Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Coconut Lime Coleslaw

Another Labor day favorite is good old fashioned coleslaw with mayo. I thought I would try my own twist on the classic by trying to cut out the dairy and refined sugar. This coleslaw tastes great as a side with burgers or you can use it to top veggie or fish tacos. Enjoy!

2 tbs. raw coconut nectar made from coconut tree sap (I like the brand Coconut Secret)
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 lime
1/2 head of cabbage shredded
3 green onions chopped

Cut or shred half a head of cabbage into narrow short strips. Place into a bowl and add chopped green onion. In another bowl add coconut nectar, coconut milk, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Using a wire wisk mix dressing well and pour over cabbage. Squeeze one lime over coleslaw and mix all ingredients together. Pop into the fridge for at least an hour to allow all the dressing to soak throw the cabbage. Once ready take out and serve.

Yield 6-8 servings

Monday, August 29, 2011

Black Bean Burger Patties

Labor day is this weekend which always seems like the end of the summer to me. I’ve decided to dedicate this week to summer bar-b-que favorites turned veggie. Here are my yummy vegan (or vegetarian) black bean burgers. Chalk full of protein and flavor these burgers can be served bun-less with sauteed onion or put on a whole wheat bun with a big glob of guacamole. The ways to eat these burgers are endless.

2 15 oz. cans of organic black beans
1/2 green bell pepper
2 green onions
1 handful of cilantro
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. coriander
1 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 tbs. ground flaxseed dissolved into 3 tbs of hot water
1/4 cup grated vegan cheese or real cheese (this can be left out if you don't want to use cheese or cheese substitute)

Drain and rinse the cans of black beans and pour into a bowl. Mash the beans down leaving some of the beans whole. In a food processor chop pepper, onions, and cilantro to a very fine chop. Add to beans and mix in cumin, coriander, chili powder, salt and pepper. Mix together well. Add dissolved flaxseed and cheese and combine all ingredients together. Separate the bean mixture into 6 sections. Ball up each section into a patty and arrange on a non-stick cookie sheet. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes and then flip each patty, cooking the for another 10-12 minutes. Pull out and let sit for about 2-5 minutes, then they are ready to serve.

Yield 6 medium size patties

Friday, August 26, 2011

Cold Greek Pasta with Corn Noodles

Nowadays there are several choices for healthier pastas. I like to use corn pasta whenever I can. Corn is a resistant starch which means it travels all the way through your small intestine before being absorbed. Because of this it almost acts like a fiber. Corn pasta is also vegan and gluten free. I made this recipe vegan but vegetarians can add feta cheese and meat eaters can ham, although I don’t think you will want to, this pasta is so yummy!

2 cups cooked pasta
2 tomatoes chopped
1/4 cup red onion chopped
1 cup cucumber chopped
1/2 kalamata olives chopped
1/4 cup pepperoncini
1/2 rinsed organic garbanzo beans

2 tbs. olive oil
2 tbs. white wine vinegar
2 tbs. honey or agave syrup
1 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 pepper

Bring a pot of water to boil and add about 2 cups pasta and cook for 7-8 minutes. Drain and add to salad bowl. Add all chopped vegetable and garbanzo beans. In another small bowl mix olive oil, white wine vinegar, honey, oregano, salt and pepper. Pour about 3/4 of the dressing over pasta and chill for at least an hour. Use remaining dressing to top individual bowls to taste.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet Potato Fries

Tonight was sandwich night and to make it extra special I made sweet potato fries. This side dish is always a hit with my little family. It is super easy and only takes a few ingredients. By making fries yourself you can bake them and use a smaller amount of oil then used in restaurant fries, making this far more healthful.

3 sweet potatoes (use about 1 sweet potato per person)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbs sea salt
1 tbs paprika

Slice the sweet potatoes to about 1/2 inch thick wedges and arrange on a non-stick baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil, salt and paprika over the fries liberally. Put them in the oven at 450 degrees for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes use tongs to turn over each fry. Put them back in the oven for another 15 minutes. Take them out and serve with your favorite dipping sauce. I like to mix 3 parts ketchup to 1 part mustard for an easy dipping sauce. Add a few dashes of hot sauce for some kick!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Vegan Banana Bread with Macadamia Nuts

This is one of my favorite indulgences. I made this particular loaf vegan by substituting one egg for 1 tbs ground flaxseed dissolved into 3 tbs hot water. This can be done in almost any baking recipe to make it vegan. I also used vegan butter and whole wheat flour to make it a little more healthful.

3 ripened bananas
1/2 cup vegan butter melted (Earth Balance makes a great vegan butter)
1 cup sugar
1 tbs ground flaxseed dissolved into 3 tbs of hot water
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1 pinch of salt
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup white flour
1/4 cup macadamia nut chopped

In a mixer combine bananas, butter, sugar and flaxseed and mix together. Then add vanilla, baking soda, salt and flour. Mix together until all ingredients have married together. Add most of the chopped macadamia nuts (saving a little for topping the bread). Mix together and pour into a greased pan. Sprinkle remaining macadamia nuts on top and bake at 350 for 1 hour.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Quinoa and Chili stuffed Bell Peppers

Quinoa and Chili stuffed Bell Peppers

Quinoa is a protein rich seed that is indigenous to South America. It looks and tastes similar to couscous but is better for you. Quinoa works great in these stuffed bell peppers. This recipe can be vegan or vegetarian. If you have a hard time with spice the jalapeno can be substituted for finely chopped bell pepper.

1 cup cooked quinoa (directions below)
1 14.5 oz can of your favorite chili (I use ‘Trader Joe’s Vegetarian Organic Chili’)
4 bell peppers cut in half and seeded (use any color)
2 tbs. canola oil
1 onion chopped small
1/2 small jalapeno chopped small
1 clove of garlic minced
1/8 cup chopped cilantro
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tbs. cumin
1 cup of shredded cheese or shredded vegan cheese such as ‘Veggie Shreds’
1/4 cup water

To cook the quinoa pour 2 cups of vegetable broth and 1 cup dried quinoa into a pot and bring to boil. Reduce, cover and let simmer on low for about 15 minutes until all of the liquid has been absorbed.

Heat a separate pan to medium and pour in canola oil. Add onion, jalapeno, and garlic. Season them with salt and pepper and cumin. Saute for about 10 minutes. Add cilantro (reserve some cilantro for after the peppers are cooked) and saute for another 5 minutes or until the onions are softened and translucent. Add one 14.5 oz can of chili and 1 cup of cooked quinoa. Mix and let all ingredients come together for a couple minutes.

Heat oven to 350. Spray a 9x13 inch baking pan with non stick cooking spray. Fill each bell pepper half with the chili and quinoa mixture. Top each bell pepper with cheese and cook for 10 minutes. After ten minutes pour about 1/4 cup of water (or white wine) into pan and let peppers cook for another 15 minutes.

Serve on a bed of shredded cabbage and cilantro and top with avocado.

yield: 8 bell pepper halves

Monday, August 15, 2011

Vegetable Detox Soup

Vegetable Detox Soup

I swear by this soups detox qualities. After a vacation or weekend of binge eating your body needs to be cleansed of all the toxins. I love to eat this soup to get me back on track. Sometimes I even eat it for lunch and dinner a couple days in a row. This soup is completely vegan. My husband likes to add a can of rinsed white cannellini beans to the soup for added protein. Once again this another recipe that shredded chicken can be added to for you meat eaters out there!


2 cups celery chopped
2 cups onion chopped
1 cup carrots chopped
3 tbs olive oil
4 cloves of garlic minced
3 tsp sea salt
3 tsp pepper
2 tsp ground sage
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tbs fresh rosemary chopped
4 cups of cabbage chopped
2 cups of broccoli chopped
1 vegetable bouillon cube
1 box of vegetable broth
2 cups of water
1 14.5 oz can of diced organic tomatoes
2 bay leaves

In a large stock pot saute olive oil celery, onion, carrots and garlic on medium. Add sea salt and pepper, ground sage, dried oregano and rosemary. Let all ingredients saute together for about ten minutes until vegetables are softened and onion is translucent. Add bouillon cube, vegetable broth, water and canned tomatoes. Stir together and add broccoli and cabbage. Bring to simmer and add bay leaves. Cover and let simmer for 45 minutes. Remove bay leaves and it’s ready to serve.

Top this soup with half an avocado diced and you will benefit from some extra protein and an even yummier taste!

Yield 8-10 servings

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Homemade refried beans

This is one my favorites. Beans are a great source of protein and fiber for veggie eaters and meat eaters. By making your own you can control the lard and other fats added.

1 lb. bag of dried pinto beans
1 large white or yellow onion pealed and chopped in half
4-5 cloves of garlic pealed and left whole
4 tsp. Salt
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. cayenne pepper

Beans themselves do not cause gas, it is the dirt on the beans that cause gas. For this reason I recommend boiling the beans in water for roughly 30 minutes, strain and clean the pot and then start the recipe.

In a large stock pot pour in the clean beans. Add halved onion, whole garlic cloves and salt. Fill pot with water so that the water comes to a half an inch above the ingredients. Bring to boil and cover. Let simmer on medium low for two hours.

Once beans are cooked, use a measuring cup to take about a cup of the water from pot and keep aside for blending beans. In batches blend the cooked beans, onion and garlic till entire batch is smooth and creamy. If beans get too thick use the water taken from the pot to loosen the beans. Return all the beans back to the pot add cumin and cayenne pepper or taco seasoning and let all ingredients cook together on low for ten more minutes. Then serve.

Yield about 12 servings

Beans can be frozen for up to three months and refrigerated for up to a week.

Add sour cream, taco seasoning, cheese, tomato and green onion on top to make yummy bean dip.

Tortilla soup

I usually make this soup vegetarian for me and add rotisserie shredded chicken to it for my husband. It can easily be made vegan by not adding the cheeses or using a vegan cream cheese such as 'Tofuti' to make it creamy.

2-3 tbs olive oil
1 onion chopped
3 cloves of garlic minced
1 jalapeno chopped
1 bell pepper(any color) chopped
2 tsp cumin (if you don't have cumin, taco seasoning works well too)
1/4 cup of your favorite Pico de Gallo
1 box of tomato soup or roasted red pepper and tomato soup
1 cup of vegetable broth
2 wedges of laughing cow cheese
3 tbs of grated parmesan

For toppings:
Avocado chopped
Green onion chopped
Tortilla chips crushed

In a large pot saute onion, garlic, jalapeno, bell pepper with salt and pepper in olive oil. on medium high for about 10 minutes. Once the vegetables are softened and onions are translucent add cumin and Pico de Gallo. Add a touch of vegetable broth if the veggies are sticking to the pot let they ingredients come together for a few minutes.

Add tomato soup to pot. Let simmer on medium for 5-8 minutes.

Meanwhile heat up 1 cup of vegetable both till almost boiling. Pour the broth over a the two cheeses in a glass bowl. With a wire wisk mix them together until it becomes a cream. Add this to the soup and let simmer for 10 minutes.

Serve in bowls with avocado chunks, chopped green onion and crushed tortilla chips.

Yields 4-6 servings.