The Raw Cooked Vegan

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Pan-Poached Apples with Cinnamon





I know this is a pretty simple dish, but truthfully, it's easy to make, tastes wonderful and is so versatile. It's great as a topping for a main course or a perfect compliment to icecream (I like Luna and Larry's Coconut Bliss). You can also put it on oatmeal or rice for breakfast. It's apple pie without the crust~but not too sweet. Just right.

4 Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cut into 8
2 TBS Earth Balance Butter
3 TBS sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon (or less depending on taste)
1/2 fresh lemon, squeezed
1 and 1/2 TBS plump dark raisins

Directions: Wash and peel apples. Cut with an apple slicer or knife into 8 wedges. Set aside.

In a cast iron skillet, or other non-stick pan, melt butter over medium heat until starting to bubble slightly. Carefully lay apples slices in pan and cook for about 5 minutes, turning once. Apples will release some liquid.

In a small bowl or container, mix together sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle over cooking apples. Continue to cook over medium heat for about 5 more minutes, stirring or turning apples over (I like to lift pan and shake it a bit).

Add raisins and cover for another 5 minutes. Shake or stir once more and remove from heat and leave covered for 15 minutes. Apples should be soft, but not mush. Squeeze lemon juice over top and serve warm or cold. Store in refrigerator.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Hummus "Sushi" Rolls



What to do with hummus? You can make a "sushi" roll and stuff it with anything you may have on hand, carrots, celery, sweet peppers, greens, tomatoes, jalapeno, etc. Cut veggies into julienned strips or long matchstick-like pieces (except for the greens). I usually keep it around 3 or 4 items so it doesn't get too difficult to roll.

You may have your own hummus recipe or you can look up my recipe by going to the right-hand column under "Labels" and clicking hummus, Then scroll to Hummus Perfection. Then again, if you want to, you can buy it pre-made. I find the best pre-made hummus is usually found at a health food store. The stuff you get at the big grocery chains usually has preservatives in it and it really pales in comparison to home-made.

My roll consisted of one spelt tortilla, hummus, pan-roasted baby sweet peppers and arugula. I started with warming the tortilla in a skillet so it was nice and pliable. Then spread the hummus (about 1/4 inch thick) on 2/3 of the tortilla, leaving one-third of an end bare. Line up your veggies in the middle, end-to-end and roll toward the bare end. Cut into pieces.

If you have a difficult time rolling, and you are a perfectionist, take a look at a you-tube video on sushi rolling, it's basically the same concept. They vary slightly, but it just takes a little practice. Mine were unrolling a little after I cut them, so I smeared a little more hummus on the ends to make it stick. No big deal.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Asian Cole Slaw


This is a great-tasting crunchy side to go with any of your main course dishes. You can also pile it on top of chopped romaine and throw in a handful of toasted black sesame seeds (which I did the following day). You can spice it up with more cayenne pepper if you like it spicy.

Dressing

2 TBS fresh squeezed lemon or lime juice
1 TBS rice vinegar
1 tsp minced ginger
1 medium garlic clove, minced
2 tsp sesame oil
1/4 cup sunflower oil
2 scallions, minced fine (green and some white part)
sea salt to taste
cayenne pepper to taste

Slaw
1/2 head of red cabbage, sliced thin
4 large carrots, grated
2 or 3 large handfuls of arugula, torn into pieces
2 large celery stalks, sliced/chopped
toasted black or white sesame seeds (optional)

In large lidded jar, combine dressing ingredients and shake well to combine.
In large serving bowl, mix together slaw ingredients. Pour dressing over and mix until combined. Sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired.

Best served same day. If you want to make it ahead of time, wait to pour dressing on until several hours before serving.



Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Veggie Tortilla Lasagna


Well, it's been awhile since I last posted, but recently got inspired when I came across a stack of my old Cooking Light magazines (they date back to the 1990's!). I saw a veggie lasagna issue and even though every recipe called for cheese, I found it easy to make it vegan. I didn't have lasagna noodles, so I figured if lasagna can be made with noodles or bread, why not tortillas? I was experimenting here and had to make sure it was good enough to post, and it came out delicious! The tortilla's came out very much like noodles with a semi-chewy texture. Everyone loved it!

Over the weekend, we went to the Farmer's Market in St. Pete and loaded up on organic veggies. The lasagna ingredients were eggplant, pattypan squash, sweet onion, arugula, tomato-basil tortillas, tomato sauce and fresh tomatoes.
I didn't end up using the red cabbage or roasted red peppers.

The onions and pattypan squash were sliced thin and pan sauteed in a skillet using a generous amount of olive oil and coarse sea salt and pepper. The eggplant was sliced thin and brushed with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and fresh minced garlic and cooked on an electric grill (you can also pan saute).

I used two and a half (8 inch) tomato-basil soft tortilla's cut as shown in picture above (total of 8 strips). Discard the small ends and leave out one full strip.
Before baking
Using a 7 x 9 rectangular glass (or metal) pan. Add layers as follows:

Layer 1:  1/4 cup of tomato sauce (I used organic spaghetti sauce)
Layer 2:  2 strips of soft tortilla laid lengthwise
Layer 3:  Sliced squash topped with sauteed onions
Layer 4:  2 more tortilla strips, spooned with sauce over each tortilla, then squash, arugula, and eggplant
Layer 5:  2 more tortilla strips, spooned with sauce, onions, eggplant and arugula
Layer 6:  Last 2 strips of tortilla topped with a little sauce and sliced fresh tomatoes. Sprinkle with dried oregano.

Cover with foil and bake in 375 degree oven for 25 minutes. Take off foil and bake another 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

Note: Eggplant, onions and squash are pre-cooked before baking lasagna.