Archive for Vegan
I hate being sick but I suppose that goes without saying because nobody likes to be sick. Anyway, this past weekend I had the flu and I’ll spare the details but it wasn’t pretty. I’m over it now except I’m stilled drained of energy. My first post-flu run this morning was awful. My legs felt like cement and I certainly didn’t set any speed records. In fact I was just glad to make it back home. Time for a little food RX with this Recovery Smoothie to help finish the healing process and rebuild some strength and energy.
There are lots of different ingredient choices that would all provide great healing benefits but I chose these for their nutrition as well as their flavor because what fun is a smoothie that you have to pinch your nose closed to be able to get down your throat?
- Apple provides several benefits like vitamins, minerals and fiber but most importantly quercetin, a pigment present in some plants that can help boost and fortify the immune system.
- Banana provides potassium, is easy to digest and packs a good dose of energy.
- Swiss Chard has great antioxidant protection in the form of beta-carotene and Vitamin A both of which enhance the resistance to infection and help maintain a healthy immune system.
- Sunflower seeds offer a concentrated source of protein and energy producing magnesium, along with generous amounts of immunity enhancing zinc.
So, if you’ve been under the weather too or just need a little extra energy, drink up this smoothie and get back in the game!
- 1 red apple of your choice, cored and roughly chopped
- 1 banana, peeled and sliced
- 2 leaves swiss chard, leaves only and roughly chopped (save the stems for soup or sauté)
- 1 cup Homemade Almond Milk
- 2 tbsp sunflower seed butter (you can use whole sunflower seeds but I like the smoother texture of the butter)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- Place all of the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Chill before consuming if desired.
Makes 2 servings
Store unused smoothie in an airtight container in the refrigerator and consume within 1-2 days.
The holidays are over and it’s back to work, school, extra-circular activities and all the other fun and wonderful things that make up our lives. Do you find it hard to get back into the swing of things after the holidays like I do? That’s why I find these Toasted Banana Breakfast Rolls to be so wonderful….besides their sweet, toasty yumminess of course. These tasty rolls are easy to make and can even be made ahead of time so when morning rolls around and everyone is in a hurry to get out the door breakfast is ready to go.
- 2 tbsp old fashioned oats (if you are gluten sensitive make sure to use a gluten free oat)
- 1/4 cup raw cashews
- 2 bananas
- 3 tbsp natural creamy peanut butter, room temperature
- 1/2 tsp raw honey or coconut nectar (optional)
- a dash of vanilla
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon
- Place the bananas in the fridge for a couple of hours (or overnight if using them for breakfast) before preparing.
- Place the cashews in a plastic bag and using a rolling pin or meat tenderizer, crush the cashews until you have very small pieces.
- Add the cashews and oats to a small sauté pan and heat over medium. Toast the oats and cashews for about 5 minutes or until golden brown. Be careful when dry toasting as you can go from done to burnt in just a few seconds.
- While the oats and cashews are toasting mix together the peanut butter, honey (if using), vanilla and cinnamon.
- Peel each chilled banana and cut in half, if desired, for easier preparation. Coat each piece with a thin layer of peanut butter mixture.
- Transfer the oats and cashews to a shallow dish. Roll each banana in the oats and cashews until coated.
- Serve as is or cut into pieces for younger children.
Makes 2 servings.
Serving size 1 banana roll.
Banana rolls can be stored in the fridge for up to 24 hours. They are great to make the night before so that breakfast is done and ready the next morning. They are also a perfect after school snack!
One of my favorite products at the moment is Earthbound Farms Deep Green Blends – Kale. I love the mix of tender baby kale leaves. Unlike regular kale you don’t have to spend time removing the stems and chopping up the leaves into manageable sized pieces. Just open the package and add the delicious leaves to your favorite salad or dish. Miso dressings are one of favorite types of dressing and in this recipe I’ve mixed together a sweet miso flavored dressing to pair with the noodles and other veggies. It’s packed with nutrients and will keep you full and satisfied all day!
For the sweet miso dressing:
- 1/4 cup sweet white or chickpea miso
- 1/4 cup brown rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce (gluten free if needed)
- 2 tbsp raw honey or coconut nectar
- 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 green onion, very finely sliced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 3/4 cup canola or other neutral flavored oil
For the salad:
- 6 ounces dry pasta of your choice
- 2 cups roughly chopped Earthbound Farms Deep Green Blends Kale
- 1 cup thinly sliced carrots
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced cucumber
- sesame seeds and additional green onion as garnish if desired
- Cook your pasta according to the manufactures directions. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.
- While your pasta is cooking add all the ingredients for the miso dressing into a small bowl and stir until throughly mixed.
- Add all the remaining ingredients, except the garnish, to the cooked pasta and top with dressing (you may not need all the dressing). Stir until well mixed and serve immediately or chill in the fridge until ready to serve.
- To serve top with a sprinkle of sesame seeds and additional green onion if desired.
Makes 2 servings as a main dish or 3-4 as a side.
Leftover salad can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. Use the leftover dressing as needed for the leftovers.
I’ve had a thing for broccolini lately. While I usually just steam it and eat it right up I thought I would try something a little more entertaining and came up with this Very Green and Garlicky Sauté. I’ve seen broccolini called several different things, broccolette or most often young broccoli but it really isn’t young broccoli. It’s a cross between broccoli and kai-lan, a chinese kale. It has smaller florets, longer and thinner stalks and a milder flavor than broccoli, perfect to mix with the deep greens of spinach, green onions and parsley. Crispy garlic chips and lemon top it off to perfection. Start your new year out on a green note while you enjoy this healthy and nutritious sauté.
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt plus a pinch
- 2 bunches broccolini, chopped into approximately 1 inch pieces (about 2-3 cups)
- 1 bunch green onions, chopped
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes or to taste
- 5 oz. baby spinach
- 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 1 lemon, zest and juice
- Place the oil in a cold sauté pan. Add the garlic and turn the heat on to medium. Slowly cook the garlic until a light golden color. Remove to a paper towel and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Set aside.
- Add the broccolini and onion to the pan with the now garlic infused oil. Sauté 4-5 minutes, the broccolini should still be bright green and crisp. Add the salt, oregano, black pepper and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine.
- Add the spinach, parsley and lemon zest. Sauté another 2-3 minutes just until the spinach is wilted. Add the lemon juice and stir.
- Sprinkle the garlic chips over the top and serve.
This dish is best eaten right away. It makes a great side for just about any meal.
My mother made terrific meatloaf and I remember when I was growing up how I looked forward to meatloaf night. You would never hear me saying “not meatloaf” in that typical kid whine. I still like a good loaf and this one made with millet, eggplant and mushrooms is as rich, hearty and satisfying as the ones I ate as a kid.
I like the nutty flavor and velvety texture of millet. It’s a bit like bulgar or polenta so it really works well in this recipe. Spices reminiscent of holiday stuffing round out the flavor and the onion gravy to top it off is just the right finishing touch.
For the loaf
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1 medium size eggplant, diced
- 8-10 cremini mushrooms, halved
- 3 tbsp olive oil, divided plus a little to grease the pan
- 1 tsp salt, divided
- 1 carrot, small dice
- 1 celery stalk, small dice
- 1/2 medium onion, small dice
- 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp ground sage
- 1/4 tsp thyme
- 1/4 tsp majoram
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- pinch ground nutmeg
- pinch cayenne pepper
- 2 cups cooked millet (for more flavor cook with vegetable broth)
For the gravy
- 1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp salt
- ground black pepper to taste
- 1/4 tsp thyme
- 2 tbsp millet flour or other gluten free flour
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- Toast walnuts in a dry non stick skillet over medium heat until fragrant and lightly browned. Set aside to cool.
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Toss the eggplant and mushrooms in 2 tbsp oil and 1/2 tsp salt. Place on a baking sheet (line with foil for easy clean up) and bake 30-35 minutes or until the eggplant is soft.
- Place the cooled walnuts in a food processor and process until finely ground. Remove to a large bowl and set aside.
- Place the eggplant and mushrooms in the food processor and process until gooey. Yes, I do mean gooey. Add to the bowl of walnuts.
- Heat a skillet over medium high heat and add the remaining 1 tbsp oil. Add the carrot celery, onion and remaining 1/2 tsp salt. Cook until tender, about 5-6 minutes. Add the Worcestershire sauce, pepper, sage, thyme, marjoram, paprika, nutmeg and cayenne. Stir and cook 1 minute longer. Add to the bowl with the walnuts and vegetables.
- Add the millet to the bowl and mix until well combined. Grease a loaf pan with a little oil and spoon the mixture into the pan. Use the back of the spoon to pack down.
- Cover with foil and bake 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes.
- Wipe out the skillet used for the vegetables and heat over medium high heat. Add the oil, onions, salt, pepper and thyme. Cook 5-6 minutes or until the onions are tender. Add the flour and stir to combine.
- Add the broth, worcestershire sauce and nutritional yeast. Cook until bubbly and thickened.
- Slice the loaf and serve topped with a spoonful of gravy.
Makes approximately 10 slices
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Reheat in the microwave or you can cut and fry slices on a grill pan for a crisper texture.
Can you believe Christmas is only a few weeks away!?! This time of the year is filled with holiday parties, shopping and more holiday parties. Each year I have several holiday events to attend and almost all of them require a dish to share. I know Christmas cookies are the classic go to dessert but sometimes its nice to have something a little different and these truffles are just the thing. They are simple to make, easy to transport and perfect for holiday parties! Enjoy.
- 1 cup pitted Medjool dates
- 1 cup raw, unsalted cashews
- 1 tbsp honey or coconut nectar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips of your choice (mini size work best)
- In a food processor or powerful blender add the dates and cashews.
- Process the mixture for 2-3 minutes. You should have a slightly grainy but sticky mixture.
- Add in the honey and vanilla extract and pulse a few times to throughly mix.
- Add the chocolate chips to the processor and pulse 3 or 4 times until the chocolate chips are mixed in but not broken apart.
- Using the palms of your hands form the mixture into 18-20 bite sized truffles.
- Place the truffles in the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes before serving to allow them to set.
Makes 18-20 bite sized truffles.
Make sure to the store the truffles in an airtight container in the fridge. It’s best to wrap them in plastic wrap before storing to ensure they do not dry out.
The temperatures have been cold across the country, even here in SoCal and that makes me crave something warm and filling to eat. That being said I would prefer warm and filling to heavy and full of fat so I lightened up this coconut curry with coconut water rather than coconut milk. It still has that distinctive coconut flavor without the fat from the milk. The sweet potatoes and lentils cook into a creamy perfection and the fragrant curry spices warm and comfort your senses. Curry spices are one of those things that people seem to either love or hate but that doesn’t have to be the case. I’m no expert on curry spices but from everything I know about them they can be as varied as you want them to be. If you haven’t found a pre made mix then make one of your own with the spices you prefer. There are many different recipes available and it’s so easy make. Most of the ingredients used can be purchased in small quantities in bulk so you don’t have to spend a fortune on a ton of different spices. Give it a try and see how delicious and comforting this dish can be on a cold winters day.
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
- 1 tsp salt, divided
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
- 2 tsp Madras curry powder
- 1 kaffir lime leaf (optional but good)
- 1 14.5 ounce can petite diced tomatoes (fire roasted if you can find them)
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 12 oz raw young Thai coconut water
- 1 cup red lentils
- 2 cups cooked brown rice
- 1 cup finely julienned kale or spinach
- 1 lemon, quartered
- Heat the oil in a soup pot or dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the onion, carrots, sweet potato and 1/2 tsp salt. Cook 5-7 minutes or until the onions are softened.
- Add the garlic, ginger and curry powder. Cook another 1-2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, broth, coconut water, lentils, lime leaf and remaining 1/2 tsp salt.
- Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook 30-40 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed. Remove the lime leaf.
- To serve spoon the curry into a bowl and top with 1/2 cup rice and 1/4 cup kale. Serve with a lemon wedge. Squeeze the lemon juice over the curry, stir and enjoy.
4 healthy servings
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Keep the rice, kale and lemon separate and add before serving.
I love using flavored oils to put new spins on ordinary salads and create interesting new flavor combinations. Almond oil is a sweet, delicious oil that works well to create a sweet and sour dressing that is delicious on salads, pasta and even as a dip for veggies. If you can’t find almond oil at your local grocery store try substituting with walnut or hazelnut oil. They won’t be as sweet so you may need to adjust the amount of honey but the dressing will still be delicious!
- 3 tbsp white or golden balsamic vinegar
- 1 small shallot
- 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup + 1tbsp almond oil
- 1-2 tbsp honey or brown rice syrup
- sea salt to taste
- Place all the ingredients in a small blender and process until smooth.
- Taste and adjust the amount of honey and salt to taste.
Makes approximately 1/2 cup.
Store leftover dressing in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Tis the season, citrus season. Lots of citrus fruits are in plentiful supply at the market and this salad with farro mixes it up with clementines, valencia oranges, lemon, dried plums and crunchy pistachios tossed in a sweet and spicy dressing. Just the smell of citrus makes me feel lighter and happier? Does it do that for you too? The darker days of winter make it the perfect time of year for this “pick me up” salad of sweet citrus aromatherapy.
- 1 cup farro (can substitute with wheat berry, kamut or even quinoa or millet for a gluten free option but cooking time will vary if another grain is used)
- 5 cups water (adjust accordingly if using another grain)
- 1 tsp salt, divided
- 1 valencia orange
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 4 tsp honey
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp coriander
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 4 clementine oranges, peeled, sectioned and halved
- 6 ounces dried plums (prunes), thinly sliced into strips
- 3-4 green onions, chopped (green and white parts)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup toasted pistachio nuts
- Soak the farro in the water overnight or 8 hours before cooking. After soaking add 1/2 tsp salt and bring to a boil. Cook on high 5 minutes stirring frequently. Cover, reduce heat to a simmer and cook 50-60 minutes until plump but chewy. Drain remaining liquid. Set aside to cool or refrigerate.
- Zest the valencia orange and place the zest into a small bowl. Cut the orange in half and squeeze the juice into the bowl with the zest. Add the lemon juice, honey, mustard, cumin, cinnamon, coriander, black pepper and remaining salt. Whisk in the olive oil until completely combined.
- Add the clementines, plums, onions, and parsley to the farro. Stir in the dressing until everything is combined. Let sit 15 minutes or so for the dressing to be absorbed.
- Add the pistachio nuts just before serving.
Makes 6-8 servings
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. If using a smaller grain/seed like quinoa or millet you may not need all of the dressing. Start by adding half and adding more as needed.
I’m always looking for things to make that can be either a side dish or a meal and if the leftovers save well then it’s a major bonus. This Herbed Polenta with Kale is great by itself or when served with meatballs or a sauce it makes a great meal. Leftovers are even better because the polenta firms up even more after chilling in the refrigerator and can then be sliced and browned on a grill with a little oil for a toasty treat for lunch the next day.
This polenta will fit in to just about any Thanksgiving meal plan. It’s easy to make and can be made ahead of time to make the big day go a little easier. One more thing to be thankful for! Enjoy.
- 3 cups water
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 cup polenta
- 2 tbsp olive oil plus 1/2 tsp, divided
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 tbsp Garlic Gold Italian Herb Nuggets
- 1 bunch Lacinato Kale, stems removed and thinly sliced (about 2 cups once cut) chard or spinach could also be used
- 1/3-1/2 cup Cashew Parmesan
- Heat water and salt over high heat in a large saucepan until boiling. Slowly add the polenta, stirring constantly. Lower heat to a simmer and cook 20-30 minutes stirring often to prevent sticking.
- While the polenta cooks heat 1 tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the onions and the Garlic Gold Italian Herb Nuggets. Cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add 1 tbsp more of the oil and the kale. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring until the kale has wilted, about 5 minutes.
- Once the polenta has cooked until it’s very thick add the onion/kale mixture and 1/3 cup of the Cashew Parmesan. Stir to combine. Taste and add the remaining Cashew Parmesan if desired.
- Use the remaining 1/2 tsp oil to oil a bowl or loaf pan and spoon in the polenta. Press the polenta down into the bowl or pan. Let sit for 10 minutes and then invert onto a plate to unmold. Cut into slices and serve.
Makes approximately 8-10 slices.
Serve with Ratatouille Meatballs, Sarah’s Marinara Sauce or any of your favorite sauces. Store leftovers tightly wrapped in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. To reheat cut into slices and toast on a lightly oiled grill until lightly brown and warmed through.