Sunday, March 31, 2013

cruelty free Easter

Happy Easter! I wanted my son to feel the joy of Easter Egg hunts, but his allergies prevent him from even being near eggs, plus we're vegans so eggs were  out of the question in more ways than one!  Here  was my solution:  I could have spent money on plastic eggs and contributed to pollution and waste,  but I decided it'd be fun to recycle some paper laying around.
for my "eggs"  I used water balloons and for my paper machete mixture I used equal parts water and four. simple and easy!

lemon tortilla and black bean salsa

I made this today,  just throwing things together. My husband says the lemony crisp tortillas  remind him of cheddar crisps and they're highly addictive! 
lemon tortillas (makes about 15): 
2 cups corn masa
about 1.25 cups water
lemon juice
preheat oven to 380, generously oil 2 baking sheets
put masa in a bowl,  slowly add water while mixing with clean hands until dough- like (it will be slightly crumbly) knead for about 5 minutes, or until pliable but smooth (think soft play dough)
now,  there are two ways to do this next part,  you can either do it the hard way,  or the easy way.
the hard way:  make 1 inch round balls with the dough and roll out until almost paper thin between two sheets of saran wrap,  gently peel off  top layer, flip onto oiled baking sheet,  drizzle lemon juice over tortillas,  sprinkle with salt,  and pop in the oven for 6-10 minutes or until crunchy.
the easy way:  make 1 inch balls of dough and gently smash into a thin tortilla-like shape on a well oiled baking sheet,  drizzle lemon juice and salt,  pop in the oven 8-14 minutes or until crispy
black bean salsa:
1 cup cooked black beans
1/2 cup salsa of your choice
1 small can of green chili
mix together and enjoy!

Monday, March 25, 2013

black bean and kale tacos

Beans,  something else I swore I'd never eat or make... Turns out that I love black beans!  They are so versatile!  I usually buy 1 lb bags and cook  them  all at once then divide and store the cooked beans for different meals.  For this recipe I used about 1/4 of the pot of beans. 
about 1/4 of a 1lb bag of cooked beans (roughly 1.5 cans of beans? ) drained
28 oz can of organic diced tomatoes (or four diced tomatoes and 1/2 cups water)
3 tablespoon dried onion flakes
1 tablespoon better than bullion vegan
1 tablespoon garlic salt
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
let simmer on med /low  heat for 35-45 minutes until all water has reduced and mixture is thick.
top beans on a heated tortilla or some chips add a generous amount of fresh kale leaves and enjoy! 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

the most delicious asparagus ever!

truthfully,  I hate asparagus! I have for as long as I can remember,  but the deliciousness I have produced is so amazing that it is now one of my favorite sides! 
how do you turn such a tasteless vegetable into heaven for your mouth?  Here's the recipe:
1 bunch of asparagus,  ends cut, rinsed
oil (we use grapeseed oil)
lemon juice (a generous amount)
garlic powder
saute asparagus on medium heat with oil and lemon juice until browned,  lower heat and add salt,  pepper, and garlic powder,  cover and let summer until just tender. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

easy vegan ice-cream sandwiches

It's been 18 days since my husband and I decided to go full blown vegan (one of the best decisions ever! ) and I am happy to report that for the first time in 4 years,  I have been pain free and not sick!  My husband is also seeing some pretty dramatic results (see pictures below) tonight we felt like snacking so I whipped up some easy ice-cream sandwiches (took about 20 minutes from start to finish) which were both void of preservatives and delicious!
The recipe is actually an alerted chef Chloe (love her! ) cake recipe and a simple coconut cream filling,  hope you enjoy!
Chocolate Cookies:
3 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups water
1 2/3 sugar
about 1/3 cup of soy milk*
1 cup canola oil
¼ cup white or apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
*add a little at a time until a fluffy whipped texture forms,  almost like the consistency of a stiff mousse
preheat oven to 350
mix dry ingredients in a large bowl,  mix all wet ingredients (except soy milk) in a separate container,  slowly add wet to dry while mixing.  Now add soy milk until the consistency of a stiff but fluffy mousse.  Transfer mix to a piping bag and pipe 1-2inch circles on a greased sheet,  stick in oven for 8-12 minutes or until cooked all the way through.
Coconut Cream:
1can of full fat coconut milk,  chilled
1tsp vanilla extract
powdered sugar to taste
carefully scoop fat from can, making sure not to disturb the coconut water, set fat in mixing bowl.  Add vanilla and sugar,  whip until creamy.  Scoop into a piping bag and gently pipe onto cooled cookies, making little sandwiches.  Stick in freezer for 5 minutes and serve! 

My husband 18 days ago:

My husband today (noticeable belly shrinkage)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

cheezy vegan popcorn and Doctor Who

So I just made a large batch of popcorn and my three year old,  munching away,  says "oh,  mom... does that have seeds in it? "  so I explain to him,  "the popcorn came out of those little seeds. It's kind of little until the inside comes out, and then it's big and fluffy. " he sits there for a moment,  then he says "like Doctor who!  Like the Tardis!" yes, we have discovered that popcorn is timelord science.  Anyways,  here's the easy,  super delicious and nutritious,  cheezy vegan popcorn: 
freshly popped plain popcorn straight from the pan.
onion powder
nutritional yeast
vitamin C powder
generously season to taste and enjoy!  Careful,  the vit. C has a kick,  a little can go a long ways!

Friday, March 8, 2013

No-Turkey Roast

So we decided to take the plunge! We officially became full blown vegans at the beginning of this month. As a newish vegan, we've been researching and finding recipes of nom worthy food packed full of nutrition and what did I just so happen to stumble across? Seitan, beautiful, delicious, "meaty" seitan, packed full of protein and flavor, even a meat-eater would approve! I combined a few recipes to make up some No-Turkey Roast worthy of even the pickiest eater's approval:

 No-Turkey Roast:

1.5 c. vital wheat gluten
1 tsp onion powder
1 tbsp turmeric
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1/2 tsp celery seed
1 tsp thyme
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1/2  tsp paprika
1/4 cup chickpea flour (you can also sub in all-purpose)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon salt (to taste)
1.5 c. vegetable broth (better than bullion is vegan and organic!)
a dash of brag's or soy sauce
a dash of vegan worcestershire 

In a large bowl combine wheat gluten, flour, nutritional yeast, basil, oregano, thyme, celery seed, garlic powder, onion powder, turmeric, paprika, poultry seasoning, and salt.

Form a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour in vegetable broth a little at a time and stir well with a rubber spatula (or clean hands) a ball of dough will start to form, add bragg's and vegan worcestershire.

Turn ball onto a clean cutting board and knead for knead for 3 minutes. Leave the dough to rest for 10 minutes and then knead again for 30 seconds.

Place a large pot with a few inches of water and a steamer insert onto heat and let water boil. Turn down to low when steam is filling the pot.

Wrap in cooking foil

Place wrapped loaf into the steamer basket and steam for 1 hour.

Allow the dough to cool to the touch before chilling in fridge or overnight.

Store seitan in the fridge tightly sealed in a plastic bag for up to 2 weeks. Seitan can be frozen, just defrost before use.

Sauteed Cabbage and Portebello Mushrooms:

Heat olive oil in a medium sauce pan, julienne cabbage and stick in pan, clean portebello and julienne, add to cabbage. Saute until tender and  fragrant.  

Sweet Potato Mash with Coconut Yogurt Topping:

Boil or steam two large sweet potatoes
Strain and mash
Add in 4 tbsp butter + 1 tbsp Agave
In a separate bowl mix 2 tbsp powdered sugar with your favorite vegan vanilla yogurt, slowly add cornstarch until you get a thick liquid (thick gravy like)

Put mashed potatoes in an oven safe dish, pour yogurt mixture on top, sprinkle with wheat germ.
Bake at 400° F for 20-25 minutes

Thursday, March 7, 2013

home made theraflu

ok,  so it's not a fever reducer but it sure helps a sore throat!  My son started his first day of preschool this week,  and guess what?  Preschools are crawling with viruses and bacteria,  needless to say we've experienced a little head cold. I just hate it when he's sick,  my poor little guy with a stuffy nose and a cough makes  me so sad! Last night it was really bad and we didn't have anything,  so i steamed some cloves and let the vapors encompass our house and it worked wonders!  So here's my home made recipe for kicking that cold's butt once and for all:
about 2 cups of boiling water
4-5 whole cloves
1tsp fresh grated ginger
1tbsp lemon juice
let steep for 10 minutes, add raw honey,  strain particles and drink hot.