Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Portobello Mushroom Panini with Sweet Red Pepper and White Bean Spread

Portobello Mushroom Panini with Sweet Red Pepper and White Bean Spread
(Makes 2 sandwiches)
2 portobello mushrooms with stems and gills removed
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper
4 slices whole wheat bread, slightly toasted
1/2 cup sliced red onion
1/2 cup Sweet Red Pepper and White Bean Spread (recipe follows)
1 handful of spinach

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

Mix the olive oil and balsamic vinegar together and brush over the portobello mushrooms. Then sprinkle some salt and pepper over the mushrooms. Toss the red onion in the remaining oil and vinegar mixture. 

Place the mushrooms and onions on a small baking dish with edges that can catch the juice. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes.

Let the mushrooms cool slightly, then slice thinly on a diagonal. Save any juice that is in the pan from the mushrooms.

Assemble each sandwiches by first spreading 1/4 cup of bean spread on one piece of bread and pouring some of the mushroom and onion juice on the other piece of bread. Next top with sliced mushrooms, onions and spinach. Place in a panini maker until desired toasty-ness:)

For the Bean Spread:
1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 table spoons sweet red pepper
1/4 or less of water
1 clove garlic
salt and pepper

In a food processor, puree all the ingredients until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. For a thicker spread, use less than 1/4 cup of water.

3-Minute Favorite Oatmeal

I am constantly going through different breakfast food phases. Right now I'm on an oatmeal kick and I can't seem to switch it up. But when you can make a healthy, filling breakfast in three minutes, why eat anything else? While I know oatmeal can be made with some many different toppings and isn't that difficult, I figured I share with you one of my favorite combinations of ingredients to add to plain old fashioned oats. Hope you like it!

3-Minute Favorite Oatmeal
(Serves 1)

1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1 cup water
2 teaspoons ground flaxseeds
2 teaspoons hemp hearts
1/2 banana, diced
1/3 cup vanilla soy milk

Cook the oatmeal in one cup of boiling water on the stove or go the easy route and place the oats and water in a bowl and heat in the microwave for 1 1/2 - 2 minutes.

Stir in the flaxseed, hemp hearts, banana and soy milk.

Stay full all morning long!

(1 Serving: Cals: 315; Fat: 9g; Fiber: 8.8g; Protein: 12.5g)

Vegan Sloppy Joes

I was a little nervous to cook with TVP for the first time. I was even more nervous to serve it to my husband. But we both ended up being pleasantly surprised with how this faux meat meal turned out. If you have yet to cook with TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein), don't be scared and give it a try!

Vegan Sloppy Joes
(Makes 4-6 Servings)

Taken from

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1 1/4 cup TVP
1 1/2 cup water
3/4 cup organic ketchup
1 tablespoon soy sauce, reduced sodium
salt and pepper to taste
wheat sandwich buns

In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil and saute the pepper and onion until the onion is translucent.

Stir in the chili powder, garlic and mustard

Next stir in the TVP, water, ketchup and soy sauce.

Cover your saucepan and let the mixture come to a boil before reducing the heat and letting the mixture simmer for about 20 minutes.

Remove the lid and let the liquid evaporate out for about five more minutes.

Add salt and pepper if desired before serving hot on buns.

(For 5 servings: Cals: 175; Fat: 5.5g; Fiber: 5.5g; Protein: 13g)

Whole Wheat Zucchini Muffins

I was obsessed with zucchini bread growing up. Whenever my mom would make it I would get so excited. This week we just had some new neighbors move in, so I thought I'd make some zucchini muffins to bring over so we can introduce ourselves. Hope they like them!

Zucchini Muffins
(Makes 16 muffins)

Adapted from


3 cups shredded zucchini (I used two medium)
2/3 cups unsweetened applesauce
Equivalent of 2 eggs*
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup natural cane sugar
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 cup craisins, raisins, or walnuts (optional)

*In a small bowl I whisk together two tablespoons of ground flaxseed with six tablespoons of water. Then let it sit for five minutes. Vegan "eggs"! (for one egg, just half this recipe: one tablespoon of flaxseed and three tablespoons of water)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together the shredded zucchini, apple sauce, flax seed eggs, vanilla and sugar until combined and bubbly.

In a different bowl, mix together the rest of the ingredients except for the craisins, if using.

Add the dry mixture to the wet, zucchini mixture and stir until combined. Then add in optional ingredients and give everything a final mix.

Fill 16-18 muffin cups and for 20 minutes or until brown and cooked through. Eat up!

(Per Muffin: 135 Cals; Fat: 0.8g; Fiber 3g; Protein 3.5g; Sugar 13g)

Thai Pineapple Stir-Fried Rice

Thai Pineapple Stir-Fried Rice 
(Serves 6)

Recipe taken from The Daily Vegan Planner: Twelve Weeks to a complete Vegan Diet Transition

1 1/2 cups long-grain brown rice, rinsed
1 1/2 T Olive oil or Pam spray
1 medium onion, quartered and sliced
2 cups small broccoli florets*
2 medium carrots, sliced*
1 medium red or orange bell pepper, diced*
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1 16-oz. can unsweetened pineapple chunks, drained
1 cup light coconut milk
2 T reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp. curry powder
2 tsps. minced fresh ginger root

Note: The first time I made this I didn't have the exact vegetable called for in the recipe. I ended up using 1 cup of frozen peas instead of the broccoli, a green bell pepper instead of the red or orange pepper, and just left out the carrots. Still turned out great!

Combine rice with 3 cups of water in a saucepan. Bring to a rapid simmer, then cover and simmer gently until the water is absorbed, 30-35 minutes.

Shortly before the rice is done, heat the oil in a stir-fry pan or extra-wide skillet. Add the onion and saute over medium heat until golden.

Add the broccoli, carrots and bell pepper. Turn the heat to medium-high and stir-fry for 3 minutes or so, just until the vegetables are tender crisp.

Add the scallions, tomatoes, and pineapple chunks and continue to stir-fry for a minute or two, just until the tomatoes soften slightly.

Stir in the cooked rice, then add the coconut milk, soy sauce, curry powder, and ginger. Stir gently until all the ingredients are completely combined. Serve at once, and top with chopped cashews to top individual servings if desired.

(Per Serving:  Cal: 315, Fat 7.5g, Protein: 6g, Fiber: 5g)