May 29, 2012

Marinara Sauce

Treat yourself to a traditional Italian homemade marinara sauce! I adapted this recipe from Everyday Pasta by Giada De Laurentiis. The sauce is slightly chunky but if you prefer a smoother consistency, simply puree with an immersion blender at the end of cooking. It's wonderful because you can make this recipe a day ahead, cover, refrigerate, then rewarm over medium heat when it's dinner time. It also freezes well for up to 3 months, but be sure it cools completely before putting in the freezer.

And when you make marinara sauce you need garlic bread on the side for dunking, right? Truly a match made in heaven!

Vegan, gluten-free

Two 28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup olive oil
2 small onions
4-5 garlic cloves
2 celery stalks
2 small carrots
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
2 dried bay leaves
1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper

Variations: add crushed red pepper if you like a kick, fresh basil or parsley for topping

Prepare vegetables: finely chop onion, garlic, celery, and carrots. (Time saver tip: pulse in a food processor.)
In a large pot, heat oil over med-high heat. Saute onions and garlic about 10 minutes.
Add celery, carrots, and salt/pepper.
Saute another 10 minutes, or until vegetables are soft.
Add tomatoes, basil, oregano, and bay leaves. Simmer uncovered over low heat until sauce thickens, about 1 hour.
Remove and discard bay leaves. Season with more salt/pepper to taste if necessary.

May 25, 2012

Black Bean Mushroom Burgers

We've tried a few different variations of bean and veggie burgers and this is our favorite so far. You can make it easy on yourself come dinner time by preparing the patties ahead of time and storing them in the fridge until they're ready to bake. This recipe makes about 4 large or 6 smaller patties.

Vegan (with dairy-free cheese), gluten-free (with gf buns and breadcrumbs)

15 oz. can black beans
1 1/2 cups mushrooms
1 flax egg (1 Tbsp. ground flax + 3 Tbsp. water)
1/2 large onion
3-4 garlic cloves
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. basil
4-6 hamburger buns
Toppings of choice: lettuce, clover sprouts, tomatoes, onion, avocado, ketchup, mustard

Rinse, drain and pat dry black beans. Dice onion, mince garlic, and chop mushrooms.
Make flax egg: in a small bowl, whisk together 1 Tbsp. flax with 3 Tbsp. water. Let sit to thicken.
Saute onion, garlic, mushrooms, salt, oregano, and basil over med-high heat until softened.
Put beans in a bowl and mash well (I use a potato masher). Add flax egg, sauteed veggies, breadcrumbs, and salt/pepper.
Mix well to combine and shape into 4 large or 6 smaller patties. It works best if you refrigerate them for at least an hour at this point.
When ready to cook, preheat oven to 350. Bake for 20 minutes on a lightly sprayed pan, turning halfway through.
If adding dairy-free cheese, take out, place cheese over top and return to oven for 5 minutes to melt cheese.

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May 23, 2012

Bean Enchiladas

I love Mexican food! I've made this basic recipe many, many times when wanting a quick, simple meal that fills and satisfies us. It's very easy to make, adapt/add to, and seems to be a real crowd pleaser. Try pairing it with Cilantro Lime Rice!

Vegan (with dairy-free cheese)
Gluten-free (with gf tortillas)

Two 15 oz. cans black beans
15 oz. can vegetarian-style refried beans
10 oz. enchilada sauce (try homemade!)
3 cloves garlic
1 small onion
3-4 green onions
1 tsp. cumin
Shredded dairy-free cheese (Mexican blend, cheddar, etc.)
6 large tortillas
Tomatoes for topping

Dice onion, mince garlic. Saute onion and garlic with cumin and salt over med-high heat for about 7 minutes.
Lower heat to med-low, add refried beans and stir with a spatula until beans soften.
Rinse and drain black beans, add to pan. Stir to combine.
Preheat oven to 325.
Evenly distribute bean mixture to the center of tortillas, leaving space to fold ends in.
Sprinkle some cheese on top of the bean mixture, then roll up with ends tucked in.
Place seam side down in a lightly sprayed 9x13 inch glass baking dish.
Pour enchilada sauce over the top, then shredded cheese and sliced green onions (or add the green onions after baking).
Bake for about 25 minutes. Top with diced tomatoes.

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May 21, 2012

Roasted Mushrooms with Peas, Tomato, Onion

This recipe is adapted from Sara Foster's Fresh Every Day cookbook. It's such a unique, interesting blend that works as an easy side dish for a variety of meals. We find the parsley isn't necessary, but if that's your thing then by all means go for it!

Vegan, gluten-free

8 oz. mushrooms (I use pre-sliced cremini)
16 oz. bag frozen peas
8 oz. (1/2 pint) grape or cherry tomatoes
1 small red onion
Olive oil for drizzling
Fresh parsley for topping (optional)

Preheat oven to 400.
Prepare vegetables: rinse and drain frozen peas, thinly slice red onion, and slice mushrooms if necessary. Place veggies with tomatoes in a bowl.
Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt/pepper, and toss to coat.
Spread in an even layer on a baking pan. Roast for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Sprinkle with parsley if using, and serve.

May 18, 2012

Caesar Salad Wrap with Egg

I quickly tossed this together one afternoon after coming back starving from the grocery store. Hungry pregnant girl whose taste buds were just teased through every aisle at Trader Joe's? Yeah, I was lucky to snap a picture before devouring it 😉

Gluten-free (with gluten-free tortillas)

(Per 1 wrap)
Romaine, about a large handful
Red onion, a few slices
Small roma tomato
Hard boiled egg
Caesar dressing
Parmesan-style cheese (vegetarian)
1 large tortilla

To cook hard boiled eggs: place eggs in a saucepan. Fill with cold water until water is an inch or two above eggs. Heat until boiling. Remove from heat, cover, and let sit 10 minutes. Remove eggs and rinse with cold water.
Chop romaine and tomato, slice red onion. Toss in a bowl with dressing.
Slice hard boiled eggs.
Place ingredients in a tortilla with Parmesan cheese on top, and wrap.

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May 16, 2012

Cheesy Broccoli Quinoa Casserole

My inspiration for this recipe came from wanting to do a healthier remake of the classic comfort dish Broccoli Rice Casserole. This recipe leaves out the butter, cans of condensed soup, and uses quinoa instead of rice. Even though it's inspired by broccoli rice casserole, it's not your typical ooey-gooey casserole. We love it just the way it is, but adding 1-2 flax eggs to the mix before baking will help achieve a little bit more of a typical casserole consistency if that's what you prefer.

Vegan (with dairy-free cheese), gluten-free

1 1/2 cups dry quinoa
1/2 onion
2-3 cloves garlic
1 large head broccoli (or 3-4 cups broccoli florets)
8 oz. mushrooms
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar, more for topping
1 tsp. paprika
1-2 flax eggs (optional)

Rinse quinoa well. Cook in 3 cups boiling, salted water for 15-20 minutes, or according to package directions.
Meanwhile, dice onion and mushrooms, mince garlic, and chop broccoli florets.
Preheat oven to 375.
Saute onion and mushrooms with salt over medium-high heat for about 5-7 minutes or until slightly softened. Remove any extra liquid from the mushrooms.
Steam broccoli for 2-3 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients with the hot quinoa. Mix well.
Add to a lightly sprayed 9x13 baking dish. Spread out mixture evenly and lightly press down. Sprinkle additional cheese on top.
Bake for about 15-20 minutes.

{Freezing instructions}
You can freeze this before or after baking. If freezing after baking, let it cool completely before freezing.
Place in a freezer safe and oven safe container. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, then foil.
Before serving, it's best to thaw casserole in the refrigerator overnight if possible. If not, be sure to leave extra time for baking.
Heat in a 375 degree oven for 20 minutes or until center is hot. Add additional time if casserole isn't thawed completely before baking, checking every 10-15 minutes. If the top is browning too quickly, cover with foil and continue baking until heated through.

Tip: you can also freeze smaller portions in individual containers to reheat a single serving or a couple servings at a time.

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May 14, 2012

Breakfast Potatoes

A hearty side to go with any breakfast, brunch, or breakfast-for-dinner nights. Sometimes we take the recipe a step further and add some scrambled tofu on top!

Vegan, gluten-free

5-6 medium potatoes (gold or red work great)
2 cloves garlic
1/2 onion
1 bell pepper
Sliced green onions for garnish

Boil potatoes for about 10 minutes. Drain, and let cool in a colander.
Meanwhile, dice bell pepper and onion. Mince garlic.
When cool enough to touch, dice potatoes into bite-sized pieces.
Saute potatoes over medium heat in a large skillet for about 10 minutes.
Add onions, pepper, garlic, and some salt. Saute another 10 minutes or until browned and cooked through.
Salt/pepper to taste (garlic salt is also good). Top with green onions.

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May 11, 2012

Quinoa Black Bean Soup

A meal doesn't get much more nutrient-packed than this! Colorful veggies and protein from the quinoa and beans come together to form a soup overflowing with healthy goodness. This makes a large batch, so be sure to reduce or cut in half if desired.

Vegan, gluten-free

1 1/3 cups dry quinoa, rinsed well
2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 onion
4 cloves garlic
6 oz. fresh baby spinach
3 carrots
15 oz. can diced tomatoes
4 cups vegetable broth
2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. oregano
2 tsp. chili powder
Cilantro for topping

Cook quinoa in a small saucepan according to package directions.
Meanwhile, dice onion and carrot. Mince garlic and roughly chop spinach.
In a stockpot over med-high heat, saute onion, carrot, and garlic with cumin, chili powder, oregano and salt for about 7 minutes.
Add vegetable broth, 4 cups water, and tomatoes with juice. Cover and bring to a light simmer.
Reduce heat to med-low, add cooked quinoa, spinach, and black beans. Let heat through for about 5-10 minutes. Season well with salt.
Serve topped with chopped fresh cilantro.

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May 8, 2012

Roasted Vegetable Medley

This might seem like a fall/winter dish, but for us it definitely makes it into the rotation year round because it's THAT delicious! These are wonderful with just olive oil and salt, and I also enjoy changing it up with herbs and seasonings. I've tried several variations mostly with basil, parsley, oregano, and garlic powder. I often throw cauliflower and Brussels sprouts in the mix too. (If you're not usually a fan... give them a chance roasted!)

Vegan, gluten-free

5 medium gold potatoes
1 onion
5 medium carrots
8 oz. mushrooms
Olive oil
Kosher salt
Optional: herbs/seasoning of your choice

Preheat oven to 450.
Prepare veggies: cut carrots on the bias, halve mushrooms, cut potatoes into cubes and onion into wedges.
Add vegetables to a large bowl. Pour enough olive oil to lightly coat, tossing to combine.
Add kosher salt and any desired herbs/seasonings. Mix well.
Spread out evenly in single file on a lightly sprayed pan and cook for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally and checking tenderness.

*Cooking times vary depending on your oven and how large your veggie chunks are.

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Looking for more roasted veggie deliciousness? Check out these other recipes!

May 6, 2012

Orzo Salad with Spinach, Tomato, Feta

Here's my take on the light, refreshing orzo salad. It's quick & easy to put together and great for just about anything: lunch, dinner, side, taking to work. I even love just having it in the fridge for quick snacks throughout the day. Fresh basil is also a wonderful addition!

Vegan (with soy feta), gluten-free (with gf orzo)

{For the salad}
1 lb. orzo
6 oz. fresh baby spinach
1 lb. sugar plum (or cherry) tomatoes
6 green onions
6-8 oz. soy feta

{For the dressing}
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. dried basil

Make the dressing: combine vinegar, garlic, basil, salt/pepper in a bowl. Slowly add olive oil, whisking to combine.
Cook orzo in salted water according to package instructions.
Meanwhile, halve tomatoes, slice green onions, and roughly chop spinach. Place in a large bowl.
Drain orzo and immediately add to large bowl. Toss. The heat from the orzo will lightly wilt the spinach.
Pour the dressing on top, toss to combine. Add soy feta and lightly toss.
Can eat immediately, or refrigerate for 1-2 hours and serve cold.

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May 3, 2012

Pizza Sauce

A delicious sauce for your homemade pizza creations! It's our favorite recipe with amazing flavors from the herbs and garlic. This recipe makes enough for one large pizza, and feel free to make it ahead of time and store in the fridge so it's ready to go when you are!

Vegan, gluten-free

6 oz. can tomato paste
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. basil
1/4 tsp. oregano
1/8 tsp. cumin
Salt, a few dashes

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.
Let sit at least 30 minutes, or refrigerate until ready to serve.

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May 2, 2012

17 Bean Soup

We love this soup because of the huge variety - with so many beans and veggies, every bite is unique! This is a modified recipe from the back of the "17 Bean & Barley Mix" from Trader Joe's. If you don't have a Trader Joe's nearby, don't let that deter you! This recipe is easily customized with any dried bean blend.

Vegan, gluten-free (with a non-barley bean mix)

1 lb. bag 17 Bean & Barley Mix (Trader Joe's)
4 cups low sodium vegetable broth (+ 4 cups water)
28 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 bell pepper (any color)
3-4 carrots
1 onion
4-5 garlic cloves
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. Italian seasoning

Quick soak dried beans: cover beans with triple their volume of water in a stockpot. Bring to a boil, lower heat to medium, and cook uncovered for 2 minutes. Remove stockpot from heat and let beans soak for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, dice bell pepper and onion, chop carrots, and mince garlic.
After 1 hour, rinse and drain beans in a colander.
Saute onion, pepper, carrots, and garlic with Italian seasoning and salt in a large stockpot for about 7-8 minutes.
Pour broth, 4 cups water, beans, diced tomatoes (with juice), basil, and oregano in stockpot. Heat over med-high and bring to a light boil.
Reduce heat to med-low and simmer covered for about 1 hour or until desired tenderness.
Salt/pepper to taste.

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