Easy Sausage, Potatoes, Peppers and Onions

It’s back to school and here’s an easy recipe that will be a go to for you and your family. I love making this for my family because it’s quick, healthy and fills their bellies. When school starts back we all are in the grind of life, adjusting to a new school year schedule. There are footballs practices, ballet rehearsals, music recitals and a thousand other things we have to focus on, so let dinner be one thing, you pour Love into, but not lots of time. But hey it can taste like it. 😉

Note: A short cut here for this recipe is to precooked the potatoes the night before or use frozen potatoes. I prefer to precook fresh potatoes the night before, fresh ingredients really does make a difference. If you do, cook them until they are mostly tender and not mushy. They will cook later in the recipe.

INGREDIENTS:

2 Tablespoons olive oil

4-5 Sweet Italian Turkey sausage links

10 medium red or purple hasselback potatoes, cut in half

1 large yellow onion, sliced

3 bell peppers, any color, sliced into strips. I used what was in the fridge.

2 garlic cloves, minced

3/4 cup Low Sodium Vegetable Broth

1 tbsp Italian seasoning ( optional) 

Sea salt to taste

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

Add the potatoes to a pot of boiling water, cook until mostly tender, they will cook in the saucepan with the sausage and peppers later. Drain and set aside.

*If you are using precooked potatoes or frozen, skip this step above.

While the potatoes are cooking, Poke each sausage a few times with a paring knife or fork (this helps release steam as they cook).

In a large skillet with a lid, heat olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, add sausages and brown gently and slowly. Cook for 3- 5 minutes, turning occasionally to gently brown on all sides. (They should not be fully cooked.) Once browned, remove sausages to a plate. Set aside.

Increase heat to medium high. Add onion and pepper slices. Toss to coat in oil and sear vegetables until slightly browned, stirring often. Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute.

Add vegetable broth, to deglaze the saucepan, scraping bottom of pan with a wooden spoon to release bits. Simmer the vegetable broth until reduced by half.

Add Italian seasoning ( optional). Stir well to combine. Add sausages and the potatoes. Add salt to taste and gently toss. Bring to a simmer then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer until potatoes and peppers are soft and sausages are cooked.

Broccoli and Parmesan Cheese with a twist

This is a simple recipe, but it has a twist. Instead of using water to steam the broccoli you use vegetable broth. It gives the broccoli so much flavor. In a sauce pan add a bit of oil on heat the stove on medium heat . Toss in 2 cups of broccoli florets. Stir the florets around in the pan to help coat them with the oil. Add in a 1/3 cup of low sodium vegetable. Place the lid on top of the pan and allow to steam until the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat and add parmesan cheese on top, place lid back onto the pan to help the cheese melt. Serve immediately. Enjoy

Risotto Balls with Sun Dried Tomato Pesto

Here’s another really beautiful appetizer it is my leftover risotto balls. These are very simple to make and they are absolutely gorgeous, especially when you pair it with my sun-dried tomato pesto. I am just going to get to the recipe here, so you can get back to make the evening more magical.

Ingredients:

3 cups cooked risotto

1 cup vegetable oil

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup Italian seasoned fine dry bread crumbs

Sundried Tomato Pesto:

2 cups sun dried tomatoes, drained, if packed in oil

1 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves

2 garlic cloves, crushed under a knife and peeled

Directions: 1 Using lightly greased or wet hands, shape leftover risotto into 1-inch balls. Return balls to the baking pan. Cover and chill about 2 hours or until balls are completely chilled.

2 In a large skillet, heat 1 cup oil over medium-high heat. Roll rice balls in beaten eggs, then in bread crumbs to coat.

3 Cook rice balls, one-fourth at a time, in hot oil for 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown, carefully turning once. Using a slotted spoon, remove rice balls and drain on paper towels. Keep warm in a 200 degrees F oven while cooking the remaining rice balls. Once all the balls cooked plate them with a side of sun dried tomato pesto.

Sun dried tomato pesto:

Process all the ingredients in a food processor fitted with the metal blade until the mixture forms a coarse paste. This pesto will keep in the fridge inside an airtight container up to one month.

Vegan Basil Pasta with Soy Free Gluten Free Chorizo Sausage

I was in great debate about posting this blog. This sausage recipe is very delicious and the powers that be, suggested that it needs to be in my new cookbook:  Set the Table with Love, plant based recipes to make you look and feel great. So stay tuned for that recipe. But keep reading the Vegan Basil Pasta is delish!!

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I will share this amazing and easy Vegan Basil Pasta. Here is what making this pasta very special. One of my best friends gave me today this wonderful Kitchenaid food processor. I never had a big professional food processor. I know I cook a lot, but I am so primitive. I do everything on hand. I even make my pasta from scratch with no processor, but I think I am hooked.

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Vegan Basil Pasta with Soy Free Gluten Free Vegan Chorizo Sausage

Thanks Andrea for making my life easier. I love my new food processor.

 Vegan Basil Pasta

Ingredients
1 cups semolina flour

1 3/4 cups organic unbleached pastry flour

1/2 cup basil leaves

1 tbsp olive oil

3/4 – 1 cup room temperature water

Directions:

Place flours and basil in the food processor and pulse to combine.

While the food processor is running, drizzle in the olive oil.  Add the water 1 Tbsp at a time through the spout while the processor is running.
I used almost 1 cup of water. Remove dough from processor and place on a modestly floured clean surface, knead briefly until smooth. Rolling the dough into a ball.  Cut in half. Take one of the halves and  pass through your pasta machine as per its instructions, dusting with semolina flour as needed. Once the dough is thinned out to your preference, you can send it through your fettuccine attachment, dusting your pasta and the pasta machine with semolina flour, so it doesn’t stick .

If you do not have an attachment or a pasta maker, you can roll the dough with a dusted rolling pin with semolina flour. Take a pizza cutter or knife to cut into small strips. Place the strips on a lightly floured surface and dust with more flour, so that pasta will not stick together.

Toppings for the pasta:

Ingredients:

1/2 cup onions, diced

1 garlic clove, chopped

1 tbsp olive oil

sea salt

basil leaves ( for garnish)

Directions:

I sautéed the onions and garlic in a sauce pan. I added it over the pasta, with a few chili peppers, sea salt and basil leaves.

Beet and Couscous Salad with Micro greens and Pistachios.

I am a beet lover, yes I love love beets!! I am about to share a secret with you. Are you ready….here it is, this salad will make you one too. 😆. It’s so simple and the flavors just love each other. Beets, pistachios, mint, orange and a balsamic glaze, just says, Family.

I love to make this salad when I have a busy day and I just don’t have time to think lunch through. I usually have beets on hand and some sort of leafy green. You can also do lentils, instead of couscous or add an egg or piece of salmon. I even like changing up the dressing and just squeezing some lemon juice over it with some good extra virgin olive oil. My thing is this, eating healthy doesn’t have to be complicated. Keep it simple and delicious.

Oh yes, always Set the Table with Love.

Ingredients

1/2 cup cooked Israeli couscous

1 cup micro-greens

2 cooked medium beets, quartered

1/2 cup pistachios, chopped

1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon of mint leaves, roughly choppedFor the Dressing Simple: Once you assemble the salad squeeze the juice of a medium orange over it, drizzle with some balsamic glaze and a little extra virgin olive and lots of cracked black pepper.

Instructions

Cook the couscous according to package instructions, put to the side, to cool. You want it to cool, so the micro greens do not wilt. Once the couscous is cool, take out a 1/2 cup or more based on your preference and it to a salad bowl, add the rest of the ingredients. Add the dressing ingredients on top and gently toss. Enjoy.

Vegan White Bean Chili

It’s another cold day in Georgia and we got some snow. Yes! I love when it snows here. Everything shuts down, because that’s how we do it in the south. 😊

I love it because it gives our family a chance to get quiet and slow down the hustle and the bustle of life and just be inside and enjoy a nice fire, watch our favorite movies and get outside and attempt to make a snowman ⛄️ .

Vegan White Bean Chili in the Snow ❄️ When it’s this cold, it’s time for some chili. Instead of the traditional chili with dark kidney beans, I am using cannellini beans and making Vegan White Bean Chili. I love the buttery flavor of cannellini beans and they don’t cook very long, since I am using precooked beans. This recipe is quick, easy and full of flavor. I spiced it up with some spicy poblano peppers and a little cayenne never hurts .

Enjoy and always remember to Set the Table with Love.?💕

Vegan White Bean ChiliIngredients: 3 cans or jars of Cannellini Beans ( I used Jovial Organic Cannellini Beans)

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 yellow onion large, chopped

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/2 cup chopped poblano peppers

6 cups vegetable broth

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 1/2 teaspoon Italian herb seasoning (no salt)

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon sea salt

dash black pepper

Instruction:In large sauce pot heat the oil. Add the onions and sauté until transparent about 10 or 15 minutes.

  • Add the garlic, peppers, ground cumin, dried Italian herbs, ground cloves and cayenne pepper.
  • Sauté 2 minutes.
  • Add the beans
  • Add 6 cups of the vegetable broth, stir and bring to a boil
  • Add the nutritional yeast, sea salt and pepper.
  • Turn on low heat and cook for about 10 minutes ( do not overcook, or the beans will become mushy)

Two sides of the coin ~ Toasted Pearl Barley Salad

When I competed on Food Network’s All Star Academy season 2, I was blessed to be mentored by Iron Chef and Food Network guru, Alex Guarnaschelli.  She looked at me and my teammate Lee Abbot and said, “You will never look at cooking the same,ever again.” She was right. Competing on Food Network’s All Star Academy, was probably one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life.  It’s not just television folks, it’s an experience you will never forget. It challenged me to my very soul, not only in front of the cameras, but also behind the scenes. In such competitions, 12 hours of filming, elimination challenges, television politics and illness, you discover a part of you, you never knew. I have to say, I am so grateful for my time on the show. The experience is still revealing more of who I am and what I am capable of. You may say, Lisa, it was just a game show, maybe, but life is how you digest it, how you take it in and savior all of it’s flavors, like a wonderful dish executed with skill, patience and lots of care. This is experience was one of the best I have ever consumed.

The dish I would like to share with you today reminded me of my time on the show. I got a chance to cook also with Chef Curtis Stone, he is incredibly brilliant chef, that takes his craft very seriously.  Chef Stone inspired me with his precision and attention to every single detail. Chef’s food reminded me of art, fashion, symphony, culture expressed on a plate. Chef Guarnaschelli mentoring and food is full of soul, spirit, it’s holistic, she hits you with texture, flavor, aromas, emotions, she brings you HOME.

I made today two salads, from produce I got from the Farm and from my local grocery store. The salad is made with all the same ingredients, not one is missing no matter how different they may look. When I made these dishes, I wasn’t thinking of my experience on Food Network, I was just creating, but as Chef Guarnaschelli said,  You will never look at cooking the same, ever again. She was right. Thanks Chefs for the inspiration that  sometimes comes out unconsciously. It’s in me now. 🙂

 

Toasted Pearl Barley Salad ( two ways) 

This salad is necessarily not a recipe. It using your favorite vegetables and displaying them from your cooking perspective. Here is what I used.

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Toasted Pearl Barley with veggies Basil and Garlic oil

 

For the Rustic Salad and Salad of Art

Using a mandolin, slice up squash, radish, red cabbages, set a side

Cut up campari tomatoes in quarter for the rustic salad, for the artistic one, thinly slice of the bottoms, not exposing the inside, scoop out the top and some of the inside of the tomato, set a side.

Cut up 1 shallot, peel and slice horizontally, keep two of the ends where the circles are intact, the remainder will be used to toast in the rustic salad.

This is all about creativity, so follow my instruction or go wild with your imagination.

 

Here’s the instructions you need to follow:

Toasted Pearl Barley with Ras El Hanout season walnuts and vegetables with a fried egg

( a mouth full) 🙂

Toasted Pearl Barley

Ingredients:

1 cup pearl barley

1 tsp olive oil

2 cups organic vegetable broth, low sodium

sea salt and black pepper to taste

1/2 cup green cauliflower florets, small pieces

1/2 cup green sweet peas

1/2 cup sliced red bell peppers

1/2 cup sliced onions

1/2 cup walnuts

1 tbsp olive oil

1 1/2 tbsp ras el hanout

sea salt to taste

Directions:

Cook pearl barley as instructed. Once cook set a side. In a sauté pan add the oil, the peppers, onions, and pinch of the salt, cook until tender remove. Add the cauliflower, pinch of salt, cook for 1-2 minutes, you want it to stay crunchy. Remove and add to the peppers and onions. Add the walnuts and the ras el hanout and a pinch of salt. Cook the walnuts and seasonings for about a minute, you are just warming up the walnuts and bringing out the flavors of the ras el hanout. Add all the ingredients into the toasted pearl barley, season with more ras el hanout and sea salt, to taste.

For the Rustic Salad:

Add the toasted pearl barley to a plate and toast in your favorite veggies, remember to leave some of the vegetables on the side to create your Salad of Art. You will need 3 medium squash slices, 6 small pieces of the squash slices, 6 small radish slices, 3 pieces of the red cabbage,  Drizzle with the Basil and Garlic oil, recipe below:

Basil and Garlic Oil:

Ingredients:

2 cups of packed basil leaves
½ cup – 1 cup of olive oil, adjust based on the thickness level you prefer
1 garlic clove
Salt to taste

Instructions:

Place the basil, olive oil, garlic, mini-food processor, mix until you have smooth sauce. Taste and add additional salt if needed.

Salad of Art:

On a beautiful white plate, add 3 pearls of basil oil on the plate, take 3 of your mandolin cut squash and add it on top of the basil oil pearls. Stuff your campari tomatoes with some of the toasted pearl barley mixture, add one pea on top of the each stuffed tomato. Add a piece of the red cabbage inside of the stuffed tomato, allowing it to stand up like a flag. Add the radishes on the outside of the tomatoes with a dollop of the basil and garlic oil and add the small squash slices onto that. Add the pieces of the green cauliflower artistically onto the plate with the slices of shallots.

Be creative, squash all that I have written and honey do your on thing. LOL.

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Toasted Pearl Barley with veggies Basil and Garlic oil

Enjoy and Remember to Set the Table with Love.

 

Vegan Quinoa Protein Bowl with a little Thai flavor

 

 

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Vegan Quinoa Protein Bowl with Roasted Thai Peanut Butter flavored Chickpeas, Brussels Sprouts, Tomatoes, Carrots and Peppers

I love peanut butter. I can eat it by the spoonfuls, but the best part about eating peanut butter for me is, the high plant based protein and antioxidants it has in it. Yay me. Good for my body and my skin. I actually came across an amazing peanut butter a few weeks ago, when I was being interviewed by Mara Davis, television and radio personality, also GURU of all that is too know about food and where to get it.  She is the host of Atlanta Eats radio and television show. I absolutely love this woman, she knows food and she makes me laugh until my ribs crack.

Well as we were having our interview at Krog Street Market, here in Atlanta, she took me to Nature’s Garden Express and turned me on to this amazing peanut butter, Georgia Grinders. The owner Michael at Nature’s Garden Express was generous enough to give me a jar to take home and try. I  have been hooked ever since. This recipe came about when I was just craving a spoonful of their peanut butter.  A quick note here: if you are allergic to peanut butter you can substitute another nut butter of your liking.  This recipe is super simple, loaded with vitamins, vegan based protein and lots of flavor.  You get protein everywhere in this dish, the chick peas, the quinoa , the peanut and a little here in the brussels sprouts.

Thai Peanut Sauce

INGREDIENTS

1 thumb piece of ginger, peeled

1 1/2 cup Georgia Grinders peanut butter

3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce

2 tablespoon fresh lime juice

2 teaspoon (packed) light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoons srirachi sauce

1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted

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Vegan Quinoa Protein Bowl with Roasted Thai Peanut Butter flavored Chickpeas, Brussels Sprouts, Tomatoes, Carrots and Peppers

 

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat 400

Add ginger into a blender and blend until finely chopped. Add peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, srirachi sauce, coconut oil, and blend. ADD  A LITTLE WARM WATER IF IT IS TOO THICK, until smooth. DO AHEAD: Peanut sauce can be made 3 days ahead. Transfer to a small bowl, cover, and chill. Bring to room temperature before using.

Set a side some of the sauce for garnish. Add the remaining sauce over chick peas that have been drained and rinsed. Toss the chickpeas in the sauce until they are covered completely.  Place the chickpeas on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, spread them out, so each one can roast properly. Roast for about 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Once they are roasted remove from the oven and allow to cool. Once cooled use a fork to separate them from one another. Set a side.

Cook 1 cup of quinoa, brown rice or your favorite gluten free grain. Add the grain to the base of the bowl and top with your chickpeas and favorite vegetable toppings. Here I sautéed some brussels sprouts with garlic, lemon juice and a little sea salt in a non stick pan. I added tomatoes, carrots, red bell peppers and the sautéed brussels sprouts. I garnished with a little parsley, but cilantro would be the best option, but I am without a car since it is in the shop, so parsley made it on this dish today. Lol 😂.

The point here is being creative and eating as much as the rainbow as possible.

You can add other raw vegetables here for example, cauliflower, yellow squash, avocado would have been a good options as well. Eating healthy is about creativity and exploration.

So enjoy being a food artist in your kitchen.

Do not forget to Set the Table with Love!! 💕💕💕

Coming Home to You Birthday Luncheon

Coming Home to You Birthday Luncheon

Dee this one is for you.

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Asparagus with parsley and shaved parmesan

I love my friends. I am even so grateful that God put some incredible women in my life. I have women that have been in my life for over 3 decades. They have celebrated life with me and some of my most tragic times. These ladies have loved me unconditionally. They understand me and allow me to just be Lisa, without depends. I am so grateful for that more than anything.

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We all wrote a blessing on this card for her.

Yesterday I was able to throw a birthday brunch for one of those beautiful souls, Dee Armstead. I met Dee when we both were going through a very hard time in our lives, we both had lost our moms and we were there for each other. We kept each other afloat. She loves me for me, she builds me up and never tears me down. This is 14 year friendship and I can honestly say these words about her.

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Dee is the fabulous one in the linen pants

Dee is a big giver. When I asked her what she wanted to do for her birthday and she said, Lisa I want to do something that will inspire and empower women. This is her gift, Dee inspires others, so I want this to be really special. So, I decided to do one of my Coming Home to You workshop brunches. I filled the whole entire brunch and exercises with positive affirmations, deep breathing technique , meditation and a lifestyle behavioral coaching exercise. The ladies were very inspired and the best part, my Dee was happy and pleased with the outcome.

God is amazing in how he works. There were many components in planning such a brunch, because it is not just about beautiful table settings and food, but helping people move passed the things that get in the way of connecting again themselves and what is next in there lives.

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Follow your Dreams

Dee trust me, she never once asked me, what I was planning. This is how you now it is God, she closed it out with a speech of gratitude and gave each of her guest, a beautiful frame with the most inspiring words that went along side the workshop’s entire message. “Allow ALL life to move though you, let go of fear and embrace love.”

One of the best things I got a chance to teach my granddaughter how to Set the Table with Love. She pressed napkins, linens, we made floral arrangements, and made the prettiest table settings. We had a blast.

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Coming Home to You Birthday Luncheon Homemade Floral Arrangement adds a special touch.

Thanks Dee for being one of my dearest friends and allowing your light to ignite my light within. Love you.

The menu was vegetarian. I wanted to share recipes with everyone that was simple, easy, delicious and healthy . The chai muffins were gluten free and one of my favorite recipes, we served the muffins with a simple ginger and cardamom butter.

The menu included:

Blueberry and Lemon scones with lemon sugar

Chai Muffins made by my bestie, Kristina Millsaps

Frittata Muffins with cheddar cheese and parmesan

Roasted Asparagus with parsley and parmesan

Roasted Potatoes with herbs and parmesan

Strawberry Basil Rosé Lemonade punch

Chocolate Oolong Tea

Coffee

Guests Favorite:

I want to share with you one of the recipes that was one the favorites. I will share the other recipes, including that incredible punch later this week. Enjoy this one.

Roasted Asparagus 

Ingredients:

1 pound asparagus

A bunch of parsley leaves

Fine sea salt, ground black pepper

Extra virgin olive oil

Parmesan shavings

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 400.

Trim away the bottom third of each asparagus stalk.

Put the asparagus on a cookie sheet with parchment paper, top with parsley. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Roast until slightly tender, about 10 -15 minutes. Just before serving, add shaved parmesan.

 

 

 

Tuscan White Bean Salad with Lemon Basil Vinaigrette

Summer is around the corner, but honey if you live in Georgia, it is already here sitting on our backs like a monkey. LOL. In the Summer time my go to is salad. I love to use vegetables and fruits that are in season to make super flavorful and refreshing salads. This salad here is excellent anytime of the year. What makes it special to me is the champagne citrus vinaigrette, it gives the salad this wonderful burst of summer in your mouth. I am one to take my salad seriously. It’s not just putting raw vegetables and fruit in a bowl. Allow yourself  to get wild with salads this summer, roast, sauté, grill bake your ingredients and add them to arugula, wild kale, Napa cabbage, just get creative and add lots of color, EAT THE RAINBOW! Salad is a great way to do this. I hope you enjoy this recipe just as I have. Remember, to Set the Table with Love.

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Tuscan White Bean Salad with a Lemon Basil Vinaigrette

Tuscan White Bean Salad w/ Lemon Basil vinaigrette
2 cans white beans
1 1/2 tbsp Tuscan season blend
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup onions, med, chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, med. chopped
1/4 cup chopped red onions
1 garlic clove
5 small artichoke heart , cut in fours
1/2 cup black olives,small
3 tbsp parmesan grated cheese
1 tbsp dried basil
1/2 tsp capers
4 shaved pieces of parmesan for garnish
1 boiled egg cut in quarters as garnish,
optional

Lemon Basil Vinaigrette
1/2 cup basil leaves, packed
1 clove garlic, smashed
1/2 tsp sea salt
dash of cracked black pepper
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/8 tsp lemon zest
2 1/2 tbsp. organic honey
1 tbsp citrus champagne vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions:

1. In large skillet add 1 1/2 tbsp of olive oil, saute the onions, peppers,
beans. Sprinkle everything with 1 tsp of Tuscan season blend and
1/2 tsp of sea salt , cook for about 3-4 minutes on medium heat.
2. Add garlic and cook for about 2 minutes until the garlic is soft. Set
everything aside in a larger salad bowl.
3. Add to the bowl the quartered artichoke hearts, black olives,
capers, red onions, 3 tbsp of grated parmesan cheese, dried basil and
the remainder of the Tuscan season blend. Set aside and make the
vinaigrette.

Vinaigrette
1. In a food processor, process the basil, garlic, salt, black pepper and
lemon juice vinegar and zest, until smooth. As the food processor is
running, slowly add the oil. Blend until combined.
2. Drizzle vinaigrette onto the white bean salad and gently toss until
all ingredients are combined. Do this to taste. I like to start off with a
small amount of dressing for the salad and add more, as needed. Or you
can leave the dressing out and serve it with the salad on the side.
3. Place the shaved pieces of parmesan on top and quartered boil eggs and add to the salad.

 

Super Bowl Smash Potato Bites

Super Bowl is tomorrow and I have to make something, yummy, easy and delicious! I don’t know about you, but for me the best thing about Super Bowl Sunday, is the food. My mind starts to race, what will I make this year? LOL :).

Bingo!!  Smash Potatoes!! Crazy, super simple as well. Bake some baby potatoes, use a potato masher, smash them and add your favorite toppings. Done and Done.

I hope you enjoy this recipe any time of the year.

SET THE TABLE WITH LOVE.

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Smash Potatoes with Jalapeño cheese, red bell peppers, and cilantro

Smash Potatoes

Ingredients

24 ounces Dutch yellow baby potatoes

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup red bell peppers, diced

1/2 cup or more of your favorite cheese, shredded

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Parsley for garnish

Instructions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or coat with nonstick spray.
In a large pot of boiling water, cook potatoes until tender, about 15-20 minutes; drain well.
Place potatoes onto the prepared baking sheet. Using a potato masher or fork, carefully smash the potatoes until flattened but still in one piece. Top with olive oil.
Place into oven and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp. Remove from oven.  Using tongs, add the potatoes onto a nice heat proof serving platter. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Add the cheese, red bell peppers and parsley to each potato. DON’T GET ALL FANCY , IT’S SUPER BOWL AND THEY ARE SMASHED POTATOES! 🙂 🙂 🙂
Serve immediately.

 

 

 

Purple Sweet Potato Soup with Maple Coconut Cream

I will make this blog, quick and sweet. But don’t get that twisted. The flavor will still be explosive. I will let the recipe do the talking. I have this recipe in an earlier blog, but I used butternut squash and regular sweet potatoes. I  decided with this recipe to use purple sweet potatoes, instead. Boy, I could not wait for this soup to be done, for one reason only,  outside of tasting it, the color. Purple soup! Yes! Purple soup. 

Vegan Purple Sweet Potato Soup

Remember to Set the Table with Love. 

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Vegan Purple Sweet Potato Soup

Ingredients:

2 tbsp olive oil

1 large sweet purple potato, peeled and small cubes

1/2 cup onions, peeled

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 tsp fennel seeds

1/2 tsp thyme leaves

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

3/4 cup vegetable broth or more for consistency

1 tbsp maple syrup

Sea salt and pepper to taste

Coconut Maple Cream

1/2 cup canned coconut milk, you want the cream part of the milk. Refrigerating the coconut milk will make it more solid.

1 tsp maple syrup

Directions:

In large saucepan on medium heat, add the olive oil.  Add purple sweet potatoes. Stir and cook for 10 minutes or more, until soften. Add onions and garlic. Stir and cook for 3 minutes. Add fennel, thyme and spices. Stir.  Add vegetable broth. Turn up heat and allow to come to a boil. Turn off the heat and remove the pot and allow the soup to cool down, before adding to the Vitamix.

Prepare Coconut Maple Cream.

In a food processor add coconut cream, maple syrup and a pinch of sea salt. Process until smooth.  Do not over process the coconut cream, where it liquifies. You want it to be smooth like a whipped cream.  Place in a bowl and set in the fridge.

Once the soup has cooled down.  Add the soup to your Vitamix or blender. Blend until smooth. Add the tbsp of maple syrup and blend.  If the soup is too thick add a little more vegetable broth. Taste it for seasonings. Add more sea salt or pepper, to taste.

Add the soup back into a sauce pan to heat up. Heat the soup up on medium heat, while constantly stirring. Remove from heat. Serve immediately in your favorite soup bowl. Add the coconut maple cream in the middle of the soup and garnish with thyme leaves.

Green Apple and White Cheddar Gratin ~ The Lighter Flare

I love french inspired food, using the familiar and making it your own.  The beauty of living in the melted pot, is we get to learn from each other and infuse our cultures. The brilliance of doing this,  we create new experiences and new traditions for our families.

This french inspired gratin dish is for my vegetarians out there. You can easy make it vegan, by using olive oil, non dairy cream and vegan meltable cheese.

My memories of this dish, is my mom’s super cheesy version of her own take of potato gratin.  It almost reminded me of her macaroni and cheese, It was one of my favorite dishes. She would make it in the Fall, as soon as the weather got a little nippy. I thought about her today and with the weather changing, I decided to make a gratin in honor of her. However, I like to take dishes that are familiar and put my own signature on them. I made mines with crispy green apples, onions, garlic and white cheddar cheese. I seasoned the apples with nutmeg, cinnamon, sea salt and black pepper. I think my southern mama, would have approved and told me, I should have went heavier on the cinnamon, the butter and of course the cream. LOL. 🙂  The recipe is a little tart, sweet and cheesy.  It is not your typical heavy, creamy potato gratin, but  I believe it will become one of your favorite alternatives. Bon a petit!

Enjoy and Set the Table with Love. 

Green Apple and White Cheddar Gratin
Green Apple and White Cheddar Gratin

Ingredients:

3 tbsp unsalted butter,  a little extra for the mini dutch oven

1/2 cup onions, thinly sliced

1 garlic clove, thinly sliced

3 med. green apples, slice with a madoline or knife, thin round slices

1/4 tsp grated nutmeg

1/2 tsp cinnamon

A few thyme leaves and dried fennels ( optional)

Fine sea salt and black pepper

1/2 cup heavy cream, if vegan, canned coconut milk will work

1/4 cup bread crumbs, gluten free bread crumbs for those with gluten allergies

3/4 cup grated white cheddar cheese

Few  fresh thyme leaves, for garnish

Directions: 

Preheat the oven to 375. Butter the mini dutch oven, ramekin or small baking dish.

In a large saute pan, heat 2 tbsp of the butter over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and garlic. Cook until soft and translucent. Add green apples slices. Do not use the top or the bottom part of the apple slices, just he ones that are not covered with the peel. Add the seasonings and the fennel. Stir gently to incorporate all the flavors. Cook for about 3-4 minutes.

Transfer half of the mixture into the baking dish. Add half of the grated white cheddar cheese and add the rest of the mixture. Pour the cream over top. Sprinkle the bread crumbs, thyme leaves,  and cheese on top. Dot the remaining 1 tbsp butter on top.

Bake until golden brown and bubbly, 15-20 minutes. Serve immediately, add the fresh thyme leaves on top as garnish.

Greens with Garlic Herb Sauteed Chick peas, Green Apples, and Vegan Cheese ( homemade)

This weekend was amazing! I renewed my vows to the love of my life, 20 years and counting. The house was bursting with cheer, family and friends all weekend. It was a blast! Honestly, we both felt this wedding was more exciting and very powerful than our first one. I guess that has to do with 20 years, of experiences, struggles, victories and so much wonderful growth in us both. Well, everyone is gone home. The cajun food, themed reception we had, with Mardi gras mask and all, are all put away and everything is eaten, accept a little jambalaya my husband and son has devoured.  Now back to my food and sharing Set the Table with Love recipes with you guys.  I love this salad, I made today,  because it is made with one of my favorite food brands, Go RAW foods. I used their watermelon seeds, that are loaded with 11 grams of vegan protein, to make my vegan cheese. I added some garlic herb seasonings to it and you have vegan cheese. The watermelon seeds made the cheese very buttery and nutty. It’s a winner, plus loaded with protein and only 4 grams of carbohydrates. YES!!!!

This recipe has 22 carbs and 20 grams vegan protein.  I ate the whole big bowl. Off to my walk.

Well here’s the recipes.

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Ingredients:

SALAD

2 cups chopped kale

1 cup romain, bibb, or any other leafy green, you prefer. I used Bibb lettuce.

Few leaves of your favorite herbs. I used cilantro, from the garden

1 large green apple, chopped

1/2 cup chick peas, rinsed and drained

1 tsp McCormick No Salt Garlic Herb Seasoning

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.

Directions: 

Wash, gently pat dry and mix the greens, apples and herbs in a large bowl. Set aside. In a sauté pan on medium heat, add enough olive oil to cover the pan, add in the chick peas and the seasoning. Stir. Cook for about 2-3 minutes until the seasonings have browned just a little. Remove from heat. Allow the chick peas to cool, so they do not wilt the greens.

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.

Assemble.  Add the cool chick peas ( with the sautéed spices) and vegan cheese mixture into the salad and gently toss.

Drizzle with a little lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil.

Enjoy!

Rustic Vegan Basil Pasta with Fried Rosemary, Garlic and Walnuts

This blog will be short, simple and elegant. Well, I think the pictures of the dish is very elegant.  One of my food perspectives is that, food doesn’t always need to be complicated to be full of elegant deliciousness. High quality ingredients and a little creativity, can have you creating some delicious and unique experiences for your family. This recipe is very fragrant, the vegan pasta is very silky in your mouth and the crunch of the garlic and walnuts balances the dish perfectly. I hope you enjoy it.

*I dried my pasta overnight and used it today to make this dish, but you can make the pasta and go right into making this recipe.

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To start use my Vegan Basil Pasta recipe to make the pastaVegan Basil Pasta

Here’s what I did and what you will need:

2 -3 sprigs of fresh rosemary

1 large garlic clove

Fleur De Sel or Sea Salt to taste

Instructions:

Once the pasta is made, I sent it through the pasta maker, until it was think of enough to make lasagne. I laid the pasta out on my bread board with a dusting of semolina flour and left it on my counter to try dry over night. Of course it curled.  In order to avoid this you can hang it over a plastic cloth hanger with a clean white cotton dish towel over the inside of the hanger and place the pasta on top and let it dry over night.  I did not mind my pasta curling. It was going to be rustic anyway. I broke the pasta up in sections.

Add the pasta to a pot of boiling water. Let it cook for 2-3 minutes, homemade pasta doesn’t take long to cook.  Remove. Rinse. Drain and set a side. Add a little olive oil, so they pasta doesn’t stick together.

In another sauce pan, add 1 1/2 tbsp of olive oil on medium heat. Add 2 or 3 sprigs of rosemary, stem and all. Let it cook for 1  minute. Use a grater to grate one clove of garlic into the oil and rosemary ( use the larger cheese grater part of the grater, you want slivers of garlic. You can also use a knife to cut thin slivers of garlic, as well. Add some sea salt and cook for another minute.

Once place the pasta in a bowl and pour the rosemary garlic oil over the pasta and top with chopped walnuts and pinch of the Fleur De sel.

Red Quinoa Olive Tapenade

I love olives and I especially love olive tapenade, but I thought today let’s give this appetizer a little vegan protein boost. I love the texture that the quinoa adds to this recipe.  You can add this on sandwiches as a spread. You can also use it in pasta as like a pesto or top on salads.

Enjoy. Please remember to Set the Table with Love.

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Red Quinoa Olive Tapenade

 

Ingredients:

1 cup of cooked red quinoa, follow instructions on back of packaging, set cooked quinoa to the side to cool.

2 cloves garlic, peeled

1 cup pitted kalamata olives

2 tablespoons capers

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon of organic honey

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Place the garlic cloves into a blender or food processor; pulse to mince.  Add the cooled quinoa to the food processor. Add the olives, capers, parsley, lemon juice, honey and olive oil Blend until everything is finely chopped. Season to taste with salt and pepper. I garnished with chopped tomatoes and fresh parsley from my granddaughter’s garden.  Enjoy!