Thursday, February 20, 2014

Meatless in Seattle

There's been a slight shift in plans as far as posting updates while I'm here in Seattle for the week. It's much easier to pop photo updates onto my personal Facebook page than on the PV page, so that's what I'm doing. I didn't bring my computer - only my phone and ipad,which have limited capabilities. Besides, while I want to share my trip with my friends, I don't want to spend all my time online. There are so many other things to do! I think there may be a life lesson in there.

I am, however, scouting out great vegan delights while I'm here, and posting pictures and locations. So if you're interested in what's good to eat in so-far-sunny-Seattle, check out my personal FB page. I'm making the food photos public, so everyone can share the love!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Say Queso!

A quick note before the real post today. I'm off to Seattle for a week, for my son's wedding. Exciting times! I'm so looking forward to the wedding itself, as well as seeing family and friends, and of course sampling some of the great vegan food Seattle has to offer. I don't plan to blog about it as I go, but I might share quick updates and pictures on my Facebook page. Check in there to keep up with me! And now... on with the show!

Who says my favorite dip (alongside guacamole and salsa), queso, has to be made from a weird orange block of highly processed "cheese food?" It doesn't! Serve this at your next get-together with friends, or hoard it all for yourself. It's that good. Make it a little extra special by gently warming organic tortilla chips in the oven before serving.

Makes about 2 cups

1 cup raw cashews, soaked 1 hour or more
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup chipotle peppers in adobo
2 T arrowroot (or tapioca flour)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
2 tsp miso paste
1 T Dijon mustard
1 cup water
1 small can diced green chiles - optional

Place all ingredients except green chiles in a blender or food processor, and blend about one minute or until smooth. Pour the queso into a saucepan, stir in the green chiles, and warm over low heat, stirring often. Add a little more water if it gets too thick. Serve in a small bowl with warm chips, keeping the rest of the dip warm on the stove. This is best warm, so it's better to refill a small bowl than to let a large bowlful get cold.

Never heard of chipotle peppers in adobo? Look for something like this in the Mexican food aisle. A quarter cup is roughly 2 peppers and a bit of the surrounding sauce. So tasty!

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Monday, February 10, 2014

Using What's There - Green Tofu Scram

Green Eggs and Ham... or... Green Tofu Scram... get it? One of my favorite kitchen games is making something out of "nothing", this un-recipe came about on a Sunday morning when we didn't have what we needed for Rick's favorite pancakes, but did have tofu and some gorgeous greens from friends' gardens. The pancakes could wait, and we had a wonderful breakfast.

A tofu scramble can be just about anything. To make this Green Tofu Scram, start by sautéing some chopped onion and garlic. After a couple of minutes crumble in some tofu (1/2 a block for 2 people). I used extra firm, and pressed it first to take out some of the water. Toss in some leftover cooked quinoa or rice and maybe a handful of corn. Add herbs and nutritional yeast. Gradually wilt in a big pile of chopped or sliced greens. I had kale, chard, beet greens (yep, you can eat them), and bok choy. Once the greens are softened and brightly colored, stir in a dash or two of tamari and a spoonful of pesto, if you were lucky like me and someone gifted you with some nice last-of-the-garden basil. Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste, and breakfast is ready. Whole grain toast, tortillas, or even tortilla chips go great with this. Use what you have!

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Friday, February 7, 2014

Warm Kale-Noodle Salad

Salad is my idea of a perfect lunch, but in this frozen part of the year, cold food isn't as as appealing to me as it is in the summer months. I love my greens though, so this comforting "warm salad" is my new favorite lunch. It's easy to make, and is also good cold the next day if you make too much.

Thanks to A House in the Hills for inspiring this recipe.

Warm Kale-Noodle Salad
serves 4

1 package (14-16 ounces) brown rice pasta
1-2 bunches dinosaur kale, rolled and sliced into thin ribbons - about 6-8 cups
2 T wakame (sea vegetable), soaked in water 10 minutes
2 T sesame seeds, plus more for garnish

1 ripe avocado
1 clove garlic
3 T miso
juice of 1 lime
1 T tamari
3/4 cup water

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Don't overcook it or you'll have a mushy salad. 
While the pasta cooks, slice the kale and place it in a large colander.

Place all dressing ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
When the pasta is done, pour the soaked wakame into the colander with the kale.
Drain the pasta into the same colander, wilting and warming the kale with the hot pasta water.

Rinse with very hot tap water, drain, and return to the cooking pot.
Gently toss in the sesame seeds and dressing, a little at a time, until the salad is coated to your liking.
Serve immediately, with a sprinkle of sesame seeds or toasted sunflower seeds.

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Monday, February 3, 2014

Cranberry Walnut Chickpea Salad

This is not my recipe, and I honestly can't think of a single thing I'd change. It's that good. I didn't have cranberries as called for, but I did have some dried cherries, which worked just fine. Better than fine. And if you have time, sprout some chickpeas and cook them yourself. They're far superior to canned beans, both in flavor and nutrition. Rather than making sandwiches, as in the original recipe, I made simple lettuce wraps filled with this tasty goodness, and snarfed them down for lunch. Make a big batch! You're going to love this! Get the recipe for this delightful Cranberry Walnut Chickpea Salad over at The Simple Veganista.