Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Are you tired of pumpkin recipes yet? I'm not!
I took a bit of leftover pumpkin sauce from my enchilada recipe and made a lovely vegan paella. (Actually, Mr. Garrett is credited with this little gem of an idea.) I suppose you could add in vegan chicken strips or seitan, but as we didn't have any on hand, we did without.
Vegan Pumpkin Paella
- 1 cup pumpkin enchilada sauce
- 1.5 to 2 cups veggie broth (I know this sounds like a lot of liquid, but the pumpkin thickens as it cooks, use more as needed)
- 1 cup jasmine rice
- 1 cup shredded cabbage
- 1 each, onion and tomoto, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup chopped celery
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- salt and pepper to taste
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Born of the wonderful bounty of pumpkin puree I had in my freezer, these pumpkin enchiladas had all my meat-loving friends and family *almost* in tears. Hands-down the best enchiladas I've made, ever. Don't be put-off by the strange ingredients, they're completely, freakin' awesome.
2 cups unseasoned pumpkin puree, fresh or canned
1 cup water
1 cup veggie broth
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp pepper
1 seeded jalepeno
3 cloves of garlic
handful of fresh cilantro
Puree all ingredients in the blender until smooth.
For the filling
4 red potatoes, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 cup green beans, ends cut off and chopped
5 button mushrooms, sliced
1/2 each, orange and red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup corn kernels (frozen works nicely)
Saute the potatoes 5 minutes in olive oil, stirring occasionally. Add in onion and mushrooms, cook another 3 minutes. Add in bell pepper and corn, continue to cook for another 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
Cover the bottom of a 9 X 13 pan with pumpkin sauce. Set aside.
Meanwhile, heat corn tortillas (the recipe makes about a dozen or so) to prevent cracking while handling ( I do this over my gas burner for a few seconds).
Top with salsa, vegan sour cream and fresh sliced green onions.
I served ours with my "Santa Monica Pilaf" that used a mix of couscous, lentils, rice and quinoa
that was cooked with a bit of garlic and olive oil and topped with cilantro. I'll post that recipe at a later date!
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Monday, December 6, 2010
This post is for my friend, who has been encouraged to limit the animal protein in his diet, due to a medical condition. It can be difficult, at first, to know what to do with tofu. But this recipe makes great sandwich filling. Just layer slices with your favorite toppings like lettuce, tomato, sprouts and avocado, and enjoy!
Friday, December 3, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Monday, November 8, 2010
Sunday, November 7, 2010
To bake your potatoes, puncture them with a fork a few times, rub in oil and salt and bake in the oven at 400 degrees for an hour.
Let them cool a bit, then slice them in half, scoop out the insides (reserving for mashed potatoes?) and turn the halves skin-side-up. Cook another 10 minutes or until crispy. Let cool.
Savory Salsa Filling
For the first variation, combine 1/2 cup mashed mixed beans, 2 green onions, chopped, 1 chopped tomato, 1/2 tsp. cumin, 1/2 tsp. lemon juice, salt, pepper and 1 clove crushed garlic with 3 tbsp. salsa. Line the potato halves with fresh spinach leaves and fill with topping.Cottage Cheese and Fruit Filling
Sweet and savory at the same time! Add 1 chopped apple to 1/2 cup cottage cheese and toss in 2 chopped stalks of celery. Mix well and fill the potato cups.
Monday, October 25, 2010
Then fold in the ends and roll carefully. Continue this process until you have enough spring rolls to feed your hungry hoard. Serve with peanut dipping sauce, if you like.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
This recipe is so easy it almost doesn't even need a recipe. But here's how I did it:
Cook spaghetti according to package directions.
You can find the recipe for my walnut pesto here or use your favorite pre-made pesto. Mix 1/3 cup of pesto to your pasta and top with parmesan cheese (optional).
Vegan Version: press slices of extra firm tofu into bread crumbs and fry on each side until browned.
Vegetarian version: dip each slice into a bowl of beaten eggs, then dip into bread crumbs. Fry until browned on each side or bake at 375 until browned, turning once.
Serve with your favorite vegetables!
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Sometimes you find yourself with a bunch of leftovers and end up with....a really tasty meal! I used some leftover brown rice, sauteed it up with fresh mixed greens, a bit of oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper and topped it with.....
Yup, leftover lentils, tomatoes and avocado. It was so simple, fast and so so yummy! Some of my best meals have come from leftovers. This one will definitely be a future make-on-purpose meal!
Friday, October 15, 2010
Sunday, October 3, 2010
Thursday, September 30, 2010
1 onion, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
5 mushrooms, chopped
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. cumin
salt and pepper to taste
10 poblano peppers, roasted and peeled (these come canned and pre-peeled as well)
15 slices jack or cheddar cheese (or about 1-2 cups shredded)
1 egg, beaten
1 cup bread crumbs
1 large jar of green sauce
1/2 cup of sliced olives
Saute the onion, zucchini, mushrooms and spices until soft. Then spread the mixture on the bottom of a glass-bottom baking dish.
Stuff, carefully, each pepper with 1/2 slice of cheese (again, you can use shredded, but slices are easier to handle here). Then coat each pepper in the egg wash, followed by a coating of bread crumbs and lie carefully on top of the onion mixture. Continue until all peppers are stuffed and coated.
Bake at 425 for 12 minutes. Then remove the pan of chilis from the oven and top with enough green sauce to cover the spaces in between (not too much on top of the chilis, but around them). Top each chili with 1/2 slice of cheese and sprinkle olives on top. Bake another 12 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
After you plate each chili, top with red salsa, cilantro and green onion, and sour cream!
I didn't want to use too much of the same spices here, so these beans were really simple. I used canned pinto beans and cooked them in a bit of olive oil, splash of veggie broth, and sprinkled with garlic salt and pepper. Cook until hot.
3 cups (or more!) of greens of your choice. I used mixed greens like mustard, collard and spinach.
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp cumin
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp water
salt and pepper
Combine greens, water and oil in a large pot and cook, over medium heat, covered, until the greens are wilted. Sprinkle with the remaining spices and mix well. Serve hot.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Pizza-making is a family affair at my house. Sometimes we dish up individual crusts so that each member of the family can make their own interpretation. But this version is family-sized, vegetarian and oh so good!
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal or dry polenta
1 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup water
Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl, mixing in wet ingredients and kneading for about 8 minutes or until the dough is elastic. Roll the dough into a round shape (or press into a rectangular baking dish).
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425 degrees.
1 cup spaghetti sauce (you can also use olive oil and garlic or pesto instead)
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes in oil, chopped
small handful of fresh spinach
8 (or so) mozzarella slices
1/4-1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
basil leaves, chopped
Combine the sundried tomatoes and basil, tossing to coat. This will prevent the basil from burning while cooking.
Spread enough spaghetti sauce to coat the top of the cornmeal crust. Next lay individual leaves of fresh spinach over the top of the sauce. Top the spinach with the sundried tomato/basil mixture. Next sprinkle the feta over the top and, lastly, laying the mozzarella on top of the pizza.
Bake at 425 for about 20 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and lightly browned.
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Fall is my favorite time of year, it's filled with memories and nostalgia about halloween costumes, holiday dinners and family. Although I'm not sure it is officially autumn yet, I recently cooked up one of my family's favorite fall-ish meals. Baked potatoes and chili usually have a pretty bad rap in the world of calories and saturated fat, but this vegetarian version is the exception. It is a comfort food you can indulge in freely!
This recipe makes enough to feed five, with plenty left over to either freeze for another time or serve the next day (maybe over tortilla chips).
I have a favorite way of cooking baked potatoes that I learned from my friend Jake, who is a wonderful chef. Instead of microwaving them (ew!) or wrapping in foil, simply puncture the potatoes a few times with a fork, rub in olive oil and salt and cook at 400 degrees for an hour, turning once half way through. They come out crispy on the outside and soft on the inside! Perfect!
1 large red onion, chopped
1 large anaheim chili pepper, seeds removed and chopped
1 pound of dried beans (your choice, I used 1/2 red beans, 1/2 pink beans)
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
fresh corn, removed from cob (optional)
1 can diced tomatoes
4 cups veggie broth (or water)
your choice of:
When making chili I always use dried beans. They are cheaper than canned (about $2.20 for a pound) and don't contain all the salt of canned beans. If you use red, pink or pinto beans they don't need overnight soaking but be sure to start them about 2.5-3 hours before you want dinner to be ready.
Rinse them and put them in a pot with lots of water (about 3x the amount of beans) bring to a boil and then remove from heat, cover and let sit for an hour. After an hour, rinse them, put in your veggie broth and can of diced tomatoes and bring to a boil. Let them simmer for about 20 minutes while we work on the other steps.
Chop your veggies, saute onion, garlic and pepper until soft, about 5 minutes. Then add in a generous palmful each of chili, cumin and garlic salt. I always use more spice than I think I need, and it always comes out perfect. Adding the spices at this step will help release the flavor better than if you add it to the water.
Saute the spices/veggies for another 2 minutes or so, then add this to your simmering pot of beans. Cover and cook for about an hour, then check your beans. If they feel about 1/2 way cooked, remove the cover and let the pot simmer (to allow some of the water to cook off.)
Some people like their chili runny, others thick, the difference here will be on keeping the pot covered or uncovered. If the chili gets thick and your beans aren't quite done, you can cover them or add more water. If you are deciding to add corn to your chili (I love this, it adds color! But I didn't do it this time) you will want to add it only about 20 minutes (if raw) before the chili is done. Corn doesn't need much time to cook.When your chili is done, top your baked potato with a generous helping of chili and add on your favorite toppings!
Thursday, September 2, 2010
1 package extra firm tofu, cut into triangles
Brush a cookie sheet with olive oil and place triangles on sheet. Then brush the tops of the tofu with the hot sesame oil, salt and pepper to taste and cook at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, turn over and cook until brown and crispy, but not until the point where the middle is hard (the soft center is sooo delish!)
I forgot to get a picture of this! This sauce was made on the fly with stuff I had on hand. As long as you have PB you can alter this to your needs.
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/8 cup soy sauce
1/8 cup vegetable broth
4 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons hot red pepper flakes
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Adjust PB and wet ingredients as needed, for taste or thickness.
Savory Mango Vegetables1 cup fresh or frozen (thawed) mango chunks
2 cups fresh snap peas
4 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
2 tbsp minced ginger
5 shitake mushrooms, sliced
1/2 of a red onion, chopped
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
pepper to taste
1 tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 1/8 cup of veggie broth
BIG handful of cilantro
Saute the onion until soft, add in the rest of the vegetables, garlic and ginger, continue to cook about 3 minutes (the key here is to NOT overcook your veggies, leave a little bite in them!)
Add in the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sugar and pepper, simmering for a few moments so that some of the liquid cooks off. Then add the cornstarch and mango, cook just until the mango is hot. Remove from heat. Stir in a big handful of fresh chopped cilantro. Serve immediately with a side of brown rice.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Monday, August 9, 2010
Sunday, August 8, 2010
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
1 can olives
1 can artichoke hearts
handful of chopped basil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 can stewed tomatoes, blended in food processor until smooth
Saute garlic, olives and artichokes in olive oil for a few minutes, being careful not to burn the garlic. Then add basil and cook for another minute.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Monday, July 26, 2010
Texture makes the difference between a "good" sandwich and a "great" sandwich. No one likes to eat moosh. While you wouldn't think to find green beans in a wrap, to me this seems like a natural addition. You get protein and good fats from the hummus (we used "white bean pesto" hummus) and lots of vitamins, fiber and texture from the veggies.
Greenie Beanie Machinie
Lavash bread (or tortillas)
fresh, uncooked green beans
Spread hummus on lavash bread in a thin layer. Top with generous amount of spinach and follow with sliced tomato, sliced black olives and a handful of green beans. Roll carefully to form a wrap.
Friday, July 23, 2010
Yoga is much broader and more complex than just an exercise class, and is comprised of an ancient Eastern philosophy, that in itself is broken up into smaller ideas. It is those ideas, and that philosophy, that tells us who we are, why we are here and how to live in this world. (Wait, what? The title said Poptarts. Get to the poptarts lady....I will, I will, wait for it!)
One of those ideas is the concept of ahimsa or non-violence. Ahimsa is a rich and subtle practice that not only tells us not to, for instance, physically harm someone else, but also not to physically harm any living thing, including our neighbors, ourselves and animals. From the most obvious (not hitting someone) to the most subtle (not harming ourselves, not thinking harmful things) ahimsa is a deep practice. Most vegetarian yoga teachers are so for that very same reason. To eat meat, you are eating another living thing that must suffer to get onto your dinner plate.
The other reason you might go vegetarian, aside from ahimsa, is that it is, in general, healthier than eating meat. I say that, knowing full well that a diet of grilled cheese sandwiches is vegetarian, but not healthy.
So here are my tips on being a healthy vegan and vegetarian:
1. An organic poptart is still a poptart.
It may be vegetarian, it may be organic, but it ain't good for you. Beware of labels that are misleading, like "Organic," "trans-fat free" and "Natural." Pay attention to ingredients and nutrition labels.
2. Broccoli = Broccoli
When reading ingredient labels, if you can't pronounce it, or if you don't know what it is, don't eat it. Again, Doritos may be vegetarian, but why eat them when they are chock full of mystery ingredients?
3. Better yet, ditch the box
There are so many "vegetarian convenience" food items available, it is easy to get sucked into some pretty bad habits. While I do have tofu and a box of veggie burgers in my house, the rest are single ingredients meant to make a meal: fresh vegetables and fruits, flour, sugar, rice, pasta, etc.
4. And while you're at it, ditch the can
Soda is a chemical soup that is not good for you in any way. It's full of sugar and calories and even diet soda, being calorie free, manipulates the body's hormones and thyroid, resulting in weight gain. Your best option: plain, filtered water. And not bottled water either. Get yourself a filter and a reusable bottle and befriend your tap.
5. No one is Going to the Hospital with Protein Deficiency
Almost everything you eat has protein in it: vegetables, fruits, beans.....Add to that tofu and quinoa and there is no way you are going to get too little. Our country has an unhealthy obsession with protein that results in serving sizes that are just not accurate. The best way to go is to eat a balanced diet: two servings of vegetables on your plate each night, one serving of carbs (rice, pasta, etc) and a serving of protein (beans, nuts, tofu, etc).
It's common to reach for a bag of chips when hungry, but I encourage you to reach for some fruit instead. Fruits and vegetables are a "free ticket" item in my house and apples are the kids' favorite. It's full of fiber, filling and even helps to keep teeth clean. Your waistline will notice the difference, trust me. Eat your weight in plants, be careful about the quickie carbohydrates.
I'm sure I'm going to come up with a hundred more tips after I post this, so add your own into the comments section, if you have any!
Go, eat, be healthy!
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Vegan Banana French Toast
1/2 cup soymilk
Smash a ripe banana into 1/2 cup soymilk. Mix with fork, smashing the banana as you go, until the mix looks thick and lumpy. Add a few dashes of cinnamon. Dip your bread into the mix, making sure it covers both sides.
Meanwhile, heat up a skillet and add a small amount of vegetable oil. Put your bread on the pan, fry on medium heat for about 3 minutes on each side. It will tend to stick, so when you go to flip the bread over, use a stiff spatula to scrape as you go.
Repeat on the other side.
Top with banana and apples slices (or any fruit) and maple syrup.
Once again start from standing, with a wide stance on your mat, with feet wider apart than shoulder distance. Turn your right foot out to the right and hug the left toes into your midline. With an inhalation, lift the arms shoulder height, with the exhalation bend into the right knee to bring the thigh bone parallel to the floor. Keep your knee moving toward the pinky-toe side of the foot. Soften the shoulders and breathe for a few rounds. Just like your french toast, be sure to flip your pose over and cook the other side.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Thanks for wandering over my way and Happy Cooking!