Feast On This!

Are You a Raw Foodie?

I am both intrigued and scared by the raw food diet—mainly because I’m just not that familiar with it. Luckily, there are experienced raw foodists to come to the rescue! Eco Chef Bryan Au is a raw chef extraordinaire and his site, Raw in Ten Minutes offers recipes, an online store and access to downloading his $2 iphone app, Eco Chef 10 Minute Meals with  Bryan Au. The app, is actually #4 on itunes.com and I’m pretty impressed with it. The pictures and graphics are colorful, clear and easy to read. You’ll find over a 100 recipes that you can make in 10 minutes or less, like Eggplant Manicotti, pancakes, and onion rings. With an app like this, I’m definitely more inclined to try adding some raw meals to my repertoire.

Nachos (photo courtesy of Raw in Ten Minutes)

So, if you’re like me, and not in the loop regarding the raw diet, I found some information from where else? About.com:

“The raw food diet is a diet based on unprocessed and uncooked plant foods, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, sprouts, seeds, nuts, grains, beans, nuts, dried fruit, and seaweed. Heating food above 116 degrees F is believed to destroy enzymes in food that can assist in the digestion and absorption of food. Cooking is also thought to diminish the nutritional value and “life force” of food. Typically, at least 75% of the diet must be living or raw.”

What does a raw foodist eat?

Unprocessed, preferably organic, whole foods such as:

Fresh fruits and vegetables

Nuts

Seeds

Beans

Grains

Legumes

Seaweed

Unprocessed organic or natural foods

Freshly juiced fruit and vegetables

Purified water

Young coconut milk

It’s certainly important to do your homework when it comes to changing your diet like this, but I’m excited to incorporate 1-2 raw meals a week into our diet and hopefully still reap the benefits: more energy, better digestion, and weight loss. (Fortunately, just going vegan has done all that for us already).

So how about it? Would you go raw?


Bringing the Veg Life to a College Near You

Today, more and more college students are becoming more aware of the vegan/vegetarian lifestyle and passing it along. Vegan Outreach has a program called Adopt A College where people can win prizes for handing out the most pamphlets—vegetarian pamphlets that educate folks on animal abuse. Most of the volunteers are actually not students. One volunteer handed out 52,835 leaflets at 100 schools in the Fall of 2009!


StAR (Students for Animal Rights) is a nationwide coalition of college students working towards stopping animal cruelty. Three years ago, they started College Veg Pledge, a movement calling on all college students to go vegan for the month of May. Check out an interview with Kenny Torella, StAR Outreach Coordinator, on VegNews.


I don’t hold animals superior or even equal to humans. The whole case for behaving decently to animals rests on the fact that we are the superior species. We are the species uniquely capable of imagination, rationality, and moral choice – and that is precisely why we are under an obligation to recognize and respect the rights of animals.

-Bridgid Brophy

Field Roast with a Coq Au Vin Sauce

Not only do I love the taste, I have always enjoyed the smell of coq au vin when it cooks. It goes beautifully with a sliced Field Roast and served with a mushroom and herb pilaf.

INGREDIENTS:

6-8 mushrooms, sliced

1 small onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbs butter, divided

1 Tbs olive oil

1/2 C red wine

1 C  vegetable broth (plus more for thinning out sauce, if needed)

3 Tbs flour

3 Tbs water

1 Tbs fresh parsley, chopped

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 one-pound Field Roast, thawed if frozen

DIRECTIONS:

Heat olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and saute until it starts to pop. Add onion and cook until tender. Add mushrooms and cook for about 3-4 minutes. Add broth and simmer until it reduces a little, then add the wine. Cook for about 5 minutes until it, too, reduces a little. Combine water and flour (it will be pretty thick) and stir into the mushroom mixture. Season with salt, pepper, and stir in parsley.

I then transferred the sauce to a saucepan and kept it warm over low heat. It may thicken up more, so you might want to add some broth to it until you’ve reached the desired consistency. In the same skillet (wipe out with a paper towel) add remaining tablespoon of butter.

Place slices of the Field Roast in pan and brown on both sides, about 3-5 to minutes per side. Ladle sauce over a slice or two of the roast and serve with the pilaf. Enjoy!

Sweet Chili Lime Tofu

This recipe is tofu-licious! Even though the recipe has a long list of ingredients and you’ll need 3 pans and a bowl, it was extremely easy and it was done in about 25 minutes. I recommend doubling the sauce. As it is, it makes a great glaze for the tofu, but I would have liked it a little more saucy. It made about 5 servings and as I was eating the final pieces of tofu, I was thinking that these would be great toothpicked (minus quinoa and kale) and served as a hot appetizer. Yum!

INGREDIENTS:

Quinoa:

3/4 C quinoa, rubbed/rinsed, drained

Zest from one lime, divided in half and slice lime for garnish (use 1/2 the zest)

2 bruised cardamon pods (optional–I used a dash or two of dried cardamon)

1/4 tsp salt

1 tiny cinnamon stick (optional)

1-1/3 C water

Sweet Chili Lime Sauce:

3 Tbs sugar

3 Tbs tamari

1-3/4 Tbs lime juice

1/2 zest of the lime

1/2 tsp red chili flakes (I didn’t have this, so I used 1/2 tsp of Ancho chili pepper)

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 tsp salt

4 mint leaves, sliced thinly

The Greens:

1 bunch collard greens, washed with middle veins removed (I used kale)

2-3 Tbs water

1 tsp lime juice

1 pinch salt

The rest:

14-oz extra-firm tofu, drained and pressed

Lime slices for a garnish (optional)

Mint leaves for a garnish (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

Combine the quinoa, 1/2 the lime zest, cardamon, cinnamon stick, salt, and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 20 minutes, then remove from heat and don’t remove the lid. Let steam for 10 minutes.

Sweet chili lime sauce: Whisk together the sugar, tamari, lime juice, lime zest, red chili flakes, garlic,  salt, and mint until the sugar and salt and dissolved. Set aside.

Tofu: Slice the tofu into 7-8 rectangles:

Then cut each rectangle in half to make two squares, and then each square into four triangles:

I sauteed the tofu in a dry skillet for about 10 minutes on each side. The recipe says to add it a “well-seasoned” skillet.  Add the chili lime sauce and stir to coat the tofu. Turn off the heat.  The sauce will bubble up, reduce, and form a glaze.

While this is happening, slice up the kale. In a wok (which I didn’t have, so I used a small skillet) add water, lime juice, and salt. Cover with a lid and steam  until tender. (The other thing to do, is just add the greens to the quinoa and steam them that way).

To serve, layer plate with  a scoop of quinoa, kale, then tofu. Garnish with lime slices and mint. Enjoy!

Recipe source: Vegan Yum Yum

Miso Tahini Dressing

This dressing has the perfect combination of saltiness, creaminess and nutty flavor that would be great on salads, wraps, sandwiches, baked tofu, steamed veggies or as a veggie dip. It’s also a breeze to make.

INGREDIENTS:

1/4 C white, sweet miso

1/4 C tahini

1/3 C or more warm water

DIRECTIONS:

In a medium bowl whisk together the miso and tahini to form a creamy paste. Slowly pour in warm water, gently whisking a little at a time until a creamy dressing forms. If thinner dressing is desired, dribble in a little more water. The dressing will thicken if allowed to sit a while. Keep refrigerated until ready to use. Enjoy!

Recipe source: Veganomicon

Garlicky Hummus with Toasted Pine Nuts and Olive Oil

This is probably my new favorite hummus. I love how smooth it is and sprinkled with toasted pine nuts and drizzled with olive oil is certainly the way to go. You can make it spicier by adding a teaspoon of cumin or some cayenne.

INGREDIENTS:

4 garlic cloves, minced and then mashed (I added one more)

2 15-oz cans of garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed

2/3 cup of tahini (roasted, not raw)

1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup olive oil, plus some to drizzle

1/2 teaspoon of salt

Pine nuts, toasted

DIRECTIONS:

In a food processor, combine the mashed garlic, garbanzo beans, tahini, lemon juice, 1/2 cup water, and olive oil. Process until smooth. Add salt, starting at a half a teaspoon, to taste. Spoon into serving dish and sprinkle with toasted pine nuts and drizzle on some olive oil. Serve with crackers, raw dip vegetables such as carrots or celery, or with pita bread. Makes about 3 cups. Enjoy!

Recipe source: Simply Recipes

Tempeh Bacon

I know many people who would consider going vegan, but the thought of giving up bacon brings tears to their eyes. Tempeh bacon may not cut it for them, but I love this stuff. A little caramelized, it tastes wonderful. You could break it up for salads, sandwiches, tofu scrambles, or just snack on it as it is.

INGREDIENTS:

1 pkg (80z) tempeh

1/4 C tamari

2 tsp Liquid Smoke

3 Tbs maple syrup (I’m not a huge fan of maple-flavored stuff, so I used brown rice syrup)

1/4 C water

Canola oil, for frying

DIRECTIONS:

Steam the tempeh for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine tamari, Liquid Smoke, syrup, and water. Mix well. Let tempeh cool before slicing it into thin, bacon-like strips.

Place slices in marinade (I used a large ziplock bag–just turn the bag over a few times to thoroughly marinate the slices) and let sit for as long as you like. Less than half and hour works great. After the tempeh has marinated, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Fry the strips and each side until crisp. Sprinkle a little extra tamari and syrup on the tempeh while cooking—the tempeh will turn brown, caramelize, and get crisper and chewier . Remove to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil. Enjoy!

(BaconLettuceTomatoAvocado)

Recipe source: The Vegan Table

Feast On This!

Wow, is it Friday already? I haven’t been posting too many new recipes lately–I’ve been busy and just been making some of my favorites meals that are already posted. Next week, though, I’m ready to get back in the kitchen and start working some vegan magic. In the meantime, Feast On This!:

Meat Free Mondays Are Catching On!

San Francisco is the first city to actually pass a motion promoting a plant-based diet by encouraging its residents to forgo meat at least one day a week. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors are hoping to get restaurants, grocery stores, and schools to offer more meat-free options.

Other cities are catching on as well, such as Takoma Park, Maryland where a statewide initiative designating April 24th-April 30th as Takoma Park Veg Week.

Get Involved! All it takes are some great vegan/vegetarian recipes and you’ve got a Monday night get together with friends, family, and neighbors. Encourage them to go meat-free on Monday by supplying them with a great recipe, or better yet, cook together. It won’t take much to convince people that vegan food is not rabbit food! Start your own revolution in your neighborhood by hosting a a Boca Burger BBQ! Word will spread and you just might inspire someone to host their own Meat Free Monday Night!

Check out the Meat Free Monday website for news, ideas, and learn ways to spread the word!


Rocco the Vegan Cowboy

You’ve probably seen this video before, but it’s one of my favorites! Rocco, a rancher and long-time meat eater took on Dr. Oz’s challenge of going vegan for a month. It’s amazing how much Rocco’s life (and health)  has changed since going vegan–it’s the best testimonial for the vegan diet.


Milk Wars

The National Milk Producers Federation wants “milk” to be theirs and only theirs. They have asked the Food and Drug Administration to define milk as “the secretions of a lactating mammal” (gee…doesn’t that sounds appetizing?) and that plant-based milks be defined as “imitation milk.” Is this really important? The FDA isn’t jumping on it right away, saying that they will consider the issue, but will focus on public health priorities.


First it was necessary to civilize man in relation to man. Now it is necessary to civilize man in relation to nature and the animals.

-Victor Hugo

Lavender Tea Cookies

These are so delicious and have the perfect combination of sweetness and lavender, with a hint of lemon. Being shortbread, they will fall apart easily when taking them off the baking sheet, so be careful. Depending how thick you make them, the recipe makes anywhere from 2-4 dozen. I first made some thin round ones using a 2/3 measuring cup and then some thicker rectangle/square ones using a pizza cutter. Either way, you’ll love them!

INGREDIENTS:

1-1/2 C nondairy butter (3 sticks of Earth Balance), room temperature

2/3 C granulated sugar

1/4 C confectioners’ sugar

3-4 Tbs finely chopped fresh lavender or 2 Tbs dried culinary lavender (I used 3-1/2 Tbs of dried culinary)

2 tsp lemon zest

2-1/2 C all purpose flour

1/2 C cornstarch

1/4 tsp salt

DIRECTIONS:

In a medium-size bowl, cream butter, granulated sugar, and confectioners’ sugar until light and fluffy. Add lavender and lemon zest. Stir to combine. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, and salt. When thoroughly  mixed, add to the wet batter, and stir until well blended. You should have a thick cookie batter.

Divide dough into 2 balls, wrap in plastic wrap, and flatten to about 1 inch. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.

When ready to prepare the cookies, preheat oven to 325. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into shapes and place on an ungreased baking sheet.

Bake for 18-20 minutes (less if thinner) or until the cookies begin to brown at the edges. Remove from the oven, cool for a few minutes on baking sheets, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Recipe Source: The Vegan Table