Kale and Mushroom Stir Fry with Soba Noodles

The weather is getting cooler and cooler by the day here in Northern California and I absolutely love it! Cool weather calls for warm hearty dishes like soups, stews, casseroles and noodles. I am such a huge fan of soba noodles. Well, any type of noodles really, but who isn’t? The Soba noodles have such unique flavor compared to others noodles. Their distinct nutty flavor makes a great pairing with earthy flavored vegetables like mushrooms and kale, so that is exactly what I will be using in this recipe. Even though I will be enjoying this recipe warm as a stir fry, this dish can also be served as a cold salad the next day. Soba noodles are so versatile, which makes packing lunch easy for the next day if you double the recipe.

Soba Noodles are a great gluten free noodle alternative if you can get your hands on pure 100% buckwheat flour noodles. Although the name suggests otherwise, buckwheat flour is actually a gluten free ancient grain and surprisingly not even related to wheat at all. So what gives with the confusing name? If you have a gluten allergy or sensitivity I always suggest checking the ingredients on the label to make sure your noodles are made with 100% buckwheat flour. I have found that some soba noodles can be made with a blend of flours which would no longer make them gluten free.

This recipe serves 2-3 people:

Ingredients

  • 8 oz of soba noodles
  • 2 teaspoon of avocado or coconut oil
  • 1/2 red onion sliced
  • 1 bunch of tuscan kale cleaned, destemmed and chopped
  • 2 cups of sliced mushrooms

Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon of toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon of avocado or olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons of aminos or soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sriracha (1 teaspoon if you like a little kick)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of maple syrup
  • Juice for 1/4 of a lime
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Add water to a saucepan to prepare the soba noodles per instructions on package.
  2. In a separate sauté pan add 2 teaspoons of avocado or coconut oil on medium heat.
  3. Once the avocado oil heats up add sliced onions, stir around for about 2 minutes, next add the sliced mushrooms and continue to stir for another 2 minutes followed by the kale. Once kale is almost cooked thoroughly, turn burner to low heat to keep warm.
  4. While soba noodles are cooking, whip the sauce ingredients together in a bowl.
  5. Add cooked and strained soba noodles to the sauté pan with your vegetables but turn the heat off completely so the noodles do not continue to cook
  6. Lastly, add sesame soy sauce to the noodles, toss well and serve.
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Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta

Sundays are for pasta! If it were up to my boyfriend we would eat penne and marinara every single Sunday. Pasta is his all time favorite comfort food, as it is for many Italian’s. Kyle loves to tell me stories about when he was a child. He and his entire family would go to his grandmothers house every single Sunday and eat dinner together, which always consisted of meatballs, sausage, pasta and bread… the bread for dipping in the sauce, followed by pastries. I agree with him, penne and marinara is so comforting and delicious. I love all variations of pasta! In my opinion, pasta is just too versatile to only limit yourself to penne and its red sauce comfort blanket. So every once in a while I like to throw a curve ball on pasta night. This time making a creamy vegan butternut squash sauce tossed with peas and spirals. This recipe can be gluten free or not, I like to use Trader Joe’s organic brown rice and quinoa blend pasta. This butternut squash sauce recipe makes just a little over 2 cups of sauce and is enough for one pound of pasta.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of pasta of your choice
  • 2 teaspoon of avocado oil
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 full medium yellow onion or 1/2 a large onion, diced
  • 1/2 a medium sized butternut squash, skinned and cubed. Roughly 2 cups
  • 1 cup of vegetable broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/8 cup of nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon of pepper
  • 1 cup of peas

Instructions

  1. Heat the avocado oil in a medium sized sauce pan with the yellow onion and garlic while stirring around for about 3 minutes or until the onions are translucent.
  2. Toss in the butternut squash, vegetable broth, lemon juice, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium and cover your saucepan with a lid. Let cook for about ten minutes.
  3. Once the butternut squash is cooked through, start to boil your water for your pasta in another saucepan and add the butternut squash mixture to a blender and puree for about 45 second.
  4. Add Nutritional yeast to the blender and maybe a some more salt and pepper to taste. Here you may need to blend for another 15-20 seconds
  5. Sauté the cup of peas in the same sauce pan you cooked the butternut squash. By the time you are done with the peas your sauce for the pasta should be cooked.
  6. Combine the pasta, sauce and peas. serve

Thai Green Curry Fried Rice

I accidentally skipped dinner the night of Halloween due to the excitement and festivities, I hope everyone else had a blast too!  I really made up for it though the night after when I had TWO bowls of this Thai green curry fried rice. It was so comforting and delicious. I love making different variations of things like fried rice (and frittatas for my boys) when I have a good amount of vegetables in the fridge that need to be used. It is such tasty and Hardy way to clean out the fridge. So here are some of the different veggies I had in my fridge that I needed to use and thank god because this dish turned out so flavorful.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of rice of your choice, I used brown
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 2 cups of broccoli florets
  • 1 zucchini chopped
  • 1/2 yellow onion diced
  • 1 bell pepper, color of your choice, I used half green and half red because that is what I had
  • 1 cup of peas
  • 1/4 inch knob of ginger, grated
  • 1 clove of garlic, grated
  • 2 teaspoons of coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of green curry paste
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut aminos
  • 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of water
  • 1 wedge of lime
  • Cilantro, green onions and bean sprouts for topping (optional)

Instructions

  1. While the brown rice is cooking, sauté your veggies until cooked through, set the vegetables aside in a separate bowl.
  2. In the same pan you cooked the vegetables in add 2 teaspoons of coconut oil on low-med heat, followed by the green curry paste, coconut amigos, rice vinegar, water and lime. Stir well then grate the garlic clove and ginger and continue to stir for another minute.
  3. Once rice is finished cooking fold into the green curry mixture and stir until rice is coated
  4. Toss in your veggies and mix well while adding salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Top with cilantro, green onions and sprouts and serve.

Gluten Free, Vegan Twix Bars

I think we can all agree Halloween is the most fun holiday. Everyone gets to dress up, carve pumpkins and eat candy. It does not get better than that. Not to mention we are all still stoked on the seasons changing and all things Fall and pumpkin spice. Hands down the best time of year. For Halloween I usually let my son pick a couple of the items out of his candy bucket to enjoy so he does not feel completely left out, but the truth is he is not allowed to eat junk foods and candy often at all. So, I trade him for organic, healthier treats. This year I made something he would not want to pass up for a trade in, homemade Twix bars! It was really a toss up between Twix and almond butter cups but I wanted to try something new. I am so glad I did, each layer of this faux Twix is flavorful and guilt free if you ask me. These delicious Twix bars are vegan & gluten free and you would never even know it.

Ingredients

Shortbread

  • 2 cups almond meal
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup of melted coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup of maple syrup

Caramel

  • 2 cups of pitted dates
  • 5 tablespoons of non dairy milk ( I used almond)
  • Teaspoon vanilla
  • Pinch of salt

Chocolate

  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1 cup of chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life because they are Non- Gmo, nut free, dairy free, soy free)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 and line a 8×8 square pan with parchment paper.
  2. Mix all your shortbread ingredients well, add mixture to your pan while pressing firmly and evenly to form to the bottom of your pan.
  3. Pop the shortbread into the oven and let bake for 10-12 minutes, until it is golden in color, then let cool.
  4. While the shortbread is cooling down make the date caramel by tossing all ingredients into your blender or food processor blend until it forms a creamy consistency. If you wish for your caramel to be creamier slowly add a little more non dairy milk or water.
  5. Once the caramel is finished, spread a thick, even layer onto your shortbread, then refrigerate for about an hour or until caramel has firmed.
  6. Now time for the best part, the chocolate. Add coconut oil and chocolate chips to a double boiler and melt down the chocolate chips, poor melted chocolate onto into the middle of your square pan onto the shortbread and caramel, smooth and even out. Let cool in the refrigerator for another hour
  7. Once you are ready slice and portion out into individual bars, make sure your knife is nice and warm to help cut through the hardened chocolate. You can do this by running your knife under hot water or warming by holding it over a warm oven burner. Cut down the middle first then cut 6 pieces on each side to make 12 twix bars. Store in refrigerator.

Coconut Curry Red Lentil Soup

I am part of a soup loving family. We will eat anything soupy or stew-like anywhere, anytime! This recipe in particular is one of my son’s favorites and I can’t say I blame him. Nor do I mind cooking it for him since it is so good and so nutritionally balanced. Providing everything from nutrients, vitamins, and fiber from the vegetables to healthy saturated fats from the coconut milk, and a great source of plant based protein from the lentils. Coconut curry is creamy, flavorful and comforting. Especially this time of year when the weather is starting to cool down.

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons of coconut oil
  • 2-3 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 celery stocks, chopped
  • 2 carrots sliced
  • 1/2 a bell pepper, color of your choice, chopped
  • 2 cups of leafy greens of your choice, destemmed & chopped  (kale, swiss chard, or spinach)
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes (BPA free) or 1 3/4 cup of fresh diced tomatoes
  • 1 canned full fat coconut milk (BPA free)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger or 1/2 an inch knob of fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 heaping teaspoons of red curry paste
  • 1 wedge of lime
  • 5 cups of vegetable broth
  • 2 cups of red split lentils
  • Cilantro (optional for topping)
  • Green onions (optional for topping)

Instructions

  1. Place coconut oil to your pot over medium heat. When melted, add chopped onion, sauté and stir around until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, and continue to stir and sauté for another minute.
  2. Now place all of your vegetables except your greens to the pot. Stir around to coat with oil then add your ginger, salt, red curry paste and squeeze in that wedge of lime. Mix around until  all vegetables are coated with seasonings.
  3. Toss in tomatoes, coconut milk and five cups of vegetable broth. Bring to a boil
  4. Reduce heat and add lentils, simmer for 25 minutes
  5. Remove from heat, add greens and stir.
  6. Optional: Top with more lime, cilantro and/or green onions and enjoy

Roasted Delicata Squash With Maple Tahini Sauce

This dish is just screaming FALL! And who doesn’t love Fall? Boots, scarfs, leaves and squash. Out of all the squash in season at the moment Delicata is one of my favorites (along side spaghetti squash) due to it’s amazing flavor and easy preparation. The skin on this squash is edible so no need for peeling or scraping.  Just rinse, roast and enjoy. This recipe makes the perfect side dish or can be served over quinoa or raw spinach to make a bowl or salad.

Roasted Delicata Squash With Maple Tahini Sauce

Ingredients

  • 3 delicata squash (I cook for 3 people so I prepared 1 per person)
  • 3 tablespoons of coconut or avocado oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cumin
  • Pinch of pink salt

Maple tahini sauce

  • 1/4 cup of tahini
  • 1 fresh garlic clove diced or 1/4 teaspoon of minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons of aminos or soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of pure maple syrup
  • 3 table spoons of warm water
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. Rinse squash, cut lengthwise, remove seeds cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  3. Toss with oil and spices and lay out on parchment lined baking sheet
  4. Roast in your oven for 30-35 minutes (until fork tender)
  5. While your squash is roasting, combine all ingredients together for your sauce and whisk until pourable
  6. Remove squash and drizzle with tahini sauc

Easy Tahini

1 ingredient 2 steps, TAHINI! Simple, cost efficient, fresh, and delicious! I have been obsessed with tahini lately. It can be added to hummus, used it as a base to make sauces and dressings or you can dip your veggies in it for a power snack. This recipe calls for just one ingredient, sesame seeds. These little seeds pack a punch! They are flavorful and full of health benefits. Tahini requires 2 simple steps, Roast and blend. That’s it! I purchase my organic sesame seeds in the bulk section of grocery store at $2.79/Lb. (A pound is a little over 3 cups). After I blended the 3 cups it made just about 14oz of organic tahini. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of sesame seeds

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Spread sesame seeds out on baking sheet.
  3. Roast seeds for 10 minutes.
  4. Let seeds cool for 5 minutes.
  5. Blend until you reach your desired creamy consistency.

Coconutty Chocolate Almond Bites

chocolate, coconutty, almond bites
chocolate, coconutty, almond bites

Today is the last day of summer and I am going out with a bang! I was sitting on my balcony enjoying the warmth from the sun on a cool day and thought, the only way this could get better is if I had a snack. So I made one, I was craving something healthy, yet chocolaty and gluten free so it can second as a school snack for my son. I am so thankful I had all the ingredients on hand to make date bites. Between the coconut, almonds and cocoa powder they taste just like an almond joy and the best part is how simple this recipe is. Just three steps, blend, roll, and enjoy. no baking necessary. They are friendly to any diet imaginable being vegan, gluten free, and paleo. If you don’t like chocolate (but who doesn’t like chocolate?) or almonds, maybe you will like these coconut cashew bites.

 

Ingredients **makes about 10**

  • 1 cup of dates
  • 1/2 cup of almonds
  • 3/4 cup of unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons of water
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon of  sea salt

Instructions

  1. Pulse the almonds to into smaller pieces in a food processor or blender
  2. Add all other ingredients and run on low speed until everything is broken down and your mixture looks more rollable. almost like a thick, sticky paste.
  3. Roll into balls, about  1 to 1 1/2 inches in size or your desired size, this size make 10 bites.
  4. I left half of the batch naked and rolled the other half in shredded coconut. They are good both ways so either mix it up, leave them all naked or if you are a coconut lover roll them all in coconut.

Gluten Free Pita Chips

On the never-ending search for healthy, meat-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, and zero waste school lunches that my 8 year old will eat (this alone is a full time job) I came across a method of making pita chips with minimal ingredients and that are really tasty.  Although my son does not have celiac disease or any allergies to wheat, I try to limit his gluten intake due to it causing inflammation.  He has had a couple of surgeries involving his intestines and tends to still be sensitive to certain foods.  So limiting is what works best for us.  On this journey I have found most gluten free alternatives in our grocery store shelves are not any healthier for you. A lot of these products are not organic and have too many ingredients including corn, soy, & rice. Unfortunately, there’s a good chance if your corn and soy is not organic then it is genetically engineered. Most of these products are also high in sugar and processed vegetable oils. Now, I am not saying I don’t purchase a bag of Gluten free pasta every now and again, but read your labels.  Less ingredients, is better.  And always opt for organic!

Tomorrow’s lunch is nothing fancy.  Just a classic cucumber, red onion, and tomato salad with a red wine vinaigrette and pita chips would be a perfect accompaniment to this dish. For these pita chips you need oat flour, non dairy milk (I prefer almond), salt, and garlic powder. We are making our own flour in this recipe so if you have a high powered blender or even a coffee grinder/mill bust it out because this method is super easier and so much cheaper.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of oats
  • 1 1/3 cup of non dairy milk (my preference is almond)
  • 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt
  • Feel free to add any other herbs or spices of your liking as well.

Instructions

  1. Add 1 cup of oats to your mill, grinder or blender and blend until your owns turn into a find flour consistency and add to a mixing bowl
  2. Toss in your salt and spices to the flour
  3. Add your non dairy milk and mix well
  4. Once mixed well, add a heaping spoonful of your mixture to a hot pan and spread the mixture until it gets as flat as you can get it. When the pita starts to look like it is drying up on the top it is time to flip for about 2-3 minutes.
  5. Preheat your oven to 425
  6. When all pitas are done (this recipe will make about 4)
  7. Cut them into triangles or squares, whatever shape makes you happy and place them onto a baking sheet
  8. Bake for 15 minutes

Spinach & Chickpea Tikki Masala With Cauliflower Rice

I had the most satisfying dinner last week and I just have to share it with all of you! Spinach & Chickpea tikki masala with cauliflower rice is all the rage. This dish is thick, creamy, flavorful, and aromatic. I might be a little biased though, I really love anything with coconut milk in it! This recipe is Vegan and gluten free but unfortunately not paleo due to the chickpeas but I am confident that if you wanted to leave the chickpeas out and add some extra veggies this recipe would still be amazing.

First, I would get the masala going that way you give it time to simmer while making your cauliflower rice. Start by sautéing your onions, garlic, and fresh ginger in coconut oil.  Then, toss in your spices and mix around for about a minute.  Mix in diced tomatoes, coconut milk, and chickpeas.  Let simmer for about 15-20 minutes.  You want to wait until the very last minute to throw in your spinach since greens wilt quickly. Cover and let simmer for 20 minutes. While that is working, grab your cauliflower and cut into florets.  Pulse in your food processor until it looks like chunks of snow.  Sauté and serve.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 1 onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 inch knob of fresh garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons of cumin
  • 2 teaspoons of coriander
  • 2 teaspoons of paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (1/2 teaspoon if you like a little kick)
  • 2 1/2 cups of chickpeas (1 cup of dried chickpeas expands to 2/12 cups when cooked)
  • 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 15 oz can of full fat coconut milk
  • lime wedge
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 big handfuls of spinach
  • Fresh cilantro and green onions for topping

Directions

**Tikki Masala**

  1. Add 2 tablespoons of coconut oil to your pan
  2. When coconut oil melts add diced onion and sauté for about 4 minutes or until translucent
  3. Toss in your chopped garlic sauté for an additional 2 minutes
  4. Add your grated fresh ginger and all your spices while stirring well
  5. Throw in your chickpeas and mix around until they are all coated with your spices
  6. Mix in can of diced tomatoes, coconut milk and squeeze of lime. Stir, cover and simmer for about 15-20 minutes. This is when you start prepping your cauli rice.
  7. Add spinach and salt & pepper to taste, stir and top on your rice

**Cauliflower RIce**

Hopefully when your Masala was simmering you were getting your cauliflower rice ready.

  1. Cut Cauliflower into florets and place into your food processor and pulse until your cauliflower is broken up into smaller pieces (looks like cauliflower snow)
  2. Add your cauli rice to a warm, oiled pan and sauté for about 7 minutes while continuing to stir. Add a dash of garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste.
  3. When Cauliflower rice is at your desired texture, plate with Tikki Masala and top with fresh cilantro and green onions.