Archive for December, 2011
We all have lots of burger recipes and why not? They are the perfect little package of yummy goodness. There are so many delicious combinations of ingredients that I never get bored making and eating them. Thai Soy and Nut Patties are one of my favorites with the spicy flavor of the Thai Chili Paste and the tanginess of the tamari roasted almonds all mixed up inside them. The outside is crispy and the inside soft and tasty. Served with Coconut Chili Sauce and each bite gets that extra flavorful creamy dip before being devoured.
- 1 cup dry soy beans (or 2 cups canned beans)
- 1/2 cup tamari roasted almonds (or regular almonds or peanuts)
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 carrot, shredded
- 1-4 tbsp Thai Chili Paste (start with 1 tbsp and add more according to your heat preference)
- 1/3 cup quick cooking oats (if you follow a gluten free diet make sure to use a gluten free oat)
- 2 tbsp ground flax seed
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 tsp sea salt or to taste
- 2 tbsp peanut oil
- 1 cup Coconut Chili Sauce
- Soak the soy beans in water overnight. Rinse and drain.
- Place the beans in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for up to 3 hours or until tender. Rinse and drain.
- In a small cup or bowl combine the flax seed and water. Set aside.
- Place the beans, almonds, onion, carrot and Thai Chili Sauce into a food processor. Process until roughly chopped, about 2 minutes.
- Spoon the mixture into a bowl and add the oats, the flax mixture and salt. Stir to combine.
- Shape the mixture into 8 even sized patties.
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan and cook the patties over medium-low heat until the outside is browned and crispy and the inside is heated through. This may take about 8-10 minutes on each side. It’s best to keep the heat low and cook slowly to get a good crispy outside texture.
- Serve each patty topped with 2 tbsp Coconut Chili Sauce or on the side for dipping.
Makes 8 patties.
Serving size 1 patty.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 213, Cal. from Fat: 111, Total Fat: 12.5g, Sat. Fat: 1g, Carbs: 16g, Fiber: 6g, Sugars: 5g, Protein: 12g, Sodium: 276mg, Chol: 0mg
Wrap leftover patties in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Now that the Thai Chili Sauce has been made it’s time to put it to good use in a flavorful sauce that I like to use to cook rice or spoon over steamed vegetables or Soy and Nut burgers. It makes ordinary rice or vegetables seem like a special treat and the Soy and Nut burgers even yummier than they are on their own.
- 1 cup unsweetened lite coconut milk
- 1-4 tbsp Thai Chili Paste (start with one and add more until you reach your desired level of heat)
- 1 fresh lime, juiced
- 1-2 tbsp raw honey or coconut nectar
- sea salt to taste
- Combine all of the ingredients in a small sauce pan and heat over medium heat until simmering.
- Reduce heat to maintain a light simmer and cook 5-10 minutes until the sauce thickens slightly.
- Serve over cooked vegetables, bean burgers or fish.
Makes 1 cup.
Serving size 2 tbsp.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 35, Cal. from Fat: 15, Total Fat: 1.5g, Sat. Fat: 1g, Carbs: 4g, Fiber: 0g, Sugars: 3g, Protein: 0g, Sodium: 19mg, Chol: 0mg
Store leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Thai food has such great flavor. The combination of ingredients sweet, sour, hot and salty bring such depth to each dish. There are no one note dishes but lovely melodies in every bite. Thai chili paste is often found in these dishes but store bought paste contains too many unhealthy ingredients and fish as well. Here is a vegan version of Thai chili paste that is easy to make. I make a batch and then freeze it in ice cube trays to have it handy for adding to many different dishes. Later this week I’ll have a Coconut Chili Sauce that is good served over vegetables, or over my Soy and Nut Burgers that I’ll be sharing later this week as well.
- 12 red chilies, divided
- 1 head garlic, separate the cloves but don’t peel
- 1 medium onion, quartered
- 1 cup chopped oyster mushrooms (or shiitake if you can’t find oyster)
- 1/4 cup raw coconut crystals
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1/2 tsp tamarind paste (optional but good)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 tsp sea salt or to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Slice 10 of the chilies in half and place face down on a baking sheet along with the garlic cloves and quartered onion.
- Bake about 30 minutes or until the chilies are starting to brown. Remove from the oven and set aside until the chilies are cool enough to handle.
- Remove the stems from the chilies and place into a food processor along with the onions. Squeeze the garlic from the peel and place in the food processor with the chilies and onions (for a milder version remove the seeds and membranes from the inside of the chilies).
- Remove the stems from the remaining 2 chilies and place in the blender with the other ingredients (again, remove the seeds and membranes for a milder paste).
- Add the mushrooms and process the mixture until smooth.
- Transfer to a sauce pan and add the coconut crystals, rice vinegar, tamarind paste, water and salt to taste.
- Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat if the paste starts to boil and just maintain a gentle simmer for 15 minutes or so until nice and thick.
- Cool before storing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or freeze in ice cube trays. Once frozen pop out into a zip top freezer bag and store in the freezer indefinitely.
Makes about 1 cup.
Serving size 1 tbsp.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 32, Cal. from Fat: 2, Total Fat: 0g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Carbs: 7g, Fiber: 1g, Sugars: 4g, Protein: 1g, Sodium: 67mg, Chol: 0mg
While I don’t do ‘cheat meals’, I also don’t believe in denying myself. If I am craving something I will come up with a way to make it using wholesome, natural foods. Apparently my daughter and I were on the same page last week because she asked if we could make some Homemade Candy Bars. I checked the panty to make sure I had all the ingredients and realized we didn’t have any brown rice puffs. I made a few adjustments to the recipe and came up with a super quick and easy treat that hit the spot. Being healthy tastes sooo good!
- 1 cup Medjool dates (about 18 dates)
- 1/2 cup unsalted raw peanuts
- 1/2 cup no salt added peanut butter (creamy or chunky – both work)
- 1/3 cup + 2-3 tbsp chocolate chips of your choice (I used Sunspire Grain Sweetened Chocolate Chips)
- Line an 8 x 8 glass dish with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a food processor or powerful blender add the dates, peanuts, peanut butter and 1/3 cup chocolate chips.
- Process the mixture for 2-3 minutes. You should have a slightly grainy but sticky mixture.
- Add in the remaining 2-3 tbsp chocolate chips and pulse a few times to incorporate the chips. If you want a smooth candy bar skip this step.
- Transfer the mixture to your prepared glass dish and using a spatula gently press down on the mixture to form an even layer.
- Place in the fridge for 30 minutes. Remove and cut into 1 1/2 by 4 inch sized candy bars.
- Wrap each candy bar in plastic wrap and store in the fridge until ready to eat.
Makes 10 candy bars.
Serving size 1 candy bar.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 352, Cal. from Fat: 161.5, Total Fat: 18g, Sat. Fat: 3g, Carbs: 43.5g, Fiber: 6.5g, Sugars: 30.5g, Protein: 9g, Sodium: 1mg, Chol: 0mg
Leftover candy bars will keep in the fridge for up to 1 month. You can also freeze them for longer term storage.
For a gluten free candy bar make sure to use gluten free chocolate chips.
I actually like to cut these bars up into smaller pieces that I can pop into my mouth after a meal. I cut each bar up into 6 equal pieces and end up with 60 popable treats.
Asian cuisine is my most favorite. I usually have Vegetable Stir Fry and Fried Rice at least 2 or 3 times a week. It’s easy to make, doesn’t take long and uses only 1 pan. When I don’t have any rice prepared and still want a quick and yummy meal I whip up this delicious noodle inspired dish. Brown rice noodles take only a few minutes to prepare and you can add any of your favorite vegetables to make this dish your own. Enjoy!
- 8 ounces brown rice noodles
- 3 cups napa cabbage, roughly chopped
- 1 cup sugar snap peas, ends trimmed
- 1 1/2 cups shiitake or crimini mushroom
- 4 tsp sesame oil, divided
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- 1 mild red chili, seeds removed, thinly sliced
- 1/2 tsp ginger, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp raw coconut crystals
- 3 tbsp brown rice vinegar
- 3 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce or tamari (if you follow a gluten free diet make sure to use a gluten free sauce)
- Cook the brown rice noodles according to the directions on the package. Once they are done cooking set them aside.
- While the noodles are cooking add a tsp of sesame oil to a large sauté pan or wok over high heat. Once the oil is hot add in the napa cabbage. Cook for about one minute. The cabbage should be bright in color and still have some of it’s crispness. Remove the cabbage from the pan and set aside.
- Add another tsp of oil to the sauté pan or wok and once the oil is hot add the sugar snap peas. Cook the peas for 2 minutes, stir occasionally. The peas should be bright in color with a slight sear on them. You can add a tsp or so of water to the pan to get a really good sear on them.
- Remove the peas from the pan and add another tsp of oil to the pan. Once the oil is hot add the mushroom and cook about 2-3 minutes. Mushrooms contain a lot of water. You want the water to be cooked out of them. Depending on the type of mushrooms used you might need to cook them a little longer. The mushrooms should be golden brown, deep in color and the water should be completely cooked out of them. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and set aside.
- In a small bowl add the coconut crystals, rice vinegar, soy sauce and remaining tsp of sesame oil. Stir the sauce well and set aside.
- Bring your sauté pan back up to high heat and add in the shallot, red chili, garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring occasionally until the shallots are translucent.
- Add in the sauce and give everything a quick stir. Add the napa, peas and mushrooms and stir until everything is nicely coated with sauce. Add in the cooked noodles and stir again.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!
Makes 4 servings.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 283, Cal. from Fat: 51, Total Fat: 6g, Sat. Fat: 1.5g, Carbs: 48.5g, Fiber: 5.5g, Sugars: 4g, Protein: 6g, Sodium: 548.5mg, Chol: 0mg
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
One of my favorite holiday gifts to give out is homemade fudge. Each year I make a couple batches of my famous Peanut Butter Fudge, pack them in pretty gift boxes and hand them out to friends and loved ones. This year I wanted to stick with the fudge theme but keep it simple for those that don’t like peanut butter (Gasp! I know. Who doesn’t like PB? Sadly, my son.). This fudge is my family’s favorite ice cream topper. I love giving out gifts like this to people. If one bit of this fudge sauce doesn’t convince them that natural, wholesome foods taste the best then nothing else will!
- 1 can full fat coconut milk (yields about 1/2 cup of coconut cream)
- 1/2 cup coconut nectar or raw honey
- 1 tbsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- Place the can of coconut milk in the fridge for 2-3 hours. The coconut cream will settle to the top and separate from the coconut water below.
- Carefully remove the coconut cream (you should end up with just over a 1/2 cup of cream) and place it in a saucepan over low heat. Add the remaining ingredients, except the cocoa powder and stir well.
- Once the coconut oil has melted and the coconut nectar has loosened slowly add the cocoa powder one tablespoon at a time. You want to go slowly so you don’t develop any lumps.
- Remove from heat and let the fudge sauce cool for 5-10 minutes.
- Carefully pour the fudge sauce into a glass container. Make sure whatever container you use is microwave safe.
- Let the fudge sauce cool completely before sealing with the lid.
Makes approximately 1 3/4 cup fudge sauce.
Serving size 2 tbsp.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 105.5, Cal. from Fat: 65.5, Total Fat: 7g, Sat. Fat: 6.5g, Carbs: 10.7g, Fiber: 1g, Sugars: 8g, Protein: 1g, Sodium: 24.5mg, Chol: 0mg
Store your fudge sauce in the fridge for up to 4 weeks. To reuse the fudge sauce place the container in the microwave until the sauce is completely melted. Pour over ice cream or add to a cup of hot milk for a delicious cup of hot chocolate milk!
I love granola. One of my favorite snacks is our No Bake Blueberry Granola Bars. I actually like to give these out as gifts throughout the year. During the holidays though I like to make a more seasonal granola. The smells that will waft out from your oven while this granola is cooking is divine. As good as the smells are the taste is even better! I like to place the granola in a decorative tins or even cellophane bags and give them out as holiday gifts. This recipe makes a good amount of granola, which means you can give the gift of granola to others and to yourself!
- 4 cups rolled oats (if you follow a gluten free diet make sure to use a gluten free oat)
- 1/2 can (15 ounces) pumpkin (not canned pumpkin pie)
- 1 cup unsalted cashews, whole or roughly chopped, your choice
- heaping 1/3 cup roasted pumpkin seeds
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground cardamom (omit if you don’t have any)
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup maple syrup, raw honey or coconut nectar
- 1/2 cup raw coconut crystals
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- Line a large baking sheets with parchment paper, silicone baking mats or non stick foil.
- In a large bowl mix together the oats, cashews and pumpkin seeds. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan add the coconut oil. Once the oil has completely melted add the pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, maple syrup and coconut crystals. Remove from heat and mix until completely combined.
- Spread the granola evenly over the baking sheet. Press it down evenly with a wooden spoon or your hands.
- Bake for 45 minutes to an hour. Break the granola up and stir it around once or twice while it cooks. The granola will crisp up once it cools so don’t worry if your granola is still a little wet.
- Allow to cool slightly, then mix in the dried cranberries.
Makes approximately 7 cups.
Serving size 1/2 cup.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 308, Cal. from Fat: 133, Total Fat: 15g, Sat. Fat: 8.5g, Carbs: 38.5g, Fiber: 4g, Sugars: 10g, Protein: 6g, Sodium: 12.5mg, Chol: 0mg
You can store in an airtight container at room temperature for several weeks or place in the refrigerator or freezer for longer term storage.
Ah, biscotti! The grown up version of dunking cookies in milk. This is one of my favorite homemade gifts to give out during the holidays. Traditionally biscotti is served with coffee but in my household it’s our favorite thing to dunk in our hot chocolate. This recipe only makes 8-10 slices so if you’re like me and you sample a few pieces (you know, for quality assurance!), you might want to make a double batch!
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup almond flour
- 1/3 cup raw coconut crystals
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1 tbsp tapioca starch
- 1 tbsp potato starch
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tsp neutral flavor oil
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup Homemade Almond Milk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper
- Mix together the flours, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Mix in the pecans and raisins.
- In a separate bowl whisk together the tapioca starch, potato starch, baking soda, water, oil, vanilla extract and milk. Add to flour mixture, stir until combined.
- Place the dough onto the baking sheet and shape into a loaf about 1 inch thick, 5 inches wide and about 8 inches long.
- Bake until firm, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.
- Let the loaf cool about 10 minutes then cut diagonally into approximately 1 inch thick slices.
- Arrange slices cut-side down and bake 10 minutes, then turn the slices over and bake 10 more minutes.
- Place the slices upright on the pan, turn the oven off but leave the pan in the oven as it cools.
- The slices should be firm and crispy.
Makes 8-10 slices.
Serving size 1 slice.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 146, Cal. from Fat: 57, Total Fat: 6.5g, Sat. Fat: 1g, Carbs: 20g, Fiber: 2.5g, Sugars: 54g, Protein: 3g, Sodium: 1mg, Chol: 0mg
Leftover biscotti will keep for up to 5 days at room temperature. After that you can place it in the fridge for an addition 5 days.
This is my favorite spice rub recipe. I like it because it works on just about everything. It’s also easy to adjust to your own personal tastes by adding or reducing the ingredients. You can leave out the coconut crystals if you don’t like the sweetness or add dry mustard for a little more tang. You can be the chef and create your own signature spice rub blend.
- 2 tbsp raw coconut crystals
- 1 tbsp paprika or smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- 1 tbsp ancho chili powder
- 1 tbsp course sea salt
- 1 tsp cayenne
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp dried lemon zest, ground
- Mix together all the ingredients.
- Spoon into a spice tin or other container.
- Be sure to include instructions for use and storage. *see notes
Makes about 1/2 a cup.
Nutritional information not available.
Instruction for use:
Add 2 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp lemon juice to 4 tbsp spice mix. Spread on firm tofu. Grill and serve or cut into strips and sauté with onions and peppers and serve on a tortilla for delicious fajitas.
Rub can also be used dry on beef, chicken, pork or fish. Grill or bake as desired.
Try it sprinkled over steamed or roasted vegetables.
Store up to 3 -4 weeks in an airtight container in the refrigerator for best flavor retention.
I normally don’t drink flavored tea but around the holidays I love to make spiced tea. Take today for instance, I was out in the rain going in and out of a dozen different places running errands and when I got home all damp and cold the first thing I did was to brew up a hot cup of this delicious and aromatic spiced tea. The tea warmed me up and the aroma lifted my spirits. What better gift can you give to someone than some happiness in a cup?
- 1 orange, zest removed and dried *see notes
- 6 cinnamon sticks, broken into pieces
- 2 tbsp cardamom pods
- 2 tbsp whole cloves
- 2 tbsp whole allspice
- 2 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1/4 cup whole star anise
- 1/2 cup loose tea of your choice, black tea works best
- In a small bowl mix all of the ingredients.
- Place the tea mixture in a cellophane bag or other pretty container.
- Write out tea making instructions to include with the tea mixture.
Nutrition information not available.
To dry the orange zest peel the orange and remove the white pith. Cut the skin into strips and lay on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven at 200 degrees until dry, about 30 minutes.
Brewing instructions are as follows:
Place 1 tbsp of the tea mixture into a reusable tea bag or diffuser and place into a mug. Pour hot water (around 190 degrees) over the tea mixture and steep for 3 minutes.
Keeps for up to 3 months stored in a sealed bag or container.