Citrus Infused Israeli Couscous

Citrus Infused Israeli Couscous

Citrus Infused Israeli Couscous

This spring should be filled with light, flavorful, and most importantly- tasty food! If you’ve never had couscous pearls before, I highly suggest giving this grain a go! (Or grain-a-go) It is a great dish to accompany any picnic, barbecue, or any party. If you wanted to liven it up any further, you could always add some arugula and sliced cherry tomatoes.

Citrus Infused Israeli Couscous

Yields 2 servings

Ingredients

1 cup couscous

1-1/2 cup filtered water

1/2 tsp. Vitacost Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped

2 tsp. lemon juice

1/4 tsp. ground pepper

2 tsp. vegetable broth or avocado oil

Directions

  1. Bring water to a boil; add the couscous and salt.
  2. Cover for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally; set aside.
  3. Once cooled, transfer to a bowl. Add the parsley, pepper, lemon juice, and vegetable broth.
  4. Serve immediately.

 

Chef’s tip: Feel free to dice up cucumber and mint leaves!

 

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.

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.

Whole Roasted Carrots

Whole Roasted Carrots


Whole Roasted Carrots

How simple and easy it is to grab a bunch of carrots from your local farmers market, lightly drizzle them in oil with a dash of seasoning, and roast them to perfection. The versatility of this recipe is endless as it can be paired with other dinner party sides, appetizers, or holiday feasts. This recipe is super easy but I do have a secret to make them even better. Make sure that these carrots have their own room, are completely coated in the seasoning and oil, and you slightly roll them around periodically as they cook. This ensures that you get a nice roast on all of the carrots.

Whole Roasted Carrots

Yields 2-3 servings

Ingredients

1 bunch of carrots, with green tops

1/4 tsp. onion powder

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. On a baking sheet, drizzle carrots with oil and season lightly with onion powder and garlic powder (add salt and pepper).
  3. Roast for 40 minutes or until slightly charred.

Chef’s tip: Add 2 rosemary sprigs while you roast to add additional flavor.

Green Bean Casserole

Green Bean Casserole

Green Bean Casserole

It’s the dish that most of us have been waiting for all year, Green bean casserole! Using cashew milk to recreate a “cream of mushroom” soup is a fantastic way to alter this classic side dish for Thanksgiving. Topped with crispy fried onion and baked to perfection, this plant-based alternative will leave you are your guests mouths watering for more!

Ingredients

4 Tbsp. avocado oil

1/2 cup onion, chopped

1 small shallot, diced

2 lbs. green beans, trimmed

1/2 cup baby Bella mushrooms, diced

2-3 cloves garlic, chopped

1/2 tsp. Vitacost Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

1/4 tsp. dried thyme

1/4 tsp. smoked paprika

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1-1/2 cups vegetable broth

1/2 cup cashew milk

1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast

1 Tbsp. tahini

1-1/2 cups crispy french fried onions

Directions 

  1. In a frying pan on medium-high heat, add the olive oil and onions and allow to cook for 2-3 minutes. Then add in the mushrooms and garlic, sauté for an additional 4-5 minutes.
  2. Then add in the paprika, nutritional yeast, pepper, salt, thyme, and flour. Coat the veggies and add the cashew milk, vegetable stock, and tahini.
  3. Turn heat to medium, and allow mixture to thicken, roughly 2-3 minutes. Set aside in the stove. 
  4. In a big mixing bowl, add your green beans (diced and trimmed) and pour the sauce over the green beans. Add about half of fried onion crisps to the green beans and give a good mix.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  6. In a greased casserole dish, pour the mixture in and top with remaining onion crisps. 
  7. Bake for 25 minutes or until the top is golden brown and bubbling. 
  8. Serve immediately 

Chef’s tip: If you do not like mushrooms, you can leave them out of this recipe.

Twice Baked Potato

Twice Baked Potato

Twice Baked PotatoThese twice baked potatoes are a great side dish to any meal and even warm up well the next day for lunch. They are filled with fresh herbs, vegan cheese, and a homemade “bacon” as well as tasting amazing! The silky smooth and creamy texture of the potato being blended and baked makes this fancier version of a baked potato that much more special.

Twice Baked Potato

Yields 5 servings

Ingredients

5 potatoes

1/3 cup plain almond milk

2 Tbsp. Earths Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup chopped green onion

1/4 cup vegan cheddar cheese

1/4 cup mushroom “bacon” (see below for recipe)

1 tsp. Vitacost Himalayan Pink Fine Salt

1/4 tsp. Spicely Organic Ground Black Pepper

Pinch of smoked paprika

Mushroom “bacon”

1 Portabello mushroom, sliced

1 tsp. smokey flavor

1 Tbsp. Vitacost Certified Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Pinch of Vitacost Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

Pinch Spicely Organics Ground Black Pepper

Twice Baked Potato

Directions

Bacon:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In bowl, drizzle oil over sliced mushrooms.
  3. Add salt, pepper and smoke flavor. Mix until evenly coated.
  4. On baking sheet, evenly arrange mushrooms.
  5. Bake 10-15 minutes.
  6. Flip mushrooms and bake for another 10 minutes or until brown and crispy.

Potato:

  1. On a baking sheet, place potatoes and set into the 400 degree F oven you preheated for the mushroom bacon.
  2. Allow potatoes to bake for 1 hour. Remove form oven and set aside to cool so you can easily touch it.
  3. Cut 1/3 of the way down from the top and scoop out the middle portion, careful not to break the skin. Place the potato into a mixing bowl.
  4. Add butter, almond milk, chives, garlic, cheese, “bacon”, salt and pepper to taste, mix until well incorporated and smooth.
  5. Scoop or pipe back into the potato shell. Instead of throwing out the top portion you cut off, you can use that by placing it at the bottom of the potato. This will also give you an illusion of over stuffed potatoes.
  6. Sprinkle the top with smoked paprika and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until top is golden brown at 350 degrees F.
  7. Serve with sour cream, cheese, and chives on top.

Chef’s Tip: I let the potatoes cool down in the oven after baking for an additional 5 minutes since I did not use any tin foil around my potato, this helped soften them up a bit further.