Sunday, July 20, 2014

Ciabatta Pizza

Take one ciabatta loaf sliced down the center. Add water packed or frozen/thawed artichoke hearts, roasted red pepper strips, and Daiya cheese to one side.  Spread basil,pesto on the other side.  Bake at 350° until crispy. Nosh. 

The basil pesto was relatively easy, if not messy. I got the recipe here and substituted a few pinches of Daiya for Parmesan. Be careful not to add too much, Daiya melts well and can make your pesto rubbery. If pine nuts are bothersome, substitute with dry roasted cashews or slivered almonds. You could also try italian parsley and pumpkin seeds. 

Serves 8-12
Happy eating.  

Monday, July 7, 2014

IC Friendly Sunday Breakfast

Sunday breakfast can be daunting for vegan IC folks since soy is such a huge presence in veg comfort food. I have come up with a nice alternative to bran flakes and almond milk :D

Frozen hash brown patties are rad. The microwave thaw in about a minute and fry up well in a little canola oil. For low fat diets, toast them until golden brown. Also, they lack the seasonings and onion bits that are found in tater tots. And FYI, sweet potato tots always turn to mush. If you prefer sweet potatoes, slice and roast them in the oven. 

Greens are good for you. Pick greens you can tolerate, or use a pre-washed blend you know you can enjoy. Place a handful on a plate covered in a slice of Daiya cheddar and nuke for a minute or so. 

Those tasty sausages on my plate are Field Roast Apple Maple Breakfast Sausages.  They are made of gluten and have significantly less bothersome ingredients. If you need to double check the ingredients, they are listed here.  If you find that these are unsuitable for your diet, substitute with plain seitan or season gluten with apple, maple, and sage. 

Add fresh fruit, Teeccino, and a probiotic shot (I like Good Belly Straight Shot) to round out your morning. 

Happy eating :)

Monday, June 30, 2014

Pasta alla Funghi--IC Friendly

1 lb of your favorite pasta
2-3 boxes of sliced mushrooms
1 large bunch of parsley, chopped
2-4 large cloves of garlic
Daiya Mozzarella shreds
Beyond Meat Beefy Crumbles (about half a bag)
Olive oil

in one pot, boil the pasta until al dente.  In a large saute pan, sweat the mushrooms until they're dry-ish, then, add olive oil to fry them.  Add the garlic until you start to smell the aroma, then add the pasta.  When everything is cooked, add the parsley, Beyond Meat, and cheese.  Go easy on the cheese because it tends to make the pasta ball up in huge clumps.  

Serves 8-16, depending on your starch allowance.

A note for IC people, the garlic and parsley are very soothing when feeling irritated.  And even though they are soy free, check the Daiya/Beyond Meat labels for bothersome ingredients.  

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Frozen Kale

At the beginning of my week, I have a nice selection of fresh fruits and vegetable to use in my meal planning and preparation.  I'm learning which ingredients last longer, which freeze well, and which ones to buy the morning before I make a specific dish.  One thing that has helped me to make healthier food in a convenient way is to use prepared food items.  These prepared foods are not necessarily processed, they may be pre-cooked or pre-washed and cut.  Buying ready to eat quinoa and shredded carrots/cabbage at +Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market has brought so much joy to my life.  I love my mandolin, but I'm also scared to use it more than I have to.  Frozen food is another great way to save time.  I wanted some greens for the end of my week so I bought frozen kale, spinach and butternut squash cubes.  I mixed those with some other ingredients I had in my kitchen and came up with a pot of soup and a pan of stir fry.  I portioned them into reusable containers and now I have meals for the week and meals in the freezer saved for later.

A note for IC people, always check labels for problem ingredients like the soy sauce in Upton's Naturals or my use of ginger.  Substitute with other ingredients like chopped garlic or unseasoned seitan/wheat meat.

Kale Quinoa Stir Fry

2 boxes of pre-cooked quinoa (3-4 C)
3/4 bag of frozen kale (2-3 C)
1/2 bag of frozen spinach (2-3 C)
1-2 C shredded carrots (and/ or red cabbage, green cabbage, bell peppers. anything you enjoy)
1 box of +Upton's Naturals Traditional Seitan
Sesame oil to taste
1 Tb olive oil
2 Tb molasses
2-4 Tb crushed ginger
Salt and pepper

Cook the seitan in the olive oil until browned and crispy.  You may need to cut the pieces into smaller bites.  Add your carrots (and other fresh veggies) and cook until they begin to caramelize.  Add the ginger, molasses, and sesame oil and stir, immediately adding the kale and spinach to keep the sauce from burning.  The water from the frozen veggies will help to deglaze your pan.  When everything is cooked through, add the quinoa and mix well.  Season to taste.

Serves 6-8, keeps well in the fridge for the week.

Cream of Butternut Squash Soup

1 bag of frozen cubed butternut squash
1 C frozen kale
1 C frozen spinach
2-4 C water
2-3 C plain unsweetened almond milk
1/4-1/2 C whole wheat pastry flour
2 Tb Earth Balance Soy Free Buttery Spread
2 Tb olive oil
Herbs and spices (I used sage and marjoram)
Salt and pepper

Cook the butternut squash and olive oil in a soup pot.  When the squash becomes soft, add the butter.
When the butter melts, add the flour and stir to make a roux.  Add the herbs and spices, and almond milk.  When the milk begins to boil, reduce heat and hit it with a stick blender to make it creamy.  Bring back to a boil and add the water.  When the soup boils again, add the frozen greens.  Simmer until it reaches the consistency you want, season before serving. You can also thicken it with bread crumbs or Daiya Mozzarella Shreds.  This sounds like a lot of work, but it only took 15 minutes from start to finish.

Serves 6-8 (or 4 if you have giant chowder bowls :D), freezes well. 

Monday, May 26, 2014

IC Friendly Noodle Salad

1 large head of Napa, sliced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 cucumber, chopped
2 C shredded carrots

2 Tb molasses
2 Tb sesame oil
1/4-1/2 C water

3 bundles of soba, cooked, rinsed, salted, and chilled

First, cook the noodles according to the package, season and set them aside.  Next, add the sauce ingredients together in a bowl and microwave for about 5-15 seconds to make the molasses easier to whisk into a dressing.  Put all the chopped veggies into a huge mixing bowl and toss in the sauce.  Add the noodles being careful to separate then as you toss, they will want to clump together.  Chill and serve.  

Some other ingredients that work well in this:  sesame seeds, sliced almonds, cashews, peanuts, celery, broccoli and water chestnuts.  You could also add tangerine zest to the sauce if you know you can tolerate it.  If you don't like the napa ribs, cut them out and save them for stir fry or veggie broth.  

Serves 8, keeps crisp for about 2 days. 

IC Friendly Enchiladas

1 package of corn tortillas
2-4 zucchini, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 box of sliced mushrooms
1 bag of shredded green cabbage (about 3 C)
2 cloves of minced garlic
1 can of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1-2 cans sliced black olives
1 bag of Daiya Mozzarella Shreds
Dried parsley
1 pint plain unsweetened almond milk
whole wheat pastry flour
Olive oil

First the filling!!  Sweat the mushrooms, then add the zucchini.  When they're almost dry, add a Tb or 2 of olive oil.  Add the bell pepper and garlic.  Add cabbage, beans, olives, parsley, salt and pepper, and remove from heat.  

Preheat your oven to 350°.  Coat a large casserole dish with olive oil.  

Now the roux!!  In a sauce pot, warm 1-2 Tb olive oil  and add 1/4-1/2 C pastry flour to make a roux.  When it's ready, add the pint of almond milk.  Carefully bring to a boil, reduce to medium heat, and add half the cheese shreds to make cheese sauce, then remove from heat.

Tortilla time!!  Lay about 6 tortillas on the bottom of the casserole dish.  Top with about half of the cheese sauce, then add 3/4 of the filling.  Stack 6 more tortillas on top for the top, add the rest of the cheese sauce and filling.  Add the remaining cheese shreds over the casserole, and moisten the exposed tortilla edges with water.

Bake for 30 minutes, serves 6-10, slice when hot, serve when cooled for 5-15 minutes.  

You can make the filling and roll each tortilla up to bake, but making them casserole style increases the proportion of veggies to starch.  Also, add any filling you like:  corn, squash, more beans, no beans, puree red bell peppers to make sauce, used cheddar, whatever makes you hungry.

Broccoli Chowder

1 head or bag of broccoli, chopped into small pieces
1-2 C of shredded carrots
2 cloves of minced garlic
1 bunch of chopped parsley
Olive oil
1-2 Tb Margarine
1 pint plain unsweetened almond milk
1/4-1 C whole wheat pastry flour
1-2 pints water
Herbs of choice

In a sauce pot, make a roux with the margarine and flour.  When the roux is ready, add 1 C of the almond milk to make a bechamel like sauce.  bring to a boil, then reduce to warm.  In your soup pot, cook the veggies olive oil to taste, maybe 1 to 2 Tb.  Add the garlic after the veggies are cooked then add the remaining almond milk and water.  When everything comes to a boil, add the bechamel.  Watch your pot, it may boil over.  Season before serving.

Your soup will be only as thick as the amount of flour you used to make the roux.  1/4 C will make it thin and 1 C will make it chunky.  If you make it too thick, you can always add more water.  If it's not thick enough, you could add leftover mashed potatoes or make more roux. 

Serve with saltine, oyster cracker, wheat toast, and top with non-dairy cheese.