Quinoa Kale Salad

This meal is vegan, gluten free, and protein/nutrient packed! And did I mention that it’s gorgeous?

1 cup cooked quinoa, cooled
1.5 cups kale
1/2 red onion
Handful chopped parsley
Butternut squash cubes 1.5 cup
Pecans crusted with nutritional yeast
Lemon 1/2 juiced
olive oil, drizzle (optional)
handful dried cranberries

rosemary and salt for roasting the squash

Start by roasting your butternut squash. Mine was SO beautiful that I found today, it looked like a papaya! Anyways, chop into less than 1 in cubes (mine aren’t perfect cubes, but make them all about the same size to cook evenly). Spray with coconut oil spaced out evenly on a cookie sheet. Top with freshly chopped rosemary and sea salt to taste.
Roast for about 1 hour at 375.

Take out and cool.

Clean and devein your kale. I used curly kale but any kind works.

Chop into small pieces and combine in a large bowl with quinoa, onion, parsley and drizzle with your lemon and olive oil.

Pecans were tossed in coconut oil then dipped into nutritional yeast for coating, then baked also at 350 for 5min. Careful, unless your use raw pecans, they will burn quickly.

Toss and enjoy! Keeps well compared to other salads since kale is slow to wilt šŸ™‚

Other suggested toppers/substitutions include:
pomegranate instead of dried cranberries
sunflower seeds/slivered almonds instead of pecans
roasted squash seeds (coconut spray, garlic powder, crushed red pepper, oregano, salt 8 min 375)
substitute butternut squash for kabocha or even persimmon

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Spicy Jamaican Stir Fry

Adapted from pcrm.org. They have dozens of vegan recipes I’m dying to try. Meals like this that are so satisfying, protein packed, and flavorful, make me think I could easily go full vegan. That’s the eventual goal, but I’m taking my time to get there:)

The sweet of an unripe plantain with the spicy jalapeƱo is a delicious and satisfying combination!

1/2 carton mushrooms, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1/2 red onion, sliced
1 plantain, sliced into coins
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 chopped jalapeƱo
1 teaspoon curry powder
Leaves from 1 sprig fresh thyme
2 tablespoons almond milk

SautƩ all the above on medium heat, until browned slightly, adding almond milk at the very end.

Serve over rice or quinoa with some black beans! Enjoy!

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Fresh Spring Rolls!

Fresh, flavorful, filling… good for you?? SO good. I could eat asian food every day, but I am usually not the most successful in cooking it. However, no cooking is required here, simply chopping and assembling. And they end up looking so festive, colorful, fancy even. 8 rolls feeds 2-3 people, they are very satisfying. Making them at home is way cheaper than buying them out (the ingredients are not expensive) and they are not hard to make, I promise. These would make a super impressive party or pot luck tray, note to self šŸ™‚

Ingredients:
8 rice paper wraps (vietnamese, i found mine at target!)
15-20 tiny cooked shrimp (*optional) (i sautƩed them in coconut oil, liquid aminos, and garlic)
Green onion
Cilantro
Basil
Red bell pepper
Cucumber
1/2 avocado
Greens/lettuce
Carrots

Cut all veggies (except greens) into thin slices.

Prepare a wide shallow bowl with warm water for dipping the rice paper sheets into one at a time.

Sauce:
1/2 jalapeƱo, chopped (i love spicy)
3tbs natural peanut butter
1tbs vinegar (i used TJs muscat vinegar)
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1tsp liquid aminos
1lemon juiced
Blend the sauce ingredients well, using a wisk or small blender.

Assemble spring rolls by dipping one rice paper at a time into the water, taking time to make sure all sides are completely wet, spend some time to make sure all surfaces are wet or they will be too fragile to wrap. Place on your cutting board/work surface. Lay some greens/lettuce in the center in a linear fashion as if you are making a burrito. Add layers of your ingredients over the greens to taste, putting the avocado for vegan or shrimp on top for appearance. Tuck one long side over the toppings and in, stretching slightly to keep it tight. Tuck in the sides on the ends of your “burrito” and then fold the other long side over, pulling taught but not too tight. It will “stick” to the rest of the wrap and you can plate. Repeat and dip in sauce! Keeps well if sealed well in tupperware overnight, but will dry out if left too long. Not that any leftovers will make it to the fridge…

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Pumpkin Coconut Granola Bars

Not to mention chocolate and seeds! These are delicious, healthy, full of energy and antioxidants. I keep all of the below ingredients at all times, basically, I recommend doing the same! You could experiment with the seeds/mix ins, but this one is perfect in my opinion.

Blend/food process:
1/2 can pumpkin
1tsp vanilla
1tsp cinnamon
Handful of soaked dates (I used medjool, a large handful
1 banana (small, ripe)

Mix in a bowl with all of the following:
-1tsp pumpkin pie spice
-1.25 cup unsweet coconut (don’t want added sugar)
-1 cup gluten free whole oats
– 1/2 cup chia seeds
-1/4 cup hemp seeds
-1/2 cup ground flaxmeal
-1/4 cup sunflower seeds
-1/2 cup pumpkin seeds or pepitas
-1/3 85% dark chocolate bar, chopped

Turn it greased 9x11pan (mine is a little bigger I think)
Bake at 375 for 20-25 min until edges are crispy and brown. Let cool, chop into bars, store refrigerated, be energized!

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