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.
Stuffed Spaghetti Squash with Lentil Marinara (serves 2)
- 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
- 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.
- In the meantime, in a bowl, stir together the lentils and marinara.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Warm the potato sauce and poor it on top of the squash halves. Add the basil as a garnish or mix it in.
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.
Black Bean Brownies
- 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)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
It has definitely turned into Fall in Southern California, and the temperature has started dropping in the evenings. I am craving nothing but warm, comfort foods for dinner and this is one of our favorites. I am not sure that there are many healthy, dinner recipes out there that are this easy.
Baked Stuffed Sweet Potato (serves 2)
*2 medium-sized sweet potatoes
*3/4 can of black beans
*Your choice of veggies (we prefer cherry tomatoes, carrots, spinach, bell pepper, zucchini, red onion)
*Optional: salsa, guacamole or vegan butter
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Poke holes in your sweet potatoes with a fork.
- Cook sweet potatoes until they are soft, all the way through (approximately 45 minutes).
- In the meantime, chop and saute your vegetables and black beans.
- When the sweet potatoes have finished cooking, pull them out of the oven. Slice them open (length wise) and mash the insides with a fork.
- Add your veggies, black beans, salsa and guacamole.
*I will sometimes add guacamole, salsa or vegan butter to the sweet potato before piling on my veggies. This helps take away from the dryness of the sweet potato.
Are you thinking about jumping on the vegan bandwagon but don’t know how you could possibly live without cheese?! I have good news for you! With these two “cheese” recipes, you do not have to give up that comfort food :). However, now you get to enjoy it with less saturated fat, less of an environmental impact and without harming any animals.
For my visual people, here is a quick video that will take you through my favorite vegan cheese recipes, step by step. The recipes are written out below for those who like to learn that way. I hope that you enjoy them and that you can use them in your kitchen.
Recipe 1: Cashew Cream from The No Meat Athlete Cookbook
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in hot water for 1 hour, then drained
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 to 1 cup water
Combine the cashews, lemon juice, and salt in a high-speed blender, using a tamper to assist with blending. Add water 2 tablespoons at a time as needed to achieve desired consistency, and process until thick and creamy.
**Add seasonings of your choice. We like to add dill or onion powder to create dressings or dips.
Recipe 2: All-Purpose Cheese Sauce from the Oh She Glows Every Day Cookbook (modified a bit in the video)
- 1/4 cup raw cashews
- 1 1/4 cups diced peeled potatoes
- Heaping 1/3 cup diced carrots
- 2 to 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast, to taste
- 2 tablespoons refined coconut oil or other neutral-tasting oil, such as grapeseed oil
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste
- 1 medium clove garlic
- 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon white wine vinegar, to taste
- Sriracha or other hot sauce (optional)
- Soak the cashews in a bowl of water overnight or for at least 1 hour. Rinse and drain.
- Put the potatoes and carrots in a medium pot and add water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes, until fork-tender. Drain. (Alternatively, you can steam the veggies).
- Transfer the cashews, potatoes, and carrots to a blender, add the nutritional yeast, coconut oil, water, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, garlic, and vinegar and blend until smooth. If using a Vitamix, use the tamper to help it blend. If it’s too thick, you can add another splash of water or oil to help it along. Taste the sauce and add Sriracha and more salt, if desired. The sauce will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
Check out both of their websites as well:
Oh She Glows http://ohsheglows.com
No Meat Athlete http://www.nomeatathlete.com