Tag Archives: spinach

Spinach Artichoke Dip 2

I made a spinach artichoke dip a while ago that’s based on soy which is my favorite source of creaminess. In this particular recipe I’m using white beans for the people that I love who cannot eat soy. The nutritional profile is similar: iron, fiber, no cholesterol, low fat, rich in protein, vitamins and minerals and the flavor is just as awesome. We started with the following:

1 tin of white beans, drained OR 1 cup of white beans, soaked and [pressure] cooked

1 tin or jar of artichoke hearts, drained and chopped

1 10 ounce package of frozen spinach

1 small onion, diced

6 cloves of garlic, minced (more if you love garlic as much as I do)

1 tbsp onion powder

1 tbsp garlic powder

2 tbsp nutritional yeast

2 tbsp vegan parmesan (optional)

1 cube of veggie bouillon (we used Rapunzel)

1 tsp of flaked red pepper

1 dash of cayenne

1/2 tsp of paprika

juice from 1/4 of a lemon

2 tbsp vegan mayonnaise

1/4 cup of Daiya (optional)

Okay, so that seems like a lot of ingredients. It was really simple to make. Preheat your oven to 350F/175C… this won’t take long.

I put all of the ingredients into a bowl while my expert moosher went to work mooshing everything into oblivion. If you’re interested in something that’s creamier, I’d recommend putting the white beans into your blender or food processer first and blending until smooth but I like a little texture and Brent’s muscles are a sight to see mooshing  those beans. We had to microwave it a few times to thaw the spinach.

Once it was all mixed I put everything into a loaf shaped baking tin and put it into my oven for 25 minutes. It came out smelling divine and tasting even better. I burned my mouth being so enthused about getting some of our creation into our mouths.

The Daiya and parmesan do make this richer but it wasn’t missing anything when we made it with one or the other or neither. It was still creamy, rich, delightful spinach artichoke dip, perfect for parties or snacking.

This is Brent and Christie, signing off.

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Figs and Cashews, another Dynamic Duo!

I was a big fan of the tart savory of zing of goat cheese paired with the sweet honeyed flavors of figs but goat cheese is no longer in my repertoire so what’s a girl to do? Well, fortunately there’s Punk Rawk Labs and their delicious cashew cheese. We started with some simple ingredients:

mixed greens with spinach

arugula

figs (fresh or dried)

cashew cheese (make your own or try Punk Rawk Labs’)

marinated tofu (optional)

balsamic vinegar

I started by putting a handful of greens on each plate.

Then I added another handful of arugula.

And then tastefully arranged (I just threw it on there…) some sliced figs, cashew cheese and tofu if you’re into tofu.

This is one version (above) with smoked tofu and dried figs. The more intense sweetness in the dried figs complemented both the savory smoky tofu and savory creamy tartness in the cashew cheese. We drizzled this one with raspberry dressing that really brought out the spicy and herbal flavors in the arugula. I’m a sucker for arugula. I liked the sienna of the figs next to the white tofu and the rich green but preferred the scene in the fresh fig salad. Salmon, ebony, white and emerald green kind of does it for me.

The second version (above) is more cashew cheese with fresh sliced fig. We drizzled it with balsamic vinegar and lots of cracked black pepper. The fig flavors were subtler in the fresh fruit: more fruity and less sweet and honey-like. I preferred it to the dried fig salad which was Brent’ favorite. These are salads that would impress company because they taste decadent and look beautiful. I hope you get to try some!

This is Christie, signing off!

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Raw Vegan Crackers 2.0

Brent and I manage to juice more often and that’s fine with me. I’m writing this because our cracker recipe has gotten more complicated and more delicious! Our juice varies but usually involves some combination of spinach, kale, parsley, mint, basil, apples, oranges, lemon, ginger root, carrots, celery, mango, beets and cucumber. When we don’t have time to make crackers, we just throw the pulp into a baggie and freeze it.

The ratios don’t matter much, but you’ll find the stronger flavors will come out (celery in particular) in the crackers and will complement the spices well. If you’re not using any sweet fruits or vegetables, you might consider adding a little molasses. Typically we juice everything that we can make into crackers (which is just about everything except for cucumber) and then empty the pulp into our blender. If you’ve made enough juice for one person you’ll add the following (and this doubles nicely)
1/3 cup of flax meal
2-4 teaspoons of soy sauce or suitable substitute
2-3 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp onion powder
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp flake red pepper
water as needed
We blend this up until the consistency is uniform and somewhere between a batter and a dough. Taste it and adjust the seasonings. It took me a while to get used to the idea of eating this raw or dehydrated so I understand if you’re wary. We use a spatula to spread it into the non-stick trays that go with our dehydrator and let it go overnight.

Sometimes I sprinkle sesame seeds on top but this isn’t necessary. You’ll have to put some pressure on each seed to make sure they don’t fall off once the crackers are dry. It’ll take some time adjusting the thickness of the dough when you spread it out in your dehydrator but you’ll end up with light crispy crackers that are great for you and awesome with hummus, bean dip or spinach artichoke dip. We store them in a giant plastic bag to keep the Miami humidity from softening them.

This is Brent and 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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Apple Tempeh and Mozzarella Sammiches!

This was a really easy meal on a night when we were exhausted. The suggestion came from a friend (THANK YOU!) and it was definitely worth it.

We browned some smoky maple tempeh while some multi-grain bread topped with teese mozzarella. This is bread that a local lady makes for us, gluten-free and vegan. She’s an incredible baker and I hope all of you who aren’t expert bakers and a few who cartinly are(I’m looking at you) can find vegan [gluten-free] bread that doesn’t taste like it’s been frozen between 2 pieces of cardboard in a diesel truck for 2 years. Well, that’s my opinion of most store bought bread. On to noms!

We stacked the tempeh on the bread with some spinach and apple slices. I like royal gala apples. They’ve got a buttery mellow flavor that isn’t too acidic. We use them to juice too!I like my sammies open faced (above) but Brent is more traditional (below).

Mustard is important to me when I make this particular sandwich (but back in the day it was with turkey and soft cheese. Ew.). I think the spiciness brings out the flavors in the tempeh, spinach and apple. The mozzarella is just awesome and I want to take it on a date.

Don’t tell Brent he’s got competition from non-dairy cheese or the sammies will end up… oh… yeah, he’ll eat it all. Yay!

This is Christie, signing off!

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Vegan BLT… like a party in your face!

This is so simple I feel like I’m cheating by posting it.  We wanted BLT this Monday. We’ve got a reliable source of vegan gluten-free bread so the next step is to make it awesome.

All you need is some smoky maple bacon tempeh. We bought outs pre-flavored but a tablespoon of maple syrup and drop of liquid smoke or pinch of smoked paprika works perfectly. We sprayed a pan lightly with some olive oil and sauteed it until it was browned lightly.

We mixed up some chipotle lime mayo by combining the juice from 1/2 a lime, a heaping tablespoon of nutritional yeast, a pinch of vegan sugar, 1 carton of silken tofu and 1 8 ounce tin of chipotle peppers (this will make it REALLY spicy) use 2-3 peppers for an amusing kick of spice) in the food processor and blending until smooth.

I spread that on a piece of bread, added some tomato and spinach, so technically it’s not really a BLT, it’s a TST but who’s counting anyways.

These babies disappeared really fast.

This is Christie and Brent, 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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Veggie Hash with Spicy Lime Peanut Sauce!

This was another experiment. I’m capricious and easily influenced by how pretty things look. Fortunately, vegetables are also delicious so it has been working in my favor more often than not. To make the hash, assemble the following:
1 generous pinch of chili powder
Earth Balance butter as needed
chipotle pepper as needed
1 1/2 cup corn (frozen is fine)
1 sweet potato, peeled, diced
2-3 tomatillos, diced
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
garlic salt to taste
chipotle pepper to taste
14 ounce can blackeyed peas OR 1 cup of blackeyed peas, soaked
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Heat a large skillet on medium-high with 1-2 tbsp Earth Balance until it melts. Swirl to coat the pan. Add the corn, sweet potato, scallion, paprika, garlic salt. Stir occasionally until the sweet potato is soft.
Add blackeyed peas and stir to mix well; cook 1 more minute or until sweet potato are soft and blackeyed peas are warm through. Transfer mixture to a casserole dish.
 
To make the spicy lime peanut sauce, combine the following:
 1/2 cup almond milk
juice from 1 lime (use a fork to get more of the juice out as shown)
zest from the lime
2 tsp peanut butter

Mix well and adjust the seasonings to taste.

 
I served mine with spinach that I prepared with garlic and jalapeño. I plated the spinach and add the roasted corn, yam, and blackeyed peas mixture to the center of the spinach. Add the spicy peanut lime sauce as desired, sprinkle with cilantro and serve.
We hope you enjoy it!
This is Christie and Brent, signing off!
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The Lazy (Filipino) Vegan: Soy Curl Sinigang

Since I started eating soy curls, which have to be one of the best things about being vegan, I’ve gotten lots of bright ideas: soy curl kalbi, smoked soy curls, soy curl caldareta. I’ve been pretty excited about the idea of making soy curl sinigang and soy curl kare kare.

I had soy curl sinigang today, but I’m not going to elaborate because I didn’t do any actual cooking. I just baked some soy curls and then added the sinigang broth and veggies that were already prepared by my parents.

This looks pretty tasty (and it was) but I gotta say that our sinigang is usually a lot more exciting. We usually put lots of eggplants, long beans, and taro root in it. The veggies today consisted of only some “wild spinach” from the backyard. The broth has a sourness to it that is oh so good.

I’ll get into detail when I finally make some of this myself. I love veganizing Filipino food! –Melissa

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Saag with Sweet Potato

Brent and I really love Indian food. We make several versions of Americanized favorites including saag. Typically saag is a spinach based sauce flavored with cilantro, chili and turmeric and usually includes chunks of potato, mushroom, and/or paneer. Paneer is a bland home-made cheese so we use tofu that we’ve marinated in lime juice instead. Today, however, we’re using cubes of sweet potato because we had a random sweet potato floating around the apartment (I just had a funny mental image). We put the following into the blender for a creamy base:

1 box of MoriNu soft silken tofu (If you’ve got a soy allergy, soak 1/2 cup of cashews overnight, drain them and add to your blender. This actually tastes marginally better but adds a lot of fat)

1 thumb sized piece of turmeric or 1 tsp powdered turmeric

5-7 cloves of garlic

a generous pinch of cinnamon

1 onion, diced

1 jalapeño pepper or generous spoon of chili paste

1 tablespoon of coconut sugar

This mixture was blended until creamy. Then I added the following greens in the following order, blending thoroughly between:

1 bunch cilantro (stems and leaves)

1 bunch of Swiss chard or mustard greens

1 bunch of spinach

The cilantro goes in first because the stems need to get cut finely. The stems have a lot of flavor. Swiss chard will make a milder saag, mustard greens will make it spicier. Spinach is just a wondrous vegetable. EAT IT!!! Frozen greens work fine for this recipe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I transferred the contents of the blender to my big pan and rinsed out the blender with almond milk (use soy if you’ve got a nut allergy) and put the milk into the pan. I started to heat it and added 1 sweet potato cut into bite sized pieces. A carton of water packed tofu or a few handfuls of mushrooms are great veggies to add to your saag.

Heat the saag through and stir frequently until the potato is cooked. It should be thick and make giant messy bubbles if unattended (hence the stirring).

This will take about half an hour. Add water, salt, spices, and pepper as needed. I also use a garam masala spice mix  that an Indian colleague brought me from his home Hyderabad instead of pepper. Cracked black pepper is better for most tastes. It looks like sewage but tastes like awesome!

We served this with quinoa that we prepared in the microwave with several green cardamom pods. I love saag and know it’s not for everyone. It’s very herbal and spicy and is too vegetal for some. That being said, We ate the whole pan and all the quinoa too… I’ve got a blood donation coming up and I need the iron and vitamin K!

This is Christie and Brent, signing off!

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