Showing posts with label bell pepper. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bell pepper. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Avocado Thai Crunch Salad

This salad has it all!  Two kinds of cabbage, avocado, peanuts, carrots, cucumbers, edamame, crispy won ton skins, and two dressings that compliment each other so incredibly well.  Seriously this has so many layers of flavor, color, and texture - it truly is a feast for the senses.  It was inspired by the Thai Crunch Salad at California Pizza Kitchen, another place we used to frequent before I became more concerned about GMOs and pesticides.  Now I can say I have mastered a home version that uses only organic ingredients - Woohoo!  This does take some time to prepare, but many of the elements can be made ahead of time.  I always make this salad to have two days in a row because I love it so much.  

 Ingredients (makes 4 large entree salads)

1 head cabbage, chopped in 1/4" strips
1 head red cabbage, cored and chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and julienned
2 bunches green onions, white and light green parts chopped
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and julienned
1 large bunch cilantro, chopped
2 C cooked and shelled edamame
2 cups roasted peanuts
4 avocados, chopped
1 C Cilantro Lime dressing
4 C fried won ton strips
1 C Thai Peanut Dressing

Cilantro Lime Dressing
1/4 red bell pepper, cored and chopped
1 small bunch cilantro, chopped
1 1/2 Tbsp honey
1 1/2 Tbsp white vinegar
2 Tbsp lime juice
1 1/2 tsp agave nectar
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp fresh minced ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 C olive oil

Thai Peanut Dressing
2 Tbsp peanut butter
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 1/2 tsp water
2 tsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 Tbsp olive oil


  1. Make the Cilantro Lime Dressing by putting all of the ingredients except for the olive oil into a food processor.  Process until smooth, about 1 minute.  Then, with the machine running, slowly add the olive oil.  Continue processing for 1 more minute.  Store in the fridge until ready for use. Whisk before using.
  2. Make the Thai Peanut Dressing by putting the peanut butter, honey, vinegar, water, and soy sauce into a small bowl.  Whisk to combine.  Add sugar, salt, cayenne, and oil.  Whisk until fully incorporated.  
  3. Assemble the salad by placing the cabbage, carrots, green onion, cucumber, cilantro, edamame, and peanuts into a large bowl.  Add the Cilantro Lime Dressing and toss to combine.  Plate the salads and top with won ton skins and avocado.  Drizzle the Thai Peanut Dressing on top and serve.  

Adapted from California Pizza Kitchen

Friday, June 28, 2013

Ultimate Breakfast Burrito

This breakfast burrito is one of my favorite meals.  Given the fact that I almost exclusively eat my homemade granola for breakfast, having a hearty, warm breakfast (or breakfast-for-dinner) is a real treat.  This takes all my breakfast faves and puts it into burrito form.  What could be better?  Packing it with fresh, organic, local veggies makes this even better.  I love to make it when onions, bell peppers, and tomatoes are all in season together.  They are so flavorful!  Add in some eggs, cheese, sausage (veggie for me!), and tater tots and you've got one fantastic meal!  Top it with salsa, ketchup, hot sauce, or a some combination of the three to perfectly suit your tastes.  :)

Ingredients (enough to feed my family of four)

flour tortillas
1 Tbsp olive oil
5 small sausage patties
7 eggs
1/4 C milk
salt and pepper to taste
tater tots, cooked according to package directions
cheddar cheese, finely grated
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 large onion, chopped
2 large tomates, chopped


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick pan.  Cook the sausage patties according to package instructions.  Set aside to cool.  Chop into small pieces. 
  2. While the sausage is cooking, whisk the eggs and milk together in a medium bowl.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Pour into the pan that cooked the sausages.  Cook to your liking.  
  3. Warm the tortillas and load the eggs and the rest of the toppings to your liking.  Top with ketchup, hot sauce, or salsa and enjoy!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Portobello Cheese "Steak" Sandwich

Oh man!  This Portobello Cheese "Steak" Sandwich is SO GOOD!  Just writing this post and looking at the pictures is making me crave it again.  I can't wait for the next time we enjoy this for dinner.  This is a wonderful alternative to a meat-based sandwich.  Even my non-vegetarian husband loved it.  The biggest amount of time is spent slicing the veggies, but the actual cooking and assembly is quite easy.  I love the colors, the cheesy deliciousness, the garlic mayo, and the addition of Sriracha puts this over the top for those of you who like spice.  My 4 year old actually downed the entire sandwich and the 20 month old gobbled down the filling.  This is a new house staple for sure!


1/2 C mayonaise
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 large portobello mushrooms, gills removed and cut on an angle
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
1 green bell pepper, cut into strips
1 large onion, cut into strips
salt and pepper, to taste
1 Tbsp flour
2 Tbsp soy sauce
4 hoagie rolls
4 provolone slices
Sriracha (optional, but recommended!)


  1. Combine the mayo and garlic in a small bowl.  Keep in the fridge until ready to use.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add the mushrooms, bell peppers, and onions.  Allow to cook until the mushrooms release their moisture, about 10-15 minutes.  Add salt and pepper and stir.  Mix in flour.  Then add soy sauce and stir to combine.  
  3. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees.
  4. Prepare the sandwiches but first putting a layer of the garlic mayo inside the roll.  The fill it up with the mushrooms and veggies.  Top with provolone.  Heat in the oven until the cheese is melted and the buns just begin to brown on the edges.  Enjoy hot and topped with Sriracha if desired. 

This is an original recipe

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Classic Coleslaw

I have to admit another food I have missed since becoming a vegetarian.  I grew up having KFC occasionally, and I always LOVED their coleslaw.  But I have to tell you, there really isn't a reason to go to KFC as a vegetarian.  Because of that, I haven't had it for years.  I have tried a variety of coleslaws and this one is the closest I have found to the taste I adored.  I know, it is a mayo-based version, so it isn't the healthiest.  But you know what?  Sometimes you just want the real thing.  This is the perfect side dish for a family picnic, BBQ, or just about anything.  :)


1 small red bell pepper, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1/4 C parsley, chopped
1/2 large cabbage head
1/2 C mayonnaise
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp lemon pepper seasoning
1 Tbsp white vinegar


  1. Place the bell pepper, green onion, carrot, and parsley in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped being careful not to over process.  Cut half the cabbage into chunks and add to the processor.  Pulse a few times, again being careful not to over process.  
  2. Slice the remaining cabbage thinly and place in a large bowl.  Add the processed vegetables and mix together.  In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients and allow to stand for 3-5 minutes.  
  3. Combine the dressing with the vegetables and toss to evenly coat.  Allow to chill for at least 1 hour.

Adapted from Paula Dean

Friday, March 15, 2013

Crispy Sweet and Sour Tofu

I am always on the lookout for new ways to prepare vegetarian Asian food.  Sweet and sour chicken was always a favorite of mine, but I had yet to make it since becoming a vegetarian.  This tofu version is fantastic!  Crispy tofu triangles tossed in a sweet and sour glaze with fresh pineapple, red peppers and onions make a perfect meal.  It was even great the next day!  The tofu wasn't as crispy, but it still maintained a delicious texture thanks to its cornstarch coating.  You can serve it over rice or with a side of noodles.


14 oz extra firm tofu, sliced and pressed
buttermilk (or 2 eggs and 1/2 C milk), mixed
1/2 C cornstarch
1/3 C coconut oil
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 a fresh pineapple, cored and cut into triangles
2 red peppers, cut into square pieces
1 yellow onion, cut into wedges

7 Tbsp rice vinegar
1/2 C water
5 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp tamari or soy sauce
2 Tbsp ketchup
2 tsp molasses
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp salt
3 Tbsp cornstarch + 4 Tbsp water

  1. Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the onion, bell pepper, and pineapple.  Cook until the vegetables are crisp tender, stirring often.  Set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine all the sauce ingredients EXCEPT the cornstarch and water mixture.  Whisk over medium heat until the sugar and salt are dissolved.  Add the cornstarch mixture and whisk until thickened.  Set aside.
  3. Slice the tofu into small triangles.  Coat the pieces in the buttermilk or egg mixture and dredge in the cornstarch to evenly coat. 
  4. In a large skillet, heat the coconut oil over medium-high heat.  Working in batches, cook the tofu until golden, about 3-5 minutes each side.  Set aside to drain.  
  5. Place all the tofu, pineapple, onions, and peppers into a large bowl.  Toss to combine.  Pour the sauce and gently coat all the pieces.  Serve warm and enjoy!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Chickpea Salad Sandwich

I just love sandwiches.  They are the perfect quick meal.  As soon as I saw a recipe for a creamy chickpea salad sandwich from Becca at Amuse Your Bouche, I knew it was something I had to try.  The filling can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge so you have lunches ready for days - something important for a mom of 2 young children!  The whole family loved this sandwich...even my 18 month old.  Well, she couldn't eat the actual sandwich, but I set some of the filling aside, made sure it was well-mashed, and she ate it off a fork.  :)  The original recipe is great, but I tweaked it a bit for my tastes.  I hope you try it!

Ingredients (makes 3-4 sandwiches)

15oz chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 tsp garlic powder
3 green onions, chopped
1/2 bell pepper, diced
2 Tbsp parsley, minced
2-3 Tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
bread slices
onion, sliced
spicy brown mustard

  1. Lightly mash the chickpeas using a fork or potato masher.  In a large bowl, combine the chickpeas with the garlic powder, green onion, bell pepper, parsley, and lemon juice.  
  2. Build your sandwiches with a layer of brown mustard on the lower piece of bread, a heaping portion of chickpea salad, and a sprinkle of paprika (to taste).  Top it off with the lettuce and sliced onion.  Enjoy!

Adapted from Amuse Your Bouche

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Hamburger Macaroni Casserole

I don't have many casseroles in my repertoire because it seems that so many of them are very unhealthy.  This one isn't exactly a health food, but sometimes you just need a casserole, right?  It screams fall to me.  Cold weather outside and a hot dinner in a 9x13 baking dish sizzling away in the oven.  Ahhh, comfort food!  :)   

There are a lot of different seasonings I use in this casserole to give it a real kick of flavor.  Really, this combination of spices is always a winner for me in a number of applications.  I have toned it down over the years so my daughter can handle it, but if you really like spice add more chili powder and cayenne.     We don't make this a lot because it's not the healthiest meal, but we always enjoy it when we treat ourselves to it.  :)  


2 C macaroni
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 heaping cup of corn
12 oz ground beef-style crumbles
16 oz low sodium tomato soup
1/3 C vegetable broth
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp chili powder
dash of red pepper flakes
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic salt
french fried onions


  1. Cook macaroni according to package directions.  Drain and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add the onion and green pepper and cook until tender.
  4. Add the macaroni to the skillet.  Also add the burger crumbles, corn, soup, broth, and seasonings.  Stir to combine.
  5. Pour into a 9x13 baking dish and top with crumbled french fried onions.  Bake for 15 minutes or until the fried onions are golden brown.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Fresh Sweet Corn and Tomato Salad

Nothing says summer quite like farm fresh corn.  It is one of those things we ONLY eat when it is locally available.  Even though you can get it year round in your neighborhood grocery store, I never do because store-bought corn is just not good!  Believe me, once you try local corn picked from the fields the same day, you will wonder how you ever ate anything else!

This salad is such a great side dish to a variety of meals.  It works great for a backyard BBQ, paired with a pasta, or even tacos!  Many corn salad recipes have you boil the corn cob first, but sweet corn is amazingly delicious raw off the cob.  Plus, it makes for easier prep!  The colors are vibrant and the taste is wonderful.  I hope you enjoy this salad all summer long - like I know I will!  :)

4 ears sweet corn, kernels removed
2 tomatoes, discard seeds and chop
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno, discard seeds and chop
1/4 C fresh cilantro, chopped
juice of 2 limes
4 oz crumbled feta


  1. In a large bowl, combine corn, tomatoes, onion, red pepper, jalapeno, and cilantro.  Stir to combine.
  2. Add lime juice.  Stir to combine.
  3. Season with pepper to taste. 
  4. Can be made up to this point a day in advance.  When ready to serve, add crumbled feta.  
  5. Serve cold.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Greek Pesto Pizza

This delicious pizza is jam-packed with veggies!  It is one of my family's favorites for sure!  There are so many textures and flavors combined to make this pizza a real delight for the whole family.  The quality of the pesto is so important to this dish, so I truly hope you make your own.  There are far more veggies than cheese, so it is a healthier option for a pizza.  (Good since I LOVE pizza!)  This is another recipe that allows you to prep the ingredients ahead of time, so your dinner-time rush is incredibly fast and simple.  I hope you give this pizza a try!

Your favorite pizza crust
1/2-3/4 C pesto
1/2 small cucumber, seeded and chopped
1 ripe tomato, seeded and chopped
1/2 large green bell pepper, chopped
2 oz black olives, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
6 oz canned artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
3-4 oz crumbled feta cheese

  1. Heat the oven to 475 with the pizza stone already inside.
  2. Spread the pesto evenly on the pizza crust.
  3. Top with the vegetables and cheese.
  4. Bake directly on the pizza stone for 8-10 minutes, or until the cheese is lightly browned.

Shared on Orgjunkie

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Lasagna Roll Ups

We've had pretty warm weather here lately, so I really wanted a no fuss dinner this week.  I had a few carrots and zucchini left over from last week and wanted to use them up, so I decided to try an interesting new wrap using lasagna noodles!  My daughter thought they were the coolest thing!

You can cook the lasagna noodles ahead of time, coat them in olive oil to prevent sticking, and seal them in the fridge until ready to use.  I decided to make them fresh.  The roasting of the bell peppers took the longest of all the prep work.  If your kids are a bit older, they can help with the assembly.  These would also make a great lunch!

8-10 lasagna noodles
2 small zucchini, thinly sliced lengthwise (I used my mandoline)
2 carrots, shredded
2 roasted red peppers, peeled, seeded, and chopped
goat cheese, softened


  1. Cook lasagna noodles as directed.  
  2. Cut the length of the lasagna noodles in half, giving you two shorter pieces
  3. Spread the goat cheese on top of the noodle.  Layer with a slice of zucchini, some shredded carrot, then red pepper.
  4. Roll and enjoy!

From BHG, May 2012

Thursday, May 17, 2012

My Vegetable Lasagna

I love lasagna.  It's such a comforting and hearty meal.  You can pack it chock-full of veggies loading it up with colors and textures.  Sure, with the cheese it may not be a "health food", but it is a great meal that families can easily enjoy.  

I had been searching for a delicious vegetable lasagna for years, but they always seemed to fall short in my book.  After years of disappointment, I finally decided to create my own recipe.  I chose some of my favorite veggies in a rainbow of colors.  Also, instead of slicing them, I chopped them!  I always found the sliced veggies to be soggy in the finished product.  Chopping them gives the lasagna a more complex texture making it more appealing to meat eaters as well.

This recipe is so easy to make.  When you get down to it, you are basically making an especially chunky sauce layered with a cheese mixture and lasagna noodles.  What could be simpler?  

8oz lasagna noodles
8oz mushrooms, sliced
1 large onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
2 small zucchini, chopped
2 small carrots, chopped
10oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 26oz jars pasta sauce (or make your own)
1 tsp dried basil
15oz ricotta cheese
3 C shredded mozzarella, divided
2 large eggs
1/2 C freshly grated parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions and set aside.
  3. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add the mushrooms, onion, garlic, zucchini, carrot, and bell pepper.  Cook until just tender, about 10 mins.  Add the spinach and cook an additional 2 mins.  
  4. Stir in pasta sauce and basil, salt and pepper to taste.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.  
  5. While the sauce is simmering, combine the ricotta, eggs, and 2 cups of mozzarella cheese.  
  6. In a 9x13 baking dish, pour 1 C sauce and evenly coat the bottom.  Layer the lasagna noodles.  Spread half the cheese mixture over the noodles and top with half the remaining sauce.  Sprinkle with half the parmesan cheese.  Repeat with a layer of noodles, followed by the remaining cheese, then sauce.  
  7. Top with the last cup of mozzarella and remaining parmesan.  
  8. Bake, uncovered, for 40 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling.  Let sit for 10-15 minutes before serving. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Southern-Style Veggie Sliders

Hamburgers are one of those foods that are so wonderful for a warm-weather dinner outside.  What's even better than hamburgers?  Sliders!  Sliders are so much fun for kids to eat because they are just the right size for little hands.  These southern-style sliders are a wonderful twist on an old favorite.  They have bright veggies right in the patty, and the Cajun mayo is so yummy!!

Given the fact that my husband is a meat-eater, I can't make just any veggie patty.  I try to find options that have a unique flavor and a hearty texture.  He has learned that vegetarian burgers are not going to taste like beef, so he knows not to expect that.  They are a new category of food with an entirely different flavor.  

The patty has a base of mashed black-eyed peas.  They give the patty a great texture and the kids will have a blast smashing the beans!  The black-eyed peas are a great way to get more legumes into your diet for lean protein since each serving contains no fat or cholesterol.   They are also a good source of potassium and iron.

When you add the veggies to the bean mixture, the colors really pop.  The selection of chopped vegetables really give the patty a nice texture.   Give these sliders a try for a healthier alternative to ground beef.  They are just delicious!!

2 (15 oz) cans black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 C finely chopped sweet red pepper
1/2 C finely chopped celery
3 green onions, finely chopped
1/4 C fine dry bread crumbs
1/2 tsp garlic salt
olive oil for cooking
1/2 C mayonnaise
1 Tbsp cajun seasoning
12-14 soft dinner rolls or mini hamburger buns

  1. In a large bowl, mash the black-eyed peas with a potato masher or meat tenderizer.  Add the egg, red pepper, celery, green onions, bread crumbs, and garlic salt.  Mix well.
  2. When ready to cook, shape the bean mixture into 1/2 inch thick patties that will fit the size of your rolls - they will not shrink during cooking.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the patties and cook about 4 minutes on each side until lightly browned and heated through.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise and Cajun seasoning.  Serve with lettuce.

Adapted from BHG

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Make Your Own Quesadilla

Cinco de Mayo is coming up this Saturday, so I couldn't resist making some Mexican food this week.  Quesadillas are such a quick and easy meal, and you can fill them with just about anything.  The best part for me is offering the fillings and letting my daughter make her own!  She is more apt to try a variety of veggies if she gets to assemble it.  :)

I have all the filling options prepped ahead of time and I lay them all out for the family.  I try my best to have an assortment in a variety of colors and textures.  No plain cheese quesadillas here!

Each person layers on the fillings and I cook them on the stovetop.  It takes a couple of rounds to cook them all, but again, it is so easy!

olive oil
shredded cheese (we usually opt for sharp cheddar and pepper jack)
yellow onion, diced
green onion, thinly sliced
red pepper, diced
sweet corn 
sliced olives
salsa (we make our own)
sour cream

These are what we had on hand this week.  In the past we have also used diced tomatoes and avocado. You could also add grilled chicken or any other meat if you like.  

  1. Heat the oil in a large fry pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Lay the tortilla flat and fill one half of it with the fillings you choose.  Make sure you really stack them on there.  You will be surprised how thin they get once the cheese melts!
  3. Fold the tortilla over into a half-moon shape and place into the fry pan.  I prefer using a large fry pan so I am able to accomodate 2 quesadillas at once.
  4. Cook until the cheese has started to melt and the underside is golden brown.  Flip once to brown the other side.
  5. Once cooked, remove from the pan and place on a paper towel to absorb the excess oil.  Top with salsa and sour cream if you like.  Enjoy!!