Friday, November 22, 2013

Roasted Broccoli and "Cheese" Soup

For some reason, when I think of broccoli-cheese soup I think of a little restaurant/bar that my friends and I frequented during our college days in Madison.  For some reason, everyone loved the broccoli cheese soup in a bread bowl.  Personally, I didn't really understand why.  Maybe it was because everyone was hungover and anything tastes great then.

Anyway, I really love the this vegan version.  The combination of the nutritional yeast, vegan butter, miso paste and dijon mustard really gives it that funky, cheesy, creamy deliciousness.  You definitely will not miss the cheese and dairy.  Heck, forget what I just will actually really think that there is cheese and dairy in here.  I think we should put non vegans to a taste test and see what they think!  Muwahahaha.

Roasted Broccoli and "Cheese" Soup

I tend to love roasting vegetables, but you certainly do not have to with this recipe.  If you choose to forgo the roasting part of the broccoli and garlic, simply saute in the same step that I saute the additional vegetables in the recipe.

This will also save you about 15 minutes if you are pressed for time.

Ingredients/Directions (yields 6-8 servings)
1 large broccoli crown broccoli or 2 small crowns, cut into florets
3 garlic cloves
1-2 tbsp evoo
1 potato peeled and chopped
1 yellow onion peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks chopped
2 c vegetable broth
2 c almond milk
1/4-1/2 c nutritional yeast
3 tbsp dijon mustard
1.5 tbsp miso paste
1 tbsp vegan butter
2 tsp cayanne pepper or paprika
2 tsp onion powder

Preheat oven 350.  Lightly toss broccoli and garlic cloves in evoo and bake for 20-25 minutes.  In meantime, in large pot, heat evoo and saute potato, onions and celery for about 5-7 minutes, stirring often.  Add in broth and almond milk.  Bring to a boil and simmer.  Andd in remaining ingredients and the roasted broccoli and garlic once finished.  Let simmer for about 10 minutes.  Transfer to blender and blend until smooth.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Who Doesn't Like Apples and Peanut Butter?..... Vegan Apple & Peanut Butter Cookies

Forget those peanut butter cookies that you have been making for years.  It's time to try something new!  And, who doesn't like the combination of apples and peanut butter anyway?  What I especially enjoyed about these cookies were that they were not overly sweet.  And, the use of oats also throws a bit of a twist on peanut butter cookies as well.

I decided to add apples, for one, because I don't think I have ever had apple pieces in a cookie and thought that it was a funky idea.  But also because we have these huge, delicious Michigan apples that were screaming out at me; eat me! eat me!

Vegan Apple & Peanut Butter Cookies

1 1/3 c flour
1/2 c sugar
3/4 c brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 cup rolled oats
1/2 c evoo
1/2 c natural peanut butter
1/3 c almond milk (unflavored/unsweetened)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large apple diced

Preheat oven 350 and lightly grease cookie sheet.  In one bowl, mix all dry ingredients.  In another bowl mix evoo, peanut butter, almond milk, vanilla and apple.  Combine the dry to the wet and mix completely.  
Spoon out about 1-1.5 tbsp of batter and place on cookie sheet, flatten slightly.  Bake for about 12-14 minutes.  Let cool for about 5 minutes.
Enjoy with a glass of milk....almond milk that is, silly!

It's Cold Out, Let's Get Toasty!....Toasted Coconut and Oats-Oatmeal

Ahhh yes, how I have NOT missed Chicago mornings in late November!  It is one of those mornings where it is hard to get out of bed.  Oh how I love to cuddle my two loves under the covers on a chilly morning....And oh, how I wish these hardwood floors were heated!

But, no worries!  I know how to inspire myself and venture out into the chilly family room and kitchen.... A steaming, fragrant pot of coffee and a warming, toasted oatmeal will make a great start to a chilly day.

Toasted Coconut and Oats-Oatmeal

 Let's not kid ourselves, we are not reinventing the wheel here....we are just having a little fun with the wheel and seeing if it will spin the same way.  Guess what?  We just put some 24 inch rims on that wheel and we are cruising down breakfast alley.  (yeah I did it, I went there).

Ingredients/Directions: (yields 2-3 servings)
1.5 c rolled oats
1/4 c shredded coconut
1/4 c dried cranberries
3 c almond milk
1/4 c walnuts (optional)
2-3 tbsp agave nectar or maple syrup

In a pot, toast oats and coconut on medium heat for about 4 minutes, stirring frequently.  Once they have that "nutty" scent, add in almond milk and stir.  Let cook on low-medium for about 5 minutes.  Add in walnuts, cranberries and nectar or syrup.  Delicious and heart warming!

Optional:  if you want to plump up your cranberries, boiling them in water for about 5-10 minutes.  

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

You Won't Believe this is Dairy Free!.....Creamy Vegan Roasted Cauliflower Soup

'Tis the season for warm and comforting soups.  And this one does not leave you disappointed!  It is a silky smooth, creamy combustion that coats your mouth, teases your tastebuds and makes your insides feeling warm and satisfied.

As mentioned before, soups are great, especially if you have leftovers or if you are a bit trepid in the kitchen.  I find it best to lightly season at first and build off of that base.  Or, if you are cooking for guests, it is always best to not over do it with the spices/ never know how much salt or heat someone prefers.  But at the same time, do not under season!  I am not sure how you feel about this, but bland food is meant for infants.  Who wants baby food?

Creamy Vegan Roasted Cauliflower Soup

 Any who, enough ranting....let's get into this recipe.  Want to make a meal out of this?  Serve with crusty bread and a beautiful and light frisee salad.  Now we are talking!

Quick note; if you do not have time to roast the cauliflower, opt to steam it instead.  This will shave off about 40 minutes of the total time to make the soup!

Ingredients: (yields 3-4 servings)

1 head cauliflower cut into florets
1 tbsp evoo
2 tsp oregano

1 tbsp evoo
1 yellow onion chopped
2 garlic cloves minced
1 non-beef bouillon cube dissolved in 2 c water
2 c unsweetened almond milk
1/4 c nutritional yeast
1 tbsp miso paste
2 tsp cayanne pepper

Preheat oven 400.  Toss cauliflower florets with evoo, s+p and oregano.  Bake in oven for about 40-50 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.
In meantime, in a large pot, saute onions and garlic in evoo until translucent.  Add in water, bouillon cube and almond milk and turn to high until boils, then reduce.  Add in nutritional yeast and miso paste.  Stir until disolves.  Turn off heat until cauliflower is done roasting.  Transfer your liquid soup base and roasted cauliflower to food processor and blend until smooth.
Return to pot and place heat on low.  Season to taste with s+p and paprika.  Serve with some crusty artisan bread.
If so desired, drizzle some herbed oil on top of soup for some vibrant color! 

Truffled Portobello Mousse with Cranberry-Pear Compote and Truffled Toast

Another truly chef inspired, sexy vegan dish!  I actually got this idea from a NYC restaurant called Dirt Candy.  Next time I visit NY, I will make sure to stop by and try this to compare the differences!  The chef's version looks like a faux foie gras, whereas mine resembles a mousse/pate.  Regardless, thank you Dirt Candy for the inspiration!

This would be a great crowd pleaser and topic of discussion!  Also a great way to start as an hor d'oeurve or appetizer.  It is quite rich, so it is definitely a plate to share.

 Having a romantic night?  Choose this!  It is sexy and fun to feed each other with.  Think somewhere in between a pate and a cheese plate....mousse spread, crusty bread, balsamic reduction and a fruity compote....what else do you need aside from candles and a beautiful bottle of red?

Truffled Portobello Mousse

Ingredients/Directions for Truffled Portobello Mousse (yields 4 servings):
 1/2 tbsp vegan butter
2 portobello mushrooms cleaned and diced
1/2 yellow onion diced
3 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
1 tsp agar agar
1 tsp truffled oil

In saute pan, heat vegan butter and saute onions until translucent.  Add in portobello and continue to saute for another 3-5 minutes.  Add in remaining ingredients, bring to boil and turn off heat.  Continue to stir until it starts to thicken.  Transfer to blender and blend until smooth.  Spoon into ice cube trays and let sit for about an hour.  (you can also place in freezer for about 10 minutes for them to harden and keep shape much faster).  Enjoy with your favorite compote, balsamic reduction and truffled toast.  Heck yes!

Vegan Swiss Chard-Spinach Frittata with Sweet Potato Crust

A frittata originated in Italy and is somewhere in between an omelette and a crustless quiche.  Well, clearly, we changed a few things up in this recipe.  We made it vegan, gluten free and irrestistable!

As far as the egg part goes, crumbled tofu that is seasoned properly is SO perfect to use to emulate scrambled or baked eggs.

I had some sweet potatoes in my plantry, so why not be a bit more creative and make a crust with it?  Yes, technically frittatas do not have a crust, but guess what?  I like to live on the edge a bit.  By adding the sweet potato crust, this recipe is still gluten free, but now more of a complete meal.  Each serving is still quite low in carbs, but is just a tad more filling than otherwise.

If you do not want to do a sweet potato or spud potato crust, but still want to maintain a gluten free environment, you can make your crust out of chick pea flour.  (Look out for future recipes involving chick pea crusts!)

1 sweet potato, peeled and shredded
1 tbsp evoo
2 c chopped spinach
2 c chopped swiss chard
1 small yellow onion diced
2-3 garlic cloves minced
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp tamari
2 tsp tumeric
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 c nutritional yeast
1 package firm tofu

Preheat oven 375.  Place shredded sweet potato in bowl and toss with evoo and salt/pepper.  With 8" pie pan, lightly oil and pack the shredded sweet potato into it.  Set aside.
Take your tofu and drain it completely.  With hands, crumble tofu, while removing excess liquid as well.  Note that you may need to use paper towels to do this.  Take crumbles and place in bowl, mixing in the mustard, tumeric, tamari, lemon juice and nutritional yeast.
In a saute pan, heat evoo on medium and saute onions/garlic for 3-4 minutes.  Add in spinach and swiss chard and saute until wilted. Mix into your tofu mixture.  Add salt and pepper to taste. 
Take the greens/tofu mixture and spoon into pie pan.  Bake for 45-1 hr.  When done, let cool for 10 minutes and serve!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sarah's Sweet and Sour Seitan "Beef"

This recipe is a lot more simple that I had expected.  A definite must make if you are craving Chinese cuisine and don't want to make that mistake of ordering over priced, greasy and sodium driven take out.  At least, the majority of the take out places by me are like that.  Though, do not get me wrong, not every take out/deliver joint is bad.  I just prefer to know what is going in my body and you should too!

If you are gluten free, no worries!  You can either replace the seitan with tofu or just leave it out completely!  Honestly, just the sweet and sour vegetable is perfect for me!  And, I just adore the taste profile because it hits so many spectrums; the sweet, the spice, the sour.  Sign me up!

Sweet and Sour Seitan "Beef"

You can either make your own seitan or buy pre-made seitan at the market.  I always prefer to make my own because I tend to make it a bit crispy by cooking it in the oven a bit longer than you are "supposed" to. 


Ingredients (yields 2-4 servings)
1 package or this recipe for seitan
1 yellow or red bell pepper chopped
1 green bell pepper chopped
1 can chunk pineapple (save 3 tbsp juice for sauce)
1 tbsp minced ginger
1 garlic clove mined
1/4 c vegetable broth
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp sriracha
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp brown sugar or agave nectar
1 tbsp corn starch mixed with 1 tbsp water

Chop up your seitan into bite size pieces.  In a bowl, toss corn starch mixture with the seitan and set aside.
In a wok or saute pan, heat sesame oil or peanut oil and cook ginger and garlic for 2 minutes, add in bell peppers and continue to saute for about 4-5 minutes.   Add in vegetable broth, soy sauce, vinegar, sriracha, pineapple juice and agave nectar.  Stir continuously and toss in seitan.  Continue to stir until mixed and seitan is hot.  Serve with white rice.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wakey Wakey!.....Beet and Potato Hash with Soy Chorizo!

Eggs are not missed in this breakfast dish.  In my opinion, this is a great breakfast to have if you know you have a busy day and may not have time for a complete lunch.  You get your vegetables, carbs and protein.  Match this with a some grapes or a banana and you will be left beyond satisfied and ready to conquer the day! 

Adding shredded beets is a nice little touch on a typically ordinary potato hash.  Gives the plate a punch of color!

There are a few options when it comes to soy chorizo, which I like to call "soyrizo".  Trader Joe's has it pre-made in the refrigerator section.  This kind is quite flavorful but a bit on the greasy side.  Many grocery stores sell dried flavored soy chorizo in plastic packages.  All you need to do is add boiling water and you are good to go.  Or, you can opt to make your own with TVP, water and appropriate spices.  I like to go with the package version.

Ingredients: (yields 2 servings)
1 potato peeled
1 beet peeled
1 small onion chopped
1 garlic glove minced
1/2 c soy chorizo
1/2 c baby spinach
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp evoo

Beet and Potato Hash with Soy Chorizo

Boil 1/2 c water.  Add in soy chorizo and turn off heat.  Mix and set aside.  In food processor, chop potato and beet.  Remove from processor and press in between a few paper towels to remove liquid.  Heat evoo in saute pan, saute garlic and onions on medium heat for a few minutes.  Add in shredded potato and beet and saute for about 15 minutes, or until desired consistency.  Make sure to stir frequently.  If you like a bit crunchier, saute longer.  Add in spinach and parsley and season to taste.  Stir in soy chorizo mixture and bam!  Breakfast is served!

A Taste of Jalisco!....Vegan Pozole

This recipe has been on my list since we moved to "little mexico" in August.  For obvious reasons, I chose to wait until it was cold out and my body was craving something warm, hearty and comforting.  Who the heck wants a booming stew in the summer?  Not I!!!!

Traditionally, this Spanish/Mexican dish contains pork.  Not like I could imagine what that would taste like, but for me, this recipe was not missing a thing.

The basis of the dish is White Hominy (Maize or Pozole Blanco).  You can find this in the canned aisle of your grocer- don't be discouraged if it is written in Spanish, it is all the same! 

The other "secret" ingredient?  Dried guajillo peppers!  Don't fret if you cannot find them.  Ancho peppers would be great as well, or even the more popular, poblano pepper.  I obsolutely adore the dark, rich, smokey flavor of the guajillo though.  Definitely adds another dimension to the stew!

And, here is a  pretty cool and interesting fact about hominy: (and I use this term loosely because it is definitely a nerdy thing to call "cool") It is actually white corn that has been soaked in an alkali solution that removes the hull and germ from the corn, and in return, puffs up much larger and allows our bodies to digest it much easier.  Ever realize that your body never really digests the corn you eat at your summer BBQs?

Vegan Pozole

1 29 oz can hominy (drained and rinsed)
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 yellow onion chopped
1 carrot peeled and chopped
1 green bell pepper seeds removed and chopped
1 c beans (either black beans, kidney beans or whatever you have on hand)
6 dried guajillo peppers, seeds removed
2 garlic cloves minced
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tbsp evoo
In a pot, bring water to a boil and add in guajillo peppers.  Once boiling, turn off stove and let peppers soak for 20 minutes.  This allows the peppers to rehydrate.  Once done, add guajillos, about 1 c of the liquid they soaked in and canned stewed tomatoes in blender and blend until smooth.  This will be the base of the stew.

Heat evoo in large pot and saute garlic, onions, carrots and bell peppers for about 5 minutes.  Add in the soup base (above) and turn heat on high until bubbles, then lower to med temp.  Add in the hominy, beans and all the spices listed above.  Season more to taste and cover on low temp for about 20-30 minutes.  

Serve with lime wedges, cilantro and corn tortillas.  It's fiesta time!


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Taste of Northern Italy...Tuscan Kale, White Bean and Barley Stuffed Pepper with Roasted Red Pepper Sunflower Seed Pesto

Whew, well that was a mouthful.  Not only to write but a tasty mouthful as well!

I have been staring blankly at the jar full of barley in my plantry for months.  Aside from making a great soup with it in the past, all my other barley recipes have fallen short.  Alas, I have concocted one that is blog material worthy!

I was actually reading about barley because I did not know much about it, other than that is often used in beer and whiskey making. (I love to read about ingredients in order to understand their origin and how it is/was traditionally used, nutritional value, etc)  Anyway, it is very high in fiber and protein!  A great grain to introduce to your diet if you have not already!  And here is a shocker, only 2% of the barley grown in the US makes it into our mouths (in edible form).  Bet you didn't know that fun fact!

White Bean and Barley Stuffed Pepper

As far as the pesto goes;  if you do not have sunflower seeds or red pepper, go with your go to pesto.  I just wanted to have a little fun with the items on hand.  Always fun to keep things fresh and new!

Ingredients: (yields 3-4 servings)
1 c barley
2 c vegetable broth
1 tbsp evoo
1 can northern white beans
1-2 cup chopped Tuscan kale
2 vine ripe tomatoes chopped
3 bell peppers (color of your choice)
2-3 tbsp raw sunflower seeds for garnish
1/2 c roasted red pepper-sunflower seed pesto (1 roasted bell pepper, 1/4 c evoo, 3 tbsp sunflower seeds, 2 tbsp basil, garlic clove)

Preheat oven 350.  In a sauce pan, bring veggie broth and barley to a boil, cover and turn to low.  Cook for 30-40 minutes.  Make your pesto in the meantime.  Just blend the above ingredients until smooth.  Add in water if it is too thick.  Salt to taste.
Take each of your bell peppers, cut off tops and remove seeds.  Lightly brush with evoo and season with s+p.
When barley is finished cooking, transfer to bowl and add in beans, kale, tomatoes and pesto.  Mix thoroughly and stuff each pepper with mixture.
Bake in oven for about 30 minutes or until pepper is soft.  Enjoy with a nice glass of Italian red!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Boom Goes the Spice!....Vegan Mapo Tofu

This recipe is not for weak and tame taste buds.  Your lips will be tingling, your throat will be tickling and your mouth will be watering.  Best of all, your tummy will be thanking you.  Chili paste-check.  Fermented bean paste or red bean paste- check.  No bean paste in the plantry?  Substitute with red miso paste and your problem is solved.

Mapo Tofu is pretty much a staple in all Chinese restaurants.  Though, traditionally, it contains ground pork or beef.   Many restaurants have "Americanized" it by toning down the heat content and by also making it veggie.  Of course, for all tense and purposes, I am going to show you how to make authentic Mapo Tofu, sans the beef.  No skimping on the heat here!

Vegan Mapo Tofu
1 package extra firm tofu
1/2 tbsp sesame oil
1 c vegetable broth
2 tbsp fermented bean paste
1-2 tbsp chili paste (depending on your spice level)
1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
2 tsp agave nectar
1/2 tbsp corn starch
2 garlic clove minced
1 tbsp ginger minced
1 bunch scallions chopped 
 1/4 c peanuts (optional)

Heat oil in saute pan or wok and saute ginger and garlic for 2-3 minutes.  Add in veggie broth and soy sauce, bring to boil and turn to simmer.  Mix in chili paste and bean paste, stirring until dissolved into veggie broth.  Add in agave nectar and throw in tofu, stirring frequently.  Add in corn starch, turn up heat and mix until sauce starts to thicken.  Adjust seasoning to taste, toss in scallions and peanuts.  Serve with steamed white or brown rice.



Sunday, November 10, 2013

Fruit Boost Smoothie!

In my opinion, this is just a great way to start your day.  If you are on the run or just don't want a heavy breakfast, this is great!  You get tons of vitamins and nutrients AND protein from the chia seeds!  I much rather have something refreshing and boosting in the morning than something heavy that weighs me down.

This is definitely a meal replacement!  I couldn't imagine having this along side a bowl of oats or a veggie scramble.   

Fruit Boost Smoothie

 What I also especially admired about this smoothie is the color.  Many times while making smoothie concoctions, the color becomes mute and murky due to the variety of produce thrown in.  I made sure I stuck with yellows, oranges and reds to maintain the fresh and vibrant color.

1 banana
1 apple
1 orange
1 stalk celery
5 strawberries
1-2 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 c water

Throw all of the above in your blender and blend away....that's all!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Noodleless Vegan Sweet Potato Lasagna

Yes, yes.  I have made a few different kind of lasagnas; each one is different and tasty in its own right.  If you frequent my blog, you most likely know I tend to eat a more low carb diet (if any recipe entails pasta/bread/rice, it is usually for my hungry counterpart).

  Trust me, you really aren't going to miss lasagna noodles in this recipe!  Really, that stuff is just filler anyway! (I am kidding all you hardcore Italians!)  But, now what you have left are delicious layers of vegetables and sauces.  Seriously, it doesn't get much better than that!

I chose to make each sauce and cashew cheese.  If you want to make it a bit easier, go with your favorite jarred vegan tomato sauce.

Noodle-less Vegan Sweet Potato

 1/2 jar vegan tomato sauce (or the equivalent of homemade)
1/2-2/3 c vegan walnut pesto
1/2 c vegan ricotta cheese (I used the cashew version for this recipe!)
1 sweet potato peeled
1 large zucchini
1 small eggplant
2 tbsp c nutritional yeast
1/2 tbsp sriracha

Preheat oven 400.  In a sauce pan, heat tomato sauce and sriracha on low.  With food processor or mandolin, slice sweet potato, zucchini and eggplant evenly.  Note:  I sliced length wise to try and emulate the size of lasagna noodles.  Make your pesto and cheese according to above links and place in little bowls for easy arranging of the lasagna.  Also, it's best to have your tomato sauce and vegetables by your side as well. 
Start off with a layer of tomato sauce, then sweet potato slices, spread pesto on top, layer with eggplant and zucchini slices, and then spoon over cashew cheese and more tomato sauce.  Repeat this process until done.  Cover with foil and bake for 45 min- 1 hour.  Let cool for 10 minutes and serve!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Vegan Mushroom Stroganoff

I love taking a classic, meat driven and cream-centric dish and turning it into a savory, plant-based meal.  I think that is my one of my favorite things to do when it comes to cooking vegan.  There is something special about reinventing something everyone knows and loves and making it your own.

Of course, making a mushroom stroganoff is not reinventing the wheel, but I do believe that this recipe is one of a kind.  Oil free and yes, sans vegan butter...I relied on the natural oils of the vegetables while sauteing, and added in layers of flavors to create a nice, "creamy" vegan mushroom sauce.

Vegan Mushroom Stroganoff
Ingredients: (yields 4 servings)
Noodles of your choice (cooking according to package)
3 large portobella mushrooms sliced
1 onions chopped
2 clove garlic minced
1 tbsp evoo
1 tbsp fresh thyme
1/2 c dry red wine
1/4 c vegetable broth
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp vegan sour cream
2 tbsp flour
1 tsp Cayenne
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
s+p to taste

Heat evoo in large saute pan and saute onions and garlic for about five minutes.  Add in portobello mushrooms and thyme, sauteing for an additional 5 minutes.  Slowly stir in wine, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, and vegetable broth>  Bring to boil, turn to med-low and let reduce by half.   Whisk in vegan sour cream and flour and stir until smooth.  Add in cayenne, dijon mustard and season to taste.  Serve over vegan noodles and enjoy with a nice glass of Burgundy!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Beef(less) and Broccoli

Lets be honest, when most of us think of Chinese food, we are referring to the Americanized, greasy crap that you get from take out down the street.  Not to say that is always a bad thing.  I admit to have those cravings and greasy, fried spring rolls and sauce-y mu shu.  I'm only human, geez!  Stop judging me.

But, this recipe is not only delicious, but it really tastes like the real thing.  Meat eaters would truly be in awe that this is seitan.  By cooking the seitan a bit longer in the oven than usual, gives it that nice, crispy outside, while still having the meaty consistency in the middle.

Clearly, if you have celiacs are gluten intolerant, skip the seitan.  Instead, cut up some extra firm tofu and add it to the mix!

Beef(less) and Broccoli

for the seitan:
1 c vital wheat gluten
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp mesquite seasoning or soul food seasoning (optional)
2 tsp paprika or cayanne pepper
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
1 tbsp tamari (or soy sauce)
1/2 tbsp liquid smoke
3/4 c water
1 tsp salt

remaining ingredients:
1 tbsp evoo
1 head broccoli cut into florets
1 tbsp minced ginger
1/4 c tamari
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp cornstarch

Preheat oven 350.  In a bowl, mix the ingredients together for the seitan together.  If it feels a bit wet, don't worry- it is supposed to be that consistency.  In an 8x8 baking dish, spread the seitan out so that it is evenly covering the bottom of the dish and just about 3/4 in thick.  Bake for about 35 minutes.  It may stick on the baking dish, but don't worry- no biggie!  Cut into chunks.
Heat evoo in wok and saute ginger and broccoli for about 4-5 minutes.  Add in tamari, brown sugar and cornstarch and toss in "beef" chunks.  Add more tamari or soy sauce if need be.  Serve with steamed rice!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Happy Birthday to ME!.......Orange-Carrot-Ginger Creamsicle Smoothie!

What a lovely day it is....A day after Halloween and one year older.  Plus, my lovely, handsome man surprised me with THIS!  So flippin' awesome!  The Ninja is basically the  So, clearly I had to use it right away this morning!  And, I'll be using it again this afternoon to make some soup!

Any way, because it is a day after Halloween some of you may have a candy hangover.  Best way to beat that is with a delicious, refreshing and boosting smoothie!  Packed with vitamins and powerful digestive agents!

Orange-Carrot-Ginger Creamsicle Smoothie

 Ingredients (yields 1 refreshing smoothie)
1 orange peeled
1 carrot peeled 
2 tsp ginger minced
1-2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tbsp agave nectar
1/3-1/2 c almond milk
about 6 ice cubes

Throw all of the above in a blender until smooth!