It's a Veg World After All https://itsavegworldafterall.com Seasonal Recipes & Nutrition by Lizzie Streit Mon, 17 Feb 2020 22:10:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3.2 https://itsavegworldafterall.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/cropped-VegWorld_SquareLogo_Purple_600x600-32x32.jpg It's a Veg World After All https://itsavegworldafterall.com 32 32 Easy Vegan Mushroom Risotto https://itsavegworldafterall.com/vegan-mushroom-risotto/ https://itsavegworldafterall.com/vegan-mushroom-risotto/#comments Fri, 14 Feb 2020 17:46:45 +0000 https://itsavegworldafterall.com/?p=514 This creamy, healthy, and super easy Vegan Mushroom Risotto is made with white wine, fresh thyme, and vegetable stock. It’s a no fuss recipe that you can whip up for any occasion. This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my affiliate disclosure. I’m back again today with another OG Veg World recipe...

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This creamy, healthy, and super easy Vegan Mushroom Risotto is made with white wine, fresh thyme, and vegetable stock. It’s a no fuss recipe that you can whip up for any occasion.

vegan mushroom risotto in a white bowl with thyme on a napkin

This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my affiliate disclosure.

I’m back again today with another OG Veg World recipe that I first made in September 2013 (check my post on Greek Cauliflower Rice for another old school dish). Woah, that’s a long time ago! Regardless, this Vegan Mushroom Risotto recipe is still one of my favorite dishes. 

Why? Well, for one, it’s REALLY easy to make. Sure, you need to stir it a lot, but that’s what you get when you sign up for risotto. Two, it’s a great dish for a cold winter’s night (like last night here in Minneapolis, when the wind chill was -25 degrees…brrrr!), a Valentine’s Day meal (hence why I’m posting it today), or for when you need a quick, throw some veggies + rice in a pot kind of dinner.

Some of you may be wondering, how do you make a vegan risotto? Isn’t parmesan cheese a big contributor to the creaminess of this epic Italian staple? In part, that’s true. But the key to making a creamy risotto is actually in the rice and liquid combination, so you don’t necessarily need cheese! 

I put together my best tips for making this dish below, so be sure to check them out before you scroll to the recipe card! They will be well worth your time. And once you try this Vegan Mushroom Risotto, I know you’ll be just smitten with its creamy texture, incredible flavor, and the meaty mushrooms in the mix!

sliced mushrooms, arborio rice, shallots, garlic, and thyme on a white counter

Ingredients in Vegan Mushroom Risotto

The potential of any dish is ALL in the ingredients, and this recipe is no exception. Here are my recommendations for choosing the best ingredients for risotto.

  • Rice: For a basic vegan risotto, use arborio rice. You cannot use normal rice for risotto, because you need the high starch content of arborio to make the dish creamy. I have substituted short grain brown rice for arborio in other risotto recipes, but those recipes also used different cooking techniques instead of the traditional heat + stir method you will use here.
  • Mushrooms: You can actually use any kind of mushrooms for mushroom risotto! I used a mix of baby bella (cremini) and white mushrooms, but you can also use shiitake or portobello ‘shrooms.
  • White wine: I recommend a dry white wine, like a Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio. Essentially you want a wine that isn’t too sweet (I have used Chardonnay before too, if it’s the only one I have on hand). There are some good tips on choosing a cooking wine in this article from Southern Living.
  • Vegetable stock: While all vegetable broths/stocks may taste pretty similar, I personally love the Trader Joe’s Vegetable Stock (not broth) and the Field Day Organic Vegetable Broth.
  • Aromatics: I used shallots (prefer them over onions), fresh thyme, and fresh garlic in this Vegan Mushroom Risotto. Feel free to add more or less of each ingredient, depending on your taste preferences. 

The great thing about this dish is that you don’t need to just add mushrooms to it. You can also incorporate peas, leeks, or asparagus. Just follow the instructions as written and swap in your veggies of choice.

creamy vegan mushroom risotto in a black dutch oven with a wooden spoon

How to Make Vegan Mushroom Risotto

The key to all good risottos is consistent/constant stirring. I like to make risottos in a dutch oven (you can also use a large pot) and use a long wooden spoon to stir. Before you begin, heat the vegetable stock in a large saucepan over low heat.

  1. Cook the mushrooms until tender. Transfer to a clean plate.
  2. In the same pot, cook the shallots and garlic in some olive oil over medium heat.
  3. Add the arborio rice, without any liquid at first, and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly until the edges of the rice start to get a little translucent.
  4. Add the white wine and thyme, and cook, stirring constantly, until the wine is absorbed.
  5. Use a ladle or 1/2 measuring cup to pour in some of the hot broth. Stir constantly until it’s absorbed. Repeat this step until all of the broth has been added. This takes around 20-25 minutes over medium heat.
  6. Add the mushrooms and mix to incorporate. Taste, and adjust seasonings as needed (more thyme, salt, pepper, etc).
sauteed sliced mushrooms in a black dutch oven with a wooden spoon on a counter sauteed shallots in a black dutch oven on a white counter arborio rice and shallots in a dutch oven on a white counter arborio rice, shallots, wine, and thyme in a black dutch oven with a spoon creamy vegan risotto in a black dutch oven with a wooden spoon creamy vegan risotto with cooked mushrooms on top in a black dutch oven with a spoon

Expert Tips

  • It’s important to get the vegetable stock hot before you start adding it to the risotto. But you just want to bring it to a simmer in a saucepan, not a boil.
  • Risotto really does take constant stirring. I wouldn’t leave it unattended for longer than 60-90 seconds without a good stir.
  • Be sure to taste the risotto after you incorporate all of the stock to make sure the rice is tender. You may need to add a little more stock if not. This is also a good time to adjust the seasonings as desired.
  • Store Vegan Mushroom Risotto leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave on high for 1-2 minutes.

Looking for another mushroom recipe? Check out the Garlic Thyme Roasted Mushrooms while you’re here!

What goes with mushroom risotto?

Risotto tastes especially delicious with seafood, like scallops or white fish. But if you are using this recipe since you follow a vegan diet, enjoy it as a main dish with a salad or vegetable side dish!

vegan mushroom risotto in a white bowl with thyme on a napkin

More Vegetable Risotto Recipes

If you make this Vegan Mushroom Risotto, I’d love to hear from you! Please rate/review using the stars on the recipe card or in the comments section. And don’t forget to subscribe to the weekly newsletter.

Vegan Mushroom Risotto

This easy vegan risotto recipe is made with white wine, fresh thyme, and meaty mushrooms.

  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (divided)
  • 16 ounces baby bella mushrooms (sliced; can sub any mushroom variety)
  • 2 shallots (finely chopped; about 1 cup)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced or pressed)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio)
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • Sea salt (to taste)
  • Ground black pepper (to taste)
  1. Bring vegetable stock to a simmer over medium-low heat in a saucepan. Keep it as is while you prepare the rest of the recipe.

  2. In a Dutch oven or large pot, heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Remove the mushrooms from the pot and transfer to a clean plate.

  3. Heat the other 3 tbsp of olive oil in the saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic, and cook until tender (about 4-5 minutes). Add the rice and stir constantly for about 4 minutes, until the edges of the rice become slightly translucent. Pour in the wine, add the thyme, and continue to stir until almost all of the wine appears to be absorbed by the rice.

  4. Use a soup ladle or a 1/2 measuring cup to pour in some of the hot vegetable stock. Stir constantly until the rice has absorbed the stock. Repeat this step multiple times, while constantly stirring, until all of the stock has been added and absorbed. It should take about 20-25 minutes. Taste the rice at this point to make sure it's tender. If not, add some more broth if you have it on hand. I've never had an issue with it not being tender at this point. Adjust seasonings as desired, and add more thyme, salt, and pepper to taste. Finally, add the mushrooms and stir until incorporated. Enjoy warm!

  • Remember to constantly stir the risotto and to keep the heat at medium or a bit lower. Do not leave unattended for more than 60-90 seconds.
  • Serve with seafood, like scallops or white fish, or on the side of a lean baked protein. You can also eat risotto as a main dish with a side salad or vegetable.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave for 1-2 minutes on high.
  • You can also use this recipe as a basic vegan risotto, and add veggies other than mushrooms (i.e. peas, leeks, or asparagus).

This post was originally published in 2013. It was updated with expert tips and new photos in February 2020.

Enjoy! And happy weekend! – Lizzie

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Hasselback Purple Sweet Potato Recipe https://itsavegworldafterall.com/hasselback-purple-sweet-potatoes-with-ghee-and-parsley/ https://itsavegworldafterall.com/hasselback-purple-sweet-potatoes-with-ghee-and-parsley/#comments Wed, 12 Feb 2020 23:20:52 +0000 https://itsavegworldafterall.com/?p=8162 Learn how to make perfect hasselback potatoes with this baked purple sweet potato recipe! Crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, these beautiful purple taters make a delicious vegetarian side dish. This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my affiliate disclosure. You guys…purple sweet potatoes. I repeat, PURPLE sweet potatoes!!...

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Learn how to make perfect hasselback potatoes with this baked purple sweet potato recipe! Crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, these beautiful purple taters make a delicious vegetarian side dish.

Hasselback Purple Sweet Potato topped with chopped parsley on a white plate

This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my affiliate disclosure.

You guys…purple sweet potatoes. I repeat, PURPLE sweet potatoes!! Please tell me you have tried them?! If you haven’t, well you need to, and this recipe for Hasselback Purple Sweet Potatoes will do the trick.

I stumbled upon my new favorite vegetable at the Wedge Co-op last week, and just KNEW I had to create something for the blog. Little did I know how good these purple sweet potatoes would taste though! Check out this info from Frieda’s Specialty Produce if you want to learn more about them.

Will and I split one with dinner, and we were so pleasantly surprised by the flavor. Imagine the taste regular ol’ sweet potato, but with a creamier flesh and stunning color. Sounds pretty good, huh?

Ok that’s enough about my love affair with purple sweet potatoes. Let’s talk about how I prepared them. According to my very brief Internet research, Hasselback potatoes originated in Sweden. Aren’t they cool looking?!

The tiny slits allow the edges of the potato to get extra crispy, while the middle stays soft and tender. Um, yum!! But to ensure that the edges get crispy enough, you also need to brush each potato with butter, oil, or in my case, ghee!

4 purple sweet potatoes next to each other on a white counter

Purple Sweet Potato Nutrition

Before I get to the recipe, let’s chat about the colorful taters and the nutrition that comes along with their purple hue!

Purple sweet potatoes, also referred to as purple yams, are rich in fiber, vitamin C, and energizing carbohydrates. They get their purple color from anthocyanins, a group of plant compounds that act as antioxidants in the body. Consuming anthocyanins may help improve blood sugar control and protect against cancer

How to Make Hasselback Purple Sweet Potatoes

The key tool for this purple sweet potato recipe is a pair of wooden chopsticks! Next time you order Chinese takeout, don’t throw the chopsticks that they give you away…you can use them for hasselback potatoes. Here’s how you use them:

  1. Scrub each purple sweet potato clean. Depending on the shape of the potato, cut off a thin piece from the bottom so that the potato lays flat on the cutting board.
  2. Put a wooden chopstick on each side of the potato. Use a sharp knife to cut 1/4″ slits. The chopsticks will stop your knife from cutting completely through the potato. Pretty awesome, huh??
  3. Transfer the potatoes to a greased square baking dish. Brush with a mixture of ghee, salt, and herbs.
  4. Cook for ~45 minutes, until tender.
purple sweet potato on a bamboo cutting board next to a sharp knife hasselback purple sweet potato in between two chopsticks on a cutting board 4 hasselback purple sweet potatoes in a square baking dish brushed with seasonings 4 cooked hasselback purple sweet potatoes in a square dish on a counter

 

Expert Tips for Preparing Purple Sweet Potatoes

  • If you don’t have chopsticks, you can use a couple of wooden spoons to help you cut the potatoes.
  • Using a silicone brush really helps with spreading the ghee/herb mixture inside the potato slits and on the surface. Be sure to reserve some of the spread to add halfway through baking and for serving.
  • Ingredients:
    • You can substitute butter or oil for the ghee, as well as other fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme. For more ideas, check out my Vegetable Seasoning Guide.
    • This purple sweet potato recipe would also work with other types of sweet potatoes.
  • Serving and Storing:
    • These are best enjoyed right away, but you can store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave for 1-2 minutes on high.
    • Serve on the side of a lean protein, such as salmon or chicken, with steamed broccoli or a salad.

Want another purple vegetable recipe while you’re here?! Check out the Purple Radish Salad with Sesame Dressing.

Hasselback Purple Sweet Potatoes

Where to Buy Purple Sweet Potatoes

It can be challenging to find purple sweet potatoes. As I mentioned earlier, I got mine at the local foods community co-op. Fortunately, Frieda’s (a company who sells purple sweet potatoes) has a store locator on their site.

When purchasing purple sweet potatoes, look for ones that are firm to the touch and do not have brown or black spots on the skin. Even if you do get ones with healthy skin, I recommend scrubbing them clean before cooking.

Hasselback Purple Sweet Potatoes

More Baked Vegetable Recipes

I’d love to hear how you like this recipe! Rate/review using the stars on the recipe card or in the comments, and follow the Veg World on InstagramFacebook, and Pinterest. Looking for something totally different? Browse the recipe library.

Hasselback Purple Sweet Potato Recipe

These delicious potatoes have creamy purple flesh and crispy skin!

  • 2 large purple sweet potatoes (or 4 small; scrubbed)
  • 4 tbsp ghee (melted; can sub butter or oil)
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley (chopped; more for serving)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt (more to taste)
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Grease a square baking dish.

  2. Prepare the potatoes by slicing off a tiny bit on one side, so the potato stays flat when you put it down and does not roll away. Put a chopstick or the handle of a wooden spoon on each side of the potato, and use a sharp knife to make 1/4" slits. The chopsticks or spoon handles will stop you from slicing through the potato.

  3. Mix together the melted ghee, parsley, and salt, and use a brush to spread about 1/2 of the mixture over the potatoes. Be sure to get some of the mixture in the cracks!

  4. Bake for 30 minutes, remove from oven and spread the rest of the ghee mixture over potatoes. You may need to reheat it if it hardens. Bake for another 10-15 minutes until middle of potatoes are as tender as desired. Sprinkle with salt, and brush with additional ghee and parsley to taste.

  • Nutrition facts are based on regular sweet potatoes and may be slightly off, since purple sweet potatoes are not included in the nutrition database.
  • Serve them on the side of a lean animal protein with a non-starchy vegetable for a complete meal.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave for 1-2 minutes on high.

This post was originally published in 2018. It was updated with new photos and expert tips in February 2020.

Happy hump day! – Lizzie

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Greek Cauliflower Rice https://itsavegworldafterall.com/greek-cauliflower-rice-with-mushrooms-vegan-gluten-free/ https://itsavegworldafterall.com/greek-cauliflower-rice-with-mushrooms-vegan-gluten-free/#respond Tue, 11 Feb 2020 18:00:50 +0000 https://itsavegworldafterall.com/?p=2750 This easy Greek Cauliflower Rice recipe is made with mushrooms, garlic, capers, and lemon. It’s bursting with delicious Mediterranean flavors, and makes the perfect vegan side dish for dinner or lunch. This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my affiliate disclosure. If you are an OG Veg World® reader, then you may...

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This easy Greek Cauliflower Rice recipe is made with mushrooms, garlic, capers, and lemon. It’s bursting with delicious Mediterranean flavors, and makes the perfect vegan side dish for dinner or lunch.

greek cauliflower rice in a blue and white bowl on a white counter

This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my affiliate disclosure.

If you are an OG Veg World® reader, then you may remember this recipe! I originally posted my version of Greek Cauliflower Rice in February of 2015. Now, 5 years later, I’m updating this delicious dish with some better pictures and a whole lotta extra flavor.

If you don’t recall this recipe, you should totally hop onto my newsletter list. Click this link to subscribe, so that you won’t miss out on any recipes. Honestly, though, I’d be very impressed if someone remembers my old version from 2015. Let me know if you do in the comments. ;-)!

Back then, the riced cauliflower trend was just beginning. Now, you can find riced broccoli, beets, butternut squash, and even kohlrabi. Just take a look at the frozen veggie section the next time you’re at the grocery store!

I love that riced and spiralized veggies are becoming more accessible, and making it easier for people to add more veggies into their diet. Of course, there’s still room for regular ol’ rice in your diet, but experimenting with veggie “rice” is a fun way to mix up your vegetable intake. You can even combine riced veggies and plain rice.

And did you know it’s SUPER easy to make your own riced veggies?! You just need a food processor to get started. Check out my post on How to Make Riced Broccoli if you don’t believe me.

Once you get on board with that, you can make this Greek Cauliflower Rice all the time! (Or, you can use store-bought riced cauliflower – deets below). The incredible flavor in this vegan dish will certainly make you crave it again and again. 

cauliflower, mushrooms, onion, lemon, capers, garlic, and oregano on a white counter

How to Make Greek Cauliflower Rice

  1. Chop or separate a head of cauliflower into pieces. Add them to a food processor.
  2. Pulse until you get rice-like pieces.
  3. Cook mushrooms, garlic, and onion in a large skillet.
  4. Add the cauliflower rice, oregano, capers, and lemon juice. Cook for a few more minutes, stirring well, until it’s warmed through.

Want another easy cauliflower recipe while you’re here? Check out the Whole Roasted Cauliflower!

cauliflower florets in a food processor with the number 1 in the top corner chopped cauliflower in a food processor with the number 2 in the top corner diced mushrooms and onion cooking a black skillet on a white counter with the number 3 in the top greek cauliflower rice cooking a black skillet with the number 4 in the top

Expert Tips for Cooking Cauliflower Rice

One of the reasons I reworked this Greek Cauliflower Rice was to boost the flavor. And I learned some valuable tips in the process that will help you make the perfect dish.

  • Size and texture of cauliflower rice: If you want larger pieces, I recommend only putting half of the cauliflower florets in the food processor at one time. Pulse and remove before adding the second batch of florets. If you want smaller pieces, put all of the cauliflower florets in the food processor at the same time. You will need to pulse for longer periods of time, resulting in smaller pieces. It also helps to use a rubber spatula to push down the cauliflower on the sides of the food processor a few times during the process.
  • Seasonings: For more flavor, top with fresh herbs (like parsley) and lemon zest before serving! Greek Cauliflower Rice also tastes AMAZING with feta cheese.
  • Using frozen cauliflower rice: If you don’t want to make your own riced cauliflower, frozen cauliflower rice is a great option! You can add it to the skillet right from frozen, but it will take longer to warm through than raw cauliflower rice.
  • Storage: Leftovers can last for up to 4 days in an airtight container in the fridge. You can enjoy them cold or reheated in the microwave for 1-2 minutes.

close up of greek cauliflower rice in a gray bowl with mushrooms and chopped parsley

Where to Buy Cauliflower Rice

If you want to buy pre-made cauliflower rice, you can find it at Trader Joe’s in the freezer section. Green Giant also makes frozen riced veggies that can be found at most large grocery stores. For more of my favorite frozen veggies from Trader Joe’s, check out this post on the top 6 options.

Ways to Use Greek Cauliflower Rice

This recipe is the ultimate veggie side dish! You can serve it with a lean protein, like white fish, salmon, chicken, or pork. Finally, you can make Greek Cauliflower rice bowls with feta cheese and shredded turkey or white beans for a complete meal all in one.

greek cauliflower rice in a blue and white bowl with a gold spoon on a counter

More Delicious Cauliflower Recipes

If you make this Greek Cauliflower Rice, I’d love to hear how you like it! Please rate/review using the stars on the recipe card or in the comments section.

Greek Cauliflower Rice

Flavorful veggie "rice" with lemon, garlic, capers, and meaty mushrooms.

  • 1 head cauliflower (separated into florets)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion ( diced)
  • 8 ounces baby bella mushrooms (sliced)
  • 3 cloves garlic (pressed or minced)
  • 3 tbsp capers (drained; more to taste)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 lemon (juiced; more to taste)
  • Sea salt (to taste)
  • Lemon zest (for serving)
  • Fresh parsley (or other herbs, for serving)
  1. Add the cauliflower florets to a food processor or blender and pulse until they resemble rice-like pieces. You may need to scrape the sides occasionally.

  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onions, mushroom, and garlic and cook for 5-7 minutes or until tender. Add the riced cauliflower, capers, oregano, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Cook for a few more minutes, until warmed through.

  3. Serve with lemon zest and fresh parsley or other herbs. Enjoy warm or cold!

  • To make larger pieces, pulse the cauliflower in batches in the food processor.
  • You can easily sub store-bought or frozen riced cauliflower instead of making your own. Add it frozen to the skillet after you cook the mushrooms and onion and cook until warmed through.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Enjoy cold, or reheat in the microwave for 1-2 minutes.
  • Serve on the side of a lean protein, or use this recipe to make bowls with feta cheese, shredded chicken or turkey, and/or white beans for a more complete meal.

Have a happy and healthy week! – Lizzie

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Naturally Pink Beet Waffles https://itsavegworldafterall.com/grain-free-beet-waffles/ https://itsavegworldafterall.com/grain-free-beet-waffles/#respond Mon, 10 Feb 2020 21:46:34 +0000 https://itsavegworldafterall.com/?p=8142 These naturally pink waffles are made with roasted beets, making them the perfect recipe for Valentine’s Day breakfast! Plus, they’re gluten free and super delicious. This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my affiliate disclosure. You all don’t think I forgot about Valentine’s Day, right?! It does seem to have snuck up...

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These naturally pink waffles are made with roasted beets, making them the perfect recipe for Valentine’s Day breakfast! Plus, they’re gluten free and super delicious.

8 pink waffles on a white counter with shredded coconut, raspberries, and chocolate chips

This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my affiliate disclosure.

You all don’t think I forgot about Valentine’s Day, right?! It does seem to have snuck up on me, but I’ve had this delectable pink waffle recipe for a V Day breakfast in bed up my sleeves for a while now. 

It’s not surprising that I chose beets to give these waffles their pinkish hue. I love having beets at lunch and dinner, and finally, I have an excuse to eat them in the morning too! I also took a chance on this recipe and experimented with tapioca flour, a starchy flour made from cassava root that has a sweet flavor. 

After some trial and error, I was pleasantly surprised with the sweet taste that the tapioca flour provides, the ease of blending a roasted beet into the batter, and how fluffy on the inside but crispy on the outside these waffles are! Plus, my pink waffles are gluten free for those who need it.

But my absolute FAVORITE part is that you can dress them up however you’d like! I added shredded coconut, some frozen berries, and a few dark chocolate chips (for the photo op and for eating of course). They also taste amazing with nut butters and plain old maple syrup too.



close up of a stack of pink waffles with raspberries and chocolate chips

How to Make Pink Waffles

  1. In a high-powered blender, blend the almond milk, apple cider vinegar, and roasted beet. The almond milk + apple cider vinegar serves as a substitute for traditional buttermilk. That’s why these pink waffles taste just as good as classic buttermilk waffles!
  2. Add the maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla, and eggs to the blender. Blend until smooth.
  3. Pour the batter into a preheated Belgian waffle maker (like this one from Cusinart) or waffle iron. Cook for 3-5 minutes.
  4. Top with butter, maple syrup, fresh fruit, chocolate chips, coconut…you name it!

Looking for another recipe using roasted beets? Check out the Red Cabbage Slaw with Beets while you’re here.

Expert Tips for Making Pink Waffles

  • I highly recommend using pre-cooked beets, like the ones you can find at Trader Joe’s or the Love Beets brand (found in the produce section at most large grocery stores). This will drastically reduce your prep time! If you’ve never cooked a beet, or have no interest in temporarily dying your hands red, they’re your best option.
  • If you aren’t familiar with tapioca flour, I recommend this brand. Products labeled as tapioca starch are the same as tapioca flour.
  • Be sure to lightly spray or grease your waffle maker before pouring the batter onto it. Depending on the size of your waffle iron, you may have enough batter to make more than 8 waffles.
  • To make these beet waffles in advance and store for later, I recommend cooking them and letting them cool completely. Do not stack them on top of each other to cool, as this may cause them to stick together. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or a bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. You can pop them right in the toaster to reheat!

pink waffles on top of each other on a white counter topped with fruit and coconut

So without further adieu, bookmark this page. Open it on Valentine’s Day morning, brew a pot of coffee while the pink waffles cook, and enjoy them with your honey! 

More Healthy Breakfast Recipes

If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear how you like them! Please rate/review using the stars in the recipe card or in the comments section.

Pink Beet Waffles

These gluten free waffles are a beautiful breakfast to prepare for yourself, your Valentine, or your entire family!

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup tapioca flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil (measure after you melt it)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup almond milk (unsweetened)
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 small beet (cooked)
  1. Lightly spray and preheat your waffle iron.

  2. Combine the almond and tapioca flours, baking powder, and sea salt in a large bowl. In a blender, combine the almond milk, apple cider vinegar, and beet. Pulse until smooth, add the eggs, maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla, and blend again until smooth. Add the blender mixture to the bowl with the dry ingredients. Whisk all ingredients together until smooth. This should resemble a typical waffle batter, but with a pink hue!

  3. Pour onto waffle iron and cook approximately 3-5 minutes, until the waffles are slightly crispy on the outside. Enjoy with toppings of your choice!

  • The short prep time reflects using pre-cooked beets for this recipe, such as the Love Beets brand. I highly recommend doing that, since it saves a lot of time. If you need to cook the beet yourself, you can clean and trim one, rub it with a little olive oil, then wrap it in aluminum foil and bake on the center rack of the oven for 40-55 minutes at 400 degrees F.
  • Possible toppings: butter, maple syrup, fresh fruit (raspberries look very pretty!), shredded coconut, chocolate chips
  • Cool completely before storing in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Do not stack on top of each other while cooling. Reheat in the toaster, microwave, or under the broiler. You can also freeze these waffles for up to 3 months and reheat in the toaster.
  • Depending on the size of your waffle iron, the batter may make more or less than 8 waffles.

This post was originally published in February 2018. It was updated with expert tips and a video in February 2020.

Have a beautiful week and a lovely Valentine’s Day!

Lizzie

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Kale Radicchio Salad with Sourdough Croutons https://itsavegworldafterall.com/kale-radicchio-salad/ https://itsavegworldafterall.com/kale-radicchio-salad/#respond Thu, 06 Feb 2020 23:43:22 +0000 https://itsavegworldafterall.com/?p=14158 Tossed in a honey lemon dressing, this flavorful Kale Radicchio Salad features homemade sourdough croutons, dried cherries, and parmesan cheese. It’s the perfect marriage of bitter leafy greens to sweet and salty toppings! To be honest, I’m not a big salad person during the winter months. It just feels a little wrong to eat so...

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Tossed in a honey lemon dressing, this flavorful Kale Radicchio Salad features homemade sourdough croutons, dried cherries, and parmesan cheese. It’s the perfect marriage of bitter leafy greens to sweet and salty toppings!

kale radicchio salad with sourdough croutons on a large wooden platter

This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my affiliate disclosure.

To be honest, I’m not a big salad person during the winter months. It just feels a little wrong to eat so many cold, raw veggies when the temps are below freezing.

But since hearty, leafy greens are quintessential winter vegetables, I was determined to make a flavorful salad using seasonal fix-ins!

That’s how I settled on combining radicchio with kale. They’re both widely available in the cold weather. AND little did I know they would be such a perfect match with a little zest (lemon), a sweet touch (dried cherries), and a salty kick (parmesan cheese).

In addition to the lettuces and toppings, I also added homemade sourdough croutons to my Kale Radicchio Salad! Honestly, does anyone not love sourdough bread? And croutons? No? Didn’t think so.

kale, radicchio, parmesan cheese, dried cherries, and sourdough cubes on a counter

What is radicchio lettuce?

If you’re not familiar with radicchio, it’s a leafy vegetable from the chicory family that looks very similar to red cabbage. Radicchio has beautiful, purple-red leaves with white streaks and a fairly bitter taste.

You can typically find it year round in most places, but peak season for radicchio is mid-winter through early spring.

Looking for another radicchio recipe while you’re here? Try the Roasted Radicchio with Strawberry Balsamic Reduction!

kale, radicchio, dried cherries, and parmesan cheese in a metal mixing bowl

How to Make Kale Radicchio Salad

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Slice a few pieces of sourdough bread into cubes. Drizzle with olive oil and bake for 7-10 minutes.
  2. While that’s happening, cut the kale and radicchio. Add it a bowl with dried cherries and shredded parmesan. Whisk together the ingredients for the lemon honey dressing.
  3. Add the sourdough croutons to the salad bowl, and pour the dressing on top.

Expert Tips and FAQ

  • If you are not eating the salad right away, wait to dress it until just before serving. The plain salad and dressing can be stored in separate airtight containers in the fridge for 3-4 days.
  • I prefer to use lacinato (dinosaur) kale in this recipe. I find it more enjoyable than curly kale. Read more about their differences here.
  • Possible ingredient substitutions and additions:
    • Dried cherries: sub dried cranberries or apricots instead
    • Parmesan cheese: sub gouda or cheddar; (FYI: parmesan cheese is not technically vegetarian; look for one that is marked vegetarian if you need it)
    • More protein: add shredded chicken or turkey, edamame or white beans
side view of kale radicchio salad and sourdough croutons on a wooden platter

Should you wash radicchio?

You should remove any wilted outer leaves and rinse radicchio under cold water before using.

How do you cut radicchio?

First, cut the head of radicchio in half and remove the core with your knife. Next, slice the radicchio into thin, vertical cuts. For Kale Radicchio Salad, you can use long, thin strips (shreds) or cut them in half. It’s up to you and your preferences.

close up of kale radicchio salad with sourdough croutons on a large wooden platter

More Salad Recipes

If you like this Kale Radicchio Salad, check out my other favorite salads:

I’d love to hear how you like this recipe! Rate/review using the stars on the recipe card or in the comments, and follow the Veg World on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Looking for something totally different? Browse the recipe library.

kale radicchio salad with sourdough croutons on a large wooden platter
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Kale Radicchio Salad with Sourdough Croutons

This flavorful salad features sweet dried cherries, salty parmesan, and a lemon honey dressing.
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 312kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 cups sourdough bread cut into rough cubes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 head radicchio core removed and shredded
  • 1 bunch lacinato (dinosaur) kale stems removed and shredded
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese freshly grated
  • 3/4 cup dried cherries can sub dried cranberries

For the dressing:

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Transfer the sourdough bread cubes to a baking sheet and drizzle/toss in olive oil. Bake for 7-10 minutes or until slightly crunchy.
  • Prepare the salad by slicing the radicchio and kale into thin cuts. Add them to a mixing bowl with the cheese and dried cherries. In a separate bowl, whisk together the olive oil, honey, lemon juice, lemon zest, and sea salt.
  • When the croutons are ready, add them to the mixing bowl and pour the dressing on top. Mix until coated. Enjoy!

Notes

  • If you are making this recipe in advance, store the salad and dressing in separate airtight containers in the fridge. Wait to add the dressing until right before serving.
  • For additional protein, added shredded chicken or turkey, edamame, or white beans.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 312kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 441mg | Potassium: 401mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 5176IU | Vitamin C: 60mg | Calcium: 296mg | Iron: 2mg
image of the cover of a winter meal plan with a purple background

Want to eat more seasonal veggies? Get your meal plan today!

Enjoy this recipe!Lizzie

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Vegetarian Italian Spaghetti Squash Boats https://itsavegworldafterall.com/5-ingredient-italian-spaghetti-squash-boats/ https://itsavegworldafterall.com/5-ingredient-italian-spaghetti-squash-boats/#respond Wed, 05 Feb 2020 17:59:03 +0000 https://itsavegworldafterall.com/?p=8082 Stuffed to the brim with tomatoes, spinach, and lentils, these Vegetarian Italian Spaghetti Squash Boats make a delicious plant-based meal. They have only 5 main ingredients, a few additional seasonings, and a whole lotta flavor. Make this easy stuffed spaghetti squash recipe for dinner, lunch, or even meal prep. This recipe is featured in my Winter...

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Stuffed to the brim with tomatoes, spinach, and lentils, these Vegetarian Italian Spaghetti Squash Boats make a delicious plant-based meal. They have only 5 main ingredients, a few additional seasonings, and a whole lotta flavor. Make this easy stuffed spaghetti squash recipe for dinner, lunch, or even meal prep.

This recipe is featured in my Winter Week 2 Meal Plan and the monthly winter vegetable meal plan. For more info, visit the meal plans page.

spaghetti squash stuffed with tomatoes, lentils, and spinach on a white plate

This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my affiliate disclosure.

Just like that, we made it to the first week of February! I don’t know about you, but I am so pleased to be entering the month of February, mainly because this means we are one step closer to warmer weather.

And do you know what warmer temps mean?! More fresh vegetables to experiment with for the blog! But until then, I’ll still be whipping up tasty dishes with winter produce.

These healthy vegetarian spaghetti squash boats are the ideal recipe to make on cold winter weeknights. They’ll keep you feeling warm and nourished all at the same time. And if you happen to get a big spaghetti squash (like I did), you might have extra for lunch the next day. That’s a win-win situation if you ask me.

In terms of the process, you know you have it easy when the most complicated part of the recipe is cooking the lentils. The other ingredients are kitchen staples that you may even have hiding on your shelves or in your fridge at this very moment.

Need another reason to give Vegetarian Italian Spaghetti Squash Boats a try? They have not one, not two, but THREE vegetables. Add in some lentils (protein) and a dusting of parmesan cheese (fat), and you have yourself a balanced meal that will keep you satiated all evening (or afternoon).

two vegetarian italian spaghetti squash boats on a white tray on a blue napkin

Looking for more balanced meals that feature winter vegetables? Get your seasonal veggie meal plan today!

How to Make Italian Spaghetti Squash Boats

  1. Slice the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Rub the skin with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place each half flesh-side down on a lined baking sheet. Pop in the oven for 30-45 minutes, or until tender.
  2. Use a fork to pull the stringy spaghetti squash away from the skin.
  3. Combine the lentils, diced tomatoes, basil, oregano, salt, garlic, and spinach in a large skillet. Cook until warm.
  4. Add the filling to each spaghetti squash boat and use a fork or spoon to mix it all together. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

two spaghetti squash halves on a lined baking sheet on a counter two cooked spaghetti squash halves with a fork in one of them tomatoes, lentils, spinach, and seasonings cooking in a black skillet on a counter stuffed spaghetti squash with tomatoes and lentils on a lined backing sheet



Expert Tips and FAQ

  • You can cook the spaghetti squash up to 5 days in advance to save time. Store in an airtight container in the fridge and reheat in the microwave, or add it to the skillet with the filling. You can also store cooked spaghetti squash in the freezer in airtight bags for up to 3 months.
  • To save even more time, try cooking the spaghetti squash in the microwave.
  • As the name suggests, these are Italian Spaghetti Squash Boats, but you don’t need to serve the recipe in the “boats” if you’d rather eat it on plates.
  • Ingredient substitutions and additions:
    • To make vegan, forego the parmesan cheese. You can use nutritional yeast instead if desired. Some types of parmesan cheese are not strictly vegetarian. If you are concerned about that, be sure to read the label at the store.
    • For a kick, try adding red pepper flakes.
    • For some additional protein, add shredded chicken or ground turkey to the filling.

How do you know when a spaghetti squash is cooked?

If the spaghetti squash skin is soft to the touch, the flesh inside is cooked. When handling spaghetti squash in the oven, remember to wear an oven mitt (it can be really hot!). Flip each half of the squash over to release the steam, and use a fork to remove the flesh from the skin. If it pulls away easily, the squash is cooked.

Is spaghetti squash healthy?

Spaghetti squash is rich in fiber but low in starch, which can help promote good blood sugar control. It’s also rich in manganese, a trace mineral that’s involved in bone formation and blood clotting.

Does spaghetti squash taste like real spaghetti?

Since these are Italian Spaghetti Squash Boats, some of you may wonder if they taste similar to actual spaghetti with red sauce. Spaghetti squash has a very similar size and shape to actual spaghetti, but it’s slightly crunchier and does not have the same flavor (it tastes like squash).

side close-up of a stuffed italian spaghetti squash boat on a white tray

More Healthy Spaghetti Squash Recipes

If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear how you like it. Please rate/review using the stars on the recipe card or in the comments section.

Vegetarian Italian Spaghetti Squash Boats

These easy and delicious spaghetti squash boats contain only 5 main ingredients and make a great plant-based dinner.

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 1 cup lentils (cooked)
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced or pressed)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 3 cups spinach
  • Shredded parmesan cheese (to taste)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare the spaghetti squash by slicing in half and scooping out the seeds. Rub each half with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place the squash halves cut side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment, and bake for 35-45 minutes until tender.

  2. While the squash is cooking, prepare the lentils if you haven't cooked them yet (combine 0.5 cup dry lentils with 1 cup water in a saucepan, bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes). A few minutes before the squash is finished, add the diced tomatoes with their juices, garlic, oregano, basil, and salt to a large skillet. Heat for a few minutes before adding the spinach. Cook and stir until the spinach is wilted.

  3. When the squash is finished, prepare the boats by combining the spaghetti squash in each half with half of the lentils and tomato/spinach mixture. Mix until well combined. Top with freshly shredded aged parmesan cheese as desired. Enjoy!

  • You can cook the spaghetti squash up to 5 days in advance. Store in an airtight container in the fridge until you want to make the recipe. Reheat in the microwave, or add to the skillet with the filling.
  • Leftovers from the full recipe will last for 3-4 days in the fridge. Reheat in the microwave.
  • To make vegan, skip the parmesan cheese.
  • For an extra kick, add red pepper flakes. You can also add shredded chicken or ground turkey.

This post was originally published in January 2018. It was updated with expert tips in February 2020.

Have a happy and healthy week!

Lizzie

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Honey Roast Parsnips and Raisins https://itsavegworldafterall.com/honey-roast-parsnips/ https://itsavegworldafterall.com/honey-roast-parsnips/#respond Wed, 05 Feb 2020 00:30:09 +0000 https://itsavegworldafterall.com/?p=14118 Tender Honey Roast Parsnips are finished with aromatic rosemary and sweet raisins in this delectable side dish. For a tasty holiday or weeknight vegetable that’s easy to prepare, look no further than this vegetarian roasted parsnip recipe. Honey is one of my favorite ingredients to use in vegetable recipes. Take my Roasted Turnips and Pears...

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Tender Honey Roast Parsnips are finished with aromatic rosemary and sweet raisins in this delectable side dish. For a tasty holiday or weeknight vegetable that’s easy to prepare, look no further than this vegetarian roasted parsnip recipe.

honey roasted parsnips and raisins on a pink oval tray on a white counter

This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my affiliate disclosure.

Honey is one of my favorite ingredients to use in vegetable recipes. Take my Roasted Turnips and Pears with Honey Butter and Rosemary Honey Slow Cooker Beets, for example. Those are some of the most delicious (easiest) dishes on the site.

And who could forget about the Sautéed Honey Sriracha Brussels Sprouts? Ok, ok, you get the picture. I like veggies, and I like honey.

That brings me to these uhhhh-mazing Honey Roast Parsnips with Raisins. The sweet, slightly anise flavor of parsnips tastes even better when they’re coated in a simple honey glaze. I also added some raisins at the end to, you know, stick with this whole sweet veggie theme.

But wait, there’s more! Freshly chopped rosemary and a sprinkle of sea salt tie the whole dish together. With all that flavor, it’s the perfect recipe for those of you who feel like you’re in a winter cooking slump (when root veggies just don’t sound quite as good as they did in October!)

And if you’re really on top of things, you can even bookmark this post for the holiday season. Honey Roast Parsnips would be a delicious Thanksgiving or Christmas side dish.

raisins, 7 parsnips, honey, and rosemary on a white counter

How do you make sweet roasted parsnips?

Making Honey Roast Parsnips is simple. You don’t even need to peel the parsnips! First, scrub them with a veggie brush. Trim off the ends, then slice them into 6 pieces.

For example, a large parsnips should be cut in half, then each half should be sliced in half lengthwise. The larger pieces from the top half of the parsnip can be sliced in half again. 1 parsnip = 6 pieces (see the photo below).

Transfer them to a lined baking sheet. Next, whisk together the honey, olive oil, and rosemary. Coat the parsnips with the sweet glaze and sprinkle generously with sea salt. Pop in the oven and roast until they’re perfectly tender and a little brown!

sliced parsnips, rosemary, and raisins on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper

Ten minutes before they’re finished cooking, add the raisins to the baking sheet. Yummmm.

How long to roast parsnips

Parsnips that are sliced into long, thin pieces take 30-40 minutes to roast. If you slice them into coins, they will take less time to cook in the oven.

For more info on making perfectly roasted vegetables, check out the Complete Guide to Vegetable Roasting Times while you’re here!

close up of honey roast parsnips and raisins on a pink oval tray

Expert Tips for Honey Roast Parsnips

  • If you don’t have a veggie brush, you can peel the parsnips to make sure they’re clean.
  • Cut each parsnip into pieces that are roughly the same size. If you have a skinny, small parsnip, you likely only need to cut it into 2-4 pieces instead of 6.
  • Don’t add the raisins to the baking sheet right away. They will dry out and slightly burn if you cook them for the same amount of time as the parsnips. Wait until 10 minutes before the parsnips are finished.
  • This dish is best enjoyed right away, but leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. Reheat in the microwave for 1-2 minutes on high.

Can you prepare honey roast parsnips in advance?

If you’re making this dish for Christmas or a holiday meal, you can make it up to 2 days in advance. When you’re ready to eat, transfer to a lined baking sheet and reheat in a preheated oven (350-400 degrees F) for ~10 minutes.

honey roast parsnips and raisins on a pink oval tray on a counter

More Easy Parsnip Recipes

I’d love to hear how you like this recipe! Rate/review using the stars on the recipe card or in the comments, and follow the Veg World on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Looking for something totally different? Browse the recipe library.

honey roasted parsnips and raisins on a pink oval tray on a white counter
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Honey Roast Parsnips and Raisins

This delectable vegetarian side dish features sweet glazed parsnips finished with fresh rosemary, sea salt, and raisins.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 269kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds parsnips scrubbed and trimmed
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary chopped
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 1 cup raisins

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Prepare the parsnips by slicing each one into 6 pieces of similar size (smaller/skinnier parsnips will only need to be cut into 2-4 pieces). Transfer them to the lined baking sheet, and spread them out in an even layer. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, honey, and rosemary. Pour the glaze over the parsnips and use your hands or a rubber spatula to make sure they are coated. Sprinkle generously with sea salt.
  • Transfer the parsnips to the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until tender. Around 10 minutes before the parsnips are finished (at the 20 or 25-minute mark), take the baking sheet out and sprinkle the raisins on top. Put it back in the oven to finish cooking.
  • When they're finished, transfer to a serving dish, garnish with additional rosemary or sea salt, and enjoy warm.

Notes

  • You can make this up to 2 days in advance. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Reheat in a preheated oven (350-400 degrees F) on a lined baking sheet until warm, about 10 minutes.
  • To make vegan, sub maple syrup for honey.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 269kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 22mg | Potassium: 766mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 10IU | Vitamin C: 27mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 2mg
image of the cover of a winter meal plan with a purple background

Want to eat more seasonal veggies? Get your meal plan today!

Enjoy! – Lizzie

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Healthy Chicken and Leek Pasta Bake https://itsavegworldafterall.com/chicken-and-leek-pasta-bake/ https://itsavegworldafterall.com/chicken-and-leek-pasta-bake/#respond Mon, 03 Feb 2020 22:02:05 +0000 https://itsavegworldafterall.com/?p=14081 This delicious Chicken and Leek Pasta Bake recipe gets its great flavor from sliced leeks, parmesan cheese, dijon, and a touch of lemon juice. It’s a lightened up creamy chicken pasta bake, made with whole wheat penne, that’s sure to be a hit! This recipe is featured in my Winter Week 3 Meal Plan and the monthly winter...

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This delicious Chicken and Leek Pasta Bake recipe gets its great flavor from sliced leeks, parmesan cheese, dijon, and a touch of lemon juice. It’s a lightened up creamy chicken pasta bake, made with whole wheat penne, that’s sure to be a hit!

This recipe is featured in my Winter Week 3 Meal Plan and the monthly winter vegetable meal plan. For more info, visit the meal plans page.

blue plate with chicken and leek pasta bake and a gold fork

This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my affiliate disclosure.

It’s officially leek season, at least here in Minnesota! Leeks have a mild, slightly sweet flavor that’s, of course, reminiscent of onions. Combined with salty parmesan, dijon, lemon, and thyme, they really shine in this dish.

The leek-based sauce in this recipe tastes even better when it’s drizzled over whole wheat penne and diced chicken. Mmmmm. Aren’t you excited to make it?!

But for real, this Healthy Chicken and Leek Pasta Bake recipe is so easy and ultra flavorful. It’s big enough to feed the whole family, but you can also make it for just 1-2 people and eat the leftovers for lunch!

Overall, chicken leek pasta is a winner. And I hope you like it as much as I do!!

whole wheat pasta, parmesan cheese, cream, leeks, chicken, and lemon on a counter

How to Make Chicken and Leek Pasta Bake

  1. Cook the diced chicken in a skillet for ~3 minutes on each side. Transfer to a clean plate. While that’s cooking, boil the pasta.
  2. In the same skillet, cook the sliced leeks and garlic for a few minutes.
  3. Add the milk or cream, dijon, lemon, thyme, and cheese.
  4. Cook for a few minutes, then add the chicken. Stir until coated.
  5. Put the cooked pasta in a greased 8×8 baking dish.
  6. Add the chicken and leek mixture to the dish, stir, and top with the rest of the cheese. Bake for ~20 minutes.

Looking for another veggie + chicken recipe like this Chicken and Leek Pasta Bake? Check out the Veggie-Loaded Slow Cooker Mexican Shredded Chicken while you’re here!

Expert Tips

To make the best possible Chicken and Leek Pasta Bake, follow my tips for prepping, storing, and making it in advance:

  • To prevent the pasta from getting too mushy, cook it for 3/4 of the recommended time. For example, if the package says to boil it for 8 minutes, do it for 6 instead. It will finish cooking when you put the pasta bake in the oven.
  • To make this Chicken and Leek Pasta Bake in advance, follow the steps up until putting it in the oven. At this point, cover it with foil or plastic wrap and keep in the fridge for up to 24 hours before you want to put it in the oven and eat!
  • Leftovers can last for 3-5 days in the fridge. Reheat in the microwave for 1-2 minutes on high.
  • Ingredient substitutions:
    • You can use milk, half and half, or cream in this recipe. The higher the fat content of the milk you use, the creamier the sauce will be.
    • I used whole wheat penne pasta for some extra fiber, but you can use regular or gluten free pasta if needed.
blue plate with chicken and leek pasta bake next to a blue serving dish

More Recipes with Leeks

I’d love to hear how you like this recipe! Rate/review using the stars on the recipe card or in the comments, and follow the Veg World on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Looking for something totally different? Browse the recipe library.

blue plate with chicken and leek pasta bake and a gold fork
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Healthy Chicken and Leek Pasta Bake

A lighter version of creamy chicken and leek pasta, with whole grain penne and fresh ingredients.
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 486kcal

Ingredients

  • 3 cups whole wheat penne pasta dry
  • 2 tsp olive oil divided
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into cubes
  • 2 leeks light green and white part only, sliced into half-moons and cleaned in a bowl of water
  • 2 cloves garlic pressed or minced
  • 1/2 cup milk can sub half and half or cream
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese freshly grated and divided

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8×8" baking pan and set aside.
  • Cook the pasta according to package instructions, but only for 3/4 of the recommended time (i.e. for 8 minutes, cook for 6). Drain and reserve for later.
  • While the pasta is cooking, heat 1 tsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the cubed chicken and cook for 7-9 minutes, flipping halfway through, or until the chicken is cooked through. Transfer to a clean plate.
  • In the same skillet, heat the rest of the olive oil and add the sliced leeks and garlic. Cook for a few minutes, or until tender. Add the chicken, milk, dijon, lemon juice, thyme, and 1/2 cup of the parmesan cheese. Stir and cook for a few more minutes.
  • Add the cooked pasta to the greased pan. Pour the leek and chicken mixture on top and stir. Sprinkle the rest of the parmesan cheese on top and pop in the oven for 20 minutes. Enjoy warm!

Notes

  • To make this in advance, follow steps up until putting it in the oven. Cover with foil or plastic wrap and store in the fridge until you want to cook it (up to 24 hours).
  • Leftovers can last in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days. Reheat in the microwave for 1-2 minutes on high.

Nutrition

Serving: 2cups | Calories: 486kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 42g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 93mg | Sodium: 597mg | Potassium: 563mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1044IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 365mg | Iron: 2mg

Happy February! – Lizzie

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Want to eat more seasonal veggies? Get your meal plan today!

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Healthy Sweet Potato Skins with Barbecue Beans https://itsavegworldafterall.com/sweet-potato-skins-with-easy-barbecue-beans/ https://itsavegworldafterall.com/sweet-potato-skins-with-easy-barbecue-beans/#comments Fri, 31 Jan 2020 16:57:13 +0000 https://itsavegworldafterall.com/?p=9999 These vegetarian, healthy sweet potato skins are loaded with flavor from easy barbecue pinto beans, shredded cheese, and green onions. They’re the perfect snack to enjoy while watching football! This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see the affiliate disclosure. SWEET. POTATO. SKINS. Those three words changed my life. But really. Loaded sweet...

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These vegetarian, healthy sweet potato skins are loaded with flavor from easy barbecue pinto beans, shredded cheese, and green onions. They’re the perfect snack to enjoy while watching football!

8 sweet potato skins on a white counter with cilantro and limes

This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see the affiliate disclosure.

SWEET. POTATO. SKINS. Those three words changed my life. But really. Loaded sweet potato skins are downright delicious, and I’m so excited to share this recipe with you.

With the Super Bowl this weekend, I knew it was time to give you some delicious snacks for game day! Since the Eagles aren’t in it this year, I wasn’t that excited about creating recipes. But that all changed once I started playing around with some ingredients.

I came up with the idea to create a sweet potato recipe with a smoky barbecue flavor over the holidays. Will and I had some friends over to watch football, and I made sweet potato nachos from the Love and Lemons cookbook. I drizzled each plate with barbecue sauce before serving, and everyone loved the flavor combination of sweet potatoes with smoky sauce.

So I got to thinking, what about making a similar game day recipe, but this time with the fillings inside the taters instead of on top? Enter: sweet potato skins.



 

 

Ingredients for homemade barbecue sauce with text overlay on a white counter

Ingredients for homemade BBQ sauce!

How to Make Sweet Potato Skins

First, gather 3-5 sweet potatoes. Scrub them clean, then use a fork to poke a few holes in them. Bake on a piece of aluminum foil on the middle rack of your oven for ~45 minutes at 400 degrees F. 

While they’re baking, prepare the barbecue beans by whisking together all of the ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add a can of drained and rinsed pinto beans and heat for a few minutes.

Once the potatoes are ready, it’s time to stuff them!

  1. Remove from oven and let them cook for a couple minutes.
  2. Slice them straight down the middle, place on a lined baking sheet, and scoop out the flesh to use for the filling.
  3. Mix the flesh with the beans in a large bowl, add some cheese and scallions.
  4. Stuff the sweet potato skins. Bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, and BOOM! It’s that easy.

Need some more sweet potato recipes while you’re here? Check out the Oatmeal Raisin Sweet Potato Cookies, Sweet Potato Blueberry Flax Muffins, and Sweet Potato Black Bean Meal Prep Bowls.

4 roasted sweet potatoes on a sheet of aluminum foil on a white counter 8 sweet potato jackets with their flesh scooped out on a baking sheet lined with parchment sweet potato flesh, cheese, scallions, and barbecue beans in a silver mixing bowl 8 stuffed sweet potato jackets on a baking sheet before going into the oven

I was blown away by the flavor of these. When I first tasted the sauce, I wasn’t sure if I liked it. But when I mixed it with the beans and cooked sweet potatoes, it tasted amazing! I hope you enjoy the taste as much as I do.

Expert Tips for Making Perfect Sweet Potato Skins

  • Use the smallest sweet potatoes you can find. They cook quickly, and they’re more manageable to eat in a few bites!
  • To save time, you can follow my Microwave Sweet Potato recipe and cook the potatoes in advance. That way, you’ll just need to stuff them and pop them in the oven before the football game.
  • These are best enjoyed right away, but leftovers can last for 3-5 days in an airtight container in the fridge. Reheat in the oven (preheated to 350 degrees F) for 10-15 minutes, or in the microwave on high for 1-2 minutes.
  • Feel free to mix up the toppings! Add guacamole, sour cream, more cheese, or jalapenos.

Can you eat sweet potato skins?

Some people may wonder if the actual skin of sweet potatoes is edible. You can eat all parts of a sweet potato. Plus, the skin is rich in fiber and nutrients. So if you don’t mind the texture, go for it!

a single stuffed sweet potato skin with barbecue beans, cilantro, and lime on a white counter

More Vegetarian Football Snacks

For some other game day recipes like these Healthy Sweet Potato Skins, check out:

If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear how you like it! Please rate/review using the stars on the recipe card or in the comments section.

Healthy Sweet Potato Skins with Barbecue Beans

A delicious game day recipe with pinto beans marinated in a homemade barbecue sauce. The perfect vegetarian dish!

  • 5 small sweet potatoes (or 3 large)
  • 1 15 oz can pinto beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 3 scallions (dark and light green parts sliced)
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese (more to taste)
  • Lime (for serving)
  • Fresh cilantro (for serving)
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Put a piece of aluminum foil on the middle rack. Scrub each sweet potato, and use a fork to poke a few holes in the skin. Place the potatoes on the foil and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until soft to the touch.

  2. While the potatoes are baking, combine the ketchup, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, apple cider vinegar, and smoked paprika in a small sauce pan. Whisk and cook over medium heat until simmering, stirring occasionally (this will happen quickly). Add the pinto beans to the sauce and mix until they are coated. Heat for another 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add the barbecue beans to a large bowl.

  3. When the potatoes are finished, slice each one in half down the middle. Scoop out the flesh with a spoon, leaving a 1/4″ border in each skin. Add the flesh to the bowl with the beans and mix them together. Mix in the sliced scallions and cheese, but be sure to reserve some scallions for serving.

  4. Put the skins on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Stuff each skin with a large spoonful of the filling. Sprinkle with shredded cheese. Pop back in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the filling is heated through. Serve warm with lime and a few sliced scallions and cilantro on top. Enjoy!

  • Cook the sweet potatoes in the microwave or in advance to save time.
  • These are best enjoyed right away, but leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days. Reheat in a preheated oven for 10-15 minutes or in the microwave for 1-2 minutes on high.

This Healthy Sweet Potato Skins recipe was originally published in January 2019. It was updated with new photos and expert tips in January 2020.

Enjoy!

Lizzie

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Veggie-Loaded Slow Cooker Mexican Shredded Chicken https://itsavegworldafterall.com/veggie-slow-cooker-mexican-chicken/ https://itsavegworldafterall.com/veggie-slow-cooker-mexican-chicken/#respond Sat, 25 Jan 2020 13:00:51 +0000 https://itsavegworldafterall.com/?p=9970 Add some extra vegetables to your meals with this Veggie-Loaded Slow Cooker Mexican Shredded Chicken. This meal prep staple is seasoned with salsa verde and lime juice. It’s ultra flavorful, healthy, and SO easy! This recipe is featured in my Winter Week 2 Meal Plan and the monthly winter vegetable meal plan. For more info, visit the meal plans page....

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Add some extra vegetables to your meals with this Veggie-Loaded Slow Cooker Mexican Shredded Chicken. This meal prep staple is seasoned with salsa verde and lime juice. It’s ultra flavorful, healthy, and SO easy!

This recipe is featured in my Winter Week 2 Meal Plan and the monthly winter vegetable meal plan. For more info, visit the meal plans page.

slow cooker Mexican shredded chicken with veggies in a white bowl on top of a napkin

This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my affiliate disclosure.

It’s finally the weekend! And you know what that means, right? Time for a little meal prep and planning!

Even if you already made your dinner plans for next week, you should totally bookmark this Veggie-Loaded Slow Cooker Mexican Shredded Chicken. It’s an awesome recipe to “batch cook” and keep in your fridge all week long.

You can eat it on salads, sandwiches, tacos, over rice, and more! It also freezes well, and is a versatile lean protein to have on hand. Plus, you can dump all of the ingredients into the slow cooker before you run errands on Sunday and forget about it.

Sounds pretty nice, huh? I agree. Let’s get to it!

How to Make Slow Cooker Mexican Shredded Chicken

  1. Add 1.5 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts to a slow cooker.
  2. Dump a jar of salsa verde (green salsa) on top. Add lime juice, salt, and cumin. Cook on low for 3 hours.
  3. Use two forks to shred the chicken.
  4. Add the veggies to the chicken in the crockpot. Cook for another 30 minutes.

I used cooked, frozen spinach and red bell peppers in this recipe, but you can feel free to add other veggies you have on hand! Zucchini, tomatoes, and other leafy greens would taste great. The vegetables add some extra fiber, nutrition, and color, and they soak up the salsa verde flavors really well.

two chicken breasts in a crockpot on a white counter two chicken breasts covered with a jar of salsa verde in a crockpot on a white counter shredded mexican chicken in a slow cooker on a white counter with two forks shredded mexican chicken with spinach and chopped bell pepper in a crockpot

How to Serve and Store Slow Cooker Shredded Mexican Chicken

As I mentioned earlier, this recipe is super versatile. Here are a few of my favorite ways to enjoy it:

  • Tacos: stuffed into corn tortillas with a dollop of guacamole and sour cream
  • Burrito bowls: on top of brown rice, corn, black beans, cheese, and guacamole
  • Breakfast: mixed into scrambled eggs and served on tortillas
  • Nachos: on top of veggie chips (like the kind I used for my Radish Chip Nachos) or tortilla chips with all of your favorite nacho toppings
  • Sandwiches: in between two slices of multigrain bread with a slice of cheese

Store slow cooker shredded Mexican chicken in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave or enjoy it cold. This recipe also freezes really well in airtight containers of freezer bags. It lasts for up to 3 months. Let it thaw in the fridge before eating.

Slow Cooker Mexican shredded Chicken with spinach and bell peppers in a white bowl

More Healthy Slow Cooker Recipes

If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear how you like it! Please rate/review using the stars on the recipe card or in the comments section.

Veggie-Loaded Slow Cooker Mexican Shredded Chicken

A delicious shredded chicken recipe with salsa verde and added spinach and bell peppers. 

  • 1.5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 12-16 oz jar salsa verde (such as Trader Joe's brand)
  • 1 lime (juiced)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 10 oz package frozen spinach (cooked and drained)
  • 1 red bell pepper (chopped)
  1. Place the chicken breasts in the slow cooker. Pour the jar of salsa verde over them. Add the lime juice, cumin, and salt. Cover and cook on low for 3 hours, or until they are cooked through and have reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. 

  2. Remove the chicken breasts from the crockpot and shred with two forks on a cutting board. Return the chicken to the crockpot. You can also shred the breasts in the crockpot with tongs or forks. 

  3. Prepare the spinach according to package instructions, wrap in a paper towel, and squeeze out any excess moisture. Add the cooked spinach and diced bell pepper to the slow cooker. Mix well and cook on low for another 30 minutes. 

  4. Serve in tacos, burrito bowls, salads, nachos, and more.

  • There will be a lot of liquid/salsa still in the slow cooker when you shred the chicken. The shredded chicken and vegetables should absorb most of this (it has a ton of flavor!), but if it’s too much, you can drain some of it.
  • Be sure to use at least 1.5 pounds of chicken breast. With less chicken, there tends to be too much spinach.
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave for 1-2 minutes on high or enjoy cold.
  • To freeze, transfer to airtight containers or freezer bags, label, and freeze for up to 3 months. Let it thaw in the fridge before eating.

This recipe was originally published in January 2019. It was updated with more photos and expert tips in January 2020.

Happy (almost) weekend!

Lizzie

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