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Autumn

Autumn, Gluten-Free, Holiday, Oil-Free, Sauces & Dips, Sides, Vegetables, Videos
 

My eHow Video Series: Roasted Cauliflower With Mustard Butter

Because cauliflower is white, people often assume it’s a nutritional dud, on par with iceberg lettuce. But cauliflower is part of the cruciferous, or cabbage, family of vegetables. Other cruciferous vegetables include kale, bok choy, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts, which are more well-known as nutritional superstars. Cauliflower provides special nutrient support for the body’s detox system, antioxidant system, and inflammatory/anti-inflammatory system, all of which are closely connected with cancer development and cancer prevention. There are numerous studies linking diets high in cauliflower to cancer prevention, particularly breast, bladder, colon, prostate, and ovarian cancers. In addition, cauliflower contains a wide array of antioxidants, which also helps to lower cancer risk.

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     In this video, I demonstrate what is perhaps my favorite way to eat cauliflower. There is no butter, just a smooth and buttery consistency provided by the mix of mustards. Pop the florets into your mouth and enjoy it as fun appetizer, or serve it as a delicious side dish. Either way, it won’t last long!

Ingredients:
1 (2 pound) head of cauliflower, cut into 1-inch florets
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dry white wine
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
2 tablespoons water

Instructions:
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with tinfoil. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, mix sauce ingredients and stir until smooth. Add cauliflower and toss to coat.
3. Spoon the cauliflower evenly on the baking sheet.
4. Roast for 15-20 minutes until browned slightly. Transfer to a plate and serve.

Autumn, Breakfast, For Beginners, Fruit, Gluten-Free, Oil-Free, Sweet Thangs, Sweets, Vegetables, Videos
 

My eHow Video Series: Sweet Potato Puree Smoothie

Who doesn’t love sweet potatoes? They are the candy of the vegetable kingdom. And that means they are a wonderful ingredient to put in smoothies!

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Athletes and body builders ought to take note. Sweet potatoes are an incredibly rich source of carotenoids, powerful antioxidants that aid with muscle cell recovery and help promote muscle growth. This sweet potato puree smoothie makes an ideal post-workout recovery drink. I also think it’s great for breakfast, and even dessert! Watch and enjoy 🙂


Sweet Potato Puree Smoothie — powered by ehow

Ingredients:
1/3 cup pureed sweet potato (I use canned)
1 banana
3 medjool dates
your favorite plant-based milk
dash of cinnamon
Instructions:
1. Blend!

 

Autumn, Calcium Sources, Entrees, For Beginners, Gluten-Free, Oil-Free, Plant Proteins, Soups & Stews
 

Incredibly Easy Pumpkin Chili

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Believe it or not, I used to hate cooking. I resented having to follow directions for an activity that I believed was meant be creative. But every time I tried to get creative, tossing in a little of this, a dash of that, followed by a twirl, a curtsey, etc., the food was just a sorry disappointment. After too many failed dishes I knew I needed to follow instructions but I still wanted to feel like the dish was my creation. I was able to find a happy balance making dishes that called for just a few ingredients and minimal measuring. For those who are new to cooking, short on time, or just looking for a unique take on chili, this recipe delivers. It is so simple. All you have to do is chop a few vegetables and dump a few cans, but it also feels really creative and unusual because of the pumpkin. The result is a delicious chili that’s warm, comforting, and just a touch sweet.
Over time, you could also get more creative and try adding different colored peppers, other kinds of beans, or using sweet potato instead of pumpkin (see below for more ideas). With such good and simple flavors it would hard to mess this one up.

Ingredients:
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 can (15 oz) organic corn, preferably sweet
1 large can (28 oz) fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 can pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie puree)
1 can chickpeas, drained
1 can black beans, drained
1 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne (optional)
1 cup vegetable broth or water (more if you prefer a thinner consistency)

Instructions:
1. In a large skillet over medium heat, saute the onion, garlic, and red pepper in 1-2 tbsp water or vegetable broth for about 10 minutes or until tender.
2. Stir in the remaining ingredients, increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil.
3. Immediately reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15-20 minutes until heated through. Serve hot.

Variations to try:
– To make this chili thicker and heartier, add 2 cups cooked quinoa after step 2.
– Add fresh or frozen de-thawed greens, such as kale, spinach, collards, etc., while simmering during step 3.
– For a slightly sweeter chili, use canned sweet potato instead of pumpkin.

– Double or triple the ingredients to make several days’ worth of food. Leftovers can also be frozen.
– Try using just one kind of bean (for example, only black beans) or add several different kinds in addition to the beans already used (such as pinto, kidney, and white beans).
Autumn, Calcium Sources, Entrees, Gluten-Free, Holiday, Plant Proteins, Sauces & Dips, Sides, Vegetables
 

Thanksgiving

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(From top left) Quinoa Corn Bread,
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Acorn Squash Stuffed with Peppered Lentils + Kale + Butternut Squash
(note: You can prepare the recipe a day or two in advance and it will still be delicious. Just reheat in the oven at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.)

Ingredients:
2 cups dry green lentils
1 butternut squash
1 tbsp vegetable broth
1 red onion, chopped small
1/2 cup red pepper, chopped small
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 head kale, washed, de-stemmed, and chopped
4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 tsp fine ground sea salt
3-4 acorn squash

Instructions:
1. Rinse the lentils and then soak them in water overnight.
2. Peel and remove seeds from the butternut squash. Cut into small cubes and steam cubes for 10-20 minutes or until a fork easily pierces them.
3. Drain the lentils from the soaking water and then cook them in fresh water for 35-45 minutes, or until tender.
4. While lentils are cooking, warm vegetable broth in a medium pot or pan. Add onion and brown for 7 minutes over medium-high heat. Add pepper and stir together, cook for 7 minutes. Add garlic and stir for 5 minutes more.
5. Add chopped kale, stir in, and reduce heat to medium.
6. Once the kale is wilted, place pot ingredients in a large bowl with the cooked lentils and stir. Add salt and pepper–be especially generous with the pepper. Carefully fold in the steamed butternut squash and season to taste.
7. Split the acorn squash in half (slicing from top to bottom) and scrape out the seeds with a spoon. Slice off the skin. Place the squash halves–scooped side up–on a parchment-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
8. Roast at 350 degrees for 40 minutes* or until soft (they should be tender enough to easily slice through with a fork). Fill with peppered lentil mixture and bake 10-15 minutes more.

* The original recipe said to cook for 25 minutes but I found that to not be nearly enough and I had to stick them back in the oven. So, don’t take yours out till they are brightly colored and have begun to ooze a bit. The more you cook them the sweeter they’ll get, too.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Dried Cranberries + Balsamic Glaze

Ingredients:
3 lbs Brussels sprouts
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup dried cranberries
Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Trim the Brussels sprouts, then cut them in half. Arrange on 2 baking sheets and toss with olive oil. Roast until slightly brown, 25-30 minutes.
3. Combine the sugar and the balsamic in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium-low and stir until very thick.
4. Drizzle the balsamic glaze over the Brussels sprouts, then sprinkle on the dried cranberries.
Autumn, Essential Fats, Gluten-Free, Holiday, Sweets
 

Pumpkin Pie with Rustic Pecan Crust

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     I am usually a pecan pie person but Robert and his brother Clint (yes, we had a guest this year!) said they preferred pumpkin so I decided to make that. Well, I am SO glad I did because this pie was, hands down, the biggest hit of our 2012 Thanksgiving. The pumpkin filling had lots of great spices, including cloves, which gave it an extra kick (as well as a slightly darker color than your typical pumpkin pie). Robert describes the pie as “exciting” (high praise indeed, as this man does not easily excite) and says he preferred its flavor to any other pumpkin pie he’s ever had (that’s basically the equivalent of a standing ovation).
     My favorite aspect was the crunchy, gluten-free pecan crust. I know I bought all its ingredients from the co-op across the street but it really felt like they were gathered from the forest near my imaginary log cabin. Earthy, crunchy, woodsy, rustic… this crust was was all of the above. We enjoyed it for dessert and breakfast, and it will definitely be on the menu next year.
     P.S. I recommend making it the day before, which actually makes things easier because it’s one less thing to do on the big day.

Ingredients:
Crust:
1 cup rolled oats, processed into a fine flour (or 1 cup oat flour)
2 cups raw pecans
3 tbsp ground flax
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup brown rice syrup
2 tbsp canola oil
Filling:
2 1/4 cups canned pureed pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup almond milk
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
3 tbsp arrowroot starch (or cornstarch)
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves

Instructions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a 9-inch pie pan.
2. In a food processor, process pecans until they begin to clump and oils start to release, approximately 30 seconds. You want them to stay chunky, not turn into butter. Transfer to a large bowl.
3. Mix canola oil and brown rice syrup together . Pour into bowl with pecans dough. Add the rest of the crust ingredients and mix together. Using your hands, squeeze the dough over and over to combine very well. If too dry, add more canola oil.
4. Press pecan dough firmly into pie dish to form a crust. Pre-bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove and cool for 10 minutes.
5. In a large bowl, whisk together the maple syrup and arrowroot powder or cornstarch.
6. Add remaining ingredients and whisk together, adjusting spices to taste.
7. Pour the filing onto crust. Cover with tin foil and bake for 50-55 minutes at 350 degrees. Place on a cooling rack for 1 hour.
8. Transfer to fridge to set for a minimum of 3 hours or overnight (this is a must!). Do not slice until it’s been in the fridge for at least 3 hours. Slice with a very sharp knife and enjoy every bite!

Autumn, Calcium Sources, Casseroles & Lasagnas, Entrees, Essential Fats, Gluten-Free, Holiday, Oil-Free, Plant Proteins, Vegetables
 

Eggplant Rollatini

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I don’t like to do taste tests while I’m cooking when I follow a recipe for the first time. I prefer to wait till the dish is complete to assess and then make notes in my cookbook if necessary. The first time I was cooking this dish, though, I took a little spoonful of the filling just before I put it in the oven and was totally impressed. (To think I had only picked this dish out because I like eggplant!) The tahini makes the filling so deliciously rich and creamy. The finished result is even better with a sauce that has just the right amount of sweetness and tang. The ingredients are so clean and simple but they come together in a way that truly surprised me. The only note I made for this was to double it for next time!

Ingredients:
Filling:
2 eggplants
3 cups cooked lentils
1 tbsp miso paste
3 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp fresh minced oregano
2 tbsp fresh minced basil
2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
Sauce:
1 cup sundried tomatoes, soaked in warm water for 20 minutes
1 can diced tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
1/4 tsp salt
2 garlic cloves
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1 date
2 tbsp shallot, minced

Instructions:
1. Cut off the ends of the eggplants. With flat end down on the cutting board, slice into 1/4-inch strips.
2. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lay the eggplant strips flat on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes and then set aside until cool enough to handle.
3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix together all the remaining filling ingredients. Set aside.
4. Blend all the sauce ingredients together in a blender until fully combined.
5. Spread 1 cup of the sauce on a baking dish. On a separate work surface lay each eggplant strip flat and spread 1 heaping tablespoon of filling (though if you like your rollatini thick there’s no need to hold back!). Roll up into a cylinder and and place atop of the bed of sauce.
6. Pour the remaining sauce on top and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes, until heated through and the sauce is bubbly.

Source: Thrive Foods by Brendan Brazier

Autumn, Casseroles & Lasagnas, Entrees, Gluten-Free, Oil-Free, Plant Proteins, Vegetables, Whole Grains
 

Curry Lentil Rice Pizza

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This “pizza” has become a staple in our home because it’s really tasty and makes enough leftovers for several lunches. The recipe comes from Thrive by Brendan Brazier, the professional Ironman triathlete (and a vegan, of course). Brazier’s recipes are based on the concept of “high net-gain nutrition,” meaning eating foods that leave you with more energy, not less. According to Brazier, most foods in the average North American’s diet require almost as much energy to digest and process as they contain, therefore the net gain is extremely low. As a result, people feel weaker and hungrier, and their bodies are less resilient and their health more compromised. However, nutrient-dense whole foods–those foods that have not been refined and stripped of their value during processing–eliminate excess work for the body thereby leaving us with more energy, more physical resilience, and more mental clarity. It’s a simple concept that makes a lot of sense. I’d highly recommend this book to anyone interested in fitness, or health in general. Plus, the recipes are great.

Ingredients:
Crust:
3 cups cooked brown rice
3 cups cooked lentils
4 tsp curry powder
2 tsp dried basil
Sea salt to taste
Topping:
Nutritional yeast
2 yellow or orange tomatoes, chopped
2 yellow or orange bell peppers, sliced
1 medium sweet potato or 3 large carrots, thinly sliced
1 cup green onions, chopped
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp thyme

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
2. In a food processor or by hand, combine all crust ingredients until mixture starts to ball up.
3. Lightly oil an 11-by-15-inch baking tray. Spread crust mixture evenly on tray.
4. Sprinkle nutritional yeast on top of the crust. Use as much or as little as desired (we use a lot!). Add toppings.
5. Bake for approximately 1 hour (this may vary slightly depending on the moisture content of the vegetables).

Autumn, Calcium Sources, Entrees, Holiday, Plant Proteins, Sauces & Dips, Sides, Sweets, Vegetables, Whole Grains
 

Thanksgiving!

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Menu
Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Pecans and Dried Cranberries
Garlic-Herb Mashed Potatoes and Cauliflower
Wild Mushroom Gravy
Quinoa Corn Bread
Tamarind BBQ Tempeh and Sweet Potatoes
Pumpkin-Pecan Praline Cheesecake
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Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Pecans and Dried Cranberries
Ingredients:
1 lb. fresh brussels sprouts
3 oz. coarsely chopped pecans
3 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
4 oz. coarsely chopped dried cranberries
Instructions:
1. Slice the Brussels as thinly as possible, with a knife or mandolin. If you use a food processor, use the thinest slicing disk possible.
2. In a saute pan, toast the pecans over medium heat for 2 minutes.
3. Add the olive oil, then the Brussels, salt, and pepper. Stir continually until the Brussels are just tender and their color brightens, approximately 6 minutes.
4. Remove from the pan. Add the cranberries. Toss and serve!
Garlic-Herb Mashed Potatoes and Cauliflower
Ingredients:
2 russet potatoes, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1/2 head cauliflower, cut into florets
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried marjoram
2-4 tablespoons vegetable broth
1/2 tsp salt
Instructions:
1. Place the potatoes in a 4-quart pot in enough cold water to submerge them, making sure there are about 4 inches of extra water on top for when you add the cauliflower. Bring potatoes to a boil. Once boiling, add the cauliflower and lower the heat to a simmer. Let simmer for about 15 minutes or until the potatoes and cauliflower are tender.
2. Meanwhile, saute the garlic with the olive oil, along with the thyme and marjoram.
3. Drain the potatoes and cauliflower in a colander, then return them to the pot, and use a potato masher to mash them a bit.
4. Add the garlic and herbs, 2 tablespoons vegetable broth, and the salt and pepper, and mash a bit more. Use a fork to make sure all the seasonings are mixed well. if needed, add another 2 tablespoons of broth. Taste for salt. Serve warm.
(Source: Appetite for Reduction)
Wild Mushroom Gravy
Ingredients:
6 tbsp olive oil
2 cups onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 cups finely chopped mushrooms, such as shiitake, oyster, chanterelle, or portobello
1 cup brown rice flour (if you can’t find this in your grocery store make it by whizzing up brown rice in a blender)
1/4 cup tamari soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp dried sage
1 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1 1/2 tsp dried tarragon
Instructions:
1. Heat 3 tbsp of the olive oil in a large skillet. Saute the onion and mushrooms until softened, about 10 minutes, and set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil and saute the rice flour over low heat to make a roux. Stir 2 cups of water, the tamari, sage, rosemary, and tarragon into the roux and mix well. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then simmer until the gravy is thickened and smooth, about 10 minutes.
3. Stir in the mushroom-onion mixture and cook over low heat until warmed through. If the gravy is too thick, add water 1 tablespoon at a time to achieve the right consistency. Serve at once.
(Source: The Candle Cafe Cookbook)
Quinoa Corn Bread
See recipe here.
Tamarind BBQ Tempeh and Sweet Potatoes
See recipe here.
Pumpkin-Pecan Praline Cheesecake
This recipe begins with my raw vegan cheesecake plus a pumpkin pie layer on top and then a pecan-prailine mix on top of that. Yum! Add these between steps 3 and 4.
For the pumpkin pie layer…
Ingredients:
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 tbsp tapioca flour (or use arrowroot or cornstarch)
1/2 cup non-dairy milk
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch ground nutmeg
pinch allspice
Instructions:
1. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl and stir until thoroughly combined.
2. Spread on top of the cheesecake with a spatula.
For the pumpkin-pecan praline…
Ingredients:
2 tbsp vegan butter (such as Earth Balance)
A couple shakes of cinnamon
A pinch of salt
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp light brown sugar
2 tbsp maple syrup
Instructions:
1. Grease a baking sheet and set aside. Heat a well seasoned, lightly oiled iron skilled over medium heat and add the vegan butter, cinnamon, sea salt, pecans, pumpkin seeds and brown sugar. Stir for a minute or two to toast the seeds and pecans. Add the maple syrup and stir till bubbling and sticky.
2. Remove from heat; spoon and spread the praline onto a greased baking sheet to cool. Break the praline into pieces for garnishing the top of the pie. Get ready for heaven!
Autumn, Calcium Sources, Essential Fats, Fruit, Gluten-Free, Holiday, Oil-Free, Reviews, Sides, Vegetables
 

Brussels Sprouts + Apples + Pecans

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Brussels Sprouts are so cute! They are also really nutritious, boasting high amounts of vitamins C and K, and containing an abundance of disease-fighting phytochemicals, including sulforaphane, which helps rid the body of carcinogenic substances.
This dish was inspired by a recipe in “Color Me Vegan” by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. I absolutely LOVE this cookbook and I think the author is awesome. Her podcast Vegetarian Food for Thought (which you can listen to for free) is so inspiring and informative. Not only is she well-versed in nutrition–which is why I started listening to her in the first place–but she also has helped me see that our food choices can be, and should be, an extension of who we are and what we value in life. It’s such an empowering outlook. Her words have really broadened my perspective.

Ingredients:
2 pounds Brussels sprouts, washed and shredded (cut into strips)
2 tablespoons vegetable broth
1 large tart apple, unpeeled and cubed
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon pomegranate syrup (if you can’t find that, use maple syrup)
1/3 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:
1. In a large saute pan, heat broth over medium heat. Add the shredded Brussels sprouts and a touch of salt and saute for 7-10 minutes until the sprouts begin to brighten.
2. Add the apple cubes, garlic, and syrup, and cook for 3-5 minutes or until the apples are heated through but not too soft.
3. At the end of the cooking time, add the pecans, and salt and pepper to taste.