Category Archives: Recipes

Uncheese cheese sauce

Nutritional yeast flakes

Nutritional yeast flakes

Andy and I spent about 2 years eating a 90% vegan diet (well, 100% at home anyway).  We are now what we like to call flexitarians, but most of our meals are vegetarian or vegan and loaded with fruits and vegetables.

Oh, it has been so much fun learning new ways to cook, enhance flavors, and combine foods for maximal nutrient consumption and enjoyment through our meat limiting diet!

Early on, we discovered Isa Moskowitz and her amazing vegan cookbooks–she made the transition EASY.  Well, with the exception of cutting way back on cheese, that was NOT easy!  My hubby and I really dig cheese–hard, soft, stinky, earthy–doesn’t matter, to this day, we LOVE IT!

Look at that pretty uncheese sauce.  It is super nutty and a great replacement for regular cheese in most baked dishes.

Look at that pretty uncheese sauce. It is super nutty and a great replacement for regular cheese in most baked dishes.

Thankfully, through Isa we learned about nutritional yeast and what a great replacement it is for cheese. This crazy mustard-colored flake has a nutty, smoky, flavor that, when sprinkled on food or mixed with a dairy free milk (and a few other ingredients), tastes remarkedly like CHEESE!   Plus, it is low in calories, high in protein, and packed with micro and macro nutrients!

It is especially high in B vitamins which are responsible for lessening the cellular destruction caused by stress, treating anxiety and depression (synthesis of serotonin and norepinephrin), aiding memory and brain repair (synthesis of myelin), and many, many other critical functions in the body.  In summary, 2 TBSP of nutritional yeast provide a whopping 640% RDI Thiamin (B1), 570% RDI Riboflavin (B2), 280% RDI Niacin (B3), 480% RDI B6 (myelin synthesis, 60% RDI folate (B9), 130% RDI B12 (check the label, this is an additive and will vary by product).  Keep in mind that B vitamins are water soluble and not stored in the body (like A, D, E and K-our fat soluble vitamins), so unless your body can make them (like B5 and B7. which are made in the intestines), you NEED to eat them often (every day) to maintain levels that support good health.

More than likely, you can buy nutritional yeast at your local market or Whole Foods in the health foods or bulk foods section.  It is not expensive and adds a ton of great flavor (even if you are still using cheese) to about any dish.  Here at 488, we use nutritional yeast un-cheese sauce at every opportunity to replace cheese. It can be found in our lasagna, enchiladas, and casseroles.  We sprinkle it in flake form over pasta, steamed, or roasted vegetables to add an smoky flavor.  I haven’t tried it, but have read that it makes a nice topping for popcorn as well.  It’s utility is really endless, so why not buy a bag and give it a try!  I have a feeling you are going to love it!

Zucchini bites crusted with nutritional yeast flakes

Zucchini bites crusted with nutritional yeast flakes

Nutritional yeast un-cheese sauce:

  • 1 c nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1-1 1/2 c soy, almond or rice milk (adjust the liquid to your desired consistency)
  • 1 t soy sauce
  • 1-2 t dijon mustard

Combine all of the ingredients in a lidded bowl and shake well or in a regular bowl and stir

well.

I never measure the ingredients for my sauce, so play around with the ingredient amounts to make the best sauce for your palate!

You can cook in a sauce pan on low for 5-10 minutes to get a nice thick cheese-like sauce.

You do not need to cook the sauce if you are using it in a baked dish–it will thicken in the oven as it cooks.

Mexi-quinoa bake

All of that great color and good nutrition in one big bowl

All of that great color and good nutrition in one big bowl

Yum, yum,yum, yum, yum!

Thank you twopeasandtheirpod for inspiring me to make this awesome dish!  It is the healthful version of a serious enchilada casserole, sans the mountains of cheese and tortillas.

Quinoa is such an easy grain to work with, especially if you cook it for flavor!  All it takes is a little creativity and you can turn an ordinary dish into a masterpiece in no time.  This enchilada bake is such a brilliant example of that.

Instead of cooking the quinoa in water as the original recipe calls for, cook it in the enchilada sauce.  Oh, it is unbelievably good and makes this dish a standout!

The Mexi-quinoa bake is colorful, flavorful, healthful and pretty easy!  I love, love, love this one and know you will too!  It is going to be a cold and snowy weekend here in the Ozarks and all around the midwest.  Why don’t you try the Mexi-quinoa bake and keep your family warm–from the inside out!

You can see the nutrition yeast uncheese sauce on top!  So good!

You can see the nutrition yeast uncheese sauce on top! So good!

Mexi-quinoa bake

Serves 6-8

  • 1 1/2 c quinoa
  • 3 3/4 c enchilada sauce
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 T EVOO (olive oil)
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped.  I like either red or orange for the sweetness they add to the dish
  • 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed 
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 1/2 c non-gmo organic frozen corn
  • 1-2 T ground cumin, to taste.  The more the better IMHO
  • 1 t chipotle pepper flakes, or more to taste
  • 1-2 c shredded cheese or uncheese cheese sauce (recipe to follow).   I like 1 c provel and 1 c uncheese cheese sauce.
  • salt and pepper 
  • 1 frozen jalapeno, optional.  
  • avocado, sliced
  • green onions, chopped
  •  cilantro chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a saucepan, add 2 3/4 c enchilada sauce and the quinoa.  Stir well and bring to a boil.  Lower heat and cook until the sauce is absorbed by the quinoa and it is al dente–about 20 minutes.  Stir frequently to keep from sticking to the pan.

Set aside and let cool a bit.

Saute the garlic with the red and yellow onions in the olive oil over med/low heat for 5 minutes, until they begin to soften.  Let cool.  

Meanwhile, in a large bowl mix the beans, bell peppers, 1 c enchi sauce, cumin, chipotle pepper flakes, lime juice, cheese and/or uncheese sauce, 1/2 of the green onions (reserve the other 1/2 for a generous garnish), salt, pepper, and corn.  Add the quinoa and sauteed onion/garlic.  Mix well.  Taste and adjust the seasoning to meet your flavor requirements.

Coat a lasagna pan with some cooking spray.  Add the mixture.  Cook for 25-30 minutes.  Turn up the heat to vari-broil and leave in oven for another 2-3 minutes, just to brown the top a little.  

As you dish the enchilada bake, zest the frozen jalapeno over the top of each bowl for those who like a sprinkle of heat.  Serve with a healthy garnish of green onions, avocado, and cilantro.  Gluten free, non-gmo tortilla chips are a nice side for this dish.

ENJOY!!  

 

 

 

 

 

Ozark BUNs

My Ozark BUNS

My Ozark BUNS

This Ozark-made Vietnamese bowl is one of my very favorite ‘go to’ dishes.  This is on a regular rotation here at Yoga Belly.

The brown rice vermicelli noodles are bombarded by all sorts of delicious vegetables–steamed and fresh.  Mushrooms, onions (white and green), broccoli, carrots, bell pepper, squash, kale, cilantro, and green onions are topped with an acidic and bright lime vinaigrette sauce and chopped nuts (not shown).

It is super simple to whip together and loaded with flavor…my mouth is watering just thinking about it!  Last night we went all veggie with our BUNs, but adding shrimp is a great way to bump up the protein!  Sometimes I also add a big hit of chopped cashews to top off the meal, which provide a healthy fat (to help reduce inflammation) and and a big hit of tryptophan (just a small handful adds a whole lot of tryptophan) to boost our winter weary spirits!

The really great thing about this noodle bowl is how good you feel after you eat it–smarter, faster, stronger!  Ok, maybe that was more about my 90 minute power yoga class, but I did feel extra good last night!

Give My Ozark BUN a try and see if how it makes your body feel!

Here’s to feeding your belly well and loving every minute of it!

My Ozark BUN

Servings:  2

  • Rice Vermicelli noodles, enough for 2 servings.   Made according to package instructions.
  • Cooked shrimp, optional.  As much as you like in two servings of BUN!
  • Your favorite vegetables!  My choices this time were broccoli, kale, carrots, sweet bell pepper, yellow onion, green onion (for a heavy garnish), mushrooms, cucumber.
  • Lime Vinaigrette Sauce–recipe follows
  • Nuts, chopped–either peanuts or cashews, or both
  • Cilantro and green onions, chopped for a heavy garnish
Lime Vinaigrette sauce!

Lime Vinaigrette sauce!

Lime Viniagrette

Servings ~2

  • 2 1/2 T fish sauce
  • 3 T lime juice
  • 1/2 t + chili sauce (sriracha)–or more depending upon your tolerance for HEAT
  • 1 1/2 T garlic, minced
  • 1/2 t anchovy paste
  • 2 t ginger, minced
  • 3 T sugar
  • 1/8-1/4 c water

Mix all ingredients for the sauce into a small bowl.  

Steam the vegetables to al dente or as soft as you like.   Serve them over the pasta and garnish with the green onions, nuts, and cilantro.

Pour the lime vinaigrette sauce over the top of the dish and ENJOY the gorgeous, fresh flavor of My Ozark BUN!I can't get enough of this

Almond cookies

Heart-sharped almond cookies

Heart-sharped almond cookies

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Kristen for sharing this fantastic cookie recipe with me!

Friday night, after yoga class, there were a few of us hanging out sipping tea and chatting.  Given that we had just finished a pretty intense 60 minute class AND it was 7 PM, our bellies were rumbling a bit and food became the main topic of our conversation.

We talked about different ways to make good foods better, a few of our favorite recipes, and THESE cookies.  Kristen raved that her kids love them and that was ok with her, because they are actually pretty healthful, for a cookie!

The ease in preparation, the fact that they are gluten-free, and mostly because she made them sound absolutely delicious, are ultimately what convinced me to try them this weekend.

She was not exaggerating!  They are exactly as she described!

The dough itself is so good, I had a hard time not gobbling it all up!  Once I tried them fresh out of the oven though, I was really happy I didn’t eat ALL of the dough.  They came out of the oven a little crispy and just sweet enough.  Perfect with a cup of tea or big glass of cold almond milk.

Give these cookies a try and savor each and every naturally sweet bite!  You may want to make a double batch, just in case, like me, you get a little crazy eating the dough!

Almond Cookies

Fresh from the oven.  Can you see the love?

Fresh from the oven. Can you see the love?

  • 2 c almond meal
  • 1/4 t kosher salt
  • 1/4 t baking soda
  •  1/4 c maple syrup
  • 2 T coconut oil, softened
  • 1 T butter, softened–if you don’t want to use butter than add an extra T coconut oil
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1 t almond extract–if you don’t have this, just do 2 t vanilla
  • about 1 t almond milk (or a little more, to get the right texture for your cookies)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  

Mix together the dry ingredients.  In a separate bowl, mix together all of the wet ingredients, except the milk. 

Add the dry to the wet and mix until well incorporated.  Add the milk if you need it to get the right consistency to the dough.

Use two large zip lock bags to roll out the dough.  Cut into shapes, as desired.  Place on a greased cookie sheet and place in freezer for 20 minutes before cooking.  Bake for 10-13 minutes, depending upon the thickness and size of the cookies.  

These are great warm, so get a big glass of almond milk and ENJOY one fresh out of the oven!

 

 

 

Roasted zucchini bites

Zucchini bites.  From the next time...

Zucchini bites. From the next time…

These roasted zucchini bites are SOOOO good!  Andy and I ate them all before I could snap a picture for you!  Sorry about that!   Maybe next time?!

Super simple, very tasty, and a great, healthy snack food for your kids, family, or friends.  Make these zucchini bites tonight and see what you think.

Roasted zucchini bites

 

Servings ~2-3

  • 1 small zucchini, cut in half and then sliced into thin pieces.
  • 1/2 c nutritional yeast
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t chipotle pepper flakes, ground.  I use a pepper mill to grind up my Victoria’s gourmet flakes.  WORKS GREAT!
  • PAM cooking spray

Preheat oven to about 400 degrees F.  

Coat a cookie sheet with some oil or PAM cooking spray.

In a small bowl, beat the egg and set aside.

Mix together about a 1/2 c nutritional yeast with about a teaspoon of chipotle pepper flakes in a separate bowl.

Dip a zucchini piece into the egg mixture, to coat both sides.  Use a spoon to sprinkle the nutritional yeast mix onto the strip on both sides.  Place on the cooking sheet.  Repeat until you have all of the pieces ready to go.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until you have a nice brown and slightly crispy zucchini strip. Eat and enjoy!

 

 

Guiltless chicken, tuna, or egg salad

Gorgeous chicken salad on a bed of baby spinach.

Gorgeous chicken salad on a bed of baby spinach.

Are you a fan of chicken salad, but are not so into mayo?  Then give this lighter and brighter chicken salad a try.  I picked up a version of the recipe a couple of years ago at a diabetes cooking class.  I almost left the class before it began when I saw what we were cooking up that day.  Honestly, tuna salad?  Anyway, I am very glad that I stayed because I would never have created this one on my own, and my modified version of the original tastes ridiculously good!

There is no rich mayo in this chicken or tuna salad.  Organic, roasted chicken breast or chunk white tuna, artichoke hearts, lots of onion and a light and bright lemony Italian dressing–sitting atop a colorful bed of baby spinach.  Is your mouth watering yet?  If not, it should be!  This salad has so much great flavor, lots of vitamins, minerals, and fiber–enough to fill you up and satisfy you all day long!

You can use swap in tuna or hard-boiled eggs to change things up a little. I know you are going to love it, so give it a try today!

Cheers to making good health decisions easier!

 

Can you see the big chunks of artichoke in there? YUM!

Can you see the big chunks of artichoke in there? YUM!

Guiltless chicken (or tuna) salad

Servings 3-4

  • 3 chicken breasts, roasted and chopped into small pieces or 2 cans of tuna, drain the juice
  • 3/4 can artichoke hearts, in water.  cut in 1/2
  • 1 small red onion or 1 bunch of green onions, chopped
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 t oregano
  • black olives (or your favorite), sliced.  optional
  • red seedless grapes, cut in half.  optional
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • chipotle pepper flakes, to taste
  • baby spinach, enough to fill your belly!

In a small bowl combine the artichoke hearts, onion, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, oregano, olives, grapes, salt, pepper, chipotle pepper flakes.  Mix in the chopped chicken or the tuna and let marinade together for 5-10 minutes.

In your serving bowls, place a healthy bed of spinach.  Add a big scoop of the chicken or tuna salad on top.  Serve and enjoy!  XO

 

Curried coconut and roasted cauliflower soup

DSCN4243
I can’t believe how delicious this soup was last night. Warm, creamy, and loaded with comforting flavor made this the perfect meal as we watched more snow fall onto our already very white landscape.
I was inspired by this pinterest post — which made me start drooling right here on my keyboard. I thought it was so beautiful and I knew I had to try it, but was realistic as I haven’t had a huge amount of luck with cauliflower soup in the past. This recipe has changed everything and reminded me to live fully in the present!
We loved it!
What I appreciated almost more than anything was that 2 heads of cauliflower were consumed by 2 people, in one meal. YES, you read that right — there are no leftovers! That is a WHOLE LOT of cauliflower, and all of it’s awesome health benefits, easily consumed in this amazing soup!
What makes this soup even better, is the ease in prep. The biggest part of the prep is roasting the cauliflower, but whats great about that is it gives you time to chop up the onion and get the rest of the soup ready to go while the cauliflower white turns golden brown. Trust me, it is a snap!
I can’t wait to hear how this quickly becomes your favorite soup. At which point you can remind yourself that your new fav soup is dairy free, gluten free, vegan, and loaded with great nutrients to fuel your body and mind.
If you are into curry, then dive into a bowl of this soup.
You can thank me later…
Bon Appetit
DSCN4239
Curried coconut and roasted cauliflower soup

Servings ~2-6 depending upon portion size

  • 2 heads cauliflower broken up into small pieces
  • 1/4 c coconut oil, melted to liquid
  • salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • sprinkle of chipotle pepper flakes
  • 1 T curry
  • 3 T red curry paste
  • zest from 1 large lemon
  • 1 c white wine (I used a sauv blanc)
  • 2 T rice wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cans coconut milk 
  • 3 c veg broth
  • 2 T coconut sugar (or cane sugar)
  • green onions or fried shallots, for garnishing
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Place the cauliflower pieces into a large bowl (one that has a fitted lid) or a large ziplock baggie and add all but about 2 T of the melted coconut butter. Shake to coat the cauliflower. Spread the oiled cauliflower onto a cookie sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes, until roasted brown.

While the cauliflower is roasting, add the remaining oil to a large dutch oven or medium stew pot and warm over a med-low flame. Add the chopped onion, a sprinkle of salt, and chipotle pepper flakes and cook for 5-7 minutes, until the onions starts to soften. Add the lemon zest, curry, and curry paste and cook another 5 minutes, or so. Add the white wine and cook until the wine has reduced in half, or so. Add the roasted cauliflower (reserving a sprinkle to use for a garnish, if you like) and coat with the onion/curry paste. Stir in the rice wine vinegar, veg broth, sugar, and coconut milk. Cover and cook for 20 minutes, or so.

Use an immersion blender or transfer to a food processor to puree the soup. Be careful, this is going to be very hot!

Transfer back to the stew pot and cook more without the lid if you want to thicken it up a little bit (I didn’t do this, mine was fine after the puree).

When you are happy with the consistency of the soup, serve it up! Garnish it with a sprinkle of roasted cauliflower, chopped green onions, fried shallots, and/or a sprinkle of curry powder–whatever you like!

Don’t forget, seconds are a beautiful thing!

Morning quiche with gluten free crust

Morning quiche, perfectly browned and absolutely delicious!

Morning quiche, perfectly browned and absolutely delicious!

This perfect, gluten-free quiche was our breakfast this morning.  It had so much BIG flavor, it was almost impossible to stop eating.  In fact, Andy ate THREE big pieces!  Yes, I said 3!  I chopped up a sweet and crisp apple, sprinkled it with some Chinese cassia cinnamon, poured two cups of coffee, and breakfast was complete!

What a great way to start our Sunday/funday together!

I don’t think I have ever said this before, but I am looking forward to Monday morning…breakfast leftovers, anyway!

I hope you like it as much as we did!

Morning Quiche

Servings ~4-6

YUM!  Can't wait for the leftovers!

YUM! Can’t wait for the leftovers!

Crust

  • 1 1/2 c almond flour or meal
  • 1/4 c avocado oil or your favorite oil 
  • 1 T water
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • very light dusting of stevia (optional)

Filling

  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
  • 1/4- 1/2 c sun-dried tomatoes, in EVOO. Minced
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • salt & pepper
  • chipotle pepper flakes (optional)
  • splash of agave nectar or honey (maybe a teaspoon)
  • 1 T coconut oil
  • 6-7 Large Eggs
  • 3/4 c aged parmasean cheese, grated.  If you aren’t into cheese, try nutritional yeast or your favorite vegan cheese.
  • 2 c baby kale or spinach
  • 1 t thyme, dried
  • 1 t dried ground rosemary
  • 1 t tarragon, dried
  • 1/2 t anise seeds
  • dash of truffle oil
  • sausage or bacon would nice in this quiche, but totally optional

 Crust:

Preheat oven to 350 degress F.  

Mix the dry ingredients and then add the wet.  Press into a greased pie pan.  Bake for 15-20 minutes.  Set aside to cool.

Turn down the oven temp to 275 degrees F.

While the crust is cooking prepare the filling.

Filling:

In a small saute pan on low/med-low, heat the coconut oil and add the chopped onion.  Cook for 5-10 minutes, until the onions begin to soften.  If using meat, add it now along with the garlic, salt, pepper, thyme, tarragon, anise seed, and chipotle pepper flakes and cook for another 3-5 minutes (if using meat, cook as long as you like).  Stir in the lemon juice and then add the sun-dried tomatoes.  Cook for another 3-5 minutes.  Turn off the burner and set aside to cool for a few minutes.

In a medium bowl, beat the eggs and add a splash of agave nectar and a dash of salt and pepper.

When the crust is cool, sprinkle a 1/4 c of the cheese over the top, add the kale, and then the sauteed veggies to the top of the crust.  Add another splash of lemon juice and then pour the egg mix over the top Sprinkle the last of the cheese and the ground rosemary and nutmeg on top. Bake for 30 minutes at 275 degrees F and then turn up the oven and bake at 375 degrees F for 20 minutes, or until the quiche is cooked through.  NOTE:  Make sure you take a toothpick or use a knife to check the middle of the quiche to make sure it is done all of the way through before you take it out of the oven.

Let the cooked quiche rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Bon Appetit!

 

 

Italian spinach pasta salad

Even though it is turning cold outside we wanted a hearty salad for dinner last night.  I checked the contents of my fridge/pantry and this is what I created.

Italian spinach and pasta salad.

Italian spinach and pasta salad.

PURE DELICIOUSNESS!

This is an Italian spinach pasta salad that will add some color to your table and make your taste buds spring back to life.  The flavors are intense enough to give this salad just what it needs to become your new favorite.  That is what happened for us last night anyway as we dug into second helpings of our dinner.  You can look at the ingredient list and get a pretty good idea for the huge flavor in this one.  Italian, a little tart, a little briny, and a lot of zing!

Don’t be intimidated by the longer ingredient list for this salad–I promise, you will have it on the table in 30 minutes or less!  Give it a go and see how it wakes up your dinner plate!

Cheers to eating well and loving every bite!

Make sure to scroll to the end of this post for a picture of our stray Quattro!  Isn’t she beautiful?

Italian spinach pasta salad

Servings 4-6

  • 1 – 8 oz box gluten free noodles, cooked al dente according to the package directions.  I used Ancient Quinoa Harvest Rotelle
  • 4-6 cups fresh baby spinach, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 2/3 c black olives, sliced into thirds
  • 1 c artichoke hearts in water, sliced in half
  • 1 – 14 oz can great northern white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 c sun-dried tomatoes, in EVOO, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1-2 T Red Wine Vinegar, to taste
  • 1 T fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 c EVOO
  • 2 T fresh thyme or 2 t dried thyme
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • chipotle pepper flakes, to taste
  • 1 c freshly grated, aged Parmesan cheese, optional

Mix together the EVOO, salt, pepper, chipotle pepper flakes, garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, red wine vinegar, onion and let marinade for 15 or 20 minutes at room temp while you prep the other ingredients.

Add all of the other ingredients EXCEPT the spinach and cheese.  Allow to rest and marinade for a few minutes.  

Just before you serve the salad, add the spinach and cheese and toss to fully combine.  Garnish as you like–more cheese, some fresh herbs, a few fresh tomatoes, whatever you like!

Eat and ENJOY!

Shameless plug for our stray Quattro.

Shameless plug for our stray Quattro. Let me know if you would like to give her a forever home!

 

 

 

Organic yoga mat disinfectant spray

This simple spray will not just wipe out bacteria and fungus on your yoga mat, but it will make it smell soooo good! In fact, you may get into downward dog and never want to leave!

Spray it all over your house (think guest bath, linens), car, rugs, etc. to make your space even more relaxing and inviting!

I buy the oils (pure, organic) from Vitacost online, but I know you can get them (for a little more $$) from your local health food stores (Atkins, Momma Jeans).

Don’t be shy–spray away!

If you have a favorite homemade spray for disinfectant or even perfume, let me know your recipe!  I love these pure, organic scents!

Organic yoga mat disinfectant spray

  • 4 drops lavender oil
  • 3 drops tea tree oil
  • 3 drops grapefruit seed extract
  • 16-20 oz spray bottle filled with water.  

Shake and use liberally!  If you want your spray even more concentrated, just add a little more of the oil.  Play around with it–you will find the right balance for your specific needs.