Roasted Chickpeas &Veggies

What a fabulous day!  It was warm, windy and smelled of spring.  Just love it!  I was so happy to have taken the day off and spend some time outside.  My flower garden is now cleaned up and ready for blossoms, I can see a little peek of green already in some areas 😀. Got my 4.3 mile HR zone 3 run in, which was tough.  It was windy and I really had to focus to keep my heart rate near the zone. 

I even checked out Pinterest for a new sewing project…Upcycled an old shirt into an apron.  This is my 2nd sewing project and I couldn’t be happier with it!

So now that I have an apron, I need to cook!  As usual I was thinking something easy peasy and yummy.  I hadn’t had roasted chickpeas in awhile so I thought I would pair it with some veggies and basmati. Boom!  Complete meal right there.  It’s seasoned with a bit of lemon- olive oil & a few spices because that’s what my flavor book said would pair well with all of the veggies I chose.  I have to be honest, I didn’t measure anything but the rice & chickpeas.  I don’t believe in measuring veggies & sometimes spices should just be sprinkled, not measured.

I will be making this for 3 days (1 can of chickpeas feeds me for 3 days).

Roasted Chickpeas & Veggies

1 can rinsed chickpeas (split into 3 servings)

1 Tbl + 1 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Thyme

Himalayan pink salt

Black pepper

Dried (or fresh) oregano

Dried (or fresh) basil

2 tsp fresh lemon juice

Crushed red pepper

Onion powder

Garlic powder

~5 asparagus spears, cut into 1″ pieces

~1/2 cup broccoli florets

~1/2 cup chopped cauliflower

~1/4 cup chunked red onion

Cooked basmati rice

Preheat your oven to 400°F.

Mix your chickpeas with 1tsp oil, 1tsp lemon juice and sprinkle with spices.  Put them on a pan covered in foil and pop in the oven.  Set timer for 7 minutes.

Add your veggies to the same bowl, add the remaining oil and lemon juice with an extra sprinkle of spices, mix well.

Add your veggies to the pan and toss with the chickpeas.  Set timer for 10 minutes, toss and set for another 7.  

When it’s done, spoon your roasted goodness over a serving of basmati rice.  I’m not going to tell ya how much rice to eat 😉. I pre-cooked some rice so that I’m getting about 1/2 cup per serving.

Enjoy!  You could add other veggies if you like, brussel sprouts would be great, as well as mushrooms.  

Cheers!!

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Sweet Potato Packet

Greetings!  I’ve been so tardy on posts and I have no excuse.  I finally had the Morton’s neuroma surgery in November and to be honest, I’ve been in a knitting and reading frenzy since. (I can’t help myself, but I’ve read about 4 books and knitted several washcloths, 3 scarves, a hat and started fingerless gloves and a crochet blanket.)  Needless to say I’ve been on a bit of a fitness hiatus due to the surgery, some very modified yoga, weights and a few short stationary sessions but that’s about it. Until a couple weeks ago; I’ve finally been able to get back into a fitness routine.  The left foot is still not 100% but it does seem to be improving.  I have a run/walk for triathlon base training this weekend and I’m excited, nervous and a smidge anxious.  This will be a big test regarding how well the surgery went as well as recovery.  Fingers crossed!  I miss that runners high, the scenery, fresh air, I don’t need to keep going.

All that being said I’ve still been on the meal plan and prep train.  I can’t function without it and I have no idea how people do! 😀. I have been in a bit of a food funk though, no big cravings for anything in particular.  I knew I wanted something with minimal prep and cooking (more time to knit, bahaha!).  I also wanted something comforting since the cold has finally befallen us this January.  It’s a whopping 3°F with a windchill of -5, wait, -5 isn’t as bad as I thought.  It’s still freaking cold.

All of those thoughts bring a Sweet Potato Packet to mind with portobello mushrooms, leeks, walnuts and a sprinkle of cheese.  I hope you enjoy.

Serves 1 

1 sweet potato, peeled and thinly sliced

1 leek, sliced

4-6 mini bellas, wiped clean and sliced

2 Tbl walnuts

Shredded Gruyere cheese

1/2 tsp minced garlic

2 tsp fresh minced basil and oregano (or 1/2 tsp dried)

Sprinkle of red pepper flakes, sea salt & pepper

1Tbl extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 400°F.  

Note on leeks (I learned this from Real Simple). To prep, slice off inedible green part and root.  Slice leeks and place in a bowl of cold water, swirl.  The sand falls to the bottom & your leeks float.  How cool is that?!  Then just strain, or I fished them out and gently squeezed to remove the water (since I’m only working with 1)

Toast your walnuts for about 3-5 min at 350, be sure not to burn.

Toss the potato, leek, bellas & spices in a bowl with the olive oil.  Be sure all of your goodies are evenly coated.

Take a piece of parchment paper approx size of a baking sheet and fold in half.  Place your veggies on the paper, top with roasted walnuts and about 2Tbl shred Gruyere.  


Fold paper over and fold all the way around.

Bake for about 20-25 minutes, unwrap and enjoy!  It’s that simple!  The mushrooms are a bit roasted and the potatoes have a lovely sweet and spicy flavor (thanks to the red pepper). This paired well with white tea, carbonated water OR a glass of Sauvignon Blanc 😉


Wonderful additions would include Swiss chard or baby kale.  
Cheers!

Tofu Scramble for any meal

Tofu, what can I say…I just love it.  I know there is a lot of debate over whether or not tofu is actually good for you, but I believe that if you purchase a non-gmo organic product and eat it in moderation it’s perfectly healthy for you…that’s my two cents on that 😉  I have to thank the Simple Veganista for some of her fabulous tofu recipes.  It’s because of her blog that I finally learned how to properly prepare and enjoy this delightful protein.  My tofu scramble is a variation of one of hers and I truly look forward to eating it for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  It’s so versatile, you can put nearly any vegetable you like with it.  My favorites are tomato, broccoli, mushroom, onion, garlic and baby spinach or kale but I use whatever I happen to have in the crisper and I have never been disappointed.

When preparing the tofu, I use firm or extra firm and be sure to press it well between paper towels.  I season it with cumin and garlic powder and let it sit while I wash and stir fry my veggies.  You can flavor the tofu with whatever you like, I’ve used turmeric and curry, garlic and smoked paprika as well.

Ingredients!

1/3 block firm tofu, pressed between paper towels
~1 cup of chopped broccoli
~1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
2 green onion, sliced
1 cup packed baby spinach, chopped
2 tsp virgin coconut oil
~1/2 tsp ground cumin
~1/4 tsp garlic powder
Dash sea salt
1 Tbl nutritional yeast
Sriracha

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Heat about 1 teaspoon of virgin coconut oil over med-high heat.  Add the onion, mushroom and broccoli.  Stir fry for about 2 minutes.  Move veggies around the side of the pan and add about 1 teaspoon virgin coconut oil.  Once heated, crumble the tofu in the middle of the pan and let cook for about 30  seconds.

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Stir tofu once and sprinkle chopped baby spinach over the top.  Add about 1 Tbl nutritional yeast and dash of sea salt.  Let baby spinach steam for about 20 seconds.

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Stir all ingredients together and turn off heat.  When baby spinach is wilted, dish is ready.  Place on a plate and drizzle sriracha over the top.

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I just love this dish!  It pairs well with Pinot Grigio, just sayin’.  It’s also a fantastic post-workout dish, it’s just what I needed after a super tough Incinerator workout 🙂  There’s healthy vegetarian protein, healthy mix of veggies (including veggies with anti-inflammatory properties) and healthy fat to help you recover.  If you’re short on time, this dish is already super fast to prepare, but I also prep my veggies ahead of time and keep them in Tupperware ready for the next day.

Cheers!

Vegan Pesto Pasta!

I have been looking forward to making something similar to this creation since last week and as it turns out, I’m super glad that I didn’t have a chance to make it.  After a fantastic visit with my parents last weekend, my mom shared some of her homegrown herbs…hello sweet basil!  So, I share with you a vegan pesto pasta dish that’s great cool or warmed up.

For the pesto, I used
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 cup packed fresh sweet basil (thanks, Mom!)
1/4 cup walnuts
1 1/2Tbl nutritional yeast
1 Tbl lemon juice
1 garlic clove

Vegan Pesto Ingredients

Pulse the nuts, garlic and basil.  Add in the lemon juice and EVOO, blend until smooth, add in the nutritional yeast and pulse until well combined.

I used Hodgson Mills whole grain pasta with quinoa.  I had some unused cherry tomatoes and sweet yellow so I halved those.  To top off the dish, reduced fat crumbled feta cheese.

If you’re into meal prepping, I like to do a few days at a time so I often cook a meal that reheats well.  This recipe qualifies.  I measured 1/2 cup pasta, 1 cup halved tomatoes, 1 Tbl pesto and 1 Tbl feta.

Pesto dish

Ta da!  Fast, delicious whole food and an extra 3 meals to boot.  I hope you enjoy as much as I did 🙂

Options:  add in some crushed red pepper to the pesto or sun dried tomatoes 😉

Roasted Chickpeas and Veggies

Good evening,

I was tinkering in the kitchen the other evening, wondering what I could cook up with leftover veggies and a hankering for BBQ.  Off to the pantry to discover a can of chickpeas and extra virgin olive oil…this is going to be good 😉

So, I diced up my squash, mushrooms, onion and broccoli and added them to a bowl.  Preheated the oven to 400F and pulled out my mom’s special BBQ spice.

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A Tbl of EVOO and 1Tbl of spice, tossed the veggies a bit and spread them out on a foil lined pan.

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I baked them for 7 minutes, tossed a bit, then baked for approximately 7 more minutes (I wanted them to be a bit roasty but not mushy).  I have to say, they turned out fantastic!

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Perfect quick vegan meal to use up veggies and added healthy fat and protein.  Options if you wanted: add a little nutritional yeast if you’re craving a cheesy flavor, roast the chickpeas first and then a 2nd time with the veggies if you wanted a crunchier shell.