Monday, September 29, 2008

taco salad deluxe!

i don't buy a lot of the fake cheese/sour cream products because i usually try to make foods that taste just as good without the faux substitutes. however, every once in a while i'll splurge and if i buy the sour cream, you can bet i'm making a lot of mexican dishes. behold, the taco salad deluxe.

  • handful of yellow corn tortilla chips
  • 1/2 cup refried beans (make sure they are veggie - no lard)
  • 1 cup shredded lettuce
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 2 big dollops of tofutti 'better than sour cream'
  • 2 spoonfuls of chopped green pepper
  • black olives, sliced
  • jalapenos
so this is one of those recipes that doesn't really have measurements. i sort of gave approximations on how much i use, but really you just pile everything in a bowl in the amounts that you like.

i like to mix it all up and make a creamy salsa-y bowl of goodness, but eat how you see fit. :)

Friday, September 26, 2008

chocolate almond pb2 vegan biscotti

ok, this is the first real 'sweet' treat i've posted, and to be honest, most people won't find it that sugary sweet. although it's still yummy, i promise! i love coffee, and nothing sets off a nice cup of java like a biscotti cookie. for those of you unfamiliar with this crunchy twice-baked treat, give it shot. you won't regret it.

mix dry ingredients:
  • 1 and 3/4 cup whole wheat graham flour (i use hodgson mill)
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened organic cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup pb2 (peanut butter powder - sub peanut butter if you wish)
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds (i use non-roasted and hand chop)

in a separate bowl, mix wet ingredients:
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seed
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 1/4 cup softened vegan butter (i use earth balance lite)
  • 1/3 cup agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup peanut oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

i slowly combine the wet into the dry, and mix with a spatula. after dough starts bind a little, i hand-knead until i have a 'batter'. it's much stiffer than cookie dough - but it should stick together, even if it still feels a little crumbly. you could always add a little more butter if it's falling apart too much. so once i have a dough, i break it in half and lay out two separate flat slabs on a greased baking sheet, about 1/2-3/4 inches thick. (see pic below) in this case, i didn't grease the sheet, but used foil instead.

traditionally, you are supposed to bake once before you make the first cut, but that's never worked for me (they fall apart). so i cut into biscotti strips about an inch wide, and bake at 350 f for about 25 minutes. pull out, and let cool for about 10-15 minutes. then turn the biscotti on their sides (see first pic), and bake for another 20 minutes.

once they have cooled, store in an air-tight container. to eat, dip in your favourite cup of coffee. they have just a hint of sweet almond cocoa peanut butter, but not too much of any one flavour. hope you enjoy them.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

zucchini & white bean bird's nest

my garden is on it's last legs as the summer comes to an end. i got to experiment with lots of zucchini recipes this year as they were one of the more plentiful crops in my back yard. while making this recipe, i noticed that when i mixed up the zucchini strips they tended to bind up in a nest-like pattern, hence the name.

  • 1 half zucchini
  • 2 cups cooked northern white beans
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1/8 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1/8 cup nama shoyu (or soy sauce)
  • 1/8 cup asian sesame dressing

use the julienne blade on a mandolin to cut 1/2 zucchini into strips. mix up the rest of the ingredients and marinate the zucchini and white beans for at least 30 minutes in the mixture.
i made this once with newman's own low fat sesame ginger dressing, and once with kraft light asian toasted sesame. both were equally as good, so just just pick (or make) your own favourite asian dressing.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

breakfast burrito #1

i'm not a huge fan of typical breakfast foods, so it was never really hard to give up the eggs, bacon, pancakes, etc. every once in while though - especially after a late night :) - i really crave something hearty in the morning. breakfast burritos have become one of my favourites. this is one of many recipes to come.

  • 1/2 pkg. of firm or extra firm tofu (about 6 oz.)
  • 3/4 cup mixed bell pepper strips
  • 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 10 black olives
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 2 8-inch wheat tortillas
  • jalapenos (optional)

cut tofu into cubes and place in non-stick skillet on med-high to high. season one side with garlic powder, onion powder, nutritional yeast and salt & pepper. tofu can be pretty crumbly, so i like to cook it on one side without stirring until it browns. then flip, season and brown the other side. after about 7-10 minutes of browning the tofu, add the peppers and continue cooking the mixture until peppers are tender. warm up the wheat tortillas and divide the tofu mixture and rest of ingredients between the two.

roll up and chow down. :)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

raw tomato and corn bisque

i'm not a huge fan of 'cold' soups, but i can do okay with room temperature. when i make raw soups, i usually eat it up right away, or if i have to chill it, i usually let it stand out of of the fridge for about 45 minutes to bring the temp up. of course, that's just personal taste. this recipe made about 2 decent-size bowls of soup and was really filling!

  • 2 large fresh tomatoes
  • 5-6 sun dried tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2-3 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh garlic minced
  • 1 cup fresh corn
  • sea salt and ground pepper to taste

throw everything but corn in a magic bullet or food processor and blend. add corn. eat.

Monday, September 15, 2008

sushi with sunflower seed pate

my friend first taught me how to roll sushi a couple years ago, and it has become one of my favourite things to make and to eat. granted, it takes a little more work to make your own, but it's rewarding and if you get a group of people together to make it, it's like a little party! this was a spontaneous sunday night dinner a couple weeks ago.

rolling sushi isn't difficult, but it's better learned by video or in person. if you don't know how to roll, just check out some online videos on youtube. in the future i might post several pictures of the rolling process.

we made two different kinds of rolls:
  • avocado and shiitake mushroom
  • sunflower seed pate and carrots
  • *(also a couple of 'left-over' rolls of all the ingredients)

    for the pate:
    • 3/4 cup soaked sunflower seeds
    • 2 tablespoons nama shoyu/soy sauce/braggs aminos
    • 2 tablespoons tahini
    • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
    • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
    • 1/8 cup carrots
blend all the pate ingredients up in a magic bullet or food processor. it should be a paste/pate type texture, so you may need to adjust accordingly. for the rest of your ingredients, you'll want to slice them up into strips so they roll up nicely. we also used kelp and dulse flakes (and sometimes sriracha sauce) to give the rolls extra flavour. i should have taken pictures of our pre-roll layout, but i totally forgot. i'll do that the next time.

combine flavours as you see fit!

Friday, September 12, 2008

pretty in pink green smoothie

this is a tasty watermelon and kiwi green smoothie with a bit of ginger zing. i added the greens to it after the picture because it turns a murky brown colour. honestly, i didn't want to call it 'murky brown green smoothie' - how appetizing is that? :)

  • 1/4 of a seedless watermelon
  • 1 kiwi fruit
  • 1 tablespoon (or more) of fresh ginger
  • 1 cup of spinach
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 or 4 ice cubes
peel the watermelon, kiwi and ginger and cut up into cubes. drop in the blender with water and ice. you need less water than with most green smoothies because watermelon is so juicy. after it starts to smoothie-ize in your blender, add the greens and blend again. :) makes about a quart of filling smoothie.

Monday, September 8, 2008

(un) cheesy julienned zucchini

i made up this yummy and simple little side dish, and i swear that it tastes like cheesy zucchini! you may notice that i almost never use real onions in my recipes... i always use onion powder. my reasoning is that i don't like the texture of onions, and i really don't like a strong onion-y taste. for me, a little dash of onion powder is enough to set off the taste, but i imagine most people would want to use real onions.

  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 3 -4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

put the zucchini through the julienne blade on a mandolin slicer. in a skillet pan, heat up the sesame oil on medium, then add the zucchini slices. after a few minutes, add the nutritional yeast and onion powder and turn up to high. saute the zucchini for a bout 10 minutes until tender.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

white bean and veggies in asian peanut sauce

i have been in love with PB2 - a healthier powdered peanut butter - for about the last 4 or 5 months. in the midwest, it can be found at most hy-vee stores with a nature section, but check out their website for other places to purchase it. it's about 53 calories per serving - compared to about 190 for regular peanut butter. it also has about 85% less fat. recently i came across a blog called megan's munchies where readers were challenged to come up with creative recipes using the powdery goodness.

thanks to megan who chose my recipe as one of the winners!

for the peanut sauce:
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons nama shoyu or braggs (less for braggs)
  • 1/3 cup pb2
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar
  • 1-2 teaspoons siriacha sauce (based on heat preference)
for the base:
  • cook 10 oz northern white beans (according to package)
  • marinate northern white beans overnight in peanut sauce
  • steam your favourite stir-fry medley (i used birds eye - asparagus stir fry mix)
  • marinate veggies with beans at least 4 hours

after marinating, heat up the bean and veggie mix (i microwaved mine for about a minute on medium heat - you could also gently heat on the stove). then serve with rice or over a bed of zucchini pasta (see the pics above).

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

easy turkey sammy

i have been craving sandwiches all summer... we finally went shopping this past weekend and snatched up some smart deli turkey slices (in most produce sections). the very next day we made up some great tasting faux turkey sandwiches that hit the spot.

  • 1 hoagie, toasted
  • nayonaise or vegenaise
  • stoneground mustard
  • 2 slices smart deli turkey
  • 1/2 tomato
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 1 piece tofutti vegan american cheese slice

i prefer nasoya nayonaise and westbrae natural stoneground mustard. seriously, the mustard makes the sandwich. stack the rest of the ingredients and chow down. :)

Monday, September 1, 2008

roasted cajun chickpeas

you can find recipes for roasted chickpeas on plenty of great recipe sites, including vegweb. i used the one from the fatfree vegan kitchen, slightly modified of course. i started with dry chickpeas, but (after soaking overnight) i simmered them for about 35 minutes instead of 10 minutes. i made two batches - one with cajun seasoning and one with taco seasoning... i did use the lime juice as she suggests, but i didn't add any extra salt and i thought they were seasoned just right.