Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Breadless Sandwich (* Raw * Vegan *GF)

The other day I was home alone.  After singing the Hallelujah chorus a couple times, I decided I really didn't feel like cooking for just myself.  So I perused my refrigerator and decided on a "bread-less sandwich".
It was actually very good and quite filling!
Portabella cap (de-stemmed)
hummus, tahini, nut butter or vegan mayonnaise
tomato slices
or whatever veggies you have on hand

Spread top of portabella with hummus, tahini , nut butter or vegan mayonnaise (I used my raw hummus and really enjoyed that combination).  Top with veggies and enjoy!

Cinnamon Sunflower Truffles (*Raw *GF *Vegan)

This one is for my mom.  She is a huge coconut fan but can be, at times, a little skeptical of my culinary choices.  She was brave in trying a raw dessert and she loved them.  Even my dad really liked them and requested the recipe.  So this is for you, mom & dad....and any other dessert lovers!

Cinnamon-Sunflower Truffles
2 cups raw sunflower seeds
2 T ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp sea salt
1 cup pitted medjool dates
2 T olive oil
2 T agave nectar 
raw, unsweetened shredded coconut.....not the sugary processed kind in the baking aisle :)

Place the sunflower seeds, cinnamon and sea salt into a food processor (I would not do this in a blender) and process until seeds are finely ground (only a minute or so).
Then add pitted dates, agave and olive oil.  Process again until combined and sticky. Check to see if you can form a truffle by rolling some mixture in your hand.  If it falls apart then add a little extra agave and process again.
Scoop mixture our and roll into balls.  Then roll in shredded coconut.  
(Store in refrigerator)

Enjoy!  :)

Vegan Shepherd's Pie (*GF *Vegan)

Since I am a huge fan of shepherd's pie (I mean, really, what's not to love!?) I thought I would give this version a whirl.  It was a huge hit with my husband and I.  My kids liked it so-so since they do not like mashed potatoes *GASP*!  (I am still not sure I produced such children.....)
But it was quickly eaten by my meat and potatoes man so I know it must have been pretty close to the real thing!

Shepherd's Pie
*from Gluten Free Goddess
For the mashed potato crust:
3 large Russet potatoes, peeled & cut up
vegetable broth or non-dairy milk, as needed
vegan buttery spread or olive oil, to taste
sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
chopped fresh chives, to taste

For the pie:
1-2 T olive oil
1 tsp cumin, or curry
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups cauliflower florets, cut to bite size
3 medium-large carrots, peeled and sliced
1 zucchini squash, sliced and quartered
1 yellow summer squash, sliced and quartered
1 heaping cup shredded cabbage or slaw mix
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes (with or without green chiles, depending on your preference)
2 T chopped jalapenos
1 cup vegan broth
1 T Worcestershire sauce or balsamic vinegar
1-2 T low sugar apricot jam, to taste
1 T rubbed sage
hot red pepper chile flakes or sauce, to taste (or omit if you prefer)
sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
1 14 oz can butter beans, drained and set aside

Place the cut potatoes in a large pot and cover with salted cold water.  Bring to a boil and simmer until the potatoes are fork tender, about 20 min.  In the meantime, heat the olive oil in a large deep skillet and add the cumin or curry, and garlic.  Stir one minute and add the fresh chopped vegetables.  Stir and cook about 5 minutes or so.  Add the canned diced tomatoes, extra chiles, vegan broth, Worcestershire or balsamic vinegar, apricot jam, sage, pepper flakes, sea salt and pepper, and stir to combine.  Bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce begins to reduce.  You want the vegetables tender-crisp, not too soft and the sauce thickened, not too thin.  When this has been achieved, taste test the sauce for seasoning adjustments; then remove from heat and gently add in butter beans.  Set aside.

Mash the cooked potatoes with a little liquid and vegan butter or olive oil.  Season with sea salt and pepper.  Add chives.  Taste test. 

Preheat oven to 350.

Assemble your pie:  Spoon vegetables into a casserole dish.  Top with mounds of mashed potato.  Sprinkle with chopped chives or parsley.  Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the pie is bubbling and heated through.

Enjoy!  And make sure you get some before your husband does :)

Black Bean Salad (*GF *Vegan)

The only introduction this needs is:  Yum!  Everyone liked this recipe!
Black Bean Salad
*from Whole Foods
1 ripe avocado, mashed
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 T fresh lime juice
2 (15 oz) cans black beans, rinsed & drained
4 cups greens (I used spinach and shredded cabbage and loved the mixture but use what you prefer or have on hand)
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup corn kernels, fresh or thawed if frozen (I didn't add corn to mine and didn't miss it)
1 small red bell pepper, seeded & chopped
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted or raw depending on your preference

In a large bowl whisk together avocado, cilantro and lime juice until blended.  Add beans, greens, tomatoes, corn, pepper, pumpkin seeds and toss until evenly coated.

I added a dollop of Salsa Verde to mine to add a little extra snap and loved it!  But if you prefer, this salad is great flying solo :)

Easy Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts (*GF *Vegan)

How many times have we complained that our parents made us eat brussels sprouts as kids?  Lots.  Why?  Kids don't like them.  Well, I found a super easy and delicious brussels sprouts recipe and guess what?  My kids complained about having to eat them.  Oh well, guess some things don't change.  On the other hand, I liked them so much that I am making them again tonight!

Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts
2-3 cups brussels sprouts, sliced in half (I just picked up a pre-washed bag from Trader Joes and it made it even easier!)
dash salt and pepper, to taste
3 T balsamic vinegar
3 T olive oil

Preheat oven to 375.  Whisk together vinegar, salt and pepper and olive oil in a small bowl.
Place brussels sprouts in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Drizzle the oil & vinegar mixture over the sprouts and toss gently to coat.
Bake for 25 minutes, turning once.  Sprouts are done when slightly browned.


Crockpot Curry (*GF *Vegan)


I love the crockpot.  The idea of throwing some ingredients in a big pot in the morning only to come home hours later to smells of deliciousness in the kitchen with no preparation is just fabulous.  Most crockpot recipes revolve around meat so I haven't used my trusty crock pot much recently.  Until I came across this crockpot curry recipe!  We tried it last night and it didn't disappoint.  It was a little sweeter than I expected, but this will definitely be a "second-timer"  :)

Crockpot Curry 
*from Gluten free Goddess
2 T olive oil
5-6 cloves fresh garlic,  minced
1 red onion, diced
2-3 tsp red curry powder (or to taste)
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp fennel seed 
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 head cabbage, shredded (I used green b/c that's what I had but I think purple would add a nice color)
2 large carrots, peeled & sliced or chopped
1 large potato - gold or sweet, diced
2 apples - 1 tart, 1 sweet - cored, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup golden raisins
14 oz can chick peas, rinsed & drained
3 cups vegan broth

To add in later:
1 cup light coconut milk, more if needed
drizzle of agave, to taste 
sea salt & black pepper to taste
squeeze of fresh lime or rice vinegar, to taste
chopped fresh cilantro, to taste

Pour oil in bottom of crock pot.  Add the garlic, onion & spices.  Stir to coat.  Add the rest of the ingredients in the first list.  Stir briefly to combine.  cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours, or until veggies & potato are tender.  
Before serving, add in the coconut milk, agave, salt & pepper, lime or vinegar and cilantro.  Taste test and adjust as needed.  If you need more liquid add more broth or coconut milk.  Cover and heat through for 15 minutes more.  Serve over rice.

Enjoy :)