Sunday, July 18, 2010

Kale Chips

I had never had kale before my first visit to True Food Kitchen earlier this year. They have a wonderful kale salad that made me want to try recipes at home using kale. I was able to find TFK's Kale salad recipe here. I have veganized their recipe by using rice "parmesan" cheese instead of dairy cheese and substituting vegan bread crumbs for regular bread crumbs.
Having jumped on the kale train, I had been searching for kale recipes online and kept seeing recipes for kale chips. Many reviews said they taste like thin potato chips. Some recipes call for cheese or other non-vegan ingredients. I kinda made up my own recipe, using only 3 toppings. Next time I make these, I am going to spritz the kale with olive oil instead of drizzling in a bowl and tossing. I think I'll be able to cut down the amount of oil used (which isn't much), to almost none.

Vegan kale Chips

2 bunches of kale
Olive oil (you'll be drizzling or spritzing-you don't need much)
Rice "parmesan" cheese or other non-dairy cheese (to taste)
kosher salt (to taste)

1.Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Wash the kale and pat dry
3. Cut the leaves off the stems
4. Tear leaves into big "chip" sized pieces
5. Put kale chips into big bowl and drizzle with olive oil

6. Toss to to coat the chips
7. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper (for easy clean-up) or spray cookie sheets with oil
8. In a single line, without overlapping, fill the cookie sheets with the chips

9. Sprinkle salt over the chips....a little goes a long don't want TOO much salt
10. Sprinkle the rice "parmesan" cheese over the chips

11. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Check on the chips and take out any that are crispy. If you have some that need more baking time, put them back in for 5 more minutes and you should be good.

The finished product: tasty kale chips!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Zevia 100% natural "diet" soda

I haven't had diet coke in 5 months! Yep, been vegan for 5 months as of today, too! Woo!

I discovered a rad soda at Sunflower a couple weeks ago. It is sweetened with Stevia and is 100% natural. It is super expensive, at $5.69 a 6 pack, but I can make a 6 pack last all week, so to me it's worth it!

I didn't care for the ginger root beer flavor, but the Cola has my heart.

Vegan quinoa black bean patties on lettuce buns with chili lemon baked french fries

I recently ate at The Mission in Scottsdale. It is not a vegan restaurant, but they were able to tell us which items were vegan. One of those items was their Mission Fries, which are sweet potato and potato fries + lemon + chile + cumin. They were tangy and super delicious! I always love it when the ingredients are listed on the menu because I am a diehard recipe copycat! So, I grabbed a bag of potatoes earlier this week to test my copycat recipe. My fries (which are baked, not fried) were a perfect compliment to my quinoa black bean patties, which I sandwiched between 2 leaves of romaine lettuce. I have also come to realize that my quinoa black bean mixture would make a wonderful vegan bean dip! I could even layer it with vegan sour cream, salsa and some teese cheese....I gotta try that for my next party! My sister who is not vegan always hates when I ask her to try the food I make, but when she does, she usually likes it. So, I ended up making her a patty and fries, as well.

Chili Lemon Baked French Fries (HibbardKitchen original recipe)
Makes 4 servings
3 large potatoes (slice how you like-we make long thin french fries, as they bake quicker)
2 tbsp of fresh lemon juice (adding zest would increase the lemon factor....gonna try this next time)
2 tbsp of olive oil
1/2 tsp chili powder (or to taste)
1/2 tsp cumin (or to taste)
salt to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Mix the lemon juice, olive oil, chili powder, cumin and salt in a small bowl
3. Remove skin from potatoes and slice into french fries
4. Place sliced potatoes in large bowl
5. Pour the oil mixture over the potatoes and toss to coat
6. Lightly spray your cookie sheets with oil (we used 2 cookie sheets)
7. Place coated potatoes onto the cookie sheets
8. Bake in oven for 15 minutes, then switch the upper cookie sheet to the bottom rack and the bottom cookie sheet to the top rack. Bake another 15 minutes or until lightly browned and crispy

I presented the fries to my sister like this...I knew she couldn't resist!

The next time I make these, I am going to experiment with ingredients that might help create a firmer patty. I am also going to experiment with making this recipe into a layered bean dip...
Quinoa Black Bean Patties
Makes 6 patties

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced .
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded & sliced .
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin .
  • 1 c quinoa . (you can use inca red variety or regular quinoa)
  • 1 (14 oz) can black beans, rinsed & drained .
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder .
  • 1/2 c red onions, grated & squeezed dry .
  • 1/4 c fresh cilantro, sliced .
  • 1/3 c dry breadcrumbs .
  • 3 tbsps extra virgin olive oil . (1 for the patty mixture and 2 for the cooking...we just spray the pan, so we only use 1 tbsp of oil to make this recipe)
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper .
  • 3/4 tsp salt

  • Step #1 Rinse quinoa under cool water for couple of mins in fine sieve to remove bitterness. (we never do this)
  • Step #2 Put in rice cooker with just over 1 & 1/3 c water & set to cook. (or follow quinoa stove top cooking instructions on your quinoa package)

  • Step #3 Transfer to food processor/blender fitted with metal blade.
  • Step #4 Add beans, garlic, salt, jalapeno, 1 tbsp of oil, onion, cilantro, chili powder, cumin & pepper.
  • Step #5 Puree until smooth. (if the mixture is really soft, you can put in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to an hour to make it easier to handle)
  • Step #6 Form into six 1/2-inch thick patties.
  • Step #7 Place bread crumbs in shallow bowl. (The bread crumbs help the patties hold together while cooking)

  • Step #8 Press patties into crumbs, turning to coat both sides.
  • Step #9 In non-stick skillet, heat remaining oil over medium-high heat. (I use my oil spritzer, so that I am not using the 2 tbsp oil the recipe calls for cooking in)
  • Step #10 Cook patties in batches, turning once, for 8 mins or until browned.
  • Serve with buns or lettuce leaves

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Veganomicon coconut lemon bundt cake

I had about 10 lemons that needed to be used in the next week, so I was looking for recipes that call for lemons...lots of them. I went to my textbook-o-vegan Veganomicon and found a recipe for coconut lemon bundt cake. I think I used 4-5 lemons in this recipe for the juice and zest. This cake was the perfect accompaniment to a viewing of the new episode of True Blood. Everyone had seconds, it was that good. Next time, I might do a nice lemon glaze over it, instead of powdered sugar. It was moist, flavorful and looks pretty in a cake dome!

Veganomicon Coconut Lemon Bundt Cake
1-1/2 C granulated sugar (I used raw sugar)
2/3 C canola oil
1 (14-oz) can coconut milk
1/4 C soy milk
1/4 C lemon juice
3 Tbs lemon zest
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 C flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1-1/2 C shredded unsweetened coconut
A few tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease an 8 or 10″ Bundt pan. In a large mixing bowl, combine the granulated sugar, oil, coconut milk, soy milk, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla. Stir to combine. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into the wet ingredients in batches, mixing well after each addition.

Stir to combine. Pour batter into the Bundt pan.

Bake 1 hour or until a knife inserted through the cake comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes, then place a cutting board over the cake pan, gently flip over and release the cake from the pan. Let cool completely.

Once cooled, sift a sprinkling of the confectioners’ sugar over the tip.

Slice, serve and enjoy!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

New kitchen stuff

I love Sur La Table. There is one right by Fashion Square on the South side of Cameback and Scottsdale Rd. I picked up a few kitchen things that I have recently seen on Food Network. I am currently obsessed with the food network.

Salt pinch pot from Sur La Table:
A zester from Sur La Table....this one is great because you can put it face down over the bowl or plate you want to zest over, or you can have the zest collect above the item you are zesting. I prefer #2.

I bought an oil spritzer from Sur La Table. All you do is pump the bottle 6-7 times, then it is ready to spritz.
 I can never find the right measuring spoon when I need it, even though I have like 2 of every measure. I found this on sale and it rocks! It is a foldable measuring spoon from Sur La Table.

I have been obsess with Giada's kitchen on the Food Network. Since her 3 tiered basket from her set is sold out everywhere (look to the left of her on the counter), I am now using my 3 tiered serving tray as a way to keep lemons, limes, garlic and avocados at hand..

Vegan sweet chile lime tofu with lime cardamon quinoa and collard greens

I saw this recipe pop up on yumsugar today and knew I wanted to make it. It is super healthy (no oils or fatty ingredients in it at all). I'd venture to say it is weight-watcher's friendly, too. The verdict is that this is a recipe we'll make over and over. It is super simple, quick and very flavorful.

I was surprised I had cardamon, as I have never used it before and this is my spice-drawer-o-rama:
 I wasn't sure where to buy collard greens, but I was able to find them at Fresh And Easy, which was awesome! I was also able to find pre-cooked quinoa, which cuts this recipe prep time by a lot.

Vegan sweet chile lime tofu with 
lime cardamon quinoa and collard greens
3/4 C quinoa, rubbed/rinsed, drained
Zest from one lime, divided in half and slice lime for garnish (use 1/2 the zest)
2 bruised cardamon pods (I used 2 pinches of dried cardamon)
1/4 tsp salt
1 tiny cinnamon stick (optional-I didn't use)
1-1/3 C water (If you use the pre-cooked quinoa, you don't need the water)
Sweet Chili Lime Sauce:
3 Tbs sugar
3 Tbs tamari
1-3/4 Tbs lime juice
1/2 zest of the lime
1/2 tsp red chili flakes (If you don't have red chili flakes, you can use1/2 tsp of Ancho chili pepper)
1 clove garlic, minced (I used 2)
1/4 tsp salt
4 mint leaves, sliced thinly
The Greens:
1 bunch collard greens, washed with middle veins removed (you can use kale as a substitute)
2-3 Tbs water
1 tsp lime juice
1 pinch salt
 The Rest:
14-oz extra-firm tofu, drained and pressed
Lime slices for a garnish (optional)
Mint leaves for a garnish (optional)


Combine the quinoa, 1/2 the lime zest, cardamon, cinnamon stick, salt, and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 20 minutes, then remove from heat and don’t remove the lid. Let steam for 10 minutes.  (I USED PRE-COOKED QUINOA FROM FRESH AND EASY AND MIXED IN THE LIME ZEST, CARDAMON AND SALT IN THE HEATED-UP BOWL OF QUINOA).
Sweet chili lime sauce: Whisk together the sugar, tamari, lime juice, lime zest, red chili flakes, garlic,  salt, and mint until the sugar and salt and dissolved. Set aside. (I DOUBLED THE SAUCE, TO HAVE EXTRA GLAZE ON THE TOFU).

I love my new zester!

Tofu: Slice the tofu into 7-8 rectangles:

Then cut each rectangle in half to make two squares, and then each square into four triangles:

Saute the tofu in a dry skillet for about 10 minutes on each side on medium-high heat. Add the chili lime sauce and stir to coat the tofu for about 2 minutes. Turn off the heat.  The sauce will bubble up, reduce, and form a glaze.

While this is happening, slice up the collard greens. In a wok (which I didn’t have, so I used a small skillet) add water, lime juice, and salt. Cover with a lid and steam until tender on medium high heat (should be ready in under 5 minutes).

To serve, layer plate with  a scoop of quinoa, collard greens, then tofu. Garnish with lime slices and mint (optional). Enjoy!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Vegan whole wheat noodle salad with peanut ginger dressing

I found a September 2009 issue of Vegetarian Times magazine in my bedroom, which is funny because I wasn't even vegetarian or vegan last year. I seriously need a subscription to this magazine! Matt saw this recipe and said he would make it for me (I usually do the cooking). This recipe takes 30 minutes or less to make, makes 4 servings and you will love every bite. The recipe called for soba noodles, but we couldn't find vegan soba noodles (the ones we found had eggs), so we used whole wheat noodles as a substitution.

Vegan noodle salad with ginger peanut dressing

6 oz low-sodium soba noodles (we used whole wheat noodles)
1/2 cup Maranatha organic no-stir peanut butter
1/4 cup brown rice vinegar
1 tbsp agave nectar or maple syrup (we used agave nectar)
1 tbsp minced fresh garlic (we used 3)
2 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 clove garlic peeled
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp fresh lime zest
1/2 cup chopped cilantro, divided
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and sliced (1 1/2 cup)
1 small red pepper, sliced (1 cup)
1 large carrot, grated (1/2 cup)
2 tsp chopped peanuts (optional)

1. Cook the noodles in boiling salted water, according to package instructions. Drain and rinse under cold running water.
2. Puree peanut butter, vinegar, agave nectar, ginger, soy sauce, garlic, lime juice, lime zest and 1/4 cup cilantro in blender or food processor until smooth and creamy, adding 2 to 3 tbsp of warm water to thin, if necessary.

3. Toss together noodles, cucumber, bell pepper, carrot and peanut butter mixture. Garnish with remaining cilantro and chopped peanuts, if using.