Carrot Coconut Cupcakes are an indulgence you can feel good about. The cupcakes are oil-free and sugar free. The optional frosting does contain organic powdered sugar, so I …
I was never a fan of chorizo, even in my meat-eating days but I do like a little spice especially when the weather gets colder. In this dish, I use Field Roast brand plant-based sausages. Field Roast actually makes a chorizo-style sausage which you can use in this dish. I’m partial to their Italian style but either one will work.
The black beans add to the heartiness of the soup and bring in lots of fiber to keep you full and healthy. While oregano is not a spice I use often (unless I’m making pizza), it works well in this soup and the cumin gives an authentic Mexican flavor.
I know if I say it’s cold here in Southern California (sometimes as low as 40 degrees in the morning) my East Coast friends will laugh at me, but it’s all relative. I am in full-blown soup mode this time of year and I can’t get enough of incredibly healthy meals disguised as comfort foods. I also can’t get enough of Gardein products like their beefless tips. They can be used as a beef substitute in your favorite recipes and still give you that satisfying “full” feeling with healthy plant-based proteins.
What I love most about this recipe is the contrast of the hot Gardein brand beef-less tips and the cold crisp salad, not unlike an autumn day in Southern California that starts of cold and crisp, then turns warm and toasty as the day progresses. In other words, the best of both worlds.
To me, the term “almost homemade” means purchasing a quality prepared ingredient, then making it my own with fresh produce, herbs and spices. You can easily customize this Gardein product by using any seasonings you choose and because it’s a top quality product, you don’t have to “mask” the flavor in any way. By simply adding salt, pepper, garlic and green onions, you can make this a perfectly seasoned protein, perfectly matched to the kale, one of the more hearty salad greens. The texture is perfect. The cranberry vinaigrette adds a surprising fresh flavor and acidity.
Another dressing I’ve tried with this salad is so simple. I take leftover cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving and add cranberry juice. Blend it with a blender or food processor until it is the consistency of dressing – it’s so delicious with little or no fat depending on how you make your cranberry dressing.
These ingredients work together beautifully in terms of taste, color and texture. It’s the perfect salad for an autumn day. Enjoy.