Have a great day - eat something healthy.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Easy, E2-friendly Vegan Pad Thai

After failing dismally with another Pad Thai recipe a few weeks ago I was hesitant to try again. But I knew I had to give it another go if I wanted to enjoy a healthy version of one of my favorite dining-out dishes at home. So I got back in the kitchen with another recipe. And, for the most part, Mark and I agree that it's a keeper. I’ve modified it to eliminate sugar, and to use broiled tofu instead of the uncooked kind called for in the original recipe (I think it has a nicer texture that way). And next time I make it I’ll use 1/3 cup of lime juice instead of the ½ cup that’s called for in the original recipe. Also, instead of adding the noodles earlier in the process, I cooked all the sauce ingredients together, then poured the mixture over the noodles to keep them from breaking or getting mushy. It worked like a charm!

Easy Vegan Pad Thai 

1 lb Asian-style rice noodles (use rice noodles for a gluten-free option)
1/4 C soy sauce
1/2 C lime juice (I will use 1/3 C next time)
2 T peanut butter
2 T hot sauce (I used Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce)
1/4 C sugar (I used agave)
1 block tofu, diced (I used broiled tofu)
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 T sesame oil* (see note below on how to make this E2-friendly)
1/2 C bean sprouts
1/4 C chopped or crushed peanuts (optional)
4 green onions (scallions), sliced
¼ C chopped cilantro

Cook noodles according to package instructions. Whisk together the soy sauce, peanut butter, lime juice, hot sauce and sugar (agave). In a large wok or skillet, sauté the tofu, onion and garlic in sesame oil for a minute or two, stirring frequently. Allow to cook for another minute or two. Add the peanut butter and soy sauce mixture. Stir well, and allow sauce to thicken as it cooks for about 3 minutes. Pour over noodles and gently mix until well combined. Top with peanuts, bean sprouts, green onions and cilantro and serve hot.

* - To make this recipe E2-friendly, substitute 2T vegetable stock for the sesame oil and keep extra on hand to splash into the pan if it gets dry

Adapted from recipe by Jolinda Hackett found on vegetarian.about.com

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Sweet Potato, Black Bean & Quinoa Burgers

Sweet Potato, Black Bean & Quinoa Burger served with
Baked Sweet Potato Fries and Rhubarb Chutney
Wow! I just tried this recipe for the first time and will be sure to make it again! The flavor combination of sweet potato, black beans and quinoa is simultaneously sweet and savory, and because each of those ingredients is a nutritional powerhouse on its own, this burger packs a huge, healthy punch! Serve this will a dollop of rhubarb chutney and a side of baked sweet potato fries for an amazing flavor combination.

Sweet Potato Black Bean Quinoa Burger

1 medium onion, diced
3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced
2 T vegetable stock
1 carrot, finely grated
1/2 can black beans, slightly drained
1/2 of 1 baked sweet potato, flesh scooped out
1/2 C quinoa, cooked
1/2 C bread crumbs (gluten-free, if necessary)
1 T caraway seeds( I don’t care for caraway so I substituted 1 t of garam masala)
3 T chopped cilantro
2 t tomato paste or ketchup (use organic tomato paste to keep sugars low)
hot sauce or cayenne pepper to taste
1 t balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste (I didn't use either - the flavor was good enough on its own)

Preheat oven to 350F. Sauté onion and garlic in vegetable stock in a non-stick skillet. Add beans to pan and cook for 2 minutes more, stirring now and then. Turn off heat. Mash beans in pan until they’re about half crushed. Put in big bowl with all the rest of the ingredients and mix thoroughly. If too moist, add more bread crumbs. Form into patties. Place on a non-stick cooking sheet or shallow baking pan (I line mine with aluminum foil and spray lightly with cooking spray). Bake for approximately 20 minutes a side.

Makes 5 generous hand-sized patties.

Note: The orginal recipe also suggested grilling these burgers, but I don't think they'd hold up well on the grates. This one's your call...

Adapted from a recipe by Christina found on FatFreeVegan.com

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

I never imagined that sweet potato fries would be so easy to make. But they're such a tasty no-brainer that we'll be making them on a regular basis! I copped this recipe from "Vegan with a Vengeance," one of my favorite vegan cookbooks of all time.  

Baked Sweet Potato Fries
2 large unpeeled sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds), cleaned and cut into 1/4-inch strips lengthwise
1 T olive oil
1 t ground cumin
1 t ground coriander
1/4 t black pepper

Preheat oven to 425F. Lightly grease a large rimmed baking sheet. Combine oil, cumin, coriander and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Add the potatoes and toss well to coat. Arrange in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. Use tongs to flip potatoes over, and bake for another 10-15 minutes until browned.

From the book "Vegan with a Vengeance" by Isa Chandra Moskowitz

A 2-in-1 Double-dip Sauce Recipe: Rhubarb Chutney & Spicy Rhubarb Dipping Sauce

This recipe is a happy accident; one that occurred when I was playing with a recipe from Chowhound.com. I substituted agave for white sugar but because the agave is “wet,” the chutney came out with a watery consistency. I decided to strain the liquid off and what I got was two fabulous sauces – a tart, sweet, hot chutney that’s good enough to eat by the spoonful, and a zippy dipping sauce that is perfect for egg rolls, spring rolls, or fried or broiled tofu. Try the chutney with veggie burgers, Indian dishes – even carnivorous items like pork, poultry and subtle fish. And truth be told, I think both of these sauces would be great on a scoop of vanilla ice cream! Rhubarb season lasts such a short time so play with it, have fun, and indulge!

A 2-in-1 Double-dip Sauce Recipe:
Rhubarb Chutney & Spicy Rhubarb Dipping Sauce

4 C diced rhubarb
1 ½ C agave
¾ C cider vinegar
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1/8 C minced fresh ginger
1-2 jalapeno peppers, chopped
1/8 C crystallized ginger, diced
½ t salt
½ t (or so) cumin seeds
¼ t (or so) hot pepper flakes
2 T unsalted peanuts, chopped

Everything goes in a large pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then lower the heat and cook, stirring often, until quite thick - at least one hour. Make sure you stir more often toward the end of the cooking time to avoid scorching and sticking.

For Spicy Rhubarb Dipping Sauce:
Strain liquid from the mixture into another container. Add hot sauce of your choice (I use Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce) to taste. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts.

For Rhubarb Chutney:
Use the remaining chunky mixture to top your favorite dishes – Indian foods, veggie burgers… even for carnivorous items like pork, poultry or subtle fish.

Modified from a recipe found on Chowhound.chow.com by Nyleve