Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Basil Alfredo with Sun Dried Tomatoes and Mushrooms over Whole Wheat Pasta and Spinach

Yum! yum! yum! All the creaminess of the Original with 1/3 the Calories, way less fat and did I mention YUMMMY! I forgot to take a picture :-( so I'll have to make it again and take one! :-D In the mean time I borrowed this photo that I got from a google search at the Cooking Channel.

Cashew nuts (at least 1cup more if you like more sauce, best if soaked over night in water)
Almond milk (or any other vegan milk)
Nutmeg (ground, start with a dash or two)
Nutritional Yeast (start with 2 Tbs)
Lemon Juice (start with 1/2 a lemons worth)
Salt (start with 1/4 tsp)
Pepper (start with 1/4 - 1/2 tsp)
Basil (one bunch chopped)
Sun dried Tomatoes (start with 5 chopped, more or less if you like)
Olive Oil
Mushrooms (sliced or chopped,  mix any kind you like)
Garlic (powder or fresh chopped)
Onion (powder or fresh chopped)
White Wine
Whole Wheat Pasta (I love the spiral kind, they soak up the sauce)
Bacon Bits (vegan or vegetarian kind of coarse!)

1. Blend first 7 ingredients with enough almond milk to keep blender blending. Blend until smooth. Add more milk to reach the consistency you prefer. Taste and re-season. Add Basil and blend a couple seconds. Add sun dried tomatoes and pulse the blender a couple times. Taste and re-season if needed. You don't need to heat this if you are going to use on hot pasta. Or you can put in a sauce pan on very low heat. 

CATION: too much heat or heating too long, will over thicken your sauce. Be sure to stir often and add additional milk as need.

2. In a pan on medium heat add your olive oil, mushrooms, garlic, onion, salt and pepper. Saute until veggies are tender and golden. Add wine a splash or two of wine and continue stirring until liked is almost gone. Remove from heat.

3. Cook pasta according to package. Drain and drizzle with olive oil to keep pasta from sticking. Pour sauce over hot cooked pasta. Top with mushrooms. Sprinkle with Bacon Bits. If you have a little extra Basil it would be amazing on top. Try not to eat it all before you even get to the table.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Thai Inspired Wraps with Peanut Sauce

So this recipe is being served as the start of a Meatless Mondays lunch service I'm trying out at work. I was going to make it with out Seitan (a wheat based meat substitute) but as many of my coworkers are new to this I thought I'd go ahead and use it as a way to ease everyone into this idea of getting all your nutrients from plant based foods. So it's totally optional here and I think it would be an awesome wrap with out it.

I'm not going to pretend like it's the easiest recipe ever, it has a lot of prep time, but the flavors are amazing! So I'll try to keep it as easy as possible.

So here goes:

Oil (any kind you've got is fine)
Shitake Mushrooms (sliced)
Seitan - Chicken Style (cut into match sticks)
Onion - small (diced)
Ginger (grated)
Garlic (chopped or pressed)
Lemon grass (dry is easiest to use)
White wine
Braggs Aminos (or Soy Sauce)
Hiziki Sea Vegetable (soaked in warm water or broth)
Cabbage (sliced thin)
Rice Vinegar
Sesame Oil
Lettuce leaves (washed and dry)
Basil leaves (ruff chopped)
Mint leaves (ruff chopped)
Brown Rice Noddles (cooked according to package)
Carrot (grated)
Cucumber (cut into match sticks)
Green Onion (cut in half then sliced length wise into thin strips)
Sprouts (any kind, I used sunflower)
Tortilla (I used flourless Sprouted Grain Tortillas)
Thai Peanut Sauce (See Recipe)

1. Heat oil in pan on Medium-Med Low heat add the next 5 ingredients to the pan and saute until mushrooms are tender. Add the wine and deglaze the pan. Season with Braggs Aminos. With a slotted spoon remove the Mushroom Seitan mixture, leaving all the liquid in the pan. Add Hiziki and soaking liquid to the pan (eyeball the amount based on how much liquid you have, Hiziki should be toally covered by liquid) Cover and let simmer about 10mins. Remove lid, with slotted spoon remove Hiziki and let cool. Raise the heat to Medium High and reduce liquid down until it is thick. (there will only be a couple tablespoons or so left) Save this and use it in place of "Oyster Sauce" in the Thai Peanut Sauce Recipe.

2. Put cabbage in a bowl and squeeze with hands until cabbage is softened. Add some Rice Vinegar, Braggs, Sesame Oil and stir in the Hiziki. Make the Peanut Sauce.

3. On a flat tortilla, lay down 2 lettuce leaves near on side of the tortilla. On top of the leaves add some basil, mint, noddles, carrots, cucumber, green onion, and some of the mushroom mixture. Top with the peanut sauce. Now roll. Start by folding the bottom towards the top about 2 inches, then starting from the edge closest to the toppings, roll the tortilla over the toppings and continue rolling until completely wrapped.

Now grab with 2 hands and devour!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Oh, so "you mean you're giving up protein?!?"

That must be one of the most common questions/statements ever. Along with, 'how will you get protein?!?' or something similar. The truth is,

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Shelless Tacos

This dish is supper easy. Has amazing texture and flavor and is very filling. It can be served in a dish as in the picture or loaded on to lettuce leaves, dipped with any kind of chip, of placed in a wrap. Get creative!

I made this dish today and shared it with a couple friends at work today. I served it on fresh lettuce leaves from the farmers market. I received lots of yummy compliments . :)

You'll need:
Olive oil
Onion (chopped)
Garlic (chopped)
Bell pepper (any kind of peppers you like)
Soy chorizo (Trader Joes has a good one)
Beans (cooked any kind you like)
Corn (fresh off the cob if it's in season)
Lettuce leaves (large, clean and dry)
Cilantro (chopped)
Tomatoes (diced if they are large)
Avocado (sliced)
Lime wedges
Soy cheese - optional

What to do:

1. Put first six ingredients in a pan. You decide how much of each. There's no right or wrong here. Be sure to save some onions for step 3. Heat that up to the temp you like and the veggies are cooked the way you like. I like to put the corn in last so it stays crunchy This is your taco filling.

2. Load a lettuce leaf with the filling. Using the rib of the leaf as the bottom of the shell, hold the sides in place. You may need to double layer your leaves.

3. The rest of the ingredients are your toppings. Layer them over the top. Be generous with them. More is better!

Please give me your comments below.