Tag Archives: ginger

Bok Choy and Chickpeas with Cashews

Okay, we all know I have an insatiable vegan cookbook addiction. Well, you probably don’t know, but if you looked back through my posts, you’d find that everything I make is from a different cookbook. I just outgrew my second full shelf.

Accordingly, there are some cookbooks that I write off in my head–as in, “Oh, I have so many, and that one doesn’t seem especially…special.” For some godforsaken reason, Clean Food was one of those books. I think its dull title threw me off. I mean, Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar? How exciting! Viva Vegan? ¡Olé! Peanut Butter Planet? Um, TAKE ME TO YOUR LEADER! But Clean Food? Oh, okay…yum?

Consider this post my apology to Terry Walters because this book rocks. I was lucky enough to have wise friends who knew what’s what better than I did–thank you, Newmans! I’ve already made the Maple Nut Granola, Banana Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies, and Pineapple Tempeh Kebabs, and have yet to be disappointed. But as good as all of those recipes were, none of them compared to my Sunday breakfast of Bok Choy and Chickpeas with Cashews.

Obviously not your typical breakfast, but as Terry says, greens are energizing in the morning! I love this dish, not only because it’s to live for, but because it epitomizes what Clean Food is all about. I can almost count the ingredients in this recipe on one hand, and half of them are already in its title! Bok choy, chickpeas, cashews, ginger, liquid aminos, mirin, and olive oil. That’s what I call clean. Clean, simple, quick, wholesome, and full of wonderful textures and flavors.

I love me some pancakes and french toast, but sometimes you just need some fresh, whole-food fare first thing in the morning; and for those times, Clean Food is your best friend. As usual, the moral of the story is, “don’t just a book by its cover…or title!”

And here’s a riddle: what’s more vibrant than a leafy green-packed breakfast? My best friend, Joanna! She’s 22 today, and a little over two years ago, she inspired me to go vegan with her. I love you, Jo!

Finally, I was honored to be interviewed by the lovely Janna of Just Flourishing as part of her “vegan week.” Check out what I have to say about veganism and vegan health here!

Granola Love

Welcome to my new self-hosted WordPress blog and happy late Valentine’s Day!

I made a couple batches of granola recently, one from The Candle Café Cookbook and one from 500 Vegan Recipes. Both were totally different kinds of granola, but delicious in their own right. :)

The Candle Café Granola was really interesting in that it used steel cut oats as well as regular rolled ones, which I’ve never done before. Plus, it called for coconut oil and maple syrup–the best fat and the best sweetener! This granola came out super crunchy, with no clumps whatsoever–almost like a cross between granola and muesli.

Unfortunately, I had barely any of the ingredients that it called for, so I subbed sesame seeds and pine nuts for the sunflower seeds and walnuts, dried orange cranberries and candied ginger instead of currants, and extra almonds for the coconut. Now that I think about it, I think my version is better. Much more exotic–it had a really exciting flavor that you couldn’t quite put your finger on!

Then I made a recipe I’ve been dying to try since Celine first posted it at Have Cake, Will Travel: PB&J Granola!

This was a much healthier, more subtly sweet granola made with rolled oats and brown rice flour (or at least I think I used brown rice flour–we forget to label our plastic bags of bulk bin flour sometimes…), with chunks of jam swirled in just before baking. I used strawberry of course! What is UP with those people who only eat grape PB&Js?!

Maybe I underbaked it, but this granola was super soft and chewy. It made GREAT clumps, so if clumpy granola is your thing, then please go buy this book (there are also four or five more phenomenal granola recipes in the book!).

Perfect with bananas and vanilla hemp milk!

Cookies for Breakfast

Well, not just cookies (though i don’t have a problem with that either). I’m talking about incorporating cookies into an otherwise balanced breakfast!

I had some Liz Lovely Gluten-Free Ginger Molasses Cookies from my package swap with Lindsay at Cooking for a Vegan Lover, and decided that their best use would be to add a little sweetness to my mornings.

I give you: Sweet Potato Smoothie with Ginger Cookie Crumbles!

I just blended up a frozen banana, sweet potato purée, soy milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, a dollop of maple syrup, and some ice cubes, then crumbled half a cookie on top (these are BIG cookies).

I liked the sweet potato/ginger/molasses combination, so I stuck with the same theme for a bowl of oat bran the next day.

Sweet Potato Oat Bran with Ginger Cookie Crumbles!

What a carb fest. In a good way.

What random toppings to you all use for smoothies, oats, and/or soy yogurt? I still have to try the ice cream-topped oat bran that was floating around the blog world a few months ago…

Sick Days

As it often happens, my rainy day was followed by a sick day, or two (maybe three–we’ll see how I feel tomorrow). Come to think of it, I’m pretty sure that my current bout of sickness has a lot more to do with my sick–yet wonderful!–suitemate and extreme levels of stress than it does the rain, but I like having a natural sequence to my posts. :)

I have a super sore throat, and last night I was running a bit of a fever, as far as I could tell. I hate, hate, hate taking conventional medicine unless it’s absolutely necessary, so I’ve been doing what any antibiotic-weary, holistically-minded vegan would do: loading up on vitamins and stuffing my face with ridiculously healthy food.

When I first woke up yesterday morning, I knew I’d need a fresh veggie juice. I basically asked for everything except for fruit, and ended up with kale/spinach/dandelion/parsley/garlic/ginger/lemon/bell pepper/cucumber/carrot juice! Whoa! Lotsa great cold/virus-fighting ingredients in there–especially the garlic, ginger, and lemon!

I followed that up with a Raw Greens Salad, to go.

It’s almost like my juice, deconstructed! Dandelion, kale, collard greens, cucumber, green onion, carrot, lemon, olive oil, garlic, and sea salt. Fresh and invigorating.

I really miss not having my leafy greens in the dining halls, so every once in a while, it’s nice to splurge on an overpriced salad like this.

I also picked up some Amy’s Split Pea Soup, because who wants anything but liquefied food when it feels like your throat is being shredded from the inside out? Even my raw salad was a bit hard to get down.

Anddd, more garlic and ginger. I’ve been taking garlic in the form of minced raw cloves for its antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial properties, and making lots of fresh ginger tea for its anti-inflammatory properties. Wow, can you tell I worked for Dr. Weil much? I’ve also been drinking more than my fair share of coconut water (vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes!) and hot water with lemon.

Finally, I couldn’t resist buying a kabocha squash at the health food store. Besides soup, roasted squash has to be the perfect sick day food. Comforting, warm, and filling, but still light and easy to digest.

I sliced it up, slathered it in coconut oil, sprinkled it with sea salt, and popped it into a 400 F oven for exactly 40 minutes. It came out perfectly.

And yeah, the only thing better than roasted vegetables is roasted vegetables with hummus! (Well, peanut butter is better than everything, but that’s besides the point).

I just puréed some chickpeas, garlic, olive oil, lemon, cumin, sea salt, and a splash of water in my Magic Bullet, and voilà! Fresh hummus! (I stopped eating the hummus in the dining hall when I found out from my friend who did a “Real Food” assessment of our school for her thesis that its ingredients include a ton of weird additives and modified food starches–blech!)

If you haven’t tried roasted vegetables (especially squash, sweet potatoes, and potatoes) with hummus, you’re seriously missing out. It’s one of those food combinations that I wouldn’t mind living off of. I just love the contrast of the warm, chewy veggies and the cool, creamy hummus. Broccoli and cauliflower also rock with hummus because the florets soak it all up!

The last delicious bite.

More Vegan Brunch: Muffins and Frittata

So I’m still steadily making my way through Vegan Brunch – don’t you worry. First up, Blueberry Ginger Spelt Muffins! Made with half the fat (hello applesauce!) and a little bit of whole wheat flour because I ran out of spelt at 1 3/4 cups…

These muffins had such a nice springy texture and didn’t crumble apart in the slightest. Spelt’s the best, yo. And who can resist those bursting trickles of bluebie juice and little nubs of crystallized ginger peeking out of that muffin top?

I also made the Curried Cauliflower Frittata. This was good, but I didn’t loveee it.

I added an extra carrot because adding extra veggies is always better, but besides that, didn’t make any changes!

Here it is after inverting it. I kind of liked the first way better though…maybe I just don’t know what a frittata is supposed to look like?…

I definitely thought it needed a bit more salt, and the curry flavor was a little bit strong (to be fair though, Isa does warn that you might want to decrease the curry powder). The worst part of it was that I started making it with my friend Jo, but she had to leave halfway through and never got any. Sorry, Jo. Good thing it wasn’t amazing, or I would have felt really bad!

So, this post isn’t just brunch! I have a cookie recipe too. I made some significant changes to an old recipe I had lying around. I made these for a democratic event that my mom was volunteering for, hence the picture after the recipe. These cookies are delightfully chewy with a crisp exterior, and the lemon-cranberry-almond pairing – er, tripling? – is to die for! The banana flavor is subtle, but there. Enjoy.

Oatmeal-Lemon-Cranberry-Almond Bundle Cookies
(Adapted/healthified from my school’s coffee house’s recipe)
Makes two to three dozen

3 cups rolled oats
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
zest of one lemon
1 cup sugar
2 bananas
1/4 cup Earth Balance
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup roasted almond slivers

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix the oats, flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and set aside. In an electric mixer, combine the sugar, banana, EB, lemon juice, and lemon zest and mix well. Gradually add the dry ingredients, finishing with the cranberries and almonds. Form cookies into small balls and slightly flatten on a lightly greased baking tray (they won’t spread much at all). Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the tops turn golden brown (they’ll firm up a lot on the tray, so don’t overbake them!)

Ginger-Miso Yam Wraps and Giveaway Winners

Yes, I said winners, plural! I decided I’d give away two boxes of Weil bars given that they’re in anything but short supply around here. The winners are Ruby Red Vegan and aTxVegn. I don’t know how to do the screenshot of the random number generator, so please just believe me! Respectively, their ideal bar flavors were fig/almond and tart cherry/coconut. Simple, but delicious combos, if you ask me!

Oh, and did I say there were two winners? Because there are actually three! Surprise! I decided to pick the final winner based on whose ideal bar most piqued my interest – and my appetite! The best idea for a bar flavor award goes to Pistachio and Cardamom, who in keeping with their name, came up with “pistachio cinnamon fig with white chocolate chips!” I just might have to make that sometime…

Congratulations, guys! As it turns out, you can have any of the five flavors (Goji Moji, Chia-Razz, Banana Manna, Chocolada Walnut, or Pistachi-Oh!) of the Weil bars, so please leave me a comment with your email address so we can connect!

For my post-run breakfast today I had the only thing more refreshing than watermelon: frozen watermelon! Seriously, pop some watermelon chunks in the freezer for 45 min to an hour, and you’re golden (don’t put them in overnight – or if you do, thaw them for a while before eating – or they’ll break your teeth!)

Okay, so I know you all want to see another way to eat God’s gift to earth that is the sweet potato! When I saw the recipe for Ginger-Miso Yam Wraps in the September issue (September already?! Jesus…) of the Vegetarian Times, I knew I had to make it. I mean, sweet potatoes mashed with peanut butter, miso, ginger, edamame, cilantro, and tofu, all wrapped in a deliciously fresh collard green leaf? Um, hello!

Okay, they look like something my dog threw up, but they tasted even better than I’d imagined–the perfect combo of sweet, salt, and even spicy, thanks to the ginger and cayenne. Plus, they were perfect for a light summer meal.

Also, last night I helped my sister and her friends make a berry pie with blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries, using the Oil Crust recipe from The Voluptuous Vegan. I promised I’d blog it for them, so here you go!

I bought ingredients for yet another sweet potato dish for this week!…

The Love Bowl Is a Little Old Place Where…

…We can eat together!

For dinner two nights ago, I constructed the Love Bowl from You Won’t Believe It’s Vegan! I say constructed because there were so many flippin’ elements to this dish! It was layer upon layer upon layer…of delicious whole food goodness that was totally and completely worth it.

Baked tofu, black beans, and garlic sauteed kale, served over a fluffy bed of yellow and red quinoa, drenched in a gingery peanut sauce, and topped with chopped scallions and toasted black sesame seeds. Does life get any better?

The recipe called for brown rice, but I was feeling quinoa that day. You can also opt to use marinated tempeh or mushroom gravy in place of the baked tofu or peanut sauce, but I’m glad I went the way I did. This love bowl was so easy, healthy, and fun to eat–I, well, loved it. Another thing I like about this kind of dish is that it’s super versatile. You could make it any time without a recipe at all. Just choose your grain, vegetable, legume, prepped tofu/tempeh (or even sweet potatoes or squash!), and your special sauce, and your good to go. makes convenient leftovers too. Here’s a post from Diet, Dessert, and Dogs that I found that speaks to this concept, along with some great recipes!

Also, I don’t know if any of you remember this post, but, post-birthday, I own a lot of those things thanks to my generous parentals! E.g. the peanut butter stirrer, which I used to make the peanut sauce for the love bowl.

It’s a great tool! Just screw it on, and you’re good to crank. And, as if it could get any better, When you’re done and you pull the metal crank out of the lid, a little suction cup where the hole is sucks off all the PB so you don’t have to clean the crank!

And here’s a cool new ingredient (for me, at least) that I used in the sauce: pickled ginger with shiso leaves. ¡Qué Exótico!

I’m gonna give you guys the recipe for this sauce because I think I changed it enough (by lessening the PB and adding soy yogurt) that I can justify it. Here’s a slightly less fattening, less overly salty version (not that you need to worry about that with a dish this healthy…):

Gingery Peanut Sauce

3/4 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup plain soy yogurt (I used Silk)
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup tamari
1 (2.1-ounce) package Eden Pickled Ginger with Shiso, with liquid, leaves removed

Combine all ingredients in food processor, and drench your bowl of love with said mixture until fully saturated. :)

Makes about 3 cups.

Finally, a bonus pic of one of a simple, but favorite, dish at Pita Jungle (our family’s collective favorite restaurant in Tempe): the Macro Platter: Mixed beans, brown rice, fresh steamed vegetables, (spicy) tofu and a whole-wheat pita.

Never gets old.