Friday, January 21, 2011

Raw Zucchini Dressing

I'm usually quite happy with munching on veggies, be they raw or steamed for a snack without any extra amending, but today I had 1/2 a large zucchini in the fridge just begging to be obliterated in the blender. I found this recipe for a raw zuke dressing on Choosing Raw's blog and so I just halved it to able to use up my 1/2 zuke. It's pretty tasty, albeit not very zukey. I still haven't used it on a full on salad, but it was good as a dip for my red pepper strips today. Amounts below are for the full recipe.

Raw Zucchini Dressing:
(Choosing Raw)

1 large zucchini, chopped
½ cup lemon juice
¼ cup nutritional yeast
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil or flax oil
1 Tbs organic mustard (optional, but I added after tasting without first)
3 pitted dates or 1 packet stevia (I used dates)
3 Tbs shoyu or tamari (I reduced sodium and used less)
3 Tbs ground flax seed
¼ cup water
½ tsp ground coriander

Blend all dressing ingredients on high till smooth and creamy. Mix salad ingredients and top with the dressing as desired.

Behold...moody veg.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce/Dip

Don't question this stuff...just make it. I was noodling around in the kitchen a few weekends ago and thought I'd try out this recipe just for kicks. Around lunch time I walked a bowl of it and a bag of tortilla chips into the living room where the Monster was reading. I'd only made a 1/2 batch, and that's a good thing, since we both proceeded to scarf the whole lot of it! "Guess that was our lunch." I said. ;-)
The cheese dip is pictured above served over the top of cauliflower in an effort to be a bit healthier, but really I think this will be used with nachos from here on out. So good with the chips!
My friend Debbie made the dip for her son and his friend to eat with her...they all gave it a hearty thumbs up. I've also got a Vegan Mac and Cheese recipe waiting to be tried out in the next few days. Hope it is as pleasantly surprising as this was!

I've been avoiding most dairy these dark cedar allergy ridden months, since it does my stuffiness no favors. Bonus that I'm finding such incredible dairy-free recipes to get me through to the end of February!

The quickie pilaf was thrown together with no plan to post about it, but seeing as it was so good here's the low down...
Cooked brown rice, can of black-eyed peas, lemon zest, non-marinated artichoke hearts, parsley, fresh basil, olive oil, s & p, maybe some green onions.

Nacho Cheese Dip:
(Discovered on Shmooed Food's blog)

makes about 2 cups

2 cups water
¼ cup raw cashews (Oh, I've gotta mention that although I halved the recipe when I made it, I forgot to halve the cashews! Could be why it was so good. :-) Used less the second time I made it, but still more than written here. Debbie made it as written and still liked your call)
one 4 oz. jar pimentos, drained
1 cup nutritional yeast flakes
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 ½ teaspoons salt, or to taste
½ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
½ rounded teaspoon cumin
optional: I add a touch of cayenne pepper for a little kick

Combine all ingredients in a Vita-Mix or other blender (If using a regular blender like I do, start with less liquid when blending the cashews. Add the rest of the water once the cashews have been well blended) and blend until completely smooth. Transfer mixture to a medium saucepan and whisk constantly over medium heat until thickened, about 5 to 6 minutes.

Serve as a dip with tortilla chips and vegetables.

Variations: Add some vegetarian burger crumbles, black olives, or salsa, or my favorite...adding in some canned diced jalapenos!

Raw Cauliflower Salad with Olives

I've had this recipe bookmarked for ages now and the perfect storm led me to finally make it yesterday. I just happened to have all the ingredients (almost) in the fridge with no other purposes but to be used up before we leave for a few days. The only thing I was missing was a green bell pepper and I tend not to use those much anyway. I subbed in a chunk of jicama, sliced thinly, and it was just lovely. We'll definitely be having this again...even if I have to go out and procure all the ingredients specially for it. Oh and it best part about it is you can make it in advance and it'll keep for at least a couple days. We ate it over the course of three.

Raw Cauliflower Salad with Olives:
(Found on Smitten Kitchen's blog and she adapted the recipe from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone)

1 small firm head cauliflower or broccoflower, about 12 ounces

1 hard-cooked egg

Sherry vinaigrette (below)

2 scallions, including an inch of the greens, thinly sliced

1 cup diced celery heart with leaves

1 small green bell pepper (I used jicama)
thinly sliced

1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped

12 pimiento-stuffed Spanish green olives, halved

1 tablespoon capers, rinsed

1/2 cup parsley leaves

Slice the cauliflower very thinly, including the stems.
Smash the hard-cooked egg yolk with the garlic and salt when you make the vinaigrette.
Keep the dressing a little on the tart side.
Dice the egg white and toss it with the vegetables, olives, capers, and parsley. Add the vinaigrette (below) and toss again.

Sherry Vinaigrette
1 or 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

salt and freshly milled pepper

1 1/2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or aged red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (I used less...just add to taste)
optional: I added a touch of agave nectar to balance the dressing

Pound the garlic with 1/4 teaspoon salt in a mortar until it breaks down into a puree (add the egg yolk). Combine the garlic, vinegar, and mustard in a small bowl, then whisk in the oil and season with pepper. Taste and correct the balance.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Roasted Cabbage Wedges with Lemon

Well why the heck wouldn't you roast cabbage? How come it took me so long to discover this?! It's soooo good! I found this recipe on Kalyn's Kitchen's blog and just made it for the 3rd time.
I'm composing this after having already devoured 1/2 the head of cabbage and needing to tell myself that the other half wasn't going anywhere and no, I didn't need to eat more of it right that second.
Try it...cause, you's really good! :-)

Roasted Cabbage Wedges with Lemon:
(Kalyn's Kitchen)

1 large head of green cabbage, cut into 1/8ths (core intact so they don't fall apart)
2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
2 Tbs olive oil (I can get away with a bit less here)
Kosher salt to taste
Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 450, while you prep your cabbage.
Combine lemon juice and olive oil.
Place cabbage on a large sheet pan (I gave my sheet a quick spray of canola spray first), then brush the lemon-olive oil mixture onto both sides of each wedge, salting each side as you go.

Roast for ~15 minutes, then carefully turn over each wedge.
Roast the second side for ~10-15 more minutes.

Remove from oven when done to your liking, add pepper if you desire, and eat!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Quick Whole Wheat and Molasses Bread

6 ingredients that you probably have in your fridge and cupboard? Oh man...just go make this.
That's what I did right after seeing it on Joy the Baker's blog this morning. Instead of going to the gym. :-)
Monster is well pleased, well pleased. We both plowed through 2 slices a piece after waiting the 20 minutes prescribed cooling time.

I only took a photo as an afterthought...once we were each halfway through our second slice.
Go to Joy's blog for pretty pics.

Quick Whole Wheat and Molasses Bread:
(New York Times recipe via Joy the Baker)

‪1 & 2/3 cups buttermilk or plain yogurt (used low-fat buttermilk)
2 & 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (Bob's Redmill organic ww flour)
1/2 cup cornmeal (Bob's Redmill medium grind whole cornmeal)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup molasses (Mild flavored unsulphured molasses…I find the regular stuff too strong for my tastes)

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour an 8x4 or 9x5-inch loaf pan. (I used a parchment paper to line the bottom and long sides of a 9x5 to make a sling, and sprayed & floured the ends of the tin)
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, salt and baking soda.
In a small bowl whisk together buttermilk/yogurt and molasses.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold to combine. The batter will be slightly thick, but not dry.
Spoon batter into prepared pan and place in the oven. Bake loaf for 45 minutes to an hour (mine went about 52 min.). Gently rotate mid-way if your oven heats unevenly like mine does.
When a skewer inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean, remove the loaf from the oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes in the loaf pan. Run a butter knife along the sides of the pan and carefully invert onto a wire rack…or if you use a parchment paper sling you can lift the loaf right out of the pan.
Loaf will keep, well wrapped at room temperature for up to 4 days.

So far we've just eaten ours with unsalted butter, but it has been suggested by Joy that cream cheese and Nutella are both divine. :-) Sadly, we had neither. Although, I'm on the brink of trying a weird new recipe for a vegan cream cheese sub.