Category: Vegan

Broccoli, Kale and Blueberry Salad

Broccoli, Kale and Blueberry Salad
THIS!!! Not only beautiful, but a nutrition POWERHOUSE…

I love broccoli salad!  I love “THE” broccoli salad that you can buy in almost any deli you visit, you know the one with bacon, and nuts and craisins??  Seriously, what is not to love?  The one that is so good, but maybe not the best choice all the time. 

I really wanted to make a healthier version of that salad I love so much.  I wanted to replace the heavy dressing with a lighter vinaigrette, the bacon with a healthy fat and olives fit that bill, the crasins with antioxidant packed, sweet blueberries and some kale (because we really can’t get enough) for all of it’s wonderful nutritional value and it’s beautiful color. (more…)

Spaghetti Squash Bowls with Spinach, Pomegranite and Spicy Roasted Chickpeas

Spaghetti Squash Bowl with Spinach, Pomegranite and Spicy Roasted Chickpeas
Beautiful color and fantastic texture Spaghetti Squash Bowls with Spinach, Pomegranate and Spicy Roasted Chickpeas is a perfect meal in a natural “bowl”…

Spaghetti Squash Bowls with Spinach, Pomegranate and Spicy Roasted Chickpeas are the result of me almost writing off spaghetti squash…a desperate attempt to learn to love this beautiful produce item.  If this sounds familiar, try this recipe and you too will become a believer!! 

Friends lets not pretend that “spaghetti” squash is a comparable alternative to spaghetti , lets instead learn to appreciate it for what it is.  Yes, it does have the “strand-like” texture, but because it is a vegetable not a product made from flour, the TEXTURE is TOTALLY different.  Once you know this and accept this we can work together on loving this SQUASH! (more…)

Mixed Citrus Salad with Avocado, Pomegranate and Spicy, Roasted Chickpeas

Mixed Citrus Salad with Avocado, Pomegranate and Spicy, Roasted Chickpeas
LOOK AT THIS COLOR!!! Isn’t it just gorgeous? I had some of my favorite women over for a very early Christmas lunch and wanted to make them something that was packed with color, flavor and all kinds of nutrition and this salad was the creation…

‘Tis citrus season, friends….I like to think of it this way instead of ’tis flu season.   Citrus season is just beginning…it peaks right after the new year, so good news….you can make this beauty over and over for the next few months.  Mixed citrus salad with avocado, pomegranate and spicy, roasted chickpeas is light and refreshing, and is packed with fiber, vitamin C, antioxidants and phyochemicals….all warriors against that other season we are in (not to mention preventative measures against all kinds of other things that our bodies don’t want).  Did I mention it is absolutely stunning…a real show-stopper and EASY to make???  Let’s do this…to begin with, we will talk about roasting chickpeas….genius, I know!! (more…)

Cranberry-Apple Sauce with Maple Syrup and Cinnamon

Cran-Apple Sauce with Maple Syrup and Cinnamon
Cranberry sauce is a must on my Thanksgiving table.  Cranberry-apple sauce with maple syrup and cinnamon is the recipe you will use going forward.  The apples along with the maple syrup naturally sweeten the sauce eliminating the need for added sugar…#winning..  

I LOVE cranberry sauce with turkey.  I could never really get into the kind that looked like a can in slices on a plate, but real cranberry sauce….LOVE IT!!  I remember it being my job to make it growing up at our Thanksgiving.   I grew up in central MN on a lake and every year (it seemed anyway) the lake was frozen enough for skating so we would spend the morning on the ice and then with bright, red cheeks and in my Thanksgiving outfit (long underwear) I would help Mom with the feast….my job, cranberries.  I would read the directions on the package and do things just as instructed and the sauce was great!  Such beautiful color and the perfect accompaniment to our turkey.  Very fond memories friends…my parents were transplants from Chicago, so our Thanksgiving was often just the 4 of us and it was magical.  This year,at my house there will be a few more than 4, 12 in fact, and I will be making the cranberry sauce yet again, with perhaps a hand from one of my kids.  We will be making cranberry-apple sauce with maple syrup and cinnamon and I am going to say it…YOU SHOULD TOO!!!!!  No sugar in this one, natural sweeteners from the maple syrup and the apples.  This sauce is great with turkey (yes, I tested it with http://www.hotdatedinner.com/turkey-legs-brined-buttermilk-smoked/), but I also tested it with vanilla ice cream and toasted pecans and guess what?!?  IT WAS AMAZING!!  AND, I plan to serve any leftovers with yogurt and granola (along with http://www.hotdatedinner.com/pumpkin-chocolate-chip-muffins/) on Friday morning before the days festivities commence.  Dinner, dessert and breakfast all in one recipe…you are welcome.  ♥ (more…)

Beets, Roasted with Shallots and Rosemary, Pickled with Red Onions

Beets, Roasted with Shallots and Rosemary, Pickled with Red Onion
The perfect sweet and and “oniony” condiment. Beets, roasted with shallots and rosemary and pickled with red onions are so incredibly delish on salads and sandwiches..

I don’t think I was privy to pickled beets until after I met my good friend, Tim. ♥  His Grandma made them every year, with his help at times.  Sure, I had eaten this magnificent root plenty of times…we grew them in our garden while I was growing up and my mom did other amazing things with them, but pickled…WHOA, this was an awakening!!  Beets are so beautiful…the color alone just draws us in.  Pickling them with the addition of red onions is like a marriage made in heaven, a sweet, pickly, oniony marriage.  There is sugar in this recipe providing the perfect, sweet, acidic flavor you are craving.  Make no mistake, although there is some sugar, beets are a great source of fiber and are naturally low in calories and fat.  These gems are the perfect addition to any sandwich, but I particularly love them on a veggie sandwich. (more…)

Quinoa Salad with Black Beans, Fresh Corn and Peppers

Quinoa Salad with Black Beans, Fresh Corn and Peppers

Quinoa salad with black beans, fresh corn and peppers is a perfect make-ahead meal or side that can be used in all kinds of combinations throughout the week.  I have served it will grilled salmon for dinner, with a sliced avocado for lunch or even as it is for a quick snack or light lunch. (more…)

Oven Roasted French Fries

Oven-Roasted French Fries with Curried Tomato Aoli
Perfect;y crispy, perfectly hot, perfectly-perfect… Served here with a curried tomato aoli….cheers friends..

How about those fries?  You can do this, fresh, REAL, oven-roasted french fries.  No deep-frying and besides a splash of evoo and a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper the only ingredient in this recipe is POTATOES….as it should be my friends.   The frozen varieties will do in a pinch (I guess), but this is a treat and with a bit of plan-ahead time, you may never do it any other way (I hope anyway♥).  Here we go.. (more…)

Curried Tomato Chutney

Curried Tomato Chutney
Almost the end of October and we have to make the most of these late season tomatoes, how about a curried tomato chutney to go with your eggs, on a burger or transformed as a dip for your fries..

Katie went out in the garden to pick the last of this years tomatoes over the weekend and with the small bounty she brought in, I thought I’d make a curried tomato “chutney” to have that morning for brunch with eggs.  What is chutney?  It is a spicy condiment made of fruits or vegetables with vinegar, spices, and sugar, originating in India.  This particular recipe does not include any vinegar, the tomatoes are acidic enough, but otherwise it meets definition.  I LOVE the flavor of curry powder which is a spice blend of coriander, turmeric, cumin, fenugreek, and chili peppers.  Added to the tomatoes, onions and garlic in this recipe, it is magic.  This would also be good on grilled chicken, fish or as a condiment for sandwiches. (more…)

Oven Roasted Acorn Squash Slices with Fresh Thyme and Honey

Roasted Acorn Squash Slices with Fresh Thyme and Honey
Roasted acorn squash with fresh thyme and honey is sweet autumn perfection…the perfect addition to any meal this Fall..

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Crispy Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Smoked Paprika

Baked Sweet Potatoes with Smoked Paprika
Uniform size is important so that all of the fries cook equally

Crispy, baked sweet potato fries with smoked paprika may be your new go to when craving french fries.  Sweet potatoes are a nutrition powerhouse, packing Vitamin A and C along with smaller amounts of other vitamins and minerals.  They also are a great source of fiber and have a lower glycemic index than white potatoes.   Foods with a low glycemic index (GI) tend to release glucose slowly and steadily into the blood sugar as opposed to foods with a high glycemic index which release glucose rapidly……this means you can eat these sweet potato fries without feeling hungry or tired an hour later.  Have at it!! (more…)

Roasted Tomato and Jalapeno Salsa with Fresh Cilantro

Roasted Tomato and Jalapeno Salsa with Fresh Cilantro

Friends, here is THE salsa recipe you will make going forward.   Roasted tomato and jalapeno salsa is everything we are looking for in a salsa, peak tomato flavor, perfect consistency and some heat.  BINGO!!   If you aren’t growing them, grab some of those late summer tomatoes from the farmers market and preserve this wonderful season…you will thank yourself all year long.  In fact, grab a bunch and make a big batch of roasted tomato marinara with fresh basil and Parmesan while you’r at it, get that recipe here http://www.hotdatedinner.com/roasted-tomato-marinara/ . For a list of MN Farmers Markets, check out this website http://minnesotagrown.com/.  Use roma tomatoes for this recipe, they have thicker walls and less juice as opposed to sandwich tomatoes.  This is easy and makes a ton, let’s go… (more…)

Maple, Oatmeal, Almond Granola with Cinnamon and Craisins

Maple, Oatmeal, Almond Granola with Cinnamon and Craisins
WARNING, your house will smell AMAZING when you make this. A few ingredients and this will be your response to, “what can we have for a snack?”

Granola, so good as a topping for yogurt, alone in a bowl with some milk or just as a plain handful.  This recipe for maple, oatmeal, almond granola is easy, makes a ton and like I said, it will make your house smell AMAZING!!   Yes, you can buy all different kinds of granola in grocery stores and specialty food shops so why make your own??  Here’s why….you control what ingredients go into this one and you won’t need any sort of stabilizer or ingredient you cannot identify.  As an added bonus this one is packing nutrition with lots of fiber from the oatmeal and healthy fats and protein from the almonds and pepitas. (more…)