creamy asparagus soup Featured

Creamy Asparagus Soup (Vegan, Gluten Free)

This spring soup is light, full of in-season produce, and incredibly smooth and creamy. There is an unexpected, healthy ingredient that gives this soup its silky texture, making it completely dairy free.

creamy asparagus soup

Soup is not just for wintertime! It’s one of my favorite one pot meals to prepare at the beginning of the week for lunch or dinner. This creamy asparagus soup is light, nutritious and full of fresh spring flavor. I’m more than happy to extend soup season for this vibrant bowl!

There are no fancy ingredients in this soup, and you might already have some in your pantry! An unexpected ingredient makes this soup unique and incredibly creamy, without adding any cream…avocado!

I’ve added avocado to smoothies before, and love the silky texture it adds. Adding it to a pureed soup has a similar effect. It’s a neutral flavored ingredient that makes the soup incredibly smooth and creamy. Avocado also adds plenty of healthy monounsaturated fats and potassium to this soup!

creamy asparagus soup in blender

Main Ingredients + Some Nutrition Notes

You need just one pot and a blender to make this delicious creamy asparagus soup. It will take you less than half an hour from start to finish! Put these ingredients on your next shopping list:

  • Asparagus: Asparagus is high in folate, which is important for healthy pregnancies and cell growth. It’s also a good source of vitamin K, which we need for blood clotting, and antioxidants.
  • Garlic: Garlic contains sulfur compounds, which may have cancer preventative effects when ingested. It also may help boost our immune response when we are sick.
  • Avocado: Our generation’s favorite healthy fat! Avocado is rich in healthy monounstaturated fats, which help lower “bad” LDL cholesterol when they replace saturated fats in the diet. They also contain more potassium than a banana!
  • Leeks
  • White onion
  • White beans
  • Vegetable broth
  • Lemon
creamy asparagus soup

A Few Recipe Notes

  • Fresh or frozen asparagus both work wonderfully in this recipe. I actually used frozen for this batch, because the store was out of fresh!
  • If you use low sodium vegetable broth, you may need to adjust the amount of salt added to the soup.
  • This recipe will keep in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to 5 days.
creamy asparagus soup

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creamy asparagus soup

Creamy Asparagus Soup (Vegan, Gluten Free)


  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x

Description

This creamy asparagus soup is made super silky without any cream or dairy, thanks to avocado! All you need is one pot, a blender, and 30 minutes to whip up a batch.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 2 leeks, white parts only, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1 large bunch asparagus, cut in half
  • 1 carton vegetable broth
  • 1 avocado, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup white beans
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • Fresh parsley for garnishing

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil on medium heat in a large pot.
  2. Add onion, leeks, salt, and pepper and cook until onion is translucent, about 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add garlic and cayenne, and cook another 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add asparagus and vegetable broth, cover, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cooking until asparagus is fork tender.
  5. Add avocado, white beans, and lemon juice. Stir to combine.
  6. Remove from heat, and ladle soup into blender. You may need to do this in batches, depending on the size of your blender container.
  7. Blend on high speed for 30-45 seconds, until smooth and creamy.
  8. Pour soup directly into bowls and serve hot. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley, other fresh herbs, or extra fresh lemon if desired.

  • Category: Soup

Keywords: creamy asparagus soup, dairy free, vegan, gluten free, healthy soup

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halloumi salad with roasted vegetables and couscous Featured

Halloumi, Couscous and Roasted Vegetable Salad

Salty, crunchy halloumi cheese combines with pearl couscous and roasted vegetables for a simple yet unique home cooked meal. You’ll pan fry the halloumi, giving it an irresistible crispy exterior, just like you’d order at a restaurant!

halloumi salad with roasted vegetables and couscous

Halloumi is popular cheese  in Greece and the Middle East. It’s prepared and served after it has been grilled or pan fried. Halloumi is unique because of its high melting point. It won’t melt when you cook it, so it retains its shape and texture. Halloumi is salty, crunchy on the outside, creamy on the inside, and a little squeaky when you bite it. Everything about this cheese makes it totally addicting!

Grilled halloumi has become one of my favorite things to order when I see it on a menu at a restaurant. Tatte Bakery in Boston makes one of the best halloumi salads, and I order this a few times a month when I grab lunch there! I’ve had halloumi out so many times, and finally decided to try making it for myself at home.

How to Pan Fry Halloumi

  • Slice halloumi into ¼ inch slices
  • Use a clean tea towel to pat the extra moisture out of each slice
  • Heat a little olive oil in a skillet on medium heat
  • Place slices of halloumi in the pan and cook each side until browned and crispy, about 2-3 minutes each

Since halloumi packs so much salty flavor on its own, I paired it with more mild flavors of pearl couscous and simple roasted vegetables. A sprinkle of fresh parsley and lemon juice bring everything together!

halloumi salad with roasted vegetables and couscous

A Few Recipe Notes

  • Whatever vegetables you have on hand will work in place of zucchini and cherry tomatoes.
  • Patting the halloumi dry helps give it that super crispy texture when fried, don’t skip this step.
  • The couscous and vegetables can be prepared ahead, but pan fried halloumi is best served immediately as it will harden as it sits.
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halloumi salad with roasted vegetables and couscous

Halloumi, Couscous and Roasted Vegetable Salad


  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x

Description

This restaurant worthy halloumi salad is packed with simple ingredients and delicious flavor.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 zucchini, sliced into rounds
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 ½ tbsp olive oil, divided
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1 cup pearl couscous
  • 6 ¼ inch slices of halloumi cheese, from one block,
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • Fresh lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 410 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Toss zucchini, cherry tomatoes and garlic with 1 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 20-25 minutes until browned, flipping vegetables halfway through cooking.
  3. Prepare pearl couscous according to package instructions.
  4. Assemble salad plates before pan frying halloumi – evenly divide baby spinach, couscous and roasted vegetables amongst two plates.
  5. Pat dry each slice of halloumi with a clean tea towel.
  6. Pan fry halloumi with the remaining ½ tbsp olive oil in a skillet on medium heat. Cook each side about 2-3 minutes until browned and crispy.
  7. Top each salad plate with 3 slices of halloumi. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
  8. Serve immediately.

  • Category: Main Dishes

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halloumi salad with roasted vegetables and couscous
spinach, mushroom and goat cheese quesadilla Featured

Spinach, Mushroom, and Caramelized Onion Goat Cheese Quesadilla

A modern and more nutritious take on the classic cheese quesadilla. This recipe calls for sprouted grain wraps, goat cheese and lots of vegetables for lots of nourishing ingredients in every bite.

spinach, mushroom and goat cheese quesadilla

 This quesadilla might be my new favorite lunch to whip up when I am home. This meal feels decadent and even a little bit fancy, but it is loaded with good-for-you ingredients! Goat cheese is one of the top three best cheeses in my opinion (right up there with brie and fresh mozzarella). I almost always have it served cold in a salad or spread on a cracker, but after making this recipe, warm goat cheese is where it’s at!

In addition to goat cheese, this quesadilla packs in lots of vegetables. The combination of sweet caramelized onion, mushrooms and spinach will give you about one full serving of veggies per quesadilla. That’s just about the easiest way to get you closer to your five a day!

I used Angelic Bakehouse sprouted 7-grain wraps instead of traditional flour tortillas for this quesadilla to make this recipe even more nutritious. These wraps are made with sprouted grains, which may be easier for many people to digest! Sprouting a grain also increases the levels of B vitamins including folate, fiber and amino acids. Sprouted grains also have a reduced glycemic index than non-sprouted grains. This means that sprouted grains cause a slower, more stable rise in blood sugar after consuming them. I absolutely love the nutty taste and texture of these wraps, and they become perfectly soft yet crispy when griddled in the skillet!

Click here now for a $2 off coupon and find Angelic Bakehouse in a Wegman’s or Hannaford near you! http://bit.ly/2SS151d

spinach, mushroom and goat cheese quesadilla

This recipe is easily customizable, as different cheeses and vegetables would pair well with these wraps.

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spinach, mushroom and goat cheese quesadilla

Spinach, Mushroom, and Caramelized Onion Goat Cheese Quesadilla


  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 quesadillas 1x

Description

A modern and more nutritious take on the classic cheese quesadilla.  


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 Vidalia onion, sliced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 4 handfuls baby spinach
  • 4 Angelic Bakehouse sprouted 7-grain wraps
  • 1 small log of goat cheese
  • Zest of 1 lemon

Instructions

  1. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a skillet on low-medium heat. Add the sliced onion and cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring frequently, until onions are a light golden brown. Deglaze with balsamic vinegar.
  2. Heat remaining olive oil in a separate skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced mushrooms, cooking about 5 minutes, then stir in spinach until wilted. Remove veggies from skillet and wipe clean.
  3. Heat the same skillet on medium heat, and add a few sprays of spray oil.
  4. Arrange the quesadillas by spreading 1-2 tbsp goat cheese on onto each wrap. Top with cooked vegetables and lemon zest, and fold over to close.
  5. Cook each quesadilla 2-3 minutes per side until wrap begins is warm and begins to crisp.

  • Category: Main Dishes

Keywords: goat cheese, quesadilla, caramelized onions

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spinach, mushroom and goat cheese quesadilla

Thank you Angelic Bakehouse for sponsoring this blog post! I’m grateful to partner with brands I love to cook with, and all opinions are my own.

barbeue salmon caesar salad Featured

Healthy Barbecue Salmon Caesar Salad (Dairy Free)

 This meal size salad features healthy homemade versions of not one, but two, of your favorite summertime sauces! Homemade barbecue sauce with clean ingredients and sweetened with manuka honey, plus a dairy free homemade Caesar dressing. Don’t be intimidated, this recipe is actually super easy to make. Perfect for the rising temps!

barbecue salmon caesar salad

Did you guys know May is National Barbecue Month? I’m celebrating with this easy, healthy and delicious barbecue salmon. With the slowly rising temperatures in Boston, I can’t wait to spend time outdoors with friends and grill up all my favorite seasonal foods. My favorite simple summertime meal is grilled salmon with a yummy sauce, grilled vegetables and a side salad. Caesar salad just screams summer to me, so this was the perfect pairing for barbecue salmon.

Most store-bought barbecue sauces contain preservatives, food additives and excess added sugar. One of the leading brands has high fructose corn syrup listed as the first ingredient, followed by four other types of sugar in the ingredient list, totaling 16 g of sugar in a 2 tbsp serving. This barbecue sauce recipe contains less sugar and real, whole food ingredients that taste good and will make you feel good.

Manuka Honey Benefits

Pacific Resources International (PRI) makes an amazing manuka honey that I used in this barbecue sauce recipe. Manuka honey differs from regular honey because it contains methylglyoxal, giving it much higher and more effective antibacterial properties. The FDA has even approved many manuka honey containing products as effective for wound healing. When taken orally, manuka honey’s antibacterial properties may promote good oral health and help soothe a sore throat. The methylglyoxal also withstands higher temperatures, up to 150 degrees F, than regular honey, so the antibacterial properties are not destroyed at lower temperatures like regular honey. Pacific Resources International sources high quality manuka honey from New Zealand and Australia. They work directly with the beekeepers and cool process their products to retain all the natural properties of the raw honey.

New Zealand Sea Salt

I also used PRI Fine Sea Salt from New Zealand in this recipe. Recent research has revealed that sea salt from our oceans is contaminated with microplastics. Horrifying, I know! Sea Salt from New Zealand has largely been protected from this contamination as it is sourced from very clean waters. Some of PRI’s sea salts are BioGro certified in New Zealand, which means the salt is rigorously tested for pollutants and contaminants before hitting the shelves.

barbecue salmon

The manuka honey is stirred into this barbecue sauce once it has cooled to preserve its antibacterial properties. This sauce is so easy to make – just combine everything in a saucepan and stir! The dairy free Caesar salad dressing is just as easy. Combine a few simple ingredients in a blender, and you are rewarded with a super creamy, tangy and authentic Caesar dressing. Topped with barbecue salmon and crunchy croutons, this balanced meal is packed with satisfying summer flavor.

barbeue salmon caesar salad
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barbeue salmon caesar salad

Healthy Barbecue Salmon Caesar Salad (Dairy Free)


  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x

Description

Two homemade sauces are super simple to whip up – healthy BBQ sauce and dairy free Caesar dressing! Served with seared salmon, this meal sized salad is perfect for summertime.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 4 salmon filets
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 heads romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 2 cups croutons

 

Homemade Barbecue Sauce

  • ½ cup tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup apple sauce
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce or tamari
  • 1 tbsp honey mustard
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp molasses
  • 2 tbsp Pacific Resources International manuka honey

 

Dairy Free Homemade Caesar Dressing

  • ¾ cup cashews, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes up to overnight
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce or tamari
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Season salmon with lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  2. Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet on medium heat. Add salmon filets, skin side up, to the skillet. Cook for 3-5 minutes until salmon starts to brown, then move into the oven to finish cooking for 6-10 minutes.
  3. While salmon is in the oven, prepare barbecue sauce. Combine all ingredients except manuka honey in a medium saucepan on medium heat, stirring until everything is combined. Remove from heat, then stir in manuka honey.
  4. To prepare the dressing, add all ingredients to a high powered blender or food processor and blend on high until creamy.
  5. Remove salmon from oven and flip to skin side down. Brush a generous serving of barbecue sauce over each filet.
  6. Toss chopped romaine with Caesar dressing and distribute evenly into 4 large salad bowls. Top each bowl with croutons and a salmon filet.

  • Category: Main Dishes

Keywords: homemade barbecue sauce, healthy barbecue sauce, salmon, homemade caesar dressing, dairy free caesar dressing

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Thank you Pacific Resources International for sponsoring this blog post! I’m grateful to partner with brands I love to cook with, and all opinions are my own.

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mushroom tacos with mango avocado salsa Featured

Mushroom Tacos with Mango Avocado Salsa (Vegan, Gluten Free)

These easy tacos are filled with vegetables and packed with flavor. The smokiness of the mushrooms contrasts so nicely with the sweet and spicy mango avocado salsa and creamy tahini lime dressing! Put these on the menu for your next Taco Tuesday.

mushroom tacos with mango avocado salsa

Tacos are one of our favorite easy meals. We make them a few times every month, each time switching up the ingredients and toppings. Tacos are also an ideal meal to serve to a big group. You can include so many different easy sides and toppings, so each person is able to customize their meal based on taste and dietary restrictions.

I usually make tacos with fish or shrimp, but I wanted to experiment with a vegan version! Choosing Portobello mushrooms as the base was a great move, because they have a meaty texture that contrasts well with other toppings. Seasoned with garlic, spices and chipotle in adobo sauce, these mushrooms have a smoky and slightly spicy flavor you will want in all your tacos going forward.

mango avocado black bean salsa

The mango avocado salsa is the perfect juxtaposition to the mushrooms. Just combine super sweet mango, creamy avocado, tomatoes, black beans, cilantro, salt, lime juice and jalapeno in a bowl! This salsa is delicious on its own and would also be amazing served with fish.

To round everything out, I made a super simple tahini lime sauce. Drizzle this on for a creamy and zesty addition to your tacos. It cuts some of the heat and is a wonderful alternative to sour cream.

A Few Recipe Notes

  • Adjust the amount of chipotle pepper based on your tolerance for spicy foods. I prefer less spicy foods, so I used one seeded small pepper. Keep the seeds in and add more peppers for extra spice.
  • Heating the corn tortillas directly on the flame of your gas stove gives them a smoky flavor and a nice char. If you do not have a gas stove, heat them using dry heat in a skillet without oil rather than in the microwave to preserve their flavor and texture.
  • Mango could easily be swapped for pineapple or papaya in the mango avocado salsa.
mushroom tacos with mango avocado salsa
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mushroom tacos with mango avocado salsa

Mushroom Tacos with Mango Avocado Salsa (Vegan, Gluten Free)


  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 8 tacos 1x

Description

Vegan tacos with smoky portobello mushrooms and a freshly made mango avocado salsa.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • 3 Portobello mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo, seeded and chopped
  • 1 ½ tbsp adobo sauce from chipotle in adobo can
  • 1 ripe mango, cut into ½ inch dice
  • 1 ripe avocado, cut into ½ inch dice
  • 1 plum tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 1 cup black beans
  • ½ jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
  • 4 tbsp lime juice
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped finely
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • 3 tbsp cold water
  • Salt
  • 8 corn tortillas

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet on medium heat.
  2. Add half the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring to avoid burning. Add cumin and chili powder and stir.
  3. Add sliced mushrooms and a pinch of salt. Cook for 5-10 minutes , stirring occasionally until mushrooms are fork tender. Add chipotle and adobo sauce and cook an additional 1 minute, stirring to coat.
  4. Combine remaining garlic, mango, avocado, tomato, black beans, jalapeno, 2 tbsp lime juice and cilantro in a mixing bowl. Stir to combine and add salt to taste.
  5. Whisk together remaining lime juice, tahini, garlic powder, water and salt to taste in a separate bowl. Add more water as needed, 1 tbsp at a time, to thin out sauce.
  6. Heat tortillas over low heat directly on the flame of a gas burner. Use tongs to flip once tortilla starts to bubble.
  7. Top heated tortillas with mushrooms, salsa and tahini lime sauce.


  • Category: Main Dishes

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Featured

Spring Pasta with Lemon, Asparagus, Mushrooms and Peas

This pasta dish is spring in a bowl! It combines the fresh flavors of asparagus, dill and lemon for a light yet satisfying meal that comes together quickly.

I can’t believe this is my first pasta dish I am sharing on the blog! I can’t think of a better way to introduce this category than with this recipe. I’m so happy to see spring produce coming into season, and decided to combine some of my all-time favorites into a meal.

As a dietitian, I’ve picked up on so many people avoiding carbohydrates. Whereas fat was the frowned-upon macronutrient in the past, our mindsets have shifted to demonize carbohydrates. There have been many popular fad diets that perpetuate the belief that carbohydrates are the enemy, such as the Atkin’s diet, the South Beach diet, and now more recently, the Paleo and Ketogenic diets. While people may find weight loss success following these plans, just like any diets, they are highly restrictive and not sustainable for the long term.

Digestion of carbohydrates starts in our mouths thanks to enzymes in our saliva, and goes through our digestive systems, ultimately breaking down into glucose. Carbohydrate, in the form of glucose, is the body’s preferred source of energy. Carbs also provide us with important nutrients and fiber that protein and fat can’t give us. Ever wonder why you crave a bagel after a long run or intense workout? It’s your body’s way of asking you to replenish the carbohydrate stores (glycogen) it depleted by working so hard!

Besides providing us energy, nutrients and fiber, carbohydrates are just downright delicious. A life without rice, pizza and pasta just sounds so dull! Choosing 100% whole wheat/whole grain carbohydrates a majority of the time ensures you get the nutrients and fiber found in whole grains. Whole grains also have a lower glycemic index than processed ones, so they raise blood sugar levels more slowly in our bodies. But, it is also important to allow ourselves to have processed carbohydrates. Sometimes, we all just need a slice of pizza or a piece of crusty French bread. Remember that life is about balance, and eating should be a source of pleasure! Letting yourself enjoy these foods now and then without guilt will satisfy cravings and help you to live in the moment.

Spring Pasta with Lemon, Asparagus, Mushrooms and Peas

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

  • 1 lb whole wheat farfalle pasta
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 box mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 bunch asparagus, chopped
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil plus ½ tbsp
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 large clove garlic, grated or minced
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • ½ cup fresh dill
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package instructions. In the last 3 minutes of cooking, add the frozen peas to the pot with the pasta. Drain and set aside.
  2. While the pasta cooks, heat ½ tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and asparagus, along with a dash of salt and pepper until fork tender.
  3. Whisk together the remaining olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, lemon zest and salt and pepper to taste in a bowl.
  4. Toss pasta, peas, vegetables, and dill with the lemon olive oil sauce until combined and everything is well coated. Serve with a sprinkle of grated parmesan cheese.

If you try this recipe, tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see your creations!

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Featured

Quinoa Enchilada Stuffed Peppers (Vegan, Gluten Free)

 

These stuffed peppers are a completely plant-based entrée that pack tons of delicious flavor! They take less than 1 hour to prepare and are easy to make ahead of time.

There’s something so satisfying about eating your food out of other food – bread bowls, papaya boats, and these stuffed peppers! This is such a fun and pretty way to serve an otherwise brown and lackluster looking (but delicious) quinoa enchilada salad!

 Grain salads are one of my go-to meal prep recipe suggestions. They require minimal cooking, come together quickly, and are versatile and customizable. While quinoa is technically not a grain, it behaves and tastes very much like one, and therefore it is one of my favorite grains to cook with. Unlike other grains, quinoa contains all nine essential amino acids that our bodies must obtain from food because we cannot make them ourselves. This makes it a good, high quality source of plant based protein, which is great for those following a plant-based diet. Quinoa is also higher in fiber than most grains, so it is quite filling.

The quinoa salad featured in these stuffed peppers is one of my new favorites because it is so flavorful and so easy to prepare! It involves minimal chopping, and you just throw the ingredients into a big bowl and stir to combine. I couldn’t stop taking bites of it as I was stuffing the peppers! You could easily skip the stuffed peppers entirely and eat this over a bed of greens, but the peppers just look so colorful and pretty!

 Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (about 1 cup dry)
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 1 can low sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup red enchilada sauce
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 handfuls fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1-2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 4 bell peppers, sliced in half lengthwise and deseeded
  • 1 avocado, sliced

Instructions

  1. Prepare dry quinoa and frozen corn according to package instructions.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large glass baking dish with parchment paper.
  3. Combine cooked quinoa, corn, black beans, enchilada sauce scallions, cilantro, lime juice and spices in a large mixing bowl and stir to combine.
  4. Arrange peppers, cut side up, in the baking dish (you may need to use two dishes, depending on the size of your peppers).
  5. Scoop about 1/3rd – ½ cup of quinoa stuffing into each pepper half.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until peppers are beginning to soften.
  7. Top with avocado slices and extra lime juice to serve.

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If you try this recipe, tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see your creations!

rice noodle bowls with peanut tofu and pickled vegetables Featured

Peanut Tofu Vermicelli Rice Noodle Bowls with Quick Pickled Vegetables (Vegan, Gluten Free)

 

What do you prefer, noodle bowls or rice bowls? I usually go for rice bowls (I love how rice soaks up sauces), but there’s one noodle bowl I absolutely love! I first had a Vietnamese Bun noodle bowl years ago, and instantly loved the fresh flavors and thin rice noodles. It’s a light meal, but still very filling. It doesn’t leave you feeling like you need a nap like some other noodle dishes.

The Vietnamese Bun noodle bowls I’ve had are served with nuoc cham, a sweet/salty/acidic sauce that really adds a delicious flavor. They are also served with fresh vegetables like carrots and cucumbers. I wanted to combine both of these elements by pickling my vegetables! The acidity plus a little sweetness of the apple cider vinegar shines though. I encourage you to prepare the pickled vegetables at least a day in advance to allow them to really pick up flavor. If you are unable to make the pickled vegetables, this meal would also be delicious with crunchy raw chopped vegetables!

You guys know I love peanut sauce, so peanut tofu was a natural choice for me to add to this bowl. With all these amazing flavors working together, I could eat this bowl every day! This meal was also boyfriend approved, so we’ll definitely keep this in our regular meal rotation. This meal serves 4-5.

 Ingredients

Pickled Vegetables

  • 1 cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1 large carrot, scrubbed and thinly sliced I used a julienne peeler)
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup

Bowls

  • 1 block firm tofu
  • Avocado oil spray
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, thinly shredded
  • 1 package vermicelli rice noodles
  • 1 cup mung bean sprouts
  • 1-2 Fresno chilis, sliced
  • ½ cup crushed peanuts
  • Fresh mint and/or cilantro

Peanut Sauce

  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp low sodium tamari
  • 1 tbsp cold water
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1-2 tsp chili paste
  • 1 tbsp mauka honey
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • ¼ cup creamy natural peanut butter

Instructions

  1. Pack sliced cucumbers and carrots into two jars. Heat the apple cider vinegar, water and maple syrup in a saucepan, stir and bring to a boil. Pour hot liquid into vegetable jars so that vegetables are fully covered. Cover and place in refrigerator. Prepare the pickled vegetables one day in advance if possible, or at least 30 minutes before eating.
  2. Preheat oven to 415 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Drain and press tofu to remove excess water.
  4. Cut tofu into 1 inch cubes, spray with avocado oil spray and bake for 25-30 minutes, until edges are golden brown and crispy.
  5. Prepare peanut sauce by whisking all ingredients together in a bowl until well combined. Toss tofu in peanut sauce to coat.
  6. Prepare vermicelli noodles according to package instructions.
  7. Arrange portions of lettuce, noodles and tofu in bowls. Top with mung bean sprouts, chilis, crushed peanuts, fresh herbs and pickled vegetables.

If you try this recipe, tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see your creations!

 

Featured

Roasted Veggie and Hummus Collard Green Wraps (Vegan, Gluten Free)

Who else is ready for spring? Every year, when March rolls around, I always expect the warm weather to kick in. But in reality, it’s just another month of chilly temps and snowy weather. My first winter in Boston was pretty mild, but I can’t wait to pack up my puffy coats for the season! I notice my energy levels vary significantly based on the season. I have more energy and need a little less sleep during the warmer months, so I am ready to get out of this winter hibernation.

I tried to channel spring to come sooner by making the most colorful and vibrant meal I could imagine. I hadn’t made collard green wraps in FOREVER, so I decided to make some filled with lots of colorful ingredients, like roasted veggies and avocado. If you’ve never tried making collard wraps, don’t be intimidated! They are actually quite simple. Once my veggies were done roasting, I put these wraps together in 10 minutes!

The only issue I find with meals like collard wraps is they lack a substantial amount of protein. While I love including as many veggies as possible (hello, fiber!), it’s important that our meals also have adequate protein to keep us full and satiated. To up the protein content of these wraps, I used  in this recipe, and they were the perfect addition. The Sweet Heat Beet Veggie Burger is part of Dr. Praeger’s Pure Plant Protein line and has 19 grams of plant-based protein per serving, adding them made this recipe into a filling meal, rather than a light appetizer. In addition to the generous amount of protein, these burgers contain real, whole food ingredients you recognize and can pronounce, just like all of Dr. Praeger’s products.

If you guys are looking for an easy, nutritious and protein packed lunch, give these a try! This recipe makes 2 collard green wraps.

Ingredients

  • 1 zucchini, sliced in half crosswise, then lengthwise into ¼ inch thick slices
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and quartered
  • ½ tbsp avocado oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 large collard green leaves
  • 3 tbsp hummus
  • ½ avocado, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1 Dr. Praeger’s Pure Plant Protein Sweet Heat Beet Veggie Burger
  • Handful of sprouts
  • 1 tbsp mustard

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 415 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Add the zucchini and bell pepper to baking sheet and drizzle with avocado oil plus salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Roast for 20-30 minutes until fork tender, flipping halfway through.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the collard greens by washing them and using a paring knife to shave off as much of the stem as possible. This will make it easier to fold.
  4. Prepare veggie burger according to package instructions. Slice in half when done cooking.
  5. Once veggies are done roasting, let cool enough for handling.
  6. To prepare the wraps: spread 1 ½ tbsp hummus in the center of each collard leaf. Layer sliced avocado, zucchini, bell pepper, half of the veggie burger, sprouts and mustard evenly on each wrap. Tuck in the sides and roll.
  7. Use a sharp knife to slice wraps in half. Enjoy immediately, or refrigerate and enjoy tomorrow.

If you try this recipe, tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see your creations!

Thank you Dr. Praeger’s for sponsoring this blog post! I’m grateful to partner with brands I love to cook with, and all opinions are my own.

Featured

Zucchini Enchiladas with Avocado Cilantro Cream Sauce

Ben and I took a quick trip to NYC last weekend to visit our family and friends. We went to the Guggenheim and out for dinner and drinks with a group of our NYC people. I love Boston and I know this is where I am meant to be right now, but a piece of me will always belong to New York. The energy there is palpable and unmatched to any city I’ve ever been to. We both have close friends there, and we’ve kind of made a promise to each other to visit when we can so we don’t lose touch with them. Even though we were there for less than 48 hours last weekend, I met up with a good friend of mine for a workout class and coffee date and it was like no time had passed. Those couple of hours we got to spend with each other meant a lot to me, and reiterated the importance of keeping in touch!

Besides friends, another part of NYC I miss is the FOOD. There are an endless number of amazing establishments I would kill to have open in Boston. We didn’t have time to hit up all of my favorites, but I got in plenty of good eats, including Levain cookies. When you’re staying 4 blocks away from the bakery, it’s a sin not to go! After a weekend indulging in cookies and wine, I was craving something light yet filling and super flavorful this week. We both love Mexican food, so I decided to try a lightened up version of enchiladas! These babies are stuffed with some of my favorites (sweet potato, black beans, spinach and red pepper) and wrapped in zucchini! Using zucchini in place of tortillas, the veggie filling and dairy free avocado cream sauce makes these enchiladas quite filling, but not to the point where you want to unbutton your pants and take a nap. There’s a time and a place for those decadent meals, but this recipe is totally what my body was craving!

You can absolutely use tortillas in place of zucchini for this recipe – it will just make fewer total enchiladas because the zucchini ones are smaller than usual. This recipe makes about 20 three-four inch long zucchini enchiladas.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed and chopped into ½ inch cubes
  • ½ tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 cup diced onion (red or white are both fine)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 large handfuls baby spinach
  • 1 can low sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 large zucchinis
  • 2 cups red enchilada sauce, store bought or homemade. I made my own, adapted from Oh She Glows

Homemade Enchilada Sauce

  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 1 ½ tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup tomato paste
  • 1 ¾ cup low sodium vegetable broth
  • Salt to taste

Avocado Cilantro Cream Sauce

  • 1 ½ avocados
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Handful of cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup water

Instructions

  1. If making enchilada sauce: Heat oil over medium heat and stir in corn starch until mixture starts to thicken. Add spices, stir to mix and cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Stir in tomato paste, vegetable broth and salt. Keep on low heat, stirring occasionally for 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  3. In a medium pot, bring 5 cups of water to a boil. Add diced sweet potatoes, return water to a boil and cook for 5-7 minutes until fork tender, then drain.
  4. Using a Y-shaped vegetable peeler, peel zucchinis into long strips. The first couple strips might be too thin to roll, so you can discard them or use them for another recipe.
  5. For the filling, heat avocado oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook 2-3 minutes until translucent. Add garlic, spices, salt and pepper, cooking another 2 minutes until fragrant. Add bell pepper and cook until soft. Stir in spinach, sweet potatoes and black beans and cook until spinach is wilted. Stir in heaping ½ cup of enchilada sauce, then remove from heat.
  6. Spread ¾ cup enchilada sauce in the bottom of a 9”x13” baking dish.
  7. Prepare the enchiladas: take 3 zucchini strips and lay them together on a clean cutting board, so that they overlap with each other and make a rectangle. Place about ¼ cup of the veggie filling and roll up to enclose filling. Place in baking dish, with the seam side down.
  8. Repeat until pan is full – I made 2 rows of enchiladas. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce on top of enchiladas.
  9. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until sauce is a little bubbly.
  10. While enchiladas are baking, prepare the avocado cream sauce: add all ingredients to a food processor or blender (I used a NutriBullet) and blend until creamy. Add water 1 tbsp at a time as needed to help blend.
  11. Remove enchiladas from oven. Top with avocado cream sauce before serving, along with chopped fresh cilantro if desired.

If you guys make this recipe, tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see your creations! 🙂