Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Thai Coconut Vegetable Soup

I had a hankerin' for some Thai food tonight. Unfortunately, I live in a small town with one small (and inedible) Thai restaurant. In the past, I haven't been super impressed with any DIY Thai recipes, but this one is a winner winner vegan dinner!

2 T. canola oil
1 onion
1 bell pepper
2 carrots
1 sweet potato
6 oz. mushrooms
1 1/2 c. vegetable broth
1 can lite coconut milk
1 T. fresh ginger, grated
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. red curry paste
1 t. coriander
1 t. kosher salt
8 oz. firm organic tofu, cubed
1 small zucchini
1 c. frozen peas
1 T. lime juice
Cilantro or Thai Basil
Green onions

1. Wash, peel & dice all your veggies. This goes fast, so you want to have everything ready before you start.
2. In a large pot, saute onion, bell pepper, carrot & sweet potato in oil until not quite tender.
3. Add mushrooms, broth, coconut milk, ginger, garlic, curry paste, coriander & salt. Bring to a boil.
4. Stir in tofu & zucchini. Cook for a few minutes until tofu is heated through.
5. Turn off heat and stir in peas & lime juice. Garnish with cilantro/basil and green onions. Serve with steamed jasmine rice.

Vegan Blueberry Muffins

Do you know one thing I love about cooking/baking? That you can change/adapt/alter recipes and call it your own. A little time and a few ingredients and you can create something healthy, delicious and wholesome for your family and friends. This recipe has been changed multiple times to come to this healthy & tasty vegan state. I plan on taking it to a family function on Sunday. We'll see what the fam thinks about my "hippy dippy vegan food." ;)

1/4 c. ground flax seed
1 3/4 c. whole wheat pastry flour (or 1 c. whole wheat & 3/4 c. all purpose)
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. salt
1 c. almond milk
1 T. apple cider vinegar
1/2 c. maple syrup
1 t. vanilla extract
1 t. almond extract
1/4 c. vegetable or coconut oil
2 t. orange zest
1 1/2 c. fresh blueberries
Sugar for sprinkling on top (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.
2. Whisk together the wet ingredients: almond milk, vinegar, maple syrup, extracts, oil & zest.
3. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flax seed, flour, baking powder, soda, cinnamon & salt.
4. Stir together wet & dry ingredients until just combined. Do not overmix!
5. Gently fold in the blueberries. **Use fresh, not frozen or your muffins will be soggy.**
6. Fill muffin tin and sprinkle with sugar if desired. Bake for 20 minutes.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Crisp Summer Salad

Words cannot express my love for this salad. Wow, just wow. I only added a couple more veggies than the original recipe called for and slightly tweeked the dressing. The hubby and I both devoured it for lunch today. In fact, it was so tasty, it's on the menu again for tomorrow! I'm seriously craving it again right now!

2 roma tomatoes
1/2 english cucumber
2 carrots
1 bell pepper
1/4 small red onion
1 large avocado
1 c. cooked chickpeas

2 t. whole grain mustard
1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
1 T. maple syrup
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 t. parsley
1/4 t. oregano
1/4 t. basil
Salt & Pepper

Monday, May 28, 2012

Vegan Oatmeal Bananadoodles

I made this batch of vegan bananadoodles for Ty's preschool graduation last week. It's from a new food blog that I stumbled upon (a Korean American girl who is hilarious). The girl who writes the blog has a son with food allergies, so she cooks vegan foods to accommodate him. The original recipe for the cookies was delicious, but not exactly "healthy." So I took it upon myself to improve/healthify an already delicious cookie. Guess what? The modified recipe is even better than the original, and that's saying a lot. It's dairy free, egg free, and gluten free. Each member of my family have already eaten several cookies today alone. It's a keeper for sure!

2 bananas, mashed
1 T. vanilla
1 T. molasses
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
1/4 c. coconut oil
1/4 t. salt
3+ c. oat flour
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda

1/4 c. sugar
1 t. cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix wet ingredients together.
3. Add dry ingredients. You may need to add more oat flour. The dough will be very sticky but should hold together loosely.
4. Roll spoonfuls of dough in cinnamon sugar and place on a cookie sheet. Flatten slightly with the palm of your hand.
5. Bake for 15 minutes.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Banana Bread Oatmeal

This is seriously my favorite breakfast right now. I've eaten it almost everyday for the past week (no, I'm not pregnant). It tastes just like banana bread, yum! Plus, it's vegan (you know I'm on a vegan kick right now). I prefer my oats raw, but if you like, you can cook them.

1 banana
1/4 t. vanilla
1/2 t. cinnamon
1 T. ground flax seed
1/2 c. rolled oats
Handful of chopped walnuts

1/4 c. almond milk

1. In a bowl, mash your banana with the vanilla and cinnamon.
2. Mix in the flax seed, oats & walnuts.
3. Pour in the almond milk and enjoy!

Portobello Pizza

Have you heard of Bodyrock? Mostly, it's a website that has a lot of high intensity kick your butt workouts. At least, they kick mine. But sometimes they post awesome (and healthy) recipes. These portobello pizzas were wonderful! I love healthy foods that tastes like your favorite non-healthy treats!

1 T. olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced

4 tomatoes, diced
1 t. basil
1 t. parsley
1/4 t. red pepper flakes
4 portobello mushrooms
Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Saute onion & bell pepper in oil until tender.
3. Add garlic & cook until fragrant. Stir in tomatoes, basil, parsley & pepper flakes. Cook until just heated through (you don't want mushy tomatoes).
4. Clean your mushrooms & take out the stem. Place them bottom side up on a cookie sheet and fill each mushroom with the tomato mixture.
5. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and bake for 12 minutes.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Vegan Enchiladas

I have a new favorite food blog. It's called Oh She Glows. A wonderful source for yummy vegan recipes. These enchiladas were only slightly adapted (which is huge for me people) from her original recipe. I've also included my favorite recipe for enchilada sauce (it would make a tire taste good!). Top it with my Light Guacamole (substitute soy yogurt for regular to make it vegan), and I'm telling you, you will not miss the meat or cheese!

1 T. olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. black pepper
1/2 t. garlic powder
3 T. chili powder
1 T. cumin
1 T. agave
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1 c. water

1 bell pepper, diced
2 cans black beans, drained & rinsed
1 sweet potato, par boiled, peeled and diced
1 zucchini, diced
2 handfuls of spinach, chopped
3 handfuls of cherry tomatoes, halved
Juice of 1 lime
3 green onions, chopped (for garnish)

1. Make the enchilada sauce first. Saute onion in olive oil until tender. Add garlic & spices and cook for 30 seconds. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 5 minutes.
2. Remove 1/2 c. of sauce to top enchiladas with.
3. Add bell pepper & beans. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
4. Next add sweet potato & zucchini. Cook for 3-4 more minutes.
5. Lastly, add spinach & cherry tomatoes. Cook for a minute more. Turn off heat & add lime juice.
6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
7. Grease a large casserole dish and start assembling your enchiladas. Place a little less than 1 cup of filling into each tortilla, roll & place seam side down. Pour reserved sauce on top and bake, covered with foil, for 20 minutes.
 8. Top with guacamole & green onion. Serve with lettuce, tomato, salsa & cilantro.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Easy Vegan Pancakes

I watched Forks Over Knives this week, and it seriously has me considering going vegan. Over the past year, I've changed a lot about what my family eats. We eat little to no meat, as many organic products as I can find, and we seldom eat out. The change has been a slow one, and if you would have asked me last year if I could go vegetarian, I would have said no! So how is it that I can easily see myself becoming vegan now? If you've seen the movie, you'll understand. And if you haven't seen the movie, you should. I really do believe that there is a strong correlation between our diet and our ability to avoid major illnesses (heart disease, diabetes, cancer, etc.). I want my family to live long, healthy lives. My husband had cancer when we were engaged, and currently has elevated cholesterol & blood pressure (even with the healthier diet he's adopted). So at least for us, I think this is really the next step in becoming as healthy as we can.

I've had a hard time finding easy vegan breakfast recipes. By easy I mean, containing ingredients that I already have and don't have to search in the far depths of the health food store to find. These pancakes, that I've adapted from Kirsten's Kitchen, are just as tasty and fluffy as our favorite non-vegan pancakes. Definitely an easy switch to make. I used a combination of flours and substituted almond milk for rice milk (in my opinion, rice milk makes for weird/soggy pancakes), and used agave instead of sugar. I love to mix in fresh fruit (bananas, blueberries, or blackberries are our fav) and serve with pure maple syrup.

2 1/2 c. flour (whole wheat, oat, all-purpose, whatever you want!)
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
2 T. agave
Pinch of salt
2 c. almond milk
2 T. coconut oil (sunflower or grapeseed work great too)
2 t. apple cider vinegar

1. In a large bowl combine almond milk, oil, vinegar, agave & salt. Whisk to combine.
2. Add the flour, baking powder & baking soda. Whisk until just combined.
3. Spray a hot griddle or pan and cook on medium heat until golden brown.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Quick Tofu Veggie Stir Fry

1/3 c. peanut sauce
1/3 c. teriyaki sauce
1 inch ginger, peeled & grated
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. lemongrass, minced
1 T. green curry paste
1 carton of extra firm tofu, cubed
Veggies (I used the following)
Bell Pepper
Green onion

1. Wash & chop all your veggies before you start. It goes fast!
2. Combine the ingredients for the sauce: peanut sauce, teriyaki sauce, ginger, garlic, lemongrass & curry.
3. In a large pan on wok, stir fry the veggies in the order listed. That way you don't end up with overcooked or under-cooked vegetables.
4. Add the tofu & sauce toward the end (with the zucchini). Gently mix in & cover with a lid for a minute or two (to ensure the tofu gets heated all the way through).
5. Serve with brown rice or by itself!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Wild Rice Stuffed Zucchini Boats

My wonderful sister shared this recipe with me last month while I was at her house. It's the only way my husband likes zucchini. It's so good, I could eat it alone for dinner!

4 medium zucchini
1-2 c. cooked wild rice (depends on how much you stuff)
4 slices white cheese (I like Havarti best)
3 T. parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to broil on HIGH.
2. Cut off the ends of the zucchini and slice in half lengthwise. Place cut side down on a large plate/dish and microwave for 5 minutes (until just barely tender but not too cooked).
3. Remove seeds to make "boats." Stuff with wild rice then top with slices of cheese (I use half a slice of cheese for each boat).
4. Sprinkle with parmesan and broil until cheese is melted.

Perfect Wild Rice

Do you ever struggle with cooking wild rice? I do. Especially the brand I get at Costco. Every time I make it, it either turns out too soggy or half-way cooked. What's the deal?? This is very frustrating, especially for an Asian! My sister has also experienced the same problem, and the same frustration. After years (literally years) of experimenting, she came up with the PERFECT wild rice! I made it last night, and it really does turn out beautifully. Here's your wild rice solution so give it a go, and try the stuffed zucchini boats I'm posting next!

1 1/2 c. wild rice blend
3 c. boiling water
2 T. butter
1 T. chicken base or 1/2 t. salt

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Combine all ingredients. Give it a little stir to melt butter and incorporate chicken base.
3. Cover tight (this is important!) with aluminum foil. Bake for 75 minutes.

**Do NOT take off the foil to check or open the oven to check. Just trust me**

Friday, May 4, 2012

Green Citrus Razzle Dazzle

The hubby and I just got done doing a 3-day cleanse. We had the stomach flu last week (sorry, TMI I know!) and just weren't feeling 100%. Fruits and veggies only for 3 days, including a lot of juicing. By the end we felt so good, I seriously think we should eat like this all the time! If you've never tried it, you should. You'll be glad you did!

I found this beauty on Pinterest. Seriously, what did we do before Pinterest? My kiddos loved it so much, we had it twice in one day! It's pretty thick so you may want to add more juice.

1-2 c. juice (pom, acai, mango, whatever as long as it's 100% juice!)
2 giant handfuls of spinach
1 handful of baby carrots
2 oranges
1-2 bananas (depending on size)
1 c. frozen raspberries
Ice (optional)

Blend it all up & thank me later!

3 Ingredient Banana Pancakes

My SIL introduced me to this great health/fitness blogger. She is a fitness instructor and health fanatic. And she posts some awesome recipes. I love these simple, easy pancakes. They are so good you don't even need syrup!

1 banana
2 T. almond butter
1 egg

1. Blend all ingredients and cook on a hot griddle.

Green Protein Smoothie

You know that I love my protein shakes for breakfast, especially in the summer months. They are a great way to get lots of fresh produce and protein in to start your day off right. Plus, they really help me recover after a tough workout (like the 5 am spin class I went to this morning!). I love to add fruits AND veggies, but my family doesn't always love how veggie-ish they taste sometimes. The combo of banana & pineapple hides the massive amounts of spinach so well, you really don't even know it's in there. Well, besides the fact that it's green.

1 scoop vanilla whey protein
1 small box (11 oz) coconut water
1/2 small frozen banana
1 giant handful of spinach
1 c. fresh pineapple

**This makes one serving**

Grilled Veggie Hummus Wraps

I made this for lunch today. Yummy, yummy in my tummy! Definitely going to be a staple recipe around here! And one wrap is under 200 calories. Tell me your lunch was better...

Low Carb Tortillas (I like La Tortilla Factory's Smart & Delicious)
Red Onion
Red Bell Pepper
Hummus (whatever kind floats your boat, my fav is spicy)
Feta Cheese

1. Coat your vegetables in a little olive oil and cook on the grill.
2. Assemble your wraps! First, spread hummus on the tortilla. Then place veggies and a sprinkle of cheese. Roll up and enjoy!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Indian Butternut Cauliflower Soup

I adapted this recipe for this delicious soup. It's my kind of butternut squash soup, savory & not too sweet. And the garam masala gives it an Indian flair. So good I ate two bowls!

1 large head cauliflower, washed & cut into florets
2 T. olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 small butternut squash, peeled & diced
2 small sweet potatoes, peeled & diced
6 c. water or stock (using stock gives it a heartier flavor)
1 t. garam masala
Salt & Pepper

1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
2. Place the cauliflower on the cookie sheet. Drizzle with 1 T. olive oil and season with salt & pepper and a pinch of garam masala. Bake for 20-30 minutes until tender.
3. Meanwhile, in a large pot, saute the onion in the remaining oil until tender. Add garlic & cook 1 minute more.
4. Add squash, sweet potato, liquid & garam masala. Bring to a boil, then simmer until veggies are tender (about 20 min.)
5. Blend the soup until smooth. Chop the cauliflower into smaller pieces and stir into the soup. Season with salt & pepper to taste.