Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Feel Strong and Powerful!........Strawberry Power Balls

I bought a case of strawberries a few days ago so I have been coming up with fun, creative ways to use this delightful fruit.

Of course, adding strawberries to a fresh salad or mixing into a parfait are easy and tasty recipes, but I wanted to do something a bit different and kid friendly.  Because we do not eat meat, it is important that I make sure me and my baby get ample protein!  And I always like to have things that are ready to just grab if we are on the go.  So these Strawberry Power Ball are great!  They contain rolled oats, chia seeds and raw almond butter to give you that extra protein.  The binding agent is raisins.   Though, if you want to splurge, you can always use medjool dates.

My intentions were to have these be a raw snack, but they did not hold up after I ran all the ingredients through the food processor so just popped them in the oven instead.  Penelope and I just finished a few for our midday snack and they were a complete success!

Strawberry Power Balls

Ingredients/Directions (yields 6 balls)

1 c rolled oats
3/4 c raisins
5 large ripe strawberries
1 tbsp raw almond butter (or butter of choice)
1 tbsp chia seeds

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Grilled Blackened Tofu with Vegan Yogurt-Dill Sauce and Roasted Vegetable and Bulgur-Quinoa Salad

This easy meal is to die for!  The grilled tofu has a nice punch to it, while being tough and "meaty", and the yogurt dill sauce is a perfectly smoothy, creamy, cooling pair.

The funniest thing happened as I started preparing this dish.  Penelope was becoming fussy, so I knew it was time for her to have some nibbles.  She first had tofu months ago and I thought that she liked it, but it has been awhile and she has had so many flavorful things since there.  So as I was draining and straining the tofu, I decided to strap her into her hight chair and chop her up some pieces of just plain tofu.  Every little piece she placed into her mouth was immediately spit out.  I realized this baby is just like her momma.  She wants food with a flavor punch!  I looked at a few spices I had on the counter and thought "meh, lets see what a little lemon pepper would do".  Jackpot!  This baby is one little fancy eater!

The trick to getting that perfect steak-like consistency of the grilled tofu is to strain it in paper towels for a few hours while putting a heavy book (or any heavy object on top of it).  This allows all of the excess liquid inside tofu to completely drain.  Then, once you apply the rub and little oil, the tofu steak cooks slow and steady on the grill on a medium temp, for roughly 10 minutes on each side.  I like to use a grill mat for tofu to ensure it does not stick, and then the last minute place the tofu directly on the rack to get those beautiful grill marks.

Including the barley-quinoa salad makes a complete meal with this grilled tofu.  You don't need a salad or any other side with this nutrient packed meal!  The mixture of bulgar and quinoa is a perfect blend of protein packed grains, and I will definitely being using them together again!  The contrasts of textures and flavors really work well together!  The bulgur is tender and chewy, with an earthy taste, whereas quinoa is nutty and a bit fluffier texture similar to couscous. 

Well, enough talking here....lets get into the specifics!

Grilled Blackened Tofu with Vegan Yogurt-Dill Sauce 
and Roasted Vegetable and Bulgur-Quinoa Salad

Ingredients (serves 3-4)

for tofu:
1 block tofu, cut into slices and drained/ strained for a few hours
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp seasoned salt
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tbsp evoo

for sauce:
1 - 1.5 c vegan plain yogurt
1 bunch dill, finely chopped
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp lemon juice
salt to taste

for barley-quinoa salad
1 c quinoa
1 c barley
1 small head broccoli, cut into florets
1/2 c cubed eggplant
1 large tomato, chopped
1/4 c chopped fresh parsley 
1.5 tbsp evoo
1 tbsp white vinegraitte 
1/2 tbsp dijon mustard
nutritional yeast to taste (optional)


for the barley-quinoa salad:
Preheat oven to 400.  In two small pots, boil 2 cups of water in each pot, add in quinoa in one pot, the barley in the over, cover and simmer.  Barley cooks in roughly 10 minute, quinoa cooks in roughly 15 minutes.  Once done, transfer to bowl, toss with evoo and set aside.

Place broccoli, eggplant and tomato on a baking sheet, drizzle with evoo and roast for 15-20 minutes.   Transfer roasted vegetable to the bowl with the mixed grains and add remaining ingredients.  Season to taste.  Set aside and let cool to room temperature.

for the dill sauce:
Simply mix all the ingredients in a bowl or blend in your favorite machine.  Place in refrigerator until ready to use.

for the tofu:
Heat grill to medium (roughly 300).
Once the tofu has been drained and strained, mix the seasoning with evoo and brush the mixture generously over each slice of tofu.  Place tofu on the grill, or on a grill mat if you have one.  Cover and let cook on one side for about 8-10 minutes.  Flip and repeat.  Brush more of the blackening seasoning if you desire.  Transfer to the actual grill and let cook on each side for about a minute in order to obtain those beautiful grill marks.

Now, place roasted vegetable and grain salad on a plate.  Set tofu on top and finish off with the yogurt dill sauce.  Complete meal!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Refreshing Chilled Cantaloupe-Cucumber-Basil Gazpacho

It felt great to get back to posting new recipes, so lets keep the momentum going!  Today I took an hour long walk with Penelope in some muggy, 90 degree weather.  I was sweaty, hungry and parched.  I thought of everything that I had in the "plantry" and in the refrigerator, but nothing seemed light enough and/or refreshing.

I love healthy, bright chilled gazpacho in this kind of weather, but I was also out of tomatoes, and to be honest, I kind of pooped myself out on all the traditional gazpacho I have made this summer.  Then, I came up with a great new recipe.  I remember once in Madison, a place had a green grape gazpacho.  I thought of what fruit I had, and thought that lovely, juicy cantaloupe would be perfect!

Not only was this tasty, refreshing and uplifting but it also literally took minutes to make!  Can't complain about that when you are hungry, hot and tired!  The soup is both sweet and savory and the squeeze of lime at the end really brightens up the dish!  This is also baby approved (although this baby seems to eat everything)!  You can even serve this in shooters for a great party appetizer!

Refreshing Chilled Cantalope-Cucumber-Basil Gazpacho

Ingredients/Directions (serves 4):

1 cantaloupe, seeds removed and chopped
1 cucumber, cut into large pieces (save a few slices for garnish)
1 handful fresh basil
pinch of salt
pinch of garlic powder
1 lime, sliced

Place all the ingredients (except for cucumber slices) in blender and blend until smooth.  Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat.  Squeeze a piece in lime in each bowl or glass and garnish with cucumber.  YUM!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Roasted Mediterranean Broccoli, Kale and Chickpea Salad with vegan Yogurt-Tahini Dressing

Sarah's Plantry Raid has been on a hiatus since the birth of our beautiful daughter, Penelope June.  I cannot believe she is already 10 months!

The last year has definitely been a life changer in the best way possible!  I have never been so in love!

Now that she is a bit older and I have a solid grasp  on the whole parenting thing, I am ready to get back into some of my passions and projects.  It is time to re-commit myself to my blog and my massage therapy.   The good thing is, is that I never stopped cooking throughout the pregnancy, so I have a Rolodex of tasty recipes to recreate, enjoy and share with all of you.

One of my favorites that I have been dying to share is a Roasted Mediterranean Broccoli, Kale, and Chickpea Salad with a vegan Tahini-Yogurt Dressing.  I must admit, Ryan is not overjoyed by vegetables and salads, but he absolutely loves this one!  Protein packed and rich with flavor, this recipe will never disappoint!  It is a perfect addition to a spectacular Mediterranean meal!  Throw in some delicious falafel and some roasted red pepper baba ghanoush and you will be in heaven!

Roasted Mediterranean Broccoli, Kale and Chickpea Salad
with Vegan Yogurt-Tahini Sauce


for the salad:
1 crown broccoli, chopped
2 c kale, chopped into pieces and stems removed
1 c cooked chickpeas
garlic powder
3 tbsp evoo

for the dressing:
1/3 c tahini
1/3 c vegan plain yogurt
1 tbsp sriracha
garlic powder
water (amount dependent on desired consistency)

Preheat oven 400.  In three separate bowls, toss the broccoli, chickpeas and kale with 1tbsp evoo each.  Season and set aside.  You want to toss them separately because the roasting time is different for each vegetable.

In a small bowl, mix all the contents of the dressing together.  Add small amounts of water at a time, until you reach your desired consistency.  Refrigerate while roasting vegetables.

Lay out the seasoned chickpeas, broccoli and kale on a roasting pan and roast each for the following time.  Kale:  15-20 min, stirring every 10 min.  Broccoli:  20-25 min, stirring every 10 min.  Chickpeas: 25-30 min, stirring every 10 min.

Remove from oven, transfer to plate and drizzle dressing over.  Enjoy one of our family's all time favorite dishes!