Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Warm Marinated Kale & Roasted Zucchini Salad

I made this up as I went along so all measurements are a guess. Do everything to taste! This was good enough even my significant other liked it, and he doesn't take to salad as a general rule.

Ingredients:
  • The equivalent of one bunch kale, chopped and any thick stems removed - or to put it another way, one salad spinner full of chopped kale
  • Fresh herbs. Can probably use whatever you have. I used about 1/4 cup purple basil leaves, 3 tbsp oregano leaves, 1 tbsp rosemary leaves (needles?)
  • About 3 tbsp of lemon juice
  • About 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • About 2 tsp smoked garlic (dry spice blend) - if you don't have access to this I think it would be fine without
  • Salt, to taste - for me about 1/4 tsp
  • About 2/3 cup dry brown lentils
  • half a large zucchini, cubed - I had enough to fit in a small baking dish that fits in our toaster oven
  • 3 green onions or cooking onion tops from the garden
  • About 2-3 tbsp maple syrup
  • About 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • About 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
Directions:
  1. Chop & wash kale. Wash & chop green onions.
  2. Make kale marinade by blending the herbs, lemon juice, about 3 tbsp of the olive oil, 2 cloves garlic, and the smoked garlic in a bullet blender. If you don't have a blender I think this would work fine to just chop up the herbs and mix in with the oil & lemon juice.
  3. Mix dressing into the chopped kale in a bowl. Add green onions.
  4. Put brown lentils on to boil in water. Cook until soft, about 25 minutes.
  5. Put zucchini cubes, 4 sliced cloves of garlic, about 1 tbsp of olive oil, and the maple syrup into a shallow baking dish. I had enough to 1/2 to 3/4s fill a small casserole dish that can fit in our toaster oven
  6. Cover zucchini pan with foil and bake for 30-40 minutes at 400 degrees, or until it is soft.
  7. When lentils are done, drain & rinse with cold water. Add to kale.
  8. When zucchini is done, add it and the juices from the pan to the kale. Salad can be garnished and eaten warm right away. If you prefer cold, it will need to be chilled.
  9. For garnish, toast walnuts in toaster oven at 350 degrees,  for about 5 minutes. Make sure to stir every minute or two and watch carefully to avoid burning. You can get away without toasting the nuts but it adds flavour.
  10. Add salt, nutritional yeast, and toasted walnuts to your salad to taste.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Red Velvet Protein "Cheesecake" Bowl


Looking for ideas on how to use protein powder (besides in smoothies) I found the idea of a "cheesecake bowl": essentially yogurt with protein powder mixed in. The first time I tried this I used Greek style (cow's milk, not vegan) mango yogurt and vanilla flavoured soy protein powder. It really did taste cheesecakey, especially since the yogurt and protein powder both had quite a bit of sugar in them. I have since experimented with different yogurts and protein powders, and have been experimenting with ways to put veggies in the bowls, too.

My favourite so far is my "red velvet" bowl. Recipe makes one serving.

Ingredients:

1/3 cup frozen raspberries
1 tbsp dark chocolate chips
1/4-1/3 cup pureed roasted beets
~2/3 cup yogurt
1 scoop vanilla or chocolate protein powder (Vega is the least grainy and best tasting vegan protein powder I've found so far, but I also find

Put raspberries and chocolate chips in bowl. Microwave in 30 second increments until chocolate chips are melted and raspberries have broken apart. Mix in remaining ingredients. You can add more or less yogurt to reach desired consistency. As you can see, the beets and raspberries give it a rich red colour.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Hearty Date-sweetened Banana Muffins

I adapted this recipe from Jean Paré's Muffins and More (1996) which is my go to for quickbreads. I've never really liked the original recipe it's based on (Oatmeal Banana Muffins p. 12) as they are quite flavourless. This version is very good though.

Dry:
• 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
• 1 cup rolled oats
• 2 tsp baking power
• 1 tsp baking soda
• 1/4 tsp salt

Wet:
• 1 tbsp ground flax seed*
• 1 tbsp ground chia seed*
* (or 2 tbsps of either one would work equally well)
• 1/4 cup grape seed oil
• 3/4 cup water or soy milk
• 3 bananas
• 1 cup dry whole pitted dates
• 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Add-ins
• 1/2 cup chocolate chips
• 1/2 cup pecans
• 1/2 cup hemp hearts

Preheat oven to 400. Mix dry ingredients in large bowl. Blend wet ingredients together in a blender until smooth. Add wet to dry and mix until just combined. Fill 12 muffin cups. Bake for 20 minutes.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Phebe's Vegan Pad Thai

This recipe is adapted from the Vegan Black Metal Chef. While entertaining, VBMC does not offer print versions of his recipes, or give specific amounts and that can be frustrating. I also find he puts way too much salt and sugar in his stuff for my tastes. When we initially tried his pad thai, it didn't work out well for us. This is my adaptation. I always like making sauce separate from noodles because then the noodles don't get mushy. It's quite different from any pad thai I've had at a thai restaurant, enough so that I wonder if it should just be called a peanut sauce dish, but regardless of what we should call it, it's delicious.

Ingredients:
• Enough rice noodles for 4 people, cooked (can be white or brown rice)

• 1/2 350 g block of tofu
• grapeseed oil or oil of choice for frying

Sauce Ingredients:
• 3/4 cup natural smooth peanut butter
• 2 tbsp tamarind paste (can soak and puree dried tamarinds if you cannot find paste)
• 2 tbsp rice vinegar
• 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
• 1/4 cup palm sugar (or whatever sugar you have on hand)
• 2 tsp chili powder
• 2 tsp hot sauce (ie. sriracha) or more to taste - you can also add some cayenne pepper for more heat
• 1 cup loosely packed, coarsely chopped fresh cilantro, or less to taste
• 1 cup coarsely crushed cashews
• enough water to give a sauce-like consistency

Veggies:
• 1 bunch green onions, chopped
• 1 large tomato, chopped
• 1 large green or red pepper, chopped
• 1 cup sprouted mung beans (can sprout your own, if you plan in advance, or use the long white type you buy in store - the long ones are tough to measure - throw a couple handfuls in to taste)

To serve:
• lime juice, preferably fresh, but you can use bottled if that's what you've got

Slice tofu into 1/2 inch slices. Fry on each side until golden brown. For tips on perfectly fried tofu, see the PPK's tutorial. My lazy amendment to their tutorial is instead of frying cubes, I fry slices and then cut the slices into smaller pieces after they're cooked. Two golden brown sides is enough for me and I can't be bothered with flipping a bunch of little cubes.

While the tofu is browning, put water on to boil for your rice noodles and chop up your vegetables. Next, begin the sauce. Mix all sauce ingredients in a bowl. If you like a thicker sauce, add more water, for a thinner sauce, add less. Add just a little bit at a time and stir before adding more. Your sauce will probably also thin out a little when you add it to the veggies, as they will have released some juice. So, let your sauce be a little thicker than you'd like, and you can always add more water in the pan later if need be.

When water is boiled, add noodles and cook as per package directions. When they're done, drain and rinse with cold water to stop them from sticking together.

When tofu is browned on both sides, you can remove to a cutting board and, once it's cool enough, cut it  into small pieces. If you prefer, you can also keep it in bigger pieces. The size of the tofu and veggies is largely a matter of choice. I cut everything fairly small - roughly 1/2 inch cubes.

Heat some more oil on medium heat in a pan (can be the tofu pan if your tofu is finished browning) and saute your veggies. I start with the tomatoes and green onions for a few minutes and then add the sprouts and peppers as I like the latter two to have more crunch left to them. When the veggies are mostly cooked with some firmness left, add in your peanut sauce. Add more water if necessary to thin. Turn the heat down to medium low. Let the sauce simmer for a few minutes, stirring continually, as it burns easily. Serve your sauce over rice noodles and drizzle with lime juice. The lime juice adds an important tang.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sunny Saturday Sushi Supper


If you've never made sushi, you should. It's a little time consuming, but ridiculously easy to make.

Toppings in these include season sushi rice (a la How It All Vegan), fried firm tofu (thin strips browned on all sides in a lightly oiled cast iron pan), lightly steamed asparagus, yellow pepper, greens (baby kale, spinach, chard), cucumber and avocado.

In lieu of pickled ginger (can't find any without aspartame and artificial colouring in it) I just shredded fresh ginger to put on top. Tastes just as good. That's what's in the brown ramekin.

My dad and his partner gave us these beautiful sushi dishes as a gift.

Breakfast of Champions

I've been weightlifting more and so, while I'm not usually someone who bothers keeping track of food values, I've been trying to make sure I get adequate nutrients, particularly on days when I will be working out.

Today I am going on a long bike ride with my dad, and playing my pipes, and gardening, and doing some yoga. So I wanted a hearty breakfast to start myself off.

For anyone who's still wondering where veg*ans get their protein, my breakfast today had approximately 22.5 grams of protein. (I had to estimate some things like the tofu whip but this is a good ballpark). For reference for the meat-eaters out there, a steak has between 20-30 grams of protein (depending on the steak).


Cornmeal Porridge: 5 grams (just whole grain yellow cornmeal cooked in water)
Hemp Hearts: 9 grams
Tofu Whip: 2 grams (silken tofu + cashews + maple syrup + soy milk)
Pecans: 2 grams
Strawberries: 0.5 grams
To drink, Chocolate almond milk: 4 grams

22.5 grams

The recommended daily protein allowance for women in my age group is 46 grams. If I do a grams per pound of body weight calculation, I get a guideline of 47 grams daily and up to 99 grams daily if I am being ridiculously athletic. I've seen weightlifting sites which recommend 1 gram per pound of body weight. I'd definitely have to start pounding back protein shakes in order to get that much protein in a day. Somehow, that's not something I see myself needing or doing. But I can definitely make sure to eat a hearty breakfast full of delicious protein and carbs to support my fitness level!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Peanut Butter Macaroon Cookies


The other day I made the mistake of going to the bulk store hungry and walked out with a bag of coconut chocolate macaroons (basically chocolate blobs with shredded coconut embedded in them). While I used to love these confections, I have discovered that my sweet tooth isn't sweet enough for them anymore. Jon suggested chopping them up and putting them into less-sweet cookies, which turned out to be an amazing idea! I am not sure whether the macaroons I bought are vegan (although they were dark chocolate). If you want to make these vegan and can't find vegan macaroons, I suspect it would work well to melt some chocolate chips in the microwave on low power, mix in finely shredded coconut, and then spread the mixture on parchment paper or a silicone mat to set. When cooled you would cut into chunks. It would add a step, but I think these would not be the same without the macaroon pieces. What is unique about these cookies is the surprising delightful crunch of the coconut when you hit a chocolate chunk.

This recipe is adapted from my grandma's recipe for peanut blossoms.

Wet ingredients:
• 1/2 cup brown sugar, loosely packed
• 1/3 cup coconut oil (softened in microwave if it is hard)
• 1/3 cup just peanuts peanut butter (no sugar, no salt)
• 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
• 1 tbsp ground flax seed + 1/4 cup water (or other egg replacer of choice for 1 egg)
• two pinches of sea salt

Dry ingredients:
• 1 3/4 cup stone ground whole wheat flour
• 1 tsp baking soda
• 1 cup chopped macaroon pieces

Blend wet ingredients together until they have a uniform consistency. Mix flour and baking soda in a separate bowl and then mix in macaroon chunks. Add dry ingredients to wet, and fold together until just mixed. Roll the dough into 1 inch diameter balls. Flatten balls slightly and put 1/2 inch apart on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake at 375 F for 10 minutes. Cool before removing from tray. Makes about 18 cookies.