Spicy Quinoa Citrus Salad

Happy Memorial Day!

Memorial DayI want to take a moment to thank and acknowledge all the men and women who have given their lives protecting our country. The United States military dedicates their lives everyday to give us the opportunity to “celebrate” holidays such as this. Please make sure that while you are with your friends and families, at cookouts or the beach or wherever you choose to spend your day off from work, that you take a moment to remember what Memorial Day is really all about and to thank the veterans and current military members in your life! I know I couldn’t do what they do!

Spicy Quinoa Citrus Salad
So since I am hoping this weekend will also include a gathering of friends and family for you, or maybe just a nice day at home, I wanted to share this amazingly refreshing summer salad recipe with you! It is the perfect healthy dish to bring to a cookout or to serve as a side dish with a nice white fish or shrimp. You cold even add some leafy greens and make tacos with this as the filling! Or use it as a dip with gluten free corn chips! I love the Late July brand! They have so many yummy flavors… all gluten free!!

Spicy Quinoa Citrus Salad Spicy Quinoa Citrus Salad
This whole recipe takes about 30 minutes! I am even gunna give you a step by step for making this WHILE you get ready for your party! If you are a guy, just totally ignore the hair and makeup parts. In fact you probably only take 20 minutes to get ready so just go make this for your girlfriend while she is getting ready!! Sooo rinse your quinoa super well to avoid that nasty soapy flavor it might have if you don’t rinse it! Prepare quinoa according to package or the directions below. Once removed from the heat, jump in the shower. When you are so fresh and so clean come back and fluff the quinoa and place in a large bowl in the fridge. Chop your apple, onion, pepper and mandarin oranges and place in a medium bowl. Mince the garlic, cilantro and jalapeno and place in another medium bowl. Go dry your hair!

Spicy Quinoa Citrus Salad Spicy Quinoa Citrus Salad Spicy Quinoa Citrus Salad

While your straightener/curler is heating up come back and whip together the dressing following the directions below.

Spicy Quinoa Citrus Salad

Go do your make up and hair and put your party dress on! 🙂

Spicy Quinoa Citrus Salad

Ok now that you are all pretty and ready for your party, gently toss the veggies and fruit with half of the dressing and fold mixture into the chilled quinoa. Drizzle the second half of the dressing onto salad and gently until flavors are thoroughly combined. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with the remaining cilantro.

Enjoy your salad and your party and remember to thank the troops… today and everyday!

Spicy Quinoa Citrus Salad

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 8 cups

Serving Size: 1 cup

Calories per serving: 147; Fiber 2.6 grams

Fat per serving: 4.8, Protein: 3.8 grams

Spicy Quinoa Citrus Salad

Ingredients

    Salad:
  • 1 c organic quinoa (I used Arrowhead Mills Organic Quinoa, I usually buy Bob's Red Mill products but this one is significantly cheaper)
  • 1 large gala apple, diced
  • 1/2 small red onion, diced
  • 2 small mandarin oranges, diced
  • 1/2 large bell pepper, diced (I used an orange one... I like the sweetness in them better)
  • Dressing:
  • Juice of 3 limes (about 1/3 cup) - use fresh... the bottled just isn't the same
  • 1 T local honey (agave nectar will work as well)
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced (use less if you don't like spice!)
  • 1-2 minced garlic cloves (use fresh not jarred!)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 T POMPEIAN OlivExtra Original Canola & Extra Virgin Olive Oil Blend (can use canola oil or olive oil, or a combo of both... I like this brand for dressings!)
  • 3/4 c chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon lime zest
  • Kosher salt
  • Black Pepper

Instructions

    Salad:
  1. Rinse the quinoa in a strainer several times with cold water (Don't skip this step! You will be left with a "soapy" tasting bowl of what could have been delicious quinoa!).
  2. Bring 2 cups water to boil in a covered medium pot.
  3. Add quinoa, cover and simmer until the water is fully absorbed (approx 15 minutes).
  4. Remove from heat and let stand, undisturbed, for 10 minutes.
  5. Fluff with a fork and transfer to a large bowl to let cool. (Place in fridge, uncovered to speed this process up if necessary)
  6. Dice your apple, red onion, bell pepper and mandarin oranges (peeled of course).
  7. Place the diced fruits and veggies in a medium mixing bowl. Set aside.
  8. Dressing:
  9. Combine the lime juice, honey, diced jalapeno, minced garlic and cumin in a glass mixing bowl, whisking briskly.
  10. Slowly add the oil while whisking to combine evenly.
  11. Once the vinaigrette is smooth, whisk in chopped cilantro (MINUS 1 heaping tablespoon) as well as the lime zest. Season with salt and pepper to taste
  12. Combine:
  13. Pour in about half of the honey cilantro lime vinaigrette into the bowl of chopped fruits and veggies, gently toss to combine.
  14. Fold this mixture into the quinoa and drizzle in the remaining vinaigrette. Again, gently toss to combine thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper.
  15. Transfer the quinoa salad to a large serving bowl, garnish with remaining cilantro and serve immediately (or cover and keep in refrigerator for up to two days).
  16. ENJOY!

Notes

NOTE: The longer this sits in the dressing the more garlicky it will taste. Be aware of this if you plan to make ahead of time. I recommend dressing directly before serving.

Inspired by: Food Network

http://www.andasideoficecream.com/2014/05/25/spicy-quinoa-citrus-salad/

Spicy Quinoa Citrus Salad

Reader Feedback:

  • What are your holiday plans?
  • What is your favorite quinoa recipe?
  • What are you bringing to your holiday party… or are you brave enough to be the host!?

Ridiculously Healthy Veggie Fettuccine (Vegan & GF)

Ridiculously Healthy Veggie Fettuccine Gluten Free

Have you heard of Nasoya Pasta Zero!?! I just recently discovered these noodles at Publix in the produce section with the vegan cheeses and tofu products! I admit I was super skeptical of any product that looks like pasta, comes in a watery liquid AND has a claim to fame for it’s insanely low calorie count! 15 Calories! That’s it! You can eat the entire bag for 30 calories, which is a HUGE serving!
The equivalent amount of regular wheat, corn or rice pasta would be approximately 23o calories!

Nasoya Shirataki Nutrition Facts
Ingredients:
water, konjac flour, chickpea flour, potato starch, calcium hydroxide, reduced iron, folic acid

Pasta Zero FAQs

What are Shirataki Noodles?Ridiculously Healthy Veggie Fettuccine (Vegan & Gluten Free)
A traditional Japanese noodle made from the Konjac plant root. Shirataki noodles have little flavor but absorbs the delicious flavors you cook with. They can be used just like regular pasta but will save you a boat load in calories and carbs!

Why do Pasta Zero Shirataki Noodles have a unique smell?
Actually, all shirataki noodles have a slight fishy smell thanks to the Konjac plant root, which is used to make the noodles. It’s completely safe and is a natural smell which will decrease as the noodles are rinsed and cooked.

Are Pasta Zero Shirataki Noodles Gluten Free and Vegan?Ridiculously Healthy Veggie Fettuccine (Vegan & Gluten Free)
Yes

How do I cook with Pasta Zero Shirataki Noodles?
Be sure to drain and rinse the noodles under warm water for a couple minutes before using them.

Are Pasta Zero Shirataki Noodles made with non-GMO ingredients?
Yes, all Nasoya products are made using non-GMO ingredients.

Pasta Zero All Natural Shirataki Fettuccine Noodles

  • All Natural
  • Non-GMO
  • Fat Free
  • Vegan
  • Gluten Free
  • Low Calorie
  • Low Carb
  • Fortified with Iron

 

These noodles are similar to tofu in that they take on the flavor that you cook them with. They had a slightly chewier texture than normal pasta but it was so satisfying to have such a huge bowl of food for such low caloric intake! Enjoy and let me know what ingredients you decide to add! The recipe below is how I gobbled them up!

Ridiculously Healthy Veggie Fettuccine (Vegan & GF)

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 2 large servings

Serving Size: 1/2 recipe

Calories per serving: 118; Fiber 5.5 grams

Fat per serving: 1.4; Protein 3 grams

Ridiculously Healthy Veggie Fettuccine (Vegan & GF)

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Drain and rinse the noodles VERY well under warm water for a couple minutes before using them.
  2. Heat pan over medium heat with 1/2 tbsp of unrefined coconut oil.
  3. Chop bell pepper, mushrooms and tomatoes into large chunks.
  4. Drain and rinse corn. Set aside 1/3 of the can.
  5. Add all veggies to the hot pan and saute until heated through and cooked to your liking. I prefer to leave a little crunch to mine!
  6. Add noodles for the last three minutes of cooking and toss in seasonings of your choice. The noodles with loose their slightly funky smell while they are being cooked and will begin to take on the flavors you choose.
  7. Split into two large servings and enjoy your ridiculously low calorie and healthy meal!
http://www.andasideoficecream.com/2014/05/16/ridiculously-healthy-veggie-fettuccine-vegan-gluten-free/

Ridiculously Healthy Veggie Fettuccine (Vegan & Gluten Free)

Reader Response:

  • Can you get past the funky smell or look of certain foods pre-cooked?
  • Is a slightly chewy texture worth the 200 less calories to you!?
  • What ingredients would you like to try with these noodles? I am thinking about trying a vegan cheese sauce!

So many recipes… so little time! PS. Happy Mother’s Day!!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mothers Day

I hope all of you have had an amazing day! There is absolutely nothing like the love of a mother. Mother’s are the most selfless, giving, loving people in the world! I can’t imagine a day without my amazing mom! She has made me the woman I am today and started my love for cooking when I was very little! Her favorite thing in the world, even after a long day at work, is to spend hours in the kitchen, creating delicious and healthy masterpieces for the family. She loves hosting dinner parties and having family and friends over for the holidays. I feel so lucky every day for everything she has taught me <3

———————————————————————————————————————-

I also wanted to let you all know that as soon as I possibly can I will be posting so many new and fun recipes! I have them! I have the photos! I have taken the time to taste test and devour each and every delicious bite… just for you of course! And I am so excited to share them all with you!

Recipes Coming Soon Collage

Here is a mini collage of a few of my favorite recent recipes! Once I have them all posted I will link them back to this post as well 🙂

LEFT: Zesty Lime Shrimp Tacos

TOP RIGHT: Citrus Cilantro Quinoa Salad with a Kick

BOTTOM RIGHT: 30 Calorie Veggie Fettuccine

I have been insanely busy lately… which is a great thing, but I am dying to have more time with my fingers on this keyboard to type up fun posts and the detailed recipes for everyone. I feel pretty confident you will all be excited to try them. I have been experimenting with savory meals lately to counteract my never ending sweet tooth and am pretty darn happy with the results!

Reader Response:

Black Bean Zucchini Brownies (Vegan & Gluten Free)

Healthy Black Bean Zucchini Brownies

I got so excited when I decided to make this recipe I completelyyyy forgot to take pictures until the batter was mixed! I am so sorry! I promise you didn’t miss much. The exciting part is that this insane list of recipes come to together to look AND taste like brownie batter! And it’s completely vegan so eat away! Hey, screw the baking step if you want and just put it straight in the fridge and use it to dip apples or strawberries or oranges or whatever fruit you like!

My boyfriend and I were literally sitting on the couch after dinner and both looked at each other and laughed. We know the look of “Holy crap I need something sweet and NOW!” He said his mouth was watering for brownies and ice cream or something equally sinful! Naturally I thought that sounded divine! My light bulb went off and I grabbed my computer to find the 20+ flourless brownie recipes I had pinned over the last several weeks that I had been wanting to try making them! I would tell you which recipes I referenced, but there were soooo many I looked at and they each were totally different and my recipe is unlike ANY of them that it would be pointless because naturally I think mine is best 😉

Healthy Black Bean Zucchini Brownies

I knew I wanted them to have black beans because… well… that’s what all the cool kids are doing! I also knew I wanted them to have as little sugar as possible and preferably have them be vegan. Most of the recipes I could find called for coffee, or cayenne, or balsamic vinegar?! Yikes! I am up for just about any flavor combo but I wanted to keep it simple. I know baking can be super finicky with amounts of each ingredient, especially when going gluten free, but to be perfectly honest: I didn’t care if these didn’t rise! And I didn’t care if they were dense and fudgey. And I didn’t care if I had to chill them to get them to set completely. Chocolate is chocolate and in my opinion, as long as they tasted like heaven and were freakishly good for me at the same time…. I was sold!

Healthy Black Bean Zucchini Brownies

So the adventure started. I pulled my black beans and cocoa powder out. Those were literally the only things that I knew for sure that I wanted in them. The rest was based on what I had in the house/my desire to make them vegan and low fat! I have sen a bunch of recipes for zucchini chocolate banana bread so I decided to add zucchini into the mix. If you brownies have two veggies in them they can be eaten for breakfast right? ok ok how about lunch?!

Healthy Black Bean Zucchini Brownies

The rest of the ingredients were substitutions and necessities for baking. I used unsweetened natural applesauce for the eggs AND the oil (like I said, I wasn’t worried about them not rising and being dense and fudgey). I used extra baking powder because I read that you can use applesauce as an egg sub if you add extra baking powder. I had flax and chia on hand but was nervous about them giving a flavor to the brownies and to be honest I REALLY wanted to just taste the chocolate. In my experience, applesauce has pretty much no flavor when used in baking. Lastly, I added a mix of Splenda Brown Sugar Blend and Domino Light Brown Sugar as well as, of course, vanilla extract.

 Healthy Black Bean Zucchini Brownies

I also swirled in my favorite creamy peanut butter, Crazy Richard’s 100% All Natural, as a surprise for my boyfriend. If you are new to my blog then you missed the stories about his favorite food “groups”… Parmesan cheese, hot sauce and peanut butter haha not all together but he loves them all and puts them on anything he can! You could also add chocolate chunks or chopped nuts or shredded coconut or anything your heart desires!

Healthy Black Bean Zucchini Brownies Healthy Black Bean Zucchini Brownies

The only important thing about this recipe is getting all of the ingredients completely mixed together! There are only three steps in the whole process.

  1. Shred the zucchini and squeeze out the extra liquid (I used my food processor. It is going to be going back in there anyways so that works just fine).
  2. Mix zucchini, beans, applesauce, cocoa powder, brown sugar, baking powder and vanilla together in a bowl and add to food processor; mix on high until smooth and creamy like brownie batter (It’s totally fine if there are chunks, but of course they will be in the brownies. Up to you).
  3. Bake (below is a pic of it half way through the baking)!

Healthy Black Bean Zucchini Brownies

If you count cooling and waiting to taste them for at least five minutes, so you don’t burn your fingers, then I guess there are four step 😉

Healthy Black Bean Zucchini Brownies

Black Bean Zucchini Brownies (Vegan & Gluten Free)

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Yield: 15 brownies

Serving Size: 1 brownie

Calories per serving: 61, Fiber 2.8 grams

Fat per serving: 1.4; Protein 2.8 grams

Black Bean Zucchini Brownies (Vegan & Gluten Free)

These will be very soft in the center still but the edges should be sturdy. These are 100% edible totally raw so don't worry if they aren't completely done. They are also pretty hard to burn so cooking a little too long shouldn't hurt either.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Spray an 8 x 8 brownie pan (or a 9 x 11 if you're like me and don't own a square one!) with cooking spray and set a side.
  3. In a food processor or blender add all the ingredients, except the peanut butter. You can do this in two batches if you cant fit it all, but make sure that both are equally mixed and smooth!
  4. Heat your peanut butter in a small microwave safe dish until it is warm and a little drippy but not boiling.
  5. Pour batter into prepared pan and gently swirl the peanut butter in on top... feel free to add chocolate chips (these one are Vegan!, nuts or more peanut butter if you want!
  6. Bake for 45-50 minutes, insert a toothpick, if it comes out cleanish, brownies are done (the center will probably never allow for a totally clean toothpick. The edges might).
  7. Leave in pan to cool before cutting. If you can wait... SEE NOTES!!

Notes

These will be very soft in the center still but the edges should be sturdy. These are 100% edible totally raw so don't worry if they aren't completely done. They are also pretty hard to burn so cooking a little too long shouldn't hurt either.

I suggest chilling them completely in the fridge before cutting. Other wise you might end up having to eat them with a spoon! I could think of worse things that eating healthy brownie batter with a spoon! 😉

http://www.andasideoficecream.com/2014/05/03/black-bean-zucchini-brownies-vegan-gluten-free/

Healthy Black Bean Zucchini Brownies

Reader Response:

  • What are the craziest things you have added to healthy treats?
  • Do you tell your friends and family when you sneak fruits & vegetables into their snacks?
  • Do you like the denseness of these? I am thinking of making them again with coconut flour! What do you think?

Vanilla Coffee Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream (Secretly Healthy!!)

Vanilla Coffee Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream

So it’s almost 10:30pm on a rainy Tuesday night and I was sitting on the couch watching Shark Tank OnDemand and filling out my planner for the next few weeks when my sweet tooth hit with a vengeance!!

Naturally my freezer has three containers of frozen yogurt at the moment, but I had already eaten a bunch earlier and was attempting to avoid my third serving of the day.

The gluten free granola my mom sent me in a care package took care of need for a crunch earlier, but I needed chocolate and cold creaminess and desperately wanted something healthy. I’ve also been fighting the urge for a giant Starbucks latte for days now.

The answer: Vanilla Coffee Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream.

That’s what you guessed though, right?!

I could have just been lazy and made the World’s Healthiest Ice Cream… but I was feeling creative.Worlds Healthiest Ice Cream

Within seven minutes my mouth was the beyond happy and my belly was just a little bit too full! This barely even qualifies as a recipe because it was SOOOO easy! I only snapped one quick picture on my phone of the main ingredients and the finished product in my favorite Talenti container!

I am pretty positive the ingredients speak for themselves this time!

frozen bananas

Usually I give you tons of pictures to make you understand how amazing the end product is and explain the full process but this one was so easy and delicious and full of yummy products ANDDD to be completely honest I wasn’t even planning on posting it, but it was too good not to share with you guys!

Sooo here it goes! I’m off to bed aka making a pit stop at the freezer with my spoon and then curling up with a new episode of Revenge before passing out!

YOU’RE WELCOME!! (I know you will be thanking me so I am saying you’re welcome in advance)

Good night!! 🙂

Vanilla Coffee Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream (SCERETLY HEALTHY)

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 3 hours

Cook Time: 7 minutes

Total Time: 7 minutes

Yield: 4 1/2 cups

Serving Size: 1/2 cup

Calories per serving: 108

Fat per serving: 1.9

Vanilla Coffee Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream (SCERETLY HEALTHY)

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Chop banana into 1/4 - 1/2 inch chunks. don't try to skip the cutting up of the banana stage... trust me on this... your food processor will not be happy!
  2. Lay on a plate or baking pan.
  3. Place in freezer for minimum 3 hours... the results better if you can wait over night though.
  4. Once frozen, remove tray from freezer.
  5. Place all banana chunks, 1/4 cup of the coconut milk and the vanilla extract
  6. in a food processor.
  7. Now for the easiest and the hardest step: BLEND! I suggest doing this on high and scrapping it down every 30 seconds or so. Depending on your food processor this will take any where for two - six minutes, give or take a minute or two. Don't give up when it looks like you are getting no where. I promise that the stage of chopped up banana to ice cream happens quickly!
  8. When the banana mixture is thick and creamy like ice cream, add the instant coffee and the other 1/4 cup coconut milk. Blend till mixed.
  9. Add chocolate chunks until they are chopped till your liking (longer for smaller chunks).
  10. Scoop into a bowl and enjoy! (or just stick your spoon in the food processor AFTER you unplug it!!!!) YOU'RE WELCOME!!

Notes

Place leftover in a Tupperware container and save it in the freezer for later. Depending on how long you refreeze it, you may want to let it thaw for a few minutes before enjoying again but this certainly is not necessary... or easy to do!

SUBSTITUTIONS You could easily make this vegan by subbing the Nestle Chunks for Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips like these and using an instant coffee that does not include any dairy product!

OR

On the other hand, if allergies or dietary needs don't require you to go dairy free, you could use regular milk in place of the coconut milk.

OR

If coffee isn't your style you could substitute the instant coffee with unsweetened cocoa powder... or leave it out all together!

http://www.andasideoficecream.com/2014/04/15/vanilla-coffee-chocolate-chunk-ice-cream-secretly-healthy/

Reader Response:

  • Want even more banana ice cream fun?? What would you add in this ice cream?
  • MY IDEAS: -peanut butter -cocoa powder -jam -berries (fresh or frozen) -cinnamon -chopped nuts
  • Have you seen my recipe for the World’s Healthiest Ice Cream??

Vegan Power House Soup with Quinoa and Veggies

Vegan Power House Soup with Quinoa and Veggies
Well this recipe might not have been the winner when I took the vote to Facebook on whether you all wanted to see this recipe or my Vegan Lentil Soup recipe first, but what I didn’t tell you is that this one was actually my favorite! While I loved the lentil soup and all it’s hearty yet fat free goodness, I felt like this Vegan Power House Quinoa and Veggie Soup was much more my style for a year round, go to, quick and easy recipe.

If you read my last post, then you got all the fun details about my trip to visit my sister and and my adorable nephew and my week long lack of my amazing Canon Rebel. If you didn’t then I am here to warn you these photos are definitely not the best quality. I apologize in advance that they were all snapped quickly on my iPhone. “Having dinner/lunch/breakfast ready for the family and spending time with Harper and my sis took priority. #sorryimnotsorry

Vegan Power House Soup with Quinoa and Veggies Vegan Power House Soup with Quinoa and Veggies

This recipe is actually based on a recipe my sister’s midwife gave her for added nutrition after the birth of her baby boy. The abundance of protein and vitamins in this super low calorie recipe is not only amazing for a new mama but also for the new baby via breast milk. Any recipe that is new mother and baby approved sounds good to me!
There are very few times that nutrition is of more importance than this point in a woman’s life, so if a professional recommended this soup for my sister then I figured it would be wonderful for all of us! We ended up eating this soup three times in the next four days! So yummy!

Vegan Power House Soup with Quinoa and Veggies

Like I mentioned in the Lentil Soup post, my sis has the best knives ever: the brand is Shun and I want a whole set! Cooking with sharp knives is a whole different ball game… A MUCH BETTER ONE! What knives do you use? Let me know in the comments! While I was chopping the carrots, summer squash and zucchini for the soup, I brought 4 quarts Pacific Natural Foods Organic Vegetable Broth to a boil in her SECOND giant pot: a Calphalon 8 qt pot!

 

So some how in my 27 years on earth, many of which I have spent cooking on some level or another, I never figured out that carrots sink and/or maybe I never realized that zucchini and summer squash float! This is what happened when I added them all to the boiling broth.

Vegan Power House Soup with Quinoa and Veggies

As soon as the quinoa was finished… about 15 minutes… I added it to the simmering broth and the now tender veggies.

Vegan Power House Soup with Quinoa and Veggies

Depending on how you time this with the cooking of the quinoa and the broth, you will want to let the quinoa absorb the broth flavor for a few minutes and then add the fresh spinach to the simmering broth and cover until fully wilted.

Vegan Power House Soup with Quinoa and Veggies

And that’s it. Seriously! THREE EASY STEPS!!

  1. Cook quinoa.
  2. Chop Veggies.
  3. Combine in broth.

DONE!!

Your turn! 🙂 ENJOY!

Vegan Power House Soup with Quinoa and Veggies

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 28 cups

Serving Size: 1 cup

Calories per serving: 54

Fat per serving: .6

Vegan Power House Soup with Quinoa and Veggies

Ingredients

  • 2 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 2 medium summer squash, chopped
  • 4 medium carrots (or a little more than 1/2 a small bag of baby carrots), chopped
  • 1 large bag spinach
  • 4 32oz cartons Vegetable Broth.. or the equivalent amount of broth made from bullion. You do not have to use veggie broth, I did based on our dietary needs. (I used Pacific Natural Foods Organic Veggie Broth)
  • 1.5 cups dry quinoa (I used Arrowhead Mills Organic Quinoa)
  • Sea Salt to taste (will depend on the sodium level of your broth)
  • OPTIONS:
  • You could sub rice, barley, pasta or any grain you would like for the quinoa, but quinoa and barley are probably the most nutritious out of those options. Feel free to play around with the carb you decide to use based on your dietary needs and wants!

Instructions

  1. In a medium pot, begin cooking quinoa based on the package directions.
  2. In a large pot like this one bring your Veggie Broth to a boil.
  3. Chop your zucchini, summer squash and carrots into small to medium chunks and add to your broth.
  4. Lower heat to the slowest possible simmer and cook, partially covered, for 30 minutes.
  5. Check on your quinoa and add to cooking veggies as soon as it is done.
  6. Stir occasionally until your veggies are tender.
  7. Add spinach at the very end and cover until fully wilted.
  8. Serve this soup in a large bowl while it is nice and hot.
  9. Enjoy every delicious and nutritious bite!

Notes

I am sure this would be delicious with grated cheese or a nice chunk of bread... preferably gluten free 😉

http://www.andasideoficecream.com/2014/04/14/vegan-power-house-soup-quinoa-veggies/

Reader Response:

  • Have you guys tried couponing yet?
  • CHECK OUT THIS BLOG POST: Couponing 101
  • What stores do you shop at? I am curious because I want to provide the bet coupon knowledge for my readers specifically!

Fat Free Vegan Lentil Soup

Vegan Fat Free Lentil Soup

I don’t think I could possibly love such a small human being more than I love my nephew. I spent the last week visiting my sister and brother in law and my new baby nephew (he is only 3 weeks old!). My brother in law had to go back to work so I wen up to help out with things around the house so my sister could give her full attention to the little one. We all had such a wonderful time and I got some of the most amazing bonding time with Harper. Oh that’s his name btw! Isn’t it adorable?! I love it!

In our spare time the few minutes between feedings and changings and laundry and cleaning and afternoon walks (he LOVES being outside!) there was some own time while the little man was napping that my sister and I got to spend time together in the kitchen. This was usually broken up into short periods together and me finishing p the rest but I had a blast trying out new recipes! She is the queen of cook books. It was so nice and refreshing to use a cook book and not just hope online and find a recipe. I haven’t done that in forever! I will have three great recipes I am posting this week from my time up there. I apologize in advance that the photos were all snapped quickly on my iPhone and not with my Canon Rebel. Having dinner/lunch/breakfast ready for the family and spending time with Harper and my sis took priority. #sorryimnotsorry

I took the vote to Facebook to find out which of the two soup recipes you all wanted to see first. Ps. I really despise how difficult Facebook makes it for you all to even see my posts. Unfortunately most of the likes and comments for this post ended up on my own personal page when I shared it with friends. Which by the weird workings of Facebook mean that they don’t actually show up on my Page as likes but on my personal page?! ARGH! Like my page so you can hopefully see my posts on your news feed! Please and Thank You!

So onto the recipe. Thanks for bearing with me about family and my Facebook rant. It will be worth it! This recipe is FULL of amazing nutrients (we made it specifically for the nutrition for my sister who is breastfeeding and needs extra protein and lots of veggies for Harper). My sis and I are both vegetarians and her hubby eats a predominately vegetarian diet so we decided to double this recipe so we could all have it for multiple meals through out the week and they would have left overs when I left.

The original recipe is from this awesome cookbook: The New Moosewood Cookbook! We didn’t mess much with the main ingredients other than to play a little with the amounts we used based on what we had and my RUN to the grocery store down the street in the pouring rain during which I forgot a few things. OOPS! Also my sis doesn’t like Thyme and we all love garlic so we added extra of that. The end result was beyond fabulous!

Let’s get started with the veggies! There was A LOT of chopping! OMG she has the best knives ever: the brand is Shun and I want a whole set… I think you have to get married to get things like that for presents lol someday 😉 Seriously though, if I had checked a bag when I went to visit she might have been short a few when I left because I have never known the magic of cooking with insanely sharp knives. It makes a WORLD of difference! What knives do you use? Let me know in the comments!

Vegan Fat Free Lentil SoupI started with the garlic which seriously made me miss my boyfriend (I know I am a sap. Deal with it.)! We cook together almost every night of the week and it’s my favorite time of the day with him. We both LOVE garlic and regularly use a whole sleeve in a week… or more! But I HATE the process of peeling and chopping garlic. He finds it meditative. Which I get but I still hate it. If anyone has ideas on ways to make it easier let me know! The recipe called for 6-8 cloves, we were doubling the whole recipe and since the cloves were small I used about 18. Thank god for the sharp knife for the chopping part or I might have lost my mind. I think my fingers still smell like garlic.

Vegan Fat Free Lentil Soup Vegan Fat Free Lentil Soup

Oh yea and then there was the onions. Good thing it wasn’t my fingers in Harper’s mouth that night to soothe him to sleep! I am gunna guess that even after multiple washings and a shower that they did not taste that great! Thankfully the celery and onions were munchable and didn’t contribute any further to my stinky fingers!

Vegan Fat Free Lentil Soup Vegan Fat Free Lentil Soup

While I was chopping all these veggies I brought 13 cups of water to a boil in her giant All Clad 8 qt pot! I seriously could live in her kitchen cabinets which might actually be possible based on how many she has! Their kitchen is a cute little gulley style kitchen but they have more cabinet space than I have ever seen. It might have made me a teenie tiny bit jealous!

This bad boy held all that water plus 8 cups of dry lentils AND all the chopped veggies! It was kind of a miracle! OK maybe not a miracle. I just don’t own a pot this size but think I might need to buy one.

Vegan Fat Free Lentil Soup Vegan Fat Free Lentil Soup

When you add the veggies you also add basil, oregano and freshly ground black pepper. The only seasoning you add to the lentils while they are cooking is salt. It was so nice to not have a recipe call for TONS of oil. I know some oil is good for you in moderation but I feel like sometimes it is used just because people think they need it. I always try to reduce the amount in recipes with substitutions so it was great not having to worry about that. What do you think about oil in cooking… especially in things like soup?

PREPARE YOUR SELF FOR AWFUL PHOTOS (reason below)!

Vegan Fat Free Lentil Soup Vegan Fat Free Lentil Soup

Who ever invented the process of peeling and de-seeding tomatoes might be a genius in the cooking world but I kinda sorta hate them. This process was miserable (ok that might be a strong word but it certainly wasn’t fun) and it contributes to the horrible photos. I was a little fed up from the first peel of the first tomato (I seriously think the directions to put them in boiling water for 10 seconds had to be wrong because I am here to tell you that they did not peel easily).

Between the not so great iPhone camera and the mushy mess on the cutting board, these photos are less than appealing. SORRY! They ended up great in the soup despite the pain in the butt they were though. Can anyone tell me why the peeling and de-seeding is necessary? I am sure it’s readily available info on the internet but I haven’t looked it up yet.

Vegan Fat Free Lentil Soup This is after adding the tomatoes but before letting the veggies cook down a little longer. The end result, despite the garlic chopping and tomato peeling was ridiculously easy and delicious! Sorry for making you read so much before getting to the recipe! If you read it all you are a trooper and now know about an awesome knife and bought you should probably own!! 😉 If you didn’t you are probably scrolling up to find out what the heck I am talking about!

Fat Free Vegan Lentil Soup

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Total Time: 20 hours, 20 minutes

Yield: 20 cups (approx)

Serving Size: 1 cup

Calories per serving: 136, 11.7 grams Fiber

Fat per serving: 0, 10.6 grams Protein

Ingredients

  • 8 cup dry lentils
  • 13 cups water
  • 4 t sea salt
  • 12-16 medium garlic cloves, crushed (more if they are small or if you enjoy garlic breathe like me!)
  • 2 large yellow onions, chopped
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 4 medium carrots (or a little more than 1/2 a small bag of baby carrots), chopped
  • 3 medium ripe tomatoes (preferably you use 6 but I forgot to get more at the store)
  • lots of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1.5 t oregano
  • 1.5 t basil
  • OPTIONAL: red wine vinegar to drizzle on top (we forgot to do this every time we sat down to eat but it sounds like it would be yummy!)

Instructions

  1. Place lentils, water and salt in a large pot. (This one was PERFECT.) Bring to a boil, lower heat to the slowest possible simmer I love cooking on a gas stove but this is hard to find without putting out the flame, and cook, partially covered, for 30 minutes.
  2. Chop all your veggies BESIDES TOMATOES while your lentils are cooking (should take about 15 minutes unless you hate chopping garlic as much as I do and then it might take the full half hour!). one of these knives will help speed up the process though!
  3. Stir lentils and add chopped veggies, basil, oregano and fresh ground pepper.
  4. Partially cover and let simmer another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Bring enough water to cover your tomatoes in a saucepan to a boil.
  6. Carefully drop in the tomatoes for 10 seconds, then remove and peel off the skins and squeeze the seeds out I wish you luck!.
  7. Chop the rest of the tomatoes and add to the soup after the 30 minutes of simmering and cook for at least another 5 minutes.
  8. Serve this soup with hot although I think it tasted great cold straight out of the fridge as well!
  9. Drizzle red wine vinegar on top of each scrumptious bowl if you so choose!

Notes

Enjoy the hours of energy this protein packed low calorie meal dishes up!

http://www.andasideoficecream.com/2014/04/11/fat-free-vegan-lentil-soup/

Vegan Fat Free Lentil Soup

*this is the original recipe from the Moosewood Cookbook*

Reader Response:

  • Doing it a little different in this post… check out the italic questions through out the post and let me know what you think!!

Heavenly Avocado Strawberry Lime Frozen Yogurt

Heavenly Avocado Strawberry Lime Frozen Yogurt

My taste buds are in their happy place! Avocado… yum! Strawberry… yum! Lime… yum! Tangy greek yogurt… yum! Chocolate… double yum!

ALL IN ONE COLD CREAMY CONCOCTION = HEAVEN!!

Heavenly Avocado Strawberry Lime Frozen Yogurt

So it all began late one night after 17 hours of dreaming about avocado ice cream. I’m not even exaggerating. In fact it was longer than that, but we won’t even count the hours I spent the night before on Pinterest drooling over other avocado ice cream recipes (this one inspired me).

Heavenly Avocado Strawberry Lime Frozen Yogurt

Naturally I fell asleep thinking about this cold, creamy, beautifully colored heaven and woke up at 5am (I am NOT a morning person!!) unable to stay in bed any longer without finalizing my plans to get avocado heaven in my mouth.

Heavenly Avocado Strawberry Lime Frozen Yogurt Heavenly Avocado Strawberry Lime Frozen Yogurt Heavenly Avocado Strawberry Lime Frozen Yogurt

I quietly crawled out of bed not wanting to wake my boyfriend on my crazy mission (I am pretty sure he would actually find my NEED for ice cream at 5am fairly normal all things considered in my life). Unfortunately, I failed to put my ice cream maker base in the freezer the night before. (I have a Cuisinart ICE-30BC Pure Indulgence 2-Quart Automatic Frozen Yogurt, Sorbet, and Ice Cream Maker and I LOVE it!) So my first goal was get this baby in the freezer asap!

Heavenly Avocado Strawberry Lime Frozen Yogurt Heavenly Avocado Strawberry Lime Frozen Yogurt Heavenly Avocado Strawberry Lime Frozen Yogurt

Next was to decide officially on the flavors I wanted in my bowl of heaven later. I had some perfectly ripe avocados I had been waiting to find a perfect use for so I checked that off my list.  My fridge has also been full of fresh strawberries lately… when I say full I mean like 3+ containers at all times! I love strawberry season! Based on my Pinterest exploration, it seemed almost unanimous that lime was a must have pairing with avocado.

Heavenly Avocado Strawberry Lime Frozen Yogurt Heavenly Avocado Strawberry Lime Frozen Yogurt Heavenly Avocado Strawberry Lime Frozen Yogurt

The only thing left to decide was to go with a dairy free option? or low fat? or traditional egg based ice cream? or use creamy coconut milk? or try to make my first ever frozen yogurt! My curiosity and slight fear of the already high fat content of avocados… I know they are healthy fats and soooo good for you but sometimes my calorie/fat content driven brand takes over. I am working on it.

Heavenly Avocado Strawberry Lime Frozen Yogurt Heavenly Avocado Strawberry Lime Frozen Yogurt Heavenly Avocado Strawberry Lime Frozen Yogurt

This time my mind ended up being very smart. I opted for a dairy free milk base with added greek yogurt for the live cultures, probiotics and low fat content. Win. Win. Win. The other awesome part of this was the ability to CUT OUT ALL ADDED SUGAR since most greek yogurts on the market are already sweetened… especially flavored ones. I chose Chobani Simply 100 Greek Yogurt in Vanilla and Key Lime! I love their flavors and that they only use Evaporated Cane Juice and Stevia to sweeten their products instead of nasty high-fructose corn syrup!! I knew I wanted to use vanilla an lime in my finished product so I figured these flavors would be the perfect addition.

About Chobani® Greek yogurt

  • More protein per serving than regular yogurt
  • Only natural ingredients
  • No artificial flavors or sweeteners
  • No preservatives
  • Made with milk from cows not treated with artificial growth hormones**
  • Includes live & active cultures
  • Three types of probiotics
  • Gluten free
  • Kosher certified
  • Vegetarian friendly
  • Less than 5% lactose

The only other ingredients I needed now was my favorite unsweetened almond milk, vanilla extract, fresh lime juice and sea salt! That’s only 7 ingredients!! Check out your favorite ice cream ingredients next time you are at the store… I promise there are WAYYYY more than seven! If you want to get superrrrr technical there are other ingredients in the yogurt I used… but guess what?? YOU CAN PRONOUNCE ALL OF THEM!!

Rule of Thumb: Can’t pronounce it?? Don’t eat it!!

Heavenly Avocado Strawberry Lime Frozen Yogurt Heavenly Avocado Strawberry Lime Frozen Yogurt

Wanna know what is easy to pronounce… CHOCOLATE!!

So I said 7 ingredients huh?? Welllllll I lied! I used 8. But in my defense the decision to add chocolate was completely last minute. As in so last minute the frozen yogurt was done and I kept the machine running longer than necessary just to add the chocolate chunks in. Ooopppsss! Have I mentioned I like chocolate?! Like a lot?! It’s so weird to me that I do like chocolate because growing up I hated it! Mom always got all the Hershey Bars and Tootsie Rolls on Halloween and the Neopolitan was always just a sad container of 1/3 chocolate when I was finished with it.

Heavenly Avocado Strawberry Lime Frozen Yogurt Heavenly Avocado Strawberry Lime Frozen Yogurt

Then something happened. I not only started liking chocolate (admittedly it was a slow process of tasting lots of high end yummy chocolates) I started craving it! Anddd not just once a month…. all the time! Morning. Night. Skinny days. Fat Days. I wanted it. Oddly, I still am a devoted vanilla ice cream kinda girl but give me chocolate toppings any day 🙂 Hey on a rare occasion you can even keep the ice cream and give me the toppings and I am happy! But only on a veryyyy rare occasion!
Heavenly Avocado Strawberry Lime Frozen YogurtAll that being said, the chocolate (I used this kind) is not a necessity in this recipe and the use of dairy greek yogurt is totally up to you. Although I have not tried it, I am pretty certain any non-dairy yogurt like So Delicious Coconut Yogurt would work perfectly fine, making this Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Paleo Friendly and Vegan (if you leave out the chocolate or use Enjoy Life brand chocolate chips).

I will now apologize in advance for the slow load time on this page due to the amazing photo shoot I had with this heaven!

Heavenly Avocado Strawberry Lime Frozen YogurtThis entire recipe made approximately 4 cups, or 8 servings according to the standard ice cream serving size of a 1/2 cup. But all joking aside… WHO ONLY EATS 1/2 A CUP OF ICE CREAM?!! Seriously, I have never once sat down with 1/2 a cup of ice cream and been satisfied. That is like three bites straight from the carton while I am serving the actual bowl of ice cream I am about to eat.
Heavenly Avocado Strawberry Lime Frozen Yogurt
Soooo I will give you the amazing nutritional facts for the measly 1/2 a cup (114 calories, 5.2 grams of fat, 5.1 grams of sugar) but just know that this made it 24 hours in my fridge… and my boyfriend doesn’t really love yogurt… so if you are any good at math you can easily figure this equation out:

ME + 4 cups heavenly avocado strawberry lime frozen yogurt = 3 servings (682 calories)
plus about one more spread out over the course of the day in the form of bites straight from the freezer.

Heavenly Avocado Strawberry Lime Frozen Yogurt
All Joking aside, while this can keep in the freezer for about month in a sealed tight container, homemade ice cream is significantly better the day it is made. Because it lacks stabilizers like store bought ice creams, ice crystals will begin to form and the flavor and texture of your mixture will start to deteriorate. It’s technically still fine to eat but if you put the time and effort into making ice cream from scratch I say enjoy it while it’s fresh!

Now give it a whirl yourself and let me know what you think!

Heavenly Avocado Strawberry Lime Frozen Yogurt

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 4 cups

Serving Size: 1/2 cup

Calories per serving: 114,

Fat per serving: 5.2, only 5.1 grams sugar!

Heavenly Avocado Strawberry Lime Frozen Yogurt

Ingredients

  • 2 small ripe avocados (ignore the third in the pictures... I mashed it up and froze it for smoothies!)
  • 15 small strawberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 C Silk Unsweetened Almond Milk (any milk will work but I suggest trying almond milk if you haven't already)
  • 5.3oz Chobani Simply 100 Vanilla Greek Yogurt (or dairy free yogurt of your choice)
  • 5.3oz Chobani Simply 100 Key Lime Greek Yogurt (or dairy free yogurt of your choice)
  • 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • lime juice to taste (fresh or concentrate) I used about 1.5 teaspoons
  • 1/8 t Coarse Sea Salt
  • 2 T Nestle Toll House Real Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chunks
  • Need:
  • High Speed Blender (this is the one I have... except I got mine almost ten years ago so this is the newer model)
  • Ice Cream Maker (this is the one I have... I love Cuisinart. Last Christmas I got everyone in my family one of this model and they love it!
  • *Note: you can make this without an ice cream maker but it takes a lot more time and patience. If you have both of those then read the notes section at the end for step by step directions without an ice cream maker

Instructions

  1. Place ice cream machine bowl in freezer at least 8 hours (preferably 24... if it is not completely frozen this will not work!) before starting. Must be frozen completely! See your machine's specific directions for this step!
  2. Cut each avocado in half, carefully remove the pit and scrap the flesh into the blender.
  3. Wash and pit strawberries (or use frozen) and place in blender.
  4. Add Almond Milk or milk of choice, as well as the yogurt of your choice.
  5. Add vanilla, lime juice and sea salt.
  6. Start on low and turn to high, blending until ingredients are completely combined.
  7. Taste to assure flavor is to your liking. You can add sweetener at this point if you would like a sweeter end product.
  8. Place mixture in the freezer for ten minutes to ensure it is completely chilled (it is essential that your ice cream/frozen yogurt base is very cold when you place it in your machine).
  9. Remove base of machine from the freezer and assemble just moments before pouring your mixture in.
  10. Once assembled, turn on based on your machines directions and pour the frozen yogurt mixture in.
  11. Depending on your machine and the temp and volume of your mixture, the freezing process should take 10-20 minutes (mine took about 15 minutes).
  12. If you would like to add chocolate (or nuts or any other ingredient), chop into desired size and gently pour in when mixture is almost completely frozen.
  13. When the mixture is frozen, scoop out with a non-metal spoon/scraper into a Tupperware container with a tight fitting lid.
  14. You can serve immediately (will still be slightly soft) or you can freeze for about 20-30 minutes for a slightly more frozen consistency.
  15. Scoop! Eat! Enjoy!

Notes

!No Ice Cream Machine?

Place your mixture in the freezer in a shallow container and stir every 45 minutes for at least 4 hours. This is fairly time consuming but not horrible if you are working from home or make it after dinner while watching tv. The end result will not be as creamy but will still be delicious!

!Left Over? If you have left overs, be sure to seal container to avoid freezer burn. When you are ready to serve again, take out of freezer for 15-20 minutes before serving to allow it to thaw enough to scoop. the low fat content of the yogurt will cause a fairly hard freeze but it thaws out perfectly!

If you plan to make ice cream or frozen yogurt even a few times a year I swear the investment in an ice cream machine like this is worth it!

http://www.andasideoficecream.com/2014/03/23/heavenly-avocado-strawberry-lime-frozen-yogurt/

Reader Response:

  • Have your taste buds changed over the years?
  • Do you have any foods you feel the way about that I feel about chocolate and ice cream??
  • What did you think of my first frozen yogurt recipe?

Caramelized Roasted Spaghetti Squash (GF, DF, Vegan!)

Caramelized Roasted Spaghetti Squash (GF, DF, Vegan!)Spring is in the air! Time to lighten up the traditional pasta dishes and start planning for bikini season! Woohoo! I can’t wait to get back in the sun and feel the sand between my toes. This bipolar weather we have been having is driving me crazy! I end up wasting the nice days inside and poorly planning errands and activities for the cold rainy days. Happens every time!

At least the dreary weather is a good excuse to spend my night making a delicious “bikini worthy” meal! Have you tried spaghetti squash? If not you need to go to the farmers market or grocery store right now. No, really! Right now! Get in your car and go get a spaghetti squash. They are one of the most versatile vegetables you can imagine!
Spaghetti SquashSpaghetti squash can be baked, boiled, steamed, or even microwaved! It is the perfect substitute for pasta but without a whopping 390 calories and 78 grams of carbohydrates in ONE CUP!!!!! Spaghetti squash has a measly 42 calories and 10 grams of carbohydrates per cup and is loaded with nutrients, including folic acid, potassium, vitamin A, and beta carotene. Even the seeds are edible and can be roasted just like pumpkin seeds (keep reading to get to how scrumptious these look roasted)!
Roasted Spaghetti Squash SeedsIf you are familiar with this amazing vegetable then you know it’s mild flavor is perfect for almost any flavor combination. Spaghetti squash makes an excellent side dish or a fun substitute in pasta recipes. You can find hundreds of recipes online  for Italian style dishes such as spaghetti squash with pesto or marinara, shrimp scampi, lasagna, and primavera, in which you pretty much simply replace the pasta with the squash. There are also more adventurous dishes such as Pad Thai, pizza crust, quiche, casserole and frittata. The best part is you can cut out almost 90% of the calories in any of these dishes with this simple substitution aka this will be your waistlines new best friend!
Roasted Spaghetti SquashMany recipes call for you to cut the squash in half before cooking, but due to my fear of large knives and cutting my fingers off I always roast it whole instead. In my opinion the flavor is exactly the same (I have tried it the other way when I have a willing large knife handler around) so I vote to save your fingers and stick the whole thing in the oven at 350 for 45-60 minutes depending on the size. If you don’t cut it in half though it is very important to stab the skin with a fork or knife all over so it doesn’t explode 😉 You can see my squashes battle wounds in the picture above!
Roasted Spaghetti SquashIf you decide to take the plunge and cut the spaghetti squash in half, scoop out the seeds (set aside for roasting), spray each side with cooking oil or brush with coconut oil and place face down in a baking dish with 1/2 cup of water. This method should only take about 30 minutes.
Roasted Spaghetti SquashIf you opt for the finger safe version, simply poke the squash as mentioned above and place in a baking dish in the oven. This way will take closer to 60 minutes but make sure to check at about 30 minutes to see how it is doing. I usually flip it over at this point (it cooks faster on the side touching the dish… see above photo). The squash is done when the flesh is tender and the skin can easily be poked through with a fork.
Roasted Spaghetti SquashWhen you remove it from the oven, let it cool enough that you can easily handle it (about 10 minutes). If your squash is still whole, cut it in half length wise and scoop out the seeds with a spoon (set aside for roasting). Which ever way you chose to cook your squash, you should now have two roasted halves with the seeds scooped out. Now comes the fun part! You get to make noodles! All you need is a fork! Simply hold one half in your non-dominant hand and use a fork with your other hand to rake the squash flesh. The noodles form like magic!

You can stop at this step and enjoy the noodles as is, or…

you can try this delicious recipe to make a warm, yummy, low calorie dinner for two!

Roasted GarlicI used some of my favorite flavors to turn this dish into caramelized roasted heaven! For starters, when you put the squash in the oven, add a whole head of garlic wrapped in tin foil.
Roasted Spaghetti SquashRemove squash from oven and let cool.  Spray a baking pan with cooking oil and place the squash seeds with a little sea salt in the still hot oven (check and flip often, should take 7-10 minutes). You don’t need to worry about cleaning them although you can if you choose. The noodle flesh on them will crisp up and be delicious I promise!

Onion and GarlicCaramelized Garlic and Onions

Chop one small red onion and begin caramelizing it in a large skillet with 1 tsp coconut oil. While that is heating up, chop 4oz white mushrooms and add to almost translucent onions.

Caramelized Garlic, Onions and Fresh MushroomsCaramelized Garlic, Onions and Mushrooms

While the mushrooms and onions continue caramelizing over low-medium heat, unwrap the garlic from the tin foil and break apart into cloves. Remove the onions and mushrooms from the skillet and place in a small bowl.
Caramelized Garlic, Onions and MushroomsWhen cool, rake the squash into noodles and place in a large bowl. Save the shell of the squash for a fun way to serve this dish! Squeeze each garlic clove gently from bottom to top (the roasted clove should easily pop out of the skin). Place the cloves in with the squash and stir together. They don’t need to be perfectly mixed… the flavor will combine in the next step!
Caramelized Roasted Spaghetti SquashAdd the squash and garlic mixture into the hot skillet you used for the onions and mushrooms and turn the heat up to medium-high. Add sea salt and black pepper to taste. Stir every few minutes, allowing the noodles to lightly brown and caramelize. This step with infuse the garlic flavor into the noodles!
Roasted Spaghetti SquashChop one tomato (I used Roma but any kind will work) into large chunks. Remove the seeds from the oven. Remove squash from the skillet and place back into a large bowl. Then the magic happens… fold in the onions and mushrooms and split into two equal portions. Place each portion back into the squash shell halves and top with fresh tomato and roasted spaghetti squash seeds!
Roasted Spaghetti Squash

Dinner is served!!!

Caramelized Roasted Spaghetti Squash (GF, DF, Vegan!)

Rating: 51

Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 5+ cups

Serving Size: 2.5 cups

Calories per serving: 164

Fat per serving: 3.4

Caramelized Roasted Spaghetti Squash (GF, DF, Vegan!)

Ingredients

  • 1 medium spaghetti squash
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 head fresh garlic
  • 4 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 1 t Spectrum Organic Coconut Oil (any brand will work but this is my favorite)
  • Cooking Spray
  • Sea Salt
  • Black Pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Wrap head of garlic in tin foil.
  3. (Read above for options for roasting spaghetti squash whole or in halves. The rest of the instruction assume you went with the finger safe method like I did)
  4. Poke the squash with a fork or knife all over and place in a baking dish along with the garlic in the oven for about 60 minutes, depending on the size of your squash.
  5. Check at about 30 minutes and flip it over (it cooks faster on the side touching the dish... see above photo).
  6. Check squash around 60 minutes - It is done when the flesh is tender and the skin can easily be poked through with a fork.
  7. Remove squash and garlic from the oven and set aside to cool enough that you can easily handle it (about 10 minutes).
  8. Chop red onion and begin caramelizing in a large skillet with coconut oil over medium heat.
  9. Cut squash in half length wise and scoop out the seeds with a spoon.
  10. Spray a baking pan with cooking oil and place the squash seeds with a little sea salt in the still hot oven for 7-10 minutes (check and flip often). You don't need to worry about cleaning them although you can if you choose. The noodle flesh on them will crisp up and be delicious I promise!
  11. Use a fork to rake the squash flesh into noodles and place in a large bowl. Save the shell of the squash for a fun way to serve this dish!
  12. Chop 4oz white mushrooms and add to almost translucent onions. Turn heat down to low-medium.
  13. Unwrap the garlic from the tin foil and break apart into cloves.
  14. Squeeze each garlic clove gently from bottom to top (the roasted clove should easily pop out of the skin). Place the cloves in with the squash and stir together. They don't need to be perfectly mixed... the flavor will combine in another step!
  15. Remove the onions and mushrooms from the skillet and place in a small bowl.
  16. Add the squash and garlic mixture into the hot skillet you used for the onions and mushrooms and turn the heat up to medium-high.
  17. Add sea salt and black pepper to taste.
  18. Stir every few minutes, allowing the noodles to lightly brown and caramelize. This step with infuse the garlic flavor into the noodles!
  19. Chop tomato (I used Roma but any kind will work) into large chunks.
  20. Remove the seeds from the oven.
  21. Remove squash from the skillet and place back into a large bowl.
  22. Fold in the onions and mushrooms and split into two equal portions.
  23. Place each portion back into the squash shell halves and top with fresh tomato and roasted spaghetti squash seeds!
  24. Enjoy!!

Notes

This would also work as an excellent side dish to fish or maybe chicken (haven't had chicken in 12 years but hey I imagine it would work)!

http://www.andasideoficecream.com/2014/03/15/caramelized-roasted-spaghetti-squash-gf-df-vegan/

Reader Response:

  • What’s your favorite way to prepare spaghetti squash?
  • Have you ever tried any other noodle alternatives: zucchini? carrot?
  • How are you going to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?!

Gluten-Free Broccoli Cauliflower Casserole (DF easily)

Gluten-Free Broccoli Cauliflower Casserole (DF easily)

How do you decide what to put up for your very first post on your new blog?! Seriously the options are endless! Do I make some crunchy gluten free granola, a big batch of slurp worthy soups, some “hard to believe there is no added sugar” energy bites, or of course there was the obvious option of whipping up some delicious ice cream. Naturally I went a completely different route and made my first casserole since going gluten free… which turned out amazing!

Broccoli Cauliflower Casserole - Raw Cauliflower & Broccoli

I was hesitant to have my very first post be something so healthy and not necessarily fun on the spectrum of ice cream to cruciferous vegetables!

Broccoli Cauliflower Casserole - Raw Onions & Garlic

But what’s a girl to do when it’s dinner time and a recent trip to the farmers market left her fridge full of broccoli and cauliflower she has been itching to make something new with. I love cauliflower mash and roasted broccoli as much as the next vegetarian but it was time to spice things up a little bit.

Broccoli Cauliflower Casserole - Sauteed Onion and Garlic

This recipe can easily be halved or doubled for smaller or larger gatherings. It can also be made dairy free by simply leaving out the Parmesan cheese or substituting it with a DF cheese such as Daiya.

Broccoli Cauliflower Casserole - Sauce

If you do not require a gluten free diet, any all-purpose flour will do in place of the Bob’s Red Mill. And finally, feel free to your any milk of your choice in place of the coconut milk (I promise you can not taste the coconut at all though once it is cooked!)

Broccoli Cauliflower Casserole - Raw Veggies and Sauce

I hope you love this recipe as much as I did! 🙂

Broccoli Cauliflower Casserole - Pre-Baking

I promise to have more posts coming very soon! Thanks so much for checking out my blog!

Gluten-Free Broccoli Cauliflower Casserole (DF easily)

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 6 cups - Depends on size of broccoli and cauliflower

Serving Size: 1 cup

Calories per serving: 103

Fat per serving: 4.1

Gluten-Free Broccoli Cauliflower Casserole (DF easily)

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Cut up broccoli and cauliflower into bite-size pieces. Mix together and set aside in a large bowl.
  3. Dice onion and garlic cloves how ever you prefer… I minced the garlic and diced the onion into large chunks.
  4. Melt 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil (add more if this does not coat your whole pan, this will increase final calorie count) in large skillet on medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.
  5. Sprinkle gluten free flour, salt, pepper and 1/2 tablespoon of Italian seasoning over the onions and garlic. Slowly add unsweetened coconut milk and stir together until slightly thickened and bubbly.
  6. Sprinkle 4 teaspoons Parmesan cheese into this mixture and gently stir for one more minute to melt the cheese.
  7. I highly suggest you taste this delicious concoction before going to the next step! You can thank me later for this idea!
  8. Remove onion garlic mixture from heat and pour over broccoli cauliflower in large bowl.
  9. Stir just enough to thoroughly coat all vegetables.
  10. Grease a large glass baking dish with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil and spoon in vegetable mixture.
  11. Sprinkle last 2 teaspoons of parmesan cheese and remaining 1/2 tablespoon of Italian Seasoning over the dish.
  12. Bake for 40 minutes, checking around the 30 minute point to make sure your oven is cooking everything evenly (the back of my oven cooks everything so much faster 🙁 this is easily taken care of with one flip half way through cooking but it is definitely important to know your oven's idiosyncrasies). The vegetables should be tender and the top should be lightly browned when it is ready!
  13. Let cool for a few minutes before serving… if you are as impatient as I am just be careful not to burn your mouth… like I did! Oops! 🙂 Enjoy!

Notes

Nutrition Info calculated using MyFitnessPal

http://www.andasideoficecream.com/2014/03/05/99/

Inspired by this Broccoli Cauliflower Casserole Recipe.

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