Thursday, December 29, 2011

Field Roast Scramble

As many of you know, I'm not terribly big on "faux meats" but man, oh man do I love Field Roast.
I especially love field roast when it comes in Costco sized packs of 12 sausages (which it now does, along with the Celebration Loaf - woo woo!)

The meal pictured above is pretty standard fare during busy law school nights and, since the field roast does most of the work, it's as simple as it is satisfying.

And, it is full of protein (each field roast sausage has 25 grams of protein!) fiber, vitamins and all the other delicious good things in the universe pretty much.

Wanna hear how easy it is to make?

Just take 2 smoked apple sage field roast sausages, one bell pepper, one head of broccoli and one onion and dice them all up. Then put a tsp of oil in a large fry pan and let it heat up before adding in all  your amazing ingredients.  Saute them all together for about 6-7 minutes.

Follow up with 4 cloves of minces garlic and two handfuls of spinach and let everything cook together for an additional 2-3 minutes.

Then plate and serve!

Hello delicious!

And because this post wasn't long enough - here is a photo of Wyatt in a fitting room at Banana Republic for your viewing pleasure.

See why I take him everywhere? So patient.

Live long and prosper! And get yo' self some Field Roast from your local Costco!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Sushi Night

I think sushi is one of those things I could eat every night for the rest of my life and be okay with. 

You know, when someone says something like "If you had to live on 5 foods for the rest of your life, what five foods would those be?" I always think sushi would be one of them. It has a wonderful balance of veggies, carbs, salt and is just so satisfying. Plus there are almost infinite combinations if you are willing to get creative ;)

And creative is exactly what I was this sushi-night go around...which is why I was able to make enough rolls to feed a small village. Literally.

This was just ONE of the plates I made. I was rolling out sushi rolls for close to an hour.

But it was TOTALLY worth it. I had leftovers for both Colin and I for like a week.

I also tried a new sushi roll ingredient that I've never used before: Sweet Potato! And it is now by far my favorite filling. Paired with crunch carrot or cucumber it tastes absolutely wonderful and the texture is perfect.

The other fillings that made an appearance were:
  • Carrot
  • Cucumber
  • Avocado
  • Spicy Tempeh Mix
Usually I also get tofutti cream cheese, but the asian foods store I was shopping at didn't have it. But that's the great thing about sushi - you can use or not use whatever ingredients you like!

Here is a rough breakdown of the ingredients you will need what I did to prepare this mass amount of food.

Sushi Ingredients
  • 1 cup medium or short grained rice (I ran out, so feel free to use more if you need it)
  • 1 Tbsp seasoned rice vinegar (do not omit!)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 8 sheets nori (they usually come in 10 packs - use however many you want)
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 large cucumber 
  • 1-2 medium sized avocados
  • 1-2 sweet potatoes
  • 1 package tempeh
  • 2 Tbsp Vegenaise
  • 1 Tbsp sriracha or other hot sauce
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 scallions or 1/2 red onion or 1 stalk celery (FINELY diced)
Other things you will need:
  • Sharp serrated knife
  • Sushi rolling mat
  • Bamboo steamer (or other steaming device)
  • Wasabi/ginger/other garnishes
Prepare the rice according to the directions on the package (again, I tend to go light on the rice so prepare more if you need it). Fold in the rice vinegar and sugar using a sushi spoon or regular, large spoon. Set aside.

Using a vegetable peeler, peel the carrot and the cucumber into long, thin strips and set aside.

Poke the sweet potato with a fork 4 or 5 times and place in the microwave for 5-6 minutes or until soft and steamy. Then, cut the sweet potato and avocado into strips.

Place the tempeh in the bamboo steamer and steam lightly for 4-5 minutes in a large pot.

Using a fork, mash together the tempeh, vegenaise, sriracha, soy sauce and scallions until fully combined and there are no large chunks of tempeh left.

Here is where I would normally try to explain to you how to roll a sushi roll using your mat, but to make your life easier I am going to link to this video which will SHOW you instead of simply describe to you how to roll sushi if you've never done it before. It's not very hard but it does take a little getting used to. This guy uses a little cardboard rolling mat, but I like that it was short and gives you the gist of what you need to do (it's only like a minute long).

Then, slice your sushi into pieces using your serrated knife and arrange as you see fit!

Live long and prosper fellow sushi lovers!

And let me know: if you could only eat 5 foods for the rest of your life, what would they be??

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Okay so I know it's a little late but I couldn't NOT do a vegan thanksgiving post! (See what I did there? Double negative to distract you from how truly behind the times this post is. I mean it's almost CHRISTMAS)
A lot of vegans don't like thanksgiving because of the food culture and ideologies it represents but I LOVE it. In my opinion there is no better time to show off the versatility of vegan food and have an excuse to cook lots and lots of it than thanksgiving. Plus, because I insist on hosting and inviting lots of random people every year, I get to cook for people that wouldn't otherwise try vegan food and I will say (in my 3 years of vegan thanksgivings) I have yet to send anyone away hungry or dissatisfied :)

I cooked for 14 people this year! Phew! It was crazy but a total blast. Everyone brought a dish and a friend of the family's made some incredible vegan and non-vegan desserts.

I also got to shoot guns and hang out on a farm, feed horses and run around with my pups. It was an almost perfect day.

(That's me shooting a gun for the very first time!)

And more importantly:
The Spread (minus dessert!)

Field Roast!

Here's what was on the menu! (See: Top picture, clockwise starting at 12:00)
  • Green Bean Casserole
  • Big Green salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette
  • Roasted Asparagus
  • Field Roast Celebration Loaf
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Mojito Fruit Salad
  • Roasted Chestnut, Granny Smith Apple and Sage Stuffing
  • Rice Pilaf 
  • Rainbow Roasted Veggies with fresh Rosemary and Thyme
  • Homemade Spiced Cranberry Sauce (my own recipe - this was a total hit!)
And for dessert (not pictured unfortunately) was rum pecan pie! Absolutely incredible. I was blown away by this mans dessert making skills.

I'm not going to put recipes for everything up, but here is my acclaimed (by a total of 4 people, including myself) spiced cranberry sauce!

Spiced Cranberry Sauce
  • One bag/box of fresh cranberries (I don't know the exact weight but they come pretty standard)
  • 1 1/2 cups Concord Grape Juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup agave 
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp jamaican all spice (or regular if you don't have jamaican but try to get it!)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 scant tsp salt
Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan, bring to a boil and then simmer for a MINIMUM of 30 minutes. I did mine for about an hour and it was totally worth it, the more time it simmers the more time the flavors have to combine and settle in. Add more grape juice if you need it.

 And every year I make Colin green bean casserole. The old fashioned kind. With french fried onions. I think it's kind of gross but it's the one thing he wants every year. Last year I used Imagine's portobello mushroom concentrate to make it but this year I tried a new recipe and it was so simple and so much better. Oh and I used fresh green beans instead of canned. I just could not bring myself to used canned green beans two years in a row. He was still happy :)

Green Bean Casserole
Adapted from The Vegan Stoner

  • 1 heaping Tbsp earth balance
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp mushroom broth
  • 1/4 cup diced onions
  • 2-3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 trader joes package button/crimini/baby portobello mushrooms (whatever look best)
  • 4 Tbsp flour
  • 1 1/4 cup soy cream
  • 1 trader joes package fresh green beans, chopped into 1-2 inch segments
  • Fried onions (to taste/decor)
Melt the earth balance with the soy sauce and mushroom broth over low heat.

Add in the onions and garlic and saute for 4-5 minutes.

Then add the mushrooms, flour and soy cream. Whisk together for 2-3 minutes or until the mixture begins to thicken.

Add in the green beans and stir the whole concoction constantly until nice and thick - the way grandma made it (not my grandma, but someone's grandma).

Add more mushroom broth as needed to keep the mixture from forming lumps/getting too thick.

After about 7-8 minutes, pour the mixture into a square baking dish, top with the fried onions and bake for about 15-20 minutes at 350.

It tastes just like it was made with good ol' fashioned Campbell's cream of mushroom soup!
Mmm Mmm good!

I even made Colin leftovers for lunch the next day :) (Left - greenbean casserole, veggies and fieldroast, Middle - cranberries and stuffing, Right - mashed potatoes!)

See why I love thanksgiving?! So wonderful. Plus the whole "Ellen-Degeneres-save-a-turkey" movement has really caught on.


All right, live long and proper! And expect more posts to come now that finals are over and winter break is upon us!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Roasted Polenta and Caramelized Onions

I absolutely love pot lucks. Any chance I get to cook a vegan dish and, if I'm lucky, open up a dialogue about food makes me a happy camper!

Unfortunately, since law school I have had markedly less time to cook creative pot luck dishes and even less time to photograph and blog them when I do.

Fortunately, this dish is so simple I had time to make it and blog it too!

And let me tell you it is as delicious as it is simple.

I have made a dish similar to this one before and it goes SO FAST at pot lucks! Faster than many of the more intensive or (what I think are) prettier dishes (see: cupcakes!!) and I always get great feedback for it.

Extra Bonus: It is soy and gluten free so it's great fun for friends with all kinds of allergies. Fun for everyone!

It goes a little somethin' like this:

Oven Roasted Polenta with Caramelized Onions
Serves 8 or so as a potluck dish
  • 1 "log" pre-formed polenta
  • 2 large sweet onions (diced)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 handful whole basil leaves

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Cut the polenta into 1/8 inch disks.
Coat a large, rectangular baking dish with oil.
Spread the polenta disks out evenly across the bottom of the baking dish.
Put 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a shallow bowl and, using a BBQ brush or similar spreader-tool, evenly coat the tops of the polenta with olive oil and then pop in the oven for about 35-40 minutes or until golden and just crispy.

In the meantime, heat the remaining Tbsp of olive oil (you may need more depending on the type of pan you are using) in a large skillet. Toss in the onions and, over medium heat, begin to caramelize them, stirring occasionally.

It will take at minimum 30 minutes to truly caramelize your onions. I caramelized mine for close to an hour while I did other things. Just keep an eye on them and they will continue to release their delicious and delicate sugars.

This dish will not be as tasty if you don't fully caramelize your onions so don't skimp on this!

Usually when I say caramelize I actually mean soften or brown but this time I really mean it!

Caramelize them fully. You won't regret it. They are so so flavorful and I a lot of people don't have the chance to eat fully caramelized onions simply because of the time commitment required.

They will be a hit, I promise.

Anyway, as soon as your onions and polenta are done, pull the polenta out of the oven and spread the onions evenly over the top.

If you are serving the dish immediately, top with fresh basil leaves and serve.

If not, cover the baking dish with tin foil and bring the basil leaves along with you. Right before you serve, top with basil leaves so they have less chance to brown (fast temperature changes brown basil up fast).

Finally, be prepared to be a hit!!

Live long and prosper! And use potlucks as a chance to inspire.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Stuffed Bell Peppers (Boyfriend Cooks Me Dinner)

I don't cook dinner every night.

Sometimes, I go out to eat.

And sometimes, people cook for me!

It's so nice anytime anyone goes out of their way to cook a creative vegan meal (or pot luck dish, or snack or baked good) and it's even BETTER when that creative vegan meal is executed by my boyfriend.

Tonights dinner was made completely without my input or knowledge (which is unusual because I'm kinda bossy in the kitchen) and it turned out beautifully.

Although I don't have a solid recipe (that's what happens when I don't cook it!) the gist of the meal was:
So so good!

I'm a happy vegan camper :)

Sorry for the lack of recipe! But I just couldn't resist posting this one :)

Live long and prosper. And let others do the cooking sometimes!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Weeknight Mushroom Stroganoff

Stroganoff is one of those deeply warming, classic winter dishes, but even in its vegan form it can be time consuming and high in fat and calories.

To make an authentic-tasting vegan stroganoff, I like to use homemade seitan and plenty of tofutti cream cheese/sour cream, a kick of salt and a gob of earth balance. But as per usual, I am on the mission to make my favorite vegan even dishes lighter and healthier without sacrificing taste or the warm fuzzy feeling I get from eating them :)

My lighter take on this stroganoff is easy enough to whip up on a weeknight and doesn't skimp on flavor.

Instead of using dairy-free cream cheese and sour cream, this recipe uses just a touch of soy creamer and spinach to give it that creamy, thick texture that is so satisfying.

It is served over spaghetti squash instead of the traditional semolina pasta and paired with a "three beet salad" :)

Weeknight Mushroom Stroganoff (Serves 2 hungry people)
  • 1 Tbsp grapeseed or olive oil
  • 12 oz mushrooms (I used baby portabellas but you can also use crimini or button)
  • 1 full sweet yellow onion
  • 5-6 large cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 cup soy creamer (I used Trader Joe's brand!)
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch (dissolved in broth/wine!)
  • 1/4 cup veggie broth or white wine
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 Tbsp prepared yellow mustard (I used honey mustard)
  • 1/2 Tbsp Sriracha or other hot sauce (optional)
  • 3 GIANT handfuls of spinach (imprecise measurement; I buy spinach in bulk and never ever measure it. Put it this way: you can't have too much, it will cook down a ton)
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 medium spaghetti squash
Begin by stabbing your spaghetti squash with a fork 5 or 6 times and sticking it in the microwave. It takes about 12 minutes to cook, rotating every 2 or 3, so I just did it while I was making the rest of the stroganoff. It comes out hot so make sure to give it enough time to cool slightly so you can shred it with a fork.

In a large skillet, saute the garlic, onions and mushrooms in the oil over medium high heat. After about 5-6 minutes, add in the soy creamer, cornstarch, veggie broth/wine, soy sauce, nutritional yeast, and mustard (and hot sauce if you so choose). Reduce heat to low and allow ingredients to simmer, stirring occasionally, for an additional 5-6 minutes.

Finally, add in spinach, fresh herbs and curry powder, stir together, and allow to all cook down for just a minute or two.

Pull the spaghetti squash out of the microwave and cut in half. With a fork, remove the seeds from the center and discard. Then, shred the flesh of the squash over a large bowl. It'll look something like this when you take a fork to it:

Spoon out a portion for each person and top with hot stroganoff! It looks and tastes surprisingly like noodles. Only gluten free, low calorie and high fiber! Woo!

The salad along side this dish was simple mixed greens tossed with beet juice, canned and seasoned beets and fresh beets! Triple beet salad! Full of anti-oxidants. And it will make your pee really red so don't freak out! My step-mom is an advice nurse and people call her all the time with concerns about red urine. The first question she asks them is whether or not they recently ate beets. It's okay, it's good for you ;)

Live long and prosper! And find a way to eat the food you crave, any night of the week!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Ratatouille and Collards over Creamy Polenta

My garden's production level is declining rapidly.

As the days grow shorter and brisker, my lovely fruits and delicate tomatoes shrink back to their pre-spring states and my herbs begin to wither.

The one upside to the start of autumn? Autumn fruits and vegetables!! Unfortunately, most autumn-season fruits require slightly more robust roots (usually in the form of trees) that my garden is just not quite equipped for, but I have been absolutely smitten with the wide and colorful smattering of pears and apples that have cropped up at the farmers market.

But the best part? Eggplant! Squash! Corn! Pumpkin! Potatoes! Alright, so those are multiple parts, but they are all equally exciting and the emergence of cooler weather means a BUNCH of new veggies to cook with.


I decided to make a dish that would cram in as many autumn veggies as flexibly as possible: Ratatouille

Isn't it pretty?

And to pair it with? Not rice! Not pasta! Not bread!

POLENTA!! It's like the oatmeal of dinner. I absolutely adore polenta.

The ratatouille is a pretty flexible dish. This version is actually more of a ratatouille ni├žoise, but there's no need to get too formal.

The main thing that makes a ratatouille and ratatouille is the tomato and herb base, paired with some combination of squash vegetables, garlic, and onions.

I used eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers and carrots, but you could virtually use any type of squash and root vegetable combination.

Beets perhaps?!

Here is a rough recipe (You can cook your polenta according to the directions on the backburner!)

Ratatouille (serves 2)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, diced
  • 4 big cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 medium eggplant, cubed
  • 2 small or 1 large zucchini, cubed
  • 4 carrots, chopped or shredded
  • 2 bell peppers, cut into strips
  • 1/2 - 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 2 fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 large handful fresh basil (chiffonaded)
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Begin by caramelizing your onion in the olive oil (medium low heat) in a large skillet. After about 6 or 7 minutes, add in the garlic and saute for a few more minutes.

Add the eggplant, zucchini, carrots and bell peppers along with about 1/4 cup vegetable broth. Stir it all together, turn the heat to low and place a top on. Allow to simmer and the veggies to soften for 6-7 minutes.

After the veggies soften a bit, crank up the heat to medium high and add the rest of the ingredients (except the vegetable broth).

Saute all ingredients together for an additional 6-7 minutes, adding vegetable broth if it gets too dry (but you don't want it to be soupy either!)

What I like to do is, while the Ratatouille is cooking, chop your collard greens and then when the Ratatouille is complete, dump it into a big bowl and use the same pan to cook your collards. They only take a few minutes so just cook em' up and serve both the Ratatouille and the Collards over a big ol' bowl of polenta.

A perfect autumn evening meal!


Live long and prosper! And enjoy autumn's bounty!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Housewarming Party!

Remember that GIANT tomato I posted a picture of?

I turned it into Bruschetta.

Lots and lots of Bruschetta. Along with the mass amount of basil and peaches from Hood River, it was probably the best bruschetta ever.

I had the opportunity to make this bruschetta (as well as hummus, pita chips, chocolate covered strawberries and guacamole) for Colin's housewarming party this past weekend!

He has done an absolutely stunning amount of work on this old house in NE Portland. It truly looks beautiful. Check out his progress (with photos!) on his blog:

Anyway, back to the food.

Pretty, huh?

Wait! There's more.

 The hummus and lots of fresh veggies.
 Chocolate covered strawberries (melted Trader Joe's chocolate chips with about 2 tbsp. of coconut oil in a double boiler and strawberries promptly dipped).

The real show-stopper was the Bruschetta, though. 

It was fresh, well seasoned and so darn pretty!

Told you.

It's super simple too! Best if made with locally grown veggies and fresh baked baguette bread.

Tomato-Peach Bruschetta

  • 2-3 cups diced heirloom tomato, (seeds removed)
  • 1 large peach, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely diced or pushed through a microplane grater
  • 1 large handful fresh oregano, finely chopped
  • 1 large handful fresh basil, finely chopped + 20 or so whole leaves
Note: Don't worry about over-doing the fresh herbs. When in doubt, do more rather than less, especially if you have a garden full of them :0
  • 1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp high quality balsamic vinegar (I used a light balsamic, but feel free to use dark too!)
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 Baguette, sliced and toasted (I did mine for about 8 minutes at 350 in the oven)
  •  Toffuti (or other non-dairy) cream cheese
Mix first five ingredients together.
Stir in olive oil and balsamic and then finish with salt and pepper.

Spread cream cheese on each slice of toasted baguette.
Place a basil leaf on top of the cream cheese and then top with bruschetta mixture!

Be prepared to amaze your friends.

Thanks again to those who came out to the housewarming party!

Live long and prosper. And love your last few weeks of summery garden beauty :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Biggest Tomato I Have Ever Seen

Something has been steadily growing in my garden for the past several weeks.

I would like to call it a tomato, but really it is more of a tomato-pumpkin hybrid.

I have no idea how or why it decided to grow to such an outrageous extent; maybe it was just happy.

But in case I haven't shared with you already, may I present, the biggest tomato I have ever seen:

It's so big, I really don't even know what to do with it.

Suggestions are welcome (if I like yours, who knows, maybe you can even get in on some - it's a large enough tomato to feed a small village after all).
I mean, really. What an absurd tomato.

Live long and prosper. And go Timbers!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Simple Seasonal Quinoa Base

Quinoa is trendy for a reason. Healthy, filling, versatile, protein packed, gluten free and DELICIOUS, it is by far my favorite grain. It's a wonderful base for all kinds of other dishes and I use it so much that I am always adapting it in different ways.

This particular take on quinoa mixes it with a smorgasbord of simple, seasonal ingredients to form a beautiful base for any meal (leftovers make great lunches too!)

I like mixing veggies and herbs straight in with my grains because the mixture adds flavor, vitamins and allows you to have a bigger portion without the same caloric density :)

I used this base for some baked tofu and sauteed mushrooms and green beans, all drizzled with a simply spicy coconut sauce. It looked roughly (and darkly) like this:

(Sorry for the bad photo quality and Christmas plate - I was hungry!!)

But the point is the quinoa. See how much color and prettiness it adds? Plus it tastes delicious. If you don't believe me you should really try it out for yourself.

Seasonal Quinoa Base
  • 2 cups red quinoa
  • 2 cups water and 2 cups veggie broth
  • 1 head of lettuce, chopped
  • 2 large heirloom tomatoes, diced
  • 2 large handfuls or basil, chiffonaded
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp balsamic or other vinaigrette
Bring water, broth and quinoa up to a boil.

Allow to boil for about 15 minutes, and reduce to a simmer until all liquid is absorbed and quinoa is translucent and fluffy.

In a big ol bowl, combine lettuce, tomatoes and basil.

When quinoa is done cooking, toss it right into the bowl and mix it all up.

Add in nutritional yeast and balsamic and toss until combined.

Use as a side dish, base, main dish or lunch. Will stay in the fridge for up to 4 days!

Live long and prosper! And give into the trend that is quinoa!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Pho Noodle Soup

Sorry for the lack of posts as of late. Law school and back to back weddings will do that to you.

I'm cooking most every night but mainly it has been repeat dishes - lots of jackfruit tacos, salad rolls, and homemade pizzas. Old news.

THIS on the other hand. This is pure gold. There is almost nothing that I love more than Pho soup. There are a couple places in Portland that offer kick ass vegan options (Pho Green Papaya in SW is awesome) but I've never been brave enough to try making it on my own.

Really, I'm still not brave enough.

I kind of cheated.

Kind of.

Pacific just released a new line of Soup Starters and, included in the mix, is this Veggie Pho Starter!

I went to two different New Seasons to find it and lemme tell you, it was SO worth it.

It's super easy - just heat the broth up in a big pan and add in your fixins! The flavors are awesome and super satisfying.

I added the following things to my version
  • Noodles
  • Tofu
  • Zucchini
  • Broccoli
  • Tomatoes
  • Spinach
  • Lots o' Basil
You want to add the noodles, tofu and zucchini first as you bring the broth to a boil (I boiled it slowly over medium heat).

After about 6 or 7 minutes at a low boil, add in the broccoli, tomatoes and spinach.

Continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, and then remove from the heat.

Allow the soup to cool for a few minutes and then divide into bowls, top with fresh basil and enjoy!!

A wonderful, easy and extremely healthy weeknight meal. We also cooked up some edamame beans and snacked on those. Feel free to add in Sriracha, plum sauce and soy sauce as you see fit.

Live long and prosper :) And never stop cooking!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Garden Fresh Homemade Pizza

There is something so inherently satisfying about pizza. It's just good - in almost any form and there's no better way to make it better than to make it good for you too :)

This pizza is the epitome of good for you. Plus, if you are anything like me and you have basil and various other vegetables overtaking your garden, it is a great way to use a bunch of fresh ingredients in one hit.

I may not even need to give you an explicitly laid out recipe for this one -it's that easy.

Take one part Trader Joe's herb pizza crust, one part Trader Joe's pizza sauce, and one part fresh garden vegetables of choice and viola - a beautiful and healthy dinner that anyone can enjoy.

(In case you are wondering, I used about 2 cups packed spinach, one GIANT handful basil, one yellow and one green zucchini, six halved cherry tomatoes and one green bell pepper and to top my pizza - in that order).

Bake at 425 for 25-30 minutes and enjoy!

Try to squeeze as many colors as possible in there to assure you are getting the max variety of veggie-based vitamins!

Live long and prosper! Healthy comfort food style :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Jackfruit Tacos with Cashew Cream Sauce

Magical jackfruit makes its mark yet again!

The last time I experimented with jackfruit, I used it in my BBQ Pork Buns. And even before that it made a center stage appearance in my Pulled Pork Sandwiches.

In this interpretation, I flex jackfruit's versatility by using it to imitate shredded chicken in these delicious soft tacos!

Topped simply with shredded green cabbage, cherry heirloom tomatoes, and a tangy cashew cream sauce, the complex flavors of the jackfruit really shine through (which is great because it was seasoned perfectly!)

Shredded Jackfruit Tacos
  • 1 can jackfruit in brine
  • 1.5-2 Tbsp vegan taco seasoning OR homemade taco seasoning blend (recipe to follow)
  • Wet ingredients blend (recipe to follow)
Taco Dry Seasoning Blend
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red peppers
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Wet Ingredients Blend
You have some flexibility with the wet seasoning blend. The tomato paste and veggie broth are both crucial for the right color and moisture, but the rest is kind of up to you! Choose your own hot sauce, sweetener (I use BBQ sauce!) and other additives. I call this the "whatever is in your fridge" adaptation.

In addition to the tomato paste and broth, this is what was on my line up:

Sriracha (SHOCKING, I know), Ketchup, Salsa Verde, BBQ Sauce

The wet ingredients breakdown looks something like this:
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup (plus more as needed) veggie broth
  • 2 Tbsp Sriracha
  • 1 Tbsp Ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp Salsa Verde
  • 1-2 Tbsp BBQ Sauce
Start by rising, draining and cutting the core of the jackfruit off so you are left with the washed stringy pieces.

Add the jackfruit and the entire dry seasoning blend to the pan and slowly toast them together over medium-low heat (about 7-8 minutes).

Then add the wet seasoning mix, reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes.

Using a fork, break apart the softened jackfruit pieces until they have a stringy, "shredded" type consistency. Adding veggie broth as necessary, continue to simmer over low heat for another 10-15 (as many as 30) more minutes.

While the jackfruit is in simmer stages, begin on the cashew cream sauce!

Cashew Cream Sauce
  • 1/4 cup RAW cashews 
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp cold water
Start by soaking the cashews in a bowl of water for a minimum of 20 minutes

They will look something like this!
Soaking Away!
Mmm soggy cashews...
When they are done soaking, combine all ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth (about a minute)! Easy peasy!

As your jackfruit is finishing up, prepare your other toppings. Also you might want to think about heating up your tortillas - if that's your thing of course. I heated my "Food for Life" sprouted corn tortillas in the oven on 300 for about 10 minutes!

Compile your tacos, top with cashew cream sauce/any other hot sauce and munch!

So good and SO good for you :)

Live long and prosper! Jackfruit style!!