Cranberry Sauce

One of my favorite dishes at Thanksgiving is the cranberry sauce! I always loved the canned version but one year I decided to try making it myself and I’ve used this recipe every year since then.

Here is the recipe:

Cranberry Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 24 oz. cranberries, rinsed
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 1.5-2 cups sugar

Directions:

  1. In medium saucepan, dissolve the sugar in the orange juice on medium heat.
  1. Add the cranberries and cook on medium heat, until cranberries begin to pop.
  1. Remove from heat and pour into a large bowl. Refrigerate. It will thicken as it cools.

Note: If you are cooking for a smaller group, 12 ounces of cranberries and 1 cup each of sugar and orange juice should make the perfect amount.

Zucchini Boats

My family has been eating a lot of bread lately, as a side with almost every meal. We have also had too many interruptions to our running routine, between weather and a bad cold that took the whole family out for days. We decided to look for some different healthy options for side dishes to help us get back in shape before the holidays. We had these zucchini boats with split pea soup and fruit. My husband and I both loved these, and I am not usually a fan of zucchini! Bread crumbs are not the same as bread, right?

Here is the recipe:

Zucchini Boats

Ingredients:

  • 5 medium zucchini
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 3/4 cup vegan bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  1. Wash the zucchini, remove the stem, and cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon.
  1. Brush with olive oil and place zucchini cut side down on a baking sheet with parchment paper. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
  1. Bake 10 minutes.
  1. While zucchini is baking, mix the olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, bread crumbs, and nutritional yeast in a small bowl.
  1. Remove zucchini from the oven and turn over. Fill each with the bread crumb mixture, about one heaping tablespoon per zucchini half.
  1. Return to oven for 8-10 minutes, until bread crumbs are brown and crisp.
  1. Serve right away or allow them to cool to room temperature.

Pressure Cooker Split Pea Soup

I have been loving my Instant Pot lately. It’s so easy to throw the ingredients in, close the lid, and walk away instead of watching for water to boil or constantly stirring a pot, especially since the kitchen gets so hot with the stove on! This soup only requires a few ingredients and very little prep. We had French rolls with it tonight and they were perfect with this soup. The whole family loved it! Feel free to add extra veggies to this recipe. Carrots are a great choice.

Here is the recipe:

Pressure Cooker Split Pea Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1/4 white onion, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 5 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 1 lb. dried split peas

Directions:

  1. Pour the peas into a colander. Sort through them and pick out any debris. Rinse and drain.
  1. Set the pressure cooker to sauté and add the oil. When it is heated, add the onion, bell pepper, and celery. Cook until they soften.
  1. Add the water or broth, then stir in the split peas.
  1. Close the lid and set to sealing. Cancel the sauté mode and set the pressure cooker to pressure cook on high for 15 minutes.
  1. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 10-15 minutes before releasing the remaining pressure.
  1. Stir and enjoy!

Lentil Tacos in the Pressure Cooker

My husband requested tacos for dinner this week. I had seen a lot of recipes for lentil taco “meat” while browsing vegan recipes but I had never tried one before. He told me that the tacos were his idea but the filling decision was up to me, so I decided to go for it. I used a whole bag of dried lentils and we ended up having enough for the two of us and our toddler to have this for dinner 3 nights in a row! The first night my husband had 6 tacos, so I think they were a hit!

Here is the recipe:

Lentil Tacos in the Pressure Cooker

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1/4 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb. dried lentils
  • 3/4 cup salsa
  • 6 cups water
  • Corn or flour tortillas
  • Optional toppings: sautéed veggies (we used corn, butternut squash, and white mushrooms), avocado, guacamole, more salsa or diced tomatoes, lettuce, vegan cheese and/or sour cream

Directions:

  1. Set the Instant Pot or pressure cooker to sauté mode. Add the olive oil and when it is heated, sauté the onion and garlic until the onion is translucent.
  1. Turn off the pressure cooker. Stir in the lentils, salsa, and water or broth.
  1. Close the lid and turn the vent to sealing. Use the manual pressure cooker mode and set the timer for 15 minutes. If you are using sautéed veggies as a topping, you may want to cook them now while the lentils are cooking.
  1. When the 15 minutes is over, place a towel over the vent and turn to “venting” for a quick release of the pressure.
  1. When all of the pressure is released, open the lid and stir. If there is still some liquid, the lentils will absorb it.
  1. Place the lentil mixture in a tortilla of your choice, add toppings, and enjoy!

Pressure Cooker Vegetable Soup

I love my pressure cooker! I can use one pot to cook a whole meal and just close the lid, lock it, and go play with my son until dinner is ready. I don’t have to stir anything or watch for water to boil.

My husband loves soup and he has been working hard so I decided to make him a big pot of vegetable soup this week. I used mushrooms, white beans, peas, carrots, and chickpeas, but you can change the ingredients as much as you want. I also used garlic-flavored vegetable broth. If you use regular broth, you may want to add garlic to the recipe.

Here is the recipe:

Pressure Cooker Vegetable Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 2-3 TBSP olive oil
  • 12oz white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 can (15oz) white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15oz) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (14oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 bag frozen peas and diced carrots
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning

Directions:

  1. Add olive oil, onion, peppers, and celery to the pressure cooker. Set to sauté. Sauté until the onion is translucent.
  1. Add mushrooms and sauté until they are softened.
  1. Add white beans, chickpeas, tomatoes, peas, and carrots. Stir in broth and seasoning.
  1. Press cancel on the pressure cooker and place the lid on the cooker. Set the valve to sealing.
  1. Set the pressure cooker to cook for 5 minutes, using the manual or pressure cook setting. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 15 minutes, then vent to release the remaining pressure.

White Lasagna

We have been traveling the past few weeks, so when we have had a few days at home, I’ve been trying to make simple but healthy meals for my family, such as beans and rice or pasta with veggies. We are finally getting to stay home for a while now so it was time to find a new recipe! We’ve had a box of pre-cooked lasagna noodles in the pantry for a few months, and it inspired me to try a new lasagna recipe. My husband tends to have reflux after acidic foods like tomato sauce, so this white sauce was a welcome change. There are so many ways to use cauliflower!

Here is the recipe:

White Lasagna

Ingredients:

  • 24oz frozen cauliflower florets
  • 3 TBSP olive oil or other cooking oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 12oz sliced white mushrooms
  • 1 can sweet peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 box pre-cooked lasagna noodles

Vegan mozzarella shreds (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Heat 1 TBSP olive oil in pan. Add onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook another 2-3 minutes.
  3. While onion and garlic are cooking, steam cauliflower. I used 2 bags of frozen, steam-in-bag cauliflower. I steamed it in the microwave and used the first and half of the second bag.
  4. When cauliflower is done, place it in a blender. Add half of the onion and garlic mixture. Add water in 1/4 cup increments and blend until the cauliflower reaches the desired consistency. Add salt and pepper and blend again.
  5. Add the remaining oil and sauté the mushrooms with the leftover onion and garlic. Cook until the mushrooms soften.
  6. Add peas and white beans and stir frequently until heated through. Add the Italian seasoning and stir.
  7. Coat the bottom of a 9×9 baking dish with the cauliflower sauce. Add a layer of noodles, then mushroom mixture, and more sauce.
  8. Repeat process with a layer of noodles, more mushrooms, and more sauce.
  9. Add a layer of noodles and cover with the remaining cauliflower sauce.
  10. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. If using mozzarella, sprinkle on top and continue to bake uncovered for 5-10 minutes. (Note: We had leftover veggies and noodles, so I made a second 9×9 dish using tomato sauce. If I had used more of the cauliflower to make more sauce I could have had one large baking dish, but I ran out of space in the blender.)

Enchilada Lasagna

My husband and I have been trying to get back to running consistently to train for races in the fall. Getting our distance back up definitely makes us crave protein and healthy carbs. This is a perfect meal for refueling after a tough workout!

I used two 8×8 pans to make this. Even though cooking is fun, I love to have leftovers to take the pressure off of coming up with something to make the next day! This recipe will give you 6-8 meals. We had leftovers of the black bean mixture too, even after the two pans were filled. It would go perfectly with rice or quinoa for lunch.

Here’s the recipe:

Enchilada Lasagna

Ingredients:

  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12oz sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 white onion, sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 bag frozen yellow corn
  • 1 can Rotel tomatoes and chilies, drained
  • 2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp fajita seasoning
  • 2 cans refried beans, drained
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 2 cans enchilada sauce
  • 1 small can sliced black olives
  • 18 small corn tortillas

Optional toppings: avocado, vegan cheese, vegan sour cream

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Sauté the garlic and mushrooms in the olive oil until the mushrooms soften. Add the onion and peppers and sauté until softened and onion is translucent.
  3. Add the corn and stir often until the corn is cooked, about 5 minutes. Add the black beans and Rotel.
  4. Stir in fajita seasoning and chili powder.
  5. Mix the refried beans with the salsa in a medium bowl.
  6. Spray two 8×8 pans with cooking spray or coat with olive oil. Cover the bottom with a layer of tortillas.
  7. Add refried bean mixture over tortillas. Top with the black bean mixture. Add another layer of tortillas, refried beans, and black bean mixture.
  8. Add a third layer of tortillas on top. Pour enchilada sauce over the tortillas and top with olives.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes.