Monday, March 31, 2014

HE MADE IT: Roasted Lemon Broccoli

Come on spring, You can do it.

I came home to amazing Roasted Broccoli and divine pan fired marinated fish, with a lovely Greek Salad to boot! We took a walk in the yard, looked at the lake (our yard...) and generally felt life seeping back into our blood. 

Again I say....Come on spring, You can do it.

This recipe is cozy enough for those still chilly nights, but bright and fresh enough to welcome the green.

HE MADE IT: Roasted Lemon Broccoli

to a cookie sheet or baking pan add:

2 crowns of Broccoli, including stems
Olive Oil ( enough to lubricate pan + drizzle around broccoli crowns)
Garlic (sliced or chopped finely according to your taste)
Salt to taste

after the first 45 minutes add...

1/2 of a Lemon, juiced
Parmesan to coat, But not overwhelm.

Roast for 45 at 325 (convection setting) 
and THEN add the parmesan and lemon juice for another 15 minutes. 
Keep an eye on it so it gets JUST crispy but not burnt!

BLAMO Deliciouso!

FAMILY TALLY: only 2 of us home and we gave it a A+++.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

ODDBALL: Savory Vegetarian Protein Scone

Several things happened this morning. Still being sick for the better part of the month, I was longing for something tasty and BAD on yet another rainy morning.

Also, there was food going to waste in my fridge, which you know makes me very blue.

After trying and hating the Vegan turkey and cheese products (the word 'products' makes it seem really unhealthy and processed, no?) I just COULD NOT let them go to waste in my fridge. However, There was no way anyone was going to eat them if they weren't heavily disguised.

Then another thing happened. I went hunting for scone recipes. It seemed like something i could easily make from what i had on hand.

Then BAM! It came to me...I decided to come up with a savory scone which was high in protein. 

Here are the weird, but surprisingly tasty results. I'm not saying they are PERFECT, but they don't suck either. 

ODDBALL: Savory Vegetarian Protein Scone 

  • 3/4 cup almond flour 
  • 1/2 cup Quinoa Flakes (or oat flour )
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup  protein powder
  • 3 eggs (2 whites, 1 whole)
  • 1/4 vegetarian protein chopped (i used tofurkey slices)
  • 1/2 vegetarian cheddar cheese shreds
  • 1/8 tsp cumin
  • 1/8 tsp mexican seasoning
  • 1 pinch onion & garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp olive or coconut oil to saute
Preheat oven to 350*F.
In a small saute pan combine protein and spices. Saute till they get brown and crispy. Let cool.
 In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients + protein.
 Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients GENTLY. Be careful not to overmix. Stir in cheese till evenly mixed.
Transfer the dough to a greased cookie sheet  or parchment and gently form into flat mound. Cut mound into triangle scone shapes. 
Leave a space between scones (~1 cm). 
Bake at 350*F for 12-15 min.
*Makes 5 small scones or 3 medium scones. 

-I'd like to get them to rise more, But i think i overmixed for starters. 

-I think they could have more of the turkey as well. I used the vegan turkey and the vegan veggie shreds...but obviously REAL cheese would be even better!!!

I will keep trying on this one, but thought it worth posting as is for the moment.

Friday, March 28, 2014

HEAL ME: Low Fat Garlic-y Tahini Dressing + Health Salad

AND...... I have a cold.  

Totally healthy all bloody winter than BLAMO! this month. First the 3 week low level, but you definitely are not ok Flu and now....The endless winter you can't be well for more than 2 weeks Cold. 

I don't feel like cooking and instead of eating my weight in tortilla chips....
Garlicky garlic garlic. 

I remembered I made this CRAZY garlic-y tahini dressing the other morning in a haze. Perfect.

Throw in all sorts of crap from the fridge and BAM. Nice right? Pour a ton of this healing,seriously low fat dressing all over it and that's a LUNCH!

red peppers
chick peas
black Beans
S&P to taste
       Tahini Dressing !!!!  

BEWARE: If you don't LOVE garlic, cut it down to 1 clove. HOWEVER you won't get all that alone time and health that comes with the MORE garlic-y version.

HEAL ME: Low Fat Garlic-y Tahini Dressing

1/4 cup chickpeas
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 tablespoon Tahini
2 teaspoons fresh ginger
S&P to taste

you could also add:
  1/4 tablespoon Tamari or Soy
  1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
           ...if you like that kind of thing.

Blend until smooth and refrigerate.

A note about Tahini: pour off 3/4 of the oil slick from the top of the jar. It works exactly the same and cuts down on the fat by ALOT.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

DISAPPEARING ACT: Gluten Free/Vegan Banana Chocolate Marble Bread

So yesterday, I was in the BANANAS GOING WILDLY SOUTH zone, but wanted to make something 'treaty', as we say in this house.

This went fast. Wildly fast. 

THE PICKY ONE came home from school and said....where did this whole loaf go!?!? I lied and said THE MEAT EATER took some to work. THE VEGETARIAN ate it happily, with nary a teen aged "eh" to be heard.
THE PICKY ONE also requested it for breakfast this morning. I obliged because we have a strict-Yes, you may have dessert for breakfast- rule in this house.  I do draw the line at candy, so don't worry. And honestly, this 'treaty' chocolate-y bread is better for her than a stack of processed pancakes with a lake of fake syrup.

By far the best Vegan baked item we've had. and it doesn't really have the nasty weird Gluten Free mouth feel to it either.

I added quinoa flakes (because I am obsessed with them), and made a few other substitutions.. and It rose just fine. Not big and tall like in a bakery, but just fine.

Like I said, It goes fast. You might think about making two....

DISAPPEARING ACT: Banana Chocolate Marble Bread
3 mashed ripe bananas (no more than 1 cup)
3/4 cups brown sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tbsp coconut oil (melted)
1/3 cup any non dairy milk
1 cup Gluten Free all purpose flour
1/2 cup Quinoa Flakes (you could just add more flour if you don't have )
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup chocolate chips (fit to your dietary needs)
3/4 tsp salt
3 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
6 tbsp boiling water, divided
Prep boiling water, no need to measure yet. Preheat oven to 350 F.
Mash the banana in a large mixing bowl until pretty smooth. Spoon the mashed bananas into a measuring cup to make sure, then return to the mixing bowl. Beat in the sugar, oil, milk and vanilla.
Add the flour, baking soda and salt and gently mix just to incorporate. DO NOT over mix, it will all come together and the more you mix the denser it gets..
Scoop one cup of the batter and transfer it to a separate mixing bowl. Now, in a small cup mix the cocoa powder with 3 tablespoons boiling water and stir vigorously with a fork until it's dissolved. Add this to the one cup of banana and mix until the chocolate is thoroughly smooth and incorporated.
Now back to the original plain banana batter; add 3 tablespoons of boiling water and mix the batter until just a bit smoother.
Lightly grease an 8×4 loaf pan. Scoop alternate 1/2 cupfuls of chocolate/banana batter into the loaf pan, Randomly. Then, take a dull knife and swirl it through the batter a few times. Don't over do it or it won't come out marbled!
Bake for 55 minutes, test as you would any ole cake or bread....
Not the best 'Marble' picture,
But it did REALLY work!
(Humbly Adapted from a Isa Chandra Moskowitz recipe.)

TOO EASY: Oven Zucchini

Long before I started eating more vegetarian/vegan food, long before my kids could cook this themselves (not that they would), 
and long before i thought about blogging badly...

I made this every week. I still do. It's one of my die-hards. My i-can-make-this-in-my-sleep recipes.

I come from a long line of squash lovers, So it's no surprise i could eat all of this in one sitting. What IS a surprise is that my fairly veg loving offspring can't get on board with zucchini yet. Oh well.

This is the easiest thing ever, and really.....still the most delicious. Something about the sweetness of the zucchini with the caramelized outside bits. You can always throw these in soups and pastas, But I doubt there will be any left. 

And really, While i like a nice crunchy veg too..when you let these go just a little longer than that....magic happens.


2 tablespoons Olive Oil
Dried Italian seasoning
1 Tsp Balsamic Vinegar (if you like it)
several sprinkles Garlic powder
several sprinkles Onion powder
3 medium Zucchini, cut lengthwise into logs
1 sprinkle red pepper flakes
grated Parmesan

Add the first 6 ingredients to a foil lined baking sheet and mix together well , lay down the zucchini logs and gently coat by hand. Place them green end DOWN on the tray and sprinkle with the amount of red pepper flakes you can handle (Please be careful!)

Bake at 375 for 20 minutes on the second oven shelf, then check to make sure they are beginning to get soft.

after checking, quickly broil until golden ( careful and don't leave them. HOWEVER, I've eaten the burned version of these a million times...and believe me, it aint terrible ) 

(For decadence, Grate Parmesan over the top before broiling)

Best ever Oven Zucchini

LEFTOVER MADNESS: Quinoa Cakes with Broccoli

Why i decided to try these after a very long workday...I don't know. I wanted something super satisfying and healthy at the same time. I also started to really fret over the amazing amount of left over containers in my fridge.

 I think these hit the high notes, and then some. I ate them all ...which I wouldn't advise if you are watching your waistline.

Ok, Not the best picture, But in my defense I was exhausted and they actually looked pretty in person.

I'm learning...It's better to photograph food in the daytime. Apologies from the remedial blogger.

 Leftover Quinoa Cakes

1/2 medium chopped Onion, sautéed till soft 
1/2 cup chopped vegan protein (i used some marinated Tempeh i had)
1 1/2 cups cooked Quinoa (see any label for directions)
1/2 cup chopped steamed Veg (I used Broccoli, but cauli would be great!)
1/2 tsp dried basil
                                                             1/8 cup GF bread crumb
                                                             3/4 cup Veganaise (or mayo) 
                                                             1/8 tsp curry powder
                                                             2 egg whites
                                                             garlic salt & pepper to taste

Throw it all in a bowl, mix well and gently fashion into medium sized cakes which look like crab cakes....So not balls! Think small hamburgers. and Don't be crazy....these are still delicate

Place on a lightly greased baking sheet, and Bake at 375 for 25 minutes. GENTLY Turn them over and broil until just crispy on the outside.

Not so bad!

FAMILY TALLY: i was amazingly ALONE!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

OPEN SESAME: High Protein Quinoa Date Granola Bar

Why am I calling it the Open Sesame Bar?  It's clearly a version of G. Paltrow's Bummer Bar (which PS...that name makes me NOT want to eat it) But it tastes SO like those goofy little sRemember those sesame bars from back in the day?

These Quinoa bars take me right back to being 8 years old, sitting in the back of some crappy car listening to
Fleetwood Mac sing GO YOUR OWN WAY....not a bad thing :)

Anyway, I didn't expect these to taste at all like those...and it's more of an essence, than an all over flavor. Weird, there isn't a bit of sesame in them. 
I also made this recipe my own. I wanted to try adding Hemp and I prefer dates over raisins. In retrospect I think apricots would work better for a slight tang to balance the spices.

OPEN SESAME: High Protein Quinoa Date Granola Bar

1 ½ cups quinoa flakes (you could use GF oats)
1/8 cup ground flaxseeds
1/8 Hulled hemp seeds
A pinch of fine sea salt
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup good-quality maple syrup
2 tablespoons light agave syrup
½ cup chopped dates
½ cup chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line a brownie pan (I used a 9 x 11-inch dish that’s 2 inches high, which actually seemed a bit big) with parchment paper 

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and pour the mixture into the brownie pan. Pack the mixture down with a rubber spatula, slightly damp. 

Bake for ½ hour, or until the bars have firmed up and are golden brown. Let cool before removing from the pan. If you used a brownie pan, use the parchment to lift the bar out of the pan, and cut. Serve right away or store in an airtight container.

FAMILY TALLY: 2 yeahs, 1 no thank you, 1 not so much. HOWEVER! My entire office loved them and asked for more.
These are AMAZING. who knew?
Inspired by Bummer Bars
It’s All Good by Gwyneth Paltrow and Julia Turshen

Monday, March 24, 2014

CONFUSED: Kale Granola "Greenola" by New York Naturals

We like to trade foods here at the office. Most if us are in some sort of food restriction health kick. That's doesn't stop us from eating M&Ms...

Today F. Was "sweet" enough to bring me  some gluten free vegan granola.
 (I found this out later...
When he was going for said candy and I tried to keep him on the straight and narrow by offering him some of the snack he gave ME, he confessed he had tried it for breakfast with no success)

Raisin coconut "Greenola".

Yep it hits all the right buttons-vegan, green, gluten free etc

But it's just really odd. 
Massive chunks of dehydrated Kale with your average granola super stars thrown in. Its pretty much exactly like all the popular Kale chips, But in granola flavor. Nothing subtle here folks.

It's actually quite pretty and the ingredients are obviously high end.

At first I wanted to spit it out. Then....I wanted more. 
I resolved to not eat it ever again. Then I ate more, and was sorry. 

It's very confusing.

guess if you love kale, no matter what, this is for you. I personally cannot imagine inviting yoghurt to this particular party.

I think it's like putting broccoli in a cookie. We have to draw the line somewhere!!  But that's just me.

Family Tally: who are we kidding? I didn't bring it home. It would have gotten absolutely zero play there.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

OH YES : Easy Summer Rolls

Ok, I felt like a heel posting photos from the Internet of food that isn't actually mine. Like so...

But my summer rolls have been in the fridge for 24 hours and just look odd, as you can see below...

Trust me, they are still beyond delicious. 

(The point if this bog was to get a REAL world view if recipes and products, from a REAL struggling person who 
might or might not make pretty food)

I'm posting this recipe because it is SO great. So easy. And exceedingly malleable. Even calling it a recipe is sorta silly...
Rice wrappers or "Spring Roll Skin"

I typically fill with the ingredients below, But what stopping you from doing your own thing?:

OH YES : Easy Summer Rolls

Chicken or marinated tofu
Basil or mint
Shredded cabbage
Chopped Scallion
Thai Peanut sauce (store bought usually. Trader Joe's is the best. It's also super easy to make from scratch. I'm just lazy.  If you are obsessed with peanut sauce like I am you can have extra on hand to dip. Soy sauce would also work for dipping.)

First you buy rice paper wrappers which look like old LPs and are typically have an Asian brand. A lot of grocery stores have these in the international aisle. Here's an example:
Now these are tricky. They are very rigid when you pull them out. Be careful not to break it.

Have a empty large plate near you to assemble ingredients, and have everything you want in the roll cut lengthwise and at the ready. Once you start the wrapper sequence there's no goin back!

Next, You can either turn on your tap and run some hot water,or get a largish wide container and fill it with warm water.
While not earth friendly, I find the tap works best because you can keep the water temp right at very warm, but not hot.

Next wet the disk. My method is to hold it with both hands and gently spin it under the water vertically, so the water is washing down over the sides and into the sink. When it starts getting slick and about 50% softer than it was.. Let most of the water drip off ( a little us ok, it will be soaked into the wrapper, I promise.). It will get softer as it sits on the plate, don't fret...
Carefully lay the wrapper on your plate, flatly. 

Now, fill the roll so the ingredients lay in a nice line, and are NOT centered but a bit closer to one side (which is the side you'd start rolling from). Don't overfill....a couple of sprinkles of each ingredient should do it plus 4 or 5 drips of peanut sauce.

Roll it up like a burrito and make sure to fold in the sides before you are done rolling.

Gently place to the side on a different plate or something. It will feel very tenuous and delicate! If you manage not to break them, a short stint in the fridge will firm up the wrapper for easier eating.

Things to remember: 

You could fill with anything, shrimp would be grand!

Practice makes perfect with these, you get the hang of it much quicker than it seems.

These are ridiculously healthy and GF

They DO keep in the fridge for a couple days and are great for lunches, however the older they are the weirder they look.

Don't over fill. I know I keep saying it but, You'll be sorry. I think the wrapper should be able to be consumed in 5 bites...if that helps.

FAMILY TALLY: 4 out of 5 give this a huge thumbs up.

Family Tally: 3 if us love these!

Friday, March 21, 2014

JUST NO: Vegan Cheese review

Ok. We gave the vegan cheese a try. Not once but twice. 

My 14 year old was gamely trying to be this seemed like the first stop after vegetable and beans and fake meats.

So it goes...2 horrible terrible meals of vegan cheese nonsense. It strikes me as the processed food monster masquerading as something 'healthy'. 

We REALLY tried to drink the Koolaid on this one. 

But see... It tastes like something slightly fruity (not in a good way) with a healthy dose of sock stink. Like the worst truck stop nacho cheese food you've ever considered eating in a boozy 21 year old haze ....
Not ok.
                         The  Monster.

Here's a picture of an entire Mac an' Cheez (I am exceedingly annoyed by the over use of this new word in vegan circles)casserole we slaved over, and then trashed. This from a vegan cookbook that regularly get 5 stars in reviews.

Truly horrible. Throwing food away makes me livid. The smell of it in the trash the next morning made my stomach turn. Even my "I'll eat anything" partner couldn't down it.

Needless to say THE PICKY ONE didn't even look at it.

And can we talk about the waste of money? Ugh. I went for the 'Cadillac' of vegan cheese, Daiya cheddar.

Sorry to those if you who adore this unnaturally orange nightmare, it's just not for us....not does it seem particularly healthy.

This is why I started this blog...there are alot of beautifully photographed, professionally blogged recipes out there that just stink. 

and This my friends...makes me angry.

Back to the drawing board.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

NOTHING VENTURED: Almond Floor Snickerdoodles

FAIL #1 

These lovely cookies were supposed to look like this...

And definitely NOT like this. ...


Ok we overcooked them, clearly.

I left the man in charge with instructions that they were to spread out into beautiful round disks of cinnamon and sugar. 

This never took place, and while we were waiting... they stepped into overdone.

In my defense I did EVERYTHING the recipe asked, except substitute 1/2 cup of the almond flour with coconut flour. That's it!!!

They actually tasted kinda ok, but not great, and had the consistency of a hard moth ball (I would guess.)

Will retry as these seemed like they were going to be quite good, and I can't let go.

Almond Flour Snickerdoodles 

Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Soft, chewy cookies with a nutty flavor dusted in cinnamon and sugar. Yum!
Serves: 2 dozen
For the cookies:
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ¼ cup palm shortening (or regular shortening)
  • ½ cup evaporated cane juice ( or white sugar)
  • ¼ cup coconut palm sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 cups blanched almond flour (see note below)
For the topping:
  • ¼ cup coconut palm sugar (or white sugar)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together the butter, shortening, evaporated cane juice (or white sugar), and coconut palm sugar (or brown sugar) in a large bowl until very creamy. Add the vanilla and eggs, mixing until well incorporated. Mix in the baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add the almond flour, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition.
  3. Mix together the remaining coconut palm sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl or shallow dish. Roll the cookie dough into 1½ tablespoon rounds, then roll to coat in the sugar mixture. Drop the coated dough onto the parchment paper-lined baking sheet, about 3 inches apart.
  4. Bake 11-13 minutes, or until golden brown around edges. Allow to cool for a couple of minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling. Enjoy!
To make these cookies paleo you can use all coconut palm sugar but the cookies will be darker. You can use almond meal in place of blanched almond flour for this recipe with great results!

Family tally: we thought they sucked, but that didnt stop us from eating them. Desperate!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

THE HOLY GRAIL - Savory Broiled Tofu

Day one, recipe one.

We are going to need alot of tofu in this house and to put it mildly...and some of us are ambivalent.

Ok, I think this first recipe came out well. I plan to wrap it up and disguise it in peanut sauce and lettuce....because that's how i roll. (Get it roll?)See my summer roll recipe!

This recipe was from Gwyneth Paltrow's newest cookbook (yes...i caved) 

I realize this isn't the most inspired pic but I'm new at this...bear with me.

THE HOLY GRAIL - Savory Broiled Tofu 

SOURCE: It’s All Good – Gwyneth Paltrow

1/4 cup soy sauce*
2 tablespoons raw honey
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
2 small garlic cloves, finely minced
A 14-ounce box firm tofu, drained and cut into 1/2-inch strips. 
Whisk together the soy sauce, honey, oils, and garlic in a mixing bowl. Add the tofu to the bowl and gently stir to coat it with the mixture. 
Transfer the tofu to a baking sheet and pour over it whatever liquid remains in the bowl. Let marinate for at least 30 minutes.

Broil, Carefully turning ONCE, until the tofu is browned and has a few crispy edges, just 4 to 5 minutes total, depending on the heat of your broiler.
i cut it too thinly and it was hard to manage. I also ended up baking for about 10 minutes on 350,after i GENTLY turned them once.
i added 1 tbsp black and white sesame seeds.
i used the second highest rack setting because they seemed to be burning, as opposed to being super sweetly crisping.

These were WAY too salty. I would use low sodium next time, or just take down the amount of SOY altogether.

FAMILY TALLY: The vegetarian and I mostly loved these 2 others (THE PICKY ONE and THE MEAT EATER) refused to try this time.