Vegetable Lasagna

Vegetarian Lasagna

I wanted to try a lighter lasagna – that would still be filling and make great leftovers, but be a bit lighter on the calories and fat and I wanted to try meatless. I picked some fresh zucchini, mushrooms, green bell peppers, and onions to place between the layers of gluten free noodles and the traditional tomato sauce and cheeses. I’m very pleased with the results – the different vegetables give a lot more texture than the traditional lasagna and there’s a lot more flavor.

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Ingredients:
10 oz gluten free lasagna noodles
2 large zucchini, chopped
8 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 large green pepper, diced
1 small white onion, diced
22 oz tomato sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons fresh basil
8 oz ricotta cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1 cup cheddar cheese

veggielasagna2Preheat the oven to 375F. If you have the no boil noodles go ahead and start your bottom layer in the pan (I tried the no boil this time) – if not cook the noodles and prepare the vegetables.

Starting with a layer of noodles on the bottom,  then a layer of sauce and the garlic at the bottom, then ricotta, then vegetables, then cheeses. repeat, and top off with the fresh basil. I like to keep a spatula handy to help smooth out the ricotta as I go. After your final layer of cheese and herbs, cover carefully with tinfoil and place in the oven for 30-35 minutes. Remove the foil then place back in the oven for 10 minutes.

Serves 6. Enjoy!

 

Black Bean Vegetable Soup

Black Bean Vegetable Soup  With the cooler weather settling in, I wanted to make a delicious hearty soup. This soup really hit the spot with it’s black beans and subtle spices. I topped it off with a bit of sour cream and fresh cilantro. It’s a soup that’s easy to put together and makes for great leftovers the next day.

blackbeansoup3Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium white onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 large carrots, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
4 cups low sodium vegetable stock
3 15 oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 15 oz can stewed tomatoes

Optional toppings:  sour cream, cilantro, shredded cheese.

blackbeansoup2In a large stock pot over medium heat place the olive oil, garlic, onions, carrots and celery. Cook for 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are soft. In a blender or food processor place the stewed tomatoes and 2 of the 3 cans of black beans and puree until smooth. Add the 1 can of black beans, and the mix from the blender or food processor to the stock pot along with the vegetable stock, chili powder, and ground cumin. Stir well, reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for a minimum of 45 minutes, up to 2 hours. Top with any toppings of choice. Serves 4-6. Enjoy!

Coconut Ginger Chicken and Veggies

Ginger ChickenFor dinner tonight I made a creamy coconut curry with fresh snow pea pods, baby bok choy, baby corn, fresh ginger, and chicken. It was warm and comforting and hit the spot after a hard day at work. I did use light coconut milk – however you can use regular if you prefer.

vegcurry1Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 small sweet onion, diced
2 garlic cloves minced
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken cut into 1″ pieces
1 tablespoon curry powder
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
2 cans light coconut milk
1 15 oz can baby corn, drained
2 small baby bok choy, chopped
2 cups snow pea pods

Gluten free grain of choice if desired.
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In a large skillet or wok over medium heat place the olive oil, garlic, curry powder and onions and cook for 3-5 minutes. Add the chicken, and sea salt and cook until no longer pink on the outside.  Add the cinnamon, bok choy, baby corn, coconut milk, and snow pea pods. Cook for 10 minutes.  Can serve as is, or over top a gluten free grain of choice. Serves 4. Enjoy!

 

Sweet Potato Goat Cheese and Bacon Egg Skillet

Sweet Potato Goat Cheese Bacon Egg SkilletCooking eggs under the broiler is a really great way ensure they’ll be cooked evenly – and they cook really fast. I made this to serve two (a larger brunch) – however this can easily be doubled or tripled to feed a hungry family or group of people. I also like my eggs slightly over easy, and as a kid I was so picky I wouldn’t eat the egg whites – only the runny yolks. Broiling the eggs I’ve found cooks the egg whites more consistently – and cook within minutes.

sweetpotatoskillet2Ingredients:
4-5 large eggs
4 pieces bacon, cooked
1 large sweet potato, peeled
1/2 cup diced green pepper
1 ounce goat’s cheese, crumbled
salt and pepper, to taste

Peel the sweet potato and place it in a microwave and cook for 5 minutes. For the bacon, if it’s not precooked I like to bake mine at 350F for about 8-10 minutes, this eliminates the splatter and mess that it tends to make on the stove.

Preheat the broiler on your oven to high.

Allow the sweet potato to cool a bit till you’re able to safely handle it, then slice it into about 1/8″ pieces and lay them across the bottom of a cast iron or large skillet. Crack your eggs and place them around the sweet potatoes, then top with the peppers, cheese, salt, pepper, and bacon.

Place the skillet in the oven under the broiler and cook for about 4 minutes. Check after 4 minutes and if the eggs are done to your liking, remove. If you want the eggs to be more done, cook for another minute or 2. Enjoy!

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Chickpea Feta and Cucumber Salad

Chickpea Feta and Cucumber SaladThis salad is bursting with fresh and healthy ingredients. Fresh cucumbers and cilantro straight from the garden, celery, and chickpeas. I’ve tossed it in a light dressing of fresh lime juice, pepper, and bit of ground cumin. I wanted a great salad to enjoy outside with dinner on a warmer evening, and this can go perfectly with so many meals, or by itself for a lighter lunch.

cukesalad3Ingredients:
2 medium cucumbers, seeded and chopped
3/4 cup celery, chopped
1 15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed
1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
juice of 2 limes
1/4 cup cilantro, finely diced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
ground black pepper, to taste

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Slice the cucumbers lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Dice into bite sized pieces and place into a medium sized bowl. Dice up the celery and cilantro and add to the bowl along with the feta cheese. Next add the lime juice, ground pepper and cumin and combine.  Makes 4 servings as a side. Enjoy!

Blackberry Honeydew Cream Trifle

Blackberry Honeydew TrifleThis light and fresh dessert is perfect for a weekend afternoon treat. Its full of fresh fruit and layered with this delicious cream that’s a mix of cream cheese, Greek yogurt, and fresh lemon juice.

trifle2Ingredients:
1 medium sized honeydew melon, diced
1 pint blackberries, slice the larger ones
8 oz cream cheese, softened
5.3 oz plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

trifle3In a medium sized bowl using a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until fluffy, then add the yogurt and lemon juice and mix until combined. Dice up the honeydew and layer in cups or bowls the honeydew, a light layer of the cream, and finally the blackberries, making two layers. Serve chilled. Makes 6 servings. Enjoy!

Pineapple Fried Rice

Pineapple Fried RiceThis is another fried rice recipe that I love, with lots of small pieces of fresh pineapple and ham with my vegetables. It doesn’t take long to prepare – especially if you have rice prepared ahead of time. Have I said before how much I enjoy having a rice cooker? I received one for Christmas last year and it’s been great.

I’ve kept this fried rice simple, so that the spices aren’t overwhelming the pineapple and ham. I wanted this to be a dish that everyone could enjoy, and eat their veggies (hopefully!)

pineapplerice2Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 white onion, diced
1/2 cup frozen corn
1 cup frozen peas
3 large carrots, grated
3/4 cups ham, diced
2 cups pineapple, diced
3 tablespoons gluten free soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
3 cups cooked rice

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In a small bowl whisk together the soy sauce, ginger, and sesame oil.

 

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet or wok. Add the garlic and onions and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the carrots, peas and carrots, cook for 4-5 minutes, until soft. Add the pineapple, ham, and rice.

Carefully pour the bowl of soy sauce, ginger, and sesame oil over the rice and vegetables and combine well. Cook for another 3-4 minutes, until everything is cooked throughout. Serve hot. Serves 4.

Raspberry Iced Tea

RaspberryIcedTea

Fresh ripe raspberries and tea together, what a wonderful combination. Staying hydrated is important – and I do like to have something different to drink from time to time. I’ve used black tea for this – however green will work as well.

Ingredients:
1 cup raspberries
5 cups water (2 boiling)
2 tablespoons loose leaf black tea of choice
juice of 1 large lemon
1/4 cup sugar

Bring 2 cups of the water to a boil, and while that is going – place the raspberries in a food processor or blender. Once blended add the sugar to them. Strain and discard the seeds, adding the raspberry juice to the other 3 cups of water. Add the lemon juice to the water. Steep the tea in the boiling water for 4-5 minutes when ready, then discard the tea leaves. Combine the boiling water to the fruit water. Chill until ready to serve. Serve over ice. Enjoy!

Tomato Pie

tomatopieTomato Pie is a popular dish in the southern US. Savory pies are great, and this is a fantastic way to great way to serve up tomatoes fresh from the garden. The recipe is simple and fresh – and it’s a pot pie that’s perfect for the summer.

Ingredients:
gluten free pie crust
3-4 large tomatoes, sliced
1 medium sweet onion, sliced
1/4 cup fresh basil, finely diced
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon sriracha
5 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced

tomatopie4If using my gluten free pie crust, follow the instructions for it – otherwise follow package instructions for a premade crust While letting the pie crust bake, or letting the oven preheat, I suggest slicing the tomatoes, lighting salting them and allowing them to drain some of their excess water. Carefully squeeze them with a paper towel or a clean dish towel.

Preheat the oven to 350F. Arrange a layer of onions on top of the crust, followed by a layer of tomatoes. Next, sprinkle half of the basil on top of the tomatoes, and repeat another layer of tomatoes and basil.

tomatopie2In a small bowl, combine together the mayonnaise, salt, pepper, sriracha, worcestershire sauce, and cheddar cheese. Spread on top of the tomatoes. Top off with the mozzarella.

tomatopie1Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the cheese is starting to turn golden brown and bubbly. Serves 4-6. Enjoy!

Sweet Potato and Spinach Curry

Sweet Potato and Spinach CurryThis curry is full of fresh spinach, sweet potatoes, and spices. I love making a dish like this early in the week because it reheats well for lunches if there are leftovers. Curry is very versatile – the combinations you can make with it are endless, and can be very healthy like this bowl. I also love the way the spices make the house smell, it’s very inviting to me.

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 large sweet onion, diced
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon fresh ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 large sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2″ cubes
4 cups fresh spinach
15 oz diced tomatoes
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

rice or grain of choice

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After preparing the sweet potatoes, steam them for 10-15 minutes.

In a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil and onion. Add the curry powder, ground cumin, cinnamon, turmeric, cayenne, fresh ginger, and sea salt. Cook for about 5 minutes. Next add the spinach, you may need to add it a cup or two at a time, allowing it to wilt. If more liquid is needed, add a teaspoon of olive oil.

After all the spinach has been added and wilted add the diced tomatoes, water, and fresh lemon juice.  Next, add the sweet potatoes to the skillet, and reduce the heat to low and allow to cook for about 10 minutes.

Serve over rice or other gluten free grain of choice. Makes 4 large servings.

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