lemon cilantro vinaigrette

Lemon Cilantro Vinaigrette

Homemade vinaigrette is so much more flavorful than either bottled or packaged. The one downside is that you need to shake it up every time you pour it. Pre-packaged dressings have added emulsifiers to make the ingredients “stick together.” But I prefer to not consume chemicals with my food so I’m OK with shaking the bottle once in a while!

This is a variation on my original recipe, this time using fresh lemon juice instead of vinegar, going lighter on the seasonings, and adding cilantro and parsley to the mix. Continue reading “Lemon Cilantro Vinaigrette”

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Beet Ginger Smoothie

Yes, it tastes as good as it looks, and no added sugar!

1/2 C melon, chopped (or apple, including peel)
1 dozen red grapes
1/2 stalk celery with leaves
1 small piece of lime or lemon
1/2 fresh beet
1/2 banana Continue reading “Beet Ginger Smoothie”

Curried Chickpeas and Rice

Curried Chickpeas with Rice

Here’s another recipe from Cooking Light magazine, which I adapted to make even healthier.  The original recipe used pork but I made it vegetarian by using chickpeas instead.  I also swapped out the regular dairy milk and used light coconut milk, and swapped the white flour to millet flour, although it would probably be just fine without any flour at all.  I added garam masala and increased the amount of curry powder because the original was bland.  I think the result is a really nice vegan meal.  Having pre-cooked rice and chickpeas on hand makes it a super-fast weeknight meal. Continue reading “Curried Chickpeas with Rice”

black bean stuffed sweet potato

Black Bean and Salsa Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

This meat-free dinner is adapted from a recipe my husband found on his favorite cycling podcast website. So you know it’s got to be good if it was developed with athletes in mind, right? Well, we made this and dug into it and thought we went to heaven.  The spicy smoky flavor of the black beans combined with the creamy sweet potato is a marriage of flavors that’s meant to be. I’m not kidding, try it and if you don’t see angels I will eat my cycling socks. Continue reading “Black Bean and Salsa Stuffed Sweet Potatoes”

salad bowl chicken carrots cabbage beets rice

How to make “Bowls”

“Bowls” are a newly popular concept, and for good reason. They are fresh, generally quick to put together, tasty, and relatively inexpensive.

Think Chipotle, SweetGreen, or pretty much any of the “healthy fast food” franchises popping up in malls across the country. Essentially it’s a pile of stuff in a bowl, with lettuce/greens on the bottom, and stuff on the top. Hm… sounds kind of familiar, right? Like a salad bar? Yep, exactly like a salad bar. The difference is in the marketing, and the proportions. it’s a little bit of salad with a lot of “stuff” arranged in a colorfully pretty selection of “wedges” around the edge.

Literally, it’s just a bowl of different wholesome, nicely flavored ingredients, that you then pour some sauce on and mix together, like… well… like a salad. Yeah.

Butternut Carrot Breakfast Porridge

Freezing Rice and Other Grains

Ever make more rice than you can eat? If you aren’t going to use it in the next few days, you can freeze it for later use.  Here’s how:

  1. Put 1-1/2 to 2 cups of plain cooked (cooled) brown rice in a quart-size, freezer-grade ziplock bag. Don’t seal it shut yet.
  2. Flatten the bag out, then gently roll from the bottom up to remove as much air as possible, and zip closed.
  3. Flatten it back out and freeze flat.

To thaw, simply massage the bag briefly to break up the frozen rice, then empty it into a microwave safe bowl, cover with a paper towel, and microwave for 30 seconds or so (depending on the wattage of your microwave).

This works for most other cooked whole grains as well. I used to buy frozen pre-cooked brown rice at Trader Joe’s, but this is more economical and tastes fresher.