Mediterranean Chickpea and Kale Calzones

standard January 25, 2017 Leave a response

Focusing on everything “on the go” this week, having quick and easy handheld meals can be extremely helpful, especially if you are juggling a busy work schedule, little kids, or midday appointments. While leftovers, sandwiches, or pre-made salads can be a fast go-to, these calzones also work in a pinch, especially if its chilly outside and you’re craving a hot meal. Full of protein and fiber from the chickpeas, calcium and iron from the kale, and healthy fats from tahini, this is a nutrient-packed meal that works for anyone on the go or as a slow, sit down family meal.

Mediterranean Chickpea and Kale Calzones

Yield: Serves 4

Calories per serving: 501 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 head kale, shredded (or collard greens)
  • 1 16 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 c tahini
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flake
  • 1 premade pizza dough of choice
  • 2 c marinara sauce (optional)
  • 1 c shredded vegan provolone cheese (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (or given temp for pizza dough of choice). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes or until translucent. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Add kale to pan and let wilt down. Add chickpeas and stir to combine. Let cook for a few minutes.
  4. Add tahini and lemon juice to pan. Scrape the bottom of the pan to break up any browned bits. Add red pepper flake and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine.
  5. Roll out dough into four rounds. Divide kale mixture evenly among each calzone, leaving space around the edge to fold over. Top with vegan cheese if desired.
  6. Fold dough over in half, crimping the ends together to seal. You may need a little water to help the dough to stick together.
  7. Cut 2 slits in the top of each calzone. Place on prepared baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, until tops are lightly browned.
  8. Serve with marinara sauce.
http://www.neatandnutritious.com/mediterranean-chickpea-and-kale-calzones/

Nutrition

Per serving (1 calzone, no sauce or cheese): 501 calories, 77 g carbohydrate, 13 g fat, 20 g protein, 922 mg sodium, 6 g sugar

Vegan “Tuna” Noodle Casserole

standard November 21, 2016 3 responses

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I have a lot of memories related to food. Many events and significant milestones are marked by the food involved. And then there are some food memories that are so mundane, so routine, that I remember them for their simplicity, the taste of the meal, the emotions around the occurrence, the joy in the repetition of knowing those foods would always be a part of my life.

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Many foods from my childhood I have not eaten since I left home. While not necessarily “unhealthy,” they were just foods that I forgot about as I paved my way in my first kitchen out on my own. And then I got pregnant, and literally woke up in the middle of the night craving a cinnamon raisin bagel with peanut butter. And after not purchasing bagels ever in my adult life, I found myself in the bread aisle at the grocery store the next day.

My all-time favorite food, hands-down, growing up was my mother’s tuna noodle casserole. A food on the list of many that I forgot about as I started creating and making and forming my own culinary path. And then I made a vegan dish one Thanksgiving, that while not remotely similar to tuna casserole, had a distinctive taste that reminded me of these flavors that I had enjoyed so much as a child. And then I promptly forgot about it again, never trying to make my own variation of it, until today. So, thanks to the Vegan Month of Food, we have a fairly authentic, slightly healthier variation on this classic childhood comfort food.

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Vegan “Tuna” Noodle Casserole

Yield: Serves 8

Calories per serving: 435 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 c onion, diced
  • 1/2 c celery, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 c mushrooms
  • 1 14-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained (reserve 1/4 cup)
  • 1 T kelp flakes
  • 1/2 c walnuts
  • 2 tsp tamari
  • 1/4 c fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 T fresh thyme, chopped
  • 2 c raw cashews, soaked
  • 1 c water
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 T nutritional yeast
  • 1 T apple cider vinegar
  • 16 oz curly noodles of choice
  • 1/4 c breadcrumbs or almond meal

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and garlic, and saute until translucent. Remove from pan. Add mushrooms and let cook down while preparing next steps.
  2. In a food processor, combine onion mixture, salt, pepper, chickpeas + 1/4 c liquid, kelp flake, walnuts, lemon juice, tamari, parsley, and thyme until roughly chopped and combined.
  3. Drain and rinse cashews. Add to blender with water, salt, pepper, vinegar, and nutritional yeast, and blend on high until smooth. You want this to be runny.
  4. Add cashew mixture to saucepan with mushrooms. Stir to combine. Remove from heat quickly.
  5. Cook noodles according to package directions, but undercook by a few minutes. You want the noodles to be a little firm still. Add mushroom sauce and chickpea mixture to noodles and stir to combine.
  6. Pour into a greased 9x11 baking dish. Top with breadcrumbs or almond meal. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking for 10 minutes, until bubbling.
http://www.neatandnutritious.com/vegan-tuna-noodle-casserole/

Nutrition

Per serving: 435 calories, 59 g carbohydrate, 16 g fat, 17 g protein, 210 mg sodium, 8 g sugar

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Easy Chana Masala with Samosa Tacos

standard November 9, 2016 2 responses

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I get asked A LOT what foods I’ve been craving while being pregnant. And the few that have made it past the first trimester have been peanut butter, apples, and Indian food. I cannot get enough of the chana masala from our favorite take out place. And since it is so, SO good, I have never tried to make it at home. Why mess with your favorite, right?

The problem is, chana masala is so easy to make, and so much cheaper than take out every Friday night. This version does not have the same flavors as take out, although it could probably get closer if I let it sit and simmer a bit longer. But it does fulfill the craving, which is perfect on nights when the husband cannot handle another night of Indian food. All the more for me! Plus, adding these easy samosa tacos makes it feel like a full takeout buffet, but without all the breading and frying. Easy and healthy!

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Easy Chana Masala with Samosa Tacos

Yield: Serves 4

Calories per serving: 387 kcal

Ingredients

    For the Chana Masala:
  • 1 T coconut oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp ground ginger (or 1 T fresh)
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 c onion, diced
  • 1 16 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 16 oz can fire roasted crushed tomatoes
  • 2 T fresh cilantro, chopped, for garnish
  • 2 c long grain brown rice, cooked
    For the Samosa Tacos:
  • 2 medium red or white potatoes
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 c frozen peas
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 small corn or flour tortillas
  • cilantro, for garnish

Instructions

    For the Chana Masala:
  1. Heat 1 T coconut oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add spices and toast for 1 minute until fragrant.
  2. Add onion and chickpeas, stirring to coat in spices. Let cook for 5 minutes, until onions are translucent.
  3. Stir tomatoes. Reduce heat and let simmer for 15 minutes until thick and flavors have deepened. Serve with rice and cilantro.
    For the Samosa Tacos:
  1. 1. Dice potatoes and add to a pot of salted water. Boil until soft. Drain and return potatoes to pot.
  2. 2. Add spices and mash potatoes roughly. You want big chunks of potato still. Add a little water if needed to thin. Stir in peas.Season with salt and pepper.
  3. 3. Add 2-3 T filling to each tortilla and fold into tacos. Garnish with cilantro.
http://www.neatandnutritious.com/easy-chana-masala-with-samosa-tacos/

Nutrition

Per serving (Chana Masala): 265 calories, 45 g carbohydrate, 6 g fat, 7 g protein, 498 mg sodium, 6 g sugar

Per serving (Samosa Tacos): 122 calories, 26 g carbohydrate, 1 g fat, 4 g protein, 118 mg sodium, 2 g sugar

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