Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

If Thanksgiving had a specific taste, I think it would be this recipe. This butternut squash macaroni and cheese is the perfect alternative if you are living a plant-based lifestyle or if you simply can’t tolerate dairy.  This meal is simple, comforting, and can be paired well with a simple green salad for a perfect meatless meal. I think you may have just stumbled across your new favorite fall dish!

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Yield 8

Ingredients

1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced

1 small shallot, quartered

1-1/2 cups oat milk

1/2 cup vegetable broth

1/2 tsp. Vitacost Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

1/4 tsp. white pepper

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

1 lb. box elbow pasta, cooked

1-1/2 cups vegan cheddar cheese

1/4 cup vegan Parmesan cheese

Directions

In a pot over medium-high heat, add the butternut squash, shallots, oat milk, vegetable broth, and salt. 

Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to medium-low; cover and cook until squash is tender. Check with a fork after 20 minutes.

Using an immersion blender, purée the squash and milk mixture until smooth. Mix in the nutmeg and pepper. 

In a large bowl, combine the pasta with the squash sauce. Add the cheddar and Parmesan cheese. 

Stir until the pasta is well combined and the cheese has melted. 

Serve and enjoy. 

Chef’s tip: For an added bonus, crisp up some sage leaves in vegan butter. Drizzle some of the sage butter on top as well.

 

Other Fall Favorites…


Strawberry Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

Strawberry Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

When it’s hot and humid outside (like it is here in sunny SoFla), this refreshing strawberry salad with homemade poppy seed dressing is the meal you need to beat the heat. One of the best parts about it is how easy it is to make and how versatile it can be! Whether you want to add other fruits or nuts – or even a different dressing, the options are endless.

Strawberry Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

Yield 4

Ingredients

1 package spinach

1 cup strawberries, sliced

1/2 red onion, sliced thinly

1/3 cup pecans, chopped

 

Poppy Seed Dressing:

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1-1/2 Tbsp. avocado oil

1-1/2 Tbsp. poppy seeds

1-1/2 Tbsp. agave

1/2 tsp. dijon mustard

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

 

Directions

In a large bowl, lay the spinach down and top with strawberries, onion, and pecans.

In a smaller bowl or mason jar, combine the dressing ingredients and give a good mix until well combined.

Pour on top of the salad and serve.

Mexican Pasta Salad

Mexican Pasta Salad

Mexican Pasta Salad

In the summertime when the weather is hot, this chilled Mexican-inspired pasta salad is the perfect go-to dish for a picnic, pool day, or just because! It may be a mild dish, but rest assured each bite is loaded with a fiesta of flavors!

Mexican Pasta Salad

Yields 7 servings

Ingredients

3 cups mini farfalle pasta, cooked

2 (14.75 ounce) cans roasted corn, drained

1 large avocado, diced

10.5 oz cherry tomatoes, cut in half

4 green onions, sliced

1 medium red bell pepper, diced

2 Tbsp. cilantro

1 Tbsp. jalapeño, optional

1/2 cup black beans, optional

2 Tbsp. hemp seeds

Sauce:

3/4 cup vegan mayonnaise

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

1/4 tsp. ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika 

3/4 tsp. Chili powder

1 tsp. hot sauce, optional

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. In a well salted pot filled with water, cook the pasta according to the box instructions. Remember to drain, rinse, and cool the pasta once done cooking; Set aside. 
  2. Add the drained corn, diced avocado, green onions, cilantro, bell pepper, jalapeño, and black beans. 
  3. Pour the dressing over the pasta salad and stir until well mixed.

Chef’s tip: Add sriracha to spice it up!

 

Roasted Broccoletti

Roasted Broccoletti

For as long as I can remember, broccoli has always been something I’ve enjoyed. My Roasted Broccoletti is the best alternative if you are looking for a different kind of broccoli at dinner. The mix between the crunchy stems and the fluffy florets are what I love about this vegetable the most.

Roasted Broccoletti

Yields: 2 servings

Ingredients

1 (8 ounce) package brocoletti

1/2 Tbsp. avocado oil

1 tsp. garlic, minced

1/8 tsp. Gustus Vitae Smoked Salt

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place your broccoletti onto the baking sheet and drizzle with avocado oil.season with garlic, smoke salt, and red pepper flakes.
  3. Roast broccoletti for approximately 15 minutes; flipping halfway through.
  4. Serve immediately or serve on top of my Creamy Garlic-Parmesan Polenta.

 

Chef’s tip: Slice a medium shallot and add it to the brocoletti before roasting it.

5-Minute Moringa Guacamole

5-Minute Moringa Guacamole

5-Minute Moringa Guacamole

If you think you’ve seen it all, let’s just say you haven’t yet. This superfood guacamole, made with Moringa powder, has a mild earthy taste that enhance the natural avocado flavor. Since taco Tuesday isn’t just about tacos, this recipe will be a great way to elevate your meal.

5-Minute Moringa Guacamole

Yields 3-4 servings

Ingredients

3 Haas avocado, mashed

1-2 garlic cloves, minced

1-1/2 Tbsp. onion, small dice

2 Tbsp. fresh tomato, diced

2 tsp. lime juice

Pinch of Vitacost Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

Pinch of ground pepper

1 Tbsp. Moringa powder

Directions

  1. In a bowl, combine the mashed avocado, garlic, onion, tomato, lime juice, salt, pepper, and Moringa powder. Mix until well combined.
  2. Serve with chips, tacos, enchiladas or your choice of food.

 

Chef’s tip: Top with extra tomato, onion, cilantro or any other toppings you’d like.

 

Sweet Cucumber and Onion Salad

Sweet Cucumber and Onion Salad

Sweet Cucumber and Onion Salad

One of my favorite things I recently acquired a taste for are my grandmothers cucumber and onion salad, which is marinated in vinegar and sugar overnight. The sweet taste and tangy flavor from the two ingredients give this side dish the perfect touch it needs.

Sweet Cucumber and Onion Salad

Yields 2 cups

Serves 2-3 people

Ingredients

1 medium onion, sliced very thin

1 English cucumber, sliced thin

1/4 cup vinegar to start then 1/2 cup of more

1-1/2 tsp. organic cane sugar

Directions

  1. Thinly slice the onion, cucumber, and add to a mixing bowl.
  2. In another bowl, add the vinegar, sugar, and stir combined. Pour over cucumber and onions and give a good toss.
  3. Place into the fridge for 3-4 hours or overnight for best results.

 

Chef’s tip: Allow the cucumbers, onion, and “brine” to meld overnight for maximum flavor.

Freshly Baked Italian Bread

Freshly Baked Italian Bread

Freshly Baked Italian Bread

Bringing the bakery to your house with my Freshly Baked Italian Bread Recipe this week! This homemade bread is warm, crusty, and perfect for sandwiches, toast, or scooping excess pasta sauce off your plate (just saying). Either way, this Italian bread is purely organic, fresh, and scrumptious. If you’re ready to get your hands messy, let’s get baking!

Freshly Baked Italian Bread

Yields 1 loaf

Serves 8-10 slices

Ingredients

1 cup luke warm water

1-1/4 tsp. active dry yeast

1/2 tsp. organic cane sugar

1 tsp. Vitacost Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

2-3/4 cup King Arthur flour

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the warm water with the yeast. Mix and set aside until bubbles form. Add the sugar, half the flour, and salt.
  2. Using your dough hook, beat ingredients- slowly adding remaining flour until dough forms.
  3. Remove dough from the bowl, and place onto a well-floured area. Knead the dough for roughly 5 minutes. Place into a greased bowl, covering the top as well with the grease.
  4. Cover the dough and allow to rise for an hour or until doubled in size. Once done rising, punch dough down, shape into a loaf, and place on to a greasing baking sheet.
  5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  6. Cover the dough once again and let rise, this time for 30 minutes (dough should double in shape). Before baking, make 2 diagonal slashes on top of the loaf.
  7. Bake for 20-23 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Remove from the pan and on to a wire rack.

 

Chef’s tip: How to know when you’re done kneading? By pressing your finger into the dough, if the indent stays, you are good to go.

6-Layer Fiesta Dip

What’s better than your favorite dip? Seven layers of it that’s what! This 6-layer Mexican style bean dip is all you’ll need this taco Tuesday. It is layered with refried black beans, navy beans, guacamole, cashew sour cream, vegan cheese, and jalapeños, making this the ultimate party dip! To get a closer look and see those layers, you’ll have to give making it a try. 

Yields 8-10 servings

Ingredients

2 cups homemade refried black beans

2 cups Navy beans, cooked and puréed

1 guacamole recipe

1-1/2 cup vegan cheese of choice

1 cup vegan sour cream

3-4 medium Jalapeños, sliced

 

Refried Black Beans:

1 Tbsp. avocado oil

2 cups cooked beans, drained

1 tsp. Chili powder

1 tsp. adobe chipotle pepper, minced (optional)

1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1/2 cup onion, minced

1-2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 tsp. Vitacost Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

1 Tbsp. vegetable broth

 

Taco Seasoning:

1/2 Tbsp. Chili powder

3/4 tsp. ground cumin

1/8 tsp. garlic powder

1/8 tsp. onion powder

1/4 tsp. smoked paprika

1/2 tsp. Vitacost Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

1/4 tsp. oregano

 

Directions

Refried beans:

  1. In a frying pan on medium-high heat, add avocado oil, onion, garlic, cumin, chili powder, chipotle pepper and sauté for 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add the cooked beans and smash with a potato masher. Slowly add vegetable broth and mash until desired consistency is achieved.
  3. Cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt, pepper, and set it aside to cool.

Sour cream:

  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine the sour cream, half of the taco seasoning and stir until well combined. Taste and add more seasoning as you’d like.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Layering:

  1. Spread the re fried beans on the bottom followed by a layer of blended navy beans. Next, add the guacamole, sour cream, salsa, cheese, and jalapeños.
  2. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until cheese is bubbling.
  3. Serve with a side of vegetables or tortilla chips.

 

Chef’s tip: If you want a spicier taco seasoning, feel free to add 1/8-1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes or other dried chili powder of choice.

Asian-Infused Brussels Sprouts

Asian Fusion Brussels Sprouts

Asian Fusion Brussels Sprouts

Are you looking for that perfect side dish that is quick and easy? Roasted Brussel sprouts have always been a favorite of mine, but these Asian-infused sprouts take that to a whole new level. Being made in less than 30 minutes, this side dish is healthy, oil-less, and uses a few simple ingredients. Next time you are planning your weekly meals, I highly suggest rotating this into your meal plans.

Asian Fusion Brussels Sprouts

Yields 2 servings

Ingredients

3 cups Brussels sprouts, sliced in half

1 small onion, sliced thinly

1 Tbsp. tamari sauce

2 tsp. agave

1 tsp. rice wine vinegar

1/4 tsp. ginger, freshly grated

1/4 tsp. minced garlic

1/8 tsp. ground black pepper

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Put your sliced Brussels sprout in large bowl and set it aside.
  3. In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients to make the marinade. Once well mixed, pour over the Brussels sprouts and carefully mix together.
  4. Place onto a lightly greased baking sheet and spread it out evenly.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes or until tender and light crisp.

 

 

Chef’s tip: Bake the Brussels sprouts for an additional 3-5 minutes for an extra crispy treat!

CBD Infused Guacamole

CBD Infused Guacamole
CBD Infused Guacamole

With the recent trend in CBD product, I thought now would be the perfect time to create some recipes with this oil infused. Guacamole is the best appetizer or snack in my opinion and has lots of healthy fats and flavor. This taco Tuesday, give this recipe a try with the added benefits of CBD oil. Personally, I’m creating this and a few other recipes for cancer patients that are trying to reduce the symptoms they endure with the pain, treatments, nausea, and mental coping. Now I know this may not be for everyone, and that’s simply okay- feel free to omit the oil and you’ll still enjoy this amazing guacamole dip.

CBD Infused Guacamole

Yields 2-3 servings

Ingredients

3 Haas avocado

1 tsp. CBD oil of choice

1 tsp. garlic, minced

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 cup red onion, diced

1/4 red chili or jalapeño, diced (optional)

1 tsp. Vitacost Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice

1-2 tsp. fresh cilantro, minced (optional)

Directions

  1. In a bowl, combine all ingredients and mash up until desired consistency is met.
  2. Serve with chips or other sides.

Chef’s tip: This recipe can be mad with or without the CBD oil.