Frozen fruit such as grapes, blueberries, and strawberries make a delicious and nutritious treat during the warm, summer months. They are an excellent replacement to sugary popsicles and the flavor is all natural! Preparation is the key to properly freezing foods. When preparing most whole frozen fruits, use the following techniques.
Only freeze fruits that are at their peak of flavor — if you don’t grow it yourself then purchase the fruit when it is in season.
Do not try to freeze too much at one time! An average home freezer can only adequately freeze 2-3 cubic feet of food at one time.
Wash and thoroughly dry all fruit before freezing — a salad spinner works well with whole items such as grapes, blueberries, and whole strawberries.
Spread fruit on a rimmed baking sheet or tray lined with parchment paper.
Freeze for 1-2 hours or until frozen solid.
Place items in a freezer grade glass or plastic container.
Remove as much air from the container as possible.
While strolling down the aisles of the farmer’s market lately I was surprised by the variety of eggplant that I could find. Eggplant comes in a variety of colors from the deep purple, ovoid fruit which is typically cultivated in Europe and North America to the elongated, white, green, or bi-colored varieties found in Asia. Eggplant also goes by many names including aubergine, brinjal, and Chinese or Japanese eggplant. Eggplant is used in a variety of dishes around the globe from French ratatouille, to Middle Eastern baba ghanoush, to stuffed Indian brinjal. A 100 gram serving of cooked eggplant provides just 35 Calories, 8.73 grams of total carbohydrate, 2.5 grams of dietary fiber, and 0.23 grams of fat. If you love eggplant dips, give this recipe a try.
Yield: 1 ½ cups
4 small eggplants or 1-2 medium eggplants (3/4 cup cooked)
15 oz can garbanzo beans/chickpeas, drained
1 tsp paprika
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp roasted garlic
Preheat oven to 350°F. Slice eggplant in half and place on an oiled baking sheet, cut side down. Cook for 30-40 minutes until fruit is soft. Allow to cool. Scoop out into a blender or food processor.
Add remaining ingredients to blender or food processor.
Blend until smooth and refrigerate. Prepare 1 day ahead to allow flavor to develop.
Serve with chips, crackers, or slices of pita bread.
Bite into flavor with this sweet, fruity salad topped with tangy, balsamic dressing and crunchy almond slivers. Hint: to get thin slices of strawberries, try using an egg slicer.
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup Go VeggieTM cream cheese alternative
4 cups mesclun spring mix salad
2 cups sliced strawberries
2 kiwis, peeled and sliced
1 cup fresh peas
1 cup sliced almonds
Combine balsamic vinegar and brown sugar in a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat for about 5-6 minutes or until mixture is reduced to half. Remove from heat and stir in cream cheese alternative to form a creamy sauce.
Prepare four salad bowls. Place 1 cup spring mix in each bowl. Top with ½ cup sliced strawberries, kiwi slices, and ¼ cup fresh peas.
Drizzle balsamic dressing over salad. Top with ¼ cup sliced almonds.
One of the delights of visiting your local farmers market is to observe the march of produce across the months, throughout the year. Each season provides an opportunity to discover extraordinary varieties of ordinary fare. Garlic scapes, with their wildly twisted shapes are a perfect, early summer example of this. As a member of the allium family, they are not only delicious but also have healthful properties, similar to garlic itself.
Throughout history, Allium sativum has enjoyed a reputation rich in folklore for its magical and medicinal properties. A member of the lily family, which includes onions, chives, shallots and leeks, garlic is one of the oldest cultivated plants, appearing as a staple in the Sumerian diet according to Sanskrit documents written over 5000 years ago. Ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman literature is rich with reference to garlic acting as an aphrodisiac as well as promoting health, courage and bravery.
Current research supports a role for garlic in enhancing immune function and improving health. Allium sativum is being studied extensively for its potentially protective role in the initiation, development and progression of cancer and heart disease. The beneficial compounds thought to be functioning in these processes are referred to as phytochemicals or plant chemicals and may be acting as antioxidants, tumor suppressants, or detoxifying agents. The compounds have been studied in several forms, as isolated supplements or as a whole plant. Not surprisingly, it has been the whole plant, delivered as part of a healthful diet, which has proven to be most effective in the process being studied. A vegetarian diet is rich in phytochemicals including indoles, phenols, isothiocyanates, flavones, coumarins, plant sterols and stanols, ascorbic acid, carotenes, retinols and tocophereols, which continue to be studied for their evident roles in supporting immune function and reducing the risk and effects of chronic disease.
The firm yet pliable slender green stems of garlic scapes, complete with unopened flower buds, have a fresh, mildly garlicky flavor and crisp texture. Scapes can be enjoyed both raw and cooked. Sliced or chopped into a salad, their flavor is subtle and their crunchy texture holds up well with dressings. Added to sliced sweet peppers and mushrooms for a quick stir-fry, they can top any cooked whole grain for a satisfying meal.
When cooked a bit longer, scapes become soft and quite mild, losing some of their initial twisted charm but imparting deliciousness quite unlike garlic, leeks or onions. Soup made from a few potatoes, vegetable broth, three or four hands-full of scapes and a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper can be pureed into an elegant offering, served either warm or chilled, and topped with the garlic buds.
I’ve included a photo of gorgeous scapes, freshly picked from my good friend’s garden. Garlic scapes arrive and disappear quite quickly from early summer markets, so don’t miss out this spring!
Wash and scrub red potatoes. Cut potatoes into chunks and place in boiling water over medium-high heat. Boil for 25 minutes.
Steam the cabbage leaves for 5 minutes. Once the leaves have been steamed, set them aside to cool slightly.
Drain water from red potatoes. Mash with buttermilk, chopped parsley, salt and pepper to a paste consistency.
Place 2-3 slices soy deli meat and 1/2 cup of mashed potatoes inside each cabbage leaf. Fold leaf edges around soy deli meat and mashed potatoes. Place stuffed cabbage rolls in a 3-quart baking dish. Pour vegetarian broth around cabbage leaves. Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.
One vegan omelet is enough to satisfy one or two people. Enjoy for breakfast, brunch, or lunch.
10 stalks of asparagus cut into 1 inch stalks (approx. 1 ¼ cup)
½ cup halved red grapes
½ cup chickpea flour
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp dill
½ tsp thyme
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
½ cup coconut water
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
Steam asparagus in a steamer for 8 minutes. Add halved red grapes and steam for an additional 4 minutes. Toss steamed asparagus and red grapes in balsamic vinegar.
Spray a 10-inch frying pan with pan spray. Heat over medium heat. Mix together chickpea flour, baking powder, nutmeg, dill, and thyme in a bowl until well blended. Using a whisk, slowly whisk in the coconut water until a smooth batter forms. Add batter to the frying pan and spread evenly across pan. Cook for 6-8 minutes until the batter is cooked through and able to be removed with a spatula. Add asparagus and red grapes on top of chickpea omelet. Fold in half and remove from pan.
Chai brewed tea with milk or milk alternatives and sugar—originated in India. It is well known to most Americans today as it gained popularity in the coffee shops. In India, Chai is a matter of personal taste and preference, just as coffee is to coffee lovers. Some like it plain, while others prefer it with spices (Masala-Chai). A Chai latte is created with a wonderful blend of Chai an extra milk or milk alternative.
Yield: 8 – 1 cup servings
5 cups Water
6 Cardamom pods, crushed
1 Tbsp Ginger, grated
1/2 Cinnamon stick
2 Whole cloves
8 Tea bags* (or 3 Tbsp tea leaves) – black tea such as Lipton® or English breakfast
4 cups Milk* (or soymilk)
½ cup Sugar, to taste
In a 4 quart saucepan add water, cardamom pods, ginger, cinnamon stick, and cloves. Bring to boil on high heat. Add tea bags, reduce heat, and simmer for about 4 minutes.
Add milk and sugar and return to boil. Remove from heat. Cover with lid and let steep for about 2 minutes, remove tea bags and strain tea into cups or teapot. Serve hot.
Recipe by: Ingrid Hill
Yields: 8 servings- 1.5 cup per serving
Cooking time: 45 min
In the South, Hoppin’ John is a simple side dish consisting of black-eyed peas and rice. It is a tradition in the South that eating Hoppin’ John on New Year’s Day will bring a prosperous new year filled with good luck. The peas are symbolic of pennies or coins. Collard greens are supposed to add to wealth because they are the color of money. The recipe I have created combines all of these “good luck” ingredients with the addition of a spicy vegan chorizo to make a soup that is flavorful, healthy, economical, and super easy to make. The recipe is vegan and the ingredients were all found at Whole Foods and my local Kroger grocery store. I made the soup for the first time this past January and I have had many good things happen this year, so it really works!
1 – 12 oz package Yves Veggie Cuisine™ Veggie Chorizo
8 cups Water, divided
2 Tbsp Vogue Cuisine® Instant Vegebase
1 – 6 oz package Uncle Ben’s® long grain and wild rice mix with seasoning pkt, uncooked
Combine all ingredients in a pan or crock pot. Heat until simmering, but not boiling. Serve warm. Yield: 6 – 8 fl oz portions
Bring a touch of sunshine to winter with this frosty drink.
1 1/2 cups frozen strawberries
1 cup prepared 100% orange juice
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend and serve. Yield: 2 – 6 fl oz portions
Cinnamon Chocolate Steamer
Still craving chocolate? Have any leftover cinnamon extract from holiday baking? Add 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon extract to heated chocolate soymilk and you will have warm drink to perk up your taste buds.
Need a quick dish to celebrate the entrance of 2017? Instead of rushing out to see what is available in the stores, try making the following quick and tasty bean dip recipes. These recipes were submitted jointly by Debbie Petitpain, MS, RD, LD, and Nina Crowley, MS, RD, LD to a recent VN DPG recipe contest.
This colorful holiday side dish is simple to make and perfect for Thanksgiving dinner or your next winter event.
Simply toss squash with oil and cumin, roast, and then sprinkle with juicy pomegranate arils and crunchy pistachios before serving. Along with bringing color, convenience, and flavor to your holiday table, this vegan recipe is also packed with plant-powered nutrients and satisfying fiber to help you feel happily nourished.
Try this festive dish all on its own or serve it alongside your favorite plant-based protein source. (Try baked tofu or slow-cooked lentils!) However enjoyed, this seasonal, plant-based recipe is certain to become your family’s next favorite veggie side dish.
Aquafaba is the latest vegan egg-replacer trend used in vegan baking.
I love French macaroons. As a baker, I learned that a typical macaroon recipe consisted of meringue (a mixture of well-beaten egg whites and sugar) mixed with almond flour. In my attempts to find a vegan macaroon recipe, I never imagined there would be a single ingredient that could mimic the same qualities as a meringue made with egg whites.
With a simple search for the perfect vegan macaroon recipe, I discovered Aquafaba or “water bean.” I have used several vegan substitutes for eggs in the past such as flaxseed or egg replacer in baked products, but I’ve never seen something quite like this before. In 2015, an American software engineer named Goose Wohlt, in the search for the ultra-egg replacer, discovered that chickpea brine, when whipped, had all the properties of egg whites. He then invented the name “aquafaba”, based on the Latin words for “water” and “bean.”
Who would have thought that something as simple and inexpensive as the water we end up throwing out from our canned beans would be the most accessible, easy, and convenient vegan egg replacer? This liquid can replace eggs in a meringue including Pavlova, mousse, baked Alaska, buttercream, and more! Because it has a similar consistency to egg whites, this liquid can be whipped up with sugar to form a delicate cloudy-like glossy meringue that can be used in baking recipes.
Want to give it a try? The ratio is 3:1. You will need about 3 tablespoons of aquafaba to replace one egg white.
Aquafaba is not only another excellent vegan egg replacer to add to your ingredient swaps but it is also an easy alternative because it is both accessible and inexpensive. Try the experiment yourself and start with this basic vegan meringue recipe adapted from www.One Green Planet.org.
1 cup aquafaba, the brine from a can of chickpeas
NOTE: One 15 oz. can of chickpeas can yields approximately ¾ cup.
1/2 cup vegan cane sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Place all ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer.
Attach the wire whip and whip until stiff peaks form.
I like to use the Aquafaba as “marshmallow fluff” on top of tarts to give it a decorative touch. If using a hand mixer, blend high for about 10 minutes, or until stiff peaks form.
Create your own healthy snacks with a food dehydrator. When making fruit leathers you need a special thin tray that allows you to spread out the sauce so it will dry evenly. Make your next food adventure this chewy, naturally sweet fruit leather.
2 ripe bananas, mashed
¼ cup chunky peanut butter
1/8 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/8 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
Oil a fruit leather tray.
In a bowl, whisk together mashed bananas, peanut butter, and applesauce until well blended.
Stir in chocolate chips.
Using a spatula, spread thinly over fruit leather tray.
Dry overnight (10-12 hours) on fruit/vegetable setting (135◦F) or until leather is no longer moist and can be peeled from tray.
This stir fry features quinoa in place of rice and has a colorful mix of vegetables with red pepper, kale, and edamame. It also has a surprisingly lemon flavor thanks to the lemon juice and zest added just prior to serving. If you prefer a more toned down lemon flavor, add half the lemon juice suggested.
Yield: approximately 8 – ¾ cup servings
1 cup dry quinoa
3 cups vegetable broth
1 Tbsp. canola oil
1 ½ cups thin, julienne strips of red pepper (1 large red pepper)
2 cups chopped kale
5 oz. sliced, water chestnuts (1- 8 oz. can, drained)
1 cup shelled edamame, cooked
1 ½ cups seitan strips (8 oz.)
Juice and zest of one lemon
In a medium saucepan, bring the vegetable broth to a boil.
Add quinoa and simmer over medium-low for 25-30 minutes until most of the liquid has been absorbed and the quinoa is cooked.
In a large frying pan, heat canola oil over medium heat.
Add red pepper and chopped kale and cook for 5 minutes or until soft, stirring constantly.
Toss in water chestnuts, edamame, and seitan strips and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes to warm the seitan.
Add cooked quinoa, ¼ cup lemon juice, and 2 Tbsp. lemon zest. Cook until juice has been absorbed.
1 – 15 oz can Kidney beans, no salt added, undrained
1 – 8 oz can Whole kernel corn, no salt added, undrained
1 – 8 oz can Tomato sauce, low sodium
1 cup Tomato juice or vegetable soup, low sodium
Heat wok or large skillet on high. Add oil.
Stir onion & other fresh chopped vegetables over heat for about 5 minutes.
Stir in chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, and ground red pepper.
Stir fry about 1 minute.
Stir in undrained canned goods: beans, corn, tomato sauce, and tomato/vegetable juice.
Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Simmer uncovered about 10 minutes or until slightly thick. Divide evenly into 4 bowls.
Tip: Serve over brown, steamed rice or whole wheat pasta (prepared without added fat, oil, or salt). Serve fruit on side. Cooking for 1 or 2? Like most stews, this is a great reheated leftover the next day.
Looking for a new football viewing recipe? Tired of the same old bean dip? Try Sweet and Spicy Bean Dip featuring Great Northern beans.
Sweet & Spicy Bean Dip
1 – 15 ounce can Great Northern beans, drain and wash
1/3 cup almond butter
1/3 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 cup cooked, sweet corn
1/4 cup parmesan cheese alternative
1 – 1.25 oz package taco seasoning
1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes
1 – 8 oz. package vegan cream cheese, softened
1 – 8 oz. vegan sour cream
3 Tablespoons dried chives
Blend the Great Northern beans, almond butter, olive oil, and lemon juice using a food processor or blender. Divide bean dip in half, leaving one half in the processor or blender and placing the other half in a separate bowl.
Blend corn and alternative cheese with the bean dip in the processor. Scrape sweet bean dip into one bowl.
Place the other half of the bean dip back into the processor or blender and blend with taco seasoning and sun dried tomatoes to create a spicy bean dip. Extra olive oil may be required to blend sun dried tomatoes
Combine softened cream cheese, sour cream, and dried chives in a third bowl and stir until well mixed.
Line a dinner plate with spinach leaves.
Spoon sweet, yellow bean dip onto half of the plate and spicy, red bean dip onto the other half. Spoon sour cream and chives dip on top of both bean dips.
Often this vegetable is the star at holiday celebrations when it finds its way into sweet side dishes or baked into pies, but sweet potatoes make a wonderful addition to lunch or dinner throughout the year. Sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas) can be baked, boiled, or even micro-waved as a healthy side dish or added to a main dish at any meal. One baked, medium (5″ length) sweet potato provides approximately
4 grams of fiber
24 grams of carbohydrate
22 mg Vitamin C (which is 37% of the Daily Value)
21,909 IU of Vitamin A (which is over 4 times the amount required in a day)
If you are looking for a way to add this colorful vegetable that is packed with Vitamins A and C to your diet, create crispy baked fries for dinner tonight.
Lemony Pepper Sweet Potato Fries
Yield: 3 cups
1 lb raw sweet potatoes (approx 3-4 medium)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 Tbsp Mrs. Dash® lemon pepper seasoning blend or other favorite seasoning
Preheat oven to 325°F. Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil. Spray or rub with cooking oil.
Peel sweet potatoes and cut into fries that are approximately ½” thick by 2-3″ long.
Mix lemon juice and lemon pepper seasoning blend in a large bowl.
Add sweet potatoes and toss to coat.
Spread sweet potatoes in a single layer on the two baking sheets.
Bake for 30 minutes or until the fries have decreased in size by half and are soft in the middle.
This refreshing, summer salad has slight hints of the sea without any fishy ingredients. Onion and celery lend a crunch to this otherwise soft salad. Also tastes great if you refrigerate it overnight to pack in your lunch the next day. For extra crunch, serve on a bed of mixed salad.
1 ½ cups dry (3 cups cooked) whole wheat mini shell pasta
1 – 15 oz. can no salt added garbanzo beans
1 cup diced, yellow onion (1/2 large onion)
2 stalks diced celery (approx. 1/2 cup)
1 cup green peas
2/3 cup Original Vegenaise®
1 tsp. Old Bay® seasoning (30% less sodium)
½ tsp. dried dill weed
Prepare whole wheat shells according to package directions. Once cooked, rinse under cool water.
Place can of garbanzo beans in food processor and pulse 4-5 times or until garbanzo beans are finely shredded.
Combine whole wheat shells, garbanzo beans, onion, celery, green peas, Vegenaise®, Old Bay® seasoning, and dill weed in a large bowl. Refrigerate until cold.
Summer is the time to celebrate the bountiful harvests of the bush berry and tree fruit seasons. This combination is a refreshing drink that has a little zing to it because of the ginger. So kick back, relax, and enjoy this cool and healthy summer beverage.
2 cups skinned, diced peaches (2-3 medium peaches)
½ cup raspberries
2 Tbsp lemon juice
¼ cup honey
1 tsp ginger
2 ½ cups club soda
4 cups crushed ice
Place peaches, raspberries, lemon juice, honey, ginger and ½ cup club soda in blender. Blend until thoroughly mixed.
For each one cup serving, place ¼ cup of peach-raspberry mix, ½ cup crushed ice, and ¼ cup club soda into a cocktail shaker.* Shake until well blended.
Garnish with raspberries.
Yield: 8 – one cup servings
*Note: If you don’t have a cocktail shaker, a covered coffee mug that can be completely sealed will also work well.
Beans can make up a good part of a vegetarian’s diet yet now that it’s summer, we often forget about them. Typically we allocate beans as the protein in soups, chili and creamy, hardy dips, and lose sight of how delicious they are chilled in hot weather dishes.
Take into account the fiber-filled bean salad. Beans offer protein (repair damaged tissue, transport nutrients through your blood stream, and build strong muscles), market-fresh vegetables add vitamins and antioxidants (that improve immune function and assist in high quality absorption of beneficial nutrients), and a delicious olive oil dressing for much needed dietary fat (to carry the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K to muscle cells and for insulation).
And, summertime bean salads are fast and easy. You’ll have a filling and flavorful meal the whole family will enjoy in no time!
Summertime Bean Salad
This fresh summer salad is filling yet leaves you light on your feet. Add more or reduce ingredients according to personal choice. If a hardier meal is desired, add in a cup of cooked farro.
Arugula, mesclun or spring mix greens of choice
1 – 1 ½ cups frozen corn, thawed (or equivalent of 2 fresh cobs of corn)
1 can pinto or black beans, rinsed and drained
½ small purple onion, finely diced
½ medium red bell pepper, diced
1 5-inch piece English cucumber, diced
½ fresh mango, diced
Grape tomatoes, cut in half, as garnish
Chili Lime Vinaigrette
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup olive oil
Place a handful or two of arugula on 4 medium-sized salad plates or bowls.
Mix together the remaining salad ingredients from corn to mango in a medium-sized bowl.
Whisk vinaigrette ingredients together in a small bowl or pulse in a small blender or food processor until well combined.
Stir vinaigrette into the bean salad mixture and place a few spoonfuls on top of the arugula.
Top salad with grape tomatoes and additional cilantro if desired.
Nutritional analysis (per serving using pinto beans): 297 calories, 33 g carbs, 7.4 g protein, 18 g fat
Exchanges: 2 starches/grains, 1 oz protein, 3 fat servings
Giving up meat even for one day is hard for carnivores but the benefits so outweigh the extra effort. Lowering blood pressure, cholesterol and even weight are some side benefits of going meatless – even for a day.
Set your menu for the work, then get grocery shopping done on Sunday and you can whip out this tasty high protein soup filled with tasty spices and nutrient-dense veggies on Monday. Add a slab of hot, crusty bread with a vegetable buttery spread and your meal is complete.
Quinoa and Veggie Soup
Makes about 5 servings
1 T. olive oil
1/2 medium sweet onion, roughly chopped
2 cloved garlic, minced
1 cup carrots, diced
1/2 cup celery, sliced
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 c. frozen green peas
1 c. frozen corn
32 oz reduced sodium veggie broth
1/2 c. red quinoa
1/2 T. basil
1/2 t. cumin
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
Heat olive oil in large pot on medium high heat. Saute onion until just translucent. Add garlic and stir 15 seconds.
Add carrots, celery, and red bell pepper and stir occasionally for 5-10 minutes.
Stir in frozen peas and corn, veggie broth, quinoa and seasonings.
When pot reaches a boil reduce heat to medium low heat, cover, and dimmer 15-20 minutes or until quinoa is cooked and veggies are soft.
This Quebecois specialty is sure to please the entire family. Traditional poutine is made with French fries, meat gravy, and cheese curds. This vegan version highlights the taste of buttery, Yukon gold potatoes and savory mushroom and white bean sauce.
1 lb. peeled Yukon gold potatoes
2 Tbsp. yeast flakes
1 Tbsp. canola or olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
2 lbs. mini portabella mushrooms, sliced
15 oz. can white beans
2 Tbsp. canola or olive oil
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. sweet basil
½ tsp. rosemary leaves
Daiya cheddar style shreds (optional)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cut peeled potatoes into matchstick size pieces (approximately 5 cups). Toss with 1 Tbsp. oil, yeast flakes, salt and pepper. Spread on a silicone lined baking pan.
Bake 10 minutes. Turn and bake an additional 10-12 minutes.
Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add sliced mushrooms and cook until soft. Reduce heat to low.
Puree white beans. Add to cooked sliced mushrooms along with thyme, basil, and rosemary leaves.
Serve mushroom sauce on top of baked Yukon gold fries. Garnish with Daiya cheddar style shreds if desired.
Yield: 4 servings – 1 cup French fries and 3/4 cup mushroom gravy
On wet spring evenings when the weather is damp and chilly I love to sit down to my comfort food – a steaming hot bowl of thick noodle soup. Soba noodles add a rich flavor that blends well with seitan and vegetables. When I have a late spring cold I also like to add mustard, especially a spicy mustard, for some added heat.
¾ cup sliced carrots
¾ cup chopped celery
¾ cup chopped green onions
½ cup finely chopped seitan
4 cups vegetarian broth
1 cup soba noodles, broken into 2-3 inch pieces
2 teaspoons mustard (optional)
Place broth in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, approximately 10 minutes.
Add carrots and celery and cook for 5 minutes or until soft.
Add onions, seitan, and noodles and cook for an additional 6-7 minutes.
Add mustard just prior to serving.
If storing for later use, additional water may be needed as the soba noodles tend to absorb water.
If you haven’t explored tofu in a while, now’s the time. Given the quality of taking on flavors, you can have exotic or local taste experiences depending on the spices of the marinade.
Tofu is a first generation soy product meaning it’s pretty darn near its original state. It is a low calorie, high protein way to reduce cholesterol, increase fullness to keep hunger at bay, and yield long-lasting energy (especially if paired with carb-rich veggies and whole grains).
Spice up your plate – tell me what your tofu experience was like after you add this dish to your table.
Spicy Grilled Tofu
1 lb extra-firm tofu
1/4 c. fresh lime juice
1/4 c. maple syrup
1/4 c. low-sodium tamari or soy sauce
2 t. chile paste
3 medium cloves garlic, minced
1/4 t. ground black pepper
Drain tofu and slice it lengthwise into 8 slices. Place tofu slices on a plate covered with a thin kitchen towel and cover with another thin towel. Put a heavy object, like a plate with a heavy weight on top of the tofu and let stand 20 minutes. Drain excess water that did not soak into the towels.
Arrange tofu in single layer in 13 x 9-inch glass baking dish. Whisk together lime juice, syrup, tamari, chile paste, garlic and pepper in small bowl. Pour over tofu so both sides are covered. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill 4 hours, or overnight, turning tofu once in the marinade.
Spray a grill rack or pan with nonstick cooking spray. Heat large non-stick skillet to medium heat. Remove tofu slices from baking dish, reserving marinade. Grill tofu slices 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until browned and crisp on the outside. Plate the tofu and heat reserved marinade in the skillet until warmed. Pour over tofu and serve immediately. This is nice with a whole grain like quinoa and stir-fry vegetables. Also, tofu serves as a sandwich filler topped with sprouts, lettuce and tomato.
Submitted by: Shannon Doran, RD
Yield: 6 servings (1 cup beans, ¼ cup salad, 3 Tbsp coulis)
Ingredients: Mango Coulis
1 Ripe mango
1 Tbsp Sugar
¼ cup Water
Zest of ½ lime
Ingredients: Black Beans
1 Tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
1 large Onion, chopped
1 Red bell pepper, chopped
5 cloves Garlic, minced
1 tsp Chili powder
1 tsp Ground cumin
1 cup Vegetable stock
1 lb Roma tomatoes, diced
2-15 oz cans Reduced sodium black beans
Salt and pepper, to taste
Ingredients: Jicama/Avocado Salad
2 cups Julienned jicama
2 Ripe avocado, cubed
½ cup Red onion, chopped
½ Jalapeno, minced
¼ cup Cilantro, minced
Juice of one lime
Gently wash all fruits and vegetables.
For Mango Coulis: Peel mango. Take cutting board and knife, cut mango off seed and chop coarsely. Place mango, sugar, water, and lime zest in food processor. Blend ingredients until pureed. Pour puree into small saucepan. Cook at medium heat for 3 minutes stirring continuously. Lower heat to low and cook an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Strain puree into small measuring cup or saucer and set aside.
For Black Beans: While the mango puree is in the saucepan, take a large onion and cut off ends and slice in half. Peel outer layer of both halves of the onion. Chop coarsely and set aside. Take red bell peppers and cut stem end off. Pull out seeds. Chop coarsely and set aside. Take 5 garlic cloves (peeled) and chop coarsely and set aside. Take 1 lb Roma tomatoes and cut off the core ends. Dice the tomatoes and set aside. Take the can opener and open the cans of black beans. Pour the black beans in a strainer to drain. Rinse the black beans with cool water to remove excess salt and set aside. Now, heat a large skillet over
medium-high heat. When pan is hot, add extra virgin olive oil. Next add the chopped onion and sauté for 2-3 minutes.*
Add chopped red bell pepper, minced garlic, chili powder, and ground cumin. Continue to sauté for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to lowmedium. Add diced tomatoes and vegetable stock (measure 1 cup).* (NOTE: *Suggest adding 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper at these stages.)
Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes using wooden spoon to stir occasionally. Add black beans and simmer 5 minutes. Now, using a tasting spoon, give it a try and adjust with salt and pepper. Remember you can always add more but you can’t get it back!! Leave on stove at low to keep warm.
For Jicama/Avocado Salad: Take jicama and peel the skin off using a peeler. Julienne the jicama and place in a small mixing bowl. Take the avocadoes and cut in half. Take seed out and, using a spoon, scoop out the green inside. Chop coarsely and place in mixing bowl with the jicama. Take the red onion and peel the skin off. Chop ½ cup red onion and place in mixing bowl. Take the cilantro and de-stem it. Mince cilantro for ¼ cup and place in mixing bowl. Squeeze the juice of a lime into the mixing bowl. Using the wooden spoon, stir the contents of the mixing bowl. Place in the fridge.
For plating: Take clean, white plate preferably rectangular or square. Using the slotted spoon, place 1 cup of beans on the plate. Next place ¼ cup jicama/avocado salad on the plate. Place 3 Tbsp of mango coulis around the outside of the plate and it is ready to serve.
Recipe Note: For a hardier fare, serve 1 cup black beans over brown rice. For a cool twist, don’t strain the mango sauce and place it in the freezer approximately 2 hours to form a sorbet.
Nutritionals: (1 cup beans, ¼ cup salad, 3 Tbsp mango coulis)
Submitted by: Renee Hoffinger, MHSE, RD
Yield: 4- ½ cup servings
2 medium Bananas, peeled and frozen
1/3 cup Cranberries, frozen
¼ cup Orange juice
¼ cup Soy milk, unsweetened
2 Tbsp Semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)
¼ tsp Fresh ginger, grated
Slice frozen bananas into approximately ½” pieces and place in food processor.
Add cranberries, orange juice and soymilk.
Process ingredients for about 15 seconds.
Add chocolate chips and ginger; process until desired texture is achieved (about 15 seconds).
Serve immediately. Enjoy!
This is a refreshing, natural alternative to high fat, high sugar ice creams and frozen desserts as well as an economical use of overripe bananas and other perishable fruit i.e. freeze them before they “perish” in sturdy freezer bags or containers. With frozen fruit on hand you can go from impulse to ingestion in less than 5 minutes! Originally inspired by a bumper crop of fresh figs (cranberries were used here as they seem to be always available and add a tart “kick”) this recipe also works very well with peaches, blueberries, strawberries, papaya or pineapple (and figs, of course) always keeping the bananas as the sweet, smoothly textured base. Chocolate soy milk and other types of juices may be substituted for variety. A time-saving suggestion is to create small bags of the fresh fruits needed for one recipe prior to freezing to obviate the need to hack apart frozen fruit masses.
Gyros make the perfect grab and go lunch that can incorporate a lot of the harvest in a little package. This cold variety substitutes beef with cooked, thinly sliced beets and is complimented with a tangy tomato and cucumber Tzatziki sauce.
2 cups thinly sliced cucumbers
½ cup thinly sliced tomatoes
½ cup thinly sliced red onion rings, cut in half
1/3 cup Tofutti® Better than Sour Cream (or other vegan sour cream alternative)
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. chopped, fresh dill
1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups cooked, thinly sliced beets
6 wheat flatbreads
Combine sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, onion slices, vegan sour cream, vinegar, dill, nutritional yeast flakes, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before use.
If desired, heat wheat flatbread.
Spread each flatbread with 1/3 cup beets and a heaping 1/3 cup tomato and cucumber tzatziki sauce.
Forget the chopsticks and take out box! This sweet and hot dish with crunchy lettuce and bite-size, breaded tofu is ready to go in its own pita pocket. No utensils required.
1 large banana – peeled and cut into chunks
¼ cup soy sauce
1 tsp chili powder
1 -20 oz can pineapple chunks in juice, reserve juice
1 -12 oz block extra-firm tofu, pressed
1 ½ cups panko bread crumbs
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 lb frozen broccoli stir fry mix
2 tsp red pepper flakes
¼ cup dried cranberries
1 head romaine lettuce, washed and sorted into leaves
7 pita pocket rounds – split in half
Combine banana, 2 Tbsp of soy sauce, chili powder, and ¼ cup reserved pineapple juice in a blender and blend for 30 seconds until a sauce is formed.
Cut tofu into 40 one-inch cubes.
Toss tofu in banana-soy sauce and then roll in panko bread crumbs.
Heat 1 Tbsp canola oil in large skillet over medium heat.
Fry tofu in oil, rotate to a different side every 4 minutes until sides are golden brown.
While tofu is frying, heat 1 Tbsp canola oil in a second skillet over medium heat.
Stir fry vegetable mix, pepper flakes, 2 Tbsp of soy sauce, pineapple chunks, and dried cranberries over medium heat for 10-15 minutes until vegetables and fruit are cooked and liquid has reduced to a glaze.
Toss tofu in stir fry mix.
Place 1 lettuce leaf and 1/2 cup stir fry into each pita pocket.
14 pita pockets with ½ cup each filling and romaine lettuce