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Sauteed Kale with Tomatoes & Garlic

sauteed kale with tomatoes & garlic

 My new  favorite way of making kale. Simple simple simple but oh so tasty. Use as a side for any vegan main. Can also be enjoyed cold the next day. I can easily go through a whole bunch of kale on my own so plan accordingly. Fricken Yum.

Sautéed Kale with Tomatoes & Garlic

1 bunch kale, washed, trimmed, and torn into bite size pieces

1 large clove garlic, smashed and minced

1 medium tomato, small dice

1 small fresh chili or jalapeno pepper or 1/4t cayenne pepper flakes

2T extra vrgin olive oil

1/4t salt

1/4t fresh black pepper

In a large skillet heat up the olive oil over medium high heat and sauté the garlic just until golden brown. Add the salt, hot pepper, and the tomato and sauté just for a minute or so before adding the kale. With a fork or a pair of tongs, move the kale around the pan cooking the kale until wilted and tender. I like to place mine in a bowl with a plate over top so that it continues to steam slightly. Serve immediately or eat chilled.

Sunshine Burgers

sunshine burger on rice bread

These are delicious, they just are….whether you keep them almost raw (the only cooked ingredient is organic brown rice) and stuff it into lettuce leaves or it is perfect inside a bun, pita or bread of your choosing baked, pan fried or toasted. Today I made this lightly pan fried, just to get a crust on the patty and to warm it through, and ate it on gluten free rice bread. I topped it with all of my favorite fixings; organic green leaf lettuce, avocado, vegan mayo, ketchup and mustard…..RIDICULOUSLY MESSY AND DELICIOUS……I ate it accompanied by one of my very own fermented sour dill pickles and a Steel Rail Beer….I did not want for anything.

Sunshine Burgers

Almost raw, wheat-free, gluten free

2c cooked brown rice (cooled or even cold)

2c sunflower seeds (raw, soaked and sprouted, can also use 1c of another sprouted seed like pumpkin)

1 small onion, rough chopped

1 large carrot rough chopped

1-2 stalks celery rough chopped

1/4 bunch parsley rough chopped

2 leaves kale or handful baby spinach

2T raw tahini

1T mello miso

1t chipolte powder

1t cumin

1/2t himalayan sea salt

*I have also used left over pulp from my savory green juices in place of new veggies  VEGGIE JUICE PULP (KALE, CELERY, CARROT, GINGER, CUCUMBER, PARSLEY, LEMON, RED PEPPER!) Comes out delicious…

Process the seeds with the brown rice in a food processor until a meal forms. Add the other ingredients and process until a thick mixture is formed- if it is too wet, add more seeds or rice. Taste this and adjust your spices and seasonings- keep in mind that if you dehydrate, flavors will intensify somewhat so easy on the salt.

Form into patties- I dehydrate mine for 2 hours or so but you can coat them in a dusting of rice flour and then pan fry them or you can bake them until they dry out a bit.

Can be baked, pan fried, or eaten AS IS. I make a large batch and freeze them- then pull out as needed and decide how I would like it prepared!

I LOVE these. You can play with the flavors, spices etc…southwestern, mexican, spicy, mellow etc…

*sunshine-burgers

Cream of Zucchini Soup

cream of zucchini soup

 This is the perfect way to use the summer squash from the garden, or, if you are lucky enough to have friends grow and give them too you! This easy, delicately flavored soup showcases the squashes sweet summer flavor. I use zucchini but yellow squash would make a beautifully colored bisque as well.  I have made this with and without a vegetable bouillon or a veggie broth base, I enjoy both immensely, I’d say without the added flavor in the broth, it is a lighter taste, equally delicious just a matter of preference and also convenience, not everyone keeps bouillon in the house. Roasting the squash first enhances the overall flavor but it is also an additional step in the preparation that is not necessary for an amazing and quick to prepare soup.

Prep: 5 minutes, Time: 15-20 minutes

Cream of Zucchini Soup

Wheat-Free, Gluten-Free

1 large onion, coarsely chopped

1 large zucchini, chopped, about 3c

1/4t cayenne pepper or chipolte powder

3T xvo

1/4t-grated nutmeg

1T mirin  or white wine (but if white wine is in the house, I am most likely drinking it, not using to to cook with!)

1t maple syrup, sucanat, or raw agave

4c boiling water

1t salt or to taste

freshly cracked black pepper

Cashew heavy crème:

3/4c cashews

1c water

Bring 6c of water to a boil (in case you need more than called for)

In a large soup pot, add the olive oil and sauté the onions until golden and soft. Add the zucchini, salt, white and red pepper. Continue to sauté until the zucchini softens and turns bright green. Add the mirin and maple syrup and cook for 2-3 minutes or so. Add the boiling water, the bouillon cube (or powder). Bring to a boil and reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes.

In batches, in a blender or vitamix*, puree the zucchini soup. At this point, the soup is delicious as is or the crème can be added to create a wonderfully elegant soup. Adjust the seasonings again after adding the crème.

For the crème:

In a blender, grind the cashews to a powder. Add the water and blend at first at low speed and finally walking it up to full power. Let run for about 30 seconds. This should create a thick nut milk, likened to heavy crème. Add the crème into the soup and stir with a ladle to incorporate. Adjust the seasonings again after adding the crème.

*Caution: blending hot liquids can be extremely dangerous. Fill the blender only half way and proceed in batches if necessary.

*cream of zucchini soup 0

Fresh Thai Basil Peanut Rolls with Sweet Hot Chili Lime Dipping Sauce

Thai Basil Peanut Fresh RollsThese really are not difficult to make, they are definitely more time consuming than throwing pasta in a pot of boiling water, but they are so worth it. They are more of an “occasion” meal or made per a craving request. I was definitely craving them, so I made them for myself after yoga this morning. After already having made the Thai Basil Pesto with the Thai basil out of my garden, half the work was already done and in the fridge! I made a Peanut Sauce earlier today, which takes no more than 5 minutes so the rest of the prep is all about getting the components gathered and ready for you to roll (hehehe). What you put inside the rolls is really personal preference; my standard go to’s are:

  • grilled or smoked tofu, sliced into thin strips
  • red peppers, sliced into thin strips
  • rice vermicelli or glass noodles, cooked and drained
  • hoisin sauce or pesto and or peanut sauce- I use both!
  • fresh cilantro, fresh basil, fresh mint
  • fresh lettuce
  • crushed roasted peanuts

I use the water that I boil the noodles in to soften the rice wrappers. You can purchase the wrappers in almost every main stream market now a days, or in asian specialty stores, they are also easily found online at specialty markets.

On a clean surface or cutting board, lay your dampened rice wrapper, making sure there are no hard edges, if there are, try to moisten them with the heated water. Now you are ready to fill- my rhythm is as such:

  • lay down about one 2 teaspoons of pesto
  • then plenty of fresh herbs next to the sauce, above or below  (they look pretty showing through the transparent skin when fully rolled)
  • then lettuce
  • then tofu stacked on the lettuce
  • then peppers stacked
  • then peanut sauce gets spooned over
  • then crushed peanuts

Roll from the bottom edge up towards the top to encase the tower of yum. Fold in the sides, the rice wrapper will help you by sticking in place. Once both sides are folded in, roll up to the top to close the package. They don’t keep well, the wrapper tends to stiffen overnight, thus lending  to their name, fresh rolls. Dip into both the peanut sauce and the sweet chili lime sauce. FRICKEN YUM.

*sweet chili dipping sauce

Sweet Chili Lime Dipping Sauce

3T raw agave, or local raw honey

2T apple cider vinegar

1T lime juice

1/2t pink salt

1t red chili flakes

Vegan Fresh Rolls

Easy Peanut Butter Sauce

This sauce can literally transform everyday foods into new meals, on veggies, grains, noodles-  I created this recipe while living in New York City. I had the tiniest kitchen, I cried my first night, not because of being homesick but because of my new kitchen! I had two jars of peanut butter which were clearly taking up too much real estate so instead of consolidating the jars, I made the sauce with what ingredients I had in the apartment in-the-jar, and then the jar became the storage container for the fridge! Use it over noodles, it pairs amazingly well with Grilled Tofu over a fresh bed of crisp greens and sprouts as a dressing, and inside fresh rolls (which is what I will be making today!) are just some of its uses- it is a fantastic, big flavor sauce. Spice it to your liking, I add a fresh hot pepper into the mix cuz I like it hot! It literally takes 5 minutes to make and is worth keeping in the fridge at all times.

fricken yum
fricken yum

Peanut Butter Sauce

1/3c organic peanut butter, natural style, crunchy or creamy

1T shoyu or tamari

1″ fresh piece of ginger, more if desired

1 small fresh chili or 1/2 fresh jalapeño pepper

1T fresh lime juice *opt -makes it taste more awesome but so not needed

2T cilantro *opt-makes it taste more awesome but so not needed

1T prepared ketchup

1T hot sauce or sriracha sauce

1/3-1/2c water

1T maple syrup or raw agave or raw local honey

2t hot toasted sesame oil

Black pepper to taste

Add all ingredients into a blender, start with a smaller amount of water to get it going, and add more if needed. Blend until completely smooth and to your desired consistency,  more liquid for a sauce, less liquid for use as a dipping sauce. It’s your sauce, make it awesome!

Blueberry Maqui Berry Power Smoothie

It is bluuuuuueberry time! Fresh berries all day every day! I have already frozen my share of the local love so I can pull from my freezer all winter. I throw them in smoothies, pancakes and baked goods. This smoothie is super delicious with or without the Maqui.
Maqui Berry (pronounced MAH-key) is a super-fruit beneficial for detoxification and aiding in weight loss.
Maqui Berry (pronounced MAH-key) is a super-fruit beneficial for detoxification and aiding in weight loss.
Blueberry Maqui Berry Power Smoothie
1c nut milk, or other non-dairy milk
1T hemp seeds
1t raw agave or raw local honey
1c blueberries (fresh or frozen)
2T Maqui Berry Powder
1T chia seeds
1t vanilla
1 scoop vegan protein powder
—-
1c ice
blend all ingredients together except the ice and process until smooth- taste and adjust if needed
add the ice and blend just until smooth.

Simple Grilled Tofu

This is one my most favorite ways of preparing tofu- it is even more delicious cold. Use it as is, with a side of greens and quinoa or brown rice or how I made it tonight, sliced and served over Thai Basil Pesto Soba with fresh baby Spinach. I would double up on the amount you make if you want to have any left over for the next day! You can season the oil in all kinds of ways imaginable, from curry, to lemon pepper, to super spicy jerk rub.*grilled tofu

Simple Grilled Tofu

1 pound extra firm tofu

2T Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 large clove garlic, smashed and minced

1/2t pink salt

black pepper

Heat up the grill or grill pan.

Prepare the tofu:

Remove the tofu from the package and drain the water. Rinse and then place the tofu between to plates. Weight the tofu down in the sink with something over the top plate. Let press for at least 15 minutes to remove excess water. This makes for a “chewier” end result.

Slice the tofu in ¼-1/2” slices, an average block of tofu should yield 7-10 slices.

In a large plate, add the garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Lightly dredge the tofu slices in the oil – I use a silicone pastry brush to paint the oil on, oil and set aside.

Over high heat, place the slices on the grill or pan and close the grill or cover the pan. Let grill for about 6-8 minutes. The slices should easily flip and have gorgeous markings. Once flipped, continue to grill for another 5-6 minutes.

Salt and pepper the slices again to taste.

Serve hot or cold.

Basic Awesome Nut Milk

Since learning about nut milks, I have not puchased a box of soy, almond or rice milk- or any other milk for that matter since. I use it almost every day for making sweet breads, smoothies, creaming up soups, adding to gravies- you name it. The even MORE basic version is nuts and water in the blender- that’s it. In a pinch you can even use a nut butter and water and blend-and there you have it, milk. With these slightly flavored versions, they are delicious on their own or for use in cereals and shakes.
*basic nut milk

Basic Awesome Nut Milk 

Almond:

1c almonds- soaked overnight

4c water

1T coconut oil/butter

2T raw agave

2t vanilla

pinch Himalayan sea salt………

Cashew:

3/4c raw cashews

4c water

1T raw agave

pinch Himalayan sea salt………

Use for smoothie bases, cereals, or drink as is. You can also add fresh fruit; strawberries, blueberries, cacao to flavor the milks….

SUPER FRICKEN YUM

Thai Basil Pesto

*Thai basil pestoThis is not your every day pesto…this pesto is slightly more badass- it could be I am bias seeing as my Thai basil plant took off and my Genovese basil did not….Still, this is a twist between an asian nut sauce, a hoisin sauce and a traditional pesto- are you feeling what I am saying? It’s raw, slightly sweet and dark in flavor, and the ingredients are straight forward- you could even use other kinds of basil and it would still be fantastic.  I made it today in less than 15 minutes. I can use it as a sauce for cold noodles, hot noodles, a dipping sauce for grilled tofu, or a spread on a grilled tofu sandwich. I am thinking that I will most likely have this over noodles tonight or in fresh rolls tomorrow! YUM.

Thai Basil Pesto

2c fresh Thai basil, lightly packed

1/3c raw sprouted almonds

2T brown rice miso or another dark miso

2T extra virgin olive oil

1 cloves garlic*opt

½ lemon juiced

1 1/2T Raw agave, 5 deglet dates, or raw local honey

1t ume vinegar

½ fresh jalapeno or chili pepper

2t hot toasted sesame oil

1/4c unrefined toasted sesame oil

Salt and pepper

Pinch cayenne pepper

Water if needed

Place all of the ingredients in a blender, and process.Blend until smooth and creamy; add the water for desired consistency- up to a 1/4c. Adjust the seasonings to taste (sweeter, saltier etc) to desired final result. Excellent for use in fresh rice rolls, on grilled or broiled tofu, on sandwiches, over soba or your favorite pasta. Delicious!

Thai Basil Soba with Grilled Tofu and Fresh Baby Spinach
Thai Basil Soba with Grilled Tofu and Fresh Baby Spinach