Healthy Basil Fried Rice

Fried rice. Simple, quick, and easy – as long as you’ve cooked your rice ahead of time, that is! I like to make it in the morning before work, so its ready to go when I come home. Then just fry up your egg or tofu, add veggies, and you’re golden.


Healthy Basil Fried Rice

Some recipe notes: I fry my eggs in coconut oil or butter. It doesn’t seem to affect the taste, and its healthier too. Coconut oil also has a high temperature point, which browns the egg nicely.  I use Bragg’s liquid aminos instead of soy sauce, and I find it tastes just as good. For the veggies, I use frozen mixed vegetables from Meijer, which work really nicely. Alternatively, you could throw mushrooms or onions. You can add broccoli, but remember that it’ll take longer to cook.

fried rice

This recipe is great for a weeknight dinner! What do you guys like to put in your fried rice?

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Fiesta Soup with Garbanzo Beans, Corn, and Tomatoes

Fiesta soup is a super quick and easy meal, perfect for when you don’t really feel like cooking. I’ve been baking challah bread all day, thanks to an abundance of eggs, and I was getting hungry! This soup, perfect for a cooler summer day, was ready in less than 30 minutes!


fiesta soup recipe card

For this recipe, I used colorful vegetables (red onion, yellow corn, tomatoes, green onion) to make the dish bright and festive. Tomatoes, lemon, and feta gave it a slightly acidic taste, while cumin, paprika, and red pepper flakes added a bright, zesty flair.

fiesta soup

Colorful fiesta soup – plant-based and gluten-free!

We just had to eat it with the freshly baked challah bread. It went together surprisingly well – the milky, egg-y bread balancing out the acidity.

fiesta soup with challah bread

Mixing Jewish and Mexican tastes and cuisines

This soup is so flexible – if you don’t have an ingredient on hand, its easy to substitute. For example, kidney beans instead of garbanzos, white instead of red onion, cayenne instead of red pepper flakes, and any type of cheese would probably work. In fact, you could remove the cheese altogether to make it vegan and add Fage Total 0% yogurt instead.

What recipes do you guys make when you don’t feel like cooking?

Basil-Parsley Pesto Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes and Olives

I started a balcony herb garden a few months ago, and an overabundance of basil and flat-leaf parsley led to one of my favorite summertime recipes: pesto! So I gathered my ingredients to make this delicious sauce: basil, parsley, walnuts, garlic cloves, Parmesan cheese, salt, and olive oil.


Basil-Parsley Pesto Pasta Recipe Card

I combined all ingredients, except the olive oil, in the food processor.

pesto ingredients, before

Ingredients for pesto, except olive oil

Then I processed it until a thick paste formed. I absolutely love the vibrant green color in this photo.

pesto, without olive oil

Pesto ingredients, processed

I slowly drizzled the olive oil in as I processed some more. Pesto, simple as that!

pesto!

Voilà! So green and vibrant.

The thick, chunky pesto worked really well with radiatore pasta, mixing perfectly with the small, ridged shape of the noodles. (Apparently, an industrial designer came up with radiatore, based on on the look of a radiator. Who knew?)

radiatore   pesto pasta, mixed

Cherry tomatoes and black olives completed this summery pasta dish.

pesto pasta, plated

Dinner for two, all in less than 30 minutes!

So simple, fresh, and delicious! What recipes do you use to make pesto?

 

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Pancakes with Blueberries and Chocolate Chips

Eric and I love eating leisurely Sunday breakfasts together, and pancakes seemed to fit the bill today. I used this recipe from All Recipes for some inspiration to make healthier pancakes from scratch.

To make this recipe gluten-free, use gluten-free flour like Bob’s Red Mill, oats that were processed in a gluten-free facility (again like Bob’s Red Mill), and Rumford baking powder.


whole wheat oatmeal pancakes 2

I began by combining a half cup of whole wheat flour (instead of all-purpose) and a half cup of rolled oats in the food processor. I added baking soda, Rumford baking powder, sugar, salt, and vanilla extract to the mix.

oatmeal pancakes ingredients  oatmeal pancakes in the food processor

Next up: organic whole milk instead of buttermilk, coconut oil instead of vegetable oil, and an egg. I blended it all together to make the pancake mix.

oatmeal pancakes in the food processor with egg and coconut oil  oatmeal pancake mix

I used a 1/4 measuring cup to pour the mix into a hot pan coated with coconut butter. I added dark chocolate chips and blueberries on top. When I flipped them, they had turned a lovely golden-brown on the bottom.

oatmeal pancakes with blueberries and chocolate chips in the frying pan  oatmeal pancakes golden brown in the frying pan

This recipe made 8 pancakes, using the 1/4 measuring cup. I drizzled mine with maple syrup, while Eric preferred nutella. Needless to say, there were no leftovers. 🙂

oatmeal pancakes, done!  oatmeal pancakes ready to eat!

I will end with this adorable shot of Leia, our Sheltie puppy, doing her best to be cute for a bite! (Sorry girl.)

leia

What are some of your favorite breakfast recipes?

Vegan Macaroni and Cheese from The Guilt-Free Gourmet

As a bridal shower gift, my mom gave me a series of cookbooks called The Guilt-free Gourmet by Vicki Griffin. There are some great vegan recipes in these books, although it was hard for a beginner like me to follow the recipes, especially with no pictures or detailed instructions. I decided to try an old favorite: mac and cheese, but with a twist. Since the book includes only vegan recipes, this recipe replaces the cheese with cashews.

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I started by cooking small shell pasta. I kept a close eye on it because I didn’t want it to get too water-logged, since the recipe bakes in the oven later.

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Small shell pasta, drained

In the meantime, I gathered the ingredients for the cheese sauce: raw cashews from the freezer, sesame tahini, lemon juice and water, nutritional yeast flakes, garlic cloves, and a small jar of pimientos (not pictured).

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Ingredients for the “cheese” sauce – except I forgot the pimientos

I blended it all together in the food processor, and this is what I got.

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Vegan cheese sauce. I can’t believe I got this from cashews and tahini.

I poured the “cheese” sauce into a baking dish, then added the shells. I topped it with Panko breadcrumbs and frozen peas, and stuck it in the oven for 30 minutes.

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Vegan mac and cheese, pre-baked

This is what I got!

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Vegan mac and cheese, out of the oven!

Eric said it tasted like Korean Shin Ramyun, I think because of the pimientos. Not exactly typical macaroni and cheese, but a much healthier and tasty substitute!

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Have you guys ever tried vegan cashew cheese?