Penne Pasta with Sweet Peas Roasted Tomatoes Mint and Lemon Zest with a Green Apple Mint Salad

Yes! It’s winter and our bodies are craving those wonderful comfort foods, like l a big bowl of chili with jalapeno and cheddar cornbread or some creamy mac and cheese, but it’s good to give the digestive tract a little rest, even in the cold wintry months.

Today I was missing summer, so I decided to make this wonderful pasta and salad dish. I used one of my new favorite gluten free pastas, brown rice penne fromJovial Foods I love the nuttiness of their pasta and it holds up to it’s form.

This recipe honors a few of spring and summer’s produce, mint, lemons and sweet peas. I roasted some cherry tomatoes to give it a nice burst of smoky citrus flavor and a few pieces of mint leaves with a bit of lemon zest, well just say, it’s summer in your mouth.

The Green Apple Mint salad makes a wonderfully refreshing side. I love making my own vinaigrettes and this balsamic mint dressing could be one of my favorites. I hope you enjoy a bit of summer in these recipe.  Make sure you stay warm and Set the Table with Love.

pastaandsalaad
Brown Rice Penne Pasta with Peas and Roasted Tomatoes with a Green Apple Mint Salad

Penne Pasta 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup Jovial Penne Pasta

1 cup cherry tomatoes

1/2 cup organic sweet peas

2 tbsp lemon juice

lemon zest

mint leaves, for garnish

cracked black pepper and kosher salt to taste

drizzle of good Extra Virgin Olive oil

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Toss the tomatoes lightly with olive oil on a baking sheet. Spread them out into one layer and sprinkle generously with kosher salt and pepper. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until the tomatoes are soft. Once roasted set aside.

Add penne pasta to a pot of salted boiling water. Cook according to package direction. Drain and place back on the stove on low heat, add peas and lemon juice. Allow peas to just heat up and remove from heat.  Add pasta, peas and roasted tomatoes into a bowl, add lemon zest, mint leaves and gently toss. Drizzle with some good extra virgin olive oil and add a squeeze of lemon juice.

salad1
Brown Rice Penne Pasta with Peas and Roasted Tomatoes with a Green Apple Mint Salad

Green Apple Salad

Ingredients: 

1 medium green apple

Bib lettuce or your favorite leafy greens 🙂

Cranberries

Pumpkin seeds

Sunflower seeds

Baby mint leaves, as garnish

Instruction:

Cut the apples, as desired. Gently tear the bib lettuce into desired pieces and place in a bowl, top with the cut apples, cranberries, pumpkin and sunflower seeds. Add drizzle with the Balsamic Mint vinaigrette.

Balsamic Mint Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon finely minced shallot

3 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

Place the shallots in a small glass jar with a secure lid.  Add the balsamic vinegar, the salt and the pepper. Pour the olive oil into the jar. Put the lid on the jar tightly, and shake vigorously, and add to the salad right before serving.

 

 

 

Three Bean Vegan Burger with Triple Berry Srirachi Sauce

Here is what we will be making at Williams Sonoma on Saturday, for my “Plantiful and Healthier You” in 2018. I did a cooking class and these burgers were a hit, even the meat eaters loved them. The thing about this recipe, is you can add different beans and legumes to give change the texture and flavor. I sometimes use lentils, instead of black and red beans and when you add different flavors like, sundried tomatoes, basil and a piece of mozzarella, you get a total new burst flavor.  You can also keep it very vegan and add vegan cheddar, mustard, ketchup, a good pickle,  and you have a good old fashion American burger. It is not as hard as we think, to incorporate more plant based foods in our everyday diet. All we have to do is take our regular meat recipes and look for ways to add more veggies, or substitute the meat for a vegetable options.  The best to start is with pizza, spaghetti, lasagna and even now with this recipe, burgers.  The big thing here, is to get creative in the kitchen, while add more healthy foods to your diet, that are good for you and your family.

IMG_9075

Three Bean Vegan Burger with Triple Berry Srirachi Sauce

IMG_8871
Three Bean Vegan Burger with Triple Berry Srirachi Sauce

Ingredients:
1 cup Kroger’s organic triple beans or any store bought brand ( cooked)

1 small red bell pepper (chopped)

1/2 cup chopped smoky sundried tomatoes

1/2 cup of chopped onions

1/2 tbsp of chopped garlic (fine)

1 tsp of olive oil

1/2 cup gluten free oats

1 tbsp of ground flax seed flour (binding)

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp of smoked paprika

1 tsp of garlic powder

1/8 tsp chipotle powder

1/8 tsp of sea salt or more to taste

 

Directions:

1. Heat a pan, add a tsp of olive oil and garlic. Once it starts to sizzle,
add chopped onion, sundried tomatoes and peppers. Cook for few minutes until
they are slightly mushy. Season with salt, pepper and red pepper
flakes. Cool the mixture and set aside.
2. In a mixing bowl, add cooked beans with your
hands or back of a spoon, mash them together. Add the vegetable
mixture, the spices, gluten free oats and flax seed to mixture. Mix well and adjust
salt & pepper if desired.
3. Take a small ball of the mixture and make patties out of
them. I like to allow my patties to set in the fridge for 30
mins., so they can harden. This will allow them to keep their shape
during cooking.
4. When ready to cook, heat rest of oil in a pan and add one patty at
a time,, no more than four in a medium saucepan. Cook each side on medium low heat, until it’s crunchy and golden
brown.  Don’t flip the patties often. Just cook them slowly each side
for 4 to 5 minutes and gently flip with a wide spatula. Lay on a
toasted bun and add the triple berry srirachi sauce, lettuce and any of your favorite toppings, better yet add it on a bed of greens with our favorite vinaigrette.

Makes 4 – 5 medium size burgers.

IMG_9088
Three Bean Vegan Burger with Triple Berry Srirachi Sauce

Triple Berry Srirachi Sauce

This is very simple recipes

1 cup Triple Berry jam

1/4 cup blueberries

1 tsp srirachi sauce

In a small saucepan, add the triple berry sauce, the berries and the srirachi sauce under a medium heat, stir and allow the berries to cook down for about 10-15 minutes.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool down. Once the sauce is cool, add to the your bun or on top of your burger.  This sauce is amazing over some toast with a cup of cinnamon tea, or mix with apple cider vinegar, olive oil and make a nice vinaigrette.

 

 

 

 

Guacamole Stuffed Zucchini Cups

This week I am sharing recipes from my cookbook, Set the Table with Love. I hope you enjoy these recipes and share them with your family and friends. I had so much fun doing this shoot with my friends and eating all the yummy food afterwards. Photography credit: ROB POLANCO. Art Design by: KEEGAN LEIBA. Love you guys!

Who doesn’t love good recipe for guacamole, well I have one for you. It’s simple and refreshing, because it’s stuffed in these zucchini cups. I love using this recipe for when I having a small dinner party or just for a nice afternoon snack.  A lot of my wellness clients are looking for ways to incorporate more veggies into their diet and this is a great way to do. I hope you enjoy this recipe and remember before the plates, glasses, silverware and candles, Set the Table with Love. 🙂

Stuffed Zucchini Cups

4 zucchini

2 tbsp. cilantro finely chopped, and enough leaves to garnish to top of the cups

1 tbsp. fresh lime or lemon juice

1/2 red onion, minced (about 1/2 cup)

2 ripe avocados

1/2 – 3/4 cups red bell pepper, diced

1/2 tsp. of sea salt and a dash of black pepper, to taste

1. Cut zucchini into 2 inch thick slices, discarding ends. Use a sharp spoon or melon baller to hollow out a cup in each zucchini slice, leaving just over 1/4 inch of zucchini flesh. Be careful not to get too close to the skin or the cups will leak the guacamole.

2. In a medium bowl, mash together the avocados, lime juice, and salt. Mix in onion and cilantro. Stir in salt and black pepper. Fill each cup with guacamole. Top with red bell peppers and cilantro.

 

IMG_8211

img_1601

Harissa Roasted Chickpea salad with acorn squash, mint and pumpkin seeds

This recipe is so delicious and full of exotic flavors, well at least I think so. LOL.

This salad will fill you up and give you tons of plant based vegan protein. You do not have to be a vegan to enjoy this salad. It’s important to incorporate more plant based foods in our diets, because it will help you look and feel better and it will give you tons of energy. I maybe help drop a few unwanted pounds. Who doesn’t want more energy and a few pounds out the way?  Me, me, me!!

I got something for you, in this simple to make salad. I hope you enjoy the flavors and how you feel later. Harissa maybe a new ingredient you are trying, so let me break it down for you.

img_5174
Roasted Harissa Chickpea Salad with acorn squash, mint, pumpkin seeds and micro greens

Harissa is a North African hot chili pepper paste, the main ingredients of which are roasted red peppers, Baklouti pepper, serrano peppers and other hot chili peppers and spices and herbs such as garlic paste, coriander seed, saffron, rose or caraway as well as some vegetable or olive oil for preservation.

This Harissa I used in this recipe is a powder form that I got form my local William Sonoma.

img_5183
Roasted Harissa Chickpea Salad with acorn squash, mint, pumpkin seeds and micro greens

For Chickpeas

1 can organic chickpeas, rinsed and drained

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
Blot chickpeas with a paper towel to dry them. In a bowl, toss chickpeas with olive oil, and season to taste with salt, harissa seasoning or cayenne pepper. Spread on a baking sheet, and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until browned and crunchy. Set aside to cool.

For the Lentils

1 cup dry lentils

3 cups of  vegetable broth

salt and pepper to taste

Cook on a stovetop, using 3 cups of  vegetable broth to 1 cup of dry lentils. Be sure to use a large enough saucepan as the lentils will double or triple in size. Bring to a boil, cover tightly, reduce heat and simmer until they are tender. For whole lentils, cook time is typically 15-20 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Vegetables

1 small acorn squash, chopped in to 1 inch slices

1 1/2 tbsp olive oil

1 small red bell pepper, cut in slices, save a couple of slices to chop up to top the salad

1/4 cup  poblano peppers, chopped

1 cup red cabbages, sliced thinly

1/4 cup red onions, diced

6-8  mint leaves, small to medium

1 cup micro greens, or baby arugula

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

Directions:

After the legumes are cooked and cooled, turn the stove on medium high heat, place a large saucepan on the stove. Add your oil allow to heat up, then add the acorn squash, red bell peppers and poblano peppers to the  pan. Season with salt and black pepper.  Cook for 4-5 minutes or  until the squash is golden brown, but not mushy. Remove from the heat and set aside.

To assemble:

In a salad bowl add the roasted chickpeas and lentils, gently toast together. Add the cooked vegetables and the raw cabbages, mint, red onions and the chopped raw red bell pepper. Top with micro greens and pumpkins. Squeeze some lemon juice and drizzle olive oil over top the salad with a pinch of sea salt and gently toss, incorporating all the ingredients.

Enjoy. This makes a large salad for 4-6 or a great meal for lunch and dinner for 2.

 

 

 

 

 

Mediterranean Kale, Chard and White Bean Salad with Artichokes and Gluten Free Toast with Olive Tapenade

There is nothing like a beautifully delicious salad, but sometimes it’s really hard to eat salad during the winter. So I opt out to making warm salads. Yes, salads can be warm, you still get your greens and veggies but sautéed a bit. Here is one of my favorite salads. I love mediterranean ingredients, like artichokes and kalamata olives. This salad includes them both, but with a little twist. The great thing about salad, you can throw in all your favorite ingredients. Instead of just putting the olives in this salad I made an olive tapenade and spreader it on gluten free toast is a great alternative. In a later post, I will show you how to pump up your olive tapenade with plant based protein. But, until then enjoy this recipe. Always remember to Set the Table with Love.

img_9133
Mediterranean Kale, Chard and White Bean Salad with Artichokes and Gluten Free Toast with Olive Tapenade

Ingredients:

1 can white beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup red onions, diced and extra tablespoon for garnish

1/2 cup red bell peppers, diced

2 garlic cloves, peeled and diced

2 tablespoons olive oil, in a sauce pan, to sauté veggies

1 tablespoons garlic herb seasonings

1 teaspoon garlic powder

salt and pepper to taste

2 bunches of kale, rinsed, dried with a paper towel, leaves roughly chopped

1 bunch of chard, rinsed, dried with a paper towel, leaves roughly chopped

1/2 cup artichoke hearts, marinated

Directions:

Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a sauté pan, on medium heat and then add the diced onions and peppers. Sauté until soft. Add diced garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add beans and stir. Add the spices and stir gently, to keep the beans in tack. Cook for another 5 minutes. Set aside once cooked. Add the remaining oil into the pan on medium heat. Add the kale and chard, sauté for 2 minutes, you are just welting the leaves. Remove for heat and set aside

Olive Tapenade Ingredients:

1 cup pitted black olives

6 small capers

1 garlic clove

3 tablespoons olive oil

Directions:

Mince the garlic clove. Place olives, minced garlic, capers and olive oil in blender. Blend until you reach a smooth spread. Add to the gluten free toast. To Assemble: Add the kale, chard, in a salad bowl, top with beans and gently toss, place artichoke hearts sparingly throughout the salad. Garnish with diced red peppers, season with sea salt, cracked black pepper and a drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil.

Brussels Sprouts and Avocado Salad for Breast Health

Brussels Sprouts can be one of those, I love it or I hate it kind of things. I am on the lovers side of brussels sprouts, you will find plenty of recipes on my site talking about my love for these little baby cabbages.  The truth is, if they are done right you might like them, possibly, no promises.  But this recipe is one that could win you over. I also love them for their healing benefits.

According this amazing and informative article from Dr. Oz , by Rachel Beller, MS, RD, Founder of Beller Nutritional Institute, shares why brussels sprouts, a cruciferous vegetable is good for our breast health, here’s an excerpt from Rachel Beller’s article:

“Cruciferous vegetables such as arugula, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, bok choy and kale are rich in sulforaphane – one of the primary phytochemicals (protective compounds found in plants) that helps prevent cancer. Recent studies from the Linus Pauling Institute, which was supported by the National Cancer Institute, suggest that sulforaphane can selectively target and kill cancer cells while leaving normal cells healthy and unaffected.”

Brussels sprouts is truly a super hero for our bodies, especially us ladies, take care of your Tatas from the inside out ladies, by eating these foods listed above. I really believe you should enjoy your food, but above all, eat on purpose. I love to incorporate in my daily meals, food that are delicious and healing for me and may family. This 30 day cleanse has helped me be so created with the meals I prepare.

Food is truly Healing Art. Please enjoy this recipe and many other happy healing recipes on my blog. Oh yes, always Set the Table with Love. 🙂

img_2407
Brussels Sprouts and Avocado Salad

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 1 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1 pound brussels sprouts, cleaned, trimmed and leaves separated

2 tablespoon raw walnuts

1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, and sliced

2 tablespoons cranberries, for garnish

Instructions:

Whisk together lemon zest and juice and mustard in a bowl. Ad oil in slow, steady stream, whisking until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper.

In another bowl, toss dressing with brussels sprout leaves and walnuts. Gently stir in avocado, season with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.