So the biggest thing that gets me when I am trying to eat healthy, is having that crunchy and salty experience of a potato chip. I must have the crunch! I am slave to the crunch. The great thing is there is so many other alternative out there, that is so much more healthy for you and delicious.
Kale chips and Zucchini chips are a very good option and I got you covered, click the links to try these yummy crunchy alternatives, Spicy Garlic Kale Chips and Zucchini Chips recipe. But if that doesn’t take care of your crunch, my Roasted Red Curry Chickpeas are loaded with fiber, plant-based protein and a bit of a nice crunchy bit. They are super easy to prepare and make a wonderful on the go snack.
For the Red Curry Roasted Chickpeas
1 can of organic chickpeas
1 tbsp of olive oil
1/2 tbsp of red curry powder, more or less based on your preference or Harissa powder
1 tbsp of no salt garlic herbal seasonings
sea salt and cayenne pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Blot chickpeas with a paper towel to dry them. In a bowl, toss chickpeas with olive oil, and season with red curry powder, no garlic seasoning and sea salt and cayenne pepper, to taste. Spread on a baking sheet with parchment paper and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until browned and crunchy.
If you want softer Chickpeas, bake on for 20 to 25 minutes.
I am so excited about cooking and sharing on Fox 5 Good Day Atlanta, how you can stay Fit and Fabulous for 2017, using 5 main ingredients under 30 minutes.
This salad was inspired by that simple challenge. We can do it and we can do it deliciously, with hardly no effort at all, using some of my easy recipes. It just takes some preparing and a bit of creativity. I love this salad, because it has over 26 grams of protein, that is vegetarian and about 15 grams of carbs. I love those numbers.
I hope you tune in to Fox 5 Good Day Atlanta Thursday Feburary 9th at 9:00 am, but until then, enjoy this salad. Oh yeah! Do not forget to always Set the Table with Love.
Pear and Beet Salad
4 small roasted or marinated beets, (I used Love Beets, already peeled and marinated or roasted for you and they are organic and delicious.)
1 bosc pear
2 cups of your favorite greens, chopped, ( I used romaine lettuce.)
2 tbsp of your favorite cheese, ( I used parmesan, vegetarian.)
1/2 cup roasted pumpkin seeds
Add the lettuce to a salad bowl. Place the beets around in different places around lettuce, add the pears on top of the lettuce, sprinkle the cheese and the pumpkin seeds. You may have pumpkin seeds left over, eat them as a snack later.
Add a pinch of sea salt, cracked black pepper. Drizzle a little balsamic glaze and olive oil. Salad done.
You can also use nuts, instead of seeds. You can also add other veggies, like sautéed zucchini and yellow squash.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Butternut Squash Pilaf is an amazing alternative to perhaps this years stuffing. It’s gluten free and loaded with lots of vegan protein and hey it’s delicious. I was able to make this dish for William Sonoma’s guest yesterday. I did a cooking demo on Healthy Holiday Thanksgiving Side Dishes! It was a hit. I love to watch people reactions when they eat food they do not normally eat on a regular basis, especially a spice or herb. This pilaf has garam masala in it, a very popular spice in India. The awesome thing about this spice, it has some of the same spices we use for our Thanksgiving holiday recipes, such as; cinnamon, cloves, cumin, coriander and black pepper. What’s different about garam masala, is the cardamom. We usually do not use that is everyday cooking, but now you can with this recipe. It is such an amazing spice. So, the moral of this story, try new spices in some of your everyday dishes.
This dish is super easy and will look beautiful on your Thanksgiving table this year. But first Remember to Set the Table with Love.
2 cups wild rice blend, gluten free
4 cups water
1 large butternut squash, peeled and cubed ½ inch
1 tsp oil
1 tbsp dried NO SALT garlic herb seasoning
1 tsp cardamom
1 tsp dried thyme
sea salt and white pepper, to taste. You can use black pepper if you like.
1 med. whole clove, peeled and dice
½ tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 tsp garam masala
sea salt to taste
In a large sauce pan add 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Add 2 cups of wild rice blend. Cover with a tight fitted lid, reduce heat to a low simmer and cook for 45 minutes. Drain the rice and set aside.
Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the butternut squash. Stir and add the seasonings, NO SALT garlic herb seasonings, cardamom, dried thyme, white pepper and sea salt. Stir and allow to cook for another 4-5 minutes. Add diced garlic. Stir and cook for another 1-2 minutes, until the squash has soften but not mushy. The cooking process should take 6-7 minutes.
Toast the nuts and seeds
In a sauté pan on medium heat, add your nuts and seeds. Season them with a 1 tsp of garam masala, sea salt and touch of honey. Toast them for about 1 minute, nuts and seeds can burn because they have a very high oil content.
Add the wild rice to a large bowl. Add the squash and the toasted nuts, seeds and cranberries. Stir everything in the bowl gently, incorporating all the ingredients. Taste and see if you need to add more seasonings. Serve immediately.
I love Mother’s Day. I have two boys, one 29 and my youngest is 15. I have two grandchildren, I adore and could get up with a biscuit and some gravy. They are truly yummy. My favorite thing growing up as child was to think about how I was going to make my mom feel special for Mother’s Day. Of course, I did the usually cards with macaroni glued to them and flowers, candy and little things I made with popsicles sticks. Okay, I need to confess soon as I wrote, macaroni, I thought about my mom’s cheesy, buttery, gooey macaroni and cheese, bubbling over in her special mac and cheese glass bowl. So where were we? Yes, Mother’s Day. One year I came up with the idea to make my mom, breakfast in bed. Now granted I was about 9 years old and I never really cooked a meal all by myself, but I was determined to do this for her.
I went into the kitchen very quietly. I made sure not to make a sound. I remember opening up the fridge and getting out, bacon, eggs, butter and the orange juice. Yes. I was going to make my mom, a good old southern, bacon and eggs breakfast. I put on a cup of coffee, aka, hot water and Folgers, put the cast iron skillet on the stove and added the bacon. It smelled so good, but it was making too much noise, so I closed the kitchen door.
I added the eggs to the skillet, with lots of butter, just the way my mom did. Well, maybe too much, but hey I was 9. I cracked the eggs, very gently into a bowl and used a fork to gently whisk them. I was doing something. I felt like my mom, for just a moment. I remember my little sister and brother getting up. I pulled them in the kitchen and demanded they keep quiet. We made our brother sit at the table quietly and my sister made the toast and poured the juice.
All of a sudden I hear footsteps. I wanted to cry. Oh no, it will not be a surprise anymore, I thought. But, it was my dad. He open the door very slowly. It seemed as if, it took forever for him to open that door and for me to see, it was Dad, not Mom.
He asked with a smile on his face, What are you guys doing? We replied, Making mom breakfast. He left out and said, Okay, carry on.
It was almost done. I had my sister run into the dining room and get a pretty tray from our china cabinet. We got a rose from my Dad’s rose garden and put it in a nice vase. I was so proud of that breakfast. The toast was a little burnt and the the bacon on the crispier side, but my eggs were awesome. We carried the tray to her bed and the best thing about that day that I remember, is my mom’s face when she say we had made her breakfast in bed.
Just writing this makes me cry. She has been gone for 14 years now and I miss her as though it was yesterday, when she left this Earth. She kissed me, my sister and brother and said, Thank you so much, this makes mama feel special. But I remember the special look in her eyes she gave me. She was so proud of me, she knew how much this meant to me. I will never forget that look as long as I live. She ate that breakfast as though it came from a five star restaurant. This is properly where my love of cooking for those I love comes from. The day I first Set the Table with Love for my Mama.
Thanks everyone for taking time out to read this post. I usually don’t write long. I just get to the recipes, but that will change. I believe setting the table with love, is much more than just good healthy food, it’s about expressing love and that love being experienced through food.
Happy Mother’s Day. 🙂
Check out these links for some yummy Mother’s Day breakfast and brunch idea.
I had some leftover chickpeas from my lunch yesterday. So, I decided to make a pizza with the rest of the chick peas.
I have made this pizza many times, but the difference is the Grated Vegan Cheese I topped it with. I used one of my favorite vegan and raw brands to make the cheese, Go Raw Foods Sprouted Watermelons seeds, the seeds give them that nutty, buttery taste you find in parmesan cheese. This cheese provides you with 11 grams of protein per 2 tbsp.
The vegan cheese can be used over pizza, salad and soups. You can add crushed red peppers to make it spicy.
1/2 chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cups, plus 1 tbsp olive oil, for sauté the chickpeas,
1/2 tsp No Salt McCormick Garlic herb seasoning
1 tsp cayenne pepper
Directions: Add the chickpeas, in a sauté pan with enough olive oil to cover the pan, on medium heat. Stir the chickpeas and add the seasonings. Allow them to cook for 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and add to the food processors the remaining olive oil and process and until you get a nice smooth spread.
Grated Vegan Cheese
2 tbsp Go Raw watermelon seeds
1 tbsp McCormick No Salt Garlic Herb Seasoning
1 tsp cayenne pepper
pinch of sea salt
TIP: I added a few of my sautéed chick peas to the food processor to give it more flavor and depth. That will also increase the protein factor.
Add the watermelon seeds into a food processor. Process, until you get a small, fine crumbles. Add in the seasons, and gently pulse again, until the seasonings are incorporate into the seeds, you have texture like fine grated parmesan cheese.
1/4 cup red bell peppers, diced
4 marinated artichoke hearts
1 tbsp capers
fresh basil, as garnish
Bake your gluten free pizza crust in the oven, according to the instructions. Once bake , remove with oven mittens and place on a plate. Add a drizzle of olive oil, the chickpea spread, artichoke hearts, chopped red bell peppers, capers, kalamata olives and garnish with basil, top with the grated vegan cheese and Enjoy!!