Bean Salad

Easy, flavorful, and customizable!
Ingredients:

  • 1 can beans (I like kidney)
  • 1 can other beans (I like wax)
  • 1 can other other beans (or quartered artichoke hearts)
  • 4 chopped green onions
  • 2 pressed garlic cloves
  • 2 diced stalks celery (I’ve substituted yellow bell pepper before and it was good)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup white/golden balsamic (or white wine if you must)
  • 1 tablespoon honey or sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper of some kind (cayenne is a general favorite, but I usually go for smoked paprika)

Just stir it all together, put it in an air-tight container and refrigerate at least over night, turning the container over at least once.  You can also keep  it in a covered bowl and stir it occasionally.

If you’re in a hurry, use 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder and 1/4 teaspoon onion powder in place of the garlic & onions.  That you can serve right away with so much digestive, uh, discomfort.

Low-Sugar High-Protein Vegan Cookies

STOP!  These cookies are yummy, I promise!

The great thing about seeds is they’re affordable (look in the bulk bins at your local health food store, or find them at a farmer’s market), packed with protein and nutritious oils, and less likely to cause allergic reactions than nuts.

These cookies are PACKED with delicious seeds.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (or vegetable shortening)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar (I use organic evaporated cane juice)
  • 1/3 cup coconut nectar (a new find of mine!  It’s low-glycemic and not highly processed like agave is.   I’m sure brown rice syrup would work here, too)
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon milk of your choice or water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup raisins (or chocolate chips, or chopped dried fruit of your choice)

What to do:

  • Beat the coconut oil, sugar, syrup/nectar, milk, vanilla, and chia seeds until creamy.  It’s really important to have the chia seeds in there so they’ll hydrate and stick things together like an egg would.
  • Mix the flour, oats, seeds, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a separate bowl.  Add it slowly to the wet mixture.
  • Stir in raisins/fruit/chocolate chips.
  • Lightly grease a cookie sheet and roll about 2 tablespoons of dough into a sphere, then flatten lightly.  These cookies won’t spread much!  Bake 12 at a time at 350F for about 12 minutes.  Allow to cool at least 5 minutes before taking them off the cookie sheet.

I opted for chocolate chips in mine. Chocolate chips from Trader Joe’s are vegan friendly, but not soy-free.

Shepherd’s Pie with Indian Flavors

It seems more complicated than it actually is!

Filling Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil of choice
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 2 medium carrots, thinly sliced (I substituted a zucchini for one carrot this time)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1 cup peas (I substituted 1 cup chopped fresh green beans this time)
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup broth (I used 1/2 cup apple juice and 1/2 cup broth this time)
  • 1 teaspoon arrowroot powder

Topping Ingredients:

  • 2lbs potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili sauce

What To Do:

  • Cube the potatoes and boil them in a large pot over medium heat until soft enough to mash.
  • Meanwhile, chop your other veggies.  In a large pan, heat the oil and add the sweet potatoes, carrots, garlic, and green onions.  Saute for about 5 minutes.
  • Add the broth, peas, cilantro, salt, spices, and arrowroot. Cover and cook about 10 minutes.
  • Your potatoes might be done now.  Drain them and add the rest of the ingredients on the list.  Mash very well and set aside (allowing the topping to cool is a good idea).
  • Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • Spread veggie saute in a 9×13 baking pan.
  • Top with mashed potato mix.
  • Bake about 25 minutes, or until the top of the potato mixture turns a very light golden color.

Enjoy!  Use seasonal veggies when you can!

Strawberry Coconut Pancake Waffles

I’m sick today, and no, that’s not the reason why my title is confusing.

I have some kind of stupid-tired-slow-moving-zombie virus, and I’ve been laying in bed all morning craving brains waffles.  I finally dragged my sorry butt out of bed, found a recipe, kind of followed it, and pulled out our ancient waffle iron (the damned thing has a cloth cord, I kid you not).  After three minutes of anticipation and tummy rumbling, I opened the iron to find that it had flaked its non-stick cancer bits all over my waffle.  I attempted to pick them off so I could have a few nibbles, but this iron is so old it probably has a dash of lead in the non-stick just to give it that sweet shine.  Ugh.  Into the trash it went.

My main reason for wanting waffles is that I fail miserably at pancakes.  Waffles cook themselves.  Pancakes get all wonky.  Lucky for me, this batter works better at pancakes than pancake batter does!

See? I CAN cook pancakes!

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled (the original recipe asked for butter)
  • 1 1/3 cup coconut milk, then add molasses until it’s to the 1 1/2 cup line
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups of flour (I did 1/2 whole wheat and 1 1/2 unbleached white.  If you want to do all whole grain, separate the eggs and beat the whites until fluffy)
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (I’m sure you could use honey, agave, or maple syrup instead)
  • 3/4 cup fresh strawberries, cut into small pieces (it’s strawberry season, folks, GO ENJOY IT!)

What To Do:

  • Set up your non-cancer-flake waffle iron to heat up, or heat up your pancake griddle/cast iron skillet
  • Melt the coconut oil and set it aside
  • Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl
  • Beat the eggs in a smaller bowl
  • Measure the milk and add the molasses, then combine with the eggs and add the vanilla
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, add the coconut oil & strawberries, mix well
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (optional)

Cook & eat.  Share if you’re a nice person.  Don’t share if you’re sick.

Lemonade for a Hot Day

This makes me wish I had a hammock or a porch swing.

I start with a basic lemonade recipe I got from Bust Magazine, which I totally love.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 cups water, divided
  • My additions: 1/4 cup chia seeds, 1/2 tablespoon fresh ginger juice, a sprig of fresh mint

What to do:

  • Combine 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water in a saucepan and heat them on the stove until the sugar dissolves.  Allow to cool.
  • Squeeze your lemons!
  • Put chia seeds in your pitcher with 5 cups of water.  Stir, stir, stir while the seeds hydrate (they’ll be sticky glops if you don’t stir them well).
  • Add the sugar water (simple syrup), lemon juice, ginger juice, and stir well.
  • Serve over ice with a garnish of mint.  Smash the mint into your glass before you drink it.

So refreshing!

Bun Ga Nuong

A perfect dinner for a hot day.  Easily converted to a vegan-friendly dish (just ditch the “ga”).

Ingredients:

  • 1 pack of rice noodles (try thinner ones than the ones we have here, they’re easier to eat)
  • Chicken breast
  • Basil, carrots, radish, bean sprouts, any other sprouts, cilantro, bell pepper, cucumber, pretty much any veggie you have around that you can eat raw
  • Nuoc Cham

I use this nuoc cham recipe:

http://www.whats4eats.com/sauces/nuoc-cham-recipe

but I substitute flax oil for the fish oil (vegetarians, rejoice!), and this time I  doubled the recipe and added 1 tablespoon fresh ginger juice.  I REALLY recommend the ginger!

What to do:

  • Bring a big pot of water to boil.  Turn it off.  Add the noodles, cover, and stir every 2 minutes.  Test them after 6 minutes to see if they’re done yet.  When they are done, drain and rinse them VERY WELL.
  • Chop up a bunch of vegetables.
  • Chop up some chicken (BBQed is the best) or marinated mushrooms or marinated tofu.

Marinade (idea from Brother Juniper’s Ginger Curry Marinade):

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons grated ginger root
  • 2 pressed garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon whole coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon salt

Artichoke Dip

Kind of like the stuff you can buy in a jar at Trader Joe’s, but cheaper and easier to use as a dip!

Ingredients:

  • 1 can artichoke hearts, drained (or 6-8 large cooked artichoke hearts)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/4 packed fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (maybe more if using fresh artichoke hearts)
  • 1/2 tablespoon vinegar (I like golden balsamic for this recipe)
  • 1/2 spice mix of your choice

Throw it all in the food processor, blend, taste.  You may have to taste it 6 or 7 or 8 times, you know, just in case the 8th time it tastes bad.  😉

Double the recipe for a party.  Use it as a sandwich spread.  Dip chips, veggies, breadsticks, or your entire hand in it.  YUM.