Tag Archives: nutmeg

Easy Vegan Breakfast on the CHEAP!

I get up kind of early… okay not that early. I mostly get up to watch the bunnies bounce around and have coffee with Brent before I head off to the laboratory. For the record, my older sister turned me on to this and THANK-YOU! I keep the ingredients for my breakfast in my desk. by the time I get to work I’m starting to get hungry so it’s the perfect time while I wait for my experiments to get going.
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This is all you need:
1/2 cup rolled oats (my Bag of Bob’s Red Mill cost me just shy of $4)
pumpkin pie seasoning or cinnamon (this little jar cost me $.99)
1 tsp rice nectar (the jar cost me $5)
1-2 tbsp raisins (the tub cost me $5)
1 cup of water
a pinch of salt

I microwave the oats, water, spice, salt and nectar at 30 second intervals until it starts to bubble up and get thick and creamy. Sometimes I add a touch of almond milk but it isn’t necessary. Then I throw in the raisins and know I’m getting some awesome heart healthy oats in a delicious breakfast that takes moments to make even when your brain is on auto-pilot.

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The other beauty of this breakfast is that it contains about 280 calories, has a low-glycemic index and a heap of filling fiber for a very low cost. I like the texture of Bob’s Red Mill oats best but the generic store brand costs a mere $2 for a large tub. Each bag of oats lasts at least 3 weeks and tub of raisins lasts me at least 6 weeks. Try doing that with bacon and eggs and still having money leftover for your Lipitor!

This is Christie, signing off.

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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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Tempeh Cacciatore

Not long ago I got a request for cacciatore from fellow blogger, VeganMonologue. How can I resist!? I took a slab of tempeh and cut it in half. I did it at an angle to satisfy my love of the rhombus. Add that to the list of things nobody needs to know about me. You’ll need the following:

1 package of tempeh
1 pinch salt, plus more to taste
1 pinch freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
olive oil
1/4 red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 green bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
4-5 garlic cloves, sliced
1/2 cup dry red wine or 1 cup of dry white wine
1 28oz can diced tomatoes with juice
3/4 cup veggie bouillon
3 tablespoons drained capers
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried cumin
1 pinch nutmeg
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves

I added it to a pan with some rosemary infused olive oil (regular olive oil is fine) and a pinch each of salt and cracked black pepper. I sauteed until it was lightly browned on each side. I transferred the tempeh to a plate with some fabulous wooden tongs that my sister got me.

Then I added a chopped onion, 1/4 of a chopped green bell pepper and 1/4 of a chopped red bell pepper. I sprinkled in some chopped parsley and slivers of garlic and sauteed until the onion became translucent.

I added the white wine (I used a pinot gris and kind of wished I’d used a merlot. If you try that let me know how it goes.), 1/2 tsp of dried oregano leaves, 1/2 tsp of cumin and a pinch of nutmeg and simmered until the wine was reduced by half.

Then I added a half cup of vegetable bouillon, a tin of tomatoes, 2 tablespoons of capers and a pinch of cracked black pepper. I stirred it a few times to mix and then added the tempeh back to the pan, covered it with tomatoes and allowed it to simmer for another 20 minutes.

Brent made some guinoa while we waited because it was what we had but I think this would be better with pasta or mashed potatoes.

After 20 minutes, the tempeh should have taken on some of the characteristics of the broth. Put the tempeh on your quinoa, potatoes, pasta, whatever and spoon generous helpings of the remaining deglazing/reduction. I sprinkled mine with some fresh basil leaves. This is a hearty meal, full of savory and herbal flavors all brought out by the acid and sweetness of the tomatoes. This would also work with chickpeas or seitan instead of tempeh for those with a soy allergy. It’s a surprisingly healthy crowd pleaser.

A note for the health conscious: don’t be afraid of soy. There’s a lot of propaganda out there that says soy isn’t good for you for one reason or another. A word from your vegan scientist: the data suggest that soy is better for you than meat, dairy and eggs by a long shot, particularly if you’re worried about cancer (particularly colon cancer) or cardiovascular disease.

This is Christie and Brent, signing off!

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Potato Wedges with Aioli

Friends and family should be arriving soon so here’s a local and personal favorite for entertaining. We’ve got a lot of Spanish influence in Miami and something that they’ve created that’s right up my alley is Catalan Allioli or aioli. It’s a mixture of olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, water and sometimes egg yolks. There won’t be anymore talk of eggs today.

I chopped some sweet potato (because it’s that time of year), yam and russet potato into wedges ranging from finger to thumb thickness and length. I tossed them in a mixture of the following:

2 tbsp corn oil (corn oil is important because it has a high flash point and won’t form carcinogenic substances as easily when baking at high temperatures)

1/2 tbsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1 generous pinch of paprika

1 pinch of nutmeg

garlic salt to taste

I tossed the potatoes until they were coated with the spice and oil mix and them laid them out on a metal baking sheet lined with waxed paper. I baked them at 375F/190C for one hour.

While you’re waiting on your potatoes, it’s time to make some dipping sauce. I made 2 sauces.

One was my chipotle lime sauce and the other is the aioli. Combine the following:

1/2 cup of vegenaise

1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

3-4 cloves of garlic, finely minced

2 tbsp water

1 tbsp olive oil

It is possible to mix this in a food processor or blender but I don’t recommend it: it can be very thick and you’ll forever be scraping sauce off the walls of your blending device. Mix these well using a fork in a shallow dish, prepare for dipping satisfaction!

This is Christie, 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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Cooking Challenge: Aftermath

This particular marvel is the transportation of a Melissa-style cooking challenge into breakfast: omnivores team made corned beef and cabbage and the vegan team made corn, beans and cabbage.There wasn’t enough corn, beans and cabbage to reheat and just make leftovers so we decided to make it into a tofu scramble instead. Image

I’m a sucker for runny eggs… or silken tofu in my tofu scramble. We included all of the typical seasonings in our tofu scramble: nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, nutmeg and turmeric powder. The beans and corn were already seasoned with coriander and a few others and it ended up making the breakfast awesome.

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We also browned some potatoes, squash and mushrooms that were leftover too. There’s a real reason why I’m posting this particular brunch. There was something easy about meat: you could put it into just about anything. You could put it on sandwiches, into a soup, with eggs, whatever… I don’t want anyone to think that vegan food doesn’t have that same kind of versatility – it definitely does.

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You don’t even have to be that creative. We used to call eggs with whatever you had for dinner the night before thrown in “trash can eggs” because that was the only other logical place for the leftovers. Personally I opt for stomach in this particular case.

This is Christie and Brent, signing off!

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Smoked Pumpkin Seed Spread

Thursday nights are raw nights at the Alldestroyers’ household (Alldestroyers is an anagram of both our last names, I’m a nerd. Don’t judge me). Today I ┬ádecided to finally try making my own spicy spread, trying to replicate smoked salmon but without the fishiness.

We started our sprouts in advance and started soaking the pumpkin seeds the morning of this dinner.

Otherwise, I started with the following:
1/3 cup of shelled pumpkin seeds, soaked 6 hours in distilled water
1 tbsp of tahini
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp ground cumin
juice from 1 lemon as needed
pinch of nutmeg
1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
salt and pepper to taste (I ended up using chipotle to add spice since it’s also smoked)

We put it in the food processor and monitored it while Brent got the rest of the materials we needed to make salad rolls.

Overall they were a hit. Not fishy at all and definitely smokey and satifsying. I think we ate 4 rolls between us. Considering that this was after a grueling double session of Brazilian jiu jitsu, this is really saying something.
We put asparagus, home grown sprouts, carrot, cucumber, spinach into these wraps along with our awesome smoked pumpkin spread. We dipped them in raspberry salad dressing and the combo was faboo! Check out my customer appreciation photo: it was so good it actually blew Brent’s shirt off.

There’s a good chance I’ll use this recipe again to serve on crackers with “cheese”, as a dip for veggies, or as a regular sandwich spread.

This is Christie and Brent, signing off.

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