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Food Matters
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Quick & Easy Spinach Salad Recipe

The title says it all: A spinach salad that is quick and easy, and packed with great taste. It’s also nut- and oil-free.

fresh spinach salad 

Quick & Easy Spinach Salad Recipe

Makes 2 to 3 servings

Ingredients

• 3 cups lightly packed baby spinach
• 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
• 1 teaspoon maple syrup
• Sea salt or Himalayan pink salt, to taste
• Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Instructions

1. Put the spinach in a medium bowl.

2. To make the dressing, put the vinegar and maple syrup in a small bowl and briskly whisk until smooth.

3. Pour the dressing over the spinach and toss gently to coat the leaves. Top with salt and pepper as desired.


Laura Theodore is a 2014 TASTE award-winning television personality, radio host, vegan chef, cookbook author and recording artist. She is author of Jazzy Vegetarian Classics: Vegan Twists on American Family Favorites and Jazzy Vegetarian: Lively Vegan Cuisine Made Easy and Delicious. Laura is the on-camera host, writer and co-producer of the popular cooking show, Jazzy Vegetarian and hosts the weekly podcast radio show, Jazzy Vegetarian Radio. Visit Laura on Facebook and follow her on Twitter for daily recipes and tips for serving delicious, plant-based meals.

Oven-Baked Two-Bean Chili Recipe

Baking this chili in the oven makes it super-simple for a weeknight meal. This recipe is easily doubled or tripled if you’re feeding a crowd. For extra pizazz, top each serving with a generous dollop of vegan sour cream.

dish of oven-baked chili 

Oven-Baked Two-Bean Chili Recipe

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

Chili:
• 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
• 1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
• 2 medium sweet onions, chopped
• 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
• 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
• 1 heaping tablespoon unsulphured blackstrap molasses, plus more as needed
• 1/3 cup organic catsup, plus more as needed
• 1/4 teaspoon salt

Toppings:
• 1/4 cup sliced scallions
• 1/2 teaspoon chili powder (optional)

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Put all of the chili ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine.

3. Pour the mixture into a medium casserole dish. Cover and bake for 35 minutes.

4. Remove the chili from the oven and stir it. If the chili seems dry, add more molasses or catsup to achieve the desired consistency. Cover and bake for 10 to 20 minutes more, or until bubbling and browned around the edges. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool 10 minutes before serving.

5. Serve the chili in deep bowls, topped with scallions. Dust with chili powder, if using.

For more recipes and information or to purchase Jazzy Vegetarian cookbooks, visit Laura's website.


Recipe used with permission from Ben Bella Books © 2013, Laura Theodore, the Jazzy Vegetarian, host and creator of Jazzy Vegetarian on PBS, and author of Jazzy Vegetarian Classics: Vegan Twists on American Family Favorites and Jazzy Vegetarian: Lively Vegan Cuisine That's Easy and Delicious.

Seitan Piccata Recipe

This elegant, flavorful and meaty-tasting dish prepares in 15 minutes from start to finish, making it an ideal entrée to serve at any gathering when you’re short on time.

seitan piccata 

Seitan Piccata Recipe

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

• 16 ounces seitan, drained and sliced or cubed
• 1 cup vegetable broth
• 1 teaspoon all-purpose seasoning blend
• Dash cayenne pepper
• 1 large lemon, sliced in half
• 2 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed
• Sea salt, to taste
• Freshly ground pepper, to taste
• Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish

Instructions

1. Put the seitan, vegetable broth, all-purpose seasoning and cayenne pepper in a large skillet. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, squeeze 1-1⁄2 to 2 tablespoons juice from half the lemon. Cut the remaining lemon half into 4 wedges and set aside.

Add 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice and the capers to the skillet. Cover and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and add more lemon juice, if desired. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. To serve, spoon over cooked rice, pasta or quinoa. Garnish with parsley and serve with a lemon wedge on the side.

Amount per serving, based on 4 servings: 161 Calories; 3g Fat; 0g Saturated fat; 28g Protein; 689mg Sodium; 7g Total Carbohydrate; 3g Sugars; 1g Fiber

Watch Laura Theodore make this recipe!

Recipe from Laura Theodore's Vegan-Ease, © 2015 Laura Theodore, reprinted by permission.


Laura Theodore is a 2014 TASTE award-winning television personality, radio host, vegan chef, cookbook author and recording artist. She is author of Jazzy Vegetarian Classics: Vegan Twists on American Family Favorites and Jazzy Vegetarian: Lively Vegan Cuisine Made Easy and Delicious. Laura is the on-camera host, writer and co-producer of the popular cooking show, Jazzy Vegetarian and hosts the weekly podcast radio show, Jazzy Vegetarian Radio. Visit Laura on Facebook and follow her on Twitter for daily recipes and tips for serving delicious, plant-based meals.

Bountiful Blueberry Bars Recipe

These bountiful beauties make a tempting breakfast treat, lunchbox item or after-school snack. Isn’t it nice when something so tasty happens to be filled with nutritious ingredients?

blueberry bars

Bountiful Blueberry Bars Recipe

Ease Factor 2 | Makes 10 bars

Ingredients

• 4 tablespoons golden flaxseeds
• 2 large ripe bananas
• 1/4 cup Sucanat, brown sugar, or your preferred dry sweetener
• 2 heaping tablespoons blueberry preserves
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 2 cups rolled oats
• 1/4 cup raw unsweetened shredded dried coconut
• 1 cup fresh blueberries

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with unbleached parchment paper, leaving 3- to 4-inch “wings” on two opposite sides of the pan.

2. Put the flaxseeds in a high-performance blending appliance and process into very fine flour. Put the bananas, Sucanat (or brown sugar), blueberry preserves and vanilla in a medium-sized bowl and mash with a potato masher or large fork into a chunky purée. Add the ground flaxseeds, oats and coconut; stir to combine. Gently fold in the fresh blueberries.

3. Spread the dough in an even layer in the prepared pan. Score into 10 bars using a table knife. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until slightly golden around the edges. Put the pan on a heatproof surface. Using the parchment paper “wings” as handles, carefully lift the bars out of the pan in one piece. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 15 to 20 minutes.

4. Again, using the parchment paper “wings” as handles, transfer the bars to a cutting board and cut into 10 individual bars. Stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, the bars will keep for 2 days.

Amount per serving, based on 10 servings: 145 Calories; 3g Fat; 1g Saturated fat; 3g Protein; 6mg Sodium; 29g Total Carbohydrate; 12g Sugars; 4g Fiber

Recipe taken from Laura Theodore’s Vegan-Ease. Reproduced by kind permission of Laura Theodore.


Laura Theodore is a 2014 TASTE award-winning television personality, radio host, vegan chef, cookbook author and recording artist. She is author of Jazzy Vegetarian Classics: Vegan Twists on American Family Favorites and Jazzy Vegetarian: Lively Vegan Cuisine Made Easy and Delicious. Laura is the on-camera host, writer and co-producer of the popular cooking show, Jazzy Vegetarian and hosts the weekly podcast radio show, Jazzy Vegetarian Radio. Visit Laura on Facebook and follow her on Twitter for daily recipes and tips for serving delicious, plant-based meals.

Cranberry Chocolate-Almond Clusters Recipe

These treats offer crunchy almonds covered in a delectable dark chocolate candy coating, flavored with coconut and dried cranberries for a satisfying indulgence. These chocolaty, nutty snacks will fly off your table, so you may want to prepare a double-batch! (So easy to make too.) YUM!

cranberry chocolate-almond clusters

Cranberry Chocolate-Almond Clusters Recipe

Makes 12 Servings

Ingredients

• 1-1/4 cups raw almonds
• 1/3 cup vegan (dairy-free) dark chocolate chips
• 1/4 cup raw unsweetened shredded dried coconut
• 1/3 cup dried cranberries

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a twelve-cup mini-muffin tin with festive paper liners.

2. Spread the almonds in a single layer on the lined baking sheet. Bake for 4 to 8 minutes, or until slightly golden, checking every few minutes to prevent burning.

3. Transfer to a large bowl. Immediately sprinkle with the chocolate chips and coconut and let stand for 10 to 20 seconds to let the chips melt. Stir, to combine, until the almonds are evenly coated with the chocolate chips and coconut. Immediately fold in the dried cranberries.

4. Drop a heaping tablespoon of the almond mixture into each of the prepared paper liners.

5. Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours, or until set. Stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, the almond clusters will keep for 3 to 5 days.


Laura Theodore is a 2014 TASTE award-winning television personality, radio host, vegan chef, cookbook author and recording artist. She is author of Jazzy Vegetarian Classics: Vegan Twists on American Family Favorites and Jazzy Vegetarian: Lively Vegan Cuisine Made Easy and Delicious. Laura is the on-camera host, writer and co-producer of the popular cooking show, Jazzy Vegetarian and hosts the weekly podcast radio show, Jazzy Vegetarian Radio. Visit Laura on Facebook and follow her on Twitter for daily recipes and tips for serving delicious, plant-based meals.

Easy Vegan Pizza Recipe

Easy and so delicious, this delightful pizza cuts corners (and calories) by using a whole-grain sandwich wrap instead of pizza dough. The result is a crisp crust, topped with a mouthwatering combination of toppings, ready to eat in less than 20 minutes. Ideal to serve for a quick lunch or light supper.

loaded vegan pizza 

Easy Vegan Pizza Recipe

Ease Factor 1 | Makes 1 to 2 servings

Ingredients

• 1 10-inch whole-grain sandwich wrap or tortilla
• 2 to 3 tablespoons low-fat prepared marinara sauce
• 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning blend
• 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
• 2 cups lightly packed baby spinach, washed and dried
• 4 green queen olives with pimento, sliced (see note)
• 10 to 12 slices vegan pepperoni, or 4 very thinly sliced cremini mushrooms
• 1/3 cup shredded vegan cheese (optional)

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Put the sandwich wrap on a large baking sheet or pizza pan. Spread the marinara sauce over the wrap, in an even layer, leaving a slight margin around the edge for a “crust.” Sprinkle the Italian seasoning and crushed pepper over the sauce. Top with the baby spinach, pressing it down to make it more compact.

3 Top with the olives, vegan pepperoni (or mushrooms) and vegan cheese (optional). Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until crust is crisp and toppings are heated through. Cut into wedges and serve.

Chef’s Note: Pitted Kalamata olives may be used in place of the green olives.

Amount per serving, based on 2 servings: 167 Calories; 4g Fat; 0g Saturated fat; 8g Protein; 357mg Sodium; 25g Total Carbohydrate; 3g Sugars; 5g Fiber
Amount per serving, with optional vegan cheese: 226 Calories; 8g Fat; 2g Saturated fat; 9g Protein; 522mg Sodium; 29g Total Carbohydrate; 3g Sugars; 6g Fiber

Recipe taken from Laura Theodore’s Vegan-Ease. Reproduced by kind permission. Photo by Laura Theodore.


Laura Theodore is a 2014 TASTE award-winning television personality, radio host, vegan chef, cookbook author and recording artist. She is author of Jazzy Vegetarian Classics: Vegan Twists on American Family Favorites and Jazzy Vegetarian: Lively Vegan Cuisine Made Easy and Delicious. Laura is the on-camera host, writer and co-producer of the popular cooking show, Jazzy Vegetarian and hosts the weekly podcast radio show, Jazzy Vegetarian Radio. Visit Laura on Facebook and follow her on Twitter for daily recipes and tips for serving delicious, plant-based meals.

Protein-Power Pearl Quinoa Recipe

Alter Eco was kind enough to send me four kinds of heirloom quinoa: black, pearl, rainbow, and red! For this recipe I used the pearl quinoa, and paired it with seasoned, sautéed leeks, raisins, chickpeas, along with a tasty side dish of steam-sautéed garlic broccoli.

Alter Eco’s Heirloom Pearl Quinoa provides 6 grams of protein per 1/4 cup and 2 grams of fiber, plus lots of good-for-you minerals, like manganese, copper, folate and zinc. 1 cup of this quinoa is plenty to eat so you don’t need to worry about not getting enough protein with this meal! Quinoa offers light, long-lasting positive energy, is kid-friendly, and easy to prepare.

pearl quinoa with chickpeas and broccoli 

Protein-Power Pearl Quinoa Recipe

Ingredients

• 1 cup Alter Eco Pearl Heirloom Quinoa
• 1-3/4 to 2 cups water
• 1/2 cup raisins
• 2 leeks washed, halved and sliced
• 1/2 cup cooked Eden Food chickpeas
• Olive oil and spices to taste

Instructions

1. Cook quinoa as directed adding 1/2 cup more water to boil down so the raisins plump. Add olive oil, spices, raisins and precooked chickpeas.

3. Sauté leeks in your favorite cooking oil. Add sea salt and pepper. Add leeks to the cooked quinoa. Stir and serve with veggie sides of your choice.


Shar VedaShar Veda, Southern Oregon’s Premier Alternative Therapist, offers deep healing through loving touch and compassionate counsel. She is an Ayurveda Lifestyle Counselor & Health Educator, yoga therapist and herbalist. Shar has been blessed to study with leading teachers in Ayurveda, Yoga, and herbalism for 20 years. However, it was her adopted grandma, Doe (English-American and Blackfoot Native), who instilled within her profound appreciation for the supreme power of loving touch, healing arts, and world family. Visit her website for a video, full bio, and photos or find her on Facebook!