Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Amazing Crispy Potato Wedges

I don't know about you, but I absolutely love me some crunchy potato wedges. I had a major craving for some one night and decided to throw these babies together. I FELL IN LOVE. They are perfectly seasoned, perfectly crunchy and super easy to make. This recipe probably makes enough for 3-4 people. But if you are my husband and I, and have these themselves as dinner, then it makes enough for two hungry adults. Yes, it may not be a rounded out healthy meal, but it sure does hit the spot!
Give 'em a try!

Crispy Potato Wedges

5-6 medium red potatoes
1/8 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp thyme

Preheat oven to 450*
Cut potatoes into wedges. Thicker slices will not get as crispy
Put the wedges into a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with the olive oil and toss to coat.
Add your salt, pepper, garlic powder and herbs.
Use your hands to toss the oiled potato wedges around in the spices so that there is an even coating on them.
Spread the wedges out in a single layer on a large baking sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes, flip the wedges over, and continue baking for another 15-20 minutes until the potatoes are brown and crispy.
Serve with ketchup, vegan ranch or whatever your heart desires!

Baked to perfection!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Quick Veggie Roll-ups!

It's hard to eat healthier when you think of having to make something. So, the best thing I found to do is prep some veggies ahead of time. Sure, you have to take a little time to do that, but it's really not that hard and you can prep enough for a few days or even an entire week!

I went to the store yesterday determined to emerge with nothing but tasty, healthy snack options. I came out with these amazing, flavorful spinach onion tortillas, a one pound box of organic spring mix, carrots, one yellow bell pepper, one bunch of green onions, avocados, these beautiful "brown" tomatoes (which are more deep red/purple than brown) and roasted red pepper hummus. My plan was to have veggie wraps of different variations for snacks throughout the week. Also, this stuff all travels well so I can always pack of a quick lunch to have in between jobs. It's great!

Some beauties for you to ogle at.

Now, you're probably thinking, "Ok, what would even need prepping?". Well, not a lot, and that's part of the point. Even though we grab ingredients that are perfect for quick snacks we still sometimes think that chopping up some veggies is "too much to do when you're hungry". I've had those days. I know you have too. SO, easy fix: Pre-chop those carrots! Pre-chop that bell pepper! Doing this will make preparing yourself a snack a breeze.

This all might sound like a no-brainer, and it is. But I'm just here to try to give out some pointers that may help you make some better decisions about what you're putting into your body. So, on that note, let me walk you through what I snacked on earlier!

First off, prep some carrots. There are three carrots cut into matchsticks here in a one pint container. I'm thinking it will probably get me through the week.

While you're at it go ahead and slice up some bell pepper. They don't need to be sliced into any particular size, just however you like them. I sliced mine into about one inch wide strips and then chopped those up. I like my bell pepper to scatter easily. Store in a ziploc or tupperware.
Then, just pick and choose the veggies you want and get them ready to go in a wrap. I chose one green onion, a handful of bell pepper, one tiny avocado (or one half of a regular size one), half a tomato and a handful of my prepped carrot matchsticks. Chop the tomato, avo and green onion.

When it comes to the tortillas, I suggest a flavorful one. If you like white or whole wheat go ahead and use them, but I personally like to get excited about my food and a plain ol' white tortilla just doesn't do it for me. I also like to heat up my tortillas slightly. I believe it enhances the flavors a bit and also helps make them more flexible.
I also chose a red pepper hummus, but you can of course choose some other flavor. I bet roasted garlic hummus would be excellent for this!
Get some herbs or pepper to sprinkle in your wrap, too. Dried herbs are always great flavoring agents without having to reach for the salt or some kind of unhealthy sauce. These guys are my favorite and I just sprinkle away. Don't be shy!

So go ahead and spread some hummus onto your tortilla. Then sprinkle on the herbs. Grab your veggies and toss them onto the tortilla, roll up and voila!

Easy shmeasy, you have a healthy snack! Or make a few and have a super fresh, tasty dinner! It's summer time and all the best vegetables are right within reach. Get creative, prep ahead, and you should have no problem eating a little healthier this season.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Fresh from the garden!

Kale, kale, kale!

It won't stop growing! Not that I'm complaining or anything. Isn't this just a beautiful sight?

Of course this is too much for just me and the hubby, so I plan on sharing with some good friends and my sister.The joys of harvesting your own food.

Happy spring!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Also, just a little photo...

Of some beautiful radishes my friend and I pulled from my garden this afternoon!

They just make me happy, that's all.

A Happy, Healthy Start to Your Day

While I do love some vegan pancakes, a tasty tofu scramble, or a fresh veggie saute to start my day, sometimes my body craves a simple fresh breakfast. That's when I reach for my basket of fruit and put together a healthful bowl of sweetness. I chop up a variety of fruit and round out the meal with a homemade muffin, or a cup of granola, and a big cup of green tea with a drizzle of agave.

~Red berry & chocolate granola, 1/2 a banana~
one tangelo, apple slices, fresh kiwi and green tea with agave

You can also always toss your fruit into a cup of yogurt, add a handful of raw cashews and dried fruit, or mix with granola and splash on some milk.  I've even surrounded a square of leftover cornbread with fruit! So many delicious possibilities!

~Fresh blueberries, raspberries and almond granola on top of ~
coconut flavored almond milk yogurt

~Dried apricots, fresh blueberries, cherries and raw cashews~

~Vegan sweet cornbread, fresh blueberries, sliced pluot and raw cashews~

Obviously there is no specific recipe instructions for this kind of breakfast, but I encourage you to eat the rainbow! Choose a few different fresh or dry fruits. There are so many to choose from! Apples, mandarins, plums, pluots, cherries, blueberries, raspberries, bananas, you name it! This type of breakfast always makes me feel good about what I just put in my body and I am satisfied until lunch time rolls around.

If using fresh fruit, choose fruits that are in season. Why? Well, because they just taste better! Not to mention you can support your local farmers by picking up those fruits at a farmers' market nearby. These fruits will look better, smell better and be better. There is nothing like strolling through all that produce, smelling the fresh fruits and seeing all the beautiful colors jump out at you. It truly is a beautiful experience. Your body will appreciate it.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Apple Oat Muffins!

My oh my, I just created quite a delicious snack muffin!

I had a bag of oat flakes, some vanilla coconut milk and some apples I really wanted to use up. I also have a hubby that loves having little snacks to take to work. So I set out to find an apple oat muffin recipes of sorts, but was surprisingly unsuccessful. Apparently, most of those types of recipes call for bran and also call for eggs. As you know, I bake everything vegan and was not about to reach for eggs just to use up the ingredients I had. With a little looking around, piecing together and veganizing I ended up with a moist, tasty, lightly sweet, healthful muffin!

These little gems are great for snacks, a quick on-the-go breakfast or even a guilt-free dessert! Enjoy!

Apple Oat Muffins

Yields 24 muffins

1 cup uncooked oatmeal
1 cup vanilla coconut milk (regular or another non-dairy milk will do just fine!)
3 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup sugar (add a little extra if using unsweetened/non-vanilla milk)
1 cup canola oil
3Tblspn ground flax seed + 9 Tblspns water (equivalent to 3 eggs)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup peeled and chopped apple (about one med-large apple)
2 Tblspn sugar, for sprinkling (I prefer raw turbinado sugar)
*Optional: 1/2 cup raw walnuts, chopped

Preheat your oven to 400*.Line two muffins tins with paper liners or lightly grease.
Combine the oats with the coconut milk and set aside.
In a small bowl, beat together the ground flax seed and water with a small whisk until slightly gelatinous and set aside.
Combine flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and sugar in large mixing bowl.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add oat mixture, oil and flax seed mixture. Stir until just moistened.
Fold in the apple.
Spoon your mixture into the muffins tins, filling each liner abut 3/4 full.
Sprinkle the extra sugar and chopped walnuts on top of the unbaked muffins. You can also sprinkle each with a little cinnamon, if you would like. It looks pretty!
Bake the muffins for 15-20 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Let cool for about 10 minutes and enjoy!

Monday, February 6, 2012

What's a Great Go-To Snack? Hummus!

Hummus. Such a simple, delicious, healthful snack option. It's amazing that more people don't eat it. And it's even more amazing that people will spend too much money on it when they buy it pre-made from the store! Hummus is so incredibly easy to make, it will blow your mind. Plus, since you're making it at home, YOU have total control of the flavor and can make it super tasty without all the extra sodium and who-knows-what-else. It's also great because you can dip any veggies you like in it, automatically making it a healthier choice.

Hummus is great for many reasons. For example, chickpeas (also known as garbanzos beans) are the main ingredient and they are loaded with lots of plant protein and fiber. Chickpeas also contain calcium and are considered by experts as equal to yogurt and milk in providing the body with it's calcium needs.
Also, the typical hummus recipe calls for lemon juice which is high in Vitamin C. Then, if you end up adding herbs you get amazing flavor naturally and the benefits of those herbs. Plus, you can make it in about 5 minutes or less.

Below I've given you my basic hummus recipe. Or as I call it, my Chickpea Dip. Same thing minus one ingredient: You'll notice that it doesn't call for tahini. I leave that out on purpose because I personally don't think it needs it and it saves on cost. If you wish to add more garlic, go for it. If you want to spice it up, add a few dashes of cumin, paprika and chili powder. If you like roasted red pepper hummus, feel free to add in a few slices of the jarred roasted red peppers. The possibilities are endless! Experiment!

Lemon Garlic Chickpea Dip

15 oz can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
Juice of one lemon
4-5 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
1/4 cup olive oil

Combine chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice, thyme, salt and pepper to taste, (and any of the above suggestions) in a food processor. Turn on and stream in the olive oil. Scrape into a bowl or Tupperware.

That's it!

Store in an air tight container for up to a week.
Serve with your favorite dipping veggies such as sliced up cucumber, carrots, bell peppers or endive leaves.