Category Archives: Entree

Vegetable Soup

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Vegetable Soup

It’s a rare rare thing when I get the desire for soup. I’m not a soup gal, never have been. However I do love my veggies and something nice and warm. This isn’t really the traditional soup. It has a bit of a curry flair to it since it has turmeric in it. You know how good turmeric and ginger are for inflammation? Excellent!! Plus all these veggies?! Can’t go wrong. The taste is great too!

Oh and speaking of turmeric, if you use a spoon that isn’t metal or stain resistant, you will have a spoon that is orange on the bottom. Consider yourself warned!

Also, if there are some vegetables you don’t like in this, don’t add them! It’s a really flexible recipe. I’ve made it with butternut squash in, also with no cauliflower or broccoli. I’ve tossed in some lentils or quinoa or even bean sprouts. Have fun!!

My picture is after I had let the soup sit for several hours and I had it again for dinner. So the colors started meld together a lot more.



1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 Tbs coconut oil (if you don’t have any, I’ve used olive oil in place & its fine)
1 large zucchini, diced
2 carrots, diced
2-3 cloves of minced garlic
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 cup cauliflower broken in small pieces
4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
1 cup broccoli broken in small pieces
2 cups shredded cabbage
1 cup shredded collard greens or kale
1 cup almond-coconut milk (or coconut milk beverage)
3 Tbs coconut butter
1/2 lime, juiced
2 tsp cumin powder
1 Tbs coconut aminos or soy sauce
2 tsp turmeric powder
1 inch fresh ginger, finely chopped (or 3 tsp ginger powder)
dash of cayenne pepper
1 tsp sea salt
2 green onions, finely sliced, divided in half
3 Tbs fresh mint, finely sliced (you can use fresh basil or cilantro instead)

In a medium-large pot saute onion, garlic carrot and red pepper in coconut oil.
Cook until onions become clear, then add the broth, heat to a low simmer.
Now add the zucchini, celery, and cauliflower simmer (low) until they are only slightly tender.
Next put in the almond-coconut milk or whatever nondairy milk you prefer to use, along with the coconut butter.
Now add in the broccoli, cabbage and whatever green you chose. Shortly after it’s time for the lime juice, cumin, salt, aminos, turmeric, ginger and half of the sliced green onions. Stir all together until spiced are dissolved.
Mix in well, then turn off the heat, sprinkle in cayenne pepper. If you like it hot, you can add more cayenne.
Allow to sit for 5 min. Serve and garnish green onion and mint.

Hint: If you like something to taste more like garlic, add the garlic closer to the end. The longer it cooks, the less potent the taste is. Same goes for if you are using fresh gingerroot. Sometimes I do the majority in the beginning and then add another little bit before the ending.

-Amber

Creamy Mango Vinaigrette

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Creamy Mango Dressing two ways. First Mango Orange, which is a bit sweeter and creamier. It doesn’t taste like orange though, just bright cheery mango dressing. The Mango Lime is a great vinaigrette that has just the right amount of sweet with a nice amount of tart. It doesn’t taste like lime, it has more of a blended vinaigrette with some sweet. I’ve actually made it using lemon juice instead of lime, but like lime better. Feel free to give lemon a try though!

Creamy Mango Tango Dressing 2 ways

Mango Orange Vinaigrette (makes about 9 oz)
1 cup mango
1/3 cup orange juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (to make it oil free, use favorite nondairy milk)
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 garlic cloves
1-2 inch piece of ginger
1 TBS maple syrup
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

OR

Mango Lime Vinaigrette (makes about 9 oz)
1 cup mango
2 limes, juiced
3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
2 TBS water (to make it oil free, use favorite nondairy milk in place of oil & water)
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 garlic cloves
1-2 inch piece of ginger
2 TBS maple syrup
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

 

Directions:

Put all ingredients in your blender and blend medium to high until completely smooth. I let mine blend for around 30 seconds.
Want to know how to best cut a mango? watch this handy 3 second fast motion video.


 

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Pear Kale Quinoa Salad with Creamy Dill Dressing (oil free)

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People often wonder how I get my kale salads to turn out so much differently than they do. So, I made a little video of what I do to the kale when I make a salad.

Creamy Dill Dressing

  • 1/2 cup cashews, soaked for at least 1 hour
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup almond milk (or more water)
  • 1/2 TBS apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 TBS stone ground mustard
  • 2 TBS nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill (doesn’t need to be chopped)

Toss everything except the dill in the blender and blend on medium high until smooth, I ran my blender for 1 min 30 seconds. Then toss in the dill and blend on lowest setting for 20-30 seconds. It makes it so you can still see the dill specks in it. You can blend it all the way in and make the dressing all green, only difference is the look.

 

Salad Ingredients

  • 1 bunch green kale, torn
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa (1/4 uncooked quinoa cooked in 1/2 cup water)
  • 1 pear, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 shallot, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup cucumber, small dice
  • 2 TBS dried cranberries
  • coconut bacon, sprinkled over top
  • avocado, optional
  • Creamy Dill Dressing

 

Instructions

This is how I make it, but really however you feel like putting it together is fabulous.

Tear up the kale in to small pieces in a large bowl. Toss kale in 3 TBS or so of dressing, then add quinoa and toss again. This makes it so that the quinoa sticks to the kale. Next put all the other ingredients over the top (except the coconut bacon), add another 2-3 TBS dressing and toss again. Plate and serve topped with coconut bacon.

Oil Free Broccoli Mango Salad 

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Oil Free Broccoli Mango Salad 

This is lazy BIG salad, I made it to bring to a family gathering, all one bowl (except if you use quinoa) so minimal clean up. That’s always a positive thing for me.


  • 2 large broccoli crown chopped
  • 1 large avocado, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cucumber, diced
  • 1 cup mango, cubed small
  • 1-2 TBS currants (or you can use cranberries)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 cup purple cabbage, shredded
  • 3-4 cups greens, I used 1.5c arugula and 2c spinach
  • 1/2 cup edamame
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa (optional)
  • 1 TBS rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder, ginger powder, onion powder, sea salt, black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper & turmeric
  • 1 TBS coconut sugar (or maple syrup)
  • Top with slivered almonds, or coconut bacon

The best thing about this salad is, you just toss the stuff in a big salad bowl and mix. The only thing special I kinda do is, chop all the veggies and mix them all together with 1/2-3/4 of the avocado before I add the greens, the avocado coats the veggies and kinda acts like a dressing.

Then add in the greens, edamame (I don’t cook it, I just measure it frozen and let it sit out while I’m chopping) and quinoa. Mix again. It will crush the arugula and spinach, but that’s what you are going for.  Throw the spices and seasonings over the top with the rice vinegar and coconut sugar and mix it all again. Bam, done!!

Oil free, raw and one bowl, except the quinoa!

 

amber chakras black

BLT&A w/Pesto Zucchi Noodle Bowl

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BLT&A w/Pesto Zucchi Noodle Bowl

This is what my beautiful bowl looked like in the beginning. Beautiful, but it gets better!

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Next you add the coconut bacon. If you haven’t made our coconut bacon, you absolutely should, it’s soooo much better than store bought! Everyone who tries it, LOVES it!!

Coconut Bacon Recipe

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Drizzle some Pesto Dressing over the top and you are set!!
Here is the recipe for the whole thing

Ingredients

  • 3 Medium Spiralized Zucchini (Spiralizer Tri-Blade) or any spiralizer equipment of your choice and your noodle preference
  • 1 Romaine Hearts, I used ones from Trader Joe’s in a prepackaged bag
  • Cherry Tomatoes, as much as you want
  • Pesto Dressing (recipe follows)
  • Coconut Bacon
  • Avocado

 

Pesto Dressing

  • 3 tablespoons your favorite basil pesto (this one is my favorite, Pumpkin Seed Pesto)
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • sea salt, to taste

 


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THE FINALE:

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Mexican Pasta Salad

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Mexican Pasta Salad

I saw a recipe on pintrest that inspired me to make this. It had oil added as well as cheese and some other things I felt like could easily be swapped out. It turned out so great and much healthier. 

I love this lentil quinoa pasta, it cooks well, holds together and has great amount of protein!

You know I’m not much for long explanations, because I hate scrolling through all the blabber/talking in order to get to the recipe. So, just know, I loved this!!

Amber

   
    
   
  
Makes medium 6 servings, about 245 calories a serving. 

  • 1 box Lentil-Quinoa pasta
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced 
  • 1/2 Anaheim pepper, seeded and diced 
  • 1 cup Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 3/4 lime juiced
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 cup cilantro, rinsed and chopped 
  • 2 yellow summer squash, diced (can swap out for 1 cup frozen corn)
  • 2 avocados, pitted and diced. 
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cook the pasta according to the box’s instructions. When it’s done, strain it and rinse it with cold water. Set aside. 

In a large bowl, add all the ingredients on the list until and including the cilantro and mix. 

Sauté the squash for about 5 min, or until it’s cooked the way you enjoy it. After it’s done, toss it in with the mix along with the avocado. After its mixed, add in the pasta. 

Waiting to add the avocado and pasta at the end makes it so they both stay in shape in the salad. 

Thai Green Papaya Salad with Kelp Noodles

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Thai Green Papaya Salad with Kelp Noodles

So the other day my mouth randomly had a flavor flashback! It flashed back to my trip to Arizona for Amber’s Bachelorette weekend, back in May of this year. We went to True Food Kitchen and my friend Jackie ordered Thai Green Papaya Salad from their Spring Menu (they change seasonally) It had: Kelp Noodles, Green Papaya, Carrots, Avocado, Mint, Cashews, Sesame Seeds, and Red Chili Vinaigrette Dressing. I was totally craving it, sadly there is NO True Food Kitchen in Utah. (Hint hint, True Food Kitchen, for your future location opening!) So, my mind was set to determined mode! I needed to make copycat version of this dish and satisfy my cravings! So, of course I am going to share it with you!!
I got my Mint fresh from my garden, whoo hoo for that! Who doesn’t love fresh herbs, esp when it comes from your garden?

Copycat True Food Kitchen Green Papaya Salad with Kelp Noodles

Makes 4 medium sized bowls

Salad Ingredients:
One Package of Kelp Noodles (got them at Whole Food Market, often also at Asian Markets)
One Green Papaya (Sold at any Asian Market) Cut in half, seeded, and julienned
Two Large Carrots, julienned
½ Avocado, sliced
1 Cup of Cashews, crushed in tiny pieces
1 TBSP of Sesame Seeds
Spring of Mint

Red Chili Vinaigrette Dressing Ingredients:
3 TBSP of Sesame Oil
4 TBSP Rice Vinegar, I used two different flavors By Nakano (2 TBSP of Natural and 2 TBSP of Mango)
3 Tsp of Chili Garlic Sauce
2-3 Dashes of Ginger Powder
3 Tsp Maple Syrup (Grade B)
1 Dash of Sea Salt
Splash of Coconut Aminos (optional)

Instructions:
Combine all dressing ingredients in small container and put it aside to sit and let the the flavors merge while you prepare the rest of the dish.
Cut your Green Papaya in half, scoop out the seeds from the middle, then start julienne it. After you’re done with Green Papaya, (I only used one of the halves) work on your Carrots, but peel the skin off first, then julienne them.

Put your cashews in small ziplock bag and smash it into crumbles. Pull the mint leaves off the stem. Cut your avocado in 1/2 and thin slice it. Drain and Wash your Kelp Noodles as instructed on the package.

Now, let’s start building up your salad! Start your Kelp Noodles as the base, then start add the Green Papaya, Carrots, Avocado, and Mint leaves. Drizzle 1 TBSP (or more, lets be realistic) of the dressing then Sprinkle Sesame Seeds and crushed Cashews.

VISUAL LEARNERS MUST SEE THE PICS BELOW!

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JULIENNED CARROT

red chili vinaigrette

kelp noodles

mint

cashews

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Salad ingredients

Vegan GF Green Papaya Salad with Kelp Noodles

Strawberry Kale Quinoa Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette

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One of my suggestions when making a kale salad is to tear the kale into small pieces but rub it together and through your hands while you are ripping it apart. It breaks the kale down and makes it much less rough & bitter, it will make the kale brighter green too.
I promise the coconut bacon on this just makes it THAT much better. You want to put it on there. Make some & have left overs!
I don’t put lots of dressing on the salad when it’s in the large bowl, I kind of wait until I’m about to eat it and put it over the top then add the coconut bacon.

strawberry kale & quinoa salad with homemade strawberry vinaigrette and coconut bacon

plated salad with coconut bacon on top

strawberry kale & quinoa salad with homemade strawberry vinaigrette and coconut bacon

strawberry kale & quinoa salad with homemade strawberry vinaigrette

strawberry kale & quinoa salad with homemade strawberry vinaigrette and coconut bacon

Salad in the big bowl, before being plated.

1/2 cup quinoa, cooked in 1 cup water
1 bunch kale, torn into small pieces
6-8 strawberries, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 cucumber, chopped
2 green onions including white part, sliced
1/2 avocado, diced
coconut bacon to taste (for topping)
1/2 red bell pepper, small dice (optional)

 

Strawberry Vinaigrette Dressing
1 1/2 cups strawberries (fresh)
1/4 cup coconut vinegar (not coconut flavored vinegar) can sub white wine vinegar or lemon juice
2 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil or grapeseed oil
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup coconut sugar

Salad: In a large bowl, put the torn kale. After the quinoa is cooked and has cooled for at least 5 minutes, add it over the top of the kale and toss with 1/2 cup of the strawberry vinaigrette. Now add the rest of the salad ingredients over the top, except the coconut bacon (save that for when it is plated). Drizzle with a bit of the dressing.

Dressing: Throw it all in the blender and blend for 1 minute.

Luau Kale Salad

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I was looking through some old recipes that I hadn’t made in quite a while and decided that this Luau Salad could use some revamping and then it would be on the menu for dinner tonight. If you don’t know, kale holds up great for a salad that you want to have the next day (or a few days later) and not have a gross wilted sad mess of a salad. IF you are planning on having left overs, either don’t use romaine in it, or just mix in the romaine just before serving. Watercress would go great in place of it, or you could just do another leaf or two of kale.
Make sure that you “massage” the kale before all the ingredients get added in, it will make a world of difference for the taste. Rubbing it through your hands makes it much less hardy, and far more pleasant to eat.

Dressing, Cabbage/Kale/Quinoa and all the other chopped ingredients.

Dressing, Cabbage/Kale/Quinoa and all the other chopped ingredients.

Luau Kale Salad with homemade creamy orange coconut dressing. High Raw. Vegan & Soy Free

Luau Kale Salad with homemade creamy orange coconut dressing. High Raw. Vegan & Soy Free

Serves A LOT, maybe 10

Salad Ingredients:
1/2 C quinoa (cooked in 1 C water)
1 bunch of kale, torn
1 1/2 C romaine lettuce, rough chopped (if planning for left overs use spinach or watercress)
1 C red cabbage
1/4 C mint, chopped (OPTIONAL)
1/2 cucumber, diced
1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
4 Stalks Celery, diced
3 Green Onions, thinly sliced
1 Tomato, chopped
1 Mango, cut into cubes
1/2 C Pineapple, chopped (same size as mango)

1/4 C Unsweetened Coconut, toasted (add right before eating)

OPTIONAL GARNISHMENTS (add right before eating)
Avocado
Pepitas or Macadamia Nuts

Dressing
1 Orange, peeled
1 TBS Orange Zest
1/3 C Coconut Sugar
3 TBS Water
3 TBS Olive Oil
1 Lemon, Juiced (about 1/3 cup)
2 Tbs Coconut Butter (can sub almond butter)
1/2 tsp Ground Coriander
1/2 tsp Orange Flavor/Extract
1/2 tsp RealSalt (Sea Salt or Himalayan Salt works also)
1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
1/2 tsp Onion Powder
Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
dash of Ground Cardamom

For Dressing: put all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Leave in blender bowl, because you will pour it directly onto the salad.

In a medium bowl, combine salad ingredients in italics. Put torn kale in a LARGE bowl, rub it between your hands for about 30 seconds to a minute to break down a lot of the toughness that kale has. After quinoa is done cooking, allow to sit for 5 min before removing the lid. After the 5 min, take off the lid, pour half of the salad dressing over the kale then dump the quinoa over the top of that & mix. It will make the quinoa stick to the kale rather than just all falling to the bottom of the bowl.

Next mix in the cabbage with the kale/quinoa. Dump out contents of the medium bowl on top of the cabbage/kale/quinoa, then pour the rest of the dressing over the top. Mix it and make sure that it’s fully coated.
Next toss in romaine (or spinach).

Dry toast the coconut by heating a frying pan to medium-low & putting the coconut on, but make sure it’s spread evenly. After a little less than 2 min, move around the coconut to make sure it doesn’t burn. Stir around for another minute or two and then remove from heat and top on salad with whatever other garnishments you desire.

 

Much Love!!

amber chakras black

Vegan Smokey BBQ Soul Bowl

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Vegan Smokey BBQ Soul Bowl

This has a few different components to the meal. None of them are real complicated, and really none of them are a MUST for the meal. Its very flexible and I’ve made it a bunch of times, each slightly different. But I’ve had requests for the recipes, so, here we go!

BBQ Pulled jackfruit! I make it into a bowl, but like i said, the different components of this can be used to make whatever you like. Sandwich, taco, burrito, bowl, salad…
I am posting pictures from a few different times that I’ve made it, each different. I keep consistent on the jackfruit, butternut squash, coconut bacon & kale, but that’s about it. Sometimes I have a dressing on it, sometimes not. (See below pics)

Little fyi on the jackfruit, you can find it at asian markets/grocery stores in the canned fruit section. Get the kind IN WATER, not in syrup. It doesn’t have much of a flavor, so it lends itself to being marinated very easily!

This is the pre-marinade. You can see the hard parts of the jackfruit in the upper right.

This is the pre-marinade. You can see the hard parts of the jackfruit in the upper right.

butternut squash

butternut squash mid way though

BBQ Jackfruit

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individual parts of the meal

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One way I’ve had it, more a salad type and drizzle a lemon tahini dressing over the top with pickled onions & avocado.

Little fyi on the jackfruit, you can find it at asian markets/grocery stores in the canned fruit section. Get the kind IN WATER, not in syrup. It doesn’t have much of a flavor, so it lends itself to being marinated very easily!

▶▶BBQ Jackfruit
2 cans jackfruit in water
1/2 bottle of favorite vegan BBQ sauce. (I used Annie’s)

Open the cans, drain & rinse the jackfruit. Pull the jackfruit apart and put into a medium discarding hard end pieces. Then pour in 1/2 the bottle of BBQ sauce and mix. I suggest letting it sit for at least an hour to marinate. However you can do it all crockpot style & just dump it in & leave it to slow cook for a while.
After marinating, put in pot & cook, covered, on medium stirring every few minutes. Cook for 20 minutes.

▶▶Roasted Butternut Squash
1 medium-large butternut squash, peeled then cubed.
3 TBS nutritional yeast
1 TBS coconut sugar (or sweetener of choice, I like coconut sugar for this because I don’t like the extra liquid from liquid sweeteners)
1 TBS oil (i use coconut or grapeseed generally)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1-2 cloves garlic minced
1/2 onion chopped
Black pepper to taste
Few shakes of dried oregano
Few shakes of dried rosemary

Heat oven to 375° F. I peel the squash with a vegetable peeler, like peeling a potato. You have to make several passes on one section, its peel is thicker & harder than a potato’s skin is.  Cube the squash into 1 inch cubes, or smaller & put in an ungreased casserole dish (i line mine with foil) with garlic & onions, then sprinkle ingredients over the squash as evenly as you can, no need to be perfect. Drizzle oil over squash and cover with foil.
Bake for 15 min, pull out and mix it then put back in the oven for another 15 min uncovered.

▶▶Quinoa
Bring 2 cups water to boil and add 1 cup quinoa. Turn down heat to low & cover. Let cook covered for about 17 min, until all the liquid has been absorbed. For additional flavor, cook in vegetable broth.

▶▶Kale
I use either lacinato kale or regular curly green kale. Pull the cleaned kale from the stem and rip into medium pieces and put in a large bowl. If i am making the bowl immediately after the quinoa and vegetables are cooked, so they are really hot, i just put the kale down & the quinoa & vegetables over the top. It wilts the kale slightly making it softer, less bitter & easier to eat.

▶▶Coconut Bacon (put over the top)
If you haven’t had coconut bacon, you should invest in the time to make it. So good! Recipe here

▶▶Options to have it with:
●Roasted Brussels Sprouts (i roast them with garlic & onions)
●Steamed cauliflower & broccoli
●Roasted sweet potatoes (sometimes combined with the vegetables below)
●Sauteed vegetables (I’ve done shallot, onion, bell peppers & zucchini w/garlic

amber chakras black