Marinated vegetables

These were a quick and easy side dish to a meal the other night.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz container baby portabellas, sliced
  • 1 green zucchini, sliced on an angle
  • 2 teaspoons amino acids
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400F.

Mix all ingredients in bowl, let set an marinate 15-30 minutes.

Spread on a non-stick pan in a single layer. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until zucchini starting to brown and soften.

If you plan far enough ahead, you can also start cooking some sweet potato fries on one side of the tray then just throw the other veggies on the other side during the last few minutes. Two nutritious sides with very little work.

Sweet and spicy roasted chickpeas

Since doing the 21-day detox in January, I have really tried to keep most processed foods out of my diet and have been, for the most part, succeeding.

The hardest part is when I want a snack. I have been eating lots of fruits, veggies and nuts as snacks. The problem is that fruits and veggies don’t always travel the best and calories from nuts can add up quickly. So, I needed to come up with some new options.

I’ve seen a lot of recipes around the web for different varieties of roasted chickpeas lately. I had attempted roasted chickpeas a few years ago as a stove top recipe that I didn’t love. I was willing to give it another chance and I’m glad I did.

Ingredients:

  • 1 15oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar(I used coconut crystals)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 450F.

Pat dry the chickpeas, or just let them sit in the strainer for a long time so they are mostly dry. Combine with remainder of ingredients and toss to coat evenly.

Spread in a single layer on a nonstick pan.

Cook for about 30 minutes, stirring and rotating halfway through. Attempt not to let them burn. Unless you are like me and start juicing things and forget to stir them until the 25 minute mark.

No worries, they were still very tasty. Mostly spicy with very little sweet, which is how I would prefer them. I can’t wait to take some of them to work with me for an afternoon snack this week.

Honey Lime Fish Tacos

Brian sent me a link to this recipe and I knew I would be making it soon. Like, for lunch that day, with a few minor changes.

These are absolutely delicious. Light and full of flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 2 4-6oz flounder fillets
  • zest and juice of one lime
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for cooking
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more for dredging
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper, plus more for dredging
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup brown rice flour(or white flour if not gluten-free)
  • tortillas
  • lettuce and avocado, or other favorite taco toppings

Make marinade by combining lime zest, juice, honey, olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder.

Add fish and marinate for a minimum of 30 minutes and up to 24 hours. I let mine marinate for 2-3 hours and they had great flavor.

When ready to cook, combine flour and a little more salt and pepper in a bowl.

Heat oil in a skillet. Dredge fish in flour and place in hot oil.

Cook about 4 minutes on each side and until nice and brown and crispy.

While the fish is cooking, take the marinade that the fish was sitting in and bring it a boil in a small sauce pan for 5-6 minutes or until it thickens.

Place in tortilla, top with some lettuce and avocado and drizzle thickened sauce over. The sauce really makes these tacos.

Brian ate one taco, looked at me, and said, “These are soooo good that I could eat five of them.” They are a little sweet and a little tangy and a whole lot of delicious.

Quinoa white bean burgers

I’m still on a quest to find the perfect homemade veggie burger recipe and having quite a bit of fun trying out different recipes.

These were good, had good flavor, and held up a little better than the black bean-quinoa burgers, but just didn’t hold up well enough. If I would to have tried to grill them, there would have been a small disaster.

Adapted from (never home)maker. The original recipe called for a can of black beans, a staple in our house. Guess what wasn’t in the pantry when I went to make these for lunch? Black beans. Unheard of!

Here is another tasty attempt at the ultimate homemade veggie burger.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup dry quinoa, rinsed and cooked
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon BBQ sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Montreal steak seasoning
  • dash of cayenne pepper
  • dash of paprika
  • dash of fresh ground pepper
  • 1 can canelli beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 cup brown rice bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 425F.

Put everything EXCEPT the beans, quinoa and bread crumbs into a food processor( I used our Ninja). Pulse together until combined. Add beans, quinoa and bread crumbs to the mixture. Pulse until combine but still a little chunky.

Take mixture and form into 4-6 patties; place on a non-stick baking pan.

Place in oven and cook for 10 minutes or until starting to crisp up. Flip patties and cook for an additional 10 minutes.

These will be a little crispy on the outside and a little mushy on the inside. These were full of flavor and very tasty, especially when topped with a little more BBQ sauce.

Black bean-quinoa burgers

I was really excited about this recipe. Really excited. These burgers had great flavor but they didn’t hold shape. I plan on making a new version of this today with a slightly different recipe, because they are so good that I want the recipe to work out perfectly.

I found this recipe in Vegetarian Times and adapted it a little(which may be where it went wrong).

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons salsa
  • 1 15oz can black beans, rinsed and drained, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried steak seasoning
  • olive oil

Stir together quinoa with 1 1/2 cups water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed. This will yield about 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa.

Preheat oven to 350F and generously coat baking sheet with cooking spray. Set aside.

While the quinoa is cooking, place olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot, add onion and salsa, cook about 5 minutes or until onion has softened.

Stir in 3/4 cup of black beans, garlic, steak seasoning and 1 1/2 cups water.

Simmer 9 to 11 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated…that is what the recipe said, but I had to simmer it for over 20 minutes to make all the liquid evaporate.

Transfer the bean and onion mixture to the food processor and 3/4 cup cooked quinoa and process until smooth. Transfer to bowl and stir in remaining 3/4 cup black beans. Season with salt and pepper.

At this point, you are to shape the mixture into 8 patties that are 1/2 cup each. I could tell by looking at the mixture that it was far to runny to shape into a patty. So I scooped out the mixture with a 1/2 cup measuring cup and dumped it on the pan. It only made 6 half cup patties.

And as I cooked them, they really spread out and took about twice as long to cook them as the recipe called for. The recipe stated to bake for 20 minutes, until they are crisp, flip and cook for another 10 minutes. I had to cook them 40 minutes, flip and cook another 20.

I was very frustrated by the end of this recipe as it took almost two hours to make and I was starving by the time they were finally done. I think they would have held together a lot better had a second can of beans been added to the recipe.

Looking forward to the new recipe I am going to make for lunch and hope that they turn out more patty-like with just as great of flavor that these had.

 

Lentil sloppy joes

This is a very unassuming meal. Sloppy joes without the meat.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dried lentils, picked over and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups low sodium veggie broth
  • 15oz can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne(optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon mustard
  • 1/4 cup bbq sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Cook onion until softened. Add in all other ingredients.

Bring to a boil, turn burner down to a simmer, cover pan and simmer until almost all of the liquid cooks off.

The lentils will be al dente and flavorful.

Serve on a bun with pickles!

Like I said, this isn’t a fancy meal, but makes 4 giant or 6 normal sized sandwiches.  They have a nice flavor, simple recipe and brings back memories of childhood. They would also be great on top of a southwestern salad. This is a picture of Brian’s place. I scooped my lentils onto one slice of gluten-free bread and ate it like an open faced sandwich.

Detox minestrone soup

Simple, filling and full of nutrients. Low in fat, high in fiber and protein. Sounds like a winner, huh?

Recipe adapted.

Ingredients:

  • olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 tablespoons Italian spices
  • 2-3 carrots, cut into thin coins
  • 1-15oz can of fire roasted tomatoes, diced
  • 1-15oz can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

Saute onion and garlic in hot pan until translucent. Add celery and spices and saute a few more minutes. Add carrots, tomatoes and beans. Add enough water to cover what is in the pot. Bring to a boil. Cover and lower to a simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes or longer. Add salt and pepper to taste.

My nearly empty bowl as I gobbled it down at work. I was hungry for lunch!

Carmelized tofu with almonds and Brussels sprout hash

After eating this dish(adapted from 101 Cookbooks) and pondering making it again for dinner tomorrow night, I opened the refrigerator door and realized how many left overs we having piling up and need to eat. But I really want this for dinner again tomorrow. It’s so good. Two bites into his bowl, Brian asked, “Is there more?” Knowing he would be left wanting more. Yep, it’s that good. Good enough to serve at a holiday meal and easy enough to make during the week.

Have I sold you yet?

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 block extra firm tofu, sliced lengthwise and pressed
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup almonds, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons raw coconut crystals or brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
  • 1/2 lb Brussels sprouts, washed and cut into 1/8-inch wide ribbons
  • sea salt

Heat 1/2 the oil in a hot skillet on the stove top. Cut tofu into thin 1-inch long strips.

Cook the tofu strips in the hot skillet until golden brown on both sides.

Add garlic and almonds and cook for another minute or two.

Stir in the raw coconut crystals or brown sugar. I chose to use coconut crystals as I am trying to limit my added sugar intake and they are a lower glycemic alternative.  Cook for another 3-4 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in cilantro. Scrape the tofu into a bowl and set to the side.

Without washing it, use the same pan, add the other half of the oil, a pinch of salt and turn the heat up to medium-high. When the pan is nice and hot, stir in the shredded Brussels sprouts.

Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring 2-3 times until you get some lightly browned bits and the rest of the sprouts are bright and delicious.

Divide sprouts between two bowls and top each bowl with half of caramelized tofu.

This tastes so fancy but is so easy to make. If this were served to me in a restaurant I would be blown away by it and thought they used magic to create it and wouldn’t have thought it could be made so easily at home. But it can. And it will be made again, soon.