Burrito Bowl Night!!

Inspired by Chipotle and their delicious burritos, I decided to make a burrito bowl at home with all organic ingredients. The recipe is pretty simple, easy to make and delicious.  A huge part of making a home-made meal for me is the happiness and joy I get from creating something simply delicious with ingredients I know I love and will maximize my health without any of the fillers like you’d get from the same meal at a restaurant.
Ingredients:

1 cup rice- cook per directions
1 cup of garbanzo beans- canned or cooked per directions
2 large avocados

2 large tomatoes- cut into small pieces
Cilantro- chop and half. Will use half for rice and half for salsa
Onions- diced
Jalapeños- diced (optional)
1 lime
Salt
3T Taco Seasoning (got this in bulk from Whole Foods)
Tony Chachere seasoning

For your rice: Once the rice is fully cooked, add a tablespoon of olive oil, some salt, half of the chopped cilantro and the taco seasoning. Combine all ingredients till nicely mixed. Add more salt, cilantro or taco seasoning for your taste preference.

Beans: Cook according to instructions with added dash of salt.

Salsa: combine tomatoes, diced onions, jalopenos, half of cilantro, salt and squeeze half a lime juice. Mix all ingredients, adding more salt, lime juice and cilantro to meet your taste.

Guacomole: Mash avocados, add salt, half a lime juice and Tony Chachere seasoning, adding more seasoning to meet your taste as you go along.

Final step, place all ingredients separately on a bowl and there you have it, folks……a delicious, healthy meal that your family will enjoy.  My husband loved it and requested we started making more of these at home now. An epic win in my book. 😉

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Barley topped with Crimini mushroom and vegan sausage sauce.

This is one of those recipes that start out as an idea/ experiment, sans recipe, in other words.  A lot of my ideas for food come from experimentation, and this one turned out really well.  I’ve been looking to replace rice recently, and made hulless barley for the first time with this recipe.  Compared to rice, it’s loaded with lots of nutrients and fiber- you can read more about it’s nutrition information here.  
The ingredients for this recipe are:
1 cup hulless barley
4 cloves of garlic
Crimini mushrooms
Parsley- chopped
Green onions- chopped. Divide in half to use as garnish
Basil- chopped.  Divide in half to use as garnish
Salt
1 medium Jalapeno- chopped (optional)
Vegan sausage (optional)

  1. Cook hulless barley per instructions. Cover and set aside. On a separate pot, sauté garlic on low heat for approximately 3 minutes. 
  2. Add mushrooms, chopped parsley, pinch of salt and Tony Chachere to garlic sauté, and continue to sauté on low heat for another 3 minutes.
  3. Add vegan sausage, half of the chopped green onions, half of the chopped basil and jalapenos. Continue to sauté for another 3 minutes.
  4. Add above sauté to cooked barley. Garnish with basil and green peppers. 
  5. Add more salt and seasoning to taste.

We enjoyed it, and I hope you do too!

One Pot Vegan Pasta

This dish was inspired by Minimalist Baker’s recipe of ‘one pot vegan pasta’ dish. The recipe is quite simple, and as the self proclaimed queen of simple dishes, I just had to try it out.  I made a few changes to the original recipe and here a the ingredients I used.
You’ll need:
Olive oil
Garlic- 6 cloves. Separate into two once chopped.
Mushrooms
Orzo pasta or any pasta of your choice
Marina sauce
Parsley- handful, chopped & separated into two.
Salt

Sauté half of the chopped garlic then add crimini mushrooms and half of the chopped parsley. I allowed this to sauté for approximately 5 mins, then added the mixture to orzo pasta with marinara sauce, half of the chopped garlic and salt. I allowed the pasta to cook as recommended for 8 minutes, then I added broccoli and cooked for another 2 minutes to allow the broccoli to cook. I then took the dish off the stove and topped with parsley and more salt. Simple yet delicious!  
I modified this dish from the original recipe by exchanging eggplant for broccoli, and I mixed the crimini mushroom sauce with pasta together and cooked all of it at the same time.  Next time, I’ll add the crimini mushroom at the end (after the pasta has cooked) as recommended – to avoid losing nutrients from the mushrooms and cook the pasta for a few minutes before adding marinara sauce.  I found that the original recipe with the marinara sauce and pasta were quick to burn on the stove, even on low heat– most likely due to thickness of the liquid.

Strawberry salad with peanut dressing

Another day, another salad. Inspired by the deliciousness of our recent salad dressing, my husband and I decided to try another salad tonight with a new dressing, inspired by Thai peanut sauce we normally have as a condiment during our visits to our favorite Thai restaurant.  We pretty much used the scraps we had left in the fridge for the salad- a few ingredients:

Iceberg lettuce
Mint
Carrots
Tomatoes
Avocado
Strawberry
Cucumber.

And now for the Thai inspired peanut dressing- I came up with this idea without a recipe, hoping it would suffice. Once again, after having watched my mother cook countless times without a recipe, I learned to rely on my taste buds to lead the way. Here are the ingredients:
Peanut butter
Coconut water
Maple syrup
Dash of salt
Pepper flakes
Juice of one lime
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend till smooth.  If the recipe doesn’t meet your liking, keep adding a few things here and there till you arrive at whatever taste you’re looking for. My husband and I *loved* this dressing so much, and have admitted to wasting *a lot* of money buying mediocre salad dressings. I don’t care for salads much, but a few days later, we so excited about this dressing that I made it again for the second time with the addition of walnuts for extra protein and omega three’s and it was equally delicious. Hope you enjoy!

Simple broccoli cilantro pasta dish.

Lately, I’ve been reading a lot about foods in the allium and cruciferous family, and how they can help significantly reduce cancer risk and prevent heart disease.  While allium foods (garlic, onions, chives, leeks, etc) and cruciferous foods (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, cabbage, etc) are not my favorite, I believe that once you know better, you have to do better- therefore, I’ve made a point to start making more dishes with these ingredients for the health of my family. This simple, yet delicious pasta dish was inspired by my recent learnings.

Ingredients: garlic, broccoli, spinach pasta (or any pasta of your choice), salt, Tony Chachere seasoning, cheese, cilantro (optional). I usually don’t measure ingredients and continue to season until my palette agrees with meal.

Directions: sauté garlic on low heat until cooked, then add broccoli and continue to sauté for about 3 minutes without over-cooking the broccoli.  Add salt & Tony Chachere seasoning to mix and stir. Add cooked pasta and stir into mix until ingredients are evenly distributed. Add more salt & Chachere seasoning to your liking. Garnish with cheese & cilantro. Enjoy your meal!

Watermelon + Madarin Orange Delight!

Nothing screams warmer weather is coming like the deliciousness of watermelon juice!  I love watermelons so much; I can literally eat/drink a whole one by myself, everyday.  Last Summer, my husband and I used to juice them (remove the pulp), but lately, we’ve been putting them in the blender (seeds & all are edible) to make pure, organic watermelon juice.  I normally enjoy it as it, but it’s always fun to add any fruit we have around the home for a new flavor.

This time around, we decided to add Mandarin Oranges and it was mmm mmmmm tasty!  We’ve previously blended it with organic strawberries, but this combo is our new favorite, for now.