Tag Archives: recipe

Meatless Monday: Lemon Infused Zucchini Bean Salad Recipe

10 Jun

TiV Lemon Infused Zucchini and BeansSome of the most delicious dishes are so simple, inexpensive and fast, it’s almost a crime.  This dish is equally as good hot, room temperature or straight out of the refrigerator so it makes an awesome meal yet the leftovers are perfect for lunch at work or school.

My Greek Cypriot mother in law makes it with fresh black eyed beans something here in the States, I have yet to find.  (If you know where we can find some, let us know!)  It’s a dish the kids love as well and is filling, also great to serve with a high quality dense bread to absorb all of the “liquid goodness” 🙂

***This also goes very well as a side with our Vegan Cypriot Greek Meatballs -Keftedes***

Of course you can add your spices as we often desire in our other dishes but we would encourage you to keep this one simple and enjoy the flavors of these few ingredients on their own.

TiV TIP:  Not only are organic zucchini’s eliminating a ton of harmful chemicals and free radical damage to your body but there is so much more flavor in organic produce, period.

For 1-2 people, you will need:

  • 1 can of white beans or black eyed beans
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 zucchini sliced in even chunks
  • pink Himalayan salt (or salt of your choice)
  • olive oil
  • **lemon infused olive oil**  (not a must have but a nice little final touch!  If you have never tried an infused olive oil, treat yourself and try it 🙂

TiV Lemon Infused Zucchini and Beans Frame

Simple Steps:

TiV Zucch Bean Steps Frame

Add olive oil to pan (this is one of the few dishes that we are heavy on the olive oil… a few tbsp).  Heated on medium heat.  Add zucchini (we sliced longways once and cut larger sized chunks) and cook until soft, about 7-10 minutes if larger, 3-5 if you prefer chopped size.

Add drained and rinsed beans (removing some of the salt to add our own), sprinkle some salt to taste (we love pink Himalayan but if you don’t have it, use what you do have).  Add to bowl.

Squeeze at least 1/2 lemon and top with a small bit of lemon infused olive oil or plain if that is what you have.

TiV Zucchini Beans finale Frame

Meatless Monday:  Simple, delicious, inexpensive, healthy and a great protein choice.  Try it!

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Sexy Summer Pasta Salad Recipe! (with Photos)

31 May

Need a dish to bring to a summer BBQ or have a party that needs a dish that will “WOW!” everyone?  You will LOVE this and after one bite, they will love YOU!

This is by far, a favorite request and it’s versatile so have fun adding more ingredients!  If you are new to Try it Vegan, note that we LOVE to eat with our eyes first so that is why there is a rainbow of colors in this salad.

Sometimes there are some dishes that require some extra love and this is one of them so plan accordingly and plan to make this the night prior to let all of the flavors marinate or if you don’t have time, make extra because it is AWESOME the next day like some other dishes.

For the record, the hot dog is vegan 🙂

tiv close up hot dog sexy pasta

Tiv Sexy Summer Ingred

20130531_135517 Tiv sliced veggies TiV sexy salad food prep Tiv sexy salad dressing

20130531_143726

Ingredient Suggestions for Pasta Salad:

(I didn’t measure this time around but offer suggestions below)

  • small jar of artichoke hearts in oil (2 cups chopped)
  • sun-dried tomatoes in oil (about 10 or 1/2-3/4 cup chopped)
  • 2 small cucumbers diced
  • 1 zucchini diced
  • 1/2 small jar of roasted red peppers or 1/2-3/4 cup chopped
  • red, yellow and orange small sweet peppers (2 of each color or 1/2 of bell peppers) chopped
  • cup of sliced cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of diced red onion
  • 1 pound of pasta

(broccoli florets cut small make a great addition to this salad along with black olives, not shown)

Dressing:

(*****if making a day ahead, make half of the dressing, mix all ingredients and allow the flavors to set overnight.  Prior to serving, make and add the second half)

  • 1 1/3 cup of olive oil
  • 2/3 cup red vinegar
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper (or to taste)
  • 2 avacados
  • 2 cloves of garlic

Cook pasta according to package directions, rinse with cold water.  Add all ingredients in large bowl.  In a Vitamix or blender, add half of the dressing ingredients (or all if you will serve immediately) and blend until smooth.  Pour over vegetables and pasta and chill prior to serving.

tiv hot dog sexy pasta

Try it! 🙂

Kale and Quinoa Salad (The Beautiful Skin, Hair & Nail Salad)

16 Apr

Don’t believe it?  Try it.  We didn’t believe it either and as a thirty something year old, I bought kale for the first time a few years ago after reading about other people’s experiences with clearing up acne and having hair with luster and shine.  I wanted and needed those same results and that’s exactly what I got!  If you have dry, dull hair or problem skin (cystic acne or otherwise), read on…

 Unlike many of you, I didn’t grow up eating kale.  Honestly, a few years ago I had to Google kale to see what it looked like!   If you have never had it before, there are many ways of consuming kale: steaming, baking or using a dehydrator for kale chips, raw and of course, making smoothies and juicing.  (Stay with me here, don’t lose me if any of those ideas horrify you at first glance.)  

Once heat is used to cook anything, vital nutrients are lost.  In this case, we encourage you to focus on eating it raw to get the most benefits from your food.  Remember, the darker the green, the better it is for you!

TiV Kale Quinoa salad closeThis is an incredibly simple salad:

  • kale
  • cooked quinoa  (great if you have leftovers, throw it on a salad!)
  • red onion sliced thin
  • sunflower seeds (seasoned or not, play around with the seed and nut aisle and treat yourself to various flavored or spicy nuts or seeds for a little topping on a salad or throw on some raw for extra benefits)

If you enjoy dressing, go for itIf someone were to have told me years ago that I would a) eat kale b) add kale to a smoothie or c) eat a salad without dressing I would have thought they were off their tree.  Clinically insane.  Not a chance years ago. (I was a nose scruncher back then when it came to anything remotely healthy, let alone vegetables.  Yes, now eating a vegan diet, funny, right?)

Now, if I add anything, it is simply squeezing some lemon juice from 1/2 a lemon on top and massaging it in.  If you have tahini, I recommend mixing up tahini, water and some lemon and salt to make a great little dressing to drizzle on top which is absolutely delish’ too!

If you have a favorite dressing then use that, we don’t care- as long as you take the first step and eat the leaves, that’s all we wish for you! 🙂

If you have never eaten kale before, let us offer some recommendations:

  • Chop it up into small pieces or thin strips and add to a salad with greens that you are used to especially if you are used to eating light green or white lettuce such as an iceberg (which is nearly all water!)
  • Try adding some leaves to your fruit smoothie (ex.  frozen strawberries, banana, almond milk and ice cubes) and yes, you will watch it turn green but I promise you if you can get over the color, the taste surprises everyone!  Add some raspberries to make the color more of a vibrant purple for added nutrition and to appease the eye if you like 🙂
  • Massage your kale!  I know it sounds weird but by ripping up the leaves into smaller pieces (remove the stem) and once in a bowl, squeeze some lemon on top (salt and pepper too if you like) and use your hands and rub all of the leaves.  You will notice that the leaves become softer and a more vibrant green
  • Experiment with different kinds!  There are different types of leaves and colors and of course, try and stick with the organic.

Pay attention for 24 hours – 2 weeks:

  • You will notice that you will be more regular because you are consuming fiber which is like Earth’s toothbrush and it sweeps out all of the built up “gook” in your system.  This is a good thing and you will notice that you will feel, what we describe as, “lighter”.
  • If you have dry, limp hair especially you will see some awesome benefits with your hair gaining luster and shine but it takes a couple of weeks and consuming the kale daily.
  • If you already have great skin, you will notice a healthy glow.  For those that have issues with their skin, as I did, I’m so excited for you to see real results!  Remember, I have nothing to benefit from you eating it but YOU surely do and there is nothing to lose!
  • Expect people noticing.  From personal experience I can assure you, get ready for compliments because those around you WILL notice and often times, it will be their observations and compliments that will bring it to your attention.  Enjoy the spotlight 🙂

TiV Kale Quinoa Salad

You have to eat, right?  Why not TRY IT!  It certainly can’t hurt, only help 🙂

Vegetable Lasagna with Tofu Ricotta Cheese Vegan Recipe (with 20+ photos)

12 Apr

This is the best tasting lasagna that we have made to date so if you are looking for a healthy, low fat, lower in calories and zero cholesterol meal, here you go!  If you are in the mood for comfort food without the “I’m so sick” feeling afterwards or the “I’m so full I’m going to bust a button”, you found the right dish.

(No worries, the meat eaters love this– we are confident you will too!)  Save this recipe for the next time you are in the mood for Italian and let me know how it turned out, your opinion is welcomed, as always 🙂 )

The photographs show you the process and I have the ingredients, directions and suggestions below.

These ingredients are all you need to make this Lasagna.

These ingredients are all you need to make this Lasagna.

Drain and wring out the water from the tofu

Drain and wring out the water from the tofu

Prepare the vegetables and heat the sauce

Prepare the vegetables and heat the sauce

Making tofu ricotta is easier than you may think and has been known to pleasantly surprise many

Making tofu ricotta is easier than you may think and has been known to pleasantly surprise many

Super Simple.  Layer the sauce, lasagna noodles, tofu cheese and zucchini.  Repeat 2 more times

Super Simple. Layer the sauce, lasagna noodles, tofu cheese and zucchini. Repeat 2 more times

Continue the layering process until you run out of ingredients

Continue the layering process until you run out of ingredients

Vegetable lasagna is served!

Vegetable lasagna is served!

This should take you about an hour and a half to make so if you don’t have the time, hold off until you do 🙂

Try it Vegan’s Vegetable Lasagna with Tofu “Ricotta Cheese” Vegan Recipe

6-8 Servings

Ingredients you need:

  • Cooking spray or oil to coat the baking dish (we used the typical 9 x 13)
  • 1 box No Boil Lasagne noodles
  • 1 -2 packages of tofu 14 oz (we use firm) drained  ( **We used 1 this time but the kids reminded me that we usually use 2.  It’s good either way just remember to double ALL of the ingredients to make the tofu ricotta.)
  • 2-3 jars (24 oz each) of Marinara sauce (we ended up needing 1/2 of a 3rd jar this time but we like a lot of sauce)
  • 3 bell peppers diced(we prefer red, orange and yellow)
  • 2 large zucchini sliced thin (we like our mandolin for this as we mentioned previously here about playing with your food)
  • 2 large carrots grated fine
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast  (gives a cheese taste- if you haven’t had it before, it’s a great ingredient to have!)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic (dry) powder or granules
  • salt (we don’t use a lot normally but recommend at least 1/4- 1/2 tsp here)
  • pepper

Instructions:

  1. First things first, drain the water from your tofu.  There are many methods to do this such as wrapping it in paper towels, place on a plate, cover with another plate and put something heavy on top for 20 minutes, changing the towels until at least once.  We didn’t have the 20 minutes so we wrapped the tofu in a towel and wrung it out over the sink.
  2. Heat oven to 350 F/ 177 C and spray your baking pan lightly.
  3. Empty tofu into a bowl and add nutritional yeast, garlic and salt and pepper
  4. Heat Marinara sauce in a pot and simmer
  5. Prepare vegetables by dicing peppers, grating carrots and slicing zucchini.  If you don’t have a mandolin you can dice the zucchini up instead. (I didn’t have one until a few years ago and literally use it every single day- I recommend it!)
  6. Add the peppers and carrots to the sauce and simmer for 5-10 minutes (we did it in five minutes with our limited time)
  7. Coat the bottom of the dish with some sauce.  Next, place lasagne noodles in one layer on top.  Sprinkle 1/3 of the tofu “Ricotta cheese” on top.  Cover with some zucchini.  Top with sauce.  Repeat #7 two times and finally, add a last topping of sauce for the top.
  8. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for around 50 minutes
  9. Serve and enjoy!

Suggestions:

There are so many variations of vegetables that can be used so if you have other ingredients in your refrigerator, use them!  It’s a great place to hide vegetables, Moms and Dads.

Food processors speed up the process if you don’t have time… it’s worth the investment!

You can always sprinkle on some Daiya, soy or rice cheese on top 🙂

Serve with a simple salad (serve the salad first 😉

Try it!  That’s what we are all about…

Crazy Carrot Wednesday- 20 Carrot Recipes to Try!

27 Feb

A rainbow of carrotsIn my quest of having the family get in the habit of trying new foods, I bought some purple, orange and golden yellow carrots.  If anything, it was worth seeing the expression on their faces that made it all worth it!

I happen to need to eat with my eyes first so the more color on our plates, the happier I am that we are serving a nutritional plate of goodness for each of us.  If you can’t find purple and yellow carrots at the store, keep an eye out for one day that they may have them in the future.  In the meantime, if you haven’t eaten many carrots lately, I’m sure you will be successful in finding a recipe or three that you and whoever you are cooking for, will love!

Fun carrot facts:

  • Carrots were not originally orange.  Back in the day they were purple or red with thin roots
  • What’s up, Doc?  Maybe Bugs Bunny was on to something since the first carrots were grown for medicine
  • Research shows that colorful carrots may help prevent heart disease and cancer & reduce cholesterol
  • Eat/drink too many orange carrots and you WILL take on an orange/yellow pigment in your skin (called Carotenemia) because of beta carotene, a form of Vitamin A in the carrots

Question:  Are carrots better for you eaten raw or cooked?

No one loves a glass of fresh carrot juice better than I (although, I will admit, I will stick with drinking orange carrots since the purple carrots have a slight peppery taste and the yellow are a bit sweet and mild).  I happen to eat half of my meals raw each day because there are many nutrients that are lost when cooked one way or another.  However, there are exceptions to the rule when it comes to eating and being able to process certain foods.  (So the answer is both!)

colorcarrotstryitveganPicture bubble wrap for a moment:  when it comes to nutrition and eating certain foods, there are a ton of nutrients that are inside the item but you have to pop all the nutrients out.  This is one reason why it is SO important to chew your food well which most of us are very guilty of NOT doing.  50-100 chews per bite is what is recommended to ensure that you break down the food and make it accessible for your body to absorb the nutrients.  This is why juicing is a great thing from a nutritional perspective because it pops all the “bubbles” releasing the nutritional benefits (especially kale!)

  • Research has shown that when you eat a raw carrot, only 3% of the entire beta-carotene (Vitamin A) is released.
  • Falcarinol is a substance found in carrots that has been found to reduce the risk of cancer (cancer cells grow more slowly when exposed to it)
  • When boiling or steaming whole carrots, you lose 30% of falcarinol
  • When boiling or steaming pre-cut, small carrots the loss is higher at 60%.
  • Boiled/steamed carrots are easier to digest and preserved antioxidants (carotenoids) rather than frying.

Ok, now that you know more than you thought that you would ever want to know about this common (or not so common) root veggie, go on out and try some of these awesome ways to enjoy this nutritious wonder!

(Common sense input:  if honey is called for, substitute with agave or other sweetener.  Butter, use earth balance.  Etc)

  1. Fresh squeezed carrot juice  (can be as addicting as cigarettes?)
  2. Roasted Carrot Soup
  3. Carrot salad
  4. Roasted carrots
  5. Carrot muffins (using earth balance as opposed to butter/margarine)
  6. Hummus and veggie wrap
  7. Vegetable sushi
  8. Potted carrots (great idea for the kids!!!  with a vegan ranch dip)
  9. Simple carrot fries
  10. Moroccan Carrot Dip
  11. Marsala glazed carrots with hazelnuts
  12. Carrot cake cupcakes
  13. Marmalade Candied Carrots 
  14. Roasted Vegetables with Pecan Gremolata
  15. Carrot cake oatmeal
  16. Carrot pancakes
  17. Lunch Box carrot slaw with apples and vegan yoghurt
  18. Carrot, Avocado and orange salad
  19. Marinated dill carrots
  20. Brown sugar sweet overload carrots

Enjoy 😉  TiV

Vegan Cheesy Enchiladas Recipe- treat yourself to Mexican tonight!

31 Jan

tryitvegan enchiladas with quacamoleThis is a fairly simple recipe and a family favorite!  Loaded with protein and no cholesterol, there is a ton of flavor and  great textures, this is sure to please! The cheese sauce also makes an incredible dip for nachos, chips, vegetables plus don’t forget Super Bowl and, of course,  perfect for this dish.

 

When we first introduced a Vegan diet in our house, this was one of my “best sellers” for the kids and DH.  Hook, line and sinker, they LOVED it and it has since become a monthly dish.  We don’t serve it with any other side dish since it is incredibly filling and we keep it fairly simple but you can go crazy with the toppings!

Sadly, leftovers normally sit in the fridge until it’s time to clean it out however with this dish, it is a different story 😉  (I’m actually looking forward to lunch tomorrow, nom!)  The recipe serves 5-6 people.  Enjoy and let me know your thoughts!

What you need:

  • 12 tortillas
  • 3 cans of beans of your choice (we used kidney, pinto and black beans, 14 1/2 oz. cans each)
  • 2 cans of enchilada sauce (15 oz. each)
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • Salsa (fresh is best, we grabbed some pre made at Whole Foods)
  • Guacamole (see above)

tryitvegan enchiladas insideCheese sauce:

  • 2 cups of water
  • 1/2 cup unbleached flour
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp mustard (ground)
  • 2 tbsp vegan margarine (earth balance) (can be omitted if you are watching calorie intake)

Extra topping suggestions that we skipped but you may like:

  • vegan sour cream
  • chopped cilantro
  • chopped olives
  • shredded vegan cheese

Start cheese sauce on the stove (medium heat) by adding flour, nutritional yeast, salt & garlic powder into a small pot and stir or whisk in the water and continue to do so until it is thick (6-8 minutes).  Take off of stove top and stir in mustard and earth balance, if using.  Pour some into a bowl for later (1/4-1/2 cup to drizzle on before serving)
tryitvegan enchiladesIn large pot on medium heat, pour 1 1/2 cans of the enchilada  sauce, beans, 1/2 cup of salsa and onions and mix together.  Pour remaining enchilada sauce on the bottom of of your pan.  Place tortillas in pan, coating the bottom with sauce and spoon mixture into tortilla, roll up and place in pan side by side.  Continue until all 12 are wrapped.  Pour vegan cheese mixture on top and pop in the oven (350) for 35 minutes.

Use a spatula (wooden works too) and serve with a scoop of guacamole and salsa.  Drizzle some of the remaining cheese sauce on top.

Margarita, anyone?  😉

So… Try it!

~M~

tryitvegan enchiladas vegan     tryitvegan enchiladas close up

A touch of citrus for dinner: Mandarin Orange Chick’n (Gardein) & Cauliflower with Garlicy-Lemon Zested Crumbs

27 Jan

TryitVegan Gardein orange chickenAfter nearly a week m.i.a. with a virus, it is safe to say that food was not something I was preparing, let alone, eating.  I have to admit, I had not been to the store in a week and didn’t know what was left in the fridge so my first night back in the kitchen and it was a fairly quick fix!

~The vegan chicken that may be too much like the real thing~

I was not prepared for everyone to enjoy this as much as they did and the boys, who still do eat meat at times when getting food from out of the home, enjoyed this chick’n the most *wink!  I’m thinking it was the texture… so if you have any meat eaters, give this a try!  Normally, I would serve this with some brown rice, which we were out of tonight, so some vegetable pasta did the trick and some awesome cauliflower (never saw those two words together?  Yeah, neither had I before tonight.)  My taste buds are still a little bit off or actually, missing all together so the texture may have been a little too real for me but after this past week,

TryitVegan Delish Cauliflower ingredients organic bread crumbs garlic lemon zest olive oil parsleyI’m not the most reliable when it comes to food tasting when not all senses are working up to full throttle.

TryitVegan cooliflour with breadcrumbs zestThe kids went back for seconds and, in addition, my eleven year old finished off my plate so… totally kid & omnivore approved 😉

The cauliflower dish is a must make next time you grab a head of it and I would guess that you would turn some “cauli-haters” into “cauli-lovers” this way.

Within 30 minutes you will be able to have dinner on the table so a quick fix as well!

Here’s the deal…

TryitVegan Gardein mandarin orange crispy chicken

For the chick’n dish, grab a bag (or two) of the Gardein Mandarin Orange Crispy Chick’n in the freezer section of your supermarket.  I popped the contents on a pan and baked for 17 minutes on 425 and heated the sauces (which are in bags) in a mug of hot water.

For color, I grabbed a couple of bell peppers (red and yellow- organic, go crazy!) and heated them (1/2 a pepper each) on medium low heat with simply some water so they don’t stick to the pan.

 

If you are making the cauliflower side, you need to prepare it by washing and cutting it into small florets and they will need more time in the oven (425 for 20 minutes or until slight coloring/browning).  Great part is you can have them both in there together.

What you need (we served 5 with no leftovers): (organic if you can… go crazy!)

  • cauliflower head cut into florets
  • Olive oil (1/8- 1/4  cup plus 2 tbsp on the side)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of bread crumbs (I did 1/2 cup with 1/4 cup olive oil and would half it next time)
  • organic lemon -zest of entire lemon
  • one garlic clove minced
  • parsley
  • salt & pepper

Toss the cauliflower with olive oil, salt and pepper and spread out on a baking sheet, cooking for 20 minutes on 425 or until slightly browned (toss/flip halfway through).  While baking, grab a pan, heat on medium and warm remaining olive oil.  Include bread crumbs and mix until slightly browned (2 minutes) then add lemon zest, garlic, salt and pepper until fragrant.  Chop up a tbsp of parsley and toss it in, empty into bowl and once the cauliflower is done, sprinkle on.

Our final meal looked something like this:  (thanks to finding the idea for the recipe here)

  Tryitvegan dinner Gardein mandarin orange chicken with delish cauliflower garlic lemon bread crumb style copy TryitVegan Gardein mandorine orange chicken  TryitVegan cooliflour with breadcrumbs

Try it!

~M~

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vegan Diner Classic: Scrambled Eggs, Garlic Chive Home Fries and Bacon

11 Jan

IMG00022-20101115-1003

One of the biggest favorites at the local diner is your traditional scrambled eggs with home fries, bacon and toast.  We went ahead and recreated this classic American breakfast and found it to be…well, surprisingly better than the original.  When we first started consuming a vegan diet, the comfort foods were necessary in making a smooth transition and before our taste buds were completely converted over, we were thrilled with the tofu scramble and surprisingly, the bacon-style tempeh.

Scrambled Tofu Recipe:

  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 block firm tofu, drained and pressed
  • 2 tbsp grape seed or other oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp Bragg Liquid Aminos or soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric

Once oil is heated add onion & tofu and cook for a few minutes. Add remaining ingredients and mix well, breaking up the tofu into smaller pieces, about 5 minutes more.

Bacon Tempeh      tempeh_smoky_201210

We enjoy Light Life’s “Fakin Bacon” but there are other brands that are crunchier, also in the refrigerated section of your “faux meats”.  Add some oil to the pan and heat for a few minutes on each side, super easy and very tasty!

Garlic & Chive Home Fries  (we had a craving for mashed… keep them in bits if you prefer 😉

  • 2 large potatoes peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup sweet onion diced
  • 2 tbsp Earth Balance Vegan  butter
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil or Vegan butter
  • 1 tsp finely chopped chives
  • 1/2-1 tsp minced garlic
  • salt & pepper to taste

Boil the potatoes in salted water until soft, 8-10 minutes, drain water.  Add oil or butter to pan and cook onions until transparent, add garlic for 1 minute.  Toss potatoes, chives and a dash of salt and pepper to your liking, mixing well.

Pop some bread in the toaster, finish it off with your favorite cup of Joe & don’t forget to tip your waitress 😉

Vegan, Simple, Fast and Delish! KID APPROVED Jason Wrobel’s Cilantro Lime Pesto Pasta is a MUST TRY!

8 Jan

20130108_185640

“Dinner is ready!!!!!”

Have you ever heard a child SCREAM because his entire meal is green and they decide that, due to color, it will not taste good?  (Let’s not kid ourselves, children aren’t the only ones)

After an absolute dinner FAIL the other night, my guilty conscious went recipe hunting and landed on Jason Wrobel’s recipe for Cilantro Lime Pesto Pasta.  (Jason is a Vegan cook and also has the Cooking Channel’s, “How to Live to 100” a new, humorous but educational show that just aired for the first time Sunday.  Check it out, it’s worth it!)

20130108_183652

Dinner was served in record timing due to the fact that the recipe is filed under the category of “easy” so even a non-cook can’t mess it up. (Ahem)  I made my signature “No less than 15 ingredient salad” and you see the end result which I was pretty proud of.  My one son, on the other hand, gave me an expression that I will do my best to imitate…

20130108_185526

“Really???  Green pasta?  Oh no… are those…(dun dun dunnnnnn) OLIVES??  Great, another Mom dinner fail”

(Ironic Mommy side note:  Even when we make zucchini pasta, it isn’t as “green” as this dish.  Not that it should matter but if only this kid KNEW what he ate at times!”)

20130108_183613

I was hoping that this would at least make up for my last disaster and not only did it, it far EXCEEDED the expectations of everyone.  What a DELICIOUS spin on pesto!  My only addition were some roasted organic cherry tomatoes that I threw in the oven while the pasta cooked to add some more color.  It was like winning the lottery you guys, I had five very happy FULL people and I was redeemed!  “Mmmmm’s” and “ohmygodthisissogood” came from the (full) mouth’s of babes so with that said, I recommend for you to TRY IT!

 

(No animals were injured, hurt (or eaten 🙂  ) during this cell phone photo shoot.  This Jersey girl likes her leopard, what do you want me to say.)

So what do you need?

  • olive oil
  • pasta (we used a lb instead of 8oz. with the remaining amounts of ingredients)
  • 1 cup black olives, pitted and quartered
  • 1/2 red pepper, diced
  • 1/4 raw pumpkin seeds
  • 2 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves, tightly packed
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, preferably cold pressed
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, plus more for garnish
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons nama shoyu or tamari (oops, I did forget this one)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • hemp seeds, for garnish (and this one)

Directions

Make the pasta according to directions.  Original directions called for a tablespoon of olive oil in the boiling water which I chose to skip.  Once al dente, drain and empty into a mixing bowl where you want to add the olives, red bell peppers and pumpkin seeds and mix well.

Easy pesto:  Grab your Vitamixer/blender or food processor and put basil, olive oil, cilantro, pine nuts, lime juice, garlic, nama shoyu, salt, pepper and cayeene and blend.  Combine the pasta with pesto and mix well.  Serve with a sprinkle of hemp seeds, black olives and pine nuts.  I also roasted some cherry tomatoes and added them for more color.

To view the original recipe click here

Image

Happy New Year! The BEST Vegan Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons requested by a pretty cool 13 year old

31 Dec

Happy New Year!  The BEST Vegan Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons requested by a pretty cool 13 year old

Vegan Coconut Macaroons from “Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar” by Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero

We are not kidding when we say that this book is a MUST HAVE.

This is what you will need and don't forget some vegan chocolate to melt for dipping and drizzling!  We used EnjoyLife!

This is what you will need and don’t forget some vegan chocolate to melt for dipping and drizzling! We used EnjoyLife!

Get the kids or the kid in YOU involved!

Get the kids or the kid in YOU involved!

Super good without the chocolate and incredibly FAST to make!

Super good without the chocolate and incredibly FAST to make!

Delicious!

Delicious!

Pardon the photo quality but inside is soft and a great combo of cookie and coconut macaroon.

Pardon the photo quality but inside is soft and a great combo of cookie and coconut macaroon.

EXCELLENT for parties any time of the year but if you decide to dip them in chocolate, it’s best to keep them indoors for the summer months and in a cool place otherwise there will be some sticky fingers!

We have shocked nearly everyone who has had these when we explained afterwards that they don’t contain eggs.  They also are the most requested cookie by friends and family, if that tells you anything!

What you need for 1 batch:  (we usually quadruple for parties)

  • 3 oz. extra firm silken tofu, like the unrefrigerated Mori-Nu (1/4 of the package)
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 2 tbsp nondairy milk (we prefer almond)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (**we used & prefer Organic Whole Wheat Pastry Flour)
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips, melted (**we use more to drizzle on top)

Preheat oven to 350 and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  Puree the tofu, oil and nondairy milk in a blender or food processor until smooth (Vitamixer works great if you have), scrape down sides with spatula to make sure you get everything.  Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl.  Mix in the sugars and extracts.  Mix in the flour, baking powder, and salt until well incorporated.  Add the coconut and mix until a stiff dough forms.  Drop the cookies by the tablespoon onto the cookie sheets 2 inches apart from each other; they don’t spread much at all.  Don’t smooth the tops out;  its cool if they have some pieces of coconut sticking out to get a little browned.  Bake for 12 to 14 minutes.  When ready, the bottoms should be lightly browned and the tops just barely flecked with color in a few spots.  Let the cookies cool on the sheets for two minutes or so and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.  In the meantime, melt the chocolate.  Line a cutting board with parchment paper (it’s fine to reuse the stuff you lined the sheets with).  When cookies have cooled completely, dip the bottoms in chocolate and set them, chocolate side down, on the parchment paper.  Place the cookies in the fridge to set for at least 15 minutes.  Store in a tightly sealed container at room temperature.  If it’s hot out, keep them in the fridge so the chocolate doesn’t melt.

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