Tag Archives: Vegan

Sprouted Kidney Bean Burgers with Warm Salsa

I realized the other day that I’m doing a sort of vegan slash paleo diet.  So, I’m coining the phrase “Pagan Diet.”  You heard it here first, folks.  It’s kind of funny.  Okay, so maybe I amuse myself a little too much.  I guess I could call it a Valeo diet, but that’s just not as funny unless you’re into foreign car parts.  On the menu for lunch yesterday was some sprouted bean burgers.  I have to admit, I didn’t know if eating sprouted beans would really make a difference, but it has.  Eating regular beans never really made me overly gassy, but there was always a certain uncomfortable fullness that I would get from eating them.  I always figured it was the fiber.  But, I don’t get that feeling now at all.  When I soak the beans, you see the foam that comes off of them.  It seems like the gas that’s forming that foam is what’s given off in your stomach when you eat beans.  Today I have chickpeas, black beans, almonds, and brown rice sprouting.

These burgers turned out nice.  I’ve noticed that the beans that have been sprouted have a less starchy taste to them then regular beans.  I like beans, but I like the sprouted beans much more.  We’ll see how this helps health-wise.  I imagine it must be helping with my health.  On one hand, regular beans are more acidic than sprouted beans and I do try to eat more alkaline foods than acidic ones.  Basically, sprouting a bean turns it into more of a plant than a bean, so you’re making it alkaline.  Also, sprouting increases the amount of vitamin C and B vitamins in the legume, both of which are very good for your adrenals.  Plus, your body will have a lot more vitamins and minerals to absorb.  I’m not going to go around carrying a flag that says “Soak Your Beans” but I’ve definitely become an advocate for sprouting.  The only drawback to it is that it takes time and planning.  But, I just keep sprouting and once they’re sprouted, I’ll rinse them and put them in a jar in the fridge so I always have some to use.  I hope you give it a try.

Sprouted Kidney Bean Burgers

Sprouted Kidney Bean Burgers w/ Warm Salsa

 

Ingredients:

2 Cups Sprouted Kidney Beans

½ Sweet Onion, chopped

1 Tbsp. Coconut Oil

½ Cup Sprouted Brown Rice

½ Cup Oats that have been soaked overnight

½ Cup Soaked Raw Cashews

10 Oz. Mushrooms

3 Tbsp. Coconut Flour

2 Tsp. Smoked Paprika

1 ½ Tsp. Salt

1 ½ Tsp. Ground Cumin

1 ½ Tsp. Chili Powder

 

Warm Salsa Ingredients:

14.5 Oz. Can Chopped Roasted Tomatoes

1 Jalapeno Pepper, chopped finely

½ Sweet Onion, chopped finely

½ Red Bell Pepper, chopped finely

Juice of ½ Lemon

Zest of 1 Lemon

½ Tsp. Dried Minced Onion

½ Tsp. Mexican Oregano

Salt, to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375◦. Oil a cookie sheet.

In a large skillet, melt the coconut oil and add the chopped onion to it. Sauté over medium high heat until slightly golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a food processor, combine all of the remaining ingredients and process until thoroughly combined. Add processed ingredients to the skillet with the onions and mix together.

Using an ice cream scoop, scoop the bean mixture onto the prepared cookie sheet. Flatten out with the back of the ice cream scoop (or use wet fingers). Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

While burgers are baking, heat all ingredients for the salsa in a skillet until the liquid from the tomatoes has thickened slightly. Keep warm until ready to serve.

Makes 14 burgers (a serving size is about 2 burgers each).

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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.

Pantry Stew – Eating Healthy Economics 101

My husband’s a golf pro.  This means that we live kind of lean in the winter.  I spend the summer stocking up on pantry food, like beans, quinoa, brown rice and gluten free pasta:  stuff that can make cheap dinners to live off of in the leaner times.  I haven’t quite reached prepper status yet, but some people may think I’m a bit excessive.  Hey, ya gotta do what ya gotta do.  Well, we still have a couple of weeks left until he goes back to work so right now I’m kind of scraping the bottom of the barrel for creative things to make that are still healthy and tasty.  Beans are definitely the way to go.  Come summer, we have our garden to eat from and, living out in the boonies, we have a lot of farm markets to go to as well for the things I don’t grow.  We have a large freezer that is still full of frozen veggies.

Here’s the economy of eating healthy:  you have to pick and choose what you can afford.  Thankfully, we have a ‘budget’ type of store around here, called Aldi’s.  They’re all along the east coast of the US, and I don’t know where else they are.  But, they just started selling a line of organic things:  canned goods like beans and tomatoes and broths (except they don’t have veggie broth), plus they have a limited amount of organic veggies.  If you’re one of those “I will only eat orgaclean-15-dirty-dozen-287x300nic vegetables and find extreme disdain with someone who doesn’t,”  you can stop reading here.  I buy organic when I can.  I try to buy the ‘dirty dozen’ organic only.  Other veggies, I stick to washing them really well and peeling them.  Once again, ya gotta do what ya gotta do.  The way I figure it, if you’re eating healthy things, I think your body should be able to detox from the pesticides and junk that you’re getting from the non-organic stuff.  I try to eat non-GMO as much as possible, but really can’t afford to shop at the local co-op exclusively.  I just can’t with a family of 5 to feed on a limited budget.  And I won’t even go into my “shouldn’t ‘they’ make the good food cheap to eat so everyone will be healthy” spiel.

So, this was my pantry meal of the day:  a bunch of beans and chopped veggies.  Also, I need some good carbs in me.  Now that I’ve been feeling better for the first time in a long time, I started exercising.  I’ve been weight lifting (arms and upper body 3 days a week a legs twice a week) and walking every day (about 2-4 miles, depending on the route).  On the weekend,  do some sort of cardio.  Today, I did 55 minutes of Zumba (that I took out of the library).  This stew was very filling and fulfilling without feeling heavy on my stomach.  And it gave me some energy post workout.  Plus, it made a really big pot, so I’ll have some quick lunches this week.  Enjoy!

Pantry Stew

Pantry Stew

Ingredients:

28 oz. Can Chopped Tomatoes

15 oz. Can White Beans, drained and rinsed

15 oz. Can Black Beans, drained and rinsed

15 oz. Can Kidney Beans, not drained

2 Cups Vegetable Broth

1 Cup Lentils

1 Cup Cauliflower Florets

⅓ Cup Almond Butter

2 Carrots, peeled and chopped

1 Zucchini, chopped

1 Medium Sweet Onion, chopped

2 Teaspoons Cumin

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a stock pot. Bring to a boil. Turn heat down and simmer on medium low heat for 30 minutes. Add more vegetable broth if it seems too thick.

Lentils – It’s What’s for Lunch

Lentils are awesome.  I love the little green ones, the red ones, the big green ones.  They are so versatile and easy to make.  So, the arctic air got its grip on us once again and for some reason, I tend to make the comfort food when it’s cold out.  This was an easy recipe to make:  just a pot of lentils and some veggie sauté to top it off.  It’s very comforting and warm and filling and good for you.  I can work out after lunch and not feel like my stomach is churning because lentils digest very well for me.

The basic recipe for making lentils is a 2 to 1 ratio of water to lentils.  Here, I cooked a 16 ounce bag of lentils in 4 cups of water, brought it to a boil and cooked them on medium low heat for 20 minutes:  very simple.  You may need to adjust the amount of fluid (you can use either veggie broth or water), depending on your elevation.  Some people will say not to salt the water because it makes the lentils tough, but I salt the water and my lentils cook up perfectly fine.  It’s really not brain surgery.  I made a whole pot of lentils so I can have lentils in the fridge to make some lentil burgers, or just to eat cold as a snack.

Lentils with Mushroom Saute

Lentils with Mushroom Sauté

Ingredients:

1 lb Lentils

4 Cups Water

8 Ounces Mushrooms

1 Small Zucchini, chopped

1 Medium Onion, chopped

2 Cups Chopped Kale

2 Teaspoons Curry Powder

½ Teaspoon Powdered Ginger

1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder

2 Cloves Garlic, minced

Directions:

In a small stockpot, combine lentils and water. Add some salt to the water. Bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium low and simmer for 20 minutes until lentils are tender.

Meanwhile, in a hot skillet, add the vegetable broth and vegetables. Sauté until tender and sauce is slightly thickened. Add more broth if needed. Serve on top of lentils. Makes 4 servings.

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.