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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.)

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.

 

Fourth of July will be here very soon. Before you start feeling bad for vegetarians, I have a really awesome bean burger recipe to share. It’s is vegan, gluten-free and soy-free. I found this recipe in Vegetarian Times magazine and changed a thing or two. The original recipe asked for quinoa, but I felt that buckwheat, while similar in texture, has a more “meaty” look to it. That, and I had some leftover buckwheat laying around. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1.5 cup cooked buckwheat

1 cup onions, finely chopped

1/2 cup carrots, grated

1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil – drained and finely chopped

1.5 cups black beans ( cooked or canned and drained) – I like to use canned spicy beans here

1.5 cups water

2 tsp.   steak seasoning

2 garlic cloves, minced

optional: a few drops of Tabasco sauce

Salt, pepper to taste

Olive oil for oiling the baking dish

Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a medium frying pan, sautee the onions, the tomatoes and the carrots for about 4 minutes, mixing periodically. Use the oil form the tomatoes to sautee. Add the beans, the spices and the water. Simmer for about 5 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Transfer the mixture to the food processor, add the buckwheat and process until smooth. Add salt and pepper.

Oil up the baking sheet. Form 8 patties, using your hands. Arrange the patties in the baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the patties are crisp on top. Flip the patties and bake for another 10 minutes, until both sides are crisp and brown.

Serve in a whole wheat bun with lettuce and tomato. Mayonnaise, ketchup and cheese are optional.

Remember the carrot ginger soup recipe I posted recently? What would you do with the pulp that’s leftover from juicing 3 cups of carrots? I made a casserole that turned out pretty good.

 

 

 

Ingredients:

3 cups carrot pulp (or grated carrots)

1 medium onion

1/2 cup olive oil

4 small zucchinis, sliced

1 cup of grated cheese ( I used the almond cheese variety)

2 eggs or chia gel substitute

a few drops of tabasco

1 tsp curry

1/3 cup parsley, chopped

Sea salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Sautee the onion in 1/4 cup of olive oil. add the carrots to the onion and some more olive oil. Saute, mixing periodically, for about five minutes. Add the parsley and the spices and sautee for another minute or two. On a separate pan, sautee the zucchinis in some more olive oil for about 3 minutes. Add the zucchinis to the carrots and mix well. Mix in the cheese and the eggs. Oil the baking dish and (optionally) sprinkle some breadcrumbs on it. Put the casserole mixture in and bake for about 35-45 minutes.

I served this casserole with quinoa and  a salad with avocado in it. Avocado’s moisture balanced this casserole’s flavors really well.

I have a few recipes of healthy cookies that I like to use. This one I found on a Russian website a year or so ago. It’s simple, gluten-free, can be made vegan and always turns out fabulous! Occasionally, I add raisins or almond slices to this recipe.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup buckwheat flour

1/2 cup powdered sugar

2 eggs (or chia substitute)

1/3 cup buckwheat honey

1 tsp coconut oil

Warm up the oven to  325°F. Mix the eggs or the chia gel with the powdered sugar, add honey, добавить мед and flour and mix well.  Cover the dish with the dough with a kitchen towel and let stand in  a cool dry place for thirty minutes. Cover the baking dish with parchment paper and oil it up with coconut oil.  Put the dough on the parchment paper, using a tablespoon. Bake the cookies for 15-20 minutes. Optopnal :sprinkle with powdered sugar prior to serving.

A friend’s child is lactose-intolerant, so she asked me for some dairy-free recipes. Most of all, she wanted a recipe for dairy-free sour cream. My vegan-raw sour cream does not taste exactly like its dairy version, but it still tastes great. It works very well in recipes, asking for sour cream. This sour cream can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to a week.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3-4 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 small avocado, mashed
  • Optional ingredients:
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 2 tbsp. onion powder or finely diced chives
  1. Cover cashews with water and let them soak for a few hours or overnight.
  2. Pour off all water, and place nuts in food processor.
  3. Add 1/8- 1/4 cup cold water, salt, vinegar and avocado. Add garlic and onions.
  4.  Puree for 3-4 minutes or until smooth and creamy.

 

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