Tag

Vegan Archives - Kohler Created

The Juice is Loose!

By | Juicing, Paleo | 4 Comments

DSC_0918

A few weeks ago while working upstairs in the loft, we came across “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” on Netflix. We were immediately intrigued by the premise that a man had cured his weight-related health issues with a lifestyle change that involved a 60-day juice fast. That’s no small order.

In the beginning of the film, you meet Joe Cross. He’s 100 pounds overweight (310 lbs), and suffering from an auto-immune disease as the result of his poor health and obesity. Between countless medications, no energy and few answers from his doctors, he felt like he was close to death. With time running out, he turns to the only option he feels he has left, his diet. He gives up junk food and sets out on a 60-day road trip with a juicer and a generator and a goal of regaining his life and health. Along the way, he interviews hundreds of people about food, health issues and longevity.

We’ve been wanting to replace our hand-me-down juicer for some time, but we didn’t even get through the film before jumping in the car and heading to the store to buy a new juicer. As it turned out, every store was completely out of every option in our price range and we went home empty-handed.

A few weeks later, after doing some additional research, we purchased a Breville Juice Fountain Compact. It’s small, a huge selling point as we wanted the function without another massive contraption hugging the edges of our already limited counter space.

DSC_0912

Not knowing what to expect, we were blown away at how fast and efficient juicers are now. Our prior experience has been limited to the older model Neil’s mom gave us last year, and with it, the juice seemingly ended up everywhere from start to finish. This juicer has everything compartmentalized so the juice only ends up in the chute and the pitcher. The rinds, which are nearly bone dry after juicing, collect in the tub around the chute, and can easily be scraped out for compost or rinsed out. Juicing no longer feels like a messy, time consuming chore and now the fun can really begin!

DSC_0910

Our first batch of juice was a simple carrot banana lime and ginger juice. We combined 6-8 carrots (I honestly lost track, I just kept dropping them into the chute), 1 banana, 1 lime and a bit of minced ginger.

DSC_0915

Sweet enough to taste like a treat without being too sugary. It’s frothy too, which is yummy. Neil’s mom loves celery in her juices, so we’re going to try that next. We’d also like to add greens to our juices, so if you have any tips or combinations you’d like us to try, we’d love to hear them!

Have you ever bought something immediately after seeing it on TV or the Web?

Vegan Creamy Broccoli Salad and No More Dark Photography!

By | Appetizers, Food, Recipes, Salads, Sides, Vegan, Vegetarian | 3 Comments

Vegan Creamy Broccoli Salad

This weekend we finally picked up the much-anticipated external flash (the Nikon SB-600) for our D90 (thanks to Neil’s brother Alex). It was long past due. The stress of taking food pictures when you have a dark kitchen and it gets dark at before 5 was increasingly frustrating. We had tried different techniques and placement, but ended up always trying to cram everything into the weekends to get the right light leaving blogging feeling very prescribed.

Our Lord and Savior, the SB-600

The SB-600

Now it feels like the sky is the limit and with some more practice, we’ll have better consistency no matter what time of day it is. I took hundreds of photos this weekend, and no matter what time it is, I can get photos that with just a few tweaks are ready for upload, saving me hours at a time.

My first subject was this amazing Vegan Creamy Broccoli Salad that I whipped up for a trip to see family in St. Louis on Saturday. Faced with a two-hour car ride, I wanted a veggie side dish to that didn’t have mayo or dairy. I’d never considered using tofu to replace the mayo, and I’m so glad I did because it tastes so much better! While I still feel like a complete newb with tofu, Neil’s  brother Alex has never cooked with it, so it was fun to share the recipe, some tips, and hopefully a new ingredient for him to try out.

Ingredients:

4 cups of noodles, cooked (your choice on the type, we used spirals)
1 12.3 ounce box silken extra firm tofu, drained
2 tablespoons. olive oil
2 tablespoons. stone ground mustard
2 tablespoons. fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon. sugar, plus more to taste
¼ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
4-5 cups chopped fresh broccoli florets
1 celery stalk, chopped
¼ cup finely chopped red onion
2-4 clementines or tangerines (or 2 oranges), peeled and sectioned
1 cup raw cashews

Directions:

Vegan Creamy Broccoli Salad

1. In a food processor or blender, blend tofu with olive oil until smooth. Add the mustard, lemon juice, sugar and salt, processing for 30 seconds to 1 minute longer, until creamy and well combined. Set aside.

Vegan Creamy Broccoli Salad

2. In a large bowl, toss together the broccoli florets, chopped celery, red onion, clementines and raw cashews until well mixed. Toss the salad with the tofu dressing and refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.

Vegan Creamy Broccoli Salad

This is the perfect dish for any number of events where you a) don’t have a lot of time to prepare and b) want a dish that can work with a fair number of special diets, especially if change up the noodles to something other than whole-wheat.

Do you have a last-minute go-to potluck recipe? One you use specifically during the holidays?

Football Games and Chocolate Ginger Orange Cupcakes

By | Desserts, Food, Kitchen, Recipes, Tailgate, Vegan | 15 Comments

Vegan Chocolate Orange and Ginger Cupcakes

Print

Thanks for bearing with me yesterday. I’d been fighting off what I knew was an oncoming cold and I woke up yesterday feeling as if I’d been beaten with a brick. I took the day off to get some much needed rest, but as I’m sure is the case for many of you, my schedule and commitments don’t really allow for the R&R I probably really need. So I’m back at work today, feeling a bit patched together, with a stack of catch-up work a mile high, but unwilling to wait another day to share our weekend happenings with you.

During dinner on Thursday, our good friend Blake called with free tickets to Saturday’s football game. Because we’re not diehard fans, we have yet to attend a game. We’re usually just the posers who pilfer the tailgate scene. Still, we thought it’d be fun to see a game with him and Anja (who also got a free ticket), so we scooped up the tickets and told Clive it’d be another week before he could attend a tailgate. Poor guy gets so excited!

data

data

Even though we weren’t wearing gold (woops!) or really cheering for any team, we still had fun sitting through the rain and watching a very close game between the Tigers and the San Diego State Aztecs.

I’m still on a fiendish dessert kick lately so rather than make messy time with a Crock or pan full of something I opted to whip together some “Black and Gold” Cupcakes. In reality they’re a delicious vegan chocolate cupcake with freshly grated ginger and orange I had on hand. Something perfectly warm with a hint of spice for fall. I have to say though, these are the best cupcakes I’ve ever made. Perfect moisture, delectable chocolate balanced with orange and ginger (my favorite combination next to chocolate and raspberry), with just enough richness to go perfect with a glass of milk (regular, soy, or other). Yes people, I’ve arrived in cupcake utopia, and it is glorious!

(Adapted from: The Kitchn)

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cups sugar
¾ cups water
½ cup canola oil
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
2 tablespoons freshly grated orange peel
1 tablespoon orange juice
2 tablespoons cider vinegar

Glaze:
¼ cup powdered sugar (you can also use brown)
4 tablespoons orange juice or juice squeezed from 1 orange

Directions

Vegan Chocolate Orange and Ginger Cupcakes

Vegan Chocolate Orange and Ginger Cupcakes

Vegan Chocolate Orange and Ginger Cupcakes

Vegan Chocolate Orange and Ginger Cupcakes

Vegan Chocolate Orange and Ginger Cupcakes

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Mix all dry ingredients until thoroughly combined.
3. Add water, oil, vanilla, orange juice, ginger and orange peel and mix again. Add vinegar slowly while stirring.
4. Once the mixure darkens, pour into muffin tins. Bake for 15-20 minutes (it took ours the full 20 minutes) for a medium sized cupcake. Allow to sit in pan for 5 minutes, remove and place on wire rack until completely cool.
5. Mix powdered sugar and orange juice until sugar is fully dissolved. Using a pastry brush, brush the top of each muffin. Garnish with orange peel if desired.

Makes 12 muffins.

This recipe would also be well-suited for a cake or quick bread. It was certainly perfect for an abnormally warm fall tailgate, and I’m glad I opted to make these and not a hot dish of any kind. Hopefully summer decides to take it’s leave soon. I’m ready for Fall to actually begin, minus this head cold!

Is summer still  holding on where you live?

Vegan Pumpkin Zucchini Bread

By | Desserts, Food, Kitchen, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian | 7 Comments

Vegan Pumpkin Zucchini Bread

We’re getting really itchy for fall around here. We’re ready for the garden to die. We’re really ready for the lawn to go dormant and I’m craving tailgates and warm rummy apple cider. We’re still enjoying fruits and veggies, but I’ve been dying for a reason to use the canned pumpkin that’s leftover from last fall (yup, I was the idiot who stockpiled it when the media said there would be a shortage). It still feels too early for apple pie, so alas, Pumpkin Zucchini Bread was born. I made mine vegan, but by switching up the applesauce and shortening for eggs and butter, it’s easy to revert.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup applesauce
2 cups sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup vegetable shortening
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup shredded zucchini
1 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:

Vegan Pumpkin Zucchini Bread

Vegan Pumpkin Zucchini Bread

Vegan Pumpkin Zucchini Bread

Vegan Pumpkin Zucchini Bread

1. In a mixing bowl, combine applesauce and sugar. Add pumpkin, shortening and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients; gradually add to pumpkin mixture and mix well. Stir in zucchini and nuts.
2. Pour into two greased and floured 9-in. x 5-in. x 3-in. loaf pans.
3. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45-50 minutes or until breads test done. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Remove to a wire rack.

As you can see I opted to make mini loaves and mini muffins. I don’t know what’s come over me, but I’m lately obsessed with tiny baking forms. No real rationale, I just like little things. I’ve been oggling these tart pans on Amazon. Oh and these adorable cookie cutters for Clive’s cookies. I think I may need a third job to support my baking habit. In any sense, this bread is deliciously full of pumpkin flavor, albeit a little dense from it and the zucchini.

Asian Plum Sauce Stir Fry

By | Food, Main Courses, organic, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian | 2 Comments

Plum Stir Fry

We have just a few homegrown plums left of the four boxes we started with. The other night, in a fit of divine experimentation, we made the most incredible ginger plum sauce. It was so good we couldn’t help but make a stir fry. It was incredible. Salty, sweet, and beautifully hinted with fruit, we each had two massive helpings, and then promptly passed out on the couch in food coma. I started thinking about Fall the other day and while I’m excited for cooler temperatures, I’m going to be devastated when the fruiting season is over. I’ve enjoyed the nearly unlimited amounts of fruits and veggies we’ve had at our disposal.

Ingredients:

For the stir fry:
2-3 cups veggies of your choice (In this stir fry we used edamame soybeans, broccoli and carrots)
1/2 box of long noodles or 1 1/2 cups rice (whatever is enough to make 3-4 cups of finished pasta/rice)
2 tbsp. olive oil, sesame oil, or peanut oil
chili flakes, soy sauce or sriracha to taste

For the sauce:
8 cups plums, pitted, halved (3 pounds/1.5 kg)
1 cup water
3 teaspoon gingerroot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup rice vinegar (you could also use apple cider vinegar)
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon cloves

Directions

Plum Stir Fry

Plum Stir Fry

Plum Stir Fry

Plum Stir Fry

Red Stripe Light

Plum Stir Fry

For Sauce: Bring plums, water, ginger and garlic to boil over medium heat in a large heavy saucepan. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until plums and onions are very tender, about 30 minutes. Press through food mill or sieve and return to clean pan. Stir in sugar, fish sauce/vinegar, coriander, salt, cinnamon, pepper and cloves. Bring to boil, stirring; reduce heat to low and simmer until mixture reaches consistency of applesauce, about 45 minutes.

For Stir Fry: 1. Prepare noodles or rice according to directions. (If you choose to add meat, stir-fry meat/tofu in wok with olive oil, sesame oil, or peanut oil, or a combination of any.) 2. Add veggies and stir to coat in remaining oil. Stir together and cook for 3-4 minutes before adding noodles. Add a little more oil to coat all ingredients and continue stirring. 3. Pour plum sauce evenly over stir fry and stir to coat. Cook an additional 1-2 minutes. Add chili pepper flakes or sriracha and serve. We added a little Bragg’s Liquid Aminos in place of soy sauce. It was delish!

You probably noticed the Red Stripe Light in the photos. It was not one of the ingredients, however after passing it in the store for several weeks, we decided to give it a try and we give it a thumbs up. I’ve never been much of a beer person, but I’m slowly enjoying it more and more, and giving a few varieties I never thought I’d like the chance to impress me.

Review: The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters

By | Books | 3 Comments

alicebook

I have an unwritten rule about cookbooks. I don’t buy them if there are no pictures. It may seem childish, but I typically like to see what I’m cooking, mostly to know if I myself am failing the recipe. Few chefs get a pass at this rule. Alice Waters is one of them. If you’re a foodie, you definitely know who she is, but if you’re not, here’s a little praise. She is who I would consider to be the founder of California cuisine and one of the birthers of the public health food movement. She not only promotes healthy food, but local and organic when at all possible, sourcing menus for her legendary restaurant Chez Panisse locally and through small, independent producers. She’s is legendary, and definitely one of my top five favorite chefs of all time.

The Art of Simple Food is a bible-like tome of healthy, organic eating from start to finish. The recipes aren’t groundbreaking, but the simplicity and approach is reminiscent of the way your grandma might have cooked, without a recipe and from the knowledge of how food behaves. She not only details how to grow your own food, but how to harvest, prepare and serve it. The fresh ingredients are main stage. None of the recipes are overly detailed or complicated, meaning she doesn’t just throw shit in there for good reason (excuse my language, but I didn’t feel like mincing words). I particularly loved the how-to sections on staples such as homemade broth and soaking beans and legumes.

Waters mantra is to eat locally and sustainably, eat seasonally, and shop at farmers markets where possible. The goal is that if people form the right relationship or rekindle a love with what is around them, that they’ll respect and take care of it. Not only that, but they’ll be more likely to take care of themselves. I highly recommend this book as a staple for any kitchen where this message is aspiration or already a way of life.

I hope to share some of my gleaned inspiration from this book next week!

{image and another awesome review via Treehugger}

Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Cake…Tart?

By | Desserts, Food, Kitchen, Recipes, Vegan | 19 Comments

Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Cake

As I mentioned earlier today, I scored a massive zucchini from one of our research farms (I’m a web developer for a  Plant Sciences department). I’ve never seen such a huge zucchini, have you? With Neil and I already being sparse eaters, and Neil hating the taste of zucchini on its own (brat!), I had to find a way — or realistically multiple ways — to use this awesome veggie without it tasting like — itself. My mind always prioritizes dessert first, so I adapted my recipe for vegan chocolate banana cake for the addition of zucchini. The result was less cake-like and more tart, so I added a yummy almond and brown sugar topping.

It’s so good!

I’m not normally a huge fan of zucchini bread, I tend to think it needs something sweet like chocolate in order to be palatable. I’ve been nom’ing this like crazy. It’s almost embarrassing. Sneaking bites for breakfast, in the middle of the night, and taking it to work for a snack. I should add that I doubled the recipe (we were originally supposed to go to two barbecues) and got 2 cakes and a loaf of bread, so I had more than plenty leftover through no fault of my own. My poor diet never seems to catch a break! Luckily this is vegan and as healthy as cake can be, full of not only zucchini but bananas and applesauce as well. You’ll also notice the addition of a food processor to our kitchen inventory. Neil had some credit card reward points to use up and surprised me with it last week!

Ingredients:

2 cups Whole wheat flour
½ cup Cocoa powder
1 teaspoon Baking soda
½ teaspoon Baking powder
¼ teaspoon Salt
¼ cup Canola oil
¼ cup Unsweetened applesauce
½ cup Granulated sugar
½ cup Light brown sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 teaspoon Instant coffee powder
1 ½ bananas (to replace 3 eggs)
4 Tablespoons Water
¼ cup Soy Milk
2 cups Zucchini, grated
1 cup vegan dark chocolate chips

For Topping:
3 Tablespoons Light brown sugar
½ cup Slivered Almonds, chopped

Directions:

DSC_0709

Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Cake

DSC_0710

Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Cake

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 360 F. Grease and flour a 9-inch cake pan.
  2. 2. In a large mixing bowl sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  3. 3. Mash the bananas. Once mashed, add the water and mix together.
  4. 4. In a medium combine oil, applesauce, sugars, vanilla extract and coffee powder. Stir or beat with mixer for 3-5 minutes.
  5. 5. Now add the banana + water and mix. Add milk and beat until well combined.
  6. 6. Set aside half a cup of the flour mixture, add slowly the remaining flour to the wet ingredients, while mixing it in at a low speed. Combine the grated zucchini, chocolate chips and 1/2 cup of flour. Add this to the batter and mix it well. The batter will be very thick, so no worries.
  7. 7. Pour the batter in the prepared cake pan and smooth it out using a spatula.
  8. 8. Mix brown sugar and almonds for the toping and spread evenly over the batter. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes.

If anything, you can probably ditch the oil. The zucchini, bananas, and applesauce are MORE than enough moisture. If you’re froggy, caramelizing the brown sugar and almonds on the stove top and adding after the cake bakes will probably work well also. If you can believe it, I still have a third of this monster zucchini left, so stay tuned!

Can There Ever Be Too Many Stir Fries? Cabbage and Leek Stir Fry

By | Family, Food, Kitchen, Main Courses, Recipes, Travel, Vegan, Vegetarian | One Comment

DSC_0466

We arrived home late last night after a whirlwind sprint to Minnesota and back for my cousin Nate’s wedding  to our new Sarah (we now have 3 Sarah’s in the family). We spent the weekend dodging insane weather, including 2 tornadoes and a host of warnings and hail predictions. I’m so happy to be home, and hopefully back on routine. I missed blogging and Twitter like crazy. It’s amazing how easily you can miss people you’ve never met! Definitely had a great time, and we can’t wait to share the photos and scandalous video with you.

In all the craziness of last week we abandoned attempts to try out new recipes and fell back on some favorite staples. We did however squeeze in a little bit of experimentation in with one our favorite staples the Stir Fry. I love trying new sauces. Whether it’s a hotter, sweeter, or a more peanuty or fruity flavor, each new flavor is a chance to fall in love all over again.

Ingredients:

3 medium-size carrots, sliced or chopped
3-4 cups baby bok choy, or other Chinese cabbage (you can leave pieces larger, halve them, or chop them into thirds)
1 cup leek
1/2 box of long noodles or 1 1/2 cups rice (whatever is enough to make 3-4 cups of finished pasta/rice)

For the sauce:
1/3 cup good-tasting stock (vegetarian or chicken stock)
2 Tbsp. fish sauce
1 Tbsp. lime juice
5-7 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp. liquid honey (or  brown sugar), plus more to taste
2 tsp. corn starch dissolved in 4 Tbsp. water
1 red chili, minced, 1 tsp. chili sauce, or 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

Directions:

4731672081_9dc5dacda4_o

1. To make sauce: Place all ingredients – except garlic and cornstarch – in a sauce pan over medium-high heat.
2. When sauce begins to bubble, reduce heat to medium-low. Add minced garlic and cornstarch (dissolved in water). Stir until the sauce thickens slightly (around 30 seconds to 1 minute). Give it a little taste, and add ingredients to preferred taste.
3. Place a little oil in a wok/frying pan over medium to high heat. Add the carrots and tir fry 2-3 minutes, or until carrots begin to soften. Add extra oil (1 tablespoon at a time) if necessary.
4. Add the cabbage and the leak plus 1/3 of the stir-fry sauce and continue stir-frying another 2 minutes, or until the cabbage has softened but still retains some of its crispness.
5. Add remaining sauce and stir until hot. Serve immediately over noodles or rice and enjoy!

Compared to our other previous stir fries, this flavor really took the flavor of the lime and the saltiness of the fish sauce to create a really fresh flavor that I crave in the summer. I kind of wish we had made it over rice, as I think it would compliment the flavor and texture more, but cest la vie, it was amazing anyhow!

Vegan Chimichurri Dressing

By | Condiments, Food, Recipes, Vegan | 3 Comments

Chimichurri Marinade

If you’ve been watching Neil’s Twitter for the past week, you’ll notice that 98% of his tweets are about the World Cup. He’s been waiting for two years, and now that it’s on, whatever free moments he has have been spent glued to the games online. For my part, I thought it’d be cool to theme our dinners around his favorite teams and make some easy meals that could also double as snacks or party food as a way to celebrate at home and make the games a little bit more special.

One of Neil’s favorite teams is Argentina. Chimichurri sauce is said to have originated there, and it’s essentially a variant of traditional green sauce (it also can be red). It’s a great all-purpose sauce. You can use it as dressing on salads, marinade for meat, and a dip for bread or veggies. We opted to use it as a dressing for beans on toast, using black beans and a toasted loaf of thin French bread. It’s light and perfect for snacks or appetizers, and it goes great with the games because a little goes a long way.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup malt vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp. Fresh parsley; chopped
3 Large garlic cloves; minced
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. Fresh oregano leaves; chopped.
1/2 tsp. Freshly ground pepper
1 tsp. Pepper flakes

Directions:

Chimichurri Marinade

Chimichurri Marinade

1. Combine and stir. It’s just that easy. Feel free to add more cayenne or pepper flakes for a customized spice level.

It has that quintessential salt/pepper/vinegar taste, so if you’re a fan of it, you’ll love this. We added quite a bit more spice to ours, and the flavor is amazing when combined with beans and soaked into toasted bread.

One of those weeks…

By | Exercise, Friends | No Comments

Amy's Pizza!

We’re having one of those weeks. Have you had any of these recently? The kind where every minute is filled with at least ten things and you need 5 lists just to keep yourself on track? In addition to preparations for Steve and Anja’s wedding this weekend, we’ve been busy with freelance clients, my first week back in grad school and squeaking in as many gym visits as possible. No joke, we’ve eaten pizza every day this week! Thankfully it’s wonderful Amy’s Pizza, but nonetheless it’s just one of those weeks we’re totally off schedule. So rather than haphazardly throw a bunch of posts up just to have something there, we’re going to take the rest of the week off to really focus, and we’ll return Monday with more of the sweet action you’re accustomed to.

Have a great weekend!