Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Let's Talk Breakfast!

Breakfast is my least favorite meal of the day. Or should I say, traditional breakfast. I usually eat leftovers from dinner. I have been known to eat split pea soup for breakfast everyday of the week..  but since I still cook for my family and I'm writing a cookbook, more traditional breakfasts are a must.  The photo above is still a work in progress Stovetop Granola. Sugar free and low in fat. It's almost there, I think one more tweak the next time I make it and I'll have the recipe written.
I'm also working on my Coconut Yogurt recipe and it's almost perfect! Woohoo! Once more for good measure. I constantly tweak recipes and am very rarely satisfied with them. Writing recipes is actually somewhat difficult for me because I cook 100% by intuition. It is almost like a dance that just flows out of me.. I can zone out and come up with awesome food but to actually break it down into steps goes against every fiber of my being!

That being said, I do have it down to a process at this point and it's not nearly as tedious as it used to be.

When I worked at my last job I spent the first two hours of the day baking. I developed quite a few recipes  for sweets and muffins (mostly gluten free and always vegan!) but wanted to give my customers some healthier options. Here some of my favs:



5 Spice Pear Ginger Muffins (sugar free, wheat free)

I really love using white beans in breakfast treats! You can't taste them and they give such good protein and staying power to what can normally be not so healthy options. 

Portrait of the Day (see why I'm doing this!)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Southwestern Corn and Black Bean Salsa

Southwestern Corn and Black Bean Pico Salad! This is such a simple way to get a big fat flavor punch with every bite.

You can enjoy this as a side dish, as a topping or a dip. I like to mix it with cooked grains and stuff it into a collard for a yummy burrito!


Making your own condiments is a great alternative to buying them for both health and financial reasons.

Here are a few links to some of my recipes:


Corn and Black Bean Salsa

  • 1 c corn
  • 1 c black beans, drained very well
  • ¼ c chopped tomato or diced red pepper 
  • 1 Serrano chili 
  • 2 T onion, minced 
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed
  • 1 t toasted cumin seeds
  • Small pinch marjoram
  • ½ t salt
  • 1 T chili powder
  • Juice of 1 lime 
  • 1 T apple cider vinegar
  • 2 T cilantro

Method:
Toss together and allow mixture to sit for an hour or so the flavors can get to know each other.

This will keep for three days, but I doubt it will last that long! 

Portrait of the Day

Monday, March 28, 2011

Coconut Mung Beans , Daikon Noodles, Mango Lassi


I love Indian food. It is so savory and delicious and when you make it at home, you can control the amount of fat that goes into the dish. I am always  shocked when I eat at an Indian buffet and get bombarded with such a huge quantity of oil in the dishes.

I like using coconut oil because it has such a high smoke point and you can toast the spices and get a really good char on the onions initially.

This meal was made with whole mung beans, but you could use yellow  split peas, lentils, or even chickpeas with fine results.

Coconut Mung Beans

  • 1 T coconut oil
  • 1 /2 t cumin seeds
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 Serrano chili
  • 1 T minced ginger
  • 1 T curry powder
  • 1 c mung beans
  • 4 c water
  • 1 t Creole seasoning
  • Juice and zest 1 lemon (around ¼ lemon juice. You can use lime juice or 3 T of apple cider vinegar in place of lemon juice)
  • ½ c cilantro
  • Toasted coconut for garnish
  • Soy Sauce/Pepper to taste

Method:

  1. In a pressure cooker over med hi heat add the oil, cumin, onion, chili, ginger, and curry powder along with a pinch of salt. Sauté for several minutes, then lower the heat down to low and continue cooking for 10 more minutes. 
  2. Add the beans, water and Creole seasoning
  3. Put top on pressure cooker and bring to high pressure for 6 minutes.
  4. Let the pressure come down naturally then stir in lemon juice and zest and cilantro. Taste and adjust seasonings and add toasted coconut to garnish if you desire


I also made a side dish with cauliflower, peas and potatoes. You can make a pot of Basmati Rice if you desire, but I these two dishes together were more than enough for me.

The great about this dish is that it is done in around 30 minutes, but will taste like it’s been cooking much longer. The leftovers are even better the next day or two and will also make a great burger!  The burger would be delicious served with my Lower Fat Goddess dressing, sprouts, onions and veggies stuffed into a wrap, collard leaf or on one of my simple homemade buns!

You make a pot of Basmati Rice while it is cooking

Or some Daikon Noodles!

A side of greens..

And a Mango Lassi will be a perfect end to this delicious meal!

And now onto my Portrait of the Day! I am showcasing some of my work because I will be funding my Cross Country Road Trip by setting up photo shoots (and cooking classes or even Personal Chef Servies!) . I will have my itinerary up within the next month or so.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

French Lentil Soup and Life is sure changing fast!


It's windy day with a hint of spring in the air; a perfect day for French Lentil Soup soup! I have to take all of the opportunity I can get to eat soup before summer comes! I'm staying at my old house while my X is out of town and cooking for both of my kids. I can't believe how much our lives are going to change in the next several months! 

My oldest son is off to Alaska for the summer where he will be playing music for a tourist company. My younger son will graduate high school in June and will be off to college in the fall and I will be selling a good portion of my stuff, putting the rest in storage and I'll be off on my Cross Country Road Trip! I am excited, scared and sometimes, downright freaked out that I am doing this! 

This week will be very special to me since it may be the last time the three of us (and my dog) are together for this amount of time. I love my boys and it seems like yesterday they were babies. 

(My dog will be staying with my X while I do this. We share custody of her as it is)



Saturday, March 26, 2011

Gluten Free Chutney Goat Cheese Flatbread


Another super fast meal... I recently defrosted some of my Cranberry Chutney from the freezer. I have said this before and I stand by it; some foods improve after being frozen for several months! This chutney is no exception. The depth of flavor is so much deeper than it was when I initially froze it.

So, I was thinking of my Chutney Crostata  and wanted something faster, lighter and gluten free. I had some Flatbreads in the fridge, so I used those as the base. 
Added some Chutney

Topped with Cashew Goat Cheese


.. and cooked over medium heat in my beloved cast iron skillet..  this was an intensely flavored, satisfying dinner that was complimented by a simple salad topped with Low Fat Balsamic Vinaigrette.
and my Portrait of the Day:

Friday, March 25, 2011

Roasted Beet Salad with Chia Sesame Dressing and Cilantro

I love beets so much! I think they are a great addition the the diet. Being naturally sweet, when you eat beets as part of a main meal, it lessens the craving for sweet foods. At least for me it does!

*I shouldn't have to say this, but I will (due to the emails and some comments I've been receiving):

 I am not a medical doctor. I have no scientific basis for the claim that eating beets as part of your meal will reduce sugar cravings. This is only based on my own experience. You may have a different experience. Please, it's not necessary to email me about how horrible beets (insert other foods that I blog about) are in your so called "healthy diet". 

Oy Vey.. I digress!

So onto the delicious recipe!

I used my Sesame Chia Dressing to top this delicious salad, but I also add some lemon pepper and toasted cumin seeds. I LOVE toasting whole seeds of any kind. The use of cumin seeds gives you a lovely burst of flavor every bit or two that will linger on your palate.

Sesame Beet Salad

  • 2 c roasted beets, cooled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 c shredded carrots
  • 2 T  diced red onion or shallot
  • 2 t minced fresh ginger
  • 1 t lemon pepper
  • 1/4 t toasted cumin seeds
  • 1/4 c toasted sesame seeds
  • Pinch stevia (or 1 T sweetener of choice)
  • 1 orange, sectioned (squeeze the juice into your bowl!)
  • 1 T Umeboshi Vinegar
  • 1/2 c cilantro, chopped
  • Sesame Chia Dressing To Taste
  • Soy Sauce to taste
Mix everything together. Add soy sauce to taste. Enjoy

Portrait of the Day

Thursday, March 24, 2011

20 Minute Split Pea Soup


I know, I know... I eat split pea soup all the time... you're right! Sometimes it seems a bit redundant to keep posting about the humble pea, but I think it just may be one of my all time favorite foods. You see, when you cook the soup in a pressure cooker, it become so creamy. The end product is closer to mashed potatoes than it is to soup! .. and with a hefty does of protein and fiber, well, this is a win-win all around!

This is a super simple variation of my Chipotle Split Pea recipe. I've added some lemon zest and red wine vinegar because that is what I had around. The lemon zest was a lovely addition. I buy lemons on sale and zest them before using. I keep the zest in the freezer to add to recipes.


20 Minute Split Pea Soup
  • 2 T EVOO
  • 1 t Italian Seasoning
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 T Cajun Seasoning
  • 16 oz split peas
  • 6 c water
  • 2 chipotle peppers, minced
  • 3 T nutritional yeast
  • 3 T  red wine vinegar
  • Soy sauce/pepper to taste
  •  1/2 t Lemon zest
Method:
  1. Saute onion, garlic, carrot and spices for 10 minutes
  2. Add split peas, water; cover and bring to high pressure for 3 minutes
  3. Turn off heat and allow pressure to come down naturally. 
  4. Stir in chipotle, yeast, vinegar, soy sauce/pepper and zest 
  5. ENJOY!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Seitan Fajita Philly Sandwich or Wrap


In case you missed my it, I have a great Tofu Feta Recipe on my last post!

This is my one of my sons favorite sandwiches ever. I saute seitan with peppers, mushrooms, onions and peppers, slather it with chipotle sauce and queso and serve it on homemade bread with a bit of salsa.

I've never been to Philly, but I'd like to think this would sandwich would be a please to vegetarians/vegans who want to have a filling, savory sandwich/wrap!

Here are links to the recipes used to create this!
Fajita - Seitan Filling (for 3 big wraps)
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/2 t cumin seeds
  • 1 huge onion, sliced in half moons
  • 1 big green pepper, sliced 
  • 3 oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 T chili powder
  • 1 cup shredded All Purpose Seitan
  • Soy Sauce to taste
  • Lots of black pepper
  1. In a cast iron skillet over medium heat add the oil, cumin, onion, pepper, shrooms and garlic along with the chili powder
  2. Cook for around 10 minutes or so. Add soy sauce and black pepper to taste. 
Enjoy! 
Portrait of the Day!

Tofu Feta!

In case you missed it, my last post contains an Raw Sprouted Lentil and Sunflower Nori Roll recipe! So healthy with a hint of spring!


This Feta is an old recipe, but oh so good! I use Agar Powder which can be found in the bulk section of your health food store or online. I have never used agar flakes so I can't guarantee how it will come out if you use them.

Tofu Feta

  • 14 oz extra firm tofu 
  • 3/4 t kosher salt 
  • 4 cloves garlic 
  • 1 t dried oregano 
  • 1/2 t dried thyme 
  • 1/2 t dried rosemary 
  • 1 T agar powder 
  • 2 t umeboshi vinegar or 1 t soy sauce, 1 t lemon juice or red wine vinegar
  • 4 T lemon juice 
  • 1/4 - 1/2 c extra virgin olive oil 
Method: 
  1. Combine the tofu, salt, garlic, spices and agar powder in a food processor until totally smooth. This may take several minutes
  2. Scrape mixture into a saucepan and heat over medium-high heat, whisking constantly for 5 minutes. 
  3. Take off heat and stir in the vinegar, lemon juice and olive oil. I usually use 1/4 cup or even less, but it is really good with more oil if you don't care about calories
  4. Pour into a 2 cup square container and allow it to cool, uncovered for several hours, then cover and park it in the fridge overnight 

This recipe was inspired by Bryanna's tofu feta!
http://veganfeastkitchen.blogspot.com/2006/04/new-improved-quick-tofu... 

Crumble it on a salad or make a Spanikopita Pie! 

And of course, Portrait of the Day! SEE WHY I AM DOING THIS




Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sprouted Lentil and Sunflower Nori Rolls


I feel the subtle shift of spring in the air. Here in New Hampshire, spring comes pretty late compared to the rest of the country, but I take any hope I can get of the weather slowly warming up.

Raw Nori Rolls are one of my favorite warmer weather meals and even though it's not at all warm, I am pretending like it is. Plus, the water was off all day in my apartment building, so using raw staples was a good thing!

I filled these rolls with an almost raw sunflower/sprouted lentil pate, shredded beets, carrots, avocado, wasabi and more mustard. I like using sprouted lentils in addition to nuts/seeds to lessen the fat content of the pate.

To sprout lentils just soak them overnight, drain and place in a colander for a day or two. Rinse the sprouts several times a day. You can also hang in them in a paint straining bag or nut milk bag Simple, eh?

I use my Lower Fat Vegenaise Alternative in this recipe.

Sprouted Lentil and Sunflower Pate
  • 1 c sprouted lentils
  • 1 c sunflower seeds
  • 4 T Vegenaise
  • 1 c chopped celery
  • 3 T diced onion
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 T mustard
  • 2 T relish
  • 1 t prepared wasabi
  • 1 t grated ginger 
  • ½ t dried dill
Method:
Pulse the lentils and seeds in the food processor then stir in the rest of the ingredients by hand.

If you're looking for another recipe, here's a link to my Raw Eggless Salad. It's super good too!

.. and of course, another portrait! I'm funding my Cross country Road Trip with photo shoots on the road and cooking classes!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Curried Wheatberry Salad


HUGE RECIPE POST HERE!


Wheatberries are a delicious whole grain. You can substitute Spelt or Farrow if you wish, but these chewey morsels are super easy to come by in the bulk section of you health food store or well stocked grocer.

To cook wheatberries, place 2 c dry berries in 6 cups salted water for 45 minutes. Drain like you would pasta.

This recipe calls for 3 cups cooked wheat berries

Curried Wheatberry Salad
  • 3 C Cooked Wheatberries
  • 1 c shredded carrots
  • ½ c diced celery
  • 1 bunch scallions, white parts only, chopped
  • ½ c raisins or dried cranberries
  • ½ c sunflower seeds
  • 2 T chopped crystallized ginger
  • 1 c cilantro, chopped\
Dressing
  • 1 c chickpea cooking liquid
  • 1/8 t stevia powder or 2 T sweetener of choice (if you have maple syrup . Use it!)
  • ¼ c apple cider vinegar
  • 1 T Brown Mustard
  • 2 T olive oil
  • ¼ c soy sauce 
  • 1 T golden flax meal
  • ¼ t cardamom
  • 1/8 t nutmeg
  • 1/8 t cinnamon
  • 2 T Curry Powder
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 3 T nutritional yeast
Method

  1. Mix the salad ingredients together.
  2. Make dressing and use as much as needed to dress the salad
  3. Taste and adjust Salt/Pepper
Enjoy!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Meatout 2011!


Today is The Great American Meatout! I am going to share some of my favorite recipes with you!  


Sweet Potato Dahl with Greens



I hope these recipes will help you to incorporate more meat free eats into your life! You can enjoy healthy, delicious and frugal recipes free of all animal products! 

For more recipes, please check out my Recipe Page! 

If you are looking for tips on how to incorporate inexpensive meat free eat then please check out my Sample Menu and Tips Page!

Meatout!!
I'm going on a Cross Country Road Trip and Shooting Portraits and Teaching Cooking Classes to fund it!