Baked Vegetable Risotto

Baked Vegetable Risotto 3

Risotto. A labor of love to be sure. You stir and stir, add liquid, and stir and stir and stir some more. Sometimes it is quite therapeutic for me to make a risotto. I am partial to this classic risotto recipe and I love this non-traditional recipe. BUT, life happens and some days are a bit hectic and I don’t have time to stand over the stove stirring and stirring. Thank you oven! This baked risotto comes together in a quicker fashion and it is just as delicious. It’s still tender, creamy, and oh so dreamy! The beauty of this recipe is that you can use whatever vegetables you would like or have on hand. I think mushrooms, butternut squash, zucchini, green beans, asparagus, or carrots would be phenomenal in this dish! You can also mix up the herbs. I think rosemary, marjoram, thyme, or Italian seasoning would be good. See? Cooking can be enjoyable, inventive, and not take all day to make a super dish! Get in the kitchen for a bit and make some risotto!

Baked Vegetable Risotto 2

Baked Vegetable Risotto 4

2 tablespoons grape seed oil, divided

2 tablespoons chopped onion or leeks

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 teaspoon oregano

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 cup uncooked Arborio rice

1/4 cup white cooking wine

2 cups vegetable broth

1 small eggplant, chopped

1 small red pepper, chopped

1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed

5 Kalamata olives, cut in half or chopped

2 tablespoons fresh basil, minced

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment. In a medium size bowl, toss eggplant and peppers with a tablespoon of grape seed oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place on the baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a 12-inch skillet, heat remaining tablespoon of grape seed oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and oregano. Cook 3 to 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring frequently, until onions become translucent. Add rice. Cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add wine and broth; heat to boiling. Remove from heat; pour into a 2-quart casserole. Cover casserole with lid or foil. Bake 15 minutes. Stir in roasted vegetables, peas, olives, fresh basil, and nutritional yeast. Cover; bake 10 to 15 minutes longer or until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Stir in 1/2 cup more vegetable broth if rice seems too dry. Serve

Pumpkin Pancakes

Pumpkin Pancakes 3

We love pancakes at our house. So, I make A LOT of pancakes. This pumpkin version is a favorite for sure! They are fluffy, tender, and filled with yummy spicy pumpkin flavor. Pumpkin is a great addition to baked goods as it adds extra nutrients, moisture, and flavor. I love the beautiful orange hue it brings and the taste is incredibly delicious. These pancakes are so good and comforting that you may find yourself eating more than you expected…not that I would know anything about that! (wink-wink)

Pumpkin Pancakes 4

2 cups gluten-free flour blend

1 tsp guar gum or xanthan gum (if not included in your flour blend)

2 tbsp baking powder

2 tbsp coconut sugar

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/2 teaspoon ceylon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ginger

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

good dash of cloves

2 cups coconut milk (or non-dairy milk of choice)

2 tsp apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup pure pumpkin (or 3/4 cup pumpkin and no oil)

2 tbsp grape seed oil

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, coconut sugar, salt, and spices. Preheat your griddle to medium-high. In a separate bowl, whisk together the non-dairy milk and apple cider vinegar. Let sit for 10 minutes. Next, combine together the non-dairy milk mixture, pumpkin and oil. To mix the batter, first push the dry ingredients to one side of the bowl and then pour the wet ingredients into the opposite side. Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet. As soon as the batter comes together, stop mixing. Let the batter sit for about 5 minutes. The batter will thicken slightly as it sits. Do not remix once the baking powder has started to react. Before you start cooking, make sure your griddle is nice and hot. Once hot, ladle about 1/4 cup of batter onto the griddle. Let the pancakes cook until you start to see bubbles break the surface. Flip and continue to cook on the other side. It should take about 3 to 5 minutes to cook the pancakes, but this will depend on your heat source, and how thick your pancakes are. To serve the pancakes, stack 2 or 3 onto a plate, coating each of them with some non-dairy butter as you stack them (if desired). Drizzle with maple syrup and chopped walnuts. Enjoy!

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Spinach Artichoke Dip

I enjoy hosting a dinner party. I think the best part is introducing people to my plant-based world. I eat a lot of food. I eat a lot of DELICIOUS food. It’s fun to serve some of this delicious food to family and friends. I love to serve an appetizer at dinner parties. It gets the palate ready for the ‘main event’ and helps stave off the hunger pangs while I finish dinner. Typically, a spinach artichoke dip is full of dairy and fat – enough calories for a whole day! This dip is super flavorful and yummy without the dairy PLUS it is loaded with fiber and nutrients. It is creamy, slightly tangy, slightly spicy, and simply delicious! I like to serve this with baguettes, or crackers, or chips, or even fresh veggies. Your guests will love this dip and so will you!

Spinach Artichoke Dip 2

Spinach Artichoke Dip 3

1 tablespoon grape seed oil

1/2 sweet onion, minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 can (14-ounces) artichoke hearts in water, drained and chopped

5-ounces baby spinach, roughly chopped

1 can (15-ounces) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (reserve liquid)

2 tablespoons lemon juice

3 tablespoons reserved bean liquid

3 tablespoons nutritional yeast

1 teaspoon dried thyme

Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a food processor, add beans, lemon juice, bean liquid, nutritional yeast, thyme, salt. pepper, and red pepper flakes. Process until creamy. Scrape down the sides as needed to incorporate all of the ingredients. Set aside. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the oil. Salute the onions for about 5 minutes, or until onions are translucent. Add in garlic and cook 1 minute. Add in artichoke hearts and spinach. Cook until the spinach wilts. Add the bean puree to the skillet and mix well. Place mixture into a small baking dish and cover with foil. Bake for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove the foil and cook an additional 10 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly. Let the dip cool for a bit before serving. (Adapted slightly from Recipe Source: TSV)

Banana Coconut Macaroons

Banana Coconut Macaroons 2

I am coco-loco for coconut! Seriously, I think it may be a bit of a problem. I put coconut on cereal, in muffins, cookies, savory dishes…I really love it! I’ve been wanting to make a macaroon for some time now and I think know I have a winner! These cookies have just the right texture and flavor (I only made several batches trying to get these right!) I think they are a cross between a pure coconut macaroon and an almond cookie. Now, you don’t have to add the chocolate drizzle, but I highly recommend it. I mean c’mon…it’s chocolate and only adds another layer of decadent flavor to these cookies! I really LOVE the flavor of these little babies! I know you’re gonna love these too! Hooray for cookies and hooray for coconut!

Banana Coconut Macaroons 3

Banana Coconut Macaroons 4

Wet Ingredients:
1 medium ripe banana, mashed

1/3 cup melted coconut oil

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon organic almond flavoring

Dry Ingredients:
1 cup hazelnut meal/flour

1/4 cup coconut flour

3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Chocolate Drizzle – 1/2 cup Enjoy Life Megachunks

In a medium-sized mixing bowl whisk together the wet ingredients. Add the dry ingredients and mix together using a fork. Form dough into ball and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Form dough into small balls (about 15) and place onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Flatten each cookie ball a little with the palm of your hand. Bake for about 15 minutes. Cookies will be soft straight out of the oven but will firm up once completely cool. Place them onto a wire rack to cool.  Place the Megachunks into a small glass bowl and place over a small saucepan of water. Heat the water until the chocolate starts to melt. Continue to stir the chocolate until it is all melted. Dip the bottoms of the cookies into the chocolate and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle the rest of the chocolate over the tops of the cookies. Place in the refrigerator to allow the chocolate to cool and become firm. (Adapted slightly from Recipe Source: The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen)

No Tuna Salad


No Tuna Salad 3

This is one of my favorite sandwich spreads! I am a fan of garbanzo beans or chickpeas because they are full of fiber and they act as a great canvas for flavor. This salad is filling with just the right amount of tangy, salty goodness. I like to eat this as an open faced sandwich with greens or over a bed of greens as a salad. This salad is great in a wrap and travels well for a picnic or lunch on the go. This is also good as a dip eaten with crackers. You decide how you want to eat this – it’s delicious!

No Tuna Salad

No Tuna Salad 4

1 can garbanzo beans, drained, reserve liquid

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon yellow mustard

1 tablespoon dijon mustard

good pinch of sea salt

freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon diced sweet onion (or red onion)

1/2 celery stalk, diced

dill pickle spear, diced

1 tablespoon cilantro (or parsley), minced

Place garbanzo beans in a small bowl and mash most of the beans with a fork. I like to leave some partially mashed or whole for more texture. Mix in lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper. Stir really well to blend all of the flavors. Add in the onion, celery, pickles, and cilantro. Stir well. Serve.



Spiced Pumpkin Muffins

Spiced Pumpkin Muffins 2

It’s time for another pumpkin recipe! This beautiful fall weather is inspiring me to get creative and bake warm and yummy food. These muffins. Oh these muffins. I think you will want to make these. Like right now. As these were baking, my house was filled with delicious smells of warm spices. So comforting. These pumpkin muffins have fiber and beta-carotene, but aside from being healthy, they taste divine! These muffins are tender, moist, and spiced just right. These would be delicious with a cup of afternoon tea. I think these might be my new favorite! I’m savoring each bite. Swoon…

Spiced Pumpkin Muffins

Spiced Pumpkin Muffins 3

2 cups gluten-free flour

1/2 cup coconut sugar

1 teaspoon guar gum

2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon ceylon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

good pinch of ground cloves

3/4 cup coconut milk

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1 cup pure pumpkin

1/4 cup coconut oil (or applesauce)

2 tablespoon maple syrup

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

Preheat oven to 350F. Line muffin pan with 12 paper liners. Combine gluten-free flour, sugar, guar gum, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves in a medium bowl, gently whisking to sift ingredients. In another large mixing bowl, add coconut milk and apple cider vinegar, stir and allow to rest for 2 minutes. Next, add the coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and pumpkin to the coconut milk mixture. Whisk together until well combined. Add the dry ingredient mixture to the bowl and gently stir just until combined. Distribute batter evenly among muffin cups. Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with pepitas (pumpkin seeds). Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.

Simple Lunch Bowl

Simple Lunch Bowl

Lunchtime. Some days that means a quick peanut butter sandwich and an apple…BLAH. I seriously love lunchtime and want to eat something good! This simple lunch bowl has a list of simple ingredients that can be changed up to your liking, which means whatever veggies you have on hand will work! I love the warm sweet potatoes with the slightly crunchy chickpeas and with the hint of spice that makes them so yummy. The contrast of the cool spinach and carrot ribbons gives a nice textural element and freshness. I have used cucumbers, avocado, and different greens in this bowl and they all taste good! This much bowl travels well, so it makes for a nice picnic meal or work lunch too! Make lunchtime delicious!

Simple Lunch Bowl 3

1 medium sweet potato (I prefer the Japanese variety that is white inside)

1 can of garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed

drizzle of grape seed oil

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon chili flakes

2 cups spinach or other greens

1 medium carrot, peeled into ribbons


2 tablespoons grape seed oil

1/2 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon honey or agave

Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Scrub the sweet potato and cut it into wedges. Put the wedges on a foil-lined baking sheet and drizzle with grape seed oil. Toss. Sprinkle the wedges with cinnamon and a little sea salt. Place the baking sheet in the oven and cook the sweet potatoes for 30 minutes. Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven and sprinkle the chickpeas over the sweet potatoes and add the chili flakes. Place the baking sheet back in the oven and bake for another 30 minutes. Assemble your bowl by placing the sweet potatoes, chickpeas, spinach, and carrot ribbons in a bowl. Mix dressing ingredients together in a small bowl and drizzle over the vegetables. Enjoy! (Adapted from Recipe Source: Deliciously Ella)

Mexican Rice and Beans Bake with Avocado Crema

Mexican Rice and Beans Bake

Rice and beans. Such a humble dish with many nutritional benefits. This dish is high in fiber, B vitamins, vitamin C…plus it tastes incredible! My husband would be a happy man if I made Mexican-inspired food everyday. He thinks salsa should be its own food group! But, who can blame him, right? I love skillet suppers because everything gets put into one pan. Delicious ingredients. High nutrient profile. Happy family. Less clean up. Less dishes. A winner recipe in my book!

Mexican Rice and Beans Bake 3

Mexican Rice and Beans Bake 2

1/2 onion, finely chopped
3/4 cup red, orange, yellow peppers, chopped
3/4 cup short grain brown rice
1 (15 oz.) can pinto beans or black beans, drained
1 (7 oz.) can El Pato tomato sauce
1 (7 oz.) can Herdez salsa
1 cup frozen corn
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 1/4 cups water
1 cup Daiya shredded pepper jack “cheese”

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat a large oven-proof skillet over medium heat and add onions and peppers; cook for 5 minutes until onions are translucent. Stir in rice, beans, tomato sauce, salsa, corn, and cilantro. Heat water to boiling and stir into rice/bean mixture; Stir in 1/2 cup grated cheese. Cover with lid. Bake for 70 to 80 minutes or until tender. Just before serving, sprinkle with remaining grated cheese. Return to oven until cheese is melted. Serve with Avocado Crema, and tortilla chips.

Avocado Crema
1 medium avocado, pitted and skin removed
1/2 cup almond milk
1 lime, juiced
2 teaspoons fresh cilantro or 1 teaspoon dried cilantro leaves
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika
pinch of sea salt and black pepper

To make the avocado crema, add all of the ingredients to a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth and pourable. Add more almond milk if necessary to get the crema to the right consistency.

Scrambled “Eggs” with Baby Spinach

Scrambled Garbanzo Eggs 2

Garbanzo bean flour is pretty cool to work with. Did you know you can get the mouthfeel of scrambled eggs with this flour?!! Now, let’s take a look at the nutrition between these two foods: 2 scrambled eggs gives you about 199 calories, 15.2 grams of fat, 13 grams of protein, and 0 fiber. This recipe give you: 170 calories, 7 grams of fat, 8 grams of protein, and 8 grams of fiber. The dietary question I get asked all the time is, “where do you get your protein?” Eating enough protein isn’t the problem with our American diet, it’s not eating enough fiber. This scramble is delicious! If you use black sea salt, it gives a bit of that sulphur-like quality that eggs possess. I felt full and satisfied after eating this scramble for breakfast. Fiber tastes good, fills you up, and keeps your gut clean and looking good on the inside!

Scrambled Garbanzo Eggs

Scrambled Garbanzo Eggs 3

1 teaspoon grape seed oil
5 tablespoons garbanzo bean flour (chickpea flour)
6 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon red onion, minced
1 cup baby spinach, chopped
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Heat the grape seed oil in a small non-stick skillet. In a small bowl, mix the chickpea flour with the water, red onion, and a couple pinches of sea salt and pepper. Pour the chickpea/red onion mix into the skillet, and let it cook without touching it for 3-5 minutes, or until you see the perimeter begin to ‘set’. Sprinkle the spinach into the skillet. Using a spatula, begin breaking the mix into smaller bite-size pieces. Heat the ‘eggs’ until they are cooked through (no batter in sight). Add sea salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy! (Adapted from Recipe Source: Oatmeal with a Fork)

Soft Socca with Basil Pesto and Vegetables

Socca with Basil Pesto and Vegetables 2

Socca is a naturally gluten-free flatbread made from chickpea flour. It is popular in Provence. Oh la-la! You can serve socca on its own or you can top it and serve it like a pizza or wrapped around a filling and eaten like a burrito. Chickpea flour is full of fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals that fill you up and keep your insides feeling great! My basil has been growing like crazy, so I decided to make a fresh basil pesto to top my socca, along with fresh veggies I had on hand. I used spinach, mushrooms, red onion, and kalamata olives. Any combination of vegetables will work, so use what you have on hand and get creative. This socca acts as a canvas for flavor and I loved every single bite! The pesto adds just the right bite in combination with the vegetables. (I really could just eat this pesto with a spoon!) This socca is very filling and so satisfying. Enjoy!

Socca with Basil Pesto and Vegetables 3

Socca with Basil Pesto and Vegetables 4

Soft Socca

2 cups water

1 3/4 cups garbanzo bean flour

1 1/2 tablespoons grape seed oil

3/4 teaspoon dried rosemary

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

In a bowl, combine all ingredients. Whisk until smooth. Place a pizza stone in your oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly brush a 10-inch nonstick frying pan with grape seed oil and warm over medium-high heat until very hot. Add about one cup of the batter and swirl to coat the pan. Cook until air bubbles appear on the top and the bottom is brown, about 2 minutes. Using a silicone spatula, turn the socca over and cook until spotted brown on the bottom, about 1 minutes longer. Turn over onto parchment. Repeat to cook the remaining batter. Top socca with basil pesto and vegetables. Place socca on pizza stone and bake for 5 minutes to cook through. Serve. (Adapted slightly from Recipe Source: Weeknight Gluten Free)

Basil Pesto

3 cups fresh basil

1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

water to thin

Place all ingredients in a food processor. Process until it is fairly smooth with a bit of texture. Add water as needed to get the right consistency. (Recipe Source: Garden Fresh Foodie)