Easy Gluten-free Dairy-free Banana Bread

It’s OK if you don’t want to believe me, but this is the best Banana Bread you will ever eat and it is also gluten and dairy free. Once you make it you will absolutely agree. I made this batch with dairy-free chocolate chips and topped it with walnuts but I have also made it with raisans, flax seed, and almonds. Let me know how yours turns out and what options you put in.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 45-50 minutes

Servings: 12 slices (2 loaves)

Ingredients

4 large EGGS
4-5 very ripe BANANAS, mashed
1 cup SUGAR
4 ounces natural APPLESAUCE
1/3 cup high quality VEGETABLE OIL
1 teaspoon VANILLA
2 cups GLUTEN-FREE ALL-PURPOSE BAKING FLOUR
1 teaspoon BAKING SODA
1/4 teaspoon SALT
OPTION Pairings:
1/2 cup DAIRY-FREE CHOCOLATE CHIPS
1/2 cup WALNUTS, chopped/smashed
or
1/2 cup RAISINS
1/2 cup FLAX SEED
1/2 cup ALMONDS, chopped


Directions

  • PRE-HEAT oven to 350 degrees F
  • COAT two 9X5 loaf pans with cooking spray
  • In a large bowl, BEAT the eggs and add the bananas and MASH together (or you can mash the bananas before this step, but I don’t like to dirty too many bowls)
  • ADD the sugar, oil, vanilla, and applesauce and mix together well
  • In medium bowl, BLEND together the flour, salt, and baking soda
  • ADD the dry ingredients into the banana mash and with a big spoon or spatula MIX until all the dry ingredients are combined. Banana lump are fine, don’t over mix.
  • FOLD IN any mix-ins at this point
  • TRANSFER the batter into the loaf pans and SPRINKLE the top of each loaf with the nuts
  • BAKE for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick in the center of the loaf comes out clean
  • COOL in the pans for 10 minutes and then REMOVE from pans and cool on a wire rack for another 20 minutes
  • NOTE: Try peeling your bananas from the bottom up, instead of the stem down, for easy, no mess peeling, especially when over ripe.
  • STORE in an air-tight container on the counter for up to 2 days, then refrigerate. This bread freezes well for up to 6 months. Slice it frozen and toast it in the toaster oven.

Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Matzo Brei

Matzo Brei is a fast and crunchy alternative to pancakes or waffles any morning of the year. Personally, I eat gluten-free matzo all year round, but it is around the Jewish holiday of Passover when observant Jews cannot eat unleaved bread, that people tend to focus on this tasty cracker. This classic Passover breakfast is light and delicious, so don’t wait until holiday time to try it.

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 5 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients

4 large EGGS
4 sheets of regular GLUTEN-FREE MATZO style crackers
1/2 cup CASHEW MILK (or other milk alternative)
2 tablespoons of VEGAN BUTTER (I use Earth Balance non-soy)
SALT to taste
CINNAMON to taste
STRAWBERRIES (or other berries), maple syrup or honey, or even jam

Directions

  • In a large bowl, BEAT the eggs and WHISK in the milk. ADD salt to taste (but if using salted matzo, be sparing)
  • RUN each matzo board under cold water for 10-20 seconds a side, until it begins to soften. The amount of time depends on the type of matzo you are using. I recommend just plain flavored, not egg or onion. Don’t let it get too soft because it will become mushy.
  • SHAKE off excess water and BREAK the matzo boards into 1/2″ pieces and SOAK them in the egg/milk mixture for a minute or 2
  • While the matzo is soaking, HEAT a large skillet on medium-high heat until hot and then MELT the butter in it
  • ADD the soaked matzo to the skillet and let it COOK for about 60-90 seconds into a pancake. Sprinkle with cinnamon at this point if you desire.
    • Some people like to scramble the matzo brei instead. If you would like to try it that way just saute it while cooking instead of letting it set into a giant pancake.
  • FLIP the pancake in one big piece, or SPLIT the pancake into 4 sections and flip each section over, and COOK an addition 30-60 seconds.
  • SERVE immediately with optional toppings
  • STORE in an air-tight container for 1-2 days

Easy Salmon & Asparagus in Foil

Quick and easy foil packets of salmon and asparagus baked in the oven make this dairy-free / gluten-free high protein dinner something to look forward to on a busy night. Thaw frozen fillets in the refrigerator during the day so they are ready to cook when you get home from work.

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 14-17 minutes

Servings: 2

Ingredients

2 SALMON fillets
1/2 teaspoon ROASTED GARLIC POWDER
1/2 teaspoon PAPRIKA
1/2 teaspoon ground BLACK PEPPER
1/2 teaspoon KOSHER SALT
1/2 pound ASPARAGUS SPEARS, trim the ends off
1/2 cup VEGAN BUTTER, melted (EARTH BALANCE Non-soy sticks)
3 tablespoons LEMON JUICE
1/2 tablespoon GARLIC, minced
1 teaspoon BASIL

Directions

  • PREHEAT the oven to 400 degrees F
  • PREPARE 2 sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil (about 12X18″)
  • CUT the ends off the asparagus and divide the bunch in 2
  • In a small bowl, MIX garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper
  • SPRINKLE 1/2 the dry mixture on one side of the salmon fillets and RUB gently totally covering the fillets
  • FLIP the salmon fillets and SPRINKLE the other 1/2 of the dry mixture and RUB gently to ensure fillets are well seasoned
  • PLACE each salmon fillet in the center of a foil sheet
  • PLACE 1 asparagus bunch next to each fillet on the foil
  • In a small bowl, MIX the melted butter, lemon juice, minced garlic and basil
  • Turn the edges up on the foil packets a little bit so that the butter doesn’t overflow and POUR the butter mixture over everything
  • SEAL the foil packets:
    • With the fillet and asparagus in the center of the foil sheet, BRING the long sides together in the center
    • CREASE the pieces together and tightly fold in a downward motion, continuing to create folds until the foil lies flat against the packet’s top
    • FOLD the shorter sides inward in a similar fashion. You don’t want the steam or juices to escape.
  • BAKE in the oven for 12-14 minutes
  • Carefully OPEN the tops of the foil packets and BROIL for 2 more minutes
  • SERVE with an additional side of rice if so desired
  • STORE in the refrigerator in an air-tight container for 1-2 days

Asparagus Salmon Foil Packet dinner inspired by www.eazypeaszymeals.com

Foil Packet instructions inspired by https://www.tasteofhome.com/article/how-to-cook-in-foil-packets/

Gluten-Free Maple Dijon Shrimp

Shrimp is my quick and easy dinner protein, especially because I can use frozen, peeled and deveined shrimp in only 10 minutes. This sauce is sweet and tangy and sticks perfectly to the shrimp, making it just right for licking your fingers. I buy a 2 lb bag of frozen large shrimp when I find it on sale so that I always have some on hand. If you have time, make the sauce about 30 minutes before and let the shrimp marinate in the refrigerator allowing for a more robust flavor. I served the shrimp over vegetable infused quinoa with steamed seasonal vegetables.

Preparation Time: 12 minutes

Cooking Time: 6-8 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients

1 lb of SHRIMP, peeled and deveined (I like tail-on)
1/2 cup MAPLE SYRUP
2 tablespoons of LEMON JUICE
2 tablespoons of GLUTEN FREE SOY SAUCE
2 teaspoons DIJON MUSTARD
1 teaspoons GINGERROOT, minced
1 tablespoons of extra virgin OLIVE OIL
Dried PARSLEY
Sides:
Stovetop Quinoa (15-20 minutes)
Frozen seasonal vegetables (6-7 minutes)

Directions

  • PREPARE SHRIMP
    • If using frozen shrimp, you can quickly DEFROST them by placing the amount of shrimp you want to cook in a colander. Place the colander in a large bowl and run it under cold water until water covers the shrimp. Let the shrimp sit in the cold water for about 10 minutes. PULL the shrimp out of the water and RINSE with fresh water. DRAIN and PAT DRY before adding to marinade.
    • If you use shell on shrimp, which adds more flavor to the dish, it can get messy to eat. I prefer to remove the shells prior to cooking or purchase already shelled shrimp. But I do leave the tails on. It’s a personal choice.
    • DEVEIN the shrimp before cooking if you are taking the shell off
  • PREPARE QUINOA or RICE per package directions (15-20 minutes)
  • PREPARE MARINADE
    • In a large bowl (big enough for the shrimp), WHISK together maple syrup, lemon juice, gingerroot, gluten-free soy sauce, and mustard
    • ADD the thawed shrimp and MIX well to cover
    • If you have the time, REFRIGERATE for 30 minutes
  • PREPARE VEGETABLES per package directions (~8 minutes)
  • HEAT olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat
  • ADD the marinated shrimp to the skillet, spreading the shrimp out evenly in the pan and add some leftover marinade as well to heat as additional sauce
  • COOK the shrimp for 2 minutes and then TURN them over and cook another 2 minutes (this is mostly to heat them if using precooked shrimp). COOK 3-4 minutes a side if using uncooked shrimp, until they turn a nice pink.
  • REMOVE from heat and SPRINKLE with dried parsley
  • SERVE over quinoa or rice with a side of seasonal vegetables, using extra sauce if you like
  • STORE in the refrigerator in an air-tight container for 2 days

30-minute Gluten-Free Spaghetti with Zucchini and Meatless Meatballs


This quick mostly store-bought ingredients meal helps me get through the week, especially by Wednesday night. Store-bought/ pre-made vegan meatballs or vegan Italian sausage adds a hearty chunkiness to the sauce. Zucchini is my Italian go-to add-in vegetable for pasta sauce but any vegetable or mix of vegetables will work (carrots, eggplant, squash…). With a few additions, jar sauce can taste like homemade in no time.

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

Servings: 3-4

Ingredients

9 meatleass gluten-free/dairy-free meatballs or Italian sausage
1 pound gluten-free SPAGHETTI pasta noodles
2 tablespoon OLIVE OIL
2 medium ZUCCHINI, sliced
1 ONION, chopped
24 ounce jar of PASTA SAUCE (I like tomato & basil flavored)
1 tablespoon BASIL, if not using flavored sauce
1 teaspoon OREGANO, if not using flavored sauce
1 pinch KOSHER SALT, to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground BLACK PEPPER, to taste
Optional toppings:
Sprinkle of Vegan PARMESAN CHEESE

Directions

  • PREPARE PASTA (approximately 11 minutes)
    • In the appropriately sized saucepan for the amount of pasta you are cooking, BOIL water over high heat. COOK pasta according to the package.
    • Drain the pasta and save some of the water to use later in the sauce (like 1/4 cup)
  • PREPARE MEATBALLS (approximately 10 minutes to bake)
    • Follow the package directions for skillet cooking or baking of meatballs
    • SET ASIDE when done
  • PREPARE ZUCCHINI and SAUCE (while pasta and meatballs are cooking)
    • In a skillet over medium-high heat, ADD oil until hot
    • ADD zucchini and onions and SAUTE for 5 minutes until the zucchini is browned but not soft
    • ADD the pasta sauce to the skillet and bring to a BOIL
    • LOWER the head and let SIMMER for 8-10 minutes (Reducing the sauce thickens it and concentrates the flavors).
  • PUT IT ALL TOGETHER
    • ADD the meatballs to the sauce and toss to cover
    • USE the saved pasta water to extend the sauce if needed
    • Heat the mixture until meatballs are sufficiently warmed
  • PLATE up pasta and TOSS with sauce mixture
  • SERVE with a topping of vegan parmesan cheese if you like
  • STORE pasta separate from sauce in airtight containers in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. FREEZE sauce for up to 3 months. Pasta doesn’t freeze well.

Sweet & Sour Veggie Stir-Fry with Fried Tofu

I really enjoy the mix of sweet and sour flavors and this easy 30-minute veggie stir-fry highlights the flavor combination well. As you know if you have tried some of my other stir-fry tofu recipes, use extra firm cubes, dry them well, roll them in cornstarch and fry them in the wok for that perfect texture.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients

SAUCE
Sweet & Sour Sauce
1 can (8 ounces) CRUSHED PINEAPPLE in 100% juice
(drain and retain juice)
1/2 cup packed BROWN SUGAR
1 tablespoon CORNSTARCH
1/2 teaspoon SALT
1/2 cup WATER
6 tablespoons APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
STIR-FRY
1 tablespoon cooking OIL
1 14-ounce block of extra firm TOFU, pre-cubed
1 10-ounce bag of mixed ASIAN Vegetables
2 tablespoons CORNSTARCH
Pinch of SALT
BASMATI RICE, per serving
Optional Toppings: toasted sesame seeds, seaweed, or green onions

Directions

  • PREPARE RICE according to package directions
  • PREPARE SAUCE
    • OPEN pineapple can and PRESS out the juice into a separate cup. SET aside
    • In a medium saucepan, MIX brown sugar and cornstarch
    • ADD water and the separated pineapple juice. STIR
    • STIR in the vinegar
    • BOIL over medium-high heat STIR continuously for 1 minute
    • ADD crushed pineapple and continuing stirring until thick
  • PREPARE TOFU
    • If using prepackaged extra firm cubes, DRAIN water from the package. PAT dry with a paper towel. SPRINKLE with a pinch of salt.
    • If using a block of extra firm tofu, DRAIN water from the package. Line a plate or baking sheet with paper towels. Place tofu on top of the paper towels and then cover with another layer of paper towels. PRESS gently to remove extra moisture. CUT tofu into 1-inch cubes. SPRINKLE with salt.
    • In a large bowl, PLACE 2 tablespoons of cornstarch.
    • ADD dried tofu cubes to cornstarch and roll them around until they are evenly coated.
    • HEAT 1 tablespoon of oil in a wok (or large skillet) over medium heat. Roll oil around to make sure to coat bottom and sides.
    •  ADD coated tofu to wok and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until golden brown on one side. Do not stir for the first 2 minutes so that it can set. 
    • With a spatula, TURN and brown the tofu on the other side for another 2 to 3 minutes until it’s totally golden. STIR occasionally.
    • TRANSFER the tofu to a plate lined with a paper towel and set aside.
  • PREPARE VEGGIES 
    •  COOK frozen vegetables in the WOK according to directions on the package (usually steam for 6 or 7 minutes)
  • COMBINE ALL INGREDIENTS
    • Return the wok to high HEAT
    • ADD tofu to the veggies in the wok
    • ADD sauce and using a large spatula TURN to coat everything evenly.  Season to taste.
  • SERVE over rice. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds, seaweed, or green onions.
  • STORE in an airtight container for 2-3 days.

Vegan Savory Sweet Potato Mash

Here’s a savory vegan alternative to the usual sweet sweet potato side dish that you find at many holiday meals. This 30-minute mash is vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free and generally allergy free but it is well spiced and creamy, with coconut milk, vegan butter, nutmeg, cinnamon, and sage. Give it a try next time you are planning on serving potatoes.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients

2 large SWEET POTATOES
4 tablespoons Vegan BUTTER, melted
1/2 cup COCONUT MILK, warmed
1/2 teaspoon CINNAMON
1/2 teaspoon SAGE
1/4 teaspoon NUTMEG
1/4 cup BROWN SUGAR
SALT and PEPPER to taste
Sprinkle of PARSLEY

Directions

  • SCRUB, PEEL, and CUT potatoes into big even sized chunks. Chunks of similar size will cook at a more consistent rate.
  • PLACE potatoes in a medium pot and cover with COLD water enough to cover potatoes by about 1 or 2 inches
  • ADD a pinch of salt and bring to a BOIL
  • When the water is boiling, REDUCE heat to a SIMMER for 15 minutes until potatoes are fork tender (soft)
  • While the potatoes are cooking, in a medium saucepan on medium heat, MELT the butter
  • ADD sage and saute
  • WARM the coconut milk
  • DRAIN the potatoes in a calendar and then RETURN to the still warm potato pot
  • ADD the sage, butter, milk, spices and brown sugar mixture to the potato pot
  • MASH gently. I like to leave my potatoes chunky. Don’t over mash or the potatoes can become pasty.
  • ADD salt and pepper to taste

Yesterday’s Leftovers Omelet

When there is just a little bit of veggies and rice left over from the night before or you have some fajitas from a Mexican dinner in the refrigerator that you just don’t want to go to waste, the solution is this easy omelet that is great for breakfast or dinner. Basically, you can mix almost anything with a couple of eggs and have a tasty meal in less than 15 minutes.

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Servings: 2

Ingredients

Any combination of veggies and starches can work. 
May I suggest:
1/2 ONION, chopped
1 cup MUSHROOMS, sliced
1 BELL PEPPER, chopped
1 small bowl leftover cooked RICE, warmed or
chopped up boiled or roasted POTATOES
2 or 3 small TOMATOES
4 EGGS, beaten
Splash of DAIRY-FREE MILK ALTERNATIVE, I like cashew milk
1 teaspoon DAIRY-FREE BUTTER
SALT & PEPPER to taste
Handful of VEGAN CHEDDAR CHEESE, shredded

Directions

  • Depending on what leftovers you are using, you may or may not need to CHOP them up a little finer before frying
  • In a medium skillet, with a metal handle so that it can go in the oven, over medium-high heat, MELT the butter
  • FRY the vegetable leftovers together
  • WARM rice in a microwave if using
  • ADD rice or potatoes, salt and pepper to taste
  • If you are adding fish (or even meat) now would be the time to mix it in. COOK all ingredients until you feel they are well heated
  • BEAT eggs with a splash of dairy-free milk in a small bowl
  • POUR beaten egg mixture over the leftovers covering all ingredients. Depending on how much leftovers you use, you may need to add another egg or even 2.
  • COOK until the bottom of omelet is golden but the top is still uncooked
  • REMOVE the skillet from stove
  • ADD a handful of cheese shreds and place skillet under the oven BROILER until the top is golden brown and the eggs appear set (cooked through)
  • CUT the omelet in half or quarters, depending on size
  • SERVE with gluten-free toast and fresh fruit for breakfast or try a nice salad for dinner
  • STORE in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 days (would you call these leftover leftovers?)

Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free French Toast

A fast breakfast favorite around my house is French Toast. The great thing about my French Toast is that I use multigrain gluten-free bread which tends to be denser than traditional white or even whole wheat and is a weightier and more satisfying bite. Even the gluten-eaters in the family prefer it made this way.

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 6 minutes

Servings: 3

Ingredients

6 slices multi-grain gluten-free BREAD, I use 
Canyon Bakehouse Ancient Grain
2 EGGS, beaten
2/3 cups MILK ALTERNATIVE, I use Unsweetened Cashaw Milk
1 teaspoon VANILLA EXTRACT
Pinch SALT
2 tablespoons COOKING OIL, for frying
1/2 teaspoon CINNAMON, ground
Serve with
cut FRUIT, MAPLE SYRUP or HONEY

Directions

  • In a shallow dish, BEAT the eggs well
  • WHISK in the milk alternative, vanilla, and salt
  • HEAT the oil in a large frying pan on medium-high heat
  • Using a fork, DIP each slice of bread into the egg mixture, turning it over to make sure that each side is well coated. The longer the bread is in the egg mixture, the soggier it becomes, so don’t let it sit too long.
  • FRY the coated bread slices in the frying pan for 2-3 minutes until golden brown then FLIP and fry the other side
  • SPRINKLE cinnamon on each side of the bread while frying
  • REMOVE the French Toast and keep warm in a 200 degree F oven until ready to serve
  • SERVE with cut strawberries, blueberries or other fruit and top with honey or pure maple syrup.

Dairy-Free Pan Roasted Swordfish with Garlic Spinach & Rosemary Red Potatoes

If you like flavor, this 30-minute easy to prepare gluten and dairy free restaurant-style dinner is my new go-to favorite. If you want to impress someone but don’t have much time, this is the perfect seafood dinner to do it with. The secret for the swordfish is my dairy-free seasoned compound butter which was inspired by Chef Dennis. Paired with garlic spinach and rosemary potatoes, you can’t get much more flavorful in 30 minutes. Let me know what you think.

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Servings: 2

Ingredients

SWORDFISH
1 tablespoon EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
2 6-ounce SWORDFISH fillets
Pinch SEA SALT
2 tablespoons VEGAN BUTTER, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons dried PARSLEY
1 clove GARLIC, minced
1/2 teaspoon GINGER, ground
1/8 teaspoon crushed RED PEPPER
1/4 teaspoon LEMON JUICE
POTATOES
4 cups RED POTATOES, cubed
1 tablespoon VEGAN BUTTER, melted
1 clove GARLIC, minced
1 teaspoon dried ROSEMARY
SALT & PEPPER to taste
SPINACH
1 10-ounce bag of SPINACH (4 cups fresh)
1 tablespoon EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
1/2 teaspoon GARLIC SALT
Sprinkle of VEGAN PARMESAN CHEESE

Directions

  • PREPARE SWORDFISH
    • PREHEAT over to 400 degrees F
    • SEASON the swordfish with sea salt to taste
    • HEAT the oil in an ovenproof frying pan over medium-high heat
    • PLACE the swordfish in the frying pan and COOK for 3 minutes, until browned
    • FLIP the swordfish over and MOVE the frying pan to the oven
    • BAKE for 10 minutes until swordfish is done.
    • In a small bowl, prepare the compound butter by mashing the room temperature butter with the parsley, garlic, ginger, crushed red pepper, and the lemon juice until well blended. Set aside.
    • While fish is in the oven prepare the spinach and the potatoes
    • When fish is cooked, CAREFULLY REMOVE the frying pan from the oven (use oven mitt because the handle will be very hot) and RETURN to the stove on medium-high heat
    • ADD the compound butter to the frying pan and MELT until bubbling, SPOONING butter on top of fish to flavor both sides
    • SERVE swordfish on a plate and SPOON more butter on top
  • PREPARE SPINACH
    • HEAT oil in a frying pan or wok
    • ADD spinach and COVER tightly for 5 minutes to steam spinach
    • SPRINKLE garlic salt on spinach, COVER and continue to COOK for 5 more minutes, or until spinach has wilted to the desired level
    • SERVE with a SPRINKLE of vegan parmesan cheese, if desired
  • PREPARE POTATOES
    • In a medium (8-inch) microwave-safe baking dish, MELT the butter (1 minute at 50% power usually works for me, but microwaves vary)
    • MIX to combine the garlic and rosemary into the melted butter
    • ADD the potatoes and TOSS well with butter mixture
    • COVER and MICROWAVE for 8 minutes or until the potatoes are fork-tender (it really depends on how small you cut them)
  • SERVE swordfish, spinach, and potatoes together and enjoy

Red Pepper Panko Tilapia – Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free

The secret to this well seasoned gluten-free tilapia dish is browning the panko mixture before you bread the fillets. Tilapia is an inexpensive farm-raised white fish that is easy to cook, low in fat, and a good source of protein. Don’t overlook its nutritional benefits. This recipe gives it flavor and pizzaz. Let me know how yours turns out.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients

1 cup gluten-free PANKO BREAD CRUMBS
3 tablespoons EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
4 TILAPIA FILLETs, about 6 ounces each
1/4 teaspoon ROASTED GARLIC POWDER
1/2 teaspoon GINGER, ground
1/2 teaspoon PAPRIKA
1/2 teaspoon crushed RED PEPPER FLAKES
KOSHER SALT, to taste
BLACK PEPPER, to taste
Serving suggestion: LEMON wedge

Directions

  • PREHEAT oven to 425 degrees F
  • PREPARE BREADING
    • In a medium flat bottomed bowl (because you will be using it to bread the fillets), COMBINE panko crumbs, garlic powder, ginger, paprika, and red pepper flakes with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. MIX well.
    • SPREAD panko mixture on a baking sheet and BAKE for 5 minutes, until lightly browned.
    • RETURN to bowl
  • SEASON fillets with salt and pepper, to your taste
  • PRESS each fillet into the prepared panko mixture, coating both sides thoroughly. (And I mean really PRESS with your hands so it sticks well.)
  • PLACE the fillets on the baking sheet that you used to brown the panko mixture.
  • DRIZZLE the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over the fillets
  • BAKE for 15 minutes
  • SERVE warm, with a wedge of lemon
  • STORE in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1-2 days

Inspired by Food and Wine’s Crispy Baked Tilapia

Vegetables, Kale, & Quinoa Bake

I am always looking for ways to add kale to things. In general, I find kale a hard vegetable to eat, so I need to “dice it and spice it” to make it work for me. This casserole works with or without vegan cheese and I add different vegetables depending on what I have available. I’ve made this in less than 30-minutes with a 20-ounce package of frozen veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots) and a 10-ounce package of chopped kale. I eat this as my dinner entree but it would work great as a healthy side dish for meat eaters too.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 40 minutes (20 minutes if using frozen veggies)

Servings: 8

Ingredients

4 SWEET POTATOES, peeled and chopped small*
4 CARROTS, peeled and chopped small*
1 head BROCCOLI, chopped small*
2 teapoons of EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL, divided
SALT and PEPPER to taste
1 cup QUINOA
2-1/4 cups WATER or VEGETABLE STOCK
4 cloves GARLIC, minced
1 ONION, chopped small
10 ounces KALE, ribbed and chopped
1 teaspoon CUMIN
2 teaspoons CHILI POWDER
1 cup VEGAN CHEDDAR CHEESE (optional)

*Or replace the vegetables to be roasted
with a 20-ounce bag of mixed frozen vegetables
(like broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots).

Directions

  • ROAST FRESH vegetables
    • PREHEAT oven to 400 degrees F
    • LINE a baking sheet with aluminum foil
    • CHOP sweet potatoes, carrots, and broccoli into bitesize pieces
    • PLACE chopped veggies on the baking sheet and COAT with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. MIX well. (I use my hands to MIX the oil with the veggies to make sure they are well coated.)
    • COOK for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender and golden
    • REMOVE vegetables from the oven but KEEP THE OVEN ON
  • If using FROZEN vegetables, ignore the roasting instructions above and cook them according to the package then set aside until later.
  • PREPARE quinoa
    • Follow the package directions.
      • If you don’t have directions, here is how I cook quinoa: I rinse it well in a mesh strainer then COMBINE 2 cups of vegetable stock or water in a medium saucepan with 1 cup of quinoa.
    • ADD another 1/4 cup of liquid to keep the quinoa moist for when you bake it.
    • Bring to a BOIL then reduce heat for 15 – 20 minutes. You want some liquid left for moisture.
    • When quinoa is done, turn off heat and set aside.
  • PREPARE KALE MIX
    • CHOP onions, MINCE garlic, and CHOP kale
    • HEAT a large skillet on medium heat
    • ADD 1 teaspoon olive oil
    • ADD onions and SAUTE for 3 minutes
    • ADD garlic and SAUTE for another 2 minutes
    • ADD kale in batches, as much as your pan will hold
    • ADD a tablespoon of water for STEAM
    • COOK down kale and keep adding more kale and water until the kale has wilted to about 1/2 its original size. SAUTE as you go.
  • In a large bowl, COMBINE kale mixture, cooked mushy quinoa, and roasted (or cooked frozen) vegetables. Add cumin, chili powder, and salt and pepper to taste. STIR well.
  • SPRAY a large baking dish with cooking spray
    • NOTE on baking dishes: I use an 11 X 7 X 1-1/2 inch baking dish which holds 10 cups. Different size baking dishes require different amounts of time to cook. For example, if you use a 9 X 9 X 2, which is the same 10 cups as my 11 X7 X 1-1/2″, you should decrease the oven temperature to 325 degrees F and increase the time to complete cooking to 40 or 45 minutes, This is because the set up in the 9 X 9 X 2″ is thicker so it will take longer. (This hint came from the simpleveganblog.com)
  • ADD the total mixture into the baking dish and spread evenly across
  • If you opt to use vegan cheese as a topping, sprinkle the vegan cheese across the whole mixture evenly
  • BAKE for 10 minutes minimum (until cheese has melted).

Honey Garlic Shrimp with Red Quinoa & Vegetables

My goto protein for a quick 30-minute meal is shrimp. I buy bags of frozen shrimp whenever it’s on sale. Frozen shrimp defrost under cold water in less than 10 minutes. I like tail-on shrimp because it is fun to eat with your hands, but you can cut the tails off if you want to be fancy. There is no harm in using frozen vegetables to make this meal super quick and colorful.

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients

1 pound of fresh or frozen SHRIMP, peeled & deveined  
(26-30 large). I like tail on.
1 teaspoon GARLIC, minced
1/2 teaspoon GINGER, minced
1/4 cup HONEY
2 tablespoons Gluten-free SOY SAUCE
SALT & PEPPER to taste
2 tablespoons cooking OIL
1 cup dry RED QUINOA + 2 cups WATER = 3 cups cooked
Vegetable mix (fresh or frozen):
2 cups BROCCOLI florets
1 cup CAULIFLOWER florets, and
1 cup CARROTS, sliced

Directions

  • PREPARE the shrimp
    • if fresh, peel and devein
    • if frozen, thaw (10 minutes under cold running water). Peel and devein, if not already done.
  • PREPARE the marinade (while shrimp is thawing)
    • WHISK together garlic, ginger, honey, and soy sauce
    • DIVIDE marinade and set aside 1/2 for later
  • MARINADE shrimp with 1/2 the sauce for 15 minutes
  • RINSE and COOK red quinoa according to package directions (should take about 15 minutes)
  • CHOP and SLICE vegetables of choice (I used broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots)
  • STEAM vegetables for 8 minutes or until crisply tender
  • ADD oil to your wok or skillet over medium heat
  • SEAR shrimp in the oil and cook for about 1 or 2 minutes per side
  • RUB the shrimp in the sauce that is left in the pan to coat
  • SERVE shrimp over red quinoa with a generous side of vegetable and DRIZZLE remaining sauce over all

Easy Garlic Tofu & Veggie Stir-Fry

Stir-fry is the quickest meal at our house, usually no more than 30 minutes. This recipe is healthy and flavorful while being simple to prepare. Make sure to use the extra or super firm variety of tofu and dry it well before cooking. I like extra firm tofu because It is easier to work with and has a more substantial texture in the dish. Use whatever veggies you have on hand: every time I make stir-fry it is a little different so don’t be afraid to improvise. Just remember that color is important especially in a stir-fry.  

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients

SAUCE
4 cloves GARLIC, minced
1 tablespoon fresh GINGER ROOT, grated or minced
1/4 teaspoon BLACK PEPPER
1/4 teaspoon SALT
3/4 cup VEGETABLE STOCK
1/4 cup gluten-free SOY SAUCE
1 teaspoon CORNSTARCH
1 teaspoon WATER

STIR-FRY
1 14-ounce block of extra firm TOFU, pre-cubed
2 cups CARROTS, sliced
4 cups BROCCOLI florets, chopped
1 cup EDAMAME or chopped GREEN BEANS
1 8-ounce can WATERCHESTNUTS, sliced
2 tablespoons CORNSTARCH
Pinch of SALT
1 tablespoon cooking OIL
BASMATI RICE, per serving
Optional Toppings: toasted sesame seeds, seaweed, or green onions

Directions

  • PREPARE SAUCE: In a small bowl, WHISK garlic, ginger root, pepper, salt, vegetable stock, soy sauce, cornstarch, and water. Let it sit so that the flavors blend.
  • PREPARE tofu
    • If using prepackaged extra firm cubes, DRAIN water from the package. PAT dry with a paper towel. SPRINKLE with a pinch of salt.
    • If using a block of extra firm tofu, DRAIN water from the package. Line a plate or baking sheet with paper towels. Place tofu on top of the paper towels and then cover with another layer of paper towels. PRESS gently to remove extra moisture. CUT tofu into 1-inch cubes. SPRINKLE with salt.
    • In a large bowl, PLACE 2 tablespoons of cornstarch.
    • ADD dried tofu cubes to cornstarch and roll them around until they are evenly coated.
    • HEAT 1 tablespoon of oil in a wok (or large skillet) over medium heat. Roll oil around to make sure to coat bottom and sides.
    •  ADD coated tofu to wok and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until golden brown on one side. Do not stir for the first 2 minutes so that it can set. 
    • With a spatula, TURN and brown the tofu on the other side for another 2 to 3 minutes until it’s totally golden. STIR occasionally.
    • TRANSFER the tofu to a plate lined with a paper towel and set aside.
  • PREPARE VEGGIES 
    •  Return the wok to high HEAT until lightly smoking (add more oil if needed). ADD broccoli florets, carrots, edamame, and water chestnuts, STIR and TOSS veggies frequently.  Veggies should be cooked but still firm (anywhere from 2 to 4 minutes should do it). Note: You can even use frozen mixed Asian vegetables, just follow directions on the package to cook.
    • TRANSFER the veggies to a bowl and set aside.
  • COMBINE ALL INGREDIENTS
    •  Return the wok to high HEAT and ADD sauce mixture. STIR and COOK until sauce is boiling. 
    • ADD tofu and veggies to the wok and using a large spatula TURN to coat everything evenly.   Season to taste.
  • SERVE over rice. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds, seaweed, or green onions.