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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Buffalo Chickpea Dip

Buffalo Chickpea Dip
Vegan; Gluten Free

Make at least a few hours ahead to allow all the flavors time to meld together; cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate, and bake off just before serving.

1 15-oz can kidney, drained and rinsed
1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight
3/4 cup Saso Roasted Red Pepper Chipotle Sauce
1/2 cup hemp milk
2 teaspoons lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
Ground black pepper
Kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh, finely-chopped parsley
1 teaspoon fresh chopped chives
1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup Daiya pepper jack-style or cheddar cheese, divided

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. Add the beans and cashews to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse several times to break them up a bit. Add the hot sauce, non-dairy milk, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, onion powder, garlic powder, and a pinch of black pepper. Process until the mixture is entirely smooth (this will take several minutes), stopping to scrape down the bowl as necessary. Adjust salt to taste.

3. Scrape the bean mixture into a bowl and stir in the parsley and chives to evenly distribute. Stir in the chickpeas and 3/4 cup of the Daiya. Transfer the dip to a 9×9-inch square baking dish and sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of Daiya on top. (Note: Dip can be made up to this point a day or two ahead. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to heat and serve.) Cover baking dish tightly with foil and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until warmed through. Serve with tortilla chips or veggies for dipping.

Found and slightly adapted from Gluten Free in the City

Saffron-Vanilla Snickerdoodles

Saffron-Vanilla Snickerdoodles

These are more spicy and earthy than sweet, as far a a cookie goes. I made these to with the Christmas arrangement of sweets that I sent out to family and friends for presents. I loved the exotic flavors that come together in this cookie, and even Grant liked this one. A few extra steps in this recipe, but SO worth it.

about 30 threads of saffron (to yield 1/8 teaspoon ground saffron)
1/2 vanilla bean
2 tablespoons hemp milk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup earth balance, at room temperature
1/2 cup organic cane sugar
1/2 cup packed organic light brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
egg replacer equvilant to 1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Crush the saffron threads with a mortar and pestle until powdery or grind them in a clean spice grinder; alternatively, you can finely mince the saffron. The finer the powder, the more intense the saffron color and flavor in the cookies.

2. Split the vanilla bean in half and scrape the pulp into a small saucepan. Add the vanilla pod, milk, and saffron and cook over very low heat, just until bubbles begin to form at the edges, between 180°F and 190°F (82°C and 88°C). Alternatively, combine the vanilla pulp, pod, milk, and saffron in a small microwavable bowl, and microwave just until the milk is hot, 20 to 30 seconds. Cover and let steep for about 10 minutes; the milk should have a sunny yellow color.

3. Sift the flour and baking soda into a medium bowl.

4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on low speed until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the granulated sugar, brown sugar, and salt and mix on low speed until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then mix on medium speed until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes.

5. Remove the vanilla pod from the milk, squeezing off any liquid or pulp clinging to it back into the milk. In a medium bowl, combine the milk mixture, egg, and vanilla extract and whisk vigorously until well blended. With the mixer on medium speed, add the egg mixture very slowly, in a steady stream, and mix until well-incorporated and very smooth, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then mix on medium speed for 30 more seconds.Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add the flour mixture. Mix on low speed just until uniform in texture. Using a rubber spatula, scrape the dough out into an airtight container or onto a piece of plastic wrap. Cover the container, or, if using plastic wrap, shape the dough into a rough disk, wrap tightly, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to 5 days.

6. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Roll 1/4-cup (60 ml) portions of the dough into balls, and place them on the baking sheet, spacing them at least 2 inches (5 cm) apart. Bake for about 16 minutes, until golden but not too dark, rotating the pan midway through the baking time. Ideally, the baked cookies will be tall and slightly under-cooked in the center, and will buckle shortly after coming out of the oven. If the cookies don't buckle, don't worry; they'll still be delicious. Let the cookies cool on the pan for 10 minutes before removing. These cookies are best when eaten warm, shortly after they come out of the oven. However, they can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. Alternatively, the dough can stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, so consider baking only as many cookies as needed and saving the rest of the dough to bake another day.

Makes 9 large cookies.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Macadamia Ricotta

Macadamia Ricotta
Vegan; Gluten Free

2 cups raw macadamia nuts, soaked for 8 to 12 hrs and drained
1 cup water
large pinch of salt

1. Combine ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth, occasionally stopping to scrap. Process until creamy.

2 Transfer to a clean glass bowl, cover and let rest at room temp for 12 to 24 hrs. (I skipped this part and just put the ricotta in the fridge and let it sit for a few days.)

Makes 4 cups and found: Artisan Vegan Cheese

Pasta with Ricotta and Brussels Sprouts

Pasta with Ricotta and Brussels Sprouts
Vegan; 30 minutes

Bruce loved the balance between the earthy taste of the Brussels sprouts and the pasta. I loved the way this dish came together, putting leftovers and ingredients that needed to be used, while not tasting like that. The boys liked the pasta, but weren't fans of the Brussels sprouts.

1 pound pasta of your choice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, halved
1/2 cup vegan parmesan
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup mix of rosemary, basil, and oregano
1 cup macadamia ricotta (recipe to follow)
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Freshly ground salt and pepper
1/2 cup of hemp milk

1. Marinade the Brussels Sprouts with garlic, salt and black pepper for 10 minutes.

2. Cook the pasta in a large pot of rapidly boiling salted water until al dente. Reserve ½ cup pasta water, drain and set aside. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large sauté pan. Add the Brussels sprouts and cook over high heat until lightly browned, about 8 minutes and add the pine nuts until toasted.

3. Over medium heat, add the vegan parmesan, macadamia ricotta and rosemary mix. Toss to thoroughly combine, adding hemp milk. Season with crushed red pepper, and serve with additional parmesan.

Chickpeas Masala

Chickpeas Masala

2 cups chickpeas
1/2 cup diced onion
2 cups diced tomatoes
1 green chili, minced
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. garlic paste or 1 large clove of garlic minced
1 tsp. red chili powder
2 tsp. coriander powder
3 tsp. Chana masala powder, (optional)
1/4 tsp. Garam masala
garnish with fresh cilantro

1. Soak chickpeas overnight and pressure cook with salt in it. If using canned rinse them.

2. Heat a wide pan with a Tbsp of oil, add cumin seeds, green chili and ginger garlic paste. Add onions and cook till onions are translucent. Add tomatoes, red chili powder, coriander powder, chana masala (if using), salt and cook till tomatoes are mushy. Transfer the cooked chickpeas and let it boil.

3. Take 1/4 cup of tomato and allow it cool. Grind the rest of the tomato onion mixture to a smooth paste. Blend in the gravy and cook further till it thickens. Mix the chickpeas with tomato onion mixture.

4. Add cilantro or kasuri methi leaves.

Enjoy with warm naan

Adapted from Hot Pot Cooking

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Brown Sugar Orange Tofu

Brown Sugar Orange Tofu
Vegan; 30 minutes

This happens to be one of the tofu recipes the boys like. They of course like the sweetness of it, and I had to add the chilies to balance that sweetness. Serve this over rice or some noodles with wilted spinach to have more of a meal.

16 ounces extra firm tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup unbleached-organic, all-purpose flour (use brown rice flour to make gluten free)
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 large orange or 1/2 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 Tbs. grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp dried Thai chilies

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Toss tofu in a large bowl with flour and salt. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet. Shake off excess flour from tofu and place in a single layer in hot skillet. Saute until golden brown.

3. Spray a non-stick baking dish with cooking spray, then transfer tofu to baking dish. Squeeze the juice of an orange into the skillet with the leftover oil. Allow the oil, juice, Thai chilies and simmer until you have a slightly thick sauce.

4. Pour the sauce evenly over the tofu and top with brown sugar and ginger. Bake tofu in oven for 15 minutes until brown sugar-orange glaze starts to caramelize.

Serve warm with sauteed greens and rice, if desired.

Adapted from Tablespoon

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Traditional Mexican Salsa

Traditional Mexican Salsa

The history of Salsa sauce originated with the Inca people. Salsa (combination of chilies, tomatoes and other spices) can be traced to the Aztecs, Mayans and Incas. The Spaniards first encountered tomatoes after their conquest of Mexico in 1519-1521, which marked the beginning of the history of Salsa sauce. Aztec lords combined tomatoes with chili peppers, ground squash seeds and consumed them mainly as a condiment served on turkey, venison, lobster, and fish. This combination was subsequently called salsa by Alonso de Molina in 1571.

This is the traditional Mexican Salsa from the Mid section "DR" Mexico City region:
Four plump Tomatoes or six Roma Tomatoes
1/4 cup on white onion (best onion for salsas is the vidalia)
One Jalepeno
One yellow or red pepper
One Tomatillo-used to cut down on heat and bitterness of Jalepeno
One cup of Fresh Cilantro
1 1/2 to 2 limes depending on how tangy you like it.

Cut or use a food processor to cut vegetables finely
Mix together in a bowl
Add salt to taste
Squeeze one 1/2 to 2 limes in bowl (to taste)

Let sit for 45 minutes

Add Mango or Pineapple to give a different dimension.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Pantry Staples

Pantry Staples

Chick Peas/Garbanzo Beans
Red Beans
Black Beans
Pinto Beans
Red Lentils/Split Peas (Yellow or Green)
Always rinse if you’re using the cans.
Are less expensive when you buy in bulk.
Shelf Life (Bulk) 24 months Storage Requirements Dry.

Bulgur Wheat
Cornmeal {Always Buy Organic!!}
Pearl Barley
Rice {Brown/Long Grain/etc.}
Any of these can be substituted for each other.
Are less expensive when you buy in bulk.
Can be made in a rice maker.
Shelf Life (Bulk) 12 months Storage Requirements Cold (50°- 60° F).

Seeds/Nuts/Dried Fruit:
Sun flower
Flax is another great source of omega 6 {it’s better ground}
Great source of healthy fats.
Shelf Life 12 months & 6 months for Peanuts
Storage Requirements Cold (50°- 60° F)
Mix dried fruit and nuts to make your own trail mix.
Are less expensive when you buy in bulk.
Shelf Life (Bulk) 12 months Storage Requirements Cold (50°- 60° F)

Dried and Fresh can be interchanged in recipes.
Nutritional Yeast
Shelf Life (Bulk) 12 months Storage Requirements Dry & Cold (50°- 60° F)

Juice/Veggie Broth:
Vegetable Broth {Look for Low-Sodium}
All are great for cooking with when prepping Quinoa, Pearl Barley, and Rice.

Soy {Organic}
Hemp {Great source of omega 6, always THC Free}

I store items in glass jars. When the container is clear you will eat what you see! This is part of the presentation from Plant Strong that I did.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Vegan Birthday...

A Vegan Birthday...

Alright, I've been a little on the busy side and feel like the blog has been suffering. Yesterday was my birthday and the girls and I went to see Dream Girls and had dinner first. I was actually surprised that I liked the production as much as I did. Bruce will be throwing a party for me on Saturday, and I'm not sure what the whole plan is. He will be having it catered (vegan of coarse). He did get me the food processor I had my eye on.

I've used it every single day (with a handful of exceptions) creating some awesome meals. I promise I will type them up and share. I do have to admit, I did ruin the surprise. I had mentioned that I was going to buy it over the weekend, and he had to tell me "NO"... Well, he knew he was cutting it close. See there are SO few things that I want, and he wanted it to be a surprise....

Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas

Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas
Vegan; 1 hour total; Can be made Gluten Free; Serves 4

Alright, I made these for the boys and added the cashew cream wrapped in the enchilada. The boys ate the dish all up, with corn tortillas and daiya cheese, this is a SUPER kid friendly dish. To make this easier, you can use taco seasoning or (like me) use a variety of seasonings. This recipe does require an extra set of hands. So get a friend or loved one to help and make it an extra special meal....

1 large sweet potato, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 (15 oz.) can of black beans
1 cup vegetable broth
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/4 sweet onion, minced
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced
1 package "chicken" seitan (omit if making gluten free)
1 cup cashew cream
1 cup daiya cheese shreds (I used pepper jack)
1 package corn tortillas (organic)
2 small cans tomato sauce
Chili Powder to taste
Cayenne Pepper to taste
1 cup fresh salsa (be creative here, my favorite is either the one Bruce makes or apple chipotle salsa)

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a small, wide bowl combine tomato sauce and seasoning. (You'll be dipping the tortillas in it.)

2. Over medium heat; in a medium pan combine the vegetable broth, seitan, onion, garlic, chipotle pepper and sweet potato. Cook sweet potatoes and black bean mixture until broth has evaporated.

3. Cover the bottom of a 9-inch by 13-inch pan with a thin layer of tomato sauce.

4. Heat corn tortillas (this will help them from breaking). Place tortilla in spice/sauce mixture and fill with sweet potato and black bean mixture. Add cashew cream, salsa and pepper jack cheese. Roll and repeat till tortillas are gone. Sprinkle the remaining fillings (salsa, cashew cream, black beans and pepper jack cheese) on top. Cover with foil and bake for minutes. Remove foil for the last 10 minutes of baking.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Simple Oven Roasted Peppers

Simple Oven Roasted Peppers

This is great if you have an abundance of peppers. Bruce and I had picked up SO many peppers from the farmers market, that I sliced them and stuck them in the freezer. As a reminder or to help the learning curve, frozen peppers that are thawed will become mushy. So use them in stir fries or roast them to toss into your hummus.

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. Place sliced frozen peppers on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes depending on the thickness of the slices. Toss into your dish and enjoy!

P.S.~ This cuts down on your waste. You don't have to buy roasted peppers in a jar and this is SUPER easy!!!