I never had authentic Mexican food until I moved from Pennsylvania to California at the age of 22. I don’t know how I lived without it for so many years without it! This dish only uses one tortilla for four servings – if you’ve ever gone to a Mexican restaurant, you know how easy it is to eat dozens of deep-fried tortilla chips before you even order, so we’re getting healthy without eliminating ingredients.
The peppers are roasted without oil. The only significant fat is the macadamia cheese and the recipe will yield more than needed for this dish. When I make cheese, I have to make the smallest amount that will allow for mixing in a small food processor – any less and the processor could not combine the ingredients thoroughly. Use just a small amount of cheese on each serving to offset the heat of the pepper. Or use more if you’re planning to eat low-fat the rest of the day. I don’t believe in giving up fat altogether. I use a lot less of it than I used to and if I have fat at one meal, I go for something low fat for other two meals. Also, even though the cheese has fat, it is fat from macadamia nuts so there is zero cholesterol. Cholesterol ONLY comes from animal products, so every dish on this site is cholesterol-free.
When you eat a traditional stuffed pepper, you can only see the top, but with this presentation, you can see every yummy layer. I used a 2” tall ring mold to get this effect just for the photo but if don’t have one or don’t want to fuss, you can simply place the layers on a plate in any abstract way. You can also use an empty can to give it form. It’s completely up to you. Have fun with this.
The Poblano pepper gives it a kick of heat which is quickly cooled by the cheese, similar to the cotija cheese used in Mexican cooking – it’s not the type of cheese that melts – it has a substantial texture which is a wonderful contrast to the other ingredients.
The beans and corn are flavored with cilantro, red onion, tomato, lime and cumin and if that’s not enough flavor in one dish, you’re going to add thinly sliced matchstick corn tortillas for a beautiful crunch and taste. I actually created this as a breakfast dish because Mexican breakfasts are so hearty, they’ll stay with you all day. But this is good any time of day or any time of year. Enjoy!
Gardein brand chicken strips provide an amazing chicken-like texture and, like real chicken, the taste is determined by the seasonings you use. In fact, that’s true of any meat – meat by itself doesn’t have taste unless we add salt, pepper, seasonings and vegetables! So doesn’t it make sense to use great seasonings and veggies with a healthy protein alternative? Gardein’s “chick’n” is 15 g of protein per serving with 0 fat and 0 cholesterol. You’ll love the beautiful colors and crunch of this salad and the cranberry vinaigrette makes it great for the holiday season, but you can enjoy it any time.
The pumpkin adds creaminess and enhances the already beautiful color of the tomatoes. Speaking of tomatoes, just 1 cup has 1/3 of your daily allowance for vitamin C which is important in the fall as cold and flu season rears its seasonal head. You may know that tomatoes have anti-cancer properties but did you know they also aid in bone health? Who knew? (Source: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=44).
You can make the soup recipe by itself and call it a day, but the topping makes it extra special. I used something that I don’t often work with – tamarind paste. You should be able to find this in the Asian food section of your supermarket, or you can always order it online. I wanted to experiment with making a black sauce and this turned out beautifully. Agave nectar balances out the tart tamarind, balsamic vinegar adds acidity and basil makes it fragrant and delicious. The black glossy sauce is a beautiful contrast to the bright orange soup – what a treat for the eyes! Finish it off with more color – roasted pumpkin seeds, bright red pomegranate arils and fresh basil leaves. With all these colors and layers of flavor, this soup far surpasses the tomato soup of yesteryear. Serve with a fresh garden salad and crusty bread. Enjoy! If you make this beautiful soup, send a photo in to our Facebook page. We’d love to post your creations.
Too lazy to go to the grocery store, I did a thorough inventory of my kitchen: a big bag of frozen spinach taking up room in my freezer, half a lemon, a half-empty box of pasta (or was it half-full?), fresh garlic (okay, I’m Italian, I always have fresh garlic), tomatoes, and fresh basil (thanks to the basil plant near my window). If you don’t own a fresh basil plant, I highly recommend it because it saves money and makes anything you whip up taste like a culinary masterpiece. I also had whole nutmeg in the spice rack. These ingredients seemed like the start of something promising. And as it turned out, they were! This dish turned out so well, it seems like I planned it this way.
Sweet or savory? It’s your call. These pumpkin fennel muffins put you in the driver’s seat – you can swing either way depending on how you serve them. Try them with maple syrup to bring out the sweetness of the pumpkin, or use a pat of Earth Balance vegan spread to bring out the black-licorice taste of the fennel. Or, if you’re feeling undecided like me, use both. You just can’t make a bad call on this one. Do serve them warm to up the yumminess factor. These are super moist and keep well in the fridge for up to a week, if they last that long. Decisions, decisions.
My solution to eating less pasta? Eat more filling! Enter Beyond Meat Beefy Crumbles. It’s what I use to stuff these shells to the brim with veggie protein and goodness. I also add spinach because iron is a beautiful thing. The end result is a little taste of pasta to satisfy your carb addiction and a boat load of healthy veggies.
But this is a slaw of a different color – or colors, as the case may be. The vibrancy, crunch and flavor of this cruciferous creation make it robust enough to serve as a main course – but if you serve it on the side, it won’t be ignored. There’s also no heavy mayo in this recipe – just a rainbow of healthy ingredients with the fiber we need after 40. Present its beautiful, crunchy layers in a glass salad bowl (I actually used a square flower vase for mine), then, when ready to serve, add the sweet and zesty dressing, toss and serve. You’ll never look at slaw the same way again.
My studies were in raw vegan cuisine so no baking was allowed. The philosophy behind raw cuisine is that heat can destroy important enzymes and nutrients in the food. Foods are either served raw or warmed, not to exceed 115 degrees Fahrenheit. I used the pecans & apricots to make a raw “pie crust” which provides a rich contrast to the texture of the pears.