My garden’s harvesting is coming to an end soon, with the exception of some tomato plants that I started pretty late in the season, and overall it’s been pretty successful! Even though these Summer wraps are a simple dish in execution and ingredients, I am extremely proud of them. Four of the main ingredients came from my garden, and that is something that I wouldn’t have been able to say just a couple of years ago.
Even though the corn stalks I had didn’t produce much, and the cobs are pretty miniature, they tasted great and had some excellent kernels. If my zucchini plant hadn’t fully succumbed to powdery mildew this wouldn’t have been my last homegrown zucchini of the season; but, you gotta take the good with the bad. I’ve never grown carrots before this year, and that was a very cool, patience-testing experience. Pulling a grand-looking, orange root from the earth was definitely a highlight for me. Then there’s the chard, which was started a little late but continues to grow and is quite the sight to see with its multi-colored stalks and deep green leaves.
With the addition of some red onion, tomatoes and mushrooms, these wraps have an array of colors and are not only delicious, but easy on the eyes. Salt and pepper are the only tools used for seasoning other than fresh Farmers Market basil, keeping it basic by letting the fresh produce shine through. Being wrapped in chard makes these wraps healthy and great to serve as an appetizer at a Summer dinner party.
Another month, and it’s already started off super busy. I’m beginning to see a theme here! While tomorrow I have a catch up post, of the more personal kind (which I mostly never do), today I have a simple breakfast recipe that you will absolutely love. It has all of the nostalgic flavors of homemade school lunches, but with a different texture and a comforting warmth about it.
With ingredients that are incredibly easy to attain, you can make this oatmeal breakfast in minutes. In fact, right after I made the first batch I told my mother about it, she was intrigued so I whipped up another serving in no time at all. The verdict? This breakfast is a winner in our books!
Happy Hump Day to you all! This week has been busy already, and it doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon. I hope that all of you are having a great week and are gearing up for the weekend much like I am. Just a quick update on what’s going on around here: I have been talking with a lot of great companies that I met at Expo West, so hopefully I can show you all so new product reviews soon; went to lunch with Jill of Vegan Cuts at Seed Bistro before dropping her off to Whitney of Eco Vegan Gal (I miss you already, Jill!); and I have a few great recipes that I’m hashing out for St. Patrick’s day.
But, before Expo West the rest of it happened, I was featured on Spry Living’s Food Bloggers We Love! The recipes I ended up doing for them were based on the ideas of being healthy, made with whole foods, and easy to make for those of you who are just getting into veganism or are vegan-curious. I had a lot of fun with this, and all of the dishes are filled with flavor and color; making them appealing to everyone.
Here are the links to the recipes, and a bit about each of them:
Massaged Kale Salad with Homemade Avocado Cilantro Vinaigrette- Sometimes salads can get boring. But, when you start learning about what combinations of foods can help you absorb more nutrients, they become a lot more interesting. In this salad, you have chickpeas and tomatoes paired together to help your body absorb more calcium, while the creamy vinaigrette and pepitas up the protein content.
Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup- I find that the slow cooker is often an under-utilized kitchen appliance that can create some amazingly delicious meals with ease. Here is a black bean soup that is simple to make, and has all of the flavors of traditional Cuban black bean dishes with a couple of extra ingredients stirred in.
Grilled Portobello Burger with Caramelized Onions & Jicama Salad- For warmer weather, you can never go wrong with a burger. In this case, the greasy meat is substituted with a grilled Portobello mushroom topped with perfectly caramelized onions. A touch of balsamic really gives a burst of flavor to what may become a summertime favorite. Serve it with a refreshing shredded jicama salad or even a side of watermelon
Zesty Lemon Cranberry Muffin Tops- These tasty treats are the best of both worlds when it comes to cookies and muffins. They are fluffy and have great texture from the cranberries and walnuts, but are half the size of a muffin. Now, you can have a healthier treat, full of flavor, without feeling an ounce of guilt.
I hope that you check all of them out and share them with friends!
Also, I have something really exciting planned for tomorrow that will go along with a recap of Expo West!
People, it’s Friday! Woo hoo! I don’t know a lot of people who don’t like Fridays, with the exception of people in the restaurant industry perhaps; so let’s celebrate. For years, when I was a kid, my family and I would eat pizza every Friday night. It was THE tradition, order or pick up some delicious pizza and watch TGIF on ABC. (ha ha!) I used to love watching Sabrina the Teenage Witch, especially when the Violent Femmes guest spotted on the show. Uh oh, now you can probably pin my age down! Not like it matters.
Well, how about instead of the usually very greasy and carb-filled pizza, you try this recipe out. Using a spaghetti squash as opposed to a crust, you can put your favorite pizza toppings all up in this dish to make it your own. I’m also thinking about making a Mexican-themed one like this, and the wheels are a turnin’; so many options!
I tried out a new product with this recipe, and that was Gimme Lean’s Ground Sausage. I wasn’t sure what to expect, because I have made my own seitan sausage crumbles before and I didn’t know what the texture of this would be like. When you first open up the tube, it’s soft and tacky with some small lumps in the mixture. It smells good, and the traditional way to prepare it would be to cut it into patties and pan fry them; in this case I separated the sausage more and made them small chunks (as seen below). Overall, I like them and would definitely use them again; especially if I didn’t have time to make my own.
Servings: 4-6 (depending on how much restraint you have )
1 Large Spaghetti Squash, Mine was roughly 8″ long x 5″ wide
1 Tube Gimme Lean Ground Sausage Style
4 Cups Diced Tomato
1/4 Cup Tomato Paste
1 tsp. Italian Seasoning
1/2 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
1 1/2 Cups Daiya Shreds, I used half Cheddar & half Mozzarella (Save 1/2 cup for topping with)
Optional: Black Olives, Bell Peppers, or any other pizza-like topping
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Clean the squash, slice it in half, scoop out the seeds/pulp and place both halves face down into a baking dish. Fill the baking dish 1/4″ full with water and poke holes in the rinds with a fork. Bake for 40-45 minutes.
In the meantime, break apart the ground sausage into smaller pieces in a large pan over medium heat. Brown the pieces on all sides until they are slightly crispy.
Add the diced tomato and tomato paste to the sausage pieces, stir together and simmer over low-medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the Italian seasoning, red pepper flake and sea salt into the pan mixture; simmer for an additional 2 minutes and taste it to see if you want to add any more herbs to the sauce and decrease to low heat.
Next, wait until the squash is done baking; test the squash by pushing on the rind with a spoon to see if it’s soft. Leave the oven on, and scrape the squash with a fork into the sausage mixture until the rinds are empty, making sure to not puncture the rind.
Fold the spaghetti squash and 1 cup of the Daiya shreds into the sauce until fully incorporated and the shreds are melted.
Spoon the pizza filling back into the two squash halves, top with the remaining Daiya shreds and bake at 375°F for 20 minutes. Serve warm, and pair it with a refreshing salad of greens.
I dare you to try not eating the amazing pizza stuffing straight out of the squash rind. I tried so hard, alas… Who am I kidding? I didn’t try to resist at all! I’m so glad that I didn’t because it was absolutely delicious.
This is a vegan food blog that covers everything from indulgent desserts, to healthy dinners, and even raw recipes! I also write up restaurant reviews and am sort of a beer snob. You'll find that there is something for everyone, here!
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