Avocado Tofu Veggie Hand Rolls

Vegan, low-carb, light and fresh, give these Avocado Tofu Veggie Hand Rolls a try! They are delicious and EASY to make! #handrolls #vegan #lowcarb @hipfoodiemom1

Guys, thank the Lord it is Friday. It’s been a crazy busy week over here. In an effort to have next week off, cooking wise, I jam packed this week for all my testing, cooking and photographing. I cannot even begin to tell you how much I loathe doing dishes.  . and man, I did so many freaking dishes this week. Next week I plan to catch up on admin stuff, get caught up on blog reading and do all things social media (I have a love hate relationship with social media but that’s for another day). Because. .  next weekend is my girls trip to San Francisco and the Napa Valley! I’m going with my sister and my two BFF’s from Dallas. My sisters from another mother. .  I’m so excited you guys.

Wineries, here we come!

And, maybe the best part, I’m visiting Wente Vineyards, home of Entwine Wines. .  the wines I’ve used here, here, here and here. I am beyond excited.

Vegan, low-carb, light and fresh, give these Avocado Tofu Veggie Hand Rolls a try! They are delicious and EASY to make! #handrolls #vegan #lowcarb @hipfoodiemom1

OK, let’s get to why I’m here today. I hate wasting food. And I usually almost always go crazy when grocery shopping, which means I usually buy more than I need and end up with I-have-so-many-radishes-what-do-I-do-now kind of a thing.

Vegan, low-carb, light and fresh, give these Avocado Tofu Veggie Hand Rolls a try! They are delicious and EASY to make! #handrolls #vegan #lowcarb @hipfoodiemom1

So, I pickled radishes for the first time, among other things. Got the idea from someone when I posted this to Instagram. And needed something fabulous to eat with them. I just pickled them as I did here. I love pickled veggies with Asian foods so immediately thought.  . hand rolls!

Vegan, low-carb, light and fresh, give these Avocado Tofu Veggie Hand Rolls a try! They are delicious and EASY to make! #handrolls #vegan #lowcarb @hipfoodiemom1

Because I also had an abundance of micro greens, which I love and think are so pretty.

Vegan, low-carb, light and fresh, give these Avocado Tofu Veggie Hand Rolls a try! They are delicious and EASY to make! #handrolls #vegan #lowcarb @hipfoodiemom1

(Turn your roasted seaweed sheet at an angle and lay your ingredients in.) Typically, you cut the roasted seaweed sheet in half before you use it but I made mine a little differently.

Vegan, low-carb, light and fresh, give these Avocado Tofu Veggie Hand Rolls a try! They are delicious and EASY to make! #handrolls #vegan #lowcarb @hipfoodiemom1

These hand rolls are extremely easy to make. . throw in what you have and mix it up! The wrapping part might be tough but just be gentle and I used my avocado to “seal” them. Dip these in soy sauce with wasabi or try this freaking awesome homemade peanut sauce I made.

Eat fresh today!

Vegan, low-carb, light and fresh, give these Avocado Tofu Veggie Hand Rolls a try! They are delicious and EASY to make! #handrolls #vegan #lowcarb @hipfoodiemom1

OK guys, it’s about to get crazy here on the blog ..  the next two weeks are going to be jam packed. I have a ton of exciting things going on and ready to share ..  so please stick with me and I apologize in advance for the craziness that is about to ensue. .  I will have 8 new posts over the next two weeks. .  and there will be four separate awesome giveaways and best of all, some recipes that I’m really proud of and can’t wait to share with you!

Have a great weekend and hope you visit next week!! All the fun starts on Monday!

Avocado Tofu Hand Rolls
 
For this recipe, you will need the roasted seaweed sheets (Yaki Sushi Nori) you would use for sushi or Korean kimbap rolls. *Alternatively, you can use raw zucchini.
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer or Main
Serves: 6

Ingredients
For the hand rolls:
  • 6 roasted seaweed sheets (Yaki Sushi Nori)
  • 2 large sized carrots, peeled and julienned
  • 1 English cucumber, julienned*
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced lengthwise into thin strips
  • ½ container tofu, cut into long strips and pan-fried
  • 2 to 3 ripe avocados, sliced into thin pieces
  • 1 large package micro greens
Serve with:
  • low sodium soy sauce
  • wasabi
  • pickled ginger
  • pickled radishes
  • picked carrots

Instructions
  1. Working on a clean surface or cutting board, place a roasted seaweed sheet on the board and turn at an angle. You will be laying in all the veggies and tofu down the center from one corner to the other. I did it this way so you can have more ingredients “popping out” at the ends of the rolls for more of a visual effect.
  2. Lay in all of the ingredients from the carrots to the avocados (don’t pack in too much or it will be hard to roll). Top with the micro greens and take the left corner (the corner that is exposed with no ingredients on top) of the roasted seaweed and cover the ingredients, and then roll the hand roll closed to the opposite corner. Seal with some ripe avocado or just a dab of water if needed. Set aside
  3. Repeat with the remaining roasted seaweed sheets. Once you have all of the rolls, slice in half with a sharp knife, serve and enjoy! Serve with soy sauce, wasabi, pickled ginger and pickled radishes and carrots.

 

More Delicious Recipes using Radishes!

 

 

Strawberry Orange Muffins

Strawberry Orange Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Muffins. Sweet and delicious with hints of strawberry and orange. If you've never tried this combo, you need to! PLUS, enter to win $3,000 cash! #muffins #baking #brunch #mothersday #bonnemaman #sweeps #spon

Growing up, I was always watching my mother. She did everything. She worked long days at her Korean grocery store, she was the owner, manager, kitchen staff manager, stock manager, she did it all. My mother taught me to always work hard and do my best. She was also the voice of reason and sensibility when my sister and I were fighting. I remember every little thing my mother did for us when we were growing up and even now, I am a mother and she is now a grandmother and she still does everything she can for us.

Strawberry Orange Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Muffins. Sweet and delicious with hints of strawberry and orange. If you've never tried this combo, you need to! PLUS, enter to win $3,000 cash! #muffins #baking #brunch #mothersday #bonnemaman #sweeps #spon

My mother’s birthday is April 15, yes tax day, and Mother’s day is in May so, when we were little, she would get double the homemade-we-made-these-in-school or whatever clay-pottery-thing we had painted gifts. This year, my brother, sister and I all pitched in and helped to pay the down payment for a car for my mother. I love my mom so much, I wish we could buy her a new house . . but the car will have to do for now. She still gets the awesome one-of-a-kind homemade gifts every now and then too. .  only now they are from her grandchildren.

Mother’s Day is right around the corner. .  I’ve been leaving not so subtle hints for my husband on what I want . . so I’m keeping my fingers crossed. My husband usually makes breakfast for our family on the weekends so Mother’s Day is no different. I can’t wait to see what my kids have made or wrapped for me. Seeing how they have wrapped the gifts or what they used as wrapping paper is the best part.

Strawberry Orange Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Muffins. Sweet and delicious with hints of strawberry and orange. If you've never tried this combo, you need to! PLUS, enter to win $3,000 cash! #muffins #baking #brunch #mothersday #bonnemaman #sweeps #spon

A few weekends ago I came home from Costco with two huge containers of organic strawberries. It’s strawberry season now and I can’t get enough of them (this is a hint of what you’re going to see here on the blog over the next couple of weeks). After making this cake a couple of years ago, I fell in love with the strawberry + orange combo. If you’ve never tried it, you really need to.

Strawberry Orange Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Muffins. Sweet and delicious with hints of strawberry and orange. If you've never tried this combo, you need to! PLUS, enter to win $3,000 cash! #muffins #baking #brunch #mothersday #bonnemaman #sweeps #spon

So, I’m sharing one of my favorite combos for muffins with you today. And I’ve partnered with Bonne Maman because they have the best tasting marmalades around. Bonne Maman Preserves and Jellies, produced in France, are all-natural, with no artificial coloring, no high fructose corn syrup or no preservatives added.

I used orange zest and some of this delicious orange marmalade in these muffins.

Magical.

Strawberry Orange Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Muffins. Sweet and delicious with hints of strawberry and orange. If you've never tried this combo, you need to! PLUS, enter to win $3,000 cash! #muffins #baking #brunch #mothersday #bonnemaman #sweeps #spon

These muffins were so good. And I baked muffins today because they are easily transportable if you’re driving over to your mother’s house or they can easily be packaged up and shipped too for those of us who have our mothers out of town.

Strawberry Orange Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Muffins. Sweet and delicious with hints of strawberry and orange. If you've never tried this combo, you need to! PLUS, enter to win $3,000 cash! #muffins #baking #brunch #mothersday #bonnemaman #sweeps #spon

Make these muffins, serve them with this orange marmalade and you will be in heaven!

Win A $3,000 Day Off from Bonne Maman!

And to step things up this Mother’s Day, Bonne Maman is hosting a $3,000 Day Off Sweepstakes! There will be three grand prize winners: $2,000 CASH for the winner and $1,000 to share with a friend for a day off! Additionally, you can download and print a $1.00 off coupon (one per computer).  Sweepstakes ends on May 31, 2015.

So, who’s ready to win? Click here to enter and to see the official rules. Good luck!!!

Strawberry Orange Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Muffins. Sweet and delicious with hints of strawberry and orange. If you've never tried this combo, you need to! PLUS, enter to win $3,000 cash! #muffins #baking #brunch #mothersday #bonnemaman #sweeps #spon

Strawberry Orange Muffins
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

Recipe makes 12 to 14 muffins.
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast, Brunch or Snack
Serves: 12

Ingredients
  • 1½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup finely ground hazelnut meal/flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup non-fat plain yogurt
  • ¼ cup Bonne Maman orange marmalade
  • 1 cup diced strawberries
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and grease (or line with muffin liners) a standard sized muffin pan. Using a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour, hazelnut meal, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a separate medium sized mixing bowl, mix together the butter, vanilla, eggs (one at a time), yogurt and orange marmalade. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry flour mixture and, using a rubber spatula, mix until just combined. Fold in the diced strawberries, orange zest and chocolate chips.
  3. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin pan (I used a tablespoon sized cookie scoop and used two tablespoons of batter per muffin) and bake for about 20 to 24 minutes, or until a tester inserted comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for about 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Serve with the Bonne Maman orange marmalade.

 

Strawberry Orange Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Muffins. Sweet and delicious with hints of strawberry and orange. If you've never tried this combo, you need to! PLUS, enter to win $3,000 cash! #muffins #baking #brunch #mothersday #bonnemaman #sweeps #spon

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in partnership with Bonne Maman. All opinions expressed here are 100% my own.

 

Entertaining with Asian Spring Rolls

Delicious Vietnamese-style spring rolls made two ways! With fresh in-season spring vegetables and a traditional version! And don’t miss out on this amazing homemade peanut sauce recipe! So easy to make! Step-by-step photos and great tutorial! #springrolls

Yesterday, here in Madison, it was the hottest day of the year so far. .  79 degrees!!! It was glorious. I love how the weather causes people to have a smile on their face and a spring in their step. I picked up some tulips and channeled my inner Ina and put a little bouquet together.

The warm, perfect weather and flowers always make me happy. And I love seeing spring produce everywhere.

Delicious Vietnamese-style spring rolls made two ways! With fresh in-season spring vegetables and a traditional version! And don’t miss out on this amazing homemade peanut sauce recipe! So easy to make! Step-by-step photos and great tutorial! #springrolls

Spring rolls aren’t new here on my blog but these spring-inspired ones are!

Delicious Vietnamese-style spring rolls made two ways! With fresh in-season spring vegetables and a traditional version! And don’t miss out on this amazing homemade peanut sauce recipe! So easy to make! Step-by-step photos and great tutorial! #springrolls

I used all the spring veggies I could get my hands on.  . can you see the mangos, fennel and spinach? Ah, these spring rolls were sooooooo good. I’m sharing my tips and suggestions for Entertaining at Home with Asian Spring Rolls on the Kitchenthusiast KitchenAid blog.

Delicious Vietnamese-style spring rolls made two ways! With fresh in-season spring vegetables and a traditional version! And don’t miss out on this amazing homemade peanut sauce recipe! So easy to make! Step-by-step photos and great tutorial! #springrolls

If you’ve never had an Asian food inspired party, you need to. They are so fun and, with these spring rolls, we’re talking delicious, easy, and fresh food, and you can even set up the table DIY style!

Delicious Vietnamese-style spring rolls made two ways! With fresh in-season spring vegetables and a traditional version! And don’t miss out on this amazing homemade peanut sauce recipe! So easy to make! Step-by-step photos and great tutorial! #springrolls

For me, it’s not a successful spring roll party unless you have a great dipping sauce. Making your own peanut sauce at home is super easy so please try to make your own . . you won’t regret it and it will taste so much better than buying a bottle at the Asian market. Click over for my peanut sauce recipe!

Enjoy!!

Entertaining with Asian Spring Rolls
 
Recipe yields: 25 full-size spring rolls, or 50 when cut in half
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer or Main
Cuisine: Asian

Ingredients
For the peanut sauce:
  • ¾ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ¼ cup water
  • 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 4 teaspoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • Roasted peanuts for topping, optional
For the spring rolls:
  • 1 package Rice Paper Wraps for Spring rolls (available at all Asian markets; look for the large round ones, comes with 25 sheets of rice paper)
  • Large bowl of very hot water
For the spring medley spring rolls:
  • 4 cups of fresh baby spinach
  • 2 mangos, peeled and sliced lengthwise into strips
  • 10 to 12 asparagus spears, blanched
  • 1 to 2 cups radicchio, chopped thin
  • 1 to 2 cups raw fennel, sliced thin (white bulb part only)
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
For the traditional version spring rolls:
  • ½ large Daikon radish, peeled and cut into 3 to 4 inch pieces
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and cut in half crosswise
  • 3 to 4 cups green leaf lettuce, shredded or chopped
  • ½ pound fresh shrimp, peeled and cooked
  • ½ large red bell pepper, sliced thin lengthwise
  • 1 bunch fresh green onions or scallions, cut in half crosswise
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro

Instructions
For the peanut sauce:
  1. Using a large to medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients, from the peanut butter to the sesame oil.
  2. For the rest of the instructions and to see the full recipe card, please visit The Kitchenthusiast blog.

To see the complete recipe card, to read my post and to get my tips, please visit The Kitchenthusiast.

Delicious Vietnamese-style spring rolls made two ways! With fresh in-season spring vegetables and a traditional version! And don’t miss out on this amazing homemade peanut sauce recipe! So easy to make! Step-by-step photos and great tutorial! #springrolls

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in partnership with KitchenAid USA. Thank you for supporting me in working with the brands that I use and love.

 

 

Spinach Apple and Avocado Smoothie

Get your healthy on with this Spinach, Apple, Avocado, Banana and Almond Butter Smoothie! #smoothie #healthy

I wanted to call this my “fills you up like a meal, yeah I know it’s not pretty but it’s damn tasty” smoothie. But that probably wouldn’t have fared well with SEO.

Truth be told, if I had a choice for what I’d eat or drink in the morning, it would probably not be a smoothie. I mean come on, if I had a choice and the consequences didn’t matter, I’d have pancakes or waffles or eggs every morning, smothered in maple syrup and served with crispy bacon. And my coffee.

Get your healthy on with this Spinach, Apple, Avocado, Banana and Almond Butter Smoothie! #smoothie #healthy

But, I’m training and trying to get into shape . .  so smoothies it is!!! I don’t dislike them. .  I actually like and enjoy smoothies and now that we’re throwing all sorts of things into smoothies, I can get creative.

Get your healthy on with this Spinach, Apple, Avocado, Banana and Almond Butter Smoothie! #smoothie #healthy

I did throw an apple in here and left the skin on. . and I probably should have blended it for longer but I didn’t mind it. If seeing the specks of apple skin freak you out, peel your apple or blend blend blend until they are gone.

If you’re looking for some healthy this weekend, give this smoothie a try . . I had this twice this week for breakfast and they’re great!

Happy Friday!

Spinach Apple and Avocado Smoothie
 
Author:
Recipe type: Smoothie
Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • ½ ripe avocado
  • 1 ripe banana
  • ½ sweet apple (such as Honeycrisp); unpeeled, cored, and chopped
  • 3 cups lightly packed fresh spinach leaves
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • ½ cup mixture of strawberries and raspberries
  • about 8 to 10 ice cubes
  • 1¼ cups cold unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk beverage

Instructions
  1. Blend together the avocado, banana, apple, spinach, almond butter, berries, ice and cold almond milk in a blender until very smooth. Pour into glasses and serve immediately.

 

Get your healthy on with this Spinach, Apple, Avocado, Banana and Almond Butter Smoothie! #smoothie #healthy

 

More healthy “snack” recipes:

Coconut Almond Flaxseed Muffins

Coconut Almond Flaxseed Muffins

Chocolate Sesame Butter Energy Bites

Chocolate Sesame Butter Energy Bites

 

Chocolate Avocado Bread

Moist, flavorful and packed with vitamins, fiber and healthy fats . . you need to try this Chocolate Avocado Bread! #glutenfree #chocolateavocadobread

I’m focusing on a new green food today. Avocados! The healthy fat, or “good” fat foods.

Moist, flavorful and packed with vitamins, fiber and healthy fats . . you need to try this Chocolate Avocado Bread! #glutenfree #chocolateavocadobread

Who else loves avocados? If you’re not familiar with all the health benefits of these babies, click here to get the skinny on avocados. Avocados are a super food and are everywhere. .  salads, wraps, smoothies.  . and baked goods?!

Moist, flavorful and packed with vitamins, fiber and healthy fats . . you need to try this Chocolate Avocado Bread! #glutenfree #chocolateavocadobread

You betcha! I once made avocado brownies and today, chocolate avocado bread!

Moist, flavorful and packed with vitamins, fiber and healthy fats . . you need to try this Chocolate Avocado Bread! #glutenfree #chocolateavocadobread

I’ve been eating a fair amount of almond butter and avocados lately.  They are high in fat, but it’s the good fat and I probably wouldn’t be eating as much if I wasn’t exercising and running so much. So, remember, eat in moderation. I was aiming for healthier with this recipe so cut back on the sugar and used finely ground almond meal. I also used this triple cocoa blend, which is fabulous.

The avocados add a nice creaminess and this bread is so moist and rich! I did add brewed coffee, which seems to be my thing when baking anything with chocolate, and a 1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips (would have used bitter sweet but didn’t have any) so I thought this bread was fabulous.

Moist, flavorful and packed with vitamins, fiber and healthy fats . . you need to try this Chocolate Avocado Bread! #glutenfree #chocolateavocadobread

So, why are we having chocolate avocado bread today?

Well, it’s TAX DAY and I’m finished with my taxes!!! Taxes are over!! Woot woot!!

Eat all the chocolate avocado bread!!!

Chocolate Avocado Bread
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

Store any leftover bread in foil and a zip-top bag and place in the refrigerator.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert

Ingredients
  • ⅔ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ cup freshly brewed coffee (medium roast)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups finely ground almond flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 ripe, medium avocados, pit removed
  • ¼ cup organic light agave nectar
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease or spray a loaf pan and line with parchment paper; set aside.
  2. Using a small mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, coffee and vanilla extract. In a separate large mixing bowl, sift together the almond flour, baking soda and salt.
  3. Using your food processor, pulse together the avocados, agave and brown sugar. Process until the avocado mixture is smooth and pale green. Add in the chocolate mixture and blend/pulse until well combined. Add in the eggs and pulse 3-5 times to incorporate into the mixture.
  4. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the chocolate avocado mixture into the dry ingredients, mixing in the chocolate chips as well.
  5. Carefully pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan (batter will be a little thick) and bake for about 50 to 60 minutes or until a tester inserted comes out clean. Let the bread cool for at least 20 minutes before removing from the pan, slicing and serving.

Recipe adapted from CaliforniaAvocado.com

Moist, flavorful and packed with vitamins, fiber and healthy fats . . you need to try this Chocolate Avocado Bread! #glutenfree #chocolateavocadobread

 

 

Vegan Power Sandwich with Asparagus Pesto

Power up with this healthy, veggie packed Vegan Power Sandwich with Asparagus Pesto! Fresh, filling and flavorful, this veggie sandwich will not disappoint! #vegan #vegetarian #healthy #vegansandwich

At this point, you may be thinking that I have asparagus running through my veins now. Well, that might be the case and I am just fine with that.

I might have a slight asparagus addiction right now. When the people at my local grocery store (who see me a few times a week) tell me I’m going overboard, that will be my sign.

Power up with this healthy, veggie packed Vegan Power Sandwich with Asparagus Pesto! Fresh, filling and flavorful, this veggie sandwich will not disappoint! #vegan #vegetarian #healthy #vegansandwich

Until then, here’s yet another way to enjoy asparagus my friends. An asparagus pesto spread that you can put on a sandwich, on a pizza, on crostini, eat with crackers, raw veggie sticks and more!

Power up with this healthy, veggie packed Vegan Power Sandwich with Asparagus Pesto! Fresh, filling and flavorful, this veggie sandwich will not disappoint! #vegan #vegetarian #healthy #vegansandwich

And play around with the recipe. .  add more heat, or don’t. I kept it vegan, so there’s no cheese but some parmesan or pecorino would certainly be a nice addition to this!

I’ve also been obsessed with carrot ribbons, y’all. Break out the vegetable peeler and just go to town. Aren’t they pretty?!

Power up with this healthy, veggie packed Vegan Power Sandwich with Asparagus Pesto! Fresh, filling and flavorful, this veggie sandwich will not disappoint! #vegan #vegetarian #healthy #vegansandwich

Power up with this healthy, veggie packed Vegan Power Sandwich with Asparagus Pesto! Fresh, filling and flavorful, this veggie sandwich will not disappoint! #vegan #vegetarian #healthy #vegansandwich

The other night we were at my friend’s house for dinner. I actually made this pasta for them and brought over some fruit for dessert. My friend, Rina, is recovering from surgery so friends had sent her ice cream from Santa Barbara (where she used to live) from a place called, McConnell’s, and others brought ice cream from a local place in Madison called The Chocolate Shoppe. So, needless to say, we had a little ice cream party.

This, of course, when I’m in the middle of training and eating healthy and trying to cut down on my sugar in-take. I did have some ice cream. I mean, come on, I couldn’t resist the best ice cream in Santa Barbara and this is the actual flavor name: “This $&@! Just Got Serious”, from The Chocolate Shoppe in Madison. It’s “smooth salted caramel ice cream brimming with rich sea salt fudge and salted cashews.” Damn, it was so good.

So, there will be some faltering in the healthy eating arena I’m sure. .  which will be coupled with big veggie wins like this sandwich.

Power up with this healthy, veggie packed Vegan Power Sandwich with Asparagus Pesto! Fresh, filling and flavorful, this veggie sandwich will not disappoint! #vegan #vegetarian #healthy #vegansandwich

Lunch has never looked so good. I loved the asparagus pesto in here, along with all the crunchy veggies and soft, creamy avocado ..  Also, I’m a condiment and dressing freak so I dipped my sandwich in balsamic dressing while I was eating it. .  you can be more civilized and spread your dressing (or hummus on the toasted bread). Veggie lovers, you need to try this!

Power up with this healthy, veggie packed Vegan Power Sandwich with Asparagus Pesto! Fresh, filling and flavorful, this veggie sandwich will not disappoint! #vegan #vegetarian #healthy #vegansandwich

Vegan Power Sandwich with Asparagus Pesto
 
Prep time

Total time

 

I used sun dried tomatoes from a jar, packed in olive oil. Leftover asparagus pesto can be enjoyed with crackers, bread or with raw veggies. Prep time includes time to roast the asparagus. You can cut and prep the veggies while the asparagus is on the oven.
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 2

Ingredients
For the asparagus pesto:
  • 1 bunch asparagus spears, hard ends removed, roasted and cut into 2 inch pieces*
  • 3 to 4 sun dried tomatoes
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro
  • ¼ cup whole almonds or almond slices
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • red wine vinegar, to taste
  • light drizzle of extra virgin olive oil if needed
For the sandwich:
  • 4 whole wheat bread slices, toasted
  • ½ large cucumber, sliced thin lengthwise
  • raw shaved fennel, white bulb only
  • 1 large tomato, sliced thin
  • 1 large carrot, peeled to create ribbons
  • alfalfa sprouts
  • 1 to 2 ripe avocados, sliced
  • Serve with: Your fave creamy balsamic dressing, or just oil and vinegar or some hummus

Instructions
For the asparagus pesto:
  1. *Let the roasted asparagus cool slightly before placing into the food processor. Place the roasted asparagus, sun dried tomatoes, minced garlic, cilantro and almonds in a food processor and pulse/process a few times until just blended.
  2. Sprinkle in some salt (start with just a pinch) and crushed red pepper flakes, if using, and pulse a few more times to blend together again. Add a splash of red wine vinegar and olive oil (if needed) and pulse again. Taste and adjust any ingredients as needed. Remove from the food processor and set aside.
For the sandwich:
  1. Spread the asparagus pesto onto one slice of bread and top with the cucumbers, fennel, tomato slices, carrot ribbons, and sprouts. Top the other slice of toasted bread with the avocado slices and place on top of the other side.
  2. Slice and serve with your fave creamy balsamic dressing, or oil and vinegar or some hummus. Alternatively, you can spread the dressing or hummus on the second slice of toast before placing on top of the other side of the sandwich.

 

More fabulous asparagus pesto recipes to check out:

 

Lemony Pesto Pasta with Asparagus

Your tastebuds will have a party with this Lemony Spinach Pesto Pasta with Roasted Asparagus. Flavorful, fresh and so delicious! You have to try this!

So, I am officially in training mode until June 27th. That’s the day of my friend’s half marathon WE are training for. . I would run it with her, but I will be in Chicago for Eat Write Retreat.  My first ever (and only) half marathon was in 2001 in San Francisco, 14 years ago. Oh my gawd, has it been that long? But, on the up side, I’m proud of myself that I’m still a runner! I decided to join my friend and actually join a running/training group to get back into shape and just for my love of running. Running with a group of people is so much more motivating.

Running, cross training, weight training (my Tracy Anderson workout videos at home), free yoga at our running center and eating healthier. . if I could eat pesto everyday, I would.

Your tastebuds will have a party with this Lemony Spinach Pesto Pasta with Roasted Asparagus. Flavorful, fresh and so delicious! You have to try this!

Just look at this gorgeousness.

Your tastebuds will have a party with this Lemony Spinach Pesto Pasta with Roasted Asparagus. Flavorful, fresh and so delicious! You have to try this!

We’re in April, so I’m all about spinach pesto. I also love to mix in some fresh arugula. .  adds a nice peppery-ness!

Your tastebuds will have a party with this Lemony Spinach Pesto Pasta with Roasted Asparagus. Flavorful, fresh and so delicious! You have to try this!

And then I added roasted asparagus and almonds because I’m still on the asparagus train and will be for the next couple of months!

Your tastebuds will have a party with this Lemony Spinach Pesto Pasta with Roasted Asparagus. Flavorful, fresh and so delicious! You have to try this!

You guys, THIS is the pasta dish to try this weekend. Do it!!!

Your tastebuds will have a party with this Lemony Spinach Pesto Pasta with Roasted Asparagus. Flavorful, fresh and so delicious! You have to try this!

Lemony Pesto Pasta with Asparagus
 
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Recipe yields about 2 cups of pesto. Any leftover pesto can be enjoyed with toasted bread, more pasta or crackers. Cook time includes time to roast the asparagus and cook the pasta.
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 4

Ingredients
For the pesto:
  • 2 to 3 cups packed fresh baby spinach
  • 1 cup fresh arugula
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic; whole or minced
  • ¼ cup almonds
  • ½ cup good quality extra-virgin olive oil + more if needed
  • ¼ cup freshly grated (or chunks) of Parmesan
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • crushed red pepper flakes if desired
For the pasta:
  • ½ lb. cooked fettuccine
  • 1½ cups spinach pesto
  • drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
  • 10 spears roasted asparagus with lemon, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • juice from ½ lemon
  • sliced almonds
  • parmesan cheese (optional)

Instructions
For the pesto:
  1. Combine the spinach, arugula, garlic, and almonds in a food processor and pulse until blended. With the food processor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube and process until the pesto is thoroughly combined and smooth. Add the Parmesan and pulse until well combined. Season with salt and add the crushed red pepper flakes if using. Remove from the food processor and set aside.
For the pasta:
  1. Using a large saute pan or mixing bowl, combine the cooked, drained pasta with spinach pesto. Mix together until all of the pasta is nicely coated with the pesto and add a light drizzle of olive oil if needed. Add in the roasted asparagus and gently mix together again. Squeeze the juice from ½ a lemon, and sprinkle with sliced almonds and garnish with some freshly grated parmesan if desired. Serve and enjoy!

Click here for the Roasted Asparagus with Lemon recipe.

Your tastebuds will have a party with this Lemony Spinach Pesto Pasta with Roasted Asparagus. Flavorful, fresh and so delicious! You have to try this!

Posts this week that I’ve loved reading:

  1.  Anna’s Beets and Berries Smoothie. I’m making this today! Smoothies, here I come! And I want to see a difference with my complexion!
  2.  Melanie’s post about TheWhole30 ok, where have I been? Who is doing this and who’s had success with this? Why can I not have greek yogurt, peas, chickpeas, lentils or tofu?!! Thinking of doing a modified version of this. If anyone has read the book, It Starts with Food, I’d love to hear from you!
  3.  Amanda’s post on How to Quit Sugar which got me thinking. .

Your tastebuds will have a party with this Lemony Spinach Pesto Pasta with Roasted Asparagus. Flavorful, fresh and so delicious! You have to try this!

The Best Chinese Chicken Salad

The BEST Chinese Chicken Salad you will ever make! All the great flavor of a traditional Chinese Chicken Salad and loaded with fresh ingredients, you have to try this!

I always need a week to recover when coming back home from a vacation or trip. That week is spent catching up on laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping, emails and I’m always tired just getting the kids back into the swing of things as well. And getting my 4 year old up in the morning and ready for school is a feat in itself. She is so not a morning person.

That first week back home usually means quick and easy dinners: making spaghetti, ordering pizza and picking up a rotisserie chicken. We love rotisserie chicken. I will usually make rice or mashed potatoes and roast some veggies and we are set.

The BEST Chinese Chicken Salad you will ever make! All the great flavor of a traditional Chinese Chicken Salad and loaded with fresh ingredients, you have to try this!

The other day I discovered two half eaten rotisserie chickens in the fridge, salad, carrots and cabbage. So, it’s like this Chinese Chicken Salad was meant to be.

The BEST Chinese Chicken Salad you will ever make! All the great flavor of a traditional Chinese Chicken Salad and loaded with fresh ingredients, you have to try this!

I’ve also joined a running group with my friend who is training for a half marathon (I’ll be training and running with them but not running the actual half marathon this time around because I’ll be out of town) so I’m trying to eat healthier and lighter for the next few months.

GNOs (girls night out) don’t count. On those nights, I am allowed whatever I want to eat, drink and dessert. Or two. Because you don’t mess with GNOs. Makes perfect sense to me.

The BEST Chinese Chicken Salad you will ever make! All the great flavor of a traditional Chinese Chicken Salad and loaded with fresh ingredients, you have to try this!

I had this salad the other day for lunch and devoured it again for dinner. It’s that good.

I wouldn’t call this a traditional Chinese Chicken Salad. .  but it’s close enough and I was able to use what I had in the fridge, which is a win-win in my book. At any given time, if you open my fridge, I’m sure to have a spring mix salad, baby arugula and baby spinach ..  so use what you have.

The BEST Chinese Chicken Salad you will ever make! All the great flavor of a traditional Chinese Chicken Salad and loaded with fresh ingredients, you have to try this!

And if you want to go more traditional, pick up some romaine lettuce. Either way, it’s all good.

The dressing, the amazing salad dressing, the fresh real oranges (please don’t use oranges from a can or container), the rotisserie chicken (time saver!) and all the bright, colorful veggies make this salad. I hope you try this soon!

The BEST Chinese Chicken Salad you will ever make! All the great flavor of a traditional Chinese Chicken Salad and loaded with fresh ingredients, you have to try this!

The Best Chinese Chicken Salad
 
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Recipe yields a little more than 1 cup of salad dressing.
Author:
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 4

Ingredients
For the dressing:
  • ½ cup fresh orange juice
  • ¼ cup brown rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sweet red chili sauce (I used Thai Kitchen)
  • ½ tablespoon Korean hot pepper paste (Gochujang)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil, split
For the salad:
  • 3 to 4 cups cooked rotisserie chicken, shredded
  • 3 to 4 carrots, peeled and julienned
  • 6 scallions, diced; split
  • ½ head cabbage, sliced thin
  • ½ head red cabbage, sliced thin
  • 3 to 4 cups fresh spring greens mix or romaine lettuce, chopped
  • orange slices from 1 to 2 oranges
  • fresh cilantro leaves
  • sliced almonds

Instructions
  1. Using a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together the orange juice, vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, honey, hoisin, sweet red chili sauce, gochujang, vegetable oil and 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil. Taste and adjust any ingredients as needed. Set aside.
  2. Using a large skillet, heat the remaining sesame oil over medium heat. After a minute or so, add in the shredded rotisserie chicken, carrots and half of the scallions. Mix until heated through and add in the cabbage and red cabbage and drizzle in half of the dressing and mix again until everything is well coated with the dressing. Saute for about 3 minutes and remove from the heat.
  3. After a minute or two, (you don’t want the chicken to be too hot), add in the fresh greens and toss together, drizzling with a bit more dressing if desired. Serve and garnish with orange slices, fresh cilantro, sliced almonds and the remaining dressing.

Recipe adapted from Cooks Country

The BEST Chinese Chicken Salad you will ever make! All the great flavor of a traditional Chinese Chicken Salad and loaded with fresh ingredients, you have to try this!

Leap into Spring with Tieks + A Giveaway!!

Leap into Spring with Tieks!! Flats made of the finest Italian leathers and designed to fold and fit in a purse! Enter to win a $200 gift card! #GIVEAWAY

Hey guys!!! I hope everyone had a great weekend and Happy Easter! We had a great weekend and Sunday filled with church, family and friends. Spring is in full swing and I have something super special for you guys today!

Have you heard of Tieks?

Leap into Spring with Tieks!! Flats made of the finest Italian leathers and designed to fold and fit in a purse! Enter to win a $200 gift card! #GIVEAWAY

Tieks are designer ballet flats made of the finest Italian leathers and designed to fold and fit in a purse! Obviously we know these flats are cute. .  I mean, come on. .  have you seen all the colors that they come in?! A few things I can tell you now that I have a pair and have worn them around etc. is that I love them and they are comfortable! It did take me two pairs to get the perfect fit. .  I usually wear anywhere from a size 6 to a size 7 and I wouldn’t say my feet are wide or anything . . but I needed a size 7 in these flats.

Leap into Spring with Tieks!! Flats made of the finest Italian leathers and designed to fold and fit in a purse! Enter to win a $200 gift card! #GIVEAWAY

I initially got California Navy in a size 6 but then exchanged them for a size 7 in Coral.

Leap into Spring with Tieks!! Flats made of the finest Italian leathers and designed to fold and fit in a purse! Enter to win a $200 gift card! #GIVEAWAY

I initially went safe with the navy but then decided, if I’m going to get some Tieks, I wanted a brighter, more springy color! I absolutely love that they can fold and fit into your purse and the leather quality and sole quality is impeccable. Also, their return/exchange policy was crazy easy. I simply went online, put in my new order, got my new coral Tieks, tried them on to make sure the fit was better and then simply returned the other pair using their return shipping label (free shipping in the United States). It couldn’t have been any easier.

Leap into Spring with Tieks!! Flats made of the finest Italian leathers and designed to fold and fit in a purse! Enter to win a $200 gift card! #GIVEAWAY

Leap into Spring with Tieks!! Flats made of the finest Italian leathers and designed to fold and fit in a purse! Enter to win a $200 gift card! #GIVEAWAY

And now I have Coral and love them!!! I’ve already gotten so many compliments from strangers when wearing them. And they are so versatile too! I’ve worn them with pants, jeans, shorts and dresses. These are seriously going to be my new spring and summer shoes!

Leap into Spring with Tieks!! Flats made of the finest Italian leathers and designed to fold and fit in a purse! Enter to win a $200 gift card! #GIVEAWAY

Now, I want Fuchsia or Pop Pink for sure!

Leap into Spring with Tieks!! Flats made of the finest Italian leathers and designed to fold and fit in a purse! Enter to win a $200 gift card! #GIVEAWAY

Before I get to the giveaway, because it’s all about spring today, I have to share a few of my favorite spring recipes with you! I hope you check them out!

This spring medley pasta is one of my faves! Filled with some of my favorite spring veggies, you can’t go wrong with this cheesy deliciousness!

Spring Medley Pasta!!

These are my fave apps to make in the spring! My Asparagus and Prosciutto Crostini!! So easy and delicious!! You need to try this!

Asparagus and Prosciutto Crostini

And last, but certainly not least, my Strawberry Cheesecake Brownie Brittle Ice Cream! I’m sure you’re seeing strawberries everywhere right about now ..  and if not now, you will soon! The other day organic strawberries were on sale at Whole Foods for $3.99! Strawberries are in-season late April through August so go get you some!

Strawberry Cheesecake Brownie Brittle Ice Cream

THE GIVEAWAY!!

(Open to residents within the United States only)

I’ve partnered with some of my fave blogger pals and Tieks and we’re giving away ONE $200 e-gift card so ONE lucky person can buy some Tieks! So, don’t forget to visit Grandbaby Cakes, Blahnik Baker and Baking A Moment to see what they are sharing today!!

Use the widget below to enter for a chance to win a FREE pair of Tieks in the color of your choice. One lucky winner will receive a $200 e-gift card to shop on tieks.com. Giveaway runs Monday April 6th to Thursday April 9th. Giveaway open to US residents only (sorry!). Good luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. Because I loved my Tieks, I partnered with Tieks to bring you this giveaway. Giveaway is only open to US residents. ONE winner will be selected at random and sent an e-gift card for $200 to shop on Tieks.com.

 

Spring Medley Frittata

Celebrate spring's in-season veggies with this delicious spring medley frittata! Perfect for breakfast, brunch or any meal of the day!

They say when you marry someone, you’re not just marrying that person, but the person’s family too. Lucky for me, when I married Paul, I married into a pretty cool family. We were all living in CA, and we lived like 10 minutes from each other, so needless to say, we got together often.

Easter was always a fun and food-filled holiday for us and there was always Easter brunch, the much anticipated Easter egg hunt and Easter dinner. Yeah, we go big.

This year, we are celebrating Easter Sunday with friends at their place, so I wanted to make something delicious and something that could also travel well. I’m obsessed with all things spring so this frittata is packed with spring’s bounty. I love how you can see the vegetables in this frittata on top. And I stuck the frittata under the broiler for a few minutes to brown the top slightly.

Celebrate spring's in-season veggies with this delicious spring medley frittata! Perfect for breakfast, brunch or any meal of the day!

This frittata is quick, easy and delicious . .  and I’m kind of inventing something new here. A new way to eat a frittata. I did it with pizza so why not a frittata?

Celebrate spring's in-season veggies with this delicious spring medley frittata! Perfect for breakfast, brunch or any meal of the day!

People everywhere will be doing this. You just watch. Salads on foods. It’s the next big thing.

It shouldn’t surprise you that Easter is one of my children’s favorite holidays. .  we do stress the significance of the day to my girls and they get it. But their faces light up when the Easter egg hunt begins.

Candy in plastic eggs. Can it get any better?

Normally, I would be stressing a little about brunch, but this year I planned my menu ahead of time and did my shopping early. I still have a little more shopping to do but most of it is done. With one stop into ALDI, I picked up all of my ingredients for my frittata and some essentials for Easter Sunday.

Appleton Farms Ham from #ALDIUSA

I seriously love shopping at my local ALDI. Everyone is always so nice and it’s quick and efficient and I can always find what I need. Have an ALDI near you? Be sure to stop in on Saturday to take advantage of Easter specials!

A lot of people have asked me about organic products at ALDI. They have organic dairy and produce so you can rest assured you are buying quality foods for your family and saving some money in the process. Everything I purchased for my frittata was only $20.01!! Can you believe that?!

SimplyNature Organic Milk from #ALDIUSA

This frittata is packed with fresh, spring vegetables and everything you need to make a delicious frittata!

Spring Veggies

 

Celebrate spring's in-season veggies with this delicious spring medley frittata! Perfect for breakfast, brunch or any meal of the day!

eggs

And the delicious, light and fresh salad that goes on top!

Ingredients from ALDI USA

This frittata is the best! Take advantage of spring veggies and make this! Wishing everyone a happy and blessed Easter and . .  who else is making a golden egg for their Easter egg hunt?!

Celebrate spring's in-season veggies with this delicious spring medley frittata! Perfect for breakfast, brunch or any meal of the day!

Spring Medley Frittata
 
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Note: Top with the salad right before serving.
Author:
Recipe type: Main or Side
Cuisine: Brunch
Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients
For the frittata:
  • 6 eggs
  • ½ cup SimplyNature Organic 2% Milk
  • 1 teaspoon Burman’s Dijon Mustard
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup of Happy Farms Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
  • 5 oz. SimplyNature Organic Baby Spinach
  • 5 spears asparagus, blanched and cut into 1 to 2 inch pieces
For the salad topping:
  • SimplyNature Organic Spring Mix
  • Radishes, sliced thin
  • SimplyNature Balsamic Vinaigrette or balsamic glaze

Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 500 degrees (or full broil). Using a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, dijon mustard and season with salt and pepper. Mix in the mozzarella cheese and set aside.
  2. Using a cast iron skillet, or any large oven-safe skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add in the onions and mushrooms and sauté until tender, for about 5 minutes. Add in the baby spinach and blanched asparagus and cook until the spinach leaves become softened, for about 4 to 5 minutes.
  3. Pour in the egg mixture, and turn the heat down to medium. Cook until set, for about 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the oven and broil until golden brown on top. Be sure to watch your frittata carefully. Remove from the oven and let cool for at least 5 to 7 minutes before topping with the spring salad mix. Add some sliced radishes if desired and salad dressing. Serve and enjoy!

 

Celebrate spring's in-season veggies with this delicious spring medley frittata! Perfect for breakfast, brunch or any meal of the day!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post with ALDI. All opinions expressed here are 100% my own. Some of these items are Special Buy or Seasonal items that are only in ALDI stores for a limited time and may no longer be available.