Posted in Recipes

Polenta Zucchini Lasagna

Whether you have a garden or not I think we all know what time of year this is. It is that time of year when zucchini is everywhere and those who have a garden start making list of friends, family or even enemies they can give this Italian squash to. It’s almost like when a you start a work at home business but this time people don’t run as fast from you.

So if you have been blessed with zucchini and looking for a way that is a little different than the normal wonderful breads and muffins todays recipe is for you.

I came up with this recipe because I was blessed with a lot of zucchini but wanting lasagna and loving polenta I thought that I would mix fresh ingredients with store bought so I could have a quick but tasty dinner and I even used a microwave so I wouldn’t heat up my house because a massive heat wave is still with me.

I like to grate my zucchini and put in freezer bags so I can have it ready for cooking or baking at a latter date.

Polenta Zucchini Lasagna:

1 18 ounce tubed polenta sliced

1 jar of marinara of your choice

1 bag of Italian blend shredded cheese

Hand full of small fresh tomatoes cubed

2 cups of mushrooms sliced

4 green onions sliced

1 to 1 1/2 cups of shredded zucchini

1-2 Tablespoon of garlic paste

Salt and pepper per taste

Do not cover bake 350 for about 30-40 minutes until bubbly and cheese is lightly brown or if you would like microwave for 10-12 minutes covered with microwave cover so you don’t have the splatter of the marinara all over your microwave but check your settings for best times, they will vary. When using a microwave it works out great but you don’t get the browning of the cheese like the oven.

You may like to top with shredded parmesan cheese when serving. Enjoy!

Posted in Recipes

Roosted Pepper Taco

Today’s recipe as promised, is another way to use roasted peppers. I enjoy making ingredients for one dinner but reaping the benefits the next night for a different dish. This not only helps on nights when you are short on time but you also get to make use of the ingredients so they don’t just sit in the refrigerator.

I mentioned in my previous blog post how to roast peppers but it’s always nice to have a refresher.

All you need now are small white corn tortillas, (cheese if desired )

On your plate….place a spoonful of roasted chickpeas on a warm white corn tortilla add you roasted pepper mixture then enjoy!

Posted in Recipes

Roasted Pepper Gazpacho

This recipe was inspired by a fellow blogger whom I follow and enjoy reading, she always has such great recipes. Please check her out at Dorothy’s New Vintage Kitchen ( vintagekitchen.org)

Gazpacho is a great chilled Spanish soup that is a blend of raw vegetables so I guess that since half my vegetables are roasted then this isn’t a true Gazpacho some may say but you be the judge, it is very tasty and the base/main ingredients are bread, olive oil, vinegar, garlic, tomato, cucumber so I feel this is a Gazpacho.

I started with a variety of peppers and tomatillos to grill for dinner but I wanted to save half for this soup on the next day, so I will do a different post with my awesome roasted veggies to show how one quick night of cooking can turn out such completely different dinners that are good, easy and so versatile.

Roasted Pepper Gazpacho:

Serving 4-5 adults, prep time about 20 minutes can be less, chill time for soup at least 4 hours

4 cups Tomato juice

1/4 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 plump tomatos cut in large bites

1 roasted poblano pepper sliced

1 roasted sweet red bell pepper sliced

1 jalapeno seeded and cut up the sized doesn’t matter at this point

3 roasted tomatillos sliced

1 large shallot sliced

4-5 cloves of garlic sliced

1/4 cup chopped cilontro

1 English cucumber chopped with peel left on,( I saved 1/4 of it to dice so that I could have some different texture in my pureed soup.)

The following seasoning per taste salt, black pepper, cayenne and ground cumin

In a food processor or blender add fresh veggies (all except the 1/4 cup diced English cucumber) add roasted peppers and tomatillos. Pour tomato juice, olive oil, red wine vinegar and add your seasoning then puree the vegetables. Pour pureed mixture into a large container with the 1/4 cup of diced cucumber, chill in refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

Serve in chilled bowls with avocado toast then enjoy!

Posted in Recipes

Black Bean Street Taco

I wanted to make a different taco the other night but as I got out my tofu and Greek yogurt I noticed I should have used them a few days before my taco Tuesday dinner. If you have read much of my blog you know I like curve balls so this wasn’t to much of a disappointment.

I had the vegetables but needed the protein, so without making a sauce with my Greek yogurt or using tofu I decided to make a faster dinner using a can of black beans.

I am not substituting the black beans thinking they are equal in nutrition to tofu but simply deciding on another healthy option for tacos. Black beans have more folate, riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid. than tofu. Plus they have potassium and of course fiber so this still provides a decent amount of vitamins. Tofu does have less carbs than black beans plus awesome protein, calcium and iron.

I will have to make the tofu tacos on a latter date and maybe you can decided if you like one over the other.

Black Bean Taco:

3-4 servings, prep/cook time 20-30 minutes (depending on how fast you chop the veggies)

1 15 ounce can of Black Beans ( almost drained, leavening about a teaspoon to use when you cook them so they don’t get dry)

1 Jalapeno diced and if you prefer seeds removed

4-5 cloves of Garlic diced

1 small White Onion diced

1/2 head of Romaine Lettuce chopped

1-2 Tomatoes chopped

1-2 cups of shredded mixed Mexican cheese

1-2 Limes cubed for on top of tacos ( you can skip this if you don’t like lime on your taco)

Salt, Black Pepper, ground Cumin per taste

1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil

8-10 small white corn Tortillas

In a large frying pan add olive oil, diced jalapenos, garlic and onion sauté on med/high heat for about 5-8 minutes add the black beans, salt black pepper ground cumin turn down the heat to low simmering for another 10-15 minutes.

As the beans simmer cut up lettuce, tomato. Warm up tortillas and place cheese next to the rest of the toppings.

On white corn tortillas add the bean mixture then top with the cheese, lettuce, tomato then if you desire squeeze lime over the taco then enjoy.

Posted in Recipes

Chilled Cucumber Soup and Chickpea Sandwiches

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I can’t believe it is June already but with the heat wave that is sweeping across my area it feels like August. I was wanting something cool for dinner and decided on chilled cucumber soup and egg salad sandwiches, this time I took pictures of this refreshing soup so I thought I would give new life to this older post.

Chilled soup is so great at keeping a person cool and the chickpea sandwiches are a good different twist when you aren’t in the mood for egg salad.

Cucumbers are low in calories but offer so much help in the heat. They keep you hydrated, give comfort to sunburns or puffy eyes plus a great help with headaches and keeping your blood pressure in healthy range. Buttermilk has some great benefits too like reducing body heat and dehydration. Have some digestion problems? Buttermilk has been shown to help with digestion and even irritable bowels.

The benefits of the ingredients are so many, it’s just amazing how much this soup helps me on a hot day.

Hope this helps cool you down.

Todays recipe is another one to keep you cool and it is perfect when your appetite is a little smaller because of the hot weather. I grew up eating this with a nice egg salad sandwich but sometimes changing it up to chickpeas for protein.

I love the fact that I can make this first thing in the morning and let set in the refrigerator all day waiting for me to come home and just set it out then eat.

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Based on your family size you may need to add or decrease the amounts but for a nice summer meal it’s great.

Chilled Cucumber Soup:

1 quart of buttermilk

1-2 medium cucumbers ( depends on size and how chunky you would like your soup)

Hand full of Green onions or 1 small purple onion ( white onions also work)

Fresh ground pepper and a pinch of salt to taste

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Peel cucumber, chop green onions, great cucumber and if using purple onion grate this as well. In container add grated cucumber and onion, pour in buttermilk add seasoning. Chill for the entire day. Best if served in chilled bowls.

Chickpea Sandwiches:

1 Can of chickpeas washed and drained

Mustard, olive oil mayo ( vegan mayo)

Salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste

Bread of your choice

Pour chickpeas into dish, mash with a fork then add the mustard and mayo enough to make a tasty paste ( think consistency of egg salad ) now season to taste. Refrigerate the when ready make into sandwiches. This will keep well for a few days in the refrigerator.

Posted in Recipes

Southwest Buddha Bowl

Buddha bowls are so easy, as long as you have a grain, veggies and protein you can go so many ways with flavor. Have fun and mix it up is what I like to do. Today’s recipe is short and sweet giving you an idea of a different way to eat this great dish.

Do you want more ideas?

For grain you can do rice, (such a nice variety in just rice alone) quinoa, barley, bulgur and the list can go on but these grains are a great start.

Vegetables think fresh, crunchy and again the sky is the limit here too, with summer coming you could really have fun with all the fresh wonderful veggies.

Now the protein, legumes or beans and again you can have a large choice with beans. Not to split hairs but I used lentils and they are considered a grain legume so have fun deciding on what category they belong in. I choose to just eat a larger portion of lentils so to fill in both my grain and legume. Right or wrong I enjoyed this quick easy meal.

Southwest Buddha Bowl:

For the Lentils:

1 cup dry lentils

2 cups water

1 jalapeno seeds removed and diced

1 small white onion diced

1 small tomato diced

cumin, salt, lime juice to taste and a pinch of sugar

In a sauce pan add washed lentil, water and the remaining ingredients cover and cook for about 45 minutes or until the lentils are done.

Vegetables:

Salad Spring mix per taste

1 red sweet pepper diced

1 orange sweeet pepper diced

1 white onion diced

1 pint of cherry tomatoes

In a bowel place desired amount of lentils and vegetables

Add the toppings/sauce

For the sauce

1 jar of Cashew Cheesy Sauce use per taste ( warmed it up in the microwave)

Plain Greek Yogurt per taste

Now enjoy!

This might not be your usual Buddha bowel but it’s a great easy meal on a Summer night.

Posted in Recipes

Quinoa Zucchini Casserole

This is an older post that I decided to give new life to because we had a slight cool down, so I wanted to have one last casserole before the warm days of summer and cooking light begins.  I also used a crock pot this time. It tasted just as good but it didn’t have the slight browning on top that you get when you bake it in the oven. (As you can see in the picture) This is a warm comfort food that welcomes you when you get home. 

If you choose to use the crock-pot, butter the sides and bottom of the crock-pot then follow the recipe as you would if you are baking it in the oven, but cook on low in the crock-pot for 6-8 hours

 

With my love of casseroles it’s a standing joke with my children on how much I love them and enjoy coming up with new ideas for them, it’s probably the one thing they don’t miss about my cooking now that they are grown.

The other evening as I went to make some stuffed zucchini I thought why not have a casserole instead.

Todays recipe is what I came up with. I didn’t take a picture because I was so wrapped up in cooking that I forgot but this recipe is defiantly one to try on a cool evening.

4 Cups shredded Zucchini

1 Cup cooked Quinoa

1 small Onion

4 cloves of Garlic

1 small can of diced Green Chilies

3 Eggs

1/2 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt

1 can of Cream of Mushroom Soup

1-2 Cups of Cheeses ( I used med cheddar)

1/4 Cup Bread Crumbs

Salt and Pepper to taste

In a 13×9 lightly greased pan grate zucchini. In small pan sauté onion and garlic until fragrant and translucent then add green chilies sauté a few minutes more.  Pour on top of shredded zucchini. In a small bowel beat eggs, yogurt, half cheese and cream of mushroom soup, salt/pepper then pour mixture on top of zucchini, add rest of cheese and breadcrumbs. Bake at 350 covered for 30 minutes uncover back for about 30 minutes more.

Posted in Recipes

Edamame & Spirulina Spaghetti

I had this kind of pasta noodle awhile ago and thoroughly enjoyed them. Edamame is an immature soybean in the pod but the benefits are still amazing although some may disagree on eating them because they are a green and natural whole food it is up to you to decide.

Edamame is low on carbs and calories but high with clean protein as well as dietary fiber, vitamins A, variations of B, C, E, K , Calcium, Magnesium, potassium. I am sure I messed some more but even these few awesome befits suggest help to the cardiovascular system just to name one great benefit.

Now on to the other great part of this spaghettis noodle spirulina also known as an algae. Yes, you read that right but before you write it off take a look at some great things this little algae can do. It can be cultivated world wide in salt or fresh water plus it contains plant based protein.

I can’t believe all the great things this little algae does. Studies have shown it helps with weight loss, gut health and diabetes, detoxing of heavy materials and help with hyperactivity/ADHD.

Spirulina has the normal vitamins like iron, B6, B12, A, C, magnesium but it has antioxidants, anti-inflammatory benefits. This little algae has so many great benefits its classified as a supper food and if you haven’t already please take a look at spirulina.

This recipe is not hard and is simple and can swap out the basics depending on your taste or what you have around.

Edamame & Spirulina Spaghetti:

Serves 4 (with leftovers) Less than 30 minutes including prep

1 8 ounce box of edamame and spirulina spaghetti

2 medium size roma tomato cut in bite size pieces

4-5 garlic cloves diced

1/2 white onion diced

4 small sweet peppers diced

1 1/4 cup up crushed tomatoes

1-2 tablespoon olive oil

Salt, black pepper, dried oregano, dried parsley per taste and 2 drops of basil essential oil

In a large pot cook spaghetti per package directions. While the noodles are cooking chop/dice garlic, onion, tomato and sweet pepper. In sauté pan on medium/high heat add olive oil, sweet peppers sauté then add onion garlic, diced tomato and seasoning sautéing until onions are translucent then add crushed tomatoes, let simmer then add the drained noodles and toss together then serve. Add parmesan on top if desired.

Posted in Recipes

Chow Mein Tempeh

A few months ago I had the pleasurer of my daughter and her boys moving in with me and because of this I have had to revert back to cooking for more than one. Yes, on Sundays or a weekend here and there we would get together and have dinners but for the most part I would just cook for me. This was something that took getting used to, so when my sweet family came back home I had no idea how it would go but so far just a few hick ups like this dinner all has gone well.

Sure, cooking is shared sometimes ( so awesome) but for the most part I am home so I get to cook and surprise my family. Sometimes it is a good surprise other times I am greeted with looks of really? Todays recipe didn’t disappoint with looks. My daughter bought the tempeh and my grandson loves top ramen ( that is why I used these noodles’ )so I thought (crazy me) this might be a winner of a recipe but it turns out this was one just for the older folks. ( grandsons not approved)

Not letting the little ones detour me I made it anyway and found it was tasty, really easy plus a quick dinner.

Tempeh is fermented soy beans that is high in protein, vitamins, minerals and prebiotics so whether you are a meat eater or not this is a great addition to any meal plus it is so vestal with out the texture tofu has.

Chow Mein Tempeh:

1 8 ounce pack of Tempeh (just plain no added seasoning) slice in large bite size slices

1 8 ounce sliced Cremini Mushrooms

1 handful of Green Onions chopped

4-5 cloves of Garlic diced

1-2 Tablespoon of Olive Oil

2 packages of Top Ramen

Chow Mein Sauce (see below for ingredients to sauce)

In a large skillet add olive oil and sliced tempeh

Sauté tempeh then add rest of ingredients

Sautéing the remainder of the ingredients.

While the remainder of the ingredients are in the pan, cook the top ramen according to the package directions, drain the ramen. In a small bowel make the sauce.

Chow Mein Sauce:

2 Cups of Veggie Broth

1/2 to 1 full Cup of Soy Sauce (per taste)

3-4 Tablespoons of Cornstarch

1/4 Cup of raw Honey

3-4 Tablespoons of blackstrap Molasses

1-2 Teaspoons of Asian style Hot Sauce

1/2 to1 full Teaspoon of powder ginger (per taste)

Add sauce and noodles’, let simmer on low to thicken a few minutes.

Serve over Rice

Posted in Recipes

Poor Man’s Rice Pudding

As a kid I would get so excited when my mom made rice pudding, it has always been a type of comfort food for me and I find the simpler the recipe the better, especially old fashion custard with raisins but since rice pudding is from all over the world I like to taste the different variations that are made and haven’t found one I don’t like.

I was in one of those moods to eat rice pudding. Giving up processed sugar for Lent didn’t deter me and since I wouldn’t be eating it I could try a new recipe out for my family, just testing the waters so to speak so when I did eat sugar again I would make it if they liked it.

You might have guessed they liked it so I decided to share it and will make it again soon (can’t wait!) I found this recipe in a very old cookbook my mom gave me years ago.

The copyright is 1945, some of the recipes may be out of date making for an interesting read and giving a lesson in not having a lot of luxuries but making the most of what you have and turning it into something special with hard work. I can really appreciate and respect that.

Todays recipe is simple, with no eggs and according to my family very tasty.

Poor Man’s Rice Pudding:

1/4 cup of rice – pinch of salt

3 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon butter

1 quart milk

Wash rice well and put it in a baking dish with the salt, sugar and butter. Pour the milk over and bake in slow oven (275-300) at least two and a half hours, stirring rice twice during the first hour.

Serves 4

I used oat milk, vegan butter but that was my preference and per my family tasted great.