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When I have no time and no food, I like to make this quick and easy pasta. It’s relatively cheap and healthy, too! It requires a jar of sundried tomatoes in oil. I always have one in the pantry, as it’s uses are endless. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

Whole wheat of quinoa pasta, 1 cup, dry

Broccoli florets, 1/2 cup

Sundried tomatoes in oil 1/4 cup

Salt, paprika

optional: basil and garlic to taste

optional: 1/4 cup of pine nuts

Parmesan or soy cheese , 1/4 cup

Bring a pot of water to a boil and throw in the pasta. Three minutes before it’s cooked (after about 8minutes in the pot,) throw in the broccoli. When the pasta is al dente, strain it together with the broccoli and put it in a large bowl. Add the sundried tomatoes in oil, the salt and the spices. Serve hot or cold with parmesan or vegan cheese.

 

Here’s what I learned yesterday.

If you have guests coming and no food except for a bag of chips of some kind, you can still make a marvelous dip for those chips in under five minutes. Oh, and you can utilize leftovers, while doing it!

Throw a can of beans of any kind ( I used black beans) into the food processor, add a handful of nuts (I used walnuts,) a bit of olive oil, lemon juice, salt and paper and a bit of water and process until smooth.If you want, you can add parsley or cilantro and/or some onion and garlic. My guests loved the dip! and my kids loved it for lunch the next day.

I know that I already posted a bunch of  avocado smoothies, but this one is more like a dessert. Well, and I love avocado. I think, avocado makes a fie milk substitute for any smoothie, as long as you put a small cup of water for every small avocado added.  Oh,and this new smoothie is  absolutely gorgeous. I adapted it from here.
Ingredients:
  • 2 tbsp. raw cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups cold almond milk
  • 2-3 tbsp. agave syrup
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1 banana
  • One handful crushed ice.

Spoon out the avocado pulp and place in a blender with the 1 tbsp. of the agave syrup and a banana. Add 1 cup of cold almond milk, 1/2 of the ice and blend again. Don’t wash the blender yet. Divide the green mixture between 2 tall glasses. Blend the remaining 1/2 cup of almond milk with 2 tbsp. of agave syrup and 2 tbsp. of cocoa powder. Add the remaining ice. Top each serving of the green smoothie with 1/2 the chocolate mixture  (to form a separate layer.)

This recipe does contain vegetables, but overall is not so healthy. However, it is a-delicious and b-can make stubborn kids eat veggies. My mother used to make it when I was a kid and I have yet to meet a person who didn’t like it. Butter makes it taste great, but coconut oil is a pretty yummy healthier option. Olive or other vegetable oil doesn’t work here. Gluten-free breadcrumbs are a good option.

Take one head of cauliflower and divide it into florets.Put it in a cast-iron skillet with 1/2 cup of water, cover it up with the lid and let simmer until the water evaporates. Then, add about 1/3  stick of butter and enough breadcrumbs to cover the whole thing. Turn the flame up to high and mix periodically, while cooking. Cook until the crumbs turn darker, but not too dark (4-6 mins. )

I also like to add broccoli florets to this dish.

In my quest for how to destroy excess zucchinis, I found a great recipe. My friend, Dr. Johnny Bowden posted the best squash spaghetti  recipe ever! If you like Thai food, try my adaptation of it. I added peppers and peanuts, substituted Tamari with Bragg’s and put peanut butter instead of almond one. The  peppers make this dish spicy, which I like.

 

zuchinni noodles
Serves 6

Ingredients:

3 Tbs. raw peanut butter

3 Tbs. Bragg’s Aminos

3 tsp. curry powder

2 fresh chili peppers, diced

3 medium organic summer squash

1/4 cup unsweetened shaved coconut

1/3 cup raisins

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1/3 cup dry roasted peanuts

  1. Combine almond butter, tamari, and curry powder in large bowl, and whisk until well mixed. Set aside.
  2. Trim ends off squash. Using mandolin or sharp vegetable peeler, slice squash lengthwise into long, thin strips.
  3. Add squash strips to bowl, and gently toss with peanut butter mixture until well coated. Add coconut, raisins, peanuts, peppers and cilantro, and toss until evenly distributed. Serve immediately, or chill for up to 48 hours.

 

 

 

 

Even after making the zucchini casserole yesterday, we were left with extra zuchinis. Here’s what I threw in the blender today:

1 zucchini

7 ice cubes

1 banana

1 cup orange juice

1/2 avocado

It turned really yummy and the yield was 2-3 servings.

Next time, I will try this interesting smoothie.

What else can I do with zucchinis?

 

My twin babies fell madly in love with zucchinis. So, I buy big quantities of zucchinis and put them in pretty much every vegetable dish. I even like them raw in a salad. Their mild taste works for the days when there isn’t a single cucumber in the fridge. Since,in my opinion, a casserole is the easiest dish to feed the whole family, I like to make this simple zucchini bake. It tastes delicate enough to eat the leftovers for breakfast. Zucchini is rich in nutrients, especially manganese and vitamin C. One cup of cooked zukes contains 1.64g of protein and .15g of omega-3 fatty acids.

You can make this recipe vegan by using flax or chia, instead of an egg and a vegan cheese instead of cheddar. I personally never tried using quinoa or gluten-free flour here, but am sure it’s possible. If you manage to make this casserole free of gluten, please, write me a note!

Ingredients

 4     cups unpeeled, chopped zucchini (and/or yellow summer squash)

¼     cup chopped onion

1/2 cup yellow cornmeal

 2/3 cup whole wheat flour

½  tsp. sea salt

1 tbsp. baking powder

2 tbsp. olive oil

2 tbsp. agave syrup

 1     egg

 1     cup grated cheddar cheese,  set aside ½ cup

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine all dry ingredients and stir well. Mix in all other ingredients  (except for ½ cup cheddar cheese) and stir well. Pour into a greased 8-inch pan. Bake for about 45 minutes. Sprinkle the second ½ cup grated cheddar cheese on top and bake an additional 15 minutes.

 

I was browsing through some blogs last night and stumbled upon a post about a really delicious, easy and healthy bean spread. Oh,and the spread is supposed to be placed on a sandwich with some kale on top. I was hooked. First of all, I am all about quick and easy, healthy cooking. Secondly, I could feed this spread to my twin babies, who’d love a little extra protein, so that they can finally grow up and take their toys back from their big brother. Thirdly, I could feed the kale to my oldest, who thinks that eating kale makes you grow big enough to drive a real car ( ok, I taught him that.)

I tripled the bean spread recipe and we had the leftovers for lunch today. The babies had the spread with some celery sticks and avocado chunks and we had  baked potatoes with bean spread, avocado , kale and chives. 

After playing with the  original recipe a bit, here’s the spread and the sandwich:

 

 

Rustic White Bean Spread

  • 1 can of white cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (or 1 heaping cup of cooked beans)
  • juice from one lemon
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 2 Tbs tahini
  • 1 Tbs water (or more for desired consistency)
  • 2Tbs olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Process everything until smooth.

 Kale

 Heat a bit of olive oil and water in a frying pan. Add a small garlic clove, minced, stirring a minute until fragrant. Add 1-2 tbsp. of Bragg’s amino acid sauce. Toss in a couple handfuls of kale (stems removed, chopped). Sautee until wilted. Add a few drops of tobasco, if desired.

Sandwich

 Place a generous dollop of warmed white bean spread over two pieces of toast. Top with cooked kale. Squeeze a splash of lemon over everything and put a slice of lemon on top (optional). I also put a tomato slice on top.

 

This is my favorite soup. Warm, hearty, full of spices and veggies, it can heat up a cold winter night and add substance to summer lunch. If you add a couple of pieces of toast to a bowl of this soup, you have a nice meal right there. Croutons work, too. You can also have a small bowl of this soup as an appetizer. When selecting vegetables for the soup, keep the red/green balance in mind. The vegetable mixture  has to be about 50% red and 50% green. In this recipe, I put things like broccoli and sweet potatoes. There is also nothing wrong with string beans and squash: be creative, but keep the red/green balance!

The yield for this recipe is a large soup pot, for about 6-7 people.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup broccoli  florets

1/2 cup kale leaves, separated from the stalks

1/2 cup carrots, peeled and chopped

1/4 cup cup celery, chopped

2 medium sweet potatoes, chopped

1/4 cup parsley, diced

1/2 cup whole wheat penne pasta or uncooked buckwheat

1/2-3/4 can garbanzo beans

1/2 cup olive oil

Salt, paprika to taste

2 tbsp. curry powder

3 garlic cloves, pressed

7 cups of water

Put the carrots and the sweet potatoes in the water and bring to a boil. Add the rest of the vegetables, cover and let simmer for 3 minutes. Add the garbanzo beans, the pasta or the grain and let simmer for another 10-15 minutes (taste the pasta or the grain for readiness.) Add olive oil and the spices and simmer for a minute or two. Let the soup stand for 20 minutes before serving.

 

Since we have three little kids, it’s hard to go out in the evening. So, I learned to make some gourmet foods at home. Flatbread is one of those foods. The best part about this recipe ( taken from here) is that the bread is easy to make and is gluten-free. Then, you can put whatever you want on top and tell the kids it’s pizza. I like bell peppers, sundried tomato spread, portobello mushrooms, chunks of tofu, onions, tomatoes, zucchinis to top my flatbread…I sometimes put a bit of goat cheese on top and sometimes I forego the cheese altogether and the dish still tastes amazing. The recipe here is a suggestion. Make the basic flatbread and put whatever you want on top. After the bread is made, don’t forget to top it off with arugula leaves, some salt and olive oil.

I also like to quintuple this recipe and freeze the unused portions in ziploc bags. Whenever I need dinner, I thaw some flatbread dough, roll it out and put something on top. Then I bake the flatbread for 10-20 minutes and dinner is ready!

note: you can use 1 egg instead of the psyllium husk

Flatbread:

– 1 cup quinoa flour

-1/2 -1 tsp salt

-1 tbls psyllium husk

-3/4 cup (2 dl) water

Preheat oven to 200 Celsius (400 F).

Mix the salt, psyllium husk and flour together, add the water gradually so that it resembles a thick porridge, wait for a couple of minutes and then spread the batter on to a baking tray lined with baking paper.

Topping

4 tbsp. pesto sauce

1 bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 zucchini, thinly sliced

1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced

1 tomato, thinly sliced

1/3 cup soft goat cheese, crumbled

Arugula leaves, salt, pepper,olive oil

Spread the pesto sauce on top of the flatbread and put all of the veggies on top of the sauce.sprinkle some goat cheese over the veggies and bake at 425 degrees F for 10-15minutes. Take out of the oven and generously put arugula leaves on top. Put salt and pepper to taste.

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