Vegan Lettuce Wraps

While I was making this dish I honestly wasn't sure how it was going to turn out. I just kept adding a little of this & a little of that, but the end result was too delicious not to share! These lettuce wraps are so fresh, crisp and savory. Take this dish to the next level by making my sweet umami sauce to drizzle on top or dip right on in. Seriously, so good! 

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For the filling:

1 green onion- chopped (feel free to add more)

1-2 Tbsp olive oil 

1/4 cup fresh cilantro- chopped

1 cup mushrooms- chopped fairly small

1 can garbanzo beans- drained (no need to rinse)

1/2 cup frozen peas 

2 cups cooked green lentils 

1 cup frozen cauliflower rice 

1/4-1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce 

1 tsp fresh grated ginger

2 tsp sesame oil 

2 tsp rice vinegar 

1 pinch of red pepper flake

salt & pepper to taste 

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add in green onions & cilantro and sauté until fragrant & softened, approx 1 minute. Toss in mushrooms and sauté until tender. Next, add in the remaining ingredients: garbanzo beans, frozen peas, cooked lentils, frozen cauliflower rice, soy sauce, spices, etc.  Sauté for several minutes until all veggies are tender yet still have a little crispness to them. Turn heat to medium-low and let simmer, stirring occasionally and adjusting seasoning to your liking. 

Sweet Umami Sauce (pure deliciousness) 

1/4 cup soy sauce 

2 Tbsp sesame oil 

2 Tbsp rice vinegar 

1/2 tsp fresh or ground ginger

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2 Tbsp seedless blackberry jam or any jam you have at home

In a small bowl, whisk all ingredients together. So simple yet so complex. This is also the perfect dipping sauce for sushi! 

To assemble: 

1 head of crips romaine lettuce

Wash, dry and separate the lettuce. Fill the lettuce with the filling & top with sweet umami sauce! YUM!

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Pesto "Cream" Sauce Pasta

The time of year is approaching where fresh basil will be grown in abundance & I can't wait! I love all things basil and this Pesto Cream Sauce is out of this world. It reminds me of when I traveled to Italy with a few girl friends of mine. We went to the local market in Florence, picked up some fresh handmade pasta, a block of parm cheese, cream & a jar of pesto and headed back to our apartment to make dinner. That was the first time I've ever had a pesto cream sauce and dang it was so good.

I have dreamt of that pasta many times, hoping to someday recreate it. I am now dairy free and am delighted to say that I have discovered a way to make it so similar & so delicious that you wouldn't even know that it's vegan!  I combined homemade Pesto + my Cashew Cream Sauce to make a bright, flavorful & creamy pesto sauce. I can't say for sure but I have a feeling you will want to go back for seconds.... and thirds.

Now let's open up a bottle of wine (a crisp Sauv Blanc or buttery Chardonnay would pair beauitfully) & get cooking! 

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First things first, start by preparing your Cashew Cream Sauce - (Click to be directed to the Cashew Cream Sauce recipe) pour into a bowl and set aside. (No need to wash your food processor, you will be making the pesto in it too.) You will need approx 1- 1 1/2 cups for this dish. Refrigerate or freeze the remaining sauce for a future meal! This sauce is a two step process so first make your cashew cream and then make your pesto. I know it may seem complicated but it is actually super simple to make! See below for the pesto recipe. 

For the Pesto:

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2 cups fresh Basil 

1 Tbsp Walnuts 

1/4-1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 lemon- juiced 

1/4 tsp salt 

Combine basil, walnuts, lemon juice & salt in a food processor. While the machine is running, slowly drizzle in olive oil until the pesto is smooth. Pour into a bowl & set aside. 

For the pasta:

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8 -10 oz or roughly half of a 16oz bag of Capellini pasta (Penne works wonderfully with this sauce too!)

1 bunch of asparagus, chopped (or veggies of choice)

1/4 cup vegetable broth or white wine 

1 cup chopped aruglua

salt & pepper to taste 

2 Tbsp EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)

optional add ins: 1/4 cup chopped onion, 1 clove minced garlic

Fresh chopped Basil for garnish

Directions:

In a medium stock pot bring water + 1 teaspoon salt to a boil. 

While your water is coming to a boil, in a medium/large skillet sauté 2 Tbsp olive oil, (onion/garlic till translucent if desired) & then add in the  asparagus. Sauté until the asparagus are slightly softened but still crisp. Deglaze the pan with the 1/4 cup of veggie broth or white wine. Just let this hang out & simmer on low. 

Once your water has come to a boil, break capellini in half and add to the pot. Stir to ensure the noodles do not stick together. Cook the pasta until al dente, approximately 3 minutes. 

Now this is a super important step! DO NOT I repeat DO NOT ever drain your pasta water. It is an essential ingredient to all pasta sauces. I learned this trick from my girl Lidia on PBS Create and I am forever grateful. It makes me happy to now pass on this secret to you! 

So, using a pasta ladle or small strainer with a handle, scoop out the pasta directly into the skillet with your asparagus and broth. Using tongs stir the pasta allowing all the ingredients to mingle. Then add in your pesto and start with 1 cup of cashew cream sauce. Stir to combine. Add in the chopped arugula.

Next, this is where your pasta water comes into play. Start with ladling 1 scoop of the hot pasta water to your pasta(approx 1/4 cup at a time). Stir with tongs to make sure all of the noodles are coated with the creamy pesto. If you like your pasta a bit more saucy, add more pasta water! If you feel it’s too thin then add in more cashew cream. Simple as that! 

Serve on a large plate or bowl & garnish with fresh chopped basil. Sprinkle on some vegan parmesan cheese if you have it!  Bon appetite! 

Cilantro Lime Burrito Bowl

Burrito bowls are so easy to make and are perfect for a quick lunch or dinner.  It's one of those healthy meals that you actually feel full after eating and is ridiculously tasty. I usually just add whatever veggies, rice & beans I have on hand but this combo is one of my favorites! The Cilantro Lime sauce adds a delicious creaminess to the dish and gives it that extra pop of flavor. 

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Cilantro Lime Burrito Bowl:

Serving size: 1 

1 cup cooked Brown Rice - If I don't have any cooked rice on hand I use Trader Joe's frozen brown rice, it's quick & easy. 

1/4 cup Black Beans - I warm the entire can (drained) in a sauce pan with a little chili powder, s&p and cumin. Then save the leftovers for a salad or soup later that week. 

1/4 cup cooked Green Lentils- I make my own (directions on the package) and save the leftovers. But if you are in a bind Trader Joe's has delicious precooked lentils. 

1 small ripe Avocado - sliced 

5 Cherry tomatoes- halved 

1/4 cup Arugula 

1 Lime wedge 

1 Tbsp fresh Cilantro- chopped

1 Tbsp Olive oil - drizzle on top 

1/4 tsp Chili powder- sprinkle on top

 

Cilantro Lime Sauce: 

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1 avocado 

1/2 cup fresh Cilantro 

1 - 2 Limes -juiced 

2-3 Tbsp Extra virgin olive oil 

Water to thin 

Dash of salt & peppa

In a food processor or blender, combine all ingredients except olive oil & water. Slowly drizzle in olive oil. Add water 1 Tbsp at a time until it becomes a smooth & creamy sauce. 

To assemble: 

Feel free to add in any extra veggies or whatever you have at home to make it your own! It helps to have your rice & lentils already prepared to make this dish super quick. If you have these items prepped you can whip it up in under 10 mins! 

I like to arrange mine all pretty but you can literally just toss everything in a bowl, drizzle some Cilantro Lime sauce on top and dig in! 

Pairs perfectly with tortilla chips & my Blood Moon Margarita!  

Mediterranean Flatbread

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This is an extremely versatile and super simple yet delicious flatbread. You can whip it up for a quick lunch or dinner or even serve as an appetizer. This has become a weekly staple in our house and I love it because you can switch up the flavors and ingredients. My favorite to make has a Mediterranean vibe - toasted naan, a layer of my Simple Homemade Hummus, topped with a layer of smashed avocado, arugula, sliced cherry tomatoes & fresh basil. It's then finished with extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar & hemp hearts. I love all the different textures and bright flavors it provides. The creaminess of the hummus & avocado combined with the crunch of the toasted naan & hemp hearts is just so perfect. Light & fresh but still fills you up!

Ingredients:

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Serves 1-2

1 piece Naan 

1/4 cup Hummus

1 large or 2 small ripe avocado- smashed

1 cup arugula 

1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

1-2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped 

1 Tbsp raw shelled hemp seed (hemp hearts)

Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil & balsamic vinegar 

 

Directions: 

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Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

Prep your toppings and set aside. Place the naan directly on the top of rack and bake until golden brown, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and place onto a cutting board or baking sheet. Using a spatula spread on a layer of hummus and then top with the smashed avocado and spread evenly. Next, add the arugula, sliced cherry tomatoes, fresh basil & hemp hearts. Finish off by adding a healthy drizzle of extra virgin olive oil & balsamic vinegar. Cut into 4 pieces & enjoy! 

The perfect quick bite or dinner in a pinch! 

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Ella's Spinach Banana Muffins

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These spinach + banana + blueberry muffins are seriously good and are Ella's favorite! I know you're probably thinking, why would you put spinach in muffins? Well, why not?! Spinach is a mega super food full of all the good stuff you need & want for your kids (and yourself). I make these weekly in my household, in fact I made a batch yesterday (15) and there is ONLY 1 left! (I did share with family, but still.) They are THAT good and good for you, I mean it when I say they're guilt free. I don't have to feel bad if I give Ella more than 1!

They are vegan, can be made gluten free, & only have 3 tiny teaspoons of raw sugar, the bananas provide the rest with their natural sweetness. They are perfect for breakfast or a mid-day snack and are so simple to make!

I love to spread a little almond or cashew butter on top, as Ella would say, "mmmm!" #EatGreenThings

Ingredients:

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Makes 12-15

1 cup Almond flour 

3/4 cup All purpose flour

* to make gluten free use 1 cup ground oats + 1 cup almond flour or 2 cups ground oats* 

1/4 cup Ground flax

2 tsp Baking powder 

1/2 tsp Baking soda

1/2 tsp Salt

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3 tsp Raw Sugar

1 tsp Cinnamon

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2 heaping cups of Spinach

1/2 cup Soy milk or unsweetened almond milk 

3  Bananas, very ripe

1/4 cup Coconut oil

2 Tbsp unsweetened apple sauce 

1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (I like the frozen wild blueberries from Trader Joe's bc they're mini!) 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare you muffin/cupcake pan by lining with cupcake liners or spray with pan spray. 

In a food processor (I love my Ninja) puree the spinach and dairy free milk. Add the bananas & coconut oil and blend until smooth. 

In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the dry ingredients. Pour the spinach/banana mixture + apple sauce into the dry ingredients and mix until there are no lumps. Add the berries into the batter and stir a few strokes to incorporate the berries, do not over mix! Using a medium ice cream scoop  (with trigger) or a spoon, divide batter among 12-15 muffin tins. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 25 minutes until the tops are slightly golden and springs back when touched. It's hard to do but try to wait until they are completely cooled before you dig in so the texture has time to develop!

Hope you like them as much as Ella & my family does!! 

 Gosh, I just love her tiny little hand! She's ready to dig in!  

Gosh, I just love her tiny little hand! She's ready to dig in!  

Blood Moon Margarita

With the weather getting warmer and the sun starting to shine it gets me in the mood for summer. I crave all things citrus this time of year and blood oranges are one of my favorites. This is a perfect winter margarita because blood oranges are now in season but won’t be around for long so go get yours quick! Since I am not a fan of overly sweet drinks, I love using fresh squeezed juice. You will be throwing your sweet and sour mix out the window! 

Blood oranges have a fun vibrant color and a wonderfully sweet & tangy flavor which creates a unique, refreshing and oh so good marg. One sip & you’ll feel like your wastin’ away again in Margaritaville

Pair it with my Lentil Tacos for the perfect Taco Tuesday meal! 

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Blood Moon Margarita

Serving size: 2 cocktail margs

2 oz Tequila, a nice and smooth tequila that is, get the good stuff- you wont regret it! 

1 oz Triple Sec, Cointreau, or Grand Marnier - don't skimp here either. The cheaper you get the more sugary/syrupy it will be. 

1/2 a medium sized lime, save other 1/2 for garnish 

1 medium sized blood orange

Sweet/Spicy Rim

1 tsp Sugar 

1 tsp Salt

1/4-1/2 tsp Paprika 

On a small plate mix the sugar, salt & paprika. Wet the rim of 2 stemmed cocktail or margarita glasses by running a lime wedge along the rim. Dip/roll the rim into the sugar/salt/paprika mixture. This will add a little pizzaz to the drink & presentation. 

Next, squeeze the juice from the blood orange and 1/2 of the lime into a cocktail shaker. (I love using my citrus press, less mess & ensures you get all of the juice!) Add in the tequila & triple sec and top with ice. Now, shake it like a salt shaker! Strain into your 2 glasses & garnish with a thin slice of lime.

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Lentil Tacos

It's Tuesday so that means we're having tacos for dinner! There's something about Taco Tuesday that makes you feel like it's the weekend. And we all know we need that feeling during the week! So pull out the chips & salsa, mix up some of my Blood Moon Margarita's & let's celebrate the day.

Lentils are a must have in my pantry. Ella loves them plain, but I love to add them to soups, salads, burrito bowls and tacos! The first time I had green lentils from Trader Joe's I was like dang these would make the perfect vegan "taco meat." They have a nutty, hearty flavor & their small size gives just the right texture for a taco. Packed with protein, iron & naturally gluten free lentils are a great addition to many meals! 

Lentil Tacos

Serves 4-6

Let's start by preparing the lentils. This can totally be done ahead of time and can be kept in your fridge for up to a week! 

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1 cup green lentils 

2 1/4 cups Vegetable broth (or water) 

In a medium sauce pan bring contents to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer with the lid on until lentils are tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, approx 30-40 minutes. 

This will make a decent amount so I like to leave them plain and serve with their natural flavor so I can use the leftovers in various ways the rest of the week. 

Next we will make some seasoned beans, this is where the taco spices come in. Feel free to use a taco seasoning packet or make your own! You can also sauté some onions before you add the beans to the skillet. Do your thing! 

2 cans of beans, I like to use 1 can pinto, 1 can black beans or white beans. But you can mix it up! 

2-4 tsp Chili Powder (depends on how spicy you like it!)

1/2 tsp Chipotle powder 

1/2 tsp Paprika 

1/2 tsp Cumin

1/2 tsp Salt

1/2 tsp Pepper

2 Tbsp Vegetable broth or water 

Drain the liquid from both cans of beans, but do not strain. Add seasoning and heat on medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes. Add broth or water and stir to make it a little saucy. 

Time for the toppings. This is where you can have fun with it and chop up whatever you want! I decided to use the following:

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1 cup chopped spinach 

2 avocados, diced

1 red pepper, diced

3 green onion, sliced

1 cup cherry tomatoes, diced

 

 

I used soft Whole Wheat Tortilla's for my shell. But you can use hard shells, turn it into a taco salad or a burrito bowl with some rice! 

To assemble

Heat up your tortilla shell on a skillet or place in the microwave for 20 seconds. Scoop on some lentils and beans & top with your toppings of choice. This is such a simple and healthy dish! You definitley won't feel guilty going back for seconds...or thirds!  

 

Vieux Carré

A Vieux Carré is a smart, fun & sophisticated cocktail. The kind of drink you want to mix up when you're trying to impress. Drink with class, this is one to sip with your pinky up. Oh, you fancy huh? 

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Serving size: 1 stiff cocktail or 2 little tasters 

1 tsp Bénédictine (a delightful french herbal liqueur) 

3/4 ounce Rye Whiskey

1/2 ounce Cognac, as Busta Rhymes would say "pass the Courvoisier"

1/2 ounce Sweet Vermouth 

Dash of Peychaud's bitters

Dash of Angostura bitters 

Lemon twist 

Combine all liquid ingredients into a mixing glass, fill with ice & stir well. Strain into an old fashioned cocktail glass, trace the rim with a lemon peel and use for garnish. 

à votre santé!

 

 

Root Vegetable Tagine

All my St. Louis friends, if you haven’t been to OLIO in Tower Grove, please do yourself a favor and go! It is the perfect spot for a date or night out with your friends and their Israeli cuisine, cocktails and atmosphere are unlike any other. My spiced up Simple Homemade Hummus topped with paprika, fresh herbs, tahini & olive oil is inspired by their King of Kings Hummus - by far the best hummus I’ve ever had. Another one of my favorites from OLIO is the Root Vegetable Tagine. Aromatic, creamy & so delish. This recipe may seem like it has a lot of different ingredients, so feel free to explore different root veggies and if you don’t have all of these spices feel free to use what you have. But I highly recommend incorporating these spices into your spice cabinet! Tagines are traditionally cooked in earthenware pots but I developed this recipe with simplicity in mind for cooking in any kitchen. 

So open up a bottle of wine, put on some Leon Bridges and let’s get cooking! 

 

Roasted Root Vegetables

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Serves 2-4

2 medium/large sweet potatoes, diced (I like to keep the skin on, but up to you!)

2 medium beets, peeled & diced (2 red or 1 red & 1 golden)

2-3 carrots, peeled & diced (purple & yellow carrots are fun to add too! 

2 medium parsnips, peeled & diced 

1/2 Tbsp fresh mint, chopped 

1/2 Tbsp fresh dill, chopped 

1/2 Tbs fresh parsley, chopped 

1/2-1 tsp cumin

1/2-1 tsp curry powder 

1/2-1 tsp tumeric 

1/4 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp groung nutmeg 

1/4 tsp cinnamon 

1/2-1 tsp salt 

1/2-1 tsp pepper 

2-3 Tbsp Extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

Scrub your root veggies clean, peel & cut into approximately 1/2 inch cubes. Place into a large mixing bowl and add the olive oil. In a separate small bowl combine all of your spices/herbs and stir. You can add a bit more or less spice, remember this is your dish, do your thing! Sprinkle the spice mixture over the root veggies & toss to coat. Make sure each cube is glistening & spiced. 

Pour onto a parchment lined baking sheet and spread out evenly.

Roast for approximately 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Crank up the heat to 425 degrees for shorter cook time. Your house is going to smell amazing by the way. The veggies are done once tender, golden, slightly crisp, & caramelized. 

Creamy Basmati Rice

While your veggies are roasting you can prepare the rice. This rice is super creamy and the perfect complement to this dish. I like to use Lundberg California White Basmati Rice from Whole Foods, either white or brown. But any rice will do! 

1 cup white basmati rice (brown works too but will take longer to cook!)

1 1/2 cup vegetable broth or water 

1/2- 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk

1/4-1/2 tsp curry

1/4-1/2 tsp turmeric 

pinch of salt

In a medium sauce pan combine rice, water or broth (broth adds more flavor!) in a pot and bring to a boil. Cover with a lid and let simmer on low for 15 minutes. Turn off heat, keep the lid on and let steam for 10 minutes. (May take longer depending on brand) Fluff with fork. Next, turn heat back on low and add in 1/2 cup of almond milk, spices & salt. Stir to combine. I like mine extra creamy so add in more almond milk as desired. 

On a large plate, create a bed of rice and top with the roasted root veggies and some chopped fresh herbs. Pour yourself another glass of wine and get ready to ignite your taste buds. This is one of those feel good meals. 

Please let me know what you think and if you share on Insta tag me @madebylia & #madesimple. 

 

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Arugula Farro Salad

I don't know about you but I never heard of farro growing up. Honestly I never even tasted it until about a year ago. But I totally love it & it has become a must have in my pantry! Not only is it super versatile but it is packed with tons of of good stuff and is high in protein. It goes with so many different flavors and is the perfect way to spruce up a salad. This Arugula Farro Salad is unique with a layer of my Simple Homemade Hummus at the bottom which provides an amazing creaminess and texture to the salad. Then I top it with farro, arugula, dill & ready to eat baby beets. So fresh and so clean clean. 

Ingredients needed: 

Serves 2

1/2 cup of cooked farro

1/2 cup of homemade hummus 

2 cups arugula 

4 pre cooked baby beets, diced (I love the ones from Trader Joes) 

1 Tbsp Extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp Red wine vinegar 

Juice from 1/2 a lemon

2 tsp chopped fresh dill, plus a few sprigs for garnish

1/4 tsp tumeric powder

pinch of salt & pepper

 

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For the farro:

This can totally be made ahead of time, I like to double the batch and make extra so I can use it throughout the week! That’s about as far as I get into meal prepping. 

1/2 cup farro (I use Trader Joe's brand) 

1 cup water or veggie broth

In a medium sauce pan combine farro and water or broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let set for 5 minutes. Fluff with fork. Set aside. 

So you can either make your own hummus (highly recommended) this can be made ahead too and stored in your fridge for several days! Or you can use store bought but homemade is the way to go if you have time! Head over to my blog post Simple Homemade Hummus for the recipe! 

Okay, now lets assemble! 

In a medium/large mixing bowl combine the arugula, farro, diced beets, olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, turmeric, dill, salt & pepper. Toss together making sure everything is coated & glistening. 

In a salad bowl, spread 1/4 cup of hummus at the base of each bowl and top with the farro and arugula salad mixture. Add a few sprigs of dill for garnish. Dilly Dilly! 

Simple Homemade Hummus

Oh how I love me some hummus. Every time I make it from scratch I'm like why don't I make this all the time?! It's ridiculous how simple it is to whip up. Have it as a simple snack with pita, spread it on a veggie sandwich or try it with my Arugula Farro Salad

Ingredients:

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1 can of chickpeas 

1-2 Tbsp of tahini (not totally necessary but I just love the flavor it adds) 

Juice from 1/2 a lemon 

3 Tbsp olive oil 

1/4 tsp of paprika 

pinch of salt 

2 -4 Tbsp water

Empty the contents from a can of chickpeas into a microwave safe bowl and cook for 3 minutes. Strain the liquid and place the chickpeas into a food processor. (Please go treat your self and buy one of these if you don’t already have one!! They are so useful, I love my Ninja and use it daily!)

Add the tahini, lemon juice, paprika & salt and blend on high. It will be thick and chunky but dont worry we’re about to smooth it out. Scrape down the sides and slowly drizzle in the olive oil while it is blending (if yours has a little opening, if not then add in 1 Tbsp at a time.) Next, add in the water 1 Tbsp at a time until you reach the consistency of your liking. Blend on high for 2-3 minutes until smooth. Feel free to keep a little chunky for extra texture! 

I love to serve mine with olive oil, fresh herbs, paprika & tahini, yum! 

This can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. 

 

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Sweet Potato Fries with Tahini Mustard Sauce

 

These fries are killer - seriously next level! Such a simple item, perfect for a side dish, snack or just for the heck of it. They have that extra somethin' somethin' that rejuvenates your love for sweet potatoes. And if you eat as many sweet potatoes as I, you sometimes need to rekindle the flame. 

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For the fries:

Serves 2-4

3 medium/large sweet potatoes

2 Tbsp olive oil 

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp paprika

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. 

Slice sweet potatoes into thin strips and place into a medium bowl. Add olive oil, salt & pepper, and paprika. Toss to coat, making sure each potato is glistening.  Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet and spread them out so lay flat. Roast for 20-30 minutes until crisp & caramelized. 

Tahini Mustard Sauce:

2 Tbsp tahini 

1 tsp yellow mustard (dijon works too!)

1 tsp whole grain mustard 

1 tsp ground mustard (not 100% necessary, if you don’t have it just add more mustard!)

2 tsp pure maple syrup

pinch of salt & pepper 

2 Tbsp unsweetened almond milk 

In a small bowl whisk together all ingredients until smooth, taste & adjust seasoning to your liking. 

Once sweet potatoes fries are baked, drizzle sauce over top or leave dry & dip the fries into sauce. Yum!

You can actually put this sauce on just about anything. Max put it on his salmon & loved it! 

 

Cashew Cream Sauce

I haven't been this excited about a recipe in a lonnng time. Imagine a cream sauce that is light, silky, creamy & delicious but without the cheese, butter, cream or guilt! You also don't feel like you just ate a brick afterwards. I know what you are thinking, "is there such thing!" or "but can it really be that good?" With much delight I say, YES!!! The first time I tasted it tossed with my favorite pasta, I honestly shed a tear. It is THAT good! I guarantee you will surprise any dairy lover with this recipe.  Make it fresh and toss with your favorite veggies & pasta for a super delicious dinner or keep a jar of it in the fridge for a throw together lunch. My hubby Max & Daughter Ella, love this sauce! Ella is 1 and all she kept saying was "mmmm! and signing "more, more"! 

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do & please share with your friends! Cooking is something to be shared & enjoyed, it shouldn't be something you dread or think you can't do. My job is to help you build a repertoire of fresh, healthy, go to recipes that you can whip up in no time! 

Check out my next blog post for my Capellini Alfredo recipe using this sauce! 

OK now for the recipe...

 

Ingredients needed:

2 cups unsalted cashews, soaked (4 hrs or 30 mins in super hot water OR microwave for 6 minutes in 3 minute intervals)  

3 Tbsp nutritional yeast

1/4 tsp salt 

1/4

To soak cashews place in a medium bowl and fill with warm water until cashews are completely covered. Let soak for about 4-5 hrs or overnight. OR to speed up the process you can soak in super hot water for 30 minutes (Just blend longer!). For an even quicker method, place the cashews in a medium bowl and cover with water. Microwave for 6 minutes for 3 minutes at a time. The soaking of the cashews is super important and is what creates such a smooth & creamy texture. 

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Once the cashews are soaked, drain the water. Place cashews, nutritional yeast, s&p, and 1 1/2 cups of the almond milk into a food processor. Blend on high speed to combine. Slowly drizzle in olive oil. Blend on high for 2-3 minutes until super smooth and silky. Taste and add more seasoning to your liking. 

Now you can either store in an airtight container and save for up to 2 days or if you are like me and rarely have anything prepared in advance then follow the next few steps. 

Transfer the cashew cream (I saved about 1 cup to store in the fridge) and heat on medium low for 5 minutes. Be sure to whisk frequently so the bottom doesn't burn. Add in the remaining 1/2 cup of almond milk to thin. 

Toss in your favorite pasta & sautéed veggies & there you have it! A super delicious healthy, creamy Vegan Alfredo!

Head over to my next blog post for the Capellini Alfredo recipe which is perfect with this sauce! 

 

 

Vegan Capellini Alfredo

Guys, I honestly cried over this dish. It tastes SO much better than the "real" thing, its unreal! Capellini is my favorite pasta because it isn't too heavy & cooks super fast! But please feel free to use your pasta of choice. This dish can also be made gluten free! 

 

Serves: 2-4

Ingredients Needed:

1 1/2 - 2 cups cashew alfredo sauce (refer to Cashew Cream Sauce for recipe) 

8 -10 oz or roughly half of a 16oz bag of Capellini pasta 

1 cup fresh english peas or frozen peas work just as well

1 cup chopped crimini mushrooms 

1/2 cup vegetable broth 

1 cup chopped aruglua

salt & pepper to taste 

2 Tbsp EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)

optional add ins: 1/4 cup chopped onion, 1 clove minced garlic

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Let's do the dang thing. 

In a medium stock pot bring water + 1 teaspoon salt to a boil. 

While your water is coming to a boil, in a medium/large skillet sauté 2 Tbsp olive oil, mushrooms & peas (onion/garlic if desired). Sauté until vegetables are slightly softened but still crisp. Deglaze  the pan with the 1/2 cup of veggie broth. Just let this hang out & simmer on low. 

Once your water has come to a boil, break capellini in half and add to the pot. Stir to ensure the noodles do not stick together. Cook the pasta until al dente, approximately 3 minutes. 

Now this is a super important step! DO NOT I repeat DO NOT ever drain your pasta water. It is an essential ingredient to all pasta sauces. I learned this trick from my girl Lidia on PBS Create and I am forever grateful. It makes me happy to now pass on this secret to you! 

So, using a pasta ladle or small strainer with a handle, scoop out the pasta directly into the skillet with your veggies and broth. Using tongs stir the pasta allowing all the ingredients to mingle. Then add in your cashew alfredo sauce, about 1/4 cup at a time stirring after each addition. Add in the chopped arugula, stir. 

Next, this is where your pasta water comes into play. Start with ladling 2 scoops of the hot pasta water to your pasta. Stir with tongs to make sure all of the noodles are coated with the creamy alfredo. If you like your pasta a bit more saucy, add more pasta water! If you feel it’s too thin then add in more alfredo. And that’s how it’s done! Super creamy, yet light and guilt free capellini & veggie alfredo pasta! So good you will def want seconds!