Fajita Burrito Bowl
I get really excited about finding creative ways to use leftovers...so when I went home with a bunch of sticky rice from a Japanese lunch the other day, I decided to turn it into a burrito bowl. And it was so good! I wanted it to taste like my favorite Chipotle combo and it got pretty close. I even had some leftover tofu that I crumbled into the fajita-bean mix for added protein.
Chunky Pico de Gallo
1/2 cup Grape Tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup Yellow Onion, diced
2 tbsp Cilantro, chipped
Juice of half a Lime
Big pinch of Kosher Salt
Combine all ingredients and set aside.
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1 Poblano Pepper, sliced into 1/2 inch strips
1/2 large Yellow Onion, sliced thin
2 cups sliced Mushrooms (I used Baby Bellas)
1/2 tsp Garlic Salt
1/2 tsp Lemon Pepper
1/4 tsp Cumin
1/4 tsp Chili Powder
Big pinch of Kosher Salt
1 can Black Beans, drained and rinsed
3 cups cooked White Rice
Heat oil in large pan over medium heat. Add onion, pepper, mushrooms, and seasonings and mix well. Saute, stirring frequently, until soft (turn the heat up if you want them a little crispy). Add beans until warmed.
Combine rice and fajita-bean mixture in bowls and top with pico de gallo and other optional toppings: Chopped cilantro, shredded lettuce, shredded cheddar, other salsa, guacamole, sour cream.
I know that I already have a few enchilada-type recipes on here…but some of them take a prohibitively long time! This is the simplest, most delicious version that I’ve found, and doesn’t require the messy rolling, trying to get the perfect coverage of sauce on top of the tortillas, etc. In short: It has all the elements of delicious enchiladas with none of the fuss. AND, you can use the 2 lb pre-cubed butternut squash from Costco to get you on your way even faster!
6 cups Butternut Squash, cubed
1 Green Pepper, diced
1 Red Pepper, diced
1/2 Yellow Onion, diced
2–3 tsp Olive Oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
3/4 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp paprika
3/4 tsp garlic powder
2 15 oz cans Black Beans, drained and rinsed
8 Corn Tortillas, cut into bite size pieces
28 oz can Green Enchilada Sauce
2 cups Grated Cheddar, divided
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil, and toss butternut squash, bell peppers, and onion with olive oil and spices. Roast vegetables until tender, about 45–50 minutes, flipping a few times.
Lower oven to 375 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine the roasted veggies, black beans, corn tortillas, enchilada sauce and 1 cup of the cheese. Evenly spread on the bottom of a large baking dish, then top with the remaining cheese. Bake until bubbly and cheese is melted, about 20 minutes.
Top with garnishes like chopped cilantro, avocado or tomato and dig in!
Summery Cannellini Pesto Pasta
Tis the season for light but filling pastas that make use of leftover veggies (maybe even from your own garden)! This bright dish is rounded out with the addition of mild, protein-rich canellini beans, which don't detract from the fresh flavors of the veggies.
12 oz short cut Pasta (like penne or fusilli)
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 medium Zucchini, sliced in to ribbons
2 cups Grape Tomatoes
¼ cup Pesto
3 cups Arugula, torn
Salt and Pepper
8 oz Fresh Mozzarella, diced
Dash Red Pepper Flakes
Handful fresh Basil, torn
3 tbsp Pine Nuts, toasted
Cook pasta according to package directions, reserving ½ cup of pasta water before draining.
Meanwhile, heat large pan over medium high heat. Add oil and garlic, allowing to warm and become fragrant for 1 minute. Add tomatoes and let sit until they begin to blister, stirring occasionally. Add zucchini and saute until brownish and soft.
Add beans, pesto, arugula, and red pepper flakes, and heat thoroughly. Add mozzarella, pasta and as much reserved pasta water as needed. Add fresh basil last.
Top with basil, pine nuts and parmesan.
Vegan Buddha Bowl
At my last job we had an on-site café that served fresh, healthy lots meals for cheap (really the best perk of the job)! Every few weeks they’d offer a Buddha bowl that became my favorite thing ever. Vegan, tasty and so satisfying. So I did a little research and pulled together the elements that I loved most. The good thing is you can make things ahead of time and have them on hand to reproduce the bowl throughout the week!
Combine a big bowl of the following (or whatever other veg you have on hand that might go well) & enjoy!
1 15 oz can Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Paprika, curry powder, or other spices (optional)
Preheat the oven to 425° and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Pat chickpeas dry. Transfer to baking sheet and toss with a drizzle of olive oil and salt.
Roast for 20-30 minutes until golden brown and as crispy as you want them to be (keep going if they’re not there at 30 minutes).
Remove from oven and toss with your spices while the chickpeas are still warm.
1 block Extra Firm Tofu, pressed, drained and cut into cubes
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1-2 tbsp Soy Sauce or Tamari
1-2 tbsp Cornstarch
Preheat the oven to 425° and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper (double up and make the chickpeas at the same time!). Place tofu cubes in mixing bowl and add olive oil and soy sauce (to taste) and toss to combine. Add 1 tbsp of cornstarch at a time until the tofu is well coated.
Arrange on the baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes, tossing halfway through, until tofu is golden brown.
Lemon Tahini Dressing
1/2 cup Tahini
Juice of 1 medium Lemon
3 tsp Lemon Zest
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1/4 tsp Salt
Dash of maple syrup to taste
1/4–1/2 cup water
Add all ingredients (use just ¼ cup water at first) to a mason jar and shake vigorously to emulsify. Add more water as needed to ensure pourability over your bowl of goodness.
Simple Tomato Soup
What do you do when you have way too many tomatoes and a good size loaf of rosemary sourdough bread sitting around? Tomato soup and grilled cheese! I found this recipe and was delighted that I actually had all the ingredients to make a quick and soo tasty tomato soup.
I also happened to have some leftover heavy cream, which added to the richness, but it's not necessary if you want to stay on the lighter side.
4 tbsp Butter
1/2 Medium Yellow Onion, cut into thick wedges
5-6 Medium Tomatoes (or 28 oz can whole peeled or crushed)
1-1/2 cups Veggie Broth (I make mine with Better than Bouillon)
Couple pinches of salt
Fresh ground Black Pepper
1./4 cup Heavy Cream (optional)
Melt butter in a medium saucepan, Add tomatoes, onions, broth and a pinch of salt to the pan. Simmer, uncovered, for 40 minutes. Add more salt (to taste), pepper, cream and torn basil to pan and use an immersion blender to puree to desired consistency (leave a few chunks in for a more rustic feeling soup).
Makes about 4 small servings.
Cold winter days call for my favorite soup ever! I get rice ramen noodles (and usually the shiitakes) from Costco, then throw in a bunch of other staples I usually have around the house. Even my kiddo eats this, even though he professes not to like soup.
1 lb Firm Tofu, drained and pressed
1 tbsp Sesame Oil
1 tsp Garlic, minced
1 tbsp Ginger, minced
12 oz Shiitake Mushrooms, sliced and washed
Sprinkle Bacon Salt
Sprinkle Red Pepper Flakes or 1 tbsp Sriracha
6 cups Veggie Broth (I make mine with Better than Bouillon)
1.5 tsp White Miso Paste
2 tsp Soy Sauce
1 tbsp Rice Vinegar
7.5 oz Ramen Noodles (3 of the rice ramen portions from the Costco package)
2 cups Spinach or Bok Choy, torn
6-minute Egg, halved lengthwise*
Sesame seeds, green onion, grated carrots or whatever other garnish you prefer
Heat sesame oil, add garlic and ginger over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, cook until soft and slightly brown. Add more oil if needed.
Add broth, miso paste and soy sauce. Bring to a boil, then cover and let simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Cut tofu into thin strips and place in dry pan. Let sit until golden on one side, then flip. Remove from pan when done and cut into bite sized pieces. Set aside.
Add vinegar and ramen noodles to mushroom broth, separating with a fork after awhile, and cook for about 3 minutes. Add torn spinach and cook for another minute. Or use sliced bok choy, adding at the same time as the noodles.
Top with garnish, tofu and soft boiled egg.
*Place desired number of eggs in pot of cold water until just covered. Heat on high until boiling. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 6 minutes. Remove from heat and dunk in ice bath to halt cooking.
Curry Coconut Veggie Soup
This is one of those "kitchen sink" recipes that make good use of veggies that might be ready to leave their home in the fridge. The soup is good today, good frozen or saved for whenever you need a hearty soup. Plus it's vegan! I considered frozen broccoli too but felt like I had enough veggies in there to make it substantial.
Here's what I put in mine...and as always, keep adding flavor as needed!
1 tbsp Veggie Oil (I used Avocado)
1 tsp minced Garlic
1 tsp minced Ginger
1 Leek, well washed and sliced
5-6 Baby Bella Mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1-2 Carrots, peeled and trimmed and rough chopped
1-2 Celery Stalks (including tops), trimmed and rough chopped
1/2 head of Cauliflower, rough chopped
2 cups Veggie Broth
2 cups Coconut Milk (like, the kind you drink, not the cans)
1 tsp Curry Powder, to taste
Salt & Pepper, to taste
A good handful of sliced Basil
Add the oil to a soup pot warmed over medium-high heat. When warm, add the Garlic, Ginger, Leeks and Mushrooms and saute until hot and slightly caramelized.
Meanwhile, add the chopped vegetables to a food processor to get them ready for cooking. Pulse til they're finely diced and set aside.
Add all veggies, broth, milk, curry and salt and pepper to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.
Serve with whatever carb-filled side dish you're craving :).
Banana Chocolate Protein Muffins
So what do you do with a couple of spotty bananas that you’ve put in your freezer (besides make an amazing banana bread)? Try something new!
I wanted to make some tasty muffins for my family’s breakfast but also wanted them to be a bit more robust in their nutritional profile. So I added a protein powder I thought would complement the flavors. I’m loving Four Sigmatic because it combines plant-based superfood proteins with adaptogenic mushrooms to create a tasty powder that’s easy to put in smoothies or baked goods. So here we go!
3 Past-their-prime bananas (defrosted, if necessary)
⅓ cup Butter
⅔ cup Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
A pinch of Salt
1 tsp Baking Soda
1.4 oz Protein Powder (I used the Sweet Vanilla flavor for this one, but their Peanut Butter would also be awesome)
1- ½ Cups Flour
A buncha Chocolate Chips
Make sure your bananas are defrosted and mushy. ALSO, make sure your butter is melty and mushable (so take it out of the fridge a few hours before).
Spray your muffin tins with an olive oil or coconut oil-based spray. Turn the oven on to 350.
Put the mushy bananas and butter in a big bowl and smash them together (use a potato smasher, fork, whatever). Blend until it’s as creamy as possible.
Add sugar, egg and vanilla until combined. Stir in salt, baking soda and protein powder.
Add flour and chocolate chips and combine, then divide the mixture into 12 muffin tins.
Set the timer for 20 minutes and see how they look. Clean knife? Good. If not, add on a few minutes.
Enjoy for a snack, dessert or breakfast!
I was recently gifted an Aerogarden that produces serious amounts of herbs in just a few weeks...and keeps on giving for months. You just choose which herbs or greens you want to grow and they send you the pods. Before Christmas I realized I had an excess of basil and cilantro from my last round of pods, so we decided to make homemade pesto for friends as holiday gifts. I got advice from a chef friend about how to make the best of these fresh-as-can-be herbs.
These ratios can be altered based on what you’ve got on hand. And really, just keep altering until it tastes like what you want!
4 packed cups of Basil or Cilantro
1 packed cup of Italian Parsley
A small pinch of mint (optional)
Fresh lemon juice, to taste
Lemon zest, to taste
¼ tsp of Garlic (I use the jarred kind but fresh would be great too!)
3 tbsp Avocado Oil
1 tbsp Shredded Parmesan Cheese
1 tbsp Nuts: Pine nuts, walnuts, whatever nuts (also optional)
Salt, to taste
Put everything in a blender or Cuisinart to mesh ingredients. Taste often and adjust as needed.
Spread on bread or pizza, mix into scrambled eggs or just dip in a cracker (or two).
Butternut Squash & Shiitake Salad
One of my favorite salads ever (and one that I requested for my wedding) combines just a few simple ingredients. The good thing is you can do the steps in any order--they don’t have to be hot to taste great together.
1 head Butter Lettuce
Wash and chop into salad-sized pieces
1 cup Roasted Butternut Squash
Turn the oven to 400 and prepare the squash by peeling it, scooping out the seeds and chopping into small cubes. Toss onto a foil-lined pan with 2 tbsp Olive Oil, and Salt, Pepper and Garlic to taste (or save a step and add Garlic Salt!).
Cook for 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway through, until tender. Set aside.
1 cup Sauteed Shiitakes
Remove the stems and wipe them down (or rinse, depending on your preference). Heat a small saute pan on medium-high, and when hot, add 1 tbsp of Olive Oil. Saute, stirring regularly until they’re crisp and slightly caramelized. Set aside.
Now for the toppings!
1 cup Goat Cheese, crumbled
A handful of Pepitas (Shelled Pumpkin Seeds)
Salt & Pepper, to taste
Lemon Vinaigrette, to taste
It’s the best savory salad for a winter’s night. And you’ll probably end up with more dressing than you need, so just stash it away in a mason jar for future salad cravings!