Spaghetti Squash, Quinoa and Chickpea ‘Muffins’

Spaghetti Squash, Quinoa, Chickpea

I’ll be the first to admit, there’s nothing ‘pretty’ about this dish but it is SO delicious and nutritious!  Instead of rice or potatoes, try this as a substitute.  I eat the three ingredients in this dish separately all the time prepared different ways but I thought long and hard about combining two uniquely (I’ve had spaghetti squash and quinoa, quinoa and chickpeas)…then decided let’s just go with all three!

The ingredients are savory and unexpected with feta cheese, herbs like sage and spices like turmeric.  I made this in a muffin pan and it scoops out easily with a tablespoon and stores well.  You can also make it as a casserole if you prefer.

So if you’re watching your carbs, need more protein and fiber, give this a try!

Feed the wellness in you!

Spaghetti Squash, Quinoa and Chickpea ‘Muffins’

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Yield: 12

Ingredients

  • 1 medium sized spaghetti squash
  • 2 cans garbanzo beans
  • 1/2 cup quinoa (uncooked)
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1/2 can tomato paste
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup scallions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of sage
  • 1 tablespoon of turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon of parsley
  • 1 tsp of sea salt
  • 12 cup non stick muffin pan

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Bake the spaghetti squash for 45 minutes to one hour, until skin can be pierced with a knife.
  3. Cook the quinoa according to the package in the vegetable stock; should be 10-15 minutes.
  4. Blend the garbanzo beans in a blender until the consistency of hummus.
  5. In a large bowl, mix the ingredients together.
  6. Add all other ingredients and mix well.
  7. Add the mixture to the muffin cups. There should be generous helpings in each.
  8. Bake for 40 minutes.
  9. Gently scoop out with a tablespoon and serve.
https://eatlikeavegetarian.com/spaghetti-squash-quinoa-and-chickpea-muffins/

In Season Wellness – Papaya

In Season for your Wellness Papaya

Papaya is in season for your wellness from December through February. This is one of my favorite fruits eaten sliced with lots of lime.  They are very low in calories and is one of the fruits with the highest Vitamin C content.  It is also a wonderful source of Vitamins A, B, and potassium.

Try it ripe, use it in salsa or add to your smoothie.

Share your ideas.

For the wellness in you!

Weekly Wellness Tip – Sources of Protein

Whole Grains

How do you get Protein in your diet?

I am often asked this question. There are so many ways!  Although I don’t have a large source at one time such as a chicken breast that gives you approximately 23 grams of protein,  I eat whole grains throughout the day, even found in my snacks such as the Carrot Quinoa Mini Muffins I recently posted.

Many of you are looking to incorporate more protein in your diet even though you eat meat and fish.  I get a lot of my protein from whole grains and beans.  Whole grains or foods made from them contain all the essential parts and natural nutrients of the entire grain seed in their original proportions.  Unprocessed, they provide you with lots of protein and fiber.

Studies also show that eating whole grains instead of refined grains lowers the risk of many chronic diseases.  These benefits can only be realized as part of an overall healthy lifestyle.  So, in addition to you incorporating the usual Oats or Brown Rice in your diet, consider these great sources of protein.  The amount of protein listed is based on 1 cup of cooked whole grain.

Feed the wellness in you!

  1. Amarath            9 grams
  2. Black Beans      14 grams
  3. Bulgur                6 grams
  4. Chick Peas        12 grams
  5. Farro                  8 grams
  6. Kidney Beans   14 grams
  7. Millet                 6 grams
  8. Quinoa              9 grams

Carrot and Quinoa Mini Muffins

Carrot and Quinoa Mini Muffins1

Happy Monday!  It was a great weekend.  I took my children to see the movie, Paddington, and absolutely loved what they did with such a classic story.  London is one of my favorite cities and with a mother who was born in a British colony it really tugged at me with the setting brought to life, the memories of orange marmalade and the calypso band at the end of the movie.  Another highlight of the weekend was I had the pleasure of hosting a brunch for an awesome group of women.  And they allowed me to serve an all vegetarian brunch!  This is my second time offering a vegetarian menu to guests and it’s been a big success. Both times were to support my dear friend in her business as a CAbi consultant.  She brings her charm and the clothing and I create the venue.  That’s right up my alley.

I served eggs two ways – scrambled egg whites over spinach, black beans and freshly made salsa (cherry tomatoes, red onions, scallions, lime juice prepared the night before); scrambled whole eggs over the same combination and both were topped with cheese.  I also had pasta with roasted broccoli in a tomato sauce; finger sandwiches with hummus and cucumbers; and a mixed green salad with cherry tomatoes, English cucumbers, chickpeas, blueberries and barbeque tofu with balsamic vinegar.

I loved watching everyone enjoying different, satisfying options.  I placed another treat on the table after all the aforementioned dishes were out – my carrot quinoa mini muffins.  I wanted to create a muffin that my whole family enjoyed because we all like different muffins.  Whole Foods has seen the end of me purchasing mini blueberry, banana and carrot muffins!  The kids even enjoy these muffins I’ve created because of the hint of dark chocolate.  No other questions asked!  They were a huge hit at the brunch and my platter was left with crumbs.  So try these out for a change – made with whole wheat flour and quinoa gives you additional protein and the carrots are an added benefit with beta carotene and Vitamin A.

Feed the wellness in you!

Carrot and Quinoa Mini Muffins

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 34 Servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 cup crushed dark chocolate
  • Confectioner's Sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Use a non stick mini muffin pan.
  3. Whisk your dry ingredients together.
  4. In another bowl whisk the eggs, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract.
  5. Fold in your wet ingredients with the dry ingredients.
  6. Stir in the carrots, quinoa, apple sauce and dark chocolate.
  7. Divide the batter evenly in the muffin cups.
  8. Bake for approximately 20 minutes.
  9. Let cool and turn muffins out of the tins.
  10. Serve slightly warm and dust with confectioners sugar.
https://eatlikeavegetarian.com/carrot-and-quinoa-mini-muffins/

Kale and Chickpea Stew

Chickpea and Kale Stew

 

I often get inspired to create dishes while perusing the aisles of the grocery store, particularly Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s.  I shop at other grocery stores but I really love the layout of the Whole Foods produce section.  I fill my basket with the things that I need, then I take my time and look at fruits and vegetables that are new in season and consider how to incorporate them in my food.  At Trader Joe’s I enjoy looking at the wide variety of pre-packaged and frozen goods for ideas.  They have such unique freshly packaged food, dry and canned goods,  and an array of international cuisine.

My gym is around the corner from Trader Joe’s so I went there after working out last week to grab a few things.  While in the frozen aisle I looked at their Indian meals as I often do and saw a frozen meal of chickpea and kale stew.  I have combined these two main ingredients in soup before, but I loved the new thought of this married with an Indian flare as a stew.  Therefore, I gave life to the idea with this recipe.

I really love the way this evolved with the blend of spices I chose, and the sweetness of the Roma tomatoes adds a great balance.  Very fragrant and visually enticing. It also works well as a main dish or a side dish. I served it over brown rice made with light coconut milk and a side of mixed vegetables.

Here’s the recipe – go at it! Get your fiber, protein, Vitamins A, C and K!

Feed the wellness in you.

 

Kale and Chickpea Stew

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours

Total Time: 2 hours, 20 minutes

Serving Size: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 10 oz Kale, chopped and washed thoroughly
  • 2 cans Chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup Celery, minced
  • 5 Mini sweet peppers (variety)
  • 3 tsp Garlic
  • 1 tsp Ginger
  • 3/4 cup Red Onion, Chopped
  • 6 oz Tomato paste
  • 4 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tablespoon Curry Powder
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 3 cups Vegetable Stock
  • Sea Salt
  • Fresh Thyme
  • Fresh Cilantro (optional)

Instructions

  1. Cook the kale in 3 cups of vegetable stock and a teaspoon of sea salt for one hour on a medium heat.
  2. Saute the celery, sweet peppers, garlic, ginger and red onion in two tablespoons of olive oil. Cook on a low heat for 20 minutes. Add the chickpeas and mix together.
  3. Add the kale along with the vegetable stock to the chickpeas.
  4. Add tomato paste, paprika, curry powder, 3 sprigs of thyme and a teaspoon of sea salt.
  5. Cook on low heat for 45 minutes.
  6. Stir periodically and watch your temperature as the chickpeas cook the sauce may thicken and stick.
  7. In the last 10 minutes add your chopped tomatoes.
  8. Turn off after 10 minutes and let it rest.
  9. Serve over brown rice and sprinkle cilantro on top.
https://eatlikeavegetarian.com/kale-and-chickpea-stew/

Melting Pot Vegetarian Chili

Vegetarian Chili

Are you ready for some football?

It’s Super Bowl weekend, the parties are planned, gathering in front of the TV will begin and the trash talking will ensue all while noshing on party food – sliders, wings, pizza, dips, chips, and perhaps chili. I’ve always enjoyed chili because of its variety and ease of preparation. I’ve had a chili bar for  small to large gatherings and it’s an easy way of satisfying everyone. I’ll have different versions of chili with all the fixin’s laid out and you just help yourself to sour cream, cheese, jalapenos, nacho chips, green onions, cilantro, avocado and cornbread. That’s my list but I would love to hear yours!!

No matter what option I serve in addition to the vegetarian chili, everyone loves the veggie version just as much as they would one with meat. My version is an amalgamation of several chili dishes that I’ve made just without the meat.  I landed on the right combination to make you enjoy it as much as you would one with chicken or beef. I named it ‘Melting Pot Vegetarian Chili because all the ingredients work in harmony, it brings people together that wouldn’t normally eat a vegetarian version, and it is adeptly named as an homage to my hometown, Brooklyn NY. Let’s not minimize how nutritious this is – lots of vitamins, protein, fiber and so much more. And wait for it…the cooking directions are simple. You put all the ingredients in a crock pot on the low setting for 8 hours. Or try it on the stovetop on low heat for 4 hours. That’s it! It can cook faster on higher heat but I recommend slow cooking so all the flavors are infused. Try it out for a change.

Enjoy your weekend! Go Seattle! #RussellWilson

Melting Pot Vegetarian Chili

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 8 hours

Serving Size: 6

Ingredients

  • 2 -3 cups Vegetable Stock
  • 14.5 oz can Diced Tomatoes
  • 15 oz Tomato Sauce
  • 1 bottle Heinz Chili Sauce
  • 1 can Kidney Beans
  • 1 can Black Beans
  • 1 pkg Lightlife Protein Crumbles
  • 1 Small Onion, chopped
  • 1 cup Green Peppers, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Minced Garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Cumin
  • 1 tablespoon Unsweetened baking cocoa
  • ½ teaspoon Cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Thyme
  • 1 tablespoon Oregano
  • 2 tablespoons Smoked Paprika
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Put all ingredients in your crock pot or a large soup pot.
  2. Reserve 1 cup of the vegetable stock and observe whether it is too thick or requires a bit more liquid.
  3. Stir well.
  4. If cooking in the crock pot leave on low heat for 6-8 hours.
  5. If cooking on the stove top leave on low heat for 4 hours.
  6. Check on it periodically to stir.
  7. Taste, add salt as desired.
  8. Enjoy with all the fixin's!!
https://eatlikeavegetarian.com/melting-pot-vegetarian-chili/

 

Vegetable Lasagne with Polenta

 Vegetable polenta

 

A few weeks ago while in London with my family we grabbed a quick bite to eat at the restaurant, Jamie Oliver Italian. I’m a big fan of Chef Oliver’s “better food” education efforts because it was sorely needed.  However, I really had no intention of making his restaurant a destination while in the UK. I thought it would be difficult for a ‘chain’ restaurant (there are 37 locations in London) to maintain his personal stamp and I really wanted to explore other dining options (given the chance I would’ve eaten Indian food everyday!). We were in the midst of sightseeing between attractions and the children were suddenly starving.  If you have children you know you need to resolve that right away!  Chef Oliver has four children of his own and is known to have great kid friendly dishes. With 37 restaurant locations the opportunity easily presented itself to see what Jamie Oliver Italian had to offer.

There were a decent amount of vegetarian pasta options on the menu and I chose the Vegetable Rotolo Al Forno that is a dish comprised of seasonal pumpkin, squash & spinach. ‘Rotolo Al Forno’ seems to translate to ‘Baked Roll’ and there were pinwheels of pasta (about half the width of a lasagna noodle) filled with the pumpkin combination and topped with tomatoes, ricotta and a little parmesan cheese. The description also had ‘herby breadcrumbs’ which seemed to be Chef Oliver’s topping on several dishes. I couldn’t foresee how breadcrumbs would help the dish so I asked for the pasta without it and they obliged.

I really enjoyed this savory blend! The combination of the vegetables and cheese really worked for me and I immediately thought of incorporating it in a dish when I returned stateside. So I did! I made some changes using polenta instead of pasta, butternut squash only with no pumpkin, in addition to spinach I added collard greens, and lastly instead of using parmesan cheese I used parrano cheese. I’m really pleased with the flavors and I hope you are too!

 

Vegetable Lasagne with Polenta

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours, 40 minutes

Serving Size: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 16 oz Chopped Collards
  • 12 oz Baby Spinach
  • 20 oz Butternut Squash, cubed
  • 2-24 oz tubes Polenta
  • 8 oz San Marzano Tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup Rao’s Marinara Sauce
  • 64 oz Vegetable Stock
  • 24 oz Ricotta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons Onion Powder
  • 2 tablespoons Garlic Powder
  • 2 tablespoons Italian Seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons Dried Basil
  • Shaved Parrano Cheese
  • Sea Salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Put collards in a large pot with enough vegetable stock to just cover the collards about 1/4 inch.
  3. Season with the onion powder, garlic powder and 2 tablespoons of Italian seasoning.
  4. Bring to a boil then turn to low and cook for 1.5 hours.
  5. Add spinach and sea salt to taste.
  6. Cook until the spinach is the same dark green color as the collards. The spinach should not be just wilted and bright green. It should be soft and dark. This may take approximately 30 minutes. The collards and spinach should be very soft and the same consistency.
  7. Drain the liquid and set aside.
  8. In another pot, cook the butternut squash similarly; cover with just enough vegetable stock and cook for about 20 minutes or until they are soft. No seasoning is added. Mash them to a soft consistency and put in a strainer to release the liquid.
  9. Slice your polenta (I like the Sun of Italy brand) in even ‘disk’ sizes. You should have at least 20 slices but you should not have more than 2 rows and 2 layers of polenta when it is all assembled.
  10. Mix your ricotta cheese with the dried basil and a dash of sea salt to taste.
  11. In a baking dish (I use size 9x13), pour the marinara sauce to cover and coat the bottom of the dish.
  12. Add a layer of polenta (about 8 - 10 slices).
  13. Top with the butternut squash and spread evenly.
  14. Add the collards and spinach and spread evenly on top of the butternut squash.
  15. Top the butternut squash with the ricotta and spread evenly.
  16. Top the ricotta with the remaining polenta slices.
  17. Add the San Marzano tomatoes evenly on top of the polenta.
  18. Bake for 40 minutes.
  19. Add Parrano Cheese and serve.
https://eatlikeavegetarian.com/vegetable-lasagne-with-polenta/

 Vegetable Polenta1I prefer Parrano cheese but you can use Parmesan or Pecorino Romano also.  All of them are delish!

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.

Kung Pao Brussels Sprouts

This can be made quickly and is so flavorful.  It’s a big hit whenever served!

Kung Pao Brussel Sprouts

Kung Pao Brussels Sprouts

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Serving Size: 2-4

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces Sliced and Halved Brussel Sprouts
  • 2 teaspoons Minced Ginger
  • 1 teaspoon Teriyaki Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Hoisin Sauce
  • 1/8 cup Soy Ginger Sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Sweet Chili Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Peanut Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1/8 cup Chopped Peanuts

Instructions

  1. Wash the brussels sprouts thoroughly and drain well.
  2. In a 10 inch frying pan sauté the brussels sprouts in olive oil for 5 minutes then add the minced ginger.
  3. Toss the brussels sprouts with the ginger and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the teriyaki sauce, hoisin sauce, soy ginger sauce, sweet chili sauce and peanut sauce.
  5. Stir well and cook on low heat for 15 minutes.
  6. The brussels sprouts should be firm but easy to stick a fork in.
  7. After 15 minutes, put the whole pan in the oven and broil until the top of the brussels sprouts are slightly charred.
  8. Remove and top with chopped peanuts.
  9. Serve immediately.
https://eatlikeavegetarian.com/kung-pao-brussels-sprouts-2/