Sunday, March 9, 2014

Avocado Frozen Yogurt

Enjoy this "froyo" for a hearty breakfast or dessert.

Avocado Frozen Yogurt:

1 avocado
1 cup mixed berries
juice from 1 lime
8 small pitted dates
1 tablespoon almond butter
a few splashes of water to get things moving
topping: dried cherries

Blend all ingredients in a Vitamix or high-powered blender. Add more water, as needed. Top with dried cherries.

Yield: 1-2 servings

Monday, March 3, 2014

Black Eyed Pea Curry and Easy Weeknight Meal Tip

Here is a very hearty, flavorful stew from the Post-Punk Kitchen. I made some changes to the original recipe, based on what I had in the house -- subbed in sweet potatoes for the red potatoes, kale for the collards (I used about a cup from a bag of chopped kale in my freezer), and a large red bell pepper for the jalapenos. As Isa says in the recipe, be careful with sweet potatoes, they cook faster than regular potatoes!

Easy Weeknight Meal Tip:

I've been making three big pots of soup (or curry, stew, etc.) and a ton of rice over the weekend so I will have plenty of food for the week. I'd rather do four hours of cooking on a weekend day than an hour every night when I'm tired after work. If I'm getting the kitchen dirty, I might as well make a ton, right? Just make sure you have plenty of containers to store the food in. I'm a big fan of glass containers, because they don't absorb smells. So far I've just been making curries, stews and soups, but I might venture into large batches of veggie burgers to freeze. This past weekend, I also made two big batches of rice in my rice cooker and froze most of it in freezer ziplock bags to use throughout the week and for this awesome fried rice recipe from the PPK (I actually adapted this recipe to make it "Pad Thai Fried Rice" -- I'll post the recipe the next time I make it and get a photo!). Do you have any tips to share?

It's good to be back on the blog!

Until next time,

Thursday, July 25, 2013

summer smoothies and eating better.

Is anyone else craving smoothies all the time in this heat? I've also been trying to eat more healthily, replacing sugary desserts with fruit smoothies and granola and soy milk. Here's the recipe I made tonight. I think it's pretty killer.

Strawberry Mango Prune Smoothie:

1 cup soy milk
1 cup frozen mango chunks
1 cup frozen strawberries
5 pitted prunes
A splash of cranberry juice (optional)
Water, if needed to get blender going

Blend all ingredients until smooth.

Yield: 1-2 servings

That up there is a chickpea salad sammich from the Post-Punk Kitchen! I can't believe I've been eating vegan for nearly ten years and haven't been making this all the time. It's so good, so easy. I replaced the mayo with a tahini sauce and included a homemade roasted carrot curry hummus (add roasted carrots, curry powder and parsley to a traditional hummus recipe), local sun gold tomatoes, and spinach on top. SOOOOOOOOOO GOOD! I also ate the leftover chickpea filling with a fork and it was amazing too, and I'm thinking it would be even better tossed in a salad and served with quinoa, rice, etc.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Peanut Butter Chocolate Coconut Cream Pie

Here's that long-awaited pie recipe I forgot to post. This is the fastest pie you'll ever make. And it's amazingly addictive. The only catch is you need to refrigerate your can of coconut milk for several hours ahead of time (preferably overnight) in order to allow the coconut cream to separate from the liquid. Oh She Glows has a great photo tutorial on how to separate the cream from the liquid.

And if you have a better (i.e. shorter) title for this pie, let me know! "PB Triple C" Pie?

Peanut Butter Chocolate Coconut Cream Pie:

Chocolate Cookie Crust:

1 1/4 cup finely ground chocolate sandwich cookies (like Newman-Os)
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. canola oil
1 tbsp. plain almond milk

Peanut Butter Mousse:

chilled coconut cream from 1 can coconut milk
1/3 c. creamy peanut butter
3 tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt

Chocolate Ganache:

1/3 c. almond milk
3.5 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
2 tbsp. canola oil

Make the cookie crust: Preheat oven to 350. Lightly oil a 9-inch springform pan. Combine all ingredients in bowl. Press firmly into bottom of springform pan. Bake 8-10 minutes. Let cool.

Make the peanut butter mousse: Whip all ingredients together using a stand mixer with the whisk attachment or a handheld electric mixer (you can also whisk by hand) until uniformly mixed. Using a rubber spatula, transfer to prepared pie crust, smoothing out with the rubber spatula.

Make the chocolate ganache: melt all ingredients together in a double boiler or in a small saucepan over very low heat. Pour over peanut butter coconut mousse and use a knife to swirl ganache into cream.

Chill pie in refrigerator for several hours or overnight. Slice and enjoy!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Orange-Sesame Quinoa with Broccoli, Raisins and Baked Tofu (and a New Direction for the Blog)

Earlier this week, my sister called me because her nearly one year old baby (and my one and only nephew, Sammy), whom she is currently raising vegetarian, has an appointment for a hemoglobin test in a few weeks and she wants to make sure he is consuming enough iron. Reading from my handy resource for vegan nutrition, Get it Ripe by Jae Steele, I told her the following:

sources of iron: chickpeas (garbanzo beans), dried fruit, kidney beans, lentils, blackstrap molasss, navy beans, parsley, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, soybeans, spinach, Swiss chard, thyme, turmeric

(since vitamin C increases absorption of iron) sources of vitamin C: beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cantaloupe, cauliflower, collard greens, grapefruit, guava, kale, papaya, parsley and strawberries

My sister also had questions about preparing quinoa (pronounced: keen-wah). I turned to Get it Ripe's handy chart on grains and discovered that quinoa has the highest protein of any grain, contains more calcium than cow's milk and is a source of vitamins B and E and iron. That's a lot of good stuff.

Let's skip to another conversation I had this week with my husband, Dylan. He asked me what we were going to eat for dinner. My response was, "I was going to make cookies." If making cookies for dinner isn't a wake up call, I don't know what is. So, guess what we had for dinner the very next day? You got it -- QUINOA! Not just any quinoa, either. Quinoa with broccoli, raisins and grilled tofu tossed in an orange-sesame dressing. Dylan praised it as the best meal he's had in a long time (although, let's be honest, A PLATE OF COOKIES was the competition).

Before I give you the recipe, I'm going to do a little nutritional PR for each component of the meal, partly for my sister and nephew, partly for myself and partly for the folks who ask, "where do you get your protein?" (to be fair, I haven't been asked that in a long time).

oranges: vitamins A and C, bioflavonoids
quinoa: high in protein and calcium, vitamins B and E, iron
broccoli: calcium, alpha-lipoic acid, vitamin B5, vitamin C, folic acid, magnesium
raisins: iron
tofu: iron, protein, calcium

Orange-Sesame Quinoa with Broccoli, Raisins and Baked Tofu:

For the quinoa:
  • 1 cup dried quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 head broccoli, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup raisins

For the orange-sesame dressing (recipe from Appetite for Reduction):
  • 3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (from 2 to 3 oranges)
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon hot chili sauce, such as Sriracha
  • 1 teaspoon Microplaned or finely minced fresh ginger

For the tofu:
  • 1 lb. firm tofu, pressed (wrap tofu in a clean kitchen towel, place 1 or 2 heavy books over wrapped tofu and let sit for at least 1 hour, up to 4)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons for frying
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons tamari
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 cup cashews, soaked for a few hours and drained**
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

Make the quinoa:
In a medium pot, bring quinoa and water to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until most of the water is absorbed. Add raisins and remove from heat. Set aside.

Prepare tofu:
Using a handheld blender or blender/food processor, puree 1 tablespoon olive oil, garlic, ginger, tamari, water, cashews and toasted sesame oil. Preheat oven to 350 and lightly grease a square casserole dish. Slice tofu into 1-inch wide rectangles. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Fry tofu for 7-10 minutes on each side. Transfer tofu to prepared casserole dish and pour marinade over tofu. Place lid on dish or tightly cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes.

While tofu is baking, prepare dressing and broccoli:
Combine orange juice, red wine vinegar, toasted sesame oil, salt, hot chili sauce and ginger in a bowl or a glass jar with a lid. Set aside. Chop broccoli into large branches. In same oiled skillet used for tofu, saute broccoli over medium heat for 7-10 minutes.

Put everything together:
When tofu is done baking, add broccoli to quinoa and toss with dressing. Serve warm with baked tofu.

*Information from Get it Ripe, my bible for vegan nutrition. Get yourself this book!
**You can skip soaking the cashews if you don't have time.