July 31, 2016

Fiesta Guacamole

Grab the chips and get your taste buds ready for a fiesta! ;) Guacamole is one of the most basic recipes out there - all it really takes is avocado and salt. But it's fun to jazz it up sometimes too! Black beans are an awesome addition for extra "oomph" and you can play around with other ingredients and spices. (In addition to the ones here, you can also try sweet corn, garlic, bell pepper, jalapeno or cayenne for some heat.) For this version, I also opted for one of my personal favorite spices (cumin!) for a punch of flavor. I'd love to hear what variations you come up with!
Note: the avocado pit in the photo is purely for food styling :)

Vegan, gluten-free
Serves about 6 as a side

3 ripe avocados
15 oz. can black beans
8 oz. grape tomatoes
1/3 cup red onion
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
Juice from 1 lime, or more to taste
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. salt, or more to taste
Optional: jalapeno, garlic, corn, bell pepper, cayenne

Finely dice onion, quarter tomatoes, and chop cilantro (stems removed).
Rinse and drain black beans.
Peel the avocados and remove pits. Place in a bowl and mash with a fork or masher, leaving some chunks.
Stir in all other ingredients.
Best if refrigerated or set out at room temp for an hour before serving.
Taste and adjust any seasonings or ingredients to your preference!

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Don't stop the fiesta! :)

July 17, 2016

Nutrient-Packed Quinoa, Potato, and Greens Soup

SOUP! I make a LOT of soup. I have some go-to recipes (Lentil Spinach Soup, Asian Noodle SoupUltimate Vegetable Soup, etc.) but often I just toss in whatever sounds good. Soup is so forgiving, versatile, and fun to play around with! This particular combination happened a few times and we enjoyed it so much to keep making, so here it is :) I especially love the GIANT nutrient boost (shout out to the powerful greens trio of broccoli, kale, and spinach - yes!) Plant-power at it's finest ;) Plus it has awesome hearty texture from the quinoa and potato that leaves us feeling both satisfied and energized. Green beans and mushrooms are great additions as well - it's soup, so do your thing!

One last side note - I highly recommend checking out Cowspiracy on Netflix (executive produced by Leonardo DiCaprio). Very well done documentary with insights into the environmental impacts of animal agriculture. Definitely worth a watch for everyone and to share with others! <3

Vegan, gluten-free
Serves about 6-8

1 onion
3 cloves garlic
2 carrots
2 potatoes
1 small head broccoli (3-4 cups)
1 small bunch kale
4 oz. spinach (a couple handfuls)
15 oz. can diced tomatoes
4 cups vegetable broth (+4 cups water)
2/3 cup dry quinoa
2 tsp. dried basil
Salt to taste
Optional: green beans, mushrooms, peas, corn, etc.

Dice onion, carrots, and potatoes. Mince garlic.
In a large stockpot over med-high heat, saute onion for 6-7 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut broccoli into small florets.
When onion is translucent, add potato, carrot, and basil. Saute 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add garlic, cook for 1 minute.
Add vegetable broth, 4 cups water, and diced tomatoes with juice. Increase heat, and bring to a light boil.
Once boiling, add rinsed quinoa and broccoli. Reduce heat to a light simmer and cover. Cook for about 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, tear kale into bite-sized pieces, stems removed.
In the last 5 minutes of cooking, stir in kale and spinach. Salt/season to taste.

*Note: we prefer soup more "dense" than brothy, so cut back on the quinoa/veggies a little if you like yours thinner!

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June 17, 2016

Quinoa Avocado Kale Power Salad

I LOVE plant-based power meals! Especially when it includes the magical combination of quinoa and avocado ;) Invite kale to the party and ohhh my - heaven in a bowl! If this recipe seems a little familiar, it's because I adapted it from one of our (and your!) favorites: the Quinoa Avocado Spinach Power Salad. For this updated version, I tweaked it a little and then replaced the spinach with another nutrient-packed combo of kale + hemp hearts! SO GOOD and incredibly energizing. It's also awesome for packed lunches, picnics, potlucks... you get the idea :) Feel free to use a fresh burst of lemon juice on top before serving, or in the dressing to replace the vinegar - it's a great substitute. Enjoy!

Vegan, gluten-free
Serves about 4 (or 8-10 as a side)

3/4 cup dry quinoa
2 cups kale (or more)
2 medium avocados
8 oz. cherry tomatoes
3 green onions
1/4 cup hemp hearts

{For the dressing}
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/8 tsp. salt, more to taste

Cook the quinoa according to package directions in 1 1/2 cups water (I often use a little less water to create fluffier quinoa).
Meanwhile, make the dressing: in a small bowl stir together ingredients and set aside.
Roughly chop or tear the kale into small pieces, stems removed, and place in a large bowl.
Slice the green onions, halve/quarter the tomatoes, and dice the avocado.
When quinoa is done cooking, add it to the large bowl with kale.
Add the green onions, tomatoes, hemp hearts, and dressing. Stir to combine.
Add the avocado and lightly toss.
Serve immediately or refrigerate to let flavors blend more.

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More mouth-watering salad favorites!

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