Vegetable Tempura

Vegetable tempura makes my heart smile. Vegetable tempura that can be cooked and on my plate in 15 minutes or less? Now that makes my heart sing, ‘ceeeelebrate good times, come on!’ This tastes just like the vegetable tempura I order religiously every time I visit my favorite sushi restaurant but I get to enjoy it from the comfort of my couch. This is a recipe you can really have fun with. For this recipe I used carrots, broccoli and avocado but some other options would be radishes, sweet potato and button mushrooms-but you can really add in anything you want to eat! This vegetable tempura is so quick and simple to make you can now have amazing, restaurant quality tempura at the snap of your fingers!!! And by having dinner cooked in 15 minutes, you’ll have lots of extra time for you!!

Prep time: 5 min       Cook time: 10 min     Serves: 4

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup vegetable oil for frying

batter

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup sparkling water

dipping sauce

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp dried chili flakes
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions

  • Heat the oil over high heat then begin to prepare vegetables
  • Wash and peel vegetables, slice away tops and ends of baby carrots, trim the ends of the broccoli, etc.
  • In large bowl, combine all batter ingredients and whisk together until just smooth. Dip in the vegetables and ensure they are evenly coated then shake off excess batter
  • Using a slotted spoon, add several vegetables at a time into the oil. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Be careful not to overfill oil with vegetables, they will stick together. When the batter has puffed up, carefully remove vegetables to a paper towel to absorb excess oil. Repeat until all vegetables are cooked and placed onto paper towel.
  • In the meantime, make dipping sauce. Combine all sauce ingredients and whisk until combined. Serve tempura immediately with individual bowls of dipping sauce

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Butternut Squash and Sage Macaroni

Are you guys ready for another amazing 15 minute dinner recipe?!? I don’t think you’re ready….. Ok, here it is; butternut squash and sage mac n’ cheese. Mac n’ cheese is the epitome of comfort food and this home cooked version makes it that much more comforting. Butternut squash makes an awesome vegan ‘cheese’ sauce plus it’s high in antioxidants, fiber and potassium making this the healthiest mac n’ cheese out there!! The butternut squash sauce is so good, you’ll want to drink it like a smoothie…hey, feel free, I won’t judge ya!!!!

Prep time: 5 min          Cook time: 15 min       Serves: 4

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Ingredients

  • 1 small butternut squash
  • 7 oz pasta
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 3/4 cup vegetable stock
  • 2 tsp dried sage
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Instructions

  • Bring large saucepan of water to a boil. Carefully add the squash and cook over medium heat for 11 minutes until very soft. Drain and set aside
  • Place the pasta into boiling water and cook for 10 minutes until al dente. Drain and keep warm
  • Heat the oil in a frying pan and add diced onion and garlic. Sprinkle in the dried sage and cook over medium heat for 3 minutes until softened.
  • Spoon the contents of frying pan into food processor along with the butternut squash. Pour in vegetable stock and blend on high until completely smooth
  • Pour sauce over pasta and stir to mix completely. Season with salt and pepper

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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Broccoli and Ricotta Calzones

These delicious, cheesy calzones are perfect for a busy weeknight! They are so easy to make and a great finger food for your little ones!! Plus, who couldn’t use an extra serving of veggies in their life?? I’ve pretty much perfected my calzone making but it’s super fun to play around with different ingredients! You could try your calzone with spinach, broccoli, artichokes, you name it! What veggie doesn’t go great with cheese?! These freeze beautifully as well so feel free to double the recipe and save some for next week!

Prep time: 15 min      Cook time: 15 min     Serves: 4

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Ingredients

  • 1 lb pizza dough
  • 10 oz frozen chopped broccoli florets
  • 8 oz ricotta cheese
  • 4 oz mozzarella shredded
  • 1 oz parmasean cheese grated
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large egg lightly beaten with 2 tbsp water plus 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh oregano dried
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp salt

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Combine thawed broccoli, ricotta, mozzarella, oil, egg yolk, garlic powder, oregano, salt and red pepper flakes in a large bowl
  • Place pizza dough on lightly floured surface and divide into 4 pieces
  • With your hands or a rolling pin, flatten each piece to about 7 inch round on a piece of parchment paper
  • Spread 1/4 of broccoli and ricotta filling over half of dough round, making sure to leave a 1 inch border around the edge
  • Brush the edges with the egg wash and then fold the other half of the dough circle over the spinach mixture leaving the bottom 1/2 inch border uncovered
  • Press edges of dough together and pinch with a fork or fingers to seal
  • With a sharp knife, cut 5 steam vents into each calzone then brush tops with remaining egg wash
  • Transfer calzones onto parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 8 minutes then brush with any remaining egg wash and sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese and bake for another 7 minutes
  • Move to wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes then serve

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Veggie Pot Pie with Cheddar Biscuit Topping

This recipe is that rich, filling homemade pot pie you know and love but on steroids!! The vegetable pot pie has a creamy herb-infused sauce and the fresh homemade cheddar biscuit topping just makes the dish that much better. Feel free to use a bag of frozen vegetables like I did to save on time! You can really use any vegetables you’d like and if you want an extra protein boost-toss in a can of chickpeas. You might be wondering why most of the recipes I’ve posted so far are winter recipes..well…if you live anywhere like where we do in upstate NY… it’s freaking freezing!!! We are still sadly wearing our winter coats. So, while I’m dreaming of warmer weather…the only real warmth I’ll be getting is from this vegetable pot pie! Hey, it’s better than nothing though!

Prep time: 20 min     Cook time: 35 min    Serves: 6

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Ingredients

Filling

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 onion diced
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup almond milk or milk of choice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp dried sage
  • 1/2 tsp fresh pepper
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 lb frozen mixed vegetables

Cheddar biscuit topping

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 6 tbsp cold butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup almond milk or milk of choice

Instructions

  • Dice the onions and add to oven safe skillet with the butter. Sauté over medium heat until onions are soft and translucent. Add 3 tbsp of flour and sauté another 2 minutes then add milk and whisk until there are no more lumps. Add seasonings and allow to come to a simmer, whisking continuously until it thickens
  • Add in the vegetable broth and allow to come to a simmer again. Add the frozen vegetables and stir to fully combine. Reduce to low heat and allow the mixture to heat through, stir occasionally and begin to prepare the biscuit topping
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Add in the butter and either with your hands or pastry cutter work the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles damp sand. Stir in the cheddar cheese
  • Add the milk to the biscuit mixture and stir until a dough begins to form. If the dough seems too wet, simply add a dusting of flour on top
  • Spread some flour down on a flat surface and press the dough down into a 3/4 inch thick circle, then cut into 6 biscuits. Place the biscuits over top the vegetable pot pie
  • Bake the vegetable pot pie in the skillet for 20 minutes until the biscuits are golden brown and the filling is bubbly around the edges. Serve hot

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Broccoli Cheddar Baked Potatoes

These baked potatoes are straight out of your dreams. They are exquisitely paired with a heavenly savory cheese sauce. A chock full of broccoli cheese sauce. Cheese sauce…plus a whole serving of veggies…Ohhhh yeah! (Kool-Aid man voice) The perfect combination of vegetarian comfort food and good-for-you-food. This is another recipe where you can really play around and use whatever left-overs you have in your refrigerator as a topping! Broccoli cheddar baked potatoes are an easy, cheap, vegetarian dinner so simple you’ll want to make this at least once a week! Though normally prepared in the oven, if you’re super short on time you can cut some corners by baking the potatoes in the microwave, making the same great flavor in a fraction of the time.

Prep time: 10 min    Cook time:20 min (microwave) 1 hr (oven)   Serves: 4

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Ingredients

  • 4 russet potatoes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt

Cheese Sauce

  • 1/2 lb frozen broccoli florets
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 6 oz shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove broccoli from freezer and allow to thaw as the potatoes bake.
  • Wash potatoes and dry with a paper towel. Use a fork to poke several holes all over the potato. Pour olive oil into small dish and use your hands to coat each potato generously and season with salt. Place on baking sheet and bake for 45-60 min or until tender.
  • Near the end of the baking begin the cheese sauce. Add flour and butter ti sauce pan over medium heat. Whisk the mixture together and continue to whisk as it begins to bubbly and foam. Do not let the flour begin to brown.
  • Whisk the milk into the mixture bringing to a simmer and continue to whisk frequently. Once the mixture is thick enough to coat a spoon, turn the heat down to low  and season with salt and garlic powder.
  • Begin to add in the cheddar one handful at a time stirring completely before adding in the next. Once all the cheese is added, stir in the broccoli over low flame and stir occasionally.
  • When the potatoes are done baking, slice open and slightly mash insides with a fork. When ready to serve, place each potato in a bowl and ladle broccoli cheese sauce into each potato. Garnish with extra cheddar.

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VEGETARIAN Shepard’s Pie

Shepard’s Pie is such a classic and I think this vegetarian version makes it that much more special. I’ll admit-I was a little nervous to take on this recipe because I thought it was going to be way too much work, turns out I was so wrong in the best way! Even without the meat, this dish is still so comforting and full of rich flavor. To add in some extra protein I also added in a cup of lentils. Lentils are awesome because they cook so quick plus, they have a mild taste which helps them blend really well into recipes. My daughter loves veggies but she loves them even more covered in mashed potatoes!!! But who doesn’t???

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

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked lentils
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 carrots
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp fresh pepper
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 4 cups mashed potatoes

Instructions

  • Add garlic and diced onion to olive oil over medium heat in large skillet. Sauté until the onions are translucent
  • Peel and dice carrots and celery and add to to skillet and continue to sauté until the carrots are soften slightly
  • Add spices, salt and pepper. Add in tomato paste and flour. Stir and cook the vegetables with flour and tomato paste until the vegetables are coated and a pasty mixture begins to coat the bottom of the skillet
  • Add vegetable broth to skillet and stir. Allow broth to begin to simmer and become slightly thicker. Add in lentils and frozen peas and allow mixture to heat throughout
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees and pour mixture into casserole dish.
  • Spread the mashed potatoes over the surface of vegetables. Use a spoon to make decorative pattern if you wish.
  • Bake for 15 min or until the top is browned to your liking