Chēbē Feta, Olive & Rosemary Focaccia

Several years ago, I tried Chēbē’s products at an expo and fell in love. The mix itself is free from pretty much every allergen, is vegan, and tastes wonderful. It is incredibly versatile and can be used in both sweet and savory recipes. I have recently partnered up with Chēbē and will be developing a few recipes with their products over the next couple of months.

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The first recipe I came up with is this Feta, Olive and Rosemary Focaccia. Since the dough is made with tapioca and there is cheese added to it, the bread is perfectly crispy on the outside while keeping a chewy texture inside.

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If you wanted to use this for sandwiches, I could see it being delicious with Italian meats, vinegar and spices. That being said, it’s packed with flavor on its own and I enjoyed it dipped in a bit of olive oil with a glass of red wine. I will warn you, it is incredibly addictive and it didn’t last 24 hours in our apartment before we finished the whole loaf (there are only 2 of us).

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If you are interested in trying out this recipe, I have seen Chēbē products in Whole Food’s or you can order boxes through their website.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did!

Ingredients (Prep Time: 15 min. Total Time: 60 min. Serves: 8):

  • 1 package Chēbē Focaccia Bread mix
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, diced
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, minced
  • 4 Tbsp. milk

Optional Garnishes:

  • Thinly sliced lemon rounds
  • A few extra olives
  • Rosemary
  • A sprinkle of flaky sea salt and black pepper
  • Olive oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking pan with parchment paper and lightly grease with 1 tsp. of olive oil.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl combine Chebe Focaccia bread mix, mozzarella, feta, eggs, olive oil, kalamata olives, rosemary and milk.
  3. Knead with your hands until everything is well incorporated and the mix is smooth, springy and dough like.
  4. Place dough on baking tray and press out into an oval shape, about 10 inches across at its widest point.
  5. Using your finger or the back of a spoon, poke 10 or 15 dents in the top of the dough.
  6. Brush the top of the focaccia with a bit of olive oil and top with lemon rounds, olives, feta, rosemary, salt and pepper.
  7. Bake for 40 – 45 minutes, let cool slightly and enjoy!

Not-So-Classic Mac & Cheese

I’ve always considered Mac & Cheese an ultimate comfort foods However, as I got older, I started eating gluten-free and my taste buds evolved a bit and boxed mac and cheese lost its appeal.

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I came up with a healthy gluten-free mac and cheese recipe using Banza noodles made from chickpeas. They are high protein and have a unique texture. I think they taste especially great in this mac & cheese recipe and add something interesting to it.

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A fellow blogger recommended cooking the noodles in chicken broth for extra flavor which was a great idea. I also threw in some broccoli to cut down on the carbs a bit and add some extra veggies. However, that is totally optional and can be omitted. This is a great recipe for a healthier twist on classic Mac & Cheese that both kids and adults will enjoy. This recipe will make about 3-4 servings as a side dish or 2-3 servings as a meal.

Ingredients (Total time: 30 min. Serves: 8):

  • 1 box Banza Noodles
  • 2 cubes chicken bullion
  • 2 cups chopped broccoli florets
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. gluten-free all purpose flour (I usually use Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1 ½ cups 2% milk
  • ¼ tsp. paprika
  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • 1 ½ cup shredded cheddar
  • ½ cups shredded parmesan
  • extra salt and pepper to taste
  1. Cook noodles in a medium pot according to package directions, but throw 2 cubes of chicken bullion into the boiling water. Once cooked, drain, place back into pot and set aside.
  2. Steam broccoli until completely cooked, drain and place in pot with noodles.
    In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, melt butter and stir in flour. Let the mixture bubble for about 1 or 2 minutes stirring the entire time.
  3. Slowly add milk to flour mixture about ¼ cup at a time whisking the entire time. Once the sauce starts to thicken, add the next ¼ cup of milk. Repeat until you have added all the milk and until the sauce is nicely thickened. Continuing to whisk the entire time.
  4. Whisk in paprika and garlic powder. Once incorporated, add in all of the cheese and whisk until totally melted.
  5. Pour the cheese sauce over the noodles and broccoli and mix in cheese sauce.

Whole 30 Compliant Curry Chicken Salad

I am currently about 1/3 of the way through my first Whole 30. At the end of the month, I am going to post a bunch of tips as well as more about my experience with the challenge. For now, I have a recipe that I came up with last week for a curry chicken salad.

Chicken Salad

I made a big batch of it last Sunday and had it multiple times during the week. It was a nice break from some of the more plain meals I have been making and was very flavorful and filling.

This recipe makes about 8 hearty servings and is completely compliant. Just make sure you check the labels on all of your ingredients. If you prefer, you can easily swap the almonds for cashews or pecans. This would also be delicious with fresh grapes instead of raisins I just didn’t have the patience to cut a bunch of grapes in half.

If you’re not doing Whole 30 this is still a great dinner idea, you just don’t need to be as worried with the mayo that you use.

Ingredients (Serves: 8):

  • 2.5 lbs chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 ½ cup compliant mayo (either primal kitchen or homemade)
  • 3 Tbsp. mild curry powder
  • ¾ cup raisins
  • 2/3 cup diced celery
  • 2/3 cup diced carrots
  • 2/3 cup diced red onion
  • 1 ½ medium apples chopped (I used gala)
  • ½ cup slivered almonds
  • Salt to taste
  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Toss chicken breasts with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake, depending on thickness, for 12 – 15 minutes until cooked through. Set aside and allow to cool off.
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine mayo and curry powder. Add in raisins, celery, carrots, red onion, apples, and almonds.
  3. Once chicken has cooled off, either shred or cut into small cubes. Mix in with vegetables and mayo until combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Refrigerate at least 3 – 4 hours or overnight before serving.
  5. Serve with lettuce cups of either romaine or butter lettuce to make wraps.

Sweet Potato Crust Veggie Quiche 

Sweet Potato Crust Veggie Quiche 
There is nothing quite like a piece of buttery, delicious quiche. However, it’s generally a more heavy dish and I’ve found making a gluten-free pie crust to be fairly difficult. I fixed that by making a naturally gluten-free crust made of sweet potatoes.
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It turned out wonderfully and the sweet potatoes were a great substitute for a regular pie-crust. I am sure that you could experiment with this and try using potatoes as a crust instead of sweet potatoes. You can also be flexible as far as what you want to add to the egg mixture. Just try to keep the veggie ratios somewhat similar. I hope you like this recipe as much as I did!

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Ingredients: (Prep Time: 30 min. Total time: 90 Min. Serves: 8):

  • 1.5 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 tbsp. olive oi
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves diced garlic
  • ½ cup chopped red pepper
  • 1/3 cup chopped zucchini
  • ½ cup sliced mushrooms
  • 2 cups chopped kale (remove stems)
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 4 egg whites
  • ¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar (I used reduced fat)
  • 3 tbsp skim milk
  • ¼ tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/8 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and grease a pie dish with ½ tbsp olive oil.

2. Wash and peel the sweet potatoes. Then cut them into very thin slices, around 1/8 in. thick and layer them in the pie dish so that the bottom and the sides are covered. Place in the oven for 15 min until the sweet potatoes have softened slightly.

3. While the sweet potatoes are in the oven, in a large skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil and sauté the onion, garlic and red pepper until slightly softened (about 3 minutes).

4. Then add the kale, mushrooms and zucchini to the pan. Sauté them very briefly (about 1 min), remove the pan from the heat and allow the vegetables to cool to about room temperature.

5. Whisk together eggs, milk, cheese, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.

6. Add cooled vegetables to the egg mixture and stir until combined. Pour the mixture into the pie dish with sweet potatoes.

7. Reduce oven heat to 350 degrees and bake the quiche for 45 minutes or until the middle of the quiche does not jiggle.

8. Remove from oven, allow it to cool slightly before serving (about 15 min). Enjoy!

Spicy Veggie Soup

Spicy Veggie Soup

Veggie soup is always such an easy, flexible meal to throw together and it’s especially nice because you can basically make it with any veggies you have in the fridge. I really nailed it with this combination of vegetables and spices but you can easily swap out anything I used for another veggie you may have laying around.

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This recipe makes a ton of soup so I would anticipate to have a lot of leftovers if you make it. The good news is, it keeps really well in the fridge and re-heats nicely because I didn’t add any noodles or rice directly into the soup when cooking. I would highly recommend making noodles, rice or quinoa on the side and adding them in when you reheat the soup. That way, they won’t get all soggy and break down in the fridge.

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetI made this last Sunday and we had it for lunches and dinners throughout the week. It’s a very hearty soup and isn’t super brothy, which I prefer because it’s more filling. It was amazing with a bit of pesto and vegan cheese or nutritional yeast on top.

Spicy Veggie Soup (Prep Time: 30 min. Cook Time: 30 Min. Serves: 8)

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 carrots, sliced
  • 4 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 roma tomatoes, diced or one can diced tomatoes
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 cup asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 leek, diced
  • 4 small yellow potatoes, cubed
  • 3 cups, kale cut up, stems removed
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 8 cups vegetable broth*
  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, drained
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup basil, chopped (optional)
  • Cooked noodles, rice or quinoa (optional)
  • Pesto sauce, vegan cheese or nutritional yeast for topping (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, head olive oil over medium high heat. Add in onion, carrots, and celery and sauté for a few minutes until they start to sweat and soften a bit. About five minutes.
  2. Add in garlic, diced tomatoes, red pepper flakes, and Italian seasoning, salt and pepper and sauté two or three minutes until tomatoes cook down a bit.
  3. Add red and green peppers, and leek and sauté one or two more minutes.
  4. Pour in broth and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add potatoes, asparagus, and both cans of beans.
  5. Reduce heat to medium, medium-low and simmer until potatoes are soft. About fifteen minutes.
  6. Turn off heat and stir in kale and basil.
  7. Pour over cooked rice, quinoa or bullion and top with pesto, nutritional yeast or cheese. Enjoy!

For broth I use vegan bullion and dilute it according to the package’s instructions, it tends to be much cheaper.*

My Favorite Marinara Sauce

This weekend, Josh and I did a belated Valentines day dinner. Last year for Valentine’s day I made us a a non-vegan Italian dinner but since we switched to a plant-based diet this year, that was no longer an option. Pasta 1.JPGI did some digging around and found The Minimalist Baker’s Eggplant Lasagna Roll-Ups. They are filled with a tofu based, vegan ricotta and nestled in marinara sauce. I cannot recommend her recipe enough, and if you are looking to make a delicious, date-night meal I would highly suggest trying it. I pretty much followed her recipe exactly but I served the roll-ups with pasta and a salad I did make my own marinara sauce.

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Marinara is a simple recipe in terms of ingredients but, for it to taste best, it does need to simmer for a while. The longer you cook it down, the more the flavors come together. If I have time, I will even make the sauce the night before I need it and put it in the fridge overnight. It’s honestly surprising how much more flavorful it gets as you let it sit.

It is one of my favorite recipes and I’ve been making it for years. Every time I make Italian food, this is my go-to sauce and I am really excited to share the recipe.

Ingredients (Prep Time: 10 min. Total time: 40 Min. Serves: 5):

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper (optional)
  • 29 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 14 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar (coconut sugar or agave would work also)
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions: 

  1. In a large saucepan heat olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, add in onion and sauté until softened (about 5 minutes).
  2. Add in garlic, oregano, crushed red pepper and cook until fragrant and garlic softens.
  3. Reduce heat to low, add crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce and sugar. Stir and let simmer for at least 25 minutes (up to an hour if you have time)* stirring every once in a while to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  4. Stir in chopped basil and parsley and let sit for 5 minutes.
  5. Put this sauce on whatever your heart desires, dip bread in it, have it plain with pasta, or use it for a fancy schmancy date night meal.

*The longer you can let the sauce simmer the better. If I have time, I will let it simmer for an hour. It lets the sauce thicken and the flavor develop.

 

Turmeric Mango Smoothie

Last night, I found a perfectly ripe mango that I completely forgot about in the fruit bowl on my fridge. I threw two bananas in the freezer and went to bed excited try out a new smoothie recipe for breakfast. Yes, I lead a very exciting life, I know. Anyways, the smoothie turned out to be delicious. The mango was so sweet and frozen bananas made it perfectly creamy.

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What really made it unique and flavorful was turmeric. Turmeric is aromatic and smells a bit like spicy orange. It has a pungent, earthy taste, is sweet and bitter at the same time, and pairs really well with ginger. It’s also known for it’s anti-inflammatory properties as well as a slew of other health benefits, so I try to throw it into recipes as much as possible. I also try to take a turmeric supplement whenever I remember, but I’ll save that for another post.

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This smoothie makes for a filling, treat-like breakfast. It is naturally very sweet, I threw a date in mine but you can absolutely leave it out and it will still be delicious. I also love to throw flax seeds in everything because they are essentially flavorless but are full of heart-healthy fats and fiber. If you don’t have any on hand you can omit them as well. The recipe below makes 2 large smoothies.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!

Turmeric Mango Smoothie (Total time: 7 Min. Serves: 2)

Ingredients:

  • 1 Large Mango, peeled and cut in chunks
  • 2 bananas, cut up and frozen
  • 1 cup dairy-free milk (I used cashew)
  • 1 date (omit if you want it less sweet)
  • 1 Tbsp. ground flax
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • Pinch of ground ginger
  • 5 or 6 ice cubes

*Optional toppings: hemp seed, coconut flakes, granola, and natural peanut butter all go great with this!

Instructions

  1. Toss all ingredients into a blender and blend on high speed until well incorporated.
  2. Enjoy!