Tag Archives: vegetarian

Pesto Zucchini Noodles

Zucchini noodles make such a great low carb side dish and better yet, fun way to get your kids to eat veggies!! I bought these @traderjoes frozen zucchini spirals, which for a busy mom like myself.. healthy frozen foods like this always come in handy!  Here is how I prepared this easy and healthy side dish and how you can do it with fresh zucchini noodles.

This recipe took less than 10 minutes to make!! BTW; for basic pesto I use the Food Network basil pesto recipe and will also play with ingredients and do 1/2 spinach + 1/2 basil, use walnuts instead of pine nuts etc.

Ingredients

1 package of frozen zucchini noodles (OR you can use 3 cups of fresh zucchini noodles)

2 tablespoons pesto (store-bought or homemade)

  1. If using the frozen noodles, defrost in a pan over medium heat (as per pkg directions); being very careful not to overcook bc they will get mushy.  If using fresh, simple saute in a pan for about 3 minutes until noodles soften.
  2. For the frozen noodles, drain them like you would do pasta noodles.
  3. Now add noodles back to the pan and add pesto and saute for about 30 seconds, just to coat all of the noodles. Super easy right?!

Creamy Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with White Beans

There is nothing like warm soup on a chilly day.  Butternut squash is one of my favorite vegetables.  I know it might be intimidating to some with that thick hard outer layer but trust me, it’s super easy to make and can be used in everything from salads to rice and pasta dishes and of course, soup!  I had a craving for some creamy butternut squash soup but also wanted to add in some protein, so I chose some cannellini beans.  Oh and my secret ingredient :::drumroll:: pumpkin pie spice!  The flavors work so well with this soup!!  But you can totally just use nutmeg or a combo I suggest below.  My 4 year old loves any type of beans so I knew this would be a hit with him! I was thrilled to see watch him take the first, then second, then third spoon of this soup…until he finished it all! Now this recipe uses roasted butternut squash and although you will find many recipes out there suggesting you fully peel the squash and cut the flesh into cubes, it isn’t necessery for this soup.  Here is the full recipe! Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 (~3 pound) butternut squash
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 medium onion, chopped                                                                                                                                              1 bay leaf
5 cups low sodium vegetable or chicken broth
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or use 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 t ginger and 1/4 t nutmeg)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste                                                                                         15 oz container of no-salt-added cannellini beans, rinsed well and drained                                                                                      Plain Greek yogurt for garnish

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Cut the squash in half lengthwise, but if it’s too long to cut that way, simply cut it in 4 quarters.
  3. Place the squash flesh-side up on the baking sheet and either spray with olive oil cooking spray or drizzle a little olive oil on each just to coat them.
  4. Bake for 45-60 minutes or until fork tender.  Set aside and allow to cool.
  5. Peel the skin off and then cut flesh into small chunks and places in a bowl.  Set aside.
  6. Now, heat 1 tablespoon unsalted butter in a dutch oven over medium heat and when bubbly, add the onions and garlic.  Allow to brown but not burn! about 6-8 minutes.
  7. Add the bay leaf and sautee about 1-2 minutes.
  8. Now pour in the broth and squash.
  9. Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 30 minutes.
  10. Pour in the beans and continue to heat an additional 15 minutes.  Sprinkle in pumpkin pie spice.
  11. Using a ladle, scoop out some of the soup into a blender and blend on high speed and work in batches until entire soup is rich and creamy.
  12. Garnish with a bit of yogurt or just have it on its own!
  13. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

 

Veggie Pancakes

My kids love pancakes! I mean who doesn’t? I love trying new recipes and flavors in pancake form. Easy to hold for little hands and these veggie pancakes are a great way to include vegetables in your little one’s diet any time of day! Tzatiki Or a savory yogurt sauce is a perfect dip and you can easily make your own using plain yogurt, a dash of ground cumin, lemon juice and chopped dill! I made these gluten free but you can totally use whole wheat flour for a boost of fiber.

Ingredients:

-1/2 cup gluten-free all purpose flour (whole wheat flour also works for those not following a GF diet).

-1/2 teaspoon baking powder

-2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

-1 egg

-2 tablespoons milk

-3 tablespoons finely chopped onion

-1/3 cup zucchini finely shredded

-1/4 cup onion, finely shredded

-1/3 cup chopped kale

Directions:

1) Combine veggies in a bowl and squeeze out excess liquid using paper towels or a cheesecloth.

2) In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and Parmesan cheese.

3) In another bowl, beat together the egg, milk, carrots, zucchini, and onions.

4) Add egg/veggie mixture into dry ingredients and whisk to combine.

5) Using a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 teaspoon of oil over medium heat. Pour the batter by tablespoons into the pan, making Silver dollar sized pancake rounds.

6) Cook about 2 minutes on each side until golden brown.

Risotto with Roasted Butternut Squash and Cranberries

When was the last time you made risotto?  If you’re anything like how I was a few years ago, before making my first risotto dish, you may be totally intimidated.  Well I’m here to encourage you to give it a try! Risotto is not only extremely versatile and delicious, but it’s incredibly easy to prepare.  You may have heard that you need to stand by the risotto and constantly stir-well not exactly.  As you add in the broth or water, give it a stir and allow the liquid to get absorbed before adding the next cup and so on, until you use up all of the liquid.

Customize risotto to include your favorite variety of veggies and/or dried fruits and seasonings!  However, you must try my flavor combo here.  This butternut squash and cranberry risotto dish is hands down my absolute favorite.  It’s creamy, fragrant, satisfying, comforting and super tasty! My mouth is watering as I type just thinking about how amazing this dish was.  The bright and fresh colors of butternut squash and dried cranberries make this a perfect fall dish and holiday side dish.  Totally vegetarian! Give this a try and see just how incredibly easy it is to prepare risotto.  I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups arborio rice

5 1/2-6 cups low sodium vegetable brother

2 teaspoons olive oil

1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 small onion, chopped

1 butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed and cut into 3/4-inch cubes

1/3 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place the squash on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and toss it with about 2 teaspoons of olive oil.
  3. Roast for 25-30 minutes, tossing once, until fork tender. Set aside.
  4. In a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and saute the onion on medium-low heat 8-10 minutes, until the onions are translucent but not browned.
  5. Add the rice and stir to coat the grains with butter and onion mixture.
  6. Add 1 cup of broth.  Stir, and simmer until the stock is absorbed, 5-7 minutes. Continue to add the stock, 1 cup at a time, stirring every few minutes.
  7. Each time, cook until the mixture seems a little dry and liquid is no longer visible, then add more broth.
  8. Continue until the rice is cooked through, but still al dente, which should take about 30 minutes total.
  9. Off the heat, add the roasted squash cubes, Parmesan cheese, dried cranberries.
  10. Mix well and serve.
  11. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley.