Red Bean Kofta with Spicy Tomato Dipping Sauce

Nutritional Spotlight: Cumin Passing on meat and dairy does not mean forgoing your body’s need for iron and calcium. The contrary. While it has become an American belief that iron comes from red meat and calcium comes from dairy, the truth is that most people are better able to digest and absorb the nutrients from iron and calcium when consuming plant-based foods like dark leafy greens, beans, and seeds. The cumin seed is a spice often praised for its taste but rarely acknowledged for its nutritional benefits, even though just one tablespoon contains over 46% (yes, nearly half!) of your daily need for iron and 12% of your daily need for calcium. Feeling ready to cook and replenish your body? Go grab some cumin – ground or whole seeds – from the bulk section and store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. Use often!

Garden Veggie Bisque

The Tuscan White Beans provide a smooth, creamy texture in addition to creating layered flavors that are nutrient dense, especially for those on a plant-based or vegan diet. Legumes are full of plant-strong protein!

Gia Bombias Momma Mia Minestrone

45 Minutes Prep
40 Minutes Cooking
8-10 Servings

Gluten-Free & Vegan Mushroom Stroganoff

Source for recipe:  https://simplygluten-free.com

Growing up in a small Midwestern town, I really didn’t know what stroganoff was. It sounded fancy and exotic but I never had a chance to have it and then I started learning more about nutrition and realized that traditional stroganoff dishes are full of fat and gluten. I really didn’t give it another thought until I came across this recipe on this website. I’d like to give it a few more tweaks and serve it over some fresh gluten free pasta but overall, it IS a fancy and exotic dish! I’m not crazy about the baby onions left whole…I think I would try them cut into quarters next time.

Nutrition “factoids”:

One major difference between these two mushroom types is nutritional value. While Portobello mushrooms are high in iron, potassium and vitamin D, no one ranks them as highly as the Shiitake variety for health.

Cultures around the world prize Shiitake mushrooms for their health benefit. Advocates of Shiitake mushrooms say ingesting these mushrooms prevents heart disease by lowering bad cholesterol levels. Further, animal tests have shown that a compound in the Shiitake called lentinin has anti-tumor and immune system-boosting benefits. In human studies, lentinin was beneficial in prolonging life of patients with stomach and colon cancers. Wow! Who knew? Here’s a link to other health benefits of mushrooms: https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/vegetable/health-benefits-of-mushroom.html

Enjoy!

The Best Darn Lasagna Ever (Vegan & Gluten Free)

This has become one of our family’s favorite dishes! Someone gave me a stained, torn copy of the recipe. I later discovered it on www.geniuskitchen.com I love making it before the holidays because it feeds a hungry house with something very different than we will be having for the holiday! It stores well and provides a hearty lunch, dinner or snack for the whole brood. I’ve also used the filling in my Eggplant “Cannelloni. The filling itself also freezes well.

I can’t say that EVERY ingredient is a health food but most of them are and using gluten free noodles and faux cheese and meat make it a much healthier option that traditional meat and cheese lasagna. There are many faux cheeses and meats on the market that are actually quite nutritious: made from nuts and plants. These are the brands that I choose.

Spinach, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, garlic and tofu are superfoods that I love getting into my diet as often as possible and putting them into a dish as delicious as this lasagna makes it a no brainer! I won’t lie, this is a time-consuming dish to make, but so worth it. The biggest tip I can give is to make the filling one day and assemble it the next. I hope you love it as much as we do!

Tuscan White Bean Soup

Simple hearty ingredients make this the perfect soup to warm the soul! Make Tuscan White Bean Soup easily with Better Beans!

Serving Size:

4 medium bowls of soup

Every single ingredient in this recipe is good for you and together, it’s delicious! Super easy! This has become one of my “go to” recipes.

Silky Smooth Pure Chocolate Pudding

I’ve tasted lots of faux puddings over the years…especially ones with avocados…they have all been TERRIBLE! This one is NOT!! So delicious! Possibly my favorite recipe of all my Cook With Joy episodes. I definitely recommend the “extras” coconut whipped cream, almonds and raspberry jam…so good. Let’s talk about the health benefits: Avocados, bananas, and cacao powder…3 super foods for a “super dessert”! You gotta try this!!!!

California Barley Bowl w/ a Lemon Ne Chevre Sauce

Great idea…so many great health benefits (avocado, mung bean sprouts, almonds, etc) but probably the worst recipe of Season 2. #1 Didn’t taste great, #2 Barley is NOT Gluten free! Yikes! How could I not know this. HOWEVER! You could make this with any gluten free grain AND, with some tweaks, I think it could actually taste good! I’d love to hear what you do with this recipe!

Smoky Squash Gnocchi With Pesto

Okay, so I won’t lie…this was a super complicated recipe but SO worth it! Love, love, love it! Squash, pumpkin seeds, sage, basil, garlic and lemon are all super foods…how exciting to have them in one delicious dish…Wow! This dish is wonderful…you might want to double it and freeze some of the gnocchi for a second meal. I do like it with pesto…try it both ways and share your results!

Five Layer Dip

This is what Better Beans says: “You eat plant-based all week long then it comes book club, or game day or that fancy party you have been planning for for months and you feel compelled to serve meat or cheese. Well, I’m hear to tell you this appetizer will tingle the taste buds of ever your most carnivorous friend! 😉  Stay true to you”

This is a really easy dish that is a crowd pleaser and also so good for us! A couple of notes from trying:

I couldn’t find the cute little cups they used so I tried making them in the plastic slanted cups we use for wine at big parties…not as cute. The next time I made them, I used a big, clear, glass dish and it worked but I’d really like to find the cups they used…

I prepped the dish ahead of time and added the heated cheeze right before I served the dish…big hit! Every layer of this dish is full of health benefits…such an improvement over a traditional dip like this with cheese, sour cream, etc. Here’s what others say about using Heidi Ho instead of dairy cheese:

“This product filled a “gaping hole” in the vegan/vegetarian/lactose challenged products aisle. Most non-dairy cheeses were made with starch, fat, added flavors and other unpronounceable things. This is an organic, natural cheeze with less fat and calories than real cheese.” Yay!