Food · vegan

Edamame salad

This quick Asian inspired edamame salad is great as a starter or a side, or you could add some stir fried or baked tofu to it to make it a dish! It come together so fast, you’ll be noshing on this protein filled bowl in no time!

Here’s what you need: 1 bag frozen shelled edamame (1lb), 1.5 cups of shredded carrots, 3-4 green onions- sliced thinly into small rings, 1/4 cup rice vinegar, 1 Tbsp toasted Sesame oil, 1 Tbsp soy sauce, 1 Tbsp agave, 1 tsp lemon juice, 1/4 tsp sriracha, 1 tsp salt, 1/4 cup hemp hearts

Here’s the plan: boil the edamame is a small pot of boiling water for about five minutes or until tender. While the edamame is cooking, mix together the rice vinegar, Sesame oil, soy sauce, agave, lemon juice, sriracha, salt and hemp hearts in a medium sized bowl. When edamame is done cooking, drain and run under cold water. Dump edamame, shredded carrots and green onions into a medium bowl. Pour dressing over the top, mix it all up to combine. Chill in fridge for 15-20 minutes before serving! Enjoy! 

Food · vegan

Rustic gnocchi with butternut squash and mushrooms

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Is there anything more satisfying than potato pasta? The fresh vegetables paired with this pasta makes it lighter fare for a summer night, yet still very satisfying. A simple garlic and basil sauce rounds out this simple, rustic and delicious dish that’s easy enough for weeknight cooking, but impressive enough for weekend guests. (This is also a one pot wonder- so you don’t have to stress about cleaning multiple pans!)

What you need: 1 lb of gnocchi, 1 butternut squash- peeled and cubed, 10 ounces of porcini mushrooms- cleaned and cut into chunks, 1 onion, 5 cloves of garlic, 1/2 cup of fresh basil leaves- chopped, 3 tbsp olive oil, salt

Here’s the plan: Boil a large pot of water on high heat. Add the cubed butternut squash to the water once it is boiling. Cook for about 10 minutes, until tender. Add the gnocchi to the boiling water and cook for 3-4 minutes. (Gnocchi cooks pretty fast- you can usually tell when they are done when they start floating to the top.) Drain the squash and gnocchi in large colander. ¬†Peel and dice the onion. Peel and mince garlic. Add olive oil to the pot and heat over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute for 5 minutes until soft and translucent. Add the chunked mushrooms. Saute until mushrooms are soft. Lower heat to low. Add the squash and gnocchi back into the pan. Add the basil and salt to taste. Mix well. (Optional, add an additional tbsp of olive oil and stir.) Enjoy!

Food · Food Trends · vegan

Vegan Poke Bowl

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Poke is a traditional Hawaiian fish salad. It is most commonly made with tuna or octopus, and sometimes salmon or shellfish. Although poke is traditionally served raw, I actually sauteed the tofu to make it nice and crispy. The vegan fish sauce marinade brings out that salty flavor and the sriracha glaze gives the edamame just the kick it needs.

What you need: 12 ounce bag of frozen shelled edamame, 2 cups (uncooked) of jasmine rice, 1 block extra firm tofu, 3-4 green onions, sesame oil, soy sauce, vegan mayo, ginger, sriracha, agave, vegan fysh sauce, avocado, seaweed rice seasoning (optional, but highly recommended), salt. (Brownie points if you use this salt)

Note* If you don’t want to buy a whole thing of fysh sauce for this one recipe, you can make your own- here are two variations, ONE, TWO. (Trust me though, if you buy it, it won’t go to waste!)

Here’s the plan: Press the tofu for about 15 minutes to remove excess water. (You can do this using paper towels, a frying pan, and some heavy books- but I can’t say enough positive things about buying a tofu press!!) Cube the tofu into small cubes about an inch by an inch. Place in a small bowl and cover with vegan fysh sauce. (The tofu does not need to be submerged in fysh sauce, like a traditional marinade, you can actually just shake the sauce from the bottle (it’s a slow pour) onto the tofu until they are coated, you can stir up with a spoon to make sure all sides are covered.) Let sit for about an hour. (Or as long as you can if you didn’t plan ahead!)

Make your rice. To the water, add 1 TBSP of sesame oil and 1 TBSP of seaweed rice seasoning. (optional- but again, you won’t regret it.)

Prepare a pot of boiling water to cook edamame in. When finished cooking (they should still be crisp when you bite them, but not underdone) drain them and mix 1 tsp sesame oil and salt to taste in with the beans. Mix well.

Heat 1 TBSP of sesame oil in a saute pan on medium heat. Cook tofu cubes in the pan for about 10 minutes, stir often, tofu should be crispy on all sides.

Sauce:

Mix 1 tsp ginger (freshly grated or this paste), 1/8 c of soy sauce, 1 tsp sesame oil, 2 tsp sriracha, 3 heaping TBSP of vegan mayo. 1/2 tsp agave. Whisk together well to incorporate. Slice the green onions into thin rings. Top sauce with onions.

Slice an avocado into thin wedges.

Arrange your bowl on top of a bed of rice, top with sauce. Enjoy!

 

 

Food · Food Trends · Halfway Homemade · vegan

Empanadas- 3 ways!

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I love empanadas-actually, anything wrapped in a little handheld pocket is aces in my book. This recipe is great because it makes a small stockpile of empanadas that you can freeze and pull out whenever you want a nice snack or a quick meal. They are also a crowd-pleaser because you get a variety of fillings for every taste. The other nice thing about these is that you use ready made store bought dough- which is totally not necessary, if your a purist and insistent on making your own dough- but is pretty damn awesome when your trying to get together this meal for your hungry family and don’t have a ton of time. (Halfway homemade for the win!)

Here’s what you need: Ready made empanada dough, defrosted (they had this at my supermarket, if you can’t find them in your local supermarket, try going to a market in a more predominantly Hispanic neighborhood, or you can also order them online– although I can only find them to buy in quantities for a small army!), 5-6 TBSP of your preferred choice of cooking oil, (I used sunflower oil), 3 onions- peeled and diced, 7-8 cloves of garlic-minced, corn stripped from 4 ears of corn, 3 cups of butternut squash (peeled and cubed- you can also sub in sweet potatoes!), fresh cilantro, 2 cups chopped porcini mushrooms, 5-6 ounces (1 bag) of fresh spinach, 1 can black beans- drained and rinsed, 3 bell peppers- seeded and sliced into strips, salt, pepper.

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Here’s the plan: Put 2 TBSP on oil into a pan on medium heat. Saute the 3 chopped onions and all the garlic. Cook until soft and translucent. Remove 2/3 of the onions from the pan and set aside. (You will be using those for your other fillings.) Add the butternut squash to the onions and cook until tender, stirring occasionally. Lastly, add the corn to the pan, stir to incorporate. Chop the cilantro (I really love cilantro, so I probably added about a 3/4 c of chopped herb- slightly packed, but you add to your tastes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from pan and put in a separate bowl, set aside.

Take half of the leftover onion mixture and add to the pan with 1 TBSP oil. Add the chopped mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms are soft. Add fresh spinach and stir until it cooks down. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from pan and place in separate bowl. Set aside.

Take the rest of the onions and add to the pan with 1 TBSP oil. Add your strips of peppers and cook and stir until soft. Add the can of beans and cook for another 3-5 minutes. Remove from pan and place in a separate bowl, set aside.

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. Take your first empanada dough disc and place on the baking sheet, all the way to left hand side. Choose which filling to use first- you’ll end up using all 3 so whichever one you want to use first is up to you, scoop about 1/2 cup of filling onto the dough disc. Push onto one side and fold over the disc so it makes a half moon pocket. Using a fork, press the bottom flat part of the fork around the edges of the dough disc to crimp and seal the edge. Using a pastry brush, brush the top of the sealed empanada with your choice of cooking oil. Repeat this process with the rest of your dough discs and your 3 fillings. This recipe made about 12 large empanadas for me. Depending on the size of your dough discs (my supermarket had both large and small discs)- and how much you stuff them, the number of empanadas you get may vary slightly.

Bake in oven at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes until tops are browned. (Watch them! Mine went from white to tan very quickly!)

Remove from oven, cool, and enjoy- with salsa, vegan sour cream, or an avocado crema!

 

 

 

 

 

Food · vegan

Easy vegan walnut pesto!

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I love a good pesto. It’s fresh, tasty, and a change of pace from your everyday red sauce. Because it’s nice and light, it’s also a great alternative to a white cream sauce, which I think makes it great for summer- especially if you have fresh basil growing in your yard! I served this pesto with a penne, but it would also be great on a crostini as an appetizer, spread on toast for a no fuss breakfast, or used as a sandwich spread.

What you need:

About 2.5-3 cups of fresh basil (I used two 2.5 ounce plastic containers from the market), 1 cup walnuts, 1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley, 1/4 cup nutritional yeast, 1/4 cup hemp hearts (if you can’t find these, it’s ok to omit them, but they are a great addition because they provide a nutty flavor and pack an extra punch of protein), 4 cloves of garlic, 1/2 tsp salt, a few grinds of fresh pepper, 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Here’s the plan:

Place walnuts into food processor and pulse until finely chopped. You want these to be chopped into small pieces, but don’t pulse so long that you have a powder, you still want a small crunch from the walnuts. Remove walnuts from the food processor and place in bowl, set aside. Add the basil, garlic, parsley, nutritional yeast, hemp hearts, salt, pepper and olive oil into food processor and blend until greens are completely broken down and a pasty consistency similar to hummus is formed. (you want it to be thick enough to coat the noodles, it should be creamy, but not too oily.) Remove pesto from food processor and mix into bowl with walnuts. Stir with a spoon to incorporate walnuts into pesto. Mix into your favorite pasta, or spoon onto a toasted and oiled (sliced) baguette. Enjoy!

Food · Food Trends · vegan

Fresh corn and avocado chunky salsa

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I told you I would be doing something with that vegan cotija quickly- I couldn’t wait to try it! Plus, I’ve been totally jonesin’ for some Mexican all week! This chunky salsa is an awesome dip with chips on it’s own, or you can use it in any taco or burrito. In fact, I sauteed up some tempeh earlier (with this seasoning) and am going to use this salsa in some tempeh street tacos tonight for dinner! This dip was inspired by a chip and dip dish Steve and I snacked on poolside at the Ace in Palm Springs pretty much the entire week we were there. It’s such a nice refreshing, light dip to snack on in warm weather. The corn is so fresh and crisp, it really gives a nice crunch to accompany the smooth creaminess of the avocado. Let me know what you think! (I’ll be making this all summer long, how about you?!)

What you need:

4 ears of fresh corn, kernels removed. (You can do this by placing the ear of corn vertical in a large bowl and using a knife in a downward motion to remove kernels), 4 stalks of green onion, 2 avocados, 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, 1/3 cup vegan cotija cheese, 2 TBSP vegan sour cream, 1/2 tsp salt, juice from 1 lime

Here’s the plan:

Remove the kernels from the 4 ears of corn and place in large bowl. Slice the green onion (to save time, I just used kitchen shears to cut the stalks), add to corn. Remove cilantro from stems and chop. Add to the corn. Squeeze the lime and add the juice to the corn mixture. Add the cotija, the sour cream and the salt. Mix well with a large spoon. Cube avocadoes and add to the mixture. Mix again to incorporate avocado into the salsa. Serve with tortilla chips!

 

Food · Food Trends · vegan

Vegan Cotija Cheese!

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Since Mexican food is one of the delicious food trends from my list to experiment with, I really wanted to have a vegan cotija cheese recipe in my back pocket to use for a few upcoming dishes. Vegan cheese is a challenging endeavor to take on and recipes can vary from quick and easy (a few pulses in a Vitamix or food processor) to more complex and time consuming (making homemade rejuvelac to aid in the fermenting process). This cotija fits into the easy category (yay!) and can be incorporated into many vegan Mexican recipes.(coming soon…)

Vegan Cotija:

adapted from an awesome recipe on www.vegicano.com

What you need: 1 can of white beans, 3 TBSP nooch, juice from 1 whole lime, 1/2 tsp salt

Here’s the plan: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pulse all ingredients in a food processor until it forms a hummus like consistency. Spread out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper about 1/2 inch thick. bake for 30-35 minutes until dry. allow to cool and crumble.