Sometimes simple just tastes best. I love tossing just a few ingredients in the blender and having a delicious (and healthy!) soup in minutes. Let’s be real, the only reason I make soup is because slurping it down with a sandwich is my little slice of heaven.
I always have frozen organic peas on hand, so I knew that would be the base of my soup. The first time I made this I added about eight asparagus spears, but it works with any green veggies. The spirulina and nutritional yeast add B12 and other essential micronutrients to the tasty green goodness. Don’t go crazy with the spirulina or you will turn the color into something that looks weird and will make the omnis suspect vegan shenanigans. You can try substituting your favorite vegetable broth for the “no-chicken” broth but I think the flavor is spot on and does not require any additional salt when I use the “no-chicken” broth. There is also a “no-chicken” vegan bouillon base, but be cautious when using this, as it has added oil and a high sodium content.
water (add as needed to achieve desired consistency)
Combine all the ingredients in a Vitamix. Blend on high speed for 5 minutes or until the container is hot to the touch.Add water as needed to achieve desired consistency. Add salt & pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
*If using a regular blender, blend until smooth and then heat in a small pot on the stove
It’s that time of year again! My favorite food oriented holiday is right around the corner, so I decided to make my favorite part of the feast…the stuffing!
I invited some of my YouTube friends to participate in a “Progressive Dinner Party” and share their favorite dishes for the season. So, this video is a little bit longer than usual but you get links to four other fabulous courses, including a White Peach Cranberry Martini, Autumn Surprise Salad, Italian Seitan Sausages and a Sweet Potato Pie with Coconut Pecan whipped topping. All vegan, all scrumptious and all ready to be served up on the big day.
Chestnut & Spicy Pecan Stuffing
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Keywords: stovetop side snack vegan vegetarian soy-free dairy free chestnut pecan Thanksgiving American fall winter
Ingredients (10-12 servings)
For the Stuffing
10 oz. vegan stuffing mix
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 large carrot, finely chopped
2 ribs celery, strings removed, rough chopped
1 white onion, diced
1 small zucchini, finely chopped
1 cup chestnuts, shelled and rough chopped
1/2 cup spicy pecans (use 1 cup if you love nuts)
1 tablespoon poultry seasoning (or use a blend of thyme,sage,marjoram,rosemary,black pepper and nutmeg)
1 cup water + 3/4 cup “no-chicken” broth(or use 1-3/4 cup vegetable broth)
For the Spicy Pecans
I purchased mine in the bulk bin at my local natural foods market but it’s simple to make your own.
1 cup raw pecans
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne (add more if you like it hot!)
1 tablespoon agave nectar
pinch of salt
For the Spicy Pecans
Preheat oven to 325F degrees.In a small saucepan, heat oil, spices and agave for about 15-30 seconds on medium high heat. Remove from heat. Stir in pecans and toss to coat. Transfer nuts to a baking sheet and spread evenly. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Bake for about 10-15 minutes, until nuts are toasted. Keep our eye on them and give them a stir to make sure they do not burn. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
For the Stuffing
In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat. Add onions and cook for 2-3 minutes, until they are translucent and you see a few brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the carrot and celery, stir and cook for 1 minute.Then add the chestnuts, spicy pecans and zucchini. Use a little splash of the broth to deglaze the pan. Using a wooden soon, scrape off the brown bits at the bottom of the pan. Add the remaining liquid and bring to a boil. Remove the pot from the burner and stir in the poultry seasoning and the stuffing mix. Stir until everything is well incorporated and cover with a lid for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve!
* You can brown the top of your stuffing by placing it under the broiler for a minute or two right before serving.
*Use leftover stuffing and mashed potatoes to make “Stuffie Muffies”- Press stuffing mix into a lightly oiled muffin pan,filling each cup about halfway full. Add sun dried cranberries (or cranberry sauce) and a dollop of mashed potatoes. Top with more stuffing and pat gently to form a “muffin top”. Place in the freezer overnight.To release them from the pan, fill and 9×13 pan with hot water and gently place the bottom of the muffin tin in the water bath for about 10 seconds (be careful not to submerge your muffies). You should be able to lift the Stuffie Muffies out and store them in an airtight container. I keep mine in the freezer to enjoy whenever I want some comfort food and top with gravy.
Happy Halloween friends! I’m so excited to share this recipe from Zel Allen’s fantastic cookbook, Vegan for the Holidays. If you love ginger cookies like I do, I dare you to eat just one. You may never need to try another recipe again after tasting these perfectly spiced morsels.
Be sure to visit Zel’s blog for more delectable holiday recipes. Chewy Ginger Cookie recipe used with permission.
Okonomiyaki is a savory Japanese style pancake and literally translates to Okonomi “to your liking” + yaki “grill”. This one skillet meal since is a great way to eat a lot of cabbage (or your favorite greens) topped with crunchy, savory, salty goodies.
This is one of my favorite ways to eat cabbage and I use green onions straight from the garden.
The super fun ingredient I added was vegan prawns. I first discovered Sophie’s Kitchen vegan seafood during ExpoWest way back in March. It took awhile for me to get my hands on the products here in Hawaii, but let me tell you, it was worth the wait. The prawns look amazingly real and lend a chewy, bounce to the pancake. Added bonus: they are gluten and soy-free. The vegan calamari is also mind-blowing amazing. I served it fried up and slathered in home made tartar sauce.
I thought it might be fun if you could win some of the ingredients I used in this recipe, so I’m having a giveaway for (2) free products from Sophie’s Kitchen, (2) packets of The Vegg and (6) That’s It Fruit Bars! That prize pack should keep your taste buds happy.
Combine cake flour,dulse and baking powder in a large bowl. Mix in water (or dashi) and the Vegg until smooth. Add cabbage, green onions, prawns and bacony bits.
Heat a non stick skillet over high heat. Pour half of the mixture into the pan and form into a pancake. Cover and cook for 2 minutes. Flip the pancake, cover and cook for another 2 minutes. Flip one last time,cover and cook for 3 minutes.
Brush with okonomiyaki sauce and garnish with Sriracha mayo, seaweed, sesame seeds,beni shoga (pickled ginger) and green onions.
Disclaimer: I was not paid or obligated to make this video or feature these products. I reached out to these companies and asked if they would donate product for this giveaway and they were kind enough to do so. My opinions are always honest and I only feature products that I use and enjoy.
This recipe is a local kine grindz trifecta. Fried rice is already a perfect island meal, easy to whip up at breakfast, lunch or dinner. Toss in a delicate layer of coconut with the umami of a good curry seasoning and your mouth will be saying “so Ono!”
Using coconut aminos instead of soy sauce makes this simple dish gluten and soy free.
Coconut Curry Fried Rice
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Keywords: fry entree side lunch dairy free gluten-free soy-free vegan vegetarian rice Asian fusion
Ingredients (4-6 servings)
4 cups cooked and cooled jasmine rice
(cooked in coconut water [1.5C rice to 1.75C cocowater])
4 T green onions
2 cloves garlic,minced
1 T ginger,minced1 carrot, diced
1 rib celery,chopped
1 small onions diced
2 bok choy leaves + stems
1 cup coconut roasted cashews
1 cup chopped cilantro (or parsley,thai basil,chives)
3T coconut aminos
2T curry seasoning or curry powder
2 T coconut oil
salt & pepper to taste
Heat coconut oil in large pan over high heat. Add garlic, ginger and green onions, sauté for 1 minute. Add carrots, stir for 1 minute and reduce heat to med high. Add onions and celery, stir for 1 minute, then create a hole in the middle of the veggies, exposing the bottom of the pan. Add curry seasoning to the pan and stir. Add greens and mix in cold rice, cooking for 2 minutes. Season with coconut aminos and salt & pepper to taste. Add cilantro and cashews, toss and cook for an additional minute on high heat. Serve immediately, garnish with green onions and Sriracha sauce.
My hummus recipes are different each time I make them. I’m hardly concerned with exact measurements for this all-purpose dip/spread/delight. The base of garbanzo beans is the only constant.
Whatever I happen to have on hand is what goes into the mix. Today, I had a small handful of raw spinach and a few marinated artichoke hearts, so I threw them into the VitaMix with 1 cup cooked garbanzos (cooking liquid reserved), 2 cloves of garlic, 2 tablespoons tahini, juice of half a lemon and a pinch of sea salt. I shake in a little bit of Penzey’s Fox Point seasoning and some dill but you can use whatever herbs and spices are on hand. Blend until smooth, adding the reserved cooking liquid ( about 1/4 cup) to get the desired consistency. If I’m feeling decadent, I may add splash of some really good olive oil.
Serve with cut vegetable sticks in mini clay pots for a fun presentation or to make it more kid-friendly.
My neighbor had a bumper crop of Japanese eggplant and we’ve been lucky to get a big bucket of organic purple goodness. I started to run out of ideas after preparing it Italian style, making ratatouille, and babaganoush. Then I remembered having it prepared with a miso sauce the last time I dined Izakaya style. The sweet creaminess of the miso sauce pairs exceptionally well with the smokey notes of grilled or roasted eggplant.
The basic sauce is just miso, sugar and mirin but I also start with a dashi base to give the sauce more flavor. Prepare a quick kombu dashi like I use in my Shiitake+ Seaweed soup and add in a few shiitake mushrooms if you have some. Unlike a vegetable stock, dashi only requires 3 ingredients (water, kombu and maybe mushrooms)and 5 minutes of cook time. I used a white miso, but you can also experiment with half red miso/half white or yellow. Adding The Vegg – Vegan Egg Yolk is optional, but it adds an extra layer of rich flavor that I enjoy.
I served it up with some jasmine rice (mixed with the shiitakes from the dashi), steamed Wailua asparagus topped with Hamakua tomatoes and Parmela Parmesan Style Aged Nut Cheese . My mother isn’t a fan of a lot of the vegan cheeses but she really enjoys the taste of Parmela and finds it satisfies her parmesan cravings more than nutritional yeast alone.
Eggplant season isn’t over yet! What is your favorite way to eat this purple beauty?
Japanese Eggplant with Miso Sauce::Nasu Dengaku
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Keywords: broil grill roast side sauce entree dairy free gluten-free vegan vegetarian eggplant Japanese
Ingredients (2 servings)
For the kombu dashi
1 cup water
1 two inch strip kombu
2 dried shiitakes(optional)
For the miso sauce
3 tablespoons white miso
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon mirin
1 tablespoon nama shoyu
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons the Vegg (optional but it gives it a creamier flavor)
green onions and roasted sesame seeds for garnish
For the Kombu dashi
Bring all ingredients to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the kombu and mushrooms.
For the Eggplant
Cut blossom end from the eggplant and cut in half lengthwise. Score the eggplant flesh. Place the eggplant cut side down in a nonstick pan(no oil) on medium heat and tent with foil. Cook for 8-10 minutes or until the eggplant skin is easily pierced with a skewer.
Combine 3/4 cup kombu dashi,miso,nama shoyu,sugar,mirin,Vegg and cornstarch in a small saucepan. Whisk until smooth. Bring to a boil until mixture begins to thicken, then remove from heat.
Place cooked eggplant flesh side up on a lined baking sheet. Spoon just enough miso sauce to cover the eggplant. Place under broiler just until miso sauce begins to bubble, about 2 minutes. Watch this step closely, as the sauce can burn quickly.
Remove from broiler. Garnish with sesame seeds and green onions
* You can also grill the eggplant or bake in the oven.
The art of putting together a perfect bento box fascinates me. Planning the colors, textures and tastes is what makes each box unique.
In my head, I pretend I’m on a cooking competition show and can only use what I already have in the kitchen. The bag of Gardein crispy tenders that was living in my freezer got baked while I worked on the vegetable sides. My neighbor had given me some homegrown Japanese eggplant and I still had tomatoes left from the farmer’s market. No meal is complete without something green and I like a cold salad element, so green pea salad filled the last compartment next to the jasmine rice.
Slice eggplant into 1/4 inch pieces. Lay all of the pieces flat and sprinkle salt on both sides. Heat olive oil in a medium sized pan on med-high heat. Add eggplant to the pan and cook on each side for about a minute and half. Add remaining ingredients to the pan and mix well.Cook an additional 2 minutes or until eggplant is to your desired doneness.
For the Green Pea Salad
Prepare the peas by blanching,draining and rinsing with cold water to preserve color. Mix vegan mayo, mustard,agave or maple syrup, mirin,onions and FoxPoint or chives in a small bowl.Taste and adjust seasonings. Add peas,pecans and Pig Out bits. Serve in a lettuce cup.
* I added Gardein “chicken” tenders with a homemade guava BBQ sauce and some jasmine rice with furikake(seaweed seasoning). Unfortunately, I can’t share the BBQ sauce recipe ‘cuz it was a little of this and a little of that and I failed to write it down. But it was oishii!
This recipe comes with a bonus! I really love the Pig Out bits and I want you to have a chance to try them too. They are vegan, soy-free,gluten-free bits of bacon flavored crunch. I have coupons for a free Wayfare product of your choice. They expire October 1, 2012 (yikes!)so this giveaway will be quick.
To WIN a free coupon:
1)Leave me a comment on this blog post letting me know what you’d put in your perfect bento
2)I will pick three winners to receive one coupon for a free Wayfare product
3)Giveaway ends Wednesday Sept. 19, 2012 and I will contact the winners via email. You must respond with your mailing address pronto! so I can send you the coupon before they expire
So this is how my crazy train of thought arrived at this recipe: I read an article about a photographer that was recreating death row prisoners “last meals”.Which then prompted me to think about what I would want as my final meal. And the no-brainer answer is Kalbi. My K-peeps understand that Kalbi (Korean BBQ) is a taste that’s hard to give up. For me, it’s more about the marinade and less about the meat. Heck, everything will taste better after a swim in this marinade. It’s the perfect balance of savory-salty-sweet. I used the Hey Shuga organic cane syrup and really liked the flavor. Sometimes I blend in some grated Korean pear, but a lot of times I don’t have it and the marinade tastes just as amazing without it.
Perfect for portobellas before you pan fry or throw them on the grill
Use a reduced sodium soy sauce for the Kalbi marinade and try it on seitan
Marinate tempeh overnight and pan fry
The baked tofu will have a deep flavor and chewy texture. I like to slice the baked tofu thin for banh mi style sandwiches. For salads and stir fries, I prefer the tofu cubed up. And for a quick dinner, I enjoy a Kalbi tofu “steak” with pajeon, kimchi, rice and a salad.
Pajeon (Scallion Pancake) is a savory side dish that looks fancy shmancy but is quite easy to make. I use scallions, green onions, chives or other seasonal veggies from my garden. Dip pajeon into kochoojang sauce for a little heat and a spicy kick. This Pajeon recipe was adapted from Maangchi, the internet demi god of Korean cooking. I was surprised that her original recipe was actually vegan♡. When I tried it without the Vegg and baking soda, my pancake was a globby mess even though I used a non-stick pan. The results were perfect once I added baking soda and The Vegg – Vegan Egg Yolk gave it the flavor of the pajeon my grandma used to make. *Tip* I prepare the Vegg this way: I mix 2 tablespoons of dry Vegg mix with 1 cup water in a blender or food processor. Measure out 2 tablespoons of the Vegg (once it has been mixed with the water) for the pajeon batter. The Vegg must be mixed with water first.
Keywords: bake fry entree side sandwich snack appetizer dairy free nut-free vegan vegetarian tofu Meatless Monday Korean
Ingredients (4 servings)
For the Baked Tofu
1 block firm or extra firm organic tofu,pressed
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons soy sauce
4 tablespoons organic liquid cane sugar syrup or agave nectar
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger,minced
3 tablespoons green onions, finely chopped
2 tablespoons mirin
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds
optional-half Korean pear, grated. When using the pear, place all marinade ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth
For the scallion pancake
15 thin green onions, cut into 5 inch pieces
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon miso
2 tablespoons The Vegg,premixed
2 tablespoons coconut oil
For the Tofu
Drain tofu.Remove excess water with a tofu press or wrap the block of tofu between two kitchen towels and place heavy books on top for about 20 minutes. Slice the tofu block in half so that each piece is about 1 inch thick. This process will allow the marinade to be easily absorbed.
Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a small bowl. Adjust seasoning and add black pepper to taste. Place the tofu in a rimmed dish and pour the marinade on top. Refrigerate and marinate for at least 2 hours, overnight is best.
Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place tofu in the middle of the sheet and bake for one hour total. Flip the tofu over after 30 minutes to cook and brown evenly. Remove from oven and cool slightly before slicing.
For the scallion pancake
Mix together all the pancake ingredients (except the oil and green onions) to create the batter. Heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil over high heat and place half of the scallions in even layer in a nonstick pan. Pour just enough batter over the scallions to cover them. Cook for about 2 1/2 minutes, until the edges start to form bubbles. Flip the pancake, reduce heat to medium high and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Repeat to make another pancake. Serve with kochoojang sauce if you like it spicy.
These little tofu pockets have been on my mind since I tried a version at M Cafe de Chaya in Beverly Hills. The idea was wonderful, but the tidbits I sampled were dried out and flavorless after sitting in the deli case.
After a quick trip to Marukai for the ingredients, I had the brilliant idea to use my leftover of quinoa instead of rice to bump up the nutrition in this snack-a-roo.
It’s been awhile since I made inari sushi and was unable to find the dry tofu pockets that you can rehydrate and season yourself, so had to pick up a package of the pre marinated inari skins. Most of the brands used bonito (fish) for seasoning but I was able to find a can of the Shirakiku pockets that were vegetarian*. This product does contain MSG which is another reason why I prefer to buy the dry tofu skins and marinate them myself. I’m the kind of geek that reads almost every ingredient list. Even on products I’ve been buying for years, I still peruse the ingredients because manufacturers can often alter the formula for a product.
You can purchase furikake to season the rice or quinoa but again, many brands use bonito, shrimp, mackerel or anchovies in the ingredients. It’s simple enough to mix the seaweed, sesame seeds, sugar and maybe a pinch of salt to your liking.
Braising the shittakes in the combination of sweet hoisin* and salty oyster sauce adds more complex layers of flavor to this otherwise simple dish.
3 tablespoons green onions or chives,finely chopped
1 cup shiitake mushrooms, sliced (rehydrate if using dried)
1 cup mushroom soaking liquid, reserved (or 1 cup water if using fresh mushrooms)
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon vegetarian oyster sauce (or black bean garlic sauce)
Cook quinoa and set aside to cool. Braise shiitake mushrooms in a small saucepan with reserved soaking liquid or water,hoisin and vegetarian oyster sauce.Cook over low heat for 15 minutes or until mushrooms are tender and juicy. Mix rice vinegar, mirin, sugar and shoyu in a small bowl. Pour liquid mixture over quinoa. Add water chestnuts,carrot,sesame seeds and seaweed. Mix well.
Stuff each inari wrappers with a generous amount of the quinoa filling but be careful not to overstuff and break the wrapper.Top with 2 slices of shiitake,green onions and garnish with black sesame seeds.
Store unused portion in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days, but best eaten fresh.
*Caveat for ethical vegans- All of the prepared tofu pockets brands(inari skins) will contain sugar.The sugar is not specified as organic on the ingredient list, so may or may not be devoid of bone char processing. Packaged hoisin sauce also contains sugar of questionable origin but it’s easy enough to make your own.