Friday, May 16, 2014

Gazpacho


When summer's here, it's time to break out the gazpacho. Serve it cold with some crusty bread. 


3 lbs tomatoes
Medium cucumber
Red bell pepper
Small yellow onion
2 slices white bread
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic
3 tbsp sherry vinegar
2 tsp salt
Fresh ground black pepper
Basil leaves
(Tabasco sauce)

Core and stem the tomatoes, then finely chop them along with the onion, bell pepper and cucumber. Separate one quarter of the chopped vegetables and set them aside. Put the rest of the chopped vegetables in the food processor with the garlic, salt, vinegar, and bread. Blend thoroughly until the soup is smooth, then add the olive oil. Pouring the olive oil into the blender slowly and allowing it to get fully incorporated will give the gazpacho a creamier texture. Pour the mixture into a large bowl. Take the chopped vegetables that were set aside and stir them into the soup to give it a chunkier texture.  If you fancy it, add a couple of splashes of hot sauce to taste. Refrigerate overnight. Top with ground black pepper before serving and use basil to garnish.  

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Quinoa Tabbouleh


This recipe makes an enormous amount of tabbouleh, probably 6 large servings. If you want to make a more modest quantity, you will have to adjust the quantities accordingly.

1 cup dried quinoa
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cups parsley
1 cup mint
1 lemon
5 scallions (green parts only)
12oz cherry tomatoes
Lots of salt

Place one cup of rinsed quinoa, two cups of water, one tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt into your rice cooker (or following the cooking instructions on the box). Cook on the "white rice" setting while you prep the other ingredients. 

Slice the cherry tomatoes, juice the lemon and finely chop the herbs and scallions. If you are following a low-FODMAP diet, discard the white parts of the scallions. If not, you can use the whole thing. Once the quinoa has thoroughly cooled, add it to a large mixing bowl and stir in the other ingredients, adding the salt slowly as you go.  

This will keep well in the fridge for 4 days. It's also a great dish to take to a potluck or picnic and contains way more protein than regular tabbouleh. 

Flavored Water



As part of getting healthy for the new year, I'm trying to stay well-hydrated. These flavored waters are definitely going to help. Keep 'em in the fridge so there's always something cool, calorie-free, caffeine-free and alcohol-free to enjoy. 

Today I made cucumber/parsley, strawberry, lemon/mint.

Zero calories. 

BBQ Tempeh Soft Tacos




1/2 cup tempeh
2 tbsp garlic-free BBQ sauce
1 cup raw kale
6 slices red bell pepper
1 tsp mustard
Corn tortillas (wheat free)
1 tbsp olive oil
A splash of red wine vinegar or rice wine vinegar

Slice the tempeh and mix with the BBQ sauce and half of the olive oil, bake for 30 mins at 400 degrees. While it's cooking, prepare the kale by massaging it with the remainder of the olive oil, vinegar and salt, then set aside to let it marinate. You can add grated carrot to your kale, too, if you have some on hand. Slice your bell pepper. When your tempeh is ready, take your corn tortillas and fill them with the kale, a few slices of bell pepper, mustard and tempeh. 

485 calories for 2 tacos

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving!

I usually make my own seitan, but this year I didn't have time. Instead, I bought a Trader Joe's field roast-type thing, and an old-fashioned Tofurky. In the court of popular opinion, the field roast won, hands down. Tofurky is sadly rubbery and too salty by far.

Both the field roast and Tofurky come with stuffing, which is OK. Tofurky also comes with gravy, but I decided to make my own instead because, again, theirs is too salty. To make gravy, I sauté onions and button mushrooms, then add tamari, vegetable stock, herbs, and a little corn starch. I let it simmer for an hour or more before serving. It keeps well in the fridge for several days afterwards and reheats easily in the microwave.

For sides, we enjoyed:
- Roasted yams and sweet potatoes
- Arugula salad with red onion and kumquats
- Kale salad with raspberries, blueberries and walnuts
- Cranberry sauce
- Wild rice and lentil pilaf


For dessert, I made maple pecan pie from the Post Punk Kitchen. 
http://www.theppk.com/2011/08/maple-pecan-pie/

It was totally delicious, although the filling bubbled over the edges of the crust more than I would have expected, and the whole thing kind of fell apart when I served it. Overall, though, I was happy with the flavors and will probably make it again.

My real triumph, though, was the pumpkin spice ice cream. In the blender, I mixed three parts Trader Joe's vanilla soy ice cream with one part canned pumpkin. Then I added plenty of cinnamon and a little ginger. The whole thing got pretty soft, so I put it back into the freezer to set before serving. The consistency came out really perfectly, and the flavor was much more subtle and appetizing than some of the commercially available seasonal ice cream flavors. This recipe will definitely be making an appearance at future Thanksgivings. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Pumpkin Spice Muffins 


These muffins are so festive! And people seem to appreciate how moist they are. The recipe was originally adapted from veganbaking.net, which you should definitely check out if you haven't done so already.

3 tbsp water
1 tbsp flax meal
2 tbsp non-dairy milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 ¼ cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup pumpkin purée
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup canola oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon ginger
½ cup chopped pecans

Mix together the flax meal and water in a cup, set aside. This will make a viscous, egg-like liquid. If you only have whole flax seeds, you can make your own flax meal by blending them in a coffee grinder. Once ground, store the flax meal in the fridge or freezer to keep it fresh. Next, in a separate cup, mix your apple cider vinegar and non-dairy milk, and set that aside to curdle.

Measure the remaining dry ingredients into a large bowl and mix. Next, stir in the pureed pumpkin, then gently add the water/flax mixture and the curdled milk mixture that you made earlier. When the ingredients are thoroughly mixed, the batter should have a fairly thick consistency. Now add half a cup of pecans. I like to use pecan pieces, but you could use whole one and break them up by hand before stirring them in. 

Divide the batter into 12, and bake in a greased muffin pan at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. Alternatively, you can pour the batter into a greased loaf pan and bake for one hour.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Small Plate Lunch

Sometimes, when I don't know what I want to eat, I build a meal around my crockery. Today I decided to play with my little square plates, so I made a bunch of different salads to enjoy. From left to right (top row then bottom row); lentil and olive salad, homemade spicy coleslaw, arugula in sesame ginger dressing, beets and oranges in balsamic vinegar, marinated cucumbers, slices of papaya. 


I used four pre-cooked beets and one orange, sliced, and dressed with balsamic vinegar and sesame seeds. 


For the slaw I used five carrots, one green bell pepper, one jalapeño and a quarter of a yellow onion, all shredded in the Cuisinart, mixed with low-fat vegenaise, apple cider vinegar, salt and black sesame seeds. (I'm on a real sesame seed kick right now).


For this salad I tossed together pre-cooked lentils, half a jar of green pimiento olives sliced lengthways and a small amount of minced yellow onion. 


I used Annie's lite gingerly dressing for the greens. The papaya was a little underripe. There seems to be a knack to buying good papayas, but I don't know what it is.