Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Peach Crisp

Yum

I love crisps for dessert in the summer. They are easier than pie and fruit is abundant and fresh this time of year.

Peach Crisp



Fruit Layer Ingredients:

4 cups (about 3-4) peeled and sliced fresh peaches* (frozen works as well, one 1-lb bag is perfect)
1 tbsp instant tapioca pearls

Crisp Topping Ingredients:

1/2 cup whole wheat flour (or all purpose if you prefer)
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup natural brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold vegan margarine

Directions:

Spray an 8x8 square baking dish with cooking spray. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

* To easily peel fresh peaches, boil a pan of water and immerse the peaches in it for 30 seconds, and then put them in an ice bath. The peel will slide right off.

Combine the sliced peaches and the tapioca and toss (if your peaches are super juicy double the tapioca). Place the peaches in the pan.

Start the crumb topping. In a mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients, which is the flour, oats, sugar, and salt. Brown sugar tends to have clumps, so be sure those all get broken up. Take your cold margarine, and cut it into small pieces. Toss the pieces of margarine in the dry ingredients, and then use a fork, pastry blender, or your hands to work the margarine in. You are looking for small little chunks of margarine....about pea sized chunks.

Pour the crumb topping over the peaches and lightly press down. Bake for 30 minutes.

For 9 pieces. Nutritional information from caloriecount.about.com.


Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 114 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories
217
Calories from Fat
98
% Daily Value*
Total Fat
10.9g
17%
Saturated Fat
1.8g
9%
Cholesterol
0mg
0%
Sodium
187mg
8%
Potassium
200mg
6%
Total Carbohydrates
28.6g
10%
Dietary Fiber
2.3g
9%
Sugars
14.3g
Protein
2.7g
Vitamin A 14%Vitamin C 8%
Calcium 2%Iron 6%
Nutrition Grade B
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

Monday, June 27, 2016

Couscous Casserole

Yum

When I first moved out and was on my own, I bought a Simply Colorado Cookbook. It was an impulse buy at the checkout counter, and one of the first cookbooks I ever owned. I looked it up and they still sell it on Amazon, and I noticed the copyright date was 1992! That seems so long ago, now.



There was a recipe in that cookbook for Confetti Couscous Casserole that my husband and I really liked. The original had ricotta and cheddar cheese added, but I swapped those out and adapted the recipe to be plant-based. The result is just as good as the original that I remember from all those years ago.

Couscous Casserole



This recipe might seem a little long, but you just break it down into 4 steps so it's easily managed:
Make the tofu ricotta
Make the couscous
Saute the onions and pepper mixture
Assemble and bake the casserole

Tofu Ricotta Ingredients:

1/2 pound firm tofu, drained (this is half a block, reserve the other half for another use)
2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
pinch of black pepper
1 tsp olive oil
1-2 tbsp nutritional yeast (start with one, taste and adjust to your liking)

Tofu Ricotta Directions:

Crumble the tofu into a small bowl. Add the remaining ingredients, and mix really well with a fork. You want to really mash up the tofu until it resembles ricotta cheese. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Couscous Casserole Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups water
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup couscous

1/2 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 cup sweet red pepper, chopped

1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 8 oz can sliced water chestnuts, drained and chopped into raisin sized pieces
2 Tbsp chopped pickled jalapeno
2 Tbsp white vinegar
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp ground cumin

Optional: 1/2 cup vegan shredded cheddar cheese

Couscous Casserole Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x11 casserole dish with cooking spray.

Combine water and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, and stir in couscous. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. You want the couscous to be tender and all of the liquid to be absorbed.

Coat a non-stick frying pan with cooking spray and sauté the onion, garlic, and pepper until the onions have turned translucent and the peppers have softened.

While the onions and pepper cook, you can start adding the other ingredients to the couscous. I had room in my saucepan, otherwise use a mixing bowl. Add the onion and peppers to the couscous and fold in the tofu ricotta. Spread the mixture into the casserole dish and bake for 20 minutes. If you want, spread the vegan cheddar over the top and return to the oven for 5 more minutes.

For 8 servings. Nutritional information from caloriecount.about.com.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 179 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories
327
Calories from Fat
21
% Daily Value*
Total Fat
2.3g
4%
Trans Fat
0.0g
Cholesterol
0mg
0%
Sodium
85mg
4%
Potassium
976mg
28%
Total Carbohydrates
61.8g
21%
Dietary Fiber
9.7g
39%
Sugars
2.2g
Protein
15.2g
Vitamin A 11%Vitamin C 51%
Calcium 9%Iron 20%
Nutrition Grade A
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Tofu Triangles with Brown Rice Noodles

Yum

This recipe came about from what I had on hand in the pantry and what was ready to pick from the garden. It all came together beautifully with the bitterness of the collards providing a nice balance to the slightly sweetened savory sauce.

This was a big hit with my husband, and it will definitely be in our rotation of favorites.

 Tofu Triangles with Brown Rice Noodles



Ingredients:

1 block extra firm tofu

8 oz brown rice noodles (I like these ones from Thai Kitchen)

1 tbsp toasted sesame oil

1 small bunch of collard greens

2 tbsp agave nectar
3 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp sherry
4 tbsp water
1 tbsp cornstarch

2 scallions, sliced
Toasted sesame seeds (optional)

Directions:

Drain the tofu and press it between two plates with a can (ex: soup, beans, etc.) balanced on top to squeeze some moisture out. Leave it for about 15-20 minutes. You can gather your other ingredients and prep them while you wait for the tofu to drain.

Drain off the excess moisture from the tofu. Put it on a cutting board and cut an X in the tofu by cutting diagonally from corner to corner. Then cut each of the four triangles formed by the X in half. Now turn the triangles on their side and slice them into four pieces each.

Heat the sesame oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium-low heat. Place the triangles flat in the pan and let them cook for 7-10 minutes. Leave the slices alone and don't mess with them too much because tofu is delicate and you don't want to break the little triangles.

Start the water for the noodles and prepare them according to package directions. Drain the noodles and reserve.

When the tofu slices are golden brown on the first side, flip them over and leave them for another 7-10 minutes.

Wash and slice the collard leaves into thin ribbons. I like to cut alongside the tough stem and cut the leaves in half lengthwise, and then slice them into thin strips (you can reserve the stems to use in vegetable stock). Put the collard ribbons over the tofu in the frying pan.

Now make the sauce. Put the agave, soy sauce, sherry, water, and cornstarch in a small measuring cup and mix well. Be sure to break up the clumps of corn starch. When the collard ribbons have wilted a bit, pour the sauce over the top of the tofu and collards. The sauce will thicken up fairly quickly, and when it does it is ready to serve.

Chop the scallions and serve the tofu, collards and sauce over the noodles with the scallions and sesame seeds sprinkled on top.

Makes 4 servings. Nutritional information from caloriecount.about.com.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 292 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories
277
Calories from Fat
71
% Daily Value*
Total Fat
7.9g
12%
Saturated Fat
1.4g
7%
Cholesterol
0mg
0%
Sodium
716mg
30%
Potassium
209mg
6%
Total Carbohydrates
40.8g
14%
Dietary Fiber
3.1g
12%
Sugars
7.1g
Protein
10.6g
Vitamin A 16%Vitamin C 14%
Calcium 24%Iron 12%
Nutrition Grade C
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Cilantro Lime Rice

Yum

This rice is a direct result of our love for Chipotle. We eat there quite frequently and have recently discovered that they send coupons via text, which is super convenient. Even though we love Chipotle for a quick, easy, and vegan-friendly dinner out, sometimes it is just as easy and satisfying to make you own similar meal and stay in.

Cilantro Lime Rice


Ingredients:

2 cups rice (brown or white) cooked according to directions (This is 2 cups dry, makes about 6 cups cooked)

1-2 tbsp olive oil
1/4-1/2 tsp salt
1-2 tbsp lime (juice from 1 fresh lime)
1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves, minced

Directions:

Make the rice. Then mix in the olive oil, salt, and lime juice. Mince the cilantro and toss that in as well. Start with the smaller amounts listed, and then add more to suit your taste.

For 6 servings. Nutritional information from caloriecount.about.com.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 65 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 
245
Calories from Fat 
25
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 
2.7g
4%
Cholesterol 
0mg
0%
Sodium 
100mg
4%
Potassium 
76mg
2%
Total Carbohydrates 
49.3g
16%
Dietary Fiber 
0.8g
3%
Protein 
4.4g
Vitamin A 1%Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 2%Iron 15%
Nutrition Grade B+
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

Monday, June 20, 2016

Easy Vegan Waffles

Yum

I have been baking vegan goodies for 13 years now. Even though I have only been vegan for 7 1/2 years, my son's food allergies (milk, eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, and fish) led me to vegan baking when he was just a year old. I am actually very grateful for this, as the transition to a fully vegan diet was very easy for me because I had built up a repertoire of vegan recipes by that point.

One of these tried and true recipes is waffles. We have had these consistently over the past 13 years almost weekly. They are the single most requested item from my family. I must credit Linda Coss and her food allergy cookbook with the original recipe, which I have changed slightly to our tastes.

Often we snack on the leftover waffles just plain throughout the day, not toasted or anything. They also freeze well and cook up great after thawing in the microwave (40 seconds or so) and then toasting in a toaster.

To me these say weekend dining to me. I love to make something from scratch that we can linger over and enjoy as part of a Saturday or Sunday morning brunch.

Easy Vegan Waffles


Ingredients:

1 banana (a fairly ripe banana works best-one that is starting to get those black spots on the peel)
1/4 cup natural sugar

1 1/3 cup soy milk (or other non-dairy milk)
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil

2 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 cups flour

cooking spray

Directions:

Preheat your waffle iron and gather all the ingredients.

Start out by mashing a banana in the bottom of your mixing bowl. Then add the sugar and mix it with the banana. Next add all wet ingredients to the banana and sugar (soy milk, vanilla, water, and oil). Stir to combine these well and then add the baking powder to the mix. Stir this in and break up any clumps. It will start to foam and bubble a bit, which is good - that is what you want. Let this bubble for a couple of minutes, until it is foamed up. Then add the salt and the flour and whisk it into the mix. I kind of stir from the bottom and incorporate a bit of the flour at a time. A few lumps are fine, but I try to break up as many as I can.

Finally, spray your waffle iron and cook according to the directions. These are good with Earth Balance Butter and maple syrup.


Product prices and availability are accurate as of Thursday, June 16, 2016, and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

For 17 - 4 inch waffles. Nutritional information from caloriecount.about.com.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 74 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories
139
Calories from Fat
34
% Daily Value*
Total Fat
3.8g
6%
Saturated Fat
0.7g
4%
Trans Fat
0.0g
Cholesterol
0mg
0%
Sodium
47mg
2%
Potassium
249mg
7%
Total Carbohydrates
23.4g
8%
Dietary Fiber
0.9g
4%
Sugars
4.7g
Protein
3.0g
Vitamin A 0%Vitamin C 1%
Calcium 9%Iron 7%
Nutrition Grade C
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

Friday, June 17, 2016

Fresh Tomato Salsa

Yum

I love to make salsa when tomatoes are in season and are super fresh. We put this on rice and bean bowls, in burritos, on fajitas, or for dipping with corn chips.

Fresh Tomato Salsa



Ingredients:

3 tomatoes, diced small
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp minced red onion
2 tsp jalapeño, finely diced
1/8 cup minced fresh cilantro (start with 1/4 cup packed leaves)
Juice of 1 lime (about 2 tbsp)

Directions:

Wash and chop the tomatoes into a small dice. Put the chopped tomato into a small bowl and toss with the 1/4 tsp salt. Add the red onion, the jalapeño, the minced cilantro, and toss again. Next, squeeze a lime over it and mix once more.

Makes about 2 1/2 cups of fresh salsa.


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Buckwheat Pancakes

Yum

When our son was younger, we used to go to Watercourse Foods for breakfast on the weekends. It is a vegan comfort food restaurant and they have a wonderful brunch menu. My son would always get their Charlie Cakes, which are buckwheat pancakes. This weekend, I wanted to make a hearty breakfast at home and for some reason the Charlie Cakes came to mind. A quick trip to the grocery store for buckwheat flour, a little research, and these babies were ready to go.

Buckwheat Pancakes


When getting ready to make these, I looked at several recipes and decided to use flax meal for my egg replacer. I find that the flax works best for me in taste and texture, especially with a hearty whole grain flour like buckwheat. I like to buy golden flax whole, and grind it in my little spice grinder. I use this thing all the time for spices, grains, and seeds. Any leftover flax meal can be stored in the freezer to keep it fresh longer.



Product prices and availability are accurate as of  Sunday, June 12, 2016 and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cup soy milk
1 1/2 tsp vinegar

2 tbsp flax meal
1/3 cup water

3/4 cup buckwheat flour
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar

3 tbsp oil
2 tbsp molasses

Directions:

Combine the soy milk and the vinegar in a small bowl and set aside to let curdle. Then combine the 2 tbsp ground flax seed (flax meal) with the 1/3 cup of water in a measuring cup. Stir well with a fork and set aside to let thicken.

In a mixing bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together. This is the buckwheat flour, all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar.

Then, add the oil and molasses to the milk and vinegar. Then add the flax mixture to these wet ingredients, and mix to combine. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until it is combined.

Let the batter rest while you heat a frying pan over medium high heat. Spray the pan with cooking spray and cook the pancakes with 1/4 cup batter at a time.

Makes 12 pancakes, each about 4 inches across. Nutritional information from caloriecount.about.com.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 69 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 
126
Calories from Fat 
43
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 
4.8g
7%
Saturated Fat 
0.6g
3%
Trans Fat 
0.0g
Cholesterol 
0mg
0%
Sodium 
170mg
7%
Potassium 
195mg
6%
Total Carbohydrates 
18.5g
6%
Dietary Fiber 
1.5g
6%
Sugars 
5.5g
Protein 
3.2g
Vitamin A 0%Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 4%Iron 6%
Nutrition Grade B
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet