Protein and Veggie Packed Pasta

 

Protein Veggie Pasta

You can never run out of  interesting options with pasta.  The spicy broccoli rabe and edamame make this a protein and vegetable combo dream.  I’ve been running a lot these days and I need carbs for energy and protein for  recovery.  This is everything to me!  Bonus:  it is simple and delicious.

Protein and Veggie Packed Pasta

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. Pasta (any kind)
  • 4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 6 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 small white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 lb. shelled edamame, steamed
  • 1 cup chopped broccoli rabe or broccoli florets
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Grated Romano cheese

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. In a large skillet, heat 2 Tbsp. of oil over medium-high heat.
  3. Add garlic, onion and broccoli, stirring for 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Stir in edamame.
  5. Drain pasta and add to skillet with remaining 2 Tbsp. oil, 1/2 of the parsley, tomatoes and pepper flakes.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Toss to combine and top with cheese and remaining parsley.
https://eatlikeavegetarian.com/protein-and-veggie-packed-pasta/

Rasta Pasta

Rasta Pasta

A few months ago I was in Jamaica and had a dish the chef named ‘Rasta Pasta’. One of the many things I love about Jamaica is the variety of food and the inclusion of vegetarian options. Due to the Rastafari movement, 8 to 10% of the population follow the ital diet which is a strict vegetarian – often vegan – way of eating.  Rasta Pasta is a simple dish of penne, callaloo (a dark, leafy green similar to spinach) and Jamaica’s national treasure, Ackee.  It had a garlicky taste and was a nice addition to the menu.  Like other greens, callaloo is rich in iron, Vitamin C and calcium.

Upon returning I made my own version and added a pesto sauce.  It offers a great way to jazz up the dish and another way of serving pasta.  Enjoy!

Feed the wellness in you!

 

Rasta Pasta

Ingredients

  • 8 oz of penne (fusilli or any tube like pasta will work well)
  • 3 cups of callaloo, washed and chopped (found at Caribbean markets)
  • 1 can of Ackee, drained
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1/4 cup diced garlic
  • 2-3 tbl pesto sauce
  • 1 tsp red pepper
  • Parmesan Cheese to taste (optional)

Instructions

  1. Cook the penne according to directions.
  2. Mix in the pesto sauce and red pepper flakes; set aside.
  3. In a large dutch pan, sautee the onion and garlic until the onion is translucent.
  4. Add the callaloo and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes (until soft).
  5. Add the penne to the vegetables and mix well.
  6. Slowly fold in the ackee. Do not mix briskly because the ackee is soft and will get mashed.
  7. Top with parmesan cheese to taste and serve.
https://eatlikeavegetarian.com/rasta-pasta/

 

Quinoa and Mung Bean Salad

Quinoa and Mung Bean Salad

I used to minimize the benefits of going to Costco. I talked myself out of going regularly because I couldn’t understand the utility of buying things in bulk, couldn’t justify the crowds, and then there were the long lines. I have gotten past that, particularly after having children, and have found some great ‘go to’ prepared food items. One such item is their Quinoa Salad. It is made in-house and is delicious right out of the package.  This Costco version should be eaten within 2-3 days because it has chopped tomatoes in it and will get soggy if left unused. What I find interesting about the salad is that it incorporates the very underutilized Mung Bean, which I featured here last April in the pasta recipe Vegetable Pasta with Mung Beans.  I decided to make my own version of the Quinoa Salad featuring the Mung Bean.  It’s simple and you can add on your favorites to this base to make a more robust meal out of your salad – tomatoes, avocado, black beans, kidney beans, lettuce, cabbage, kale, protein – of course the options are endless.  Enjoy this superfood salad!

Feed the wellness in you!

 

Quinoa and Mung Bean Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of quinoa (cooked yields 3 cups)
  • 1/2 cup of mung beans
  • 1/2 cup chopped mixed bell peppers
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onions
  • 1 can garbanzo beans
  • 3 mini cucumbers
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 limes, juiced

Instructions

  1. Cook the quinoa and mung beans according to package directions. Should be 10-15 minutes.
  2. Set aside to cool.
  3. Peel the cucumbers and slice.
  4. Whisk the balsamic vinegar and lime juice.
  5. Combine all ingredients together.
  6. Serve immediately or chill in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.
https://eatlikeavegetarian.com/quinoa-and-mung-bean-salad/

Favorite Packaged Sauces Part 1

Got your veggies? Got your protein? Are you about to cook with the same seasonings you added last week? Here are just two of my favorite packaged sauces you can find at your local grocery store.

 Favorite Sauces Part 1

I love these two sauces by Saffron Road.  I just lightly stir fry my vegetables (onions, green peppers, red peppers, broccoli, snap peas, and asparagus),  and add the sauce.  I find the Lemongrass sauce to be a little lighter on flavor and not as much sauce in proportion to the vegetables as the Tikka Masala, so I add a little vegetable stock, Thai basil and Thai Keffir Lime Leaves to give it a bit more flavor and depth.  The Tikka Masala sauce is fantastic as is and requires no additional seasonings.  Enjoy!

Lemongrass Basil Simmer Sauce with Vegetables

 Lemongrass Veggies and Tofu

Served with Roasted Tofu

Lemongrass Veggies and Tofu 2

Tikka Masala Sauce with Veggies

Tikka Masala Veggies

Tikka Masala Sauce Veggies with Lentil Brown Rice and Tofu

Tikka Masala Veggies with Tofu

Feed the wellness in you!

Peanut Tofu Rice Bowl

Peanut Tofu Rice Bowl

We survived the Blizzard of 2016!  I’m always ok for welcoming one storm during the winter so hopefully this is where it ends.  Although I prepared to be snowed in a few days I grew tired of the food items I had on hand by day 4.  I needed the ‘curfew’ to be lifted so I can get to the grocery store and be creative.

I often look for recipes that inspire me and luckily I found a winner  Not only did it inspire me but I followed it pretty much word for word in creating it except for two ingredients and some minor changes in the cooking process. This is rare for me. When I say that recipes ‘inspire’ me it is just to give me an idea about creating something from scratch.  Not this time!   I saw the picture of the prepared dish and thought that it looked good, but when I went down the list of ingredients – brown rice, shredded carrots, spinach, broccoli, chickpeas and tofu – I knew it was worth a try.  The only main ingredient I changed was used shredded red cabbage instead of spinach and I’m glad I did.  Not only does it give it more color but it adds to the texture and flavor of the dish.  I think the spinach would be bland and tone the dish down too much.   For the peanut sauce the author used light soy sauce with sesame oil, chili garlic and peanut butter.  I substituted the soy sauce with Bragg’s Liquid Aminos and didn’t use any sesame oil.  This sauce is delicious!  Sweet and spicy with a hint of peanut, I can see using this in various ways.

Do yourself a favor and make this REALLY soon!

Feed the wellness in you!

Peanut Tofu Rice Bowl

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Serving Size: 2-3

Ingredients

  • Tofu Bowl
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 cups shredded carrots
  • 2 cups shredded red cabbage
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 tbl olive oil
  • 1 tbl sesame oil
  • 1 cup chickpeas (drained and rinsed, if using canned)
  • salt/pepper
  • 16 oz extra firm cubed tofu, pressed and drained
  • Peanut sauce
  • ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ cup 100% pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce
  • ¼ cup creamy or crunchy peanut butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cube tofu and place in a single layer on a non-stick baking sheet and cook for 25 minutes. If you aren't using a non-stick baking sheet, lightly spray with cooking spray. Remove from oven and place in a shallow bowl.
  2. Whisk together the ingredients for the sauce (soy sauce, maple syrup, chili garlic sauce, peanut butter) until creamy and smooth. Add ½ of the sauce to the tofu bowl and let marinate while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Toss the broccoli with 1 teaspoon olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Place in the oven and roast for 20 minutes until just tender.
  4. Heat sesame oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add tofu, in batches, along with the marinating sauce until crispy and golden browned, about 3-4 minutes.
  5. To assemble, divide the brown rice among 4 bowls, top each bowl with ¼ cup shredded carrots, ½ cup red cabbage, ¼th broccoli, ¼ cup garbanzo beans and a few pieces of tofu. Drizzle with remaining peanut sauce.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Alex Caspero - http://delishknowledge.com/peanut-tofu-buddha-bowl/

https://eatlikeavegetarian.com/peanut-tofu-rice-bowl/

 

Black Eyed Peas and Barley Soup

Black Eyed Peas and Barley Soup

Another week and we’re still waking up to below freezing weather in the North East. It IS winter so we can’t say we didn’t know it was coming, along with the potential snow. Now we are preparing for a blizzard that may dump 18″-20″ of snow – are you ready? (Question is not directed to you folks in Florida, California, the Caribbean, Australia, etc., that are rubbing the warmth in our faces right now!)  I made another pot of soup to have on hand for lunch or dinner while we wait for the possibility of being ‘snowed in’ and the clean up that can take days!

Like my other soups this is chock full of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals.  Lest not forget, my soups are always easy to prepare to minimize the impact on time and eliminate the excuses for preparing something healthy.  I always keep my soup base of vegetable stock and fire roasted tomatoes in the pantry, in addition to having lots of beans since this is my main source of protein.  These basics are also inexpensive so stock up.

I paired this with a grilled cheese sandwich made with Ezekiel Bread, 2% cheese and Campari tomatoes.  You still have time to get to the grocery store before the storm hits.  Ready, set, go!

Feed the wellness in you!

Black Eyed Peas and Barley Soup

Cook Time: 1 hour

Serving Size: 6-8

Ingredients

  • 9 cups of vegetable stock (Better than Bouillon is preferred)
  • 4 cups Baby Spinach
  • 1 cup of Pearled Barley
  • 2 lbs of Black Eyed Peas (or you can use 2 - 15 oz cans of Black Eyed Peas)
  • 6-8 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1 - 14.5 oz can Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 tbl onion powder
  • 1 tbl garlic powder
  • 1 tbl smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Put all ingredients except for the spinach in a large pot.
  2. Bring the soup to a boil then turn to low for 45 minutes.
  3. Stir only a few times as the black eyed peas easily break up when they are cooked.
  4. Add the spinach and continue on low for 15 minutes.
  5. Stir when wilted to incorporate throughout the soup.
  6. Remove from heat and serve.
https://eatlikeavegetarian.com/black-eyed-peas-and-barley-soup/

Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup

Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup

Another frigid week and another big pot of soup was made! This has all simple, easy to find ingredients that blend well together for a hearty meal.

Very much like my Three Bean Vegan Soup, despite the name there is so much more in this soup.  Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup ingredientsAlongside the Butternut Squash and Lentils and kale (I know everyone is saying that kale is so ‘2015’ but I still love it!), there are black beans and cannellini beans.

This is another soup that packs in the protein, vitamin c, iron and lots of vitamin a from the butternut squash.  Make some warm cornbread to go along with it and you have a satisfied mind, (warm) body and soul.

Feed the wellness in you!

Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup

Ingredients

  • 9 cups of vegetable stock (Better than Bouillon is preferred)
  • 1/2 lb Chopped Kale
  • 1 lb of diced Butternut Squash
  • 1 - 15 oz can of Cannellini Beans
  • 1 - 15 oz can of Black Beans Beans
  • 1 - 14.5 oz can Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 tbl onion powder
  • 1 tbl garlic powder
  • 1 tbl smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Bring your stock to a boil and add the kale. Cook on medium heat for 10 minutes.
  2. Add the butternut squash and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Add all remaining ingredients, stir, and cook on low heat for 30 minutes.
  4. Let cool to desired temperature and serve.
https://eatlikeavegetarian.com/butternut-squash-and-lentil-soup/

Quick Caribbean Chow Mein

 

Caribbean Chow Mein

I almost feel like I cheat when I prepare this meal…but not quite. I say ‘almost’ because despite the ease to prepare you get so much out of it – protein, vitamins, minerals – it’s a slam dunk for a delicious, nutritious meal.  You may wonder what makes this dish ‘Caribbean’ Chow Mein vs.  Chinese Chow Mein. In my opinion, it’s the heavy influence from Trinidad and Guyana that adds ginger, dark soy, a little hot pepper to the dish.  The noodle used is  an egg noodle and very similar to lo mein so there’s a fine line on how to define this as a Caribbean dish.  What helps with preparing this quickly is that I use all freshly washed, packaged vegetables – a package of stir fry vegetables that has broccoli, carrots, and snow peas, along with packages of Spinach and Brussels sprouts, and lastly extra firm tofu.  However, you can do the same thing with fresh vegetables and perhaps add Bok Choy. The more vegetables you stretch the servings.  You can always use the protein of your choice and still have a wonderful result.

Chow Mein Noodle Package

The noodles used are packaged as ‘West Indian Style’ Chow Mein noodles.  I’m not sure if this make a difference in taste because I’ve never used the Chow Mein noodles by La Choy or equivalent.   I add freshly chopped peppers and onions and within minutes I have this dish full of veggies and protein.

Feed the wellness in you!

 

Quick Caribbean Chow Mein

Ingredients

  • 1 12 oz bag of broccoli stir fry vegetables (broccoli, snow peas, carrots)
  • 1 6 oz bag of brussesl sprouts (take off stems and chop into quarters)
  • 1 5 oz bag of Baby Spinach
  • 2 cups of vegetable stock
  • 2 boxes Extra Firm cubed tofu, drained
  • 2 Tbl Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbl minced ginger
  • 2 Tbl fresh garlic
  • 2 Tbl chopped green peppers
  • 2 Tbl chopped yellow peppers
  • 2 Tbl chopped red peppers
  • 2 Tbl chopped onions
  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper (optional)
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Red Pepper
  • Light Soy Sauce
  • 1/4 c Dark Soy Sauce
  • 1/4 c chopped scallion (optional)
  • 1/4 c bean sprouts (optional)

Instructions

  1. Sautee your onions, peppers, and garlic for 5 minutes on a medium heat.
  2. Add the Brussels sprouts and sautee for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the Broccoli stir fry vegetables; add ginger salt, red pepper and paprika and turn to low for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the tofu and half cup of light soy and the dark soy; turn to simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Add the spinach and with the heat by stirring it should start to wilt. Remove from heat and cover.
  6. Cook the noodles according to the directions in vegetable stock and drain leaving about 1/4 cup of the vegetable stock.
  7. Fold in the vegetables and stir well. The heat should completely soften the spinach leaves.
  8. Add 1/4 cup of light soy or add to taste.
  9. Toss well and serve.
  10. Top with scallions and bean sprouts (optional)
https://eatlikeavegetarian.com/quick-caribbean-chow-mein/

Frozen and Prepared Favorites Part 2

Last month I shared a few favorite frozen and prepared foods that help me when I’m pressed for time to prepare a meal.  Here are more favorites that I recommend you keep in mind when you are rushing to the grocery store and want something quick to prepare. Stick to a single serving (although it’s tough!), add a vegetable or salad as a side dish and you’ll have a great meal.

Trader Joe’s Spinach and Kale Pie

Spinach and Kale Pie

This has all the robust flavor and flaky texture of traditional Spanikopita.  If you’re a fan of that Greek dish you would love this.  Neither one of the greens overpowers the other and they did a great job at blending them so you don’t get the toughness of the kale.  Very well done.

Trader Giotto’s Kale, Sweet Potato and Butternut Pizza

Kale, Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash PizzaTrader ‘Giotto’s’ is the Italian product line at Trader Joe’s.  Looks can be deceiving but not in the case of this frozen gem.  Not only is it a very unique combination of ingredients but it tastes like it is freshly made out of a brick oven.  The crust is perfect; great flavor and slightly crisp. The use of pureed sweet potato in place of a traditional sauce is amazing.

Trader Giotto’s Organic Pesto Pizza with Tomatoes and Broccoli

Organic Pesto Pizza with tomatoes and broccoliAnother slam dunk for a great frozen pizza!  Again, the crust is perfect and it is bursting with just the right amount of pesto flavor.  Simply done with tomatoes and broccoli, this is another one to have ‘on call’ at home!

LaPasta Pumpkin and Sage Ravioli

This is a Costco product and is made in my local area according to the package so I’m not certain whether you can get this at all Costco’s.Pumpkin and Sage Ravioli  However, I’m hopeful that Costco wouldn’t deny others of this wonderful pasta.  This cooks in 3 minutes and is such a wonderful blend of simple flavors.  The description states that the pumpkin is sweet and it really is.  It tastes more like butternut squash than it does pumpkin.  I top with a tomato sauce but I’m sure it’s great with light olive oil and garlic also.

Feed the wellness in you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meatless Skillet Lasagne

Meatless Skillet Lasagne

I haven’t shared recipes using meat substitutes because I don’t want to convey that meat eaters won’t miss meat by using a  substitute. My goal is to always provide a healthy alternative to meat dishes and show you ways to incorporate more fruit and vegetables in your diet.  I’ve found that when you introduce meat substitutes to the carnivore community, there is a lot of noise about how hypocritical it is to even mention the word ‘meat’ as a vegetarian.  I don’t argue that meat doesn’t taste good. I ate meat off and on over the years and at one point increased it to help with my anemia.   I became a vegetarian four years ago to assist with an overall holistic wellness plan to combat an issue I had  and it worked.  Since then, there is a noticeable change in my wellness and I attribute it (in addition to regular exercise), to removing meat and hormones from my diet.

I’m not going to tell you that a meat substitute is a 1:1 comparison for meat but it does taste good when well prepared and you desire the texture of meat.  WP_20151027_06_32_12_Pro 1Perhaps it is the brand that I use and that’s why it’s enjoyable.  If you try this recipe or are looking for a ground beef substitute try Lightlife ‘Smart Ground’ crumbles.  It is really easy to incorporate in a dish, even easier than regular ground beef because it is already prepared.

I like the idea of a one pan dish for simplicity.  Skillet lasagna seems like a lazy excuse for lasagna but have you ever had a ‘free form’ lasagna at a restaurant?  This is very similar. Just get a few additional ingredients along with the protein crumbles and you will have this in very little time. WP_20151027_06_53_38_Pro 1 What’s great is that you can use no boil lasagna noodles and prepared marinara to speed up the timing without losing the overall look and taste.  I found a great organic whole wheat no boil lasagna noodle named Delallo.

My favorite prepared marinara sauce is Rao’s – highly recommended for its robust taste in this dish.  I never miss an opportunity to add vegetables in a recipe so this has baby spinach in the sauce.  I also added capers to my sauce which is not a typical lasagna ingredient.  My paternal grandmother was an amazing cook and one of my favorite dishes she would make was lasagna.  She traveled all around the world so I’m not sure where she learned the use of capers in her sauce but WOW, what a nice addition.

Feed the wellness in you!

Meatless Skillet Lasagne

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Serving Size: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1 pkg of Protein Crumbles
  • 1-25 oz jar of Marinara Sauce
  • 8-10 sheets of no cook lasagna noodles
  • 1-5 oz bag of baby spinach
  • 2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 8 oz fat free Ricotta Cheese
  • 1/4 cup of shredded Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 tbl oregano
  • 1 tbl basil
  • 1 tbl thyme
  • 1 tbl onion powder
  • 1 tbl fresh chopped garlic
  • 3 tbl capers

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet or dutch pan, sautee the fresh garlic in 1 tbl of EVOO on a medium heat for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add another tbl of EVOO and add the protein crumbles and turn the heat to low. Break up the protein crumbles and lightly brown for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Pour in the marinara sauce and mix well.
  4. Add the dried seasonings (oregano, basil, thyme, onion powder), then place spinach on top of mixture.
  5. Cover and let it cook on a low heat for 10 minutes.
  6. Mix the spinach in with the sauce then add the capers and Ricotta Cheese. Stir well.
  7. Add the 8-10 sheets of no cook lasagna noodles. You will be placing them individually and pouring the sauce over each noodle so all are coated.
  8. The noodles should cook in 20-25 minutes(per the directions on the box) so cover the pan and cook on low heat for that period of time.
  9. Uncover after 25 minutes to stir lightly confirming the noodles are cooked and well integrated in the sauce.
  10. Top with the shredded parmesan cheese and serve.
https://eatlikeavegetarian.com/meatless-skillet-lasagne/