Veggie Stock

Make your own wholesome vegetable broth basically for free using your vegetable scraps.

Ingredients
Veggie scraps: veggie brothveggie stock
onion skins and roots
garlic peels
carrot skins or trimmings
celery ends
bell pepper stems
mushroom stems
etc.

Directions
1. Place veggie scraps in a resealable gallon size bag or container.  Freeze and add to the container until it is full.
2. Place frozen veggie scraps in a large pot finished veggie brothveggie-scraps-strainer.jpgand cover with water.
3. Bring to a boil and then let simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Strain.

Use as a base for your favorite soups, gravies, and sauces.  Refrigerate for up to 4 days or freeze for later use.  Feel free to add the strained scraps to your composting bin.

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Creamy Roasted Pepper Pasta

Enjoy this creamy roasted pepper sauce overroasted peppers.png your favorite pasta.  There’s also a few photos for this recipe since I remember to take more step-by-step type pictures.

Ingredients
2 bell peppers (I used parts of red, orange, and yellow peppers because that’s what I had left over from something else)
1 handful grape/cherry tomatoes cut in half
2-3 Tbs olive oil
2 shallots sliced into slivers
4 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
6-8 Tbs Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 Tbs whole wheat flour*
red pepper flakes to tasteroasted pepper sauce.png
~1/4 to 1/3 cup dry white wine (I used a Pinot Grigio)
12 oz whole wheat spaghetti (or pasta of choice)*

*use 1 1/2 Tbs cornstarch with 2 Tbs water and gluten free pasta for a gluten free dish

Directions
1. Roast tomatoes and bell peppers at 425°F until skin is slightly charred.  I put the bell peppers in for about 10 minutes before adding the tomatoes.
2. Saute the shallots and garlic while the peppers roast.
3. Peel away the charred skin from the peppers then chop into pieces.
4. Add veggies and almond milk to blender and blend until smooth.  I left a few small chunks for good measure.
5. Combine flour and 1 1/2 Tbs oil and create a roux.  Add blended part of sauce, red pepper, wine, cheese, roasted pepper pasta.pngsalt, and pepper.
6. Boil the pasta according to package directions while the sauce simmers.  Keep an eye on the sauce so it doesn’t stick to the pan.

Serve with extra Parmesan cheese or freshly chopped basil or parsley as desired.

 

 

Adapted from the Minimalist Baker

Shortbread Cookies

So I never said these were healthy, but they’re delicious.

Ingredientsshortbread cookies
1 1/2 cups salted butter (softened)
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
2. Combine butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl until thoroughly mixed.
3. Add vanilla extract and mix to combine.
4. Add flour and stir until well mixed.  The dough will be soft and crumbly.
5. Roll into ~1 Tbs balls and set on ungreased cookie sheet.
6. Flour the bottom of a glass that has a decorative pattern and flatten the cookies to ~1/4″ to 3/8″ thick.
7. Bake 12-15 minutes or until lightly golden but not browned.

*Try with fresh whipped cream and berries or lemon curd for that extra burst of flavor.

Lightly Sweet Banana Muffins

Enjoy these naturally sweetened banana muffins with no added sugar!

Ingredientsbanana muffins

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
4 large overripe bananas, mashed
1 egg
1/3 cup melted butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (opt)
1/3 cup chopped walnuts, chopped (opt)
1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (opt)

Directions

1. Combine wet ingredients in one bowl.
2. Combine dry ingredients in another bowl.  banana muffin

3. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir to combine.
4. Fold in optional chocolate chips, walnuts, blueberries, etc.
5. Transfer to a greased/lined muffin tin and bake at 350 for about 15 minutes.

Sunshine Cake

My birthday was recently and so I made a cake.  We all agreed that it was the happiest tasting cake and that it reminded us of a bite of sunshine.  Treat your taste buds to a tart light, lemony cake with lemon curd filling.

Ingredients
sunshine-cake.jpegFor the cake
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3 eggs
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 Tbs fresh lemon zest
1 cup fresh blueberries
For the lemon curd
See Tangy Lemon Curd recipe

Directions
1. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and whisk together.
2. In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients.
3. Add wet ingredients and lemon zest to dry ingredients.
4. Fold in fresh blueberries and transfer to a greased and floured 9×13 or 2 8in rounds.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a couple moist crumbs.
6. Let cake cool completely before layering with lemon curd.

*recipe adapted from lifeloveandsugar.com

Falafel

Homemade falafel is easy and super delicious.  This makes about 25 falafel balls.

Ingredientsfalafel
1 15oz can garbanzo beans (chick peas)*
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 1/2 Tbs chick pea flour
garlic flavor panko bread crumbs

*Dried garbanzo beans soaked for a few hours work better.

Directions
1. Place ingredients from chick peas to chick pea flour in food processor.  Pulse until slightly gritty texture.
2. Use a spoon to scoop into balls and roll in bread crumbs.
3. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.  Flip half way through baking time.

Serve in your  favorite pita wrap or rice bowl.  I chose a multigrain pita bread, a smear of roasted garlic hummus, fresh spinach, and steamed broccoli seasoned with curry powder, salt, and pepper.

(Chicken-less) Tortilla Soup

Imagine tacos but as soup that can be made in one pot.

Ingredients
tortilla-soup.jpg 1 small yellow onion, diced
3 carrots, cut into rounds
3 celery stalks, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 lime, juiced
1 15oz can black beans
1 15oz can petite diced tomatoes or diced fresh tomatoes
1 15oz can corn kernels or frozen or fresh kernels cut off the cob
1 Tbs olive oil
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 cayenne pepper (or more to make it spicy)
salt to taste
4 cups vegetable broth

Directions
1. Heat oil in a pot over medium-high heat.
2. Add spices and cook for about 1 minute.
3. Add onions and cook for about 2 minutes.
4. Add carrots and cook for about 2 minutes.
5. Add celery and cook for about 3 minutes.
6. Add bell pepper, corn, lime juice, and garlic. Cook for about 2 minutes.
7. Add tomatoes, beans, and veggie broth.
8. Bring to a boil and cook until carrots are tender-crisp.

Serve hot.  Garnish with tortilla chip pieces, cheese, avocado slices, fresh cilantro, etc. as desired.

Pot Stickers

Try making your own pot stickers at home.  They really aren’t difficult, just take some time.  Grab a friend, turn on some music, and get cooking!  The amount the recipe yields depends on the amount of cabbage and other veggies you use.

Ingredientspot stickers.jpg
won ton wrappers
Chopped cabbage, I used green but you can try purple*
1 large grated carrot
1/3 tsp fresh grated ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 onion, diced
1/2 bell pepper, diced (optional)
1/2 lemon, juiced
Soy sauce to taste, I just added a few shakes
1 tsp honey
1/2 Tbs olive oil

*A good alternative to prepping your own veggies is to purchase a bag of pre-shredded slaw mix.  You will still want to add the ginger, garlic, and onion though.

Directions
1. Heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onions and cook until translucent.
2. Add ginger and garlic.  Cook ~60 seconds.
3. Add cabbage and carrots.  Cook about 4 minutes or until tender-crisp.
4. Mix lemon juice, honey, and soy sauce and pour over veggies.  Stir to combine.
5. Remove from heat.  Add filling to won ton wrappers.  About 1 1/2 tsp per wrapper.  Fold the wrapper point to point and seal edges with water.
6. Heat skillet to medium high.  Add pot stickers in a single layer.  Cover and cook about 1 minute.  Flip, cover, and cook the other side.  I lightly sprayed the pan with cooking spray and then cooked all of the pot stickers without respraying it.

Serve with veggie stir fry, veggie fried rice, or as an hors d’oeuvre at a party.

Taco Night!

I bring you all the recipes you need in one place for a successful taco night: Mexican style rice, sauteed veggies, and black beans.*  Serve over greens as a salad or wrapped in hot tortillas.  Complete the night with margaritas, chips and your favorite dip.  Also, it reheats great!

*Consider using leftover Black Bean Soup from which you drain excess liquid as the beans in the tacos.

Ingredientstaco night blog post.jpg
Tortillas or salad greens
Grated cheese, salsa, guacamole, etc. (optional)
For the Mexican Rice
1 cup brown rice
2 cups veggie stock
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 lime, juiced
1 handful frozen corn kernels (or 1 fresh ear cut off the cob)
3-4 Roma tomatoes, diced
1/3 orange bell pepper, diced
1/4 onion, diced
1/4 Serrano pepper, minced
1/4 tsp black pepper
Salt to taste
1/2 Tbs olive oil
For the Black Beans
1 28oz can black beans
1/2 Serrano pepper, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp black pepper
Salt to taste
For the Sauteed Veggies
1 zucchini squash, cut into thin rounds
1 grey squash, cut into thin rounds
1-2 carrots, cut into thin rounds
1/4 onion, diced or cut into slivers
2/3 orange bell pepper, cut into slivers
1/2 lime, juiced
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 Tbs olive oil

Directions
For the Mexican Rice
1. Saute onions and add other ingredients.  Cook according to rice package directions (even if that means changing the amount of liquid).  Start the rice first because brown rice takes a while to cook.
For the Black Beans
1. Drain extra liquid and reheat Black Bean Soup.  Other wise add all ingredients listed for black beans and simmer until hot, stirring occasionally.
For the Sauteed Veggies
1. Heat 1/2 Tbs olive oil over medium heat.
2. Add onions and cook until translucent.
3. Add remaining veggies, lime juice, and chili powder.  Cook until tender-crisp.
For the Tortillas
1. Heat tortillas in a skillet or a flat griddle.
Assembly Time
1.Add beans, rice, and veggies to your hot tortilla or salad greens.
2. Top with anything additional like grated cheese or salsa.

Tangy Lemon Curd

Making your own lemon curd sounds scary, but really is rather simple.  Make your own and impress your friends (and your taste buds) with this quick recipe.

Ingredientslemon curd
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 Tbs fresh lemon zest*
slightly less than 1/2 cup sugar
4 egg yolks
2 Tbs unsalted butter

*Zest the lemons before juicing them

Directions
1. Combine ingredients in a heat safe mixing bowl.  Place on a simmering pot of water as a double boiler.  Be sure not to let the water touch the bowl.
2. Whisk the ingredients in the bowl over the heat until they have thickened and will coat the back of a spoon and have a smooth texture.
3. Do not let the egg mixture get too hot or the eggs will begin to scramble and your lemon curd will have lumps of scrambled eggs, weird…
4. Place in fridge to cool until it is thick and spreadable.

Serve as a filling for a cake, alongside shortbread cookies, as a spread on toast, or however your creative mind wants.