Socca!

18 Dec

I have loved experimenting with new foods and recipes, from my go-to findingvegan site (:

I’ve seen many sooca recipes from pure2raw, so I finally tried their pumpkin lentil socca! I was so impressed how they turned out, and cooked all the way through, without being wet in the middle. They are so simple and versatile. With only 4 ingredients, I was thinking of all the ways I can tweak these and do so many different variations, sweet and savory.

Socca is a chickpea flour cake, but can be made with other beans as well. It is popular in Italy and France and is often baked in a large skillet in the oven. These are so healthy because they are so simple  with a pure lentil or chickpea base, where you can add any twist you wish. Baking into a bread or biscuit like consistency these can be great muffin replacements of any kind!

Lentils are a type of legume, they are great at lowering cholesterol and stabilizing blood sugar. They have a ton of  soluble (and insoluble) fiber. The way that soluble fiber is so great at lowering cholesterol is because soluble fiber forms a gel with water in your body and this reduces the amount of bile reabsorbed in the intestine and allows you to excrete this bile (where your cholesterol is), lowering your LDL cholesterol. This is the same way that oats work-except they have more beta-glucan.

They are high in magnesium and folate. Magnesium helps blood flow, which is one of the main reasons lentil are GREAT for heart health. These guys are also great at replenishing your iron stores in your body-so extra great for women. I cup has about 230 calories and 17 grams of fiber! That’s a lot of fiber-not that you would eat a whole cup by yourself at once-but still.

Pumpkin Lentil Socca from pure2raw

  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup lentil flour (made from whole lentils ground into flour in blender)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (can be from canned or fresh pumpkin)
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions:

pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

For the lentil flour: place whole lentils into a vita-mix or any blender. and blend till whole lentils become flour

In a large bowl and measure out 1 cup of your homemade lentil flour and place into bowl. next add in your sea salt, cinnamon, and pumpkin puree. begin to stir. then slowly add in your water. stir till everything is combined.

In muffin pan and a 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon and place 1/2 teaspoon worth of olive oil into each muffin pan. Makes 9-10 muffins

place oiled muffin pan into hot oven for 2-3 minutes. remove from oven and scoop your pumpkin lentil socca batter into each muffin liner. fill only half way full

place socca filled muffin pan bake into hot oven and make for 30 minutes. remove from oven and let cool for 1-2 minutes before removing socca muffins from pan.

Lentil flour in the vitamix

 

 

 

 

 

 

I added a teaspoon of cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice to add some more flavor. They were great, but still mild.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Perfect for topping with apple butter, pumpkin butter, pecan or almond butter, or really anything you want!

Even though the batter seems really wet and thin, they cook all the way through!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Almond butter with bananas and extra cinnamon (:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The options for these guys are endless. I would love to do a spice carrot cake socca, and savory sage, and even chocolate coconut!

JOY

15 Dec

I just finished all of my finals, what a relief! Can’t believe first semester is over already, it literally flew by. Now, time to not study, not stress, and go home to celebrate Christmas with joy! I have been so so lazy about updating the blog, studying for the past week straight. But now I have all the time I want to cook and bake and be so productive in a non-school way (:

Here is an end of the semester treat,  brownie batter dessert with carob chips, adapted from here.

Made with chickpeas and dark cocoa, this is one health(ier) dessert!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cute "mugs" right? They are from Anthropology!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They are actually….measuring cups! Cute enough to keep out on the counter for decoration & convenience. I love their vintage-look!

These would make excellent Christmas gifts.

 

 

Christmas cookies coming soon!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Worst of the Worst

11 Dec

I am continually disgusted…..Read how Monsanto is harming our health and world.

–> Monsanto

Happy Vegan Thanksgiving!

4 Dec

Lauren and I made a delicious vegan Thanksgiving of our own-but we shared (:

On the Menu:

Sweet Potato Casserole

Mushroom Walnut Stuffing

Cranberry Sauce

Carrot Souffle

Rosemary Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Pumpkin Pie

Raw Carrot Cake & Chocolate Coconut Balls.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The sweet potatoes were AMAZING! Perfectly sweet, but not too much. The key is to let the sugar naturally come out of the “hole forks” while the potatoes are baking in the oven. I used the whole potato, with skins (only if organic) to retain all the nutrients including the fiber. Using sucanat (the raw-est sugar you can find) allows you to use only a little, because it goes a long way.

Sweet Potato Casserole

Ingredients:

4 large sweet potatoes, unpeeled (only if organic)  and cooked
2 tablespoons vegan butter (I used Earth Balance) OR 1.5 Tbs melted Coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tbsp pure maple syrup
2 Tbs almond milk
1/2 teaspoon fine grain salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Topping:

4 TBA cup Earth Balance or Coconut Oil
1/4 cup Sucanat (or brown sugar)
1/3 cup spelt flour (or whole wheat) (or gluten-free)
3/4 cups chopped pecans
additional cinnamon
(unsweetened coconut sprinkled on top-optional
Directions: Bake sweet potatoes in oven at 424 for 45min to an hour depending on their size. They natural sugars should crystallize our of the “fork holes”. Then Preheat the oven to 350 F and lightly grease a 2 quart casserole dish with coconut oil. I wipe a bit on with a paper towel.

*For the topping first (so you don’t have to clean the vitamix twice!)

Add coconut oil (or vegan margarine) to vitamix then add the rest of the ingredients (Except pecans) Blend until combine then add pecans to lightly chop. Set aside in bowl

*For sweet potatoes: Cut in Half or quarter  baked sweet potatoes and add sweet potatoes with skins (if organic) to Vitamix. Blend just to mash it up some with the tamper. Add melted coconut oil, almond milk, maple, vanilla salt, and spices until well combined. If the consistency is too think add almond milk, if too thin add a little ground oats (oat flour) or ground flax if desired. Pour into casserole dish. Top with Topping and bake 350 for 50 minutes! Enjoy!

Carrot Souffle

  • 7  cups  chopped carrot (about 2 pounds)
  • 1/4  cup  sucanat
  • 1/4  cup  fat-free sour cream or less
  • 3  tablespoons  all-purpose flour (I use half whole wheat)
  • 2  tablespoons  coconut oil, melted
  • 1  teaspoon  baking powder
  • 1  teaspoon  vanilla extract
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 2 Tbs ground flax or chia with 6 Tbs warm water

 

Preheat oven to 350°.

Cook carrot in boiling water 15 minutes or until very tender, drain. Place carrot in a food processor or vitamix; process until smooth. Mix ground flax or chia with warm water and let sit for a few minutes in a seperate bowl. Add  sugar and next 7 ingredients to the cooked carrots; pulse to combine.

Spoon mixture into a 2-quart baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 40 minutes or until lightly brown on top. These will be soft and a little wet-so it is more like a cooked carrot dish than a souffle, but it is still delicious (:

Pumpkin Pie

The recipe for the FILLING is from here

The recipe for the spelt CRUST is from here

Carrot Cake Balls: 2 large carrots, splash of carrot juice, grated ground ginger, raw almonds, dates, cinnamon, nutmeg. Blend in vitamix and roll in oats. Keep in freezer.

Chocolate Coconut Balls: Raw cashews, dates, cocoa powder, cinnamon, dash of vanilla. Blend in vitamix and roll in unsweetened coconut. Keep in freezer.

Gotta Get the Greens

20 Nov

Amidst the holiday season, it can be very difficult to incorporate all the greens we need. Which is a LOT. I know I’ll use the excuse of making something with cooked squash, some grains, or other “comforting” foods, as the weather gets colder. Yes I think it is important to listen to our bodies in what we should eat (to a certain extent) but it is also vital we don’t skimp on the raw veggies. Hey- kale, collards, chard and spinach are all in season anyways, so it’s perfect! I buy atleast one of those dark leafy’s from the farmers market at least once a week. Then I can always freeze what I didn’t use by the end of the week for smoothies.

Plant protein is extremely bioavailable to our bodies from dark leafy greens, as well as beta-carotene, vitamin K, as well as folate, iron, and calcium.

These are the most nutritionally dense foods (most nutrients per calorie). When it comes to serving and portion control, RAW dark leafy (and unleafy, like broccoli) greens are in the “as much as you can eat” list.

Our plates should be 2/3rds  raw dark green vegetables, with a small rich source of plant protein, fruit and very little grains to follow.

No I do not remotely agree with the “My Plate” recommendations set by the USDA. They don’t address portion size, allows WAY too much grains and protein. Americans eat way more protein then they need, which gets stored as fat in excess. Which is why it is hilarious to always here people ask me “Where do you get your protein!?” Protein deficiency in vegans is rare. Plant protein is much better absorbable and digestible by our bodies.

“Eat (real) Food, Not Too Much, Mostly Plants.” -Michael Pollan  (I added the “real” part)

Broccoli and Kale Ginger Miso Salad (RAW)

2-3 Cups of raw kale

2 Cups raw broccoli

1 Zucchini –> Spiralized into noodles

1 onion chopped

Slivered Almonds (optional)

1 Organic Red Bell Pepper, chopped

Handful of raisins or dried cranberries

Ginger Miso Dressing (Recipe from Choosing Raw)

(Makes 1.5 cups)

1 inch ginger
1 cup olive or flax oil
2 tsp sesame oil (toasted)
Juice of 1 lime
4 tbsp mellow white miso
4 large dates, pitted, or ¼ cup maple syrup
2 tbsp nama shoyu or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
1/3 cup water

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Raw kale can be hard to digest, if not properly worked. So make sure you massage raw kale with some olive oil, other dressing, or simply water. This also prevents chelation of some key minerals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Asian-Ginger Tofu over Kale

(Serves 1 1/2)

5.5 oz Sprouted Tofu (You can buy a 2-5.5 oz package, with the 2 small 5.5oz attached, so when you only need enough to serve 1 the other half stays sealed and fresh)

2 Cups Raw Kale

1/4 Sliced Onion

7-8 Cherry Tomatoes, halved

1/2 Large Green Bell Pepper Sliced

Drizzle of Olive Oil and Lime Juice

Squeeze tofu as much as possible to remove the liquid. I do not have a tofu-press. But I usually just wrap it in a towel in a baking dish and place a heavy pan or bowl on top for several hours.

Use a combination of Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, Brown Rice vinegar, Lime Juice, Garlic Powder, and Ground Ginger. Mix and cover over tofu (cut into cubes) for as long a you would like it to marinate.

Bake tofu at 400 for about 30 minutes, flipping once. I threw in my sliced onions in the pan for the last 10 minutes to soften them up.

Drizzle a little olive oil and lime juice over kale, and massage until tender. Top tofu and the rest of the veggies on top and enjoy!

 

All About Sweet Potatoes

6 Nov

Sweet potatoes are one of my top three favorite vegetables and deserve their very own post. Yes Sweet Potatoes are a super food!

I actually just harvested some sweet potatoes during my Civic Agriculture class when we took a visit to Kentland Farm, where are the organic produce goes to dining serves to be served in Farms and Fields!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have been eating approximately 5 sweet potatoes a week. They just never get old. If not with dinner, I prepare and pack it up to take it with me on campus! How can you not like something that is naturally so sweet and versatile (although I am prone to eat them my favorite way everyday). Not surprisingly they are FULL of so many beneficial properties.

In about 77 grams-which is roughly 1 sweet potato, you receive over 260% of your Vitamin A (in the form of Beta-Carotene) needed in one day.

-High in Vitamin C (25%) and Manganese(20%)

-Amazing anti-oxidant properties shown from the carotenoid pigment. Some studies shown the beta-carotene to be MORE bioavalable to our bodies than dark leafy greens! (Which are typically thought to be one of the best sources)

-High in phytonutrients, which are powerful antioxidants that have been shown (in sweet potatoes) to lower heavy metals and oxygen radicals in our digestive system, which is great news to people with irritable bowel syndrome.

Anit-inflammatory properties due to Anthocyanin pigment has been shows to decrease inflammation in brain and nervous tissue.

-Control blood sugar levels, which one wouldn’t expect from a starchy food! Which is good news to diabetics.

-Leave the skin on (only if organic) to enhance the insoluble fiber content. Note: Conventional sweet potatoes are heavily sprayed, not to mention waxed and often dyed.

I just love my sweet potatoes way too much.

How I usually prepare them:

Bake in microwave (if in a hurry and uses less electricity) for oven.

Top with raw almond butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, shredded unsweetened coconut, and raw pecan pieces.

* I put cinnamon on as much foods as I can.

I whip this together really quick and wrap and foil and take as a perfect lunch in between classes when I am stuck on campus all day. I just have to remember to bring my own fork and knife-plastic doesn’t cut it.

 

These amazing spuds are in the Convolvulaceae family and are dicots. Yams are in the Dioscoreaceae family and are monocots, noting their sole difference.

Great news is that the beta-carotene is BETTER adsorbed by adding a small amount of natural fat. I was thrilled to learn this considered I can’t resist topping mine with almond butter. But you only need 3-5 grams of a coconut oil/butter or nuts/seeds in some form.

 

The almond butter warms up and oozes out. Also, try cashew or pecan butter!

Crazy enough, beta carotene is the most bioavailable to us when we boil them, opposed baking or roasting. The GI (glycemic Index: The scale of  spike in blood glucose upon consumption of a certain food. We don’t want to eat too many high GI foods) for roasting is 82, Baking is 94, and Boiling is 46. I was shocked when I found this out. I will have to start boiling (still with the skin on) and mashing them up mixed with some garlic, onion, thyme, and rosemary possibly?

My typical dinners lately:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pair with dark leafy greens (kale) topped with onions, dried cranberries, hemp seed, and a splash of olive oil & lemon juice. What a delightful dinner. Time is big factor in preventing me from trying so many other new sweet potato dishes. 😦

 

Try:

Sweet Potato Chickpea Burgers, Sweet Potato Mash, Sweet Potato Casserole, Black Bean Burgers, Spirals/Wraps,

P.S. I am on the hunt to try a Purple and White Sweet Potato next!

 

Fall!

30 Oct

Ginger Sage Butternut Squash Soup (from Happy Healthy Life)

Makes 6 cups-I halved to 3 cups which serves about 2.

  • 1 cup canned organic pumpkin
  • 4 cups butternut squash cubes (I used half butternut, half acorn squash)
  • 1-inch fresh ginger or 1 Tbsp ginger powder
  • 1/3 cup grade B maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp vegan buttery spread-I used coconut spread
  • 1/2 tsp pink sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon-or more
  • dash of nutmeg

 

  • 4 leaves fresh sage, torn
  • 1/2 cup+ plain almond milk

Bring water and butternut squash to a boil. Add a pinch of salt. Boil until squash is tender, but not falling apart.
Drain the squash and add to a Vitamix or high speed blender. Add in the pumpkin, spices, and all the remaining ingredients. For the almond milk, start with 1/2 cup and keep adding until your soup reaches your desired thickness.
Blend and Serve immediately – warm. Sprinkle cinnamon on top and garnish with sage leaves or pumpkin seeds.

 

Enjoy one of the most beautiful times of the year (: