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Kale and White Bean Salad

Kale and White Bean Salad

Jul 15, 2011

I got the most gorgeously ripe kale last week from my CSA share (Community Sustained Agriculture), and I wanted to do something new ~ try it in a salad as opposed to a sautee or soup, my usual route for this vegetable. It’s got a nice crunch, an interesting texture, and just a touch of bitter, so I went into my fridge and pantry to see what I could do to bring it to life in a new way. By adding the beans, I increased both the fiber and protein content making this a really healthy, complete dish, even for a vegan like me!Truth is, I loved it so much that I made it about 5 times in 2 weeks. (I even brought it to the beach but that was a messy proposition…) The ingredients for the dressing may sound a bit strange, but go with me on this one. 1 head of kale, washed and chopped into bite size pieces ½ head of napa cabbage, washed and chopped into bite size pieces ½ can rinsed and drained cannelini beans 1 TBSP tahini (sesame paste) 1 generous TBSP hummus ¾ cup Greek salad dressing (or similar red wine vinaigrette) Wash and chop your greens and place them in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl whisk together the salad dressing, tahini and hummus until well combined. Pour the dressing over the greens to coat well. Add the beans and refrigerate for 30 minutes and then serve chilled. Feel free to add a few squirts of fresh lemon to brighten the taste even...

Protein and Insanity

Protein and Insanity

May 4, 2011

I just started doing this crazy hard new workout called Insanity, produced by Beachbody.com. I’ve done some of their other routines with real success ~ Power 90 about 6 or 7 years ago, and P90X just 3 years ago ~ and those are amazing workouts, the latter being crazy hard. However, I’ve never seen anything like this. I’m finished with Day 3 and I have no doubt where the name of this 60 day intensive came from, though I do doubt that I’ll be walking well tomorrow! In order to get the best results from this, protein consumption is critical, and for many reasons, I prefer to get my protein from a variety of sources. I did have a decent bean salad today which I threw on top of mixed field greens, but I found some ready-made products that work well for lunch or dinner too. At Trader Joe’s I found beef-less strips and chicken-less pulled chicken in a barbecue sauce. If you ever ate meat, I don’t think the beef-less strips will rival any positive memory you might have had, but you might want to shred them, after browning them in a sautee pan, into a mexican dish with some salsa, spanish rice, non-dairy sour cream and guacamole. As for the chicken-less chicken, it would make a great sloppy vegan joe! Not to mention a serving is only 120 calories, 2g of fat and has 17g of protein…(the beef-less is 20g of protein!) I also found a product called Love Burritos (written evol. and found in a celophane wrapper with pink, white and black writing.) The Veggie Fajita one it tried is not only vegan, but it has 10g of protein, 290 calories, 5g of fiber and only 3.5g of fat! Sounds good, right? If you’re thinking about a breakfast option, my favorite is the Smart Ground sausage. This vegan protein is wrapped like a salami and tastes like a lean sausage. I love it browned in a sautee pan in a little cooking spray, and then plated on top of warm slices of polenta, a little Daiya melted cheese on top and some maple syrup…it’s killer tasty and super healthy! Any faves...

Korean Bibimbop at Home

Korean Bibimbop at Home

Mar 9, 2011

The other day, craving a hot lunch on a rainy, chilly afternoon, I went to a local Korean place and enjoyed bibimbop ~ a steaming clay pot filled with seasoned vegetables, tofu and sizzling rice which I tossed with a bit of soy sauce. Boy did that hit the spot! The salty flavor of the toasty, crispy rice in which slivers of zucchini, mushrooms, bean sprouts and spinach just melted was exactly the pick-me-up I craved. I don’t have the earthen ware to make this dish the traditional way at home, but below is a home-friendly recipe adapted from one I found from Food and Wine, with origins in the city of Chonju in southwest Korea. To make this vegan recipe you will need: 1/2 pound spinach, large stems removed 1 cup mung bean sprouts 1 medium carrot, julienned 1 medium zucchini, julienned 2 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded, caps thinly sliced (1 cup) 1 tablespoon plus 1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil 2 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic 2 scallions, cut into thin matchsticks One 8-inch-square nori (dried seaweed), cut into thin strips with scissors 1 cup firm tofu, cubed Steamed Rice (1.5 cups before it is steamed) 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds Soy Sauce Korean Chili Sauce (optional) Steam the spinach until just wilted, about 2 minutes. Transfer the spinach to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain, squeeze dry and chop coarsely. In a small saucepan of boiling water, blanch the bean sprouts for 30 seconds. Drain and refresh the bean sprouts under cold running water; pat dry. Put the bean sprouts, spinach, carrot, zucchini and shiitakes in separate small bowls and toss each vegetable with 1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil and 1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic. In a small skillet, stir-fry each vegetable separately (except the spinach) over moderate heat; the carrot, zucchini and bean sprouts should stay crisp and the shiitakes should be tender. In a wok or large skillet, heat the remaining 1 TBSP of sesame oil and heat up the steamed rice. (Adding more oil as desired ~ I love it crispy.) While the rice is still cooking, toss in the tofu first to break it...

Be Mine?

Be Mine?

Feb 13, 2011

With Valentine’s Day just moments away, have you got a fabulous evening planned? Sure, it’s always nice to hit the town and enjoy a fab meal someone else, preferably a renowned chef, has prepared just for you, but why not take to your own kitchen and whip up an amazing, romantic meal on your own? VegNews magazine (I get the e-version…it’s truly green and just as informative) had some great recipes, some of which I’ve listed below. As for me? I think dinner will be decadent vegan gourmet chocolates and some stellar red wine…whatever you choose, enjoy it! Rapini with Figs, Garlic, & Pine Nuts By Robin Robertson Serves 4 1 pound rapini or broccoli rabe, trimmed 2 tablespoons olive oil 3 garlic cloves, finely minced 1/3 cup fresh or dried figs, coarsely chopped 1/4 cup pine nuts Salt and freshly ground black pepper Coarsely chop the rapini and cook in a pot of boiling salted water for 5 minutes. Drain well and set aside. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add figs and pine nuts and cook until pine nuts are lightly toasted, about 1 minute. Stir in reserved rapini and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook until tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Drizzle with a little more olive oil if desired. Serve hot. Mushroom Risotto By Carol Hee Barnett Serves 4 1/4 cup dried porcini mushrooms 1 cup boiling water 3 tablespoons olive oil 2 shallots, minced 1 large garlic clove, minced 1-1/4 cups arborio rice 2 cups chopped cremini mushrooms 2-1/2 cups vegetable stock 1/4 cup white wine 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup grated soy Parmesan cheese 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley leaves Freshly ground black pepper Soak the dried porcini in the boiling water for 30 minutes. Drain, reserving 3/4 cup of the soaking liquid. Chop the mushrooms and set aside. In a medium-size skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook until fragrant and slightly softened, about 1 minute. Transfer the shallots and garlic to a 3 1/2-...

Are You Ready For Some Football?

Are You Ready For Some Football?

Feb 5, 2011

Super Bowl Sunday is right around the corner and that means party time! I haven’t hosted a super bowl party in years but my husband purchased a 60″ 3-D ready flat screen tv with surround sound…this party just felt like a natural! The other thing I haven’t done is throw a Super Bowl party as a vegan. Of course, I want people to have great party food, but I also want to feel good about what I serve, and I want to be able to enjoy it too! Here are some recipes I created or found (if they were from someone else, credit is there!) to help “kick-off” the celebration. Let me be clear, chili is an easy favorite but I didn’t think a recipe was needed, as you can find them anywhere. You can either do it with all beans and veggies or, for more texture, use a meat-based chili recipe and replace the meat for TVP (textured vegetable protein) or seitan. Pick up some non-dairy sour cream and Daiya shredded cheddar to top it off, and If you don’t tell anyone, your guests won’t notice the difference. These first two recipes, savory dips, are from a website called Happy Healthy Life. For each of these dips, just throw the ingredients into a small mixer and puree until desired consistency. To serve them, slice a baguette into thin pieces, and toast slightly to warm and crisp them up. Pure Olive Dip 1/2 cup of cannelini beans, drained 1 6 oz. can of olives, black are best 1 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil Fresh ground black pepper to taste Savory Sunny Mushroom Dip 1 cup baby bella or white mushrooms, sliced 1 cup garbanzo beans, drained 1 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil 1/2 lemon, juiced 1 TBSP sunflower seeds, unsalted (If they are salted, don’t add more) Sea salt and ground fresh black pepper to taste **I used a little extra lemon juice and tossed in some finely chopped fresh parsley as well Just a thought: Since you’ll have extra garbanzo beans, I’d sautee up some chopped onions, garlic and either escarole, kale or spinach, toss in the beans and voila…dinner for Monday! Trendy Vegan Spinach...

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