Top 2017 Spring Recipes

Summer is here already! Spring went by fast and was super busy. And because of that I didn’t post too much, but I wanted to post my favorites out of the ones that I did post. These are ones that I’ve thought about repeatedly since I’ve made it, or have already made them a second time, OR one that James asks about when I’m going to make it again – so all around “wins”!

So this cheese sauce I’ve made at least 3 times, and I eat it all. I’m going to be working on a few different recipes with “cheese” with this sauce, or the idea of this sauce, soon, so hold tight!

I made this a few times for my lunches, and it’s so light but filling, and all whole food. Even better.

James loves honey Dijon chicken, and it’s one of the recipes I’ve made twice already. There are leftovers, but its one of the recipes we don’t mind leftovers for. Plus how simple it is, just makes it that much more loveable.

Cream, white wine, and cajun spice? What more would you want from a pasta? James wasn’t even finished with his first bowl and was already asking when I was going to make it again. LOL

This I could not get enough of when I first made it. The sweet and juice fresh clementines and then the roasted and savory pecans… NOM! Simple and whole food. Great to go with any heavy and/or spicy meal like the Cajun Pasta above.

The whole family loved this one and there were no leftovers. They talked about that it smelled like lasagna in the oven. A good Italian fix that isn’t pasta that so far as been an overall winner.

Roasted Dill Carrots with Paprika

I love roasted vegetables right now. You’ll probably will be seeing a lot more of it. It makes the vegetables so sweet and they still have some crunch to it!

Now one thing I didn’t think to do with these is to turn them 1/2 way. They still came out really good, but one side was browned and one side was seasoned. So if it want it more even, make sure you turn them 1/2 way through cooking. I didn’t mind it though. Everyone got 2 carrots with a baked potato and then either beans or pork loin for dinner. Not to mention – they make the plate look so pretty!

Roasted Dill Carrots with Paprika

  • Servings: 4-5 servings
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  • 8-10 carrots, washed & peeled
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Fresh Dill
  • Ground Paprika


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. On a baking sheet, add your carrots. Drizzle with olive oil & sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Add to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle some dill and paprika on top, turn carrots oven, and put back in the oven for about 10-15 minutes depending on how large the carrots are.
  5. Once the carrots are roasted to desired tenderness, remove from oven and enjoy with your meal!

Roasted Parmesan Green Beans

I’m starting to like summer. Not the heat, but for the food. Green beans, berries, watermelon. Give it all to me!!

So while there will be berry and watermelon recipes soon to come, here is one of our new favorite green bean recipes. It’s simple, and would be easy enough for food prep – for those ambitious people.

I’ve been really liking roasting my veggies. It gives it more of an al dente texture, which I love, and it brings out the sweetness in the veggies. Looks like different kinds of roasted veggies are going to be on the menu for a while.

Roasted Parmesan Green Beans

  • Servings: 4 servings
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  • 1 1/2 – 2 lbs. fresh green beans, wash, and tips snapped off
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Shredded Parmesan to taste (omnivore)
  • Nutritional Yeast to taste (plant based)


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Toss the green beans in olive oil and salt and pepper. Sprinkle the green beans with either the parmesan or the nutritional yeast. And then sprinkle the minced garlic on top.
  3. Bake the green beans, uncovered, for 10 minutes on a lined cookie sheet. Shake the sheet and cook for another 5 minutes.
  4. Serve and enjoy immediately.

Fajita Spice Mix

It’s getting too close to summer here that I’m already calling it summer. And you know what goes with summer?

Fajitas! We are working on getting a grill, but until then I have this nifty little cast iron grill that sets on top of two burners. It’s awesome! For burgers, portabella mushroom caps, and for just straight up grilling veggies for fajitas!

I usually just do 1 green and red bell pepper, 1 large onion, and 2 sliced portabella mushrooms to throw on the grill when we do fajitas. I also came up with my own fajita mix. I love chipotle chili power since it gives it an extra smokey flavor. Next time you fire up the grill, try out the fajita mix I made!

Fajita Spice Mix

  • Servings: makes about 1/4 cup
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  • 1 1/2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tbsp chipotle chili powder
  • 2 tbsp cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp salt


  1. Combine all and mix together. Add to your veggies or meat about 30 minutes before cooking. I put them in a large bag with a small amount of olive oil and mix it all together and let it rest in the fridge until ready to cook.

Garlic Parmesan Roasted Sausage, Asparagus, and Potatoes

Since James and I are really looking to be more healthier in a lot of ways, I’ve been trying to see how much I can get him to eat veggies and how he’ll eat them. I’ve always tried to do this, but it’s been more of a goal recently, than just one of the many things rolling around in my mind.

He loves sausages. Whether it’s breakfast sausages, kielbasas, or just smoked sausage. But he’s been trying to eat less red meat, if at all, and cut down on his pork intake now as well. However, I found this chicken sausage (with no added nitrates or other preservatives) that had sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes, and mozzarella. So instead of pasta I decided to try to fill the rest of the plate with veggies.

Don’t look at the oven too closely. It’s an old oven that is still alive after an oven fire… LOL The rest of the family loved it too! They kept saying it smelled like lasagna. Weren’t they surprised! Not even kidding, there was only a little left between 4 people once we were done. And 75% of it was veggies – mission accomplished! Of course I’m sure the garlic, sausages, potatoes and parmesan cheese helped…

Garlic Parmesan Roasted Sausage, Asparagus, and Potatoes

  • Servings: 4-5 servings
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  • 8-10 sausages (2 sausages – meat based or plant based – per person)
  • So for us, I had 2 Field Roast Italian sausages, and for the other three people, there was a total of 8 sun-dried tomato chicken sausages, sliced. Veggies
  • 1 bunch of asparagus, chopped into 1 in pieces
  • 16 oz. bag of baby carrots
  • 10-12 red potatoes, quartered into bite size pieces
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, chopped, not too small
  • 1/4 parmesan cheese (omnivore), and 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (plant based)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Olive oil


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Lightly grease the bottom of the baking dishes you will use. I used a deep 9×13 pan for the omnivores, and an equivalent to an 8×8 pan for the plant based version.
  3. Chop up your veggies and spread them out for each pan including the garlic.
  4. Top the veggies with the sausages and top the plant based version with a small amount of oil since they will usually get more dry.
  5. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese/nutritional yeast on top and salt and pepper.
  6. Place in the oven uncovered. Check after about 20-25 minutes. Depending on the size of the pan and how deep the pan is full, you might need to keep it in for an additional 10-15 minutes to make sure all the potatoes and carrots are not still raw in the middle.
  7. Toss it together and throw it in a bowl and eat!

Power Greens Salad with Clementines & Roasted Pecans

I know there is an app for everything, but did you realize there is an article for everything too?

At work I was sealing a semi-small stack of envelopes and I wondered why we still had to lick or wet the envelopes. With technology the way that it is, you would think we could manufacture more peel-and-stick envelopes and not have to stick our tongue out every time we want to send some mail.

Believe it or not, there’s an article for it. There’s an article explaining the history of envelopes. There’s an article about different methods that are used. There is an article explaining why we still use the “gum” method. Who knew? So while I was sealing the envelopes, I was reading up on all the envelope history. It’s not too exciting, and not too long, but some things are interesting. I mean, China used to use clay pots as envelopes for secret royalty information. Once it was delivered it was smashed. I wish I could smash clay pots every time I got my mail…

Along with there being an app and article for everything, there is a salad with go with everything as well. When I had made the Creole Chickpea/Chicken Pasta I wanted something citrus and light to go with it and kept seeing different versions of a green salad with oranges. This is what I had on hand so this is what I made, and it was awesome with the pasta!

Mixed Power Greens with Clementines & Roasted Pecans

  • Servings: 6-8 servings
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  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp orange zest, or clementine zest
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 3-4 clementines, peeled and in pieces
  • 8-10 oz. Mixed Power Greens (Swiss Chard, Spinach, and Arugula was in my mix)
  • 1 cup toasted chopped pecans


  1. Make the dressing. Whisk together orange juice, lemon juice, orange zest, olive oil, and Dijon. Taste and add salt and pepper if desired.
  2. If your pecans are not already toasted, heat a small skillet on low heat without anything but the pecans in it. Let it slowly toast with you mixing it around so that the nuts do not burn. Once you start to smell the nuts, turn the heat off and throw the toasted pecans in a bowl.
  3. Take your greens, top with clementines, toasted pecans, and oranges and enjoy!

Tip 09: Converting Recipes – Replacing Which Meats with What Beans

I try to keep things simple during the week for our meals and to keep them as whole food as possible, so a lot of times I replace whatever meat James is having with a can of beans for my plate. I wanted to share what beans I usually tend to use to replace with what meat. This isn’t a rule, and I’m not saying that any other bean wouldn’t work just as well, but from cooking and using different beans and seeing which beans are used with what flavors, you can see which ones would go best with your “shared” meal.

Chicken: Chickpeas

Chickpeas really are the “chicken of the beans”. They even taste like boiled chicken to me. They are my favorite, and I usually use them to replace just about anything. Here are some of my favorite recipes using chickpeas to replace chicken. I didn’t want to list all of my chickpea recipes, it would be a long list. I’m kind of addicted to them.

Turkey: White Kidney Beans or Cannellini Beans

I always think of sage and thyme when I think of turkey. And most of the time when I use these beans I think of those herbs as well. I made a great white bean dip that used powdered sage… which reminds me I need to make that again and post it… Not to mention my “Verkey” recipe uses cannellini beans in it for texture and a turkey flavor.  And right now I’m working on a kale and white bean soup that I could see shredded turkey being very good in.

Pork: Pinto Beans

Need I say more? Pork and pinto beans have been paired together to the point that some people don’t even realize they can make pinto beans without adding bacon, pork, or lard. Even when pinto beans are cooking it smells like a pork roast. Here are some of my recipes that I use pinto beans solely instead of adding in the pork, bacon, or lard. I think it tastes just as good, not the same, but just as delicious without the guilt of something fattening up the recipe.


Beef: Red Kidney Beans, Black Beans, or Black Lentils

I didn’t really eat nor cook with red meat a whole lot so I don’t really have too many recipes that you can see that I’ve replaced beef specifically with, but you can see how these would fit. When I think of beef I think of dark earthy, spicy, robust flavors. I think of tomato sauce, red wine, black pepper, chili powder, etc. So thinking of what I used to use red meat for – spaghetti sauce, beef burgundy, sloppy joes, meat balls, chili, etc., red kidney beans, black beans, and black lentils are all things I’ve used in those types of meals and with those flavors. Something that I’ve made and I don’t have a written recipe for yet, was a sloppy joe recipe using black lentils. Delicious!

Make your meals more plant-based, branch out, and have a happy, healthy, and fiber filled Shared Kitchen!

Creole Chicken/Chickpea Pasta

So something my husband loves to do and gets a kick out of, is to start singing a song and see if the person with him will start singing it too. It never fails. I’ll get whatever song it is stuck in my head so quickly and then I’m singing it the rest of the night.

There is this song on the radio “Rockabye” that I don’t mind but I don’t get excited about it. James loves it and he will be singing it all the time. Oh – and by the way, he can only ever remember a few words to songs, sometimes not even the full verse, so it’s like 4 words over and over and over again. And he gets that stupid song stuck in my head all the time!

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Oven Roasted Teriyaki Veggies with Chickpeas/Chicken

Have you ever gotten out of your exercise routine and then done something that requires minimal-moderate labor and the next day you are sore and stiff all over? Yeah. That happened.

James and I helped my parents in doing some yard work and there was some mowing, some weed pulling, some edging, ect. Now let me tell you that my parents put down grass a few years ago because this type of grass is slow growing and my Dad only has to mow it every other week, if that, depending on how much water that it gets. Cool huh? It feels great too! Thick and plush almost like carpet. Which is nice when you want to walk around, but mowing!

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