Going Vegan Recipe and Giveaway

Going Vegan

Today I’m happy to have a recipe from Going Vegan by Joni Marie Newman and Gerri Lynn Adams to share with you, and I also have a chance for you to win a copy of the book!

 

As you have probably already figured out by the title, Going Vegan is a guidebook for transitioning to a vegan diet. Along with Joni Marie Newman, the book was co-authored by Gerri Lynn Adams, who has a B.S. in Food Science with an emphasis on nutrition, so the book explains not only how to go vegan, but how to do it an health healthful way. It starts out with both Joni and Gerri telling us why and how they went vegan. I always love hearing people’s “vegan stories”, and Joni and Gerri both have good ones. From there, the book delves into the reasons to go vegan, with a chapter dedicated to each: health, the environment, your wallet (because contrary to popular belief, eating vegan is not expensive), and for the animals. As you would expect from a book called Going Vegan, there’s tons of information on stocking your kitchen, from how to check for hidden animal ingredients in packaged foods to what items you should keep on hand in your pantry. And of course, there are tons of delicious recipes for easy-to-make dishes that are sure to please everyone at your dinner table.

 

Speaking of recipes, I’m sharing the recipe for Amaretto Cupcakes from Going Vegan today. Amaretto is one of my favorite things, next to chocolate, so I just couldn’t say no to these little treats!

 

Amaretto CupcakesAmaretto Cupcakes

Yield: 12 cupcakes

There are hundreds upon hundreds of kid-friendly cupcake recipes out there. This is not one of them. This sophisticated cupcake is made for grown-ups! The cupcake itself has no added fat, so if you are watching your fat, you can make these without frosting, or try chocolate ganache. For a nice decorative touch, sprinkle the tops with sliced or slivered almonds.

 

Ingredients

For cupcakes:

  • 1 cup (235 ml) almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) amaretto liqueur, such as DiSaronno (See “Veggie Bite” below.)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) evaporated cane juice or vegan granulated sugar
  • 2 cups (250 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (40 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

For Fluffy Almond Vanilla Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup (112 g) nondairy butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 to 5 cups (240 to 600 g) powdered sugar, as desired
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) amaretto liqueur, such as DiSaronno (See “Veggie Bite” below)

 

Preparation

  1. To make the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C, or gas mark 4). Line a standard muffin tin with cupcake papers. In a small bowl, mix almond milk and vinegar. (It will curdle and become like buttermilk.) Stir in DiSaronno or amaretto, vanilla, and evaporated cane juice or granulated sugar.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cardamom. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir to combine. (Take care not to over mix.) Fill cupcake papers three-quarters full. Bake on center rack 18 to 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven, allow to cool enough to transfer to a cooling rack, and cool completely. (This step is important to prevent the bottoms of your cupcakes from getting soggy.) Allow to cool completely before frosting.
  3. To make the frosting: In a mixing bowl, place butter and vanilla and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Add powdered sugar, 1 cup (120 g) at a time until desired consistency is reached. (For a thinner icing use 2 to 3 cups [240 to 360 g]; for a fluffy, pipeable frosting use 4 to 5 cups [480 to 600 g].) Add liqueur 1 tablespoon (15 ml) at a time as needed to taste and for desired consistency

 

 

Veggie Bite

The big square knob on top is a sure sign that this is a classic liqueur worthy of space in any well-stocked bar. However any amaretto will certainly do the trick. Joni has also offered substitutions for people who choose not to imbibe.

 

Teetotalers rejoice! For the amaretto in the cupcakes and frosting, substitute 1 tablespoon (15 ml) almond extract mixed with 7 tablespoons (105 ml) water or additional almond milk. You can feel free to sub up to half of the flour with whole wheat pastry flour.

 

 

Read my full review of Going Vegan on ChicVegan.com, and also check out my interview with Joni Marie Newman.

 

 

Follow the instructions below for a chance to win a copy of Going Vegan. Contest ends at midnight eastern time on Wednesday, September 24th, 2014. Good luck!

 

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Seitan Gyro with Tahini Sauce

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I never had a gyro in my meat-eating days, so I’m not 100% what they taste like. They seemed to me to be some sort of flesh smothered in some sort of dairy-laden sauce, but don’t quote me on that. My first gyro was one that I made myself, using a recipe from Nava Atlas’s book Vegan Express, which used to be my go-to cookbook. I made the dish so many times that I no longer look at the book and ingredients and measurements have changed, so this is my recipe, based on Nava’s. Most vegan gyro recipes I’ve seen are served with dairy-free tzatziki sauce, but since I’ve never had dairy tzatziki, I don’t feel comfortable veganizing it. Instead, I serve my gyros with my favorite tahini dressing, which I use for just about everything.

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Seitan Gyro with Tahini Sauce

Ingredients: 

For the Tahini Dressing

  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

For the Gyro

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped (about half a cup)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 ounce package of seitan, sliced (I used Upton’s Traditional Seitan)
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 pita breads or flat breads
  • 4 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, shredded
  • 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 cup cucumber, chopped
  • 1/3 cup kalamata olives, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped, optional

 

Directions:

For the Tahini Dressing

  1. Mix all ingredients together until smooth.
  2. Set aside until ready to use. Sauce will thicken after sitting for a while. Add water when ready to use, if necessary.

For the Gyro

  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium sized pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes, until it becomes translucent and fragrant.
  2. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or two.
  3. Add the seitan to the pan and cook for about 10 more minutes, stirring frequently, until the seitan browns and the edges begin to crisp. Remove from heat.
  4. Place the flat breads or pitas on a plate and top (or stuff) with the lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, cucumber, and olives. Divide the seitan equally among each sandwich and top with the tahini and parsley.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

Serves 4

 

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Nava Atlas Guest Post, Recipe and Giveaway

Plant power

I’m super excited to be hosting Nava Atlas on her Plant Power blog tour today. Nava’s cookbooks were among the first I bought when I went vegan, and because of them, I found going vegan to be relatively easy. I wish I had a copy of Nava’s new book Plant Power back when I made the transition to vegan (or even vegetarian) eating, as it’s packed with tons of tips on how to transition to plant-based eating, and it’s full of delicious, yet simple recipes. Plant Power focuses on the basics, from setting up a plant-powered pantry and fridge to choosing the best fresh foods for each season and streamlining daily meal preparation. Whether it’s a stir-fry using leftover veggies in the crisper, a fajita dinner to please different taste buds, yummy hummus wraps, or a pot of chili to savor on a cold winter evening, Plant Power takes the challenge out of meal-planning and makes it fun. Each of the fresh and flavor-packed recipes is easy to make and customizable, with tips on variations from turning up the heat and mixing up ingredients, to kid-friendly, gluten-free, and seasonal options.

 

Nava’s here today with a guest post, a recipe from Plant Power, and a chance to win a copy of her book. Without further ado, here’s Nava…

 

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Favorite Cookware and Tools for the Plant-Based Kitchen

The plant-powered kitchen need not be magazine-gorgeous and outfitted with the latest gadgets and appliances. These things would be nice, of course, but they’re not required to create delicious meals. Still, an assortment of basic tools can make life in the kitchen easier and, in some cases, more enjoyable. Just as with pantry items, you don’t have to run out and buy all these items at once—or at all. These are tools I enjoy having in my kitchen and that you might, too, as as you begin to enjoy more plant-based meals. Everyone has their favorite kitchen helpers; for me, these first four items are must-haves:

Food processor: A food processor’s multiple uses—chopping, grating, and pureeing— make it your best friend among kitchen tools. If you get one of the name brands and take care of it, it may outlive you! I’ve had the same Cuisinart food processor for at least fifteen years, and it shows little sign of slowing down.

Wire whisk or coated wire whisk: This inexpensive tool helps make sauces, dressings, and gravies, and it helps when cooking fine grains (such as polenta) to lump-free textures. For cake and pancake batters that come out smooth without overbeating, a whisk is a must.

Kitchen shears: Shears, or kitchen scissors, have endless uses in the kitchen—cutting long Asian noodles, thinly slicing scallions and basil leaves, opening packages, even cutting pizza into wedges if you don’t have a pizza wheel.

Stir-fry pan: This type of wok-shaped pan will serve you well if you enjoy making stir- fries. It’s easier to deal with, in many ways, than a traditional wok—from cleaning to storage. If you make plenty of dishes involving quick-cooked veggies, you’ll get a lot of use from a good stir-fry pan. The one made by Circulon, with a hard-anodized surface, has served me well. Here are a few more items that are quite useful; while they’re not absolute necessities, having any of them adds to the ease and enjoyment of your life in the kitchen!

Immersion blender: If you have no room for a full-fledged blender, or don’t want to spring for one, an immersion blender can do a lot of the same tricks. My favorite way to use it is for pureeing soups in the same pot in which they cook. With it, there’s no need to transfer hot ingredients in and out of a food processor or blender. Easy to use, even easier to clean, and costing a fraction of what a food processor or blender costs, immersion blenders like this one by Cuisinartare also good for making smoothies and velvety sauces.

Pizza pan or pizza stone: A pizza pan is nothing more than a large round pan designed for baking pizzas. And a pizza stone is just that—a smooth round stone used for the same purpose. A stone ensures crisper crusts and is more tolerant of sharp pizza wheels. With veggie-driven pizzas in regular rotation in our home, both these tools have seen much use. If you like to make pizza, they won’t break the bank.

Salad spinner: A salad spinner isn’t an absolute must have. Even as a huge fan of salads of all kinds, I did without one for a long time. But once I finally got one and started using it, I was sold! I regret all those paper towels I wasted, blotting delicate leaves for salads and wraps and pressing liquid from kale before massaging it or making kale chips. Asalad spinner works kind of like the spin cycle in your washing machine, except that it needs no electricity.

Nut chopper or grinder: I enjoy my nut chopper, which grinds a few nuts at a time into a container, making the process easy and neat. While you can definitely live without it, nut enthusiasts will enjoy this item. It’s handy for turning nuts into a tasty topping for noodle dishes, grains, salads, and cereals.

Tofu press: Despite the fact I’ve been using and enjoying tofu for ages, this is the most recent addition to my roster of favorite kitchen tools. Tofu presses are simple devices using springs or tightening bolts to extract water from tofu efficiently, without any further weights and using no paper towels whatsoever! I enjoy both theEZ Tofu Press and the TofuXpress, which work a bit differently from each other but are both quite handy.

Produce keepers: Especially in the summertime, when garden are bursting with greens and farm market season is in full swing, produce keepers (such as the ones pictured in the first photo above) really do extend the life of produce. Of course, it’s ideal to use produce as soon as possible after you harvest or purchase it, but these kinds of containers extend freshness when need be.

 

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Black Bean Tostadas

A tostada is a crisp tortilla piled generously with any variety of toppings, often including beans, crisp lettuce, and salsa. Good accompaniments include: baked potatoes or sweet potatoes; or fresh corn on the cob. Add a salad and/or a simple steamed veggies, you’ve got an easy weeknight meal or fun quick fare to serve company.

 

Serves: 4 (2 tostadas per serving)

 Ingredients:

  • 8 good-quality corn tortillas
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or 3 tablespoons vegetable broth or water
  • 1 medium onion or two shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Two 15-to 16-ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed,
or 3 to 3 1/2 cups cooked black beans
  • Juice of 1/2 lime or lemon, or more, to taste
  • 1 to 2 small hot green chili peppers, seeded and sliced, optional
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

Garnishes:

  • Shredded lettuce, baby greens, or baby spinach
  • Plenty of mild, medium, or hot chunky salsa, such as chipotle, peach or mango
  • Store-bought or homemade Vegan Sour Cream or Cashew Cream

Directions:

To toast the torillas in the oven: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spread the tortillas on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, or until crisp and dry and just starting to be touched with golden brown spots. Remove them from the oven and place on a serving platter.

To toast the tortillas on a stovetop: Heat a large skillet. Toast the tortillas over medium heat (two or three at a time, depending on the size of the skillet) for about 5 minutes or so on each side, until crisp and touched with golden brown spots. Don’t be afraid to let them get nice and crisp—that’s better than ending up with a soggy tostada.

Heat the oil, broth, or water in medium skillet. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until golden, about 5 minutes.

Add the remaining ingredients (aside from the garnishes, of course) along with 1/4 cup water and bring to a simmer. Using a potato masher, mash some of the beans so that the liquid becomes thick and saucy.

Place the shredded lettuce, sour cream, and salsa in separate serving bowls and let everyone assemble their tostadas as follows: A layer of shredded lettuce; the black bean mixture; salsa; and sour cream. Pick up the tostadas and eat out of hand (with plenty of napkins!).

 

Recipe and excerpt from Plant Power: Transform Your Kitchen, Plate, and Life with More Than 150 Fresh and Flavorful Vegan Recipes by Nava Atlas. ©2014, published by HarperOne, reprinted by permission. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky. 

 

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Raw Taco Salad with Spicy Chipotle Aioli and Cashew Sour Cream

Raw Taco Salad with Spicy Chipotle Aioli and Cashew Sour CreamThe “meat” for this taco salad is so simple it almost seems like there are ingredients or a few steps missing, but it really is just sunflower seeds, sun-dried tomatoes, and some spices mixed together in a food processor. The end result is super tasty, and it can be used in traditional corn or flour taco shells, as well as raw lettuce leaf shells if you’d prefer handheld tacos instead of a salad. The combination of chipotle aioli and taco “meat” can be a little on the spicy side, so I’ve included cashew sour cream to cool things down.

 

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Raw Taco Salad

Ingredients:

For the Taco “Meat”

  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 6 sun-dried tomato halves (not the oil soaked type)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix (recipe follows)

For the Spicy Chipotle Aioli

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ + 1 tablespoon cup lime juice
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • ½ crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

For the Cashew Sour Cream

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

For the Salad

  • 6 cups romaine lettuce, shredded (about 1 large head or two small heads)
  • 2 cups red cabbage, shredded
  • 1 cup carrots, shredded
  • 1 cup tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 1/3 cup black olives, chopped

 

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Directions:

For the Taco “Meat”

Soak the seeds and sun-dried tomatoes in water for two to four hours. Rinse and drain well. Place the sunflower seeds and sun-dried tomatoes in food processor fitted with an S-blade, along with the taco seasoning. Process until sunflower seeds are well ground and all of the tomatoes are chopped. Set aside.

For the Spicy Chipotle Aioli

Mix all of the ingredients together in a high powered blender. Set aside.

For the Cashew Sour Cream

Mix all of the ingredients together in a high powered blender. Set aside.

For the Salad

Divide all of the salad ingredients among 4 plates. Top with the taco “meat”, spicy chipotle aioli and cashew sour cream. Enjoy!

 

Serves 4

 

Taco Seasoning

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

 

Directions:

Mix everything together in a small jar. That’s it!

 

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Vegan Tacos Guest Post, Recipe and Giveaway

Vegan Tacos CoverI’m thrilled to be hosting Chef Jason Wyrick on his Vegan Tacos blog tour today. Jason is her with tips on pairing drinks with tacos, a recipe for margaritas from his new book, and a chance for you to win a copy of Vegan Tacos.

 

If you don’t have a copy of Vegan Tacos yet, run, don’t walk, to the nearest bookstore and buy one, because this is one cookbook you’re going to want in your collection. Chef Jason Wyrick says this book isn’t just about tacos, “it’s about bringing the authentic Mexican taco experience into the vegan world.” He did tons of research, improved his Spanish skills, and even traveled to Mexico in order to write about and veganize traditional tacos. Some of the tasty tacos you’ll find within the pages of Vegan Tacos include Vampire Tacos (named after the way the tortilla curls up and resembles bat wings), Guacamole Tacos, Cactus Tacos, and Tacos Veracruz. There are fusion tacos, dessert tacos, and even breakfast tacos. You’ll also find recipes for everything that goes with tacos, from fresh tortillas and drinks to hot sauces and salsas. It’s not all just recipes though, Jason also delves into taco  history and anthropology, and taco culture, and he also talks about his family’s personal experience with Mexican cuisine.

 

Without further ado, here’s Jason…

Tacos, Tequila and Mezcal

Tacos, Tequila, and Mezcal: How to Pair Your Tacos with the Right Drink

While there isn’t really a wrong drink to serve with tacos, the right drink can make the experience truly memorable. Coffee, tea, handcrafted sodas, beer, tequila, mezcal. Where to start? When it comes to choosing the right drink to serve with your delicious taco creations, a few simple guidelines can point you in the right direction.

 

1. Choose Similar Flavor Elements, Not Combative Elements

I think a good drink should serve as a palate cleanser between bites, but it should absolutely never serve as a palate fighter. More important than choosing a drink that contains elements found in your food (high notes, citrus notes, caramelization, etc.) is choosing one that does not actively fight those notes. For example, a crisp vanilla soda served with some spicy tacos tempura dressed with lemon or lime sounds pretty good. A crisp vanilla soda served with tacos topped with pickled onions sounds, let’s just say, not so good. That’s why this rule is the most important of all.

 

2. Dark Roasted vs. Smoky vs. Crisp Beers

While there are seven different major flavor-profiles for beer, I typically parse them down into these three categories when deciding what to serve with my tacos. Here’s a simple set of rules. If a taco has heavy, deep flavors, like caramelization, roasted garlic, grill char, etc., then go with a heavier flavored beer like a dark roasted beer or a smoky beer. If the tacos have bright, clean flavors that you get from ingredients like lots of lime, pickled onions, or fresh herbs, pair them with a clean crisp beer. This way, the flavors of the beer complement the flavor of your food instead of fighting with it.

 

My Recommendations: Stone Smoked Porter and North Coast Brewing Brother Thelonious Ale for the heavier flavored tacos. For the brighter tacos, Dogfish Head 90-minute IPA is perfect.

 

3. Two Types of Heat Call for Two Types of Drinks

I find there are two types of heat. There’s that intense heat that hits you right up front. It makes your tongue jump and if you’re a spice addict like I am, you can’t wait to take another bite. Think chiles de arbol, fresh serranos, and habaneros. Then there is the type of heat I call a back-end heat. It takes a few seconds to build, but when it does, it feels like it suffuses your entire mouth. Think chipotles, roasted guajillo chiles, and fire-roasted chiles.

 

For the up-front heat, I prefer crisp light beers and wines. Like the intense up-front heat, they tend to show their flavor profiles right away. For the back-end heat, I prefer full-bodied beers and wines. These drinks tend to take a few seconds to assimilate, just like tacos with a back-end heat. It’s all about matching elements.

 

My Recommendations: For the up-front heat, I like Dos Equis, Tripel Karmeliet, or a Gewurtztraminer or a Sauvignon Blanc. For the back-end heat tacos, I like Bohemia Obscura, Gulden Draak, or even a strong Riesling. The wines are all white because they tend to play nicer with all the elements of a taco.

 

4. Tequila or Mezcal?

Tequila typically has a smoother taste than mezcal, while mezcal is a little more complex and smoky. When a taco has grilled, smoky, or caramelized flavors, I prefer the smoky complexity of mezcal or tequila anejo. Tequila anejo has been aged one to three years, allowing it to develop fairly complex flavors. When a taco has citrus flavors, fresh herbal flavors, or lighter veggie flavors, like lightly cooked zucchini, I prefer tequila blanco or tequila reposado. Tequila blanco has only been aged for about a month and is pretty straightforward and clean in taste and reposado is right between a blanco and an anejo. The cleaner flavors of these tequilas seem to pair well with fresher flavors in tacos.

 

Note: Don’t waste your money on expensive tequila or mezcal if you are serving those with your tacos. Your tacos will overwhelm some of the nuance of those drinks. Either serve those higher end drinks before or after taco time so you can fully appreciate them. During taco time, I typically go for a mid-range tequila or mezcal. Keep in mind that because mezcal is not as popular as tequila, it’s produced in small specialty batches, so it’s a bit pricier. Finally, make sure your bottle does not say “gusano de maguey.” That means it has a worm.

 

My Recommendations: The Casa del Sol and Casa Noble lines of tequila are reasonably priced, outstanding tequilas. For Mezcal, I’ve been enjoying Los Amantes and Del Maguey.

 

5. Playing Nice with Capsaicin Means Stronger Drinks!

Capsaicin is the molecule in chiles that generates heat. The more capsaicin, the hotter the taste. Capsaicin, however, is not water soluble. That means if you drink your tacos with water, tea, coffee, or soda, they are going to taste spicier because the water will wash the capsaicin molecules all around your mouth. Because soda is fizzy, it will pop that capsaicin around even more! If you want your food to taste spicier, these drinks are perfectly fine.

 

Capsaicin is, however, alcohol soluble. That means the more alcoholic your drink is, the more the heat will be toned down, and not just because you consumed copious amounts of it. The alcohol will dissolve the capsaicin and tone down your food. To notice an effect, though, you’ll need a drink with a strong alcohol content. Beer does not usually do the trick. Plus, it’s fizzy and mostly water.

 

One exception to this is agua frescas. Agua frescas are cold, sweet, smooth drinks. Usually, they are based on pureed fruits or berries. Because they are cold, they are refreshing and because they are sweet, they balance the sensation of heat.

 

My Recommendations: Consider a sipping drink like tequila blanco or even something strong like whiskey. My real preference, though, is to keep a pineapple or mango agua fresca on hand.

 

 

 

Grilled Lime Margarita

Grilled Lime Margarita with Mesquite Smoked Salt

Margaritas are great when they are made with fresh lime and good alcohol. It’s a classic drink that’s now part of the Mexican experience. I wanted to change things up a bit and make something a little darker, a little more mysterious and alluring. That’s what the mezcal and the smoke are to me. It permeates the entire drink, from the char of the grilled limes to the smoky mezcal to the shot of smoked salt on the rim of the glass. You can, of course, forgo grilling the limes and just use regular salt and good tequila blanco to make the classic margarita, but I hope you find the smoky version I created here to a sultry companion to your tacos.

 

Makes 4 Drinks

 

Ingredients:

  • 8 large limes, cut in half diagonally (see note)
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • 4 shots mezcal or tequila reposado or añejo
  • 
6 tablespoons (2 shots) Cointreau or other good quality orange liqueur
  • Mesquite smoked salt
  • Sprinkle coarse sugar
  • Option: Make it spicy by placing a dried chipotle meco at the bottom of each glass

Note:

I cut limes in half diagonally because it exposes more surface area of the lime to be grilled and it also makes them easier to juice.

Preparation:

Grill the limes until they develop blackened char lines. This will take about 5 minutes. Ideally, you should do this over a wood fire, but you can still do it with a gas grill. Flip the limes over and grill the round sides of the lime halves. This will further cook the lime and mellow out the flavor. Juice the limes into a pitcher or a bowl. Keep the lime rinds Stir the agave into the lime juice until they are thoroughly combined. Mix in the shots of mezcal and Cointreau. Take the inside of the juiced lime rinds and rim 4 margarita glasses. Sprinkle mesquite smoked salt and just a touch of sugar around the rim of the glasses. Add the margarita mix to the glasses and serve. This should be served at room temperature and not over ice, which does not play well with the smoky components.

 

From Vegan Tacos by Jason Wyrick. ©2014 Jason Wyrick. Used by permission from Vegan Heritage Press.
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Greek-Inspired Salad with Tofu Feta and Tahini Dressing

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA A few years ago, I was sent some soy feta samples to try, and I quickly became addicted. I made greek-style salads for lunch for weeks on end. When I ran out, I was able to find the vegan cheese at both my local Whole Foods and Fairway Market, but either both stores discontinued it or the manufacturer started making it. Earlier this year I decided to try to make my own feta using tofu. The end result wasn’t a 100% match for feta, but it had a nice taste and worked well with my favorite salad. My Greek-Style Pizza with Tofu Feta recipe is actually based on this salad, and is pretty much the same dish in pizza form.

 

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Greek-Inspired Salad with Tofu Feta and Tahini Dressing

Tofu Feta

  • 1 pound extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon mellow white miso
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt 

Tahini Dressing

  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon chopped parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

For the Salad

  • 6 cups romaine lettuce, shredded (about 1 large head or two small heads)
  • 2 cups baby spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 cup cucumber, chopped
  • 12-14 ounce can or jar artichoke hearts, quartered (not the oil packed kind)
  • 4 or 5 pepperoncini peppers, sliced
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 1/3 cup kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1/3 cup toasted pistachios, chopped

 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Directions: For the Tofu Feta:

  1. Crumble the tofu into large chunks and place in a shallow bowl or baking dish.
  2. Mix together the rest of the ingredients and whisk until smooth.
  3. Pour the lemon juice mixture over the tofu. Toss gently to combine.
  4. Place the dish of tofu in the fridge for several hours or overnight. The longer it sits, the better the flavor.

For the Tahini Dressing:

  1. Mix all ingredients together until smooth.
  2. Set aside until ready to use. Sauce will thicken after sitting for a while. Add water when ready to use, if necessary. 

Assemble the Salad

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Top the salad with the tahini dressing, and toss to coat. Add the tofu feta.
  3. Divide salad into 4 bowls and enjoy! 

Serves 4

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Indonesian Broccoli and Tempeh with Spicy Peanut Sauce

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This is a recipe I’ve posted before, but it’s so good it’s worth repeating. In my health coaching practice, I meet a lot of people have never tried tempeh before, or who have tried it and didn’t like it. I’ve found that this dish is a good way to introduce people to it, as it shows tempeh’s versatility. Often people who have previously said they don’t like tempeh have ended up loving it after trying it cooked this way with broccoli and peanut sauce. The first step in this recipe is key, as it helps to get rid of the fermented taste some don’t like, and it prepares the tempeh to absorb the flavors of the spicy sauce that’s added later.

 

This is the recipe I  be demonstrated on Saturday at the Bethlehem VegFest. If you joined me at my demo, thank you! If you couldn’t make it, here’s what you missed:

 

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Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons peanut oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup water or vegetable broth
  • 8 ounce package tempeh, cut into cubes
  • 3 tablespoons tamari or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
  • 1 bunch broccoli, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1  bell pepper, cored and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2/3 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons crushed peanuts

 

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Directions

  1. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a wok or large skillet over medium heat. Add tempeh and sear for 3 minutes on each side. Add the water or broth and 1 1/2 tablespoons of tamari. Cook tempeh for 5 more minutes, until all of the liquid has been absorbed. Transfer to  a plate and let cool, until it’s easy to handle. Crumble by hand until no large chunks remain.
  2. Heat remaining oil in the same skillet over high heat. Add the onion and saute for several minutes, until it starts to become translucent. Add broccoli and pepper and stir-fry for a few minutes, until they begin to brown.
  3. Mix together the coconut milk, peanut butter, garlic, ginger, chili sauce and remaining soy sauce. Add it to the skillet with the crumbled tempeh and stir-fry for about 2 minutes.
  4. Serve with brown rice and garnish with crushed peanuts. Enjoy!
Makes 3-4 servings
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Greek Pizza with Tofu Feta

Greek Pizza with Tofu Feta

As an omnivore, pizza for me used to be crust, tomato sauce, cheese and a topping – pepperoni when I ate meat and mushrooms while I was a vegetarian. Now as a vegan, pizza has become much more creative and flavorful. Who says we need to stick to the rules of using tomato sauce and cheese? Why not put chickpeas and tahini on a pizza? This pizza was inspired by my favorite lunchtime Greek salad. I originally made it with vegan Soy Feta that had been sent to me to review. After I ran out of the samples, I found it at the local Whole Foods, and quickly became an addict, but sadly, they no longer carry it. Rather than give up on my favorite salad altogether, I set about making my own “feta” with tofu. While it doesn’t taste exactly like feta cheese, it has a similar flavor, and it compliments this pizza quite nicely.

 

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Tofu Feta

  • 1 pound extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon mellow white miso
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

Tahini Dressing

  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

For the Pizza

  • 12” or 15” prepared pizza crust
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, diced (about ½ a cup)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 5 ounces baby spinach, chopped
  • 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 4 or 5 pepperoncini peppers, sliced
  • 2 artichoke hearts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 1/3 cup kalamata olives, chopped
  • Sprig of chopped fresh oregano, or a sprinkle of dried

 

Greek Pizza With Tofu Feta

Directions:

For the Tofu Feta:

  • Crumble the tofu into large chunks and place in a shallow bowl or baking dish.
  • Mix together the rest of the ingredients and whisk until smooth.
  • Pour the lemon juice mixture over the tofu. Toss gently to combine.
  • Place the dish of tofu in the fridge for several hours or overnight. The longer it sits, the better the flavor.

For the Tahini Dressing:

  1. Mix all ingredients together until smooth.
  2. Set aside until ready to use. Sauce will thicken after sitting for a while. Add water when ready to use, if necessary.

Assemble the Pizza

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Preheat crust, if necessary.
  2. Sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat until the onion turns translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped spinach and cook for just a minute or two more, until it wilts.
  3. Spread the spinach mixture over the crust. Layer on the rest of the ingredients with the exception of the tahini sauce.
  4. Cook for 10-12 minutes.
  5. Drizzle on the tahini sauce, slice into 8 pieces, and then eat ‘er up!

 

 

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Green Goddess Kale Chips

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I bought my dehydrator with the sole intention of making kale chips about 4 years ago after having my first chip at a friend’s house. Since then I have made other foods, such as raw bread or crackers, but kale chips are the dehydrator’s bread and (vegan) butter so to speak. Throughout the summer it’s usually loaded with chips, and we like to snack on them on Sunday nights, while watching TV. This recipe for Green Goddess Chips is one of my favorites, and the house smells heavenly while they’re drying. In really humid weather, the chips can get kind of soggy, but they crisp back up after another hour or so in the dehydrator. I’ve included directions for baked chips here, for those who don’t have a dehydrator. Be sure to keep an eye on them, as kale can burn very easily in the oven.

 

Green Goddess Kale Chips

Green Goddess Kale Chips

  • 1 cup raw sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup tamari or nama shoyu
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 3 tablepoons chopped chives
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 large bunch of curly kale

 

Green Goddess Kale Chips

Directions

  1. Blend all ingredients except kale in a food processor or blender until smooth, adding more water a tablespoon at a time if needed.
  2. Remove the stems from the kale and tear the leaves into bite-sized pieces.
  3. In a large bowl, pour dressing over kale and massage the kale until it is well coated.
  4. For raw kale chips, arrange the kale in a single layer on a dehydrator tray covered with a teflex sheet. You’ll need two to four trays depending on the size of your dehydrator and the amount of kale you have. Dehydrate on 105° for six hours. Remove the teflex sheet and place the chips directly on the dehydrator tray. Return the chips to the dehydtrator for two more hours.
  1. For cooked chips, preheat oven to 300 degrees. Arrange kale chips in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. You’ll need two or three baking sheets, depending on how much kale you have. Bake until the kale chips begin to brown, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven. If the chips aren’t totally dry, carefully flip them over and bake for 5 or 10 more minutes. Watch the chips closely to make sure they don’t burn.

 

 

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Kathy Hester’s OATrageous OXO Giveaway

 

oxo-giveaway-graphic-800pxI’m quite excited to be one of the hosts of Kathy Hester’s giant OATrageous OXO giveaway this week! To celebrate the upcoming release of her new cookbook OATrageous Oatmeals, Kathy has partnered with OXO for an epic giveaway of OXO goodies. One lucky winner will get a box of OXO kitchen gadgets and a copy of Kathy’s book. Just follow the instructions at the end of the post to enter. 

 

oatmeal-coverNot only was I a recipe tester for OATrageous Oatmeals, Kathy also included one of my recipes in the book! OATrageous Oatmeals will change the way you look at oatmeal, because Kathy Hester, shares recipes for dishes like Italian Veggie and Oat Sausage, Veggie Oat Taco and Oat Pizza Crust Topped with vegan sausage crumbles made from Steel-cut oats. She also includes new takes on traditional favorites like Banana Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes and Strawberries and Cream Overnight Refrigerator Oats. Every recipe I tried while testing was an absolute winner!

 

finalOATragouscollageIn addition to the OXO giveaway, Kathy has a special offer for those who preorder OATrageous Oatmeals. Pre­order the book for $15.06 and you have the chance to get over $25’s worth of goodies. Just be one of the first 100 people to email your OATrageous purchase receipt to oatrageousoatmeals@gmail.com with your full name, mailing address and phone number (for delivery purposes only). Kathy has some other surprises for everyone who pre­orders including an OATragous newsletter with not-­in-­the-­book oat recipes and special coupons.

 

Kathy has also shared a recipe from OATrageous Oatmeals with us today, as a little sneak peek of what’s inside the book.

 

sausage-crumblesSteel-Cut Oat Sausage Crumbles

makes about 2 to 3 cups

gluten-free, soy-free, oil-free

This is one of my favorite staples and I keep some in the freezer all the time for last minute pizzas.  The spices give it a traditional Italian sausage flavor. The oats give it a chewy texture and the spices even turn the oats the color of sausage. It’s at home on a pizza or sprinkled over biscuits and gravy.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (237ml) water
  • 1/2 cup (40g) steel-cut oats
  • 2 teaspoon rubbed sage
  • 2 teaspoon marjoram
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt, or more, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
  • 1/4 to 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground rosemary or 1/2 teaspoon regular

 

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a saucepan add the water and oats, bring to a boil then turn the heat to low and cook for 10 minutes covered. Mix all the other ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Cook uncovered for 5 minutes while stirring to help get some of the moisture out. Remove from heat and add in the spice mixture and mix well.
  4. Spoon the oat mixture onto the parchment paper and try to distribute it as close to evenly as possible. Then tear a second piece of parchment paper and put on top an flatten the mixture as much as possible.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes, then pull out and cut lines into the sausage with a spatula. You aren’t trying to move it, just to make more places for steam to escape.
  6. Bake for 5 more minutes. This time scrape and break up the sausage into crumbles with the spatula.
  7. Bake 5 more minutes and it should be easy to crumble. You can sprinkle on pizza and you can even freeze the leftovers for another time!

 

From OATrageous Oatmeals by Kathy Hester printed with permission of Page Street Publishing

 

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