Who doesn’t like a savory pie? I grew up eating those frozen swanson’s chicken pot pies as a child and of course I loved them back then. I stopped eating them once I realized how many trans fats, processed ingredients and un-organic chicken full of hormones and pumped with steroids I was eating. I have always wanted to come up with a vegetarian version because I love the texture of tofu and it pairs nicely with the sweetness from the roasted pumpkin or butternut squash. So here it is, my healthier version of this hearty comfort food! Of course this recipe does have butter and flour, but you will be happy to know that I am working on coming up with a good dairy free gluten free crust. This recipe is a great alternative for a special vegetarian dish on St. Paddy’s day instead of a meat and guinness pie or as a vegetarian main at Easter dinner! I hope this recipe makes it’s way to your table soon! Please share your experience.
I love Fall, it is by far one of my favorite times of year! I enjoy the gentle wind, the colorful changes to the trees and sky, but most of all I think about the wonderful farmer’s market finds. Fall is a colorful array of produce, pumpkins, brussel sprouts on the stalk, all winter squash, apples, and pomegranates. I’m also enjoying the lingering Summer produce, like tomatillo’s and every kind of pepper. So, you are probably wondering what to do with all of these Fall produce finds? I’m sharing with you a couple of fun and easy Fall recipe’s to add to your weekly meals at home!
Roasted Buttternut Squash
with thyme and shallots:
Preheat oven to 450
1 butternut squash, peeled and 1″ diced
4-5 shallots peeled and quartered
2 Tblsp. extra virgin olive oil
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
Toss the squash and shallots with the olive oil, and season with S & P.
Spread evenly on a sheet pan, scatter thyme on top.
Roast in the 450 degree oven for 30-40 minutes until brown and roasty.
*Tip: It helps to turn the squash and shallots with a spatula halfway through to get even browning.
with sweet peppers and garlic:
1 pound of brussel sprouts, cleaned and halved
3-4 sweet mini peppers, ribs removed and julienned
4 cloves of garlic, sliced
2 Tblsp.’s coconut oil
2 Tblsp. tamari
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 Tblsp. honey
Kosher salt to taste
Heat a wok or non-stick skillet on med-high, add coconut oil until melted.
Add the sliced garlic until fragrant, but not browned.
Add brussels and sweet peppers tossing for 5-7 minutes, season with salt.
Once the peppers and brussels begin to brown, add the tamari, sesame oil, and honey.
It should become a thick and sticky stirfry.
*Tip:I like to add a pinch of crushed red chile with the garlic for added spice. Or freshly ground black pepper to finish.
Adding 1 Tblsp. of toasted black sesame seeds for garnish is also delish!
I’m starting to feel the wind and Autumn chill in the air, reminding me that Summer is slowly coming to an end. It feels like Fall is upon us here in Northern California, which makes me want warmer comfort foods. Ratatouille is one of my favorite end of Summer comfort foods, and it’s packed full of vitamin C to combat the seasonal colds that arise during this time of year!
I’m Thankful I am still seeing plenty of Summer squash, heirloom cherry tomatoes, basil, and eggplant at the farmers market to prepare this good ole’ “easy to make” Summertime Ratatouille. Here is my recipe! Enjoy!
• 1 sweet onion, ¼ inch diced
• 1 red bell pepper, ¼ inch diced
• 2 Summer squash, sliced into ½ inch rounds
• ½ an eggplant, 1 inch diced (salt in a bowl for 15 min.’s) Then pat out moisture with paper towel.
• 4 cloves garlic, minced
• 4 early girl tomatoes ½ inch diced and a handful of sungold cherry tomatoes, rinsed.
• ½ bunch of fresh basil, chopped
• 2 T.’s E.V.O.O
• 1 T.’s tomato paste (organic)
• 1 tsp. herb de provence
• ½ tsp. crushed red chile
• ½ cup of vegetable stock
• Salt & Pepper to taste
Heat E.V.O.O in a saute’ pan or dutch oven over medium heat. Cook the diced sweet onion until translucent, add the minced garlic and sautee’ until fragrant. Add herb de provence and crushed chile’s, bell peppers.Turn up the heat to medium high and brown the eggplant for 5-7 minutes. Add the summer squash, tomato paste and early girl tomatoes, mix well. Pour in the vegetable stock and cook down on low heat. This will take about 20-30 minutes. Add fresh chopped basil, cook 1-2 minutes more.
Garnish with basil sprig. Bon Apetit’!
*Tip. You may want to add more stock as the ratatouille cooks down. I like mine thick, so I use less stock.
If you love avocado’s or have a gluten intolerance? Or if you are a vegetarian looking for some taste-bud revival from the normal everyday recipe’s? Or you may just love zuchini. Than this blissful and easy recipe is for you! I absolutely love the creaminess from the avocado sauce and you can feel good about the fact that you are eating “good fat”.
First off you will need a mandoline like this one,OXO 1119100 Good Grips® 11.5″ Hand-Held Mandoline Slicer to make the zuchini ribbons, (which I think work best with the thickness of this sauce). Alternatively, you can use THE ORIGINAL ZOODLE SLICER.
Avocado Sauce & Zuchini Ribbon’s Recipe
4-5 zuchini sliced lengthwise into ribbons. (they will resemble pappardelle pasta)
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
3 cloves of garlic, buzzed in food processor
1 cup fresh basil leaves
2 avocados, halved an pitted
1 lemon juiced
3 Tblsp.’s E.V.O.O
1 cup of warm water
1/4 cup toasted pinenuts
1/4 grated parmesan reggiano (optional)
S & P to taste
After buzzing the garlic in your food processor, add the basil, avocados, toasted pinenuts, lemon juice, parmesan (if using). Buzz all ingredients, drizzle in 1 Tblsp. of the E.V.O.O and warm water until smooth, season with salt and pepper to taste. (I like to add a pinch of crushed chile for spice).
Heat a large non-stick pan on medium, add 2 Tblsp. E.V.O.O and the zuchini ribbons, spread evenly in the pan and sautee’, add the halved cherry tomatoes and season with sea salt and pepper. Cook until tender, about 7-10 minutes, stirring for even cooking. When finished the zuchini ribbons will be al dente’. Add 1/2 of the avocado sauce to coat.
*I like to add a sprinkle of toasted pinenuts and grated parmesan cheese to finish it off. You can also add the halved cherry tomatoes add the end for a fresher and firmer taste.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. It is a staple in our kitchen and our home, especially during avocado season.
Spring arrived on March 2Oth along with a new moon. What does Spring mean to you? For me, it brings up new beginnings. I usually try to do a juice cleanse around the Spring equinox. I’m sure you have heard the term ,”Spring Cleaning”. Just like our homes could use a deep cleaning, the body deserves a break from all of the foods we force it to digest on a daily basis.
I’m here to tell you my secret to going on a cleanse and actualluy enjoying it.
#1. Choose to start with eating mostly Vegan for two days before your cleanse date.
#2. It helps if you set your date closer to the weekend, so if it makes you tired, you can rest!
-This time I chose a three day cleanse because it does make me spacey and exhausted! Which makes it hard to work and excercise.
These meatballs are packed with protein and flavor! I like to serve them over roasted spaghetti squash with a simple organic tomato and basil sauce.
Here is my recipe: Enjoy!
Grass-fed Beef & Quinoa Meatballs with “Spaghetti”:
Preheat oven to 350
2/3 cup cooked quinoa, cooled
1 # ground grass-fed beef
1 pasture raised egg
3 tsp. coconut oil
¼ cup ¼ “diced sweet onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup finely chopped kale, de-stemmed
A pinch crushed red chile
¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp. chopped fresh oregano
½ tsp. fennel seed
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste.