Roasted Vegetables (Broccoli, Potatoes and Mushrooms)

Roasted Vegetables – Broccoli, Potatoes, Mushrooms and More!
(Serves 4-6) ~ Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free

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I really love roasted veggies of all kinds. I put this recipe together with items I had laying around and if any ingredients have to be purchase they are fairly inexpensive. The only item I purchased to create this recipe was the fresh broccoli. We LOVE broccoli in this household and I really had the taste for roasted broccoli! That was the first ingredient I thought of and I just built the recipe around that. I had a bag of potatoes laying around, mushrooms and parsley and the other ingredients I had in my pantry. The flavors of the roasted veggies are highlighted nicely by the toasted sliced almonds (I just toast them up in a dry pan until they are lightly golden) and the lemon juice was a nice pairing with the broccoli and mushrooms also. Enjoy!

Roasted Vegetables

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:
6 Red Potatoes, cut/quartered
1lb White Button Mushrooms, halved or quartered
5 bunches Broccoli, cut into Florets
Juice of ½ Lemon
4 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil Salt/Pepper & Oregano
1 handful Fresh Parsley, chopped
½ Cup Sliced Almonds, toasted

Directions:
-Preheat oven 400˚F. Prepare vegetables – slicing/quartering be sure to wipe mushrooms clean.
-Drizzle 2 Tbsp Olive Oil over Potatoes and add ½ Tbsp Salt, 1 Tsp Pepper, 1 Tsp Oregano and roast in oven for 45 minutes on baking sheet.
-Toss Mushrooms and Broccoli with remaining 4 Tbsp Olive Oil and ½ Tbsp Salt, 1 Tsp Pepper and Lemon juice, massaging together. -Transfer to a separate baking sheet (I had to distribute them onto 2 baking sheets).
-After Potatoes have been roasting for 20 minutes, toss and shake pan so they are in an even layer. Add Mushroom/Broccoli to oven at this point so they finish baking at the same time.
-After another 25 minutes remove from oven. Toss together with toasted Almonds and Parsley. Enjoy!

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I served this recipe as a side dish aside Jasmine Rice and Curried Chickpeas, however, I can absolutely eat a larger portion by itself as an entrée.

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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!

Reflections in a cup of Juice!

A toast to Reflections (A-Z Blog Challenge) and bloggers – Happy Juicing
(Serves 1) – Vegan, Raw, Gluten-Free

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Ingredients:
2-3 Stalks Kale, stemmed removed
2 Carrots
½ Cucumber,
1-inch piece Ginger, peeled
½ Lemon
1 Granny Smith Apple
-Juice the above ingredients and enjoy! – Remember Organic is always best.

Good Morning my beautiful juice! I love juicing – feels revitalizing in the morning. What a great breakfast of Antioxidants, Nutrients and Phytonutrients.
I wanted to take a moment to touch on a couple things. First, I want to say thank you again to my fellow bloggers out there for the follow(s) and support, the comments, the likes and anyone who has perused my blog or tried any of my recipes too. It truly means a lot to me. I enjoy reading everyone else’s blogs and posts also. The amount of Vegans that are out there still amazes me sometimes and even the non-vegans too – just the amount of people out there that are looking for healthier alternatives…I think that is fantastic. I believe in my heart that one can heal through food, aside from the animal cruelty factor and ethical reasons, this world is really changing. We’re a long way from the vittles our parents and grandparents grew up eating. The food quality has changed over the years so drastically. So take care of yourselves out there.

Reflections:
Finally, I’d like to talk about the A-Z Blog Challenge that I participated in April 2015. It was a fun challenge for me to come up with a new recipe for each letter. I had a ball participating and enjoyed every minute. Posting everyday alone was challenge in itself, but I’m so glad I got it accomplished. 🙂  I’m newer to blogging so this challenge pushed me that much more to post daily and to get creative and even better to learn about blogging and meeting new people! I have enjoyed reading so many blogs – stories, posts, recipes and learning so much.
A-to-Z+Reflection+[2015]+-+Lg

X is for Xanthan Gum – Raspberry Lemonade Sorbet / Lemon Blackberry Granita

X – Xanthan Gum — Raspberry Lemonade Sorbet and Lemon Blackberry Granita
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X is for Xanthan Gum. I want to first talk alittle about Xanthan Gum then I also have a quick recipe to share. Xanthan Gum is popular commercially as a thickener for dressings and sauces. Look on the back of most salad dressings and you’ll find xanthan gum. It is favored in salad dressings because it is stable and it helps keep spices suspended and aids to prevent separation (oil/vinegar for example); it keeps those ingredients blended and staying together. Go ahead shake up that bottle up, what do you see?…most likely it will be the seasonings and spices floating inside. They won’t quickly settle to the bottom like a homemade dressing would, but it’s all good – I just whisk my dressings back up before serving usually. 🙂
Xanthan Gum is also very popular in gluten free recipes. Since gluten naturally provides elasticity to dough and allows for that chewy texture. Alternatively, Xanthan Gum provides the same benefits in gluten-free baking. Many gluten-free creations can be made using Xanthan gum from breads to cakes to cookies or donuts.
Additionally, it is used in Ice Creams and Sorbets similarly Locust Bean Gum or Guar Gum because it helps provide a desirable mouth feel. It also helps prevent ice crystals from forming. I created two frozen treats for you to sample – a silky sorbet and chunky icy granita.
Xanthan Gum
Raspberry Lemonade Sorbet
(Serves 4) – Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free
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Ingredients:
1 ¼ Cup Sugar
¾ Cup Water
Juice of 2 ½ Lemons
Zest of 1 Lemon
2 (6oz) Packages Fresh Raspberries
¼ Tsp Xanthan Gum

Directions:
-In medium saucepan combine water and sugar over medium heat. Dissolve sugar in water to create a simple syrup.
-Juice lemons and combine with raspberries and lemon zest in blender, food processor or I used my nutribullet.
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-In a bowl whisk together simple syrup with lemon mixture.
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-Whisk in Xanthan Gum then pour into 9×13 dish and freeze for 2 ½ hours. Every 30 minutes scrape through sorbet with a fork. Enjoy!

Lemonade Blackberry Granita
(Serves 4) – Vegan, Gluten-Free
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Ingredients:
Juice of 2 ½ Lemons
½ Cup Water
Zest of 1 Lemon
6oz Blackberries
3 Tsp Blue Agave Nectar
¼ Tsp Xanthan Gum

Directions:
-Combine blackberries, water, agave and xanthan gum in food processor, blender or I used my nutribullet for this recipe.
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-Whisk blackberry mixture into lemon juice and zest.
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-Pour mixture in 9×13 dish and freeze for 2 ½ hours. Every 30 minutes scrape through with a fork. You want to separate the ice crystals as the mixture freezes.
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Notes: Both recipes were created without having to use an icecream maker. Granita can be made raw omit Xanthan gum. Also, a critique is the raspberry lemonade was super sweet so I added another container of raspberries to try and cut down the sweetness.
Also, kids (well mine at least) are not a huge fan of seeds so you can strain both before adding to the container for freezing. This time around I kept the seeds in.

Enjoy!

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X

Raw Lemon Tart

Raw Lemon Tart
(Serves 4-6 depending on pan size) – Raw, Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free
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Ingredients:
Lemon
Chia Cream:
1 Cup Cashews, soaked
½ Cup Macadamia Nuts, soaked
1 Cup Water
2 Tbsp Blue Agave Nectar
Juice of 1 Lemon
3 Tbsp Chia Seeds
¼ Tsp Turmeric, optional for color

-Soak nuts for at least 3 hours. Rinse and drain. –Blend nuts, water and agave in high-speed blender for 3 minutes until creamy and smooth. Remove then place in bowl – stir in Lemon, cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight until mixture sets.

Lemon Crust:
1 Cup Brazil Nuts (about 5.5 oz)
½ Cup Macadamia Nuts (about 2.5oz)
1 Tbsp raw Blue Agave Nectar
Zest from 1 Lemon
1/3 Cup Finely shredded coconut, optional
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-Blend nuts in high-speed blender separately. –Brazil nuts first, remove and set aside. Then Macadamia nuts remove and set aside. In a bowl, combine nuts with remaining ingredients.

Directions:

-Press crust into bottom of mini spring form pans. Stir in Chia seeds & Tumeric to Lemon Cream mixture. Then top crust with Lemon Chia Cream and freeze for about 45 minutes until set. Remove from pan and serve immediately.
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Juicing – Apple, Lemon, Cucumber Cleanse

Juicing – Apple, Lemon, Cucumber Cleanse
(Serves 1) – Vegan, Raw, Gluten-Free
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Juicing…what an invigorating and refreshing way to start your day! Two quick basics to keep in mind are organic is always best and juice on an empty stomach – this is the reason why most people juice first thing in the morning. Juicing is a great meal replacement (like breakfast) and if you’re hungry in an hour or two grab some nuts to snack on or another healthy snack. Juicing gives your body a shot of Vitamins & Nutrients, Phytonutrients, Antioxidants, Chlorophyll and can balance your pH. Just take a moment to stop and think of how many fruits, vegetables and herbs there are out there, now think about how many variations you can come up with…the possibilities are endless 🙂 . This quick three ingredient recipe is cleansing and delicious, not to mention simple. Drink up – Enjoy!

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