Meatless Monday Celebrates Fall Harvest

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Meatless Monday published my Harvest Vegetable Tart in their Fall Harvest recipe  roundup.  Check out my recipe featuring root vegetables like sweet potatoes, parsnips, purple carrots and butternut squash cut into leaf shapes using small cookie cutters.  This is a savory vegetarian pie with a creamy rich filling of vegetables braised in vegetable broth, coconut milk and parmesan cheese, although goat cheese would work well too for the filling.  Harvest Vegetable Tart Recipe on goodmotherdiet  By the way, goodmotherdiet has 99,771 hits to date.  Who is going to be the 100,000?

Meatless Monday has compiled a nice assortment of recipes from bloggers like me, pastas, curry, lentils, squash, beets, enchiladas, etc. For the full list of Fall Harvest recipes click HERE

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Join me in supporting the Meatless Monday movement.  Even if you’re not ready to skip meat altogether, going meatless one day a week helps.  Choosing to go Meatless Monday can help fight diseases, reduce the risk of diabetes, and improve heart health. It also conserves land, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, saves water, and saves energy. Meatless Monday is in over 40 countries and over 20 languages.  Check out their website for more information. Meatless Monday Website

Meatless Monday Infographic

Graphic Image created by Danielle Russell for Meatless Monday.

Easy No-Peel Applesauce

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It’s that time of year, where apples are plentiful and falling off trees. Judging from my stats page, about 50 people a day are looking at this recipe for Easy No-Peel Applesauce, so I have decided it timely to reblog this recipe. Enjoy!

goodmotherdiet

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Every year, after the apple pies are baked and enjoyed, I make applesauce with all the rest of the apples from my garden. Of course it’s usually just in time for Hanukkah which means yummy latkes with applesauce and sour cream. Making applesauce is pretty easy but peeling the apples is very tedious and time consuming, so this year I decided to try leaving the peels on. Okay, I’ll admit it, I got lazy, but it worked out for the best. I LOVE this applesauce and it is so easy! It’s got a richer and creamier texture AND it’s more nutritious since most of the nutients and fiber are in or right under the peel which is usually removed and thrown away. Win! Win!  For best results use a combination of both sweet and tart apples.  Fuji, Red Delicious, Pink Lady and Golden Delicious apples are sweeter in taste, while…

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Meatless Monday – Rustic Roasted Tomato Tart

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I can’t say enough about these roasted tomatoes – drizzled with balsamic and honey and slow roasted until they reach caramelized perfection. Their cooking juice alone is worth the price of admission, delicious as a dipping sauce for a crusty baguette. But that’s not all! I layered the lovely roasted tomatoes over a bed of fresh mozzarella and then folded it all in a buttery crust to form a rustic tart. Click through for recipe.

goodmotherdiet

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I can’t say enough about these roasted tomatoes – drizzled with balsamic and honey and slow roasted until they reach caramelized perfection.  Their cooking juice alone is worth the price of admission, delicious as a dipping  sauce for a crusty baguette.  But that’s not all!   I layered the lovely roasted tomatoes over a bed of fresh mozzarella and then folded it all in a buttery crust to form a rustic tart. You would never know that the crust is actually good for you because it’s so yummmy, but it’s made with 100% White Whole Wheat Flour.  No that wasn’t a typo.  I used a whole grain flour made from white whole wheat, which is a different kind of wheat whose germ has a lighter color and milder in flavor than the more traditional ‘red’ wheat.  It has the same nutritional value as whole wheat but is not as heavy…

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Wheatless Wednesday Tomatoes, Mozzarella & Peaches with Balsamic Reduction

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Here is a twist on the ubiquitous Caprese Salad, with the addition of sliced ripe peaches which adds sweetness and a drizzle of rich balsamic reduction to up your game. This salad is fast, easy and flavorful. This is for those of you who have been out in your gardens picking buckets full of ripe tomatoes. Enjoy the last yummy bits of summer!

goodmotherdiet

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Summertime favorite, Caprese Salad goes rogue with sliced ripe peaches and a drizzle of velvety rich balsamic reduction. This colorful combo was the brainchild of my son, Eric.  I had recently purchased a flat of perfectly ripe peaches and I am lucky enough to have a constant supply of lovely heirloom tomatoes from my garden in shades of red, yellow and even striped green.  The peaches add a nice sweetness to the traditional tomatoes and mozzarella and the balsamic reduction is the piece de resistance.  Of course, you can drizzle with a balsamic vinaigrette which is easy and delicious, but the reduction is worth the minimal effort.  In only 10 minutes or so, balsamic vinegar is transformed into a richly flavored syrup that can be drizzled on almost anything to enhance its natural flavors.  I also love using a variety of colors for an exceptionally colorful presentation.

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Peaches are one of…

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Meatless Monday – Sesame Crusted Tofu

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I’m sorry for going MIA this summer.  A combination of travel without my computer,(Iceland is another coming post)  made blogging (and cooking) difficult and the recent illness and death of my beloved father left me with a void that I am struggling to fill.  He was a kind man. He chose family and a career in education over wealth and prestige. Dare I say it was not the exciting career he probably thought he was going to have. He and my mom fostered dozens of kids and believed in uplifting others, especially those that really needed help the most.  I suppose, his death, following hers three years ago, only reaffirms my growing belief that we should try our best to  leave a gentle footprint on the earth and make a positive difference in the world, no matter how small.  Kindness matters. Voting with your pocketbook matters.  Our choices matter. Speaking up for those that have no voice matters.  I guess a tofu recipe is a good start.

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This is my favorite, quick and easy, protein filled, go-to dish.  I especially like to make it for my meat eating friends who think they don’t like tofu.  I have changed some pretty closed minds with this one.  The tofu is savory and crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside.  I like to serve sesame crusted tofu over pasta or rice to take advantage of the yummy pan drippings.  Surprise! Vegan food can have pan drippings. This time I tossed together some sugar snap peas sauteed with ginger and garlic until they glisten, tender but firm.

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I love the combination of black and white sesame seeds, but if you think they are just a pretty decoration you would be mistaken.  They add a nutty flavor and add to the crunchy texture in this dish, but for their small size, they also provide quite a bit of nutrition. Sesame seeds  are an excellent source of copper, a very good source of manganese, and a good source of calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc, molybdenum, selenium, and dietary fiber.  Black sesame seeds are unhulled while white seeds are hulled.  Since most of the calcium is in the hulls, black sesame seeds have more calcium.  Otherwise, they are nutritionally similar.

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TIPS:  This time, I served the tofu over thin spaghetti which picks up the sesame seeds and spices easily but angel hair pasta would work well too.  I just stirred the hot, cooked pasta in the same pan I cooked the tofu to evenly coat the strands. I often serve this with brown jasmine or basmati rice.  Just cook with vegetable broth and a 1 inch knob of peeled fresh ginger or teaspoon of ginger paste and drizzle the sesame oil and pan drippings over the rice.  Yum!…  (*smacking lip sound*)

This recipe serves two to four people, depending on appetites.  I can only eat one 4 ounce tofu steak but my husband can eat two.  You can easily double the recipe. I also prefer the 4 oz steaks because I like the crispy edges.

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SESAME CRUSTED TOFU

  • 1 block extra firm tofu
  • 1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup black sesame seeds
  • 1-2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsn sesame oil, divided
  • 1 Tbsn soy sauce (or gluten free tamari)
  • 2 Tbsn cornstarch
  • 3 scallions, minced (optional garnish)
  • 8 oz thin spaghetti

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  • Drain tofu and slice in half lengthwise into two wide slabs (8 oz. steaks).  You can also cut the slabs half again for four 4 oz. servings.  Arrange in a single layer on double papertowels or a clean dishcloth, cover with more towels and let drain 15 or 20 minutes.  Placing a heavy pan on top might help press the liquid out.
  • Cook spaghetti as directed, drain and set aside

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  • If you are making sugar snap peas, in a cold saute pan, stir together a Tablespoon each of olive oil and sesame oil, 1 teaspoon minced ginger or ginger paste and several cloves of crushed garlic. Remove stems and strings from the peas, rinse and stir them into the garlic mixture.  They can sit until you are ready. Cook for about 5 minutes on medium heat just before you cook the tofu.

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  • Place cornstarch in a shallow pie pan or plate

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  • Stir together 1 Tablespoon sesame oil and 1 Tablespoon soy sauce

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  • Combine sesame seeds, red pepper flakes, garlic and onion powders in a shallow pie pan

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  • Heat a heavy fry pan (cast iron if you have) on medium heat and add remaining sesame oil while you prepare your tofu.
  • Dredge tofu on all sides in cornstarch

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  • Dip tofu in soy/sesame mixture, all sides

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  • Press tofu into sesame seed mixture making sure to coat all sides. Repeat with remaining pieces.

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  • Cook in hot sesame oil several minutes on each side, or until crispy and golden brown.  Lower heat if the oil starts to smoke.

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  • Remove tofu from pan and set aside. Turn heat to low.

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  • Toss cooked spaghetti in hot pan used for cooking the tofu until sesame seeds and oil are evenly distributed.  Add any remaining seeds and spices or a drizzle of sesame oil, if desired.

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  • Serve tofu topped with tofu steaks and sugar snap peas, garnish with scallions, if desired.

 

 

 

 

Sesame Crusted Tofu

  • Servings: 2 - 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

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  • 1 block extra firm tofu
  • 1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup black sesame seeds
  • 1-2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsn sesame oil, divided
  • 1 Tbsn soy sauce (or gluten free tamari)
  • 2 Tbsn cornstarch
  • 3 scallions, minced (optional garnish)
  • 8 oz thin spaghetti
  1. Drain tofu and slice in half lengthwise into two wide slabs (steaks).  You can also cut the slabs half again for four servings.  Arrange in a single layer on double papertowels or a clean dishcloth, cover with more towels and let drain 15 or 20 minutes.  Placing a heavy pan on top might help press the liquid out.
  2. Cook spaghetti as directed, drain and set aside
  3. If you are making sugar snap peas, in a cold saute pan, stir together a Tablespoon each of olive oil and sesame oil, 1 teaspoon minced ginger or ginger paste and several cloves of crushed garlic. Remove stems and strings from the peas, rinse and stir them into the garlic mixture. They can sit until you are ready.  Cook for about 5 minutes on medium heat just before you cook the tofu.
  4. Place cornstarch in a shallow pie pan
  5. Stir together 1 Tablespoon sesame oil and 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  6. Combine sesame seeds, red pepper flakes, garlic and onion powders in a shallow pie pan
  7. Heat a heavy fry pan (cast iron if you have) on medium high heat and add remaining sesame oil
  8. Dredge tofu on all sides in cornstarch
  9. Dip tofu in soy/sesame mixture, all sides
  10. Press tofu into sesame seed mixture making sure to coat all sides
  11. Cook in hot sesame oil several minutes on each side, or until crispy and golden brown.  Lower heat to medium if the oil starts to smoke.
  12. Remove tofu from pan and set aside
  13. Toss cooked spaghetti in hot pan used for cooking the tofu until sesame seeds and oil are evenly distributed.  Add any remaining seeds and spices or a drizzle of sesame oil, if desired.
  14. Serve tofu topped with tofu steaks and garnish with scallions, if desired.

 

 

Meatless Monday – Memorial Day Recipes

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Make this Memorial Day a Meatless Monday!  Remember my Buffalo ‘Chicken’ Lettuce Wrap?  Meatless Monday has featured that recipe along with many others in a Memorial Day blog post.  Those of you who are already Gardein fans will enjoy a new take on familiar products.  Those who are not yet enlightened might be surprised at how delicious some of these meat free products really are.  There are lots of burger recipes, including Copycat In N Out Burger, Chicken and Waffles and Meatball Kebabs.

Click through for recipes…

http://www.meatlessmonday.com/articles/meatless-monday-bloggers-take-grill-memorial-day/

Meatless Monday – Buffalo “Chicken” Lettuce Wraps

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This is what happens when hot, crunchy ‘chicken’ tenders are wrapped in fresh lettuce leaves and topped with blue cheese, jalapenos, red onion and dill pickles, then drizzled with spicy buffalo sauce and cool ranch!  Mmmm… brings your game higher.  It’s easy because the crispy tenders are already done.  You just have to bake them for 16 to 20 minutes, assemble and go!  You get special bonus points when your tenders are vegan and guilt free like these from Gardein.  Did I mention that this is good ballgame food?

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I received a box of frozen goodies from the nice folks at Meatless Monday as a promotion for Gardein, a company that makes meat substitutes. In their words, “We are insanely passionate about helping the world eat less meat.” I was thrilled to see quite a nice sampling of veggie burgers, meatballs, chicken sliders, chicken strips and chicken tenders.  They were generous enough to send me about a dozen items. In return, I needed to come up with a recipe using one of their products.  I had never tried any of their products so this was going to be fun – I hoped.

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The 7 Grain Crispy Tenders was the first product I tried.  Wow, I really liked them!  I’m embarrassed to admit that somehow I ended up eating almost the whole bag.  I don’t usually love meat substitutes but in this case, I was sold.  My family, usually squeamish about food that is said with air quotes, also declared this a winner.  I actually caught my husband later, eating the tenders plain, right off the tray.  If that isn’t proof right there, I don’t know what is.

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So, what (might you ask) are the 7 grains and what are the tenders?  The tenders are primarily soy protein and vital wheat gluten with various whole grains, vegetable proteins and fibers, flavorings and spices.  The coating is a combination of enriched wheat flour, rice flour, oat bran, oats, quinoa flour, amaranth flour, millet flour and KAMUT® khorasan wheat. Two tenders are 100 calories and contain 8 grams of protein.  For more nutritional information click HERE  To find other great products made by Gardein click HERE  To get a $1 coupon for Gardein products, click HERE

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I based this recipe on the classic party food, buffalo chicken wings, and visualized these crispy vegan tenders inside crisp and clean lettuce cups with all the usual things you would find on a party tray, like blue cheese, carrots, pickles, jalapenos and of course, buffalo wing sauce and ranch.  I like to make a self-serve bar, so people can ‘decorate’ their plates as they wish.  Or you can make up a tray yourself.  Be forewarned that these are as messy as any lettuce cups and provide lots of napkins.

TIPS:  To make your prep even easier, pick up a bag of pre-shredded coleslaw and pre-crumbled blue cheese or pre-shredded pepper jack cheese, if using.  You may want to buy two heads of lettuce to ensure that you have enough large leaves and then use the smaller inside leaves for something else.  Pre-made buffalo sauce and ranch dressings are easy to find as well. 20180523_123828

Buffalo ‘Chicken’ Lettuce Wraps

  • 1 Tbsn olive oil or olive oil spray
  • 1 12 oz package Gardein 7 Grain Chicken Tenders
  • 1 large head Boston or Red Leaf Lettuce (about 12 leaves)
  • 1/3 cup buffalo sauce
  • 1/3 cup ranch dressing (optional)

Suggested Toppings

  • 2 cups Shredded cabbage and carrot
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles or shredded pepper jack cheese
  • dill pickles, sliced or chopped or black olives, sliced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, sliced or chopped
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced or chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

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  • Spray or brush a baking sheet with olive oil (optional, but made them really crispy)Place chicken tenders in a single layer on the baking sheet and bake for 16 to 18 minutes in a 430 degree oven.  Turn once halfway through.

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  • While the tenders are cooking, prepare your condiments and toppings.20180522_191108.jpg
  • Wash and shake lettuce dry.  Carefully remove whole leaves for serving.

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  • Remove tenders from oven and let cool slightly, serve whole or cut into thirds, then place on a serving tray if desired

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  • Place several tenders in a lettuce leaf and top with pickles, jalapenos, onion and cheese.  Drizzle with buffalo sauce and ranch dressing.

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Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

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  • 1 Tbsn olive oil or olive oil spray
  • 1 12 oz package Gardein 7 Grain Chicken Tenders
  • 1 large head Boston or Red Leaf Lettuce (about 12 leaves)
  • 1/3 cup buffalo sauce
  • 1/3 cup ranch dressing (optional)

Suggested Toppings

  • 2 cups Shredded cabbage and carrot
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles or shredded pepper jack cheese
  • dill pickles, sliced or chopped or black olives, sliced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, sliced
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  1. Spray or brush a baking sheet with olive oil (optional, but made them really crispy)
  2. Place chicken tenders in a single layer on the baking sheet and bake for 16 to 18 minutes in a 430 degree oven.  Turn once halfway through.
  3. While the tenders are cooking, prepare your condiments and toppings.
  4. Wash and shake lettuce dry.  Carefully remove whole leaves for serving.
  5. Remove tenders from oven and let cool slightly, serve whole or cut into thirds, then place on a serving tray if desired
  6. Place several tenders in a lettuce leaf and top with pickles, jalapenos, onion and cheese.  Drizzle with buffalo sauce and ranch dressing.

Wheatless Wednesday – Potato Crusted Spinach Herb Torta

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Still looking for something special to make for Mother’s Day? This is a lovely and delicious torta made with a potato crust (which is gluten free and tastes like french fries). Try Kite Hill Ricotta for a vegan alternative.
Happy Mother’s Day!-Joyce

goodmotherdiet

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Elegant and delicious, perfect for Mother’s Day, this beautiful torta is made with creamy ricotta, feta, spinach and fresh herbs in a pretty crust that looks like a flowery pie crust but tastes like french fries. Not kidding!   I warned that this week was all about Mother’s Day!  Not that this dish can only be made for a special occasion, it’s just that I think all mothers deserve something beautiful and pretty on their special day.  Moms are certainly worth a little extra effort to thank them for all their years of servitude wonderful mothering, which we all know is a 24/7 #lifelong #novacation job.

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I adapted this lovely recipe from Grown To Cook but it is originally from Deborah Madison: Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, Revised,.so thumbs up to both of them.  The ingredients are simple, typical breakfast ingredients you would use to make an omlette and hash…

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Wheatless Wednesday – Tofu ‘Steaks’ with Chimichurri Sauce

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Here is a personal favorite that I am making for dinner tonight. Here is a ‘steak’ a meat lover will find tasty and satisfying while a vegetarian will be in raptures… The tofu is first brushed with a spicy and savory marinade and then pan seared and topped with a fresh and zesty chimichurri sauce, a South and Latin American condiment that is loaded with chili peppers, fresh herbs and garlic that are all blended together in your food processor. To be honest, almost anything would be delicious with this magic green sauce. You will love it! Happy Meatless Monday!

goodmotherdiet

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Is there a place where meat lovers and vegans can co-exist in happiness?  I think I’ve found the holy grail!  Here is a  ‘steak’ a meat lover will find tasty and satisfying while a vegetarian will be in raptures…  Each tofu steak is a hefty seven ounces and my meat loving husband devoured his (I’m talking a full member of the clean plate club) and went back for seconds.  Furthermore, when my 20 year old son walked into the kitchen, he said “It smells so good in here!”  Winning!  The tofu is first brushed with a spicy and savory marinade and then pan seared and topped with a fresh and zesty chimichurri sauce, a South and Latin American condiment that is loaded with chili peppers, fresh herbs and garlic.  I also sauteed broccolini and topped that with a bit of chimichurri for added punch.  Trust me, chimichurri is good on almost anything…

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Wheatless Wednesday – Easy Roasted Sole with Lemon & Capers

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Those that like to have fish on Fridays, this one is for you. It’s easy and delicious with no fussy sauces to coddle. It’s pretty too. I only eat fish every now and then but decided last night to re-make this recipe from 2016. It was just as good as I remembered. Happy Friday!

goodmotherdiet

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Easy and delicious! Forget fussing over fancy sauces or breading and frying.  This is a winner in every way! Delicate fillets of sole roasted in a sauce of lemon, capers, parsley, green onions and butter (of course). Best of all, it is ready in less than half hour and  it’s  such a pretty dish, your family will be impressed.

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I pretty much love anything that is cooked with lemon, butter, garlic and fresh herbs, so it’s no surprise that I liked this dish so much.  I mean, how can you go wrong?  Just toss it all together, throw it in the oven and voila! Dinner is served.  I served the sole with sauteed spinach and a combination of long grain brown and wild rice, which was great in sopping up the yummy lemon butter and provided fiber along with bumping up the nutrients.

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We all know that fish is a…

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Meatless Monday – Kale Pesto Pasta

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Looking for a quick and easy meal? This kale pesto sauce is delicious and NO COOK. Just throw everything in your food processor and toss it with hot pasta. Top it with roasted squash for extra flavor and gorgeous color. Happy Meatless Monday!

goodmotherdiet

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Kale Pesto? Sounds too healthy doesn’t it? Wait, don’t run away screaming. I know the Kale ‘fad’ has been around for a while but bear with me.   Pesto made with a dark leafy green like kale is surprisingly delicious and so easy.  This is a NO COOK sauce that can be thrown together in about five minutes (while the pasta is cooking) and dinner is on the table easily in less than 20 minutes (including the time it takes for the water to boil).   I also used non-traditional pistachios, which are a MUFA (Mono Unsaturated Fatty Acid) aka ‘good fat’ for a richer flavor.  I actually think I liked this pesto better than the traditional version – And the extra vitamins and minerals are an added bonus. This could be the way you get YOUR picky eaters to eat their greens…

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So we all know that Kale is King, since…

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Meatless Monday – Creamy Cauliflower Leek Soup

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Here’s an oldie but a goodie found way back in my archives. I’m on another soup kick, just can’t seem to get rid of the flu once and for all. Stay warm and dry people!-J

goodmotherdiet

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Craving a bowl of luscious, creamy rib sticking soup but don’t want the extra calories or carbs?  Well this is it! This yummy creation tastes like a delicious, creamy potato soup but without potatoes or cream. Cauliflower has worked so well as a healthy stand in for so many carbs like rice, potatoes and other grains that I thought to give my  Old Fashioned Potato Soup recipe a cauliflower update.  Pureeing some or all of the cooked cauliflower and vegetable broth into a smooth and creamy consistency makes it easy to omit the cream.  You will swear its loaded with cream but it is actually vegan (unless you top it with parmesan).  I loved this soup topped with a drizzle of herb oil whose sharp tang melds nicely with the creaminess of the soup and dry roasted pepitos that add a satisfying crunch.  Parmesan is another yummy option that adds a salty, creamy dimension.  Purists can top with salt and pepper or swirl in a…

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Meatless Monday – Squash, Wild Rice and Kale Salad

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I love this combination of kabocha squash brushed with maple syrup and roasted to sweet tenderness, on a bed of fresh baby kale, hearty wild rice, creamy avocado, pomegranate seeds and salty crushed pistachios, all drizzled with a light orange, ginger vinaigrette.  Its a hearty main course salad when paired with crusty sourdough bread or a bowl of soup.

My friend, Kerry and her daughter, Gabby, were visiting from Maine last week. I could tell that Kerry was unimpressed by the pile of greens on the counter while i was making dinner. By the time the whole salad was assembled, she was singing a different tune…

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The colors alone tell you that this salad is a nutrional powerhouse.  Remember “Eat the Rainbow”?  The more colors you combine in your meals, the more vitamins and minerals you are likely to be getting.  I haven’t posted a food color chart in a while, so here is good one compliments of eatlocalgrown.com.  Its actually pretty interesting knowing that food is a certain color for a reason, or conversely, that the phytonutrients a plant contains determines its color.  color.jpg (720×720)I love wild rice in salads.  It has a nutty flavor and chewy texture that helps satisfy your mouth and your belly.  This salad is not heavy but it makes you feel satisfied and happy. For those that like to compare the nutrition of various ingredients, there is a healthy reason to incorporate wild rice into your diet.  According to SF Gate,  a one-cup serving of cooked, long-grain white rice contains 210 calories, 4 grams of protein and 45 grams of carbohydrate, including 1 gram of fiber. The same-sized serving of cooked wild rice provides you with 170 calories, 7 grams of protein and 35 grams of carbohydrate, including 3 grams of fiber.20180222_171101.jpgThis recipe calls for kabocha squash which is perfect for salad since its flavorful and tender and has a soft edible rind.  You can also use acorn squash which also has the pretty scallops but the rind is hard and inedible.  Its not really a problem, you can just remove the rind as you eat.  Acorn squash should probably be cut in thin quarter rounds since they are generally larger and may need to cook longer depending on thickness.

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TIPS:  I love fresh pomegranate seeds, or arils as they are technically named, but they are not available all year around.  Sometimes you can find them in the frozen section but I have started buying them when they are in season, seeding them and storing them in the freezer until I need them.  Its best to store in small, usable quantities instead of trying to chip away at a large block.   You can also freeze the small plastic containers of pomegranate seeds available in stores during the season if you haven’t opened them. They thaw perfectly!  You can always substitute another fresh fruit like blueberries or dried cranberries or raisins.

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SQUASH, WILD RICE AND KALE SALAD

  • 1 kabocha squash (or acorn squash)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup wild rice, uncooked (1/2 cup cooked)
  • large bunch baby kale or arugula
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate arils (or dried cranberries)
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1/4 cup roasted pecans (pistachios, hazelnuts or almonds)
  • Vinaigrette: 1/4 cup orange juice
    1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
    1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
    1 garlic clove, freshly grated
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon pepper
    1/3 cup olive oil

 

  • Cook the rice according to instructions in vegetable broth, if desired. For salads, al dente is preferred. Remove from heat and let cool.

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  • Cut the squash open and scoop out the seeds. Place it flat-side-down on a large cutting board and slice into 1/2 inch half rounds

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  • Arrange the Kabocha slices on an oiled baking sheet (or lined with parchment paper). Whisk together the olive oil and maple syrup and brush squash generously, sprinkle with salt and pepper

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  • Roast on 450ºF for 12-15 minutes or until soft and beginning to brown.  Turn halfway through and brush maple oil mixture on other side, salt and pepper. Remove from heat and let cool.

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  • Spread baby kale or arugula in a layer on a large platter.

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  • Dot evenly with wild rice and avocado slices

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  • Top with squash slices

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  • Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds (arils) and slightly crushed pistachios

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  • Whisk together vinaigrette and dress salad just before serving.  Serve with extra dressing on the side.

 

Squash, Wild Rice and Kale Salad

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
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  • 1 kabocha squash
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup wild rice, uncooked (1/2 cup cooked)
  • large bunch baby kale or arugula
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate arils (or dried cranberries)
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1/4 cup roasted pecans (pistachios, hazelnuts or almonds)
  • Vinaigrette: 1/4 cup orange juice
    1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
    1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
    1 garlic clove, freshly grated
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon pepper
    1/3 cup olive oil

 

  1. Cook the rice according to instructions in vegetable broth, if desired. For salads, al dente is preferred. Remove from heat and let cool.
  2. Cut the squash open and scoop out the seeds. Place it flat-side-down on a large cutting board and slice into 1/2 inch half rounds
  3. Arrange the Kabocha slices on an oiled baking sheet (or lined with parchment paper). Whisk together the olive oil and maple syrup and brush squash generously, sprinkle with salt and pepper
  4. Roast on 450ºF for 12-15 minutes or until soft and beginning to brown.  Turn halfway through and brush oil mixture on other side, salt and pepper. Remove from heat and let cool.
  5. Spread baby kale or arugula in a layer on a large platter.
  6. Dot evenly with wild rice
  7. Arrange squash and avocado slices on top
  8. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds (arils) and slightly crushed nuts
  9. Whisk together vinaigrette and dress salad just before serving.  Serve with extra dressing on the side.

Vegetarian “Beef” Enchiladas

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Okay, these are seriously good!  I was experimenting with a couple of vegetarian enchilada recipes last week as potential Superbowl options and we liked both.  I posted the Vegetable Enchiladas recipe for Meatless Monday and here is the second recipe, as promised. These enchiladas are based on a typical enchilada recipe using ground beef but using vegan ‘beef’ crumbles instead with surprisingly good results.  My meat lovers claimed they couldn’t taste the difference.  I also added whole corn kernels and fire roasted canned tomatoes to round out the flavors. It’s very easy to make this vegan by using a vegan cheese.

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Historically, I have not been a fan of substitute or vegan ‘meat’ products, just because I don’t usually like them.  However, the vegan food industry is exploding with really great products and Beyond Meat, in particular, has opened up a whole new world of vegan meat substitutes.  Their Beef-Free Crumbles are soy and gluten free.  They are made from a pea protein and provide the same amount of protein as ground beef but only half of the fat (which is canola oil). I have liked every product that I have tried so far, so you may see a few more recipes in the future using their products.  And for the record, they don’t pay me to promote their products or even know about my little blog (unfortunately). A couple of my other favorite vegan products are Miyoko’s vegan butter (and her soft cheeses), Kite Hill Ricotta and Just Mayo (which is also made from pea protein).  All three products are as good as or better than their dairy counterparts.

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TIPS:  I found that 6 enchiladas fit easily in a 13 x 9 glass baking dish. If you don’t have a larger one, you may want a little extra sauce.  Do not forget to heat the tortillas before filling them or they will split.

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“BEEF” ENCHILADAS

  • 1 15 oz can Red Enchilada Sauce (or more if using multiple pans)
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 1 16 oz package frozen Beyond Beef crumbles
  • 1 15 oz can Diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes, drained
  • 4 oz Diced green chile peppers, drained
  • 1 cup frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese (or half pepper jack cheese)
  • 12 corn tortillas (6 inch)
  • Cooking Spray
  • 1 4 oz can sliced black olives (optional)

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  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray 2 13×9-inch glass baking dishes with cooking spray. Spread 1 cup sauce over bottom of baking dishes.

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  • Saute chopped onion until soft and translucent.  Add ‘beef’ crumbles and cook several minutes. Remove from heat.

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  • Stir in drained tomatoes, drained chilis, corn and 1/2 cup shredded cheese.

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  • Warm tortillas in damp papertowels in the microwave for 30-45 seconds to make them pliable and prevent splitting. Spread the middle of each tortilla with 1/4 cup ‘beef’ mixture. Roll up and place seam-side down in baking dish.

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  • Spoon remaining sauce over top of enchiladas and sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese. Garnish with black olives or sliced jalapenos, if desired.

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  • Cover baking dish with aluminum foil and bake 20-25 minutes or until enchiladas are hot and cheese melts.

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  • Servings: 12 enchiladas
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

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  • 1 15 oz can Red Enchilada Sauce
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 1 16 oz package frozen Beyond Beef crumbles
  • 1 15 oz can Diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes, drained
  • 4 oz Diced green chile peppers, drained
  • 1 cup frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese (or half pepper jack cheese)
  • 12 corn tortillas (6 inch)
  • Cooking Spray
  • 1 4 oz can sliced black olives (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray baking dish with cooking spray. Spread 1 cup sauce over bottom of baking dish. If you are using more than one dish, you may want extra sauce.
  2. Saute chopped onion until soft and transluscent.  Add ‘beef’ crumbles and cook several minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Stir in drained tomatoes, drained chilis, corn and 1/2 cup shredded cheese.
  4. Warm tortillas in damp papertowels in the microwave for 30-45 seconds to make them pliable and prevent splitting.  Spread the middle of each tortilla with 1/4 cup ‘beef’ mixture. Roll up and place seam-side down in baking dish.
  5. Spoon remaining sauce over top of enchiladas and sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese. Garnish with black olives or sliced jalapenos, if desired.
  6. Cover baking dish with aluminum foil and bake 20-25 minutes or until enchiladas are hot and cheese melts.

Meatless Monday – Vegetable Enchiladas

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Do you have football mania in your house?  My team wasn’t even close.  As a consolation, even if your team didn’t make the playoffs, the Superbowl is still a fun excuse to get friends together, even if just for the commercials and maybe Justin Timberlake…and, of course, the food.  Like so many of you, I am trying to come up with a menu for the Superbowl.  I will be making a big batch of my Chili Con Quinoa which is always a fan favorite.  In keeping with the Mexican theme, I decided to try out a couple of vegetarian enchilada recipes.  One is stocked full of veggies, spinach, zucchini, corn, tomatoes and the other has Beyond Meat ‘beef’ crumbles in place of ground beef. Well, we liked them both so I’m sharing both recipes this week but on different blog posts.   Today is the veggie enchilada but stay tuned…  I will also repost some of my favorite vegetarian Superbowl recipes this week.

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The best thing about these enchiladas is that most of the ingredients come from your pantry or freezer, so it makes a great out of season (or I don’t want to go shopping) meal.  AND there is no pre-cooking.  Its basically an assembly and bake meal.  Feel free to substitute your favorite vegetables just make sure they are all sliced or diced fairly small since they aren’t pre-cooked.  If you want to add some protein, substitute the spinach with a can of drained and rinsed black or pinto beans.   It is also very easy to make this vegan by using vegan cheese.

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TIPS:  DO NOT FORGET TO WARM THE TORTILLAS BEFORE FILLING.  THEY WILL SPLIT. GUARANTEED.  I found that 6 enchiladas fit easily in my 9×13 glass pans which means you need two pans, unless you have a larger pan that fits all 12.  If you use multiple pans you may want to have extra enchilada sauce on hand.

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VEGETABLE ENCHILADAS

  • 1 15 oz can Red Enchilada Sauce
  • 1 15 oz can Diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes, drained
  • 1 4 oz can diced Green Chilies, drained
  • 1 10 oz pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 1 cup frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
  • 1 small zucchini, small dice
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese (or half pepper jack cheese)
  • 12 corn tortillas (6 inch)
  • Cooking Spray
  • 1 4 oz can sliced black olives (optional)

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  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray baking dish (or 2) with cooking spray. Spread 1 cup sauce over bottom of baking dish.

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  • Using a double paper towel, squeeze the water out of the spinach.

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  • In a medium bowl, stir together drained tomatoes, drained chilis, spinach, corn and 1/2 cup cheese.

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  • Heat the tortillas  in a damp paper towel 6 at a time for about 30-45 seconds in the microwave to soften and make pliable. Spread the middle of each tortilla with 1/3 cup veggie mixture. Roll up and place seam-side down in baking dish.

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  • Spoon remaining sauce over top of enchiladas and sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese. Garnish with black olives, if desired.

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  • Cover baking dish with aluminum foil and bake 30 minutes or until enchiladas are hot and cheese melts.  I forgot to cover mine until halfway through. Distracted cooking.  It happens. Yours will be prettier.

Vegetable Enchiladas

  • Servings: 12 enchiladas
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

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  • 1 15 oz can Red Enchilada Sauce
  • 1 15 oz can Diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes, drained
  • 1 4 oz can diced Green Chilies, drained
  • 1 10 oz pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 1 cup frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese (or half pepper jack cheese)
  • 12 corn tortillas (6 inch)
  • Cooking Spray
  • 1 4 oz can sliced black olives (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray 13×9-inch glass baking dish with cooking spray. Spread 1 cup sauce over bottom of baking dish.
  2. Using a double paper towel, squeeze the water out of the spinach.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together drained tomatoes, drained chilis, spinach, corn and 1/2 cup cheese.
  4. Heat the tortillas  in a damp paper towel 6 at a time for about 30-45 seconds in the microwave to soften and make pliable. Spread the middle of each tortilla with 1/3 cup veggie mixture. Roll up and place seam-side down in baking dish.
  5. Spoon remaining sauce over top of enchiladas and sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese. Garnish with black olives, if desired.
  6. Cover baking dish with aluminum foil and bake 30 minutes or until enchiladas are hot and cheese melts.