Category Archives: Main Dish

Cheesy Baked Pasta (Dairy-Free)

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Baked pasta takes simple pasta to a much higher level. A little extra time to crisp in the oven allows for flavors to intensify and for a baked, crispy topping. In this cheesy baked pasta, the creamy sauce covered noodles bubble into this crisp topping as they meld together to create an amazing balance of creamy and crispy. This combination of baked crispness, creaminess, and cheesiness creates a pasta that tastes wonderful and is so satiating.

The topping of this cheesy baked pasta is made from chunks of bread coated in herb-infused olive oil. Digging into this crispy golden topping reveals noodles drenched in a creamy sauce that soaks into the olive oil coated breadcrumbs. But this pasta could actually be considered fairly nutritious, considering the secret sauce ingredient (buttery golden potatoes) is full of vitamins and minerals. It is also dairy free, thanks to this ingredient, and the noodles and breadcrumbs can be substituted for gluten free versions. It’s a great recipe for allergy-friendly comfort-food that is wonderfully cheesy, creamy, crispy, and satisfying. Thankfully, all you need are some simple ingredients to whip up a batch of this creamy, cheesy baked pasta.

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Cheesy Baked Pasta

2 cups boiled chopped potatoes (Baby Dutch Yellow Potatoes were used in this recipe)
1/4 cup cooking water 
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. sea salt and a dash of black pepper
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/4 cup nutritional yeast

Breadcrumb Topping:
2 slices of sourdough bread (or a GF version), crumbled into chunks
3 tbsp. herb infused olive oil (Regular olive oil works too)
Additional sea salt and black pepper to taste

Cook noodles of choice until el dente, about 12 minutes. Meanwhile, boil the chopped potatoes in another pot for about 15 minutes. Drain the noodles and add them to a small casserole dish. Once the potatoes have finished boiling, add them to a high-speed blender or food processor along with 1 cup of the hot water. Add in the seasonings and blend on high speed until smooth. Pour this sauce over the noodles and mix. Now to assemble the breadcrumb topping, add chunks of bread to a pan and coat in olive oil and Italian herbs. Top with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Next, bake the pasta and the breadcrumbs separately for 10 minutes at 350 degrees, then top the pasta with this topping and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until it has reached desired crispness.

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Golden Spiced Thai Noodles

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The vibrant flavors of Thai cooking create amazing dishes like these golden spiced Thai noodles, which are light yet surprisingly filling and satisfying. The flavors of lime juice, spicy peppers and curry taste amazing when balanced with the subtle sweet flavors of coconut milk and rice. The coconut milk also cools the spiciness to create a wonderful balance of spiciness and creaminess. 

This recipe for Golden Spiced Thai Noodles incorporates wonderfully fragrant Thai spices into a simple noodle dish. Fragrant, hot, and subtly sweet, the creamy coconut sauce soaks into the soft Jasmine rice noodles. This tasty sauce combines aromatic spices with sweet coconut cream and spicy peppers. To accentuate these flavors, fresh lime juice is splashed into the sauce to bring out the flavors and to add some zest. Overall, these golden spiced Thai noodles are light and fresh yet comforting and nourishing–a healthy and delicious main dish or side.

It’s also a simple recipe to make that contains just a few ingredients plus spices. Simply cook up some rice noodles (They cook so quickly!) while making the sauce. Creating the sauce involves heating up spices,ginger, and garlic, then cooling everything down with some coconut milk and fresh lime juice. Top with optional tomatoes and Thai basil for additional freshness and flavor. 

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Golden Spiced Thai Noodles

Golden Spiced Thai Noodles
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Ingredients
  1. 1 package or 8 oz. of rice noodles
  2. 1 tbsp. oil of choice
  3. 2 tbsp. vegetable broth
  4. 1 tbsp. minced ginger
  5. 1 tbsp. minced garlic
  6. 1/4 tsp. each of chili powder and cumin
  7. 1/2 tsp. favorite curry powder
  8. 1/4 tsp. paprika
  9. A pinch of sea salt and black pepper
  10. 2 tbsp. brown sugar or coconut sugar
  11. 1/2 cup coconut cream
  12. Optional fresh ingredients: Thai basil and chopped cherry tomatoes
Instructions
  1. Add rice noodles to boiling water for around four minutes. Let sit then assemble the sauce ingredients. Add the oil, vegetable broth, minced ginger and garlic, and the spices to a skillet or low pan and sauté for a few minutes until the spices are fragrant and the garlic becomes golden. Add in the coconut cream, brown sugar, and salt & pepper, while mixing over low heat just until warm. Drain the rice noodles, then add them to the sauce and toss until the noodles are evenly coated. Enjoy!
Simple Sweets & Treats http://simplesweetsandtreats.com/

Pumpkin Curry

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The abundance of pumpkins and the crisp fall weather makes for the perfect time to start cooking warming dishes with heating spices and hearty ingredients like pumpkin curry. While we normally think of pumpkins as a decoration or an ingredient in pies, it’s easy to forget how delicious this seasonal ingredient is in savory recipes such as curry.

Small pumpkins are often used in Thai cuisine–they can be boiled, steamed, or baked. Pumpkin is such a versatile ingredient that is amazing in so many recipes. Surprisingly, it is actually very tasty in non-sweet/dessert recipes so it’s time to start incorporating them into your hearty soups and other savory meals. It tastes similar to sweet potatoes and butternut squash when steamed or baked. Add it to soups, stir-fries, and curries. Plus, it’s such a nourishing food that is both warming and satisfying. Some main health benefits of pumpkin are that it is full of fiber and nutrients that keep your heart, eyes, and skin healthy while also helping the immune system with protecting against seasonal viruses.

This pumpkin curry recipe might be messy, but it is soft, savory, and warm with flavors that are lightly spicy and fragrant from the rich and flavorful herbs and spices. Along with these delicious flavors, coconut milk adds a creamy and buttery element that cools down the spiciness. Soft curried pumpkin can be a delicious topping over rice or simply eaten as a soup. All you need to do to make this recipe is skin and chop a small pumpkin, remove the seeds and then steam/simmer it until soft and then add the other ingredients so that it can soak up the seasonal flavors.

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Pumpkin Curry
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups water
  2. 3 garlic cloves, minced
  3. 1/2 tbsp. fresh ginger or ginger paste
  4. 1 tsp. curry powder
  5. 1 tsp. turmeric
  6. 1 tsp. ground cumin
  7. 1/4 mild red chili pepper or 1/4 tsp chili powder
  8. 1/2 small pumpkin, skinned and chopped into cubes
  9. salt and pepper to taste
  10. 1/2 of 1 zucchini, chopped
  11. 1 diced yellow bell pepper
  12. 1 chopped tomato
  13. 3/4 cup coconut milk
Instructions
  1. Begin by cutting into the pumpkin into quarters, then peel the skin off of the pumpkin. Heat the water in a medium saucepan and add the garlic, ginger, and other spices to the hot water until fragrant. Add the diced pumpkin and chili pepper and steam while covered for about five minutes. Now add the zucchini, bell pepper, tomato, and coconut milk--let simmer for about 10 more minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve over quinoa or rice.
Simple Sweets & Treats http://simplesweetsandtreats.com/

Garlic Smashed Potatoes & Baked Beans

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Baked potatoes have always been a trusted comfort food. When baked in the oven, their tender flesh is the perfect blank canvas to top with endless ingredient combinations. Going beyond the standard baked potato meal, these garlic smashed potatoes & baked beans are based on that idea–but this recipe uses miniature baked potatoes that are piled with flavorful, homemade baked beans and a golden garlic butter sauce that is ridiculously delicious. These tender potato bites are roasted until soft, and smashed with the golden garlic butter with a side of baked beans. Coated in this savory sauce with a hint of maple flavor, the glazed baked beans are the perfect complement to the savory garlic butter that coats the potatoes.
Everything is seasoned naturally without artificial flavorings, trans fats, or processed ingredients. It is a filling and satisfying meal, containing complex carbohydrates and protein. Plus, pretty much anything is amazing when drenched with this garlic butter. :)

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Garlic Smashed Potatoes with Baked Beans
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Ingredients
  1. 5 pounds of small potatoes
  2. Golden Garlic Butter Recipe: http://simplesweetsandtreats.com/golden-garlic-butter/
Baked Beans
  1. 2 cups canned pinto beans (or any bean that you would like to use)
  2. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  3. 2 cups water
  4. 3 tbsp. ketchup
  5. 1 tbsp. maple syrup
  6. 1 tsp. sea salt
  7. 1 tsp. garlic powder
  8. 1/4 tsp. mustard powder
  9. 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  10. 1 tbsp. maple syrup
  11. 1 tbsp. GF flour
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, then wash the potatoes. Line them on a baking sheet and cook for 45 minutes to an hour depending on the oven. Prepare the garlic butter, and set aside. Drain and rinse the beans and set aside, then add the water to a medium saucepan. Once boiling, add the rest of the ingredients (except for the beans and garlic) ending with the flour and whisk everything together until sauce thickens. Add the garlic and the beans to this sauce mixture and simmer on low, about five minutes. Once the potatoes have finished cooking, smash them with a fork and drizzle with the garlic butter, and top with the baked beans. Enjoy!
Simple Sweets & Treats http://simplesweetsandtreats.com/

Chickpea Curry with Basmati Rice

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This chickpea curry with basmati rice combines a sweet, spicy, and savory curry over fluffy basmati rice. It is a classic Indian-inspired dish with traditional spices and savory herbs that are absorbed by the steamed rice and garbanzo beans. The spices add a touch of heat, yet not too much. Creamy and healthy fats, along with lemon juice added at the end of cooking help to cool down the savory spice. Not only is this curry super delicious, but it is a complete meal with complex carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, and minerals such as zinc and magnesium.

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Healing spices provide an extra benefit to this nourishing and healthy curry. The spices in curry have been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine as protection against inflammation and disease in the body. Turmeric, a well known ingredient in curry, contains curcumin: an anti-inflammatory compound that has been known to help prevent an array of diseases and conditions such as heart disease, cancer, arthritis, and several neurological conditions. When inflammation is in check, the body is able to keep on top of its natural processes. It’s amazing to think that for thousands of years, this spice has been used to treat numerous conditions and it is finally being rediscovered as the potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory healing spice that it is.

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Chickpea Curry with Basmati Rice
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Rice
  1. 2 cups dry Basmati rice
  2. 4 cups water
Curry
  1. 1 can chickpeas/garbanzo beans
  2. 1 cup water
  3. 1 minced garlic clove
  4. 1/4 tsp. curry powder
  5. 1/4 tsp. cumin
  6. 1/4 tsp. chili powder
  7. 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  8. 1 tbsp. GF flour
  9. 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  10. Salt and pepper to taste
  11. 1/4 cup corn
  12. 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  13. 1/4 cup coconut cream (optional)
Instructions
  1. Rinse the rice and add to a pot with boiling water. Cook on low until fluffy. Meanwhile, add the water, spices, and garlic to a pot and sauté on low until fragrant and warm. Add the flour and brown sugar, and whisk. Then, add the chickpeas and corn, and let cook for a few minutes over low heat. Top with lemon juice, coconut cream, and salt & pepper to taste. Serve warm over the basmati rice. Enjoy!
Simple Sweets & Treats http://simplesweetsandtreats.com/
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Sweet Potato Veggie Plate

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This sweet potato veggie plate is super delicious and satisfying while being full of essential nutrients. All the colors and textures satisfy your mind and leave you fully satisfied. Fill your plate with nutrient-dense plants and you will feel energized from this flavorful goodness. The star of this recipe is the sweet potato—these sweet potato wedges are roasted until they are soft and moist with a subtle caramel flavor. Then they are drizzled with almond butter and maple syrup, which soak into the warm flesh of the sweet potatoes. They are perfectly sweet, salty, and nutty. The steamed broccoli and greens add a nice salty contrast to balance out the sweet, dense quality of the sweet potatoes—they add the essential savory element. Plus, the mineral-rich greens are full of protein that is easily digested and absorbed by the body—especially when steamed. This sweet potato veggie plate is full of complex carbs, fiber, protein, and numerous vitamins and minerals. The various flavors and textures create a colorful and satisfying meal, and you can fill your plate with nutritious plants until your heart is content!

It’s also delicious topped with a nice, creamy scoop of guacamole !

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Sweet Potato Veggie Plate
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Sweet Potatoes
  1. 4 medium sweet potatoes
  2. 2 tbsp. almond butter
  3. 2 tbsp. maple syrup
  4. Dash of unrefined salt
Veggies
  1. 1 head of broccoli, steamed or boiled
  2. Steamed greens of choice such as swiss chard or collard greens
Avocado Mash
  1. 1 avocado
  2. 1 garlic clove, minced
  3. 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  4. Salt & pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Wash sweet potatoes and chop them lengthwise into wedges. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and top with the sliced sweet potatoes. Bake for around 45-60 minutes depending on the oven. If you insert a fork, the sweet potatoes should be soft and not starchy in the middle with slightly crisp edges. While the sweet potatoes cook, prepare the avocado mash and steam the broccoli for about 10 minutes, adding the greens for the last 5 minutes. Once everything has finished cooking, add everything to a plate and drizzle the sweet potatoes with the almond butter and maple syrup. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. If using an efficient oven that cooks quickly, check the sweet potatoes after about 45 minutes. If using a slower oven, check on the sweet potatoes after about 50-60 minutes.
Simple Sweets & Treats http://simplesweetsandtreats.com/
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Quinoa Bowl with Garlic Sauce

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Big bowls of goodness are a warming and hearty comfort food, especially when they are big bowls of plant-based goodness that are satisfying and nourishing at the same time. They warm your belly, but also feed your soul. High-protein grains, veggies, healthy fats, and herbs & spices are the key ingredients for creating a delicious bowl of goodness–this quinoa bowl with garlic sauce contains just those ingredients with a variety of flavors.

The fluffy quinoa is cooked with fragrant herbs and tossed with sweet, juicy bites of corn and topped with a creamy garlic sauce. It is a savory bowl of plant-based goodness that is full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals that will leave you feeling energized and satisfied. Simply cook the quinoa and corn, then toss in the corn sauce and herbs & spices. It’s an amazing wholesome and satisfying dish that is just as nutritious as it is delicious.

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Kristina
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup quinoa
  2. 2 cups frozen or fresh white corn
  3. 2 cups corn sauce: http://simplesweetsandtreats.com/creamy-corn-alfredo-soup/
  4. 1 tbsp. oil
  5. 1 minced garlic clove
  6. 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, sliced
  7. 1/4 tsp. pink salt
  8. 1/4 tsp. pepper
  9. 1/2 tsp. dried parsley
  10. 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  11. 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  12. Juice from 1/2 of a lime
Instructions
  1. Add rinsed quinoa to two cups of boiling water in a medium-sized saucepan. Cook on low for about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat and cover the pan for 10 minutes. Quinoa should be fluffy. Add frozen corn to boiling water and cook on low for 10 minutes, then toss with the quinoa. Heat oil in a skillet and add the minced garlic, then sauté for a few minutes until it softens. Add in the other herbs so that they heat up. Add the quinoa, corn, and corn sauce to the skillet and mix everything together and allow the mixture to warm. Serve with additional herbs and a squeeze of lime juice. Enjoy!
Simple Sweets & Treats http://simplesweetsandtreats.com/

Simple Sweet Potatoes

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I jut love simplicity (hence simple sweets ;). Especially when it comes to food, not only are simple foods easier, but there is something so satisfying and delicious about savoring a few, flavorful ingredients. Food doesn’t have to be made complicated–just made with care and quality, whole-food ingredients—and simple meals are perfect, because who has time to make complicated meals anymore? Hungry and tired? Sweet potatoes will save you. 

These sweet potatoes are just that–super simple, yet they are sweet, nutritious and easy to make with an amazing texture that is super satisfying and nourishing. Adding a bit of flavor enhancers complement the sweet potatoes wonderfully—the sweet from the potatoes and the maple syrup are balanced by the salty and savory nut butter. It tastes a bit like caramel topping when everything is mixed together! Although, they are quite good without toppings too! Not only are they super tasty, but they contain tons of antioxidants, vitamin A, vitamin C, and loads of minerals—the list goes on and on. They are also anti-inflammatory, help regulate blood sugar, and are healing for the digestive system. There are endless reasons to eat sweet potatoes!

Simply set washed sweet potatoes/yams in the oven and let them slowly bake until they are sweet, soft, and oozing with their own caramel. The amount of time that they cook, and the heat level does the trick– I tried and failed many times to cook them to that delicious soft and caramely stage, but finally found a time and temp that works. The best part is that you can leave them in the oven and forget about them until they’re ready, then just add whatever toppings you like. Maple syrup and nut butter with a little bit of salt crystals are delicious—sweet and salty, yet nutritious.

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Simple Sweet Potatoes
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Ingredients
  1. 3-4 medium-sized sweet potatoes or yams
  2. 3 tbsp. nut butter of choice such as cashew butter,
  3. sesame seed butter (tahini), and almond butter
  4. 3 tbsp. maple syrup
  5. Sprinkle of unrefined salt crystals
  6. optional 1 tsp. lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Wash and dry sweet potatoes, then place them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake for around 90 minutes, for regular size potatoes, 70 minutes for smaller potatoes. After cooking, let them cool for a bit, then drizzle the nut butter and maple syrup. Sprinkle salt to taste and optional lemon juice. Enjoy!
Simple Sweets & Treats http://simplesweetsandtreats.com/