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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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

 

French Lentils with Cherry Tomatoes over Grilled Romaine Lettuce

This dish was inspired by how beautiful I think french lentils are. I love cooking with them. They whole their texture very well and that makes any dish look incredibly elegant. I have made soups, stews and salads using french lentils. I would like to share this grilled salad recipe I made over the summer. It was a true winner. Very light and loaded with vegan protein. I always looking for ways to incorporate more vegan protein in my families diet. I believe this one hit the mark. I hope you enjoy it as well.

French Lentils over Wilted Romaine Lettuce
French Lentils over Grilled Romaine Lettuce

Ingredients:
1  cup onions, finely diced

2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

3 tablespoons olive

2 cups French lentils

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 1/2 tbsp  Madrecita Salt Free Garlic Herbal- Seasoning ( a must have)

3 bay leaves

1 tbsp sea salt  or more to taste

4 romaine lettuce leaves, Large

10 -12 cherry tomato, halves

French Lentils and Grilled Romaine Lettuce
French Lentils and Grilled Romaine Lettuce

Directions:
Place a large saucepan over medium heat, add oil. When hot, add chopped vegetables, and sauté until softened, 5 to 10 minutes. Add 6 cups water, lentils, thyme, garlic seasons, bay leaves and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium.
Simmer lentils until they are tender and have absorbed most of the water, for 20 to 25 minutes. Drain any excess water after lentils have cooked. Check the seasonings. Add more no salt garlic seasonings or salt, if needed. I usually add more of the garlic seasonings at the end to build the flavor of the dish, if needed.

I used my George Foreman grill. Heat up the grill and add oil to the grill. Remove the leaves from the head ( make sure they leaves are dry) and add salt to each leaf. Add the leaves to the grill and allow to cook for about 2 minutes, until they have a nice char on them. Remove from the grill and place on a platter. Take the lentils and add them on top of the leaves and garnish with the cherry tomatoes.  Serve immediately.

RAW Tuscan Marinated Vegetable Salad in Basil oil

This recipe came from me craving something fresh, healthy and easy. I love this salad because you can put any of your favorite veggies and it’s always a winner. I took red cabbages, cherry tomatoes, asparagus , green snap peas, red bell peppers, carrots and portobella mushrooms and it was a great combination. This is such an easy and flavorful salad to make.

Ingredients: 

2 large carrots, chopped in circles

2 cup green snap peas

1 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, whole

1 large red pepper, chopped

1 cup  red cabbage, shredded

1 1/2 cup baby portobella mushrooms, halved ( love mushrooms) 🙂

10 medium asparagus, chopped at an angle, each about an inch length

Sea salt and Black Pepper to taste, just a little. But do season your veggies. 🙂

Basil Oil Marinate

3/4 cup oil, extra virgin olive oil

1 1/2 cup of fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

3/4 cup organic honey or your favorite sweetener

1 tsp. dried basil

1 tsp. dried fennel seeds ( or more if you like fennel)

1/2 tsp. dried oregano

1/2 tsp.

1 tsp. sea salt

1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes ( optional), But great for digestion. 🙂

In a large bowl add all the ingredients and whisk, until everything is incorporated. 

Take prepared veggies and put them in a large glass bowl with an air tight container lid. Combine ingredients for the Basil Oil Marinate and pour over vegetables. Mix the vegetables and  marinate thoroughly. Cover the glass bowl with an airtight lid and refrigerate overnight. You can remove the veggies from the marinate and plate. I like to drizzle a little of the marinate and extra  virgin olive oil over my salad for extra flavor. You can serve this alone or you can top it on some leafy greens.

*Allow it to get room temperature for the best experience for your taste buds. 

Remember, Set the Table with Love.

Spicy White Bean and Kale Soup and Dark Chocolate Cranberry Coconut Granola Bars

I know. I know. I do a million things, but one of the things I love the most is teaching people how to look and feel great, through nutrition, exercise and a healthy mind.  Today was a busy work day. I got up and taught my yoga class, the class mantra today was, ” I release what doesn’t serve my greater good.”  Very powerful class. We hold onto to so much in our lives that doesn’t serve us, God or the ones we love. Why not just let it go with lovingkindness. When we clear up space within in ourselves the right stuff comes in naturally.

Here is where my personal chef bliss comes into play. I love my clients, because they want to know how to Set their Tables with Love by eating and feeding their loves ones with natural, organic whole foods.  Today I took one of my clients to Sprouts to shop for quick, easy whole food meals for two. We bought food for snacks, breakfast and lunch/dinner. I created meals for her that are all natural, organic and whole and they will last her family for over a week for a little over a hundred bucks.

You can do this.  You can shop local and buy what is in season and it eat homemade gourmet meals on a budget.  The reality of it is this, foods that are in season and local are cheaper and much healthier for you.  The best part you are supporting our local farmers and community.

Today we made several meals she can freeze and prep easily since she has a three month old gorgeous son.

I made and prepped her dinner for tonight and for tomorrow.

Here’s her menu for the week:

Turkey Tuscan meatballs,  Spicy White Bean and Kale Soup, Organic skinless chicken thighs ( grill these for salad or just keep them whole), Fish two ways, Lemon Pepper and Parmesan Crusted and she loves to snack we made Dark Chocolate Chip and Cranberry Coconut Granola Bars from scratch.  We used freezer bags to separate the meals.

The soup and granola bars were so good I made some for myself.

Recipe Below:

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Spicy White Bean and Kale Soup with Campanelle Pasta

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Spicy White  Bean and Kale Soup Dark Chocolate Cranberry Coconut Granola
Spicy White Bean and Kale Soup Dark Chocolate Cranberry Coconut Granola

Dark Chocolate Chip and Cranberry Coconut Granola Bars

2 cups  gluten free oats

1 cup  dark chocolate chips

3/4 cup cranberries

1/3 cup dehydrated coconut flakes

1/3 cup brown rice flour

1 tsp cinnamon

pinch of salt ( to taste)

2 organic eggs

1/4 cup organic honey

3 tbsp coconut oil (melted)

Preheat oven to 350.

Add all the dry ingredients to a large bowl and mix together.  In another bowl add all the wet ingredients, eggs, honey, coconut oil

( make sure oil has cooled before adding eggs).  Add the dry to the wet and stir until the mixture is easily crumbly. If it is too sticky add a little more brown rice flour. If it is too dry add a little water.

Once you have the mixture well incorporated.  Pour the mixture into a 13×9 baking pan coated with cooking spray. Press the mixture into the  baking pan. Bake 15-18 minutes, until edges are golden brown. Score surface with shallow cuts to make bars.  Cool on wire rack then finish cutting into bars. If you need more sweetness drizzle them with honey after they have cooled.

Spicy White Bean and Kale Soup

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup diced onion

1/2 cup of red bell pepper

1 cloves garlic, minced

4 cups of chopped kale

4 cups chicken or vegetable broth ( low sodium)

1 can (15 ounces) white beans, (cannelloni beans)

1/4 cup Campanelle pasta ( or any hearty pasta you prefer)

1/2 tsp salt, or to taste

1/2 tsp of dried basil

1/2 tsp of oregano

1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp ground black pepper
Preparation:
In a large skillet heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and bell pepper
Sauté, stirring, until onion is tender and transparent. Reduce heat to medium-low.
Add kale and garlic; cover and continue cooking for 1-2 minutes. Add remaining
ingredients; cover and cook for 20 minutes, until vegetables are tender.

This recipe and many more like it can be found in my cookbook, SET THE TABLE WITH LOVE on Amazon.com

Click on the link below

Set the Table with Love