Crumbled Tempeh Curry Stir-fry

The other night Topher and I both got home late and were more or less starving, we took a quick inventory of what we had around and came up with this concoction — fast, easy, delicious, makes for great leftovers — perfect, right?! I love keeping tempeh and tofu on hand to create fast meals with. I estimated our ingredient amount here (sorry, I didn’t know it’d turn out so good so I didn’t capture it as we made it! ), so please feel free to adjust according to your liking. Really, almost any veggies that you have around would make a great addition to this dish. It’s great as is, or over a grain (we had it with quinoa; basmati or jasmine rice would work well too).
tempehcurrystirfry

Ingredients:
Serves 4

red curry paste, about 2 tablespoons
1 can of coconut milk, about 1 cup
organic unrefined coconut oil, 1 and 1/2 tablespoons
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 of a yellow onion, chopped
1 package of organic tempeh (I like to use the Lifelight flax variety ) , crumbled
1 package of green beans, cut into halves
2 carrots, sliced
1 zucchini, chopped
red pepper flakes
sea salt
fresh cilantro (optional )

The tempeh crumbles very easily; break it apart into bite size pieces and set aside.
Heat the coconut oil on medium high heat. Once it’s melted add in the garlic and onions and cook until the onions become translucent.
Add in the tempeh crumbles and mix well. Add in the zucchini, carrots and green beans.
While the vegetables are cooking,  in a separate bowl mix the coconut milk and curry paste until the paste has dissolved. Take the coconut milk and curry mixture and add it to the pan. Stir thoroughly so that it’s all mixed together well. Add a bit of red pepper and sea salt to taste. It’s nice to leave the vegetables a little crunchy so be careful not to over cook them. Heat through and serve! I like to add a bit of fresh cilantro as a garnish.

with love and healthy-quick-meals,

Jackie

Simple Black Beans

Ok, so I love this recipe… Its simple, tasty, and you can put these beans over pretty much anything.

You will need:

black beans over taco salad

1 can black beans, including liquid

1 clove garlic, minced

½ sweet onion, diced

¼ red pepper, diced

1 teaspoon turmeric

1-2 tablespoons veggie taco seasoning (for extra flavor)

Olive oil

Place the garlic and olive oil in a pan over low heat until garlic begins to brown.  Add the diced pepper, followed by the diced onion a few minutes after (pepper takes a little longer to cook through).

After a few minutes, when everything is really aromatic and soft, add the can of beans along with ½ cup water, and seasoning.

Continue to cook this over a low heat until most of the liquid is evaporated and has a thicker consistency, usually about 20-30 minutes.

You can enjoy these beans over some brown rice, incorporate them into a taco salad (pictured above), or eat them alone.  They will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days, allowing you to enjoy them a few different ways at a few different meals.

eden organic black beansBeans are packed with fiber, soluble and insoluble, and are also a complete protein.  They will keep you full for an extended period of time, provide you with extended energy, and all of their fiber will keep your digestive tract running smooth.  When purchasing canned beans, my favorite brand is Eden’s Organic.  They use organic beans, don’t add any salt, and are packaged with kombu seaweed, which is used to ease and prevent any digestive issues that can sometimes arise when eating beans.

with love and bean eatin’,

Amanda

Collard Green Tempeh Wraps

In my opinion, people don’t eat enough collard greens, and in my honest opinion, I don’t either.  This week, I wanted to change that, and it turned out that there were some HUGE, BEAUTIFUL collard greens at Mrs. Greens… score.

I have cooked collard greens in the past, and because I don’t like sautéing or steaming my greens for too long, they always turn out pretty tough and fibrous.  Traditionally, collard greens are cooked for a long period of time and are a staple in southern cooking.  Although delicious, these greens tend to lose a lot of their nutritional content when over-cooked, so I needed a way to incorporate them into a dish, preferably at their highest nutritional content… raw!

Que the collard green wrap; the perfect way to ensure that you are benefitting from all of the awesome nutrition that collards have to offer while replacing a potentially unhealthy flour wrap.  Why are collard greens so good for you?  Well, let me explain.

Collard greens are known for their cholesterol-lowering capabilities and are shown to be the most successful at doing so compared to all other cruciferous veggies.  They also contain many cancer-fighting capabilities, and are loaded with vitamins A, C and K, as well as a ton of minerals and nutrients.  They are super detoxifying and help to support our immune system by fighting inflammation throughout the body.

You can put whatever you wish in this fun wrap.  Here, I sautéed some tempeh and included some greens, some seeds, and some cooked onions.

What you will need:

2 collard leaves

5 inch piece of organic tempeh

½ an onion, cut into slices

½ cup raw, sprouted sunflower seeds

3 tablespoons Braggs amino acids

2 handfuls arugula

Some of your favorite salad dressing, or mine J

Salt and pepper

Coconut oil

Begin by slicing your tempeh into ½ inch pieces, and place them in a pot of boiling water with 2 tablespoons Braggs.  They can cook here for up to an hour.  This process softens them, keeps them moist, and also infuses some of that wonderful flavor from the Braggs.  Here, I cooked them about 20 minutes.

Rinse, dry and dress your arugula.  Toss in the sunflower seeds and mix everything together.

When you rinse your collard greens, be very careful, as you don’t want them to have many rips.  Use a towel to pat them dry, and lay them aside to continue drying.

In a fry pan, sauté the slices of onion in some coconut oil over low heat until they are translucent.  Set aside.

Heat some more coconut oil in your fry pan.  Remove the tempeh from the boiling water and place the pieces in the pan.  Add the last tablespoon of Braggs and sauté on each side over a low flame for about 5 minutes.

While they are cooking, lay your collard leaves on a flat surface, preferably a cutting board, and carefully slice out the stem.  It is important to leaf the top part connected. 

Where the stem was removed, fold the 2 sides so they are overlapping and begin to add your arugula, seeds and onions.  When the tempeh is done cooking, lay the pieces on top and wrap everything. 

Start at one end, fold the leaf over all of the goodies, pull everything together with a slight tightening of the fist, and then roll.  Cut in half, and they are ready to be enjoyed.

Try replacing your traditional four wraps with these nutritious green wraps at any meal, and let me know what you come up with.

 

with love and greens,

Amanda

Quinoa with Butternut Squash and Sautéed Kale

Farmers Market Squash

Squash is abundant this time of year and they are all pretty cool looking if you ask me; luckily they’re not just beautiful to look at, they’re delicious too!

Butternut squash is very low in calories but contains a good amount of dietary fiber and phyto-nutrients. It’s naturally rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin C and minerals. Kale is one of the most nutritious leafy greens around so why wouldn’t I add it in here? 😉 This dish is a nice mix of savory and sweet; I didn’t even crave dessert after it (and I always crave something sweet after dinner 🙂 ).

Ingredients:
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 cups of chopped kale
1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup chopped raw walnuts
2 tsp. organic, unrefined coconut oil
1 tsp local, raw honey
1 tbsp dried tarragon
sea salt
black pepper
nutritional yeast (optional)

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the chopped squash in a bowl and drizzle 1 teaspoon of olive oil over it. Add a bit of salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly so that the olive oil coats all of the squash. Lay it in a baking dish. Once the oven is heated, place it in the oven and set the timer for 40 minutes. Be sure to check on them after 20 minutes and toss them around, then place back in the oven. Squash is done once it’s nice and tender. Set aside when done.

While the squash is cooking, rinse the quinoa and then place it in a pot and add 2 cups of water. Place the heat on high. Bring this to a simmer, then place the heat on low and cover it. Let this cook for 20 minutes. Set aside.

Melt 1 teaspoon of coconut oil in a sauté pan on medium high heat, once the oil is melted add the sliced onions, and sauté for 4-6 minutes until they become soft and translucent. Then stir in the kale and walnuts. Once the kale has softened, add 1 teaspoon of honey. Give it all a final stir. Cover and set aside.

Take a large mixing bowl and add in the quinoa and 1 teaspoon of coconut oil. Mix together until the coconut oil has melted. Then add in the butternut squash and stir. Lastly take the kale and place it on top of the quinoa and squash.  If you like nutritional yeast it’s great sprinkled on top. Enjoy!

Eggplant and Tomato Sauté

I love eggplant, when I was little besides ravioli, eggplant rolantini was definitely one of my faves. Unfortunately, eggplant rolantini isn’t the healthiest way to eat eggplant so I’m always looking for other ways to cook it. I’ll definitely be experimenting with ‘healthy’ eggplant rolatini one of these days, if it’s a success I’ll be sure to post it! In the meantime, the lovely eggplant and tomatoes at the farmers market inspired this recipe. I decided to keep the tomatoes raw in this because raw foods are full of healthy enzymes (which die off once food is cooked) and I always look to slip them in where I can.

I ate this over quinoa (shocker!) with a big green salad. The next day I had it at room temperature over greens for lunch. You can also use it as a side.

Farmers Market Eggplant

Eggplant and Tomato Sauté

1 eggplant, cubed
1 small yellow onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, sliced
1 box of grape or cherry tomatos, cut in halves
sea salt, to taste
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 cup of water

Heat the olive oil over medium heat, add the onions and garlic. Saute a few minutes until it starts to get fragrant and the onions become translucent.

Add the eggplant. Stir until all the ingredients are mixed. Add a few pinches of salt.

Add a dash of water, stir. Cover and let all the ingredients steam a bit, you’ll see the eggplant start to soften. Add more water if it looks dry. After about 8 minutes the eggplant should be done.

Place your tomatos in a large bowl and then stir in the hot eggplant mixture….the tomatoes will heat and soften a bit.

Super simple. Super good.

With love and (healthy) eggplant,

Jackie

Buckwheat Noodle Pad Thai

Don’t you just love Pad Thai?  Ugh.  I do.  I love the flavor, I love the veggies, I love the noodles, but I don’t always love the way it makes me feel afterwards.  All of that oil makes my belly burn, so to prevent that feeling of  heaviness I created this recipe to make the traditional pad thai dish lighter, easier to make, and (you guessed it) healthier!

Buckwheat noodles are available in your local health food store.

You will need:

4 oz buckwheat noodles (also called ‘soba noodles’)

½ cup of broccoli florets, chopped small

1/2 cup mung bean sprouts (or any bean sprout you prefer)

1 handful of snow peas, fresh or frozen

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 tablespoon of crushed peanuts

1-2 wedges of lime

…and for the sauce:

1 tablespoon peanut butter

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1 tablespoon soy sauce (preferably Nama Shoyu)

red pepper flake

Cook the buckwheat noodles according to their package.  When they are done cooking, rinse them under cold water to prevent them from sticking together.

Meanwhile, heat the coconut oil in a pan over a medium/low heat.  Add the broccoli, snow peas and sprouts, along with a small splash of water, and cover.  Cook for a few minutes until vegetables are cooked but still crisp.

While the veggies are cooking, you can make the sauce.  In a bowl, start with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter and 2 tablespoons of water and whisk together until smooth.  Then, continue whisking and adding the other ingredients.

When the veggies are done, add the noodles and sauce to the pan and mix everything together, just long enough to warm the noodles through.  Then pour into a bowl, sprinkle with crushed peanuts and fresh lime juice, and enjoy!

Buckwheat noodles are a complete source of protein, containing all 8 essential amino acids (making this an awesome ‘meatless monday’ dish).  They have been shows to help lower cholesterol, prevent high blood pressure, stabilize blood sugar and promote gall bladder health.  Because they don’t have a strong flavor, you should try experimenting with these noodles in some of your favorite dishes for a healthier option.  Combining these noodles with green veggies is a great way to ensure that you are still getting the nutrients your body needs.

Happy eating!

with love and healthier options,

Amanda

Spaghetti Squash Pasta

Everyone loves traditional pasta.  Unfortunately, traditional, durum wheat pasta doesn’t love all of us.  It can cause us bloating from digestive issues, aggravate certain food allergies, and cause a spike in blood sugar, which can lead to unbalanced moods and more cravings later on.

I don’t mean to give pasta a bad wrap; personally, I love it as much as the next person.  However, there are some great alternatives out there to try, one of my favorites being spaghetti squash.

Spaghetti squash topped with  marinara sauce.

Spaghetti squash gets its name from its resemblance to spaghetti.  When baked, the inner flesh of the squash pulls out in long strands, making it a great spaghetti alternative.

Once the squash is baked, and the “spaghetti” is removed from its shell, you can treat it like you would any other pasta, topping it with red sauce, drizzling it with olive oil and lemon juice, use your favorite veggies to create a  primavera style dish, or simply add some salt, pepper and blend of your favorite herbs.

What you will need:

The squash after the seeds and pulp have been removed.

1 spaghetti squash

olive oil

salt and pepper

your favorite pasta sauce or seasoning

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees

Cut the squash lengthwise, and use a spoon to scoop out all of the seeds and pulp.

Lightly coat the squash in olive oil, salt and peper.

Using parchment paper to cover your baking sheet, place the squash cut side down, and bake for about 30 minutes (or until a fork can be easily inserted into the flesh of the squash).

When the squash is done baking, set it aside until it is cool  enough to be handled.

Turning the squash into spaghetti.

In the meantime, prepare your sauce.  In this case, I made a simple red sauce out of canned tomatoes, fresh garlic, olive oil, fresh basil, salt and pepper.

When ready, use a fork to break apart the squash and watch as it pulls apart in long strands. *note: if this is your first time making spaghetti squash, get ready to say “oh my god, I can’t believe this” a few times 🙂

Place it in a dish, and top it off with your choice of sauce or seasoning.

Not only is spaghetti squash a pretty rockstar pasta substitute, but it also offers our bodies a healthy dose of vitamin C and calcium, a ton of fiber, along with a slew of other essential vitamins and minerals.  So dust off your favorite pasta recipe and get cooking!  And let me know what you think!

with love and squash,

Amanda