Monthly Archives: July 2009

Sesame Scrambled Tempeh and Greens with Yams

I made the Sesame Scrambled Tempeh with Greens and Yams from Vegan Brunch (I subbed tempeh for the ‘fu the recipe calls for). Three of my favorite foods! Anyhow, it was absolutely delicious. It’s a pretty simple recipe – besides the ingredients in the title, the recipe just includes some garlic, ginger, red pepper, and soy sauce, but that’s about it!

This dish was rich and flavorful, sweet and salty, but still simple and down to earth (and quite easy to prepare). I’m sure I’ll try the recipe with the intended tofu at some point, but given that tempeh’s my favorite out of the holy trinity of vegan proteins – tofu/tempeh/seitan – I was definitely happy with it this way! I just used the cooking method that Isa gives for Basic Scrambled Tempeh a few pages before.

I’ve kind of dropped off the Vegan Brunch radar since my initial kick, but this recipe reminded me that I need to get back in there! So you have that to look forward to.


Peanut Butter-Carob-Cookie Dough Pie

I had an open block of silken tofu, a broken pie shell in the freezer, and just enough peanut butter in the jar. All these things screamed, “PIE!” I wanted to take it further than the typical vegan PB-chocolate mousse pie, though. So what to do? Add some raw cookie dough, switch the chocolate for carob, and call it a (fantabulous) day.

I used Dreena’s Homestyle Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe for the cookie dough, omitting the baking powder and soda (because I wasn’t going to bake it!), cutting down the sugar a bit (because God knows there will be enough sugar in the pie without it), and replacing the oil with soy milk (because it’s just gonna be dough anyways–why add fat?). Oh, also, when I made it, I only used a 1/2 recipe’s worth of cookie dough, but I’m calling for a full recipe of it here because I think the pie would be better with a thicker cookie dough layer!

Peanut Butter-Carob-Cookie Dough Pie

1 pre-made 9″ whole wheat or spelt pie shell (I use Wholly Wholesome)

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Base
1 cup spelt flour
2 Tbs unrefined sugar
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp blackstrap molasses
1/4 cup non-dairy milk
1/3 cup chocolate chips

Peanut Butter-Carob Mousse
1 12 oz container of silken tofu
6 Tbs maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup peanut butter
6 oz carob chips, melted in the microwave*

*You can use chocolate chips here instead, but I like the earthy sweetness of carob, and even if you think you don’t like carob, don’t worry-it’s taste isn’t super distinctive here as it blends in so much with the peanut butter (my sister didn’t even know it was carob until she saw the titles of my Flickr photos!)

1 banana, sliced very thinly
Peanut butter candies, Peanut butter Newman’s O’s, crumbled brownies, pretzels, etc.

Bake pie shell according to package directions and set aside to cool.

Make the cookie dough:
In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt, and stir until well combined. In a separate bowl, combine the maple syrup with the molasses, vanilla, and non-dairy milk, and stir until well combined. Add the wet mixture to the dry, along with the chocolate chips, and stir through until just well combined.

Press the cookie dough into the already baked pie shell, and place in the fridge to cool while you make the mousse.

Make the PB-Carob Mousse:
Combine tofu, vanilla, and maple syrup in a food processor, and process until smooth. Add peanut butter and melted carob chips and process until thoroughly blended.

Pour mousse over the cookie dough base in the pie shell, and place in the fridge to firm up a bit before you add the toppings (so they don’t sink or get soggy). When the mousse has firmed up, it’s time to lay on the toppings! I crumbled up some Laura Lee’s Peanut Butter Treats (they taste like Butterfinger insides!) I got at Food Fight in Portland, but you could use chopped Newman’s O’s, crumbled brownies, pretzels, peanuts, coconut, chocolate syrup, whipped “cream,” or even something crazy like Ricemellow.

Finally, lay the banana slices on (if you slice them super thinly, you only need one banana to encircle the whole pie!)

I like this pie straight out of the freezer–it’s almost like a luscious ice cream cake, plus nice and refreshing as a summer treat! But you can thaw it a few minutes before eating if you prefer!

It’s Summer! Smoothie, Salads, No-Bake Cookies, and Watermelon

First, I’m glad so many of you have entered the giveaway from my last post, and you have a few more days to enter if you haven’t yet! I know you want some fruit & nut bars…

I’m not fully back to normal yet, but my mom suggested I go back to eating more or less the way I normally do, so that’s what I’ve been doing!

For breakfast yesterday following a short 3-mile run, I had a Triple Blueberry Smoothie! A cup of frozen blueberries blended with a bottle of Wildwood Probiotic Blueberry Soymilk and some psyllium husk, topped with cinnamon and some dried blueberries. Obviously hoping to rev my digestion with the probiotics and psyllium!

Getting sick of this bowl yet? The probiotic soymilk was good–a slightly strong and funky soy taste, but most of Wildwood’s products are like that, and blended with the blueberries, it was perfect.

For lunch I had my first large mostly raw salad in a couple weeks! (I’d been eating a lot of steamed veggies and whole grains). It included mixed greens, romaine lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, celery, and some Hickory Baked Tofu (from Whole Foods). I topped it with Creamy Miso Salad Dressing from The Vegan Table and some sesame seeds!

The dressing recipe is super simple with four ingredients–just miso, rice vinegar, olive/sesame oil, and water if I remember correctly. I thought it was a bit salty, so I added 1/3 block of silken tofu, some extra water for blendability, and a squirt of agave because I thought it needed something special. I liked it a lot better after that (I’ve done the silken tofu dressing trick before–it decreases the calories per serving and makes dressings decadently, lusciously creamy).

I also made Swallow-It-All Banana Balls from The Everyday Vegan. Okay, I love Dreena, but I can’t believe she named them that! There are so many sexual innuendos in the name of this recipe, it’s ridiculous! I bet my blog will come up for naughty Google searches now.

Anyways, regardless of their unfortunate title, these no-bake cookies are as tasty as they are wholesome, and the perfect treat for summer. With no added sugar or salt, these balls simply contain bananas, minced apple, dates, peanut butter, coconut, oats, cereal (I used Flax Plus), and flax meal. They’re then rolled in carob powder and more coconut. I love poppin’ a couple of these before I run. They’re just sweet enough from the dates and definitely nutritionally dense enough to be a pre (or post) -workout snack. Nice and chewy too! You’ll swallow them all! Haha.

This morning I ran 7 miles! I know it’s not that much, but it’s the longest run I‘ve ever done. Plus, it was 90 degrees! My friend told me that you can generally run double the distance you’re currently running, so I can stop training now, right? 7 x 2 = 14 > 13.1. Amen.

Anyways, when I got back (and jumped in the pool, obviously!), all I wanted was a huge a** chunk of ice cold, refreshing watermelon:

I had my last couple pieces with cracked black pepper because, if people can put salt on watermelon, then I can put pepper! It was a nice contrast with the intense sweetness of the watermelon.

Lunch today was simple, yet wonderful. I had roasted sweet potato wedges and hickory baked tofu over a fluffy bed of kamut grain and baby spinach. I topped it with some dried cranberries and a couple tablespoons of some leftover Balsamic Maple Sauce from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan I had sitting in the fridge (this is maybe the best sauce in the world, by the way. Tangy, sweet, and salty all at once without being overpowering–GREAT with roasted veggies and autumn flavors).

The sweet taters are just lightly sprayed with olive oil, drizzled with maple syrup, and coated in chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, sea salt, and black pepper, and roasted for 30 minutes at 400 degrees, flipping halfway through. I could eat this all day, everyday! Next time I’m adding some onions and maybe some toasted pecans!

More Fresh, Whole Foods + First Giveaway!

Okay, so on the stomach front (It’s hard not to talk about when it’s all I’m thinking about, all the time – sorry!), I got a CT scan this morning. I don’t know if any of you have ever gotten one, but you have to drink this disgusting barium sulfate stuff. I’ve heard it described as a chalk-flavored milkshake, but I would describe it more as cough-syrup/the-worst-berry-bubblegum-toothpaste-you-can-ever-remember-having-as-a-child-at-the-dentist flavored laundry detergent. Either way, not a fun thing to wake up to at 7 in the morning, especially in the quantity of 900 mL. Also, just thought of this – wouldn’t it have been funny if I’d food porned it? Haha.
Anyways, I felt really sick afterward and actually had to leave work early (thanks, Susan!) But, I’m seeing a specialist on Friday, and I’m still eating detoxifying whole foods and avoiding salt – except for the occasional spoonful of [salted] creamy TJ’s peanut butter (I may feel awful, but I still have my reputation and self-identity, which is inextricably linked to PB, to think about too, ya know…).So, I’m still eating extra simply and healthfully…

Antioxidant-Rich Acaí-Cocoa-Banana-Cherry Smoothie:

Blended with almond milk and topped with fresh blueberries and cinnamon.
Sliced Apples with Rosemary from Ani’s Raw Desserts:

I know you don’t really need a “recipe” for something like that, but without Ani’s suggestion, I might not have thought to combine apples, rosemary, and fresh lemon juice, and I’m so glad I did! It was so refreshing and exotic (AND it reminded me of these oat bars that I loved).

Detox Bowl # ? (I lost track…)Wild rice with lemon, nooch, and some random spices, topped with more chickpeas, steamed sweet potatoes, and pineapple-soy yogurt sauce, all on a bed of romaine lettuce:

And now for my first ever giveaway! I wish I could say that some cool health food company had offered me and a lucky reader free products, but alas, I’m not that popular. Instead, I’m offering up a box of Weil by Nature’s Path Fruit & Nut Bars (scroll all the way to the right) that I happen to have, being an intern at Weil Lifestyle! The winner will get their choice between Goji-Moji, Banana Manna, and Pistachi-Oh! In addition to being vegan, these bars contain nothing artificial, and are certified as being non-GMO. Their ingredient lists might not be quite as short as those of our Larabars, but I promise Weil bars won’t disappoint!

To enter, just leave a comment telling me what your ultimate bar flavor would be (and who knows? Maybe if your idea is appealing enough to me, I’ll actually make it, blog it, and dedicate it to you, á la Norabars!) If you want to be entered twice, just blog about this giveaway. Also, for those of you who are particulary ambitious, I’ll enter you THREE times if you join Dr. Weil’s Facebook Fan Page: Andrew Weil, M.D. (plus, I think you’ll appreciate the info you get there anyways, and would recommend staying on as a fan afterwards). If you blog about the giveaway or join the page, leave me a comment letting me know! Also, very sorry to do this, but this giveaway is only open to U.S. readers–I’m not going to overseas ship 16 nutrition bars–we need to maintain some semblance of a sustainable lifestyle here, guys! I’ll leave entries open until 12:00 am, August 1st.

More Simple Food, "Crummy" Muffins, and Magic Cookies

Today’s post is almost exactly the same as yesterdays: simple (yet delicious) flavors for me, and some decadence for my lucky family. :)

I had the same mango-banana-papaya-coconut smoothie as yesterday (also with flax seeds, cinnamon, ginger, and allspice), but I took a picture today so you can see its lovely shade (and my adorable baby bowl that I recently purchased from Cosmo’s Vegan Shoppe).

A great smoothie strategy I’ve discovered lately is using extracts to pack flavor without extra calories. For example, in the above smoothie, I used a 1/4 tsp of coconut extract, which imparted a rich, yet calorieless coconut flavor to my smoothie (instead of coconut milk, which, though healthy, is pretty fatty, and in a smoothie with so many other flavors, I can do without i). I’ve also used almond extract – my favorite smoothie with it being cherry-almond. Obviously, vanilla goes with everything (especially PB smoothies!). I can’t wait to experiment with maple/coffee extract when I eventually get my hands on them.

My family requested muffins for brekkie, so I made the Apple Crumb Muffins from You Won’t Believe It’s Vegan! I’m actually not a HUGE fan of crumb toppings on muffins–they just annoy me when they get everywhere), so I didn’t mind making these when I couldn’t have them. Plus, I love the act of baking in itself so much, who cares?!

This recipe is loaded with a delicious apple-maple-cinnamon-“buttery”-flavor, or so I heard, haha. I made 10 muffs instead of 12 to get the tops, but, as you’re about to see, that didn’t work out too well…The tops just broke right off (I think the crumb topping weighed them down too much, so they couldn’t really achieve their full potential and sturdiness). Behold the saddest muffin of the batch:

OMG, I know. You don’t even need to say anything. But, they weren’t all like that, I swear. See?

For lunch I had the exact same chickpea-brown rice-kale bowl as yesterday, but for dinner I switched things up a little and had red quinoa with cumin, lime, cinnamon, raisins, and hemp seeds with green beans, peas, and leftover white sweet potatoes. I decided to go sauceless because I think that cuke-yogurt sauce goes better with the rice and chickpeas.

Extra cinnamon on top!

My mom requested cookies after dinner (they request a lot, don’t they?), so I whipped up Magic Cookies from the same cookbook as the muffins (You Won’t Believe It’s Vegan!). Now, these. THESE, I was jealous of not being able to eat. As in, the monster of jealousy inside me was greener than the peas in my detox bowl.

These are everything-but-the-kitchen-sink kind of cookies, loaded with carrots, pecans (and walnuts because I ran out), oats, chocolate chips, and coconut flakes. You’re supposed to make them really large (the recipe says 9 cookies per batch, and it’s NOT an unusually small amount of batter), but even making them as big as the book says, I got almost double the amount of cookies out of this recipe–and had to almost double the baking time, weird. Can’t complain, I guess. Their size allows them to have a crispy exterior while being delightfully chewy in the middle (or so I imagine, again…). My fam raved about these and said I could become FAMOUS for them!

I think that when I’m finally able to make these for myself, I’ll use: carob chips, oats, pecans, carrots, sunflower seeds, coconut, raisins, and PEANUT BUTTER. Doesn’t that sound like an even lovelier combo. Get better, tummy, please!

Detox for Me, Pancakes for Family

I’m not complaining though–I’ve actually been really enjoying my detox bowls! Moving on from my attempted raw food week (BAD IDEA for the way I was feeling), my friend who’s had similar stomach issues recommended this 10-day detox cleanse. I know it’s Martha Stewart, so shoot me. Dr. Weil used to be featured in Body + Soul, so I think that gives it some credibility. :)

The detox basically consists of waking up to a cup of hot lemon water, exercise (for me, my 1/2 marathon training), a fruit smoothie or oatmeal and fruit for breakfast, a legume/whole grain/veggie bowl for lunch, a veggie/whole grain bowl for dinner, and another cup of lemon water before an early 10 pm bedtime. Ginger tea is also recommended after lunch and dinner, and snacks are options too: apples/pears + almonds (I’d use almond butter) and carrots/celery with hummus. Yes, it’s kind of restrictive (the hard part is cutting salt), but it has been making me feel better and hopefully it will hold me over until I can see a doctor!

After my 4-mile run and jump in the pool this morning, I had a raspberry-cinnamon almond milk smoothie. For lunch I had a brown basmati rice bowl with made-from-scratch chickpeas (I’ve never done that before, with the soaking and everything! except for lentils, that is…), steamed kale, and a cucumber soy yogurt sauce I concocted.

I didn’t miss the salt. I loaded my rice with turmeric, garam masala, dill, cumin, ginger, black pepper, and lemon juice. It had an incredible freshness that salty food often doesn’t have. The yogurt sauce was soy yogurt, cucumbers, cilantro, silken tofu, coriander, paprika, cumin, and lime juice. Again, it was nice and light without the salt, and all together, it was a very satisfying lunch bowl.

For dinner, I used the same rice and sauce, but had steamed white sweet potatoes and beet greens instead of the kale and chickpeas (the cleanse calls for no protein at dinner for some reason). I’ve never steamed sweet potatoes before–I was surprised how quickly they cooked!

Sure, The Love Bowl, with its salty sauce and baked tofu, was “tastier,” but I’m still thoroughly enjoying these more grounded, macrobiotic bowls, especially because I know they’re what my body needs right now!

My family however, is not on detox. Not that the Banana Cream Pancakes from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan are unhealthy–on the contrary, there’s no added sugar or fat besides the sweetness of ripe banana and the richness of coconut milk. But still, they have three things I don’t wanna eat right now: salt, sugar (the maple syrup), and gluten. However, I have made these before and can attest to the fact that they’re delicious! They fluff up beautifully and don’t leave you feeling heavy afterwards, like some carby breakfasts do.

Maple syrup waterfall. Pancake love.

Golden Oats

I know most vegans have oats all the time, but they’re usually sweet, am I right? Maple syrup, nut butters, fruit. Yeah, all delicious, and I love sweet oatmeal, but you’re definitely missing out if you never try savory oats. I’ve made them before, using nooch and some of Celine’s sliced Pumpkin Fauxsage, so I knew they were good, but I’d prepared them just like I would sweet oats. Today, however, I made the Golden Oats Pilaf from Bryanna Clark Grogan’s The Fiber for Life Cookbook, which are prepared differently, dry toasting the oats before adding the liquid at the end. I changed the recipe up a bit, so I’m gonna post it!

Golden Oats Pilaf

1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon flaxseeds
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 tablespoon Earth Balance
3/4 cup vegetable broth
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/2 tablespoon fresh rosemary (or other herb of your choice)
1 small onion, sautéed
1 small zucchini, thinly slice and steamed (or other veggie of your choice)
garlic (optional)

In a blender, combine flaxseeds and water and blend several minutes (I used my handy Magic Bullet). Place the oatmeal in a medium bowl and add the flaxseed mixture; stir to coat thoroughly. Heat the Earth Balance in a large heavy skillet (the same one you sautéed the onions in!) over medium heat. Add the oats mixture and stir constantly for 3 minutes or until the oats are dry, separated, and lightly browned (this is essential for keeping the texture and integrity of the oats before the next step).

Add the broth, salt, nutritional yeast, rosemary, and garlic if using (I didn’t and it was still packed with flavor). Cook, covered until the liquid evaporates, stirring frequently enough to prevent sticking (mine stuck a lot, so seriously, STIR!). Mix in zucchini and onions, and serve immediately.

Obviously, this recipe is super flexible–this is just the route I chose to go. You can leave out the nooch, add different veggies and herbs, or be crazy and add some toasted nuts or dried fruit! I just love how simple and easy it was, while still being surprisingly flavorful and healthy. Plus, I love the chewy texture the oats retain through the cooking process. Definitely a keeper. I served mine with half a baked sweet potato because, not only are oats and sweet taters two of my favorite foods, but they’re both loaded with soluble fiber for my tummy (as are flaxseeds). I still need medical help, but this meal at least didn’t make me feel worse, like some of my raw meals did.