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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Overnight Oats

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As we delve into the busy fall season, I am always searching for easy breakfasts that require little-to-no prep. These overnight oats could not get any easier! They basically make themselves while you are resting away. Also, I found this great Super Seed Blend at Trader Joe’s that is totally optional but makes for added nutrition and deliciousness with cranberries, coconut chips, chia seed, buckwheat, and hemp seed. You can add whatever you’d like to your oats when they’re done, including cinnamon, honey, nuts, dried and fresh fruit, almond butter- the options are endless. I used steel-cut oats for this recipe, but you can use traditional rolled oats instead, just cut back on the amount of almond milk you add.

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OVERNIGHT OATS (VEGAN)

Ingredients:

  • 1 2/3 cup steel-cut oats
  • 4 cups almond milk
  • 1/4 cup Trader Joe’s Super Seed Blend (optional, can also use plain chia seeds)
  • 1 large Tupperware/food storage container, with lid
  • fresh fruit for topping

Directions:

  1. Mix the oats and almond milk together in a large bowl. Transfer to a large food storage container.
  2. Sprinkle Super Seed Blend on top of the oat and milk mixture. Seal container with lid.
  3. Refrigerate oats overnight.
  4. When ready to eat, warm up oats in the microwave and top with fresh fruit or any other desired toppings.

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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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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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Candy Cane Cookie Sandwiches

 Today we are launching our Holiday cookie series, where we will bring you several tasty cookie recipes over the next week or so. In our family, holiday baking is one of our most celebrated traditions. We usually devote at least a few days during the holiday season to baking all day. Baked goods make a delicious and thoughtful gift for anyone special in your life. Wrap the treats in some festive packaging and you’re ready to go! To kick off our online cookie party, we will be sharing Candy Cane cookie sandwiches. These are very similar to an Oreo (only better) with a festive twist- candy canes! The peppermint-rimmed cookies are not only delicious but are also super cute and festive! As usual, we’re sharing a vegan and nonvegan recipe for these cute cookies.

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Candy Cane Lane is one click away!

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Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Winter is here and there is no better time to cozy up with some warm soup. Baked potato soup is a favorite in our house; it is hearty, delicious, and makes for the perfect dinner on a cold night. For these recipes, Nikki will be sharing a loaded baked potato soup complete with lots of bacon and cheese. Jess will be sharing her take on this recipe, without all of the animal products. Enjoy!

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Click the link below to start on this savory soup!

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Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti and meatballs is one of our favorite comfort foods. But with all the heavy eating and drinking that goes on during the holidays (not complaining!), a high-calorie bowl of spaghetti isn’t exactly helping us fit into our Christmas dresses! Have no fear, spaghetti squash is here! Spaghetti squash is a low calorie, nutrient rich vegetable that tastes a lot like spaghetti with the same texture as pasta (more of an Angel Hair texture, if you ask us).  Spaghetti squash is the star of this post and we’ll show you everything you need to know to make this guilt-free comfort food. Today we share two recipes, as usual, a vegan and  non vegan take on spaghetti squash with meatballs and homemade marinara.

Let’s eat!

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First we must complete a proper introduction. Meet spaghetti squash! Located in the produce department of most grocery stores, near other squash like butternut, delicata, and more.

There are many ways to cook spaghetti squash, but the most frequently used approaches are roasted in the oven, and for those of us who are more pressed for time, the microwave!

To prepare in the oven place the squash in a shallow pan and poke with a fork a few times. Bake at 350 for one hour.

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Let the squash cool enough to handle, and slice in half.

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Scoop out the seedy middle and use a fork to scoop the spaghetti like strands out.

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Click the link below to find our recipes for marinara sauce and meatballs!

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Pumpkin Pick-Me-Up

Pumpkin season is slowly coming to an end, to be replaced with peppermint, gingerbread and other equally delicious ingredients. If you’re like us, however, you still have a ton of pumpkin puree in your pantry, just begging to be used before autumn is officially over. We created this pumpkin smoothie the morning after Thanksgiving, trying to free us of our food coma. The smoothie is just a touch sweet from natural sweeteners, packed with Vitamin A from the pumpkin, and is very refreshing. You probably already have all the ingredients you need and it makes for a super fast breakfast. The pumpkin pie smoothie is also suitable for both vegan and nonvegan diets, and you can add protein powder to really make this a pumpkin powerhouse!

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Click the Continue Reading button to get the recipe for this delectable drink!

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