Dec 042013
 

 This sweet, spicy and savory Raw Thai Noodle Salad is easy to make and as an added bonus is also naturally gluten free and vegan.

Raw Thai Noodle Salad

Raw Thai Noodle Salad

Walking through Native Sun last week I stopped and did a double take. Kelp noodles. Hmm. Interesting.
I’m embarrassed to say I have never worked with these noodles of the sea. I bought them and then visited the noodle website on line for more info.

“Kelp Noodles are a sea vegetable in the form of an easy to eat raw noodle. Made of only kelp (a sea vegetable), sodium alginate (sodium salt extracted from a brown seaweed), and water, Kelp Noodles are fat-free, gluten-free, and very low in carbohydrates and calories. Their noodle form and neutral taste allow for a variety of uses including salads, stir-fries, hot broths, and casseroles, while their healthful content provides a rich source of trace minerals including iodine, which kelp is well known for. Their unique texture completes the package, making Kelp Noodles a one-of-a-kind healthful and tasty alternative to pasta and rice noodles. Best of all, no cooking is required. Just rinse and add the noodles to any dish and they are ready to eat!”

Love the healthy convenience of a ready to eat raw food! One of the main reasons raw is great is because the healthy enzymes stay in tact since they are not heated above 115 to 118F.

nutrition_facts_kelp_noodles

nutrition_facts_kelp_noodles

Raw Thai Noodle Salad

Raw Thai Noodle Salad

Once I opened the bag and rinsed, I had to dress them up. I chose fresh carrots, sesame seeds, raw broccoli and aromatic cilantro to add to the noodle base and, in just a few minutes time, was able to whisk a spicy, sweet and salty sauce to massage into the mixture.  This mixture can be heated, but it was delicious cold! This salad has a wonderful crunch from the veggies that work so well with the thin, semi-chewy noodles that have the perfect amount of bite.

 Have you tried kelp noodles? What do you typically do with them?

Raw Thai Noodle Salad

Raw Thai Noodle Salad

Raw Thai Noodle Salad

Serves 5 1-cup servings
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

**On sale now at Native Sun Natural Food Market Nov 7 through Dec 6, 2013

Ingredients

Salad
1 pkg kelp noodles, rinsed and drained
1 small head broccoli (and stalk), chopped **
2 green onions, sliced
1 cup chopped red cabbage
3 carrots, julienned
2 Tbsp black sesame seeds
2 Tbsp white sesame seeds
Handful fresh cilantro, chopped (Fresh from KyV Farm)

Sauce
1/4 cup raw nut butter of choice
2 Tbsp liquid aminos
1 Tbsp ume plum vinegar (or rice vinegar will be fine)
1 Tbsp raw organic agave or raw local honey (non-vegan)
2 tsp organic chili sauce (Sriracha)
1/2 Tbsp raw sesame oil (optional)

Directions 

1. Whisk sauce ingredients together in a medium bowl and set aside.

2. Add salad ingredients to a large bowl; pour dressing over salad mixture; mix with hands to combine and coat the noodles and vegetables evenly.

Nutrition Facts
5 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 174.2
Total Fat 11.6 g
Saturated Fat 2.1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 5.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 751.3 mg
Potassium 394.6 mg
Total Carbohydrate 14.5 g
Dietary Fiber 4.1 g
Sugars 6.9 g
Protein 6.1 g

Vitamin A 99.1 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 11.8 %
Vitamin C 62.0 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 10.9 %
Calcium 11.4 %
Copper 17.6 %
Folate 14.1 %
Iron 10.4 %
Magnesium 15.4 %
Manganese 19.9 %
Niacin 13.4 %
Pantothenic Acid 4.0 %
Phosphorus 13.2 %
Riboflavin 6.0 %
Selenium 3.6 %
Thiamin 8.2 %
Zinc 8.0 %

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

 

Aug 282013
 
Luscious Lemon Olive Oil Dressing over Crunchy Rainbow Salad

Luscious Lemon Olive Oil Dressing over Crunchy Rainbow Salad

Since leaving my corporate job I have been so much busier than I thought I would be – but every minute has been filled with gratitude, peace and excitement about the future.  After 13 years in the structured day of corporate finance I expected to have anxiety with the change of moving into a self directed environment. In reality I have found that I am even more productive and get more done because I’m EXCITED to face the day.  Work doesn’t feel like work.  Being self directed though is not an excuse to let my eating habits fall by the wayside. Hence this big salad – I could eat it all week and easily incorporate variations each day.

I shared some with my mom as well – after one taste she declared that she could become vegan if I made this for her every day.
It is all in the dressing and the CRUNCH from the veggies.

Luscious Lemon Olive Oil Dressing over Crunchy Rainbow Salad

Luscious Lemon Olive Oil Dressing over Crunchy Rainbow Salad

This salad is perfect by itself or served over spinach and lettuces (as shown in these photos), topped with tofu cubes or avocado.

Why is RAW great? Because the disease fighting phytonutrients and digestion-friendly enzymes stay in tact.  Edamame packs a protein punch to keep you full and satisfied longer.

….But it is the drool-worthy dressing I get so excited about. It may seem simple, but this mixture of ingredients will make you beg for more. Fruity and flavorful olive oil, tart lemon, a hint of olive oil and dash of agave or honey to sweeten the deal. You’ll be putting this dressing on everything!

Luscious Lemon Olive Oil Dressing over Crunchy Rainbow Salad

Luscious Lemon Olive Oil Dressing over Crunchy Rainbow Salad

Luscious Lemon Olive Oil Dressing over Crunchy Rainbow Salad

 6 servings – about 2 cups each
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe
**Ingredient on sale now at Native Sun Natural Foods Market, August 7 -Sept 6, 2013

Ingredients

3 tomatoes, chopped
3 bell peppers (varying colors), seeded and chopped
1 slice red onion, chopped
1 cup chopped red cabbage
3 celery ribs
3 small summer squashes, chopped
1 cup chopped broccoli**
12 oz shelled edamame

Dressing
1/2 olive oil
2 Tbsp coarse ground prepared mustard
1/2 Tbsp agave or local honey
Juice of 2 lemons
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper

Directions

1. Mix veggies and edamame in large bowl; mix well.

2. Mix dressing in a medium bowl or Magic Bullet; mix well and pour over vegetables; toss to coat.

Nutrition Facts
6 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 278.3
Total Fat 20.1 g
Saturated Fat 2.5 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.7 g
Monounsaturated Fat 13.3 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 278.6 mg
Potassium 491.5 mg
Total Carbohydrate 18.4 g
Dietary Fiber 3.5 g
Sugars 6.0 g
Protein 9.0 g

Vitamin A 22.2 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 17.4 %
Vitamin C 119.4 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 15.7 %
Calcium 9.3 %
Copper 6.0 %
Folate 13.1 %
Iron 10.9 %
Magnesium 7.0 %
Manganese 15.1 %
Niacin 5.0 %
Pantothenic Acid 4.0 %
Phosphorus 6.3 %
Riboflavin 9.0 %
Selenium 2.0 %
Thiamin 7.5 %
Zinc 2.7 %

*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 092013
 
Roasted Cabbage

Roasted Cabbage

 There is one vegetable that always stumps me. I ask people what they do with it and they almost always say make slaw.

 A few times I went ahead and made it – usually an Asian version with the gigantic napa cabbage from my organic CSA Farm Share, KyV farm, and ended up with about 30 cups of slaw that I had to eat myself since my family isn’t a fan.

I still am “slaw’d out” from the experience.

This time I did my homework. I checked google, Pinterest, Foodgawker, Finding Vegan and other bloggers for inspiration but nothing was hitting me.

Roasted Cabbage with Sun Dried Tomato

Roasted Cabbage with Sun Dried Tomato

What’s a girl to do with a HUGE head of cabbage and no inspiration?  Get back to basics. That seems to be what I do best.  Garlic, onions, and kicky sun dried tomatoes. Isn’t everything better with sun dried tomato?

Cabbage is such a versatile vegetable – it can be roasted, grilled, eaten raw or steamed.  Steaming, according to one of my favorite resources, Worlds Healthiest Foods, is the best way to eat it – unlocking it’s cholesterol lowering benefits – but roasting is still good (and sure tastes good.) Cabbage is also a powerful cancer fighter and as an added bonus there is lots of Vitamins K and C.

Need more reasons to eat cabbage? If you try it with caramelized onions it’s a great flavor sub for roasted potatoes and onions with a much lower carb count.  The cabbage cooks down and gives a nice sweet flavor that goes nicely with caramelized onions and the roasted tofu.  The benefit of the tofu is the added calcium and high plant based protein content but feel free to sub any protein you like here – when cubed, it should be sufficiently cooked in the same time frame as the pressed tofu.

Roasted Cabbage with Sun Dried Tomatoes

Roasted Cabbage with Sun Dried Tomatoes

 Roasted Cabbage with Caramelized Onions and Sun Dried Tomatoes

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

Ingredients

1/2 Tbsp oil of choice
1 block organic tofu extra firm, pressed
1/2 head cabbage, rough chopped**
1 onion, rough chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/4 – 1/3 tsp coarse sea salt
Fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes, packed in oil

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Spray two baking sheets with non-stick spray so that all the veggies and tofu can be evenly laid out and spaced. Mix all ingredients except tomatoes in a large bowl and toss to coat evenly. Spread over two pans; place in oven for 40 minutes or until onions are caramelized and tofu toasted.

2. Taste cabbage mixture and re-season as needed. Divide onto four plates and top each with 2 Tbsp sun dried tomatoes.

Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 198.5
Total Fat 9.4 g
Saturated Fat 1.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4.4 g
Monounsaturated Fat 2.9 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 327.9 mg
Potassium 831.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate 18.5 g
Dietary Fiber 5.5 g
Sugars 3.5 g
Protein 15.7 g

Vitamin A 5.6 %
Vitamin B-6 15.4 %
Vitamin C 93.5 %
Vitamin E 2.0 %
Calcium 21.0 %
Copper 18.2 %
Folate 26.9 %
Iron 20.1 %
Magnesium 30.4 %
Manganese 76.6 %
Niacin 7.6 %
Pantothenic Acid 4.7 %
Phosphorus 26.1 %
Riboflavin 9.0 %
Selenium 21.8 %
Thiamin 12.6 %
Zinc 12.0 %

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

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.

Mar 022012
 
Two facts.
1. Waste and I are not friends.

2. Kids have no problem with waste.

For example. I bought Band-Aids with Tinkerbell on them.
Every morning my daughter asks me if she can have a Band-Aid.

“Where is the booboo?”
She inspects her hands, brow wrinkling in thought.
“Right here.” Pointing to her fingertip.
I lean down, “that is the red marker you drew all over my recipe with.”
“You aren’t bleeding and we don’t need to waste a Band-Aid.”
“What’s waste?” She asks.
“Waste is when you don’t use something and just throw it away.”
“So it goes to the trash mountain? That is full of diapers?” she asks.
“Yes, that is correct.”
Again the brow wrinkling and contemplation. 

She looks up. “Can I have a Band-Aid?” she asks.

Sigh.  She’s three, so I’ll cut her some slack.

The next day she wanted some pineapple. She ate the entire can and I stared at the juice, contemplating what to do with it.  Hmmmm, I thought, hmmmm. This would make a great marinade when paired with soy sauce or miso. I don’t use enough miso so I went with that.

So, in the continuation of my War on Waste, this recipe was born.

A little salty from the miso, a little sweet/tart from the pineapple and nice spice from the curry.  This went perfectly with my stir fried rice and cabbage to create a sort of Asian-Indian fusion.

Baked Pineapple Curry Tofu with Fried Basmati Rice and Veggies
Rice recipe inspired by Eating Well
Serves about 4-6
Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy Free

Tofu Ingredients

1 block firm organic tofu
1 cup pineapple juice
2 Tbsp curry powder
2 heaping Tbsp white miso
2 tsp dark sesame oil

Rice Ingredients
2 cups cooked basmati rice

2 teaspoons canola oil
1 onion, diced

2 carrots cut into matchsticks
4 cups cabbage, shredded
1 cup sliced green onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 to 1 tsp dried ginger
1 1/2 Tbsp Bragg Liquid Aminos
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
Hot red pepper sauce, to taste

Directions

1. Press tofu 1 hour to overnight to remove water. Cut into 1 inch cubes. Whisk marinade in a small bowl and pour over tofu. Marinate overnight. 


2. Preheat oven to 375. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray; add tofu and bake 30 to 40 minutes or until golden.


3. Heat canola oil in a wok or straight sided skillet over medium-high heat; add onion and carrot and cook about 5 minutes. Add cabbage, green onion, garlic and ginger; cook an additional two minutes or until veggies are softened.


4. Add the cooked rice, soy sauce and vinegar to the pan; cook until the liquid is absorbed, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove from the heat; stir in sesame oil and hot sauce.

<><><><><><><><>

<><><><><><><><>

<><><><><><><><>

<><><><><><><><>

<><><><><><><><>
Tofu Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving
Calories 122.1
Total Fat 8.8 g
Saturated Fat 1.4 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4.8 g
Monounsaturated Fat 2.3 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 33.3 mg
Potassium 324.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate 14.3 g
Dietary Fiber 3.1 g
Sugars 8.7 g
Protein 13.5 g
Vitamin A 3.50%
Vitamin B-12 0.10%
Vitamin B-6 9.40%
Vitamin C 12.00%
Vitamin D 0.00%
Vitamin E 0.30%
Calcium 58.40%
Copper 21.20%
Folate 11.10%
Iron 19.20%
Magnesium 16.80%
Manganese 89.20%
Niacin 3.30%
Pantothenic Acid 2.00%
Phosphorus 18.30%
Riboflavin 7.40%
Selenium 21.80%
Thiamin 11.90%
Zinc 11.30%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Rice Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving
Calories 161.6
Total Fat 3.5 g
Saturated Fat 0.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.8 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 440.8 mg
Potassium 122.5 mg
Total Carbohydrate 31.0 g
Dietary Fiber 1.1 g
Sugars 3.7 g
Protein 800.1 g
Vitamin A 60.20%
Vitamin B-12 0.00%
Vitamin B-6 4.30%
Vitamin C 5.50%
Vitamin D 0.00%
Vitamin E 3.30%
Calcium 1.60%
Copper 1.50%
Folate 2.10%
Iron 5.10%
Magnesium 1.50%
Manganese 10.80%
Niacin 6.90%
Pantothenic Acid 1.00%
Phosphorus 1.90%
Riboflavin 1.30%
Selenium 0.90%
Thiamin 10.60%
Zinc 0.90%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Pin It

Feb 122012
 
This is the casserole I was telling you guys about. Now I don’t have a specific recipe for this, and if you go to make all these ingredients at once it’d kind of be a pain in the @ss. What I did was throw a bunch of leftovers together with stellar results.

Booya.

A few weeks ago I made the beans and froze them in two-cup sizes. To make them, I soaked them overnight and threw them in the pressure cooker with a bay leaf, veggie broth, veggies and Adobo seasoning for about 25 minutes or so. When I was ready to make this casserole, I just pulled a bag out the day before and had them handy in the fridge.

For the rice-earlier in the week I had simmered it with some home made veggie broth, a few veggies-such as carrots, onions and garlic-as well as some Adobo seasoning. I cooked about four servings up to use for the week and had about half left over.

Finally, I sautéed up some greens for a cookout and I used this recipe minus the beans. All the leftovers went right into this dish.
The casserole below is completely estimated so if you throw in more or less of each ingredient it should still come out awesome. And get crazy. Change up the grains or the type of beans…whatever goes.

The onion sauce is the key. You gotta try making the onion sauce.

Saucy Rice, Greens n’ Beans Casserole
with Caramelized Onion-Cabbage Sauce
Serves 4
Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy Free
Ingredients
2 cups cooked basmati rice, (cooked with veggie broth, adobo seasoning, quartered onion, garlic, carrot)
2 cups sautéed greens, I used this recipe minus the beans 
1 cup white beans, (cooked with veggie broth, adobo seasoning, quartered onion, garlic, carrot)
Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375F. Spray a small baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Layer rice, greens, beans and onion sauce; bake for 30 minutes or until heated through.

Estimated Nutrition Facts

4 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 221.2
Total Fat 1.5 g
Saturated Fat 0.4 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 10.4 mg
Potassium 547.6 mg
Total Carbohydrate 43.1 g
Dietary Fiber 7.2 g
Sugars 0.1 g
Protein 10.0 g

Vitamin A 24.0 %
Vitamin B-12 33.3 %
Vitamin B-6 126.3 %
Vitamin C 14.9 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 2.3 %
Calcium 8.4 %
Copper 10.6 %
Folate 35.0 %
Iron 13.6 %
Magnesium 11.0 %
Manganese 23.3 %
Niacin 71.3 %
Pantothenic Acid 4.6 %
Phosphorus 11.7 %
Riboflavin 144.5 %
Selenium 10.2 %
Thiamin 166.0 %
Zinc 10.8 %
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Feb 062012
 

Sunday I woke up with inspiration.  I set out to create a delicious vegan casserole for the family that they would like and was met with major success!

But let me go back to the beginning.  The sauce.

I have been struggling with the fact that my family still eats meat and made a decision to listen to my heart and make another change.  Up to now, even though I gave up meat and dairy, I had still been buying organic free range meats, justifying the fact it was organic and free-range. 

Then I came across a tweet from my friend Maria with links to two great articles by Ari Solomon, one of which was this article.

This paragraph really got me, “There is a video making rounds on YouTube that shows a lone cow shaking in terror as she contemplates walking down the kill chute. She walks forward, then back. Animals can hear and smell the violence and death that awaits them. Their last moments are ones of abject horror and suffering. If you wouldn’t condemn your dog or cat to such a fate, how can you pay for others do it to these poor animals?”

We care about our dogs so much that we agonize over each little malady, but what about the cows, pigs, goats, ducks, lambs, chickens and turkeys?

And then there is the issue of what I thought was “humane meat”. Ari makes a really good point about that as well; he states, “Now, before you start at me with some “humane meat” “happy meat” bullshit please take note that all animals, whether they are raised in the nastiest of factory farms or grass-fed, free-range, blah blah blah, are all sent to the same slaughterhouses. That’s right, your organic steer is being sent to the same hell as a downer cow and will meet the same ghastly end. If you are a “humane meat” consumer, please take a moment and meditate on the whole concept of humane killing… bloody, fearful, struggling, screaming, despairing humane killing. It’s never pretty and it certainly isn’t “humane.”

A very good point indeed.

Ultimately I control what I buy and cook so I simply won’t buy meat and dairy.  It sounds like such a simple decision right?

But when you really think about it, it’s more challenging than that…especially when at this point my family doesn’t want to give up meat and my daughter is allergic to soy, wheat, dairy, eggs, peanuts, walnuts, tree nuts and seeds among a host of other foods.    

I need to come up with some really creative ways to make this change and that scares me a bit because I have limited time, they like meat, and I don’t have buy in from our extended families. As a full time working mom with my own interests as well…..there just isn’t enough time in the day. BUT, I think I can do it if I take one step at a time. I took the first steps of cutting the meat and dairy for myself and I can do this too.  I’m not saying I’ll be perfect 100 percent of the time, hey I’m human, but at least I’m moving in the right direction.

This sauce is my next delicious step.   (Casserole to follow.) 

Caramelized Onion and Cabbage Sauce
Serves 4 – about 1/4 cup each
Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy Free
Ingredients
2 onions, peeled, halved and sliced thinly
3 cups or 1/2 head cabbage, sliced thinly
3/4 to 1 cup veggie broth (salt free, I used home made)
1/4 tsp sea salt (or more, to taste)
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup nutritional yeast

 
Directions

1. Spray skillet with non stick spray and heat over medium high heat. Add onions and cabbage. Add salt, garlic powder and nutritional yeast. Cook 40 minutes, stirring regularly and adding broth when onion-cabbage mixture begins to stick.

2. Blend the heck out of the mixture using a high speed blender, adding additional veggie broth as needed until desired consistency is reached.  Taste and reseason if necessary.  Use in place of cheese sauce.


Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving


Calories 69.9
Total Fat 0.7 g
Saturated Fat 0.1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 161.7 mg
Potassium 418.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate 12.5 g
Dietary Fiber 4.5 g
Sugars 0.2 g
Protein 5.9 g


Vitamin A 1.8 %
Vitamin B-12 66.5 %
Vitamin B-6 247.4 %
Vitamin C 41.9 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 0.7 %
Calcium 4.8 %
Copper 5.5 %
Folate 39.8 %
Iron 5.0 %
Magnesium 6.5 %
Manganese 11.8 %
Niacin 141.4 %
Pantothenic Acid 6.5 %
Phosphorus 12.1 %
Riboflavin 284.8 %
Selenium 17.7 %
Thiamin 324.0 %
Zinc 12.1 %


*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Jan 262012
 
Can I just ask whose idea was it to take a perfectly good foot and decide that the heel of it needed to be four inches taller?  In fact, the toes are too wide. Let’s stuff them into a pointy shape like a gnome hat and call it fashion.


Furthermore, why is it that we continue to subject ourselves to such torture day in and day out at the office and out on the town in the name of fashion?  Well I say no more for me! 

Bring on the slouchy opaque stockings and orthopedic shoes.  I’m now all about comfort. 

Does anyone know of any hot orthopedic shoes?  Cause I like to wear them from day to night.

 And then there is the skinny jean, surely invented by some sadistic Victoria‘s Secret model as derision at all us 5’3 gals.  Nevertheless, we buy them in our current size and bring them home only to find the seamstress misread the size.  She must have mislabeled these pants that should have been a size smaller.

 Screw it we say, these darn things will be worn because the label says they are the right size, ignoring Stacy and Clinton’s admonishment that the fact it is made in our size, doesn’t mean we should wear it.  What the heck do they know anyway?

No, no, no my friends.  We prefer to cut off all circulation to our feet by stuffing ourselves into shape-wear that will enable us to actually be our correct size.  Luckily loosing feeling in our feet has a dual role.  We can’t feel the pain from the gnome-hat shoes.


Why do we put ourselves through this?!  Again I say no more

Enter the cabbage soup diet.  You’ve heard of the cabbage soup diet right?  Where you boil a bunch of cabbage and choke it down?  Well the suffering ends here.  Try my very sexy cabbage soup.

Oh yes, cabbage soup can be veeery sexy.

Sweet little bits of sweet potato, luscious butternut squash, steamy broth…I will make fitting into those skinny jeans comfortable and delicious.  Especially for 40ish calories, almost no fat and a good dose of vitamins A and C.

As for the sexy orthopedic shoes…I haven’t figured a recipe out for that yet, but I’ll let you know when I do.
Sweet Potato, Butternut and Cabbage Soup
14 1-cup servings
Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy Free

Ingredients

1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small butternut squash, peeled and chopped
1 sweet potato, chopped
1/2 head cabbage, I used Nappa cabbage
1 quart vegetable broth
6 cups water
2 tsps dried thyme
1/8 to 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp Cajun seasoning (optional, taste for saltiness prior to adding)

Directions

1. Spray a Dutch oven with cooking spray and heat over medium high heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent, about 7 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Add butternut squash, sweet potato and cabbage; stir well.

2. Add remaining ingredients; bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 20 minutes or until potatoes are soft

Nutrition Facts
14 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 47.3
Total Fat 0.2 g
Saturated Fat 0.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 289.8 mg
Potassium 289.2 mg
Total Carbohydrate 10.7 g
Dietary Fiber 2.2 g
Sugars 0.8 g
Protein 1.5 g


Vitamin A 24.8 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 7.5 %
Vitamin C 32.7 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 0.4 %
Calcium 3.9 %
Copper 2.8 %
Folate 7.6 %
Iron 5.9 %
Magnesium 4.8 %
Manganese 9.4 %
Niacin 3.1 %
Pantothenic Acid 2.1 %
Phosphorus 3.5 %
Riboflavin 2.0 %
Selenium 1.0 %
Thiamin 3.6 %
Zinc 1.5 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Jun 022011
 
Up to this point I had never made stuffed cabbage as all the recipes I found were fairly labor intensive.  First there is the chopping of the veggies, then the boiling of the leaves, the cooking of the rice and the searing of the meat; only to then have to be assembled and cooked again. And then what if I didn’t even like it?! 
Sometimes I still wake up in the middle of a night with a cold sweat and the fading memory of one certain kohlrabi gratin that took three days to make and one minute to throw out.  I still feel ill from the WASTE.
In the spirit of keeping it simple I came up with this recipe.  No precooking necessary, can be assembled the night before and is ready when you get home.  I literally threw this thing together at 9pm and I think it took all of ten minutes.  It can’t be messed up!  Don’t worry about the size of the cabbage rolls and how much you fit in there.  If you don’t have any pre-cooked rice simply throw some dry in and add enough water or broth to match package cooking directions.
This came out great.  It is so worth the minimal effort and I’ll definitely be making it again.  Reminiscent of a lasagna with the tomato, mozzarella and ground meat I found it to be nice and hearty.  Next time I may try it with some ground beef.  This was also a great way to get my daughter to eat some veggies.  I simple scooped out her portion and used some rice cheese instead of the mozzarella due to her dairy allergy.
Easiest Slow Cooker Stuffed Cabbage Ever
Serves 8
Ingredients
8 Napa cabbage leaves
1 lb ground turkey (use soy crumbles for meatless)
1 jar pasta sauce
1 onion
1 big zucchini
1 yellow squash
1 clove garlic
Italian Seasoning
1 cup precooked brown rice
8 oz shredded, part-skim mozzarella (sub Daiya cheese here for vegan)
Garlic powder
Directions
1. Roughly chunk the onion, zucchini, squash and garlic and process until finely chopped in food processor; pour into large bowl with turkey, ½ the pasta sauce, and rice, season with Italian seasoning. 
2. Roll a scoop of the turkey mixture into each of the 8 cabbage leaves and place in a slow cooker sprayed with cooking spray; spread any leftover turkey mixture over the top and pour the remaining ½ jar of pasta sauce over the top.  Add a bit of water to the jar (about ¼ cup or less), swish around and pour over the top of the cabbage/turkey rolls.  Season with Italian seasoning and cook on low for 8 to 9 hours.
3. Top with mozzarella and garlic powder.  Enjoy!
Nutrition Facts
8 Serving
Amount Per Serving
Calories 268.5
Total Fat 11.4 g
Saturated Fat 4.6 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 2.4 g
Cholesterol 56.4 mg
Sodium 694.4 mg
Potassium 588.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 20.7 g
Dietary Fiber 3.7 g
Sugars 0.8 g
Protein 20.9 g
Vitamin A 23.1 %
Vitamin B-12 3.9 %
Vitamin B-6 11.9 %
Vitamin C 29.7 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 8.8 %
Calcium 22.7 %
Copper 9.9 %
Folate 7.9 %
Iron 12.2 %
Magnesium 10.4 %
Manganese 20.1 %
Niacin 8.1 %
Pantothenic Acid     4.8 %
Phosphorus     19.9 %
Riboflavin 9.6 %
Selenium 7.5 %
Thiamin 7.1 %
Zinc 7.6 %
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.