Cutlets “Parmesan”

I love chickpea cutlets!!!

They are budget friendly, freeze beautifully and are a great protein for many dishes.

Seriously, these little babies are so budget friendly.  I can get anywhere from 10-12 cutlets per 14 oz jar of beans.  For us, they average out to about 13 cents per cutlet!  What what?!?!

Here is a super easy way to use the chickpea cutlets.  By the way, I have also made these cutlets with white northern beans and they taste exactly the same!

Before you make this recipe, head over to this blog post and make a batch or two of the cutlets.  These cutlets freeze well.  I try to always have a batch of chickpea cutlets in the freezer.

Here’s how I make what I like to “Cutlets Parmesan.”  It has neither meat or cheese, but it’s amazing just the same!

DSCN2689

“Cutlets Parmesan”

Ingredients:

  • Prepared Cutlets (click here for recipe)
  • Safe jar of spaghetti sauce
  • Safe cooked noodles (approximately 1.5 to 2.5 cups, depending on the size dish you make.)
  • Vegan Cheese (We use Daiya Mozzarella Shreds)
  • Nutritional Yeast

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Use either an 8×8 or 9×12 glass baking dish.  I use an 8×8 for just the three of us.  I use the 9×12 if we have guests for dinner.
  3. Place a layer of noodles in the baking dish.
  4. Add a layer of spaghetti sauce on top of the noodles.  Spread evenly and gently.
  5. Sprinkle nutritional yeast on top of the spaghetti sauce.
  6. Sprinkle a light layer of vegan cheese.
  7. Add cutlets on top of vegan cheese.
  8. Top each cutlet with additional spaghetti sauce and add more vegan cheese on top of each cutlet.
  9. Bake for 10-15 minutes.  This is to heat the casserole and melt the vegan cheese.  The dish is already all cooked, so it shouldn’t need more than 15 minutes.

 

Chickpea Cutlets

8×8 dish in progress.  I use rotini noodles.  You can use any large noodle that is safe for your family.

 

DSCN2688

Side View.  I don’t measure for this dish, so I hope this pic helps.  Now this pic is making me hungry!!!

 

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Easy Adobo Bean & “Cheese” Quesadilla

Bean Quesadillas

This recipe was born out of desperation. I didn’t want to go to the grocery store and raided my pantry for something to make for dinner. I found a jar of Randall Great Northern Beans, tortillas, & some frozen Daiya mozzarella shreds in my freezer.

I experimented and ended up with a new family favorite. The icing on the cake? It’s super easy. I can knock this out of the park in less than 15 minutes from start to finish.

These quesadillas make great lunches or dinners. A veggie on the side is an easy way to finish off this meal. If you’re really short on time, steam in the microwave veggies make this entire meal even easier. And easy is good.

Here’s how to make Adobo Bean & “Cheese” Quesadillas:

Ingredients:

  • 1 24 oz jar of Randall Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed (or 2-3 cups of cooked beans)
  • 1-3 Tablespoons of tomato sauce
  • 4 shakes of Adobo seasoning
  • Approx 1/4-1/2 tsp of garlic powder and onion powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Daiya Mozzarella Shreds
  • Nutritional Yeast
  • 6-8 Tortillas, depending of tortilla size

Directions:

  1. Put drained and rinsed beans in a bowl. Use a potato masher to mash the beans. Add the tomato sauce and spices. Mix well.
  2. Use a spoon and scoop out a large spoonful of bean mixture on half of a tortilla. Sprinkle a generous amount of nutritional yeast on top of the bean mixture and sprinkle Daiya to your preference. Fold tortilla in half like a quesadilla.
  3. Brown quesadillas on a skillet or griddle. The griddle heats a lot at one time and is why I can have this on the table so quickly.
  4. Serve as is, with a side of salsa for dipping or with a veggie and/or fruit on the side.

I use the fajita size tortillas and this makes approximately 7-8 quesadillas. Also, I don’t measure the spices- I just eyeball it. One time I accidentally shook WAY TOO MUCH onion powder in this and it still tasted amazing!

This is one meal my five year old GOBBLES without complaint. She loves it and so do we.

In this often busy and sometimes chaotic holiday season, this quick recipe helps get an easy and nutritious meal on the table.  Ya gotta leave easy and nutritious, right?

Enjoy!

Pizza Nachos

Pizza Nachos!

Pizza Nachos!

This is a quick and easy lunch or dinner. I have made this with black beans that I cooked and Randall beans from a jar (remember, no canned foods in this house.) The recipe turns out the same- YUMMY!

I’ll admit- the beans once pureed don’t look pretty. I’ll leave it at that. However, the taste is perfect and the recipe is easy, so that trumps the way black beans look pureed any day.

I don’t even remember how and why I created this. I just wanted more easy recipes for beans. Cooking dried beans and freezing them is very budget friendly. And I’m always trying to cut back that giant green eyed monster called our grocery budget.

Anyway, one day I randomly thought, why not throw some pizza sauce in with some beans, heat them up and pulverize them? That might make some tasty nachos.

And by golly, it did.

Here’s what we like to call “Pizza Nachos.”

Pizza Nachos:

Ingredients:

  • 1 recipe of homemade pizza sauce (I add a generous sprinkle of nutritional yeast to my pizza sauce now)
  • 1-2 cups of black beans (rinsed if from a can or jar, defrosted if cooked and frozen)
  • Tortilla Chips

Toppings:

  • Daiya Mozzarella Cheese Shreds
  • Sliced Green Olives
  • Chopped Tomatoes
  • Chopped Onions

Directions:

  1. In a medium pot add beans and 5-8 big spoonfuls of pizza sauce. If you use 1 cup of beans, use 5 spoonfuls. If you use a can or jar of beans, you need more pizza sauce. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat.
  2. I pour the hot beans into a measuring cup and use my immersion blender to puree the beans. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can use a blender or food processor. Be careful please. The beans are hot!
  3. On a plate, spread out your tortilla chips. Top with black bean mixture and Daiya cheese if using.
  4. Microwave for 30-45 seconds, or until the Daiya starts to melt.
  5. Add desired toppings.

(We like to add sliced green olives, tomatoes & chopped onions. The Huzz tops his nachos with salsa. I add extra pizza sauce on top of my nachos. SG prefers no sauce. Whatevs!)

The makings of a great meal.

The makings of a great meal.

Ready for Toppings

Ready for Toppings

Our favorite toppings for Pizza Nachos.

Our favorite toppings for Pizza Nachos.

Even SG cleans her plate when we have this for dinner.

Even SG cleans her plate when we have this for dinner.

I hope you enjoy these pizza nachos!

Vegan Queso Bean Dip: Dairy & Egg Free

I jokingly called this “Chip Dip” and it has stuck. Otherwise named by me as vegan queso bean dip… also known as my new obsession for my lunches.

It has just three ingredients: Daiya cheddar style block, salsa, & black beans.

3 Simple Ingredients

3 Simple Ingredients

And it’s SO, SO good!

Doesn’t this look yummy?

Yummy Vegan Queso Bean Dip

Yummy Vegan Queso Bean Dip

I’ve been making chip dip with just salsa and Daiya cheddar for awhile now, and it’s great that way, too. I wanted to bulk up my lunch by adding more protein, so a few days ago I threw in a cup of my frozen black beans. (I soak and cook my own beans so I keep them in the freezer in one cup portions.)

The beans were apparently just what my body needed, because I felt great all afternoon! I didn’t even need my usual afternoon cup of coffee.

This recipe is so easy and I’m just lovin’ it!

Today I measured the ingredients for the sake of this post, but I usually don’t measure. You can’t really mess this up.

Vegan Queso Bean Dip:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of safe salsa
  • 1 cup of black beans (drained if from can)
  • A few slices of Daiya cheddar style block, cut into small pieces

Directions:

  1. Add salsa, beans, & cheddar pieces to a pot.
  2. Heat until cheese is melted and the dip is well mixed and heated through. Add more cheese if the dip isn’t cheesy enough or add more salsa if it’s too cheesy.
  3. Serve as a dip with tortillas.
2 Cups of Salsa

2 Cups of Salsa

1 cup of Black Beans

1 cup of Black Beans

I started off with this much "cheese."  I later added another strip of Daiya to make it a bit cheesier.

I started off with this much “cheese.” I later added another strip of Daiya to make it a bit cheesier.

Ready to Heat

Ready to Heat

I like the dip to be about this color.  Yum!

I like the dip to be about this color. Yum!

Mission is our favorite brand for tortilla chips.  This is my favorite new lunch.

Mission is our favorite brand for tortilla chips. This is my new favorite lunch.

Not only is this a rockin’ lunch, but this would also be a great dip to bring to a potluck or to serve at the next big game.

I hope y’all enjoy this as much as I do!

P.S.  Did you notice the cute blue measuring spoon with the super long handle?  I recently bought them at Hobby Lobby and I LOVE them.  They are so much fun!  It’s the little things, ya know?

The Freezer is my Best Friend Part 5: Homemade Pizza

It’s not delivery. And there’s no way it’s DiGiorno’s. (Did I even spell that right?)

But sometimes (ummm- a lot of times!), us food allergy families want an easy dinner.

We occasionally enjoy Daiya “cheese” pizza, but at almost $10 for a small frozen pizza, it’s quite spendy. It’s worth it, though, for the sake of ease and convenience.

A friend of mine blogs over at Ally’s Sweet and Savory Eats. She wrote about a way to freeze homemade pizza. I pinned it and finally gave it a go.

Ally’s recipe needed a few changes to adapt it to our diet.

Here’s how I made dairy, egg, and beef free pizzas for our freezer.

Homemade Pizzas for the Freezer:
(Freezer instructions come from this recipe. Thanks Ally!)

Ingredients:

Directions:

  • Click on the homemade pizza dough recipe above. I don’t follow their instructions. I put it all in my bread machine and press the “dough” button. In an hour and a half, I have gorgeous homemade pizza dough!
  • Click on the homemade pizza sauce recipe above. Double the recipe.
  • Prepare your toppings. I like to use chopped onion, chopped green bell peppers, and olives.
  • Once the pizza dough is ready, preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Flour large surface. Separate pizza dough into 4 equal parts (Or 8 if you want smaller pizzas). Flour your rolling pin. Roll each portion of dough into a round circle. Use a fork to prick the raw dough. Place onto a round pizza pan or pizza stone. (I use $3.99 pizza pans with holes in them. They work great.) Bake for 6 minutes. Repeat with each pizza dough. (I always have a few pizza dough bubbles and prick them again with the fork.) Let the partially baked pizza crusts rest on a cookie rack while you pre-bake them all.
  • Spread pizza sauce on each pizza. I didn’t measure it. I just eyeballed it. If you like really saucy pizza, you might have to make more pizza sauce.
  • Spread cheese on the pizzas. I generally use 1/2 bag per pizza.
  • Add toppings.
  • Flash freeze in the freezer for 45 minutes. (The tricky part is finding space to flash freeze them. You flash freeze the pizzas unwrapped.  I put the pizzas on a cookie sheet in the freezer.)
  • Wrap the pizza in plastic wrap several times and label and date with reheating instructions.
  • Ally’s reheating instructions are to bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Vegan Cheese Pizza

Vegan Cheese & Veggie Pizzas

Random Notes:

I almost ran out of vegan cheese because I did this on a whim and wasn’t quite as prepared as I should have been. I will add a bit more cheese to the cheese pizzas when I bake them.

Also, I decided to make 2 of the 4 cheese pizzas. I can add toppings later if I want or leave them as just cheese.

I made two normal size round pizzas and four smaller ones. The smaller ones are above in the photos.

The Daiya “cheese” is $4.99 a bag, but even at that price, these pizzas still come out cheaper than the store bought Daiya frozen pizzas ($9.59 at my HyVee.) The cost of the other toppings are minimal and are always in my pantry or fridge as staples, so I don’t really count that towards the final price of cost savings. (One onion, one bell pepper & a jar of olives maybe cost $3.00. Add the two bags of “cheese” and the cost for all of the pizzas are maybe $12.98. This is my best quick estimate. I’m not figuring in the pizza dough or pizza sauce.) By this rough estimate, each pizza costs about $3.25!

I’m so EXCITED to have 4, that’s right 4, homemade and SAFE pizzas in my freezer right now. I almost don’t want to use them because then I’ll have three… I know, that doesn’t make sense. I wish I would’ve made more!

Right now, I’m one happy mama!

I’d love to know:  What are your favorite pizza toppings?

Homemade BBQ Chicken Pizza: Dairy and Egg Free

Homemade BBQ Chicken Pizza

Homemade BBQ Chicken Pizza

I used to mourn the loss of $5 hot and ready pizzas. Not anymore! This bbq chicken pizza is SO good- it has made me forget about what’s their name’s pizza.

My inspiration came from Once A Month Meals. Their recipe uses real mozzarella, which we can’t use. Daiya mozzarella shreds sub perfectly. For the bbq sauce, we use Weber’s brand. It’s so yummy! And I use my pre-cooked and pre-portioned chicken I keep stocked in my freezer. Click here for the chicken recipe and to see how to freeze it.

I also make my own pizza dough. Click here for the dough recipe. I don’t follow their directions, though. I throw it all in my bread machine and use my “Dough” setting. It takes an hour and a half on my bread machine. I also only use HALF of the pizza dough recipe. It yields two pizzas for us, which is the perfect amount. This dough is DELISH.

BBQ Chicken Pizza:
(Adapted from this recipe at Once A Month Meals)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 of this recipe for homemade pizza dough
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup of BBQ sauce per pizza
  • 1/2 cup of BBQ sauce for coating the chicken per cup of chicken
  • 2 cups of pre-cooked chicken, separated into one cup each
  • 1 bag of Daiya mozzarella shreds
  • Small handful of chopped onion
  • 2-3 Tbs of chopped cilantro per pizza

Directions:

  1. Make pizza dough.  (Take a break for an hour and a half and then proceed to step 2.)
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Flour large surface. Separate pizza dough into 2 equal parts. Flour your rolling pin. Roll each 1/2 of dough into a round circle. Use a fork to prick the raw dough. Place onto a round pizza pan or pizza stone. (I use $3.99 pizza pans with holes in them. They work great.) Bake for 6 minutes. Repeat with the second pizza dough. (I always have a few pizza dough bubbles and prick them again with the fork.)
  3. Lower oven temp to 400 degrees. Spread 1/3 to 1/2 cup of bbq sauce on each pizza. Use less if you want a less saucy pizza and the 1/2 cup if you like more “sauce.”
  4. Sprinkle half of the bag of Daiya mozzarella shreds per pizza.
  5. Toss each cup of chicken with 1/2 cup of bbq sauce. (Or toss two cups of chicken with one cup of bbq sauce and split the chicken between the pizzas.) Spread the bbq chicken on top of the mozzarella “cheese.” Remember, 1 cup of chicken per pizza. 🙂
  6. Sprinkle the onions on top of the chicken. Top with the cilantro.
  7. Bake at 400 degrees for 16 minutes, or until the vegan cheese is melted and the pizza crust is browned.
Pure Yumminess!

Pure Yumminess!

We have this pizza probably twice a month. We absolutely love it! We think you will, too. 😉

Meat & “Cheesy Ranch” Rollup

Have y’all visited Once A Month Meals yet? Here’s their website:

onceamonthmeals.com

They have amazing recipes and they are all freezer friendly. Y’all know how much I love my freezer. It’s my best friend!

I saw a recipe on their site yesterday and I just had to try it right away. With modifications, of course!

Click here for the original recipe.

Here is how I made a dairy and egg free version of the Ham & Cheese Rollup.  Let’s call it Meat and “Cheesy Ranch” Rollup, though, because I think it will be just as yummy with shredded or cubed cooked chicken. I also omitted the broccoli, the healthiest part of the recipe. Feel free to add some broccoli or any other veggie you think will pare well with the ingredients.

This recipe calls for ranch dressing. And y’all! I made dairy and egg free ranch for the first time ever!!! And it was good! (This pic is not that great, but still, you get to see it. Doesn’t it look like ranch?)

Dairy & Egg Free Ranch!

Dairy & Egg Free Ranch!

So here is how we enjoyed a meat and “cheesy ranch” rollup kind of calzone looking thingamajig.

Meat & “Cheesy” Ranch Rollup

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 recipe of homemade pizza dough (I throw it in the bread maker and use the “dough” setting.)
  • 2 cups of protein (I used cubed ham the first time. Next time I will use cubed chicken. Here’s how I cook and freeze my chicken.)
  • 2 cups of dairy free cheese (We use Daiya cheese. I made one with their “cheddar” shreds and one with the “mozzarella” shreds. The mozzarella one was better and I will only use mozzarella from now on. However, the cheddar was good, too. You decide!)
  • 1/2 cup of homemade dairy and egg free ranch (Use this recipe from OAMM. I used Just Mayo, a vegan mayo, to make it egg free. Click here to read how to find Just Mayo for just a dollar! I also used SO Delicious Original Coconut Milk Creamer for the milk. You can use any unflavored non-dairy milk.)

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Split the homemade pizza dough into two equal parts. Flour your surface. Roll out two rectangles. I rolled until the dough seemed thin enough. I honestly don’t have a specific here.
  2. Spread out one cup of the meat and one cup of the cheese leaving a little space around the edges. Drizzle with 1/4 cup of ranch.  Repeat for second rectangular dough.
  3. Roll the pizza dough up like a jelly roll. OAMM has a nice photo showing how to do this. I didn’t take one. Sorry. 🙂
  4. Pinch the edges and squish them up tight. Flip your gigantic log seam side down. (Trust me on this. The first one I baked the seam was facing the side and a bunch of toppings spilled out!)
  5. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 20-30 minutes. Mine ended up perfect at 28 minutes.
  6. Slice pieces off as needed and enjoy! I didn’t slice it all at once, which was perfect because we reheated it today for lunch in the oven. It was easier to reheat as a partial giant log instead of leftover slices.

This recipe yielded two generous “logs.”

Here’s what my final product looked like:

Ham, Mozzarella & Ranch Rollup

Ham, Mozzarella & Ranch Rollup

This one was NOT baked seam side down.  Oops!

This one was NOT baked seam side down. Oops!

A little slice of cheesy ranch deliciousness!

A little slice of cheesy ranch deliciousness!

Not pretty, but yummy! And HOMEMADE! Can we just all cheer please? NEVER in my life did I think I would make so many things from scratch. I was domestically challenged. Not so much anymore. 🙂

Anyway, this has inspired me to maybe try this on a smaller scale like hot pockets size. I’d love to have these frozen and ready to go for quick lunches. Maybe I’ll try it soon and I’ll let you know how it works.

In the meantime, break out the bread maker and try this recipe. You won’t regret it!