Stuffed Spaghetti Squash Recipe

Hello everyone,

Happy Fall!  I don’t know about you but this is my favorite time of the year for food.  I love warm meals and the comfort of pumpkin and squash recipes. It is a wonderful time to try new recipes and to turn on those ovens to warm the house.

We made this incredible recipe, originally from the Forks Over Knives Magazine (and altered it a bit), and I wanted to share it with you.  This will be going on my favorite list to eat time and time again.  I hope you enjoy it at much as we did.

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Stuffed Spaghetti Squash with Lentil Marinara (serves 2)

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium spaghetti squash halved and seeds removed
  • 12 oz. brown lentils, rinsed and drained (canned)
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 6 oz. Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened, unflavored plant-milk (I used almond)
  • 2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced (the more garlic, the better, in my opinion)
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper, ground
  • 1 Tbsp. of fresh basil leaves, chopped

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with a silicon mat.  Place the squash halves, cut side down, on the baking sheet.  Bake for approximately 40 minutes, or until tender.
  2. In the meantime, in a bowl, stir together the lentils and marinara.
  3. Place potatoes in a steamer basket in a saucepan. Add water to saucepan and bring to a boil.  Steam the potatoes, covered, for approximately 10 minutes or until tender.  Let the potatoes cool.
  4. Place the cooled potatoes in a blender.  Add the plant milk, nutritional yeast, white wine vinegar, garlic, sea salt and pepper.  Cover and blend until you reach the desired, sauce consistency. Set the sauce aside.
  5. Remove the squash from the oven.  Turn squash halves over, scrape squash strands with a fork, and spoon in the lentil mixture.  Bake for another 20 minutes or until heated through.
  6. Warm the potato sauce and poor it on top of the squash halves.  Add the basil as a garnish or mix it in.
  7. Enjoy!

 

 

 

Potato Nacho Cooking Demonstration

Hello everyone,

Happy Food Friday!!  If you are looking for a delicious dish to make this weekend, look no further.  This recipe is dairy free, gluten free, vegan and is comforting!

Please click on the video below for the full cooking demonstration on how to make potato nachos.

I hope that you enjoy and have a great weekend!

Easy to Make Breakfast (Vegan and Gluten Free)

Hello everyone,

The question that I get asked the most is, “What do you eat on a vegan and gluten free diet?”  In today’s video, I will show you just that.

I am starting a mini-series on easy to make breakfasts: food for real, busy people!  Today’s video is the first in this collection.

Please check it out when you have a chance….there may even be a small cameo from my dog 🙂

Have a great rest of your week and I will be back with even more food next week!

<3, April

Delicious Brownies…Packed Full of Protein and Fiber!

Hello everyone,

It is a cold and rainy day here in San Diego, which makes it perfect for baking brownies!  Who am I kidding….any day is great for brownies 🙂

My favorite brownie recipe comes from my dear friend, Lacey.  I am sharing this recipe with her permission, and I highly recommend following her on Instagram for food inspiration (@sweetleifcafe).

We have tested these brownies on everyone, from kids to football coaches, and they always get a thumbs up.  Just don’t tell anyone that they are actually healthy and packed full of protein and fiber.

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Black Bean Brownies

 Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans; or 1 (15 oz.) can drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup creamy raw nut butter
  • 5-6 tablespoons raw cacao powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips (dairy free)

 Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line a 9-inch square baking dish with parchment                 paper. In a large food processor fitted with an S-blade, process the black beans until smooth.
  2. To the pureed black beans, add in the almond butter, cacao powder, ground flax, vanilla, sugar, vinegar, salt, and baking soda. Process until a very smooth and thick batter is formed, stopping to scrape down the sides at least once to make sure everything is mixed.
  3. Add the chocolate chips to the batter and pulse a few times to mix them in. Use a spatula to scoop the batter into the lined 9-inch baking dish. The batter will be rather thick, so you’ll need to use the spatula to spread it evenly into the pan.
  4. Bake until the top begins to crack and the center feels relatively firm to a light touch, about 30 minutes. Allow the brownies to cool completely before attempting to cut them into squares, as they are very fragile when warm.
  5. Serve at room temperature, and store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Enjoy!

Cooking Demo for this recipe coming next week!

 

 

The Easiest Vegan and Gluten Free Dessert Recipe

Hello everyone,

We are just days away from Thanksgiving and you may still be wondering what amazing, vegan dessert you can bring to your holiday meal.  Well, look no further!  This recipe is incredibly easy to make, involves no baking, and is gluten free.

*This recipe has been modified a bit.  The original is from Fresh Creations.

Vegan Pumpkin Pie Cheesecakes (12 servings)

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Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups Raw Pecans
  • 1 cup Medjool Dates (soaked in warm water for 10 minutes)
  • 1/4 tsp Sea Salt

 

  • 1 cup Cashews (soaked in hot water for 1 hour)
  • 1/2 cup Light Coconut Milk
  • 1/2 cup Canned Pumpkin Puree (BPA free can preferred)
  • 1/2 cup Maple Syrup
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 cup Lemon Juice

Directions:

  1. Soak the cashews for one hour and soak the dates for 10 minutes.
  2. Line a muffin tin with plastic wrap or liners.
  3. Make the crust in a food processor: blend the pecans until ground, then add the soft dates (without the pits), and sea salt.  Pulse well until combined.
  4. Transfer the mixture into the muffin tin and press down until crust is formed.  The crust is really sticky and it helps if you use your fingers to press it down.
  5. Place tin in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  6. In the meantime, prepare the filling.  In a high speed blender, blend all of the ingredients for the filling until smooth and creamy.
  7. Remove tin from the freezer and pour the filling over the pecan crust.
  8. Freeze the cheesecakes for about 3-4 hours, or until firm.
  9. Let them thaw for a few minutes before eating.
  10. Enjoy!

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“Cheesy” Kale Casserole (Great for Thanksgiving!)

Hello all,

Yesterday we discussed why I think it is important to leave turkeys off of our tables (on Thanksgiving and always).  You may be wondering what to make for your holiday meal instead.

This was one of the many recipes that we made during our cooking class last week and it is incredibly delicious.  Plus, it is comforting, warm and perfect for this time of year with its’ main ingredient being pumpkin.

I hope that you will give it a try and let me know what you think.

*This recipe has been modified from Fresh Creations.  For more information, check out @freshcreationssd on Instagram.

“Cheesy” Kale Casserole

(4 servings)

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Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 lbs Pureed Pumpkin (*we used organic, pureed pumpkin from cans instead of whole pumpkins. The directions below are for the canned option)
  • 1 Yellow Onion (small dice)
  • 3 Garlic Cloves (minced)
  • 1 can Organic Coconut Milk (15 oz can)
  • 2 cups Kale Leaves (removed from stem and leaves cut thin)
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Sage (minced)
  • 1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast
  • 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 1/3 tbsp Bread Crumbs (*we used gluten free)
  • 1 Bag of Macaroni (*again we used gluten free)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In an extra large sauce pan or skillet, heat oil over medium heat and cook onions for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add minced garlic and sage and continue cooking until onions are carmelized.
  2. While onions are carmelizing, cook pasta of choice using directions on package. Strain and set aside.
  3. Add pureed pumpkin, coconut milk and nutritional yeast to carmelized onion sage and garlic mixture. Stir/mix together. Cook 4 minutes.
  4. Add shredded kale leaves, stir everything together and let it simmer for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Combine pasta with pumpkin and kale mixture.
  6. Scoop into individual ramekins or a 9×9 baking dish. Top with bread crumbs of choice. Bake for 10 minutes or until bread crumbs are golden brown.
  7. Garnish with green onion or chili pepper flakes (you can also add some tempeh bacon).

 

I truly hope that you enjoy this recipe!  Please remember that it is absolutely possible to have an amazing, and satisfying, holiday meal without consuming animal products ❤