Friday, September 30, 2011

Apple A Day Parfait

I decided sort of last minute that I wanted to post one last recipe before my weekend started - mainly because Wednesday's recipe was pushed back, and I hate the feeling of incomplete work. But also because I like you guys, and giving you recipes is something I really truly love doing!
This recipe is fairly laid back, and totally customize-able to your own taste preference. It's also a fun new way to eat an Apple! I actually had it as my lunch today (with a side of green smoothie) and was surprised at how filling it is.
This Parfait reminds me somewhat of a deconstructed Apple Pie. So if you like Apple Pie then you'll probably love this little ditty...
Apple A Day Parfait
Makes enough for 1 generous serving.
Step 1. 
The Seasoned Apple
1 Medium sized Apple (I used Braeburn)
Thinly slice and chop up your Apple
Add to your Apple:
1 Tbsp Date Paste
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
Mix!
Wrap up your Seasoned Apple and place it in the fridge to Marinate while you make the rest of your Parfait components. 
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Step 2. 
The Vanilla Lemon Cream
In a small mixing bowl combine the following:
1/4  to 1/3 c AtV Sour Cream
3 to 4 tsp Date Paste (depending on how sweet you want it)
1 whole Vanilla Bean pod, scraped //or// 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
1 tsp Lemon Juice
Whisk it all together!
From here you have 2 options with your Cream:
Option 1. Put your Cream into the fridge to chill
Option 2. Put your Cream in the Freezer for 30 minutes, mix it after the first 30 minutes, and let it sit for another 30 minutes. After 60 minutes in the freezer you will have a Frozen Yogurt-like Cream, which is pretty freaking wonderful if you ask me!
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Step 3.
Parfait Topping
I used Almonds for my Topping but you can use any kind of nut you want, even Sunflower or Pumpkin Seeds would be lovely.
Chop up a handful of nuts
Ever heard of this stuff? It's pretty amazing - Tastes kind of like Sweet Malted Chocolate with a hint of Cinnamon and Vanilla. 
If you don't have Mesquite Powder try using one of the following instead:
Coconut Flour
Vanilla Bean Powder
Coconut Crystals
Add to your Chopped Nuts:
1/2 tsp of one of the above mentioned ingredients
1 pinch of Salt
Mix it all together
Now it's time to Assemble Everything!
Side Note: The longer you let your Apples Marinate in the Cinnamon and Date Paste The juicier they become, creating a natural syrup that only makes this dish more incredible. 
Happy, Happy, Happy Friday to you!

xoxo,
Sarahfae - AtV

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Cheezy Garlic Pasta Salad

One of my favorite things about being in the Kitchen is a little thing I like to call "Puzzle Solving". 
It's something I really love, and probably one of the main reasons why I've been able to continue eating the way I do. Puzzle Solving has helped me create recipes that hit the same textures and flavor notes that most cooked non-vegan foods have, while still keeping the recipes simple and approachable. Some of my favorite feedback to recipes is when my excited younger Sister declares things like "This tastes like it has msg in it! It's so (explicit) good!" 
Let's face it, most of today's prepackaged food is packed full of crap that induces us to crave it, and crave it, and crave it some more. So if I can have a handful of "easy" recipes that do the exact same thing, but aren't preservative laden, then I'm a happy camper, and an even happier eater. 
I mean, there's nothing better than craving something you can make yourself that also happens to be good for you too, right?
Yesterday I was having one of my classic food cravings, part of it I'm sure was due to the extended Summer weather we've been having in the Pacific Northwest. It's been seriously warm here (which is not really normal), so in addition to making copious amounts of sun tea and smoothies, I decided I'd try to recreate an old classic favorite of mine - Creamy Pasta Salad. 
I remember my Mom used to make her famous Pasta salad loaded with Black Olives, Kidney Beans, Ranch dressing, and lots of cheese. Pretty much the tastiest heart attack you've ever had. 
Of course my version doesn't have any of those ingredients, but what it does have will confuse your taste-buds and rival just about any other chilled Pasta Salad out there, not to mention it's secretly good for you too. But you can pretend it's not, if it means you'll make it.
Important Note About this Recipe
I've got a new method for making Zucchini pasta that I'm really excited to share with you!
Pay close attention to Step 2, as I've noted every part of the process in making this pasta, including the measurements.
If you're doubtful about it and really can't wrap your head around the idea of Zucchini as pasta don't worry, I won't beat you up. It's not the star of this dish, but it is pretty impressive as a whole. 
Other options/recommendations for pasta would be:
Kelp Noodles (I plan on writing about these in the near future too - so stay tuned) or whatever kind of Pasta you prefer to use. It's up to you!
The biggest star of this recipe are the ingredients of the actual Salad, and the super-duper amazingly wonderful Cheezy Garlic Dressing. You will seriously not believe the punch this dish has after you make it. Be forewarned though - you'll need to do a little prep, and make a couple other AtV recipes. I swear to you, this is worth it!
Cheesy Garlic Pasta Salad
This makes roughly 2 generous portions
Step 1. 
Before Hand Prep
This recipe calls for the following two recipes, so you're gonna need to make them:
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Step 2. 
New Zucchini Pasta
This recipe Calls for 4 cups of shredded Zucchini.
I'd recommend starting out with 2 or 3 large Zucchinis, more is always better than not enough!
Peel your Zucchini and slice it in half width-wise, and cut it in half again lengthwise.
Each section of Zucchini should be no more than 3 inches in length.
Proceed to thinly slice each of your Zucchini quarters as seen in the above photo.
Once you've finished slicing your Zucchini, arrange them in small stacks as seen in the above photo.
Proceed to slice each stack of Zucchini lengthwise - until you have a big ol' pile of thin julienned Zucchini pasta, equaling 4 Cups.
Place your 4 cups of Zucchini Pasta into a colander...
This next part is also used in treating Eggplant, for those of you not familiar it's called "sweating". Don't be alarmed with the amount of Salt called for, because we'll be rinsing most of it off in the end. 
Add 2 Tbsp of Salt to your 4 Cups of Zucchini Pasta
Mix it in (using your hands) until Salt has coated every piece of Zucchini
The reason why we "sweat" the Zucchini is to remove as much of the moisture possible, this tenderizes the Zucchini as well, which is what we want to happen!
After you've salted your Zucchini - notice how it's started to change in appearance already.
Let your Zucchini sit in the colander for at least 5 minutes, continuing to sweat.
Close-up of the sweaty Zucchini...sounds appetizing doesn't it?
Five minutes are up - time to rinse it really well!
Not done yet...
Now you're going to take handfuls of this Zucchini and gently press/squeeze as much of the access liquid leftover from rinsing.
At this point don't be alarmed, but you'll notice that your Zucchini pasta has greatly reduced in size
In my hand (seen in the photo) is the equivalent of 2 cups of Zucchini pasta. 
After you've gently pressed the remaining liquid from your pasta proceed to spread it out onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet, place it into your oven set at it's lowest heat, leave the oven door cracked open and let your Zucchini pasta warm/dry for no longer than 10 minutes. 
Important Note: 
After "sweating" your 4 cups of Zucchini Pasta and pressing it to remove the liquid you will now have roughly 2 cups of Pasta. This is normal, and exactly how much pasta you will need for the following recipe. 
When it's finished drying throw all of your Zucchini pasta onto a cutting board and roughly chop it, but not too much.
Now you're ready to make a Pasta Salad!
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Step 3.
Making your Salad
Into a mixing bowl combine the following:
1 & 1/2 c chopped Red Bell Pepper
1 c Sprouted Mung Beans (yay!)
1/2 c Green Onion
As much leafy Cilantro /or/ Parsley as you'd like
All of your Zucchini Pasta from Step 2.
Mix it all together, cover, set it aside and move on to the Final Step - the dressing!
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Step 4.
Cheezy Garlic Dressing 
Into a small mixing bowl combine the following:
4 Tbsp Lemon Juice
2 Tbsp Mellow White Miso
1 Tbsp Date Paste
2 tsp Nutritional yeast  
2 tsp minced Garlic
1/4 c Water
Cracked Black Pepper to taste
Whhhhhhhhhisk!
Now for the grand finale...
Mix your Dressing into you Salad...
...from here I'm pretty sure you can figure out what to do.

xoxo!
Sarahfae - AtV

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

IOU a really tasty recipe...

Eep! Today completely got away with me!
I'll be playing catch up tomorrow, but for now please excuse the lack of a recipe. Instead let me torture you with a teaser of something especially tasty that I've been working on...
xoxo,
Sarahfae - AtV

Monday, September 26, 2011

Frozen Oranges, aka "Orange Cubes"

I love juice, but I just don't have the patience to be a "juicer". 
For me personally, I'd rather just throw a bunch of ingredients into my blender and not have to worry about composting or reusing the pulp. It's just a little too much work - and I like cutting corners.
Don't get me wrong though, I love drinking juice, I love visiting my Natural Food Store's juice bar, and I have a huge amount of respect for those of you who are serious die-hard juicers! You guys make me jealous!
In spite of this not really being an actual recipe, I wanted to share with you my version of Orange Juice, or what I like to call Orange Cubes.
Whenever I use Oranges in my smoothies they're either fresh sections, or frozen Orange Cubes. Taking the place of ice cubes, they add a wonderfully sweet and acidic boost to my smoothies. I'm  basically hooked on having these Orange Cubes on hand (in my freezer, not really my hands - they'd melt!) and they really don't take much time to make either. Since Sunday has become my designated "food prep" day for the week ahead I've included making Orange Cubes every week as of late.
To make a batch of Orange Cubes using roughly 10 Oranges takes less the 30 minutes. I think that's a fair deal for getting the satisfaction of making something so wonderful from scratch! And you don't have to worry about straining the pulp or anything!
Ready?
Lets go...
This is what your station will look like:
Ice cube tray
Measuring cup (not that you really need it)
Date Sweetener
Blender
and of course - Oranges
AtV Orange Cubes
In this recipe I'm going to show you the amount of cubes you'll get using 2 Medium sized Valencia Oranges. From there it's up to you how many Orange cubes you decide to make.
First I'm gonna show you how to section an Orange...it's really simple.
Start by slicing off the top and bottom of your Orange - only slice off enough flesh so that you can see the "pin wheel" of your Orange, or the Oranges the skin that you will be cutting in between. This will help you also when sectioning.
Why do we section Oranges? For starters, right now all I can find at my store is Valencia Oranges - which is great because they tend to be the juiciest, but they also have seeds. Sectioning your Oranges helps get around the seeds so they don't end up in your mouth or in your smoothie. You don't wanna grow an Orange tree in your tummy now, do you?
Okay back to sectioning...
Photobucket
Using your knife, slice off all of the Orange flesh, leaving as little of the white flesh as you can. This will help you in seeing the sections better.
Photobucket
When you're finished you'll have a hollowed out Orange that will look like the photo above. But don't toss it! There's still a lot of juice in that sad little empty Orange.
Squeeze all of the juice from your leftover Orange remnant...
And now you should have roughly 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of Orange sections and Juice combined!
2 Valencia Oranges = 1 and 1/2 cup Orange Sections and juice
Place those  babies into your blender
Add:
3 tsp Date Paste 
Puree!
I had almost enough for one full Ice cube tray.
9 Oranges later - almost 4 full Ice cube trays...put those babies into the freezer!
Oh hay! We're just some sexy Orange cubes...waiting to get into your Blender to make your smoothie more awesome. No big deal...
Honestly I probably could have put these babies on a Popsicle stick and been in heaven! 
Coming soon: My recipe for an Orange Creamsicle Smoothie
xoxo,
Sarahfae - AtV

See you back here on Wednesday with something really yummy involving these cuties: