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Instant Pot Garbanzo Beans

This is probably the easiest and quickest way to make garbanzo beans, or any type of beans. It only has two ingredients. How easy is that?

I made this small batch because it was just me and I wanted a neutral flavor so I could add the garbanzo beans to any flavor profile.

  • 1 c dried garbanzo beans
  • 2 1/2 c vegetable broth

I first soaked the garbanzo beans overnight, almost 24 hours. To soak them I start them in hot water.  I learned the hard way that starting the soak with hot water helps to tenderize them.

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Rinse beans.

Add beans and vegetable broth to instant pot. Cook according to your instant pot directions. I cooked mine for 30 minutes. They came out perfect with just the right bite to them, and in only 30 minutes.

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Fruit and Nut Oatmeal

This is one of my favorite breakfasts. I do not make it very often because it takes a little time, yet it is so worth the investment. I usually make this on a weekend. You could double the recipe and have some for another day during the week.. All you would have to do is add a little milk to thin it out a smidge and warm it in the microwave.

I like this combination of fruit and nuts, however I have made it with whatever I had on had. This recipe serves four generous portions. It is very filling and lends to give you plenty of energy to start your morning off right.

  • 1 gala apple, cored, chopped
  • 1/2 c pecans, chopped
  • 1/4 c cranberries, dried
  • 1 Medjool date, pitted, diced
  • 1 tbsp flax seed, ground
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon, ground
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
  • 1/8 tsp ginger, ground
  • pinch Himalayan salt
  • 1 c GF Oats, rolled
  • 2 c almond milk, unsweetened
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • almond milk, garnish
  • maple syrup, drizzle, garnish

Note: I know it looks like a lot of ingredients, but I promise you probably have virtually all of these in your pantry. You could also make any substitutions to suit your tastes or preferences.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat add the apple, pecans, cranberries, and date. Stir until well mixed.

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Add flaxseed, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt. Stir to coat the fruit and nuts.  Stirring frequently cook until the apple is slightly softened and the spices are fragrant.

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Add oats; stir. Cook the oats dry for about 2 minutes. This help work the spices into the oats.

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Add milk, coconut sugar and vanilla. Stir frequently.

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Reduce heat to medium-low and keep stirring. The oatmeal will slowly start to thicken. Usually when it starts to bubble it is almost done. Cook to desired thickness.

Garnish with a splash milk of choice and some real maple syrup.

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Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Stir Fried Rice Noodles with Veggies and Chinese Brown Sauce

This meal is a great way to use up those odds and ends of veggies leftover. Instead of rice I thought I would use Pad Thai Rice Noodles. I made a batch of the Chinese Brown Sauce that I recently posted for you. I added edamame for protein. Add the veggies and you have a quick and flavorful meal in a flash.

Just like when I made the fried rice I am using a large electric griddle to make the stir-fried noodles and veggies. It is so easy and quick this way.

  • 1 recipe of Chinese Brown Sauce
  • 8 oz Pad Thai Rice Noodles
  • 1  c edamame, shelled
  • 2 c sugar snap peas
  • 1 c carrots, shredded
  • 1 1/2 c, mushrooms, sliced, any kind you like will do
  • 1 c bean sprouts

Make up a recipe of the Chinese Brown Sauce, if you do not already have some in your refrigerator.

Soak noodles in hot water for 8-10 minutes, until tender. Drain noodles and set aside until needed.

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Heat griddle to 350 degrees. Grease griddle with oil of choice. Add vegetables (except bean sprouts) and spread out evenly onto griddle.

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Let the griddle do its work for a (2-3) few minutes.

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Flip over vegetables like you would a hamburger, until all veggies have been turned over. Add bean sprouts. Let the griddle continue to do its job, about 2-3 minutes.

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Add noodles and mix with the veggies.Cook about 2 minutes.

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Pour sauce onto noodle mixture. Stir well.

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Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Berry-Banana Smoothie

I do not make them very often, but I like them. I had some bananas that were getting pretty ripe. I did not feel like making muffins or bread so I thought a smoothie would be good. I had everything I needed: frozen berries, bananas, almond milk and chia seeds. This is a nutrient packed drink. That is what I like about smoothies. They are easy to make and you can change the flavor just by changing one or two ingredients.

This recipe makes three large servings. One of the tricks I do is grind the Chia seeds in a spice grinder. By doing this you are turning it into a powder and the Chia seeds are less noticeable. My husband is not fond of the texture of Chia seeds, by grinding them I am taking care of that problem. Give it a try. I promise it really works.

This recipe would be great for smoothie pops as a snack. Make it like you were making a smoothie, but pour it into popsicle forms instead of a glass and freeze them. You could make them up in the morning so when the kids get home from school you have a fun and nutritious snack all ready for them to enjoy. I might even make some for us adults.

  • 2 bananas, ripe, peeled and broken into pieces
  • 2 c Cascadian Berry and Cherry Blend (this is what I had in the freezer)
  • 2 c almond milk, vanilla, unsweetened
  • 1 tbsp Chia seeds, ground into a powder
  • 2 tsp coconut sugar, optional

Follow manufacturer’s directions for order of ingredients in your blender.

Blend.

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Share. Eat. Enjoy.

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Southwestern Bean and Rice Quesadilla

I had some of the Southwestern Bean and Rice Casserole leftover. I really did not want to eat it the same way. So I changed it up and made it into a cheesy gooey quesadilla with little effort.

Top the quesadilla triangles with some guacamole, almond/coconut yogurt, or salsa. I do not know, I might try all three toppings. They all sound good to me. I am thinking some fresh grapes to go along with these little bites – Yum.

Note: These are so easy to prepare. You could make these ahead and let the kiddos take them for lunch. Just wrap in foil, and use a little container for the condiments. This would be a nice change from the usual.

Make a sandwich with the wraps. Wrap – Southwestern Bean and Rice Casserole – Wrap

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Grease large skillet over medium heat. Place Quesadilla into pan and cook until golden on the bottom.

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Turn over quesadilla and cook other side until golden.

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Transfer quesadilla to a cutting board. Let set for a couple of minutes to cool. This makes it easier to cut. Cut into triangles with knife or pizza cutter.

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Serve with your favorite condiments. Eat. Enjoy.

Note: These would be great for Any Game Day.

 

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One Pot Mac-n-“Cheese”

 

This “Cheese” sauce is so good. It is good enough to serve all by itself in this Mac-n”Cheese” dish. One thing I like about this dish is that it is made all in one pot. From stovetop to oven.

It is also very easy to make. Easy to make and easy to clean up. That is a win-win.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Fill large dutch oven with water and cook pasta according to brand directions.

Drain and set aside.

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Make “Cheese” Sauce.

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Add pasta to cheese sauce. Stir so all the noodles are covered with the sauce. Sprinkle bread crumbs on top of pasta mixture.

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Bake for 30 minutes.

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Let cool about 5 minutes.

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Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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“Cheese” Sauce

This recipe is for those that cannot do dairy, yet miss the cheesy goodness. I promise this is a life saver in the cheese department. It is very easy to make too. I made this “cheese sauce to go in a Southwestern Bean and Rice Casserole, which I will share the recipe in an upcoming post.

  • 4 tbsp vegan butter
  • 1/3 c GF Flour blend
  • 3 c almond milk
  • 1/2 c nutritional yeast flakes
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp yellow mustard, dried
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric, ground
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

In a large pan melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and cook butter/flour mixture until a paste forms, stirring continuously.

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Add milk, nutritional yeast flakes, tomato paste, salt, mustard and onion powder.

Bring to a boil, whisking frequently. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until sauce has thickened.

 

Add lemon juice and stir.

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This sauce can be used for so many different dishes.

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Enjoy.

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Turtle Bars

I try to make one treat for the week. Something that is not too elaborate, yet hits the sweet spot when we have got to have a little nibble of something sweet. This particular sweetness is a little different for me to make. I am trying to expand my culinary boundaries.

These Caramel Bars hit all the spots: sweet, salty and crunch. The shortbread base is the platform for the caramel (sweet). The pecans add the salt and crunch. And there definitely has to be some chocolate. There it is a Turtle Bar.

Shortbread Crust:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine all ingredients into a food processor. Pulse ingredients until they resemble a meal with pea size pieces of margarine throughout the flour mixture.

Press mixture into a parchment lined 8X8 baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes. Set aside refrigerator to cool.

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Caramel:

  • 3/4 c maple sugar
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 1/4 c vegan margarine (or butter)
  • 4 tsp almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

In a small sauce pan over medium heat combine: maple sugar, molasses, margarine and milk. Stir occasionally, bringing all the ingredients together. The sugar should be dissolved and the margarine is melted.

When the ingredients have come together turn heat up to bring mixture to a boil. Keep stirring during this time so that it does not burn. Boil for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.

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Pour caramel over cooled shortbread layer. Refrigerate until caramel has set.

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Chocolate Layer:

  • 1/2 c pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp of Kosher or Flaked Salt
  • 1 c chocolate chips

Melt chocolate chips either over a double boiler or in the microwave. If using the microwave, stir every 30 seconds, until melted.

Pour melted chocolate over caramel. Spread evenly. Sprinkle pecans and salt over chocolate. return to refrigerator to set the chocolate layer.

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When the chocolate is completely set lift out the bar by the parchment paper. Cut bars into squares.

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Share. Eat. Enjoy.

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Apple-Cranberry Crumble

Recently my husband and I were having a conversation about what our favorite pies were. To be honest I think we decided that we have a lot of favorites depending on what time of year it is. There was really no clear cut favorite. Then the conversation morphed into crumbles and cobblers. Still there was no real favorite.

Because of all that talk of pies, crumbles and cobblers I had to make something for us. This is an old recipe (originally an apple pie) I have had for more years than I can remember. I did update it to a more healthy crumble with a little twist. It is in the oven right now and it smells amazing. I can hardly wait for it to come out of the oven and cool.

Serve this with your desired topping and enjoy.

Filling:

  • 6 tbsp vegan margarine, divided 3/3
  • 2 1/2 pounds apples, use your favorite that is a firm apple, peeled, cored, sliced
  • 1/2 c maple sugar
  • 1/4 c cranberries, dried
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon, ground
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg, ground
  • 1/8 tsp ginger, ground
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp arrowroot or cornstarch

Melt 3 tbsp of butter in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add the apple wedges and sauce until slightly softened but holding their shape. Add maple sugar, cranberries, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger; stir.

Mix together lemon juice and arrowroot. Stir into apple mixture. Remove from heat. Pour apple mixture into 9×13 baking dish. Dot remaining margarine onto apple mixture.

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Crumble Topping:

  • 1/2 c GF rolled oats
  • 1/2 c walnuts, chopped
  • 4 Medjool dates, chopped
  • 2 tbsp GF flour mix
  • 2 tbsp vegan margarine cut into peas size pieces
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ginger

Mix together all ingredients. Spoon crumble onto apple mixture.

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Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake for 40 minutes. Let cool about 10 minutes before serving. top with your favorite topping: whipped cream, whipped coconut cream, or ice cream.

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Share. Eat. Enjoy.

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Mushroom-Pepper Ragout Lasagna

I recently made Italian Herb Polenta with Mushroom-Pepper Ragout. I had lots of the Mushroom Ragout leftover. I also had some Alfredo Sauce leftover from a previous meal. Then I got thinking of a way to use these ingredients up so there would be no waste. I really do not like food waste.

Then I thought the Spinach-Artichoke Zucchini was so good why not go in that direction. So here is what I came up with for our dinner for tonight.

Because everything has already been cooked previously for other meals this lasagna is just a matter of assembling and baking. I love when I can create something from something else. Lets start layering, but first Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

For the base spread some Marinara on the bottom of the pan.

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Layer pasta on top of the marinara. I dipped it into the sauce and then flipped it over so that both sides of the sauce were covered in marinara.

Spread Mushroom-Peppers Ragout onto the pasta sheets evenly. Sprinkle nutritional yeast flakes on top of the ragout.

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Layer pasta sheets on top of the ragout and nutritional yeast layer.

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Add another layer of mushroom ragout.

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Add the last layer of pasta sheets. Spoon Alfredo Sauce over noodles so they are completely coated.

Pour marinara on top of Alfredo and swirl the two sauces.

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Sprinkle nutritional yeast flakes on the top of the sauces. Sprinkle vegan cheese shreds on top of the lasagna.

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Bake for about 55 minutes.

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Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Italian Herbed Polenta with Mushroom-Pepper Ragout

I have been thinking of making this dish for almost a week. It has been over a year since I have made polenta. Polenta is very versatile. You can make it creamy, like I have in this dish, or you can chill it firm and cut it into rounds or triangles. It can be baked, chilled and even fried. Polenta is a wonderful platform for so many different kinds of toppings. For this meal I made a Mushroom-Pepper Ragout.

This is a big bowl of comfort just waiting to be ate.

Italian Herbed Polenta:

  • 3 c water
  • 3 c vegetable broth
  • 1 c yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 c nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp All-purpose seasoning
  • 1-2 tbsp Italian Parsley, chopped, garnish
  • Olive oil, garnish

Bring water and vegetable broth to a boil. Add cornmeal to the broth, stirring frequently. Stir in the all-purpose seasoning. This is important to achieve a creamy lump-free polenta. As the polenta thickens stir to keep it from forming lumps. Cook for about 30 minutes. Before serving stir in nutritional yeast.

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Spoon into bowl and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle chopped parsley on the top.

Mushroom-Pepper Ragout:

  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1oz. Dried Shitake mushrooms hydrated in 1c vegetable broth (save liquid)
  • 10 oz. Cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 12 oz. Portabella mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 14 oz. Pepper Trio, frozen, thawed
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp All-Purpose Seasoning
  • Vegetable broth, add to remains broth from soaking mushrooms to equal 3/4 c
  • 3/4 c white wine
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • Italian Parsley, fresh, chopped

In a large dutch oven over medium heat olive oil. Add mushrooms, onion, peppers, garlic and all-purpose seasoning. Stir.

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Cook mushroom mixture for about 20 minutes. The mushrooms will reduce in volume considerably.

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Add broth, wine and tomato paste. Stir until well combined. Cook until liquid has reduced in half.

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Spoon on top of Polenta and sprinkle fresh Italian Parsley onto mushrooms.

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Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Plant Sandwich

I mentioned the story about the Plant Sandwich in a previous post (The Alfredo Sauce Post). Here is my version of the Plant Sandwich. I have a couple of ideas floating around in my head for another version or two.

I used my GF Rustic Herb Bread. I find it is best to use the bread when it is fresh. Otherwise, it might start to crumble a little bit on you. I toasted the bread in a pan, however, I think I would press it like a panini the next time.

I also made a Chicken Alfredo Sandwich for my husband, using the Alfredo Sauce.

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In a medium skillet over medium heat toast the inside of the Rustic Herb Bread. Remove toast from skillet and set aside on a plate.

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Spoon Alfredo Sauce onto toasted slices of Rustic Herb Bread. Let the sauce work into the nooks and crannies of the bread.

Spray skillet with olive oil. Place spinach in skillet and wilt over medium heat. This will only take about 30-60 seconds. remove from heat. Place Spinach on one half of the toasted bread.

Layer tomato on top of spinach.

Spray skillet again. Place portabella in the middle of the skillet. Season with all-purpose seasoning. Cover skillet with lid and let the mushroom cap steam. about 1-2 minutes. Turn mushroom cap over and repeat steam process. Mushroom cap should be softened and tender.

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Layer mushroom cap on top of spinach and tomato. Spoon some Alfredo Sauce onto mushroom. Top sandwich with other half of toasted bread.

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Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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