Monday, February 8, 2016

Crispy Cinnamon Apple Rings

I watch A LOT of food/recipe videos, and I really like ones like Tip Hero and Tasty. Unfortunately, many of the recipes are not WFPB or contain dairy, animal products, eggs, or oil. Today, a friend (shout out to Jimmy!) posted this video and though it was ridiculously fattening and not vegan, I thought, "This CAN be done!" So, I grabbed a Fuji apple out of the fridge, and this is what I made. OMG! My husband and I gobbled down the "rings" in seconds flat. They were crispy and apple-y and cinnamon-y, and WOW!

This is the batter PER each apple you use. So, double or triple or whatever depending on how many you decide to make. I used one Fuji apple (with the peel on!), and that was a nice little treat for me and my husband to share after dinner.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
Line a baking pan with parchment paper.
Slice apple(s) 1/2 inch thick and cut out the center with a large circular cookie/biscuit cutter, leaving about a 1/2-inch ring. Dry all of the apple "rings" well with paper towel.

Then, in a bowl, combine the following:
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. baking powder
1 t. coconut sugar
(or other raw sugar that is finely ground)
dash of salt
non-dairy milk (start with 2-3 T. and add more until the batter is the consistency of pancake batter)

Dip the apple rings in the batter and coat well. Tap off on the edge of the bowl and place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Do this for all apple rings.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until crispy on all sides. I did not even have to flip mine over to achieve this.

Finally, in a small bowl, combine some maple syrup with cinnamon.
Brush onto warm, crispy apple rings and serve!

Asian-Inspired Mason Jar Salad with Oil-Free Dressing

At one of our local community PlantPure Nation meetings, the beautiful Nabila at demonstrated her version of Asian-Inspired Mason Jar Salad with oil-free dressing. That's what's for lunches this week!
Here's how to make the ones you see above, in this order...

1/4 cup of the oil-free dressing, recipe below
1/4-1/2 cup chickpeas
1/4 cup carrots, sliced
1/2 cup red cabbage, shredded
1/4 cup red/orange/yellow bell pepper, sliced
2 T dried cranberries
1 T. Curried-Maple Walnuts, chopped (recipe on my food blog)
1+ cups baby spinach

To make the oil-free, Asian-inspired dressing, mix together 1/4 cup of each of the following in a small jar:
low sodium soy sauce
maple syrup
rice vinegar
fresh lemon juice
1/2 t. chili-garlic sauce or red chili flakes

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Mexican Cornbread Dinner - Under Pressure!

Whenever I make a "one-pot" meal, I try to make sure it's well-balanced. That means, including whole grains, beans, greens, and veggies.

This idea came to me after planning a dinner party for this weekend, which included oil-free corn bread. I wondered if I could "bake" my corn bread in the pressure cooker RIGHT ON TOP OF the dish, and what do you know??? It worked beautifully! I completed the test kitchen run around 9:30 in the evening, and my husband had already brushed his teeth. I coaxed him into tasting the new dish, and he ended up eating half of a HUGE portion! It is SO easy to make and DELICIOUS!

1 large onion, chopped finely
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 28-oz can or two 15-oz. cans of fire-roasted chopped tomatoes, including the liquid
1 T. lime juice
2 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups of frozen corn
1 can of green chiles, including the liquid
3 handfuls of fresh baby spinach
1 1/2  t. cumin
½-1 t. chili powder (based on your spiciness level)
3/4 t. salt
3 dashes of Liquid Smoke

Corn Bread Layer:
1 cup of whole wheat, whole wheat pastry, or spelt flour
1 cup of cornmeal (fine ground)
1 T. baking powder
pinch of salt
1 cup unsweetened, non-dairy milk
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

Steamfry onions in pressure cooker using Sauté or Brown feature for about 5 minutes or until tender. Add a bit of water if the onions begin to stick to the pot. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute. Turn pressure cooker off.

In a medium-sized bowl, combine the tomatoes, black beans, lime juice, corn, green chiles, spinach, cumin, chili powder, salt, and liquid smoke. Stir into the onions and garlic in the pot.

Whisk together the dry ingredients for the corn bread layer in a medium-sized bowl. Add in the non-dairy milk, maple syrup, and applesauce. Stir together to combine. Pour the cornbread mixture over the other mixture in the pressure cooker, spreading level.

Cook on high pressure for 8 minutes with quick release (slowly turning the valve so the liquid doesn’t spray out). Turn off the pressure cooker and leave the top on for 10 minutes. Open the top and serve.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Layered Mexican Casserole

I wanted to make a Mexican dish this week and opted for an adapted version of Jeanne Schumacher's Mexican Lasagna. Since we have a homemade Salsa Fresca recipe that we love, we opted to use that throughout the casserole. Also, I chose to use black beans and pinto beans because those are our favorites in a Mexican dish. Instead of the corn salsa, I did go ahead and use a bag of frozen, organic corn (which I mixed with cumin, chili powder, and about 1/4 cup of my salsa). For the "greens" layer, I just used organic baby spinach. In addition, I wanted to top the casserole with some of Del Sroufe's tofu sour cream (1 chilled container of Mori-Nu Lite silken tofu, 1 T red wine vinegar, and 1 T. lemon juice blended until smooth) mixed with about 3 T. of my salsa and also some of our Cashew Queso, which is a family-and-friends favorite! OH-EM-GEE! This dish was fabulous and EASY!!! This will be our dinner for the next 2-3 nights, and I'm OK with that!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

PlantPure Nation Cookbook: Beanie Veggie Loaf

Here's an alternative way to make the Beanie Veggie Loaf in the PlantPure Nation cookbook p. 178 if you want to reduce the number of pans/bowls you use and NOT have to sauté the veggies beforehand.

1. Process whole grain toast in food processor for bread crumbs.  Measure out 1 cup of breadcrumbs and set aside in small bowl. Store the extra crumbs in your freezer.
2. Do not clean your food processor out! Process walnuts in food processor into fine pieces.  Set aside in the same bowl as the bread crumbs.
3. Do not clean your food processor out! Process onion,  garlic,  carrots,  celery and red bell pepper into small pieces in the food processor. Placed in a large bowl.
4. Do not clean your food processor out! Process chickpeas in the food processor until they are in tiny pieces but not pasty. Placed in large bowl with chopped veggies.
5. Add flaxmeal/water mixture to the large bowl, along with the oats, bread crumbs, walnuts, seasonings, veggie broth, etc.
6. Topped with sauce.
7. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour so veggies cook well and loaf is firm. Tent with foil halfway through (at around 25 minutes in). Let sit for 30 minutes before cutting into slices.

NOTE: This veggie loaf can be made the day or night before you want to serve it. You can warm slices up right before you eat.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Cranberry-Walnut Spelt Muffins

Wanting to get away from using genetically-modified wheat flour? Try these delicious spelt muffins! Spelt is easily found at most stores. I buy an organic whenever possible.

NOTE: You can sub a mixture of whole wheat flour and whole wheat pastry flour (half and half) if you desire.  Also, if you do not have stevia powder or erythritol, you could add a bit more coconut sugar or maple syrup to kick up the sweetness.

2 cups organic spelt flour

1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 T. chia seeds
2/3 cup coconut sugar
1/2 t. stevia powder or erythritol

1 T flaxseed meal mixed in 3 T warm water, set aside
1/2 t. vanilla
3/4 cup non-dairy milk
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup chopped organic dried cranberries
1/3 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Whisk the first 7 ingredients together, and then add all the wet ones (except the cranberries and walnuts). Mix just until moistened. Fold in the cranberries and walnuts, and then fill muffin cups to the top of the baking cups.
NOTE: I use silicone baking cups placed inside my muffin tin.
Bake 20-25 minutes.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Thai Curry Noodles with Baked Tofu

NOTE: This is a drier noodle dish where the sauce is fully absorbed into the noodles. Also, the vegetables should only be cooked to crisp-tender.

1 8-oz. package of Annie Chun's brown rice pad thai noodles
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced thinly
1/4 cup sugar snap peas
1/2 cup carrots, shredded
1/2 cup mung bean sprouts
1/4 cup purple cabbage, finely chopped (for garnish)
1 package firm or extra-firm tofu, cut into bite-sized chunks

Marinade for Baked Tofu:
1/4  C reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 t. agave nectar
1 t. toasted sesame seeds

1/2 cup lite coconut milk
1 T sriracha sauce
1 T. natural peanut butter
1 T. date syrup (or other sweetener to taste)
1 T. fresh lime juice
2 t. curry powder
1/2 t. thai red curry paste (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Bake sesame seeds for 3-5 minutes until golden brown; do not let burn! Increase oven heat to 400 degrees.
Combine marinade ingredients and marinate the tofu for 10 minutes, making sure to get the marinade on all sides of the tofu cubes. Bake marinated tofu cubes on non-stick foil or parchment paper for 25-30 minutes, just until golden brown.

While tofu is baking, place all ingredients for the sauce in a small saucepan, stir together well, and warm over low heat.

Fill a large bowl with hot water and place the noodles in the water, making sure they are submerged well. Let them soak for 10 minutes, then drain them well.

In a large skillet, quickly steamfry the bell peppers, carrots, and sugar snap peas with a small amount of water until crisp-tender. Add the noodles, tofu and sauce into the skillet and warm through for 3-5 minutes (or until the noodles are tender. Add small amounts of water if the pan gets dry and the noodles are not yet tender enough. Add in the mung bean sprouts. Garnish with chopped purple cabbage.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Green Smoothie Bowl

I don't do smoothies often anymore because I believe eating foods in their whole form is best. But, once in a while, I love a smoothie bowl. The key: LOTS of greens!

Here is what is in this fabulous bowl...
Lots of greens (spinach and kale), Fuji apple (with skin), banana (without skin, LOL), frozen mango, frozen pineapple--decorated with ground flaxseeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, buckinis, and a couple of token dried cranberries.

Read more about GREEN SMOOTHIES.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Roasted Curried-Maple Walnuts

Tonight, we decided to have our "Gorilla" salads, but I wanted to make them a bit more shi-shi. The dressing was already in my mind (Dreena's Mango Hemp Dressing), but I wanted some kind of crunch to add to our salad. Here's what I came up with!

1/2 cup walnuts
2 t. maple syrup
1/2 t. curry powder

In a skillet, heat pan to medium heat. Add the walnut and warm for one minutes. Drizzle the maple syrup over the walnuts and sprinkle on the curry powder. Stir continuously for about four minutes, until slightly browned (but not burned). Cool, chop, and serve on salads!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Lentil-Walnut-Rosemary (no flour) Crackers

I wanted to try and make some crackers in my dehydrator out of all whole foods and no flour. These came out light and crispy and SUPER tasty! You could use any seasonings you like. You might even be able to make these in the oven at the lowest heat setting, checking them often.

1 can of lentils, rinsed and drained
1/4 C walnuts
1/2 T Rosemary
1 t garlic powder
1/2 t salt
1/4 c nutritional yeast flakes
1/8 t cayene pepper
2 T non-dairy milk

Pulse all ingredients in the food processor until lentils and walnuts are chopped finely.
Scoop out mixture into 1 t. balls using a cookie scoop onto silicone mats for your dehydrator, and flatten the balls as thin as you can get them with your fingers.
Dehydrate on 135 degrees F until dried and like a cracker.          
Scoop batter onto the silicone mat, then flatten down