Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Kitchen Sink Cauliflower

I love cauliflower, and thankfully, so does my family, so it is definitely a go-to vegetable when I'm cooking dinner.  If you have children, you know how picky they can be when it comes to eating their veggies!

Cauliflower (and brussel sprouts) are the two biggest sellers in my household.  I normally make a vegan recipe many of my friends seem to use as well.  Combine 1/2 tsp each of kosher salt, garlic powder, onion powder and tumeric, with 2 TBSP sugar  and some olive oil. Generously coat the big-bite-size florets (I do it all in a gallon Ziploc bag a la Shake 'n Bake) and roast at 450 until caramelized (stirring every 5-10 minutes or so to avoid burning and making sure they cook evenly.)  Tonight I had just a little bit of olive oil but 2 heads of cauliflower so I made two different kinds.  Both were roasted at 450 degrees until I felt they were done...

One I roasted with 1 tsp minced garlic, and generous drizzles of sesame oil, coconut aminos and seasoned sesame seeds.  It is not my traditional recipe, but I am sure he'll like it and it mimics that candied flavor of my usual.  The flavors will meld nicely with the baked sweet potato fries I'll be making later.

The second one is what I am calling "kitchen sink" cauliflower.  I took a bunch of ingredients from my fridge and pantry, threw them all together, and wound up with a successful alternative.  I have a friend who follows this blogs and loves when I say that, but it's true!  I love throwing things together and seeing what I can create.  Usually it's successful :-)

First, I riced the cauliflower in a food processor.  To that I added 2 TBSP each of chopped parsley and cilantro.

I then I added the juice of 1 lemon, ! TBSP vegan butter, a generous pinch of kosher salt, 3/4 tsp minced shallots and 1/2 tsp minced garlic.  I drizzled it with olive oil (I only use Extra Virgin when I cook) and threw it in to roast.

I stirred the "rice" every 10 minutes to be sure it wasn't getting too brown.  I always taste as I go and I felt it needed a bit more flavor.   I added another 2 TBSP of minced shallots, a (generous) drizzle of white truffle oil, and another generous pinch of the kosher salt.  I waited for it to brown, and then mixed the whole mixture once again. 

I love the final result!  It has an interesting texture and a savory tangy flavor, only enhanced by the fresh herbs.  I noshed on some as soon as it came out of the over, but I'm thinking it would be great tomorrow on top of a baked potato or in my salad later tonight - I'll barely need to add any dressing!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Quick and Easy Morning

Hey there!  Looking for something tasty to start your day, that's healthy and quick, with plant-based protein and, for those of you to whom it matters, gluten-free?

This is for you!

This morning I'm fixing up some popcorn thins (just 38 calories for 3!) 

I topped 2 with Cedar's carmelized onion and balsamic vinegar hummus, and 2 with their garden vegetable variety.  I then topped 2 with arugula, and 2 with sliced avocado and pink Himalayan sea salt.

So many nutrients, and in so little time!

Have a great day!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

The Trendy Vegan Recipe: Roasted Eggplant Dip

Here is a delicious, creamy, healthy vegan recipe - light enough for summer, good enough for any time. I paired it with some baked sesame pretzel flats for dipping.
Split one large eggplant lengthwise. Place it in a baking dish, skin side down, and drizzle with olive oil and kosher salt.

Roast at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

Scoop out all of the roasted flesh, discarding the skin, and place it in a blender.

Add 1/3 c tahini, 1 TBSP zatar, and the juice of one lemon.

Purée until smooth. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve!

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Weekend Breakfast Bites

went for a run this morning. It was pretty humid, so not my easiest run, but I pushed through. It was the first time I ran in light rain and it was a welcome feeling!

This trendy vegan got home exhausted, and knew I wanted something both healthy and carb-y, so I created my own version of avocado toast.  I know I recently shared a nori-topped version of this go-to meal of mine, but here's my recipe for the one I whipped up today.

You will need:

1 toasted mini 4" sourdough baguette, sliced lengthwise 
1/2 avocado
Juice from 1/2 a lime
Gomasio seasoned sesame seeds
1/4 baby cucumber, thinly sliced
1 tsp fresh dill
Lime-flavored or regular kosher salt

On each side of the mini baguette, generously spread the ripe avocado.

Squeeze fresh lime juice over the avocado mash, followed by the sesame seeds.

Add thin slices of the cucumber and top will the fresh dill.

Salt to taste.
I know the importance of protein for building lean muscle and replenishing your body with all of your hard work, so I decided to make hummus.

Rather than sticking to a traditional type with garbanzo beans, tahini and lemon, I added some cannellini beans, sun-dried tomatoes and olives, plus three types of fresh herbs.

I chose to make it pretty thick, so just adjust the amount of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) you use if you want a creamier version.  You can even add a layer of this to your avocado toast!

1 can organic cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 can organic garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1.5 TBSP dill
1.5 TBSP cilantro
18 pitted olives
12 sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil 
1 lemon, juice only
2 TBSP tahini 
1/3-1/2 c EVOO 
1/2 TBSP rosemary
2 large pinches kosher salt

Purée it all in your cuisinart until the texture is to your liking.


Monday, July 25, 2016

Hey SkinnyPop!

Hey SkinnyPop fans,

am an entertainer.  I don’t sing and dance (well, not in public) but I love to hang with friends and family, open a bottle of wine, serve up some delicious bites, and laugh.

As a vegan, finding something great to nosh that my non-vegan company will also eat can be tough, but that’s where SkinnyPop popcorn comes in!  With this guilt-free snack (seriously, 39 calories a cup!) I have a bunch of flavorful, crowd-pleasing options and, thankfully, I can leave the calories at the door.  What’s even better are how the SkinnyPop varieties pair with wine. Yes.  You heard me.  Popcorn and wine.  Hello happy hour!

While opening a bag of the White Cheddar SkinnyPop (yup, it’s vegan) on a Friday at 5pm and sipping on some Chardonnay is easy enough, let’s discuss a few other ways to enjoy these tasty nuggets…

Thursday night, girls are over…maybe your book club even read the book you said you would.  How about some Sauvignon Blanc and a side of Jalapeno SkinnyPop to keep things spicy?

You’ve just turned on NCIS.  Mark Harmon is still hot, but maybe you, like me, are still mourning the loss of Michael Weatherly?  We can grab a Malbec and some Sea Salt & Pepper SkinnyPop to help us cope.

It’s 10:30pm and Trevor Noah is about to kick-off on Comedy Central – who won’t be watching him and Stephen Colbert closely through November?  I’m thinking some indulgent Dusted Dark Chocolate SkinnyPop and a glass of Pinot Noir may be the only other options getting me through this election season!

However you enjoy your SkinnyPop and wine, cheers! To learn more about

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Avocado Toast

I love avocado toast. I honestly believe I could eat it every day.  I often enjoy it at Le Pain Quotidien with a drizzle of evoo, pickled vegetables and seasoned salt. I even make it at home when I want a quick and simple little vegan dinner, with just some fresh lime juice and kosher salt.  

This version from VegNews Magazine (photo by Julie Morris) sounds fabulous!  I snack on Nori when I want something yummy, quick and salty, so this recipe is next on my list.
You will need:

2 nori sheets
1/2 c mashed avocado (about 1 avocado)
1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp kosher salt
4 slices sprouted grain bread
1 TBSP coconut oil
1 TBSP chia seeds
1/4 c chopped walnuts

1. Into a wide bowl, crumble sheets of nori into large flakes.

2. In a small mixing bowl combine avocado, lemon juice, and sea salt and mix well. Add half the crushed nori flakes and fold gently until mixed well.

3. Toast bread in toaster or broiler for 1-2 minutes until lightly brown. Brush with the coconut oil and cut into quarters. Top with the avocado mash, the rest of the nori, the chia and the walnuts and serve!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Make An Oath

The next time you are in Chestnut Hill, the Boston suburb, you must take this oath to head to Oath Craft Pizza.  

Their oath:

"An oath is a promise.  A bond.  A word of honor.  That's really what an oath is - honor.  It's about creating something that's honest and good and true and different.  Something that changes things.  Real things. Like neighborhoods or beliefs or even just someone's day. Oath Craft Pizza was founded on the notion that doing good and doing something extraordinary are not mutually exclusive.  That's what drives us.  That's our real craft.  That's why we're here.  To make better.   That's our oath."

So what's this doing on a vegan blog?  

A) The crust is vegan.  It's thin and crisp and super delish, and you can get a full personal size pizza or a half.
B) They have vegan toppings galore!  This list is proof it's a happy place...

roasted potato
roasted or plain cherry tomato
roasted garlic
balsamic drizzle
truffle sauce
roasted portabello
baby spinach
rose pickled or plain red onion
kalamata olive
jalapeno relish
sweet red or green pepper

C) They offer Daiya vegan cheese (wahoo!)

D) They have 5 vegan pizza sauces:

vine-ripened tomato
balsamic glaze
classic bbq

E) They also have four salads, three of which you could modify to make vegan as well.  Get the pizza.  If only they delivered to New York...