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Tag Archives: quick and easy meals

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

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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

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

Weekend Chili to the Rescue!

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Weekends at our house are for exploring! Being from Miami, Florida, the move to British Columbia is a whole new world for us! Mountains & hiking & snow…oh my! I like to pack our picnic basket, head out early, & come back in time for dinner. The only problem is, I usually have to get home from a long day of adventures & start cooking. That’s no fun! Until the Weekend Chili came along! Slow-cooked in the crock pot while we’re gone, & hot & ready by the time we get back! We especially love this hearty, protein-packed meal on cold & rainy days.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Total Vegetable Protein
  • 1 can Organic Black Beans (drained & rinsed)
  • 1 can Organic Pinto Beans (drained & rinsed)
  • 1 cup Chopped Carrots
  • 1 cup Chopped Celery
  • 4 Diced Tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup Chopped Onions
  • 1 tbsp Minced Garlic
  • 1 cup Tomato Sauce
  • 2-3 cups Organic Vegetable Broth
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste

Steps:

  1. Set your crock pot to the low setting.
  2. In a pan, sauté carrots, celery & onions in some of the vegetable broth.
  3. Place sautéed vegetables & remaining ingredients in crock pot. (Add more or less broth depending on your desired density.)
  4. Stir & cook on low for 6 hours.
  5. Top with vegan sour cream & chopped green onions & enjoy!

* Tip: Serve it over quinoa or as a taco filling!

Have a wonderful weekend & happy eating!

– Lesley

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