Jan 032012
 

Goodbye 2011, you were a good year. 
Let’s see…..I gave up meat and most dairy (that is a work in progress), hosted a farm to table dinner and held a Free Range Yoga workshop at the farm, went on LOTS of campouts, trips to St. Augustine, took an amazing trip to the Keys and finally, am at a point where I’m comfortable with myself.  For one, I don’t step on the scale every day any more, I don’t record every bite, and I’ve lost weight and feel better than ever.  After trying every diet in the book, I have finally settled into the aforementioned meat and dairy free diet.  I’ll admit I thought I was going to be tired, but I have more energy than ever.  In fact, on New Years I didn’t get to bed until 3AM!  I used to have to drink 5 Hour Energy and sugar Free Red Bull just to say awake until 11:00.
One of the biggest challenges was (is) not cutting meat from my diet, but how the people around me reacted and the availability of animal free foods at social events and during travel.  I can’t say how many times I’ve been told it is unhealthy to not eat meat and been asked how I get my protein and calcium. I have learned to still participate in social events but to bring along something delicious that everyone can eat and to not make a big deal about my abstention from meat.
For the New Years Eve party I attended, I decided to make a pesto with the fresh Meyer lemons that my friend Gregg brought me to yoga that morning and I paired it with herbs straight from my garden.  As “dippers” I skewered a small tomato, a bit of fresh beet green and broccoli-both fresh from the farm.  For the folks that weren’t into the “salad on a stick”, a loaf of sliced Cuban bread and a whole grain baguette were on the side as well.  It turned out so well I am going to make another batch for a dressing and sandwich spread.
As for my 2012 New Years Resolutions….. I finally settled on two.
  1. Meditate daily
  2. Stay in the present moment
  3.  
A BIG, HUGE thanks to everyone that has visited my site, supported me, tried my recipes and even introduced themselves to me when I’m out and about.  It is so fun to meet some of the folks that actually read my posts!  I love, love, LOVE every comment, suggestion and insight.
So THANK YOU and I look forward to the new year!
Now tell me…..what are your resolutions this year?
Fresh Meyer Lemon Pesto with Tomato, Beet Green and Broccoli Skewers
Inspired by Epicurious
Vegan, Dairy and Gluten Free
Ingredients
Pesto
2 packed cups of fresh herbs, I used basil, oregano, chives and parsley.
3 cloves of garlic
1 Tbsp coarse ground mustard
Zest and juice of one fresh Meyer lemon
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
For the skewers
1 pint grape tomatoes
4 fresh beet greens, stems removed and torn into bite size pieces
1 large head broccoli
Directions
  1. Add herbs through lemon zest and juice to a food processor or blender and pulse to chop finely; slowly stream in the olive oil until blended. Season with salt and pepper, taste and re-season if necessary.
  2. For skewers, thread one tomato, a rolled bit of beet green and a broccoli floret onto a toothpick.
Dec 032011
 
My second KYV Farm CSA bag, once again, had such variety. Thanks to KYV!

Radish and Broccoli


Bok Choy and Lettuce


 Onions

Kale


Golden Beets


Pigeon Peas


Arugula

Now-for the “turkey” tempeh-I have a confession.

I was going to cave.

I’ve cut out meat and have been doing awesome, but for Thanksgiving I was thinking about turkey.  I still had a little hope that I might be able to make something that would be just as delicious.


 I created a marinade-this green soupy stuff to marinate the tempeh in.  After looking at my concoction I can’t say I had high hopes.  The goal was a marinade made with seasonings I would normally pair with turkey-since I know that a lot of times when I marinate tofu in a sauce or seasoning I’m craving, it actually does satisfy that craving.

Tempeh, for anyone who has never heard of such a thing, is a sort of fermented soy cake.  I know that sounds gross, but I really love the texture and flavor.  It has more “meat” than tofu and a subtle nutty flavor.  Some folks steam it, as sometimes tempeh can have a bitterness to it, but this marinade I created was strong enough to take any bitterness out of the tempeh.

Much to my suprise, when I tried the marinated and pan seared tempeh, it was delicious!  It had a nice hearty texture and I didn’t miss turkey ONE BIT.


“Turkey” Tempeh
Inspired by All Recipes
Serves 2 to 3

Ingredients

1 package tempeh, I use Lightlife
4 Tbsp EVOO, (1 Tbsp reserved for cooking)
2 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp liquid aminos or soy sauce
Juice 1 lemon
1 Tbsp mustard
Handful fresh chives
1 1/2 Tbsp dried sage
Handful fresh oregano
Handful fresh parsley
2 Tbsp dried thyme
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ Tbsp paprika
1 Tbsp poultry seasoning
1 fresh sprig rosemary

Directions

1. Blend all ingredients but tempeh; marinate tempeh overnight in mixture. Store in the refrigerator.

2. Scrape as much of marinade off tempeh as possible.  Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in skillet over medium high heat.  Sear on one side until browned, about 3 to 5 minutes.  Flip and sear second side an additional 3 to 5 minutes.  Slice and enjoy.



Nutrition Facts for Tempeh only
(From Lightlife Site)
Per Single Serving
Serving Size 4oz. (113g)
Servings per package: about 2
Nutrition: Amount per Serving Percentage Daily Value


Calories 240
Calories from Fat 100
Fat, g 11 17%
Saturated Fat, g 2 10%
Trans Fatty Acids, g* 0
Cholesterol, mg 0 0%
Sodium, mg 10
Potassium, mg* 360 10%
Carbohydrate, g 16 5%
Fiber, g 9 36%
Sugars, g <1
Protein, g 20 40%
Vitamin A, % 0%
Vitamin C, % 0%
Calcium, % 8%
Iron, % 15%


Ingredients
Cultured organic soybeans, water, organic brown rice, organic barley, organic millet, lactic acid (from plant sources).

Sep 122011
 
I do believe I have discovered the dressing secret of my favorite salad at Mandaloun Mediterranean.  It is tart, tangy, sweet perfection and I think I figured it out by accident.  On a whim, while at the St Augustine Farmers Market I decided I would make a version of the fattoush salad with the organic kale I had just bought.  I got all the fresh herbs I would need, twice-baked my own pita chips for superb crunch, ruby red tomatoes, red onion instead of radish and Forks Over Knives 3-2-1 dressing recipe of 3 Tbsp vinegar, 2 Tbsp mustard and 1 Tbsp sweetener of choice (now my favorite oil-free dressing). 
How did I discover the secret of the dressing you ask? (Especially when theirs is laden with so much oil, as restaurants are known to do, and I have failed at my fattoush attempts in the past.)
I decided to try a reduction with the 3-2-1 dressing and when I tasted it, I knew I had hit gold.
It is almost an exact match, but oil free; tart, tangy, sweet and rich.  Oh baby it is SOOO good.  I was dipping kale leaves in and munching like they were potato chips.
Here is what I did.
Crunchy Kale Fattoush
Salad inspired by Mandaloun Mediterranean and dressing inspired by Forks Over Knives 3-2-1 dressing pp.118
Serves 4-5
Ingredients
1 bunch curly kale, washed and de-stemmed**
1 bunch fresh mint
1 bunch fresh parsley
1 bunch fresh oregano
1/2 red onion
2 large tomatoes, seeded
1 15oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed or about 1 1/5 cups cooked
1 cup pita chips, (bake your own from fresh pita*** or use Stacy’s Pita Chips)
Dressing
6 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 Tbsp mustard
1 1/2 Tbsp maple syrup
Directions
1. Heat the vinegar, mustard and syrup in a small pan to just boiling. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring regularly, until reduced by half and has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and cool.
2. Meanwhile, chop kale and set in a large bowl. De-stem and chop mint, parsley and oregano finely and set aside (do not mix in with kale yet).  Chop onion and tomato and set with herbs.
3. Once balsamic mixture has cooled, pour over kale and massage in until it begins to wilt a bit; about 30 seconds.  Add herbs, onion, tomato and chickpeas; season with salt and pepper, toss salad to mix.  Top with pita chips.
**Romaine can be used in place of the spinach; do not massage dressing in first.  Add all ingredients together except pita chips and toss to mix.  Add pita chips and serve.
***To bake your own pita chips, preheat oven to 250F, cut edges from pita and separate sides.  Spray with cooking spray and lay rounds directly on oven racks, start checking at 10 minutes as different areas of the oven may brown faster, remove from oven, break up, season, place on tray and re-bake 3 minutes or until super crunchy.  Keep a close eye so they don’t burn.
Nutrition Information
5 Salads (Including 4 oz Stacy Pita Chips)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 281.4
Total Fat 5.7 g
Saturated Fat 0.6 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.8 g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.5 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 483.6 mg
Potassium 618.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate 50.5 g
Dietary Fiber 8.1 g
Sugars 6.4 g
Protein 9.7 g
Vitamin A 446.6 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 30.4 %
Vitamin C 140.5 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 7.6 %
Calcium 15.6 %
Copper 20.8 %
Folate 19.5 %
Iron 21.3 %
Magnesium 14.1 %
Manganese 67.4 %
Niacin 6.0 %
Pantothenic Acid     4.3 %
Phosphorus     12.4 %
Riboflavin 9.4 %
Selenium 5.3 %
Thiamin 9.2 %
Zinc 9.7 %
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.