All tagged Basil

Grilled Romaine & Corn Salad with Basil Aioli Dressing (Vegan, GF)

If you’re bored with the same meals and are looking for the simplest and quickest way to switch it up, then you’re going to love this Grilled Romaine and Corn Salad with Basil Aioli Dressing.  The dressing and salad come together in 15 minutes flat! The Basil Aioli Dressing is creamy, dreamy and just happens to be super healthy and vegan (but don’t tell your spouse and children that...)  Whip up this showstopper salad in both winter for some needed brightness and color, and in summer to impress your BBQ party guests. 

Serves: 2-4 (2 meals, 4 sides)

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 5 minutes

What (your ingredients):

Basil Aioli Dressing:

1 cup raw cashew halves

½ cup boiling water

¼ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons lemon juice (1 lemon)

1 garlic clove

1 20-gram package basil

For the Salad:

½ tablespoon olive oil

1 head romaine, rinsed and dried

½ sweet corn, frozen

How (your directions):

To make the Basil Aioli Dressing, start by placing cashews in a small bowl and covering them with ½ cup boiling water.  Let stand 5 minutes.

While cashews are soaking, heat grill pan over medium heat.  Slice the head of romaine in half.  Tip: do not remove the tough bottom that holds romaine head together.

Once heated, add the olive oil to the grill pan.  Place each romaine half, cut side down, onto grill pan.  Next to the romaine, add the frozen corn.  Cook romaine halves and corn 3-4 minutes.

While grilling, add cashews and their soaking water, salt, lemon juice, garlic clove, and basil to a blender. 

Blend until smooth.

Plate by placing grilled romaine halves onto a large serving platter, then evenly distribute grilled corn on top.  Drizzle liberally with the Basil Aioli Dressing.

Why (the science):  Creamy dressings from the store are loaded with processed ingredients, preservatives, and unhealthy fats.  This Basil Aioli Dressing is super nutritious, between the heart-healthy and protein-filled cashews and the anticarcinogenic garlic.  This creamy dressing is something to feel good about 😊

Caprese Breakfast Porridge

Serves: 1

Prep time: 2 minutes (30 minutes soaking cashews)

Cooking time: 2 minutes

What (your ingredients):

3 tablespoons malt-o-meal

Pinch each of salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon shredded mozzarella cheese

1 cup water

8 cherry tomatoes

½ small avocado or ¼ large avocado, diced

4-6 basil leaves

How (your directions):

Add malt-o-meal, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, mozzarella cheese, and water into bowl. 

Microwave on high for 2 minutes.

Add cherry tomatoes, diced avocado, and basil leaves.

Enjoy hot!

Why (the science):  Tomatoes are 95% water and are contain potassium, an electrolyte which helps lower blood pressure.

 

 

Spring Rolls with a Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce

Spring rolls are the perfect grab-and-go lunch for a busy work or school day.  You can assemble them the night before, place them in an airtight container with a separate container for the dipping sauce, and take them with you the next day- no heating required!  While spring rolls can be $7-9 from a grocery store counter, you can make these for nickels and pennies 😊

Serving Size: 6 Spring Rolls (Serves 2-3)

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 3 minutes

What (your ingredients):

45 grams Instant Vermicelli Rice noodles

6 sheets Rice Paper

1 cup of our favorite sliced veggies! Carrots, Radish, Cucumber, Bell Pepper, Cabbage, etc.

1 Avocado, thinly sliced

Mint or Basil leaves

2 tablespoons peanut butter (I use Justin’s Honey Peanut Butter for added sweetness.  Hint: Add one teaspoon of honey or maple syrup to dipping sauce if using a plain peanut butter)

1 teaspoon sriracha

1 teaspoon soy sauce

How (your directions):

Spring Rolls:

Soak rice noodles in boiling water for 3 minutes, then rinse with cold water.  Drain and set aside on paper towel.

Fill a large bowl with warm water.

When ready to assemble, soak one rice paper sheet in warm water for 20 seconds until pliable then lay flat on work surface.

Fill with favorite sliced veggies, a few rice noodles, 2-3 thin slices of avocado, and 2-3 mint or basil leaves.

Roll spring roll like a burrito, then repeat with remaining 5 rice sheets.

Dipping Sauce:

Combine 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, 1 teaspoon sriracha, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, and 2-3 tablespoons of water. 

Whisk until smooth.  Thin with extra water if desired.

Why (the science):  Spring rolls with the spicy peanut dipping sauce create a balanced meal of fiber-rich and water-rich vegetables, carbohydrates from the rice noodles and rice paper, and healthy fats from avocado and peanut butter.  Not to mention, they are incredibly refreshing on a warm Spring day!

Eggplant and Mushroom Bolognese

This bolognese recipe is my new favorite pasta creation, because it really has the flavor and texture of a classic Italian meat sauce.  Mushrooms and eggplant are often used to replace meat, so when they are diced finely and sautéed with Italian seasoning, the result is a phenomenal sauce that you’ll love more than the meat version!  Don’t leave out the tomato paste, as it creates a richness in flavor that can’t be missed!

Serving Size: 4 portions

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

What (your ingredients):

1 tablespoon olive oil

½ large yellow onion, finely diced

Dash of salt

1 eggplant

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 8.oz package baby bella mushrooms

½ teaspoon Italian seasoning

Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

Cracked black pepper to taste

1 jar favorite tomato sauce

4 oz. spaghetti

How (your directions):

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt generously (pasta water should taste like the saltiness of the ocean).

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large fry pan over medium heat and sauté onions with a pinch of salt until slightly translucent, about 5 minutes.

Cut eggplant into a small dice and add to onions.  Push onions and eggplant to one side of the fry pan.  Add the tomato paste directly to the heat and allow to cook for one minute.  Then, stir all ingredients together and continue to sauté.

Add spaghetti to boiling, salted water and cook to al dente or 1 minute shorter than package instructions (about 7 minutes).

Finely dice the mushrooms and add to vegetable mixture.  Add Italian seasoning, pepper, and red pepper flakes if using.

When mushrooms have browned, add jar of your favorite tomato sauce and reduce heat to low.

Add 1 ladle of pasta water to sauce before draining water (the starch of pasta water thickens the sauce).

Serve the eggplant and mushroom Bolognese over spaghetti with a drizzle of olive oil and a few basil leaves.

Bon appétit!

Why (the science):  Did you know that eggplant can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol!?

Summer Vegetable Curry

Don’t be intimidated by the longer list of ingredients for this recipe-chances are, you have many of the spices in your cabinet!  It’s really as simple as sautéing fresh in-season summer veggies, adding your favorite broth and silky coconut milk, and finishing with fragrant summer herbs.  Be sure to include the refreshing mint and basil upon serving, as they brighten and balance the flavors of the curry!  Serves