Saturday, March 31, 2012

Tomato Vinagrette

Homemade salad dressing is a healthier and budget friendly option to store bought. There are many types you can make so I will post a few of my favorites. This one turned out great but I think I will leave out the garlic next time. I am starting to realize I am not a fan of raw garlic. The original recipe uses a food processor but I used a blender so either will work.

1 large ripe tomato
1 clove garlic
2 tbl red wine vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard
2 tbl lemon juice
2 tbl water
3 tbl olive oil
1 tsp oregano
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a blender and pulse until desired consistency.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Spinach Potato Cakes

These are basically pan fried mashed potatoes with sauteed greens. Yum! I made them for dinner last night and chris called me this morning asking how to make them :). You can make most the ingredients ahead of time so you have a quick meal.

1 large russet potato
1/8 cup milk alternative (I used unsweetened soy)
2 tbl earth balance
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 pound spinach (I used the whole trader joe's bag)
1/4 yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tbl vegan mayo
2 tbl tomato paste
pinch cayenne pepper
pinch smoked paprika
1 1/2 tbl canola oil

Boil the potato until soft. Transfer to a bowl and mash with milk, butter, salt and pepper. Allow to cool.
Place 1/2 tbl canola oil in a large sauce pan. Heat on medium and add garlic and onion. Cook until translucent, stirring frequently. Add spinach and stir until all the spinach is wilted.

Add spinach mixture to mashed potato and mix together. Heat a cast iron with 1 tbl oil to a high temperature. Mold the potato spinach mixture into patties about 1/2 inch thick. Place them in the well heated pan and allow them to brown on each side. I left them on each side for about 5 minutes. You want them to get crispy.

Mix mayo, tomato paste, cayenne and paprika. Serve on top of each patty. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Falafel Pie

I found this recipe on a blog for easy vegan meals. It was super easy! It is one of the meals where you feel full after eating but not heavy, my favorite. The original recipe adds a sliced tomato but i didn't have one. I think it would make the meal better and add some more color.

1 cup falafel mix
1/2 cup hummus
1 small container of plain yogurt (I used coconut milk yogurt because I didn't find a plain soy)

1 cucumber
1/2 lemon
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup sliced kalamata olives

Preheat the oven to 350. Mix 1 cup of falafel mix with 1/2 cup of water. I used this box mix but maybe you can make your own?
Layer the falafel and water mix in an 8x8 casserole dish.

Bake for 15 minutes. While it is baking, place half the cucumber, plain yogurt and juice of half the lemon in a blender and blend until smooth. When the falafel mix is done baking spread the hummus in a layer on the falafel mix. *I used the rest of my sriracha white bean dip.

Place the rest of the cucumber, sliced, and sliced red onion on the hummus layer.

Top with sauce from blender. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Apple Pie Steel Cut Oats

I don't eat steel cut oats very often since they take so long to cook but found a recipe that soaks them overnight and then they only take 5 mintues. You can make them with different fruit, nuts and spices for variety. The original recipe used cinnamon, cardamon and nutmeg but I didn't have them so I just used pumpkin pie spice.

1 cup steel cut oats
1 3/4 cup milk alternative ( I used almond)
1 tbl brown sugar or honey
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 apple
1/2 cup almonds

In a medium size nonmetal mixing bowl combine oats, milk, sugar and spice :). Mix well and cover. Let it sit overnight. The next morning chop up the apple and add it to the oatmeal mixture. Place mixture in a medium size pot and bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer and simmer for 5 minutes or until oatmeal is cooked, stirring occasionally. *Mine took closer to 10 minutes because I have an old inefficient stove. Serve with almonds, additional milk or additional sweetener. Enjoy!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Avocado Potato Salad

This is a vegan and healthier version of traditional potato salad. The avocado gives a creamy texture, substituting mayonnaise. I think this would also be great with sweet potatoes or maybe a different veggie to keep it raw. Thia recipe makes a small portion for about 2-3 people.

1 large russet potato (you can substitute other types of potatoes)
1 avocado
1/2 cucumber, chopped
1/8 cup red onion, finely chopped
1/2 tbl chopped parsley ( I used fresh and you can substitute other herbs)
juice from half a lemon
paprika, for garnish

The first time I boiled the potato but it turned out too mushy so I baked it instead. If you use gold or red potatoes boiling will work fine. I cut the potato into large cubes and baked in a casserole dish for 20 minutes at 350, no oil. While the potato is cooking scoop avocado into mixing bowl and mash with a fork. Add to avocado: onion, cucumber, parsley and lemon juice. Mix together. After potatoes are cool add them to the avocado mixture and mix together. Serve with a sprinkle of paprika. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Thai Coconut Curry Red Lentils

Lentils are high in fiber and protein. They don't have to be soaked prior to cooking which is great for last minute meal ideas. They are traditionally used in Indian dishes so feel free to substitute Indian spices for the curry paste. I prefer Thai curry and it was what I had so I made this dish and it turned out delicious.

1 cup dried red lentils
1 can lite coconut milk (regular will work fine but I can't tell the difference)
1 cup tomato sauce
1 tbl curry paste (I used red)

 In a medium size sauce pan combine coconut milk, tomato sauce and curry paste. Stir until well mixed. Bring mixture to a boil and add lentils. Bring back to a boil.Cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for about 20 minutes.

I served mine with raw spinach and flatbread but it would be great on rice or veggies. Enjoy!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Stuffed Cabbage

Happy St.Patrick's Day! I wanted to celebrate and with some food, of course :) but Chris and I don't eat corned beef and it wouldn't be much of a meal with just cabbage. I came across this recipe and I thought it seemed good...but wow it turned out great! Chris thinks it might be one of his new favorites. The original recipe was not veg so I had to do some modifying. I would say this is a healthy-ish comfort food :)

1 medium size green cabbage (mine was about 2 pounds)
1/2 tbl canola oil
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 package soy chorizo
1 14.5 oz can tomato sauce (another size close to this amount will work)
1/2 cup veggie broth
1/2 tsp paprika
sour cream (I used tofutti soy sour cream)

Wash the cabbage and then with a small sharp knife cut around the core to remove it.
Bring a very large pot of water to a boil and then add the cabbage. Let the cabbage boil and remove the leaves, with tongs, as they fall off the cabbage.

Chop the onion and sautee it in a pan with the canola until it is translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add onion, soy chorizo and brown rice to bowl and mix together.

Take each cabbage leaf and cut the thick stem from the bottom. Careful not to cut to far into the leaf. Add a couple spoonfuls of the mixture on the cabbage leaf.
Fold the top part of the leaf to the stem and then roll one side to the other. Place them seam side down in a greased casserole dish. *I used an 8" x 8" but I had to make 2 batches of rolls.
In a seperate bowl whisk together veggie broth, tomato sauce and paprika. Pour half mixture, or enough to cover most of them, over the rolls in the casserole dish. 

Cover the casserole dish with foil and bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Serve with a dollop of sour cream. Enjoy!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Chia Seed Pudding

Chia seeds are a super nutritious food, high in fiber and healthy omega 3's. These are not the same seeds from chia pets :). This pudding is raw so no cooking is required which makes it easy and even healthier. It reminds me of tapioca. Yum!

1/2 cup chia seeds
2 1/2 cups milk alternative (I used oat milk)
3 tbl raw agave nectar (you can substitute maple syrup or if your milk if sweet omit sugar)

Mix sweetener and  milk in a bowl. Add chia seeds to bowl and mix well. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight, stirring occasionally. Serve with nuts, dried fruit or whatever sounds good. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Celeriac Leek Stew

Celeriac is also called celery root. It has that great celery flavor but since it is a root it is starchy and can be substituted for potatoes. This can also be made into a soup or try celeriac when roasting veggies.

1 celeriac
2 leeks
3 cloves garlic
*2 cups water & 1 bouillon cube (can substitute broth)
1 tbl canola oil
pepper to taste

Heat oil in a large pot. Chop the garlic and saute on low heat for a couple minutes. Chop celeriac and leeks into quarter size cubes and add to pot. Cover mixture with water and add bouillon cube. *The amount of water is an estimate, I usually add enough to just cover the mixture and as it cooks I add more if it looks like it boiled away. The more water you add the more soup like than stew like it will be. I simmered mine for about an hour and occasionally gave it a stir. Serve with pepper. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

White Bean Sriracha Dip

This dip is soo yummy! It has a hummus consistency so you can use it as a dip for bread, raw veggies or as a spread on sandwiches and wraps.

2 cups cannelini beans
1 tbl olive oil
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tbl sriracha
1 tsp curry paste or curry powder ( I used red curry paste)
1/4 cup water
juice of half a lime or lemon

Combine ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Sweet Potato Burgers

Chris and I love veggie burgers but we don't love all that processed stuff they are typically made with so I am always trying homemade variations. This recipe has been floating around pinterest for a few weeks so I finally got all the ingredients together to make it. Well actually twice before I had the ingredients but I ate them before they could be made into burgers. I made some modifications to the recipe and my pictures aren't as pretty so here is the original:

original blog

Makes about 4 patties
1 small sweet potato ( about 1 cup cooked and mashed)
1 cup cannellini beans ( I soaked and cooked them the night before but 1 can will work)
1 tbsp tahini
1 tsp seasonings ( I used garlic salt and chili powder)
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
panko crumbs (to coat the patties)
canola oil

Cut the potato into small cubes and boil until tender. Mash the potato in a bowl with the cooked beans, or beans drained from can. Add the tahini, seasoning and flour and stir until well mixed. Separate the mixture into four patties. In a shallow bowl pour some of the bread crumbs. Coat each side of the patty with the crumbs. Heat oil in a cast iron pan and cook patties on med high until crispy on each side.
Serve on a toasted bun or bread with toppings. enjoy!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Southwest Mashed Cauliflower

Mashed cauliflower is a great substitute to mashed potatoes. I added roasted peppers and corn to give it some unique flavors. Mine looks a little runny because I added too much liquid but it still tasted great!

1 small head of cauliflower
peppers for roasting (I used what I had leftover from other recipes: bell pepper, poblano and jalapeno)
1/2 cup frozen corn
1 tbl good earth butter
1/4 cup almond milk or soy or whatever you like
salt and pepper to taste

Turn on the broiler and place the peppers in a casserole dish. Cook them for a couple minutes on each side or until they look charred. Place the peppers in some foil and leave them until they cool.
After they cool, remove the skin and cut into strips or cubes.
Cut the cauliflower into bite size pieces and place in a pot with steaming basket.
Cook until tender and then place cauliflower, butter and milk into a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Mix in a bowl with peppers and corn. enjoy!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Sesame Salt and Pepper Tofu

I had half a package of tofu left over from yesterdays soup so I decided to try this recipe. I put mine on a salad but it would be great in a stir-fry or just as a snack.

1/2 package of firm tofu, cubed
2 tbl tapioca starch (cornstarch will work too)
2 tbl sesame seeds
2 tbl black pepper
1 tbl salt ( added more and mine was a little too salty so hopefully this will be a good amount)
coconut oil (just enough to coat the pan)

Heat coconut oil in a cast iron pan or skillet on med high. While the pan is heating mix together starch, seeds, salt and peeper in a shallow dish.
Coat the tofu in the mix and place in the heated pan. Turn the tofu on each side and cook until lightly browned.


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Thai Curry Soup

This Soup is quick and easy to make. You can make it on the stove top or leave it in a crockpot for the day and enjoy it for dinner.

4 cups veggie broth or water and bouillon cube
1 tbl curry paste (I prefer red, add more if you like it spicy)
1 tbl fresh diced ginger
1 large carrot, diced
1/4 lb sliced baby bok choy (This is optional, i just happened to have some)
1/4 cup frozen corn
4 button mushrooms, sliced
8 shitake mushrooms, sliced
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 packaged firm tofu, cubed
1 lime
soy sauce and cilantro to taste

Place all ingredients in a pot except tofu, lemon, soy sauce, and cilantro. Bring to a boil. Add tofu and then lower heat to a simmer. Cook until veggies have desired texture, about 15 minutes. Add 1/4 of the lime to each bowl, soy sauce and cilantro. enjoy!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Chenelle's Raw Yellow Curry

¼ cup almond butter
½ cup coconut oil
2 tablespoons Bragg Liquid Aminos
¼ cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon seeded, chopped jalapeno, or to taste
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons fresh turmeric 
filtered water to thin to taste

¼ cup sliced fresh basil or cilantro
1 cup thinly sliced cabbage
 kelp noodles
diced mango

recipe adapted from Ani Phyo

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Chimichurri Sauce

This Peruvian sauce is tangy and refreshing. I had it at a friend's house one time and loved it so when I came across the recipe I knew I had to try making it. I think it is good on veggies, rice or just as a dip.

1 bunch flat leaf parsley
1/2 bunch cilantro
4 cloves garlic
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3 tbl lemon juice (I used a quarter of the lemon)
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
*You can also add red pepper flakes for heat

Separate leaves from stems of parsley and cilantro. Combine leaves and all other ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse until desired consistency.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Crockpot Refried Beans

These beans basically cook themselves. I only mashed half of them and saved the other half for tomorrow's dinner. The recipe I found makes twice as much as I did but I only have a small crockpot so I halved it.

1 cup rinsed dried pinto beans ( I didn't soak mine)
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
1/2 diced jalapeno
2 cloves chopped garlic
1/2 tsp black pepper
one pinch of cumin
3 cups water

Combine all ingredients into crockpot and cook for 6 hours on high. *the original recipe said 8 hours but mine didn't take that long. Drain excess liquid and mash beans with potato masher or fork. enjoy!

Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms

I found these on a blog and thought I would try them. I have made brown rice stuffed mushrooms and they are delicious also. They make a great appetizer or side dish to a meal.

8 medium size mushrooms (button or crimini)
1 tbl balsamic vinegar
1 cup raw fresh spinach
1 small red bell pepper
2 cloves garlic
1 tbl lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Wash the mushrooms and them remove the stems. Place the mushrooms in a casserole dish or baking sheet.
  Yes I broke one :(
Sprinkle the balsamic vinegar on and inside the mushrooms.

Puree the spinach, garlic and bell pepper in a food processor. Until you get a creamy mixture.

I add some extra chopped bell pepper for texture but you don't have to do this.
Place the spinach mixture in the mushrooms. and bake at 400 for 15 minutes.
Sprinkle with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Enjoy!

Green "eggs" and "ham"

Yesterday was Dr.Seuss's birthday so Chris and I celebrated by recreating a vegan version of Green Eggs and Ham. This is basically a tofu sandwhich but this simple recipe makes a flavorful meal...Chris went back for seconds. :)

1 package extra firm tofu, drained and cut into 1/4" slices
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
3 Tbsp whole wheat flour
Pinch of salt and pepper
1-2 Tbsp canola oil
Vegan mayo
1 Avocado
Vegan cheese, such as Daiya cheddar flavor

Start by pressing the tofu to get the extra water out. I usually wrap mine in a kitchen towel and place something heavy on top for an hour or two. Make sure it is not to heavy to deform the tofu. 

Place the nutritional yeast, flour, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl and mix together. Cut the tofu into slices and coat each side with the flour mix. Heat a pan (we used the cast iron) with the oil and cook the tofu until it is crispy on both sides.

While the tofu is cooking spoon the avocado into a bowl and mash it with a fork. Spread the avocado on top of one slice of bread and the daiya on top of it. **Or you can melt the Daiya on the bread first. Place mayo on the other slice and the tofu patty on top of it. Combine slices into a sandwich. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Chenelle's Raw Vegan Nacho Sauce

I haven't tried making this yet but it looks so yummy and Chenelle and Dylan love it. Let me know if you make it and how it turns out.

3/4 cups cashews, soaked 2-4 hours
1 TBSP and 1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
3/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp coriander
2 TBSP nutritional yeast
stone ground mustard 1/4 tsp
1 TBSP scallions
1/4 cup carrot
1/4 cup red pepper
1/2 clove garlic

Blend ingredients together and enjoy! :)

Serving Suggestion: Kale Chips...yum!

Quinoa Pancakes

This is a recipe from Martha Stewart's website. I love pancakes and this recipe helps make them a little healthier with hearty protein rich quinoa.The cute plate was a Christmas present from Chris last cute!

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa or brown rice
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat flour)

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 large egg, plus 1 large egg white
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted, plus more for skillet ( I used Earth Balance)

  • 1/4 cup milk alternative (I used vanilla almond milk but soy or rice would be great)
  • 2 tablespoons raw agave nectar, plus more for serving
I cooked the quinoa the night before so I had it ready to go this morning but it only takes 20 minutes.

In a medium bowl, whisk together quinoa, flour, baking powder, and salt. In another medium bowl, whisk together egg, egg white, butter, milk, and syrup until smooth. Add egg mixture to flour mixture and whisk to combine.

Lightly coat a non-stick skillet with some butter. Cook the batter as you would usually do with pancakes. I cooked mine on medium high for a couple minutes on each side. If you need to do multiple batches make sure you wipe off the pan in between otherwise they will brown and not taste great. Enjoy!

***I also cooked my leftover egg yolk that was separated from the white. I cooked it in the non-stick skillet for a minute or two on each side on low heat. Delicious! *This isn't super healthy so skip this step if you want to avoid unnecessary cholesterol but there are vitamins in the yolk.