sick feeling.  This is omnivorous husband and kid approved… a monthly staple in our house.

~Disclaimer:  It should be noted that I am not the best cook in the world, close to it nor claim to be anything other than someone who wants good tasting food that leans on the healthier side.  I welcome your cooking tips and suggestions to make this a better site for all 🙂  With that said… enjoy!  (I know you will… :))

What you need for 4 hungry people:

1lb of Pasta (I personally use Whole Wheat)

1 package Vegan Beef crumbles (Boca or my favorite by Smart Ground)

1-2 tbsp oil (I like olive or grape seed oil)

1/2 cup diced onion (sweet/yellow)

1/2 cup chopped parsley or cilantro (combo of both isn’t bad either)

14oz. can of diced tomatoes (whole tomatoes I like better and then dice myself.  Go crazy… use organic!  Your taste buds will thank you!)

(I’ve been known to add a little tomato paste, tomato sauce or in a pinch, ketchup (GASP!!) at times… with or without it’s still yummy)

(OPTION:  no canned tomatoes?  Use fresh!  4-5 Organic Roma tomatoes and a couple of tbsp of tomato paste works great too!)

cinnamon

1 tbsp Greek seasoning (No Greek seasoning?  Use Italian seasoning.  Have mint?  Go crazy, add a dash ;)

salt to taste

pepper to taste

Vegan Parmigiana is optional but delish!

Directions:

(Cook pasta according to box, save some water when you drain it)

1.  Pour a tbsp or two of your oil into a pan and place your onion, cook until soft.

2.  Add your “beef crumbles” and cook according to instructions.

3.  Add your tomatoes (if using fresh, add some water)

4.  Sprinkle the cinnamon on top (I eye-ball it, sorry…just coat the top like my MIL -completely covering the mixture in a light coat-but I’d say at least a tbsp.  If it gets too thick, just add some water.

5.  Add salt and pepper, mix and put the lid on top for a few minutes for the flavors to come together.

(TiV WARNING:  Aroma fills the kitchen quickly and attracts family/friends before food is ready)

6.  Add the parsley (or pars/cilantro mix) a few minutes before serving.

7.  Add drained pasta to the mix and if too thick and sticking, add some of the water from the pasta.

8.  Serve with a piece of parsley.  Why?  For one, it gives a nice finishing touch and you and I both know that we first feed our appetite with our sight first, then our sense of smell and taste.  Second of all, parsley is a natural and great way to freshen your breath for after the meal and you will be prepared for the hugs and kisses after for making an incredibly quick and tasty meal ;)  Nutritionally, it contains Vitamins A & C, Folic Acid and Iron PLUS contains phytochemicals (phyto=plant) that are linked to fighting cancer cells with antioxidant properties, preventing blood clots and reducing the risk of stroke.

“Try it… it’s Vegan!”

M

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