Spicy Vegetarian Chili

Ingredients:

·       1 tablespoon vegetable oil

·       1 large onion, chopped

·       4 cloves garlic, minced

·       2 cups red bell pepper, diced (about 2 peppers)

·       2 cans (14.5-oz) diced and fire roasted tomatoes with organic green chiles

·       1/4 cup chili powder

·       1 cup mushrooms

·       1 tablespoon ground cumin

·       1/4 tsp cinnamon

·       1 1/2 teaspoon salt

·       1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

·       2 cups vegetable (chicken or beef) broth, or water

·       1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, drained

·       1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained

·       1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, drained

·       Top with cilantro

 

Preparation:

1.     In a large pot, over med-high heat, add in the oil, onion, garlic, mushrooms and peppers and sauté for about 5 minutes.  

2.     Add all remaining ingredients, except the beans, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Add the beans and cook for 15 minutes more. Water can be added during the cooking to adjust for thinner or thicker chili.

3.     Serve on a bed of greens and enjoy! :) 

 For an extra tasty treat, add some Diaya (vegan) cheese to the top of your bowl!

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Quick Quinoa

Quinoa is such a versatile grain that tastes great with just about anything you add in! And its considered a "superfood" for all of the nutrition it contains - a complete protein, healthy fats, fiber, B vitamins and loads of minerals - including iron. There are SO many different ways to prepare quinoa, but here's a quick and easy recipe to start.

*Note: my recipes for quinoa vary upon what vegetables are in my fridge. ALL veggies taste great with quinoa (even beets, which I quickly realized turn the WHOLE dish pink), so feel free to add in whatever you have!

Ingredients:

2 cups cooked quinoa (cooked in 4 cups water - bring to a boil and then allow to simmer until all water is gone)

1 cup chopped carrots

1 cup chopped tomatoes

1 cup chopped zucchini

1/2 cup cilantro

1/2 cup lemon juice

2 tbsp sesame oil (or olive oil)

1 can garbanzo beans

Directions:

While quinoa is cooking, chop up vegetables.  Allow quinoa to cool after cooking and mix chopped veggies in with quinoa! Serve and enjoy :)

*This picture is my leftover quinoa brought to the office the next day - garnished with 1/2 of an avocado and nutritional yeast... YUM! :)

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Spicy Creamy Vegan Quinoa

This quick and easy recipe is really a combination of two previous posts.  First, I made some Quick Quinoa (with a few variations - pictured dish has peppers, beans, onions & zucchini) and found it missing something... it just seemed too bland! 

So to spice things up a bit, I added the delicious "dressing" Vegan Zesty Ranch to give it some spice and add a creamy texture. And VOILA - delicious!

Perfect lunch, dinner, or even anytime snack. Quinoa is a great snack since it is a complete protein - and very easily transportable in Tupperware! And to add some extra nutrients - try eating your quinoa on a bed of greens :) 

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Spaghetti Squash Pasta!

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*Pictured above: cooked spaghetti squash with pasta sauce (I used Trader Joe's Organic Marinara) and topped with fresh basil.  

Spaghetti squash is an often overlooked alternative to pasta! Great for diabetics who are looking to decrease their carbohydrates and for anyone looking to eat gluten free. This tasty dish is also high in fiber and low in calories (just 40 calories for a CUP of spaghetti squash).

Here's how to make you spaghetti squash a delicious pasta!

Step 1: Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. And for the most difficult step - to cut the squash open length-wise, you've got to use some muscles!  After breaking open, clean out the seeds and guts (you can also set aside seeds for baking later).

Step 2. Flip squash (cut side down) in about 1/2 inch of water in a baking pan.  Put in oven to bake for about 45 minutes.

Step 3. Take out of oven and pull apart with fork to check if finished cooking.  When finished, the "spaghetti" strands will pull apart easily when fork combs through. 

Step 4. When finished cooking, top with your favorite spaghetti toppings - tomato sauce, sauteed veggies, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, etc - and ENJOY! 

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Hearty and Warming Bone Broth Beef Stew

There are two steps to this delicious and hearty dish! First is to make the bone broth (takes about 12 hours to let simmer), and second is to create the stew.

We'll start with step one - the BONE BROTH:


Did you know...? Bone broth is one of the most mineral rich source of nourishment for humankind throughout the ages! It is a traditional remedy across cultures for the sick and weak. A classic folk treatment for colds and flu, it has also been used historically for ailments that affect connective tissues such as the GI tract, joints, skin, lungs, muscle, bones and blood. Bone broth is a valuable food and valuable medicine!

It contains nutrients from both the bone and cartilage of the animal, including:

·       Protein

·       Minerals: magnesium, sodium, calcium, sulfur, potassium, phosphorus, fluoride

·       Amino acids: proline, lysine, glycine

·       And several other nutrients great for joints and connective tissue (including intestines): keratin sulfate, hyaluronic acid, hydroxyproline, hydroxylysine and chondroitin sulfate

Ingredients:

Bones - from poultry, fish, beef or lamb (can be cooked bones, raw bones, a whole carcass, or just parts)
Water - cold water, enough to just cover the bones OR 2 cups water per 1 lb bones
Vinegar (apple cider, red or white wine, rice or balsamic vinegar) - a splash, or 2 tbsp per quart water

Directions:

Combine bones, water and vinegar in a pot or crockpot. Bring to a simmer, remove any scum that has risen to the top, reduce heat and simmer (anywhere from 6-48 hours for chicken, 12-72 hours for beef).

If using a crockpot, you can put it on a "low" setting and just walk away for 12-24 hours.

Strain broth through a colander or sieve, lined with cheesecloth for a clearer broth. Discard the bones.

If you wish to remove the fat for use in gravy, use a gravy separator while broth is warm, or skim the fat off the top once refrigerated. Broth may be frozen for months or kept in the refrigerator for about 5 days.

Bone broth can also be used for: cooking liquid (instead of water, add to rice, beans or other grains), gravy, or tea.

Reference for bone broth: Soaring Crane Natural Health.

Part 2: Stew Making!

Start with 4 cups of pre-made bone broth and add the following either into a large pot or crockpot: 

·       3 carrots

·       1 onion

·       3 celery stalks

·       1 red pepper

·       3 cups kale

·       1 lb boneless beef in 1" cubes (I found some pre-chopped at Trader Joes)

·       1 can, 14 oz stewed tomatoes

·       2 cups mushrooms

·       4 cloves, minced

If making in crock pot, add in all ingredients and cover.  Cook on Low setting for 10 to 12 hours, or on High setting for 4 to 6 hours.

If short on time and cooking in regular pot, first add 2 tbsp olive oil and simmer beef, onions and garlic on medium heat and cook until beef is browned. Then add bone broth and veggies and allow to simmer until carrots are soft (about 30 min).

Enjoy by eating slowly and letting the stew warm your bones!

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Creamy, Quick and Easy Lentil Soup

Ingredients:

• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 3 medium celery stalks, chopped
• 3 medium carrots, chopped
• 1/2 medium yellow onion, small dice
• 4 medium garlic cloves, minced
• 1 quart low-sodium vegetable broth
• 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes with their juices
• 1 1/4 cups lentils (any color except red), soaked overnight
• juice from 1 lemon
• 1 cup parsley
• 3 cups kale, remove stems and chopped into 3" pieces
• Kosher salt
• Black pepper

Instructions:

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering, about 3 minutes. Add the celery, carrots, and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add the broth, tomatoes with their juices and lentils and stir to combine. Cover and bring to a simmer, about 15 minutes. Once simmering, reduce the heat to low and continue simmering, covered, until the lentils and vegetables are soft, about 15 minutes more.

Taste and season with more salt or pepper as needed, then stir in the lemon juice. Add the kale and parsley and stir until wilted. If you prefer a creamier texture, purée half of the soup in a blender and add it back to the pot.

And the best part... top with chopped avocado for an extra creamy texture and delicious flavor! 

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Quick Rainbow Rice (Turmeric Ginger Veggie Rice)

One key to making quick and easy meals is making large batches! This recipe makes over 12 cups of rice, which is great for on-the-go meals. Another time saving tip is to use pre-cut (and washed) frozen veggies. 

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Ingredients:

·       4 cups (uncooked) Basmati rice

·       3 tbsp garlic infused oil (or olive oil)

·       1 lb frozen mixed vegetables (carrots, corn & peas)

·       1 cup diced bell peppers (can be frozen or freshly cut)

·       1 & 1/2 tsp powdered ginger

·       1 tbsp turmeric

·       1/2 tsp chili powder

·       1/2 tsp red chili pepper

·       2 tbsp liquid aminos/Tamari or gluten free soy sauce

·       Optional: cilantro, sausage slices or pumpkin seeds 

 

Directions:

1. Cook 4 cups of rinsed Basmati rice (rinse to reduce arsenic). I like to use a rice cooker so I don't need to keep an eye on it. 

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2. While rice is cooking, pour the garlic infused oil in a saute pan and saute vegetables for about 5 minutes. 

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3. Add rice to veggies in sauce pan and mix in spices. Let simmer on low for about another 5 minutes.

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4. Dish out and add optional toppings - I enjoy the jalapeno chicken sausages from Trader Joe's. I also am a huge fan of cilantro and love this combination!

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5. Enjoy! Save extras in glass containers for storage and later enjoyment. 

Butternut Squash Chili

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This is one of my favorite cold weather meals! This delicious butternut squash chili can easily be made vegan or vegetarian (by leaving out meat and swapping bone broth for veggie broth). Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 3 tsp olive oil

  • 1 pound ground turkey (or can leave out to make vegetarian or vegan)

  • 1 medium onion, diced

  • ¼ cup chili powder

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin

  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander

  • 6 oz can of tomato paste

  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded & cut into ½ inch cubes (about 4 cups) OR if you’d like an “easy button” Trader Joe’s and Costco have organic pre-peeled and cubed butternut squash ready to go!

  • Fire roasted tomatoes (14.5 oz can)

  • Great Northern beans (14 oz can), drained & rinsed

  • Black beans (14 oz can), drained & rinsed

  • ¼ cup chia seeds

  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves

  • 1 teaspoon  sea salt

  • 4 cups bone broth (or veggie broth)

Directions:

1. Heat 1.5 teaspoons of olive oil over medium high heat. Add the turkey and cook, breaking up chunks with the side of a wooden spoon, until browned, about 5 minutes.

2. Push the turkey to the edges of the pan, leaving the middle empty. Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining 1.5 tsp of olive oil and add the onion to cook until it softens, about 3 min.

3. Add the chili powder, cumin, and coriander and stir about 30 seconds. Add the tomato paste and 1 teaspoon salt and stir until the paste begins to darken in color, about 30 seconds. Then add the squash, tomatoes and 4 cups bone broth (or chicken broth), scraping the bottom of the pan to release anything stuck.

4. Bring to a simmer, adjust the heat if needed, and cook until the chili has thickened and the squash is tender, about 35-40 minutes.

5. Stir the beans and chia seeds into the chili and heat through, about 5 minutes. Season with an additional ½ teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. Then taste the chili and stir in tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. Spoon the chili into bowls and top each with cilantro.

*My go-to add-in’s include: avocado pieces, dairy free cheese (Daiya is my fave!) and topping or scooping out with organic corn chips!

Spaghetti Squash "Pasta"

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Spaghetti squash is an often overlooked alternative to pasta! Great for diabetics who are looking to decrease their carbohydrates and for anyone looking to eat gluten free. This tasty dish is also high in fiber and low in calories (just 40 calories for a CUP of spaghetti squash).

Here's how to make you spaghetti squash a delicious pasta!

Step 1: Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. And for the most difficult step - to cut the squash open length-wise, you've got to use some muscles!  After breaking open, clean out the seeds and guts (you can also set aside seeds for baking later).

Step 2. Flip squash (cut side down) in about 1/2 inch of water in a baking pan.  Put in oven to bake for about 45 minutes.

Step 3. Take out of oven and pull apart with fork to check if finished cooking.  When finished, the "spaghetti" strands will pull apart easily when fork combs through. 

Step 4. When finished cooking, top with your favorite spaghetti toppings - tomato sauce, meat sauce, sauteed veggies, salt, pepper, etc - and ENJOY! 

Cauliflower "Pizza" Crust

Not only is this crust gluten free, but also grain and yeast free and delicious!! Super easy to make, and low in carbohydrates. 

 
Ingredients:

·         2.5 cups ground cauliflower florets (about 1 small head)

·         1 cup almond flour

·         3 eggs

·         4 cloves garlic, minced

·         2 teaspoons onion powder

·         2 teaspoons dried oregano

·         Toppings: may include: Daiya (vegan cheese), sausage (or chicken sausage), sauteed spinach/onions, tomato sauce or any of your favorite pizza toppings!)

 

Directions:

1.       Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. 

2.       Chop cauliflower and throw in food processor until consistency is not pureed, but still chopped. Put chopped cauliflower in cheesecloth (or you can use paper towels) to drain water from cauliflower. 

3.       Whisk 3 eggs together and mix the rest of the crust ingredients together and form into a ball.  It shouldn't be too wet at this point but If it’s too sticky to handle add more almond flour. Gently knead it a few times, adding some almond flour on top if necessary to help it come together. (note – this will NOT resemble regular pizza dough – it won’t be as easy or pliable to work with – that’s okay).

4.       Press “dough” ball down onto a pizza stone or baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Gently mold into a circle, dusting a bit more flour if it makes it easier for you to work with. I was able to lift mine up and flip it over a few times to get it to spread (if yours sticks and you can’t lift it off the pan, it’s still ok). Try to spread it to be a little less than 1/4 inch thick.


5.       Crust needs to be baked for 25-30 minutes total, and then top with your favorite toppings and sauces! If you’re making a pizza with cheese or tomato sauce, bake crust for approx. 15 minutes, then top with sauce and other toppings and bake for 10-15 minutes more. (oven times may vary depending on your oven or consistency of your “dough”). ENJOY!

 

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Cauliflower

Not pureed, but chopped fine

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note – this will NOT resemble regular pizza dough – it won’t be as easy or pliable to work with – that’s ok

Spread it to be a little less than 1/4 inch thick before baking.

Add your Favorite Pizza Toppings… and enjoy

Add your Favorite Pizza Toppings… and enjoy