Vegan Southwestern Zucchini Sauté + 5 Lightened Up Super Bowl Recipes

Vegan Southwestern Zucchini Sauté + 5 Lighter Super Bowl Recipes

I have been making my Vegan Eggplant Sauté on and off for over 10 years, and it never occurred to me to change it around.  Then all the sudden I think how I can keep myself from getting bored by changing around the flavors.  This recipe is just as simple as the Vegan Eggplant Saute, but I’ve swapped around all the flavors.

Following the recipe, you’ll see a list of 5 lightened up, but still Super Bowl-worthy, recipes for game day.  I have never cared one way or another about the football, but I do like watching the Super Bowl Halftime Show, and I like the Super Bowl foods.  The rest is just background noise to me.

 

Southwestern Zucchini Sauté  (vegan, gluten free)

Total Time:  15 minutes

Serves:  1

Difficulty Level:  Easy

 

Ingredients1

Cooking spray

1 large zucchini, medium diced

1 Original Vegan Boca Burger

1 pinch salt

1 pinch garlic powder

1 pinch chipotle powder or ground cumin

1 ice cube

½ cup salsa

Freshly chopped cilantro

 

Directions

  1. Add a quick spray of cooking spray to a sauté pan over medium heat.
  2. Add the zucchini, salt, garlic, and chipotle or cumin.  Sauté for a minute or so.  Add the ice cube, and cover.  Let it steam for 5-6 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, microwave the Boca Burger until warm, about 1 minute. Dice into bite-sized pieces.
  4. Remove the zucchini from heat. Add the Boca Burger and salsa.  Mix together.
  5. Top with freshly chopped cilantro.

 

 

5 Lighter Super Bowl Eats

  1.  Skinny Taste:  Slow Cooker Paleo Jalapeno Popper  Chicken Chili.  This is a mouthful!  I like all kinds of chili, vegetarian included.  I was going to list a vegetarian option, but I think a Super Bowl chili needs some kind of meat.  This one is a good middle ground and will make dieters and non-dieters happy.  Here are some of my other favorite chilis.  SlowCookerPaleoJalapenoPopperChickenChili-550x825.jpg

 

2.  The Mediterranean Dish:  Avocado Hummus and Fresh Tomatillo Salsa Verde.  Another classic Super Bowl food is guacamole.  Here’s a lightened up version that you could serve with both chips and raw veggies.Avocado-Hummus-with-Salsa-Verde-Recipe-11.jpg

 

3.  A Beautiful Plate:  Salt and Vinegar Roasted Chickpeas.  I love roasted chickpeas!  The first time I had them was in this salad.  They are a great substitute for salty nuts, and you can switch up the flavor combinations in endless ways.salt-and-vinegar-roasted-chickpeas-1-11.jpg

 

4.  Dashing Dish:  Crispy Buffalo Cauliflower Poppers.  This is on my “must try” list, and of all the recipes I’ve seen for buffalo cauliflower, this one looks like a dead ringer for wings.  So, maybe you can’t forgo wings on Super Bowl Sunday in favor of cauliflower.  But maybe you can have both?IMG_4599.jpg

5.  BS In the Kitchen:  Paloma.  Tequila is my favorite kind of liquor, and the only kind I’ll ever have around the house.  The Paloma is similar to a margarita, but with grapefruit.  This version contains hardly any sugar, but relies mostly on the tart grapefruit and lime for flavor (plus tequila really has a great flavor too).  Each drink only has one teaspoon of sugar, but you could substitute stevia, or you could leave it out altogether.the-paloma-6

 

 

 


Kale Sautéed in Olive Oil

Kale Sautéed in Olive OilFullSizeRender

I didn’t start eating kale until recently, but this is my favorite way to eat it.  And the vitamins you get from it are amazing.  Just one 2 ½ cup serving of raw kale has 11% of your daily potassium (good for water and electrolyte balance), 260% of daily Vitamin A (good for skin, hair, and nails), 170% of Vitamin C, and a whopping 870% of your daily Vitamin K.  Vitamin K is important for heart health, bone health, and blood clotting.  So eat up, and feel good about your choice. 

I found that the best way to do this is to start cooking the kale in olive oil while it’s covered and let it steam through.  This way you get that charred flavor from the oil, but it finishes cooking without too much extra oil.  Since the whole point of eating kale is for its health benefits, I don’t think it’s good to ruin it with excess oil.

Like any greens, kale shrinks down a lot during cooking.  So you can really pile it on in the pan even though it looks like a lot at first.

As I write this recipe, I’m serving sautéed kale alongside Whole Wheat Turkey Lasagna.  But it goes with just about anything.

 

Total Time:  15 minutes

Serves: 4-6

Difficulty Level:  Easy

 

Ingredients

1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil

Half of a 16 ounce bag of chopped kale

Salt and pepper

 

  1. In a medium pan, add the olive oil.  Turn the heat to medium and warm the oil until it softens, and you can smell it.
  2. Add the kale, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Cover and steam for 10-15 minutes, stirring every few minutes.
  4. Serve immediately.

 


Vegan Italian Eggplant Sauté + My Favorite Fast Meals Under 200 Calories

Vegan Italian Eggplant Sauté + My Favorite Fast Meals Under 200 Calories

I’m doing a quick post to share my current favorite recipe, plus a few extras that are barely recipes, but great if you (like me) are fighting stubborn Christmas pounds off.  The older I get, the less I can eat and still be thin.  Living with 4 hungry kids and a 6 foot tall, 200 pound husband leaves me feeling a little left out sometimes.  They can all literally eat whatever they want and stay thin.  Tonight, they’re eating a pasta dish I made earlier, and I’ll be eating an Anything Scramble.  It is what it is, but I refuse to give in to the scale, so here are a few of my super low calories meals and snacks I’ve been eating to get back to my goal.

Vegan Eggplant Sauté (pictured):  You’ll need cooking spray; ½ a medium sized eggplant, diced; a pinch each of cinnamon and dried oregano; 1 ice cube (just wait); 1 Original Vegan Boca Burger; ½ cup marinara sauce; and fresh basil.

  1. Add a quick spray of cooking spray to a sauté pan over medium heat.
  2. Add the eggplant, cinnamon, and oregano.  Sauté for a minute or so.  Add the ice cube, and cover.  Let it steam for 6-8 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, microwave the Boca Burger until warm, about 1 minute. Dice into bite-sized pieces.
  4. Remove the eggplant from heat. Add the Boca Burger and marinara sauce.  Mix together.
  5. Serve with fresh basil.
  • Notes: The ice cube sounds weird, but it helps to steam the eggplant, which cooks it without adding extra fat and calories.  This entire dish has 180 calories, 3 grams of fat, 17 grams of protein, and 12 grams of fiber (that’s half a day’s worth).  It’s also vegan and gluten free.

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The rest of these aren’t really recipes, but they’re quick, easy, filling, and perfect for weight loss:

  • Anything Scramble: With 1 whole egg plus 3 whites and your choice of veggies, it’s has less than 200 calories.  It also has 22 grams of protein and virtually no carbs.
  • Whitefish Over Greens with Vinaigrette: Toss the greens (I like baby spinach) with a light vinaigrette.  My favorite is sesame ginger.  5 ounces of cod only has 115 calories and 25 grams of protein, and most whitefish are about the same.  Steam the whitefish using this method.
  • Chocolate Coconut Chia Pudding: This has about 250 calories, and it may seem like a lot for a small pudding.  But you’re getting 9 grams of protein and 15 grams of fiber.  This is essentially a homemade meal replacement shake.  If you want it to be drinkable, use 2 tablespoons of chia instead of 3.  This will leave you at 200 calories 6 grams of protein, and 10 grams of fiber (still enough for a small meal).
  • Whole Grain Egg McMuffin: Use Thomas Multigrain English Muffins because they have only 100 calories, and 8 grams of fiber.  I make a microwave scrambled egg to go on this.  All you do is spray a small bowl with cooking spray.  Add one egg, salt, and pepper.  Whisk lightly with a fork.  Microwave for 1-2 minutes, checking every 30 seconds for doneness.  The egg will slide right out and fit the sliced English muffin for a little sandwich.  I like topping the egg with a tomato slice to brighten it up.  This meal has 180 calories, 6 grams of fat, 8 grams of fiber, and 11.5 grams of protein.
  • I also love snacking on pickles because they’re almost calorie free, and vinegar actually curbs your appetite. I eat at least one Oats and Chocolate Fiber One Bar per day—usually 2.  I’ll have one as my breakfast, and I’ll eat one after dinner if I need something sweet.  Each bar has 9 grams of fiber and tricks me into thinking I’m having a chocolate chip cookie.  Pears are my go-to fruit in the winter because 1 small pear has 100 calories and 4 grams of fiber, much more than most fruit.  In the summer, I go for watermelon because it’s very filling, but very low calorie.

Roasted Winter Vegetable Soup

Roasted Winter Vegetable Soup

This recipe is a take on Ina’s Roasted Winter Vegetable Soup.  When you eat this soup, it feels like eating a big cozy bowl of chicken noodle soup or mashed potatoes.  It’s full of vitamins, especially Vitamin A, which is good for your skin, hair, and nails.  It’s seriously low in fat and high in fiber.  You can easily make this vegan by using vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.  It’s also gluten free and elimination diet friendly.

I love making a big batch of this and eating it throughout the week.  It freezes well, too.  I don’t give a specific amount of the chicken broth because I think it’s best to add it gradually until it’s the consistency you like.

Ina always recommends making your own chicken stock, but I have never done that.  I don’t want to say never, but I don’t really see myself doing that.  I always buy chicken base—similar to bouillon, but it’s a powder.  For this soup, I put water in my tea kettle.  I put the ratio of 2 teaspoons of powdered base per cup of water.  When the water boils, I pour it over the base into a glass measuring cup.  That way the base dissolves completely, and you can mix hot broth with hot vegetables.  

Total Time:  90 minutes15966111_412154012456574_7851803339849164156_n.jpg

Serves:  6-8

Difficulty Level:  Easy

 

Ingredients

1 large butternut squash

2 sweet potatoes

1 pound of carrots

Olive oil spray

Salt and pepper

8 cups of chicken broth

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Peel, seed, and dice the butternut squash into bite sized pieces. Peel and dice the sweet potatoes and carrots (all about 1 inch dice).
  3. Spray sheet pans with olive oil spray. Arrange the vegetables on the tray.  Spray with more olive oil, and sprinkle with salt in pepper.
  4. Cook the vegetables in batches. For each batch cook for 40-50 minutes.  Take them out and turn them halfway through.
  5. Add the vegetables in batches to a food processor. Puree the vegetables on their own for a minute or two so the broth won’t splash up when you add it.  Add chicken broth, and puree until you reach the desired consistency.
  6. Serve on its own, or with croutons or crusty bread and a dash of olive oil and cracked pepper.

(inspired by Ina Garten’s recipe)

 


2017 Food Goals

2017 Food Goals

One of my favorite things about this blog is that it challenges me creatively.  I think everyone has a creative side, and we have to find out where we can express ourselves and get that satisfaction.  Crafts don’t do it for me, but they do it for some people, but it can be anything.  My “thing” is definitely food and being in the kitchen.  Blogging about my adventures in the kitchen keeps me motivated because I can see my progress, and I can constantly find new ways to cook with old ingredients and everyday uses for uncommon ingredients.  I did a few posts on resolutions already, but those were more generic:  budgets and diets.  My specific resolutions for this year are going to be exploring and mastering -ok maybe not mastering- but getting familiar and more confident with new types of food or ingredients.  I don’t know how I landed on 8 as a good number, but it works for my Pretty Things posts, so I’ll stick with 8 for the food goals.

1.   Marshmallows:  Until I saw Ina Garten do it a 5 or 10 years ago, I never realized that marshmallows could be homemade.  It was pretty naive of me, because of course every packaged item is derived from something homemade, right?  I’ve seen so many beautiful iterations of marshmallows out there on the internet that I’m determined to make a few this year.  Probably not as fancy as Baker’s Royale, but I already have a some ideas for summer s’mores and hot cocoa later this year (so stay tuned!).

 

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image found on Local Milk

 

2.  Cheesecake:  Cheesecake has always seemed daunting, and I’ve had a couple of springform pans collecting dust in a cabinet for years now.  I used one to make a baked pasta pie (post for that is still in the works), but I feel like I should use it to make a really good cheesecake.  I’m thinking lemon, ricotta, or vanilla bean…

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image found on Baking a Moment

 

3.  Aioli:  I put this on a pretty things list already, but I have to mention it again.  It’s such a simple, but flavorful dipping sauce, and I can’t wait to dip some buttery artichokes into it.

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image found on Epicurious

 

4.  Waffles:  I used our new waffle iron for the first time today!  It was a snow day, so we had a long morning.  I’m working my way towards making a real Liege waffle once I get my hands on some pearl sugar.  We hosted an exchange student from Belgium a few years back, and Jon still talks about the waffles her parents sent us.

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image found on Food and Wine

 

5.  Bread in a Le Creuset French Oven: This is so cool!  I actually bought my first Le Creuset as a factory second at Marshall’s for about 40% of the retail price, and there is a teeny knick that’s hardly visible.  I started looking around for interesting ways to use it, and who would have thought you could make bread in it?  I’m so in.

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image found on Le Creuset

 

6.  Turmeric Latte:  I’ve been wanting to do this for a couple years now, and I finally bought a big canister of turmeric.  Jon wants to use it to whiten his teeth, I want it for face masks and turmeric lattes.  I’m excited to share what I come up with (and if the teeth whitening thing works, I’ll let you know).

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image found on Elle UK

7.  Bee Pollen:  Bee pollen as a spur of the moment purchase, yes.  I saw it in Goop Clean Beauty and decided to try it out.  I’m thinking smoothie bowls, oatmeal topping, possibly in some granola.  Again, I’ll be sharing any successes here.

Brain-Boosting-Acai-Smoothie-Bowl-Recipe-10.jpg

image found on Sed Bona

 

8.  The Spiralizer:  This was my first New Year Food Resolution.  Everyone’s been so spiralizing for years, and I finally broke down because it just looks fun.  I bought the one most recommended, and I want to spiralize everything from cucumbers to apples to sweet potatoes.  Again, tons of ideas!

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image found on Haute and Healthy Living

 

 


Spiced Pear + Coconut Oats

Spiced Pear + Coconut Oats

(vegan, gluten free, elimination diet-friendly)

This is not turning into a health food or vegan blog.  I love cookies and cheese way too much. However, you may have noticed I’ve done a few healthy recipes lately, including Grain Bowl Basics and Chocolate Coconut Chia Pudding Cups.  I actually do eat really healthy most of the time, but I don’t like to say a certain food group is totally off-limits.  Even as a write this, I’m thinking about the Turkish Delights I’ll be making in a few days for another post.  I try not to eat too much junk, white carbs, red meat, etc.  Over the holidays, though, I gained about 7 pounds back of the 20 I’d lost!  But with just about a week of healthy eating, I’ve already lost 4 of them.  It’s not too hard, but it does take discipline, and I know it’s a lot easier to catch myself now than it would be to wait until I’d gained 10 more pounds.  So there’s that.
There’s also me reading about and preparing for the Elimination Diet to see what is giving me stomach troubles (I talked a little more about the Elimination Diet in the last 2 posts).  The Grain Bowls, Chia Puddings, and this oatmeal are all Elimination Diet-friendly.  Certain things, like the chocolate shavings on the pudding or the grape tomatoes in the grain bowls are not, but I really did those more for the camera.  You can always add those to your food of course, but it won’t be Elimination Diet-friendly. 

I never realized that oats weren’t gluten-free on their own.  I figured that because it was just oats, it was naturally gluten-free.  To do the Elimination Diet, I only had to get a few things at Whole Foods, but most of it is available at any grocery store these days.  I did get some gluten-free quick cooking oats (by Red Mill), some unrefined coconut sugar, white quinoa, almond butter plus some red lentil and chickpea pastas all at WF, but that’s about it.  The reason I got the quinoa and almond butter there is because I like WF’s generic brand 365 Everyday Value.  I think the quality and price are both better than at a regular grocery store.

I added some ground flax to the oatmeal too.  I order it from Amazon in whole seeds and grind it up in one of these.  Once it’s ground, I store it in the freezer for up to 6 months.  Flax seeds are full of Omega-3 fats (great for brain function and also found in foods like salmon and eggs).  One tablespoon of ground flax has 37 calories, 3 grams of fat, 57 grams of potassium, 2 grams of fiber, and 1 gram of protein. 

So here’s my take on a gluten-free, nutrition-packed, vegan, Elimination Diet-friendly –yet still warm and satisfying –oatmeal breakfast.

Total Time:  15 Minute1.jpg

Serves:  1

Difficulty Level:  Easy

Ingredients

2/3 cup water

½ cup unsweetened coconut milk

1 pinch of salt

½ cup gluten free quick cooking oats

1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground ginger

1 fresh diced pear (shown sliced only for photographic purposes)

1 ½ teaspoon coconut oil

Toasted Coconut (see below)

Directions

  1. Bring the water, coconut, and salt to a gentle boil.
  2. Add the oats, flax, cinnamon, and ginger, and reduce heat.
  3. Once the oats have begun to absorb the liquid, add the diced pear.
  4. Turn off the heat, and stir in the coconut oil.
  5. Top with toasted coconut.

For the toasted coconut, you’ll need:

A handful of unsweetened flaked coconut

Directions

  1. On a toaster oven-sized sheet pan, add a handful of unsweetened flaked coconut.
  2. Place it in a toaster oven, and turn on.
  3. Watch it carefully for 2-3 minutes and pull out of the oven just as it starts to brown.

Chocolate Coconut Chia Pudding Cups

Chocolate Coconut Chia Pudding Cups

This recipe is another during my Elimination Diet. I’m writing this the day before I start the diet…I had plans to take pictures this morning, but the fog is so dense, I’m afraid I won’t get any good ones.  The reason I’m trying the Elimination Diet is because I get a lot of stomach irritation, and I’m curious to see if there’s any one food group that’s affecting me. 

The Elimination Diet is no dairy, caffeine, alcohol, gluten, nightshades, white carbs, beef, pork, shellfish, processed food, soy, peanuts, eggs, and certain fruits like grapes and bananas.  It’s pretty extensive, but not exhaustive.  You can still have meat, most vegetables, and non-white non-gluten carbs. 

I made a similar pudding last year, but with regular cow’s milk.  I tasted this version along the way and adjusted the flavors to get it as rich-tasting as possible.  Just because you’re on a special diet doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to feel indulgent.  This recipe makes four 8 ounce portions, and each portion has about 260 calories if you follow my recipe exactly.  These are vegan free, gluten free, and Elimination Diet-friendly.  The puddings set up in 6 hours and will keep for about 5 days. 

Chia seeds are interesting little things, aren’t they?  Remember back in the 90s, Chia Pets?  It’s the same thing, except this time, we’re eating them.  Each serving of this pudding has 3 tablespoons of chia seeds.  The seeds are what helps the pudding become pudding.  For every 3 tablespoons, there are 180 calories, 9 grams of fat, 180 mg of potassium, 15 grams of fiber (!), NO SUGAR, 9 grams of protein, plus 24% of your daily Vitamin A and 18% of your daily Iron needs.  Pretty impressive.

When I made these last year, I stored them in glasses with plastic wrap, but that was before I got my half pint mason jars.  I keep finding new reasons to love and accumulate mason jars.  I started using them for salads, but have since used them for homemade beauty products, salad dressings, and now for these puddings.  It’s homemade portable pudding cups tailored exactly to your specifications.  Plus– they’re spill-proof. 

You can top them with anything you like—I suggest toasted unsweetened coconut, almonds, fresh mint, or chocolate shavings (though chocolate shavings are not vegan or Elimination Diet-friendly).

 

Total Time:  6 hours, 15 minutes (hands-on time 15 minutes)

Difficulty Level:  Easy

Serves: 4best

 

Ingredients

3 cups of cold unsweetened coconut milk

3 tablespoons of unrefined coconut sugar

2 tablespoons of cocoa powder

12 tablespoons of chia seeds

toasted coconut

  1. Add the coconut milk to a large mixing bowl.
  2. Sift the unrefined coconut sugar and cocoa powder together to remove any lumps. Add them to the milk.
  3. Add the chia seeds to the milk mixture.
  4. Use a whisk to mix everything together thoroughly.
  5. Using 4 half pint (8 ounce) mason jars, add the mixture evenly to each jar.
  6. Put the lids on the jars, and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight.
  7. Garnish with toasted coconut, mint, almonds, or chocolate shavings (non-vegan, not Elimination Diet-friendly). Puddings will last about 5 days in the fridge.

 

 

For the toasted coconut, you’ll need:

A handful of unsweetened flaked coconut

 

Directions

  1. On a toaster oven-sized sheet pan, add a handful of unsweetened flaked coconut.
  2. Place it in a toaster oven, and turn on.
  3. Watch it carefully for 2-3 minutes and pull out of the oven just as it starts to brown.