Tuesday, 18 April 2017 00:00

This recipe is perfect to serve at a party or as a snack at home.

Prep time: 15 mins.

Ingredients

• 2 lbs of cashews
• 2 tablespoons coconut oil melted (or oil of choice)
• 5 dashes of hot sauce
• 3 teaspoons chili powder
• 2 teaspoons of cumin
• 4 tablespoons of rosemary
• 2 tablespoons of salt
• 2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 350°.

2.  Coat cashews with melted oil of choice.

3.  Spread cashews in large baking dish.

4.  Mix allspice and rosemary together, and spread evenly over cashews. Apply the desired amount of hot sauce. Mix together with spoon to make sure seasonings are evenly spread.

5.  Place in oven for roughly 20 minutes. You will have to stir every so often to make sure the nuts toast evenly.

Remove, and allow to cool for half an hour or so before serving.

Enjoy!

Use this recipe as a guide, and adjust measurements and ingredients as necessary.

Tuesday, 07 March 2017 00:00

Spring rolls are our go-to appetizer anytime we dine at a Thai restaurant, but we like to make them at home, too. They're super easy, fairly inexpensive, and so tasty! The recipe below is for 8 spring rolls, but it's really simple to double (or triple) based on your needs.

Non-vegetarians can substitute steamed shrimp for the seared tofu. However you make them, just don't skimp on the peanut sauce! That's the best part.

Spring roll ingredients:
12 oz. firm tofu, pressed and drained, sliced into 1/2" strips
1 carrot, julienned
1 cucumber, julienned
About 5 oz. rice noodles or bean thread noodles (chef's choice)
A few handfuls of bean sprouts
8 spring roll wrappers
About 24 cilantro leaves
About 16 mint leaves
2 tbsp. sesame oil

Peanut dipping sauce ingredients:
Use this recipe; it''s awesome. Use almond butter if you wish, but we always go with peanut butter. (Honestly, the entire recipe is amazing, but we don't always have the patience to make the flash-fried crispy tofu, so we do our simplified version below most of the time.)

Directions:

1. Pan-sear the tofu in the sesame oil. This will take a while—like, 8 minutes per side. You'll be tempted to stir them, flip them, jostle them, but just leave them be! It takes a while for them to firm up. You'll have plenty to do in the meantime.

2. While the tofu is searing, julienne the carrot and cucumber, and get your partner or friend to pull leaves off the cilantro and mint because that always takes longer than you think.

3. Prepare the rice noodles or bean thread noodles. This usually just involves boiling some water and soaking the noodles.

4. Prepare the spring roll wrappers according to instructions. I like to use two plates: one with a shallow hot water bath, and the other clean for prepping the spring rolls.

5. Assemble! This is the fun and challenging part. If you've never done this before, your first couple will be messy. That's cool. They won't all turn out perfect. It doesn't matter.

I usually place some rice/bean thread noodles down, then layer with two pieces of tofu and some veggies and herbs. Fold the ends over, seal it up, and move on to the next one.

It really is messy, though. Don't feel bad if most of your results look like this. (Mine do, every single time, and I've done this a lot.)

6. Put on a plate with peanut sauce, and enjoy!

Have you made spring rolls by hand? What are some of your favorite ingredients?

Sunday, 27 March 2016 00:00

I’m all about Taco Tuesday. In my opinion, there is never a bad time to eat tacos, burritos, enchiladas, or nachos. Along that same vein, I’m into experimenting with new variations on things. This time it was nachos. I see Mexican street corn all over Pinterest and food blogs, but I’ve never tried it. Whenever I make corn on the cob, I can’t bring myself to put more than butter and salt on it. But then I had an idea. What if, instead of eating it on the cob, you turned it into nachos? That way, the dish still has all the fun flavors of Mexican street corn, but is both easier to eat (no fighting the corn cob and getting the dressing all over your face) and also more fun. I am a firm believer that any food you can eat with your fingers is more fun.

 Ingredients 

• 4 cups corn, fresh or frozen

• 1 cup shredded cheese

• ½ tsp. garlic seasoning or minced garlic

• 2 tbsp. mayo

• 2-4 tbsp. crema or sour cream

• ¼ cup queso fresco

• Juice of half a lime

• 2 tbsp. chopped green onions

• 2 tbsp. chopped cilantro

• 1 (16-oz.) bag of chips


1.  Put corn on a baking sheet and place under broiler set on high. Make sure to leave the oven door cracked, and check often so that it doesn’t burn. Turn corn ever few minutes until the pieces have nice brown spots, but aren’t burnt. 

2.  When corn is still warm, mix in mayo, garlic, and cheese. Stir to combine, and then put back in warm oven, with broiler turned off, to melt the cheese. While the cheese is melting, arrange chips on a serving platter.

3.  When the cheese seems nice and melty, top chips with corn mixture. Drizzle with crema and queso fresco, and then sprinkle chopped green onions and cilantro. Finish with a hearty squeeze of lime juice. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, 09 March 2016 00:00

I didn’t know that I liked Indian food until I worked for a cardiologist who was from outside of Delhi. Apparently, I hadn’t been trying the right recipes. We were working with a heart-healthy cookbook, and some nights, because she had a family, it was easier to work from her living room than at the hospital. It was there, in the warm and inviting living room, that she taught me the beauty of Indian food—Shahi paneer, Biyani, the list goes on. This recipe is for Bhel puri. It’s a chaat food, a snack-like street food. I’ve never eaten it from a street vendor; I had it once at a restaurant in Berkeley, but mainly at the cardiologist’s house—well, that is, until I learned to make it myself. It’s like crispy little pieces coated in spicy cilantro chutney, with potato and onion. It’s spicy, it’s savory, and it’s filling. It’s like chips and salsa—satisfying without the dipping aspect. A note about the ingredients—you will most likely have to seek out an Indian grocery store, or order them online.

What you’ll need:

Bhujia. These are like tiny little fried noodles made from chickpea and peanut powder.

Aloo Bhujia. This is the same thing as above, but it has potato in it.

Murmura. If you are familiar with puffed rice cereal, it’s basically the same thing, except not sweet.

This recipe is for one, as a meal. You could use smaller quantities if you just want a snack, or use larger quantities if you’re making it for multiple people.

Ingredients:

½ cup Bhujia

½ cup Aloo Bhujia

½ cup Murmura

1 small steamed or boiled potato, peeled and cut into small pieces

1–2 green onions or 1–2 tablespoons of chopped red onion

1–3 tablespoons of chutney

For chutney:

1 bunch cilantro

Juice of 1 lime

½-1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds

3–4 peppers (you can use whatever kind you like. I often use Thai, but use whatever you like, given your heat preference)

A pinch of salt


Add all ingredients to a blender or small food processor. Add just enough liquid to make it spin. Sometimes the juice of the lime is enough, and sometimes you have to add a little water. Blend until the mixture is fairly smooth, and free of large chunks.

Once the chutney is made, you can start to assemble the bhel puri. I have the best luck doing this in a container with a lid so that I can shake it to mix the sauce. Measure in your bhujia, aloo bhujia, and murmura. Add in potato and onion. Then pour over chutney. Start with a tablespoon or two, give it a shake, and then see if you need more sauce. I like it to be coated but not dripping. Also, remember that the chutney will be spicy, so keep that in mind when you are dressing the bhel puri. Once it is adequately sauced, you’ll want to eat it right away before it gets soggy. Enjoy!

Saturday, 31 January 2015 00:00

Super Bowl weekend is notorious for unhealthy noshing.  While I admittedly love my fair share of junk food, there’s no reason you can’t substitute some ingredients to make your favorite comfort foods just a wee bit better for you.  This Vegan Jalapeno Poppers recipe does just that.  The melt in your mouth cheesy goodness with a hint of spice and a little crunch?  Yep, that’s all still there.  But most of the fat and saturated oils? Gone.  They are so good you’ll never have a need to go back to the original recipe.  


If you’re like me, you’ve waited until the last minute to prepare your Super Bowl food and thankfully these goodies are served hot out of the oven.  The Vegan Jalapeno Poppers can also be made in advance, refrigerated, and reheated just in time for the big game.   


You don’t need much to create this delicious appetizer: panko bread crumbs, nutritional yeast, garlic, cilantro, jalapeño peppers, vegan cream cheese, and some cooking spray.    
Panko breadcrumbs are made from a high protein wheat flour and are baked, not fried.  The nutritional yeast will give your poppers a bit more cheesy flavor and when mixed together with the panko bread crumbs, you won’t even be able to taste that it’s there.  Plus, nutritional yeast is a complete protein, providing all nine amino acids.  


My jalapeño peppers pictured above are so large, it’s possible they were mislabeled at the store and are actually serrano peppers.  Serranos aremuch spicier than jalapeños though, and our taste test of the peppers suggest they may be jalapeños after all.  Either jalapeños or serranos will be fine.  

The olive oil/cooking spray isn’t pictured but I used a coconut cooking spray because that’s what I had on hand.  
Choose the yellow package of Tofutti cream cheese if this is the brand you have at your local store.  The white variety is made with partially hydrogenated soybean oil, which isn’t good for you.  The yellow variety has no butterfat.   It also has herbs and chives, which is a great touch to this recipe.  


Finely chop three cloves of garlic and cilantro then mix with the vegan cream cheese in a small bowl.  Once the mixture is completely blended, place the bowl in the refrigerator while you go on to the next steps.  (The mixture can stand to be refrigerated for up to an hour, but 15-20 minutes is also fine.)


Next, using a sharp knife, slice the peppers in half completely through.  You can do this by cutting longways on the pepper all the way down and cutting down to size if necessary.  Since mine were so large, I had to cut them down a lot.  Next, pull out the seeds with your fingers.  If you’re sensitive to the spiciness, try using a grapefruit spoon to get the seeds out.      Once the peppers have all been prepped, add a light layer of cooking spray or olive oil to the peppers.  This will just help ensure they don’t stick to the pan and give it a little more flavor.  Lay the peppers flat on a baking sheet and gently scoop about a teaspoon of the cream cheese mixture into each pepper.  Try to fill the peppers as much as possible without spilling over the sides.  Next add a layer of panko bread crumbs, followed by the nutritional yeast, and then the panko bread crumbs again.  You could probably also mix the panko and the nutritional yeast in a small bowl then sprinkle them on to get the same effect. 


Place the peppers in a preheated oven at 400 degrees F for about 15 minutes.  You may want to add a few extra minutes if you like your poppers extra crispy.  Don’t worry if after the 15 minutes your poppers don’t look done because we’re not finished yet.  Change your oven setting from bake to broil and place the baking tray on an upper rack.   Then broil for about 3 minutes.  Be sure to keep an eye on your poppers because they can go from nothing to burnt in what seems like a matter of seconds.  


The vegan jalapeño peppers don’t need much time to cool. (The skins of the peppers can be hot though, so be careful when transferring to a serving dish).  Happy and healthy Super Bowl snacking!  

Vegan Jalapeño Poppers

Prep Time

Cook Time

Total Time

20 mins

20 mins

40 mins

 

Ingredients 
● 12 jalapeños 
● 8 oz vegan cream cheese 
● ½ bunch of fresh cilantro 
● 3 cloves garlic, chopped  
● 4 T Japanese-style panko bread crumbs
● 1 t nutritional yeast
● Olive oil or cooking spray 

Instructions
1.In a small bowl, mix together the cream cheese, cilantro, and chopped garlic.    
2.Place cream cheese mixture in the refrigerator to incorporate the flavors you prepare the next steps (approximately 15 to 20 minutes).   
3.Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. 
4.With a sharp knife slice open the peppers in a straight line down the length of the pepper and remove all the seeds. 
5.Lightly coat the peppers with olive oil or with cooking spray and place them on a baking sheet. 
6.Take a spoon and evenly scoop the cream cheese mixture into the pepper.  
7.Sprinkle a layer of panko bread crumbs on each pepper.  Add a thin layer of nutritional yeast on top, then finally add one more layer of pankos.  
8.Place peppers in the oven and bake for approximately 15 minutes.
9.After baking, adjust the pan to a top rack of the over and broil for approximately 3 minutes.  Be sure to keep an eye on the peppers to ensure they don’t burn. 
10. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to a few days, reheating in the microwave or a 350 degree oven until warmed through (though best when fresh).