Super quick and easy cucumber and tomato salad

INGREDIENTS:

2 cucumbers, peeled and cubed

1/2 cup or so cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

1 TBSP maple syrup

1 TBSP yellow mustard

1 TBSP apple cider vinegar



INSTRUCTIONS:

Mix all ingredients and chill.

Quick vegan cole slaw

INGREDIENTS:

Shredded cabbage (I used both green and purple)

Shredded carrots

Veganaise – as much as needed for desired creaminess

Almond milk to thin sauce

1 tsp mustard powder (regular yellow mustard can be used if you do not have any powder)

2 TBSP coconut sugar (or other sweetener)

Salt & pepper to taste, more pepper than salt

Apple cider vinegar – enough to acquire desired tanginess

Mix everything together.  Refrigerate.  This goes great with vegan baked beans and some sandwiches or you can eat a huge bowl of it as a meal.  Also, you can add raisins, pecans or walnuts, and apples for a waldorf-type slaw. Another variation includes ginger and mandarins.  Lots of variations.

Easy vegan tortilla chili (or chili avocado wraps)

I had three avocados that were about to go bad so I decided to make mashed avocado spread to put on chili tortilla sandwiches.  To make the spread, I simply mashed the avocados then added a splash of lime juice and a teaspoon of Veganaise and a 1/4 teaspoon each of garlic powder and onion powder.

For the chili filling, drain one can of diced tomatoes, one can of sweet corn, and one can of black beans.

Simmer tomatoes, beans, and corn in a large saucepan or medium stockpot until boiling.  Meanwhile, dry fry one chopped sweet onion and 4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced.  While dry frying, add chili powder, coconut sugar (or other sweetener), a dash of cinnamon, and some garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper.  You may also add chopped jalapeno peppers if desired.  Cook onions and garlic until carmelized, adding water once in a while after blackening starts to occur.  Add to saucepan and simmer.  Stir in about 1 cup of crushed lowfat tortilla chips and stir until blended.  Add cornstarch and nutritional yeast until sauce thickens.  This can now be eaten as chili topped with mashed avocado and maybe some fresh cilantro, or you can heat up tortillas on a panini press or by dry frying briefly in a cast iron skillet and once the tortillas are hot and slightly crispy, slather mashed avocado on them and then add a scoop of chili mixture and some fresh cilantro, wrap and eat.

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Vegan potato salad

INGREDIENTS:

5 lb bag red potatoes, peeled if desired, cut into about 8 pieces per potato

1 large spring onion, chopped fine

5 stalks or more of celery, chopped fine

Veganaise – 1/2 cup, more or less depending on starchiness of potatoes and how creamy you like your potato salad

Yellow mustard – 2 TBSP

Almond milk – 1/4 cup, more if sauce is too thick, less if you desire thicker sauce

Dried parsley – 1/2 tsp

Kala namak black mineral salt – 1 tsp more or less to taste

Dried dill (or fresh if available) – 2 TBSP

Sweet pickle relish – 1/2 cup

INSTRUCTIONS:

Cut potatoes into 1/2 inch or bigger chunks and put into cold water then turn burner on high and once water is boiling, boil the potatoes for about 10 minutes, then check every 45 seconds to see if they are ready.  They are done when you rinse a piece off in cold water and eat it and it is not raw inside but the potato is still very firm. DO NOT overcook and allow the potatoes to get too soft or you will have mashed potatoes instead of potato salad.  Red potatoes are best, golden potatoes are second best, Russets are not recommended because they tend to mash the moment they are no longer raw, but I have heard of people who are able to make potato salad with Russets.

Once the potatoes are done, immediately rinse them in cold water, drain, then set aside.

Chop the celery and the spring onion (use both white and green parts).  

Place chopped celery and onion into a large mixing bowl and add remaining ingredients and mix well.

Add potatoes to mixture and stir well.  Cover and refrigerate.  Some people add vegan bacon bits such as Bac’Uns by Frontier, but I prefer as is.

Vegan mashed potatoes 

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup cashews

3 pounds of Russett potatoes

Salt & pepper

Nutritional yeast

Pinch of dried parsley

1 TBSP dried minced garlic

Vegan gravy mix

INSTRUCTIONS:

Soak cashews in water for at least 30 minutes (but preferably overnight)

Puree the cashews in a Vitamix or blender with 1 cup water and about 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast, minced dried garlic, and a pinch of dried parsley.

Boil the potatoes until soft enough to mash with a fork.

Mash the potatoes, adding the pureed cashew mixture.  I enjoyed mine topped with Road’s End Organics savory herb gravy.

Corn and asparagus chowder

As I noted in my last post, I found a large amount of asparagus in our freezer yesterday.  In addition to broiled spears which we snacked, I made a hearty chowder in which I also used corn that I canned last summer and figured I should use up before the next corn season which starts in a couple months.

INGREDIENTS (not in any particular order):

1)  3 bags frozen asparagus, chopped.

2)  5 russett potatoes, peeled and chopped

3)  4 pints of home-canned (or supermarket canned) corn kernels, with liquid

4)  3 stalks celery, diced

5)  10 shakes fresh ground pepper

6)  1/2 tsp cumin

7)  1/2 tsp garlic powder

8)  5 cloves garlic, chopped

9)  1/2 tsp onion powder

10)  Fresh leeks or 4 TBSP leek flakes (I used flakes because I was out of fresh)

11)  1/3 cup nutritional yeast

12)  2 TBSP chick-pea miso

13)  1/4 cup coconut aminos

14)  1/2 tsp dried parsley

15)  1 large carton low sodium vegetable broth

INSTRUCTIONS:

1)  Boil potatoes until starting to soften but not done.  Drain and set aside.

2)  Put 1 pint of corn, 1/4 of the asparagus, and 1/2 carton of vegetable broth and pulverise in a Vitamix or other blender and set aside.

3)  Put remaining 1/2 carton of broth into a large stock pot with all remaining ingredients except asparagus, potatoes, corn, and Vitamix mixture.  Simmer over medium heat for about 10 minutes.

4)  Add potatoes and simmer until potatoes are done.

5)  Add remaining asparagus, corn, and Vitamix mixture and heat until it just starts to simmer.

6)  Add additional coconut aminos to taste to each serving.

Portabello sandwiches

1)  Place portabello caps in a cast iron skillet.

2)  Add coconut aminos (or soy sauce) and teriyaki sauce.

3)  Cook on medium flame.

4)  Use a press for more even cooking.

5)  They’re done when they look cooked.

6)  Remove mushrooms and dry fry some onions in the same skillet (sorry, forgot to take a picture).

7)  While onions are frying, prepare some romaine lettuce and tomatoes.  Get out the tortillas.

8)  Put the tortillas in a panini press or skillet until warm.

9)  Put portabellos on warm tortillas.

10)  Add onions.

11)  Add tomatoes.

12)  Add lettuce.

13)  Add horseradish sauce.

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14)  Enjoy!

Asparagus: healthier than chips or popcorn!

Yesterday we cleaned out the freezer and I found several large bags of asparagus.  I thawed some out, spread them on a cast iron pizza pan, sprinkled on some coconut aminos, fresh ground black pepper, and garlic powder and placed it under the broiler.  I ended up eating them as a snack while watching TV with my husband.

Nutritionally, a plate of asparagus this size (about 125 spears, give or take – I ate some before I took the picture) contains the following:

47 grams of protein

3.1 grams fat

77.5 carbs

403 calories

37 grams of fiber

372% RDA Vitamin A

217% RDA Vitamin C

31% RDA calcium

62% RDA magnesium

93% RDA potassium

Quick Mexican skillet tacos or nachos

This is so fast and simple to make and is one of my husband’s favorites. INGREDIENTS: 2 bell peppers (I used red and yellow) 1 onion 1 can of Eden’s Caribbean Rice and Beans 1 jar spicy salsa (I use a low sodium) 1 can corn, drained (or fresh) 2 avocados  Nutritional yeast (optional) Lime juice (optional) Tortillas for tacos or tortilla chips for nachos.       INSTRUCTIONS: Dry fry onions and peppers in a large skillet or wok.  Do not use oil or water.     Add salsa once the peppers and onions are charred.      Add beans and rice and corn and heat, stirring constantly. Mash the avocados.
Add some lime juice and nutritional yeast if desired to the mashed avocados.        Heat tortillas (I used a panini press).  To serve, spoon a little of the rice and bean mixture onto a tortilla with a dollop of mashed avocado.      Enjoy!   Alternatively, heap mixture onto tortilla chips with some vegan cheese.

Eggplant lasagna

Another great find on the reduced produce shelf at my local Giant supermarket.  This beautiful eggplant was less than $1.00.  My favorite use for eggplant is in eggplant lasagna.

INGREDIENTS:

Veggies:

1 large eggplant

About 4 cups of baby spinach (do not measure, just use as you go when layering)

About 2 cups of cremini mushrooms, sliced (do not measure, use as needed for layers)

Sauce:

28.2 ounce can of organic whole peeled tomatoes

28.2 ounce can of organic diced tomatoes

1/2 cup soaked raw cashews, drained and rinsed

2 TBSP dried minced onion

2 TBSP dried minced garlic

2 TBSP dried parsley

2 TBSP dried oregano

2 TBSP dried basil

2 TBSP nutritional yeast

2 TBSP coconut sugar

2 TBSP coconut aminos

1 tsp red pepper flakes (or more if you like it spicier)

“Cheese” for top layer:

1/2 cup cashews, soaked at least 30 minutes (but preferably overnight)

1 tsp minced garlic

1 tsp nutritional yeast

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp basil

water

INSTRUCTIONS:

First, peel the eggplant and cut it in half lengthwise.

Then cut each half into thin wedges.

Eggplant is sometimes bitter and too thick and crispy to use in lieu of lasagna noodles, so I typically soak it in water overnight at room temperature to take out the bitterness and to soften it.  Sprinkling it with salt also has this effect, but I do not typically use salt so that was not an option for me.  Keep the pieces submerged in water by placing a plate or pot lid on top of the eggplant pieces until none of them are sticking out of the water.

Also, soak a half cup of raw cashews overnight in water.

The next day, drain and rinse the eggplant pieces and set aside while you make the homemade sauce.

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Put all sauce ingredients except the diced tomatoes into a Vitamix or other blender and blend until frothy.  Stir in the diced tomatoes so that the sauce is a little chunky.

Pour a thin layer of the sauce into a large casserole dish (I used a Pyrex 4.8 quart oblong baking dish).  Layer with eggplant pieces (single layer).

Add a layer of fresh spinach, then a layer of chopped cremini mushrooms, then another layer of sauce.

Repeat the process of layering with sauce, then eggplant, then spinach, then mushrooms with the last layers consisting of eggplant then sauce.

  

Blend “cheese” ingredients in a Vitamix or other high speed blender, adding water until the mixture is the consistency of pancake batter.  Pour/spread “cheese” batter on top of last layer of sauce then bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for about an hour and 15 minutes.

Let stand for about 15 minutes after it is removed from the oven so the sauce can thicken.

Serve topped with garlic powder and vegan Parma.  

Since all I had eaten earlier in the day was a personal watermelon fo breakfast and 4 oranges for lunch and I had just gone for a run, I ate this entire tray of lasagna for dinner!  Then later, as a late-night snack I ate an entire bowl of fresh strawberries. High-carb ultra-low fat vegan living is definitely not for people who don’t like to feast on huge amounts of delicious food every day.  Why would anyone want to eat a restrictive diet instead of thriving on all-you-can-eat food that your body craves and was meant to consume?  Did I mention low-sodium and no cholesterol?  GO VEGAN!

Quick and flavorful red cabbage and kale over rice

This recipe is too easy to be so delicious and healthy.

INGREDIENTS

1-1/2 cups white jasmine rice (dry) steamed

Veggies:

1/2 head red cabbage, chopped

1 bunch kale, chopped

3 spring onions, chopped

Sauce:

4 TBSP coconut aminos

2 tsp garlic powder

1 TBSP coconut palm sugar

2 TBSP cornstarch

1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper

1/3 cup water

INSTRUCTIONS 

Dry fry veggies without water or oil in a large wok or skillet until starting to soften.

Add remaining ingredients and stir constantly until sauce thickens.  Put rice in a large bowl, add a generous shaking of coconut aminos, top with veggie mixture, enjoy.

Simple broccoli and rice

Steam some Jasmine rice (I used 1-1/2 cups dry)

Steam some broccoli

Put the rice in a bowl and add some coconut aminos.

Top with broccoli and more coconut aminos and maybe a little garlic powder and ground black pepper.

Rotelle with spinach and cremini mushrooms

INGREDIENTS

2 boxes corn/quinoa rotelle

1 pint cremini mushrooms

6 cups fresh spinach leaves

1 quart strained tomatoes

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

2 TBSP coconut sugar

2 tsp dried garlic

2 tsp dried onion

2 tsp dried oregano

2 tsp dried parsley

2 tsp dried basil

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

1/4 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

Cook rotelle per instructions on the box

Place spinach and chopped mushrooms into a large wok and cook until spinach is wilted.

Place remaining ingredients in a Vitamix or blender and mix on high for 15 seconds.  Add sauce to wok with cooked and strained rotelle and cook all on high heat, stirring constantly, until bubbly.

Serve sprinkled with garlic Parma or other vegan cheese topping.