Baked Sweet Potatoes with Soy Yoghurt, Pomegranate, and Toasted Walnuts

Everyone loves an oven-baked sweet potato. This sweet potato has a savory, sweet taste that is a true home comfort with an extra helping of vitamin A and vitamin C. This recipe only takes about 15 minutes thanks to the handy-dandy microwave. This was the first time I’ve tried these toppings on a sweet potato and I will never go back!! The bittersweet pomegranate compliments the not too sweet yoghurt just perfectly making this meal capable of performing for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This is perfect for busy weeknights since there is virtually no lengthy prep time required! I know you guys will enjoy this just as much as I did!

Prep time: 5 min        Cook time: 10 min       Serves: 3

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Ingredients

  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp walnuts
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 4 tbsp unsweetened soy yoghurt
  • pinch of sea salt

Instructions

  • Thoroughly wash then dry the sweet potatoes. Brush the skins with the olive oil then cook in the microwave for 10 minutes, until a fork can pierce the insides effortlessly
  • While the sweet potatoes are cooking, add walnuts to dry pan and roast over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, then set aside
  • Slice pomegranate and remove seeds
  • Remove cooked sweet potatoes from microwave and slice down the center. Generously spoon in the yoghurt, toss the toasted walnuts and pomegranate seeds over top. Season with sea salt and serve

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VEGAN Veggie ‘Meat’Loaf

Vegetarians, rejoice!!! This is seriously better than any meatloaf out there!! And so much better for you, duh! This bad boy is packed with carrots, celery, onion and lots of healthy grains with flax egg to bind the loaf. It can actually be extra quick put this together if you use instant quinoa which they sell in cute little microwave-safe cups (I know, don’t judge me) but hey, sometimes us moms could use a break, even if it’s just 10 minutes, am I right???!!!! The ketchup and maple syrup glaze is perfect, and it really pulls the whole dish together. The lentils bring this dish the perfect nutty and earthy flavors along with a high nutritional value anyone can benefit from, including your toddler!

On another note, tomorrow is Friday and I am just so freakin’ happy! You know that song by Nelly, ‘it’s the freakin’ weekend, baby I’m gonna have my some fun!’ Yep, I’m gonna have fun…and by fun I mean sleeping until 7:30 am and not changing out of my pajamas. Once again, no shame 🙂

Prep time: 10 min     Cook time: 1 hr      Serves: 4

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Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp flax meal
  • 6 tbsp water
  • olive oil to taste
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 stalk celery diced
  • 1/2 cup onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 red bell pepper diced
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire (vegan)
  • 2 cups lentils cooked
  • 3/4 cup brown rice cooked
  • 3/4 cup quick-cook oats
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tsp maple syrup

Instructions

  • To make the flax egg combine the flax meal with the water in a small bowl and mix well. Set aside for 10 minutes
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • In large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Once shimmering, add in carrots and celery. After 2-3 minutes, add in onions and mushrooms. Cook another 3-4 minutes
  • Add another drizzle of olive oil then add garlic, bell pepper, and tomato paste. Cook 2 more minutes then add salt, pepper, parsley, and thyme and cook until fragrant
  • Add the soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce and cook for 2 more minutes until the vegetables are tender. Remove from heat
  • In food processor, add the lentils, brown rice, oats, flax eggs, and sautéed vegetables. Pulse 10-12 times until the mixture is slightly chunky
  • Transfer the mixture to a parchment lined loaf pan and smooth the top with a spatula. To make the glaze, combine ketchup and maple syrup in small bowl. Brush half on top of load, reserving other half for later
  • Bake loaf for 45 minutes, brush with remaining glaze. Slice and serve

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VEGAN Black Bean Soup

Yes, I eat soup in the summer, all summer long, I have no shame!! People look at me like I’m crazy, and I get it! But, I love soup so much, no amount of hot, humid weather can stop me. I actually used to keep a ‘soup journal’ when I was younger and I would describe and rate the soups I would order at restaurants and places I traveled with my family. I’m quite the soup-conissour, if I do say so myself. Black bean soup has always been one of my favorites. It has such simple, natural ingredients but has so much rich flavor. It really fills you up and keeps you feeling full longer. Plus, the high fiber and protein content is always appealing for us meatless-folk (in my best Southern accent.)

Prep time: 10 min     Cook time: 45 min      Serves: 6

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Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 3 stalks celery chopped fine
  • 2 large carrots peeled and sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves minced
  • 4 tsp ground cumin
  • 4 15-oz cans black beans rinsed and drained
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (low sodium)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • optional garnishes: diced avocado, thinly sliced radish, tortilla chips

Instructions

  • Heat the olive oil in large soup pot over medium heat. Add onions, celery and carrots and sprinkle with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally until vegetables are soft, about 15 minutes
  • Stir in the garlic, cumin and pour in black beans and vegetable broth. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook and reduce heat if necessary to maintain a gentle simmer for about 30 minutes
  • Puree 4 cups of the soup in food processor and blend until smooth. Add pureed soup back into pot and add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish as desired and serve hot

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Sweet Potato and Kale Au Gratin

Sweet potato and kale team up to create this healthy and delicious meal everyone is sure to fall in love with! Sweet potato and kale au gratin is the perfect gluten-free and paleo-friendly dish to make for a special occasion or just a regular weeknight. This recipe only has a handful of simple ingredients and is so easy to make it’s a perfect recipe for cooking experts and beginners alike. The leafy, green kale fills this dish with powerful antioxidants, fiber and vitamins such as vitamin K and vitamin A while the sweet potato packs a punch of manganese, copper, and iron! Talk about a dynamic-duo!!

Prep time: 10 min     Cook time: 35 min      Serves: 6

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Ingredients

  • 1 large sweet potato cut into 1/4″ slices
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp all purpose (gluten-free) flour
  • 3/4 cup organic whole milk
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In large skillet, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add the sweet potatoes, season with salt and pepper and stir occasionally for about 4 minutes until sweet potatoes are lightly browned. Add chopped kale and stir occasionally until kale is slightly wilted. Add 1/2 cup water and cook, continue stirring occasionally for 5 minutes or until the kale has wilted and the water has cooked off. Stir in lemon juice then remove from heat
  • In separate medium skillet heat the butter over medium heat until melted. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute before adding the flour. Whisk frequently until well combined. Slowly whisk in the milk and 1/2 cup water. Continue whisking 3 minutes or until mixture is thickened. Turn off heat and season with salt and pepper to taste
  • Transfer the cooked sweet potatoes and kale to the skillet of béchamel sauce and stir to combine. Transfer the mixture to baking dish and bake in oven for 15 to 18 minutes until golden brown. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving

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VEGAN Coconut Crusted Tofu with Sweet Chili Sauce

These cute little coconut crusted tofu triangles are the perfect treat for dipping in the sweet chili sauce. They make a great finger food for your little ones too! The tropical yet not too sweet flavors of coconut and pineapple in the sweet chili sauce make this recipe perfect for any season. Tofu is a great source of protein, iron, calcium, and also contains all 8 essential amino acids. It’s one of the best meat substitutes in my opinion because of how versatile it is. I also learned a valuable lesson the hard way while making these for dinner, coconut is extremely flammable! I had a miniature bonfire in my kitchen for a couple seconds but it was all worth it in the end! So worth it.

Prep time: 45 min       Cook time: 20 min     Serves: 4-6

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Ingredients

  • 14 oz extra firm tofu
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp cold water
  • 1/2 cup panko
  • 3/4 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (for frying)

Sweet Chili Sauce

  • 1/2 cup coconut cream (from 15 oz can full-fat coconut milk)
  • 2 tbsp pineapple juice
  • 1 tsp chili garlic sauce

Instructions

  • Press the tofu for at least 30 minutes
  • To prepare the marinade, combine the soy sauce and coconut sugar in small mixing bowl. Microwave in 15 second intervals mixing in-between
  • Transfer the tofu to a shallow baking dish and pour in the marinade. Move tofu pieces around so each piece is completely coated. Let tofu marinate while you prepare the batter
  • Combine flour, cornstarch, baking powder and water in medium mixing bowl and whisk to combine
  • Pour panic and shredded coconut onto large plate and mix well with your hands
  • Heat the coconut oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Take the first piece of tofu and dip into batter. Shake gently to remove any excess then dredge through shredded coconut and panic mix so all sides are coated. Carefully place in skillet
  • Cook tofu about 2-3 minutes on each side until golden and crispy working in batches. Transfer cooked tofu onto paper towel-lined plate to absorb any excess oil. You may want to switch out the oil halfway through the batches if there is a lot of debris floating around in skillet!
  • While the tofu cools, prepare the sauce. Flip the can of coconut milk upside down and open from the bottom. Pour off the liquid and scoop 1/2 cup of the solid coconut cream into the blender. Add pineapple juice and chili garlic sauce. Blend until smooth
  • Serve tofu warm with a drizzle of sweet chili sauce

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Vegetarian Pad Thai Egg Rolls

I might just have to consider myself a genius after this creation. Talk about a winning combination! The delicious and authentic Thai dish pad Thai combines with the classic egg roll to create the ultimate vegetarian finger food; vegetarian pad Thai egg rolls. Besides being super yummy, this was actually a really fun recipe to make! This isn’t exactly a traditional pad Thai recipe but tastes delicious, Sofia loved it too! She ate 2 whole egg rolls which is pretty impressive for someone who only weighs about 20 lbs! We did find a whole lot of rice noodles in her diaper before putting her to bed though, her excuse was-they were just so irresistible she wanted to save a little for a midnight snack! I’ll take that as compliments to the chef!

Prep time: 20 min    Cook time: 25 min     Serves: 12 egg rolls

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Ingredients

  • 4 oz rice noodles
  • 1 tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp apricot preserves
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp Sriracha
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 16 oz vegetables- use a mix containing any of the listed; water chestnuts, sugar snap peas, carrots, corn, broccoli
  • 1 cup bean spouts
  • 1/4 cup scallions
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1 lime

Instructions

  • Cook rice noodles as instructed. Drain well and set aside
  • Make the pad Thai sauce. Combine Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, rice vinegar, water, apricot preserves, brown sugar and Sriracha
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Heat skillet over medium heat and add in vegetable oil
  • Add minced garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add in vegetables, bean spouts, and scallions and sauté another 3 minutes. Add softened noodles
  • Push vegetables and noodles to the side and add in 1 egg and scramble. Once egg is cooked, combine with vegetables and noodles. Season mixture with 2 tbsp of pad Thai sauce and fresh juice of 1 lime. Remove from heat
  • Brush all sides of egg roll wrappers with egg wash beaten with 1 tbsp water. Place about 1/3 cup pad Thai onto egg roll wrapper
  • Roll up egg roll as instructed on back of package (or Youtube for instructional video) Continue with all egg roll wrappers then place on well greased baking sheet
  • Brush all rolled egg rolls with remaining egg wash and bake for 10 minutes. Flip egg rolls and bake for another 5 minutes
  • Serve egg rolls with remaining pad Thai sauce

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Green Goodess Mac N’ Cheese

When my daughter Sofia was starting to make the transition from purees and mush to solid food I was sending out the S.OS’s!!! I was SO lost. I had never cooked for myself let alone a small growing baby! So whats the first thing you start with..mac n’ cheese! You can’t go wrong with mac n’ cheese. You might not know it by my love of all things cheese but I am kind of a health-nut of sorts, at least when it comes to what my daughter is eating. So, mac n’ cheese was a great start but I still needed it to be better. Mac n’ cheese minus the cheese and chock full of spinach and avocado…now we’re talkin’!!! This recipe contains just a little bit of Greek yogurt and  half of an avocado to create an extra creamy sauce filled with spinach to make it the perfect nourishment food for those growing little babes! Oh, and you are DEFINITELY going to want to have the wipes on hand for this one!

Prep time: 8 min     Cook time: 12 min    Serves:2-4

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*you can use any kind of pasta. I also like to use DAIYA dairy-free mozzarella style shreds as a topping, it tastes great too!!*

Ingredients

  • 12 oz cooked whole wheat/gluten free pasta
  • 4 cups fresh spinach
  • 1/2 avocado cubed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp non-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp daiya dairy free mozzarella shreds

Instructions

  • Add spinach to food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add in avocado, olive oil, seasonings, Greek yogurt, and vegetable stock
  • Cook pasta according to directions on box. Once cooked, drain pasta and let cool in colander and set aside
  • Add cooked pasta back to the pot and add in sauce. Mix until evenly coated and serve warm