Vegetable Soup – Protein Packed (vegan, gluten-free)

I’ve gotten back to my intermittent fasting again and, after two days of water and smoothies, this vegetable soup is light but filling enough for a meal. I added a can of pureed cannellini beans to boost the protein and thicken the soup just a bit.

I hope you try it and add it to your recipes of healthy soups!

Ingredients:

1 tbsp. olive oil

½ medium onion, chopped

1 medium summer squash, chopped

1 large portabella mushroom, chopped

1 medium tomato, chopped (I like off the vine)

½ cup frozen peas

1 can of low sodium cannellini beans, 15.5 oz.

4 cups vegetable stock

If you follow me, you know I don’t measure so feel free to add the following to taste:

A handful of fresh parsley, chopped

Garlic powder

Oregano

Rosemary

Black pepper

4 cups vegetable stock

Gluten-free soy sauce, optional

Sauté the onion, summer squash, mushroom, and tomato in the olive oil until onion is translucent and veggies are softened. Stir occasionally and while the veggies are cooking, prepare your stock. Drain, rinse, and puree the can of beans with about one cup of warm vegetable stock.

Add the herbs and seasonings to the veggies. Stir in the pureed beans plus the remaining 3 cups of stock and the frozen peas. Bring to a boil, cover and let simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes.

Serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil or soy sauce.

Enjoy!

Portobello Pizza – GF (Guilt-Free!)

At the start of 2020, I ditched the tradition of listing resolutions and instead jotted down a few intentions. I, of course, included a couple that focus on nutrition and self-care.

If you’ve stumbled upon my previous posts, you probably know I have celiac, I’m vegetarian, and reluctantly need to follow a gluten-free diet while missing the pastas and crusty breads of my childhood. Well, I’ve decided to take this one step further and eliminate flour from my diet completely for at least 99% of the time. I am human after all and the occasional gluten-free cupcake won’t kill me!

I started 30 days ago – just before the holidays, because why make things easy? So, here is one of the dishes I made for the first time. These personal-sized pizzas remind me of the bagel pizzas I made as a teenager for a late-night snack. They’re a little lighter and a little more grown-up with a selection of cheeses I would have never chosen over my beloved mozzarella back in the day.

I hope you enjoy! 

First up: The portobello mushroom caps. I tried to find large ones, but the baby ones can be used for small bites. I like to peel mine before eating just because I think they’re cleaner. Remove the stems which can be added to your marinara or used as a topping when building the pizzas. I brushed the caps liberally with extra virgin olive oil on both sides for browning and a flavor boost.

Next: The big three. These are my favorite cheeses at the moment. Fontina is my go-to whenever I want a gooey-melty cheese in a recipe. I’ve used it in lasagna, baked mac-n-cheese, quiche, and now pizza. I just love the texture and the flavor; it’s pretty much replaced mozzarella for me which I find bland next to fontina. I also used two types of Havarti: aged and creamy. The aged is a hard cheese that could substitute Romano or parmesan and the creamy is a softer cheese with a buttery flavor. 

The toppings: The cheese is thinly sliced and accompanied by one of my favorite pizza toppings – sundried tomatoes.

Building: A generous amount of homemade marinara sauce covers the caps with the sundried tomatoes on top. I wanted the tomatoes underneath all that cheesy goodness!

And then: Layer the cheeses. YUM!

In they go: I baked them at a pre-heated 375 degrees for 20 minutes.

All dressed up: A little fresh parsley is a nice touch.

Mangia!

Vegetarian Three Bean Chili

Spicy, vegetarian (if you’re watching dairy, this one’s vegan) and, of course, gluten free! This recipe can be adjusted according to your liking in heat, spice, texture, and thickness. Meat lovers won’t miss a thing with the addition of crumbled veggie burgers giving it not only the look of ground beef, but the texture as well.

To start – dice scallions and onions and chop mushrooms and bell pepper. I prefer red peppers for the sweetness and baby portobello mushrooms for their intense flavor.

20190609_170359.jpg

Sauté until all is soft and the mushrooms start to give off their juices. I always cook with extra virgin olive oil because I love the fruitiness!

20190609_170441.jpg

A crumbled veggie burger or two will up the meat factor and boost the flavor. I used a portobello veggie burger here.

Sauté together with oregano, cumin, chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, and crushed red pepper.

20190609_105640.jpg

And finally beans: I used cannellini, red kidney beans, and black beans. The protein in this dish is through the roof!

20190609_105854.jpg

3-1 water and vegetable stock finish it up. Use less liquid for a thicker consistency.

20190609_170233.jpg

Let simmer for about 30 minutes.

 

I hope you try this dish. Spoon into a pretty bowl with a couple slices of jalapeno pepper and a dollop of sour cream. Serve with tortilla chips.

Enjoy!

 

Baked Cauliflower and Cheese

Here we go again! Another attempt at cutting the carbs and another successful, healthy addition to my growing stack of no-carb comfort food.

The prep work started with one head of cauliflower cut into chunks.

20190330_210022.jpg

I love cheese! So I took the cheesy flavor to another level by replacing plain old cheddar with equal parts of seriously sharp cheddar and fontina cheeses. The cheddar has a delicious bite and the fontina is smooth and creamy.

20190330_211540.jpg

I still wanted to up the veggies and thought going for greens was the best nutritional choice. I added chopped spinach and sprinkled in some frozen peas.

20190331_160702.jpg

I mixed it all up with a couple of beaten eggs, cream, and plenty of black pepper.

20190331_161258.jpg

A good sprinkle of paprika before baking.

20190331_161446.jpg

Creamy, cheesy, and yummy!

20190406_123433.jpg

I’ll definitely make this one again!

Roasted Creamy Tomato Soup

I’ve been busy in the kitchen lately and still trying to lighten up for summer. I don’t make soup very often; I like texture and having my teeth sink into deliciousness. 

However, this soup just might turn me into a soup enthusiast. It’s velvety creaminess is rich and chunks of tomatoes gives it texture. It’s a satisfying meal that’s comforting enough for winter and light enough for warmer months.

I started with chopped tomatoes drizzled with extra virgin olive oil tossed in oregano, basil, thyme, garlic powder, and plenty of freshly ground black pepper.

20190406_123525.jpg

After roasting for about an hour, the house smelled heavenly!

20190406_123614.jpg

I roughly mashed with a potato masher but it could be blended in a food processor for a smoother consistency.

20190406_123658.jpg

After transferring to a saucepan, I added veggie broth, light cream, a splash of balsamic vinegar, and simmered for about 20 minutes.

And finally…the perfect cup of soup!

20190406_124606.jpg

I’m looking forward to trying this with fresh garden tomatoes come summertime!

 

Stir Fried Cauliflower Rice

I’ve wanted to try this for a while and in my efforts to eliminate heavy carbs from my diet, this is a great way to lighten up veggie fried rice. So here’s my version of cauliflower rice.

The main ingredient – one large head of cauliflower, pulsed and ready for the frying pan.

20190223_170946.jpg

The veggies: Spinach, broccoli, broccoli slaw, zucchini, summer squash, mushrooms, peas, red bell pepper, and onions. Seasoned with garlic powder, curry powder, ginger, basil, sriracha pepper flakes, and sautéed in olive oil.

20190223_185029.jpg

Finally. Added the cauliflower, two eggs (slightly beaten), a good splash of soy sauce, and stirred it all up.

20190223_185324.jpg

A meal in itself and I didn’t need a nap after eating this – a keeper!

20190223_185417.jpg

 

 

Revamped Sliders – veggie style

Being a vegetarian is easy; cutting the carbs requires a little more effort. Tonight’s dinner was a tasty spin on the very popular sliders popping up everywhere.

A grilled veggie burger tucked between two grilled portobello mushroom caps replete with the fixings was filling, low-cal, and carb-free. A side of grilled broccoli helped keep this dish healthy and low-fat.

20190218_173538.jpg

For a healthier version of pub grub and an addition of carbs, baked potato fries would be a perfect side for this dish!

 

Crab Cakes – Veggie Style!

This dish tastes like summer!  To be honest, I don’t remember what crab tastes like but I made these for a guest and she didn’t know they were veggie until I told her. The secret ingredient is hearts of palm which mimics the texture of crab. Add a little sea kelp seasoning to the mix and viola! Mock-crab cakes. I also added a few pieces of artichoke for additional texture, and I just happen to like artichokes. Gluten-free breadcrumbs work well for the coating on these little cakes. A side salad makes this a light summer meal. I’ll be making this one again!

20180412_182534.jpg

 

2018-04-12-21-56-25-240.jpg