Livin' La Vida Vegan!

Creole Vegetable Jambalaya

Jambalaya

I’ve never made jambalaya before but was curious as to what okra tasted like when I found it at a farmers market — a vegetable I’d never tried.  I read that it is full of vitamin C and calcium and also a good source of magnesium, vitamin B6, and potassium so I added it to my bag for a try!

Jambalaya is an easy one pot dish but where to find the recipe?  To the master of Creole cooking, Emeril Lagasse of course!  Surprisingly there was no okra in his recipe so I made some substitutions — used okra instead of eggplant and zucchini in stead of yellow squash.  I also added a few dashes of liquid smoke and didn’t use rice so I eliminated the six cups of water.  It’s a wonderfully flavorful dish that I’ll make again!

Follow this link for the recipe and enjoy! http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/creole-vegetable-jambalaya-recipe.html

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Sautéed Garlic Beets

beets2

With my husband in NY on business, I haven’t been in the mood to cook full meals so I’ve been making a lot of sides and salads.  I found some beautiful beets at a farmers market and thought I’d make them again.

Start with four medium beets — trim and peel then slice them into squares.  Your fingers will end up red so wash your hands right away.

Heat about a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add three large minced garlic cloves and cook about a minute before adding the beets.  Stir until coated in the oil.  Add 1/4 cup white wine, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and then cover.  Cook until the beets are almost tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Remove from the heat and drizzle with a bit of red wine vinegar and more extra virgin live oil — season to taste with freshly ground salt and pepper and enjoy a delicious side full of cancer-fighting antioxidants and folate.

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Oatmeal to go!

oatmeal

My wonderful friend, chef, and cookbook author Stacey Morris (StaceyMorris.com), use to make me oatmeal to go by placing oatmeal, plain yogurt, fresh fruit, and a bit of agave in a small container over night.  In the morning it was ready to eat or take to work.  I don’t eat yogurt anymore but wondered if it would still work with almond milk and the answer is yes!

I mixed half a cup of oats with 1/4 cup of almond milk, a teaspoon of chia seeds, sprinkle of cinnamon, a few dried cranberries, and a drop of maple syrup.  When I awoke in the morning I was pleasantly surprised by how delicious it tasted — I ate it cold but could be warmed up in the microwave for a minute as well.  Breakfast to go does not need to be unhealthy donuts — it can be a nutritious bowl of oatmeal!

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Colcannon

colcannon

What to do when all you have in your fridge are potatoes and kale?  Make Colcannon of course!  I completely forgot about this old Irish recipe my grandmother used to make — a way to “hide” nutritious greens inside yummy mashed potatoes!  Colcannon means “white-headed cabbage” and is a traditional Irish dish mainly consisting of mashed potatoes with kale or cabbage.

Boil half a cup of finely chopped kale and three green onions in a cup of almond milk until kale is wilted.

Mash three large Irish potatoes (leave the skins on for more nutrition!) with a tablespoon of Smart Balance vegan butter and the boiling milk/kale/onion mixture.  Beat well until light and fluffy then add salt and pepper to taste.

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Butternut Squash, Pepitas, & Kale Tacos

tacos

The Taco Bus is a Tampa Bay institution and they serve several vegan dishes including a butternut squash taco.  I order it every time we go and was eager to find a way to create the dish at home.  This recipe was discovered by my friend Diane Luckey, one of the best cooks I know — her party buffets are legendary!  She happily shared the recipe with me and I made them today — even better than the Taco Bus version!  So many different flavors and textures for a wonderful combination.  I had never cooked with pepitas (pumpkin seeds) before and they were easy to toast and delicious with cayenne pepper.  The spicy crunch they add to the dish along with the tangy cashew cream are what is missing from the Taco Bus version.  A note about the cashew cream — the recipe calls for six tablespoons of lime juice and I thought that was a typo but once you add it to the rest of the flavors it’s just right if you use a small amount of the cream, if you want to load it on I’d recommend cutting the lime juice in half.

For the recipe follow this link – http://m.thelatinkitchen.com/recipe/butternut-squash-pepitas-kale-tacos

On another note, I highly recommend the movie, “100 Foot Journey” — so visually beautiful and a remarkable story about good food, love, loss, and following your dreams.  Be forewarned however, you will need to get Indian food right after the movie!

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Cauliflower Hashbrowns

hash

Love finding healthier choices!  Hashbrowns are delicious but potatoes are full of carbs so my husband came across this recipe for cauliflower hashbrowns and we were eager to give them a try — delicious!

For the recipe and an interesting story of how the author discovered it, please use this link: http://www.anediblemosaic.com/?p=14484

Easy to make, savory, and a nice addition to breakfast!

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Caramelized Onion & Shallot Pasta

pasta3

This recipe was inspired by the movie “Chef” — I recommend the movie except for the one moment where he’s cutting up a whole pig!  There was a scene in the movie where he made pasta for a friend, I wasn’t sure what he put in the pan first, it looked like large pieces of garlic but that scene made me want some pasta stat!  I started by heating about a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in a pan and added a chopped onion.  I then added a large chopped shallot and two large garlic cloves, shaved into large pieces.  I caramelized the mixture by keeping it over medium heat for about fifteen minutes, adding a bit more olive oil as needed.  I then added about a third a cup of white wine and some freshly chopped garden tomatoes along with ground salt and pepper.  I served it over Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Grain Pasta (complete protein, high in fiber, low glycemic) and the flavor was exquisite — so easy with minimal spices but just perfect.  My husband and I gobbled it up!

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Polenta & Chickpea Scramble

polenta eggs

For breakfast the easiest vegan option is cold or warm cereal but sometimes you just need that savory flavor in the morning.  My husband loved eggs and misses them almost daily — I’ve been searching for something that would stave off his craving and we’ve done it!  Polenta and chickpea scramble is a new morning staple.

I served them up with hash-browns with fresh tomatoes for a very hearty breakfast.

You’ll find the recipe at the link below — enjoy!

http://www.cleaneatingveggiegirl.com/2014/06/27/chickpea-polenta-breakfast-scramble-vegan/?utm_content=buffer052b2&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

 

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Creamy Turmeric Tea

tea

The perfect way to start your morning!  The original recipe comes from Dr. Sanjay Gupta but I made it even better with vanilla and replaced the honey for maple syrup to make it vegan — enjoy!

Microwave one cup of almond milk and then add in the following while vigorously whisking until blended: 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ginger, 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla, and 1 teaspoon of maple syrup.

Let’s look at the amazing benefits of Turmeric!  Follow this link for a list of fourteen drugs turmeric can replace!  http://themindunleashed.org/2014/06/science-confirms-turmeric-effective-14-drugs.html.

Here are ten reasons you want to include turmeric in your diet daily:

  1. Detoxifies your liver naturally.
  2. Helps manage weight, and aid in fat metabolism.
  3. A staple in Chinese medicine for helping lift mood in cases of depression.
  4. As a natural pain killer and with its anti-inflammatory properties, it is a natural treatment for arthritis.
  5. As a natural antiseptic it accelerates wound healing and repairing of damaged skin.
  6. Can help internally and topically with psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions.
  7. Helps in soothing an upset stomach.
  8. A natural preventative against flu viruses.
  9. Has shown promise in slowing the progression of multiple sclerosis in mice.
  10. It’s delicious — try some of this tea today!
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Baked Tomato

baked tomato

This is a quick and easy recipe a friend posted on Facebook — it’s tomato season up north (sadly it has passed in Florida).  Thought my NY friends would enjoy this recipe with all their fresh garden tomatoes that are ready for picking!

I served them for breakfast with arugula tofu scramble (see recipe posted on 7/21/13)– made for a flavorful breakfast.

For the recipe follow the link below — the only change I made was substituting Parmesan cheese for cheesy nutritional yeast instead.

http://myfridgefood.com/ViewRecipe.aspx?recipe=21344

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