Monday, September 24, 2012

Baked Eggplant with Ginger and Agave Marinade

I needed to get dinner on the table in a hurry last Friday night because everyone was crying about how they were "starving".  Okay, so I was starving too!  When I eat lunch at 12pm and then have dinner at 7:30pm, even with a snack in between, it's hard not to be really hungry.

Adapting a "Ginger and Honey Marinade" recipe from Modern Spice by Monica Bhide, I think I did okay, because everyone gobbled up every last bit of the eggplant.

Ginger and Agave Marinade
1 tbs grated peeled fresh ginger
1/4 cup Raw Agave Nectar
1 tsp red chile flakes
1/2 cup no sodium veg stock
1/2 tsp grated lime zest
1 tbsp low sodium tamari
Sauteed Onions and fresh chopped basil for garnish

I combined the first 6 ingredients in a bowl and then poured over my 1/4 inch sliced eggplant.  Then I put it oven at 400 and baked it until it looked all nice and cooked.  I think it was not more than 15 minutes.  Oh, and you will need 2-3 medium size eggplants for this :)

Vineet was out in the garden when he saw me taking photos of dinner...


Monday, September 17, 2012

Meet our new Family Member (And what he eats!)

He's a little camera shy but isn't he a cutie?!  Meet Raju, our newest family member. He is a 9 pound Chihuahua that we rescued from Orange County Animal Services about 6 weeks ago.

Believe it or not we are first time dog owners. We've always been cat people, but decided to look at dogs one day when we were at Animal Services looking at kittens.  We found this little guy and just fell in love.  He has been a wonderful addition to our family especially since my kids have been asking for a new sibling.  No, we won't be having more of those!  I love my kids, but I feel like adding more kids will take away from the attention I'm able to give them.  A dog was the perfect new addition.

We started him right away on a Vegan kibble by Natural Balance.  He had hook worms when we got him and I figured I would wait and see if the food would help rid them from his system since it's more alkaline, and I was right!  The worms were gone within 2 weeks!

I'd love to hear from any of my subscribers who have had their pets on a vegan diet for more than a year and how it's working.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Nothing here was from our garden, but boy these peppers are really YUMMY!  I have blogged about these previously under "The Worst Thing We Ate Last Week and Then Came Monday Scones" but didn't put a recipe with it.  Gotta love the title of that post!  And it looks like I sprayed them with oil last time, but it's not necessary.

As I mentioned before, I originally got the idea for the recipe from my Sister In Law who got the idea from the Food Network Show "Throwdown with Bobby Flay".  Of course his version was not vegan.

I have since made some changes to the sauce to make it a little less fattening.  Served with salad these make a super easy and delicious weeknight meal.

Serves a Family of 4

6 Poblano peppers
4 Red Bell Peppers
2 packages cooked Seeds of Change Brown Rice Pilaf (I used only one packet of the seasoning for both packages of cooked rice)  Alternatively you can cook your own brown rice in low sodium veg broth or no sodium stock.
Cilantro (for garnish)
1/2 can of light coconut milk or 3/4 cup of unsweetened organic soy milk (room temperature)

Place Poblanos and Red Bell Peppers under the broiler until lightly charred and soft. I put them on a non stick baking sheet. Take them out of the oven and remove any major pieces of char (unless you like that stuff, but realize that it ages your body :-/). 

Cook pilaf according to box directions, adding only one packet of seasoning to keep sodium down.    While rice is cooking you can start making the sauce.

Put your red bell peppers into a high speed blender along with the coconut milk.  Blend until smooth and warm.

When the rice is done, stuff your Poblanos with the rice and then pour the sauce over the top! Garnish with chopped cilantro if you like.  Super easy and super yum :)

Pair this meal with a green salad or bean salad and you have a healthy, delicious and quick weeknight meal!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Chili made from Eggplants in our Garden


We are harvesting a lot of eggplants from our garden at the end of summer.  Since we can't really eat them raw, (or at least I don't want to eat them raw!),  I've been perusing all of my recipe books for easy dinners with eggplant.  I came across this really good one in Appetite for Reduction by Isa Moskowitz and it was a least for my husband who went back for two additional servings!

Aside from the intial chopping of veggies, it really comes together without much effort :)  

Lentil and Eggplant Chili Mole
Makes 6 Servings
Active Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

1 tsp olive oil (I used veg broth)
1 small onion, cut into medium dice
1 red bell pepper, cut into medium dice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp mild chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup dried green lentils, washed
4 cups vegetable broth
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
2 pds eggplant, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
2 tsp agave nectar or pure maple syrup
Cilantro, for garnish (optional)

Preheat a 4-quart pot over medium-high heat. Saute the onions and bell pepper in the oil until translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for another minute, using nonstick cooking spray or a splash of water if it's sticking. Mix in the chili powder, cumin coriander, oregano, cinnamon, and salt.  Add 1/2 cup of the vegetable broth and the cocoa powder, and cook for about 1 more minute while stirring to dissolve the cocoa.

Add the lentils, remaining vegetable broth, diced tomatoes, and eggplant. Cover the pot and bring the mixture to a boil, keeping a close eye on it. Once it's boiling, lower the heat to a simmer and cook for about 40 minutes, until the lentils are tender and the eggplant is soft.  Mix in the agave. Taste for salt and seasoning.

Let the chili sit for 10 minutes or so for maximum flavor. Serve garnished with cilantro, if you like.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Berry Buckwheat Muffins

So part of our raw food kick has been using more raw buckwheat, which is Gluten Free!  And as you might have guessed, this recipe is not "raw" because I don't have a dehydrator.  To tell you the truth, I'm not all that certain I really want one.  I'm convinced that owning one of those contraptions creates a sort of obsession with raw food.  Yes you can make raw pancakes, raw breads, raw muffins, crackers, wraps, etc.  But you have to use a lot of nuts, seeds, and oils in most of those recipes, making them high in fat and not all that healthy.  And when you consume anything dehydrated, your body has to rehydrate those foods for digestion.

Of course, I'll make things raw when I can but as long as I'm using organic whole food ingredients in my recipes, I have no problem at all with cooked food!

These Blueberry Buckwheat Muffins are from "Get It Ripe" by Jae Steele.

Berry Buckwheat Muffins
Ingredients 1 3/4

1 3/4 cups whole raw buckwheat
2 cups filtered room temperature water
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup organic Unsweetened Soy Milk or Almond Milk
1/3 cup flax seeeds
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
zest of 1 organic lemon (2 tsp lightly packed)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp anise seeds, ground (optional)
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 cups frozen (not thawed) mixed berries

Rinse buckwheat, then combine it in a bowl with the room temperature filtered water and soak overnight (or combine with the just-boiled water and soak for 1 hour)

Preheat oven to 375F. Prepare a muffin tray with paper liners.  You'll need 16 cups instead of 12.

Pour soaked buckwheat (along with any unabsorbed water) into food processor or blender, add the syrup, milk, flax seeds, oil, lemon juice, zest, anise and salt, and give it a whirl for about 1 minute, until the buckwheat kernels are blended down.  Add the baking powder and soda, and blend again for 10 seconds to combine.

Pour the batter into a large bowl and fold in the blueberries with a silicone spatula.

Portion batter into muffin cups, filling them to the top, and bake for 25 minutes, until the tops are domed and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Stores in an airtight container for up to 2 days, or in fridge for up to a week.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Live Chocolate Mousse

I just realized it's been a whole month since I last posted on my blog!  I'm a baaaad food blogger.  Well, the biggest two things happening in my life are my kids starting public school after homeschooling them for three years AND holy crap, I'm turning 40 this month!  I think those are good excuses.  So to make up for it I am posting a dessert recipe today!  A Gluten Free Vegan Raw Chocolate Mousse!

I've made a simplified version of this recipe so many times with just avocado, cocoa powder, and agave nectar and my kids would always eat it, but they never "loved" it.   Well now that I've figured out how to make it thicker and chocolatier by adding raw almond butter to the mix they can't get enough of it :)  Oh yeah, and my husband loves it too.  And it goes great in a lunchbox for school or work as a super healthy dessert.

I adapted this recipe from the March 2010 edition of Vegetarian Times.  If you are not a subscriber and would like to be, please go and subscribe now at where they have the lowest subscriber rates.

Live Chocolate Mousse

3 Haas Avocados
1/4 cup plus 3 tbs. Maple Syrup
1/4 cup plus 2 tbs. Raw Cocoa Powder (or just unsweetened if you don't have raw)
3 tbs. raw almond butter
1 tsp lemon juice
Pinch ground cinnamon

Toss it all in your Vitamix, Magic Bullet or whatever high speed blender and blend until smooth.