Feb 272014
 
Loaded Falafel Burger

These easy Loaded Falafel Burger with Roasted Vegetables use fresh roasted veggies along with premade burgers to save time on a busy weeknight.

Could there be anything better than eggplant, tomato and onion all roasted and caramelized? I think not.

Falafel Burgers

I give no apologies when it comes to dinner on busy weeknights.

Meals from scratch are best, but when it comes to getting home after a busy day and wanting to take a few shortcuts, I’m all for it. One of the cleanest burgers I’ve found is Sunshine Burger, and the falafel is delicious!

Here are the ingredients:

Organic cooked brown rice, organic cooked chick peas, organic ground raw sunflower seeds, organic cooked yellow split peas, organic Tahini (organic ground toasted sesame seeds), organic cumin, organic garlic, organic parsley, sea salt.

These are definitely something you can feel save feeding your whole family.

I don’t talk a lot about my personal life on my blog – I lean more towards chatting about the actual recipe and the benefits, but I’ll share a little of what has been going on and why I’ll be doing a fair amount of clean semi-homemade recipes instead of from scratch. Since leaving my corporate job in August life has been a whirlwind. Mornings (still) start by 5AM and I get right down to business. I’m a morning person though. I like to be sleeping by 9:30 or 10PM. I work for a few hours on events with Native Sun, my blog or my business. At around 7AM I get my daughter up to get ready and take her to school then head right to my workout to start my day. This has never been an “if I can make it” thing. No exceptions to working out! I head home and then it is off to meetings at Native Sun or business meetings. I absolutely love being out of the cubicle and in a self-directed environment. Sometimes I walk out of a meeting at 2:00 and into the sunshine wanting to yell – I’m FREE! I pick my daughter up from school and help her with her homework and sometimes take her paddle boarding on the river. Then after she goes to bed, many times it is back on the computer to take a training course, do an on-line business presentation or two or catch up on anything else. Self-development is another must. I never. stop. learning. We all are students, and if we don’t continue to learn, grow and change we cannot move forward. No, I don’t have time to watch much TV any more, but the old saying is so true – if you love what you do, you never have to work a day in your life. After losing my Dad in May, I vowed that on my last two minutes of life I would look back with pride. I would not wonder what if. I will know that I did everything in my power to achieve my goals and dreams. I am not special. I am not unique. I simply made a decision to wake up and say to myself – I want more. It was a choice.  Though I have failed many times, and I will fail many times more, I look at each failure as an opportunity to learn. In the past two years I have learned more about people, how to listen and how much I enjoy helping others than the previous 34 years of life. I have found that through helping others, I naturally move closer to my goals and dreams.  On the days I think to myself – how am I going to do this? Am I deserving of making this work? I then think about all the successful people out there – many of them came from a world of hardship and rose to greatness. We all have 24 hours in a day. It is what we do with that time that sets us apart.

Plus, now you have this delicious sandwich to save you time.

Is there anything you would love to accomplish in your life? Are you moving towards it? If not, what might be holding you back?

Loaded Falafel Burger

Loaded Falafel Burger

Loaded Falafel Burger with Roasted Vegetables

Serves 4
Vegan
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

1 eggplant, sliced
1 roma tomato, sliced
1 onion, sliced
1 Tbsp oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground pepper
4 falafel burgers, such as sunshine burger
4 Organic thin style sandwich buns
1/4 cup prepared hummus

Yogurt Sauce (Optional – use extra hummus if omitting)
1 container plain non-dairy yogurt (preferably Greek style)
1 Tbsp fresh parsley
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
1 clove minced garlic

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350F; spray two baking sheets with oil or cooking spray; top with eggplant, tomato and onion slices; drizzle 1 Tbsp oil, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper; roast 25 minutes, turning vegetables half way through cook time.

2. In a small bowl, mix yogurt sauce ingredients if using.

3. Heat falafel burgers to package directions; toast thin buns. Spread bottom thin bun with 1 Tbsp hummus; top with one burger, 1/4 of the roasted vegetables and 2 Tbsp yogurt sauce; add top slice of thin bun and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 434.4
Total Fat 21.3 g
Saturated Fat 1.7 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.1 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 638.1 mg
Potassium 206.6 mg
Total Carbohydrate 53.0 g
Dietary Fiber 13.6 g
Sugars 7.7 g
Protein 19.7 g

Vitamin A 0.4 %
Vitamin B-12 3.8 %
Vitamin B-6 6.4 %
Vitamin C 8.0 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 2.4 %
Calcium 16.9 %
Copper 5.8 %
Folate 5.8 %
Iron 24.0 %
Magnesium 5.4 %
Manganese 11.4 %
Niacin 1.4 %
Pantothenic Acid 3.3 %
Phosphorus 9.5 %
Riboflavin 6.5 %
Selenium 1.4 %
Thiamin 5.3 %
Zinc 2.6 %

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

Jan 212014
 

One bite of my Spicy Sweet Potato & Mango Lentils with Chili Sauce will have your taste buds dancing.

Layers of flavor create balance in this dish; aromatic, fresh ginger, cooling coconut milk, sweet mango, a little heat from the chili sauce, and salty, savory miso ~ all tied together in a neat bow by Ume Plum vinegar.

Spicy Sweet Potato & Mango Lentils with Chili Sauce

Spicy Sweet Potato & Mango Lentils with Chili Sauce

Have you seen the show the Taste?

The Taste “features no-holds barred chef Anthony Bourdain, British food star Nigella Lawson, expert chef and author Ludo Lefebvre and restaurateur Brian Malarkey. Each of the four culinary superstars and “Taste” mentors – Bourdain, Lawson, Lefebvre and Malarkey – will coach a team of four competing pro and amateur cooks chosen from a nationwide casting call as they vie to create the best tasting dish.”

My five year old daughter and I have been watching this season and rooting for our favorite Vegan, Cassandra Bodzak.

As you watch the judging of each dish, it is interesting how the judges lean towards two things: fat and balance. Many times the dishes that lose are too dry or lack one of the elements of taste, most often sour/acidity or heat.

As I created this dish, the subject of acid became very apparent at first taste. Many times, without acid a recipe falls flat, lacks depth and seems to be missing something.  Think about the dish ~ could you add tomatoes, vinegar or citrus….google to see what goes best in that type of cuisine. In this case I didn’t have lime on hand so I used Ume Plum vinegar. Ah ha! Perfection!

Spicy Sweet Potato & Mango Lentils with Chili Sauce

Spicy Sweet Potato & Mango Lentils with Chili Sauce

Umeboshi are traditionally made by harvesting ume fruit when they ripen around June and packing them in barrels with salt. A weight is placed on top and the fruit gradually exude juices, which accumulate at the bottom of the barrel. This salty, sour liquid is marketed as umezu (梅酢; often translated as “ume vinegar”), although it is not a true vinegar.

I searched for quite a while to find this ingredient because it is often used in one of my favorite recipe books ~ Clean Food by Terry Walters. I finally found it locally at Native Sun; however, if you don’t live in the area, check on line or visit your local natural food store.

I can’t wait for you to try this dish! It is going down in my “favorites” and even my husband who is not a fan of Indian inspired dishes complimented this one. Enjoy!

Spicy Sweet Potato & Mango Lentils with Chili Sauce

Spicy Sweet Potato & Mango Lentils with Chili Sauce

Spicy Sweet Potato & Mango Lentils with Chili Sauce

Serves 7-8 3/4 cup servings
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

1 tsp coconut oil
1/2 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
1/2 cup red lentils
1 tsp curry powder
1 1/2 cups veggie broth
1 cup mango (the fruit of about 2)
1 sweet potato, chopped (do not peel)
2 tsp miso
1 can full fat coconut milk
3 dashes organic chili sauce or Sriracha (Plus extra for garnish if you like it hot like I do!)
2 tsp Ume plum vinegar
Cilantro for garnish (optional)

Directions

1. Heat 1 teaspoon coconut oil in a stock pot over medium-high heat; add onions, sauté about 5 minutes; add garlic and ginger sauté an additional minute; add lentils, toast for 1-2 minutes; add curry powder; add vegetable broth, mango and sweet potato; bring to a boil reduce heat, cover and simmer until lentils and potato are soft, about 30 minutes.

2. Remove from heat and stir in coconut milk, miso, chili sauce and vinegar.

3. Garnish with cilantro and serve over cooked quinoa such as Pereg Quinoa with Vegetables.

Nutrition Facts
7 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 154.8
Total Fat 10.9 g
Saturated Fat 9.7 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 588.1 mg
Potassium 134.8 mg
Total Carbohydrate 14.5 g
Dietary Fiber 2.1 g
Sugars 5.3 g
Protein 1.8 g

Vitamin A 50.5 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 5.7 %
Vitamin C 17.0 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 1.6 %
Calcium 1.3 %
Copper 4.6 %
Folate 8.1 %
Iron 4.3 %
Magnesium 2.6 %
Manganese 8.0 %
Niacin 2.0 %
Pantothenic Acid 2.1 %
Phosphorus 3.7 %
Riboflavin 2.6 %
Selenium 1.3 %
Thiamin 3.4 %
Zinc 1.8 %

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

Bonus tip: 

For a WONDERFUL breakdown of the different types of lentils visit about.com.

Oct 222013
 

One taste of this Tender Roast Tofurkey with Balsamic Caramelized Onions and Tart Dried Cherries and you will have a new Thanksgiving tradition.

Tender Roast Tofurkey with Balsamic Caramelized Onions and Tart Dried Cherries

Tender Roast Tofurkey with Balsamic Caramelized Onions and Tart Dried Cherries

 I typically try to stick with whole foods as much as possible but this Tofurkey roast was one of those splurge items that really neat to try.

When I was asked to create this recipe and take photos I realized that knew of the Tofurkey name but knew little about the background of the company so I surfed around and found out a bit more.  Wow! I love a passionate, family run company.

 Turtle Island Foods is the company that creates this roast and this is their very interesting story!

Turtle Island foods was created in 1980 by Seth Tibbot – a teacher and naturalist that lived in a tree house in Oregon that he rented for $25 per month.  His first product was tempeh and he focused solely on that for 15 years!

“At Turtle Island Foods, our Tofurky® and tempeh products are created to promote the health and vitality of both the people and the ecosystems of our “island” home. For almost 30 years we have worked to create delicious, nutritious, convenient and affordable vegetarian food that make a difference in people’s lives and have a minimal impact on our environment. We are located in Hood River, Oregon, one hour east of Portland. We make our vegetarian products in small batches using only the finest organic and natural ingredients. No preservatives, MSG or other artificial ingredients are added to our products. All of our products are kosher, vegan, and made with organic soybeans and/or organic tofu. We are a family owned and operated company.”

Tender Roast Tofurkey with Balsamic Caramelized Onions and Tart Dried Cherries

Tender Roast Tofurkey with Balsamic Caramelized Onions and Tart Dried Cherries

 All of the Turtle Island products are vegan and non-GMO.  For ingredients they prefer to use organic tofu and soy instead of soy powders and isolates.  They actually smoke their foods in real smoke houses instead of using liquid smoke.

Seth’s family supported him in growing his business so he was finally able to move into a larger facility a few years prior to 1995 – the year that Seth’s company hit it big with the sale of 500 Tofurkey roasts just like the one pictured here and was even featured on the Today Show!  His products helped vegetarians that felt left out on Thanksgiving Day.

In 1999 Ellen DeGeneres started promoting the brand and the name “Tofurkey” because of it’s humor factor. Turtle Island believes that year they enjoyed over 1.5 million in free publicity!

Tender Roast Tofurkey with Balsamic Caramelized Onions and Tart Dried Cherries

Tender Roast Tofurkey with Balsamic Caramelized Onions and Tart Dried Cherries

Turtle Island Foods is the last independently run, family owned and operated soy food brand in the US.  Sadly (but not surprisingly) the other small soy food companies have been picked off by the giants such as Dean Foods, ConAgra, Kraft and others.

WHY are they hanging in there and doing all this?  Because they care about your health and the health of animals and the environment. Check out the facts they have listed such as:

If 1/3 of Americans switched from eating one 3 ½-ounce serving of beef, one egg, and a one-ounce serving of cheese each day to a mix of vegetables, fruit, beans, and whole grains:
(United Nations, Food and Agriculture Organization, 2006.)

  • Acres of cropland spared: 180 million (an area larger than the state of Texas)
  • Tons of pesticides eliminated: 9,375
  • Tons of fertilizer eliminated: 2 million
  • Tons of manure eliminated*: 570 million (* Livestock manure and flatulence generate 30-40% of total methane emissions from human-influenced activities.)
Tender Roast Tofurkey with Balsamic Caramelized Onions and Tart Dried Cherries

Tender Roast Tofurkey with Balsamic Caramelized Onions and Tart Dried Cherries

Ok so we all love knowing about the background of the company – but how does it taste?!

I can officially say I was deliciously surprised.  I have tried a few other products that are meant to replicate that texture of meat and have not been impressed; however, with this recipe I was VERY impressed. Not only with the mixture of the flavors with the caramelized onion and dried cherries, but with the texture of the Tofurkey and the taste of the moist wild rice stuffing inside.

Tender Roast Tofurkey with Balsamic Caramelized Onions and Tart Dried Cherries

Tender Roast Tofurkey with Balsamic Caramelized Onions and Tart Dried Cherries

I’ll definitely be using the caramelized onion mixture for other types of recipes. It would make a great sandwich topping or maybe over a grain and bean dish – the opportunities are endless!

What is your favorite Vegan holiday item?

Tender Roast Tofurkey with Balsamic Caramelized Onions and Tart Dried Cherries

Tender Roast Tofurkey with Balsamic Caramelized Onions and Tart Dried Cherries

For other delicious Thanksgiving recipes try these!
Thanksgiving Bean Burger

Apple Mushroom Stuffing Hash

All Natural Kale and Flax Cornbread Muffins

Coconut Pumpkin Pie

Tender Roast Tofurkey with Balsamic Caramelized Onions and Tart Dried Cherries

Tender Roast Tofurkey with Balsamic Caramelized Onions and Tart Dried Cherries

Roast Tofurkey with Balsamic Caramelized Onions and Dried Cherries

Reprinted with permission from Turtle Island Foods
Serves 6
Vegan

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, sliced very thin
1 cup dried sour cherries
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons apple cider
1 Tofurky roast
** Be sure Tofurkey is thawed in refrigerator for 24 hours before beginning recipe!

Directons:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet, heat olive oil on medium heat. Add onion, cherries, brown sugar and vinegar and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft. Stir in mustard and apple cider, and simmer for two more minutes. Place Tofurky roast on sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil, and spread with the onion mixture. Wrap roast snugly with the foil. Place in roasting pan, and place on center rack of oven. Bake for 45 minutes. Uncover roast for last 10 minutes of baking.

Nutrition Facts
6 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 307.3
Total Fat 6.6 g
Saturated Fat 0.2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.1 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 529.0 mg
Potassium 178.1 mg
Total Carbohydrate 35.2 g
Dietary Fiber 3.5 g
Sugars 17.1 g
Protein 26.8 g

Vitamin A 12.6 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 1.6 %
Vitamin C 2.8 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 1.1 %
Calcium 16.9 %
Copper 1.3 %
Folate 1.2 %
Iron 11.9 %
Magnesium 0.9 %
Manganese 2.8 %
Niacin 0.2 %
Pantothenic Acid 0.3 %
Phosphorus 1.0 %
Riboflavin 0.4 %
Selenium 0.3 %
Thiamin 0.8 %
Zinc 0.3 %

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

 

Oct 102013
 

For anyone looking to cut gluten naturally this holiday season try this Apple & Mushroom Stuffing Hash! It has all the flavors of Thanksgiving but with all natural veggies and no bread.

Apple and Mushroom Stuffing Hash

Apple and Mushroom Stuffing Hash

There are so many of us that want to eat healthier but over the holidays it almost seems impossible – we love our traditional comfort foods and going without seems unimaginable.

I can tell you from personal experience that the first time you make a change from those once-a-year foods is a bit weird.  I made a walnut-tofu loaf and I remember eyeing the turkey thinking I really wasn’t sure I wanted to give it up so I took a little taste.  (Shh…don’t tell anyone.) Since I had already been eating a plant based diet for a while I was surprised that the taste of turkey was not as satisfying as I had remembered it in my head.  The only way I can explain it is that the thought that came to my head was…..muscle fibers.  I was biting into muscle and it is a firm texture that is unique and tough to duplicate in the plant world. Frankly it wasn’t as pleasant as I remembered.  Then I took a taste of my walnut loaf. It was moist and had a delicate crust on the outside with a nutty, semi-firm texture on the inside and had all the flavors of thanksgiving – sage, thyme, rosemary. When this was paired with some tart-sweet cranberry sauce and roasted veggies just like in this recipe I was in absolute heaven.  Even the leftovers made awesome sandwiches.  All it took was opening my mind that not only would a plant based food be an ok substitute, but that  I could like it even better and not have that stuffed, heavy feeling at the end of the meal!

Apple and Mushroom Stuffing Hash

Apple and Mushroom Stuffing Hash

This dish is the perfect cool-weather accompaniment for both every day dinners and Thanksgiving feasts.  Many stuffings traditionally have mushrooms, aromatic herbs and apples – so with this dish you will get all the flavors without any of the bread.  You can even throw some nuts in there to add an element of crunch – or, if you can’t go without any bread, make a panzanella out of this and throw a few toasted bread cubes in there so that the bulk of the recipe is veggie but you have the toasty bread you love.

Apple and Mushroom Stuffing Hash

Apple and Mushroom Stuffing Hash

Apple & Mushroom “Stuffing” Hash

with Roasted Root Veggies

Serves 6 (about 1-cup each)
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

**Ingredients on sale now at Native Sun Oct 7-Nov 6, 2013

Ingredients

1 Tbsp avocado oil (or other high-heat stable oil)
1 onion, chopped
1 sweet potato, chopped
2 apples, cored and chopped**
1 10oz pkg button mushrooms, sliced
6 fingerling potatoes, chopped**
1 Tbsp salt free poultry seasoning mix
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 beet, greens removed and chopped**

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Mix oil through fresh ground pepper in a large baking dish; top evenly with beets without stirring too much. (This will prevent the vegetables from turning pink.) Roast for 1 hour, gently turning half way through.

Nutrition Facts
6 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 129.0
Total Fat 2.7 g
Saturated Fat 0.4 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.4 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.8 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 217.4 mg
Potassium 514.8 mg
Total Carbohydrate 25.4 g
Dietary Fiber 4.1 g
Sugars 9.0 g
Protein 3.3 g

Vitamin A 87.1 %
Vitamin B-12 0.3 %
Vitamin B-6 9.8 %
Vitamin C 25.1 %
Vitamin D 9.0 %
Vitamin E 1.0 %
Calcium 1.9 %
Copper 11.8 %
Folate 11.2 %
Iron 4.8 %
Magnesium 4.9 %
Manganese 9.9 %
Niacin 12.3 %
Pantothenic Acid 8.9 %
Phosphorus 7.6 %
Riboflavin 14.7 %
Selenium 6.6 %
Thiamin 6.8 %
Zinc 3.3 %

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

Oct 022013
 
Fresh and Bold Italian Panzanella (Toasty Bread Salad)

Fresh and Bold Italian Panzanella (Toasty Bread Salad)

Sometimes I just want to be a little naughty.

Fresh and Bold Italian Panzanella (Toasty Bread Salad)

Fresh and Bold Italian Panzanella (Toasty Bread Salad)

I am not an individual that suffers from celiac disease or even a wheat sensitivity.  I just choose, the majority of the time, not to eat wheat. My daughter has a wheat allergy – so I rarely eat it around her.

The other night though, my husband and I were invited to a party.  A no-children-allowed party.

I giggled mischievously.

I would be making something with a glorious loaf of crusty bread.

(For anyone that is gluten free – try this gloriously crusty gluten free bread! and To replace the eggs click here.)

Fresh and Bold Italian Panzanella (Toasty Bread Salad)

Fresh and Bold Italian Panzanella (Toasty Bread Salad)

I whipped up some of my favorite ingredients all in one bowl.  Crisp romaine, tender baby lettuces, juicy tomatoes, tart-sweet sun dried tomato, crunchy red cabbage, nutty pine nuts and flavor-punched red onion just to name a few.  Then I cut generous slices of bread and toasted them – but not too much – just so they had a nice crust but were still soft inside.  I sprayed them with a bit of olive oil, coarse sea salt and fresh ground pepper and sliced them into hearty 1 inch cubes. Easy as pie.

Fresh and Bold Italian Panzanella (Toasty Bread Salad)

Fresh and Bold Italian Panzanella (Toasty Bread Salad)

To dress this salad simply I used a FCC version of my all time favorite plant based-oil free dressing. The 3-2-1 dressing from my beloved Forks Over Knives Handbook. The recipes is comprised of the 3-2-1 ratio of balsamic, mustard and maple syrup and then I added in some fresh garlic. I also made a version with oil and I was happy to say that the oil free version went first – in fact it looked like someone licked the bowl. This one turned out so well it has landed in the “favorites” department. Enjoy!

Fresh and Bold Italian Panzanella (Toasty Bread Salad)

Fresh and Bold Italian Panzanella (Toasty Bread Salad)

Fresh and Bold Italian Panzanella (Toasty Bread Salad)

Serves 10 – 12 (Serving size varies by size of veggies but it is a generous amount.)
Vegan, Gluten Free Option
Printable Recipe
Dressing inspired by 3-2-1 dressing from Forks Over Knives Handbook
**On Sale now at Native Sun Natural Foods Market, Sept 7 – Oct 6, 2013

Ingredients

1 crusty multigrain bread loaf cut into 1 inch slices
Olive oil spray (I use an olive oil mister.)
1/4 tsp Coarse sea salt, 1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper or to taste, plus some to season bread
1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
4  cups baby lettuce mix
1 English cucumber
1/2 sliced red onion
2 tomatoes, sliced
1 cup sliced red cabbage
1/3 cup julienned sundried tomato
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/2 bunch fresh parsley, chopped finely
6 Tbsp balsamic vinegar**
4 Tbsp olive oil (optional)**
1 to3 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp course ground prepared mustard
2 Tbsp REAL 100% pure maple syrup

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Place bread slices on baking sheet; bake 5 minutes or until top is lightly browned, flip and bake an additional 3 minutes or until lightly browned and center is still soft. Remove from oven, spray olive oil and season with a bit of salt and pepper. (Save the larger amount for salad) Set aside to cool. Slice into 1 inch cubes when cool.

2. Mix lettuce through parsley in a large bowl; mix balsamic through maple syrup in a small bowl. Top lettuce mixture with bread cubes and just before serving pour dressing.

Nutrition Facts
12 Servings
Amount Per Serving
(Without optional olive oil.
When added, add an additional 40 cals per serving and 5 grams fat)

Calories 173.3
Total Fat 4.0 g
Saturated Fat 0.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.5 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 422.9 mg
Potassium 168.4 mg
Total Carbohydrate 29.0 g
Dietary Fiber 1.9 g
Sugars 2.8 g
Protein 5.5 g

Vitamin A 28.2 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 1.9 %
Vitamin C 26.7 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 1.8 %
Calcium 2.3 %
Copper 4.1 %
Folate 7.7 %
Iron 6.9 %
Magnesium 4.0 %
Manganese 29.2 %
Niacin 2.2 %
Pantothenic Acid 1.2 %
Phosphorus 3.9 %
Riboflavin 2.3 %
Selenium 0.4 %
Thiamin 3.0 %
Zinc 3.3 %

*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.

May 012013
 

The moment one learns the joy of cooking is the moment things get interesting.

A whole world opens up. Recipes, cookbooks, classes, TV shows and food blogs.

It can be a bit overwhelming to the point that there are so many recipes you would like to create you ask, what will I create next? How do I choose?

And then someone makes a suggestion that sounds so amazing you just have to make that next.

Thank you Vivian.

Vivian's Rockin Root Veggie Salad

Vivian’s Rockin’ Root Veggie Salad

My friend Vivian from KyV farm created this deliciously simple recipe to use up any radishes, root veggies, fresh herbs and any hearty greens that can stand up to hanging out in some marinade.

I officially dubbed it Vivian’s Rockin’ Raw Root Veggie Salad.

Vivian's Rockin Root Veggie Salad

Vivian’s Rockin’ Root Veggie Salad

Make this basic marinated salad up once and eat 1000 different variations all week!

Add cooked beans and grains, raw nuts, dried fruit, fresh fruit, roasted tofu….

Stuff tacos with it or eat it as a side!

Vivian's Rockin Root Veggie Salad

Vivian’s Rockin’ Root Veggie Salad

Once you try it I think you will agree – it’s an awesome way to eat raw root veggies!

Vivian's Rockin Raw Root Veggie Salad

Vivian’s Rockin Raw Root Veggie Salad

 Vivian’s Rockin’ Raw Root Veggie Salad

Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe
Vegetables from KyV Farm

Ingredients

1 watermelon radish
1 golden beet (or any beet but it will color everything red)
4 large carrots (or about 3 cups)
1 small head red cabbage
1 green onion top
2 small green garlic (or 1 clove fresh garlic)
3 broccoli stems
Handful cilantro
Coarse sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

Dressing
1/4 cup olive oil
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar (or balsamic vinegar)
2 tsp mustard
2 tsp agave (or honey)

Directions

1. Chop all ingredients or place in food processor to chop.

2. Whisk dressing ingredients and pour over salad mixture.

**No nutrition info since serving size may vary widely.

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

Apr 012013
 

Kale 3 Ways – Cheesy Kale Tomato Sauce, Kale Basil Pesto and Quinoa Power Bowl

Quinoa Power Bowl

There was a certain time during our camping trip last week that I took my life into my own hands. I was in a stare down with a tired and hungry 4 year old after a day of sun and fun with no nap. I needed to whip up something fast and healthy because I had already busted her hiding under a pillow with marshmallows stuffed in her cheeks like a chipmunk with a third waiting to follow.  Needless to say she was not thrilled when I grabbed the lone remaining marshmallow.

I quickly set some water on to boil and pulled some brown rice noodles, nutritional yeast (nooch) and a jar of quality pasta sauce in the cupboard of my little teardrop shaped trailer and some kale from the mini fridge.  (What, that’s not normal camping fare?) With those ingredients I made a semi-homemade cheesy kale tomato sauce with a vegan twist by stirring in some nutritional yeast as I heated the sauce and then simmering some finely chopped kale right in the sauce to wilt it down nicely. Voila – it looked like normal pasta sauce but had lots of protein, vitamins and minerals.  Once I got home I simply had to create it from scratch. It was super simple to do and would be great over salad, tofu and tempeh, poured over baked dishes or anywhere sauce is used.  It’s rich and hearty and has a great balance of acidity, sweet and savory flavors.  After trying the sauce, my daughter ate at least a full cup of the made- from-scratch version.  I’d much rather see her cheeks fully of healthy sauce than marshmallows!

Kale and Nutritional Yeast

What is nutritional yeast? Find out here. And why all the kale? Kale is that powerful and vibrantly green plant that packs a huge nutrient punch. It is one of the sources of plant based calcium that is super absorbable and alkalizing. It also helps to lower cholesterol, fights inflammation and oxidative stress and has tons of vitamin K, A and C.

Quinoa Bowl and Fresh Pesto

The idea for the quinoa power bowl came from a breakfast dish I had recently at a local restaurant.  Their quinoa and kale is typically served with tomatoes, a creamy pesto, chicken and feta so I had to do lots of “leave this off please“.  I loved the idea, but there were way too many animal based foods in it.  I decided to nix the chicken, feta and creamy pesto and create a virgin olive oil based pesto with fresh garlic, kale and some of the Cheesy Kale Tomato sauce.  Wowza!  The fresh pesto really makes this dish pop. There is nothing like aromatic basil and garlic with a touch of salt; what a versatile recipe.  Here are some ideas of how to use pesto; use it as a spread for sandwiches, stir into soups, use it on pasta, top any vegetable or salad, make hummus or potato salad!

Time Crunched?

If you don’t have time to make the sauce from scratch but want to try your hand at the quinoa power bowl, simply do what I did the first time – purchase your favorite store bought brand, heat and stir in 2 cups kale and 1/4 cup nutritional yeast.  No time even for that? Open a can of fire roasted tomatoes, drain and use in place of tomato sauce on the Quinoa Bowl.

Another time saving tip.

There are many delicious store bought versions of pesto.  Simply purchase one and add a tbsp to each plate.

Have some extra time to make all three?  Here is a handy grocery list.

Cheesy Kale Tomato Sauce

Cheesy Kale Tomato Sauce

Cheesy Kale Tomato Sauce (Vegan)

Basic sauce recipe by Giada De Laurentiis
Makes about 5 cups
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

Ingredients 

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 dried bay leave, crushed
4 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
3 (14.5 oz) cans fire roasted diced tomatoes
3/4 tsp sea salt and some freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp agave
2 cups finely chopped kale
1/4 cup nutritional yeast

Directions

1. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a Dutch oven or large stock pot.  Add onion, saute until translucent, about two minutes; add garlic, saute n additional minute.  Add carrot and saute about 5 minutes. Add bay, basil, tomatoes, salt and pepper and simmer covered on low heat for 30 minutes.

2. Using an immersion blender, blend the sauce until semi-smooth or to desired texture.  Alternatively; process the sauce in a food processor until smooth; stir in agave.

3. Add kale and simmer an additional 20 minutes.

4. Stir in nutritional yeast; and taste to check seasoning.

**If not using all the sauce, allow it to cool completely and pour 1 to 2 cup portions into freezer plastic bags. This will freeze up to 6 months.

Kale Basil Pesto

Kale Basil Pesto

Kale Basil Pesto

Makes about 1/2 cup
Serves 4
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe
 

 

Ingredients

1/2 cup chopped kale
Handful fresh basil
3 cloves fresh garlic
2 Tbsp oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup vegetable broth

Directions

1. Blend all ingredients in a magic bullet or blender.

 

Quinoa Power Bowl

Quinoa Power Bowl

Quinoa Power Bowl with Tomato Sauce, Kale and Basil Pesto

Inspired by First Watch
Serves 4 (plus extra quinoa for another use)
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 cup dry quinoa
1/2 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped, divided
2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 tsp sea salt, divided
4 cups chopped kale
2 cups Cheesy Kale Tomato Sauce (or sub store bought tomato sauce of choice)
1/2 cup Kale Basil Pesto (or sub store bought pesto of choice)

Directions

1. Rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer; heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a medium stock pan; add quinoa, onion and 2 cloves garlic to heated oil; toast by stirring about 3 minutes; add 1/4 tsp salt and vegetable broth; cover and simmer 15 minutes.  Remove from heat, covered and let sit 5 minutes. (Makes 4 cups. Reserve 2 cups for recipe and set aside 2 cups for another use.)

2. Heat second Tbsp olive oil in pot originally used for quinoa; add kale and 1/4 sea salt and second 2 cloves garlic.  Saute until wilted; about 5 minutes.

3. Place 1/2 cup quinoa, 1/4 kale mixture; 1/2 cup tomato sauce and 1 Tbsp pesto on each of four plates. Enjoy the fruits of your labor!

**I have been making quesadillas with my leftover quinoa – delicious!

Nutrition Information
___________________

Cheesy Kale Tomato Sauce (Vegan)

Kale Basil Pesto

Quinoa Power Bowl with Tomato Sauce, Kale and Basil Pesto (For the quinoa and kale only.) 
Kale 3 Ways – Cheesy Kale Tomato Sauce, Kale Basil Pesto and Quinoa Power Bowl

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.