Vegan Sloppy Joes Stuffed in a Sweet Potato

Growing up as a kid. I absolutely loved eating sloppy joes. They were one of my all times favorites, but not the healthiest. So what does a girl do when she is taking on a 30 day vegan challenge and craving sloppy joes. No problem, add beans, instead of meat. This recipe has everything in it that I remember about my Mom’s sloppy joes growing up, that sweet, sour and smokiness that made them so good. I addd french lentils to this recipes, but you can add white northern beans or dark kidney beans, if you like. I mushed up some of the lentisl to give texture and left the rest whole. Lentils are high in plant based protein and fiber, so you are not missing any protein and it’s good for you. I hope you will use this recipe in your “Meatless Mondays” or any time of the week.

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FOR THE LENTILS

COOK ACCORDING TO PACKAGE INSTRUCTIONS, BUT YOU WILL NEED A CUP OF LENTILS FOR THIS RECIPE AND I USED

LOW SODIUM VEGETABLE BROTH AND WATER FOR THIS RECIPE, FOR MORE FLAVOR.

FOR THE SLOPPY JOES

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 small white onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced

1/4 cup poblano peppers, diced

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

1 15 oz. can organic tomato sauce

2 Tbsp brown sugar,

2 Tbsp low sodium vegan Worcestershire sauce

2 tsp chili powder

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

INSTRUCTIONS:

COOK YOUR LENTILS ACCORDING TO PACKAGE INSTRUCTIONS. I USED HALF VEGETABLE BROTH, INSTEAD OF JUST WATER. Once cooked, rinsed and drained, set aside.

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat your oil. Once heated, add, add oil, onion, garlic, bell peppers and poblano peppers. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and stir to combine.

Sautè for 4-5 minutes,until the peppers and onions are tender and slightly browned. Add in the tomato sauce, brown sugar, worcestershire sauce, chili powder, cumin,garlic and smoked paprika, Stir to incorporate the spices.

Add in the cooked lentill, stir to combine.

Continue cooking the mixture over medium-low heat until completely warmed through and thick, stirring occasionally – about 5-10 minutes.

Taste and adjust flavor as needed.

I added the sloppy joes on a sweet potato with some homemade vegan coleslaw.

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Millet and Red Quinoa Balls

I love this dish, because it is one that brings beautiful memories of me sitting in my friend’s garden, enjoying a nice glass of Pinot Noir, along side her olive tree, with yummy crusty bread on the side, lots of laughs and a few tears. One of my favorite memories, is just watching the hummingbirds flying around and allowing ourselves to just be in the present moment.

This recipe is a wonderful alternative for a “Meatless Monday”, it can also be a great vegan recipe, just omit the parmesan cheese. The flavor is in the red bell peppers, garlic, onions, basil and fennel. This is one you will want to make with your family over and over and again.  If you have balls left over, please freeze them, they do great in the freezer.

I hope you enjoy it just as much as we do and maybe it will be bring fond memories for you, when you Set the Table with Love for those special people in your life.  Enjoy! 🙂

 

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Millet and Red Quinoa Balls in a Simple Marinara Sauce

Millet and Red Quiona Balls

Ingredients

1 cup of Millet
1/2 cup of Red quinoa
4 cups of water
2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves ( minced)
1/2 cup onions diced
1/2 cup of red bell peppers, diced
1 cup of parmesan cheese, if vegan omit the cheese or use a vegan cheese instead
1 tbsp dried basil
1/2 tbsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp granulated garlic powder

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Millet and Red Quinoa Balls in a Simple Marinara Sauce

1. In large deep sauce pan add the 4 cups of water. Allow it to come to boil. Add millet and red quinoa. Add the salt, pepper and garlic powder. Turn down the heat to medium low simmer, cook for 20-25 minutes. Stirring occasionally. You want a nice fluffy mash potato like texture. This makes the balls easy to roll up.
2. Add 1 tbsp of the olive oil to a sauté’ pan and sauté’ the garlic, onions and red bell peppers, cook for about 1-2 minutes. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to season the veggies. Add the sauté’ vegetables to the mixture along with the dried basil, fennel seeds and the cup of parmesan cheese. Taste and season with the black pepper and sea salt, as needed.
3. Stir completely, incorporating all the ingredients. Wet your hands
slightly and roll the mixture into medium balls. You can put the balls in the fridge to harden for about 30 minutes. This will help the balls to hold together when you are browning them in the sauté pan.
4.Once the balls are firm, add the remaining olive oil in a sauté’ pan and sauté’ each ball until golden brown on each side on medium heat. Add goat cheese, basil and lemon zest for garnish, if you desire.
Makes 20-25 small millet and red quinoa balls

 

Simple Marinara Sauce

Ingredients

2 tbsp. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28 oz.)can crushed tomatoes
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 tbsp tomato puree
2 1/2 tbsp dried oregano
2 1/2 tbsp dried basil
1/2 tsp of sea salt
2 tsp. organic cane sugar
1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes
1 bay leaves
Directions:
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Saute garlic until tender.
Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato puree, basil, oregano,sea salt (or to taste), organic cane sugar, red pepper flakes. Reduce heat to low and simmer for at least 40 minutes.
Serve the Millet and Red Quiona Balls on top of the Marinara Sauce.
Use pieces of basil as garnish with a little lemon zest.

If life gives you Lemons, Make Meyer Lemon Confit

I love trying new things.  My new love outside of poaching white fish in butter, is this making confits.  What does confit mean: Confit (/kɒnfi/, French pronunciation: [kɔ̃fi]) comes from the French word confire which means literally “to preserve,” a confit being any type of food that is cooked slowly over a long period of time as a method of preservation. Usually you hear this word in fine dining  restaurants, duck confit or goose confit, meaning the bird has been cooked in it’s own fat. Yes! Actually. I prefer making confits with citrus. A lemon confit is the same idea, but I am using olive oil to slowing cook the meyer lemon rinds in. It makes an excellent condiment to any dish. You can use it on toasted breads, drizzle on salads, vegetables and as I did today on a piece of broiled pacific cod. This is a very simple and easy recipe, that I adapted from Naomi Pomeroy Taste and Technique Recipes to Elevate Your Home Cooking. 

Meyer Lemon Confit
Meyer Lemon Confit

Ingredients:

Lemon Confit

Rinds of 3 lemons

1/4 teaspoons dried fennel seeds

1/4 teaspoons red chili pepper flakes

2 teaspoons organic cane sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt

2 cups extra-virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic

Directions:

Cut away most of the spongy white pit of the rinds, leaving only the yellow peel. Cut the trimmed rind pieces into strips 1/8 inch wide and 1 inch long.

Place the strips in a 2 quart saucepan and add the fennels seeds, red chili pepper flakes, sugar, salt, olive oil and garlic cloves. Place over very low heat and slowly simmer. You want it simmer to point you see tiny little bubbles. You will need to stir this often, to make sure the sugar and salt dissolves. You do not want the mixture to fry the lemon rinds, so keep a close eye on it. I had to take mine off the heat at least 3 times and put it back on the low heat, so it would not fry. Naomi suggest using a diffuser, but I did have one of those. If you keep it on a low heat and just keep a good eye, it will be fine.  It takes about 20 minutes for the rinds to simmer and cook until they are soft. Take a fork and remove one out from the oil to check the consistency. Once they are soft, remove from heat and set aside, covered, at room temperature to allow the flavors to come together overnight. Store in airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 months.

I poured my meyer lemon confit over this beautiful piece of pacific cod.

Broiled Pacific Cod with Meyer Lemon Confit, Sautéed Kale with Garlic and Blistered Cherry Tomatoes
Broiled Pacific Cod with Meyer Lemon Confit, Sautéed Kale with Garlic and Blistered Cherry Tomatoes

 

Pan Seared and Poached Halibut with sweet peas in a lemon caper broth topped with Sweet Potato Chips

Halibut. One of my favorite fish to make. I use to be so intimidated about making fish, until I was on Food Network’s All Star Academy and my mentor, Alex Guarnaschelli had me make Arctic Char for one of the elimination challenges, her  mentoring gave me the confidence to never be scared of fish again. The thing that blew me away the most, was during judging. Adam Richman, Man Finds Food, told me my Arctic Char could be served in a restaurant and he would order it, Yes!!

The key to any ingredient is understanding the ingredient itself. If you have never used a particular ingredient, I would suggest to research it. Ask a chef or someone you know that  is an excellent cook that has used it before, successfully. Cooking is an adventure, so dive in with an open heart.

Now, back to the recipe. I had a few of my fans wanting this recipe, so I hope you guys enjoy it, but make sure, before you get started to Set the Table with Love. Enjoy.

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Pan Seared and Poached Halibut with sweet peas, sweet potato chips in a lemon caper broth

Pan Seared and Poached Halibut:

Ingredients:

4, 5 oz. halibut filets

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon no salt herb garlic seasonings

2 tablespoons of organic butter

1 shallot, finely minced

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup of dry wine

3/4 cup of chicken stock

1 bay leaf

1 tbsp capers

5 springs of thyme

1 tablespoon of cold, unsalted butter

1 cup green peas,  frozen peas thawed out
Instructions:

Place a large lidded skillet over high heat. Once hot, season the filets with the salt, garlic seasoning, then add the unsalted butter and then place the halibut filets in the pan. Sear on one side, without moving, for 3 minutes.
After 3 minutes carefully flip the filets and then move the heat to low. Add the lemon juice, chicken stock, dry wine, shallot, bay leaf, thyme and capers. Place the lid on the pan and cook  on low heat.  Cook for 3-5 minutes, or until halibut is just opaque.The fish will keep cooking so do not over cook it. When desired doneness is reached, pull the skillet off of the heat and remove the halibut from the pan and place the fish on a warm plate and lightly cover with foil. Use braising liquids from the pan to make your broth. Add the cold butter into the liquid and whisk until combined. Keep the broth on low heat add the green peas into the broth and allow to warm through.  Keep the broth warm, on a very low heat.

Sweet Potato Chips

1 medium sweet potato, sliced with a mandolin

sea salt to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees and position oven rack in the center of the oven.
    Rinse and dry your sweet potatoes thoroughly and slice them with a mandolin, or use a knife and slice them as thinly as possible.
  2. Toss slices in a touch of olive oil to lightly coat, then sprinkle with salt.  Lay a piece of parchment paper onto a non stick baking sheet.
  3. Lay out in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 8 minutes, then turn the potato slices over, and bake for another 6-7 minutes , watch for the edges, they will start to get darker, pull them before they burn. Remove once crisp and golden brown. Some may feel a little tender in the middle but take them out and let them rest for 10 minutes, so they can crisp up. To assemble this dish, I put the chips on top of the halibut as a garnish with a lemon wedge.

Assemble:

Add broth into a bowl, add halibut in the middle of the bowl and top with sweet potato chips and lemon slice( optional).

Gluten Free Dark Chocolate Cauliflower Brownies

WOW!! So my amazing friend Paula gave me a challenge to make a brownie for her son that hid cauliflower inside and it taste good. Well here is what I came up with.  This was an experiment and may need a little adjusting, so if you have any suggestions, please leave them in my comment box. But I am not bragging, these bad boys were pretty tasty.

Dark Chocolate Cauliflower Vegan Brownies
Gluten Free Dark Chocolate Cauliflower  Brownies

Ingredients:

First things first, the cauliflower puree.  You can serve the rest as a side dish or convert it into a soup. But that’s another blog. You will only need one cup for the brownie recipe.

1 head cauliflower, 2 to 2 1/2 pounds

2 tablespoons melted coconut oil

1 teaspoon sea salt
Pull the leaves off the cauliflower and cut out the core in a kind of cone-shaped section. Then pull the florets off the head with your fingers, using a knife when you need to. Break or cut the florets into smaller, regular pieces (about 1 1/2 inch) and put them in a steamer insert. Bring about 1 inch of water to a boil in the steamer pot, add the insert, cover, and cook for about 15 minutes, or until you can poke a paring knife into the stems and you can feel that there’s still a little texture there. Save 1 cup of steaming water.
In batches, put cauliflower in a food processor to puree. If you are having problems getting the cauliflower to puree add a little of the cooking water but as little as possible. With the motor running, add oil and salt.

Set a side.

Brownie Ingredients:

Dry
1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup sorghum flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup ground organic raw cane sugar
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips ( cacao chips)

Wet:

1 cup cauliflower puree
1 Tablespoons flaxmeal
3 Tablespoons warm water
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup oil, canola oil

Directions:

Brownies:

Over a double boiler, on low heat, add the dark chocolate chips into the bowl and stir,until melted. Once melted set aside.  In another bowl add cocoa powder, chocolate chips, sugar, oil and mix together.

In a small bowl mix flaxmeal in the warm water and vinegar and let sit for few minutes about 3-4 minutes, this will be part of your egg, substitute. Add the flax meal mixture to the cocoa powder mixture.
In another bowl, combine all the remaining dry ingredients, stir and add to the cocoa powder mixture. Mix to combine well. Gently fold half of the melted chocolate into the mixture, you will use the other half as a glaze on top of the brownies.  If the mixture is too wet, add a little more cocoa powder. If too dry fold in more melted chocolate.
Spread the mixture into a parchment lined or greased pan. Press and even it out, using a spatula.
Bake 30-32 minutes at 375 degrees F. Bake till the toothpick an inch from the edge comes out with a few crumbs. Do not over bake as the brownie, it will dry them out and make them hard.
Remove from oven and allow to cool. Once cooled remove from the parchment lined pan and cut brownies in squares.  Add the remaining melted chocolate on top of each as a glaze. You can also add more chocolate chips if you like.

Gluten Free Cauliflower Brownies with Vegan Chocolate Ganache
Gluten Free Dark Chocolate Cauliflower Brownies with Dark Chocolate Ganache

RAW Vega One Banana Pudding Breakfast Smoothie

Eat your skincare: Bananas are rich in potassium, vitamin A,  B, C and E. Bananas help hydrate and moisturize the skin. They can help fight acne causing germs and also, control oil in the skin. Slather a mushed up banana on your face and allow to set for 10 minutes and thoroughly rinse off and use your cleanser afterwards, serum and moisturizer.  This mask will leave your skin feeling hydrated and refreshed. Okay, back to the recipe.

RAW Vega One Banana Pudding Breakfast Smoothie in honor of my Granny
RAW Vega One Banana Pudding Breakfast Smoothie in honor of my Granny

I loved Granny’s banana pudding, it was rich, creamy, decadent and just plan delicious. I thought about her this morning and so this is in honor of her. Love you and Miss you Granny.

Here’s the recipe. Enjoy!

1 scoop of Vega One Protein and Green smoothie mix

1 cup non dairy milk

2 bananas

4 ice cubes

4 sliced banana circles for garnished and a dash of cinnamon

1 Belvita cookie or a vanilla wafer

Add all ingredients to your blender, Vitamix or Ninja, except the 4 banana circles, cinnamon and cookie or wafer. Blend until completely mixed. Pour in a glass. Add bananas on top, with a dash of cinnamon and add your cookie or wafer on the side. Enjoy. Hey, don’t forget to Set the Table with Love.

Breakfast ~ RAW Oatmeal Cinnamon, Apple and Raisin Chia Pudding

RAW Oatmeal Cinnamon, Apple and Raisin Chia pudding, that’s a mouth full. I decided to make my breakfast last night. I made this delicious heart healthy and very detoxifying, chia pudding. Why heart healthy and detoxifying? Okay, let me put on my Nutrition and Wellness Hat ! Got it. Okay here we go a little 411.

Chia seeds are a great source of Omega-3 and -6 essential fatty acids. They are high in fiber and protein. This is a great detoxifying breakfast option,  because of all the fiber that is included in this recipe, from the chia seeds, to the apples, raisins and gluten free oats. A sliding board for your intestines, LOL. 🙂

There are no sweeteners in this recipe outside of the raisins, but the cinnamon, raisins and apples soaking in the  pudding over night gives it a wonderfully sweet taste.  I love to have this chia pudding with a cup of ginger tea. Enjoy!

RAW Oatmeal Cinnamon Apple, Raisin Chia Pudding
RAW Oatmeal Cinnamon Apple, Raisin Chia Pudding

RAW Oatmeal Cinnamon, Apple and Raisin Chia Pudding

1 mason jar with a lid or a glass container with a lid

1 cup non- dairy milk, I used Almond milk

3 tablespoons chia seeds

1/4 cup gluten free oatmeal

2 tablespoons raisins

1/4 cup chopped gala apples

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ginger

pinch of sea salt

ALWAYS DREAM OUT LOUD! 

Raw Cinnamon, Apple and Raisin Chia Pudding
Raw Oatmeal Cinnamon, Apple and Raisin Chia Pudding

Directions

Add the non-dairy milk with all the ingredients in your mason jar or bowl and mix well. Allow the mixture to rest for 10 minutes and stir again until thoroughly combined.  Put the lid on the mason jar or bowl and put it in the fridge for overnight, so the chia seeds can fully absorb the flavor and soften. In the am you can remove the lid and add more non-dairy milk, apples and raisins, if you desire. I topped mines with also a little more cinnamon. This can be refrigerated for 2-3 days, if stored in an airtight container.

Set the Table with Love. 🙂

Buffalo Sauce Cauliflower Pizza with a Vegan Ranch White Bean Spread

Okay who doesn’t like pizza?  Who doesn’t like spicy buffalo sauce? Okay who doesn’t like Cauliflower? Alright put your hands down. LOL. 🙂  I love cauliflower. So, I was craving something spicy and pizza at the same time. I have heard of Buffalo wing pizza before, I think on television or saw it on a menu once, but buffalo sauce pizza. Hmm… How can we go Vegan or Vegetarian on this one?

I went Gluten Free Vegan on this recipe. It was super simple.  Now this recipe maybe spicy or not for you, so go with the level your GUT can take.

I used a pre made Gluten Free Vegan Pizza crust, that I found at Sprouts. This pizza crust  is in the section of their pre made meals and cheeses. I can not remember the name, but it is the only Gluten Free Vegan pizza-crust in that section.

Well here is what you will need and maybe a glass of water. Nah… That would not help anyway, according to food scientist, maybe some coconut water?

Enjoy!

Buffalo Sauce Cauliflower Pizza with a vegan Ranch Style White Bean Spread
Buffalo Sauce Cauliflower Pizza with a vegan Ranch Style White Bean Spread

Buffalo Sauce Cauliflower Pizza with a Ranch styled White Bean Spread

1 -2  pre made small pizza crust, drizzled with a little olive oil

2 Tbsp. olive oil 

2 cups cauliflower, chopped into florets ( you may have some left over, but the pizza crust come in a package of two)

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. paprika

1 /2 cup Louisiana  hot sauce or more.

Preheat the oven to 425°F.
In a large sauce pan.  Add the olive oil on medium low heat. Add the cauliflower and sauté until slightly tender, about 2-3 minutes. *NOTE: It will have to bake in the oven and that cooking time will get the cauliflower more tender.

Add the paprika and garlic on to the cauliflower and stir until all of the spices cover the veggies. Lower the heat and add the 1/2 cup of Louisiana hot sauce.  Stir the hot sauce into with the veggies, so it will coat the cauliflower completely. Here’s where your taste buds must take over. Give it a taste. See if you need more heat. Add more hot sauce according to your preference. *NOTE: If it’s too spicy, add just a little water at a time to decrease the heat. Keep the heat on, so the water can cook out of the cauliflower, if you decided to add it.

Once the cauliflower is drenched in hot sauce remove it from the heat, set aside.

Next:

Vegan  Ranch style White Bean Spread

1 can organic white beans

1 tbsp olive oil and 1/2 tsp  sea salt to seasoning the beans.

For Vegan Ranch flavoring

2 tbsp almond milk or coconut milk, unsweetened and original flavor
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tsp dried parsley
1 tbsp  apple cider vinegar, or lemon juice
1/4 tsp dried dill

Drain and Rinse the beans. Add the olive oil to a sauce pan. Add the beans and sea salt. Cook on a medium heat for 5 minutes. Stirring the beans. Remove from the heat, allow to cool down. Once cooled.  Add the beans to your food processor with all the rest of the ingredients, until very smooth. Taste to see if you need more salt or black pepper, you can also use cayenne pepper.

Next, add the bean spread to the lightly oiled pizza crust, spread it out evenly onto the crust.  Secondly, add the buffalo sauced cauliflower to the top of the white bean spread.  Nestling the cauliflower into the spread. Bake in the oven on 425 for as long as your pizza crust directions has instructed you. I cooked mines for 15 minutes. It is best to buy a pre made crust, because your toppings are already cooked.  If your pizza crust is frozen, allow it to thaw out before adding ingredients, so your ingredients do not burn before your crust is done.

I hope you enjoy this recipe and hey get adventurous and add your own twist to it. Try a Tuscan Pizza with veggies and a sundries tomato bean spread.

Set the Table with Love. 🙂