Tag Archives: Vegan

Sweet Potato and Chickpea Bites

Sweet Potato, chickpea bites

These delicious bites turned out better than I’d ever hoped. I’m really pleased with how tasty they are.

Original Recipe:

http://cheapeatsforthegreenbean.com/2014/08/03/sweet-potato-and-chickpea-bites/

I modified the recipe to include ingredients I already had on hand. I only had one sweet potato for instance, and I used Tarragon as a garnish instead of scallions as the recipe originally calls for.

Ingredients I used:

  • 1 large sweet potato
  • equal amount chickpeas as sweet potato (I used frozen, thawed)
  • Kale, fine chopped
  • Garlic
  • Coconut Milk
  • Coconut Oil
  • Seasoning: paprika, cayenne, red chili flakes, curry powder, nutritional yeast, salt & pepper
  • Fresh Herbs I used: Thyme & Tarragon

 

Directions:

  1. Boil sweet potato & prepare chickpeas (frozen, thawed on stove)
  2. Sautee garlic (briefly, until fragrant)
  3. Add Kale and reduce heat to low, cover and steam (very briefly)
  4. Season with: Paprika, cayenne, red chili flakes, curry powder
  5. Add thawed chickpeas and stir well.
  6. Combine in a large bowl with sweet potato mash, 3-4 tablespoons of coconut milk and nutritional yeast.
  7. Add S & P and any additional seasonings. I added fresh Thyme and Tarragon from the garden.
  8. Bake in a greased muffin tin (coconut oil works well for greasing) –  20 minutes at 450 degrees.

Voila !

 

 

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Raw Almond Thai Noodles

Raw Almond Thai Noodles

I am often creating dishes from whatever I have and here is an example of something I threw together in a hurry before work recently. I am really pleased with how it turned out and have since recreated this dish several times.

I recently started eating a lot of zucchini noodles, and this is by far my favorite version I’ve made yet. If you’ve never used or even heard of a spiralizer be sure to check out this link:

http://www.amazon.com/Essential-Spiralizer-Tri-Blade-Spiral-Vegetable/dp/B006THC75E/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1406215399&sr=8-4&keywords=spiralizer

Without a Prime membership to Amazon.com there may be a cheaper option available (I didn’t check shipping prices) however, with Prime I found this to be the cheapest option. If you are not used to unusual kitchen appliances, do not be intimidated! Here’s a link to a video I like that shows just how simple and straightforward using it really is:

Ingredients:

  • Raw zucchini noodles, spiralized
  • Pine Nuts
  • Cilantro
  • Shelled Hemp Seeds
  • Pairs well with Avocado

Sauce:

  • Almond Butter
  • Water
  • Hoison Sauce
  • Gluten Free Soy Sauce (or Braggs Amino)
  • Lime juice
  • Coconut Milk (optional)
  • Udo’s oil (add last, also optional)

To make the sauce I whisked together a fair amount of Almond Butter (main ingredient, be sure to use enough) with just a bit of water until the consistency was smooth and creamy.  And then I added about a tablespoon of Hoison Sauce, a dash of GF Soy Sauce, squeezed the juice from about half of a lime, a tablespoon or so of coconut milk and at the end I also added a bit of Udo’s oil for added nutrients.

I hope you give this a try and enjoy it as much as I have!

Cheers to good Health!

Don’t forget to soak your nuts

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It’s widely known that nuts in general are very healthy for us and full of protein, vitamins and nutrients. They are especially essential in vegetarian and vegan diets, working as an amazing source of protein. However I have found that it is not as prominently known that soaking our nuts before eating them is important in order to digest more easily and to fully absorb the nutrients with-in.

Look for example at how the skin of almonds separates when soaked. The skin of almonds can cause a great deal of bloating and discomfort when trying to digest, and gets in the way of the best part of the almond.

The same thing goes for walnuts for example, again the skin separates some when soaked, but a bit more work is required to get it all off. Give it a try! And notice how different they taste. So much sweeter, because the bitterness comes from the outside layer.

I recommend soaking nuts for a day or two at most, usually a couple of hours is sufficient, cashews requiring the least amount of soaking time I find. An hour or two for cashew nuts should suffice, they will become a bit softer.

If you plan to leave nuts in the fridge, over night works great but if you plan to leave them in the fridge longer, just be sure to change the water at least 2-3 times throughout the day to keep it fresh.

Enjoy, and feel free to leave me a comment to let me know what you think. Is this something you’ve done before? Is this something you’d be open to trying, or have tried with success and enjoyed? I’d love to hear from you.

Have a great day and enjoy!

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Breakfast Quinoa

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An ensemble of ingredients on hand.

Ingredients:

  • Quinoa
  • Organic dried cranberries
  • Organic raw cashew pieces
  • Banana, thinly sliced
  • Organic Raw Pecans
  • Coconut Oil or Ghee
  • Unsweetened Vanilla Almond milk (or other milk substitute)
  • Seasoning: Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, coconut sugar, pink Himalayan sea salt, maple syrup
  • ‘The Perfect Snaque’ coconut almond quinoa crunch (optional)

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Directions:

  1. Cook quinoa: 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer until water is absorbed and quinoa is a soft and fluffy texture, about 20 minutes.
  2. Add coconut oil (or ghee) generously, almond milk, maybe 1/4 cup only, a little at a time, and seasonings: a generous amount of cinnamon, a dash of clover and nutmeg, just a hint of salt to balance the sweet from a dash a maple syrup (or agave) and coconut sugar.
  3. Once seasonings are mixed, add any ingredients you’d like. I used raw cashew pieces, dried cranberries, halved pecans, and thinly sliced banana.

This recipe came together this morning when I was craving something warm and soothing, a dish high in protein and nutrients and not too heavy on the digestive system. This is what I came up with and I’m very pleased with the results. If you decide to give it a try, I’d love to hear from you, see how you liked it and what other ideas you may have come up with.

Thank you for your continued support,

Spiritual Foodie  ~  Brooke Ridgeway

Enjoy!

 

Making Healthy Food Fun for Kids!

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Working as a nanny I have found that the most important thing to getting kids to eat healthy food is to start when they are young, and as they get older, making healthy food fun really helps them to stay on the right track. As parents and caregivers to the children in our lives, we are able to help pave a path that they can take and benefit from for the rest of their lives.

When working with infants I like to begin introducing solids with savory soft foods first like squashes and avocados and waiting before introducing sweeter foods like bananas and apples. Once they’ve acquired a taste and liking for sweet foods, it’s likely going to be harder to get them to eat their vegetables as well.

I’ve worked with a lot of infants and really young children over the years, and more recently have been working with older children as well, around the ages of 3-6. I am encouraged seeing how much kids really enjoy healthy food when they have the taste for it, when they get to participate in the preparation or be engaged with the food in some way while eating it and when it’s just fun. Kids always want to have fun, and this carries over into food. One way to make food fun is with the presentation and here are just a few protein and nutrient rich food ideas that I’ve used and had success with over the years. I will continue to add more with time. I do love these tasty treats and eat them regularly myself.

Almond butter is great of course because it is rich in protein. Apples, bananas and celery make for a great base, and cinnamon and honey are full of immune strengthening and anti-inflammatory properties.

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I set these up usually to allow the kids to have as much participation as possible, unless under a time constraint of course. They love topping the celery with either raisins or Goji berries. Apples and bananas with either cinnamon and/or honey, and on special occasions I even pull out the sprinkles. If there is something here you’ve tried before or plan to make, I will love to hear what other wonderful ideas you come up with!

Note: A fun trick to making something like a plain apple or banana fun to eat is to slice a few pieces and then put them back together. Sell it to the kids as ‘Puzzle’ fruit!

Bon Appetit and cheers to good health!

Curried Chickpeas

Dragonfly Curry Chickpeas :-)
Dragonfly Curry Chickpeas 🙂

Ingredients:

  • Chick peas (I used frozen)
  • Onions
  • Turmeric root (fresh and powder)
  • Mustard seeds
  • Garlic
  • Coconut oil
  • Curry power (I used a pre-made mix of curried spices from bulk at MOM’s)
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Simple Ingredients

Directions:

  1. Thaw chickpeas with just a little bit of water over low to medium heat, covered, stirring occasionally.
  2. Warm a generous amount of coconut oil, and add mustard seeds and fresh grated turmeric root.
  3. When mustard seeds begin to pop slightly, begin to saute onions with seasonings: Turmeric powder, Curry powder (either pre-made or your own creative blend), adding fresh garlic only towards the end so as to not over cook and loose the flavor.
  4. Combine chickpeas, seasoned onions and enjoy on their own or as a side!

(I like to generously season the onions, using basically the amount of seasoning I will like to have present in the entire dish. Seasoning the dish in this way can help prevent over stirring veggies at the end and getting a mushy consistency as a result.)

 This tasty dish pair’s well with tomatoes and greens.

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Combine and enjoy!

Vegan Beet and Potato Salad

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Ingredients:

  • Organic Potatoes
  • Organic Beets (red or golden)
  • Onion (red or yellow)
  • Celery
  • Veganaise (with Grapeseed oil)
  • Cilantro
  • Garlic (optional)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

This recipe is inspired by my dear friend Katherine Croll of Gentle Earth Retreats (Mundo Tranquilo in Costa Rica) who has treated me to this dish on a number of occasions. I have replicated her dish many times before, and find that each time it is always just a little bit different. Beets and Potatoes make for such a nice combination, and when using red beets to complement this dish an otherwise ordinary looking potato salad manifests into a pink delight.

I realize a lot of people don’t actually like the taste of beets. If that’s the case, try using golden ones, I find the flavor to be mild by comparison, and you can always just use a small amount. With any success you just might be able to mask the flavor and still receive the health benefits. Personally, I love the taste of beets and enjoy using a decent amount!

I will like to play around in the kitchen and find a nice homemade recipe for vegan mayonnaise, until then I am grateful Veganaise: with Grapeseed Oil is readily available. It’s delicious and I’ve served it to plenty of people who say they either couldn’t tell a difference from original mayonnaise, and many who even prefer it’s taste over any other kind.

The leafy beet greens are wonderful, I always look for the best looking beet roots as well as healthy greens because it feels like a 2 for 1 deal. I love adding the greens to smoothies and have yet to try cooking with them.

Directions:

  1. Prepare beets and potatoes by washing and scrubbing them thoroughly, remove tips and tops of beets and peel. (I peel only the beets, and leave the potatoes’ nutritious skins intact.)
  2. Boil beets and potatoes separately until tender when pierced with a fork. Beets take awhile longer to cook. (upwards of 30-45 minutes) To expedite the cooking process cut the potatoes into bite size pieces before cooking, and cube the beets into even smaller pieces.
  3. Allow both to cool in the refrigerator until potatoes don’t easily fall apart. (at least 1-2 hours ideally)
  4. Sautee Onions with coconut oil for a few minutes before adding sliced celery, and then add garlic towards the end.
  5. Once everything is cooled off, combine everything in a large bowl, adding together: beets, potatoes, sauteed veggies, vegan mayonnaise, cilantro and S & P to taste.
Beet and Potato Salad made with Golden Beets
Beet and Potato Salad made with Golden Beets

Vegan Coconut Whipped Cream

I’ve been wanting to try for some time now to create a vegan version of this notorious topping, whipped cream, and successfully did so today. I will explore further to see if I can make it even fluffier, in the mean time I am thrilled with the results!

Simple Ingredients
Simple Ingredients
Easy to Make
Easy to Make
Delicious Results
Delicious Results

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of refrigerated organic canned Coconut Milk (do not shake contents & use only top portion of the can)
  • 1/2 – 1 tbsp sweetener of your choice, I used maple syrup
  • Flavor, I used vanilla extract and edible rose water

Directions:

  1. With a hand held mixer or stand up mixer, blend for a few minutes the thick content (top portion) of refrigerated canned coconut milk until desired consistency is reached.
  2. Then add sugar, vanilla extract and rose water

Adding all the contents of the canned coconut milk will work and taste delicious (shown in pictures this way.) After another attempt and only using the thick part of the canned coconut milk I had much better luck getting a fluffier consistency though. Once mixed I left it for a few a minutes in the refrigerator and it solidified even more. This is such a treat!

*The liquid on the bottom of the can can be saved and used as a wonderful addition for just about any dish at another time. If you choose to add some of the liquid portion of the can, be sure to do so sparingly and add only a little bit at a time.

Magical Mushroom Mélange

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This hearty, healthy and simple dish is easy to make, and a real delicious treat. I find it to be grounding, warm and soothing especially for the colder times of year. It’s something I threw together today before work and look forward to duplicating as well as expanding on with different herbs and spices. Give it a try, and be sure to let me know what you think.

Ingredients:

Mushrooms (baby Bella)
Chickpeas (fresh/frozen)
Spinach (fresh)
Onion, sliced thinly
Garlic (fresh or powder)
Coconut oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
Hemp Seeds

Directions:

1. Thaw and gently cook chickpeas over medium heat with a teaspoon or so of water, until soft when pierced with a fork.

2. Sautée onions with coconut oil, then add mushrooms and garlic. I also added a bit of ‘Earth Balance Roasted Garlic and Herbs’ vegan butter for easy source of extra flavor. (Opt.) Always fresh herbs are of course the best, but this is great for when you find yourself cooking with a time limit.

3. Cover chickpeas with several handfuls of rinsed spinach and let steam for a minute or two.

4. Combine everything, season with salt and pepper to taste and top with hemp seeds.

Bon appétit!