Sunday, April 9, 2017

Fajita Steak Salad

Oh my goodness, this salad was SO delicious!!!!! I know what some of you are thinking - yes, I am a vegetarian, so no, I did not eat the flank steak. But, my husband and son did and they just loved it - it smelled incredible. I actually marinated tofu for myself in the same steak marinade and baked it in the oven. I loved it!  The cilantro dressing is just flat out yummy. I hope you enjoy this salad as much as we all did!!

I found the recipe on the blog Damn Delicious. You must check this blog out - she has so many yummy recipes posted! 

Here is the recipe word for word from Damn Delicious:

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 8 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and thinly sliced

For the cilantro lime dressing

  • 1 cup loosely packed cilantro, stems removed
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar <I only used 2 tsp>
  • 1 tsp pure maple syrup <my own addition to balance out the tartness of the vinegar>

For the steak

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds flank steak <I also used firm tofu - read the intro above>

Directions:

  1. To make the cilantro lime dressing, combine cilantro, sour cream, mayonnaise, garlic, lime juice, maple syrup (if using), and salt in the bowl of a food processor. With the motor running, add olive oil and vinegar in a slow stream until emulsified; set aside.
  2. To make the steak, whisk together olive oil, garlic, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, oregano and onion powder in a small bowl; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. In a gallon size Ziploc bag or large bowl, combine steak and marinade; marinate for at least 30 minutes, turning the bag occasionally. Drain the steak from the marinade, discarding the marinade.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a grill pan over medium high heat. Working in batches, cook steak, flipping once, to preferred temperature, about 3-4 minutes per side for medium rare. Remove from heat and let rest for 10 minutes before thinly slicing against the grain.
  5. Add onion to the skillet, and cook, stirring often, until onions have become translucent and slightly caramelized, about 7-8 minutes; set aside.
  6. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in the skillet. Add bell peppers, and cook, stirring often, until soft and slightly caramelized, about 8-10 minutes; set aside.
  7. To assemble the salad, place romaine lettuce in a large bowl; top with arranged rows of onion, peppers, steak and avocado.
  8. Serve immediately with cilantro lime dressing.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Stuffed Portobella Mushrooms with Spinach & Artichokes

 

 Ingredients:

  • 4 large portabello mushroom caps
  • 2 tsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3-ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup grated extra sharp cheddar cheese (about 4 ounces)
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 cups firmly packed fresh spinach, finely chopped
  • 6 oz jar of marinated artichokes, drained and chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 Tbl pine nuts, optional

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. Wipe the mushrooms with a damp paper towel to clean off any dirt. Remove the stems. Use a spoon (I like to use a grapefruit spoon) to take out the black gills of the mushroom. Use your hands to rub oil onto the outside of the mushrooms.
  3. Heat 1 tsp olive oil over medium heat in a large pan. Add diced onions and sautee for 5-7 minutes. Add the chopped spinach and sautee for another 3 - 5 minutes, letting the spinach cook down. Stir the onions and spinach together. Remove from heat.
  4. In a mixing bowl, mix together softened cream cheese, sharp cheddar, dried basil, dried oregano, and garlic powder. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste. Mix until combined. Add the slightly cooled onions and spinach; mix well. Divide cheese mixture between the prepared mushroom caps. Sprinkle 1 Tbl pine nuts, if using, on top of each mushroom.
  5. Place filled mushrooms in a baking pan. Bake, uncovered, for about 20 minutes. Enjoy with a side salad. 


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

One Pot Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup



I've heard from a few friends recently that the Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Tortellini and Sun-dried Tomatoes I blogged a few weeks ago was a big hit with their families (as it is with mine!). So, I thought I'd look for another soup recipe with tortellini recipe to try.  I was inspired by the soup recipe I found on the blog Gal on a Mission. I added my own flare by putting a pear and some maple syrup.  I also blended mine bc my children like pureed soup opposed to chunky.

Click here for the Gal's original recipe.

And below is her recipe with my additions and slight changes.

This soup nicely serves a family of four. Serve with a crusty bread and a side salad. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
  • 1 medium onion diced or 1 cup
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 spring of fresh rosemary chopped or ½ teaspoon dried
  • 1 pear, chopped with skin, <my addition> 
  • 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tsp pure maple syrup <my addition>
  • 4 large fresh basil leaves or ½ teaspoon dried basil <I used about 10 fresh basil leaves>
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 4 cups chicken stock <I used veggie>
  • ½ cup heavy cream <I used half and half>
  • 20 ounces three-cheese tortellini
  • ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese + extra for garnish
  • salt and pepper, to taste (optional)
  • fresh basil, to garnish
  • shredded parmesan cheese, to garnish
Instructions:
  1. Place the onion, garlic, and olive oil, fresh rosemary, and chopped pear (if using) in a 6-quart soup pot or dutch oven. Sautee over medium heat for 5 - 8 minutes or until the onions are translucent.
  2. Add in the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, oregano, pure maple syrup (if using), basil, salt, pepper, chicken stock, and heavy cream - stir to combine. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. This next step is mine because I wanted the soup to be creamy. (If you want your soup chunky, skip this step and go right to step 4). Place the soup mixture in a high speed blender (you may have to do this twice because there is a lot of soup!) with the lid insert removed to let steam escape. Place a clean towel over the lid insert to catch any soup that escapes while blending. Blend until creamy and smooth. Return soup to pot and bring to a simmer.
  4. Place the three-cheese tortellini into the soup and cook for 12-15 minutes or until the tortellini are tender and cooked through.
  5. Stir in the parmesan cheese.
  6. Serve and garnish with fresh basil and shredded parmesan cheese.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Polenta Stuffed Pizza Peppers

I'm often shocked when I try a recipe that is so easy to make and with so few ingredients, yet tastes so good!! I have to say, these pizza peppers are one of those recipes.  And if you follow my blog at all, you know I LOVE a stuffed pepper - I couldn't wait to give these a try!!! The amount of time it took to assemble these was ridiculously quick....I used pre-cooked tubed polenta which really helped.  Also, the fresh buffalo mozzerella and fresh Parm were so melt-y and salty and amazing when the peppers came out of the oven - yum!!
This is the perfect meal to make on a weekday night when you have little time to get dinner on the table. **If you want to add protein I think cooked, crumbled Italian chicken sausage would be delicious!

I found this recipe on the blog Vegetarian Ventures (which is AWESOME, btw)....here is her recipe word for word (this recipe makes enough for two adults): 
Ingredients:
  • 3 bell pepper, halved with seeds removed
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil + more for greasing
  • 9 oz pre-cooked polenta (half a normal size tube) or about 1½ cups homemade, cut into 6 even pieces
  • 1½ cups of your favorite tomato sauce <I always use Rao's>
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella, divided into 6 equal chunks
  • Parmesan, for sprinkling
  • Dried oregano, for sprinkling
  • Salt / pepper, to taste
  • Fresh basil, for serving
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease a 9x13 inch baking pan. Brush peppers with olive oil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool enough to handle.
  • Divide the polenta between the bell pepper halves and use a fork to break the polenta up. Pour ¼ cup tomato sauce into each bell pepper half and top with mozzarella. Sprinkle a healthy helping of Parmesan, oregano, salt, and pepper over the mozzarella.
  • Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the cheese on top is browned and bubbling.
  • Remove from heat and sprinkle with fresh basil. Serve right away.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Margherita Pasta



I found this recipe on the blog Carlsbad Cravings. It was super creamy, full of flavor and just like the blog said, it all came together in about 25 minutes. My husband said it was the best new recipe I have tried in months!!! Your family will love this! I think you could add grilled chicken if you wanted some protein. Serve with a simple side salad and some good crusty bread.
 
Here is the recipe word from word from Carlsbad Cravings:
  • 1lb spaghetti or pasta of choice
  • 2tablespoons olive oil
  • 2tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 onion, chopped
  • 6 Roma tomatoes, choppeddivided
  • 4-6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2cups low sodium chicken broth <I used veggie broth>
  • 1 1/2cups milk
  • 2teaspoons chicken bouillon <I used veggie>
  • 1teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2tsp EACH dried oregano, dried basil, salt
  • 1/4tsp EACH pepper, red pepper flakes
  • 1/2cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2oz. cream cheese, softetned
  • 1/4cup loosely packed basil, chopped
  • Parmesan & chopped basil, for garnish
Instructions:
Cook pasta al dente according to package directions in generously salted water. Remove 1 cup pasta water before draining.  Set pasta aside.
 
Melt butter and olive oil over medium-low heat in a large skillet. Increase heat to medium and add onions and HALF of the tomatoes and sauté for 5 minutes <I sauteed for more like 8 minutes>. Add garlic and cook an additional 30 seconds. Sprinkle in flour and cook while stirring for 2 minutes (it will be thick).  
 
Turn heat to low then slowly whisk in chicken broth, then milk, stirring constantly until smooth. Turn heat to medium high and bring the sauce to a simmer. Stir in spices and boullion and continue to simmer until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally. 
 
Reduce heat to low and stir in Parmesan cheese until melted, followed by mozzarella cheese until melted, followed by cream cheese until melted.  
 
Stir in remaining tomatoes and fresh basil. *Stir in pasta until well coated, adding additional reserved pasta water a little at a time if needed to reach desired consistency. Taste and season with additional salt, pepper and/or red pepper flakes to taste. <*I found it easier to just place the pasta in the dish and then ladle the sauce over the top - even though I was using a giant pan if I had put all the pasta in the pan along with the sauce, it would have overflowed>
 
Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan Cheese and additional basil if desired.
 

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Vegan Banana Smoothie Pancakes


My kids wanted pancakes this morning and we didn't have any eggs.....and this is why I love Pinterest so much - I just searched eggless pancakes and a hundred options popped up! I chose these banana pancakes because I had all the ingredients on hand and really, they turned out filling and delicious! I topped with a little powdered sugar, mini chocolate chips and a little pure maple syrup!

This recipe comes from the blog The Big Man's World.
** I doubled this recipe for my family of five**

Ingredients
  • 1 heaping cup rolled oats (gluten free, if needed)
  • 1/4 cup milk of choice (or non-dairy like almond milk if vegan)
  • 1 very ripe banana
  • 1 Tbl baking powder
  • 1 Tbl apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbl maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract  
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 2 Tbl chocolate chips <this was my addition, use Enjoy Life chips if vegan>
Instructions
  1. Combine all the ingredients (except the chocolate chips) in a blender. Blend until smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  2. Allow the batter to rest for 5-10 minutes, giving the oats time to absorb liquid and thicken.
  3. Preheat a nonstick pan over medium high heat. Once hot, pour in about ¼ cup of batter.
  4. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until you can easily slide a spatula underneath. Flip. Cook for another 1-2 minutes on the second side.
  5. Repeat until all the batter is used up.
  6. Add your toppings of choice and enjoy.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Roasted Squash & Pear Soup


WOWZERS! This soup is fancy restaurant quality - really and truly!!! The kids loved it, my husband ate two bowlfuls and I just felt happy that something so healthy got my family all in an eating tizzy! 

This is another recipe from my dear friend, Kellie, over at Cleanly Consumed. I'm having a Cleanly Consumed week here in my kitchen.....I'm trying lots of Kellie's healthy and delicious recipes, including her Cauliflower Hummus (cannot wait to try that!) and her Carrot Raisin Salad! Go check out her site.....and check out all the scrumptious meat and fish dishes she has blogged....they all look amazing - even to this vegetarian!!! 

*Please note that I DOUBLED this recipe to feed my whole family. I used 20 oz of butternut squash, 1 whole onion, 2 pears.....you get the point.....It made a good sized pot that yielded ZERO leftovers (so I'm glad I doubled it!). And my house smelled OUT OF THIS world as the veggies were roasting in the dutch oven. If you do not have a dutch oven I suggest roasting on a parchment lined cookie sheet - just keep an eye on the veggies so they do not burn. 

Here is Kellie's recipe:

*Ingredients:
  • 1 10oz bag of cubed frozen organic butternut or acorn squash <I used fresh cubed squash I found in the produce section>
  • 1/2 large purple onion- in large chunks
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 large green pear- sliced
  • Olive oil
  • Sea Salt
  • Organic Dried Rosemary
  • <I added 1 tsp pure maple syrup>
  • 1 Cup Bone Broth <I used store bought vegetable broth>
  • 1/3 Cup Full Fat Coconut Milk

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 375F
  • Grease the bottom of the dutch oven with lightly with olive oil
  • Add the squash, onion, garlic and pears into the pot and drizzle with a little EVOO and Sprinkle with Salt and Rosemary. 
  • Cover with dutch oven lid and roast for 45 minutes, or until tender.
  • Cool slightly and add to a high speed blender to puree.
  • Transfer into a medium sized soup pot or back into the dutch oven.
  • Add in pure maple syrup, if using,  1 Cup Bone Broth and 1/3 cup full fat coconut milk and whisk to incorporate.  Simmer until it is the desired temperature.
  • Sprinkle with Sea Salt and Rosemary
  • Serve in large bowls and top with a spoon full of coconut whip, rosemary and a drizzle of olive oil.