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Getting our daily vegetable quota can be quite daunting task. But, did you know that you could add spinach to brownies and not even notice? Or how about a flavorful soup with a more bland vegetable like cauliflower? Or a delicious homemade salad to help ward off allergies?

Herb Quinoa Salad

Serves: 6-8

Recipe by Lisa Roberts-Lehan, Certified Health and Nutritional Consultant, and Holistic Chef

Ingredients

1 ½ cup quinoa

1 bunch l kale, collard greens or Swiss chard, remove the rib, chiffonade the leaves (roll in a cigar shape and thinly slice into ribbons), and roughly chop the ribbons into approximately 2 to 3-inch lengths

12 cherry tomatoes sliced in half or 2 tomatoes diced

1 cucumber or zucchini, diced

1 red, orange or yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced

2-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

¼ cup fresh mint, torn

¼ cup cilantro, torn

¼ cup flat leaf parsley, torn

2 tablespoons hemp seeds (optional for even more protein) or flaxseeds

Coconut Aminos to taste

Sea salt to taste

Cayenne or black pepper to taste

All of the ingredients are optional.  Try diced avocado, carrots, celery, beets, or spiced pumpkin seeds. Try different proteins such as lentils, tofu, tempeh, salmon, shrimp, chicken or steak. 

Directions:

  1. Rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer until the water runs clear. Cook the amaranth and quinoa and add 3 cups water, and 1 teaspoon of salt to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.  Turn the heat down to a simmer and partially cover the saucepan with a lid so that steam can escape. Cook until water has evaporated, about 20 minutes.  Remove from heat, fluff with a fork and set aside.
  2. Add the vegetables, hemp seeds, lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a bowl.  Mix gently yet thoroughly.  Add the herbs and combine.  Check the seasonings and divide among 6 plates.  Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate.  This salad can be served at room temperature or cold, or you may cover and refrigerate for up to 3 or 4 days.

Spinach Brownies

Recipe: Consumer Reports Food & Fitness issue

½ cup oil

2 eggs

1 (10-ounce package) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons water

1 (20-ounce) package Duncan Hines Chewy Fudge Brownie Mix

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F for glass or metal pans, 325 degrees F for dark or non-stick pans grease bottom of a 9×9-inch baking pan with shortening or cooking spray.
  2. In a bowl of food processor, process oil, eggs, spinach, and water until its smooth.
  3. Transfer mixture to bowl, add brownie mix, and stir until well combined.
  4. Spread batter into prepared pan and bake 34-37 minutes. Add 3-5 minutes for dark or non-stick pans. Brownies are done when toothpick inserted 1 inch from pan edge comes out clean. Per brownie: 170 calories, 16 g sugar, 8 g fiber
 Creamy Carrot and Cauliflower soup

Recipe:  Experience Life (Jan/Feb 2012)

This pureed soup is smooth, creamy and dairy free. If you want a white soup, substitute parsnips for the carrots. If you want to intensify the soups color use orange cauliflower.

Makes 4 servings

1 tbs unsalted butter

1 cup diced yellow onion

1 stalk celery, diced

2tbs minced fresh gingerroot

2 medium carrots, peeled and diced

3 cups chopped cauliflower

½ cup raw cashew pieces

4 cups chicken stock

½ tsp ground cardamom

Salt & fresh ground pepper to taste

Crumbled goat cheese and toasted pumpkin seeds if desired

Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Add onion, celery and ginger, and sauté until vegetable are softened, about 5 minutes. Add carrot, cauliflower, and cashews, and sprinkle with a little salt to “sweat” the vegetables. Cover and cook stirring every few minutes, for about 10 minutes. Add the chicken stock, cover and simmer until vegetables are very tender. Puree the soup with an immersion or regular blender, fill it only on third or halfway, and cover lid with a kitchen towel to prevent the soup from bursting out. Season with salt, pepper and cardamom. Sprinkle goat cheese crumbles and toasted pumpkin seeds before serving

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