Tag Archives: vegan

Cheesy BBQ Tempeh Pita Pockets

7 Mar

I received free samples of Toufayan Pita mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Toufayan Bakeries and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

Bring the BBQ indoors, and into winter, with these cheesy BBQ tempeh pita pockets! This quick weeknight meal will satisfy everyone, and evoke flavors of warm summer evenings.

Cheesy BBQ Tempeh Pita Pockets | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Toufayan Pita pockets are a great way to bring the sticky mess of BBQ inside – simply roast everything together in the oven, melt some cheese into halved pita pockets, and stuff with the sweet and savory BBQ goodness.

I used Organic Sprouted Whole Wheat pita pockets for this recipe, to add an earthiness to the BBQ flavors. If you’re looking for something simple, delicious and healthy for a dinner that the whole family will love, this is the solution!

What’s better is that Toufayan Bakeries is a family-owned bakery that makes more than 100 delicious products available across the nation. It is the largest Pita company in the U.S.! Toufayan Bakeries uses old-world recipes with only top quality, wholesome ingredients, making Pita that are naturally cholesterol free and trans fat free.

Cheesy BBQ Tempeh Pita Pockets

Serves 4

  • 1 block tempeh
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 C prepared BBQ sauce – I used Stubb’s
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • dash of sea salt
  • 4 Toufayan Sprouted Grain Pita breads, halved into two pockets
  • 4 oz gouda, thinly sliced (use vegan cheese if desired)
  • Hot sauce, to serve – optional

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with PAM; set aside.

Slice the tempeh into two thin squares. Then cube into bite-sized pieces. Toss this with the diced veggies and halved tomatoes. Stir in the BBQ sauce, oil and sea salt; coat completely. Spread in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Roast for 25 minutes, stirring halfway through.

Cheesy BBQ Tempeh Pita Pockets | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

In the meantime, halve the pita breads and fill each half with a layer of cheese slices. Place on another lined baking sheet and heat through in the oven for a few minutes – long enough to warm the bread and begin melting the cheese.

Remove both baking sheets. Transfer pita breads to four plates. Use a spoon to fill each pita half with the BBQ tempeh mixture. Top with hot sauce if desired. Serve and enjoy hot!

Cheesy BBQ Tempeh Pita Pockets | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

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Wild Blueberry Avocado Protein Smoothie

30 Jan

By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the Wild Blueberry Association of North America and I am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

I dunno about where you live, but Milwaukee has been nothing but dreary and grey for at least a week now. Such a downer! Aside from working up a sweat, I know few better ways to combat the lousy weather than with a berry-packed smoothie.

Wild Blueberry Avocado Protein Smoothie | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Sure, I could simply turn up the heat at home and lounge around with a cup of tea, but a nice, sweaty workout, followed by a healthy protein smoothie is soooo much better, and more rewarding!

This creamy dreamy smoothie is made with frozen wild blueberries, which are way more flavorful than and twice as rich in antioxidants as regular blueberries. Better yet, they’re frozen at harvest, ensuring the best quality berry every single time.

Wild Blueberry Avocado Protein Smoothie | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Wild blueberries are called “Wild” because they are. Wild blueberries are not planted but occur naturally in barrens and fields in Maine and Eastern Canada that have been here for 10,000 years. They’re just waiting to be plucked and enjoyed!

And don’t freak out, they’re super easy to find – no trips to Maine or Canada necessary 🙂 Check the frozen foods section of your grocery store, and they should be near the other frozen fruits.

To learn more about wild blueberries, visit and follow these accounts: FacebookInstagramPinterestTwitter.

I paired these sweet and tart wild blueberries with creamy avocado and my favorite vegan vanilla protein powder for a smoothie that packs a punch in all the best ways.

Wild Blueberry Avocado Protein Smoothie | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Wild Blueberry Avocado Protein Smoothie

Makes 1 smoothie

  • 1/4 C nondairy milk
  • 1 C cold water
  • 1/2 ripe avocado
  • 1/2 C frozen wild blueberries
  • 1 scoop vegan vanilla protein powder
  • Additional wild blueberries and hemp seeds, to garnish

Pour the liquids into your blender and add the avocado, wild blueberries and protein powder. Blend until absolutely smooth. Pour into your favorite glass and garnish with additional wild blueberries and hemp seeds.

 

Sweet Potato Noodles with Tomatoes and Beefless Ground

29 Dec

I’ve shared a few pasta recipes lately, but I know that’s not everyone’s jam. Ok, who am I kidding – everyone loves pasta, be it gluten free, whole wheat, vegan or covered in meat. But sometimes you want a meal that’s a little bit lighter. Something that is purely plant-based and fully of vitamins.

Shortly before Chris bought me the pasta machine, I bought myself a new spiralizer. The first one I owned, a handheld one, broke on the first try. That was pretty off-putting and I gave up on all variety of veggie noodles. But reading everyone else’s recipes with zoodles and the like was inspiring enough to get me to buy a new one. A better one! This is no paid endorsement, but the Brieftons Spiral Slicer is pretty freakin’ awesome. Super easy to assemble, use and clean. And it comes apart for storage wherever you have space.Sweet Potato Noodles with Tomatoes and Beefless Ground | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

This single-serving meal is quick to assemble and cooks in less than 10 minutes. Spiralize a sweet potato, saute in coconut oil with tomatoes, beefless ground and some seasoning, and you have a simple, delicious meal that’s full of all the good nutrients.

Sweet Potato Noodles with Tomatoes and Beefless Ground | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Sweet Potato Noodles with Tomatoes and Beefless Ground

Serves 1, can be doubled

  • 1 medium-large sweet potato, peeled
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 C beefless ground (this is a soy-based product and could be replaced with mushrooms)
  • Dash or two of your favorite spice blend
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar, to serve

Begin by cutting the ends off the sweet potato so they are flat. Use your spiralizer or some mad knife skills to make noodles out of the potato. Don’t throw out the leftover core! I sliced this into thin, tiny disks and used it with the noodles.

Heat the coconut oil over medium-high in a skillet – preferably a cast iron skillet. Saute the noodles for a few minutes, tossing frequently.

Add in the tomatoes and beefless ground, tossing to incorporate. Cook for another 5 minutes, or until the noodles are done to your liking. Sprinkle in the spice blend and black pepper. I used this local blend of onion, garlic, and other allium flavors for a great umami quality!

Sweet Potato Noodles with Tomatoes and Beefless Ground | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Serve in a bowl. Sprinkle the vinegar on top and grind more black pepper, to your liking. Enjoy!

Pasta with Charred Pepper and Onion

22 Dec

Happy winter! I know, it’s been a while since I posted a new recipe. Work and life and more work have taken a priority, but all for great reasons! Since September, I have been teaching public speaking at the nearby university in addition to my day job. The class is fun and poses some interesting challenges for myself. This week will see the end of the semester, which simply means five weeks to prep for spring.

I was excited to see that this month’s Recipe Redux challenge was a cookbook-related one. In order to celebrate all the accomplishments of 2016, the Redux team has asked us flip to a 2016-esque page number in the nearest cookbook.

A year or two ago, my Oma and Opa gave me a vegetarian cookbook for Christmas. I know they sometimes question my vegetarianism, but the gift of that book said a lot in terms of acceptance of my dietary choices. I know they want the best for me overall, and proper food is a surefire way to be healthy!

So, I flipped to page 216 in the book “330 Vegetarian Recipes for Health,” and low and behold I found a simple yet satisfying recipe of pasta, roasted peppers and onion!

Pasta with Charred Pepper and Onion | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

After a long day and a nice run on the treadmill, this was to be the ideal dinner with some modifications. This meal really is the ideal dinner to make on a busy night. Bell pepper roasts quickly in the broiler or on the grill and pairs perfectly with whole grain pasta and sauteed onion. I added some beefless ground for a protein boost, and some spices for additional flavor, and that’s it! A quick and easily meal for two or four.

Pasta with Charred Pepper and Onion | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Fusilli with Peppers and Onions, modified from 330 Vegetarian Recipes for Health

Serves 2

  • 1 large bell pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1-1/2 whole grain fusilli or rotini
  • 3/4 C beefless ground
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • sea salt & black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, to serve

Turn on your broiler or grill. Place the washed bell pepper in the flame and cook until charred. You’ll need to watch it and turn it around to ensure an even char. Once sufficiently blackened, remove and place in a paper bag. Close and let sit for five minutes.

Scrape off the charred skin from the bell pepper. Slice thinly; set aside.

Bring water to boil in a pot and cook pasta according to package directions. I prefer the whole grain pasta for added chew, fiber and protein. Drain and return to the pot.

While the pasta cooks, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in frying pan. Saute onion 8-10 minutes. Add in the sliced bell pepper and sprinkle in some sea salt and black pepper. Then, stir in the beefless ground, paprika and coriander. Cook another 5 minutes to heat through.

Stir the vegetables into the pot of pasta. Mix well and serve into two bowls. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil, and extra salt and pepper.
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Vegan Spaghetti Dinner with Black Bean Pasta Sauce

22 Sep

With an oversized apron tied ‘round my waist and a wooden spoon in hand, I was always an eager young cook. This month’s Recipe ReDux theme is “first cooking memories,” and I have quite a few of those! I remember rolling, cutting and decorating sugar cookies for Christmas with Oma (and trying to sneak some of the raw dough while she wasn’t looking). I remember stirring the contents of various pots of food on the stove at Grandma’s house during holiday & birthday dinners. I remember rolling out the dough and prepping the fillings with dad for apple and pumpkin pies leading up to Thanksgiving. And I remember how much I loved spaghetti for dinner, and helping mom prepare it.

Vegan Spaghetti Dinner with Black Bean Pasta Sauce | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Those daily memories are often the most basic, yet enjoyable to think back on. Oma had made kid-sized aprons for my sister and I to don while helping our parents cook. Which is good – I can only imagine we created somewhat of a mess in the process! My love of cooking and food began with all of that. My family respected my help in the kitchen, and the older I got, the more responsibility was given to me. Where I first was allowed to stir the sauce, I progressed to browning the meat for the sauce (yes, I used to eat meat). Instead of just putting the pot of water on the stove to boil, I actually cooked the noodles all the way through. We switched from store-bought garlic bread, to garlicking (is that a word? It is now) a fresh loaf of bread.

When my sis and I were finally old enough, and knowledgeable enough, to cook on our own, our parents tasked us with making dinner once a week for a whole summer! We had to plan the meal, add the ingredients to the grocery list (after first checking the pantry & freezer for anything we already had), go shopping with them (an activity I still love to this day), prep the ingredients, and cook the entire meal. Sure, we frequently asked questions regarding technique, timing, and what something in the recipe might mean, but we did it all on our own, at a relatively young age. This was fantastic prep for meals when we were alone, and certainly for college survival.

Thanks to my parents and grandparents for those early cooking experiences! Because of that, I now find great joy in the entire cooking process, from recipe creation to meal devouring. And with that, here’s a healthy, vegan take on that spaghetti dinner I used to help prepare. Mashed and seasoned black beans replace ground beef, and a homemade sauce elevates the flavor of jarred varieties. It’s a great weeknight dinner that you can even get your kids to help with 🙂

Vegan Spaghetti Dinner with Black Bean Pasta Sauce | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Vegan Spaghetti Dinner

Serves 4

  • 8 oz whole wheat or gluten free spaghetti
  • 1 tbsp olive or coconut oil
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed & drained
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 15 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 C water

Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta according to package directions.

Heat oil over medium-high in a large skillet. Cook the onion 5-7 minutes, until translucent and fragrant. Add the black beans and cook another 3-4 minutes to heat through. Use a flat wooden spoon or fork to mash the black beans and onions together. You’re looking for consistency similar to cooked ground beef. Stir in the seasonings, cooking through another 2-3 minutes.

Now stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, garlic and water. Mom always taught me to add a spoonful of sugar to tomato-based sauces, to cut the acidic properties of tomatoes and bring out their taste.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 7 minutes. Cook through another 5 minutes to let the flavors meld.

Once the pasta is cooked and drained, add it into the skillet with your sauce, and toss to coat. Taste and add more salt or pepper as desired.

Serve and enjoy hot! This pairs well with a leafy green salad and bottle of red wine (or juice for the kids).

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