Nutritous Meals

Harvested Cranberry Bean Stew and Delicata Squash

This was my first time having cranberry beans, and I’m almost embarrassed to say, farm-fresh beans!!  Where have I been hiding?!  These beans were absolutely delicious; packed with folate, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, and protein, just to name a few. 

This was a delicious quick and easy stew for dinner with family.  If you don’t have cranberry beans, don’t fret!  Any beans would be delicious substitution (especially cannelloni beans).  Tired of beans?  Cubed tofu would be a great substitution as well!

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Shepherd’s Pie with Gratifying Gravy

I ventured for my first time to Balsam Mountain in the Catskills (http://www.trimbleoutdoors.com/ViewTrip/1325324).  Boy, did the weather forecast get this one wrong!  That morning you could certainly tell Autumn had left us; as we got closer to the mountain we could see everything above 3,500 ft elevation was covered with a fresh sprinkle of snow.  As weather would have it, it started to snow as we were driving, which made us all a little hesitant about continuing on to our destination trail, but we’re troopers!

The area of McKinely Hollow was unrecognizable after Hurricane Irene destroyed the area in 2011.  In addition, there were so many downed trees on this mountain from the Hurricanes.  The entire trail head was rebuilt (more like a bushwhack until you met up with the original trail).  Only a half mile down the trail is a lean-to, an area I played in since I was a young child.

The trail was beyond peaceful, following a meandering stream in the magical forest of the mountain. As we gained elevation, we noticed more snow, until the ground was completely covered.  We were hiking into a winter wonderland and loving every second of it!  The silence the fresh snow brings to the forest is the most beautiful sound and brings such peace to my soul.  It was a steep, steady incline up the mountain (pictures don’t do it justice).  When we reached the summit, the clouds parted above us giving way to blue spots and when we reached the view, the sun peaked out to warm our faces.  The trees surrounding the view were snow-covered and made the most beautiful natural frame!

Needless to say, we certainly worked up an appetite after this full-day winter adventure!  I’ve been working on my Thanksgiving recipes, and this would certainly be a delicious addition to any table (no one would be able to tell it’s vegan and gluten-free)! Continue reading

Take Out Chinese Part 2: Delectable Tofu in Spicy Garlic Sauce and Perfect Fried Rice

A few weeks ago I posted my Take Out Chinese at Home recipe and I was craving it again the other night!  I wasn’t sure what to title this recipe; Joey sugeested “Best Chinese Food EVER” since he said this was his favorite Asian meal I’ve made to date; it DOES have a ring to it 😉 .  The beauty of  making this at home (besides saving a little $$ from eating out) is you know exactly what ingredients you’re using and have the satisfaction of creating a beautiful nutritious meal.  I used chioggia beets (another one of my favorites from Migliorelli Farm) in my fried rice and steamed their greens to balance and complete the meal.  These beets are uniquely beautiful with their red and white stripes. 

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Easy 20-minute Pulled Tofu Tacos

You know those week nights (who are we kidding, weekends too!) when you want a delicious meal, but you don’t want to spend your evening in the kitchen?  We all have them!  I always have several go-to meals, and this simple meal fits the bill!  This balanced, nutritious, and delicious dinner whips up in just 20 minutes. Continue reading

Farm Fresh Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Oven Fries

oven fries 2The fall harvest keeps on giving!  Last night I paired local farm fresh spaghetti squash with organic roasted oven fries.  Okay, they’re not really fried, they’re baked thinly sliced potatoes and they’re positively delicious!  I’ve found the best cooking comes from hard work the heart; my dad inspired these potatoes.  From the ages of 15 – 24, my family spent summer vacations at Emerald Isle, NC.  We rented a house right on the beach, where the water is a clear emerald green & in August the water temperature is about 81 degrees!  I can close my eyes and be transported back to the deck on the beach, sipping my morning coffee, and watching dolphins swim through the lake-like morning ocean.  In 2010, my dad was on a roll making amazing oven fries.  You cannot beat a morning playing on the beach working up an appetite, running up to the deck and having a full platter of garlic oven fries waiting for you!  Well, my dad always makes the best potatoes (it’s where my love for them comes from.  As a child we would dig up potatoes in the garden & take a bite out of one raw. I still eat them raw to this day).  Not only are these oven fries much more healthy than their fried counterpart, they also bake up very quickly (which I’m sure fellow potato lovers will appreciate).

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Maple Sage Harvest Bounty Roast with Quinoa Flake-Crusted Tofu

If there’s one thing I take advantage of, it’s the farmer’s markets here in the Hudson Valley.  After a trip to the farm stand with my dad, I had come home with what seemed like the fall harvest (and couldn’t have been more happy)!  I’m sure we all have those evenings standing in the kitchen when we ask ourselves, “What to do for dinner?!”  I did not have a meal in mind as I reached for produce in the fridge and I still didn’t have one when I put my kabocha squash in the oven to roast.  The one thing I did know was that I had delicious & nutritious ingredients. I must say, the final result of my dinner was so delicious I wanted to share it with all of you.  The kabocha squash has lower calories and carbs than butternut squash, plus  it’s packed with with beta-carotene, vitamin C, iron, fiber, and some B vitamins.   The purple haze carrots are packed full of beta-carotene of orange carrots and the antioxidants from their purple counterparts. All that nutrition and I haven’t even mentioned the quinoa, tofu, and zucchini squash!!

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BBQ Pulled Tofu Casserole with Bleu Cheese Cornbread Topper (Vegan, Gluten Free)

If there’s one thing I love doing, its converting any recipe to healthy, vegan, and gluten-free eats I can enjoy.   This recipe is inspired by Rachel Ray, featured on her show Week in a Day (fantabulous concept, just not anything I can ever eat!).    I’ve testing the recipe, deciding how much cornbread I like as a topper, and honestly I like more cornbread!   “I’ve got a fever, and the only prescription, is more cornbread!”

To me, this casserole is a great comfort food.  It feels like it should be a heavy, rich dish, but with vegan & gluten-free ingredients, it’s very light and warms you from the inside out on a cool evening.  I made this during the week, and in order to save time a little time I used pre-made BBQ sauce.  To make this a balanced meal, I made an organic baby spinach salad.

You can make this casserole ahead of time and store it in your refrigerator until you’re ready eat!

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Take Out Chinese at Home (V, GF,)

I could eat Chinese food every week, and most weeks I would when I was able to eat out at restaurants.  Now, thanks to my intolerances, I’m unable to go out to grab a bite.  I will not let that stop me from eating my favorite foods!  This meal is so simple to make and will more than satisfy your deepest Chinese food cravings!

I made this dinner at my parents’ house last night.  I took a trip with my dad to Migliorelli Farm stand which just so happens to be right down the road (so convenient!) and was in awe of their beautiful harvest (thank you for the harvest bounty, Dad!).  I made this meal with all local farm-fresh vegetables: string beans, corn, scallions, and beautiful purple haze carrots.  My Mom was a fantabulous help in the kitchen, I can only take credit for making the fried rice!! Thank you Mom & Dad! Continue reading

Sushi Seduction (V, GF)

I can’t speak for everyone, but I go through times where I absolutely crave sushi.  Unfortunately, due to my intolerances, I am unable to go out to restaurants & grab a quick bite.  I won’t let that little thing stop me from eating my favorite foods!  I never knew how easy sushi was to make!  The most time-consuming part is prepping your ingredients, but that’s easy!  (I prep all my ingredients while my rice is steaming).  I know my way of making sushi is far from conventional, but the end result is beautiful & delicious! I believe you all will agree.

♥This recipe is dedicated to my brother.

I love making sushi because you can create your own combinations!  This recipe contains two all-organic rolls (of course yours depends on your ingredients!) sweet potato tempura rolls and asparagus tempura avocado rolls.  Each complimented by sushi vinegar-marinated raw tofu (Nasoya Sprouted Super Firm) & cucumber (in the summer it’s great with thinly sliced raw lita squash).  I thought it would be easier to write all instructions and ingredients in steps, to keep it nice, simple, and organized!  My recipe made 8 rolls (I eat 4 rolls for dinner). Continue reading

Chipotle Organic Black Bean, Yam, and Quinoa Burger (Vegan, Gluten free, Soy free, Nut free, Corn free)

I love veggie burgers!  Trying to find a vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free, corn-free, and not taste-free on the market is nearly impossible. And you know what?  Veggie burgers are SO easy to make, it’s a crime to ever buy those frozen patties!  You can make a double batch of your veggie burgers, wrap in plastic wrap, place in a freezer Ziploc bag, and voila!  You have homemade veggie burgers ready to eat at a moment’s notice!

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