A stack of nine miniature two-inch savory sweet potato pancakes topped on a white plate. The pancakes are topped with sliced scallions.

Savory Sweet Potato Pancakes

Yes, Savory Sweet Potato Pancakes!

Jump to Recipe

I know I have said this before, but I will say it again: If you know me, you KNOW that I absolutely LOVE both American breakfast dishes and Asian-inspired cuisine (Yes, I love the nuanced array of cuisines from this entire gorgeous continent). Moreover, one of my guilty pleasures is Yachaejeon, a very delicious Korean or vegetable pancake. Every few months, I get intense cravings for one of these bad boys, and drive over 30 miles to sink my teeth onto one of these delicacies.

Lately, I have had some serious cravings for Yachaejeon. Being that I want to improve at saving my precious pennies, I challenged myself with making my own version of a vegetable pancake meal, inspired by the mouth-watering Korean dish. After trying my best to be resourceful, I looked around at my own pantry and fridge to see that I had two solid ingredients: green onion, and local sweet potatoes.

The Verdict?

After experimenting with this dish and making some measurement (and ingredient!) tweaks, I am proud to say that I came up with a pretty darn tasty vegetable pancake recipe. While this dish is nothing like Yachaejeon, it is very delicious. Moreover, the sweet potatoes give this dish creaminess with a very subtle sweetness, while the green onion gives this dish a beautiful sultry aroma and tiny bite. Furthermore, this dish is also unique in that I used almond milk, and two eggs to bind the mixture together. I HIGHLY recommend following this recipe closely, and keeping the pancakes small in size, because the batter is very delicate and WILL crumble if you make them any bigger. Trust me.

Alright, folks. That’s all I have to say: A delicious savory pancake recipe that can be enjoyed for breakfast or any other time of the day. Let’s move onto the recipe, shall we?

A stack of nine miniature two-inch savory sweet potato pancakes topped with scallions
A stack of yummy & savory sweet potato pancakes

Savory Sweet Potato Pancakes

Yes, Savory Sweet Potato Pancakes!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: savory pancakes, sweet potato pancakes, vegetarian
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 308kcal

Equipment

  • Griddle or large skillet
  • Spatula

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 2 cups milk (any variety)
  • ½ tsp. low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup finely sliced green onion

Instructions

  • Coarsely dice the sweet potatoes into 1”-2” cubes and boil/steam for about 15-20 minutes or until tender with a fork. In this step, you will also peel the garlic cloves and place them in the same pot as the sweet potatoes to cook for the same amount of time (cloves should feel very tender with a fork). Remove from heat, rinse with cold water (to cool down), and gently peel the skin off. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine eggs, milk, garlic, and soy sauce into a bowl and whisk until everything is well combined. In a separate bowl, combine all of the following dry ingredients:  the almond flour, baking powder and garlic.
  • Gradually combine the wet and dry ingredients, as well as the sweet potatoes and whisk for about two minutes, or until virtually all of the lumps are gone. The batter should look more liquid in nature. Once all of these ingredients are combined, mix in the green onion.
  • Heat skillet to medium and lightly grease with cooking oil of choice. Using a ladel, gently pour in batter to form miniature pancakes no bigger than the two inches in diameter in size (roughly the size of silver dollar pancakes). Allow to cook for roughly two minutes until the surface begins to bubble. Gently flip with a spatula, and allow to cook for two more minutes. Repeat until all of the mixture has been cooked.
  • (Optional step) Serve with a drizzle of sriracha, additional green onion slices, and enjoy!

Nutritional Information per serving:

308 calories/ 15.11 grams protein/ 19.6 grams fat/ 21 grams carbohydrates/ 4.5 grams of fiber


Curried chickpea collard wrap split into two

Curried Chickpea Collard Wraps

These curried chickpea collard wraps serve as a delicious way to eat a savory curried dish-on the go!

A while back, I went to my fridge, and was trying to figure out what to do with all of the borderline produce that was about to go bad. After scratching my head, I thought ‘Why not make a curry??’

So I did. If you have not caught on, Curried anything is one of my favorite ways to eat my food. Ther’s something about that combination of spices and creamy consistency you get when you ingest that morsel of goodness.

Back to my story.

I decided to make a curry with some leftover veggies, and added chickpeas for their protein and delicious flavor. I wanted to take it up one step and turn my curried medley into wraps. I realized that I had some leftover collards, so I decided to use the collards as the wrap vessels. Doing so gave this a nice, lower carb bite with a hearty dose of vitamin K. While many boast using lettuce as wraps, I really think that using collards is the way to go. The leaves are large, pliable, and can easily fit a decent amount of food. You just have to make sure that the collards are blanched, and I will guide you through that step in the recipe.

I used a vegan mayo to make this recipe completely plant-based, but you can use whatever type of mayo you want! Don’t have access to dates?? Sub dates for 1 small pear or apple, and that will taste just as mouth-watering!

If you are looking for a simple and delicious way to enjoy chickpeas (and your veggies!), I highly recommend that you give this delicious curried chickpea collard wraps recipe a try. So let’s move onto the recipe!

Curried Chickpea Collard Wraps

These Curried Chickpea Collard Wraps are a delicious way to eat a savory curried dish-on the go!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: gluten-free, vegan
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 275kcal

Equipment

  • Large skillet
  • Large pot

Ingredients

  • 32 oz. can of chickpeas drained
  • 1 carrot large
  • 1 onion medium
  • 2 dates finely minced
  • 4 collard green leaves large
  • 2 tbsop. cooking oil

Seasonings

  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 4 tsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. curry seasoning

Instructions

  • Prepping collard leaves-Allow large pot of water to boil. While boiling water, afterrinsing collards, gently remove stalks from center of collard leaves. Oncewater is at a rolling boil, gently place collard leaves and Blanche for 30seconds. Immediately remove, place in ice cold water for 25-30 minutes, oruntil collard leaves have softened. Pat down with clean towel, and set aside.
  • Finelydice the onion and carrot until there are 1/4” cubes. Set aside
  • Take askillet and preheat and add the cooking oil to the skillet.
  • Oncethe skillet is warm enough, add all of the ingredients (except mayonnaise andchickpeas) together, and sauté on medium-high heat for about 7-10 minutes,until the carrot/onion mixture has some light golden brown charring. Add thechickpeas during the last 4 minutes of the sautéing.
  • Once the chickpea mixture has finished sautéing, turn off skillet & remove fromheat. After cooling off for about 2 minutes, add in the veganaise, and mixwell. Serve over your favorite type of bread (or wrap/ or leafy green wrap!)and enjoy!!

Nutritional information per serving (without bread):

275g calories/ 9.8g protein/12g fat/35g carbs/ 10g fiber

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Whimsical Waffles!

These gluten-free sweet potato waffles will add some whirl and twirl to your tastebuds!

This past Sunday, I was invited to do another cooking demonstration over at the Glazer Children’s Museum. The theme for the day was a mad hatter tea party. Acknowledging the morning’s theme, I had been trying to figure out a creatively cunning way to incorporate the morning’s theme into a healthy, one-of-a kind kid-friendly recipe. After going back-and-forth with several ideas, a simple concept came to mind.

Pic of me in action at the Glazer Children’s Museum cooking demonstration
Breakfast. I love and breathe breakfast. It’s my absolute favorite meal of the day.
So why not share my love of this first square meal with others?!? I eventually realized that what I wanted to create were waffles, but not just ANY type of waffle. This one had to have a healthy dose of produce and pizzazz. After mulling around with the concept for a little while longer, the ‘A-HA!’ moment came:
Why not show parents and their children how to make colorful waffles which utilize three different sweet potato varieties?
The accumulation of all these factors results in the creation of what I deem as ‘Whimsical Waffles’. Sweet potatoes served as the perfect ingredient for this recipe for a few reasons: First, due to the glucose they contain, they’re naturally sweet, and would not require any additional sugar. Second, sweet potatoes are positively notorious for their high amounts of vitamin A, among many other important nutrients and minerals. Finally, the colorful sweet potato varieties served as a great way to provide natural coloring to food, without the reliance on processed chemical-laden food coloring, often found at supermarkets.
Did I also mention that this recipe is gluten free?! If I haven’t now you know!
I would like to impart a couple words of advice, before cooking these waffles:
1.    As you will see in the directions, it is HIGHLY recommended to split the batter into three separate bowls, in order to preserve the integrity of each colored mixture.
2.    Due to the incorporation of chickpea flour, you may find that these sweet potatoes have a very hardy dense texture. I find them to be quite filling! The texture also leaves for a more pliable waffle. Feel free to place the finished waffles into a toaster or toaster oven to crisp up a bit, if that’s your preference. You can always opt out for a different four, as well!
3.    You may notice that your purple sweet potato batter gradually begins to turn into a blue-green hue. THAT IS COMPLETELY NORMAL!! You see, a little bit of a chemical reaction occurs with the purple sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes contain flavonoids, which are a type of anti-oxidant.  From the moment they are opened and sliced, the purple sweet potatoes begin to oxidize, when the water soluble pigments in the cooked sweet potatoes are exposed to air! Let’s just say that the kiddos and their parents were blown away by this color transformation.
Alright folks, let’s move onto the recipe, shall we?
Whimsical Waffles:
Ingredients
  • 1 small purple sweet potato
  • 1 small white sweet potato
  • 1 small orange sweet potato
  • 3 Eggs, separated
  • 3 cups of chickpea flour, separated
  • 3 tsp. Baking powder, separated
  • 1.5 tsp. Baking soda, divided into three
  • 0.75 tsp. salt, divided into three
  • 1.5 tsp. cinnamon, divided into three
  • 0.75 tsp. Nutmeg ground, divided into three
  • 1.5 cup Milk, divided into three
  • 1.5 tsp. Vanilla extract, divided into three
  • 1 can of cooking oil
Directions:
1.   Take each potato, and cut into ½” slices.
 
2.   In a large saucepan, fill it with 3” of water and allow to gently boil on medium-high. Once the water boils, add sliced potatoes, cover, and steam for 20-25 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft to pierce with a fork. Immediately take potatoes out one by one, and let them sit in a cold water bath for about two minutes. Once cool to touch, gently remove skin. Afterwards, place each of them into three designated medium-large bowls.
 
3.   Preheat waffle iron and spray with cooking oil. While iron is pre-heating, mash each of the potatoes in their designated bowls until they have the consistency of a puree. Afterwards, add each of the remaining listed separated ingredients into each of the three designated bowls. This will serve as the batter for each of the colored sweet potatoes.
 
4.   Take a mixer and mix each of the batters on medium speed for about 45 seconds-1 minute, until each of them has a smooth consistency. Each of the batters will be thick.
5.   In each waffle mold, add one heaping tablespoon of each individual batter mixture into a third section of each waffle mold. With a clean spoon, gently swirl with a large tablespoon to make a marbled pattern unto each waffle iron mold and cook for three minutes, or until golden on both sides. You may notice that the purple sweet potatoes have turned blue/green. That is completely NORMAL.
 
6.   Serve with maple syrup and/or fresh fruit, and enjoy!
12 servings | Per serving: 152 calories/ 7.25g protein/ 3g fat/ 24g carbs/ 3.8g fiber per serving

Mango Nice Cream


This cooling summer dish is smooth, creamy, and has just the right amount of spice!

Click above, to watch my video tutorial

Since creating this blog, I have paused to introspect and determine why The Funky Spork platform matters. I created this platform for a couple important reasons, including the following:

1.    To share delicious and healthy plant-based recipes, that use attainable ingredients.

2.    To promote local & sustainable food systems.

This Mango Nice-cream recipe falls within both of these missions. The ingredients for this dish are very simple, as they only involve three ingredients: mangoes, bananas, and chile powder. That simple! This dish also incorporates local food systems, by utilizing mangoes that are locally grown, and in season (it’s currently summer time). If you’re not from Florida, mangoes are grown during Florida’s summertime and thrive between June through October. If you are looking for practical ways to practice sustainability, eating locally and seasonally are great strategies.

Just a couple tips, before you begin to create this dessert:

1.    I go for a 5:1 ratio, where I will utilize five ripened bananas for every mango used.
2.    The riper your bananas are, the sweeter, and tastier the dish will be. When I say ripe, I mean banana-but bread-worthy ripe.
3.The mango nice cream is gluten-free, vegan, and is minimally processed. You may be scratching your head, and wondering why I would be so crazy as to incorporate chile heat into this dish. You’ve got to trust me when I say that the spiciness of the chile with the sweetness of the mango and banana works. In fact, the incorporation of chile seasoning is inspired by the scrumptious Mexican Mangonada delicacy. This dessert is so delicious, and has so much flavor, that all I can do is allow the recipe to speak for itself. So…let’s move along, and learn how to create this nice cream!  

Ingredients:

·         5 frozen bananas, peeled
·         1 fresh mango
·         1 tbsp. chile powder  (optional)

Appliances:

·         Food processor high speed blender
·         Freezer-friendly container (minimum size 16 oz.)

Directions:

1.    Slice each banana into approximately one inch pieces. Set aside
2.    Slice your mangoes in half, peel the skin off, and dice each mango until the pieces are roughly 1” in size. Set aside.

3.    In your food processor, place your mango slices. Then place the diced bananas, and chile powder. Make sure that you first place the mango, because that will make the blending process much easier. Pulse the fruit mixture for about 3-4 minutes, or until the mixture resembles a smooth puree. Stir at least two minutes in to ensure smooth blending consistency.
4.    (Optional step) Take puree mixture and gently pour into freezer-friendly container, and spoon the top of the mixture until it is smooth on top. Place in freezer, and let it set for at least thirty minutes, or until the nice cream texture is at a firmer consistency to your liking. Otherwise, you can immediately consume the mixture.
5.    Enjoy with friends on a hot, summer afternoon!
Makes four servings.

Nutritional information per serving:
184 calories/ 2.3g protein/0.84g fat/46.7g carbs/ 5.3g fiber


Mango Stir-fry

This summer recipe is incredibly simple, yet delicious. Whenever possible, support your local economy!



Mango Stir fry-yes, Mangos and Stir fry go well, together. This is a delicious concoction that I have been cooking up for the past 15 years, dating back to the time when I was a very poor undergrad student. The sweetness of the mango will dance perfectly with the garlicky, slightly tanginess of the rest of the vegetable medley, and tastes absolutely perfect when served over a bed of warm rice, and sliced Florida Avocado. If you’re feelin’ up to it, you can pair this dish with a ‘white meat’ protein, such as fish, chicken, or grilled tofu.

The dish is light, delicious, and packed with flavor and nutrients!

Ingredients:

·         4 cloves garlic
·         1 small red onion
·         2 bell peppers
·         2 ripened mangos
·         2 tbsp. cooking oil (grapeseed, coconut or avocado)
·         ¼ tsp. salt & ¼ tsp. black pepper
Directions:
1. Coarsely chop the onion until each piece is about ½” in size, and then add them to a covered medium-sized bowl. Afterwards, finely mince the garlic cloves they are very fine pieces, less than the size of corn kernels, but no smaller than the size of a grain of uncooked rice. Add to onion mixture, and then set aside.
3. Take your bell pepper and coarsely chop each veggie until each piece is roughly 1” in size. Set aside.
4. Slice your mangos in half, peel the skin off, and dice each mango until the pieces are roughly 1” in size. Set aside.
5. Take a wok or large skillet and add the cooking oil and let it heat up on medium-high for about 45 seconds. To test heat, add one piece of onion. If you see that it starts to bubble around the edge, it’s time to add in the garlic mixture. Sautee in the wok for about 1½ minutes, until the mixture becomes fragrant and becomes slightly more translucent.
6. Gradually add and sir in the chopped onion and bell pepper mixture. Cover the mixture and let it steam for about two minutes, or until the onion begins to turn slightly translucent. Lift the lid off and stir several times for about a minute, and let the veggies cook uncovered for about three minutes.
7. Lower the temperature to medium, and gradually add in the diced mangos. Stir, and let the mixture continue cooking for about two minutes uncovered, until the mixture begins to lightly thicken, and the peppers begin to lightly caramelize. At this point, season the stir fry with the salt and pepper. Turn off the stove and remove the skillet from the heat and allow to cool down for about a minute or so.
8. Serve with a side of rice. Enjoy!! J

4 Servings

Nutritional information per serving (without rice):
197 calories/ 2.69g protein/7.6g fat/33.6g carbs/ 3.9g fiber


Cauliflower Veggie Fried Rice


How ‘bout a heaping serving of your favorite takeout-inspired fried rice, with a low-carb remix..?


Carbs.

Contrary to popular belief, they are one of the three macronutrients that are vital to your health.

However, there are some days that I want to cut back, and eat something well…lighter! This recipe is incredibly simple, yet delicious. The combination of the soy sauce*, peas, and egg** really give this the classic Chinese-American fried rice flavor. Incorporating the cauliflower rice gives this dish a beautiful texture, and very subtle flavor which creates a wonderful palette for the senses.  I posted the veggies that I used, but you can really use whatever veggies you’d like!



I really don’t know what else to say. So let’s jump ahead to the recipe, shall we?
Cauliflower Veggie Fried Rice

Ingredients:
·         16 oz. cauliflower, riced-or-1 small head of cauliflower.
·         1 large carrot
·         ¼ cup water
·         1 large red bell pepper
·         1 large egg (** or 4 oz of extra-firm tofu, drained, if vegan)
·         1 small red onion
·         2-3 green onion stems
·         2 tbsp. cooking oil (grapeseed, coconut or avocado)
·         2 tbsp. low sodium soy sauce * or coconut aminos
·         3 cloves fresh garlic
·         1-2 tbsp. sriracha (optional)

Directions:

1. If you are ricing cauliflower: coarsely chop your cauliflower head until the pieces are about 2” in size. Then place cauliflower chunks into food processor and pulse for about two seconds. Repeat until the cauliflower pieces are roughly the size of a grain of rice. For best results, break up chopped cauliflower batch, so you don’t jam up your food processor. Once the cauliflower is riced, set aside. If you have already purchased pre-riced cauliflower, then skip this step, and omit the ¼ cup of water in step 2.

2. In a medium-sized sauce pan, turn the heat on medium, and place the freshly riced cauliflower and ¼ water in pot. Let the mixture cook on medium, covered, for about 8-10 minutes, or until all of the water has evaporated and the cauliflower gets the texture of cooked rice (like an al-dente). If cooking with pre-riced cauliflower, cover and let cook for 7-8 minutes on medium, covered, or until the rice also gets an al-dente texture. Set aside.

3. While the cauliflower rice is cooking, coarsely chop the bell pepper, carrot, red & green onion until they are about the size of one inch cubes. Once diced, heat up large skillet or wok, add cooking oil and let it heat for about 30 seconds on medium-high. Gradually add the chopped veggies (except green onions) to the skillet, and cover veggies and let them cook for about 8 minutes, covered, or until the onion begins to lightly golden brown. Be sure to stir the veggies frequently.

4. Vegetarian step (skip to step 5 if vegan)-During the last three minutes of the veggies sautéing, leave a portion of room empty in skillet, crack the egg in that space, scramble the egg, until it is fully cooked. Gently stir egg mixture around the remaining veggies.

5. Vegan step- During the last five minutes of the veggies sautéing, leave a portion of room empty in skillet, gently crumble the tofu into large scrambled egg-like chunks, and scramble the tofu, until it is it begins to lightly brown.. Gently stir tofu mixture around the remaining veggies.

6. Once the veggies and cauliflower rice finish sautéing, gently incorporate the rice mixture into the veggie mixture. Stir frequently, and gradually stir in the soy sauce, sriracha, and add the peas. Cook the mixture down on medium heat, covered, for about two minutes, or until the peas are warmed.

7. Once the veggie stir fry is finished cooking, sprinkle the green onion mixture on top, serve, and enjoy! 🙂

4 Servings

Nutritional information per serving:
154g calories/ 5.7g protein/8.5g fat/17g carbs/ 4g fiber
Have you made this? Did you alter this recipe in any way? Comment below!


Spinach-Basil Pesto

I will show you how to make my favorite kind of pesto-with a lovely twist!


Last time, I showed you how I make my Creamy Bell Pepper & Carrot Pesto. This time, I’m going to show you how to make more of a traditional pesto-but with a nice little vegan touch.

Before I delve into my yummy recipe, let’s first address a major question: What exactly is pesto? Pesto, or, more formally pesto alla genovese, is a sauce that originates from Genoa, the capital city of Liguria, Italy. Some historians believe that the recipe dates back to the Roman Era, but became a more refined staple around the mid-1800s. The traditional pesto sauce consists of fresh basil leaves, crushed garlic, pine nuts, coarse salt, olive oil, and a hard cheese such as Parmigiano-Reggiano (think of your classic non-grated Parmesan cheese). The following ingredients are traditionally blended together by finely hand chopping or hand-crushing them down with the utilization a mortar and pestle (pictured below).

Photo courtesy: Artur Rutowski
My recipe has a few exceptions which deviate from a traditional pesto alla genovese. First, this recipe is completely dairy-free and therefore vegan. But don’t worry about missing out on the cheesy bite. Nutritional yeast and lemon juice serve as the perfect substitute for the traditional hard cheese required. As you can see by the recipe title, this recipe also incorporates the utilization of fresh spinach. I understand that not everyone has access to fresh basil leaves, be it because of availability, cost, or a combination of the two factors. The spinach, while light in flavor, serves as a perfectly viable alternative if you have zero access to fresh basil. Finally, this recipe has a 21st century instantaneous twist by relying on a food processor (but if you DO have a mortar and pestle-the traditional mixing tool, it works perfectly, as well! It will just take a tad bit more time and elbow grease to prepare  🙂 ). Nevertheless, this remixed version of the traditional pesto recipe is super simple to prepare. Most of all, the flavor is absolutely delicious! Just like my bell pepper-carrot pesto, this yummy sauce goes wonderfully with pasta or over a baguette, risotto or any other vessel you like to serve your pesto with.

Do you want to know how I make my version of pesto? Keep on scrolling!   

Spinach Basil Pesto

Ingredients:
·         2 packed cups of fresh spinach leaves
·         2 packed cups of fresh basil leaves*
·         3 cloves of garlic
·         ¼ cup of nutritional yeast
·         2 tbsp. lemon juice
·         1 tsp. salt (coarse or kosher is preferred)
·         ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil (evoo)
·         ¼ cup of pine nuts or roasted sunflower seeds
Directions:

1.  In a small skillet, set it on medium high and allow it to preheat for a couple seconds. Take your pine nuts and place them into the skillet and allow them to toast up for about 2-3 minutes until they form a light golden brown around the edges. Stir the nuts frequently in the process. Once the nuts area toasted, remove from heat and set aside. You can skip the toasting step if you are utilizing pre-roasted sunflower seeds. Simply set those to the side.

2.   Take each garlic clove place each clove on the cutting board. Gently place your knife over the garlic clove with the blade resting parallel to the garlic clove (away from you), ball your fist, and smash the knife. Doing so breaks each clove down, while also cracking open the skin. Repeat until all the cloves have been mashed and skin completely unpeeled. Then, coarsely chop each of the cloves until the pieces are roughly about the size of small grains of rice. Set aside.

3.  Blending method 1-Food processor: Take all of your ingredients and add them all into a food processor. Let the mixture pulse for about 2 seconds each time and repeat about 6 times-1 minute until the pesto has a smooth consistency, but still chunky enough to the point where you can see pieces of the spinach and garlic. Stir the mixture in between each pulse.  (do not exceed pulsing over 2 minutes).

4. Blending method 2-Mortar and pestle: First, grind your garlic and salt down with the mortar and pestle for about 30 seconds-1 minute, or until it turns into a chunky mash. Then gradually add in your toasted pine nuts or sunflower seeds and mash it down until the garlic/nut mixture forms a paste. Afterwards, gradually add in the basil and spinach, handful by handful and grind that into the mixture until the leaves are very tiny. Gradually, add in the rest of your ingredients, with the olive oil as the last ingredient to add in, and keep mixing everything for a few minutes (3-6), and continue mashing until the pesto has a smooth consistency, but still chunky enough to the point where you can see pieces of the spinach/basil and garlic.

5.     Enjoy over your favorite edible vessel! 🙂

* Note: If you are unable to access fresh basil leaves, substitute the 2 cups of fresh basil for 2 cups of fresh spinach leaves.

Makes approximately 1 cup of delicious pesto (8 ounces)-6 servings

Nutritional Information (per serving):

156 Calories/ 6.2g protein/ 12.5 grams fat/6.9 grams of carbs/3 grams fiber

198% DV Folate, DFE/ 264% DV Vitamin B-1 (Thiamin)/ 202% DV Vitamin B-2 (Riboflavin) 115% DV Vitamin B-3 (Niacin)/ 300% DV Vitamin A/ 373% DV Vitamin K/ 17% DV Vitamin C


Creamy Bell Pepper & Carrot Pesto

I will show you how to make my favorite kind of pesto-with a lovely vegan twist!


I LOOOVE pesto…it’s GOT to be one of my favorite type of sauces, hands down. This recipe was really inspired as a result of preventing food waste. About a week ago, I had some bell peppers slowly beginning to wilt in the back of my fridge. I had been trying to figure out how to utilize them, and BAM! I came up with an idea: How about I try ‘sun drying’ the peppers, similarly to how you would with tomatoes? My thought process then evolved into seeing if it was remotely possible to make a pepper pesto. My thought was Why not?

Let me tell you, this pepper pesto has turned into my crack. Slow roasting the peppers brings out the natural sweetness in the peppers. Team that with the creaminess of roasted carrot and garlic, and your taste buds are in Heaven.  The dairy substitution of nutritional yeast and Miso paste gave this a wonderful, rich and savory sense of umami. I actually find this pesto to have an almost cheesy quality to it (something that I was not intending to aim for!). It goes wonderfully with pasta or over a baguette, risotto or any other vessel you like to serve your pesto with! 

In lieu of the sun, I utilized my trusty oven for these peppers. As you’ll see, I let these babies roast for a while. Don’t let the 8 hour oven time intimidate you-these peppers can either be slow-roasted overnight or while you’re at work. This sauce does take some time to prepare from start to finish…but I PROMISE you that it will be worth the wait!


Let me show you how I made this!

Creamy Bell Pepper & Carrot Pesto

Ingredients:
·         5 large colorful bell peppers, or 8-10 miniature bell peppers
·         3 cloves of garlic
·         2 carrots
·         3 tbsp nutritional yeast
·         1 tbsp miso paste
·         2 tbsp lemon juice
·         4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (evoo)
·         ¼ cup of pine nuts or sunflower seeds
Directions:
1.       Roasted peppers-Preheat oven to 170 degrees Fahrenheit. Take each bell pepper and slice directly in half, lengthwise and remove the saps and seeds.  After slicing and de-seeding, take a large baking sheet and line with parchment paper. Place your pepper halves on the parchment paper and drizzle 1 tbsp of the evoo and massage over each of the pepper pieces until they are all oiled. Place baking tray in middle rack and allow the peppers to slow-roast for 7-8 hours, or until the peppers start to wrinkle. Be sure to check them after 7 hours to ensure that they do not burn!

2.       Roasted Carrots and garlic-Preheat oven to 400. Coarsely chop carrots until they are about 2 inches in size. Take your carrots and unpeeled garlic cloves, lightly drizzle with evoo and let them roast for about 20-25 minutes, until the carrots are fork tender. Afterwards, remove them from the oven and gently unpeel garlic clove. Should be relatively fork tender. If its not quite fork tender, leave the cloves in the oven for about 5-6 more minutes. Place your seeds in the oven to roast for the last 5 minutes.

3. Mixin it all-Take all of your roasted veggies and the remaining ingredients and add them all into a food processor. Let the mixture pulse nonstop for about 3 minutes, or until the mixture has the consistency of a smooth  hummus-like consistency.

4.       Enjoy over your favorite vessel of choice! 🙂

6 servings

Nutritional Information (per serving)
194 Calories/ 4.9g protein/ 13.6 grams fat/14.3 grams of carbs/4.4 grams fiber

Strawberry Salsa


When I was developing this year’s Super Bowl Menu for my small household, I wanted to create something fun, unique and simple. Then I remembered that strawberry season was upon us. Because I live in Plant City, Florida- the Winter Strawberry capital of the world, I had to support my local strawberry growers. Hence, I purchased some lovely organic berries from Eco Farm.

Back to my recipe dilemma: So here I am starching my head trying to figure out what snacks to make that would somehow incorporate strawberries…then BAM! Like a lightning bolt, an idea came: Strawberry Salsa!

Yes folks, I said it: Strawberry Salsa!! You’ve GOT to trust me on this one! When you use fresh strawberries with lime and cilantro, the flavors marry beautifully. Similarly to using tomatoes, the incorporation of strawberries provides a nice tart bite with just the right amount of an acidic touch-an element that is essential to making fresh salsa. This recipe is not only simple to make, but dangerously delicious. So tasty that you MIGHT wind up eating the whole bowl in one sitting. Be warned…




Here’s the recipe:



Strawberry Salsa
Ingredients
  • 16 ounces of fresh strawberries
  • 1 large clove of garlic
  • 1 juice of one lime
  • 1/3 cup of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Four green onions, coarsely chopped
  • A pinch of salt (1/4 tsp)

Directions:

  1. Coarsely chop the strawberries until they are roughly diced to about ½ inch-sized cubes. Set aside
  2. In a food processor, combine all ingredients and pulse about ten times with five seconds for each pulse. This will take about a minute or so. You will have a slightly chunky salsa consistency,
  3. Serve up with some tortilla chips, and enjoy! 🙂

4 servings


Nutrition information (per serving for salsa, only) 45g calories/ 1g protein/0.44g fat/11g carbs/ 2.7g fiber



Funky-Fiesty Carnitas!

Oh my goodness. I just made some seriously DELICIOUS, mouth-watering tacos, using my carnitas recipe. The secret to these babies?
Young jackfruit. Yes. Jackfruit. Sick with me!! But the jackfruit MUST be un-ripened.
Unripened jackfruit has the texture of pulled pork or chicken, and that only becomes enhanced when it cooks, and the fruit ‘meat’ becomes tenderized. The beautiful thing about jackfruit is that you can flavor it however you want, since it’s neutral in flavor. It’s also pretty pretty high in fiber, while being low in  calories (if you’re counting!)
These carnitas had a smokey, bold, yet slightly sweet flavor, and were super tender. If you had not told me that we were eating jackfruit, I would have seriously thought that I was eating tacos with pulled dark meat chicken. No joke!
Also-If you’re wondering where on earth you can get canned jackfruit, you can typically get it at your nearest available Asian Market, Whole Foods, or just order some bulk cans on Amazon! And really, the price per 17 ounce can was less than $3, which makes this significantly cheaper than using chicken or pork.
Here’s the recipe:
Funky-Fiesty Carnitas!
Ingredients:
Two 17oz cans of young jackfruit (Make sure that it’s unsweetened)
3 tablespoons of your favorite fajita seasoning
3 tablespoons of cumin
Juice of one orange (or tangerine)
Juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon of salt
1 tsp liquid smoke
2 tsp of smoked paprika
2 tbsp cooking oil
1 cup of water
1 small onion, diced
Directions:
1. Drain both cans of jackfruit and rinse in cold water for a couple minutes, in order to get rid of most of the salt brine. After rinsing, pull each piece of jackfruit ‘meat’ with your hands and break into chunky shreds. (Optional step: with a knife, remove the tough end-piece and finely chop that up to add into the shredded ‘meat’ mixture).
2. In a large bowl, combine all the other ingredients (except the oil & jack fruit). Mix well, until a marinade forms. Gradually stir in jackfruit, and let it marinade for at least 1 hour (I let mine marinate overnight).
3. In a large pot, heat up oil on medium high for a couple minutes, and then add in jackfruit, including the entire marinade. At this point, crank the heat on HIGH, and let this marinade cook down for about 20 minutes, until most of the marinade has reduced & the jackfruit begins to turn into a light golden brown. Make sure to stir periodically and keep an eye on the mixture!
4. Serve the carnitas on your tacos & fajitas with whatever toppings you like & enjoy! J
Makes 4 servings
Nutritional Information (Per serving):
207 cal/ 2.8g protein/ 8.5 g fat/ 27.8 g carbohydrates/ 3.9 g fiber