11.23.2014

Thanksgiving Desserts

Have you finished making your Thanksgiving menu yet?  Come on buddy!  Get on it!

There is still time and more than enough ideas for you in the blogosphere!  I thought I would give you guys a  list of some of my recipes to help give you some ideas.

This is a series of posts with desserts bringing up the end.  See the appetizer, salad, side, and main dish posts here.

Ok, so you've eaten wonderful and healthful foods for appetizers, salads, sides, and the main dish.  It wouldn't be too bad to eat a SAD dessert, right?  Wrong!  Don't go there!  There are tons and tons of healthful dessert options for you!

Here are a few ideas from my recipe stash:

Banana Ice Cream

Brownie Batter Dip

Berry Coconut Chia Pudding

Chocolate Chia Pudding

Vegan Carrot Cake Cookies


Here are a few of my favorites from around the blogosphere:

Pumpkin Pie from Helyn's Healthy Kitchen

Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie from Helyn's Healthy Kitchen

Healthy Apple Pie from Healthy Girl's Kitchen

Deep Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies from Produce on Parade


Happy Thanksgiving,

Amy

Thanksgiving Main Dishes

Have you finished making your Thanksgiving menu yet?  Come on buddy!  Get on it!

There is still time and more than enough ideas for you in the blogosphere!  I thought I would give you guys a  list of some of my recipes to help give you some ideas.

This is a series of posts, so stay tuned for the Dessert post to come!  See the appetizer, salad, and side posts here.

This is often one of the hardest transitions for those going WFPB for Thanksgiving for the first time.  However, just because a dead animal isn't in the center of your table doesn't mean you have to suffer, but it does mean no turkeys have to suffer. :)

I don't have too many main dishes to suggest from my past blog posts, but I'll give you a short list of my recipes, and a longer list of recipe ideas I would recommend giving a try.

My Recipes:

Sweet Potato Macaroni and "Cheese"

Greens and Beans with Rice

Easy Vegetable Pizza

Stuffed Artichokes

Other suggestions: Keep in mind some of these recipes might contain some ingredients that make them not quite nutritarian-perfect, but some simple adjustments, replacements, and eliminations can fix that.

Stuffed squashes like this one, this one, or this one.

Grain/legume based loaves like this one, this one, or this one.

Risotto and other decadent grain dishes like this one, this one, or this one.

Hearty casseroles like this onethis one, or this one.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Amy

11.22.2014

Thanksgiving Sides

Have you finished making your Thanksgiving menu yet?  Come on buddy!  Get on it!

There is still time and more than enough ideas for you in the blogosphere!  I thought I would give you guys a  list of some of my recipes to help give you some ideas.

This is a series of posts, so stay tuned for the main dish and dessert posts to come!  See the appetizer and salad posts here.

Now on to my favorite part of Thanksgiving!  The sides!  My favorite sides are usually potatoes.  In recent years my favorite side has been baked sweet potatoes.  They are easy, simple, sweet, and delicious!  To roast sweet potatoes preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Wash the sweet potatoes and poke several times with a fork.  Place the sweet potatoes on a pan lined with foil and place in the oven. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, turning halfway though, until tender.

For some other side ideas try one of these recipes:

Nutty Green Bean Casserole

Roasted Brussels Sprouts


Baked Sweet Potatoes with Apples and Walnuts

Creamed Kale and Onions



Colcannon with Kale


Along with these sides, a soup is another side that is warming, delicious, and easy to make on the stovetop, in a slow cooker, or in a pressure cooker.

Pumpkin Basil Soup


Creamy Broccoli Soup

Katie's Creamy Potato Leek Soup


Butternut Squash Soup

Amy's Favorite Lentil Soup

Creamy Asparagus Soup



Happy Thanksgiving,

Amy

Thanksgiving Salads and Dressings

Have you finished making your Thanksgiving menu yet?  Come on buddy!  Get on it!

There is still time and more than enough ideas for you in the blogosphere!  I thought I would give you guys a  list of some of my recipes to help give you some ideas.

This is a series of posts, so stay tuned for the side, main dish, and dessert posts to come!  See the appetizer post here.

Ok, I'll admit, salads are usually not what most people look forward to most for Thanksgiving, but they can be a beautiful, delicious, and nutritious part of the meal.  A basic green salad is a good way to go to please everyone so they can have a salad dressing of their choice.

Basic green salad ingredients could include:
  • Mixture of greens: romaine lettuce, red leaf lettuce, ice burg lettuce, spinach, arugula, savoy cabbage, green cabbage, kale, baby kale, collard greens, swiss chard, beet greens, turnip greens, mustard greens,  spring mix
  • Colorful veggies: cucumber, bell pepper, radishes, carrots, corn, tomatoes, broccoli, snow peas, fresh herbs, red cabbage, avocado, cauliflower, beets, black olives, mushrooms
  • Add some pizzaz:  peppercinis, artichokes, red onion, green onion, dried cranberries, green olives, kalamata olives,  pomegranate arils, apple slices, and slices of oranges, lemons, or limes
  • Add some crunch: walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, pine nuts, roasted chickpeas (like this, minus the oil), croutons made from whole grain bread

Now for the dressing, give one or a few of these a try:

Vegan Ranch Dressing


Vegan Caesar Dressing

Vegan 1000 Island Dressing

One-Two Dressing

Cranberry Dijon Dressing

Orange, Carrot, and Cashew Dressing

If a green salad with dressing isn't fancy enough, perhaps give one of these salads:

Superfood Salad

Pomegranate Wheat Berry Salad

Sweet and Savory Wheat Berry Salad with Brussels Sprouts

Happy Thanksgiving,

Amy

Thanksgiving Appetizers

Have you finished making your Thanksgiving menu yet?  Come on buddy!  Get on it!

My mom and I collaborated earlier this week on our Thanksgiving line-up this year, which is made up of mostly Nutritarian-geared dishes and a few traditionally made dishes for the non-nutritarians.  I was rather silly and actually made a spreadsheet with the list of recipes, links to those recipes, and a grocery list down to the exact amount of each ingredient we needed.  Hopefully my super organized mom found it helpful and not too neurotic!

However, if you don't have your Thanksgiving dinner planned down into an overly obsessive spreadsheet, don't fret!  There is still time and more than enough ideas for you in the blogosphere!  I thought I would give you guys a quick list of some of my recipes to help give you some ideas.

This is a series of posts, so stay tuned for the Salad, Sides, Mains, and Dessert posts to come!

For some appetizers to start out, a variety of fresh vegetables are always a great go-to.  They are low in calories, high in fiber, and won't fill up your guests too much before the meal.  But what do you serve with the veggies?  Try one of my many hummus/bean dips.  For a fun experience for your guests, try making a half batch of your favorite 4-6 bean dips and ask your guests to debate on which is their favorite!

Hummus with Roasted Pine Nuts - This is always my family's go-to recipe for basic hummus.  I made the recipe for my dad a few years ago as a Father's Day present.  To do this I did a side-by-side comparison to Sabre Pine Nut hummus (my dad's favorite) while I was making it.  We couldn't tell the difference once it was done, and have opted to make my low/no-oil, low sodium version ever since.


Fresh Chive Hummus


Spicy Buffalo Hummus


Green Split Pea Dip


Lentil-Cashew Dip

Coconut Curry Dip

Happy Thanksgiving,

Amy

11.20.2014

Quick Collard Salad Wraps

Sometimes I get tired of salads.  There!  I said it!  Please tell me I'm not alone!

Sometimes I want something a little neater that has greens, but not coated in dressing.  Here was my solution this morning: Collard Salad Wraps.  These wraps are packed with veggies, super filling, and my little additions add a bit of zing without compromising the healthfulness.

These take very little time to prepare in the morning to take for your lunch, and even less time if you have the veggie stuffings already prepped and cut.

Quick Collard Salad Wraps
Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1 serving
Ingredients:
        3-5 medium leafs of collard greens, thickest part of the stem removed.
        1 stalk celery, cut pencil-sized thickness and 3 inches long
        1 large carrot, peeled and cut pencil-sized thickness and 3 inches long
        1/3 cucumber, cut pencil-sized thickness and 3 inches long
        1/4 cup hummus
        1/4 cup chopped olives (I used green olives)
        sriracha or other hot sauce

Instructions:
1.)  At the top of each destemmed collard leaf, spread some hummus, then layer on a "line" of sriracha.
2.)  Pile on the olives, cucumber, carrot, and celery.  Make sure not to overdo it.  You still want to be able to comfortably wrap your... wrap!
3.)  Starting at the top, roll the collard once, tuck in the sides, and roll till the end.
4.)  Store in a small container stacked so that they don't unroll during transport.  Enjoy your not-salad salad!

Amy's Notes:
Like I said above, don't over-pile your wrap stuffings.  I used to do this when I first tried collard wraps and ended up with a big mess and no wrap.  Plus, the less you stuff into the wraps, the more you can eat, and that means more greens in your meal!  Win-win right?

An extra tip to keep your wrap tidy and clean is to make sure your washed and cut vegetables are dry with no excess liquid dripping from them.  That could cause your hummus to thin and ooze out where you don't want it to.

This wrap can be really versatile to what you would like to add to it/have on hand.  Some good ideas for stuffings could be sliced avocado, red bell pepper, snow peas, green onions, etc.


Health and Happiness,

Amy



11.19.2014

Thanksgiving Menu 2014

Are you guys ready for Thanksgiving yet?!  This year we are going to my parents' house for Thanksgiving across the state in eastern Washington.  Thankfully, as I have mentioned many times before, my parents are also nutritarian, so healthful and delicious foods will not be hard to come by this holiday!  We will have a few dishes on our menu not nutritarian-friendly for my husband, brother, and sister-in-law.

Here is our lineup:

For the night before Thanksgiving as everyone is getting into town, we are having a simple dinner of Vegan Red Beans and Rice with a simple side salad.  Find my recipe for red beans and rice here.


Thanksgiving Day

Breakfast: Mom's Whole Grain Waffles/Pancakes



Appetizers:

Grandma's Garlic Dip - A recipe deep in our family tradition, but not nutritarian
Layered Taco Dip - My mom recipe she has used for years, although she has modified it to nearly eliminate the bad stuff (cheese and sour cream)
Amy's Hummus - This has become a family favorite in recent years.  Find my recipe here.

Veggies, fruit, crackers, pita bread

Sides: 

Pomegranate and apple salad - inspired by this recipe, but we will be making our own oil-free dressing
Mashed potatoes - the traditional kind with butter and milk for the non-nutritarians at the feast
Mushroom Herb Gravy - healthier version of gravy, recipe here
Baked Oriental Sweet Potatoes - This is my new favorite type of sweet potato.  It has a pink/purple skin with white insides.
Wild Rice and Cranberry Stuffing, with Roasted Brussels Sprouts - recipe here and here
Traditional Stuffing - for the non-nutritarians
Macaroni and Cheese - for my husband mainly, recipe here
Whole Wheat Rolls - my mom's recipe

Mains:

Vegan Cabbage Rolls - recipe here
Small turkey with traditional stuffing

Desserts:

Marrionberry Pie - store bought
Pumpkin Pie - traditional homemade crust, with this vegan pumpkin filling 

Is our Thanksgiving line-up perfectly nutritarian?  Of course not!  But it is miles and miles more healthful than most of the Thanksgivings we grew up with.

Did I mention that I get to see these two butterballs next week?  I just can't wait to see my nephews!


What's on your menu for Thanksgiving?

Health and Happiness,

Amy

11.06.2014

Superfood Salad

Do you ever have those times when you take a look in your fridge and pantry, and magic just happens?  This was one of those times.  It had been a while since I had had quinoa, and I love the idea of having it cold in a salad.  I find that quinoa sometimes becomes a bit too mushy for me when I try eating it warm.

Hope you enjoy this salad packed with nutrients as much as I did. :)

Superfood Salad
Time: 10 minutes prep + grain/lentil cooking time
Servings: 3-6

Ingredients:
        1/2 cup dried french green lentils, rinsed
        1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed very well
        1 1/2 cup water

        1/2 bunch kale, stem removed and chopped
        1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
        1 head broccoli, stem removed and roughly chopped
        1/4 cup dried cranberries
        1/4 cup walnuts, chopped

        1/3 cup plain hummus
        1/4 cup water, more to thin
        2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
        1 Tbsp ground flaxseed
        black pepper to taste

Instructions:
1.)  Cook the quinoa and green lentils on the stove top or in a pressure cooker.
      
Stovetop: In a medium saucepan combine 1 1/2 cups of water and the dried lentils.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes.  After 5 minutes, add in the quinoa, return to a simmer, cover, and simmer for 15 more minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to stand, covered for 10 minutes.  Fluff with a fork and cool in the fridge in an uncovered dish until cool.
 
Pressure cooker: In a pressure cooker, combine 1 1/2 cups water, the dried lentils, and quinoa.  Lock the lid and set the vent to the closed position.  Set the pressure cooker to cook on high for 10 minutes.  After the timer goes off, do a quick release of the pressure.  Fluff with a fork and set to cool in the fridge in an uncovered dish.




2.)  Once the lentils and quinoa has cooled to room temperature at least, prep the remaining salad ingredients and combine with the lentils and quinoa in a large bowl.

3.)  In a small bowl, stir together the hummus, water, lemon juice, and black pepper to taste.  Thin with water as needed.

4.)  Pour the dressing mixture over the salad and stir well to combine.  Sprinkle with ground flaxseed for a little nutty taste.  Serve immediately or store in the fridge in a closed container.  Enjoy!

Amy's Notes:
Mmmm!  I can't tell you how much I love this salad!  The textures blend perfectly, and the small amount of dried cranberries (or craisins as I usually call them) gives you that little bit of sweetness.

If you are on the strict 6-week plan, here are a few changes to keep you on track better...  Instead of craisins, add in halved grapes or one chopped up apple.  Halve the walnuts and sprinkle them on top, or omit them altogether.  Make sure to use an oil-free and low-salt hummus.  If you are being cautious of your grain intake, double the lentils and omit the quinoa.  Double the amount of chopped kale to make it more salad-y.

Another nice addition to this salad could be some chopped red onion.  I had a meeting to go to the day that I made this, so I saved others my bad breath this time.

Hope you enjoy!  I think this one is going into my favorites list.  It might find its way to our family Thanksgiving table this year as well.  :)

Health and Happiness,

Amy

11.04.2014

Seahawks Game Weekend

I hope everyone had a great weekend!

On Friday, I went to a small yarn store about 20 minutes from where we live and sat in on open knitting time.  I got to meet some fun (mostly older) ladies, who, to my delight, told me I was one of the fastest "throwing" knitters they had seen.  This was news to me, and I had no idea what it meant to be a "throwing" knitter.  Apparently it is when you hold the leading yarn in your right (dominant) hand and throw the yarn around and in front of the needle as you knit.  This is different from how most of them were doing it, by holding the leading yarn in their left hand and using the right needle to go through and grab stitches.  Essentially, I move the yarn and keep my needles stationary, while they keep the yarn stationary and move the needle.

Anyways, it was a fun little adventure, and gave me a chance to eyeball some yarn for another project another day.  Check out these beauties:




On Saturday, Kevin and I kept to ourselves and our crafts.  While I knitted and cooked, Kevin stayed at his desk writing a book he had been working on as a Christmas present to his family.  Later in the evening, we made our way to Tacoma, 30 minutes away, for a Hell's Belle's concert.  They are a high energy, super fun ACDC tribute band.  We have seen them two times before this and they are always a good time.  For only $12 a ticket, WAY better than a movie!

On Sunday, we made our way down to the Puyallup train station to take the commuter train up to Seattle to go to the Seahawks Raiders game.  Being from Washington, we are both, of course, Seahawks fans.  But, my husband spent part of his childhood in California, so he is still a Raiders fan at heart.  He was happy to get to see both teams, but was internally conflicted with who to cheer for.




The atmosphere of the stadium was just electric!  Although it rained the whole time (it's Seattle, what did we expect) and the Seahawks stayed steadily in the lead, every seat was packed until the very end.  After the day was done, it was a really fun time and worth the money for the tickets that a family friend sold to us for face value, rather than paying a couple hundred dollars per ticket in the nosebleeds.

I stayed energized for the weekend by enjoying a new salad I'll be posting later this week.  Stay tuned!

How was your weekend?

Health and Happiness,

Amy