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!

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!

Fall Quinoa Vegetable Soup (gluten free, vegan, healthy)

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Sometimes the weather just says SOUP. Not like in the movie it’s Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (if you have kids you may have watched it, ha.) BUT seriously, I love cuddling up with some hot soup a blanket and Netflix. Add some wine and it’s a party for one!

Sofia as always is my little helper. She LOVED this soup (TODDLER APPROVED, what?) Bonus we froze half of it and thats a lunch or dinner I don’t have to make in the future. WINNING!

This soup was pretty easy to make. Have you thought about using quinoa in soup before? I have tried pasta and rice but not quinoa. IT is awesome. It’s hearty and filling while absorbing the flavors and being extra tasty.

I hope you guys enjoy!

What you will need:

  • 1 Box of Organic Veggie Stock (4 cups) or 2 if you subtract the water below
  • 4 Cups of water
  • 1 Cup Organic Quinoa (uncooked)
  • 3 Organic Carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 sweet potato chopped at the same thickness as the carrots
  • 2 Organic celery stalks chopped
  • 1 Large can of organic Diced Tomatoes, drained and rinsed
  • 6 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 2 Small onions chopped finely, or 1 medium onion
  • 1/2 tsp dried organic thyme
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 Zucchini and 1 Yellow Squash (or about 1-2 cups of seasonal veggies of your choice)
  • Pink Salt, pepper, red pepper flakes
  • spinach or kale (1-2 cups)
  • 1 can of chick peas, rinsed (BPA free can!)
  • 3 TBSP Olive Oil

Directions:

  1. Wash, Dry, and Chop produce
  2. In a large pot over medium heat add olive oil and then add onion, carrot, celery, and sweet potato. Season with salt and pepper
  3. Cook for 4 min or so when onion becomes translucent
  4. Add seasonal veggies, cook for 4 more min or so, stirring often
  5. Add the garlic and Thyme, cooking about 1 minute when it becomes extra fragrant
  6. Pour in the rinsed tomatoes and cook for 3 more minutes, still stirring quite often
  7. Add the cup of quinoa, broth and water (or just broth). It’s ok to use a little less quinoa if you’d like for extra soupiness and less stew-iness.
  8. Add 1 tsp of salt, 2 bay leaves and a couple shakes of red pepper flakes
  9. Generously season with cracked black pepper
  10. Raise heat to bring the soup to a boil, then cover partially with a little edge open to steam out and reduce heat to simmer for 25 minutes
  11. After 25 minutes add chick peas or rinsed canned beans of your choice and spinach. Continue cooking for 5 or so minutes more.
  12. If the soup is not broth-y enough for your desire from the quinoa soaking it up, add broth or water here.
  13. Taste and season as desired, remove the bay leaves and stir in the lemon juice
  14. Plate and enjoy!
  15. PS -You can freeze your leftovers!

Here’s to a healthy and happy you!

Thanksgiving Butternut Squash and Spinach Stuffed Shells w/ Sage Browned Butter (gluten free!)

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Ok if you have any vegetarian guests to your Thanksgiving this year, you HAVE to make this dish. I made it for our Friendsgiving a few weekends ago and it is now one of my favorite recipes. These are not as sweet as traditional butternut squash ravioli, they are salty and savory and the SAGE BROWNED BUTTER IS THE BOMB.

I made these with gluten free brown rice shells however, you can easily make it with regular shells if you ❤ gluten. Let me know what you guys think!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 container of butternut squash, precut (to reduce time, but you can always buy and cut yourself) **COSTCO sells the perfect size and it’s ORGANIC!!!**
  • 1 Box of Pasta Shells (gluten free if you’d like)
  • 2 Cups of Ricotta Cheese
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/3 Cup Grated Parmesan
  • 1 big handful of spinach, chop after measuring with your hand
  • 1 Lemon (zest plus juice)
  • Pink Salt/Pepper
  • 10 FRESH Sage leaves
  • 1 Stick of Butter (original recipe calls for that, however, I chose 1/2 stick plus 1/2 cup olive oil)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Olive Oil

Directions:

  1. Begin by preheating oven to 425 degrees F. Toss the cubed butternut squash with 1-2 TBSP of olive oil, pink salt and pepper and roast in oven for 15-20 min (should be soft and able to mash with a fork when done)–As soon as the squash is ready, take a handheld blender and make sure it is whipped up nice and evenly- place in fridge to cool to room temperature.
  2. Reduce oven to 400 degrees
  3. Boil Water for Pasta Shells and cook according to the box directions
  4. In a bowl, combine ricotta, parmesan, room temperature squash, garlic, spinach, egg, salt, pepper, and the fresh lemon zest from 1 lemon. MIX WELL!
  5. Spray a 9×13 inch pan (I used glass!) with coconut oil non stick spray
  6. When the pasta shells are finished cooking, run cool water over them and begin to fill them with the butternut squash and cheese mixture – you might not use all the shells depending on how much mix you use– I opted to make a quick fix with remaining cheese and spinach and made a few w/o the squash!
  7. Place stuffed shells in oven for 18-20 minutes, until hot all the way through
  8. While shells are baking, take a small sauce pan and place the stick of butter OR 1/2 stick plus olive oil mixture depending on your preference. Add the sage leaves, juice of one lemon and season with salt and pepper.
  9. Heat over medium low heat for about 10-12 minutes making sure to frequently stir the mixture. The mixture should be a darker color when it is finished and the leaves should be crispy.
  10. After the shells are finished cooking, pour butter mixture over top and serve with crispy sage leaves!

Enjoy!

 

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

Healthy Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bars, oh em gee.

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One more mommy, pleeeeease!

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Happy Monday! We left the DC area on Friday night and drove 14 hours straight to Florida (yes, it was soooo long.) Despite the drive I love coming down here to see family! I made these pumpkin bars before we left and brought them down with us for my parents and sister to enjoy. These were so yummy and easy to make. Definitely not overly sweet, more of a breakfast bar. I recommend drizzling almond butter over yours. I adapted a recipe I found at The Ambitious Kitchen…hope you all enjoy!

What you will need:

  • 3 cups gluten free oats
  • 1 cup organic canned pumpkin
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 small ripe banana
  • Shredded coconut for topping
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup mini vegan chocolate chips plus 2 tbsp for sprinkling on top (my little helper is a chocolate chip thief!)
  • 1/4 tsp pink salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp of pumpkin pie spice

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 8×11 or 9 inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Prepare oat flour by putting oatmeal in blender or food processor and blend for a few minutes until all oats have been blended and mixture resembles flour.
  3. Measure 2 1/2 cups of the oat flour and place in a medium bowl. Whisk in baking powder, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice; set aside.
  4. In a separate large bowl, whisk together pumpkin, brown sugar, vanilla extract, oil, and banana and maple syrup for 1-2 minutes until the consistency is smooth and creamy. Slowly add in oat flour mixture and mix until just combined.
  5. Gently fold in mini chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared pan and sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips on top.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes and let cool briefly before slicing into squares
  7. Top with shredded coconut and serve as is or drizzle melted almond butter on top!

TIP: These bars can be frozen and reheated in conventional toaster or microwave…!

Perfect breakfast bar for fall! Hope you enjoy!

Here’s to a healthy and happy you, xo

 

Creamy, Spicy Thai Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup (say that 3x fast)

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My little helper ❤

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FALL is SOUP season. This Thai Butternut squash soup is so freaking yummy. I am sharing the vegetarian version, but you can easily add shrimp or chicken to this if you want! Sofia gets so excited to cook and bake with mommy, I always find a job for her to do in every recipe- it’s such a joy to share this with her. She’s also the best taste tester! What I love about this recipe is that it can be made as spicy as you’d like depending on the amount of curry paste you add- the flavors balance so nicely and it warms your whole body from the inside. The flavors also marinate well overnight so you can enjoy the next day or freeze (OMG YES) and save for later!!

What you will need:

  • 1 Can of Organic Coconut Milk (save a little for topping soup after!)
  • 4 cups of cubed butternut squash
  • 2 Cups of Organic Veggie Stock
  • 1/2 large yellow onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger (this seriously makes the dish imo!)
  • 1 tablespoon red curry chili paste (or more if you’re up for it!)
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • Pink Salt, Pepper
  • Cilantro
  • Sriracha (for topping if you’d like it spicy)
  • A blender

Directions:

  1. Prepare the butternut squash (I LOVE to buy the one that’s already chopped up but in case you want to start from scratch).
    • Cut off each end of the squash
    • Peel the squash (Thank you Kiril for doing this part, it wasn’t that easy!!)
    • Cut and Cube, done! woo.
    • I found this video from The Kitchn here for additional help!
  2. Mince garlic, grate ginger, dice onion.
  3. Put tablespoon of coconut oil in large soup pot over medium heat.
  4. Place garlic and onion in pot, stirring frequently for about 3 minutes until onion is translucent and the smell is very fragrant! Season with pink salt and pepper.
  5. Add ginger and red curry paste (careful here, you can always add more later on after you taste test!)
  6. After another 3 minutes of continuous stirring add the cubes of butternut squash.
  7. Pour veggie stock directly over (it’s okay if it doesn’t cover all of the squash)
  8. Keep an eye on it until it starts to boil.
  9. Then cover and reduce heat to simmer for 20 minutes, until squash is very tender.
  10. The tricky part here is to take the mixture in 2 batches, and blend in a blender. The consistency will be more like a puree.
  11. I like to pour the first blended batch into a bowl and then blend the second batch and pour both directly back into the soup pot.
  12. Once the contents are back in the pot, pour most of coconut milk in and mix together. Reserve the rest of the coconut milk for plating.
  13. Taste test and season with salt and pepper accordingly!
  14. Plate and top with Sriracha, coconut milk and cilantro!

This pairs really well with naan bread or coconut rice. Enjoy!!

Here’s to a healthy and happy you! xo