White Bean & Kale Soup

There’s nothing better than a big bowl of hardy soup. During the spring months rain and dampness are abundantly present so making this warm and comforting one-pot meal is an easy go-to. The simplicity of this soup is astonishing considering how much flavor you can get into the broth with very few ingredients and little time.

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Kale and white beans are a match made in heaven. The smooth richness of the beans and blunt earthiness of kale balance each beautifully. The parsley cuts through with a green freshness keeping the soup light and delicious. The starch from the potatoes ends up thickening the broth a bit, giving that creamy soup texture

fullsizeoutput_fcMy favorite part about cooking is admiring the beauty of the food that comes from this earth. The art of growing, harvesting and preparing is truly incredible and I couldn’t help but admire this beautiful kale at the market. It is best to be inspired by the ingredients that look the best at the store or market and then create a meal plan based on those ingredients. You want any vegetables to be rich in color and crisp/firm to the touch. If you meal plan and then try to get ingredients that are out of season or not in the best of shape you can end up with processed, frozen, or expensive items. I saw this beautiful kale and instantly thought of making this soup.

White Bean & Kale Soup

  • Servings: 4-6
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Vegetarian • Vegan • Gluten Free

Ingredients

½ one large yellow onion, chopped
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
1 Tablespoon olive oil
3 Carrots, chopped into small pieces
5 Red potatoes, diced
1 Cup fresh parsley, chopped
4 Cups Kale, chopped
4 Celery stocks, chopped
3 Cans organic great northern beans, drained and rinsed
32 Ounces Organic and low sodium Vegetable broth
1 Cup water
Salt & pepper to taste

Directions

  1. In a large pot over high heat add the olive oil and sauté the onion, garlic and celery until fragrant, about 5 minutes
  2. Add carrots to the pot and continue to sauté for another 5 minutes
  3. Add vegetable broth, water,  potatoes, beans, kale and parsley to the pot and stir
  4. Bring pot back to boil and then turn to low and let simmer for 35 minutes
  5. Serve and enjoy!


Veggie Buddha Bowl with Whipped Avocado Dipping Sauce

What is a Buddha bowl you may ask? Essentially it’s any combination of grains, vegetables, and protein served in a bowl! Ingredients are kept simple and clean while accompanied by delicious sauces and seasoning. Buddha bowls are very filling as well as  great for creating leftovers to fuel yourself throughout the entire week!

For this bowl I decided to use steamed broccoli and carrots, brown rice noodles, baby red potatoes, and a sauté of spinach, onion, and garbanzo beans. The whipped avocado dipping sauce is very simple to make and the cool creamy texture makes each bite absolutely delicious.

This Recipe Is:

 

fullsizeoutput_e7Ribboning carrots is a great way to prepare them for eating raw or cooked. The thin cut allows them to be cooked quickly or easily eaten raw. I use a vegetable peeler to get the nice thin ribbons. For this Buddha bowl I put the ribbons right into the steamer with the broccoli for 10 minutes and they were good to go! It’s fun to twirl them into small spirals for easy handling (and dipping).

fullsizeoutput_eaGarbanzo beans and spinach bring the hardiness to this bowl and the onion creates a beautiful depth of flavor. Just toss all three into a pan with olive oil for a quick sauté.

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The whipped avocado dipping sauce is very simple to make, and great for any dipping or spreading need! Just toss the avocado, lemon juice, and olive oil into a food processor or blender and mix on high to have a fluffy and creamy sauce in seconds!

Veggie Buddha Bowl with Whipped Avocado Dipping Sauce

  • Servings: 4-6
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Vegetarian • Vegan • Gluten Free

Ingredients

Buddha Bowl
1 Small head of broccoli, chopped
2 Carrots, ribboned
3 Cups baby spinach
1/2 Yellow onion, diced
2 Cups baby red potatoes, halved
1 Package of GF brown rice noodles
1 Can organic garbanzo beans, drained
1 Tablespoons olive oil
Salt & Pepper to taste

Whipped Avocado Dipping Sauce
3 Large avocados
1 Lemon, juiced
1 Tablespoon olive oil

Directions

  1. Prepare rice noodles according to package instructions, rinse with cold water and set aside
  2. Prepare the vegetables by chopping the broccoli, halving the potatoes and using a vegetable peeler to ribbon the carrots
  3. In a medium pot bring 4 cups of water to boil
  4. Add the potatoes to the pot and cook until tender, about 15 minutes
  5. While potatoes are cooking use the same pot to steam the broccoli and carrot ribbons for 10 minutes, then set steamer aside and let potatoes finish cooking
  6. While potatoes are finishing, in a medium pan over high heat sauté the spinach, onion and garbanzo beans in olive oil with salt and pepper to taste
  7. Cook until spinach is wilted and onions are translucent, about 10 minutes and then remove from heat
  8. Drain potatoes and set aside
  9. In a medium food processor or blender add the avocado, lemon juice and remaining olive oil. Blend on high until smooth and fluffy
  10. Combine all ingredients into your bowl and either drizzle or dip into the avocado sauce, enjoy!



Lemon & Avocado Pasta

Avocado is good for a lot more than guacamole or going on your morning toast (albeit both truly are delicious). Avocado is creamy in texture and rich in nutrients which make it a perfect pasta sauce that satisfies that cream-based sauce craving without the dairy or bloated stomach.  Lemon juice, basil, and a little garlic accompany the avocado for a brilliantly delicious sauce.  This dish is  incredibly easy to prepare with very few ingredients.

What’s Inside:
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A food processor is all you need to get the sauce going. Once you have scooped the avocado into the processor and added the lemon juice and basil you are a few pulses away from perfection.  If you have some pesto or spinach on hand you could also add that to have an even greener taste.

fullsizeoutput_d4The lemon juice in this recipe is very important. Acid can make or break a dish and the quality matters as well. While I believe buying organic produce is always incredibly important this especially applies with lemons. Always purchase organic lemons. If you can get them locally grown from a farmer’s market – even better. Lemons are one of those highly sprayed and mass produced fruits that loose their flavor and integrity when processed too much or traveling too far. An organic lemon will be robust in color and flavor and elevate your meal that much more.

Lemon & Avocado Pasta

  • Servings: 4-6
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Vegetarian • Vegan • Gluten Free

Ingredients

12 oz Gluten free pasta
2 avocados
1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Teaspoon minced garlic
Juice of three small organic lemons
½ Cup basil
Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions, drain and return to pot
  2. In a large food processor add the avocado, olive oil, garlic, basil, and lemon juice
  3. Blend in processor until sauce is a creamy consistency
  4. Combine sauce, noodles, salt and pepper in the pot over low heat and stir until hot, about 5 minute
  5. Serve with fresh basil on top and enjoy!


Strawberry Mango & Banana Smoothie Bowl

Smoothie bowls are a fun and refreshing breakfast to treat yourself to! For this recipe I chose to to use a frozen berry mix, mango, and banana with almond milk for the smoothie base. Topped with fresh bananas and strawberries, coconut flakes, gluten free granola, chia seeds and hemp seeds. Smoothie bowls are a great twist on the typical smoothie breakfast and allow for endless creativity and flavor.

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There are endless combinations and toppings to pick from. For most smoothie bowls you will want to use two cups of liquid for each cup of frozen fruit. This ratio can be altered by adding more or less liquid for desired smoothie thickness.  Aside from almond milk you could also use coconut milk/water, soy milk, orange juice, carrot juice or yogurt. One tablespoon of natural sweetener such as agave nectar or honey can be used to balance any tartness from the fruit.

Toppings are where you can really get creative. It is nice to have fresh fruit, a crunchy element for texture and seeds/nuts to pack extra nutrients in. For this bowl I chose to use fresh banana and strawberries, coconut flakes, gluten free granola, chia seeds and hemp seeds. Mix it all together and you are in for a real treat!

Strawberry Mango & Banana Smoothie Bowl

  • Servings: 1-2
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Vegetarian • Vegan • Gluten Free

Ingredients

Smoothie Base:
1/2 Cup frozen mango chunks
1/2 Cup frozen berry mix
1/2 Ripe banana
2 Cups of almond milk
1 Tablespoon agave nectar
Toppings:
1/2 Ripe banana, sliced
2 Fresh Strawberries, halved
2 Tablespoons coconut flakes
2 Tablespoons gluten free granola
1/2 Tablespoon chia seeds
1/2 Tablespoon hemp seeds

Directions

  1. Combine all smoothie base ingredients in the blender and pulse on high until well blended and smooth
  2. Pour blender contents into a bowl and top with toppings
  3. Mix together and enjoy!



Spicy Chickpea & Kale Vegetable Sauté

This recipe was inspired by a love affair between chickpeas, kale and tomatoes. I love chickpeas and I think their creamy richness pairs well with the bite of the leafy kale. Paprika, chili powder, turmeric and roasted garlic powder create a perfect balance of heat and sweetness with the roasted tomato base.

Along with the chickpeas the “meat” of this dish is a bunch of small diced bell peppers, cabbage, celery, broccoli, radish and carrots that bring pops of flavor, color and crunch. Serve over rice and you have an easy lunch or dinner. Leftovers can also be turned into breakfast by adding an egg or tofu scramble.

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A quick chop to all the vegetables is all you need to get this dish going. The smaller the pieces the quicker they will cook. I never worry too much about getting them all perfectly equal, as long as they are similar in size it will work! The crushed tomatoes are what really create the binding of this dish, simmering on low to medium heat will allow it all to blend together and thicken beautifully. You could also serve this over quinoa or pasta instead of rice.

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Spicy Chickpea & Kale Vegetable Sauté

  • Servings: 4-6
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Vegetarian • Vegan • Gluten Free

Ingredients

 2 cups uncooked brown Basmati rice
1 Cup yellow onion, diced
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Green bell pepper, chopped
1 Red bell pepper, chopped
1 Carrot, diced
1 Cup green cabbage, chopped
1 Cup red cabbage, chopped
½ Cup celery, chopped
½ Cup broccoli, chopped into small florets
¼ Cup radishes, chopped
2 Cups of kale, roughly chopped
1 Can garbanzo beans, drained
1 Can roasted crushed tomatoes
½ Cup water

½ Tablespoon Paprika
½ Tablespoon Roasted Garlic Powder
½ Tablespoon turmeric
1 Teaspoon chilli powder
Salt & Pepper to taste


Directions

  1. Cook rice according to package instructions and set aside
  2. Prep vegetables by chopping the onion, red and green cabbage, red and green bell pepper, carrot, celery, and broccoli into small pieces
  3. In a pan over medium-high heat add the olive oil and onions and sauté until fragrant
  4. Add the red and green cabbage, red and green bell pepper, carrot, celery, and broccoli to the pan and cook until tender, about 10 minutes
  5. Add dried spices, chickpeas, water and crushed tomatoes to the pan and turn heat down to medium
  6. Let simmer until kale starts to soften, about 5 minutes
  7. Serve over a scoop of rice and enjoy!


Creamy Heirloom Tomato & Basil Pasta

If you are looking for a satisfying dinner that is quick and easy to make than look no further. This is one of my all time favorite dishes and it happens to be one of the simplest. Heirloom cherry tomatoes are packed with flavor and easily break down to form their own sauce when halved and sautéed in some oil. Add some garlic, spinach, basil and coconut milk and you have a dairy-free/gluten free meal that satisfies that comfort food craving.

What’s Inside:

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Gluten free pastas are not all created equal. Many tend to be mushy or fall apart. What you want to look for are pastas that are made out of corn,quinoa, or a mixture of the two. These two ingredients hold their own much better than the typical rice pasta. Two of my favorite brands are Ancient Harvest and Delallo.

The amount of flavor that bursts out of these little tomatoes when prepared this way is incredible. They have turned many notorious tomato haters in my social circle into believers. Making your own pasta sauce is so much better than buying a jar of sauce that is high in sodium and preservatives. The coconut milk gives this sauce that satisfyingly smooth texture we all look for without having to use any butter or heavy creams.

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Heirloom Tomato Basil Pasta

  • Servings: 4-6
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Vegetarian • Vegan • Gluten Free

Ingredients

1 package of gluten free spaghetti
2 Small cartons of heirloom cherry tomatoes (usually 250 g. each)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons of minced garlic
1/3 Cup coconut milk
2 Cups of spinach
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 Cup pine nuts
Fresh Basil
Salt & pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Cook one package of gf spaghetti according to package instructions, rinse and set aside
  3. On a baking sheet distribute pine nuts evenly and put into oven, watch carefully and remove from oven once fragrant and golden brown, about 5 minutes
  4. Cut all the cherry tomatoes in half and prep the spinach by removing any big stems
  5. In a medium skillet over high heat add olive oil, garlic and cherry tomatoes
  6. Sauté until tomatoes start to break down and form a sauce, about 10 minutes
  7. Turn heat to low and add coconut milk and spinach, stir and let simmer for another 5 minutes
  8. Add pasta to the pan and stir to combine with the sauce
  9.  Garnish with fresh basil and toasted pine nuts
  10. Enjoy!


Cauliflower & Black Bean Tacos

Tacos are a staple in my household and this recipe never fails to please. They are spicy, creamy and oh so satisfying. Cauliflower serves as a great taco filler and can be seasoned however you wish! I chose an array of spices that bring some heat and really pack a punch. The red onion and garlic create a savory base and the squeeze of fresh lime juice and cilantro finish with a zing. Sliced avocado adds a cool and creamy component that ties it all together.

What’s Inside:

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Cauliflower is one of my favorite vegetables to work with because it takes on the flavor of whatever you choose to cook it with. For these tacos I choose to season with cumin, paprika, garlic powder, oregano, red pepper flakes and bay leaves. Spices are any easy way to personalize and take any meal to the next level. If you are not a fan of heat you could alternatively use some mild chili powder or your favorite taco seasoning.

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Cauliflower & Black Bean Tacos

  • Servings: 4-6
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Vegetarian • Vegan • Gluten Free

Ingredients

1/3 Cup red onion, diced
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
1 Serrano pepper, diced
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Head of cauliflower, chopped into small florets
1 Can of black beans, drained
¼ Cup water
2 Bay leaves
½ Tablespoon of paprika
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon of oregano
1 Teaspoon Cumin
1 Teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ Teaspoon of garlic powder
Corn Tortillas

Choice of Garnishes:
Cilantro
Avocado, sliced
Lime juice
Shaved radishes
Jalapeño, chopped


Directions

  1. In a pan over medium-high heat add olive oil and sauté red onion, garlic, and serrano pepper until fragrant
  2. Turn down heat to medium and add the cauliflower and black beans to the pan. Sauté for 10 minutes
  3. Add water, cumin, garlic powder, paprika, red pepper flakes, and bay leaves to the pan and stir to combine
  4. Let simmer on low until cauliflower is tender, about another 15 minutes
  5. Remove pan from heat and remove the bay leaves
  6. Scoop cauliflower and beans into corn tortillas and serve with a squeeze of lime juice, avocado slices, cilantro, jalapeño and shaved radishes on top
  7. Enjoy!


Warm Brussels Sprout & Pear Salad

This recipe is a perfect salad to make as we eagerly move into Spring. It is delicious warm but is equally delightful cold for easy-to-pack lunches on the go. I was inspired by all the newly budding trees and flowers and felt like finding light, fresh and impactful ingredients that truly shine together.

The lightness of this dish is incredible for how full you will feel after eating it. I love the pairing of Brussels sprouts and pears, the careful balance between sweet and savory will have you going back for more. A squeeze of lemon is all that is needed to dress this nutrient packed salad.

What’s Inside:

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Once you have everything chopped it’s really just combining everything together in the pan. It’s easiest if you have the quinoa cooked and all the ingredients chopped before you start cooking, that way the timing of everything can just flow!

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Here is a photo of how the Brussels sprouts should appear once chopped.

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Warm Brussels Sprout & Pear Salad

  • Servings: 4-6
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Vegetarian • Vegan • Gluten Free

Ingredients

1/2  Cup uncooked quinoa
1 Cup vegetable broth
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/4 Cup diced red onion
1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic
1 lbs. Brussels sprouts, chopped
2 Pears, diced
1 Cup garbanzo beans
1 Cup spinach, chopped
2/3 Cup chopped walnuts
2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt & Ground Black Pepper

Directions

  1. In a small pot over high heat add 1 ½ cups of vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Once boiling add ½ cup uncooked quinoa. Turn heat to low, cover, and let simmer until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender
  2. Prep Brussels Sprouts by cutting off ends and roughly chopping into smaller pieces
  3. Add olive oil, onion, and garlic to a pan over medium-high heat and sauté until fragrant
  4. Add burssels sprouts to the pan and sauté until tender, about 10 minutes
  5. Turn heat to low and add quinoa, pears, chickpeas, spinach, walnuts, parsley and lemon juice. Salt & pepper to taste
  6. Gently stir all ingredients in the pan and cook for another 10 minutes
  7. Enjoy!


Dark Chocolate Coconut & Cashew Bark

There is no greater love of mine than dark chocolate with fruits and nuts. Chocolate bark is quick and easy to make and serves as a great sweet bite for the end of any meal. You can pair any of your favorite nuts, fruits, or seeds to create this simple and beautiful treat.
For this particular recipe I chose to pair cashews and coconut for a light tropical flavor that is complimented by the earthiness of hemp seeds and bite of sea salt. The cranberries offer a nice tang that breaks up the sweetness and ties it all together.

What’s Inside:
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What you see is what you get, which is what I love about creating my own treats.  This recipe calls for 6 simple ingredients:

1) Dark Chocolate Chips
2) Raw Cashews
3) Dried Cranberries
4) Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
5) Hemp Seeds
6) Sea Salt

This bark is packed with nutrients from the cashews and hemp seeds which provide magnesium, omega fatty acids, and protein!

DSC_0650Quick enough for a weeknight desert yet elegant enough to serve at a dinner party. Once the chocolate is melted you just pour it onto a tray and sprinkle on your favorite ingredients. The hardest part is waiting for it to cool in the fridge!

Dark Chocolate Coconut & Cashew Bark

  • Servings: 6-8 medium pieces
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Vegetarian • Vegan • Gluten Free

Ingredients

1 cup dark chocolate chips
¼ cup raw cashews
3 tablespoons dried cranberries
2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut flakes
1 tablespoon hemp seeds
1 teaspoon sea salt

Note: All toppings measurements can be altered based on your personal preference. Add more or less of whatever you choose. 


Directions

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. Fill a small pot with 1 to 2 inches of water and place over medium-low heat and place a slightly larger heat-proof bowl on top of the pot
  3. Add chocolate chips to the bowl and let melt, stirring often with a spatula.
  4. When only a few unmelted chunks remain, remove from heat and stir quickly until fully melted
  5. Pour chocolate out onto parchment and spread into a thin layer (about 0.25-inch thick)
  6. Sprinkle with cashews, coconut flakes, dried cranberries, hemp seeds and sea salt
  7. Place baking sheet in fridge until bark is completely set. Break into small pieces and enjoy!


Quinoa & Squash Salad with Lemon Garlic Dressing

This is a delicious hot or cold salad drizzled in a zingy lemon and garlic dressing. The earthiness of the squash and pine nuts paired with the fresh greens and fluffy quinoa make for a nutrient packed flavorful and filling meal.

What’s Inside:

named.pngAn array of savory spices can be paired with this meal. I chose to season with a dried onion mix containing shallots, chives, garlic and green peppercorns as well as a hint of lemon pepper and basil. If you are not a fan of onions you can simply add an Italian herb blend or vegetable spice of your choosing.

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To dress the salad I used lemon juice mixed with minced raw garlic. The cooked squash gives quite a bit of moisture to the salad already so the lemon and garlic are there to offer an acidic kick that really brings out the flavor of the vegetables.

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Quinoa & Squash Salad with Lemon Garlic Dressing

  • Servings: 4-6
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Vegetarian • Vegan • Gluten Free

Ingredients

Salad
1 cup uncooked quinoa
5 cups spinach
5 cups arugula
¼ cup toasted pine nuts
3 zucchini, sliced 1/4 inch thick rounds
2 summer squash, sliced 1/4 inch thick rounds
10 ounces of cherry tomatoes, halved
¼ cup diced red onion
2 tablespoons olive oil

Seasoning
1 tablespoon dried onion mix or vegetable spice of choice
1/2 tablespoon dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lemon pepper

Dressing
1/2 cup Meyer lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon minced raw garlic


Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 °F
  2. Prepare quinoa according to package instructions
  3. Wash and dry spinach and arugula and then mix them together in bowl and set aside
  4. Place pine nuts on oven safe pan and bake for about 10 minutes, or until they turn golden brown and fragrant, then set aside
  5. Add zucchini, summer squash, cherry tomatoes and red onion to a large pan with olive oil over high heat
  6. Add seasoning to the pan of vegetables and sauté until squash is tender and slightly translucent, about 15 minutes and then reduce heat to low
  7. Scoop the quinoa from the pot to the pan of vegetables, lightly mix and remove from heat
  8. In a small bowl whisk together lemon juice and raw garlic
  9. Place arugula and spinach mix on each plate, drizzle with dressing, top with vegetable and quinoa mix and garnish with toasted pine nuts
  10. Enjoy!