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Easy Indian Dish February 9, 2011

Here is an awesome dish I just whipped up for Dwight and I tonight!  He’s on the bus coming home, so I have a little time to write this up and share with you.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup brown basmati rice
  • 1/2 tablespoon cumin seed
  • 1 16 oz. can Muir Glen Diced Tomatoes (No Salt Added)
  • 2 cups chopped broccoli
  • 1 & 1/2 cups chopped bok choy (or any cruciferous leafy green)
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 tablespoon of curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon of chopped ginger root (or 1/2 tsp ginger powder)

In a pot bring 2 cups of water to a boil.  Then add the brown rice and cumin and leave on a low heat until the rice is cooked.

In another pan place the can of tomatoes, curry powder, ginger root and broccoli on a medium low heat.  When they start to bubble add the peas.  After five minutes add the leafy green vegetables.

Then you should have a delicious Indian feast!

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Kale & Beans Crockpot Recipe February 6, 2011

Dwight and I have a little bit of a Saturday night dinner tradition.  This week we kept it pretty simple and very healthy.  Vegetables and beans are the best way to get your nutrients on a vegan or vegetarian diet.  They are low in fat and high in protein, minerals and vitamins.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 head of kale chopped (not 1 leaf, this should be about 4 or 5 packed cups)
  • 2 cans of navy beans
  • 1 large celery stalk chopped
  • 1 carrot chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 2 tsp. rosemary
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. thyme

Throw the ingredients in a crockpot, stir, let it cook for at least an hour.  Then you’ll have yourself a healthy stew!

 

Butternut Squash Soup & Some Important Cooking Tips January 24, 2011

This will warm you up nicely since it’s been so cold out lately.  The recipe is a bit lengthy so I would recommend doing this on a Sunday.

Ingredients:

  • one medium sized butternut squash
  • one can of coconut milk (unsweetened)
  • 1 tbsp of curry powder
  • 1 tbsp of fresh chopped ginger root
  • 1 bag of frozen peas

Directions: (about an hour and a half)

  1. Cut the butternut squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.
  2. Place it face down on a baking pan in  1/2 an inch of water.  Bake at 375 for 45min-1hour.
  3. When the squash is done you should be able to pierce through the skin with a fork or knife.
  4. Scoop out the meat from the squash and put it into a blender or food processor.
  5. Also add the coconut water, curry powder and ginger root and blend.
  6. Place the mixture in a pot on the stove on a low heat (3) and add the frozen peas (or any other veggies you’d like)
  7. In about 10 minutes you should have some yummy soup!

Baking the butternut squash face down prevents it from burning.  When food is dry baked acrylamides are formed.  Acrylamides have been shown to cause cancer.  So you may be thinking to yourself…everything causes cancer these days!  Well, let me put it this way, cigarettes contain large amounts of acrylamides and we KNOW those cause cancer.

Healthy cooking tips at home:

Cook at home often because that is where you have the most control over your food.  Also it is extremely important to cook your food at a medium to low temperature.  There is no need to have the burner higher than a medium heat.  Heating food too much not only destroys the nutrients, but also causes the fats in foods restructure into transfats.

You should also only cook with coconut oil because it can withstand temperatures of up to 350 degrees without restructuring into harmful heart disease causing transfats.  Also, the medium chain fatty acids found in coconut oil will actually double the rate at which omega 3 fatty acids are transferred into DHA.  DHA is a fat that is essential for healthy brain functioning.

So we all hear about how benefits of Omega 3’s.  However, we don’t hear that in order to use Omega 3 fatty acids our bodies need to convert them to DHA.  Everyone’s conversion rate differs, which is why eating small amounts of coconut can be a very beneficial addition to your diet.

However you don’t want to over do it with fat.  If you’re doing a stir-fry I would suggest adding 1 tsp per person.  If you are more active you can be a little more liberal with this suggestion.

Steaming or boiling food is the best way to cook veggies because you lose the least amount of nutrients.  However, we all like a little variety.  If you do plan on doing a stir-fry add a teaspoon or two of water and keep the heat no higher than a medium heat.  Keeping a low heat will prevent the occurrence of acrylamides and retain nutrients.  It may take a little longer, but your body will thank you for it!

 

Cheater Baked Beans October 13, 2010

This recipe is stolen/modified from Veganomicon.  I always have a tough time following recipes, so below is my modification.

Ingredients:

  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp of coconut oil
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cans white or navy beans
  • 1/4 blackstrap molasses
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Directions:

  1. Mince garlic and combine with coconut oil is a medium sized pot
  2. Saute the garlic on a low heat (around 2) for at least 10 minutes
  3. Combine the remaining ingredients into the pot
  4. Let it sit for an hour occasionally stirring

These are called cheater baked beans because you are using canned beans and you’re not baking them!  There are a few reasons why I would make my own baked beans instead of buying canned ones.

First off I don’t like added sugars and it is impossible to find anything these days without added sugar.   I choose blackstrap molasses in this recipe because it contains one the highest concentrations of iron of any food (vegan or not).  Believe it or not it is right up there with liver on iron content, and much tastier!  (Honestly I wouldn’t know I’ve never had liver, but I hear it’s pretty gross)

I use a small amount of coconut oil when sauteing the garlic because you need to be really careful with heated fats.  Coconut oil is the only oil that can with stand high heats, all other oils become hydrogenated after cooking and are hazardous to your health.  Using other oils on occasion can be fine, but I would recommend regularly cooking with coconut oil.

Finally, the delicious beans!  Beans are a great vegetarian source of protein, vitamins and minerals.  Cooking them on a low heat will help break down the fibers and reduce gas.

I would recommend serving along with steamed kale and broccoli…YUM!!

 

Quinoa Cooking Tricks July 29, 2010

Filed under: Appetizers/Entrees,Gluten Free,Protein,Recipes — Yvette @ 1:36 am
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Right now quinoa is my favorite grain, but I have to be honest it took me a little while to cook it well.  Through trial and error I have finally got it down, so hopefully you all will benefit from my mistakes!

  1. I have found that soaking the quinoa for at least 15 minutes before cooking it is helpful.  A little advice for those of you who work, I find that if I just soak it in some water in the morning it is ready to cook when I get home in the afternoon/evening.  I just would not recommend soaking the quinoa over a day unless you plan on changing the water.
  2. Also the directions on the package usually say 1 cup quinoa cooked in 1 and 1/2 cups water.  This usually turns out to be too little water for me.  The quinoa comes out crunchy and hard, which makes it very difficult to digest.  I suggest using 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups water.

I love quinoa because it is a complete protein and a great source of good fats and iron.  When it is cooked properly it feels really light in the stomach and is easily digested.

Here is how I generally cook my quinoa (slight variation on the curried quinoa recipe I have posted before):

  • 1 cup quinoa soaked for 1 hour
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tbs coconut oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom

Combine in a pot and bring to a boil.  Then let it simmer for about 15/20 minutes.  The spices are optional, they just give the quinoa a nice flavor.  The coconut oil makes the dish nice and creamy.

 

Vegan, Gluten Free Mac and Cheese June 23, 2010

Filed under: Appetizers/Entrees,Gluten Free,Recipes — Yvette @ 4:55 pm
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So, my boyfriend Dwight LOVES cheese.  But this summer he is trying to stay away from it, so to ease in I decided to make him some vegan mac and cheese.  He absolutely loved it, it is a really basic recipe.  For any of my relatives who follow my blog I WILL be making this at Thanksgiving, Dwight liked it that much.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups brown rice penne pasta
  • water
  • 1/4 (Almond or Soy Milk depending on whether you are allergic to nuts or soy)
  • 1/4 Earth Balance (vegan butter – they also make a soy free version)
  • 1 cup Daiya cheddar cheese (this is soy/gluten/dairy free cheese, if Daiya is not available to you, you can try Galaxy’s Rice cheese (soy free) or Follow your heart vegan cheese which (not soy free) )

Directions:

Cook the brown rice pasta according to the directions on the package (this may vary depending on what brand you get).  I used the brand Tinkyada because the ingredients were Organic Brown Rice and water.  You can’t really get much simpler than that!  Then you proceed similarly as you would with Kraft mac and cheese.  You add the milk, butter and cheese with the burner on low and stir until the ingredients are combined.  Ready to serve!

Daiya is a relatively new cheese substitute so it may be hard to find, although my boyfriend raves that it is absolutely amazing.  I haven’t tried it yet because I am really timid around things that have too many ingredients.  Anyways, it is sold at Whole Foods if you live in downstate NY, and much easier to get upstate (Wegmans, the co-op and so forth carry it).

I do request that everyone try to get brown rice pasta because gluten (from wheat) really gunks up the digestive system!!!  When gluten enters the small intestines it turns into a sticky glue-like substance.  After years of consuming gluten this can really hinder digestion and absorption.  For anyone trying to lose weight, another reason to avoid wheat is that it does a GREAT job of putting weight on.

I don’t believe in having comfort foods such as this mac and cheese too often, but occasionally it can be a nice indulgence.  Enjoy and let me know what you think!!!

 

Home-made sushi April 15, 2010

Filed under: Appetizers/Entrees,Gluten Free,Recipes — Yvette @ 4:41 pm
Tags: , , ,

I like to make sushi at home because you have more control over what goes into your food.  It is a several step process, but so delicious it’s worth it.  I would save this for the weekend when you have more time and can enjoy it 🙂

Supplies:

  • Sushi mats
  • Saran Wrap

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup short grain rice (brown or white works here I prefer brown, but you need short grain though otherwise the rice won’t stick)
  • 2 cups water (to cook the rice in, probably less water if it is white rice)
  • nori (seaweed you should be able to find this at a Wegmans or a Health Food Store)
  • filling (this is anything you want to put in the sushi i.e. avocado, pepper, sweet potato, cashews, carrots etc.)

Directions :

  1. Put the rice on the stove first, since this will take the longest to prepare.
  2. While the rice is cooking prepare the filling.  I like putting steamed sweet potato in my sushi along with cashew mashed up with cayenne and honey.  If you want to make something that is reminiscent of spicy tuna then take some tempeh, sriracha, and vegan mayonnaise and stir in a bowl.
  3. Once the rice is done put it in the freezer for about five minutes to cool otherwise you’ll burn your hands.
  4. While the rice is in the freezer take out the sushi mats and Saran wrap.  Lay the sushi mat down and layer a piece of saran wrap to cover the mat.  Then place a sheet of nori on top of the saran wrap.
  5. Place a bowl of water on the table, this is for when the rice gets stuck to your fingers.
  6. Then take the rice out of the freezer.  You’ll want to thinly layer the rice over the bottom half of the nori.
  7. Next you put the filling in the center of the rice, horizontally.  Be easy with the filling at first, it is easy to make the rolls too big.
  8. Once the filling is in take the bottom of the sushi mat and place the bottom edge of the nori where the top edge of the rice is.  Press down hard and then peel back the mat and the saran wrap.
  9. Keep rolling the nori, but be sure to peel back the saran wrap (it’s not very tasty).
  10. Once the nori is completely rolled you’ll want to seal the edge with some water and set it aside.
  11. That’s it!  Once you’re done rolling up all the sushi, slice it up and enjoy 🙂

https://i0.wp.com/rawmazing.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/sushi2.jpg

Filling Ideas

**If you want to make mock spicy tuna rolls take half a block of tempeh, 1/4 cup of Sriracha sauce and 1/4 of vegan mayonaise.  Break up the tempeh with a fork and then add in the sauce and mayo.**

**Steamed sweet potato mashed up with a little maple syrup and cinnamon.**

**Crushed up cashews with cayenne and honey**