Vegan Pesto Pasta

VeganPestoPasta

Pesto is one of my all-time favorite sauces and it is a staple in our house.  You can always find a little container of it in our freezer. This Vegan Pesto Pasta is delicious and so simple to throw together.  The nutty flavor is so yummy it will just melt in your mouth.  Pesto dishes have always been a comfort food for me.  It reminds me of cooler nights in the winter months.  Another great thing about pesto is that it can be so versatile.  You can truly use almost any green to give your pesto an interesting twist.  This pesto was made with spinach (See link below).

The Ingredients:

1 lb brown rice penne pasta
1 c cherry tomatoes cut in half
3/4 c homemade pesto

Cook pasta according to the package.  Once the pasta is al dente, strain the noodles and place them in a large bowl.  Add the pesto to the bowl coating each noodle.  Lastly, fold in the cherry tomatoes and serve warm.

Enjoy!

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Farm-Share Fresh Vegetable Curry

FarmShareCurry

I am thrilled to share with you my very first guest blogger Rachel Rothe of Porridge.  Please read along as Rachel explains the benefits and pleasures of getting food from the farm down the road.

FarmShare1

Farm-Share Fresh Vegetable Curry

By Rachel Rothe

I’ll start off by saying we are not a gluten-free family; however I do enjoy cooking a hodge podge variety of meals and the more veggies a meal consists of, the healthier it feels. The recipe I’m about to share happens to be gluten-free, tasty, and easy breezy for a casual summer meal. Part of this curry’s charm is in using a colorful palette of locally picked in-season farm fresh vegetables.

We count ourselves lucky to be a part of the CSA (Community Share Agriculture) at Appleton Farm, one of the country’s oldest continuously operating farms. As far as farm shares go in the state of Massachusetts, it’s the cream of the crop and about as hard to get into as Harvard. To give you an idea, it took my name being on the list for four and a half years before they called me last spring to tell me a spot was available. What makes it so unique is not only its extra long season – weekly pick-ups from early June through November—, but also the variety and sheer amount of gorgeous produce the farm yields.

I highly recommend the experience of a farm share not only for what it brings to your table, but for general agro-appreciation and supporting local farmers. My little girl and I also enjoy the experience of picking our own veggies when we have the chance, like beans and those sunburst yellow cherry tomatoes like pops of sunshine –also flowers –all without having to sustain our own backyard garden (though that’s pretty great too).

Through the farm share, which I split with a friend and her mom, it’s satisfying to know that not only are we getting organic locally grown produce every week picked right from soil of the farm down the road, we also are investing in our local farm during its growing season. And that is a priceless way to give back to your local land, farmers, and community. You give, you get: it’s a win-win.

Usually from our weekly share, I’ll make big colorful salads with greens the color of dark emeralds. I’ll steam the beets, bake slices of Sicilian eggplant, boil the corn, dice up the watermelon, and we nibble circles of cucumbers throughout the day. My preference and my daughter’s as well is to eat our veggies raw – we like the crunch of the crispy carrots and peppers. However, my husband likes to cook the veggies and make big meals with the bounty we bring home.

Because I tend to be lazy in the kitchen, especially in summer, I welcome an opportunity to let the slow cooker do all the heavy lifting for me. This spur of the moment curry is relaxed and hassle-free. I thought it would be the perfect recipe to share on the Blissful Bean since it also happens to be gluten-free and uber-yummy.

Steam up lots of long-grain basmati rice, because you’ll need it to absorb all this delectable curry sauce. And feel free to substitute or add any veggies of your choosing. The following are simply what I brought home in my farm share bag that week.

Ingredients:

1 pound firm tofu, cubed
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 orange or yellow pepper, chopped
1 cup chopped broccoli
1 cup chopped cauliflower
1 cup small red potatoes cut in halves
1 small yellow summer squash, sliced down middle and cut in half circles
1 handful of green beans with ends cut off
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 inches fresh ginger, minced
2 cups sweet corn
1 Tbsp garam masala
¼ cup yellow curry paste
1 tsp kosher salt
1 15-oz can coconut milk
2 cups vegetable stock
1 16-oz can tomato paste

Basmati rice, for serving
Cilantro to garnish

DIRECTIONS:

Cube tofu into ½-inch cubes and add to slow cooker pot.

Chop onion and peppers and prepare other ingredients.

Mince the garlic and ginger.

Add it all to slow cooker along with coconut milk, spices, vegetable stock and tomato paste. Stir together.

Cook curry on low heat for approximately 5 hours, or on high heat for close to 3 hours. About a half hour before time is up, you may add a handful of chopped green beans (if you put them in early they might get overcooked).

Taste the curry and adjust spices if needed. Serve over basmati rice garnished with fresh cilantro.

FarmShare

rachel_bio_pic

Rachel Rothe is a writer and creator of Porridge at www.justwritemommy.com. A few of her favorite things include children’s vintage books, mint water, T25, yoga, collecting sea glass and finding the rare lavender sea glass piece, Wes Anderson films, and just about anything reminiscent ofProvence, France. Rachel lives with her husband and daughter in a seaside town north of Boston. You can follow Porridge on Twitter, Pinterest or Facebook

 

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Garbanzo Beans and Broccoli with Veloute Sauce

GarbanzoBroccoliMushroomVelouteSauce

Garbanzo Beans and Broccoli with Veloute Sauce is a family favorite.  There is something so special about a creamy veloute sauce.  The way it makes your mouth water and the cozy warm feeling it gives you inside.  Ah, heaven.  This dish is packed with protein and guaranteed to satisfy any hungry family.

The Ingredients:

2 c quinoa
2 c garbanzo beans (fresh or canned)
1 head of steamed broccoli

Veloute Sauce:

2 tbsp vegan butter
2 tbsp brown rice flour
3 c vegetable broth
1 c mushrooms, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the quinoa according to the package.  Meanwhile, steam the broccoli in a medium saucepan (covered) over high heat.  Once the steam starts to come out from under the lid the broccoli is done.  Drain the water and set aside.  The broccoli will be bright green and still crunchy.

Next in a medium saucepan melt the butter over medium-high heat.  Once the butter has melted whisk in the rice flour.  It will quickly thicken.  Next whisk in the broth one ladle full at a time.  The sauce will thicken as it becomes slightly thick, add another ladle full until the broth is all used.  Continue whisking.  As the sauce is thickens again, add in the sliced mushrooms.  Remove from heat.  Season with salt and pepper.

Place the quinoa on a plate then top with beans, broccoli and lastly the sauce.

Enjoy!

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Zoodles with Marinara Sauce

ZoodleswithMarinaraSauce

Zoodles with Marinara Sauce is a quick meal you can whip up that everyone will enjoy.  Not only is this dish incredible easy to make but it also tastes amazing.  Who would have thought by simply cutting zucchini into linguine strips that you could put a healthy spin on an old high-carb favorite.

The Ingredients:

2 zucchini, spiraled
3 c your favorite marinara sauce
Vegan Parmesan

It is that simple.  Spiral or julienne the zucchini. Pour your favorite marinara over the “zoodles” and sprinkle some Vegan parmesan on top. Yum!

Enjoy!

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Vegan Cauliflower Au Gratin

CauliflowerAuGratin

Every now and then I crave some cheesy comfort food.  You know, those warm cozy meals you tend to eat during the colder months.  So with all the experimenting I have been doing with cauliflower, I decided to give vegan au gratin a try.  I must say, mission accomplished!  This Vegan Cauliflower Au Gratin is so rich and creamy it will make anyones taste buds happy.

The Ingredients:

1 head of cauliflower cut into bite size florets
1 -2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder

The Cheesy Bechamel Sauce:

3 tbsp vegan butter
2 tbsp brown rice flour
1/2 c unsweetened almond milk
2 tbsp Daiya cream cheese
1/2 c Daiya pepper jack cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place cauliflower in a lightly oiled baking dish.  Add the paprika, garlic and onion powder and mix well.  Place in the oven for 35 minutes.

Once the cauliflower is done make the Bechamel sauce.  Over medium-high heat melt 2 tbsp butter in a medium sauce pan. Once the butter has melted whisk in the rice flour.  It will thicken.  Next whisk in the milk.  The sauce will thicken as it cooks.  Continue whisking.  As the sauce thickens add the cheese.  Whisk the sauce until all the cheese has melted.  Pour the sauce over the baked cauliflower and mix well coating each floret. Lastly, place the cauliflower back in the oven for an additional 15 minutes or until sauce bubbles.  Garnish with parsley and serve.

Enjoy!

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Cauliflower Stir-Fry with Peanut Sauce

CauliflowerStirFryPeanutSauce

This Cauliflower Stir-Fry with Peanut Sauce is so tasty you will not even miss the chicken.  The recipe is an oldie but goodie.  Back when I was eating meat I would make this dish all the time.  I have recently been fascinated with the hidden potential of cauliflower and have been incorporating it into many of my dishes.  It is a great substitute for chicken!  So with some testing and a lot of tasting, I have finally mastered this new recipe.  I hope you enjoy it as much as my family.

The Ingredients:

1 package of thin rice noodles
1 head of cauliflower, cut into bite-size pieces
2 carrots, julienne
2 celery stalks. julienne
2 tbsp sesame oil

The Sauce:

1/2 tsp Thai Kitchen curry paste
1/2 c vegetable broth
1 c coconut milk
1/2 c homemade peanut butter
1 tbsp “soy” sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook rice noodles according to package.

Cut the cauliflower into bite-size pieces.  Place the cauliflower along with 1-2 tbsp of coconut oil in an oven safe dish and lightly roast.  You want the cauliflower to still be a firm and almost fork tender.

Lightly steam carrots and celery in water.

Whisk together in a medium bowl all the ingredients of the sauce and set aside.

Meanwhile, over medium-high heat, sauté  garlic in sesame oil until lightly browned.  Add the roasted cauliflower and stir-fry until fork tender.  Next add the steamed veggies then the sauce mixture.  Reduce heat and stir until sauce thickens.  If the sauce is too thick add more coconut milk.  Lastly add the cooked noodles.  Mix well and serve.

Enjoy!

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Vegan Gluten Free Cauliflower Pizza Crust

CauliflowerPizzaCrust

Yum! This Vegan Gluten Free Cauliflower Pizza Crust is absolutely amazing.  Best of all you do not have to wait for any yeast to rise.  I have some old bread and pizza crust recipes I have used in the past that are perfectly delicious.  However as a busy mom I do not always have the time to let the dough rise for 40+ minute or worry if the live active yeast I purchased is really alive.  I need something that I know is going to work and not so time-consuming.  Although there are several steps to making this delicious Cauliflower Crust I feel it is certainly quicker than making my traditional fresh crust.

The Ingredients:

1 head of cauliflower florets
3 tbsp ground chia
6 tbsp water
1 1/2 c almond flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp oregano

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Over medium-high heat place the cauliflower into a medium saucepan with about 1 cup of water and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat to a simmer for about 5 minutes or until the steam is seeping out from under the lid.  Drain the liquid and then transfer the cooked cauliflower rice in a freezer-safe bowl. Place in the freezer to cool for 10 minutes.  Once it is cooled through place the cauliflower into a food processor with the fitted “S” blade.  Pulse until you get a rice-like texture.

CauliflowerPizzaCrust3

Meanwhile, mix the chia seeds and water together to create an “egg”.  Set aside to thicken.

Transfer the cauliflower to the center of cheesecloth or a thin dishtowel. Pull all sides of the cheesecloth up and twist the ball of cauliflower to remove the excess liquid.

CauliflowerPizzaCrust2

Next in a large bowl place the egg mixture, the almond flour, the additional tablespoon a ground flax or chia seeds, salt, garlic and oregano.  Mix well and then add the cauliflower.  If the mixture is still too wet add more almond flour little by little until you can handle the dough with minimal sticking.   Place the dough mixture on a greased baking sheet and press into the pizza shape you desire.  You do not want to press the crust too thin or it will crack.

Place the baking sheet in the oven for about 30 minutes until the edges are golden brown.

CauliflowerPizzaCrust1

Once the crust is done add your favorite pizza toppings.  I used marinara sauce, fresh mushrooms and Daiya mozzarella cheese.  Place the pizza back in the oven for 5-10 minutes until the cheese has melted and the sauce is warmed through.

Enjoy!

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Grilled Avocados Stuffed with Bean Salad

StuffedGrilledAvocado

Have you ever tried Grilled Avocados?  I hadn’t either until I started seeing them pop up everywhere on the Internet.  I absolutely love avocados but I was hesitant to try this.  Mainly because if they came out awful then I would have just wasted a perfectly yummy avocado and that would be a shame.  After mulling it over a bit I decided to go ahead and give it a try.  It turns out grilled avocados are really good! They take on a completely different taste. It is a nutty flavor and with a little salt and pepper the avocado taste amazing.  So Yippee!!  It was a success and no avocados were wasted.

The other night I made a bean salad for my little munchkin and although he enjoyed it there was a lot left over. I decided to use it with my Grilled Avocado and came up with a new and delicious dish. This Grilled Avocados Stuffed with Bean Salad is so tasty you’ll be wondering where grilled avocados have been your whole life.

The Ingredients:

2 ripe avocados
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

The Salad:

1 c garbanzo beans
1/2  c tomatoes, diced
1/4 c peas
1/4 c corn
1 tsp parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

Pre-heat the grill to medium – high heat.

Brush the avocados with olive oil and place them facedown on the grill for about 7 minutes until you get the charred mark across them.

Season with salt and pepper and set aside to cool.

Next in a medium bowl, add all of the Salad ingredients and mix well.

Spoon the salad onto the grilled avocado and serve.

Enjoy!

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Mini Bean Tacos

Minibeantacos

These Mini Bean Tacos are so delicious and really easy to put together.  They literally takes minutes.  If you are looking for a quick and easy dinner or lunch, look no further.  Mini tacos and tacos in general are great for last-minute meals.  They are definitely a crowd pleaser and honestly, I can say I do not know one person who doesn’t enjoy a taco from time to time.

This recipe serves one so increase the ingredients to the number of guests you will be serving.

The Ingredients:

3 mini soft corn tortillas (non-GMO)
1/2 c refried beans
1/4 c vegan cheese of your choice (I use Daiya)
1/4 c tomatoes, diced
1/4 avocado, diced
6 slices of jalapeños
A handful of lettuce, shredded

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees

Heat beans in a small saucepan according to the package.

Place the tortillas on a sheet tray.  Sprinkle the vegan cheese on each tortilla and place in the oven for about 3-5 minutes.  Until cheese melts and tortillas soften.

Remove tortillas from the oven and build your tacos.  First place a scoop of beans in the center of each tortilla.  Next I added the jalapeno slices.  Then I sprinkled on the tomatoes, avocados and lettuce.

Serve and Enjoy!

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Vegan Orange Chicken

OrangeChicken

As I have mentioned, I have been craving Asian food lately and although Orange Chicken was never on my top 5 list when ordering in the past this Vegan Orange Chicken has certainly made my top 3 homemade Asian dishes.  My husband and I could not get over how delicious this meal was.  I found this recipe on I Wash…You Dry.   I just made a few changes to convert it to a vegan and soy-free dish.  WOW!  It is so tasty!  Also, instead of using traditional white rice I decided to place the Vegan Orange Chicken over quinoa to add protein and keep it light.

The Ingredients:

2 tbsp sesame oil
1 egg replacer
3 tbsp 
coconut aminos
1/3 c corn starch
1/2 inch piece of ginger minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 head of cauliflower
1 orange bell pepper, sliced
2 c snap peas
1 can of organic baby corn
1 c quinoa, cooked

The Sauce:

1 tsp orange zest
1 tbsp fresh orange juice
2 tbsp coconut aminos
2 tbsp water
2 tbsp sugar
1/4 c dry sherry
1/4 c vegetable broth
2 tbsp corn starch

Cook quinoa according to package and set aside.

In a large bowl whisk together egg replacer (according to the package).  Then whisk in the sesame oil, coconut aminos and corn starch.  Batter will thicken slightly.  Fold in the cauliflower making sure to coat every floret is evenly coated.  Set aside.

For the Sauce, in a small bowl whisk together the broth and corn starch so there are no lumps.  Add in the remaining sauce ingredients and mix well.

Heat a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat.  Add Sesame oil.  Once the oil is hot, sauté the cauliflower browning it on all sides. Once cooked through, remove from pan, wipe clean and set aside.

Next add a bit more sesame oil to same skillet and sauté garlic and ginger.  Add the Sauce and stir constantly, the sauce will really thicken here.  Then add the bell peppers, snap peas and baby corn.  Once vegetables are slightly tender, remove from heat.  Toss the cauliflower back into the skillet, mix well and serve over quinoa.

Enjoy!

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