Savory Veggie Cakes, Two Ways

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Today we’re sharing two versions of savory veggie cakes, perfect for an appetizer or even as a whole meal. Nikki shares her cheesy vegetarian quinoa cakes while Jess shows you how to make spicy lentil cakes. The quinoa cakes are paired with an addicting spicy lemon and garlic aioli (it’s vegan!) that makes it feel like you are eating something way more guilt-ridden than quinoa! Both are protein and nutrient packed and perfect for a Meatless Monday or sneaking in some veggies.

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Click the link below to find the recipes!

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Loaded Chopped Salad with Vegan Dressing

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Keeping up our healthy diet through January has been a challenge. But, let’s not give up just yet! After all, we are only three weeks into 2016! Today we’re sharing a super easy, loaded chopped salad. I don’t know about you, but I totally think lettuce tastes a little better with lots and lots of crunchy toppings. This salad couldn’t be easier to make, and better yet, it is LOADED with nutrients. We topped it off with a 5 minute vegan mustard vinaigrette that we’re sure you will continue to use over and over again for other salads. As we’ve mentioned before, from-scratch salad dressings are easier than you might expect and so much better for you! Ditch all the preservatives and added sugars and start making your own dressings and vinaigrettes today, we promise it’s simple! This one is kid-tested and mom and dad approved. Pick and choose your toppings and get creative! The salad we are showing has hard boiled eggs and turkey bacon on it, so leave those out if you are vegan (obviously!). You can also add cheese if your diet is dairy-friendly. The options are endless!

Ingredients:

Salad:

  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 4-6 strips turkey bacon, cooked and cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 bag fresh green beans or haricot vests, chopped
  • 1 cucumber, chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1 bunch radishes, chopped
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, roughly chopped
  • 1 container cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped

Dressing:

  • 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Agave syrup
  • 6-8 Tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Simply wash and chop/dice all of the salad ingredients as listed above. Arrange them in a large salad bowl with the lettuce on the bottom and other ingredients on top.

To make the dressing, add the mustard, vinegar and Agave to a medium size bowl. Whisk together with a fork until well combined. Slowly drizzle in olive oil, a little at a time, continuing to whisk. When the olive oil is evenly incorporated, season with salt and pepper as needed. Drizzle dressing over salad and serve immediately. Check out the video below for step-by-step instructions!

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Meatless Monday: Tostada Salad

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Hi there! I hope all of you had a wonderful and safe Halloween with family and friends. Personally, I consumed one-too-many pieces of Halloween candy and I’m trying to get back on track this week.

Today, for our Meatless Monday meal, I’m sharing a fresh and flavorful “tostada” salad that is full of fresh produce yet still fills you up. It is topped with a tasty chipotle-agave vinaigrette. If you’re looking for an easy dinner that is healthy yet satisfying, look no further!

While there is not a lot of cooking and/or time needed for this salad, most of the work involves washing and chopping the salad ingredients, which can be tedious. So, get your best knife and cutting board ready!

TOSTADA CHOPPED SALAD (VEGAN)

Ingredients:

For the salad:

  • 3-4 hearts of romaine, chopped
  • 4 radishes, sliced and cut into quarters
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed
  • 1 container cherry tomatoes, each tomato cut in half
  • 2 fresh corn on the cob, shucked with kernels cut off
  • 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup tortilla strips
  • 1/2 cup shredded white cheddar or dairy free cheese (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
  • Salt and pepper

For the dressing:

  • 5 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons agave (or honey)
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo with 1 tablespoon of the adobo sauce
  • 3 garlic cloves

Note: Feel free to add more chipotle peppers and/or adobo sauce if you like things spicy! As is, the dressing does have a kick to it.

Directions:

First, wash and chop all the salad toppings: romaine, radishes, green onions, cherry tomatoes, and cilantro.

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Next, drain and rinse the black beans under cold water.

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Now, it’s time to roast the corn. Cut the corn off the cob. Add the olive oil to a skillet over medium heat.

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Add the corn kernels and chopped cilantro, stirring to mix. Continue to stir until corn is roasted to a golden brown color. Remove from heat and set aside.

Next, we make the dressing. This dressing is so good and much better than store-bought with all of those added preservatives. Add all of the dressing ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

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Combine all the salad ingredients in a big bowl. Top with pumpkin seeds, tortilla strips, and cheese or non dairy cheese. Drizzle with dressing and toss. Enjoy!

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Meatless Monday: Mediterranean Orzo

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It’s Monday! Hopefully all of you had a fun and relaxing weekend. Monday dinners can be tough while getting back into the weekly routine. We will continue to share easy and healthy Meatless Monday options that everyone, vegans and omnivores, are sure to love.

This week, we are sharing two versions of Mediterranean Orzo. Jess’s vegan version is light and fresh with Greek olives and artichoke hearts while Nikki shares a cheesy shrimp orzo with feta and from-scratch tomato sauce.

Click the link below to get the recipe!
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Childhood Favorite Lasagna

Lasagna was always a staple in our house growing up; it was one of the first recipes our mom taught us to make. Years later, it is still our favorite comfort food and perfect for serving to guests and family.

Today, we’re sharing updated twists on a childhood favorite. Jess shows us how to make a vegan tofu ricotta lasagna with “meat” sauce while Nikki mixes things up with a hearty lasagna soup. Both of these robust and comforting dishes are perfect for a chilly fall night. Enjoy!

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Click the continue reading link below to find out more about our updated twist on classic lasagna recipes!

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Meatless Mondays: Kale Caesar Salad

All hail kale! That’s pretty much my motto in life, and after you try this savory, filling take on caesar salad, I’m sure you’ll feel the same way. It is our third installment of Meatless Mondays this week, following Hearts of Palm Tacos and Fried Rice Two Ways. Kale is a very trendy food without a doubt, but it is delicious, packed with vitamins, and very versatile. This salad is vegan, and much healthier than traditional caesar salad, while still maintaining that creamy caesar taste. Make your Monday simple; let’s get started!

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Ingredients: 

  • 1 bunch of dino or tuscan kale
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons brown mustard
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
  • sprinkle of pepper

Wash your kale well and trim the stems off. Chop into bite sized pieces and throw in a mixing bowl. Chop your garlic and halve your lemon.

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This is the most important step! Pour about 1 tablespoon of olive oil onto your (clean) hand and sprinkle salt on top. Rub your hands together and massage the kale. This removes that bitter taste from raw kale.

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In a small bowl, mix together your olive oil, mustard, lemon juice, garlic, salt, onion powder, and pepper vigorously until well combined. Pour on top of the kale and toss well. I opted to add hearts of palm into my salad. Is it weird to say hearts of palm is my favorite food?

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There you have it! Incredibly quick Meatless Monday dish. I served mine with buttery herb pasta.

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Meatless Mondays: Fried Rice

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Meatless Mondays are back again this week! Incase you missed it, last week we shared Hearts of Palm Tacos, and today, another favorite, fried rice two ways. Fried rice is the perfect Monday meal, fast, filling, and there’s usually plenty leftover for lunch the next day. Fried rice is such a versatile dish, you can throw almost anything in and be guaranteed to have delicious results. This week we put together a pescetarian Portobello Fried Rice with shrimp, and a vegan Kimchi Fried Rice. Both meatless, both savory and delicious for any diet, and both can be used as side dishes or your main course. Hit the link below to get cooking!

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Best Burgers

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Who doesn’t love a good burger? This all-American meal is one of our favorites, but every once in awhile we like to switch it up. Today we’re sharing two recipes, as usual, a vegan and a pescatarian burger. Jess’s black bean and quinoa veggie burger is both healthy and hearty. Nikki will be sharing a tilapia burger topped with spicy avocado salsa. Both of our burgers are also topped with a spicy and delicious chipotle aioli (two versions), which also serves as the perfect topping for everything from sandwiches to burritos. We hope you enjoy these unique twists on a beloved classic meal!

Click the link below to chow down!
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Meatless Mondays: Hearts of Palm Tacos

Happy New Year! Apologies for us being M.I.A. the past few weeks, the busy holiday season sure got the best of us! We hope all of you had a wonderful holiday full of love and lots of delicious food!

Now, back to business, today we are starting a new weekly feature here on the blog: Meatless Mondays! Every Monday we will feature a vegan or vegetarian dish tasty enough for both our omnivorous and vegan readers. If you’re like us, you probably over-indulged a bit during the holidays (by a bit we mean three-too many Christmas sugar cookies and ten-too-many glasses of champagne, but you know, who’s counting?). It can be difficult to get back into a healthy eating routine and Meatless Mondays are an effortless way to cut calories and add some more plant-based nutrition back into your diet. For us omnivores this might seem scary (my carnivorous boyfriend wasn’t exactly thrilled at the idea), but incorporating a meat-free night into your weekly dinner plans is both healthy and good for the environment, and can be delicious, too!

This week, we are sharing a healthy, vegan and gluten-free take on tacos! Instead of meat we are using hearts of palm. If you’re unfamiliar with this fibrous vegetable, it is the edible inner portion of a cabbage Palm tree. You can buy them at most grocery stores and they come in a can. Their taste is very similar to that of an artichoke heart. This simple recipe requires shredding the hearts of palm, which can be a bit tedious. However, the rest of the recipe is a piece of cake (vegan, gluten-free cake, of course)! The shredded hearts are marinated in a mixture of chile in adobo sauce as well as a chipotle cooking sauce that can be found at most grocery stores. Not a lot of work here, which is ideal for a Monday night. Let’s get started.

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HEARTS OF PALM TACOS

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (14 oz.) hearts of palm
  • 1/4 cup chipotle pepper in adobo sauce with chipotle chopped
  • 1/2 cup Herdez cooking sauce available at most grocery stores
  • 1/2 of a yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • tortillas
  • avocado and pico de gallo for topping (optional)

The prep for this recipe requires chopping the onions and garlic as well as shredding the hearts of palm.

Here is the star of the show: the hearts of palm!

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Typically, about four hearts come in a can which is enough to fill about 6 tacos. Here is where the tedious shredding comes into play. If possible, I recommend doing this the night before to save yourself some time after a tiring workday. To shred the hearts of palm, pull back the layers of the hearts and shred like you would a cheese stick. It takes some practice but you’ll get the hang of it after the first one, and of course it doesn’t have to be perfect. It should look something like this when you’re done shredding:

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After shredding, sautée the onions until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes or so.

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Next add the shredded hearts of palm to the onion and garlic mixture and cook for a few minutes so the onion flavor can be absorbed.

Now add the adobo sauce and Herdez cooking sauce and stir. Also add the salt and cumin here.

Let the hearts of palm and onion and garlic mixture cook for about 5-7 minutes, just until everything is nice and hot.Spoon the mixture into your favorite taco shells (these are my favorites right now, I also like to fry them in a pan with a bit of oil for some extra crispiness) and top with fresh pico de gallo and avocado! Time for a Monday night fiesta, enjoy!

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