Bruschetta Recipe: Bruschetta Zucchini Boats

In keeping with the mixing things up in our menu rotation, we’ve been trying to inlude a meatless meal or two each week. The males in my house are slowly adjusting to having a meatless meal once a week, and I’ve actually been enjoying the exploration of different recipes.  This is a bruschetta recipe that gives us another way to use up zucchini- which is good because zucchini seems to do REALLY well in our garden and I always have too much!

Bruschetta Zucchini Boats

Bruschetta recipe zucchini boats

Ingredients:

1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 orange tomato, seeded and cut into pieces
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup onion, finely chopped
½ tsp crushed red pepper”
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp grape seed oil
1 ½ Tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 Tbsp fresh Basil, chopped {I use shredding scissors}
4 zucchini
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Instructions:

1)  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with foil.

Zucchini_Scooped[1]

2)  Slice zucchini in half lengthwise.  Using a melon baller, scoop out the middle of the zucchini halves to create a “boat.”  Bake in oven for about 5-7 minutes.

Garlic_in_Pan[1]

3)  In medium pan, heat oil over medium heat.  Add onion, garlic and crushed red pepper.  Saute on medium for 3-4 minutes until onions are softened and garlic is lightly browned.  Season with salt and pepper.  Let cool.

tomatoes_in_bowl[1]

4)  In a large bowl, combine cherry tomatoes, orange tomato, and garlic mixture.  Stir to combine.  Add balsamic vinegar and stir well.  Mix in fresh basil.

Bruschetta_Zucchini_Boats_Horizontal[1]

5)  Spoon tomato mixture into zucchini cavities and top with mozzarella cheese.  Bake in oven for 3-4 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Bruschetta Recipe: Bruschetta Zucchini Boats
 
Bruschetta zucchini boats make a great meatless meal
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Ingredients
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 orange tomato, seeded and cut into pieces
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup onion, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper”
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp grape seed oil
  • 1 ½ Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp fresh Basil, chopped {I use shredding scissors}
  • 4 zucchini
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Instructions
  1. ) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil.
  2. ) Slice zucchini in half lengthwise. Using a melon baller, scoop out the middle of the zucchini halves to create a “boat.” Bake in oven for about 5-7 minutes.
  3. ) In medium pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and crushed red pepper. Saute on medium for 3-4 minutes until onions are softened and garlic is lightly browned. Season with salt and pepper. Let cool.
  4. ) In a large bowl, combine cherry tomatoes, orange tomato, and garlic mixture. Stir to combine. Add balsamic vinegar and stir well. Mix in fresh basil.
  5. ) Spoon tomato mixture into zucchini cavities and top with mozzarella cheese. Bake in oven for 3-4 minutes or until cheese is melted.

 

Soup’s On! 21 Fabulous Soup Recipes for Sunday Dinner @foodie

I love soup.  I’ve had a longstanding love affair with it.  Given that we’re expecting rain this weekend, ALL weekend, I can tell you that I will be making soup at least one weekend day and letting it simmer on the stove or in my crock pot all day long.  I thought I’d share with you 21 fabulous soup recipes for Sunday Dinner which are all great for simmering or leaving in the crock pot all day!!

You’ll find some quick to cook soups in this collection, and you’ll also find some Vegan and Vegetarian options.  Some healthier, Weight Watchers Friendly options…Even paleo and gluten free!! YUMMY! I aim to please all palates!

At least I don’t have to think a lot about the meal plans this week- I can just do a whole lot of soups. I’m very intrigued by the kielbasa soup- I’ve never had kielbasa in soup but the whole family really likes kielbasa so I’m going to make that on a super busy weeknight.  Soup doesn’t have to just be for Sunday Dinner. I just like some serious comfort food on Sundays and soup just tastes like Grama’s house to me, you know?

soups for sunday dinner

I adore soup, but what do you say about soup? I was chatting with my friend, Laura, about our love of soup and she inspired me to write this silly little poem…

 Ode to Soup

Oh soup, how do I love thee?

Let me count the ways….

You fill my belly

You hydrate me

You fuel my energy

So I can write more silly poems.

You feed my family

And save me work

Without you, I’d be lost.

Oh, soup, how I love thee.

You are often hot

Sometimes cold

I don’t know many who eat you I lukewarm

I can put you in my crockpot

I can toss you in a pan

I can bring you to a friend

You are so versatile

I can eat you all year round

Oh, soup, how I love thee!

 

 

What are YOUR favorite soups to make or eat?

 

 

This post is part of a partnership with Foodie.com.  Opinions are my own.

Black Bean Veggie Wrap makes brown bagging fun!

So now that my oldest has officially gone meat free, and is living as a vegetarian, I’m finding meatless lunches are a little bit (not tons) more challenging to pack.  The girl who loved ham and cheese won’t eat the ham anymore and I’m left trying to make sure she’s getting her protein in.  She REALLY loves the Black Bean Burger from MorningStar Farms and I was thinking today that I should do something fun with those. So, here you go.  A meatless wrap that’s full of flavor and protein and easy to bring for lunch! (We love the Thermos Funtainers- they really truly keep foods quite warm for several hours)  Here’s the black bean veggie wrap recipe I came up with for brown bagging days

spicy black bean veggie wrap

Ingredients:

Tortilla wrap (we use taco sized)- for my husband, I’d probably use a larger tortilla)

Morningstar Farms Black Bean Burger(s)

Lettuce

Shredded carrots, diced cucumber, sliced pepper (any veggies you want)

Cheese (we did 1T of shredded cheddar)

1T Ranch dressing (if desired- we use a light version)

black bean veggie wrap recipe

Directions:

Prepare burger as instructed.  (While I was waiting on burger to cook, I warmed the Funtainer with hot water inside of it for 5 minutes)

When burger is cooked, slice into thin strips and spread strips atop wrap.

Add lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, any veggies you’d like ( we don’t do the tomato, she won’t eat them)

Add cheese (shredded or slices- preference rules here!)

Drizzle a little bit of Ranch dressing on top

Fold one end of your wrap up over your food Starting at one side of the tortilla, carefully roll into a nice, tight wrap.

Slice in half and tuck into container to keep warm until lunch.  Or, plate and enjoy!

Serve with fresh fruit and extra veggies for a great “brown bag” lunch

 

MorningStar Logo

 

 Find your fresh take on eating well. Browse hundreds of meat-free recipes at MorningStarFarms.com.

 

What are your favorite meatless lunch ideas?

 

5.0 from 5 reviews
Black Bean Veggie Wrap makes brown bagging fun!
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Veggie wrap with a black bean burger sliced into strips
Author:
Recipe type: Main Dish
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • Tortilla wrap (we use burrito sized)
  • Black Bean Burger(s)
  • Lettuce
  • Shredded carrots
  • diced cucumber
  • Cheese (American for my girlie, I'd prefer cheddar)
  • Ranch dressing (if desired- we use a light version)
Instructions
  1. Prepare burger as instructed. (While I was waiting on burger to cook, I warmed the Funtainer with hot water inside of it for 5 minutes)
  2. When burger is cooked, slice into thin strips and spread strips atop wrap.
  3. Add lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, any veggies you'd like ( we don't do the tomato, she won't eat them)
  4. Add cheese (shredded or slices- preference rules here!)
  5. Drizzle a little bit of Ranch dressing on top
  6. Fold one end of your wrap up over your food Starting at one side of the tortilla, carefully roll into a nice, tight wrap.
  7. Slice in half and tuck into container to keep warm until lunch.
  8. Serve with fresh fruit and extra veggies for a great "brown bag" lunch

Compensation was provided by Kellogg’s MorningStar via Glam Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of
the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Kellogg’s MorningStar.

Weight Watchers Friendly Lentil Soup

Simple Weight Watchers Friendly Crock Pot Lentil Soup

This soup is a delicious vegan recipe, but it can be altered easily to suit the cook’s tastes.  Beef or chicken stock can be substituted for the water.  Pieces of ham can be added for a delicious option.  Another tasty addition is a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt, which is still vegetarian but not vegan.

 crock pot lentil soup weight watchers recipe

Ingredients

  • 2  cups dry lentils
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 5 cups water (or broth/stock if preferred)
  • 1 small chopped onion
  • 2 small carrots chopped or diced
  • 2 celery stalks chopped
  • 1-2 cloves of pressed garlic (garlic powder can be substituted)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 weight watchers lentil soup

Instructions

  1. Rinse the lentils.
  2. Chop the vegetables.
  3. Place everything in the crock pot and stir.
  4. Cook on low for 4 hours.

lentil soup in crock pot simmer

Serve with bread and salad.

 

Tips

When chopping vegetables, cut round veggies, like carrots and onions, in half and place the flat side down on the cutting board.  No more trouble with vegetables rolling around the cutting board.

If celery is wilted, freshen it up by cutting the base and putting it in cold water.  The celery will take up the water and be crisp again.

New crock pots cook food faster than older crock pots.

Weight Watchers Friendly Lentil Soup
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Weight Watchers friendly slow cooker/crock pot lentil soup recipe
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • •2 cups dry lentils
  • •1 can diced tomatoes
  • •5 cups water (or broth/stock if preferred)
  • •1 small chopped onion
  • •2 small carrots chopped or diced
  • •2 celery stalks chopped
  • •1-2 cloves of pressed garlic (garlic powder can be substituted)
  • •Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Rinse the lentils.
  2. Chop the vegetables.
  3. Place everything in the crock pot and stir.
  4. Cook on low for 4 hours.

 

No Bake Peanut Butter Bars from Plant-Based Recipes Cookbook (Giveaway)

Last week I received a copy of The China Study Plant-Based Recipes Cookbook from BenBella Books.  They know how much I like to read cookbooks with plant-based recipes and The China Study Cookbook does not disappoint.  Written by LeAnne Campbell, daughter of The China Study author, T. Colin Campbell, PhD, and mother of two hungry teenagers, The China Study Cookbook features delicious, easily prepared plant-based recipes with no added fat and minimal sugar and salt.  I would try almost every recipe in this book from Blueberry Coffee Cake and Sesame Noodle Salad to Granola Fruit Wraps and Fresh Strawberry Pie.

The-China-Studyplant-basedvegan-cookbook

Today I am going to share a recipe from The China Study Cookbook.  Given the recent heat waves and my family’s  love for peanut butter I choose the No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars.  These were so easy to make and a huge hit.  The husband’s first reactions was, “These are awesome”.

The-China Study-vegan-No-Bake-peanut-butter-bars-recipe

4.7 from 3 reviews
Plant-Based No Bake Peanut Butter Bars
 
Prep time
Total time
 
No Bake Peanut Butter Bar recipe using vegan, plant based ingredients
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 1 cup low-fat graham crackers, crushed
  • ¼ cup crushed walnuts
  • ½ cup reduced-fat, unsweetened coconut
  • ⅓ cup natural peanut butter
  • ¼ cup nondairy milk
  • 1 cup nondairy chocolate chips
  • 5 tablespoons rice or almond milk
Instructions
  1. Crush graham crackers in food processor.
  2. In separate bowl, add walnuts, coconut, and peanut butter.
  3. Stir in crushed graham crackers.
  4. Slowly add milk and mix. (If mixture does not hold together, continue adding additional milk until all ingredients stick together. However, don't make it too soft, and, if necessary, use your hands.)
  5. Spread mixture evenly into a 9 × 9 nonstick baking dish.
  6. In a saucepan, melt chocolate chips together with rice or almond milk over medium heat. Stir until smooth.
  7. Spread chocolate mixture on top of peanut butter mixture. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until hardened. Cut into squares and enjoy!

In addition to the over 120 Whole Food, Plant-Based recipes there are sections on planning, chef tools and how to start your own journey.  The China Study Cookbook is a great place to start if you are thinking of switching to a plant-based diet.  It has fresh, new recipes that anyone would enjoy.

no-bake-peanut-butter-bars-vegan

You can get your copy online or at most major book retail stores.  BenBella books is also offering a free copy to one lucky ThisMamaLoves.com reader.

Enter for a chance to win a copy of The China Study Cookbook.  

I was provided with a copy of The China Study Cookbook To facilitate this review.  All opinions are my own.

 

Vegan Peanut Butter Smoothie

Peanut butter is a staple in this house.  Many days it is incorporated into breakfast, lunch and a possible snack.  The other day my husband was wanting something different for breakfast so we decided to whip up a Peanut Butter Smoothie.  Luckily we already had a couple frozen bananas in the freezer.  Whenever our bananas get very ripe we put them in the freezer for smoothies or banana “ice cream”.  The following recipe makes 2 servings.vegan peanut butter smoothie

What You Need

2 Frozen Bananas, sliced

1 cup Quick Oats

1 1/2 cup non-dairy milk

3 to 4 Tablespoons of Peanut Butter

1 cup of ice

Dark Chocolate for garnish

Place the oats and milk in a blender.  Let the oats soak for 2 minutes.  Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.  Pour in to your favorite glass.  Add some dark chocolate chips or grate chocolate on top for garnish.

This smoothie is

delicious and filling.

What is your favorite smoothie combination?

 

Banana Blueberry Smoothies

Do you ever wake up in the morning and look in the fridge for a quick breakfast, only to see the same old orange juice staring back at you? We love the refreshing flavor of juice to help wake up our taste buds, but we’re also looking for a healthier start to day, which means we need to include some protein in our morning breakfast ritual. I was asked to  shake up our wake-up routine with Silk® Fruit & Protein — a new twist on ordinary juice. Silk Fruit&Protein is a delicious fruit juice blend that’s an excellent source of calcium and vitamin D.  Each smooth and fruity glass serves up a tangy-sweet blend of juices along with 5 grams of nourishing protein that the entire family will love.

 banana blueberry smoothie silk fruit and protein

I’m getting really bored of our breakfast routine.  Worse, the KIDS are getting bored of the breakfast routine.  I guess the winter favorites have worn out their welcome and we’re all ready for some fresh new foods to start our day.  My kids are big fans of milkshakes, and by default, smoothies.  Silk’s Fruit & Protein beverage launched nationally last year as an alternative to juice.  I was thinking that I could combine the kids’ love of juice and milkshakes, and bring a little excitement back into breakfast time.

Banana Blueberry Smoothies with Silk Fruit & Protein

2 ripe bananas

1 cup blueberries (we use frozen from the garden, and we do tend to go heavy on the berries…we have a few huge bushes in the yard and have gallons and gallons of them frozen)

1/2 quart-sized container Silk Fruit & Protein Mixed Berry Flavor

1 cup ice

This recipe is SO easy.  Throw all above ingredients (please be sure to peel your banana first) into the blender, place cover on, and press “smoothie” button.  Voila.  A healthy, delicious breakfast that’s got the sweet of juice, the frozen “treat” texture, and protein to keep those bellies full.  They’ll also be getting a good dose of Vitamin C, Vitamin D and calcium.  Hot summer mornings, watch out.  We may not be so sluggish this year!

You could VERY easily swap out the Mixed Berry flavor with the Strawberry Banana or the Peach Mango.  The fun is in the fruits- and the kids love to help choose.  They’ve already “voted” on Peach Mango for next week.  I am thinking some coconut and pineapple would be really yummy in the Peach Mango variety!

Don’t be confused if you head to the store to look for Silk Fruit &  Protein by the juices- for now, you’ll find them over by the dairy and plant-based section.  Silk is out to change our preferred “juice” for breakfast- and with the ability to create easy to make recipes like this, they just may do it! Also, be sure to print this $1 coupon before you go!

“This blog post is part of a paid SocialMoms and Silk blogging program. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own.”

Vegan Chow Mein Easter Nests

Here comes Peter Cottontail and an Easter induced sugar high.  Even as an adult I get excited to get an Easter basket and enjoy all the treats.  Chow Mein Easter Nests have always been one of my favorites.  I buy chow mein noodles once a year specifically to make these delicious Easter nests.  There are many different recipes out there, I went for a quick and easy 3 ingredient recipe.
Chow Mein Easter Nests

All you need to make these Vegan Chow Mein Easter Nests is:

4 cups of Chow Mein noodles

2 cups of 365 Vegan chocolate chips

1 cup of Earth Balance peanut butter

Place the chocolate chips and peanut butter in a microwave safe bowl.  Place bowl in microwave on high for 1 minute.  Stir and repeat until they are melted and mixed.   Combine the Chow Mein noodles with the chocolate/peanut butter mixture.  Gently mix until the noodles are fully coated.

Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper or silpat.  Form noodle nests on the cookie sheet. Refrigerate until firm.

3 ingredient Chow Mein Easter nests

Once they are firm you can eat them the way they are or add jelly beans, peanuts or any of your favorite Easter goodies.  I put in little raw carrot cake “eggs”.

What is your favorite Easter treat?

 

Vegetarian Puppy Chow Recipe for Saint Patrick’s Day

Puppy Chow recipe It’s early March and the East Coast is getting slammed with another snowstorm.  So, What do I do?   I head to the kitchen to make this Vegetarian Puppy Chow recipe for Saint Patrick’s DayA few months ago I had never heard about Puppy Chow.  It was one night, when I was browsing Pinterest, that I came across it.  I made a batch and it was an instant favorite with the family.

I wanted to try naturally coloring the confectioners sugar, I was inspired by this post to color foods naturally from on TurningClockBack.com.  Using my high speed blender I naturally colored the sugar with kale.   I placed 1 and 1/2 cup confectioners sugar in the blender with one leaf of kale (stem removed) and set to high speed.  I was impressed with the outcome.  The sugar turned out green and tastes great.

 

naturally colored confectioners powder

 

Vegetarian Puppy Chow Recipe Ingredients:

puppychow

9 Cups Waffle Cereal (ex. Chex)

1 cup chocolate chips (I used 365 Brand Vegan chips)

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/4 Earth Balance buttery spread

1 1/2 cup naturally colored confectioners sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

What to do:

Put the cereal in a large bowl and set aside.

Place chocolate chips, peanut butter, and Earth Balance in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute, stir and return to the Microwave for 30 second.  Continue until the mixture is smooth and pourable.

Puppy Chow ingredients

Add the vanilla to the chocolate/PB/Earth Balance mixture and pour over the cereal.Puppy Chow Chocolate

Use a spoon or spatula to coat the cereal with the mixture.  This is messy but well worth it.  Pour the coated cereal into large freezer bag, along with the colored powdered sugar.  You may have to do this in two batches.

Close tightly and shake contents until well-coated.  Then pour onto a cookie sheet, wax paper or parchment paper.  Separate any large bunches.

Now it is time to sample the puppy chow!  I love the combination of chocolate, peanut butter and the crunchy cereal.

Puppy Chows stores well in an air tight container.

What is your favorite cereal mix recipe?

 

 

Dairy Free Veggie Pizza

dairy free veggie pizzaPizza is one of America’s favorite foods.  When I stopped eating dairy, I was often asked if I missed pizza.  The answer was always no, because we never stopped eating it.  We still order pizza at restaurants, at our local grocery store and we love to make it at home.  At first we made it with lots of cheese substitute and then we realized it was better with just the veggies and sauce.  One of my favorite things about homemade pizza is, that once it is prepped and in the oven I have time to clean up the kitchen and get a few other things done.

pizza dough veggie pizza vegan plant basedIf you have little helping hands around, they love to stretch out the dough after it is proofed.  Sometimes my son will get his own piece o dough and make his own pizza.

What you Need for this Dairy Free Veggie Pizza:

Pizza Dough (White, Wheat, Whole Grain)

flour for dusting the surface

Tomato sauce (Pizza sauce, pasta sauce, or crushed tomatoes)

Vegetables for toppings I used:

caramelized onions

carmelized onions

roasted peppers

cherry tomatoes

roasted peppers cherry tomatoes

spinach

Other great toppings:

Olives

Artichoke hearts

garlic

broccoli

I added a little soy-based cheese this time.

What To Do:

Prepare the dough as directed on the package.  (We bought the pre-made dough from the grocery store.  Most pizza shops will also sell their dough and there are so many great pizza shells on the market now.)

homemade pizza dough in the oven

After we spread out the dough I put it in the oven to bake at 350 for about 15 minutes.  This helps crisp it up a bit before adding the toppings.

Remove the crust from the oven, top with sauce, veggies and cheese of your choice.  Place the pizza back in the oven and cook at 350 for about 10 minutes, just long enough to make sure all the ingredients are heated through.

Remove pizza from oven, slice and enjoy!

veggie pizza dairy free

This week we had ours with a side of broccoli.  A side salad would be great too.  I was expecting there to be leftovers for lunches but only 2 small pieces were not eaten.  It was really good!

What are your favorite pizza toppings?