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!

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Simple Veggie Lettuce Wraps

 

Simple Veggie Lettuce Wraps

When I say simple I really mean SIMPLE! No ‘haute cuisine’ here.  In my quest to incorporate more protein daily in my vegetarian lifestyle I came up with a simple and easy lettuce wrap. It doesn’t have many ingredients nor take a long time to prepare. What’s great about this is you can substitute whatever veggies and protein you may like. This version has broccoli, quinoa, edamame, shitake mushrooms and roasted tofu — but the possibilities are endless.  Talk about a  protein packed dish – all of these ingredients provide a good portion of protein in addition to other vitamins and minerals like iron, fiber and vitamin C.  Another bonus is that you can find most of these items prepared and/or chopped which adds to easy preparation. Tips on preparing roasted tofu can be found in my recipe Curry Tofu and Chickpeas if you cannot find any at your local grocer or salad bar.

Try it as a snack, appetizer or lunch option.

Feed the wellness in you!

Simple Veggie Lettuce Wraps

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 6

Most grocery stores sell fresh broccoli crowns, shitake mushrooms, and edamame already chopped. At some salad bars you may find cooked quinoa and roasted tofu. This will eliminate most of your prep time.

Ingredients

  • Romaine Lettuce
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup chopped broccoli crowns
  • 1 cup chopped shitake mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup edamame
  • 1 cup roasted tofu
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup sweet chili sauce

Instructions

  1. Cook the quinoa according to the directions. Shouldn't take more than 20 minutes.
  2. In a separate pan, sautee the broccoli crowns in 1 tbl of extra virgin olive oil on a medium heat for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the shitake mushrooms, edamame, tofu and sautee another 5 minutes.
  4. Add the quinoa, soy sauce
  5. Cook on simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. Drizzle the sweet chili sauce on top.
  7. Remove from heat and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
  8. Add a few spoonfuls of the veggies on top of two large leaves of romaine lettuce and roll/wrap over the veggie mix to eat.
https://eatlikeavegetarian.com/simple-veggie-lettuce-wraps/

Pasta Marinara with Roasted Spring Vegetables

Pasta marinara with roasted vegetables.jpg

The name of this recipe doesn’t bring much imagery to mind but there is something key that makes this more delicious than you can imagine.  It has homemade Basil Garlic Oil.  A few years ago after experiencing Chef Scott Conant’s fabulous restaurant, Scarpetta, I fell in love with his simply made Spaghetti with Fresh Tomato Sauce.   My husband bought me Chef Conant’s Scarpetta recipe book and I found the secret.  He infuses olive oil with garlic, basil and red pepper flakes which is then added to his fresh tomato sauce.  Since then, I make and keep infused oil handy at all times and use it in all of my tomato based pasta dishes.

To make enough Basil Garlic Oil for this recipe only, heat a small saucepan over low heat with 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, 5 whole cloves of garlic, 12 basil leaves and 1 tsp of pepper flakes. Keep the heat on low to allow the ingredients to warm slowly and release their flavors. When the garlic is lightly browned, turn heat off and let cool for 10 minutes. Let the oil sit so the oil is well infused. Strain the oil, discarding the solids.  Make this in advance of preparing this pasta dish and I strongly recommended doubling or quadrupling this recipe to keep for future use.  If you make a larger batch of oil don’t discard the solids – I leave them in for added flavor until ready to use.

This Pasta Marinara is based on Chef Conant’s recipe.  He uses fresh plum tomatoes and I have done this before according to his recipe, however for this dish I used canned San Marzano tomatoes which are delicious when prepared as I’ve described.  And much less complicated!  Fresh tomatoes requires a process of taking the tomatoes from boiling to cold to remove the skin and although it is worth the effort, I rarely have time to do that with all I have to juggle at home.  Please note this recipe yields 4-6 servings of sauce so you can make your pasta servings fresh the next day or freeze the sauce to use at a later date.

Chef Conant uses spaghetti – I use whole wheat linguine.  He serves without any accompaniments and is just fine with me!  However I’m always looking for ways to incorporate vegetables so I added roasted vegetables.  Although it feels like summer it is technically still spring so I used a chock full of spring vegetables to roast; zucchini, yellow squash, asparagus, broccoli.  Complemented with shitake mushrooms and fresh basil it provides bold, intense flavor.  And top off anything with Parmigiano-Reggiano always helps make me smile.

Feed the wellness in you!

Pasta Marinara with Roasted Spring Vegetables

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Two cans of tomatoes will yield 4-6 servings so if you don't want so much sauce just half the recipe. I always cook two cans to have over a few days or to freeze and use later.

Ingredients

  • 2 cans of San Marzano whole tomatoes
  • 1 box whole wheat linguine
  • 1/2 cup zucchini, sliced
  • 1/2 cup yellow squash, sliced
  • 1/2 cup shitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup asparagus tips
  • 1 cup broccoli crowns
  • 1 cup Parmigiano - Reggiano
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp of red pepper flakes
  • Garlic Basil Oil (already prepared)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Red Pepper Flakes
  • Sea Salt
  • Fresh Basil sliced thinly (about 4 leaves used per serving)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Wash and pat dry the vegetables and mushrooms. Toss them in a bowl with 1 tbl EVOO, 1 tsp sea salt, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder.
  3. On a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, lay the vegetables out evenly and roast for 20-30 minutes. Turn the vegetables over midway.
  4. In a large, wide pan add the tomatoes, red pepper flakes and a tsp of sea salt. Cook for 15 minutes. Mash the tomatoes and cook for an additional 15 minutes.
  5. While the tomatoes are cooking, cook half of the box of pasta according to its al dente instructions. Half the box should yield 2-4 servings.
  6. Once pasta is cooked, transfer one serving of pasta to a smaller pan.
  7. Add about 3/4 cup of the tomato sauce and stir.
  8. Add 4 basil leaves, 1/4 c Parmigiano - Reggiano and a tsp of garlic basil oil. Mix well and transfer to plate
  9. Top with some roasted vegetables and serve.
https://eatlikeavegetarian.com/pasta-marinara-with-roasted-spring-vegetables/

Green Curry Tofu and Vegetables

 

Green Curry Tofu.jpg

One of my dear, sweet aunts has been very curious about the vegetarian lifestyle.  She eats no beef or pork and follows a healthy diet but she just can’t imagine how one can follow a strict vegetarian or vegan diet.  She says her wish is to primarily follow a more vegetable centric diet because it will make her feel better.  At 85, she has some general aches and pains and believes that perhaps this diet will help because the doctor’s aren’t coming up with any answers for her ailments (or maybe they’re not telling her what she wants to hear!).  Sometimes she embarks on eating as a vegetarian for a week, and she’ll start by going to Whole Foods on ‘Meatless Monday’s’ to get a platter that will last her a few days.  She was never someone who loved cooking, so that contributes to her inability to commit and be consistent with a vegetarian diet.  Nonetheless, she does give it a try.

So a few weeks ago when she arrived at my home with a case of tofu with one of the twelve packages of tofu missing I wasn’t surprised.    She bought the case at Costco and thought she would put tofu in her salad.  She ended up using very little of the 1st box, leaving the rest to spoil.  The idea of getting through the next eleven boxes seemed impossible to her.  I would also imagine that without prepping the tofu in any way left her with very little to be desired for using eleven more boxes of tofu.

Lucky me (and you!).  Now I have a lot more tofu on hand to get very creative with.  I started with my take on Green Curry Tofu and Vegetables.  I used broccoli and baby bok choy for my vegetables which provides the balance of crunch to the softness of the tofu.  I grew up on Yellow curry which is quite a different taste to the Asian Green and Red curries.  I love them all!

The green curry doesn’t give this dish its flavor, at least not all of it. It’s the marriage of the green curry with other ingredients – light coconut milk, ginger, and mirin, just to name a few.  What really gave this an unexpected boost was fresh basil.  Much like the tofu was gifted to me, as I was walking out of the house last week my next door neighbor asked me if I used basil and if I needed some just help myself to what she had on her porch.  She said they always have more than they can use!  What a win for me.  I told her to infuse olive oil with the basil to get more use out of it but I am also more than happy to take it off of her hands.  The basil coupled with the cilantro I planned for the dish gave it a burst of freshness.  I must be doing something right with these showers of food blessings!

This came together as a great meal served over jasmine rice and can stretch over a few days.  On that note, I will have to make some for my aunt so she doesn’t give up on tofu and perhaps this recipe will give my neighbor another way to use her basil.

Feed the wellness in you!

 

Green Curry Tofu and Vegetables

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Yield: 4

Ingredients

  • 2 pkgs Extra Firm Tofu, cut in one inch cubes, drained, patted well between paper towels
  • 2 cups Broccoli Crowns
  • 2 baby Bok Choy, chopped
  • 1 can Light Coconut Milk
  • 2-3 tbl Green Curry Paste (I used one with no fish sauce but if you are not a vegetarian you can choose one to your liking)
  • 1 tbl Minced Ginger
  • 1/4 cup Red Peppers, sliced
  • 1/4 cup Yellow Peppers, sliced
  • 1/4 cup Red Onions, sliced
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • 2 tbl Mirin
  • 1/4 cup Chopped basil and cilantro
  • 1/8 cup fresh chopped garlic
  • 1 tbl red pepper flakes

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and roast the tofu for 30 minutes.
  2. In a large dutch pan, saute the peppers, garlic and onions in 1 tbl olive oil on a medium heat for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the broccoli, tsp of sea salt, and sautee for 5 minutes.
  4. Add another tablespoon of olive oil then add the bok choy, minced ginger, mirin, stir well then turn to low heat.
  5. In a small sauce pan combine the coconut milk and green curry paste, mix and keep on low heat until combined well for approx. 10 minutes.
  6. In the large dutch pan, add the tofu when done.
  7. Slowly fold in the Green Curry and Coconut Milk mixture.
  8. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  9. Add the chopped basil and cilantro.
  10. Serve over white or brown jasmine rice.
https://eatlikeavegetarian.com/green-curry-tofu-and-vegetables/

Spicy Sesame Stir Fry

Sesame Stir Fry

I really enjoy making a stir-fry.  It’s quick, has great spices and always engages a lot of vegetables.  In addition, it doesn’t require a lot of oil despite the ‘fry’ in ‘stir-fry’!  My featured recipe has one of my favorite vegetables, Napa Cabbage also called Chinese Cabbage.   Its ‘sibling’ is Bok Choy which is also high on my list of favorites.  The size of the Napa Cabbage can be a bit daunting, but the mild flavor and crunch is a stand out when cooked well or eaten raw.  Because of it’s size, you can get several servings out of it which is great for the price.  High in Vitamins C and A consider it stir fried alone or as the base for your salad.  The leaves are very large and are good for veggie wraps.  If you’re familiar with Kimchi, this is the cabbage that is used in that staple Korean side dish.

For this stir fry I wanted a lot of crunch that will remain even the next day.  In addition to the cabbage it has broccoli, but instead of snow peas that are often in stir fry’s I used the sweet snap pea.  The snap pea has more density and retains its crunch.  It is also sweeter than the snow pea and offers such a wonderful contrast to the ginger and spice in the dish.  With a drizzle of toasted sesame seed oil at the end, it enhances the flavor with a nice nutty finish.  I served it over Buckwheat Soba Noodles.  Lovely.

The cooking time for the dish is quick and requires you to pay attention throughout the process.  So there’s no leaving the stove to multitask!  Instead, you will cook the ingredients in a certain order to retain the desired crunch and add the herbs and spices at the right time for a great finale – a sizzling sensation.

Feed the wellness in you!

Spicy Sesame Stir Fry

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Serving Size: 4

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of Napa Cabbage, chopped
  • 1 cup of broccoli florets
  • 1 cup of snow peas
  • 1 cup of sliced shitake mushrooms
  • 2 tbl peanut oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 cup sliced red bell peppers
  • 2 tbl Garlic Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 c yellow onions
  • 2 Tbl sesame seed oil
  • 1-2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbl thai basil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 c light soy sauce
  • 1-2 tbl sesame seed oil

Instructions

  1. In a wok or large frying pan, heat the peanut oil on medium heat and sautee the garlic and onions for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the broccoli, snow peas, thai basil, ginger and sautee for 10 minutes.
  3. Add your red peppers and shitake mushrooms; stir well.
  4. Add the sea salt and garlic soy sauce.
  5. Cover for 4-5 minutes. Watch it to make sure it doesn't stick.
  6. Remove the cover and add the napa cabbage.
  7. Pour the light soy sauce and red pepper flakes, stir well and cover.
  8. Leave on a low heat for 10 minutes.
  9. Drizzle the sesame seed oil on top and stir.
  10. Make sure the vegetables are crisp and tender.
  11. Remove from heat and serve!
https://eatlikeavegetarian.com/spicy-sesame-stir-fry/

 

 

Roasted Vegetables with Whole Wheat Linguine

What I love most about this dish is that you can use any vegetable that you like in the pasta – Broccoli, Squash, Mushrooms, Brussels Sprouts – just use what you enjoy! 

Roasted Vegetables and Whole Wheat LInguine

Roasted Vegetables with Whole Wheat Linguine

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Serving Size: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Asparagus Tips
  • 6 - 8 cups Broccoli and Cauliflower florets
  • 4 Mini Red Sweet Peppers, sliced in strips
  • 8 Campari Tomatoes, Sliced in Quarters
  • 64 oz Vegetable Stock
  • 1 box Whole Wheat Linguine
  • Fresh Thyme
  • Feta Cheese
  • Fresh Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • Capers
  • Kosher Salt
  • Olive Oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut the broccoli and cauliflower in equal chunks.
  3. Wash and drain all vegetables thoroughly. The vegetables should be completely dry.
  4. Put your broccoli and cauliflower in a large bowl.
  5. Toss the vegetables in olive oil so that they're coated (but not heavily oily!).
  6. Sprinkle ground sea salt on the vegetables and place on a baking sheet so they are lying flat. Roast in oven for 25-30 minutes. Midway you want to check to see if the bottom of the vegetables are lightly brown and turn them over.
  7. Once you place the broccoli and cauliflower in the oven, you want to prep your asparagus and red peppers to get roasted. These vegetables are not cooked at the same time as the other vegetables because their roasting time differs.
  8. Place the asparagus and red peppers on a baking sheet; sprinkle olive oil and sea salt as done with the other vegetables.
  9. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes.
  10. Test and taste your vegetables to make sure they are firm but cooked, and have a nice roasted flavor.
  11. After roasting is complete, place all the vegetables in a large bowl.
  12. Add the diced tomatoes and pull the leaves from 3-4 sprigs of thyme and toss in the vegetables. Cover until ready to use.
  13. Cook your pasta al dente, about 10-12 minutes. Look on the box for exact instructions for al dente preparation.
  14. In a 10-12 inch pan simmer ¾ of a cup of vegetable stock.
  15. Once your pasta is cooked, you will prepare each serving separately then serve.
  16. Transfer enough pasta for one serving into the vegetable stock.
  17. Add a balanced serving of vegetables.
  18. Add one teaspoon of capers, one tablespoon of feta cheese and mix well.
  19. Transfer to plate and top with grated parmesan cheese.
  20. Serve immediately.
https://eatlikeavegetarian.com/roasted-vegetables-with-whole-wheat-linguine/

Broccoli with Shallots, Chickpeas and Figs

Tired of the same old broccoli? This is a sweet and piquant twist on this nutrient-rich vegetable.

Broccoli with shallots1

 

Broccoli with Shallots, Chickpeas and Figs

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Serving Size: 2-4

Ingredients

  • 12 oz bag Broccoli
  • 8 oz can Chickpeas
  • 1 - 2 Medium sized shallots, sliced
  • ½ cup Black mission figs, halved
  • 1 tablespoon Onion Powder
  • ½ cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil

Instructions

  1. Chop the broccoli in even chunks, wash thoroughly and drain.
  2. In a large pan, sauté the shallots on medium heat in the olive oil until translucent.
  3. Use 1-2 shallots depending on your liking. I love the mild flavor of shallots so I use closer to 2 shallots.
  4. Add your broccoli, balsamic vinegar and onion powder and cook for about 10 minutes.
  5. Add your chickpeas and cook for 20 minutes on a low heat. I like my broccoli fairly firm but cook until you reach your desired texture.
  6. Add the figs when broccoli is done and leave covered for 5 minutes.
https://eatlikeavegetarian.com/broccoli-with-shallots-chickpeas-and-figs/

What’s wonderful about this dish is that there aren’t many ingredients!  The balsamic vinegar and figs provide such a nice balance.