tasteovers by jackie

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veggie scrap freekeh

Posted by on Apr 21, 2017 in tasteovers by jackie | 2 comments

Veggie Scrap Freekeh

April 22 is Earth Day! So, happy Earth Day, my fellow earthlings! Here’s a recipe to help you celebrate!

Whenever I have extra veggie pieces (“scraps”) in my fridge (which is like always!), I often sauté them up, then scramble with eggs or toss with pasta. Other times I’ll roast or grill ’em, then blend into hummus. And here’s my other favorite use for those leftover (aka “vintage”) vegetables: Veggie Scrap Freekeh. (Hint: Prepare it on a Friday so you can crack yourself up and call it Freekeh Friday! Or enjoy it on Meatless Monday in honor of #MeatlessMonday4Earth. Or do both!)

So, check your fridge. If you have veggie odds-n-ends on hand that might be ready for composting (or, ughh, tossing out), this recipe awaits! It works well with most non-starchy veggies, like zucchini, yellow summer squash, mushrooms, peppers, broccoli, onion, snow peas, carrots, and/or asparagus. Don’t forget the parts that often go uneaten, like carrot tops and broccoli stalks. The more colorful the mixture, the better. You’ll just thinly slice and sauté the vegetables, stir them into pre-cooked, chilled freekeh (with a sprinkling of olive oil, salt, and pepper), and finish with a squirt of lemon juice and fresh herbs. Try mint, basil, parsley, or dill. Don’t have freekeh? Don’t freak out (hee-hee!); simply use 1 1/2 cups of cooked brown rice, sorghum, farro, or quinoa.

By the way, this challenge was posed to Recipe ReDux members to share easy ways to reduce food waste. Hope you take this challenge, too … or at least make this freekeh!

Calories saved: 86

Why it’s better for you? This freekeh salad and tabbouleh are both healthful! However, this recipe can ultimately be better for the planet since your extra vegetable scraps aren’t going to waste!

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grilled hummus “quesadilla”

Posted by on Apr 11, 2017 in tasteovers by jackie | 0 comments

grilled hummus quesadilla

I spied some wrinkly grape tomatoes on my kitchen counter, a struggling mint plant on my balcony, and a slightly wilted scallion and two lonely lemon wedges in my fridge. So, I created this! Seriously, it tastes way, way, way better than I’m making this sound. I just always look for ways to prevent food waste. Often it results in interesting fixes like this. Try it! It’s Meatless Monday and Earth Month friendly! It’s vegan! And it’s super tasty!

Calories Saved: 177

Why it’s better for you? Fiber! Plenty of it!

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teriyaki cauliflower & kale stir-fry

Posted by on Mar 27, 2017 in tasteovers by jackie | 0 comments

teriyaki cauliflower & kale stir-fry

Nope, cauliflower doesn’t taste like chicken! But if you like teriyaki, do give this high-flavor stir-fry a try. I’ve given chicken teriyaki a vegan makeover by using cauliflower as the hearty highlight. This recipe gets a punch of natural sweetness from pure pineapple juice, a spicy kick from red hot chili pepper, and extra zing from a generous amount of fresh ginger. The only thing missing is some protein. So pair this Meatless Monday-friendly dish with a protein-rich appetizer or side (or both!), such as starting with an edamame app or serving on a bed of my Superfood Basmati Pilaf (see simple recipe below). Then enjoy with chopsticks … often!

Calories Saved: 180

Why it’s better for you? Plenty of plant-based goodness. No added sugar.

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spring “clean” orzo salad

Posted by on Mar 22, 2017 in tasteovers by jackie | 0 comments

spring “clean” orzo salad

It’s time for some spring cleaning! Don’t worry, the type of “housework” I’m talking about is not a chore at all. Just head on over to your kitchen where your tastebuds can actually benefit from this cleanup!

The theme of this month’s Recipe Redux is: “Spring Clean the Kitchen.” So, I created this whole-wheat orzo recipe using ingredients that I already had on hand. If you don’t have all of the same ingredients, make swaps based on what you do have in your fridge or pantry. Challenge yourself to not shop for anything new. For instance, use about 2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa, brown rice, or other pasta if you don’t have orzo; try white wine vinegar if you don’t have lemon; and try garlic powder if you don’t have fresh garlic. If you want a surprising hint of sweetness, use whatever fruit from your fridge or fruit bowl that needs to be used up quickly. (I know that might sound a bit odd, but it totally works if you use just a bit. I used grapes, FYI!) Then use any raw or cooked leftover veggie odds and ends you have on hand (I used raw zucchini, grape tomatoes, and scallions!). Don’t forget pistachios, pine nuts, or chopped walnuts to complete the recipe with a little nuttiness and crunchiness.

The result … a satisfying vegan salad that’s nutritionally “clean”—plus a fun and delicious way to do some spring cleaning. A win-win, for sure!

Calories saved: 38

Why it’s better for you? More fiber and whole grain goodness!

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spicy vegan lentil tacos with avocado whip

Posted by on Feb 21, 2017 in tasteovers by jackie | 0 comments

spicy vegan lentil tacos with avocado whip

The Recipe Redux topic of the month is to showcase my healthy take on tacos. So here you go! I swapped the taco “meat” with spicy lentils! I kept everything else in this taco recipe vegan to make it a 100% plant-based meal. And that avocado whip on top … it’s kinda addictive, in a good way! By the way, you don’t have to be vegan to enjoy these tacos. Just do your best to eat these tacos as is rather than smothering with cheese and sour cream! Enjoy!

Calories saved: 140

Why it’s better for you? A whopping amount of dietary fiber!

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grilled hummus toast with middle eastern salsa

Posted by on Feb 12, 2017 in tasteovers by jackie | 0 comments

grilled hummus toast with middle eastern “salsa”

Sure, I’m a big fan of avocado toast. I know I’m not alone in that! But when I don’t have a ripe avocado, this is my toast of choice! It’s inspired by my heritage—-I’m half Lebanese. That means I’m pretty much going to enjoy hummus anything. For this recipe, instead of toasting bread, I grill it for extra interest and smoky flair. And yes, a pan grill works well. The salsa is inspired by Mexican pico de gallo, but it includes cucumber and the herbs are switched up a bit. (I enjoy this salsa anytime; but it’s especially delicious when tomatoes are at peak season, of course!) As for the hummus, make your own or take a shortcut and buy it. It’s completely up to you! What I especially love about this recipe is that you can have the salsa and hummus ready to go in the fridge and then simply grill up bread as you like—even if dining for one. Enjoy as a no-brainer pick for a Meatless Monday lunch entrée or a quick fix whenever!

Calories Saved: 205

Why it’s better for you? Both avocado toast and hummus toast are packed with good nutrition! Though hummus toast does have more protein when served as is!

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veggie & red lentil rotini pasta bowl

Posted by on Jan 30, 2017 in tasteovers by jackie | 0 comments

veggie & red lentil rotini pasta bowl

If you’ve got about 15 minutes, make this veggie pasta bowl! That’s what I often do when I’m short on time for dinner! But vegetarian pasta dishes don’t always provide enough protein for a complete meal. So, here’s what I like to do: Use a pasta made from red lentils. I love, love, love lentils for so many reasons, including that the little pulses are packed with plant protein and can help play a role in regulating blood cholesterol and blood sugar levels! (By the way, I chose Tolerant Organic Red Lentil Pasta here, which I picked up at Whole Foods Market.) Hope you try this meal-in-one pasta bowl on Meatless Monday–and beyond. It’s not fancy, but it’s flavorful! Enjoy!

Calories Saved: 380

Why it’s better for you? The pasta itself is “superfood-y” to start with since it’s made from lentils!

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pan-grilled portabella “steak” & egg & vegetable hash

Posted by on Jan 22, 2017 in tasteovers by jackie | 2 comments

pan-grilled portabella “steak” & egg & veggie hash

Sure, you can order steak ‘n eggs at your favorite breakfast spot and pay maybe 15 bucks! That’s not a good thing for your pocketbook or the planet! Or you can whip up this pan-grilled portabella “steak” with a crispy fried organic egg and a bell pepper-potato hash for about 3 bucks! I’ll take the 3-buck breakfast any day of the week! There’s no better time to share my breakfast-on-the-cheap since the Recipe Redux theme this month is “Budget-Friendly Eats!” By the way, if you’ve got a really tight budget, fry two eggs up in a pan and forgo the portabella. Either way, you’ll save loads of calories. And either way, my pick is organic eggs; the extra 10-ish cents per egg is worth it to me!

Calories saved: 516

Why it’s better for you: Half the calories + triple the fiber + plenty of plant-based nutrients

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