Friday, December 30, 2011

How to Make Wheat Grass Juice

I'm behind on posting for this month so I thought I would catch everyone up with a few posts before the new year.  One of the fun activities we did this month was grow our own wheat grass!  It's really so easy.  You can buy Winter Wheat Berries at your local health food store in the bulk bin area.  Bring them home and soak them in water for a couple of days.  Rinse and rehydrate them in between days and store them in the refrigerator if the temperature in your house is above 72 degrees.  Basically you are trying to sprout them before planting.  So as soon as you see a little tiny sprout forming, that's when you want to put them in a tray of dirt. 

You can just lay them on top of the dirt and they will start to grow.  Give them 10-11 days and they are ready to harvest. 

Now, realize that you are not going to get a lot of juice out of that tray of grass.  It's something like 1/2 cup of juice and you probably don't want to drink it straight up on a completely empty stomach.  It's quite bitter and potent.  Most people complain that they get a headache or feel nauseated doing wg shots. We always mix it with three to four cups of purified water, juiced lemons, ice and agave nectar and have it one hour after a meal.

We have an Omega 8005 Fruit and Vegetable Juicer.  I bought it refurbished on eBay back in 2005.  I encourage everyone to check eBay for juicers and blenders before buying new.  If you don't have a juicer, you can use a high powered blender.  Just don't add all the grass in at once.  Do half with two cups of water, juice of half of a lemon and 2 cups of ice and then empty the blender and do the next batch.  Add agave to taste.

I like to use the juicer because my kids and operate it without my help :)  I of course supervise, but they like to do all the work themselves. Now if I can just get them to clean up the mess afterwards!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Mango BBQ Beans with Mashed Yucca with Cilantro and Lime

Now that the winter months are approaching and the weather is cooling down here in Florida I've been enjoying lots of soups, chili recipes and...Mango BBQ Beans!  Yes, it's another delicious and simple recipe from Appetite for Reduction and if you have never tried Yucca, this is your chance.  Be brave, it's not much different from potatoes other than it has roots through the center that you will want to remove after you cook them :)

Mango BBQ Beans

1 tsp olive oil (I used vegan broth)
1 onion, chopped finely
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 mango, seeded and chopped small
1 cup vegetable broth
1/2 tspred pepper flakes, or 1/4 tsp if you want less spicy
1/4 tsp allspice
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp salt
1 (25 oz) can kidney beans
1 tsp liquid smoke
2 to 3 tsp agave nectar

Preheat a 4-quart pot over medium heat. Saute the onion and garlic in the oil (or broth) with a pinch of salt for about 5 minutes, until translucent.
   Add the mango, tomato sauce, broth, red pepper flakes, coriander, salt and kidney beans. Turn up the heat and bring to a rolling boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cover the pot, leaving a little room for steam to excape and let cook for about 45 minutes, stirring often. The sauce should thincken and the mangoes should cook down a great deal.
   Turn off the heat, mix the agave and liquid smoke, and let the beans sit for about 5 minutes. Taste for sweetness and add more agave if needed. Adjust the salt and seasonings and serve.

Mashed Yucca with Cilantro & Lime

2 pounds yucca peeled and chopped into 2-inch chunks
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt, plus extra for salting the yucca water

Place the yucca in a pot and cover with water until submerged. Add a big pinch of salt, cover the pot, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer. Let simmer for about 20 minutes, until very, very tender. Turn off the heat.
  Reserve about a cup of the hot water by carefully dipping a heatproof mug into the pot. Don't burn yourself, please. Drain the yucca, then return it to the pot. Add the lime juice, cilantro, oil and salt. Mash well with a potato masher. Stream in the reserved hot water little by little, mashing as you go along. You may need up to 1/2 cup. Mash the yucca until nice and creamy and serve immediately.

Monday, November 14, 2011

"Hail to the Kale" Salad

I found this lovely raw kale salad recipe on Dr. McDougall's website.  I think it was in one of his newsletters.  Anyhow, my oldest daughter LOVES this salad and I do too!  It is not "low fat" but if you would like to make it low fat I recently got a message from Chef AJ, the creator of this recipe.  Her notes are at bottom of this post.

1 large bundle curly kale, washed
1 tbsp sesame seeds unhulled (I omitted these)
1/2 cup cup peanut butter or almond butter (I used almond butter)
1/2 cup water
1/8 cup fresh lime juice
1 clove garlic crushed
1 tbsp low sodium Organic Tamari
2 pitted raw dates
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

Place peanut butter, water, lime juice, garlic, Tamari and dates in the blender on high until blended smoothly.  Dump 1/2 of the dressing over the kale and toss with hands, adding more as needed.  You can eat this right away but it tastes better if you let it marinate for at least 30 minutes.  You can even let it marinate overnight and it will wilt the kale nicely.

Enjoy!  And below is a note from Chef AJ on how to make it low fat:

"I am Chef AJ the creator of this recipe.  I am so glad you like it!  To make it lower in fat, simply substitute cooked cannelini beans (drained and rinsed) for the nut butter, than add back in 1-2 tablespoons of the nut butter until the desired flavor is achieved.  You will find many more delicious whole food plant based recipes without sugar, oil or salt in my book UNPROCESSED."
Love and Kale,

Chef AJ

What a Healthy Family Eats in India again: Part 2

What a trip we had in India!  Each time we go it is a different adventure that unfolds spontaneously.  It's always more of a family visit when we go, but we try to see at least two or three historic sites because there is so much to see and each region in India is completely different.  Here we are at the ISKON Krisha Temple in Vrindivan.  We also saw the Taj Mahal in Agra for the first time.  Now that I know the history behind it, I'm not so impressed with it :(  While it's nice to look at, I can't think of nice things when I see it.

Here is my mother in law's "Chole" with Chapati and Basmati rice.

Big pot of Chole...

Subjiwalla delivered fresh organic local vegetables 7 days a week right to our door in Roorkee.  I wish we had this option here in the US.  You have to preorder everything you want delivered and you usually don't know what you are getting until the delivery day.

"Indian salad".  Look at these beautiful carrots!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

What A Healthy Family Eats in India this month

I've been away from the blog for most of October due to being in India!  Yes, again, already!  We made a last minute trip to check in on my Father In Law, who's health is declining.  We also thought it would be nice for the kids to spend the Diwali (Indian New Year) with their grandfather, should it be his last. 

I have some photos to share of our visit so far, some food related, some not. Unfortunatley I am having a bit of trouble uploading photos to blogger, so I managed to only upload one photo after trying several times for two days!!

Below is a photo of my meal on the our Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt to Delhi in case you were wondering what a vegan meal looks like on an international flight.  The yellow patties were polenta...I think.  At least that's what it tasted like :) The gelatin was made with agar agar.  There was an interesting veg based spread for the white dinner roll.  I had to try it even though I really hate white bread!  It was good, I could have had it on some rice crackers instead.

Airplane food is never exciting, but I like the fact that vegan meals are an option.  You do need to call ahead or let the travel agent know when you are booking the flight. 

More photos and stories are coming as soon as I can get the uploading part to work!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Taste-of-Thai Saute from Vegan on $4 a Day

So I'm finally getting around to putting up this recipe from last month's Meal Plan.  This is the Taste-of-Thai Saute from Ellen Jaffe Jones' book, "Vegan on $4 a Day".  My husband and kids both gave this one a 9 out of 10, and I thought it was super easy and tasty besides being budget friendly :)
Of course, I love anything made with coconut milk and basil!

Taste-of-Thai Saute


1 tbsp vegetable oil (I substituted veg broth here)
1 onion, chopped
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 eggplant, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 cups cauliflower pieces (I omitted this since we didn't have it)
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 cup carrot slices
1 cup cut green beans (I omitted these and just added more carrots)
1 can (15oz) light coconut milk (I use full fat coconut milk cut in half with water...that's what "light coconut milk is)
1/2 cup chopped fresh thai basil or sweet basil
2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce (I used Organic Full Sodium Tamari cut in half with water)
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tsp agave nectar or maple syrup (I used Organic Raw Blue Agave)
3 cups brown rice or millet (I used brown rice)

Heat the oil (or veg broth) in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and ginger and cook and stir for 1 minute. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook and stir for about 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Add the coriander, cumin, and turmeric and cook and stir for 30 seconds. Add the eggplant, cauliflower, bell pepper, carrot, and green beans and stir well to coat the vegetables with the seasonings. Stir in the coconut milk and bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to low and cook, uncovered, for 3 minutes, adding water if needed to keep the ingredients from sticking to the skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender but not overcooked. Add the basil, soy sauce, lime juice, and agave nectar and cook and stir for 1 minute. Serve over rice or millet.

-Shake the can of coconut milk before opening. To get the best flavor, open the coconut milk just before using.
-For a slightly different taste, add 1/2 tsp of curry powder to the vegetables while they are cooking.

Enjoy!  If you try this recipe, please let me know what you think in the comments section!

Monday, October 3, 2011

You can eat Vegan Anywhere!

I hear people tell me all the time about how hard they think it is to eat vegan at restaurants that are not vegan friendly.  Well it is not hard.  The number one thing you have to do is call ahead or if you forget to do that, let the waiter know that you cannot eat any animal products and be clear that this means eggs, dairy, cheese, meat, fish or poultry, because sometimes they think dairy, cheese and eggs are not animal products.

Here are two examples of places that I ate at recently that don't really have a vegan menu, but have some vegetarian items.  For my 39th Birthday I went to Ceviche restaurant in downtown Orlando.  They have a traditional spanish fare, with lots of meat and cheese on the menu.  I was able to get this tasty asparagus plate and a hummus and veggie platter.  The asparagus came with aoli sauce, which is made with eggs.  I just asked that to be left off my food and it was no problem.  All you have to do is ask!

Below is a photo of my custom made vegan platter from Hannibal's on the Square in Winter Park. It was not on the menu (keep in mind this is a classic French restaurant!).  It was made by Chef Vincent who also owns Chez Vincent and he was happy to put it together for me.   He even came outside and asked me how it was :)  I had doubts on the mashed potatoes being vegan, so I gave those to my husband. Other than that, everything was really tasty.

Vegan on $4 a Day

Last month I had the pleasure of meeting Ellen Jaffe Jones here in Orlando.  She is becoming a rising celebrity in the Vegan movement.  We had a low turnout here in Orlando but in the veggie city of Vancouver she spoke in front of 300 people and she has had several radio and TV interviews, so I am happy that her book has been getting the attention it deserves. 

I have made several recipes from the book and so far so good.  The directions are all very clear and simple to follow, so whoever did the editing did a great job.  The recipes are mostly low fat and low sodium and she breaks down the cost per serving for each meal based on buying things like beans and brown rice in bulk.  I'm not sure if the fruits and veggies she quoted prices for were all Organic, but if you buy through a CSA or a Food Buying Co-op, you are probably doing okay.

My favorites from the book have been the Easy Miso Dressing, Creamy Tahini Dressing, Beans and Greens Stir Fry, and the Taste of Thai Saute.  You can get your copy of Vegan on $4 a day on

Monday, September 12, 2011

Sweet Potato, Chickpea and Okra Gumbo

We've had a surplus of okra growing in our garden this summer, so I've had to come up with several new recipes for okra since curried okra (my favorite) is starting to get "boring" around here.  I was so happy to find several great recipes including this one on the Fat Free Vegan Blog.  Of course Susan's photos are way nicer than mine...but hey, it looks pretty similar doesn't it? 

This dish would be great to serve to a hardcore southern crowd along with some vegan cornbread and sweet tea!  You definitely need to get the "Liquid Smoke" to acheive the smokey flavor that makes it taste like real cajun gumbo.  I found a bottle at Whole Foods for under $3.00.  

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Gluten Free Vegan (Mostly Raw) Meal Plan #3

I'm breaking this weeks Gluten Free Vegan Meal Plan out to show you that I am eating differently this week because I'm on a raw cleanse! 

And that means two things...I'll be spending more time in the kitchen than I care to AND my grocery bill will be higher this week :(  Well, my body will thank me at least!

For the Family:
Kaia Raw Granola and Raw Almold Milk
French Meadow Bakery Sprouted Bagels with Raw Tahini and Maple Syrup

For my cleanse (but also shared with the family):
Banana Cashini Butter and Shredded Coconut Lettuce Wraps (pictured above!)
Raw Chia Breakfast Porridge
Raw Juice (Mostly Carrot, Celery and Ginger and pictured below)

For the Family:
Millet Bread with Raw Cashini Butter and thin organic apple slices
Chopped Bok Choy and Carrots with Shiny Happy Hummus
Ezekial 4:9 Pita Pockets with Creamy Chickpea Salad
Amy's Organic Low Sodium Lentil Soup

For my cleanse (but also shared with the family):
Asian Raw Kale Salad
Canton Crunch with Ginger Zing Dressing
Basic Salads with Romaine, Red Leaf Lettuce, Avocado, Sesame Seeds, Bell Pepper, and Cucumbers served with Raw Salad Dressings: Miso Orange (substituting water for oil), Balsalmic Tahini

For the Family:
Curried Okra with Brown Basmati (Recipe to follow soon)
Quinoa Polenta with Gia Russa Low Sodium Tomato Basil Sauce and Broccolini
Taste of Thai Curry (from Vegan on $4 a Day) (Recipe to follow soon)
Pesto Primavera (using Tinkyada Brown Rice Spiral Noodles)
Cosmic Cashew Kale with Confetti Quinoa

For my cleanse:
Green Smoothies using Mango, Frozen Bananas, Blueberries, Kale and Bok Choy (I will probably throw in other fruits but these are the main ingredients I will use)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Figs are in Season!

I picked up some Black Mission Figs on a Buy One Get One Free Deal at my local Publix.  Besides eating them raw and putting them in smoothies and oatmeal, I wasn't really sure what to do with them.  I know you can make desserts with them and cook with them in certain dishes, but most of those include servings of meat.  I can't imagine how figs and tofu would work together?!

I know if I had a food dehydrator I would have bought a lot more and dehydrated them all! 

Please share in the comments section if you have any links to creative recipes that include figs :)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Breakfast Banana Split

Here's a super easy idea for breakfast that I found in The Vegan Table!  You could make this entirely raw if you use cashew cheese and raw granola.  I found the Wildwood Unsweetened Soy Yogurt on sale at Chamberlains this week for .99, plus I had coupons for $1.00 off 2 yogurts.  Blueberries were also on sale for $2.99/pint.   So not only was this a healthy and fun breakfast, it was affordable too!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Vegan Table Tofu Spinach Lasagna

This week I am trying out more recipes from The Vegan Table.   The Vegan Table is a great recipe book for people who are transitioning to a vegan diet.  It is also a great place to find recipes for entertaining or when you are craving "comfort foods", but don't want all the extra fat that normally comes with them. 

I have made more elaborate versions of vegan lasagna but I wanted to try this one because it doesn't require chopping a massive quantity of veggies.  It's almost a dump and bake kind of recipe!  It took less than 10 minutes to assemble after the noodles were boiled.  Then it's 45 minutes in the oven.  Pair it with a big green salad and you have more than enough food to serve 8-10 people.  You can also make this into a "Stuffed Shells" recipe!

Here's the Tofu Ricotta. So simple to make. I ALWAYS use SproutTofu by WildWood. It has a creamy, mild flavor that works really well as a ricotta substitute. You can also blend in cashew nuts for more flavor, though it adds extra fat. I noticed recently that Nasoya has come out with a Sprouted Tofu, but I haven't tried it yet.

I used Daiya Vegan Cheese shreds on top. When I entertain, I like to use cheese substitutes so that friends and family can see how easy it is to substitute. Daiya and Follow Your Heart make some of the best cheese substitutes. 

Here it is on the plate!   

And here is the recipe straight from the book!

8 to 10

1/2 to 1 pound (225 to 455 g) lasagna noodles
2 packages (10 ounces, or 280 g, each) frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 package (16 ounces, or 455 g) firm tofu (not silken)
1 tablespoon (13 g) granulated sugar (optional)
1/4 cup (60 ml) nondairy milk (such as rice, oat, soy, almond, or hazelnut), or as needed
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 2 peeled garlic cloves
Juice from 1/2 lemon (about 2 tablespoons [30 ml])
2 tablespoons (5 g) minced fresh basil (about 20 leaves)
1 teaspoon (6 g) salt (or to taste)
4 to 6 cups (980 to 1470 g) tomato or pasta sauce of your choice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F; (180 degrees C, or gas mark 4).
Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions or use "no-boil" lasagna noodles. Drain and set aside.
Squeeze as much water from spinach as possible and set aside. (If using fresh spinach, blanch first.)
Place tofu, sugar (if using), milk, garlic powder, lemon juice, basil and salt in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. The tofu "ricotta" should be creamy but still have body.
Transfer to large-size bowl, and stir in spinach. Continue tasting until you get amount of salt just right.
Cover bottom of 9 x 13-inch (23 x 33 cm) baking dish with a thin layer of tomato sauce, then a layer of noodles (use about one-third of noodles). Follow with half the tofu filling. Continue in the same order, using half the remaining tomato sauce and noodles, and all remaining tofu filling. End with remaining noodles, covered by remaining tomato sauce. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until hot and bubbling.

Add meatless meat crumbles to your tomato sauce for more texture and body. For more cheesiness, add shredded nondairy mozzarella cheese to each layer.

This recipe is also great for making stuffed shells. To do so, stuff pasta shells with the tofu ricotta from this recipe, place them in a baking dish, pour on tomato sauce and bake in a 350 degrees F (180 degrees C, or gas mark 4) oven for 20 to 30 minutes.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Gluten Free Low Fat Vegan Meal Plan #2

I hope you find these meal plans helpful and time saving!  Here is another one that is Gluten Free and actually, moving forward I plan to have only Gluten Free Vegan meal plans on my site.   Though we have not completely eliminated gluten from our diets, I am trying to be diligent about minimizing it to the best of my ability :-)  I really believe it is harmful to our intestinal tract, and with myself having an autoimmune disease, it doesn't make sense to make it a regular part of my diet.

Overnight Organic Oat Groats (2 days)
Chia Seed Porridge (2 days)
Blueberry Kale Green Smoothies (3 days)

Romaine salad, cucumbers, tomatoes, shredded carrots and beets with Creamy Avocado Cumin Dressing
Quinoa Tabouleh
Thai Inspired Chickpea Salad
Salad Collard Wrap with Spicy Peanut Dressing (2 days)

All served with a first course of mixed green salad or a raw veggie plate.
African Pineapple Peanut Stew with Brown Basmati
Perfect Peanut Sauce with Sauteed Shredded Veggies and Tempeh
Refreshing Summer Salad with Ginger Lime Edamame Sweet Potato Burgers
Pesto White Bean Bowl
Masoor Dal

Carrot Juice
Sabra Hummus (Another one of my occasional short cuts)
Raw Chocolate Avocado Pudding
Coconut Milk Frozen Dessert (On sale at Chamberlains this month)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Healthy Vegan Eats in Orlando: Wrap Planet

Okay, I know what everyone is thinking-"when is she going to cook again"?  Well, I'm taking my time getting back to cooking since the husband is still out of town.  It's nice to have a break, and it's summer!  Summer Break.  So that's it.  But just cause I didn't cook lunch doesn't mean we aren't eating good stuff.

Today we went to Wrap Planet in Winter Park.  It's tucked away in an alley off Fairbanks and Park Ave.  You might miss it even though there is a sign.  I have passed it so many times and said "I ought to try that place one day", so today was the day.  And I'm glad we did.  The food is tasty and very reasonably priced. The soup above is the "Vegan Soup of the Day" and it was a carrot broccoli soup with corn salsa...super yummy, even the kids loved it.
The wraps are huge.  This is half of "Set Me Free", a wrap with hummus, greek veggies, and green dressing.

We also had the "Blind Date" Smoothie with a Spirulina Booster.  Oh yeah, look at that dark green in the straw. The kids loved this too!
I was told by the owner that they can veganize many of the menu items, replacing tofu for chicken and omitting any dairy products.  But it's better to come before or after the lunch rush hour so they can take their time to make sure they get things made right. 

To check out the menu go to Wrap For a $2.00 off coupon and a free tea or coffee coupon, go here.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Healthy Vegan Eats in San Diego: Stephanie's Bakery

Yes, I'm at it again...traveling across the country to bring you photos of some of the best vegan food in San Diego!  Okay, so that was not the sole purpose of my trip, but I will always find an excuse to seek out great food and take photos.  And maybe one day I will be living on the West Coast, who knows?

Have you ever had an amazing salad, so amazing that you came back the next day to have it again?  It happened to me at Stephanie's Vegan Bakery on Ocean Beach! 

My mouth starts to water every time I see these photos, it was THAT good!  And they only have one salad on the menu, it's their "Salad of the Day".  It is a spinach salad with shredded purple cabbage, sprouts, Enoki mushrooms, artichoke hearts sliced thin, blackberries, sunflower seeds tossed in a pomegranate vinaigrette.  I will be trying to duplicate this one really soon!

I dragged my husband with me on the second visit and he had the vegan pizza with pineapple and fake ham.  I let him try my salad and he admitted that the salad was better than the pizza :-)  I love it when I'm right.

Not to be overlooked are the Gluten Free Vegan Tollhouse Brownies.  Those were really good too...

Stephanie's is a small, independently owned bakery.  Everything is vegan, organic and she offers several gluten free options.  The menu includes pizza, sandwiches, a salad and a wide variety of desserts. The bakery is open only on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 11-7. I'll definitely be back next time I'm in San Diego!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Lemon Tahini Bok Choy with Quinoa

Here it is, up close in the pan!

And then on to the plate with quinoa!  This is a super quick 20 minute meal that has simple ingredients you might have on hand.  This is my own recipe but I was inspired by a "quinoa bowl" from "Get it Ripe".  The recipe didn't have much of a sauce, so I decided to do an intervention of sorts :)

Lemon Tahini Bok Choy with Quinoa (Serves 4)

1 large stalk of Organic Bok Choy, washed and chopped (chiffonade the dark green part)
1 can of Eden Organic Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup organic quinoa, rinsed
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 large clove of garlic, pressed or finely diced
2 tbsp low sodium Organic Tamari (I use San-J brand)
2 tbsp raw tahini butter (I use Artisana brand)
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1-2 tbsp Unhulled sesame seeds (to garnish)
1/4 tsp or more of cayenne pepper (optional, if you want to give it a kick)
3/4-1 cup water

1. Put rinsed quinoa in a pot with two cups of water and bring to a boil.  While you are waiting on the pot to boil, heat a large non stick pan to medium heat and add onions.  Sautee with water until translucent. 

3. To your pan, add garlic and sautee adding small amounts of water for about 2 more minutes.  Turn the heat down to a low simmer on the quinoa once it is boiling and cover.

3. Add tahini butter, water, tamari and optional cayenne pepper to the pan and move it around until mixed.  You could also mix the tahini, tamari and water in a bowl first, but why dirty an extra bowl? :-)

4. Put your chopped Bok Choy into the pan, turn the heat down to low or simmer, and cover with a lid until the Bok Choy is slightly wilted and bright green.  Give it an occasional stir while you are waiting for it to wilt.  This should not take more than 5 minutes, so keep an eye on it and don't over cook!  You want the bok choy to be crispy, not mushy.   Dump the beans in and give it a good stir to coat with the sauce.  Uncover and allow to simmer on the lowest possible heat setting until quinoa is done.

5. When the quinoa is done, you can squeeze the lemon juice over the Bok Choy and beans and give it another stir.  Serve with unhulled sesame seeds sprinkled over the top.

If you follow this recipe and something is not clear, please let me know in the comments section so I can edit it!!  It makes sense to me, but I realize someone else may interpret things differently :)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Sauteed Shredded Veggies and Tempeh with Perfect Peanut Sauce

This yummy sauce recipe comes from Jae Steele's "Get it Ripe".  She suggested it be served with tempeh, and since I have never tried tempeh and peanut sauce together I decided to give it a whirl.

I use LightLife Whole Grain Tempeh.  It is made with cultured organic soybeans, organic long grain rice and organic brown rice. 
The trick to preparing great tasting tempeh is that you MUST always steam and marinate it.  It needs to be softened and it needs time to soak up flavors. This will not happen if you just toss it into your prepared sauce last minute.  It will taste very bland, and you probably know that from experience! 

First steam your tofu for about 15-20 minutes by placing in a steamer basket over boiling water.

While it's steaming you can prepare the marinade. In a small glass dish I put the sliced tempeh, 1/4 cup Organic Low Sodium Tamari, 1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar, 2 tbsp filtered water.  Toss the pieces and let them soak in the marinade for at least 30 minutes, preferably 2 hours.  If you are marinating for longer than 30 minutes, you should keep it in the refrigerator.

So, remember on my Salad Extravaganza post I talked about short cuts...well here is another great short cut!  It costs a little extra ($2.15/package and I used 1 1/2 packages) but it made my meal come together in minimal time and no mess from using the food processor.  Whole Foods sells this package of shredded veggies but you can probably find them at other stores.

Here's the finished dish in the pan...

And I know you want the recipe now!

Perfect Peanut Sauce (original by Jae Steele, modified by me)
1 medium onion pureed (about 1 1/2 cups)
2-3 large cloves of garlic, crushed (to taste...if you love garlic add more!)
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger root
1/2 tsp curry powder
3/4 cup raw peanut butter
1/4 cup raw tahini butter
2 tbsp low sodium Organic Tamari
1/4 tsp cayenne (optional)
1 1/2 cup warm water
1 tbsp coconut milk (optional)

Toss it all in the blender and blend until smooth.  I use a Vitamix, so it blends pretty quickly.  Other blenders may take longer.

Enjoy, and let me know how it works out in your kitchen :)

Creamy Cashew Sauce or Vegan Mayo

I found this yummy recipe in the June/July 2011 issue of Kiwi Magazine.  It was presented as a potato salad, but I decided to pour the sauce over the potatoes for my husband and I and let the kids dip their potatoes in the sauce since they tend to not like a lot of sauce on their food.

Well I absolutely LOVED this sauce.  I will totally use it again and add dill as the recipe suggested to make a potato salad.  I didn't have dill on hand but I had everything else.  The result is a creamy, rich, delicious sauce that could also be used as a homemade vegan mayo! 

Creamy Cashew Sauce/Vegan Mayo

1 cup raw cashews
1 cup water
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 tbsp Chickpea Miso
1 tbsp Dijon Mustard
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 clove garlic, diced or crushed

1. Place the cashews in a bowl and cover with water. Let soak for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.  Or you can cheat on this step by placing them in hot water for 20's okay, I do it!

2. In a blender, preferably a Vitamix or Blendtec, add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Salad Extravaganza

We've been eating a lot of salad here because hot food in hot weather isn't so appealing.  So here are some photos of what we've been eating lately in sunny, hot, humid Florida weather...

This one was made on the 4th of July: Butter lettuce, grilled corn, SproutTofu sprouted soybean tofu, Basmati Rice, Lime Juice, Rice Vinegar, Sea Salt

This one was made today: Butter Lettuce, Organic baby carrots, Eden Organic canned Navy Beans, Artichoke Hearts, unhulled sesame seeds, (not pictured is the homemade Orange Avocado Dressing!)

This one was made for her: 1/2 Avocado, Artichoke Hearts, Mandarin Oranges, Navy Beans, Butter Lettuce, no salad dressing required :)

Obviously I used some canned items and bagged lettuce.  I'm okay with it, so long as it makes my putting together salads quick and easy on busy days.  As much as I like to plan ahead, some days it's lunch or dinner time before I know it and if I had to wait on beans to soak or spend a lot of time chopping, I might decide to go out for food!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

We have a 9 year old!

Yesterday we celebrated my oldest daughter's 9th Birthday!   Grandma and Grandpa (my parents) came over from Tampa for the day.  Here they are with the kids at Ethos Vegan Kitchen just outside downtown Orlando.

Coincidently, we got the number 9 for our order!

Anika picked the Unchicken Noodle Soup...

Then we stopped off at Rapsodic Vegan Bakery for some cupcakes!  A baker's dozen since the party continues tommorow with Anika's best friends.

She decided she wanted Peace Signs on all the's a sample of what we got in one of the boxes.  At least one of those are Gluten Free, but I think we got just about every flavor they had.

Here she is with dad as the party continued at Hot Olives in Winter Park after he came home from work...and yes, I love that I only had to cook breakfast today and that was oats!

She's 9! The deal is sealed with a cupcake...