Bruschetta with Garlic and Tomatoes

Bruschetta with Garlic and Tomatoes
(Makes about 20-24 pieces)

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Cheers to a New Year. I celebrated a blogiversary recently and I plan to blog about it while highlighting some healthy recipes from 2015.
Bruschetta is one of my favorite appetizers. The typical recipe and preparation of bruschetta is so simple in itself, I kick the ease factor up by using canned diced tomatoes (I use Hunt’s), and yeah I know cheating a little maybe? This recipe is delicious; the fresh basil along with the garlic in this recipe always gets me. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
1 (14.5oz can) Petite Diced Tomatoes
1 (14.5oz can) Fire Roasted Tomatoes
3 Tbsp Minced Garlic (I know it seems like a lot… I love garlic!)
1 bunch fresh Basil, chiffonade
Salt/Pepper to taste
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Fresh Baguette

Directions:
-Preheat oven 350 degrees to toast bread. Slice baguette and place on baking sheet.
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Drizzle with olive oil (picture below). Bake for 10-15 minutes until bread is toasted.
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-While bread is toasting. Drain tomatoes very well. Toss tomatoes and garlic in a bowl to combine, add salt/pepper to taste.
-To chiffonade basil: Remove basil leaves and rinse. Stack leaves about 10 then roll together tightly. With a sharp knife slice into ribbons.
-To Serve: Place tomatoes on toasted bread then top with basil pieces.

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Notes:
-If I’m traveling on making ahead, I prepare the tomatoes and refrigerate ahead of time. Then toast the bread and chiffonade the basil last before serving up.
-I also try and use up as much of the basil as possible, so the tiny piece that you cannot roll up to chiffonade just chop with a very sharp knife.

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We toasted to the New Year with Absinthe prepared traditionally with water and sugar cubes. I look forward to 2016 which is sure to be busier than last year as I continue with our family life and routine, work, college, cooking and blogging. Aside from the aforementioned “the usual” our family is growing with Megan our eldest expecting in April and our plan to publish books this year (my husband’s book) and I’ve been considering a cookbook too. Many things to toast to…Cheers!
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Bruschetta with Garlic & Tomatoes

  • Servings: About 20-24 pieces
  • Difficulty: easy
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Credit: https://veganrescue.com/

Ingredients:
1 (14.5oz can) Petite Diced Tomatoes
1 (14.5oz can) Fire Roasted Tomatoes
3 Tbsp Minced Garlic
1 bunch fresh Basil, chiffonade
Salt/Pepper to taste Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Fresh Baguette

Directions:
-Preheat oven 350 degrees to toast bread. Slice baguette and place on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 10-15 minutes until bread is toasted.
-While bread is toasting. Drain tomatoes very well. Toss tomatoes and garlic in a bowl to combine, add salt/pepper to taste.
-To chiffonade basil: Remove basil leaves and rinse. Stack leaves about 10 then roll together tightly. With a sharp knife slice into ribbons.
-To Serve: Place tomatoes on toasted bread then top with basil pieces.

Notes:

-If I’m traveling on making ahead, I prepare the tomatoes and refrigerate ahead of time. Then toast the bread and chiffonade the basil last before serving up.
-I also try and use up as much of the basil as possible, so the tiny piece that you cannot roll up to chiffonade just chop with a very sharp knife.

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Tabbouleh with Pearl Couscous (Israeli Couscous)

Tabbouleh with Pearl Couscous (Israeli Couscous)
(Serves 8) ~ Vegan, Soy-Free, Dairy-Free, [Gluten-Free Option: swap Couscous for Quinoa
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When I think of Tabbouleh I can’t help but think of the beautiful mint in this recipe! I love mint as soon as I smell mint it is so nostalgic for me. When my brother and I were little my mother use to walk us to school and occasionally we came across wild mint growing along the way. Mint that she would pick and make tea from. Maybe I would about 6 or 7 years old but it was such a simple little pleasure that I always reminisce about when I smell mint. 🙂 I sure did love that tea.
Tabbouleh is such a beautiful dish. Keeping with the Arabic theme I chose to make this recipe with Israeli Couscous (pearl couscous) instead of the traditional bulgur. If I’m being honest I’ve never been a fan of traditional couscous, mostly because of the texture. However, the texture of pearl couscous is a bit more pleasing to me. It tastes like little puffy balls that are nutty and delicate in flavor which seems to be more palatable for me. Josh of course described it as mini gnocchi balls – I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned before that he’s obsessed with gnocchi.
This attractive dish encompasses tri-color pearl couscous, mint, parsley and tomatoes to name a few of the ingredients. The couscous can be toasted if you’d like too. Before adding to the liquid you can lightly toast it in a pan until golden brown, similar to toasting pine nuts. Alternatively, the couscous can be swapped altogether for quinoa to make a gluten-free version of this dish. The parsley, mint and lemon in this dish are so refreshing and the colors in this salad make for an appealing salad, side or entrée. Enjoy!

Mint and mommy – xoxo!
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Ingredients:
2 Cups Pearl Couscous (Israeli Couscous)
2 ½ Cups Water
1 Bunch of Curly Parsley, chopped
¼ Cup Fresh Mint (about 50 leaves), chopped
4 Scallions (white/light green parts), chopped
½ Pint of Cherry Tomatoes, sliced in half (about 20-25)
2 Lemons (juice of both lemons and zest of 1)
½ Tbsp Garlic, minced
1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp fresh Ground Pepper
1 Tbsp Capers, optional

Parsley is so good for you!
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Directions:

-In a sauce pan bring water to boil. Add the Pearl Couscous then bring back to boil. Stir together, cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Continue to simmer for about 10 minutes until all the liquid has absorbed. (You can swap liquid for vegetable broth too if you’d like).
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-Combine remaining ingredients and toss together. I used a fork as the couscous can tend to be a bit sticky. Using the fork helped fluff and combine the ingredients best.
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-Refrigerate until chilled or overnight to serve cold. You can also enjoy this dish warm.

Enjoy!
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Tabbouleh with Pearl Couscous

  • Servings: 8 ~ Vegan
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:
2 Cups Pearl Couscous (Israeli Couscous)
2 ½ Cups Water
1 Bunch of Parsley, chopped
¼ Cup Fresh Mint (about 50 leaves), chopped
4 Scallions (white/light green parts), chopped
½ Pint of Cherry Tomatoes, sliced in half (about 20-25)
2 Lemons (juice of both lemons and zest of 1)
½ Tbsp Garlic, minced
1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp fresh Ground Pepper
1 Tbsp Capers, optional

Directions:
-In a sauce pan bring water to boil. Add the Pearl Couscous then bring back to boil. Stir together, cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Continue to simmer for about 10 minutes until all the liquid has absorbed. (You can swap liquid for vegetable broth too if you’d like).
-Combine remaining ingredients and toss together. I used a fork as the couscous can tend to be a bit sticky. Using the fork helped fluff and combine the ingredients best.
-Refrigerate until chilled or overnight to serve cold. You can also enjoy this dish warm. Enjoy!

Spicy Sweet Potato Wedge & Kale Salad with Asian Tahini Dressing

Spicy Sweet Potato Wedge & Kale Salad with Asian Tahini Dressing
(Serves 6-8) ~ Vegan, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free
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I love this recipe because it can be a salad or appetizer/snack. It is also great for dinner, lunch or as a side! This healthy salad is incredibly delicious and filling. The sweet potatoes can stand alone with the dressing, honestly it was hard for me to resist sampling the sweet potatoes and dipping before building my salad. 🙂 You can always kick the heat up to your liking. Speaking of heat… check down below I’m sharing some pics from my husband’s hot sauce! He has some pretty flavorful sauces. Well try my salad, I’m still working on it three days later. I anticipate that you will really enjoy this recipe! Enjoy.
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Ingredients:
2 ½ Lbs Sweet Potatoes, peeled/chopped
½ Tbsp Course Sea Salt
½ Tbsp Chili Powder
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4-5 Cups Kale, stems removed/chopped (about 7 stalks)
1 ½ Cup Red Cabbage, shredded
1/3 Cup Peanuts, optional

Directions:
-Heat oven to 450 degrees F. Cut sweet potatoes into wedges or cubes (I prefer wedges). Spread sweet potatoes evenly on two baking sheets and rub with olive oil, sea salt and chili powder. Bake for 30 minutes – toss about halfway through for even baking. Toss with dressing, kale, cabbage and top with peanuts. Enjoy!

Asian Tahini Dressing
¼ Cup Tahini
¼ Cup Tamari Soy Sauce
2 Tbsp Sesame Oil
¼ Cup Rice Vinegar
2 Tsp Fresh Grated Ginger
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 ½ Tbsp Brown Sugar
½ Tbsp Sriracha
-Whisk all ingredients to combine. Let stand for 10 minutes for flavors to combine.
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Day 3 and still delicious!!!
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My hubby’s hot sauce! -Great flavor, I’m not a big heat person but this sauce is amazing. I wonder if he’ll share his recipe one day.

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Spicy Sweet Potato Wedge & Kale Salad

  • Servings: 6-8 ~ Vegan/Gluten-free
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Credit: https://veganrescue.com/
Ingredients:
2 ½ Lbs Sweet Potatoes, peeled/chopped
½ Tbsp Course Sea Salt
½ Tbsp Chili Powder
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4-5 Cups Kale, stems removed/chopped (about 7 stalks)
1 ½ Cup Red Cabbage, shredded
1/3 Cup Peanuts, optional

Directions:
-Heat oven to 450 degrees F. Cut sweet potatoes into wedges or cubes (I prefer wedges). Spread sweet potatoes evenly on two baking sheets and rub with olive oil, sea salt and chili powder. Bake for 30 minutes – toss about halfway through for even baking. Toss with dressing, kale, cabbage and top with peanuts. Enjoy!

Asian Tahini Dressing
¼ Cup Tahini
¼ Cup Tamari Soy Sauce
2 Tbsp Sesame Oil
¼ Cup Rice Vinegar
2 Tsp Fresh Grated Ginger
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 ½ Tbsp Brown Sugar
½ Tbsp Sriracha

-Whisk all ingredients to combine. Let stand for 10 minutes for flavors to combine.

Corn Fritters with Mayoketchup Sauce

Corn Fritters with Mayoketchup Sauce
(Serves 4-6) – Vegan, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free (use GF AP Flour)
Vegan Corn Fritters with Mayoketchup
The kids are visiting family this week. They love to squeeze in a few weeks in the summer visiting family but then we are left missing them. 😦 Typically when it is just Seth and I, we can very quickly fall into the routine of rice and beans for dinner…every day! Just as we are creatures of habit…I made a bag of Black Eyed Peas and a pot of brown rice. I prepared corn fritters to add with the rice and beans.
Originally I wanted to make and share this recipe last week on National Corn Fritter day (07/16). I missed it so I’ll share it today – National Junk Food Day, I don’t quite count this as junk food…although it is fried.
These Corn Fritters are fluffy, slightly sweet and scrumptious. While thinking of a sauce to pair with the fritters I had a nostalgic moment. Mommy frequently made Sorullos (Sorullitos) [I’ll share this recipe one day soon] when we were kids – these are basically a Puerto Rican style corn fritter sticks made from corn meal – typically an appetizer or side and ALWAYS served with Mayoketchup (which is exactly what it sounds like, lol). Please try this tasty treat. Enjoy!
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Ingredients:
1 (16oz Pkg) Frozen Corn, thawed (3 Cups)
1 Cup All Purpose Flour
½ Tbsp Baking Powder
2 Tsp Potato Starch
1 Tbsp Sugar
¼ Tsp Cayenne Pepper
½ Tsp Smoked Paprika
½ Tsp Salt
¼ Tsp Cream of Tartar
¾ Cup Non-Dairy Milk (Soymilk)
Oil for Frying

Directions:
-Heat oil (Vegetable or Canola) to 365-370 degrees.
-Combine all dry ingredients – whisk together to combine.
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-Add Soymilk and thawed Corn, stir to combine.
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-Drop Corn Fritter batter into hot oil. – I use a small cookie scoop to evenly scoop and drop the batter in.
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-Cook until golden – about 5-6 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking.
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-Remove and drain on a paper towel. Enjoy!

Mayoketcup Sauce
1/3 Cup Vegenaise
1/3 Cup Ketchup
1 Garlic Clove, minced
¼ Tsp Sriracha, optional
-Stir together all ingredients to combine. Refrigerate any unused sauce.
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Vegan Corn Fritters with Mayoketchup

  • Servings: 4-6 ~ Vegan, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free (use GF AP Flour)
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:
1 (16oz Pkg) Frozen Corn, thawed (3 Cups)
1 Cup All Purpose Flour
½ Tbsp Baking Powder
2 Tsp Potato Starch
1 Tbsp Sugar
¼ Tsp Cayenne Pepper
½ Tsp Smoked Paprika
½ Tsp Salt
¼ Tsp Cream of Tartar
¾ Cup Non-Dairy Milk (Soymilk)
Oil for Frying

Directions:
-Heat oil (Vegetable or Canola) to 365-370 degrees.
-Combine all dry ingredients – whisk together to combine.
-Add Soymilk and thawed Corn, stir to combine.
-Drop Corn Fritter batter into hot oil. – I use a small cookie scoop to evenly scoop and drop the batter in.
-Cook until golden – about 5-6 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking. Remove and drain on a paper towel. Enjoy!

Mayoketcup Sauce
1/3 Cup Vegenaise
1/3 Cup Ketchup
1 Garlic Clove, minced
¼ Tsp Sriracha, optional

-Stir together all ingredients to combine. Refrigerate any unused sauce.

Guacamole – Simple and Delicious!

Easy Delicious Guacamole
(Makes 1 Bowl/Batch) – Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free
Raw (swap Sriracha for Chili Powder)

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I’m obsessed with Avocado toast. Very simply put it is Avocado with salt/pepper on a slice of toast, sometimes I’ll drizzle a splash of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. If you love Avocado then this should quickly become a part of your ‘quick’ breakfast lineup.
Some mornings it’s ‘every man for them self’ as my husband would call it. The kids will typically gravitate towards cereal or oatmeal and fruit while my husband generally has grits or cereal with some fruit or toast for example. This particular morning I planned on my usual Avocado toast, but looking around I had all the components that I use to make Guacamole, another favorite. So Guac on Toast it is! Enjoy.

Beanie & Brody Photobombing!!
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Ingredients:
2 Med./Large Haas Avocado, pitted
1 Sm-Med. Tomato, seeded & chopped
1 Small Bunch Cilantro (Abt 2 Tbsp), chopped
1 Garlic Clove, minced
½ Tsp Sea Salt
¼ Tsp fresh Ground Pepper
½ Tsp Cumin
Juice of 1 Lime
¼-½ Tsp Sriracha or Chili Powder

Directions:
-Seeding Tomato: Cut the tomato in half and gently squeeze to remove the liquid and seeds. Then Dice up tomato. 
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-Combine all ingredients mixing and smashing avocado with a fork. Enjoy!
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Easy Guacamole

  • Servings: 1 Bowl ~ Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, Raw
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Credit: VeganRescue.com
Ingredients:
2 Med./Large Haas Avocado, pitted
1 Sm-Med. Tomato, seeded
1 Small Bunch Cilantro (Abt 2 Tbsp), chopped
1 Garlic Clove, minced
½ Tsp Sea Salt
¼ Tsp fresh Ground Pepper
½ Tsp Cumin
Juice of 1 Lime
¼-½ Tsp Sriracha or Chili Powder

Directions:
-Combine all ingredients mixing and smashing avocado with a fork. Enjoy!

Smashed Crispy Potatoes with Cucumber Dill Garlic Sauce

Smashed Crispy Cracked Potatoes with Cucumber Dill Garlic Sauce
(Serves 4) – Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free

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Potatoes are extraordinary. They are so versatile, easy to use and so many potato dishes can be created, try this recipe my spinach cakes or potato leek soup.

Ingredients:
24 oz Fingerling Potatoes (About 2lbs)
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus 3 Tbsp if Frying
¼ – ½ Tsp Salt
½ Tsp Fresh Ground Pepper

Directions:
-In a large pot add Potatoes (cut large pieces in half), cover with cold water then bring to boil. Then reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until fork tender.
-Drain Potatoes and let them cool in a colander for 15 minutes.
-Rub Potatoes with Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper.
-Smash Potatoes down, using small bowl or large mug for example. You can also let them cool and use your hands of course.
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If Frying:
-Heat 3 Tbsp Olive Oil and fry for about 2-3 minutes per side until crispy. Drain on paper towel.
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If Baking:
-Preheat oven 450 degrees. Bake for 30 minutes. Flip over halfway through.

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Cucumber Dill Garlic Sauce
(Makes about 1 Cup) – Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free (use soy-free mayo)

Ingredients:
½ English Cucumber, chopped
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
3 Tbsp Vegenaise
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ Tbsp Dill
½ Tsp Smoked Paprika
¼ Tsp Fresh Ground Pepper
¼ Tsp Salt

Directions:
-Combine all ingredients in high speed blender until smooth. Refrigerate any remaining/unused portion.

Smashed Cracked Potatoes with Cucumber Dill Garlic Sauce

  • Servings: 4 ~ Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

24 oz Fingerling Potatoes (About 2lbs)
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus 3 Tbsp if Frying
¼ – ½ Tsp Salt
½ Tsp Fresh Ground Pepper

Directions:
-In a large pot add Potatoes (cut large pieces in half), cover with cold water then bring to boil. Then reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until fork tender.
-Drain Potatoes and let them cool in a colander for 15 minutes.
-Rub Potatoes with Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper.
-Smash Potatoes down, using small bowl or large mug for example. You can also let them cool and use your hands of course.

If Frying:
-Heat 3 Tbsp Olive Oil and fry for about 2-3 minutes per side until crispy. Drain on paper towel.
If Baking:
-Preheat oven 450 degrees. Bake for 30 minutes. Flip over halfway through.

Cucumber Dill Garlic Sauce
(Makes about 1 Cup) – Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free (use soy-free mayo)

Ingredients:
½ English Cucumber, chopped
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
3 Tbsp Vegenaise
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ Tbsp Dill
½ Tsp Smoked Paprika
¼ Tsp Fresh Ground Pepper
¼ Tsp Salt

Directions:
-Combine all ingredients in high speed blender until smooth. Refrigerate any remaining/unused portion.

Potato Spinach Cakes with Creamy Chive Garlic Sauce

Potato Spinach Cakes with Creamy Chive Garlic Sauce
(Makes 10 Patties) – Vegan, can be Gluten-Free (GF Breadcrumbs)
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Welcome back – well for me anyway 🙂 . I took a week-long hiatus from blogging to enjoy some quality time with my family. We took a family vacation this past week – road trip style. We went along the East Coast making a few stops along the way. Our first stop was in Washington, DC – we walked so much this day, it was great! We visited: two Smithsonian museums, the Lincoln Memorial & Reflecting Pool, Washington Monument and saw the White House. We started off our day with breakfast at – Woodland’s Vegan Bistro; the French toast was great. Amongst the group the breakfast sandwich and grits were also sampled. We then stopped in Myrtle Beach, SC. My cousin lives out there, it was awesome connecting with family. We missed them the last time they came out to our area PA/NJ, so it was nice to visit with them. He has a beautiful wife and three wonderful children. Their kids had me in stitches, so adorable. They are blessed. Their hospitality was so appreciated. Delicious food and great coffee too, just chatting with my cousin gave me so many ideas. The last stop was Disney in Orlando. We visited Magic Kingdom and also Universal – we had a blast. Personally, I had as much fun as the kids and I can say that place is truly magical. In Orlando we also ate at Ethos Vegan Kitchen, great vegan eats.
So there’s my update. I hope you all have been well. Naturally I missed being away from my kitchen after so long, so I wanted to make something quick and easy. This recipe is delicious. A must try. To quote my husband, “This is a mixture of Chive & Garlicky heaven.” Enjoy!
Note: I baked this recipe but it can just as easily be fried in canola or olive oil for 3-5 minutes on each side.

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Ingredients:
3 Russet Potatoes, peeled/boiled
2 (9oz Pkg) Frozen Chopped Spinach (abt 2 cups), thawed and drained well
1/3 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs
1 Tsp Garlic Powder
1 Tsp Sea Salt
1 Tsp course Ground Pepper
2 Tbsp Earth Balance (vegan butter)
1 Tbsp Ground Flax Seeds (Flax meal)
2 ½ Tbsp Water

Directions:
-Preheat oven 400 degrees. Grease baking sheet.
-Combine Flax Seeds and Water for about 15 minutes to create Flax Egg.
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-Peel Potatoes and chop/quarter then boil large pot of water (enough water to cover).
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-Boil for 15 minutes until fork tender. Drain and return potatoes to hot pot so any remaining water will absorb about 5 minutes.
-Mash potatoes. Add Earth Balance butter, seasonings and fluff with fork. Stir in Panko and Spinach.
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-Combine into patties and bake for 15 minutes each side (30 minutes total).
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Creamy Chive Garlic Sauce
(Makes about 2 Cups) – Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free
Chive Sauce

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Ingredients:
1 Cup Cashews, soaked
Juice of ½ Lemon
1 Tsp Sea Salt
1 Tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
3-4 Garlic Cloves, chopped
2 ½ Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
½ Cup Sunflower Seeds
(.75 oz) Chives, chopped (abt ½ cup packed chopped)
1 Cup Water

Directions:
-Soak cashews, I soaked for about 1 hr, then drain.
-Combine all ingredients in high-speed blender (I used my nutribullet), serve and enjoy!
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Great for topping on potato cakes and fantastic as a dip or topping for a burger too. My husband and son dipped a potato chip in this sauce and instantly thought (sour cream and onion potato chip).