Archive for the ‘wheat free’ Category
Every now and then, I feel like having a tuna salad or a tuna melt. But how could I make a tuna melt without tuna? Very easily, actually. And I never have to worry about bones, mercury poisoning, innocent dolphins being caught and killed as collateral damage from the large nets that are used to capture tuna! At the rate we are raping the oceans, there won’t be any left very soon! So making mock tuna is a win, win, win!
One of my favorite way to make it, is to use chick peas because it gives a nice rich texture and flavor. You get all the good protein and none of the saturated fat that usually comes with it. And I guaranty that everyone that tries it, will love it and ask for seconds. So make plenty, it keeps well!
INGREDIENTS for +4 people
2 cans of chick peas (or prepare yourself the day before)
1/2 cup vegenaise (eggless mayonnaise)
2/3 cup minced celery
1/3 cup minced dill pickle (not sweet relish!)
¼ cup nutritional yeast flakes
2 green onions, minced
2 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon kelp powder*
1 tbl capers (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
*Kelp powder and all seaweeds are so good for you. You will need some for this salad if you want it to taste like the ocean but not so fishy! You can use other seaweed if you don’t have kelp. A good place to find it is at Whole Foods in their bulk section or in the Asian section of your local grocery store (most carry a mix of seaweed, toasted sesame seeds) or in Asian stores where you will find a greater selection and much lower prices!
The key to making mock tuna salad when using garbanzo beans is to create a mixture that resembles real tuna salad. To accomplish this I use a potato masher instead of a food processor. The risk you run if you use a food processor is to end up with something that looks more like hummus than tuna. Not that hummus isn’t delicious but it isn’t what we are making today!
- Start rinsing the chick peas under water and pour into a large bowl.
- Start mashing them with the potato masher. It will take a minute or so to go through the 2 cans. The goal is not to pulverize everything but to end up with something you cannot identify as chick peas. So look for whole beans and go for it.
- Add the Vegenaise, the celery, the relish and mix with a wooden spoon.
- Add the remaining ingredients, mix some more.
- Taste, see if you need salt and pepper.
- It is ready to enjoy at this point.
- If you want to scoop on top of a salad (like on the photo) I would refrigerate it for 30mn. Same for a sandwich.
If you want to make a vegan tuna grilled sandwich, you can make it immediately. Toast some bread, spoon the tuna on it, sprinkle with some Daya cheese, cover with a lid and let it melt for a few minutes on medium heat or just put in the oven.
What about a vegan ‘tuna’ casserole? Actually for the tuna casserole, I would use tvp instead of chick peas but that’s me!
The fun never ends!
Who said, you can’t have your tuna and eat it too?
I just did!
I woke up early this morning to discover my garden covered by a thick blanket of snow. Every little branch had a layer, every item was covered perfectly. It was a scene straight out of a Japanese garden in the winter. Breathtaking!
For some reason, all I could think about was making a nice borscht, the traditional beet soup. Luckily I happened to have beets in the refreigerator (I am not sure if I would have braved snowy roads for it though!)
It is so easy to make and has such a wonderful unique flavor. The color is pretty amazing too.
While the original recipe calls for some sausage, it so doesn’t need it. I even made it without onion and garlic because a friend of mine came for dinner and she doesn’t eat them and it was awesome. A little sweet, a little sour, yet I added nothing to make it sour.
3-4 medium red beets, peeled and shredded
2 large carrots peeled and shredded
3 medium potatoes peeled and cubed
1 medium onion chopped
1 clove of garlic minced
1 tbl vegetable oil
1/2 can of tomato sauce
1 tsp sugar
4-5 cups of water with vegetable broth (or more if you like it more liquid)
Vegan sour cream for topping
- Stir fry the onion and garlic in a little oil
- Shred the beets, then the carrots
- Cube the potatoes.
- Add the shredded vegetables to the onion, mix everything.
- Place into a cooking pot, add the water and broth over medium heat for 15mn or so.
- Add the tsp of sugar and tomato sauce at the very end and turn of the heat.
- Serve the soup into nice bowls and top with some vegan sour cream. You can also sprinkle with some fresh chives,green onions or parsley but it isn’t necessary.
Bon appétit !
Here is a great appetizer everyone will enjoy around the holidays and for any party. Who knew that you could make a dairy-free cheese ball? Warning! This ‘cheese’ ball disappears as soon as it is served so make sure to make a double batch if you have a big crowd! You get all the flavor and none of the guilt because this version has no saturated fat or cholesterol. So you can have your cheese ball and eat it too!
1 cup blanched almonds
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup of firm tofu well drained
1 Tbl nutritional yeast (optional)
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp vegetable oil
2 drops of liquid smoke
2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbl fresh chives
- Place the almonds, the pine nuts and process quickly.
- Squeeze as much water from the tofu.
- Add the tofu, the olive oil, the liquid smoke, the onion powder and salt and blend.
- You may need to stop and mix with a spoon.
- Pour the mix in a bowl and fold in the chives.
- Make a ball and wrap in saran wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- The next day, crunch 1 cup of walnuts into small pieces and roll the ball to cover it completely.
- Serve with crackers, celery sticks or bread slices.
Bon appetit !
This is one of my favorite relish recipe because it combines the tartness of cranberries and the freshness and sweeteness of oranges. You also get all their health benefits because you eat them whole and raw. Add the vitamin C, the amazing colors, which means, lots of phytonutrients. In our home, we don’t just wait for Thanksgiving or Christmas, whenever we need a pick me up side dish, that’s the one we go for.
You can buy cranberries in the fall, freeze a few bags for later on and you will be all set!
1 bag of cranberries
2 medium oranges (organic preferrably)
2-3 Tbl brown sugar
- Pour the semi frozen cranberries in a food processor.
- Wash your oranges and cut the top off and cut into quarters.
- Add the oranges (the whole thing) by spreading them around the processor and sprinkle the sugar evenly.
- Process everything. you will need to stop, mix and process again until most of the large pieces are nicely processed and the sugar well mixed.
- Taste, add sugar if needed, this part is up to you. Some people like it tart, others more sweat. Serve.
Nutritional facts about cranberries:
Everyone knows that they help prevent and heal urinary tract infections, but newer research also seems to indicate that they can even prevent stomach ulcers from developing. Cranberries are a major source of anti-oxidants so they are naturally anti-cancer. They are also anti-inflammatory. So, they are now in my list of super foods and they don’t cost hardly anything! So stock up!
You can serve it with tofurkey, seitan dish, mash potatoes and gravy. You get the idea, but don’t stop there. I love using the relish as a desert.
All you have to do is find a nice serving glass (or mug as in the photo), spoon some of the relish, then sprinkle some granola, then a little soy or nut milk, then more relish and finish with some granola. It is pretty, delicious and very good for you. If you want more fancy, you can add a scoop of coconut or soy icecream but it doesn’t need it.
Ok, so no more excuses for buying cranberry sauce in a can (that looks like dog food when it comes out) or other lesser versions. You know better now!
Sorry folks, it has been a while that I have posted a recipe. I have been busy preparing and teaching classes. But I do want to share something I discovered last week.
I was shopping at an Asian grocery store for one of my classes
and noticed in the vegetable section next to the potatoes some purple yams.
They didn’t look very special on the outside. Actually, they looked similar to the plain yam with the shape of butternut squash. But I had just listened the evening before to a very interesting presentation on the power of plant-based nutrition. And one of the thing I learned that evening, was the darker the food, the more phyto nutrients it contains. That would explain while kale is at the top of the leafy green vegetable family and so good for you. So when I saw purple yams, I had to get some.
I really wanted to taste them so I just roasted them without adding anything and OMG! I never tasted something so exquisite. The sweeteness was unbelievable, almost like a fruit. It is now my new breakfast. You only need one to make you feel full and satisfied.
Now I have had one every morning. It is delicious even cold, easy to carry if you want to take it with you for a morning or afternoon snack.
You can peel one and mash it and pour some nut or soy milk and nuts for your kids.
What is wonderful about this type of yam is that you don’t need to add any sweetener. Just the vegetable and nothing else. That’s fast food the way Mother Nature intended it!
This is a great item to bring if you going camping. It is cheap, easy to roast on an open fire, a great hand warmer in cold nights! What’s not to like!
From a nutrition standpoint:
A serving provides B6, vitamin A, 5% of the daily value for vitamin C, fiber, plus antioxidants. It has no fat or cholesterol.
The jury is out about potassium. Some sources say it contains a good amount, other say it doesn’t.
It also has a good sense of humor! I wanted to take a photo so that you can see the deep purple and the shape. And then, I turned the plate around and just about peed in my pants when I looked at the photo. See for yourself!
Can you see it?
With the plethora of fresh vegetables available this time of the year in our own gardens, why not indulge in a healthy salad, bursting with colors, textures, flavors and nutrition?
Fresh corn is available in stores at the moment (choose organic over conventional since most of the corn grown today is genetically modified to feed cattles and farm animals).
One of my favorite addition for this healthy salad is mung Bean sprouts. It is one of the easiest thing to sprout. You can’t mess it up regardless of the temperature, even if you don’t rinse them twice a day as it is usually required for other types of seeds or beans. They also keep refrigerated for almost a week.
Mung beans sprouts are crunchy and produce a slight nutty flavor, making them a perfect addition to most salads and wraps.
They may seem small and plain but don’t let this fool you. They pack a lot of nutrition in every bite. 1 cup of raw mung beans contains 3 grams of protein. It is an excellent source of folate (vitamin B for DNA and blood cells) and manganese, a mineral essential for a healthy metabolism and bone formation.
1-2 cups of mung bean sprouts
1 cup fresh corn kernels
1/3 cup of diced red onion
1/2 cup fresh or blanched green beans
1/2 diced avocado
1 grated carrots
2 Tbl pine nuts (optional)
2 Tbl grated coconut powder (unsweetened) optional
Fresh mint or coriander leaves
I usually don’t buy salad dressing because I have been disappointed by most of them and because they always add all kind of weird stuff to make it thick. Since it only takes less than a minute to make it why not?
2 Tbl olive oil
1 Tbl balsamic vinegar
1 tsp lemon
1 Tbl nutritional yeast
salt, pepper to taste
By the way, this salad tastes even better if refrigerated over night.
I used the leftover to make a wrap with collard leaves from my garden. Talk about fresh!
Nature is such a wonderful thing we take for granted.
Last fall, I discovered some potatoes that I had completely forgotten about and as a result had sprouted in the back of my pantry. I proceeded by cutting them into small pieces, each with a sprout and planted them in my garden covering them with thick layer of leave mulch. I knew that not much grows in the winter in the Northwest but hoped that something will come out eventually out of it. And it did. Beautiful leaves grew a few months ago and some potatoes even appeared. It was time to harvest. Wow, so many beautiful little potatoes. It was like a treasure hunt. And when I thought I was done, more were found.
And the funny thing is that the original pieces of potatoes were still almost intact in the ground, and yet they had produced a whole family of little ones. Next to the potatoes, some leeks also grew. And when you have potatoes and leeks, what do you do? You make potato leek soup, oven roasted vegies or a great stir-fry. We did all three.
New potatoes are only harvested in the spring and summer so look out for them in the stores or better, grow your own. Eat with the season to What is really unique about them is that they have a thinner skin and a high moisture content which gives them a creamy texture. They are usually used as side dish but why not making them the star of the show?
You can lightly steam the potatoes and stir fry them with a little garlic, green onion, salt and pepper and any other condiment you like. Potatoes goes really well with rosemary for example for something different. That’s what we did in the photo. Super simple, quick and delicious. I added some vegan sausages for a little quick protein.
Leeks are essentially giant green onions. They are from the same alium family. In terms of nutrition, leeks are a great source of vitamin C as well as iron and fiber, they are known for helping the blood and the heart.
In terms of handling leeks, you always want to check and wash the dirt of the bottom after removing the roots. You can also stir fry the leeks with a little water and salt.
The finished product:
Summer is almost here so it is a good time to increase the amount fresh foods, salads in our diet. I have grown kale for many years and because of its hardiness have enjoyed it all year around. Several of my favorites, Russian Red and Scotch curly kale are great for salads. Dinosaur kale works great steamed or in stews. Don’t take my word for it, try it out.
Kale is the star of the dark-green leafy vegetables family.
It is so easy to grow that everyone should have a patch with some in their garden. If you don’t have space or time to grow some, get some at your local farmer’s market. Make sure to wash it well to remove any dirt.
Is Kale a superfood? You bet it is.
It is rich in manganese, iron, copper, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin B1, B2, B6 and E. A daily portion of kale gives you a massive 192% of your daily vitamin A needs and 89% of your daily vitamin C requirements (helps reduce free radicals, inflammatory diseases, arthritis and asthma. That’s impressive.
Kale belongs to the brassica family (cauliflower, collars greens and broccoli), known for its powerful anti cancerous and antioxidant properties.
Wait, it is also rich in fiber so that it prevents and reduces clogging of arteries, stabilizes blood sugars (great for diabetics) and relieves constipation and diarrhea.
WAYS TO EAT KALE:
In your morning shake (Frozen banana, fruit juice, berries, protein powder…)
1) As a salad
3) As chips
Harvest from the garden
As a Salad:
Because it is quite fibrous, use lemon juice with a little sea salt and olive oil to tenderize it overnight.
If you don’t have time, you can use wooden spoons and bruise the kale when tossing the kale with the lemon dressing. Now, I don’t believe in harming anything in life, but a little kale bruising is as far as I would go to make it tender and tasty.
Basic salad dressing:
Juice from 1 lemon
1 Tbl olive oil
1 Tbl flax seed oil
1 Tbl nutritional yeast
To add some omega 3, add some flax seed oil to the dressing
Mince some garlic and a little olive oil.
Chop some of your favorite kale, add to the garlic.
Sprinkle with a little salt.
Forget commercial processed chips and make your own healthy version packed with nutrition.
Preheat your oven to 350F.
Wash your hands.
Cut of the stem and tear off a large bunch of curly kale into small pieces.
Spread the pieces onto a baking sheet making sure that they don’t overlap.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until they are crispy.
Remove from oven and put into a large bowl.
Drizzle 2 Tbl of olive oil, 2 Tbl of nutritional yeast and 1/2 teaspoon of salt (you can use garlic powder too).
Toss gently with your hands
Keeps in an airtight container at room temperature. But do not refrigerate.
Slice firm tofu and pat dry in a clean cotton towel.
Coat the tofu in some arrowroot or cornstarch with a little salt and garlic powder.
Pan fry the tofu in a little oil until crisp. Flip each side.
Sprinkle some soy sauce towards the end.
You can also grate fresh ginger to the soy sauce for additional flavoring.
Serve the salad and place the braised tofu on top.
Et voilà !
Earth Day Portland
What a glorious day today was.
Quite appropriate for Earthday.I love Portland. As in most cities accross the US, Portland had its celebration of all good things for the earth, found locally, built sustainably, with respect to the earth and all its inhabitants, in music, artful displays, bringing together young and old, two legged, lots of four legged…what a party! And when time came to eat, we found a vegan hot dog stand! Pretty cool or what? Most of the other choices were mostly vegetarian (there was one stand barbecuing animal parts). We had three options: Vegan kielbassa, beer brat and regular hot dog, all made by Tofurky! With all the toppings of course. And on the way out, a few hours later, a vegan bake sale that raised money for several animal sanctuaries. Usually, we try to cut down on sweets, but given the cause, We had to pitch in, someone has to do it! It is my story and I am sticking to it.
Once home, we had a craving for something stewy. I had a few vegetables, some cornmeal. Plenty enough to make a nice vegetable medley with some rich polenta (we had rice the day before!)
VEGETABLE MEDLEY INGREDIENTS:
1/2 onion sliced2 cloves of garlic1 Tbl balsamic vinegar1-2 Tbl soy sauce1 medium zuchini diced2 medium tomatoes diced1 pepper (bell or poblano)1 can of white beans rinced1 cup of firm tofu diced1 tsp cumin powder1 tsp oilsalt & pepper
VEGETABLE MEDLEY PREPARATION:
- Heat oil in a large frying pan, add the onions and stir.
- After 1 minute, add the balsamic vinegar and stir to caramelize them. Add salt, garlic, stir some more.
- In a separate frying pan, heat a little oil, and pan fry the pepper and the tofu and the cumin.
- Add salt and pepper to taste. When the tofu is browned and the pepper lightly softened, remove from the heat.
- Add the tomatoes and zuchini to the onion mixture and gently heat up for a few minutes.
- Add the peppers. Turn heat off and cover.
- Now time to prepare the polenta
3 cups of water1 cup of cornmeal1 Tbl vegan butter1 cube of vegetable bouillon2 Tbl nutrtional yeastsalt & pepper to taste
- Bring the water, broth, vegan butter, salt and pepper to a boil, turn down to medium heat.
- Add the polenta in a thin, steady stream, stirring constantly. Don’t add it too quickly, because you risk making the polenta lumpy.
- Cook slowly, stirring constantly, over very low heat. Be careful because the hot polenta will turn into molten lava in no time and may spatter as it cooks, so use a long-handled wooden spoon and long sleeve (just kidding for the sleeves). Stay at a distance from the stove to be on the safe side. It may take up to 15mn for the polenta to be cooked.
- Try it and if it tastes gritty, it isn’t ready.
- Add the nutritional yeast at the very end when it is cooked, this will provide a cheezy taste to it and lots of vitamin B.
- Immediately spoon the polenta while it is soft next to the vegetables.
Pronounced “Po-len-tah”, this native dish of Italy is made with ground yellow or white cornmeal. Unlike grits, which is corn that has been soaked and processed to remove the tough outer hull, polenta has the hull and is therefore more nutritious and less processed.
If you are tired of rice, pasta, quinoa or other grains, you can make something really good with this simple staple. Try to buy organic cornmeal because 80% of the corn grown in the US is genetically modified to be fed to cattles and other farm animals (there isn’t enough grazing land to feed 10 billion of them!) Come to think of it, it is outrageous that this ancient plant native to the Americas, that was available in so many diverse types has been reduced to a patented engineered seed that has taken over the market. Don’t get me started on this!
But I digress, what is nice about it, is that you can make it in all different ways. You can serve it soft like mash potatoes for a rustic meal (a little like grits). Want to impress your guests? Make thick slices, balls, patties or sticks for an appetizer. Can you see the possibilities?It is quite versatile, you can serve it with your favorite sauces, maybe a tomato sauce, a curry or mushroom cream sauce. In the photo, I simply pan fried it until it is golden brown and crispy and served it with a dipping sauce. You can also grill it. You can even serve it sweet for breakfast on a cold winter day. When cooked polenta takes on a smooth, creamy texture But don’t stop there, pour it into a dish, let it cool off. Then you can slice it.
TYPES OF POLENTA
There are 2 kinds of polenta (cornmeal). Most stores carry the regular kind but you can sometimes also find instant polenta, which cooks much faster. I don’t mind using the regular kind, because I am in the kitchen usually preparing the sauce while it cooks. This way, it is nice, cooks over medium heat. No rush, no stress. That’s my motto and I am sticking to it!
COOKING THE POLENTA
Similar to other grains, you need to boil water, add salt and grain, and simmer until tender (approximately 30-45mn). The ratio for the basic recipe is 3 parts liquid to 1 part polenta. You will need to stir every 10mn to keep it from sticking or turning lumpy. If you want a softer result, add a little more water.
Basic ingredients are:
3 cups water
1 tsp. salt
1 Tb vegan butter
1 cup cornmeal
NOTE: For fancier versions, you can use vegetable or mushroom broth, instead of water.
You can also add spices, herbs, chopped olives to change its flavor and appearance (you can see the herbs in the close-up photo above).
When the polenta is cooked, transfer it to a greased loaf pan.
Let it cool off for a few hours or refrigerate, then cut the polenta into slices.
You can either pan fry it or use an electric grill (like in the photo) and grill the sticks with very little oil for a low fat version. That’s pretty cool.
Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.
E tutto (that’s it, in Italian!)