Vegan Mexican Tortellini Soup

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Tortellini is NOT a typo in the recipe title. I have an easy Vegan Tortilla Soup that you can check out HERE. This delicious recipe is a mashup of Mexican and Italian cuisines to create a uniquely flavorful dish.

My daughter Adriel shared the original recipe with me and I successfully “veganized” it to create a yummy, satisfying soup that’s free of dairy products and meat.

Try out Vegan Mexican Tortellini Soup this week. Trust me, you’ll want to make it again.

Vegan Mexican Tortellini Soup title

Vegan Mexican Tortellini Soup

I LOVE soup. Although I especially enjoy a bowl of hot soup during fall and winter, I’ll make up a pot of soup any time during the year. I like having the leftovers in the fridge for a quick meal. And most soups continue to blend flavors after they cook so they taste even better after a day or two.

Because of my fondness for soup, I’m always looking for new recipes to try. When my daughter and son in law told me about a recipe they tried and gave it high marks for ease of preparation and flavor, I knew I wanted to try a vegan version.

This soup simmers in a slow cooker, making it very easy to prepare. Plus, you get the benefit of the incredible aroma wafting through the house as it cooks.

Vegan Mexican Tortellini Soup recipe

Vegan Mexican Tortellini Soup

Savor the blended flavors of the Mexican soup with an Italian twist
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 15 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine Italian, Mexican
Servings 8

Equipment

  • 1 Slow Cooker

Ingredients
  

  • 2 12 oz pkgs Impossible Ground "Beef"
  • 2 10 oz cans Diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
  • 1 32 oz Veggie broth
  • 2 10.5 oz cans Tomato soup, condensed
  • 1 15 oz can Non GMO corn, drained
  • 1 15 oz can Black beans, drained
  • 1 1 oz pkg Taco seasoning
  • 1 8 oz pkg Vegan cream cheese with chives, softened
  • 1 18 pkg Refrigerated vegan cheese tortellini, uncooked

Instructions
 

  • In a non stick skillet, brown Impossible ground "beef" until it is no longer pink. Add taco seasoning and diced tomatoes with green chilies. Cook over medium heat for five minutes. Transfer mixture to slow cooker.
  • Add veggie broth, tomato soup, corn and black beans to slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW heat for 4 hours.
  • Stir soup and then gently stir in vegan cream cheese with chives and vegan cheese tortellini. Cover and continue cooking on LOW heat for one to two hours. Check soup after an hour to see if tortellini is heated through.
    Makes approximately 8 servings.
Keyword Italian, Mexican, Soup, Vegan

 

Vegan Mexican Tortellini Soup in slow cooker
Vegan Mexican Tortellini soup in slow cooker.

Vegan Mexican Tortellini Soup Tips

I appreciate how quickly this soup comes together. Once it is in the slow cooker, I can focus on other things.

I use a high quality non stick pan to brown Impossible ground “beef”. It doesn’t contain fats so it can stick easily. I thaw out the packages, if purchased frozen, and crumble and brown just like regular ground beef.

You can make your own veggie broth or purchase it.

Use Rotel brand diced tomatoes with green chilies or your favorite alternative. Don’t drain.

For the vegan cream cheese and cheese tortellini, I purchased the Kite brand. It’s made from almond milk. I found both at my local Natural Grocers. The cheese tortellini was in the frozen food section. I purchased two 9 ounce packages and allowed them to thaw in the refrigerator before using.

Use your favorite brand of condensed tomato soup. Don’t add water. Just add the contents of the cans to the slow cooker.

When I made the soup, the tortellini was perfectly cooked through in an hour, making a total cook time of five hours.

Store leftovers in the refrigerator. The soup was even more delicious the next day.

Vegan Mexican Tortellini Soup ready to eat
Vegan Mexican Tortellini Soup – ready to eat

The Taste Test

This soup is amazing! The combination of tomato soup with a hint of spiciness and the vegan cheese tortellini is so delicious and satisfying. The added vegan cream cheese with chives makes it extra creamy.

Greg loved this soup too, as did my mother. I took her a container of the soup to try. We all agreed, it’s a keeper recipe! And it’s so easy to prepare.

I’ll be making Vegan Mexican Tortellini Soup often!

Does this sound like a soup you’d enjoy?

Vegan Mexican Tortellini Soup in bowl

 

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Vegan Burrito Bowl with Quinoa

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Looking for a simple, hearty recipe featuring whole foods and the superfood quinoa? Look no further. I have just the recipe for you!

Vegan burrito bowl with quinoa comes together in under 30 minutes plus it is versatile and highly nutritious. Loaded with protein packing black beans and fresh veggies along with amazing quinoa, you’ll turn to this recipe again and again for a savory meal.

Vegan Burrito Bowl with Quinoa title meme

Superfood Quinoa Benefits

Although technically a seed, quinoa is typically grown as a grain crop. Quinoa comes in red, black and white varieties.  It is gluten free, high in protein and one of the few plant based foods that provides all nine essential amino acids that the body needs.

Additionally, quinoa is high in fiber, magnesium, vitamins B and E, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, copper, zinc and antioxidants.

The seed’s antioxidants help calm inflammation throughout the body and provide anti-cancer, anti-viral and anti-depressant properties. There are so many other health benefits from including quinoa in the diet that I wrote a post about it. Check it out HERE.

Vegan Burrito Bowl with Quinoa

The need to use an avocado before it passed its prime inspired this easy recipe. With basic pantry items, I created a filling bowl of goodness without the extra calories, meat and dairy products that a traditional burrito brings.

Although I didn’t prepare the vegan burrito bowl with quinoa in one pan…I used two…I think that’s a possibility, making clean up quicker and easier.

Vegan Burrito Bowl with Quinoa

journeywithhealthyme
Quick and filling burrito bowl featuring superfood quinoa
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6 Servings

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic gloves, minced
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 orange bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cups cooked black beans may use 1 can black beans
  • 1 cup frozen corn may use half a can of corn
  • 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes, in juice. Do not drain.
  • 2 tsp Mexican seasoning may use cumin or chili powder
  • 3 cups shredded lettuce, for bowl
  • 1 avocado, diced, for bowl

Instructions
 

  • Combine 1 cup of quinoa and 2 cups of water in a medium sized saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • White quinoa cooks, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic, cooking for 2 minutes.
  • Add mushrooms and bell peppers, stir frying until veggies are almost tender. Add frozen corn, diced tomatoes in juice, black beans and seasoning. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until quinoa is done.
  • When quinoa is done, remove from heat, fluff with a fork and add to veggie mixture. Mix well. Season with sea salt and black pepper, if desired.
  • In a bowl, spoon in burrito mixture, shredded lettuce and diced avocado. Add additional toppings, if desired.
    Makes approximately 6 servings. Store leftovers in covered container in fridge.
Keyword Burrito Bowl, quinoa, Vegan

 

Tips for Creating Vegan Burrito Bowl with Quinoa

Pick up quinoa at your favorite grocery store or order HERE. I usually add a drizzle of olive oil to the quinoa pot, before reducing heat and simmering.

Add additional veggies to mixture, if desired. Summer squash, zucchini, broccoli or cauliflower are good choices. Don’t like mushrooms? Leave them out.

To create a one pot meal, add a half cup of vegetable broth and the uncooked quinoa after adding black beans, diced tomatoes with juice, corn and seasoning. Bring just to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir well and serve.

I use Frontier Co-op Mexican Fiesta Seasoning with chilis, tomato and cumin. You can use cumin or chili seasoning instead. If you’d like extra heat, add crushed red pepper flakes before serving or a diced jalapeno when stir frying veggies.

In my bowl, I included shredded lettuce and diced avocado. Use salsa, guacamole, sliced green onions, vegan cheese, shredded cabbage, black olives or toppings of choice. Add small tortilla chips if you aren’t limiting sodium.

Vegan Burrito Bowl with Quinoa mixture
Vegan Burrito Bowl with Quinoa – veggie and quinoa mixture

Enjoying My Burrito Bowl

I love the blend of flavors in this burrito bowl. With plenty of leftovers, it’s a “cook once, eat twice”…or more…recipe that freezes well, making a quick heat and serve meal after a busy day.

Quinoa is one of my favorite foods right now. I never tire of trying new recipes with it as my base. (You might like this Quinoa and Broccoli Bowl as well.)

I’m excited to share that I’m about to begin a new health adventure as I participate in the Blue Zones 4 Week Challenge. Watch for upcoming posts about the challenge. Since whole grains play a vital role in the Blue Zones meals, I’ll be eating quinoa several times a week.

I hope you enjoy this vegan burrito bowl with quinoa. Let me know in the comments if you try the recipe. And please share your favorite quinoa recipes with me!

Vegan Burrito Bowl with Quinoa ready to eat

 

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Easy Teriyaki Noodles and Veggies

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If there’s one food I could enjoy several times a week…if not every day…it’s Asian noodles. I love them with a little teriyaki. Served with stir fried veggies they are amazing. Combine those teriyaki noodles with veggies and yes, plate those up for me right now, please!

This easy teriyaki noodles with veggies recipe comes together so quickly, for a fast and filling meal. Keep a box of noodles or pasta in the pantry and some fresh veggies in the fridge and you can make this meal in minutes whenever you want.

Easy Teriyaki Noodles with Veggies title meme

Easy Teriyaki Noodles with Veggies

The only thing I love more than Asian noodles is making them myself at home. With a few pantry items, I can indulge my noodles craving any time.

Noodles are versatile too. Eat them plain. Add veggies of choice. Stir fry them for extra flavor.

Use this recipe as a springboard for your own creative recipe.

Easy Teriyaki Noodles with Veggies sesame seeds

Easy Teriyaki Noodles with Veggies

journeywithhealthyme
Asian style noodles with teriyaki sauce and stir fried veggies
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 4 Servings

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3/4 cup baby carrots or shredded carrots
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets
  • 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
  • 10 ounces uncooked gluten free soba noodles or spaghetti
  • sesame seeds for garnish

Instructions
 

  • In a large pot, cook noodles according to package directions or to desired level of tenderness.
  • While noodles cook, sauté chopped onions and minced garlic in a large non stick skillet, in olive oil for three minutes.
  • Add broccoli and cauliflower florets and baby carrots. Stir fry over medium high heat until veggies are crisp tender. Stir in teriyaki sauce, coating veggies. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for five minutes.
  • When noodles are done, drain well and immediately add to skillet with veggies. Turn heat up to medium and stir fry noodles and veggies, mixing well, for two minutes. Serve immediately. Garnish with sesame seeds, if desired. Makes 4 servings.
Keyword Asian Noodles, Teriyaki Noodles

 

Easy Teriyaki Noodles with Veggies stir fry
Easy Teriyaki Noodles with Veggies – stir fry with teriyaki sauce
Easy Teriyaki Noodles with Veggies pan
Easy Teriyaki Noodles with Veggies – adding cooked noodles

Tips for Making Easy Teriyaki Noodles with Veggies

If you aren’t gluten sensitive, use regular soba noodles. Can’t find soba noodles? Substitute regular spaghetti. I cooked the soba noodles for about five and a half minutes. Check after five minutes, so you don’t overcook. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil into the boiling water when adding the noodles, to prevent them from sticking together.

Use your veggies of choice, if desired, instead of broccoli, carrots and cauliflower. Sliced mushrooms, snow peas, kale, cubed sweet potatoes or green peppers are suggestions. I tend to use whatever veggies I have on hand.

Also, use your favorite purchased sauce or make your own teriyaki, peanut or Asian sauce. (Watch for an upcoming post on making your own sauces.)

Add diced green onions, sesame seeds, chopped sunflower seeds, peanuts or cilantro for garnish. Or add a squeeze of lime juice or a few drops of hot sauce.

Easy Teriyaki Noodles with Veggies sesame seeds
Easy Teriyaki Noodles with Veggies and sesame seeds.

Love My Noodles

I love that I can easily whip up these delicious noodles whenever I want, instead of visiting a restaurant. They make a great inexpensive and yet nutritious lunch or dinner meal. I’m looking forward to experimenting with different sauce and veggie combinations with the noodles.

If you enjoy Asian noodles too, let me know what you think of this recipe. And try my Vegan Ramen Noodles recipe for another go to meal of mine.

What’s your favorite way to enjoy noodles? Share your recipe with me by leaving a link in the comments.

Easy Teriyaki Noodles with Veggies ready to eat

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Quinoa and Broccoli Bowl

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I love quinoa. This superfood, which is actually a seed rather than a grain, is one of the world’s most popular health foods. It’s versatile, easy to prepare and delicious.

Learn a bit about quinoa and then try this super easy recipe to create a quinoa and broccoli bowl.

Quinoa and Broccoli Bowl title meme

Superfood Status

Although quinoa is a seed, it is grown as a grain crop. Cultivated in South America for thousands of years, the superfood only recently became a health food trend in the US.

Quinoa is gluten free, high in protein and one of the few plant based foods that provides all nine essential amino acids that the body needs.

Additionally, quinoa is high in fiber, magnesium, vitamins B and E, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, copper, zinc and antioxidants.

Quinoa’s antioxidants help calm inflammation throughout the body and provide anti-cancer, anti-viral and anti-depressant properties.

Find out more about quinoa…and check out several other recipes…HERE.

Quinoa and Broccoli Bowl

I recently made incredibly yummy sweet potato and black bean tacos that contained quinoa. I still had a cup of dried quinoa left in the package that I wanted to use. So…ta da…I created a super easy bowl for dinner tonight.

Bowls…also called Buddha Bowls or grain bowls…and a fun and healthy way to get plenty of veggies. And they take minutes to prepare.

Here’s the recipe:

Quinoa and Broccoli Bowl

journeywithhealthyme
A super easy bowl for a quick meal.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped green or red bell pepper
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups fresh broccoli and cauliflower florets
  • sea salt, black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder to taste

Instructions
 

Cooking the Quinoa

  • Add 1 cup of dried quinoa to medium sized sauce pan along with 2 cups of water. Stir in 2 teaspoons of olive oil, onion powder, garlic powder and sea salt. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow quinoa to sit, covered, for 5 minutes. Remove lid and fluff quinoa with a fork. Makes two cups of cooked quinoa for recipe.

Quinoa and Broccoli Bowl

  • While quinoa cooks, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in large, non stick skillet. Add onions, celery, peppers and garlic. Stir fry over medium high heat until onions soften.
  • Add broccoli and cauliflower florets. Sprinkle with additional onion powder, garlic powder, sea salt and black pepper, if desired. Continue cooking and stirring until veggies are crisp tender.
  • Add cooked quinoa. Stir to combine and serve immediately in bowls. Makes 4 servings.
Keyword broccoli, Buddha bowl, quinoa

 

Quinoa and Broccoli Bowl onion mix
Quinoa and Broccoli Bowl – onion mix
Quinoa and Broccoli Bowl stir fry
Quinoa and Broccoli Bowl – stir frying veggies

Tips for Creating Quinoa and Broccoli Bowl

Bowls are such a versatile way to create a delicious and healthy meal. You can add any combination of veggies and grains…or in this case, seeds. Follow these tips for a tasty bowl.

Try cooking quinoa with vegetable broth instead of water, for a richer flavor. You can even make your own veggie broth from vegetable scraps. Add other herbs or spices such as cumin, turmeric, basil, thyme or Italian seasoning to the quinoa while it cooks. I seem to add garlic and onion powder to almost everything!

And change out the broccoli and cauliflower for any other veggie combo. Try cut up asparagus and halved Brussels sprouts, carrots, sliced mushrooms or kale.

To make this recipe super easy, used frozen chopped onions, celery and peppers and a bag of fresh already cut up broccoli and cauliflower. I keep these on hand for quick meals. And you can purchase minced garlic in a jar.

Don’t have quinoa on hand? Sub cooked brown rice instead.

And you can also include sliced avocado, cooked chickpeas, a green salad, sliced tomatoes or other raw veggies to your bowl as well. Bowls are a great way to use leftover veggies, a few carrots or the last of the beans.

Quinoa and Broccoli Bowl skillet
Quinoa and Broccoli Bowl – ready to eat

Ready to Eat in About 30 Minutes

In half an hour, my quinoa and broccoli bowl was ready to eat.

It was delicious and filling. I love the combination of broccoli, cauliflower and quinoa however, I enjoy other veggie combos as well.

Store any leftovers in the fridge and you have another meal ready to warm up the next day.

Do you like quinoa? I’d love to know if you have a favorite quinoa recipe. Share it or a link in the comments below!

Quinoa and Broccoli Bowl

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Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos

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February is National Sweet Potato Month, with the 22nd designated as Cook a Sweet Potato Day. This hearty root vegetable is so versatile, you could create a different sweet potato recipe every day of the month.

One large, lone sweet potato in my veggie bin inspired me to create something new, delicious and filling. I came up with Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos. They turned out SO well. Grab the recipe and tips for making this easy dish below.

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos title meme

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes were cultivated and consumed in Peru long before the white potato was in Ireland. Christopher Columbus toted the vegetable back to Europe where it was given the name “sweet potato” due to its taste. The vegetable forms the basis for several tasty Thanksgiving side dishes. However, don’t just enjoy this nutritious potato during the holidays.

Sweet potatoes are high in fiber and complex carbohydrates. The fiber is both soluble and insoluble, meaning you feel full longer and blood glucose levels don’t spike as they do with refined sugars. Sweet potatoes provide potassium, magnesium and beta carotenes. They help regulate blood pressure and metabolism, improve vision and promote productive bacteria in the gut. Sweet potatoes also support the production of vitamin B12 in the body and help prevent skin, breast, reproductive, stomach, intestinal, esophageal and rectal cancers.

Those are powerful reasons to include sweet potatoes regularly in the diet.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos

I decided to use my remaining sweet potato in a highly nutritious filling for tacos. And I love pairing sweet potato with black beans, which I had on hand. Checking my pantry, I also found quinoa, lentils and an onion.

This recipe came together quickly. I made it up as I went along, however it’s simple to duplicate.

I drizzled a yummy lemon tahini sauce on my tacos. Recipe included below. Add salsa or whatever sauce you want.

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos with lemon tahini sauce

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos

journeywithhealthyme
This savory dish combines sweet potatoes, black beans, lentils and quinoa for a hearty taco filling.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 10 tacos

Ingredients
  

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos

  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 2 cups cooked brown or green lentils
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minces
  • 4 tsp chili or taco seasoning
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup water or vegetable broth, as needed
  • 10 taco sized gluten free tortillas

Lemon Tahini Sauce

  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 2 tsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp cumin

Instructions
 

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos

  • Cook lentils and quinoa according to package directions so that you have 2 cups cooked of each.
  • Add olive oil to large, non stick skillet. Heat over medium heat. Add diced onion, garlic and cubed sweet potato, stirring and cooking until sweet potatoes are almost tender. Add water or vegetable broth to prevent sticking, if necessary.
  • Add black beans, lentils, quinoa and taco or chili seasoning. Stir to combine, reduce heat, cover and simmer 10 - 15 minutes.
  • Prepare lemon tahini sauce while taco fillings simmer or add sauce of choice.

Lemon Tahini Sauce

  • Combine all ingredients in blender and blend well until sauce is smooth. While finishing tacos, pop sauce into refrigerator to chill and thicken slightly.

Creating Tacos

  • To create tacos, add very small amount of olive oil to small non stick skillet. Warm taco sized tortillas, a minute or less on each side so that they puff slightly and brown.
    Fold warm tortillas to form taco shells. Add sweet potato and black bean filling. Add taco toppings of choice. I simply used chopped avocado. Drizzle with lemon tahini sauce or salsa. Makes 10 -12 tacos.
Keyword Black Beans, Sweet Potatoes, Tacos
Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos saute
Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos – onions, garlic and sweet potato

Tips for Making Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos

These tips make this recipe easy.

Use one large or two medium sized sweet potatoes. I peeled mine but leave the skin on for a more rustic dish.

Make a little extra quinoa and lentils for use in other recipes. I always prefer to cook once and eat twice!

I use either non GMO white corn taco sized tortillas or gluten free flour ones. Use your preference, if you are not gluten sensitive.

You can add chili seasoning, taco seasoning or create your own spice mixture. I like this lower sodium taco seasoning. If you like a spicier taco filling, increase the amount of seasoning. I didn’t want the seasoning to overpower the sweet potato mixture. Four teaspoons was perfect for my tastes.

Add taco toppings of choice. I used a chopped avocado. Shredded cabbage makes a tasty and different taco topping. Use the toppings you like best.

And I love lemon tahini sauce or vegan garlic aioli. Tahini is sesame seed paste. Get it HERE.

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos filling
Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos – filling

Enjoy Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos

These tacos turned exactly as I hoped they would! They are full of flavor and the inclusion of lentils and quinoa give the mixture a “meat” like texture. I’ll make these again and add that finely shredded cabbage as a topping next time.

Try these sweet potato and black bean tacos for Meatless Monday, Taco Tuesday or for a fun, healthy meal any time. The filling actually makes a great stand alone meal as well. Skip the tortillas and make it a sweet potato, black bean, lentils, quinoa bowl with sliced avocado, tomatoes and non GMO corn chips. Don’t forget to add your favorite sauce!

What’s your go to meatless taco filling?

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos with lemon tahini sauce
Sweet potato and black bean tacos with lemon tahini sauce.

 

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Six Winter Soup Recipes

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January is National Soup Month, which is perfect, isn’t it? A bowl of steaming hot soup is the perfect antidote for those chilly, overcast days of winter.

Celebrate all month with your favorite soups. Start a meal with a cup of soup or make a hearty stew the main course. Volunteer at your local soup kitchen. Or create your own soup recipe to share with others.

Need some soup inspiration? Try one of these six winter soup recipes!

Six Winter Soup Recipes title meme

Six Winter Soup Recipes

Is there any food more nurturing and nourishing than a bowl of homemade soup? Truly, I feel I can live solely on soup! It’s such a versatile meal as well. Use the following recipes to inspire your next pot of soup.

Click underlined title links for recipes.

Easy Vegan Tortilla Soup

Before embracing a plant based lifestyle, I loved chicken tortilla soup. However, I discovered this yummy vegan tortilla soup and I don’t miss the chicken one bit!

The richly flavored soup comes together in minutes and uses items commonly found in the pantry. Canned goods speed up the cooking process, lentils add protein and heartiness and canned coconut milk makes the soup creamy. And no worries, the coconut milk does not add coconut flavor to the soup.

In less than 30 minutes, this soup is ready to eat. Add non GMO corn tortilla chips and top with shredded vegan cheese if desired.

Six Winter Soup Recipes tortilla
Six Winter Soup Recipes – vegan tortilla soup

Vegan Pot Pie Soup

Although I no longer eat traditional pot pie, this crustless version provides the same comfort! Rich with veggies, a creamy, thick broth and a DIY seasoning blend, this soup makes a great Sunday brunch meal or a special treat for guests.

Plus pot pie soup is a great way to use up leftover veggies, fresh or cooked. Simply chop or dice and add them to the broth.

Six Winter Soup Recipes pot pie
Six Winter Soup Recipes – vegan pot pie

Aloo Matar Soup

If you enjoy the Indian dish aloo matar, you’ll love this soup version. I made up this recipe, as one of my birthday activities when I turned 62. (What’s that all about? Check out the most recent birthday activities HERE.)

This soup makes a delicious meal, robust with potatoes, peas, tomatoes, garam masala and curry. I love it!

Six Winter Soup Recipes aloo matar
Six Winter Soup Recipes – aloo matar

Easy Vegetable Noodle Soup

Looking for a nourishing, health boosting soup to replace traditional chicken and noodle soup? This is it. When I feel a bit under the weather, this is my go to soup. It soothes stuffy heads, sore throats and body aches and pains. And thanks to using a pressure pot, it’s ready to eat in under 30 minutes.

If you are gluten sensitive, like I am, use brown rice noodles. Not sure if gluten is affecting you negatively? Read the symptoms of gluten intolerance HERE.

Six Winter Soup Recipes vegetable noodle
Six Winter Soup Recipes – vegetable noodle

Quick Bean Chili

Winter time and chili just naturally go together. Those spicy seasonings help to warm us up and they have health benefits as well.

This quick bean chili comes together in a flash. It’s perfect for those evenings when the day has been full and busy. Having recipes available that quickly provide a hot meal lessens the likelihood of grabbing fast food on the way home.

Use canned beans, instead of dried, to save time. This is a moderately spicy chili. Adjust the heat level by adding or reducing the cayenne pepper. And use a small vegetable chopper to make quick work of prepping veggies.

Six Winter Soup Recipes chili
Six Winter Soup Recipes – quick bean chili

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Stew

This colorful, hearty stew cooks up quickly using a pressure pot or it’s easily prepared on the stove top. Substitute canned black beans for dried, if cooking on the stove.

This sweet and savory soup is full of nutrients that help protect body. It’s the perfect meal for a cold winter night.

What’s Your Favorite Soup?

What’s your go to soup for frosty winter nights? I’m always looking for new vegan soup recipes, to enjoy in January…and the rest of the year as well. Share a link to your favorite soup in the comments below!

Six Winter Soup Recipes stew
Six Winter Soup Recipes – black bean and sweet potato stew

 

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Red Apple Recipes

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Today, December 1, is National Eat a Red Apple Day!

This day encourages us to enjoy an apple…and not just any apple but a red skinned one.

Why?

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 cause inflammation. 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 a red apple rids the intestinal tract of bacteria, viruses, yeast and mold. It also helps to eliminate debris that clogs pockets in the intestines.

And this powerhouse fruit helps to pull heavy metals from the body and detoxifies the brain of MSG. Apples 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.

To help you get your “apple a day”, try these healthy red apple recipes.

Red Apple Recipes title meme

Red Apple Recipes

Click on the underlined titles below for these delicious red apple recipes.

Healthy Fried Apples

This recipe is a great way to use up apples that are a bit past their prime.

Fragrant with cinnamon, this easy recipe does not contain refined sugar or butter. It’s vegan and gluten free. And it makes an excellent side dish, stand alone meal or simple dessert.

Red Apple Recipes fried
Red Apple Recipes – healthy fried apples

Raw Applesauce

Another way to use an overabundance of apples is with this super simple recipe.

Raw applesauce comes together in minutes, and it’s so good. I purposefully leave my applesauce slightly chunky, however you can make it smooth as well. I add my applesauce to fruit or veggie bowls. You can use it in the next recipe too!

Applesauce Cake

Applesauce cake is extremely easy to create, using a few basic pantry items. The recipe adapts well to adding extras such as nuts, raisins and grated apples and tastes great with or without icing.

This cake is vegan, of course, and also gluten free. And as a bonus…it smells amazing as it bakes! Try serving it with fresh berries.

Red Apple Recipes cake
Red Apple Recipes – applesauce cake

Apple Porridge

This yummy recipe uses raw apples as well. Apple porridge makes a great breakfast alternative to cereal. Use a food processor to finely chop apples, leaving the skin on, and then top with walnuts, raisins or shredded coconut.

Beyond enjoying apple porridge for breakfast, try a bowl with afternoon tea or as a simple dessert.

Apple Crisp

Packed with red skinned apples, this vegan and gluten free crisp is easy to make. It’s perfect for a chilly winter evening. Enjoy with a cup of hot herbal tea to experience bliss!

Apple Crisp comes together in minutes and the result is a hot, fragrant, good-for-you dessert. For the best health benefits, leave the peeling on the apples.

Red Apple Recipes crisp
Red Apple Recipes – apple crisp

Rustic Apple Galette

Galette is the French word for a flat, round cake or pastry, usually open faced with fruit piled in the middle. This rustic dish is a healthy version that can be enjoyed without guilt or the ill effects sugar and gluten cause.

This beautiful dessert is perfect for fall and makes a wonderful treat to serve guests.

Favorite Ways to Enjoy Red Apples

The easiest way to benefit from red apples is to simply cut one up and eat it, plain or with a spoonful of sugar free organic nut butter. However, when the mood for something fancier strikes, the possibilities are endless.

I hope you found a new way to bring more red skinned apples into your diet. Their health benefits truly do help keep the doctor away.

What are you favorite recipes for red apples?

Red Apple Recipes galette
Rustic apple galette

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Chickpea Salad

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I love the versatility of chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans. They are the foundation for hummus, make a delicious curry and pair well with many other veggies, such as sweet potatoes.

Over the next two weeks, I’m experiencing a cleanse. That means although I am already plant based, I’m focusing on consuming fruits and vegetables only. During the cleanse I’m avoiding grains, except for gluten free oats, fermented foods, sugar, salt and oils and eating very little fat. This allows my digestive system to reset and toxins, bacteria and viruses to flush out of my body.

Even with the limitations, it’s not difficult to enjoy hearty, highly nutritious meals. This chickpea salad, loaded with fresh veggies, is an excellent example.

Chickpea Salad title meme

Hearty Chickpeas

Chickpeas are a legume, cultivated originally in the Middle East. They’ve been around for more than 9,500 years. Chickpeas are used in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. They are also a key ingredient in Indian foods such as curry. Today India produces 70% of the chickpea crop.

These legumes are a rich source of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Additionally, chickpeas offer a variety of health benefits including improving digestion, aiding in weight management and reducing the risk for diseases such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

Quick and Easy Chickpea Salad

I enjoy chopped salads, heavy on veggies and light on lettuce. And I appreciate chickpeas. This tasty recipe combines the two for a perfect light meal or as the main dish in a bigger one.

Craving some chickpeas today, I made this salad in a few minutes, with what I had on hand. And because I’m avoiding oils right now, I adapted a simple recipe for an oil free dressing that uses the liquid in the can of chickpeas.

You may use canned chickpeas for this recipe…which is what I did…or start with dry beans and cook your own. Save at least 1/4 cup of liquid, either way.

Chickpea Salad

This quick and easy salad combines hearty chickpeas with freshly chopped veggies.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cans chickpeas, drained and saving 1/4 cup liquid or 3 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1 medium red, yellow or orange pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 large green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 12 grape tomatoes, quartered

Dressing

  • 1/4 cup liquid from canned or cooked chickpeas
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tsp tahini
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • pinch black pepper

Instructions
 

Salad

  • Drain chickpeas, reserving 1/4 cup liquid for dressing
  • In a large bowl, combine chickpeas and remaining veggies. Stir gently to combine.

Dressing

  • In a small mason jar, combine liquid from chickpeas, lemon juice, tahini, parsley and black pepper. Cap and shake jar well. Pour over chickpea salad and stir to coat veggies. Serve immediately or store covered in the refrigerator. Makes approximately 4 servings.
Keyword Chickpeas, Salad

 

Chickpea Salad
Quick and easy chickpea salad

Tips for Making Chickpea Salad

This is a great recipe for using canned goods or, if cooking chickpeas for another recipe, cook extra for this salad.

I used the vegetables I had on hand, chopping them as I would for a typical chopped veggie salad. The peppers add color and powerful nutrients. I had a bag of mini orange, red and yellow peppers and used four of those in this recipe.

Feel free to include any other veggies of choice, including cabbage, red cabbage, zucchini, cucumber, carrots, olives or pepperoncini.

Chickpea or bean liquid is called aquafaba and useful for many other recipes. I saved ALL the liquid from my two cans of chickpeas so I could experiment with the aquafaba. Watch for recipes!

Fresh parsley may be substituted for dried, in the dressing.

Tahini is sunflower seed paste. It is rich in omega-6 fatty acids and makes a healthy salad dressing. Purchase online or in health conscious food stores. I used a small amount in the dressing, rather than oils.

Taste Test

The fun part of creating a new recipe is tasting it!

I made the recipe with the intent of enjoying it for lunch. And enjoy it I did. The taste is fresh, with all the veggies, while the chickpeas add a mild, nutty flavor and some density to the meal. This is one of those dishes that is sure to taste even better the next day, as the flavors all mingle.

I really liked the simple chickpea liquid, lemon juice, parsley and tahini dressing. It added just the right amount of flavor without overpowering the chickpeas and vegetables. When I’m back to consuming small amounts of sea salt, I’ll add a bit to the dressing. Otherwise, I won’t change a thing! Add sea salt and black pepper to taste to the salad and/or the dressing.

Eat this chickpea salad alone or add roasted sweet potatoes and steamed broccoli for a larger meal.

Let me know if you try this satisfying meal!

Chickpea Salad fresh

More Chickpea Recipes

Looking for more chickpea recipes? Try these:

Curried Chickpeas

Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Chickpeas and Kale Bowl

Hummus

 


 

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Gluten Free Mediterranean Pasta Salad

 

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I love a good pasta salad! On the first day of fall, with cooler temps ushering in the season, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to try a new one.

This Gluten Free Mediterranean Pasta Salad makes a great meal or side dish. The recipe fills a large bowl so you can save the leftovers for the next day.

This vegan dish is rich in flavor, with lots of veggies to create a variety of tastes and textures and pops of color. And, it comes together quickly.

Gluten Free Mediterranean Pasta Salad title meme

What’s In This Pasta Dish?

I adapted this recipe from The Mediterranean Dish and what I love about it is how adaptable it is.

Because I’m gluten free, the first change I made was to switch to gluten free pasta. I used brown rice rotini. If you are not gluten sensitive, use regular pasta. Not sure if gluten is affecting you? Check out the symptoms of gluten intolerance HERE.

In addition to the pasta, the dish includes crunchy green bell pepper, red onion, cherry tomatoes and fresh basil. And to give it that Mediterranean flavor, toss in marinated artichoke hearts, olives and pepperoncini. I also added shredded plant based mozzarella cheese, for creaminess.

And finally, Gluten Free Mediterranean Pasta Salad has an easy homemade dressing to finish it off.

Gluten Free Mediterranean Pasta Salad plated

Gluten Free Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Mediterranean Pasta Salad full of veggies and flavor
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

Dressing

  • 1/4 cup high quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp Rice Vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minces
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/4 tsp dried red pepper optional
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

  • 16 ounces gluten free rotini may use regular rotini
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup marinated artichoke hearts
  • 1 cup pitted black olives
  • 1/2 cup chopped pepperoncini may use sliced banana peppers
  • 1 cup shredded plant based mozzarella cheese optional
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped

Instructions
 

Dressing

  • In small mason jar, combine all dressing ingredients. Cap, shake well and store in refrigerator while prepping pasta salad. Dressing may be made the night before and stored in refrigerator until ready to use.

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

  • In a large pot, bring 8 cups of salted water to a boil. Add rotini, stir and bring back to boiling. Lower heat and cook until tender.
  • While pasta cooks, dice green pepper and red onion, halve cherry tomatoes and chop fresh basil. Set ingredients aside in a small bowl.
  • Drain marinated artichoke hearts, black olives and pepperoncini. Set aside in another small bowl.
  • When pasta is tender, drain but do not rinse.
  • In a large bowl, add the plant based shredded mozzarella cheese, if using. Dump warm pasta on top of cheese. Add diced veggies and artichoke hearts, black olives and pepperoncini. Combine all ingredients, gently. Pour dressing over pasta salad. Stir to coat pasta. Serve warm. Or chill and serve cold. Store leftovers in the refrigerator. Makes 6 - 8 servings.
Keyword Gluten Free, Mediterranean Pasta Salad, Pasta Salad

 

Gluten Free Mediterranean Pasta Salad ingredients
Gluten Free Mediterranean Pasta Salad ingredients

Helpful Tips

Tips for making this pasta salad.

Make dressing ahead of time, up to 24 hours prior, if desired. Add other seasonings if you want. I highly recommend Nina’s Olivar Almeria Gold Olive Oil, a superior quality oil from Spain. Link to order from Amazon at end of post. This full flavor olive oil is my absolute favorite!

There are a variety of gluten free pastas available, made from brown rice or chickpeas or vegetables.

You may use any color of fresh pepper. I chose a green bell pepper however red or yellow peppers work well too. And try a yellow onion or chopped green onions instead of the red onion, if desired. If fresh basil seems to strong for you, substitute fresh Italian parsley…or add both!

Swap kalamata olives for the black olives, banana peppers for the pepperoncini and plain artichoke hearts for marinated. Omit the red pepper, dried or flakes, if you don’t want any heat. I found 1/4 teaspoon just right, however I like a little spiciness.

And finally, omit the shredded plant based cheese, if desired. I felt it added creaminess to the pasta salad but it’s not really necessary.

Gluten Free Mediterranean Pasta Salad
Gluten Free Mediterranean Pasta Salad

The Taste Test

I served up the pasta salad warm, immediately after gently combining all ingredients.

This Mediterranean salad was SO good, full of flavor in every delicious bite. I loved the combination of fresh, crunchy veggies with the softer artichoke hearts, olives and pepperoncini. I won’t change a thing, the next time I make it. And I will definitely make this pasta salad again.

The best part…I have leftovers in the fridge, for tomorrow’s lunch. I’ll see how the salad is cold. I expect it to taste just as good and maybe even better, with all the flavors mingling overnight.

Do you enjoy pasta salads? Do you prefer to eat them warm or cold?

Gluten Free Mediterranean Pasta Salad plated
Gluten Free Mediterranean Pasta Salad ready to eat

 


 

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Easy Vegan Blueberry Crumble

 

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July is National Blueberry Month. These superfood berries are at their peak of ripeness as summer gets underway.

In honor of the month, I created a new…and super simple…healthy blueberry treat. Using items I keep on hand…that you probably do too…this dessert came together in a few minutes, while supper simmered on the stove.

Try this easy vegan blueberry crumble for your next get together, tea time or for a simple after supper dessert.

Easy Vegan Blueberry Crumble title meme

Benefits of Blueberries

I love these delicious berries. And, it turns out, they love me too.

Although domestic blueberries are beneficial as well, it’s the wild blueberry that brings the most health benefits.

They contain extremely high levels of antioxidants, delivering healing to any damaged part of the body. Wild blueberries effectively eradicate heavy metals and other toxins from the body. Plus they are a powerful brain food and amazing at restoring the liver.

Wild blueberries can help prevent any type of cancer and they are so restorative that they are beneficial for any symptom, whether physical, emotional or spiritual. (Info from Life Changing Foods, by Anthony William)

I keep a bag of frozen wild blueberries in the freezer, to add to morning smoothies or vegan treats such as scones.

If you don’t have wild blueberries, use fresh or frozen domesticated blueberries, which are those typically found in the produce or freezer sections of the grocery store.

Easy Vegan Blueberry Crumble wild berries
Easy Vegan Blueberry Crumble – wild blueberries mixed with gluten free flour

Ingredients for Easy Vegan Blueberry Crumble

For this simple treat I used frozen wild blueberries, gluten free flour, vegan butter, coconut sugar, vanilla and cinnamon. These are all ingredients that I keep on hand.

Besides the ingredients, you just need a couple of mixing bowls and an 8X8 baking dish.

Easy Vegan Blueberry Crumble baked

Easy Vegan Blueberry Crumble

This easy dessert is vegan, gluten free and refined sugar free.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 6 Servings

Ingredients
  

  • 4 cups fresh or frozen wild or regular blueberries
  • 2 tbsp gluten free flour
  • 1/2 cup plant based butter
  • 2 cups gluten free oats
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • coconut oil for baking dish

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Rub coconut oil in 8x8 baking dish.
  • If using frozen blueberries, measure 4 cups into a colander and let thaw slightly.
  • Melt plant based butter. Combine oats, coconut sugar, butter, cinnamon and vanilla. Mix well.
  • Transfer blueberries into a bowl. Add two tablespoons of gluten free flour and mix gently.
  • Place blueberries into prepared 8x8 baking dish. Top with oat crumble.
  • Bake for 35 minutes. Allow to cool slightly. Makes 6 servings.
Keyword Blueberry Crumble, Vegan

 

Tips for Easy Vegan Blueberry Crumble

If using frozen blueberries, wild or regular, allow them to thaw slightly in a colander.

Any gluten free flour is fine. I used a 1:1 gluten free flour, meaning one cup of the gluten free flour equals one cup of regular flour. You may also use almond or oat flour. And if you don’t have a gluten sensitivity, use whatever flour you have on hand.

I also use plant based butter. There are several good brands available, in regular grocery stores or health conscious stores. The coconut sugar is darker than refined sugar and tastes more like brown sugar, but less sweet.

You can add chopped nuts to the crumble topping, if desired.

Easy Vegan Blueberry Crumble ready to bake
Easy vegan blueberry crumble ready to bake.
Easy Vegan Blueberry Crumble baked
Easy vegan blueberry crumble fresh from the oven.

The Taste Test

As supper finished up, the kitchen filled with the wonderful aroma of baking blueberry crumble. I let it cool for a short time, and then tried it with a cup of hot peppermint tea.

This blueberry crumble is a winner with me! It’s rich with juicy blueberries and I love the slightly crunchy oat topping. The crumble isn’t overly sweet, which is perfect for me. And I can prepare this treat quickly, whenever I want something a bit more than plain fruit.

Are you a fan of blueberries? I hope you’ll enjoy this easy crumble.

And try something from this round up of blueberry recipes. Share your favorite way of enjoying blueberries in the comments below!

Ready to eat blueberry crumble
Yummy blueberry crumble!

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