Friday, May 27, 2011

Pear-Arugula-Cheeze Flat-bread Bites

It's the final day of my Pear-athon week! 
Rather than end this pear-filled week on a main course, after a busy day of running errands I came home wanting a snack...and decided to share it with you all.
 My end of the day routine usually consists of going for a run before dinner, followed by a walk with my two little puppies. It's so nice to have a little something hearty to snack on a couple of hours before my last meal of the day.This way I'm not super famished when food is on the table. Vote yes on pre-dinner snacks!
Pear-Arugula-Cheeze Flat-bread Bites
This little snack is all about leftovers! What's in your fridge?
This is what I had...
Corn-Oat Flatbread 
Parm-Cheeze Spread 
Fresh Ripe Pear slices
Leafy Green Arugula & some Lemon wedges...

Now put it all together:
Cheeze, Arugula, another dab of cheeze (to hold your pear slices in place) Pear slices, and a squeeze of Lemon Juice over the top. 
What a perfect pick me up before dinner! 
Off I go to walk the dogs...
...or maybe I should just go take a nap with them.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend, filled with lots of yummy food...and cute furry animals too!


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Lemon-Herb Asparagus Ribbons & Parm Cheeze

I don't know about you guys, but I am beyond excited that it's Asparagus season! 
Asparagus is by far one of my favorite non-leafy greens, and I always try have a couple bunches in my fridge when it's affordable. 
One thing I've been seeing a lot lately in the world of food is Ribboned Asparagus - a wonderful, and fancy way to enjoy it raw. Plus you don't need any crazy tools to do it either - just a good veggie peeler, maybe some dance-able kitchen tunes, and a little bit of patience.
A Note about this Recipe: 
I made a new Cheeze spread! What else is new? Hah! 
OKay, so I've mentioned before that I have a little bit of an obsession with creating the perfect raw vegan cheeze. Well, I think I may finally be on to something! The cheeze I made for todays post is so gosh darn amazing! It's pungent with a hint of sweet from the Mellow White Miso paste, and the Lemon kicks up the acidity to a perfect level. I can't even tell you guys how excited I am to have this in my fridge, and I plan on incorporating it into more than a few recipes in the future. So, make this cheeze, pleeze! And be ready to see it again in upcoming AtV posts.
Now, how about a little Technique?
How to Ribbon Asparagus
1 bunch of Asparagus - wash and slice 1/2 inch off of the ends
Into a large bowl proceed with the following...
- Take one Asparagus at a time
- Hold onto the end of your Asparagus 
 - Use your vegetable peeler and grate downwards into your bowl, while tuning your asparagus continue to grate (as if you are peeling it)
- You will end up with a "nub" of Asparagus that cannot be grated - (throw it out!) place it aside and continue to grate all of your Asparagus
Side note: I like to chop off the heads of my Asparagus, keeping them somewhat intact, and adding them to the ribbons when I'm finished.
Now that you've finished Ribbon slicing your Asparagus...what to do with the leftover "nubs"?
Mince them up!
Oh boy! Now toss your minced Asparagus "nubs" into your bowl with the Ribbons.
Lets make a Recipe - shall we?
Lemon-Herb Asparagus Ribbons with Pear & Cheeze
This Recipe makes roughly 4 appetizer size plates or 2 generous sides
Step 1.
Lemon-Herb Asparagus Ribbons
1 bunch of Ribboned Asparagus (roughly 2 cups packed)
1/4 c Chive - finely chopped
1/4 c Red Bell Pepper - thinly sliced and chopped 
A big handful of Fresh Cilantro - minced or torn
3 Tbsp Grape seed Oil //or// Another kind of nutty flavored oil
2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1 Tbsp Lemon zest //or// 1 more Tbsp Lemon juice
Sea Salt & Pepper to taste
Mix all of the above together in a bowl...
Step 2.
Parm-Cheeze Spread
This cheeze is just amazing. 
I've been meaning to make a cheeze incorporating Mello White Miso and Lemon and I'm so glad that I finally did. The flavor notes are slightly pungent and reminiscent of Parmigiana. I hope you make it!
Start with:
1 & 1/2 c Macadamia nuts - ground into a paste:
(You could also sub half of the amount of Mac nuts with Raw Cashews)
Scrape down the sides of your food processor...
And proceed to add the following to your Macadamia paste:
1/2 c (packed) shredded Zucchini 
2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
2 Tbsp Mellow White Miso paste 
1 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
1 tsp ground Mustard Seed
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
Puree for 3 minutes, until you've reached a very thick and creamy paste:
Place your cheeze into an air tight container (maaaybe licking out your food processor afterwards)
Chill your cheeze for at least 30 minutes, this will allow it to set and thicken a bit.
Step 3.
Putting it all together
Take your Cheeze out of the fridge and spread as much of it as you want onto the bottom of a plate...
- Place your Lemon-Herb Asparagus Ribbons on top of your Cheeze plate
- Slice your Pear and arrange it onto your plate however you like
- Garnish with fresh Cilantro and there you have it!
This dish will make you feel like you're eating something Gourmet...even if you enjoy it while sitting in your backyard shooing away puppies and kitties from begging too much.

Bon Appetite!


Monday, May 23, 2011

Mmmonday Breakfast: Pear Tart with Vanilla Cream

Oh how I love this tart. It's just...perfect. Not too sweet, not too heavy, packed with fiber and healthy fats - just what I need after a 3 mile morning run, and a busy day waiting for me.
If you're trying to cut back on your nut intake then you can opt to leave out the crust for this recipe and just enjoy your sweet cinnamon Pears on top of a dreamy whipped Vanilla Cream. It's completely up to you!
Pear Tart with Vanilla Cream
This recipe makes Two 5x5 round tarts
Step 1. Crust 
In your Food Processor combine the following:
3/4 c Cashews - ground into a meal
1/2 c Coconut Flour //or// ground Almond meal
After you've ground your nuts/flour together add the following:
2 tsp Date Paste
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
pinch of Sea Salt
Your finished Crust will look like this:
Divide your crust in half (if you're making the same size tarts that I did).
Place a piece of plastic wrap over both 5x5 ramekins...
Place your crust into your ramekins...
Now smoosh your crust down into your ramekins, evenly spreading it out...
Cover them up and stick em' in the fridge to set.
You can Also put them in the freezer for an even firmer crust - but it'll be chilly too!
Want to Warm up your Crust? 
Place your crust - still in the Ramekin into your freezer to firm for 15-30 minutes. 
Remove your crust from the freezer, and gently lift the plastic wrap along with your crust up from your ramekin. 
Carefully remove the plastic wrap from your crust and place it onto a baking sheet.
Set your oven at it's lowest heat, leaving your oven door cracked open place your tart crust into the oven and let it warm for 1 hour.
Step 2. Vanilla Cream
Into your Food Processor combine the following:
4 Tbsp melted Coconut Oil
2 Tbsp Lemon juice
Process/Whip for 1 minute...
Transfer your dreamy Vanilla Cream to an air tight container and place in your fridge to chill and firm for 1 hour. This stuff is seriously amazing! Even if you decided to skip making a crust, this cream alone will make up for it!
Step 3. Pears, and assembling your Tart
I used perfectly ripe Bartlett Pears for my tart - but you can another type of Pear if you prefer.
Here's your station...
If you're not warming up your crust then stick it in the freezer to chill for about 15 minutes before you're ready to assemble it.
Fill up your tart crust...
Slice up your Pear (roughly 1 Pear per tart)...
Leave your cold tart crust in the ramekin until you've finished assembling it. 
Gently remove your crust by lifting the plastic wrap up from the ramekin...transfer to a plate...
Sprinkle Cinnamon and Coconut Crystals over your Pear slices. 
You can also drizzle your liquid sweetener of choice on top of the Pears if you don't have Coconut Crystals on hand...
See you on Wednesday!


Friday, May 20, 2011

Raw Vegan Sloppy Joe

When I was a kid growing up we never had gourmet meals. Not to knock on my Mother, who always did magical things in the kitchen and never made a meal that I can remember turning away (with the exception of one recipe that I'll touch on another time). Mom always did her best to make food from scratch, and having six little mouths to feed I can only imagine she had some kind of superhuman powers. I think my love of sauces and dips is deeply rooted in my childhood, and American comfort food is right there with it.
Today's recipe is an ode to my childhood, and in fond memory of the flavors that still linger on my palate. Without a doubt this the food that inspires me the most in my kitchen. I will always turn to a plate of messy hearty savory food before a prim and proper dish that contains strange foreign ingredients that I have a difficult time pronouncing (not to mention finding in my grocery store).
When I saw that Vegetarian Times had a special "quick & healthy" recipe edition for the month of May I didn't think twice about picking it up. I always get some kind of recipe inspiration from their wonderful mag! (I probably mark their pages more often than I mark my own cookbooks.)
Upon seeing the recipe for "Spanish Roasted Vegetable Sandwich" (in the Sandwich section of the special edition) my mind immediately went to "Sloppy Joes". Oh man, I don't even remember the last time I've had a real Sloppy Joe - probably over 17 years ago. But I remember it...and I didn't hesitate one bit in hurrying to my kitchen.
My younger brother(omnivore) and sister(vegan) were over the evening that I made this recipe for the first time, and they were my taste testers too. Their reviews? Clean plates speak louder than words in my food loving mind, but I'm pretty sure I heard some mumbling in between bites that sounded like "yummm!".
Important Note About This Recipe
No dehydrator needed!...Unless of course you own one and prefer to use it instead of your oven as a warming method. Also - while I do call on the use of a Food processor for Step 2, if you have patience and the gusto than you can chop this recipe by hand. It may take a while, and you may want to do it in batches, but it'll work!
Be sure to pay close attention to this recipe - there are special notes in each step that are not to be missed!
Lets make some food shall we?

Sloppy Joes
This recipe makes roughly 4 to 5 servings
Step 1. The Sloppy Sauce
1 & 1/4 c Tomato cubed (seeds and all)
1 & 1/4 c Red Bell Pepper chopped
1/2 c Apple cubed (I used Braeburn Apple)
3 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
3 tsp Lemon Juice
2 Tbsp Onion powder
2 Tbsp Nutritional yeast
2 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp dried Basil
1 tsp Garlic Granuels //or// fresh minced Galirc to taste
1/2 tsp Chipotle powder - add more to taste if you like heat
Puree all of the above in your blender or food processor.
*Add Sea Salt to Taste 
Puree --- 
The following is *optional but really tasty:
*Add 1 to 2 Tbsp of Date Paste for a nice sweet kick 
Your finished sauce should look like this:
Pour your sauce into a large mixing bowl and move onto the next step.
Step 2. The Joe
2 c soaked Almonds 
Pulse/grind your almonds until they look like this:
Add to your ground soaked Almonds:
1 c Zucchini peeled and cubed
1 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Cumin
1/4 tsp Garlic Granuels
1/4 tsp Chipotle powder (or to taste)
Sea Salt to taste
Pulse Grind all of the above ingredients together, stopping to scrape down the sides of your food processor so that your ingredients evenly chop.
Your finished "Joe" will look like this:
Step 3. Putting your Sloppy Joe together
Together in one bowl combine:
--- Your Sloppy Sauce
--- 1/4 c minced Red Onion
--- 1/4 c minced Bell Pepper
--- 1/2 c Corn Kernels
Then add your "Joe"
Mix it all together evenly:
Taste to see if it needs a little more S&P or Chipotle powder.
Warming your Sloppy Joes
Place a large piece of parchment paper onto a baking sheet. 
Spread your Sloppy Joe mixture evenly onto your parchment paper.
Place your Sloppy Joe mixture into the oven set at its lowest heat.
Leaving the oven door cracked open warm your Sloppy Joe mixture for 30 minutes, stirrring half way to ensure even warming.
Serve your Sloppy Joe on (or with) whatever you'd like!
I had mine with some Corn-Oat flatbread from Wednesday's post. I'm sure this would work well on top of pasta, or even a big green salad. 

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend! 
I'll see you back here on Monday with quite possibly the return of "The Weekly Veggie" (or fruit)...