Thursday, March 7, 2013

Raw Pad Thai

I'm currently on day five of my two week raw cleanse. It's been challenging, particularly because I currently live in Austria with a kitchen lacking a juicer/blender/food processor/dehydrator/etcetc and raw foodism in Austria is essentially unheard of. It is nice, though, because in general the quality of produce and other foods is higher-- there are very strict food safety standards here. (plus no GMOs! wooo go EU!)

My diet has mainly consisted of lots of fresh fruit, salads, stuffed peppers, sprouted lentils and buckwheat, sauerkraut, nuts, and dried fruits. I've been coming up with some pretty wonky concoctions, but so far everything has been tasty! It definitely requires a large shift in perspective (moreso, in my opinion, than even omnivore to vegan) about your relationship to food, but that's really what I was looking for with this detox

I'm also starting to feel a lot better. My detox period was virtually nonexistent, and even on day five I already feel a lot clearer and more alert; waking up early is no longer a problem. Before, I might need 9-10 hours of sleep to not feel sleepy during the day. I've also been working out regularly for the last two months and have been building a lot of muscle and toning, but now I'm finally staring to see myself 'slim down.' And I've actually found myself less hungry than normal... I think it's partially that perspective change I mentioned earlier; I have a habit of getting excited about eating (and then overeating), but with raw food that's not really a problem (excluding oils and nut butters). I basically get to graze all day, never be hungry, and still feel great! It's quite ideal. The only downsides I'm experiencing are related to price, availability of products (ex: no raw peanuts here. anywhere.), and a little bit of a social aspect. I plan to remain 80%+ raw after this cleanse as well, basically just excluding moments where I want to go out with friends-- who's to say a girl can't enjoy a beer and a veggie burger once in a while?

One of my favorite cooked meals is pad thai, and I was once at a vegan restaurant in VT that had a raw pad thai made from "zucchini noodles." I took that idea and ran with it, adding in carrot and cucumber noodles as well, and this was the result. It was extremely tasty!

Try to use all organic and raw varieities of the ingredients listed in this recipe; there is no raw or organic peanut butter here, so I just used what I had. There's also no Bragg's or Nama Shoyu, which I would recommend, so I just used regular apple cider vinegar and organic soy sauce.

Pad Thai
1.5 zucchinis, sliced thinly with a vegetable peeler
1 carrot, sliced thinly with a vegetable peeler
1/2 large cucumber, sliced thinly with a vegetable peeler
1/2 block tofu, cut into small cubes (optional; it's not technically raw, but I'm eating it regardless until my sprouting lentils and buckwheats are done)
4-5 green onions, sliced thinly
2 cups bean sprouts, soaked and drained

1/3 cup organic soy sauce
2 T tahini
1 T peanut butter
2 T apple cider vinegar
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch chunk of ginger, minced
2-1/2 limes, juiced
1 bunch cilantro, minced (reserve 2T for garnish)
2 T minced parsley (optional; I just had it on hand)
1 small chili, minced (optional)

1/2 lime cut into slices
2 T minced cilantro
handful of peanuts

Mix the pad thai ingredients together. Place all the ingredients for the sauce in a food processor or blender (or, in my case, a jar...) and process until smooth. Pour sauce over pad thai and let marinate for 20-30 minutes to let the flavors develop. Garnish and serve.

Stays fresh for 2-4 days, so it would also be a nice option to make a large batch and bring to school or work for lunch.

3-4 servings

The bounty
My organic soy sauce I found! Very exciting
My favorite raw food kitchen tool- a vegetable peeler!
The peeled zucchini, carrot, and cucumber

The sauce ingredients pre-mix

The final product 

Easy Korean Cucumber Salad

So I apologize for the rather extended hiatus, but I'm back! At present I'm doing a two week raw cleanse, so I'll be posting some raw recipes I've created as well as about my experience in general.

The first thing I thought I'd share is a favorite dish from my childhood. As a kid, I would often go with my dad to a Korean restaurant called Shin La in Brattleboro, VT. I always got the cucumber salad and found it absolutely otherworldly; I didn't know at the time, but this would be just the beginning of my love for sesame.

I love this recipe because it's something that's extremely flexible and works as a side dish for a lot of meals. Sometimes I'll just make a batch of the marinade and get a rotation going where I buy a new cucumber everyday, chop it up, marinate it, and eat it the following day. Rinse, wash, repeat. It's great!

1/2 cucumber, peeled and sliced thinly
2 T organic soy sauce
2 T apple cider vinegar
1 T sesame oil
1 T sesame seed
1 T agave nectar or honey

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Refrigerate and marinate for 30 minutes. It should keep 4-5 days.


Friday, April 6, 2012

Oatmeal Cherry Chocolate Chunk Cookies

It's hard to make good vegan cookies. I almost never trust recipes and instead look up older, tried-and-true non-vegan recipes and substitute ingredients. I modified another recipe to make these, and they were fantastic. Seriously, just the right combination of sweet and chewy and oozy. Cherries are a bit more expensive than raisins, but I think they really made the cookie.

1 cup Earth Balance, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup organic white sugar
2 Ener-G egg replacer equivalents
2 t. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
3 cups oats
1 cup Enjoy Life Chocolate Chunks (or just regular vegan chocolate chips)
1 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup dried cherries

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Start by sifting the flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. In a separate bowl, cream the Earth Balance and sugars together, then stir in the egg replacer and vanilla extract. Slowly stir in the flour mixture until a dough forms - be wary of overmixing! Stir in the oats then add the chocolate chunks, walnuts, cherries, and stir until well combined.

Drop tablespoon-sized balls (I like big cookies!) onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes then allow to cool on a baking sheet. They'll harden significantly once they cool down, so don't be afraid of taking them out too early.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Curried Puff & Slaw

My apologies in the delay since my last post, college seems to have gotten the best of me! But I am now home for spring break... or rather, was home. I'm now bloggin' at the airport en route to Orlando, FL.

 Puff pastry is a truly magical substance. Whooda thunk that it's vegan, as well? It's certainly not something to make a habit of eating, but it's fun to make a special treat with it. In this recipe I made some basic curried vegetables with potato, cauliflower, and chickpeas, then wrapped those in puff pastry and baked the whole thing. Served alongside a very tasty slaw, this was an excellent meal.

Curried Vegetable Puff
 2 T. vegetable oil
2 t. garam masala
2 t. curry powder
1/2 t. opt. additional spices (ex: whole mustard and cumin seeds)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. fresh ginger, minced
1 onion, diced
3 carrots, diced
1 potato, cubed
1/2 cup cauliflower, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup green peas
1 can chickpeas, drained
1/4 cup raisins
1 box puff pastry, thawed
Salt and pepper, to taste

Cabbage Slaw
1 bag of cole slaw mix (cabbage, brocolli, carrots... all the goodies)
1/3 cup red wine vinaigrette (Use Brianna's Blush Wine Vinaigrette... it's my favorite dressing)
1 t. curry powder
1 T. chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
 1/4 cup raisins

For the slaw, mix together the vinaigrette with the curry powder and fresh cilantro. Toss with the slaw mix and raisins. Chill for an hour or so to let the slaw marinate.

Preheat your oven to 375°. For the puff, start by making the curried vegetables. Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan, I used my wok. Add the garlic, ginger, and spices and saute until fragrant, about two minutes. Add the onion and carrot and cook until soft. In a separate medium-sized pot, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook about ten minutes, then add the cauliflower and cook until both are tender. Drain and toss in with the vegetables. Stir in the raisins, green peas, and chickpeas. Season with salt and pepper, and more curry powder and garam masala if desired.

To assemble the puff, roll out the thawed puff pastry onto a floured surface. Spoon about half the vegetables in the middle, then fold the two edges inward onto each other. Pinch together the ends, repeat for the second, bake for 15-20 minutes until lightly browned, then voila! A curried vegetable puff.

To serve, slice the puff into thin slices and serve atop a healthy heap of your slaw. Garnish with fresh lime wedges.

Serves 4-6.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Winter Crepe Duo

Blogging from a train. Technology these days, huh?

I'm a big fan of Lauren Ulm's Vegan YumYum blog and cookbook, and I recently decided to do a spin-off of her Spring Crepes Three Ways with some wintery crepes. The first is a roasted vegetable crepe with  a balsamic reduction sauce and the second a caramel apple crepe. 

I still used her basic crepe recipe, it works just fine for me. I just whipped up one recipe, used the first half for the savory crepe, then added a teaspoon of vanilla and some sugar for the dessert crepes. Easy as pie (er, I mean, crepes...). 

Roasted Vegetable Crepes

1 potato, sliced thinly lengthwise then cut in half
6 carrots, peeled and chopped into thick matchsticks
1 onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms
2 T. olive oil
2 T. balsamic vinegar
1 t. dried thyme
1 T. fresh rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste

Balsamic Glaze
1 cup balsamic vinegar
3 T. brown sugar
3 cloves garlic, smashed with the side of a kitchen knife
1 large sprig rosemary
2 T. Earth Balance
1 T. olive oil

Preheat your oven to 400°F. Toss the potatoes and carrots with the olive oil, 1 tablespoon vinegar, thyme, rosemary, and salt and pepper and roast for 20-30 minutes. Add the onion, mushroom, and the rest of the balsamic and roast another 20 minutes or until the potatoes and carrots are tender.

For the glaze, bring the vinegar, sugar, garlic, and rosemary to a simmer in a small saucepan for about 20 minutes, until the liquid is reduced by at least half. Remove from heat and remove garlic and rosemary. Stir in the Earth Balance and olive oil. Your sauce should be sticky at this point, but enough to create a nice drizzle. As it cools it may become too thick, in which case you should reheat it.

For assembly, while your crepe is cooking (or heating up again), transfer a few spoonfuls of your filling into the center. Fold the first third over, spoon some balsamic sauce onto that as a "glue", then fold the other third over. Drizzle more sauce and serve with baby arugula.

Caramel Apple Crepes

3 apples, peeled and cut into thin slices

1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 T. earth balance
2 T. brown sguar
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. cloves

Caramel Sauce
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup Earth Balance
2 T. soy milk
1 t. vanilla extract

Starting with the caramel, stir the Earth Balance and sugar in a small saucepan over medium-low heat for about five minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the soy milk and vanilla. If you find the caramel is too thick or too thin, either add more earth balance to thin or bring back to a rolling boil for 2-3 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Melt the earth balance over medium heat in a saucepan. Add apples, pecans, brown sugar, cinnamon, and cloves. Saute until fragrant and apples are tender, then add 1/2 cup of your caramel sauce and cook for two minutes longer. Remove from heat.

To assemble, place a few tablespoons of apple filling onto a crepe. Fold into thirds and drizzle with more caramel sauce. Service with soy vanilla ice cream for a special treat!

I also made some chocolate crepes (with a touch of caramel).


Cupcakes are the best. Right? Right.