Plant Based Goodness

We set our clocks back last night which is a good reminder that fall is definitely here. We’ve had a warm September and October, and November is starting out cool and damp-typical for the midwest. Although I’m not a fan of it getting darker earlier now, it’s a part of the life process we must traverse. I think the warmer temps helped some of the leaves stay on the trees here, there are still a lot of red, yellows and oranges dotting the landscape. Sometimes most of the leaves have blown off by early October; I’ll enjoy the color as long as I can.

Fall weather means warm comfort dishes like soups and stews. I made my veggie stew last night for dinner and my homemade recipe did not disappoint. We’ve got great leftovers for the week and some in the freezer for later! I’ve got a lot of great recipes for the fall and winter, but sometimes I like to just make stuff up (like my stew recipe)

Tonight I made the Spinach Potato Tacos from the Forks Over Knives app-with a twist. I added some bell peppers to the mix and it was heavenly. I served it with a quick Tex Mex rice and it was a perfect dinner! The rice consisted of Whole Foods frozen brown rice, some frozen roasted corn, frozen black beans (I freeze beans on a regular basis for times like this), diced red and orange bell pepper and diced zucchini. After I warmed it in the microwave, I added some Trader Joe’s roasted salsa to it and it was DELISH! Quite an easy dish to put together!

Here are some pictures of my creations!

Stew!

Veggies sautéing without oil! I love the colors!

Tortilla Bowls!

Spinach/Potato/Pepper Tacos served in a corn tortilla bowl, and easy Tex Mex Rice

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Making a Recipe Your Own

I love following recipes when I want to try new dishes; but I also love adding my own tweaks to them if I feel it’s warranted.  Quite often when I make a recipe for the first time I follow it to a ‘T’, then I make adjustments in future renditions.  Tonight was different; I let my creative side come out!  I made a recipe from the Forks Over Knives App-Spaghetti with roasted tomatoes, chickpeas and basil. In stead of cherry tomatoes I used a combination of mini San Marzano and small heirloom tomatoes.  I put a little fresh salted minced garlic on top of each tomato half.  Once the pasta and tomatoes were cooked, I added sundried tomatoes, capers, and some chopped spinach.  Then I added the required chickpeas and basil.  I LOVED the additions!  To be honest, I would not put chickpeas in the next rendition…maybe cannellini beans instead.  The little garlic roasted tomatoes were so very yummy.  My husband gave it a two thumbs up and definitely wants it put on the make again list.

So do be afraid to try different things when you make a new recipe. I find pasta is very forgiving and you really can’t go wrong with whatever you add.

Bon Appetite!

Refreshing Summer Salad-Happy Father’s Day

Today is Father’s Day. It’s a rather uneventful day now that my dad has passed away, but I still like to celebrate my husband’s fatherhood and remember the great memories I have of my father.  We were lucky to enjoy dinner with my husband’s oldest son and wife last night at a quaint Italian restaurant near us.  It was a great time with wonderful conversation and food.  I hope everyone had a great Father’s Day. 

In lieu of the rich food we had the previous night, I decided to make a tasty salad for dinner.  I made the Avocado and Chickpea salad from the Forks Over Knives App.  It’s super easy to make and this time I embellished it with tomatoes…what a difference that made.  This is a very versatile dish that could be placed on a bed of greens, or in an oil free tortilla.  I chose the salad option, and served some homemade lime and sea salt tortilla chips on the side.

I’m excited for the beginning of summer…so many good things are happening!

One of my favorite photos-my dad and me on my first birthday!