Avocado Toast- Savory Edition

Sometimes you just need a quick bite for lunch or dinner. In times like this I love making avocado toast.  According to Women’s Health Magazine who spoke with Torey Armul, a registered dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, says, “Avocados are a good source of fiber and various vitamins and minerals, like vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, and potassium.” And since they are monounsaturated fats they “have cardio-protective properties and support healthy cholesterol levels.” Avocado toast is very simple to make and you can experiment with various topping depending on what you have in your fridge or pantry.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Slice of whole grain bread
  • 1 avocado
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 small lemon
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • arugula
  • 1 tomato
  • radish

Directions:

In small bowl grab your avocado and slice it in half. With a small spoon scoop out the avocado and discard the seed and outer layer. Now take a fork and mash the avocado until you have a nice textured consistency. Next add a spritz of lemon juice to keep the avocado from browning.

Once that finished, grab a slice of your favorite bread and spread the avocado mixture on top. If you want your bread with more of a crunch you can toast your bread first and then place the mixture.

Now that you have the basic layer of avocado, it’s time for toppings. For this recipe, I choose to go for a savory route. Grab a handful of baby arugula and place it on top of your prepared avocado toast. Next, cut a tomato into slices, placing two slice on top of the arugula on the toast. If you have cherry tomatoes that will work too. Finally sprinkle some salt and pepper to taste. Another option is instead of tomatoes adding slices of organic rainbow radishes. Simply give the radishes a quick rinse and cut thin slices, layering them on top of the arugula and once again sprinkling them with some salt and pepper. Finish your avocado toast with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and enjoy.

The week of Thanksgiving is here!! I am stoked and thankful for this time of year. I love to be able to share my favorite vegan Thanksgiving recipes with my family and with all of you! So are some of my favorites that I will be serving this yummy holiday!

Holiday Stuffing:

  • 3 cups unseasoned whole wheat croutons
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black olives
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup raw pine nuts (optional)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 (4-ounce) can sliced mushrooms, drained
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon dried sage
  • ⅛ teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon dried sweet basil
  • ⅜ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ⅜ teaspoon savory
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, add croutons and pour the vegetable broth over the top. Mix well. Add the olives, cranberries, and pine nuts to the croutons and mix well. In a large skillet, sauté in the olive oil, all the remaining ingredients until the onions are tender. Pour the sautéed ingredients over the croutons and mix well. The stuffing should be moist, but not dripping. Spoon the stuffing into a sprayed glass baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 to 45 minutes. Yield: 10 servings

Comments: We cut up our favorite bread into small cubes. We dry the cubes in the oven on low heat or out on the countertop for several hours, making sure to turn them over occasionally. My family loves for me to add extra mushrooms, olives, and cranberries. If the stuffing seems dry, pour additional vegetable broth over the top and mix.

Taylor’s Marinated Carrots

  • 20–25 carrots, peeled, sliced, and chopped into bite sized chunks
  • Dressing: ½ cup olive oil 10 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½–1 teaspoon dried mustard (optional)
  • ¼–½ teaspoon ginger (optional)
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon raw agave (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Directions: In a medium saucepan, boil the carrots until tender. Do not overcook. Place the cooked carrots in a strainer and run cold water over them. For a mild garlic flavor, sauté the garlic in oil in a skillet for a couple of minutes. If you are a garlic lover (like me) and prefer a stronger garlic flavor, add the raw garlic directly to the olive oil. In a jar with a secure lid, add all the dressing ingredients and shake well. In a mixing bowl, add the rinsed carrots and dressing. Stir until evenly coated. Set the carrots aside, at room temperature, for about 2 hours. Stir the carrots every 30 minutes, to complete the marinating process. Cover and refrigerate. Yield: 10 servings

Comments: These carrots are named after my best friend, Taylor. She was very instrumental in the making of this cookbook. This is her favorite recipe, so it is a must try for everyone. I like making this dish for family get togethers, because I can make it the day before. The taste gets better as it marinates overnight. This is a gluten free recipe.

 

Roasted Red Potatoes

  • 5 pounds red potatoes, cubed
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 6–10 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Directions: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, garlic, basil, and salt. You will need enough oil to cover all your potatoes. In a large baking dish, add the potatoes. Pour the oil mixture over the potatoes and toss until well coated. Place the potatoes in the oven for about 15 minutes or until tender. Remove the potatoes from the oven and toss one more time before returning them to the oven. Turn your oven from bake to broil and cook for about 4 to 5 minutes to brown the potatoes. Yield: 8 servings

Comments: We usually do not peel red potatoes but simply clean them well and eat the skin. Red potatoes are low in fat and high in potassium. This is a gluten free recipe.

Field Roast Celebration Roast 

The one-pound Field Roast Celebration Roast now comes in a two-pound version complete with all the trimmings! The roast is seasoned with sage, garlic, and lemon juice. The texture is outstanding, and the taste is unbelievable. It comes with a traditional bread stuffing made with onions, celery, cranberries and butternut squash. It gets topped off with a rich, earthy mushroom gravy made with mushrooms. This boxed dinner can feed up to eight people easily.

 

 

 

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and with the holidays approaching it’s easy to slip into unhealthy eating habits ­–especially on Thanksgiving Day. If you are the one hosting dinner it can get very busy making sure everything is in order, this recipe can be made a day or two ahead of thanksgiving day. This raw pecan pie is a great choice because you are using raw ingredients such as almonds and raisins that contain plenty of fiber and other healthy nutrients. If you want that classic pecan element on your dinner table this is a great simple recipe to try and won’t make you feel guilty about getting an extra serving. This recipe is also great because it has no sugar. These are the kind of treats we need to be eating during this flu season.

Ingredients:

Crust:

2 Cups of raw almonds, ground very fine

1/3 cup of raw agave (or 6-8 dates)

Filling:

1/3 cup of coconut water (best if it’s a young coconut)

¼ cup of raw pecans

½ cup of golden or black raisins

Topping:

12 whole raw pecans

Directions:

Part one:

For the crust, place the almonds in a food processor and blend until it becomes a fine powder.

In a separate bowl, mix the now ground almond powder with your (depending on which you have chosen to use) agave or raisins.

Take your crust and press it evenly onto a 5-inch pie plate. Make sure to cover the bottom and sides.

Part two:

For the filling, take your coconut water, raw pecans and raisins and throw them into a blender. Blend until you have a smooth consistency. Then spoon the mixture into your already prepared piecrust.

Part Three:

Now take your 12 whole pecans and use them to decorate the top of your pie. Place your finished pie in the refrigerator and let it chill for 1-2 hours.  Take it out once you are ready to serve. This dessert is naturally sweet so small sized pieces go a long way.

Soup is a great meal option to make during this time of year. Soups that are vegetable heavy can help keep colds at bay with its nutrient rich vegetable ingredients. According to San Francisco gate vegetable soups contain a lot of iron. Iron helps your muscles store oxygen which they can use during physical activity and helps your red blood cells supply your tissues with fresh oxygen. Vegetable soups also contain lots of vitamin A which helps you maintain healthy tissues.

For this recipe, I was originally inspired by Daphne Oz’s own vegetable chili. Found here: https://abc.go.com/shows/the-chew/recipes/veggie-chili-daphne-oz

I’ve modified to fit my vegan lifestyle and have found it’s a great no-fuss dinner recipe to do for you family. It has a spicy kick to it, but of course you can adjust how much heat you want in your vegan chili. Feel free to pair this vegan chili with your favorite tortilla chips.

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp. Grape seed oil
  • ½ a yellow onion diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic-minced
  • 2 medium green Zucchinis
  • 2 tbsp. of tomato paste (get the tube version over a canned one, its more user friendly and last longer remember to place it in the fridge after opening)
  • 1 can of fire roasted tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp. of chili powder (you can adjust this amount depending on what level of heat you want)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 bag of frozen yellow corn
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 can of kidney beans
  • 3 cups of vegetable stock
  • 1 can of chipotle in Adobo sauce
  • Fresh lime wedges (optional)
  • Shredded Vegan cheddar cheese (optional)
  • Slices of avocado (optional)

Directions:

Pour 2 tbsp. of grapeseed oil in a large pot over medium-high heat and add minced garlic and chopped onions into the pot and stir until translucent.

Add in the frozen corn and chopped zucchini and stir for 5 minutes.

Next add the tomato paste and the fire-roasted tomatoes into the pot.

Now throw in the bay leaves along with the chili powder. You can adjust the level of heat/spice so maybe just one tbsp. to start and then add more if you want more heat in your chili. Stir for a few minutes and then add both can of beans to the pot. Pour in the vegetable broth and salt and pepper to taste. Place one chipotle chili from the can in the pot for a few minutes to give the chili some heat and then take it out (again this will depend on the level of spice that you can handle. Leave it in longer for more heat or leave it out completely if you can’t handle spice food very well). Remember you can always add more heat but you can’t take it away once it’s added so I suggest building the heat to where you want it. Let the pot simmer for about 20 minutes.

The final step is the toppings. Some shredded vegan cheese and avocado along with a dollop of vegan sour cream and a wedge of lime is the perfect way to garnish this tasty chili soup.

Enjoy!

Pumpkin Spiced Latte

I can’t believe we’re already in November! 2018 has been an absolute whirlwind here at ValMar health. I’m feeling the need to run on a little more than adrenaline. Add in these dropping temperatures and shorter periods of sunlight, and there’s nothing like a pumpkin spiced latte to satisfy my current mood. 😊
Who can relate?! But though a PSL is sure to warm your soul and perk up your energy, we all know this fall classic is loaded with empty calories from sugar and artificial flavoring, not to mention they are usually dairy-based.
I don’t know about you, but I am saving my calories for the holidays! I know that I’ll be making some of my best dishes for the holidays, so when it comes to splurging, I believe in designating such occasions for that.
I made a lighter version of a PSL using real pumpkin purée that contains a fraction of the sugar and calories, and it sure hits the spot.
It is a DIY guilt-free PSL that uses the natural flavor of pumpkin, combined with spices and cinnamon instead of artificially flavored syrups and uses coffee instead of espresso. It tastes better than the fake stuff and is quick and easy to make!
If you are not a coffee drinker, you can add in extra almond milk and enjoy a pumpkin spiced steamer. You can even top it with a coconut based whipped cream and sprinkle the pumpkin spice and cinnamon on top!

RECIPE:

1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk.
3 tablespoons pumpkin puree.
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice.
1/2 teaspoon vanilla.
2-3 drops of liquid stevia (or sweetener of choice)
8 ounces of Roma Coffee
Sprinkle of cinnamon

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Combine ingredients in a high speed blender, blend until smooth and creamy. You can also whisk them together in a pan over medium heat on a stove.
  2. Adjust flavor to taste, and serve warm.