Friday, March 29, 2013

Tempeh Schnitzel with a Citrus Sauce

Spring has finally sprung, at least for this weekend.  Here's a light and fresh springtime dish that can be paired with fresh spring peas or white/green asparagus.

Tempeh Schnitzel with a Citrus Sauce

1            lemon
1            pkg. tempeh
1            cup orange juice
6-8         sprigs thyme
1            tablespoons sesame oil
2            tablespoons oil
1            tablespoons soy sauce
1            teaspoon vegetable bouillon powder
              capers (optional)

Slice the tempeh in thin slices.
Make a marinade from the orange juice, sesame oil, the juice from 1/2 lemon and vegetable bouillon.

Marinate the tempeh slices for 1/2-4 hours.
Hat the 2 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan.
Strip the leaves from the thyme into the pan.
Braze the tempeh so that both sides are golden brown.
Season to taste with a pinch of salt, and freshly ground pepper.
Slice the other half of the lemon and place in the frying pan to lightly sauté for 1-2 minutes.
Place the tempeh Schnitzels on a serving platter, and pour the marinade into the hot frying pan.
Allow the marinade to reduce, then pour over the Schnitzels or serve in a gravy boat on the side.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Eggless Spread with Artichokes

This spread can be served as an appetizer on baguettes, celery or pita crisps or as a sandwich spread.

It can also be served on a bed of Bibb lettuce sans bread.  Kevin likes to grill the bread which warms the salad - very yummy but I like it cold on bread.  

  **Black salt (kala namak or sanchal) is more tan than black, and has a very strong, sulfuric flavor.  Black salk is available in Indian markets, either ground or in lumps.

Eggless Spread with Artichokes

1            pkg. firm tofu  (not silken)
1            14.0z. can artichokes, drained and chopped
2            green onions, chopped
1/2         cup vegan mayo
1/2         cup vegan sour cream
1            tablespoon Dijon mustard
2            pinches black salt (optional) – gives it an egg flavor
              salt and black pepper to taste

Drain and squeeze all excess water out of tofu.  Break up and mash in a large mixing bowl.  Add two healthy pinches of black salt and mix into tofu.  Add artichokes and green onions to bowl.  Add dressing ingredients, vegan mayo, vegan sour cream, Dijon mustard and salt and pepper to taste.  Mix everything together.  Enjoy!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Three Bean Salad

Hooray for Three Bean Salad.  We are getting very close to our kitchen remodel date, so I thought I'd better start cleaning out our pantry.  Since we love Cost-Co Three Bean Salad, I thought I'd make it from scratch.  It's all about the dressing and this one is perfect!.

Three Bean Salad

Choose any bean combination that is your favorite, I used what I had in my pantry. 

1            15 oz. can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1            15 oz. can green beans, drained and rinsed
1            15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
2            celery stalks, chopped fine
3            green onions, chopped  or  1/2 red onion, diced
1            cup finely chopped parsley  (I didn’t have on hand)

1/3         cup apple cider vinegar
1/3         cup granulated sugar
1/4         cup olive oil
1 1/2      teaspoons salt
1/4         teaspoon black pepper

In a large bowl, mix the beans, celery, onion and parsley.

In a separate small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, sugar, olive oil, salt and pepper.  Add dressing to beans and toss to coat. 

Chill beans in refrigerator for several hours to allow the beans to soak up the flavor of the dressing.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Tomato Rice Stew

Since winter doesn't seem to be leaving us any time soon, here's a warm and comforting soup recipe to add to your collection.  Kathy from has so many wonderful recipes and her blog is filled with all sorts of information regarding living a healthy, happy life.  Check it out, you won’t be disappointed.

Tomato Rice Stew
(Inspired by recipe on

28 oz.  can diced tomatoes

3         cups vegetable broth

1         small onion, small dice
1         large carrot, small dice        
2         cloves garlic, minced
1/2      cup nutritional yeast (or to taste)

1         bunch of kale (I used a mix of greens because store didn’t have Kale)

1 1/4   cups brown rice, cooked

1/2      cup frozen Edamame
2         bay leaves (remove before serving)

1         heaping tablespoon chili powder

           pepper/salt to taste

Croutons:  I sliced bread into thick strips, sprayed with oil and sprinkled with Vegan Mozzarella cheese.  Broil till cheese melts and bread is crisp. Cut into cubes.

***Cook rice in separate pan or add to soup mixture and cook until rice is done.

Add oil and soy butter or just oil to large soup pot and add diced onion and carrot.  Cook until soft.  Add minced garlic and cook for another few minutes.  While garlic is cooking, add tomatoes and 1 cup of the vegetable broth to a blender and mix until pureed. 

Pour tomato mixture plus remaining vegetable broth into soup pot.  Bring to boil.

Add nutritional yeast, bay leaves, frozen Edamame and chili powder, reduce to a simmer. 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Banana Tofu Pudding

Have some extra bananas hanging around?  Why not make some banana pudding?

Banana Tofu Pudding

16           oz. silken tofu
2 1/2       ripe bananas (2 for smashing, 1/2 cut into pieces)
1            teaspoon vanilla
2            tablespoons agave
              Cinnamon for dusting (optional)
              Crushed graham crackers for topping (optional)
Put all ingredients (except for 1/2 diced banana) into food processor or blender.  Blend until smooth.  Add diced banana and chill.  Top with crushed graham crakers and a touch of cinnamon.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Maple-Lime Grilled Tofu w/Asian Slaw & Mashed Sweet Potatoes

This dish has several stages, so I’d say make it when you have plenty of time or prep the day before.  For the cashew cream, you will have to soak cashews over night as suggested.  I didn’t have the time so I soaked them for 4 hours and it seemed to work.

Maple-Lime Grilled Tofu with Asian Slaw and Mashed Sweet Potatoes
(adapted from The Conscious Cook by Tal Ronnen CB)

1            lb. extra-firm tofu, cut into 8 (1/4” thick) slabs
1/4         cup pure maple syrup
1/2         cup soy sauce (I used light)
3            garlic cloves, smashed
2            sprigs fresh thyme
1            teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
              juice of 2 limes

Place the tofu in a single layer in a shallow dish. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining tofu ingredients. Pour over the tofu and marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours.           

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Lightly oil a baking sheet. Using a slotted spoon, remove the tofu from the marinade (reserve marinade) and arrange in a single layer on the baking sheet.  Bake for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, pour the marinade into a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until reduced to a syrupy glaze, about 8 minutes.

Grill tofu 3-4 minutes , turn over and brush with reserved marinade syrup, cook for 3-4 minutes on other side.

3            tablespoons rice vinegar
1            teaspoon light agave nectar
1/2         teaspoon sea salt, or more to taste
2            tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1            teaspoon soy sauce
1/4         cup oil
1            large carrot, peeled and crated
1/2         head napa cabbage, shredded
2            scallions, diced

In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, agave nectar, salt, lime juice and soy sauce. Continue whisking vigorously in one direction as you slowly pour in the oil until emulsified. Add the remaining slaw ingredients to the bowl and toss to coat.

Sweet Potatoes:
  ***Cashew Cream: 1/2  - 1 cup raw cashews, rinsed and soaked in cold water over night in fridge.  Drain cashews, place in blender and add water so that it just covers cashews.

2            large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2         cup thick Cashew Cream
2            tablespoons Earth Balance
1             canned chipotle pepper, seeded and minced
              **I didn’t have chipotle pepper so I used 1 tablespoon Ancho Chile Pepper
              Sea Salt

Cook the sweet potatoes in a pot of boiling water for 20 minutes, or until tender. Drain.  Whip together the sweet potatoes, Cashew Cream, Earth Balance, and chipotle pepper (or Ancho Chile Pepper).  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To Place: Place on quarter of the sweet potatoes in a scoop in the middle of a serving plate. Top with one quarter of the slaw. Place 2 tofu slices on top of the slaw.

4 servings

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Farro Salad with Eggplant, Tomatoes, and Onion

This is the first time I've cooked with Farro and I'm so happy I did. Trader Joe's had a display with 10-minute cooking grains and Farro was one of the grains. I'm definitely going to keep this as a main staple in my pantry and use it for soups and other salads.

Farro Salad with Eggplant, Tomatoes and Onion
(Bobby Flay)

**I roasted the eggplant and onion vs. grilled.  I sliced, brushed with oil and baked in 300 to 350 degree oven until browned.


What Is the Nutritional Value of Farro?

Farro is a whole grain that is an excellent source for complex carbohydrates. Additionally, farro has twice the fiber and protein than modern wheat. Different than some other whole grains, a carbohydrate in farro called cyanogenic glucosides has been found to stimulate the immune system, lower cholesterol and help maintain blood sugar levels. While farro does contain gluten, the gluten molecules are weaker than modern wheat, making it more easily digested. Below are more detailed facts regarding farro’s nutritional value:
Per ½ cup raw farro:
  • 170 calories
  • 1.5 g of fat
  • 0 g saturated fat
  • 0 mg of sodium
  • 34 g of carbohydrates
  • 5 g of dietary fiber
  • 2 mg of iron
  • 6 g of protein
  • 4 mg of niacin
  • 60 mg of magnesium
  • 2 mg zinc
In addition to minerals and vitamins, farro is rich in antioxidants, phytonutrients, lignans and betaine.  Betaine, when combined with choline, has been shown to prevent or reduce stress-included inflammation, which can be beneficial for individuals suffering from certainmedical conditions.

How Can You Cook Farro?

To consume farro, you must first soak the grain. Farro has a chewy, firm texture.  Simply boil the grain in a 2:1 ratio of water to farro. Simmer covered for 25 to 35 minutes. Drain any unabsorbed liquid.
In Italy, the most common way to eat farro is by adding it to soup. Farro can be served al dente in salads for a nutty texture.  Farro can also be used to make pasta and bread. Additionally, Farro can be interchanged in recipes calling for barley, spelt and quinoa.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Cocoa Bars

Wow, these really do pack a chocolate punch.  I'm always on the lookout for healthy, sweet snack recipes and came across this one in a new cookbook.  Dates have all sorts of health benefits and mixed with nuts you can't go wrong.  I've included a link for information on Dates.

Cocoa Bars
Author:  Complete Guide to Vegan Food Substitutions Cookbook by Celine Steen and Joni Marie Newman  (Book cover under my cookbooks page at top of blog)

1/2           cup pecan halves
18            dates (not Medjool), pitted and coarsely chopped
1/2           cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
                pinch of fine seal salt
3              tablespoons agave nectar to taste

Grind pecans in food processor until finely ground.  Add dates, cocoa, and salt.  Process until dates are ground; it might take a few minutes.  Add agave and pulse until a paste forms.  Sample a little to see if needs more agave. Press mixture into a 8 x 4 inch loaf pan lined with parchment paper.  Freeze for 1 hour.  Slice into desired serving pieces.  Store in fridge or freezer

4-6 bars

Friday, March 1, 2013

Sticky Orange Glazed Tofu

Gooey Goodness!

Sticky Orange Glazed Tofu

1            large celery, sliced
1            large carrot, sliced
2            green onions, white and green parts
              olive oil for saute’

1           14 oz. pkg. extra-firm tofu (we like Trader Joe’s sprouted)
1/4         cup arrowroot or cornstarch
1 1/2      teaspoons salt
              olive oil for frying

1            cup orange juice
1            cup ketchup
2            tablespoons Agave
4            teaspoons white vinegar
4            teaspoons vegan Worcestershire sauce
              hot sauce (to your liking)
1            garlic clove, minced
              water (to thin sauce at end of cooking)
2            cups brown rice, cooked

***Prep Tofu:  Press water out of the tofu.  Wrap it tightly in dry paper towels or clean kitchen towel. Set the tofu on flat surface and place a small baking pan on top.  Then stack with something heavy like a canned food or books on top.  Let the tofu sit for 20 minutes while it releases its water. 

Veggies:  Add diced vegetables to oiled pan.  Cook until semi soft, keep a bit of a bite to them.  Remove and put in a bowl to be added back to sauce later.

Sauce:  To a sauce pan, add orange juice, ketchup, agave, white vinegar, vegan Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce and minced garlic clove.  Cook medium heat until it thickens.

Tofu:  Mix Cornstarch and salt together, put in bowl.  Chop tofu into cubes, dredge tofu cubes into arrowroot mixture by tossing.  Heat enough oil into large heavy-bottomed skillet and begin adding tofu cubes in batches.  Cook until browned on one side, then turn.   Remove when brown and crispy and put on paper towel to remove excess oil.

Assemble tofu onto baking sheet, pour some of the sauce onto the tofu cubes, broil on high until tofu gets nice and sticky from the sauce.  While tofu is in oven, add the vegetables to the remaining sauce and re-heat, if sauce is too thick add a little water.    I also added a bit more Agave and salt.

When tofu is cooked, add to sauce.  Serve over rice with freshly diced green onions as a garnish.