Tag Archives: vegan

Roasted Cauliflower Dip

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I have been pretty into dips lately, dips of all kind. Hummus and whole wheat flat bread has been my go-to “I just got home from work and I am hungry and need something to hold me over until dinner”/”I just got out of work and I am starving so I accidentally eat too much dip and then am not hungry for dinner” snack. Oops.  I currently have a spicy avocado hummus in my fridge that I cannot wait to dominate. But, as I am writing up this post, I also wish I had more of this roasted cauliflower dip. But alas, I don’t… because I finished this in maybe 2 sittings. Classic me.

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Cauliflower doesn’t get enough attention. Since it is white, it is often assumed that it lacks the nutritional value of its green brethren. However, it is still a cruciferous vegetable that you should consider putting into your weekly mix! Its flavor is a bit subtler, so it is easy to sneak it into more dishes. If you put broccoli into something, it immediately becomes a broccoli dish. But think of cauliflower as more of a healthy blank canvas. In this dip, roasting it intensifies its flavor a bit and is a great canvas for the bright flavors of ginger, lemon, and sesame.  The texture was that of hummus, however it tasted completely different that hummus, in the best of ways. It is also a bit lighter, so you won’t completely ruin your appetite if you have this as a pre-meal snackaroo. I can’t even handle how good this ended up being. And I kind of hate that I am not making/eating this right now.

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Roasted Cauliflower Dip

I don’t remember where I saw the inspiration for this, I think maybe in a Huffington Post e-mail?

Materials:

  • 1 head of cauliflower, broken down into flowerets
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons freshly minced ginger
  • 4-6 cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup freshly chopped cilantro
  • Whole wheat pita, for dipping shoveling into face
  • Salt and pepper

Methods:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450F.
  2. Toss the cauliflower with the oil, ginger, garlic cloves, and a few shakes of salt and pepper.
  3. Spread mix onto a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 40 minutes, stirring 20 minutes in.
  4. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
  5. Transfer roasted cauliflower to food processor and add the tahini and lemon juice.
  6. Pulse into well combined and add salt to taste.
  7. Add the cilantro and pulse until just incorporated.
  8. Transfer to bowl and serve eat entirety of bowl with whole wheat pita bread.
  9. Enjoy!
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A pretty cloud I saw outside my window while taking these photos :-).

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[Lentil and Chard] Soup is Delicious.

I feel like long ago, at the beginning of this blog, I had a whole post about how I didn’t really like soup. And now I feel like all I post are soups! But there is something to it, soup is SO versatile and with a little finesse it is a great go-to for a complete balanced meal. And it’s delicious. As an added bonus, soup calls for 1 pot and minimal clean up (you can clean any accessory items while the soup is simmering). Once your timer goes off, all that is left to do it sit back and enjoy said soup. Piece of cake, eh? Er…spoonful of broth? Just doesn’t have to same ring to it…

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This soup knows what’s up. I’m convinced that any human could live off of this soup alone. Swiss chard is a powerhouse of nutrition. Remember how a few posts ago I was talking about the phytonutrients in beets that gave them the awesome red color that so draws our eyes to them? Where else you have seen that color? Oh right, in the stalks of chard! Bingo. Nature has this really great way of using visual clues to tell us what to eat.  Chard is a chenopod and is in the good company of spinach, beets, and quinoa, all known for being particularly nutritious. Lentils then come in smooth it out with their friends: iron, protein, and fiber.  This is a one-stop shop for a filling, tasty, and nutritious dinner. Feel free to play with this recipe with whatever you have on hand, perhaps kale for the chard or chickpeas for the lentils? Let your pantry and taste buds decide!

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Lentil and Chard Soup

From the Artful Vegan

Materials:

For the Soup

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 red onion, finely diced
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons freshly minced ginger
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons thyme
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • 4 bay leaves
  • ¼ dry sherry
  • 2 cups canned tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1.5 cups cooked green lentils
  • 4 cups loosely packed chopped red swiss chard
  • ¼ cup white miso

For the Garnish

  • ½ walnuts
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • juice from 1 lemon

Methods:

  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large stock pot.
  2. Add onion, garlic, and ginger and sauté for 5-10 minutes until lightly browned.
  3. Add spices and stir constantly for about 2 minutes.
  4. Stir in tomatoes through lentils, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.
  5. Add chard and continue to simmer until chard has wilted, about 10 minute.
  6. Whisk in miso.
  7. Prepare the garnish by pulsing the walnuts, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a food processor until they are well incorporated, but the walnuts still hold some shape… we aren’t making walnut butter here!
  8. Ladle soup into bowls and top with 1 tablespoon of walnut garnish.
  9. Enjoy!

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New Year, New Blog

I am the worst. I know. Not even going to make an excuse.

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Ok, maybe a little excuse. I bought veggiewithacause.com, and my lovely SO has been kindly helping me move my blog over there. Hence this staging environment. He told me to make it aesthetically how I wanted, and then he would do the magic internets stuff. So that is where that is. Please let me know what you think of this design! Stay tuned!

Another little excuse, or perhaps pity party I am going to invite you to… is that I have had quite a run disappointing meals. A combination of uninspired, not particularly photo worthy dishes, and with the sun setting before I leave lab has made it tricky.

But these are all excuses, I know. And I want to kick off 2013 with a delicacy that I was quite smitten with. On the day of New Years Eve, the boy suggested we have ourselves a little tea party. And what is a tea party without a proper tea set, petit fours, and finger sandwiches?! No tea party that I want to take part in. I started a few days in advance on the petit fours, since they turned out to be pretty labor intensive… but TOTALLY worth it. I’m not sure I have ever been so proud of something that I have made. They were just perfect. With those in tow, we set out the morning of New Years Eve to buy a tea set, and walked away with an adorable cast iron teapot and cups that looked good for temperature control. One more stop at the grocery store for finger sandwich ingredients, and we were on our way! Our little tea party went swimmingly. My fingers were the appropriate temperature the whole time and our cups didn’t conduct heat in such a way that burned our fingers one bit. Nope, went just how we planned and it was exactly what we wanted.

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All of that being said, let’s get down to business. I will put it out there up front that these are labor intensive, but I promise you get each ounce of sweat back in pleasure upon seeing and tasting the finished product. And my oh my are they delicious and sinfully decant. Without really being sinful at all, as they are completely vegan! They are tiny little bundles of joy (I know, most people feel this way about kids… I feel this way about little cakes, no big).  And I love them.

To the recipe!

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Petit Fours

Adapted from Vegan Yum Yum

Materials:

For the Cake

  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 2 ¼cups AP flour
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons earth balance
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup water
  • ¾ cup almond milk
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • zest from 1 whole lemon

For the Filling

  • 1 cup raspberry jam, warmed (I literally microwaved a car of smuckers)

For the Glaze

  • 8 oz vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoons corn syrup
  • ½ cup coconut oil

Methods:

To make the cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 12 x 17 jelly roll pan liberally.
  2. Sift together all of the dry ingredients (this is important as you want a light cake with a tight crumb).
  3. In a stand-up mixer, add in earth balance, lemon juice, and water and beat for 1 minute.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients and beat for 1 to 2 more minutes.
  5. Pour batter into jelly roll pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until lightly browned and the top springs back when you touch it.
  6. Allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes and then carefully transfer to cooling rack.

For the layering

  1. Cut off the crispy edges of the cake carefully using a serrated knife.
  2. Cut the cake into four quarters.
  3. Cut each quarter in half horizontally using a serrated knife and taking long slow strokes to ensure you are keeping the knife level and evenly cutting it in half.
    • You should now have 8 even layers, each the size of a quarter of the cake.
  4. Take one layer and carefully spread on jam such that it is lightly and evenly coated and you can still see the cake peaking through.
  5. Top with another layer and repeat the jam application two more times.
  6. Top off with one final layer, so that you know have 4 layers of cake with 3 layers of jam.
  7. Repeat process with remaining layers of cake. You should now have 2 stacks about 1 ½ inches high, each the size of 1 quarter of the original cake and each with 4 layers of cake and 3 layers of jam (2 stacks x 4 layers = all original 8 layers are accounted for! Hooray math!)
  8. Carefully wrap each stack in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator overnight.

To transform them into petit fours

  1. Get your stacks out of the fridge.
  2. Measure a 1 ½ inch grid on the surface of each stack using a ruler(you should get 12 squares out of each stack and you will probably have to trim the sides a bit to make the stack exactly 4.5 inches across and 6 inches lengthwise).
  3. Cut the stack along those grid lines using your trusty serrated knife so that you have 24 total perfect 1 ½ inch cubes of layered caked.
  4. Melt the chocolate and coconut oil over the double boiler.
  5. Add corn syrup and stir until melted and blended.
  6. Set up your dipping stations:
    • Bowl with melted chocolate
    • Cooling rack with newspaper underneath
  7. Now, carefully dip each cube into the melted chocolate, side-by-side and finishing with the top, and then set onto cooling rack, with newspaper underneath to catch the dripping chocolate.
  8. Place in refridgerator to allow chocolate glaze to harden.
  9. Enjoy! I enjoyed mine with some green tea, tea cups that burned my fingers, and the best of company :-). DSC_0575

Boozy cupcakes

Happy Monday! As a tribute to the weekend that we are now mourning (when just mere hours ago you were sipping a craft beer chatting about who-even-cares with your besties, and now you find yourself back in your cubicle)… I bring you cupcakes! Boozey cupcakes! Who doesn’t love boozey cupcakes? The alcohol cooks off, it doesn’t taste that strongly of booze… but just knowing that it is in there makes the whole experience a little better. And hopefully it will transfer you back, even if just for a moment, to that creaky porch or crowded bar.

I know I spoke of these noble conquests of bringing you a plethora of cupcakes. And I know that I have not done that. Honestly though? These cupcakes have not stuck around long enough to photograph them. The cupcake of which of speak, that I am here to share with you, are chocolate stout cupcakes. In the spirit of being a manly cupcake, they aren’t overly sweet and are not loaded with some fluffy or frilly frosting. Nope, none of that. The chocolate and stout really take the main stage here… and trust me, you wouldn’t want it any other way. And that main stage is a cloud. A chocolatey cloud floating in a river of beer. Mmmmmm.

As an aside, you are getting this recipe now because I noticed on Saturday morning that there were still 3 cupcakes left from the batch I had made a couple of days before. I was waiting for my barley to cook and jumped at the opportunity. So there I sat, unshowered, squatting by my coffee table in front of the window with my camera in one hand and powdered sugar sifter in the other. Do you know how difficult it is to get a good shot while trying to shake the powdered sugar in one hand and snap the photo with the other? That is how eager I was to share these cupcakes with you! So go forth, my friends, and make these boozy cupcakes.

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes
Materials:
For the Crumb Topping
  • 1/4 cup dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
For the Cupcakes
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons flour (I used half AP and half whole wheat)
  • 1/3 cup dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup stout
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • Powdered sugar for dusting (optional)
Methods:
  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line muffin pan with paper liners.
To make the crumb topping…
  1. Combine the cocoa power, flour, and sugar.
  2. Slowly drizzle in the oil while tossing with a fork until crumbs form.
  3. Once all the oil has been added, toss and stir the crumbs with your fingers for about 30 seconds.
To make the cupcakes…
  1. Whisk together the milk and vinegar in a large bowl and set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Add the stout, sugar, oil, and vanilla to the milk and beat until foamy.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet in two batches and beat for about 2 minutes.
  5. Pour batter into liners until about 3/4 full.
  6. Gently sprinkle with crumb topping so that the crumbs rest on top.
  7. Bake for about 22 minutes.
  8. Once cooled, you can dust with powdered sugar.
  9. Enjoy!

Lazy Saturday

Saturday mornings are always met with excitement and a twang of bewilderment. The excitement comes in because I have the time to leisurely make myself a nice brunch, but at the same time, I spend most of my weak cramming down bites of oatmeal between hairbrush strokes so I can get out the door on time, so it takes a little bit of effort to break that habit.

As a nod to this week’s lecture on carbohydrates with an emphasis on whole grains and fiber, I decided to fill my belly with those things on this morning. I originally headed into the kitchen to make a breakfast quinoa bowl, to find my quinoa stash had been depleted. However, staring up at me from my pantry was a hearty bag of barley. One great reason to have a fiber heavy breakfast is that is keeps you full and helps prevent your blood glucose from spiking. The soluble fiber absorbs water and turns your stomach contents into a gel, and forces your body to slow down and digest everything appropriately. Since your stomach contents are emptying slower, and are buffered by fiber, glucose will be released much slower, making you feel better and aiding in insulin sensitivity. While the soluble fiber is doing its thang, the insoluble fiber acts as natures pipe cleaner to keep your GI tract clean and your colon happy.

I bet your digestive tract is smiling just reading that above paragraph!

Anyways, back to the stuff that happened between me finding the barley, and satisfied, pushing away an empty bowl, a little sticky from peach syrup.

I par cooked the barley in a pretty standard way. While barley cooked away, I stewed up a diced peach in coconut oil and maple syrup with some raisins. When the barley was almost there, I transferred it to the stewed peach mixture, added almond milk, and then let it simmer for a bit longer. Garnished with slivered almonds, coconut flakes, and some fresh almost milk.

Ya, so that just happened. Everything worked in perfect harmony and has left my body charged for the day ahead.

Coconut Peach Barley Breakfast Bowl
Materials:
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 peach, diced
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk of choice
  • slivered almonds, for garnish
  • flaked coconut, for garnish
Methods:
  1. Combine the barley and water in a small pot, bring to a boil, and simmer for 25-30 minutes.
  2. While the barley is cooking, melt the coconut oil and maple syrup in another pot over medium heat.
  3. Add the peaches and raisins and cook until the peaches are soft and the raisins have plumped up, maybe 5 minutes.
  4. Once most of the water has been absorbed by the barley, transfer it to the pot with the peaches.
  5. Add 1/2 cup of the non-dairy milk and simmer for an additional 15 minutes.
  6. Spoon into bowl, and top with almonds, coconut, and additional milk.
  7. Enjoy!

Aloha: Artichoke Panzanella

I’m the worst. I know. My promises to be better about writing have proven empty. But I had the best of intentions! Really, I swear! Enough with the excuses though, my new goal is to get you guys at least 2 lip-smacking posts per week. Keep me honest on this one! Feel free to send nasty messages about how disappointed you are in my lack of blog presence, and about how you are starving without my guidance.

Too much?

One exciting thing to report on before we dive in is my recent trip to Hawaii! My bestie and I took a long weekend and soaked up the tropical paradise that is the Big Island. Her sister is currently going to school there, so the three of us took the island by storm. And captured all of it with the action setting on my camera. Yolo.

Here is a little photo tour of my trip:

We started out at the Hilo Farmers Market treating ourselves to fresh Hawaiian produce.
And then indulged in these. Which was some of the best food I have put in my mouth. Ever.
Next we drove from Hilo to Kona, stopping at scenic outlooks like this.
We spent the afternoon at Hapuna Beach. Which as you can see, was miserable.
On the way back to Hilo, we drank from fresh coconuts.
The next day we descended into a volcano that was filled with lush beauty.
But then walking across the crater felt like walking across Mars on a windy and rainy day.
The wonderful trip ended with a day spent on this gorgeous black sand beach.
Hawaii ❤

Last week was filled with recreating Hawaiian dishes… and then not photographing them… but as I perfect them and make them pretty (slash not making them at 8 or 9 at night), I will get them to you post haste!

In addition to traveling to exotic places, I am teaching Introduction to Human Nutrition to 800 eager undergraduates at UC Berkeley this fall, which has both kept me quite busy and been a real treat. On the first day I learned that all undergrads at Berkeley think that “ummm some chicken and brown rice” is their example of a healthy meal. Welp. Looks like I have some work to do this semester.

In between all of that excitement, I managed to whip up this utterly delicious artichoke panzanella. I have lived in California for over a year now, and I haven’t quite taken advantage of the fact that I live in the artichoke capital of the USA. I was originally thinking of an artichoke risotto, but then decided that I wasn’t that dedicated to being in the kitchen that long… and then the word panzanella popped into my head. And man oh man am I glad it did! First of all, for bread I used a super non-traditional walnut whole wheat bread that ended up adding so much awesomeness to this salad. Seriously though, I think the toasted bread pieces soaking up the deliciousness from the rest of the salad was my favorite part.

I also tossed in some black beans and a peach to cling on to the tastes of summer, along with some tomatoes straight from my garden. To cut through the other decently sweet ingredients, I used dandelion greens as my greenery. No one talks about this much, but dandelion greens are actually one of the healthiest greens out there, chock full of calcium, protein (for a vegetable), and a whole host of disease fighting compounds.

Then I thought it was getting a little too gourmet, so I smothered it in Kens Steak House Italian Dressing. This salad was both filling and packed with healthy goodness. This recipe provided me with a solid dinner and then a solid lunch the following day. It works great as a weeknight meal, but also a fancy salad to impress guests. I can’t wait to make it again!

Artichoke Panzanella

Materials (2 meal salad or 4 side salads):
  • 2 large artichokes, prepared as seen here in this great tutorial 
  • 2 1/2 cup water
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 1 loaf of hearty bread of choice (I used Walnut Levain from Acme Bread)
  • Olive oil
  • 1 peach, pitted and diced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1 small bunch dandelion greens, torn into bite sized pieces
  • 1 14 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup your favorite italian vinaigrette
Methods:
  1. Put the artichokes in a medium stock pot with the water, bay leaf, and cloves of garlic and then juice the lemon and toss in the leftover lemon.
  2. Cover loosely, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 10-15 minutes. Drain and remove bay leaf, lemon, and garlic.
  3. In the meantime, remove the crust from the bread and cut into 1 inch cubes.
  4. Heat up a few swirls of olive oil in a heavy bottom skillet (I used a cast iron) over medium-high heat and toss in the bread cubes.
  5. Toast the bread for 8-10 minutes, tossing every couple of minutes, until it is nice and crispy.
  6. Toss the artichokes and the bread with the remaining ingredients and let sit for 10-30 minutes before consuming.
  7. Enjoy!

 

 

Raw Taco Salad

Remember that raw phase I went through? Ya, i’m trying to forget it too. But sometimes I accidentally eat completely raw meals.

This was one of those nights. I had read somewhere about using walnut “taco meat,”but the post I read it in used it to be raw. I immediately closed the window and moved on with my life. Now I know I have talked about my cravings before, but the weirdest habit of mine is craving things that I have never eaten. And well, that happened. I was craving this “raw taco meat” made from walnuts. On my way home from work that day I picked up some walnuts and guacamole to adorn the rest of the salad ingredients that I already had at home.

Another element that I am going to bring into this salad is massaged kale. Every time I told someone I made a massaged kale salad, I was greeted with confused stares. But man oh man, everyone needs to hop on the massaged kale salad train. Basically, it is exactly what is sounds like: you coat it lightly with some olive oil, lemon juice (but tonight I used lime juice, since it was a taco salad), salt, and pepper and then get to massaging. You get the benefits of it being cooked almost, meaning it is much more palatable and you pre-break it down for your digestive system, but you also get the benefits of it being raw, meaning all of the precious nutrients are left untouched.

And finally, I have also been playing a lot with using peaches in savory dishes. Peach or mango or pineapple salsa? Yes, please! I also had some peaches, so onto the salad they were going.

Anyways, this raw taco salad of sorts was phenomenal and an absolute synch to throw together! Literally I was raving about the salad after every bite that I took. And then I made it for lunch each of the following days. It packs really well since you don’t have to worry about the kale wilting. The salad doesn’t need much of a dressing since the walnuts are flavor packed as well as the guacamole brings its Mexican goodness to the party. Raw food, you win this round… in the tastiest of ways.

Raw Kale Salad
Inspired by Roost Blog
Materials:
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • juice from 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 bunch kale, roughly chopped
  • juice from 1/2 lime
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup your favorite guacamole
  • 1/2 peach, diced
  • 1/8 cup red onion, diced
  • juice from 1 lime
Methods:
  1. Place walnuts, spices, soy sauce, and lime juice in a food processor and process until the walnuts take on the consistency of taco meat.
  2. Toss kale in lime juice and olive oil with a few shakes of salt and pepper and then massage, as if you were kneading dough, until kale has wilted and taken on a supple texture.
  3. To assemble: Place kale in salad bowl, top with scoop of guacamole, sprinkle walnut taco meat around, top with diced peaches and red onion, and finish with a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
  4. Enjoy!
    • Probably audibly.