Posts tagged ‘vegan’
I am finally getting over 2 1/2 weeks of the “crud” going around, and the lingering cold has really put a dent in my cooking. Besides soups and on-the-go meals from our local health food store, I haven’t been inventive in many meals. However, this chocolate hazelnut spread pulled me out of the slump…it’s creamy, chocolately goodness and rich, nutty flavor made my taste buds sing and I knew I was on the track to recovery.
Oh, the healing powers of chocolate! But please, if you think that’s a bunch of bologna, I’d rather you keep it to yourself so I can keep on indulging
I’m quite comfortable with making homemade nut butters (ie. nut butter madness post), yet it’s been a while since I posted a new flavor combination. I also realized I’ve never posted a chocolate nut butter….what???? It’s about time!
Hazelnuts + chocolate are a lovely combination…does Nutella ring a bell? I try and stay away from those processed ingredients and partially hydrogenated oils in actual Nutella, so why not whip up a batch of my own? Plus…homemade always tastes better. I won’t say it tastes exactly the same as Nutella but why would it when you are using real and healthy ingredients?
One word — deliciousness!
Chocolate Hazelnut Spread aka “Healthy Nutella”
Gluten-free, Vegan, Refined Sugar-Free, Grain-free, Dairy-Free
2 1/2 cups raw hazelnuts
2 Tbsp coconut oil (or other neutral oil)
1/3 cup coconut milk (I used the canned variety)
5 Tbsp cup unsweetened cacao or cocoa powder
1/4 cup coconut sugar (or other granulated sweetener)
2-3 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp pure stevia extract (or could increase the granulated sugar by 2-3 Tbsp)
a rounded 1/4 tsp sea salt or to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Add hazelnuts to a large baking sheet and roast for 10-12 minutes until lightly browned and some skins have loosened around the hazelnut.
3. Place the roasted nuts in the center of a damp kitchen towel (use an older towel or dark colored one). Bundle it up and rub the nuts for a couple minutes to loosen the skins. Pick out the “skinless” nuts and place into the bowl of a food processor. Repeat until most of the skins have come off and add the remaining nuts to the processor (it’s ok if there are stubborn ones that are difficult to remove).
4. Process the hazelnuts for 5-6 minutes or until you achieve a creamy nut butter. You may need to stop and scrape the sides of the bowl every couples minutes or so to help it along.
5. Add the oil and process for a minute or so until smooth.
6. Add the remaining ingredients and process again until fully incorporated and really smooth, this took me another 5 minutes. Taste the spread and adjust salt and sweeteners to taste if desired.
Makes about 1 1/2 cups of nut butter. Store in jars or containers in the fridge.
Enjoy with a
large spoon, spread on toast or use in your favorite recipes. “Nutella” Ice Cream (Dairy-free) coming soon!
The Secret Recipe Club is back in action for 2013 and I was assigned Melanie’s Fabulously Fun Food blog for the month of January! From her Papas Rellenas and Jamaican Jerk Chicken to the Chocolate Guinness Cake and Homemade Gnocchi, Melanie covers all types of cuisine and made my mouth water looking through all her recipes.
Her original recipe for Red Thai Duck Curry immediately struck my fancy, not only because it was on “Melanie’s Favorites” list but I happen to love anything with curry in the title. Admittedly though, duck freaks me out a bit so when I saw a little blurb for a protein swap, I decided to change up a few ingredients and make this a 100% vegetarian and vegan meal. Why not if I am going that direction anyway?
In addition to substituting the tofu for duck and coconut aminos for the fish sauce, I added a touch of sweetness in the form of coconut nectar syrup that the fish sauce would have added. I added a few wedges of fresh lime and chopped fresh cilantro for brightness and decided against the cooking rice as a side. In the veggie department, I increased the amount of mushrooms and added carrots since I didn’t have any tomatoes or pineapple on hand (though both will be added next time I make this).
I like my curry on the thicker side but feel free to add more liquid to this dish (as noted) if you prefer one on the thinner side. I have mentioned before that I prefer eating rice plain AND separate from my main dish… so I decided to forgo the rice and opted for a second helping of this curry instead After all, I do love my veggies and protein!
A little sweet, a little spicy and FULL of flavor — I LOVED this curry! I can’t wait to make this again soon and experiment with various vegetables and proteins for variety.
Red Thai Tofu Curry (SRC) (inspired by Red Thai Duck Curry)
Gluten-free, Grain-free, Nut-free, Vegetarian, Vegan, Dairy-free option
2 Tbsp butter, ghee, coconut oil or Earth Balance, divided (use oil or Earth Balance for dairy free)
1-2 tsp agave, coconut sugar, coconut nectar or sweetener of choice or to taste**
1 large lime, cut into wedges
Fresh basil and cilantro, chopped (I used about 1/4 cup each) – can use all basil if you aren’t a fan of cilantro
1. Heat 1 Tbsp butter/oil in a wok/skillet over medium-high heat. Stir-fry tofu until golden on all sides, about 6 minutes then remove from pan and set aside.
2. Heat 1/2 Tbsp butter/oil in a medium saucepan over medium low heat. Add Red Thai curry paste to the pan and stir. Cook paste for several minutes to release the flavors (If you have a hood over your oven, use it otherwise you’ll be sneezing up a storm from the chiles in the paste). Pour in the coconut milk, hot water (if using), coconut aminos/tamari/soy sauce, sweetener and minced ginger. Stir and allow to cook over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients.
3. In the same wok/skillet you prepared the tofu, heat remaining 1/2 Tbsp butter/oil over medium high heat. Add sliced onions, bell pepper, carrots and mushrooms and cook for 3-4 minutes or until cook to your preference (I like mine crisp tender). Make sure the pan is hot, then add tofu and stir. Cook for 2-3 minutes until warmed, stirring occasionally.
4.Taste curry sauce, which should be slightly thickened by now. Add more spice if needed. If it’s too spicy, add more coconut milk.
5. Pour curry sauce into the pot with the veggies and tofu. Stir to combine and allow to bubble and simmer for a good 5 to 10 minutes. Add a little hot water if it seems too thick, or allow to bubble longer if it needs more thickening. Remove from heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
6. At the last minute, stir in lots of chopped basil and cilantro. Squeeze fresh lime juice and serve immediately and/or over cooked grain of choice and enjoy!
Serves 4-6 (Depending on if you serve this with or without a side)
*If you aren’t a fan of tofu, feel free to substitute chicken or shrimp in this dish
**Can substitute fish sauce in place of the soy sauce but will not longer be vegetarian. If doing so, eliminate the added sweetener since fish sauce already contains sugar.
I’ve been loving on my “crunch bowls” or “dessert soups” for snacks or breakfasts. It’s more satiating and longer-lasting than a bowl of cereal with all the texture and flavor that I crave.
Lately I’ve been in the mood for carrot cake and warm spices so when I was short on time and had an abundance of baby carrots, I knew just how to use up a few. Too lazy to pull out the juicer (and clean it), I opted for a speedy blender bowl with a carrot cake-inspired recipe!
Side note: I had good intentions when I bought a juicer but I have yet to use it since the first few times I’ve pulled it out. I have a weakness for kitchen gadgets but ones that require a bit of cleaning have been set to the side with my schedule these days…excuses, excuses My speedy blender came to the rescue, again!
If you aren’t keen on slurping this “dessert soup” from a bowl, sip this from a glass in smoothie form
Carrot Cake Crunch Bowl (inspired by my Recovery Crunch Cereal Bowl)
6-7 baby carrots, chopped
1/2 cup plain coconut milk yogurt (can use cottage cheese, tofu or other yogurt for variations)
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk (or other non-dairy milk)
1/4 cup fresh or frozen pineapple (can omit
1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder, optional
splash of pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon (or more to taste)
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1 medjool date or drizzle of honey or agave (do not use honey if vegan)
4-5 ice cubes
2 Tbsp raw buckwheat groats (granola can be subbed)
1 -2 Tbsp chopped pecans, walnuts or almonds (or a combo)
1 -2 Tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes (or shredded coconut)
1. In a blender, combine carrots through ice and blend until smooth, about 1 minute.
2. Pour into a bowl, top with buckwheat groats, nuts and coconut flakes and enjoy!
Is any else still on a winter squash kick? I am waiting for my skin to turn orange from all the winter squash I’ve been eating at breakfast/lunch/dinner/dessert.
Example: Here’s yesterday’s eats with all my squash obsession…
Breakfast Parfait: plain Greek yogurt layered with pumpkin puree that is mixed with ground cinnamon, chopped walnuts, cinnamon Puffins cereal and a drizzle of honey
Lunch: Baked Butternut Squash Fries alongside a bunless bison burger topped with guacamole and sliced tomatoes
Dinner: This Black Cherry Rice “Stuffed” Kabocha Squash (recipe below)!
When Fall hits, I have a solid 4 months of squash lovin’ so I don’t intend on letting up anytime soon. I promise to keep the recipes to a minimum though, I won’t go overboard on the orange stuff as I assume some of you would like a little variety
Now onto today’s recipe!
While I could eat easily cooked kabocha plain, I whipped up a “stuffing” for a more complete dinner in an attempt to use up leftover rice. Yet, if you are on a squash hiatus, this rice “stuffing” would still be delicious as a side dish.
Sweet dried cherries and sauteed onions compliment the nutty brown rice and pepitas seeds beautifully. I tossed in a large handful of leafy spinach for added color and a nutritional punch so any leafy green can used in it’s place if desired.
Black Cherry Rice “Stuffed” Squash
1 medium kabocha squash, cut into quarters, deseeded or 2 acorn squash, halved and deseeded
Earth balance, olive oil, coconut oil, butter or ghee for brushing
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tsp coconut oil, butter, ghee or Earth Balance, divided
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced or finely chopped
2 cups cooked brown rice (white rice, wild rice, millet or quinoa can be substituted)*
1/3 cup unsweetened or juice-sweetened dried black cherries (dried bing cherries or dried cranberries can be used)
1 large handful fresh baby spinach or other leafy green (ex. kale or chard)
2-3 Tbsp pepita seeds, raw or lightly toasted (or other seeds or nuts)
freshly ground black pepper and sea salt to taste
1. To bake squash, preheat oven to 375F. Brush the squash quarters with olive oil/melted butter/Earth Balance, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and place cut sides down in a lightly greased baking dish. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes until flesh is soft to the touch.
2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 2 tsp oil/butter/Earth Balance over medium heat. Add onions and saute for 6 to 7 minutes until soft, stirring often. Add garlic cloves and saute for another 2 minutes until fragrant. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
3. Add remaining 1 tsp oil, rice and cherries to the pan and saute rice for 2 minutes stirring frequently.
4. Add in spinach and cook until wilted, about 1-2 minutes.
5. Stir in pepitas, adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
6. To serve, divide “stuffing” amongst cooked squash quarters and enjoy!
*If you cook your rice (or other grain) in vegetable stock, it gives this dish an additional flavor boost!