Posted in Recipes

Tofu-Chili

Thanks to the weather not knowing if it is Spring or Winter, I am once again able to enjoy a nice bowl of chili before the warm days of Summer. Not only is this high on the clean protein scale but tasty too. I was planning out my meal plans for my health and wellness challenge group I lead and needed healthy recipes but was coming up blank, so I decided to search the Beachbody recipes they offer on their site and found this one, sort of.

I changed it up a little by adding a few things and removing others but all in all I was glad that I was inspired to make a great chili.

cubed tofu with all water removed

Tofu Chili

Serves 4-5, prep 10 minutes, cook time 30 minutes

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup chopped bell pepper or 5 small, sweet peppers

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 extra-firm organic tofu, drained, cubed

1 small can of tomato puree

1 can black beans, drained, rinsed

1 small can dice green chilies

1 cup vegan chicken broth (1 cup of water with 2 tsp of broth base)

The following seasoning per taste, red chili powder, cumin, smoky paprika, cayenne pepper, sea salt, black pepper


  1. Heat a large pot over medium heat; add oil and heat until fragrant.
  2. Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until onion
    is translucent, approximately 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add tofu, chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, cayenne pepper, black pepper,
    and allspice. Turn heat to medium-high and cook until tofu is lightly
    browned and spices smell toasty, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Add tomato puree, beans, green chilies. Bring to a
    simmer and cook for 30 minutes, or until slightly reduced and thickened.
  5. Divide evenly among four serving bowls.
  6. Serve immediately, or store refrigerated in an airtight container for up
    to 5 days,

NOTE:
This is a spicy recipe. To make it less spicy cut the cayenne pepper in half or leave it out.

Posted in Recipes

Peppermint Black Bean Brownies

This is a great recipe to try when you want a delicious, sweet snack but also needing to stay in the nutritious lines. Baking with black beans may sound like a bad thing and a little extreme but they have a mild flavor and are extremely rich, creamy and full of protein plus when you use pure essential oils like Peppermint, Wild Orange, Cinnamon or Lavender you really boost the flavor of the brownie, not to mention you get some great benefits of the essential oil.

I use essential oils daily, take classes and read all I can on how to use them safely, so when I was on doTerra’s site shopping and learning about some issues close to my heart (women’s health) I found this great recipe on their site and thought to share it. This is similar to the black bean cake I have made (also shared on this blog) so I couldn’t wait to try it!

Ingredients

1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed

2 large eggs

¼ cup cocoa powder

⅔ cup honey

⅓ cup coconut oil

½ teaspoon baking powder

Pinch of salt

2–4 drops Peppermint oil less is more with pure essential oils, a little goes a really long way!

¾ cup chocolate chips, divided or depending on the essential oil you put in you can try PeanutButter or white chocolate chips.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Place all ingredients, except for chocolate chips, in blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
  3. Pour batter into large bowl and stir in ½ cup chocolate chips.
  4. Pour into greased 8×8-inch pan and top with ¼ cup chocolate chips.
  5. Bake 30–35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Posted in Recipes

Jackfruit Swiss Pepper Steak

Jackfruit Swiss Pepper Steak

Growing up I did eat some meat and for the most part when I would eat meat, I had such a hard time wanting to chew or swallow it, in fact I’d try and put it in my napkin to through it out.

This meal was different for me, I always enjoyed Swiss pepper steak. It is an older recipe from my childhood, whether my grandma or mom would make it I looked forward to eating this meat for once. So, when I started cooking for my family this was one that I would make for them but stopped for a while when I went to fully vegetarian.

I had tried various substations, but I never could find any that really did it for me, that is until I found jackfruit. This was the game changer! Not only does it make a great substitute for beef, but I think it gives it an even better taste.

Jackfruit is an excellent source for vitamins like B6 and C but it also helps give benefits to people with diabetes, and heart problems just to name a few. Jackfruit helps by lowering cholesterol, blood pressure, aids in maintaining eye health, chronic inflammation. ( as always check with your provider to see how this may or may not help you with your diabetes.)

The list goes on with benefits and to read studies about this amazing fruit is interesting to me, but in short if you are looking for a healthy meal and want to replace the meat in this dish, I think you’ll be surprised at how well jackfruit works and you can always use something other than white rice with it.

Jackfruit Swiss Steak:

Serves 4 , prep and cook time total is 30 minutes

2 cans of jackfruit drained and rinsed

1 15 ounce can crushed tomatoes with garlic and chilis

1 green bell pepper cut in bite sized pices

1 yellow bell pepper cut in bite sized pices

4 cloves of garlic diced

1/2 white onion diced

1 Tablespoon of olive oil

About 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast

Salt and black or white pepper per taste

Rice cooked per package directions (I used Jasmine)

In a large deep skillet on medium to high heat add olive oil, onion, peppers and garlic. Sauté until onion is translucent and the peppers are half cooked then add can tomatoes salt, pepper and nutritional yeast stir together then add the washed and dried jackfruit. Turn to low and simmer for about 15 minutes. Then serve over cooked rice or even quinoa.

(In the traditional recipe with meat you would shake the meat in a flour mixture before cooking it but since this is jackfruit, I left that step out, but I did add the nutritional yeast in for vitamins, taste and a little thickening agent.)

Posted in Recipes

Red Lentil Chili

I have made all sorts of lentil chili. One I came up with is so close to this recipe I found on my streaming service but with one interesting twist that I never have done and that is using coco powder, I have used coco in chili sauce, but I have never just put the powder directly in the chili. This turned out great and the exact reason why I had to share.

This is vegan friendly but so good you’ll forget that part and with all the good nutrition like 19g of fiber and 16g of protein your body will thank you and is great if you are wanting to make your gut happy.

I enjoy being able to come up with my own recipes, but it is great finding healthy recipes with Beachbody, so a big shout out to them.

Red Lentil Chili

Total Time: 30 min. Prep Time: 13 min. Cooking Time: 17 min.

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp. + 2 tsp. olive oil
1 cup / 160 g chopped onion (approx. ¾ medium)
1 cup / 150 g chopped red bell peppers
(approx. 1½ medium)
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 Tbsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. + 1½ tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. ground smoked paprika
1 tsp. garlic powder
1½ cups / 285 g cooked red lentils
1½ cups / 255 g cooked unsalted kidney beans,
drained, rinsed
1 cup / 250 g all-natural tomato puree
1 cup / 240 ml water
1 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
¾ tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan salt)

  1. Heat oil in a medium pot over medium heat.
  2. Add onion, bell peppers, and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until onion is translucent and bell
    peppers soften.
  3. Add chili powder, cumin, paprika, and garlic powder; cook, stirring continuously, for 30 seconds.
  4. Add lentils, beans, tomato puree, water, cocoa powder, maple syrup, and salt; stir to combine. Bring to a gentle boil;
    reduce heat to medium-low. Gently boil, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes. Enjoy!
    Nutritional Information (per serving):
    Calories: 347 Cholesterol: 0 mg (Fixate Recipes by Beachbody)
Posted in Recipes

Eggplant Parmesan

IMG_3496 (1)

I just love eggplant it was not love at first sight so to speak. Growing up I was the one that would be the last at the table because I had an appetite of a football team, so to me eggplant was just something to fill my stomach, I did not appreciate how great it was until I got older. It was a taste that grew on me.

I enjoy eggplant parmesan made ” the correct way” but I try not to eat or make fried foods too often, so I bake the eggplant instead of frying it. I also have a love affair with cheese so I add a few different ones yes, I know counterproductive with trying to be healthy and not eating fried foods but what can I say, I love cheese.

Depending on your family size you might need to make more or less. I make it just for me and love warmups, so it’s all up to you.

To draw the moisture out of the eggplant and some say the bitterness. Cut up the eggplant put on a cookie sheet or large platter sprinkle with salt on both sides. Let set for about 30 minutes rinse and pat dry. I have done this and left this step out, to me it’s not a noticeable difference.

Eggplant

Marinara sauce (I make mine but any from the store you like works great)

1-2 cups breadcrumbs

1/4 cups nutritional yeast flakes

1 egg

Parmesan, mozzarella and feta cheese

Pre heat oven to 450

Cut and if you like peal eggplant set aside. Add breadcrumbs and nutritional yeast flakes to a bowl.  In a different bowl add egg and a tablespoon of water together and mix well.

Now dip the eggplant in the egg mixture then roll in the breadcrumb mix, place on cookie sheet. Continue this until all eggplant is covered and on the cookie sheet.

Cook for about 30 minutes at 450 turning the eggplant half way.

In a casserole dish put in marinara sauce just enough to cover the bottom. Place backed eggplant on top of sauce add cheese then eggplant. cover with marinara sauce sprinkle with more cheese. Bake on a lower temperature at 350 for about 30 more minutes. When it is bubbling and the cheese is slightly brown you know it is done. Take out let cool, then enjoy.

Posted in Recipes

Jackfruit Street Tacos

I enjoy trying all sorts of foods but when I made these tacos I was amazed and really happy with them so I thought I’d share. I was late to try jackfruit because it seemed like such a big chore just to get to the meat of the fruit and I was cautious trying the can, my normal adventures self just wasn’t having it. Then I really wanted to make a nice Irish stew so I broke down and bought a can and wondered why I hadn’t done it sooner, I mean really this stuff is great.

(Check out my previous post on jackfruit BBQ sandwiches and you will see that this great little fruit will shred like pork, because of this great shredding ability that takes on basically any flavor makes this a great substitution in recipes.)

Jackfruit also know as jack tree are in the same family of trees as the mulberry and fig and they come from southern India/Malaysia rainforest as well as a few other areas of even Brazil and Africa, pretty neat to me, but what is helpful to know is just how healthy is it?

Low in calories with easy to digest sugars, great fiber, high amounts of vitamin C, A and has B complex which is rare in a fruit plus it is paired up with iron, potassium and magnesium. Just one thing this amazing fruit does with all this great goodness is it’s great at regulating the heart rate and blood pressure and who doesn’t need help in those areas?

This recipe takes only about half an hour with not to many ingredients plus when it gets hot the potassium will help in retaining fluid, hello great summer dish.

Jackfruit Street Tacos:

Serving 3-4 people, prep and cook time about 30 minutes

1 can of Jackfruit drained and patted down

1 small onion

1 can of diced Green Chilies

4-5 cloves of Garlic diced

1 8 ounce can of tomato sauce

1-2 cups of Grated Cheese

2 Cups of Shredded Lettuce

1-2 Tomatoes diced

1-2 Avocados diced

Cilantro diced

1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil

8-10 White corn Tortillas

The following per taste Chili Powder, Cumin Powder, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Salt,

On med/high heat add olive oil to the skillet then diced onion and garlic. Sauté for a few minutes until you can start to smell the onion and garlic then add the diced green chilis, seasonings sautéing for a few more minutes then add the tomato sauce ( if you like more of a saucy taco add more than stated) simmer on low for about 5 minutes. While you are letting the sauce simmer chop the lettuce, tomato, cilantro and avocado. After about 5 minutes add the drained padded down jack fruit to the sauce and let it simmer together for about 10-15 minutes, you may want to stir and separate the jackfruit so that it is more of a shredded taco mixture. While the taco mixture is simmering on low finish cutting up the condiments and warm up the white corn tortillas.( to warm the tortillas wrap them in a damp cloth and microwave them per your microwave settings)

To serve, place small spoonful amounts of taco mixture on individual warm white tortillas, add shredded cheese, lettuce, tomato, cilantro and avocado, now enjoy!

Side note, my next eBook is going to be all about tacos! I will have this and a lot more recipes! Please be on the lookout for that next eBook coming soon.

Posted in Recipes

Nacho Soup

I have a great store near me that I enjoy going to for the savings. They may have a lot of different shipments every week on a lot of their items but for me that’s half the fun, then through in a great bargain and now you may understand why it’s one of my favorite stores. So, when I was at this store looking for deals for the items that were on my list, I came across a seven pound can refried beans at a price you’d pay for the small can, I couldn’t pass it up.

The only problem was to use up the can without making my family sick or ready to take over the cooking, or maybe that wouldn’t be too bad, I could use a vacation.

I decided to start off with a soup, so I came up with this soup with hope to take care of half the can but turned out I wasn’t that lucky, but almost and I did come up with tasty soup even my grandson liked.

Nacho Soup:

Prep time 10 minutes Cook time 20 minutes

Ingredients:

3 cans of vegetarian refried beans

2 cups of vegan chicken broth or per desired consistency (you may use water and vegan chicken bouillon)

4-5 green onions diced

3-4 cloves of garlic diced

1 cup verde salsa

1/2 cup red salsa

Salt, Black and Red pepper, Cumin, garlic, onion powder per taste

4-5 pieces of vegetarian bacon brown to a nice crisp and broken into pieces

1-2 Tablespoons of olive oils

Toppings:

Avocado cut into bite size pieces

Cherry Tomatoes cut in half

Cilantro

Shredded Cheese

Corn Chips

In a large pot over medium/high heat add olive oil, green onion, garlic and seasonings simmering for a few minutes. Now add red and green salsa simmering for a few more minutes then add beans and broth, turn to a low simmer for about 20 minutes.

While the soup is simmering cut up avocado, cilantro and tomatoes and brown the vegetarian bacon then break up in pieces.

Toppings for soup

Ladle the soup into bowls, add the toppings of your choice, now enjoy!

Posted in Recipes

Sheet Pan Veggie Bowls

I know winter foods can sometimes be less colorful than the beautiful and fresh foods of Summer, but I found part of this recipe on my fitness streaming service (Beachbody) and yes, even with me changing somethings by adding or taking away items it got me thinking of a nice winter Buda bowl. This winter bowl is not only full of color but so very tasty with 15 grams of protein and is loaded with fiber.

Plus, with this being the Monday after the Super Bowl maybe we should call this a superbowl wink wink with winners all around because you get a nice healthy dinner after all the Super Bowl party eating you may have done.

 Sheet pan veggie bowl:

Prep time 20 minutes Cook Time 35

  Ingredients

  • 3 medium beets, peeled, sliced
  • 2 small, sweet potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 4 tsp. olive oil, divided use
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin, divided use
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 cups Brussels sprouts, cut in half lengthwise
  • ½ medium avocado, cut into chunks
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp of garlic paste
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 cups quinoa
  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 2 cups kale spring mix
  • 1 (15-oz.) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained, rinsed
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds
  • Crumbled goat cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425º F.
  2. Place beets, sweet potato and Brussels sprouts on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with ½ tsp. oil, salt and pepper (if desired).
  3. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes; stir.
  4. While vegetables are baking make dressing by placing avocado, lime juice, remaining 3 tsp. oil, garlic, onion powder, cumin, and salt in blender (or food processor); cover. Blend until smooth. Set aside.  (If it’s to firm add just a little water)
  5. Evenly divide rice, quinoa between four serving bowls. Evenly top with kale spring mix, chickpeas, roasted vegetables, dressing, almonds, and sunflower seeds and if desired goat cheese, then serve immediately and enjoy. 
Posted in Recipes

Vegetarian French Onion Soup

I write so often on soup or how much I enjoy it, so when my daughter mentioned French onion soup sounded good, I had to jump on that thought! Since I choose to not eat meat or use any part of the animal you may think I will miss out on a good bowl since a nice base and caramelizing the onions make or break this soup, but in my opinion if you do the vegetarian verson right it can be so delicious.

As you can see, I bought vegetable stock making this a faster version.

Caramelize the onions, it may take some time, but it is worth it.

After you caramelize your onions you may add them in a slow cooker, (what a great smell and dish to come to home.)

Then add your vegetable base to your onions, a vegetarian friendly browning sauce, then let simmer on low all day.

Vegetarian French Onion Soup:

2 32 ounces of good vegetable stock base

6 yellow onions

2 Tablespoon of olive oil

2 Tablespoons of butter

1-2 Teaspoons of sugar

1-2 Tablespoons of vegetarian friendly browning sauce

In a large pot over medium/high heat add your olive oil and butter then your onions. Cook your onions, you can use some salt to draw out your moisture but for me halfway through cooking the onions I add a little sugar then finished the process. To caramelize the onions, it can take at least 20 minutes, so don’t rush it all you have to do is watch and occasionally stir the onions around the pan.

After you are done with the onions remove from heat and pour them in a slow cooker, add base and browning sauce. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

If you are finishing the soup on the stove top, turn to a low simmer add base and browning sauce. Cover letting simmer on low for about 1 1/2 hours.

Pour in bowls top with gruyere cheese or mozzarella, provolone, parmesan is a few substitutions for the gruyere, but you can substitute any cheese you like best.

If you would like, pour soup in bowls that can take a broiler then when you top the soup with cheese place in the broiler for a few minutes until the cheese is nice lightly brown and bubbly

This soup is so delicious with a baguette, but however you have it enjoy!

Posted in Recipes

5 tips for Overnight Oats

I don’t know if I am the only one who at the beginning of the month, I look to see what we celebrate or bring attention to for the month, so when January began, I noticed that it is national oatmeal month. I got a little excited because I enjoy a nice bowl of oatmeal every morning. I top it with nuts, dried or fresh fruit, ground flax or chia seed. I find it filling and a good start even in the summer.

I have heard of overnight oats but since I only have had them once I may not be the best to give tips, but this is what I found to be helpful.

Plus, this might help you get to loving good old oatmeal in the morning too.

Overnight oats as the name states are oats that sit overnight slowly absorbing liquid and softening the oats to form a pudding type of texture. So, you get to start the day off with pudding so to speak and you start it off feeling fuller, so you won’t want to be grabbing for things to eat that are empty calories. They also help with your blood sugar levels, constipation and keeps your hunger hormones happy so you are the happy version of you and not hangry.

Step 1

Pick a container, like a jar with a lid or a bowl is fine too. You just want a container that will hold the ingredients and can seal shut. A mason jar is just a cute and easy on the go type.

Step 2

Add the oats (make sure you add rolled oats, instant tend to get to mushy) and you also can add the chia seeds too but if you do make sure to add a little more liquid because the chia seeds will absorb a lot more than oats do but they also give the oats a creamer texter and add a little more protein. Oats

Step 3

Liquid, you may find a non-dairy liquid works best but that is up to you. You may also use yogurt, if you use Greek yogurt which adds a little more protein you will want to add a little extra liquid like unsweetened plant/nut base milk to thin it out. It is always good to stir the dry ingredients and add more so you don’t end up with dry oats.

Step 4

Flavor Enhancers

A little bit of sweet flavor like, Pure maple syrup, honey or jam. You could also use a flavored protein powder or a nut butter.

Wanting more of a savory flavor, try bacon crumbles, green onions or a little shredded cheese with the plain Greek yogurt.

Step 5

More add ins Like fruit or nuts if you are doing a sweet flavor. Sticking with the savory how about starting you day off with some veggies, like carrots, mushrooms, chickpeas or an egg (if you do use an egg you need to cook the day of)

The ideas can be endless, and you can have a lot of fun with figuring out what works best. Regardless of what variations you try at least you know that you are giving yourself a good healthy start.