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.
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
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.
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! 🙂
Millet and Red Quiona Balls
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
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
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.
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
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.
Today on my Facebook Live post I talked about something I love sharing with my clients. Most of them have super busy schedules, but want to incorporate a healthier lifestyle and perhaps lose a few pounds, but do not need all the fuss. I like to call this my S3 plan, Smoothies, Salads and Soups, we also do a +1 for those who like to incorporate fresh green juices.
The plan is pretty simple and just takes a little creativity and prep work on your part, but I am going to get you started. So what’s the plan? Here’s the deal on S3. It’s smoothies in the morning, that consist of fruits such as, cherries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, apples, peaches,oranges, papaya, melons,guava and kiwi. These fruits can be added to your smoothie. I like using unsweetened non dairy milk as my liquid. Remember S3 is a gentle cleansing plan, so dairy is not included. I do suggest if you must have dairy, use yogurt. You can also add to your smoothie, nuts such as almonds, cashews, walnuts, and pistachios. This will add more protein to your smoothies. I also like to add a vegan protein mix, that’s low in sugar and carbohydrates. Get creativity! Try out new fruit and nut combinations, it’s easy, just throw it all in your blender and go for it.
For the salad: When we think of salads we think, lettuce, tomatoes and cold vegetables with yucky carrots stripes that are dry and just unappealing. You can make a salad without lettuces, but if you do use greens, make sure they are leafy greens, like kale, swiss chard, butter and bib lettuces, romaine lettuce, add different type of spinaches. But a salad can be sautéed vegetables, with some chickpeas added, some fresh herbs and dried cranberries or golden raisins. In the S3 plan, I make all kinds of vegetable salads, french lentil salads and green salads as well. The point here is to use as many vegetables you enjoy, cooked or raw and make your own vinaigrettes or buy a really good healthy one. That’s the key here, use vinaigrettes on your salads, instead of heavy creamy dressings.
SIMPLE VINAGRETTE RECIPE:
You can be so creative with vinaigrettes, add chopped strawberries, finely chopped blueberries and blackberries, if you like and there you have a fruit vinaigrettes.
1 small shallot, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
1 small clove garlic, minced (about 1/2 teaspoon)
2 teaspoons organic honey
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon water
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Combine shallot, garlic, honey, vinegar, and water in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in olive oil. Alternatively, place all ingredients in a tightly sealing jar, seal, and shake vigorously until emulsified. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Vinaigrette will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Now for the soups, here you have a world of possibilities just as with the smoothies and the salads. The catch here is to only make broth based soups, lots of broth, this will add in elimination. Today I made a french lentil and porcini mushroom soup, it was brothy and earthy and just plan delicious. All of the carrots, onions, garlic and celery helped give me a good fiber based. When you are making your soups you want to pack them out with lots of herbs, dry and fresh, seasonings, such as turmeric, cayenne pepper, garlic, cumin, coriander, ginger,smoked paprika, chipotle and red chili peppers. All of these are anti inflammatory spices.
Here on S3 you can eat all the Smoothies, Salads and Soups you want. When you need to snack, make sure to have nuts, seeds, and vegetable and fruit handy. I would suggest the ones I listed above under what fruits are good for a S3 smoothie. You can do this plan for 3 days, 3 weeks or even 3 months. Your basically eating a vegetarian diet. I like to add eggs to make soup, a poached or boil egg gives me that extra protein I may need. You can also add eggs to your salad. If you need to eat something more than vegetarian, I would suggest fish, such as trout, salmon or mackerel. Here’s the deal, keep it simple and it will not be complicated.
How are we feeling about S3? It’s super simple and easy, it can be done.
Let’s talk about what you want to avoid during S3: Whatever time period you have decided to do this plan you want to cut back or all together avoid, processed sugar, alcohol, caffeine, red meats, high fat foods, such as chips, pastries, etc. You want to consume plenty of water, that includes, green tea, coconut water, that is just pure coconut water and you can juice your
BELOW THIS RECIPE IS MORE S3 RECIPES YOU CAN TRY.
French Lentil and Porcini Mushroom Soup
1/4 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1 cups boiling water to re-hydrate them (save liquid for soup)
3 tbs good cooking extra virgin olive oil
2 small carrots, chopped
2 small celery stalks, cleansed and chopped
1 small onion, peeled and roughly chopped onion
1 cups French lentils or any lentils you prefer
4 cups good low sodium vegetable stock
fresh thyme, about 1 tbs, minced
sea salt and ground cracked pepper to taste
Re-hydrate the mushrooms in boiling water, cover with plastic wrap and let sit 30 minutes.
In a heavy bottom soup pot over medium heat and olive oil, then add our vegetables, MAKE SURE TO CUT THE VEGETABLES THE SAME SIZE and season with salt and pepper and add a sprig of thyme.
Cook stirring often for 15 minutes or until vegetables start to caramelizE, YOU WANT JUST COLOR, NOT BURNT VEGETABLES, :)!
Add lentils, vegetable stock, mushroom liquid, broth then bring to boil, then turn down to simmer.
Cook until lentils are just tender.
Serve immediately, I like to drizzle a few drops of extra virgin olive over the soup.
A FEW RECIPES YOU CAN TRY. ENJOY AND REMEMBER TO SET THE TABLE WITH LOVE
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.
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
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.
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.
Thanksgiving is next month and I am always thinking about what will I do differently this year. Then I remember that I go out of town each year and visit my family, so it’s more like what will I do differently for Christmas this year. Lately, for the past 3 years I have been doing a French country inspired Christmas dinner, but I want to switch it up a bit. I want to do more of a vegetarian theme dinner. I know my boys, they will not have that at all, but I will incorporate more plant-based recipes this year. I always add a new vegetarian plant based recipe each year and less meat, getting closer and closer to my vegetarian Christmas dinner, more and more. LOL.
This particular dish came about when I was thinking of my past made coursed for Christmas, usually I like to do a Beef Bourguignon, but if I could do a take on that recipe using vegetables. Now this recipe is not like Beef Bourguignon, at all but the richness of it from the wine and the balsamic vinegar, reminded me so much of the dish. It could easily be a main course for vegan or vegetarian table.
I toasted quinoa and almonds to add some protein and texture, some cranberries and lemon zest and you have a deliciously decadent, rich, and refreshing dish for Thanksgiving or any time of the Fall and Winter season.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much I did today. You can add walnuts, or any other nut your prefer, instead of almonds. I had almonds and hand and I believe in using what you have.
Enjoy and Remember to Set the Table with Love.
1 medium butter squash, peeled and chopped into 1-2 inch pieces
1 pound brussels sprouts, peeled and halved
3 medium purple sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1-2 inch pieces
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onions
2 garlic cloves, peeled and diced
1 tbsp sea salt, or taste
1 1/2 tbsp Harissa seasoning, adjust to your heat preference
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2 cup red wine
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
Garnish: Toasted Quinoa, Toasted Nuts, Cranberries and Lemon Zest
Preheat the oven 375.
In a large cast iron skillet on medium high heat, add the oil and chopped veggies and sea salt. Cook for about 10 minutes. Add the onions and garlic. Add the Harissa and brown sugar Stir and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the wine and vinegar.
Place the cast iron skillet in the oven and roast for 30-35 minutes until the vegetables are brown and a fork can go through the vegetables easily.
I am so excited about Mother’s Day! I hope you are thinking of ways to encourage the beautiful Mother’s in your life that has birth you physically, spiritually and both. I have a few recipes today I want to share with you that will make this Mother’s Day very special. It’s not too late and these recipes are super simple and Yum Yum approved. Enjoy them and make sure to Set the Table with Love. Happy Mother’s Day. 🙂
Five Cheese Italian Muffin Frittatas
2 1/2 tbsp. of olive oil ( 1 tbsp for greasing the
pan and the remainder for sautéing vegetables)
1 medium onion diced, medium
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
the same size as the onions
1 garlic clove, diced, small
8 large eggs
1 tsp of sea salt
1/2 tsp. of black pepper
1 tbsp. of Italian dried seasoning
4 ounces Sargento Five cheese blend,or your favorite blend
12 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half, to top frittatas
1 ounce of parmesan cheese to
1. Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 12 cup muffin pan with olive
oil, set aside.
2. Heat olive oil in a saute’ pan. Add diced onions, peppers, and
garlic. Cook until onions are transparent, not caramelized.
3.Whisk eggs, salt, black pepper, basil together in a bowl. Mix
cooked ( make sure they are cooled, are you will have scrambled eggs) vegetables and cheese into egg mixture. Spoon about 1/4
cup mixture into each muffin cup. You want the mixture to go
about halfway up the muffin pan cups.
4. Add 2 sliced cherry tomatoes on top of each frittata.
5. Bake in the preheated oven until frittatas are set in the middle
and lightly browned, about 20 minutes.
6. Once cooked you can garnish each one with parmesan cheese.
~ If you have an issue with diary, you can leave the cheese out or
use your favorite vegan blend.
Since this is Mother’s Day add some, fruit, a card and her favorite flower and your golden.
Today is one of my busy days. Blogging, Vlogging, Making and Delivering my skincare products to Whole Food Markets. So, I made my RAW breakfast the night before and boy it was delish! No sugar added, not even honey, maple syrup or agave. LOL. 🙂 It was sweetened by the bananas and pineapples. If you are on the go this is a great recipe to help jumpstart your engines, inside and out!
RAW Tropical Oatmeal
1 cup gluten free Bob Mill’s oats
1 1/2 cup unsweetened Almond milk
1/4 cup mashed bananas
1/4 cup diced pineapples
1 tablespoon dehydrated coconut flakes
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cinnamon
dash of cardamom and sea salt
Extra diced pineapples, bananas, goji berries and coconut for garnished
In a half pint (1 cup) jar with lid, add oats, milk, mashed bananas, coconut and pineapples and spices. Stir until well combined. Put lid on jar and refrigerate overnight or up to 2 days. In the am, add the remaining ingredients on top as garnished. Eat chilled or room temperature.
One of my favorite things during the Fall season as a kid was to find a big juicy red candy apple. My favorite of course was the caramel apples. I am far from being a kid, well physically that is, but I still love a big juicy candy apple. My education and battling kidney disease over 40 years has moved me toward a more wholesome way of eating. I love eating good food. Hey my dad was a chef. He taught me technique and presentation. My mom taught me how to flavor food. How to make it really come alive.
Well this candy apple will blow your mind with flavor and you will not realize you are eating something super healthy.
Remember to Set the Table with Love
The Peanut Butter topping
1 honey crisp apple
1/2 cup of Raw Peanut butter in it’s oil
1 tbsp maple syrup
pinch of sea salt to taste
Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl. Stir the peanut butter with it’s oils. This will make it pliable. If it is too thick add more peanut oil or melted coconut oil. Add the peanut butter onto the apple using a small spatula or small spoon. Cover the whole apple. Pour the chocolate ganache onto the peanut butter, gently spreading it all around the apple. You want to cover the peanut butter with ganache leaving a little peanut butter exposed. Place in the fridge to set. Be patient with the process. It can be sticky, but yummy.
The Raw Chocolate Ganache
3 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 1/2 Tbsp maple syrup
3 Tbsp raw cacao powder (or regular cocoa powder if you don’t have)
1 tsp vanilla
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. If ganache is runny add a little more coconut oil and cacao powder. The coconut oil will make it thicker once refrigerated. Just a little at a time. Place in the fridge to thicken for just a few minutes. You want a ganache that is easy to add to the apple, so it needs to be pourable.
If the sauce is too cold and thickens up too much, simply place closed bottle into a bowl of hot water until it melts. Add the sauce to the peanut butter part of the apple.