Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpeas over Shaved Carrots with Chimichurri Sauce

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This is the last of the recipes I needed to update after my birthday party but I think this was the crowd favorite. The chimichurri sauce is such an easy yet flavorful sauce and makes everything taste incredible. You can roast any veggies that are in season but I loved the look of the white cauliflower with the green sauce and orange carrots.

Enjoy this hearty yet light dish!… 

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Chimichurri Sauce

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Scott is absolutely obsessed with chimichurri sauce so I decided to try to make it at home… and now I might be obsessed! I made it for the first time last week and we put it over roasted veggies and lentils and added it to wraps, sandwiches, and salads. I really do think it is the sauce that can make anything taste delicious… and it is loaded with parsley which has amazing health benefits… and you can say goodbye to bad breath! So whip some up and see what you can find to put it on :)…. 

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My Tested and Approved Green Smoothie

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As many of you know, I am a juicer. I love to juice every morning and when I am traveling or away from home, I definitely miss my green juice. Green smoothie’s seem to be a bit easier to find while traveling (although you usually have to modify quite a bit!) so I decided to give them a shot at home and have my green juice as an afternoon snack. I’m actually pleasantly surprised with how much I have come to enjoy the morning smoothie and how satisfying it is. I usually eat something alongside my morning juice but just the smoothie seems to keep me going all morning long…. 

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Butternut Squash Casserole

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I was so excited about this fall dish… then I had a vision of how to make it even more fall fabulous. After already returning home from buying all the ingredients, I marched myself back to the store to get some fresh cranberries. I had never actually cooked with fresh cranberries before so I had no idea if it was going to work or not, but it came out exactly as I had imagined. You never know until you try, right?… 

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Chickpea and Root Vegetable Tagine

Root Vegetable Tagine

I made this dish for Scott and I a few weeks back and we loved it. This week we were bringing dinner to a friend and his wife and I had to come up with something I could cook earlier in the day and then reheat as I was coming straight from the studio and this was the first thing that popped into my mind. This dish can easily be made earlier or even the night before and then just reheated prior to serving as it allows the flavors to really soak in. A few of the comments I got that night included: “This is exactly what they serve in Morocco” & “This might be the best dinner ever”, so I would say it was a success. I got this from the fabulous Kris Carr and her amazing book Crazy, Sexy Kitchen, but modified a bit to fit my tastes.

For new and improved recipes, please visit my new site The Simple Kitchen!

Chickpea and Root Vegetable Tagine
 
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Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • ⅔ tsp ground cumin
  • ⅔ tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes [adjust based on desired spiciness]
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or pressed
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • ½ cup carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • ½ cup turnip, peeled and diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced (I prefer red or yellow)
  • 2 cups chickpeas, cooked
  • 6 ounces artichoke hearts, rinsed and quartered
  • 1½ cups peas
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • 3 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • 3 Tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp chopped mint
  • Sea salt, to taste
Instructions
  1. In a large heavy-bottom shallow pot or deep skillet [cast iron works best] on medium heat, add oil, onions, and garlic. Cook until onions are translucent and golden, stirring continuously for about 3 to 4 minutes.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the spices, tomato paste, vegetable stock, carrots, sweet potatoes, and turnip. Cover and simmer for about 25 minutes, or until the carrots and potatoes are tender. Cooking time may vary based on the thickness of chopped veggies.
  3. When the root veggies are tender, add the bell pepper, chickpeas, artichokes, and raisins. Continue simmering for about 5 to 8 minutes. Liquid should be reduced and thicker at this point.
  4. Add parsley, cilantro, mint and sea salt, folding in all of the herbs. Cover and remove from the heat. Taste and add more salt if needed.
  5. Garnish with lemon zest, red sliced chili and any leftover parsley, cilantro or mint if desired.

Serving Suggestion: Serve over cauliflower mash, quinoa or grain of choice.

Crazy Sexy Kale Salad + a little extra!

Kale and Sprout Salad

For those of you who are not familiar with Kris Carr, you should become familiar…quickly. Her story is incredible! She was diagnosed with a very rare and incurable form of stage 4 cancer which encouraged her to make a total lifestyle upgrade inside and out. She focuses on a nutrient dense, plant-based diet and her books (and now her recipes) are so much fun. Her cookbook came out not too long ago so it’s no surprise that my girlfriends thought it would be the perfect hostess gift for me – thanks ladies of WC! The reason I like this kale salad so much (other than the fact that I am obsessed with kale) is that it uses avocado to give it such a great texture. It a modified version of her salad in the book and is oh so yummy (and super easy to modify to make your own)!

For new and improved recipes, please visit my new site The Simple Kitchen!

Crazy Sexy Kale Salad + a little extra!
 
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Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch of kale, shredded by hand (I prefer dino)
  • ¼ cup parsley, chopped
  • 1½ avocados, pit removed and chopped
  • 2 Tbsp flax oil
  • 1½ Tbsp lemon juice (fresh is best!)
  • 1 cup diced bell peppers (I prefer orange, yellow or red over green)
  • 1 cup pea shoots, chopped in half
  • 2 cups of sunflower sprouts, chopped in half
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Cucumber, sliced (for serving, see picture)
  • 2 Tbsp pepitas
Instructions
  1. Combine kale, parsley, avocados, flax oil and lemon juice in a bowl. Massage and mix with hands to wilt the kale and cream the avocado.
  2. Add the bell pepper, pea shoots, sunflower sprouts and salt and mix to combine.
  3. Serve on a plate and wrap with cucumber slice.
  4. Top with pepitas.

Tabbouleh (Cracked Wheat Salad)

  As you can tell, I have been really into using fresh herbs lately. I love how it makes things taste like they came straight from the garden. Unless you have an herb garden of your own, you are often left with a whole lot of extra herbs since you have to buy them by the bunch. There is no doubt that you’ll have some extra mint when you’re finished making your Watermelon with Feta and Mint

Part of the reason I love to travel is because I love to eat and I started making this recipe after I went to Dubai a few years back. So I was reminded of this as I was wondering what to do with all my extra mint.  This is a great recipe because you can make a big batch of it to use up your extra herbs and eat it all throughout the week. Use it as a side, put it on salads or inside wraps. The uses are endless and all quite delicious.

Tabbouleh (Cracked Wheat Salad)
 
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Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 cup bulgur (cracked wheat)
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 3 firm tomatoes, cubed small
  • 1 large cucumber, cubed small
  • 2-3 scallions, diced small
  • 1 cup parsley, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh mint, chopped (optional)
  • ⅓ cup olive oil – more if needed
  • ⅓ cup lemon juice – more if needed
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. fresh ground pepper
Instructions
  1. Place bulgur in a large mixing bowl. Pour 1 cup boiling water over the bulgur.
  2. Let stand for about ½ hour, or until all water is absorbed.
  3. Drain well, squeezing out any excess water. You can use a sieve and remove excess moisture by pressing down with the back of a spoon.
  4. Add tomatoes, cucumber, scallions, parsley, and mint (optional) to bulgur.
  5. Season with oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  6. Refrigerate, covered, a few hours or overnight.
  7. Serve cold.

Serving Suggestion: If you would like a gluten free version, use quinoa in place of the bulgur. Also, feel free to add raw onion or sprinkle some feta on top.

Photo Credit: Diva:flava

Vegan Eggplant Rollatini

Eggplant Rollatini

About 90% of the time I go out to dinner I want Italian food, so I love love love to experiment with healthy Italian dishes at home. I made this tonight and have a ton of leftovers… anyone want to come over?! I got the recipe from Veggie Belly but of course adapted it to make it my own. It was quite simple and very tasty. It will definitely fulfill your desire for a tomato sauce dish (which I love)!

Vegan Eggplant Rollatini
 
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Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil, divided into 2 Tbsp portions
  • 2 medium eggplants, cut lengthwise into ¼th inch thick strips
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup couscous, uncooked
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 10 oz mushrooms, diced
  • 12 oz spinach
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped basil or parsley
  • 1½ cups marinara sauce, use more if you like it saucy
  • ¾ cups of shredded mozzarella (optional)
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cook the couscous according to package instructions.
  3. Meanwhile, sprinkle eggplant slices with salt and pepper. Pan fry the strips on 2 Tbsp olive oil till both sides are golden.
  4. In a separate pan, heat remaining oil and cook onion until fragrant. Add mushrooms and saute for 4-5 minutes. Add spinach and garlic and cook until mushrooms are tender and spinach is wilted.
  5. Add cooked couscous to mushroom and spinach mixture.
  6. Place a spoon of the the couscous mixture on one end of an eggplant piece, and roll it. Repeat with all eggplant strips. Place the stuffed and rolled eggplants onto a baking dish. Add any left over couscous to the center of the baking dish. Sprinkle basil or parsley on top. Then pour marinara sauce over. Non vegans can add ¾ cups of shredded mozzarella.
  7. Bake till the sauce is bubbly, about 15 minutes.

 

 

Zucchini Cakes

Zucchini CakesI took these to a party this weekend, set the tray down, went to grab a drink and when I turned around they were almost halfway gone. By the end of the night there wasn’t a zucchini strand in sight. So I think it is safe to say these passed the taste test!

For updated recipes and photos, check out The Simple Kitchen!

Zucchini Cakes
 
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Serves: 2-4
Ingredients
  • 1 pound zucchini, stems removed
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • ¼ cup parsley, chopped
  • ½ cup grated reduced-fat Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ cup tarragon, chopped (optional)
  • ⅛ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Combine all of the ingredients except for the zucchini in a large bowl. Whisk to form a batter, removing large lumps, about 1-2 minutes.
  2. Grate the zucchini and add it to the bowl. The moisture from the zucchini will produce a thick batter as you stir. Use the batter immediately.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place a heaping tablespoon (for bite size) or ¼ cup (for more appetizer size) to make cakes. Cook 2-3 minutes on each side until lightly browned. Drain on paper towel.
  4. Serve with homemade yogurt sauce found here.

Thanks to Skinny Chef for the inspiration.

Spanakopita with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce

Spanikopita

I’ve tried a couple of different variations of Spanakopita and this blending of several is what I have found to be my favorite. This is absolutely one of those foods where you can taste the freshness of it being homemade, it is worth every effort. Get ready for pure deliciousness!

For updated recipes and photos, head over to The Simple Kitchen!

Spanakopita with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce
 
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Serves: 30 triangles
Ingredients
  • Yogurt Sauce
  • 3 cups Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice (about one lemon)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 large English cucumber
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp fresh dill or 1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped (or both, depending on preference)
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • Spanakopita
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2-4 shallots, diced
  • 2 packages of frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • ½ bunch scallions, white and green parts, chopped
  • ⅛ cup finely chopped parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ pound feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted (can use vegan version or olive oil)
  • ½ pound phyllo pastry sheets
Instructions
  1. To make yogurt sauce, peel cucumbers and dice. Put them in a colander and sprinkle with the tablespoon of salt (draws water out). Cover with a plate and sit something heavy on top. Let sit for 30 minute Drain well and wipe dry with a paper towel.
  2. In food processor or blender, add cucumbers, garlic, lemon juice, dill and/or mint, and a few grinds of black pepper. Process until well blended, then stir into yogurt. Taste before adding any extra salt, then salt if needed. Place in refrigerator for at least two hours before serving so flavors can blend. *This will keep for a few days in the refrigerator, but you will need to drain off any water and stir each time you use it.
  3. Remove spinach from package and squeeze out excess liquid, then chop roughly. Heat 2-3 Tbsp of the oil in a large saute pan, and add shallots and scallions and saute until soft, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the spinach to the mixture, along with the parsley, salt and pepper. Cook over low heat for 1 to 2 minutes, then remove from heat to cool. (This part can be done ahead and kept refrigerated).
  4. Stir the feta and as much beaten egg to moisten the cooled spinach mixture.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Brush a baking sheet with some of the melted butter.
  6. Unroll the phyllo dough on a flat surface and keep it covered with waxed paper and a damp towel so it doesn’t dry out and become brittle. Using a sharp knife, cut the phyllo into 3 by 11 inch strips, and recover with the towel. Use 3-4 pieces of phyllo dough and use a pastry to brush the top strip of phyllo with melted butter. Place a small spoonful of spinach filling 1 inch from the end of the pastry. Fold the end over the filling to form a triangle, then continue to fold up the strip in triangles, like folding up a flag. Continue with remaining strips of dough, placing filled triangles on the baking sheet and keeping them covered with a towel until all are ready to bake.
  7. Brush the triangles lightly with butter, then bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Serve hot. (These may be frozen before baking, layering waxed paper between layers of triangles to keep them from sticking. Bake frozen triangles an extra 10 minutes.)