The past few weeks have been pretty quiet on the blog, as compared to my usual activity. I have been feeling terrible about not being able to keep up, but I have a very good reason, our family is growing! We are expecting our third child in March 2015! As exciting as it is, I have been having a rough time…
I’ve been wanting to put together this recipe for a while now, but I kept pushing it aside and dealing with all the other recipe ideas that spring into my head at all hours of the day. I swear when it comes to cooking, I am the anti to my normal type A. I jump from idea to idea, without any clear path in mind, driving myself crazy, but the need to try all these creations must be done or my brain won’t rest. The good news is that a lot of my test trials result in something delicious to share with all of you! It almost feels freeing to be able to ditch my normal organized personality and transform into the Swedish Chef from the Muppet Show (Remember him? Loved him!).
So finally, here I am getting this amazing sandwich on the blog. This will rock the socks off meatless Mondays! My whole family devoured it, even the little one who we usually expect to throw his dinner on the floor and proclaim the normal nightly starvation diet. Hallelujah, a meal we all will eat! This is going to be making it’s rounds quite often around here.
The greatest thing is that you can make all the beanballs and freeze for later use, it only calls for half in the recipe. You can also make the sauce and freeze that too, but to make it really easy you can simply use your favorite jarred red sauce. All you have to do the day of, is bake the bean balls (which can be done at any time) and sauté the kale. Easy! Another idea for a kid version, is to cut the beanballs in half and make a panini out of it. You’ve got to love an easy meal that even the little ones will eat! Serve this up with my Eggplant Fries and you’ve get a veggie filled awesome meal.
I love it when I try a new veggie fry and not only do I love it, but my kids love it too. My oldest actually said “These new french fries are delicious!” Totally on his own, not when asked or even prompted. And the little one, that gives us the most trouble with food, literally almost devoured a whole eggplant of fries. These are definitely going on the “must make often” list. I used a combo of my recipes for Asparagus Fries and Oven Fries and needed to tweak a few things, so I am rewriting it for you all to follow. Happy eating!
Strawberries signal the start of summer, and being a Southern California girl, strawberry margaritas are the next step! There’s nothing better that a cool refreshing fresh strawberry margarita, I have enjoyed both the virgin and the adult variety, and either way they relax me to the core. So it was natural for me to turn one of my favorite drinks into a family friendly creamy vegan dessert.
I wanted this sweet treat to be delicious but also healthy, a no guilt eat with your bikini on type of dessert. So I focused on using fresh strawberries and limes and sweetened with the natural goodness of dates. The flavors complement each other beautifully and the creaminess of the cashews is the perfect touch. The crust adds an extra layer with a touch of salt to offset the sweetness of the filling, but again uses purely dates to achieve that rich nutty taste. My kids loved indulging and I had no problem saying yes to seconds! All natural sweeteners, fresh in season fruit and a taste you’ll love. It’s a no fail dessert. Time for that summertime party you always wanted to throw!
Meatless Mondays just went to a whole new level. I have seen a ton of drool worthy vegan “cheesesteaks” out there, and I wanted to create one that was simple and easy to make, something we could turn to on those crazy nights where no one wants to put a lot of effort into dinner but a healthy meal is still necessary. This pretty much hit the nail on the head. I left out the “cheese” part of the dish since I really haven’t found a vegan cheese type sauce that I love, however I did include the option of making the Alfredo sauce I created as a creamy addition to the sandwich. It gives it a creamy feel, which you will love.
I made this meal many times before I posted it here. Mostly because I wanted to see if there was a difference between throwing all the ingredients in a pan, cooking and serving or taking the time to sauté each veggie separately to achieve the perfect cooking temperature for the individual ingredients. Well, from my trials, it worked just as great doing it the easy way! I actually even sliced everything the night before, threw it all in a bag, then when we were ready to eat I sautéed everything together and added all the other necessary add ins. It worked beautifully and everyone loved it. I even include a spicy option, a few of my favorite cherry bomb peppers, for those of you spice fans like me. They are really tasty and although hot, there is still some great flavor. Hope you enjoy and use this on those busy nights!
Chipotle has been loved by my husband since it first appeared in our neighborhood in Southern California. Me, not so much. For some reason, I didn’t quite get his love for this new “fast” food joint. I rarely ate fast food, not that this was your typical fast food restaurant, but the options were limited in their menu and that deterred me. Then one day, they started serving brown rice, so I gave them another chance. Better, still not my first pick for those “need to eat quick” days, but they were on my list and I would now go without a huge fuss. Then along came Sofritas…and this is when Chipotle and I reconciled our differences and started our courtship.
I love spicy, and spicy Sofritas are, but they are definitely still very flavorful. For me and my love of all things hot, they are perfect, but it may be a nice option to have a less spicy version for those who are not spice fans. Their veggie burrito however, is another great option and that is not hot at all, unless of course you add hot sauce like I do! The only thing Chipotle is missing before I can declare them a true love affair, is a whole grain tortilla. Although we do gluten free as much as we can, when it comes to tortillas we opt for whole grain or sprouted wheat because the taste is much better than all the gluten free burrito sized tortillas out there. Overall, I give Chipotle a two thumbs up…but get that healthy tortilla and I’ll be waving my thumbs way up high!
Summer is now in full swing allowing us to enjoy cold treats at least once a day. Smoothie bowls have been the highlight of our morning, the kids love this “ice cream” for breakfast treat. They top their bowls with delicious healthy ingredients like hemp seeds, fresh fruit and cacao nibs just as one would top a sundae, and devour it with the same excitement. When I got a text a few days ago from a good friend who supports my blogging journey by feeding me inspiration from time to time, I was very intrigued by her genius way of serving her kids breakfast. She told me that she froze some fruit and yogurt and called it a morning. And of course this got my blogging brain going, I had found my next blog post.
I decided to base this recipe off of our smoothie bowls. I wanted the first ones to be simple and easy, without a lot of fancy ingredients, but I also wanted them to be all encompassing in the health department. I decided on blueberries for those antioxidants, banana for our natural sweetener, mango for added flavor, hemp and chia seeds for protein and all the other goodness they have, and even snuck in some spinach! These came out perfect. Delicious, filling, healthy and my kids LOVED them. Picky eaters? These may be your answer.
Are you looking for a healthy way to celebrate our amazing country? Well, I’ve got you covered! Here’s a menu that won’t disappoint, from starting your day right with an antioxidant filled smoothie bowl, to finishing off with healthy, no refined sugar, cookies. These recipes will be a hit with adults, kids, vegans and non vegans alike. Check them out! Have a safe and happy 4th of July!
Ever since I created my Miso Balsamic Dressing I have been looking for other ways to use it. When I got invited to participate in the #TuscanyNowCookOff, it was a great opportunity to find another creative way to incorporate it into a dish. The sweet but tangy taste of the miso balsamic went really well with tomatoes so I decided to create a bruschetta type appetizer as an entry into the cook off. Because polenta was something I was playing around with, I decided to use it as my base instead of bread. I wanted it crispy so I baked it in the oven trying many different methods. There was plain, brushed with olive oil, coated in almond meal, and brushed with oil then coated in almond meal. Surprisingly the best method for the crispiest and most tasty polenta was the good old plain way, nothing on it, just slice and bake. It came out perfectly crispy and delicious!
The bruschetta topping I decided to add was a combination of white beans for protein, fresh tomatoes for that Italian authenticity and arugula for an added level of spice. I kept the seasoning simple and traditional with fresh garlic, salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon, then livened the dish up by drizzling my new Miso Balsamic Dressing over the top. The flavors were so different, yet blended together very well. I loved how easy this appetizer was to make, but how unique it was too. Next time you’re looking for a fresh and fun dish, give this one a try!
July is almost upon us and that means the heart of summer! Picnics, beach days, concerts in the park, the 4th of July and best of all my birthday, my husband’s birthday and our anniversary! It’s a big month for us over here and we do a LOT of celebrating. Celebrations usually mean cashing in the 10% of our diet where we don’t stress. But with that there needs to be balance and a lot of the time I find that balance in a good healthy nutrient filled breakfast.
Smoothie bowls have helped us beat the heat these days and they are a great way to sneak in those greens. Starting your day off healthy always feels great, there’s nothing better than beginning the day on a high note! This smoothie bowl is a treat the whole family will love. It’s easy to make and fun to put together, so celebrate America with this little taste of summer!