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Butternut Chickpea Curry

When the Mr. and I met, he had never tried Indian food. Needless to say, our second date was at our local Indian restaurant. At that time I hadn't taken the leap to prepare Indian style dishes at home. 

I've since made lots of different recipes that are Indian style in search of a replica restaurant butter chicken. This one came around not in that searching but just as something new to try. We liked it but decided that it needed a bit less curry so it's not quite as hot.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil

  • 2 medium shallots, chopped

  • 3 cups (425g) butternut squash, cubed

  • 1 can (13.5oz) lite coconut milk

  • ½ cup vegetable or chicken broth

  • 1½ cups garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

  • 1½ tablespoons curry powder (Use a little less if you don't like heat.)

  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated (or 1 teaspoon powdered ginger)

  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder

  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon

  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika

  • Pinch stevia (optional)

  • ½ teaspoon sea salt and pepper, to taste

  • 2 cups spinach

  • 2 cups prepared brown rice or quinoa

  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped

  • ¼ cup roasted cashews, chopped (optional)

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a large pan. Add shallots and cook for 4 minutes. Add squash and sauté for 3-4 minutes.

  2. Add coconut milk, broth, garbanzo beans, curry powder, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, paprika, stevia and salt and pepper. Stir well, then simmer until sauce is reduced by half and squash is fork-tender (about 10-12 minutes).

  3. Stir in spinach until just wilted (about 1 minute). Divide rice into ½-cup servings, then pour curry dish on top. Sprinkle cilantro and cashews on top just before serving.

  4. *In place of rice, you can serve over cauliflower rice or zoodles.

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No Bake Choco PB Bars

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Reese's are one of my all time favorite candy bars. This recipe is as close to one as I've gotten without actually making peanut butter cups or just eating a whole bag of miniatures. 

Simple, no bake, and even with the added bonus of whole grain oatmeal packed with fiber.

Makes 1 8x8 pan, 16 squares

Ingredients

Base

1 cup unsalted, natural peanut butter

1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp honey

1 1/4 - 1 1/2 cup old fashioned (rolled) oats 

Topping

1/2 cup vegan semi sweet chocolate chips (you can use regular too of course)

1/4 cup caramel chips (these might be hard to find so you can also sub 1/4 cup peanut butter)

Directions

  1. Line 8x8 baking pan with parchment or wax paper.

  2. In a microwave safe bowl, measure out peanut butter and honey. Microwave in 20 second intervals, stirring between, until fragrant and slightly bubbly.

  3. Stir oatmeal into peanut butter and honey mixture until all combined.

  4. Press peanut butter and oat mixture into pan using a piece of wax paper.

  5. Using the double boiler method, melt chips (or pb and chips) until smooth.

  6. Pour topping over oat mixture in pan and evenly distribute.

  7. Place into fridge for 30 minutes to firm up.

  8. Cut into 16 squares, remove from pan, and devour.

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Vegan Taco Lasagna

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I often have the urge to head out the door to my favorite Mexican restaurant, but unfortunately my Mr. isn't a big fan. Not sure why because he's quick to eat anything Mexican inspired that I cook. So I often make up for lack of restaurant access by cooking tex-mex dishes for our lunches and dinners.  In the past, I've made lots of slow cooker type recipes that are delicious. You can even find many of them here on the website. 

This time around, I threw together a plant based taco lasagna. As per my norm, I was tasting as I cooked to make sure it would have the right flavors and the right amount. It started out a little bland so I doctored it up right away and came out with a dish that is pretty tasty. 

Ingredients

1 14oz can black beans, drained

7 cloves of garlic, minced

2 bell peppers, I used one red and 1 green

8oz cherry or grape tomatoes

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp tomato paste

Herbs of choice (think Italian seasoning, paprika, chili power, cumin, coriander)

Salt & Pepper to taste

1 medium onion, chopped

7oz Tempeh, cumbled

1 cup raw cashews

1 cup organic vegetable broth

1 Tbsp tahini sesame paste

12 whole wheat tortillas

Directions

1. Boil 1 1/2 cup of water in microwave. Add cashews and let sit for at least 15 minutes while you prepare the rest of the items.

2. Preheat oven to 390°F.

3a. Wash peppers and tomatoes. Add to foil lined baking sheet. Roast peppers and tomatoes for 45 minutes.

3b. If you have an air fryer, you can speed this process up by placing peppers and tomatoes in the basket, turning air fryer to 390, and roasting for 10 -15 minutes. Be sure to check in on them after a few minutes.

4. Open and drain black beans. Mix together with chopped garlic. Set aside.

5. Heat a pan over medium heat, add 1 tbsp olive oil.  Once oil is hot, add chopped onion and crumbled tempeh. Cook for 7-10 minutes or until tempeh is slightly brown.

6. Once vegetable are cooked, remove from oven or air fryer and let cool for 5-10 minutes (until you can handle them). Remove the skins and innards from the peppers. Add along with tomatoes to a blender or food processor.

7. To the blender add 1 tbsp olive oil, salt & pepper, tomato paste, and seasonings of choice. I used the following:

3/4 tsp pink Himalayan sea salt

1/2 tsp ground pepper

1/2 tbsp chili powder

1/2 tsp paprika

1  tsp cumin

1 tsp coriander

You could also add some Cayenne pepper but we don't like a lot of heat.

8. Mix sauce with onion and tempeh mixture in pan. Allow to cook on low until you finish making the cheese sauce.

9. Cheese sauce: Drain soaking cashews, add to blender with tahini paste and vegetable stock. Taste for flavor and add salt, pepper, or other seasonings as needed.

10. Assemble the lasagna starting with a thin layer of cheese sauce, then tortilla, tempeh mixture, beans and then cheese sauce again. Finish with a later of tortillas topped with cheese sauce.

11. Bake at 360°F for 25-30 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

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Quinoa Pizza Bites

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I spend a good chunk of my Sunday in the kitchen running a cooking marathon. These little guys were the result of the most recent success. 

I received an Air Fryer as a gift from my Mr. a few months back and put it to the test as often as I can. The original recipe I found called to make these in the oven but using the air fryer cut the cooking time down significantly and allowed me to use the oven for several batches of apple chips. 

After cooling, I packed 6 of these in a small container for our lunches this week. The recipe made enough for 6 servings ( 2 servings on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.) 

I can also imagine making these for a pitch-in or party. Simple ingredients, plant based, and flavorful. 

Makes 6 servings, Serving Size: 6 bites

Ingredients

1 cup cooked and cooled Quinoa (make sure to rinse it well before you cook it)

2 cups of cooked cauliflower, pureed in a blender

1 flax egg (or you can use a regular egg)

1/4 cup rice flour (I used brown rice flour)

2 Tbsp coconut flour

2 Tbsp pizza sauce

2 tsp onion powder

1 1/2 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp Italian seasoning

1 tsp pink Himalayan sea salt

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Pizza Sauce for dipping

Directions

1.  If using the oven, preheat to 400° F. If using Air Fryer, make sure your basket is clean and preheat if you'd like. It's not necessary.

2. Mix all ingredients other than dipping sauce in a medium sized bowl using a wooden spoon. If you're up to some fun, use your hands. (But make sure to remove any rings and wash up!)

3. Using a small cookie scoop, scoop onto plate or parchment lined baking tray (if baking in oven).

4. Smooth out balls between your hands gently.

5. If baking, bake for 30 minutes. If air frying, gently place into basket, turn temp to 400 and allow to cook for 10-12 minutes. 

6. Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving with a side of pizza sauce for dunking. 

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