Roasted Root Vegetables

RoastedRootVeg

Next up on my Thanksgiving Day Feast recap, Roasted Root Vegetables.  This was probably the easiest dish I made this year as well as one of the tastiest.  Roasted Root Vegetables have always been a staple on our Thanksgiving table growing up.  My mom always made the most mouth-watering carrots.  This carrot dish along with a few others were so good that by the time it made its way onto the table, there would be a good portion of it already gone.  Our house was filled with pre-dinner pickers.  You know the type.

Last year we spent our Thanksgiving with some great friends here in Colorado.  One friend made a delicious vegan vegetable dish.  I was so delicious it reminded me of home.  I could not believe she simple replaced all that butter with just coconut oil.  What a difference it made.  I now roast all my veggies in coconut oil.  So this year I decided to add this new and improves Roasted Root Vegetable dish to  our Thanksgiving Feast.  I think my friend would be been proud.

The Ingredients:

10 carrots, peeled, cut anyway you like
5 parsnips, peeled, cut anyway you like
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 decrees.

Place all ingredients into an oven safe glass bowl.  Mix well to evenly coat all the vegetables.  Cook at 350 for about 35 minutes or until the vegetables are fork tender.

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Vegan Croutons

Croutons

The last month has been a bit of a rollercoaster here at our house.  Now that things are starting to settle down I am excited to get back to cooking and blogging.  But first, I would like to share with all of you our Thanksgiving Feast.  The next 4 posts will be a recap of the delicious foods we ate on Thanksgiving.  I hope you enjoy!

Most people who know me, know that I try not to be wasteful.  I care a great deal about our earth and our future generations.  It is very important to me to be as “green” as possible and lessen our carbon footprint.  I am, by no means perfect but I do my best.  So when the time came for my son, Max to start eating solids I was worried that there would be a lot of food wasted.  Thankfully, he is a great eater.  However, like most kids, he prefers his sandwiches without the crust.  Instead of tossing all those crusts into the trash I decided to save them.  I figured I could either use these Vegan Croutons for Thanksgiving Stuffing or simply make vegan breadcrumbs.

The Ingredients:

Vegan Bread Crusts

Remove the crusts before you make your kiddos sandwich then cut them into cubes.  Place them on a dish and let them sit out on the counter over night.  The next morning place croutons in a ziplock bag and put in the freezer until you are ready to use.

*Add to the bag every day until it is filled and ready to use.

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Banana Ghostling

bananaghostling

Is there a Honey Crisp Mummy behind me?!  Banana Ghostling are the easiest to make and the best part, there is chocolate involved.

My favorite part of Halloween is how fun and creative it all can be.  It makes me so happy to see everyone letting their artistic side shine.

Hope you all have a fun, safe and SPOOKY Halloween!

What you’ll need:

Bananas, cut in half (so you can stand them up)
Chocolate chips

It’s that easy!

Enjoy!

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Honey Crisp Mummy

HoneyCrispMummy

Have you every tasted a Honey Crisp Mummy before?  They may be scary but they are still delicious!  In my opinion Honey Crisp apples are the most crunchy, very tasty and they make a great Mummy.  Here is a simple way to spook up your apples no matter which kind you prefer.  Halloween is the perfect time to get creative and maybe even a little silly with your fruits and vegetables.  It is also a great way to trick those kiddos into eating some healthy snacks.  Stay tuned for more spooky Halloween fruit.

What you’ll need:

apples
a vegetable peeler
googly eyes (remove before serving. No choking accidents please.)

Peel one side of the apple in the shape of an “S” then cut little holes where you would like the eyes.  Place googly eyes in the holes.  If you prefer to use edible eyes maybe try some nuts, chocolate chips or even pretzel sticks.

Enjoy and Happy Halloween!!

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Spicy Pumpkin Seeds

PumpkinSeedsllll

These Spicy Pumpkin Seeds are so delicious you’ll be impressed you made them yourself.  Halloween has been my favorite holiday since I was a kid.  Every year I would look forward to the first chill of the season, the candy, the leaves crunching beneath my feet, the candy, the Halloween decorations, the candy and just the feeling of the holiday season beginning. Oh and did I mention the candy?  Nowadays, candy is far from my mind.  I have come a long way from that little girl who used to see how many Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups I could fit in my mouth at one time.  I now get excited for the whole food snacks and homemade treats.  These Spicy Pumpkin Seeds have become a family favorite and I hope you enjoy them too.

The Ingredients:

1 c pumpkin seeds, dried
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

First, rinse the seeds thoroughly.  Removing every bit of pumpkin flesh.  This can be daunting but it is necessary.  Spread all the seeds on a flat surface overnight to dry them out.  I used a brown paper bag.  The next day, pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees.  Place the seeds in a small saucepan filled with water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a low boil and cook for about 5-10 minutes.  Note: boiling the seeds first will aid in digesting the outer shell.

PumpkinSeeds

Next, remove the seeds from the heat, strain and pat them dry.  In a small mixing bowl whisk together all the ingredients listed above.  Add the seeds and mix well.  You can either use a spoon or your hands until every seed is covered.

PumpkinSeedsl

Lastly, place them in the oven for 20-30 minutes stirring them every 5-10 minutes.  This will help prevent burning.  Remove from heat and serve.

PumpkinSeedsll

These seeds can be stored in an airtight container for about 2 weeks.  Though they most likely will not last that long.

Enjoy!

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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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Protein Packed Bars

ProteinEnergyBar

I’m back!  After a long few weeks of running to new activities with my little guy and traveling to the east coast to visit family.  I am finally back home and settling into our usual routine.  I must say I have very much missed blogging, cooking and being creative in the kitchen.  It is good to be home.

I have had several recipes up my sleeve ready to show you but could not decide which to publish first.  By popular vote, it was decided these Protein Packed Bars would kick off my return.  They are easy to make and so tasty!  Whether you are looking for a 3 o’clock pick me up, a snack after working out or just a little treat, these little bars will hit the spot.

The Ingredients:

1 1/2 c gluten-free oats
1 1/4 c rice crispy cereal
1/4 c sunflower seeds
1/4 c sesame seeds
1/4 c pepita seeds
1/4 c sliced almonds
1/4 c dried cranberries
2 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 c brown rice syrup
1/4 c peanut butter

In a medium-mixing bowl whisk together the first 9 ingredients.

Next, warm the brown rice syrup and peanut butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Whisk together until creamy and smooth. Just as the sauce begins to bubble remove from heat and pour over the ingredients in the mixing bowl.  Mix well then spread the mixture onto a baking sheet or baking dish.  Place in the freezer for about 20 minutes then cut and serve.  You can store these bars in the freezer for up to a month.

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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The Soybean

Soybean

Ah, the Soybean.  There is a lot of controversy around Soy and whether or not we should be consuming it.  I think what scares most folks about the soybean is…

  • soy crops are largely Genetically Modified (GMO) and most often sprayed with pesticides
  • soy has been known to lower sperm count in males.
  • it can also interfere with certain soy-based medications (if consumed in large quantities).

However, there are a few benefits to eating soy…

  • soy can help prevent cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis and menopausal symptoms.
  • it can also regulated blood sugar and improves lipid profile.
  • it is good for eye and renal health
  • as well as aides in weight loss.

To keep it simple, and what I have come to understand is that soy is fine in moderation.  However, the ONLY soy that should be ingested is Organic and non-GMO.  Also, the less processed the food the better.

For those of you who read my blog or follow me on Instagram and/or Facebook know that I have eliminated soy from my diet for almost two years due to skin rashes. For the last month or so I have been slowly reintroducing soy back into my diet.  I am happy to report my skin has not been reacting!  After the initial reintroduction I now only eat it once in a while.  It is a great source of protein and really invites many options when it comes to meal planning.  So that being said, some of my recipes going forward may contain soy.  For those of you who still cannot tolerate soy or simply do not eat it, please feel free to contact me if you have any questions regarding alternatives to soy.  I have a lot of tips!

So here’s to me reuniting with the soybean.

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