Categories
HEALTHY

30-Minute Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Chowder

A snow storm in NYC yesterday and I missed it. I’m SO bummed.

Being in the city when it’s snowing is magical. It gets super quiet – there’s practically no one walking around and the streets are almost empty. It’s like the city goes to sleep.

Luckily, having Trevi makes us get out and experience the peacefulness. And even though neither of us feel like bundling up and bracing the cold, her excitement when her paws hit the snow is worth it. She LOVES the snow. Like I’m not even kidding you, as soon as we let her off leash in the park, she’s like the Tasmanian Devil bombing around trying to dig for sticks and chasing every dog she sees. She’s definitely a winter creature.

Her parents on the other hand? Not so much.

We’d much rather be snuggled on the couch watching a movie and eating a bowl of soup. Or if it’s a Sunday, watching football (and yes, still eating soup).

30-Minute Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Chowder
30-Minute Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Chowder

Ingredients

  • ½ cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 small potato
  • 1 garlic bulb
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • ½ cup Sabra Roasted Garlic Hummus
  • ½ cup cooked quinoa
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water (+ more as needed)
  • 2 teaspoons miso paste
  • 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast (optional)
  • Salt + pepper to taste
  • Additional garlic if desired

Instructions

  1. Add cashews to a bowl, cover with hot water and let soak for at least 2 hours.
  2. While cashews are soaking, preheat the oven to 425ºF. Chop cauliflower into florets, and peel and chop the potatoes. Arrange on a baking sheet and drizzle with about 1½ tablespoons of oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Cut the top off the garlic bulb so that some of the cloves are slightly exposed. Drizzle with remaining oil and season with salt and pepper. Wrap bulb in tin foil and place on sheet with vegetables.

You can find complete recipes of this 30-Minute Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Chowder in simplyquinoa.com

Categories
VEGAN

EASY VEGAN QUESO

The easiest healthy vegan queso dip made with only 5 ingredients. No one will know it’s vegan, gluten-free, and that it only takes 10 minutes to whip up!

I really never meant to make queso.

Want to know how it all happened? Imma tell you how it all happened. I was minding my own business making a batch of my fave vegan enchiladas and while I was taste testing (as I always do), I thought about how the base of the enchiladas kind of looks and tastes like nacho cheese.

But in the best way. Not the painfully yellow gunk at the stadium, but the good kind. Is there even a good kind? There is today!

I kind of felt like I was eating nacho cheese Doritos. The turmeric gives it this awesome color, and the medium heat chunky salsa adds the perfect spice and overall flavor. It was love at first lick!

This is the easiest recipe ever. Blend, eat, repeat. As far as ingredients go, make sure your cashews are raw, not roasted or salted. The bell pepper and salsa provide the liquid to help blend ’em into creamy, cheese-like greatness. My go-to salsa is Ohio-made Frog Ranch, but use whatever you fancy. Nutritional yeast (which you can find at pretty much any grocery store these days) gives it just enough cheezy flavor. A pinch of salt, some anti-inflammatory turmeric for color, and that is IT my friends.

Five ingredients. Ten minutes. DIEZ MINUTOS MIS AMIGOS!!! (Insert monkey with hands on head emoji here.)

EASY VEGAN QUESO
EASY VEGAN QUESO

INGREDIENTS

  • ½ cup raw cashews (soaked if you don’t have high speed blender)
  • 1 cup medium chunky salsa
  • 1 small red bell pepper, de-seeded and chopped
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp turmeric (optional but recommended for color)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. If not using a high-speed blender or Nutribullet, soak cashews in a bowl of warm water for a few hours or overnight.
  2. If using high speed blender or Nutribullet, place cashews in a bowl with warm water. Set aside while you chop pepper.
  3. Drain and rinse cashews. Place all ingredients in blender. Blend until completely smooth and creamy.

You can find complete recipes of this EASY VEGAN QUESO in hummusapien.com

Categories
HEALTHY

creamy spinach sweet potato noodles with cashew sauce

Stop right there. Sweet potato noodles? CASHEW SAUCE? First of all, y-u-m.
Secondly, it’s true. I’m going fake-vegan-rogue on you today.
In terms of actual real life serious commitments, I’m not a vegan or a vegetarian. But I am a person who likes to try new things and sometimes I get lazy about cooking meat, so a few months ago I bought three different spiralizers – those crazy machines that make vegetables into noodles. I wanted to try them and see which ones were best, and why they were awesome, and become a super healthy person with a few swirls of a spiralizer handle, and eventually talk about it in a post. In these last few weeks,
I’ve just been a leeeetle too “busy” to get my act together and actually write about the spiralizers, but ironically, the thing that is keeping me busy is feeding my face bowls and bowls and bowls of spiralized sweet potato noodles covered in cashew sauce. It’s just so weird how that works.
So let’s break this down into a less weird and scary // more awesome and healthy and delicious sort of situation.
I made my sweet potato noodles with the Paderno spiralizer. Annnnnd I just basically gave away my whole spiralizer post to you right there in one sentence. Just… buy the Paderno. It’s $30 and it has a 4.5 ⭐️ rating from more than 6,000 reviews on Amazon.
(But seriously, more to come on the topic of spiralizers in a week or two if you’re the kind of person who needs major convincing. I see you, and I get you, and I’ll be back for you.) You COULD make your sweet potato noodles by hand or with a peeler or something, but, I mean, why, really? If that’s your story right now, I’d say just skip the vegetables-as-noodles thing (too much work, friend) and go for either regular noodles or sweet potatoes chopped into easy, quick little pieces and roasted to perfection. File under advice from your Lazy Girl Friend.
That being said, if you do have a spiralizer, those big, sturdy, fat sweet potatoes make the perfect little swoodles <– oh my gosh, TREND ALERT 🚨 look mom I just started a trend —> and they are pretty much the cutest thing ever, not to mention tasty and nutritious.
Did I mention the cutest thing ever? I played with them like little vegetable slinkies for at least ten minutes. But let’s not get too far on the sweet potato noodles because I need to tell you that there is such a thing in this world called CASHEW CREAM. And it is divine.Just try not to turn into a vegan when you look at this picture.
Right? That velvety beauty is CASHEWS and water and salt and a little garlic. And that’s all.
So essentially we have sweet potato noodles that are hopefully almost caramelizingly browned with some gently sautéed spinach and a good dose of creamy cashew sauce, tossed all together for a really comforting weeknight vegetarian/vegan type meal. It’s thick and creamy, it’s super satisfying, it’s totally adaptable to anything and everything.

INGREDIENTS :

  • 1 cup cashews
  • ¾ cup water (more for soaking)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 4 large sweet potatoes, spiralized
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • a handful of fresh basil leaves, chives, or other herbs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil for drizzling

INSTRUCTIONS :

  1. Cover the cashews with water in a bowl and soak for 2 hours or so.
  2. Drain and rinse thoroughly. Place in a food processor or blender (I got better texture with the blender)
  3. and add the ¾ cup water, salt, and garlic. Puree until very smooth.
  4. Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat.
  5. Add the sweet potatoes; toss in the pan for 6-7 minutes with tongs until tender-crisp.
  6. Remove from heat and toss in the spinach – it should wilt pretty quickly.
  7. Add half of the herbs and half of the sauce to the pan and toss to combine.
  8. Add water if the mixture is too sticky.
  9. Season generously with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil, and top with the remaining fresh herbs.

You can find complete recipes of this creamy spinach sweet potato noodles with cashew sauce in pinchofyum.com

Categories
HEALTHY VEGAN

Thai Cashew Chicken

I didn’t think they actually served Thai Cashew Chicken in Thailand.
When we tumbled out of our hotel room in Chiang Mai at 10:45 p.m. in fervent search of dinner after a delayed flight, my stomach’s resolve to eat the first food we could find was outmatched only by my relentless determination to not, under any circumstances, waste a single meal in Thailand.
I forced Ben to bypass several restaurants that I deemed “too touristy,” and after we had been walking 10 minutes, he stopped firmly in front of what was one of the first open restaurants we’d seen in a while, pointed to the menu, and asked me, a look of animal-like desperation in his eyes, “Can we PLEASE eat here?” I glanced at the menu and spotted cashew chicken.
I was immediately suspicious. Wasn’t cashew chicken just something they served at Westernized “Thai” restaurants in America? Surely this place could not be legit. It was nearly 11 p.m., and even I had to admit that our prospects of finding other open options were dwindling. I reluctantly agreed.
Then, as if he could read my thoughts and were looking to spite me for making us walk so far, Ben ordered the cashew chicken. It was delicious. I’m still not sure how authentic cashew chicken is (we didn’t make it in any of our cooking classes or have it at our homestays), but it became Ben’s go-to restaurant dish of the trip.
He ordered it at every available opportunity. Thus, great food moocher that I am, I had the pleasure of sampling it from his plate at every available opportunity too. Today’s recipe is my adaptation of the Thai Cashew Chicken we had at nearly every restaurant north of Bangkok. Authentic or not, it’s a dynamite stir-fry dish that has weeknight dinner wrapped.
Stir-fries are a faithful companion on busy weeknights. They’re fast, hit every food group from veggies to lean proteins in a single pan, and are perfect for using up odd bits of leftover produce lurking in the fridge. Start to finish, this simple chicken and cashew nut stir-fry is ready in 20 minutes flat, even fewer if your veggies and chicken are already prepped.
If you’ve had cashew chicken at take-out restaurants, you’ll be familiar with the rich, savory flavors of the sauce and the warm crunch of the cashews. This particular cashew chicken recipe, however, is much lighter and healthier than what you’ll find in a restaurant.
I packed it with veggies, sweetened the sauce naturally with honey, then served it over whole-grain brown rice (quinoa would be tasty too). Honestly, I didn’t miss the extra oil and sugar one bit, and I don’t think that you will either.

INGREDIENTS :
FOR THE CASHEW CHICKEN:

  • 1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 large), cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch (or substitute arrowroot powder)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3 medium red bell peppers, seeded and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 large head of broccoli, cut into florets (about 4 cups)
  • 1 bunch green onions (about 6 medium), thinly sliced
  • 2/3 cup dry roasted, unsalted cashews
  • Cooked brown rice or quinoa, for serving

FOR THE SAUCE:

  • 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey, plus additional to taste
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 cloves minced garlic (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, plus additional to taste

INSTRUCTIONS :

  1. In a small bowl, toss the chicken pieces with the cornstarch, salt, and pepper.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high. Once the oil is hot and shiny
  3. Add the chicken mixture and sauté for 4 minutes, just until lightly browned.
  4. Add the bell pepper, broccoli, and green onions.
  5. Continue sautéing until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are crisp-tender, about 5 additional minutes.
  6. Stir in the cashews and cook for 30 additional seconds.
  7. While the chicken and vegetables are cooking, prepare the sauce.
  8. In a small bowl or large measuring cup, stir together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons honey, ginger, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes.
  9. Taste and add additional honey and/or red pepper flakes as desired (I added an additional 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes).
  10. Pour the sauce over the skillet and toss to coat.
  11. Enjoy immediately with brown rice.

You can find complete recipes of this Thai Cashew Chicken in wellplated.com

Categories
HEALTHY

Thai Cashew Chicken

I didn’t think they actually served Thai Cashew Chicken in Thailand.
When we tumbled out of our hotel room in Chiang Mai at 10:45 p.m. in fervent search of dinner after a delayed flight, my stomach’s resolve to eat the first food we could find was outmatched only by my relentless determination to not, under any circumstances, waste a single meal in Thailand.
I forced Ben to bypass several restaurants that I deemed “too touristy,” and after we had been walking 10 minutes, he stopped firmly in front of what was one of the first open restaurants we’d seen in a while, pointed to the menu, and asked me, a look of animal-like desperation in his eyes, “Can we PLEASE eat here?” I glanced at the menu and spotted cashew chicken. I was immediately suspicious. Wasn’t cashew chicken just something they served at Westernized “Thai” restaurants in America? Surely this place could not be legit.
It was nearly 11 p.m., and even I had to admit that our prospects of finding other open options were dwindling. I reluctantly agreed. Then, as if he could read my thoughts and were looking to spite me for making us walk so far, Ben ordered the cashew chicken.
It was delicious. I’m still not sure how authentic cashew chicken is (we didn’t make it in any of our cooking classes or have it at our homestays), but it became Ben’s go-to restaurant dish of the trip. He ordered it at every available opportunity. Thus, great food moocher that I am, I had the pleasure of sampling it from his plate at every available opportunity too.
Today’s recipe is my adaptation of the Thai Cashew Chicken we had at nearly every restaurant north of Bangkok. Authentic or not, it’s a dynamite stir-fry dish that has weeknight dinner wrapped. Stir-fries are a faithful companion on busy weeknights. They’re fast, hit every food group from veggies to lean proteins in a single pan, and are perfect for using up odd bits of leftover produce lurking in the fridge.
Start to finish, this simple chicken and cashew nut stir-fry is ready in 20 minutes flat, even fewer if your veggies and chicken are already prepped. If you’ve had cashew chicken at take-out restaurants, you’ll be familiar with the rich, savory flavors of the sauce and the warm crunch of the cashews. This particular cashew chicken recipe, however, is much lighter and healthier than what you’ll find in a restaurant.
I packed it with veggies, sweetened the sauce naturally with honey, then served it over whole-grain brown rice (quinoa would be tasty too). Honestly, I didn’t miss the extra oil and sugar one bit, and I don’t think that you will either.

INGREDIENTS :
FOR THE CASHEW CHICKEN:

  • 1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 large), cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch (or substitute arrowroot powder)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3 medium red bell peppers, seeded and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 large head of broccoli, cut into florets (about 4 cups)
  • 1 bunch green onions (about 6 medium), thinly sliced
  • 2/3 cup dry roasted, unsalted cashews
  • Cooked brown rice or quinoa, for serving

FOR THE SAUCE:

  • 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey, plus additional to taste
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 cloves minced garlic (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, plus additional to taste

INSTRUCTIONS :

  1. In a small bowl, toss the chicken pieces with the cornstarch, salt, and pepper.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high. Once the oil is hot and shiny
  3. Add the chicken mixture and sauté for 4 minutes, just until lightly browned.
  4. Add the bell pepper, broccoli, and green onions. Continue sautéing until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are crisp-tender, about 5 additional minutes.
  5. Stir in the cashews and cook for 30 additional seconds.
  6. While the chicken and vegetables are cooking, prepare the sauce. In a small bowl or large measuring cup, stir together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons honey, ginger, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes.
  7. Taste and add additional honey and/or red pepper flakes as desired (I added an additional 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes).
  8. Pour the sauce over the skillet and toss to coat. Enjoy immediately with brown rice.

You can find complete recipes of this Thai Cashew Chicken in wellplated.com

Categories
DESSERT

Brookies (Gluten-Free, Vegan, Dairy-Free, Refined Sugar-Free)

I had never heard of Brookies until my kids spotted them in the fresh-baked section at our Wegmans grocery store. Turns out this delightful little dessert is a chocolate chip cookie (on the bottom) and brownie bar (on top). While I had to agree that this treat was to die for, at the same time my head ached as I envisioned all of the processed sugar and gluten that my kids were consuming. So my next challenge lay before me. . . creating a Brookie recipe that would eliminate the processed sugar and gluten, add in some plant-based protein, and most importantly rival the bakery Brookie in texture and flavor!
After several iterations (which made my kitchen look like a war zone), I achieved success! I used almond flour and gluten-free oat flour to eliminate the gluten while packing in some plant-based protein at the same time. Neither parts of the recipe have any animal-based products so they are dairy-free (and vegan). Maple syrup, coconut nectar and coconut palm sugar replace the conventional sugar making them free of processed or refined sugar.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Almond flour
  • 1 cup Gluten-free oat flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon Sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons Coconut palm sugar
  • 1/3 cup Mini chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life dairy free)
  • 2 tablespoons Cashew butter (melted)
  • 2 tablespoons Coconut oil (melted)
  • 2 tablespoons Maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon Vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a medium bowl combine all dry ingredients (almond flour, gf oat flour, sea salt, baking soda, coconut palm sugar, and mini chocolate chips) and mix well.
  2. In a small bowl melt together cashew butter and coconut oil.  I did this for 45 seconds in the microwave on medium-low power.  If you don’t have a microwave you can use a small sauce pan on the stove.
  3. Add maple syrup and vanilla to melted cashew butter and coconut oil.
  4. Mix together well. (It should look like caramel sauce)
  5. Mix wet ingredients into dry. If you are experiencing difficulty getting the ingredients to mix well use a slicing motion with your spoon and cut the ingredients together like you would if making a pie crust.

You can find complete recipes of this Brookies (Gluten-Free, Vegan, Dairy-Free, Refined Sugar-Free) in nutritionicity.com