An effortless one skillet vegan recipe filled with sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes, chickpeas, spinach, grilled lemon slices, and of course orzo! Simple, healthy ingredients that come together quickly for a perfect weeknight meal, this Lemon Chickpea Orzo Skillet is a dish that everyone can enjoy! Continue reading “Lemon Chickpea Orzo Skillet”→
Crispy, sweet, and salty bites of tofu paired with sauteed bright broccoli on a bed of rice noodles. It can’t get any better than this. Filled with protein, this Teriyaki Tofu Noodle Bowl is perfect for a weeknight dinner or lunch prep. Continue reading “Teriyaki Tofu Noodle Bowl”→
This easy, one pan meal is a hearty and healthy vegetarian meal the whole family can enjoy. Ready in just 30 minutes, it’s nutrient dense, packed with protein and fiber. Made with simple ingredients, this Sweet Potato, Black Bean, and Brown Rice Skillet is colorful, tasty, and satisfying. Continue reading “Sweet Potato, Black Bean, and Brown Rice Skillet”→
These tandoori cauliflower tacos are marinated in a vibrant tandoori yogurt sauce and burst with flavor in each bite. Perfect for lunch or dinner, these meatless tacos are easy to make and filling. Continue reading “Tandoori Cauliflower Tacos”→
**Note: Original post created Jul 2017. Updated October 2021**
The first time I was introduced to this traditional Punjabi meal was during my wedding planning. My husband and in-laws requested that this be on the menu somewhere. I didn’t understand what it was or the goodness of it until quite a bit later (much later than my wedding). Of course, during my wedding, I didn’t remember eating or tasting anything with so much going on. After I got married, I remember my mother-in-law making it a few times for my husband and seeing the pure joy on his face as he ate the Saag and Roti. I felt, wow, such a simple meal (for Indian food) and yet it brings him so much happiness. Of course I decided to try it out on my own.
I am always told, even to this day, how this is supposed to be a really hard recipe to master. I’m definitely not making it the way my mother-in-law does, but my shortcut recipe has managed to impress her, my husband and my daughter! As they say, a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. I’m already in my hubby’s heart, but this is one recipe that guarantees a spot for any of you out there looking to impress your significant other.
Sarson da Saag is basically a vegetable dish made of Mustard Greens. It is very earthy in taste and rich not only in flavor but nutrients also. Mustard Greens provide an abundance of potassium and Vitamins K, A, C, and E. Traditionally, it is cooked in water and hand churned until you get the creamy, buttery consistency. If I had the time, I might try it. But since I don’t, I obviously created a shortcut (my handy dandy blender). Try it out and tell me what you think:
The saag tastes great on its own, but man does it just go a whole other level with Makki di Roti. Makki di Roti is basically corn bread. It’s not your traditional Roti that is usually soft and pliable. This is a bit thicker and can hold all that saag without getting the roti soggy. One more thing – Makki di Roti is typically made by flattening the dough between the palms. I am using a different technique by placing the dough in between a ziploc bag and rolling it out with a rolling pin. This just works better for me.
In a deep non-stick pot, heat 1 Tbsp EVOO. Add in onions and sauté til they are translucent. Add in the ginger and garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
Add in the mustard leaves and sprinkle with ½ Tbsp salt. Mix in well and when they start to shrink, add in the spinach. Sprinkle the spinach with the remaining salt. Mix in well until all the greens have shrunk and started to cook. Add in the corn meal.
When the corn meal has mixed in well and the greens are cooked, turn off stove and place the mixture into a blender. Pulse until you have a smooth and creamy texture.
In the same pot, add 1 Tbsp EVOO and the blended mixture. Cook on low heat for 2-3 minutes.
For the Roti:
In a bowl, add the corn flour and mix in the carom seeds. Add cold water a little at a time while kneading the dough. You want the dough to be a little soft and sticky but not wet. It should form in your hands without falling apart.
Divide the dough equally into balls. Place one inside a plastic ziploc and roll with a rolling pin into a flat tortilla shape.
On high heat, place a little EVOO on a tava/frying pan. Add the roti and cook for a few minutes. Add a little oil on the top and flip to cook on the other side.
This vegan, nutritious poke bowl filled with lots of veggies and a sriracha dressing is so delicious and addicting. A one-bowl recipe with so many beautiful ingredients and easy to make is a perfect meal that is customizable for your palate. Continue reading “Vegan Poke Bowl”→
Fresh and beautiful veggies from across the rainbow to make amazing salads are my favorite. This Quinoa Fiesta Salad is one of my family’s favorites. As a mom, it makes me happy that the girls are getting so much nutrition in one bowl. The kids look at the colors and get excited to eat a rainbow and I love that they are enjoying fresh and healthy ingredients!
This salad does triple duty which I love. A dish which becomes a meatless entree can also serve as a side dish or a salad depending on my mood. The cherry on top of this recipe is that it takes less than 30 minutes to make and is very forgiving if you need to substitute or leave out ingredients.
HOW DO I MAKE A QUINOA FIESTA SALAD?
1. Cook the quinoa. While the quinoa is cooking, you can get the dressing and your other ingredients ready!
2. Make the Cilantro Lime Dressing. I love this dressing because it is so light. If you choose to leave it out as I do for my girls, simply replace it with a drizzle of Olive Oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
3. Combine all of your ingredients in a large bowl and toss well to mix.
4. Enjoy and get addicted to this salad as much as my family and I are!
**Original post published Nov. 2020. Updated Aug. 2021**
A couple of months ago, I won our local Farmer’s Market cooking competition and part of my prize was a big box of fresh goodies from the market. I don’t know if I’ve ever been so excited to get fresh veggies and fruits! I honestly felt like a contestant on Chopped from The Food Network in that I wanted to use all of my produce and come up with a delicious dish.
Well, considering there were so much produce, I’m not sure I would be able to eat more than 3 bites of any dish made from all of the veggies and fruits! One of my favorites in that box was the beet greens with their beautiful red stems. I’ve had quite a few people ask me what I use them for and what they can cook out of them. A definite go to are to cook them down like collard greens but I wanted to do something more creative and decided to add the beet greens to a hash and topping it with an egg made it the perfect breakfast for a busy day or a big, healthy lunch bowl.
The vibrant orange and red colors of the root veggies as they are being cooked, the bold green of the beets…..eeek! I’m salivating just thinking about this recipe. The best part is all the nutrition you get in this sustainable hash:
high in dietary fiber
high in folate
good source of potassium
good source of non-dairy calcium (the beet greens are)
great source of B-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin (these flavonoids have strong anti-cancer and antioxidant properties)
Topping this hash with a fried or hard boiled egg adds a little extra protein though to keep it vegetarian/vegan, you can always replace the egg with a grilled tofu steak.
From my kitchen to yours, enjoy this delicious and healthy Sweet Potato and Beet Hash!
Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a cast iron or heavy bottomed skillet on medium high flame.
Add in the beets, sweet potato, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp black pepper and cook about 10-15 minutes until browned and crispy. If it is still mostly raw at the 10 minute mark, cover and let it cook in the steam for an additional 5 minutes.
Remove the veggies from the pan and set aside.
In the same skillet, add the remaining 1 Tbsp oil and let it heat up.
Add in the onions and garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes.
Add in the beet greens and stems and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes until it is just starting to wilt. Add in the veggies, and mix well.
Let the hash crisp up then remove from pan and divide between 4 plates. Top with your choice of egg and serve hot!
When I first started making brown rice, I was a bit intimidated. I can cook Basmati rice with my eyes closed but when it comes to brown rice, the ratio to water is different, cook time is different, and sometimes, there is a chewy bite to brown rice. I felt so out of my element.
I have tried multiple ways to cook brown rice and this recipe has become my fail-proof method. Even better, I’ve nailed both stove top and Instant Pot methods so you can choose what works for you.
Having rice in the fridge has helped me on numerous occasions. I can use it to make Pineapple Fried Rice, serve it on the side with a salmon, serve it up with lentils and so much more.
WHAT IS BROWN RICE?
Brown rice is actually rice with the hull still on it making it a whole grain. The germ and bran are in there too which gives it a chewy texture and nutty flavor. Because brown rice has the hull, germ, and bran, it takes longer to cook.
Trust me. I feel like I’m constantly on the go, but this one recipe will make you stop and smell the roses. And it’s worth it. All you have to do is keep the cover on the saucepan and not mess with it. Once it’s done cooking, let it rest. Just like all meats, rice also wants a little rest after spending all that time cooking to perfection. The additional 5 minutes of steam will make the rice fluffy and soft.
As I raise my girls, it has become very important to me that they keep connected to their roots and one of the ways I do this is through food. Lucky for me, they both love the typical comfort food fare of “Dal Chawal” or Lentils and Rice. A twist on the traditional Moong Dal Fry, this recipe adds zucchini and is low in calorie but nutrient dense.
Ready in just 15 minutes, this has become my latest go to recipe when I’m tight on time. Because moong dal cooks very quickly, I don’t soak them for more than 20 minutes.
Nutrition is also very important when I’m serving this dish as a main meal to the girls, and this dish doesn’t disappoint.
1 cup of zucchini moong dal gives you:
8.7 gm protein
7 gm fiber
As to cooking it over the stove versus the instant pot, traditionally, the dal was boiled first then added to the spices. I love just using one pot to make the whole dish so I usually add the uncooked dal into the spices/gravy mix then cook it in the instant pot.
I hope you get a chance to try out this delicious recipe and enjoy it as much as my family does.
Once it is heated, add cumin seeds and asafoetida.
When the cumin seeds start to sizzle, add the onions, garlic, and ginger and saute for 2-3 minutes until the onions have become translucent.
Add tomatoes, turmeric, cayenne, cumin, coriander, and salt. Mix well and saute for 2 minutes.
Add the washed dal and water. Mix well.
Press Cancel and close the lid with vent in sealing position.
Change the instant pot setting to manual or pressure cook mode at high pressure for 4 mins. After the instant pot beeps, let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes, then release the pressure manually (5 minute NPR).
Once the pressure is released and you have opened the lid, in a tempering pan, heat oil. When it is heated through, add cayenne powder and dried red chili. When it starts to sizzle, add chili oil to cooked dal. Squeeze in lemon juice and give it a good stir.
Artichokes are abundant everywhere you go these days. My favorite are the ones from our local Farmer’s Market. You can taste the fresh quality and they are so much easier to cook than the store bought ones.
When I first starting eating these, my roommate in college introduced me to dipping them in butter. While they tasted good dipped in butter, I can only imagine all of the calories and cholesterol my body was ingesting. So I started using yogurt as a dipping base instead and I love it. The yogurt dip is so easy to change the flavor profile and I can keep it as simple or complex as I am in the mood for. This particular recipe, I kept it on the simple side with a little roasted garlic, cayenne, and salt mixed into the yogurt.
The traditional way of eating artichokes is by steaming them. I could (and actually have) eaten many whole artichokes all by myself. The husband used to eat them but eventually tired of steamed artichokes and stopped. I really wanted to him to share my love for artichokes so I’ve been trying many other ways to cook them. I’ve roasted (and burnt) them in the oven, stuffed them with various fillings that just didn’t hit the spot before I created this recipe.
All I can say is, you have got to try it! Oh man am I excited to share this stuffed artichoke recipe. Here are a couple of tips though when you are making these artichokes:
Get fresh artichokes from your local Farmer’s Market. Trust me it makes a difference. The time spent cooking, the quality in taste, and the ease of prepping the artichokes are worth it!
When you are prepping your artichoke, slice off the top quarter of the vegetable and make sure you trim off the ends of each leaf. Using your hands, gently push apart the leaves to create a wider space in the center for the heart to hold more of the stuffing.
Put some muscle into removing the choke. Having stretched the artichoke to be able to hold the filling, it will be easier to remove the choke and the hair-like filaments.
Well….. what is the stuffing? Oh man, the most delicious and easiest to make. I used:
red onion (the color comes out so pretty)
bread crumbs (a combination of Italian seasoned and panko)
garlic (of course!)
vegetable broth (though you could replace it with white wine – the taste would still be excellent)
a hint of pepper
Because I am stuffing the artichoke, I also did a 2 step cook. First, I par-steamed the artichoke while I made the stuffing, then I baked it all in the oven to finish cooking the artichoke and get that glorious color on the Parmesan cheese.
I really hope you get a chance to try this recipe out as it has become one of my favorites already!
From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy this Italian Stuffed Artichoke with a Garlic Cayenne Dip.
Italian Stuffed Artichoke with a Garlic Cayenne Dip
Fill a steamer pot with a 4 inches of water, and place a steamer basket on top. Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil. Turn the heat to low and let it simmer.
Drizzle 1 Tbsp of the lemon juice in the steamer pot.
Place the artichoke, stem-end up, in the steamer basket, cover, and steam until it is tender, about 15 minutes.
Check for doneness by pulling off an outer leaf — it should come off fairly easily. Set them aside to cool.
While the artichokes are steaming, preheat the oven to 375°F.
Melt the butter in a large sauté pan over low-medium heat. Let it simmer until it begins to brown, about 3 minutes.
Add the onions and garlic and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Pour in the remaining lemon juice and the vegetable broth. Stir and let this simmer on low heat for about 4 minutes.
Add the bread crumbs, panko and parsley, mix well.
Remove from heat and season to taste with pepper and set aside to cool.
Place the artichoke, sitting on its base, in a baking dish.
Use a spoon and/or your hands to carefully fill the center of each artichoke with the stuffing -- fill it to maximum capacity! (If you think there's too much stuffing, don't worry just pack it in.) Then fill all of the spaces between the leaves as much as possible. Sprinkle the top of each one with 1 tablespoon of the Parmesan.
Meanwhile, placet the garlic cloves in a double lined foil. Drizzle with 1 tsp olive oil. Wrap into a ball.
Place the garlic and stuffed artichoke in the oven and bake until the breadcrumbs are golden and the cheese has melted, approximately 12-15 minutes.
Remove from oven and let artichoke cool for a few minutes.
In a bowl, whip yogurt to a smooth, creamy consistency.
Add in the roasted garlic and mash into the yogurt. Add in the salt and cayenne pepper and mix well.
Serve the whole artichoke with the garlic cayenne dip for presentation. Slice in half to make 2 servings.
One of my favorite times of the year is the spring when the Farmer’s Market starts to get bigger with more and more farmers who start to bring a larger variety of produce and goodies. I’ve mentioned in the past that I like to make a menu for the week (more so my kids don’t complain they want something else than what is served), but what I haven’t mentioned is how I love going to the Farmer’s Market to do my weekly produce shopping. Sometimes, I will even tailor some of my dishes to include produce I find at the Market.
Recently, I partnered with our local Farmer’s Market (Danville Farmer’s Market) and I will be creating recipes for them a few times a month in the hopes that I can bring awareness to locally farmed produce at all of our farmer’s market. Having fresh, organic produce and supporting the local farms is a win-win.
This Spring Crudites Platter is so beautiful, we all had a bit of hard time digging in. No one wanted to mess it up. Ah well, our stomachs won that round. The beauty of this platter is that you are not restricted to the same produce I picked up. Pick up what your farmer’s market has, just make it colorful.
Here is what I used:
Purple Cauliflower (chop these into big chunks)
Rainbow Baby Carrots (trim the stems off and save to make pesto – be sustainable!)
Watermelon Radishes (slice these a little thick into rounds to give a beautiful effect)
Cucumbers (I sliced these on the diagonal for aesthetics. Feel free to slice into rounds or sticks to make them easier to serve)
As for the hummus, I chose purple sweet potato and red beets to be the base of each hummus. For the Red Beets, I roasted it with garlic, then pulsed it with a little tahini and a few other ingredients. This is by far one of my favorite variations on hummus. Paired with all that beautiful produce, it’s perfect!
For the Purple Sweet Potato, I baked it in the oven then pulsed it with tahini as well. Though the idea behind both hummus’ are the same, the flavor profile differ vastly. Yet both are addicting.
I hope you have a chance to make a beautiful Spring Crudites Platter like this for your next gathering. I promise you will love it.
Try it out and let me know what you think!
Place sweet potatoes, beets, and garlic in individual foil sheets. Drizzle beets and garlic with olive oil. Wrap each food tightly into a ball and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes.
Remove and let cool before opening the foil wraps.
For the Sweet Potato Hummus:
Remove foil wrap and peel skin. Chop into rough chunks and add to food processor. Add roasted garlic cloves and the rest of the ingredients. Blend until smooth (about 2-3 minutes).
Transfer to a bowl and garnish with parsley, a drizzle of oil, and/or roasted chickpeas.
For the Roasted Beet and Garlic Hummus:
Remove beets from foil and chop into rought chunks.
Add into food processor with roasted garlic and the remaining ingredients.
Blend until smooth (about 2-3 minutes)
Transfer to a bowl and garnish with roasted chickpeas, toasted sesame seeds, and/or a drizzle of olive oil.
To Assemble the Crudites platter:
Place the bowls of the hummus in the center of the platter. Add the larger veggies first, i.e. cauliflower and carrots.
Fill in with medium sized veggies, i.e. cucumbers and snap peas.
Add the smaller veggies, i.e. radishes and cherry tomatoes.
Finally garnish with watermelon radish slices and edible flowers if you have any.
**Note: I used a whole bulb of garlic and divided between the two hummus dips as I knew I was making them at the same time (and a little extra garlic is always appreciated). If you are making only one hummus dip, follow the instructions of roasting cloves instead of the whole bulb.
I first learned what arancini is when I was watching Giada on Food Network. Man they looked delicious. Rice and cheese mixed together, battered, and fried. I don’t think you can go wrong. I love the salty and creamy and cheesy combination. Oh I can go on and on!
Well, seeing it on tv and actually trying them are two different things. The first time I tried it was on a date with the husband. Oh.My.God! All I wanted was to eat these delicious arancini for every course! Seeing them on tv, then actually eating them are two different things, and I’ll tell you what. Eating is absolutely much better for this case!
I’ve made quite a few attempts over the years to make these. Initially, they melted as I was trying to fry them. Then the seasoning was off, and each try I missed something until finally, I was able to make a delicious batch! I’m so glad this was one project I didn’t abandon!
About a month ago, we had leftover pearl couscous (it seems we always do). I wanted to upcycle it and have the girls eat it in a different way and instantly I thought of arancini. It was a long shot but in my mind, I thought, hey, a leftover grain that could potentially bind with cheese. All I had to do was season it correctly. Results? The kids want me to make this for them everyday! Let’s not get carried away though. I did make quite a few and had to really work on distracting the girls with other foods because they are just as in love with arancini as I am!
Try these out for appetizers, make them a little larger and have them for a main course, make them bite sized and serve them for parties. I served them with warm marinara sauce and a sprinkle of chopped basil and for me, that was the perfect pairing.
From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy these decadent Couscous Arancini!
When I was in college, I used to buy the boxes of Spanish/Mexican Rice with the seasoning packets in them so all you had to do was follow the instructions. As a carb lover (and with a better metabolism than I do now), there were days that I could polish off a whole box of rice for a meal. I know it says serves 2 or 4 or however many. It didn’t matter. I love my rice and carbs. No judgement please.
Anyways, over the years, I started experimenting on my own as I became more familiar in the kitchen besides using boxed “instant” foods. As I did, I learned what I liked, what I didn’t, and how to change that. One of my “ah-ha” moments was when I didn’t have any tomato sauce to add and the closest thing to a tomato based product I had in my tiny apartment was a jar of salsa. My rice was already cooking so I decided, why not. It was the.best.decision.ever!
The flavor that jar of salsa added was unbelievable! I’ve changed around a few ingredients since then but that jar of salsa has been an unwavering element in this recipe.
The changes I made? I substituted brown rice in place of white. Sure it takes longer to cook but you can put together this dish in the instant pot in half the time, or just let it simmer over the stove top with a timer. When it’s this good, it’s worth the wait! Additionally, you get more fiber, magnesium, and quite a few other vitamins and minerals compared to white rice. If I’m going to eat rice, I’m going to make it count!
The other major change I did was to add black beans to this dish. Check out these amazing benefits of black beans:
Combined with rice, black beans help make this dish a complete protein which is important for those who are on a vegetarian or vegan diet
1 cup of black beans provides approximately:
15 gm protein
15 gm fiber
64% DRI Folate
20% DRI Iron
Have leftovers? No worries. I used them to make bean and rice burritos for the kiddos and they loved it! I love upcycling my foods!
From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy this delicious plate of Mexican Rice and Beans!
Heat a larger, wide saute pan on medium-high heat. Add olive oil and let it warm up.
Add the onions and bell peppers and sauté for approximately 3-4 minutes. Add in the garlic and jalapeño and cook for 30 seconds to let the flavors bloom.
Add rice, broth, salsa, cumin and paprika. Stir, then bring to a boil, lower heat, cover and simmer for about 40 minutes until the rice is cooked.
Once the rice is cooked, stir in the drained/rinsed beans. Let it sit for at least 10 minutes covered.
Garnish with cilantro and serve hot as a main or side dish
**For the Instant Pot:
Follow the above instructions to step 3, then cover the instant pot, set on Pressure Cook mode for 24 minutes. Once the timer goes off, NPR (natural pressure release) for 5 minutes, then change the valve to vent and let out any remaining steam before opening the instant pot.
Stir in the black beans and cover lid loosely for another 5 minutes.
Garnish with cilantro and serve hot.
Looking for a healthy way to get protein without compromising flavor? Well, you’ve come to the right place. This Vegan Protein Bowl has hints of spicy, tangy, herby, and definitely brings a Middle Eastern vibe in each bite!
Simple to make and ready in just 30 minutes, you have got to try this delicious bowl. So let me tell you a little bit about the ingredients I chose. For my grain, I used quinoa because it packs more of a protein punch but you can definitely use any other grain. Bulgur or Farro would be excellent substitutes to keep in line with the Middle Eastern food theme.
For added protein and crunch, I used garbanzo beans. I love snacking on these so I actually made double the amount and the girls ended up eating most of them!
As to the veggies, I used a few different ones as I wanted to get the colors in. To give it some warmth, I roasted the cauliflower with the garbanzos and to keep a cool factor, I made a salad of tomatoes, avocados, cucumbers, and fresh herbs.
So it’s not just what ingredients I use but how much nutrition this delicious bowl provides. In addition to almost 20 gm of protein, you are also getting:
Half of your daily recommended intake (DRI) of Fiber
40% of DRI Iron
More than the recommended intake of Folic Acid
Meeting at least 20-50% of most of your Vitamins and Minerals DRI
The best part of making this recipe is that even though there are several different steps and techniques, you can multitask and get them all done at once without chaos in the kitchen! Roast your veggies, while your quinoa cooks and you are making the Avocado Salsa! So simple and easy!
Last but not least, I added a hummus dressing to pull it altogether. I love making my own dressings and there is no way I would leave one out of a bowl this delicious. And to be honest, I really think the hummus dressing really marries all the flavors together so perfectly. So what are you waiting for?! Try this recipe out and let me know what you think. Leave a comment below, give it a star rating, or tag me on Facebook or Instagram!
From my kitchen to yours, I really hope you enjoy this delicious Middle Eastern Vegan Protein Bowl!
1 lemon, half juiced and the other half cut in wedges
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp paprika
2 1/2 tsp salt, divided
2 tsp black pepper, divided
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp ground ginger
For the Hummus dressing:
1/2 c garlic hummus
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 Tbsp water
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Make your spice blend by combining cumin, paprika, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp black pepper, turmeric, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and ginger in a bowl. Mix well to make sure all the spices are well incorporated. Set Aside.
In a bowl, add cauliflower, 1 Tbsp Olive Oil and half of the spice blend. Toss well to make sure all of the florets are coated evenly. Transfer to one side of a baking sheet lined with a silicone mate or parchment paper.
In the same bowl, add the garbanzo beans, 1 Tbsp Olive Oil, and the remaining half of the spice blend. Toss well to make sure all of the beans are coated evenly. Transfer to the other side of the same baking sheet used for the cauliflower. Bake for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium sized saucepan, combine the water, 1/2 tsp salt, and rinsed quinoa. Bring to a boil on high heat, then lower the heat to medium high and cook for 15 minutes or until the water has evaporated. Remove from heat and cover to steam.
While the quinoa is cooking, in a bowl, combine tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado, red onions, parsley, and mint. Add to this the remaining 1 Tbsp of Olive Oil, juice of half a lemon, the remaining 1 tsp salt, and remaining 1 tsp black pepper. Toss well to combine. Set aside.
For the hummus dressing, in an air tight jar, combine the hummus, dijon mustard, lemon juice and water. Seal the lid and shake vigorously to combine. If you prefer a thinner dressing, add water 1 Tbsp at a time and shake until you have your desired consistency.
Divide the quinoa evenly into 4 bowls. Add about 1 cup of the avocado salsa, 1/4 of the cauliflower and 1/4 of the garbanzos in each bowl. Top off with the hummus dressing.
This fall and winter season I have been obsessed with acorn squash and pomegranates. It only made sense that I find a way to combine the two together. The girls love the rainbow shape this takes on when cut so I wanted to create something fun for them too.
The great thing about acorn squash is that it is a little sweet naturally but it will still take on any flavor you give it. If you haven’t tried them yet, I made some Fire Roasted Poblano Tacos recently with acorn squash part of the filling. It took on the spices really well so I wanted to go on the opposite spectrum this time and season it with something a little more mild.
I chose mostly fresh herbs that would bring out the more earthy flavors. To help give it a little crust, I also added a little Parmesan.
Anyways, here are a few fun nutrition facts about acorn squash:
A nutrient dense food, acorn squash is loaded with vitamins, minerals and fiber yet is comparatively low in saturated fat, sugar and salt.
Great source of phytonutrients, particularly carotenoids which have antioxidant properties.
Acorn squash is a starchy fruit, however, because it is so nutrient dense, there’s a good balance to eating this squash. The high fiber content slows down digestion which helps you stay full longer and slows down the release of glucose in your blood. This process helps in maintaining weight and stabilizing your blood sugar.
So now that you know about my favorite squash this season, let’s move on to my favorite fruit of the season.
Pomegranates are known as one of the healthiest fruits on Earth!
High in fiber (7gms in 1 cup of arils), they also contain an impressive amount of protein (3gm in 1 cup of arils), and 16% of DRI of Folate (also in 1 cup of arils)
A great source of antioxidants which help with anti-inflammatory properties.
they improve exercise performance by delaying fatigue and increasing blood flow.
Basically, this is one healthy dish that you can have this winter season and enjoy every bite of it! Try it out and tag me on Instagram @bitofspice146.
From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy this delicious Herb Roasted Acorn Squash with Pomegranates and Pistachios.
Herb Roasted Acorn Squash with Pomegranates and Pistachios
I think hands down, these are one of my favorite holiday foods. I’ve had so many and I don’t think I can tire of them. Snacking is one of my favorite activities. These delicious tostadas make it so much easier as they are low in calorie, healthy, and guilt-free.
High in fiber, antioxidants, a good source of protein, and rich in vitamins and minerals, these delicious Tinseltown Tostadas definitely pack a punch!
Between the Serrano peppers and the watermelon radish, there were some strong flavors. I knew I wanted to use the pomegranate arils to give it a sweet note (and make it look pretty).
But it needed depth so I played around with a few options before settling on the hummus and avocado. And yet the radish was still giving off a bit of a pungent taste and therein comes the smear of pesto.
There are so many random flavors that they work despite wanting to prove the opposite.
Make these delicious Tinseltown Tostadas this holiday season and you won’t be able to stop eating them. From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy them!
We are a taco loving family. I started the kids out simple with the basic filling of either ground meat or refried beans and some veggies and lots of cheese. Though we love the basics, which often times provide a sense of comfort and nostalgia, I wanted to try something new.
Definitely no beans or meat.
I know, but trust me! This is amazing! You want to know why I say this? I had to make it 5 times before I was able to get a single photo of it taken. The first time I made it, these tacos flew so fast, I didn’t even realize what happened. This also happened the second, third, and fourth time. The fifth time, I made it well in advance so no one could get into them and I could actually take a photo to share with you my enthusiasm around these tacos.
So, I fire roasted the poblanos to give it a more earthy, smoky flavor. If you don’t have a gas stove, you can totally do this on your BBQ grill or even in the oven. You will still get that amazing smoky flavor, I promise!
Instead of beans or meat, I chose to use acorn squash to roast with ancho chili and chipotle powder. These peppers give it a kick without making it too spicy and also enhance that smoky flavor, especially from the chipotle pepper powder.
I’m not done though! Making this go one step further, I made a Habanero Crema with avocados, roasted garlic and a little yogurt to balance out the habaneros.
Serve it with microgreens instead of lettuce or cabbage, and top it off with a little salsa verde, and you have what I think is one of the most amazing tacos of the year!
Seriously, I’m just going to stop now and give you the recipe. You really have to try it.
From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy these delicious Fire Roasted Poblano Tacos.
4 habanero chilis, stems removed (remove seeds and ribs to cut down on spice)
8 cloves garlic, whole
Juice of 1 Lime
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c yogurt
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp olive oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Double line aluminum foil and add the 8 whole garlic cloves for the crema. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Fold the pieces of foil in to cover the garlic cloves and create a ball. Place on one side of the baking sheet.
On the other side of the baking sheet, line the acorn squash, drizzle it with 1 Tbsp olive oil, season with ancho chili powder, chipotle chili powder, 1/2 tsp ground black pepper, and 1 tsp salt. Massage gently to make sure each cube is coated.
Bake for 30-35 minutes.
Meanwhile, lightly coat the poblanos with 1 Tbsp olive oil. Turn the stove on to high flame and roast the poblanos to get a nice black char. When they are done, place in a paper bag for 2-3 minutes to steam them.
Take them out of the paper bag and with a paper towel, gently rub the charred skin off. It's ok if there are some remnants. This will just enhance the flavor. Slice the poblanos into strips, including the seeds. Set these aside to use later.
On medium flame, heat the remaining 1 Tbsp oil and add the onions and salt. Cook for 10 minutes, or until golden brown in color.
Add in the minced garlic and oregano and saute for another minute.
Add corn and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add in the poblano peppers, remaining 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp ground black pepper. Mix well and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
When the acorn squash is done, add into the Poblano filling.
Mix then set aside.
For the Habanero Crema:
In a blender, add the roasted garlic, habanero, lime juice, avocado, yogurt, salt and pepper. Blend into a thick crema. If it is too thick, Add 1 Tbsp water at a time to thin it out.
Warm street taco tortillas over the stove
Spread about 1 Tbsp of the Habanero Crema on the tortilla
Add a handful of microgreens then top with the poblano filling.
Sprinkle a little feta crumble over the top
Drizzle with salsa verde
Add a lime wedge to the side and serve right away.
I’ve made zucchini boats a few times so far. Each time has been to use up leftovers from our Skinny Skillet Enchilada the previous night. They turn out really good and Sanaya loves them but it’s the same flavor profile so as much as I love it, I still crave something a little different.
I knew I wanted to create a different filling and haven’t done much with Indian food lately so I played around with my options. I kept circling back to this one idea of Tandoori Gobi as the stuffing. I’m not sure where I thought of it but it wouldn’t go away so I decided, ok, let’s give it a try.
I have a great Tandoori marinade recipe that I have been using with chicken so I decided, to use the same for the cauliflower. I treated the cauliflower as the chicken substitute and marinated it overnight also.
The cooking part was a little tricky as I didn’t want a soggy Zucchini Boat and the marinade definitely looked like it would promise a lot of liquid. Simple trick, I baked them separately, then stuffed the zucchini with the cauliflower and broiled it on high for 5 minutes to get a good char. Can I just say, Oh so delicious!
Also, please don’t throw out the flesh of the zucchini when you scoop it out to create the cavity for the cauliflower. Let’s be sustainable here and make some Zucchini Bread out of it!
One more thing I love about this recipe is that it is totally a weeknight meal. So the time on the recipe card may be a little daunting, but it’s the ease of it. And most of the time you spend is waiting for the flavors to marinate. It really takes maybe 15 minutes to put the marinade together, then the next day, 5 minutes to shell out the Zucchini and the rest of the time, you are waiting for it to finish baking. Honestly, it can’t get any easier for a weeknight meal.
Add in the lemon juice, ginger, garlic, cayenne pepper, garam masala, cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric, 1 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp black pepper.
Mix well to combine all of the spices.
Toss in the cauliflower florets and stir to make sure each floret is coated completely.
Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours and preferably, overnight.
When you are ready to bake, preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Trim ends of zucchini and slice in half. Scoop out flesh and save to make Zucchini Bread.
Rub oil over all 4 Zucchini boats, then season with the remaining 1 tsp salt and 3/4 tsp black pepper.
Bake separately but at the same time, the cauliflower and zucchini boats for 30 minutes.
Remove from oven and stuff the Zucchini Boats with the Tandoori Gobi.
Broil on high for 5 minutes or until you get a slight char on the cauliflower.
Remove from oven and sprinkle chaat masala over the the boats.
Serve hot with your favorite raita!
**Bake the cauliflower and zucchini boats in separate baking sheets if possible. When you stuff the boats and return the baking sheet to the oven to broil, the remnants of the tandoori paste will burn on the pan if you are using the same pan.
The year was 2013, I had been married only a couple of months and was hosting this grand Thanksgiving for my in-laws. My mother-in-law is vegetarian as am I and so I wanted something special for a veggie dish at the table instead of roasted veggies.
No offense to roasted veggies, I love them. In fact I eat them all the time and therein lies the problem. I wanted something “fancy”, something different that I don’t have on any given night.
So I scoured the internet and landed upon this gorgeous picture of Ratatouille and thought, I can make this! And I did. It didn’t look so pretty but hey, that’s ok, I hoped it would taste delicious though. It was bland. There literally was no flavor profile to it and safe to say, both my mother-in-law and I were disappointed.
She was nice enough to pretend it was good but I couldn’t even do that!
So ever since, I’ve been on a mission to create a Ratatouille that has layers and dimensions of flavor. Safe to say, I think I found it!
Here’s the secret!
Make a sauce that keeps everyone wanting to lick it off the plate
Season the top of the veggies and not just with salt and pepper! With actual herbs!
Make enough sauce so that veggies are half drenched in it and the rest will cook in the steam of the boiling sauce in the oven.
I have been playing with the recipe for a while now and when I made the final version, I was satisfied aesthetically. The question was, would my girls eat the eggplant in it?
Recently, they’ve become very finicky eaters and it can be a real struggle to feed them even their favorite foods sometimes. But they both ate all the veggies and I couldn’t have been a prouder Mama!
Try this out for your next Holiday dinner, weeknight surprise, or Sunday dinner. It’s easy to make ahead, stores in the fridge and freezer well and is fairly simple to make!
From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy this delicious Ratatouille!
Squash season is in full swing and I’m loving experimenting with all the different varieties out there. One of my favorites is butternut squash. It’s vibrant orange color, the sweet taste, and the versatility of the flesh is just great to work with. You can mash it up or cube it and add it into most dishes. For this recipe, I decided to throw a twist and stuff it instead.
This dish is perfect to add for the vegetarians (and non-vegetarians) at the Thanksgiving or Holiday table. It’s rich and bold colors match the flavors that draw together the different fruits and veggies I’ve used.
Aside from being so flavorful, it is also extremely healthy. Here are a few benefits you will get from this dish:
High in protein
Good source of Fiber
Good source of Iron
Low in Fat
Good source of Potassium and Magnesium
Good source of Folate
Good source of Vit. C and Vit. K
High in Antioxidants
I know butternut squash is one of the harder squashes to chop but I have a trick! Heat the squash in the microwave for 3 minutes and it will soften up enough that you can chop the ends easily and scoop out the flesh also. I know putting a whole squash in the microwave might seem daunting, but trust me it works!
When I initially made this recipe, both the hubby and I found it a bit dry and realized right away that it needs a sauce or dressing to help it out. After going through a few options, I settled on a simple Apple Cider Vinaigrette. It has all the elements for the fall, doesn’t overpower the stuffing and gives you just enough of a pop in flavor. Most importantly, the stuffing doesn’t feel dry anymore!
So….. what are you waiting for? Try this out and make it a part of your holiday table or Sunday dinner! From my kitchen to yours, I hope you love this Quinoa Stuffed Butternut Squash!
Heat the butternut squash in the microwave for 3 minutes to soften it up. Trim the ends and slice in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds.
Use 1 Tbsp oil to coat both halves of the squash. Season with 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper.
Add 4 garlic cloves to each squash and make sure to coat them with the seasoning.
Turn the squash upside down and roast in oven for 40-45 minutes or until fork tender.
Meanwhile, in a medium sized saucepan, combine quinoa and veggie broth and bring to a boil on high heat.
Reduce to medium heat and simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until all of the liquid has evaporated.
Cover and let steam for an additional 5 minutes. Uncover and fluff with a fork. Set aside to use later.
In a large skillet, heat 2 Tbsp oil over medium flame. Add in the onions, celery, and apples and saute until they have softened (5-6 minutes).
Add in the garlic, oregano, thyme, cinnamon, and remaining 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Saute for another minute to combine the flavors.
Add in the spinach, walnuts and pomegranates and mix well.
Remove from heat and add in cooked quinoa. Mix well.
For the dressing, combine all of the ingredients into an airtight jar and shake vigorously to emulsify.
When squash is ready, remove from oven and flip over gently. Scoop in the filling evenly into both craters. Drizzle remaining 1 Tbsp oil over both fillings and bake for an additional 10 minutes to give the stuffing a crispy, golden crust.
Transfer squash to a serving platter, drizzle with vinaigrette and garnish with additional pomegranate seeds.
*To prep in advance, you can make the stuffing 1-2 days prior and reheat it once the squash is done cooking.
*Also garnish with feta to give a creamier taste.
The weather is still pretty warm out but I am mentally ready for fall! Especially with all the delicious veggies at the Farmer’s Market that are coming out for the season. The pomegranates, Brussels sprouts, root vegetables and especially all the squash and pumpkins I’m seeing everywhere! They’re all so beautiful, colorful and oh so yummy!
I was inspired during my last visit to the Farmer’s Market for this recipe. I used acorn squash because it is mild in flavor and one of the easiest squash to peel and cut. The beets added beautiful color and flavor (and lots of nutrition!), and crispy brussels sprouts once roasted are the perfect addition for texture in this bowl.
Here are a few other ingredients I used though, I definitely didn’t roast them:
As for the dressing, I debated whether to add one or not but in the end, I decided a simple squeeze of lime would do justice without taking away from the other flavors.
I was so excited just roasting the veggies because they looked so bright, bold and beautiful! The spice that I added to balance the sweet of the beets and pears out was smoky chipotle pepper to the veggies that I roasted.
This is one dish that I think is going to come up often on our table through this season! Make a big batch for a holiday dinner side, a small batch for a lunch or make it a meal for a weeknight! It’s simple, healthy, delicious, and you get to eat many of your colors!
Here are some of the health benefits from this yummy bowl:
High in Fiber
High in Protein
Vitamins K, C, A, and B-6
Good Source of Iron
Good Source of Folate
Well! What are you waiting for? You have got to try this out!
From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy this delicious Sweet and Spicy Harvest Bowl!