Tag

Wheat-Free

This is one of my absolute favorite dishes of all time. It’s hot and comforting, yet refreshing and energizing. You almost can’t place the cuisine – is it Mediterranean with the sun-dried tomatoes and lemon zest? Is it Southeast Asian with it’s coconut, garlic, ginger combo? Is it Indian in it’s curry-like beginnings? Coconut-Braised Chickpea Stew | SPIRITPLATE
I think that’s what makes this dish wholesome year-round: sun-dried tomatoes and lemon zest evoke the end of summer, and the garlic-ginger-coconut milk warmth evokes the height of winter. So get to it – anytime is a perfect time for this creamy bowl of goodness. Coconut-Braised Chickpea Stew | SPIRITPLATE The trick here is two-fold: sweating the onions slowly without oil in a bit of broth to get a rich base, and then toasting the chickpeas before adding the coconut milk to get a nice texture from the beans. Coconut-Braised Chickpea Stew | SPIRITPLATE Don’t skimp on the ginger powder and extra lemon at the end – it’s what really makes this dish zing!
Coconut-Braised Chickpea Stew | SPIRITPLATE

Coconut-Braised Chickpeas
Serves 6
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
408 calories
51 g
0 g
18 g
17 g
13 g
230 g
175 g
10 g
0 g
4 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
230g
Servings
6
Amount Per Serving
Calories 408
Calories from Fat 151
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 18g
28%
Saturated Fat 13g
63%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 175mg
7%
Total Carbohydrates 51g
17%
Dietary Fiber 14g
56%
Sugars 10g
Protein 17g
Vitamin A
77%
Vitamin C
43%
Calcium
14%
Iron
45%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 red onion, finely diced
  2. 4 cloves garlic, minced
  3. 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  4. 1/2 cup vegetable stock
  5. 1 large organic lemon, zested and juiced
  6. 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, julienned
  7. 2 cups cooked chickpeas**
  8. 1/2 tsp chili flakes (or to taste)
  9. 1/2 lb fresh spinach
  10. 1 can coconut milk (14 oz)***
  11. 1 tsp ground ginger
  12. sea salt, to taste
  13. freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  14. 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped (optional garnish)
Instructions
  1. Heat a large dutch oven or deep sauté pan over medium heat and then add onions, a tablespoon of broth, and a good pinch of salt. Let the onions sweat for about 10 minutes or until translucent, adding a few tablespoons of broth at a time to prevent sticking. Once soft, add the garlic and ginger and let cook for 1 minute. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, lemon zest and chili flakes. Let cook for another minute or so.
  2. Next, add the chickpeas and stir to coat in the tomato mixture. Turn up the heat slightly and toast the chickpeas a bit, 3-5 minutes. Keep an eye on them though so they don't scorch; you just want them to have a little color. Use a tablespoon of broth if needed to prevent sticking.
  3. Once the chickpeas are heated through, turn the heat down slightly and start to add the spinach, a handful at a time. Note: If using baby spinach you can add it as is. If you are using regular spinach, you will need to chop or tear it up a bit.
  4. Once the first bunch of spinach has started to wilt, add in the next handful. Continue until all of the spinach has been added.
  5. To finish the dish, add the coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Stir to combine and then add the ground ginger and a bit of the reserved lemon juice. Taste for seasoning. Add more lemon juice, salt and/or pepper as needed.
  6. Once everything has heated through, serve immediately. (The spinach will start to lose its color and it won't look as nice.) Serve over sweet potato, brown rice, or any grain of your choice. Garnish each plate with cilantro and enjoy!
Notes
  1. * - Soak dried tomatoes in water for 15 minutes to plump them up. Alternatively, if using sun-dried tomatoes stored in oil, simply drain, rinse and pat dry tomatoes.
  2. ** - 2 cups cooked chickpeas or 1 can (15oz)
  3. *** - You can you light or full-fat coconut milk. The former is lower in fat and will give you a broth-type consistency while the latter has more fat but will also be more creamy.
beta
calories
408
fat
18g
protein
17g
carbs
51g
more
Adapted from The Kitchn and Rouxbe
SPIRITPLATE http://spiritplate.com/

One of my favorite dishes that I learned at Rouxbe was their Cauliflower Steak Au Poivre – baked and seared cauliflower served with a hearty mushroom peppercorn gravy – a plant-based spin on the traditional French steak au poivre or “pepper steak”. Not only is the presentation quite impressive, it’s got this creamy umami from the mushrooms and a wonderful punch from the peppercorns. I just think it’s so perfect for a fancy Valentine’s Day dinner in. (And frankly, with the price of cauliflower right now, it really IS fancy!).
cauliflower_final2There isn’t much I’ve changed from the original recipe. I’ve switched out the brandy for whiskey. And added fresh rosemary along with the original bay leaves. The real secret to this recipe is the stock – use a quality stock (homemade or otherwise) to really build the flavor of this dish! Cauliflower Steak au Poivre | SPIRITPLATE I love the tenderness of the cauliflower with the caramelized crisp edges and the spicy crunch of the course pepper. Cauliflower Steak au Poivre | SPIRITPLATEThis gravy is one of my favorite go-tos. I even serve it for Thanksgiving. You can serve this Cauliflower Steak with butternut squash soup and massaged kale salad, or a side of fresh green beans. Happy Valentine’s Day!Cauliflower Steak au Poivre | SPIRITPLATE

Cauliflower Steak Au Poivre with Mushroom Gravy
Serves 4
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr
218 calories
20 g
6 g
6 g
6 g
2 g
563 g
1328 g
8 g
0 g
4 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
563g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 218
Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 6g
9%
Saturated Fat 2g
9%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 6mg
2%
Sodium 1328mg
55%
Total Carbohydrates 20g
7%
Dietary Fiber 5g
20%
Sugars 8g
Protein 6g
Vitamin A
12%
Vitamin C
124%
Calcium
7%
Iron
10%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
For the cauliflower
  1. 1 head cauliflower, leaves and stem trimmed*
  2. 4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  3. 2 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
  4. 1 cup vermouth or dry white wine
  5. 2 bay leaves
  6. 1 sprig rosemary
  7. 1/2 tsp sea salt**
  8. 2 tbsp black peppercorns, crushed
  9. 1 tsp oil
  10. 1 tsp non­dairy butter
For the sauce
  1. 1/2 tbsp oil
  2. 1/2 tbsp non­dairy butter
  3. 1/4 cup shallots, minced
  4. 3/4 lb mushrooms, thinly sliced
  5. 1/4 cup good scotch or whiskey
  6. 2 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
  7. sea salt, to taste
  8. 2 tbsp slurry, or as needed***
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. With the cauliflower sitting on its stem, cut in half through the middle. Trim the outer edge of each half to form a thick steak­-like piece of cauliflower. Each piece should be approximately 1 1/2-inch thick.
  2. In a 9x11 baking dish, mix together the garlic, stock, vermouth, bay leaves, rosemary and salt.
  3. Place the cauliflower into the liquid and cover tightly with foil. Carefully transfer to the oven and let bake for approximately 30 to 45 minutes. Test the 'steaks' periodically. When a knife goes in somewhat easily the cauliflower is done. (The cauliflower should be cooked through, but still a bit firm. If it's too soft, it will fall apart during frying.)
  4. While the cauliflower is baking, prepare the sauce: Heat a large stainless steel fry pan over medium­-high heat. Once hot, add the oil and butter, followed by the shallots. Let the shallots cook until they just start to brown, about 2 or 3 minutes. Then, add the mushrooms and a pinch of salt. Cook the mushrooms until they start to release their juices and start to brown, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Carefully deglaze with the whiskey and let cook for a minute or so, or until most of the scotch has evaporated.
  6. Add the stock, turn down the heat and let simmer while you pan­-fry the cauliflower 'steaks'.
  7. Once the cauliflower is ready, remove the 'steaks' from the liquid and place onto a plate lined
  8. with paper towel. Blot the top of the cauliflower with paper towel as well. This helps ensure you get a nice golden crust.
  9. Next, crush the peppercorns on a cutting board—a heavy fry pan works well for this. Then, carefully place the cauliflower into the crushed peppercorns and gently press to ensure some of the peppercorns stick to the cauliflower. Flip and repeat on the other side.
  10. Heat a large a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the oil and butter, followed by the cauliflower. Let the cauliflower cook for about 4 to 6 minutes, or until golden brown on each side. Try not to fiddle with the pieces too much, otherwise the 'steaks' will start to fall apart. Once done, set aside while you finish the sauce.
  11. To finish the sauce, taste for seasoning, adding salt as needed. Next, add the slurry. For the slurry, either cornstarch or flour can be used. Slowly add the slurry until you reach a nice sauce­-like consistency.
  12. To serve, place a 'steak' onto a plate and spoon over the hot sauce—drizzling a bit of the sauce around the plate if desired. Serve with your favorite sides and enjoy!
Notes
  1. * - Do NOT core the cauliflower. The stem is needed to keep the 'steaks' intact.
  2. ** - The amount of salt you add will depend on how salty your stock is to begin with. Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary.
  3. *** - A slurry is a spoonful of flour or cornstarch mixed with water or stock to create a runny paste. This runny paste is added to a sauce to thicken it. Directly adding flour or cornstarch to a large pot results in clumping, thus a slurry is used instead.
beta
calories
218
fat
6g
protein
6g
carbs
20g
more
SPIRITPLATE http://spiritplate.com/

Every day this week, we are posting TWO recipes for your Thanksgiving pleasure. Adding just ONE completely plant-based dish to your Thanksgiving spread is a welcome reprieve on this day of indulgence, and your body will thank you! 

Today, we’re serving up some Tangy Apple and Butternut Squash Soup and a Massaged Avocado Kale Salad. 

Spiced Butternut Squash Soup | SPIRITPLATE Now both of these dishes are my favorites. The kale salad I eat year round, usually plain with just avocado and lemon juice massaged into the kale and seasoned with salt and pepper. It is a staple in our household and we usually make a large batch every week as not only it highly alkaline and filled with wonderful antioxidants – but it tastes so rich and indulgent and fresh. Every now and then I like to jazz it up with some kind of onion – leek, scallion, or red, something crunchy like nuts or seeds, and something sweet like apple or tomato – so feel free to fancy this humble salad up for your Thanksgiving table.Avocado-Massaged Kale Salad | SPIRITPLATESpiced Butternut Squash Soup | SPIRITPLATE
The soup is something I’ve made variations of in the past. Every fall I whip up a pumpkin, squash, or carrot soup using coconut milk, nutmeg and cayenne. Recently however, I attended a vegan popup dinner here in Dallas hosted by Lauren of Three Twelve Co. and Lala’s Cakes – and she featured a butternut squash soup like I’d never tasted before. It had this tanginess that perfectly balanced out the sweet and savory – a flavor profile that was surely missing from my past dabbles in squash soup. Turns out, Lauren had used green apple puree to add that wonderful twang and to thicken the soup.

Spiced Butternut Squash Soup | SPIRITPLATE

This is my version of that incredible soup, and I truly hope you enjoy it!

Creamy Spiced Butternut Squash Soup
Serves 8
Print
Cook Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
71 calories
14 g
0 g
1 g
2 g
0 g
84 g
107 g
4 g
0 g
1 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
84g
Servings
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 71
Calories from Fat 11
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 1g
2%
Saturated Fat 0g
1%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 107mg
4%
Total Carbohydrates 14g
5%
Dietary Fiber 1g
5%
Sugars 4g
Protein 2g
Vitamin A
1%
Vitamin C
4%
Calcium
5%
Iron
4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
For the soup
  1. 1 tsp olive oil
  2. 1/2 onion, diced
  3. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 1 butternut squash
  5. 1 cup water, divided
  6. 1 large green apple
  7. 1 can coconut cream
  8. 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  9. 1/2 tsp cayenne, or to taste
  10. salt, to taste
For the croutons
  1. 4-6 slices day old crusty bread (I used a french baguette)
  2. 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  3. 1/8 tsp cayenne
  4. olive oil, as needed
Instructions
  1. In a large pot over medium heat, add the olive oil and onion and sweat for ten minutes.
  2. In the meantime, peel and dice the butternut squash, removing the seeds with a spoon.
  3. Add the garlic to the pot and toss to coat until fragrant.
  4. Add 1/2 cup of water and the butternut squash. Cover and cook for 15 minutes.
  5. In the meantime, peel and chop the green apple then set aside.
  6. In a separate small pan, heat up a little olive oil over medium-high heat. Dice the sliced of bread into 1/2-inch cubes and added them to the pan. Dust with garlic and cayenne and toss several times in the pan to coat the bread evenly. Let toast on all sides for a few minutes until charred, then remove from heat and set aside.
  7. Add the apple, nutmeg, cayenne, and salt to the butternut mixture, and cook for a few minutes until apples and squash are tender.
  8. Add the coconut cream and then use a handheld blender or place everything in a high-speed blender to puree the entire mixture until smooth.
  9. Bring mixture to a simmer for a few moments then check for seasoning. Add the remaining half cup of water to thin out the soup as desired. Serve piping hot with garlic cayenne croutons.
Notes
  1. Butternut squash can be found at almost any grocery store in the fall and winter time. I have not tried this recipe with other squashes, but my guess would be that the structure of butternut lends itself well to a creamier soup that its stringier counterparts such as acorn, spaghetti, or pumpkin.
beta
calories
71
fat
1g
protein
2g
carbs
14g
more
SPIRITPLATE http://spiritplate.com/
Avocado-Massaged Kale Salad
Serves 4
Print
Cook Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
88 calories
7 g
0 g
7 g
1 g
1 g
72 g
43 g
1 g
0 g
6 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
72g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 88
Calories from Fat 62
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 7g
11%
Saturated Fat 1g
5%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 43mg
2%
Total Carbohydrates 7g
2%
Dietary Fiber 4g
16%
Sugars 1g
Protein 1g
Vitamin A
2%
Vitamin C
27%
Calcium
1%
Iron
3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 bunch kale
  2. 1 large avocado
  3. 1 large lemon, juiced
  4. salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Wash kale and pat dry. Rip leaves from stems and then tear leaves into bite-sized pieces. Place into a large bowl and discard stems (or use later in a green juice).
  2. Halve and pit avocado, then scoop out the meat and add it to the bowl.
  3. Add the juice of one lemon to the bowl.
  4. Using your hands, massage the avocado and lemon juice into the kale leaves, squeezing and twisting to coat each leaf evenly with the lemon avocado mixture.
  5. When done, the leaves should turn a dark green and glisten with the avocado fat and be quite tender when chewed.
  6. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Notes
  1. In the picture, I have stood two thinly sliced zucchini pieces on end to create a "bowl" in which to place the salad. This is purely for display purposes and completely optional. I've added sauteed leek, fresh cherry tomato, radish and a spice and seed blend to the salad.
  2. This salad can be jazzed up in any way you see fit - I've added with apples and pecans, with quinoa, plain, with onions and tomatoes. Choose toppings you love.
beta
calories
88
fat
7g
protein
1g
carbs
7g
more
SPIRITPLATE http://spiritplate.com/

It is such a cold, dreary morning here in Dallas. I’ve got my fireplace lit, my fluffy socks on, and dare-I-say-it? Dean Martin’s holiday record on. Perfect Cold Weather Chili | SPIRITPLATE There are two things I always want, straight after Halloween. One is Christmas music. The second is chili.Perfect Cold Weather Chili | SPIRITPLATE Chili just screams to me THE HOLIDAYS ARE COMING. It’s the perfect bridge between Fall and Winter. Hot, spicy, and filling, chili is just so nourishing and comforting. One bite warms me from my head to my toes! Perfect Cold Weather Chili | SPIRITPLATEWhat makes this one even better is that it’s my mom-in-law’s recipe. She is one phenomenal cook!

So whip up a batch before your next football game. Cuddle up with a steaming bowl and some crackers. Freeze the rest for the next time you’re craving fresh, piping hot spicy chili!

Perfect Cold Weather Chili
Serves 8
A veganized high-protein chili, perfectly spiced for colder weather.
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
2 hr
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
2 hr
163 calories
26 g
0 g
5 g
7 g
1 g
294 g
845 g
5 g
0 g
4 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
294g
Servings
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 163
Calories from Fat 39
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5g
7%
Saturated Fat 1g
3%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 845mg
35%
Total Carbohydrates 26g
9%
Dietary Fiber 9g
36%
Sugars 5g
Protein 7g
Vitamin A
24%
Vitamin C
64%
Calcium
8%
Iron
16%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 Tbsp olive oil
  2. 3 medium onions, diced
  3. 6 garlic cloves, minced
  4. 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  5. 1 Tbsp chili powder
  6. 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  7. 1/2 tsp salt (or as needed)
  8. black pepper, to taste
  9. 1 bell pepper, diced
  10. 2 cups Gardein Beefless Ground (optional)*
  11. 1 7-oz can chipotle chilies in adobo sauce**
  12. 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
  13. 2 cups vegetable broth***
  14. 1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  15. 1 15-oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  16. 2-3 sprigs cilantro, chopped
  17. 1/2 avocado, diced
  18. squeeze of lime
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Once hot, add onion and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  2. Stir in oregano, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper.
  3. Add bell pepper. Saute until bell pepper is browned. Add beefless crumbles if using and saute until lightly browned.
  4. Add chipotle chilies and adobo sauce, diced tomatoes, and broth. Stir and bring to a boil.
  5. Add beans, bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to a simmer.
  6. Let simmer, uncovered, for 2 hours on low heat, stirring occasionally.
  7. Check and adjust spices to your liking.
  8. Serve hot, topped with fresh cilantro, avocado, and a squeeze of lime.
Notes
  1. * - You may use any other soy crumble, or omit altogether. I like the texture and added protein, but you can leave it out if you're not a fan.
  2. ** - The chilies in the can usually come in halves. You may need to diced them up. Be sure to use both the adobo sauce and the chilies!
  3. *** - I like Not Chick'n bouillon cubes, that can be found in most grocery stores.
  4. Jazz up your chili by adding an ounce of dark chocolate or espresso for depth OR a dash of vegan worcestershire sauce for salty complexity OR diced sweet potato or pumpkin for sweet heartiness.
  5. Please note the protein count below is incorrect. It does not include the Gardein Beefless Ground which is 12g of protein per 1/2 cup. One cup of this chili contains over 30g of protein!
Adapted from Dallas Morning News
beta
calories
163
fat
5g
protein
7g
carbs
26g
more
Adapted from Dallas Morning News
SPIRITPLATE http://spiritplate.com/

Hot and hearty, generously spiced with a light sweetness and a delicate crunch — perfect for a rainy autumn afternoon. Hearty Stuffed Acorn Squash | SPIRITPLATEThis is one of those amazing dishes that is so easy, you just have to let it sit and let the heat do it’s own thing. It’s also extremely versatile; you can use whatever flavor profile you like!Hearty Stuffed Acorn Squash | SPIRITPLATEHere, I’ve used Indian flavors, with curry powder, cumin, coriander, and ginger. I’ve made this several times, all with different flavors – lemongrass, galangal, with cilantro and basil for Thai, or jalapeno, oregano, and paprika for a Mexican spin, or even added tomato paste, rosemary and basil for an Italian flair. The flavors are entirely up to you.
Hearty Stuffed Acorn Squash | SPIRITPLATE
Hearty Stuffed Acorn Squash | SPIRITPLATE
Hearty Stuffed Acorn Squash | SPIRITPLATEDoesn’t this just look so cozy?!Hearty Stuffed Acorn Squash | SPIRITPLATE

Hearty Stuffed Acorn Squash
Serves 4
Filling and flavorful stuffed acorn squash is an elegant addition to your holiday table.
Print
Cook Time
1 hr 15 min
Cook Time
1 hr 15 min
314 calories
48 g
0 g
11 g
12 g
4 g
416 g
204 g
4 g
0 g
7 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
416g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 314
Calories from Fat 96
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 11g
17%
Saturated Fat 4g
19%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 204mg
9%
Total Carbohydrates 48g
16%
Dietary Fiber 11g
42%
Sugars 4g
Protein 12g
Vitamin A
112%
Vitamin C
56%
Calcium
18%
Iron
25%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2 tsp coconut oil, divided
  2. 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  3. 1 small thumb ginger, minced (optional)
  4. 1 cup onions, diced
  5. 1 cup frozen spinach, thawed*
  6. 1 cup mushrooms, diced
  7. 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, sliced
  8. 1-1 1/2 cup red kidney beans**
  9. 2 small acorn squash
  10. 2 sprigs parsley or cilantro
  11. 1 1/2 tablespoon spices of your choice***
  12. 1/2 cup cashews****
  13. salt, to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Wash the outsides of the two acorn squashes and using a sharp knife, divide each squash into two equal halves. Scrape out the seeds and score the inner flesh with shallow cuts.
  3. Take 1 tsp of coconut oil in your hands and rub the oil generously all over each half. Sprinkle each half with salt and place open side down on a dark baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 1 hour or more until very tender.
  5. While the squash is baking, heat a large pan over medium heat. Once hot, add 1 tsp coconut oil. Add the onions, a pinch of salt, and sweat for 10 minutes or until soft and translucent - careful not to brown at all.
  6. Add the garlic and sweat for another 2 minutes. Then add your choice spices, mushrooms, and sundried tomatoes. Keep sweating for 15 minutes, until everything has softened and the mixture is fragrant.
  7. While the mixture is sweating, toast the cashews in a separate small pan set to medium high heat. Toss the cashews in your choice seasoning then add them to the hot pan. Keep moving them around to prevent burning and ensure even toasting. Once golden brown and fragrant remove from heat, and set aside.
  8. Back in your main pan, add the spinach and toss in the onion tomato mixture to coat evenly. Cook until heated through. Fold in the kidney beans and let heat through. Taste for salt.
  9. Crush your toasted cashews and chop up your cilantro, parsley, or other herb.
  10. Check your squash. If it is fork tender, carefully remove from pan and set open face up on a plate. Fill each crevice generously with your pan mixture.
  11. Top each squash half with crushed cashews and chopped herbs. Serve piping hot.
Notes
  1. * - I like using frozen spinach here, because I know it is more fresh and I don't mind the texture as it will be cooked down anyway. If using fresh, triple the amount.
  2. ** - For more flavor, make your own beans! Soak the beans overnight, and then boil the next day over medium high heat for 45 minutes or until tender with your choice seasonings. The beans will absorb whatever flavors you put into the boiling liquid. Here I used salt, ginger, bay leaf, and fenugreek seeds.
  3. *** - This recipe is extremely versatile. I have made the squash Thai style with lemongrass, galangal, and cilantro, Mexican style with jalapeno, oregano and paprika, and Italian style with more tomato, rosemary, and basil. Here I've made curried squash, using curry powder, paprika, cumin, coriander, and ginger.
  4. **** - When toasting the cashews, use whatever seasoning you have chosen for the squash. Here I tossed them with salt and curry powder.
beta
calories
314
fat
11g
protein
12g
carbs
48g
more
SPIRITPLATE http://spiritplate.com/

It has been a while folks. Amidst new homes, new jobs, and new family – it’s been a heck of a ride these past few months. But let us waste no more time and jump right into one of my favorite weeknight meals!

Smoky, savory, spicy. These are the mouthwatering words that come to mind when thinking of this dish. I’m often pressed for time weekdays – right after work, Aly and I workout and then continue working on our own projects until bedtime. We’re always ravenous after the workouts and need something satisfying enough to give us energy to work the rest of the evening. I love that this meal can be prepped in advance and comes together in a surprising ten minutes when I’m ready. One serving has a whopping 19g of protein and only 185 calories – a perfect addition to our workout regiment. 

Now, most people are averse to soy, more often than not because it can be quite bland with an off-putting texture – that is, if you haven’t cooked it right! Soy is high in protein, and like all beans, a great source of fiber and iron. Truly good tofu can be flavorful with a pleasant chewiness and thus a great addition to your diet in terms of both nutrition and variety. You just have to know how to treat it.

First, be sure to press any excess liquid out of the tofu. I slice my block into 1/4″ to 1/3″ thick slices. I lay down a clean kitchen towel and then paper towel, and arrange the slices flat with a little space in between on top. I then add another layer of paper towels, and kitchen towel to essentially sandwich the slices. With a heavy book or pan on top, I leave the slices for about ten minutes to let all the water press out of the tofu and into the towels. Tofu is a sponge; when you press out the water, you allow for other (flavorful) liquids to be absorbed – like this smoky marinade! 

Soy sauce, liquid smoke, garlic, and pepper get absorbed into the pores of the tofu, producing a rich, savory result.

Secondly, and just as crucial, is browning the tofu in either the oven or in a pan so that the edges firm up. This allows the tofu to get more dense and dehydrated so you get the perfect chewy texture. 

And lastly, combine the tofu with other flavors and textures you love. I LOVE rice noodles and shiitake mushrooms, and the simple soy sauce stir-fry pairs so well with the soy-based tofu. Scallions elevate the complexity of the final dish and the liquid smoke adds a unique twist. Of course, where would you be without a dousing of sriracha to top it all off?

Here are my recipes for smoky baked tofu and spicy shiitake rice noodles. Try it and let me know what you think!  

Smoky Tofu
Serves 6
Print
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
50 min
109 calories
4 g
0 g
6 g
12 g
1 g
83 g
848 g
0 g
0 g
4 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
83g
Servings
6
Amount Per Serving
Calories 109
Calories from Fat 49
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 6g
9%
Saturated Fat 1g
4%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 848mg
35%
Total Carbohydrates 4g
1%
Dietary Fiber 2g
7%
Sugars 0g
Protein 12g
Vitamin A
5%
Vitamin C
1%
Calcium
46%
Iron
12%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 14oz. package firm tofu*, sliced to 1/4" thick and pressed**
  2. 5 tbsp tamari, soy sauce, or liquid aminos
  3. 1/2 tsp liquid smoke***
  4. 1 tsp garlic powder
  5. freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  6. crushed red pepper, to taste
  7. spray oil for pan
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the tamari, liquid smoke, garlic powder, freshly–ground black pepper, and crushed red pepper.
  3. Place the tofu in a shallow casserole dish and pour the marinade over the tofu. Allow to marinate for 20 minutes, turning the tofu once half way through.
  4. Lightly spray a sheet pan with oil and layout the tofu slabs evenly on the tray.
  5. Place the tray in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Flip, and cook another 10 to 15 minutes until the tofu is browned around the edges. You may broil each side for a minute or two for extra crispness.
  6. Remove, let cool, and slice or crumble to your liking. Store covered in the refrigerator until ready to use in other recipes.****
Notes
  1. * - Soy, along with corn, is one of the most genetically modified produce in the world with some of the highest pesticide contents. Always use non-GMO, organic tofu whenever possible.
  2. ** - Gently press as much water out of the tofu slices by sandwiching the slabs between paper towels before adding the marinade.
  3. *** - Liquid smoke is easily found at any grocery store - hickory, mesquite, or any other flavor will do. A small bottle will last a long time.
  4. **** - This tofu is great on sandwiches, sauced in a stir-fry, or as part of a buddha bowl.
Adapted from Chad Sarno
beta
calories
109
fat
6g
protein
12g
carbs
4g
more
Adapted from Chad Sarno
SPIRITPLATE http://spiritplate.com/
Shiitake and Tofu Rice Noodles
Serves 6
An easy savory and spicy weeknight meal.
Print
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
76 calories
6 g
0 g
4 g
7 g
1 g
126 g
365 g
1 g
0 g
3 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
126g
Servings
6
Amount Per Serving
Calories 76
Calories from Fat 32
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 4g
6%
Saturated Fat 1g
3%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 365mg
15%
Total Carbohydrates 6g
2%
Dietary Fiber 2g
7%
Sugars 1g
Protein 7g
Vitamin A
6%
Vitamin C
11%
Calcium
25%
Iron
23%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 package brown rice noodles, cooked according to the package instructions
  2. 1 batch (14 oz) smoky baked tofu
  3. 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  4. 1 garlic clove, minced
  5. 8-10 whole shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  6. 4-6 stalks scallions or green onions, chopped and divided*
  7. 2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce, or more to taste
  8. crushed red pepper, to taste (optional)
  9. sriracha sauce, to taste (optional)
  10. lime wedges (optional)
Instructions
  1. Once your noodles are cooked, toss with a little spray oil to prevent clumping and set aside.
  2. Heat a skillet to medium high heat and add the sesame oil.
  3. Once the pan is hot, add the mushrooms and sauté until the water is released.
  4. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until mushrooms are golden brown and onions are limp, stirring frequently to keep the garlic from burning.
  5. Reduce heat to medium and add the tamari or soy sauce.
  6. Once the sauce is heated through (you don't want it all to evaporate), add the noodles and tofu straight into the pan and toss to combine.
  7. The noodles will absorb the soy sauce. Serve hot with scallion, crushed red pepper, sriracha, and a squeeze of lime.
Notes
  1. * - Divide the onions into two piles, dark green tops and white to light green bottoms. Use the bottoms in the pan; use the tops for garnish. Pro tip: Slice at a diagonal for visual appeal.
beta
calories
76
fat
4g
protein
7g
carbs
6g
more
SPIRITPLATE http://spiritplate.com/

I‘ve been globetrotting recently, and boy does it feel good to be back home! I’ve missed my nest: my couch, my favorite coffee mug, my baby bird Ari sitting on my shoulder, and most of all my kitchen. 

Traveling just seems to throw off your groove – you’re just thrown here and there, willy-nilly, and are expected to keep up your usual habits on an unpredictable schedule. I, for one, couldn’t wait to get back into the kitchen and finally be able to control what I put in my belly! 

This Soba Noodle Salad is just what the doctor ordered: cold, fresh, chock full of herbs and healthy goodness.

If you’ve never had soba noodles, this is a great way to dive in and try ’em out. Soba is essentially a Japanese noodle made entirely from buckwheat, a gluten-free seed that’s rich in protein(8g/serving), fiber(18% DV), magnesium(21% DV), manganese (34% DV), copper (27% DV), and phosphorous(17% DV). Buckwheat is in no way related to wheat, it isn’t even a grain, but rather a fruit seed, and thus great for those with wheat or gluten sensitivities. You can find soba noodles at any local supermarket in the Asian foods section. 

The other rockstar in this dish is the black sesame seeds. Sesame is a nutritional powerhouse with a whopping 163% DV of copper, 35% calcium, 30% iron, and 23% each of Vitamin B1 and selenium. Black sesame is easily found in any health food store, or Asian/Indian supermarkets.

Refreshing Soba Salad | SPIRITPLATE

This dish is also Salt|Oil|Sugar-free, so combined with all it’s other benefits, it is simply great for cardiovascular health. The attraction for me though is that it’s fresh and flavorful – just the right sort of TLC I’ve been craving. 

Soba Noodle Salad
Serves 6
A refreshing and herbal soba noodle salad perfect for a hot summer day!
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
15 min
238 calories
48 g
0 g
2 g
8 g
0 g
181 g
521 g
12 g
0 g
2 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
181g
Servings
6
Amount Per Serving
Calories 238
Calories from Fat 19
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 2g
4%
Saturated Fat 0g
2%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 521mg
22%
Total Carbohydrates 48g
16%
Dietary Fiber 3g
13%
Sugars 12g
Protein 8g
Vitamin A
57%
Vitamin C
12%
Calcium
7%
Iron
11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
For the salad
  1. 1 9 oz. package soba noodles, cooked and chilled
  2. 1-2 carrots, thinly sliced
  3. 1-2 Chinese or Persian Cucumbers, thinly sliced
  4. handful shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
  5. 1/4 cup green onions, minced
  6. 3 tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
  7. 3 tbsp fresh thai basil, finely chopped
  8. 3 tbsp fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  9. 2 tbsp black sesame seeds
  10. 1/2 lime, sliced, for garnish
For the vinaigrette
  1. 3 tbsp rice vinegar
  2. 3 tbsp tamari, soy sauce, or liquid aminos
  3. 3 tbsp honey, agave, or maple syrup
  4. 1/2-1 tsp red or green chile, minced
  5. 1 large clove garlic, finely minced
Instructions
  1. Gather and prep salad ingredients.
  2. Toss together in a large bowl.
  3. In a small bowl or jar, whisk together vinaigrette ingredients.
  4. Pour vinaigrette over salad and toss.
  5. Garnish with a sprig of choice herb and squeeze of lime.
Notes
  1. This salad is so versatile. Adjust the spice to your liking by adding more or less chili, or subbing sriracha for an acidic kick.
  2. Don't have all the herbs? Use what you have - a combo of one or two would work just fine.
  3. Some fresh sliced avocado, or shredded red cabbage would be great additions.
Adapted from Chad Sarno
beta
calories
238
fat
2g
protein
8g
carbs
48g
more
Adapted from Chad Sarno
SPIRITPLATE http://spiritplate.com/