Mushroom Loaf

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Mushrooms – people either love them or hate them. I absolutely love them. Hence, the mushroom loaf. Tasting Table came out with a wonderful recipe for a Mushroom Loaf.

I served this to my parents and they said it tastes like Thanksgiving, aka stuffing. The downfall to my first attempt was over dicing my mushrooms – the consistency was pretty….soft. Next time, I will follow the recipe more closely and do a fine chop/dice – but don’t bring out the food processor to do this. Oops.

I love the flavor and texture of this – the oats, breadcrumbs and walnuts; along with the topping of ketchup, remind me of everything I want a “meat”loaf to be.

Have you tried any meatless loafs before? Whether you have, this one is definitely worth a try (unless you fall into the anti-mushroom category…then stick with a lentil loaf!)

Honey Sesame Cauliflower Bites

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I followed this recipe from So Beautifully Real and am in love. While I typically like roasting my cauliflower and using the sauce – sans breading – this breading is spot on.

What I also like about this recipe is you can bread it, then dress it up with whichever sauce you would like (I’m thinking hot sauce/bbq…).

Two ways I deviated with this recipe was using fresh honey and panko bread crumbs rather than rice crumbs. I think it would be equally great with maple syrup. I just happened to have a large amount of honey on hand, thanks to all of my beekeeper friends.

I strongly recommend you try this recipe!

A Simple Tofu Scramble


Scrambles are one of my favorite ways to use tofu. I enjoy the simplicity and endless creative possibilities. You can do a Mediterranean version with sun-dried tomatoes and Kalamata olives; or a Mexican version with black beans and avocado; or whatever you have on hand that sounds good!

An important part about tofu is pressing it and seasoning it well. With scrambles, I’ve found that you don’t have to spend too much time pressing, as I cook it down in my skillet until most liquid has evaporated. 

Seasoning is a must. Make sure to use turmeric (this will provide a beautiful color), nutritional yeast, salt (I sometimes use Black Sea salt, it has a nice egg-like flavor), onion powder, and pepper.

For the basic breakfast scramble today, here is what I used…

Ingredients

  • 1 block tofu, extra firm, drained and/or lightly pressed
  • Olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 red pepper, diced 
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • A couple of handfuls of spinach
  • 1 Tbls nutritional yeast 
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Sauté the onion and red pepper in olive oil for several minutes. Add the garlic and spinach, cook for a few more minutes. Make sure you cook any excess water out from the spinach. Transfer to a bowl, set aside.
  2. Pour olive oil in the same pan, break the tofu into crumbles. Cook for a few minutes until most of the water has evaporated. Next, add the spices. Make sure everything is well incorporated. If you need to add a little more oil or water, feel free to do so. When the spices merry with the tofu, give it a taste and adjust with seasonings as necessary.  Add the veggies with the tofu. 

“Chick Seitan” with Asian Peanut BBQ Sauce

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Upton’s Naturals makes some seriously delicious plant based protein. I had yet to try their “chick seitan” style and I thought it would go great with an Asian inspired stir-fry. I referred to Isa’s BBQ sauce, but was short on a few ingredients so I jazzed it up in my own way. I was also reluctant to put peanut butter in a BBQ sauce – but by thinking Asian-fusion, I was able to balance some of the flavors out. This is a meal you could easily make in 30 minutes – the most time consuming part was simmering the sauce down.

Asian Peanut BBQ Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 Tbls pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tbls agave
  • 2 Tbls tomato paste
  • 1 Tbls peanut butter
  • 1 Tbls tamari or Bragg’s Aminos
  • 1 Tbls apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbls dijon
  • 1/2 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1/2 tsp-1 tsp fresh or powdered ginger
  1. Simmer the above ingredients in a sauce pan over low heat. Reduce down until the sauce has reached a thick, saucy consistency.

 

Garlic Balsamic Glazed Tempeh

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I’ve been working on a cooking class that features plant based protein. This Garlic Balsamic Glazed Tempeh was awesome! I served it with a side of couscous which is topped with oven-roasted green beans and mushrooms. I then dressed the dish with truffle infused balsamic. I may have gone a bit overboard with balsamic. You can definitely substitute other flavors and sauces, such as barbecue or ketchup.

Now, I ask you friendly viewers, what are your favorite plant based proteins? Some of mine include marinated tempeh, tofu (scrambles and eggless salads), chickpea sloppy joes, and desserts using soft tofu as the filling.. I would love to hear some ideas from you that I could incorporate into my upcoming class!

 

Garlic Balsamic Glazed Tempeh

  • 8 oz tempeh
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4-1/3 c balsamic vinegar (start with less, unless you are really looking for that balsamic flavor)
  • 3 tsp tamari or Bragg’s Aminos
  • 1 Tbls maple syrup
  • 1 Tbls olive oil
  • pepper to taste
  1. Steam the 8 oz block of tempeh in a skillet until water is evaporated (I fill enough water in the pan to cover 1/3 to 1/2 of the block of tempeh)- this takes about 10 minutes. I like to steam my tempeh before cooking with it because it opens up the protein which helps the marinade process. Tempeh can also have a strong, fermented taste, and steaming can help soften that flavor
  2. Let the tempeh cool until you are able to handle it, then cut it into desired shapes. To make the small triangles, I cut the 8 oz square into 4 triangles. I then cut those triangles in half (width wise) and then in half lengthwise.
  3. In a bowl, whisk together garlic, vinegar, tamari, maple syrup, olive oil and pepper
  4. Add the tempeh in a pan/dish where you can lay them all flat – I fit them easily into an 8×6 Pyrex. Cover the tempeh with your marinade. Let this sit overnight, then flip them in the morning
  5. In the evening – or whenever you’re ready to bake these, preheat your oven to 350F. Cover your pan/dish with foil, bake for 15 minutes; uncover and bake for 20 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed

Oven Roasted Cauliflower

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This recipe comes from Alon Shaya, courtesy of Food52. While I did not make the whipped goat cheese that is supposed to accompany the cauliflower, I did make a sun-dried tomato sauce that I wanted to eat with a soup spoon. I simply simmered some sun-dried tomatoes in some fresh cream. Once the cream went down in size by a third, I puréed the cream and tomatoes and added some garlic, salt and pepper. You could easily make this meal vegan by using a non-dairy creamer in place of the fresh cream.

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I absolutely love the idea of roasting a whole head of cauliflower. This is such a beautiful dish that is so satisfying, you won’t be able to resist seconds.

Greek Yogurt Cheesecake Cupcakes with Balsamic Strawberries

 

I took a risk on these cupcakes a few weeks ago and it was well worth it. I tried out a new recipe just before meeting up with friends for a weekend at the beach. The downside was they needed to be kept very cool, but the upside was everyone helped eat these as soon as we arrived – so keeping them cool was never an issue. The Greek yogurt bring a healthier balance to the usually overwhelming amount of cream cheese that’s found in cheesecake. Also, the crust has a fair amount of flax which I absolutely love.

I modified the recipe from Lauren Kelly Nutrition.

Strawberry Topping

  • Sliced strawberries
  • Balsamic vinegar

Mix ingredients together and set aside.

Greek Yogurt Cheesecake Cupcakes

  • 7 graham crackers (14 halves)
  • 1/2 c ground flaxseed
  • 2 Tbls sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 c butter or coconut oil
  • 1 package of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 small container of Greek yogurt
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 c sugar

1. In a food processor, breakdown the graham crackers

2. Add cracker crumbles to a bowl, add flax, sugar and cinnamon 

3. Pour in the butter or oil

4. Press into cupcake liners. Let set in the fridge for 30 minutes

5. For the filling, combine cream cheese, yogurt, lemon, vanilla, sugar

6. Pour the filling (about 1-2 Tbls) onto the graham crust

7. Let the cupcakes set in the fridge for an hour or two. Top with strawberries

Two Wonderful Raw Meals


I have moved, yet again, hence another long hiatus with posting. I do have some good recipes though to make up for the delay!

I helped out recently with a raw catering gig and forgot how much I enjoy preparing raw food. For the catering, I made (raw) veggie burgers, falafels, crackers, and dips: ketchup, mustard, and lemon aioli. Unfortunately, it was so busy I was only able to get one shot of the food above. I had my partner (who’s never had a raw meal before) try both and he liked them! 

I used the following recipes, pretty much to a T:

Falafel and Aioli: http://uncooking101.com/site/raw-food-recipe/super-easy-falafel/

Burger: http://www.eatingvibrantly.com/raw-veggie-burgers/

Crackers: http://rawmazing.com/recipe/rosemary-almond-crackers-two-ways/

The ketchup and mustard were very easy…

Ketchup:

  • 1 c sun dried tomato, soaked in water, and reserve 1 c of this water!
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1/2 c apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp salt

1. Blend everything in a high speed blender until you reach the desired consistency

Mustard:

  • 1 c mustard seeds, soaked in water for 6 hours
  • 1/2 to 1 c apple cider vinegar 
  • Water
  • 1/4 tsp salt

1. Blend everything in a high speed blender, add water until you reach a desired consistency 

Caramelized Balsamic Walnuts and Almonds

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While I haven’t blogged in months, it never leaves my mind. Summer has been busy with road trips and vacations to tropical islands!

I’ve been wanting to caramelize nuts lately, but wanted to do something different. I was thinking balsamic flavor would be amazing. So, why not add balsamic to some sugar? This nut mix is awesome. I plan to serve it with a beet and goat chèvre salad!

Ingredients

– 1/2 c sugar

– 2 Tbls canola oil

– 2 Tbls balsamic (I used a mix of original and garlic flavored)

– 2 c nuts

– salt and pepper, to taste

1. In a pan, heat the sugar, oil and vinegar. When this begins to bubble, add the nuts

2. Cook the nuts for several minutes. Transfer to a cookie sheet lined with parchment. Season with salt and pepper. Let cool!

To Beet or not to Beet?

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Beets: love them or loathe them?

I am a beet lover. And while I type this autocorrect keeps wanting to say beer over beet. For the record, I also love beer.

Prior to posting this meal, a few friends discouraged this beet-alicious post. They said the photo looked gross. I asked why and they said because beets are gross.

On an aside, beets are crazy hard to photograph. At least for me.

As for the meal, I think if you find different ways to cook and incorporate ingredients, you may find them to be quite appealing.

My beets were pickled so they were a little on the sweeter side. But if you use a savory cheese and maybe some greens, it can really change the flavor. I would’ve liked to use a chèvre spread but I only had Swiss cheese on hand. I was very pleased with this grilled beet and Swiss cheese!