Saucy Sunday

Saucy Sunday

Sundays sure can be saucy. They toy with your emotions, they’re insolent, as if to say, too bad, Monday is almost here! As a remedy for  the Sunday blues, I’ve put together three easy-to-make-at-home sauces, ready to be mixed with simple steamed vegetables or any other odds and ends you may have around your kitchen. So put your feet up, grab a book, and go enjoy your last lazy day with some sauciness. Tangy Tahini Dressing My attempt to recreate a dressing that was a foundation of my childhood- Annie’s Goddess Dressing. It made me fall in love with salads. Here is my own version. 1/4 C raw tahini 3 tsp. tamari 3 tsp. brown rice vinegar 1 tsp. ume plum vinegar 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice 1/2 tsp. garlic powder 1/4- 1/2 tsp. ceyenne powder (how spicy do you like it?) 2 tsp. sesame seeds (black and white, if you like) Put all ingredients into a jar or bowl. Mix together with a spoon or a whisk (the tahini takes a while to break down), meanwhile adding several tablespoons of warm water  until you achieve desired consistency. For a salad dressing, I like to add a little more water (4-5 Tbs) or for dipping sauce a little less (2-3 Tbs.) Walnut Miso Sauce This was a delightful discovery, and I make it all the time. 100% of the credit goes to Heidi Swanson from 101cookbooks, but I have to include it. If you make this sauce, you might as well double it or triple it since it takes a little bit longer and it’s so worth it. Just...
Spring flavors

Spring flavors

Green Pea Soup recipe from 101cookbooks.com Farmer’s markets are in full swing, fruits and vegetables are abundant, and food takes on a whole new taste, texture, smell and color… when else besides spring does it seem natural to eat a soup as astonishingly green as the one pictured above? (compliments to Heidi at 101cookbooks.com) Spring is a time for renewal and transformation as we move out the cold, wet, dark winter months of hibernation. This could mean shedding some winter weight by eating lighter foods and exercising more. It could also mean, ahem, spring cleaning- maybe it’s time to finally clean out your closet or get rid of those three-year-old canned goods in the pantry? Now is the time! Spring cooking is characterized by lighter cooking methods and more fresh foods, which help us harmonize with the energy of the season. Why eat seasonally? There are lots of benefits to eating seasonally, but here are the biggies: It’s pleasing to the palate. Pick a ripe cherry tomato off the vine and pop it in your mouth; prepare yourself lunch using handfuls of greens picked fresh from the garden. Notice how food tastes better when it’s eaten close to harvest? It’s true, and it makes sense: when food is transported over long distances, it must be picked before it’s fully ripe in anticipation of it’s journey. These fruits and vegetables are refrigerated and don’t ripen in the same way as fresh produce does, thus effecting their taste and texture. I stopped eating mealy, flavorless tomatoes in the middle of winter for precisely this reason. It’s more nutritous. Vitamins and minerals are more abundant...
Nutritional yeast

Nutritional yeast

What is nutritional yeast? When I was growing up I spent many-a-night watching movies with a big bowl of buttery popcorn topped with this yellow, flaky product called nutritional yeast (ps. I grew up in Eugene, OR in a very health food-minded household). My mom also sprinkled it on our cat’s food, who was crazy about it. Now I use it as a condiment, added to anything and everything that happens to be on my plate; I’ve even started using it to make casseroles, sauces, and dressings. But besides being versatile and yummy (and a cat supplement), what exactly IS IT? Developed as a non-active yeast (i.e. it doesn’t cause bread to rise) and created specifically as a nutritional supplement, nutritional yeast is rich in protein and B vitamins. This is not to be confused with brewers yeast, which is a bi-product of breweries and distilleries and doesn’t have the same nutritional value. Nutritional yeast is grown in mineral-enriched cane and beet molasses and then pasteurized to kill the active yeast. At that time, all the necessary vitamins, namely B-vitamins and calcium, are added to the mixture before it is dried and packaged. Click here for a nifty little illustration of the process. Also, there is more information on this page, as well as the nutritional facts. Nutritional benefits: rich in amino acids and B-vitamins Here’s a quickie lesson on nutrition: 1) Amino acids: not produced by the body so we must get them from our food. We need these amino acids to form protein, which the body uses for growth and maintenance. Nutritional yeast has two grams of...
Start your morning green

Start your morning green

Haley’s green power smoothie 1/2 banana, frozen 1/2 cup blueberries, frozen 1 Tbs whole flax seed 1tsp. whole chia seed 1tsp Vitamineral Green 1tsp maca powder 2 Tbs. protein powder of your choice 1 handful of greens (kale, chard, or spinach) 1 tsp bee pollen (optional) water blend and enjoy! (you will actually find that it’s more of a brown color…) Why, you may ask? Bananas: Provide immediate and prolonged energy, good source of fiber and replaces essential nutrients lost during workouts. High in potassium and iron. Blueberries: High in micronutrients and antioxidants, has cancer-prevention qualities. Flax seed: packed with beneficial nutrients, especially B vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids (lowers  inflammation), fiber (lowers cholesterol), and phytochemicals (cancer-fighting antioxidants). Chia seed: super food of the Aztecs, high in fiber and healthy oils (similar to flax). Vitamineral Green: an organic, natural, cleansing, nutrient–rich combination of grasses and other greens, spirulina and other seaweeds. You can find this brand in most health food stores or buy it online here. Maca powder: a root commonly used in Peru to provide strength for Inca warriors. Contains calcium, zinc, iron, potassium, B vitamins, vitamin C, fiber and protein. Improves brain function, fertility, and libido. Protein powder: Use any protein powder of your choice. I use Garden of Life RAW Protein Powder, or Nutritibiotic Protein Powder, which are both certified organic, raw, and vegan. They’re made from sprouted brown rice, which is an excellent source of protein and have all the essential amino acids. A good alternative to soy or whey powders. Leafy greens: packed with vitamins and nutrients that prevent cancer and other diseases (i.e. eat lots of...
Kabocha squash and fennel

Kabocha squash and fennel

 This is a rich, flavorful, and savory side dish that uses two of my most favorite vegetables: kabocha squash (delicious, creamy, sweet) and fennel (tender and sweet with a mild anise flavor). It’s a simple recipe, yet the ingredients speak for themselves. Except for prepping the squash, this recipe is super easy to whip up any night of the week; it can be a side dish, or serve it with brown rice and it becomes a main course! Yum! Ingredients 2 tbsp. of butter or Earth Balance non-dairy butter 20 (about 1/2 bag) pearl onions, peeled and whole 3 garlic cloves, diced 1/2 fennel bulb, sliced in thin half moons 1/2 cup of dry white wine 1/2 cup of veggie broth 1/4 tsp. of salt 1/4 tsp. of fresh-ground pepper (to taste) 4 cup of kabocha squash, peeled and cubed Steps Heat butter in a large saucepan over medium heat Sautee onions and squash for about 5 minutes, or until slightly browned Add garlic and fennel, sautee for 5 more minutes Add wine and broth to saucepan, mix together ingredients, then cover Let everything simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally (add a little more broth to the pan if the liquid burns off) When the squash is tender, uncover and let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving...
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