Morning Glory Polenta

While my weekday morning breakfast is almost always a smoothie, on the weekends I sometimes like to make heartier fare.  Today, Queenie and I enjoyed the “Morning Glory Polenta” recipe from Salad Daze:  The Hot Knives Vegetarian Cookbook by Alex Brown and Evan George.  These two lads (aka the Hot Knives guys) have created all kinds of tasty salad recipes in this book (one of my other faves is the “Kale & Potato Breakfast Salad” – yum), including this polenta dream bowl.  I couldn’t find the recipe online anywhere, so I’m just going to give you the gist.  You can wing it from there or check out the book for the details.

There are three components to the dish.  One is a big pot of herbed polenta that is simmered in veggie broth.  The polenta contains pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds, as well as shredded carrot and a smidge of shredded coconut.  These items give it a wonderful taste and texture and make it quite filling.

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There’s also a lovely vinaigrette that the authors have dubbed “Mimosa Dressing,” that has citrus zest and juice, olive oil and champagne vinegar.  Delish.

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This dressing is tossed onto a heap of arugula once that’s been quickly wilted in a dry pan.

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Put it all together, and you’ve got a very satisfying way to start the day.

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Enjoy!  xo

Bee Free Honee

I’m here today to recommend a product that’s new to me.  If it’s not new to you, why didn’t you tell me about it?!?

I was shopping at Vegan Haven in Seattle the other day, and the person in front of me in line was going on about how delicious the Bee Free Honee is, and the woman at the register was agreeing whole-heartedly.  Although my cart was already quite full, I zipped back out and grabbed a bottle.  I’m so glad that I did.

In my pre-vegan days, I enjoyed quite a few things that included honey, such as honey on biscuits with butter, honey in lemon or ginger tea, and peanut butter and honey sandwiches.  As my way of living and eating evolved, I dropped the honey and resigned myself to eschewing those former favorites.  Of course I tried substitutes (agave can get pretty close in certain things), but nothing’s quite like honey.  Until now.  This stuff truly scratches that itch for me.  Here’s a bit of info:

http://beefreehonee.com/

And here’s the first thing I did with it.  Yep, a peanut butter and “honey” sandwich:

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Whatever you do with it, I hope you like it as much as I do.

Enjoy!  xo

Tasty Messy Summer Rolls!

I love Summer Rolls when the weather heats up.  As their name suggests, it’s pretty much the perfect summer meal.  In the past, I’ve often served them with some kind of store-bought sauce, and while this is always a fine option, today I paired them with Matthew Kenney’s “Creamy Thai Dressing” from Everyday Raw and it was absolute perfection.  Yum, yum, yum.

One of the fun things about Summer Rolls is that they can contain anything your heart desires.  That said, I recommend balancing the consistencies – the soft, squishy wrapper needs a nice counterpoint of something fresh and crunchy, in my opinion.  Today’s rolls included some sliced cucumbers and julienned carrots.  I often stuff some chopped Romaine in, too, but I didn’t today.  I also like to include thinly sliced baked tofu for some hearty protein when it’s the main course, as it was today.  And I’m a huge fan of putting Thai rice vermicelli noodles in my rolls.  Gives it an excellent mouth feel.  Finally, no Summer Roll would be complete without a blast of fresh herbs, in today’s case, mint and basil.

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As mentioned before, the Creamy Thai Dressing really gave these rolls a fresh, wonderful boost of flavor.  As those who play around with raw food know, Matthew Kenney is one of the greats in the field.  All of his creations, whether they be cookbooks or restaurants, are stunningly good.  And while his recipes can sometimes be pretty involved, this one couldn’t be simpler.  Just dump a bunch of things in a blender and voila – happy sauce!  I found the recipe published here, along with a few others (I halved it and only used one-half of a Serrano pepper for spice):

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/5-favorite-raw-vegan-salad-dressings.html

Next step, soften some wrappers in warm water:

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Then assemble and eat!  I was more interested in consuming these rolls than in making them pretty for their close-up, but you could easily make them more charming if you’re so inclined.  Either way, they’re thoroughly tasty and satisfying.

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Enjoy!  xo

Sliders!

Queenie and I recently tested out a few new (to us, anyway) slider options that we found in the freezer section at Whole Foods.  They were easy and tasty enough to recommend to you.

First, Beyond Meat’s “Beastly Sliders” (a smaller version of their equally successful Beast Burger) couldn’t be easier or more pleasant.  Good flavor, nice consistency… what’s not to love?  And for those of you concerned with such matters, they are gluten-free and soy-free.  While they would be excellent grilled, we just quickly heated them up on the stove top and ate them sans bun with a little ketchup.  Yum!

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Next up, the “Crispy Chick’n Sliders” from Gardein.  I didn’t realize at first that these came with buns!  I thought we were just getting the patties.  It’s pretty fun to have a complete little sandwich in there.  All you need to do is heat in the oven (the buns get inserted for the last couple of minutes) and top with your favorite burger toppings.  I wasn’t in the mood for bread, so Queenie took these for a test drive on her own, topping simply with mayo.  She said the buns were perfect – fluffy inside, just crisped perfectly on the outside – and she really enjoyed the patties’ taste and texture as well.

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We’ll definitely be having more of both of these again!  I’m thinking Beastly Sliders with pretzel bread…

Enjoy!  xo

Curried Nada-Egg Salad Wraps

I almost entitled this post “Heat Wave Survival Food,” but I decided to call it by the name its creator, Kris Carr, gave it in her book, Crazy Sexy Kitchen.  Even so, I can tell you that it is, in fact, excellent heat wave food.  Here in the Pacific Northwest, we’ve been hit with record-breaking high temperatures and a distinct lack of moisture.  I can’t stand it.  Heat is my kryptonite.  So I’m on the lookout for tasty, nourishing food that doesn’t require any heat and won’t have a warming effect on my body.  This recipe did the trick.

Start by crumbling some firm tofu (a cooling experience in itself – tofu out of the ‘fridge is COLD.  Kind of wanted to roll around in it but refrained).

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Next, add in vegan mayo, finely diced green onion, grated carrot, chopped parsley, nutritional yeast, Dijon mustard, curry powder, sea salt and black pepper.  (Two notes:  all of the measurements are in the link below; the original recipe calls for cilantro as well, but that wasn’t speaking to me so I skipped it.)

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Mix it all together.

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Put some kind of wrap on a plate (I used a flour tortilla, which I slathered with more mayo; Queenie put avocado on hers) and spread a pile of tofu salad on it.  Top with watercress and sliced tomatoes.

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Tuck in, roll up and YUM!  Excellent news:  it’s just as good the next day, which means not only no heating up the kitchen, but no effort at all.  Just reach in the refrigerator and pull out lunch.  Yay.

http://kriscarr.com/recipe/curried-nada-egg-with-watercress-wraps/

Enjoy!  xo

Creamy Avocado-Potato-Asparagus Salad

It’s been warm in these parts, and I’ve been looking for meals that are easy and don’t heat up the house (or me) too much.  Although there’s some cooking involved with this recipe, it fits the bill for a variety of reasons.  First, the oven does most of the work.  You just need to chop up a few things and the oven does the rest.  And second, you can eat this salad at room temperature or even chilled, so you’re not ingesting something warming when you’re trying to stay cool.  And yes, it’s easy!

The recipe hails from The Oh She Glows Cookbook by Angela Liddon.  This has become a book that I turn to again and again, and I absolutely recommend that you pick it up.  I’ve made tons of recipes from the book and have yet to encounter a dud.  Ditto her website:

http://ohsheglows.com/

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem that Liddon has published this recipe online anywhere, so I’m just going to give you the gist of it here.  You’ll need to pick up her book to get the specifics (so worth it!).

There are really just a couple of steps to this recipe.  The first is to roast a bunch of cubed yellow potatoes that have been tossed in olive oil, sea salt and pepper.

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You’re also going to roast up a bunch of chopped asparagus tossed in olive oil and salt.  They take about half as long as the potatoes, so just pop them in the oven part way through the potato roasting process.

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The other step is to make the dressing, which is a combination of avocado (which makes it heavenly creamy), dill, lemon juice and a few other tasty things.

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Now all you’ve got to do is toss everything together.  I let the potatoes and asparagus cool first to room temperature and then tossed it and, voila, dinner was served.  Super tasty.  Super easy.  Perfect for a summer day.

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Enjoy!  xo

Spiralizing!! Not sure why I waited so long!

The other day, my friend Sera and I were hanging out and the subject of zucchini noodles made using a spiralizer came up.  I confessed that I’d owned a spiralizer for years and had yet to take it out of the box.  We decided that between the two of us, we could figure out how to produce a decent dish.

Fast forward to today… Queenie and I spent the day at Sera’s beautiful home, playing in the kitchen with her kids, and I’m happy to report that we produced a multitude of more-than-decent dishes and mastered the (very easy to use) spiralizer.  It’s one of my new favorite gadgets – so fun!

I have the Joyce Chen Spiral Slicer, and it worked great.  It was easy to put together and simple to use.  In no time, we were all taking turns producing perfect zucchini noodles.

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This particular gadget has two settings.  One produces a thinner noodle, more like angel hair.  We used this for the zucchini noodles.  The other setting produces a thicker ribbon-like strand.  Sera had the brilliant idea to spiralize some carrots, too, and we did those using the ribbon setting.  They provided a wonderful, crunchy counterpoint to the zucchini.

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We made three sauces.  From left to right we had an avocado, Brazil nut, mint pesto from Deliciously Ella; an heirloom tomato basil marinara from Living Raw Food by Sarma Melngailis; and the “Mac Cream,” an Alfredo-like sauce, from Juliano’s Raw:  The Uncook Book.

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We sampled a bit of each and absolutely loved them all.

unnamed-4Ultimately, my favorite sauce ended up being a combination… I mixed together the creamy Alfredo-like sauce with the marinara and WOW, it was heavenly.  But truly, these zucchini noodles would be fantastic with just about any topping.  I’m thinking of trying some kind of Thai peanut sauce, or the black pepper cream sauce I made with kelp noodles, or… the possibilities are endless!  And they’re not only delicious, but they’re raw and clean and make you feel wonderful after eating them.  And with this heat wave we’ve got going, they’re the perfect way to create a tasty, satisfying meal without turning up the heat.

And to cap off this fabulous meal, Sera made the most delicious strawberry shortcake of all time.  The strawberries were picked from her garden by the kids while we cooked, and she whipped up some coconut cream to top it.  My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

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Such a fun, delicious day with friends.  Now run out and get a spiralizer and let me see what you come up with!

Enjoy!  xoxo