The Raw Cooked Vegan

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Beluga Lentil Stuffed Tomatoes

Vegan Mofo Month

Black Beluga lentils are so delicious and they worked wonderfully in this stuffed tomato dish. I seasoned the stuffing with a bit of garam masala. It went perfect with the lentils and bread.

Garam masala is a blend of ground spices commonly used throughout India. It should be used in small quantities, otherwise it will overpower the dish. There are many kinds of garam masala mixtures depending on the brand you purchase. I found one that I love at my local health food store in the bulk spice section.

In this recipe, I used Campari tomatoes, which range in size, comparable to a golf ball, or larger like a clementine orange. You can also use cherry tomatoes.

Beluga Lentil Stuffed Tomatoes

15 to 20 Campari tomatoes or cherry tomatoes
5 inch long piece of crusty french loaf, cut or torn into small bits
1/2 cup cooked black Beluga Lentils
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 TBS olive oil
3 TBS Earth Balance spread
2 TBS cream sherry
2 TBS water
1 tsp dried parsley (if using fresh, stir in with bread crumbs)
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dried sage
1/4 tsp garam masala
2 TBS pepitos, toasted
2 TBS currants, rinsed and drained (opt)
Black pepper to taste
Sesame seeds to garnish

In large skillet, heat olive oil and Earth Balance over medium heat until melted. Add onions and celery. Stir until it starts to soften. Add parsley, rosemary, salt, thyme, sage and pepper. Stir. Add cream sherry and cook a little longer, until onions are starting to brown. Add cooked lentils and garam masala. Add torn bread crumbs and coat well. Stir in pepitos and currants. Add water to moisten together.

Remove from heat and taste for any extra seasoning (salt or pepper).

Prepare tomatoes by cutting off the top (stem side), then scoop out the seeds with a spoon to hollow out. Spoon stuffing into each tomato and serve.

A great appetizer to bring to a party or serve at your holiday get-together!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Balsamic Caramelized Cipollini Onions

Vegan Mofo Month

A good friend of mine had a bag full of Cipollini onions. She was intending on pickling them, but had not got around to it and kindly gave them to me. I was intending on pickling them too, but my need for speed got the best of me. I wanted to eat them right away! 

Oh, they were so very delicious. My daughter and I ate every one of them (sorry, friend, I would have brought you some, but we devoured them right after I took the photographs).

I promise to make them again, in an even bigger batch! Definitely a five star rating in my book.

Balsamic Caramelized Cipollini Onions
1 pound of Cipollini onions, outer layer peeled, left whole
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup aged Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 cup cream sherry
1/2 tsp sea salt
fresh ground pepper
2 TBS olive oil

In large skillet, heat olive oil over medium to medium high heat. Add onions, salt and pepper and cook about 10 or 15 minutes until slightly brown. Add cream sherry, stirring to coat all onions.  

While onions are cooking, heat a small sauce pan over medium heat. Add brown sugar and Balsamic vinegar. Bring to boil, stirring frequently until sugar is dissolved.

Add balsamic mixture to hot onions in onion pan. Keep heat to medium and cook until liquid is reduced and thickened.

This would be delicious over any dish!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Millet Pilaf with Leeks and Cranberries

Vegan Mofo Month

Millet is a wheat-free, whole grain. It has a slight nutty taste and depending on how you cook it, it can resemble the texture of rice, cous cous, or porridge. It's simple to cook and can be substituted in dishes that call for any of the above.

The idea for this recipe came from something I saw in Vegetarian Times in a recipe that called for Farro. I decided that leeks would be a nice touch instead of onion and I seasoned it with just hints of coriander and allspice. This is a perfect side dish, or you could stuff a cooked squash with it for a beautiful main course.

Millet Pilaf with Leeks and Cranberries

1 cup of dry millet, rinsed (makes 3 cups cooked)
2 and 2/3 cup water
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 TBS olive oil

1 and 1/2 cups chopped leek
1 and 1/2 cups packed kale, veins removed and chopped
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1 TBS olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp sea salt
pinch of coriander
pinch of allspice
fresh ground pepper

In a medium sauce pan, heat water, 1/2 tsp sea salt and 1 TBS olive oil over medium high heat. Add rinsed millet and cover, simmering for 15 to 20 minutes or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and let sit covered for at least 20 minutes.

While millet is cooling, heat a large skillet over medium heat with 1 TBS olive oil. Chop leeks and add to pan. Stir, cooking leeks for about 10 minutes. Add chopped kale and season with coriander, allspice, salt and pepper. When kale starts to wilt, add minced garlic and simmer another 5 or 10 minutes. Turn heat off and add cranberries.

Take a fork and break up millet to resemble cous cous.
Transfer millet to large serving bowl. Add leek and kale to millet and mix well. Add toasted pine nuts. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil if desired.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Hearty Vegan Chili

The weather here in sunny Florida has given us a taste of fall, if only for a few days. The early morning temps were hovering around 64 beautiful degrees, which I consider officially fall.

Just to give you a mental image, after getting in my car late this afternoon, I had to crank the air up full blast after the sun heated it to 98 plus degrees. But this evening, I entered my 76 degree house and pretended it was chilly outside once again. What better food to make on a chilly day than chili? 

This is perhaps a success story of vegan chili. I LOVE chili and have made several prior attempts at a vegetarian version, which ended up being choked down by me and only me. HOWEVER...this version, my family actually liked it! This recipe is definitely going to be in my future cookbook because it is great!

Hearty Vegan Chili

1 24oz jar/can of strained organic tomatoes, no salt added
1/3 cup water
2 small onions, sliced thin
5 mini red and yellow bell peppers, or 1 large, chopped
1 can organic red kidney beans, mashed
1 medium russet baked potato (cooked), diced
1/2 cup your favorite mild or spicy salsa from a jar
2 tsp sea salt, divided
2 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin seeds, crushed
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 TBS olive oil, plus 1/2 TBS
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp black pepper

In a large stock pot, heat 1 TBS olive oil over medium heat. Add onions, bell peppers, cumin, 1 tsp sea salt and chili powder.

While onions and peppers simmer, drain and rinse kidney beans and transfer to medium bowl. Add remaining 1 tsp sea salt, pepper, smoked paprika and 1/2 TBS olive oil. Mash beans with a potato masher or fork until mostly creamed (you will still see some portions of beans with skin).

Add mashed bean mixture to simmering onions and peppers. Stir, breaking up bean mixture. Add minced garlic. Cook another 5 minutes. Stir in cooked diced potato. Add strained tomatoes, water and salsa. Let simmer 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let set, covered for half an hour.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Berry Vegan Pie

Vegan Mofo Month

I was so craving pie and this is my attempt at it without having a plan. I would have definitely used a ready-made pie crust, but there was no sign of one in my house. So I fell back on my galette crust as a make shift one for this pie. I was impatient, so I didn't chill the crust and just plopped several pieces of dough on the top layer. Well, it worked well enough...I got a delicious pie!

Berry Vegan Pie
10oz frozen mixed berries
1 cup frozen whole cranberries
1 and 1/2 cups natural sugar
1 TBS corn starch
1 TBS cold water
2 tsp lemon juice
2 TBS chia seeds (natural thickener)
Double frozen pie crusts-thawed, or galette crust recipe (doubled)

If you use the galette crust recipe, I recommend baking it in a spring form pan.

In a strainer, rinse mixed berries and cranberries under running water. Transfer to a medium saucepan. Heat berries over medium heat, stirring until they start to steam. Stir in sugar and let simmer for 10 minutes, crush cranberries with a spoon against side of pan.

Mix corn starch and water together until smooth. Add to berries. Add lemon juice and simmer another five to ten minutes until mixture starts to thicken. Remove from heat and stir in chia seeds. Set pan aside and let cool.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Pour cooled berry mixture into prepared crust. Cover top of berry mixture with second prepared crust, trimming edges. Poke holes in top if crust completely covers pie.

Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Chill.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Cream of Coconut Biscuits

Vegan MoFo Month

Moist, flaky biscuits! I had no idea what I was doing or how these would come out, but I was pleasantly surprised when they were delicious!

My first thought was to find a basic recipe, 2 cups flour, 2 tsp baking powder, etc. Then my thoughts wandered to that creamed coconut box in my cupboard. Yes, coconut would give it the fat to make it moist! So voila!

I used 100% organic creamed coconut. No fillers, nada. It looks like a big block of shortening, with separation of the oil from the coconut meat. The oil, which is very white, is soft and can be scooped out first. The coconut meat is hard and can be softened with hot water, or grated into the recipe. Ideally, you can add 1/2 cup hot water to both and cream all of it together.

By the way, this is really inexpensive. You can find it on Amazon if you cannot locate it in your local stores.

Cream of Coconut Biscuits
2 cups unbleached organic flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 (7oz) box of creamed coconut
1/2 cup hot water
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 (more or less) vanilla or plain almond milk
1 tsp white vinegar

Empty creamed coconut into medium bowl. Add hot water and stir until combined.
In large bowl, sift flour, baking powder and salt. Add the 1 tsp vinegar to the almond milk.
Add creamed coconut and almond milk to flour mixture. Mix thoroughly until a non-sticky dough forms (add more almond milk if too dry).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Roll dough out to 1/4 inch thick and cut biscuits out with round cookie cutter or use an upside down cup. Line biscuits on parchment paper and bake for 10 minutes, then flip and bake another 5 to 6 minutes.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Spelt Pasta with Peppers and Cashew Sauce

Creamy coated pasta seasoned with garlic, sea salt, olive oil and pureed cashews. YUMMY.

You will need a blender for this recipe

Spelt Pasta With Peppers and Cashew Sauce
8 ounces spelt pasta, cooked according to directions
1 large ripe tomato, chopped
1 carrot, cut in match sticks slices
1-2 leaves of kale, chopped
1/2 orange or yellow pepper, chopped
2 TBS olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup raw cashews
1/4 cup pasta water
1 tsp sea salt, divided
fresh ground pepper

While cooking pasta, heat 1 TBS olive oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Saute yellow pepper and carrot until semi-soft and starting to brown. Turn heat to medium and add garlic, chopped tomato and kale. Season with 1/2 tsp sea salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently for about 5 minutes so kale is slightly wilted and tomato is soft, but still firm. Remove from heat and set aside.

Drain pasta, saving 1/2 cup water.

In large serving bowl, combine pasta with pepper, carrot, tomato and kale.

In power blender, add cashews, hot pasta water, other 1/2 tsp sea salt. Blend on high until creamy and smooth. Pour over pasta, mix thoroughly and serve.

Season with sea salt and pepper to taste.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Zucchini Pasta with Red Pepper Coulis

Post 5 Raw Week!

Zucchini. Who would have thought? Perfectly textured for noodle dishes. Zucchini pasta is not new to raw food enthusiasts. I've seen it in some raw recipe books but I've never attempted to make it because I thought it would be a hassle getting it into spaghetti-like strings.

So I chucked the idea of buying a spiral slicer and used my vegetable peeler to make wide "noodles". It's amazingly simple to do (not a new trick by any means, believe me, it's been done before).

This dish was excellent! I made it in about 10 minutes. It wasn't hot, but room temperature. If you care to warm it, drop the "noodles" in hot water and drain. Serve immediately.

You will need a blender for this recipe

Zucchini Pasta with Red Pepper Coulis
1 large zucchini, washed and peeled, ends cut off
1 large red pepper or 6-8 baby red peppers, cored
1 garlic clove
2 heaping TBS hempseed
1 TBS water
1/2 tsp Celtic sea salt
pepper to taste

With a vegetable peeler, slice long strips of zucchini, turning it as you slice until you get to the seeds (stop when you see seeds coming through). Put strands onto serving plates and set aside.

In a power blender, add the 1 TBS water, red pepper, garlic, hempseed and salt and pepper. Blend until thick and creamy. Pour over each serving of zucchini. Serve immediately.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Raw Corn Tortilla Tacos

This is the 5th (4th) post of my Raw Food Week. I wanted to do something delicious and attractive. I can tell you it was delicious, so do you think it's attractive?

I was inspired by a corn tortilla recipe in Raw Food Real World by Matthew Kenney and Sarma Melngailis. I changed up the ingredients just a bit by using smoked paprika and less chili powder. I filled these babies with my Lemon Cashew Cheese, then fresh avocado, chopped tomatoes, onions, fresh jalapeno, arugula and fresh chopped basil. Awesome!

You will need a dehydrator for this recipe

Raw Corn Tortilla Tacos
3 cups fresh corn kernels, cut from 3 ears of corn, or frozen corn, thawed
1 and 1/2 cups yellow or red bell pepper
3/4 cup flaxseed, finely ground
2-3 TBS Lime juice
1 tsp ground chili powder
1 TBS smoked paprika
2 tsp cumin seeds, ground
1 and 1/2 tsp Celtic sea salt

In a food processor, process corn and bell pepper. Add ground flaxseed, lime juice, chili powder, paprika, cumin and salt. Process until almost smooth.

Divide batter in half onto two dehydrator trays lined with teflex or parchment paper. Dehydrate at 110 degrees Fahrenheit for 4 hours. Flip onto empty mesh lined tray and peel away teflex or parchment carefully. Dehydrate another 3 to 4 hours until pliable.

Cut with kitchen shears into squares and fill with your favorite fresh ingredients! 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Super Goji Bites

Completely Raw and full of superfoods! Great jump start before running or working out and perfect when you're craving a sweet something!

These goji bites are so simple to make and they definitely have some power punch.

You will need a food processor for this recipe

Super Goji Bites
1 cup pitted medjool dates
1/2 cup raw cashews
1/3 cup unsweet shredded coconut
1/4 cup raw cacao nibs
1/4 cup dried goji berries
1 TBS virgin coconut oil
generous pinch of Celtic sea salt

In food processor, add cashews and cacao nibs. Pulse until small bits. Add dates, coconut and coconut oil. Process a minute or two. Add goji berries and salt. Pulse until mixture started to clump together.

With a rounded measuring spoon or scoop (see below) scoop mixture and pack firmly with fingers. Tap upside down onto wax paper.

Raw and delicious.

What are cacao nibs? Click here for a brief explanation.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Raw Almond Onion Bread

For those of you who love raw food (this is day 2 of my 5 day raw food posts), you will really find this almond onion bread just perfect for sandwiches. I ran out to my co-op early this morning and picked up this weeks choices; micro-greens, peaches, red pepper, corn, cucumber, butternut squash and green onions. All organic!

I used the cucumber, red pepper and micro greens on the sandwich. All of which tasted super fresh! I can't wait to get into that butternut squash... I have lots of ideas.

For this recipe, I played around with different ingredients and it's a slightly different take on the "Raw Onion Bread Pita" recipe posted August of 2010. The coconut oil I used gave it a slightly sweet/bready taste.

You will need a food processor and dehydrator for this recipe

Raw Almond Onion Bread
3 cups raw almonds, soaked for 3 hours
5 medium onions
1/2 cup chia seeds, ground in a spice grinder
1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil
2 tsp sea salt

Drain almonds. In a food processor, process almonds, salt and coconut oil. Stop and scrape sides down. If mixture looks too dry, add a tablespoon of water at a time until it becomes completely mixed-but not too wet.

Remove almond mixture and place into large bowl. Place onions in food processor and process/pulse until they are chopped, but not liquidy. Add to almond mixture. Add ground chia seed and mix completely.

Spoon onto 2 dehydrator trays lined with teflex or parchment paper and spread to 1/4 inch thick evenly. Dehydrate at 105 degrees Fahrenheit for 6 to 8 hours. Flip (placing an empty tray on top and turning over, lift off teflex). Dehydrate another 5 to 6 hours depending on softness you prefer.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Lemon Cashew Cheese Stuffed Baby Peppers

Perfect raw appetizer or hors d'oeuvre to serve for a get together or holiday party. The lemon cashew "cheese" is nicely blended with green onions and thyme. This is so healthy and guilt-free~at least for me it is!

You will need a food processor for this recipe

Lemon Cashew Cheese Stuffed Baby Peppers

3 cups raw cashews nuts, soaked for 2 hours or longer
3 green onions, white and some green parts
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
zest from 1 lemon
4 TBS nutritional yeast flakes
1 and 1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
12-15 baby bell peppers, cleaned and cored

In food processor, blend nuts, lemon juice, zest, yeast and salt until smooth. Transfer to bowl and add green onions and thyme. Mixture will be thick but pliable. Scoop mixture into a gallon-size ziploc bag an force into one of the bottom corners. Twist close right up to the top of the mixture. Cut a small hole off the corner. You will use this to squeeze the cheese into peppers.

Fill each pepper and refrigerate any left over.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Pesto Power Salad

Guess who LOVED this power salad? My meat-eater husband. That's right, he did. Now, this isn't just any salad. It's packed with super healthy apples, peppers, grape tomatoes, olives, dried cranberries, walnuts and just a little bowtie pasta. The perfect addition to this dish is the home-made pesto I made from my own basil plants. This is the best pesto ever! My husband literally spooned it out of the jar and ate it. Needless to say, it didn't last long, even though I made a whole cup.

The main thing about making your own pesto is growing your own basil. If you try to buy the amount of basil you will need from the grocery store (those little plastic jobs), it will cost you way too much. I suggest you give growing it a try. It's not that hard. I bought mine when they were mini plants and transferred them to a bigger pot. Just keep it watered with well drained soil and in full sun. Cut off the top flowering blooms to force it wider.

Pesto Power Salad
1 head of romaine lettuce, chopped
1 crisp apple like Gala or Pink Lady
8-10 grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped
3-4 baby bell peppers, chopped
1/2 cup cooked bowtie pasta
1/2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
1/2 TBS red balsamic vinegar

Power Pesto
4 cups of lightly packed basil leaves
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 and 1/2 tsp white balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp Kosher salt

To make pesto, toast pine nuts in a small skillet over medium heat until slightly toasted and starting to brown, watching constantly to avoid burning. Remove from heat and let cool.
In a power blender with lid, add basil leaves, olive oil, toasted pine nuts, salt and vinegar. Blend on high until smooth. Transfer to jar with lid.

In large bowl with lid, Combine romaine lettuce, apples, tomatoes, walnuts, dried cranberries, olives, peppers and bowtie pasta. Add 1/2 TBS olive oil and 1/2 TBS red balsamic. Add 2 TBS pesto to salad. Attach lid and shake until salad is thoroughly coated. Serve immediately.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Southern Vegan Collard Greens

Living in Florida, I have had some down-right authentic Southern food! But that was a long time ago (we're talking 1980's-and before I was vegan). When I say Southern food, I  mean things like grits, biscuits, collard greens, black-eyed peas, roast p**k, Cuban sandwiches, Cuban toast and Cuban coffee.

In my teens, I worked for the blood bank, traveling on the blood mobile to all kinds of interesting places! All our staff would be fed meals when available, and the ones I remember most, were the southern Baptist churches. They had feasts like no other. The collard greens were something I tasted for the first time and absolutely loved! Of course, I had no idea how they made them (although I have a feeling I wouldn't duplicate that recipe today), but it sure made an impression on me.

I haven't cooked collard greens before, but when I saw some fresh organic collard green leaves at my co-op, I just had to have them and make them vegan!

Well, this was a good thing. I looked up how to cook them (40 minutes) and found this recipe based on one from Food Network.  If you like collards, and you are vegan, give this a go and you won't be disappointed!

Southern Vegan Collard Greens
1 pound collard greens, washed and sliced thin
1 TBS olive oil
1 TBS Earth Balance Spread
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped fine
Dash or two of cayenne pepper, or Tabasco
1 and 1/2 tsp molasses
1 large tomato, chopped
2 and 1/2 cups vegetable stock
Sea salt and pepper

In a large stock pot, heat olive oil and Earth Balance over medium heat. Saute the onion until soft (about 5 minutes), then add the garlic and cayenne. Stir. Add the chopped collards and cook, stirring for about 5 more minutes.

Add the vegetable broth and cover, reducing heat to med low. Simmer 40 minutes. Add chopped tomato and turn heat off. Let set for at least half an hour.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Tempeh Picadillo

Picadillo is a traditional Latin American and Spanish dish usually made with meat, onions, tomatoes, raisins, olives and spices. Here, I used crumbled tempeh and a spice packet from Nueva Cocina. I usually don't buy spice packets because they're usually full of junk I've never heard of, but when I read the ingredients in Nueva Cocina, I was pleasantly surprised.

These are the ingredients in Nueva Cocina seasoning packet: dehydrated onion, freeze dried raisins, sugar, salt, dehydrated red bell pepper, dehydrated garlic, dehydrated green bell peppers, freeze dried sliced green olives, spices, garlic powder, and apple cider vinegar powder.

If you can't find Neuva Cocina, Trader Joe's makes a great taco seasoning mix that has all natural ingredients as well (that is, if you are lucky enough to live near a Trader Joe's). It doesn't have raisins or dried green olives, but you could just add those to the dish.

I would have loved to serve this on top of rice, but instead just scooped it onto warm pita wedges. It was so delicious...

Tempeh Picadillo
1 8oz package of flax tempeh, crumbled
1 onion chopped
3 or 4 mini bell peppers, chopped and seeded (or 1/2 bell pepper-any color)
2 TBS olive oil
2/3 cup boxed or canned diced tomatoes (or tomato sauce)
1 package Nueva Cocina Picadillo seasoning mix
2 fresh jalapeno peppers, seeds and veins removed, chopped
1/3 cup raw onion, chopped for garnish

In large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and all of the bell pepper. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the crumbled tempeh and stir frequently, until onions are soft and tempeh is slightly browned. Stir in the seasoning packet. Add tomatoes and cook another five minutes. Reduce heat to med low and cover, simmer 10 to 15 minutes.

Serve on platter and top with raw chopped onion and jalapeno peppers.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Vegan Ratatouille

I based this recipe from one I saw in Whole Living Magazine (a great magazine, by the way). The recipe called for cheese, which I omitted, and I added zucchini and some smoked paprika. I used my newer, razor-sharp knife from Ikea to slice everything super-thin.

This is truly a gourmet-looking dish and it tastes delicious! The sauteed onions, which coat the bottom, penetrate the thinly sliced vegetables while baking.

Vegan Ratatouille
2 TBS olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 medium onion, sliced thin
1 medium yellow squash, sliced thin
1 medium zucchini, peeled and sliced thin
2 medium heirloom tomatoes, sliced thin
1 medium russet potato, scrubbed, peeled and sliced thin
1 Fresh rosemary sprig
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp smoked paprika, plus more for sprinkling

In a large skillet, heat 2 TBS olive oil over medium heat until hot. Add sliced onions, season with salt, pepper and smoked paprika and cook until tender and lightly golden.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Arrange onions in the bottom of a glass or ceramic baking dish. Alternate potato, squash, tomato, and zucchini, in a circular pattern and double layer if necessary.

Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and smoked paprika.

Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes.
Uncover and continue to bake another 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 20 minutes.

Serve over rice, cous cous, a baked potato or pasta. You can also top it with a tablespoon red sauce if desired.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Flat Bread Pizza

This is a great-tasting pizza. Crispy flat bread crust, roasted onions, sweet peppers, broccoli and thinly sliced potato and zucchini seasoned with smoky pepper and garlic salt then topped with fresh tomato slices.

I buy 10 inch flat bread lavash at my local Nutrition Smart. You can find them at some Whole Foods stores as well. It's perfect to top with pizza ingredients and can be placed directly on your oven rack and baked crisp.

Flat Bread Pizza

1 flat bread lavash
1 cup frozen organic broccoli flowerets
1 medium onion, sliced thinly
1 medium potato, sliced thinly
4 to 5 mini sweet peppers (or 1 bell pepper, sliced thinly)
1/2 zucchini, sliced thinly
2 TBS olive oil, plus 1 tsp
Smoked pepper and garlic/sea salt

In large skillet, heat 1 TBS olive oil over medium heat and saute potato slices until softened. Add onions to potatoes and stir frequently to keep from sticking. Season well with garlic salt and pepper. Remove from pan.

In same skillet, add another 1 TBS olive oil. Saute pepper, broccoli and zucchini until slightly browned, stirring frequently.

Spread 1 tsp olive oil on lavash flat bread. Add toppings and bake in preheated 375 degree Fahrenheit oven. Remove carefully and slice on cutting board. Top with fresh sliced tomatoes.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Ultimate Vegan Nachos II

I just couldn't help myself. I had a craving for nachos and whipped this together and had to take a picture since it looked so colorful! I've already posted Ultimate Vegan Nachos, but this is slightly different, so I decided to call it Ultimate Vegan Nachos II.

There's really no need to post a formal recipe, but a just a guideline on what what I put on it (whatever was in my fridge). You may have other items on hand (like fresh jalapenos), or fresh herbs, but here's what I did:

1. Had some Tostito's brand Organic Blue Corn chips, laid them out on a plate.
2. Took some Amy's refried beans (straight from the can) and mixed about a tsp of olive oil in them and a little salt and smoked pepper.
3. Heated beans in a small saucepan until just warm.
4. Dropped spoonfuls of beans over chips
5. Added chopped onions, chopped lettuce, chopped orange pepper and salsa.

It was Delicious! And yes, I ate the whole thing myself.

Well, it WAS my dinner...

Monday, August 8, 2011

Lemon Lentil Salad

Lentils are one of my favorite protein choices. Here, I used brown lentils because they keep their shape best. You can use other kinds of lentils as well. However, the pink lentils (salmon or orange colored and small) cook very quickly because they come split, but they're great for soups and creamy dishes. I used fresh English peas in this dish, but you can use thawed frozen peas as well.

Lemon Lentil Salad
1 cup brown lentils
2 and 1/4 cups of water
1 cup of fresh English Peas, shelled
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
4 sundried tomatoes in oil, sliced
1 red bell pepper, roasted and chopped (or jarred roasted pepper)
1/3 cup sweet onion, chopped
1/2 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
4 TBS fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 or 2 garlic cloves, minced
sea salt and pepper to taste

Rinse lentils and place in a medium sauce pan with 2 and 1/4 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Cook 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Drain any remaining water.

In a large bowl, combine peas, bell pepper, sundried tomatoes, onion, roasted pepper and parsley. Add cooled lentils.

In a lidded jar, combine lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and salt and pepper. Shake well and pour over lentil salad and toss. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Veggie Burger with Black Beans, Quinoa and Lentils

I've been thinking a lot lately about what would make the best veggie burger. I've had good ones and not-so-good ones. So, I wanted to create one with ingredients that were high in protein as well as highly nutritious.

I recommend using pink/orange lentils because they break down and mash together and will help hold the patty together.

Veggie Burgers with Black Beans, Quinoa and Lentils

1/2 cup white quinoa, soaked 10 minutes, then rinsed (skip this step if using pre-rinsed quinoa)
1/2 cup pink lentils, rinsed (do not use brown/green or black lentils)
1 cup water

1 medium onion, chopped fine
1 celery stalk, chopped fine
1 and 1/2 TBS olive oil
5-6 drops liquid smoke
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 can Eden black beans, drained and rinsed
2 TBS chia seeds
3 TBS nutritional yeast
3 TBS fresh parsley leaves, chopped
1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped

In a medium saucepan, bring 1 cup water to a boil. Add lentils and quinoa together. Bring back to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat, set aside (drain any excess water).

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat and add onion and celery, salt, pepper and liquid smoke. Cook until onion and celery start to soften and onion becomes translucent. Add black beans and minced garlic to onion mixture and "mash" beans with a potato masher until most are crushed. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

In large bowl, combine onion and black bean mixture with quinoa and lentils. Stir in nutritional yeast, chia seeds, parsley and rosemary. Taste and season with sea salt and pepper if desired.

Form into patties on wax paper. Chill at least an hour. Heat 3 TBS olive oil in skillet over med to med-high heat. Pan saute patty about 3 to 5 minutes on each side, until browned and slightly crisp.

Serve with lettuce, tomato, or salsa! Yum.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Raw Summer Salad


I'm jumping into the raw again! Summer is the perfect time to make lots of raw salads to go with your picnics and parties. Raw food is the ultimate health food and there's nothing like giving your body the food it deserves.

The nice thing about this salad is you can put anything in it and on it. This combo just floats-my-boat today. If you like green cabbage or prefer romaine lettuce, substitute away! My favorite quick dressing is usually a fresh lemon squeezed, olive oil and fresh ground sea salt and pepper.

The one helpful little kitchen item that I LOVE is this little thingy:

This is a OXO Good Grips hand held mandoline slicer. It has 3 thickness levels for slicing. It's less than $15 retail and I know Bed Bath and Beyond carry it. So with a 20% off coupon or $5 off coupon, you can get it for even less.
Use with care. It is very sharp!

Raw Summer Salad
1/2 head purple cabbage
3 carrots
4 mini red bell peppers or 1/2 large
4 TBS fresh parsley, chopped

Mandoline slice away! Toss with your favorite dressing.

Of course you can also use your food processor's slicer blade.

Raw Kale Salad

Simple, raw and delicious. Kale is super healthy for you. One cup of chopped kale contains 33 calories. It's abundant in vitamins A, C and K. It's also a good source of calcium, magnesium and potassium.

I buy organic Lacinato Kale. Its long, dark green leaves are very wrinkly so I like to wash it submerged in a large Tupperware tub. I just use water and a little baking soda, then rinse them good.

Raw Kale Salad

1 bunch of Lacinato kale (about 15 leaves)
2 TBS sweet red onion, chopped
3 TBS raw sliced almonds
3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
2 TBS fresh squeezed lemon juice
Fresh sea salt and ground pepper

Wash and dry kale leaves. Take 2 or 3 leaves at a time and roll up lengthwise. Slice leaves across thinly. Then chop a little more. Transfer chopped kale to large bowl. Add chopped onions.

In a lidded jar, combine olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper. Shake vigorously and pour over kale. Mix with your clean hands, massaging oil into leaves. Sprinkle with chopped almonds.

This is so good. My absolute favorite superfood!

Lacinato Kale

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sweet Balsamic Tempeh with Shiitake Black Beans

Okay, want to know where vegans get their protein? Here is a great example; Tempeh and black beans. A one cup serving of tempeh has 31 grams of protein, and one cup of black beans has 15 grams of protein. So eating this together equals...46 grams!

Tempeh is a fermented soy product and also supplies you with Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids (good fat). You can find it in the refrigerated section. I buy Light Life organic flax tempeh (below).

Sweet Balsamic Tempeh With Shiitake Black Beans

1 eight ounce package of tempeh, sliced into strips
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2 TBS of brown sugar
1 TBS olive oil
Sea salt and pepper to taste
5 to 6 chopped fresh green beans, or other vegetable (optional)

1 can Eden brand black beans, drained and rinsed
4 medium-large shiitake mushroom caps, washed and sliced
1/2 TBS olive oil
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin (or crushed cumin seed)
black pepper to taste

In large skillet, add balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, olive oil and salt and pepper. Bring to a slight boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add tempeh and green beans and let cook until balsamic reduces almost entirely. Turn tempeh over a few times.

Remove from pan and keep warm. In same pan, heat 1/2 TBS olive oil over medium heat. Add shiitake mushroom slices and salt and pepper. Cook until slightly browned. Add black beans to pan and season with cumin. Let cook, stirring about five minutes until black beans are coated with seasoning and hot.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Vegan Carrot Cake

This dense, sweet cake is perfect for a brunch or dessert. You can make a glaze or frosting for it (click here for my vanilla coconut frosting recipe), but it's definitely delicious all by itself. It worked perfectly in a 9 inch spring-form pan.

Vegan Carrot Cake
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp kosher sea salt
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup sunflower oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 and 3/4 cups granulated sugar

1 cup walnuts, processed into small bits
2 cups grated carrots (grind in food processor)
1 and 1/2 tsp white distilled vinegar

In large mixing bowl, sift together first 7 ingredients (flour through nutmeg), set aside.

In a blender, add sugar, oils and vanilla. Blend 3 to 4 minutes until mixed well. Pour oil/sugar mixture into flour mixture and either mix by hand or use an electric hand mixer on low speed until combined well.

Stir in carrots, walnuts and vinegar.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat a 9 inch spring-form pan with non-stick cooking spray. Pour cake batter into pan and bake 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Apple Peach Cobbler

This is not your ordinary cobbler with tons of sugar and cream. This relies mainly on the sweetness of the fresh organic peaches and crisp Gala apples to deserve being called dessert. The topping compliments it perfectly with crunchy sweetness and just a hint of saltiness.

The oatmeal crust originated from Vegetarian Times. Though it was meant to be pressed in a pie pan, I thought it would be a perfect cobbler topping. I added sliced almonds because I'm convinced nuts make everything better!

Apple Peach Cobbler
4 small fresh organic peaches (ripe but still a little firm), sliced
3 small organic Gala or similar apples, peeled, cored and sliced
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp apple cider

1 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup oat flour (or grind oats in spice grinder)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup Earth Balance Butter Spread, melted
3 TBS sliced almonds

In a 9 inch glass or ceramic pie dish, add sliced fruit and sprinkle with lemon juice and apple cider.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In medium sized bowl, stir together oats, oat flour, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, melted Earth balance and almonds. Mix well and spoon on top of peaches and apples. 

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes until top is slightly brown. Remove and let cool.

A perfect summer dessert. This serves well warm or cold. I prefer it chilled, especially on a hot day. This will also keep for a few days in the refrigerator, so you can make it ahead of time.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Rosemary Herbed Stuffed Acorn Squash

This turned out to be one of my best stuffing recipes yet. I like stuffing to be more than just doctored-up bread. It has to have lots of different ingredients with crunchy textures and flavors. I recommend a real hearty or earthy bread with lots of seeds (pepitos, sunflower, sesame, etc.). It would also be great stuffed in bell peppers or butternut squash.

I happened to grill this outside because I didn't want to crank up my oven when it's 90 degrees outside. But ordinarily, I would bake it at 350 degrees F for about 35- 45 minutes.

Rosemary Herbed Stuffed Acorn Squash

2 small acorn squash or 1 large one
2 slices of whole grain and seed bread, diced small
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1/2 bell pepper, chopped (I used orange)
10 Brazil nuts, chopped
1 and 1/2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 and 1/2 TBS olive oil
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 TBS Earth Balance Buttery Spread
1 TBS water
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

(Skip this step if you are baking in an oven)
1. Prepare squash by washing and cutting in half and scooping out the seeds. Steam squash in a steamer basket over salted boiling water for about 15 minutes until a slightly soft. Remove from heat and set aside

2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat and add onions and pepper. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper while cooking. When onions are slightly browned, add rosemary, Brazil nuts and chopped bread. Add the 1 TBS of water to slightly moisten. Stir, then add garlic and Earth Balance. Cook for another 5 minutes or so. Remove from heat.

Baked Version
If baking squash, coat oven-safe dish with non-stick olive oil spray. Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit. Scoop stuffing into un-cooked squash halves and pack down as much as possible. Place in dish, cover and bake for 35 to 45 minutes. Removing lid half way through. When squash is soft (fork easily slides through skin) remove and let cool.

Grilled Version
If grilling squash, scoop stuffing into steamed squash halves and pack down as much as possible. Place stuffed squash on grill pan or in double-lined foil with corners turned up (you may feel confident enough to put them right on the grill, but if they soften too much, you may have a hard time keeping them together).