Delightfully Healthy! Spring Break Essentials

Tasting Friday, 3/8, 6:00 – 7:30 pm

We will serve Vegan Cauliflower Queso and Quinoa with Swiss Chard, Garlic & Tomatoes!

For anyone that doesn’t have an official Spring break planned to a sunny location and are really craving a taste of spring, our recipes this week have got you covered!

Our Vegan Cauliflower Queso puts a healthy spin on a Mexican favorite. Cauliflower, being the surprising base of this queso recipe, packs this snack full of nutrients and flavor. Like its cousin broccoli, cauliflower is a good source of vitamins K and C, which are involved in helping blood clotting and healing, respectively. Cauliflower is also a good source of vitamin B6, which is also called pyridoxine. In our bodies, it is involved in protein metabolism, meaning that it helps our bodies break down and use protein from our diets. It also facilitates the process of building neurotransmitters and hemoglobin. Folate is also a key nutrient in cauliflower. Folate is essential to the process of creating DNA and RNA and helps our body cells function and develop properly. It is especially known for its importance for the
development of a healthy central nervous system in a fetus within the first 30 days after conception. As far as minerals go, cauliflower has a little bit of everything. However, it has a significant amount of potassium, a mineral that helps counteract the negative effects that excessive sodium intake has on blood pressure. Potassium helps increase sodium excretion and decrease the volume of plasma in your blood, which helps maintain healthy blood pressure.

Our second recipe, Quinoa with Swiss Chard, Garlic & Tomatoes, highlights more fresh, springy flavors. Rainbow Swiss chard and grape tomatoes are the stars of this warm and garlicky quinoa recipe, which is a bright but filling dish that will help you slowly transition from the bitter cold of winter to the warmth of spring. One cup of Swiss chard is very rich in vitamin K, which not only plays a role in blood clotting but bone health as well. Swiss chard is also a good source of as vitamin A as well as vitamin C, which both help support the function and integrity of our skin
and eyes. Another function of vitamin C and vitamin A is supporting the health of our immune systems, and grape tomatoes happen to be a great source of both vitamins. One cup of cooked quinoa provides 8 grams of protein and is also a good source of the mineral manganese. Manganese is an essential component of many enzymes in our bodies that are involved in various functions including nutrient metabolism, bone development, and wound healing.

Spring is the perfect time of year to grow and expand your “go-to” recipe list. And these two delicious and healthy recipes are the perfect additions to help you welcome warmer weather!

Vegan Cauliflower Queso

Photo credit and adapted from mydarlingvegan.com

Serves 6

Note: Cashews must be soaked for at least 1 hour before making queso.

Ingredients

2 T olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 jalapeños, seeded and minced
4 cups cauliflower florets (about 1 large head or 2 small heads)
½ cup vegetable broth
⅓ cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
2 sun-dried tomatoes
¼ cup raw cashews, soaked in hot water for at least 1 hour
½ cup nutritional yeast
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon turmeric
salt, to taste

Directions

1. Soak cashews in hot water for at least 1 hour before making the queso. Once soaked, drain and rinse. Set aside.

2.In a large cast iron skillet, heat vegan butter or oil over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, and jalapeños and sauté for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly brown and fragrant. Remove about half of the onion/jalapeño mixture and set aside.

3. Leave the other half of the onions/jalapeños in the pan, stir in cauliflower and vegetable broth. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until cauliflower is tender and broth has absorbed.

4. Add to a high-powered blender or food processor along with remaining ingredients, including the cashews. Blend until completely smooth. Add extra milk, about 1 tablespoon at a time, if necessary.

5.Transfer to a serving dish. Stir in remaining onions and jalapeños and top with fresh jalapeños. Serve with chips or raw carrots.

Quinoa w/Swiss Chard, Garlic & Tomatoes

Photo credit and adapted from myhalalkitchen.com

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 cup dry quinoa
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1 cup stems, finely chopped (about 4-6 stalks)
1 shallot, minced
8 grape tomatoes, cut in half
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups Swiss chard leaves, roughly chopped
freshly grated Parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast (optional)

Directions

1. Place quinoa and 2 cups of water to a medium pot and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until water is absorbed about 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes. Uncover and fluff with a fork. Transfer to a large plate or platter.

2. Warm the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.

3. Add the Swiss chard stems and shallots and saute until soft, about 3-4 minutes.

4. Add the tomatoes and saute until they are no longer firm.

5. Add the garlic and swiss chard leaves, and continue to saute until the leaves become soft.

6. Remove from heat and place on top of the cooked quinoa. If using, sprinkle freshly grated Parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast on top, and serve!

Subscribe