Vegetarian Meals

Roasted Chickpea and Arugula Salad

 

OKAY, so I don’t know if the rest of the world is as obsessed with roasted chickpeas as I am, but I seriously can’t get enough of them.  Pop them in the oven with some oil and spices, and OH MAH GAWD, YUM.  

 

Spiced chickpeas pre-oven

They become this perfect little storm of a toasted outer shell full of flavor, with a soft warm inside, which in my opinion…make them the perfect centerpiece for a salad!  Throw them on a bed of arugula with some (what I like to call) “accessories”, and it will complement almost any meal.

This salad could easily act as a side dish to a main course, or you could throw some rotisserie chicken or sausage to make it a full meal.  I personally like to accompany some homemade soup with this roasted chickpea salad!

Either direction you take this, you’ll be sure to love the nutritional benefit of chickpeas.  Full of protein and fiber, chickpeas are known to increase satiety and make you feel fuller for longer; therefore, leading to lesser consumption of other foods.  In addition, their low glycemic index helps to control blood sugar levels by slowing the absorption of carbs.  Not to mention they are super inexpensive…so buy in bulk and store in your pantry! 

I chose to accessorize my roasted chickpea salad with thinly sliced onions, shaved parmesan, and sliced almonds.  In order to keep chickpeas crunchy in a salad, mix your dressing in with the lettuce before you plate it, and then add chickpeas and other toppings on before serving!   

Onion, parmesan, and sliced almonds

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup spinach
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 15 oz. can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup raw red onion
  • 1/3-1/2 cup almond slices
  • 3/4 cup shaved parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil or EVOO

Spice Mixture:

  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp garlic
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Balsamic Vinaigrette:

  • 1/2 cup EVOO
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Italian spice mixture

Serves: 2 Time: 45 min (40 min of bake time)

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Rinse off chickpeas from 1 15 oz. can and add to mixing bowl.
  • Add 2 tbsp of olive oil to chickpeas and mix together.
  • Add your spices to mixing bowl; paprika, garlic, turmeric, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper.  Make sure to cover chickpeas evenly.
  • Pour into a baking dish and bake for 40 min.  Spread them out so they cover the full surface of the baking dish for equal heat distribution.  Stir chickpeas half way through.
  • While chickpeas are baking, take spinach and arugula and add to mixing bowl.  
  • Chop onions and add to spinach and arugula mixture. 
  • Add your desired amount of dressing to arugula, spinach, and onion mixture, and mix well (I start with a smaller amount, then add more if needed—or leave dressing out for guests to add more if desired).
  • Take spinach and arugula mixture and dish out onto serving plates.  Shave or grate parmesan over each dish, sprinkle on shaved almonds, then top off salad with baked chickpeas.
  • Serve and enjoy!

 

Vegetarian Meals

Homemade Cinnamon Applesauce

Between flavor and convenience, this is one of my all-time favorites to have in the fridge during the week!  It’s so easy to spoon yourself a little bowl if searching for something quick to eat, and is a great way to get some fruit and fiber in ya!

Not only are you going to want to eat the whole batch yourself, but it will make your house smell like an actual candle.  Not even kidding, it is as if fall turned into a human and walked right through your front door.

Speaking of fall…this is an excellent dish to bring to any dinner party or family gathering!  It is super quick and easy to make and will leave everyone thinking you’re a serious rock star in the kitchen.  Definitely a good way to impress the in-laws this Thanksgiving 😉 

For this recipe, I use Monkfruit Sugar, a natural sweetener that does not spike your blood sugar like regular white sugar does.  I also prefer my applesauce to be a little chunky, so I use a potato masher in order to get my preferred consistency.  If you prefer a smoother applesauce, use a food processor.

Serves: 4-6 Total Time: 25 min

Ingredients:

  • 4 apples, cored, peeled, and sliced (suggest 2 Gala & 2 Granny Smith)
  • 1 pear (suggest Bosc or Bartlett)
  • 1 Cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar (I used Monkfruit sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon sugar

Instructions: 

  1. In a saucepan, combine apples, pear, water, sugar, and cinnamon.
  2. Cover and cook over medium heat for 15 min or until apples are soft, but not totally mushy.
  3. Mash with a fork, potato masher, or food processor until at desired consistency.
  4. Allow to cool before eating.  Store in air tight container, and refrigerate up to 1 week.
Vegetarian Meals

Veggie Tian

 

Think of it as the grand-daddy of vegetarian lasagna!  This dish is so yummy and healthy, not to mention it looks totally gorg on your table!  There are layers upon layers of veggies for you to enjoy, topped off with some grated parmesan and fresh basil. 

Seeing as we’re approaching Holiday season (aka family pot luck season), this dish is beneficial for 2 reasons…

-IT WILL STAND OUT.  Everyone else will likely be bringing a dish that consists primarily of meat and cheese.  Having a totally different option will be refreshing .  Scandalous, am I right?!

-NUTRIENT DENSE.  All three of these veggies have high amounts of Vitamin A and Vitamin C.  Vitamin A supports healthy vision, skeletal tissue, and skin, while Vitamin C helps the body fight off free radicals.  Free radicals are known to cause cancer (boo).  Tomatoes and Zucchini are also known to promote heart health and have anti-inflammatory effects.  Basically, there are vitamins all up in this tian.  

Also, if anyone else is like me and has never heard the word “tian”, let me save you the google search…”a dish of finely chopped vegetables, cooked in olive oil, and then baked”…also defined as, “one of the oldest Chinese terms for heaven”. 

Irony?  I think not!

 

Step 1: Saute onions and garlic, and add into bottom of baking dish
Step 2: Layer in zucchini
Step 3: Layer in sweet potato
Step 4: Layer in tomatoes and spices
Step 5: Add parmesan cheese, then repeat another layer of zucchini, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes
Step 6: Top with fresh basil, cover with foil and bake for 40 min @ 375 degrees. Remove from oven, add cheese, and bake for another 30 min.
Remove from oven, let cool, and enjoy!

 

Serves: 6-8 Total Time: 1.5 hrs (prep time 20-25 min, bake time 70 min)

Ingredients:

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped 
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled
  • 2 zucchini (green and/or yellow)
  • 4-5 large tomatoes (heirloom, beefsteak or similar)
  • sea salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp. parsley
  • handful fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 4-6 ounces grated parmesan cheese

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Spray an 11-in round or 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking dish with olive oil or avocado oil.
  3. In a saute pan, heat 2 tbsp. olive oil and cook the onions over medium-low heat for 8-10 min, until translucent.
  4. Add garlic and sauté a few more minutes.
  5. Take onion mixture from pan and add to bottom of baking dish. 
  6. With a mandoline slicer, slice the sweet potatoes and zucchini.
  7. With a knife, slice the tomatoes into thin slices.
  8. Lay down slices from 1 zucchini over onion layer, then lay down slices from 1 sweet potato over zucchini.  Finally lay down slices from 2 tomatoes over sweet potato layer.
  9. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, parsley, red pepper, and half of parmesan cheese.
  10. Repeat layers with remaining zucchini, sweet potato, and tomatoes.  Top with another layer of salt, pepper, and chopped basil leaves.
  11. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 40 min.
  12. After 40 min, uncover dish, sprinkle remaining cheese and bake for another 30 min.
  13. Optional: Garnish with extra cheese and fresh basil leaves if desired. 
  14. Serve warm.