Delicious Butternut Pasta

Who doesn’t love the sweet, nutty taste of butternut squash? Oven roasted, pureed, or spiralized you can’t beat the taste of this sweet treat. An added bonus is the strong nutritional profile. One cup of cubed squash supplies us with tons of vitamins A and C, and a healthy dose of Magnesium, Vitamin B-6 and calcium too.

This little twist on the traditional pasta dish is delicious and nutritious!

Ingredients

  • 1-2 Butternut squash. Look for long, even squash. The big bulbous part can’t be used here. (see photo below)
  • 1/4 pound whole wheat spaghetti

Red Sauce

  •  1 twenty-eight-ounce can crushed tomatoes (Cento)
  • 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

Vegan Parmesan Cheese

  • 3/4 cup raw cashews
  • 3/4 teaspoon nutritional yeast
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Directions

 Make The Sauce

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in small pot over medium heat. Add garlic and saute 1 minute until golden but not burnt.
  2. Turn heat down and carefully add tomatoes to pot. Stir to combine the salt, pepper, basil, oregano and sugar.
  3. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low, cover and cook for at least 30 minutes.

 Make the Vegan Cheese

Add all ingredients to a food processor and mix until a fine meal is achieved. Store in fridge to keep fresh for several weeks.

Prepare and Cook the Squash

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel the squash. Cut the bottom round section off and save for another recipe (soup or roasted squash). Then cut the remaining large piece in half to make spiralizing easier. Here’s a great video with tips to help make the process easier.
  2. Spread the squash noodles in a single layer on 1 or 2 large baking sheets. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Place squash in the oven for about 10 minutes or until soft. Remove from oven.

Cook The Whole Wheat Pasta

Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a medium pot. Add 3/4 teaspoon salt and the pasta. Cook for about 10 minutes but check for doneness at 8 minutes. Remove from heat and drain. Place the cooked pasta in a large bowl and drizzle lightly with olive oil.

Add the squash noodles to the bowl with the pasta. Toss to combine.

Divide pasta mixture evenly among plates. Top with desired amount of sauce and sprinkle with “cheese.” Enjoy!

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Pad Thai A New Way

Almost everyone loves Pad Thai but most of the time we have to go out to eat or order take-out to enjoy it. Why not try making it at home? This delicious recipe from Minimalist Baker replaces traditional rice noodles with carrot “noodles,” collard greens, thinly sliced bell pepper and cabbage. Talk about eating more plants! Of course, there’s nothing wrong with eating noodles for most of us but all these vegetables are loaded with tons of nutrients for your improved health! This recipe is fast and easy too.

Ingredients

TOFU
  • 1/2 cup extra-firm tofu, excess liquid pressed out, crumbled with a fork
  • 1 Tablespoon tamari
  • 1 tsp chili garlic sauce or 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flake
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
SAUCE
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons almond butter or peanut butter
  • 3 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 3 1/2 Tablespoons tamari
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes or 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons maple syrup
VEGGIES
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
  • 3 green onions, ends removed and thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 2 Tablespoons tamari, divided
  • 4-5 large carrots, peeled and ribboned with a vegetable peeler
  • 6 collard greens, large stems removed, stacked and thinly sliced into ribbons (about 2 cups packed)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
FOR SERVING optional
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Crushed peanuts
  • Red pepper flakes

Instructions

1. If serving with tofu: Add tofu to a small mixing bowl and season with tamari, chili garlic sauce (or pepper flake), and turmeric. Stir and set aside.

2.  Add all sauce ingredients to a small mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.

3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add oil, onions, cabbage, bell pepper, and 1 Tablespoon tamari. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring and tossing frequently.

4. Add tofu to a corner of the pan and sauté until slightly browned, stirring frequently, about 3-5 minutes.

5. Add carrots and collard greens and remaining 1 Tablespoon tamari and stir. Sauté for 2 minutes.

6. Then add Pad Thai sauce and ginger.

7. Sauté over medium heat until warmed through and collards are slightly wilted, about 3 minutes,  stirring frequently.

8. Divide between serving plates and enjoy. Serve as is or with peanut sauce, crushed peanuts, cilantro, and lime wedges. Serves 2 as an entrée or 4 as a side.

 

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Skip-The-Mayo-Summer Potato Salad

The poor potato has gotten a bad rap in the health world because of it’s high position on the glycemic scale. But potatoes are actually a very good source of vitamin B6, potassium, copper, vitamin C, manganese, phosphorus, and dietary fiber. Eaten in moderation and without gobs of butter and sour cream, potatoes can be an important part of a healthy plant-based diet.

This potato salad is lighter and better for you than the traditional version. Olive oil replaces mayonnaise and lots of vegetables are added to increase the nutritional value and improve the taste! Serve room temperature or cold.

 

Ingredients

8-10 red bliss potatoes (organic is best), cut into quarters or bite-sized chunks

2/3 cup corn

1 celery stalk, chopped into 1/4″ pieces

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 avocado, sliced

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1 zucchini, julienned (excluding seeds)

3-4 cups mixed greens

10 large fresh basil leaves, chiffonade (plus a few small ones for garnish)

Sea salt and pepper to taste

Dressing

1/2 cup olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

1/4 heaping teaspoon garlic powder

1 Tablespoon honey-Dijon mustard

Instructions

To a medium saucepan add the potatoes and cover completely with cold water. Add a generous pinch of salt and bring to a boil then reduce the heat to cook the potatoes at a simmer. Cook for 8-12 minutes until they’re soft, tender, and creamy; until just tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from heat, drain and set aside in a large bowl.

While the potatoes are cooking make the dressing. Add all dressing ingredients to a bowl or large measuring cup and whisk til thoroughly combined. Set aside.

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the corn and season with cumin, sea salt and pepper. Cook for 8-10 minutes stirring just enough to keep the corn from sticking to the pan but allowing it to brown. Once the corn is golden brown set aside to cool then mix with the potatoes.

Once the potatoes and corn are slightly cooled add the celery and about 3 tablespoons of the dressing. Toss gently to coat.  Mix in the basil then do a taste test and add more dressing and seasoning if desired. Be sure to save some dressing for the greens.

Arrange the Salad

Place a ring of the greens around the outside of the bowl leaving a hole in the center. Then make a small bed of the zucchini strips in the center of the greens. Sprinkle the cherry tomatoes over the greens. Arrange avocado slices around the circle of greens. Season generously with salt and pepper and drizzle lightly with the remainder of the dressing.

Add the prepared potato mixture to the center and sprinkle with a few small basil leaves. Enjoy your beautiful creation!

Before serving mix the greens and potatoes together.

Craving Something Warm & Delicious?

Every winter when I enjoy my first bowl of lentil soup I’m reminded again how delicious and satisfying it is! Yesterday, while looking through my cupboards for ingredients to make a quick lunch I found a bag of red lentils, so I got to work creating a big pot of soup. Once you learn how to make soup from scratch you can make just about anything taste good…if you have the right mix of herbs and spices on hand.  Simple ingredients, simple to make, simply delicious!

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 stalks celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
4 large carrots, sliced into 1/4″ disks
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup chopped sweet potatoes
1 can white beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup red lentils
5-6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1  teaspoon sea salt, or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 bay leaves
15-ounce can diced tomatoes

Instructions

In large pot heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chopped vegetables and saute 6-8 minutes or until soft, stirring occasionally. Add spices and cook for another minute. Add tomatoes, broth and bay leaves. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 25 minutes until all vegetables are soft. Remove bay leaves.  Add beans and heat through. Turn heat to low. Use Immersion blender to blend soup to desired smoothness. Stir in lentils and cook 10-15 minutes. If soup is too thick add more broth. Serve with a nice green salad. Top with a dollop of creamy, plain yogurt if desired.

An Amazing Vegetarian Peanut Stew

This vegan stew with peanut butter, ginger, cumin and coriander is so delicious and very easy to prepare. I love the combination of spices and the creaminess of the peanut butter makes it irresistible! Serve with a nice green salad.

From a New York Times recipe by Julia Moskin

Ingredients

  • 1 medium-size eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt, more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • pinch cayenne
  • ¼ cup peanut oil
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 inches fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1  jalapeño chilies, seeded and minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons cup tomato paste
  • 1 small (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, preferably roasted
  • 4 cups vegetable stock 
  • ½ cup natural unsweetened peanut butter 
  • 1 medium-size zucchini, 6 to 8 ounces, cut in quarters lengthwise, then sliced 1/2 -inch thick
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 to 2 lemons)
  •  cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves, plus whole leaves for garnish
  •  Cooked rice, for serving
  •  Chopped roasted salted peanuts, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a colander, toss eggplant with 1 teaspoon salt; set aside for 30 minutes. Rinse, drain well and set aside. In a small bowl, combine cumin, coriander, turmeric and cayenne; set aside.
  2. In a large pot, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add shallots and fry, stirring often, until soft, crisp and caramelized, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer shallots to a large bowl, leaving oil in pot. Raise heat to high and add eggplant. Cook, stirring often, until lightly browned and just tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer to bowl with shallots.
  3. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pot and heat over medium-high heat. Add ginger and jalapeno and cook, stirring for 30 seconds. Add spices and cook, stirring, 30 seconds more. Add onion and cook, stirring to scrape up any browned bits, until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, 1 minute.
  4. Add diced tomatoes, stock, eggplant, shallots and a generous pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and cook 5 minutes. Place peanut butter in a medium bowl, add one or two ladlefuls of hot soup, and stir until emulsified, then pour mixture back into soup.
  5. Reduce heat to a simmer, add zucchini, cover and cook 15-20 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Turn off heat and stir in lemon juice and chopped cilantro. Let cool slightly and taste; add salt if necessary. Serve in bowls with rice, garnished with cilantro leaves and chopped peanuts, if desired.