Delicious & healthy vegetarian/vegan dishes with an international flair!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Crockpot Veggie Lentil Soup

Soups are the perfect fall meal. And super easy made in a crockpot. This veggie lentil soup is perfect served with whole grain bread.

Veggie Lentil Soup

1 cup dry lentils

4 cups water or veggie broth

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes

2-3 baby potatoes, cut into 1" chunks

1 carrot, diced

2 stalks celery, chopped

1/4 t. ground oregano

1/2 t. ground thyme

1 t. dried basil

1/2 t. cumin

1 bay leaf

1/8 t. black pepper

2 t. Spike

Juice of 1 small lime

Add the lentils, water or broth, spices, onion, and garlic to the crockpot and cook on low overnight.

The next morning, add the crushed tomatoes, potatoes, celery, & carrot. Slow cook for another 5-6 hours.

Stir in the lime juice before serving.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Italian: Pita pizzas

Pizza is an all time, all around favorite. Everyone who eats with me are always happy to have a pizza night. I won't deny it, I get hit with the pizza cravings every month or so and homemade pizzas are the way I get my fix. I like to make 'em from scratch- from the whole wheat crust to the herb-rich tomato sauce. And in a future post, I'll share this time-consuming endeavor. Sometimes, though, I just want a quick fix and skip the homemade crust altogether. Instead, I use locally made whole grain pita bread for the crust and make a shortcut pizza sauce.

Shortcut (No-Cook) Pizza Sauce (for 3-4 pita pizzas)
16 oz can of tomato puree
1 t. garlic powder
1 t. onion powder
1 t. Italian seasoning
1/2 t. dried basil
1/8 t. black pepper
1/8 t. dried red chili flakes
1/2 t. Spike all-purpose seasoning

Blend all ingredients, pour into a sealable container, and store in the fridge overnight to let the flavors marry.

Pita Pizzas
3-4 pita rounds (lightly brushed with olive oil on one side)
1 batch Shortcut Pizza Sauce
2-3 c. grated mozzarella cheese
2-3 c. toppings of your choice (I used portabella mushrooms, purple onion, red bell pepper, and black olives)

Place the pita breads on a pizza pan with the oiled side down.
Spread the sauce on each round.

Sprinkle on a thin layer of cheese.
Sprinkle on the toppings.
Sprinkle on a top layer of cheese.

Bake for 15-20 min (depending on how crispy you like your crust)

Cut & enjoy!! I love to top my pizzas with jalapeƱos.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Mediterranean: Goat cheese stuffed mushrooms

Stuffed mushrooms are one of my favorite ways to enjoy mushrooms. They are also a great hit at parties. If you've been to a party at my house, you've probably tried 'em. Over the years, I have experimented with the stuffing, with cheese and without. I have found that a filling with soft goat cheese works the best.

Goat Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

12 baby bella mushrooms, stems removed & set aside

1/4 c. bread crumbs

1/4 c. goat cheese

6 sundried tomatoes soaked in oil

2 T. chopped toasted almonds

1/4 c. basil leaves

1 small red bell pepper, cored, deseeded, & roughly chopped

1/8 t. black pepper

1/2 t. Spike seasoning or 1/4 t. salt

1 T. balsamic vinegar

1 T. olive oil

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat an 8x11 baking dish with PAM cooking spray.

Blend all ingredients, except mushroom caps, in a food processor. Don't over process, you want it a bit chunky.

Brush the mushroom caps with olive oil. Stuff each cap with a generous amount of the goat cheese mixture. Place in baking dish.

Bake uncovered for 20 min.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Asian: Stir-fried chard w/soba & tofu

This meal has become a favorite of mine likely. Deliciously simple and loaded with nutritious greens and fresh ginger.

Stir-fried chard w/ soba noodles & tofu
  • 1 t. toasted sesame oil
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-inch piece ginger, minced
  • 3-4 dashes of black rice or balsamic vinegar
  • 1 medium carrot, cut into slivers
  • 1 head of chard, chopped into thin ribbons
  • 2 servings of soba noodles, pre-cooked and tossed with a splash of sesame oil
  • 2 servings of firm tofu, cubed & stir-fried in sesame oil until browned
  • 1/4 c. chopped green onion
  • 2 T. toasted sesame seeds
  • fresh squeezed lime juice
  • Asian hot sauce of your choice
In a wok or large skillet, heat sesame oil over high heat.
Add garlic & ginger, stir fry for about a min adding a dash of vinegar when it begins to stick.
Add the carrot and a couple of dashes of vinegar, stir-fry for 2 min.
Next add the chard and a few splashes of tamari. Cook for 1-2 min.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the pre-cooked tofu & soba noodles. Splash in a little more tamari.
Toss everything together and stir until the noodles are well heated.
Serve hot. Garnish with green onion, sesame seeds, a touch of lime juice, and hot sauce for an extra kick!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Chocolate Mousse Pie (Vegan)

This is my favorite chocolate pie recipe that always gets the response "Really, this has avocado in it?" So rich & decadent yet simple.

Chocolate Mousse Pie
2 ripe medium avocados
3 cups of dark chocolate chips
1 t. vanilla extract
2-3 T. apple juice (depending on the size of the avos)
1 prepared chocolate or plain graham cracker crust

1. Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler. Stir in the vanilla extract as it melts.
2. Pit & peel the avos and toss into a blender. Add the apple juice.
3. When the chocolate is melted into a silky, clump-free sauce, add it to the blender.
4. Blend the chocolate and avos into a creamy mousse. You can add another spoon of apple juice to help blend if needed.
5. Pour the batter into the crust and evenly distribute with a spatula.
6. At this point, you can add a topping of your choice. (chopped nuts or fresh fruit like sliced strawberries/raspberries/blueberries or dried coconut shreds or fruit jam)
7. Refrigerate the pie overnight and VOILA!! You have a luscious pie to serve your dinner guests.

Chocolate Almond Pie w/ almond extract

Chocolate Pomegranate Pie

I find that both kids & adults really enjoy this pie. A real crowd-pleaser :)