The fastest pasta dish ever

Do you ever just get home and don’t feel like cooking? You look to your pantry and you see an unattractive box of KD or a can of soup that may have been there longer than you have. Well, this dish is so easy, simple and delicious and pairs perfectly with a light salad.

Serving Size: 4

Cook Time: 15 minutes 

Ingredients 

  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cups of chopped broccoli
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup of sliced mushrooms
  • 3 tbsp of olive oil
  • pasta of your choice, 1 cup dry (adjust to your needs) *Zucchini noodles also work
  • 1/2 cup of parmesan + more to top
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp of oregano
  • 1/2 tsp of chili flakes

Intructions 

  1. Begin boiling salted water for pasta, while water is boiling heat a large skillet over medium heat, add 1 tbsp of oil. Once water has boiled cook pasta.
  2. In a small bowl add 2 tbsp of oil and your cloves of garlic along with 1/2 tsp of black pepper, chili flakes, and oregano, whisk and set aside.
  3. Add the onion to the heated skillet, cook until translucent (5 minutes) add the mushrooms (cook for 5 minutes) add the broccoli and peppers (cook for 5 minutes)
  4. Once pasta is done drain it, mix in the garlic olive oil, add the mixture to the skillet with vegetables, cook until garlic is fragrant, 2 minutes.
  5. Once the mixture is cooked turn off heat and add parmesan, stir and serve with salt and pepper and parmesan to top.
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Vegan Cabbage Roll Casserole

TGIF!?

I had never made cabbage rolls, as an adventurous cook as I am. My mom makes delicious cabbage rolls but I’m never really sure how anyone finds the time to make them? Maybe setting aside an entire day. Anyways, the prep for this recipe can be made done in less than an hour. This meal is hearty and filling and great for cool winter nights. This is my take on the classic cabbage roll.

Serving Size: 6-8

Total time: 1 hour and 30 minutes 

Ingredients 

“Meat” Filling

  • 2 cups of cooked lentils (canned or make your own)
  • 1 medium onion, diced finely
  • 1 large carrot, shredded
  • 1 large parsnip shredded
  • 2 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 2 tbsp of Montreal steak spice
  • 2 tbsp of oil
  • 1/2 cup of water

Sauce/Cabbage

  • 8 cups of chopped cabbage
  • 1 can of tomato soup
  • 2 cups of tomato sauce
  • 1 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp of Dill (dried or fresh)
  • 3 tbsp of parsley (dried or fresh)
  • 2 1/2 cups of cooked rice (white or brown)
  • 1 tbsp of oil

Instructions 

  1. Heat a large skillet to medium heat, add 2 tbsp of olive oil, add onions (cook for 5 minutes) until translucent, add garlic, carrots, and parsnip (cook for about 5 minutes) until garlic is fragrant, finally add the lentils and steak spice, cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently so things do not burn to the bottom.
  2. Once the meat mixture is cooked, allow half to cool slightly- 10 minutes, mix in 1/2 cup of ice water, add to blender, blend until smooth, re-add to the lentil pan, simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. To the lentils add the tomato soup, 1 cup of tomato sauce, can of tomatoes and spices, stir until combined and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. While the lentils are simmering, heat a large skillet over medium heat, add oil and cabbage, cook until cabbage is tender-crisp, about 10 minutes.
  5. Pre-heat the oven to 350 F.
  6. Mix the rice in with the lentil mixture.
  7. Grab a large casserole dish and layer the casserole like so, 1/2 the cabbage mixture, 1/2 meat mixture, rest of the cabbage and top with the rest of the meat. Stir until all combined nicely, flatten the top and add 1 cup of tomato sauce.
  8. Either place in the fridge until dinner time (if so cook at 350 F for 45 minutes uncovered) or cook at 350 F for 30 minutes until bubbly!

Note: If not vegan add parmesan

Roasted Carrot & Squash Soup

Happy…November?!

Where has the year gone?! I cannot believe that we less than two months away from 2018. I don’t make new years resolutions because I believe that anytime is a good time to improve your life. November has been the month I have begun to become more health conscious, mentally and physically. I have been sleeping more, exercising at least 3 times a week and leaving time for breaks and socializing. November is when most students experience the “burnout”, I have to admit, I do feel it too. Taking control of my wellbeing will help me finish off the semester with ease and hopefully get better grades than expected. Eating healthy is another great way to nourish your body and soul, so here is a delicious and SO easy, seasonal recipe…roasted carrot and squash soup. This recipe is so versatile you can basically through any veggies in that taste good together…here is my rendition of the classic squash soup, veganized!

Total Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes

Total serving: 6 -8people

  • please note this recipe can be made for two as it is hard to find small squashes if you can find one cut the recipe in half if you plan to freeze the soup, wait until it cools and defrost in the fridge overnight!

Ingredients 

  • 1 large squash of your choice, chopped into chunks (no need to peel) and seeds removed (pumpkin can also be used)
  • 2 medium onions, chopped into 1/4’s
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and chopped into coins
  • 2 large parsnips, peeled and chopped into coins
  • 2 granny smith apples, peeled
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 3 tbsp of each curry powder, turmeric, oregano and basil
  • 2 tbsp of both cinnamon and sage
  • 4 tbsp of oil
  • 2 cups of water
  • 4-8 cups of low sodium vegetable broth (depending on how thick you like your soup)
  • 2 cups of coconut milk

Instructions 

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Chop all vegetables, place into a large bowl, add olive oil and stir until all coated, add spices stir until all coated. Note: do not worry about peeling your tough squash, the skin falls off once roasted.
  3. Add the vegetables all into a large roasting pan (adding them into the same pan allows the flavors to blend), be sure to add the squash first, the order of the other vegetables does not matter.
  4. Once over is preheated roast vegetables for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, stir, add 2 cups of water to the roasting pan, be careful at first as it may splatter! Cook for another 20-30 minutes once vegetables are soft and a fork can easily pierce through.
  5. Once soft remove vegetables from oven, allow them to cool uncovered for 15 minutes. Once cool enough to handle, remove squash skin and discard.
  6. If you have an immersion blender, transfer into a large pot, start with 2 cups of broth and blend, add broth to achieve the thickness you desire, Add coconut milk in last.
  7. If you have a regular blender, transfer the roasted vegetables and their liquid into the blender, blend in-stages using enough liquid to allow it to blend. Ensure to allow the steam to remove as the build-up can cause an explosion and burn you. I cover mine with a towel, with the top vent open, holding the towel with an oven mitt just to be safe you can get very badly burned by the steam and/or the hot liquid (I’ve experienced it first hand)
  8. Simmer soup until bubbly (10 minutes) serve with a fresh bread, salt, and pepper to taste and parmesan/sour cream if not vegan.

Double Chocolate Vegan Brownies

Good evening friends,

These brownies are perfect for non-vegans and vegans alike! I think they are the best brownie recipe I have ever made. They are super easy and can be made with everyday ingredients!

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup of mashed avocado (about 1 small avocado)
  • 1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup of white or whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup of maple syrup
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup of brewed coffee
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1 1/2 cups of chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees F). Grease an 8-inch square pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the pureed avocado and applesauce until smooth. Add in the flour, cocoa powder, maple syrup, baking soda, salt, coffee, and water.
  3. Stir until smooth. Fold in 1 cup of the chocolate chips.
  4. Pour into the prepared pan and spread the batter evenly throughout the pan. Sprinkle with an additional 1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips on top. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean. If you over-bake, the brownies will have a cake-like texture.
  5. Remove and let the brownies sit out for at least 20 minutes before serving. Cut and serve, or cover and store for up to 3 days.

Cauliflower Wings

Ola everybody!

My dad bought a lovely cauliflower yesterday and I just had to enjoy it while it was still nice and fresh! I was debating roasting it, steaming it, stir frying it, but then it hit me! I decided to make cauliflower wings! I decided to do a vegan version with “honey” garlic sauce, they can easily be made non-vegan, it’s your choice!

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1 large head of cauliflower

Sauce

  • 1/2 cup of maple syrup or agave syrup
  • 1 tbsp of sriracha
  • 1 tsp of onion powder
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp of soya sauce
  • 2 tbsp of flour (gluten free can be substituted)

Breading

  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1/2 cup of vegan milk
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 tsp of cumin powder
  • 1 tsp of paprika
  • 1 tsp of onion powder
  • 1 tsp of garlic powder
  • 2 cups of breadcrumbs, I like panko

Instructions 

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Cut cauliflower into large chunks, try to keep it into its own pieces, clean, and dry very thoroughly.
  3. Mix all of the ingredients together (except flour) in a bowl for the sauce, place in a saucepan and simmer.
  4. Mix all of the ingredients together for the breading (except the breadcrumbs), start with 1/4 cup of vegan milk and 1/4 cup of water to ensure the batter is not too runny.
  5. Dip the cauliflower in the breading, then into the panko breadcrumbs, place on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, flip and 15 minutes more.
  6. Once the wings have about 2 minutes left, add the flour to the sauce and allow it to simmer.
  7. Coat the wings in the sauce once cooked and enjoy!

Fathers Day Carrot Cake

Hello, all!

Today I decided to bake this carrot cake for fathers day, my first time baking a carrot cake and I was so nervous! This cake turned out so good my grandma even asked for the recipe! Follow the recipe as you wish, you could reduce the sugar to 1/2 cup but its your call!

Ingreidents 

  • 1 3/4 cup of flour
  • 1/4 cup of ground flax seed or ground chia seed, or a mix
  • 1 tbsp of ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp of baking soda
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp of ground nutmeg and ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1 cup of canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup of buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup of vegetable oil (I used avocado)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp of vanilla
  • 2 cups of grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup of shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup of your choice of raisins, walnuts, sunflower seeds, or chocolate chips

Intructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F, grease the pan of your choice, two 9′ rounds or 1 large sheet pan.
  2. In a medium bowl mix together flour, ground flax seed, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg and ginger, and salt.
  3. Beat together pumpkin, sugar, buttermilk, vanilla, oil, and eggs.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
  5. Fold the carrots, coconut and other ingredients of your choice.
  6. Pour the batter into the pan of your choice and bake for 30 minutes.
  7. Once a toothpick comes out clean, allow the cake to sit in the pan for 10 minutes to cool, once the 10 minutes is cool, transfer to a cooling rack.
  8. Cool completely before icing.

 

Twice Baked Potatoes

Good evening everyone!

The thunderstorms on my end of town have been crazy, the weather has been up and down. Hot in the morning, the storm rolls in and the temperature drops 10 degrees. My family scored a huge bunch of fresh chives from the farmers market this week and it inspired me to make these twice baked potatoes.

Ingredients (serves five)

  • 1/2 cup of chives
  • 1 cup of cheddar cheese
  • 2 tbsp of sour cream
  • 2 tbsp of butter
  • 1 tsp of pepper
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • five large sized potatoes

Instructions 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F, pierce the potatoes with a fork and rub the potatoes with oil, bake for 45 minutes.
  2. Once the potatoes are cooked through, cut a slit through the center of the potatoes, scoop out the flesh of the potatoes and add to the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Mix the potato mixture and add bake into the flesh back into the shells.
  4. Bake the potatoes for 15 more minutes and enjoy!

 

Shakshuka

Holy cow!!

Sorry I have been MIA! I am starting a new job next week and I am been scrambling to prepare for it! Anyways, this recipe is a delicious Middle Eastern dish. It is surprisingly easy and has such a wonderful flavor. This recipe is great if you want to impress your guests with a “fancy” dish at a low cost with little cooking knowledge! The best part about this dish is that it can be served at brunch or at dinner!!

Ingredients (serves four)

  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 tsp of chili powder
  • ½ cup of veggie broth
  • 1 28 ounces can of tomatoes
  • 4 Eggs
  • 2 cups of kale or spinach, finely chopped
  • ½ cup of feta

Note: The number of eggs can be adjusted depending on your crowd, I normally do 4 but you can fit up to 6 eggs with this recipe!

Instructions 

  1. SAUCE: Saute onions until translucent, add garlic until fragrant, 2 tsp of chili powder, veggie broth, and tomatoes, simmer for 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly, blend until smooth in a blender.
  2. POTATOES: Saute the potatoes in the same pan the sauce was in with 1 tsp of chili powder, until brown on the outside. Add the sauce to the pan (be careful of splatters) and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  3. EGG/SPINACH: Stir in the greens, use a spoon to make little holes for the eggs on top of the sauce. Crack the eggs directly into the warm sauce and cover. With the heat on low (sauce barely bubbling) and the cover on, cook the eggs for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and keep the cover on for another 5 minutes. This should give you medium-soft yolks. Top with goat cheese and serve with crusty bread for sopping up that sauce.

Old Fashioned Soft & Buttery Oatmeal Cookies

Good evening,

I have been searching for a good oatmeal cookie recipe for so long! To hard, to crunchy, did not flatten, who knew a cookie would cause so much trouble? These were perfect and took some tweaky but I got it! Do not skip beating the egg and sugar together because it helps them stay light and fluffy!

Ingredients:

1 cup unsalted butter, softened, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup packed brown sugar, 1 large egg, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 3/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon baking powder, 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat butter and both sugars until fluffy. Mix in egg and vanilla until well blended. Combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, baking powder and nutmeg in a bowl. Stir into butter mixture. Gently stir in oats until well blended.
  3. Shape dough into rounded golfball-sized balls (about 2 Tbsp. each). Place on prepared bakingsheet (I fit 9 per sheet). Flatten with the bottom of a measuring cup dipped in sugar.
  4. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

 

Mexican Millet Salad with Chili Lime Tofu

Hello all, I tried this recipe yesterday on my family and it was such a hit I had to share it with all of you! Great for a BBQ as a side or a lunch for work. The tofu can be substituted for shrimp or chicken.

Millet salad with chili lime tofu (serves four)

  • ½ tsp of dried chile flakes
  • 2 tsp of grated lime zest
  • 3 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 cup of hulled millet
  • 20 slices of tofu
  • 2 large ears of sweet corn
  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • 1 firm ripe avocado, peeled pit removed and diced
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped

Dressing

  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • Chile flakes
  • ½ tsp of sugar
  1. Add the chile flakes, lime zest and 1 tbsp of olive oil in a shallow glass or ceramic bowl, add the tofu and stir to coat then cover and set aside.
  2. Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add the millet and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until fragrant
  3. Add 2 cups of water to the millet and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the water is absorbed. Removed from the heat and set aside, covered, to steam for 10 minutes. Fluff the grains with a fork and transfer to a large bowl to cool completely.
  4. Heat a large skillet over high heat, drizzle the corn and asparagus with the remaining oil, cook the corn, turning 6-8 minutes, or until lightly charred and tender. Remove and set aside to cool slightly, then cut the kernels from the ears. Cook the asparagus and tofu for 2 minutes each side until tender crisp and to tofu is crisp. Add all but the tofu to the millet.
  5. Make the dressing, add to the salad and top with the tofu.