Spicy Asian Slaw

I’ve never been a fan of coleslaw. Before I was vegan, I hated coleslaw. After I became vegan, I hated coleslaw. There’s never really been any version of coleslaw that I’ve liked. Then, one day I realized that the main reason I didn’t like coleslaw was because every time I had it, it was always mushy. And I have texture issues with mushy food. As I dug deeper into my disdain for for this BBQ side dish staple, I realized another reason I didn’t like it was because I wasn’t crazy about the combo of veggies that was often found in it. So, I set out to make my own slaw, because that’s what food is all about. Creating new flavors; taking the old and breathing new life into it, reinventing dishes and creating entirely new flavors altogether. It’s taken some time, but I’m finally starting to break away from the limitations I put on myself with food. I’m making sweet tofu scrams, experimenting with the flavor of veggies and just doing whatever I want because that’s usually how the best dishes are created. A little bit of creativity, a little bit of science, and in my case, a whole lotta crazy.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup shredded red cabbage
  • 1/2 cup scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 cup beets, spiralized (you can buy them pre-spiralized or spiralize them yourself)
  • 1/2 cup Bosc pear, diced
  • 3-4 tbsp. cilantro, finely chopped
  • Additional cilantro for garnish
  • 1/4 cup wasabi mayo*

What to Do:

  1. on a cutting board, slice the spiralized beets roughly to create smaller shreds and spirals. Leave some different lengths but try not to have any pieces that are more than 2-3 inches in length.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the beet spirals, red cabbage, scallion and pear.
  3. Mix until well blended.
  4. Add the wasabi mayo and mix again until mayo is well blended into the slaw.
  5. Add cilantro and mix into the slaw.
  6. Transfer slaw to a serving dish and garnish with more fresh cilantro; you can enjoy alone or as a side with another meal. I also used this slaw as a filling for some delicious summer rolls!**

* To make the wasabi mayo, combine 1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise (I used Trader Joe’s vegan spread and dressing) and 1 heaping tbsp. of wasabi paste. Mix the two items together vigorously until well blended. You can find wasabi paste in the Asian or international foods section of your local grocery, or go to an Asian market.

** This recipe is for a small batch of slaw that will yield about 2-3 servings. The dressing measurements also allow for the slaw to remain crunchy and not become soggy, even after sitting overnight. To make a larger batch, simply double the amounts of everything, but try to keep the ratios of dry and wet ingredients the same so you do not make the slaw too wet.

 

Date posted on Instagram: 12/16/18

Chili-Lime Cauliflower Rice Bowl (Raw)

This bowl was so refreshing. I wasn’t sure how I wanted to use cauliflower rice for a raw recipe, but I knew I wanted to try something different so I decided to incorporate fruit into the mix. It was delicious, partially due to the mango, but also because of the chili-lime seasoning which has become one of my favorite seasoning blends. It’s a quick and simple dish with tons of flavor!

chili lime cauliflower rice and mango bowl

What You’ll Need:

  • About 1 1/2 cups of cauliflower rice
  • 1 mango, cut into slivers (or cubed)
  • The juice of 1/2 of one lime
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite salsa
  • 1 cup fresh baby spinach
  • 3-4 tablespoons fresh cilantro
  • 2-3 teaspoons chili-lime seasoning (I use the one from Trader Joe’s)
  • **OPTIONAL**: 1 tablespoon olive oil

What to Do:

  1. In a medium-sized bowl, toss cauliflower rice, olive oil and chili-lime seasoning together.
  2. Squeeze lime juice into cauliflower rice mixture and toss again until well mixed.
  3. In a serving dish or bowl, make a bed of baby spinach. Place dressed cauliflower rice on top of spinach.
  4. Place salsa in the center of the cauliflower rice.
  5. Spread slivers (or cubes) of mango on top of rice.
  6. Garnish with cilantro. Serve and enjoy!

Date posted on Instagram: 7/18/18

Sautéed Swiss Chard

This was my first time using swiss chard. The leaves were a little bitter to taste (which I later found out is a common occurrence, ha), and I thought adding vinegar would counter that — I also served them with something sweeter to balance it out. I got a few differing opinions on these greens, one saying that the bitterness came from the stems and that I should de-stem them. However, I also asked a chef who works in a kitchen that is currently serving a dish that uses swiss chard, stems and all. They told me that younger leaves may be better. Still not entirely sure, but I liked the way these turned out, so I’m happy either way.

img_4996-e1531289217856.jpg

 

What You’ll Need:

  • Approximately 5-6 full leaves of swiss chard, chopped, with stems cut off and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

 

What to Do:

  1. Heat a skillet on low to medium heat with olive oil.
  2. Once hot, place swiss chard in skillet and stir to mix with olive oil.
  3. Add salt and pepper and stir.
  4. Saute swiss chard for approximately 3-4 minutes, then reduce heat to a low simmer.
  5. dd vinegar to skillet and mix well with chard.
  6. Simmer chard in vinegar for approximately 2-3 minutes.
  7. Return heat to low to medium and stir chard occasionally until most of vinegar has absorbed into chard.
  8. Add more salt and pepper to taste is necessary. Bon appetit!

 

 

 

Date posted on Instagram: 6/28/18

Balsamic Ginger Glazed Carrots

These carrots were insane. Although glazed carrots scream autumn, I needed something to counter the taste of the swiss chard I was making for a dish. I thought sweet would counter bitter. That’s the only reason I decided to make glazed carrots — but this was the embodiment of necessity being the mother of invention! Okay, so I know I didn’t invent glazed carrots, but these were seriously good. And I would have never thought to make them if it weren’t for the swiss chard. Well, maybe I would have thought to make them for like, Thanksgiving or something — but that’s a really long time away. Okay, just make these carrots because they taste amazing.

Balsamic Glaze carrots close up

What You’ll Need:

  • Approximately 1/2 pound of organic baby carrots, stems removed (I got mine from the farmer’s market)
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons agave
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • glass container with lid (big enough to fit carrots)
organic baby carrots
Organic baby carrots.

What to Do:

  1. Wash carrots thoroughly.
  2. Place baby carrots in container and add vinegar and ginger; mix carrots into vinegar mixture well until all carrots are covered.
  3. Cover container with lid and place in fridge. Let carrots marinate for an hour, minimum 30 minutes.
  4. Remove carrots from fridge and set aside to become room temperature.
  5. Heat a skillet on low to medium heat with olive oil in it.
  6. Once hot, remove carrots from container and add to skillet. Add salt to carrots and stir into olive oil; let saute for approximately 3 minutes.
  7. Reduce heat to a simmer and add remaining balsamic marinade to skillet. Stir marinade into carrots.
  8. Let carrots simmer for approximately 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  9. Add agave to skillet, and stir into carrots well.
  10. Turn up heat to low and let carrots saute, stirring frequently to avoid agave from burning and sticking on the pan.
  11. Saute carrots for approximately 4 more minutes or until carrots are tender and have started to gain a caramelized glaze. Remove from heat. Bon appetit!

Date posted on Instagram: 6/28/18

Cheezy Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed peppers are another classic dish I wanted to recreate. I love bell peppers and I add them to so many meals as a mix-in, especially tofu scram. But I’ve only had stuffed peppers a couple of times, and that was in my pre-vegan days, so they were stuffed with ground beef. I was curious as to how this would turn out when “veganized”, although I shouldn’t have been because, as I am quickly discovering, many classic dishes taste pretty much the same even after you make them vegan! Which is why you should all go vegan! I made the horrible mistake of using a non-vegan cheese in the original recipe. I was in what I thought was the “vegan area” of one of TJ’s cold food sections, and thought everything there was vegan — little did I know that the shredded cheese I grabbed in fact did contain milkfat — why?!?! I didn’t realize what I had done until after I added the gooey but not-at-all vegan cheese on top of the peppers; but thank goodness I realized what I’d done before devouring them! I had no choice but to give the peppers away, but they went into good hands. This was yet another annoying but well-learned life lesson reminding me to always read the label. I’ve already mentioned that this necessary task sometimes escapes me, but I’m getting there, I promise!

Stuffed Peppers

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 cups of cooked white rice
  • 1 package of Upton Naturals Italian seitan in crumbles
  • 1 cup vegan shredded cheese (I used So Delicious shredded cheddar jack)
  • 3 large organic bell peppers (preferably of different colors!)
  • 1 1/2 cups baby spinach, medium to finely chopped (I use Earthbound organic baby spinach)
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 cup of white button mushroom, diced (baby bella mushrooms can also be used)
  • 1 cup of (vegan!) tomato sauce (I used Rinaldi Sweet and Tasty sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon essential seasoning blend*
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • small to medium, deep baking dish (to put peppers in)

What to Do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare rice (boil water, add rice, stir and bring to a boil again, turn heat to a low simmer, cover and let simmer for approximately 20 minutes or so– use approximately 1 3/4 cup of water for every one cup of rice).
  3. Transfer rice to a large bowl and set aside.
  4. Heat a skillet over low to medium heat, with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  5. Once hot, add diced mushroom and saute for approximately 1 minute.
  6. Add white onion and continue to saute  for another 2 minutes.
  7. Add in crumbled seitan — the Italian flavored setian is already pre-seasoned but we are still going to add some seasoning in the upcoming steps.
  8. The seitan is also already in crumbles, but if you like, you can crumble the pieces further with a spatula.
  9. Saute the seitan and veggie mix for about 3 minutes; finally, add the chopped spinach and 1/2 tablespoon of the essential seasoning blend — stir in seasoning and continue to saute the seitan and veggies until onions are translucent, the mushrooms have browned, and the spinach becomes tender, stirring occasionally.
  10. Remove the mixture from heat and add to rice.
  11. Add tomato sauce to the bowl  along with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of the seasoning blend, and stir all ingredients together well. Set aside.
  12. Slice the top off of the bell peppers, cutting about 1/2 to 1 inch down from the stem.
  13. Use a spoon or fork (be careful not to puncture the sides if using a fork) to hollow out the centers of the peppers, removing the harder white flesh and seeds.
  14. Scoop about 1/2 cup of the seitan and rice mix into each pepper. You may be able to add more or you might have to add less depending on how large your peppers are, but try not to over stuff them too much.
  15. Once the peppers are filled, place them next to each other in the baking dish.**
  16. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and place in the over for approximately 45 minutes to an hour.
  17. Remove the peppers from the oven, and remove the foil.
  18. Sprinkle shredded cheese evenly over all the peppers.
  19. Place peppers back in the oven uncovered, and bake for another 15 minutes until peppers are tender and the cheese is fully melted.
  20. Transfer peppers to a serving dish — I plated mine over a bed of spinach, and garnished with the bell pepper tops and sriracha. Bon appetit!

* Essential seasoning blend can be found on the recipes page.

** You can also use aluminum foil instead of a baking dish — my dish was too large and the peppers were falling over, so instead I took a larger sheet of foil, placed it in the dish and placed the peppers really close together in the foil. Then, I quickly pulled the foil up on all sides and closed it at the top. If you use this method, make sure the foil is sealed completely at the top to keep the moisture in.

Date posted on Instagram: 6/16/18

Pesto Brussel Sprouts

Brussel Sprouts are one of my “food baes”. They have such a unique flavor, but not only that– I’m also fascinated by their appearance. They’re like mini balls of cabbage– well they are literally mini balls of cabbage– sprouts are in the cabbage family. But they also just look like mini balls of some shrunken vegetable that surely had to be bigger at one point because of they density and layers, and were likely harvested in a ginormous form on some other planet…okay, I’m getting carried away. They are also another versatile veggie and versatility is key for anyone cooking on a budget. Here, I spruced up my spouts a bit using some sauce and spice.

Pesto Brussl Sprouts

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 cups brussel sprouts, sliced in half
  • 1 cup of Trader Joe’s kale, cashew and basil vegan pesto
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

 

What to Do:

  1. Heat a skillet on medium heat with 2 tablespoon of olive oil.
  2. Once oil is hot, add brussel sprouts (be careful of oil splatter!) and pan-fry for approximately 8-9 minutes or until the sprouts get a crispy coating on the outer layer.*
  3. Reduce heat and add pesto sauce.
  4. Stir and cover all sprouts in sauce and let simmer for about a minute.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.
  6. Transfer sprouts to serving dish and sprinkle with smoked paprika. Bon appetit!

 

* Sprouts are one of the few items that I think actually taste better the more crispy or burnt they are! Try leaving them in for an even longer time– the flavor is enhanced with the crispy texture and coating (in my opinion).

 

Date posted on Instagram: 4/5/18