Quick and Easy Chickpea Salad

Quick and Easy Chickpea salad

As Spring weather starts to grace us before it officially starts, it makes you think about lighter fare recipes and naturally salads come to mind. You can’t go wrong with an easy salad that can be paired with the protein of your choice. This is nothing fancy but it packs in nutrients and flavor.  Protein, folate, fiber, and iron in a tasty simple salad – what’s not to love?

Feed the wellness in you!

Quick and Easy Chickpea Salad

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 6

Ingredients

  • 2 cans chickpeas
  • 1 cup chopped red cabbage
  • 1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 chopped English cucumber
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground pepper

Instructions

  1. Rinse and drain chickpeas.
  2. In a bowl, combine chickpeas with all the ingredients and mix well.
  3. Best made in advance!
https://eatlikeavegetarian.com/quick-and-easy-chickpea-salad/

 

Quinoa and Tofu Mediterranean Bake

Quinoa and Tofu bake 4

 As I’ve stated in the past, I’m a fan of a dish that can go a long way but more importantly, never get tired of. I hadn’t made a quinoa dish in a while, so that immediately came to mind when considering a hearty meal that would give me a break from cooking every meal from scratch for a few days. This dish is a blend of simple nutritious ingredients and compliments all sources of protein. It is provides great levels of vitamins A and C, and Iron. What makes this ‘Mediterranean’, in my mind, is the addition of olives and feta. Also topped with Campari Tomatoes, it has the essence of the popular tomato used in many Italian dishes.

Most of the ingredients are cooked then blended in one pot before layering in a deep dish.

Quinoa and tofu bake 1

The quinoa mix (quinoa, spinach, roasted tomatoes, peppers, olives, feta) minus the tofu is the first layer, then top with roasted tofu.

Add another layer of the quinoa mix and repeat.  The final layer of quinoa is topped with sliced Campari tomatoes and feta.

Quinoa and Tofu bake 2

Quinoa and Tofu bake 3

Just delicious!

Feed the wellness in you!

Quinoa and Tofu Mediterranean Bake

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 8

Serving Size: 1

Calories per serving: 240

Fat per serving: 11.9

Saturated fat per serving: 3

Carbs per serving: 21.6

Protein per serving: 13.8

Fiber per serving: 3.3

Sugar per serving: 2.8

Sodium per serving: 644.3

Ingredients

  • 1 c Quinoa (3 cups cooked)
  • 2 pkgs Extra Firm Tofu (32 oz)
  • 5 oz package of Baby Spinach
  • 1 - 15.5 oz can Diced Tomatoes with Basil and Garlic
  • 3/4 cup Kalamata Olives, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped mixed bell peppers
  • 1 cup Feta cheese crumbles
  • 3 cups Vegetable stock
  • 3 Campari tomatoes

Instructions

  1. Sautee the mixed bell peppers, set aside.
  2. Cook 1 c of Quinoa in 3 cups vegetable stock
  3. After the Quinoa is cooked, while hot add the baby spinach, diced tomatoes, olives, mixed bell peppers and 3/4 cups of feta cheese. Mix well.
  4. Transfer to a deep 9x13 dish.
  5. Top with sliced Campari Tomatoes and the remaining feta cheese.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes.
https://eatlikeavegetarian.com/quinoa-and-tofu-mediterranean-bake/

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/

 

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/

Three Bean Vegan Soup

3 Bean Vegan Soup

Don’t you just love a warm bowl of soup on a cold day? We experienced some morning weather in the teens early this week and I head straight to the store  with soup on my mind. I love a hearty soup that give you a variety of flavors and textures. This soup is easy to make, quickly if you are in a hurry, without sacrificing flavor.

In addition to a few other ingredients, this picture captures all the items in the soup!  3 Bean Soup Ingredients

Although I call it ‘Three Bean’ soup because of the cannellini, kidney and garbanzo beans there are so many other great things in this soup to add to your nutrition – barley, spinach, baby kale, chard – how about that for a bowl full of goodness!  This is the season for the extra Vitamin C you will get from your greens along with iron and folate; the beans  along with barley give you protein, fiber and antioxidants.

Try it whether the temps dip or not.  Warm your soul.

Feed the wellness in you!

 

3 Bean Vegan Soup

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour

Serving Size: 6-8

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c pearled barley
  • 9 cups of vegetable stock (Better than Bouillon is preferred)
  • 1 - 5 oz bag of Fresh Express Baby Kale Mix
  • 1 - 15 oz can of Chick Peas
  • 1 - 15 oz can of Cannellini Beans
  • 1 - 15 oz can of Kidney Beans
  • 1 - 14.5 oz can Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 - 14.5 oz can Diced Tomatoes with Green Peppers, Celery and Onions
  • 3 links of Light Life Chorizo chopped
  • 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 baby kale mix in large pot.
  2. If you're in a hurry bring ingredients to boil then simmer for 30 minutes, adding baby kale mix last 5 minutes until wilted.
  3. If you're not in a hurry, let this cook on low heat for 1.5 hours adding baby kale mix in the last 5 minutes until wilted. This is even better if you prepare in a crock pot.
https://eatlikeavegetarian.com/three-bean-vegan-soup/

Pumpkin Pilaf

Pumpkin Pilaf

Are you tired of plain brown rice and eating it just because it’s supposed to be better for you? With just a few additional ingredients you can be more creative and get more nutrients with that once plain brown rice. calabazaThis dish doesn’t have the pureed pumpkin we see prominently displayed in the grocery aisles right now.  What is used is the Caribbean Calabaza pumpkin or ‘West Indian Pumpkin’.  It is very popular in the Caribbean and Central and South America.  The seeds of the pumpkin, known as pepitas, are eaten as a snack when roasted and you will often find them added to Mexican cuisine.

I use this pumpkin quite often, especially in soups.  However, this is a great addition to meals on its own and I love it mixed in my rice as I had it growing up.  For added protein I include chickpeas and with minimal seasonings I have a great side dish.  I’ve had this with other side vegetables and even with my vegetarian chili.  The Calabaza pumpkin may not be easy to find but a great substitute is butternut squash.  You could never go wrong with that!

 Feed the wellness in you!

 

Pumpkin Pilaf

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

The Calabaza is usually cut in to large pieces but you will have to dice it into much smaller pieces. It has a tough skin so be careful and have a sharpened knife ready.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup diced Calabaza pumpkin (or butternut squash)
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 3/4 cup chickpeas
  • 1 tbl tomato paste
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Place diced pumpkin in a medium pot with one cup of vegetable broth. Bring to a boil for ten minutes.
  2. Add the brown rice and chickpeas to the pumpkin along with 1.5 cups of vegetable broth.
  3. Mix in 1 tbl of tomato paste.
  4. Cook according to the brown rice directions (approx. 20 minutes)
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.
https://eatlikeavegetarian.com/pumpkin-pilaf/

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pumpkin and Cranberry Overnight Oats

Pumpkin and Cranberry overnight oats.jpg

‘Tis the season of pumpkin! Pumpkin pie, pumpkin coffee, pumpkin muffins – there are multiple ways our grocers are trying to entice us to use pumpkins.  I bought a can of pureed pumpkin so I could make a quick pumpkin pie with my daughter.  I then bought another can as a challenge to do something out of the ordinary for me.  I’m not a huge pumpkin fan.  Lately, I’ve seen a few recipes for overnight oats and vowed to try it so I considered incorporating pumpkin.  The ingredients for overnight oats are so simple – oats, liquid of your choice, and spices.  All you have to do is leave covered overnight in the refrigerator and breakfast is ready the next morning.  I already love both hot oatmeal and muesli so why not go for it with the seasonal favorite pumpkin.

How much did I love these overnight oats?  I can’t count the ways because I’m just getting started with the possibilities and can’t stop. Overnight Oats ingredients I am encouraged to do this so much more often.

I used rolled oats, evaporated fat-free milk, vanilla essence, brown sugar, cinnamon, dried cranberries and pumpkin.  I didn’t have a mason jar so I mixed all my ingredients in a glass then covered tightly with plastic wrap.  I will be heading out for some jars soon!  There are not enough emoticons to express my emotion about how simple and tasty this was.  And where is the love button when you want to show the love for the fiber, vitamins and nutrients.  What a happy morning!

Feed the wellness in you!

Pumpkin and Cranberry Overnight Oats

Yield: 1

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces rolled oats
  • 3 tsp of pumpkin
  • 8 oz of fat free evaporated milk
  • 1 tbl brown sugar
  • .5 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1-2 tbl of cranberries
  • toppings of your choice - berries, granola, etc

Instructions

  1. Place your dried rolled oats and all ingredients except for toppings. Mix and cover tightly. Leave in the refrigerator overnight. The next morning the oatmeal is ready to be served with your favorite toppings.
https://eatlikeavegetarian.com/pumpkin-and-cranberry-overnight-oats/

 

My Frozen and Prepared Favorites Part 1

I believe in eating ‘whole foods’ all the time, but it is helpful to have some ‘go to’ items that are healthy and can be prepared within minutes. Here are just a few of my favorites:

This Organic Spinach and Cheese Ravioli can be found at Costco. I usually top with a little marinara (note:  my favorite brand is Rao’s).  The Ricotta and Spinach filled Ravioli is from Trader Joe’s.  Both low in calories per serving and delicious.  Add a salad on the side and you have a great meal.

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These already washed and chopped salads are fantastic!  The combination of veggies and toppings in each are wonderful compliments but I forego the toppings and dressing and use balsamic vinegar.  Both can be found at Costco.

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Trader Joe’s has a wonderful variety of cuisines in their frozen section.  As a person that cooks and is discerning when it comes to flavor, they nail it for me in these dishes.  They taste like home cooked meals and I love that they are bold with their combinations.

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I cook channa (chick peas) often so it’s a big deal for me to even give a frozen version a chance.  This does not disappoint and helps in a pinch at only 180 calories per cup with lots of protein and fiber.

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Let me spell this out for you – white and red quinoa, sweet potato, and zucchini wonderfully seasoned and a little spice.  At only 220 calories per cup it is also packed with protein and fiber.

 

 

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I’m not even a big risotto fan but I like this combination.  Plus one cup is only 160 calories without missing the flavor.  This is a winner.

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/