Most mornings, after I have had my triple shot of espresso, I start my day with a green smoothie. Certain ingredients are given and others change.
- One Bag of spinach, baby spinach, mixed greens, kale or whatever greens you want (I usually buy whatever is on sale)
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water
- 3 apples, cored and quartered
- 3 bananas (The riper the better. Also note: you can peel and freeze bananas that are too ripe to eat otherwise, and they work really well in smoothies. Just remember to peel them before you freeze them. Once peeled place in a freezer friendly zip top bag and then place in freezer. They are much more challenging to peel once they are frozen.)
- 1 box of silken tofu (This gives the smoothie both protein and a creamier texture akin to when people add yogurt.)
- 1 small/medium bag of frozen fruit (This ingredient replaces the need for ice and invokes creativity. Sometimes I use mixed berries or peaches. In the fall I stock up on cranberries, when they are BOGO, and freeze them. Cranberries are by far my favorite frozen fruit to add to smoothies.)
- 6 dates, 3 packets of stevia, OR 3 tsp of sugar in the raw (optional, if you desire the smoothie to be sweeter)
- Fresh juice from 2 limes or 1 large lemon (optional); adds a nice acidity to the smoothie
Serves 3. I make this batch about twice a week for myself. I store the batch in an air tight pitcher that I can shake up for day 2 and 3.
In a blender:
I put the greens in first with 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water. Then add the apples and bananas and tofu. I blend all that and then I add the frozen fruit and any of the optional ingredients. I blend till smooth. When I first started doing this in a conventional blender, I had to baby it and do it in smaller parts. You could always third this recipe and make it daily, if that will help your blender. Just remember to properly store the remaining silken tofu. Out of convenience and since we gifted our household one Christmas with a Vitamix blender, this process has become much easier.
To this day, I still get excited when my mom pulls out the wok. When the wok comes out, I know to expect something good for dinner. My favorite thing she would make (and still makes when I come home) was Hekka. Hekka is a Japanese Hawaiian stir fry. Mom used to make it with strips of steak. Now she veganizes it for me. We just nix the steak and feast on the awesome veggies. I add portobello mushrooms to help mimic the meatiness. So here is how to make the best stir fry (and one of my favorite meals) in the world. And psst, don’t tell anyone but it is REALLY healthy!
- Napa Cabbage (cut into strips)
- Matchstick Carrots
- Shitaki Mushrooms
- Portobello Mushrooms (cut in strips like steak)
- Bamboo Shoots
- Water Chestnuts
- Shōyu or Tamari
- Corn Starch
In a wok with oil stir fry veggies. Add broccoli and spinach last, so they don’t over cook. When thickening and to season, make a slurry of Shōyu or Tamari with the cornstarch in order to add to stir fry.
Serve over Steamed Jasmine Rice. Asian Cucumber Salad makes a great starter to this meal.
Black Bean and Roasted Corn Salad
This recipe is great for summer. Chris and I do this every year when tomatoes and corn are in season.
(Adapted by my husband, Chris, from a Robert Irvine Recipe from Food Network)
- ½ cup canola oil
- 1 pound frozen corn kernels or about 4 ears fresh (do not use canned corn – it becomes gummy)
- Garlic Powder to taste
- Onion Powder to taste
- Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
- Salt (preferably fresh ground or kosher) and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 (24 total ounces) cans of black beans, drained
- Fresh Tomato
- And Fresh ¼ cup of Fresh Cilantro
Preheat Oven to 350 Degrees F.
Cut Corn off Cob. Sauté Corn in Pan with Canola Oil, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Cayenne Pepper, Salt, and Black Pepper until slightly tender. Place in the oven until roasted (but not dried out) about 10 minutes.
Once you pull the corn out of the oven place in a bowl. Toss with Can of Black Beans. Then toss with simple homemade vinaigrette (see below). Garnish with fresh tomato and cilantro. Then serve. (Makes 4 servings)
Simple Homemade Vinaigrette:
- ¼ cup of Balsamic or Red Wine Vinegar
- 1 cup of Canola Oil
Put vinegar and spices in bowl. Then whisk oil in until it emulsified.
Each year around Christmastime, my hubby, Chris makes Caramel Corn. Be warned: it is very addictive and scrumptious!
- Popcorn kernels (and popcorn popper)
- 2 c. Brown Sugar
- 1 c. Vegan Butter (like Earth Balance)
- 1/2 c. Light Corn Syrup
- 1 tsp. Salt
- 1 tsp. Baking Soda
- 1 tsp. Vanilla
Make 30 cups popped popcorn. Mix and bring to a rolling boil the brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, and salt. Boil gently for 5 minutes. Stir occasionally. Remove from heat. Add baking soda and vanilla. Mix well. Pour over popped corn and blend thoroughly. Bake 1 hour at 200° stirring every 15 minutes. Store in airtight containers.
Summery Purple Peruvian Potato Salad
- Purple Peruvian Potatoes (quartered)
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 heaping tsps creole mustard
- 1/2 tsp. Truvia
- Garlic Powder
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Boil potatoes in salted water until fork tender then drain in collander. While potatoes are cooking whisk together all the ingredients of dressing except the olive oil. Then slowly pour in olive oil whisking until emulsified. Drizzle dressing over warm potatoes. Toss together to coat. Then serve.
7 Layer Taco Dip
When I was a kid and we were having a party, often times my mom would make what she called, Taco Pizza. It was this 7 Layer Taco Dip. She served it on a large round pizza pan — hence taco pizza It was one of my favorite hors d’oeuvre. It has all theses yummy layers that come together as a cacophony of flavor in your mouth. I am going to a gathering tonight and this is what I am taking.
- 1 small can of refried beans (I use vegan friendly ones)
- 8 ounces of vegan sour cream mixed well with one packet of taco seasoning
- 1 large tomato chopped and drained (I place the chopped tomato on a paper towel to absorb all the excess water)
- Guacamole (see my homemade recipe below)
- 1 can of sliced olives drained ( I used a can of large olives that I had on hand and chopped them myself and drained them on a paper towel)
- Vegan Rice Cheddar (hand shredded)
- Pickled Sliced Jalapeños
- Blue Corn Tortilla Chips
For the first layer, spread the refried beans in the bottom of a 9 X 13 lasagna pan. Then, on top of the beans, spread the sour cream/taco seasoning mixture. Next layer is the tomatoes spread out. Then slather the homemade guacamole over the tomatoes. Next are the sliced olives. Then hand shred the rice cheddar over top of everything. Then dot with the jalapeños. Serve with Blue Corn Tortilla Chips. This can be made up ahead of time. It allows the flavors the opportunity to marry together. This dip is a colorful, flavorful, and festive dish for any fiesta. Enjoy!
Start with a ripe avocado. (You can tell it is ripe when you can press it and it yields. If it does not yield, it is not yet ripe. Put it back in the windowsill to continue ripening. If you shake it and hear the pit rolling it is REALLY ripe. Eat immediately ;o)) Cut around avocado until you have cut it in half. Take blade of knife and hit against the pit until it is wedged in the pit. Spin pit and it will pop out. Hold 1/2 of avocado in hand and make slices one way and then slices the other. Turn peel inside out and slice under avocado to pop out diced pieces. Mash avocado. Roll a lemon or lime. Cut lemon or lime in half. Squeeze juice on tope of smashed avocado, taking care to not get any seeds. Like I said, I don’t measure, but the other ingredients include: fresh cilantro, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, and a scoop of your favorite salsa. Mix altogether. Serve with blue corn tortilla chips (or your favorite tortilla chips). So yummy!