Monday, March 2, 2015

Antioxidant Berry Smoothie

I've always known berries to be rich in antioxidants, but what I didn't know is that flaxseeds are too! I've been trying to eat more flaxseeds because of their high omega-3 fatty acid content, but now I have another reason to include this superfood in my daily diet. And what's easier than adding a tablespoon to your morning smoothie?

Antioxidant Berry Smoothie:

2 cups mixed berries
1.5 cups coconut water
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
1 date, pitted

Blend until smooth.

Friday, February 27, 2015

How to Cook Perfect Brown Rice

I'm ashamed to admit it, but I only recently mastered the art of cooking brown rice. Most of the time it came out too crunchy and sometimes it was too mushy. The culprit was my water to rice ratio. I always used a 2:1 ratio. Recently I actually READ the directions on a bag of brown rice and it advised using a 2.5:1 ratio water to rice. And it worked!

I used this 2.5:1 ratio in my rice cooker for a few months, but I recently tried it on the stovetop and it was so easy I've switched over to this stovetop method exclusively (plus, this method doesn't leave a bunch of rice stuck to the bottom of the pan like my rice cooker does).

So if you've been wanting to eat more brown rice but have had trouble cooking it, try this method. It works flawlessly for me. One cup of brown rice makes enough for me and Pete, but if you have more than two people or you want some leftover, use 5 cups water to 2 cups dry brown rice.

How to Cook Perfect Brown Rice:
  1. In a medium saucepan with a fitted lid, boil 2.5 cups water. Add a big pinch salt and a small spoonful coconut oil. Keep covered.
  2. While you wait for water to boil, rinse your 1 cup rice well in a strainer and drain well.
  3. When water comes to a boil, add your rice, stir and cover immediately. Turn heat down to low (I have a gas stove and turn it to the lowest I can without the flame going out).
  4. Let steam 40 minutes.
  5. After 40 minutes, remove from heat and keep covered for 10 minutes.
  6. Remove cover. Serve warm.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

i need more time in the day for

sitting with my cats
playing with my dogs
folding laundry
doing the dishes
cleaning the litter box
creating recipes
photographing recipes
posting recipes
talking to peter
doing yoga
talking to my family

but especially

Monday, February 23, 2015

Curried Carrot Bisque

There are some recipes I try and really like but don't ever make again. And then there are some recipes I try and make over and over again, like this Curried Carrot Bisque from Vegan with a Vengeance. It was one of the first recipes I made when I was teaching myself to cook in college. During my junior and senior years my roommates and I took turns making dinner every night. This was one of the dishes I would make for dinner. It was always a hit. So I kept making it even when I didn't live with a house full of roommates. It's easy, slightly creamy, slightly spicy, perfect for a cold winter day, and even more perfect with a loaf of crusty bread.

Curried Carrot Bisque:
I've adapted this recipe a bit since I first made the original five years ago. Here's my version.

1 large yellow onion, diced
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, micro-grated
3 lbs. carrots, sliced into chunks
1 tablespoon curry powder
4 cups vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
lots of freshly ground black pepper
1 can coconut milk or 2 cups homemade coconut milk (see recipe below)
1 tablespoon maple syrup

Saute onion in coconut oil over medium heat until onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Keep coverd and stir occasionally. Add fresh ginger root and curry powder and saute 1 minute more. Add carrots, vegetable broth, salt, red pepper flakes, and black pepper. Cover and bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Let cook until carrots are tender, about 15 minutes. Puree using an immersion blender (blend in batches in a blender, allowing steam to escape from the lid). Add coconut milk and maple syrup.

Yield: 6 servings

Homemade Coconut Milk:

1 cup shredded coconut
2 cups just-boiled water

Blend coconut and water in a high-powered blender until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve, cheesecloth, or nut milk bag.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Easiest Two Ingredient Slaw

This is my go-to salad when easy and fast are my number one priority, which has been this week when I was deciding whether to buy a certain car this week and was spending the majority of my meal preparation time researching cars. I ultimately didn't get the car, but I did realize that squeezing some lime juice on shredded purple cabbage makes a great easy salad. The salad is pictured above in a brown rice bowl with roasted sweet potatoes and black beans, but I also eat it all by itself with a fork, usually as a snack after work while preparing dinner. I also add it to a meal that desperately needs a vegetable, like tonight's mac n cheese & bbq tofu.

Also I would be remiss if I didn't mention how amazingly inexpensive purple cabbage is.* My coworker (a raw vegan and vegetable aficianado) says it is the biggest bang for your buck, in terms of nutrition and price. I believe it was around .99 per lb. at the grocery store near my house, and I believe one cabbage for me was about 1.5 lbs. And I get at least four separate uses out of one cabbage. I shred 1/4 of a cabbage for me and Peter to share and that is plenty per meal.

Two Ingredient Slaw:

1/4 purple cabbage, shredded
Freshly squeezed juice from 1/2 lime

Squeeze juice onto shredded cabbage and toss. Eat immediately or let marinate in fridge for an hour up to overnight.

Yield: 2 servings

*I buy non-organic cabbage, because it's one of the Clean Fifteen.