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Recipes — Vegetables

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Why Buying Seasonal Produce is Good for You & Your Family 0

Embrace the bounties of each season with the delicious advantages of eating seasonal produce. As trends shift towards health and sustainability, the choice to eat seasonally not only aligns with these goals but enhances your culinary experience by offering fresher, tastier, and more nutritious ingredients. This article delves into the significant benefits of consuming fruits and vegetables at their peak, highlighting how they can be more cost-effective and environmentally friendly. Additionally, discover practical tips and recipes for enjoying seasonal flavors all year round, even if your favorite produce is out of season, by utilizing freeze-dried alternatives. Engage with the rhythms of nature and enrich your diet through the simple joy of seasonal eating.
10 Vegetarian Recipes That Even Meat Eaters Will Enjoy

10 Vegetarian Recipes That Even Meat Eaters Will Enjoy 0

Discover the joys of plant-based eating with these ten exceptional vegetarian recipes, perfect for celebrating Eat Your Vegetables Day or any day you're exploring meatless options. From breakfast to dinner, these dishes prove that vegetarian meals can be just as satisfying and flavor-packed as their meaty counterparts. Enjoy everything from banana chocolate chip pancakes for a sweet start to your day, to a hearty lentil Bolognese for dinner, proving that vegetarian food can excite even the staunchest carnivores.
6 Fresh Salad Recipes Packed Full of Flavor

6 Fresh Salad Recipes Packed Full of Flavor 0

May is National Salad Month, a celebration initiated by the Association for Dressing and Sauces in 1992 to encourage more salad intake. As a call to healthier eating, especially important during pandemic times, this month is perfect for exploring diverse and exciting salad recipes. From broccoli and nuts to innovative fruit salads, these recipes are designed to refresh the routine and appeal to both salad lovers and skeptics alike. Get ready to chop, dress, and mix as we dive into salads from around the world.

5 Pasta Recipes to Make the Most Out Of Your Veggies 0

pasta recipes
Photo by Engin Akyurt from Pexels

Between the carbs and cheesy toppings, pasta has gotten a bad rap in the health community. But, here at Mother Earth Products Headquarters, we believe that spaghetti isn't the danger food everyone thinks it is – with the right tweaks, of course. That's why we rounded up our five favorite pasta recipes that are not only tasty but contain a bunch of healthy ingredients, such as veggies and legumes. Besides, October 17th is National Pasta Day(1), which means you should make something noodly to celebrate. Let it be something healthy-ish this time.

1. Bacon & Pea Mac-n-Cheese

Bacon may not sound like the healthiest option in the book, but this version swaps the greasy pork strips with spoonfuls of TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein). That means you'll get the full taste with just a fraction of the fat. Plus, peas will add some fiber to the mix, creating a balanced ensemble of macronutrients.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups elbow macaroni, uncooked
  • ½ cup freeze dried peas
  • ½ cup TVP bacon bits
  • 2/3 cup Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/3 cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Add the bacon bits and the peas to two separate bowls and fill with warm water. Soak the contents for 15 minutes until hydrated. Transfer to a towel to remove excess water.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the package's instructions. Add the peas to the pasta pot in the last couple of minutes of cooking. Strain the pasta and set it aside.
  3. In a small skillet, sauté the bacon bits for a few minutes until they turn slightly brown. Set aside.
  4. In a pot, add ¼ cup of hot water, the yogurt, and cheddar cheese and cook until the cheese has melted. Stir in the Parmesan one handful at a time to avoid clumps. Add more water if the sauce is too thick—season with paprika, salt, and pepper.
  5. Add the sauce and bacon to the pasta pot and mix well to combine.

2. Vegetable Baked Ziti

Baked ziti is one of those dishes that are usually laden with cheese. But, this pasta recipe begs to differ. Using ricotta and mozzarella for the creamy factor, it steers clear of fatty add-ins without compromising flavor. The veggies also add a nutrient boost, making the dish an excellent choice for weekday meals.

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Add the mushrooms, onion, and zucchini to a bowl full of warm water and soak for 15 minutes. Once hydrated, remove from water, squeeze away excess liquid, and place on a towel.
  2. Cook the pasta according to the package's instructions and set aside. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350oF and grease a baking dish with cooking spray.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sautee the mushrooms, onion, and zucchini until most liquid has boiled off. Once they are fork-tender, add the sauce, ricotta, and spices to the skillet, stir, and cook for 2-3 minutes. Then, add the pasta and stir.
  4. Pour the mixture into the baking dish, top with shredded mozzarella, and bake for 30 minutes.

3. Pasta e Fagioli

Translating into "pasta and beans," this dish comes in the form of soup. Sure, slurping your pasta may sound weird. And sure, beans and pasta aren't your typical "match made in heaven." But, before you shut this combo down, know that this dish is full of nutrients, from protein to calcium.

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Add the beans to a bowl with warm water and soak overnight. The next day, transfer to a pot and cook until slightly tender.
  2. While the beans are cooking, soak the onion, carrots, and celery in a bowl with warm water for 15 minutes. Remove and squeeze away excess liquids.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a pot over low heat. Add the onion, carrots, and celery and sauté for 4-5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and sauté for another 5 minutes or until most liquid has evaporated.
  4. Add the tomatoes and keep cooking until the mixture starts to bubble. Then, add the broth, water, and spices. Raise the heat to medium and let the soup simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Now, fold in the pasta, beans, and spinach and cook for 20-25 minutes or until everything is fork-tender.
  6. A few minutes before you remove it from heat, stir in one tablespoon of olive oil and two tablespoons of lemon juice.
  7. Serve with warm bread and a green salad.

4. Beef Goulash

A medley of herbs and a thick tomato base makes this goulash as hearty as it gets. The TVP beef also makes the dish satisfying, posing as an excellent choice for both kids and adults. PS: For an even healthier take, sneak in your favorite veggies, whether that's broccoli or peas.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ cup TVP beef bits
  • 2 cups elbow macaroni, uncooked
  • ½ cup dried onions
  • ½ cup dried bell peppers (mixed)
  • 2 cans tomato sauce
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp dried garlic (sliced or granulated)
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp dried thyme
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Fill a large bowl with water and add the TVP beef bits, bell pepper, and onion. Soak for 15 minutes and remove excess water by squeezing.
  2. In a pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the beef bits, bell pepper, onion, garlic, and sauté for 10 minutes or until everything softens.
  3. Pour in the sauce, diced tomatoes, broth, spices, and pasta and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes or until the pasta is cooked.
  4. Stir in the cheese just before serving.

5. Potato Gnocchi

Gnocchi is one of those dishes that looks elaborate but is pretty easy to make. This recipe calls for some basic ingredients you probably already have in your pantry and takes less than 15 minutes to prep. Let's roll this dough!

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ cups dried potato dices
  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¾ cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Add the potato dices to a pot along with 5 cups of warm water. Soak for 15 minutes. Then, transfer the pot to a stovetop and bring the water to a boil. Cook until potatoes are fork-tender.
  2. Transfer to a bowl, mash, and stir in the remaining ingredients one at a time until you form a dough.
  3. Transfer to a floured surface and knead for a couple of minutes. Dive in 4 pieces and roll each of them until you form a long string. Cut each line into bite sized pieces and using a fork, create ridges along each gnocchi.
  4. Fill a pot with water and bring to a boil. Cook the gnocchi until they start floating. Remove from water and top with melted butter and the Parmesan.

Are you a pasta lover? If so, would you give these healthier pasta recipes a shot? Let us know in the comments below!

References:

  1. https://www.nationalpastaday.com/
  2. http://www.thebrewerandthebaker.com/archives/14350
  3. https://ohmyveggies.com/vegetarian-vegetable-baked-ziti/
  4. https://cookieandkate.com/pasta-e-fagioli-recipe/
  5. https://iwashyoudry.com/easy-goulash-recipe/
  6. https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/a28576135/potato-gnocchi-recipe/

5 Freeze Dried Vegetable Recipes You Can Make in a Pinch 0

Freeze Dried Vegetable

Ah, mornings! The only time of the day when you actually think you'll make it home early enough to cook Pinterest's most drool-worthy recipes. Of course, somewhere between... everything, especially chopping veggies post-work seems next to impossible. So, it is at those times when ingredients like freeze dried vegetables come to the rescue. Why's that?

Well, first off, the bite-sized treats are already chopped, which means they help you skip the prep work part. More than that, our freeze dried veggies are just as tasty as their fresh counterparts, translating to easy meals that are nothing short of amazing. In fact, if you've ever tried our products yourself, you know that our freeze dried vegetables aren't just tasty; they often add oomph to the mix, making your dishes more piquant.

So, if you're ready to enjoy the convenience and benefits of our products, these 5 freeze dried vegetable recipes are a great place to start.

Cauliflower Pizza Cups

By now we all know that cauliflower is making waves as a powerhouse veggie. From the nutrients it packs to the multiple ways it can be cooked, the superfood is a definite show-stopper in the nutritional world; however, incorporating it in our meals isn't always easy. That's where this recipe steps in. With only 6 ingredients, you’re spared the long shopping list without missing any of the nutrients. #timesaver

Ingredients:

3 cups freeze dried cauliflower pearls

1 egg

1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

2/3 cup Mozzarella cheese, shredded

2/3 cup mini pepperoni slices

1 tsp oregano

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400oF and line a muffin tin with 9 liners.
  2. In a bowl, pour 6 cups of lukewarm water and let the cauliflower hydrate for about 8 minutes.
  3. Then, place it into a food processor, pulse until you get a fine crumb, and gradually add the egg, Parmesan and Mozzarella cheeses, and oregano.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the liners and top with the pepperoni slices.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the surface is golden brown. 

Sweet Potato Quesadilla

If there's one thing we all know about quesadillas is that they're pretty darn easy to make – this version is no different. Stuffed with a delicious combo of sweet potatoes and Feta cheese, the tortilla dish can readily do the trick on those hectic days when you need something fast to hit the spot.

Ingredients:

4 whole wheat tortillas

1/2 cup freeze dried sweet potatoes

1/2 cup Feta cheese, crumbled

1 tbsp unsalted butter

1 tsp hot sauce (optional)

Directions:

  1. Add the sweet potato in a saucepan along with one cup of water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil until the potato is fork tender. Then, remove the water, mash, and stir in the butter and the hot sauce.
  2. Lay two of the tortillas on a surface and spread half of the potato mixture on each.
  3. Top with the crumbled Feta cheese and the other two tortillas.
  4. Heat a non-stick skillet and cook one quesadilla at a time until they're lightly browned at the bottom.
  5. Cut into wedges and serve.

Bacon Pea Salad

Even though peas scream "spring" (mainly due to their vibrant green color), this salad recipe is a treat you can enjoy all year round. The all season dish is generously sprinkled with bacon and yummified with mayo, so it's bound to make everyone at the table swoon. PS: Don't be surprised if your little ones ask for seconds!

Ingredients:

2 cups freeze dried peas

1 cup bacon, finely diced

2/3 cup mayo

1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp smoked paprika (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, add three cups of boiling water and the peas. Let them sit for about 10-15 minutes until they hydrate. Once time is up, remove them from the bowl and place them onto a paper towel to get rid of excess water.
  2. Add all the ingredients to another container and stir well. Cover the top with aluminum foil and place it to the fridge for about an hour. This will give the flavors a chance to meld.

Beef Red Pepper Soup

If you're looking for an easy way to warm yourself up on a cold winter night, this red pepper soup is just the thing to hit the spot. Loaded with red bell peppers (hurray for vitamin C(1)!), ground beef and an awful lot of warming spices, the dish might as well scream "I'm good for you, eat me!"

Ingredients:

2 cups ground beef

1/2 cup white rice

1/2 cup freeze dried bell pepper

1/4 cup dehydrated onion

1 tsp dehydrated garlic

1/2 cup fresh tomato sauce

Salt and pepper, for seasoning

Directions:

  1. Add the bell peppers and the onion to a bowl along with 2 cups of boiling water. After 10-15 minutes, remove them from the container and squeeze any excess water. Pat with a paper towel to get rid of the moisture.
  2. Add the beef to a Dutch oven and cook on high heat until it turns brown, for about 5 minutes.
  3. Toss the rest of the ingredients into the Dutch oven along with 1 cup water, cover, and simmer for 40 minutes.

Cheesy Mushroom Poppers

We're never one to turn down bite-sized treats, but when it's time to eat them after a long day at work, they'd better be near-perfect (and by that we mean healthy with a side of easy). These cheesy mushroom poppers are the perfect way to end your day without slaving away in the kitchen.

Ingredients:

2 cups freeze dried mushrooms

1/2 cup bacon, finely chopped

3 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated

1 tsp chili powder

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup breadcrumbs

1/4 tsp salt

1/8 tsp black pepper

Directions:

  1. Soak the mushrooms into a bowl of lukewarm water for approximately 10-15 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 450oF.
  3. Add the mushroom, Parmesan cheese, chili powder, bacon, and one of the eggs to a food processor and pulse until they're evenly combined.
  4. Using your hands form small balls and set them aside.
  5. Then, add the second egg and the breadcrumbs, salt, and pepper in two separate bowls.
  6. Dunk the balls into the egg bowl and then coat with breadcrumbs and place onto a lined cookie sheet.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes or until they turn golden.
  8. Serve with blue cheese sauce or as a side to a steak or burger.

So, what do you think? Are freeze dried vegetables a life-saver or what? We'd love to hear your thoughts/experiences in the comments down below!

References:

  1. https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2896/2