Posted in Recipes

Polenta Meatball Lasagna

I know I am on a polenta kick, but I figure if it’s something as good as polenta then why not, plus I bought a few rolls to make the polenta chips (see previous blog post). So, when I had spaghetti and veggie meatballs for dinner with enough sauce and meatballs to feed a small army and I picked my last little bell pepper from my garden, so I wanted to use all my ingredients up without zucchini for once. I’m sure if I did use zucchini this would be even better, but I knew my family would thank me for leaving it out.

I also was glad we started having cooler weather, so I could enjoy eating a warm meal in the evening instead of drinking my dinner like I have to do in the summer. In the summer I cook and eat a larger lunch because with my pots the heat makes it too hard on my heart to eat a warm large meal in the evening.

This is a fast dish because I had everything already done but if you need to make the sauce, meatballs and polenta it will add a lot more time.

Polenta Meatball Lasagna:

1 roll of polenta

1 jar of marinara or the equivalent to one jar homemade

10 small meatless meatballs (or meat if you prefer)

1 small green bell pepper chopped

1/2 white onion chopped

3-4 garlic cloves diced

1-2 Cups of grated mozzarella cheese

Sauté onion, pepper and garlic then add meatballs and a little sauce to simmer together for a few minutes.

Spread sauce onto bottom of a 11×9 pan lay cut polenta on top of sauce then place meatball mixture on top of polenta, add cheese then layer like a lasagna
After you layer polenta and filling top with remaining sauce and cheese then bake 350 uncovered for about 30 minutes
Serve, top with parmesan and enjoy
Posted in Recipes

Polenta Chips

I wish I was the genius that came up with this great side dish/snack, but I am not. I was watching PBS, (yes, I am one of those) I believe it was the Jazzy Vegetarian who gave me the idea for this great recipe. She made these chips for a side to her veggie burgers, and I thought that I would share how it went when I made this recipe.

Polenta is low in fat and when you bake these chips instead of frying them you get even more of a health benefit. Plus, polenta is rich in complex carbohydrates so higher in nutrition slower to digest so you stay full, and because of the slow digestion rate your blood sugar doesn’t have that big swing of a simple carb. A few other benefits you may not know is polenta is a soluble fiber so you gut will be happy while the zinc, iron, magnesium and vitamin A really give this nice different side a lot of great health benefits.

If you don’t make your own polenta and you buy it in the roll this makes a very quick side or great snack in a short amount of time, but you still get the health benefits

Polenta Chips:

(Depending on how many you would like you may use more than one already made roll)

1 Roll of already made polenta, plain or any flavor you would like

3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

Sea salt per taste

parchment paper, sheet pan (cookie sheet)

Remove packaging from the polenta roll, then with polenta on its side slice the roll in thin round slices. Place the thin slices on the sheet pan that is lined with parchment paper. Brush polenta with olive oil, sprinkle with salt on both sides. Bake at 425 for about 30 minutes flipping the chips halfway through. Remove chips and serve

You may want to serve the chips with a dipping sauce or eat them alone

Dipping sauce

1/2 cup mayonnaise (vegan is awesome)

1/4 cup of tobacco sauce (more or less per your taste)

Mix together

Posted in Recipes

Sweet Potato Brownies

IMG_20190905_162727813

I have such a weakness for brownies. I almost feel like a Dr. Seuss character in “Green Eggs and Ham” except  I would and could eat them everywhere. I have been know to eat a whole pan in one sitting or so my kids say. I don’t confirm or deny it but I can say I have cut back on my consumption these last few years because I have been trying to cut back on eating so much sugar.

So when I was on Facebook and I saw a new recipe from “Vegan strong dad” (you should really check him out) I got so excited and had to try it.

Here it is and I must say they are REALLY tasty!

Sweet potato brownies:

 

1 Cup of mashed sweet potato

1/4 Cup coco powder

1/2 Cup of nut butter of your choice

1/4 Cup maple syrup

 

Combine the above ingredients in a bowl and mix well, pour in 8×8 pan (I didn’t grease it and it didn’t say) Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes.

Yes that is it and then you have semi healthy brownies that are so good that you could eat the whole pan if you choose.

IMG_20190905_162744684

Posted in Recipes

Lentil Sloppy Joes

I had seen a post on Facebook asking about Vegetarian Sloppy Joes and needing a recipe  alternatives to the Morning Star ground. The following post is two years old but after I saw the post and responded to the person on Facebook I got to thinking maybe I should bring back this recipe for those that may have missed it.

Sloppy joes are one of my favorite foods, they are simple and if done right really good. I have experimented with all different meat alternatives but enjoy the health benefits of the lentil full of clean protein and fiber. Lentils are rich in folate, niacin, and vitamin E. As well as a great source of  minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium.

I substitute lentils in so many ways that I usually have some already cooked and ready for me to use in a wide range of foods but if you do not have them on hand. Place preferred amount cleaned and in a pot with just enough water to cover the lentils then cook uncovered for 20-30 minutes. You my season them but when I cook them for the purpose to have them on hand I wait to season them later.

GREAT TIP: I  have found that when I use lentils for meatless meat balls or a meatless ground I mash them slightly and let them dry a little.

I like to use brown or green in this recipe but you may use what ever kind you prefer.

IMG_20180724_170621536

1 – 1/2 cup of cooked lentils slightly mashed (may use more for a large family adjust the following ingredients as well)

1 Tablespoon of olive oil

3 cloves of garlic minced

1/2 small onion diced

4-5 mini sweet peppers diced

1 8 oz can of tomato sauce

1 Teaspoon (vegetarian friendly) Worcestershire sauce

1 Teaspoon of vinegar

1/2 Teaspoon of dry mustard

1 Teaspoon or so of brown sugar

The following per your taste salt, pepper and garlic powder

In a pan add olive oil, garlic, onion and peppers sauté until fragrant and onion is almost translucent. Add lentils cook until lentils start to look a little crisp then add brown sugar and rest of the ingredients. Simmer for about 15 minutes.  Serve on buns or bread, can top with cheese.

Makes about 2-3 large sandwiches depending on size of bun and amount you use for each.

IMG_20180724_170730263

Posted in Recipes

Stuffed Pepper Skillet

I have a surplus of zucchini from my garden this year. I’m not really surprised with my one zucchini plant giving so and boy the fun, I am having with my one plant that is feeding a small city. I give the zucchini away to friends/family or just at my mailbox in a bag marked garden surplus, because sharing is caring and when I have shared all I can I then turn to freezing this great veggie. I cut it in all sorts of ways from lasagna sized noodles to bite sized for soup then shredded for some wonderful bread or muffins plus using it freshly cut from the garden. So, today’s recipe is inspired by zucchini as you can guess and a few of my other veggies.

I was so excited to have peppers to use that I knew I would make an easy one pot kind of meal. I love stuffed peppers but didn’t have enough (at least not yet) to make a whole meal with them plus I had Anaheim chili to use. These peppers are mild on any scale but give a nice almost sweet flavor.

Not only do these peppers give a nice flavor but the really are awesome for our bodies. Did you know that Anaheim chili are mostly water, low in fat and bad carbs, so they make a great flavor in cooking for weight loss. These great little peppers also have vitamins like C, K, A and B6 so when you combine them with the bell pepper that is loaded with anti-oxidants and C just to name a few of the great benefits these two peppers have.

If you prefer you may substitute the rice with quinoa or any other grain, you enjoy or agrees with your body better.

After sautéing veggies let simmer for 15-20 minutes before adding the rice.

Stuffed Pepper Skillet:

1 1/2 cup rice cooked according to package directions

1 small zucchini chopped in bite sized pieces

1 small bell pepper chopped in bite sized pieces

2 Anaheim peppers diced

1 small white onion

4-5 garlic cloves diced

1 large can of crushed tomatoes

1 cup of vegan meat crumbles

1-2 tablespoons of olive oil

Salt, black pepper, onion and garlic powder per taste

In a large pot on medium to high heat add olive oil, onion, garlic, zucchini and peppers. Sauté until veggies are tender add seasoning, crushed tomatoes and crumbles. Simmer on low for about 10-15 minutes add cooked rice or other grain of your choice, continue to simmer for about 5 more minutes then take of heat and serve.

Posted in Recipes

Roasted Veggies with Harissa Yoghurt

I made the roasted vegies last year and turned it into a Budda bowl but thought I would share this with the harissa yogurt sauce recipe I found in my challenge workout group. The roasted veggie with the sauce makes a great healthy snack and with back to school a good healthy snack is defiantly needed plus with cooler weather, hopefully around the corner this will make a great appetizer with all the holiday parties that are coming up.

I think you could also exchange the veggies with ones you like better, and I am also thinking that this will be perfect to roast eggplant and zucchini but haven’t tried it yet but with all my zucchini from my garden it will be done soon.

Ingredients For the spiced Veggies:

1 tsp. ground smoked paprika
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
¼ tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan salt)
¼ tsp. ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
1 tsp. Dijon mustard

Depending on the size of your vegetables, use about 8 medium carrots, 5 beets, 24 brussels sprouts, cut in pieces as shown below.


FOR HARISSA YOGURT SAUCE:
2 Tbsp. shelled, unsalted pistachios,
chopped (reserve for garnish)
½ cup reduced-fat plain Greek
yogurt
2 tsp. harissa sauce
1 tsp. lemon zest



Preheat oven to 400° F. Line a large baking sheet with foil or parchment paper; coat
lightly with spray. Set aside.
To make spiced vegetables, add paprika, cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper to a
small bowl; toss to combine. Set aside.
Combine maple syrup and mustard in another small mixing bowl; mix well.
Place veggies on prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with maple syrup mixture; toss
to evenly coat. Sprinkle with spice mixture; toss to coat.
Arrange in an even layer; bake for 35 minutes, turning once, or until soft.


Make harissa yogurt sauce while vegetables cook. Add yogurt, harissa sauce, and
lemon peel to a medium mixing bowl; stir to combine.
Evenly divide veggies onto serving plates, top evenly with yogurt
sauce and pistachios.
Roasted Carrots with Harissa Yoghurt
Time: 42 minutes

Posted in Recipes

Walnut Tacos

Yes, you read that correct. I am always trying different ways to make my meals without using a lot of processed foods and sometimes it turns out then I will share, but then there’s times that I may be the only one that likes it, so I sit on the idea awhile, Like today’s recipe.

I told my mom my idea then her and my dad liked it so with a little more confidence here it is. I like the fact that these tacos can be soft or hard and you can make a larger or smaller amount of the taco mixture depending on your family size.

Plus, when you start cutting out processed foods your body will thank you. Did you know that processed foods lead to digestive problems, insulin resistance can happen, or you may end up eating extra bad carbs and sugars for fillers which lead to fatigue and a lot of other problems.

I am off my soap box now but books on the topic of how processed foods are slowly killing us line the shelves of bookstores and would be more helpful than my blog if you would like to look into that topic.

I can say this that walnuts the star of this dish are loaded with goodness. From plant Omega 3’s, antioxidants and more these great nuts really pack a punch with helping us with aging well, fitting some cancers, lowering rick of diabetes and even blood pressure help. Yes, there is even more these nuts do but I will get to the recipe.

Walnut Taco:

4-6 Cups of crushed walnuts

1 Bell Pepper

1 Chili Pepper of your choice

4-5 cloves of garlic diced

1 small white or purple onion diced

1 can of tomato sauce

1 teaspoon of vegetable bouillon

1-2 tablespoons of Olive Oil

Cummin, Chili powder, Garlic and Onion Powder, all per taste (salt can be added if your Boullioun is low or no sodium)

Taco mixture before tomato sauce is added

Place walnuts in a large bowel then add water to cover them, you will be soaking them over night or at least for 8 hours to soften them so you should also cover your dish and place them in the refrigerator.

After walnuts are soaked, place them in a food processor to finely chop them. Don’t worry they won’t be turned to mush but this is an important step and one I had to do by hand, but it pays off when you cook them.

In a large skillet on medium to high heat add olive oil, pepper, chili, onion and garlic sauté them until the pepper and chili are soft or onion is translucent. Add walnuts sauté a few minutes then add the bouillon, tomato sauce and seasoning. Turn to low add a lid then simmer for about 20-25 minutes.

Serve as a taco salad or in shells with all your favorite toppings. Then enjoy!

Posted in Recipes

Mediterranean Salad (Tabbouleh with a twist!)

If you have noticed I am on a quest for foods that will cool me down and don’t require too much time on my feet or in the kitchen. Summer is one of the hardest times for me because of my pots, (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome) and then in the second running is the extreme cold of winter.

This recipe not only was quick, but I could prepare it as I sat down at my bar. Plus, I found that the mint helped with my nausea that the heat brings on and helps cool me down. Cumbers help with dehydration because they have water, and electrolytes. The quinoa, broccoli and cauliflower rice are in place of bulgur wheat for a nice twist.

Vegan Mediterranean Sadad (TABBOULEH with a twist!)


Serves: 6 (approx. 1 cup each)
Total Time: 15 min. Prep Time: 15 min. Cooking Time: None

1 cup cauliflower rice cooked

1 cup quinoa cooked

1 cup broccoli rice cooked

1 cup fresh parsley, thick stems removed

1 cup cherry tomatoes sliced in half

1 cup cucumber cut in bite sized pieces


½ cup chopped fresh mint leaves


½ cup thinly sliced green onions


¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 Tbsp. lemon juice

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

Himalayan salt and black pepper and feta per taste

  1. Add cauliflower, broccoli, quinoa, that are cooled down. Then parsley, tomatoes, cucumber, mint, green onions, oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper and feta to a large mixing
    bowl; toss to combine. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
Posted in Recipes

Vegetarian Tofu Salad

vegetarian tofu salad

I have been blogging a lot of recipes that are either a frozen treat or no cooking is involved because if you are like me in these dog days of summer the last thing you want is something that heats you up more than you already are.

I went out to breakfast with my daughter recently and noticed chicken salad was a new item on the menu, we both are vegetarians but talked about how much we missed having this old classic sandwich or a scoop on a chef salad. I have made a chickpea salad and it is good, but their great picture of the chicken salad got me wanting a new way to eat an old classic but without the meat.

This is a great alternative to the classic dish, and it has some great health benefits, plus you can swap out ingredients or add ones you like in your chicken salad.

To drain the tofu, place tofu in bowl on top of a towel then crumble it
pull towel around crumbled tofu twist and squeeze until all liquid is removed

when tofu is drained remove from towel, add remaining ingredients

Vegetarian Tofu Salad:


Serves: 3 (approx. 1 cup each)
Total Time: 15 min. Prep Time: 15 min. Cooking Time: None


1 lb. firm tofu, drained, patted dry
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup diced bell pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup sliced green onion
3 tablespoon mayonnaise
3 tablespoon plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
1 1/2 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill (or 1½ tsp. dry dill)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Pink Himalayan salt and ground black pepper per taste

Transfer tofu from towel to a large mixing bowl. Add celery, bell pepper, red onion, green onion, mayonnaise, yogurt, mustard, dill, lemon juice, salt, and
pepper to tofu; toss to combine. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
(Any plain, unsweetened vegan yogurt will work here too like coconut, almond, or soy.)

Posted in Recipes

Cool Summer Treats

Lemon Italian Ice

I think it is safe to say that during summer we are all looking for some taste treats to cool us down. I made these ones with my grandson, so you know not only are they easy to do but less sugar than some that you can buy. Plus, the freezer does most the work.

This first recipe is lemon Italian ice, it’s refreshing without a lot of sugar, and this is a great option if you don’t eat ice-cream. Not a fan of lemon but want to still try this recipe try lime, grapefruit or watermelon. just replace the lemon juice with desired juice of any fresh fruit that you prefer.

Lemon Italian Ice:

2 cups of water

1/4 cup of raw sugar

1 tablespoon lemon zest

1/4 cup of lemon juice

In a medium saucepan on medium to high heat add water and sugar. Stirring until sugar is melted, add lemon zest then let infuse for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes pour mixture over cheese cloth or very small strainer to remove the lemon zest from water and sugar mixture, if you don’t mind the zest skip this and just add lemon juice after the 20-minute cool down mix together then pour in 11×9 pan. (If you don’t have this size then just one that you have is fine but remember this is going in the freezer and the bigger the pan the faster it freezes) Place pan in freezer for about an hour then remove, place pan on counter and using a fork rake the mixture, then place back into the freezer. You will want to do this raking step every half hour after until mixture looks like an “ICE”/ Italian ice. Then serve in small bowls and enjoy.

Now this next teat may even temp those that don’t like bananas, I am not a big fan of frozen bananas, but this tasty treat not only is sweet but a nice healthy treat I found on Pinterest, and this is defiantly not a fail thanks to Avocodo_skillet. (If you want to check them out, they have some really great video recipes to watch and even try.

Banana Twix:

First:

Vegan caramel:

1/4 cup almond butter

2 tablespoons warm melted coconut oil

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon of pure vanilla

In a bowl mix all the above ingredients until smooth.

Rest of ingredients:

Dark Chocolate (melted)

Pink Himalayan salt

Ripe Bananas cut length ways in half then then you’ll need to cut those in half, so you end up with four pieces from one banana. (You may use as many bananas as you want)

Melt dark or milk chocolate in a small pan on medium heat or may use microwave. When I melted my dark chocolate, I also put a few drops of cinnamon essential oils in for a twist, plus for those in my family that haven’t jumped on the whole dark chocolate bandwagon I did some with milk chocolate.

With the cut-up bananas spread the vegan caramel on the 1/4 pieces of banana, drizzle (or if you like it heavier pour a light coat of melted chocolate, sprinkle with salt. Place in freezer for 1-2 hours.

Eat and enjoy!