Monday, December 12, 2016

Easy Pad Thai

Healthy Benefits
Nutritional highlights. Tofu is a good source of protein and contains all eight essential amino acids. It is also an excellent source of iron and calcium and the minerals manganese, selenium and phosphorous. In addition, tofu is a good source of magnesium, copper, zinc and vitamin B1.

Servings: 2-3
    • 1 cup water, plus more for soaking the noodles
    • 1 10-oz. package rice noodles or ramen-style noodles
    • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
    • 2 cloves garlic
    • 1/2 12-oz. package extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into chunks
    • 4 Tbsp. Liquid Amino's (or soy sauce)
    • 2 Tbsp. peanut butter
    • Juice of 2 limes
    • 3 Tbsp. maple syrup
    • Hot Pepper Flakes, to taste
    • Sliced scallions, for garnish
    • Chopped peanuts, for garnish (optional)

  • Fill a large bowl with boiling water. Submerge rice noodles in the water and soak for about 15 minutes.
  • In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the garlic cloves and tofu chunks. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce over the tofu and sauté until golden brown.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, lime juice, maple syrup, hot pepper flakes, remaining liquid aminos and 1 cup of water.
  • Add the soaked noodles and peanut butter mixture to the tofu and cook through for about 5 minutes.
  • Garnish with sliced scallions and chopped peanuts and serve right away. 

Inspired by

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Squash (or Pumpkin), Kale (or Spinach) and Walnuts Pasta

Healthy Benefits
Squash is an important source of many nutrients, including vitamin C, magnesium, and other antioxidant compounds. These vitamins and minerals are important antioxidant components in the body, which help to neutralize free radicals throughout the body.

    • 2 cups (2 servings) linguini or spaghetti 
    • 3 tbsp / 45 ml olive oil
    • 2-3 garlic cloves, finely diced
    • 2 cups of cubed butternut squash / pumpkin*
    • 1 handful of kale or spinach
    • ½-1 tsp chili flakes (depending on level of heat and your preference)
    • ½ lemon, zest and juice
    • salt and pepper, to taste
    • 1/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped
  1. Coat cubed butternut squash in 1 tbsp of olive oil and season with salt. Bake at 435º F for about 40-45 minutes, until butternut squash turns soft and gets lightly caramelized.
  2. Heat up 2 tbsp of olive oil in a pan. Fry off garlic gently on a low-medium heat, stirring frequently so it doesn’t burn. Add chili flakes and cook for another minute or two stirring frequently.
  3. Cook pasta for a minute shorter than you would normally.
  4. Mash half the squash with a potato masher. Put both mashed and whole butternut squash chunks into the pan with chili and garlic.
  5. Add drained pasta and washed spinach into the pan. Incorporate them well into the pumpkin. Taste and season with pepper, a squeeze of lemon juice and additional salt and chili if needed.
  6. Serve immediately with chopped walnuts and lemon zest on top.

Inspired by

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Mushroom Stroganoff

Healthy Benefits
When it comes to antioxidants -the substances that help fight free radicals that are the result of oxidation in our body-we’re more likely to think of colourful vegetables than neutral-hued mushrooms. 

B vitamins are vital for turning food (carbohydrates) into fuel (glucose), which the body burns to produce energy. They also help the body metabolize fats and protein. Mushrooms contain loads of vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and vitamin B3 (niacin): 100 grams (31/2 ounces) of Crimini have 44 percent and 30 percent of your daily recommended amount, respectively, white button have 36 and 30 percent, and oyster mushrooms have 32 and 39 percent.
    8 ounces uncooked ribbon noodles (per serving)
    1 tablespoon olive oil
      1 yellow onion, chopped
        3 tablespoons whole wheat flour
          2 cups vegetable broth
            1 tablespoon Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce)
              1 teaspoon lemon juice
                1 teaspoon tomato paste
                  1 pounds mushrooms (half Portobello and half White Button mushrooms), cut into large 2-inch chunks
                    1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
                      1/2 teaspoon dried sage
                        1/2 teaspoon salt
                              10 turns of fresh ground, black pepper
                                1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, minced


                                1. Cook the noodles per the direction on the package. Under cook them a bit because they will be cooked again once incorporated into the sauce.
                                2. Drain and set aside.
                                3. In a large saucepan, add the olive oil and sauté the onions for 3 minutes over medium heat.
                                4. Add the flour and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
                                5. Gradually add the broth, soy sauce, lemon juice, and tomato paste, while stirring at the same time. Stir until mixture becomes thick and bubbly, about a minute.
                                6. Add the mushrooms, thyme, sage, and salt. Stir to combine.
                                7. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently until mushrooms have shrunk in size.
                                8. Add the noodles, 1 tablespoon of flour, black pepper, and parsley and cook on low for an additional 5 minutes.
                                9. Garnish with parsley.

                                Saturday, October 29, 2016

                                Banana Nut Bread

                                Healthy Benefits
                                They contain several essential nutrients, and have benefits for digestion, heart health and weight loss. Bananas contain a fair amount of fiber, as well as several antioxidants. 
                                Bananas are a great dietary source of potassium. Potassium is a mineral that is essential for heart health, especially blood pressure control. Yet despite its importance, most people are not getting enough potassium in their diet. 

                                Bananas may help relieve muscle cramps caused by exercise. They also provide excellent fuel for endurance exercise.
                                  2 cups whole wheat flour
                                  1-1/2 tsp baking powder
                                  1/4 cup maple syrup
                                  1/4 cup apple sauce
                                  4 (or 3) ripe bananas
                                  1 tbsp chia seeds
                                  1/4 cup water
                                  1 tsp vanilla extract
                                  3/4 to 1 cup ground walnuts

                                1. Preheat over to 350 degrees
                                2. Mix flour and baking soda in a bowl
                                3. In a large bowl, stir maple syrup and apple sauce together, then add bananas and mash them (potato masher works good). Stir in he water and vanilla and mix well. Add the flour mixture with the chopped nuts and stir to mix.
                                4. Spread in a nonstick or lightly sprayed oil-sprayed 9 inch square baking pan.
                                5. Bake for 50 minutes.

                                Monday, October 24, 2016

                                Crispy Cauliflower Wings

                                Healthy Benefits
                                This is one vegetable that deserves a regular rotation in your diet, however, as it contains an impressive array of nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other phytochemicals.
                                Ingredients   223 calories per serving (serves 2)
                                1 small cauliflower head

                                  1/2 cup whole wheat or other grain flour
                                1/2 cup almond milk
                                1/4 teaspoon salt
                                1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
                                1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
                                1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 
                                1 cup Panko crumbs

                                4 tablespoons maple syrup
                                2 tablespoons liquid aminos
                                1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds
                                1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
                                3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
                                Chopped scallions & sesame seeds, for garnish

                                Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
                                1. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with a baking sheet foil but don't spray.
                                2. Remove stems from florets from the cauliflower and cut into small pieces.
                                3. Place the bread crumbs in a bowl. In another bowl, mix all the batter ingredients together.
                                4. Toss the cauliflower in the mixture one at a time, shaking off excess batter. Then, dip the cauliflower into the breadcrumbs to coat, then place onto the baking sheet. 
                                5. Bake for 22 minutes.
                                6. Prepare the sauce ingredients.
                                7. You can stop here, and serve the wings sauceless with sauce on the side (it is not a very thick sauce). The cauliflower will be CRISPY this way. Alternatively, coat the wings in the sauce. With a pastry brush, brush the sauce onto the cauliflower and bake for 5 minutes for the sauce to soak into the wings.

                                Note to vegan chef: Consider doubling the sauce for full flavor. There was barely enough to go around but crispy was very goo! You can also extend the mix by adding more almond milk or doubling that too.

                                Inspiration: Jessica in the kitchen

                                Tuesday, July 26, 2016

                                Easy Zucchini Bites Appetizer


                                2 cups shredded zucchini (squeeze out any excess moisture with a paper towel)
                                2 flaxseed eggs
                                1 small yellow onion
                                1/2 cup nutritional yeast
                                1/2 cup Italian style bread crumbs
                                1 tsp. dried parsley
                                1/2 tsp. garlic powder
                                Salt & pepper

                                Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and spray a mini muffin pan with cooking spray.
                                In a large bowl, add the eggs and then add the zucchini, onion, cheeses, bread crumbs and seasonings.

                                Fill muffin pan and bake for 15-17 minutes until the tops are a deep golden brown.
                                Serve with marinara sauce or ranch dressing for dipping if desired.

                                Adapted from The Naptime Chef

                                Tuesday, March 8, 2016

                                Mushroom Gravy

                                • 1/2 large onion, minced
                                • 10 regular-sized or 6 large mushrooms, sliced or chopped
                                • 2 cloves garlic, minced
                                • 2 cups vegetable broth
                                • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon dried thyme
                                • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed (optional)
                                • 1/4 -1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
                                • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
                                • 1 teaspoon sherry (optional)
                                • 1 tablespoon liquid aminos or soy sauce
                                • 2 tablespoons unbleached flour (substitute with arrowroot for gluten-free)
                                • 1/4 cup non-dairy milk
                                • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
                                1. In a medium-sized non-stick saucepan, sauté the onion until beginning to brown, about 5-10 minutes (adding a pinch of baking soda speeds things up). Add the mushrooms and 1 tablespoon of water, and cook for another 3 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook, stirring, for another minute.
                                2. Add the vegetable broth, herbs, nutritional yeast, sherry, and soy sauce. In a bowl, whisk or blend (with a hand blender) the “milk” and flour together until smooth. Add it to the saucepan and stir well. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

                                Credit and inspiration: Author: 
                                Serves: 6

                                Monday, February 15, 2016

                                Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Soup

                                Sweet Potato Cauliflower Soup
                                yield: 6 to 8 servings
                                • 1 large head cauliflower (the one I used was at least 7″ in diameter
                                • olive oil for drizzling
                                • Few dashes garam masala (optional)
                                • 3 medium to large sized peeled sweet potatoes, cut into 1″ pieces
                                • 1 sweet onion, diced
                                • 2 cloves garlic
                                • 7 cups filtered water

                                First, preheat your oven to 400 °F and cut up your cauliflower into bite sized pieces. Sprinkle cauliflower lightly with garam masala. Place cauliflower onto ungreased cookie sheet and lightly drizzle with olive oil. Place in oven and let roast until golden brown on the tops and tender, but not mushy, about 20-30 minutes. There’s no need to flip ’em. Just remove from oven and let cool while you cook the rest of the soup.
                                In large stockpot, bring sweet potato, onion, garlic and water to a boil. Salt (abt 3/4 tsp) and stir. Reduce heat and allow to remain at a constant simmer until sweet potatoes are tender. Add in cooked cauliflower and divide soup into two parts. Include the broth in the first part. 
                                Let soup cool and then blend one part soup in blender until very smooth. Combine with second part soup and stir. Only use the vegetables from the second part to add to the pureed soup. Salt to taste and warm up over stovetop if needed.

                                Tuesday, February 9, 2016

                                Beet burgers

                                Yields: 6-8 big patties
                                • 1 cup cooked brown or green lentils, cooled, drained well
                                • 1 cup shredded beets
                                • 1/2 teaspoon salt
                                • Fresh black pepper
                                • 1 teaspoon thyme, rubbed between your fingers
                                • 1/2 teaspoon ground fennel (or finely crushed fennel seed)
                                • 1 onion, very finely chopped
                                • 4-6  cloves garlic, minced
                                • 3  tablespoons smooth almond butter
                                • 1 cup very fine breadcrumbs
                                Peel beets then set aside. Pulse the shredded beets and lentils about 15-20 times until the mixture comes together, but still has texture. Now transfer to a mixing bowl and add all the remaining ingredients. Use your hands to mix very well. Everything should be well incorporated.

                                Place the mixture in the fridge for a half hour to chill.
                                Preheat a cast iron pan over medium heat. Now form the patties. Each patty will be a heaping 1/2 cup of mixture. To get perfectly shaped patties, use a 3-1/2 inch cookie cutter or ring mold. Otherwise, shape them into burgers with your hands.

                                Spray a thin layer of oil into pan and cook patties for about 12 minutes, flipping occasionally. Burgers should be charred at the edges and heated through.

                                Serve immediately. But they taste great heated up as well, so if you want to cook them in advance, refrigerate, then gently heat in the pan later you can.


                                Sunday, February 7, 2016

                                Pistachio Muffins with secret ingredient

                                Pistachio Nut Muffins with secret ingredient
                                Makes 9 muffins
                                1 Cup Shelled, Toasted Pistachios, Divided
                                1-1/2 Cups Oat Bran or Whole Wheat Flour
                                1/4 cup of Spinach
                                1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
                                1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
                                1 Teaspoon Lemon Zest (optional)
                                1/3 Cup Maple Syrup
                                1/4 Cup Unsweetened Applesauce (originally Canola Oil)
                                1/2 Cup Unsweetened Applesauce
                                1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

                                Preheat your oven to 400 degrees, and either lightly spray or line 9 standard muffin tins with paper wrappers. Set aside.

                                Dry Ingredients:
                                - Place 1/2 cup of the pistachios, along with 1/2 cup of the flour and all of the spinach in a blender or food processor. Pulse the mixture until you achieve a coarse but even meal. Transfer into a large mixing bowl.
                                - Add the remaining 1 cup of oat bran (or flour) and 1/2 cup of pistachios (crushed), plus the baking powder, baking soda, and lemon zest. Stir to evenly.

                                Wet Ingredients:
                                - Whisk together the applesauce, maple syrup and vanilla before pouring these wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients. Stir to bring the batter together as little as possible … don’t overwork it (or you may end up with tough muffins).
                                - Spoon batter into the muffin tins
                                - Put muffins into the oven and immediately reduce the heat to 375 degrees. 
                                - Bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Let cool for at least 10 minutes in the pan before transferring to a wire rack.
                                Makes 9 Muffins
                                Modified from

                                Sunday, January 17, 2016

                                Ooh-La-La Lasagna From "Chloe's Kitchen"

                                Garden Ricotta
                                2 Tbsp. of vegetable broth (to sauté onions)
                                1 onion, chopped
                                3 cloves garlic
                                14-ounce package extra-firm tofu, drained
                                2 Tbsp. lemon juice
                                1/2 tsp. sea salt
                                1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
                                1 Tbsp. white miso paste
                                3 cups fresh basil
                                2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
                                8 oz. crimini mushrooms, sliced
                                24 oz. jar marinara sauce
                                1/4 cup soy, almond, or rice milk (I used almond)
                                1 Tbsp. brown sugar or maple syrup
                                Sea salt
                                Freshly ground black pepper
                                5 oz. baby spinach
                                1 lb. lasagna noodles (boil them as per box directions)
                                Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x13 casserole pan.
                                Garden Ricotta
                                1) In a large frying pan, heat the vegetal broth over medium heat. Saute the onions until their clear, and remove from heat.
                                2) In your food processor combine the onion, tofu, garlic, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and miso paste.
                                3) Pulse the mixture until it's right at that point of smooth but with a little bit of texture.
                                4) Add the basil to the mixture and pulse it just a few more times, getting the basil mixed in.
                                The Sauce
                                1) Heat oil over medium head in a medium skillet and saute the mushrooms until softened. Add the marinara sauce, nondairy milk, and maple syrup (or brown sugar). Stir and heat through. Add salt and pepper to taste.
                                Assembling the Lasagna
                                1) Spread a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of the 9x13 pan
                                2) Arrange 5 lasagna noodles across the pan, overlapping just a tad on each one.
                                3) Spread half of the Garden Ricotta over the noodles.
                                4) Sprinkle half of the spinach over the Garden Ricotta.
                                5) Arrange 5 more noodles over the top of the spinach.
                                6) Spread another layer of sauce across the noodles, saving some for the top layer of the lasagna.
                                7) Spread the rest of the Garden Ricotta across the noodles.
                                8) Sprinkle the rest of the spinach over the Garden Ricotta.
                                9) Cover with the last layer of noodles across the top.
                                10) Spread the rest of the sauce over the noodles.
                                11) Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes, or until the noodles are cooked and the sauce is piping hot and bubbly.