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

Cauliflower Rice Stir-fry

The first time I tried cauliflower rice was this summer during the week I ate a raw food diet. There, I said it. I am usually late to the party with trying things. I am also literally usually late to parties because I’m kind of a loser that way (but I digress, and anyway, the cool kids never show up early to parties). I am now a fan of this amazing rice substitute, and I am actually quite surprised that I haven’t had it more often. It’s filling because its a veg, and since most of eating is psychological, you can definitely feel as though you’re eating actual rice when you’re not. I’m not a big fan of substitute foods unless absolutely necessary or called for. I like real foods, with whole stuff and full everything — full -fat, whole grains and whole foods, and actual rice– no substituting anything. But, sometimes you feel like having cauliflower instead, or sometimes you wanna cut a few calories. Whatever the reason may be, this delicious stir-fry should satisfy your taste buds. And although this meal is absolutely #dumpskillet worthy, everything I used was fresh so I didn’t want to put it that category. However, this would of course still taste great with some older produce.

cauliflower rice stir fry

 

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 cups cauliflower rice (you can purchase it at Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s, or make your own)
  • 1 1/2 cups broccoli florets (fresh or frozen is fine)
  • 1-2 cups edamame
  • 2 medium-sized carrot sticks, diced
  • 1 cup baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, removed from stems
  • 1 small lime
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

 

What to Do:

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat with olive oil.
  2. Once hot, add the carrots and mushroom to the skillet and saute for approximately 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add broccoli florets to skillet and continue to saute an additional 2-3 minutes, stirring the veggie mixture frequently.
  4. Add cauliflower rice to skillet and stir rice into veggies until well mixed.
  5. Let sit over heat for approximately 1-2 minutes, then add soy sauce, salt and garlic powder.
  6. Stir all seasoning thoroughly into the stir-fry, mixing rice and veggies together and stirring frequently so the veggies do not burn.
  7. Add edamame to stir-fry and reduce heat to low.
  8. Mix edamame and about half of the 1/4 cup of cilantro into stir-fry and continue to stir the mixture occasionally. Leave on low heat for approximately another 1-2 minutes, then remove from heat.
  9. Squeeze the juice of 1/2 of the lime into the stir-fry and mix well. Slice the remaining half into lime wedges.
  10. Transfer stir-fry to serving plate and garnish with remaining cilantro and lime wedges.

 

 

Date posted on Instagram: 11/4/18

Lemon Ginger Dressing

As you may all know by now, I love salads. Because of that, you may have also figured out that I love salad dressings. Well, I guess one doesn’t automatically equal the other, but in this case, it’s true. I love salad dressings and all dressings and sauces in general. I feel like they can really make a meal if used correctly (or break a meal if used incorrectly!). During my week on a raw diet, I created a sauce for the first time and it was really fun and exciting knowing I made it entirely from scratch — dressings are actually one of my favorite things to experiment with in the kitchen now. It’s kinda fun putting a bunch of stuff in a blender and seeing how it all turns out, especially when you have certain flavors in mind that you want to achieve. The flavors in this dressing are are inspired by Trader Joe’s Almond Butter Turmeric Salad Dressing. I’ve never tasted the TJ’s version, so the only thing that is spot-on about this recipe is the color, but whether or not it tastes as good as the TJ’s version, it definitely holds its own flavor-wise. Making dressings has also taught me a certain level of discipline– I know it sounds weird, but let me explain. I can be impatient and don’t usually like to wait for things, even when I’m making it– so I had to learn patience when blending ingredients together because creating the flavors forced me to add ingredients in small increments to see if the flavor was there yet and not overdo it; I also had to learn to wait for dressings to settle for a few minutes so the ingredients could “mesh” together–sometimes even waiting overnight for the full flavor profile to develop. So yes, making dressing has taught me patience and understanding. Who needs therapy when you can just cook?

IMG_7907

What You’ll Need:

  • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice*
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter (almond butter can be used instead)

What to Do:

  1. Place about half the lemon juice, turmeric, peanut butter, ginger and black pepper in a blender.
  2. Blend until ingredients are smooth, adding the remainder of the liquid in small increments until all the lemon juice has been added.
  3. If the dressing does not blend fully, stop blending and remove the dressing from the sides of the blender, placing it back in the center using a spatula or similar thin kitchen utensil. Continue to blend until dressing has reached a smooth, creamy consistency.

* The dressing will have a tart lemon flavor with this recipe. I loved it but if you want less of a tart flavor, you can substitute the 1/2 cup lemon juice for 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice and 1/4 cup room temperature water. Or play around with the measurements to reach the desired flavor, but be careful of adding too much liquid or the dressing will be very runny.

Date posted on Instagram: 10/24/18

Zucchini Squash and Veggie Dump Skillet

Dump Skillet meals are ideas for meals to create with fresh produce– specifically fresh produce that is on its way out.  Sometimes we don’t know what to make or what we can do with a bunch of veggies because we aren’t used to using produce as the star of our meals or as the only components of our meals. Hopefully these ideas will inspire you!

zucchini and yellow squash dump skillet

Produce Used:

  • 1/2 organic zucchini, sliced
  • 1/2 yellow zucchini, sliced
  • 4 baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • About 2 full leaves of kale, thinly sliced

Other Ingredients:

  • 1 can Trader Joe’s fire-roasted tomatoes, mostly drained
  • 3 tablespoons jarred banana peppers, with some of the vinegar juice in each tablespoon
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1-2 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

What to do:

  1. Heat a medium skillet on medium heat with olive oil in it.
  2. Once hot, add zucchini and yellow squash and saute for approximately 3-4 minutes.
  3. You want the squash to get a bit of a golden brown texture on each side. Turn the pieces and saute for an additional 3-4 minutes to brown each side.
  4. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and the garlic powder and saute for an additional 30 seconds.
  5. Place squash on a cloth or paper towel to drain excess oil.
  6. Return skillet to heat and add mushrooms. Saute mushrooms for approximately 3-4 minutes, until slightly tender.
  7. Add the entire can of fire-roasted tomatoes as well as the banana peppers and remaining salt; reduce heat to a low simmer.
  8. Continue to simmer the mixture until it comes to a very light boil.
  9. Add chopped kale stir into mixture until it is fully coated in the tomatoes.
  10. Continue the simmer until kale is wilted down.
  11. Transfer zucchini and yellow squash to a serving dish.
  12. Spoon some of the fire-roasted tomato sauce next to the squash.
  13. Too squash with nutritional yeast.
  14. Can be served as is or over rice for an even heartier meal.

 

Date Posted on Instagram: 10/23/18

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

Sun-dried Tomato and Basil Pesto (Raw)

I didn’t think it would happen but I actually created several recipes during my week of eating raw vegan. I was pleasantly surprised at my creativity level during that time. This is one of the recipes I created — a raw, chunky pesto. For this dish, I used it as a sauce but it can certainly be  mixed into zoodles or cooked noodles as a pesto. It has a tangy, flavorful taste with a powerful impact on the taste buds because of the strong flavor coming from the sun-dried tomatoes. I love sun-dried tomatoes — I’ll eat them as a snack if I have them on hand. Because I love pasta so much, this recipe was great because it allowed me to feel as though I was eating spaghetti with a chunky marinara sauce. Anything that makes me feel like I’m eating spaghetti when I’m not actually eating spaghetti is a win as far as I’m concerned.

raw sun dried tomato bsil pesto closeup

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 medium-sized vine tomato, sliced into four pieces
  • 1 cup of sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced thickly
  • 1/4 cup Italian green pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 heaping teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 heaping teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

What to Do:

  1.  Combine all ingredients in a food processor, except for the water.
  2. Pulse ingredients for about 5-10 seconds and slowly add water about 2-3 tablespoons at a time.
  3. Continue to pulse the pesto, until ingredients blend together. Continue adding water as necessary.
  4. You want the sauce to be slightly chunky so do not over-process. Also, be careful not to add to much water, as this will thin the sauce out too much.
  5. Serve pesto over zoodles or noodles or mix into them for a true pesto. This pesto tastes great as a raw recipe but can be heated up as well.
  6. Add nooch for some extra flavor!

 

 

Date posted on Instagram: 7/14/18

Mushroom Pâté (Raw)

I’ve never had pâté before, so when I created this, I wasn’t sure exactly how it should taste texture-wise. But I knew that it was pretty close, especially for a raw version of the real deal. It was also spreadable and tasted great as a filling in the peppers, so I was happy with the result. I actually made a few mistakes with this recipe, watering it down too much initially. I can sometimes have “heavy hands” and no patience. But practice makes perfect and the end result was a flavorful, healthy, cruelty-free pâté!

raw mushroom pate

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 cups of baby bella mushrooms (cremini)
  • 1/8 cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped thickly
  • 1/8 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup orange carrots, chopped
  • 1/4 cup green zucchini squash, chopped
  • 1-2 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 1 teaspoon parsley (fresh can also be used)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano (fresh can also be used)
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 – 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil

 

What to Do:

  1.  Combine all ingredients in a food processor except for water.
  2. Pulse ingredients for about 5-10 seconds and slowly add water about 2-3 tablespoons at a time.
  3. Continue to pulse the pate, until ingredients blend together. Continue adding water as necessary.
  4. You want the sauce to be smooth but still have some thickness to it. Also, be careful not to add to much water, as this will thin the pate out too much.
  5. Serve as a spread on crackers or bread. Or, stuff some peppers with the pâté as seen in the featured photos! I added a dollop of the sun-dried tomato basil pesto on top of each pepper for more depth in the flavor profile.

 

 

Date posted on Instagram: 7/11/18