RECIPE FRIDAY: ZUCCHINI LUNCH

Zucchini…. Not my favorite vegetable. It’s bland and unappealing, in general. I have found, though, that when I spiralize zucchini, it has a different taste and it looks pretty, so that has become my favorite way to utilize it. This recipe is mostly raw, and can be made totally raw if you so desire (see note at the end). It’s also a quick meal using foods that are not unusual or difficult to find.

Zucchini Salad

Zucchini Lunch

 

ZUCCHINI LUNCH

(Nutritarian, Vegan, Oil free, Salt free, Sugar free, Gluten free….and can be made totally Raw)

Serves 1

Ingredients:

1 medium zucchini, spiralized (or grated)

1 large tomato, very coarsely chopped (mine are pretty good sized pieces)

1/2 cup frozen corn, roasted for about 10 minutes in 350 degree oven (little brown marks on the corn)

1/2 of a medium avocado, cut into chunks

2 Tablespoons chopped walnuts

Lime wedges

Directions:

Layer the ingredients on a plate. Squeeze lime juice on the salad and savor the flavors! I also added a side of a few organic blue corn chips.

Spiralized Zucchini

Spiralized Zucchini

Addition of chopped tomatoes.

Addition of chopped tomatoes.

Addition of roasted corn.

Addition of roasted corn.

 

Notes:

  • I fully intended to add some chopped green onion….forgot about it until I was eating the salad. By then it was too late.
  • A couple more additions I will make in the future: black or pinto beans and some cilantro. I need to go grocery shopping and those items are on my shopping list.
  • Totally raw option: Use fresh corn cut from the cob or some thawed frozen corn. And sprouted lentils would work nicely for the bean option shown above.
Zucchini Lunch...YUMMY!

Zucchini Lunch…YUMMY!

 

 

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RECIPE WEDNESDAY: PEACH SMOOTHIE

Yes, it’s cold….even in Houston. But I still start most days with a smoothie in the morning; in fact, I start the day with a HUGE smoothie. This one was put together yesterday and I really enjoyed it. It may look green (see the picture below), but peaches are definitely a huge part of the finished product.

PEACH SMOOTHIE

(Vegan, Nutritarian, Fat-Free, Salt-Free, Sugar-Free)

Makes one LARGE Smoothie

Ingredients:

1-1/2 cups water

1 teaspoon alcohol-free vanilla

2 Tablespoons hemp hearts

3 medjool dates; remove the seeds!

3 large kale leaves, stems removed (save the stems for juicing if you have a juicer that handles greens)

1 lemon, peeled and quartered

10 oz. frozen peaches

Cinnamon or Nutmeg, as desired

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a high speed blender until well-blended. (You can definitely use any blender; blending time will be longer and the end product may not be as smooth.) Add ice if desired to get a thicker texture.

Notes:

This would also work well using nut milk or coconut water. Other greens, like spinach or collards, would be an excellent substitute for the kale. Add some raspberries and make it a Peach Melba smoothie.

Peach Smoothie

Please try it and let me know what you think….

Happy Sipping!

RECIPE WEDNESDAY: BLACK BEAN CAKES

This was my lunch yesterday. Although the recipe isn’t perfect yet (see notes at the end), the flavor is so good I needed to go ahead and share. Besides, if I didn’t, there would be no recipe today…..none of us want that, do we?

Finished with salsa

Black Bean Cakes

(Vegan, Nutritarian, Salt-free, Oil-free, Sugar-free …… Makes 6)

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon flax meal combined with 2 tablespoons water; let this form a gel while you’re making the rest (this acts like an egg)

2 cups cooked black beans (I used ones I cooked but you can use 1 can, drained), mashed. Some chunks are okay, but make sure they’re mashed well.

1/4 cup green onion, chopped (I happened to have green on hand, but regular onion would work fine, too)

1/2 medium green pepper, minced

1/2 cup corn kernels (use organic to avoid GMOs; I used frozen, right from the bag)

2 medium mushrooms, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, minced (if you don’t like cilantro, leave it out or substitute fresh parsley)

1 tablespoon (or to your liking) chili powder

1-1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (see note below)

1/4 cup medium ground cornmeal (see note below)

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl, adding the flax meal/water mix last. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour (overnight is fine, too!).

The Mix

This is the mix before I put it into the refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Form bean mix into patties and place on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. Flip and bake an additional 10 minutes. I also ran mine under the broiler for 3 minutes on each side because I wanted a really crispy exterior. Serve and enjoy!

Tray of 6

The tray of six prior to baking.

Just One

Just one, prior to baking.

Notes:

Cumin: I prefer to grind my own. Simply toast cumin seeds lightly in a skillet over medium heat. Then, run them through a coffee grinder used specifically for herbs and spices. You’ll notice a difference!

Cornmeal: I used Bob’s Red Mill medium grind. This gives a bit of a gritty texture to the bean cakes. A finely ground cornmeal or a flour (wheat, brown rice, garbanzo, etc) would work well, too.

The Cornmeal

Bob’s Red Mill Cornmeal

Spices: I like mild spices for this recipe because I was topping with a spicy salsa. Feel free to adjust the heat to your liking. You can also try Mrs. Dash’s Southwest Chipotle seasoning in lieu of the chili powder….it’s good stuff, and spicy!

These bean cakes can be a little crumbly. That’s where I need to perfect the recipe a bit, but…. try them crumbled with salsa and avocado in a lettuce wrap. Totally delicious!

Finished no salsa

Here’s a pic of a finished bean cake without the salsa.

HOPE YOU ENJOY THESE! If you try them, please let me know….and I’d love suggestions for improving them!

RECIPE WEDNESDAY: SICK WOMAN’S BLENDER TOMATO SOUP

I almost didn’t post today….I’ve been sick with a really nasty cold (or flu; there were chills yesterday). But then I started craving tomato soup….an easy tomato soup. Most commercial soups have stuff in them which I choose to avoid so I needed to “cook up” something myself….and it needed to be fast.

SICK WOMAN’S BLENDER TOMATO SOUP

(Vegan, Nutritarian, Salt-free, Sugar-Free)

Ingredients:

1 can diced salt-free tomatoes

1 raw tomato (optional; I had one I needed to use up so I threw it in)

1/2 small red pepper

2 green onions

A handful of sliced baby portabello mushrooms

1 Tablespoon salt free Italian Seasoning (I wanted Italian, but feel free to use something else and adjust accordingly)

A couple splashes of home-made almond milk (about 2 tablespoons, or 1/8 cup)

Directions:

Put everything in to a high speed blender (like VitaMix or Blendtec). Run on high until heated thoroughly, about 4 minutes. Serve! Alternatively, you can puree this in a regular blender and then heat on the stove (I’m not fond of microwaves, but that would work, too) or heat everything first and then puree with an immersion blender right in the pot. Makes ONE BIG SERVING or two smaller ones.

This recipe is salt free, but I did add a little salt at the table.

Please don’t get sick just to try this recipe.

Blender Tomato Soup

RECIPE WEDNESDAY: HOLIDAY COUSCOUS SALAD

Sorry to be so late posting today. I have a potluck church function tonight and was busy putting together my dish. I’ve been dreaming about how to put this together and, in the end, it’s not exactly a recipe. You can use whatever amounts of different ingredients you want; if you don’t have or like an ingredient, leave it out or substitute something else; and if you want, add ingredients I didn’t think of. It’s fun! And, I promise you, it will turn out just fine! Another plus: You can make as much or as little as you need so there’s no number of servings listed (mine is for a large group and the bowl in the pictures is quite large!)

Here's the salad before the dressing. The peas and currants were an afterthought so they're not showing.

Here’s the salad before the dressing. The peas and currants were an afterthought so they’re not showing.

HOLIDAY COUSCOUS SALAD

(Vegan, Nutritarian, Salt-free, Oil-Free, can be Gluten Free)

 Ingredients:

Cooked Couscous (Brown rice, barley, or farro would work, too; Lundberg Farms also has a rice couscous)

Sliced green onions

Coarsely chopped carrots

Coarsely chopped steamed green beans

Green peas

Garbanzo beans (chickpeas)…mine were cooked in my trusty Instant Pot, but the canned variety is just fine; any type of bean will work, too!

Dried cranberries

Dried apricots, chopped

Dried currants (mine had dried out a bit so I soaked them for a few minutes in hot water)

Sliced Almonds

Directions:

Combine everything together in a bowl and leave as is, or dress with a dressing of your choice. I used a curry dressing which, I regret to say, I kept playing with so I lost track of the ingredients. I do know that I used plain coconut yogurt (So Delicious brand), a little salt-free ketchup, a little regular mustard, a little rice vinegar, and 2 different brands of curry powder (I haven’t yet found a curry powder I truly love)….mixed it all together and added just a tad of agave syrup (date or maple syrup or even apple juice would work well, too)…. Be adventurous! I’m sure you’ll come up with something very, very tasty all on your own.

And here's the salad with the curry dressing....again, without the peas and currants...told you they were an afterthought...they went in after I snapped the picture.

And here’s the salad with the curry dressing….again, without the peas and currants…told you they were an afterthought…they went in after I snapped the picture. And the almonds aren’t in yet, either….I’m waiting until just before I leave the house to add those so they’ll still have their crunch.

Do you have a commercial curry powder that you love? A blend that you create yourself? Help me  find a curry powder blend I can’t live without!

RECIPE WEDNESDAY: PINEAPPLE COLE SLAW

Last week I presented a Baked Falafel recipe; today I’m sharing a side that goes well with the falafel (and it works well as a picnic side, as well).

IMG-20121110-00009 (1)

PINEAPPLE COLE SLAW

(Vegan, Nutritarian and oil-free)

Makes 8-12 good-size servings

Cashew Dressing (make this ahead):

1/2 cup raw cashews soaked 2 hours (at least)
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3 Tablespoons date or maple syrup (I used date syrup)
Dash of salt, optional
1/4 – 1/2 cup unsweetened pineapple juice (depending on how thick you want it; I used a bit more than 1/2 cup)

Combine the above in a blender (preferably a high speed blender, but a regular one will work; processing just takes a little longer) until smooth. Refrigerate for a couple of hours or overnight before using.

Cole Slaw:

2 bags angel hair cabbage
1 small can crushed pineapple
1/2 cup (or more) unsweetened dried coconut
3/4 cup chopped raw nuts (I used pecans)
Cashew Dressing, as desired

Combine everything with the dressing and refrigerate at least a couple hours. If you make the night before, don’t add the nuts until close to serving time.  Use as little or as much dressing as you desire. And if you’re not vegan….you can substitute mayonnaise, commercial coleslaw dressing, or lemon poppyseed dressing for the cashew dressing.  Make this more festive by adding dried cranberries and/or yellow raisins.

ENJOY!

RECIPE WEDNESDAY: ASIAN SALAD WITH PEANUT SAUCE

As promised last Saturday, here’s the recipe for the salad I put together for my church picnic. This makes a bunch, so be prepared to share it, pare it down, or eat it all yourself. (I personally opt for the latter!)

ASIAN SALAD WITH PEANUT SAUCE

(Vegan, Oil-Free, Added Salt-free, Nutritarian)

Ingredients:

2 good size broccoli crowns, pulled into florets (I cut off  most of the stems for use in a broccoli slaw later)

2 red peppers, coarsely chopped

1 lb carrots, sliced

1/4 cup chopped green onion

1 16 oz bag frozen green garbanzo beans (or 2 cups canned or home-cooked regular garbanzos)

1 full recipe of Chef AJ’s peanut sauce (see link below)

Directions:

Steam broccoli florets for 1.5 minutes. Drain and allow to cool a bit.  Steam green garbanzos for 4 minutes. Drain and allow to cool. (Steaming is not necessary for canned or home-cooked garbanzos.)

Make the peanut sauce. Recipe, from Chef AJ’s book, Unprocessed, here: https://sites.google.com/site/hgkprintablerecipes/spicy-peanut-noodles-with-broccoli (The rice noodles in Chef AJ’s  recipe work well with all of the other veggies above, too!)

Combine all of the veggies with the peanut sauce in a large bowl. (I usually have too much sauce so I save it and use later over steamed veggies.) Put into your desired container and refrigerate for at least a couple of hours. I let mine sit overnight so the flavors mingle really well.

I don’t know how many servings this makes, but it’s at least 10 regular serving sizes. If you’re using as a main dish, it’s at least 4-6 servings.

ENJOY!

RECIPE WEDNESDAY: Sort of ….

Cooking, or even creating, hasn’t been on my agenda the past few days. I’ve been living on basic salads, cooked beans, and fruit. Why? Weather changes still mean migraine headaches for me and the Houston area has had (and is still having) some significant weather changes. Migraines also mean nausea for me…I don’t eat a lot, or think of food a lot, as a result.

Because I don’t have a recipe today, I thought I’d provide a few links for some great resources for recipes. Here are some of my favorites!

Susan Voisin runs Fat Free Vegan. She has some amazing recipes(!) and they’re all (or, almost all, at least) oil-free and salt-free vegan. Like me, Susan follows Dr. Fuhrman’s Eat to Live plan. I’m sure you’ll find something here to whet your appetite!

http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/

And then there’s Lindsay S. Nixon’s, Happy Herbivore. Lindsay is the author of two of my favorite cookbooks, The Happy Herbivore and Everyday Happy Herbivore, with more cookbooks on the way. Her recipes follow Dr. John McDougall’s plan, which, like Dr. Fuhrman’s, is plant-based and oil-free and salt-free; the difference is really in the use of bread products and starchy vegetables. I love Lindsay’s Enchilada Sauce. Check out some of her recipes here:

http://happyherbivore.com/recipes/#recipe-box

Angela has some delicious vegan recipes on her site. Some may require modification or adapting for the “nutritarian,” but they’re worth it. Be sure to read Angela’s story in her “About” section.

http://ohsheglows.com/

For treats, Katie’s healthy desserts are to die for. Try her amazing (in taste and in simplicity) Fudge Babies. And if you go to her “About” page, you can sign up to receive email notifications of new recipes. (You’ll want to do that, especially with holidays looming on the horizon!)

http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/chocolate-covered-recipes/

Of course, no list would be complete without Chef A.J. She’s author of  Unprocessed which offers some incredible “nutritarian” recipes that even meat-eaters will love. Her book also tells the story of her health journey.  (A new cookbook will be appearing soon.) Chef A.J. and dietitian, Julianna Hever, join forces for this You Tube series.

http://www.youtube.com/user/therealchefaj?feature=watch

A standby for me is the magazine, Vegetarian Times. All of the recipes are vegetarian with many being vegan or easily adapted to vegan. Almost all of them have to be adapted for the “nutritarian” cook, but many are worth it.

http://www.vegetariantimes.com/recipe/

I think that’s enough links for one day! More will be coming on other Wednesdays when I don’t have a recipe ready. Have fun exploring!

RECIPE WEDNESDAY: “NUTRITARIAN” BROCCOLI SALAD

It’s Recipe Wednesday! Today I give you “Nutritarian” Broccoli Salad. Yes, there are loads of vegan broccoli salad recipes on the internet. This one may be similar to one or several of them, but it’s all mine. This recipe is vegan, oil-free, and salt-free.

 

“NUTRITARIAN” BROCCOLI SALAD

Serves 2

Ingredients:

For the dressing:

1 cup raw cashews, soaked for 2 hours (drain before using)

2 – 3 pitted Medjool dates

3 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar (I prefer Braggs)

1/2 cup filtered water (you’ll probably need more)

For the salad:

1 good-sized broccoli crown; break into small florets

4 green onions, white and light green parts, sliced

1/4 cup raisins, soaked to soften, and drained

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 mango, peeled and chopped (or use thawed frozen mango pieces)

1 small avocado, peeled and sliced

1/4 cup fresh (or thawed from frozen) pomegranate arils (seeds)

 

Directions:

Combine dressing ingredients in Vitamix or blender jar and blend on high until smooth. (This makes a thick dressing; I like mine thinner, so I wound up adding about 1/2 cup water in addition to what’s shown in the recipe.) May be made in advance and keeps 4 – 5 days.

Combine broccoli, onions, raisins, sunflower seeds and mango. Toss with salad dressing, using as much as you like. (I don’t like loads of dressing, so I used about a quarter of the dressing for this salad.) Refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving. Just before serving, top with sliced avocado and pomegranate arils.

Notes:

  • I used 3 dates; next time I’ll use 2 and probably increase the apple cider vinegar to 4 tablespoons because I like that flavor.
  • Try the dressing with coleslaw….nice flavor combo.
  • I took a little of the dressing and added some dill weed today and used it on a big, green salad. Delicious(!), especially if you have a little fruit in the salad.
  • Substitute pepitas (pumpkin seeds) or sliced almonds for the sunflower seeds.
  • I think fresh pineapple chunks would work well in lieu of the mango (or with!). I’ll be trying that next!
  • I AM A CREATIVE COOK! I don’t always measure exactly….I tried to for this recipe, but I guessed a bit, too, on the amounts. So…if you’d like more or less of an ingredient, go for it!

Here’s a close up:

 

Enjoy!

Recipe Wednesday: Zucchini “Pasta” with Raw Marinara

The recipe I had intended to create for today never happened. I was going to use the beets from my co-op box in a special salad, but those beets wound up in fresh juice instead….and I don’t have a picture of the juice 😦  The recipe below, though, was made last weekend when I wanted something really quick that required no cooking. It totally hit the spot! Although zucchini is not one of my favorite veggies, I found that when I turn it in to pasta, it gets a little “oomph!” This recipe is vegan, nutritarian, oil-free, and salt-free (unless you choose to add salt).

ZUCCHINI “PASTA” WITH RAW MARINARA

(Serves 1)

Ingredients:

1 medium zucchini (really large ones tend to be tough and lacking in flavor)

1 good-sized tomato, quartered,  or a package of cherry tomatoes

3 green onions

A handful of fresh basil

Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper, to taste

Spiralize the zucchini with a spiralizer (I have a Spirooli …. https://www.buyspirooli.com/?s_kwcid=TC-2818-11635552650-bb-1432827089 ) or run the zucchini through a food processor using the grater blade. Place on a plate.  Combine the tomato, onions, basil and optional spices in the bowl of a food processor (I used my mini-processor for this). Pulse until slightly chunky. Top zucchini “pasta” with the sauce. Eat! It’s that easy. If you like pine nuts, you could add a few as a garnish. Sliced black olives would be good, too.

You can add other raw veggies to the marinara also. It all depends upon how much time you have and how much prep work you wish to do. This was perfect (and perfectly simple) for me last weekend. Let me know if you try this and how you change it up!