hidden veggie pasta sauce.

this dish is a staple at my house.  perfect for picky eaters, or anyone who loves food, really.  this sauce is versatile and can be different every time.  one of the main reasons i love this sauce so much is because i can throw in all the veggies that are on the verge of going bad in my fridge, and it becomes the base for several tasty meals.

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in this case i used what i had recently bought at the farmer’s market: heirloom eggplants and round(!) zucchinis.  i had some tomatoes, chives and basil on hand as well.  

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hidden veggies pasta sauce.
makes about 6 cups.

ingredients.
3 cups of whatever veggies you have on hand (broccoli, zucchini, eggplant, kale, collards, spinach, green beans, carrots, celery - you name it!), diced
1/2 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic
4 cups diced tomatoes or tomato sauce
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1 tbsp italian seasoning
black pepper and salt to taste 

method.
over medium-high heat, saute onions and garlic until browned and fragrant.  (if the onions are sticking, just add a few tablespoons of water or vegetable broth to help move them around.)  add your veggies (save leafy greens until later) and cook until slightly browned.  add tomatoes/tomato sauce and italian seasoning and cover.  lower heat to medium, and simmer for about 20 min, or until veggies are semi-soft.  add leafy greens (if you have any) and fresh basil.  cook for another couple of minutes.  then, using a hand-held/immersion blender, puree sauce until relatively smooth.  you can also transfer sauce carefully to a blender and blend until smooth.  season with black pepper and salt.  enjoy over your favorite whole grain pasta!  mine is tinkyada’s brown rice pasta.  i love to add chili pepper flakes for some spice, and nutritional yeast instead of parmesan cheese.  

 ©2013 amanda corissa  

beets for brunch.

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this amazingly simple combination of foods has me excited!  

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partly because it was so simple to put together, and partly because it’s so delicious.  it doesn’t hurt that it also happens to be so good for you healthy.  

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easter brunch was had.  while i’m a huge fan of hollandaise sauce + runny poached eggs, we opted for a lighter, healthier menu this year.  

super light, yet tasty, it felt good to eat such a clean meal.  we both had two helpings and i have to say, i’m kind of hungry at the prospect of eating it again.

beets for brunch.
serves 4

ingredients.
2 large beets (i used chioggia beets aka candy cane beets), skinned if necessary and cut into chunks
2 cups mixed wild, black and basmati rice, cooked
1 cup watercress or arugula, chopped
1 cup “nut tuna” - see previous post for additional recipe
1/2 lemon, sliced into quarters

method.
boil or steam beets until tender, drain.  serve beets over rice and top with watercress and nut tuna.  squeeze some lemon over each dish before enjoying.  i really recommend trying watercress in this dish if you can get it.  watercress is highly nutritious - comparable to kale, collard and mustard greens.  i am pretty sensitive to the flavor (i cannot eat it by itself), but in this dish, its flavor added a refreshing bite to the sweetness of the beets.  if you can’t find it, use arugula, which will provide a similar bite.  

unfortunately, i thought about this after, but next time i will add some diced avocado to the mix. YUM.

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 ©2013 amanda corissa  

nut-tuna / not-tuna.

i have a confession.

i’m writing this post to avoid folding my laundry.

a huge pile of unfolded clothes is sitting right next to me on the couch, waiting for my attention. i only brought out my laptop to listen to music or maybe even watch a show while i fold.  cheers for procrastination! 

this recipe is SUPER easy and so delicious.  variations of all kinds are out there, but i love how simple, easy and tasty this one is.  my favorite way to eat this nut tuna is to use it as a filling for collard wraps - i add all sorts of veggies, baby greens, sprouts and avocado and roll them up into deliciousness!  so yum. i hope you enjoy.

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nut tuna.
serves 2 - 4

ingredients.
1 cup almonds
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1/2 cup fresh dill
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 - 1/2 cup water
1 tsp kelp granules
sea salt

method.
in a food processor, add almonds and pulse about 10 times, or until almonds are coarsely ground.  add onions, dill, lemon juice and water and pulse for another 30 seconds, scraping down the sides as necessary.  add kelp and salt to taste.  serve as a dressing or dip, or use as filling for sandwiches or wraps!

stay tuned for another way to use this delicious combo in my next post.

©2013 amanda corissa  

vegan pancakes + AMAZINGLY SIMPLE cherry compote.

just in time for valentine’s day!  i’ve got the perfect breakfast for you to make for your sweetheart (even if your sweetheart happens to be yourself)!  

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my friend and i ran our first 5K yesterday woohooo!  we were super proud of ourselves in general but also because we ran it 3 weeks early (according to the couch to 5K program we’re doing).  

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i thought a nice breakfast was to be had after such an accomplishment.  half an hour later, these beauties joined us at the table and were gone in no time.  yum!

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they’re SUPER easy to make and don’t have any added oil or animal products.  and, since i just made them on a whim, the recipe i’m sharing below is what i’ll do for next time.  leave some comments if you happen to make them and let me know how they were! :) 

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super easy vegan pancakes.
these are especially perfect for when you’ve got a couple spotty bananas laying around!
makes 16 mini pancakes

ingredients
3 cups frozen cherries
1/2 cup date sugar (granulated dates) or 1 cup dried dates, pitted and soaked overnight
1 lemon, juiced 
1/2 - 1 cup water 

2 ripe bananas
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
2 tablespoons nut butter (we used peanut butter)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup unsweetened alternative milk

1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup corn meal
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

method
over medium-high heat, combine cherries, dates and lemon juice in a small pot.  cook for about 20 minutes, adding water if and when necessary.  end result should be soft, whole cherries in a thick syrup.  delish!

while that is cooking, in a blender or food processor, blend together bananas, apple sauce, nut butter, vanilla and milk until smooth.  set aside.  in a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients and mix well.  pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix well.  

i encourage you to add the cherry compote to this mixture if you want!  especially if you want a red swirl/hue!

make pancakes with or without spray oil.  i added whole cherries to some, left some plain and added cacao nibs to others.  serve with warm cherry compote and enjoy! :)

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©2013 amanda corissa  

raw: stuffed zucchini blossoms.


this past weekend i was intent on visiting farmers markets in search of some freshly picked organic produce.  i was in for a treat!  two markets and $150 later, my kitchen counter and fridge were filled with four different kinds of melons, kiwi berries, bags full of kale and mustard greens, and a variety of summer squash that were just picked the night before (+more!).  i also scored some beautiful zucchini blossoms!

zucchini blossoms are a delicacy, usually stuffed with cheese and fried, which renders a far different flavor than their light sweetness when eaten fresh and raw.  so instead of frying them, i kept them raw and stuffed them with a peppery pesto cream that still felt decadent, yet remained light and refreshing.  enjoy.

raw: stuffed zucchini blossoms.
makes about 12 zucchini blossoms

ingredients.
12 zucchini blossoms
1/4 cup fresh raw corn kernels
1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked for 2 hours or more
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup fresh basil
1 lemon, juiced
1 small garlic clove
salt & pepper to taste 

method.
gently wash zucchini blossoms, set aside.  combine last 6 ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.  fold in corn kernels for a nice crunch.  gently open zucchini blossoms and carefully spoon in mixture.  i twisted the tops back to keep the stuffing in.  enjoy immediately!  at first, i sat down with a fork and knife, but i didn’t even use them!  i enjoyed just picking each one up with my hands and biting into it.  delicious!

©2012 amanda corissa  

raw confetti corn salsa.

i started a raw food detox this week.  i’m eating 100% raw, high-fruit.  it’s amazing how this has put things into perspective.  now, salads are the heartier meal of my day.  i guess everything is relative!

i’ve learned i have to change it up so i don’t get bored.  this fresh corn salsa was a result of this weekend’s farmers market finds!

raw confetti corn salsa.
makes about 4 cups

ingredients.
2 fresh, raw corn on the cobs
1 bell pepper, diced
2 medium-sized heirloom tomatoes, diced
1/2 cucumber, diced
1/4 onion, diced
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

method.
remove corn from the cob and combine will all ingredients.  mix well.  that’s it!  super easy and super fresh and tasty.  i enjoyed this on a bed of greens with some avocado.  spice it up with some hot peppers and use as a fresh topping for tacos.  those of you who are cilantro-lovers, add some of that too and you’ll be all set!

©2012 amanda corissa  

 

warm mushroom salad.


so simple.  so good.  i’m very particular about my mushrooms.  i love them cooked down, flavored simply with garlic and salt and pepper.  and that’s just what this salad is.    we’re weathering a storm here in florida and this dish perfectly complements this rainy weather!

my mother always told me that when you’re cooking mushrooms, you need to do it in a really hot pan.  and what’s great is that you don’t even need any oil.  if you use oil, it will immediately get absorbed by a few of the mushrooms - they’re like sponges. 

so, you start with a hot pan.  add minced garlic and throw in the those mushrooms.  you’ll need to quickly toss them for about 10 minutes.  and you’ll see how they transform.  they’ll start to brown and shrink down and let go of their water.  adding salt and pepper to taste - cook them until they’re to your liking!

warm mushroom salad.

serves 2.

ingredients.
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 big handfuls of mixed greens
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt & pepper to taste

method.
heat pan and add garlic and mushrooms.  stir frequently, cooking mushrooms until mushrooms are browned.  add salt and pepper to taste.  top greens with warm mushrooms and drizzle balsamic vinegar.  

additional toppings: sliced sundried tomatoes, fresh figs, tomatoes and/or lemon juice.

enjoy!

©2012 amanda corissa  

raw: “superfood” salad.


what is a super food?  if you google “super foods” you’ll get lists and lists of different foods, many of which i wouldn’t necessarily consider super foods, but hey, we’re all different.  many of these lists do, however, include the likes of kale, avocado, blueberries, and perhaps goji berries, all of which i used in this salad, hence the super food name. 

this recipe really came about  because i was craving me some kale salad.  to be honest, i was never a fan of raw kale.  that is, until i ate it this way.  first off, in my opinion, kale salad is NOT complete without avocado.  as long as you have avocado and some lemon juice at hand you’ll be set.  
for this salad, i also happened to have plump blueberries, really ripe cherry tomatoes, goji berries and some raw trail mix hanging around.  all these ingredients (and a bit more) combined was delicious!  try it this way, but i also encourage you to have fun with your own combinations.  enjoy!

superfood salad.
serves 2 - 4

ingredients.
1 bunch kale, stripped and torn into pieces
1 avocado, diced
1/2 cup blueberries
3 large medjool dates, pitted and diced
3 tbsp sunflower seeds
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp goji berries
1 lemon, juiced
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp reduced sodium tamari

method.
in a mixing bowl, combine kale with squeeze the lemon juice.  massage kale leaves with hands until it becomes tender (about 1 minute).  sometimes you’ll see that the kale changes color - a bright green - just like when you steam it.  add diced avocado, minced garlic and tamari and mix well.  add remaining ingredients and toss just before serving.  will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. 

©2012 amanda corissa 

agua de piña (pineapple water).


this has been a favorite of mine ever since my first sip.  it is light and refreshing.  not too sweet, not too bland.  a homemade thirst-quencher, perfect for summer.  the other wonderful thing about this drink is that it allows you to utilize the skin and core of your pineapple - parts you would otherwise throw away.

during my holiday, i shared this recipe with my mother.  we’ve been enjoying fresh pineapples as part of our morning fruit fest and i didn’t want her to waste the precious rinds!  i’m always proud when i can show her something in the kitchen that she didn’t already know.  we enjoyed this as part of our picnic at the beach and finished off a whole bottle between the two of us!


agua de piña (pineapple water).
makes about 1 liter

ingredients.
the rinds and core of a pineapple (discard the bottom and top)
1 1/2 liters of water
3 cinnamon sticks (or 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon)
2 tbsp coconut palm nectar/jaggery/honey/maple syrup

method.
combine ingredients in a large pot, cover and bring to a boil for a few minutes.  turn heat down and allow to simmer for up to 40 minutes.  adjust seasoning and allow to cool.  transfer liquid to a pitcher or glass bottles and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or until cold.  enjoy with ice!

other flavor variations: ginger, mint, lemon.

with love, from spain. ©2012 amanda corissa
 

sunshine slaw.


my mom is so cute. we made this dish on the fly to add something fun and light to our tapas dinner. at the last minute we decided we’d share the (really simple) recipe with you.

when i asked her, ”mommy, what do you want to call it? light summer slaw? or just summer slaw?” she looked down at the beautiful bright plate and said, “sunshine slaw.”

and how appropriate. it is a plate full of sunshine. its flavor is light and bright and a perfect addition to a summertime meal.

sunshine slaw.
serves 2 - 4

ingredients.
2 carrots, peeled & grated
1 orange
1 tbsp fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped
2 tbsp raisins
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
pinch of salt & pepper

method.
peel orange and separate into segments, removing the pith. squeeze pith over raisins and set aside to soak. (if pith does not provide enough juice, squeeze an extra orange segment over them.) dice orange segments. in a bowl combine ingredients and toss well. we actually enjoyed this with a couple tablespoons of my coconut curry mustard dressing, rather than the vinegar. both work well.

enjoy!

with love, from spain. ©2012 amanda corissa