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!”


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.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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



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


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


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)


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

Jan 212013

This recipe is gonna blow your mind.

Cheesy and Creamy Mushroom and Spinach Alfredo Lasagna

Cheesy and Creamy Mushroom and Spinach Alfredo Lasagna

Oh so cheesy and creamy and SUPER decadent.

Cheesy and Creamy Mushroom and Spinach Alfredo Lasagna

Cheesy and Creamy Mushroom and Spinach Alfredo Lasagna

Not only is this dish easy – using the short cut of Victoria Vegan Alfredo sauce with a base of cashews instead of cream – it is healthy with zero cholesterol, vegan and gluten free.

For anyone who says meatless is tasteless, make this up and bring it to them. I guarantee they will be eating their words!


I confess that when I made this recipe and tasted it, I felt so guilty – here I am trying to eat lighter and enjoying a large slab of creamy, cheesy, mouth watering lasagna!  Then I calculated the calories and fat….under 250 calories and only 2.5 grams saturated fat and poof! No more guilt.

This basic recipe can have any veggie subbed for the mushrooms and spinach that you have on hand so feel free to get a little crazy!

Creamy and Cheesy Mushroom and Spinach Alfredo Lasagna

Creamy and Cheesy Mushroom and Spinach Alfredo Lasagna

Cheesy and Creamy Mushroom and Spinach Alfredo Lasagna

Serves 6
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe


5oz Brown Rice Pasta Lasagna Noodles, Tinkyada
1 Tbsp oil
1 onion, chopped
1 ½ pkgs (15oz) frozen organic mushrooms
½ pkg (5oz) frozen organic spinach
1 Tbsp wheat free Tamari
1 jar Victoria Vegan Roasted Pepper Alfredo Sauce
½ cup non-dairy cheese, Daiya


1. Preheat oven 350F. Cook noodles to package directions and set aside.

2. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in pot pasta was cooked in; add onion, cook 5 minutes; add mushrooms, spinach and tamari; cook until softened and well combined; about 5 to 7 minutes.

3. Layer in a 9×9 baking dish, ¼ cup sauce, row of lasagna noodles, ½ mushroom mixture; repeat. Top with a third row of noodles, the last of the Alfredo sauce and ½ cup cheese. Cover and bake 45 minutes or until warm and bubbly.

Step by Step Lasagna Layering

Step by Step Lasagna Layering

Estimated Nutrition Info
6 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 243
Total Fat 10 g
Saturated Fat 2.5 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.7 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 739 mg
Potassium 354.2 mg
Total Carbohydrate 30 g
Dietary Fiber 4.5 g
Sugars 3.9 g
Protein 7.9 g

Vitamin A 28.5 %
Vitamin B-12 0.5 %
Vitamin B-6 6.8 %
Vitamin C 8.6 %
Vitamin D 13.5 %
Vitamin E 1.9 %
Calcium 3.3 %
Copper 13.3 %
Folate 8.8 %
Iron 5.9 %
Magnesium 5.5 %
Manganese 12.3 %
Niacin 21.1 %
Pantothenic Acid 11.1 %
Phosphorus 7.9 %
Riboflavin 19.6 %
Selenium 9.6 %
Thiamin 12.0 %

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.
Enjoy my Outrageously Cheesy and Creamy Mushroom and Spinach Alfredo Lasagna (Healthy and Naturally Vegan and Gluten Free)!

Sep 242012

Stuffed Acorn Squash with Roasted Garlic Pumpkin Sauce and Squash Blossoms

What do you do with squash blossoms?

This was the question I heard over and over from customers at the KyV Farm tent set up at the St Johns Farmers Market at Alpine Grove Park last Saturday.  There are many fried and stuffed recipes on the internet so here is a unique one that showcases the fresh blossoms with their sweet, nutty flavor.  They create a beautiful presentation and taste without adding lots of calories – only about five per cup.

The St Johns farmers market is a newly established one right on the St Johns river.  They had a good number of fresh vegetable vendors as well as a great mix of art work, jewelry, crafts and personal care products.  I would like to see some more prepared food vendors (vegetarian would be awesome!), possibly a food truck and some live music, but overall it was a GREAT market and you can find KyV Farm there every week featuring their organic produce.  Please head out there to support this new market – it is every Saturday, 10AM to 2PM, 2060 State Road 13, Switzerland, Florida.

The acorn squash, spaghetti squash, blossoms and garlic are all organically grown from KyV Farm. In fact, the spaghetti squash I had from the end of last season, waiting patiently on the counter for me to use it – so this started out as a spaghetti squash recipe but quickly morphed into a stuffed acorn squash since I bought two of those fresh at the market on Saturday.  There were so many delicious elements in this recipe that I had trouble fitting them all in the title; sweet roasted garlic, aromatic sage and thyme, fresh rosemary, caramel-y roasted onions, squash blossoms and that creamy pumpkin sauce.  This dish incorporates all of the welcoming tastes of fall and if you are like me living in Florida, it is a great way to celebrate the new season, even if we are only just starting to see some cooler weather.

I am SO excited about this recipe and if you try it, I know you will be too!

Lastly, I hope you will follow me on facebook if you don’t already.  It is such a great way to connect with the people that support and follow my blog.  Thank you to all of you!

Stuffed Acorn Squash with Roasted Garlic, Sage, Pumpkin Sauce and Fresh Squash Blossoms

Stuffed Acorn Squash with Roasted Garlic, Sage, Pumpkin Sauce and Fresh Squash Blossoms

Inspired by my friend Caras Cravings
Serves 6 – 1 cup spaghetti squash, 1/2 acorn squash, 1/4 cup sauce

Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

1 spaghetti squash**
3 acorn squashes
1 onion
2 small bulbs garlic or one large
Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/4 cup nutritional yeast (or Parmesan cheese for non-vegan)
1/2 cup plain non dairy creamer – I used Silk Original (or regular creamer for non-vegan)
1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
1/2 tsp dried sage
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 Tbsp fresh chopped rosemary
4 squash blossoms (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Cut squashes in half and scoop out seeds, chop onion, cut tops off garlic and wrap in foil; prepare pans with non-stick cooking spray.   Place squashes face down on pans, add onions and garlic around squashes.  Bake 60 minutes.

2. Add pumpkin puree, nutritional yeast, creamer, salt, sage and thyme to small sauce pan; heat over medium, low heat.  Stir in roasted onions and garlic and simmer mixture, about five minutes or until heated through.

3. Place 1/2 acorn squash on each of six plates, top with 1 cup spaghetti squash and 1/4 cup sauce mixture. Slice squash blossoms; sprinkle evenly over 6 plates, top with sprinkle of chopped fresh rosemary.

**There may be some left over depending on the size of the squash.

Nutrition Facts
6 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 209.8
Total Fat 2.4 g
Sat Fat 0.2 g
Polyunsat Fat 0.3 g
Monounsat Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 106.8 mg
Potassium 1,080.1 mg
Total Carb 46.7 g
Dietary Fiber 8.0 g
Sugars 12.2 g
Protein 6.2 g

Vitamin A 18.4 %
Vitamin B-12 44.3 %
Vitamin B-6 187.3 %
Vitamin C   52.6%
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 1.1 %
Calcium 12.0 %
Copper 12.8 %
Folate 33.3 %
Iron 14.1 %
Magnesium 24.0 %
Manganese 32.6 %
Niacin 107.5 %
Pantothenic Acid 17.9 %
Phosphorus 16.7 %
Riboflavin 192.1 %
Selenium 13.6 %
Thiamin 238.4 %
Zinc 11.5 %

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

Jul 052012
Cajun Fu Fingers with Roasted Summer Squash and Tomatoes and Creamy Spiced Mustard on the Side

With this being my second tofu post in a row I got to thinking about all the negative press that soy gets – so I googled “is soy safe” and there is a LOT of info out there.

I looked for reputable sources and found a great article at the Mayo Clinic where many of the claims are rated according to the amount of scientific evidence available.

The claims that have the most scientific evidence are that soy tofu is high in protein and is an acceptable source and secondly that it can reduce blood levels of total cholesterol and low density lipoprotein as well as triglycerides.
A while back I had also come across an article in Eating Well by Amy Patural that stated soy can cut down on hot flashes in menopausal women and can decrease the chances for prostate cancer in men by 30%.  The concerns about breast health, according to Mark Messina, Ph.D., adjunct associate professor at Loma Linda University and executive director of the Soy Nutrition Institute, are also unfounded.  In fact, kids that eat one serving of edamame or tofu per day decreased their chances for breast cancer by 50% later in life – however there was no benefit for adults.

Another Eating Well article states; Researchers still don’t know whether isoflavones—the compounds in soy that act as weak estrogens in the body—spur the growth of tumors by acting like estrogen or prevent breast cancer by competing with the breast’s natural estrogen. Scientists who looked at the effect individual isoflavones from soy had on breast-cancer cells in test tubes have found both results.”

The bottom line is that one to two servings per day – such as half cup of edamame or one cup of soy milk, is good for you; however, do keep in mind that genetically modified soy is in almost all fast food (the burgers and buns) and in most processed foods. Check the labels for soy ingredients. You might be eating more than you think and it’s best to eat everything in moderation – especially if you are eating anything genetically modified.

The supporters of GMOs state that there is no evidence that GMO foods can hurt us; however, they don’t take into account the increase in food allergies over the years that have increased in direct correlation with the development of GMO crops.
My suggestion is to always choose organic in the case of ingesting soy to ensure you aren’t eating any genetically modified organisms.
Cajun Fu Fingers with Roasted Summer Squash and Tomatoes and Creamy Spiced Mustard on the Side
Cajun Fu Fingers with Roasted Summer Squash and Tomatoes and
Creamy Spiced Mustard on the Side
1 Block organic extra firm tofu, pressed and cut into sticks
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup unsweet non-dairy milk
1/4 tsp Cajun Seasoning blend
3/4 cup crushed flake cereal or breadcrumb
Roasted Veggies
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1 summer squash
1/2 onion
Cajun Seasoning blend
Spiced Mustard
2 Tbsp reduced fat Vegenaise
2 Tbsp coarse ground mustard such as Grey Poupon
Cajun Seasoning blend, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 400F.  Mix vinegar and non-dairy milk (I used unsweet almond) in a small bowl. Dip tofu sticks in, season with Cajun seasoning and roll in cereal or breadcrumb.  Place on baking sheet prepared with cooking spray.
2. Place veggie mixture on separate tray prepared with cooking spray.  Spray tops of veggies with cooking spray; sprinkle with Cajun Seasoning.  Place both tofu tray and veggie tray into oven for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through.
3. Meanwhile mix spiced mustard blend in a small bowl. 
4. Serve 1/4 tofu, 1/4 veggie and 1 tbsp spiced mustard per plate.

Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 188.0
Total Fat 10.3 g
Saturated Fat 1.1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.3 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 372.4 mg
Potassium 313.1 mg
Total Carbohydrate 14.0 g
Dietary Fiber 3.1 g
Sugars 3.4 g
Protein 13.4 g

Vitamin A 2.6 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 9.4 %
Vitamin C 10.0 %
Vitamin D 3.1 %
Vitamin E 6.5 %
Calcium 14.9 %
Copper 11.7 %
Folate 13.3 %
Iron 27.2 %
Magnesium 25.6 %
Manganese 58.8 %
Niacin 4.7 %
Pantothenic Acid 4.6 %
Phosphorus 23.1 %
Riboflavin 5.3 %
Selenium 18.4 %
Thiamin 21.5 %
Zinc 14.2 %
*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 302012
Saturday Quick Post!

Tofy Satay

This was one of those dinners that came out so great that I wanted to save the list of ingredients but I hadn’t measured everything out.  If you typically follow a recipe to the letter (not mentioning any names, MOM), I encourage you to try this one out and just wing it by utilizing your sense of taste!
Mix the ingredients, taste it, and think – does it need more salt?  Add some more Braggs (or soy, or tamari). Too sweet?  Balance it out with some more vinegar.  Just experiment!
Also, my original intent was to skewer the tofu but cutting the block into tofu steaks saved time so I went with it – and it came out perfectly. Use the skewers if you are going for presentation.
Tip: This marinade can be used for any protein.  You can leave it over night, for just an hour or simply brush it on – so versatile!
Tofu Satay without the Skewer
 Tofu Satay with Steamed Broccoli
(Without the skewer!)
Serves 4
Vegan, Gluten Free
1 block extra firm tofu
Dark sesame oil (or any oil you have on hand)
Agave (or honey)
Sunflower seed butter (or peanut butter, or tahini)
Bragg Liquid Aminos (or soy, or tamari)
Rice vinegar (or apple cider vinegar or white)
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 head broccoli, chopped
Bragg Liquid Aminos (or soy, or tamari)
Rice vinegar (or apple cider vinegar or white)
Agave (or honey)
1. Press water from the tofu then slice in half and then through the center into “steaks” or however you like to slice your tofu – any way will work. 
2. Preheat grill to medium high.  Mix about 1 tbsp each –  sesame oil through vinegar; stir well; mix in garlic.  Adjust to taste.  Add tofu and coat all sides; save the remaining for dipping sauce.  Grill to desired temperature.
3. Meanwhile steam the broccoli, about 10 minutes; as that cooks whisk about 1 tsp each liquid aminos through agave and add about 1 tbsp water; adjust to taste. Pour over steamed broccoli. 
4. Serve one slice tofu and 1/4 broccoli mixture on each of four plates with a side of left over marinade.
Jun 272012
One of the best things in life is meeting new people and experiencing new things.  Last Saturday was one of the most fun and memorable.  My friend Gregg, who has been supplying me the wines for the Wine Down Wednesday posts, and his wife Kerry (I hope that is the correct spelling!) had us over for dinner.
  A dinner party turned Karaoke night around the piano.
Think Elton John. Rocket Man.

We wined and dined and had an amazing time.  He showed us around his vintage home in Riverside – complete with wine memorabilia from Bono no less!
Also in attendance were my friends Alyson and her husband Chip, who brought a meteorite from their back yard as a dinner conversation piece, and Mark and Sheri – we all do yoga together so it was great to meet up off the mat.  I can’t wait for us all to meet again.

To detox after a night of wine I got it into my head that I wanted to make a macro (macrobiotic) bowl with grains and veggies but when I looked at my acorn squash I just couldn’t remove the skin – it was too pretty – so I thought, why not turn the squash into the bowl? 

Secondly, I’m always looking for new ways to eat my Mila. Because I write about Mila a lot, I created this little info blurb.  That way any frequent visitors that already know the benefits can skip over that and head right to the recipe.
What is Mila?

Mila is an organically grown, non-genetically modified blend of chia seed that is cold pressed and sliced to make it more bio-available. 

It is RAW, GLUTEN FREE, AND VEGAN, perfect for cooking and baking.

It is super high in OMEGA 3s – equal to fish oil pills per serving.  

A single serving also has FIVE GRAMS OF FIBER, more antioxidants than blueberries, more iron than spinach and many more benefits.

This little seed has anti-inflammatory properties, is excellent for brain function, energy, elimination, sleep and the best part?  It’s a FOOD!




Acorn Squash from KYV Farm
I got this unique acorn squash from Vivian at KYV Farm (CSA SIGNUPS ARE GOING ON NOW)  I’ve never seen such a thing in the grocery store.  I usually see the typical green acorn squash that has a tinge of orange but this one is the beauty queen of squashes.



Stuffed Acorn Squash
Stuffing them with onions and garlic during cooking imparts a LOT of flavor.  This technique is perfect at Thanksgiving.  While everyone is stuffing their bird you can stuff your squash.



Macro Acorn Squash Bowl with Mila, Massaged Kale and Tahini Sauce
Macro Acorn Squash Bowl with Mila, Massaged Kale and Tahini Sauce
Serves 4
Vegan, Gluten Free


2 acorn squash, cut in half and seeds removed
1 onion, quartered
4 cloves garlic, crushed
Olive oil spray
Sea salt
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 cup cooked black beans
4 Tbsp Mila (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste.

Massaged Kale
1 bunch kale, stems removed and chopped
2 Tbsp ume plum vinegar (or sub any vinegar you like)
2 tsp olive oil
Sea Salt

Tahini Sauce
2 Tbsp tahini
2 Tbsp miso
2 Tbsp fresh lemon
1 Tbsp raw agave


1. Preheat oven to 375.  Arrange squash, cut side up on baking dish, stuff with 1/4 onion and 1 clove garlic; spray with cooking spray, sprinkle with sea salt; bake 1 hour.

2. Mix kale ingredients together in medium bowl, massage kale until wilted, about a minute.

4. Mix tahini sauce in a small bowl.

3. Remove squash from oven.  Remove onions and garlic; chopp and mix with rice, season to taste.  Mix Mila with black beans if using.  Stuff 1/4 cup black beans and 1/4 cup rice into each squash. 
Serve each half squash with 1/4 kale and 1/4 tahini sauce.

(**Rosted potatos on the side optional – roast along with squash)

Nutrition Facts (includes Mila)
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 392.8
Total Fat 11.9 g
Saturated Fat 1.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 5.7 g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.4 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 67.0 mg
Potassium 1,423.2 mg
Total Carbohydrate 63.5 g
Dietary Fiber 16.8 g
Sugars 3.3 g
Protein 14.0 g

Vitamin A 369.1 %
Vitamin B-12 0.1 %
Vitamin B-6 31.7 %
Vitamin C 141.5 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 8.0 %
Calcium 30.4 %
Copper 30.8 %
Folate 33.4 %
Iron 31.9 %
Magnesium 34.4 %
Manganese 78.5 %
Niacin 14.7 %
Pantothenic Acid 11.7 %
Phosphorus 36.6 %
Riboflavin 11.9 %
Selenium 5.7 %
Thiamin 39.7 %
Zinc 11.5 %

*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 112012
KYV Eggplants, Heirloom Tomatos, Peppers and Cucumbers
Oxidative Stress is becoming a big buzzword nowadays – but what exactly is it?  Oxidative stress is the imbalance of our bodies oxidizing at a greater rate than its ability to detoxify. Something we’re all familiar with is the oxidation of an apple or avocado when we cut it – that is why the flesh turns brown when it comes in contact with the air.

What worsens the oxidative stress in our bodies is the presence of free radicals, according to Dr Weil, author of Healthy Aging: A Lifelong Guide to Your Physical and Spiritual Well-Being (Knopf, 2005), they are “electronically unstable atoms or molecules capable of stripping electrons from any other molecules they meet in an effort to achieve stability. In their wake they create even more unstable molecules that then attack their neighbors in domino-like chain reactions.

By the time a free radical chain fizzles out, it may have ripped through vital componentsof cells like a tornado, causing extensive damage, similar to that caused by ionizing radiation.

What we eat, our lack of exercise, radiation and pollution all contribute to the presence of these free radicals. Studies show that this stress, in turn leads to a host of diseases such as Alzheimer’s to Lou Gherigs – the disease my grandfather had.
My grandfather was a testament to the power of REAL FOOD. Typically someone with ALS will live around five years. My grandmother, following a macrobiotic diet, kept him alive into his mid seventies-he was diagnosed in his 50s.
So what do we do about this? Eat antioxidants!

Antioxidants combat oxidative stress by neutralizing these free radicals and helping the body repair the damage.

A food that we all know contains lots of antioxidants is berries, top on the list at Mayo Clinic, along with sweet potatoes, oats, cinnamon and walnuts.

What has even more antioxidants than berries and the whole reason I’ve been doing more research?

Mila.  As I have been getting more and more questions and interest surrounding this food I have spent a significant amount of time doing the research on its benefits and how to incorporate it, deliciously, into our diets.
Try some for yourself! Click here.

In this month’s issue of Cooking Light there were several eggplant recipes that caught my eye as I had gotten two with my farm share. I love anything with tahini and beans so this sounded like the perfect recipe.  Instead of egg I used Mila to create the binding and add Omega 3s to a vegan dish.

Even though the ingredient list is long, I was not disappointed.  I loved the bean flavorful bean mixture inside the eggplant and the warm, nutty sauce on top.  The relish added a cool finish to the dish. Mixing raw and cooked ingredients creates lots of interesting textures. I definitely rate this one highly-next time I may even use the stuffing in another vegetable since it’s so versatile!

Vegan Falafel-Stuffed Eggplant withTahini Sauce and Tomato Relish

Serves 4
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe


Tahini sauce:
3 tablespoons warm water
2 tablespoons tahini (roasted sesame seed paste)
4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon agave
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 garlic clove, minced

2 eggplants (about 12 ounces or 340 grams each)
Cooking spray
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup fresh gluten free breadcrumbs (or regular)
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon tahini (roasted sesame seed paste)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 Tbsp Mila + 6 Tbsp water (in place of two large eggs – feel free to use if you have those on hand or have a seed allergy and are not eating vegan).
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added pinto beans (chickpeas can also be used)


1 cup chopped seeded tomato
1/2 cup chopped seeded peeled cucumber
1/2 cup vertically sliced red onion
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil


1. To prepare sauce, combine first 6 ingredients in a small bowl, and stir with a whisk. Set aside.

2. Preheat oven to 475°.

3. To prepare eggplant, slice the eggplants in half lengthwise; score cut sides with a crosshatch pattern. Place the eggplant halves, cut sides down, on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 475° for 7 minutes or until slightly tender and browned. Remove from oven; carefully scoop out pulp, leaving a 3/4-inch shell. Reserve pulp for another use. Season cut sides with 1/4 teaspoon salt.

4. Combine remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, onion, and remaining ingredients (through pinto beans or
chickpeas) in a food processor; process until smooth. Spoon 1/2 cup pinto (or chickpea) mixture into each eggplant shell. Bake at 475° for 25 minutes or until eggplant halves are tender and pinto mixture is lightly browned.

5. To prepare relish, combine the tomato and remaining ingredients in a bowl; stir to combine.

6. Place 1 eggplant half on each of 4 plates. Top each half with 1/4 cup relish and 1 1/2 tablespoons sauce.

Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 341.6
Total Fat 12.6 g
Saturated Fat 1.7 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat 5.8 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 712.8 mg
Potassium 1,070.8 mg
Total Carbohydrate 47.4 g
Dietary Fiber 16.8 g
Sugars 1.6 g
Protein 14.0 g
Vitamin A 16.3 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 19.8 %
Vitamin C 38.8 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 5.3 %
Calcium 13.3 %
Copper 29.6 %
Folate 61.9 %
Iron 28.5 %
Magnesium 28.4 %
Manganese 53.3 %
Niacin 11.3 %
Pantothenic Acid 9.2 %
Phosphorus 33.9 %
Riboflavin 13.4 %
Selenium 12.3 %
Thiamin 30.2 %
Zinc 14.0 %

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

Jun 062012
Florida Coastal Cooking
Welcome back to Wine Down Wednesday where I review a vegan dish paired with two different wines from Broadbent Selections.
 To pair wines with a meatless dish we must look at the spices and main flavors of the recipe.
In this case we look at the rich, ripe tomato and roasted garlic.

The rating info:

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

Rating Scale

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

Category #1 The Dish

Rating of Yum

I chose this Rustic Roasted Tomato Soup when my friend Melanie, a fellow KYV Farm member, posted photos of her version of tomato soup on facebook.  Thanks for the idea Melanie!

Fresh tomatoes are one of the best things about summer – they taste best warmed by the sun and straight from the vine.  The ones I used were no exception as they were directly from local farms, Wendy’s Organic Herbs and KYV Farm.
One thing I learned with this recipe is that it takes a lot of fresh tomatoes to make a tomato soup.
1 lb fresh = about 4.7 oz or 1 cup cooked so you’ll need two full pounds.  This versatile soup would also would be awesomeover pasta or in any instance you would use a tomato sauce.  I left out the oil because I felt it just didn’t need it.  Keeping it simple, only a little salt, let the tomatoes do the talking.

Category #2 The Wines
Casa Ferreirinha, Esteva Douro 2010, Portugal rating of YUM
Casa Ferreirinha, Esteva Douro 2010, Portugal
Ferreira is known as “the Portuguese Brand” due to the high quality and recognition.  After one taste I could see why; this wine was smooth and silky and had lots of fruit.  The deep, rich color was beautiful.  I drank the wine only a bit chilled, to about 60 degrees and it was the perfect red for drinking on the patio.

Musar Jeune Rose, 2010, Lebanon Rating of YUM
Musar Jeune Rose, 2010, Lebanon


Possibly because my new favorite wine is a dry rose, I found this one very appealing.  It was light and refreshing – I tasted raspberry and strawberry.  Perfectly drinkable for the heat of summer.

Category #3 The Pairing
Casa Ferreirinha, Esteva Douro 2010, Portugal rating of YUM
This wine goes well with richer meat based dishes, dinner salads and pasta so pairing it with this tomato based soup and roasted garlic was a perfect match.  In fact, the wine made this soup seem luxurious and filling, though in reality it is actually very light.

Musar Jeune Rose, 2010, Lebanon Rating of Damn That’s Good
As I said in the review above, this dish IS very light.  If you are having a tapas party and this is one of your choices, or you just want a light lunch, this rose is a perfect pairing.  It will highlight that sweet fresh taste of the ripe tomatoes and remind you of summer.  Mouthwatering!

 Where to buy
All the wines will be for sale locally at the Grotto in San Marco. You can contact Mitch Woodlief, grottomitch@aol.com with questions and pricing and anyone outside the Greater Jacksonville area can contact E-MAIL: info@broadbent.com PHONE: US +1 415-931-1725.
If you are a Mila lover, or want to try and aren’t sure how to eat it, this is the perfect solution.  I simply mixed my serving of 2 Tbsp into my dish, stirred and enjoyed.  It did change the texture a bit by making it thicker, but the taste of the Mila is so mild that the tomato still shone through.
Mila has tons of Omega 3’s, fiber, calcium, iron and all kinds of other goodies.  Try it for yourself by clicking here. 
Rustic Roasted Tomato Soup

Rustic Roasted Tomato Soup

Rustic Roasted Tomato and Garlic Soup
Serves 4 1/2 cup servings
Vegan, Gluten Free


2 lbs of  fresh tomatoes, skin left on, quartered (I used KYV Farm and Wendy’s Organic Herbs) This will cook down to about 2 cups.
1 bulb garlic
2 onions, sliced (I used KYV Farm)
Salt, to taste
2 cups vegetable broth (salt free, such as Vivian’s)

Fresh basil for garnish (I used Wendy’s Organic Herbs)
Fresh toasted bread of choice (Gluten free, if gluten allergy)
8 Tbsp Mila


1. Preheat oven to 375.  Spray two baking sheets with cooking spray; add tomatoes, onions and sprinkle with salt.  Cut the top of the garlic off and wrap in foil; add to one of the baking sheets with tomatoes. Bake 1 hour.

2. Heat broth in medium pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer.  Add roasted tomatoes, onions and 3 cloves of the roasted garlic, reserving the rest for another use.  Cook 1 minute.  Using an immersion blender, pulse until just combined.  Stir in 2 Tbsp Mila per soup bowl if desired, and top with fresh basil.

Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 42.3
Total Fat 0.4 g
Saturated Fat 0.1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 593.1 mg
Potassium 323.4 mg
Total Carbohydrate 9.5 g
Dietary Fiber 2.0 g
Sugars 0.0 g
Protein 1.6 g

Vitamin A 14.1 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 8.2 %
Vitamin C 24.3 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 2.4 %
Calcium 1.8 %
Copper 5.7 %
Folate 6.2 %
Iron 3.6 %
Magnesium 4.3 %
Manganese 10.6 %
Niacin 3.9 %
Pantothenic Acid 3.4 %
Phosphorus 4.4 %
Riboflavin 3.8 %
Selenium 1.4 %
Thiamin 5.9 %
Zinc 1.4 %
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

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
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


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.