July 22, 2014

Black Bean Avocado Enchiladas

YOU GUYS! I'm so excited to share that I finally veganized our all-time favorite Black Bean Spinach Enchiladas. It posed a challenge since there was so much cheese, and I wanted to find a replacement other than soy cheese (even though that works great too). So of course, creamy avocado came to mind and I also added quinoa for an extra protein/nutrient boost. And not wanting to miss out on a little cheesy flavor... I sprinkle nutritional yeast on top before serving - a great final touch! The sauce ingredients look long, but half are simply spices you can change up to your own liking. (Try ground chipotle for a smoky kick!) It's an easy, delicious sauce you'll want to eat with a spoon... I may or may not speak from experience ;) Hope you give these a try!

Vegan, gluten-free (with corn tortillas)

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
2 small/medium avocados
15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups corn (thawed, if frozen)
4-5 green onions, sliced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 tsp. cumin
8 large tortillas (or about 10-12 corn tortillas)
Nutritional yeast for sprinkling
Optional: lightly sauteed spinach

{For the sauce}
3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup all-purpose flour (I use gluten-free)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. chili powder
Salt/pepper to taste

Rinse and cook quinoa according to package directions, using 1 cup water.
Meanwhile, make the enchilada sauce: in a small bowl, add flour and spices. In a saucepan over medium heat, add olive oil. Once warm, add tomato paste and flour/spices. Cook 1 minute, whisking. Whisk in broth, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, and cook until thickened, about 8 minutes. Salt/pepper to taste.
Meanwhile, dice the avocado, and slice green onions.
In a large bowl, add black beans, corn, green onions, cumin, and lightly sauteed spinach if using. Add cooked quinoa, and stir. Add avocado and lightly toss to combine.
Preheat oven to 375.
In a lightly sprayed 9x13 baking dish, pour a small amount of sauce to coat the bottom.
Evenly distribute the black bean/quinoa mixture to the center of each tortilla, roll up, and place seam side down in the dish. Pour remaining sauce over the enchiladas.
Bake about 25 minutes.
Optional: garnish with cilantro, green onions, or sprinkle nutritional yeast before serving.

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More enchiladas!

July 12, 2014

Blueberry-Basil Dressing on Spinach Salad

I was harvesting my wildly growing basil plant, trying to come up with new ways to use it, and recalled the small mountain of blueberries stashed in the fridge. Huh - blueberries and basil? Why wouldn't that be good? So I did some experimenting and came up with this deliciously tangy-sweet blueberry dressing with basil undertones. The rich color is so wonderful and inviting - I love it! Drizzling it over a simple spinach salad is all it needs to really shine. Feel free to add other nuts, berries, or some thinly sliced onion if you prefer. Enjoy!

Vegan, gluten-free

Baby spinach
Blueberries (or other berries)
Walnuts (or toasted almonds, maple-vanilla candied nuts, etc.)

{For the Blueberry-Basil Dressing}
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1/8 cup fresh basil, chopped
1 1/2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. agave/honey
Pinch of salt

In a blender or food processor, add all dressing ingredients and blend until relatively smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. (Salt/pepper if needed, more agave/honey for sweetness, more vinegar for tang, etc.)
Assemble salad on a plate, and drizzle desired amount of dressing on top.

*Note: the dressing will gel a little upon sitting. Simply stir before drizzling, or add a touch of water to thin out if desired. Stores in a covered container in the fridge for a couple days.

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Looking for more salads?

July 3, 2014

BBQ Tempeh Wraps with Spinach

I'm pretty sure there's no one who loves BBQ sauce more than my husband. Like most people, I really love it. But him? He's on a whole other level. Whenever I make a new recipe, it's not uncommon for him to chime in with, "hmm... I wonder how some 'Q' would be on here." Yeah, forget the first-name basis. They're so tight they're on a one-letter basis. ;) His slathering of BBQ knows no bounds!

This meal was more of an accidental creation one night when I wasn't in the mood to cook. Looking for something quick and filling, I decided to marinate tempeh in BBQ sauce (husband = happy) and go from there. It eventually turned into a wrap, and we both loved it. I found the leftovers are great too, and enjoy adding black beans and pico de gallo as well. I love that tempeh is such a protein powerhouse, and so inexpensive. Two bucks for 40 grams of protein? I'm in!

Vegan, gluten-free (with gf wraps)
Makes about 3 wraps

8 oz. package tempeh
1/2 cup BBQ sauce
1 small bell pepper
1/2 onion
1-2 garlic cloves
Baby spinach (or romaine, etc.)
Roma tomato, sliced
Nutritional yeast for sprinkling
Wraps/tortillas of choice

Crumble tempeh and place in a bowl with BBQ sauce. Stir to coat, and set aside to marinate.
Dice onion and pepper. Mince garlic.
In a pan over medium heat, saute onion and bell pepper for about 6-7 minutes.
Add garlic and cook 1 minute.
Reduce heat to med-low and add BBQ tempeh. Stir well and cook 5 minutes until heated through.
Assemble wraps: place BBQ tempeh mixture down the center of tortilla. Sprinkle nutritional yeast on top, then add spinach, tomato, or any other toppings. Roll up with one end tucked in.

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