Tag Archives: vegan

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Lettuce Wrap with Red Bell Pepper, Cucumber, and Avocado

A question on my facebook page requested what veggies to be added to her diet for the year. I came up with this recipe just for her. She has both health and weight loss goals.

red leaf lettuce
2 red bell peppers chopped
1 cucumber cubed (skin left on is fine, peeling is optional)
2 avocados
juice of 1 lemon
handful of cilantro, chopped
sea salt to taste

Place chopped vegetables in a bowl. Scoop out the contents of the avocados with a fork and add. Pour the lemon juice on and mix. Add salt. Keep in a large glass storage container so you can scoop the amount of filling you want in a clean lettuce leaf.

I chose this lettuce because it was not only beautiful, but on sale and organic at Ralphs. I buy all my produce organic, if possible- but with lettuce I can really taste the difference.

You can also add corn, chopped carrots, or any other vegetable you’d like to try. Sunflower seeds would add a nice crunch. Using lettuce instead of a tortilla has the benefits of being gluten free, having more vitamins and minerals, lower calorie, and I frankly find it fun. It is often even cheaper than tortillas- cheaper and healthier! Yay!

Keeping a head of lettuce plus a ready to go box of filling will be a quick and easy meal throughout the week. Remember- I don’t really believe in self control. I make lots of easily accessible options for myself that are healthy, and not that much work. The lemon is really effective in keeping the avocado nice, green, and pretty. Making food look delicious is at least half the battle.

Gluten-Free Vegan Bran Muffins

This recipe makes too many vegan muffins. If you don’t think you can eat thirty, I recommend you split it.

1/4 cup Flaxseed Meal (I keep the already ground Bob’s Red Mill type in my fridge)
3/4 cup Water
2 cups Rice Milk (soy, almond, or hemp work fine)
1 cup Canola Oil
3/4 cup Agave
3/4 cup Black Strap Molasses
3 cups oat bran
1 cup oat flour
1 cup gluten-free all purpose
1 cup potato flour
1 cup brown rice flour
2 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 tablespoons soy powder (optional)
4 cups raisins
2 cups chopped walnuts(optional)
1 cup vegan semi sweet chocolate chips (very optional)

1. Mix flaxseed oil and water in the blender for two minutes. You can put it in the fridge for one hour to let it get thicker like the fake egg it’s pretending to be, but if you’re in a hurry (which I usually am)you can just start mixing it into the wet ingredients straight out of the blender.
2. Mix the wet ingredients.
3. Whisk the dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
4. Mix the wet and dry together. The dough will be thicker than you’d expect because I changed this recipe into gluten-free and it tends to seem crazy. It’s basically “play dough” thick.
5. At this point, I split the dough into the two containers and mix in chocolate chips for my daughter and raisins and walnuts for my husband. You could just use all the dough and mix raisins with or without walnuts or chocolate chips. If you’re a single person planning to eat all thirty, you may wish for variety- it’s your call.
6. I stuff the dough in level with my hands into regular or mini muffins tins sprayed with oil. I usually put my husband’s raisins and walnuts filled muffins into big-boy regular sized muffins and my daughter’s chocolate chips into mini muffins.
7. Bake at 375 for 22-25 minutes.

This recipe was originally taken here where it is not gluten free. If you want the original recipe, you can just substitute all the flours with whole wheat pastry flour. I’ve made it this way and it’s yummy, but this mixture I made including the potato flour make a very moist and yummy gluten free alternative. And I took out the honey and rewrote the recipe in fewer steps. Me and Cossette hope you like it!

Uncomplicated Raw Deliciousness

Dining in the Raw by Rita Romano

I first bought this un-cookbook when I was pregnant with Cossette. I was raw vegan for most of my pregnancy, and now she’s a giant genius. Maybe I could have eaten candy exclusively for my pregnancy and she would have been fine, but who’s to say? I ate meat twice because I tried to be a really intuitive eater, and I followed my cravings. But generally, my cravings and ideas about health coincided.

Anyway, when I bought a book that said “Raw” on the title and then found cooked recipes, I felt frustrated because I felt tricked. This feeling of feeling tricked caused this book to go directly on the shelf to gather dust. I just found it again recently, almost ten years later, and realize what a treasure it is.

Back in the day, I was just doing raw by myself with no books. I ate veggies and fruits as well as raw nuts and seeds. I loved doing it, but couldn’t keep it up much longer after I had a baby to take care of, as well as work and school. I found myself shopping every two or three days just to have fresh raw food in the house.

I read a book called “Vegan on the Cheap” which not only has awesome yummy recipes, but practical tips on how to plan. Since reading it, I have planned a weekly menu which got me into the practice of buying groceries once a week and sometimes only once every two weeks.

With planning on my side, I am now ready to take on “Dining in the Raw” with it’s over 700 recipes.

What a fool I was to not read it sooner! But then again, the recipes didn’t sound good to me at the time, and I was overwhelmed by the shear volume of the book.

I’ve made the Fennel Slaw which looks and tastes like a party with bright red cabbage and fennel. The poppy seeds are what push you over the edge to euphoria.

The butternut squash soup was amazing. I ate a whole batch myself. I felt like I couldn’t get enough.

I look forward to making Mint Jelly, Bechamel Sauce, Alfredo Sauce, Lemon Pudding, and Excellent Key Lime Pie to name a few. All vegan and almost always raw.

There’s a guide on how to make your own sprouts and why they are a healthy choice. She talks about how sauerkraut is important to eat daily, and because raw versions are expensive, she gives an easy recipe for making a large batch.

Before every chapter, she explains in detail what ingredients are and how to use them. This book is full of glossaries, measuring charts, sprouting instructions, galore.

The only downside is possibly being intimidated by the encyclopedic size and you’ll put it on your shelf for ten years. Seriously: don’t do it. Read it. You’ll thank me.

My husband and daughter DESPISE celery: both the taste and texture.

I happen to love both, and today while they were at work and school I made Celery Soup (a raw cold soup) and it was delightful

Celery Soup
1 head celery
1/2 cup of tahini
1 garlic clove
juice of 1 lemon
4 scallions
dash cayenne
Braggs amino to taste (an unfermented, wheat free soy sauce, Whole Foods)
1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced

Blend all ingredients, adding enough water to make a creamy soup. Garnish with parsley.

Because I made it only for me, I used a few celery sticks, about 1/3 cup of tahini, 1 clove of garlic still (I love garlic,)juice of one half lemon, and one scallion with the water and tamari. I genuinely forgot the cayenne and parsley, but it was still awesome!

Stuff I Eat: Restaurant Review

Be swept away to another time period on Market Street in Inglewood, California. And while your at it, get thrown into the future of delicious and healthy culinary bliss at Stuff I Eat.

The very first time I ate at Stuff I Eat, a lovely young gentleman tried to impress his vegan date by taking me to this out of the way restaurant. Right when we walked in, we realized that they were already closed. The two people working there insisted that we stay, and made us both custom meals that were delicious! This kind of customer service really is above and beyond, and they won me over by both their kindness and their food.

Since that first day, every time I’ve been there they’ve impressed me a little more. They serve very fresh organic greens along side a wide variety of grains with a main dish of good ol’ fashioned American comfort food: all while being top of the line vegan. They give generous portions at more than reasonable prices in a large space filled with ultra-hip ambiance.

I feel completely comfortable bringing any friend, vegan or not, and feel confident that they’ll be impressed by both the ambiance as well as any item they choose on the menu.

And don’t forget dessert. I had the most beautiful raw “cheesecake” like slice of something called Funky Chunky. It was rich, creamy, and decadent in a way that you’ll definitely feel like you’re being naughty when your actually being pretty nice to your body.

Vegan Dinosaur Meatloaf

Get kids excited about food with fun dino shapes

• Half of a 14oz. package GimmeLean fake meat (the kind in a cylinder at Wholefoods)
• 3/4 cup finely chopped onions
• 5 pieces of bread crumbed (we save the ends of bread)
• 3 celery stalks finely chopped
• 1/3 cup finely chopped parsley
• 1/2 tsp. thyme
• 1/2 tsp. salt
• 1/4 tsp. black pepper
• 3 tbsp applesauce
• 1 tbsp vegetable oil
• 1 tbsp all-purpose white flour (we use bob’s red mill gluten-free allpurpose)
• 1/3 cup ketchup (optional)

Mix all ingredients (except ketchup) together in a big bowl with your hands until they just come together.



Put in a lightly oiled loaf pan. Put the ketchup on top of the loaf. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes.



We like to put it into a dino loaf pan we found at bed bath and beyond (target also carries it at a slightly higher price.) Dinos are satisfying because you can growl before biting their heads off.

Another variation is to make into individual meatballs (omit the ketchup.) I like to put the meatballs in a muffin tray so they don’t roll off and bake easily, but my husband thinks a bake sheet is just fine.

And yet another variation is subbing veggie chorizo to make super spicy dinos that make you cry.

 

It really pays to slice up the onions very finely; big onion chunks change the texture in a strange way.

Give it a try and let me know what you, your child, and your inner child thought!

O.

Chicago Diner Cookbook: A Review and Loveletter

Ever tried a recipe and it tastes so good that you can’t believe you made it yourself?

Dear Jo,

I received your cookbook with no pictures on loan from a girlfriend from Chicago. The only vegan cookbook I had used up until that point was Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. I had no culinary training whatsoever….well….one day free cooking class at Mother’s in Newport Beach ten years earlier, but that hardly counts.

As a completely inexperienced chef, every single recipe I made turned out so well, I felt like someone had broken into my kitchen and planted new food in my oven: impossibly good food. I was outraged at how amazingly easy it was. Why didn’t I start sooner?

I made heart shaped pot pies. I made polenta which I’d never seen even in a picture, which somehow turned out magically good as well. Your diner gravy is so good, I could drink it, but self restraint dictates it must go on mashed potatoes or my little pot pies.

Your vegan quiche is so convincing, I tricked many of my non-vegan neighbors into trying it. One neighbor didn’t even realize I was vegan until she bumped into me at Whole Foods. I mentioned to an aproned, fundraising, mousy-brown haired girl selling “Save the Earth” cookies that if she really wants to save the earth, she should be vegan. My neighbor overheard my lecture to the non-vegan cookie salesperson and said, “But you’re not vegan! You made me that quiche the other day!” Sorry Tauna; I tricked you good.

Ratatouille Provençal, a real crowd pleaser, knocks out guests with delight with a little over 15 minutes prep time. Strogonaff made from tempeh fills me with ecstasy, I ate Ex-Benedict every day for almost two weeks, and I made both Leslie’s Mushroom Spread and the Artichoke Dip for vegetable dip for my recent wedding.

Not only did your cookbook open my eyes to the possibilities of expanding my world from baking to cooking, but I have since bought twelve more vegan cookbooks, all of which I use everyday. Well, I don’t use ALL of them everyday, but I use at least one or two a day.

My only beef is that the recipes are too huge! I’d been a single mom for eight years, and recipes yielded enough for me to open my own Chicago Diner in my tiny studio apartment in Los Angeles. Now I’m married and I feed three people, including myself, but it’s still a little bit of an awkward amount of food.

Thanks for inspiring me to love cooking and facilitating the feeling of being an artist at least three times a day.

Love,

O.

Vegan Barbecue “Ribs”

My daughter and I are both vegan chefs in café Orchid Coco, AKA our small apartment in Westwood.

Vegan Barbecue “Ribs”
1 1/2 cup Vital Wheat Gluten (we like Bob’s Red Mill brand from Wholefoods)
1/2 cup Nutritional Yeast (supplement section at Wholefoods or other health store)
1 tablespoon Garlic Powder
1 tablespoon Onion Powder
Generous amount of fresh cracked Black Pepper (I’d use about a half teaspoon)
1 cup of water (approximately)
3 1/2 tablespoons of Peanut Butter
1 cup Favorite Barbecue Sauce (we like Trader Joe’s brand “All Natural Barbecue Sauce”)

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Whisk dry ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Add about a cup of water and stir. The dough should be firm but completely mixed. Add more water if necessary, but really try to knead it in first. Knead it for about a minute and a half (I’m a very impatient person.) Stretch it out on a cutting board (it will resist you) as much as you can, to about a 7 inch in diameter, inch thick slab. Spread the peanut butter on top, and use about as much to make a thin coat (no need to measure.)Slice it into inch wide slices (makes about nine.) It’s okay that the slices are different lengths. Place each slice peanut butter side up on a oiled parchment paper lined bake sheet. Bake at 400 for ten minutes. Take the sheet out and carefully pour a stripe of barbecue sauce on each “rib.” Spread the barbecue sauce carefully with a silicone brush and attempt not to move the peanut butter. Lower the heat to 350 degrees and bake again for ten minutes. Remove the “ribs” with a spatula after they have cooled slightly as to not burn little fingers. Eat with your fingers to enable maximum enjoyment. Don’t tell your British husband you ate with your fingers.

Golden Mean Vegan Cafe

 

This vegan cafe in Santa Monica was a great find. When we walked in the desserts were on display which looked great.

The ‘works’ burger is a fine choice. It’s a bean burger with all sorts of extras from tempah bacon to avacodo. Nothing that inspired but very tasty.

Decorated with pagan and spiritual symbols. The little cushioned seats are cute and fun to sit in.

I definitely want to head back and try the carrot cake sometime.

It’s mix of burgers and recognizable menu items for non vegans make it an easy choice to bring your meat-eatting buddies.

The Sexy Vegan: A Review

Sick of not being able to pig out on fastfood without killing animals and the environment? The Sexy Vegan has the answer for you: http://www.thesexyvegan.moonfruit.com/

Fried in peanut oil, I made this very fishy sandwich very fantastic without hurting any fishies.