≡ Menu

 

Bok_Choy_-543

Thanks to all who entered my giveaway to win a copy of Jill Nussinow’s new book, Nutrition CHAMPS.  The winner (chosen at random) is Leslie, whose favorite “nutrition champ” is roasted cauliflower!  Congratulations, Leslie — please send me your e-mail address so a copy of the book can be sent to you.

After all this talk about nutrient-packed vegetables, I decided to share my second-favorite way to prepare most veggies (the first being roasted!) — and that’s in a spicy stir-fry.

This recipe for Szechuan Bok Choy from Vegan Without Borders uses tender baby bok choy, but it can also be made with other veggies such as broccoli, green beans, or asparagus. Enjoy it as a side dish or make it a one-dish meal by adding strips of extra-firm tofu or seitan and serving it over rice.

 

Szechuan Bok Choy

This recipe is from Vegan Without Borders by Robin Robertson (c) 2014, published by Andrews McMeel Publishing.
1 tablespoon safflower oil or other neutral vegetable oil
1 1/2 pounds baby bok choy, trimmed and halved lengthwise
3 shallots, minced
2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
4 scallions, minced
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon mirin
1 teaspoon natural sugar
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bok choy and shallots and stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes, or until almost tender. Add the garlic, ginger, and scallions and stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the soy sauce, sesame oil, mirin, red pepper flakes, and sugar and stir-fry until the bok choy is tender and nicely coated with the sauce, 1 to 2 minutes.

Serves 4

{ 3 comments }

CHAMPS cover

When Jill Nussinow first told me about her book, Nutrition CHAMPS, I was intrigued by the idea of a cookbook dedicated to looking at food groups in a new way.  As Jill explains in the Foreword to her book, the acronym “CHAMPS” is derived from the first letter of six plant-based food groups: Cruciferous, Herbs, Alliums, Mushrooms, Pulses, Seeds (and Nuts). Within these groups are nutritional powerhouses that, when eaten regularly, go a long way to promote good health and vitality.

In addition to being filled with Jill’s nutritional wisdom and dietary guidance, Nutrition CHAMPS is jam-packed with recipes created by a stellar group of vegan culinary “champs” — more than 40 cooks, chefs, and authors.  I’m proud to count myself among those who contributed recipes to this important book.  Below is one my recipes that is included in Nutrition CHAMPS – you’ll find it in the section devoted to Cruciferous Vegetables featuring my favorite crucifer, cauliflower.  (Be sure to read on after the recipe to enter the giveaway to win a copy of this book.)

 

Cauliflower with Pesto

 Roasted Cauliflower with Arugula Pesto

Roasting gives cauliflower a deep, almost nutty, flavor that is enhanced by the bold arugula pesto.

Serves 4

 Cauliflower

  • 1 head cauliflower, trimmed, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
  • Olive oil or cooking spray
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pesto

  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/4 cup toasted walnut pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped arugula
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Warm water, as needed

For the cauliflower: Preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or spray it with cooking spray. Arrange the cauliflower slices on the prepared baking sheet. Spray the cauliflower lightly with cooking spray or brush with a little olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Roast until just tender, 12–14 minutes, turning once halfway through.

For the pesto: While the cauliflower is roasting, make the pesto. In a food processor, combine the garlic, walnuts, and salt and process to a paste. Add the arugula, basil, olive oil, lemon juice, and pepper, and process to a paste. Add a little warm water, if desired, a tablespoon at a time, to reach the desired consistency.

To serve: Remove the cauliflower from the oven and transfer to a shallow serving platter. Serve hot, topped with the pesto.

 

I have a copy of Nutrition CHAMPS for one person. (Anywhere in the world!) To enter, leave a comment below telling me what your favorite nutrition “CHAMP” is, and how you like to eat it. (roasted cauliflower, anyone?)  For extra chances to win, follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram and leave a separate comment for each one to let me know.   This Giveaway ends Monday, March 23, 2015 at midnight, EST.  A winner will be announced on Tuesday, March 24th.

{ 61 comments }

Pina Colada Squares and Giveaway Winner!

Pina_Colada_Bars_-607

If you’re even half as ready for Spring as I am, you’re doing everything you can to make it happen sooner than later.  One thing I like to do when it’s cold out, is make something tropical and delicious to help me think of warmer temperatures.  These Pina Colada Squares do the trick.  I adore the combination of coconut and pineapple, and a little splash of rum doesn’t hurt either.  I hope you enjoy these tasty treats as much as I do.  They’re simple to make and the recipe comes from my book Vegan Without Borders – you all have that book now, right?  If not you can buy it here — you’ll be glad you did!

Before I share my recipe for Pina Colada Squares, I’d like to announce the winner of last week’s giveaway.  The winner (chosen at random) of Ricki Heller’s new book, Living Candida-Free, is:  Marika whose favorite sugar-free dessert is Mango Sorbet made with mango and banana — yum — and congratulations!

Marika: Please email me with your address so we can get a copy of the book right out to you!

Now here’s that recipe for Pina Colada Squares….surely Spring is just around the corner…

Piña Colada Squares
These treats aren’t too sweet if you use unsweetened coconut. Alternatively, you can substitute 2 to 3 tablespoons of sweetened coconut for part of the unsweetened coconut and omit the confectioners’ sugar. If you don’t have dark rum, use 1/2 to 1 teaspoon rum extract and make up the rest of the liquid (to equal the 1 tablespoon) with pineapple juice or a little water or almond milk.  This recipe is from Vegan Without Borders by Robin Robertson © 2014. Published by Andrews McMeel Publishing.
Note: Be sure you use dried pineapple pieces to make the bottom layer (not fresh or canned) or it will be too wet.

Bottom Layer
1 cup dried pineapple pieces
1/2 cup raw cashews or slivered almonds
1/2 cup old-fashioned (rolled) oats
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon Myers’ dark rum or 1 teaspoon rum extract and 2 teaspoons water or pineapple juice

Top Layer
8 ounces vegan cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon Myers’ dark rum or 1 teaspoon rum extract
1 teaspoon coconut extract (optional)
1/2 cup shredded coconut, divided
1/2 cup fresh or canned pineapple chunks, drained and blotted dry

To make the bottom layer, grease an 8-inch square baking pan and set aside. In a food processor, combine the dried pineapple, cashews, oats, coconut, confectioners’ sugar, and rum. Pulse to chop, then process until finely chopped and well combined. The mixture should hold together easily. Press the mixture evenly into the prepared pan. Set aside.
To make the top layer, combine the cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, rum, coconut extract (if using), and 1/4 cup of the shredded coconut in a food processor. Process until smooth and creamy. If the mixture is too thin, add a little more confectioners’ sugar and process again. Spread the topping mixture evenly over the bottom layer. Sprinkle the top with the pineapple chunks and the the remaining 1/4 cup coconut. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Cut into squares.
Makes 9 squares

VWB new 72dpi 6x7

 

{ 4 comments }

Living Candida-Free

 

I’m excited to have Ricki Heller join me today as part of the blog tour for her new book, Living Candida-Free. Today Ricki writes about one of my favorite cooking ingredients: coconut oil and shares her fabulous recipe for Grain-Free Apple Berry Crumble.

But that’s not all…you also have a chance to win a copy of Ricki’s book.  Check out the end of this post for details and enter to win.

Now, here’s Ricki….

 

Anti-Candida Superstar Food: Coconut Oil

One of the myths about the anti-candida diet is that you can’t have indulgent-tasting food while following it. I love proving to people that nothing could be further from the truth!

Sure, you’ll want to consume foods that will help your body to kill off excess yeast, but surprisingly, there are many delicious foods that can help with that objective. One of the most enticing—and rich-tasting—is virgin coconut oil.

Coconut oil contains both caprylic acid and lauric acid, two powerful anti-fungal agents. And while some people will need to increase their consumption of these compounds with supplements, it’s always a good idea to use real food for healing purposes whenever you can. Enter coconut oil!

Coconut oil is also healthful in general. Although it’s composed mostly of saturated fats, this medium-chain fatty acid metabolizes differently from other saturated fats in the body. As a result, it doesn’t cause the typical negative effects on the cardiovascular system as other saturated fats (say, from animal products).

In fact, coconut oil actually contributes to healthy cardiovascular functioning; it helps to lower “bad” cholesterol levels, improve heart health, boost thyroid function, and even strengthen the immune system. In recent years, there has been evidence that consuming coconut oil may help prevent or reverse Alzheimer’s disease. Not bad for a delicious, versatile, vegetable-based fat!

When it comes to cooking, coconut oil can’t be beat. As a saturated fat, it’s solid at room temperature (it melts just below 76F), so it’s ideal for baking. It’s also extremely stable when heated, so it’s your best bet for sautéing, too. And it doesn’t degrade at room temperature—so there’s no need for refrigeration.

To help prevent or keep candida in check, use coconut oil liberally wherever you’d use another oil. Other coconut products, such as full-fat coconut milk and dried unsweetened coconut, also contain a fair amount of oil, so those can be beneficial, too. Whether for baking, sautéing or as an ingredient in desserts, coconut oil confers a creamy, luscious texture and flavor. And the bonus? You’ll be doing your health a favor, too.

 

Grain-Free Apple Berry Crumble

Grain-Free Apple Berry Crumble

Good for: Stage 2 and beyond

This fresh, not-too-sweet dessert is a great way to enjoy fruit once you reintroduce it to your diet. Because the topping is grain-free, you won’t need to worry about consuming your coveted grain servings for dessert.

Makes 4 or 6 servings

Filling

  • Coconut oil, for pan
  • 2 small or 1 large sweet apple (I used Gala) or pear, cored and diced very small (about 1/2-inch [1.3 cm] cubes—feel free to leave the skin on)
  • 1 1/2 cups (360 ml) mixed fresh or frozen berries (not including cranberries)—I use strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries; if cranberries are included in your mix, use 2 cups (480 ml) total
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) fresh or frozen cranberries
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) water
  • 30 drops plain or fruit-flavored pure liquid stevia (I use 20 drops lemon and 10 drops cherry-vanilla)
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) psyllium husks (optional—it prevents the juices from becoming too watery)

Topping

  • 1/3 cup (55 g) raw natural almonds
  • 1/3 cup (55 g) raw sunflower or pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) coconut flour
  • 1/16 teaspoon (0.25 ml) pure stevia powder, or 1/8 teaspoon (0.5 ml) pure liquid stevia, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon (0.5 ml) fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) virgin coconut oil, preferably organic

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease a 4- to 6-cup (1 to 1.5 L) casserole dish with coconut oil.

Prepare the filling: In a large bowl, toss the apples, berries, cranberries, lemon zest, and cinnamon. In a small bowl, mix together the lemon juice, water, stevia, and psyllium, then drizzle over the berry mixture and toss again to coat evenly. Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish. (Note: You can just toss everything in the casserole dish instead of dirtying a bowl, but I found the mixture very hard to coat evenly when the ingredients were so cramped in the dish!)

Make the topping: In the bowl of a food processor, blend the almonds, seeds, coconut flour, stevia, cinnamon, ginger, and salt until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs. Add the coconut oil and process until it’s incorporated.

Sprinkle the topping evenly over the filling in the casserole dish. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, rotating the dish about halfway through baking, until the topping is lightly browned and the filling is bubbly. Allow to cool somewhat before serving. May be frozen.

From Living Candida-Free by Ricki Heller. Reprinted with permission from Da Capo Lifelong, © 2015. Photograph by Nicole Axworthy.

I have a copy of Living Candida-Free for one person. (U.S. and Canadian residents only, please.) To enter, leave a comment below telling me what your favorite sugar-free vegan dish is. For extra chances to win, follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram and leave a separate comment for each one to let me know.   This Giveaway ends Sunday, March 1, 2015 at midnight, EST.  A winner will be announced on Monday, March 2rd.

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.  THANK YOU TO ALL WHO ENTERED.

{ 57 comments }

Butternut Mac and Cheese

Butternut Mac and Cheese

Cozy comfort food has been on my menus lately, and mac and cheese tops the list this weekend.  I plan to make one of our favorite versions, the Butternut Mac and Cheese from Vegan Without Borders. Butternut squash is the secret ingredient in the creamy rich sauce made with cashews and an arsenal of spices. I will most likely add in some cooked green vegetables, such as roasted asparagus or steamed broccoli to make it a one-dish meal.

This recipe calls for steamed butternut squash but, in fact, I usually put aside some roasted butternut squash when I make it with this recipe in mind.  A cup of canned pumpkin puree also fills in nicely for the squash, if you’re pressed for time.

Butternut Mac and Cheese
Few dishes are more classically American than mac and cheese and this version is one of my favorites.  To make this gluten free, use
gluten-free pasta and bread crumbs. This recipe is also soy-free and oil-free. This recipe is from Vegan Without Borders by Robin Robertson (c) 2014, Andrews McMeel Publishing.

1 cup diced butternut squash
8 ounces elbow macaroni or other bite-size pasta
½ cup raw cashews, soaked overnight and drained
2½ cups plain unsweetened almond milk
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ cup nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup panko bread crumbs

Steam the butternut squash in a steamer pot with a perforated basket over boiling water until tender, about 8 minutes. Set aside. Cook the macaroni in a pot of boiling salted water until it is al dente. Drain and return to the pot. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly oil a 9-inch baking dish.
In a high-speed blender, combine the drained cashews and ½ cup of the almond milk and process until smooth. Add the cooked squash, lemon juice, mustard, nutritional yeast, cornstarch, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, and pepper, along with the remaining almond milk and blend until completely smooth and creamy.
Add the sauce mixture to the drained macaroni and stir to combine. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with the panko. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until bubbly.

Serves 4

popcorn bag IMG_0776

Although I won’t be watching the Super Bowl, that’s no reason not to snack!  This Sunday we’ll be munching on GH Cretors popcorn while we watch Downton Abbey. I was lucky enough to get some samples of this popcorn and it’s really delicious.  I think it tastes as good as fresh-popped!  Best of all, this healthy indulgence is made with non-gmo organic corn and is seasoned with olive oil and/or sea salt.  If you see this popcorn, you might want to give it a try.

{ 5 comments }

Hummus Soup + Giveaway Winner

mqfv hummus soup mc

Today’s post is about soup because, well, it’s soup weather!  This time of year, my kitchen usually has a continuing rotation of our favorite bean or lentil soups with lots of vegetables.

Sometimes, however, I just want a quick and easy soup that is also creamy, delicious, and protein-rich.  My recipe for Hummus Soup checks all those boxes and more.

It has all the flavors you love in a good hummus, takes less than 20 minutes to get on the table, and has the added crunch factor with homemade pita croutons. This rich and flavorful soup is from my favorite “quick-fix” book: More Quick-Fix Vegan.  It makes four small servings or two large meal-sized servings.  The recipe doubles easily. (recipe photo by Melissa Chapman)

mqfv

Hummus Soup with Pita Croutons
To make it even quicker, garnish with storebought pita chips instead of making your own. This recipe is from More Quick-Fix Vegan by Robin Robertson © 2014.
Serves 4

2 pita bread loaves
Olive oil (optional)
Salt
1 1/2 cups home-cooked chickpeas, or 1 (15.5-ounce) can, drained and rinsed
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
2 tablespoons sesame tahini
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons minced fresh Italian parsley or cilantro

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Carefully slice each pita bread into two circles with a serrated knife. Lightly brush olive oil onto the inner side of each circle. Cut the pita circles into 1-inch strips, then stack the strips and cut them into 1-inch squares. Arrange the pieces on a baking sheet in a single layer, oil side up. Sprinkle with salt to taste. Bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
In a high-speed blender or food processor, combine the chickpeas, garlic, cumin, cayenne, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Process until finely minced. Add the tahini, lemon juice, and broth, and process until smooth, scraping down as needed. Taste and adjust the seasonings. If serving at room temperature, transfer the soup to bowls; if serving warm, transfer to a saucepan and heat gently over low heat, stirring, until just hot, then transfer to bowls. Garnish with the pita croutons and parsley.

 

COOKBOOK GIVEAWAY WINNER!!!!    I want to thank everyone who entered my giveaway to win The Vegetarian Flavor Bible by the brilliant Karen Page.  The winner of the giveaway has been chosen at random and it is:  Michelle P.  Congratulations, Michelle! Please email me with your address so the book can be on its way to you!

 

 

 

{ 0 comments }