Tuscan Kale, Balsamic Sweet Potato and Wild Rice Warm Salad – #vegan #getinmybelly

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Okay, so this salad has been my new favorite meal – I like it so much I eat the leftovers for breakfast sometimes. It’s a spin off of my Faux Sweet Green Salad Recipe¬†– and I absolutely love that it’s warm. So it might be a big favorite in the fall but I’m sharing it now as there were many people on Instagram asking for the recipe!! Super easy to make, you can find Tuscan Kale at your local supermarket or preferably at your local farmers market! Try to buy organic where and when possible! I hope you all enjoy it!

What you need:

  • 1 Head of Tuscan Kale, washed and roughly chopped
  • 2 Medium Sweet Potatoes, cubed
  • 2 Cups of Wild Rice, cooked
  • Green Onion
  • 2-3 Garlic Cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of white wine (can use water if you prefer)
  • 1/2 cup (+ more for sweet potatoes) of Balsamic Vinaigrette (this is something that if you buy from an artisan oil and vinegar shop can REALLY transform the dish!) – try to splurge on nice olive oil and balsamic when possible ūüôā
  • Salt, Pepper, Red Pepper Flakes
  • Balsamic Drizzle for topping
  • Olive Oil

Directions:

  1. Heat Oven to 400 degree Fahrenheit, place sweet potato cubes on cookie sheet and drizzle olive oil, balsamic vinegar and S&P over them mixing to coat evenly. Cook for 20-35 minutes depending on how cooked you prefer them (I actually like when they are a little charred!)
  2. Meanwhile, cook rice, chop kale, prep other ingredients.
  3. Once rice and potatoes are done, drizzle olive oil in a pan and add the kale and 2-3 stems of green onion also roughly chopped, seasoning with salt and pepper. Turn heat to medium and add the white wine and cover, reducing heat as necessary.
  4. Make sure to keep stirring so the ingredients don’t stick to the pan.
  5. Once Kale looks bright green, add rice, sweet potatoes, garlic and season.
  6. Add balsamic vinegar and continue stirring.
  7. Once the smells are very fragrant and the ingredients have soaked up most of the liquid, plate and serve warm.
  8. I suggest drizzling balsamic glaze, topping with fresh herbs and red pepper flakes…Enjoy!!
  9. For my carnivore readers – this is a great salad to top with grilled salmon or warmed goat cheese!!

Here’s to a healthy and happy you! xoxo

Zucchini & Kale Ricotta Fritters

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Happy Wednesday!! I am so excited about using ingredients from our garden for the first time, ever. We are growing cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, green onion and herbs this year. Here I was able to chop up fresh green onion which tasted so much more powerful than ones I have bought at the grocery store!

These were super yummy, cheesy and gooey in the middle with a nice crunch on the outside. I achieved this by dipping the fritters/cakes in panko bread crumbs before pan frying in coconut or olive oil. Because these are so rich, they leave you feeling full. It doesn’t even feel like you’re eating zucchini and kale! Another great option would be to serve this over some lemony arugula with a citrus dressing to balance out the flavors. Hope you all enjoy!

What you need:

  • 2 medium zucchini (organic), grated
  • 1 green onion (chop up whites for the mixture and greens for topping)
  • 1/2 cup of panko bread crumbs and extra for dipping before frying
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup of parmesan
  • 1 cup of ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups of kale chopped finely
  • 1/2 tsp dried chives
  • zest from one lemon
  • plain greek yogurt for dipping

Directions:

  1. Grate the zucchini. Place in a bowl and salt. Place in fridge for 10 or so minutes. Remove and take a clean towel or paper towel and squeeze out as much water as possible. Place back in a large bowl.
  2. To the zucchini add the ricotta, parmesan, egg, lemon zest, salt and pepper.
  3. Let the batter sit in fridge for 15-20 minutes.
  4. On a plate pour some panko bread crumbs for dipping before frying.
  5. Heat a pan with coconut or olive oil.
  6. Take mixture out of fridge and add 1/2 cup or more of bread crumbs achieving a sticky but combining texture.
  7. Take a large spoonful of the mix and roll into a medium sized patty of some sort, then dip on both sides in the panko. Add to the hot oiled pan.
  8. Pan fry for a few minutes on each side until they are golden brown or a little darker (we prefer it crunchier)!
  9. Serve hot with greek yogurt topped with chives and lemon zest. Salt and pepper to taste. Add the remaining green onion.
  10. ENJOY!!!

Here’s to a healthy and happy you! xoxo

Roasted Garlic, Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos (Vegan, Gluten Free, DELICIOUS!)

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Happy Friday!!! What a couple of weeks it has been!¬†We are now only 28 days away from our wedding celebration. I am soooooooo excited to see all of the details I have been working so hard on come into reality. Wedding Planning without hiring a professional planner is basically like having another job — I give major props to everyone in that profession. You have to be extremely detail oriented!

With all this warm weather I am constantly craving tacos and margs!!

T A C O S!!! Who doesn’t love them?

I am a sucker for some sweet potatoes and roasted garlic so I decided to roast them in the oven together to get a nice char on the potatoes and a creaminess from the roasted garlic. I seasoned them with a store bought organic fajita spice mix that I used for the beans and veggies as well. When you incorporate the spice throughout the meal, it really brings a unity to all the ingredients. This can be vegan or you can add cheese if you are a queso lover like me ‚̧

We topped this with a Pineapple and Mango salsa from Wegmans which was the bomb. When coupled with hot sauce, the flavors balanced out so well and the taste was INCREDIBLE!

These are so filling and hearty compared to most veggie tacos – I highly recommend. Let me know if you try them via social media with the hashtag: #jessicaashleyrecipes

Here’s to a healthy and happy you!!

What you need:

  • Tortillas (corn if you want to keep Gluten Free)
  • 2 Organic Green Peppers
  • 1 Small/Medium sized onion
  • 1 large Sweet Potato, cubed (I prefer to leave the skin on)
  • 1 Can or Package of Black Beans (BPA Free!)
  • 2 bulbs of Garlic (left in their natural covering for roasting)
  • Olive Oil
  • Organic Fajita Spice Packet
  • Lime Juice
  • Fresh Organic Cilantro

Directions:

  1. Heat Oven to 400 degree F
  2. Prepare Sweet Potato Cubes and Garlic Bulbs by tossing in olive oil and 1/4 of the spice packet. Add juice from 1 lime wedge.
  3. Roast in Oven for 35-40 minutes
  4. Meanwhile, chop onion and peppers julienne style and toss in olive oil, lime juice (1-2 wedges) and 1/2 of the spice packet.
  5. Rinse Black Beans and add in small pot. Season with 1/4 (rest of the spice packet). Lime zest, and 1/2 lime juice.
  6. Toss the onion and peppers in a large pan with 1/4 cup water, cover and reduce heat to medium.
  7. Continue stirring veggie mix every so often as to ensure it doesn’t stick to the pan.
  8. Once the veggies are soft they are finished, reduce heat to low to keep warm or turn off and cover.
  9. Heat Beans on medium heat and then reduce to low to keep warm.
  10. Once the sweet potato and garlic is ready remove from oven and squeeze the garlic out of its shell into bowl with potatoes.
  11. Heat Taco Shells.
  12. Build tacos with Beans, Veggies, Potatoes, Garlic, Cheese (optional), pineapple/Mango Salsa, fresh cilantro, hot sauce (optional).
  13. ENJOY!!!!!!!

Spaghetti Squash Quinoa Cakes (gluten free, vegetarian, delicious!)

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Happy Thursday, guys! I haven’t posted a recipe in a while…I totally admit to neglecting my blog a little bit. I have been taking my 200 hour yoga certification class which I have been putting off for YEARS. But it is totally LIFE changing!! On top of that, and my other full time job and teaching yoga and being a mom and oh yeah planning a wedding…I totally put this on the back burner for a hot minute. BUT–I am back with an awesome recipe. I have never used Spaghetti Squash in this way. These babies took me back to the days of¬†growing up eating homemade potato pancakes! These are made with cooked quinoa, spaghetti squash, kale (you can use spinach if you want), parmesan cheese, gluten free flour and eggs. So simple, yet they were soooooo delicious. Let me know what you think!!

What you will need:

  • 1 Spaghetti Squash, cooked previously (I did mine a day before)
    • Heat oven to 425 degrees and cut squash in half. Remove seeds and center. Spray with coconut oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook cut side down so the outside of the squash is facing up for 35 minutes or so until the squash is nice and soft and you can scrape (just to check if it’s done) the edges to see the “spaghetti”. LET COOL and then finish scraping the sides so all the “spaghetti” shows!!! After, try squeezing as much water out of the “noodles”¬†using paper towels over the sink. You can store the spaghetti squash in the fridge for up to 5 days which helps remove the liquid in it. I waited only one day.
  • 2 cups COOKED quinoa
  • 2/3 Cup flour (I used Red Mill’s All purpose gluten free flour)
  • 1 cup uncooked, finely chopped Kale (or whatever green you would like)
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 cup of finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • Green onion for topping
  • sour cream or greek yogurt for topping
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. In a kitchenaid or bowl with hand mixer add the 2 eggs and beat on high for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add flour and beat on medium to combine – another minute or so.
  3. Add spaghetti squash, quinoa, kale, garlic, and cheese and mix on medium until fully combined.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Heat a pan on extremely high heat (the cakes will stick unless the pan in hot).
  6. Then add some olive or coconut oil to the pan, it should sizzle and maybe smoke just a little bit.
  7. Drop a large spoonful of the batter 4 times onto the pan and use a spatula to round out the shape and flatten a little bit.
  8. Cook 2 minutes or so, I actually preferred the outside a bit crunchy so I would leave them on for a little longer.
  9. Then flip, cooking additional 1-2 minutes.
  10. Turn heat off of the pan and allow the cakes to chill in there still cooking for another 1-2 minutes (check if they are too burnt and skip this step if you want, I preferred to do this step every time).
  11. Remove cakes from pan and place on plate.
  12. Continue process until all batter is used.
  13. Season with salt and pepper, garnish with the green onion and add a dollop of sour cream or greek yogurt (preferably organic!!) if you would like for a classic potato pancake flavor.
  14. Enjoy!

Hope you all enjoy these cakes as much as my family did yesterday. It is a great way to get some extra veggies in your diet. Here’s to a healthy and happy you, xo!

Gooey Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (gluten free, no butter, no refined sugar!)

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Happy Monday!! Did you guys have a good weekend? Ours was pretty relaxed, but the weather turned SUPER winter in the DC area. We are even expecting snow next weekend which I am extra excited for since my mom and sister will be in town visiting for the holidays.

Now to these cookies…can you believe I snapped these pics with my phone? #vscocam for the win!! I dislike wasting anything (food, water, energy, time, etc)…but there is something about bananas where they just ripen too quickly for us to eat them and then they are black. What to do, what to do? I usually freeze the peeled bananas and save them for smoothies which is great or homemade banana ice cream (I know, yum!). But since it is fall/feels like winter, I am coming up with recipes to use them for baking.

Bananas have a lot of natural sugar so it’s so easy not to have to add a lot of additional sweeteners. I stay away from refined sugar as much as possible so I sweetened these with one cup of maple syrup (that’s it!). Rather than butter I chose coconut oil and I used oatmeal and gluten free all purpose flour for the base. They are very banana in taste (I love banana, though) and if you are a PB lover like I am, drizzle some warm Peanut butter on top and then die of love for these cookies.

Enjoy!

What you need:

  • 2 small-med overly ripened bananas
  • 1 Large Organic Egg
  • 1 Cup Maple Syrup (the good stuff!)
  • 1/4 cup of melted coconut oil
  • 2 tsp of Vanilla Extract
  • 1.5 cups of gluten free old fashioned oats
  • 1.5 cups of all purpose gluten free flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp pink salt
  • 1 cup of organic chocolate chips or cacao chips (if using cacao chips, might want to add more sweetener such as agave!)

Directions:

  1. I used a kitchenaid but you can use a handheld mixer and one large bowl for this recipe. Combine the egg, bananas, maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla, and beat on medium for about 3 minutes (should be on the runnier side than traditional cookies)
  2. Stop mixer, add oats, flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and beat together for another minute.
  3. Stop, add chocolate chips and either hand mix with large spoon or beat on low to mix together.
  4. REFRIGERATE DOUGH FOR AT LEAST 2 HOURS (up to 4 days!)
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit
  6. Place parchment paper on cookie sheet
  7. Using a 1/2 tablespoon measuring spoon scoop the dough and roll into little balls, placing on cookie sheet.
  8. Bake for 10-13 minutes depending on the ripeness of your bananas and how long you refrigerate you might want to taste test and cook some more!

Here’s to a healthy and happy you (and non-wasteful!!), xo!

Yummy Cuban Bowl (easy, vegan, gluten free!)

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I am sooo surprised I have not made Cuban food before. It is SOOO yummy! This is going in our regular recipes for sure because the whole family liked it! Most of the ingredients can be made ahead of time and you can just reheat and add them all to the bowl. I hope you guys love it!!

What you will need:

  • 1 cup of uncooked rice (I chose wild brown rice)
  • 1 sweet potato cubed
  • 1 Super ripe (almost black) Plantain!! (not a banana)
  • 1 Can of organic Black Beans
  • 3 small tomatoes or 1 large
  • Cilantro
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1/3 red onion (instead of the above 4 ingredients you can buy store bought pico de gallo!)
  • 1 lime
  • 1 avocado
  • cumin
  • pink salt
  • coconut oil
  • Cayenne Pepper

Directions:

  1. Cook rice from packaging directions.
  2. If you are making your own pico de gallo, add 1 cup of diced tomato, 1 large bunch of chopped cilantro, 1/3 of finely chopped red onion, deseed and devein the jalapeno and chopped into small pieces (be careful, do not touch your eyes or face), add salt!!
  3. Cube the sweet potato and then sauté in coconut oil over med high heat and season with cumin and salt, stirring frequently for 10+ min or so on each side until it is soft (taste before removing from heat).
  4. Place sweet potato in bowl and cover with foil to trap heat
  5. Peel the plantain by drawing a sharp knife along the ridges and removing the peel. Then chop into coins cutting on an angle and trying to get all at the same size so they cook the same time. I like mine thin!
  6. Heat 1 tablespoon of coconut oil or more in same pan and then add plantain, cooking on both sides until golden brown or crispy.
  7. Remove and cover with foil
  8. Add beans to same pan, season with cumin and some cayenne for an extra kick.
  9. Assemble the bowls with rice, beans, sweet potatoes, plantains, pico de gallo, avocado slices and a lime wedge for squeezing over top!

Here’s to a healthy and happy you, xo!

Avocado, Tomato and Cheese w/ Balsamic Drizzle Sandwich (gluten free, quick and easy)

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Happy Monday! Did you guys see that moon last night? It was HUUUUUGE! We came back from a “Friendsgiving” weekend spent in¬†a Cabin in the mountains and were too tired to cook a meal from scratch so we opted to make sandwiches. Kiril adds smoked turkey or chicken to this sandwich but mine is Vegetarian (obvi.) This is so so so good. The KEY is to use FRESH and Organic Ingredients and to SEASON w/ salt and pepper. It pairs really well with a warm vegetable soup or some sweet potato chips (recipes to come).

Hope you guys enjoy…I have something yummy in the oven right now that I can’t wait to share with you guys soon xoxox

What you will need:

  • 2 Slices of Gluten Free Bread (or bread of your choice)
  • 1-2 Slices of Organic Cheddar Cheese
  • 1/2 Avocado
  • 3 Slices of Organic Tomato
  • Organic Mayo
  • Balsamic Drizzle (one without any added sugar!)
  • Pink salt and pepper

Simple ingredients, but tasty sandwich!

Directions:

  1. Toast the bread
  2. Place cheese on bread
  3. Spread Mayo
  4. Add Avocado, tomato
  5. Drizzle balsamic reduction
  6. Season with Salt and Pepper
  7. Eat up!

 

Here’s to a healthy and happy you xo

Caramelized Sweet Potato & Quinoa Salad (vegan, gluten-free, healthy!)

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Always my little helper!

Salad can be fun! I used to think restaurant salads were so much better than salads you made at home. While I was right on a certain level, mostly because they use tons of sugar to make you like their salads– I just didn’t understand you can think of a salad less traditionally. This WARM, toasty, CARAMELIZED sweet potato, quinoa salad with organic Arugula, Italian basil and white beans is by far one of my favorites. It’s a great dish for the fall but in a pinch, can be a quick cold lunch salad!

What you will need:

  • 1 Can of organic white beans
  • 1 Sweet Potato
  • Organic Arugula (or greens of your choice)
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup of quinoa
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Handful¬†of Italian basil, ripped
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1tbsp of Annie’s organic balsamic salad dressing
  • Balsamic Reduction
  • Olive oil
  • pink salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 400 degree f
  2. Chop sweet potato into small cubes
  3. Prepare quinoa as directed, add salt to water it cooks in
  4. Place cubes of sweet potato on cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper
  5. Bake at 400 degrees for 17 min, for 3 minutes broil on high, remove from heat right away
  6. In a pan, saute onion, garlic and beans until onion is translucent
  7. Add cooked quinoa, sweet potatoes, basil, season with salt and pepper
  8. Wash and dry arugula or your choice of greens
  9. In a large bowl, place arugula and drizzle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper
  10. Add Annie’s dressing and 1 tablespoon or more of balsamic vinegar, and olive oil to the hot pan with cooked arugula, beans etc…
  11. When it is all mixed, remove from heat and add directly to the arugula bowl
  12. Mix and drizzle with balsamic reduction, plate!

I hope you guys like this recipe, I came up with it last night in a pinch…Enjoy!

 

Here’s to a healthy and happy you! xo

Spicy, Ginger Orange Butternut Squash Noodles with/ Tofu

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Feels so good to be back in the kitchen! I seriously should invest in a wok with all the asian inspired recipes I’ve been whipping up lately. It’s my favorite way to get lots of yummy veggies in our system while also tasting delicious. Asian sauces tend to have TONS of Cane Sugar, Corn Syrup and MSG in them so BE CAREFUL. Always check your ingredients…I prefer to make my own and I value the use of potent spices. On another note, I made this with that four letter word most people fear…TOFU. I’m not sure if it’s because many do not know how to prepare it or the texture or what not, but I swear if you slip it into some of your dishes you won’t even notice.

What you will need:

  • Butternut Squash noodles, spiraled. Our grocery store (Wegman’s) sells them already spiraled which is a huge advantage into a quicker meal prep.
  • Broccoli or veggies of your choice
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • half onion, chopped
  • 2 packs of brown rice noodles
  • Red Garlic Chili Paste
  • non-Gmo, organic Tofu, extra firm (not cubed)
  • 2-3 tablespoons of organic peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup or honey
  • fresh ginger grated
  • lime juice
  • zest of 1/4 of an orange
  • pink salt, pepper, red pepper flakes
  • for extra spicy: use a Jalapeno¬†pepper or spicy pepper of your choice. Make sure to remove the seeds and the membrane and wear¬†gloves esp if you have contacts!!!
  • Soy sauce (gluten free)
  • Organic Sesame oil 1 tablespoon
  • Unrefined Coconut oil 1 tablespoon
  • Asian ginger seasoning (spices)
  • Sriracha (optional)
  • Scallions for topping

Directions:

  1. Drain water from tofu and place tofu on paper towels, in colander with book or something heavy pressed on top (this should be done earlier in the day an hour or so before preparing this meal)
  2. Once the tofu as drained for an hour, chop into cubes and place in bowl. Cover with gluten free soy sauce, lime juice, fresh minced ginger, salt and pepper. Let marinate.
  3. Place rice noodles and butternut squash noodles in cold water to soak
  4. Place large pot on high heat filled halfway with water and heavily salted (this is for the noodles)
  5. Mince 2 cloves garlic, finely chop half a large onion, chop scallions for topping, chop broccoli into florets
  6. Steam broccoli
  7. Place noodles in boiling water for 4 minutes, drain but save 1/2 cup of water for sauce
  8. place coconut and sesame oils in wok or LARGE pan… on med high heat
  9. Add garlic, onion, season with salt, pepper
  10. When onion starts to look translucent (1-2 minutes) add red chili garlic paste, fresh ginger, lime juice, spicy pepper (if using), 2 tbsp soy sauce
  11. After 2 minutes, add 2-3 tablespoons of peanut butter, orange zest, 1 tbsp maple syrup
  12. Pan fry the tofu in this sauce flipping occasionally, adding 1/2 of the sauce it was marinading in
  13. Add cooked broccoli, toss until covered in sauce
  14. Taste and season with more asian spices, add Sriracha here too for extra spiciness
  15. Finally, add cooked noodles with 1/2 cup of the water
  16. Cover and let simmer for 1-2 minutes
  17. Mix together and plate, adding red pepper flakes, topping with scallions and sesame seeds.

Bon apetit!

Here’s to a healthy and happy you! xo

Gluten Free Sesame Peanut Noodles

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It’s FRI-YAY!! Yesterday was a very busy day! By the time dinner rolled around I was so tempted to just order something, but the more I cook the less I seem to like eating out, especially to-go food! Since we are leaving today for Florida I decided to use whatever I could find in my fridge, and voila…Sesame Peanut Noodles were created. I had sweet potato noodles already spiraled from Wegmans and I was craving a dish that was sweet, salty and a little spicy for a balanced palate.

Let me know if you guys make this at home! It was so simple and all family members said it was one of their favorites (although Sofia will eat a cookie that fell on the ground so I am not so sure her opinion counts on this issue, haha). Enjoy!

What you will need:

  • 1 Small Onion
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Tbsp Organic Sesame Oil
  • Sesame Seeds for topping
  • Spiraled Sweet Potato Noodles
  • Brown Rice Noodles
  • Broccoli cut into florets
  • 1 Tsp fresh grated ginger
  • Zest and juice from half a lime
  • Thai Basil or regular basil (1 big handful or more!)
  • Pink Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cayenne
  • Red Pepper Flakes
  • Honey
  • Chili¬†Garlic Sauce
  • Sriracha or Red Curry Paste to add spiciness (optional- I left this out because of Sofia)

Directions:

  1. Soak Sweet Potato noodles and rice noodles in water
  2. Boil Water with Salt for rice noodles
  3. Steam broccoli
  4. Mince Garlic, finely chop onion
  5. Boil rice noodles for 4 minutes
  6. Remove and pour cool water over to stop the cooking process
  7. In a large wok or pan, drizzle sesame oil and place garlic and onion in there stirring constantly for 3 minutes, season with salt and pepper
  8. Add fresh ginger, lime juice, zest, peanut butter, a teaspoon more of sesame oil
  9. Optional, add red curry paste or garlic chili sauce here to make spicy
  10. 2-3 minutes longer, when the mixture has become more sauce like, add the sweet potato and rice noodles
  11. Mix Sauce throughout, adding a little water if sauce is too thick
  12. Add broccoli and basil and continue to mix together
  13. Season with Cayenne, red pepper flakes, pepper
  14. Drizzle 1 tsp of honey, taste test! Add any other spices at this time for your palate!
  15. Serve and top with toasted sesame seeds and/or Sriracha

Bon apetit! Have a great weekend!! Follow me on Instagram: @missjessashley for instastories of our upcoming trips to Florida and Hawaii!!

Here’s to a healthy and happy you, xo!