We recently held a wellness gathering in California. A panel of four speakers shared their expertise on health and beauty, and a plant-based lunch was served. We wanted guests to taste how a vegetarian lunch doesn’t have to consist of just another salad and crudité platter. The recipes below are easy to throw together and taste delicious.
Mini Spicy Veggie Sandwiches
This sandwich is hands down one of the best combination of ingredients, and the spicy hummus adds an zesty flavor.
Serves 8 (makes 4 sandwiches)
8 slices of Whole Grain or Quinoa Bread
2 Avocados (thinly sliced and seaoned lightly with salt and pepper)
1/2 large Cucumber (peeled and chopped small)
1 large red Tomato (chopped small)
1/2 cup of spicy Hummus (we used Sabra’s Supremely Spicy Hummus)
2 teaspoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 teaspoon of Thyme
Pinch of Sea Salt and Black Pepper to taste
- Chop tomato and cucumber. Place in a bowl and set aside.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme. Add this mixture to the chopped tomato and cucumber, to coat the vegetables.
- Thinly slice avocado. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- For each sandwich, spread one slice of bread with spicy hummus.
- With slotted spoon, scoop and drain the tomato and cucumber mixture and pile onto the slice of bread with spicy hummus.
- Add slices of avocado on top of tomato and cucumber and top with another piece of bread. Press gently.
- Cut into fours.
Quinoa Lettuce Cups
The key to great tasting quinoa is dressing it up. Cooking the quinoa in vegetable broth, instead of water, gives it a more robust taste.
1 head of Butter Lettuce (washed, dried and leaves separated to serve as the cups for the quinoa vegetable mix)
1/2 cup of Shredded Carrots
5 Sweet Mini Peppers (chopped and seeds discarded)
1 Baby Zucchini (coarsely shredded)
1 cup of uncooked Quinoa (rinsed and drained)
2 cups of low-sodium Vegetable Broth
Crumbled Feta Cheese to top each lettuce cup
Ingredients for Vinaigrette Dressing:
1 1/2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 tablespoon of Red Wine Vinegar
1 tablespoon of Lemon Juice
1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/4 teaspoon Dried Oregano
Pinch of Sea Salt and Black Pepper
- In a small metal bowl, whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, garlic powder, oregano, and salt and pepper. Cover bowl and refrigerate.
- In a medium-sized pot, combine 1 cup of rinsed quinoa with 2 cups vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and cover. Cook about 15-20 minutes until vegetable broth has fully absorbed. Once quinoa is cooked, remove from heat and fluff with fork.
- While the quinoa is cooking, shred carrots and zucchini. Chop sweet mini peppers. Combine all vegetables in a bowl.
- Once quinoa has cooled, add the quinoa to the bowl with vegetables, and mix to combine.
- Scoop a large spoonful of the quinoa/vegetable mixture onto each lettuce leaf.
- Top each lettuce leaf with crumbled feta cheese and drizzle with small spoonful of vinaigrette dressing.
Zucchini Walnut Cookies
A light and fluffy zucchini, oat cookie that we paired with a variety of herbal teas.
1/2 cup Unsalted Butter
1/2 cup Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 cup of Unbleached Flour
1/2 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1 cup Quick Cooking Oats
2 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 cup Grated Zucchini
1/2 cup Grated Carrot
1/2 cup Chopped Walnuts
(optional: 1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, combine softened butter, sugar, egg and vanilla extract. Stir until thoroughly mixed. Set aside.
- In second bowl, mix together the flour, oats, cinnamon and baking soda.
- Gradually combine dry ingredients with butter mixture.
- Add grated zucchini, grated carrot and chopped walnuts. Mix well.
- Spoon dough onto ungreased baking sheet and shape into 3 inch cookies.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until golden brown.