Friday, April 29, 2011

Rustic Sprouted Quinoa Salad with Cauliflower and Peas

This salad was a surprising smash hit with my family over the Easter Holiday. I sort of threw it together without thinking too much, and upon it's success realized that a recipe had to be written. It's being posted a little later than I'd originally planned, but I'm still excited! 
It's such a wonderful, hearty, creamy salad that will be sure to rival any other dish at your back yard barbeque's this Summer. 

A Note About This Recipe
While this salad calls for Sprouted Red Quinoa you can also opt to use cooked Red Quinoa if you prefer.
My apologies for not including directions on "Sprouting Quinoa" in this post - however I do plan on sharing my super easy step-by-step sprouting method another time. For now you can go here to find very simple sprouting directions.
Always make sure that your sprouts are as dry as you can possibly get them after they've finished sprouting - this helps keep them fresh for a longer period. The best way to dry your spouts is by spreading them out onto a double layer of Paper Towels, placing another layer of Paper towels in top, pressing down onto the towels (to soak up the moisture from your sprouts) and letting them sit like this for anywhere from an hour to to hours. Example:
How about a recipe?...

Rustic Sprouted Quinoa Salad
Step 1. Salad Components:
First you'll want to start with your Cauliflower - which is just as important as the Quinoa!
1 large head of Cauliflower = 3 cups Cauliflower florets
2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
3 tbsp Grape Seed Oil
1 tsp Onion powder
1 tsp dried Parsley
1-2 tsp lemon zest
salt + pepper to taste
Combine all of the above and toss in a mixing bowl until the Cauliflower has been evenly coated
Set your oven at it's lowest heat, place your Cauliflower (evenly spread out) onto a parchment lined baking pan. Leaving your oven door cracked open proceed to warm/wilt your Cauliflower in the oven for 2 hours.

Remove your Cauliflower from the oven after it's finished and transfer it to a mixing bowl with the follow ingredients:
1 c Sprouted Red Quinoa
2 c Peas (fresh or frozen)
1 c Zucchini - peeled, thinly sliced and chopped
4 to 5 Tbsp minced Celery
3 Tbsp minced Red Onion (optional)
Toss all of the above together evenly and move on to the next step.
Step 2. Salad Dressing
2 heaping Tbsp Creamy White Mustard (or your favorite mustard)
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp Onion powder
1 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
1 tsp Garlic Granules //or// fresh minced Garlic to taste
1 tsp Kelp Granules
1 tsp Lemon juice
1/2 tsp Paprika
Sea Salt & Pepper to Taste
Combine all of the above ingredients into a small mixing bowl and whisk together evenly...
Now simply mix as much, if not all of this dressing in with your Salad components...
Happy Friday!


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

IOU a recipe...

Well, well, well. Who's been a tad bit naughty today?
My deepest apologies for the absence of a new recipe. My lack of planning ahead bit me in the tukas when I got home from running errands this afternoon and decided to prioritized working out and family time over being in the kitchen. I hope you'll accept these two "not-so-new" recipes instead while I hang my head in shame and spend most of tomorrow playing catch-up.
I've been eating a lot of this kind of food in the first part of my day - it's so filling and even a perfect in-between meal snack too!
Not only is this super pretty it's the perfect addition to any brunch!
Also if you haven't yet, you should visit my wonderful friend Lacey, at Lacey Loves Food.
Not only is Lacey a wonderful friend of mine, she's inspiring, bright, and as sharp as the knives she uses to make her tasty vegan food. Go show her some love from me - and check out her awesome chili spice mixture recipe too.

As for me, I promise I'll be back this Friday with my recipe for Rustic Pea & Sprouted Quinoa Salad - the perfect addition to any backyard Barbecue:

Monday, April 25, 2011

Vegan Deviled Eggs? Yes and Yummm!

Most Holidays aren't that big of a deal to me, outside of Christmas and Thanksgiving. But as I've gotten older and grown more confidant with my recipe skills, the excitement of the Holidays has truly taken on a life of it's own. Holidays = family and food. A winning combination in my book. 
This Easter was especially exciting in the food department because I was bringing some brand new recipes to the buffet, as well as high-hopes of winning over some non-veg family members with these new foods. The result? Very surprising, and very exciting. I mean, normally I'm a fairly excitable person when it comes to the food I make, but yesterday my excitement reached new levels. The most surprising thing happened when I nervously plated my Raw Vegan Deviled Eggs (trying to set aside expectations)...they were a smash hit!
This recipe is truly my baby, and one of my proudest of all recipes on AtV - simply because it mimics the flavor and texture of Deviled eggs so well, you won't miss the real thing! And I have my wonderful (and very honest) family to thank for this feedback. They ate my Deviled "Eggs" over the real eggs that shared the same buffet. 
Even though Easter is over, I'm glad I was smart enough to make extra, because I had a feeling that I'd be wanting more for breakfast this morning...and I was right!
AtV Deviled Eggless Eggs
Makes roughly 2 dozen Deviled "Eggs"
Adapted from this recipe
Step 1. "Egg" Mixture
1/2 c Macadamia nuts
1/2 c soaked Cashews (soak for 6 to 8 hours)
1/2 c packed Zucchini - peeled and shredded
2 Tbsp Mustard - (Yellow or creamy Dijon)
1 to 2 tsp Date Paste //or// 1 Medjool Date - soaked in warm water for 10 minutes
2 tsp Onion powder
2 tsp Nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp Garlic Granules
1/4 tsp Kelp Granules
1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
Sea Salt to taste
1/2 c Water
In your food Processor Puree all of the above ingredients together until completely smooth. Your finished product/texture should look like this:
Whipped and creamy!
Fold into your Deviled "Egg mixture One or More of the following - TO TASTE:
Pickle Relish
Minced Red Onion
Minced Celery
Minced Garlic
I only added Pickle Relish for the sake of tradition and simplicity.
Step 2. "Egg" Shells
Traditional Deviled Eggs call for hardboiled eggs whites to hold the magnificent filling. In my "testing" I've found that Yellow Crookneck Squash when peeled has a very similar texture, and a lovely mild sweet flavor. It holds up wonderfully as the "egg shell" for the deviled mixture!
This is the tricky part - because I can't tell your exactly how many Crookneck Squash you will need, but I can tell you that they must be uniform in size, and the less "crookneck" the better:
Peel your Squash, and cut off the ends and crooknecks. Remembering to keep them uniform is size, seen above.
Slice each Squash in half, like so:
Using a Mandolin or a very sharp knife slice from the inside of your Squash out to less than a 1/4'' thickness:
At the end of slicing you might have some reject nubs of squash - enjoy them as a snack as you continue slicing! 
Once you've sliced all of the Squash that you need (roughly 2 dozen slices) proceed with topping them with your Deviled "Egg" mixture!
Garnish with Paprika (Spanish Smoked Paprika would also be dreamy for this) and serve immediately to your loving friends and family.
This Wednesday I'll be sharing another successful Easter recipe:
Rustic Pea and Sprouted Quinoa Salad 
(adapted from this original post) stick around, will ya?


Friday, April 22, 2011

Raw Vegan Comfort Food: Corn Cakes --- and Holiday Weekend foods

Happy Earth Day!
Many times I've thought about recreating something similar to my Mom's deep fried Corn Cake - a favorite childhood food-memory of mine. Warm, soft batter, slightly crispy on the outside, and bursting with corn goodness. My affair with starch will always be somewhat of a love/hate relationship, but as long as I can find convincing substitutes (preferably non deep fried) for my starchy comfort food cravings I'll be content! 
This recipe for me is truly a taste of home. Fittingly enough I'll be surrounded by family this weekend, celebrating the holidays and bringing these delicious cakes along with me (and a few others noted at the end of this post). 
A Note about this Recipe:
These Corn Cakes are very simple - only 5 main ingredients! However, if you want to add additional flavor you can do so in the form of dried spices. I do not recommend adding additional wet ingredients to the batter because it may alter the drying/warming time. See the end of the recipe for spice/flavor recommendations, and as always pay close attention to every bit of this recipe, there's important information all throughout.
AtV Corn Cakes
This recipe makes roughly Ten small Cakes. 
2 heaping Tbsp each: Dimensions: 3x3 circle, less than half an inch in thickness.
1/2 c Cashews (dry and unsoaked)
4 Tbsp Golden Flaxseed meal
1/2 tsp Paprika
In your Food Processor puree all of the above until evenly ground like so:
Add to your ground Cashews/Flax mixture (into your food processor):
1 & 1/2 c Corn Kernels (you can use frozen if you don't have fresh on hand)
1 Tbsp and 1 tsp Lemon Juice
Salt & Pepper to taste
Puree all of the above together for roughly 30 seconds. Do not over puree - otherwise the Cashews will quickly thicken and create a very dense "nut-butter" like batter. Your finished mixture will be fairly sticky, and will look like this:
Spice up your Corn Cakes! 
I recommend adding one (or maybe more) of the following spices if your looking for more depth of flavor:
--- 1/2 tsp dried Dillweed
--- Cayenne Pepper (to taste)
--- 1/2 tsp Garlic Granules or Garlic Powder
--- 1/2 tsp dried Parsley
--- 1 tsp Taco Seasoning
--- Swap out the Lemon Juice for Lime juice instead
Warming Methods:
Dehydrator Method: Dehydrate your Cakes for roughly 3 and a half hours, flipping them over - you'll know they're ready to flip over because they won't stick to your Parchment paper (or non stick dehydrating sheet). Dehydrate them for another 1 hour until they are dry on the outside but still slightly tender in the center = 4 to 6 hours total dehydrating time.
Oven Method: On a parchmend lined baking sheet place your Cakes into your oven set at it's lowest heat, leaving the oven door cracked open at least 6 inches. Leave your Cakes in the oven for 2 hours, checking them periodically. When your Cakes are dry and and do not stick to the Parchment paper they are ready to be flipped. Leave them in the oven for 1 more hour until they are dry on the outside but still slightly tender in the center = 3 to 5 hours total oven time.
Your finished Corn Cake should look like this...
I recommend heating/warming your Corn Cakes for 10 minutes or so before eating them - this will dry/firm them up as they will soften and become a little moist when chilled//stored in your fridge. 
These are SO freaking GOOD!
Want to know what else (in addition to the Corn cakes from this post) I'll be bringing along with me for my Holiday festivities this weekend?
For starters I'm gonna make a mega big Salad...
Contrary to the above photo, my salad this weekend will most likely only have greens - and lots of them!
Rustic Pea Salad - served atop Pea Shoots
Deviled Eggless Salad - served atop yellow crook-neck rounds (to mimic real Deviled Eggs)
Fresh Strawberries with the Chocolate Yogurt dip from this recipe

Do you have a favorite childhood food? Something your Mom, Dad, Aunt, Uncle or Grandparent used to make you

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend full of tasty food!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Southwestern Burgers with Lime Sour Cream & Pico De Gallo

Every once in a while you eat something so tasty, so flavor packed, so well balanced, that it makes you heave a deep sigh and go "mmm".
The Lime Sour Cream in this recipe is cool, creamy and refreshing. The Pico de Gallo is acidic, sweet, and bold. And then there's the Burger...
This Burger is hearty, protein packed, full of fresh veggies, flavorful spices (like Cumin), and so deceptively meaty (in meatless kind of way). I really don't know what else to say about it!
I'll be toting these burgers along with me for this weekends Family Easter dinner, in addition to a few other things - which I'll elaborate on more in Friday's post. Onto the foodsez!

Important Note about this Recipe
Always always always remeasure your nuts and seeds after soaking them. The nuts/seeds used in this recipe were measured after soaking, because nuts/seeds will expand when soaking in water for an extended period of time. 
Example: 1 cup of Cashews dry and unsoaked will often turn into 1 and 1/2 cups of Cashews after being soaked. If you end up with more nuts/seeds than you need for a recipe you're making simply store any extras in a zip-lock bag and place them in your freezer. Run warm water over them to thaw them out, and use them later on in another recipe.

Southwestern Burgers with Lime Sour Cream and Pico de Gallo
Step 1. Southwestern Burgers
This recipe makes roughly 8 Burger patties if you add all of the ingredients noted. If you decide to cut out any of the veggies then you will have less burger mixture and less patties.
1 c Cashews - soaked 4 hours, drained and dried
1 c Sunflower Seeds - soaked 6 hours, drained and dried
5 Tbsp Water with 3 Tbsp Flaxseed meal - let the flax sit in the water for a few minutes until it thickens
Add the above to your food processor:
Process until your mixture looks like this:
Proceed to add the following ingredients to your food processor (along with the mixture above):
1 c Crimini Mushrooms cubed/chopped
3 Tbsp Oil (your choice - I used Grape Seed Oil)
3 Tbsp Lemon Juice
2 tsp Cumin
2 tsp Onion powder
2 tsp dried Chive
1 tsp dried Basil 
1 tsp dried Dillweed
1 tsp Garlic Granules
1 tsp Paprika
Sea Salt & Pepper to taste
Process it all together - stopping to scrape down the sides once or twice until the mixture begins to move freely around your processor:
Now transfer your Burger mixture into a large mixing bowl and add the following:
1/2 c Corn
1/4 c Onion - chopped/minced
1/4 c Celery - chopped/minced
1/4 c Bell Pepper (red/green/or yellow) chopped/minced
1/4 c Carrot - shredded
(yo basically want all of your veggies to be fairly the same in size)
Mix it all together:
Transfer your Burger mixture to the fridge letting the flavors meld together for at least an hour
Now you get to Assemble your Burgers!
Score your Burger mixture into fours...each quarter will make 2 whole burger patties.
Shape/Flatten your Burgers out to a half inch in thickness and proceed to your "cooking" method of choice noted below:
Dehydrator Method: Dehydrate your Burgers for roughly 3 hours, flipping them over and dehydrating them for another 3 hours = 6 to 7 hours total dehydrating time.
Oven Method: On a parchmend lined baking sheet place your Burgers into your oven set at it's lowest heat, leaving the oven door cracked open at least 6 inches. Leave your Burgers in the oven for 2 hours, checking them periodically. When your Burgers are dry, firm, and browned they should be flipped. Leave them in the oven for the same amount of time on both sides = 4 to 6 hours total oven time.
Your finished Burger should look like this...
Follow the next two steps and meet me at the end of this post for the grand finale!
Step 2. Lime Sour Cream
This is just too easy! And SO gosh darn good!
Lime Sour Cream
3 Tbsp Lime zest (or the zest of one entire lime)
2 or 3 Tbsp of fresh Lime Juice
Sea Salt & Black Pepper to taste
Mix it all together - and there you have it! 
This would also make an amazing salad dressing too. Heck, I had a hard enough time not spooning it into my mouth.
Step 3. Super Simple Pico de Gallo
The fresh Lime juice in this recipe keeps everything fresh for at least a week in your fridge. Season and spice to taste!
1 c chopped Tomato
1 c chopped White Onion
As much fresh Cilantro as you want (I used about a half cup)
3 to 4 Tbsp Lime juice
1/2 tsp Garlic Granules (or fresh Garlic)
1/2 tsp Date Paste (this is optional - I like my Pico with a hint of sweet)
Dash of Cayenne or any other hot spice of choice
Sea Salt & Pepper to Taste
Eat this Burger on a bed of greens, with your favorite bread or roll, or even chop it up and put it into a salad!