Cilantro Hummus (no sesame)

So, for awhile I was avoiding sesame.  Hummus has a lot of sesame, so I found an alternate recipe.  This one is very easy and tasty.  I recently discovered Rudi’s Spinach Wraps (frozen section) and I enjoyed spreading the hummus on the wrap for a tasty snack.

 

Ingredients:

1.5 cloves garlic

1 can garbanzo beans, drained (~19 oz)

2 T. lemon or lime juice

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 c. olive oil

1/2 c. cilantro, washed

optional: add 1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped

Directions:

Blend garlic in the food processor.  Add beans, lime, and salt, and blend.  Add olive oil and blend.  Add cilantro and blend.  I didn’t add jalapeño but you can.

 

Serving:

Take one Rudi’s Spinach Wrap out of the freezer.  Lightly toast grill it in a pan and flip until it is flexible but not crispy.  Spread a few spoonfuls of hummus on the wrap.  Top with lettuce and whatever else you want in there.  Roll up your wrap and eat!

Healthy Fruit and Nut and Seed Salad

This is one of those salads that looks healthy.  I think it’s the chia and pumpkin seeds that really give it that look.  This was one of those, “Hmmm….let’s see what’s in the fridge” meals.  What I thought was going to be a pretty boring meal actually turned out nicely.

 

Ingredients:

2 handfuls of spinach

1/2 apple, diced

1 T. pumpkin seeds

1 T. chia seeds

2 T. craisins

Salad dressing of your choice

Optional: top with chicken

 

Directions.  Put all ingredients on a plate or in a bowl, starting with spinach and ending with salad dressing.  Enjoy!

Coconut Pumpkin Soup

Ingredients:

1 T. butter (I used Earthbalance)

1 medium onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves

1 tsp yellow curry powder

2 1/4 c. pumpkin puree

2 1/2 c. chicken broth (I use HEB or Swanson’s) or vegetable broth

1 can coconut milk

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

small handful of pumpkin seeds

 

Directions:

Heat butter in a saucepan.  Add onion, garlic and curry powder and cook for 5 minutes.  Slowly stir in the rest of the ingredients except for the pumpkin seeds.  Use an immersion blender to blend all ingredients except the pumpkin seeds (or blend it in a blender).  Serve in bowls or soup cups and sprinkle in pumpkin seeds as a garnish.

 

Original recipe:

http://www.justataste.com/thai-coconut-pumpkin-soup-recipe/

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

What to do with leftover pumpkin?  So many recipes call for part of a can of pumpkin, but what do you do with the rest?  We tried our hand at pumpkin smoothies.  We were having such a good time that we forgot to take a picture :-/.  You’ll just have to imagine it.  Or, you can click on the original recipe below and imagine what it would look like if it just had the pumpkin part without any of the whipped cream.  This is quite a hearty smoothie.  Happy Holidays to you!

 

Ingredients:

2/3 c. pumpkin puree (Refrigerate first to make your drink colder.)

1 banana (Can use a frozen one to make the drink colder.)

1/3 c. walnuts

3/4 tsp cinnamon

scant 1/8 tsp ginger

scant 1/8 tsp cloves

1/8 tsp nutmeg

3/4 c. unsweetened cashew milk (coconut milk may be even better)

3 T. maple syrup

2 tsp molasses

1/4 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp salt

 

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a blender.  Blend until smooth.  Enjoy!  This made plenty for two people.

Original recipe:

Healthy Pumpkin Pie Parfait w/ Coconut Whip

Spaghetti Squash

When I saw this recipe, I thought it would never work.  Baking squash without water?  It’s sure to be dry.  However, I saw it on the blog of someone who has not let me down before, so I decided to try it.  It worked very well!

 

Ingredients:

1 medium-sized spaghetti squash, cut in half lengthwise and with seeds removed

olive oil for drizzling (not extra virgin)

salt

 

Directions:

Carefully cut squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds (this is super easy with a grapefruit spoon).   Preheat oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Place squash halves on pan, cut side up.  Drizzle halves with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  Bake for 20-30 minutes for small squash and 40-50 minutes for medium to large squash (I may have needed to cook it for 60 minutes- I don’t exactly remember).  Squash is cooked when you can easily pierce it with a fork (similar to how a potato would pierce when done).  Using a spoon, scrape out the strands of squash.  I added a little butter and some salt to add more flavor or you can use it as an alternative to spaghetti noodles or rice (the taste WILL be different than regular noodles).

Original recipe:

How To Cook Spaghetti Squash

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Confetti Corn

We had something like this at our wedding.  Granted, I was focused on other more important things on the day of the ceremony, but this is the closest re-creation I could come up with.  It makes for a pretty side dish!

 

Ingredients:

1 T. olive oil

1/2  red onion, finely diced

1/2 red pepper, finely diced

1 lb frozen corn

1/2 tsp coarse salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

 

Directions:

Combine olive oil, red onion, and red pepper in a pan and heat for 5 minutes or until they begin to soften.  Add frozen corn, salt, and pepper.  Cook until warm (maybe another 5-10 minutes).

Serve as a side.

Chicken and Broccoli Salad

My brother and I went on a hike for my birthday and I brought this along for our picnic.  It’s simple, quick, and healthy.  You can toss other things into your salad if you want.  This is way more flexible than baking!

 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 c. cooked chicken, cubed into 1/2 inch pieces (can be replaced with more broccoli to make it vegetarian or to turn it into a side dish)

3/4 c. chopped broccoli

1/4 c. raisins

1/8 c. sunflower seeds (You can add more- I just ran out :-).

2 dashes celery salt

2 dashes sea salt

2 dashes black pepper

1/2 c. mayonnaise or to desired moistness (I used Vegenaise so it wouldn’t have eggs.)*

 

Directions:

Cook and cool chicken completely.  I recommend refrigerating it for a few hours before adding the mayo.  Combine all ingredients and stir.  This tastes even better if it has sat in the fridge for several hours to let the flavors combine.  Happy picnicking!

 

*Tip: If you can’t eat gluten and you live in a place where people share the jar of mayonnaise, make sure no one’s dipped into it with a used knife so you don’t get cross-contaminated.  Most likely they have…  To avoid such problems, you could keep a separate jar for yourself and label it so that people know not to dip into it.  Also, regular mayonnaise has eggs, so if you’re avoiding eggs, get one of the vegan brands of mayo.

 

Quinoa with Green Beans and Tomatoes

I had oatmeal go bad in my pantry.  It was very sad.  So, I decided to sift through my pantry and use up things whose expiration dates were impending.  What I found was quinoa.  I bought it on sale but I just don’t get very excited about it.  Well, doomsday for this bag of quinoa was quickly approaching, so this is the result.  It was much better than doomsday even if you don’t like quinoa.  I know that’s setting a pretty low bar, but work with me :-).

Ingredients:

3-4 tomatoes, diced

1/2 to 1 lb. fresh green beans- washed, trimmed, and cut into 1-inch pieces

4-5 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 tsp salt (I added more later)

1/4 tsp black pepper

2-3 T. olive oil

1 3/4 c. quinoa

4 c. chicken broth (or vegetable broth if vegetarian)

2 T. balsalmic vinegar

8-12 fresh basil leaves or more

 

Directions:

Place tomatoes and green beans in a skillet, drizzle with olive oil, and cook over medium heat until the green beans are tender crisp.  Add garlic cloves, salt, and pepper after about 5 minutes.  In a saucepan, combine chicken broth and quinoa to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until soft and liquid is absorbed.  Stir in cooked vegetables.  Add balsalmic vinegar and top with basil leaves.  May be served hot or cold, but I think it’s better hot.

 

Adapted from:

http://www.yummly.com/recipe/external/Balsalmic-Quinoa-Salad-with-Roasted-Tomatoes-_-Green-Beans-1797341

Gravy

My husband and I really enjoyed this gravy.  The biscuits we made were merely edible as we were missing an ingredient or two, so I am not including the recipe at this time.  The gravy, however, was, well, “good gravy!”  I am guessing it might work as the creamy base in a chicken pot pie or something like that but that theory has not yet been tested.

 

Ingredients:

1 pound ground sausage (Jimmy Dean or HEB brand work nicely)

2 T. bacon grease

1/2 tsp oregano

2 c. milk (I used unsweetened cashew milk.  I would NOT recommend coconut milk for this recipe.  Coconut gravy and sausage- ew!)

2 T. rice flour (I don’t remember if I used brown or white rice flour.  Oops!)

2 tsp potato starch

1 tsp tapioca starch

 

Directions:

Brown the sausage.  Don’t drain it unless it has tons of grease.  Mine didn’t have much grease left so I added bacon grease.  Turn the heat to medium high and add the grease and oregano and 1 1/2 cups of milk and stir.  Mix the flour and starches with 1/2  cup of the milk and stir until there are no lumps left.  Add it to the pan while stirring constantly.  Gravy will thicken as it cooks.  You may add milk if you want a thinner gravy.  Serve over biscuits or sliced bread.

 

Original recipe: Hagman, Bette.  “Biscuits and Gravy.”   The Gluten Free Gourmet Cooks Comfort Foods.   Henry Holt and Company.  2004.

Mashed Potatoes

I LOVE mashed potatoes.  I loved them as a kid and I love them now.  However, without dairy, I haven’t made a great batch of mashed potatoes until now.  If you can have dairy, you can easily use the regular stuff.  These have kept well in the fridge and the consistency has stayed true even several days later.  The large amount of salt makes it taste like restaurant mashed potatoes.  Yum!  We served this with pork loin and a salad.

 

Ingredients:

3 large russet potatoes- washed but with skins on

3-4 T. butter (I used SmartBalance which is non-dairy)

6 oz. sour cream (I used Tofutti’s Better Than Sour Cream which is non-dairy)

2 tsp sea salt or less depending on your tastes

1 tsp parsley, chopped (optional)

optional: sliced green onions for garnish

 

Directions:

Cut potatoes into 1/2 to 1 inch chunks.  Put them in a pot and cover with water.  Bring water to a boil and continue to cook until potatoes can easily be pierced with a fork.  Strain out potatoes into a large bowl.  Fold in butter and sour cream so they can melt.  Use a hand mixer to cream the potatoes to the desired texture.  Add salt one teaspoon at a time to taste.  Mix in a parsley.  Top with green onions.

 

This is my 100th recipe on my blog!