All posts filed under: Main Dishes

Spanish White Bean and Vegetable Stew

Hearty Spanish White Bean and Vegetable Stew

This hearty, spicy dish is inspired by a traditional Spanish stew called Fabada. It has all of the warm, comforting flavors of the original, but with an extra helping of veggies and plant-based meaty goodness in place of pork sausage and bacon. This recipe is perfect… comfort food on a cold winter’s night. to feed a group without breaking the bank. to serve to people who think a meal is not complete without meat. This will change their minds! when you want a filling, replenishing meal after a workout. Nutritional Highlights: The beans, soyrizo, and seitan bacon make this a very protein rich dish with all of the essential amino acids. Studies have shown that plant protein can be more filling and satiating than meat sources. One teaspoon of paprika has 37 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin A which can help protect your eyes bright and your skin clear. Beans are considered heart healthy because they contain an abundance of soluble fiber, which can lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels when you make …

6 Easy Veggie Swaps to Cut Calories and Boost Nutrition

10 Easy Veggie Swaps to Cut Calories and Boost Nutrition

We know by now that eating a diet rich in vegetables is good for our health, our mood and even our looks. Here’s a list of the veggie swaps you can make to get more of them into your meals while lightening up on calories. If you’re worried about feeling deprived, don’t. Because they’re so nutritionally dense, you may actually fuller with the veggie versions! 1. Instead of Flour Tortillas use Collard Greens- Swap out the refined flour for a crunchy collard greens next time you make a wrap and save over 100 calories while getting the anti-inflammatory benefits of vitamin K and omega-3 fatty acids. How-to: Cut off the thick stem and carefully slice the rib so that it is flush to the leaf. That way it won’t break when you roll it up. Remember to always cut with the knife cutting away from your hand to avoid accidents. Add your filling in the center of the leaf, perpendicular to the stem, then fold in the sides and roll it up like a burrito. Try a …

Your New Favorite Weeknight Dinner- Veggie Tempeh Bolognese

My aunt recently told me she had tried to make tempeh, but thought it tasted like cardboard. I had to agree with her, on its own it can be pretty bland. However, when prepared the right way it can be a savory, hearty, protein filled base for a delicious meal. She was skeptical, but willing to try a dish that might redeem it for her, so I shared this Veggie Tempeh Bolognese recipe that is one of my weeknight favorites. Later that night she messaged an adorable picture of her toddler gobbling it up with spaghetti and my uncle with an empty bowl and a big smile on his face. Now, he is not what you would call an adventurous eater, so a little white lie was in order. She let him think it was a turkey Bolognese until after he had cleaned his plate. Now it is one of their favorite easy dinner recipes and hopefully it will be one of yours too. This recipe is perfect… When you want a quick, filling, delicious …

Spinach Pasta with Roasted Pumpkin, Pomegranate and Pecans in Sage Garlic Oil

Spinach Pasta with Roasted Pumpkin, Pomegranate and Pecans in Sage Garlic Oil

I came up with this recipe as a way to make the best use of the pumpkins that had been  decorating my front entryway. I bought a couple of varieties that were new to me this year rather than the traditional jack-o-latern type. When I cut into them with plans to make toasted pumpkin seeds, the color of the flesh inside told me that these pumpkins were made for more decorating doorsteps. I’ve tried cooking those regular pumpkins before and they were flavorless and fibrous, but these brightly colored pumpkins have a smooth, sweet flesh similar to butternut squash. The types to try are Cinderella, Fairytale, Hubbard or Sugar Pie. All you have to do to bring out their rich, sweet pumpkin flavor is roast them with a few spices. You can serve roasted pumpkin as a hearty seasonal side, but here it is paired with earthy spinach pasta, meaty pecans and sweet-tart pomegranate seeds to become a main dish that is not only beautifully balanced in flavor, but also beautiful to look at. This recipe …

The Perfect Vegetarian Main Dish for The Holidays- Stuffed Maple Glazed Acorn Squash

Feel Good Thanksgiving Roundup- Recipes for an Easy, Healthy and Delicious Holiday

Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends, and of course good food! Here is a roundup of our favorite fall dishes that are full of flavor, but simple enough to keep the holiday stress-free…at least in the kitchen. I can’t make promises about where the conversation at the post-election dinner table will go, but I can promise at the very least, everyone can have a happy belly. Now that’s something to be grateful for. A festive aperitif-  The Big Sur Spritz  is just right for the season. A little sparkling wine with a splash of persimmon juice, a sprinkling of fresh pomegranate seeds and a sprig of lavender or thyme is a lovely way to start off the meal. For a hearty and beautiful meat-free main dish try Stuffed Maple Glazed Acorn Squash with Dried Cranberries and Pecans.  Serve it with a delicious, velvety Spiced Sweet Potato Puree than you can whip up in a blender or food processor. and some quick cooking Greens Agrodolce with Marcona Almonds and Crispy Fried Shallots.  A little Roasted Curry …

Delicious, Nutritious and Easy Fall Garden Pasta

Today is world vegetarian day, so I thought it would be a great day to share one of my easy go-to vegetarian/vegan main dishes. It’s super flavorful and nutritious thanks to the variety of veggies included. It’s a really versatile and forgiving recipe so you can change it up and make it your own each time based on what looks fresh at the market or what you have in the fridge. In place of the kale and chard you can substitute other greens, such as spinach or collard or add other vegetables such as broccoli or mushrooms in place of the cauliflower. I like to use Muir Glen organic tomato paste and organic diced tomatoes with basil and garlic for this recipe. This is the kind of main dish you can serve to a meat eater and they won’t even notice that it’s completely meat and dairy free. The nuts add a little protein and great texture and the sun-dried tomatoes add umami goodness. Together with the pasta it makes for a meal that is filling …

Quick Pan-Seared Branzino with Artichoke Hearts and Lemon-Herb Sauce

Real Food Fast: Pan-Seared Branzino with Artichoke Hearts and Lemon-Herb Sauce

When I was a kid, a quick seafood dinner meant fish sticks with tartar sauce. While I’m sure my mom had the best of intentions when pulling the frozen minced fish logs from their packets, (“eat it, it’s good for you!” she’d say) it’s no wonder I grew up thinking I hated fish. It wasn’t until I travelled to italy as an adult (if you can call an 18-year-old an adult?) and tried their simple preparations of white fish that I found out it could be so much more than those mushy breaded sticks of my youth. One of the most popular fish on Italian menus is Branzino, a type of European sea bass with a delicate flavor and firm, flaky texture. It has become one of my favorite fish to prepare thanks to it’s versatility and light, almost sweet taste. Here it’s paired with savory artichoke hearts and a bright, lemony herb sauce. While this recipe is significantly more delicious than fish sticks, you’ll be surprised to find that it’s just as quick and easy to …

Everything Bagel Party Potato Salad

This is a dish I made to bring along to a Fourth of July BBQ that everyone loved. It’s a fun and delicious rift on an everything bagel with the works. It was inspired by a recipe in one of my favorite cooking magazines Bon Appetit. I adjusted it to make it dairy-free and include more flavorful, crunchy and nutritious veggies. I took a vegan version to the party because I knew it would go well with anything else on the menu. My husband had some for lunch before we left along with the salmon on a bed of salad greens and really loved it. So depending on what else you are serving (or your dietary preference) you can decide whether to add the lox. I used packaged tofu cream cheese from the supermarket, but you could certainly make your own. My cashew sour cream  would also work well in place of the cream cheese in this recipe. I hope you enjoy it at your next gathering!  xo Jacq Ingredients: serves 8-10 3 pounds Baby or Fingerling Potatoes, halved …

Meaty Grilled Portobello Mushroom Steaks

  These grilled mushrooms make a satisfying and savory centerpiece to any meal. They are both low-calorie and immune boosting. Try them sliced on top of salads, your favorite bowl or as a taco or sandwich filling. I like to serve them with rice and beans so you get the meaty flavor from the mushrooms and lots of protein too. Enjoy!     Ingredients: 2 Tbsp Olive Oil 1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar 1 Tbsp Tamari or Soy Sauce 1 tsp Dijon Mustard (preferably grainy) Big pinch dried Rosemary Tiny pinch Garlic Powder 2 Large Portobello Mushrooms In a small bowl whisk the first 6 ingredients together. Trim the stem of each mushroom so it lines up with the cap. Dip the mushrooms into the dressing, making sure they are evenly coated. Heat a grill pan over medium for 5 minutes while the mushrooms marinate. Grill mushrooms whole for 12-15 minutes flipping every 2-3 minutes until tender and juicy. Serve whole or cut into thick slices.

Real Food Fast: Sautéed Mushroom and Wilted Spinach Salad with Cashews and Sun-Dried Tomato

Here is another healthy, flavorful meal you can throw together in 10 minutes or less. I served this with toast topped with protein-rich sage hummus that I made by blending regular hummus with a couple of fresh sage leaves. It was quick, delicious and super satisfying!  Ingredients:  2 Servings 3 Tbsp Olive Oil, divided 6-8 Sage Leaves 1 Shallot, chopped 1 lb. Button or Cremini Mushrooms, thinly sliced 1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar 1 tsp Dijon Mustard, preferably whole-grain Sea Salt & Black Pepper 6 cups Baby Greens (spinach, kale and/or chard etc.) 1 Radish, thinly sliced 1/4 cup Cashew, Raw 1/4 cup sun-dried tomato, sliced Heat a pan over medium-high then add 2 Tbsp olive oil. When hot, fry the sage for 30-60 seconds, if it starts to brown remove immediately from the pan. Use tongs or a fork to transfer the leaves to a plate covered with a paper towel to drain and crisp. In the same pan add the chopped shallot and mushrooms and cook 5 minutes until the mushrooms have softened. Add the …