Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tabouleh Pita Pockets

This is not the best picture. I took it while eating lunch at work. Anyhow, this is a superb and easy meal. It is so tasty, refreshing, and healthy. It is perfect for lunch, a quick dinner, or a nice summer meal. Serve it with hummus and whole wheat pita. I got the tabouleh recipe from the Skinny B**** in the Kitch cookbook. You can change up the recipe any way you like. I changed the recipe a bit and added more cucumber, parsley, and mint and cut back on the olive oil. You can also make a great tabouleh without the bulgur wheat and add some red bell pepper and more cucumber. Either way tastes great!

Tabouleh Salad Pita Pockets
Serves 4-6

3/4 cup bulgur wheat
1 cup boiling water
1/4 cup olive oil (or less)
1 1/2 TBS lemon juice
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tomato, cut into a 1/2 inch dice
1 cucumber, peeled and cut into a 1/2 inch dice
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
1 bunch roughly chopped fresh curly parley or more if you like
1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh mint

  1. In a large bowl combine the bulgur wheat and boiling water. Cover and set aside for 30 minutes. 
  2. In a small bowl combine olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
  3. Add the tomato, cucumber, and onion to the bulgur wheat. Stir in the parsley and mint. Add the dressing and toss gently.
  4. Eat as a side dish or serve in a whole wheat pita with hummus. 

Oat Bran Breakfast

 This my absolute favorite type of oatmeal for breakfast. I was about to take in a huge spoonful when I remembered I had to take a picture. So pardon me if the picture is not so great. This oat bran is so good, I sometimes even feel like eating it for lunch and dinner. I always look forward to eating this in the morning. It is very easy to prepare and most importantly, it's good for you. I love how oat bran tastes with bananas and blueberries. You can also make it with just bananas or just apples and then add the toppings. There are so many different ways you can prepare this. I never get tired of having it.

Oat Bran Breakfast
Serves 2-4

1 cup of oat bran
1/4 cup old-fashioned oats (rolled oats)
4 cups of water
2 TBS agave nectar or pure maple syrup (or as much or as little as you wish)
dates (chopped)
2 bananas, sliced or 1 fuji apple, diced
blueberries (optional)
A few sprinkles of cinnamon (optional)

  1. In a heavy saucepan over medium heat combine the oat bran, rolled oats, and water. 
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil and then simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly for about five minutes or until the oat bran mixture is creamy.
  3. Add in the agave nectar or maple syrup. Sprinkle in cinnamon, if using. If you are using the blueberries you can also add them in at this point, or just top the oat bran with the blueberries. 
  4. Slice the bananas or dice the apple, depending on which you choose to use, and divide evenly between two bowls.
  5. Spoon oat bran on top of the bananas or apple. 
  6. Top the oat bran with chopped dates and walnuts.
  7. Enjoy pipping hot with a tall glass of freshly squeezed orange juice.

Cauli-Bean Tacos

I got this delicious and quick recipe from The tacos literally took 20 minutes to make. You will need a large food processor to process the beans and cauliflower. The recipe includes instructions on how to make your own tortillas. I purchased corn tortillas made from clean ingredients to save time. Check out the ingredients and recipe by clicking on the link below.

Cauli-bean Tacos
Serves 4

Monday, February 21, 2011

Veggie Enchiladas

     This recipe was taken from the book Skinny B**** in the Kitch, by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin (pg. 93). The enchiladas were very tasty and easy. We made our own enchilada sauce, refried beans, and rice to go with the meal. It seems like a lot to do, but if you make the rice, beans, and enchilada sauce the day before then following day you just need to assemble the enchiladas.
If you are short on time you can use canned beans, canned enchilada sauce, and just skip the rice. Below you'll find the recipe with just a few changes to it.

Veggie Enchiladas
Serves 7-8

2 TBS vegetable broth
1 red bell pepper, cut into a 1/2 inch dice
1 green bell pepper, cut into a 1/2 inch dice
1 red onion, cut into a 1/2 inch dice
2 zucchini cut into quarters
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups enchilada sauce, homemade or canned
1 cup corn, fresh or frozen
1 (2 1/4 oz.) can sliced black olives
1 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
20 corn tortillas
vegan cheddar cheese (Daiya or Follow Your Heart)
2 scallions, thinly sliced
2 avocados, sliced

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  3. Add bell peppers and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add onions and cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Add zucchini and cook for 5 minutes.
  6. Add garlic and continue cooking until vegetables are tender.
  7. Transfer vegetables to a bowl and stir in 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce, the corn, olives, salt, cumin, and coriander. 
  8. Warm the remaining enchilada sauce in a sauce pan.
  9. Spoon a little of the enchilada sauce into a 13x9-inch baking dish to avoid any sticking while baking. 
  10. Dip one tortilla at a time in the warm enchilada sauce to soften it and coat on both sides.
  11. Transfer the tortilla to the 13x9-inch baking dish.
  12. Spoon 1/4 cup of vegetable mixture on the tortilla and gently roll it up, keeping the seam side down. 
  13. Repeat with the remaining tortillas. (Use extra baking dishes so that enchiladas are not stacked on top of each other.)
  14. Pour the leftover enchilada sauce over the enchiladas, covering them evenly. 
  15. Sprinkle the vegan cheese over the sauce.
  16. Bake for 20 minutes.
  17. Serve with scallions sprinkled on top, sliced avocado and fresh salsa. 

Homemade Enchilada Sauce
Makes 3 cups

15-20 dried California chiles or other mild chile, stemmed, split, and seeds removed 
5 cups water
2 garlic cloves
1/8-1/4 cup olive oil
1 small can tomato paste
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp fine sea salt

  1. In a skillet/pan over medium heat, toast the chiles until they are darker and start to blister.
  2. Transfer to a bowl and cover with the 5 cups of water. Set aside for 30 minutes.
  3. Drain off 2 cups of water.
  4. Place chiles, remaining water and remaining ingredients in a blender. Puree until smooth.
  5. Transfer the mixture to a saucepan over high heat.
  6. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. 

Recipes adapted from Skinny B**** in the Kitch, by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin (pg. 93)

Banana Ginger Pancakes

     About once a month we treat ourselves to either a pancake or french toast breakfast. Here's a delicious pancake recipe we love to make from Dr. Neal Barnard's The Get Healthy, Go Vegan Cookbook (pg. 57). The recipe is made from scratch and is very quick and easy. When I first came across it, the combination of ginger and banana did not sound so appealing. I was wrong! These are our favorite pancakes.

Banana Ginger Pancakes
Serves 2-3

1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
2 TBS agave nectar
1 1/4 vanilla soy milk (preferably low fat or fat free)
3 TBS unsweetened apple sauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup mashed bananas (about 2 bananas)
Vegetable oil cooking spray or Earth Balance vegan butter
Pure grade B maple syrup

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. 
  2. In a bowl combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, ground ginger, salt.
  3. In a separate bowl combine the wet ingredients: agave nectar, soy milk, apple sauce, and vanilla.
  4. Mix the wet ingredients with the dry until just combined.
  5. Add the mashed bananas.
  6. Heat a skillet/pan over medium heat and coat with cooking spray or a little bit of Earth Balance.
  7. Pour 1/4 of batter onto hot skillet. 
  8. Flip the pancake when it starts to bubble on top and is lightly brown on the bottom. Pancake should take about 1-2 minutes to cook per side.
  9. Place pancakes in an oven safe dish and place in oven to keep them warm as you prepare the remaining pancakes.
  10. Serve pancakes topped with fresh strawberries, bananas, and sliced almonds.
  11. Drizzle warm maple syrup on top and enjoy!

Recipe taken from  Dr. Neal Barnard's The Get Healthy, Go Vegan Cookbook (pg. 57).

Whole Oat Groat Porridge

     Nothing is better for breakfast than whole, minimally processed grains. This morning we enjoyed a delicious oat groat porridge topped with strawberries, bananas, and pecans. Oat groats can be found in the bulk section of most natural food stores such as Whole Foods. Oat groats usually take 1 to 1 1/2 hours to cook, but with a little planning ahead the night before cooking time can be cut down significantly.

Whole Oat Groat Porridge
Serves 2

1 cup whole oat groats
3 cups water
2 TBS agave nectar
1/4-1/2 tsp cinnamon
fresh strawberries
2 bananas

  1. In a heavy saucepan heat 1 cup of oat groats and 3 cups of water. 
  2. Stir and bring to a boil for one minute. Make sure oats do not stick to the bottom of the saucepan and that they do not boil over.
  3. Turn off the heat and cover. Leave saucepan covered on the stove until the following morning. 
  4. In the morning turn on heat and simmer oats for about 10 minutes until they are creamy and remaining water is absorbed. Add more water if needed.
  5. When 10 minutes are almost up add the cinnamon and agave nectar. Stir to mix well. 
  6. Spoon oat groats into bowls.
  7. Top with fresh strawberries, bananas, and pecans.

This recipe also tastes great with fresh or frozen blueberries. They can be added on top as a garnish or added at the end of the cooking time and mixed into the porridge. Try topping the porridge with thinly sliced almonds or walnuts to change it up.