Category Archives: love your veggies

Chickpea Bruschetta Salad

My mom almost always makes bruschetta on the 4th of July. I know it’s not traditional American food but it’s usually about the time the basil is taking off in her garden and everyone in her family loves it! Speaking of basil I have a lot of it hanging around this week. My little pot is growing on the back deck and my CSA share gave me a giant produce bag full. Thankfully I’ve never been one to back down from a challenge, and if the challenge involves eating large quantities of basil well then I guess I’ll have to suffer through 😉

Since I also had a large quantity of tomatoes due to an impulse buy at the Farmers Market my first thought was bruschetta. I wanted something with a little more umph if I was going to be eating it for lunches all week and I figure I’ll be getting enough bruschetta on Friday!

Chickpea Bruschetta Salad

The chickpeas are loaded with fiber and protein to add a little staying power to all the fresh veggies and herbs, and who doesn’t like a little bit of cheese with the veg? Plus the whole meal comes together fast (minus cooking the chickpeas, but at least that’s hands off!).

Chickpea Bruschetta Salad

The BF dove right into a bowl of this and said I was officially in charge of making his lunches for the week 😉 If he’s extra nice I might share… If I don’t eat it all myself first!

Chickpea Bruschetta Salad

Serves: 4

Time: 15 minutes (plus 8 hours soaking and 30 minutes cooking chickpeas)

Ingredients

1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked and cooked (or 2 15oz cans rinsed and drained)

2 medium tomatoes, diced (about 2 cups)

2 stalks fennel, thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic OR 3-4 garlic scapes, minced

2 cups loosely packed basil leaves, torn or roughly chopped

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

2 TBSP apple cider vinegar

3 TBSP olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

If you’re cooking your own chickpeas make sure they are ready to go before you start! If you’re using canned put them in a strainer to give them a good rinse and let them drain.

Combine chickpeas, tomato, garlic/scapes, and fennel in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and apple cider vinegar and season with salt and pepper.

Stir in the basil and feta right before serving to preserve the fresh flavor and keep the cheese from getting soupy. Serve chilled.

Chickpea Bruschetta Salad 1

What’ something non-traditional you serve at your family parties? What do you do when you’re overrun by basil? 

Bringing this party food to Fiesta Friday over at the Novice Gardener.

Slices of Life #6

Good morning! It’s the start of a new week which calls for another Slice of Life, so let’s get on with the linking and listing, shall we?

Slices of Life

 

The Life

Slices of Life The Life

I finished my second week at my real job and finally finished all the training at my part time job. I’m definitely loving that my schedule will be a little more balanced this week almost as much as I’m loving the fact that I got my first “big girl” paycheck! I may have spent most of it on student loans but still... I got one!! I’m also finally starting to step out a bit and hopefully meet some new people. I went to an (awesome!) free meditation at a local yoga studio yesterday and I found a trivia team on MeetUp to join up with later in the week. Branching out on my own has never really been my thing and neither has having lots of plans with large groups of people… but I figure I should find something to do besides work!

great post I’d love to forward to some of my classmates who are already complaining about the interest rates on our student loans now that we have to pay the money back.

Why you shouldn’t take Facebook posts seriously  or maybe even think about leaving it for good.

Signs that you’re working at a job you love , my current jobs check quite a few of these even if the training schedule was a little crazy.

The Eats

Slices of Life The Eats

I’m still loving on my CSA. Share #2 included greens, zucchini, broccoli, garlic scapes, and a ton of basil. That didn’t stop me from swinging by the farmers market on my way to work one day and picking up a few green peppers and a bunch of tomatoes… at least I remembered the honey I went there for in the first place? BF and I also decided to sign up for a membership at Sam’s Club. I may not need it now while I’m swimming in produce but I can definitely see myself loving it once farm season is through. The recipes and foodie reads this week include:

The start to what looks like an exciting series of posts on eating clean. The BF may find it annoying everytime I point out the some of his “healthier” choices are low fat/low sugar/ low calorie due to additives that are best left out. Maybe if I throw the science at him from someone else it’ll stick 😉

Asiago Cheddar Zucchini Gratin (coincidence that I got zucchini in my CSA this week? I think not!)

A Farmers Omelette that the BF asked for ASAP

The perfect Mojito recipe which BF and I sampled on Saturday (good thing my mint plant is growing like … well like mint!) 

The Exercise

Slices of Life The Exercise

I’ve been taking it easy on my hip this week to make sure that when I start running again I’m able to do so without further incident. There’s been lots of hip strengthening exercises and general full  body workouts and a lot of yoga. There’s just enough room for my mat on the deck at our new place and I’ve been loving heading outside on weekend mornings (so I don’t wake the BF 🙂 ) All these gentle strengthening and stretching based exercises haven’t done much in terms of getting my sweat on, but they definitely make my body feel great.

Heart Opening Yoga, Dancing Warrior sequence, and Plank-a-thon have been by Youtube workouts of choice.

The whole workout looks a little much right now, but I love the stretches and the plyometric set!

What’s the best thing you read/ate/did this week? 

Vegetarian Lentil Tacos

My family loves Mexican food. This might seem strange considering we’re a mixture of Polish/Dutch/German/other european countries heritage but when I was living with my parents we ate Mexican food at least once a week. It may have driven my brother nuts, but I absolutely loved it.

I’ve been trying to eat more vegetarian meals for ethical and health reasons, but sometimes beans can get a little boring. I had a bag of lentils that have been sitting in my bin of “Sarah Food” forever and I figured why not try to cook and season them up similar to ground beef. Side note “why not” seems to be my new thing in the kitchen, as long as it works for me I’m going to go with it.  

Vegetarian Lentil Tacos- Slices of Sarah Pie 2

The result was a nice change up from beans, with a good level of spice and a meaty enough texture that even the BF said they were good. I may not be able to convince my little brother to try them, but a girl’s got to pick her battles 😉

Vegetarian Lentil Tacos

Makes: 4 servings

Time: 30-40 minutes

Ingredients

1 cup lentils, rinsed and cleaned

1 medium yellow onion diced

2 cloves of garlic minced

1 TBSP Olive oil (or other cooking oil)

1 TBSP Chili powder

1 TSP Cumin

1/2 TSP Red pepper flakes

1/2 TSP Cayenne pepper

salt to taste

2 -2 1/2 cups water

For Serving

12 corn tortillas (or flour if not GF)

Toppings: Sliced radish, crumbled queso fresco, shredded lettuce, whatever other veggies your heart desires. 

In a large skillet heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and saute until tender. Add in garlic and cook one minute (stirring constantly) until fragrant stir in spices and stir one minute longer. Stir in lentils and water and bring to a boil. Once boiling reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 25 minutes. If lentils are still a little tough at this time add in an additional 1/2 cup of water and simmer 5-10 minutes longer. At this point feel free to smush some of the lentils or leave them all whole, the texture is personal preference. Serve warm in corn tortillas with desired toppings.

Lentil Tacos- Slices of Sarah Pie

What’s your favorite taco topping?  Have you ever had vegetarian tacos?

This post is linked with  Gluten Free and DIY Tuesday from Allergy Free Alaska, The Novice Gardener’s Fiesta Friday, and Vegetarian Mamma’s Gluten Free Fridays.

WIAW: The Budget Bites Edition

So I’ve talked a bit on here recently on how I’ve been setting a budget for the year but there is a big difference between talking a good game and actually being able to stick to it. Which is why I decided to share one of the more delicious parts of my budget a little more visually.

Budget Bites

I’ve allotted myself $100 per month for food/drinks (not including going out) with the goal of eating mostly vegetarian and possibly visiting farmers markets to supplement my CSA share. I eased into it for the month of June, inheriting food from my aunt and my parents while I was housesitting, but I managed to stay just under budget ($98.73 to be exact) which is pretty good considering I had to start my spice collection from scratch! That figure includes everything I ate this month, including the cost of my first 2 CSA shares. Not included are foods I already had on hand or foods that were given to me by well meaning family members 🙂

Budget Bites

This month featured lots of salads courtesy of my CSA greens, quick and easy stir-fry, plenty of variations on flatbread pizza, and just a few waffles. It also marked my foray into vegetarian eating with my own veggie burger recipe and a surprisingly good dairy free ice cream. There was also plenty of wine, kombucha, cheese, and of course granola. All my meals were made with fresh whole foods (nothing processed or packaged aside from my almond milk and peanut butter), came together quickly, and made enough for me to eat for days. I’d say it’s a pretty good start and I’m looking forward to continuing the challenge next month.

Slices of Life- sharing a room

I’m hoping to cut the spending down even more in July now that my “pantry” is established… any extra money in the budget heads straight towards student loan payments!

What’s your favorite budget friendly meal? Any good resources for re-using leftovers?

This post is linked with Jenn’s What I Ate Wednesday at Peas and Crayons and Ruth’s Thrifty Thursday at Living Well Spending Less.

Slices of Life #4

I start my grown up job today (and I may be more than just a little excited)!! I’m incredibly blessed that all my licensure worked itself out in time and I can start my first day of summer school on a good foot. I also get to meet my new ABA client at job number two this evening (because working just one job clearly isn’t enough for me). But while I’m off doing that I figured I’d leave you with a little recap of the past week, with another round of Slices of Life.

Slices of Life

 The Eats

Slices of Life- the eats

Lots of smoothies, stir-fry, and veggie burgers for me. I actually spent the last two weeks eating fully vegetarian until I went home for Fathers Day and we made my dad barbecue chicken…a girls gotta have some balance, right? I also found…

A Gluten Free Bread that looks like real bread- I can’t wait to try this recipe from The Non-Dairy Queen (Thanks to Lindsay for sharing the recipe).

A delicious Green Smoothie recipe and a fun contest from The Gluten Free Treadmill.

The Exercise

Slices of Life- the exercise

I already mentioned the last week was filled with puppy love, which included lots of walks. But it also included two 4-mile runs and my first time running on something besides the sidewalk. My legs definitely felt like jelly going through the grass and up the smallest of hills, but the view of the lake by my new place was totally worth it! Speaking of new places…

The Life

Slices of Life- sharing a room

I’m officially, officially all moved in with the BF (and his mom) now. No take backs 😉 He may have commandeered majority of the dresser drawers and closet space, but I think we managed to blend our stuff together pretty well. I particularly love my little “kitchen” which is basically our mini fridge filled with my CSA share and a shelf for all the rest of my food supplies (thankfully we were able to make room for my giant blender in the actual kitchen!).

Slices of Life- the life

As for the rest of the life I got my first CSA share of the season and I’m definitely looking forward to the next 8! This one was loaded with greens including a new to me veggie kohlrabi, Meghan assures me it’s tasty just about any way you cook it though I haven’t tried it out yet. I also went back down to visit my parents (which seems weird since I haven’t been gone that long) but we had to do a little something for Fathers Day. I know everyone thinks they have the best dad ever but unless you’re my long lost sibling I hate to tell you you’re wrong. My dad is an amazing man who works so hard to care for our family and I was glad to go enjoy another family dinner (love you dad!). As far as links go this week I found:

A dose of reality from Katherine the Peanut Butter Lover.

A thought provoking post from Olive to Run- still don’t know if I have good answers but I love her for asking the questions .

A hilariously awesome book recommendation (and a serious case for berry envy) from Jenn at Peas and Crayons

Whats the best link you found in the last week? Anyone else out there who works multiple jobs? 

Black Bean Burgers

I may be way behind on this food trend, but Veggie Burgers are amazing! We made chickpea based ones a few times at my house, and I was totally excited to try out this triple bean version from Peas and Crayons since pretty much everything I make from Jenn is amazing.

Black Bean Burgers- Slices of Sarah Pie

That being said when I sat down to make some for myself last week I didn’t have like half the ingredients… story of my life. The result was a burger very loosely based on Jenn’s which taught me that veggie burger recipes are surprisingly adaptable.  And for someone who is really bad at fooling a recipe that’s a very good thing.

Black Bean Burgers 3

These are surprisingly burger like in texture and stayed surprisingly juicy once cooked up. I wasn’t able to convince BF to try one, though he admitted they smelled delicious, but the puppy was all over me trying to get a bite 🙂

Black Bean Burgers- Slices of Sarah Pie

Black Bean Burgers- adapted from Peas and Crayons 

Makes: 8-10 burgers depending on size

Time: 30 minutes (plus 30+ minutes of chill time)

30 oz (2 cans) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 flax eggs (1 TBSP flax + 3 TBSP water)
2 1/2 cups of rolled oats (GF if needed)
3 TBSP olive oil, plus more for cooking
salt, pepper, and chili flakes to taste

Combine flax meal and water in a small bowl and allow to sit for 5 minutes. In a blender/food processor combine black beans, chopped pepper and onion, and oats. Pulse 3-4 times just to break everything down together. Pour mixture into a large bowl and add in flax eggs and 3 TBSP of olive oil. Use your hands (this part gets messy) to combine wet and dry ingredients and then form into patties. You want to pack the patties together pretty tight to make sure they hold together during cooking.

Allow the patties to rest in the fridge for 20-30 minutes before cooking so they firm up. To cook heat a small amount of oil in a skillet and fry  burgers for 3-5 minutes on each side until lightly browned. Cooked burgers keep in the fridge for about a week and work best if reheated in a skillet. You can freeze the uncooked patties to cook at a later time, just give them a chance to thaw out first.

 

Linking up with Gluten Free Friday at Vegetarian Mamma and Fiesta Friday at The Novice Gardener . Be sure to stop by the parties to check out other fresh and healthy eats!

Mediterranean Grilled Pizza

I have a thing for hummus. A big thing. We’re talking I can’t buy a package at the store and not eat it all in a day kind of thing. What can I say whether it’s on veggies, chips, spoons, or fingers I just can’t stop. You know what else hummus is good on? Pizza. 

Mediterranean Grilled Pizza- A quick and easy gluten free pizza on the grill

 

What could be better than a chewy, gluten free, flatbread crust cooked fresh on the grill. Said crust slathered in hummus and covered with veggies sounds like a good option to me. This has all the flavors of a greek salad, piled high on a bed of garlicky hummus, and quickly grilled for summertime perfection.

Gluten Free Mediterranean Pizza- a quick and easy gluten free grilled pizza with all the flavors of summer

 

To make a pizza crust I typically use King Arthur or Namaste pizza crust mixes, according to package directions. I like to make enough for 4 thin, 6-inch crusts, pre-bake them for half the recommended time, and then freeze the ones I’m not using for a quick dinner at a late time (I’ve kept them in a freezer bag for up to a month). They can go straight from the freezer to the oven of the grill.

 

Mediterranean Grilled Pizza

 

Mediterranean Grilled Pizza 

Makes 2, 6-inch pizzas

Time: 15 minutes

Recipe labels

Ingredients 

2 Gluten Free Pizza crusts (a pita or a naan flatbread would work well too)

1/2 cup hummus (I’ve been loving this one from Annie’s Eats lately)

1 small tomato, diced

1/2 cucumber, diced

1/4 red onion thinly sliced or diced

4-6 kalamata olives, sliced

2 oz Feta Cheese, crumbled

Preheat your grill to medium heat, and make sure your racks are clean! Place crusts on grill for two minutes on one side. Remove from heat and spread hummus evenly over the grilled side of each crust. Return to grill for another two minutes to cook other side. When crust is brown and crispy around the edges remove from heat and top evenly with veggies and crumbled cheese. Serve immediately.

The nice thing about pizza is it is so easy to customize. I don’t like olives or onions, so I didn’t put any on mine (even if they’re traditional in Greek salad). Feel free to throw on whatever veggies/cheese you like, it’s really all about the grilled crust and the melty hummus anyways 😉

Do you like grilled pizza? What’s your favorite summer pizza topping?

Linking up with Gluten Free Friday at Vegetarian Mamma and Fiesta Friday at The Novice Gardener  because who doesn’t love pizza to get the weekend started?!