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Showing posts from March, 2012


Who needs a recipe for guacamole right?!

You'd be surprised how many people buy pre-made guacamole from the store. I have a major problem with sacrificing my bank account, and more importantly my taste buds for commercial grade guacamole (this soapbox rant also applies to hummus and salad dressing).

Here's a quick guide to the perfect guacamole. No chips? Don't worry, I won't tell if you just whip out a spoon. It really is that good!

Ingredients:2 avocados
1/4 red onion, chopped
1/2 jalapeno, minced
1 roma tomato, chopped
handful of cilantro
salt to taste
lime wedge
Peel and pit the avocado, sprinkle with salt, and squirt some lime juice on the avocado halves.Use a fork and spoon to mash the avocado to your desired consistency. I know people who have to have their guacamole whipped; I like my guac chunky. Add remaining ingredients and fold into each other until well combined.

Spring Cleaning...

...and I am not referring to my house (I did that last week).

The beginning of spring has always been a great time for me to cleanse my body. I don't know about you but I am much less active during the winter. I eat more starchy carbs, and I drink much less water (because I'm always so cold).

The starchy carbs and absence of H2O, makes it easy to tell when it's about time for spring cleaning: the weather starts to warm up, and my clothes start getting a bit snug. And that time just so happens to be here compounded with the fact that VegKid and I will be vacationing in Phoenix for the tail end of this week and the beginning of next. We fly down often and usually it's necessary to do some sort of detox before and after the trip (we eat out a lot).

If you find yourself interested in starting a cleanse might I suggest a 72 hour cleanse to start. They're much easier to manage and much less scary to start. So here's an account of a typical 3 day cleanse for me. Try i…

WorldVegan Saturday: K is for Korea

This is a special addition of WorldVegan Saturday, we are reporting live from Phoenix, Arizona; where my hetero-life partner has never experienced Korean food. As you all know by now, I just can't get enough.

The word Bulgogi literally means "fire meat" in Korean and is typically made from thin slices of sirloin that is  marinated over night.Bulgogi is traditionally grilled, but pan-cooking has become common as well and that is how I prepared this dish for the family. I served the Bulgogi with jasmine rice but this dish can be served with a side of lettuce or other leafy vegetable to wrap the sliced tofu.

Ingredients: 16 oz extra firm tofu
4 green onions, chopped 

3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
2/3 c soy sauce
4 tbsp toasted sesame oil
6 tbsp organic sugar
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
4 tbsp white wine
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1/4 cup shredded pear, skin and all

Press your tofu and once it's good and drained, …

WorldVegan Saturday: J is for Japan

Surprise, surprise - WorldVegan Saturday yielded another Asian dish. I'm not complaining. Asian cuisine is my jam. 
This weekend there was a lot of events that took place and in order to be a part of all them, WorldVegan Saturday went for a quick and light feeding opportunity. I had never tried quinoa instead of rice in my sushi before, and I must admit it was a nice change of scenery. 
Quinoa Sushi

Ingredients: 1/4 c quinoa 1/4 c balsamic vinegar 1 tsp dried thyme salt and cracked black pepper, to taste 1/5 block of tofu 1/4 avocado 1 sheet nori Cook the quinoa as instructed.Meanwhile, while the quinoa is doing it's thing, mix the balsamic vinegar, thyme, salt, and pepper in a container with a lid. Cut your tofu into small strips and toss in the marinade (don't forget to put the lid on the container first!). Flip the tofu when quinoa is half-finished and then cut your avocado into small slices.When your quinoa is done, take 1/2 tablespoon of the marinade and stir it into the quino…

Korean Cole Slaw

Spring is here (apparently)! Although we had a snowy start, the 10 day forecast looks like there should be a whole lot of vitamin D in my future. This translate in to picnics! Picnics are mine and VegKid's favorite way to feed. We pack up our snacks, head down to the park, and plot our quilt and food spread right at good ole' Abraham Lincoln's feet. Our spread usually consists of: an assortment of various salads, a barrage of fruit, and a special treat (think: cupcakes, vegan chocolate, cookies, etc.). I figure we can work off the extra calories after we eat with lots of play. Try this slaw (which happens to be one of my favorite spring/summer side dishes.) out next time you're doing a BBQ or taking a picnic to the park. In case you haven't noticed, the sweet/spicy combo is my jam. So there's a preview of what you can expect from this flavorful guy.  

adapted from here
Ingredients: 1/2 small head of cabbage, shredded 3 carrots, shredded  1 green onion, minced 1 garli…

Crock-Pot Apple Sauce

So simple, even a 6 year old can do it. I bring about a tablespoon or two to work everyday with me for an after lunch palate cleanse. This lagniappe satisfies my sweet tooth with out sending me into a junk-food-vegan relapse, and I never feel guilty for indulging myself with a few spoonfuls because this sweet dish is under a 100 calories per serving. Take that vegan junk food! VegKid and I guarantee once you try this, you'll never go back to those gross applesauce cups with the tin foil tops.

One delish variation: use 5 apples and 5 pears. Something about the mix is heavenly. I incorporate pears in my applesauce anytime I have some handy. 

10 apples
1/2 c apple juice
1/2 tbsp stevia
1 tsp cinnamon
Peel, core and slice your apples; then throw them in the crock pot.I took 2 small apples and ran them through my juicer to get the juice. Do that or use store bought (doesn't matter) and give your apple slices a bath in it.Sprinkle the apples with a little cinnamon and sugar an…

Potato-Leek Soup

Spring has sprung? 
It's the first day of Spring here in the City of Trees, and holy Winter blizzard, Batman! I'm so glad that I brought this creamy, dairy-free, filling soup for lunch today. 
In honor of St. Patrick's Day, Bountiful Baskets threw in cabbage, potatoes, leeks and other Irish-y type veggies. So if you got 'em, use 'em, right? I am certainly not white potatoes' biggest fan. I can count on one hand how many times I have taken advantage of them during a feeding opportunity over the last year. Their nutritional value is lost on me.  Anyway, start marinating on this now: there is a point in creating this soup that you are going to ask yourself if you should peel your potatoes for the sake of the dish; I say: If there's any nutritional value to be had from a white, starchy, carb-loaded potato it has to be in the skin, am I right? So, I don't peel. No worries, you're not going to get arrested if you peel your potato, or not. There is no har…

Cucumber Hummus

Lately, my baskets of fruits and veggies from the Bountiful Basket Co-Op have been cucumber a plenty. The overflow of cucumber lead me to this delish find. It was so delectable that VegKid literally licked the plate clean. Next time you have a bounty of cucumber toss it in your hummus. You won't be sorry.

The addition of cucumber makes this guy a little thinner than most hummus, but that makes it perfect for scooping up with carrots, celery sticks, or more cucumbers.

Here are some other variations you might want to try:
Pumpkin Hummus
Black Bean Hummus
RAW Hummus

1 cup diced cucumber (from about 1/2 large cucumber, peeled)
1-2 cloves garlic
15 ounces cooked chickpeas (or canned, drained and rinsed)
1 tablespoon tahini
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

Toss all ingredients in to your blender and blend on high until smooth.

Thai Curry (Award Winning!)

Ok, ok, I didn't win an award perse, but last night after we killed our bowls of curry in one bite, VegKid inducted me in to "The Good Cooker Club," complete with a certificate of achievement and a lovely ceremony. It was touching. Anyway, enough tooting my own horn and more about the curry.
A good curry warms my soul and puts a smile on my face. It is one of my favorite things to enjoy during a feeding opportunity. I don't discriminate against curries either. They are all good in my mouth. Whether they are from India, Thailand, Jamaica, or China, I will devour the goodness. There are quite a few quick and uber easy recipes for curry: 1) saute veggies, 2) throw in some curry, and 3) add a can of coconut milk. This is a quick fix but if you have the time to build the foundation of a good curry, you might not ever go back to the quick fix. Don't get me wrong, this curry is super duper easy! The trick is in the coconut milk. You don't just add the coconut milk …

WorldVegan Saturday: I is for Ireland

So it just so happens VegFam and I took a week off (maybe two) from WorldVegan Saturday. I didn't realize at the time that this delay would land us on the great letter "I" smack dab in the middle of St. Patty's Day. No brainer here: we did Irish food and it was good. Great. Happening. Rad. Whatever you wanna call it. I'm going to be eating this dish all year round; not just in March. This dish is super low in fat and calories; you can check that guilt at the door. 

Corned Beef and Cabbage: 2 onions, cut into wedges 
1 small head cabbage, finely chopped or shredded
4 carrots, cut into 2-inch lengths and quartered
2 ribs celery, thickly sliced
1 c vegetable broth

3 c water
1 tsp thyme
2 tsp fresh sage, chopped
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp horseradish

1/2 tsp cayenne
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
8 oz seitan 
2 tbsp tapioca flour
1/4 c water
2 tbsp red wine

Sauté the onion in a large, non-stick pot until it starts to brown. Add the …

WorldVegan Saturday: H is for Hawaii

Since Argentina, VegKid has been adamant that once we get to H we have to do Hawaii.This doesn't particular flow with the idea of WorldVegan Saturday but the VegKid has spoken. 

Researching the local cuisine seemed pointless since nothing seemed appetizing but alas WorldVegan Saturday was a success.

Soba Salad: 3 tbsp lime juice
6 tbsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tbsp ginger, minced
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 c vegetable oil
1/2 lb soba noodles, cooked and drained
1/2 cup carrots, matchstick
2 medium zucchini, matchstick
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
In a bowl, whisk together lime juice, soy sauce, ginger, sugar, and vegetable oil.Toss the soba noodles, carrots, zucchini, scallions, and sauce together. 

Sweet Potato Balls (they're big!) 3-4 lbs sweet potatoes, or yams
4 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
4 c corn flakes, crushed
1/2 c macadamia nuts, ground
pineapple rings Bake potatoes at 325 for 90 minutes (this is easiest when you cook the potatoes the night before).After the potatoes are cool en…

Taco Time!

I love the portability, convenience, and individuality that comes from this folded and filled delight, known as a taco.  What I have never loved is the tortilla used to contain all the goodness. To me the tortilla detracts from the yummy filling and over powers the taco; it also overpowers the calories making the popular "Taco Tuesday" night a very unhealthy night of the week. 

What I've done here is kind of a no brainer. I've banned the tortilla and lovingly adopted the lettuce leaf. It's so much healthier to consume and filled with less guilt when you eat three or four of these suckers. 

Get in on this action; it's easy!

1 tbsp coconut oil 
1 package of Boca crumbles (or any other ground meat substitute)
mushrooms, chopped (I used some maitaike mushrooms I had in the fridge)
onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
bell pepper, minced (I used a small yellow, red, and orange)
poblano pepper, minced
to taste: cumin, cayenne, ground coriander, salt, fajita or t…

Spinach Mango Smoothie

I l.o.v.e. this smoothie, and not just for it's high nutritional value (I'm not that shallow). I actually truly enjoy the taste of this smoothie. Don't worry you don't have to pinch your nose and guzzle the whole thing as quickly as possible; and you're not the only person out there with apprehensions about drinking something so green.

There are some benefits to drinking your spinach versus eating it. We tend to speed through our meals, which means we probably don’t chew our food enough…which means less of those good nutrients can be absorbed.
When you finally try it, you will be pleasantly surprised by its not-so-green flavor. Drink this for breakfast and you'll be blown away by how much energy and confidence you acquire.

The green confidence booster: 1 mango 2-3 handfuls fresh spinach about 1/2 cup cold water 1/2 cup apple juice Peel the mango and remove meaty flesh from stone. Layer the mango slices and spinach in the blender. Add enough juice and water to make i…

WorldVegan Saturday: G is for Greece

I was so excited to finally get to "G": I LOVE GREEK FOOD! After a consult with my token Grecian, this week's vegan menu was born. Although she did not get to taste this delicious feast, I feel like it would have more than passed the test. Check it out, this menu is approved!

Greek Salad with "Feta": Vegan Feta- 1/4 c olive oil 1/4 c water 1/2 c red wine vinegar 2 tsp salt 1 tbsp dried basil 1/2 tsp dried oregano 1/2 tsp pepper 1 lb firm tofu, crumbled Place everything but the tofu in a bowl, and whisk to combine. Add tofu, and let sit for at least an hour.
2 large tomatoes, diced
1 large green pepper, chopped
1/2 large red onion, chopped
1/2 c kalamata olives, halved
2 large cucumbers, diced 1 recipe vegan feta

Salad greens, if desired Place the chopped veggies into a large salad bowl, and toss. Gently stir in the vegan feta. Allow to sit at room temperature for an hour or so. Serve over greens. NOM!
Dolmas: 1 tbsp olive oil 2 onions, minced 1 1/2 c uncooked white rice 2 tbsp …