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.

20-Minute Veggie Quesadillas

20-Minute Veggie Quesadillas
20-Minute Veggie Quesadillas

Making this nutritiously-packed Veggie Quesadilla is an easy week day meal, but also a crowd pleaser (especially on those taco Tuesday nights)! In developing this recipe, I really wanted to give you guys something that tasted like it cooked for hours, but in reality, took less than 30 minutes. Normally quesadillas are used with lots of cheese, sour cream, and everyone’s favorite- pulled chicken! Not this one though!! I love using mushrooms as mock “meat” for texture and added nutrients as well as non-dairy cheese alternatives (that are just as cheesy). Whose ready to make the best Veggie Quesadilla around?!

20-Minute Veggie Quesadillas

Yields 5-7 servings

Ingredients

5-7 flour tortillas

1 medium onion, sliced

1 red bell pepper, sliced

2 cups sliced Shiitake mushrooms

3/4 cup fresh corn

3 Tbsp. filtered water

2 cup black beans, soaked and cooked

1-2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. chili powder

1/2 tsp. Vitacost Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

2 Tbsp. hemp seeds

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

1/2 cup guacamole

1/2 cup fresh salsa

3 cups cooked rice

Directions

  1. In a frying pan, sauté the onions, mushrooms, garlic, and peppers until translucent and slightly brown on medium heat.
  2. Add the corn, black beans, and seasonings. Give a good mix and cook for 6-8 minutes until everything is warmed through and thickened. Salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Spoon mixture onto a tortilla with rice and fold in half.
  4. In a slightly greased pan, pan fry both sides for 2-3 minutes to allow the outside to brown.
  5. Slice and serve with guacamole and salsa.

Chef’s tip: Add some sauce to this quesadilla by making my ancho chili sauce! It’s spicy and the perfect addition. 

Falafel Burger

Falafel Burger

Falafel Burger

Burger alternatives are something I really enjoy creating. Here we have a falafel burger that will leave you full and satisfied. The added freshness of parsley and lemon give this meal a real special touch. If you are looking for something without the added carbs or want to lose the buns- you can! Just grab a large iceberg lettuce for a wrap and roll or fold it over the burger.

Falafel Burger

Yields 4 patties

Ingredients

2 cups Vitacost Garbanzo Beans, soaked overnight

3 Tbsp.  flat leaf Italian parsley, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 small white yellow onion, chopped

1/2 small jalapeño, chopped and de-seeded – to taste

1/2 tsp. Vitacost Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

1 Tbsp. Vitacost certified organic ground cumin

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. ground black pepper

4 buns

1 small tomato

1 small cucumber

1/4 cup iceberg lettuce

Directions

  1. In your food processor, add your chickpeas, parsley, garlic, onion, and jalapeño. Pulse until slightly smooth.
  2. Pour mixture into a medium mixing bowl, stir in the salt, cumin, baking soda, and baking powder. *Option to add 1 Tbsp. of lemon juice for added freshness. Allow to set in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  4. Form into 2 balls- and flatten into a disc shape to form the patty. Place on to lightly oiled air fryer sheet or sheet pan and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown. Flipping half way through.
  5. Serve on your choice of bun with tomato, onion, lettuce, cucumber, and Raw Creamy Cucumber Dressing or a tahini dressing.

Chef’s tip: To add more spice to your falafel, you can add the jalapeño seeds. Also, make sure you do not cook your chickpeas after soaking them overnight, your falafel will not turn out as well.

Potato-Parsnip Leek Soup

Potato-Parsnip Leek Soup


Potato-Parsnip Leek Soup

Potato leek soup, or as the French call it potage parmentier, is a classic dish that can be found in many restaurants. In my plant-based version, I added parsnips, which pair well with the subtleness of the leeks, potatoes, and shallots. Not only does this meal taste delicious, but it is ready in under 30 minutes- double score!! Being able to have meals that are healthy and quick at your disposal help keep you on track. Be sure to give this one a try, my tip to make this real special is to drizzle truffle oil on top.

Potato-Parsnip Leek Soup

Yields 6 servings

Ingredients

3 Tbsp. vegan butter

5 cups leeks, white and light green parts only, chopped

2 shallots, diced

3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

1/2 cup parsnips, chopped

2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and chopped

7 cups vegetable broth

2 bay leaves

3 sprigs fresh thyme

1 tsp. Vitacost Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 cup cashew milk

Chives, finely chopped, for garnish

Directions

  1. In a pot on medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the leeks, garlic, and shallots- cooking until wilted, about 8-10 minutes.
  2. Add the potatoes, parsnips, vegetable stock, thyme, bay leaves, salt, pepper, and bring to a boil.
  3. Cover soup and reduce to simmer for 10-15 minutes (until the potatoes have softened). Remove the thyme and bay leaves once done and blend using a hand-held immersion blender until smooth.

Chef’s tip: Enjoy this soup with toasted baguettes or croutons.

White Corn Tortilla Soup

White Corn Tortilla Soup
White Corn Tortilla Soup

This Tortilla Soup is like no other, partially because it is filled with all the things I enjoy most about Mexican cooking, and because it’s plant-based. Normally, it is made with shredded chicken and a lot of cheese, so I am super excited to share this healthier vegan version with you! This meal is packed with a variety of fresh and organic vegetables and is topped with crunchy tortilla strips. This soup will warm you up all winter long!

White Corn Tortilla Soup

Yields 4 servings

Ingredients

2 Tbsp. avocado oil

8 white corn tortillas, cut into quarters

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

3 Tbsp. onion, minced

1 tsp. jalapeno pepper, chopped

3 cups white corn

3 cups vine ripe tomatoes

1/3 cup tomato paste

2-1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. Vitacost Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

1/4 tsp. ground white pepper

1/2 tsp. chili powder

1-1/2 cups filtered water

4 cups organic vegetable broth

1 Tbsp. cilantro, minced

1 cup vegan cheese, optional

Tortilla strips, optional garnish

White Corn Tortilla Soup

Directions

  1. In a pot on medium-low heat with your oil, add the corn tortillas and crisp up a bit, roughly 2-3 minutes. Remove and set aside briefly.
  2. Then you will add the garlic, onion, and jalapeño pepper until they are translucent but not browned. Put the corn tortillas back into the pot.
  3. Next add your tomato paste, cumin, salt, pepper, chili powder, water, vegetable broth, cilantro, tomatoes, and half of the corn. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer, cooking for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Using a blender or hand emersion stick, blend until soup is smooth in texture. Add the remaining corn and bring back to the stove on a low heat to simmer. Be careful not to let the bottom of the soup burn. Cook for an additional 5-7 minutes.
  5. Serve soup topped with tortilla chips and optional vegan cheese.

Chef’s tip: If you want, you can add 1/4 tsp. Crushed red pepper flakes to spice the soup up for a better kick.

Chopped Salad with Homemade Ranch

Chopped Salad

Chopped Salad

Sometimes a big salad paired with homemade ranch is just what we need in life. This plant-based alternative may not have all of the dairy but it sure is not missing out on any flavor. With all of the fresh ingredients, this salad is truly something your entire family will enjoy. Whether you are making this for a lunch or a big family dinner, you can always add your own favorites to make this salad to your liking. Get ready to toss this together because once you taste the flavor this salad packs, you will be craving more with each bite!

Chopped Salad

Yields 2-3 servings

Ingredients

3 hearts of romaine, chopped and diced

1 cup chickpeas, cooked

1 (8 oz.) cherry tomatoes, halved

3 corn on the cob

2 avocado, diced

2-3 Tbsp. hemp seeds

1 cup shredded carrots

Ranch Dressing:

1 cup vegan mayonnaise

1/2 cup vegan sour cream, (optional)

1/4 cup cashew milk

1 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 tsp. onion powder

1/4 tsp. Vitacost Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

1/8 tsp. ground black pepper

1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

2 tsp. fresh parsley 

1/2 tsp. fresh dill

1/2 tsp. chives

1-1/2 tsp. lemon juice, freshly squeezed

Directions

  1. In your blender, add all of the dressing ingredients (except parsley, dill, and chives) and blend until well mixed. Mix in the herbs and set in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to meld together.
  2. In the mean time, prepare the salad by chopping the lettuce and filling a medium bowl. In segments, add the carrots, avocado, tomatoes, and chickpeas.
  3. Top salad with hemp seed and pour dressing on top when ready to serve.

Chef’s tip: To adjust the thickness, add or remove some cashew milk depending on your preference. 

Tofurky and Roasted Vegetable Medley

Tofurky and Roasted Vegetable Medley

Tofurky and Roasted Vegetable Medley

Roasted to perfection, these oil-free potatoes and veggies are the ultimate holiday experience! Using some vegetable broth and lemon, you can actually create a natural oil that will allow your food to not stick. Toss in fresh slices of orange and some herbs from your garden to give you the perfect side dish for any dinner or holiday party. Simply add your roast of choice and allow all of the flavors to meld together until its all done.

Tofurky and Roasted Vegetable Medley

Yields 5 servings

Ingredients

1 Tofurky

1/4 cup vegetable broth

24 oz. potatoes

3-5 small carrots

1 celery stick, cut in 4 pieces

1 small onion, halved and quartered

1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped

1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped

1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 tsp. Vitacost Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

1/4 tsp. black ground pepper

Tofurky and Roasted Vegetable Medley

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a roasting dish, place the thawed Tofurky on the bottom. Season and coat evenly with poultry seasoning, vegan butter, and thyme.
  3. Place the potatoes, onion, celery, and carrots around the Tofurky.
  4. In a small bowl, mix the rosemary, parsley, lemon juice, and garlic. Pour this mixture over the potatoes and season with the salt and pepper.
  5. Place in to the oven and bake for 1-1/2 hours.
  6. Serve and enjoy

Chef’s tip: You can always add orange slices for extra citrus flavor!

Cuque de banana (Banana Cake)

Cuque de banana (Banana Cake)

Cuque de banana (Banana Cake)

This recipe was shown to me by a coworker who wanted to challenge me to think outside my comfort zone and bring a childhood memory of hers back to life. Cuque de Banana is a classic Brazilian banana cake that is normally made with eggs and milk, so I decided to create my own plant-based version. Essentially, it’s a cross between crumb cake and banana bread and it’s super addicting. This dish makes a wonderful breakfast or even an after dinner treat. Whichever you decide, just know that a hint of Brazil has touched your kitchen.

Cuque de banana (Banana Cake)

Ingredients 

Cake:

3 Tbsp. Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer + 6 Tbsp. filtered water

2 Tbsp. vegan butter, softened

1 cup plain almond milk

1-1/2 cup organic sugar 

2-1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 Tbsp. baking powder

1 tsp. vanilla extract

4 bananas

1/2 tsp. Vitacost Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

Crumb Topping:

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/3 cup organic sugar

1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon

4 Tbsp. vegan butter, melted

1/4 tsp. Vitacost Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a mixing bowl, coming the sugar and butter. Mix well until smooth, add the eggs and stir until combined. Mix in the almond milk and vanilla, set aside. 
  3. In another mixing bowl, sift flour, salt, and baking powder. Pour mixture into into wet ingredients and stir to combine.
  4. To make the crumb topping: pour all ingredients into a bowl and mix well. Set aside until you are ready to assemble. 
  5. Take your cake pan and line it with parchment paper and grease it with butter and pour cake batter in. 
  6. Slice bananas in half and then in half long ways. Place the bananas on top of the cake and top with the crumble mixture.
  7. Bake cake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Allow cake to cool slightly before serving. 

Chef’s tip: When using the toothpick to check on the cake, make sure you do not get a banana chunk. This will make you think the cake is not finished cooking, when it could be done. 

Pasta Fazool (Pasta e fagioli)

Pasta Fazool

Pasta Fazool

With the weather starting to get colder, I thought now would be a great time to break out one of my favorite family recipes: Pasta Fazool (pasta e frasule)! This dish brings back so many memories of family dinners with my Nana cooking this soup for us all. This old school “peasant” dish has really become a staple in my life as a go-to comforting meal, especially when I want a taste of home. Get ready to break out some crusty bread to scoop up all this soupy goodness! I hope that you all enjoy this recipe as much as my family and I do.

Pasta Fazool

Soup:

2 cans northern beans (juice in)

2 Tbsp. tomato sauce, canned or homemade

2 cup vegetable broth

2-3 cloves garlic, (sliced)

1/4 cup avocado oil

1 cup onion, chopped

1-2 tsp. oregano, to taste

1/2 tsp. Vitacost Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

2 cans of water for EACH can of beans

1-1/2 to 2 cup Ditalini Macaroni, cooked

Directions

  1. In a medium soup pot on medium heat, add olive oil and diced onions. Sauté for 5-7 minutes or until onions are translucent.
  2. Next, add all above ingredients (except for Ditalini macaroni). Bring to a boil and then reduce to medium-low stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.
  3. Slowly add the cooked Ditalini macaroni to the soup. Note: Start by adding 1-1/2 cups and see how the thickens turns out. If you desire a thicker soup, add remaining 1/2 cup macaroni.
  4. After 10-15 minutes of simmering, remove from heat and serve with choice of bread (or my personal favorite: pizza!)

Chef’s tip: the more macaroni you add to the soup the thicker the soup will get.

Roasted “Tomato” Sauce

Roasted "Tomato" Sauce

With more people unable to eat acidic foods, I wanted to create this “tomato” sauce that everyone could enjoy on their pizza! This sauce uses red peppers and mushrooms which gives an almost tomato sauce flavor. Whether you are gluten-free or not, you can enjoy this sauce on a cauliflower pizza crust or a regular crust made from dough. Whichever you chose, you will be impressed.

Roasted "Tomato" Sauce

Yields 1-1/2 cups

Ingredients

2 medium red peppers

4-5 medium baby bella mushrooms

1 medium red onion, halved

2 Tbsp. fresh parsley

2-3 cloves of garlic

Pinch of Vitacost Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

Pinch of Spicely Organics ground black pepper

Directions 

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. On a baking sheet, place peppers on and place into the oven. Roast for 25-30 minutes. Once peppers are soft, turn them on their sides and turn oven to broil. Place peppers on top rack and allow to “burn” until the skin is black.  Remove and set aside to cool.
  3. Remove skins once peppers have cooled down. 
  4. In a blender, add your red pepper, mushrooms, onion, parsley, and garlic. Blend until mixture is well combined. Pour on to favorite pizza crust, or pasta dish.

Chef’s tip: This sauce is great for those who would like to enjoy pizza but can not have tomato sauce or vinegar.