Stuffed Tomatoes ~ Vegan

Sundried tomato and Quinoa Stuffed Tomatoes
(Serves 4) ~ Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free

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You may find this hard to believe, but in all my years of cooking it never occurred to me before to stuff tomatoes, lol. I’m sure I’ve had to at least see them before at some point in my life, right? Not until a few months ago when I was perusing through blog posts and saw that one of my fellow bloggers stuffed tomatoes. This was literally the moment when the light bulb went off in my head. Why? My husband does not like stuffed peppers, maybe it’s the way the flavor of the cooked peppers permeate throughout the filling. He loves raw peppers just not cooked/baked. I’ve made them in the past for myself and really do like them, guess I never just thought to stuff tomatoes. Stuffed squash is pretty good too. This recipe is very flavorful, filling and heart healthy. The sundried tomatoes, sunflower seeds and quinoa offer a great texture.

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Ingredients:
4 Large Tomatoes
3 White Button Mushrooms, wiped clean/chopped
3 large Cauliflower Florets (about 1 cup), raw
7 Basil leaves, chiffonade
1 handful fresh Parsley (about 1/3 Cup), chopped
7 Pieces Sundried Tomatoes, chopped
3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ Cup Cooked Quinoa
½ Cup Sunflower Seeds (I soaked the seeds for about 30 minutes)
1 Garlic clove, minced
½ Tsp Salt
¼ Tsp fresh Ground Pepper
¼ Tsp Chili Powder

Directions:
-Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
-In a large bowl combine all ingredients. [except for the large tomatoes of course J ]

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-Carefully cut around the top of each tomato to core. Scoop the inside of your tomatoes with a spoon to core. (I used my ice cream scoop to core out the insides. Only because my scoop comes to a slight point. I don’t have the traditional disher style scoop with the mechanical lever which I suppose could be bulky and get in the way.)

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-Fill each tomato with stuffing mix – I used my measuring cup so I can give you all a pretty accurate measurement. I was able to fill each tomato with about 2/3 Cup of the mixture. (I used my 1/3 measuring cup – make sure to pack it down with each scoop).

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-Place tomatoes on baking sheet. Drizzle lightly with extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle again with a dash of salt/pepper and chili powder.
-Bake for 25 minutes @ 375. Enjoy!

Tip: In this recipe I used jarred sundried tomatoes in extra virgin olive oil. Instead of using EVOO from my pantry – I used 3 Tbsp of the olive oil that the sundried tomatoes were packed in! Extra flavorful. J -I also used curly parsley in this recipe you flat leaf should work well too.

Sundried tomato and Quinoa Stuffed Tomatoes

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Credit: veganrescue.com

Ingredients:
4 Large Tomatoes
3 White Button Mushrooms, wiped clean/chopped
3 large Cauliflower Florets (about 1 cup), raw
7 Basil leaves, chiffonade
1 handful fresh Parsley (about 1/3 Cup), chopped
7 Pieces Sundried Tomatoes, chopped
3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ Cup Cooked Quinoa
½ Cup Sunflower Seeds (I soaked the seeds for about 30 minutes)
1 Garlic clove, minced
½ Tsp Salt
¼ Tsp fresh Ground Pepper
¼ Tsp Chili Powder

Directions:
-Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
-In a large bowl combine all ingredients. [except for the large tomatoes of course J ]
-Carefully cut around the top of each tomato to core. Scoop the inside of your tomatoes with a spoon to core. (I used my ice cream scoop to core out the insides. Only because my scoop comes to a slight point. I don’t have the traditional disher style scoop with the mechanical lever which I suppose could be bulky and get in the way.)
-Fill each tomato with stuffing mix – I used my measuring cup so I can give you all a pretty accurate measurement. I was able to fill each tomato with about 2/3 Cup of the mixture. (I used my 1/3 measuring cup – make sure to pack it down with each scoop).
-Place tomatoes on baking sheet. Drizzle lightly with extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle again with a dash of salt/pepper and chili powder.
-Bake for 25 minutes @ 375. Enjoy!

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 plan to publish a book this year (my husband’s book), so 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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Hearty Vegetable Soup!

Hearty Vegetable Soup!! ~ (Serves 10-12)

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Hello everybody! It feels like it’s been awhile and it has been, sorry about that. It’s officially autumn and October, oh yes and my birthday is coming soon too, woot woot!
About this hearty soup…
Lovely fall and its cool and brisk mornings or chilly evenings. Not to mention all the rain we had last week which makes me want nothing more than a bowl of warm and filling soup. Without exaggeration this soup is as hearty as it gets, truly meal in itself. The veggies, beans and barley in this soup are very generous and easily serves 10-12 depending on portion/bowl size. This is the perfect make ahead, keeps well and we have leftovers for a few days 🙂 . I hope you enjoy – stay warm!

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Hearty Vegetable Soup!

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:
2-3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 large Sweet Onion, chopped
1 bunch of Leeks (4 total), white-light green parts only, sliced and rinsed well
5 cloves Garlic, minced
1 handful Fresh Parsley, chopped
4 Carrots, sliced
2 Red Potatoes, chopped
1 Tbsp Salt
1 Tbsp dried Oregano
½ Tbsp Pepper
4 Quarts Vegetable Broth/Stock
1 Cup Barley
1 (28 oz can) Diced Tomatoes
4 Large Leaves – Collard Greens, stems removed/chopped
2 heads of Fresh Broccoli, chopped/florets
1 Zucchini, chopped
6 White Button Mushroom, sliced
1 (10oz) Frozen Peas
1 (15.5 oz can) Red Kidney Beans
1 (15.5 oz can) Chickpeas/Garbanzo Beans
1 (15.5 oz can) Corn

Directions:
-In large stock pot, heat Olive Oil over medium heat. Add onions and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
-Stir in Leeks and Garlic then sauté for another 2 minutes.
-Add carrots, potatoes and parsley – sauté for another 3-5 minutes. Then add Salt/Pepper and Oregano.
-Add Vegetable Broth/Stock and bring to boil. Stir in Barley, Tomatoes and Collard Greens – cover then reduce heat to simmer for about 50 minutes.
-Add mushrooms, zucchini, broccoli, beans, corn and frozen peas – cover and continue a slow boil for another 10 minutes.
-Let stand for 10-20 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

A Ladle of Love & Health!
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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!