Wednesday, March 21, 2012

My New Toy!

   So my Aunt came by yesterday with a house warming gift and I must say, I love presents!  She bought me a Spiral Slicer which I've been dying to try for a while now.  I was able to put it to use tonight and of course, made sure to take pics to share with you guys!
   What's a Spiral Slicer you ask?  Well this super fun contraption allows vegetables to become spaghetti!  How fun!  If you think a raw food diet is 'boring' think again!  It doesn't have to be salad's all the time and I think I've proven that in other posts.  And it doesn't have to be labor intensive either!  This meal took me 10 minutes - clean up included!

Spiral Slicer
Here's what I made:

Zucchini Spaghetti
Zucchini Ribbons
  (Please excuse my red cutting board! Ha.)  But seriously, how cool is that?  I made a super simple tomato sauce to go with my raw pasta and dinner was served!

For the Spaghetti:
1 Zucchini

For the Sauce:
1 large tomato
3 sun-dried tomatoes, soaked and chopped*
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 lemon, juiced
pinch sea salt

Spiralise the zucchini.  If you don't have a spiral slicer you can also use a mandoline or vegetable peeler to get your zucchini into super thin strips.
Add all of the sauce ingredients to your blender and process until smooth.  Mix your sauce with the zucchini well and serve!
*You can also use sun-dried tomatoes that are already soaked in oil, just use less oil in the recipe.

Fancy, no?

  I garnished mine with hemp seeds because I'm totally obsessed with hemp seeds.. but it really doesn't need any extras.  I also served mine over a bed of field greens... but I'm sure that doesn't surprise those of you that know me.  (I turn everything into a salad! ha.)

Happy uncooking!
Ves xx

Sunday, March 11, 2012

A Mexicali Evening...

   The other night my sister and I got together for some dinner at my place and a catch-up on our current favorite show... The Bachelor.  Yes, we totally watch it, and no we are not ashamed to admit it!  The "Women Tell All" was super juicy, I can't wait for the next episode!
   But this post is not about the Bachelor.  No, it's about the delicious food we ate while watching it!  The meal was inspired by a package of Taquitos that I found in the frozen section of Whole Foods.  I don't normally by frozen food but I was so excited when I saw vegan taquitos that I had to snatch them up.  My sister and I love Taquitos, so much so that we've been known to buy them from the 7-Eleven back in California.  True story.  They were the perfect 'road food' for when we would make the long 2 hour drive from Orange County to the desert to visit our Dad.

Vegan Taquitos!
    To go along with the Taquitos I whipped up a dip inspired by a recipe from The Kind Diet.
Here's my take on it:

Cheesy Layer Dip

1 package Yves veggie rounds (I used Original)
1 large avocado
Juice of 1/2 a lime 
1 8-ounce containers non-dairy sour cream
1 1/2 packet taco seasoning (or make your own mix with chili powder, ground cumin, onion powder, hot paprika or cayenne, and salt)

1/2 cup of diced green onions
1/2 - 1 cup tomatoes, chopped
1 cup(s) of shredded vegan mozzarella with jalapeno (you can use cheddar too) 
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

  2. Saute the veggie round and then add 1 packet of the taco seasoning.  Simmer until the liquid has evaporated.  
  3. Spread the veggie meat on the bottom of an 8 inch by 8 inch quart baking dish. 

  4. Pit and peel the avocado, and place in a bowl. 

  5. Mash the avocado together with the lime juice, and spread on top of the veggie meat.
  6. Stir together the sour cream and 1/2 packet of taco seasoning, and spread over the avocado.

  7. Sprinkle the green onions over the sour cream.

  8. Add the tomatoes, and sprinkle with the cheese.

  9. Heat the dip for 15-30 minutes or until heated through and the cheese is a bit melted.

  10. Serve warm or at room temperature. 
Our "Mexicali" meal... YUM!

   I also made a coleslaw to round out our meal with a simple vinaigrette.  My sister loved the Taquitos but said that the dip was her favorite part.  I ate most of the coleslaw so I guess that was my favorite part! Ha.  I wasn't a huge fan of the Taquitos but they sure smelled delicious coming out of the oven.  I would definitely buy them again but I would try a different flavor next time.
   This meal was super delicious and totally worth the stomach ache we had afterwards from overeating!  I think the next time we make this much food we should make sure to have more people over... Yikes!

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!
Ves xx

Friday, March 09, 2012

Red Pepper Hummus... and Girls Night!

   Just a quick one for tonight...
   I should start off by saying that I had big ideas about what I was going to contribute to tonight's Girl's Night in terms of food.  But, after spending the entire day at home with my cat, mostly in my P.J.'s, doing homework and watching back-to-back episodes of Smash (not at the same time), I totally didn't feel like making anything!
See Exhibit A:
She's a little camera shy
 Patchie and I pretty much did that all day except that I learned a little as well (can't say the same for her).
   Anyway, even though I was totally lazy I had to contribute something!  After all, I'm a total feeder and love bringing people food.  Um, come to think of it, I hope they like it too! Ha.  So here's what I'm bringing:

RAW Vegan Red Pepper Hummus
Makes about 1 ½ cups.
1 medium zucchini, peeled and chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes
1  - 1 ½ Tbsp finely chopped garlic depending on how garlicky you want it
½ cup raw Tahini
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp Celtic sea salt
Place all the ingredients in your high speed blender and puree until smooth and creamy.
Enjoy with veggies, chips, on wraps... the possibilities are endless!
   This recipe is so easy and so yummy!  I ended up making a little extra so that I can have leftovers... Yeah, it's that good!  So now I feel really good about contributing something to the party even though the rest of the things I'm bringing are packaged.  Oh well.

Happy Friday!
Ves xx

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Oh, How Sweet (with a Twist)!

Day three, part two (dessert)...

  I decided to make a Sweet Potato Pie for two reasons.  1. I've never made one before (and I don't think I've ever eaten one either?). and 2. I had a ready-made pie crust staring me in the face begging to be used.  How can I argue with that?  I searched the interweb for some recipe ideas and decided to come up with my own as I didn't have all of the ingredients on hand.  It's all about improvisation people! :o)
So, here is my take on Sweet Potato Pie:

Vegan Sweet Potato Pie w/ a Twist
1 medium sweet potato
1 large apple (I used honeycrisp)
3/4 cup vegan sugar
2 tbs arrowroot powder (or cornstarch) 
3/4 Tsp. Cinnamon
1/4 Tsp. Nutmeg
Pinch of Salt
1 Tsp. Vanilla
1/2 Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
1/4 Cup Sour Cream
1 Vegan Pie Crust (ready-made or scratch)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
Wash, peel and cube the sweet potato. 
Bake for 45-60 minutes or until done. Remove from the oven and lower the heat to 350 degrees. Allow the sweet potato to cool.
Measure out your sugar and mix it with the arrowroot, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside. 
Place the sweet potato in a mixing bowl. Break it down and make it as smooth as possible.  Grate your apple super fine and add it to the bowl.  Mix well.
Combine the sugar mixture with the sweet potato and apple until well incorporated. Then add the almond milk, sour cream, and vanilla. 
Blend until completely smooth - I used a hand mixer.  
Pour into crust and place on the middle rack in the oven. 
Bake for 50-55 minutes. Allow to cool on a baking rack for at least 3 hours.

Ready for the oven...

Just baked...

Serve as is...
So delish...!

...or with this super simple Whipped Topping...
Vegan Whip
1 can full fat Coconut milk
2-3 tbsp powdered sugar
vanilla bean (optional)
cinnamon (optional)

Chill the coconut milk in the refrigerator overnight.  Open the can without shaking it and carefully scoop out the creamy white stuff that's gathered on the top, leaving the liquid in the can.  Spoon it into a mixing bowl, and add the powdered sugar and vanilla, cinnamon or any other flavor you want.  Using a hand mixer, mix the coconut milk until smooth and fluffy.  Start on low and gradually increase the speed, moving the mixer in an up and down motion to get as much air as possible into the cream.

Yum - oh!

I hope you've enjoyed my sweet potato craze!

Til next time...

Ves xx

Oh, How Sweet (and Sassy)!

   Well, it's my third and final day of my Sweet Potato craze and you get not one, but two recipes.  Yes, you read that right!  I figured that since I gave you a meal and a snack recipe, that I should also give you a drink and dessert recipe.  So here goes...
   First of all, did you know that you can juice a sweet potato?  Well you can and they're really yummy, kind of sweet, and a super pretty color when they're juiced.  Plus it's super good for you too.

Sweet & Sassy Juice
Sweet Potatoes
Wheat Grass (optional)

Toss everything in your juicer, pour in a glass, add a straw and enjoy knowing that your flooding your body with tons of goodness.

**Mine has a shot of wheat grass which is why you can see some green flecks.  I think it adds to the beauty of the juice as well as the nutritional value! 

And now on to dessert...

Click here for my take on Sweet Potato Pie.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Sweet Potato Crisps!

   So here we are, day 2 of my sweet potato craze!  Last night while I was making the Creamy Sweet Potato Soup, I pulled out my dehydrator and a couple more sweet potatoes and decided to make a snack for today.  I've made this snack a few times in the summer but never with a dehydrator so I was excited to see how they would come out.  This is a great alternative to kale chips if you've made them too many times (but how could you??) and are looking for something different.  Or you can make these along with kale chips, add a few more small bites and you have yourself a party! :o)  I originally intended to share these with my mom and Aunt today as we were going to do some shopping together.  However, due to this crazy wind storm we are having, we decided to postpone til tomorrow.  Unfortunately, I don't think I know these won't last until then.  Sorry ladies.  Anyway, on to the recipe!

Sweet Potato Crisps

Wash your sweet potatoes and peel if not organic.  Slice thinly using a mandoline, vegetable peeler or sharp knife and place in a bowl.

Add 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup Tamari, and cumin to taste (about 1/2 tsp.) to the bowl and marinate the sweet potatoes for at least 20min.

Drain the sweet potato slices and add them to your dehydrator tray or baking sheet.  Sprinkle with nutritional yeast (about 1/2 cup - 1 cup) - this makes it cheesy in flavor so add lots if you want it to be really cheesy.  Gently warm them until crispy.  If using an oven, turn it to the lowest setting and leave the oven door open a bit so as not to over heat them.


Tune in tomorrow for my third and final day in this wonderful sweet potato craze!

Ves xx

Friday, March 02, 2012

1 Potato, 2 Potato, 3 Potato, Sweet!

   That's right!  Mmm... I'm about to confess my love for the Sweet Potato.  You can turn away if you want, but then you might miss the yummy recipe I'll be posting after I'm done being all mushy.  There really isn't anything better than a nice baked sweet potato.  Except for maybe a grilled one... or a steamed one... or a mashed one.  I'll eat them any which way I can get them! 
   In addition to being so delicious, sweet potatoes are really good for you.  Just one medium sweet potato is rich in beta-carotene and meets your daily need for vitamin A.  It also provides nearly a third of the vitamin C you need each day.  If you eat it with the skin on (organic only) it's packed with fiber, too.  Woohoo!  I knew there was a reason I love this veggie so much!

   I was at my parents house earlier this evening for a quick hello, and my mom warmed up a soup for me to try that she had made the day before.  It was beyond yummy and the 'star' of the soup was a sweet potato!  After explaining how easy it was to make, and after trying (unsuccessfully) to give me the rest to take home (hey, my mom's gotta eat too!), I decided I was going to make that soup for dinner.  I already had a couple of sweet potatoes hangin' out in the fridge and one on the counter (I had planned on making a sweet potato for supper) so I didn't have to stop at the store.
   My mom had steamed the sweet potatoes first, so I decided to bake mine and see if it would taste differently.  I didn't want to use oil though, so I added a bit of veg stock to the baking dish before placing it in the oven.  I also don't like to mess with the flavor of the sweet potato; I think it's pretty awesome on it's own.

Read on for the recipe...

Creamy Sweet Potato Soup
Serves 2
prep time: 5min.
Total Time : approx. 1hr 15min.

1 large sweet potato or 2 small ones
2 + 1 cups vegetable stock
sea salt

Preheat the oven to 375F.
Wash, peel and cut the sweet potato into cubes.  Place in an oven safe baking dish and add a bit of the veg stock (just enough to cover the bottom of the pan).  Mix the sweet potatoes until they're covered in the stock.  Add a few dashes of cumin and a pinch of salt and pop it in the oven.  Check on them every 15-20 minutes and add a bit more stock if needed.  After about 40 min take the sweet potatoes out of the oven and stir them up a bit.  If they aren't done yet, add some more veg stock (if they're dry) and then cover the dish with foil and place it back in the oven for a few more minutes.  When the sweet potatoes are soft and can easily be pierced with a fork, they're done.

In a high speed blender add 1 1/2 cups of the veg stock and half of the sweet potatoes and process.  Keep adding the sweet potatoes (and stock as needed) until they're all in the blender and process until smooth.  Add a pinch of turmeric and taste.  Add more cumin and salt if needed.  Transfer the contents to a pot on the stove and warm until heated through.

Serve it like this...

...or the way that I ate it...

   You guys should know by now that I have to add greens to everything that I eat and this meal was no exception.  I poured the creamy sweet potato soup over a bed of raw kale... my favorite green on the planet!  I added a bit of nutritional yeast and a squirt of lemon right before eating.  It was so delicious!  

   If you liked this recipe, stay tuned tomorrow for another sweet potato recipe! 
Until then, have a Happy Friday!

Ves xx

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Hungry For Change

    Hey guys!  Just saw this trailer and I had to share it with you!  After watching it, I can't wait to see this movie!  This new film will be launching in a FREE Worldwide Online Premiere from March 21-31, 2012.  Check out the trailer and then sign up to view the movie for free!

Your health is in your hands!

Ves xx
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