BABY BROCCOLI + ECO VEGAN SPICY BITS

Baby Broccoli + EcoVegan Spicy Bits // atiliay.com

Baby Broccoli // atiliay.com

Here’s a new take on the traditional beef and broccoli combo!  I used baby broccoli and eco Vegan’s Spicy Bits.  I love the beautiful green of the broccoli and I didn’t even have to add any seasoning because the bits had a lot of flavor.  This is a great addition to any Chinese cuisine themed lunch or dinner spread!

EcoVegan Spicy Bits // atiliay.com

Baby Broccoli + ecoVegan Spicy Bits

– 1 package of baby broccoli from Trader Joe’s (or a few handfuls will do!), washed
– 1 package of ecoVegan’s Spicy Bits
– water for cooking

Fill a frying pan about 1/4 full with water.  Cover and heat for a few minutes until water is simmering. Add the baby broccoli.  Cover and steam until broccoli is bright green, don’t forget to flip them occasionally.  (If you don’t have a cover it’s ok, follow the same instructions, it just might take a little bit longer.) Taste test to make sure it is the right amount of crispiness you like– you will be cooking the broccoli with the bits later on so if it’s a little bit crispy for your taste, you can make it softer in that last step.

Remove the broccoli from the pan and rinse with cold water until you are able to handle them.  Cut into bite-sized pieces.  Set aside.

Refill the same pan with about 1/4 cup of water (if you have enough water leftover from cooking the broccoli you can just use that).  Add the Spicy Bits.  Cook them over medium heat in the water until they are heated through.  Make sure to stir to keep the bits from sticking to the pan.  Add the broccoli and mix together.  Cook for a few minutes so the broccoli is heated through as well.

Baby Broccoli + EcoVegan Spicy Bits // atiliay.com

Baby Broccoli + EcoVegan Spicy Bits // atiliay.com

SPINACH + BEANS + OLIVE + TOMATO SALAD

Spinach Salad // atiliay.com

It doesn’t have to take a lot of work to put together a delicious and beautiful salad to start off your meal with!

This is a salad that my co-worker ordered for me one day when we got our lunch delivered.   When I make or order a salad, I rarely go for one where the base is spinach– I don’t know why, I think maybe because I prefer my spinach cooked.  But this dish seemed so simply yet filling that I decided to write down what was in it so I could remake it!  Feel free to change the type of greens or mix and match different beans and use a variety of olives.  Below is the recipe, I did not add any quantities- just use as much or as little as you like of each ingredient.

Hope you enjoy!

Spinach + Beans + Olive + Tomato Salad

Spinach Salad // atiliay.com

This recipe is based off the spinach salad from Julie’s Pizzeria

– Baby spinach, torn into bite sized pieces (I use the organic packs from Trader Joe’s)
– Mini heirloom tomatoes, sliced into quarters (you can use any type of tomato you have on hand, I like how colorful these guys are)
– Garbanzo beans, drained (I used the canned version, you can make them from scratch)
– Kidney beans, drained
– Black olives, drained and roughly chopped
– Pepperchinis (optional, leave out if you aren’t a fan of a little heat)
– Italian dressing or oil and vinegar

Toss everything together…that’s basically it!  Serve with dressing on the side or a light drizzle on top.

Spinach Salad // atiliay.com

GARLIC GINGER VEGGIE STIR FRY

Ginger Garlic Vegetable Stir Fry

An easy way to get a good variety and amount of veggies into your diet is to toss everything into a stir fry!  This is a low-sodium version that has no salt or soy sauce in it– I am way too addicted to those things and am trying to cut down.  This dish is still flavorful and really allows the flavors of each ingredient to shine.

Veggies for stir fry

Since there are quite a few vegetables that need to be washed and prepared, I really love using Dorot frozen herbs for the garlic and ginger. First, it cuts down on prep time and you don’t have to try to get the garlic smell out of your fingers.  Second, I can never use up herbs fast enough and they always come in a bunch that is too much for me to use in one recipe / for a small serving. It’s nice to have the herbs handy in the freezer and pop them back without having to worry about having to toss any.  Have you tried them before?  You might have seen the small packages in the freezer aisle and the little cubed trays the herbs come in.  There’s a ton of different products in their line including parsley, dill, basil, chili– here is the entire line.  They taste amazing (you can smell the ginger as you peel back the lining) without any hassle!  Pick some up next time you are at the grocery store and start using more herbs in your dishes!

Dorot Frozen Herbs

Dorot Crushed Ginger Cubes

Hope you enjoy this simple but colorful and healthy recipe, feel free to add or substitute any of the veggies and to use as much or as little as you like.  There are no real quantities for this recipe– just use what suits you!  I like making this a meal with rice or noodles and slices of baked tofu on the side.

Garlic Ginger Veggie Stir Fry

– Baby bok choy, leaves separated and washed
– Sugar snap peas, washed
– Carrots (I used baby carrots since that is what I had on hand and they also cut nicely into uniform pieces), sliced
– Red onion, sliced
– Bell peppers, sliced
Dorot’s crushed garlic cubes 
Dorot’s crushed ginger cubes
– a bit of oil for cooking

Prepare all the veggies by cleaning and slicing into bite sized pieces.

Heat up a frying pan or wok and add a bit of oil.  Once the oil is warm add the onions, garlic, and ginger.  Cook until the garlic begins to brown.  Add the remaining veggies and add a few TBS of water if needed.  Stir to mix all the ingredients well and cook until bok choy is just wilted and / or veggies are tender to your liking.

FAUX TUNA PASTA SALAD

Faux Tuna Pasta Salad

The main ingredients

Easy to prepare cold dishes are my favorite during the hot summer days!  Although this one does involve a pot of boiling water for the pasta, you don’t need to slave all day in the kitchen to whip this satisfying recipe up.  The multicolored veggies and pasta make this dish a lovely add to any picnic and it is also very versatile– eat it as is,  on a bed of greens, or put it in a sandwich.  It is also a great source of zinc, folate, and protein, thanks to the chickpeas we use to make “tuna”.

This is a slightly modified version of Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s recipe from her amazing cookbook, The Vegan Table They have very kindly given me permission to re-post this recipe.  I highly recommend this book– the recipes are interesting and the book is filled with colorful photos as well as tips for a great dinner party and delicious menu ideas.  I also love the way she discusses veganism for the people who have chosen this lifestyle and those who are a part of their lives.  You can learn more about Colleen and check out her other books and work over at Compassionate Cook.

Here is the recipe, try it out and let me know how you like it!

Faux Vegan Tuna Pasta Salad

Faux Tuna Pasta Salad

Reprinted with permission from The Vegan Table by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau

You will need a food processor for this recipe.  (I love my Ninja blender set!)

Feel free to substitute out any of the ingredients or add more of what you like!

– 2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed OR 3 cups of fresh beans soaked and cooked from scratch
– 1/2 – 1 cup of cooked multi colored shell pasta
– 1/2 cup eggless mayonnaise (I love Follow Your Heart’s Veganaise, it’s yummy and even better than the real thing because you don’t have to feel weird about eating raw eggs now!)
– 1/2 small red bell pepper, finely chopped
– 1/2 small yellow bell pepper, finely chopped
– 1 large carrots, peeled and finely chopped
– 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
– 2 TBSP fresh or dried parsley, finely chopped
– 1 TBSP Dijon mustard
– 1 TBSP relish
– 1 – 2 TBSP of Herbs de Provence
– Salt and pepper to taste

Prep the chickpeas.  Grind chickpeas in a food processor or blender down to small flaky pieces.  (It only took me a few pulses to get it to this texture.)

Mix it up.  In a large bowl mix the chickpeas with the veggies, condiments, and seasonings.  Add the pasta.  Mix well so that the ingredients are evenly distributed.  Taste test, add more seasoning if desired.  Enjoy!

Brussels Sprouts + Glazed Red Onions

Trying to eat healthier for the new year is a great resolution for everyone to have– but actually sticking with it is where it gets tricky.

There’s two main things that keep me from eating as well as I should: 1) I don’t think it’ll taste good and 2) I don’t have time to plan/cook a meal.  So I have been trying to find recipes that are easy, tasty, and can be made ahead of time or partially prepared.  That way you have it stored for fast cooking later when you’ve had a long day and all you want to do is order whatever will get delivered the fastest!

The first recipe I want to share with you are these brussels sprouts with glazed red onions.  You must be thinking, that violates point #1 you mentioned above!  But trust me and try it!

When I was little, before I ever even tasted one of these mini cabbage like vegetables, I thought they would be nasty because I remember hearing about how gross they were– unfortunately they have a bad rep!  I actually made this dish for Christmas Eve dinner and my mom just looked at me skeptically like, are you SURE that’s what you want to make?  Yes, especially after I recently read a few articles on how beneficial brussels sprouts can be– especially for women.

An excerpt from a LiveStrong.com article:

Numerous studies have demonstrated anti-proliferaton effects of cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts against cervical cancer, according to Susan Lanza-Jacoby, Ph.D., a professor of surgery at Jefferson Medical College. Diindolylmethane, DIM, the active metabolite of indole-3-carbinol, a naturally occurring active compound found in cruciferous vegetables, has been found shown to protect against cervical carcinoma. DIM blocks angiogenesis, the formation of new tumor blood vessels, which supply tumors with oxygen and nutrients necessary for their survival and growth. Cervical cancer is a viral infection, so there is no medication that will cure this disease. Some studies have shown that nutritional deficiencies may be a contributing factor in the development and progression of cervical cancer.

I completely believe that food can cure us of many diseases from the inside out and naturally, without the use of drugs.  Of course prevention is the most important thing and eating a balanced and healthy diet can help to make a difference.

This recipe doesn’t take much time and I have noted (marked by ***) where you can stop and store to make later if you’d like.  Give Brussels sprouts a chance, I was shocked at how much I enjoyed them and have made this dish numerous times!

Brussels Sprouts + Glazed Red Onions

This recipe is from MarthaStewart.com.

– Brussels sprouts (Trader Joe’s sells them washed and bagged)
– red onion, thinly sliced
– balsamic vinegar
– water for cooking
– olive oil for cooking
– salt and pepper, to taste

For quantities: I try to make sure there is a fairly equal amount of Brussels sprouts to onions.  You can adjust the quantity to your liking.

The sprouts will need to go in an ice water bath.  I haven’t had any ice on hand and keep forgetting to make some so I will put a bowl of water in the refrigerator first before I start anything else to make sure it gets cold.

Wash the Brussels sprouts (if they are bagged I will usually rinse them) and peel off any outer leaves that are very damaged.  I also cut off the bottom of the stems if they seemed damaged or dirty as well.  Slice each sprout in half, lengthwise.

In a pot, add enough water so your sprouts can be submerged.  Bring to a boil.  Add the sprouts. Cook until sprouts are a bright green, outer leaves slightly translucent, and can be pierced with a fork, about 5 minutes, and drain.

Transfer sprouts into the ice water to cool, drain.

***At this point if you have lots of sprouts or want to continue the process later, you can place them in a ziplock bag or plastic container and freeze until ready to use.  Foods are best eaten as fresh as possible so don’t forget about them in there!

In a frying pan, heat up a bit of oil.  Add the sprouts and cook until they are lightly browned, about 3 – 5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Transfer to a large bowl or your serving dish.

In the same pan, heat up a bit more oil.  Add the sliced onions and cook until transparent, about 3 to 4 minutes.  Drizzle with the vinegar.  Stir and cook until onions are glazed and vinegar is reduced, about 30 seconds. Add onions to Brussels sprouts, toss well and serve.

Try it and let me know what you think!

No-Knead Dinner Rolls

These rolls smell and taste amazing right out of the oven!  They are also very easy to make and you can get it done without getting your hands dirty!  If you are looking for something to bring to a holiday dinner, you can make these in the morning/early afternoon and you are good to go.  This recipe also works as a great base, and you can experiment by adding different herbs and seasonings for extra flavor.

Please note before you get started that you will need about 2 hours of rising time.  There is also an option for you to make the day before– just follow the steps and look for the ***.

No-Knead Dinner Rolls

The original recipe is from MarthaStewart.com, this is a vegan version of it.

The recipe below yields about 12 rolls.

– 1 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees, should feel slightly warmer than your finger when you touch it)
– 1 pkg of active dry yeast (1/4 oz)
– 1/8 cup of sugar
– 4 TBS vegan butter, melted
– 1 egg replacer
– 3/4 tsp salt
– 3 cups of flour (I used a combo of whole wheat and white)
– dried or fresh herbs of your choice, optional

Sprinkle yeast into the cup of warm water.  Give it a few stirs and let it stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, make your egg replacer.  To it, add the sugar, melted butter, salt, and herbs (if using).  With a wooden spoon, mix well.

Add the flour.  Stir until a sticky dough forms.  (Ok, I know you said you don’t have to get your hands dirty, but I did put one hand in the bowl to knead in the remaining dry ingredients stuck at the bottom of the bowl.)  Brush top of dough with a light coat of vegan butter.

Cover with plastic wrap and place in a nice warm place so the dough can rise (I usually put it somewhere by the stove).  Let it rise until it has doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Once the dough has risen, you can portion it two different ways (flour your hands and sprinkle addition flour on dough as needed):
– If you are good at eyeing things, you can just small handfuls of dough and shape them into smooth balls by bringing the edges underneath and tucking them in.  (I used this method which may be why I have an extra 13th roll since the sizes of my rolls vary.)
– If you are more precise, turn the dough on a well-floured work surface.  Roll the dough into a thick even log.  Cut into 12 equal pieces (cut the dough in half, then cut the halves into halves, then cut those pieces into thirds).

Brush your baking pan with vegan butter (you can use a 9″ x 13″ dish or round/rectangle/square baking pans– just make sure they provide enough room for your rolls to double in size).

Place each ball of dough into the pan, only touching slightly at the edges.  If you have room, you can leave a little space between the rolls.

Cover loosely with plastic wrap.  Let the dough rise again in a warm place, until doubled in bulk, 30 to 40 minutes.  ***You can also refrigerate the dough at this point, for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Remove plastic wrap and brush the rolls with vegan butter.  Bake until tops are golden brown, about 35 to 40 minutes.

Pull rolls apart and serve warm.