tasteovers by jackie

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vegetarian “trash” hash

Posted by on Jan 25, 2016 in tasteovers by jackie | 0 comments

vegetarian “trash” hash

Okay, so maybe there’s a better name for this recipe. But you get the point, right?

Way, way, way, WAY too much food gets wasted in America! But there’s no need to waste food when you can savor it! My philosophy: Use veggie scraps and “make a hash, not more trash!” It’s a wonderful and environmentally-conscious way to enjoy vegetables in the morning (or anytime). Perfect for a Meatless Monday!

Here I simply included leftover veggies that I had on hand from recipe testing, which was about one-half cup each of chopped red onion, green bell pepper (I used the ribs and seeds, too), zucchini, and cherry tomatoes. This recipe also offers a delicious opportunity to play with all parts of vegetables, including the portions that you might not normally use, like carrot tops, broccoli stalks, celery leaves, and chard ribs or stems. If anything you plan to use needs a little more cooking time (if it’s extra firm), you can chop it extra finely or coarsely grate it and add into the pan with the potatoes, rather than after the potatoes are heated through. Of course, if you have any truly inedible vegetable trimmings, compost them!

This recipe can be so much fun since it kicks your culinary creative juices into high gear. I can’t wait to hear about and see your results!

Calories saved: 101

Why it’s better for you? Any veggie is better for you if it doesn’t wind up in the trash or down the garbage disposal!

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vegan curry coconut soup with black beluga lentils

Posted by on Jan 22, 2016 in tasteovers by jackie | 6 comments

vegan curry coconut stew with beluga lentils

I couldn’t make it through the chill of January without some hearty, warm-me-up bowls of soup. How about you?

So I married that thought with the theme for this month’s Recipe Redux: “A New Ingredient for the New Year.” When trying to choose the ingredient that I wanted to play with, my first thought came to color … black, in particular! When thinking about black foods, one immediately came to mind that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed in restaurants, but haven’t actually prepared anything with from my own kitchen. They’re black beluga lentils. They’re such fun little critters. Not to mention, these pulses are packed with nutritional goodness, including folate, fiber, and protein.

So off to the kitchen I went to whip up a pot of vegan (Meatless Monday-friendly!) soup with these beauties. The result … plenty of texture intrigue, pops of color, and stew-like appeal. The flavor … crave-worthy!

Calories saved: 100

Why it’s better for you: Soooo many reasons! For one, check out the fiber!

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italian freekeh “meatballs”

Posted by on Dec 28, 2015 in tasteovers by jackie | 0 comments

You don’t need to give up spaghetti and meatballs when eating healthier. Simply pick a better-for-you pasta, like bean-based or whole grain noodles, and top with vegetarian “meatballs”. I’ve made these with 100% real ingredients and based them on cracked freekeh, which is a young green wheat. They’re not designed to mock meat; they have a culinary quality of their own. The texture and taste of the “meatballs” are craveable … no meat required!

Ideally, serve these freekeh balls with protein-packed pasta, such as edamame, lentil, chickpea, or other bean-based noodles, and sauce of choice. Instead of marinara, I prefer these “meatballs” served with Mediterranean diet appeal, such as paired with pesto or fresh lemon-olive oil sauce. Try accessories like sun-dried tomatoes and toasted pine nuts, too. Hope you enjoy this new taste of comfort, Meatless Monday style!

Calories saved: 120

Why it’s better for you: There’s lots of plant-based goodness, including plenty of fiber.

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fresh pineapple-cucumber salsa

Posted by on Dec 22, 2015 in tasteovers by jackie | 4 comments

fresh pineapple-cucumber salsa

The new year is fast approaching! If you plan to eat healthier or lose weight this year, it’s the best time to remember that small changes can and do really add up to big differences over the year. With that in mind, I wanted to share something tasty with you to help kick-start your healthful eating efforts.

The Recipe Redux task for the month was to “grab a book and cook.” Specifically, I needed to choose a recipe on page 54 or 154 in the chosen book (that’s because the Recipe Redux is 54 months old)! So I pulled Truly Mexican by Roberto Santibañez from my cookbook armoire, and found Spicy Fresh Pineapple Salsa on page 54. It’s already a pretty nutritious recipe. But the salsa actually transforms into a great example of how you can still make small changes.

By making a few simple swaps, you can cut out a bit of calories, added sugars, and sodium. Here, I’ve replaced some of the pineapple with cucumber to reduce total calories ever-so-slightly; cut the salt by more than half; and removed the added sugar. I highlighted the savory instead of the sweet and the new result is a winner! The more recipes you can make similar changes with, the more successful you’ll be at reaching your health-minded goals.

Now all that’s left to do here is enjoy this easy, flavor-packed, and versatile salsa. It’ll be delightful paired with poultry, fish, or quesadillas. It makes a unique sandwich condiment. And it can be tossed with black beans to create a tropical bean salad. I’m sure there are numerous other ways to enjoy the salsa. Let me know how you serve it up!

Calories saved: 10

Why it’s better for you: Regularly making small reductions in calories, added sugars, and sodium in the short run can add up to big differences in the long run.

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vegan dark chocolate-pumpkin bread

Posted by on Nov 22, 2015 in tasteovers by jackie | 2 comments

Vegan Dark Chocolate-Pumpkin Bread

From Thanksgiving through Christmas, you can usually find me baking up some goodies or watching romantic holiday movies—or both! Luckily, the Recipe Redux theme this month is “Creative Quick Breads”; so it’s the perfect excuse for me to create a new fresh-from-the-oven treat. This inspired recipe is like a glammed up pumpkin bread. It’s heavy on chocolate, but not on calories. It has a just-right amount of sweetness. As a bonus, it’s vegan. Enjoy … one slice at a time, of course!

Calories saved: 260

Why it’s better for you? Less added sugar and salt. No “white” flour.

Disclosure Note: One of my clients is Wonderful Pistachios. I did not receive compensation for this blog post. The recipe and opinions expressed here are my own.

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blanco huevos rancheros

Posted by on Nov 12, 2015 in tasteovers by jackie | 0 comments

Blanco Huevos Rancheros

My newest cookbook, The All-Natural Diabetes Cookbook, 2nd edition, is here … perfect timing for American Diabetes Month! Each recipe in the book is ideal to be enjoyed by people with diabetes, prediabetes, heart health issues, or simply looking to improve their diet. Click here for more about it. I can’t wait for you to take a taste!

Enjoy this “sneak peek” recipe to get your day started right: Blanco Huevos Rancheros. This version is an egg whites-only dish since yolks are not always included in certain diets for people with diabetes. Plus, using all egg whites here helps me to keep this recipe calorie-friendly while including other tasty, nutritious, yet rich ingredients, such as avocado and cheese. It’s a Mexican-inspired recipe keeper for breakfast or brunch—or beyond!

Calories saved: 910

Why it’s better for you? It’s nutrient rich, not calorie rich!

(Photos by Tara Donne Photography.)

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pistachio and garnet sweet potato risotto

Posted by on Oct 22, 2015 in tasteovers by jackie | 4 comments

pistachio and garnet sweet potato risotto

Food Day is October 24! The focus for this year’s Food Day is Toward a Greener Diet. So celebrate real food and say “cheers” to eating less meat and enjoying more whole plant-based foods; it’s better for you, the animals, and our environment.

Here’s a tip: If you’re not already doing so, pick at least three specific days each week to go meatless, beginning on Meatless Monday. Mark it on your e-calendar so you don’t forget! Already doing that? Keep going, one day at a time, until most or all of your meals are meat free. Small changes toward a greener diet absolutely do add up. This recipe is just one small step to help you do just that.

But that’s not all! National Nut Day is on October 22! Though you don’t need a holiday to enjoy nuts, it gives you a really good reason to get extra nutty. And since this month’s Recipe Redux theme is “A Nutty Nut Day,” it’s a perfect time to share with you my nut lovers’ risotto recipe.

This is not traditional risotto; it doesn’t involve classic risotto-making technique. I use a simplified cooking technique to make it less intimidating to fix … but the result is plenty risotto-like. An ideal “al dente” texture is created by using short grain brown rice. What’s also notable here is that pistachios act as part of the rice for extra nuttiness and texture intrigue. For still more nut goodness, this recipe uses peanut oil, cashew cheese, and additional pistachios for garnish.

Beyond nuts, this inviting vegan entrée has savory earthiness from mushrooms. Pick a unique variety from your local farmers’ market or try a mixture of sliced shiitake caps, baby bellas, and oyster mushrooms. Soft cashew cheese keeps this twist on risotto vegan while providing creaminess and slight tanginess. If you can’t find cashew cheese or don’t need the recipe to be vegan, you can use goat cheese in its place. Red Garnet sweet potato adds pops of color and a slightly sweet contrast to the nuts. Fresh basil provides a lovely herbal finish.

Try it soon … for National Nut Day, Food Day, Meatless Monday, and any day you wanna be a little greener or nuttier–or both. Or prepare it any day you just want a delicious dish!

Calories saved: 120

Why it’s better for you? It’s nutrient dense, not calorie dense. Plus, it’s meatless.

Disclosure Note: One of my clients is Wonderful Pistachios. I am also an official Meatless Monday blogger. I did not receive compensation for this blog post. The recipe and opinions expressed here are my own.

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roasted butternut squash skewers

Posted by on Oct 12, 2015 in tasteovers by jackie | 0 comments

roasted butternut squash skewers

You simply can’t go wrong by serving roasted butternut squash as a seasonal side dish. But adding extra herbs and spice and serving it as a fun hors d’oeuvres on skewers is way more intriguing. So voila, here’s the recipe! These seasonal vegetable kebabs are crazy good! And when you’re able to give each and every butternut squash cube the individual attention it deserves, you’ll be more satisfied.

This recipe can be easily doubled for a party buffet. The skewers are perfect to help you ‘Sideline Meat’ on Meatless Monday nights. Pair them with almond nog for a holiday celebration!

Calories saved: 107

Why it’s better for you? The just-right portion size is a fun way to boost party-time veggie intake.

Disclosure Note: I am an official Meatless Monday blogger! I did not receive compensation for this blog post. The recipe and opinions expressed here are my own.

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