Monday, July 6, 2020

Cool Refreshing Gazpacho

I enjoy Gazpacho.  It is great on these hot, steamy humid days with a lovely glass of rosé or Albariño. I often see it on the menu and I'm usually disappointed when I order it, like last night.  I like mine to have a little bit of chunkiness to it. However, it is usually all pureed. I understand because it is easier just to puree it all instead of chopping and dicing.

Gazpacho is a traditional dish from Spain that spread to Portugal and Latin America.  They all have their own variations with adding bread or avocados and even omitting the tomatoes and having more fruit-based like watermelon.  They traditionally use a mortar and pestle instead of a blender of food processor, which cause the puree to foam a bit, and a sieve for the tomatoes to get the seeds out. 
It is great summer soup because it is a soup served cold and the acidity of the tomatoes add to the refreshingness of it.  There is some prep work with dicing and chopping.  Or you can just throw it all in the food processor until completely pureed.  Your choice and it is worth it either way!
To make the soup as rich and flavorful as you can, use fresh tomatoes from your own tomato plants or gather some up at a wonderful local farmers' market.  Canned tomatoes can be more flavorful than many fresh ones you buy in your regular supermarket.  Check out this article on tomatoes.  Letting it sit longer also enhances the flavor of the soup, a minimum of 2 hours but t is still spectacular days down the road.
Visit That's Vegetarian?!  to prepare any one of the dishes and you'll find yourself saying "That's Vegetarian?!" 

Gazpacho 
1/2c Celery, chopped
1 Red, orange, or yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 Red onion, chopped
1 Garlic clove, chopped
1 Cucumber, peeled and chopped
2t Hot pepper such as jalapeno, Anaheim, or Serrano, chopped
1/2c Cilantro, chopped + 12 stems for garnish
5 Tomatoes, chopped
2c Tomato juice
1 can Tomatoes, diced
1 Avocado, cubed (opt)
2T White wine vinegar
1T avocado oil or olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 lime wedged
Mix the celery, peppers, onion, garlic, cucumber, cilantro, and 3 of the chopped tomatoes in a large bowl. Using a regular or immersion blender or a food processor, puree the can of tomatoes. Add half of the veggie mixture to the pureed tomatoes and pulse about 5 times for 3-5 seconds each time. Add the remaining mixture and pulse another five times. Continue to blend until you get your desired texture. Pour into a bowl and mix in the tomato juice, remaining chopped tomatoes, vinegar and oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Chill in the refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours, preferably overnight. 

Serve with cilantro, lime wedge, avocado and/or cucumber slices.

Serving size 1 cup
Serves 6
Prep time 20 minutes

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Watermelon Mint Salad with Vegan Option


It's hot across the county.  We could all use refreshing food to help 'cool the hot'.  The Watermelon Mint Salad does just that!  

The watermelon is cool, juicy and crisp.  The mint is refreshing.  The optional feta cheese adds a little bite and salt. Fig balsamic vinegar mixed with the blood orange olive oil drizzled over the top just creates a smooth, tangy finish. Add a little bitterness with some arugula.

I hope you love this combination as much as I have so far this summer.  I think I have made it at least 4 or 5 times already!!
VIsit Happiest Healthiest Me for more information for more recipes and webinars or enter your information below to subscribe. 
Check out YOUTUBE to watch other videos, subscribe to channel and prepare any one of the dishes and you'll find yourself saying "That's Vegetarian?!"

1 T Blood orange olive oil (or other favorite olive oil)
1 T Fig balsamic vinegar (or other balsamic vinegar)
2 T Watermelon juice (you get this as you cut the watermelon)
6 c Watermelon, 1/2” cubes seeded
2 t Mint chopped (Basil worked too!)
5 oz Arugula (optional variation)
3 oz Feta (omit for vegan or add a vegan cheese)
Mint sprigs for garnish

Whisk the olive oil, vinegar, and watermelon juice for about a minute.  Pour over the watermelon. Add feta, arugula and mint. Toss. Finish with mint sprigs. Chill. This is so yummy!!!!

Prep Time: 10 min
Serves 6



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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Baked Falafel

Falafel is a grand vegetarian staple.  It can be super delectable or super greasy!  I choose super delectable!

I bake my falafel and make into patties instead of balls to lower the amount of oil needed, ergo less calories and fat.  Some restaurants will saute the falafel in oil instead of the more common deep frying.  Add lots of extras such as hummus (check out our previous TVeg recipe see below), tomato, spinach, and peppers to the pita or sandwich to make it a great filling meal.  Falafel is usually made with chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans and cece beans) but can also be made with fava beans.  Don't waste your time with a prepackaged mix.  This is a an easy dish to prepare!

Watch the video, print the recipe, prepare any one of the dishes and you'll find yourself saying "That's Vegetarian?!"

Baked Falafel 
15 oz Garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained     
1/4 c Onions, chopped   
1/4 c Parsley or cilantro, chopped   
1 clove garlic, chopped   
1 t Cumin, ground  
1/4 t Coriander, ground   
1/4 t baking soda or powder   
2 t sesame oil   
1 T Lemon juice   
1 T Whole Wheat Flour or bread crumbs   

Preheat oven to 400F.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or coat with olive oil spray. 

Combine garbanzo beans, onion, parsley, garlic, cumin, coriander, baking soda, sesame oil and lemon juice in a food processor or blender.  Process until mixture is coarsely pureed. Transfer to a bowl and stir in flour.  Shape mixture into 4 large patties (about 3 inches by 1/2 inch), place on prepared baking sheet and let stand for 15 minutes.  Bake for 25 minutes.  After 15 minutes, turn patties over and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

Serve with sandwich thins, hummus, tomato and spinach.

Prep Time: 20 min
Bake Time: 25 min
Serves 4
(4pp.  Add 3pp for sandwich thin and 2pp for 1T hummus.)

Friday, February 10, 2017

Avocado. Kale. What to do? What to do?

I was frustrated at school the other day when the line was super long to heat up my
lunch in the microwave. So I decided that I would no longer bring something that needed to be heated. I'm the queen of looking the fridge and cupboard and came up with a kale avocado sandwich. Not new. Not original per se. But it reminds us to be creative with what we have in the kitchen.

Chop the kale (or cut up with scissors like I did). About 2 handfuls.  Put in a bowl.  Add 1 avocado and about a teaspoon of lime juice. Mix and mash it up. Add a few dashes of turmeric, smoked paprika and if you want some heat, a little chipotle pepper. Mix some more. Now it is ready as a dip or spread. I put it on some fresh ciabatta and sprinkled some chia seeds on it. Quick and easy lunch or snack.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

How to Make Boxed Mac & Cheese a Little Better

I know it is not healthy. I know there are chemicals in that "cheese". But sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. So, I sort of make it according to the directions on the box.  BUT to help with the protein, I add a 1/4 cup dried red lentils along with the noodles during the boiling process. Both the noodles and lentils are done within 7 minutes. Meanwhile, either drain a can of diced tomatoes or chop up about 4 plum tomatoes. Five minutes into the boiling process, add a couple of handfuls of chopped kale. Feel free to use spinach too.  At 7 minutes, drain in all saving about 1/4 cup of the cooking water.  Returning the noodles to the pot, add the "cheese" to the noodles/kale/lentil mixture, a tsp of butter and the 2Tbsp milk and 2Tbsp reserved liquid (or all milk or all liquid) and stir. Once it's as well blended as it'll get, add the tomatoes. Put on low heat and cook through until the tomatoes are warm. Top with some fresh cheese. You've added protein and vitamins to an otherwise not very nutritious meal. Bon appetite! 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Toasty Roasty Kale

Healthy snacks are important to have and when they are easy to make it is even better.  Toasty Roasty Kale fits in perfectly.  The easy part comes later.  Let's talk about the healthy aspects of kale.  I know, I know.  You are thinking - "Isn't that what they put in salad bars to make them look pretty?"  And the answer is YES!!!

Kale contains substantial amounts of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of nutrition essentials.  In one cup alone you have:
  • About 20% of fiber (diet and digestion)
  • Over 1300% of vitamin K (anti-inflammatory)
  • 10%of omega-3 fatty acids (anti-inflammatory)
  • 192% vitamin A (antioxidant)
  • 88% vitamin C (antioxidant, immunity)
  • Plus so much more.  
Kale is consumed all over the world.  There are different varieties.  
  • Curly leaved (Scots Kale)
  • Plain leaved
  • Rape Kale
  • Leaf and spear (a cross between curly leaved and plain leaved Kale)
  • Cavolo nero (also known as black cabbage, Tuscan Cabbage, Tuscan Kale, Lacinato and dinosaur Kale)*
Now, that you know the benefits of kale.  What the heck do you do with it?  KALE CHIPS! Unfortunately, Many of the kale chips you will find in the stores are very high in fat.  They use a lot of oil in the baking and/or frying.  There is absolutely no need for the fat.  In our Toasty Roasty Kale, there are just trace amounts of fat from the spray.  It keeps it very healthy and lower in fat than the store made ones.

Toasty Roasty Kale  

1 bunch of Kale, washed, ribs cut out, and in 1" pieces
Juice of half a lemon
Olive Oil sprayer
Salt 
Pepper 
Seasonings of choice

Preheat oven to 350F.

Place the kale on a sheet pan.  Squeeze the juice of half a lemon, spray with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper plus any other spices you may chose to use.  Toss right on the pan. Level out.  Put in oven for 8-10 minutes.  Check and cook to desired crispiness.  

Prep time: 5 minutes
Bake time: 10 minutes

Level of difficulty - easy


With the Toasty Roasty Kale you can add any variety of spices to it ~ salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder or salt, onion powder or salt, chili powder, cayenne, whatever floats your boat.  Remember, part of the fun of cooking is experimenting!!  And you can start enjoying them from start to finish in about 15 minutes. 

Watch the video, print the recipe, prepare any one of the dishes and you'll find yourself saying "That's Vegetarian?!"

http://www.healthdiaries.com/eatthis/9-health-benefits-of-kale.html
*http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kale
http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2461/2

Monday, November 7, 2016

Kabocha Squash and Azuki Beans with Kale!


What's the difference between "pumpkin" and "squash"?   

This is the best answer I could find:
"Squash are generally separated into three categories: summer squash, winter squash, and pumpkins. The difference between them all is really just based on how they are used. Summer squash are harvested when young and tender, while winter squash are harvested when hard and ripe. Pumpkins are really just winter squash, but have a distinctive pumpkin shape."* 

Not to mention there are SOOOO many varieties.  I found great lists (plus additional recipes) - All About Pumpkins Varieties and Seed to Supper.  In this recipe, I used the Kabocha Squash but Butternut or Acorn could have easily been substituted.  There was so much squash left I had to figure out what to do with it.  Check out and join www.thatsvegetarian.blogspot.com later this week for the great treat!!  

Pumpkin is so nutritious, full of fiber and beta-carotene.  Here is more in formation:
1 cup of cooked pumpkin flesh contains**:
Calories 49 
Protein 2 grams
Carbohydrate 12 grams
Dietary Fiber 3 grams
Calcium 37 mg
Iron 1.4 mg
Magnesium 22 mg
Potassium 564 mg
Zinc 1 mg 
Selenium .50 mg
Vitamin C 12 mg
Niacin 1 mg
Folate 21 mcg
Vitamin A 2650 IU
Vitamin E 3 mg


To truly amp up this macrobiotic dish, add some brown rice.  Check out last week's blog on the macrobiotic diet.  Prepare the Kabocha Squash and Azuki Beans with Kale or any of the other wonderful recipes and and you'll find yourself saying "That's Vegetarian?!"

Kabocha Squash and Azuki Beans with Kale

1 6-inch Piece of kombu
1c Azuki beans, dried
2c Kabocha squash, cut into 1/2 inch cubes, can leave peel on if organic, I prefer without
1/2 bunch kale, chopped into 1 inch pieces
1t soy sauce or shoyu
1t ginger

Combine the kombu and beans in a bowl and cover with 3 c water.  Soak for a minimum of 5 hours preferably overnight. 

Drain the kombu and beans, discarding the soaking water.  Slice the kombu into 1" x 1" squares and put the pieces in a pot.  Add the beans and fresh water to cover the beans by about 1 inch.  Put the burner on high and bring to a boil, straining any foam that rises to the top.   Boil for about 5 minutes or so.  Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for about 30 minutes checking every 10 minutes for enough water (at bean level) and doneness.  Soaking the beans longer decreases the cooking time.

Once the beans feel al dente, add the ginger and soy sauce (or shoyu) and stir.  Then place the squash on top and simmer covered for about 10 minutes.  Check, it should be slightly soft, then add the kale and simmer for another 10 minutes.  It should still be bright green.

Prep time: 15 minutes, mostly for cutting the squash and kale.
Bake time: 50 minutes
Serves 4, about 1 cup each
Level of difficulty - Intermediate.
4PP