Eggplant & Tofu Spicy Peanut Stir-fry

29 Mar

What could possibly go wrong with a dish whose main ingredients are eggplant, tofu and peanut butter?

Yep, that’s what I thought. These three bad boys are all around vegan all stars. An award winning cast in lunch time yumminess I must say. Hearty, filling and flavourful… a true trifecta of pure gold. 

Now get this…add some brocoli and siracha. HOLY COW. 

If only I had my chop sticks. It’d be Oscar worthy. Sigh.

Ingredients: 

1/2 Eggplant, diced

1/2 block of tofu, cut in slices

1/2 small onion, sliced

1/2 orange pepper

1/2 chopped broccoli

1 clove garlic, chopped

For the sauce:

2 T soy milk

3 T vinegar

2 T soy sauce

2 T natural, creamy peanut butter

1 t siracha

1/2 t basil or spices of choice (chilli flakes, garlic or onion powder, cilantro, etc)

1 T sesame seeds for garnish

Start off by frying the tofu in 1 teaspoon of oil (I used olive- peanut or sesame would be wonderful), until just slighty golden in a wok or frying pan over medium-high heat.  Add garlic, eggplant and other vegetables and cook until slightly translucent and soft. Pour sauce over stir fry, let simmer and reduce heat. Let cook for 2-3 for veggies and tofu to absorb the yummy sauce, then remove from heat and serve. Garnish with sesame seeds. Serves 2-3.

Additions: chopped ginger would be oh so lovely as well as diced green onions and chilli peppers. Fresh cilantro would be amaaazing here too. Add some sugar or honey if you want your sauce to be a bit sweeter, or cornstarch if you want to make it thicker! And please, please, pleaaaase eat yours with chop sticks. Image

Darn forks. 

Dense Carrot Apple Muffins.

28 Mar

When it comes to muffins I like them extra dense, extra moist, and extra heavy; not too sweet, and packed to the brim with different textures. Luckily vegan muffins are naturally a lot heavier and denser than regular muffins. Score. I’m a fan of muffins weighing in at approximately eight pounds a pop. No need for butter with a muff like that.

Airy, light muffins? What? This ain’t no cupcake.

This is one of my own recipes, created especially for my loving sister Hannah who happens to love food in general dense, heavy muffins just as much, if not more, than I do. She’s an all around carb-loving kind of girl let me tell you. When that time of the month hits and the carb-craving induced madness strikes… I know. Its muffin making time. (Is it weird that I’m actually not kidding?)

“Hannah, go grate some carrots.”

Made with zero added sugars and all natural, wholesome ingredients, these muffins keep her sane completely do the trick.

“Rachel, they better be dense.”

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Go gather:

1 cup rolled or quick oats

1 cup flour of choice (I used six grain blend)

1/4 cup sweetener (I used pure maple syrup)

1 T cinnamon

1 t nutmeg

1/2 t baking powder

1/2 t baking soda

1 cup shredded carrot

1 t pure vanilla extract

1/4 canola oil (or olive, coconut oil, etc!)

3/4 cup soy milk (or almond)

1 chopped apple

2 T flax seeds

1/2 cup raisins

1/4 shredded coconut

Plus any other adds in you like! Walnuts would be awesome for a yummy crunch.

You know the drill, mix dry ingredients, then add wet. Feel free to play around with the amounts of spices, oil, milk, sweetener, etc! Bake at 350 degrees and twiddle your thumbs for approximately 23 minutes until baked. Flip through the local newspaper for another ten, and finally, enjoy the dense-ness with your carb-loving sister like I did. Makes six each twelve muffins.

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Mixed Bean Veggie Burgers.

28 Mar

Q: You guys ever get hangry? You totally know what I mean, a cross between angry and hungry? Hangry. Totally happens to me when I stay on the treadmill longer than allowed finish a long and sweaty run.  How does one ravenous, hangry girl resolve this problem you ask?

A: Burgers. Nothing satisfies hanger pains more than hearty, thick, sloppy, juicy, messy, burgers. (Clearly I’m a lady).

A six bean blend of black beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, and three other beans I can’t remember, etc. can will do the trick, along with the faves, Mr. Onion and Mrs.Garlic.

Based off of this basic veggie burger recipe: http://vegetarian.about.com/od/maindishentreerecipes/r/BlackBeanBurger.htm 

Here we go:

  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 can beans, (I used mixed beans, but black beans, kidney beans or even chickpeas would work!)
  • 1/2 cup flour (I used a six grain flour mix)
  • 2 slices bread, crumbled (Sunflower flax was what my mom I had on hand)
  • 2 cloves garlic 
  • Spices of choice: I added cumin and paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste (Organic sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Snobby foodies don’t use table salt. Lolz)
  • Dash of olive oil, a few table spoons.
  • Oil for frying
To Prepare: Sautee the onions and garlic until soft, mix everything together in your food processor, slowly adding in the oil and flour until desired consistency. Now roll up your sleeves and form into patties (recipe makes six, I chose to make five because I like em thick and juicy ;) ). Form mixture into patties, and fry patties in a small amount of olive or oil of choice until slightly firm. Serve with the usual fixings :) Image
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Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies?

26 Mar

Sometimes I like to pretend that vegan must always equal healthy.  Like vegan desserts for example… forget the copious amounts of sugar, oil, flour, and chocolate… they’re toootally super-power-house-anti-oxidant-cancer-curing-health foods. Right? Right? Yeah….. But when faced with a giant bowl of cookie dough, a spoon, and a total lack of will power, it’s times like this where the pretending comes in handy. Me: *Vegan cookies? I better just eat the entire batch! Ah, health* :D

Luckily, thanks to my girl Chocolate Covered Katie, amazing vegan healthy dessert recipes do exist. I don’t even need to pretend they’re healthy. These chocolate chip cookies, dubbed by Katie as “The World’s Healthiest Chocolate Chip Cookie” are actually very low in oil and sugar, and as Katie says: 100% guilt free. Oh happy day. Eat directly from bowl, off spoon, off pan, upside down, etc and smile because life is good. And so are cookies. No pretending necessary.

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My amazing food photography skills. (Okay, so my battery died and I just wanted to eat my cookies already)…

Recipe found here: http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2011/04/27/worlds-healthiest-chocolate-chip-cookies/  :D

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Two stacks. One for me…and okay fine, one for you. :)

 

Baked Falafel from Appetite for Reduction

26 Mar

Lately I’ve been on a ‘eating  chickpeas straight from the can dumped into quick salad beast messes’ kick every day for lunch/supper/brunch/snack..what..

I guess you could say I was feeling some what more adventurous and probably just a little less lazy today when I saw my last can of chickpeas sitting in the pantry. I decided I wanted to actually cook something with it! Falafel, came to mind. And boy I’m glad it did.

This recipe is from one of my favorite vegan chef’s Isa Chandra Moskowitz, from her amazing book Appetite for Reduction. These aren’t exactly your typical deep-fried falafel; instead they’re a drier, herbier, baked version making them a delicious falafel but without all of the excess oil and fat. Good stuff!

Today was the second time I attempted to make these scrumptious balls. The first time I followed Isa’s recipe to a tee and they were oh so fab! Today while making them I decided to be a little more creative and make a few changes to the recipe. I subbed whole wheat flour for chick pea flour (okay.. I ran out), adding extra garlic (doubling it… yeah baby), upping the onion (might as well!) and using a few tablespoons of dried parsley instead of fresh (ran out of that too..) ;) I was quite happy with my alterations though, I think I like them even more than the original! Looove me some garlicky, oniony vampire breath falafel!

Here’s the original recipe! Either you follow Isa’s recipe or alter it like I did, get those falafel baking pants on. Asap.

Ingredients:

Chickpeas – 16 oz can, drained and rinse

Garlic – 2 cloves

Onion – 1 small diced

Parsley – fresh, chopped 1/2 cup loosely packed

Olive oil – 2 tsp

Hot sauce – 2 tsp

Chickpea flour – 4 tbsp

Ground cumin – 1 tsp.

Ground coriander – 1 tsp.

Paprika – 1/2 tsp

Baking powder – 1/2 tsp.

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

Directions

Pulse chickpeas and garlic in a food processor for a few minutes, add olive oil and hot sauce and continue to pulse a few times. Then add onion and parsley and process until smooth. Move to a mixing bowl and add all of the other ingredients. Line a baking sheet with parchment and form mixture into balls. Place on baking sheet and press them flat. Bake at 400 degrees for 18 minutes, flip and then finish baking for 10 more minutes.  Serving Size: Makes 12 patties.

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Isa’s original recipe falafels, served here in a whole wheat pita with tomato, lettuce, cucumber and greek yogurt. Try them with hummus for even more chickpea pleasure, or whatever other sauces you like. Tonight I had mine plain dipped in ketchup and yellow mustard, along with roasted eggplant (brushed with olive oil), tomato and cucumber slices! So random but so deeelish. (Sorry for the Iphone photo :/)

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Random Falafel fact for ya: The largest falafel ball weighs 23.94 kg (52.8lb), 1.17 m in circumference and 0.3 m in height. Straight out of the Guinness World Records. Nice.

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25 Mar

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