Monday, May 13, 2019

Curried Lentil, Tomato and Coconut Soup

I’m always looking for ways to incorporate more lentils and quinoa into soups and other dishes I make.  For this soup, the lentils create a richly textured, hearty soup that is a meal in itself.   I added a small can of tomato sauce to make it nice and thick.  You can also hit is with a bit of cayenne, if you want a little heat.

Curried Lentil, Tomato and Coconut Soup
4 servings

2            tablespoons virgin coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
1            medium onion, finely chopped
2            garlic cloves, finely chopped
1            2 -1/2 inch piece ginger, peeled, finely grated
1            tablespoon medium curry powder
1/4         teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3/4         cup red lentils
1            14.5 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1            small can tomato sauce (this was not in original recipe)
1/2         cup finely chopped cilantro, plus leaves with tender stems for serving

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium.  Cook onion, stirring often, until softened and golden brown, 8-10 minutes.  Add garlic, ginger, curry powder, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes.  Add lentils and cook, stirring, 1 minutes.  Add tomatoes, tomato sauce (if using),  1/2 cup cilantro, a generous pinch of salt, and 2.5 cups water; season with pepper.  Set aside 1/4 cup coconut milk for serving (I just used entire can and did use for serving), and add remaining coconut milk to saucepan.  Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until lentils are soft but not mushy, 20-25 minutes.  Season soup with more salt and pepper if needed.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Double Chocolate Date Bars

A Mother's Day treat!

I just bought a big bag of pitted dates and was so happy to find this recipe on line.  I like that the recipe calls for regular pitted dates rather than Medjool Dates, which I find to be a little too sweet.  These bars are so easy to make that I will be keeping them on regular “sweet treats” rotation as well as taking a goodie bag to my mom for Mother's Day.

I just bought a big bag of pitted dates and was so happy to find this recipe on the web.  I like that the recipe calls for regular pitted dates rather than Medjool Dates, which I find to be a little too sweet.  These bars are so easy to make that I will be keeping them on regular “sweet treats” rotation.

Double Chocolate Date Bars

1 1/2         cup dates, pitted
1/4            cup + 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
3               teaspoons maple syrup
1/2            cup almonds
1/4            cup almond butter
1/2            teaspoon vanilla
1/4            teaspoon salt + extra for topping (I used finishing salt for final salting)
1/2            cup dairy-free chocolate chips
1               tablespoon coconut oil

Make sure dates are pitted.  Then place dates and almonds into a food processor and pulse.

Add cocoa powder, syrup, almond butter, salt, and vanilla to processor and pulse until everything is mixed together.

Place mixture in a 5 x 8 pan and smooth out with a spatula – or if you want thicker bars, put mixture in the middle and spread out without going to the edges.

Place in refrigerator for approx. 10 minutes, allowing bars to harden a bit.

Melt chocolate chips and coconut oil together in a microwave-safe dish – or small saucepan on stove.

Remove bars from refrigerator and drizzle melted chocolate over top; place back in the refrigerator for an additional 10 minutes. 

Add a little finishing salt to the top.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Orange-Scented Cauliflower Rice Pilaf

Cauliflower Rice is so light and can be dressed with many different sauces, it is definitely my new favorite side.  This particular dressing is light and refreshing and paired well with Asian vegan pot stickers.  I ended up making a double batch of dressing and used it all - I'd rather have too much than not enough.

Orange-Scented Cauliflower Rice Pilaf
Love & Lemons Every Day Cookbook
Serves 4

1            tablespoon orange zest
3            tablespoons fresh-squeezed orange-juice
1/2         tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1            tablespoon rice vinegar
1            tablespoon sriracha
1/2         teaspoon sea salt
              pinch red pepper flakes

1            small cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets (1 pound)
1/2         tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1            shallot, chopped (1/3 cup)
2            scallions, finely sliced
              sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4         cup toasted chopped almonds
1/4         cup toasted chopped pistachios
1/4         cup dried currants
1/4         cup pomegranate seeds
1/3         cup chopped fresh parsley
1/3         cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4         cup fresh mint leaves
1.5         teaspoons orange zest
              orange wedges, for serving

Make the dressing:  In a small bowl, whisk together the orange zest, orange juice, olive oil, rice vinegar, ginger, sriracha, salt and red pepper flakes.  Set aside.

Make the pilaf:  Working in several batches, place the cauliflower in a food processor and pulse until it resembles rice.  This should yield about 4 cups riced cauliflower.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the shallot and cook, stirring, for 6 minutes or until soft.  Add the cauliflower rice, scallions, a generous pinch of slat, and a few grinds of black pepper.  Cook, stirring frequently, for 2-3 minutes more until the cauliflower has just softened.  Do not overcook.

Remove the skillet from the heat and let it cool slightly.  Transfer to a large bowl and toss with three-quarters of the dressing, the almonds, pistachios, currants, pomegranate seeds, parsley cilantro, mint, and orange zest.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Sweet and Sour Tofu

This Tofu can be served up with a side of fried/steamed rice or veggie quinoa, also good to just snack on.  I added a pinch of red pepper for a little heat.

Sweet and Sour Tofu
Simple Vegan Blog 

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Vegan Mushroom Stew Over Mashed Potatoes

My version turned out a little soupier than it was suppose to but I wanted to share anyway and recommend that you visit the link below for author’s original photos. I ended up adding more liquid than recommended but the flavors were all there so we still enjoyed it. 

Crowded Kitchen is a mother-daughter team from Michigan with a wonderful Blog that has interesting, delicious recipes and beautiful photos!

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Citrus-Roasted Tofu

I decided to cook one block of tofu instead of two and used the leftover marinade to drizzle over before serving.  I served with a side of Trader Joe’s Sprouted Organic California Rice stir fried with diced onion and garlic.

Citrus-Roasted Tofu
Vegan Holiday Kitchen Cookbook
Serves  6-8

2            14-16 tubs extra-firm tofu  (I used one but used same amount marinade)

Orange Marinade

            Juice of 1 orange
            Juice of 1 lemon
2          tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/2       cup orange marmalade
1          tablespoon olive oil
1          tablespoon yellow mustard
1/2       teaspoon dried tarragon
            several grindings of black pepper
1           tablespoon olive oil or other healthy vegetable oil
8-10      baby carrots, quartered lengthwise
1-2        cloves garlic, minced, optional
1/3        cup slivered almonds
1/4        teaspoon curry powder
1/4        cup minced fresh parsley

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees

Cut each block of tofu into 8 slices, about 1/2” thick crosswise. (I used one block)
Blot well between several layers of paper towel or a clean tea towel.

Combine the ingredients for the marinade in a small mixing bowl and whisk together.

Arrange the tofu in a single layer on a parchment-lined roasting pan.  Spoon the marinade generously over the surface of the tofu.  Roast for 15 minutes, or until the tofu begins to turn golden.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a small skillet.  Add the carrots, garlic and almonds, and sauté over medium heat, stirring frequently, until both are golden.  Stir in the curry powder and remove from the heat.

When the tofu is done, transfer to a rectangular or oval serving platter or two, depending on their size, with the slices slightly overlapping one another.  Sprinkle the carrot-almond mixture evenly over the surface, topped by the parsley.  Serve at once, passing around the additional marinade.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Brussels Sprouts Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette

Perfect healthy side for any celebration not to mention it's just plain pretty.

Brussels Sprouts Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette
The Real Food Dietitians adapted

1            pkg. of whole Brussels sprouts and cut thinly with knife or pre-shredded
1/2         cup red onion, small dice
1/3         cup dried cherries
1/3         cup sliced almonds, toasted or pecans
4            oz. vegan Feta cheese or other vegan cheese, diced
              Citrus Vinaigrette

1            small orange, juiced
1            teaspoon orange zest
1            lemon, juiced
2            tablespoon finely minced shallots (or sub. With 1 T. minced garlic)
1            teaspoon yellow mustard
3/4         cup avocado or olive oil
2             teaspoons fresh thyme, minced (may substitute an equal amount of tarragon,
              basil, rosemary or oregano or 1 t. dried herbs of choice)
              salt and pepper to taste

Shred Brussels sprouts using the shredding blade of a food processor or slice thinly with a knife.

Place Brussels sprouts in a large bowl and combine with diced red onion, cherries, nuts and optional vegan cheese.

Wisk together vinaigrette ingredients.

Add vinaigrette immediately before serving and toss well to coat.