Categories
Family Friendly Vegetables

Honey Ginger Carrots

Honey Ginger Carrots

A beautiful and delicious glazed preparation for fresh spring carrots, using the carrot tops for garnish if available.  Carrots are in the same family as parsley with the leaves having a somewhat similar flavor profile.  Feel free to substitute one for the other. 

Did you know that carrots were originally purple? I used purple, orange, yellow and red carrots here. Using different colors provides your body with a variety of antioxidants.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger (or ginger from tube – available in the grocery produce section)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 6 medium carrots, scrubbed and cut lengthwise, leaving a short section of green tops if fresh.
  • Reserve 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh carrot tops if available. Otherwise use 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley.
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 lemon for finishing
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions:

  1. In a medium pan over medium-high heat, add oil and stir in ginger. Add honey and stir to dissolve.
  2. Add carrots and toss to coat. Pour in water and orange juice.
  3. Cover to steam, stirring occasionally and cook 15 -20 minutes or until tender and juices make a glaze, adding a tablespoon of water more if needed.
  4. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkling of chopped carrot tops or parsley.
Categories
Family Friendly Salads Snacks

Cowboy Caviar

Cowboy Caviar

Cowboy Caviar

An easy crowd-pleaser that takes only 15 minutes to make. This recipe is likely to become a favorite and can be enjoyed in so many ways. Try it with baked tortilla chips, in a warmed tortilla, or over greens or whole grains.

Makes 6-12 servings (lunch/ light meal vs. potluck or appetizer)

Ingredients

  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 15 oz can black eyed peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 ½ cups frozen sweet corn, thawed
  • 2 ripe avocados, diced
  • ⅓ cup red onion, finely diced
  • 2 tomatillos, diced (optional but recommended)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper seeds removed, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, grated (with microplane) or finely minced
  • ⅓ cup cilantro finely chopped

Dressing

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3-4 tablespoons fresh lime juice fresh
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon salt, optional
  • ½ teaspoon pepper

For serving, try any of the following

  • Tortilla chips for serving, baked chips preferred
  • Brown rice or other whole grain
  • Warmed tortillas
  • Over greens

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients.
  2. Combine the remaining ingredients, except avocado, in a large bowl. Toss well so that ingredients are well-combined.
  3. Pour dressing over the salad ingredients and toss well.
  4. This recipe can be refrigerated and tastes even better when the flavors have a chance to meld. Before serving, toss well and add the avocado, stirring gently to combine. Taste, adjusting flavors by adding additional lime juice, salt, pepper, or jalapenos to taste.
Categories
Family Friendly Mains Vegetables

Sorghum Stuffed Peppers

Sorghum Stuffed Peppers

This is a recipe that is family friendly, hearty, and so flavorful that you will have it on frequent rotation.

Makes 4 servings as a main, or 8 servings as a side dish.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked whole grain sorghum, cooled to room temperature
  • Avocado oil cooking spray
  • 4 large red bell peppers, halved and seeded
  • 3/4 cup salsa
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen and thawed
  • 2 cups cooked lentils
  • 1 cup chopped spinach or kale
  • ¼ tsp salt (optional)
  • ¼ tsp pepper

Toppings

  • 1 avocado, thinly sliced and 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (or avocado crema – see sauces section)
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • Fresh cilantro sprigs
  • 2 Tbsp diced red onion
  • 1 lime, sliced into thin wedges

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine cooked sorghum, salsa, garlic, nutritional yeast, cumin, chili powder, corn, spinach (or kale), and lentils. Mix until combined.
  3. Stuff peppers with mixture, distributing evenly. Place peppers on baking sheet, and cover with tin foil.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes, or until peppers are soft.
  5. Remove from the oven. Top each pepper with Greek yogurt and avocado slices (or avocado crema), a dollop of salsa, and a sprinkling of red onion and cilantro. Serve with a lime wedge.
Categories
Dessert Family Friendly

Dreamy Avocado Ice Cream

Dreamy Avocado Ice Cream

You will need an ice cream maker for this recipe. But if you don’t have one, this also makes a phenomenal mousse – just chill well in the refrigerator after blending.  

Makes 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 3-4 Avocados, ripened (such as Hass), about 1 1/2 pounds
  • 1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 cup Reduced Fat (2%) Plain Greek Yogurt (or non-dairy Greek yogurt)
  • 1/2 cup Cashew Cream (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon Fresh Lime Juice
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon Vodka* (optional, for keeping ice cream scoopable)

Optional add ins:

  • Chopped dark chocolate
  • Coarsely chopped pistachios or other nuts

Instructions

  1. Slice avocados in half and remove pits. With a spoon, scoop the avocado flesh into a food processor in chunks. Add sugar, Greek yogurt, cream, lime juice, vanilla, and salt. Puree until smooth and the sugar is completely dissolved, about 2 minutes.
  2. Freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. ( Optional add-ins: About 5-10 minutes before the freezing time is complete, add the chopped chocolate or nuts and continue to mix.) Serve immediately (the mixture will have the consistency of soft serve) or freeze in an airtight container for 2 to 4 hours for a firmer consistency.
  3. After 4 hours, if not using the vodka, the mixture will become very firm. Let rest on counter 15-20 minutes prior to serving.

 

Adapted from WellPlated.com

Categories
Family Friendly Sauces, Dips & Dressings Snacks

Beet Hummus

Beet Hummus

This recipe is a gorgeous addition to your meals, and can be used as a sandwich spread, a dip for vegetables or pita crisps, or as an appetizer on crostini with a sprinkle of goat cheese.

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

  • 3 large beets roasted, peeled, and chopped into ¼ cubes
  • 15 oz garbanzo beans cooked and rinsed
  • 3 large cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 ½ tsp chili powder rounded
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 3 tbsp tahini
  • ¼ cup vegetable broth

Optional Garnishes:

  • Goat cheese (plant-based or dairy)
  • Fresh thyme
  • Black sesame seeds
  • Drizzle of olive oil

 

Instructions:

  1. Place all ingredients except tahini and vegetable broth into the food processor. Pulse for 2-3 minutes, scraping down the sides with a spatula as needed to coarsely chop and combine the ingredients.
  2. Add tahini through the top opening and pulse to combine. Pour in vegetable broth with the motor running, adding liquid to your desired thickness.
  3. Place in a bowl or spread on crostini, garnishing with crumbled goat cheese, fresh thyme, black sesame seeds or a drizzle of olive oil as desired.

 

Adapted from Edible Education Experience

Categories
Dessert Family Friendly Snacks

Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips

Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips

This is an extremely healthy, delicious snack or dessert that the whole family will love.

Feel free to use a combination of your favorite fruit in season. Firm frozen fruit can be used.

Fruit Salsa:

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1 apple
  • 1-pound sliced peaches
  • 1/2 cup pineapple chunks
  • 3 tablespoons all-fruit jelly 
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves

Instructions

  1. Finely chop all fruit.
  2. Chiffonade (finely slice) the mint.
  3. Juice the lemon and whisk with the jelly in a small bowl.
  4. Combine fruit, mint, and jelly-lemon mixture in a large bowl and stir gently to evenly coat the fruit. Taste and adjust flavors as needed.
  5. Refrigerate to combine flavors while the chips are prepared.

Sweet Tortilla Chips:

Ingredients

  • 6 six-inch corn tortillas
  • Olive oil spray
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray both sides of the tortillas with oil.
  3. Stack tortillas and cut into sixths with a sharp knife. Arrange tortilla wedges on a parchment paper lined baking sheet in a single layer, using two sheets if needed.
  4. Sprinkle chips with cinnamon and bake for 5-8 minutes, then flip/rotate chips, and bake for 5-10 minutes more. Cool for 10 minutes. (Chips will be done when crisp at the edges. They will crisp up more when cooling.)
  5. Serve with salsa and enjoy!
Categories
Family Friendly Sauces, Dips & Dressings

Avocado Crema

Avocado Crema

This is a great way to extend the life of your ripe avocados and at the same time create a luscious spread/dip/topping for all kinds of dishes or snacks.

Makes about 3 cups

Ingredients

  • 2 large ripe avocados
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt (dairy or plant based)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 3 tablespoons lemon (or lime) juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1/2 cup cilantro (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Place avocados, yogurt, garlic, and citrus juice in a food processor and process until smooth.
  • Add cilantro, if desired, and pulse until combined. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Adapted from Edible Education Experience

Categories
Dessert Family Friendly Snacks

Easy Chocolate Hummus

Easy Chocolate Hummus

This delicious dessert-hummus is so packed with healthful ingredients that you could have it for breakfast or a snack –  anytime that you need to satisfy that sweet-tooth.

Makes about 1 cup 

Ingredients:

  • 1 can black beans (or chickpeas), drained and rinsed
  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons unsweetened baking cocoa
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter (or other nut butter)
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seed 
  • 2 tablespoons water (more as needed to thin)
  • Pinch of salt (optional)

Instructions:

  1. In a small bowl, mix ground flax seeds with 2 tablespoons water and let sit for 1 – 2 minutes.
  2. In a food processor, combine all the ingredients.
  3. Puree until smooth, about 30-60 seconds, scraping down the sides as needed.  Add a teaspoon or two of water at a time to create the desired consistency.
  4. Serve with banana slices, strawberries, apple slices, raspberries, toasted nuts, whole grain graham crackers or pretzels, etc.

Variations:

  • Double chocolate: Add a small handful of chocolate chips.
  • Mint-chocolate: Add a few drops of pure peppermint extract.
  • Almond joy: Add some shredded coconut and a little almond extract.
  • Mexican chocolate: Sprinkle in some cinnamon and cayenne.
  • Mocha: Add a pinch of instant coffee.
Categories
Family Friendly Pasta

Lasagna

Lasagna

Servings – about 8

A high speed blender is necessary for this recipe.  As lasagna recipes are not usually created with strict guidelines, feel free to play around by adding other herbs, or layers of zucchini or eggplant. This is a great recipe to double and freeze to have on hand when guests pop-in.

Ingredients:

  • 1 box no-boil lasagna noodles, 10-12 oz.
  • 1 pkg. firm tofu, 14 oz., drained
  • 1 ¼ cup cashews
  • 1 ½ cup water
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca flour or cassava flour
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil (or 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons parsley fresh, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 (24 oz.) jars commercial pasta sauce
  • ¾ cup cooked red lentils
  • 1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
  • 6 oz. baby spinach

 

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  2. Combine cashews, water and lemon juice in blender and blend until smooth. Add a tablespoon of extra water at a time to help blending.
  3. Once smooth, pour 2/3 cup of the cashew mixture into a small bowl. Add 1 tablespoon cassava flour to this small bowl and whisk until well combined. Set aside. This will be used as the cheese topping.
  4. Next, crumble the tofu into the blender with the residual cashew cream, add salt (if using) and pulse until combined. Mixture should be the consistency of ricotta cheese. Add more water 1 tablespoon at a time until the correct consistency. Next, add the parsley, oregano and basil to the tofu mixture in the blender and pulse until just combined.
  5. Whisk a small amount of pasta sauce with tomato paste to thin. Then add the remainder of the red sauce and red lentils. Stir until well combined.
  6. Assemble the lasagna: Spread 1 cup of lentil-pasta sauce on the bottom of a large 9 x 13 inch casserole dish or lasagna pan. Next add 4-5 uncooked lasagna noodles. Spread half of the tofu ricotta mixture on top of the noodles. Top with half of the spinach and then layer on 1 cup of the marinara sauce. Next, place 4-5 lasagna noodles on top. Spread the rest of the tofu ricotta over the noodles, then the rest of the spinach. Place 4-5 more noodles on top of the spinach, and then pour the rest of the sauce over the top, evenly.
  7. Bake covered with foil, for 40 minutes, remove from oven and top with round dollops of reserved cashew cheese mixture, spreading to form round mozzarella-like circles.  Return to oven, uncovered for 20 minutes.
  8. Let rest for 15 min before serving.  Sprinkle with a little additional chopped parsley for serving if desired.
Categories
Family Friendly Pasta

Pasta Carbonara with Shiitake Bacon

Pasta Carbonara with Shiitake Bacon

Packed with protein instead of fat! The shiitake mushrooms add an amazing crisp, umami element that is irresistible.

Makes about 6 servings

 

Ingredients:

Shiitake Bacon:

  • 3/4 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and thinly sliced (about ¼ inch thick)
  • Avocado or canola oil spray (or 1 tablespoon oil)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (or smoked sea salt)

Pasta Carbonara:

  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 1 pound long pasta (spaghetti, linguine, fettuccine)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 12 ounces silken (or soft) tofu
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Chopped fresh Italian parsley for garnish

Instructions:

Initial Prep:

  1. Cover cashews with boiling water and let sit for 10-15 minutes. Drain before using.

Shiitake Bacon: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray a large rimmed baking sheet generously with oil spray.
  2. Toss mushrooms in pan to partially coat and top with a light spray of oil and sprinkle with salt.
  3. Bake for about 30 minutes, turning frequently with a spatula, until lightly browned and crisp.

Pasta Carbonara: 

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions. Do not overcook. Drain and return to the pot.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and let cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and let cook about two more minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. In a blender, combine onion, garlic, tofu, drained cashews, water, and salt and pepper. Process on high until very smooth. Add sauce back to the skillet and warm over medium heat. (The consistency should be like a heavy cream. If the sauce thickens too much as it sits, add a little water to thin.)
  4. When warmed, remove sauce from the heat. Stir in lemon juice. Pour sauce over the pasta and stir gently to combine. Let sit for about 5 minutes to allow sauce to thicken slightly and adhere to the pasta. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  5. Top with Shiitake Bacon and parsley and serve.

 

Adapted from Chef Chloe Coscarelli’s By Chloe restaurant.