Tag Archives: healthy recipes

Italian “Drunken” Noodles

I made this amazing dish for dinner the other night and I think it may be my new favorite recipe. It was so flavorful, filling and absolutely delicious. Plus, my kids loved it and wanted seconds. 

Here is a link to the original recipe:

 
http://pinterest.com/pin/118712140150325563/
 
Original ingredients:
 
  • Olive oil
  • 4 spicy Italian sausage links, casings removed
  • 1 large onion, quartered and sliced thinly
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
  • ½ cup white wine (I used Chardonnay)
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, julienned, divided use
  • 8 ounces Pappardelle noodles, uncooked
 

My Version


Ingredients

  • Olive oil
  • 4 Tofurky Italian sausages
  • 1 large onion, quartered and sliced thinly
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (I mixed basil & thyme)
  • ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic (I used 4 tbsp pre-minced garlic)
  • ½ cup white wine 
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped (I used oregano from my herb garden instead. Use whichever you prefer)
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, julienned, divided use
  • 8 ounces Pappardelle noodles, uncooked (I couldn’t find Pappardelle noodles, so I used the 1/2 a pack of linguine I had left over from my Cajun Pasta recipe–see my first blog recipe post) 
 
Directions:
 
Cook time: about 20 minutes
  • Place a large, heavy-bottom pan or braising pot over medium-high heat. Add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and once the oil is hot, crumble the spicy Italian sausage into the pan in small chunks (you want to keep the sausage fairly chunky), allowing it to brown in the oil for a few moments on each side.
  • Prepare the noodles according to instructions on package. Then, drain the noodles very well.
  • Once the crumbled sausage is browned, remove it from the pan/pot and place into a small bowl to hold for a moment. 
  • Next, add the sliced onion into the pan, add more oil if needed and allow it to caramelize and become golden for roughly 5 minutes or so, stirring to keep it from burning 
  • Once the onion starts to become golden, add the salt, Italian seasoning and cracked black pepper, and stir to combine, then add in the sliced bell peppers, and allow those to saute with the onion for about 2 minutes until slightly tender and golden.
  • Next, add in the garlic, and once it becomes aromatic, add in the white wine and allow it to reduce for a few moments, until almost completely reduced. 
  • Next, add in the diced tomatoes with their juice, and return the browned spicy Italian sausage back into the pan, and gently fold the mixture to combine; allow it to gently simmer for about 3-4 minutes to blend the flavors, then turn the heat off. 
  • To finish the sauce, drizzle in about 2-3 good tablespoons of the olive oil (I used olive oil from my friend, Jennie’s specialty store, The Olive Vineyard. The Tuscan Herb olive oil was just perfect) to create a silky, rich flavor, and add in the chopped parsley and about half of the julienned basil.
  • Add the noodeles directly into the sauce, using tongs to gently toss and combine the noodles with the sauce and all of the ingredients in it. Check the seasoning to see if you need to add any additional salt or pepper.
  • To serve, add equal portions of the “Drunken” noodles to bowls, and garnish with a sprinkle of the remaining julienned basil and an extra drizzle of olive oil (if you’d like)

Vegan Lettuce Wraps

This recipe has been my favorite so far for a quick easy dinner. It honestly tastes like restaurant quality lettuce wraps, plus it was pretty easy to make. 
 
 
 
The original ingredients:

 

  • 16 Boston Bibb or butter lettuce leaves
  • Green onions (3-4)
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 tsp minced pickled ginger
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • Asian chile pepper sauce (optional)
  • 1 (8 oz.) can of water chestnuts, drained, finely chopped




My Ingredients:

  • 16 butter lettuce leaves
  • 1 package of Gardein ground “beef” (you can use tofu instead, which would be healthier and just as yummy, but if you’re just trying out being vegan I recommend the Gardein brand or LightLife’s Smart Ground, both GMO-free)
  • Green onions (3-4) 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce (Bragg’s liquid aminos is best)
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 tsp minced pickled ginger (I used ground ginger and it worked just fine)
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar and it was good)
  • 2 tbsp Asian chile pepper sauce
  • 1 (8 oz) can of water chestnuts, drained, finely chopped. I don’t like them so I used bamboo shoots (finely chopped) which was amazing!
  • 2 tsp dark sesame oil


Directions:


  1. Rinse whole lettuce leaves and pat dry, being careful not tear them. Set aside.
  2. In a medium skillet over high heat, brown the ground “beef” in 1 tablespoon of oil, stirring often on medium heat. Set aside to cool. Cook the onion in the same pan, stirring frequently. 
  3. Add the garlic, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, ginger, vinegar, and chile pepper sauce to the onions, and stir. Stir in chopped water chestnuts, green onions, sesame oil, and cooked “beef”; continue cooking until the onions just begin to wilt, about 2 minutes.
  4. Arrange lettuce leaves around the outer edge of a large serving platter, and pile meat mixture in the center. To serve, allow each person to spoon a portion of the meat into a lettuce leaf. Wrap the lettuce around the meat like a burrito, and enjoy!

Crock Pot Thai “Chicken” Curry

This recipe was sent to me by a friend via Pinterest. I read the reviews on the site and they were terrible, most of the reviewers said it was bland. So I did some major modifications and this doesn’t even resemble the original recipe to make a tasty dinner. Usually, I post the original recipe so you can see how I modified it to make it vegan. With this one all I did was add Gardein fake “chickn” instead of real chicken and subbed out chicken broth with vegetable broth. I changed their measurements and ingredients a lot, so I’ll save everyone the confusion and just post my recipe. When it was done it tasted like the thai chicken pasta sauce from Cheesecake Factory. 



Ingredients

  • 2 medium onions, cut into thin wedges
  • 3 medium carrots sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper cut into bite sized strips
  • 1 package of Gardein Chickn Scallopini or for a healthier, whole foods option do 1 cup chopped spinach or tofu
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 5 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon finely shredded lime peel
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons ground ginger or grated fresh ginger
  • 4 tablespoons red curry paste (Thai kitchen has a vegan one) 
  • 4 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 cup peas
  • 1 cup chopped peanuts
  • Snipped fresh basil or cilantro
  • Hot cooked rice

Directions


1. In a skillet (I prefer cast iron) cook all 4 of the Gardein Chicken Scallopini fake meats in the package. If you’re using tofu or spinach, skip this step and cut up the tofu or spinach and set aside.


2. In a 3-1/2- or 4-quart crock pot, place onions, carrot, and sweet pepper. 


3. Cut the “chicken” into bite sized pieces and place in the crock pot. If you’re using tofu or spinach add that instead.


4. In a medium bowl, whisk together broth, peanut butter, lime peel, lime juice, soy sauce, ginger, curry paste, and garlic until smooth. Pour into the cooker, then stir til it’s evenly mixed. 


5. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 5 to 6 hours or on high-heat setting for 2-1/2 to 3 hours. 

I set my timer for 2 hours, then cooked the rice. Once my rice was done so was my crock pot. 


6. Stir in coconut milk and peas. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.


7. Serve mixture over hot cooked rice. If desired, sprinkle each serving with chopped 

peanuts and cilantro. Makes 6 servings. 



Nutrition Benefits


Carrots: improves vision, prevents cancer, prevents heart disease, nourishes skin, prevents stroke and has anti-aging benefits.


Onions: immune booster, helps regulate blood sugar, reduces inflammation and heals infections, prevents cancer, reduces risk of gastric ulcers.


Red Pepper: Contains almost 300% of your daily Vitamin C, helps improve, night vision, helps you absorb iron, great source of vitamin B6 and magnesium. The combined effects of vitamin A and C create a great antioxidant capacity, and with lycopene in the mix. Lycopene is what makes tomatoes and peppers red. Red peppers are one of the highest veggies in lycopene, which has been successfully tested in the prevention in many cancers including prostate and lung. They’re also a great metabolism booster!


Peanuts: Peanuts contain a good amount of folate. Repeated studies have shown that women who had a daily intake of 400 micrograms of folic acid before and during early pregnancy reduced their risk of having a baby born with a serious neural tube defect by up to 70%. They also aid in blood sugar regulations, helps prevent gall stones, fights depression by raising serotonin levels in the brain (trytophan, which is also an essential amino acid), rich in vitamin B3 it boosts memory, peanuts also have copper which naturally lowers cholesterol levels, lowers risk of heart disease, protects against age related cognitive decline, cancer preventer and also lowers weight gain. 


Red Curry Paste: Contains kaffir leaves that are a digestive aid and also cleanse blood while maintaining healthy gums and teeth. It also has lemongrass which detoxifies the liver, pancreas, kidney, bladder and the digestive tract. It reduces uric acid along with blood pressure, cholesterol, excess fats and other toxins. Lemongrass stimulates digestion, blood circulation, and lactation. 


Ginger: Stimulates digestion, alleviates motion sickness and nausea, and reduces inflammation of the stomach and ulcers. Ginger root boosts the immune system, treats colds and flu, reduces fever and rheumatism, and freshens the breath. Ginger has antibacterial and antispasmodic properties.


Coconut Milk: he key is to use fresh coconuts or to buy organic canned Coconut milk. Most retail canned will contain dangerous preservatives like potassium meta-bisulfite. Coconut milk contains high quality fatty acids along with high Omega-3 coconut oil. Coconut milk boosts the immune system, regulates metabolic functions, and lowers cholesterol, while helping reverse the aging process by inhibiting free radical damage.


Rice: Good source of complex carbohydrates that give us the energy we need, rice contains all the amino acids we need to build and maintain muscle tissue, make up enzymes, antibodies and hormones. Helps maintain healthy skin, hair, eye sight and nourishes the heart, lungs, tendons, ligaments, brain, nervous system and glands. Studies have shown brown rice is a healing food. It’s also low in fat and sodium. 


….and those are just some of the ingredients! So enjoy this meal, your body certainly will! 

Andrea’s Tomato Quinoa Soup

This amazing recipe and photo was brought to you today by my lovely startup sister, Andrea Hartwig. In addition to being my husband’s business partner’s wife, she is also a very talented chef and photographer. She will guest blog for me from time to time. So get used to her, she’s awesome! She’s a vegetarian and studied nutrition at ASU so she’s all kinds of crazy smart. 

She created this dinner because she had 4 jars of opened tomato sauce in her fridge. 



Ingredients:

1/4 onion diced 
4 cloves garlic 
Tbsp-ish olive oil 
Add 1/4 c white wine 
1/2 c quinoa 
However much spaghetti sauce you have, I used a 12 oz jar of putenesca. 
Spices: Cajun, cumin, pepper, crushed ginger. 
1 c veggie stock 
 
Directions
1. Mix it all together and cook until quinoa is done. 
 
That sounds easy enough, right? 
 
Benefits to this meal are:
 
Tomatoes– helps protect skin against aging, rich in fiber and keeps you feeling full, good source of vitamins K, A, C, folate and potassium. Contains lycopene which fights osteoporosis. Tomatoes are natural cancer fighters thanks again to lycopene, they also fight free radicals which have been linked with cell damage. The extra vitamin A helps fight against night blindness and also keeps your hair looking shiny and healthy. They also help release chronic pain and reduce inflammation. 


Quinoa– It is a complete protein, meaning it contains all 9 of the essential amino acids. It has twice as much fiber as other grains, making it the “super grain”. It’s a great source of iron and lysine, lysine which is essential for tissue growth and repair. It also has a high content of manganese, an a
ntioxidant, which helps to prevent damage of mitochondria during energy production as well as to protect red blood cells and other cells from injury by free radicals.

…..and those are just the two main ingredients! There are many other benefits from the spices and oils. Eat up, my friends!

BLT Pita

This is not a recipe from Pinterest, but I wanted to share it since it’s one of my favorites for a lunch or light dinner. I originally grabbed it from some magazine several years ago and turned it vegan. I’ve since lost the original recipe but I make it from memory.

This recipe is great if you have a bunch of veggies that are going to go bad soon and you need to use them. I made this the other night because we bought a ton of lettuce and hadn’t used most of it. So I needed to use it quickly. I threw in every vegetable we had and it was amazing. So if you don’t have any of the veggies I listed off, don’t worry just use what you have. The only exception is the lettuce, you’ll want a lot of lettuce.

Ingredients:

2 romaine hearts chopped (or 1 head of lettuce, 2 bags of spinach, etc.)

1 red pepper

1 tomato

1 cucumber

1/4 onion

2 green onions

1 bottle of your favorite dressing

1 package of pita bread

1 package of Smart “Bacon”

Directions:


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. When oven is pre-heated, put the pita in for 3 minutes or until warm.

2. In a skillet, I prefer cast iron since it adds iron to your food, heat up some cooking oil on medium heat, and add the bacon. Keep turning the bacon until the edges are golden brown then set aside.

3. Wash and chop up all your vegetables, then put them in a bowl

4. Cut up the bacon and add it to the bowl. Pour your dressing over the top and add any seasonings if you’d like. (I used fresh basil and oregano from my herb garden). Then toss.

5. Tear off the end of the pita and fill with the mix. Enjoy!

Other Variations:


If you’re a seasoned vegan or you’re looking for a whole foods recipe. Substitute the “bacon” with garbanzo beans or any other beans you like. Use spinach or kale instead of romaine as it has more protein and amino acids. Use whole wheat pita. I always recommend that you use organic ingredients.