Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Health 101!

Hi Everyone! As you already know, we are trying our best to find everything eco friendly - from greening your workout, decluttering your home and taking small steps to make a difference, we have tackled them all! Today will be no different. Tell us what you think of these yummy vegan recipes - we're not saying you should cut all carnivorous cravings cold turkey, but why not attempt to have a non meat day say, once a week?

Black Bean and Cheese Enchiladas with Ranchero Sauce

Don’t miss out on this Mexican chili sauce dish. The sauce has a kick, but if you want fire, add extra ancho chilis. This meal is filling, flavourful, and a great protein substitute for a meatless diet.


• 2 dried ancho chilis, stemmed and seeded
• 2 cups water
• 2 teaspoons olive oil
• 1 cup chopped yellow onion
• 5 garlic cloves, sliced
• 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
• 2 cups organic vegetable broth
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
• 2 tablespoons no-salt-added tomato paste
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
• 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
• 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
• 2 cups (8 ounces) preshredded reduced-fat 4-cheese Mexican-blend cheese, divided
• 3 thinly sliced green onions, divided
• Cooking spray
• 12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
• 6 tablespoons light sour cream


1. Preheat oven to 400°.

2. Combine chiles and 2 cups water in a saucepan; bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes. Drain chiles in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid.

3. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add onion; saute 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium; add garlic and salt. Cook 5 minutes or until golden, stirring occasionally. Add broth and next 3 ingredients (through cumin); cook 8 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally.

4. Pour onion mixture into a blender; add chilis and reserved liquid. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in lid. Blend until smooth; stir in lime juice and red pepper.

5. Combine the beans, 1 cup cheese, and half the green onions in a bowl. Spread 1/2 cup sauce in the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Warm tortillas according to package directions. Spoon 3 tablespoons bean mixture down center of each tortilla; roll up. Place, seam-side down, in prepared dish. Pour remaining sauce over filled tortillas. Top with the remaining cheese. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Sprinkle with remaining green onions; serve with sour cream.

Orzo Salad with Spicy Buttermilk Dressing

This dish is fresh, creamy, and packed with fresh veggies. When the reviews rave this dish is “delicious,” “excellent,” and “a big hit,” why wouldn’t you put it on this week’s menu plan?


• 1 cup uncooked orzo
• 1 cup frozen whole-kernel corn, thawed and drained
• 12 cherry tomatoes, quartered
• 3 green onions, sliced
• 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
• 1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
• 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, divided
• 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
• 2 tablespoons light sour cream
• 2 tablespoons canola mayonnaise
• 1 teaspoon chili powder
• 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
• 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
• 2 garlic cloves, crushed
• 1 peeled avocado, cut into 8 wedges
• 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

1. Cook orzo according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and rinse; drain well. Place orzo, corn, and next 3 ingredients (through beans) in a large bowl; toss.

2. Combine buttermilk, 2 tablespoons cilantro, and next 8 ingredients (through garlic) in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Drizzle over orzo mixture; toss. Top with avocado; garnish with remaining cilantro and parsley.

Curried Couscous with Broccoli and Feta

This dish collaborates Mediterranean and Indian flavors with a zesty curry, ginger flavor. Mix up your dinner menu this week with this tasty international dish.


• 1 3/4 cups water
• 1 cup uncooked couscous
• 1 1/2 cups small broccoli florets
• 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
• 1/3 cup shredded carrot
• 1/4 cup raisins
• 1/4 cup dry-roasted cashews, chopped
• 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
• 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
• 1 teaspoon bottled minced fresh ginger
• 3/4 teaspoon salt
• 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
• 3/4 cup (3 ounces) crumbled feta cheese


1. Bring 1 3/4 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan; gradually stir in couscous. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

2. While couscous stands, steam broccoli florets, covered, for 3 minutes or until tender.

3. Combine couscous, broccoli, onion, and next 10 ingredients (onion through chickpeas), tossing gently. Sprinkle with cheese.

Gemelli Salad with Green Beans, Pistachios, and Lemon-Thyme Vinaigrette

This recipe marries crisp green beans, heat from garlic and shallots, crunchiness of pistachios and the zest from lemons! Need we say more?


• 8 ounces uncooked gemelli (short twisted tube pasta)
• 1 cup (1 1/2-inch) cut haricots verts (about 4 ounces)
• 1/2 cup chopped shelled pistachios
• 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, divided
• 2 tablespoons grated lemon rind, divided
• 1 tablespoon minced shallots
• 2 tablespoons Champagne or white wine vinegar
• 3 garlic cloves, crushed
• 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 1 ounce shaved fresh Parmesan cheese (about 1/3 cup)


1. Cook the pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Add haricots verts during the final 2 minutes of cooking. Drain and rinse pasta mixture under cold water; drain well.

2. Place the pasta mixture, pistachios, 1 tablespoon thyme, and 1 tablespoon lemon rind in a large bowl; toss gently to combine.

3. Combine remaining 1 tablespoon thyme, remaining 1 tablespoon lemon rind, shallots, Champagne or white wine vinegar, and garlic in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Gradually add olive oil, stirring constantly with a whisk. Add salt and black pepper; stir with a whisk. Drizzle over pasta mixture, and toss gently to coat. Top each serving with Parmesan cheese.

Grilled Portobello, Bell Pepper, and Goat Cheese Sandwiches

Pungent goat cheese adds a creamy quality to this delicious and filling sandwich. Balsamic, garlic, and oil acts to transcend the main star of the sandwich – the portobello mushroom – to the next level.


• 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 garlic clove, minced
• 1 red bell pepper, cut in half and seeded
• 1 yellow bell pepper, cut in half and seeded
• 4 (4-inch) portobello mushroom caps
• Cooking spray
• 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 4 (2-ounce) Kaiser rolls
• 1/2 cup (4 ounces) soft goat cheese


1. Prepare grill to medium-high heat.

2. Combine balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and garlic in a large bowl. Add bell peppers and portobello mushrooms; toss gently to coat. Remove vegetables from vinegar mixture, and discard vinegar mixture.

3. Place bell peppers and mushrooms on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 4 minutes on each side. Remove vegetables from grill; cool slightly. Cut bell peppers into thin strips. Combine bell peppers, basil, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl.

4. Cut rolls in half horizontally; spread cheese evenly over cut sides of rolls. Arrange 1 mushroom cap on bottom half of each roll; top each serving with about 1/3 cup bell pepper mixture and top half of roll.

5. Place sandwiches on grill rack coated with cooking spray. Place a cast-iron or other heavy skillet on top of sandwiches; press gently to flatten. Grill 3 minutes on each side or until bread is toasted (leave cast-iron skillet on sandwiches while they cook).

We hope you enjoy these recipes - let us know what your favorites are!

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