Vegan Diaries – Pizza Treats

I feel like the toughest part of a diet that is 80% plant based is creating tasty snacks or appetizers. Let’s face it, there’s only so much crudite a person can eat. I mean how many carrots sticks and cucumber slices can you serve before getting an eye roll (my everlasting love of cucumbers not withstanding).

People operate with the best of intentions, right? That extends to healthy eating. If options were out there, we would snatch them up like a lion chasing its prey.

Well Simba, the search is over. Mama’s got a little something I think you’ll enjoy!

These treats are great for movie night or a slumber party. They’re gluten-free low and fat and really delicious. And at 21 calories each you’re not breaking the calorie bank. The only thing you’ll likely need to buy is cauliflower so on top of all that, it’s economical too!!!

I know the good times are rollin’.

Let’s get down.

Ingredients (makes 12)

  • 2 c cauliflower
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 c Tofutti Better Than Ricotta (I actually can’t believe how good this is…)
  • 1 T oregano (I went very heavy with the spices, you can adjust but I feel the spices give it that pizza taste)
  • 1T red pepper flakes
  • 1 T garlic powder
  • 1/2 t sea salt
  • 1 oz Vegan Parmesan shredded
  • 1 T olive oil
  • Non-stick spray for muffin tin (or muffin wrappers)
  • Pasta sauce or pizza sauce for dipping

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 425
  2. In the food processor, chop the cauliflower and garlic until it’s the consistency of rice
  3. Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven or pot
  4. Saute the cauliflower and add the spices
  5. Cook for 4-5 minutes
  6. Transfer mixture to bowl
  7. Fold in ricotta
  8. Chill mixture in frig for 1 hour
  9. Use muffin wrappers in tin
  10. Mixture should be packed down into tin so they don’t fall apart
  11. Cook for 30-40 minutes (check at 25 minutes)
  12. Cauliflower should be brown and crispy
  13. Make sure muffin tin cools or appetizers will break apart
  14. Serve with pizza sauce!

These much more decadent than they should!

Namaste y’all!!

Advertisements

Vegan Diaries – Hummus!!!!

Hummus-details

 

I’m a huge fan of finding the perfect hummus. Bad hummus tastes like paste from the first grade (Ask me how I know).

But good hummus- yum. Good hummus can send your taste buds into a flavorful frenzy. But with so few ingredients needed how could you go wrong? I did some homework… I’ve seen recipes that leave out the tahini– I’ve tried it both ways…it matters.

To make the best hummus- the ingredients matter, as does the blending process. But the biggest secret to heavenly hummus is the shelling of the chickpeas. There is a translucent skin on a chickpea, removing it makes that sexy, silky hummus.

It’s worth it. It add on 15 minutes to the process but it’s not like you have to grow the chickpeas, dry them, cook them and then can them. I call that a win.

  • 1 15 oz can of chickpeas or garbanzo beans, drained (save liquid) beans should be cooked
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • Juice from 2 lemons
  • 1 tablespoon tahini, (optional, but if you do not use, increase yogurt by 1 TBSPt- but we’ve discussed this- please use it- you’ll thank me)
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt or soy yogurt
  • 1 tsp salt
  • lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  1. In a food processor (or blender) combine beans, tahini (if desired), yogurt, garlic, and lemon juice. Blend well. Add salt and cumin and blend to a smooth and creamy dip.
  2. If your hummus is too thick, add a little bit of the liquid from the chickpeas – about a teaspoon at a time. Other ways to thin out hummus is by using warm water or olive oil.
I love hummus and carrots. I love hummus and cucumbers. I love hummus and crusty bread. I love hummus on a spoon.
You get it.
Namaste y’all.

Vegan Diaries – White Pumpkin Granny Smith Apple Soup

The vegan challenge is over, but I can’t seem to stop making vegan food. When your body is fed good, whole food you can’t stop. Rumor is a storm is headed to the NYC area. I’m skeptical, but the wind is vicious.

Vicious. On my way back from yoga it found it’s way into my bones like is was ready to settle for a long winter’s nap. And here I thought spring was about to do just that. Oh well.

I decided on soup for lunch.

I love soup.

I know. I’ve said this.

So I’ll just get down to the get down. White pumpkin soup. So, so good.

I howled after a spoonful.

Ooowww baby! The beauty of the soup is in the simple flavors. White pumpkin tastes like a cross between regular pumpkin and butternut squash. Proper blending is the key to combining the flavors.

I ain’t afraid of no stinkin’ last gasp storm. Armed with soup the cold will go running.

This is yoga. And it keeps me warm on a cold day.

Namasté y’all.

photo credit Prairie Garden Adventure

Ingredients (Makes 6-8 servings) 

  • white pumpkin – 3 cups
  • granny smith apples – 3 cups peeled and roughly chopped (it all gets blended so you don’t have to make it perfect)
  • water – 3 cups
  • olive oil – 2 tablespoons
  • onion- 1 medium roughly chopped
  • garlic – 3-4 cloves roughly chopped
  • ginger – 1 teaspoon freshly grated
  • salt – 1 teaspoon
  • white pepper – 1 teaspoon
Preparation
1. Heat olive oil in large soup pot and sauté onions and garlic until the onions are translucent.
2. Add the ginger and pumpkin. Sauté for five minutes. Don’t let the pumpkin stick to the bottom of the pan.
3. Add the apples. Stir constantly for another five minutes.
4. Add the 3 cups of water
5. Bring soup to a boil then immediately lower heat to a simmer. Add salt and white pepper.
6. Cook soup for 30-40 minutes.
7. Transfer soup in batches to blender and blend until smooth.
8. Transfer soup back to the pot and simmer for 5 minutes and the serve.

Vegan Diaries – Spring Rolls

File this post under delicious experiments. I thought I’d play with making spring rolls. It’s not as easy as I thought, but not that hard to master. These were SO GOOD! So good I wanted to slap myself, but I didn’t because I was eating.

Ingredients

  • Cabbage shredded
  • Noodles cooked (use rice, soba or whatever suits you)
  • Carrots shedded
  • Cucumber thinly sliced
  • Onion thinly sliced
  • Garlic minced
  • Cilantro chopped
  • Ginger grated
  • Crushed red pepper
  • Soy Sauce
  • Sesame oil for sauteing
  • 1 T rice wine vinegar (or white wine)

Peanut Sauce

  • 1 T peanut butter ( I used organic and natural)
  • 1/2 T Tamari (or plum sauce or duck sauce) Even though some use soy and Tamari interchangeably- Tamari is richer and has a little sweetness. If you are using peanut butter that is sweetened, go ahead and grab the soy.
  • 1 splash rice wine vinegar
  • 1 squeeze sriracha (optional)
  • Sesame oil
  • Hot water

Roll Preparation

  1. Honestly most of the ‘cooking’ is chopping
  2. Once everything is chopped diced and sliced
  3. Cook your noodles and set aside
  4. Heat a skillet to saute garlic, onions, cabbage, cilantro and ginger
  5. Add soy sauce and white wine
  6. Cook for 2-3 minutes and remove from heat
Peanut Sauce Preparation
  1. Whisk together all ingredients in a bowl
  2. It will take about a minute to get everything to combine
  3. Add warm water slowly to get sauce to your preferred consistency

Rolling the roll 

  1. Don’t stuff the roll. It will be more tasty but clumsy and messy. You can ask me how I know, but it seems fairly obvious. These are the sacrifices I make for a&o. It’s worth it.
  2. Make the stuffing look pretty as the wrapper is see through and you don’t want all you sloppiness out there. Unless you do, then that’s your business- I won’t judge
  3. Add a little of the peanut sauce (This is better than using it as a dipping sauce, you’ll eat less and it’s less messy.
  4. Fold over the bottom part of the rice paper wrapper
  5. Fold over the left side of wrapper
  6. Tightly and firmly (but gently) roll stuffing and the wrapper

These were SO GOOD! So good I wanted to slap myself, but I didn’t because I was eating. I think I’ll try shrimp next time. I know I mentioned this all at the beginning of the post- but because they were so good, I thought the information was worth repeating.