Lemon Basil Potato Salad

LemonBasilPotatoSalad

We’ve had snow here in Colorado for over a week and these chilly cabin fever days have got me thinking of summer.  The warm sun, the longer days, the BBQ’s and best of all playing outside.  This Lemon Basil Potato Salad became a family favorite this past summer.  It is a great dish to bring to outdoor parties and even better it wont spoil in the hot sun.

Have you ever tried Lemon Basil?  I tried it for the first time this past summer.  A few friends of ours sold this tasty herb at our local Farmers Market.  They sold all kinds of Micro-Greens but it wasn’t until I tried their Lemon Basil that I fell in love.  The first sample bite I took of this tasty herb, I knew exactly what I wanted to make.  A Lemon Basil Dressing poured over some roasted potatoes.  So I went home that day to see if my instincts were correct.  Oh Boy, were they!  This Lemon Basil Potato Salad was perfect!

The Ingredients:

5-6 medium Yukon potatoes, cubed
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

The Dressing:

3 tbsp olive oil
1 bunch lemon basil, chopped
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Place first 6 ingredients in a large baking dish, mix well, coating every potato.  Bake in oven for about an hour stirring half way through.  You want the potatoes to be slightly crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.  Remove from oven and with a slotted spoon transfer potatoes into a serving bowl.  You want to leave any excess oil from baking.  Set bowl aside.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients.  Drizzle over the potatoes while they are still warm.  You can either serve warm or place in the refrigerator to chill and serve cold.

Enjoy!

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Brussels Sprout Salad

BrusselsSproutSalad

Next up on my Thanksgiving Day Feast recap, Brussels Sprout Salad.  We all tend to go a little heavy on the comfort food this time of year so why not help out our digestive system by serving something light.  This Brussels Sprout Salad is a refreshing and colorful addition to any feast and it tastes delicious!

The Ingredients:

1 stalk brussels sprouts, sliced (makes between 4-6 cups)
2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Pepper to taste
1 c garbanzo beans
1 c walnuts, chopped
3/4 c dried cranberries

Add the raw brussels sprouts to your food processor using the slicer disk blade.  Set aside.

In a large skillet warm the olive oil over medium-high heat.  Saute the onions until they are translucent.  Add in all of the spices then add the brussels sprouts.  Cooke until sprouts are slightly wilted but still crunchy.  Transfer to a large mixing bowl.  Stir in the remaining ingredients.  Mix well and serve.

Enjoy!

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Yam Casserole

YamCasserole

Several weeks ago I caught an episode of Ellen where she was explaining to her audience the difference between a sweet potato and a yam.  We all know Ellen can be a jokester so I of course, immediately googled to see if she was accurate.  Turns out she was right.  All these years I’ve been ordered Sweet Potato Fries when I should have been ordering Yam Fries.  How is it possible that so many restaurants have incorrectly named this dish? Hah.

In the past, I have called this dish my Sweet Potato Casserole but this Thanksgiving (thanks to Ellen) I have updated the name.  This Yam Casserole is really yummy!  It has the most deliciously sweet and crunchy crumble on top.  This dish will certainly put that traditional marshmallow sweet potato casseroles to shame.

The Ingredients:

4 medium Yams, peeled and cubed
2 tbsp vegan butter
salt and pepper to taste

The Crumble:

1 c pecans, crushed
1 c walnuts, crushed
2 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
2 tbsp vegan butter, melted
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp sea salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the cubed Yams into a large pot and bring to a boil, cook for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain and place potatoes in a large mixing bowl.  Smash and mix the yams, butter, salt and pepper with an electric hand mixer until the consistency you prefer.  We like it creamy.

In a medium mixing bowl combine all the crumble ingredients, mix well and set aside.

Next spoon the potatoes into a casserole dish and smooth it out. Then evenly sprinkle the crumble topping over the yams.

Bake, uncovered for about 20 – 25 minutes.  Until dish is warmed through.

Enjoy!

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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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