Sunday, October 13, 2013

Edamame Beet Hummus

What started as an effort to clean out my fridge/freezer, resulted in a brilliant red spread that cuts it as a veggie dip, sandwich spread, or a hell of a good April Fool's Day cupcake frosting.  Comes together relatively quickly if you have some extra roasted beets lying around.  While it is def't a different beast than chickpea based hummus, it is good for the carb conscious trying to get more vegetables into their diet.

Edamame Beet Hummus

1 cup frozen shelled edamame
2 medium (1/2 lb) medium beets, roasted and peeled
1/4 cup stirred tahini
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2-3 cloves garlic
3/4 teaspooon kosher salt
1 teaspoon toasted cumin, ground
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Suggested serving: Sliced cucumbers, pita chips, celery, and olives


Boil the beans in salted water for 4 to 5 minutes, or microwave, covered, for 2 to 3 minutes.

Quarter the roast beets. In a food processor, puree the edamame, beets, tahini, juice, garlic, salt, cumin, and coriander until smooth. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and mix until absorbed.

To serve: Transfer to a small bowl and drizzle with remaining oil and a few grinds of pepper, surrounding with the suggested vegetables, or refrigerate for later consumption.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Caraway-Mint Cabbage Slaw with Garlic-Lemon Dressing

This recipe quickly became a staple of mine during a cleanse I was participating in, where the bulk of my diet was to be comprised of at least 50% raw, minimally processed vegetables.

Easy to make, easier to eat, full of flavor and zing!  It is also a healthier take on coleslaw, made healthier/vegan without the mayonnaise.  Using a mandolin on its finest setting will make very quick work of the cabbage.  You can also use just about any leafy herb that you'd like, such as cilantro, if mint is unavailable.

Caraway-Mint Cabbage Slaw with Garlic-Lemon Dressing

Serves 4-8
2-4 lg. garlic cloves
6 T fresh lemon juice
1/2 c extra virgin olive oil
1 head white cabbage, cored and finely shredded (about 3/4 lbs)
1 small bunch fresh mint, roughly chopped
1/2 bunch fresh Italian parsley, roughly chopped
2 heaping Tbls. toasted caraway seeds
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Place the garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, and half of the caraway seeds in a blender, blend until smooth.

Combine the cabbage, mint, and parsley in a large bowl. Dress with the lemon-olive oil dressing, season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Orange kissed beets with walnuts and cumin

Beets, beets, beets, beets, beets, beets (stick with it, totally worth it).  I'm always looking to eat healthier, and raw beets take care of that in spades (plus they're in season!).  Unfortunately, raw they tend to be a bit too earthy/tough.  However, I think I have found a solid combo for making a tasty, healthy, (obvi vegan), preparation for them.  This dish works in any season, due to the diversity of ingredients (toasty walnuts, hearty beets, poppy lemon, toasted cumin, and bright orange). 

Orange kissed beets with walnuts and cumin

Serves 4-6
This is a forgiving recipe, so all of the quantities are really just loose suggestions. Season to taste!

  • 3/4 cup/75 g walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 3 medium large beets (about 12 oz/400g), peeled
  • 1 t cumin seeds, toasted and ground
  • a couple of handfuls parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 c or so fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 2 T fresh lemon juice
  • 1 T olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste
Peel the beets, and either grate them or use a matchstick cutter on a mandolin (I used the smallest setting on a spiralizer which made quick work of them).

Place beets in non-reactive bowl (glass or plastic) and toss in the rest of the ingredients until evenly distributed.  Let the ingredients marinade in the citrus blend for about 20 minutes, periodically tossing around again.  This will help lighten up the earthiness of the dish.

When plating, feel free to adorn with another drizzle of olive oil, more chopped nuts, or fresh parsley.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Blueberry Lavender Lemonade - Sugar optional!

Blah blah blah, summer, blah blah blah, fresh berries like whoa, farmers markets double rainbows naked swims, blah blah blah... I've actually been making some amazing food like whoa, but I've also been on a dietary cleanse that restricts me to mostly fresh fruits and vegetables so my standard for "amazing," may be a little uncalibrated at the moment.  Regardless, I'm honestly going to try to get a few blog posts in before I head out to Burning Man for the summer (where I'm camping with TottenKitten!). Wish me luck, I know I said the same thing my second to last post, in uhm... April.

Anyway, on this recipe. I'll post the notes here. You can ditch sugar for your sweetner of choice (a blend of erythritol and stevia is pretty solid, or a blend of stevia and sugar). Refreshing, perfect for summer, all that jazz. Oh, speaking of jazz... It goes great with a little bit of champagne or sparking water! 

Lavender Blueberry Lemonade

  • 1 cup/130g sugar
  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup dried lavender blossoms *
  • 1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
Step 1: Combine 1 c water and the sugar (or sugar sub) into a small sauce pan and bring to a boil, stir until sugar is dissolved. Kill heat and add the lavender. Cover and let steep for about 10 minutes (if you over-steep this, it will become too medicinal tasting), strain into blender bowl and let cool.

Step 2. Add the remaining ingredients and blend. Strain if desired (but I like the blueberry solids, personally), and pour into glasses with a few blueberries to accessorize your beverages.  You may also mix with some sparking water or spirits.

* You can get lavender blossoms from any number of places. I picked mine up at the Copley Square Farmer's market in Boston.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Spicy Vegan Refried Beans with Ancho chiles

So, my blog isn't going to be the most interesting place for a few posts.  I've been really into making tasty bigger things that require tasty smaller things to be made first, so here I am with some basics.

Recently, I got into tortas, a classic Mexican sandwich that is griddle-baked with a variety of fillings such as beer-braised beef short ribs, chipotle chicken, garlicky shrimp and goat cheese. Unfortunately, they don't tend to be the most vegan-friendly option.... as you can tell.  So I've been poking around and working off of other recipes to make my own. 

Step one of a torta is refried beans... Good refried beans. So... bam!

Spicy Vegan Refried Beans with Ancho chiles

  • 8 oz dried black beans
  • 8 oz dried kidney beans
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 medium onions, 1 split in half and tooth-picked, one chopped
  • 1/4 c vegetable oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 2 T chipotle peppers, in adobo sauce

1. Place beans in a large bowl and add 1 gallon water. Stir in two tablespoons kosher salt. Set aside at room temperature and let rest overnight. The next day, drain and rinse beans. Transfer to a large Dutch oven. Add bay leaf, split onion, and 3 quarts water. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to a bare simmer, cover, and cook until beans are completely tender and skins are loose, 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Discard onion and bay leaves. Drain beans, reserving liquid.

2. Heat vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onions, garlic, and jalapeƱo (if using) and cook, stirring frequently, until softened but not browned, about 3 minutes. Add beans and chipotle (if using) and cook, folding with a wooden spoon until homogenous. Add 2 cups of reserved bean liquid. Mash beans with a potato masher until desired consistency is reached, adding extra cooking liquid as necessary to loosen to desired texture. If smoother texture is required, use a hand blender or a food processor to process beans to desired texture. Season with salt to taste.

---> future nom preview    

Soon... we will get here. Till then, all miiiiine. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

My 5 Minute Morning Green Smoothie

As I've mused before, since getting back from South East Asia I've been slowly dragging my carcass into the realm of the living with being good about light yoga, upping my workload slowly, amongst other things.  Of course, none of that will do me much good if I'm not sweeping the steps of my body's temple with high fiber green vegetables! 

I have generally had a bit of a hard time with smoothies, finding there is either too much added sugar in the form of flavored non-dairy milks, agave, bananas, dates, etc. lacking in actual vegetable content aside from a cursory couple of de-stemmed kale leaves or dash of spirulina.  

The flipside is me going overboard and forgoing flavor in the name of "healthy," and end up chewing through a thick, fibrous, muddy beet, kale, cinnamon, acai, maca, almond, jalapeno, parsley, grapefruit sludgefest that tastes about as good as the dirt they're all grown in. 

Finally I seem to have found a tasty medium that tastes pretty damn good (For something so healthy), isn't packed full of freaky banana sugar (one banana has approximately 15 grams of sugar in it, thats a tablespoon!), is predominantly vegetable based.

Oh, also, it takes like less than 5 minutes to prepare (though a bit longer to thoughtfully sip as you review your various morning rages), as there is barely any prep involved beyond DUMPING STUFF IN TEH BLENDER!

So, what all goes into this?  Well, lets get onto the recipe below for that.

5 Minute (AMAZING) Green Smoothie
Makes 2-4 servings to fuel you, and maybe company, throughout the day.

  • 1 large, organic cucumber, ends trimmed*, and cut into 3-5 chunks
  • 1/2 a small bunch organic parsley or cilantro, stems included
  • 1 mottled banana (the browner the skin, the less starchy), peeled and halved
  • 2 organic kiwis, ends removed, and halved, skin on**
  • 3-5 leaves organic kale, torn in half lengthwise
  • 1 head organic romaine lettuce, bottom cut off and then cut into 3 or 4 sections
  • 1 Organic apple, quartered (I use fuji, but any should work)
  • 1 inch knob of ginger
  • *optional* juice of 1 fresh lemon or fresh lime
  • *optional* A dash of spirulina
Place about half of your ingredients into an uber blender (I use a BlendTec but Vitamix should work), add about 1 cup of water and pulse it a couple of times to create space for the rest of the ingredients.

When you have created space for the rest of the ingredients, load them in and pulverize (my blender has an automatic Whole Juice timed setting).  

If you can't fit _everything_ in (I can usually just eek everything in, sometimes barely), feel free to save it for the next day.  *I usually sacrifice half a cucumber if something needs to go.

From there, enjoy your breakfast! If you are flying solo, it should make enough juice to fill a couple of ball jars to give you some green boosters throughout the day.  Generally since I've gotten back, half of it has been my breakfast and I try to eat mindfully throughout the rest of the day.

**Yes, kiwi skins are edible and under appreciated!  Also as a nice touch, add the kiwis after the juice has been prepared, and blend it just a little more, this makes sure the black seeds are still whole and lend a nice crunch to the smoothie.


Obviously this can be tailored to your personal preferences, but I've found that the lighter water heavy vegetables like romaine and cucumber really help give refreshing body to smoothie without making it too vegetal, overwhelming the qualities of the apple and kiwi.  The banana also really helps round out the body of the drink, as I learned one morning when I forgot to add said fruit and was wondering what the drink was missing... Speaking of missing, I'm all out of romaine... erk! 

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Full Bodied Zucchini Hummus (Low carb! Gluten free! Infused with sass!)

It seems like carbs make me tired, like, really tired if I'm not careful.  I once had an internship at an Special Ed facility, and if it was french fries for lunch before the meetings I was a goner. I'd have to leave the group meeting at least a couple of times and go to the rest room and pump out some jumping jacks just to make sure I wasn't passed out, drooling on my clipboard as I sat on the sidelines.

Needless to say, I took pretty well to the low carb lifestyle one finds in raw food diets (and the generally better levels of energy).  However, there are some heavenly flavors one just can't find in the raw food world, flavors like Tohum roasted tahini.  Mind you, Tohum tahini is a specialty that I don't find my self able to (afford) to use all the time, but if you haven't tried it I do strongly recommend it.  Thankfully, there are other slightly more cost effect brands that are delicious enough.

Anyway, I do digress... Since I got back from Asia, I've been trying to eat better/more healthy, and felt like turning to a diet heavy in fresh fruits and raw vegetables was a good start, while minimizing my intake of processed foods.  So, you can expect to see updates (often green in color), of some of my staples during the past week.

One of the delights I whipped up was thus hummus.  I used some components of the raw base (zucchini in lieu of chickpeas),, and matched it with the flavoring components of my historical favorite hummus (the one on the side of this bag), and tackled the problem of raw hummus traditionally having the consistency of a thick salad dressing (moar flaxseeds!).

The end product was the full bodied, flavorful hummus I fondly remembered, that I could eat freely with carrots and celery without Mr. Sandman dragging me off to Nod.

Speaking of Nod... I'm still a bit jet lagged, and should get this recipe down before I PTFO...


  • 2 Large Green Zucchinis, cut into chunks
  • 2-4 cloves of garlic, peeled*
  • 2 t Vegetable Better than Boullion
  • 2 t Franks Hot Sauce
  • 6 T Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 3/4 c Roasted Tahini
  • 1/2 T Cumin Seeds, Toasted
  • 1/4 c Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 T Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 t black pepper
  • 3 T Flax**
Throw everything but the flax into the high power blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.  If mix is watery, toss in the flax seeds and again blend until smooth. If you are using a food processor instead of a blender, I'd recommend using pre-ground flax meal for optimum smooth temperature. 

Transfer hummus to a container and place in the fridge until the flax seed has set.  When set, enjoy with carrots, celery, or whatever else you like to dip into hummus.  I've been eating it on raw onion bread with fresh sliced of tomato and a few grinds of pepper. 

*Garlickyness is a matter of personal preference, I go for 4 but that can be a bit much for most folks.
**Every zucchini will have different levels of water content, so you may need more or less hummus. You do not want to add too much, or else you will give the hummus a gummy texture, otherwise, it should be great! 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Christmas Quinoa Tabouli

Tabouli, tabbouleh, tabouleh, tabbouli... So many different ways of spelling this dish.  I have so many slight variations on using making this dish work for me, though I think I may've found my new favorite; a spin is given on this old dish with a blend of lightly toasted spices and pomegranate seeds.  I also decided to kick things up a bit by mixing two types of parsley, flat leaf which adds body and curly which really "grips" the dressing and quinoa. 

As a note, when making tabouli, recipes should be taken more as rough guidelines and always finish more on personal preference or what you have in your cupboard.  If you like your salad extra tangy, use more lemon juice. Have a couple sprigs of parsley left? Toss them in! Prefer Have cilantro over mint? That's your call.

While I use quinoa, classical recipes call for bulgur. I prefer to use more leftover, gluten free whole food oriented alternatives, such as quinoa, brown rice, hemp seeds, coarsely chopped chickpeas, etc.  

Christmas Quinoa Tabouli
(serves six as a side) 
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa, lightly fluffed
  • 8-12 cherry tomatoes, about 11 oz
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 3 T fresh lemon juice
  • 1 large head flat leaf parsley (3-5 oz), 
  • 1 large head curly leaf parsley (3-5 oz) 
  • 1 bunch of mint (1 oz), stemmed
  • 2 t ground allspice
  • 1 T ras el hanout
  • 1/3 c extra virgin olive oil
  • seeds of 1 pomegranate 
  • Salt & pepper to taste
Using a small, sharp knife, cut the tomatoes into quarters and eights, toss them into a large mixing bowl along with the shallot and lemon juice. 

Grab the parsley by the head and twist off the coarser stems and set aside for another use (such as juicing, blending, making stock, etc. If the stems are tender and not too woody, I often include them in my parsley salads).  For the flat leaf parsley, pack the leaves up tightly, "balling" them a bit, and using a large sharp chef's knife cut them into thin slivers no more than 1/2 an inch thick.  Add to the large bowl. For the curly leaf parsley, coarsely chop so that you get lots of little 'florets' of the tips.  Add to bowl.

For the mint, stack the leaves together, and using a very sharp knife cut the leaves into ribbons width-wise. Be gentle with them, as mint leaves tend to discolor when bruised.  Add to the bowl.

Add the ras el hanout, allspice, olive oil, pomegranate, and some salt and fresh ground pepper and toss.  Feel free to add some more salt/pepper/lemon juice to taste, and serve.