Living a healthy life is supposed to be fun and filled with good food!

Author: Katie

Easy Baked Shakshuka with Fennel and Goat Cheese

Easy Baked Shakshuka with Fennel and Goat Cheese

Try this simple and gluten free recipe for your next brunch party!  This Easy Baked Shakshuka with Fennel and Goat Cheese is sure to please!   It’s in the Name If the really cool name does not draw you already, the taste definitely will! Shakshuka, […]

Vegan Avocado Brownies with Coconut Topping

Vegan Avocado Brownies with Coconut Topping

The very popular avocado brownies made vegan and gluten-free! Try my new recipe for these Coconut Topped Vegan Avocado Brownies!   I received free samples of NuGo Slim Toasted Coconut bars mentioned in this post. I was compensated for this blog post. My views on […]

Newer Tastier Vegetarian Chickpea Meatballs

Newer Tastier Vegetarian Chickpea Meatballs

Vegetarian meatballs packed with protein-rich

legumes that still give a meaty taste? Try my newer

version of my Vegetarian Chickpea Meatballs!

 

 

Tastes like chicken!

After multiple attempts to achieve a meaty texture for vegetarian meatballs, I finally found the secret ingredient. In an older post, I created vegetarian chickpea meatball using, yes chickpeas, and the addition of bread crumbs to try to achieve the same texture as real meat . Still tasty, but not quite what I was looking for!

A friend of mine in Seattle (who happens to be excellent at vegetarian cooking) introduced me to Vital Wheat Gluten. It may sound very scientific, but it is basically the protein component of gluten flour. This is the main ingredient in the popular meat alternative, seitan. Adding this flour into the mixture added elasticity and chewiness to the meatball.  To get the same version I use from Bob’s Red Mill click here.

To get the best consistency I used my absolutely favorite kitchen gadget, the Cuisinart food processor. This device has changed my way of cooking in the kitchen! Whether it is combining the mixture for these meatballs, chopping onions, or even making a pie dough, this device does it all.

Personally, I flex from my mainly pescatarian diet to meat once in a while. I can honestly tell you, this newer version of these vegetarian chickpea meatballs with vital wheat gluten tasted more like the real thing!

 

vegetarian chickpea meatballs
Try these Vegetarian Chickpea Meatballs in a favorite tomato sauce!

 

 

vegetarian meatballs with pesto

 

 

 

 

 

Newer and Better Vegetarian Chickpea Meatballs

Newer and Better Vegetarian Chickpea Meatballs

Ingredients

  • 1 15 ounce can chickpeas, low sodium, drained and rinsed
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 8 ounces white mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
  • 1/4 cup hot water or broth
  • 2 tablespoons italian seasoning
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Farenheit if you prefer to bake the meatballs. This mixture can also be sauteed in a saucepan.
  2. In a large food processor combine the beans, garlic, egg, soy sauce, and tomato paste. Pulse until well blended and chickpeas are mashed. If you do not have a food processor, a masher works just as well and make sure to thoroughly mix all ingredients. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  3. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Using a cookie dough scooper (or wet hands) roll the mixture into 1" meatballs.
  4. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for baking. Bake for up to 35 minutes or until cooked through the middle. Flip over halfway.
  5. If you prefer sauteeing in a pan, coat the bottom of a large pan with olive oil on medium heat. Sautee and keep covered until cooked in the middle. Flip them over halfway, about 15 minutes.
  6. For softer meatballs, toss in your favorite sauce, like pesto or tomato sauce.
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Healthy Basil Cauliflower Fried Rice

Healthy Basil Cauliflower Fried Rice

This recipe for Basil Cauliflower Fried Rice is naturally vegan and gluten-free optional, yet can be easily modified based on your food preference. Some tasty protein add-ins can be any type of meat, shellfish, tofu, or even an egg!

Delicious and Easy Baked Brie

Delicious and Easy Baked Brie

There is nothing tastier than combining two favorites, pie and cheese, this holiday season! Try this Delicious and Easy Baked Brie that is sure to please at your next holiday party!   For the December theme for The Recipe Redux blogging group, our task was […]

Creamy Cauliflower Pasta Bake

Creamy Cauliflower Pasta Bake

Winter is here and so is the desire for comfort food! Try this

healthier casserole version of a Creamy Cauliflower Pasta

Bake!

 

Mash it up!

Nope, not potatoes this time! Instead, I am talking about the nutritious and versatile cauliflower! Sneak in this cruciferous vegetable in your next mashed potatoes, fried rice dish, and yes, a casserole! Cauliflower lends not only tons of vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamins C and B-6, but also incredible texture. Here are some ways cauliflower acts as an all-star in the kitchen:

  • Cauliflower florets pulsed in a food processor into little granules can imitate rice. This gives a starchy fried rice dinner more balance with extra vegetables included. For more on making cauliflower rice, read this article by The Kitchn.
  • Are you a  “meat and potatoes” fan? Try sneaking in mashed cooked cauliflower with your favorite potato for even more fiber and nutrition.
  • Want to cut down on excess saturated fats in your cream sauces? Just as I did for this cauliflower pasta bake, blend in some mashed cauliflower with a splash of either stock or low fat milk to form a thick liquid base.

 

 

cauliflower pasta
Cauliflower pasta prior to baking. Top with breadcrumbs, bake in the oven, and enjoy!

 

cauliflower pasta
Topped with crispy, golden breadcrumbs adds texture to this hearty dish!

 

Recipe for Creamy Cauliflower Pasta Bake…

This dish can be easily modified based on your dietary preferences. If you prefer a gluten-restricted recipe, substitute gluten-free pasta for the regular pasta and gluten-free breadcrumbs for the panko breadcrumbs. Breadcrumbs can be homemade using regular or gluten-free bread by toasting in the oven and then pulsing in a food processor.

If you prefer a vegan alternative with no animal products, use dairy-free cheese alternative or sprinkle in some nutritional yeast that has a natural cheesy flavor. The milk used to make the sauce can be dairy-free as well, such as unsweetened soy, almond, or coconut milk.

Are you a big fan of cauliflower? Try my other recipes using cauliflower listed below.

Harissa Roasted Cauliflower Bites

Cauliflower Pizza with Spring Vegetables

 

 

 

 

 

Creamy Cauliflower Pasta Bake

Creamy Cauliflower Pasta Bake

Ingredients

  • 1 pound elbow pasta, uncooked
  • 1 large head cauliflower, chopped with core removed
  • 1-2 leeks halved lengthwise then sliced
  • 8 ounces green peas (thawed if frozen)
  • Optional: 1/2 cup spinach leaves, chopped (thawed if frozen)
  • 1/2-3/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese (save 1/4 cup for sauce)
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (I used panko)
  • Sauce:
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup milk of your choice
  • Parmesan cheese set aside

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Farenheit.
  2. In a large pot, bring water to boil and cook pasta (according to package directions). Once cooked al dentre drain and reserve 1/2 cup pasta water. Return pasta to the pot and set aside.
  3. While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil on medium high in a large skillet or non-stick pan. Saute the cauliflower florets until lightly browned about 5-7 minutes. Remove half of the cauliflower and set aside.
  4. Add the garlic to the pan of cauliflower and continue sauteeing for an additional minute. Pour in the milk and simmer until the cauliflower softens with a fork about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat. Using an immersion blender, puree the cauliflower and milk mixture until a thick sauce is formed. Pour in 1/4 cup pasta water at a time if you prefer a thinner sauce.
  5. Toss in the 1/4 cup parmesan cheese and stir to combine. Set aside.
  6. Add the peas, spinach, and leeks to the pot of pasta and stir to combine. Transfer the pasta mixture to a casserole dish ( I used a 9x9 baking dish).
  7. Pour the sauce over the pasta mixture and stir to combine. Sprinkle with additional parmesan cheese and top with breadcrumbs.
  8. Bake in the oven for up to 20 minutes or until the cheese has evenly melted and the breadcrumbs have just started to brown.
  9. Salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Optional: Sprinkle fresh herbs such as parsley or thyme leaves
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Healthy Ginger Orange Cranberry Bread

Healthy Ginger Orange Cranberry Bread

This healthy version of orange cranberry bread is bursting with fresh cranberries, citrus flavors, and a hint of ginger spice! These berries are cran-tastic! Cranberries make their appearance this time of year thanks to the beautiful relish sauce on Thanksgiving, but this beneficial fruit should be […]

Review on an exciting and new Vegan Cookbook!

Review on an exciting and new Vegan Cookbook!

Curious about vegan cooking? Look no further, this new vegan cookbook, Fuss-Free Vegan is sure to please all palates!   I am not sure where to start with this amazing new cookbook, Fuss-Free Vegan by Sam Turnbull, the genius blogger behind It Doesn’t Taste Like […]

Curry Roasted Carrots with Yogurt Dressing

Curry Roasted Carrots with Yogurt Dressing

Want to spice up a holiday feast this year? These tasty curry

roasted carrots will make an exotic side dish to any main

entrée thanks to its addition of creamy yogurt dressing and

pomegranate seeds!

 

 

Don’t Forget the Sides!

When it comes to the holidays, the main entrée is always the focus of the meal. Whether it is turkey, fish, or a delicious vegetarian stuffed squash, tasty side dishes are most often forgotten. I don’t know about you, but my absolute favorite on Thanksgiving Day is stuffing. Watch out, I could seriously devour a whole plate if it were in front of me. Stuffing may not be the healthiest option (and yes, there are healthier recipes out there), but side dishes give us the opportunity to include beneficial and seasonal vegetables this time of year. Brussels sprouts, kale (yes I said it), and even carrots make a colorful sidekick for your main dish! While most side dish options include starchy potatoes or stuffing, adding colorful vegetables balance out those protein and starches at your next family meal.

 

curry roasted carrots
What better way to make a meal more beautiful than colorful and seasonal produce!

 

 

Curry Roasted Carrots Recipe

These curry roasted carrots are kicked up a notch with an herby yogurt dressing and crunchy pomegranate seeds! While balancing out the intense curry spice, roasting the carrots in honey and olive oil also gives them a perfectly carmelized flavor and crispy texture. Topping the roasted carrots with the yogurt sauce adds creaminess and evens out the heat from the curry.

 

 

curry roasted carrots
Colorful carrots tossed in olive oil, curry, and honey prior to roasting

 

 

To make this recipe vegan, use a dairy-free yogurt version for the dressing and substitute the honey for maple syrup. If you are not a fan of pomegranate seeds, topping the carrots with protein-rich nuts, such as almonds, would also be a healthy and tasty substitution!

With the festive holiday season on its way, I hope you still enjoy your favorite treats, like stuffing, sweet potato casserole, and yes pumpkin pie. Try adding some colorful vegetables to make it an even more enjoyable (and healthy) meal the whole family will approve!

 

 

 

Curry Roasted Carrots with Yogurt Dressing

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4

Curry Roasted Carrots with Yogurt Dressing

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces whole carrots (trimmed stems), sliced lengthwise if larger than 1" wide
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 cup yogurt (preferably whole milk)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup fresh pomegranate seeds, optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Farenheit.
  2. Place the carrots on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  3. Toss the carrots with olive oil, curry powder, and honey.
  4. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, rotating the pan and tossing halfway through cooking time.
  5. While the carrots roast, in a medium bowl whisk together the yogurt, cilantro, and garlic. Set aside.
  6. Once the carrots are nicely browning, turn off the heat and transfer the carrots to a serving dish.
  7. Drizzle the yogurt sauce and top with pomegranate seeds over the carrots.

Notes

These curry roasted carrots make a tasty side dish to any main entree. Whether is it pasta, a casserole, or meat dish. To add more vegetables to your meal, serve these carrots with a side salad. Need more carbs? Add with a fresh multigrain roll. Enjoy!

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Simple and Delicious Vegan Gumbo

Simple and Delicious Vegan Gumbo

Enjoy this Louisiana classic with a vegetarian makeover! This simple and delicious vegan gumbo uses less oil and includes heart healthy fats and proteins!     Making a Dark Roux… Since this was my first time making gumbo, making a dark roux was a complete […]


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