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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Harissa Roasted Chickpea salad with acorn squash, mint and pumpkin seeds

This recipe is so delicious and full of exotic flavors, well at least I think so. LOL.

This salad will fill you up and give you tons of plant based vegan protein. You do not have to be a vegan to enjoy this salad. It’s important to incorporate more plant based foods in our diets, because it will help you look and feel better and it will give you tons of energy. I maybe help drop a few unwanted pounds. Who doesn’t want more energy and a few pounds out the way?  Me, me, me!!

I got something for you, in this simple to make salad. I hope you enjoy the flavors and how you feel later. Harissa maybe a new ingredient you are trying, so let me break it down for you.

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Roasted Harissa Chickpea Salad with acorn squash, mint, pumpkin seeds and micro greens

Harissa is a North African hot chili pepper paste, the main ingredients of which are roasted red peppers, Baklouti pepper, serrano peppers and other hot chili peppers and spices and herbs such as garlic paste, coriander seed, saffron, rose or caraway as well as some vegetable or olive oil for preservation.

This Harissa I used in this recipe is a powder form that I got form my local William Sonoma.

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Roasted Harissa Chickpea Salad with acorn squash, mint, pumpkin seeds and micro greens

For Chickpeas

1 can organic chickpeas, rinsed and drained

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
Blot chickpeas with a paper towel to dry them. In a bowl, toss chickpeas with olive oil, and season to taste with salt, harissa seasoning or cayenne pepper. Spread on a baking sheet, and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until browned and crunchy. Set aside to cool.

For the Lentils

1 cup dry lentils

3 cups of  vegetable broth

salt and pepper to taste

Cook on a stovetop, using 3 cups of  vegetable broth to 1 cup of dry lentils. Be sure to use a large enough saucepan as the lentils will double or triple in size. Bring to a boil, cover tightly, reduce heat and simmer until they are tender. For whole lentils, cook time is typically 15-20 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Vegetables

1 small acorn squash, chopped in to 1 inch slices

1 1/2 tbsp olive oil

1 small red bell pepper, cut in slices, save a couple of slices to chop up to top the salad

1/4 cup  poblano peppers, chopped

1 cup red cabbages, sliced thinly

1/4 cup red onions, diced

6-8  mint leaves, small to medium

1 cup micro greens, or baby arugula

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

Directions:

After the legumes are cooked and cooled, turn the stove on medium high heat, place a large saucepan on the stove. Add your oil allow to heat up, then add the acorn squash, red bell peppers and poblano peppers to the  pan. Season with salt and black pepper.  Cook for 4-5 minutes or  until the squash is golden brown, but not mushy. Remove from the heat and set aside.

To assemble:

In a salad bowl add the roasted chickpeas and lentils, gently toast together. Add the cooked vegetables and the raw cabbages, mint, red onions and the chopped raw red bell pepper. Top with micro greens and pumpkins. Squeeze some lemon juice and drizzle olive oil over top the salad with a pinch of sea salt and gently toss, incorporating all the ingredients.

Enjoy. This makes a large salad for 4-6 or a great meal for lunch and dinner for 2.

 

 

 

 

 

Veggie Plate Special of the Day ~ Roasted Eggplant, Charred Okra, Lemons and Sautéed Northern Georgia Candy Squash.

I remember growing up and going to those cafeterias with my family, that served the, Blue Plate Special, which included one meat, two veggies, bread and a drink. My family loved these deals, they were inexpensive and you got a good amount of food for the price. It was a great deal for a family of 5 and my dad and brother could eat, so they were in heaven.

My favorite thing was the veggie specials. You got all these yummy vegetables on your plate . I would fill my plate with collard greens, green beans and potatoes, sweet potato mash, corn and a big piece of cornbread.   Well, here is my version of a veggie plate special.

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Veggie Plate Special of the Day ~ Roasted Eggplant, Charred Okra, Lemons and Sautéed Northern Georgia Candy Squash.

The awesome thing about this version, it’s totally Farm to Table and still very inexpensive, but much fresher and a bit more creative. Hope you enjoy! Hey, let’s eat more veggies and support local farmers. As always, remember to Set the Table with Love.

 

Roasted Eggplant

Directions
Preheat the oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Slice the eggplant in half lengthwise, then cut each half  crisscrossed. Drizzle olive oil over them and sprinkle dried thyme and sea salt over each eggplant.
Roast in the preheated oven until softened and golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes.

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Charred Okra and Lemon

For the okra:

Trim the stems from the okra and cut each pod in half lengthwise. Place in a large bowl, add the salt, and toss to combine; set aside.
Heat a large, cast-iron skillet over high heat until very hot, about 3 minutes. Working in 2 to 3 batches so as not to crowd the pan, add the okra, cut-side down in a single layer, and sear undisturbed until charred on the bottom, about 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the okra and cook until crisp-tender, about 30 seconds more. Remove to a medium bowl.
Remove the pan from the heat, add the okra in the bowl. Recipe from Chowhound: Charred Okra

For the lemon:

Cut a medium lemon into slices . Add the lemon to the okra pan, allow to cook until caramelized, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from pan and place in a separate bowl.

Sautéed North Georgia Candy Squash

Peel the squash. Cut it in half, right in the middle of the squash, where you have rings of the squash. Remove the seeds, cut the squash into 1/2 inch rings. In a large sautéed pan,  add enough olive oil to cover the base of the pan, cook on medium heat. Add the rings, add salt and smoked paprika to the rings and allow to cook until golden brown on one side, 2-3 minutes, flip them over and sauté the other side, add salt and the smoked paprika and sauté into golden brown and tender.

Serve the veggies on a nice plate and even add a piece of Gluten  Free cornbread

Southern Girls ~ Gluten Free Stuffed Cornbread with Spicy Mexican Beans and Dessert Maple Apple Cinnamon Nice Dream

The best thing about this dish is you can use your imagination and come up with your own Veggie Plate Special of the Day.

img_4707Veggie Plate Special of the Day ~ Roasted Eggplant, Charred Okra, Lemons and Sautéed Northern Georgia Candy Squash.

 

What’s Trending in Food? Savory Yogurt and Turmeric/Curry Chickpeas and Greek Yogurt

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Roasted Red Curry Chickpeas, Yellow Chickpea Spread over Greek Yogurt

Fashion!! We are always looking for what’s hot on the runways. So, I will indulge that side of us, for just a moment; Retro is the thing this season, designers are getting their inspiration, once again from the 60’s and 70’s, but just an essence of the era, from high waist and wide- legged pans, to wide brim hats and Boho frocks. If you ask me, Boho frocks will always be in, I am just saying.

Okay, back to food. The big thing now, that’s trending in food, is savory yogurts and turmeric. We have seen yogurt topped with granola, coconut, chocolate chips, honey, etc., etc. But we are also, seeing this trend of topping and mixing yogurt with savory ingredients. Now in Ayurvedic medicine ( an ancient medical system of India, which take a holistic approach to healing)has been mixing yogurt with savory ingredients as a common practice to healing, especially using turmeric. It is known to provide many health benefits, one in particular is to help with anemia. Turmeric is also the main ingredient in yellow curry, hence the curry recipes I am sharing with you today.

So, I decided to take on this trend and make a healthy dish using yogurt and turmeric. This recipe is high in protein, to be exact, it packs a whopping 27 grams of protein. It is also great for digestion, because of it’s high content of probiotics. As well as, being high in potassium and b12, which provides lots of energy and good nerve health.

This recipe is super easy, high is vegetarian based protein and full of flavor. Enjoy.  Remember to eat on purpose as you Set the Table with Love.

Side note: In this dish you are making the chickpeas two ways, roasted and also as a spread over the yogurt.

Ingredients:

1 can organic chickpeas, rinsed and drained, you will use this one can, for the spread and for the roasted chickpeas, so divide the chick peas in half. Set the other half aside and prepare the roasted chickpeas first.

7 0z. greek yogurt

2 tbsp of chopped red bell pepper

mint and lemon zest as garnish

For the Red Curry Roasted Chickpeas

Half of the chickpeas

1 tbsp of olive oil

1/2 tbsp of red curry powder, more or less based on your preference

1 tbsp of  no salt garlic herbal seasonings

sea salt and cayenne pepper to taste

Direction:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
Blot chickpeas with a paper towel to dry them. In a bowl, toss chickpeas with olive oil, and season with red curry powder, no garlic seasoning and sea salt and cayenne pepper, to taste.  Spread on a baking sheet with parchment paper and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until browned and crunchy.

Ingredients :

For the Yellow Curry Chickpea Spread

The remaining chickpeas

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tsp lemon juice

1/2 tbsp yellow curry powder, less or more based on your preference

sea salt to taste

Directions:

Add everything to a food processor and process until smooth, you may need more oil, if you like your spread thinner.

How to plate:

Add greek your to the bottom of your plate. Top with Yellow Curry spread first, then roasted chickpeas, than add garnishes and drizzle extra virgin olive oil over top the entire dish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vegan Street Tacos ~ Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos

I love tacos!!! I am loving even more the creativity these street tacos are delivering to our taste buds. Here’s a quick one you can try at home. I topped it with Go Raw Tangy Lime Coconut Crisps, these yummies took this taco to another level.

Vegan Sweet Potato and Black Bean Taco with Go Raw Tangy Lime Coconut Crisps
Vegan Sweet Potato and Black Bean Taco with Go Raw Tangy Lime Coconut Crisps
Vegan Sweet Potato and Black Bean Taco with Go Raw Tangy Lime Coconut Crisps
Vegan Sweet Potato and Black Bean Taco with Go Raw Tangy Lime Coconut Crisps

Ingredients:

1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed ( small cubes)

1 can organic black beans, drained

3-4 Sprouted Corn tortillas

1 1/2 tbsp olive oil

1/4 cup chopped red onion

1/ 4 cup chopped red bell peppers

1/2 cup avocado, cubed

1 tsp freshly squeezed lime

1/2 tsp smoked chili powder

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp cumin powder

Salt and pepper to taste

The finish touch: Handful of Go Raw tangy lime coconut crisps, for each taco

Directions :

Place cubed sweet potatoes on parchment papered cookie sheet. Drizzle with oil and a little sea salt. Roast for 25-30 minutes on 375, until golden brown.

In a sauce pan add drained black beans with a little olive oil and stir and cook on medium high heat. Add all your spices and continue to cook and stir, until the beans are warmed through completely. Set a side.

Take 3-4 sprouted tortilla shells ( warmed) and add the beans first and then the sweet potatoes. Add your onions, peppers, avocados and cilantro and a drizzle of the lime juice. Top it all of with Go Raw Tangy Lime Coconut Crisps for a nice sweet and tangy finish.

Vegan Sweet Potato and Black Bean Taco with Go Raw Tangy Lime Coconut Crisps
Vegan Sweet Potato and Black Bean Taco with Go Raw Tangy Lime Coconut Crisps

Protein Packed ~ Vegan Red Quinoa Kale Carrot Salad with Sprouted Watermelon Seeds

Last night I was on a conference call talking about how you can transition over to a more plant based vegan protein diet. I am a kidney transplant survivor . I was born with damaged kidneys and I know how animal protein can be very harsh on the kidneys, not to mention on our environment and our over all well being.  First, let me put it out there my eating habits is about nutrition and well being. I eat for my health and my survival as a kidney transplant recipient. I eat out of respect for my husband risking is life and donating his kidney to me. If you have ever donated your kidney to anyone you know this is a big risk of your own well being and life, so Thank you very much for your BIG HEARTS!

My journey is to continue to incorporate healthy choices into my diet and to inspire others to do the same. I am not a label. I am a woman eating as consciously as possible. Now, with that being said, here is some information that may encourage you to eat a more plant based diet.

~ Too much protein is linked to high cholesterol, fluid imbalances in the body, osteoporosis, heart disease and cancers such as renal cancer. 

The truth is we eat too much protein. The average adult woman only needs about 46 grams of protein and the average adult man needs about 56 grams. But the great news is that you can get your intake of protein through a vegan or vegetarian diet, but just substituting your regular meals with more vegan based meals. Try it out one meal at at time. You will not regret it.

This salad I made today is loaded with vegan based protein and lots good stuff for your body. VEGAN BASED PROTEIN FOODS CAN BE DELICIOUS!

RAW AND VEGAN Kale and Red Quinoa Salad with Sprouted Watermelon Seeds
RAW AND VEGAN Kale and Red Quinoa Salad with Sprouted Watermelon Seeds

I going to break down the protein for you in this salad

Kale ~ 1 cup 2.9 g

Red Quinoa cooked ~ 8.1 g

Sprouted watermelon seeds by Go Raw Foods  1 oz, ~ 11 g

So a big bowl of this salad with 1 oz of Sprouted watermelon seeds = 22 g vegan protein

YOU ARE HALF WAY THERE Ladies! 🙂

Well here is the recipe:

RAW AND VEGAN Kale and Red Quinoa Salad with Sprouted Watermelon Seeds
RAW AND VEGAN Kale and Red Quinoa Salad with Sprouted Watermelon Seeds

Ingredients :

4 cups of Kale chopped

1 cup cranberries

1 cup of cooked red quinoa ( follow the directions on the box)

1/2 cup of grated carrots

1/2 cup of lime juice

2 tbsp organic honey or maple syrup

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp ginger powder

1 tsp garlic powder

pinch of cayenne pepper

1- 2 oz. sprouted watermelon seeds as a garnish

Directions:

Cook the quinoa according to the directions and add the grated carrots in at the end of the cooking process and set a side.

Add the kale and all the other remaining ingredients in a large bowl, EXCEPT THE WATERMELON SEEDS.  Massage the kale until it covered well with the olive oil. I like to massage mines until withers just a little. Add the quinoa, carrots and toss gently until everything is mixed together. Top the salad with 1- 2 oz of the watermelon seeds or as many as you like. Serve and Enjoy your VEGAN energy for the day.

Blueberry and Lemon Zest Pancakes ~ Gluten Free and Dairy Free

Blueberry and Lemon Zest Pancakes ~ Gluten Free and Dairy Free.

via Blueberry and Lemon Zest Pancakes ~ Gluten Free and Dairy Free.

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Blueberry and Lemon Zest Gluten free Pancakes
Blueberry and Lemon Zest Gluten free Pancakes