Category Archives: Dairy Free

Italian Lentil Sprouts – Sprouting 102 and Chronic Epstein Barr

I have chronic Epstein barr virus.  It used to be a real inconvenience, but, it’s not so much anymore, usually.  I’ve been able to keep it under control through diet and supplements, usually.  For some reason, it tends to hit me hard in the spring:  ridiculously swollen glands, extremely tired, very sore joints, slow recovery if I do anything slightly active.  Going vegan seemed to help me, but that was before I had an active phase of the virus.  So, back to the drawing board.  I started to do some more research.  I don’t know all of the ins and outs of how the Epstein barr virus works.  Actually, doctors don’t even know a ton about it, except that sometimes anti-virals will help a bit with the symptoms, but there’s really no ‘cure’ for it.  The only thing you can hope and pray for is that you can have longer times when you’re in remission and the active times don’t last too long.  When I was diagnosed with it (about 7 years ago), my titers were 300 times higher than someone with the active virus (someone with mono), which indicated that I had a chronic version of it.  I’ve read a lot about the virus over the years and there seems to be a connection between CEBV and thyroid conditions and digestive issues and vitamin and mineral absorption.

Legal disclaimer:  I’m not a doctor.  I have no idea what I’m talking about.  Anything I say here is from my personal experience and from what I’ve read from real doctors.

Here’s where I start talking about supplements and trying to heal from a chronic condition.  I’ve been taking sublingual B-12 because of my pernicious anemia.  I believe that my gluten sensitivity and other allergies and absorption issues have occurred because the CEBV has ruined my digestive system.  So, I’ve been working on healing my gut for a couple of years now.  It has been somewhat working because my immune system has greatly improved in the last year.  I’ve been supplementing with a very good probiotic and lugol’s iodine every morning along with selenium, and magnesium at night.  I’m also supplementing with vitamin C to add a little help to my tired adrenals.  That’s just the direction I’m taking right now.

That brings me to sprouting.  When I first started sprouting, I did it because I liked the taste of sprouts and I also was making Sprouting Jarmy own sprouted brown rice flour to make halvah bars.  It turns out that there’s a better reason to sprout:  phytic acid.  Phytic acid is a glommer.  It gloms onto the minerals and vitamins that your body could use and takes them right out of your system. Now, if you have a healthy digestive system, a little phytic acid doesn’t really hurt.  If your system is compromised, like mine, it can really wreak havoc on your system. With the Fuhrman diet, I’ve been eating a ton of beans and nuts, all which are loaded with phytic acid.  This could be why I’m having a down time right now.  The good news, though, is that sprouting or fermenting will greatly reduce the phytic acid in them.  In the right conditions, it’s the phytic acid in a seed or bean or nut that makes it start to sprout.  Once it starts to sprout, the phytic acid is neutralized and is either eliminated or greatly reduced.  Cooking without soaking will diminish phytic acid a bit, but not as much as sprouting or fermenting.  Another option is to soak the offender in an acidic solution (I use filtered water with apple cider vinegar, but whey could also be used).  You’ll know when it’s ready after soaking because the water will get foamy and the water will get a slimy texture.  Right now I have kidney beans, chick peas, cashews, and brown rice sprouting.  Today I used the sprouted lentils to make this little Italian stir fry for lunch.  It was very tasty and quick to make.  I’m trying to keep a rotation of sprouted rice and legumes so I always have something easy to make.  I hope you give sprouting a try.  You’ll like it and so will your digestive system.Italian Lentil Sprouts

Italian Lentil Sprouts

Ingredients:

1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil

2 Cups Sprouted Lentils

1 14.5 oz. Can Chopped Tomatoes

1 Cup Chopped Kale

¼ Cup Chopped Dried Tomatoes

½ Red Bell Pepper, chopped

½ Sweet Onion, chopped

1 Medium Zucchini, Chopped

2 Teaspoons Dry Basil

1 Teaspoon Dry Oregano

4 Cloves Garlic, minced

Salt, to taste

Directions:

In a medium sized skillet, melt the coconut oil. Add the lentils, kale, dried tomatoes, pepper, onion, and zucchini. Sauté until kale wilts. Add the lentils and tomatoes. Cook for about 10 minutes over medium high heat, until zucchini is cooked to your liking. Makes 2-3 servings.

Play with Your Food – Vegan Tofu Peanut Wraps

Well, I subtitled this blog ‘adventures in eating to live,’ so I guess I’ll go with that theme and make my food an adventure.  Okay, so I’m not travelling the world to get this recipe: I’m just bringing the world into my home.  One thing I’ve learned about the Americanized recipes, especially Asian type recipes, have all been, well, Americanized:  you probably know what I’m talking about. Extra sugar and fat and even fake things have been added to cater to the American tastes.  Of course, eating nutritarian style, one tries to not add the extra sugars and fat.  I’ve only travelled to northern European countries, where they do try to add the extra sugar and fat, so I’m not an expert on authentic Asian cuisine.  I do know what I like to taste and I know the flavor profile I’m going for, so this is my version of southeast Asian cuisine.

I learned a trick for putting a crisp on tofu.  I can’t believe I never tried this before.  I just baked it.  Seriously, I’ve been cooking tofu for about 30 years and I’ve tried cooking it many different ways, but I’ve never baked it.  I love the texture of it baked.  It gets a little crispy and still is soft on the inside.  It’s very yummy.  I even have the non-tofu eaters in the family coming over to the dark side.  The baked tofu gives a nice mouth feel to the sandwich.

This sandwich makes a good dinner.  You could even serve it with a side of brown rice or quinoa.  It was satisfying enough to eat just on its own, though.  I had leftovers for lunch today, but I just put the tofu on the sandwich cold and then topped it with shredded raw cabbage and raw carrots.  I liked it as much as the cooked version.  There are a few steps to the recipe, but it’s a nice adventure away from the regular ‘beans and whatever’ meal I’ve been eating lately.  Hope you’ll give it a try.

Vegan Peanut Tofu Wraps

Vegan Peanut Tofu Wraps

Ingredients:

1 Pkg. Extra Firm Tofu, drained

½ Cup Vegetable Broth

3 Cups Shredded Napa Cabbage

4 Carrots, peeled and julienned

1 Tablespoon Liquid Aminos, plus extra for tofu

1 ½ Teaspoons Ground Ginger

1 Teaspoon Granulated Garlic

4 Vegan Sandwich Wraps

Peanut Sauce:

Juice of 1 Lime

Zest of 1 Lime

½ Cup Natural Peanut Butter

¼ Cup Water

2 Medjool Dates

2 Tablespoons Liquid Aminos

¼ Teaspoon Ground Ginger

Grated Carrot, Chopped Peanuts, and Sliced Green Onion for garnish

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400◦. Slice the tofu into long, thin strips. Grease and cookie sheet. Place the tofu on prepared cookie sheet and drizzle with liquid aminos. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, until it is slightly browned.

Prepare the sauce: in a small food processor, add all ingredients and whir until smooth. Set aside.

In a hot skillet, add in the vegetable broth, liquid aminos, and ground ginger. Add in the cabbage and carrots and cook over medium high heat until carrots are slightly tender.

When tofu is done, layer some tofu, cabbage mixture and sauce on a sandwich wrap and roll up. Top with some extra sauce, chopped peanuts, grated carrots and sliced green onion. Makes 4 servings.

Vegan Sandwich Wraps

This is just a preview of what we had for dinner tonight – that post will come later, but I thought I’d start off with the vegan sandwich wrap I made for dinner.  I made my family some gluten free sandwich wraps for breakfast this morning and my husband loved them and suggested that I make a chicken wrap with them with an Asian twist.  So, I decided to try out a vegan option of a sandwich wrap to use for dinner.   It does take a little effort.  They’re not really hard to make, but the recipe only makes 4.  I think that next time I’ll make a double batch and keep them in the fridge for lunches.  They are very tasty and handy as a sandwich bread and fairly good for you.  You can make them ahead of time for the peanut tofu wraps and then it will be a quick dinner whenever you feel like throwing it together.  Tomorrow I’ll post the peanut tofu wraps recipe, so try not to eat all of the wraps.

Vegan Sandwich Wraps

Vegan Sandwich Wraps

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons Flax Meal

6 Tablespoons Boiling Water

1 Cup Garbanzo Bean Flour

½ Cup Almond Flour

½ Cup Tapioca Starch

1 Tablespoon Agar Agar Flakes (optional, but it gives it a little pliable)

¼ Teaspoon Salt

1 Cup Almond Milk

Directions:

In a small bowl, mix together the flax meal and the boiling water. Allow to sit for 5 minutes, until the flax meal has the texture of egg whites (this is called a flax ‘egg’).

In a medium sized bowl, combine the garbanzo bean flour, almond flour, tapioca starch, agar agar flakes, and salt. Mix well. Add the almond milk and flax egg. Mix well and allow the mixture to sit while you heat the skillet.

Heat a medium sized skillet over medium high heat. Grease the skillet. Pour ½ cup of the wrap mixture into heated pan and spread out with a wet rubber spatula until it is about ⅛” thick. Cook on one side for about a minute, until it is slightly golden brown. Turn over and cook one minute more. Keep the wraps slightly warm until ready to use, so they will remain pliable (you can cover them with plastic wrap to keep them from getting stiff and it makes it easier to wrap them up). Makes 4 wraps.

Quick Vegan English Muffins

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day.  When I was single, my friends and I were always getting together for breakfast, more than any other meal.  Growing up, it was the only meal that my family actually ate together.  To me, it’s always been more than a break from fasting:  it’s been an experience.  Now that I have my own family, we love to sit down in the morning and have breakfast together.  My kids love breakfast for dinner as well, so, I’m always looking for new breakfast ideas.  We’re homeschoolers and we have the luxury of being able to have a leisurely breakfast together.  Today I made homemade gluten free English muffins for the family to use for breakfast sandwiches.  Since I’m the only one eating vegan, I wanted to make myself one for breakfast.  This is a revamped paleo recipe which was high in eggs.  It’s a quick and simple recipe to make, but the important step is the sautéing in the skillet after it has baked.  That really ramps up the taste and the mouth feel of the muffin.  I had it with some natural chunky peanut butter and a side of blueberries.  It was a nice breakfast.

Vegan Quick English Muffins

Vegan Quick English Muffins

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons Flax Meal

5 Tablespoons Warm Water

2 Tablespoons Almond Milk (can use vanilla almond milk for a little sweetness)

2 Tablespoons Chickpea Flour

2 Teaspoons Applesauce

½ Teaspoon Vinegar

¼ Teaspoon Baking Soda

Pinch Salt

Directions:

In a small bowl, mix the flax meal and water. Allow to sit for about 5 minutes until it is the consistency of egg whites. Add in the remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour mixture into a greased 500 ml ramekin. Cook in microwave for 2 minutes (or bake in a 400◦ oven for about 12 minutes). Remove from pan. Carefully cut in half horizontally. Fry in a greased skillet for about a minute on each side, until lightly golden brown. Makes one muffin.

Vegan Banana Cupcakes

I’m not going to pretend that these are good for you. Actually, if you don’t put the frosting on these, they are good for you. But, hey, a sweet treat now and then won’t kill you. I can’t really remember the last time I had anything with regular sugar in it. Now, I do get the organic stuff, but really, sugar is sugar in how it affects your body. So, for now I just won’t pretend these are good for you.
I’m getting ready for the church potluck tomorrow and I always make something that I stash in the kitchen for the health conscious people. I also made a sweet potato vegan shepherd’s pie, but that I’ll have to wait until after the dinner to publish the recipe. I don’t think it would be appropriate to bring it to church with a big scoop taken out of it. Anyway, the sweet treat for the day is vegan banana cupcakes. Like I said, the cupcakes themselves are pretty healthy: no refined sugar or gums or oils. The frosting is a different story. It’s a typical buttercream, but it’s made with vegan shortening instead of butter. I used organic powdered sugar. I have to admit, there used to be 10 of them and now there are 8. My daughter and I had to try them out to make sure they’re okay. And, I’m happy to say, they’re very okay. So, without further ado, here’s the recipe:
Vegan Banana Cupcakes
Ingredients:
For the Cupcakes:
2 Bananas, mashed
¼ Cup Agave syrup (or raw honey, if you’re not against that)
2 Tbsp. Flax Meal
5 Tbsp. Hot Water
¼ Cup Applesauce
1 Tsp. Almond Extract
1 Cup Oat Flour
½ Cup Grated Unsweetened Coconut
½ Cup Chopped Medjool Dates
6 Tbsp. Almond Flour
2 Tbsp. Teff Flour
1 Tsp. Baking Powder
¼ Tsp. Salt (I always use Himalayan salt)
¼ Tsp. Baking Soda
For the Frosting:
2 ¼ Cup Powdered Sugar
¼ Cup Vegan Shortening
2 Tbsp. Almond Milk
¾ Tsp. Almond Extract
¼ Tsp. Salt

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350◦. In a small bowl, mix together the flax meal and hot water. Let it sit until it is the consistency of egg whites. In a large mixing bowl, combine the bananas, flax mixture, agave syrup, applesauce, and almond extract. Mix thoroughly. Add in all of the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
Scoop the mixture into muffin cups using a large ice cream scooper (it makes about 10 cupcakes). Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, until cake bounces back and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Meanwhile, while cupcakes are baking, mix together all of the ingredients for the frosting and put aside until cupcakes are completely cool. Frost cupcakes. Makes 10 cupcakes.

Tempeh Jambalaya

Jambalaya is one of my family’s favorite meals. It’s an easy one pot meal and doesn’t take that long to make. It’s pretty versatile too: you can add different types of meat to it (whatever you may have left over) or even shrimp. You can add as much spice as you want. I learned a recipe from my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook a long time ago and I run with that. I’ve made it so many times that I don’t even use a recipe any longer. So, I gave a whack at making a vegan version last night. I liked it. It was easy. It was definitely healthy. I have to admit though, it was a little less jambalaya-ish and more like just plain rice and beans. You could leave out the tempeh. I just threw it in because I had it, otherwise, I would have just gone with the beans. It’s a good one pot meal, with leftovers for lunch or a quick dinner. Hope you like it.
Vegan Jambalya

Vegan Jambalaya

Ingredients:
1 Stalk Celery
1 ½ Cups Sliced Mushrooms
½ Cup Onion
½ Cup Green Bell Pepper
2 Carrots, sliced
½ Cup Vegetable Broth
14.5 oz. Can Chopped Tomatoes
1 ½ Cups Vegetable Broth
2/3 Cups Brown Rice
1 Cup Black Beans
1 Teaspoon Basil
½ Teaspoon Garlic Powder
½ Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
1 Bay Leaf
8 oz. Tempeh, cut into cubes
Salt, to taste

Directions:
In a large skillet, sauté the mushrooms, pepper, celery, onion, and carrots in ½ cup of broth about 5 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Add in remaining ingredients except for the tempeh. Turn heat down to medium low and cover. Simmer for about 40 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking and add extra broth as necessary. Stir in the cubed tempeh and cook another 5-10 minutes, until rice is fully cooked. Makes 4 Servings.

The Vegannaise Experiment

I’m the type of person that does things my own way. Plus, I tend to be cheap. If I can make something cheaper than buying it, I always take the cheapest option. I figure I can do it better myself anyway. Paying 5 bucks for a little jar of Vegannaise? Um, no thanks. Besides, there’s a ton of oil and other ingredients, that I don’t want, in Vegannaise.
Spring is springing. It hasn’t sprung yet, but it’s springing. It only got down to 36 last night. Yesterday was pretty nice here so we shoveled off the deck Snow on Deck
and made room for the grill. Nothing says ‘spring’ like the smell of grilling in the air. My favorite is grilled portabellos.
To get ready for grill season, I decided to take a crack at making vegannaise, without the oil. I tried a couple of variations. The one with oil in it tasted quite close to real mayonnaise, but it was quite runny. This one, using cashews, turned out with a great texture, but it definitely does taste like cashews. I don’t mind it though. It does have the ‘taste’ of mayo, kind of, but with a nutty aftertaste. I’ll keep working on it to perfect it, but in the meantime, this is still a tasty alternative. Served on a grilled portabello and bun, it’s like springtime on a plate. Hope you like it.
Vegan No Oil Mayonnaise

Ingredients:
¾ Cup Raw Cashews
6 oz. Silken Tofu
1 Tablespoon Almond Milk
2 Teaspoons Dijon Mustard
2 Teaspoons Lemon Juice

Directions:
Place all ingredients in a high speed blender. Process until completely smooth and thick.