Harvest Vegetable Tart

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A tart is really just a fancy casserole and this beauty takes advantage of the exquisite red/orange palate of fall by using colorful root vegetables cut into small leaf shapes using cookie cutters to create an Autumn motif. It happens to be savory and delicious too! It would look great on your Thanksgiving table…

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The original inspiration for this recipe was filled with three kinds of cheese which sounds delicious but I was looking for something less caloric and more savory.  I opted to braise the leftover bits of veggies in olive oil and vegetable broth with shallots and garlic for a flavorful, lower fat tart filling.  I also added coconut milk for creaminess and parmesan for its nutty and salty flavors, but next time I will omit the coconut milk and spread a nice layer of Kite Hill Ricotta Cheese(vegan) over the braised veggies before adding the leaves.

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I have had this set of leaf cookie cutters for so long that I don’t remember where I got them but they are still available for sale: 7 Piece Leaf Cookie Cutters. William Sonoma and other gourmet kitchen and restaurant supply stores have a good selection too.  They are worth having in your kitchen arsenal to decorate pies, casseroles or yes, even to make cookies.

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Root vegetables are decidedly homely from the outside, but once you remove their rough exterior, they are positively lovely, an entire array of jewel tones.  I chose my veggies for their variety of colors and flavors. In fact, their brilliant colors show us what a storehouse of nutrients they are.  Since they grow underground, they absorb a tremendous amount of nutrients directly from the soil which includes a variety of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Click through for 5 Reasons To Eat More Root Vegetables

Parsnips are a funny veggie and actually get a little bit sweet when cooked.  If you don’t like them, substitute another veggie or regular potatoes, especially in the tart filling. Actually, you can use any combination of root vegetables that you like.  Just beware that red and purple veggies may stain wood cutting boards and fingers… heads up.

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TIPS:  I found it helpful to use a potholder to protect my hands when pressing the cookie cutters into the veggies.  Also, I opted to not use the purple carrot ‘scraps’ in the tart filling as it leaches pink liquid turning the whole filling pink and unappetizing. (Yep, found out the hard way)  Other options would be to omit the coconut milk and parmesan and dot with goat cheese or vegan ricotta (I recommend Kite Hill Ricotta and Vio Life Just Like Parmesan) before topping with the leaves.

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HARVEST VEGETABLE TART

  • 1 single pie crust
  • 1 butternut squash*
  • 1-2 purple carrots*
  • 1-2 parsnips*
  • 1 large sweet potato*
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3 medium shallots, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp flour
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk or 1 cup vegan ricotta
  • 1/2+ cup shredded parmesan (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
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  • Pre heat oven to 375. Peel and slice squash neck into 1/4 inch rings.
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  • Using a cookie cutter, press firmly into squash. I recommend using a potholder to make pressing down easier on your hands.
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  • Peel and slice remaining root vegetables, using various leaf shapes.  Reserve veggie ‘scraps’.
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  •  Line one or two baking sheets with parchment paper or foil.  Arrange the leaves on the baking sheets. If your cookie cutters have large and small shapes, separate them as they may have different cooking times. Spray or brush with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt. My cookie cutters are small and I had about 70 leaves.
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  • Prebake the leaves until they are tender enough to pierce with a knife tip, but not so tender that they fall apart, about 15 minutes.  Larger leaves may need another 5 minutes. Let cool.
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  • Saute shallots until lightly browned in 2 tablespoons olive oil.  Add garlic.
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  • Gather the veggie scraps and dice. You should have about 6 cups of veggies. Don’t include purple carrot scraps as they will turn everything pink. Add to the shallots along with vegetable broth.  Simmer 10 minutes with the lid off.  Add more broth if necessary but liquid should mostly evaporate.
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  • Veggies should be soft but still somewhat firm.  They will cook again in the tart pan.  Stir in 2 tsp of flour and then add coconut milk, herbs and parmesan (if using).
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  • Roll out pastry dough and place it in a tart pan, pressing gently into the bottom.  Roll the pin over the top to cut the dough to fit the pan.
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  • Pour vegetable filling into pie crust and spread evenly with a spoon.
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  • Arrange the leaf shapes onto the top of the filling, covering any gaps until entire tart is covered.  Spray or brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with more parmesan, if desired.
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  • Bake tart for 35-45 minutes.  Let cool slightly before cutting. Serve with a crisp green salad.  Enjoy!

HARVEST VEGETABLE TART

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 90 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
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  • 1 single pie crust
  • 1 butternut squash*
  • 1-2 purple carrots*
  • 1-2 parsnips*
  • 1 large sweet potato*
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3 medium shallots, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp flour
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 1/2+ cup shredded parmesan (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Pre heat oven to 375. Peel and slice squash neck into 1/4 inch rings.
  2. Using a cookie cutter, press firmly into squash.  I recommend using a potholder to make pressing down easier on your hands.
  3. Peel and slice remaining root vegetables, using various leaf shapes.  Reserve veggie ‘scraps’.
  4.  Line one or two baking sheets with parchment paper or foil.  Arrange the leaves on the baking sheets. If your cookie cutters have large and small shapes, separate them as they may have different cooking times. Spray or brush with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt.
  5. Prebake the leaves until they are tender enough to pierce with a knife tip, but not so tender that they fall apart, about 15 minutes.  Larger leaves may need another 5 minutes. Let cool.
  6. Saute shallots until lightly browned in 2 tablespoons olive oil.  Add garlic.
  7. Gather the veggie scraps and dice. You should have about 6 cups of veggies. Don’t include purple carrot scraps as they will turn everything pink. Add to the shallots along with vegetable broth.  Simmer 10 minutes with the lid off.  Add more broth if necessary but liquid should mostly evaporate.
  8. Veggies should be soft but still somewhat firm.  They will cook again in the tart pan.  Stir in 2 tsp of flour and then add coconut milk, herbs and parmesan (if using).
  9. Roll out pastry dough and place it in a tart pan, pressing gently into the bottom.  Roll the pin over the top to cut the dough to fit the pan.
  10. Pour vegetable filling into pie crust and spread evenly with a spoon.
  11. Arrange the leaf shapes onto the top of the filling, covering any gaps until entire tart is covered.  Spray or brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with parmesan, if desired.
  12. Bake tart for 35-45 minutes.  Let cool slightly before cutting. Serve with a crisp green salad.  Enjoy!

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Portobello Mushroom Wellington

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This vegan Portobello Wellington is pretty enough to serve as a main course for Thanksgiving or Christmas. It features layers of rich beluga lentils, whole portobello mushrooms and sauteed garlic spinach. I created this dish a couple of years ago while looking for a non-turkey main course for Thanksgiving. The dish was a huge success, pretty AND delicious. This year I will be making Mushroom Wellington again but with a gluten free crust.  Just add mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce and you’re good to go!  🙂

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A traditional Beef Wellington is a fillet steak coated with pâté and duxelles, which is then wrapped in pastry and baked.  In this reimagined vegan  version, whole portobellos stand in for the ‘steak’  and the lentils with shallots and garlic would be the ‘pate’ with duxelles, which is just a fancy name for mushrooms sautéed with onions, shallots and garlic.  The flavor combination of the three layers worked so well together in creating a flavorful but still juicy filling.  I cooked the lentils in vegetable broth for more flavor. Of course, adding sauteed shallots and garlic to the black lentils gave them an even richer taste.  They were a great first layer.  Then I placed whole sauteed portobello mushrooms as the middle later and topped with spinach sauteed in garlic.

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Except for the pretty crust, which is what makes this a holiday worthy dish, all of the ingredients add flavor and nutritional value.  Spinach and mushrooms are high in food value, including fiber, vitamins and minerals, plus protein.  They also have zero or low amounts of fat, cholesterol, carbs and sugars.  If I were going to make my own crust, I would try a recipe using white whole wheat flour like this one from King Arthur Flour or this gluten free onehttps://www.kingarthurbaking.com/recipes/gluten-free-classic-double-pie-crust-recipe.  Last time I made this on a whim, so I cheated with pre-made crusts.  It happens…

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I chose black lentils, also called Beluga lentils due to their resemblance of black caviar, because I find them the richest in flavor and their texture remains firm when cooked.  However, brown or green lentils would work well here too.  They are also quite healthy.  100 grams of cooked lentils contains 116 calories, 9.02 g of protein, .3 g of fat and 9.02 g of fiber.  They are also rich in minerals and vitamins.  Click for MORE info.

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TIPS:  This recipe is easy to prep a day or so ahead of time and assemble just before cooking.  Just prepare the lentil mixture and saute and drain the mushrooms and the spinach, then place in the refrigerator in airtight containers until ready to assemble.  You can preform them into log shapes before refrigerating for easier assembly.  For those who really like to plan ahead, you could probably assemble the whole thing a day or two ahead and refrigerate until you are ready to bake. One word of warning, don’t keep it warm in the oven as the spinach gets overcooked.

PORTOBELLO WELLINGTON

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Note:  This recipe can be made with 3 or 4 large portobello mushrooms.  The 3 mushroom wellington will fit in an 18″ baking sheet, while a 4 mushroom one needs a 21″ pan.  The recipe is for both.  For the larger wellington, use the larger quantities.

  • 1-1 1/4 cup black lentils (or brown)
  • 4-5 cups vegetable broth (optional)
  • 3-4 large portabello mushrooms
  • 3-4 large shallots peeled and minced
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, minced (divided)
  • 3 Tbs olive oil (divided)
  • 8-12 oz fresh spinach (3- 4 cups)
  • 2 – 3 blocks or rolls of pastry dough (or puff pastry, if preferred)
  • 1/4 cup vegan butter or soy milk (as pastry wash)
  • salt and pepper to taste
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  • Cook lentils in vegetable broth for more flavor (optional) following instructions on package.  Remove from heat and let cool. Trim mushroom stalks if needed and wipe caps clean with a damp paper towel. Do not immerse in water.
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  • Heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil in a skillet and place the mushrooms, top side down. Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes.  Turn them over and cook for another 5 minutes or until you hear the water release and sizzle in the pan. Remove from the heat, and drain on paper towel cap side up as they will release liquid as they cool.
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  • In the mushroom skillet, heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil and half of garlic, lightly saute spinach.  Just cook until wilted and liquid releases.  If you decided to use frozen spinach, squeeze out as much water as possible. Remove from heat and let cool
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  • Saute shallots in 1 Tablespoon olive oil until lightly browned.  Add remaining garlic and cooked lentils.  Stir to combine. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.  Remove from heat and let cool.
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  • Once cool enough, you should be able to form it into a log.  If you can’t, it’s probably too wet, so return it to the stove or put it in the refrigerator to firm up.
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  • Roll out pastry dough into any shape you prefer to make both a top and bottom crust.  I used 4 pre-made pie crusts and rolled 1 1/2 together to make the long traditional Wellington shape, however, you can make it a circle, square or rectangle.
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  • Place bottom crust on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Form lentil log in center of bottom crust and pat into shape
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  • Arrange mushrooms on top of lentils, cap side up
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  • Top evenly with the sauteed spinach.  Pat into as smooth a shape as possible for best results
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  • Place top crust over your lentil, mushroom, spinach creation and smooth it with your fingers.
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  • Cut around the Wellington using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, leaving a generous 1 inch margin.
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  • Using a fork, firmly press the two edges closed going all the way around.
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  • Cut shapes with a cookie cutter to decorate the top if you like.  Leaves would be pretty too. Save any leftover dough for future use.
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  • Brush the pastry with melted vegan butter or soy milk and poke air holes with a fork.
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  • Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 to 40 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.  If the edges start getting too brown, cover them with strips of aluminum foil. Serve immediately or at room temperature.

Portobello Wellington

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

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Note:  This recipe can be made with 3 or 4 large portobello mushrooms.  The 3 mushroom wellington will fit in an 18″ baking sheet, while a 4 mushroom one needs a 21″ pan.  The recipe is for both.  For the larger wellington, use the larger quantities.

  • 1-1 1/4 cup black lentils (or brown)
  • 4-5 cups vegetable broth (optional)
  • 3-4 large portabello mushrooms
  • 3-4 large shallots peeled and minced
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, minced (divided)
  • 3 Tbs olive oil (divided)
  • 8-12 oz fresh spinach (3- 4 cups)
  • 2 – 3 blocks or rolls of pastry dough
  • 1/4 cup vegan butter or soy milk (as pastry wash)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Cook lentils in vegetable broth for more flavor (optional) following instructions on package.  Remove from heat and let cool.
  2. Trim mushroom stalks if needed and wipe caps clean with a damp paper towel. Do not immerse in water.
  3. Heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil in a skillet and place the mushrooms, top side down. Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes.  Turn them over and cook for another 5 minutes or until you hear the water release and sizzle in the pan. Remove from the heat, and drain on paper towel cap side up as they will release liquid as they cool.
  4. In the mushroom skillet, heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil and half of garlic, lightly saute spinach.  Just cook until wilted and liquid releases.  If you decided to use frozen spinach, squeeze out as much water as possible. Remove from heat and let cool
  5. Saute shallots in 1 Tablespoon olive oil until lightly browned.  Add remaining garlic and cooked lentils.  Stir to combine. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.  Remove from heat and let cool.  Once cool enough, you should be able to form it into a log. If you can’t, it’s probably too wet, so return it to the stove or put it in the refrigerator to firm up.
  6. Roll out pastry dough into any shape you prefer to make both a top and bottom crust.  I used 4 pre-made pie crusts and rolled 1 1/2 together to make the long traditional Wellington shape, however, you can make it a circle, square or rectangle.
  7. Place bottom crust on a parchment lined baking sheet
  8. Form lentil log in center of bottom crust and pat into shape
  9. Arrange mushrooms on top of lentils, cap side up
  10. Top evenly with the sauteed spinach.  Pat into as smooth a shape as possible for best results
  11. Place top crust over your lentil, mushroom, spinach creation and smooth it with your fingers.
  12. Cut around the Wellington using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, leaving a generous 1 inch margin.
  13. Using a fork, firmly press the two edges closed going all the way around.
  14. Cut shapes with a cookie cutter to decorate the top if you like.  Save and leftover dough for future use.
  15. Brush the pastry with melted vegan butter or soy milk and poke air holes with a fork.
  16. Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 to 40 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.  If the edges start getting too brown, cover them with strips of aluminum foil.

Meatless Monday – Butternut Squash Barley Risotto

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Well winter weather came in with a blast, well actually a Bomb Cyclone or Atmospheric River depending on your news source. That calls for rib sticking recipes like this Butternut Squash Risotto made with barley. Its hearty and deliciously decadent. Enjoy!

goodmotherdiet

20161207_194811 Risotto is so rich and creamy that it seems fancy and somewhat decadent.  Well this version is no different, even though it is made without meat or dairy and I used barley instead of the traditional Arborio rice which adds flavor and interest. If you are intimidated by making risotto at home, don’t be.  It’s actually a pretty easy (mostly) one pot dish.  Yes, you do have to stir it but not constantly.  You don’t have to be a slave to the stove but it is the technique of slowly adding broth and allowing it to absorb into the barley which creates the rich and creamy almost sauce-like texture which is the result of the barley releasing starch into the broth. Starch is that magic ingredient that helps marry the ingredients.  (This is same reason I always save a cup of cooking water when making pasta). The barley risotto is a wonderful, slightly…

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Easy No Peel Applesauce

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It’s that time of year! It’s Apple Harvest and time to share my recipe for the easiest applesauce recipe ever, perfect for even the laziest of cooks. This is my most googled recipe with over 30,000 hits since its original posting in 2015, most of them in September and October. With that kind of love, I thought it time to share again. Now, I’m off to go pick some apples…

goodmotherdiet

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It’s that time of year!  It’s Apple Harvest and time to share my recipe for the easiest applesauce recipe ever, perfect for even the laziest of cooks.  This is my most googled recipe with over 7000 hits since its original posting in 2015, most of them in September and October.  With that kind of love, I thought it time to share again.  Now, I’m off to go pick some apples…

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…

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Meatless Monday – Mediterranean Orzo

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Toss together cooked orzo, sun dried tomatoes, kalamata olives, crumbled feta and fresh herbs with a lemon dressing for a quick, fuss free meal. I just love a dish that doesn’t need to be babied or involve a lot of prep, no oven and can be ready in 20 minutes, plus cooling time. This delicious pasta dish is served at room temperature, so you can make it and let it sit until you are ready which makes it perfect for a summer buffet or when you have guests for dinner. Or better yet, make this the day before and bring to room temperature to serve while you sit back and enjoy a glass of wine…

goodmotherdiet

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Toss together cooked orzo, sun dried tomatoes, kalamata olives, crumbled feta and fresh herbs with a lemon dressing for a quick, fuss free meal.  I just love a dish that doesn’t need to be babied or involve a lot of prep, no oven and can be ready in 20 minutes, plus cooling time.  This delicious pasta dish is served at room temperature, so you can make it and let it sit until you are ready which makes it perfect for a summer buffet or when you have guests for dinner.  Or better yet, make this the day before and bring to room temperature to serve while you sit back and enjoy a glass of wine…

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I love this combination of flavors and colors. The orzo (which is pasta not rice) absorbs the lemon vinaigrette along with the sun dried tomatoes in oil.  The herbs and onions add a freshness while…

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Best Pasta with No Cook Tomato Sauce

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What could be easier than tossing warm pasta with fresh tomatoes, basil and olive oil?  This is a delicious NO COOK sauce that I have been making for ten years or so.  It is really delicious!   I no longer have the original recipe for this ‘sauce’ and usually only think about making it later in the summer when I have too many tomatoes on my windowsill on the verge of getting overripe. This recipe  is a great use for tomatoes that are a bit past their prime and starting to get a mealy texture. Of course, the better quality tomatoes, the more delicious the sauce but you can slip in an overripe tomato or two and it will work out just fine.  You can also add a few cherry tomatoes if you wish. I just use what I have on hand, but the more colorful the variety of tomatoes, the better.  Just dice the tomatoes, add a clove of minced garlic, sliced or chopped basil and oregano, drizzle with olive oil and let sit on the counter at room temperature for one to three hours.  All the flavors combine and transform raw tomatoes into a deliciously fresh sauce.  Sometimes I add fresh mozzarella for a Caprese type pasta or sprinkle with grated or shaved parmesan but it is just as good on its own. Great vegan cheese choices are Miyoko’s Vegan Mozz and Vio Life Just Like Parmesan.

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There is some debate whether tomatoes are more nutritious raw or cooked.  Usually cooking vegetables reduces their nutritional value as vitamins are lost during the cooking process, however, it looks like tomatoes may be different.  Cooking tomatoes reduces the amount of vitamin C but may increase the amount of lycopene (a phytochemical with antioxidant properties) that can be absorbed by our bodies.  So I think its a toss up.  You can lightly sauté this sauce if you prefer but I love the simplicity of leaving it raw as nature intended. It can be served immediately, warmed by the hot pasta or at room temperature.

TIP:  Garlic lovers beware!  For those of us who pile on the garlic, be forewarned.  Since this sauce is not cooked, the garlic does not mellow and sweeten the same way it does when cooked, so don’t use the same amount you would in a cooked sauce and make sure you finely mince. For gluten free substitute a GF pasta. There are so many good options out there now! Easy peasy…

Tomato Pasta1

Spaghetti with Fresh Tomatoes and Basil

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Tomato Pasta1

4 – 6 ripe tomatoes of varying size and variety

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup fresh basil, sliced or chopped

1 Tbsn fresh oregano, chopped (or thyme)

1-2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)

1/4 tsp pepper (or to taste)

1 cup fresh mozzarella (optional)

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  •  Dice tomatoes and place in a medium sized bowl

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  •  Add garlic, herbs, olive oil, salt and pepper to tomatoes.

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  •  Stir gently to combine and let sit at room temperature for one to three hours (30 minutes if you can’t wait).

Tomato Pasta6

  •  Slice or dice fresh mozzarella, if using.

Tomato Pasta4

  •  Add mozzarella to the sauce about 15 minutes or so before serving. (You don’t want it sitting out too long). Adjust seasoning, if necessary.

Tomato Pasta3

  •  Cook spaghetti according to instructions, drain and place in a serving bowl.

Tomato Pasta2

  •  Pour tomato sauce over the top and gently combine.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Rustic 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. 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, making it a better choice for baking. I believe in making food healthy but not at the expense of taste.  Win, Win!
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These roasted tomatoes are really sweet and flavorful, great layered in sandwiches or mixed in with other vegetables. I know I will be making these over and over again!  I know I already said this, but it bears repeating.  The sauce is ‘to die for’ so carefully pour every last drop into a small bowl and use it as a dipping sauce.
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Tomatoes are America’s favorite vegetable (even though it’s technically a fruit) and they are so wonderful when they are in season like right now, fresh from the vine.  You can just taste the goodness! If you are worried that cooking tomatoes, destroys the nutrients, don’t. Tomatoes are one of the veggies that actually benefits from being cooked. Most people know that tomatoes are loaded with vitamins and nutrients, like lycopene, an antioxidant that helps protect our immune systems.  The best way to get lycopene, which is in the skin and gives tomatoes their red color, is through cooked or processed tomatoes.  Cooking them with a little healthy oil helps carry the lycopene into the bloodstream. ( Best Health Magazine)  So roast away!  You won’t regret it…

TIPS:  This recipe is easy to make vegan.  Just substitute a vegan mozzarella (I really like Miyoko’s Vegan Mozz) and vegan parmesan (I like Vio Life Just Like Parmesan) or omit the cheeses which are not necessary anyway, as the star of this dish is really the roasted tomatoes. To veganize the crust, substitute a vegan butter (I love Miyoko’s) or oil and brush the crust with non-dairy milk (My favorite is Oatley) before cooking.  Then I would suggest sprinkling the tomatoes and especially the crust with a coarse salt and more herbs before baking.
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I spotted this recipe in the Farm Fresh – Summer, 2015 magazine, although I added a layer of fresh mozzarella beneath the tomatoes and used white whole wheat flour for the crust for a more nutritious tart.
RUSTIC ROASTED TOMATO TART
7-8 ripe tomatoes
1/3 cup olive oil
1 Tbsn balsamic vinegar
2 tsp honey
3 tsp fresh thyme (or 1 1/2 tsp dried)-divided
1/2 tsp salt
6 oz fresh mozzarella or vegan mozz, sliced
1/4 cup parmesan or vegan parm, shredded(optional)
CRUST (or your favorite pre-made crust)
1 cup white whole wheat flour (or all purpose flour)plus more for dusting the surface
2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted vegan butter
2 Tbsn + 1 tsp ice water
1 egg or 2 Tbsn non-dairy milk(for glazing the crust)
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If you are making dough for a crust, combine the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse briefly to combine.  Cut butter into slices and add to the flour mixture.  Pulse about 20 times or until the butter particles are small.  With the motor running, add the ice water and process until the dough is beginning to come together.  It will be loose but will come together if you pinch it.  Turn the loose dough out onto a mixing bowl and knead it briefly  Shape it into a flat disc and wrap in plastic.  Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes and up to 2 days.  (Or to save time later, you can roll it into a 12 inch round, then wrap it in plastic and store in the refrigerator)
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Pre-heat the oven to 425.  Line a heavy duty rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.  Brush with with olive oil.  Combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and honey in a small bowl.
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Cut tomatoes in half horizontally and carefully remove seeds.
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Place tomatoes cut side up on the baking sheet and lightly sprinkle with salt.
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Pour the balsamic mixture into each tomato half, distributing as evenly as possible. Sprinkle with 2 tsp thyme.
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Roast the tomatoes until they are brown on the edges and collapsed, about an hour.  Let them cool.  Save any pan juices to serve with crusty sourdough bread!
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While the tomatoes are cooling, remove the dough from the refrigerator and let come to room temperature.  Heat oven to 400.  Line a heavy duty rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.  Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll into a 12 inch round, then transfer to parchment paper. Don’t worry if the edges aren’t perfect.  I think it makes a more interesting tart.
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Arrange mozzarella slices in the center of the round, leaving a 2 inch border of dough.
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Arrange the roasted tomato halves over the mozzarella, starting in the center and slightly overlapping, still leaving a 2 inch border.

Fold the edge of the dough up and over the tomatoes, pleating as you go.
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Brush the dough (including under the folds) with beaten egg.  Sprinkle the tart with parmesan and remaining thyme. Bake until the crust is golden brown, about 40 minutes.

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Let cool slightly and transfer to a cutting board or serving platter.  Serve warm or at room temperature.




Rustic Tomato Tart

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

 
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7-8 ripe tomatoes
1/3 cup olive oil
1 Tbsn balsamic vinegar
2 tsp honey
3 tsp fresh thyme (or 1 1/2 tsp dried)-divided
1/2 tsp salt
6 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced (optional)
1/4 cup parmesan, shredded(optional)
CRUST (or your favorite pre-made crust)
1 cup white whole wheat flour (or all purpose flour)plus more for dusting the surface
2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter
2 Tbsn + 1 tsp ice water
1 egg (for glazing the crust)
If you are making dough for a crust, combine the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse briefly to combine.  Cut butter into slices and add to the flour mixture.  Pulse about 20 times or until the butter particles are small.  With the motor running, add the ice water and process until the dough is beginning to come together.  It will be loose but will come together if you pinch it.  Turn the loose dough out onto a mixing bowl and knead it briefly  Shape it into a flat disc and wrap in plastic.  Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes and up to 2 days.
Pre-heat the oven to 425.  Line a heavy duty rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.  Brush with with olive oil.  Combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and honey in a small bowl.
Cut tomatoes in half horizontally and carefully remove seeds.
Place tomatoes cut side up on the baking sheet and lightly sprinkle with salt.
Pour the balsamic mixture into each tomato half, distributing as evenly as possible. Sprinkle with 2 tsp thyme.  Roast the tomatoes until they are brown on the edges and collapsed, about an hour.  Let them cool.  Save any pan juices to serve with crusty sourdough bread!
While the tomatoes are cooling, remove the dough from the refrigerator and let come to room temperature.  Heat oven to 400.  Line a heavy duty rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.  Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll into a 12 inch round, then transfer to parchment paper. Don’t worry if the edges aren’t perfect.  I think it makes a more interesting tart.
Arrange mozzarella slices in the center of the round, leaving a 2 inch border of dough.
Arrange the roasted tomato halves over the mozzarella, starting in the center and slightly overlapping, still leaving a 2 inch border.
Fold the edge of the dough up and over the tomatoes, pleating as you go.
Brush the dough (including under the folds) with beaten egg.  Sprinkle the tart with parmesan and remaining thyme. Bake until the crust is golden brown, about 40 minutes.
Let cool slightly and transfer to a cutting board or serving platter.  Serve warm or at room temperature.
 
 


Veggie Zucchini Enchiladas (gf)

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Love Mexican food but not the heavy carbs and calories? You might like these vegetarian enchiladas packed with fresh corn, black beans, mushrooms and pasilla peppers, sauteed with garlic, cumin and chili powder, then rolled in thin slices of summer squash, nestled in a bed of zesty red enchilada sauce and topped with pepper jack cheese.  Bake in the oven until the cheese is melty and the sauce is bubbling. Yum!  You won’t miss the tortillas (or the calories).

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These enchiladas are seriously good!  I made them twice.  The first time (above) I used corn, mushrooms and pasillo peppers.  You can see that the zucchini slices were harder to roll. (*See TIPS) The second time I added black beans and black olives.  I loved both versions but preferred the second one but I happen to love beans. I understand that some people don’t like or can’t tolerate beans.  It’s pretty easy to adapt this recipe to your tastes. The addition of beans (of any type) boosts protein as well as adding fiber and important vitamins and minerals without adding loads of calories.  Even without the beans, the corn, mushrooms and peppers have quite a bit to offer.  Corn has gotten a bad reputation nutritionally speaking because it’s a carb but corn contains certain B vitamins and vitamin C, as well as magnesium and potassium.  Corn also contains a large amount of insoluble fiber which helps get the bowel going and feeds ‘good’ bacteria in the gut. For more information on poor maligned corn, read this great article 5 Myths About Corn

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I added a dab of ricotta for creaminess and a sprinkle of pepper jack for cheesy deliciousness but these cheeses are optional for those who want to cut dairy or calories. This is a vegetarian recipe but it is easy to veganize.  My favorite ricotta is made by Kite Hill, a vegan ricotta made from almond milk rather than cow’s milk.  It’s slightly salty taste and creamy texture complement the veggies and sauce in this dish. I use it for everything!

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There are plenty of vegan hard and shredded cheeses available for use instead of traditional pepper jack.  Vegan readers, please message me your favorites and how you like to use them and I will give them a try.  I love using new products and I am moving away from dairy.

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TIPS:  This recipe calls for yellow squash because it is softer and more pliable than zucchini.  If you do use zucchini, you might try salting it after slicing and letting it sit for about 10 minutes to soften.  This is also a good trick if you like your ‘tortillas’ to brown as the salt draws out excess water.  If you can only find small squash, use 4 slices instead of 3 to make your tortilla wraps.  Fresh corn is fabulous but you can also use frozen corn.  I don’t recommend canned corn unless that is your only option.

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VEGGIE ZUCCHINI ENCHILADAS

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsn olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup criminy mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 medium poblano pepper, seeded and diced (or small can diced green chilis)
  • 1 16 oz can or 1 1/2 cups red enchilada sauce
  • 4 large yellow squash (or zucchini) *see TIPS
  • 1 cup ricotta (optional)
  • 1 cup cheddar, jack or hot pepper jack cheeses, shredded
  • sliced black olives as garnish (optional)
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  • Preheat oven to 350º. Saute onion in large skillet over medium heat until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, cumin, and chili powder.
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  • Add corn, pepper and mushrooms, saute several minutes until mushrooms release their water. Remove from heat and stir in beans.
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  • Using a mandolin or vegetable peeler, slice squash lengthwise into thin strips.
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  • Arrange three zucchini slices, slightly overlapping, and Spread a Tablespoon of ricotta along the center, if using.
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  • Place a spoonful of veggie mixture on top and a sprinkle of shredded cheese.
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  • Spread 1 cup enchilada sauce in the bottom of a baking dish. Roll up and transfer to the baking dish, open side down. Repeat with remaining squash slices.   Spoon any remaining corn mixture into ends of enchiladas.
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  • Top with remaining enchilada sauce, cheese and olives, if using.
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  • Bake until cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling, about 25-30 minutes.

Veggie Zucchini Enchaladas

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

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  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsn olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup criminy mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 medium poblano pepper, seeded and diced (or small can diced green chilis)
  • 1 16 oz can or 1 1/2 cups red enchilada sauce
  • 4 large yellow squash (or zucchini) *see TIPS
  • 1 cup ricotta (optional)
  • 1 cup cheddar, jack or hot pepper jack cheeses, shredded
  • sliced black olives as garnish (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350º. Saute onion in large skillet over medium heat until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2.  Stir in garlic, cumin, and chili powder.
  3. Add corn, pepper and mushrooms, saute several minutes until mushrooms release their water. Remove from heat and add black beans.
  4. Spread 1 cup enchilada sauce in the bottom of a baking dish.
  5. Using a mandolin or vegetable peeler, slice squash lengthwise into thin strips.
  6. Arrange three zucchini slices, slightly overlapping, and Spread a Tablespoon of ricotta along the center, if using.
  7. Place a spoonful of veggie mixture on top and a sprinkle of shredded cheese.
  8. Roll up and transfer to the baking dish, open side down. Repeat with remaining squash slices.   Spoon any remaining corn mixture into ends of enchiladas.
  9. Top with remaining enchilada sauce and cheese.
  10. Bake until cheese is melted and bubbling, about 25-30 minutes.

Meatless Monday – Beet Veggie Burgers with Pickled Onions

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Just in time for the FOURTH! What is more American than a juicy burger, except for maybe baseball, hot dogs and apple pie, and I would argue about that… Well these burgers may not be traditional in that they are plant based, primarily quinoa and pinto beans and they get their lovely color from raw shredded beets, but they can definitely go head to head with a beef burger. I thought these were really good, especially with the pickled red onions.. Get your grill on…

goodmotherdiet

What is more American than a juicy burger, except for maybe baseball, hot dogs and apple pie, and I would argue about that… Well these burgers may not be traditional in that they are plant based, primarily quinoa and pinto beans and they get their lovely color from raw shredded beets, but they can definitely go head to head with a beef burger.  I thought these were really good, especially with the pickled red onions, butter lettuce, a little avocado, mustard and mayo, boom!  I could eat these once a week!

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I found this recipe in the Hannaford fresh Magazine, May – June 2019 this summer and I’ve been wanting to make them ever since.  I have always liked veggie burgers, not because I miss meat, but because there is something so iconic about eating a burger.  It’s the ultimate comfort food. (Sorry mac and cheese)  I was immediately intrigued…

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Meatless Monday – Charred Okra with Tomatoes

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OKRA, Love it or Leave it? Where do you come down on this divisive vegetable? There doesn’t seem to be room for ambivalence here. People seem to love it or hate it. I was not a fan until I tried this recipe which sears the okra in a screaming hot pan. Even those who are not fans of okra may change their minds with this one which combines smokey okra, charred onion and garlic, along with sweet wilted tomato and a sprinkling of fresh herbs and lemon zest. You just may be pleasantly surprised!

goodmotherdiet

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OKRA, Love it or Leave it?  Where do you come down on this divisive vegetable? There doesn’t seem to be room for ambivalence here. People seem to love it or hate it.  Okra happens to be my husband’s absolute favorite vegetable, and unfortunately for him, it has always been my least favorite, so I have avoided it as much as possible, until now.  I have always found okra to be gluey and sticky so when I ran across a recipe which chars the okra in a ‘screaming hot pan’ to cook off the mucilage that makes okra slimy slippery, I was hoping for a winner.  Well I was not disappointed.  Thank you Keith at Mad Delicious for the excellent recipe!  You have made me an okra believer! Even those who are not fans of okra may change their minds with this one which combines smokey okra, charred onion and garlic…

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Steamed Artichokes with Two Vegan Dipping Sauces

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There is nothing more nostalgic for me than steaming artichokes and eating them one leaf at a time, just like when I was a kid, teethmarks and all.  It’s definitely the easiest way to cook them and it makes a fun appetizer or side dish, especially when you have delicious sauces to dip them in.   I grew up dipping artichokes in mayo or melted butter but why limit yourself? Picture whole steamed artichokes dipped in either Lemon Herb Butter or Garlic Parmesan Aioli (both vegan and delicious).  

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The artichokes in my garden are ripe, in fact one has flowered which is an incredible work of nature. They are actually just giant thistles.  I love them so much, that I always let one go to seed on purpose and sometimes they go to seed by accident when I’m out of town, although for obvious reasons, that didn’t happen last year… I have recently oven roasted, pan roasted and stuffed artichokes with great results. For the more adventurous artichoke lover, check out these recipes:

Meatless Monday-Roasted Artichokes & Fennel with Lemon Parsley Pesto

or 

Meatless Monday – Roasted Artichokes Stuffed with Garlic, Parmesan & Quinoa

or 

Meatless Monday – Pan Seared Artichokes with Blackened Garlic

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Artichokes are great for scooping up yummy sauces but are they actually good for you?  The answer is Yes! Did you know that artichokes have more  antioxidants than cranberries or blueberries and more fiber than lima beans or prunes? They are also loaded with important vitamins and minerals including vitamin K, magnesium, potassium and manganese. Click through to read more about the amazing artichoke:   12 Unexpected Health Benefits of Artichokes .

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Those trying to limit or eliminate dairy from their diets should try a few fabulous new vegan products.  Miyoko’s Creamery has a vegan butter made from cultured cashew milk.  It is delicious and tastes just like real butter. It’s actually the only butter I buy now and comes in unsalted too. Miyoko also makes really delicious cheeses and is coming out with new types all the time. I really like the Double Cream Chive soft cheese and her Vegan Mozz works…

My favorite vegan mayonaise is Just Mayo from Hampton Creek which is so good that the mayo industry tried to shut them down. It’s egg free and made from pea protein but best of all it tastes just like the real thing.  I love promoting new products that are really good. I also like Vegenaise Mayo from Follow Your Heart which is easier to find.  

Another non-dairy staple is VioLife Just Like Parmesan. It comes in a wedge that you can freshly grate into dishes. It’s pretty darn good and I’m picky about cheese. Look for these products in your store.  I promise, you won’t be disappointed.

TIPS:  I like to cut the sharp tips off the ends of the leaves but you can skip this step if you are in a hurry or don’t want to go to the trouble.  You can also just throw them in a pan with plain water and they will turn out just fine.  A wide pan where the artichokes can fit in a single layer works better than a tall one.

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STEAMED ARTICHOKES

4 artichokes
1 bay leaf
3-4 cloves garlic
3-4 lemon slices or 1 Tbsn lemon juice)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

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  • Bring 2 inches of water to a boil and add bay leaf, garli, lemons, salt and pepper.
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  • Cut the stems off each artichoke so they can sit upright. Trim the prickly thorn tips from each petal and cut the top half inch off of each one. Rinse them under cool water.
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  • Place them upside-down in the water, cover the pot and simmer on low for 25-35 minutes, or until a knife can be easily pierce the bottom.  While the artichokes are simmering, prepare your dips.
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  • Using tongs, remove the artichokes from water and allow to drain.  Place on a serving platter.
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  • Serve with dips and lots of napkins.
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LEMON HERB BUTTER

1/2 cup vegan butter, melted
1 Tsp fresh or 1/2 tsp dried thyme, oregano or basil
1 Tbsn lemon juice

  • In a small bowl, stir together all ingredients.  Taste and season with salt if desired. Serve warm.
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GARLIC PARMESAN AIOLI

1/2 cup vegan mayonaise or plain yogurt for a zip
1-2 cloves garlic, minced (or garlic paste)
1/4 cup vegan parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

  • In a small bowl, mix all ingredients together.  Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Steamed Artichokes with Two Dipping Sauces

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

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4 artichokes
1 bay leaf
3-4 cloves garlic
3-4 lemon slices or 1 Tbsn lemon juice)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

  • Bring 2 inches of water to a boil and add bay leaf, garli, lemons, salt and pepper.
  • Cut the stems off each artichoke so they can sit upright. Trim the prickly thorn tips from each petal and cut the top half inch off of each one. Rinse them under cool water.
  • Place them upside-down in the water, cover the pot and simmer on low for 25-35 minutes, or until a knife can be easily pierce the bottom.
  • While the artichokes are simmering, prepare your dips.
  • Using tongs, remove the artichokes from water and allow to drain.  Place on a serving platter.
  • Serve with dips and lots of napkins.

LEMON HERB BUTTER

1/2 cup butter (or vegan butter), melted
1 Tsp fresh or 1/2 tsp dried thyme, oregano or basil
1 Tbsn lemon juice

  • In a small bowl, stir together all ingredients.  Taste and season with salt if desired. Serve warm.

GARLIC PARMESAN AIOLI

1/2 cup mayonaise or plain yogurt
1-2 cloves garlic, minced (or garlic paste)
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

  • In a small bowl, mix all ingredients together.  Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Meatless Monday – Asian Tofu Lettuce Wraps with Spicy Peanut Sauce (v,gf)

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THIS IS SERIOUSLY GOOD! Low Carb + High Protein + Spicy Peanut Sauce = #NeedWeSayMore It’s the perfect balance of hot and cold, savory and sweet, crisp and tender. The tofu, mushroom and water chestnut combination is really flavorful, picking up the garlic and ginger flavors, with the soy adding a pleasant saltiness. The beauty of tofu is that it is so bland on it’s own that it absorbs flavors very easily. Spoon the yummy filling into crisp lettuce cups and top with chopped peanuts, slivered scallions, chopped red pepper and a drizzle of spicy peanut sauce for a delicious and healthy meal.

goodmotherdiet

THIS IS SERIOUSLY GOOD! Low Carb + High Protein + Spicy Peanut Sauce = #NeedWeSayMore  It’s the perfect balance of hot and cold, savory and sweet, crisp and tender.  The tofu, mushroom and water chestnut combination is really flavorful, picking up the garlic and ginger flavors, with the soy adding a pleasant saltiness. The beauty of tofu is that it is so bland on it’s own that it absorbs flavors very easily.  Spoon the yummy filling into crisp lettuce cups and top with chopped peanuts, slivered scallions, chopped red pepper and a drizzle of spicy peanut sauce for a delicious and healthy meal.

IMG_20190918_195507I originally blogged this recipe in 2016 and decided to circle back and test my own recipe.  I was also craving lettuce wraps.  Well the wraps were just as good as I remembered but I made a few changes. (I rarely make the same exact thing…

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Meatless Monday – Zucchini & Apple Spirals with Basil & Mint Salad

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This is an oldie from when I first got my spiralizer but its still a goodie. Spiralized zucchini and Fuji apple with sliced sugar snap peas, fresh basil and mint with a honey, citrus vinaigrette. To make this filling enough for a main course, I added avocado and pepitos which provide nutrients and good fats that help us feel satiated. This salad would be good topped with blue cheese, goat cheese or feta, (vegan of course) for an additional protein boost.

goodmotherdiet

Zucchini Spiral Salad1
 
I have always wondered how to make a ‘noodle’ several feet long, like the one in Lady and the Tramp.  Well now I know the secret.  My mother in law gifted us a vegetable spiraling machine for our anniversary (Well there is no special gift or gem for 28 years of marriage, go figure! So why not a vegetable spiraler…)   I couldn’t wait to try it out – and the result is awesome.  I experimented first with zucchini and got spirals over 6 feet long.  How cool is that?  Then I spiraled some apples and fell the rest of the way in love. It is easier than a mandolin, no peeling or coring and my fingertips and knuckles remained intact.  I decided to cut the zucchini spirals into shorter pieces to make it easier to serve, but it could be fun to make each 6-8 foot strand into it’s own serving.  Your…

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Meatless Monday – Garlicky Kale Pasta with Lemon and Parmesan

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Now that I’m out of WordPress jail, I’m going back through and updating old recipes. Here is a simple one pot meal from 2014 that uses very few ingredients and very little time. It’s also pretty tasty. Enjoy!-GMD

goodmotherdiet

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CAN WE GET A KALE YEAH!!!  I spotted that slogan on a billboard for Naked Juice in Boston and knew I was going to be making kale  soon.  Kale, also known as the ‘Queen of Greens’  is the culinary darling of the moment although I have not personally gone kale crazy. I like kale all right but I just like other leafy greens better.  That said, I really like this garlicky, lemon, kale pasta dish that I adapted from ivillage.com .  It’s very simple, only six ingredients, allowing each flavor to shine, and can be made using only one pot.  I normally don’t like boiling vegetables since nutrients are lost in the water, but in this case, the pasta is cooked in the salty kale cooking water and the resulting pasta is way more flavorful than when just cooked in plain water.  The pasta definitely absorbed some of the kale flavor, and hopefully some of the nutrients as…

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Roasted Rainbow Carrots with Carrot Top Pesto

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My gardening friends may have carrots coming out of their gardens about now. Here is a great ‘no waste’ recipe that uses the entire carrot from bottom to top I have one friend who had beautiful carrot tops but tiny carrots. Well the pesto is good just on its own. Try it on pasta or anything else…. Enjoy! GMD

goodmotherdiet

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If you are throwing away your carrot tops, you need to Stop-Right-Now!  In the spirit of ‘no waste’ cooking, I decided to try to use the tops as well since I know they are as nutritious as the carrots. I was looking for a recipe for carrot tops and came across this one for roasted carrots with pesto in Bon Appetit.  I had these lovely carrots which truly exemplify the concept of “Eat the Rainbow”.  They range in color from almost white to dark purple with many shades of yellow, orange and red in between.  Who says carrots are boring?  Roasting them intensifies their flavor, making them rich and creamy, no resemblance to their watery boiled or steamed versions.  As a bonus, with each colorful bite you get a different dose of vitamins.

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Here is what Rainbow Carrots can do for you:

  • Orange: Beta and alpha carotene pigment. This promotes…

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