Friday, December 31, 2010

Mediterranean Pasta with Artichokes, Olives, and Tomatoes & Costtini

Mediterranean Pasta with Artichokes, Olives, and Tomatoes
* Coarse salt and ground pepper
* 12 ounces whole-wheat spaghetti
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 1/2 medium onion , thinly sliced, lengthwise
* 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced crosswise
* 1/2 cup dry white wine
* 1 can artichoke hearts, drained, rinsed, and quartered lengthwise
* 1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives, quartered lengthwise
* 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes , halved lengthwise
* 1/4 cup grated Rice Parmesan cheese, plus more serving
* 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta water. Return pasta to pot.

Next in a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high. Add onion and garlic, season with salt and pepper, cook, stirring occasionally until browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Add wine and cook until evaporated, about 2 minutes.

Stir in artichokes and cook until starting to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add olives and half of the tomatoes; cook until tomatoes start to break down, 1 to 2 minutes. Add pasta to skillet. Stir in remaining tomatoes, oil, cheese, and basil. Thin with reserved pasta water if necessary to coat the spaghetti. Serve with additional cheese.


*Olive olive
*Day old bread loaf


Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Next slice the bread up into long pieces. Its alright if the bread feels a bit tough.

Mix the olive oil and herbs together well to taste. Using a pastry brush. Spread to olive oil/ herb mix onto each piece of bread. Take bread and put the peices back together so that it looks like a normal loaf again.

Wrap in tin foil and place into heated oven. Heat for 10-15 minutes, until the bread us crunchy on the outside a the oil has seeped through the inside dough.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Blue Berry Green Tea Smoothie

1/2 cup of frozen blueberry's
2 cups of green tea (Room temp)
1 tbs agave nectar

Divide blueberry's into the compartments of an ice cube tray and fill with green tea. Freeze.

Puree in blender with remaining tea and agave until smooth.

Mango Coconut water Smoothie

A perfect lunch or Breakfast on the go! Contains Fruits, veggies, protiens, and healthy fats.

2 cups of fresh mango chunks
2-3 tbs of lime juice
2 cups of unsweetened coconut water
Pinch of cayenne pepper

Put all ingredients in blender and combine well.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Kiwi Smoothie

As I said before a major detox is in order after the Christmas and Holidays. That being said dont be surprised if many of the posts coming up are smoothies for two reasons:
1. As I said some cleansing is in order.
2. Smoothies are awesome.

4 ripe Kiwi
1/2 cup of freshly squeezed Orange juice
1 tbs Agave
1 cup of ice

Stick in blender and combine well.

Makes two servings.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Leek and Potato Soup

I do not do well in the cold anymore and it has been cold here in North Carolina! I am visiting my parents for Christmas and my father is one of those people who though his house has to have a heater, that does not mean he has any intention of using it.

My Solis? Soup. I have been making most of my meals so a nice leek soup seemed to be a good way to go. In fact it was so good that my whole family, despite the fact that they always make fun of my vegan tendencies, joined in on some!

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 leeks, white and light green parts washed and sliced into 1/4-inch slices
2 cups chopped yellow onion
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 large Yukon Gold potatoes (about 1 pound), peeled and cubed into 1/2-inch cubes
4 cups vegetable stock
2-3 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves

Heat soup pot over medium heat and add the oil.

Add the leeks, onion, and sea salt and saute for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until the onion begins to turn translucent.

Add the garlic and stir well. Cook for 1 minute more.

Add the potatoes and vegetable stock, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer. Cook 20 minutes.

Remove the soup from the heat and use an immersion/stick blender to blend the soup in the pot or ladle the soup into a blender, 1 cup at a time. Blend the soup with the fresh rosemary leaves until smooth and free of chunks. Pour smooth soup into a heat-proof bowl and continue until all of the soup has been blended.

Transfer the blended soup back to the original soup pot and warm over low heat until heated through. Serve hot.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


I am a huge fan of bagels....but its more of a northern thing. Making my own seems like a good idea when I do go to the few places to get them...I mean $3.25 for a bagel?


-1 cup warm water
-3 cups unbleached white flour
-2 tablespoons sugar
-1-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1-1/2 teaspoon yeast
-sesame seeds, toasted

Except for sesame seeds, place all ingredients in bread machine and set for normal dough. (You may also add whatever seasoning you'd like for a flavored bagel at this step.) I always put the water on the bottom and the yeast on the top so it will not become immersed in the warm water until the cycle has started.

Let the machine knead once and then turn off the machine and set a timer for 20 minutes.

Cut into eight equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope about 1 inch thick, wet ends and stick together. Transfer to a greased cookie sheet, cover, and let rest for 15 minutes in a warm place.

Fill a wok (or whatever you use) with about three inches of water. Place sugar in this water and bring to a boil. Add bagels for 1 minute, turning them as they boil. Drain. This might seem a but weird but it is what makes the crust harder then the doughy inside.

Return dough to the greased cookie sheet. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Bake at 500 degrees F for 7-10 minutes, or until desired browning occurs.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Sugar Scrub

I am a big fan of making your own gifts for people during the holidays. Not only does it really show that you are thinking about them and investing time into their gift, but it also gives you total control over the ingredients.

This year I decided to go for a do it yourself Sugar Scrub. People pay out the nose for these things at Bath and Body and even more for the Christmas addition.

What you need:
1 cup of organic sugar
1 cup of veggie oil
One drop of vitamin E
1-2 drops of essential oil (i picked Cinnamon and Orange because they remind me of Christmas time!)
Glass jars
Ribbon for decoration

Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and blend well. Using a spatula divide it into the jars.

I also made Labels for each of the jars with some cute clip art to explain how to
use it. Tie these on with some of the ribbon.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanks Giving- Parsley Potatoes

1 1/2 pound potatoes
bunch of flat-leaf parsley
2 garlic cloves
2/3 to 1 cup vegetable bouillon
2 tbsp oil
small onion

Grab a bunch of fresh parsley and put it into a food processor or blender. Next take the garlic cloves, coarsely chop and drop in with the parsley. Pour in olive oil with this. Blend this all together. It doesn't have to be smooth, just well mixed.

Set a side and mince a small onion finely. Peel, cube and rinse your potatoes. If you want the parsley mix to sick really well to the potatoes I would pat them down with a clean towel.

In a skillet heat up you parsley oil and onions until translucent. This is really going to bring out the parsley flavor! Add the potato cubes, stir well and give them a few minutes. Mainly to let the parsley really stick to them.

Add about 2/3 cup of the bouillon, 1/2 a tsp salt (depending on how salty the broth is, mine wasn’t) and some pepper. Now simmer the potatoes over low to medium heat for about 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes the liquid will be all gone and the real baking starts. Just stir them now and then for another 10 minutes. They should be done by then.

And there we go! A perfect side dish that is a bit different then traditional mashed potatoes!

Thanks Giving- gravy!

Gravy on top of stuffing! These were my favorite things when I was younger so making a guilt free gravy was a dream come true for me!


1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup chopped onion
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons nutritional yeast
4 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour, nutritional yeast, and soy sauce to form a smooth paste. Gradually whisk in the broth. Season with sage, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, stirring constantly, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until thickened.

Makes about 2 and a half cups

Vegan Thanks Giving- Cranberry Sauce

Well after many many many Thanks Giving's filled with a big, stuffed carcase in the center of the table, having to pretend the food looked good to me to protect the feelings of my host and having to hide practically all of the food offered under my napkin (Or if I was unlucky enough having to eat it and then be sick for the next week) I decided to host my own Thanks Giving with some of my friends. So the next series of recipes are for a very vegan thanks giving!

The thing that is awesome about cranberry sauce is that it is so easy to make. Plus since there are so few ingredients it has a very clean, pure taste that can be lost during Thanks Giving.

4 cups of raw cranberries
1/2 cup agave, maple or rice syrup
Juice from One Orange

Rise the cranberry's and transfer them into a large sauce pan. Add in the Syrup, orange juice and 1/4 cup of water.

Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often. When it comes to a boil reduce heat and cover. Boil gently until berries pop (About 10 minutes.). Chill for 1 hour before serving.

If you keep it warm it is also a great thing to put on top of pancakes or waffles!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Orange Glazed Tofu with Lime Coconut Rice

Orange Glazed Tofu:
2 tsp Arrowroot powder
1/2 orange juice
1 tsp orange zest
3 tbps Soy sauce
2 tbsp Maple syrup
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 gloves of garlic
1 tbsp sesame oil
1/8 tsp of sea salt
1 pack of extra firm tofu
Green onions (garnish)
1-2 tbsp sesame seeds (garish)

Pre heat your oven at 400 degrees. Combine arrowroot with two tablespoons of orange juice. I say actually squeeze the orange yourself because you will next put that and the rest of the orange juice into the bowl along with all of your ingredients save the tofu, sesame seeds and the green onions.
Put your tofu and the mixture into a baking dish and coat both sides. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes. Take out when that is done and turn the pieces of tofu over. Recover and bake for another 6-9 minutes. The sauce should be thicker as it cools. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with green onions and seeds.

Coconut Lime Rice
1 cup of brown basmti rice
½ cup of water
A can of light coconut milk
2 tablespoons of lime juice
1 ½ tsp of lime zest
¼ tsp of sea salt
Lime wedge to serve

I would recommend pre soaking your rice. Combine all but the zest and wedges in sauce pan and bring to a boil. Turn down and simmer for 35-45 minutes adding more water if needed. Turn off heat and stir in the lime zest. Let sit for five minutes before serving.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

LiveStrong 5k!

I am the one in the Blue.

Well Yesterday was my first 5K! It was tons of fun and not as hard as I thought it would be...I mean today I am soar but I could defintley do more. I completed it in 35 minutes; not bad for my first time and I will do even better next one!

So what does this mean for me? It means a lot. You see I am a dancer and what do you hear from dancers all of the time? "Dancers cant really run." It's our ankles really. Ankles have a lot of stress in them when you dance, primarily in Ballet due to the extreme stress. Well, I want to be a dancer that can run too...and apparently I can!

A healthy life style means alot to me...that is the reason why I am vegan. But eating isn't all there is to health. Working out, cardio and strength training is just as important. Still to do that you need the right food in your system, so it's nothing and everything but a cycle of health.

The moral: Half Marathon is next!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Mercimek- Turkish Red Lentil Soup

This is a take on one of my favorite Middle Eastern Recipes... it is rich and spicy and perfect for a cool winter or fall day. It also happens to be packed full of protein.

1 cup red lentils
1 medium size onion
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 carrot
1 tbsp tomato or pepper paste (or you can do half&half)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp crushed pepper or red peppercorns
pinch of red pepper flakes
6 cups of water or veggie broth

I always start be dicing up all of my Veggies. Since this is a soup you want to make sure to get them as finally minced as possible. I go so far as to use my food processor.

Take the olive oil and the minced onion and put it in a large pot, sauteing. After about 2-3 minutes, add the tomato paste and saute that in as well.

After this put everything but the lemon into the pot and cook on medium heat until the lentils are soft and mushy, for about 20-25 minutes.

Squirt with lemon before serving. This is great with fresh Pita Bread.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Mini Veggie Pizza's

There is nothing better then a good pizza...but its hard to find them without cheese for some reason. Plus when there isn't any cheese you have to have a really good crust. I've tried a lot of recipes for crust but none really turned out the way that I wanted. This one did.

For your crust you will need:
-1 cup warm water
-2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
-2 tsp instant yeast
-1 tsp raw sugar
-3 tbsp olive oil
-1 1/2 tsp salt (2 tsp also works)

Combine your oil, salt and sugar together and whisk. Let sit for several minutes and then add one cup of warm water. Stick this into you bread machine on the dough setting. Gradually combine the flour into this letting one cup combine completely before adding the next. Let your bread machine do the rest of the work.

When you take it out it should be nice and elastic. If it isn't adjust and put back into the machine for a little while or kneed.


Next I would preheat your oven. I set mine to 500 degrees. As this is pre-heating divide the dough into 6 pieces about a quarter of an inch thick.

I use a white sauce which is an olive oil infused with anything you want. For this we used one with sun dried tomatoes and one with basil.

Now its time to pile on those toppings. I love fresh veggies so mine had olives, roasted red peppers, portobello mushrooms, artichoke hearts, garlic, and tomato. My none vegan friend and boy friend did pepperoni and mozzarella cheese so really you can go anyway you want.

Place in the oven when they are ready. You should leave them in about 7 minutes, rotating about half way though from rack to rack.

And there you have it! Perfect, from scratch, home made pizza's! You can always make them bigger or smaller.

Erika's Spicy Italian Seasoning

Yum Yum Yum....I love seasoning and so does everyone else!

You will either need a motor and pastel or the spice attachment on your food processor.

-1 1/2 tbsp oregano
-1 tbsp dried basil
-1 tsp dried rosemary
-1 1/2 tbsp dried onion flakes
-1/4 tsp dried thyme
-1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
-1/2 tsp chili flakes
-1 1/2 of pepper
-1/4 tsp garlic powder

It doesn't take a genius to figure out what to do next. Grind up all of the spices together and you are done. This is a great topping or pizza spice.

Keep in a cool, dry area until you are ready to use it.

Italian Day- Basil, Rosemary & Garlic Infused Olive Oil

This is a great gift or just something to have hanging around for bread and dipping. These are normally sold for fifteen to twenty dollars at stores. And all that you need is a few simple things that can be picked up or grown.

Things you need:
-One pretty bottle
-Olive oil
-Several sprigs of basil
-Dried rosemary

Take the rosemary first and fill it to about a half an inch above the bottom. Next push in your desired amount of garlic in full pealed cloves. Carefully slip the basil in so it stands straight (Pretty).

Take a funnel and slowly pour in your olive oil. Plug up with a cork and let it sit for a week long as you would like.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Jumbo Israeli Couscous

I love Couscous and Israeli Couscous is really the way to go. First of all its great tasting. Second it's only three ingredients. Semolina flour, water and salt; perfect. You can find it at the local grocery store in the international section or at a Middle Eastern market.

Boil this until tender.

Second, use saffron (again saffron can be purchased less expensive at a local middle easter market), salt and pepper and mix/ grind those together. Dice up several Roma tomato.

Drain the couscous and let sit for a few minutes.

Once those are all finished mix those and the couscous in the warm pot.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Rainbow Salad With Kiwi Stars

So I have been waiting for this! A chance to debut my beautiful new lunch box that by lovely boyfriend got me for my birthday (because thats just how wild and crazy we got). So here we go....not that I haven't been taking lunch to work but because it has been relatively normal food (Almond butter and jam and what not). This salad though really looked great and I'm sure its going to taste great tomorrow too.

I suppose you could say that this is my version of left overs...which is to say, the veggies in my fridge that are nearing the end of their lives. I love it because it encompasses what I love to tell people about eating the rainbow.

On the bottom I have layered red pepper slices, then avocado, next some radishes, followed by red onions. Next I mix up some lemon juice and olive oil and drizzled that across the top to soak in over night in the fridge. I left a bit of lemon on the side because I love the taste of lemon and avocado together.

For desert I just took some of my favorite raw fruit to snack on. The kiwi I cut with a cook cutters to make cute little stars.

As for my birthday lunch box....its awesome. It creates a vacuum to hold everything perfectly into place. There is also a little sauce case but I didn't want to use it today! Love!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Banana Cashew Power Balls

I was looking for a good snack after running for Will and I. The raw craze has really brought up the love of "Raw Balls". These are not raw but they are still great and tasty! Keep in mind that they are highly fattening though so unless you have a high metabolism and/or exercise a great deal eat them in moderation.

That being said they are a great snack for after a work out!

2-3 overripe banana
2/4 cup raw cashews (about 1.5 ounce)
2 tablespoon flax seeds, ground
6 tablespoons oatmeal (regular or quick oats)
dash of vanilla extract

Cut the banana into slices about 3/4-inch thick and place them on a plate. Microwave on medium power for about 7 minutes, until most of the moisture has boiled out of the banana.

Using your hands (Moist works better) form into small balls and put into a tuperware container. Refrigerate before eating and keep in the fridge after.

While you are waiting on this pulse the cashews in the food processor until coarsely ground. Add the flax seed and oatmeal and pulse a few more times. Add the banana and dash in the vanilla extract into the processor. Blend into a thick paste.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Warrior Dash

Well I found this a few days ago from a friend and am going to start training for it.

The Warrior Dash is a 3.2 mile run. I know, not the hard part. The hard part is all of the obsticals that take place during to run. They include belly crawling through the mud under barb wire, flame jumping, junk jumping, running through the woods with no trails, bog wading, ect. I think its going to be a whole lot of fun and I suggest that anyone around one does it. They are taking place all over the country!

Just thought I would share!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Pasta e Fagioli

Well I had a craving for a dish that reminded me of my childhood. If you read my profile you know I am from a culture and family that loves to eat. Can you guess where we are from? Thats right, my father side is Italian. While I love my other sides food, German food is a bit heavy for me and has a great deal of meat in it. I love both but the Italian side of food really inspires me. Like most Childhood (And Italian) recipies, this one will need to be adjusted for personal taste.

I love the tuscan take on foods with their attention to fresh veggies and love of pomodoro...that is tomato. So when I went to the farmers market and bought a bag of them I was more then happy to share and partake in this dish. I know that everyone will enjoy it! There is so much to love!

1 cup of white kidney or cannellini beans
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, Finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of sage
2 1/2 cups of fresh tomato, skinned, de-seeded and chopped
salt and pepper
4 cups of veggie stock
3/4 cup of whole wheat pasta (smaller works best. Think shells or elbow)

Cook beans according to instructions and set aside in the sink. they should be tender with the skins cracking.

In a soup pot add onion, garlic and olive oil. Sautee these slowly, stirring until the onions are soft (about 12 minutes). Add the sage, tomato, salt and black pepper and simmer for another 20 minutes. You want all of the tastes to combine together. If you like a little bit of zest add a pinch of red pepper flakes to the mix.

Next add the beans and stock to the veggies. Simmer this for about 30 more minutes. The soup should become more stew like. If it is getting too dry add a bit more water or stock but you might have to adjust the spices so don't go over board.

Next add the pasta to the stew and let that cook to desired tenderness.

Enjoy! Next to it is a bread that I got from the farmers market. Its a yummy vegan rye from Phoenix Rising bakery.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Will's baby bok choy

Well even though my boyfriend is not vegan he does under stand that I am. It wasn't until talking to a lot of other vegans on blogs and in chat rooms that I really noticed that this was something rare. Funny, I just thought that respecting others beliefs was part of being in any health relationship but I guess that sometimes isn't the case. Any whoo.... Will made this for me one night while I was at work. It was so good for a hot summer night!


1-2 heads of baby bok choy
1 tablespoon of Umeboshi vinegar
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
pepper (optional)

Steam your bok choy lightly. It's really easy to over cook bok choy so you should stand by the steamer. It should only take one or two minutes. Always under cook it if you can because the water denseness of the plant keeps it cooking a little after you remove it from heat. The leafs should just be starting to wilt but it should still be crunchy. Take out of the steamer and set aside.

Mix the oil and the vinegar together and drizzle over the bok choy. Add pepper if you want.

Pickled red radishes

I have never been as huge fan of pickles until I made these. Nor did I ever think that there was anything that I really needed from them. But then I read an article about the healing benefits of the amino acids that are found in home pickled veggies, so I decided to give it a try.

Ingredients/ Supplies

glass jar
cheese cloth
rubber band
6-10 red radishes (sliced thin)
1/2 umeboshi vinegar (This is a plum vinegar that can be found at many Asian markets or SunHarvest)

Place the sliced radishs into the jar. Combine Ume Vinegar and 1 cup of water. Pour over the Radish in the jar.

Cover the jar with the cheese cloth (Pickles will need air to ferment properly so don't put the lid back over the jar) and let start at room temperature for 24 hors-3 days. After that the radishes can be moved into your refrigerator for up to 10 days.


I really want to apologize to everyone. I haven’t been posting as much as I used to. I have to remedy that and I promise that I will. This has been due to two different factors. The first is that I have been moving. Sadly that means that I have not been able to cook while everything is packed up. On a brighter side it means that my kitchen is bigger and better. The stove is new and the refrigerator actually keeps things cold. There is also more space for ingredients. So nice.

The second reason is the fact that I have not had internet to use. But obviously I am having that fixed. So on that note I am going to be posting two new recipes today that I made in the past week. Please let me know what you think! And what you think of the new place!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Home Made Artichoke Pesto (Photos Updated!)

I loooooooooove pesto and miss it a great deal. So I took an old pesto recipe I had and made it vegan. Sad I forgot to put my memory card back into the camera through so I will have to remake it and post more pictures later. On the bright side Donna was filming me while I did it so there should be a movie of it soon too.

1/2 cup of artichoke hearts, drained
3 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp of Olive oil- to make it more of a sauce like consistency you can always add more
1/4 tsp or red pepper flakes
Bunch of fresh basil leaves
3 Tbsp of Nutritional Yeast- this should have a flake like look about it and be a creamy yellow. It is a great source of B-12

Take all of these ingredients and place them in your food processor. Blend well but stop before cream. There should be a good deal of texture left.

Now if you only use two table spoons of olive oil the mixture can be scooped out of the processor and shaped so that it can be used as a spread on crackers, bread or dehydrated veggie chips. Since this recipe is raw when not added to a cooked ingredient it is a perfect snack for a raw vegan. If you use more you can toss it in with a bunch of fresh pasta and mix.

Again I am so sorry about the photos and I will make it again as soon as I can and put pictures up!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Update on my herb garden!

Well as many of you know I started my own herb garden on my balcony. I just wanted to update on it with some pictures of how it is growing and doing now! I'm really excited about it and cant wait to have fresh herbs all of the time.

So anyway! Heres how it looked before: I know small and just starting to grow...but here is what its looking like now!
All grown up right? Well getting there anyway. The cilantro is taking over everything but the basil is coming up nicely and thats something I was worried about.

Kale Chips

Ah Kale, yet another thing that I didn't know about until turning vegan. Yummy Yummy Kale is very high in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, lutein, zeaxanthin, and reasonably rich in calcium. You can put it in anything and it has a permanent place in my nightly love, smoothies.

So when I found this recipe I was really excited and I think that you will be too. Its simple and fast.


1 bunch of Kale, de-stemmed and torn into pieces
1 table spoon of apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar.
1 tablespoon of olive oil
Sea salt to taste

Pre-heat your oven at 350 degrees while you take all of the ingredients and mix them together in a bowl. You can also add different seasonings if you want for your own flavor of chip!

Spread them out on a baking tray and place in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until crispy and chip like.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Nutty Semolina Italian Bread

I am calling it this because the sesame seeds give the bread a slightly nutty taste, making it, in my opinion a great sandwich bread!

1 1/4 cup of semolina flour
2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
2 table spoons butter
1 1/2 cups of water
1/4 cups of toasted Sesame seeds
1-2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons of instant yeast

Mix all of the ingredients together in your bread machine (wet-dry with the yeast on top, not touching the water.).

Remember that semolina is a driest type of flour, so you might not want to set it on a dark crust setting just because of how tough it will be.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Salad Time

...Okay it is really hot here. Really muggy and hot. So there is only one thing that I want after running around all day and that is...well everything in my refrigerator.

So as usual I followed my body as I looked through the refrigerator. That really is the beautiful thing about salads; you can put anything in them. As always change whatever you want. If you want sun dried tomato in there, go for it! Toss in some stuff that is about to go bad.

2 leaves of butter lettuce hand torn
2 small radishes sliced thinly
1/2 small Haas Avocado sliced
1 Green Onion chopped
Handful of cooked chickpeas


1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons Red wine Vinaigrette
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Thyme to taste
Lemon juice to taste

First mix all of the veggies together and place to the side. Then in a small bowl whisk together all of the vinaigrette ingredients. Drizzle over the top of salad.

Herb Garden 101

Alright, as many of you know I live in an apartment which is not the most conducive to cooking hard core anyway. One of the things that gets to me about it (Besides not being able to compost or have a gas stove installed) is the fact that I have no yard for herb gardening.

Herbs and spices are one of the best medicines for a sad boring dinner. There are no limits to how you can change something with just a layer of basil. So I started my own porch side garden in a pot. What I really want is an Areogarden but I don't see myself finding one hundred dollars in the new future. Either way traditional gardening has its own advantages.

Heres what you'll need:
1 medium to large gardening pot
Bag of organic gardening soil
Small bag of sand
4 kinds of organic seeds

Okay, for new gardeners sand might seem weird but trust me. Place a layer of sand about 2 inches thick on the bottom of your pot. This will keep water from running out when you water it and make the soil more absorbent. Next place a layer of the organic gardening soil until about 2 inches from the top of the pot. Don't pack it. You want the soil to be rather fluffy.

Next, divide the pot into four sections in your mind. Place the seeds under the soil about 1/4 of an inch unless the package directs you otherwise. Keep in mind that different plants will need different things so when you try to pick your seeds make sure that they have similar care needs! You can put markers in the soil if you want, labeling the kind of herbs that are in each section. Water, lightly so that you don't move the seeds around and place on your patio.

Depending on your herb you should water daily in the morning or evening. If you live in the south you know this is because less water will be evaporated by the sun.

And there you are! You should have your own little Herb garden sprouting up on your patio in the next 15 days!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Vegan Pasta

I know it has been a really long time. Just having trouble cooking what with the end of school, graduation and trying to find a new place to live.

But after long last I bring to you another recipe for home made Vegan Fettuccine! I am a huge pasta fan. One of my earliest memories is of standing on a chair with my father making our own home made pasta. Of course at the time I thought it was the coolest thing ever to pour the eggs through the little slot on the electric pasta machine and watch it mix.

These days though I go a little lower tech with a hand crank pasta maker that I got for Christmas. It looks like this and you can find one in a lot of home goods stores what you're looking for. it looks something like this one:

1+ cups of all purpose flour
1+ cups of semolina flour
2/3 cups of water
1 1/2 table spoon Olive oil

Start by mixing the two types of flour together, creating a well at the bottom. Set this a side.

Mix wet ingredients and salt together in smaller bowl before pouring it into the well. Mix all of these together, if it is two wet add a bit more flour until it not too wet or too dry.

Take out a manageable piece of dough and run it through the crank that does not have holes. Crank until it is the desired thickness. Switch the crank handle and take the long peice of dough. Carefully crank it through, using your other hand or a friends to hold the pasta coming out on the other side. Place it on a floured baking tray until you are ready to boil it.

Unlike store bought dried pasta, this will only take about three minutes to boil through. Boil water with olive oil and salt in it.

Once drained you can top it with salt but I recommend trying it on its own first. I like to chop up veggies like roma tomato's, onion,and garlic with a touch of fresh basil. But to each his own! Enjoy.

Notes that you can save extra by wrapping it in cling wrap and freezing it.

Monday, May 3, 2010

A Summer Nights Dinner

Okay so I'm trying something new right now and that is a...basically raw food medley for dinner. Lets face it; it's summer we are running around, we want to be outside (most of us) and we want to look good. After laying on the beach, or swimming, or going on long hikes for the day, the last thing we want to do is ruin all that fun but hard work off with a heavy dinner that makes us want to unbutton our jeans and do a Homer Simpson.

So what I did tonight was take a page from a raw kind of life style and put together a grouping of foods that will fill you up and do what food is meant to do: Nourish your body. You can always subsitute other foods out but make sure that you are getting what you feel your body needs. Look them up. So here is mine:

The first thing that you can probably see is that these are all some great snack foods. Grapes, baby carrots, walnuts and Hummus. What you cant see is that all of these foods have their own special powers. The grapes are amazing anti oxidants. Walnuts are chalk full of amino acids and enough omega three as a cut of salmon. Hummus is made from chick peas and is stuffed with lean protein. The baby carrots are full of vitamin A which is great for helping you sun drenched skin and eyes... among other vitamins. Top that off with a cup of fruit juice (Pure of course) and you have an amazingly good for you meal!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Banana Ice Cream

Public Confession Time....

Alright I give in and have to tell all of you that I am an ice cream addict. Some of my fondest memories are of my family and myself sitting around after dinner and having a bowl of ice cream.

Alas, ice cream is not vegan. True you can find some yummy ones that are but they too are stuffed with processed sugar. Purely Decadent is my favorite and a guilty pleasure. But Fear not health food lovers! I bring you a recipe for home made, non dairy, no artificial sugar, one ingredient ice cream just in time for summer!

3 Bananas
Thats it.

Peal off the banana's and cut into pieces about 1 inch thick. Place them in the freezer for about 1-2 hours. You can also try adding foods like frozen mango and other fruits to alter tastes!

When frozen take them out and stick them into a food processor. Puree until creamy....freeze again if not cold enough for you. Thats it. You are done! I sprinkled some walnuts on top of mine cause I love them!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Chilled Soba, Sesame and Carrot Salad

I love this salad/ pasta dish. I don't know what it is like everywhere else in the world right now but in Texas it is nice and hot already. That means for a Northerner like myself trapped in cattle country, I need something to eat that will keep me cool. The chilled noodles and rice vinegar totally do that job! Yummy!

Keep in mind that this serves about 4 people
8 ounces soba (Buckwheat Noodles)
3 large carrots
1 bunch (about 6) scallions
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce, or to taste
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted or I like them raw.

Cook the noodles according to package directions. Drain and toss with just a drizzle of cooking oil to keep them from sticking together. Put in the refrigerator to cool.
Peel the carrots and shave with a peeler. You should have about 2-3 cups of loose carrot shavings. Chop the green parts of the scallions and set the white parts aside for another recipe.

Whisk the sesame oil, vinegar, and soy sauce together and taste. Adjust for taste. Toss the carrots, scallions, chilled noodles and sesame seeds together and serve.

Health Note: Okay lets get real here....Some of the stuff that I talk about on here "normal eaters" don't know what it is or why I think its better for them. So I just want to out line that with Soba. Soba is made of buckwheat flour. Plain and simple. Buckwheat flour has a rich, nutty flavor that is to die for. Not to mention that it is high in since buckwheat is high in fiber, amino acids, protein, niacin, and vitamin B, among other things.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Because Its Earth Day

So I couldn't think of anything to cook today for earth day that I haven't posted yet. Not to mention that I don't have any cash right now so buying food today is just not happening. But it is earth day and that in itself deserves applause. So yay!

On that note I do have some things that I would like to mention. The first is a cookbook for anyone that has kids ages nothing to teenagers. I found this on a blog that I follow (Food practice) and I am in love with it. Its called "Organically Raised" and it is something that I want when I have kids. I do have friends that have children and I suggested it to a few of them and they love it! For a full description of it on Food Practice click Here.

Another thing that I would like to share for Earth day is the Buddhist Shrine I made...or started today. Its a work in progress...just like living a mindful Buddhist life. For those of you that do not know a Shrine in this case is not like an alter (Just so I don't freak my family out). It is a focal point for meditation and a reminder in your home of being kind and compassionate to the world every time you walk out the door. So here is mine!

I hope you have a great Earth day and do your best to make the world the perfect peaceful place that you want it to me.