Greek Garbanzo Bean Salad

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A Greek inspired vegetarian alternative to chicken salad made with a simple tahini dressing.  Bonus: no oil!  Love lemon?  Substitute the vinegar with fresh lemon juice.

Makes 2 servings

 Ingredients
1 Tbsp sesame tahini
1-2 Tbsp water
1 tsp red wine vinegar (or lemon juice)
1 garlic clove, minced or grated on a microplane
1/2 tsp dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
2 Tbsp finely diced red onion
1/4 cup diced cucumber (seeds removed) 
For serving:
Tortilla or lettuce leaves
Toppings: diced tomato, olives, roasted red pepper, avocado, chopped parsley or cilantro
Method
In a small bowl, whisk tahini, water, and vinegar until blended.  Stir in garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. Set aside.
Add garbanzo beans to a bowl and coarsely mash. Add in onion, cucumber, dressing and stir to thoroughly combine everything.  Serve in tortillas, lettuce leaves, on salad, or as dip with pita chips.
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Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries & Pecans

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I showed these brussels sprouts a little extra love by adding in the dried cranberries and pecans.  If you want to dress it up even more, a balsamic glaze would be delish!  A simple, perfect fall veggie side dish.  It makes a perfect vegetarian and vegan side dish for Thanksgiving!

 

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 16oz bag of brussels sprouts

Olive oil

Salt + Pepper

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup chopped roasted pecans

Method

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

In a bowl toss brussels sprouts with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Transfer to a baking dish and bake for 30-35 minutes.

Turn oven off and take brussels sprouts out.  Add in cranberries and pecans and toss everything together.  Return to oven for 5 minutes or until cranberries are soft, then serve.

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Softies

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In honor of National Pumpkin Day, I bring you soft, cake-like, chocolately pumpkin goodness!  I make these vegan by using egg replacer and for the flour I use a combination of whole wheat and all purpose.  Recommended: eat them warm!

Makes 12-15 cookies

Ingredients

Dry

1 1/2 cups flour (I use a combination of all purpose and whole wheat)

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice (optional)

1/2 tsp salt

Wet

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 can pumpkin (just shy of a cup)

1 Ener-G egg replacer OR 1 Flax egg*

3/4 cup chocolate chips

Method

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

In another bowl, add brown sugar, graulated sugar, vanilla extract and oil.  Stir to combine.  With a mixer beat in pumpkin, then egg (or egg replacer).  Slowly beat in the dry ingredients until everything is combined.

Stir in chocolate chips.

Drop heaping tablespoons onto greased cookie sheet and bake 12-14 minutes

*For a flax egg, mix 1 Tbsp ground flax seeds with 3 Tbsp water and let sit for 10 minutes until in thickens.

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White Bean Barley Soup with Kale

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I just love soup season!  I’ve made this simple, hearty soup with few ingredients that make for a very satisfying, healthy meal.  I especially love the barley in this because of the great texture it adds, not too mention it’s a whole grain with abundant health benefits.  Lower cholesterol, anyone?  It’s packed with fiber and phytonutrients like all our other little plant friends so yea, it’s good for us.  Let’s not forget kale, the super green I’ve added here.  I go with the lactino kale (also called dinasour kale for its bumpy texture) and cut it up in small pieces because who wants to eat a giant leaf in their soup.  No thanks.  Throw it in at the end, just long enough to let it wilt.  You don’t want to cook away all it’s precious disease-fighting nutrients.

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Serves 6

Ingredients

Olive oil or broth for sauteeing

1/2 small onion, diced

1/2 cup diced carrots

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1-32oz. container low-sodium vegetable broth

1/2 cup pearled barley (of gluten-free grain)

1-15oz. can great northern beans, drained and rinsed

1 tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary (optional)

2 cups chopped kale

Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, garlic, pinch of salt and cook stirring occasionally until the vegetables are tender, about 5-7 minutes.

Stir in broth and barley, increase to heat to high and bring to a boil, then reduce to low and simmer about 20 minutes or until barley is tender.

Two choices for the next step:

Option 1: Stir in beans, rosemary and kale and cook a few minutes long until kale is wilts.  Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Option 2 (for thicker consistency): Transfer half soup to a blender with half the beans.  Puree and then pour back into the pot.  Stir in remainder of beans, the rosemary and kale, cook a few minutes long until kale is wilts. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

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Chipotle Black Bean and Sweet Potato Tacos

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Tacos are one of my favorite foods that I could eat everyday!  Though I do like to have some different variations and healthier options are always good too.  Using sweet potatoes in these are not only healthy but in season for Fall, plus they balance so well with the smokiness of the chipotle peppers.

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Makes 8 tacos

Ingredients

Sweet Potatoes
2 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 in cubes (should yield 3.5-4 cups)
Olive oil
2 tsp chili powder
Salt and pepper

Black Beans
Olive oil
1/2 medium onion, peeled and diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and diced
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp soy sauce
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 Tbsp adobo from can of chipotle peppers
Salt and pepper to taste

Chipotle Cashew Cream
1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked 4+ hours*, drained
1-2 chipotle peppers from can (depending on how spicy you like)
2 Tbsp adobo sauce from the canned chipotle pepper
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup water
Salt & pepper

Tortillas, avocado, cilantro and any other toppings you like!

Method

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Make the sweet potatoes. In bowl, toss sweet potatoes with oil, chili powder, salt and pepper to thoroughly coat.  Spread out on a bake sheet and bake 20-25 minutes.

Make the cashew cream by adding all ingredients in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth.  Set aside.

Make the black beans.  Over medium-low heat, lightly coat a saute pan with olive oil.  Add onion and a pinch of salt and cook 5 minutes.  Add garlic and cook 2 minutes.  Stir in chili powder and cumin.  Stir in soy sauce, water, black beans, adobo (can also add finely chopped chipotle pepper for more heat).  Cook 5 minutes, season with salt and pepper to taste.

Tip: to warm your tortillas, wrap in foil and place in the oven once sweet potatoes are removed and heat is turn off.