Monday, September 26, 2016

Best New Snack!

My friend, Missy, knows how willing I am to try new things. She also knows we share a love of Japanese food. 

At Costco she found a vegan snack she swore I would flip over and she was right. She knows I love seaweed snacks, but she found some layered with almonds!  They are both sweet and savory, only 110 calories for the entire pack, and just 6 grams of heart-healthy fat. I am hopping onto as soon as I finish blogging to have some sent to my house...quickly!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Farmer's Market Finds

It has been a couple of years since I belonged to a CSA. I used to love getting my hands on the fabulous, super fresh produce each week and trying to find creative things to do with it all.

Sunday night I hit the jackpot - my friend had leftovers from her weekly bounty, and packed me a giant "to go" bag.

Tonight I finally had a minute to do something with it all, between binge watching the entire 6 seasons of Downton Abbey...

What I made would be fabulous over baked spaghetti squash or angel hair pasta, with a touch of vegan parmesan.  Even better? Prep time is all of 5 minutes!

Preheat your oven to roast at 450.

Halve 1 pint of cherry tomatoes
Dice 3-4 small plum tomatoes
Chop 2 cups of kale
Chop 1 small yellow squash
Dice 1 small purple onion

Put it all into a Pyrex dish and drizzle generously with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Sprinkle some kosher salt.

Roast for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid the kale burning - and feel free to cook longer if you desire an evening tender result.


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

Onion Chips

I have come to love being a vegan but even when all of your options are plant-based, there are still some weird things out there on your grocery store shelves. I consider myself an adventurous eater, but there is still quite a bit I am reluctant to try.

These snacks, Dang Onion Chips, were one of those things. I love a good, savory snack but dehydrated onion? In wild flavors? I loved Funyuns in middle school but I was an adolescent - what did I know? These had me skeptical.

Then I tried one. Then I had another one. Then I found I'd eaten a full "serving." They're funky but these are a vegan snack worth trying! Be warned - if you're on a picnic with someone hoping for romance, these are not the bites to bring along, but definitely give them a try otherwise! 

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.

If you need a reason (or many) to add avocado to your diet, click on this link to Health Fitness Shops!
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.