Archive for super fast and easy

Monday, September 30th, 2013

Sesame Noodle Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash is so delicious and so fun because it is very versatile. I know lots of people eat it with spaghetti sauce, and I love it steamed just with salt and pepper, but because I like to try new ideas, I saw a version of this and knew it would be good. I love the sesame flavor, but don’t really need the calories of the pasta noodles that usually come along with a sesame dish, so the spaghetti squash is such a fabulous substitute in this recipe. The green onions, edamame, and toasted sesame seeds really add to this. Next time I might experiment with adding more vegetables. If you have spaghetti squash already cooked, this is a super fast and easy dish to put together.

Sesame Noodle Spaghetti Squash

1/2 of a large spaghetti squash, cooked (either sliced and steamed or baked whole and then seeds removed)

2 tsp. grated ginger

2 tsp. minced garlic

2 tbsp. sesame oil

3 tbsp. tamari (soy sauce will work too)

2 tbsp. rice vinegar

1/4 cup sliced green onions

1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds

1/2 cup steamed edamame

Optional ingredients

1 tsp. hot chili oil


1 tsp. siriacha sauce

Gather the cooked spaghetti squash into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the ginger, garlic, tamari, rice vinegar, and the sesame oil. Add the chili oil or siriacha sauce if desired. Pour this over the squash and stir gently until well combined. Top with the green onions, sesame seeds, and edamame. Serve hot!

Friday, August 30th, 2013

Cilantro Cream Sauce

This is so delicious and versatile. Super easy and fast to make too! This is from Veganomicon, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. They named it Sour Cilantro Cream, but I decrease the oil and call it Cilantro Cream Sauce. I make this in a food processor and it is done in about 5 minutes. Really, it is fast. We use it for a topping on enchiladas, which was my last post, as well as on any other mexican dishes like tacos and burritos.

Cilantro Cream Sauce

1 pkg. mori-nu silken tofu, soft

2 tbsp. fresh lime juice

1 tbsp. agave syrup

3/4 tsp. salt

3 cloves garlic, crushed

1  tbsp. grapeseed oil

2 c. loosely packed fresh cilantro (stems and leaves)

Drain off the excess water from the tofu and puree in a food processor. Add in the lime juice, agave, and salt. Blend until it is smooth.

Heat up the oil in a small cast iron pan and add the garlic, cooking until it is just about to turn brown. Don’t let it brown! Put this in the tofu and blend again. Add the cilantro and puree again until it is smooth. Scrape down the sides and taste to adjust for salt and lime. Put into a sealed container and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. This sets up a little bit so plan on it being a little thick when you serve it. This will last for at least 5 days in the refrigerator.


2 c. cilantro


Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

Tomato Basil Pizza

tomato basil pizza sm

This is the easiest pizza to make ever! This time of year with fresh tomatoes and basil available, if you don’t have your own from your garden, it is also the tastiest. We look forward to eating this all winter long. The part that takes the most time, is getting the pizza dough ready. The best recipe is the one I posted last. Once that is prepped, you can have Tomato Basil Pizza in just a few minutes.

Tomato Basil Pizza

1 pizza dough shaped and ready for baking on pan of choice

olive oil for brushing on pizza crust before baking, about 1 tsp.

3 cloves garlic, chopped fine

10 fresh basil leaves, chopped coarsely

2 large tomatoes cut into slices, or a handful of grape tomatoes cut in half.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Brush olive oil on the shaped pizza dough and spread the chopped garlic evenly around on top. I sort of push it into the dough so it bakes into the crust. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. As soon as you take this out of the oven, top with the fresh sliced tomatoes and then sprinkle the chopped basil on top of the tomatoes. That is it! Eat it hot out of the oven!


Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

Vegan Ice Cream

So this summer heat wave has left me looking for ways to avoild cooking, still, and ways to create something cool, refreshing and delicious. This recipe was adapted from many I saw on-line. This is so simple to make. It is ice cream in a bag. Yes, a bag. It has only three ingredients and is done start to finish in about 20-30 minutes. I made this with a group of girls that were ages 8-11. They loved it! I made it again with my family and it was great. So cool and easy and refreshing.

Vegan Ice Cream

1 c. milk (I used almond milk, Almond Breeze brand)

2 tbsp. sucanat

1/2 tsp. vanilla

quart sized zip lock baggies

gallon sized zip lock baggies

rock salt


In one quart sized zip lock baggie, put the milk, sucanat, and vanilla. Squeeze the air out of the bag and seal it closed. Shake it around gently to mix the ingredients well. In one gallon sized baggie, put 1/2 c. rock salt and 3 c. ice. Add the sealed pint sized baggie and then add more ice. About 5 cups. Squeeze the air out this bag and seat it shut. Now move the bag, side to side, upside down and around. Anyway to keep it moving. Do this for about 10 minutes. You will notice that the baggie with the milk in it will start to freeze and become solid. Yay! When it is done to your liking, take it out of the bag with the ice and wipe it off. If you don’t do this, you may get salt flavor in your ice cream. Yuck. I ate mine with fresh raspberries. You won’t believe how easy and yummy this turns out.

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

Cauliflower Barley Red Pepper Salad

cauliflower barley salad small

Its another summer salad recipe! I had never thought of putting cauliflower in my food processor until I saw it done for this recipe. When you put cauliflower in your food processor in small amounts, it turns into something that looks like a mix between feta cheese and couscous. The reason for processing small amounts at a time is to limit the liquid released from the cauliflower. I changed the original recipe a lot, but the cauliflower idea got me thinking of all these great possibilities. The barley in the recipe really hides, but the great nutty flavor and chewy texture are a great match to the rest of the ingredients. That same original recipe also has a great dressing that I only changed slightly by adding a little more pure maple syrup.

Cauliflower Barley Red Pepper Salad

1/2 large cauliflower

2 1/2 c. cooked and cooled pearl barley

3/4 c. celery, chopped

3/4 c. red pepper, chopped

3/4 c. cilantro, chopped

1/2 c. toasted sunflower seeds for garnish


1/3 c. red wine vinegar

2 tbsp. flax seed oil, or olive oil

1 tbsp. pure maple syrup

1/4 tsp. sea salt

Start by grating the cauliflower by using a cheese grater attachment on a food processor, or grating it by hand. Put this in a large bowl and add the cooked and cooled barley, celery, red pepper, and cilantro. Mix this well. In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the dressing. Pour this over the cauliflower mixture and stir until well combined. I put this in the refrigerator for about one hour to chill everything before serving.  Scoop a spoonful onto your plate and top with the toasted sunflower seeds. Enjoy!


Friday, July 5th, 2013

Vegetable Pad Thai Salad

There probably isn’t a Thai dish that I don’t like. When I order Thai food at a restaurant, I always order extra veggies, because it seems like there just isn’t enough. One of the greatest things about this recipe is that it is not made from a base of noodles, but of veggies. The original recipe is here. I used the sauce recipe almost exactly and it is fabulous! The veggie part of the recipe, I changed just to simplify it because I did not have all the ingredients listed, and it turned out great. The veggies are turned into “noodles”, by spiralizing them. Okay, I don’t have a spiralizer either, so I just used my julienne peeler. It is awesome and I love it. So because everything is raw, this makes for a great salad on a hot day. No cooking required!

Vegetable Pad Thai Salad

2 medium zucchini, julienned

2 medium carrots, julienned

1/2 red bell pepper, very thinly sliced


2 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled

1/4 c. almond butter

2 tbsp. fresh lime juice

2 tbsp. soy sauce

2 tbsp. water

3 tbsp. pure maple syrup

2 tsp. grated ginger

2 tsp. toasted sesame oil

2 tbsp. toasted sesame seeds

Combine the first three ingredients in a large bowl. In a food processor, add the garlic and process til it is minced. Then add all the rest of the ingredients for the dressing except for the sesame seeds. Save them for later. Process until smooth. Pour the dressing over the veggies and top with the sesame seeds.


Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

Strawberry Sweet Potato Basil Barley Salad

strawberry sweet potato basil barley

The temperatures here in Utah have been above 100 degrees for about five days now. It feels like a furnace outside because the air is so dry. Our poor air conditioner is trying its best to keep up, but the kitchen is not a really cool place in the late afternoon when I usually feel like creating something delicious for dinner. It has really changed my attitude about cooking lately. Of course I still have the desire to make something yummy, but just not cooking anything. So at this time of year I start making salads for dinner almost every night. I love salads so it is fun to see what I can come up with. I made this salad last night and it felt a little like dessert because of the sweet strawberries and sweet potatoes. The barley was delicious and chewy and fresh basil is good in anything. The dressing was so simple that if you make the barley ahead of time, this whole salad was super easy and fast to make.

Strawberry Sweet Potato Basil Barley Salad

4 c. cooked pearl barley

2 sweet potatoes, cooked, peeled,  and cut into cubes ( I microwaved them)

2 c. cut strawberries

2 tbsp. lemon juice

1 tbsp. olive oil

10 leaves basil, chopped

In a large bowl combine the barley, sweet potatoes, and strawberries. In a small bowl combine the lemon juice and olive oil and then pour over the salad ingredients. Add the chopped basil and stir to combine. Refrigerate for 30 minutes and enjoy. This salad is best eaten on the day that it is made.


Saturday, June 15th, 2013

Coconut Cherry Chocolate Ice Cream

brownie waffle smallFor the first two years of my married life, my husband and I were vegetarians. We did not eat a lot of dairy, but, while we lived in Providence, RI, we did visit the Ben & Jerry’s store occasionally. And we always went on Free Ice Cream Day. Wahoo! We were always happy to join in with all those willing to stand in line forever and get free ice cream. It was awesome! During those months we tried a few different kinds of ice cream that we loved, but we did land on a few favorites. One of them was Cherry Garcia. We have enjoyed many varieties of non-dairy frozen treats, but nothing has replaced Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia ice cream until now! I was so excited to find this recipe! This is super easy to make and I only made a few minor changes to this, mostly making it a lot bigger instead of just one serving, so that we can have it again and again!  I used coconut yogurt instead of soy, which seemed to make it super rich and creamy, and I added more of everything else, so my ratios are not the same as the original. This is super easy to make but you have to plan a head because it takes a while to freeze. I have to say that this is the most delicious ice cream/ frozen yogurt that I have ever eaten. I know that is a big statement, but it is true. My family cannot get enough of this either. You can scale down this recipe if you don’t want any hanging around, or you can eat a little at a time and enjoy it knowing that there is more waiting for you in the freezer. Oh, and the chocolate waffle that is in the picture is SO great with this ice cream, so I will add this recipe next.

Coconut Cherry Chocolate Ice Cream

3 16 oz. cartons of So Delicious Coconut Yogurt ( I used two plain and one vanilla)

1 1/2 tsp. salt

3/4 c. sucanat

3/4 c. almond milk (other nut milk varieties would work fine)

2 tsp. vanilla

2 c. fresh cherries, pitted and roughly chopped

3/4 – 1 c. semi- sweet chocolate chips, chopped

Mix the yogurt, salt, sucanat, milk, and vanilla until well combined. Add the cherries and chocolate and mix well. If using an ice cream maker, put it in that container and follow the manufacturer instructions. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, or don’t want to mess with one, ( I have one, but chose to try this without and it worked out great) put this mixture into an airtight container and put it in the freezer. Take it out and stir it every few hours. It will get more and more frozen which will makie it kind of hard to stir. I started in the morning about 9am, and ate it about 6pm. It was ready before that, but you should plan on about 6 hours from start to finish.


Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

Coconut Curried Purple Cabbage and Rice with Mint

curried purple cabbage and rice with mintj2

I love all the members of the cabbage family. They are so delicious and nutritious and easy to find at the grocery store. Purple cabbage is loaded with vitamin C and K and has lots of fiber and folate too. The color of purple cabbage is so beautiful and grows even deeper and richer when it is cooked. And today, I combine it with fresh mint in a recipe that looks absolutely stunning when it is done. If you have rice that is already cooked, this dish is super fast and easy to make.

Coconut Curried Purple Cabbage and Rice with Mint

Coconut Curry Sauce

2 large cloves garlic, crushed, peeled and minced

1 1/2 tsp. red chili paste ( I like the brand Thai Kitchen)

1/4 c. sucanat

2/3 c. hot water

1/4 c. fish sauce ( if someone knows a good vegan substitute, let me know)

2 tbsp. fresh lime juice

1 can lite coconut milk


1 tsp. grapeseed oil

1 tbsp. Earth Balance

1/2 head purple cabbage, slice 1/4 inch thick

4-5 c.  cooked brown rice (I think other cooked grains would be great as well)

1/4 c. chopped mint leaves (reserve a little bit to garnish the top)

1/4 c. toasted pepitas

Begin by making the sauce. Combine the red chili paste and the sucanat with the hot water and stir until everything is dissolved. Add the garlic, fish sauce, and lime juice. Stir well and add the can of coconut milk. Stir and set aside.

I recommend a cast iron skillet to cook this dish. Turn the heat up to medium high and add the grapeseed oil and Earth Balance. When they are melted together, add the purple cabbage and saute til it is softened. This takes about 10 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium and add the cooked brown rice. Stir to combine. Add the coconut curry sauce and the mint and mix well. It may seem that there is too much sauce, but don’t despair, the sauce gets absorbed by the rice. Keep cooking and stir frequently, and when this dish turns a little bit creamy, kind of like a risotto, it is done. This takes about 10 more minutes. Garnish with the reserved mint leaves and toasted pepitas. Enjoy!


Sunday, June 2nd, 2013

Vegan Cilantro Pesto

One of the best things about summer is fresh basil from the garden. I look forward to it all year. Late summer dinners are filled with the yumminess of basil pesto in lots of different dishes, which I will post about later. However, while waiting for the basil to grow enough to harvest and to have enough to make pesto, I have found a great substitute. Where I live, cilantro is sold year round and is often on sale for ridiculously cheap prices. It just screams at me to buy it and create something great and this is just the perfect recipe for it. I found the original recipe for this in Robin Robertson’s Vegan Planet. I  made minor changes, mostly just cutting down on the oil, which I can do without, but if you find this too dry, feel free to add in more. This is super easy and fast to make so I always double this recipe because it keeps really well in the refrigerator and then I can use it for so many dishes. I will post about one of those tomorrow.

Vegan Cilantro Pesto

4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

1/2 c. raw almonds

1/2-3/4 tsp. salt

2 c. packed cilantro, washed

1/4-1/3 c. olive oil

Put the garlic in a food processor and pulse til it is well chopped. Add the raw almonds and turn on and process til it looks like almond meal. Scrape down the sides of the processor. Add the cilantro and while it is being processed, add the olive oil. I use less because I want less oil, but add more if that is not an issue. Add the salt to taste. Make sure you keep scraping down the sides so you don’t lose any of that goodness.  Add 1 tsp. to your favorite bowl of pasta and enjoy!