January 24, 2016

Mexican Quinoa Salad


I'm always down to party with fresh, fiesta flavors, and this healthy quinoa salad is no exception. This was actually one of the early recipes I posted on the site, but the photos left a bit to be desired so here it is again in updated form! It's a wonderful make-ahead meal for lunches, picnics, get-togethers, or my favorite: simply having in the fridge to pull out for quick snacks throughout the day ;) I love how the flavors keep getting better as it chills. Serve it topped with some creamy avocado for the perfect finishing touch!


Vegan, gluten-free
Serves about 6 (or 12+ as a side dish)

Ingredients
1 cup quinoa (uncooked)
15 oz. can black beans
8 oz. cherry tomatoes
1 orange bell pepper
1 1/2 cups corn (I used frozen, thawed)
4 green onions
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
Optional: avocado for serving

{For the dressing}
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. cumin
1 garlic clove, minced
Juice from 1 lime (more to taste)
1/4 tsp. salt

Directions
Rinse and cook quinoa according to package directions. (Feel free to use broth instead of water for more flavor.)
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, add dressing ingredients and whisk to combine. Set aside.
Rinse and drain beans. Dice the bell pepper, slice the green onions, quarter the cherry tomatoes, and chop cilantro.
In a large bowl, add the cooked quinoa with all other salad ingredients.
Pour dressing over the top and toss to combine.
Serve immediately or chill first for flavors to blend.

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January 17, 2016

Wild Rice Vegetable Soup


We often see wild rice in heavy, creamy soups, but it makes a fantastic addition to lightened up vegetable soups as well. The hearty texture and earthy, nutty taste is a wonderful way to change up your soup game. The wild rice makes it so comforting and pleasantly filling, thanks to a nice boost of protein and fiber. (Just one cup of uncooked wild rice has 24 grams of protein!) It does take a little longer to cook, about 50 minutes, so if you're short on time feel free to cook the rice beforehand and just add it in and lessen the overall cooking time. (I've done this many times with any leftover wild rice.) As always, soup is one of the most versatile recipes so change it up with your own favorite herbs and veggies: zucchini, bell pepper, cabbage, peas, corn, potatoes, etc.!


Vegan, gluten-free
Serves about 6

Ingredients
3/4 cup wild rice (uncooked)
1 onion
3 cloves garlic
2-3 carrots
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
2 cups cut green beans (I use frozen)
15 oz. can diced tomatoes
4 cups vegetable broth (+2 cups water)
1 1/2 tsp. dried basil
Salt to taste
Optional: spinach

Directions
Dice onion and carrots. Mince garlic.
In a large stockpot over medium heat, saute onion for 7-8 minutes.
Add garlic, carrots, mushroom, and basil. Saute for 1 minute.
Add broth, water, diced tomatoes (with juice), and green beans.
Increase heat and bring to a light boil.
Rinse wild rice, then add it to the stockpot.
Lower heat to med-low and simmer covered for about 50 minutes or until rice is tender. Add more liquid if necessary.
If using spinach, stir in during the last few minutes. Salt to taste.

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January 1, 2016

12 Easy, Satisfying Vegan Meals


Happy New Year! Whether you're already vegan, just wanting to eat healthier, or trying to transition to plant-based, I think you'll love these meals that give plants a good name! They're some of our tried and true favorite vegan recipes, loved by kids and readers (vegans and non-vegans alike). Enjoy! :)


1. Asian Noodle Soup


This might be my most-made meal, and we devour it every time. Awesomely versatile too - change it up based on the veggies you love or have on hand (or some added tofu)!



2. Black Bean Lentil Tacos


I LOVE the flavor and texture of this hearty lentil-bean taco "meat"! Plus it's fun to think outside the shell - we enjoy the filling on nachos, in burritos bowls, etc. (Or try these super quick Black Bean Tacos with Avocado Sauce instead!)

"This recipe was amazing! It was so simple but tasted fresh and healthy. Exactly what a busy mom needs during the week, my 3 year old devoured his taco, which is a rarity! This will definitely become a staple in this house. Thank you!" -Anonymous





I'm not sure words can describe how much I love chili. The BEST! Always so comforting and crowd-pleasing. This only takes 30 minutes, and the leftovers are great. (For a different version try this Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili too!)

 
"I've made this chili 2 times now and it's been delicious both times. Great recipe!" -Lily

"Delicious! Just made this on a chilly night and I am so satisfied! Thanks for the great recipe." -Taylor G.



4. Southwestern Chopped Salad with Cilantro Dressing


This is one of the most popular recipes on the site, and my personal all-time favorite salad - the flavors blend so well together and it's so pretty to look at! (If you're a salad lover, feel free to check out my salad round-up for more healthy, colorful options!)

"This dressing is absolutely amazing.....I could drink it from a cup! The salad is great too! Thank you. Everyone who ate it was asking for the recipe." -Anonymous

"Oh my goodness. I just made this tonight. It was incredible! One of my guests said "I want to marry this salad." Well put. We are all raving. This will be my go-to salad for guests. Beautiful and delicious." -Debbie




5. Vegan Chili Mac


This has been a family-favorite in our house, loved by kids and adults alike. And only 30 minutes to make with simple pantry staples!

"I made this for dinner tonight and it was great...comforting, but not too heavy...definitely worthy of a repeat...even the omnivore hubby had seconds." -Terri M.



6. Lentil Spinach Soup

Lentils are amazing little beauties! Packed with fiber, protein, and best of all budget-friendly :) I make this soup (or variations of it - like this Rustic Lentil & Potato Soup) at least once a month.

"What a wonderful soup! My whole family likes it. I even made a vegan home made broth for it. It's cost effective and the ingredients are readily available." -Wendy D.

"I made this recipe last night and my boyfriend and I both loved it! I added 2 stalks of celery, 1 Okinowan sweet potato, and used a big bunch of kale instead of spinach because it was what I had in my fridge. I also added Sriracha & avocado to the individual bowls before eating it. I brought leftovers to work today and it's almost better the second day than the first. I will definitely be making this soup regularly throughout fall & winter. Thanks for sharing!" - Jessica H.




7. Tofu Scramble with Spinach and Tomato


Breakfast for dinner? Yes, please! This is my favorite weekend breakfast, but it also makes a rock-star dinner, especially paired with easy, delicious Roasted Homestyle Breakfast Potatoes!

"Hi Kaitlin. Just made this scramble and loved it. Had to use green onions because that's what I had on hand and I squeezed a half lime over everything before adding the spinach. Winner!!! Thank you." -Cyndi E.



8. Quinoa Fajita Burritos


My favorite burrito and awesome week night (or freezer) meal - so easy yet flavor-packed. It's just as good without the dairy-free cheese!

"These look delicious, and they ARE delicious! I just made them last night and I wish I had more leftover - alas we couldn't stop eating them so they're almost gone :) Great recipes here - keep 'em coming!" -Lex

"Holy moley!! I made a batch of these today to freeze, and of course ate one before putting the rest in the freezer. It was soooo good! I'm super excited to have these to eat for the next couple of weeks! Thanks for the recipe and I look forward to enjoying more of your recipes in the future :)" -Alexa W.




9. Protein Monster Vegan Enchiladas


Where do vegans get their protein? *BAM!* These babies have 20 grams of protein each. I could (okay I have) eat the homemade enchilada sauce with a spoon.

"
I have made these twice in the past month! It's so easy to customize this recipe. I like to add a can of corn to the filling and it is absolutely delicious! I used to buy cans of enchilada sauce, but your recipe is super easy and tastes so much better! Thank you!" -Jillian

"I made these for the first time last night and they were tremendously delicious. I richened up the sauce by adding more tomatoe paste and some veggie stock starter for extra flavor. Huge hit. Thanks for the awesome recipe!" -Kate Z.



"These are great! I could go vegan! Didn't miss the cheese at all." -Mary K.



10. Vegetable Lo Mein


No need to order takeout when you can make your own delicious Chinese cuisine right at home. The secret ingredient here is hoisin - it's like a thick, Asian BBQ sauce (YUM)!

"Delicious! Best lo mein I have eaten." -Judeen

"I've made this more than once and it is sooooooo good. Thank you for sharing!" -Melissa



11. Tempeh Mushroom Pasta


Pasta night! Take your jarred pasta sauce to a whole other level by adding crumbled tempeh and veggies of your choice. Some of our favorite additions are zucchini, mushroom, onion, bell pepper, and garlic. We love to pair it with Trader Joe's quinoa & brown rice pasta.



12. Black Bean Avocado Enchiladas


One more enchilada recipe because I just couldn't resist! This is a delicious vegan remake of reader-favorite Black Bean Spinach Enchiladas.

"These were so good! It's tough filling up a vegan athletic man but this got a rave review from both of us." -Shery





One more bonus recipe because this is our go-to lunch and most-requested meal from our 3 year old. Only 5 minutes of prep definitely makes it a mom favorite too ;)


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What are your favorite go-to vegan meals?
Leave them in the comments or come join me on Instagram and share - I love to see what you guys are cooking!


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