Sometimes I am in the mood for Asian food, but most of the time I do not leave the house to go get some. No, I do not get delivery, but instead I make my own! I figure most of the time the food I make myself is lighter and healthier than what is traditionally served in most restaurants. As well as cheaper, and cannot beat that! One of my favorite dishes to make is sesame tempeh with veggies, which I serve with cooked brown rice. It is warming and flavorful, and I never miss the restaurant food. I change up the veggies depending on the season, but during the Autumn months, one of my favorite vegetable combinations to use is simply carrots and brussels sprouts. I roast them to give them plenty of flavor to combine with tempeh and sauteed shallots in an Asian inspired sauce! If you have not tried tempeh, do not be afraid of it; it is wonderful in dishes like this in place of the usual tofu or meat.
Have you ever walked through the bulk section of Fresh & Natural and taken time to look at everything? I do most of my shopping in the produce department. Dried fruit, nuts, seeds and grains are staples in my kitchen. I make a lot of raw desserts at home, so lately I have been buying a lot of dates and dried coconut (which make amazing desserts). I recently decided to pick up some dried apples to make some apple cinnamon macaroons. They turned out to be a tasty snack that satisfies any sweet craving, perfect for this time of year. The best part is they are easy to make, and would make a great on the go snack perfect for school lunches (or lunch at work, I would include them in mine)!
It seems that I often end up with more bananas than I could just eat, and they get over ripe sitting on the counter. But instead of looking at them as over the hill and ready for tossing, I see them as an opportunity to make something delicious like banana bread or muffins. I have been making vegan banana muffins for a while and have a good recipe, but I wanted to try making them gluten free. There are many options for gluten free flour, but I feel that some of the options, like white rice flour are not all that healthy as they are high on the glycemic scale. So I opted to use quinoa flour which I have had a lot of success baking with. I also wanted the muffins to be sweetened with somthing lower on the glycemic index, so I chose coconut sugar. It has a wonderful, slightly nutty flavor that paired well with the banana. The muffins were deliciously sweet and lightly spiced. You could never tell they were gluten free or vegan. If you have not tried quinoa flour or coconut sugar, you should check them out!
Roasted yams are one of my favorite things. Although I enjoy them plain, they are also delicious in warm salads. I use it as a main dish because it contains edamame for protein. When I thought up the recipe, I wanted it to have lots of flavorful elements, so I added sweet cranberries, savory shallots, toasted pecans and a flavorful vinaigrette. I have served this to a few picky eaters, who were skeptical but once they had finished the salad they loved it! It is also a delicious protein packed side dish and would be wonderful with a holiday spread. Enjoy!
At our house, we have little time to prepare food on Sunday mornings. But without fail, I always have a husband wanting something to eat during the game. A cost effective and time management way to prepare meals is by buying dried beans in the bulk department. After I purchase them from the store, I cook each of them all at once and freeze them in 16 oz. size quantities. This works especially great for black and kidney beans, and it is a fraction of the cost of canned foods. Here is a quick, healthy chili recipe that won’t get you tied up in the kitchen and let you watch the game, read a book or get out to shop.
Autumn is here. The cool air, the beautifully painted trees, and the leaves that crunch beneath your feet as you walk on them. It is when we start to crave warm comfort foods from the oven to warm our bodies from the inside. There are of course savory dishes, but one sweet dish that I feel is very comforting is a warm crisp. They are made often at my house during the cooler months, served warm from the oven with cool ice cream melting over the jammy fruit. Although I love all crisps, apple has to be my favorite. Especially when made with sweet tart apples like the honeycrisp. I have a gluten-free recipe for apple crisp that I would love to share with you all!
Have you tried chia seeds? It may seem like it is nothing special at first glance, but really it is a nutritional powerhouse! Full of healthy omega-3s and anti-oxidants, it is known to help in balancing blood sugar levels. I have to admit, when I first heard about them I was skeptical, but I now eat them daily. It is a great after-workout energizer when soaked in coconut water instead of a sugar filled energy drink. I have recently discovered a new favorite way to eat them, in a breakfast porridge. I first saw a similar recipe on a raw food website and decided to create my own! It is an energizing breakfast that keeps me full until it is time for lunch. The best part is, it requires minimal preparation time, and it can be prepared the night before so no rushing in the morning. Here is my recipe, but feel free to substitute your favorite fruit and nuts if you do not have raspberries and walnuts on hand.
On a cool night, one of my favorite dinners is a bowl of warming chili. It is nice and hearty, and it makes the house smell wonderful. Add a side of vegan corn bread and a salad and I am set! One of my favorite chili recipes adds squash. It makes it slightly sweet, and so delicious. I am going to share my favorite vegan chili recipe with you. It has a few special ingredients that may sound odd, but they make the chili broth taste rich and flavorful. Also, I use white beans in my chili in place of the usual black or pinto, as my mother used to use them in all her soups. I add a kick to my chili with a habanero, but if you would like it a bit more mild, feel free to stick with the jalapenos or omit the hot peppers. This chili can be tailored to your liking, and the best part is it freezes wonderfully for a quick meal later.
When the cooler Autumn weather hits, we start to crave warm comfort foods like soups. I can remember when I was younger, my mother made homemade soup often, and it was so good that I always thought canned soup to be inferior. Afterall, there is nothing more satisfying than sitting down to a warm bowl of soup on a cool night that you have made yourself. It was recently requested by a good friend of mine that I make a creamy vegan wild rice soup. So I came up with a recipe for Mushroom Lentil Wild Rice Soup. It is hearty enough to serve as a meal with a light salad, and it freezes nicely if you want to eat a serving then save a few for the future. I always have a freezer full of soups in the cooler months for those nigths where I do not have time to cook. Why not enjoy a warm bowl of comfort?
Sometimes it can be a challenge to fit breakfast into a busy schedule in the morning. Often times we rush to get to work or school, skipping breakfast and feeling hungry before lunch time hits. It is important to be able to get your system going with something nutritious while tasting good. It gives energy for the rest of the day and prevents from over indulging and feeling tired later.
So often times on a busy day, I will whip up a smoothie, and drink it on the way to where ever I am going. It does not take long to make. You can vary the ingredients with what you feel like eating, or what is in season at the time. In the summer, I choose berries, peaches and mangos. In the fall and winter, apples and berries are wonderful. Throw in some protein powder to keep you full, maybe some oats, and you are set!
Below, I have included one of my favorite autumn smoothies, apple pie smoothie. It reminds me of cinnamon scented apple pie with ice cream and yet it is healthy! Nothing wrong with a breakfast that tastes delicious as well as nourishes the body!