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Power Packed Veggie Burrito with Avocado Creme

Today’s recipe was inspired by Kristie’s “The Mostly Vegan” blog. Here’s the link to her recipe. http://www.themostlyvegan.com/page/4/.

I forgot to soak the cashew’s for her Chipotle Cashew Crema so as usual there was some improv happening in our kitchen. With the kids home for summer break, I’m trying to keep many balls rolling and am working while the kids are home. I was so happy to have my 11 year old step up and do the veggie chopping and cooking! Way to go B! Here’s what we came up with for dinner tonight…

Veggie Saute for Burrito Filling
In a large saute pan, layer in:

  • 1 Tb. olive oil
  • 1 sweet potato, small dice
  • once the sweet potato has softened add: 1 large zucchini, small dice
  • cook for a few more minutes and then add about 15oz. cooked & rinsed black beans
  • about 1.5 cups (non-GMO) corn kernels

Avocado Creme
Mix in a high speed blender:

  • 1 avocado
  • small handful of cilantro leaves
  • juice and zest of 1 lime
  • (many recipes use 1/2 cup of yogurt or sour cream – you can use some olive oil – or just skip)
  • 1-2 Tb. water to bring it to the consistency of your liking
  • a little heat – I like a few drops of Jalepeno Tobasco or Dried Chipotle Pepper – chili flake or black pepper all would be fine
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder – a fresh clove would be just as good
  • salt to taste 1/4 – 1/2 tsp. should do nicely

Wrap it up!
We went for tortillas but the healthier choice as suggested in the original recipe is a nice strong lettuce leaf.

Savor and Enjoy!

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Tangy Tuscan Vegetable & Bean Soup

Tangy Tuscan Vegetable & Bean Soup

 

 

This soup is my perfect antidote to the rich & over-indulgent holiday food kick I’ve been on lately! This soup is light, refreshing, and deeply fortifying. 

 

Into a nice soup pot over medium heat, layer in* the following ingredients:

  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 small diced onion
  • 3 medium carrots, sliced into bite size rounds
  • 3 stalks of celery, sliced into crescents
  • 1-2 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 Tb. tomato paste (or a can of diced tomatoes)

*I’m grateful to have learned Rachael Ray’s “chop and drop” time-saving cooking method. Generally I drop ingredients in an order based on which will benefit from the longest cooking times. I like the onions almost melting away – so they always go first. While one ingredient is cooking, chop the next one. Just be sure to keep stirring the pot and add a little stock or water if the veggies start to stick and before they burn.

Once veggies are all in the pot, add:

  • 32 oz. of vegetable stock (you can also just use water to save a few $)
  • 1/2 tsp. to keep it light (add more to taste at the end)
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme leaves
  • 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary** (crumble needles before you drop in)
  • 1/4 tsp. dried chili flakes**

Raise heat and simmer until veggies are soft to your liking. If you are making soup ahead and will serve it later, stop here for now.

So that these ingredients don’t get “mushy” warm the soup jus before serving and add:

  • 2 small zucchini sliced first lengthwise and then across into crescents or half crescents (feel free to add any other veg. here – I was just really craving the light and lively quality of a summer squash;-)
  • 1 can of kidney beans
  • 1 can of white beans

** As a mom of growing children, I believe I can benefit them by helping to “build their palates.” I try to give them the opportunities to become accustomed to many flavors without over-whelming them. If I were making the soup for myself, I would probably add a bit more rosemary and chili flake to warm me up!

Winter was made for wishing. I wish you a clear path toward your heart’s desires in this coming New Year.

 

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Bok Choy Stir Fry & Noodles with Peanut Sauce

If I had to claim a favorite veggie, it just might be Bok Choy. I love the combo of crunchy stem and leafy greens. Versatility is something I adore in life. That appreciation of versatility shows up here. This dish is really three recipes in one. The stir fry would be great on it’s own or over rice. The sauce would be great for dipping (minus the water) and of course the noodles go with anything.

Bok Choy Stir Fry – (really you can use any veg you like for your stir fry)

  • In a wok or large saute pan get the flavors going with this “stir fry starter”:
    – 2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
    – 2 shallots (or one small onion) diced thin
    – 1 clove garlic – minced
    – 2 inch piece ginger – either grated fine on a microplane or diced very small
  • Add florets from one bunch of broccoli & add about 1/3 cup water to help it steam
  • Slice the bok choy stems and add to the pot – save the greens for the end
  • Slice a handful of mushrooms of your choice – add to the pot – and add the greens
  • Cook until warmed through

Meanwhile – cook a package of Udon Noodles – or another of choice – according to package directions

Peanut Sauce

  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 water (reduce amount if you want a dipping sauce)
  • 2 Tb. soy sauce
  • 1 Tb. honey (don’t use if you are making a vegan dish – you can use brown sugar, stevia, agave)
  • 1 Tb. rice wine vinegar (I use Umeboshi Vinegar – plum wine)
  • 1 inch piece grated ginger
  • dash of red pepper

Mix sauce with noodles, top with stir fry, and this Crunchy Herby Topper

  • 1 Tb. per person roasted peanuts
  • small bunch of herb – diced – I like Thai Basil but Cilantro or Chive would also be great

This recipe was a huge hit around our family dinner table. It also now holds a special place in my heart because my 7 seven year old just ate the mushrooms that he has resisted until now! It was a great feeling! My approach to feeding my kids as nourishing “palate training.” I’ll admit that the evil words, “I don’t care if you don’t like it” have passed my lips more than once. They have had to eat at least one bite of all the new foods that have graced their plates in order to help their little taste bands enjoy a wide spectrum of healthy flavor. But mushrooms – that has been the one free pass.

Tonight I tossed them into a recipe for the first time in a long time (rather than keeping them out separate) and just didn’t even bother to mention them. Our dinner time goes by in a blink of an eye and while I know its supposed to be great for the family to sit down and eat together – it just doesn’t happen very often here and we make up for it in other ways. He took the bowl to the table in the other room and started to eat while I served up the rest of our dishes. With anticipation I waited for the response. I couldn’t believe when the little voice threw back…. “there are mushrooms in here! and… they aren’t too bad. I must be getting a big boy taste.” Seriously – music to my ears. Mushrooms are noted for their benefit on the immune system and with my vegetarian diet I really have missed all the options they provide for recipes. I can’t say he loved them… or he won’t complain about them next time…. but for now…. mushrooms have won a sweet victory!