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!

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Delicious Vegan Wrap (or Sandwich) Filling – Starring Chickpeas

If you are someone who likes something portable to eat but you don’t want to buy processed garbage, then try this out. I think this recipe is pretty quick and easy to make, (AND DELICIOUS!) and the great thing about it is you can take it for lunches all week, and there is no heating required. It keeps pretty well in the fridge for about 5 days. Just don’t pre-load the filling into the wraps (if you’re using wraps) until the night before you’re eating it because otherwise it could make for a soggy lunch.

I was inspired by a recipe I found for a vegetarian chickpea sandwich filling on allrecipes.com and tweaked it to make it vegan (and full of good stuff). This recipe can be flexible with the kind of veggies you use. I like to stick with crunchy veggies like fresh cucumber, celery, carrot, and I’ve recently subbed in bell peppers which worked really well too. Use what you have kicking around, add more, whatever you like!

I hope you enjoy as much as I do!

Vegan Chickpea Wrap (or Sandwich) Filling

Makes ~6 large servings – lasts basically all work week for my hubby and me, so you can cut the recipe in half if you don’t need so much.

Ingredients:

  • 2 (19 ounce) cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed, then mashed
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped – green or red onion would probably work well too
  • 2 carrots, chopped finely
  • ¼ cup hemp hearts (optional)
  • ½ cup chopped cucumber
  • 2 tablespoon veganaise (I use Earth Island Grapeseed Veganaise, for those in Canada I buy this at Superstore, natural foods isle where they keep the refrigerated stuff) – if you’re not down with veganise, perhaps mashed avocado would work just as well? It would just turn a bit brown throughout the week.
  • lemon juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • Optional: add 2 teaspoons of curry powder (you can do this to change it up if you make the recipe regularly)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • put in a wrap, with sprouts and/or greens of choice

Directions:

  • Drain and rinse chickpeas (garbanzo beans). Pour chickpeas into a medium size mixing bowl and mash with a fork or potato masher.
Chickpea wrap whole ingredients

The photos show a bit of a backwards order. I got too excited about photographing this which caused me to forget to mash the chickpeas first, separately.

mashing chickpeas

Thankfully I had everything neatly separated for photographing, so I made do and mashed the chickpeas off to the side, then combined everything.

  • Mix in celery, onion, carrots, hemp hearts, cucumber, veganaise (to taste), lemon juice, dill, salt and pepper to taste.

chickpea wrap filling

  • Add filling to a wrap with alfalfa sprouts/greens.
chickpea wrap

Poor photography 😦 I kept forgetting to take a photo of the finished wrap so I had to take this on my phone. Forgive the injustice to this delicious wrap!

Enjoy the fresh flavors!

Easy, Quick, Healthy, and Flavor Packed – Lentil Soup with Wilted Spinach

Reading this recipe really doesn’t do it justice, you’ve got to make this easy soup yourself. I was surprised at how flavorful this turned out – it’s definitely a favorite and I’ve made it several times now. So now I am sharing! I think the key to the flavor here comes from the bay leaf and lemon juice.  Also, I don’t know if you can get much cleaner and healthier than this soup!

I came across this recipe in my cookbook Thrive Foods. (Lots of goodies in that book!)

Lentil Soup with Wilted Spinach

Makes 4 servings – I recommend doubling and freezing if you’re into that.

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup dry lentils, rinsed thoroughly
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups packed baby spinach leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste

 

lentil soup ingredients
Method

In a large soup pot, heat the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for one minute until garlic is fragrant and begins to turn golden.
Pour in the vegetable broth, and add the lentils and bay leaf. Raise the heat to bring to a boil, then reduce heat to maintain a simmer.

lentil soup broth
Cook, uncovered, for about 30 minutes, until the lentils are just tender, adding more water if necessary to maintain a broth around the lentils.

lentil soup
Stir in the lemon juice and the spinach and cook for 2 minutes longer, or until spinach is bright green and has wilted. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve warm. (Remove the bay leaf kids, it’s not meant to be eaten.)

adding spinach to lentil soup

wilted spinach in lentil soup

Wilty

The delicious result…

lentil soup

Easy Delicious Green Enchiladas

Well, since I have been so lame at posting anything lately, I wanted to get this goodie up! I was thinking the other day about how good these were and wanted to finally share this post.

I went to a local Mexican restaurant that offered veganized versions of most of their menu (so happy to see a restaurant carrying vegan cheese and cream options to add that extra something to vegan Mexican food). I had their green enchilada and it was so good I knew I’d have to find a recipe to make them at home.

I came across a simple and very tasty recipe for Green Enchiladas on a blog called Vegan Dad. It is thrown together pretty quickly with pre-made ingredients like the salsas, canned chilies, and canned refried beans. If you decided to get all adventurous you could always do these from scratch, but sometimes life is too busy and you need a good ‘n quick meal!

Green Enchiladas

INGREDIENTS
– 1 tbsp oil
– 1 medium sweet onion, diced
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 tsp chili powder
– 1/2 tsp cumin
– 1/2 tsp cinnamon (don’t skip – it’s SO good)
– 2 cans Old El Paso green chiles, with juices *Note: these are not spicy and they really make the flavor of the dish, be sure to include them!
– 1/2 cup tomato salsa – this is where you can choose your spicy level; choose wisely because the green salsa added at the end tends to be a medium spice.
– 2 cups finely chopped veggie lunch meat (or refried beans, which is what I opted for)
– 1/2 cup shredded vegan cheese (I recommend Daiya Jack Style Wedge) plus more for top, optional
– 10 large tortillas
– 1 1/2 jars green salsa (the amount you use depends on how spicy you want it)

Green Enchiladas
METHOD
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 9 x 11 baking dish.

Heat oil in a saucepan over med-hi heat. Saute onion and garlic for 5-7 mins, until translucent. Add chili powder, cumin, and cinnamon and mix well.

onion for Green Enchiladas

Add chiles, salsa, and beans to the pan and bring to bubbling.

filling for Green Enchiladas

Stir in cheese if using, and adjust seasonings to taste. Remove from heat.

filling for Green Enchiladas

filling for Green Enchiladas

Oooh, the creaminess!

Place 1/10th of the filling in a tortilla and roll up. Place in prepared baking dish. Repeat with remaining filling and tortillas. Cover everything with green salsa and as much cheese as you want.

Green Enchiladas ready for the oven

I went the spicy route and slathered these bad boys up with green salsa!

Bake for 20 to 25 mins, or until sauce is bubbling and cheese is melted. Arriba!!

Wild Rice Mushroom Soup

I love the flavor of this comforting soup. A great fall recipe full of mushroomy and creamy goodness! I adapted this recipe from a cookbook called The Vegetarian Collection.

The original recipe calls for two different types of mushrooms, dried and fresh. I think you can use whatever two types of mushrooms you like, use what you have on hand.

 

– makes 6 servings –

  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4-5 cups sliced or chopped mushrooms. Use two types of mushroom.
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or mushroom broth
  • 2 cups diced onions
  • 2 cups diced celery
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1  tsp dried thyme
  • 1/8 – 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 cups vegetable or mushroom broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked wild rice (follow package directions or this link)
  • 1/4 cup plain (unsweetened) almond milk

 

If you plan on using some dried mushrooms, make sure you pre-soak them.

In a large skillet, heat half of the olive oil over medium high heat. Sautee mushrooms and 1/4 tsp of the salt until golden, about 5 minutes.

Add broth, cook until most of the liquid is evaporated, about 1 minute.

mushrooms in broth

 

In a large saucepan heat remaining oil over medium heat and fry onions, celery, garlic, thyme, pepper and remaining salt, stirring often until very soft, about 10 minutes.

Add broth and 2 cups water, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Stir in mushrooms, wild rice and almond milk. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring often. Remove from heat, enjoy!

mushroom soup with broth added

wild mushroom soup

Pure delish!! Definitely a new favorite. Serve it with a salad and you’ve got a great, healthy meal.

Creamy Rice Bowl – A New Favourite Recipe

This recipe involves making a spice blend, a sauce, and the recipe. But a little work is SO worth it, you won’t be disappointed! I love the flavor of this recipe so much that I could probably eat it every day. The great thing is this recipe also freezes very well, so you can double the batch and freeze some (if you don’t eat it all) for future meals. So at least this way you save on time the next time you want to eat it – which, if you’re like me, you will crave it regularly. I’m drooling a little while posting this one.

This recipe comes from Thrive Foods, another great Brendan Brazier book.

Shanghai Rice Bowl

(recipe claims to serve two but I think it makes more – depends on how big of an eater you are I guess)

  • 1/3 cup water
  • 4 baby bok choy, cut in half lengthwise (or chopped smaller if you like)
  • 6 Tbsp olive oil
  • 6 tbsp tamari (or could be replaced with soy sauce, etc)
  • 3 cups shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and halved if large (I just used reg. sliced mushrooms)
  • 4 cups cooked brown basmati rice
  • 1/2 cup tahini sauce (recipe below)
  • 2 tsp mixed herbs (recipe below)
  • 2 cups sunflower sprouts (I used an alfalfa sprout mixture)
  • 2 Tbsp hulled hemp seeds (Hemp Hearts)
  • 1 cup cooked or canned chickpeas (I just tossed in the entire can)

Tahini Sauce (makes more than you need for single recipe)

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley (I’m not a huge parsley fan, so I halve that amount)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup filtered water
  • 1/2 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)

In a blender, process garlic, parsley, salt & lemon juice until smooth. Add water & tahini, process until smooth. Add a bit of water if too thick. Can be stored in a container in the fridge for 4 days. (You only need 1/2 cup of this sauce for the single recipe above).

Mixed Herbs (makes more than you need for single recipe)

  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp dried basil
  • 1 Tbsp dried marjoram
  • 1 Tbsp dried dill
  • 1 Tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried sage

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Store in an airtight container – it will last forever. Just rub it between your fingers before using to release the flavors. Use on pastas, salads, rice bowls, etc. Or save it for every time you make this recipe!

OKAY DON’T GET INTIMIDATED AT THIS POINT. I realize it looks like a lot, but it’s really not! Here comes the easy part:

  • Make sure you’ve cooked your rice if you haven’t already. Let it cook while you get the rest of the recipe together and set aside until you need it.
  • Put the water in a wok or skillet over high heat. Add the bok choy and cover. Steam until the bok choy is almost tender (5 minutes). When the water evaporates, add 2 Tbsp of the olive oil, 2 Tbsp of the tamari, and the mushrooms. Saute 5 minutes until bok choy and mushrooms aare tender. Set aside.
    bok choy and sprouts

    Some prepped bok choy, with the sprouts ready for later.

    Sauteeing mushrooms and bok choy

    Oooh, steamy!!

  • Get a large pot, or you could possibly use the pot you cooked the rice in if it’s large enough. Combine the 4 cups of cooked rice with the 1/2 cup tahini sauce, 4 Tbsp olive oil, and 4 Tbsp tamari. Sprinkle with 2 tsp mixed herbs and add in the sauteed bok choy/mushroom mixture. Give this all a good stir.blender with tahini saucemixed herbs
  • Then stir in the sprouts, hemp seeds and chickpeas.

    Finished creamy rice bowl

    Not the best final shot. I was distracted by the deliciousness so I forgot about proper photography!

  • ENJOY!!

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!

Ceviche – Raw salad cooked by citris juice

I had no idea what Ceviche was, I  just knew when I read the ingredients on the recipe it looked good! I came across it in my Vegetarian Collection cookbook. The cookbook says it is commonly served throughout Central and South America, but is usually made with seafood in it. You could eat this like a salad or heap it on top of crispy whole wheat pita bread like we did! The ceviche is “zingy” and flavorful. It also has ingredients I normally don’t like raw if at all, like olives and tomatoes, but I gobbled this up! The fat fills you up, and not in the gross “I need to unbutton my pants and let my gut fly” kind of way, so you could have it as a light supper, snack, or appetizer.

Vegetarian Ceviche

  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • half jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 can hearts of palm, drained and rinsed (check the Indian isle of your grocery store)
  • 2 avocados, peeled and pitted
  • 2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 cup finely diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped green olives (optional)

In a large bowl, whisk together lime juice, salt and pepper. Whisk in oil until thickened. Stir in parsley and jalapeno.

ceviche preparation

Real men eat plants and know how to make delicious food 🙂

Cut hearts of palm into thin rings and avocado into 1/2 inch pieces; add to bowl along with tomatoes, onion and olives. Toss to coat. Let stand for 10 minutes, or refrigerated, up to 6 hours (I’m not sure when happens after the 6 hours…this is just what the recipe states).

hearts of palm getting mixed into lime juice olive oil mixture

finished ceviche
While the flavors mingled together, we split whole wheat pitas, brushed them with a little olive oil and a sprinkle of garlic powder, baked them on an oven sheet at 375 for about 5 minutes (this is just a guess – just watch them. They should get brown and crispy but they burn easily, so keep those peepers peeled!)

Nom nom nom…

ceviche on top of baked pita crips

Chickpea and Broccoli Casserole

I think you could make this casserole with just about any veggies you have on hand. I might try it even with a marinara sauce on the top next time. The texture and flavor of this was great! Especially the next day after the flavors have mingled. I love how the chickpeas are mashed, it makes the casserole have a rich texture that doesn’t seem like you are eating legumes (even though I love legumes, this change was a nice way to eat them).

I came across the recipe for chickpea and broccoli casserole posted on the Vegan Mama blog.

  • Two 16-oz cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 3 large carrots, grated (about 2 cups)
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into small florets (about 4 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced chives
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs (preferably whole wheat)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Roughly 2 Tbsp of powdered garlic
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • A bit of Daiya vegan cheddar cheese mixed into the body of the casserole.
  • I also made a crumb topping–which I highly recommend–made of melted Earth Balance vegan butter combined with whole wheat bread crumbs and a little Daiya vegan cheddar cheese. I don’t know the amounts–sorry–but it’s pretty easy to eyeball and probably largely suited to individual taste, anyway.

Preheat oven to 350º F.

In a large bowl, mash the chickpeas well, using a potato masher or firm fork. It takes about 2 minutes to get the right consistency.

beginning to mash chickpeas

Beginning to mash chickpeas

prepped veggies

Prepped veggies

Add the vegetables and mix well. Add the bread crumbs and mix; then add the oil, and mix again. Finally, add the vegetable broth and salt, and mix one last time.

veggie mixture for casserole

Transfer all ingredients to a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish (preferably glass or ceramic). Press the mixture firmly into the casserole. Top with crumb topping of whatever you like. Bake for 1 hour.

chickpea and broccoli casserole ready for oven

finished casserole

CREDIT: Vegan with a Vengeance, by Isa Chandra-Moskowitz