Posts tagged ‘vegan. grain free’

Chayote with Coconut/Thoran (SRC)

I am currently (food) obsessed with two things:

1. All things Indian food, particularly curry
2. Everything and anything that be “spiralized” (I use this tool) – such as vegetable, potato or fruit spirals.

Food is fun, eating is fun and eating food in spiral form is just plain awesome.
chayote spirals

When I was assigned Shirley’s blog Enriching your Kid this month for the Secret Recipe Club, I was sold on making a dish with an Indian flare. This was an easy option since her repertoire includes items such as Beetroot Parantha and Banana Dumplings in Tomato Gravy (Kele Ka Kofta)…all unique and intriguing dishes that are now on my “to experiment list”! I ultimately decided on Shirley’s Chayote with Grated Coconut/Thoran since I was drawn to a new food, a new preparation and the seemingly lightness and versatility of the dish: I must say it was a great life choice!

chayote thoran bite2

 Get excited for a new food! Have you ever eaten Chayote (pronounced chai-yo-tay)? It’s a quirky little guy that’s actually considered a fruit; chayote is a member of the cucumber and squash family and can be eaten both in raw or cooked forms. Chayote is a good source of amino acids and Vitamin C that’s also low in calories, sodium, contains no cholestrol and is a good source of fiber. Due to it’s mild flavor, chayote is versatile in a variety of dishes and it can be eaten with or the without the skin.

I left the skin on and cooked the chayote spirals until crisp tender to maintain some texture. This recipe has a flavor punch from the spices, a freshness from the basil and the lemon and a complexity with the combination of coconut and sauteed onions..mmmm! While this dish is traditionally classified as a side, I also served it with cooked quinoa that was tossed with a little olive oil, Braggs liquid aminos and sea salt and had a filling yet light veggie-packed dinner. I even had a few leftovers that I threw into a mixed baby green salad with pepitas and a curry-inspired vinaigrette…bonus points for versatility!

chayote thoran2

I made a few little changes to the original recipe…due to my infatuation with “spiralizing” food, I opted to create chayote spirals instead of grating. I couldn’t find curry leaves so I substituted fresh basil leaves with a splash of freshly squeezed lemon juice. I also made the swap of dried coconut in place of freshly grated based on availability in addition to a serrano instead of a green chili. Since I enjoy strong spices, I increased the amount of tumeric and coconut and threw in some cumin seeds just for fun. I’ll be whipping this quick recipe up again soon…could chayote be my new favorite food craze?
chayote thoran

Chayote with Coconut/Thoran (lightly adapted from this recipe)
Gluten-free, Grain-free, Dairy-free, Vegan, Vegetarian, Soy-free, Nut-free, Quick and Easy

Ingredients
1 – 2 Tbsp coconut oil, olive oil or other neutral oil
2 chayotes
1 onion, thinly sliced (I used a yellow onion)
5 cloves of garlic
1 sprig of curry leaf (first choice) or 6-8 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
1 green chilli or serrano, slit in half
1/4 – 1/2 tsp ground tumeric (I love spices, I used the larger quantity)
1/2 tsp mustard seeds (I used brown mustard seeds)
1/4 tsp cumin seeds, slightly crushed with your fingers (optional)
squeeze of lemon or lime juice (Optional but I find it enhances the spices)
sea salt to taste
1 -3 tbs grated or shredded coconut

Directions

1. Wash and clean the chayote. Either spiralize OR and grate both chayote. I used this tool to spiralize.
2. Slice the onions, chop or mince the garlic fine and slit the chili in half.
3. In a medium pan, heat oil over medium heat and splutter the mustard and cumin seeds.
4. Add the curry leaf (if using basil will add in later), onions, garlic and pepper and saute until onions are soft and translucent, about 4-5 minutes.
5. Add the grated/spiralized chayote, ground tumeric and salt to taste. Stir well, then cover and cook for a few minutes. Do not cook the chayote till soft, there should be minimal cooking to leave the crunchy texture. Stir in basil if using instead of curry leaves.
6. Garnish with grated/shredded coconut and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Season with salt to taste and more lemon as desired.
7. Serve warm and enjoy!

 

chayote thoran bite

For more recipes from this month’s reveal, please click below!

July 27, 2014 at 10:00 pm 7 comments

Salmon with Mango, Edamame and Grapefruit Salad (SRC)

It’s the taste of the tropics right here…hello summer!

Now that it’s “officially summer”, I couldn’t help choosing this fresh, light yet very satisfying salad for the Secret Recipe Club reveal this month. Just look at the gorgeous colors…and I haven’t even started on the flavor profile!

salmon mango grapefruit salad

This salad is a beautiful combination of acidic, sweet and salty with peppery undertones…I recommend sitting out in the sunshine while enjoying this dish, and be transported to your own personal little vacation for the afternoon or evening.

I was assigned Sue’s beautiful blog, Couscous and Consciousness for June, and what a lovely site she has! After getting acquainted with her blog, you can feel Sue’s passion for food, healthy lifestyle and conscious eating and her recipes reflect her outlook as well. While I ultimately chose her Salmon salad with Mango and Grapefruit, I’ve tagged several recipes for the future: Butternut and Tahini Spread, Scallops and Sweet Potato with Vanilla Saffron Sauce and her Green Tomato Cake with Maple Mascarpone…inventive and intriguing flavor combinations that I can’t wait to try!

salmon mango grapefruit salad4

I made a few tweaks to the salad by adding some olive oil and apple cider vinegar to the dressing and I sprinkled a bit of smoked paprika on the fish prior to cooking since I’ve been loving that spice these days. Sue mentioned Thai basil in her write up as well as lotus root, so I threw in some finely chopped basil and I thought the addition of a roasted beet would add a little color and sweetness that would compliment the flavors in the dish in place of the lotus. Since I am sucker for anything nutty, I tossed in some pinenuts for added texture and complexity, but feel free to leave these out if preferred! If you prefer a vegan dish, simply omit the salmon for a light lunch or a side salad and substitute Bragg’s liquid aminos or tamari for the fish sauce. I’ll be making this again for sure! salmon mango grapefruit salad3

Salmon with Mango, Edamame and Grapefruit Salad (lightly adapted from this recipe)
Gluten-free, Grain-free, Vegetarian/Vegan option, Nut-free Option, Dairy-free, Soy-free

Ingredients

2 skin-on, bone out salmon fillets (mine were each about 6 oz)
flaky sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
a couple dashes of smoked paprika
1 Tbsp neutral oil (I used olive oil, but vegetable oil works)

For Salad
1 firm mango, ever so slightly under-ripe, peeled and shredded OR cut into wedges
1 pink grapefruit, peeled & cut into segments and chopped if desired (membrane removed)
3/4 cup shelled edamame
2 generous handfuls of peppery leaves such as rocket, cress, mizuna (I used 4 cups arugula)
1 roasted beet, diced (I used already cooked organic Love Beets, optional)
1 tbsp fresh basil or Thai basil, finely chopped
1 tbsp pinenuts (omit for nut-free)

Dressing:
juice of 1 pink grapefruit
2 Tbsp grated palm sugar or 1 Tbsp agave or honey (don’t use honey if vegan)
1 Tbsp fish sauce or Braggs liquid aminos or gluten free tamari*
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
2 cm (3/4 in) piece of ginger, finely grated
2 tbsp olive oil (I added for a bit of richness)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

1. Begin by making the dressing.  Place all the dressing ingredients in a small jar and shake vigorously to combine or blend in a blender cup if preferred.  Set aside.

2. Put oil in a non-stick frypan set over medium heat.  Season salmon with paprika, salt and pepper. Once pan is heated, place salmon in the pan skin side down.  Cook for 3 minutes, before turning over and cooking for approximately 1-3 minutes or until done to your liking.

 3. While salmon is cooking, place all the salad ingredients in a medium bowl and toss gently to combine.

4. To serve, arrange salad on serving plates, drizzle with the dressing, toss lightly and top with the salmon.

salmon mango grapefruit salad1

For other recipes in this month’s reveal, click below!

June 22, 2014 at 10:00 pm 7 comments

Smoky Broccoli Salad

Growing up, my favorite way to eat broccoli was covered in cheddar cheese. Of course, it was probably more cheese sauce than broccoli but I got a thumbs up from my parents for eating my veggies.

broccoli salad2

Now, my NEW favorite way of enjoying broccoli is raw in this salad…tossed in a delicious sweet n tangy dressing with hints of smoky bacon, scallions, nutty sunflower seeds and a touch of sweet currants or raisins. Sweet, salty, smoky, crunchy and healthy? Yes, it’s possible!

Plus, this dish can easily be made vegetarian or vegan, plus there are options to switch up the ingredients. Dried cranberries or halved grapes can be substituted in place of the currants/raisins. You can swap out the sunflower seeds for slivered almonds, walnuts or pepitas. If you don’t like mayo, just use more olive oil. Add in some smoked cheddar for the bacon if that suites you. Variety and options, you can’t go wrong!

broccoli salad1

Take this salad on your next picnic, potluck or BBQ, it travels well and is easy to prepare. I’ve been enjoying a big bowl as a quick lunch at work but it can be served as a side dish with your favorite summer or spring meal!

Smoky Broccoli Salad 
Grain-free, Gluten-free, Nut-free, Soy-free, Dairy-free, Vegetarian/Vegan option, Refined Sugar-free, Quick, Paleo-friendly

Ingredients

2 medium crowns or stalks of broccoli (about 4 cups)
2 scallions, chopped
2 slices of cooked bacon, crumbled/chopped bacon (nitrate free if possible, omit for vegetarian,vegan)*
2-3 Tbsp sunflower seeds (pepitas, slivered almonds or walnuts can be subbed)
2-3 Tbsp currants or raisins (or dried cranberries or halved fresh grapes can be used)**

For the dressing
2 Tbsp mayonnaise or vegan mayo (I’ve used soy-free Vegenaise)
2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp honey or agave (or could use a tiny dash of stevia)
2 -3 tsp dijon mustard
freshly ground black pepper
a dash of crushed red pepper (omit if you don’t like spicy)

Directions

1. Cut off the stems from the broccoli (save for another use) and cut into bite size pieces.
2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine ingredients for the dressing and whisk until combined.
3. Add broccoli, bacon, seeds (or nuts), scallions and currants/raisins. Toss to combine and serve!

Yields 4 1/2 cups

*For vegetarian, you can swap out the bacon for 1/3 cup diced smoked cheddar cheese. If you omit altogether, you will lose the smoky element but that’s ok, it’s still delicious!

**If using fresh grapes, the salad won’t keep as long. Will be best if eaten same day or the next day.

broccoli salad

June 9, 2013 at 10:11 am 2 comments

Mashed Cauliflower “Potato” Bowl

All sorts of cauliflower recipes have been floating around the web, and I’ll admit that I’ve joined the fan club! What an incredible veggie – from sauces and soups to potatoes and pizza crusts, I am impressed with this seemingly ordinary ingredient.

cauliflower mashed bowl 1

This quick and quite filling bowl has been a go-to meal the last few weeks when I feel like I need some extra veggies and still want a satisfying dish. You can switch up the toppings and add-ins to make a southwestern dish or even an Italian or BLT version. While I am pretty routine, I do appreciate mixing things up a bit too :)

cauliflower mashed bowl 2

If you start with the base, –the cauliflower mashed potato recipe– you can customize your dish with your favorite ingredients. It’s flexible…you can serve this as a side dish just as the base, jazz it up with one or two ingredients or make it the main meal with several add-ins and protein of choice if desired. You gotta love options :)

Mashed Cauliflower “Potato” Bowl 
Grain-free, Gluten-free, Paleo-friendly, Vegan Option, Dairy-Free Option, Soy-free, Nut-free, Vegetarian Option

Ingredients

1 medium head of cauliflower, stem and core removed
1 1/2 to 2 Tbsp Earth Balance, ghee, butter or olive oil (Use Earth Balance or oil for dairy free. I prefer the first 3 options because of the flavor)
garlic salt or sea salt to taste (don’t skimp, it adds flavor)
freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp of your favorite fresh chopped herbs – chopped chives, parsley etc (optional)

Your favorite add-ins (see below for different variations)
Italian Chicken Pictured:
baby spinach, sauteed in 1/2 tsp olive oil
julienned sun-dried tomatoes with Italian herbs in olive oil
oregano and basil
diced rotesserie chicken
Daiya (dairy free) shredded cheddar cheese

Directions

1. Cut cauliflower into florets and discard or save the stems. Steam for 10-12 minutes until fork tender. Do NOT overcook or the end result will be mushy, if you undercook it the “mashed potatoes” will be grainy. Check the cauliflower at 10 minutes to see what the texture is, if a fork can pierce it easily then it’s done.
2. Drain any excess liquid from your cooked cauliflower (I use a steamer basket) then add to the bowl of a food processor along with the Earth Balance/Butter/Oil and blend until completely smooth. Do not add liquid though, keep processing! You may need to stop and stir a couple times, it may take 5 minutes depending on your processor and amount of veg in the bowl.
3. Season (generously) with pepper and garlic salt (my preference) or sea salt to taste. Transfer to a mixing bowl and stir in mix-ins OR divide portions into bowls and top with “mix-ins” and serve! If you are adding salty add-ins such as bacon, sausage or cheese afterward, add some salt at the beginning and re-taste after mixing in ingredients.

Variation Add-ins:
BLT Bowl: add 3 slices of cooked, chopped (nitrate-free preferably) bacon, halved grape tomatoes OR chopped sun-dried tomatoes, and sauteed or wilted arugula/spinach or kale
Southwestern Bowl: Add 3 oz cooked chorizo or sausage, shredded cheddar cheese (optional), chopped scallions, 1 anaheim pepper, deseeded, diced sauteed, and 1/2 cup corn kernels
Mediterranean Bowl: Add 1/2 cup roasted red peppers, feta cheese or goat’s feta, toasted pine-nuts and chopped chives.

cauliflower mashed bowl bite

June 3, 2013 at 11:28 am 4 comments

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