Salad Made Easy

This technique makes creating a mid-day lunch or dinner snack easy.  It also helps with creating a variety in your meals.

What I like to do is put various toppings together into containers and add the salad dressing too. Ideally, choose any ingredients that you would like to marinate in the salad dressing. For me, this is everything other than nuts and soft lettuces, but I will add kale and cabbages because they are tougher lettuces.

Toppings in this photo:  beans – edamame and chickpeas, fresh sweet corn, zucchini, artichokes, bell peppers and olives.

There are so many vegetable toppings for you to choose from. For more ideas visit the FREE DOWNLOADS page to get access to the “Delicious – ‘No Fail’ Salads” Guide. Also, check out these delicious oil-free salad dressings.

Chickpea Tortillas

Tex-Mex is my favorite without a doubt. I really enjoy corn tortillas, and my preference is organic corn tortillas. Yet, it’s so difficult to find organic corn tortillas or the right organic corn meal (masa) to make my own tortillas (still looking though). But this tortilla recipe is just as satisfying. It’s very mild tasting so it would make a good wrap for anything you wish to put inside.

The original recipe is from Elavegan, but when I didn’t have any chickpea flour I decided to try fresh, cooked chickpeas instead – and it worked!

Chickpea Tortillas

Chickpea Tortillas

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chickpeas (they should be cooked until very tender)
  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch
  • 3/4 cup of water, to start
  • 1/4 - 1/3 tsp salt (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat stove-top griddle/pan
  2. Add chickpeas to a food processor, and process until very grainy.
  3. Add tapioca starch and pulse to mix in.
  4. Add water while processing to form a batter which should be pourable.
  5. Pour the batter onto a hot griddle/pan to the desired size. You may need to spread a bit with the back of a spoon or spatula.
  6. Cook until bubbly on top (just like pancakes) and flip over to cook the other side.

Notes

These always turn out well, even when I have difficulty with the mix. If you think it's too sticky add more chickpeas.

I have even used much less water to form a dough that I rolled out using a pin to form the tortilla before cooking on the griddle.

As per Elavegan's recipe (see link above) you can use chickpea flour in place of the chickpeas in this recipe.

http://realfoodanddrinks.com/chickpea-tortillas

Notice how flexible they are!

Be on the lookout for the video. (I will post it here when it’s done.)

Tex-Mex Bowl

As you may already know, I live in Texas. Houston has been my home for my entire life. (Actually now I live in Pearland, but if I just drive for 5 minutes I’m back in the Houston areas.) Therefore, it should be no surprise that my favorite dishes are “Tex-Mex” combinations which include lots of beans, rice, salsa, guacamole, corn, grilled onions, etc. Yeah, I know, you might be thinking…”What about the cheese?” Well I don’t eat cheese anymore, (gasp), and I don’t miss it one bit.

This is my chance to add a little nutrition/health info…so I’m going to do just that.

I grew up eating cheese and many dairy products (ever heard of Borden milk and Blue Bell ice cream?) I never imagined my life without cheese/dairy. But about a decade ago, when my allergies had become unbearable…I decided to test the theory that perhaps the milk and cheeses were causing most of my issues…and that was exactly the case.

But, since that’s the only change that I made during that time and the fact that I haven’t been bothered by seasonal allergies since then….well one thing is for sure – the milk and the cheeses didn’t agree with my body. I had these issues since a small child and they disappeared  when I took milk and cheeses out of my diet. The relief that I now experience makes up for any losses I initially felt when I gave up dairy.

For you – Do you battle seasonal allergies? If so,  I suggest that you try changing your diet by removing dairy from your diet. You will know in a matter of weeks whether it’s had a positive affect.

I won’t try to explain the science behind it all. Just some basic principles. I talk about this more in the online courses and in some of the nutrition blog posts too. Here is the recipe:

Tex-Mex Bowl

Tex-Mex Bowl

Ingredients

  • 1 clove garlic
  • Fresh slices of colored bell peppers, chopped
  • Onions (of choice)
  • Prepared beans of your choice*
  • Leafy greens, chopped (collards, kale or chard)
  • Diced tomatoes (fresh)
  • Sweet Corn** (fresh or frozen organic is a quick and handy option)
  • Pico de gallo (topping)
  • Guacamole (topping)
  • Cooked Brown rice or quinoa

Instructions

  1. Grill the onions and bell peppers together on the stove-top, adding garlic last so it doesn't burn
  2. Add beans, tomatoes, corn until heated thoroughly
  3. Toss in chopped leafy greens
  4. Serve in a bowl on top of a bed of rice/quinoa. Add toppings such as guacamole and/or pico.

Notes

* Home-cooked beans are preferred, but organic canned is a quick and handy option

** Fresh corn is preferred, but organic frozen corn works well too

Most of the ingredients in this recipe are some that you can keep on hand in your fridge/freezer ready to grab. This makes preparing meals so easy.

http://realfoodanddrinks.com/tex-mex-bowl

Red Curry Noodles and Tofu

Red Curry Noodles and Tofu

Yield: 4-6

Red Curry Noodles and Tofu

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces stir fry rice noodles
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks of green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp ginger powder (or a knob of fresh ginger)
  • 14 ounces extra firm tofu, cubed (My preference is Trader Joe's Organic SPROUTED)
  • 1 - 2 tsp turmetic
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 3 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 4 cups stir fry vegetables (carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, red peppers, mushrooms, etc)
  • 1/2 (14-oz) can coconut milk
  • 1/2 (14-oz) can coconut cream
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce (or coconut aminos), divided
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (or sweetener of choice)
  • 1 tablespoons sriracha (or your favorite hot sauce)
  • handful of cilantro, chopped

Instructions

  1. Prepare noodles according to instructions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Squeeze tofu between paper towels prior to cutting into cubes. Toss with 2 TBS soy sauce (or liquid aminos), turmeric and onion powder. Allow to sit, or you can bake in the oven for 20 - 30 minutes to give a firmer texture.
  3. Heat the coconut oil over medium heat. Alternatively, add 1/4 cup water to pan.
  4. Add the garlic and white parts of green onions.
  5. Saute until soft and onions are a bit transparent.
  6. Add the curry paste, tofu (if not baking), and the vegetables to the pan. Stir gently, and saute until the the vegetables are done – about 10 minutes.
  7. Add the coconut milk, soy sauce, sugar, and sriracha (hot sauce) and allow to simmer just a bit longer.
  8. Add the cooked noodles and combine. Test the noodles for desired tenderness...you can cook them longer in the sauce if needed.
  9. Adjust seasonings, serve, add cilantro on the top
http://realfoodanddrinks.com/red-curry-noodles-and-tofu

This recipe is an adaptation of the recipe at  https://pinchofyum.com/red-curry-noodles.

Buckwheat and Millet Pancakes

This is my go-to recipe for breakfast (in addition to a morning smoothie which I usually have while cooking pancakes). Notice there aren’t any sweeteners, gums or extra fillers in this gluten-free recipe. Just the basic ingredients and I enjoy them with unsulphured molasses, a touch of maple syrup and cold-pressed flax seed oil (an optional boost of Omega-3’s).

Ingredients:
1 cup buckwheat flour
1 cup millet flour
2 TBS ground flax seeds (can add up to 4 TBS)
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
2 cups nut milk (or water will work just as well)
2 tsp baking powder

Directions:

  1. Heat a hot griddle or skillet over low to medium heat.
  2. Mix all ingredients together well, except for the baking powder
  3. Allow to sit about 2 – 3 minutes for the flax seeds to help bind the mixture. (The ground flax seeds is a plant-based substitution for eggs.)
  4. Add a bit more nut milk or water to attain the consistency needed to pour the pancake batter onto a griddle.
  5. Add baking powder and mix slightly. ( You can add another tablespoon of water to help the powder dissolve easily.)
  6. Add just a touch of oil if needed(I prefer coconut oil when needed) to your griddle or skillet.
  7. Cook the pancakes. (They should be easy to pour from the bowl and form round circles on the cooking surface. If not, you can use a spoon to spread a bit or add more liquid).

Note: I make my own buckwheat and millet flours using a Vitamix grain container that has a specific blade for grinding grains.

Suggestion: Mix all the dry ingredients together and store in an airtight container. To use, add liquid of choice in 1:1 ratio of dry mix. Allow to sit for 1 minute. Then, if using, add lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. Cook on hot griddle.

Buddha Bowl using Leftovers

I think I have been creating these all along prior to the term “Buddha Bowl” becoming popular. This is my second “go to” option when trying to determine what to eat next. My first is plant-based Tex-Mex meals. (I live in Texas y’all!)

The Buddha Bowl I prepared today uses quinoa as the base! I love quinoa for so many reasons and healthy ones too. It’s gluten-free and high in protein (a concern for some when embarking on a plant-based eating plan). I had roasted sweet potatoes using my favorite recipe. I had a bunch of colorful Swiss chard that I needed to prepare and hummus (which I practically keep on hand at all times). So I threw all of these “leftovers” together and created a very satisfying lunch.

Preparation Notes:

Quinoa
pre-soak 1 – 2 hours for better nutrient absorption

Sweet Potatoes
Diced and seasoned with cumin, turmeric, salt, paprika, chili powder, garlic (sprinkled on as you like). Toss with a little coconut oil (barely oil them) and bake 350 – 400 degrees Farenheit
Swiss Chard
Saute green onions and bell peppers in water until soft. Add tomatoes and Swiss chard until wilted. Squeeze fresh lemon juice on top

Hummus
Seasonings: cumin, lemon juice, tahini, roasted red peppers, salt/pepper and sometimes olives
Hey, here are some ingredient ideas for a Tex-Mex Budha Bowl!
  • Mexican “brown” rice
  • Black or pinto beans
  • Fresh spinach, kale or romaine lettuces
  • Roasted corn
  • Salsa or Pico de gallo
  • Lemon/Lime Juice
  • Avocado (or guacamole)
  • Cilantro
  • Green onions
  • Not-so cheese (a Vitamix recipe)

Black Bean Corn Tortilla Tacos (Plant-Based, Vegan)

I usually cook a large batch of beans and freeze whatever I don’t use immediately. So, for this recipe the only ingredient that I had to make was the “Not-So” Cheese Sauce that I found in the Vitamix recipe book. If you have the opportunity to purchase a Vitamix you should definitely do so. You won’t regret it. I think I’ve owned mine for about 7 years and the only part I have replaced is the rubber top recently because it wasn’t fitting as snugly as it did when I first purchased it (6 years ago).
I pulled these tacos together rather quickly. The corn tortillas are Tortilla Land brand that I find in my local. The are uncooked and I prepare them on the griddle that I keep on the left side of my stove-top mostly for this purpose (and cooking pancakes just as often).
Ingredients:
  • Tortilla Land corn tortillas (or make your own using masa flour)
  • black beans (red beans or pinto beans would also be good, canned is fine – just rinse them)
  • fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • green onions
  • avocado (or guacamole – see recipe below)
  • Not-So Cheese Sauce (the recipe I follow uses potato starch to create a thicker version) or Forks Over Knives No Cheese Sauce
Other possible toppings: salsa, cilantro, pico de gallo, your favorite vegetables, etc
Directions:
  1. Cook tortillas according to package directions
  2. Warm the beans on the stove top – using a bit of water to prevent from burning
  3. Add your toppings

My Guacamole Recipe

Add all of the following ingredients to a food processor and give it a whirl!

  • 2 avocados
  • 1/2 lemon or lime, juiced
  • 1 green onion stalk (Low FODMAP and I like them because they are milder.)
  • 1/2 – 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 of jalapeno (I usually remove most of the seeds for a milder version.)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of “tightly packed” cilantro

Zucchini and Vegetable Lasagna (Dairy Free and Grain Free)

Lasagna, a classic favorite, right?

I used sliced zucchini in place of the noodles and created my own version of cashew cream sauce in place of cheese. This is a meat free dish, but feel free to use a meat sauce if you prefer.

I prepared this in a small 5 x 7 casserole dish. Makes 2 servings.

Ingredients:
2 medium size zucchini, sliced thin lengthwise
2 – 3 carrots, shredded or sliced
1/4 of a colored bell pepper, chopped
5 – 6 dehydrated tomato slices (my preference) or sun-dried tomatoes
15 ounce pasta sauce from a jar or make your own (See “Really Quick Pasta Sauce” option below.)

1 cup of cashews, soaked at least 30 minutes and no longer than 30 would be ideal
1/2 tsp lemon juice

2 fresh sprigs of parsley or 1/2 TBS dried parsley
garlic and onion powders, 1/8 tsp or less of each
Italian seasoning, 1/2 tsp
salt and pepper to taste

other optional ingredients:
yellow squash, mushrooms, grilled onions

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Create cashew sauce by pureeing drained cashews with lemon juice, herbs and spices. Don’t forget to season with salt and pepper also. I would start with 1/4 tsp of salt. You can add a little water (or stock) if needed to thin. Set aside.
  3. Using a mandolin slicer, slice the zucchini lengthwise.
  4. Spread a small amount of pasta sauce on the bottom the casserole dish.
  5. Create layers with zucchini, cashew sauce, vegetables, pasta sauce then repeat again and end with zucchini and pasta sauce.
  6. Cover with parchment paper, oven-safe lid or covering of your choice and bake for about 30 minutes.
  7. Top with fresh herbs like parsley or basil and serve.

Really Quick Pasta Sauce: 

This is a pasta sauce that I would use to create pizza sauce, but it was very handy when I needed a sauce for this dish and I didn’t have much time.

Using a high-speed blender (I use a Vitamix), blend the following ingredients:

  • 6 oz can of tomato paste, 
  • 1 tsp Italian herbs
  • 1/2 cup of water (or stock)
  • 1 clove of garlic, 
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 1 TBS Honey (or other sweetener).

Carrot and Flax Seed Crackers

I’m going to give you the basic recipe…then some ideas on the add-ins to achieve different flavors

Ingredients:

Dehydrator – Before


1/4 cup flax seeds
1/4 cup psyllium husks
2 carrots
3/4 cup water
1/8 tsp salt
Directions:
  1. Place all ingredients into a high speed blender such as a Vitamix and blend until smooth.
  2. Spread onto teflon sheets of a dehydrator and follow dehydrator’s instructions. I set my Nesco dehydrator at 135 degrees F. 
Note: Sometimes I set higher … depending on how quickly I want to eat these. These can be dehydrated at a temperature lower than 115 degrees F to preserve enzymes and if you still want to consider the crackers to be RAW.
Add-ins for flavoring:
  • ginger and turmeric about (1/8 – 1/4 tsp each)
  • stevia (1/4 tsp), agave*, coconut sugar* or honey* for sweetness (1 tsp)
  • garlic powder and Italian seasonings (1/8 – 1/4 tsp each)*
  • curry and ginger spices (about 1/8 – 1/4 each)
  • taco seasonings (1/4 to 1/2 total in spices) – use a mix or cumin, garlic, chili powder, etc *
  • whole seeds sprinkled o: sesame, chia, sunflower, flax & pumpkin (shown in photos)
*High FODMAP food – remove from ingredients to achieve a Low FODMAP recipe.
Crispy Carrot and Flax Seed Crackers

Almond Flour Cookies

I began this website so that I could keep track of my journey’s recipes for the most part. I cook and prepare foods EVERYDAY! So, you would think that I would have a ton of recipes posted already. But I have been slacking in this task. Photos of many of the foods I do prepare can be found at Instagram. But I am going to try to do better.

Today I wanted something crunchy..and didn’t want to wait on the dehydrator (I did that yesterday when I made kale chips.) So today I’m baking Almond Flour Cookies in the oven.

I think I should call these “Honey Almond Cookies”. The Honey was easily recognizable. One recipe I found used maple syrup in place of honey. I think that my use of honey and the addition of ground flax seed made these cookies crunchy on the edges, but chewy on the inside. Also, they could probably have been crunchy if flattened more than you see in the photo below.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
2 TBS ground flax seed
1 – 2 TBS water
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
2 Tablespoons melted coconut oil (optional, you can just use more water)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup raw unfiltered honey
 

Crumbly Dough Texture

Directions:
1.     Preheat oven to 350 degrees C 
2.     Mix water with ground flax seed and set aside.
3.     Mix all dry ingredients.
4.     Add vanilla, coconut oil (or water), vanilla and honey to the flax seed mixture.
5.     Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stir using a spoon.
6.     Roll dough into small balls and flatten onto the baking pan.
7.     Bake in oven for 13 to 15 minutes or until slightly browned on the edges.
 

Before Baking
Baked Cookies