Monday, June 15, 2009

Quick Red Bean Dal

This recipe comes from Robin Robertson, one of my favorite cookbook authors. Click here for the recipe. The only changes I made were to saute my onion and garlic in water instead of oil and I omitted the salt. Be sure to use no salt added tomatoes and beans. This is a great recipe for a busy week.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Good Eats from BeStrixed

Yes, I'm back with a long overdue post. When the weather gets gorgeous, I spend absolutely no time in front of the computer. With all the rain we're having this week, (it hasn't let up for 6 days), I figured it was time to update my blog. So, to make up for lost time, I'm going to post about some of the Best Vegan Food of 2009 and it's going to knock your socks off. And did I mention that all of these things are Eat to Live friendly? And, to boot, they all come from one of my favorite vegan Eat to Live bloggers, BeStrixed. She's got a lot of amazing vegan stuff on her blog, (not just food!), so hop on over and check it out when you can.

Since life is short, we'll start with dessert first;-)

Bestrixed Butterscotch Pudding

Click here to view the original recipe.
Now, the first time I made this I made the "all vanilla" version of this recipe (see recipe below). I made it just before dinner and wanted it to be ready to eat for dessert so I spooned it into custard dishes and set them in the freezer for about 45 minutes. After dinner I served it to my dairy loving husband who does not eat, I repeat, does not eat cooked vegetables. He exclaimed, "this tastes just like vanilla ice cream!" Since then, the vanilla version has been a staple in our house. It's great warm, chilled in the fridge, or chilled for about an hour in the freezer. Just don't freeze it for too long or it will be too firm to eat. The texture is silky smooth. You just cannot go wrong with this recipe!

Bestrixed Butterscotch Pudding

Equipment: Pot for steaming, high speed blender (Blendtec, Vitamix)

3 cups of carrots, sliced 1/2" thick

4 large, pitted Medjool Dates or 8 pitted Deglet dates

1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract*

1/4 tsp Butterscotch Flavoring**

1/4 C (1 oz) Cashews

1/2 C water

Steam the carrots in water till done (about 20 minutes). While hot, combine carrots and 1/2 cup cooking water into a high speed blender with the extract and flavoring. Remove the cap from the blender cover and cover blender with a dish towel while blending to allow steam to escape without getting burnt. Blend until fairly smooth. Add dates, and blend again until smooth. Add the cashews and blend until completely smooth and creamy. Divide into 4 glass custard cups and serve warm or chill in the fridge, covered once cooled until ready to eat. Alternately, you may place in the freezer 45-60 minutes before eating for a delicious frozen treat.

* If you are making the all vanilla version, use 1/2 - 1TB Vanilla Extract. I use Frontier Indonesia Organic Vanilla Extract. If using a non-organic brand, be sure to check the ingredients label to be sure you are getting real vanilla extract without corn syrup. Most of the common brands contain high fructose corn syrup (yuck!), even the ones that say "Pure Vanilla Extract".

** I have yet to find a good quality vegan Butterscotch flavoring. Unfortunately, Frontier's Butterscotch "natural" flavoring has milk derivatives. If anyone knows of one that is vegan without corn syrup, please let me know.

Bestrixed Kale Chips

These babies are amazing! I'm going to warn you though, they are addicting. I have to limit my consumption to one cookie sheet per day of these. Click here for the original recipes from Bestrixed. If you are using your oven, be sure to set it on the lowest setting and check the temperature with an oven thermometer. Fortunately for me my circa 1974 oven goes as low as 155 degrees Fahrenheit. The recipe version that has become my absolute fave is as follows:

Bestrixed Kale Chips

Equipment: oven, cookie sheets with parchment paper or silpat baking mat, large bowl for combining kale and sauce

1 1/2 pounds kale, stems removed and leaves torn into bite size pieces (I used both dino and curly kale)
1/2 cup raw unsalted sunflower seeds (soak overnight, then drain, if using regular blender)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 large clove garlic
1 tsp onion poweder
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp wet brown mustard (I use Westbrae stone ground, no sodium)
1 1/2 tsp cumin
optional: 1 red bell pepper, 1 tsp curry powder

Turn oven on and set at the lowest temperature. Blend last 8 ingredients together and toss with kale til kale is coated. Place on baking sheets lined with silpat or parchment paper and dehydrate in your oven til completely dehydrated. (This took 6-8 hours in my oven).
*This recipe covered 4 cookie sheets for me. If you can only fit two cookie sheets in your oven at a time, reserve half of the sauce and half of the kale and make it after the first batch is done. The sauce does keep for several days, in a sealed jar in the fridge, so you can make the last two batches tomorrow, which you will need to do since you will have already eaten the first two:-)

Steamed Greens Sauce
OK, no photo here. I adapted the above sauce for kale chips by replacing the vinegar with water and toss it with a huge pot of steamed greens (about 20 ounces or 1.25 pounds in weight pre-steaming). You'll never eat kale naked again. Makes 5 servings.

1/2 cup raw unsalted sunflower seeds (soak overnight, then drain, if using regular blender)
1 large clove garlic
1 tsp onion poweder
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp wet brown mustard (I use Westbrae stone ground, no sodium)
1 1/2 tsp cumin

Blend together and toss with steamed kale (1.25 pounds pre-steamed weight).

Bestrixed Tomato Soup

Click here for the recipe on Bestrixed.
So you're craving Campbell's Tomato Soup but don't want all that added sodium and who knows what else that usually comes in that can. I used Bionaturae Tomato paste for this recipe and followed the recipe as written. I added no salt - this soup simply does not need it. Perfect for a cold, rainy day.

And what's that hangin' out next to the soup? It's Ezekiel low/no-sodium sprouted grain bread topped with:

Basil Kale Walnut Spread
A spread that only a nutritarian can love and appreciate.
Equipment: pot for steaming, high speed blender or food processor
1 bunch kale
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup water reserved from steaming kale
fresh basil leaves
Steam kale for 5 minutes then blend or process with remaining ingredients. Eat it with crisp veggies or however you like.

As for when I'll be blogging again...Oh, just give me another rainy day:-)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Hearty Ginger Lentil Soup

from Eat for Health. I doubled the amount of lentils called for in the recipe because I'm a lentil fanatic. Since I'm also a ginger lover, I just had to post about this soup. I love it!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Strawberries, Sweet Strawberries

Strawberries started showing up at my local farmer's market in early March. I just can't get enough. Here are two of my favorite ways to enjoy them these days:

Strawberry Mango Sorbet

*I used my Blendtec 3HP blender. If using a regular blender, strawberries may need to be thawed longer before blending.

1 heaping cup frozen strawberries
1 large piece dried mango
1/2 cup non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened hemp milk) + up to 1/2 cup more

The night before preparing, soak the dried mango in 1/2 cup of the non-dairy milk, covered, in the fridge. The next day you will have "mango cream" and the dried mango will be rehydrated. Just before blending, thaw strawberries for a minute or two. Place mango and mango cream in your blender, add strawberries on top, and blend on high (or the ice cream cycle if your blender has one), adding additional non-dairy milk as needed to reach desired consistency. How much additional non-dairy milk will determine what kind you are using and how much has been soaked up by the mango.

Serves one nutritarian.

Strawberries on Baby Greens with Tahini and Lime

Don't ask me why, but I can't get enough of these flavor combinations! If you're feeling adventurous, try making your own tahini from Bestrixed (click here).

1 pint strawberries
3-5 ounces baby greens salad mix with arugala
1 Tbs tahini
wedge of lime

Toss strawberries with baby greens and drizzle with tahini and lime juice. Serves one nutritarian.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Are You Curious?

If you're vegan or nutritarian, my guess is that you are. Here's Seth Godin talking about curiosity in this awesome clip. Anything sound familiar?

'curiosity' from Nic Askew on Vimeo.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Of Eggplant and Oranges

Roasted Eggplant Tofu Sandwiches with Spinach and Mushrooms

This recipe is an adaption of both an eggplant casserole recipe I have and Eggplant Rolatini from Veganomicon. It is Eat to Live friendly and comes together easily, of course! A favorite when I'm craving Italian food.

1 large eggplant, stem and navel ends trimmed
3 cups no/low-sodium pasta sauce
1 pound low fat, firm or extra firm tofu
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 pound bag frozen, chopped, organic spinach, thawed and drained
1 pint mushrooms, washed and sliced, sauteed until tender in a small amount of water

Optional: pine nuts or faux parmesan (ground toasted sesame seeds+nutritional yeast)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash eggplant and slice it stem to navel into slices about 1/4" thick. Place the 6 middle slices (which should be the full length of the eggplant) on silicone baking mats on cookie sheets or jelly roll pans. Bake until tender, about 20 minutes. While the eggplant slices are baking, mash tofu with a potato masher then mash in lemon juice, garlic, nutritional yeast, and basil until it reaches the consistency of ricotta cheese. Set aside. In the bottom of a 9 X 13 glass casserole dish pour half of the pasta sauce. When the egglpant slices are done, remove three of them from the baking sheets and place side by side on top of the sauce in the casserole dish. Place 1/3 of tofu mixture on top of each slice and then layer on 1/3 of the spinach on top of that, followed by half of the mushroom slices. Cover each "sandwich" with the remaining eggplant slices. If you have any remaining eggplant slices that you baked, you can wrap up a spoonful of the tofu mixture and spinach and bake it in a small casserole along with the large casserole dish (see second photo below). Pour on remaining pasta sauce and top with the remaining mushrooms. Bake for about 20 minutes. Serve topped with toasted pine nuts or faux parmesan when done.

Orange & Goji Berry Salad with Broccoli Slaw and Sunflower Seeds

This has become my favorite winter salad. It's crunchy and tangy- a favorite combination for me.

1 navel orange, peeled and cut into chunks
1/2 cup broccoli slaw
1 Tbs Goji berries*
1/2 ounce (2 Tbs) raw, hulled sunflower seeds
1/2 ounce raw unhulled sesame seeds

Toss together and enjoy.
*For added flavor sensation, soak goji berries in orange juice the night before.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Creamy Cruciferous Curry with Cashews

One of my favorite foods is vegetable curry. Over the years I have compiled quite a few variations. Many vegetable curry recipes call for potatoes, which I am not fond of. I don't care for the taste and they are not very nutritious. This recipe came about in my ongoing attempt to incorporate more cruciferous veggies into my diet and includes both cauliflower and kale. If you're feeling adventurous this would probably taste good with broccoli and brussel sprouts as well.

Creamy Cruciferous Curry with Cashews
makes 4 large servings

2 onions, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 carrots, diced
3 parsnips, diced (or carrots if parsnips are not available)
2 cups unsweetened hempnut milk (or soymilk)
1 head cauliflower cut into small florets
1 pint mushrooms, sliced
1 pound of chopped kale, stems removed if desired
1 cup frozen green peas
2 Tbs curry powder (I use Penzey's sweet curry powder)
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin
2 cups cooked chickpeas
1/2 cup raw unsalted cashews, chopped

In a large stock pot over medium heat, cook onions, garlic, carrots and parsnips until onions are translucent (about 5 minutes). Add in curry powder and turmeric and stir until vegetables are coated. Stir in hempnut milk, cauliflower, and mushrooms and cook for 10 minutes, covered over medium low heat. Stir in kale and green peas and continue to cook, covered for another 10 minutes. Serve hot. Top each serving with 2 Tb cashews.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Turnip or Rhutabaga Puree

I was reading back issues of Dr. Fuhrman's Healthy Times newsletter and came across the July 2007 issue on Cruciferous Vegetables. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that both turnip roots and rutabaga are cruciferous - I always thought they were starches. Evidently, it is the presence of glucosinolates, sulfur containing compounds, which determines whether or not a vegetable is cruciferous. Since he recommends eating at least one cooked and one raw cruciferous vegetable a day, I have been thinking of ways to do that while adding more variety into my diet. I love kale, collards, broccoli, and cauliflower but was feeling the need to branch out bit, so decided to try turnips and rutabaga steamed and pureed. Pictured below are the turnips. Rutabaga has a yellowish color.

Turnip or Rutabaga Puree*
2 servings

4 medium turnip roots or 1 large rutabaga, scrubbed, peeled
1/2 cup unsweetened organic soy milk, room temperature

Cut turnip roots or rutabaga into 3/4 inch dice and let sit for at least 5 - 10 minutes to release the enzyme myrosinase (click here to learn more). Steam turnips for 20 minutes then immediately place in a food processor with soy milk. Process until smooth. This is the ultimate comfort food!

*If you are trying to decide which root to try, rutabaga are a bit sweeter than turnips.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year

I'm not much for New Year's Resolutions, unless of course they turn into permanent resolutions, which usually they do not. But I do think that the start of a new year is a great time for reminding ourselves of what we are committed to in all areas of our life.

Two years ago I read Eat to Live by Joe Furhrman, MD and absolutely loved the book. Several months later I took the plunge and started his 6 week plan and within a couple of weeks noticed excess pounds drop away. I stopped having headaches and fatigue in the afternoon, and my summer allergies greatly improved. Over this past summer I fell off the wagon here and there. Salt, dark chocolate, and vegan desserts are my worst enemies. I realized a few months ago that I had added on about 7 pounds in the past year and last month I decided to recommit to healthy eating. Simply by cutting out excess salt and my weekly organic dark chocolate bar, I dropped 4 pounds in a week - mostly water I am sure as I was eating salt at every meal.

So in order to stay motivated I plan on trying some new Eat to Live recipes and posting photos of them here along with recipes that are easily adaptable to ETL. Enjoy and have a Happy New Year!

Golden Austrian Cauliflower Cream Soup from
Dr. Member's Recipe Guide
Absolutely delicious. I made this for Christmas dinner.

Asparagus Spinach Dip
Popular with omnis and vegans, I omitted the oil and salt and this dip turned out absolutely delicious. The small amount of capers provided more than enough salty taste. Expensive to make if you use organic spinach, but absolutely worth it for a special occasion!

Sun Dried Tomato Dip
Another crowd pleaser and literally comes together in minutes. This was an enormous hit when I took it to a potluck. I love the fact that is is made with white beans. Be sure to use unsalted sun dried tomatoes if you are following ETL.

White Bean and Escarole Soup
from Vegan Express
I simply omitted the olive oil called for and sauteed my onions in water. I used organic canned beans which had no added salt. Easy and delicious for a busy winter evening!