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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I Have No Time, So I'll Just Make Salad.

GAH!  Lately I have been so busy, picked up 2 side jobs and been planning for vacation.  I wanted to spend more time putting up more recipes, but by the time I finished work, side projects and other things, I wanted to hit the sack.  I DID however, manage to squeeze in healthy meals.  And for those of you who live like I do, with only brief moments to actually take a breath, this is for you!

Healthy Speedy Salad:
Organic Spring Mix, Spinach and Kale
Sweet Onions
Dried Cranberry
Sunflower Seeds
Organic Barlett pears
Bean Sprouts
Ground Flaxseed
Avocado
Chick Peas
Red Bell Pepper
Red Kidney Beans
Mushrooms




This mix was absolutely fantastic.  It didn't need dressing with the mixture of flavors (especially the pears and cranberry making it sweet), but I did add a bit of balsamic vinegar to it.  I also put a little garlic powder on top which gave it one more nudge.

I cut up enough stuff the first time around to be able to make 3 more of these salads for 2 of us, which reeeeeeeeeeeeally saved me some time.  I felt really great after I ate it too!  Helps to have more energy on such a busy schedule!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Lentil Monster Mash Salad

Reposting this salad!  It was pretty popular so it deserves another run! 


Lentil Monster Mash Salad:

I only added the "Monster" part in there because it's getting close to Halloween!  :)

What You'll Need:
Main Dish:
  • 2 cups red lentils
  • Cumin Powder
  • Curry Powder
  • Garlic Powder
  • Garlic Salt
  • Cinnamon
  • Organic Spinach
  • Organic Spring Mix
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Sweet Red Onions
Dressing:
  • Roma Tomatoes
  • 3 cloves Garlic (or crushed garlic)
  • Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Curry
  • Salt/Pepper

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead Trailer!

Since I am juicing this week, I'd like you all to preview the trailer for Fat Sick and Nearly Dead.  If you have not watched this documentary, I highly recommend that you do.  It's life changing.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Fennel Made Me Do It

I found a great way to use fennel!  I have always had this weird relationship with fennel.  Some days we get along, some days we do, some days we'll drink wine by the fire and...  Moving on, I never could figure fennel out - until we made this salad! It's light and hearty at the same time and it has this amazing way of hitting every taste bud!

By the way!  Please follow my blog!  I am new to the blogger world and I need some friends.  I'm not to bashful to ask for a friend or 2!

GETTING STARTED:
Back to the salad.  We started out with some very basic ingredients.

Salad:
  • fresh fennel (also known as anise)
  • 2 red peppers
  • 1 sweet red onion
  • lentil mash leftover from my earlier recipe
  • a little garlic powder, salt, pepper
  • fresh parsley
The KEY to this is cutting your ingredients julienne style (long) and super thin.  And when I say super thin, I mean super thin.


The Dressing:
Oh boy oh boy oh boy is this good.  This is what makes this fantastic.
    • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (if you do oil, I omitted this)
    • 2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon sugar (I left this part out too)
    • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 garlic clove, minced 
    • A shake of garlic powder
    Put these in a blender if you wish or whisk them together as I did. 
    Notice I omitted the oil and sugar and it still tasted awesome.  I left it in for those who still enjoy those ingredients.

    Next Take the curried lentil mash (cold) and put in your plate or bowl.  Lay your vegetables on top and lightly sprinkle with your dressing and parsley.  Wallah!  Finite!  You can speed through this one too, if you're pressed for time.

    When I tasted this for the first time, I was totally in love with how the fennel just brought it all together.  The thinly sliced veggies and the dressing is what made this perfect. 

    Fennel, you had me at hello.

    Tuesday, October 4, 2011

    Chakra Focaccia!

    Try to say that 10 times fast!  Ha!  Well today was a busy day and had no time to sit down and make something, however we did get to go to a gem of a place in Central Phoenix.  It's a bit if a ride for us, but OoOOoOoo is it worth it.  Not only do they sell every herb and tincture you can imagine, they also prepare fresh, 100% organic vegan dishes that are A  MAZE  ING.  Not to mention they have this stellar Chai, that is is their own blend of spicy deliciousness.

    After I gathered all my herbs, we sat down to this!  How YOU  doin!?  A spinach pesto was generously spread on a very light, crispy focaccia bread with Greek olives, dill, roasted pepper and onions.  it came with a tasty side salad  that had tiny slivers of celery, grape tomatoes, onion, dill and yellow peppers.  Loved, loved, loved this dish.  Tommy's was just as delightful.  He had a curried monster burrito with beans, sweet potatoes, muchi curry and avocado.  Super tasty.  We would have done dishes for seconds.  And then scrubbed the toilets for thirds.  No.  Seriously.




    We then ventured to a new produce place where we stocked up on alllllll the stuff we are going to need to make our next recipes.  We were quite happy with their fresh looking organic selection! 



    Now off to dream about what we'll make for tomorrow!

    Monday, October 3, 2011

    What Did You Say Pizza? You Want Me to Eat You!?

    Ohhhhhh pizza how I love thee.  Sometimes, you just need the comfort of a good 'ol pizza.  And lucky for me, I have a Sicilian fiance who is very good at attending to that need.  Since becoming vegan, we've tackled the challenge of making a vegan pizza TASTE GOOD.  There is no dairy, no oils, no meats.  Hooray!

    SUPER GARLICY GOOD PIZZA
    Getting Started:
    1.First, go get yourself a pizza stone.  They go for about $10, and we use it once a week.  It is VERY handy.
    2.  Second, go get some cornmeal.  This is a lifesaver.  By spreading it under your dough, you save yourself the trouble of peeling chunks of your pizza off the stone to eat it. 
    3.  You will need dough.  Go ahead and get the pre-made dough.  We found sprouted whole wheat grain dough that was fantastic.  (Go for the wheat over the white).
    4.  Preheat your oven to 375.
    5.  Have 3 cloves cut garlic ready, handful of basil, your favorite or homemade tomato sauce, vegan cheese, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder and toppings you love (mushrooms, onions).

    Working the Dough:
    This is actually pretty easy.  Slap a good amount of the corn meal to cover the pizza stone.  Grab your refrigerated dough (make sure you keep it in the fridge before use, it makes it much easier to work with) and before you place it on the pizza stone work it with your hands into a circle.  Pull it a little and spin it and you will see it work itself out nicely.  Once you've pulled it to about twice the size it came, go ahead and drop it down onto your pizza stone.  Wiggle it around so the bottom coats with corn meal.  Gently push and pull the dough towards the outside of the stone, keeping a uniform thickness.  We like to fold up the edges for a good crusty bite.
    After you have played with the dough to make it fit your pizza stone take the 3 cloves of carlic you finely chopped and spread it like paste all over the dough.  Add your oregano, a little garlic power and onion powder - to taste.  (We put a little vegan cheese on our crust above).

    Now you are going to go ahead and stick it into the oven!  Yes, into the oven before you put anything else on.  Put it in for about 15 minutes or until the crust is just starting to firm up and you can "tap" it without making an indent.

    I know it's tempting, but don't eat it yet.  When you pull it out of the oven it will smell so good!  It's now time to start adding the rest of your ingredients.  Boost your oven up to 405 while we do the next step.

    With a spoon take your tomato sauce and swirl it around to cover your dough.  Add as much as you like, we add a lot because Tommy loves sauce.  AND since we pre-cooked our dough, the center doesn't get as soggy, if at all!









    Oh yes.  This is looking really good.










    Even better.











    Now start adding the toppings you love.  We chose sweet red onion, because I flippin' love onions. 

    Spread them out evenly to cover.

    If you use different toppings, just watch, because the more water that is in your topping, the more likely you may come out with a soggy pizza.



     
    Now for some vegan cheese and fresh basil from our backyard.  And folks, I highly recommend growing your own basil.  It's not only awesome for pizza but we've used it for so many other things.  Plus it grows like crazy too, so you'll always have some. 

    Time to stick that pizza back into your 405 degree oven for another 15-20 minutes.  Depending on your toppings you may need more or less time.  You'll know when it's brown and the crust is pretty hard to touch.


    Don't be afraid, until you get the hang of it, to take it out and shoe a spatula under the pizza and lift it a bit to see if your crust is hard, if not throw it back in!    After it comes out it will look something like this!  Grab a pizza slicer and start cutting!










    And then after 3 minutes it will look something like this!!





    ENJOY!

    Sunday, October 2, 2011

    Simple, Fast, Easy, Tasty, Friendly Spaghetti Squash!

    This has totally been our go to meal when we are craving Italian or just in a rush and don't have time to make anything.  Spaghetti squash is literally an amazing little veggie friend.  He does all the work for you!
    Getting started:  
    Preheat your oven to 350.
    Go get yourself a small-medium sized spaghetti squash (ours is a medium-large size in the picture) if you are making a meal for 2.  Bigger if you are making for more.  Give it a good wash (you don't use the skin anyways) and get your best knife out to cut it LENGTHWISE in half.  The cutting I found was the most challenging, especially if it is under ripe.  I found the easiest way to cut it is if you hold the stem area and then cut the bottom half all the way through to the other side (so you kind of made a mouth on it).  This way you can stick the back of a spoon in the slice you made for leverage to cut through the rest.  Don't be afraid to just rip apart when you have the whole thing almost cut (you get all the meat out of it later, so style and presentation points don't count here).  Once you have that bad boy in half, discard the middle slimy, seedy part and lay it out on a cookie sheet.  **Depending on your oven, you may want to add water to the bottom of the cookie sheet, an inch or less, so it doesn't dry out.  Put the squash into the oven for about 30-45 minutes.  You can tell when it's finished when you can stick a fork in the meat of it easily or it's getting a little wilty.

    It will come out looking like this.




    Next is the fun part!  After the oven, grab a potholder with one hand and stand one half of it upright.  Take a fork in the other hand and just drag it from top to bottom of the meaty part of the squash.  It's VERY easy, and it literally just falls apart with your fork.  Takes about 2 minutes.
    Presto!  Spaghetti!   

     Next grab one of your favorite organic tomato sauces, or make your own like we like to do, and add it to the top!  We LOVE the texture of the squash waaaaaaay better than noodles.  You get a little bit of a hearty crunch in there, which is great.  Add a little basil on top if you like and enjoy!  Hooray for fast and easy recipes!  P.S.  This saves pretty well in the fridge do if you make a big squash, you can have leftovers for another day or two.


    Enjoy!

    Saturday, October 1, 2011

    Vegan Mofo 2011 Has Begun!

    Well this is our first year participating in Vegan Food Month (MoFo).  We are pretty excited about this!  In celebration, we have decided to do juice fasts of pure veggies and fruits!  We'll get our shizzle together tomorrow and post some starting stats and then report along the way.  Thankfully to fill some air time while we are juicing, last week, I  made some awesome vegan recipes I would like to share.  If anyone is interested in juicing with us, we'd love to have partners.  It's always easier when you have buddies!  Also be sure to check out the Vegan MoFo web site and sign up for the RSS feed of ALL of our blogs - and let me tell you there are A LOT.  So, happy Vegan Food Month!

    JUICE PARTY!