All posts filed under: Main Dishes

Mexican Quinoa Bowl with Zucchini and Corn, Black Beans and Avocado Cream

Comfort food means different things to different people, but when I think of comfort food the first thing that comes to mind is a big bowl of yummy mexican food. I’m mexican on my mom’s side so family gatherings almost always included fragrant pots of rice and beans simmering on the stove along with some other flavorful and spicy veggies. This recipe is inspired by those meals, but adapted to come together in far less time. While cooking rice and beans from scratch is wonderful, it takes a bit of planning, requiring soaking and simmering for hours. Instead here we substitute quicker cooking quinoa for the rice and canned black beans for the dried version making this easy enough for lunch or a weeknight meal. While this recipe cuts down on time, it doesn’t lose any of the delicious traditional flavor that make it one of my favorites. I hope you love it to! This makes more portions than most of my everyday recipes, but it makes for great leftovers so if you have extra …

Super Nachos with Gooey Sweet Potato Cheese Sauce (Vegan)

This is my favorite thing to make when people come over to watch football so I wanted to share it in time for the big game! Everyone loves these nachos and people always ask for the recipe. They are fresh, flavorful and satisfying without being too heavy or greasy. They’re packed with veggies and other wholesome ingredients so they’re super healthy, but still rich and filling. I make a couple of plates of these, one of my big party platters, and big bowls of popcorn sprinkled with truffle oil, sea salt, black pepper and nutritional yeast. This simple menu keeps everyone happy and since you can make most of it ahead of time, you won’t have to spend the whole game in the kitchen. Enjoy! xJacq Ingredients: Serves approx. 6 Cheese Sauce: 1 Sweet Potato 1/4 cup Raw Cashews, soaked 2-4 hrs and rinsed 1 1/4 cup Hot Water 2 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast 2 Tbsp Tapioca Flour 1 1/2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar 1 tsp Dijon Mustard 1 Garlic clove 3/4 tsp Kosher Salt 1-2 tsp …

Quinoa Salad with Edamame, Orange & Fennel

This is the first in a new series of bargain recipes. Each salad cost approximately $2.75 using all organic produce. In LA I would say a salad like this would cost $12-14 at a cafe so making it at home is a big money saver!  It’s a hearty and flavorful winter dish using the best ingredients of the season. I love it because it’s really high in protein; both quinoa and edamame are complete proteins. All of the veggies means it has lots of vitamins and fiber so it’s really filling and energizing too. It’s one of those clean eats meals that’ll help you get back into your skinny jeans after the holidays 😉  You can make a bigger batch of the quinoa and edamame then freeze the leftovers to use later as a quick base for a meal. Just freeze it in a 1-inch layer in a freezer zip-lock. It will keep for months. When you’re ready to thaw, place a bag in the fridge overnight or reheat the frozen quinoa directly in a …

Baked Salmon with Mango Chutney and Pecans

This is the dish friends and family ask for most often when I ask if they have any requests. Luckily it is one of the easiest dishes to make! This recipe is quick enough for a weeknight meal, but the sophisticated flavors also make it a great choice for a dinner party. The sweetness of the pecans works beautifully with the fruity/spicy mango chutney and the salmon offers a brain boosting dose of omega-3s. It’s also perfect for a brunch buffet since it’s just as tasty piping hot out of the oven as it is after it has cooled. I like to serve a large filet whole and allow people to take what they like. Try it and I’m sure it will be one of your favorites too. Bon Appetit! XJacq Ingredients: Preheat oven to 375* Fresh Salmon filet, .5 lbs per person Sea Salt Black Pepper Paprika (optional) Mango Chutney approx 3 Tbsp per pound Pecans approx 2/3 cups per pound of fish Place a sheet of tinfoil 6 inches longer than your fish on a …

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

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

Every year there is the question of what vegetarian main dish to make on Thanksgiving. I’m always looking to serve something that feels extra special, but that isn’t too complicated on an already busy holiday. In the past I’ve made dishes that turned out well, but still kind of felt like one more side. I decided to do a little recipe testing ahead of time this year and came up with this dish that deserves to be the center of attention. It’s beautiful, flavorful and hearty. It’s super satisfying because it’s full of protein and fiber. Maple, pecans, cranberries, and warming spices like cinnamon and nutmeg make it the perfect dish for fall. It’s simple to make, but using the acorn squash as bowls makes for an impressive presentation. The filling comes together easily while the squash roasts. This is the kind of meat-free main dish that will make a carnivore feel jealous if there is not enough to go around. I really can’t wait for you to try it. I’ve made it two more times …

Creamy, Gooey Cashew Mozzarella

Sometimes you just want to yell “Cheese Please!” so if you’re avoiding dairy it’s best to have some fabulous plant-based versions that you can throw together when you want need a gooey, melty cheesy fix. This cashew mozzarella is perfect on Pizza, Lasagna, Pasta and as a topping for grilled veggies or steamed broccoli. It’s one of my favorite non-dairy cheeses to make because it requires only a little bit of cashews. A lot of recipes are made almost completely of nuts which can be a little too rich, not to mention pricey! It takes just a few minutes to make and uses simple wholesome ingredients, unlike a lot of the processed non-dairy cheeses at the market. Tapioca flour helps thicken this cheese and gives it a creamy, melted texture. It comes from the root of the cassava plant and is naturally gluten-free. The cheesy flavor comes from the nutritional yeast which has an almost parmesan-like taste. Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast that is high in B vitamins. Make sure you don’t mix it up with brewers …

REAL FOOD FAST- Zucchini Noodle Pesto Pasta with Cannelini Beans & Sun-Dried Tomatoes

This is another in my Real Food Fast series of healthy and delicious recipes that take 10 minutes or less to whip up. This flavor packed dish is a nutritious plant-based, gluten-free alternative to traditional pasta that leaves you feeling full and satisfied thanks to all the fiber, plant protein and heart healthy fats. Zucchini and summer squash also happen to be some of the lowest calorie vegetables around meaning this is the perfect kind of dish to help maintain a healthy weight.  You can get a spiralizer to turn your veggies into noodles online or most places where they sell kitchen appliances. I use the 4-blade spiralizer from Paderno which has settings for angel hair, spaghetti and shoestring noodles plus a blade for accordion cuts. Angel hair and spaghetti sized noodles work well for this. If you don’t have one however, don’t worry! You can use a regular vegetable peeler to make thin, wide pappardelle noodles. Just press down firmly along the length of the zucchini to make the noodles with your peeler.  This …

Top Secret Veggie Chili

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to make the best veggie chili in town. And why wouldn’t you? Veggie chili is healthy and hearty and tasty and the flavor is just so…American. Like BBQ, chili is one of those things we can imagine cowboys eating around the campfire in days gone by, making it the perfect thing to serve at your 4th of July cookout! I have to admit I am loath to give out this recipe. I’m a Scorpio and Scorpios love to keep secrets. In the past when people have asked for the recipe I’ve always given an artfully incomplete answer, but now that I’ve started this blog I’ve decided to offer it up for the greater good. It’s the right thing to do. I guess the first thing you should know is there are some secret ingredients. Ready, drumroll please… coffee, mexican chocolate and Sriracha! They may surprise you but they turn this chili into a melting pot of flavor. I happened to have a lovely coffee with chicory from my …

Carrot and Carrot Top Pasta with Walnuts, Pesto and Cashew Cheese

I love this pasta so much! Not only is it delicious but it’s also beautiful. I love that it uses the whole carrot including the nutritious tops. Since the main ingredients are carrots and pasta it’s also a pretty inexpensive dish which makes it perfect for a family meal or a casual dinner party. Carrots are nutritional heroes. Few other vegetables or fruit contain as much carotene as carrots, which the body converts to vitamin A. They are an excellent source of vitamins B and C as well as calcium pectate, an extraordinary pectin fiber that has been found to have cholesterol-lowering properties. Lightly cooking carrots actually helps to break down their cell walls which means your body can absorb the nutrients more easily. The peel of the carrot is the post nutritious part so it’s always best to just give them a good scrub, rather than peeling them. Enjoy! Serves 4 Ingredients: 3 Tbsp Coconut Oil 1 small Onion, thinly sliced 4 Garlic cloves, thinly sliced 1/4 tsp Herb d’ Provence 4 medium Carrots, …

Feel Good Tacos with Avocado-Lime Mousse and Coconut Sour Cream

These healthy, hearty lettuce tacos are totally crave-worthy. Being both of mexican descent and from Los Angeles (where we take our tacos seriously!), I don’t say that lightly.  The filling is flavorful, smokey and meaty thanks to all of its savory and umami packed ingredients. The smoked salt is pretty key, you can find it at many supermarkets or gourmet markets or try my favorite from Hepp’s Salt Co. You’ll absolutely love how it tastes paired with the cool and creamy avocado mousse and tangy coconut sour cream. You can find coconut cream in cans in some supermarkets or asian markets, if yours doesn’t carry it, just get a can of coconut milk instead and place it in the freezer until it’s cold, about 30 minutes. The thick cream will rise to the top of the can. You can carefully scoop out the cream and use the remaining coconut water later in a smoothie or curry. You can read more about this and see pics here. As for the veggies on top, I listed some suggestions that …