Sweet & Savory Balsamic Dressing

Sweet & Savory Balsamic Dressing

This has become a real go-to dressing for me. These flavors pair so well together, it truly makes your salad mouth-watering. Did I just use “mouth-watering'” and salad in the same sentence? Yes guys and gals! My favorite salad to create for this dressing is a kale salad with garlic roasted veggies, like these ones I make here.

Ingredients:

*recipe makes 4 servings

If you are worried about sugar content, this recipe is easily adaptable by substituting balsamic glaze for balsamic vinegar and honey mustard for regular mustard. Then, you can add a dash of agave or honey and control the amount yourself. I get my hemp oil from Vitacost.com, and it even comes refrigerated, as this type of oil NEEDS to be kept cold at all times to retain its nutritional properties. If you’d like $10 off your first order, use my referral link. No secrets here, I get $10 off too! Thank you in advance!

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Instructions:

Nothing fancy here, mix and store in an airtight container for use!

 

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Nutritional Facts:

*Based on one serving

Calories: 160

Carbs: 6g

Protein:  0g

Fat: 14g

Hemp oil is a complete source of the essential amino and fatty acids and is widely recommended for daily use by Brendan Brazier, creator of the Thrive Diet (plant based nutrition for athletes). This oil is beneficial for your digestive system, aids in immune health and helps to recover your muscles post-workout. For more info on hemp oil, click here.

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Garlic Vinaigrette Eggplant & Mushrooms

Garlic Vinaigrette Eggplant & Mushrooms

Roasting veggies is one of my favorite ways to meal prep. The end product is good by itself, or over a bowl of quinoa. My favorite thing to do is serve cold over kale for a hearty salad, or make a cold pasta salad. You can mix roasted veggies with spaghetti squash or tofu for a satiating meal. Whatever your favorite combination, you can use this simple recipe as a starting point.

Ingredients:

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Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees & line a baking sheet with parchment paper. I NEVER roast veggies without parchment paper–easy cleanup!

Start off by washing your veggies. I use a store bought fruit and veggie wash, but you can also soak your veggies in the sink with water and vinegar.

fruit wash

Next, cut up your veggies. For this recipe, I cubed the eggplant and cut the mushrooms in half. I like to chop my garlic small so it gets crispy. This is chef’s choice, of course.

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One of my favorite trick for seasoning veggies is to buy ready-to-go salad/dip dressings. I like Simply Organic’s Dip & Salad Dressing mixes. 1 packet will season approximately 4 baking sheets of veggies. Since a packet is around $1, this technique is a truly affordable way to creatively season your dishes. You don’t have to keep a constant stock of 10 different seasonings in your pantry in order to make flavorful food.

simply organic seasoning

All you need to do from here is spray your veggies down with coconut oil and coat with the seasoning.

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Pop the pan in the oven and give it about 45 minutes. You may need to spray your veggies with more coconut oil halfway through to prevent dry-out.

Nutritional Facts:

*Information based on recipe yielding 3 servings

Calories: 80

Carbohydrates: 11g

Protein: 6g

Fat: <1g

This recipe has 480g of potassium per serving, more than 1 medium banana (which has 422g), and over 8g of fiber! Eggplants are an excellent source of B Vitamins and antioxidants. Mushrooms are a nutritional powerhouse, containing Vitamin D, Vitamin B, several essential minerals, and are hearty and satisfying.

Garlic Lemon Roasted Artichokes

Garlic Lemon Roasted Artichokes with Creamy Dipping Sauce

These roasted artichokes will have you drooling for more! This recipe is easily adaptable to your favorite flavors, but I will always remain biased to lemon and garlic! And JUST WAIT until you dip these delectable delicacies in the sauce! You can do this with any size artichoke, I just happened to pick up an adorable 4 pack of little ones (and I totally ate them all…shhh).

Ingredients:

  • Artichoke/s
  • Lemon
  • Fresh Garlic
  • Lemon Pepper seasoning
  • Balsamic Glaze (or just balsamic vinegar–but the glaze is oh so sweet) I use Trader Joe’s version

For the Dipping Sauce, you’ll need:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and get out a baking sheet and foil.

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If you’ve never cleaned and prepared an artichoke before, no worries, it’s simple. And if I can figure it out, you’ll be fine. But be careful, some artichokes are VERY pointy and sharp.

Simply start by cutting about an inch off the head of the artichoke; the artichoke top should be flat when you’re done. Then, take kitchen scissors and cut off the pointy tip of each of the leaves. Also, if you are roasting your artichokes, cut off the steam so the artichoke can stand on it’s own. Ta-da!

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Place each artichoke onto a piece of foil on a baking sheet. The foil needs to be large enough to cover the artichoke and make a roasting cocoon. Now, chop up your garlic cloves. For this recipe of 4 small ones, I used 3 large cloves. Don’t forget, the amount of garlic you use is directly proportionate to how cool you are. Then, stuff the pieces right in between the leaves so all the flavor will be beautifully infused inside your artichoke. Squeeze lemon juice onto each artichoke and top with lemon pepper and a drizzle of balsamic glaze.

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For the finishing touch, I always add a slice of lemon to the flat top of the artichoke. This will further infuse your lemon flavor into the artichoke when it’s roasting. Yummy, see?

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 Now, wrap the foil around the artichoke and check for holes that will let out your precious steam and juicy goodness. I call this part: “tucking the artichokes in”. Feel free to speak in baby talk to your artichokes and read them a bed time story.

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Congratulations! All that’s left is to get these little guys into the oven for 45 minutes. They can be eaten right away, just unwrap and serve with your dipping sauce (although they are delicious sans-sauce too). The sauce is self explanatory, but if you’re confused, just melt the butter and mix in the veganaise. The amount of sauce you make is up to you, but a 1:1 ratio of each ingredient is what you’re aiming for to reach ultimate food heaven. The good news is you’ve love this recipe. The bad news is that I definitely did because I did not remember to take a single picture of the finished product. They don’t look as pretty when they’re cooked anyway-just darker. Enjoy!

Oh, and if you’ve never eaten an artichoke before and don’t know where to go from here, this is a how-to article that I found helpful the first time I braved artichokes.

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Nutritional Facts:

*Nutritional information is based on eating 1 large artichoke with 2 tbsp serving dipping sauce*

Calories: 266

Carbs: 17g

Protein: 5g

Fat: 20g

Artichokes are high in fiber, almost 9g per artichoke. They are high in potassium, magnesium, iron, B6, Vitamin C and more. Artichokes are also loaded with antioxidants! Now, to make this recipe as healthy as possible, maybe don’t make the sauce. Or, you can dip the leaves into a balsamic vinagrette or lemon butter instead. All of the fat in this recipe is from the sauce, and only 76 calories belong to the artichoke. So choose wisely and maybe just have the sauce as a treat.

Vegan “The Works” Pizza

Vegan “The Works” Pizza

This pizza is straight up drool worthy. I’m the kind of person that likes as many toppings as you can fit on a pizza, and I was lucky enough to have so many awesome toppings at my fingertips the night I made this masterpiece. Plus, the use of 2 types of vegan cheezes really jazzed the taste up. Feel free to edit, add..and then drool eating it.

vegan pizzaIngredients:

  • 1 bag whole wheat pizza dough (Trader Joe’s)
  • Approx. scant 1 cup Pizza/Spaghetti sauce (I personally like Garlic flavored tomato sauce)
  • 1/3 cup each Vegan mozzarella & vegan cheddar (I used Daiya)
  • 1/2 cup Roasted eggplant
  • 1/3 cup Black olives
  • 1/3 cup Crimini mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup Marinated artichoke hearts
  • 1 cup Spinach
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Black Pepper

Instructions:

  1. Take the dough out of the bag and set on a pizza board that has been floured with cornmeal or just floured, let it rest for 15-20 minutes
  2. Preheat the oven to 450
  3. Roll the dough out to desired thickness, I like it about a 1/4 inch thick, and rustically shaped
  4. Top with sauce, cheeze and veggies. Don’t forget the garlic and pepper
  5. Slide the pizza into the oven (I use a pizza stone) and bake for 11-13 minutes
  6. Let the pizza cool and rest for a minute before cutting, this is the hardest part! (I like to use kitchen scissors for an easy, quick cut)

Nutritional Facts:

*Based on the pizza being cut into 8 slices, and 2 slices per serving*

Calories: 353

Carbs: 58g

Protein: 8g

Fat: 10g

Each serving has 6g of fiber! Tomatoes are high in lycopene, Vitamin A & C. Spinach is high in Iron, Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Vitamin B2, Calcium & Potassium, as well as many other minerals. Garlic is known for its anti-inflammatory & anti-viral properties, so load it on there!

With all of this in mind, remember, pizza is still a treat meal, so enjoy, but try NOT to eat half the pizza like I did! Here’s a little trick, if I’m eating the pizza by myself, I’ll take my serving but cut up the rest in portion controlled, zip-lock bags and freeze them. Also, you can choose to have your pizza and eat it too, by cutting the serving size down to a slice and having it with a healthier option like a cup of tomato soup or a big, green salad.