Roasted Sweet Potato, Chickpeas and Kale Bowl

I was excited to try out this recipe that I found in the latest issue of Thrive Magazine. I’m enjoying my subscription to this plant based publication, and find much inspiration within the glossy pages.

Dinner tonight, for Try This Tuesday, was Roasted Sweet Potato, Chickpeas and Kale Bowls.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes Chickpeas and Kale Bowl

This recipe comes from Sapana Chandra. Sapana is a holistic health coach, wellness blogger, food stylist and photographer, and a plant based professional chef. Visit her website HERE.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes Chickpeas and Kale Bowl

Roasted Sweet Potatoes Chickpeas and Kale Bowl

Roasted Sweet Potato, Chickpeas & Kale Bowl

Assemble ingredients in this order:

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

1 tablespoon olive oil

Sea salt & black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a bowl combine cubed sweet potatoes, olive oil and salt & pepper. Toss until sweet potatoes are well coated. Arrange in a single layer on parchment covered baking sheet. Bake for 20-30 minutes, flipping halfway.

Spicy Chickpeas

1 can chickpeas, drained & rinsed

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon paprika

Sea salt & black pepper to taste

In a medium saucepan pan, warm oil on medium heat. Add chickpeas, cumin, turmeric, paprika, salt and pepper. Toss until chickpeas are well coated. Simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat, cover to keep warm.

Additional ingredients

4 cups kale, spinach or other greens, washed and chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup tomatoes, chopped

1/4 pomegranate seeds -when in season

Massage kale with olive oil. Or if using other greens, chop. Chop tomatoes.

Lemon Tahini Dressing

1/4 cup tahini

1/4 cup water

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 lemon, juiced

1/2 teaspoon maple syrup or organic honey

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Dash of cayenne pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Whisk until smooth and creamy.

Assemble the bowls. Divide the roasted sweet potatoes, chickpeas, greens and tomatoes between the two bowls. Drizzle with lemon tahini dressing.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes Chickpeas and Kale Bowl

Roasted Sweet Potatoes Chickpeas and Kale Bowl

Creating this recipe is a simple step by step process. As the sweet potatoes roasted in the oven, I prepared the chickpeas and allowed them to simmer. I whisked together the dressing ingredients next and popped the bowl into the fridge to chill and thicken slightly.

Before I chopped the greens…I used a mix of spinach and baby kale…and the tomatoes, I turned off the oven and removed the chickpeas from heat and kept covered.

I assembled two bowls and Greg and I sampled this new recipe. It was so savory. The mix of roasted sweet potatoes and spicy chickpeas was a delectable combo. And the lemon tahini dressing lent a complementary tartness.

I am enjoying this health journey. Greg pointed out this evening that when I first switched to plant based, I mostly prepared simple salads or baked potatoes. As I’ve become healthier I’ve turned my focus to preparing wholesome, delicious meals that often combine a variety of veggies, fruits, textures and flavors. And sauces. I’ve discovered that healthy sauces add a nice kick of extra flavor.

I also reminded Greg that this is Tuesday. And what do I do on Tuesdays? I try new things. Sampling or creating new recipes has become a weekly Try This Tuesday tradition. I love it.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes Chickpeas and Kale Bowl

Coconut Curry Sauce

I had fun today trying out my first recipe from the gorgeous Thrive Magazine that I purchased recently. I made notes as I thumbed through the publication, about all the recipes I wanted to create. First on my list was a coconut curry sauce.

Coconut Curry Sauce

This simple to make sauce, loaded with goodness and flavor, can be eaten over spiralized veggies, such as zucchini, or used with gluten pasta. It would be wonderful too added to stir fried veggies and brown rice or used as a dipping sauce for roasted potato wedges. This recipe was created by Julie Van Den Kerchove, a plant based chef in Belgium.

Coconut Curry Sauce

I purchased organic produce from Natural Grocers, as well as organic coconut milk. Full fat coconut milk is best, for the most flavor. Organic minced garlic and ginger in jars can be substituted for freshly minced.

After blending the sauce, I poured it into a mason jar and popped it into the fridge while I spiralized a zucchini and a yellow squash. I am in love with spiralized vegetables! They are easy to prepare, with an inexpensive spiralizer, and so good for me. I ended up with two bowls of veggie noodles.

Coconut Curry Sauce

I sliced a dozen cherry tomatoes in half, dividing them between the two bowls, and added hemp seeds. These provide protein and have a light, nutty flavor. After spooning coconut curry sauce over the raw noodles, I topped my meal with chopped cilantro.

This was so fresh and so delicious! I love curry in any form. This sauce is not too spicy. For more of a kick, increase the cheyenne pepper to taste. I have plenty of left over sauce to try in a variety of ways. I think oven roasted potatoes might be on the menu for tomorrow night, with a side of coconut curry dipping sauce!

Coconut Curry Sauce

Waldorf Salad with Vegenaise

I have been craving Waldorf salad, full of crisp apples, crunchy celery and walnuts, and sweet, juicy red grapes. The only problem with this yummy salad is that it typically has mayonnaise in it. I don’t use this product any more. However, was there a plant based option? I headed to Natural Grocers to find out.

Waldorf Salad with Vegenaise

I selected organic Braeburn apples, celery and seedless red grapes. I picked up organic walnut halves as well. And thanks to the produce manager at the Natural Grocers, I found a selection of healthier mayonnaises, in the refrigerated section. I am not only plant based, I also avoid soy and canola oil. I passed on a couple of brands that contained eggs or canola oil. And I found the right product with Vegenaise!

Waldorf Salad with Vegenaise

This wonderful spread is gluten, egg, soy, refined sugar and dairy free. It is a non GMO product as well. This isn’t something I will use often, but it’s nice to have an alternative to classic mayo.

Here is the simple recipe for Waldorf Salad:

• 3 red apples, unpeeled & cut into chunks

• 1 cup of celery, thinly sliced

• 1 cup of seedless red grapes, halved

• 1/2 cup of walnut halves

• 1/2 cup of Vegenaise

• 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice

• 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

In a large bowl, combine apples, celery, red grapes and walnuts. In a small bowl whisk together Vegenaise, lemon juice and sea salt. Fold dressing into apple mixture. Chill for at least half an hour. Makes 4-6 servings.

Waldorf Salad with Vegenaise

Oh, this was a good salad! I’ve always loved this particular combo of fruits, celery and nuts. The Vegenaise is very light and does not overpower the salad at all. I enjoyed this Waldorf salad as a meal, rather than a side dish.

And this salad was perfect for me. I got in servings of fruits that are considered power foods and celery, which has so many amazing health benefits. Good food, that was good for me. It was a win/win meal!

Waldorf Salad with Vegenaise

Nachos Style Potatoes

I tried this easy to prepare recipe last week and enjoyed it for lunch. I have been grateful to learn that potatoes are in fact good for us. They are foundational to my plant based diet. It’s always great to find another recipe that showcases this health boosting food.

Nachos Style Potatoes

This recipe is from Thyroid Healing by Anthony William.

Nachos Style Potatoes

These were so good! The potatoes were perfectly cooked, tender on the inside with a crispier exterior. Sliced a bit thinner and I could create my own healthy potato chips. Instead of half a jalapeño, I used 1 small can of chopped green chilies in the salsa, for less heat.

And the garlic cashew aioli was wonderful. The recipe makes enough for leftovers. I can make another batch of nachos style potatoes. Or, it works great as a topping on other veggies. I added a dollop to raw beet noodles that I made with the spiralizer. Store the aioli in the fridge.

I look forward to serving up these “nachos” again soon!

Nachos Style Potatoes

Pick up your copy of Thyroid Healing by clicking link below.

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Zucchini Noodles with Basil Pesto

As promised last week, after I introduced my fun new veggie spiralizer, today’s Try This Tuesday post features a basil pesto recipe. I’m including a bonus second recipe as well, because options are good, right?

This easy to prepare recipe is so good! I’ve enjoyed zucchini noodles with basil pesto twice in the last week. And today I topped my noodles with marinara sauce that included sautéed vegetables.

You can read about using a spiralizer HERE.

One medium sized zucchini makes one bowl of noodles. For more servings, simply spiralize more zucchini, or any form veggie of choice.

This recipe, from Thyroid Healing by Anthony William, makes two servings:

Mildly flavored zucchini noodles pair well with sautéed veggies or marinara sauce.

Here’s my favorite home made marinara sauce. This makes a big batch that keeps well in the fridge for a week. I like to sauté green peppers, celery and carrots to add to this basic sauce. The red pepper gives it a bit of a kick. It can be omitted or increased!

I discovered today that marinara sauce with sautéed veggies over zucchini noodles is yummy as well. I added hemp hearts. Now I’m ready to try some different vegetables in the spiralizer!

Order Thyroid Healing and your own spiralizer by clicking the links below:

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Apples

For many of us, an apple is one of the first fruits we remember eating as a child. They conjure up warm feelings and fond memories…crisp apples on a cool autumn day, picking apples in an orchard, bobbing for apples at a fall party, toting apple slices to school in a lunchbox. They symbolize family values, as in apple pie and gifts for school teachers. And, they represent health. We can all recite the old adage, An apple a day keeps the doctor away.

It’s good to know that apples can promote health and well being. Because that saying is more that a cute rhyme. I’ve discovered in the past couple of years just how incredibly powerful this little fruit is!

Apples play a crucial role in fighting inflammation of all kinds. They calm the systems of the body by reducing viral and bacterial loads that inflame the body. In addition, the phytochemicals in apples feed the neurons of the brain and increase electrical activity. That makes them brain food!

Red skinned apples are especially beneficial. The pigments that create that rosy color have anti-obesity properties and strengthen the digestive system. They are the best colon cleanser. Pectin from an apple rids the intestinal tract of bacteria, viruses, yeast and mold. It also helps to eliminate debris that clogs pockets in the intestines.

This powerhouse of a fruit helps to pull heavy metals from the body and detoxifies the brain of MSG. They hydrate the body at a cellular level, providing trace minerals and salts and electrolytes, making them ideal to consume after exercise or a stressful day.

There are so many flavorful ways to enjoy the healing benefits of apples, without baking them in a pie or covering them with sticky caramel.

Slice them up and eat them plain, or pair with celery sticks and dates for a snack that supports the adrenal glands. I like to dip apple slices in organic, no sugar added peanut butter, for a mid afternoon treat, or make a healthy “caramel” dip by combining 6 dates, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and a little water in the blender. Yum!

Chopped apples can be added to any salad, for extra flavor and a crisp texture. And they are great for juicing. Apples add sweetness naturally to juices and can be added to other fruits or greens for a refreshing drink. One of my favorite hot beverages combines apple juice with spices, orange slices and cranberries for a soothing cider. Or, if craving something sweet, apples can be sliced in two, cored, and the center filled with walnuts and a dollop of 100% pure maple syrup. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake about 20 minutes, then serve warm. What a delicious and satisfying dessert.

Try adding an apple a day, or two or three, to your diet and see how your body and health responds.

Apple slices with a sauce of blended dates and cinnamon.

Pick up your copy of Life Changing Foods by Anthony William below, and learn more about apples and 49 other health boosting foods.

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Zucchini Noodles Made with a Spiralizer

I have wanted to try a spiralizer, a kitchen tool that creates mounds of noodles from fresh, raw vegetables, since I began this plant based journey. The problem was, I didn’t own a spiralizer! Thanks to my daughter Elissa, who gave me an Amazon gift card for Christmas, I purchased the Zalik 5 blade spiralizer recently and tried it for the first time for lunch today.

I have seen beautiful photos of noodles made from zucchini, cucumber or beets for months. I love trying new recipes, and with veggies being such an important part of my diet, a spiralizer seemed a must. I looked at a variety of models, from very inexpensive to fairly pricey, and settled on a mid priced unit.

The Zalik comes with five interchangeable blades and a brush for cleaning those blades. The unit is made of heavy plastic and it comes apart for easy cleaning. I purchased organic zucchini for my first attempt at making raw veggie noodles.

I cut the ends off of the zucchini and popped it into the unit where it is held securely by prongs. As I turned the handle, while applying slight pressure to keep the zucchini moving forward, noodles curled into the waiting bowl. I used a 2mm blade.

I was like a kid with a new toy! This was fun, turning one medium sized zucchini into a bowl full of noodles. The whole process took less than a minute. And the spiralizer was a cinch to clean up and pack back into its box.

I followed a recipe in Thyroid Healing, by Anthony William, to complete my lunch. I will share the Pesto Zucchini Noodles recipe next Tuesday. Veggie noodles can be tossed with basil pesto, topped with marinara sauce, or combined with cooked or raw veggies.

I added organic cherry tomatoes, freshly made basil pesto, and sprinkled on hemp hearts, sea salt and black pepper. This colorful meal was perfect for lunch. The zucchini noodles were very mild, and soft and pliable, more like pasta noodles than raw veggies. I loved the light fresh taste. Any firm vegetable could be used in place of zucchini.

I am excited to make noodles out of other vegetables and also to make veggie chips and curls, using the different blades. I grow vegetables during the summer months and lots of basil. I look forward to picking fresh basil from my own backyard to create pesto. Homemade potato chips anyone? Sweet potato curls? Cucumber or yellow squash noodles topped with pesto? I’m going to have fun with this spiralizer…and eat well at the same time!

You can order your spiralizer below! And check out Thyroid Healing for amazing recipes and crucial health info.

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Seasoned Potato Wedges

When I completed a 28 Day Cleanse, 18 months ago, this delicious recipe was one of the first that I tried. I wanted to celebrate eating cooked food again, as during the cleanse I only ate raw fruits and veggies. And I wanted to cement my new relationship with a plant based lifestyle. My health had shifted during that 28 days and I knew that I would not be returning to my old eating habits. I welcomed the opportunity to try new recipes and wholeheartedly explore this new way of eating.

The earthy potato has become a mainstay of my diet. I can order a plain baked potato in most restaurants, which relieves eating out anxiety. At home potatoes are the foundation of many of my recipes. I will be featuring them this week for Food Friday. In the meantime, this is one of my favorite potato recipes and it is quick and easy to prepare.

Seasoned Potato Wedges

4 large potatoes, skins on

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon onion salt

1 teaspoon garlic salt

1 teaspoon seasoning salt

1 teaspoon paprika

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400. Cut each potato into 8-10 wedges, or use french fry slicer.

Place wedges in large bowl. Sprinkle with seasonings. Drizzle with olive oil and mix to coat wedges.

Arrange wedges on large cookie sheet, lined with parchment paper. Bake 35-40 minutes, until wedges are crisp on outside, and tender inside.

Initially I used potato wedges as a side dish with other foods, and they are wonderful with sliced avocado and mixed beans. However I came to see them as a complete meal on their own, served with a side of hummus or homemade marinara sauce for dipping.

Either way, as a side or main dish, enjoy these delightfully seasoned potatoes, knowing they are good for you!

Orange, Avocado & Green Olive Salad

I tried this gorgeous salad for the first recently, and loved it. Who would know that combining two super foods…oranges and avocados…with tangy green olives would be so delicious?

Oranges are high in vitamin C, and a coenzyme called glutathione, which activates because of this citrus fruit’s flavonoids and limonoids. These combine to fight off viruses, protect the body from radiation damage and deactivate heavy metals in the body. Oranges also contain an abundance of bioactive calcium, which the body absorbs quickly.

Avocados help to soothe the digestive system, especially for those with food sensitivities. This food, which is actually a fruit, has anti-inflammatory properties as well. Avocados are a healthy source of omega-6 fatty acids, which help to restore the central nervous system.

The recipe, from the Life Changing Foods book by Anthony William is simple to prepare.

Orange, Avocado & Green Olive Salad

6 oranges, any variety

1/4 cup sliced green olives

1/4 cup finely chopped parsley

1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion

1 avocado, sliced

Black pepper (optional)

Cut the top and bottom off of each orange. Resting the orange flat on the cutting board, cut down and around the sides, removing the peel. Slice oranges horizontally into disks and arrange on plates. Top with remaining ingredients. Sprinkle with pepper is desired. Serves 2-4.

Because Cara Cara oranges are plentiful this time of year, I used them and regular navel oranges. I found it easier to slice the oranges first, with their peels on, and then cut around the perimeter, removing the peel.

This colorful salad was fun to eat, light but filling. I didn’t add the red onion to my salad, but I enjoyed the blended flavors of the oranges, avocados and olives. It was the perfect lunch.

It was so perfect that I had it for lunch again today! I will take advantage of oranges being in season by preparing this meal often.

Vegan Black Bean & Corn Salsa

I was looking for a healthy salsa to share at my family’s Christmas Day Smorgasbord. I contributed plant based snacks, sides and desserts. My family members brought their favorite sides or main course dishes, however, they got to sample my plant based recipes too.

I had in mind to make my sister’s Cowboy Caviar. But when I saw that the recipe called for bottles of salad dressing, I opted for this easy to make salsa that includes the fresh juice of two limes instead.

The recipe, from SparkPeople, on my first official Try This Tuesday, is not only quick to throw together, and healthy, it is pretty to look at too! And, it is incredibly delicious, as the flavors all blend together.

I omitted the cilantro, because of a family member’s dislike of it. And the salsa was still excellent. In fact, the recipe made a large bowl of salsa and I brought home a very small bowl of left overs. I used only organic, non GMO canned goods. Del Monte brand now has non GMO canned goods, as do other brands found in health conscious grocery stores, like Natural Grocers. I diced the avocado and added it right before serving.

The salsa was accompanied by organic, non GMO tortilla chips, made by Tostitos, and available in the chips aisle at any supermarket. These bite sized scoops are perfect for dipping.

The black bean and corn salsa was so good that I will be making this recipe often. It is a great side dish to take to parties or family gatherings. I can know that I am contributing food wise, and also to the health of everyone present!