Tag Archives: detox

GAZPACHO!

Sounds funny, tastes delicious… This is a simple cold summer soup that is loaded with good nutrients and packed with flavor. It should be a staple in your diet whether you’re vegan or not. Ours is made from the following ingredients:
2 bell peppers, stems and seeds removed (I like 2 different colors, in this case yellow and red)
1/2 cup of cilantro stems
2 cucumbers
juice from 1 lemon
5 tomatoes, stems removed
1 jalapeño (optional for the brave)
6-8 scallion onions, chopped just as the bulb turns green, stems diced
4-5 strawberries (optional)
hot sauce and salt to taste

Brent cut up the vegetables into sizes that fit easily in our food processor. The skins can be left on the cucumber for a richer flavor if they’re organic, otherwise I remove most of it if not all.


The tomato, cucumber, peppers, strawberries, lemon juice, scallion bulbs and cilantro stems all went into the processor and was blended until smooth. Afterward I added salt and hot sauce to taste, garnished with scallion onion (you can use cilantro too, if you like). and served with grilled cashew cheese sammiches. It hit the spot after a day in the muggy Florida heat. Let me know what you think!

This is Christie, signing off!

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Jicama and Papaya Salad!

Jicama is something they sell in most supermarkets here in South Florida. It’s a root vegetable with a texture reminiscent of radish with a soft slightly sweet flavor. It has a thin brown skin and white flesh. It’s great in salads and we make one at home usually with papaya, lime and cilantro.

The one above has been cleaned and peeled by Brent. We combined it with the following:

peeled cubed papaya

cilantro leaves

spinach and/or snow peas (optional)

and a dressing made from juice of 1 lime, cayenne pepper to taste and 1 tbsp vegan mayo (optional) whisked together.

We just pour the dressing over the salad and munch away. The spice of the cayenne with the cooling cilantro, sweet papaya and mellow jicama is sure to please. It’s low fat, high fiber and loaded with nutrients. Here’s a salad with spinach and no mayo in the dressing; we just squeezed the lime over it.

Here’s another with snow peas and veganaise dressing!

I hope you find some jicama and create your own summery salad!

This is Christie and Brent, signing off!

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Salsa Verde!

I know a lot of us have probably seen these in a local grocery store or farmer’s market and didn’t know what to do with them. This is a refreshing traditional preparation that’s quick and easy for company or just to enjoy yourself.

Friends, meet tomatillo! I love making salsa verde with these babies so here we go. You’ll need the following:

juice from 1 lime

1 generous pinch of vegan sugar

1 pinch of salt

1 jalapeño

1/4 cup cilantro, stems and/or leaves

5-6 lemon or lime sized tomatillo, husks removed

I hate wasting things so I usually save the stems from my cilantro when I use the leaves for a garnish. This dip gets blended up anyways so nobody will know but you that you. Fun fact: cilantro stems keep their unique flavor and aroma when frozen.

I spray a baking sheet with olive oil and bake them at 355F/180C on the top rack next to the broiler burner so that they blacken, usually for between 5 and 10 minutes. I’ve definitely taken a few tomatillos out of the oven to discover one was on fire. Don’t worry (put the fire out first, okay?) just blend them as usual after picking off any parts that are papery from being burned.

Then I throw all the ingredients into a blender and blend until everything is uniformly chunky or smooth, depending on your preference. This salsa is awesome on corn chips, tacos, burritos, whatever you want that needs a tart, spicy kick

This is a quick easy recipe that’s sure to please. We hope you get to try it!

This is Christie and Brent, signing off!

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Ginger Squash Soup FTW!

Sometimes when it’s raining sideways and the sky is grey (which happens often in South Florida during the summer) you just want comfort food. We decided that squash soup with ginger and grilled cheese would fit the bill for a pair of hungry martial artists so this is what we gathered:

1 piece of ginger, (this will make it spicy and fragrant, add as little or as much as you like. Our piece was a little smaller than my palm)

1 carton of silken tofu

20 ounces of squash puree

1 tbsp Thai chili paste

1 tbsp syrup or sugar

1 cube of bouillon

1 pinch of cinnamon

1 pinch of nutmeg

salt to taste

I blended up the tofu (I used a box of Mori-Nu soft silken tofu) and ginger until it was creamy and combined it with the squash in a large pan. I used 2 boxes of Cascadian farms frozen winter squash puree.

I added all of the seasonings, adjusted them as needed and stirred until it was thoroughly mixed and heated through. I also happened to pick up some vegan gluten-free olive bread at a local market and melted some Follow Your Heart mozzarella in the oven. It took about 7 minutes at 350F/180C to get bubbly and melty.

The earthy buttery savory flavors in the grilled cheese perfectly complimented the spicy floral sweet squash soup. Brent isn’t a big fan of squash but when I mentioned making a similar soup with carrots, he got excited. This particular dish is remarkably low in calories for how rich and creamy it is. The whole pot has about 320 calories and easily feeds 2 hungry people. It’s loaded with fiber, vitamin A and protein in addition to antioxidants and trace nutrients from squash, soy, chili, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger that are of particular interest to scientists.

This is Christie, signing off!

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Move over lunch meat, it’s TEMPEH!

Tempeh is a vegan food product made from fermented soybeans. Before you turn your nose up at the idea of something being fermented, remember you’ve probably eaten a number of other fermented products including all alcohol, leavened bread, yogurt, buttermilk and cheeses. Fermentation adds a number of unique compounds not normally abundant in soy, in particular B vitamins. Vegans don’t always get enough B vitamins so it’s good to know good sources of these crucial nutrients along with protein, iron, calcium and trace nutrients like isoflavones and flavones that studies suggest may have preventative effects for heart disease and cancer.

We’re eating some tempeh that I see at a lot of supermarkets here in South Florida. It’s pre-marinated in a variety of flavors. We especially like this one (shown below)

I usually treat it like bacon except that it’s actually good for you.

I browned it lightly in a non-stick skillet and wrapped it up in a cabbage leaf with greens, bell pepper, and some Follow Your Heart sesame miso dressing that we’ve been enjoying for salads.

I’m a big fan of tempeh and I hope you’ll get to know it a little better if you’re not friendly already. It’s awesome!

This is Christie, signing off.

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Channa Masala

Brent and I love Indian food so we’re trying to reproduce favorites like tofu and peas makhani and veggie pakora. This post is about my personal favorite, chickpeas masala. I’ve been working on this for a while and it’s still not quite right but it’s definitely good enough to share.
You’ll need the following.
2 cups of dry chickpeas, soaked OR 1 28 ounce tin of chickpeas, drained
 1 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes
1 large onion chopped into long thin strips
3 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped into bite-sized chunks (or other vegetables; mushrooms, kale, etc. We’re adding broccoli and mushrooms.)
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp minced ginger
1/4 cup tamarind or equal volume of reconstituted soup base (juice from a lime and the zest also works but I recommend tamarind)
1 tbsp chopped hot pepper (more if you want, we used jalapeño)
1 heaping tablespoon cumin powder
2 heaping tablespoons coriander powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 pinch nutmeg
1 pinch of cinnamon
1 pinch of crushed fennel seeds
1 pinch cumin seeds
1 pinch fenugreek seeds ( optional)
corn or safflower oil
salt, pepper
In a very large pot, add 2 or 3 teaspoons of corn or safflower oil. Once the oil is hot, add the seeds and stir lightly for half a minute, until they begin to sputter. Add the onion and stir until they’re lightly browned, add ginger, garlic and pepper.
Mix well and add the tomato, tamarind and paste. Stir over heat until the oil starts to separate from the mixture and form a sheen of bubbles on he surface. If you’ve got a hand blender, now is the time to use it. Blend until the larger chunks have been broken down. This step isn’t necessary but I like my channa sauce smooth. Then add the spices and stir them into the sauce, adjusting as necessary. If you don’t feel like adding all those spices individually, you can use your favorite curry powder and salt to taste but I can’t guarantee you it’ll taste like you might expect.
Once the sauce tastes like you want it to, stir in the chickpeas. Depending on your vegetables, stir them in so they’ll be tender but not overcooked when you serve them. Alternatively, you can steam or saute them and stir them into the chickpeas and sauce before serving.
Fresh mint and/or cilantro make a great garnish. We served this over quinoa but jasmine rice also makes a great starch to eat all this deliciousness with. It’s also awesome stuffed into a pita and will make a mess all over your face. This recipe is getting closer to what I expect from an Indian restaurant but it’s not quite there yet. I suspect it might be mint and lemon zest. If you figure out what we’re missing, let me know!
This is Christie and Brent, signing off!
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WTFennel!?

Fennel is something I periodically see at my farmer’s market and when I made daikon a week or so ago, I mused about adding the anise flavors in fennel to the turmeric and paprika infused radish. Well, I went and did it.

We separated the bulbs, stems and leaves. I froze the leaves for later and put the stems and bulbs into a bamboo steamer.

I cooked my daikon as before, adding a few chopped leaves to  the reduction I made while deglazing the pan with a crisp pinot gris diluted.with water. This works without the wine too but I dig wine. I poured it over the fennel before serving it.

We also steamed some rutabaga. When it was soft we mashed it and mixed in some Daiya and Earth Balance buttery spread. I would do it again, It was a weird alternative to mashed potato. I like weird, especially when it involves buttery dairy-free cheese. Next time that I mash rutabaga I plan to make 2 changes: substitute nutmeg for Daiya and use a food processor instead of my favorite mashing man for a more even texture. They’re kind of fibrous.

This was definitely an experiment. Overall I was pleased with how it worked out, especially using so many ingredients that aren’t common in my kitchen.

This is Christie and Brent, signing off!

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Maca and Carob Chia Seed Pudding!

I love pudding. I really love pudding. When I saw An Unrefined Vegan’s chia seed pudding I decided that I had to have some. I’m not very good at following instructions so I made my own version of Food Doodle’s pudding.

I combined the following:
4 tbsp chia seeds
2 cups vanilla almond milk (use soy-milk if you’ve got a nut allergy)
a splash of almond extract (optional)
1 tsp maca powder
1 tsp carob powder
a smidge of maple syrup harvested by my cousin (maca is already very sweet and this might not necessarily need to be sweetened)

I’ll take an aside to promote maple syrup farming: this centuries old practice promotes the preservation of old growth forests, typically with a minimally disruptive human intervention. Above is a picture of miles of tubing running through the woods into a pair of collection vats that must be emptied several times during the repeated freezes and thaws of spring. Great care is taken to keep the taps and tubing clean so that the sap doesn’t ferment and the trees stay healthy to produce during the next season. The tubing is put into place after the first snow and removed after the last thaw has passed. I love the smell of maple sap being boiled down. Grade B is my favorite kind of maple syrup. It’s supposed to be lower quality than the grade A “fancy” syrup that looks so lovely in clear glass bottles but I love the intense maple flavor.

I let it sit for half an hour and then ate it. I kind of shared with Brent but not really. I really love pudding. It was delightfully nutty and chocolatey and loaded with antioxidants, calcium, omega fatty acids and other good-for-you stuff. I lé recommend. I’m also realizing that this is a very versatile recipe and can be manipulated with the ingredients you prefer… next I’m thinking mint chocolate chip!

This is Christie, signing off.

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Curried Raw Pate with Mango

Raw night strikes again!

Mango is in season so I wanted to make something especially mangoriffic. OMG they’re beautiful!!! Mango are available in Florida starting May well into October and a range of varieties are common in the supermarkets and farmer’s roadside stands. This particular variety is called “Philippine” and have a soft honeyed flavor with a light acid content. Mango are a great source of vitamin C, antioxidant polyphenols, vitamin A and carotein. They’re also rich in prebiotic fiber: that means they can help keep your digestive tract healthy. Mango is the national fruit of India so it’s no mystery that curry is a great flavor element to complement this nutritional powerhouse.

In my blender I combined the following:

1 cup of pumpkin seed pits

1 tbsp of curry powder

t tbsp nutritional yeast

1 tbsp raw tahini

1 tsp chili paste (or to taste)

water as needed

tamari (or salt) and pepper to taste

I blended it until we had a fragrant spread. We added it to a cabbage leaf (yes, I’m still wrapping just about everything up in cabbage leaves in order to facilitate eating it) with some spinach, cilantro and fresh sliced mango. I’m a big fan of how the herbal flavors in cilantro bring out the complex flowery, honey tastes in the mango and how the acid in the mango accentuates the cilantro’s minty and peppery overtones. The myriad of spices in the curry marries everything together for an awesome meal.

It was a perfect storm of flavor in our mouths.

This is Brent and Christie, signing off!

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Pumpkin Lentil Lower Carb Burritos!

This is one of the easier things Brent and I have made in a while, all we needed was the following:

1 head of cabbage, raw

1 14.5 oz tin of pumpkin

1 cup of dry lentils

1 cube of veggie bouillon

1 tsp coriander

1 tsp cumin

1 jalapeño (optional)

chili powder or chili paste and salt to taste

Start by cooking the lentils. Combine them with 2 cups of water and your bouillon cubes and microwave at 2 minute intervals until all the liquid is absorbed. You can also cook them on your stove at low heat until the liquid is absorbed.

Now put them into a sauce pan with the pumpkin and spices. Heat until it’s all steamy. Adjust the seasonings as necessary. You can also add a can of diced tomato and a diced onion but this recipe is designed to accommodate a friends with tomato and onion allergies, respectively. It’s delicious and filling just as I’ve written it.

Now carefully remove a cabbage leaf, add a scoop or two of your burrito filling and whatever other things you like (we’re adding cilantro and Daiya cheddar cheese).

Roll them up and insert into your face.You might not even realize you’re eating a cabbage leaf. This is a great way to have a low carb, low calorie wrap for your sandwich or burrito and doesn’t cost a whole lot. I hope you like it!

 

This is Brent and Christie, signing off.

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