Cheesy Fiesta Spaghetti Squash

This summer has been another very busy one! Our garden is getting huge again and it’s starting to produce yummy things. I haven’t blogged in a while, but I got pretty excited by my creation using our first spaghetti squash of the year, so I’m here to share!

It all started with the spaghetti squash and knowing I had some cheesy sauce frozen. I also had garden tomatoes and green onion. Here is the sauce I had stockpiled because it’s awesome, and freezes well. Try this one on nachos guys, om nom nom!!

Cheesy Fiesta Spaghetti Squash

Serves two hungry people, with leftovers

* these measurements are an approximate guideline – I did not measure, it was just thrown together.

  • 1 large spaghetti squash
  • ~2 cups vegan cheese sauce divided among the two squash halves (the amount you use is up to you!) This sauce has a nacho-y edge so it goes really well with this recipe; however – feel free to sub in any vegan cheese sauce you like. You can also thin this sauce with water while making it, if it seems too thick.
  • 1, 15 oz. can black beans
  • frozen or fresh corn, around 1/2 cup or so
  • chopped green onion, about 4 large stalks
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • salt & pepper
  • drizzle of olive oil

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

SLOWLY AND CAREFULLY cut the squash in half lengthwise with a sharp knife.

Scoop out and discard the seeds.

Place squash halves cut side up on a heavy-bottomed roasting pan. Brush with olive oil if you’d like.

Roast the squash for around 30 minutes, then remove from the oven. You’re going to fill the squash up with yummy ingredients and then cook it the rest of the way.

Fill the hollowed out center of the squash halves with divided amounts of black beans, corn and green onion.

spaghetti sqash filled with black beans and corn

Next, top with generous amounts of sauce, tomato, and more green onion. Sprinkle with some salt and pepper, and drizzle a little bit of olive oil on top.

spaghetti sqash filled with sauce and tomato

Return the squash to the oven and continue to cook until a fork punctures the flesh of the squash easily, and you can scrape the flesh with a fork and see stringy “noodles”. This should take approximately 20 – 30 minutes.

cooked cheesy fiesta spaghetti squash

Remove squash from the oven and allow it to cool a bit so you can handle it. Scrape the flesh and contents from the squash, using a fork, into stringy noodles into a serving bowl and dig in!

Summertime Soba Noodle and Raw Vegetable Salad

Nobody really likes to sweat in their kitchen in the summer time (although I tend to do this at times, due to my lack of outdoor cooking space). I tried this recipe a while back and thought it would be a great summer time recipe to post. The only heat it requires is to boil a pot-o-noodles! It’s also a quick recipe, and you can make a big batch and eat all week if you like.

The original recipe came from a blog I stumbled across, Cookie + Kate.

Serves approx. 6

Ingredients
  • 8 ounces soba noodles (100% buckwheat kind if you want to ensure gluten free)
  • 1/2 cup reduced sodium tamari (or soy sauce, just be sure it’s reduced sodium or it will taste too salty)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (adjust to your liking of spiciness)
  • 1-2 bunches green onions, chopped
  • 3/4 cup chopped cilantro (I am not a cilantro fan, so didn’t use much. I usually use a little parsley in place of cilantro.)
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced thin
  • 1/4 head of green or red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 3 whole carrots, shredded with vegetable peeler
  • 2 cups shelled edamame, steamed
  • 1/2 cup toasted sesame seeds
  • Optional ingredients for extra flavor
  • one lime, juiced
  • 1 jalapeño, finely chopped
  • peanut butter! (do it!!)
Instructions
  1. Cook soba noodles according to directions, and rinse in a colander.

    dry soba noodles

  2. Chop up all your vegetables, and toss into a bowl with the soba noodles.

    diced veggies

    soba noodle salad

  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the tamari, sesame oil, canola oil, rice wine vinegar and red pepper flakes.

    dressing for soba noodle salad

  4. Pour the dressing into the pasta and veggies and toss well to combine. Eat right away or put it in the fridge to have the flavor mingle.

    soba noodle salad

BBQ Sandwiches

THANK YOU to the blog Luminous Vegans for this recipe!! You rock :)

This barbeque sandwich was so delicious and easy too, I’m so glad we tried these! “How does a vegan eat barbeque?” you may ask. Enter the wonderful texture of Green Jackfruit. We found Young Green Jackfruit in the Asian isle at the supermarket.

young green jackfruit in brine

Get yourself two cans of Green Jackfruit in Brine. Green, not yellow! Also get a good, tasty bottle of barbeque sauce. We bought an organic one that was sweetened with agave. It was the best BBQ sauce eva! You’ll also want to preheat your oven to 400 degrees at this time.

green jackfruit

Now you know what Jackfruit looks like.

Jackfruit has a hard core in it which needs to be cut off and discarded. So get chopping and then you have this…

jackfruit with cores removed

Now into the pan…

jackfruit in frying pan

Now bust it up with your spatula! Nothing exciting yet, but take a closer look at the texture.

texture of jackfruit

Time to get saucy. Coat the jackfruit in the BBQ sauce. We used a whole bottle for the two cans of jackfruit. Simmer it in the sauce for about 20 minutes on a lower temperature.

Next, spread it over a baking sheet (covered in tin foil if you want less mess).

baking sheet covered in bbq jackfruit

Bake for about 20 minutes until it gets a bit crispy like this…

baked BBQ jackfruit

Pile the finished product on a bun and enjoy the amazing-ness!!

BBQ jackfruit sandwich

YUM!! Thanks again Luminous Vegans for the tasty recipe!

Yummy Whole Wheat Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

This is a great tasting, healthier muffin I love to make. I adapted this from an old recipe I used to make in my “pregan” days, so this version is eggless, cholesterol free and even more delicious! :)

Ingredients:

  • 9 large bananas
  • 1 3/4 Cups  agave, or you could use white sugar but use a bit more (agave is sweeter than sugar)
  • 1 1/2 Cups unsweetened organic applesauce
  • 3 tsp baking soda
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 1/2 Cups whole wheat flour
  • 6 Tbsp ground flaxseed or more as desired (optional)
  • Mini chocolate chips, to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375
  • Mash bananas – I used potato masher

mashing bananas

  • Add agave/sugar
  • Add applesauce

wet ingredients for banana muffins

  • Add dry ingredients

banana muffin batter

  • Mix in chocolate chips

batter

  • Grease muffin tins or use liners instead. Fill up about ¾ with the batter.

muffin batter in tins

  • Bake for 18 – 20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean

muffins fresh out of the oven
banana chocolate chip muffins

These are crazy moist and good, and no oil! The recipe makes a big batch and you can freeze them so you always have something you can defrost and run out the door with.

Hot and Sour Soup

Finally I’m back to blogging after a bit of a break! I’ve had too much wedding related chaos to make any time for myself, or my cooking. But I have some goodies saved up that I will now post.

First I have to show off an awesome addition to my kitchen, thanks to my amazing fiance!! I’ve gotta show off both what a great guy he as, as well as his mad welding skills (he is a welder). I mean, how lucky am I to have a guy that does this for me…and actually not just for me but for both of us because we cook together often! It makes it way easier for both of us to be in the kitchen.

kitchen island

How did I live without this stainless steel beauty before?

That’s the food dehydrator stored at the bottom. A great place for that massive thing which used to hang out on our kitchen table because it didn’t fit anywhere else.

Now…on to the FOOD! I got the idea of making this soup from another blog, luminousvegans. I’ve always wanted to try hot and sour soup but never have! The recipe is from Vegan Yum Yum.

Hot and Sour Cabbage Soup
Serves six?

1 Tbs Oil
1 Small Onion, minced
1 Small Cabbage, about the size of a grapefruit
2 Large Carrots, chopped
1 15oz Can Tomatoes, blended smooth
6 Cups Water
1 Cup Cubed Pressed, Baked Tofu (like wildwood baked) – I changed this and just used firm tofu, couldn’t find baked
1/4 Cup Tamari, low sodium
1/3 Cup Seasoned Rice Vinegar (or if you only have regular rice vinegar like I did – use 1/4 cup rice vinegar, 1  1/2 Tbsp sugar and 3/4 tsp salt)
1 tsp Hot Red Chili Flakes (I used Asian hot chilli sauce – to taste)
1/2 tsp Salt
Black Pepper, to taste (a lot!)

Heat a large 5 qt soup pot that has a heavy lid over medium heat. Add oil and onion, and saute until golden.

sauteeing veggies for soup

Meanwhile, quarter your cabbage, remove the core, and shred the cabbage with a large chef’s knife. Add carrots, tomatoes, cabbage and water to the pot and stir well.

tofu cubed

First time using tofu cubed up in something - loved it in this soup!

Add the tofu, tamari, vinegar, chili flakes and salt. Bring to a boil, cover, then turn heat down to medium low. Simmer for 20 minutes or until cabbage and carrots are the desired tenderness.

soup ingredients simmering in a pot

Grind a lot of fresh black pepper over the top and serve.

The flavor in this soup was so great, I am going to make it again very soon. The tofu absorbs the soup flavor and it is melt in your mouth goodness – it’s addicting. This soup is also easy, and you can keep it in the fridge and eat it all week.

This one is a winner – try it out for yourself!

Mexican Quinoa Bake

This dish is easy, low in calories, and packed with nutrition. It’s also tasty and versatile – just add whatever other Mexican flavors you like to it! I had leftover green onion and jalapeno to use up that was already chopped up from other recipes, so I added this to the recipe as well.

I got this recipe off the Daiya website.

 

Servings: 6
Preparation Time: 40 minutes
Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa (I cooked the quinoa in veggie broth I needed to use up)
1 cup fire roasted diced tomatoes with green chiles OR salsa (I used fresh tomatoes and mixed with some salsa)
1 Tbsp cumin
15 oz can of black beans (drained and rinsed)
10 oz frozen corn kernels
4 oz can mild green chili peppers, chopped (if you use salsa and not diced tomatoes with chiles)
2 Tbsp chili powder
10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed & drained
1 cup Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds (I used about 1/2 a cup – Daiya is strong sometimes and didn’t want it to overpower the dish)
Instructions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Coat your favorite casserole dish with olive oil or non-stick spray. In a mixing bowl, combine cooked quinoa and tomatoes, set aside.

In a separate bowl mash the black beans with a fork. Combine beans, corn, chili powder & cumin in the same bowl and set aside.

mashing black beans

combining veggies and spices

Spoon 1 cup of the quinoa mixture on the bottom of the baking pan. Layer spinach on top of the quinoa. Scoop bean mixture on top. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of Daiya cheddar shreds. Add the remaining quinoa and top with the remaining cheese.

layer of quinoa, tomatoes and spinach

layer of bean mixture added and Daiya

Bake for about 30 minutes until the Daiya has melted. Serve and enjoy!

finished Mexican quinoa bake

Nacho Dip

I’m a bit behind on posting what I’ve been cooking. I made this vegan Hearty Nachos recipe I got off the Forks Over Knives website for the Superbowl. My favorite thing of all time to eat is nachos, so when I became vegan I’ve since been looking for something satisfying like this. This will become a regular appetizer of mine for sure!

From the website this recipe was on: These nachos are a meal in and of themselves. You can also use the versatile cheese sauce on potatoes, raw or cooked vegetables, and cooked whole grains and legumes.

Cheese Sauce:
1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes and then rinsed
1 TB. tahini
1 roasted red pepper (rinsed from jar or prepared from fresh) – with these I think less is more, add a little at first, taste and look at the color, then add more if you need
1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1 TB. tamari (or Bragg’s liquid aminos or low-sodium soy sauce)
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 cup water

Bean Dip:
1 (16-oz.) can oil-free refried beans (plain pinto beans will work, too)
1 cup prepared salsa
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder

Garnishes (optional):
1 avocado, sliced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped (parsley or lettuce can substitute)
1/2 cup prepared salsa
1/2 cup fresh tomatoes, diced
Baked unsalted tortilla chips

 

  • In a blender, combine cashews, tahini, roasted red pepper, nutritional yeast flakes, tamari, cayenne pepper, and water. Blend on high until smooth and set aside.

blender with cashews, tahini, roasted red pepper, nutritional yeast flakes, tamari, cayenne pepper, and water

cashew nacho cheese sauce

 

  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, place beans, salsa, and chili powder. Continue to stir while the mixture heats and combines. Once the beans are smooth, turn off heat.

combining refried beans and salsa

  • Spread bean dip evenly onto the bottom of a medium-sized serving bowl or baking dish. Smooth surface and sprinkle cilantro over beans. Pour some or all of the Cheese Sauce on top of the cilantro. You can serve the extra Cheese Sauce on the side for the rest of the meal or for dipping. Or you can halve the recipe.

pouring cheese sauce on top of beans

YUM! This was great and very filling!

finished nacho dip

There is really nothing bad in here. Could it be…healthy nachos?? My belly thanks the creator of this recipe :)

Thai Fried Quinoa

I love all the recipes I’ve tried from Peas and Thank You. Her recipes are usually the quick and easy kind. I’ve made this one before and it is something I will make again and again. I also think you can basically throw in whatever veggies you have and it will still turn out great! So follow along kids – here is how I made Thai Fried Quinoa today. And if you’ve never tried Quinoa, it’s about time you do!

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 1 c. dry quinoa
  • 1 c. coconut milk (I use light)
  • 1 c. vegetable broth
  • 1/3 c. chopped green onions
  • 1 T. minced ginger
  • 2 t. minced garlic
  • 1 c. frozen peas (I used shelled edamame beans)
  • 1 c. pineapple
  • 1/4 c. cilantro, chopped (I used just a little dried cilantro – not a huge cilantro fan)
  • 1 T. lime juice
  • 2 T. reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 c. scrambled tofu (optional—see recipe in our book) – didn’t use
  • Optional garnishes: lime wedges, peanuts, cilantro, cherry tomatoes

food preparation

Instructions

  • Place a saucepan over medium-high heat and add quinoa, stirring every minute or so until quinoa is toasted.

quinoa

  • Combine coconut milk and vegetable broth and add to quinoa.

quinoa cooking

  • Bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed.
  • Meanwhile, coat a large skillet with cooking spray or a light spritz of oil and place over medium-high heat. Add green onion, ginger and garlic and sauté for a minute or two.
  • Add edamame beans, pineapple and cilantro and sauté for an additional minute.
  • Add quinoa to the skillet and cook until starting to slightly brown and crisp.

Thai fried quinoa

  • Finish with lime juice and soy sauce.

finished Thai fried quinoa

Creamy Broccoli Soup

This Creamy Broccoli Soup recipe looked easy, healthy and delicious. And it is!

Creamy Broccoli Soup
by Mama Pea

Ingredients (4-6 servings)

•    1 T. vegan margarine (i.e. Earth Balance)
•    1/2 medium onion, chopped
•    8 oz. broccoli florets (about 4 cups)
•    4 c. vegetable broth
•    2 c. corn kernels (frozen or fresh)
•    3 c. spinach
•    1/3 c. nutritional yeast
•    1/2 c. non-dairy milk (plain, unsweetened) – I used Almond
•    salt and pepper to taste
•    non-dairy (i.e. Daiya) cheddar cheese, shredded, as desired for topping soup

Instructions

•    In a large pot over medium high heat, melt margarine and add chopped onion.
•    Sauté for three minutes or until onion is softened and aromatic.
•    Add broth, broccoli and corn, and bring to a boil.
•    Lower heat and simmer for 5-7 minutes, or until broccoli is cooked through.

cooking broccoli and corn for soup
•    Transfer soup to a blender (or use a stick blender). I used my stick blender, it is so great for pureeing soups.

pureeing soup with stick blender
•    Add spinach and blend until smooth. Return soup to the pot (if using regular blender) and place over low heat.

Adding spinach to broccoli soup
•    Add nutritional yeast and milk and heat through. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Nutritional yeast goes into soup
•    Top individual bowls with Daiya cheese as desired and serve.

Finished creamy broccoli soup

It’s just that easy to have something healthy that’s familiar, quick ‘n’ vegan!!