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Asian Inspired Sautéed Spinach

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Spinach is one of those super-powered (Popeye…hello!) foods packed with nutrients & antioxidants up the ying-yang! It has fiber, iron, vitamin c, calcium & the list goes on & on! (Links with more info below.)
I shared this quick & easy 5-ingredient side dish a while back with my Face Book friends. I recently made it again & it’s so yummy, & easy, that I just had to share it on the blog.
Ginger is also very nutritious but has a very distinct flavor so the amount you add should depend on how much you like it. It’s not rocket science…you can’t screw it up! Want to add more or less (but I always add more) garlic? Go ahead! Knock yourself out!

Ingredients:

– About 1/2 bag Fresh Spinach
– 1/4 cup Tamari Sauce (Soy Sauce will do too)
– 2-3 minced Garlic Cloves
– Fresh Grated Ginger to taste
– Sesame Seeds

That’s it!

Steps:

– In a non-stick pan, over medium-low heat, combine spinach, tamari sauce, & garlic.
– Once the spinach starts to wither, add desired amount of grated ginger.
– Combine well & cook until all the spinach has withered.
– Top with sesame seeds before serving & eat it up!

Happy Eating Folks!

– Lesley

Information Links:

Spinach Nutrition
Wikipedia on Spinach
Ginger 411

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3-Bean Veggie Soup

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Every Sunday, I make a big pot of this hearty 3-bean veggie soup. I freeze it in small tupperware & eat it throughout the week. It’s especially delicious on chilly days…makes me feel warm & toasty! Mmmmmm…

Ingredients:

– 10 cups Vegetable Broth
– 1 cup chopped Onion
– 1 1/2 cups chopped Carrots
– 1 1/2 cups chopped Celery
– 2 cups Sprouted Bean Trio (mix of lentils, adzuki, & mung beans)
– 1 tbsp minced Garlic
– 1/2 tbsp Italian Seasoning
– 1-2 Bay Leaves
– Sea Salt & Pepper to taste
– 1/4 cup Tomato Sauce
– 3 small diced Tomatoes

Steps:

– Sauté onions, carrots, & celery in a big pot using veggie broth.
– When the onions are translucent, add beans, broth, garlic, seasoning, & bay leaf.
– Cook on high until boiling & then lower heat to medium.
– Once beans are cooked, add tomato sauce & diced tomatoes. Stir. Add salt & pepper to taste. Cook on medium for another 15 minutes. (Add water or broth if needed for desired consistency)

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– Enjoy with toasted garlic bread. Yum!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Happy Eating!

Lesley

Simple Snacking: Kale Chips

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Kale chips are a wonderfully healthy & tasty snack. You can season them with just about anything: garlic powder, sea salt, nutritional yeast, etc…

Steps:

– Preheat oven to 350F

– Get a bunch of kale, wash well, & remove the stems by just tearing the leaves with your hands.

– Toss kale in a bowl with a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.

– Place kale single layer on a baking sheet.

– Bake until crispy. About 15 minutes. (Keep an eye on it!)

– Remove from oven & let cool.

– Toss back in bowl with seasoning of your choice. (I used nutritional yeast.)

That’s it! How simple is that?

*Tip: Crumble some kale on warm miso soup or on a salad for some added crunch!

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Here are some links with info on kale if you’d like to know more about this über nutritional veggie!

http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/kale.html

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kale

http://www.kalenutrition.net/

Happy Eating!

– Lesley

Mini Eggplant Pizzas!

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We love pizza! The boys ask for it just about everyday, but I compromise & serve it once a week. The problem? It’s just so darn messy to make the dough! I needed an easier solution for days when I don’t feel like dusting the whole house due to an indoor flour storm. (Seriously, I’m a bit of a mess in the kitchen. It happens when I get “in the zone”.) So, I found a big ol’ eggplant in my refrigerator just waiting to be sliced. I had seen recipes for eggplant parmesan but had never tried it. It was all an experiment & I was afraid of how they would turn out since I didn’t use eggs or cow’s milk for the breading.

However, they were so good! I mean, really, they came out delicious! My “tasters” liked them so much I could barely snap any pictures before they were all gone! They’re crunchy & a perfect size for little hands.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large Eggplant
  • 3/4 cup Flour (any type will do)
  • 4 tbsp Ground Flax Seed
  • 1 cup Almond Milk
  • 2 cups Bread Crumbs
  • Garlic Powder to taste (appx 1 tbsp)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1 cup Pizza Sauce of choice
  • 1 cup Dairy-Free Mozzarella Style Shredded Cheese (Daiya Foods)

Steps:

  • Combine ground flax & almond milk in a bowl & set aside.
  • Place flour in a bowl & season with salt & pepper.
  • Place bread crumbs in a bowl & season with garlic powder.
  • Preheat oven to 400F
  • Peel eggplant & slice into 1/2″ thick circles.
  • Coat 1 eggplant circle at a time in flour covering both sides & then dip in the almond & flax bowl. (Allow excess to drip back into bowl.)
  • Coat in bread crumbs & place on a non-stick baking pan.
  • Bake at 400F for 15 minutes or until circles are golden brown.
  • Remove from oven & top with pizza sauce & shredded cheese & bake until cheese is melted.

The hubby & I used them as a side to our three bean & veggie soup instead of bread…

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You can also top them with bruchetta, hummus, pesto or even guacamole! The possibilities are endless. If you happen to make this recipe, let me know how you enjoyed it! I’m sure you could also try this recipe with zucchini instead of eggplant. I just so happen to have one in my fridge. Hmmmm…

Happy Eating!

– Lesley

Simple Snacking: Muhammara Dip

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I’m a snacker. I admit it. The trick is to eat something small, satisfying &, of course, healthy. Also, don’t eat too late. It can cause indigestion & you don’t burn many calories while sleeping. Here’s an MSNBC article I found on that…click here.

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I go through snacking phases &, lately, dips have been at the top of the list. This delicious Middle Eastern one is my recent favorite. I read the original recipe in The Vegan Table cookbook (a Christmas gift from my sister-in-law) but altered the original recipe for a couple of reasons. One, I wanted to make it healthier &, two, I almost always alter recipes to make them my own.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Whole Roasted Red Bell Peppers (fresh or from a jar)
  • 3/4 cup Walnuts (raw or toasted)
  • 2 Large Whole Garlic Cloves (peeled)
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp Honey
  • 1 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 tbsp Ground Flax Seeds
  • Sea Salt to taste (I use about 2 pinches)
  • Red Pepper Flakes (optional)

Steps:

Combine all ingredients in a food processor & blend until smooth.
Try it & tweak it if you prefer more or less garlic or salt. Refrigerate for an hour before serving. Makes about 1 cup.

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*Serve with pita, fresh veggies, chips, or seed crackers.

Happy Friday & Happy Eating!

– Lesley

Baked Black Bean Croquetas

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I love it here in Vancouver. The people are friendly, the mountains are amazing, & the gorgeous summers are for enjoying the outdoors. However, the rainy, winter days (that sometimes last weeks!) are awful! They’re cold & gloomy. It’s been like this for days! Needless to say, I’ve been missing Florida & all it’s sunshine!

Anyway, I felt like making something that would remind me of home in South Florida & my Cuban roots. How about croquetas (croquettes)? Perfect. Now, the challenge was to make them healthy & vegan. (Crazy the work I’m willing to do to satisfy a craving & not feel guilty!)

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They don’t look as pretty as the ones at the Cuban bakeries in Miami, (how do they get them so perfectly shaped?!) but they are very, very tasty & easy. Also, since they’re healthy, you shouldn’t feel guilty about eating 2 or 3…or 4 or 5…

Ingredients:
– 1 can (14oz) Organic Black Beans – drained & rinsed
– 1/2 tsp Cumin
– 1/2 cup Chopped Tomato
– 1/4 cup Onion
– 2 tsp Minced Garlic
– 1/4 cup Chopped Fresh Cilantro
– 1/4 cup Fortified Nutritional Yeast
– 1/3 cup Cooked Quinoa (room temp.)
– 1/3 cup Bread Crumbs
– 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Steps:
– Preheat oven to 425F
– Place beans in bowl & mash with fork or potato masher.
– Combine cumin, tomatoes, onion, garlic, cilantro, nutritional yeast & quinoa. Mix well with mashed beans.
– In a small bowl, mix breadcrumbs & evoo.
– Divide the bean mixture into croqueta shapes & press firmly onto breadcrumbs, turning to coat.
– Place croquetas on non-stick baking sheet & bake until golden brown. About 25 minutes.

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* Serve with salsa of your choice or guacamole…yum!

If anyone has a tip or an easier way of forming the mixture into the croqueta shapes, please share!

Happy Eating!

– Lesley

The Art of Salad Making…

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One of my favorite things about visits to a Whole Foods grocery store is stopping to treat myself at the salad bar. Although salads are a regular menu item at home, the plethora of salad toppers at Whole Foods makes me feel giddy! I circle & circle around until I decide what type of salad I want…light, nutty, fruity…

I watched some folks as they built their salad. Some did a wonderful job of getting in proteins & leafy greens but, others (tisk, tisk) just plopped some lettuce, croutons & ranch dressing. Salads don’t just have to be a side dish! So, I encourage you to make it a salad week! Everyday this week, make a salad the main entrée of your meal. Make it a big salad! Add healthy fats & leafy greens & any vegetables or fruits…the possibilities are endless! I’ll try & give you some inspirations…

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Lettuce, Spinach, Kale, Red Onion, Cucumbers, Black Beans, Tomato, Chick Peas, Roasted Garlic, Shredded Beets & Carrots, Avocado & Cashews. (Tahini Garlic Dressing)

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Avocado, Chick Peas, Parsley & Sesame Seeds. Simple yet filling! (Dressing: sea salt, extra virgin olive oil & fresh lemon juice)

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Shredded Purple Cabbage, Lettuce & Tomato (Dressing: fresh ginger, miso, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil & minced garlic)

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Spinach, Sunflower Seeds, Chick Peas, Red Bell Pepper, Onion & Hemp Seeds (balsamic glaze dressing)

Other Salad Ingredients I Enjoy:

– Strawberries
– Almonds
– Arugula
– Chia Seeds
– Flax Seeds
– Mushrooms
– Nutritional Yeast
– Walnuts
– Olives
– Apple
– Pineapple
– Roasted Seaweed
– Quinoa
– Cilantro
– Dill
– Green Onions
– Whole Grain Pasta

You get the idea!
I would love to hear suggestions so feel free to share your own salad creations!

So, try & get your veggies in & make it a salad week!

Happy Eating!

– Lesley

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