Jan 132014
 

Move over eggs ~ there’s a new perfect protein for breakfast. My Avocado and Sea Salt Toast has a healthy, balanced blend of fat, FIBER and protein with zero cholesterol.

What’s not to love?

If you are an avocado lover, like me, you may not have thought of using it in place of butter for a simple, creamy and satisfying breakfast for your busy mornings.

Creamy Avocado and Sea Salt Toast

Creamy Avocado and Sea Salt Toast

Every day you get up with purpose. You get out of bed, shower, hurriedly get dressed in the dark ~ and manage to get out the door with a black shoe on your left and a brown shoe on your right. True story from my past life.  I remember it only too well.  For all of my hard working friends in Corporate America – I dedicate this post to you.

Who has time for breakfast?

Creamy Avocado and Sea Salt Toast

Creamy Avocado and Sea Salt Toast

You do! Just before grabbing your keys and leaving, toast some sesame Ezekiel bread and grab an avocado, an onion and your knife.

I’ll tell you the reason for the onion in a second.

Creamy Avocado and Sea Salt Toast

Creamy Avocado and Sea Salt Toast

Take your knife and cut around the avocado, the long way; twist. For now, leave the pit in the one side because it will cut down on the oxidation (browning).


Source
 ~ The Amazing Avocado

Next, cut your slices while the avocado is still in the skin. (Technically, you don’t have to do this step ~ it just looks prettier.)

Slice Avocado
Source
 ~ Thank you to the Practical Cook

Scoop out half of the slices on one side for your toast and place the remaining avocado in a reusable airtight container. Cut an onion and half and place it in there right along with the avocado. The vapors from the onion will reduce further oxidation.

If the avocado is ripe enough you should easily be able to spread it like butter. In fact, I will be so bold as to say wherever there is butter, avocado should replace it.

Let’s look at butter and avocado nutrition facts in a head to head comparison for a two tablespoon serving.

Avocado vs. Butter

Avocado vs. Butter

Shhh….don’t tell the dairy farmers.

Avocado can even be subbed in baking! According to 3 Fat Chicks on a Diet:

“Avocado is almost like a butter, and just like butter it has a soft and creamy texture. You may have to do some experimenting, but in general you can simply substitute 1 cup of avocado for 1 cup of butter. You may have to increase other liquids as the avocado does not melt like butter.

When substituting avocado for eggs in your baking, start by substituting 2 tbsp. to 1/4 cup mashed avocado for each egg.

Avocado will make your cakes rise up higher in the center, and in some occasions may even cave. It also browns quicker, and therefore your cake may look well done on the outside, but the inside may still be doughy. To avoid these things from happening, reduce your oven temperature by about 25 percent and increase your baking time.”

Creamy Avocado and Sea Salt Toast

Creamy Avocado and Sea Salt Toast

One bite and you will be subbing avocado left and right for everything – ESPECIALLY when there is coarse sea salt involved. There is something about that tiny, salty crunch on top of creamy, satisfying avocado and nutty sesame.

Avocado and Sea Salt Toast

Avocado and Sea Salt Toast

Creamy Avocado and Sea Salt Toast

Inspired my a request from my 5 year old daughter ~ she loves it!
Serves 1
Vegan, Gluten Free Option*
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

1 slice sesame Ezekiel Bread (or gluten free bread)
1/4 ripe avocado, sliced
Sprinkle of coarse sea salt

Directions

1. Toast the Ezekiel Bread; spread avocado over bread evenly; sprinkle sea salt.

Nutrition Facts
1 Serving
Amount Per Serving

Calories 152.2
Total Fat 7.2 g
Saturated Fat 0.9 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.8 g
Monounsaturated Fat 4.2 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 83.4 mg
Potassium 299.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate 18.7 g
Dietary Fiber 5.9 g
Sugars 1.1 g
Protein 4.8 g

Vitamin A 1.3 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 10.2 %
Vitamin C 6.3 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 2.9 %
Calcium 0.6 %
Copper 3.7 %
Folate 9.6 %
Iron 5.5 %
Magnesium 9.1 %
Manganese 3.2 %
Niacin 10.1 %
Pantothenic Acid 6.3 %
Phosphorus 10.3 %
Riboflavin 3.6 %
Selenium 0.2 %
Thiamin 10.2 %
Zinc 6.0 %

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

Dec 012013
 

Greens Salad with Avocado, Chickpeas, Quinoa and Hummus Dressing is a hearty, yet easy to make salad that is sure to satisfy even the biggest appetite! 

Greens Salad with Avocado, Chickpeas, Quinoa and Hummus Dressing

Greens Salad with Avocado, Chickpeas, Quinoa and Hummus Dressing

“Call me, I need to share some recipes that I have been doing ….”

Last week I got a text from Vivian at KyV Farm that she came up with a few easy and delicious recipes to utilize the staples we have on hand – such as greens and beans.  Of course I called her right away so I could hear all about them because I’m always looking for new ideas aside from my go-to staple of “if in doubt, make soup”. They sounded so tasty that I had to go home and whip this one up immediately with some of the beans, quinoa and hummus I already had on hand.

Greens Salad with Avocado, Chickpeas, Quinoa and Hummus Dressing

Greens Salad with Avocado, Chickpeas, Quinoa and Hummus Dressing

Here were some of her suggestions:

  • Utilize any greens you have – a whole mixture of bok choy, lettuce, collards, kale – whatever! Wash and dry them and use them as a base for your salads. Top with cooked beans, cooked quinoa and avocado. Now here is the kicker. Instead of using salad dressing try hummus!
  • Chickpea tacos – mix equal parts chickpea flour and water, salt and pepper. Cook them in a lightly oiled pan like a crepe. Stuff with beans and vegggies.
  • Mix greens into fresh salsa right along with any herbs.  Use this in a base for pasta sauce and no one will even notice the extra veggies.
  • Soak some beans overnight and throw them in the pressure cooker with salt-free broth, onions, garlic and sofrito. Bring the pressure up to a simmer and cook 30 minutes then remove from heat.
  • Mix some poblano peppers in with the cooked chickpeas to make a spicy hummus. (I like to throw some greens in there too.)

Upon one taste of this salad I knew Vivian had hit the jackpot! What a way to get your greens in! I love the hummus as a creamy dressing and with 12 grams of fiber and almost 12 grams of protein this is a sure-to-fill-you-up meal.

Do you have any easy and favorite ways to use what you usually have on hand?

Greens Salad with Avocado and Hummus Dressing

Greens Salad with Avocado and Hummus Dressing

Greens Salad with Avocado, Chickpeas, Quinoa and Hummus Dressing

Vegan, Gluten Free
Serves 1
Printable Recipe
**Ingredient from KyV Farm

Ingredients

2 cups mixed greens, chopped**
1/4 cup cooked quinoa
1/4 cup cooked chickpeas
1/4 cup raw broccoli florets, chopped**
1/4 Florida avocado, chopped
2 Tbsp hummus
Salt and pepper

Directions

1. Top greens with quinoa, chickpeas, broccoli, avocado and hummus; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Nutrition Facts
1 Serving
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 313.6
Total Fat 12.3 g
Saturated Fat 2.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2.6 g
Monounsaturated Fat 5.5 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 304.0 mg
Potassium 505.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate 41.7 g
Dietary Fiber 12.1 g
Sugars 2.5 g
Protein 11.7 g

Vitamin A 69.4 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 21.7 %
Vitamin C 73.3 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 1.8 %
Calcium 7.1 %
Copper 24.9 %
Folate 26.4 %
Iron 17.8 %
Magnesium 15.3 %
Manganese 35.1 %
Niacin 4.5 %
Pantothenic Acid 10.4 %
Phosphorus 14.8 %
Riboflavin 6.1 %
Selenium 4.4 %
Thiamin 6.5 %
Zinc 10.3 %

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

Jun 212013
 

I have a confession that is very embarrassing.

Chunky Salsa Taco Salad

Chunky Salsa Taco Salad

I’m an “as seen on TV” junkie.

Chunky Salsa Taco Salad

Chunky Salsa Taco Salad

I’ve tried:

On a scale of 1-10 (10 being the best) here is how I would rank some the ones I’ve tried.
Music Bullet 10 – a small speaker that you can recharge and is perfect to plug into your smart phone to listen to Pandora.
Lens CPR 1 – to fix scratches on my eyeglasses lens. My glasses came out really cloudy and weird. Maybe I didn’t do this right.
Strap Perfect  3 – pulls bra straps together in the back so you can’t see the straps. Eh. It’s ok.
Ped Egg 7 – pedicure tool.  I like it! When I have time to use it.
Instabulb 3 – A light bulb you can take anywhere.  Didn’t stay stuck to the wall and wasn’t very bright.
Vidalia Chop Wizard 8 – Veggie chopper.  I loved it until I broke the poor thing. It was great to chop everything into equal bites.  My daughter thought it was really fun.
Perfect Tortilla 10 - Love it! Stackable pans that you easily press a tortilla into and it bakes into a perfect bowl.  I debated on whether to get this and finally caved. I tried it and love it! It was SO easy and no oil needed!

Have you tried any As Seen On TV gadgets? If so which ones have you tried? Did you like them?

Chunky Salsa Taco Salad

Chunky Salsa Taco Salad

Wondering what to stuff in the shells? Anything! I chose to chop up some gorgeous fresh summer veggies from KyV farm that I had on hand to make a sort of deconstructed salsa and hidden beneath was some left over grains and beans. I seasoned very simply with fresh lime and salt but it would be great with a pinch of cayenne and some cumin as well.

Get creative with these shells! Try sprinkling some cinnamon and sugar before baking to make dessert shells, use them for dips, salads or chili!

I think everyone knows what they are getting for Christmas now.

Chunky Salsa Taco Salad

Chunky Salsa Taco Salad

Chunky Salsa Taco Salad

Serves 4
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe
**Ingredients from KyV Farm

Ingredients

1/2 14.5oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups grape tomatoes, sliced**
2 cups yum yum peppers, sliced**
1/2 avocado, chopped
3 ears fresh corn, husk and silk removed and cut from cob**
1/4 red onion, chopped
Fresh cilantro (or in my case, chives since hubby doesn’t like cilantro)
Fresh lime
Coarse ground sea salt
4 Rice Tortillas

Optional
2 cups left over beans and rice
Hot Sauce
1/4 poblano pepper, chopped**

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400F; mix beans through salt in a bowl and set aside; press tortillas into tortilla shell pans; bake 7-10 minutes or until crispy and browned; fill each shell with 1/4 salsa mixture, and 1/4 cup beans and rice if using.

Nutrition Facts (without leftover beans and rice)
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 289.1
Total Fat 7.0 g
Saturated Fat 0.6 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.0 g
Monounsaturated Fat 2.4 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 352.7 mg
Potassium 755.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate 51.7 g
Dietary Fiber 10.2 g
Sugars 1.8 g
Protein 8.1 g

Vitamin A 75.9 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 15.3 %
Vitamin C 200.1 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 5.2 %
Calcium 2.6 %
Copper 15.9 %
Folate 23.7 %
Iron 13.2 %
Magnesium 23.8 %
Manganese 19.7 %
Niacin 21.7 %
Pantothenic Acid 16.4 %
Phosphorus 23.9 %
Riboflavin 9.5 %
Selenium 2.2 %
Thiamin 27.5 %
Zinc 9.4 %

*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

Sep 282012
 

You know when you come across something that is so good you just want to eat it all the time?  For me it is still that salad I told you about a few posts ago- the simple purple cabbage and creamy avocado.  But last night I was looking for a bit more protein, so I came up with this super satisfying salad that has all the great textures; the crunch of the cabbage, creaminess of avocado and light crisp cucumbers, but also has some heartiness from the falafel burger.  This salad will really stick with ya. 

Falafel Salad

 If you are like me, your life is super busy; between my day job, running a business, writing recipes, working out, camping and having fun with my family and friends, there isn’t much time left for elaborate dinners – especially during the week – so I love to use time saving shortcuts like these Sunshine Burger pre-made falafel burgers.  Not only are they DELICOUS, but you can actually pronounce each and every ingredient; such as, sunflower seeds, brown rice etc. 

Falafel Salad

 For the dressing, I used my favorite Annie’s dressing, totally vegan and another one of those amazing all natural products that you can feel good about eating. The goddess dressing has tahini, lemon, garlic and a bit of soy which makes for the perfect compliment to the falafel burger.

Falafel Salad

Crisp Cabbage and Creamy Avocado Salad with Falafel “Croutons” and Annie’s Goddess Dressing

Serves 1
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

1 cup sliced red cabbage
1 cup chopped cucumber
1/4 avocado, chopped
1 slice red onion, chopped
1 falafel burger, I used Sunshine Burger 
1 Tbsp Annie’s Goddess Dressing 
Salt and pepper, to taste
Optional – 4 Slices Bell Pepper or Mild Pepper of Choice

Directions

1. Heat burger in toaster oven until just warmed through.

2. Layer cabbage, cucumber, avocado and onion in a large bowl; tear heated falafel burger gently and add to salad; top with Goddess dressing, salt and pepper, to taste and bell pepper if using.

Nutrition Facts
1 Serving
Amount Per Serving

Calories 416.4
Total Fat 25.5 g
Saturated Fat 3.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.0
Monounsaturated Fat 4.3 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 421.8 mg
Potassium 602.1 mg
Total Carbohydrate 39.2 g
Dietary Fiber 15.0 g
Sugars 2.1 g
Protein 9.5 g

Vitamin A 58.1 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 13.2 %
Vitamin C 64.2 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 3.8 %
Calcium 8.4 %
Copper 6.7 %
Folate 23.0 %
Iron 8.0 %
Magnesium 9.6 %
Manganese 14.9 %
Niacin 6.7 %
Pantothenic Acid 9.5 %
Phosphorus 6.8 %
Riboflavin 7.2 %
Selenium 1.5 %
Thiamin 7.0 %
Zinc 4.5 %

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

Sep 052012
 
I find cabbage to be a bit intimidating and I’m not sure why.  Kohlrabi and daikon radish have had no problems making it to my plate, but that darn cabbage will reside in its refrigerator drawer, giving me a sneer every time I open the door.
Ha!  You don’t know WHAT to do with me!
It’s time to take the bull by the horns and start simple.
It doesn’t get much more effortless than this salad.  When mixed with romaine and avocado, that cabbage just doesn’t seem as menacing – in fact, it adds a nice hearty crunch that is really satisfying against the creamy avocado.
At first I wasn’t going to post this recipe because it is so simple, it almost seems like cheating.  But then I thought, why not?  When I’m looking for a recipe to use with a particular ingredient, I’m not necessarily looking for a 30 ingredient Emeril recipe.  Why not stick to the fact that simple can also be delicious?
Purple Cabbage and Creamy  Avocado Salad
Purple Cabbage and Creamy Avocado Salad
Serves 4
Vegan, Gluten Free
Ingredients
4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
2 cups shredded purple cabbage
1/4 red onion, sliced
1 avocado, seed removed and sliced
1/2 cup dressing of choice, I used a vegan, gluten free dressing I whipped up
Directions
1. Layer 1 cup romaine, 1/2 cup shredded cabbage, 1/4 avocado and 2 Tbsp dressing.
Nutrition Facts (BEFORE DRESSING)
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 96.5
Total Fat 6.9 g
Saturated Fat 1.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.9 g
Monounsaturated Fat 4.3 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 20.2 mg
Potassium 500.6 mg
Total Carbohydrate 8.9 g
Dietary Fiber 5.0 g
Sugars 1.9 g
Protein 2.5 g

Vitamin A 40.3 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 12.6 %
Vitamin C 71.8 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 4.4 %
Calcium 4.7 %
Copper 5.3 %
Folate 31.0 %
Iron 6.9 %
Magnesium 5.9 %
Manganese 26.9 %
Niacin 6.5 %
Pantothenic Acid 8.0 %
Phosphorus 6.4 %
Riboflavin 8.8 %
Selenium 0.8 %
Thiamin 8.0 %
Zinc 3.6 %

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

Aug 022012
 

Just think…warm and sweet butternut squash, bright, sunny lemon, nutty tahini, purple onion and wilted spinach….doesn’t that sound great for summer?  It’s wonderful even cold!
This butternut squash dish was one of the recipes that Cara and I chose to make while she was in town visiting.  In addition to the tahini and olive oil, we stirred in some honey, cumin and fresh baby spinach. 
Once you try that one out….here is a wonderful round two recipe for you with avocado and sprouts that enhance the taste of fresh lemon.

Juicy summer cherries are the perfect compliment!

Butternut Squash and Chickpea Quesadilla with Avocado and Fresh Sprouts
Serves 4
Vegetarian
Ingredients
4 whole wheat wraps
1/2 cup Daiya cheddar cheese
1 avocado, seeded and sliced
1/4 red onion, sliced
1 cup sprouts
Directions
1. Preheat broiler to high.  Stuff 1/4 cup butternut squash salad into wheat wraps, top with 2 Tbsp Daiya.  Spray with cooking spray; broil, on high, 3 minutes per side or until browned.
2. Top with 1/4 sliced avocado, 1/4 of the sliced red onion and 1/4 cup sprouts.
**No nutrition info available for this one.
Jul 142012
 
Tropical Grilled Pineapple Salad with Creamy Mango Avocado Lime Dressing
Oh my goodness I am one busy girl.  Not only has work been crazy but I’m also taking care of a sick little one, sharing Mila, doing yoga, hitting the gym, writing a food blog and cooking (to name just a few).  
And I have some exciting new to share with you!  I was asked to do a presentation at Baptist Beaches Hospital this Wednesday for an MS group there, Native Sun is now carrying some of my recipes (check it out!) AND I was invited to an exclusive media dinner at the Casa Monica’s restaurant, 95 Cordova, to review their new summer menu on August 10th!
Things are really moving along and gaining momentum.  In fact, last week on Tuesday I made the decision, after a particularly stressful day at work, to make peace with where I am in life and really have gratitude for what I have.  So I started a “Gratitude Board” where I write something I’m grateful for every day and really try to think about WHY I’m grateful for it.  Also, I began writing in a journal my goals and dreams in great detail as if they have already happened.  This little trick sets your subconscious up to be looking for ways to achieve what, in writing, has already happened.  I made a conscious decision to think of myself as a lucky person – and guess what.  I was on Native Sun’s blog and entered a little contest by guessing a secret ingredient and actually won!  The fact that it’s just a little (but VERY delicious) smoothie doesn’t matter….it’s the fact that when you get your mind right the universe responds to you.
Here are some of the things I wrote in my journal in a nutshell.
My first goals are to go back to school to the Institute of Integrative Nutrition to become a Certified Health Coach like my friend Michelle at Find Your Balance.  To get there I will greatly grow my business with Mila so that I can share Mila with LOTS of people and change their health forever.  I want to continue doing seminars and presentations on health and nutrition and continue being the volunteer coordinator and event planner for KYV farm.  
I will make the world a better place than I left it. Ultimately, I strive to make a positive impact on people’s health and the environment.
How is that for a deep subject on a Saturday?  So where does food and recipes fit into this you ask?
I’m not sure, but the universe must have been telling me to try Cara’s Spicy Tomato Coconut Sauce because I found something my husband and I both love.  This was very surprising to me because I actually made this sauce for myself he isn’t a fan of tomatoes or coconut. I know, very selfish of me but I had been dying to try it.  Cara – the universe is talking and it’s telling the world to make Spicy Tomato Coconut Sauce.  It is perfect over some GF pasta.
Spicy Coconut Tomato Sauce

And for the salad – mangoes were on sale at Fresh Market 10 for $10 so I bought some and then decided on a tropical salad so grilled pineapple fit the bill.  I made this dressing for my friend Suzanne and her husband Dan who are oil free vegans that also eat Mila and lost a TON of weight. This dressing is sweet and creamy from the avocado and mango and the onion adds that hmmm factor and helps, along with the lime, to keep the avocado from oxidizing.

Tropical Grilled Pineapple Salad with Creamy Mango Avocado Lime Dressing

I will definitely be grilling more pineapple in the future. I haven’t done it in ages and I’ve been missing out. It turns even sweeter and caramelized on the outside….you don’t need dessert after this salad!

Tropical Grilled Pineapple Salad with Creamy Mango Avocado Lime Dressing
Tropical Grilled Pineapple Salad with
Mango, Avocado and Fresh Lime Dressing
Serves 4
Vegan, Gluten Free

Ingredients

4 slices pineapple, sprayed with organic cooking spray

Dressing
1 ripe mango, skin removed and chopped
1/4 avocado
1/4 red onion
Juice 1/2 lime
1/4 tsp sea salt

Salad
6 cups spinach blend
1/4 red onion, sliced
1/2 cucumber, sliced
1/2 green pepper, sliced

Directions

1. Preheat grill to medium high.  Add pineapple – grill 5 to 7 minutes per side or until nice grill marks form.

2. Meanwhile mix the dressing ingredients in a Magic Bullet or blender – set aside.

3. Mix the salad ingredients in a large bowl.  Slice grilled pineapple into wedges.  Serve 2 cups salad mixture, 1 sliced pineapple around and a few Tbsp dressing on each plate.  The dressing can also be mixed in beforehand.

**You will most likely have dressing left over to reserve for another use.

Nutrition Facts Salad
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 59.6
Total Fat 0.6 g
Saturated Fat 0.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 37.1 mg
Potassium 399.6 mg
Total Carbohydrate 13.9 g
Dietary Fiber 2.4 g
Sugars 9.4 g
Protein 1.9 g

Vitamin A 86.3 %
Vitamin B-6 10.5 %
Vitamin C 65.2 %
Folate 25.5 %
Iron 9.2 %
Magnesium 12.7 %
Manganese 91.2 %


Nutrition Facts Dressing
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 54.0
Total Fat 1.8 g
Saturated Fat 0.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.1 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 147.4 mg
Potassium 145.2 mg
Total Carbohydrate 10.3 g
Dietary Fiber 1.8 g
Sugars 7.7 g
Protein 0.5 g

Vitamin A 8.3 %
Vitamin C 27.1 %

*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 192012
 
Welcome back to Wine Down Wednesday where I review a vegan dish paired with two different wines.
To pair wines with a meatless dish we must look at the spices and main flavors of the recipe.


For an ideal pairing we look for wines that that compliment Sweet Potato and Tahini Burgers Citrus, Mango and Avocado Salsa we look at the tahini, sweet potato, citrus and mango.


The Wines selected to taste are Warwick ‘First Lady’ Cabernet Sauvignon and Barboursville Viognier.

Sweet Potato and Tahini Burgers
with Citrus, Mango and Avocado Salsa

These sweet-spicy burgers are super easy to put together – only six ingredients. They can be baked, grilled or pan seared.  The mango salsa a spur of the moment inspiration that compliments the burgers so well it is a match made in heaven.  Mangos are on sale for a dollar and avocado is super cheap right now, too.  I had a jalapeno on hand to add a kick and some fresh Florida oranges and limes to add a nice tang.  For a side, I a added some nice steamed edamame with a sprinkle of coarse sea salt.

Time Saving Tip: To save time for the salsa, simply buy a quality store bought mango or citrus salsa in the refrigerated produce section of your grocery!


From 1791 through 1902 Warwick Wine Estate in South Africa was originally known as  ‘De Goede Sukses’, the Good Success farm.  It was later renamed Warwick after being purchased by Colonel Alexander Gordon of the Warwickshire regiment.  In the 60′s the winery traded hands again when it was purchased by Norma Ratcliffe and her husband Stan.  After initially selling the grapes wholesale to other wineries, Norma studied the art of winemaking and began producing her own wine in 1984.  She was the first female wine maker in South Africa, thus the ‘First Lady’ Cabernet Sauvignon is named as a tribute to Norma.

The winemaker’s notes, “The wine has a deep and intense ruby red colour. The nose reveals lots of red berries and sweet black cherries, complemented by sweet vanilla and chocolate oak background. The smooth ripe, round tannins make this wine easy to drink while still retaining a full body. The balanced acid creates a firm finish that is complemented by a lingering sweetness.”


Barboursville vineyards reside along side the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, owned by Gianni Zonin of Gamnbellara Italy who is a 7th generation winemaker. This Viognier Reserve is grown by the general manager-winemaker Luca Paschina who has a degree in oenology; the study of all aspects of wine. 

It looks like I have found my calling – I must go back to school for an oenology degree. I wonder if this is an offering at FSU.  If not, I will simply have to attend the the Instituto Umberto in Alba Italy as Luca Paschina did.
Gregg from Broadbent Selections sent me some additional information on the vineyard that I thought was interesting, “this second-generation estate house at Barboursville plantation was designed by Thomas Jefferson, one of only 3 residences he designed for his friends. The Barbour family continued to occupy this residence until it was destroyed by accidental fire at Christmas, 1884, and returned to the elegant Georgian villa next door for several generations, now The 1804 Inn”

The Viognier, pronounced Vee-‘O’-nyaaay, is fermented in steel with tropical and floral tones.  It does well with aging of 4 to 5 years.  The photos of the vineyard are gorgeous-I would love to visit and take some of the cooking classes offered at their restaurant.

Categories



Category #1 – How well my dish turned out.
Category #2 – How well I like the wine.
Category #3 – Pairing notes – How well this wine pairs with the dish.


Rating Scale


Bleck -This wine is pretty bad.
Ho Hum- I could drink it if I was at a football game and there was nothing else in the cooler.
Nice -Good table wine. I would keep this in the wine cooler if it was a good value.
Yum – This is good, I would pay a fair bit more and have it for a special occasion.
Damn that’s Good – Self explanatory.
** We will use the same terminology for how the dish turned out and how well it paired.


Category #1 The Dish

Rating of Nice.  I would definitely make these burgers again as long as I could make the salsa with them.  I think that is what really made the dish.  It had all the elements I love - sweet from the mangos and sweet potato, aromatics from the cilantro and a spicy kick from the Cajun seasoning and jalapeno peppers.  The tahini wasn’t a prominent flavor, it just added enough to give it a nutty hint in the background. These were awesome with a bit of Arizona Gunslinger hot sauce on the side. 


Category #2 The Wine

Warwick Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 gets a rating of Damn That’s Good.  I’ve started a little wine journal now so I can sit down and write the first things that come to mind.  I’m still amazed when I go and look at reviews afterwards and the reviews actually coincide with my perception.  For this Cabernet the first thing I wrote down was chocolate/cocoa and no aftertaste. After sitting and swirling a bit I added perfect balance of dry and sweet, not too heavy.  Smoky mesquite.  Great with grilled foods.  My husband happened to be cooking on the grill at the time which may have had some influence there.

Virginia Voignier Reserve, 2010 also gets a rating of DAMN THAT’S GOOD.  I had to write that one in caps for emphasis.  On first taste I wrote honey, mango and tad sweeter than Chardonnays, higher percentage of residual sugar ?  I loved the honey-lemon color.  I also wrote down grass reminiscent of summer fresh cut grass which is interesting because in a review of the wine I read “herbal frame” – I wonder if my interpretation was the grassiness.

Category #3 The Pairing

Both get a rating of Yum.  Each brought the dish up to another level in it’s own way.  If I had rated the dish higher, the wines would have elevated the pairings to a DTG. 
The smoky-cocoa cabernet brings out the spicy elements of the dish and has a light enough body to not overpower the sweet potato burgers. 
The Viognier complimented the sweetness of the mango and sweet potato; the wine acquired an added layer of a lemony-citrus flavor when paired with the dish-refreshing and smooth.

Where to buy

All the wines will be for sale locally at the Grotto in San Marco. Please call first to ensure they are in stock.  You can contact Mitch Woodlief, grottomitch@aol.com with questions and pricing.  Anyone outside the Greater Jacksonville area can contact E-MAIL: info@broadbent.com PHONE: US +1 415-931-1725.

Sweet Potato Tahini Burgers

with Citrus, Mango and Avocado Salsa

Inspired by Lunch Box Bunch
Serves 6
Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy Free

Ingredients

Burgers
1 can of sweet potato
2 cans cannellini or pinto beans, rinsed and drained
2 heaping Tbsp tahini
2 Tbsp maple or agave syrup
1/2 tsp Cajun seasoning
1/3 cup oats, pulsed in magic bullet, blender or food processor to grind it a bit

Salsa
1 mango, seeded and chopped
2 oranges, peeled and chopped
1 avocado, seeded and chopped
1/4 jalapeno pepper, chopped
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
Juice of 1 lime
Handful fresh cilantro, chopped

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Add all burger ingredients to a food processor and pulse a few times, so just mixed.  Form into patties and place on a baking tray rubbed with oil.  Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, turning halfway through.  Turn on broiler to high at the end to crisp outside – about 1 to 2 minutes or until browned.

2. Meanwhile mix the salsa ingredients in a small bowl. 

3. Top each burger with a generous heaping of salsa and serve with Barboursville Viognier or Warwick First Lady Cabernet.

Nutrition Facts
6 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 381.5
Total Fat 8.2 g
Saturated Fat 1.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat 4.1 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 113.4 mg
Potassium 1,199.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate 67.5 g
Dietary Fiber 14.4 g
Sugars 8.3 g
Protein 15.8 g

Vitamin A 185.7 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 20.7 %
Vitamin C 65.9 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 5.8 %
Calcium 18.3 %
Copper 35.7 %
Folate 42.5 %
Iron 36.5 %
Magnesium 31.7 %
Manganese 78.9 %
Niacin 8.5 %
Pantothenic Acid 12.9 %
Phosphorus 27.3 %
Riboflavin 14.1 %
Selenium 5.2 %
Thiamin 25.9 %
Zinc 19.1 %

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

Please note that as an ammendment to the Black Bean Soup post I would like to change my rating of the Pares Balta to a Damn thats Good. I’ll definitely be ordering more of because of it’s summer drinkability factor as well as the new information provided that this wine is produced with absolutely now animal products so it’s perfect for a plant based diet.

Apr 102012
 
I finally got around to trying Happy Herbivore’s super easy bean burgers.  These will now be my go-to recipe when I need something super quick and easy. 
This will work with any can of beans and some oatmeal.  By using the broiler you can speed up the cook time to around ten minutes and get a nice char on the outside of the burger.  My daughter had a blast mushing the burgers with her hands and rolling them into balls. Something I never let her do when we cooked with meat as I was afraid of her getting sick from the raw meat.  We made little sliders for her and the burgers for me.  She ate every bite of her slider.
I paired these with some left over fresh salad I made from the lettuce, carrots and gorgeous heirloom tomatoes from KYV farm and some added some frozen sweet potato fries - broiled right along with the burgers.  Couldn’t have been much easier.
If you have extra these will freeze well too.
Ten Minute – Five Ingredient Black Bean Burgers
Inspired by Happy Herbivore
Serves 4
Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy FreePrintable Recipe
Ingredients
2 cups cooked and drained black beans (or use a 14.5 oz can)
1/3 cup Gluten Free instant oats (or 1/2 cup rolled oats pulsed in the food processor)
1 Tbsp steak seasoning
1 Tbsp coarse ground prepared mustard (or whatever you have)
2 Tbsp Gluten Free Ketchup
Directions
1. Preheat the broiler on high and spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.** Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl; divide into four burgers or eight sliders. Bake first side for 6 minutes; flip and cook an additional 4 to 5 minutes or until browned.
2. Top with whatever you like!
**Check the label on the cooking spray to ensure it is gluten free.  It’s best to simply use an oil mister to be sure.

Nutrition Facts

4 Servings
Amount Per Serving (burger with no toppings)

Calories 162.3
Total Fat 1.2 g
Saturated Fat 0.2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.4 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.3 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 675.9 mg
Potassium 305.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate 28.6 g
Dietary Fiber 8.5 g
Sugars 1.3 g
Protein 8.9 g

Vitamin A 0.1 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 3.0 %
Vitamin C 1.0 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 0.0 %
Calcium 2.3 %
Copper 9.0 %
Folate 32.0 %
Iron 12.5 %
Magnesium 15.1 %
Manganese 19.1 %
Niacin 2.2 %
Pantothenic Acid 2.1 %
Phosphorus 12.0 %
Riboflavin 3.5 %
Selenium 1.5 %
Thiamin 16.5 %
Zinc 6.4 %

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