Marinated Portobello Sushi Rolls

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I love veggie sushi. One of the local restaurants here makes an amazing marinated shiitake roll that I absolutely adore but since it contains soy sauce, I get a headache if I eat them. They’re so wonderfully delicious that sometimes I get them anyway. I wanted to recreate the flavors at home so I could enjoy them without the pain.

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Ingredients:

  • 4 nori sheets
  • 1.5 cups cooked sushi rice (I used a longer grain white rice in these, and it doesn’t work as well, but… it’s what I had!)
  • 2-3 portobello mushroom caps, depending on size
  • 2 carrots
  • 3 green onions

Marinade:

  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup coconut aminos
  • 1/8 cup brown rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp wasabi powder

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Whisk together marinade ingredients and bring to a boil so that all ingredients assimilate and dissolve.

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Slice portobello mushrooms and lay out in a thin layer in a high sided pan.

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Pour hot marinade over the top and let sit for a half hour. Place in a preheated 350 degree Fahrenheit oven and roast for 15 minutes.

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Thinly slice carrots and green onion.

You can follow my directions here for how to roll them!

Serve and enjoy!

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Adventures in Homemade Vegan Yogurt

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I have always been a yogurt lover. I don’t like taking straight probiotic capsules, but I love consuming probiotic rich foods. Vegan yogurt, though… gets so expensive. I purchased some yogurt starter a few weeks ago and began researching making homemade yogurt. I was afraid that I’d need a lot of equipment and that it’d be really complicated. It’s simpler than I thought it would be, and I’d love to share with you what I’ve learned.

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Supplies and ingredients

  • Vegan yogurt starter – I use this one – it’s important to get one that’s made just for plant based milks
  • Milk alternative – 1 qt per yogurt starter packet
  • Thickener – I use 2 Tablespoons organic cornstarch, but from the research I’ve done, I’ve read that you can use agar agar, xantham gum, arrow root, tapioca flour, guar gum, and lecithin
  • Stockpot
  • Thermometer
  • Oven with a warming setting
  • Oven safe ceramic or glass container

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Begin by whisking your thickener with a quart of milk. Pour into stockpot and bring to a boil, then down to a simmer and whisk until it begins to thicken. If there are any clumps from the thickener, try to break them down, or, once the yogurt cools down to 110ºF, blend until smooth, or wait till it’s totally cooled and cultured.

Preheat oven to 110ºF or to a warming setting.

Once yogurt cools to 110ºF, whisk in cultures. Pour into an oven safe container. Place in oven and keep warm, ideally at 110ºF for 8-9 hours.

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When I remove mine from the oven, I like to whisk it or blend it until smooth. Sometimes in the culturing process it gets a little lumpy or gets a layer of skin on top. Once smooth, I pour mine into a mason jar and seal it up in the refrigerator. My favorite way to use it is in smoothies, but you can use it in parfaits, etc. Remember, if you’ve followed this recipe, it’s currently unsweetened, so you may want to add some maple syrup if you’re going to eat it with fruit or granola.

The blog post I found most helpful when I was first researching how to make vegan yogurt was this one, so if there’s something you’re wondering about that I haven’t mentioned here, check this post out!

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Pineapple and Black Bean Fried Rice

I loooove fried rice. Toss in any veggie combo and you’re set. Easy, delicious.

My dad had some pineapple slices he was about to throw away because he was sick of trying to eat an entire pineapple himself, so I snatched them up before they hit the trash can and decided to make fried rice. This recipe was really one of those cleaning-out-the-fridge recipes… Just tossing in what I had hanging out in the refrigerator, and it turned out wonderfully.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cold cooked brown rice
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 cup chopped pineapple
  • 1/2 cup black beans, cooked
  • 2 Tbsp oil that can withstand high heat
  • 2 Tbsp coconut aminos (or any soy sauce or soy sauce alternative you like)
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • pinch cayenne

Heat oil in skillet on medium/medium-high heat (honestly, it depends on whether you have gas or electric stove, I use medium on my gas stove).

Add onion, saute until tender.

Add all remaining ingredients. Toss to combine.

Let sit without stirring for 30-sec to a minute. Stir. Repeat two more times.

Remove from heat, serve, and enjoy.

Told ya, simple & delicious.

Vegan GF Fried Green Tomatoes

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I had to pull all my tomato plants because… It’s cold here. So, I had a big ol’ box of green tomatoes. Pulled out my cast iron skillet, and fried green tomato time it was.

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So good.

Ingredients

  • 3 – 4 unripened, medium sized green tomatoes
  • Sea salt
  • ½ cup brown rice flour
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • ½ cup cornmeal
  • Oil for frying

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Clean up some lovely green tomatoes. Slice them 1/4 inch thick. Lay the slices out and sprinkle with salt. Let the tomatoes sweat for 5 minutes, and dab off excess water.

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Pour the milk in a bowl, the brown rice flour in another bowl. Pour the remaining ingredients in another bowl and whisk cornmeal and spices together.

Dip each side of the tomato slices first in the brown rice flour, then the milk, then the cornmeal spice mixture.

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Coat a cast iron skillet in oil and turn heat to medium. Place tomato slices in skillet and fry 3-4 minutes on each side until golden and crispy. Serve and enjoy! I like mine with a little hot sauce!

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Melon and Citrus Spritzer

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I am in love with summer spritzers. This particular batch may have been first served to my nieces, then ended up spiked with a little organic vodka and consumed while pulling weeds. Yep. Versatile and delicious. Seriously, watermelon is my favorite summer flavor.

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Ingredients

  • 1 small to medium sized watermelon
  • 1 honeydew melon
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1-2 cups water
  • Sparkling water (I used LaCroix Pina Fresca flavor, my fave)

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Blend in blender in batches, keeping sparkling water aside – I often do two batches and split the regular water between the two. Or use a juicer, if you’ve got one.

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Pour through mesh strainer into a pitcher. It make take a while to strain through, sometimes, I use a rubber spatula to help push it through. Once you’ve extracted all the juice, add a can of sparkling water. Serve with lemon or lime slices and enjoy.

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Cheezy Kale Chips

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I’m a chips gal. It’s honestly super rare for me not to have chips hanging around my pantry. I can’t help it… It’s genetic. Not kidding.. Ask my ma and my sister, we just can’t say no to chips.

Kale chips, though, are a good alternative to potato chips & do tend to satisfy my salty/crunchy cravings while not being so nutritionally void. They don’t keep/pack well in my experience, so they’re best eaten fresh and not carried along to work, but they’re one of my favorite ways to eat kale when I’m hanging around home or my sister’s house.

I ordinarily make them with just a little bit of oil and salt, but I was craving a cheezy version one day, so I hit the web looking for recipes. Most cheezy kale chip recipes I found had cashews as the base, but I don’t find cashews extremely affordable for a lazy afternoon snack that I’m just gonna mow down. Though, I’ll totally splurge and make a cashew cheese log here and there. So, instead of cashews, I thought tahini would make a good substitute. It worked!

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  • 2 bunches kale – I used curly kale.. Lacinato would work, too.
  • 1/4 cup Tahini
  • 3 – 4 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 – 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

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First, wash, dry and tear or cut kale. Remove any large stems.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Blend together all ingredients except kale in food processor or blender until well combined and smooth. It should come out being a somewhat thin, workable paste.

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Massage the paste onto the kale. You’ll need to use your hands to break it up and spread it well.

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Spread on a baking sheet and bake in oven for ten minutes, then flip/stir/rotate. Bake in the oven until crisp, in my gas oven, this takes an additional 10 -15 more minutes. In my mother’s electric oven, kale chips take 30 – 35 minutes.There’s a fine line between crisp and burnt when it come to kale chips,  so keep an eye on them while baking.

When crisp, remove from oven and enjoy. Yummmmmm.

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Roasted Cauliflower and Corn Chowder

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This might be my favorite soup I’ve ever made. It’s broth is creamy and flavorful, and the roasted corn provides a burst of sweet flavor in every bite. Cauliflower and potatoes are probably my favorite foods and provide a hearty base to the soup. Tossing the chickpeas in was a last minute thought, but they provide protein and add to the heartiness.

I actually first made and photographed this recipe a few weeks ago, and it’s been in my drafts folder.. I was cuddled up with my mom’s cat, watching Frida on Netflix (Frida Kahlo has been my favorite painter since I was a child), and started craving this soup today, then realised I never posted it! I’ve been busy lately and this space has been getting a lot less attention than I’d like to give it. I did take a break ALL weekend from any work, and it was so wonderful! I went with one of my lifelong friends on a roadtrip to Stillwater, then we went to one of our friend’s bachelorette parties, which included ice skating. I found out that I totally forgot how to skate! And before leaving Minneapolis in the morning, we stopped at Glam Doll Donuts. I hadn’t had a donut since going veg over three years ago, so I was willing to risk a wheat-induced headache to have a vegan donut.

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I bought three donuts (I did bring half of each home to share with my dad and my sister). The Femme Fatale was the best donut I’ve ever had. If my giant smile doesn’t show it, I was so excited to be eating vegan donuts!

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Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower, chopped (remember that the pieces should be small enough to fit on a spoon)
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 Tbsp sunflower oil, or any oil of your choice with a low smoking point
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 large carrots, diced or cut into thin rounds
  • 3 red potatoes, diced
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 1 cup chickpeas, cooked and cooled or canned
  • 2 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 2 cups almond milk, more if necessary to obtain the amount of broth you like in your soup
  • 1 Tbsp sea salt (half this if using vegetable broth instead of water)
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp paprika

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Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Drizzle 1/2 Tbsp oil and a pinch of salt over chopped cauliflower and toss to coat. Pour in single layer onto cookie sheet and roast for 20-30 minutes, until cooked through and beginning to get small amounts of charring.

Ten minutes before cauliflower is finished, pour corn onto a cookie sheet and roast until slightly charred as well.

While cauliflower is roasting, heat remaining oil in stockpot and toss in onions and garlic. Saute until translucent and beginning to get golden.

Add celery and saute until beginning to soften. Pour in carrots and saute until beginning to soften. Add water/broth and milk as well as potatoes and seasonings.

Simmer until vegetables are tender. Remove roasted corn and cauliflower from oven and add to soup. Add chickpeas.

Simmer for 5-10 more minutes. Serve and enjoy.

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