Thursday, August 7, 2014

Tahini Salad Dressing

2 tb to 1/4 C agave or honey
2 tb to 1/4 C olive oil
Up to 3 tb dried herbs 
A few drops to 1/4 tsp lemon oil
1 tb garlic (paste, roasted, chopped)
1/4 to 1/2 C tahini
1/4 to 1/2 C plain unsweetened almond milk
Salt and pepper to taste

Warm the herbs, olive oil, lemon oil, garlic, and agave in the microwave until thin and easy to work with.  Whisk well and add tahini paste. Season with salt and pepper, then add almond milk. Whisk well and store in a bottle or jar in the refrigerator. If you find that your dressing is too thick or too thin, you can add more tahini or almond milk to adjust the consistency.

Notes on tahini:  when you get your jar of tahini, use a spoon to mix the oil and paste back together again. Tahini is much like natural peanut butter and separates like the dickens. To keep it blended, store in the refrigerator after mixing. 

Notes on herbs:  you can use whichever herbs you like. I used tarragon, dill, and parsley in this recipe to keep the flavor light and neutral. You could also use italian herbs, herbes de Provence, or dried garlic chives. You could also add ginger and sesame oil to make a more asian inspired dressing.  

Monday, August 4, 2014

Chik'n Soup

1-2 C frozen peas
1-2 C frozen corn
1-2 C frozen cut green beans
1 bunch celery chopped
1-2 C shredded or diced carrots
1-2 boxes sliced mushrooms
1 bunch parsley chopped
1/2 C pasta stars or alphabets
1 package chicken style seitan (White Wave or Upton Naturals work well)
2 tb turmeric
Dried parsley
Dried tarragon
Dried thyme
Chopped garlic
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

Sweat the mushrooms until soft, add a few tb of olive oil and add the celery and carrots. When the veggies begin to caramelize, add the seitan and herbs/garlic/spices. Stir and cook until the herbs start to release their aroma, then add the pasta and frozen veggies. When the veggies start to defrost, fill your soup pot with water (no more than two inches over the veggie mixture) and simmer covered until the pasta is tender. Season and serve with saltines or toasted bread. 

If you like your soup thick and hearty, you can add a roux to the broth. It does not keep for more than two days in the refrigerator (the pasta breaks down) but it freezes well enough to make a whole pot. The turmeric may stain your pit and dish mop, but soaking in sudsy water helps. 

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.