Posts tagged ‘vegan’
Greek food is hard to find in the town I live in…while that’s a true statement, it’s also my lame excuse for completely forgetting how delicious it is! After making this flavorful and fuss-free dish, I racked my brain wondering why I don’t make more Greek-inspired food…and I’m determined it won’t be the last!
I was given the blog Hapa-tite for this month’s Secret Recipe Club assignment, and what fun I had getting to know Nicole. I searched through oodles of sweet treats that called my name…Dark Chocolate Pistachio Toffee and Rhubarb Ginger Crumble Bars to name a couple. With the sunny weather peaking through on occasion, I was fishing for recipes to utilize the grill in order to catapult me out of this rainy Spring and into summer and warmth. Nicole’s recipe’s did just that, and how appropriate for a Memorial Day cookout! I was choosing between her Curried Chicken Skewers with Lime-Apricot Glaze and her Pork Souvlaki to coerce me to fire up the grill. I was really intrigued by her Tomato Petit-Fours with Mango Glaze but didn’t want to alter the recipe too much to fit my dietary needs for this month’s reveal, but I’d like to explore that flavor combination soon. Ultimately, I opted for Souvlaki, that was marinated overnight to infuse some zesty flavor and tenderize the meat from the acidity of the vinegar and lemon. Oh My Yum!
Nicole recommends serving this with toasted naan wedges along with the Tzatiki sauce, but I switched up a few things to cater to my current grain-free elimination diet. I wound up serving this in a lettuce wrap for a fresh, light dinner that is delicious served warm or chilled for a lovely lunch of leftovers.
The protein in this dish is versatile – make it with pork like Nicole suggested, cube some chicken or beef, substitute in cubed ahi tuna or swordfish or even marinate pressed tofu or veggies with this recipe. Stuff the protein (or veggies) sandwich-style in naan or a pita, serve over a salad or in a bowl with rice (or cauliflower rice – pictured) for a little versatility…all are SO super delicious with this dairy free cucumber-yogurt sauce. I’d never made Tzatziki before, but I sure will again!
I made a few little changes to the recipe based on dietary necessity: I swapped out chicken for the pork loin for the protein. For the tzatiki sauce, I used dairy-free, unsweetened coconut milk yogurt and a few spoonfuls of full-fat coconut cream (for richness) in lieu of the Greek yogurt and opted not to peel cucumber for added color. I squeezed the grated cucumber to remove excess liquid in order to thicken the sauce. In the marinade, I used apple cider vinegar in place of the red wine vinegar and added an extra garlic punch by using garlic-infused sea salt. I purchased some Mediterranean leaf oregano from the bulk herb section of our local natural food store…I thought that option was more appropriate in this Greek dish as opposed to Mexican leaf oregano. The Mediterranean oregano had a lemon citrus scent as opposed to the Mexican variety, which paired nicely with the lemon, garlic and olive oil marinade. This dish is crazy flavorful and easy, plus if you do a little prep work dinner can be thrown together in a flash!
Greek Souvlaki Skewers with Tzatziki Sauce (lightly adapted from Hapa-tite)
Grain-free, Gluten-free, Paleo & AIP-friendly, Dairy-free, Egg-free, Soy-free, Nut-free, Vegan/Vegetarian Option, Sugar-free
For the Marinade:
½ cup olive oil
1 small red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves fresh garlic cloves, minced (could probably sub 1/4 tsp garlic powder if necessary)
4 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
2 tsp oregano (I used Mediterranean oregano)
sea salt to taste (I used a rounded 1/4 tsp of garlic salt)
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1½ pounds pork loin, chicken or beef, trimmed of excess fat, cut into 1 (for vegetarian/vegan see notes below*)
For the Dairy-free Tzatziki Sauce:
1 cup unsweetened plain coconut milk yogurt (can use 2% greek yogurt if you can do dairy)
1/2 cup full-fat coconut cream (the thick cream on the top of the can. I use Natural Value brand without gums)
1 English cucumber, grated and squeezed well to release extra water (can peel but not necessary)
4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
2 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
pinch of sea salt
wooden skewers soaked in water for 30 minutes before use OR metal skewers
For Serving (Options):
cooked grain of choice or grain-free cauliflower rice (pictured)
sliced cucumber, de-pitted and sliced Kalamata olives, diced tomato (not AIP-friendly or nightshade free)
Lettuce leaves (for lettuce wraps) or chopped greens for a salad (pictured)
Grilled or roasted vegetables (pictured)
Gluten-free naan or gluten-free pita bread
- Whisk all of the marinade ingredients together in a small bowl. Place pork/chicken/etc cubes in a Ziploc bag and pour in the marinade. Seal the bag and toss to coat evenly with the marinade, then open the bag and reseal, removing as much air as possible. Place bag in the refrigerator for at least two hours to overnight (overnight recommended for optimal flavor!).
- Mix all the tzatziki ingredients together in a bowl until well combined. Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least two hours to overnight (overnight is preferable).
- Put pork/chicken/protein on skewers and grill until they are browned on all sides and cooked through, about 8 to 12 minutes, turning 4 times during cooking. Remove the skewers to a plate and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
- While the meat rests, prep your serving options: salad greens, veggies, heat grains/bread/cauliflower rice then serve with a large dollop of tzatziki sauce and enjoy!
*Vegetarian/Vegan options: If you want to use tofu in place of the protein (will not be soy-free/paleo or AIP if so), use pressed, drained firm tofu. Marinate overnight or atleast a few hours. If you prefer vegetables instead, they will not need to marinate overnight, slice your favorite veggies (I used yellow squash, zucchini and red onion, but mushrooms/tomatoes/eggplant/bell peppers (if allowed) would all be good options). Toss the marinade with the veggies, let sit for 30 minutes then cook.
If using swordfish or ahi, you will not need to marinate the fish as long, otherwise the lemon juice will “cook” the fish. Set aside a bit of the marinade prior to adding the fish so you can use that to drizzle on top after cooking. Marinate fish for about 20 minutes and cook until flaky.
For other recipes from this month’s reveal, click the link below!
Tomato-free ketchup…is that a thing? YES! It looks like the real thing with a deep red hue and a tangy yet sweet taste. I’ve been eliminating nightshades amongst a few others food groups from my diet as recommended from my naturopath to see if some of my digestive issues and aches and pains subside. As things progress, I’ll be sharing a bit about my journey but for now you might be seeing some alternative recipes.
I love how that forces me to think outside the box…experiment a little, and switch up my routine. I’d be fibbing if I said it comes with great ease for my type-A, routine-driven, planner personality but it’s a great lesson (once again) in flexibility. Plus, if something isn’t working or feels “off”, then change is a must, and just the nudge I needed :)
If you aren’t familiar with the nightshade family, Jane’s Healthy Kitchen has an easy-to-understand yet comprehensive post…. click here for more information. To give you a short rundown, nightshades are part of the Solanaceae family and consist of foods such as tomatoes, white potatoes, bell peppers, hot peppers, eggplant, tomatillos as well as goji berries, ashwagandha, paprika, and even tobacco.
While I am avoid nightshades, I am looking for alternatives and substitutes in the meantime, and I thought I’d experiment with No-tomato Ketchup to start…after all, it is America’s favorite condiment…or has Sriracha replaced that? :)
1 cup carrots, peeled and diced
2/3 cup red beet (can use golden but won’t have red ketchup color), peeled and diced
1/2 cup yellow onion, diced
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup honey, agave or date syrup for vegan
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp clove
1/8 tsp allspice
- Bring water to boil in medium sauce pan. Add beets, carrots and onion. Boil for 10-15 minutes, until tender.
- While vegetables are boiling, add remaining ingredients to blender (high speed like a Vitamix is recommended for silky smooth texture). Strain and add vegetables to blender when they are through cooking.
- Carefully blend on high until liquefied.
- Return blended mixture to sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.
Use a dipping sauce for sweet potato fries, as a base for a tomato-free BBQ sauce, slathered on meatloaf, a sandwich or a burger!
I’m all about frozen desserts. Anytime of the year you can bet I’ll have something sweet in my freezer, and this toasted coconut ice cream might just be the next staple!
Not overly sweet, but thick and creamy, this toasted coconut ice cream is scrumptious on it’s own yet compliments add-ins or toppings as well.Are you a fan of Almond joy or Mounds candy bar flavors? Stir in or top with chocolate chips and toasted slivered almonds…or you prefer a more fruity, tropical route, crushed pineapple or diced mango and a splash of rum makes for a sophisticated treat. It’s allergen-friendly too: free of egg, dairy, nuts, gluten, soy, grains, refined sugars and it’s vegan, so even sensitive tummies can enjoy this dessert!
This recipe was lightly adapted from Emily’s Toasted Coconut Ice Cream from Life on Food. I was assigned Emily’s blog for this month’s Secret Recipe Club reveal and loved searching through her site! Emily shares a love of food and the importance of family meals like me, plus she has adorable baby photos that will make you smile while you look through tons of recipes that will make you hungry. While I ultimately chose ice cream, I also had my eye on her Salmon Burgers with Carrot Slaw, Blueberry Cornmeal Pancakes, Sweet Potato Gnocchi and Corn Risotto Stuffed Peppers…all of which I will be trying soon :)
I made a few little swaps based on preferences and what I had in the kitchen. I used two cans of full-fat coconut milk instead of one light and one regular; I don’t mind the extra fat since it creates a really smooth base for this ice cream. Also, I used coconut palm sugar in place of white sugar, I really wanted to play up the coconut trifecta :) I wound up adding a pinch of sea salt, it’s habit but feel free to leave this out if preferred. I wound up saving a couple tablespoons of the toasted coconut for garnish, but you can toss it all into the base like Emily if you want.
Toasted Coconut Ice Cream (lightly adapted from Life on Food)
2 (13.5 ounce) can full-fat coconut milk (OR 1 can light coconut milk and 1 full-fat)
1/2 – 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup coconut palm sugar (or granulated sugar)*
1/2 cup unsweetened and shredded coconut
pinch of sea salt
For other recipes from this month’s reveal, please click the link below!
I purchased a Spiralizer a year ago, and wow has that little tool come in handy! Apple “noodles”, super-quick sweet potato fries and spiralized zucchini are just a few of my favorites. For some, zucchini noodles and spiralized ingredients might be old news but if this concept is new, I encourage you to give them a go. Plus, it’s fun…and who couldn’t use some extra fun?!
I continue to be amazed at the versatility of zucchini: what an incredible veggie. You can use zucchini noodles aka “zoodles” as a grain-free or light pasta replacement OR you can bulk up your pasta dishes so you can have half zoodles and half noodles…that way you can load up on veggies and still have your pasta without a carb-induced coma :) I’ve pureed zucchini for a bean-free hummus, used grated zucchini in a sweet quick bread and added it to smoothies to thicken and add some veg without affecting flavor.
Since Spring has sprung, lighter dishes have been on the menu. This dish is quick, crazy easy and packed with fresh and bright flavor! Plus, you can make it vegan by swapping out the chicken for an extra roasted veggie (think roasted marinated portabella mushrooms or roasted asparagus..mmmm). The creamy avocado sauce adds a punch of flavor from the fresh basil, garlic and bright lime or lemon juice, and the roasted broccoli lends a nutty flavor to this meal. This dish is packed with protein, healthy fats, fiber and nutrition and can be served as a power lunch or dinner…and if you manage to have leftovers, those are tasty right from the fridge :)
Creamy Zoodles with Chicken and Broccoli
Gluten-free, Grain-free, Egg-free, Dairy-free, Vegan Option, Vegetarian Option, Soy-free, Paleo-friendly, Nut-free
3 medium zucchini, spiralized
1 large or two small chicken breast, cooked & cubed* (For vegan/vegetarian option, use 2 cups sauteed mushrooms and/or roasted asparagus)
1 head of broccoli, cut into small florets
2 small avocado 1 large avocado, pit removed and rough diced (will be pureed)
handful of fresh basil, chopped (roughly 1/2 cup) or cilantro
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 garlic clove, minced
2 limes, juiced or 1 lemon, juiced (roughly 2 Tbsp or to taste)
1/2 tsp sea salt or to taste
freshly ground black pepper
1-2 Tbsp water or as needed
Optional garnish/serving ideas
hemp seed or pinenuts or slivered almonds (if adding nuts, will not be nut-free)
fresh basil, chiffonade
slices of fresh lemon or lime
1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or grease with olive oil. Add broccoli florets to the pan, drizzle with 1 Tbsp of olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Cook for approximately 10-12 minutes or until broccoli is tender and lightly browned.
2. While broccoli is cooking, prepare the avocado lime sauce. Add avocado, lime/lemon juice, basil, minced garlic, salt and 1 Tbsp olive oil and pureed until smooth. Add a couple tablespoons of water to thin out the sauce as needed.
3. If you prefer a less crunchy and softer zucchini noodle, either steam or saute the noodles for a couple minutes until your desired texture.
4. Add chicken, broccoli and zucchini noodles to a mixing bowl or pot. Pour/spoon the avocado sauce over the ingredients and toss to combine. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper and lime/lemon juice.
5. Divide into serving dishes and top with more basil, pinenuts/hemp seeds/almonds if desired and serve!
*I baked two small chicken breasts simply seasoned with lemon pepper, salt and olive oil at 350F for 20 minutes. I let them cool off and then cut into bite-size pieces. You could also use 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken for a super quick lunch or dinner tossed with a little lemon.
**If you prefer to steam your broccoli, that’s ok too. I enjoy the depth of flavor from roasting them.
Serves approximately 3-4 people