italian

Brussels Sprouts Bonanza

So last week I bought a bag of brussels sprouts from Costco. With two pounds of raw brussels sprouts on my hands, I was determined to try as many different variations as possible throughout the week. To start I cut them all in half and roasted them at 425 for about 35 minutes, flipping them about halfway through. Then throughout the week I added this base to different recipes that you’ll find below.

My Classic Recipe

This is my go to recipe – the perfect mix of savory, sweet, and spicy. Roast with the remaining ingredients to intensify the flavor or simply add in afterwards. 

Ingredients
1 cup brussels sprouts
1-2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Drizzle of olive oil or melted coconut oil
Cinnamon and cayenne pepper
1-2 tsp maple syrup, optional

Balsamic Brussels Sprouts

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Ingredients
1 cup brussels sprouts
1-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Lemon juice, basil, rosemary, oregano, crushed red pepper
Drizzle of olive oil, optional

Mix roasted brussel sprouts with remaining and ingredients. Shown here served with diced tomatoes and quinoa

Sriracha Lime Brussels Sprouts

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Ingredients
1 cup brussels sprouts
2 tbsp coconut aminos (or sub soy sauce)
Lime juice, sriracha, ginger, crushed red pepper, sesame seeds

Mix roasted brussel sprouts with remaining and ingredients. Shown here served with black rice, kale, peanuts, and a poached egg. For a perfect poached egg, simmer a pot of water, pour an egg in and gently swirl for 3-4 minutes as shown below.

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Brussels Sprouts “Hash”

This last recipe takes a spin on a classic breakfast side dish by using shredded brussels sprouts, sweet potato, kale, and avocado instead of white potato, sausage, and cheese. 

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Ingredients
1 cup shredded brussels sprouts (or roughly chop whole ones)
1/2 sweet potato, grated
1 tomato, diced
1 egg
Drizzle of olive oil or melted coconut oil
Thyme, cayenne pepper, rosemary, lemon pepper
1/4 avocado, optional

Pan fry all ingredients (except the egg) until softened. Add the egg in last and cook to your desired consistency. Top with avocado, if desired.

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Italian Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Traditional Italian food is often fried and loaded with cheese and refined carbs making it a total diet demolisher. So does that mean you can never enjoy the rich, gooey, flavorful goodness of pizza, baked ziti, or lasagna ever again? Of course not! But with inspiration from This Rawesome Vegan Life and the help of my partner in crime Stacey, we created a healthy alternative using cashews, sun-dried tomatoes, broccoli, zucchini, and Italian spices. Raw cashews surprisingly take on a very creamy, savory flavor when mixed with lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and spices. It’s a common base for many dairy-free cheese substitutes, even cream cheese! The sun-dried tomatoes and broccoli create a fresh, lighter version of classic oil-filled pesto to compliment the heavier cashew “cheese.” Seriously y’all, I loveeee pesto, but I think this may be my new favorite! Although it may seem complicated with all the different components of the recipe, I promise it only took us under an hour to prep, cook, and clean (all just in time for our weekly Scandal viewing!)

Italian Stuffed Zucchini Boats

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Ingredients
serves 2

2 zucchinis
1/2 cup diced tomatoes or tomato sauce
sprinkle of non-dairy cheese, optional (I tried almond cheese for the first time this week, but I also love daiya or Trader Joe’s brand)

Cashew “Cheese”
1/2 cup raw cashews
juice of one lemon
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
salt, pepper, rosemary, oregano to taste

Sun-dried Tomato and Broccoli Pesto
1-2 cups broccoli (steamed and chopped)
handful sun-dried tomatoes
1-2 tsp olive oil (if the tomatoes aren’t packed in oil)
salt, pepper, basil to taste

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Prepare the cashew “cheese” by putting all ingredients in a food processor or high speed blender until smooth. Remove and set aside.
3. Prepare sun-dried tomato and broccoli pesto by putting all ingredients in a food processor or high speed blender, I preferred it on the chunkier side so I used a medium speed setting. Remove and set aside.
4. Cut zucchinis in half and scoop out the seeds to make room for the fillings.
5. Fill zucchini with tomatoes and then layer in cashew “cheese” and pesto (we alternated a dollop of each).
6. Optional, sprinkle your choice shredded non-dairy cheese.
7. Bake for about 25 minutes, until the tops are golden brown and zucchini is softened.

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cashew “cheese”

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sun-dried tomato and broccoli pesto

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filling the zucchini

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mozzarella flavored cheese made from almonds – pretty mild taste and browns nicely!

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before the oven

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ready to eat (and watch Scandal!)

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bon appetit!

Salmon Farfalle with White Wine Sauce

Fun fact of the day, did you know that farfalle (or better known as bow tie pasta), actually means “butterfly” in Italian? Well now that you had your little Jeopardy-ready lesson, time for the real fun to begin. While I rarely eat pasta, Barilla Plus is a great option because it’s packed with protein, fiber, and omega 3s. And hey, everything tastes better in cute shapes, am I right? (exhibit a: dino nuggets?! #tbt)

I was feeling kind of adventurous the other night, so I decided to experiment cooking with white wine. After much trial and error, I ended up with a lemon dill sauce with a white wine base. OBSESSED. Plus it was tons of fun to experiment adding different ingredients, so if dill isn’t your thing, try garlic, shallots, basil, or any other spice combo of your choice with the wine. And don’t forget to treat yourself with a glass of the good stuff afterwards (…or during – hey, it may help the creative juices flow!).

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Salmon Farfalle with White Wine Sauce

Ingredients
1 6oz salmon fillet
1 cup pasta cooked
1/2 cup peas
2-3 cups spinach
8-10 asparagus spears

sauce:
1/4 cup white wine
1-2 tsp vegan butter, melted
1 tsp olive oil
1-2 lemon(s)
spices: dill, pepper, salt

Directions
1. Combine all sauce ingredients and adjust to your taste preferences
2. Season salmon fillet with sauce spices and wrap in a foil pouch with half of the sauce and extra lemon slices if desired.
3. Broil on high for about 10-12 minutes or until cooked to your preference.
4. Heat vegetables on a skillet with remaining half of the sauce until slightly wilted.
5. Add pasta and salmon (with the sauce) to the skillet and stir until well combined.
6. Bon Appétit!

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Pizza Quinoa Two Ways

Growing up close to New York, great pizza had always been a staple in my diet. With Two Boots pizzeria opening up so close to my apartment, I have to be careful with how often I succumb to the delicious smells of freshly baked pizza. Luckily, I came up with a couple of ways to satisfy the craving.

Pizza Quinoa Bites

adapted from Fit for Success

Ingredients
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
1 egg
1 shallot, chopped
1/2 cup mozzarella (I used TJ’s vegan one)
Asst. spices: fresh or dried basil, oregano, and crushed red pepper

Directions
1. Cook your quinoa according to the directions on the package and preheat the oven to 350.
2. Combine the cooked quinoa with the remaining ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
3. Spray the mini muffin tin with cooking spray or olive oil, and fill them with a spoonful of the mixture in each spot.
4. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
5. Serve them with marinara sauce for dipping (I used TJ’s Arrabiata Sauce).

pizza quinoa bites

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 Pizza Quinoa Stuffed Mushrooms

Ingredients
2 portobello mushroom caps
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
TJ Arrabiata Sauce (or your choice marinara sauce)
1/2 cup vegan mozzarella
Asst. spices: fresh or dried basil, oregano, and crushed red pepper

Directions
1. Cook the quinoa with 1 part quinoa, 2 parts water and lots of fresh basil leaves.
2. Preheat oven to 400. Bake mushroom caps for 10 minutes.
3. When all the water has been absorbed from the quinoa pot, stir in the tomato sauce, cheese, and remainder of the spices.
4. Spoon half of the quinoa mixture onto one mushroom cap, and half on the other. Put a spoonful of more sauce and a sprinkle of additional cheese on each.
5. Broil for 3-5 minutes on high.

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Bonus: World’s Best Broccoli

This broccoli is a great snack or side dish for the recipes listed above.

Ingredients
1 bag pre-cut broccoli florets
~1 tbsp olive oil
Balsamic vinegar spray
Salt/pepper
Lemon

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 375.
2. In a bowl combine the broccoli, oil, a few sprays of the balsamic, and salt/pepper until all the broccoli is coated.
3. Spread the broccoli out on a foil lined baking sheet.
4. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
5. Squeeze lemon juice over broccoli and serve.

 world's best broccoli