I use to look at leeks and wonder what to do with them. Of course, I knew of leek soup but I always thought there must be a higher purpose for leeks. It took me a while (actually, a few years) but I found the perfect use for leeks in a side dish I call Baked Basmati Rice with Leeks and White Beans.
A while back, the New York Times printed a recipe for “Baked Rice With White Beans, Leeks, and Lemons” because commenters “have gone wild for this easy, hands-off, vegetarian main course…” That’s all I needed to read before deciding this was it. However, I had to figure out a way to make this recipe plant-based and a bit healthier: greatly reduce the olive oil (from 5 tablespoons to a few sprays), replace the white Basmati Rice with Brown Rice Basmati for more fiber, and ditch the parmesan (and use vegan parmesan made from cashews, sparingly). Read more
One of my favorite comfort foods is a dish I call “Pasta Roni” which is a play on the classic decades-old “beefaroni” dish made of macaroni, beef, and tomato sauce except that my version tastes better, is plant based, and more nutritious! Oil and dairy free, Pasta Roni is the dish everyone wants on a cold night when nothing but a tummy-warming bowl of pasta will do.
Inspired by Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s recipe for Lentil-A-Roni in Isa Does It, the Pasta Roni recipe showcases whole grain pasta, lentils, tomatoes, and greens for a delicious and nutritious meal. Isa uses raw cashews that have been soaked in water, drained and then blended with vegetable broth in a high-powered blender to make the sauce creamy but I am not a cream sauce person so I don’t use cashews. If your preference is for a creamy sauce, then by all means, soak 1/2 cup of raw (not roasted) cashews in water for a few hours and then blend away before adding to the sauce.
But first, a few words about other ingredients: Read more
A tablespoon or two of organic milled flax seed is on my menu every single day. As long as I’m at home, it’s easy to get my daily dose of flax seal meal because I keep a container in the refrigerator (note: milled flax seed needs to be refrigerated) but when I’m traveling, it’s a different story.
I would fill a ziplock bag with flax seed meal but after a bag burst in my suitcase, I knew I needed a better option. Enter Carrington Farms Organic Milled Flax Seed Paks: pre-measured single serve 12 gram (1 tablespoon) sealed packets that make it easy to take flax seed meal on the go. Read more
Eating light in the summertime is as easy as tossing a salad together with fresh seasonal produce. Fill a large bowl with assorted greens (the darker the better) and then add a handful of blackberries, blueberries, and sliced strawberries along with a chopped avocado and sliced almonds for an added crunch. Drizzle some balsamic vinaigrette or your favorite dressing over the top, toss and serve. Lunch never tasted so good! Read more
A few days ago I was making a party platter of fresh cut vegetables to dip in hummus when I realized I don’t know that many people who eat raw red, orange, or yellow pepper slices (and, I don’t know anyone who dips green pepper slices into hummus although there must be some green pepper fans out there).
So, I quickly decided to omit the peppers and instead use these “capsicums” (as they are called in Australia and India) to make a chopped salad. But, because peppers can be overpowering I added mangos, peaches, and the juice from a navel orange along with fresh flat leaf parsley, and a touch of salt and pepper to make a colorful, delicious, crunchy, and slightly sweet, savory side dish. Read more
Chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans) and pasta are not two foods that people think about putting together but if you’re looking for a fresh delicious new take on a summer pasta salad, look no further. Chickpea pasta is delicious, has a slightly heavier texture and heartier flavor than white pasta, and is infinitely more nutritious with 12 grams of protein and 1 gram of natural sugar per serving.
Full of greens, vegetables, and beans, the Chickpea Pasta Salad doesn’t need any oil or sauce to bring it together. Instead, the addition of an avocado (chopped) and the juice from a fresh lemon add a creamy tangy texture to the salad. Read more
Millet is a mild-tasting grass although the texture is that of a grain which means millet goes well with all sorts of vegetables, especially greens and beans. Often referred to as pearl millet, the small grains look like little yellow pearls and cook in about 15 minutes.
The following recipe is a variation of a recipe (Millet Vegetable Fattoush) from the Purple Carrot. The low-sodium vegetable broth adds some flavor to the millet while the vegetables give the salad a delicious crunch. Beans add some depth to the salad along with the avocado and walnuts. I prefer a lemon vinaigrette sprinkled very lightly over the salad. Read more
In my quest to eat at least a cup of beans a day, I created this recipe that combines beans with vegetables, fruit, and fresh dill to make a delicious bean salad, worthy of any lunch or dinner plate. Easy to make, Bean Salad takes about 15 minutes to put together and easily serves four, but you can keep it all to yourself and snack on it throughout the day.
Crunchy, creamy, and delicious, the beauty of this salad is in the different textures, flavors, and nutritional content. Full of fiber, this salad also fills you up leaving you very satisfied. Read more
Kale and Mushroom Pita is a super easy way to get that all important dose of greens and fiber in your diet. Whenever I don’t feel like spending a lot of time cooking, a Kale and Mushroom Pita is on the menu.
With just 4 ingredients: dark green lacinto kale, mushrooms, nutritional yeast, and whole grain pita bread, the Kale and Mushroom Pita takes about 10 minutes to make. The biggest time sap is cleaning and cutting the mushrooms and kale which can be done ahead of time (or buy pre-washed baby kale), covered and refrigerated until later in the day. Read more
To me, a Pitaya – also known as a Dragon Fruit – looks like a fruit worthy of the fanciest fruit salad. With a fluorescent magenta and green outer skin covering a slightly sweet juicy interior that tastes like a melon, the Dragon Fruit is both beautiful to look at and scrumptious to eat.
In fact, it’s so beautiful to look at, that I often use a few as a center piece on the table until ripe (note: as the fruit ripens, the pink color gets brighter and brighter). Then, I place the fruit in the refrigerator to chill for a few hours or overnight because the flavor is best when chilled. Read more