Archive for the ‘Main Dishes’ Category

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.

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls Recipe

January 26, 2012

Though Bua and I are from completely different worlds, we somehow share Hungarian ancestry…which may explain why we both love this dish? It has an eastern European grandmother’s feel, very warm and comforting, sweet and savory.

I dislike following recipes, and I’m doing nothing not to pass that on to you with this vague recipe explanation, but I think you’ll find it’s all you need. I feel that we should all develop our instincts about food prep rather than worry about exact TSP and C. So here ya go…

In one big bowl, combine the following:
•1 chopped onion after sautéeing in a little water until soft.
•1-3  big handfuls of chopped walnuts (via Vitamix, food processor, or by hand).
•A grip of your favorite chopped herbs
(I used parsley, rosemary, and oregano).
•About a cup+ of cooked grains (I used millet because we were out of quinoa; breadcrumbs would work, too).
•Sea salt, black pepper to taste.
•Tomato sauce
(use just enough to bind the ingredients. The rest will be poured over the top of the rolls).

•Place the entire head of cabbage in a pot of boiling water, turn off the heat, and let sit, covered, until the leaves can be peeled off without too much breakage. Just a few minutes.
•Cut out the cabbage spines in a “V” shape for easy folding.
•Spoon the mixture into each leaf, fold the cabbage edges in,
and roll to your liking. Then place each roll face-down in a lightly oiled baking dish so they don’t unravel.

•Blend the remaining tomato sauce with a little agave to sweeten, and drench the rolls in sauce.
•Cover with tin foil and bake at 350°F for 30 min. These were even better the following day when the flavors had settled. Next time I think I might let them marinate over night before cooking.
Note: Our 7 year-old loved these rolls, surprisingly, as well as a meat-eating friend who exclaimed “I could be vegan if I could eat like this everyday!” And this is a BIG dude. So if this dish can satisfy a kid and a 300 lb. rhinoceros look-a-like, we know we’ve got a winner.

High raw: nori rolls

December 7, 2011

Keep it simple. Nori sheets rolled with avocado, mixed greens, Vegenaise, and a drizzle of tamari or Braggs.  Optional: raw sauerkraut adds a mock-tuna flavor and a dose of probiotics.

Seaweeds such as nori, hijiki, kelp, and arame are satisfying because they are highly-mineralized foods. Rich in trace minerals, B12, and iodine, they are excellent for the thyroid and protection against heavy metals, toxins, and radiation.

Spaghetti Squash Recipe

November 21, 2011

It’s fall. We like warm food. We love pasta, but it sits in the belly like a bowl of glue. Three good reasons to make spaghetti squash a staple for dinner this season:

Step 1. Chop the spaghetti squash in half, remove the seeds, and lay cut side-down in a pan with ½ inch of water. Throw it in the oven at 350° for 30-40 min until the flesh is soft and can be scraped out like spaghetti.

Step 2. In the meantime, chop up and sautee an onion in a bit of water* until softened.

Step 3. Add: marinara sauce (we blended 5 medium tomatoes with 2 garlic cloves on super low for a few seconds), herbs (dried or fresh; we used fresh oregano, basil, and parsley), optionals (we used a variety of sun-dried tomatoes plus olives), and sea salt and black pepper to taste.

Step 4. Let simmer until flavors blend, 5-10 minutes. Turn off the heat.

5. When squash is ready, scrape out the flesh and add it to your sauce. Reheat.

Step 6. Top each bowl with a good dollop of raw olive oil and nutritional yeast.

Note: This dish passes the child-friendly-taste-test with flying colors:

*We prefer using water to sautee and to add olive oil after the heat is turned off—right before we eat—so we avoid eating cooked, rancid oils. More on that here.

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