Honey Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Every year on Thanksgiving, I see my beloved Sweet Potatoes / Yams traditionally swimming in fattening things like butter, marshmallows, and brown sugar. Sorry, for the bluntness but I always think to myself, what a terrible way to ruin a perfect healthy food. This recipe I found on the Food Network with Chef Tyler Florence so I cannot take credit for this one. I was thrilled to see this recipe because it is Gluten Free and Vegan. It could be Paleo friendly too, if honey is on the Paleo list. I am still learning the Paleo way so this recipe may not be Paleo friendly. The sweet potatoes sweetened with just right amount of honey and the cinnamon really makes it wonderful. I love this recipe and it is definitely worth keeping.

Honey Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Created on 11/18/14

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Ingredients
Serves 4 people, Preheat oven to 375 degrees
(Double this, it is worth it for leftovers)

4 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
¼ cup of olive oil or coconut oil
¼ cup of honey
3 teaspoons of cinnamon

Toss all ingredients well in a bowl and spread single layer on a cookie sheet or a Pampered Chef Large Stoneware Bar Pan. (Cook Note: invest in the Pampered Chef Large Stoneware Bar Pan – it is worth it and you will use it all the time). Roast for approximately 25 to 30 minutes until sweet potatoes caramelize from the honey. Serve with any meal. It does not have to be Thanksgiving. Most Excellent!

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Vegan Cashew Cheese

This is the first time I made this and I was impressed. I am a huge fan of cream cheese but because my diet is changing, I decided to try this Cashew Cream. I found this recipe on “luminousvegans.com” I modified the recipe because of taste. I wanted more flavor than the original recipe. What an amazing thing to make. It is wonderful on toast, in mashed cauliflower and on crackers. I highly recommend this.

Cashew Cream

Created on 11/19/14

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2 cups of raw cashews (soaked for 4 hours)
4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons almond milk
2 tablespoons tahini
1-tablespoon onion powder
1-teaspoon kosher salt

Drain cashews from water and put in a high-speed blender. Add the remaining ingredients and process on high until smooth. Adjust the seasonings to your liking. Store in a container for up to a week in the refrigerator.

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Banana Oatmeal Raisin Bites

The not eating gluten, sugar and keeping my food plan simple is a daily challenge but I will not give up. Today, I had a really terrible craving for cookies and have seen this posted a few times on Facebook and Pinterst. This recipe grabbed my interest so I went ahead and made the snacks. It is not sweet like I pictured but to keep things clean in my food plan it was good for me to try this. I cannot take full credit for this as the recipe has been floating around for a while. Enjoy!

Banana Oatmeal Raisin Bites

Created on 10/04/14

 

Banana.Oatmeal.Raisin.Bites

Ingredients
3 ripe bananas mashed well

2 cups of oatmeal

1/3 cup of applesauce

1/4 cup of Almond milk

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1 teaspoon of vanilla

1/2 cup of raisins

Directions
Mix all ingredients well and put tablespoon size bites on a cookie tray. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 mins.

Note: you can substitute raisins with Vegan chocolate chips

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Vegan Lentil Walnut Loaf

I have been looking an awfully long time for a decent Lentil Loaf that does not have cheese, gluten (wheat bread crumbs), and eggs. I was browsing the web and came across this recipe from Oh She Glows website and modified some ingredients to match my food plan. I cannot take credit for this, Oh She Glows rocks! This Lentil Walnut Loaf is just simply amazing. The texture reminds me so much of meat loaf, I ate 2 slices in one sitting. My only regret was not having enough glaze to dip the loaf in when I was eating it. Definitely making double glaze next time. I do not think I will ever try another lentil loaf recipe again and will attempt to make burgers out this recipe. Will keep you all posted! Enjoy!!

Vegan Lentil Walnut Loaf
(From Oh She Glows, modified)
Created on 9/30/2014

Walnut.Lentil.Loaf
Ingredients
1 cup dry lentils, washed and picked through for stones, twigs
3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
3 tablespoons of ground flax seed
2 tablespoons of olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
½ of a large onion, minced
1 large celery stick chopped, fine
1 large carrot, peeled and grated
1 medium apple, grated – I used Golden Delicious
1 cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon of flax seed meal
½ cup gluten free oats grounded into oat flour with food processor
¾ cup GF breadcrumbs – 2 slices of gluten free bread, toasted and processed with food processor

For the glaze
3 tablespoons organic ketchup
1 tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
1 tablespoon maple syrup

In a medium pot, cook the lentils with vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for about 40 to 45 minutes until all the stock is absorbed. Stir often so lentils do not stick to the bottom. When the lentils are cooked and the stock is absorbed, set aside and cool.

While lentils are cooking, toast walnuts in the oven at 350 degrees for approximately 6 to 8 minutes and cool. Prepare the flax egg, in a measuring cup add 3 tablespoons of flax meal with ½ cup of warm water, stir well and set aside. The flax meal will thicken some into a gel-like consistency.

In a large skillet, heat up olive oil over medium heat and add the onions, garlic, carrot, celery, apple for about 5 minutes and add the walnuts. Season the sautéed vegetables with salt, pepper and thyme. Set aside.

Mix the processed oats, breadcrumbs and the 1 tablespoon of flax seed meal in a large bowl. Add the cooked vegetables and ¼ of the cooked lentils in the bowl. In the food processor, add the 3/4 of the cooked lentils and process until fairly smooth – there will be some lentils still whole. Add the mixture to the bowl. Add the flax egg meal and stir everything well. Use your hands to mix if need to.

In a lined with parchment paper loaf pan, dump the lentil mixture and press down well with fingers. Smooth out the top.

Mix the glaze ingredients together and top on the loaf. Bake in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the loaf set for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and slice into 8 or 9 nice thick slices.

Note: Oh She Glows had ¼ cup of raisins in her loaf and 1 tablespoon of apple butter mixed in the glaze. I did not have these ingredients in my pantry and just added another tablespoon of ketchup instead. I still thought the loaf was ahhmazing!!

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**repost** Roasted Pumpkin Muffins

I prefer making pumpkin recipes from pie pumpkins versus canned pumpkin. I think that the flavor is more intense and brings a lot of depth to the recipe. Every year I try to roast quite a few pie pumpkins, puree them and put the roasted pumpkin pulp in freezer bags and store them for future use. I made roasted pumpkin muffins tonight. I was in the mood to bake that has not happened in a while. I decided to be a little bad today. I did some research on the internet and came across one recipe but did quite a bit of tweaking because I like a lot of cinnamon and nutmeg in my pumpkin desserts. Enjoy!

Roasted Pumpkin Muffins, created on 9/29/ 2012

CLICK ON IMAGE TO SEE A LARGER PHOTO
2 cups of roasted pumpkin (1 pie pumpkin makes about 2 cups)
2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon of ground ginger
1-1/2 cups of light brown sugar
2 eggs
½ cup of sunflower seed oil
2 cups of all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
½ teaspoon of kosher salt
1 cup of Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
½ cup of pumpkin (Pepita) seeds

In a glass bowl, combine with a whisk the roasted pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, brown sugar well. Add the eggs and oil. Mix well. In a different bowl add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt together with a fork and then combine with the wet ingredients until mixed. Mix in the chocolate chips. With a large scoop, place the batter in muffin tins lined with cupcake liners. Sprinkle some pumpkin (Pepita) seeds on top. Bake at 425 degrees for about 9 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat can serve warm or cold. These muffins are most excellent with a cold glass of milk.

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Vegan Corn Zucchini Stuffed Shells

Stuffed shells are one of my favorite foods. But, they often tend to be on the unhealthy side with the different cheeses and sometimes meat. Because I am slowly changing my eating habits, I decided to try and make vegan stuffed shells instead. I have to admit I was a little skeptical. The stuffed shells to my surprise were delicious. I used organic vegetables, non-GMO tofu and whole grain pasta. At first, I thought that maybe the extra-firm tofu was not a good idea, but the tofu worked well in the recipe. Enjoy!

Vegan Corn Zucchini Stuffed Shells
Created 7/10/14

corn.zucchini.stuffedshells

1 cup of organic corn (cut off the cob, or frozen and thawed)
1 large zucchini, chopped into bite size pieces
½ of a medium onion, chopped
2 tablespoons of vegetable stock or olive oil
1 garlic clove minced
1 package (15.5 ounce) organic non-gmo extra firm tofu
1 (8 ounce) bag of Dayia shredded Mozzarella cheese
¼ cup of fresh minced parsley
Zest of a lemon and the juice
3 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
1 jar of tomato basil marinara sauce
Salt/Pepper for flavor
28 large pasta shells cooked and drained

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a pot of boiling salted water, add the pasta shells and cook for approximately 6 to 8 minutes. The shells need to be firm and not soft as they will continue to cook in the oven.

It is important to drain the tofu well. Otherwise the filling will be very watery. I used an upside down colander and put the tofu on top, then a small plate weighed down with a heavy bowl to drain a lot of the liquid out. Drain for approximately 10 minutes.

In a large sauté pan, heat up the vegetable stock or olive oil over medium heat and add the onion. Sauté for about 5 minutes, add more stock if needed. Add the corn and cook for another 3 minutes. Then, add the zucchini and cook for about 5 minutes, remove from the heat and add the minced garlic. The heat from the vegetables will cook the garlic. Set aside and cool.

In a large bowl, crumble the tofu up with your fingers and add the nutritional yeast. Add ½ of the cheese, sautéed vegetables, zest, lemon juice, and parsley. Mix well.

In a 9 x 13 casserole dish, spread 1/2 cup of tomato sauce on the bottom of the dish. Set aside. Stuff the shells with the tofu mixture and lay in the casserole dish. After all the shells are stuffed, cover the top of the shells with the balance of the marinara sauce. Sprinkle the rest of the mozzarella cheese on the shells.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese has melted. Remove the foil and turn on the broiler for a few minutes to brown and bubble the cheese. Remove from the heat when done.

Serve with a lightly seasoned arugula or green salad.

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Meagan’s Black Bean Burgers

The quest for vegetarian/vegan (V) burgers continues. These burgers were eaten at my friend’s cousin’s wedding shower and the flavors were awesome. I am simply naming these burgers after her. The original recipe came from “Smells Like Home”. I made some adjustments to the recipe to make them gluten free, but they are not vegan because of the eggs. Instead of panko bread crumbs, I used quick minute oatmeal. This is a truly versatile burger. Enjoy!

Meagan’s Black Bean Burgers
Created on 7/8/14

blackbean.burgers

Ingredients
¾ cup quick minute oatmeal
4 tablespoons of olive oil, plus 2 teaspoons
2 (15-oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 medium carrot, diced
¼ cup fresh cilantro, minced
Fresh cracked pepper to taste

Directions
In a sauté pan, with 2 teaspoons of olive oil, over medium high heat toast the oatmeal until lightly browned. Set aside.

In a large bowl, use a fork to mash 2-1/2 cups of black beans. Add the eggs, cumin cayenne pepper, carrot, cilantro, the remaining black beans, and browned oatmeal, mix well. Chill the mixture in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. This will help form the patties.

Divide the mixture into 6 equal parts and shape into patties. Place the patties on wax or parchment paper covered tray and chill again for 10 minutes. Cover patties with plastic wrap if chilling longer for 10 minutes.

In the same pan that was used to toast the oatmeal, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and cook 3 of the patties over medium heat until browned and cooked through (about 5 minutes on each side). Cook the remaining 3 patties with another 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Serve with your favorite burger toppings.

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