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Creamy Vegan Baked Pesto Pasta

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I have been on a vegan kick lately! I don’t practice a vegan lifestyle, however I find vegan recipes to be so creative, healthy and of course- delicious! I love love love Oh She Glows, a healthy food blog where I fell in love with vegan cooking! Her cookbook book is full of healthy and delicious recipes.

In this delicious baked vegan pasta recipe the creaminess comes from pureed beans rather than gobs of cheese, oil or fat.  The casserole turned out beautifully and tasted extremely delicious! This is heart healthy, full of fiber and low in calories.

For those of you who aren’t vegan, you can add cooked chicken or ham to the casserole before baking and sprinkle the top with Parmesan cheese.

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Vegan Creamy Pesto Pasta


Yields 8 servings // Prep time 40 min // Cook time 50 -60 min

Pesto Ingredients: (You can also use store-bought pesto)

  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp pine nuts
  • 3 Tbsp walnuts
  • 2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice

Casserole Ingredients:

  • ½ package whole wheat penne pasta
  • 1 cup cashews, soaked for 1 hour in water
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • ¼ cup vegetable broth
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 Tbsp white wine
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 19-oz can white kidney beans
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cup roasted red bell peppers, chopped
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
  • ½ cup grated vegan mozza cheese
  • ½ cup bread crumbs
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Additional salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a food processor or blender, combine the garlic, nuts, salt, pepper and basil. Pulse until finely chopped.  With the food processor running, add the oil, water and lemon juice. Blend until smooth. Place pesto in a covered bowl or container in the fridge until needed. You can also use store bought pesto instead.
  3. Cook pasta until al dente. Rinse with cold water and drain, set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, in a blender or food processor, combine the cashews, milk, broth, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, wine and 1 cup of white beans. Blend until smooth.
  5. In a large bowl, combine the remaining beans, tomatoes, red pepper, spinach, milk mixture, pasta and pesto; toss to coat.
  6. Transfer to an oiled 8×8 inch baking dish. Smooth top and sprinkle with cheese, than evenly sprinkle the breadcrumbs and salt and pepper; drizzle with olive oil. Bake the casserole for 40 to 45 minutes or until the topping turns golden brown.
  7. Let cool for 10 to 20 minutes before serving.

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6 Comments

Spinach and Basil stuffed Chicken

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This recipe has become one of my favorites! It is easy to prepare and is extremely healthy. I have been cooking a lot of chicken lately and find this one to be extra moist and flavorful (with little fat or calories).

I cooked this last night with the help of my boyfriend. I prepare the filling while he was in charge of cooking the chicken. I paired this dish with couscous and chopped tomatoes.

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Spinach and Basil stuffed Chicken


Yields 4 servings \\ Prep time 10 minutes \\ Cooked time 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless and skinless chicken breast halves
  • 2 cups fresh spinach leaves
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup Gruyere cheese
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Using a sharp knife, cut each chicken breast in half horizontally through the thickest portion, to the opposite side. You should make this into a pocket large enough to hold the spinach filling. Do Not cut all the way through! Season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper.

2. In a small food processor combine the spinach, basil and cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and process until well mixed. Spread mixture into the filling of the chicken breasts.

3. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Cook chicken in hot skillet for 4-5 minutes or until brown, turning once. Place chicken on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Serve with quinoa and diced tomatoes. Enjoy :)

 

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1 Comment

Paprika Shrimp over Pasta

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This recipe puts a spin on any typical shrimp dish. With a mix of both European and Japanese flavors, you’ve got yourself a solid meal! The parsnips add a great crunch and are full of stomach-filling fiber. Walnuts, high in Omega-3’s, add richness to the sauce. This is a simple dish to prepare and is extremely healthy. Enjoy!

Paprika Shrimp with Turnips


Yields 4 servings // Prep time 20 minutes // Cook time 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 3 Tbsp walnuts, chopped
  • ½ lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1½ cups peeled parsnips or turnips, cubed (¼-inch)
  • 1½ Tbsp apple-cider vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp sake or mirin (rice wine)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ½ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Gluten-free pasta to serve, if desired

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add ginger and paprika, stirring until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add walnuts and stir until lightly browned, 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add shrimp and stir until pink and opaque throughout, 2 minutes per side. Stir in turnips, vinegar, sake and 1 tsp salt. Season with pepper. Continue to cook, stirring, until heated through about 2 minutes. Stir in parsley and serve warm.

 

I served mine over gluten-free pasta and sprinkled extra paprika on top!

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14 Comments

Miso Glazed Salmon with Cilantro Sauce

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My favorite salmon recipe. Hands down.

The reason this salmon is my favorite? It literally melts in your mouth like butter.. and it’s healthy! It looks fancy but it’s actually very simple to prepare. This was my first time cooking with white miso and I enjoyed how savory and sweet it tasted with the salmon. My boyfriend and I make this at least twice a month because we can never get enough of it. I definitely recommend making this dish!

(This salmon recipe is a modified version of the original recipe from the cookbook Power Foods.)

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Miso Glazed Salmon with Cilantro Sauce {One of my favorites!!!}


Ingredients:

  • 1 cup white miso
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar (unseasoned)
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar plus 2 teaspoons
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 4 fresh skinless wild Alaskan salmon filets (6oz each)
  • 1 cup packed cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice, 3 limes
  • 1/2 shallot, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 small fresh jalapeno, chopped (ribs and seeds removed)
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 2 Tablespoons canola oil

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Start by adding the miso, vinegar, 1/4 cup brown sugar and water to a medium saucepan. Cook this over medium heat and stir occasionally until the miso and sugar are dissolved. Be sure not to boil! This only takes a few minutes.

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Let the glaze cool to room temperature, about 10 minutes. Place the salmon into shallow dish (or large resealable bag) and add the miso mixture. Be sure to completely coat the salmon… you want the yumminess to spread all over.

Let this marinate in the fridge for one hour.

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While the salmon is marinating, you can start on the sauce! This about the time I open the bottle of sake with my bf.

Puree the cilantro, lime juice, shallot, jalapeno, garlic, ginger, oil and remaining brown sugar in a food processor or blender until sauce is smooth. The finished product should have a bright green color, add more cilantro if you need to! The cilantro sauce has a very intense flavor on it’s own but works extremely well with the salmon.

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Next, heat the broiler and place the rack about 8 inches from the heat source. Wipe off any excess marinade from the salmon and place filets in baking dish.

Broil filets for about 5 to 6 minutes, until they are cooked through. (I like mine seared in the middle). Using a large spoon, add cilantro sauce to each plate. Put the salmon on top of the cilantro sauce and serve! I enjoy this dish without any sides since it tastes so good on it’s own!

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Matt and I like to pair our salmon with sake… cheers :)

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Doesn’t this make you hungry??

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