Add to your juicer:
2 peeled blood oranges
1″ piece of ginger
Lately I’ve been loving this fresh, crunchy salad. Use whatever vegetables and herbs you like!
Thai-Inspired Spring Salad
1 package extra firm tofu, drained and cut into 1” cubes
1 package of rice or soba noodles
1/2 head of Romaine lettuce, roughly chopped
2 carrots, julienned
1 cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1/2 cup green onion, thinly sliced
1 cup mung bean sprouts
1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
1/2 cup roasted peanuts, roughly chopped (for garnish)
4 green onions, thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
3/4 rice vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar or coconut sugar
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 tsp chili flakes
To make the dressing, combine all of the ingredients and stir.
Marinate the tofu in half of the dressing for at least 30 minutes. Heat your oven to 425 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Bake the tofu into golden brown, about 30 minutes.
Cook the noodles to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water and set asid.
To assemble the salad, evenly divide the noodles, tofu, lettuce, cucumbers and carrots onto your plate. Top with cilantro, sprouts, green onions and peanuts. Ladle dressing over the entire salad and eat!
Next in our probiotics series, all about making your own fermented vegetables. One of my favorite fermented condiment to make is kimchi. Kimchi is a Korean fermented vegetable condiment that is spicy and sour (and a little funky). It’s typically made with Napa cabbage, some kind of root vegetable like carrot or radish, chile paste and onion. I like to use is as a topping for stir fries and steamed vegetables – anything where you want to add some heat.
Home-made Kimchi Recipe:
Here is what you’ll need:
About one head of cabbage (Napa or regular), chopped (put aside 2 or 3 of the large outside leaves)
1 small carrot, peeled and shredded
1 tsp chile paste or ground cayenne pepper
1 green onion, thinly sliced
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
A large mixing bowl
A large jar or container for fermenting – do not use stainless steel or plastic. I use half gallon or full gallon glass mason jars. They also sell ceramic crocks that you can use for fermenting, but those are pretty pricy.
A small piece of cheesecloth and rubber band that fits over your jar.
Something to weigh down your ferment – 2 options are a ziploc bag filled with water or a small mason jar filled with beans.
Now let’s make some kimchi…
Combine all of the ingredients into a bowl and massage with your hands. You’ll want to do this for at least 5 minutes, until the cabbage starts releasing water. You want to release as much water from the veggies as possible.
Pack the mixture into your jar. Make sure there aren’t any large air bubbles. The mixture needs to be completely submerged in liquid. If is isn’t submerged, make a quick brine solution by mixing 2 cups of water with an additional 1/2 tsp sea salt. Cover the mixture with the large leaves you set aside, and put the weight on top. Cover the top of the jar with cheesecloth and rubber band.
Store the jar at room temperature for about 5-7 days. It should begin to produce little air bubbles, this means that the fermentation has begun. At 5 days begin to taste your kimchi. The longer you let it ferment, the more sour it gets – so continue tasting it until it tastes good to you. Don’t worry if there is mold or scum on top, this is called bloom and is completely normal. It’s just surface mold and won’t contaminate the kimchi, just skim it off. If you keep your house pretty cool it could take more than 7 days.
When it’s finished fermenting, put into a clean jar and store in your fridge for up to 6 months.
It’s basically the same process to ferment other veggies too! Get creative! In the photograph I’m also showing a traditional cabbage sauerkraut and a red cabbage apple kraut.
First, we’re going to clean out all of the crappy, unhealthy stuff. Take a breath, you’ll be fine. I’ll be offering up suggestions on how to restock your kitchen in a bit.
In the pantry and fridge, toss:
Ok, now it’s time to restock. Let the fun begin!
Add to your fridge & pantry:
Make Your Own: Almond Nut Milk
One of my favorite staples to go DIY with is nut milks. Here is a simple and easy recipe to make your own almond milk. Once you start making your own, you will never buy store-bought again – it is that much better, and cheaper!
This makes about 1 quart of almond milk, which will keep in your fridge for about 5 days.
You can use this basic recipe with other nuts too, like pecans, walnuts, brazil nuts and hazelnuts.
1 cup of raw almonds
4 cups of filtered water
1 nut milk bag
Put the almonds into a large bowl, then cover with water by at least 2 inches. Let soak overnight.
Drain the almonds, add to blender with 4 cups filtered water. Blend until milky.
Put a large bowl in your sink. Pour the milk until the nut bag to filter out the almond meal. Done!
Optional: Return the milk to the blender and add a pinch of vanilla powder and 2 pitted dates and blend. This makes a sweeter version of almond milk.
Last week I wrote about making a big pot of beans every week. So here is another thing you can make with those beans – you own homemade veggie burgers! Have you ever read the label of most store bought veggie burgers? Can you identify everything listed there? Likely, not so. Making your own is cheaper and healthier. Sure, it does take more time… but you can make one large batch and freeze for later.
Black Bean Veggie Burgers
Makes 10 good-sized burgers.
1/2 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup of cooked brown rice (short grain works best)
3 cups of cooked black beans
2 tsp coconut oil
1 butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 1/2” pieces
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 of a 8 oz can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (freeze the rest for later)
1 TBSP ground flaxseed
1 tsp salt
Preheat the oven to 400.
Toss the butternut squash on a baking pan with 1 tsp coconut oil. Roast until tender – about 25 minutes.
While the squash is roasting, chop and prep everything else.
Saute the onion and garlic over medium low heat in 1 tsp of coconut oil until onion is translucent.
Put all of the prepped ingredients into a large bowl – including the squash. Mash it all together with your hands, then form into 10 patties.
Bake the patties at 400 for 20 minutes – turning once.
Eat, or freeze, or save to grill later!
I like to eat these served on a lettuce leaf with some tomato and avocado – yum!
I hope everyone is enjoying their summer! I thought it be fun to write about what foods and beverages I’ve been including in my diet lately. What foods and drinks I gravitate towards always changes with the seasons. Lately, I’ve been really keeping it simple with my meals, and am drinking a lot of smoothies.
Brown Rice Noodles :: My husband and I love to make veggie stir fries with brown rice noodles, then add Sriracha, Bragg’s Liquid Aminos or homemade peanut sauce. You can find them in the Asian Section of your grocery store.
Homemade Sauerkraut :: Real sauerkraut is actually pretty easy to make! By real sauerkraut, I mean no canned or pasteurized – if you’re not buying it in the fridge section of the store it’s not the real deal. It’s great for gut health, and it’s pretty darn tasty. I add it to salads, as a topping to stir fries, or own its own as a snack. If you want to DIY your own, try this recipe.
Coconut Water :: It’s hot out and I live at a high elevation. Mix that with running several times a week, and that equals dehydration! Coconut water has natural electrolytes, and always energizes and revives me. If you ever get a headache on a really hot and sunny day, try drinking some coconut water for relief. I go for plain coconut water, no pulp, whatever’s cheapest.
Cherries :: The organic cherries in season right now are SO GOOD. I can’t stop eating them! Coming in second place are organic strawberries. I love fruit in the summer.
Tiger Nuts: I recently discovered these at a conference. They have a sweet, almost maple, taste and are pretty filling. They are actually not a nut, but a small root veggie – weird! Don’t be scared, try em. I buy this brand.
My new favorite smoothie :: This is inspired by a smoothie recipe in The Plant Power Way cookbook, which I highly recommend. It is so refreshing on a hot day.
Blueberry Basil Smoothie:
1/2” slice of ginger
1/2” slice of beet
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 frozen banana
2 tablespoons hemp seeds
2 handfuls of spinach (or 2 large kale leaves, stripped off stems)
8 basil leaves
1/2 lemon, peeled
2-3 cups water
Where do you get your protein? That’s almost always the first question I get asked when I tell people I eat a plant-based diet. The answer? Well, first, protein is in all fruits, vegetables and grains, and most people are eating more than an adequate amount. Most of the protein in my diet comes from beans. I make a big pot of beans every week and build my week’s meals around that.
Even if you don’t eat a plant-based diet, there are some great reasons for eating beans. Beans are loaded with iron, B vitamins, and soluble fiber that may help to lower or maintain your blood cholesterol. If you are trying to lose weight, ditch the saturated fat from animal protein and switch in more beans. They are filling and satisfying. They are also inexpensive, especially if you buy them in dry form.
I encourage you to try making your beans from scratch. It’s so easy, and so much cheaper than buying canned. Let’s say you buy a can of beans for $1.50. You could make 4 times that amount of beans for the same amount of money by buying dried. Even though it takes awhile to cook a pot of beans, you can do it while you’re cooking dinner, cleaning, watching tv, reading, whatever. My favorite beans are black beans and chick peas.
Make a pot of beans…
1 cup of dried beans of your choice (see cooking chart below)
Check beans 30 minutes before the minimum cooking time.
Add 1 teaspoon of unrefined sea salt 10 minutes before the end of cooking time.
Cooking times per 1 cup of dry beans
|Black-eyed peas||60 minutes|
|Lima beans||60-90 minutes|
|Chickpeas (garbanzos)||120-180 minutes|
|Split peas||45-60 minutes|
Recipe: Black Bean Quinoa Salad
2 cups cooked black beans
1/2 cup of quinoa
1/2 yellow bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 jalapeno, diced
3 green onions, diced
1/4 cup of chopped cilantro
For the dressing:
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 lime, juiced
Cook the quinoa in 1 cup of water – bring to a boil, put on low covered for 13 minutes.
Meanwhile, chop and mince all of the veggies & herbs, add to a big bowl with the beans. Mix the dressing.
Once the quinoa is done cooking, let cool. Then add to the bowl with the dressing.
Keeps in the fridge for 4-5 days.
So, mac and cheese is probably my favorite comfort food. When I was growing up, I loved the stuff you made from the box – Kraft. Now, not only do I avoid food that comes from a box, but I avoid the dairy too.
That doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy mac & cheese though! In fact, this recipe, which uses cashews as a base instead of cheese and butter – is not only tastier but easier and faster than making the “real” thing! And, I would argue its a heck of lot healthier too. Try this plant-based cheez sauce recipe & I guarantee you’ll be making it again.
Pasta (I like brown rice pasta) – one package
2 cloves garlic
1 cup of raw cashews soaked in water for at least one hour
1 1/2 tbsp of Bragg’s liquid aminos
1 tsp paprika
1/2 cup Nutritional Yeast
Make the pasta according to the package directions.
Drain the cashews.
Add the cashews and the rest of the remaining ingredients to the blender. Start to add water to blend into a sauce. I start with about 1 cup of water. Add water, blend… if you want it thinner just keep adding small amounts of water. It will end up a creamy consistency.
Stir in the cashew cheez sauce into the cooked and drained cashew. I added some chopped parsley here.
Get creative – try adding miso, chipotle and other seasonings to the sauce. Throw your favorite veggies in with the pasta – I like kale, fresh tomatoes, cauliflower, broccoli and / or mushrooms.
I’ve been on a big oatmeal kick lately. It’s the best on cold spring mornings. Steel cut oats take a little longer to cook, but you end up with several servings.
1 cup steel cut oats
Almond milk – about 1/2 cup
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tablespoon coconut oil
Pinch of sea salt
Toppings: blackberries, flaked coconut, hemp seeds
Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Slowly stir in the oats, cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Keep boiling until it starts to thicken. Then, turn heat to low and simmer the oats for about 30 minutes – until its a thick porridge consistency.
Turn heat off, and stir in the almond milk and coconut oil. Top with blackberries, flaked coconut and hemp seeds (or make up your own toppings).
Spring is finally here! Even though the days are getting warmer here in Colorado, the mornings are quite cold. I made this baked oatmeal recipe on a lazy, cold, Saturday morning recently. It was delicious! Try topping with a drizzle of maple syrup and some fresh blueberries.
2 cups oats
2 cups almond milk
1 banana pureed or thinly sliced
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp of vanilla powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 375.
Grease a baking pan or cast iron pan with coconut oil. The cast iron pan I used here is 9″ diameter.
Mix the oats, almond milk, banana, spices and baking powder. Put into the cast iron pan.
Top with the walnuts and pecans and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Bake for 30 minutes.