Tag Archives: cholesterol-free

Breakfast Wrap

This particular item more resembles dessert than breakfast but the nutritional profile doesn’t disappoint. All I did was take a flax gluten-free tortilla and topped it with the following

1 tbsp chocolate peanut butter (I used Peanut Butter and Co. but really any vegan nut butter will do)

2 tbsp dried blueberries (dried cranberries or raisins would work well too)

1/2  banana, sliced

1/4 apple, sliced

1/4 cup granola (I used Cascadian Farms)

I microwaved it for 20 seconds so it would soften and then ate it… It kept me full until lunch time. The crisp acidic apple and the soft sweet banana were perfectly balanced with the chewy blueberries and nutty chocolate crunch of the granola and peanut butter. Next time I might add some slivered almonds.

This is Christie, signing off!

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Alexian Earthy Mushroom Vegan Pate

I was browsing Vegan Essentials and saw vegan pate by Alexian. I just had to try it, of course!¬†Alexian makes a lot of traditional pate so they’re not a totally vegan company, but I have to give them props for making a vegan-friendly version of a product they are experts at.

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One look at the ingredients and most vegans will think that I thought: this would be easy to make at home. I chose the Earthy Mushroom flavor for my first taste. It is made up of tofu, veggie broth, onions, mushrooms, celery, garlic, potato starch, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, carrageenan, parsley, salt, tarragon, and pepper. A serving size is 2 oz (there are 2.5 servings per package) and has 25 calories and 2 grams of protein.

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I ate the pate with crackers and white wine. It’s a good product and looks impressive, but it was kind of bland. That said, I didn’t feel any need to embellish it with more spices or even hot sauce. I think once I got over the idea that it would taste like real pate instead of being a tofu-based pate-like product, I was much happier. I also want to point out that it has a really good texture and stayed “in shape” while being easily spreadable. It definitely makes a great appetizer or fancy hors d’oeuvre.

I’m looking forward to trying the other flavors of Alexian vegan pate. I’m also thinking about trying to make some of my own some time! –Melissa

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Tempeh ala King

It’s always nice when I can recreate a classic without the heart stopping cream and butter and even better when it tastes amazing. This is the story of my interpretation of chicken ala king. You’ll need the following:

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1 package of tempeh, I like LightLife (above)

1 small onion, diced

1/2 red bell pepper, diced

1/2 green bell pepper, diced

1 carton of mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed and sliced

1 carton of silken tofu or a cup of dry cashews soaked overnight, blended to a smooth creamy texture adding water as necessary

1 pinch nutmeg

1 pinch cayenne

1 pinch thyme

1 cube of veggie bouillon (chicken style works well here) dissolved in 1/2 cup of water

1/4 cup of sherry or red wine

olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Add some olive oil to a fry pan, sprinkle it with salt and pepper and put the tempeh in it and rub it around to coat the tempeh on both sides. Now apply heat, turn the tempeh to lightly brown each side.

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Set the tempeh aside on a plate. Let the pan cool for 2-3 minutes and then add the wine or sherry and mushrooms.

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The mushrooms will start to turn purple. Reduce them and then add the onion and mix well until the onion starts to soften.

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Add the bouillon and creamy tofu or cashews and mix well. Stir in the spices and adjust them to your taste. Reduce over low heat, stirring frequently. When you’re getting ready to call in your hungry self, friends or family put the tempeh and bell pepper and let it heat thoroughly.

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Brent made some rice pasta while I was cooking up the tempeh and sauce so we served this dish over linguini. Rice or mashed potatoes would be good too.

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Some chopped parsley or green onion would make an awesome garnish but it’s pretty all by itself and packed with flavor and good nutrition. Let me know if you get to try it and hopefully you’ll like it as much as we did.

This is Christie and Brent, signing off.

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Potatoes Au Gratin, VEGAN STYLE!!!

The holidays are upon us and there’s nothing better than something that’s easy, kid friendly (for your picky nephews), low fat (for your vain body-builder cousin), cholesterol free (for your crotchety aunt), easy (for your peace of mind) and cheap (because you already spent all your money on gifts). This recipe as written will serve 6-8 people as a side dish and doubles easily. It would be great for a departmental potluck.

You’ll need the following:

2 large white potatoes (sliced thin)

2 gigantic yams or sweet potatoes (sliced thin)

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Potatoes, sweet potatoes and yams are easy to find for around $1 per pound this time of year so I use them fairly often during the holidays. I cut mine with a big old knife. This is one of those times I wish I wasn’t averse to mandolines. The finger that I partially amputated using one always tingles whenever I think about working with one. If you’ve got a good food processor with a slicing blade, I’d recommend using that for safety’s sake, if you’re a fan of the mandoline, use that and be really really really really careful, otherwise use a knife and be really really really careful. I leave the skin on; you don’t have to.

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1 tbsp onion powder

1/2 tbsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp salt

a pinch of flake red pepper

3 tbsp nutritional yeast

12-16 ounces of silken tofu

1 cup of soy or almond milk

4 tbsp almond flour

vegan mozzarella and/or parmesan (optional)

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Take the onion powder, garlic powder, salt, flake red pepper, nutritional yeast, tofu and half a cup of milk and blend it all up.

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Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of almond flour on the bottom of a large baking dish and make a layer of white potatoes on it.

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Then slather that layer with some of your tofu mixture. Now repeat the process with the yams or sweet potatoes: layer them on top and then add the tofu cream. You should be able to get 5 or 6 layers of potatoes. I then put the remaining milk into the rest of the tofu sauce and mixed it well before pouring it over the top of the potatoes. I added a few slices of Teese mozzarella (any vegan cheese will do) and sprinkled it with the rest of the almond meal and sprinkled it liberally with walnut parmesan.

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Bake it for an hour and a half at 400F/200C

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You should get a beautiful layered look and a delicious addition to any holiday meal. Hopefully your guests will be too busy enjoying it to notice the orange and white stripes.

This is Christie and Brent, signing off!

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Cheese… vegan style.

You: Don’t you miss cheese?

Me: What, do you think I’m a communist!? Of course I miss cheese. But you want to know why I haven’t gone back to my one wedge of manchego per week habit? Cheese tastes different to me now. It’s bitter. Milk too. When I get coffee and they give me dairy instead of soy, not only do I get pimples the next day but it tastes bitter (I return it, it’s not worth the farts and zits). I suspect I was so used to whatever it was that makes dairy taste weird to me now that I just didn’t notice. It reminds me of when I switched tap water for distilled – now Florida tap water tastes chemical. Weird. Anyways, there are some great cheese substitutes out there. My favorite for cheese and crackers is from Dr. Cow.

This company makes a range of tree nut cheeses. Feel free to make jokes, I do. Macadamia and cashew nuts seasoned with delicious exotic things like dulse (a kind of seaweed), hemp (a relative of hops, like in your beer) and Himalayan sea salt. It’s got a good texture for slicing and putting on crackers and is actually a raw food! I wouldn’t consider it a replacement for any particular type of cheese, it’s really a food all it’s own. You might find it’s a little pricey, usually $8 or so for a 2.6 ounce chunk. It’s about the same as you would pay for a similar chunk of seriously fancy aged Spanish cheese like manchego, just without the lactose and cholesterol. I can rationalize it… easy.

I wouldn’t think twice about serving this to strangers at a cocktail party. I love this cheese that much.

This is Christie, signing off… to finish that little cheese wedge.

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