Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Vegan Enchiladas

So I am in no part Hispanic...I just happen to love the food. Once you get away from the South Texas version of it, it can actually be pretty healthy. I have been missing enchiladas lately and buying the Amy's one can get really expensive. So I decided to create my own! They turned out very yummy! I did put Cheese on some of them for my boyfriend. If you are vegan but want cheese you can always go for soy blends or almond cheese.

1 cup of chopped veggies (I use onion, garlic, jalapeños and a variety of peppers)
1 cup of black beans
Green Chili sauce (Check the ingredients to make sure its vegan)
5 whole wheat tortilla (Again check, some of them use gelatin)
Soy or almond cheese (Optional)

Preheat to 450 degrees

Start by placing a tortilla down in a backing tray. load your beans, veggies, cheese and a small amount of chili sauce into the middle. Fold to close one side over the other. Repeat with all of the tortilla making sure that they fit snuggly together. You can use a ruler or a piece of Tupperware to hold them down. Or you can stick them through with toothpicks so the hold until you pour the sauce.

When you have all of the enchiladas fit snuggly into the pan pour the rest of the chili sauce over the top of them. It can flow over so don't be stingy with it. If you want top with cheese.

Take the pan and put it into the preheated oven. cook for 10-15 minutes or until the shells or the cheese start to brown.

Once they are done let cool and then enjoy! You can top them with vegan sour cream, salsa or extra veggies! Yummy!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Beet Salad with Spinach & Red wine vinaigrette

Believe it or not this is the first time that I have cooked or eaten beets! My god, I cant believe that I went this long without eating them! They are yummy and colourful! I loooooove them.

2 servings

4 small beets with the greens
1/2 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
4 Pieces of raw spinach (fresh)
1 1/2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
handful of red onion

Cut the beet greens from the beets, leaving about 1 inch of the stems attached to the beets, and reserve 16 of the beet leaves. Scrub the beets, wrap them in small groupings tightly in foil and in a baking pan roast them in a preheated 350°F. oven for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until they are tender. Unwrap the beets carefully, discarding any liquid that may have accumulated in the foil, and let them cool until they can be handled. The beets may be roasted 1 day in advance and kept covered and chilled.
Rinse the reserved beet leaves and spinach, in a steamer for 1 minute, and transfer them with tongs to paper towels to drain.
In a small bowl whisk together the mustard, the vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste, add the oil in a stream, whisking, and whisk the dressing until it is emulsified.
Peel the beets and trim the stem ends flat. Standing each beet on its stem end, cut parallel slices into but not through the beet at 1/4-inch slices. Arrange 4 of the beet leaves on each of 4 plates and arrange the beets on the leaves.

Drizzle the beets with the dressing and sprinkle them with the onion.

Health bonus: Beets are so good for you! They are packed full of iron, vit c, and detoxifing properties that clean out the blood and replace it with good natural sugars and minerals! For more nutritional facts here is a web site that will give you everything that you could possibly want to know.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Spicy Chickpeas

Better than cruotons! This little buggers are so good for you. I am sure that everyone has heard about how good they are but how do you cook them? There is more to go than making hummus let me tell you that. I have used them in curries and soup...but some times you just don't have the time. These can be made and carried with you as I do in a small tuperware container. You can pick at them or you can toss them onto a salad for some extra fiber and crunch!

Another good thing? They are super easy to make and you can do it in an hour in your weekend in a giant batch.

1 (15 ounce)can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
1 table spoon on olive oil
1 table spoon ground cumin

Preheat your oven at 350 degrees. Toss the chick peas in the cumin and olive oil than place into broiler pan or baking tray. Cook them in the oven for about 45 minutes or until crunchy. Half way through cooking move them around in the pan. IN the second half of cooking make sure that you keep an eye on them so they dont burn.

Makes about 1 cup.

Red Potatoes and Roma Tomatoes

This is the recipe to the main part of the dish but in the picture (sorry I was out of batteries so I took it on my cell phone.) you will see that I added whole grain gnochhi's as my main complex carbohydrate and a loaf of home made French country bread

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 pound red potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 Roma tomatoes, cut into bite size pieces

Heat oil in a skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté potatoes, stirring and shaking skillet frequently, until golden brown and cooked through, about 5 minutes.
Add tomatoes and cook, stirring, until tomatoes begin to blister, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Heres To Yum!

I know not all of you are in San Antonio but I still wanted to share this for the people that are.

Yesterday Rachel, Alyssa and I went to a small new restaurant owned by Charles and Renee called creativity "Here's to Yum." It is a small space and they are both still starting out so they cook, buy the produce from the markets, wait on tables and everything else. They cook all of their yummy food and deserts from scratch. I would just like to encourage everyone who is in the area to check it out and support this new place! The food is amazing and fresh. Their "tea house tea" is to die for. The have a basil leaf and orange mixture on the bottom then they pour an iced tea over the top.

Alyssa had the gnocchi with chicken, tomato and goat cheese and Rachel had a beautiful chicken salad on the crissoent with an heirloom tomato salad. Obviously for those of you that are just eating healthier, this is not an all vegan place. But it is very good, very fresh and very veggie focused!

I tried to stay with the tradition veggie of coarse. It was a beautiful day, beautiful space and beautiful company so I didn't want to feel all bloaty and...lets face it with my lactose intolerance, stick the place up. I had the Pea soup one of my new fav things with a slight mint topping. It was amazing!

Now I know that it is being a bad girl but the deserts were not vegan. All the same I tried a tiny bite of each and they were out of this world! Renee makes them himself. One is a lemon tart, one of a fruit tart and one is chocolate moose so deep and dark it is almost sour! Just the way chocolate is meant to be! Each is plated beautifully and will seriously make a vegan girl debate wolfing down a whole one of them despite the tummy ache, the heart attack and the weight gain after! Yum! (Unfortuntly I couldn't get a picture of the lemon tart (My personal fav) because we just devoured it too quickly.

SO really, everyone needs to go and check this place out. Help support a local bistro who are supporting local farmers, who both have amazing food!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Miso Rice Porridge with Sea Veggies

This is something that I made as a spur of the moment dinner with some friends. It is great and hearty. You can use it as a breakfast or dinner. Again miso is so good for you and and the sea veggies will deliver a higher amount of calcium then you could get from anything else....INCLUDING milk.

1- 1 1/2 table spoons of miso paste
1 cup of water
1 1/2 - 2 cups of already cooked left over brown rice
sea veggies of your choice
1/2 red onion (coarsely chopped)

Mix Miso and water over high heat just as if you were making the miso soup. When it boils add the rice and cover. Reduce heat to medium or medium high, just so that it is simmering.

Wait until all or most of the miso mixture is absorbed into the rice. Remove from heat and than stir in you see veggies.

I like this recipy for dinner served with some eddemme

My Bike!

First off I would like to thank all of my friends for reading and promoting this blog! I am glad you like it so much and are liking the food on it. More so (no offense guys!) I would like to say how excited I am that my OPA and OMA are reading it! I really hope you guys like everything! Anytime you have any questions please give me a call! I love you all!

Okay well I have decided its high time to start doing more than yoga as a form of exercise. Eating well is not the only thing that makes one healthy after all. But i'm not much for the gym...they little money I have goes to my yoga classes anyway. Maybe when I get a big girl job. Instead of that I have decided to start being more active in my everyday life.

With that in mind, I will not longer use my car for anything 10 miles or under (Eventually I will make it more than that). I will use the bike that my sweet loving boyfriend got me for Valentines day! This means that I will no longer be driving to the market, to the school or anything else with a path that I could ride through. Keep in mind that San Antonio Drivers will hit me on site. Today I rode my bike to and from school. The route I take is roughly ten miles with a tonne of hills.

Not to mention that I hope to greatly reduce my carbon footprint. Right now it is 26.31 metric tons of CO2, which is pretty gross to me. But I'm hoping that by driving less and getting most if not all of my produce from local farmers will make a different in that. If you'd like to measure your own carbon foot print (And you really should just for perspective) HERE is the web site I used.

Again, though, this is meant to be a non activist blog...but consider this something that you can do thats healthy for you and healthy for the planet! The two are not exclusive at all! I know it sounds odd and rather sadistic but when you pedal your bike past a bunch of people in a drive though you get this great feeling that you are doing something out of the ordinary, well and healthy! Consider how many people that you see sitting in a car by themselves. Then consider that most of the time you drive you are not driving more than 15 miles from home. You could be burning off calories and making yourself healthier every step of that. And you could could be making the planet healthier too. Double win!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Local Treasures

I noticed that in all of my posts I have not stressed the importance of your environment. I, however, don't just means the idea that our earth is special and sacred . While that is important, being in touch with your environment doesn't just mean that. How can we really appreciate our towns and cities if we don't go out into them and find those local shops and restaurants that are hidden in the landscape of the vast array of chains that dominate the terrain?

So for a moment I would like to pay homage to one or two that I absolutely adore.

The first is Fruteria Tres Hermanos. This is a place to get giant fruit cups and other sweet and natural goodies that can be dosed with chili and lime juice. The also have mango's that are cut>into roses on a a giant lolly pop! The fruit is always fresh and juicy and cheap! $2.50 a cup! The down side is that its not on the nicest part of town...but I wouldn't pay attention to that. Many of the great foods that you will find are on the dodgie side of towns.

Last week we went to a farmers market and got a full reusable bag of fresh, locally grown produce for under ten dollars! It will do wonders on you tongue, stomach and wallet! This particular market is right at the 281 and 1604 cross roads. Not only is it full of local food grown by people in the area, it is also a craft fair. Most Sundays they will even have live performers there! It is full of fruit, veggies, jams, bread, flowers herbs and even a cup cake truck! These are all for a fraction of the store price.

I have to encourage everyone to look into the parts of their towns that they dont normally go to! Look for stores, road side stands and farmers markets. Supporting your local farmers is soooooo important I can not even express it! Local growers use less gas to transport their foods, they have less pesticide in the soil and their foods are typically more fresh. If your into micro-biotics they also only have whats in season!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Spring Break Food: Italian Stuck in Texas Succotash

Okay here is another summer time recipe that people might really like. I am actually eating it right now and its amazing! One of those foods that both fills you up and cools at the same time.

1 tablespoon vegan butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup of diced red onion
2 cloves of garlic minced
10-ounces of frozen baby Lima Beans
1 cup of fresh or frozen corn
1 cup of cherry tomatoes (halved)
2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
pinch of fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon red balsamic vinegar

Heat the butter and the olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat. When all is melted add in the onion and sautee for 5 minutes or until it begins to turn brown. Add in the garlic next and sautee for an additional 1 minute.

Stir in the lima beans and sautee for 5 minutes. Add in the corn and tomato and cook until they are heated through. Be careful not to have it too long. You don't want to lose all of the juice in the tomato's. Take the pan off of the heat and add the herbs and vinegar. (The fresh rosemary was given to me by Rachel and I just have to say that it is the best part of this entire recipe! Thank you so much Rachel!)

This can be served either hot or cold with salt and pepper to taste. If you do serve it chilled I personally prefer squeezing a bit og lemon juice over the top.

Spring Break Food: Bananas with Cinnamon and Agave

This was just one of those spur of the moment ideas that turned out to be so good that I could eat it every day.

2 Bananas
Agave nectar
vanilla extract
Raw sugar

Cut the banana's into one inch peices and place them into a bowl. Add the desired amount of cinnamon, sugar, and agave. Put one small drop of vanilla in and than mix all of them up together.

Serve at room temp or chilled.

Note: with out the sugar this is a great breakfast too!

Spring Break Food: Light Cucumber Sandwiches

Well as always there is nothing wrong with a good sandwich. That does not change when you are vegan. Yea, there isn't any lunch meat but there are plenty of veggies and subs that you can put on!

Here is a picture of mine that will hopefully inspire you to eat a healthier one this summer.

Instead of just meat and cheese in there I have bean sprouts, cucumber (as my 'meat' but eggplant is great too!), Veganeze (vegan mayo), tomato, radishes, carrots and pepper. But you can put anything on! Veggies give you everything you could want to taste!

Spring Break: Radish Tabbouleh with Sweet Potato Steaks

I have made the Cuban Sweet Potato before but seeing as how they were Will's fav and Alyssa has not yet gotten to try them no one seemed to mind. Here is that recipe.

One of the things that I know being a new vegan is that most of the dishes that I make are "hot". For me that doesn't just mean heated, but also heavy. No one really wants to eat something heavy in the summer. This dish is the start of me trying to cook more summery dishes! The tabbouleh was something that I made the night before but everyone liked it so much it seemed like a natural side dish. Its natural, it light, it wont make you feel hot or heavy, and its amazingly it has red radishes...which are my new favorite thing ever!

1 cup bulgur wheat
1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 cup of finely chopped parsley
2 scallions, both white and green parts chopped
1/2 cup of sliced radishes (get them as thin as you can)

Bring 1 1/2 cups of water and the salt to a boil. Put in the bulgur wheat and remove from heat. Stir once and then cover. Set this aside as you would couscous for 20-30 minutes. All of the water should be absorbed.

Stir in the lemon, oil. parsley, scallions and radishes. Mix this well. Add more lemon juice if you like and pepper to taste.

Spring break food: Avocado Chocolate Moose

Alyssa, Will and I decided to go up the lake this week. It is spring break and meant to be a yoga retreat, but but that fell through. Oh well, We had a great time checking out Mabel Falls and Granite Shoals anyway (Right off lake LBJ). How could we not enjoy it? Just take a look at the view!

Since we are all relativally broke and I am vegan (If you didn't figure it out Texas isn't exactly the place for road side vegan) we had the chance to try a lot of new Recipies that I have been meaning to tinker with.

This is the first one. I'm not really a huge desert person but this was something that everyone seemed to like!

3 Hass Alvacodos (2 cups when massed up.)
1/4 cup of raw agave nectar
1/4 plus 2 Tablespoons of raw cocoa powder
3 tablespoons of vegan butter
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
Pinch of cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of salt (if you need to mellow out the sweetness)
3 ice cubes

Puree all of the ingredients together in a food processor until they have no chunks. If you don't mind it not being "Live" place in fridge for and hour before serving. As for the Picture....I swear he really did like it (He's actually been nagging me to make it again) he just very much zones out when he eats!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Vegan "Egg" Salad

This is adapted from a recipe I found. I really do miss egg salad. A friend of mine (Febe) and I went on a binge about a year ago where we had it at least once a day. I use it as a snack or a meal and bring it with me to parties so that myself and other vegans have something to eat. Not only that but if you don't serve it on the bread and cut out the Vegenaise it is totally raw.

2 cakes of firm tofu
2 small onions (diced)
2 celery stalks (diced)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 table spoon Canola or safflower oil
1 teaspoon of Tumeric
1/2 teaspoon of fine sea salt
1 teaspoon of Vegenaise
whole wheat break
Paprika (to taste)

Mash your tofu up in a mixing bowl until it is chunky but not smooth. Add the onions, celery, soy sauce, tumeric and salt. Mix up well. Stir in the vegenaise and stick in the fridge until you are ready to use it.

Put the salad on the slice of bread. Garish with thinly cut radish's, cucumber, bean sprouts and anything else that you would like. Sprinkle some of the paprika on top.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Home Made Granola

Buying granola is so expensive! It will Drive you mental to put six bucks down for a tiny bag! So I decided it was high time I try making one of my own. It was fun and easy...not to mention how cheap it was! Plus when you make your own you can try anything that you like in it!

Ingredients (For about 2 quarts):
6 cups of quick cooking oats
1/2 cup of maple or other natural sugar (dont use white. Its bad for you and wont hold the same way)
3/4 cups of wheat germ
1/2 cup of shredded coconut
1/2 cup of sunflower seeds
1/2 cup of chopped nuts (I use walnuts because they are so good for your skin)
1/2 cup of canola oil
1 cup of dried fruit (cranberry's rock but experiment!)
1/2 cup of maple or agave syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees

Spread your oats on a rimmed pan or baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Move the oats into a mixing bowl before adding the sugar, wheat germ, coconut, dried fruit and nuts. Mix the oil, syrup and vanilla and than add to the oat mixture. Stir so that all of the oats are moist.

Spread again onto to baking sheets. You want to have two so that they brown evenly and are not too thick. Bake for another 10 minutes, stirring after 5 to brown. If they are not brown that check at 2 minute intervals and rotate pans.

Let them cool in the pans on the counter top before placing them in an air tight container!

Let the granola

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Well I have been having a craving for some chocolate chip cookies so I had to make some today! Here is my recipe. I including coconut because I love the taste of coconut and chocolate together! Yummy!


2 cups unbleached flour
1 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp.salt
cinnamon to taste
vegan chocolate or carob chips
1 cup raw sugar
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup water
Handful of shredded coconut

Also while your oven is pre-heating put the cookie sheets you are going to use on top of the oven so they get preheated as well. Preheat oven to 350.

In a large bowl mix flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon (if you choose). Add chips and coconut. Make a well in the center and set aside.

In a medium size bowl mix vegan sugar and oil. Mix it well. Add the vanilla and then add the water. Mix it well. Add the wet to the well in the dry. Mix it well but be careful not to overwork it. Add more chips if you need to. Spoon onto ungreased cookie sheets. Put them in the oven. Bake for 5 minutes and then flip and rotate the sheets. Bake another 4 minutes and check them.

The cookies are done when they seem a little bit softer then you want them to be. They will harden up some as they cool. If not hard enough rotate again and cook for another 4 minutes but keep an eye on it.

Take them out when they are done and move them to wire cooling racks. If they split or come apart when you try to remove them let them sit on the pan for few minutes before transferring them to the racks.

Cauliflower Midalions

Extra virgin olive oil
1 medium head of Cauliflower
1 fennel bulb

Preheat oven at 375 degrees. Take head of cauliflower and the fennel bulb and cut them as if you were cutting a loaf of bread. They will break a part a bit but thats why they are midalion's. Grease two baking sheets with olive oil before brushing the tops of your cauliflower and fennel and salting and peppering to taste. Place in the oven for 15 minutes. At 15 minutes turn over the pieces and salt and pepper them again. return to the oven for another 15 minutes or until they are light brown and tender.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Gnocchi Pan Seared In Garlic Onion and Butter

This was just me trying something different with gnocchi's, my favorite form of pasta. These little balls are made with potato and are dumpling like. They are very very filling. You'll love them!

1/2 a small onion
4 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup of butter
Whole wheat gnocchi's

First boil your gnocchi as directed. You will know that they are done when they float to the top. Set aside to drain.

Mince up your onions and garlic. In a frying pan melt the butter and toss in the vggies. Follow this by adding the cooked gnocchi's and keep them moving in the melted mixture until they soak it up and turn a nice golden color. You can also add salt or pepper at this time to your own taste. Remember. No salt at the table! It's the small things that you can change to make yourself healthier!

Serve with slices of plain or garlic bread.