Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Lessons from a rare fruit (Gayle King could use this)

May 22, 2013

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Over 8 years of weekly trips to the farmer’s markets, our little one has developed a radar for the few cherished weeks out of every year, happening now, when Persian mulberries come into season.

So prized are these long, delicate, garnet-beaded fruits, it is rumored that they are often bought up seaside by savvy members of the Persian community as they come into harbor from import.

For good reason.

Not only is the mulberry’s flavor other-worldly, they are complex organisms. We have 46 chromosomes, the mulberry has 308—making it a highly adaptogenic plant—it can survive in harsh climates and is thought to help us do the same, physically and emotionally. Get that in your belly! (Read more about the benefits here). You probably have mulberries in your neck of the woods. FIND THEM.

Rare access to this mysterious heaven-sent fruit has provided our family a yearly ritual of extra special farmer’s market food-worship. Together, we’re aware and appreciative of the seasons and our farmers. We share the excitement and beauty of the find with friends. Akira can articulate the flavors we taste (I’ve met kids who don’t know their last names, let alone how to analyze flavor!). We feel lucky all together for the bounty we experience and relish this almost entirely unexamined food! Is that not worth $8? It’s cheap when you think about the exchange!

Veganism is often called “restrictive,” “limiting,”—even “traumatizing”! But what we experience is utterly the opposite—and only with a fraction of the fruits and vegetables that exist in the world!

Last week, vegan firefighter Rip Esselstyn appeared on CBS Morning News to talk about his new book My Beef With Meat. The first thing Gayle King says is, “All I can say to you, Rip, is you’re taking away my happy.”

Clearly, she’s never had mulberries. 😉

What fruit or vegetable brings your family joy, and why? Leave a comment below and MEMORIZE it for the next time a Gayle-King-a-like comes at you.



White Peach Icee

September 30, 2012

It’s still summer in L.A.. While the 90º+  heat continues, here’s a fun way to stay cool:

Blend 1 white peach with a tiny bit of water or coconut water. Pour into ice trays and let freeze before re-blending.



Chicken of the Woods

September 25, 2012

When a seasonal mushroom can make you happy, life is fun. This is the Chicken of the Woods mushroom, AKA “Laetiporus sulphureus” (note: Maitake “Hen of the Woods” is something else, also awesome). COTW pulls apart just like white meat—so similar in texture that Justin thought he was being punked when I handed him a bowl of steaming Chicken-of-the-woods-noodle-soup last year:

This year, I tried a new recipe:

Lemony-Herb Chicken of the Woods:
-Briskly rinse or brush off the mushrooms with a damp towel.
-For the marinade: blend together olive oil, lemon juice, Braggs or sea salt, rosemary, thyme and 1 garlic clove.
-In a shallow glass pan, drench the COTW “steaks” with the marinade and let sit overnight in the fridge.
-Grill or place pan in the oven at 350° for 20-30 min until cooked through (placing the shrooms on your toaster oven’s rack works fine, too).

Unfortunately, this shroom seems scarce. To find them in your area, I suggest contacting your local mycology experts through the many mushroom clubs worldwide (I’m SO becoming a super-geek member!):

Myko Web
North American Mycology
Mushroom the Journal

And remember, leading plant-based authorities like Dr. Fuhrman and David Wolfe  increasingly recommend mushrooms as a staple in our diets for their nutrient-density and ultimate health-promoting properties. There are so many incredible mushrooms to explore and experiment with in recipes and as supplements—which ones are your favorites?

Charred Blue Corn Tortillas and Greens

June 20, 2012

This one-minute ensemble has really been working for us as the days heat up here in Los Angeles and we start craving lighter meals and more fresh, raw ingredients. The mix of flavors and textures is super satisfying—especially with so many types of salsas to experiment with.

We toast-flip-toast blue corn tortillas over an open flame on our stove until they bubble up and char just slightly. Then we top with avocado, fresh salsa, cilantro (or parsley), and sea salt (beans optional). Quick, easy, and fresh. Sometimes the most simple vegan meals are the most satisfying. Happy summer!

Mock Tuna Salad Wraps

April 12, 2012

Like tuna, but totally free of suffering, mercury, and radiation.

In our household, we don’t eat much soy, but this tempeh recipe is an exception.

•Finely chop and steam a block of tempeh for about 10 minutes. Let cool. (We used LightLife Organic Three Grain Tempeh, available at Whole Foods if not your local health food store.)
•In a big bowl, combine tempeh with Vegenaise, chopped celery, and slivers of red onion, parsley optional. Add sea salt and black pepper to taste.
•Toast up your favorite tortilla (ours is Food For Life’s Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Tortillas. We rotate and flip them on our stove over an open flame until toasty).
•Fill tortilla with the tempeh salad, top with greens, and wrap.

Holy Shiitake! Quick Soup Recipe

March 5, 2012

One of our go-to dinner recipes—a staple in our regular repertoire because the bouillon cubes make it fast (and because mushrooms do a body good).

All the ingredients are coarsely chopped and cooked through and flavored in the sautéeing stage. Then once you add water, you only need to wait to bring the soup to a boil for a few more minutes, top each bowl with a little garnish, and voila, family dinner. Even better the next day after the flavors have really melded.

Into a small amount of boiling water (about 1/4″ in a large soup pot), I throw the following:
1 yellow or white onion chopped in long, lazy slices.
2 vegan bouillon cubes (we like Rapunzel brand “with sea salt and herbs”).
•Sautée for a couple minutes then add:
10-15 chopped Shiitake mushrooms (stems and all, briskly rinsed in water) and any other optional ingredients (broccoli, ginger, garlic, sliced carrots, etc.).

•Stir for another couple minutes until mushrooms are cooked through.
• Then add at least a pitcher full of water (enough to make your soup a soup). Bring to a boil, then turn down heat and simmer for another 5-10 minutes to let the flavors meld (and any optional veggies soften).
•After the heat is off, top with chopped green onions, bok choy, scallions, or chives.
•Each bowl receives a dollop of olive oil, a dash of shoyu or Braggs, and a sprinkle of black sesame seeds before the soup is ladled in.

Green Gold: Avocados

March 2, 2012

One of the most valuable discoveries ever: our neighbor has an avocado tree—and they’re the best we’ve ever had. And the neighbor doesn’t even eat them! We’ve stuck green gold.

Our family eats a lot of avocados—even before they were free (in any case, we believe good food = good investment). And avos are one of the fatty fruit foods that we especially recommend as a staple to newbie vegans to satisfy that “heavy, full” feeling that some people seek when they are transitioning. We say eat as many avocados a day as you want! However, the question always arises, “But aren’t avocados fattening?” A couple short answers:

Plant food contains no cholesterol.  Only animal fat causes harmful side effects. Raw plant fats will not make you gain excessive fat. In fact, your organs recognize plant fat differently than animal fat, using them properly instead of attacking them as toxins.

Fatty fruits like avocado, olives, and coconut contain lipase, an enzyme that helps burn body fat. We don’t carry much lipase in our own fat cells, so introducing it into our systems through raw plants helps metabolize cooked/animal fats stored all over our bodies.

New vegans who think they’re craving protein are generally missing high quality fats, which contain more calories and thus prolonged energy.

We hope you’ll look at “good” fats in a whole new light. They’re hugely beneficial—from providing essential fatty acids and antioxidants to slowing the release of sugars into the bloodstream, to aiding bone formation and remineralization. They even help our cells in defense against pollution. So eat it up…we’re off to raid our neighbor’s yard (and on that note, you might want to check out Fallen Fruit, neighborhood maps of fruit trees growing on public land…AKA free.)

Source: Sunfood Diet Success System by D. Wolfe.

“Milky” Lavender Tea

February 15, 2012

Fresh lavender buds plucked from our front yard and steeped in boiling water and Rice Dream rice milk, sweetened with agave…a seriously aromatic and dreamy to start your morning.

Score! Wild Mustard Greens in the ‘Hood

February 14, 2012

We were on a walk in the hills of our Los Angeles neighborhood and spotted a patch of wild mustard greens…score. When they really go off we often see groups of elderly Seventh Day Adventist (vegan) Korean women gathering bagfuls. Our little one couldn’t help but taste them despite the spice…the thrill of eating velvety yellow flowers right off the earth in an unexpected situation was too much to resist. We brought home a handful of these mustardy little buds to sprinkle on our kale salad, along with some hemp seeds. I bet you, too, have more edible fruit trees and plants in your hood than you think.

Pumpkin Seed Pesto Recipe

January 31, 2012

Pesto is one of the easiest, most gourmet-tasting recipes to play with—and it’s raw food! Using pumpkin seeds makes this version not only tasty, but high in essential fatty acids and protein (pumpkin seeds have about 29% more protein than most other seeds). Plus, pumpkin seeds contains most of the B vitamins, C, D, E and K, as well as calcium, potassium, and phosphorus. Use this pesto as a veggie dip, mix it onto pasta, spread it on crackers, in tortilla wraps, or keep it raw on salads, or in lettuce rolls. Here I blended the following:
•1 bunch of basil.
•About 2/3 c. of raw pumpkin seeds.
•Olive oil (just enough to blend ingredients smoothly—add a little at a time if you’re unsure).
•1 clove of garlic.
•Salt to taste.

Optional additions: a spoonful of nutritional yeast, parsley, sun-dried tomatoes (on top or blended in). You can also use pine nuts, cashews, or macadamia nuts in place of pumpkin seeds.

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