I’ve learned to not let things intimidate me based on what others experience to be just that. Instead, if I’m interested, I simply attempt it myself. And after a few attempts, I mastered my version of this hearty comfort food fav. Let me introduce you to a delicious masterpiece, my BEST Veggie & Dumplings Recipe Ever!
Oh how I love a good chicken and dumpling, however, nowadays I’m not consuming chicken, but some in my family are. For this reason I purchased a fully cooked organic rotisserie chicken, chopped it up, and allowed for those that wanted chicken to add it to their own bowl! The kids really loved being able to have their hands in preparing a part of their meal, and I liked it because I could control their portion sizes as well. So much so, they began to realize how great the the dish was without so much of the focus on the chicken! And my favorite part was that I could ladle myself a delicious, steaming, creamy helping of this delicious stew and not have to pick out the chunks of chicken.
Now, it has become habit with every dish I prepare with an animal protein, to also look for a delicious way to prepare it vegetarian and/or vegan. My first approach is usually to deconstruct the meal itself into its intricate components and go from there. I switch this out for that, omit something all together, add a sprinkle of Abstract Spice to make it all come together…plant based.
Below are a few tips I ponder when converting a dish to plant based:
What are your go-to animal protein substitutes? Let me know in the comments below!
One Saturday a few weeks ago, I needed a protein packed bite to eat right after my workout but was short on time since I needed to be at the grocery store within the hour. So what’s a culinary health resource foodie to do?!?!?
Since I was at the end of the week, there were only small amounts of my weekly haul of kale, spinach, green onions, and fresh herbs left over in the fridge crisper unused from the week’s meals.
Now I have posted previously on how to make a delicious ‘green’ omelette, but this is just a reminder that when you’re bored with the hum-drum of scrambled, fried, and/or boiled eggs, it’s always a great idea to use what you have on hand in the fridge to make something protein rich, folded(lol!), and tasty!
And what delicious warm beverage do I sip in the mornings while feasting on my breakfast? Why a cup of DELICIOUS coffee of course! But not just any cup of coffee, my Bio Coffee! Bio Coffee is the ONLY true alkaline coffee on the shelves today with a full serving of vegetables and wheatgrass! Ok, a bit much for your usual morning java? Seems to good to be true? A 'healthy' coffee with all this goodness and mercy couldn't possibly taste good, right?
This satisfying vitamin-rich blend reminds me of a favorite cappuccino mix from a certain company with an 'international' name. It's truly an amazing treat that my hubby and I enjoy literally every morning. The aroma is so enticing that you have to indulge in a cup! No worries if you need it to be a tad bit sweeter, simply add a tablespoon of your favorite plant based creamer and WHOLA!
So while you're reducing food waste by making my Easy Refrigerator Greens Omelette, DON'T FORGET get your cup of culinary health morning joe!
What are some dishes you create from left over items in your fridge? Let me know in the comments below!
For the record, I was raised on the goodness and mercy of a big pot of greens sitting on the stove on any given Sunday. Simmering bushels of leafy collards crowded with several ham hocks, onions, and peppers. Ohhhhh the days!
Don't get me wrong, this leafy vegetable remains a cornerstone dish in my kitchen and I'm certain many other kitchens alike. However, once you know better you absolutely have no choice but to do better. So after tossing the ham hocks (nope, not even a smoked turkey wing!), I imagined a healthier and just as tasty version of this essential green. The creation of my Quick Sautéed Collards w/ Garlic & Sherry helped me maintain the best of both worlds.
This delicious health-full plant is prepared in such a way that the vitamins, minerals, and valuable nutrients stay locked in- hence the 'quick' in the recipe title, lol! Unlike back in the day where that pot of greens would stay boiling on the stove ALL DAY long!
*History Taste Bud*: Pot Liquor, as it's often referred, is essentially these liquid/juices from the greens that cooked all day on that very stove in most African American homes. This pot liquor was oftentimes consumed separately as an additional supplement and also given to babies for nourishment because of its rich nutrient content.*
And the texture! The sherry adds a tasty component that helps in breaking down the leaves with added flavor that matches a days worth of cooking. These greens are amazingly tender, delicious, and so filling that you'll want to make more! And that's a good thing health wise as well as time wise- I mean really, the whole dish is ready from prep to plate in less than 15 minutes! This dish is also heart healthy with the use of garlic and olive oil in combination with this vitamin and mineral rich green. What's not to love about that?
What do you like to eat with your greens? let me know in the comments below!
Ever been in the produce section of the grocery store, and while picking up a package of your favorite salad blend you notice that container of broccoli shreds? You know, it resembles the bag of shredded cabbage and carrots for a make-quick coleslaw, but it's green?
Well I've grabbed a bag here and there, usually when it's warmer out though. I'll mix it with a zesty garlic dressing and toss in some grilled shrimp for a light and delicious quick summer dinner. But what else could I use it for? I mean it's broccoli for crying out loud! Accompanied with nutrient rich carrots and purple cabbage. It's a package full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber goodness and mercy! What else would make it sing as a side or a main?
Enter Broccoli Slaw & Rice Noodle Stir-fry!
What an absolute genius way to make this convenient crisp and crunchy veggie mix sing! I mean, in 15 minutes or less this light and healthy dish comes together with great texture and Asian flare! Kicking it up a notch and stepping outside-of-the box, I opt for the rice 'noodle' as opposed to the more traditional long or short rice grain. Add your choice of grilled, baked, or broiled protein such as chicken, tofu, and/or seafood, and you're set for a one pan experience! However, my preference is having it alone as a noodle bowl with the addition of only a splash of sriracha.
I say an 'additional' splash of sriracha because the recipe calls for my ACAOF Stir-fry Sauce to be mixed in the dish which includes the spicy condiment. Now, feel free to use your favorite store bought sauce, I just love this sauce because I know exactly what's in it and don't have to worry about the extra ingredients I don't need.
ACAOF Stir-fry Sauce
It's simple, just mix together:
This sauce brings the dish together in such a delicious way, it's no wonder I chose to devour it all by itself!
How would you serve this dish? Are you solo, or would you top it?
What's your favorite Thanksgiving dish?
Let me know in the comments below!
Sandwich this delicious filling between your favorite choice of bun. My family typically raves over a potato roll. However, we have also ventured out to the Hawaiian, brioche, artisan rolls, and of course for my keto-diet-friendly foodies, a nice firm leaf of romaine a scrumptious substitute!
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE CHILDHOOD FOOD?
lET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!
This one-pot wonder is such a velvety taste of wonder that you will not believe how super easy it is to make! Each ingredient is sautéed in one pot, melding together a delicious symphony of vegetables, natural sweetness, and healing spices that welcome the cooler weather approaching.
Warm healing spice notes from the turmeric, cumin, and nutmeg in this recipe make this Maple Butternut Squash Soup actually a Super Food Soup! Oh, and did I mention this rich delicious bowl of goodness and mercy is VEGAN! *Insert warm and fuzzies here*
Try this recipe and let me know what you think! Don’t forget to post pics to the comments below!
Last weekend I decided to bring the retro 'dinner party' term to life in 2018. What started off as a make-up for a missed birthday event for a friend, turned into a beautiful opportunity to celebrate a good friend, along with good food!
My initial dried fruit of choice was cranberries. However, right next to the package was an equally tasty looking bag of dried cherries! Needless to say, either one would work magically, but my love for cherries during the summertime spoke a little louder given that I could bring them to life in the Fall. Not to mention the awesome health benefits cherries have such as melatonin(sleep aid), cardiovascular health, anti-aging properties, as well as having the power to lower hypertension.
For the cheese spread, cream cheese is added to create a more smooth consistency when spreading as opposed to the goat cheese alone having the tendency to crumble when applied. But no worries, the tangy goat cheese flavor still reigns supreme!
The baguette in this assembly presents a heartier vehicle for this delicious foodie topping combo that brings its own delicious identity when drizzled with fresh extra virgin olive oil. The sprinkle is simply added flavor. Remember, in cooking you must season each layer for maximum flavor!
What's your favorite dinner appetizer go to? Post it below in the comments and let me try it too!
*happy NATIONAL TACO DAY*
Even though the shell has been replaced with a cool and refreshing crisp lettuce leaf, the warm vibrant and rustic flavors of the curry spice balance this one-handed masterpiece perfectly. With Abstract Spice as the all natural seasoning base for flavor, the added rich fall spices of curry and paprika are heightened for a more distinguished tasting taco. Taking this flavor to an additional level is the arugula. Usually I have fresh cilantro as a garnish for my tacos that packs bright flavor, however, the 'peppery' bite of arugula deepens the warm spice tones to pair even more harmoniously with these tacos. Finishing with a squeeze of lime adding delicious zing to the layers of flavor and freshness, these tacos are a force to be reckoned with!
Like with many of my newer recipes, my Green Goodness Curry Taco Boats also include simple ingredients and preparation making it an ideal recipe to prepare during the week. You can even prepare the curry seasoned filling ahead of time and just heat and serve when you like. These are also super convenient for packing for lunch!
HOW DO YOU LIKE YOUR TACOS? LET ME KNOW AND MAYBE I'LL FEATURE YOUR RECIPE IN A POST!
And can you believe it, they have the nerve to be better for you than your standard white flour based pancake too!
Around this time right at the turn of the season, grocery store shelves are packed with pumpkin spices throughout! I snagged my spice at one of my favorite farmer's markets that I have been patroning for as long as I can remember! Yep, none other than Your Dekalb Farmer's Market! My goodness, they have everything in there!
These Fall Pumpkin Spice Protein Pancakes are sure to become a season tradition in our home. Obviously butter and maple syrup are a must. But adding warm spiced apples on top would definitely set these babies off right!
There's no better way to say 'Welcome Fall'!
What are your favorite fall time breakfast favs? Let me know in the comments below and share your delicious ideas!
What's more is that this delicious recipe has the comforting flavor of homemade mashed potatoes, without the guilt! Only 33 calories and 3 carbs per serving! Compare that to the 129 calories and 25 grams of carb in real mashed potatoes per serving!
Are you a fan of cauliflower or nah?
Drop a comment below and let me know how you prepare your cauliflower!
Well, it depends ultimately on what you're looking for. Salads are light and refreshing meals that don't make you feel guilty...right? Well you may be surprised to find the calorie counts to be high and health ratings low in some of your favorite salads. This is largely due to the high-fat content in the dressings that make them taste sooooo good! For the amount of dressing added to these 'healthy' salads from our favorite restaurants, calories can skyrocket upwards of 300 calories alone! Not only that, but add the cheese, nuts, dried fruits, meats protein, boiled egg, croutons, etc., and your healthy-option-salad is running neck-and-neck with, if not exceeding the calorie count of your average cheese burger combo meal.
No fear, AC Art Of Food is here! My Black Bean & Greens Salad is a super healthy flavorful one that includes a modest selection of ingredients that are flavor-packed and nutrient rich. Simplicity speaks volumes!!
RULES OF THUMB:
- Less is best- choose your favorite 3 ingredients, no more than 4 and add to your salad greens.
- Oil & vinegar, or my favorite, lemon & oil are super delicious with a pinch of sea salt, garlic powder, and fresh cracked pepper- don't knock it 'till you try it, you'll be surprised!
- Want more of a creamy taste- make avocado one of your toppings with the dressing option above.
- WRAPS: Size is everything! Smaller wraps tend to run between 75-120 calories, much lower than their larger counterparts and are just as filling! Portion control is key- EVERYTHING in moderation.
What's your flavor- Salad or Wrap? Let me know in the comments below!
I used a pan to prepare half of the patties until I looked over my shoulder at the air fryer calling my name. One of my best girlfriends had just raved about a batch of turkey burgers she prepared in hers that were amazing! Not only that, but the time, calorie count, and clean up were all a favorable 'win-win'! In almost no time at all, dinner was served!
What's more, this dish can be created vegan and vegetarian! Omit the turkey patty and add in your favorite veggie meat-alternative protein (veggie/bean burgers work beautifully!). Want a more clean and less processed approach? Omit the patty altogether and opt for a portobello mushroom cap or eggplant slice- make it your own!
Which version of this dish would you prefer? How can you make it your own?
Let me know in the comments below!
So while you deal with homework and teacher supply lists, let AC Art Of Food help you with snack and lunchbox ideas to satisfy your tiny scholar’s large appetite!
These are very tasty and may make their way into your lunch bag as well.
Just thought I’d give you a heads up!
- Nitrate-free deli turkey or ham
- Mozzarella cheese (lower in fat that most cheese)
- Fresh spinach leaves
2.Bagel My Tuna
- Thin sliced bagels
- Your little ones favorite prepared tuna salad
3.Chicken, Tuna, Egg, or Tofu Salad Boats
- Fresh and firm cleaned romaine lettuce leaves
- Prepared chicken, tuna, egg, or tofu salad (tofu salad: prepare like egg salad substituting diced extra firm tofu)
- Your favorite crackers
- Your favorite cheese/ veggie cheese, sliced to the size of crackers
- Your favorite protein (pepperoni, turkey, ham (the veggie options for these work perfectly! Tofurky is a great option)
5. Protein Caprese Salad
- 1 cup prepared quinoa, toboulei, or couscous
- 1 cup fresh spinach, kale, or other lettuce leaves
- 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cup fresh mozzarella diced
- Handful of basil, chopped
- 1 tbsp balsamic glaze (found near the oils and vinegars in your grocery)
6. PB&J Pinwheels
- Whole wheat tortilla
- Natural peanut butter
- Your favorite 100% fruit spread
- Pita round, halved and pocket opened for stuffing
- Prepared Cesar salad (fresh romaine + Ceasar dressing + lemon juice, and toss)
- Protein: shrimp, diced turkey, chicken, or veggie protein
8. Fruit Wafflewhich
- 2 frozen waffles
- Cream cheese
- Your favorite 100% fruit spread
9. Crudite Sushi
- Flatbread or other flavored wraps (tomato, spinach)
- Cream cheese with herbs
- Nori/Seaweed sheets
- Thinly sliced fresh veggies (cucumbers, carrots, sweet peppers, etc.)
Need more ideas?
Aaaaaaahhhh, yes, yesterday was a good day! So much so that I’m sharing with you the fall-off-the-bone tender and delicious comforting recipe below. Stay tuned for the Red Wine Black-eyed Peas & Lentils recipe as well!
And as always, remember to subscribe to my site, and of course let me know in the comments below how you like the recipe or maybe even share your own version of this comfort food classic!
As I glanced over at the fruit on my counter, I noticed an almost too juicy pink grapefruit that had about one more day left before I would toss it into my compost bin. That’s when the ‘AHA!’ hit me! Why not?! It’s in the citrus family but with a sweet and bitter twist at the same time. Why not try a different and complex flavor boost with grapefruit? And it did not hurt one bit for me to be reminded as I gazed out my kitchen window that fennel was growing beautifully in my garden this season- I thought it the perfect accompaniment with this fruit. What’s more, fennel greens/tops pack a similar, yet more potent punch in comparison to dill.
End result, my favorite seafood seasoning of the summer! These flavor combinations resulted in this trout being off the taste charts!!
Now, I simply adore the sharp zip in flavor I get from citrus when enjoying seafood, but all seasonal fruit is fair game!!😋
Be sure to subscribe to my site and receive access to additional delicious health conscious recipes that are sure to do your body good!
All the more reason to Jazz Up The Ordinary!
I try my very best to develop and enhance recipes that are the tastiest versions of plants. While I have a few tricks up my sleeve that produce delicious outcomes, one of my favorite methods is using infused oils and vinegars- full flavor less guilt. You can always make your own collection of these tasty culinary accessories and bottle them, as I tend to do from time to time. But what I love to do (and most convenient) is pick up the delicious bottles of gourmet oils and vinegars from the foodie aisles of my neighborhood TJMaxx, HomeGoods, and Marshall’s.
From exotic herb steeped vinegars to rare truffle and fruit infused oils, you can’t beat these culinary-dream-finds that for the most part are under $10! And some for as low as $4.99! Plus the flavor enhancement it adds is unbeatable. Both my roasted green beans and grilled rainbow trout were popping with amazing flavor. The added benefit also is that these oils are healthy ones full of the 'good fat' our bodies and brains need to thrive. The general base of the oils I find are olive(virgin and extra virgin), grape seed, and avocado. Did I mention these make wonderful gifts for the foodie in your life? #WINNING
So the next time you’re out shopping for throw pillows for your couch, or that perfect dress for your vacation, don’t forget to visit the specialty foodie aisles and grab a few bottles of these treasures, your tastebuds will thank you!
Be sure to comment below and share your fav finds from these stores that you’ve discovered, I’d love to hear about them!
This very well may be one of the easiest, quickest, healthiest, and super delicious ‘no fuss’ way to celebrate with your tastebuds as well as your eyes! Super simple because all you need is fresh veggies (or fruit), Abstract Spice, sticks, and a fire! Now, I do generally like to add a drizzle of flavored olive oil once the kabobs are done for an extra layer of flavor!
5 KABOB KICK-OF TIPS
- Be sure to soak your wooden skewers in water for at least 30 minutes prior to making your kabobs. This prevents potential mini fires when setting the sticks directly on the heat.
- For best results, DO NOT soak/marinate your veggies/fruit. While this is an awesome flavor booster, it doesn’t work well with kabobs simply because marinating veggies and fruit will leave them wilted and soggy. Not ideal for grilling kabobs since the heat will already soften the veggies/fruit in the process.
- Try to pierce each ingredient as much in the center as you possibly can. This helps with balanced cooking and easier eat-ability(yep, made that word right on up, lol!). There’s nothing worse than going in for a bite of your kabob and having pieces fall off the skewer because they were pierced too close to the edge.
- When grilling your kabobs, temperatures may vary based on a traditional charcoal or gas grill. For this reason watch your kabobs and turn when the char on your veggies is prevalent on the edges, maintaining the veggies still at their bright color in the middle. This way you get the desired bbq flavor with the veggies still crisp and vibrant. Try turning approximately every 2 minutes.
- If adding an animal protein to your kabobs, be sure they are in small portions to adhere to the short cooking time on the grill. For this reason, marinating land protein such as chicken or beef is essential since this process breaks down the meat. However, for seafood, I do not recommend marinating since sea protein cooks super fast. *For contamination purposes, prepare animal protein and vegges separately*
FRUIT: Pineapple, Nectarines, Watermelon, and other melon are seasonal and perfect for the grill. Because of their firmer flesh they can withstand direct heat better than most other fruit, maintaining and even intensifying their flavor!**
Pretty easy, huh? Feel free to throw in marinated tofu or tempeh as well! The veggies/fruit you select to go on your skewers is completely up to you. This also goes for the order in which you stack them. Personally I always shoot for the 'rainbow' in trying to find the brightest most vibrant plants, which coincidentally are so easy to find in the summer!
We're not perfect, and neither is cooking food. Many people make the assumption that because you can cook you automatically are an awesome baker...WRONG! Baking is more like chemistry and 'exacts'. See, no, that's not cooking at all. Something tastes off? Add a pinch of this or a dash of that to balance the taste. Texture of your sauce too loose? Make a slurry with cornstarch or flour to thicken it up. You can even step it up a bit and add pureed white beans. See, you can't do this in baking. Your soufflé didn't rise? Oh well, you gotta toss that bad boy and start over again!
So enjoy this delicious egg pie that you can serve for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner with a salad on the side. And don't forget to make your own. Don't like shrimp? Add cooked chicken or omit it all together. Not a fan of kale? Spinach is a delicious and just as healthy substitute!
Ahh, the beauty of cooking! Where do you think I came up with my mantra, Make It Your Own? You see, with cooking, you can!
This green veggie bowl is super simple and is tasty warm or chilled. Please try it out and let me know in the comments what you think, along with any questions or ideas you may have.
For this reason, over the years I began to build somewhat of a repertoire of staples that I feel are essential in solidifying any good recipe. To be specific, my pantry staples are what I take most pride in since they have longer shelf lives and are more versatile and interchangeable. What's more, you can build it up your reserve over time so that you'll never be without when you're in the middle of a recipe, lol!
It's so funny, I have a best friend that is consistently in awe of the things I have on hand to cook with at any given point of time. Her comment is always, "...girl, ain't nobody got that in their pantry but you!"
Well the joke is on her, because I have included my personal pantry stock list below! Obviously based on your taste preferences, you may add or omit here and there. This is just to serve as a guide in assisting with what majority of the AC Art Of Food recipes will contain. So take advantage of my pantry must haves and start collecting today!
AC Art Of Food
Eat Your Fruits & Veggies
Foodie And Her Thoughts
Food Is Medicine
Good For The Kiddies