Saturday, July 27, 2013

V6 Juice

I made this V6 juice (V6 = Kale, broccoli stem, bell pepper, carrot, zucchini, beet) the other day and thought it was quite tasty for a fresh juice made primarily of veggies.  It isn't a juice for the newbie juicer....afterall, I juice wheat grass, broccoli stems and beets on a regular basis and find them delicious (well, I just tell myself wheat grass is's actually disgusting, but, I will do anything in the name of health). I found this juice to have a mild, slightly sweet flavor. I sprinkled a *tiny* bit of sea salt into each glass I drank....that addition really made this juice taste V8-ish. Enjoy!

**Please note I only use organic veggies and fruits when juicing....I definitely don't want my juice to contain chemicals and pesticides. Yes, organic produce is more expensive....but, guess what? Your health is worth the extra $3!!

5 kale leaves
1 broccoli stem (JUST the stem)
1 red bell pepper
1 carrot
1/2 zucchini (or cucumber)
1 beet, peeled
2 apples
handful of mint leaves
1 lemon, peeled and seeds removed

Push all the produce through your juicer. I always re-juice the pulp at least once. You will be surprised how much more juice you get. This juice tastes yummy with a *tiny* sprinkle of salt per glass. Drink immediately. Store any extra in an air tight container and drink within one day.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Bulgar Salad with Peaches & Mint

Another healthy, delicious and EASY vegetarian meal or side-dish from Cooking Light magazine. 'Nough said.....make this soon while ripe, juicy peaches are in season!!!

2 cups water
1 cup uncooked bulgur
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup diced peaches
2 1/2 ounces chopped hazelnuts, toasted
1/4 cup small fresh mint leaves

1. Bring 2 cups water and bulgur to a boil in a small saucepan. Cover, reduce heat, and cook 12 minutes. Drain; rinse with cold water. Drain.

2. Combine vinegar and next 4 ingredients (through pepper) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk until sugar dissolves. Add bulgur, peaches, nuts, and mint; toss.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Endive Bites with Tomatoes & Bacon

Oh, these were GOOOOOD!! So fresh and light......the crunch of the endive was incredibly satisfying and the hint of salty bacon just brought the whole recipe to the next level. I made these for dinner tonight as our "salad". I think they would make an impressive appetizer, as well. Oh, and I have to mention, they were easy-peasy to make....even the novice cook will knock these out of the park! Thanks to Cooking Light for this recipe. 

1 cup sliced multicolored grape tomatoes
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves <I used a tsp of fresh basil leaves instead>
1 teaspoon chopped fresh chives
2 teaspoons champagne vinegar
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
1/8 teaspoon salt 
16 Belgian endive leaves (about 2 heads)
2 center-cut bacon slices, cooked and crumbled 
<I added a bit of shredded Parmesan cheese>

Combine first 7 ingredients in a medium bowl. Spoon 1 tablespoon tomato mixture in center of each endive leaf; sprinkle evenly with bacon <and Parmesan, if using>.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Creamy (No Cream!) Asparagus & Leek Soup

You trust me, right? You've been cooking and baking off my blog for sometime now and I know you think the recipes I share are very tasty, yes? Okay, that's good because I need you to really trust me when I tell you that this soup, containing nothing but vegetables and seasonings, is surprisingly delicious!!!! It's not just, "yeah, this isn't bad for a healthy, vegan soup; I guess I'll eat it because it's good for me." But more like, "are you kidding me there is nothing in this amazingly creamy soup but veggies?"

Skeptical? Try for yourself and let me know what you think!

This is another beautiful recipe from Kimberly Snyder's book The Beauty Foods Detox (definitely a book worth purchasing!!):

1 Tbsp + 3 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, divided <I used 4 cups of broth>
3 small or 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
3 cups chopped leeks, both white and green parts
1 cup chopped celery
1 bunch asparagus, tough ends trimmed & cut into 1-inch pieces
high quality sea salt, to taste <I started with 3/4 tsp of salt and then added a bit more after tasting it at the very end>
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
chopped fresh parsley as a garnish, optional

Heat 1 tablespoon broth <I must admit I used 1 Tbl olive oil to cook the onions & leeks in instead of the 1 Tbl broth> in a large cooking pot over medium-low heat and saute the onions and leeks for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or two. Add the celery and asparagus and cook for about 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly.

Add the rest of the vegetable broth and bring to a boil, then immediately reduce heat, partially cover and allow to simmer for about 25-30 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Let the soup cool, transfer to a blender and blend in batches until it's the desired smoothness. <I pureed mine completely till it had a creamy, velvety texture>

Add the soup back to the pot, and bring to a simmer. Adjust seasonings to taste. 

Spoon into bowls, garnish with fresh parsley and serve with a side salad and a nice hearty piece of whole grain bread. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Raw Red Bell Pepper Dip/Dressing

I have been reading (and loving) the book The Beauty Foods Detox by Kimberly Snyder. Kimberly is a firm believer in eating raw, whole foods that nourish your body from the inside out. Her book has lots of raw, vegan recipes that are delicious! This raw red bell pepper dip is no exception (it's true title is Raw Muhammara Dip - but, since I don't even know how to pronounce that, I thought I'd give it a more basic name- HA!). My husband and I ate this for dinner tonight, but, I think it would be a wonderful appetizer to serve at a party. It can also be used as a salad dressing.

*A note on nutritional yeast.....please do not confuse nutritional yeast with yeast that is used to make bread rise! Nutritional yeast is a dietary powerhouse!!! It is a complete protein (containing 18 amino acids) and is full of minerals, like zinc and magnesium. It is also a fabulous source of B-complex vitamins and is high in fiber. I actually love the taste of nutritional yeast; I often sprinkle it on my air-popped popcorn! Nutritional yeast is easily found at Whole Foods or other health food stores.

**If you are curious about the chips in my photo, they are Food Should Taste Good's Multigrain Tortilla Chips. They are absolutely delicious; my family's favorite brand.

3 red bell peppers
1 cup raw walnuts, soaked for 15 minutes in water (drain water completely before adding walnuts)
1 medium garlic clove, peeled
2 Tbl nutritional yeast* <see my note on nutritional yeast above>
3/4 tsp high-quality sea salt
1 Tbl fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp powdered stevia <I only used the tiniest pinch of stevia and found it plenty>
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp cumin

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Adjust seasoning, as desired, and serve with raw veggies and pita chips or use as a salad dressing. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Crabless Cakes with Hearts of Palm & Corn

Dang, these were good! I mean, DANG! I'm all about taking vegetarianism to the next (TASTY) level and these little beauties completely delivered! The hearts of palm even looked like flakes of crab meat! We ate these yummies for dinner tonight and I felt very fancy eating them in my pjs. I think they would wow guests and even make a great appetizer (just make smaller, bite-sized "patties").

I made these cakes about two hours ahead of sauteing them. I also served them with a side of a little mayo mixed with horseradish mustard....that sauce was total icing on the crabless cake! 

This recipes comes straight from the latest issue of Food & Wine magazine.

 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for frying
2 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (cut from 4 ears of corn) <I used 3 ears of corn>
1/4 cup minced onion
1/4 cup minced green bell pepper <I used an entire red bell pepper>
One 15-ounce can whole hearts of palm—drained, thinly sliced lengthwise and cut crosswise into 3/4-inch lengths
2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise <I used Organic Spectrum Mayo>
 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons plain dry bread crumbs, plus more for coating
Freshly ground pepper
In a nonstick skillet, heat the 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the corn, onion and bell pepper and cook over high heat until crisp-tender, 4 minutes. Scrape 1 cup of the mixture into a food processor and pulse to a coarse puree. 
In a bowl, squeeze the hearts of palm to break them into shards. Add the puree and the remaining sautéed vegetables to the bowl, along with the Old Bay, parsley, mayonnaise, mustard and the 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of bread crumbs. Season lightly with salt and pepper and stir until evenly moistened. 
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and fill a pie plate with bread crumbs. Scoop scant 1/4-cup mounds of the hearts of palm mixture into the bread crumbs and roll to coat. Form the mounds into eighteen 2-inch cakes and transfer to the baking sheet. 
Wipe out the nonstick skillet, then add a scant 1/8 inch of oil. Fry half of the cakes over moderate heat, turning once, until crispy, 2 minutes per side. Wipe out the skillet and add clean oil before frying the remaining cakes. Serve the cakes hot. 
Make Ahead The formed, uncooked cakes can be covered and refrigerated overnight. Serve With Green salad. <I also made a little side sauce of mayo and horseradish mustard - this was an excellent addition>

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Lemon-Basil Chicken Pasta Salad

Hello, World!  Sorry for the dry-spell.....we have been on vacation for the past two weeks. But, now I'm back in the kitchen and back in the blog-o-sphere, ready to share more recipes with you! Including this yummy pasta dish I found over at The Cafe Sucre Farine blog (a definite favorite of mine)

I made this cold pasta salad for my husband and mother and got rave reviews. I actually used whole wheat pasta (I know it doesn't taste as good as white pasta, but, the health benefits outweigh the slight decline in taste for our family). I also used sun-dried tomato paste instead of chopped sundried tomatoes and LOVED the way it turned out (I mixed the sun-dried tomato paste with the olive oil, chicken broth and lemon zest. Then I poured the dressing over the pasta and veggies). Finally, I used about 1/4 of the chicken she calls for. You can omit it completely if you want to make this a vegetarian dish.


Recipe from Cafe Sucre Farine:
16 ounces pasta, whatever shape you like. (I used Cavatappi.)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 medium shallots, finely chopped <I sauteed my shallots in a little bit of olive oil till they became soft; I prefer this to raw onion>
3/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and roughly chopped <I used 1/2 cup sun-dried tomato paste>
1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
zest of 2 lemons
4-5 cups shredded chicken, you can use rotisserie chicken or left over grilled chicken. I roasted 3 bone-in, skin-on large chicken breasts and shredded the meat after cooling.
1 6 ounce bag fresh baby spinach, roughly chopped
12 ounces tiny frozen peas
3/4 cup feta cheese
1 package sweet basil, chopped

1 cup sliced almonds
1 teaspoon butter
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
2. While pasta is cooking, place chopped fresh spinach and tiny peas in a large colander. When pasta is finished cooking, pour the steaming water and pasta right over the spinach and peas in the colander. Drain well.
3. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss to mix. Taste and add sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste. Sprinkle with toasted almonds.* Serve warm or at room temperature. Can be made ahead - refrigerate until ready to use and then warm on medium power in microwave to desired temperature. Do not overheat.
4.* For the almonds, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place almonds, butter, olive oil and sea salt in a small pan. (I use a cake pan.) Place in oven for 3 minutes. Remove and stir. Repeat this process until almonds are golden brown. Remove from oven and spread out on several thicknesses of paper towels to cool.