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    Archive for the ‘recipes’ Category

    3 Easy & Tasty Sea Vegetable Recipes

    As regular Small Bites readers know, I am a vocal fan of sea vegetables. They are highly anti-inflammatory, a good source of omega 3 fatty acids not found in other plant-based foods, and offer a nice array of vitamins, minerals, and other healthful compounds.

    Alas, since sea vegetables are not a part of traditional North American cuisine, most of us did not grow up eating them, or perhaps even knowing what they looked and tasted like.

    Except for some offerings at Japanese restaurants (maki rolls with nori, seaweed salads, and miso soup with a few bits of seaweed), our exposure to all this great underwater produce is rather limited.

    Before I provide the 3 recipes,some helpful information:

    • You can purchase sea vegetables at health food stores, Asian markets, Whole Foods, or through websites like Maine Coast or Eden Foods.
    • Keep in mind that you are buying dried sea vegetables, most of which you will then rehydrate at home. Sea vegetables expand quite a bit after being soaked (as much as five times their dried size), and these recipes don’t call for large amounts anyhow. You are getting a lot more food for your money than you may originally think.
    • In terms of flavors, arame and wakame are milder, hijiki is somewhere in the middle, while dulse, nori, kelp, and kombu have stronger flavors.

    And now, let’s talk food!

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    Recipe: Sweet & Spicy Harvest Chili

    Chili is one of my favorite fall and wintertime foods.  Several years ago I posted one of my favorite chili recipes made with traditional ingredients like corn, peppers, and a variety of beans (that recipe, by the way, goes great over a bed of brown rice or quinoa).

    This time around, I want to share a much less conventional variety that contains a variety of vegetables and spices (cocoa powder, anyone?).  If your digestive system is particularly sensitive to beans, then this recipe is for you, since lentils are the stars (unlike beans, lentils do not contain sulfur — AKA: no unpleasant side effects).

    This recipe is very high in fiber, so if you are not accustomed to large amounts, you may want to start out having a a smaller serving of this as a side dish.

    PS: I have been camera-less for the past week, but next time I make this recipe, I will upload a photo of the finished product.  Enjoy!

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    More Vegan Deliciousness From Doug McNish!

    Last week, Canadian vegan executive chef Doug McNish shared his much sought-after recipe for tempeh croquettes. This week, he delights us with two lovely side dishes perfect for autumn — a spiced sweet potato mash and a caramelized onion and cherry tomato relish! I hope some of you are inspired to include these at your Thanksgiving dinner next month.

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    Chef Doug McNish’s Tempeh Croquettes

    I know Chef Doug McNish from Twitter, but I really look forward to the day when I get to try some of his food.  How could I not, after seeing photos of his marinated beet carpaccio with Belgium endive, sprouted pumpkin seed chimichurri, and chili flax oil, or his black kale and bok choy salad with pumpkin seed ‘butter cream’, nori, and spirulina?

    With chilly Fall temperatures here to stay, I asked Doug to share his favorite hearty autumn recipes with me.  These tempeh croquettes (!) are one; be sure to come back next Friday, when I’ll share the other two delectable recipes he sent me.

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    Quick & Healthy Recipe: Cocoa-Tahini Brown Rice Crispy Squares

    Rice Krispies treats originated as a homemade snack in the 1920s. As a testament to their popularity, they are also available in prepackaged form.  Of course, that means means they come bundled with partially hydrogenated oils, petroleum-derived artificial flavor, sketchy preservatives like BHT, and the usual genetically modified suspects (high fructose corn syrup, soybean oil, etc.).  No, thank you.

    Vegans are out of luck, too; traditional recipes for Rice Krispies treats contain butter and marshmallows (made from gelatin). Homemade versions can be made with vegan marshmallows, which are nevertheless empty calories that usually contain likely GMO ingredients, like soy and corn byproducts.

    This no-bake recipe — my adaptation of an original one found in the excellent cookbook Vegan Bites by Beverly Lynn Bennett — saves the day. It offers whole grains, healthful fats from whole foods, not too much sweetness, and is a snap to make.

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    Quick & Healthy Recipe: Oil-Free Autumn Buckwheat Granola

    Buckwheat is technically a seed (and, despite its name, wheat & gluten-free)

    I love this granola for several reasons; it offers something different by not being oat-based, it doesn’t contain any added oils (gets all its healthful fats from whole foods), it’s a delectable combination of crunchy and chewy, and it captures all the flavors of autumn.  Enjoy!

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    Quick & Healthy Recipes: Magic Orbs

    Last week while in Buenos Aires, I wanted to make my classic brownie bites for my nephews.  Alas, once I realized I didn’t have dates or raisins on hand, I opted to instead raid my parents’ pantry and refrigerator for ingredients I thought would go well together for a treat with similar qualities.

    No more than 15 minutes later, almost as if by magic, these delicious ‘orbs’ were finished.

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    Do It Yourself: Almond-Based Yogurt!

    While there are a plethora of almond-based products on the market (butters, ice creams, milks, whipped creams, etc), almond yogurt has yet to make it onto supermarket shelves in most places.  Until you see it in a store near you, here is how you can make your own almond yogurt at home!

    The recipe below is for an almond-pecan yogurt.  It is actually very easy to prepare, but requires time and patience for two important processes — the soaking of the nuts and the fermenting of the yogurt.  Although the “bad news” is that you can’t enjoy your yogurt right away, the “good news” is that the hands-on time you need to devote to this recipe is fifteen minutes, tops.

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    Quick & Healthy Recipe: “Bow Down To the Kale Gods” Salad

    I came up with this recipe’s name because this salad made me fall in love with kale once again.  Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t turning my back on kale, but our relationship needed to have that initial fire reignited; and this salad did the trick. It is the end result of me making several modifications to an original one I was introduced to at a recent cooking workshop here in Seattle.

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    Quick & Healthy Recipes: 100% Whole Wheat Hemp & Chia Seed Banana Bread Muffins

    Here’s a random “fun fact” about me — whenever I come down with a cold (especially if it involves a wicked sore throat), I feel an intense need to bake.  Who knows why?  A desire to return to simpler times?  A little dose of self-love?  Or, maybe, it’s because if I ever get mopey about the fireball of glass shards in my throat, I can counter-balance that with “but I’ve got some killer baked goods on hand!”.

    Yesterday, the baking compulsion specifically involved banana bread.  Not just any banana bread.  Oh no. I wanted to make a delectable vegan, 100% whole wheat, hemp and chia seed banana bread.  Yes, even when sick, I like a challenge.

    As you can tell by this photograph (snapped minutes after the muffins were done), the challenge was met successfully.  Here’s the recipe!

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    Quick & Healthy Recipe: Sweet Potato & Kale Hash

    yamsA few days ago, Lisa Suriano (AKA @Veggiecation on Twitter) mentioned a recipe she had for a potato and kale hash.  My tastebuds perked up and I immediately asked her if she could e-mail me the recipe so I could showcase it here.  Within minutes, Lisa graciously granted my request!

    So as to not lazily cut and paste someone else’s recipe on here, I decided to use Lisa’s delightful original recipe as inspiration and make a few small tweaks (mainly using sweet potatoes in place of potatoes, and playing around with different spices and condiments).

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    Quick & Healthy Recipe: Spicy Pumpkin-Sweet Potato Hummus

    canned-pumpkin_300This hummus’ vibrant orange color not only matches the beautiful fall foliage, it also provides some unique flavor combinations for the tastebuds. And, despite the endless varieties of commercial hummus, I have yet to find it at any store!

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    Quick & Healthy Recipe: Kitchen Raid Granola

    x2_27cf1e7Granola has often been unmasked as an “unhealthy food with a healthful reputation”, and for good reason.  Many commercial granolas contain lots of oil and added sugars, and very little actual nutrition.

    A true shame, because granola can potentially be a nutrient-rich breakfast or snack.  This is where this recipe comes in.  Not only is it low in added sugars and oil, it is also full of nuts and seeds (hence the “kitchen raid” moniker), all of which offer a wide variety of phytonutrients, antioxidants, and heart-healthy fats.  The accompanying photograph, by the way, is the granola prior to being baked.

    You are, of course, more than welcome to customize this to your liking.  For example, you can use hazelnuts and almonds instead of pecans or walnuts (or, for a nut-free version, sub in pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds).  Similarly, if a chocolate-flavored variety isn’t you thing, you can instead spice it up with pumpkin pie spice.

    I find that the combination of six different nuts and seeds keeps this granola interesting.  That said, I understand not everyone has them all available at all times.  If you want to use just pecans and hemp seeds, that’s fine — just make sure to stick to the total amount of nuts and seeds used in the recipe.

    This is an extremely nutrient-dense food that will leave you satisfied for a long while.  If combining it with fruit and yogurt, I recommend a quarter cup.  By itself (or topped with some milk, dairy or otherwise), a half cup is definitely a good amount.  This is not air-filled crisp-rice cereal that has you white-knuckling it until lunch time.

    One last note: Texture-wise, this recipe reminds me more of a muesli-granola hybrid than a traditional granola.

    YIELDS: Approximately 6 cups (24 quarter-cup servings; 12 half-cup servings)

    DRY INGREDIENTS:

    2.5 cups oats (quick-cooking oats are fine; I prefer steel-cut)
    1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
    1/2 cup chopped raw pecans
    1/2 cup chopped raw walnuts
    1/4 cup flax meal
    1/4 cup chia seeds
    1/4 cup hemp seeds
    1/3 cup cacao powder/unsweetened cocoa powder
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup dried fruit of choice (my favorite: unsweetened dried blueberries)

    WET INGREDIENTS:

    5 Tablespoons coconut oil
    1/4 cup liquid sweetener of choice (i.e.: agave nectar, honey, maple syrup)
    1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract (if using vanilla powder, add it to dry ingredients)

    INSTRUCTIONS

    Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Add all dry ingredients in one large bowl.  In a smaller bowl, mix all the wet ingredients together.

    Once mixed, add wet ingredients to “dry ingredient” bowl.

    Stir well.  Place mixture on large baking sheet.  Spread and flatten out using wooden spoon.

    Bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 5 to 7 minutes.

    Once done, remove from oven.  Add goji berries and raisins.  Allow to cool and store in containers.

    NUTRITION FACTS (for 1/2 cup serving)

    280 calories
    100 mg sodium
    7.5 grams fiber
    4 grams added sugar
    8.5 grams protein

    Excellent Source of: Iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, selenium, thiamin, vitamin E, zinc

    Good source of: Folic acid, niacin, phosphorus, riboflavin, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C

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    Quick & Healthy Recipe: Quinoa Vegetable Ginger-Curry Burgers

    quinoa11And so we come to the last vegan burger recipe.

    This is by far the most time-intensive, as it requires you to use cooked quinoa, and then refrigerate the burgers for a few hours before cooking them. Actual prep time, though, is not long at all.

    Of course, you could very well plan ahead slightly and, next time you cook quinoa at home, make an extra batch to have handy for this recipe.

    YIELDS: 4 patties

    1 cup quinoa, cooked (about 1/2 cup uncooked)
    2 Tablespoons olive oil
    1/2 cup baby portabella mushrooms, chopped
    1/2 cup shredded carrots
    1/2 cup red peppers, chopped
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    1 cup baby spinach leaves, loosely packed
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    Pepper, to taste
    1/2 tsp curry powder
    1/8 tsp ground ginger
    3 Tablespoons scallions, chopped
    1 teaspoon tamari
    3/4 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs

    INSTRUCTIONS:

    In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil. Once hot, add the baby portabella mushrooms and shredded carrots. Cook, stirring frequently for 2 minutes. Add the red peppers and cook, stirring frequently for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until golden brown. Add the spinach leaves and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

    Allow vegetables to cool for five minutes.

    In a food processor, process the cooked vegetables and spices for 20 to 30 seconds.

    Empty the contents of the food processor into a large bowl. Add the quinoa, tamari, scallions and breadcrumbs; mix together with your hands until you achieve a dough-like solid mass.

    Refrigerate the “burger dough” for two hours.

    After the two hours have passed, take out burger dough from refrigerator.  Form “burger dough” into four individual patties and cook to your liking (either pan-fry for a few minutes on each side or bake on a lighty oiled baking sheet at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 7  minutes on each side).

    NUTRITION INFORMATION (per patty):

    248 calories
    1 gram saturated fat
    250 milligrams sodium
    3.5 grams fiber
    5 grams protein

    Excellent Source of: Folate, niacin, thiamin, monounsaturated fatty acids

    Good source of: Magnesium, manganese, vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C

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    Quick & Healthy Recipe: Spicy Mushroom & Black Bean Burger

    Onto the second vegan burger recipe!

    While this one requires a bit longer prep time than the firstblack-beans, it shouldn’t take more than twenty minutes.  This burger freezes very well, so you could make a huge batch and save most of it in the freezer for hurried nights.

    YIELDS: 4 patties

    INGREDIENTS:

    2 14-ounce cans low-sodium or sodium-free black beans, drained and rinsed for about 30 seconds
    1 Tablespoon olive oil
    1/2 cup white mushrooms
    1/2 cup onions, chopped
    3 garlic cloves, minced
    1/2 teaspoon chili powder
    1/4 teaspoon cumin
    1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    1/4 teaspoon paprika
    Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
    1/8 teaspoon salt

    INSTRUCTIONS:

    In a medium bowl, mash black beans with a fork or wooden spoon (or, if you really want to get into it, use your hands!). The idea is not to make bean puree, but to achieve a chunky mashed texture. You definitely want solid bits of bean here and there. Once done, set bowl aside.

    In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil. Once hot, add mushrooms. Cook and stir frequently for 2 to 3 minutes. Add onions. Stir frequently for 1 to 2 minutes. Add garlic, and continue to cook until garlic is golden brown.

    Increase heat and add all spices (except salt). Stir frequently for 2 minutes.

    Transfer vegetable mixture into food processor. Add salt. Process for approximately 10 seconds.

    Add vegetable mixture to “bean mush” bowl.  Mix with hands, compressing all ingredients together, making “burger dough”.  Form “burger dough” into four individual patties and cook to your liking (either pan-fry for a few minutes on each side or bake on a lighty oiled baking sheet at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 7  minutes on each side).

    NOTE: I have been able to get a solid dough without needing to use binders (that said, I don’t mind eating crumbly vegan burgers).  If you want your burgers more solid, feel free to add a half cup of whole wheat breadcrumbs or quick-cooking oats.  Or, if you don’t require a fully vegan recipe, two egg whites will work, too.  Even then, don’t expect these to be as solid as the frozen type you can buy at the grocery store.

    NUTRITION FACTS (for one patty):

    249 calories
    0.5 grams saturated fat
    375 milligrams sodium
    14 grams fiber
    15 grams protein

    Excellent Source of: Folate, iron, magnesium, thiamin

    Good Source of: Manganese, phosphorus, zinc

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