Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Dinner March 31st Udon Noodles and Asparagus

I love Udon noodles. Comfort food.
Tonight I stir fried onion and green cabbage added the cooked udon noodles. I spiced it with cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. For the side I fried asparagus with oil and garlic. Crispy and so good. Tonights dinner is about 250 - 300 calories.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Spaghetti and Beanballs

serves 4

4 cups Marinara Sauce
1/2 pound whole wheat spaghetti (I used rice spaghetti)

1 (20oz) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons steak sauce or tomato paste
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, grated or minced finely
1/4 tsp grated lemon zest
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
1/4 cup wheat gluten
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried thyme

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees

Prepare the bean ball mixture:
Mash the kidney beans in a mixing bowl until no whole beans are left. You don't want them to be completely smooth, you should still be able to recognize that they are kidney beans. Add the soy sauce, steak sauce, 2 tablespoons olive oil, garlic, lemon, crumbs, gluten, and herbs, and use a fork to mix everything together. Use your hands to knead the mixture for about a minute, until everything is really well combined and firm.
Roll the bean mixture into walnut size balls. Don't make them too big.

Cook the pasta according to the package directions.

To bake the beanballs:
Grease a rimmed baking sheet with olive oil. Place the balls on the sheet and then drizzle them with a little more oil to coat. Bake for about 15 minutes, until lightly browned on the bottom, then flip them and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove them from the oven and pour about 1/3 cup of your marinara sauce onto them, flipping them around to coat. Bake for an additional 5 minutes.
To Assemble:
Drain your spaghetti and put it back in the pot. Pour your remaining marinara sauce over the pasta and mix. Use a pasta spoon to transer the spaghetti to plates, then top with three or four beanballs and their sauce.

NOTE: This is a good recipe but next time I would add spinach to the marinara sauce.

Banana-nut Waffles...Sunday's Breakfast

Makes 14-16 waffles
1 1/4 cups soy milk
1/4 cup water
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 average size bananas
3 tbsp canola oil
3 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (I used spelt flour)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 cup walnuts, chopped finely
Preheat your waffle iron. Pour the soy milk, water, and vinegar into a measuring cup and set aside to curdle.
Mash the bananas very well in a large mixing bowl. Add the soy milk mixture, oil, syrup, and vanilla, and stir.
Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. Use a fork to combine. Don't over mix, just mix until there are minimal lumps left. Fold in the chopped walnuts.
Oil your waffle iron and cook the waffles according to the manufacturer's directions. Serve with sliced strawberries and bananas and plenty of maple syrup.

Sunday Soup

I get up early on Sunday mornings and it is the day I go through my vegetable crisper. All the veggies that I think I should use up I throw in a pot and make soup. Today I used onion, garlic, zucchini, thai chile pepper, kale, butternut squash, carrot, green cabbage and a bit of ginger. I pour in vegetable broth or if I don't have any I then use water. I might add a few drops of shoyu for flavour and maybe some black pepper. Every soup tastes different but so good especially on a rainy day.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Butternut Squash and Pumpkin Seed Rice Paper Rolls - Dinner March 27

1 pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/4 inch cubes
2 - 3 tsp olive oil
12 round rice paper wrappers
4 oz vermicelli rice noodles or rice sticks
1 cup fresh cilantro, torn into bite sized pieces
1/3 cup roasted, salted pumpkin seeds, chopped coarsely
Dipping Sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp Asian Hot Chile oil
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
2 tbsp sucanat
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the butternut cubes on a baking sheet and rub them all over with the oil; drizzle on another tsp if you need to. Arrange the cubes in a single layer and roast for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, toss and cook for 10 more minutes or until tender and slightly caramelized. Transfer the squash to a plate to cool.
While the squash is cooking, prepare the noodles according to directions on the package. Drain in a colander and run cold water over them to prevent further cooking. Set aside.
Fill a large pie plate or bowl with very warm water. Place two rice paper wrappers in the water at a time, completely submerged and let sit for about a minute, until they have softened.
Handle each wrapper gently as you place it on your work surface (I placed them on top of a wet clean teatowel). Place about 1/4 cup of rice noodles in the lower third of the wrapper, leaving about 1 1/2 inches of margin from the far edges on either side. Place a layer of butternut squash above the noodles. Sprinkle with the cilantro and pumpkin seeds. To roll, snugly fold the left and right sides of the wrapper over the filling. Lift the bottom of the wrapper over the filling and tuck it underneath the filling, then roll firmly but gently. Place the rolls seam side down on a plate and cut in half when ready to serve. Mix the dipping sauce ingredients together and stir rigorously to dissolve the sucanat. I also served it with my almond butter sauce.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Samosa Stuffed Baked Potatoes (my dinner tonight)

4 Large Russet potatoes, scrubbed, baked, and cooked
1/4 cup soy milk
3 tbsp peanut oil
1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds, crushed
1 small yellow onion, cut into small dice
1 medium carrot, cut into small dice
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup frozen peas
juice of 1/2 lemon

Slice the cooked baked potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out the insides, leaving about 1/4 inch of potato in the palm of your non writing hand and use a teaspoon to scoop the potato into a bowl. Mash the potatoes up with the soy and set aside the skins.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees .
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the mustard and coriander seeds. The mustard seeds should begin to pop. Let the seeds pop for about a minute. Add the onions and carrots, and saute for 7 minutes.
Add the garlic and ginger, and saute for a minute more. Add the cumin, turmeric, and salt with a splash of water, stir well, then add the potatoes, mixing everything well. Add a little extra water if it looks too dry. Cook until the potatoes are heated through, then add the peas and cook until those are heated through. Add the lemon juice to taste and stir to incorporate.
Scoop the filling into the skin, pressing gently to hold the filling in place.
Bake for 20 minutes. Garnish with cilantro.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

WOW Steph's Home Coming Dinner

My daughter came home today after spending a week at Disneyland. Being a vegan she found it very hard to find food. Everything is dairy or meat and usually deep fried. Even the pretzels were buttered. We came home at 630pm and ate at about 7pm. This is a quick recipe. It is comfort food and the best thing I have ever eaten. So great. I had rice so served it on rice but if I make this recipe again I would serve over mashed potatoes.
1 cup cooked chickpeas
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup vegetable broth
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp sage
olive oil for panfrying
In a mixing bowl, mash the chickpeas together with the oil until no whole chickpeas are left. Add the remaining ingredients and knead for about 3 minutes until strings of gluten have formed.
Preheat a large skillet over medium heat. Meanwhile, divide the cutlet dough into four equal pieces. Form cutlet by kneading each piece in your hand for a few moments and then flatten and stretch each one into a cutlet.
Add oil to pan and place the cutlets in and cook on each side for 6 minutes. They are ready when browned and firm to the touch.
I served the cutlets with Mushroom Gravy
Mushroom Gravy
2 cups vegetable broth
1/3 cup flour
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
4 cups thinly sliced cremini mushrooms
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp sage
1/4 tsp salt
black pepper
1/4 cup white wine
Mix the flour into the vegetable broth until dissolved and set aside.
Preheat a large skillet over medium heat.
Saute the onion in the oil for about 5 minutes, until translucent. Add the mushrooms and saute for 5 more minutes, until mushrooms are tender.
Add the garlic, thyme, sage, salt and pepper. Saute for another minute. Add the wine and turn up the heat. Cook for a minute. Turn the heat back to medium and add the flour mixture. Stir constantly until thickened, about 5 minutes.

My Lunch

I went to my favourite Sushi place in Vancouver on West 4th today. I had a Kanpyo Roll and a Spiced Tofu Roll. The Kanpyo roll was really good. Enjoyed with a cup of japanese tea. Very nice.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Roasted Sunflower Seeds

Buy raw sunflower seeds. Roast in a fry pan over medium heat. Stir frequently. When the seeds start to pop they are done. Mix with a few drops of shoyu sauce (organic soy sauce) cool then add to salads, oatmeal or just eat. mmmmm.

March 22nd - Dinner

Started with onions and mushrooms, added zuchini and thai chile peppers mmmm. Then added chopped tomatoes. Cooked for a bit and then added rice and black beans and spices. Only 250ish calories. Enjoyed with a glass of red wine of course :)

Snobby Joes

1 cup uncooked lentils
4 cups water
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp chile powder
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
1 (8oz) can tomato sauce
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 - 3 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp yellow prepared mustard
4 - 6 kaiser rolls or sesame buns, sliced in half

Pour the lentils and water into a small saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil. Once the mixture is boiling lower the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the lentils are soft. Drain and set aside.
About 10 minutes before lentils are done, preheat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Saute the onion and pepper in the oil for about 7 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and saute for a minute more.
Stir in the cooked lentils, chile powder, oregano, and salt. Add the maple syrup to taste and the mustard, and heat through.
Turn off the heat and let the pot sit for about 10 minutes, so that the flavours can meld, or go ahead and eat immediately if you can't wait. Serve these open faced, a scoop of Snobby Joe on each slice of bun.

Kale Chips

This recipe is dedicated to my Dutch friends. Not the normal way they eat kale.
But try them so so so good.

2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp sea salt
1 bunch of curly Kale washed, dried, de-stemmed and torn into 2 inch pieces
2 tsp nutritional yeast flakes

Preheat oven to 35o degrees

Mix oil, vinegar, salt in bowl. Toss in kale until well coated.
Put kale on baking sheet and sprinkle with yeast.
Bake for about 15 minutes BUT you need to toss frequently.
It can burn easily. When the chips are crispy remove from oven and enjoy!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Dining Out

It is hard trying to find Vegan meals at restaurants. Vegetarian choices almost always have cheese and lots of it.  I went to the Watermark restaurant at Kits Beach today for lunch. The weather was beautiful and you can't beat the view. We could see Kits Beach, North & West Van, Stanley Park and UBC. I emailed Watermark a few days before and asked if they served any vegan dishes. They said that they would accomodate me. I picked a meal with beans, olives, and baby potatoes on greens. (It was suppose to come with Ahi Tuna). It was great. I took a picture but it didn't work. The service was great.
Most places if you let them know ahead of time will try really hard to please their customers.

Creamy Thai Dip

¼ cup creamy almond butter
¼ cup sucanat sugar
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

Combine all ingredients; mix well. Makes ¾ cup.

Variation: For "Oriental Dip," omit peanut butter.

My Breakfast

Serves 1

On high heat boil 2/3 cup water. When it boils turn down the temperature to low. Add 1/3 cup oatmeal, chopped apple, and ground cinnamon. Cook for 4 minutes. Pour into serving bowl. Add 1 tbsp roasted sunflower seeds, 2 tbsps hemp hearts, 1 tsp maple syrup and a splash of almond milk. Stir and enjoy. YUMMY

There are 15g of protein in just the hemp hearts and oatmeal!!!

Fried Udon Noodles

Serves 2
1 (8 oz) jpackage udon noodles
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups sliced green cabbage
1 cup onion slices
2 tsp finely chopped garlic
3/4 tsp fine sea salt
3/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 1/2 tbsp sweet paprika
Chopped parsley for garnish

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the udon noodles and cook just until al dente; drain and keep warm.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the cabbage and cook, stirring occasionally, until very tender, about 15 minutes. Add a tablespoon or so of water to the pan if the cabbage begins to stick or burn.

Heat the remaining 1 tbsp oil over medium heat in a separate pan. Add the onions, garlic, salt, pepper, and paprika and cook until the onions are translucent, again adding water if the onions stick. Add the onions to the skillet with the cabbage and stir to combine. Add the drained noodles and toss together until heated through. Sprinkle with parsley and serve hot.

Quinoa with Basil and Pine Nuts (I love this one!)

Serves 2
1 cup quinoa
pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup pine nuts
1 tbsp olive oil
1 generous handful fresh basil leaves, chopped

Place quinoa in a strainer and rinse well. Combine the quinoa with 2 cups water and the salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.

While the quinoa cooks, heat the pine nuts in a small dry skillet over medium heat. Toast until the nuts are just staring to turn golden, about 6 to 7 minutes, shaking the pan to prevent burning. Transfer to a serving bowl to cool.

Add the quinoa to the serving bowl with pine nuts and fluff with a fork. Add the olive oil and basil, stir to combine, and serve.

Crocodile Crunch (Steph's favourite)

Serves 2

2 - 3 cups of bite size pieces of fresh fruit, such as kiwifruit, strawberries, bananas, avocados, apples, pears, or mango
1 1/2 tbsp soy milk
2 tsp almond butter
1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp fresh orange juice
2 tbsp dried coconut
1/2 cup kamut flake cereal

Divide the fruit into 2 serving bowls.

Put soy milk in small glass, add almond butter and mix. Stir in syrup and orange juice. The sauce should be smooth and not to thick or runny.

Pour the sauce over the fruit, and sprinkle with the coconut and cereal. Serve immediately.

Chocolate Almond Butter Cups

Makes 12

1/2 cup Earth Balance butter
3/4 cup almond butter (unsweetened/unsalted)
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup maple sugar
1 cup grain-sweetened, nondairy chocolate or carob chips
1/4 cup soy, rice, or nut milk
1/4 cup chopped pecans, almonds or peanuts

Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners. Set aside.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the almond butter, graham crumbs, and maple sugar and mix well. Remove the mixture from the heat. Evenly divide the mixture, about 2 tbsp per cup, among the muffin cups.
Combine the chocolate and milk in another pan. Stir over medium heat until the chocolate has melted. Spoon the chocolate evenly over the almond mixture. Top with chopped nuts. Place in the fridge to set for at least 2 hours before serving.

Sweet Potato - Lentil Stew

Serves 6 - 8
1 tbsp safflower oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 small tomatoes
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp cayenne
Fine sea salt
3 medium yams, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
7 cups vegetable broth
1 cup brown lentils

Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, deep pot. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently for 2 minutes or until the onion starts to soften. Stir in the tomatoes and ginger and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the spices. Cook and stir for 2 minutes.
Add yams, broth, and lentils. Stir well, and bring to a boil over high heat. When the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 40 minutes or until the lentils and yams are soft.

Serve on its own or over brown rice or couscous. Serve with steamed greens.