Friday, July 22, 2016

Roasted Spaghetti Squash Confetti Fritters with Roasted Red Pepper-Garlic Dipping Dipping Sauce

1 spaghetti squash, roasted*
1/2 bag of oil-free frozen shredded hash brown potatoes
1 cup frozen corn
1/2 red bell pepper, diced small
1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced small
1 green onion (white part only), sliced thinly (optional)
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 cups baby spinach, chopped finely
2 cups kale, chopped finely
1 t. onion powder
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. black pepper
a few shakes of cayenne pepper, to taste
1 T. ground flaxseeds with 3 T. warm water
1 T cornstarch or arrowroot powder

*To Roast the Spaghetti Squash:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Wash and dry the squash. Poke holes all over the squash with a fork or small, sharp knife. Place on a baking pan. Bake in the oven for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Cut the squash open and let it cool. Gently scoop out the seeds (which can be roasted later for a snack!) and use a fork to remove the squash strands by scraping in the same direction. Place them in a large bowl.

Directions to Make the Fritters:
Roast the spaghetti squash and add to a large bowl.
In a very small bowl, combine the ground flaxseeds and warm water. Set aside.
Place the frozen hash browns and frozen corn in another bowl and microwave on high for 4 minutes.
In a skillet, cook the chopped spinach, kale, garlic, and bell peppers until just tender. Let cool for a few minutes.
Add the veggies mixture to the spaghetti squash bowl. Add the spices, cornstarch, and flaxseed mixture. Stir together well. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes uncovered.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Line baking pans with parchment paper. Make patties with the mixture and place close together (but not touching) on the pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Flip the patties (if they are dry enough to flip) and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until drier and crispy outside. Serve with Roasted Red Pepper-Garlic Dipping dipping sauce (see recipe below).

Roasted Red Pepper-Garlic Dipping Dipping Sauce:
1 red bell pepper, roasted on non-stick foil or parchment paper for 20-25 minutes, until edges start blackening
1 clove of roasted garlic (roast with pepper)
3 shakes of liquid smoke
¼ t. smoke paprika
¼ t. salt
1 T fresh lemon juice
Blend until very smooth and chill before serving with fritters.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

I'm Confused!

What percentage of fat should I eat? Protein? Carbs? Is it OK to oil my pan before cooking? Do I have to give up salt completely?

With the plant-based lifestyle becoming more prevalent in the mainstream, you're probably reading lots of articles, books, watching videos, or talking to friends about what foods you should or should not be eating. It gets EXTREMELY confusing when you hear one thing is OK, and then you hear from somewhere else that it's not OK.

How do you manage this dilemma?

I, too, have become frustrated lately with the mixed information being shared online. But, there is one remedy for this...you do what works best for you!

Sure, there are some basics that we all know are going to improve our health -- like eating fruits and vegetables, whole grains are generally better for you than white, limit sugar and salt, and beware of processed food. But, there are differing views about what to eat beyond that, and you have to decide for yourself how you're going to navigate those other "seas." Your health is unique. Do what works for you!

If you don't have an addictive personality and can handle chocolate occasionally, it's probably OK for you. If when you bake a banana bread and it just stares you down from the counter until you polish it off, don't tempt yourself by baking! Get to know yourself better! What makes YOU gain weight? What tempts YOU to overeat? What causes YOUR blood sugar to get out of control? What raises YOUR blood pressure. Get real with YOU! 

Yes, we should consider the science and research (UNbiased, of course!). And, we should probably test it out and see if what the research says works for us...and it may! But sometimes, we are the exception and not the rule.

In addition, log your experiences. If every time you eat a certain meal at a restaurant, your blood sugar soars into the 200s or 300s, that meal is probably not a good choice for YOU. If you gain unwanted weight eating unlimited rice and potatoes, you may have to adjust. If having a glass of wine gives you a headache, you may have to cut that out. Mark down what works for you and what doesn't. Design your own specifications within this lifestyle that improve your health and wellness. Don't fret if you're not doing this exactly the way another person is. As long as you're doing what optimizes YOUR health, that's all that matters!





Friday, July 8, 2016

Some of Mrs. Plant's Favorite Products!

I like to keep you updated on products I have tried and love. So, here is my latest list!
NOTE: Some of the prices you see may be incorrect. Click on the item to see the current price.



Disclosure: Mrs. Plant makes use of Amazon.com affiliate links when they are available. These are products I have personally purchased and recommend based on my experience with them. Your use of these links for product purchases provides me with a commission which pays for the food and supplies I use to keep this website alive. However, your use of these links as a reader is not required.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

QUICK Cucumber Kimchi Salad inspired by MommyTang​!

NOTE...you need kitchen gloves for this recipe!

8-10 Kirby cucumbers
Kosher salt
2-3 garlic cloves, crushed
low-sodium soy sauce
gochugaru (Korean chili flakes) - do NOT use other types of chili flakes for this
coconut sugar
black pepper
toasted sesame seeds

Stripe-peel your cucumbers and slice them into rounds about 1/2-inch thick. Place them in a stain-resistant bowl and sprinkle some kosher salt on them. Don't worry, you will rinse them after they brine the cucumbers. Using kitchen gloves, massage the salt into the cucumber slices. Set aside for 10-15 minutes.
After brining, rinse the cucumbers with cold water one time to remove excess salt. Drain well.
Add crushed garlic, a small amount of soy sauce, gochugaru to taste, coconut sugar to taste, a few grinds of black pepper, and some toasted sesame seeds, Mix well with GLOVED hand. Chill before serving!

Inspired by Mommy Tang

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Daily Dozen Mexican Salad

THIS RECIPE FEATURED IN VEGWORLD MAGAZINE'S JULY-AUGUST 2016 ISSUE

Dr. Michael Greger, of www.nutritionfacts.org, has a fantastic iPhone/Android app (that you can download for FREE) called “The Daily Dozen”. This app gives you a checklist of healthy, whole plant-based foods to incorporate into your day…EVERY day! It also assists you in determining proper serving sizes and offers different options for each category. So now, I challenge myself to make recipes that incorporate as many of the Daily Dozen foods as I can into my day. This recipe will help you get many of the necessary nutrients you need in one, well-rounded meal!

1 can black beans (or 1 ½ cups cooked), rinsed and drained well
1 cup organic frozen corn, defrosted
½ red bell pepper, diced
½ yellow or orange bell pepper, diced
¼ red onion, chopped finely
1 mango, peeled and diced
1 t. cumin
1 t. chili powder
¼ t. salt
2 T. lime juice
3 cups of baby spinach
½ avocado, cubed (optional)
1 handful of cilantro, chopped finely (optional)

To make the salad, gently mix the beans, corn, peppers, red onion, mango together with the spices and lime juice. Decorate your plate with lots of baby spinach and add the Mexican salad mixture on top of it. Sprinkle on chopped cilantro and add avocado, if desired. Drizzle on the dressing (below). Toss to mix well. Serve!


Drizzle Dressing:
2 T. tahini
1-2 t. maple syrup
2 T. lime juice
1/8-1/4 cup water (depending on desired thickness)
¼ t. cumin
¼ t. chili powder
¼ t. salt

To make the drizzle dressing, simply stir the ingredients together in a small bowl. Taste and adjust seasonings. Drizzle onto salad and toss through.

CHOCOLATE Chocolate Chip Banana Bread (Oil-Free!)

WOW! I didn't know how popular this recipe would be until I posted it on Facebook and Vegan Amino! I guess an oil-free yet tasty banana bread (with chocolate!) is enticing to most people. It makes you feel LESS guilty. :-) I do admit that this moist and dense bread is the perfect occasional dessert. It's not too sweet, but just the right sweetness. It's also just the right amount of chocolate to curb a chocolate craving. Paired with berries, it's absolutely marvelous!

3 medium-sized RIPE bananas
2 T. unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup non-dairy milk
1 t. vanilla extract
1 ½ cups spelt or whole wheat pastry flour
¾ t. baking soda
¾ t. salt
3 T. cocoa powder
¾ cup coconut sugar
1/4-1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a blender, combine the bananas, applesauce, non-dairy milk, and vanilla. Blend until smooth.
In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, cocoa powder, and coconut sugar together well.
Add in the banana mixture and stir to combine. Do not overmix.
Pour into a standard-size, non-stick loaf pan. 
Bake for 45 minutes and insert a toothpick in the center to make sure the bread is done. If the toothpick comes out clean, remove from the oven and let cool a bit before serving. If the bread is not done, continue baking and checking every 5 minutes or so.

People said there is a smiley face in my banana bread! ;-) See it???




Sunday, June 19, 2016

OIL-FREE Hash Brown Bird's Nests

Wanted to make a beautiful meal for Father's Day brunch today. Sticking with our oil-free lifestyle, we made these gorgeous Starch Solution-friendly OIL-FREE Hash Brown Bird's Nests. SO tasty and just the right crispiness!

4 russet potatoes, peeled and shredded
1 shallot, chopped into thin rings
1 cup frozen corn, defrosted and drained well
1 dash cayenne pepper (or more if you like it!)
1 1/2 T corn starch
1 t. garlic powder
1 T. dried parsley
1/2 t. salt (optional)
1/2 t. black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Press mixture into NON-STICK muffin cups (silicone or my favorite muffin pan). Bake for 30 minutes. Increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees and bake until golden grown on top (about 10-12 minutes). The moisture varies in every batch, so if you don't think they're ready at this point, lower your oven to 300 degrees and continue baking to dry them more. Serve when they're how you like them!

NOTE: if you have extra mixture,  you can cook it in a nonstick skillet, spreading it out on the pan in a thin layer. Cook over low heat for 15 minutes and don't flip until the potato "pancake" can slip around on the pan easily. Cook on other side until crispy. 

Inspired by Minimalist Baker 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Thai Kale and Carrot Salad with Curry Maple Cashews

Serves 6 for a meal and 8 for a side salad

1 bunch of Lacinato (dinosaur) kale, washed, spun dry, and chopped into bite-sized pieces
2 t. fresh lime juice
6-8 carrots, peeled and finely shredded
1/2 small purple cabbage, finely shredded
Toasted sesame seeds (optional)

An hour before serving, add 2 t. of lime juice to the kale and massage it in with clean hands.
Right before serving, toss together the kale, cabbage, and carrots in a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss well. Top with maple curry cashews and toasted sesame seeds. Serve!

Thai Peanut-Lime Dressing:

1/2 cup DRY-roasted unsalted peanuts (no oil added!)
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
2 T low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup coconut sugar (or more to taste)
4 cloves of garlic
1/4 t. red chili flakes

Blend in a high-speed blender or Nutribullet until smooth and creamy. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to use.


Maple Curry Cashews:
1 cup raw whole cashews
1 T. maple syrup
1 t. curry powder

Preheat oven or toaster oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the maple syrup and curry powder. Add the cashews and coat them well. Place coated cashews on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake for 6-10 minutes, until golden brown but now burned. Watch them carefully! Cool before chopping and serving.

Adapted from Minimalist Baker




Sunday, June 12, 2016

Oil-Free Amy's Kichen-Style Black Bean Chili

My husband loves Amy's Kitchen Organic Black Bean Chili in the can, but it contains oil. He asked me to try to recreate this chili to see if we could reproduce a very similar version with no oil. We tried to use all organic ingredients because we feel that organic food always has a richer flavor; however, you can make this with or without organic ingredients. In addition, we wanted to make this recipe in the pressure cooker for simplicity and time savings. It came out awesome!

2 cups dried black beans, soaked in water for 8 hours or more, rinsed and drained
1 medium onion, diced finely
3  garlic cloves, minced
1/2 red or green bell pepper, diced small
1 can salt-free diced tomatoes
2 T. tomato paste
1 4-oz. can of chopped green chiles
1 T. chili powder
1 t. cumin powder
1/4-1/2  t. cayenne pepper
salt to taste
1/4 t. black pepper
2 t. coconut sugar or other sweetener (optional)
3 cups water

PRESSURE COOKER DIRECTIONS:

Steamfry the onions in the pressure cooker on the saute/brown feature. Add water if they begin to stick. Add the garlic, bell peppers, tomatoes, tomato sauce, green chiles, and spices/sugar, and stir together well. Add the black beans and water, and stir one more time. Set the pressure on high for 35 minutes with NATURAL RELEASE.

Remove 2 cups of the chili and blend in your blender until smooth. Stir the mixture back into the pot of chili to thicken it. Serve with avocado slices and fresh or dehydrated cilantro.


Monday, June 6, 2016

Deconstructed Egg-Less Roll Bowl

1 head of green cabbage, shredded
2 carrots, shredded
1 zucchini, shredded
8 oz. of mushrooms, shredded
 1/4 cup oil-free vegan stir-fry sauce
1 block of tofu, marinated and baked
Cook and warmed brown rice
Mango, chopped
Sriracha sauce
Sweet chili sauce (any kind you like)

Marinate and bake tofu. While the tofu is baking...cook the cabbage, carrots, zucchini, and mushrooms in a large skillet until just wilted and some of the liquid has evaporated. Add the stir-fry sauce. Turn the heat to low. Create a bowl with the veggies, brown rice, tofu, mangoes, and sauces. Serve!