Rainbow Chopped Salad (V)(GF)

rainbow1Rainbow Chopped Salad (V)(GF)
the salad ingredients:
large head of romaine
15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 large orange bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 pint cherry tomatoes, chopped
1/2 english cucumber, chopped
2 cups corn
1/2 red onion, chopped
rainbow2
Cilantro-Avocado Dressing (V)(GF)
the dressing ingredients:
1 cup loosely packed cilantro, stems removed and roughly chopped
1 avocado, smashed
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice (about 1/2 lime), more to taste
1 to 2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup avocado oil (or olive oil)
1 1/2 tsp. white wine vinegar1 tsp. agave nectar
1/8 tsp. salt

the method:

  1. Make the dressing: puree all ingredients in a food processor/blender until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
  2. Finely chop romaine, bell pepper, tomatoes and onion.
  3. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine.
  4. Toss with desired dressing and serve.

 

Meatless Monday: Black Bean Tostadas

beanBlack Bean Tostadas (GF)

the ingredients:

  • Corn tortillas
  • 1 can refried black beans (I make my own, but if you buy canned make sure they are vegetarian)
  • 3/4 tsp. cumin
  • Shredded cheese or vegan cheese
  • Tomatoes, diced
  • Red onion, diced
  • Romaine lettuce, chopped
  • Additional toppings of your choice (I like to put a lot of hot sauce on mine)

 

the method:

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Lightly spray tortillas on both sides and place on baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat refried beans and cumin in a pan over low to med-low heat, stirring occasionally.
  3. Layer tortillas with beans, cheese, and onion.
  4. Return layered tortillas to the oven for a few minutes to melt the cheese.
  5. Add the rest of your desired toppings and serve.

Toast with Avocado-Basil Spread & Sliced Tomatoes (GF)

avoToast with Avocado-Basil Spread & Sliced Tomatoes (GF)

the ingredients:

2 slices gluten-free toast (I used Udi’s)
3 medium avocados (ripe)
2 cups fresh basil leaves
1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 tbsp non-fat Greek yogurt
3 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
salt & pepper to taste

 

 

the method:

  1. In a food processor, combine basil leaves and olive oil, pulsing until fine.
  2. Add in avocado, Greek yogurt and lemon juice, blending until smooth.
  3. This spread recipe yields eight servings – yay leftovers! This spread is great on sandwiches, in pasta salad and as a dip. So yummy! 🙂

Meatless Monday: Pasta alla Hepburn (GF)(V)

hepburnSometimes you just have to stop and ask yourself, “What would Audrey eat?”

the ingredients:
2 tablespoons of Earth Balance butter
1 large spring onion, chopped
1 26.2 oz. box of Pomi strained tomatoes
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons soy milk
1/4 cup vodka
1/2 pound gluten free pasta (cook while making sauce)
flat-leaf parsley, for garnish

the method:
Heat butter in a big skillet until melted, then add onion and sauté until softened. Toss in the tomatoes with some salt and pepper, and let simmer until thickened and the tomatoes are breaking down. Around 10 minutes, give or take. Stir in the vodka and half and half and let heat briefly. Stir into the cooked penne. Garnish with fresh parsley.

Margherita Pizza (GF)

margherita pizzaMargherita Pizza (GF)
the ingredients:

  • 1 gluten-free pizza crust (I used Udi’s, but I plan on making my own pretty soon!)
  • 1 pound (2 large) ripe summer tomatoes or 1 16-oz can whole or diced tomatoes
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed basil, sliced into ribbons
  • 8 ounces smoked mozzarella cheese, sliced or grated (you can use regular mozzarella – this is just what I had on hand)
  • Salt and pepper

 

the method:

  1. Heat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Cut the tomatoes into wedges and trim away the stem area. Gently squeeze the wedges over a bowl to remove the excess juices and seeds. Combine the tomatoes with the garlic and half of the basil in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Process until the tomatoes break down into a sauce, scraping down the sides as needed. If desired, strain to make a thicker sauce.
  3. Spread a light layer of the sauce over one of the rounds of pizza. Top with half of the slices of mozzarella. Leave some space between the pieces of mozzarella.
  4. Bake for 7-12 minutes—exact cooking time will vary depending on your oven temperature. Pizza is finished when the crust is deep brown with charred spots and the cheese is bubbling.
  5. Sprinkle the pizza with basil as it comes out of the oven. Let it cool briefly before slicing and serving.

 

One Pot Tomato Basil Pasta (GF)

I started my 200-hour yoga certification about two weeks ago thinking I had all the time in the world. Even though we all need that extra hour every day to get things done, I decided to go after something I have been dreaming about doing for about year – and it’s the best decision I have ever made.  My days are busy, but not chaotic. I go to Ashtanga almost every day after work and spend a good portion of my weekend on the mat, as well. We are currently turning half of our guest bedroom into a mini yoga studio so I can practice when I  have to work late or can’t make it to class for some reason. I have a feeling this will look totally adorable and I will post pictures once it’s ready. 🙂

With a full-time job, a house to take care of and a hungry boyfriend to feed, these last couple of weeks have been exhausting – I don’t know how people with kids do it! Hats off to you!

So far, these yoga classes have been an amazing experience, these teachers are inspirational and have put me in positions I never even dreamed I could do. In order to keep up with the things I enjoy (like cooking), I’ve had to make some compromises. I still fully plan on cooking as much as possible, but I realized I needed to find more convenient meals in order to keep up with my routine and ensure I eat a healthy, home-cooked meal as much as possible.

Even though more of my time is being absorbed since I started certification, I surprisingly feel more balanced. This dish is one that I pinned almost a year ago when looking for quick week-day meals. It’s a one pot dish, so you know that prep and clean up will be a cinch. This dish can also be made vegan easily by omitting the parmesan or substituting it with a vegan option.

Enjoy!

One Pot Tomato Basil PastaOne Pot Tomato Basil Pasta (GF)

the ingredients:

  • 12 ounces gluten free pasta (I used Rotini)
  • 1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes with liquid
  • 1 large sweet onion, cut in julienne strips
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
  • 2 large sprigs basil, chopped
  • 4 1/2 cups vegetable broth (regular broth and NOT low sodium)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Parmesan cheese for garnish

the method:

  1. Place pasta, tomatoes, onion, garlic, basil, in a large stock pot. Pour in vegetable broth. Sprinkle on top the pepper flakes and oregano. Drizzle top with oil.
  2. Cover pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a low simmer and keep covered and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes or so. Cook until almost all liquid has evaporated – I left about an inch of liquid in the bottom of the pot – but you can reduce as desired .
  3. Season to taste with salt and pepper , stirring pasta several times to distribute the liquid in the bottom of the pot. Serve garnished with Parmesan cheese.

Yep, that’s it!

Mongolian Tofu and Mushrooms

Excuse me for my absence… got a lot going on in FBV land :). I didn’t really do much cooking over the weekend – Nick was busy working and I got a glorious weekend all to myself. I literally got nothing done – NOTHING. But some weekends are made for doing nothing, right?? In the spirit of not lifting a finger at all this weekend, I decided to order in on Friday AND Saturday… I never do that!

Any who, I was feeling a bit inspired yesterday – not too inspired since this dish only took about 20 minutes to make haha. I was inspired by my favorite dish at Pei Wei (judge me if you want, but some of their dishes are irresistible) known as Mongolian Tofu. My version didn’t turn out exactly like you get in the restaurant, but was still yummy. With Nick’s we just pan-fried some chicken in place of the the tofu… and mushrooms – Nick hates mushrooms.

We served our proteins over a bed of Farmer’s Market Fried Rice – you know, just like that recipe I made a couple of weeks ago… except I added some broccoli and carrots to this one. 🙂

Happy Monday everyone!

Mongolian Tofu and Mushrooms:

The Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons chili sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar vegetable oil, for frying (about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 large green onions, sliced on the diagonal into one-inch lengths
  • 1 block of extra firm tofu, drained and cubed
  • 1/2 cup sliced button mushrooms

 

The Method:

  1. Make the sauce by heating 2 tsp of vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over med/low heat.
  2. Add ginger and garlic to the pan and quickly add the soy sauce and water before the garlic scorches.
  3. Dissolve the brown sugar in the sauce, then raise the heat to about medium and boil the sauce for 2-3 minutes or until the sauce thickens.
  4. Remove it from the heat and dip the tofu pieces into the cornstarch to apply a very thin dusting to both sides..
  5. Let the tofu sit for about 2 minutes so that the cornstarch sticks.
  6. Heat up one cup of oil in a wok (you may also use a skillet for this step as long as the beef will be mostly covered with oil) over medium heat and add tofu and mushrooms. Saute for 5 minutes.
  7. Add the sauce, cook for one minute while stirring, then add all the green onions.
  8. Cook for one more minute, then remove the tofu, mushrooms and onions with tongs or a slotted spoon to a serving plate. Serve over rice.