Udon Noodle Salad garnished with Thai Basil alongside Tempeh-Veggie Wraps with Peanut Dipping Sauce

It started with craving tempeh. The end.

Udon Noodle Salad with Thai Basil

Ingredients:

3 Tbsp. soy sauce

2 Tbsp. mirin

2 tsp sesame oil

2 tsp. fresh squeezed lime juice

1 tsp. fresh ginger, minced

9.5 ounce bag of udon noodles

1/2 cup Thai basil, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup fresh spinach or collard greens, coarsely chopped

Directions:

Combine soy sauce, mirin, sesame oil, lime juice, and ginger(dressing) . Mix together and set aside. In a pot of boiling water, cook noodles until al dente; about 8 minutes.  Drain well.  Add dressing to the noodles and then stir in the basil and spinach. Serve hot or cold.

Tempeh Veggie Wraps

Ingredients: (makes 10-12 wraps)

Tempeh Marinade:

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 cup filtered water

3 cloves chopped garlic

1 Tbsp. minced ginger

1  8-oz bag of tempeh.

Directions: Add soy sauce, filtered water, garlic, and ginger to a bowl and whisk.  Slice the tempeh into strips and place in a sauté pan. Pour mixture over the tempeh and simmer for 20-25 minutes on low.  Set aside.

Wrap Fillings:

1 Pack of rice wraps

1/4 red cabbage, thinly sliced

1/4 green cabbage, thinly sliced

1/2 red bell pepper, sliced

12 stalks of asparagus, pre-steamed al dente

10-12 leaves of romaine

10-12 leaves of spinach

3 Tbsp. minced mint

Directions:

Place a bowl of warm water on a prep table.  Make sure there is enough room for rolling and keeping finished wraps apart from one another (they will stick together).  Soak 1 rice wrap in the warm water for 5 seconds until pliable.  Then layer with 2 strips of prepared tempeh, green and red cabbage, red bell, a stalk of asparagus, and one each of the romaine and spinach. Sprinkle with mint. Place all the ingredients into the middle of the rice wrap circle.  Fold both ends inward on top of pile of ingredients, and then roll from one side to the other. Set aside. They will be wet and not easy to work with at first, but they will dry up and stay rolled as they sit.  Complete with remaining ingredients the same as you completed the first. Serve alongside Peanut Dipping Sauce. Made to enjoy cold.

Peanut Dipping Sauce

Ingredients:

3 Tbsp. chopped peanuts or peanut butter

2 Tbsp. honey

3 Tbsp. soy sauce

1 Tbsp. water

2 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a small bowl, and whisk until thoroughly blended.

 

 

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Vanilla Bean Crepes with Orange-Cashew Creme

My family and I love waffles, pancakes, and crepes. I don’t make any of them often, as I see them more as a treat. But oh my goodness, when I do make them, they are so dang tasty. Typically a weekend morning splurge, we change-up the components on these bad boys to make them extra special.

This weekend we enjoyed some that I’d like to share with you. They are vanilla bean crepes; lovingly speckled with fresh vanilla bean and filled with home-blended cashew creme with a splash of orange extract. It’s almost like taking in the scent of budding flowers on afternoon day, while lying in tall green grass with the sun kissing your winter skin. It’s the simple things in life that need not be taken for granted.

Ingredients:

Batter: 

1 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/4 cup organic cane sugar

1 1/2 Tbsp. ground flax meal

4 Tbsp. expeller pressed safflower oil

2 1/2- 2 3/4 cups of almond milk, adjust if you need it thinner (I light mine a bit on the thicker side)

1/2 of 1 vanilla bean, scraped

1/2 Tbsp. cinnamon scented vanilla extract (by Edwin and Lesha)

Cashew Creme:

2 cups of roasted cashews

1/2 cup of filtered water

1/4 cup maple syrup

2 Tbsp. organic brown sugar

1/4 tsp. of orange extract

pinch of sea salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 200 degrees for holding prepared crepes until you are ready to fill.

For the batter: Add all dry ingredients to a bowl and whisk thoroughly (flour, baking powder, sea salt, sugar, and flax meal) Add wet ingredients in a separate bowl and whisk well (safflower oil, almond milk, vanilla bean, and cinnamon-vanilla extract).  Combine dry to wet and mix well.

For the cashew creme: Add  all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Set creme aside in a bowl.

To prepare the crepes: In a crepe pan, heat a small amount of safflower oil, and then place 1/4 cup of batter into heated pan.  Swirl into a circle and prepare the same way you would a pancake. Make sure one side is cooked before flipping to the other. Place on a cookie sheet in the warmed oven until you are ready to fill.  When you are done preparing the crepes, take each one and place 1 Tbsp. of cashew creme on half of the crepe and then fold in half, or roll.  It’s all up to you how you’d like to display or eat them. We like them folded two ways, and garnished with fresh fruit.

 

Black Bean Mushroom Burgers with Cilantro Aioli

My kids fought over who got the last burger. THAT is a good sign. This was an attempt on my part to create a gluten-free burger that was satisfying, full of flavor, and a great source of fiber/protein.  Cost effective, and easy to prepare, this recipe is definitely a keeper.

Ingredients (yield: 6 burgers)

Burger:

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1/2 cup diced leeks

1/2 cup diced crimini mushrooms

1/4 cup pumpkin seeds coarsely chopped

1 Tbsp. garlic, minced

1 1/2 cups cooked black beans

2 Tbsp. flax meal

1/4 tsp. cumin

1/4 tsp. paprika

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/8 tsp. chili powder

1/8 tsp. cinnamon powder

Breading:

3 Tbsp. ancient grains GF flour

1 Tbsp. organic cornmeal

1 tsp. sea salt

Cilantro Aioli:

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1/2 clove of garlic

4 Tbsp. mayo substitute (Just Mayo)

1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 Tbsp olive oil

1/4 cup filtered water

1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds

1 pinch of sea salt

1/8 tsp. jalapeno pepper hot sauce

Directions: 

Burgers: In olive oil, sauté leeks, mushrooms, and garlic for 7-10 minutes. Add pumpkin seeds, and cooked black beans, sauté for 5 more minutes. Add flax meal, cumin, paprika, sea salt, chili powder, and cinnamon.  Saute for 5 more minutes.  While still warm, mash well with a potato masher, then set aside while preparing breading and aioli.

Breading: Combine ancient grains, cornmeal, and sea salt onto a platter.  Mix well.  Form burgers mixture into circular patties (about 2 inch L x 2 inch W x 1/2 H) Bread each side of burger with the platter mixture.  Lay on parchment and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for two hours+ prior to grilling.

Cilantro Aioli: This is not a traditional aioli. There are no eggs in this combination.  To prepare this mixture, you can place all the ingredients into a bowl and emulsify until pureed.

To Grill Burgers: When you’re ready to grill the burgers, heat olive oil in a pan and carefully grill on each side until darkened.  They are gluten-free, so handle with care. I served mine with avocado, butter lettuce, grilled pineapple, grilled red bell peppers/red onions, and cilantro aioli on a sourdough baguette. Sourdough, from research, is better for digestion. Some gluten-free folks believe it is okay to consume because of the fermentation that occurs when preparing. If you are incredibly gluten-free sensitive, and prefer not to take a chance, I know Udi’s make’s decent burger buns.

 

 

 

 

 

Coconut Matcha Tea Ice Cream

I’ve been on a matcha kick lately. Traditionally introduced in Japan as part of meditation, it is an incredible source for antioxidants, detoxification, enhances mood/concentration, and boosts metabolism. Additionally, it helps fight cancer, calms the mind/relaxes the body, and is an excellent source of vitamins. I typically enjoy matcha as a warm beverage, but decided to try it as a dessert component today. Subtly sweet, this creamy treat needs nothing but your smile.

Ingredients (yield: 1 1/4 quart)

32 oz. unsweetened coconut milk

1-14 oz. can of unsweetened coconut creme

1/3 cup unsalted roasted cashews

1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp. maple syrup

2 Tbsp. unsweetened matcha powder

1/4 tsp. almond extract

5 medjool dates, pitted

Directions: 

Combine all ingredients into a blender, and blend until completely smooth.  Add to an already frozen ice cream maker, and turn on until thoroughly frozen.  Enjoy with a smile.

 

Tempeh Reuban

I’ve eaten a vegetarian diet for 22 years now.  When I first began, I was constantly traversing my way back and forth through the local health food market trying to gain knowledge of all of the unique products. The benefit of this, is that I was inspired to use new and unique ingredients, and educate myself on this alternative way of eating.

This way of eating is more common socially these days, not having every parent in an uproar about where your protein is coming from.  What first was intimidating is now second nature, as I adapt almost every recipe that sounds delicious, into an alternative version.

This Tempeh Reuben is an incredible way to get plenty of protein in a meal.  With just one package, that serves 3, a serving contains 16 grams. I like to use the brand Light Life for it being non-gmo. I typically serve this along oven-roasted, rosemary & garlic root vegetables. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family does. It’s roaring with flavor, and is extremely satisfying.

IMG_5789 IMG_5791 IMG_5792

(Yield: 4-6 sandwiches)

Marinade: 1 pound of tempeh (cut in half (in the middle)), then cut into triangles. Cut those squares into triangles. Split those triangles down for thinner slices.

1 1/3 cup organic apple juice

3 Tbsp. shoyu

3 Tbsp. organic mustard

1 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. caraway seeds

1 clove of garlic, minced

1/3 cup cold pressed olive oil

Thousand Island Dressing
1/4 cup of mayo alternative (I use the brand Just Mayo)

2 Tbsp.  organic ketchup

1 Tbsp. organic dijon mustard

1 Tbsp. organic minced pickles

1 Tbsp. of pickle juice

1/2 tsp. dried dill

1/2 tsp. sea salt

pinch of ground black pepper

Sandwich fixings: 1 loaf of rye bread, 1 tomato, organic spinach, organic sauerkraut

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

To prepare marinade: place all ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk until thoroughly combined.  Place the cut tempeh into a glass baking dish, with the marinade covering the tempeh. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

To prepare the dressing: Place all ingredients into a small mixing bowl, and whisk until well combined.

To prepare sandwich: Toast 2 slices of rye bread.  Take the prepared dressing and coat 1 side of each slice of bread with the dressing, layer two tomato slices onto the bread, along with spinach , 1 Tbsp. or so of sauerkraut, and two slices of tempeh.  Eat while hot.  Great also alongside home-made oven fries, and a sliced pickle.