03 1 / 2013
Resolutions be damned. There’s not one thing I resolve to do this year. The universe works in mysterious ways and far be it from me to question it’s motives or the lessons that have been raining into my life lately. Not sure how many more lessons I can shoulder anyway.
Recently returned from a trip to Texas, I am reminded to continue to be mindful about what I eat and where it originated. Scarfing VEGAN junk food is still scarfing junk food. My body’s revolt against too much fat and sugar hit me after eating two amazingly delicious vegan donuts just before I boarded the plane for the return trip. My heart raced, I began to sweat, and I was sure a heart attack was a moment away. Compounded by the cup o’ caffeine I washed them down with, I prayed (yep, me, I prayed) that a doctor was on board to at least jolt me back with the defibrillator.
Alas, the fervent tapping of my left leg for a good twenty minutes was enough to burn the sugar out of my bloodstream. Disaster averted!
My body is not used to eating donuts. Period. There was a reason I hadn’t eaten one in over two years; I needed a reminder, apparently.
Eating a balanced diet of any kind is the best any of us can do. While I’m sure I’ll consume junk food, portion sizes will be considered as will frequency of consumption. Feeling that terrible after eating crap was the universe’s way of reminding me of the commitment I made to my health and well being.
So here’s to good eating choices and only ONE donut at a meal in 2013!!
15 9 / 2012
I saw this recipe on a Cooking Channel show and realized that not only did it look delicious, but it was also mostly vegan. Swapping a few of the non-vegan ingredients with vegan ones was very simple. The other nice thing about this recipe is that the spinach mixture can be made ahead of time, it can be used as a dip on its own, or it can be served over rice for a more traditional Indian-style dish. This pizza even tastes better the second day. Bottom line, this is amazing.
Preheat the oven to 425.
For the spinach “sauce”, saute the following until soft in a dutch oven or very deep skillet:
3 tbs. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 tbs. fresh ginger, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 jalapenos, chopped (optional if you want added spiciness)
Add these spices and saute for 2 more minutes:
1 tbs. garam masala
1 tsp. tumeric
1/2 tsp. smoked Spanish paprika (pimenton)
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
Then add 1 lb. of fresh spinach leaves and cook until wilted.
Add the mixture to the food processor and blend until smooth. Taste the mixture to see if it needs more salt and set it aside.
1 pre-made pizza crust of your choice
1/3 to 1/2 cup onion of your choice
1/2 cup diced tomatoes, again, your choice
1/2 cup non-dairy mozzarella cheese (I use Daiya)
Roll out the pizza crust & transfer it to a pizza stone/baking sheet, etc. Spread the spinach mixture evenly on the crust. Add the tomatoes and onions on top of the spinach. Finally, top it all with the cheese. Bake the pizza according to the recommendation of the pizza dough you use (or 20 to 25 minutes). You want the crust to be completely cooked and the cheese to be melted & bubbly.
Let it cool for about 5 min. before you dig in. I like to serve the Ranch dressing recipe as a sauce to drizzle on each slice. The cooling taste of the dressing mixes well with the Indian spices.
The best benefit of this pizza is that it is really good for you-as long as you don’t eat the whole thing by yourself that is…
20 8 / 2012
The following smoothie has ginger, papaya, and pineapple all of which have anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger also helps reduce cholesterol and has thermogenic properties to increase your metabolism & it facilitates energy production for a little weight-loss action.
Blend until smooth:
1/2 cup pineapple chunks
1/3 cup papaya chunks
1/2 apple or 1/2 cup mango chunks
1 kiwi fruit
1/3 cup pineapple juice (not from concentrate, 100% juice)
1 tbs. ground or fresh ginger
You can also add:
a handful of spinach
1 tbs. ground flax seeds or flax seed oil
1 tsp. tumeric (also anti-inflammatory)
20 8 / 2012
After buying a ton of fresh corn from the farmer’s market, I needed a good corn recipe. My cousin’s wife, Susie, made the best corn pudding, and her recipe popped into my head. In an attempt to veganize her recipe, I found several online recipes and combined a few to make what follows-a delicious, amazingly flavorful, corn pudding that is super easy. It looks like you’re pulling a party out of the oven.
Cornbread Mix: This makes enough for two batches, so use what you need & keep the rest in your pantry for the next batch.
1 cup cornmeal
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup chickpea flour
scant 1/4 cup of sugar (depending on how sweet your corn is)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 cup cornbread mix (above)
1 15 oz. can of corn or 2 cups fresh corn from the cob
1 15 oz. can of cream style corn (or 2 cups *fresh cream style corn)
8 oz. vegan sour cream
1 stick melted vegan butter-Earth Balance sticks are very easy
1 tbs. nondairy milk
4 serrano peppers or 2 lg. jalapenos, minced
1/2 sweet red pepper, minced
1/2 cup vegan shredded cheese (your choice)
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 9 x 13 baking pan. Mix all of the casserole ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Pour into the baking pan and even it out. Bake for 1 hour and let cool for 15 min. before eating it.
*To make your own creamed corn, put 2 cups of fresh corn into your food processor with about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of nondairy milk (the amt. you add depends on how juicy your corn is) and pulse until it reaches the consistency of canned cream style corn.
22 4 / 2012
Adding store-bought granola to my cereal is part of my daily routine. In an effort to lower my grocery bill, I decided to make my own granola. Again, the recipe can be tweaked to your taste. I love eating a small bowl of this with vanilla almond milk as a snack.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
In a mixing bowl, add the following:
4 cups rolled oats (not quick-cooking)
2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes (the bigger the flakes, the better)
2 cups slivered almonds
1 cup cashews (or other nut of your choice)
1/2 to 3/4 cup canola or olive oil
1/2 cup agave syrup (or do any combination of brown rice syrup &/or maple syrup)
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. kosher salt (just this 1 tsp. adds a rather salty flavor, so add less if you like)
Once all of this is completely mixed, spread it on a sheet tray and bake it for 30 min. Stir the granola every 10 min. as it cooks. Let it cool completely on the sheet tray & then add in 2 cups of dried fruit of your choice.
Store this in an airtight container, but don’t anticipate it to last very long…
25 3 / 2012
To be clear, this recipe idea came from Giada on Food Network except I veganized it. As with any recipe, use this as a foundation to change it to your taste.
1 lb. pasta
2 cups sliced/slivered almonds
2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1-2 cloves garlic
1/3 to 1/2 bag frozen peas
1/2 to 3/4 cup non-dairy milk
1 lemon, zested & juiced
salt & pepper to taste
Directions: Boil pasta water and add salt to make it taste like sea water. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Add almonds, stock, and garlic to a blender & puree until smooth. Pour almond sauce into a saucepan over med. heat and add peas and non-dairy milk. Season with salt and pepper. Once the sauce is heated through and the pasta is drained & waiting on stand-by, add the lemon zest, juice, and pasta to the sauce. Stir to combine. Taste it and adjust seasonings as necessary. Serve & enjoy.
04 3 / 2012
So I’ve seen several recipes for tofu scrambled eggs, and thus far haven’t been compelled to try them. I can’t explain why. Maybe because my tofu breakfast sandwich is so amazing? Maybe because I wasn’t a fan of scrambled eggs when I was an egg eater? At any rate, I am now converted. I made the simplest, most delicious, tofu eggs this morning. It was more like an omelette, however, as I melted soy cheese on top and served it sort of open-faced on a slice of Italian bread. It honest-to-god tasted like scrambled eggs, only better since it didn’t have that sulfery smell that eggs have. Plus, it’s much healthier. Here’s what you need…
1/2 block of Trader Joe’s (or other brand) organic extra-firm tofu, drained & pressed
1 tbs. olive oil
1 tsp. tumeric
1 tbs. tamari
1/2 tsp. salt & couple of grinds of pepper
handful of arugula
2 tbs. diced tomato (one Roma tomato)
1 tbs. diced green onion (1 green onion)
1-2 slices soy American cheese (or 1/3 c. Daiya shreds)
bread of your choice
Directions: Heat olive oil in 8 in. skillet over med. heat. Crumble tofu as you drop it into the skillet & let it begin to saute. Add tumeric, tamari, salt, and pepper & stir it all together to coat. Cook for 2 to 3 min. Add in arugula, tomato, and onion. Cook until heated through. Scoot the ingredients together into the center of the pan & top with slices of cheese. On the sides of the pan (not on the eggs), add a tbs. or so of water & cover the pan. Cut the heat & let it sit for about 1 min. or until cheese is steamed & melted. Serve on bread of your choice.
04 3 / 2012
1/2 c. sugar or sucanat
4 tbs. earth balance buttery spread
2 tbs. soymilk
2 tsp. cocoa powder
Boil ingredients for 2 to 3 min. Remove from heat and stir for 5 min.
Add 2 tsp. vanilla (or Kahlua) and stir. Pour over cake; let sit for an hour (or as long as you can wait:)