Apr 022014
 

  This Easy & Delicious Vegan Spanakopita Recipe has a healthy little secret – within that oh-so light and flakey crust it is stuffed with savory, seasoned greens and tangy sun dried tomatoes nestled inside. My whole family enjoyed each bite!

Vegan Spanakopita Recipe

Vegan Spanakopita Recipe

Getting kids involved in cooking is fun.

Especially with plant based cooking. No worries of contamination or icky pathogens – just good clean fun.  The best part is that it is time well spent together (electronics-free), AND gives kids a skill that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.

When I graduated college I do believe my best dish was spaghetti with jarred sauce that I typically managed to still mess up. I remember all the waaaaaay back to my dorm at FSU – there was a shared kitchen with one of those old stoves with the coil.

Visions of a Dorm Room

Visions of a Dorm Room

The “kitchen” was more of a closet with other students occasionally also cooking spaghetti or a processed cheese product that could last a nuclear ice age – you know the one I’m talking about.

Cooking in the Dorm

Cooking in the Dorm

Very funny photo source. If you want to be entertained - click the link. 

A well trained cook, my mother was not. Fish sticks, chicken pot pie and tuna noodle casserole all the way baby.
Love you mom! Please don’t be mad I’m telling everyone about the frozen fish sticks!

My Nana, on the other hand, was an excellent macrobiotic cook. But, unfortunately I didn’t think macrobiotics were cool when I was growing up, so I didn’t learn how brilliant my Nana was until later in life.

Now that I have learned so much about food, our food system in the US, and cooking, I have vowed to bless my daughter with knowledge and skill. She will know what kohlrabi is, how to make her own bean burgers (and be able to eat the raw mix if she wants), the importance of fiber, why staying away from dairy is key, and the state of the commercial farming industry. She is one of the people that will help shape our future – and the future looks better than today.

Part of our future is electronics. I’ve learned to embrace it, but respect it’s power. One of the ways I have planned to embrace it is by doing more videos on how to cook. My problem is timing. By the time I get home from a long day of business meetings, appointments etc. my daughter needs to start her homework  and I have to get dinner on the table before she tries to eat me out of house and home. The last thing I seem to be able to do is put makeup on and film a video.

But I have good news. I’ve discovered a great medium for the busy cook who wants to get into the video segment.

The Vine Video. In 7 seconds I can give a quick overview of how a dish was made. No one really wants to sit down to a 20 minute tutorial before they eat anyway, right? Right? (At least that’s what I’m telling myself.)

Well here it is. You can pause it at each frame but just don’t pause it on my oh-so-fresh and un-made up face. Lord knows I’m not in my college days any more.

Did you grow up cooking? If you have children, how do you get them involved?

Vegan Spanakopita Recipe

Vegan Spanakopita Recipe

Greens Spanakopita

Serves 4
Vegan
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

8 sheets fillo dough
Olive oil spray
1 onion, sliced thinly
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 bunches kale, bok choy, spinach or mixture of any greens (about 5 cups), chopped
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1/3 cup julienned sundried tomatoes
2/3 cup non-dairy cheese (such as cashew cheese, Daiya or tofu cheese)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat; spray with olive oil; sauté onions, about 5 minutes; reduce heat to medium-low; add garlic and greens, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Cook an additional 5 minutes or until greens are wilted.

2. Place one sheet fillo on pan prepared with parchment; spray with olive oil; top with next sheet; repeat. Top with greens mixture, cheese and sundried tomato; fold edges over so top is completely covered; flip and spray top with additional olive oil; bake for 25-30 minutes or until fillo is browned. ** Cut into four triangles.

**Watch the fillo closely because it can go from undercooked to overcooked in minutes!

Nutrition Facts (with 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil)
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 204.8
Total Fat 9.6 g
Saturated Fat 1.9 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.8 g
Monounsaturated Fat 4.2 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 508.0 mg
Potassium 599.4 mg
Total Carbohydrate 26.4 g
Dietary Fiber 4.3 g
Sugars 4.5 g
Protein 5.8 g

Vitamin A 296.1 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 12.6 %
Vitamin C 86.9 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 8.5 %
Calcium 9.5 %
Copper 14.1 %
Folate 9.3 %
Iron 12.7 %
Magnesium 10.1 %
Manganese 33.8 %
Niacin 6.1 %
Pantothenic Acid 2.4 %
Phosphorus 7.0 %
Riboflavin 7.3 %
Selenium 3.0 %
Thiamin 7.5 %
Zinc 3.4 %

*Percent Daily Values for Vegan Spanakopita Recipe are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Aug 162013
 
Vegan Gluten Free Cornmeal Pancakes

Vegan Gluten Free Cornmeal Pancakes

 Do you have one of those friends or family members that come into town and you panic – not knowing what to feed them because they have such a strict diet?  Are YOU the person that causes panic?

I know I am usually the culprit when it comes to causing major bouts of anxiety when we visit – between my plant based diet and my daughter’s food allergies we cause quite a stir.

In order to make my host family feel more at east I always bring food and will typically cook for them. This breakfast is one example of a special meal I might make.  The dry ingredients can be pre-mixed, the chia egg and sauce can also be pre-made and refrigerated so all you are adding is the coconut oil and almond milk.  This isn’t an every day recipe but it’s so nice for a special occasion.  My daughter loved these and they re-heated in the oven nicely.

Cornmeal Pancakes with Blueberry Maple Balsamic Sauce

Cornmeal Pancakes with Blueberry Maple Balsamic Sauce

Impress your friends and family!

These gently sweet pancakes will stand out from the crowd with their unique cornmeal texture.  You’ll love the blueberry maple balsamic sauce – a tangy twist to the standard blueberry pancake with maple syrup.

Because the batter will seem really thin, I made a quick one minute video to show when they are ready to be flipped.

Youtube video on how to make my Gluten Free, Vegan Cornmeal Pancakes

Vegan Gluten Free Cornmeal Pancakes

Vegan Gluten Free Cornmeal Pancakes

Cornmeal Pancakes with Blueberry Maple Balsamic Sauce

Serves 3 (3 pancakes each and 2 Tbsp sauce)
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe
**On sale at Native Sun Natural Food Market August 7 through Sept 6, 2013
Happy One Year Anniversary of the collaboration between FCC and Native Sun!

Ingredients

2 Tbsp chia
1 1/2 cups non dairy milk, divided (I used regular vanilla almond milk)
3/4 cup almond meal/flour or gluten free flour
1/2 cup cornmeal (grind bulk bin grits into a flour)
1/8 tsp salt
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted

Blueberry Maple Balsamic Sauce

1/2 cup blueberries
1/4 cup maple
1 Tbsp balsamic
1 tsp chia

Directions

1. Mix 2 Tbsp chia with 1/4 cup non-dairy milk and set aside (chia egg). Blend blueberries, maple syrup, balsamic and chia in separate container and set aside in fridge.

2. Mix almond meal through baking powder in a large mixing bow; add vanilla, coconut oil, remaining 1 1/4 cup almond milk and chia egg.

3. Heat skillet to medium-high; pour batter in 1/4 cup portions onto skillet – cook 1 minute or until middle bubbles and bottom is golden brown; flip and cook an additional minute.

4. Pour 2 Tbsp blueberry mixture over each of three servings (three pancakes each).

Nutrition Facts
3 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 418.6
Total Fat 24.8 g
Saturated Fat 6.9 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.5 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 571.6 mg
Potassium 241.2 mg
Total Carbohydrate 44.6 g
Dietary Fiber 8.7 g
Sugars 22.7 g

Protein 9.8 g
Vitamin A 5.9 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 2.0 %
Vitamin C 5.2 %
Vitamin D 12.5 %
Vitamin E 61.6 %
Calcium 51.1 %
Copper 2.7 %
Folate 1.0 %
Iron 18.4 %
Magnesium 34.4 %
Manganese 49.2 %
Niacin 2.3 %
Pantothenic Acid 0.7 %
Phosphorus 17.8 %
Riboflavin 2.1 %
Selenium 2.7 %
Thiamin 3.5 %
Zinc 8.7 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Apr 162013
 

Grilled Adobo Tofu and Veggies
Open your mind……

“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” ― Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto

Grilled Adobo Tofu and Veggies over Fresh Citrus Salsa and Cilantro Sunflower Seed Pesto

Grilled Adobo Tofu and Veggies over Fresh Citrus Salsa and Cilantro Sunflower Seed Pesto

“Many people know that animals around the world are treated badly, yet they turn their minds away.” - Ruby Roth, Vegan is Love

So I say…..open your mind to what is going on in factory farms. 

“Were the walls of our meat industry to become transparent, literally or even figuratively, we would not long continue to raise, kill, and eat animals the way we do.”
Michael Pollan, The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals
 

“I would NEVER.”  Some people say.
Never give up meat. Give up dairy. Eat tofu.

I do believe I heard that out of my husband’s mouth.

(But curiosity got the best of him.)

It looks like chicken.

“Hey! It’s pretty good!”

Score.

Grilled Adobo Tofu and Veggies over Fresh Citrus Salsa and Cilantro Sunflower Seed Pesto

Grilled Adobo Tofu and Veggies over Fresh Citrus Salsa and Cilantro Sunflower Seed Pesto

How did I manage to do this and WHY?

Let’s start with the why.

For the same reason I would pre-prep and pre-make dishes for my CSA….so folks would at least try it.  Even ONE meat and dairy free meal helps your body, the environment and, of course, the animals that were not eaten.

“But that’s the challenge — to change the system more than it changes you.”
Michael Pollan, The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals
Grilled Adobo Tofu and Veggies over Fresh Citrus Salsa and Cilantro Sunflower Seed Pesto

Grilled Adobo Tofu and Veggies over Fresh Citrus Salsa and Cilantro Sunflower Seed Pesto

The HOW.

Tips on how to make tofu look like chicken.

Step 1: Press well.  Do this the day before you are going to eat it or at least a few hours in advance.  I LOVE my tofu xpress, or you can simply wrap the tofu in thick paper towels and a kitchen towel, place it between two plates and weight down the top plate with a very heavy book and/or soup cans.  If you are pressing it overnight, place in the fridge; if not, it is fine to leave on the counter.

Step 2: Cut around the entire tofu to remove any flat planes and edges – think chicken breast. Save all the little shreds to season and throw on a salad.

Step 3: Now cut the tofu into similarly sized but asymmetrical pieces.

Step 4: Run your knife along the flat planes making small downward cuts to shred the edges a bit and then throw the tofu in the marinade.  See the below video and I promise to get a better one soon! Stay tuned…..

(All these steps will also help the marinade seep in a bit better.)

Ever wondered how to disguise tofu? This very humorous, last minute (and shaky) video shows you how. 
Warning: The videographer was my 4 year old.

 Now that all the nuts and bolts are out of the way, let’s get down to the food.

The weather is getting warmer and people are ready to start grilling!  There is nothing like a nice crisp char on some veggies and a mouth-watering, marinated protein-of-choice (tempeh would be great too) - perfect with cool salsa and creamy avocado.  This whole concoction, nestled in a bed of aromatic-nutty cilantro and sunflower seed pesto, is a perfect medley of flavor, texture and temperature.

Grilled Adobo Tofu and Veggies over Fresh Citrus Salsa and Cilantro Sunflower Seed Pesto

Grilled Adobo Tofu and Veggies over Fresh Citrus Salsa and Cilantro Sunflower Seed Pesto 

Grilled Adobo Tofu and Veggies over Fresh Citrus Salsa and Cilantro Sun Flower Seed Pesto  

 ___________________________________

Grilled Adobo Tofu and Veggies

Grilled Adobo Tofu and Veggies

 Grilled Adobo Tofu and Veggies

Serves 6
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe
Tip: Press the tofu overnight and then marinate during the day.

Ingredients

1 block organic, extra firm tofu, pressed 1 hour to overnight
2 Tbsp + 2 tsp adobo seasoning
1 Tbsp + 2 tsp olive oil
2 fresh zucchini, sliced
1 onion, quartered and cut into chunks
5oz button mushrooms

Adobo Seasoning Recipe
Notes: You will definitely have left over.
This step can be skipped by purchasing pre-mixed adobo seasoning.
2 tsp each; garlic powder, black pepper, onion powder, cumin, dried oregano
1 tsp chili powder
1 Tbsp paprika
2 Tbsp salt

Directions

1. Mix 2 Tbsp adobo seasoning and 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large bowl; cut tofu into chunks (see tip on how to make tofu look like chicken) and add to bowl; toss to coat and set aside for at least an hour or the day.

2. Preheat grill to medium high; season the vegetables with remaining 2 tsp adobo seasoning and 2 tsp olive oil; toss to coat.

3. Thread veggies and tofu onto skewers in an alternating pattern; spray with organic, non-stick spray.

4. Grill until nice char marks appear and vegetables are soft but not mushy; 5-10 minutes on one side and 5 or so minutes on the next.

Full Nutrition Info

Fresh Citrus Salsa

Fresh Citrus Salsa

Fresh Citrus Salsa

Serves 6
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

2 tomatoes, chopped
1 navel orange, peeled and chopped
1/4 red onion, chopped
Juice 1 lime
1 avocado, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
Dash coarse sea salt

Directions

1. Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl.

Full Nutrition Info

Cilantro Sunflower Seed Pesto

Cilantro Sunflower Seed Pesto

Cilantro Sunflower Seed Pesto

Serves 6
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

1 cup fresh cilantro
1 Tbsp chopped onion
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup roasted sunflower seeds
1/8 – 1/4 tsp coarse sea salt (depending on taste)
1/4 cup water

Directions

1. Mix all ingredients in Magic Bullet or blender.

!Full Nutrition Info

Enjoy this grilled Adobo Tofu and Veggies