Category Archives: Appetizers

Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip

This is one of those sneakily vegan dishes perfect for parties! Sneaky because it doesn’t seem vegan or taste vegan, but it is! This recipe is festive, rich, and tasty! Some years ago I posted a healthy spinach artichoke dip here that used greek yogurt. Since I used some soy yogurt in this recipe, this one isn’t a huge change, but better to have a dairy free recipe. Delicious and nutritious 🙂 I recommend using a cast iron skillet so you can throw it in the oven at the end to broil the cheese.
You need:

1 can drained garbanzo beans

1/2 cup plan soymilk

2-4 TBS tahini (to taste)

1/2 lemon juiced

2-3 TBS nutritional yeast

5 cloves garlic

1 onion chopped

1 bag frozen spinach or 2 large bags fresh spinach

1 bag frozen artichoke hearts

Salt/pepper/crushed red pepper to taste

Vegan mozzarella cheese shreds (optional, but presentation points)

Blend garbanzos, soymilk, tahini, soy yogurt to make cream sauce. Sauté onion/garlic, adding chopped spinach and frozen artichokes. Combine with cream sauce, then throw cheese on top to melt and turn off heat. Finally, for he perfect bubbly crust, put cast iron skillet in oven to broil for 5min.
Enjoy!

Crispy Tofu Nuggets

Wow, I just realized I eat these at least once a week and yet the last tofu nugget recipe I posted had eggs in it, which i no longer use! So here is my standby version, my weekly staple recipe! What I love about this recipe is the crispy texture, the ease of making, and the downright comfort food nature! Puréed chicken parts be gone, I’m much more comfortable eating smushed soybeans instead 😀  The other great thing about using tofu, is that its already moist nature means you don’t need an egg wash or any other kind of coating to make your breading stick. Just gently blot the sliced tofu rather than pressing out all the moisture, and you are ready to press it into the breading!
You need:

-Firm to extra firm tofu, cut into your favorite nugget size/shape

-Masa harina flour or fine cornmeal

-Seasoning (I use an all-purpose seasoning mix that includes onion/garlic/pepper/parsely/basil/thyme etc..)

-(optional) Panko bread crumbs

-(optional) Crushed red pepper flakes.
Preheat oven to 375F and cut your tofu into little nuggets. Gently blot off excess moisture but don’t press all the liquid out; you need some to make your breading stick!  Next, mix your herb seasoning with your masa harina, I recommend a 1:2 ratio of herbs to cornmeal. Sometimes I mix in a little bit of panko crumbs and crushed red pepper flakes, so feel free to play around with your favorites, but I find this works best if the the fine cornmeal or masa harina flour is the breading ingredient you have the most of!  Place breaded nuggets on a lined baking sheet (parchment paper or silpat recommended so you don’t even need an oil spray) and bake for 20 min. If you like extra crispy, you can then flip and bake another 5-10 minutes, but I usually just take them out after cooking for 20 minutes on one side only. This results in crispy edges but a soft inside!

I love to bake some sliced potatoes or sweet potatoes simultaneously for a wonderfully healthy fast food-esque meal, that is quick, easy, and best served with ketchup!

FYI, my favorite ketchup brand to have with these is Muir Glen. I also like to put the tofu nuggets (and potato fries) inside butter lettuce leaves like little crunchy comfort food tacos!  Simple, satisfying, done. Enjoy!!

Purple Potato Sushi

A perfect throw together meal that takes minutes! I used leftover brown rice and leftover baked purple sweet potato for a vibrant and satisfying lunch! Combines with creamy avocado and even some tahini for kicks, this was delicious!

You need:

-Brown sushi rice 2 cups

-2 Nori sheets

-1 cucumber sliced

-1/2 avocado sliced

-1/2 roasted purple potato sliced

-Green onion sliced

-Drizzle of tahini 

Simply apply half of cooked rice to 2/3 of nori sheet. Then lay veggies on top of the rice and drizzle with scant tahini. Then roll up you nori wrap, applying water to each end to help seal up the roll. Then slice into bite sized pieces, and enjoy!!!

Savory Butternut Hashbrown Waffles

Just put some of my favorite foods in a waffle maker, no big deal. The fresh thyme and basil really take this to the next level. Happy fooods.
You need:

2 small steamed Yukon gold potatoes

1cup cooked butternut squash

1/4 cup almond milk

1tsp ground flax

Thyme

Basil

Pepper

Green onions, chopped 

Garlic 
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and then leaving pretty chunky, press into a greased waffle maker. In order to warm this through fully, you will need to leave it in longer than the standard waffle cycle. You want to wait until the edges are nice and crispy! Then you must feast! Serve alone or maybe with a side of greens/beans. Enjoy!!!

Simple Carrot Hummus

Ok this hummus looks ugly, but tastes really good! Just simple, creamy, and heathy, and without any overt fats!! The naturally soft sweetness of cooked carrot and eggplant is the key.

You need: 
1 large cooked carrot

3 pieces of cooked eggplant ~2/3 cup

1cup chick peas

1/2 large lemon juiced

1tbs green onion

Salt/pepper to taste
Simply combine all ingredients in a high speed blender and enjoy! Excellent with crackers, veggies, or on a sandwich, especially with avocado 🙂 

Creamy Dreamy Eggplant Hummus

If you haven’t had it yet, this was inspired by TJs amazing oil free eggplant hummus! I keep going through that stuff too fast, and decided it would be way more economical to make my own! Not that this is an exact replica, but it did come out quite tasty!  The texture from the eggplant makes this hummus super creamy, without needing to add any additional liquids. You could use chick peas or really any legume of choice, but I used some black eyed peas for their iron and calcium boost and for variety. I like to rotate my beans to make sure I am getting a wide array of nutrients!  

You need:

1 cup oven roasted eggplant

4 cloves oven roasted garlic

1 cup cooked black eye peas

Pinch salt

1 tablespoon tahini

1 sprig thyme

1 sprig fresh parsely

1 lemon juiced
I began by chopping and eggplant into 1 inch cubes in a baking dish with about 1/4in water in the base. To this I simply added 4 cloves of smashed garlic and baked them at 375F x 20min or until golden brown. Then set aside to cool.  Once room termperature, combine all ingredients into a high speed blender until very creamy. Garnish with fresh parsely and/or sesame seeds, and enjoy!

Creamy Dreamy Eggplant Hummus

If you haven’t had it yet, this was inspired by TJs amazing oil free eggplant hummus! I keep going through that stuff too fast, and decided it would be way more economical to make my own! Not that this is an exact replica, but it did come out quite tasty!  The texture from the eggplant makes this hummus super creamy, without needing to add any additional liquids. You could use chick peas or really any legume of choice, but I used some black eyed peas for their iron and calcium boost and for variety. I like to rotate my beans to make sure I am getting a wide array of nutrients!  

You need:

1 cup oven roasted eggplant

4 cloves oven roasted garlic

1 cup cooked black eye peas

Pinch salt

1 tablespoon tahini

1 sprig thyme

1 sprig fresh parsely

1 lemon juiced
I began by chopping and eggplant into 1 inch cubes in a baking dish with about 1/4in water in the base. To this I simply added 4 cloves of smashed garlic and baked them at 375F x 20min or until golden brown. Then set aside to cool.  Once room termperature, combine all ingredients into a high speed blender until very creamy. Garnish with fresh parsely and/or sesame seeds, and enjoy!

Cauli-Tots

I know I already did broccoli tots, but I had to also try cauliflower tots! These retain more of the original color/texture of the traditional tater tots. The key to making these work is to make sure you squeeze as much water as possible out of the cauliflower. So good, so loving these with my favorite Sir Kensignton ketchup :D. Healthy comfort food is my jam. 
You need:

1 small/med head of cauliflower, lightly steamed (not total mush)

Cut into 1/4 in pieces, place on a clean towel, and wring out excess water

Then place in a bowl and mix well with:
1 egg

2/3 cup nutritional yeast

Garlic, to taste, about 2 minced cloves for me

celery, 1 large stalk chopped

1/2 yellow bell pepper

1/ onion

Black and crushed red pepper

Paprika

Bake 400F for 20 minutes, flip and bake 5 more
Dip in ketchup and enjoy!!
   
    
      
    
    
  
    
  
    
  
    
 

Shrimp Kabocha Spring Rolls With Chili Lime Peanut Sauce

I have posted several spring roll recipes in the past, and this is just another twist on an old favorite! Pre-cooked shrimp make these pretty simple, but gives it some authenticity, while Kabocha squash just keeps being one of my all time favorite foods :). For directions on how to use spring roll wrappers and generally how to assemble these, see Here. These are just delicious, any way you roll me, and a great way to get some veggies into your diet 🙂

You need
For fresh spring rolls:

Vietnamese spring roll wrappers

-Cilantro

-Green onion

-Cooked brown rice 

-Avocado

-Greens

-Micro greens 

-Cooked shrimp

-Cooked kabocha squash
For dipping sauce:

Simply combine

-1 lime, juiced

-2tbs pb2 (or peanut butter of choice)

-1 tbs liquid aminos (or soy sauce)

-1/4 tsp sesame oil 

-1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
   
    
    
    
    
   

Yogurt Chicken Salad

I think maybe it’s a Southern thing, but I LOVE a creamy chicken salad. Especially on a sandwich 🙂 Grapes, walnuts, and celery, these comprise the magical triad for and ideal flavor/texture combo when it comes to chicken salad. I always prefer shredded chicken to chopped, and the creamiert he better! Fat free Greek yogurt allows ultra creamy texture without making this heavy!
You need:
Cooked shredded chicken 5 oz

Walnuts 1 oz

Grapes about 1 cup

1/4 Red onion chopped

Greek yogurt, about 4tbs

Black pepper to taste

Celery, about a cup chopped

Mix it all up and enjoy on bread, crackers, on a wrap, or on a bed of greens! So tasty and yet so nourishing!! 
Makes 3 servings at 205 cal, 9fat, 2 fiber, 18 protein each 🙂