Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tuesday Night Dinner

Hello Everyone.

I had a lovely, filling and healthy dinner this evening that I am excited to share with you.  I also tried out a new nutty dessert.  Try one, or two, or all new recipes!

Eet smaakelijk!

Lemon Pepper Tofu
Courtesy: "Clean Start"

1 Pound fresh tofu, cut into 1/2 inch fillets
2 Garlic cloves, minced
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 Tablespoons mirin
Freshly ground black pepper
Zest of 1 lemon
1/4 Teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Wrap tofu in towel and gently press out excess liquid.

Heat large cast-iron skillet to medium and saute garlic in olive oil for 2 minutes.  Add 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 tablespoon mirin and plenty of pepper.  Stir to combine and place tofu in pan.  Saute 4 minutes, flip fillets, add another 1 tablespoon lemon juice and more pepper as desired.  Saute 4 minutes longer, flip tofu again, add 1 tablespoon lemon juice and final tablespoon mirin.  Saute 4 minutes or until evenly browned.  Flip one last time, add remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice, lemon zest and crushed red pepper and saute 4 minutes or until evenly browned.  Remove from heat and serve.

Mashed Cauliflower 
Courtesy: Me

1 Head cauliflower
2 Tablespoons vegan butter
2 Tablespoons almond or hemp milk
1 Tablespoon garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste

Bring a medium pot of water to boil and add in cauliflower.  Cook until soft.  Drain water and add cauliflower to food processor.  Add all other ingredients and blend until smooth.  Serve right away.

Sicilian Collard Greens
Courtesy: "The Kind Diet"

1 Bunch collard greens
2 Tablespoons pine nuts
3 Garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 Tablespoon olive oil
3 Tablespoons raisins
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar ( I end up using only 1 Tbs )

Use a sharp knife to cut out the central rib and stem from each collard leaf.  Rinse the leaves in a sink of cool water, lifting them into a colander to drain a bit ( you want some water to remain on the leaves ).

Toast the pine nuts over medium heat in a dry skillet for about 5 minutes or until brown.  Shake the pan often to keep the pine nuts from burning.  Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Place the garlic and oil in a large skillet, and saute over medium heat for 1 minute or until the garlic is fragrant.  Add the damp collards and stir, then cover the pan and cook for 2 minutes longer.  Add the raisins and pine nuts, and stir.  Cover and cook for 2 minutes.  Stir in the balsamic vinegar, cover, and continue to cook for 1 to 2 minutes longer.

Raw Pistachio Pudding
Courtesy: http://sketch-freeveganeating.blogspot.com

1/2 Cup soaked pistachios, peeled
1 Avocado
Water or nut milk, to thin
3 Tablespoons agave nectar, or to taste
1/2-3/4 Teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 Tablespoons ground chia seeds
Squirt of lemon juice

Process the pistachios until very smooth (this may take a few minutes) in a food processor.  Add all the other ingredients and process until smooth.

Let sit in the refrigerator for several hours, or stick in the freezer for about one hour.  Serve chilled.

Makes about one to two servings.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Fall Flavors

Hello Everyone.

I want to apologize ahead of time for the length of this post.  I had been planning on posting more throughout this last week, but I just never got to my computer.  

These are my latest fall favorites.  Warm, filling and flavorful.

Eet smaakelijk!

Sweet and Spicy Roasted Squash

I really enjoy this dish.  I bought a kabocha squash a few weeks ago and had no idea what to do with it.  I scoured the internet and found this lovely recipe.

1 small kabocha squash
3 Tablespoons light brown sugar (I used sucanat)
1/2 Teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/2 Teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 Teaspoon salt
1 Teaspoon tamari

Oil for drizzling-pumpkin or toasted sesame oil.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

De-seed and cut squash into slices, about 1/4 inch thick.  Keep the skins on!  

Combine all the dry ingredients.  Toss the squash slices until they are all coated.  Add the tamari and toss again.

Spread the slices in one layer on the baking sheets.  Drizzle with oil and bake for 15 minutes on each side.  Feel free to add more oil and sugar after turning over.  

Serve hot or room temperature.

Juice Pulp Crackers

I have a lovely friend at work who occasionally juices.  She brought me in a huge bottle of fresh juice and all the pulp!  I knew that I had seen recipes for juice pulp crackers before but I just didn't know how to make them.  Once again, I took to the internet and found a few recipes and took a little of each to make these great crackers. 

2 Cups juice pulp (I had beet, kale, celery, cucumber, carrot, apple and ginger)
1/2 Cup flaxseed meal
1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast
1/2 Teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon tamari
1 Tablespoon water (more or less, depending on consistency)

Combine all ingredients and and stir until you have a thick batter, like a thick cookie dough.

Spread batter on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper.  Try to make the batter as this as possible, 1/4 inch thick.  Place in an oven at the lowest temperature.

Bake for an hour and then carefully flip and cook for another hour.  After two hours remove and cut into 1-2 inch squares and spread out on the pan.  Bake for one more hour.  Remove and place into an airtight container once they have cooled.

Yeast-Free Pumpkin-seed Teff Flour Sandwich Bread

Oh how I love the internet.  I don't know how I came across this recipe, I think I was looking for teff flour recipes, but boy am I glad I found it.  It is delicious and soft and had a crunchy crust.  It is the closest to real bread that I have had in a very long time.  The pumpkin seeds and teff flour make it full of fiber and protein.  Feel free to add other nuts or seeds to it as well, I added sesame and hemp seeds.

1 Cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 Cup + 2 1/2 Tablespoons Teff flour
1/2 Cup arrowroot starch
1/2 Cup tapioca starch
1 Tablespoon coconut flour
1 1/2 Teaspoons baking soda
1 1/4 Teaspoons xanthan gum or guar gum
1 Teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons finely ground flax seeds
1 1/2 Cups water
2 Tablespoons olive oil or grapeseed oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Generously grease a 9x5 inch bread pan.  Sprinkle pumpkin seeds on a baking sheet and place in oven and let bake while the oven heats.  Remove from oven and let cool a little.

In a small bowl whisk together flax, water and apple cider vinegar.  Let sit for 10 minutes.  Then whisk in oil.

While flax absorbes water, place pumpkin seeds in a blender, food processor or coffee grinder, and grind until you have a find powder, like flour.  Place in a bowl and mix together with teff, arrowroot, tapioca, salt, coconut flour and baking soda.  Create a well in the center and add flax-water mixture, stir until mixed.  

Place in oiled loaf pan and press into a loaf shape with a spatula.  Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and slightly press them into the loaf.  Place into oven and bake for 50-55 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.  Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes, then turn out on a rack and finish cooling.  Let cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing, best if cooled all the way.

Apple Squash Soup
Courtesy: "Clean Food"

I can't get enough of Terry Walters and her amazing recipes.  This was another very pleasant surprise - it is sweet and creamy and filling and really fast.

1 Large butternut squash
1 Large yellow onion, chopped
2 Tablespoons grapeseed oil
4 Large apples, peeled, cored and quartered
4 Cups vegetable stock
1 Cup rice milk (or another milk alternative, I used hemp)
1/4 Cup coconut milk
1/2 Teaspoon ground nutmeg
Sea salt

Peel squash, cut in half and remove seeds.  Cut into 2-inch pieces.

In large pot over medium heat, saute onion in oil until soft (about 5 minutes).  Add squash, apples, stock, rice milk, coconut milk and nutmeg.  Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes or until squash is soft.  Puree with handheld blender and remove from heat to cool slightly.  Season to taste with salt and serve.

Pumpkin Spice Muffins
Courtesy: "Clean Start"

I LOVE these muffins.  You feel great after eating them.  They are full of high protein flours and have no refined sugars!  They have just the right amount of spice and pumpkin flavor and aren't too sweet.  They go great for breakfast with a bowl of my apple/cranberry sauce.

1 Cup pitted dates
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 1/2 Cups cooked pumpkin puree
1/2 Cup maple syrup
1/2 Teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 Cup almond butter
2/3 Cup grated apple or apple sauce

1/2 Cup brown teff flour
1/2 Cup almond meal
1/2 Cup chickpea flour
1/4 Cup potato starch
1/4 Teaspoon sea salt
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 Teaspoon baking soda
1 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 Teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 Teaspoon ground allspice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Prepare mini-muffin tins with oil or paper muffin tins.

Place dates in a food processor and mince.  Add remaining wet ingredients and process until combined.  Place all dry ingredients in separate bowl, and whisk to combine.

Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix briefly to combine.  Immediately scoop batter by the tablespoon into muffin tins.  Distribute batter evenly.  Bake 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Remove from oven and set on rack to cool completely before removing from tins.  

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Best Ever Brownies

Happy Gobble Day!

Today is my first vegan Thanksgiving.  I don't really have anything incredibly profound to say on being a vegan during this holiday.  But the one thing that I would like to say is how frustrating it is for people to make assumptions about me and the way I choose to eat.

I decided to stop eating land based meat (I still eat fish every once in awhile) around Christmas time last year.  Actually, the last "meat" I ate was on Christmas-it was a pork roast and beef tenderloin.  Yum!  I was still loving and enjoying cheese.  I made this decision because I wanted to be the healthiest that I could be.  I had been reading a lot about the health benefits of a plant based diet and wanted to make a positive impact on the environment.  If I ate locally and seasonally I would help cut down MY contribution to global warming/pollution/etc.  At first it was a little scary and frustrating to find food and cook at home.  I started eating foods that I never thought I would have, like kale.  I LOVE KALE!  I became more interested in what exactly I was putting in my mouth.  I started making my own granola bars and soups and being careful about processed foods.

About four months into becoming a quasi vegetarian I eliminated dairy.  It was an incredibly sad day for me.  I loved butter and cheese and ice cream.  But dairy HATED me.  After a two week elimination diet I felt more alive and vibrant and lighter.  I literally lost about a pant size, due to the fact that I was constantly bloated from dairy.

So, six months later I am still dairy, gluten, meat free and loving my life.  I eat fresh, local flavorful foods.  I bake sweet, moist, orgasmic treats.  And I am healthy and happy.  I experiment daily and love the food I put into my body.

All of this is partly the reason why I do this blog.  I want to show people that you can eat vegan/gluten free meals and have them still be delicious and filling.  I want to give people a different option.  I want people to start doing things for themselves-cooking for themselves.  Nearly my whole kitchen is filled with unprocessed, must be cut/chopped/peeled and cooked before eating foods.  I have to spend time and energy on what I will put into my body.  I love it.  I feel more connected with my food and I have this immense pride after I finish a meal.  [Here is a great example.  I have a friend at work who juices.  Love her do death because she brought me in some freshly juiced juice yesterday.  She also brought me the pulp!  I decided to make juice pulp crackers.  Mix the pulp, some seasonings and flax meal together, press onto a pan and bake at a low temperature for 3 hours.  I now have really freaking good, healthy, nutritious crackers.]

So yes, I might not eat meat or dairy, but that doesn't give people the right to assume things about me.  I am tired of people saying sorry for eating meat in front of me.  I am tired of people saying that "to a vegan this must be gross."  I am tired of the connotations that go along with saying that you are vegan.  I don't care if you eat meat.  I don't care if you order your steak rare.  I still love the smell of bacon and will probably eat it one day.  I dream about the steaks I used to eat in Hawai'i.  Meat is yummy.  I am not doing this because I want to save all the animals in the world, although I do think that most farming practices are quite disgusting.  I am doing this for ME.  I just hope that one day more people will do things for themselves.

Okay, so enough ranting for the day.  Onto the most amazing brownies in the whole world.  I need to give a serious shout out to Terry Walters.  I swear she has made the transition into eating a plant based diet a piece of cake.  Her recipes are always mouthwatering but also incredibly nutritious and easy.

Please make these and share with everyone, I promise no one will know they are gluten free and vegan.

Cocoa Brownies
Courtesy: "Clean Start"

1/2 Cup grated apple or apple sauce
8 Pitted dates
1 Ripe banana
1/2 Cup maple syrup
1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 Cup brown teff flour
1/2 Cup almond meal
1/2 Cup cocoa powder
2 Teaspoons baking powder
1/2 Teaspoon baking soda
1/4 Teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease 8x8 inch baking dish.

In food processor, combine applesauce, dates, banana, maple syrup and vanilla until almost smooth, but with some chunks of dates remaining.  In separate bowl, combine teff flour, almond meal, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix as briefly as possible to incorporate all ingredients.  Transfer to prepared baking dish and bake 25 minutes or until top appears slightly dry.  Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool completely before cutting and removing from pan.

Doesn't do it justice.  I made them to bring to a Thanksgiving party so I couldn't eat all of them!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cranberry Apple Sauce and Buckwheat Pancakes

Good Snowy Morning Everyone!

I woke up this morning to find the ground, trees, roofs and cars covered in SNOW!  Schools were canceled and I can hear cars peel out from the ice.  This kind of weather makes you want to just stay inside and bake all day!

On the last day of the Saturday Market I found a lovely vendor who sold fresh cranberries.  I figured, why not?  I had actually never eaten fresh cranberries before and I knew there were plenty to do with them.  So plan on seeing quite a few recipes with cranberries.

Cranberry Apple Sauce
Courtesy: Glutenfreegoddess.blogspot

2 Rounded cups peeled-chopped apples.  Use a variety if you can.
1 Cup fresh or thawed frozen cranberries
1/2 Cup cranberry juice or apple-cranberry juice (I used an orange juice)
1 Cinnamon stick
Agave nectar to taste.  I used 1 Tablespoon.  Use more if you want it sweeter.

Combine apples and cranberries in a medium sauce pan and pour in enough juice to cover the fruit.  Add in the cinnamon stick.  Cover and bring to a simmer.

Cook until the fruit is very soft.  This only took me about 10 minutes.  Remove the cinnamon stick.  With a potato masher or immersion blender, mash or blend, fruit until your desired consistency.

Taste and sweeten with the agave, or honey if you prefer.

You can either eat warm or put in the fridge to chill.

Buckwheat Pancakes
Courtesy: "The Gluten-Free Vegan"

1 Tablespoon Ener-G egg replacer whisked together with 4 tablespoons warm water
1 1/2 Cup hemp or soy milk (I used almond milk)
2 Tablespoons grapeseed oil, plus extra for frying
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 Cup applesauce
3/4 Cup buckwheat flour
1/2 Cup brown rice flour
2 Teaspoons baking powder
1 Teaspoon cinnamon

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the egg replacer and water well, until it bubbles and the powder is completely dissolved.  Add the milk, oil, and maple syrup.  Mix well.  Add the applesauce and stir.

In a small bowl, stir together the buckwheat and brown rice flours, baking powder, and cinnamon.  Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture.

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat.  Pour in a small amount of oil.  When the skillet is hot, pour in a ladleful of batter.  Cook until done, flipping halfway through the cooking process.  If your batter is too thick, add a small amount of milk or water to thin it out.

Top with maple syrup or cranberry apple sauce!

Pancake cooking in the pan

Pancake topped with homemade cran-apple sauce
Sorry my picture isn't that pretty!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Teff Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Sorry it has been awhile since I have written.  I lost internet connection and have not had the chance to post anything.  But I have been doing a lot of cooking in the mean time.  

Last night I made delicious peanut butter cookies.  Super easy with just 6 ingredients and super yummy...I have only a few left.  That is the problem with healthy cookies, you feel like you can eat the whole batch.  I am still learning how to eat just one cookie...I have never been able to do it!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Courtesy: "Clean Food"

1 1/2 Cups teff flour
1/4 Teaspoon sea salt
1 Teaspoon baking soda
1 Cup chunky 100% peanut butter
1 Cup maple syrup
1/2 Cup semisweet dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine all dry ingredients in one bowl and all wet ingredients in another.  Pour wet ingredients over dry and blend until just combined-do not overmix.  Fold in chocolate chips.

Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Drop batter by heaping teaspoons onto cookie sheet.  Leave cookies free-form or press down in crisscross pattern with tines of fork.  Place in oven and bake 13 minutes or until lightly browned.  The key to these cookies is not to overbake them!  Remove from oven and place directly on wire rack to cool.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Carrot Cashew Miso Spread

Good Morning.

I found this recipe in one of my cook books and have been wanting to make it for awhile now.  I thought it would be a great alternative to hummus.  I have been putting it on gluten free crackers, but I could see it on tortilla chips or bread!

Carrot Cashew Miso Spread
Courtesy: Clean Start

2 Large Carrots
3/4 Cup raw cashews
1 Cup vegetable stock
2 Tablespoons light miso
Toasted ivory and/or black sesame seeds

Peel carrots and discard dry ends.  Chop into 1/2-inch pieces and place in pot with cashews and stock.  Turn heat to high and bring to boil.  Reduce heat to medium and cook until carrots are cooked through (about 10 minutes).

Remove from heat and, using a slotted spoon, scoop carrots and cashews into food processor.  In separate bowl, measure out 1/4 cup of cooking liquid and dissolve miso in it.  Add to bowl with carrots and process until smooth.  Serve topped with sesame seeds, or refrigerate in airtight container for up to 4 days.

Final Product

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tofu Love

Hello, Hello...

I love how often I feel like I should post recipes.  For me, that means that I am making new and delicious food that I want to share with everyone else.  Sometimes I have to stop myself from blogging once a day.  But, that means lovely, healthy food for all of you!

Once again, Terry Walters is a genius.  I have been trying out so many of her new recipes and I am blown away each time.  Last night I made her ginger lime tofu with quinoa and kale with leeks.  I posted the kale recipe earlier this month.  This tofu is phenomenal - I can't say enough about it.  Just try it.

Pan-Seared Tofu with Ginger Lime Glaze
Courtesy: "Clean Start"

1 Pound fresh, firm tofu (not silken), drained
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 Tablespoons tamari
2 Tablespoons lime juice
2 Tablespoons maple syrup

Slice tofu into filets or cubes as desired.  Heat saute pan over medium heat.  Add olive oil and ginger and saute 1 minute.  In small bowl, whisk together tamari, lime juice and maple syrup.  Place tofu in skillet and add tamari mixture.  Saute tofu 3-4 minutes on each side.  If pan gets dry, deglaze by adding 2 tablespoons water and continue sauteing until both sides of tofu are browned and firm.  For a thicker glazed finish, deglaze pan with second mixture of oil, ginger, tamari, lime juice and maple syrup.  Remove from heat and serve.

Serves 3


Monday, November 8, 2010

Peanut Butter Balls

Good Late Evening Everyone!

I literally just finished making these lovely little treats.  I know, I know, I shouldn't be up until nearly midnight cooking, but I just could not help it.

This recipe comes out of Terry Walters' new book, "Clean Start."  Once again, I love her and I love her book.  Out of the 5-6 recipes I have already made out of this book there is not one that I don't like.  They all make me feel so good after eating.  So, these might not be your Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, they aren't as overpoweringly sweet, but they are delectable.  Made with minimal ingredients, only 4, it is quick and easy to make.  

Eet Smaakelijk!

Peanut Butter Balls
Courtesy: "Clean Start"

1 Cup natural peanut butter
1/2 Cup maple syrup
1/2 Cup rice cereal, plus more if needed
2 Cups gluten- and dairy-free chocolate chips or 12 ounces dark chocolate

Place peanut butter and maple syrup in food processor and pulse to combine.  Fold in crispy rice cereal.  If your peanut butter is particularly runny, add more cereal until mixture holds together in balls.  Form penny-size balls and place on parchment-lined cookie sheet.

Melt chocolate chips or chocolate in double boiler or in small pot over very low heat.  Drop 3-4 balls at a time into chocolate and roll them around until covered completely.  With a teaspoon, scoop out each ball individually, holding it against the side of the bowl to allow excess chocolate to drip off.  Place each chocolate-covered ball back on lined cookie sheet.  Repeat until all balls are coated and refrigerate until firm (at least 1 hour).  Serve cold or room temperature.

Makes: 30 balls.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Red Lentil Soup with Turnip and Parsely

Hello, Hello, Hello...
I am going to make this one short and sweet.  This is an incredibly easy, quick, delicious soup and I don't need to say anything else.  Just make it and enjoy.

Red Lentil Soup with Turnip and Parsley
Courtsey: Terry Walters' "Clean Start"

1 1/2 cups dried lentils
3 Cups water
Thumb-sized piece kombu
1 Medium yellow onion, diced
4 Garlic cloves, minced
3 Celery stalks, diced
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons mirin
1 1/2 Cups chopped tomatoes
1 Turnip
1 1/2 Cup cooked great northern beans
4 Cups vegetable stock
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 Cup fresh flat-leaf parsley

Rinse and drain lentils.  Place in pot with water and kombu and bring to boil.  Skim and discard foam.  Reduce heat to simmer, partially cover and cook until lentils are soft (about 20 minutes).  Remove from heat and set aside.

In soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, saute onion, garlic and celery in oil until soft (4-6 minutes).  Add mirin, tomatoes, turnip and beans.  Stir to combine ingredients.  Remove and discard kombu from lentils and add lentils to soup pot.  Add stock, bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer covered for 20 minutes.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and remove from heat.  Stir in 1/3 cup chopped parsley and serve topped with remaining parsley as garnish.

Serves 8

Okay, so it might not look so pretty, but give it a try!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Good Morning!

Happy Birthday to me!  Twenty seven, boy do I feel old.  Ha!  Actually, I feel the same as yesterday, sick.

I have been wanting to do a post about breakfast for awhile.  I love breakfast.  But since going gluten, dairy, egg and meat-free it has become a little boring.  I have gone out for breakfast a handful of times since eliminating certain things from my diet and I have had some lovely tofu scrambles, and some really awful vegan/gluten-free french toast.  Gluten free bread was not meant for french toast.  But I wanted to post some yummy breakfast ideas that you can quickly make at home.  I am sure that there will be more recipes later, the more adventurous I become.

I hope you all enjoy.

Courtesy: Me

Mochi is something I fell in love with while living in Hawai'i.  It is basically pounded rice.  Delicious pounded rice!  It comes in a few different varieties.  I buy my mochi in the refrigerated section at the grocery store.  It comes in a hard block with about 4 different flavors.  My favorite is cinnamon raisin.  But the mochi in Hawai'i was soft and gelatinous and filled with sweetened coconut, not the best for breakfast.

1 Package Mochi
Maple syrup or agave nectar

Preheat oven based on directions for mochi, mine is about 450 degrees F.  

Cut the mochi into one inch pieces.  I usually end up making 8-10 little blocks.  You don't have to cook the entire package at once, just take as much as you want for one serving.  

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and place the mochi a few inches away from each other.  

Bake for 8-12 minutes, depending on the packaged instructions.

When mochi is done, place on a plate and drizzle with agave nectar or maple syrup.  Grab and apple or pear and you have a full meal!

Mochi before cooking

Yumm...mochi after baking

Chia Seed Pudding
Courtesy: Choosing Raw

I have heard a lot about chia seeds since reading up on nutrition.  According to many sources it was a staple of the Aztec culture, known for its ability to sustain warriors for long periods of time.  But it is also great for other reasons.  It is an amazing plant based source of Omega-3 fatty acids and is easier to digest than flax seeds.  Who knew, the seeds that made the chia pet were such a nutritional powerhouse.  If you want to read more on chia seeds head to: http://www.living-foods.com/articles/chia.html

Chia seeds, when made into a pudding, kind of turn out like tapioca.  The seeds themselves become wrapped in a gelatinous coating, making for a very interesting texture.

Each recipe that I find for chia seed pudding is different.  The one that I have enjoyed most is this one.

1/4 Cup chia seeds
1 Cup almond milk or other milk alternative
1 Tablespoon Agave nectar
Cinnamon to taste
Cardamom powder to taste

Place all ingredients in a bowl or mason jar.  Mix well and let sit for 5 minutes.  Mix again and then refrigerate.  Let chill and then eat.  I find it best to make at night and then eating for breakfast the next morning.  Top with fruit and nuts.  It should keep for at least 5 days.

Get creative and add other flavors, like chocolate powder!

Coconut Rice Pudding
Courtesy: "The Gluten-Free Vegan"

I used to love oatmeal in the morning.  Recently it has been making me sick and my tummy very unhappy.  Since getting into the colder weather I have been wanting something warmer and thicker to eat for breakfast.  This recipe takes about 1 hour to make, so instead of waking up earlier than need be I make enough for a few days and heat it up in the microwave.   

1 Cup uncooked brown rice
1 (14 oz) can coconut milk
14 ounces (measure using the above can) water
15 Cardamom pods, or about 1 teaspoon cardamom powder
1/4 Cup agave nectar
1/4-1/2 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of sea salt

Nuts of your choice (I have a mixture that I have made myself of cashews, almonds, walnuts, pecans and hazelnuts.  I just place them all in a bag and crush them a little bit with a rolling pin.  You don't want to pulverize them!)

Fruit of your choice (Fresh berries, bananas or apples work great.  Frozen blueberries do too!)

Rinse the rice in a colander and place in a saucepan with the coconut milk, water and cardamom pods.  Bring to boil, then lower the heat to low.  Simmer over low heat until the pudding is thick and the rice is cooked through, about 45 minutes.  Turn off the head and add the agave nectar, cinnamon and salt.  Remove the cardamom pods.

Add chopped fruit and nuts to the top and enjoy.

Serves about 4

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Chocolate Macaroons and Sauteed Greens with Leeks

Good Evening.

Tomorrow is November 3rd, my birthday.  I turn 27.  I wish I could be more excited about it, but I am not.  All that I wanted was to wake up and go for a nice fall run and then spend the day with people who care about me.  The run will not happen because I have a lovely little cold.  But I did learn how to use a neti pot...gross by the way.  And spending the day with people I love will not happen either.  My family is in Seattle and France and my good friends are in: Canada, Australia, Ohio, Vermont, California, and Texas.  But that is okay.  Tomorrow I get to wake up and skype with Tom and Olaf, my babies in London.  If I am lucky I get to help a friend clean her old apartment (I am slightly OCD).  And I am making a delicious sounding soup for dinner.  My birthday will be lovely because I will make it lovely.

Look forward to a post about my soup tomorrow.

But for today, I have a few recipes out of Terry Walters' new book, "Clean Start."  I bought myself this book for my birthday.  And I love it.  I encourage everyone to check out her website or pick up a copy of this book.

Today, I am going to start with dessert...

Chewy Chocolate Macaroons
Courtesy: "Clean Start"

2 Cups shredded unsweetened coconut
1/4 Teaspoon sea salt
1/4 Cup coconut milk
1/4 Cup maple syrup
1 Teaspoon almond extract
1 Cup gluten- and dairy-free chocolate chips or 6 oz dark chocolate

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In large bowl, combine coconut with salt.  In separate bowl, whisk together coconut milk, maple syrup and almond extract.  Add to coconut and stir until evenly moist.

Melt chocolate chips or chocolate in double boiler or in small pot over very low heat and pour into coconut mixture.  Fold until evenly combined.  Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Scoop batter by the tablespoonful and place on cookie sheet in equal size mounds.  Gently press to make each mound of mixture stick together.  Bake 18-20 minutes or until tops appear dry.  Remove from heat and place on rack to cool.

Makes 18

Macaroons pre-baking

Macaroons post-baking...yumm

Sauteed Greens with Leek and Garlic
Courtesy: "Clean Start"

I love my leafy greens.  I especially love Italian kale and collard greens.  But, as of late I have gotten bored of doing them the same way, sauteed with garlic, salt and pepper.  So, when I saw this recipe I had to give it a chance.  It is delightful.  There is a sweetness from the leeks and mirin and then this tartness from the ume plum vinegar.  Perfectly contrasting flavors.

3 Cloves garlic, minced
1 Large leek, sliced crosswise
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 Bunches assorted dark leafy greens, chopped
2 Tablespoons mirin
Ume plum vinegar
Toasted sesame seeds or gomasio 

In a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat, saute garlic and leek in olive oil until soft (about 3 minutes). Add greens and mirin and saute until greens are bright green and tender (about 4 minutes).  Remove from heat, drizzle lightly with ume plum vinegar, sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.