To-Die-For Sautéed Noodles [vegan gf]

So lately I have been obsessed with noodles or grains and greens. Dinner is a giant bowl of chopped greens, dressing and starch. The red leaf lettuce is my favorite; it's so delicate, bitter but subtle, crunchy, light and is perfect with dressing of any kind. My kids LOVE red leaf lettuce; they would eat an entire bowl full without even one complaint. 

simple red leaf lettuce salad | vegan gluten free

The greens look something like this. I usually add a dash of lemon and some vegan mayo. Then I add garbanzo beans (uncooked). Protein, vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, nitrates, and the list goes on. It's filling and has a high water content. No frying, no baking, no sauteeing. It's so easy and simple, right?

red leaf lettuce salad | sautéed noodles | gluten-free vegan

The starch I add to my greens are usually one of the following:

sweet potatoes

baked baby potatoes

noodles with my no cook magical marinara

white rice or brown rice

quinoa

This combo is really easy to to digest, quick and easy to make on a school night and my kids love it as well, so that's a win. Add some seeds and beans of any kind or some beyond meat or mock meat of your choice (optional).  

to-die-for simple sautéed noodles | gluten free & vegan

But this particular Saturday night I wanted something special. So I boiled noodles, as usual, and this time I sautéed them up in a hot pan with other sweet, salty and spicy ingredients like garlic, [vegan] butter, chili paste and tamari. It was to-die-for! Add these to-die-for sautéed noodles to your basic chopped red leaf lettuce and you've got a bomb ass healthy vegan dinner for the whole family! I made it twice just to be sure I wasn't crazy and that this was in fact so tasty. So you can trust me on this one. My kids devoured it and agreed they are to-die-for. 

to-die-for sautéed noodles [vegan & gf]

The list of steps and ingredients looks long but it really only takes 10 minutes to make this entire dinner. It might take a few more minutes the first time you make it but once you get the hang of it, it takes no time at all. Remember, as I always say, have fun and add your own spices or herbs or ingredients. 

to-die-for sautéed noodles with red leaf lettuce! perfect vegan dinner for the whole family!

 

TO-DIE-FOR SAUTEED NOODLES & RED LEAF LETTUCE RECIPE

serves 3 adults or 2 adults and 2 kids

to-die-for sautéed noodles {vegan + gf}

INGREDIENTS

for the salad:

  • 1 head red leaf lettuce, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp vegan mayo
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • 1/3 - 1/2 cups garbanzo beans (just rinsed, no cooking needed)

for the noodles:

DIRECTIONS

  1. Boil the Lotus Foods noodles for 3-4 minutes according to package. 
  2. While it's boiling, chop the red leaf lettuce and set it in a bowl. Add the garbanzo beans, mayo and lemon. Mix well with your hands or utensils of choice. Set aside. 
  3. Warm the butter or oil in a pan with minced raw garlic and chopped onion for about 2 minutes until onion is translucent.
  4. Add the boiled noodles and toss. Cook for about 1 minute and then add the rest of the spices (agave, tamari, onion powder, chili flakes and chili paste). 
  5. Toss and cook for about 3-4 minutes until noodles are dry in texture and cooked well. (see photos). 
  6. Serve with the greens and topped with toasted sesame seeds or fresh herbs. 

NOTE: do not use regular spaghetti noodles. You must use the chow mien style noodle. Or pad thai style. They are totally different in texture and will yield much better results. 

NOTE #2: the original recipe posted on Oct 8 has been edited due to an ingredient not being completely vegan. I didn't even realize my chili paste had anchovies in it 🙀. Totally my bad. But I modified it and this version is even better. I have made it 3 times and it's BOMB still. Enjoy. Truly sorry for that, guys! 

Cauliflower & Raisin Stuffed Bell Peppers

Fall is around the corner so I have been testing more recipes in the oven lately. This stuffed bell pepper recipe isn't new though; I've been making it for years now. In fact, I got my mom hooked years ago and she make it all the time (see photos below). We love to play around with different ingredients. This time it was Cauliflower, raisins and toasted pine nuts. 

cauliflower and raisin stuffed bell peppers recipe [vegan] [gluten-free] #purekitchenblog #puremamas

Stuffed bell peppers are exciting because they are so versatile in what goes in them. My Cauliflower and Raisin Stuffed Bell Peppers recipe is exact but please feel free to use your favorite vegetables, nuts or seeds and herbs. 

You can even add cheese like feta (my mom's favorite) if you're not vegan or a Daiya or Kite Hill vegan style would be my choice. 

Simple & Versatile Stuffed Bell Peppers [vegan] [gluten-free] [plant-based] #purekitchenblog #puremamas
Cauliflower & Raisin Stuffed Bell Peppers | #purekitchenblog #puremamas #vegan #glutenfree

I try and eat low fat most of the time but I find roasting or pan sautéing without any oil is difficult, so I add as little as possible. Usually I use a little water first to steam and cook the veggies down and then add a touch of oil for the final sautéing. The other option is to dry sauté or use a tiny bit of oil first until the juice from the veggies seeps out and you can use that for the rest of the cooking process. 

When I use oils to cook I try not to use cheese or avocado. That way a least the fat content isn't too high. Don't get me wrong I love fat but I don't like too much oils. I like to get my fat from avocados, nuts coconut etc.

What's your favorite fat? Do you think low-fat is almost impossible and boring? I sometimes do, I have to admit. So I def splurge from time to time. 

Vegan Cauliflower & Raisin Stuffed Bell Peppers #puremamas #purekitchen

Not to mention I have spent the past week on a low-fat raw vegan diet. Have you checked out my raw vegan cleanse? I created a meal plan and helpful shopping guide with loads of inspiration, motivation and 30+ recipes to have on hand. Click here to see more photos and pricing.  

So now just al little fat for flavor and texture because I reset my palate after that week. It helps to cleanse from time to time; the body really appreciates it. You'll be so glad you did it. 

[vegan] Stuffed Bell Pepper Recipe | super simple! delicious!
vegan stuffed bell pepper recipe | via #purekitchenblog @

Cauliflower and Raisin Stuffed Bell Peppers

yields 8 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 4-5 bell peppers, cut in half, seeds removed
  • 2 cups cauliflower rice (or make your own)
  • 2 cups cooked white or brown rice 
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh corn 
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tsp olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted or dry roasted
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • fresh parsley, chopped (or other herbs like basil, cilantro, arugula, etc.)
  • sea salt, to taste
  • spices like pepper, cumin, red chili flakes, etc. 

DIRECTONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 
  2. In a large baking dish or cookie sheet, place the bell peppers that are cut in half already and seeded. Cook them for about 20 minutes, until soft. They might produce juice/water, so be careful when taking them out of the oven. 
  3. While the peppers are baking, put the olive oil or coconut oil into a frying pan or skillet on the stovetop. Press the garlic (or mince it) into the warm oil along with the chopped scallion. Cook until scallions are translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Don't let them burn. 
  4. For the cauliflower rice, I suggest just buying it pre-made to make your life easier. Even Costco and Target have it pre-made and I think Trader Joes as well. Same with the rice; just cook it ahead of time in a rice cooker or buy it frozen (pre cooked) at your local health food store. 
  5. Add the rice and cauliflower rice to the hot skillet. Add the chopped tomatoes, corn and pinch of salt. Add any spices you feel like adding. I only added pepper, salt this time and red chili flakes for spice. 
  6. Cook for about 4 minutes, tossing and coating. Cook on medium or medium/high until most of the water has evaporated (about 2 more minutes). 
  7. Turn off heat. Add raisins and mix well. Fill each bell pepper half with the mixture. Fill them full and well - pushing some into the corners of the bell peppers. 
  8. This is where you can add vegan cheese (or regular if you wish). Cook in the oven for another 10 minutes. 
  9. Remove from oven. Let cool. Then serve. 
  10. Garnish with toasted pine nuts and tons of fresh herbs. 
  11. Enjoy! 

Vegan Lentil Meatballs (grain-free, meat-free)

Hooray for meatballs without the meat. No soy, no gluten, no seitan; simply made from lentils and almonds. These lentil meatballs are a new favorite around here; perfect to add to our Magical no-cook tomato sauce

lentil meatballs. vegan. high protein. simple to make. delicious. kids approved. grain-free.

In addition to being high in protein these meatballs are full of fiber. Each meatball has about 5 grams of protein. That's 20 grams in the bowl shown above. Add that to a bowl of pasta and you got all kinds of healthy "good" carbs, vitamin C, micronutrients, fiber, essential enzymes and protein. No dairy or meat needed. 

meatless lentil meatballs. 5g protein per ball. vegan. dairy-free. grain free. soy free.

These meatballs are so easy, no need to sauté any onions or garlic and the only fat I used was vegan butter. I'm obsessed with Miyoco's European style cultured vegan butter. Have you tried it yet? Holy moly. And it's Free of cholesterol, lactose, egg, gluten and palm oil and made without GMOs. 

I just threw all the meatless meatball ingredients into a food processor and once it turned into a dough paste type of thing it was ready to cook up. So simple. And you can play around with your own spices and herbs.  

vegan meatless meatballs. lentil protein. 5 grams protein in each meatball. grain-free.
Meatless meatballs. Homemade lentil meatballs made with fresh ingredients. 5 grams of protein in each ball. Dairy-free. Grain-free. Soy free.

These meatballs taste light and airy but also hearty and spicy. They are drop-the-mic delicious. Simple, fresh and easy to whip up. Tip: try using the Trader Joes already cooked lentils to save you time! If you do that, you just made your life a whole lot easier and dinner prep time so much more tolerable. 

Vegan meatless lentil meatballs. Dairy-free. Grain-free. High protein. Soy-free.

Your kids will love them, too. Store them in an airtight container and throw them in your kids' lunch boxes along with some tomato dipping sauce or leftover pasta. Eat them on top of salads or inside a big collard green like a taco. They are versatile little meatballs. 

dairy-free, soy-free, grain-free meatless lentil meatballs. high protein. simple fresh ingredients.

Lentil Meatballs Recipe

Yields approx 12-14 balls

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. 
  2. In a food processor bowl add all of the ingredients. 
  3. Pulse and scrape the ingredients over and over until you have a smooth dough. Not too wet and pasty but more like a clumpy dough. I know when my dough is ready because the dough starts to ball up and roll around in the food processor as one large blob. 
  4. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. 
  5. Remove dough by forming small balls using your hands. If it seems too wet (it shouldn't stick to your fingers) then add a touch more almond flour. Place balls onto the lined cookie sheet. 
  6. Before you bake them you'll first want to sauté / cook them in a large skillet using butter or olive oil. You will want to toss them to be sure they roll around and cook evenly. About 5 minutes or until they start to brown. 
  7. Place the balls back onto the parchment paper lined cookie sheet and bake the meatballs for about 30 minutes. Keep checking on them. You want them cooked all the way through. 
  8. In the meantime prep your noodles and marinara or your salad. 
  9. Once thoroughly cooked, let them cook before serving. 
  10. Store leftovers in the freezer until ready to use. Bake them at 375 degrees F until they are warmed all the way through. 

note: recipe adapted from http://minimalistbaker.com/easy-lentil-meatballs/. 

Mint & Ginger Pesto Over Kelp Noodles

Oh my goodness, today is my second day back from Cabo, Mexico. It's raining here in San Diego and kind of cold. I am happy to be home safe and sound with kiddos. I did miss them. But I have to be honest I am kind of missing the sunshine, pool time, warm air, ocean views and the no kid vibe. I had four nights away. That's four more than I have had in almost 3 years. Whoa!

Mint & Ginger Pesto Over Kelp Noodles | #glutenfree #vegan #rawvegan @julinovotny

But as promised to you all on instagram, I spent my first work day back perfecting my pesto for the kelp noodle dish. It's a little sweet, kind of tangy, definitely garlicy, toasty from the almonds but also super duper fresh thanks to the mint.

Usually pesto is super savory and oily but this recipe is more asian in style. I prefer this style sauce when working with kelp noodles. 

Mint Ginger Pesto over Kelp Noodles | @julinovotny #purektichen
Mint Ginger Pesto over Kelp Noodles | raw vegan gluten free
Kelp Noodles with Mint Pesto | Pure Kitchen Blog | @julinovotny

I have been making kelp noodle recipes for years now. But just the other day, the brilliant Meredith Baird shared a really handy dandy trick: soak the kelp noodles first in baking soda. WHAAAA? Why didn't I know this? It helps the noodles to soften. Kind of the same way marinating kale in lemon and a dash of olive oil helps them soften and become more palatable. I love all these vegan (raw) cooking tricks. Thanks Meredith!

Kelp Noodle Recipe with Mint Pesto. Delicious. Super healthy. Detox Food. Raw Vegan. Gluten-free.
mint pesto with ginger and toasted almonds.

Mint Pesto is so good. Like completely different than basil or kale pesto. But so freakin' good. It's unique in it's flavor. You really have to try it at least once to see what I'm talking about. 

I made my pesto with garlic and ginger and a bit of raw honey too. I like it a touch sweet. 

7J5A1727.jpg

MINT GINGER PESTO OVER KELP NOODLES

serves 2-3

cook time 10-15 minutes max

INGREDIENTS

For the pesto:

  • 3/4 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
  • 3 Tbsp avocado oil (I used lime flavored but you don't have to)
  • 1 tsp ginger, minced or chopped
  • 1/4 cup almonds, chopped & toasted
  • 3-4 whole garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp fresh jalapeño, chopped (or less if you don't like spice, but use a little for flavor)
  • 1 tsp raw honey
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

For the Noodle Salad (or other crunchy veggies):

  • 1/2 cup raw carrots, chopped or shaved or julienned
  • 1/2 cup raw corn kernels, cut straight from the cob
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1 tsp avocado oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1, 12 oz package, kelp noodles
  • 1 tsp baking soda 

DIRECTIONS

For the pesto:

  1. In a food processor add all of the ingredients. Note: You can use raw almonds or toasted. I like the toasty flavor so I toast my almonds first in the oven or toaster oven for about 8 minutes at 350 degrees F.
  2. Process the ingredients by pulsing for about 1 minute. 
  3. Scrape sides of the bowl. Set aside pesto. 

For the noodles + veggies:

  1. In a medium sized bowl mix the kelp noodles with juice of just half a lemon and the baking soda. This will soften the noodles. Using your hands you'll want to mix the noodles well until coated in lemon and baking soda. Set them aside while you prep the rest of the dish. Keep checking on them and mixing by hand so they continue to soften. When ready, you'll want to rinse them first. 
  2. After you are finished prepping the carrots and corn, add the avocado oil, sea salt, and juice of half a lemon. Toss until well coated. 
  3. Add this mixture to the noodles (don't forget to rinse them first and dry them). Top with the mint pesto. 
  4. Serve. Garnish with more mint and toasted almonds. 

Cauliflower Sauce Risotto with Herbs + Kale

Going dairy free or even just eating less dairy requires getting comfortable with getting creative in the kitchen and thinking outside the box. Making things creamy isn't easy when you don't eat half and half, milk or cheese. What then? Do you have to give up creamy comfort foods for good? No, not exactly. 

Creamy Cauliflower Sauce Risotto | Vegan | Gluten-free | #puremamas @julinovotny

My 5 top favorite plants to cream things up:

  1. Cashews
  2. Potatoes
  3. Cauliflower
  4. Tofu
  5. Dairy-free Yogurt and/or Milks combined with nutritional yeast
Creamy Cauliflower Sauce Risotto | Vegan | Gluten-free | #puremamas @julinovotny
Creamy Cauliflower Sauce Risotto | Vegan | Gluten-free | #puremamas @julinovotny

Today I'm going to introduce you to a creamy cauliflower sauce that works well for risotto or as a soup base or even a vegan fettuccini. This recipe is adapted from the wonderful Pinch Of Yum blog. I had yet to make one of their recipes before but seriously drool at every photo of their plant-based creations. This recipe is originally not vegan, it's made with chicken stock and real butter. So I adapted it to fit my diet. And it worked very well. The sauce gets an A in my book. 

This risotto is really simple and basic but is garlic-y and really really creamy! The color of the sauce also gives the illusion of dairy, which is nice because comfort foods are all about past memories. Physiology studies show that comfort foods we crave are actually artifacts from our past. Crazy right?

Creamy Cauliflower Sauce Risotto | Vegan | Gluten-free | #puremamas @julinovotny

What are your comfort foods? I'd love to try and recreate them without dairy or meat. Let me know if you have any suggestions or foods you just can't live without that you'd like to give a makeover. Do you have any other memories associated with food?

Creamy Cauliflower Sauce Risotto | Vegan | Gluten-free | #puremamas @julinovotny

I personally crave bagels! All throughout high school I was obsessed with bagels. I ate them daily topped with honey, cream cheese, butter with salt, berry jam or even almond butter. I mostly crave cream cheese. I shared a photo on Instagram the other day of my everything bagel (gluten-free) topped with Kite Hill cream cheese (dairy free). It did the trick. Craving cured. 

Back to this recipe (wink) - it was also approved by my kids. That's a big deal. When my kids like something I know it's a winner because it's hard to find something that both kids and parents will eat that is healthy. They truly loved it. Also, If you are still new to being dairy free then add some regular parmesan to this dish after making it. Just fold in the parmesan shreds. You will think the entire dish was made from cheese. Just a little goes a long way. Trust me. My mom tested this out and she loved it. She said she didn't need to add the parmesan at all but even just a little bit did add that cheese flavor she was craving.  Plus it's topped with healthy fibrous toasty kale

Creamy Cauliflower Sauce Risotto | Vegan | Gluten-free | #puremamas @julinovotny
Creamy Cauliflower Sauce Risotto | Vegan | Gluten-free | #puremamas @julinovotny

Creamy Cauliflower Sauce Risotto Recipe

Yields 4 dinners

INGREDIENTS

Risotto

  • 1 1/2 cup dry uncooked risotto rice
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 2 cubes or tsp bouillon 
  • 6 cups water
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 7 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 3 Tbsp vegan butter (I used Myconos)
  • 1/2 cup soaked cashews
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup of lightly dried or fresh herbs like cilantro, parsley and basil  

Garnishes (optional)

Kale Chips:

  • 1/2 head kale, chopped into 1-2 inch strips
  • 1 tsp olive oil or avocado oil
  • sea salt + pepper

Vegan Cashew Parmesan Cheese

DIRECTIONS

Prep:

  1. Cook the risotto rice in the same way you would cook normal white or brown rice. I used a rice cooker. 
  2. Set the cashews in a bowl covered with water and let them soak. 
  3. Preheat oven to 400 for the kale chips. 
  4. Get out the following: food processor to blend the sauce, blender for the cashew cream, a cookie sheet to make the kale chips, a saucepan for the onion and garlic and large pot for boiling the cauliflower. 

Now Get Cooking:

Cauliflower:

  1. Cut the large stem off the cauliflower. Chop the rest into big pieces. Set the cauliflower in a large pot on the stove. Cover it with the 6 cups of water and the bouillon cubes/paste. 
  2. Boil the broth. And then turn the head down to medium/low and cook covered with the lid until cauliflower is soft and fully cooked. About 8 or so minutes. Do not discard the water.
  3. Using a slotted spoon you'll want to remove the cauliflower from the hot broth and put it into a food processor for blending. 

Onion, Butter & Garlic: 

  1. Add the butter and onion only to a saucepan on medium heat. Let the onions cook for about 5 minutes until they are translucent and start to caramelize a little on the edges.
  2. Add garlic and cook 1 more minute. Remove from heat. 
  3. Add this mixture to the cauliflower in the food processor bowl. 

Cashew Cream:

  1. Add the soaked cashews to a blender with 1 cup water. Blend this up until creamy. 
  2. Add 1/2 cup this cream to the food processor bowl with the cauliflower and butter mixture. 
Creamy Cauliflower Sauce Risotto | Vegan | Gluten-free | #puremamas @julinovotny

The Cauliflower Sauce:

  1. Now that everything is in the food processor you'll want to add the salt and pepper. 
  2. Blend away. And keep adding the cauliflower broth for more liquid if needed. You don't want this sauce to be super duper creamy and thick. But you don't want it to be a soup either. So play around and keep adding broth by a spoonful until you have the perfect texture. No chunks. 

Risotto:

  1. Add the cauliflower sauce to the warm risotto rice. Blend gently with a large slotted spoon or wooden spoon. Gently fold the sauce into the rice. Add all the fresh or lightly dried herbs. 

Mini Kale Chips (optional):

  1. Chop the kale. Large stems removed. Add the pieces to a cookie sheet. 
  2. Gently massage the olive oil, salt and pepper into the kale. 
  3. Lay the pieces evenly across the cookie sheet. Do not overlap. 
  4. Cook about 6 minutes in the oven. You'll know when they are done. They are very flat and the color changes to a darker brown. They should not be burnt
  5. Garnish the risotto with these little kale chips. 
Creamy Cauliflower Sauce Risotto | Vegan | Gluten-free | #puremamas @julinovotny

If you're in the mood to really play around with innovative ways to make creamy foods without dairy, sign up for my newsletter because I am sharing a homemade ricotta recipe that uses macadamia nuts and is to die for. You can use it in so many recipes to add serious creaminess. The texture is similar to goat cheese.