Nov 252013
 

 Juicy Orange Vinaigrette over Crisp Pear & Apple Salad with Cranberries, Almonds and Fresh Rosemary. Need I say more?

Juicy Orange Vinaigrette over Crisp Pear & Apple Salad with Cranberries, Almonds and Fresh Rosemary

Juicy Orange Vinaigrette over Crisp Pear & Apple Salad with Cranberries, Almonds and Fresh Rosemary

Sometimes an unexpectedly happy email pops into your inbox ~ maybe it is from an old friend, maybe it is a response to a job opportunity or maybe it is from Mommypage for an interview!

This is an AWESOME resource for moms out there!

Mommypage  is an online community of like minded women to share stories, advice, recipes, craft ideas, coupons and more. You can be caught for hours browsing around the useful information and connecting with people.

_mp-Newsletter-Swap-Banner250x250

When I got the email asking if I would be open to sharing some recipes and writing up an interview I said of course!

I was so excited to be able to share a little snapshot of information about plant based diets and how it can benefit people and especially their children. Here is one of the questions I was asked….I loved this question because it enabled me to expand on the difference between vegan and plant based. Yes there are lots of reasons to go vegan, but when it comes to health for our bodies and the environment, plant based is a great way to go. It essentially is vegan but is based around as many whole foods as possible.

Are you raising your daughter to be vegan? Do you think parents should consider this food lifestyle for their kids?

No, I’m simply teaching her the principals of plant-based nutrition – why it is healing, what happens in the body, the effects of animal foods and where food comes from – especially the conditions of the animals in factory farms.  Every man, woman and child should learn about the centralized feeding operations that supply our meats and dairy and the ties between the USDA and these industries.  Many times the bottom line is not our health, it is money.  She has a dairy allergy and I don’t buy or cook with meats but she will occasionally have local honey. Also important to note is that even if someone calls themselves vegan they can still eat junk food all day!

No, I don’t think people should consider a “vegan” lifestyle for their kids, instead consider a whole foods plant-based lifestyle where they eat plants as close to the source as possible.

Juicy Orange Vinaigrette over Crisp Pear & Apple Salad with Cranberries, Almonds and Fresh Rosemary

Juicy Orange Vinaigrette over Crisp Pear & Apple Salad with Cranberries, Almonds and Fresh Rosemary

 While you are reading Mommypage I have a fabulous recipe for you to nosh – guilt free! There is something about fresh citrus in a dressing. It is so zingy, invigorating and sunny! This time I threw the whole orange in – yup the pulp and all – and I loved the texture. Feel free to juice the orange first instead, but you will miss out on all that glorious pulp!

Juicy Orange Vinaigrette over Crisp Pear & Apple Salad with Cranberries, Almonds and Fresh Rosemary

Juicy Orange Vinaigrette over Crisp Pear & Apple Salad with Cranberries, Almonds and Fresh Rosemary

Juicy Orange Vinaigrette over Crisp Pear & Apple Salad with Cranberries, Almonds and Fresh Rosemary

Serves 4-6
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe
**Ingredient on sale now at Native Sun Nov 7 thru Dec 6

Ingredients

4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
3 small pears**
3 small apples**
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
2 Tbsp dried cranberries
1/8 tsp sea salt & dash fresh ground pepper
2 Tbsp chopped natural almonds

Dressing
1 fresh orange, peeled
1 (to 2) Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp local honey or agave
2 Tbsp water

Directions

1. Mix salad ingredients in a large bowl; mix dressing ingredients in a small bowl; toss dressing over salad mixture.

2. Garnish with fresh rosemary.

Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 213.4
Total Fat 7.3 g
Saturated Fat 0.8 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat 2.6 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 77.6 mg
Potassium 498.9 mg
Total Carbohydrate 38.3 g
Dietary Fiber 7.3 g
Sugars 24.1 g
Protein 3.2 g

Vitamin A 31.2 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 4.3 %
Vitamin C 66.3 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 15.9 %
Calcium 7.1 %
Copper 8.9 %
Folate 24.0 %
Iron 7.7 %
Magnesium 8.8 %
Manganese 24.8 %
Niacin 2.5 %
Pantothenic Acid 2.4 %
Phosphorus 4.3 %
Riboflavin 6.6 %
Selenium 2.1 %
Thiamin 6.0 %
Zinc 2.1 %

*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 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

Feb 102013
 
Ziggy Marley Organics Coconut Oil

Ziggy Marley Organics Coconut Oil

 Naomi and Tammie – this one is for you! My friend Naomi, General Manager at Native Sun Natural Food Stores, asked me if I could create something delicious with a Ziggy Marley Organics coconut oil and I chose to make a pound cake made with the orange almond version at the suggestion of Tammie, the customer service manager at the store near my house. I thought this would be a nice alternative to the standard lemon pound cake.  This coconut oil is totally worth the splurge – it has great flavor without being overpowering but a little goes a long way. The Orange Almond flavor would also be great as a glaze for a tofu dish with a little soy sauce and agave or in a dressing for a citrus salad.

Vegan and GF Orange Almond Pound Cake

Vegan and GF Orange Almond Pound Cake

 Even though this cake is decadent and rich – I love that there is no cholesterol.  The texture is super moist and held up a bit better once it had cooled.   I hand sliced these almond slivers from raw almonds and then hit them with the broiler for a minute or two at the end to toast the top and give it a nice little crust.

Vegan GF Orange Almond Pound Cake

Vegan GF Orange Almond Pound Cake

Oranges and citrus are in season right now so it’s a great way to showcase this sunny citrus.

Florida Citrus

Florida Citrus

 This cake is the perfect finish to any meal – especially a dinner party, holiday event or Valentines day. Enjoy!

Vegan and GF Orange Almond Pound Cake

Vegan and GF Orange Almond Pound Cake

Orange Almond Pound Cake

Inspired by Food.com
Serves 8
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

1/2 cup Ziggy Marley Organics Orange Almond Coconut oil
1 cup organic pure cane sugar
Egg replacer equal to two eggs
1 Tbsp fresh orange juice**
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 cups gluten free flour (or regular flour if you don’t need gluten free)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup vanilla almond milk
1 oz sliced almonds

Glaze
1/3 cup fresh squeezed orange juice**
1/4 cup organic pure cane sugar

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 325F; mix coconut oil and sugar until creamy; add egg replacer and orange juice.

2. In a second bowl, mix the salt, baking mix and baking powder; slowly add to coconut oil mixture and mix until moist; stir in almond milk; pour mixture into a loaf pan greased with a bit extra coconut oil; bake 40 minutes; top with almonds; bake an additional 20 minutes; pour glaze over evenly, broil for a minute or two if desired.

Nutrition Facts
8 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 347.7
Total Fat 16.4 g
Saturated Fat 11.9 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.7 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.9 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 144.4 mg
Potassium 55.5 mg
Total Carbohydrate 51.5 g
Dietary Fiber 2.8 g
Sugars 33.2 g
Protein 3.9 g

Vitamin C 5.1 %
Vitamin D 1.6 %
Vitamin E 8.0 %
Calcium 9.7 %
Copper 2.2 %
Iron 12.8 %
Magnesium 3.0 %
Manganese 4.6 %
Phosphorus 3.2 %
Riboflavin 2.2 %
Thiamin 1.3 %
Zinc 0.8 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Enjoy my Vegan and Gluten Free Orange Almond Pound Cake!

Dec 032012
 

Living in Florida is such a blessing.  Not only was I able to take my cream colored Labrador, Tally for a walk yesterday without a jacket on (a fact I can really appreciate from growing up in Massachusetts), but the citrus trees are all heavy with fruit – including my Meyer lemon tree.

When you think of barley or grains you probably thing of savory dishes – so I wanted to change things up and bring sort of a sweet, salty, tangy dish. Your tastebuds will be dancing!

This makes a great side dish, snack, breakfast or even dessert!

Take a bite and you’ll get the crunch of pistachios but the creaminess of the barley slowly cooked over 40 minutes.

And talk about easy! I threw this dish together in under ten minutes – shelling and all.

Tell me what is your favorite thing to do with fresh citrus? 

Sweet Citrus Barley with Pistachios

Sweet Citrus Barley and Pistachios

Serves 4, 1/2 cup serving
Vegan Option
Printable Recipe
 

Ingredients

1 cup barley
2 cups water
1 orange or Satsuma
Juice 1/2 lemon
1/4 tsp coarse sea salt
2 to 3 Tbsp honey or agave for vegan
1/4 cup shelled pistachios

Directions

1. Rinse barley well in running water; add to small pot with water, bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover; cook 40 minutes; remove from heat cook an additional 10 minutes.

2. Peel orange and blend in Magic Bullet or blender with juice of lemon, salt and honey or agave; mix well and pour over 2 cups of the cooked barley, reserve the remaining barley for another use; spoon barley mixture into large bowl.  Chop pistachios and top barley mixture.

Nutrition Facts 
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 184.0
Total Fat 3.8 g
Saturated Fat 0.5 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.9 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 148.2 mg
Potassium 211.2 mg
Total Carbohydrate 36.3 g 

Dietary Fiber 4.4 g
Sugars 11.8 g
Protein 3.6 g
Vitamin A 2.0 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 12.3 %
Vitamin C 26.5 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 2.3 %
Calcium 2.8 %
Copper 10.2 %
Folate 6.2 %
Iron 8.0 %
Magnesium 7.5 %
M
anganese 15.7 %
Niacin 9.0 %
Pantothenic Acid 2.2 %
Phosphorus 8.6 %
Riboflavin 4.4 %
Selenium 10.7 %
Thiamin 10.5 %
Zinc 5.7 %

 

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

May 032010
 

The past few weeks I’ve done two pasta recipes for my lunches so this week I decided to change it up and use quinoa instead. 

According to Wikepedia: “Quinoa (pronounced /ˈkiːnoʊ.ə/ or /kwɨˈnoʊ.ə/, Spanish quinua, from Quechua kinwa), a species of goosefoot (Chenopodium), is a grain-like crop grown primarily for its edible seeds. It is a pseudocereal rather than a true cereal, or grain, as it is not a grass. As a chenopod, quinoa is closely related to species such as beets, spinach, and tumbleweeds. Its leaves are also eaten as a leaf vegetable, much like amaranth, but the commercial availability of quinoa greens is currently limited.”

Hmm…goosefoot.  Pseudocereal.  I have never heard of these things.  We learn something new every day.

I found a Weight Watcher recipe for quinoa salad with corn and peppers dressed in an orange vinaigrette.  I rarely use orange in my dressings so this sounded really refreshing.  I was right!  What a great blend of flavors.  The serving size was a bit confusing though.  The recipe states the yield is six one cup servings.  I didn’t get six cups of salad so I’m thinking the serving size is a bit smaller. 

Summer Quinoa Salad with Orange Vinaigrette
(Altered from Weight Watchers Quinoa Salad with Corn and Peppers)
About 6 servings
3 Weight Watcher pts per serving

Ingredients


Salad:

1 cup uncooked quinoa, cooked to package directions
2 cups grilled corn, cut off cob, cooled 
1 medium sweet red pepper(s), diced
1/4 medium green pepper(s), diced

Dressing:

2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 Tbsp orange zest
1/3 cup(s) orange juice, freshly squeezed
1 tsp canola oil
1/8 tsp table salt, or to taste
1/8 tsp black pepper, or to taste
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 packet Truvia or sweetener


Directions


1. Mix salad ingredients in a large bowl.
 
2. Whisk dressing ingredients in a small bowl. 
 
3. Pour over salad ingredients and toss to coat.