Monday, October 25, 2010

Raw-Veganized Tribute Recipe: Spinach & Tomatoes with Garlic Rosemary 'Breadcrumbs'

Spinach & Tomatoes (Apple too), with Garlic-Rosemary 'Breadcrumbs'
When I woke up this morning I was pleasantly surprised to see a message on my (personal) facebook wall from a friend and fellow Veggie Addict, asking for my opinion on how I would "raw-veganize" this recipe. At first glance the recipe didn't make much of an impact on me, Spinach & Tomatoes with some herbs, butter and breadcrumbs...nothing fancy or horribly exciting, right? 
Ah, but I was wrong! Boy was I ever wrong. 
By the time I finished writing a response to my sweet friends question my stomach was growling and I was craving Spinach & a fiend. After doing my traditional "Monday Refrigerator Inventory" I was off to the grocery store to pick up everything I needed (including a couple extras) for this amazingly tasty meal. I also wanted to note that I took the liberty of adding Apple to this recipe as well, and it was pretty brilliant of me.

I'd like to personally thank my awesome gal pal Heather for this recipe inspiration, and also for those of you who are still patiently waiting for me to respond to your request for easy dehydrator/food processor/blender-free recipes. This meal is SO simple, easy to make, and it's ready in a flash! I hope you try it, and heck, you might even decide to put it on your holiday meal plan like I have. 
Also - don't forget to check out my warming method for this recipe if you don't have a dehydrator on hand.
Spinach & Tomatoes with Garlic-Rosemary 'Breadcrumbs'
This recipe makes enough for 1 large portion or 2 small side dishes

Step 1. Spinach & Tomatoes:
2 large handfuls of fresh Spinach - massaged until wilted
1 medium Tomato (with seeds) - sliced
1/2 c Apple - sliced
1/2 c Onion - sliced
1 Tbsp Parsley - minced 
1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp Garlic Granules
Lemon Pepper - to taste
Sea Salt - to taste
---Set Salad Aside---
Step 2. Dressing/"Butter"
1 Tbsp Coconut Oil - softened //or 1 Tbsp Canola Oil
1 Tbsp Canola Oil
1 tsp Lemon juice
1 tsp Nutritional yeast
dash of sea salt
Find a cute little tiny whisk and mix the above contents together until the Nutritional yeast has mostly dissolved.
How adorable is that whisk?
Step 3. Rosemary-Garlic 'Breadcrumbs'
Into your nut/spice grinder (OR into a ziplock baggy) combine the following:
3 Tbsp Sunflower seeds
1 tsp Nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp dried Rosemary
1/2 tsp Garlic Granules
Grind (or smash with the flat side of a heavy skillet) until you've reached desired texture. I like to keep it fairly rustic.
Step 3. Bringing it all together:
To your lovely Spinach & Tomatoes (and Apples) add the Dressing/Butter and mix together evenly.
Warming Your Meal:
From here you could eat this meal as is, or warm your Spinach & Tomatoes in a dehydrator...BUT since this is geared towards those of you who don't have a dehydrator here's another option:
  • Using a Large soup-style Pot fill it up with 2 inches of water, then bring the water to a boil on your stove top.
  • Place a wire cooling rack over your pot of boiling water.
  • Place your Spinach mixture onto a large piece of tinfoil (apologies to those of you who frown on using tin!) Once your mixture is on the tinfoil proceed to make a pocket around the contents, folding the corners and sealing it up!

  • Place your tinfoil pocket of goodness onto the wire cooling rack that is placed above the boiling pot of water. 
  • TURN OFF the heat on your stove. 
  • From here you can monitor your Spinach mixture with a thermometer like I did to make sure that you're not over heating your food. 
  • I let my pocket of Spinach & Tomatoes sit above the hot steam for roughly 4 minutes and promptly took it off the stove. I'd also like to note the the contents of the tinfoil never exceeded 118F. 

At this point I was SO hungry for this food that I could barely contain myself!

Garnish your Spinach & Tomatoes with the 'Breadcrumbs' and ENJOY!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pumpkin Breakfast Bars & Spiced Pumpkin Butter

How much do you LOVE Pumpkin?
Even if you're a pumpkin skeptic (I certainly am) these breakfast bars could change your view on Cinderella's infamous Carriage. Heck, this recipe even surprised me! 
This recipe does call for a dehydrator - however if you feel like being adventurous and using your Conventional Oven set at a very low heat, then by all means please do, and please tell me about it! 
The Spiced Pumpkin Butter recipe does not call for a dehydrator (wee!), and it's pretty darn magical all on it's own. So even if you don't have the means to make these delicious breakfast bars, then make this Pumpkin Butter and dance around your kitchen while eating it!
Pumpkin Breakfast Bars
Before hand prep: Soften/melt 1/2 c Coconut oil. 
I like to do this by submerging the jar of Coconut Oil in a sink full of hot water. You will need to use this oil at the end of the recipe, so make sure it stays in the warm water until you're ready to use it. Of course, if you're not stove-top shy then by all means go ahead and melt your oil on a very low heat in a pan.
Step 1. Wet Ingredients:
1 c Apple - chopped  (I used Gala)
1 c (packed) raw Pumpkin - shredded
In your Food Processor Pulse the Apple & Pumpkin until they are evenly minced. Transfer to a mixing bowl and add the following:
3/4 c Date Paste
1 T Lemon Juice
1 Banana - mashed 
1/4 tsp Sea Salt
Proceed to mix all of the above ingredients together evenly - set aside your mixing bowl and move on to the next step.
Step 2. Dry Ingredients
2 c Cashews
2 c Sunflower Seeds
2 tsp Cinnamon
2 tsp Vanilla Bean powder //or// Vanilla Extract (if using liquid extract then add to the wet ingredients)
1 tsp Allspice
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
Proceed to grind all of the above ingredients in your Food Processor until finely ground into a meal. 
Add your dry ingredients to your wet ingredients from Step 1, and proceed to mix them together thoroughly.
Slowly pour the melted Coconut Oil into your batter while mixing it in at the same time.
That's Princess Buttercup in action - she's the coolest yellow KitchenAide ever!
Step 3. Dehydrating 
Once your batter has been evenly mixed together you get to move on to the final step!
In 1 cup portions transfer your Batter onto non-stick parchment paper, spreading the batter until it is roughly a half inch in thickness.You can do this as neatly or as rustic as you'd like:
Breakfast Bar rounds which will eventually be cookie cut into hearts.
Dehydrate your Pumpkin Bars for 10 to 12 hours. 
The best way to do this is to have them ready to go in the fridge at the very beginning of your day. Pop them into the dehydrator before you leave for work, and by dinner time they should be done. Once they have chilled in the fridge for an hour or so the Coconut Oil will firm up the bars quite a bit, so don't be discouraged if they're still fairly soft right out of your warm dehydrator. If after chilling in the fridge you find that you would like a firmer bar, then pop them back into your dehydrator for another 4 to 5 hours. Proceed to slice up your bars however you like! Here's another variation of what they can look like if you don't use a heart shaped cookie cutter:
Now, how about a recipe for Spiced Pumpkin Butter?
A dessert spread that goes well with just about anything?? Oh you betcha! 
Give this one a go - Pair it with Carrot, Celery, Apple, breakfast bars, breads, fruit salad, or slather it on a loved won't disappoint. I may even feature it again in another recipe post - so if you don't make it now, bookmark it for later, k?
Spiced Pumpkin Butter
1 c (packed) raw Pumpkin - shredded
1/3 c Macadamia nuts //or// Cashews
6 heaping Tbsp Date Paste 
2 tsp Vanilla 
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Allspice
1 Tbsp Lemon juice
4 to 5 Tbsp Coconut Butter 
1/2 tsp Sea Salt //or// to taste
Puree the above ingredients until very smooth - roughly 3 to 5 minutes in your food processor should do the job. Wee! You've got sweet Pumpkin heaven in a bowl, just waiting for you to dive into!
My favorite way to enjoy this magical butter so far is by lathering it on top a breakfast bar, right after a 5k run.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Smokey Pumpkin Garlic Dip

A few months ago Mister AtV and I went down to our local coffee shop to enjoy a cup of caffeine and listen to some local jazz. I was at a loss of what to sip on  but I've always been a fan of strong black tea, so I asked the adorable guy working behind the counter what he recommended. The tea I tried that night forever altered my perception of teas, and I knew the very instant that smokey liquid hit my taste-buds that I would have to bring it into the kitchen with me.
Lapsang Souchong is a marvel in the world of loose leaf teas. You either love it or can't stand it, because not very many people want to drink something that tastes like a campfire. The method for making this wonderful tea is simple:
The Chinese black tea leaves are dried in bamboo baskets over pine-wood fires. This method of drying the leaves above pine wood smoke infuses the leaves with the most amazing flavor, to me it's very reminiscent of mesquite.
Where can you find Lapsang Souchong Tea? 
  • Most Natural foods stores should carry it (check out the bulk section). 
  • You might find it pre-bagged in some grocery stores, although I prefer to buy it in loose leaf form. 
  • If your town has a local coffee shop that sells loose leaf teas ask them if they carry it. Chances are even if they don't carry it they can easily order it for you! 

There is something truly amazing about this tea when combined with food. This next recipe is evidence of just that, and seriously you guys - it's party worthy! If you're looking for an amazing new dip to add to your holiday menu then look no further. You and your guests will not be disappointed.
Smokey Pumpkin Garlic Dip
Step 1. Before hand Prep: 
combine 1 c Warm Water with 2 Tbsp Lapsang Souchong loose leaf tea 
Let the tea leaves "steep" in the warm water for 1 hour, strain water into a bowl and *set aside.
Your tea water should be a lovely clear Amber color like this:
To speed up your tea "steeping" time place your tea in a clear glass jar and set in the direct sunlight. If you go this route then you will only need to soak your tea leaves for about a half an hour.
Step 2. Making the Dip:
1 & 1/2 cups Cashews - soaked 4 hours
(Side Note: After soaking, your Cashews will have expanded in size to roughly 2 cups - this is good)
1 c (packed) shredded Pumpkin flesh
2 tsp White Mustard //or// 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Tbsp Coconut Nectar //or// 2 Medjool Dates soaked until softened
1 to 2 tsp minced Garlic (for a milder garlic taste you can opt to use 1 tsp of Garlic granules)
2 tsp dried Parsley
1 tsp Onion powder
1/2 tsp Lemon Pepper
1/2 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Sea Salt - or to taste
1 cup of *Lapsang Souchong Tea Water (previously set aside)
Combine all of the above into your food processor and puree for roughly three minutes, until whipped and very smooth.
I recommend pairing this dip with crisp Apple, Cucumber. Or you can simply indulge by the spoonful into your mouth...when no one is looking of course.
How about a bonus recipe?
Brown 'Rice' Autumn Salad with Smokey Pumpkin Sauce
Makes 2 to 3 meal sized servings or 5 to 6 "side dish" servings

Step 1. Brown 'Rice' Autumn Salad:
Make a HALF batch of Brown 'Rice' - for the Brown 'Rice' in this Salad I chose to chop the Oat Groats a little bit smaller than normal and it seemed to work really well. 
Combine the following into a mixing bowl:
Brown "Rice"
1 & 1/2 c Apple - chopped (roughly 1 medium Apple)
3/4 c sweet grape Tomatoes sliced in half
3/4 c Red Bell Pepper - chopped
3/4 c Green Onion
 Mix together evenly!
Step 2. Smokey Pumpkin Sauce:
6 Tbsp Smokey Pumpkin Garlic Dip
1/4 c Water
Sea Salt and Pepper to Taste
In a small mixing bowl whisk together the above ingredients. Proceed to either pour on top of your Brown "Rice" Autumn salad, or mix into the salad.

Sarahfae - AtV

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Weekly Veggie: Savory Cream of Pumpkin Soup & Raw Soup Heating Methods

I was a little hesitant when I started out with this recipe because I've never made a Pumpkin soup before. Due to my limited experience with the intimidating orange gourd I really wanted to make sure that I didn't post a "so-so" recipe, but a flavorful, filling, and well rounded creamy soup. I'm happy to report that this recipe get's an A++ and I also plan on including it in my Thanksgiving meal plan. 
Here's how it goes...
Savory Cream of Pumpkin Soup
Makes roughly 2 dinner sized portions or 4 appetizer portions

Step 1. Soup Base:
1 & 1/2 c (packed) shredded Pumpkin flesh
1/2 c Red Bell Pepper - chopped
6 to 7 Sun-dried Tomato pieces - soaked in warm water to soften
4 tsp Date Paste //or// 3 Medjool Dates soaked until softened
2 tsp White Dijon Mustard //or// 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Tbsp Nutritional yeast
1 tsp Garlic - minced
1/2 tsp Lemon Pepper
1 (heaping) tsp dried Parsley
1/4 tsp ground Celery Seed
1/2 tsp Sea Salt (or to taste)
1/2 c Walnut Oil 
Place all of the above into your food processor and puree until it's smooth as you can possibly get it. This may take up to 5 minutes in the food processor. Don't worry though, you'll get there!
Step 2. Finishing your soup:
Transfer your pureed Soup Base into a blender 
Add: 2 c Water
Blend Soup Base and Water together until smooth
Soup Heating Methods:
Stove top Method: Pour Soup into a sauce pan and gently heat on stove top - whisking continuously making sure not to overheat. When soup is warm to the touch then it's ready to eat!

Dehydrator Method: Pour soup into a shallow dish and set inside of your dehydrator. Let it warm for thirty to sixty minutes, or until it's reached desired warmth.

Sunshine: Place your soup in a glass container with a lid. Set your jarred soup in the direct sunshine (the back window of your car works wonderfully for this). Let your soup warm in the Sunshine for thirty to sixty minutes. 
Garnish your soup with Green Onion, chopped crisp Apple, and Pumpkin seeds. Yum!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Weekly Veggie: Pumpkin!

"Weekly Veggie" is back! AND It's October!! 
...okay maybe I'm a little behind on the second one, but I'm still really excited, back to good health (after a very strange mystery bug), and ready to start working on lots of Holiday recipes to share with you all. 
This week's "Weekly Veggie" might even extend into next week if I'm still feeling inspired, and at this point it's looking pretty good.
Contrary to how this might appear, I do not have a pumpkin patch in my backyard. But I do have two very curious pups.
Funny thing, my only real experience with Pumpkin in the past has been pie - which I'm actually not a fan of at all. 
I've been anxiously waiting for Pumpkins to show up at my local Farmers Market so I could delve into the endless possibilities of this popular orange squash...Addicted to Veggies style.
Tomorrow I'll be back with a yummy recipe for a soup that will convert just about any Pumpkin critic (including myself):
Savory Cream of Pumpkin Soup


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

AtV Time Out

After a very lovely extended weekend get-away visiting my very best and closest girlfriend in the Bay area I made it home on the cusp of getting a fantastic head cold. So in spite of my ambitions to get things done I'll be taking a few extra days off to get healthy first. 

What's your favorite food to eat when you're under the weather?
Mine: Popsicles.

I hope you're all doing well, and having a lovely October so far! 
Cheers to Autumn weather, slippers and snuggling, big bowls of soup, conversations by candle-light, and all of the other wonderful things that come along with this time of the year.

Sarahfae - AtV