Archive | September, 2011

Secret Recipe Club September!!

26 Sep

Hi!  Yes… I’m alive!  Sorry for yet another blog vaca!  It will stop happening soon…

Remember the secret recipe club post I did last month?  Well it’s that time again and this month I was assigned the blog Ali-n-Son.com.  I love Allison!  Her recipes are so fun and friendly for all ages!

It was definitely hard choosing the right recipe.  I couldn’t stop drooling over the desserts (I am still going to make the doughnuts… just not right now), but with this dreary, rainy fall weather we’ve been having I’ve been craving soups, stews and anything warm and comforting.

Which leads me to my next dilemma… enchiladas with pumpkin sauce or slow cooker taco soup?!

And the winner is…

Enchiladas with Pumpkin Sauce!!  Reminiscent of the quesadillas Julie and I ate in San Francisco from Gracias Madre!

So here’s what I did to veganize this amazing dish…

Vegan Enchiladas with a Creamy Pumpkin Sauce

Serves 3-4

1 package (about 1 1/2 cups) tempeh, chopped

1 large onion, chopped

2 teaspoon of olive oil

Salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste

2 1/2 cups water blended with 1/2 cup pepitas

1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 15-oz. can organic pumpkin puree

3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

1 large jalapeno, roughly chopped

1 tsp. chili powder

1/4 tsp. chipotle seasoning

1/4 tsp. adobo seasoning

1 tsp. sea salt

Black pepper to taste

8 8-inch tortillas (sprouted or wheat-free/gluten-free if possible)

1 cup Daiya pepper jack cheese (plus 1 Tbsp. for each enchilada – ends up being an entire package)

2 avocados, diced

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425.  In a saute pan, saute the tempeh and onion with the 2 tsp. olive oil, making sure to season with sea salt and black pepper.  Once the onions are cooked through, aromatic and translucent; add in the black beans and set the mixture aside.

In your Vita-mix, food processor, or in a bowl with an immersion blender (I personally used both the food processor and the Vita-mix), puree the pumpkin, garlic, jalapeno, chili powder, chipotle seasoning, adobo seasoning, 1 tsp. salt and black pepper to taste with the pepita water.  Once smooth, measure about 1 cup of the sauce for the bottom of a baking dish and 1/2 cup poured into the onion/tempeh mixture.

Assemble the enchiladas by simply dividing the tempeh mixture (1/4 to 1/3 cup in each) between each tortilla then spoon a tablespoon of cheese into each tortilla; roll them up tightly.  Lay them in the sauce in the baking dish seam side down and cover with the daiya cheese and the remaining sauce.

Bake for about 25-30 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and the tortillas are a bit softened.  Let cool in the pan 5 minutes or so before topping with diced avocado and consuming.

Enjoy!!!

And be sure to stop by the Secret Recipe Club website… or better yet JOIN (if you’re a blogger that is) (:

The End of the Cleanse has arrived!!!

12 Sep

Yesterday was the last day (21) of the Crazy Sexy Diet Cleanse.  I’m not sure how I feel right now.  Worried?  Excited?  Hungry for a salad?  I’m going to try and stick with the rawness, and try as hard as I can to stick to the no/low sugar, but I’m excited for a meal of completely cooked food like baked acorn squash stuffed with a walnut raisin risotto.  SWOON!

Here are two recipes I’ve been holding out on!  Sorry…

First things first… Raw Vegan Hazelnut Spread, which doubles as Raw Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies!

Raw Vegan Hazelnut Spread

Yields about 2 cups

2 cups hazelnuts, soaked

2/3 cup raw cacao nibs, processed to a powder in the food processor

2 Tbsp. coconut oil

1 Tbsp. hemp oil

1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. yacon syrup

Directions:

Process all in a food processor until smooth (or keep it a little chunky – this is how mine came out because my food processor has ZERO power to it… still delicious though!).  Use this as a spread on millet bread or on bananas for a yummy snack!

For cookies:  turn on your dehydrator and drop by the tablespoon onto the trays.  Dehydrate until slightly crisp (6-12 hours).  Then be sure to intensely enjoy these cheaper-than-store-bought raw cookies, I know you will!!

So for 21 days (with one exception) we juiced in the morning.  The juice was a great replacement for coffee.  I felt awakened, alert and ready to start the day without any crashes, jitters or irritability!  What more could you ask for, right?  The only issue I came across was the juice pulp going to waste!!!  I composted as much as I could and I froze some, but there’s only so much room in the freezer.  Of course I didn’t have a dehydrator the entire cleanse, but thanks to my mom I did have it for the last week!!  So here’s my attempt at creating something with the lovely, healthy juice pulp.

Chipotle and Onion Juice Pulp Crackers

Yields 24-30 crackers (or more)

1 1/4 cup juice pulp

1/4 cup hemp oil

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 medium onion (I used red), roughly chopped

3 large garlic cloves

1/2 tsp. pink Himalayan sea salt + fresh ground black pepper to taste

1 1/2 tsp. adobo seasoning

1/4 tsp. chipotle pepper seasoning

1 1/2 Tbsp. flax meal

2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast

Directions:

In a food processor, pulse the garlic and onions until finely diced.  Remove to a mixing bowl and set aside.  Spoon the juice pulp into the food processor, add the oil and pulse until it becomes a mush.  Remove to the mixing bowl.

Add the rest of the ingredients to the mixing bowl and stir to completely combine.

Dump out onto a cutting board, parchment sheet or clean countertop.  Flatten to an even square or circle (just like you would if you were making cut and bake cookies).  Slice into even shapes and transfer carefully to dehydrator trays.  Flatten more once the crackers are in place on the tray.

Dehydrate for 8-12 hours, or until slightly crisp.  Enjoy alone or with a raw nut cheese on top.

AH!  These are my new favorite crackers.  I’ve never tasted something so delicious!  I love the spice ratio and I think next juice pulp adventure will be to make these into burgers… YUM!

I hope everyone gets out tonight to see this beautiful harvest moon!!

Day 18 and Pudding!

8 Sep

Today was a looooong day!!  I woke up around 5:30 for work UGH, then worked a long shift (6:30 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.) and then had to go to school from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.  I needed help.  So I turned to my trusty friend CHIA.  I don’t use chia too often, unless I need the occasional chia egg in a cupcake or cookie, but I know no matter what it’ll always be there for me when I need it.  Like today.

Juice:  Yes, as I was running out the door at 6:05 a.m. I was handed a beautiful emerald drink (broccoli, kale, cuke, celery, apple, pear)

A.M. Snack (a.k.a. breakfast):  9:00 a.m. 1/2 pint raspberries

Lunch:  11:30 a.m. mesclun salad with tofu and a chocolate almond chia power pudding!!!

P.M. Snack:  3:30 p.m. 2 carrot sticks dipped in herbed cashew butter (recipe coming soon)

Dinner:  7:00 p.m.  large garden salad with arugula, heirloom tomato, avocado and onion lightly dressed with raw hemp oil and raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar + a serving of cooked short grain brown rice… YUM!  Great way to finish out the day!

And now for the recipe:

I adapted this recipe from Angela at OhSheGlows [dot] com.

Chocolate Almond Chia Power Pudding

Serves 1  (aprox. 182 calories)

2 Tbsp. chia seeds

3/4 cup liquid (like water or raw nut milk - I made a fast cashew milk by combining 3/4 cup water with 1 Tbsp. raw cashew butter)

1/2 Tbsp. raw cacao powder or cocoa powder

1/2 Tbsp. yacun syrup, or any raw liquid sweetener

1/4-1/2 tsp. almond extract

1/4 tsp. powder probiotics

Pinch of Himalayan pink sea salt

Directions:

Combine all in a bowl or glass jar with a lid (so now the pudding is easily portable).  Let sit in the refrigerator at least 15 minutes before enjoying!

I can’t even explain how great I felt after eating this.  You’ll have to try it for yourself and see!!

Other chia pudding flavors… try it fruity with fresh or frozen berries, nut milk and vanilla extract, nutty with a heaping scoop of almond butter, vanilla extract and crushed almonds on top, spicy with some pumpkin pie spice, crushed pecans and vanilla extract, or even try it as a guilt free dessert with cacao or carob powder, banana and nut butter sans sweetener!!  Mix all the ingredients together the night before and there you have an easy and sustaining snack ready to go in the morning.

[Photo Source]

What makes Chia so amazing:

  • Very rich in omega-3 fatty acids – about 2.4 grams which is 150% the daily value
  • Rich in antioxidants – even more than in blueberries
  • 15 grams (1 Tbsp.) of the tiny seeds gives you 6 grams of fiber, 3 grams of easily digestible protein, and only 70 calories
  • Rich in calcium (~ 65 mg per serving – 2 times the amount in milk), phosphorus, magnesium (~ 41 mg), copper, iron (8% per serving), molybdenum, niacin, potassium (~ 80 mg) and zinc
  • Slows the digestion and conversion of carbohydrates to sugar

[Source: dr.weil.com]

Along with this, chia has this awesome ability to hold water.  Due to it’s extraordinary water holding ability, hence the gel it forms after only 10 minutes, it can help you stay hydrated and retain electrolytes during strenuous exercise.  Athletes love this seed, especially marathoners.  Here are some added benefits of the chia seed if you are an athlete:

  • Easily digested and absorbed by the body
  • The high protein helps build and repair muscle and tissues
  • Hydrates your entire body from cells to tissue to muscle
  • High in soluble and insoluble fiber giving you energy and endurance

[Source: Pure2Raw.com]

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