Candied Almonds and Pecans

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Candied nuts are one of those Fall traditions I just can’t seem to live without.  Its getting cold in Los Angeles and all I want to do is curl up with a big bowl of these and some warm vanilla almond milk.  This recipe is quite simple, but the taste is complex and addicting once you have tried it!  It is delicious on oatmeal, as a pie coating, or enjoyed alone; the possibilities are really endless though! While you are cooking it, your home will fill with the aromatic smells of brown sugar and spices!  Its hard not to sneak a bite during the cooking process but be very careful, I always burn my tongue! Feel free to use other nuts, walnuts are especially yum! Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 2 heaping tablespoons earth balance (or other non dairy butter substitute)
  • 2 heaping tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon agave
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • A couple dashes of Pumpkin Spice
  • salt
  • wax paper

Directions

  • Heat a Sautee pan over medium heat, add the butter, being very careful not to let it burn.
  • Add the the nuts and brown sugar, while continuously mixing to coat evenly, still being careful not to let the butter or sugar burn
  • Lower heat slightly, cook while stirring frequently for about 6 minutes
  • add the cinnamon, pumpkin spice, incorporate thoroughly, cook for another minute or so
  • Add the maple syrup and agave, it will sizzle, remove the pan from the heat and stir
  • pour and spread the nuts out onto the wax paper to cool (careful they will be very hot!!)
  • Sprinkle with Salt
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Rainbow Salsa

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So this is my first blog post since moving to Los Angeles last week.  I am eating everything in site and taking total advantage of all the accesability to vegan food this city has to offer.   Fall is in toe for all my north-easterners out there, but the Mediterranean climate is kicking it over here and I want fresh fruit!  This craving works perfectly in a new kitchen with minimal utensils and cookware, while still remaining in my ever so shrinking budget.  

I just cant get enough of my avocado-pineapple salsa and apparently neither can anyone else who tries it (not to toot my own horn or anything).  This in mind, I decided to make a very similar spin off after wandering down the fruits and vegetable stands at my local farmers market.   Ladies and gentlemen I present you with Rainbow Salsa

 

Ingredients
1 Avocado
3/4 cup diced Pineapple
1 mango, chopped
1 peach, skinned and chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
3 Tbsp Finely chopped Cilantro leaves
1 finely chopped jalapeño pepper
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
2 Tbsp. Agave
Juice from 1/2 Lime
1 Tsp. Garlic powder
S/p
 
First combine liquid ingredients (vinegar, olive oil, agave, lime juice) in a medium bowl with the garlic powder. Slice the avocado in half, cut vertically and horizontally to form squares. Removes squares into the bowl using a spoon. Add diced pineapple, mango, peach jalapeno, cilantro, salt and pepper.  Gently fold ingredients Combine.  Allow to chill and marinate for at least a half hour.
 
Pairing Recommendations:  BBQ Chick’n or Tofu.  Tortilla Chips.  Tacos. Quesadillas.  The possibilities are endless….
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Creamy Miso Root Vegetable Soup

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Ingredients

  • 1.5 cup carrots,  chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 white turnips, chopped
  • 1 small sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup scallions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger ( I freeze my ginger, it makes it easier to grate)
  • 1/4 cup shallot, chopped
  • 1 small white onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons safflower oil
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1/4 cup tamari
  • 4 cups vegetable broth mix with a heaping tablespoon of “chickenless” chicken base or vegetable base 
  • 1 can coconut milk (unsweetened, full fat)
  • 2 tbsp white miso paste

Directions

  • -Heat a large pot for 30 seconds, then heat the safflower oil 30 more seconds
  • -Add the carrots, celery, turnips, sweet potato, onion, shallot, fresh ginger, scallions and sauté till the onions are translucent, stirring occasionally (about 10 minutes)
  • -Add the garlic and sauté for less than a minute, stirring, careful not to let it burn.
  • -Add the flour and stir very well, until it somewhat disappears
  • -Add the water/broth (mixed with the base), tamari, and coconut milk and mix well
  • -Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer for about 45 minutes or until all veggies are soft
  • -transfer the soup to a blender, or use an immersion blender to blend everything together
  • -add the miso paste and blend for 30 more seconds to incorporate
  • -Add salt and pepper to taste

I served this soup over deconstructed bahn mi, it was absolutely delicious!  The Bahn Mi is a recipe I will work to perfect before posting, but it is certainly getting close!

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Red Curried Pumpkin Stew

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Labor Day has past, and I’m soaking up everything “Fall”  I possibly can before my move to Los Angeles in a couple weeks.  The brisk chill in the air this morning told me it was time to embrace pumpkin; pumpkin beer, pumpkin oatmeal, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin lattes (mostly pumpkin beer but who’s keeping track).

One of my friends once worked at a Thai restaurant and she taught me how to make a traditional curry a couple years back.  Since then I have tried several variations, working off her original recipe– from chick’n curry to curried soup and finally this pumpkin stew I have for you fine people today.  For me nothing quite rings in Fall better than warm hearty meals that happen to include pumpkin.  I hope you enjoy.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons safflower oil or other high heat oil
  • 1/2 cup red onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 2 15 oz cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can of coconut milk (I use full fat)
  • 1 can pumpkin puree
  • 1 can of red curry paste (I use the Maesri brand), You will use 2+ tablespoons based on how spicy you like it.  This brand tends to be spicier than others, it is my favorite.  I like mine very spicy but my Mom tends to like it less spicy. You will have to use your own taste buds  to determine how much you would like to use.  Add it one tablespoon at a time, you can always add more towards the end of cooking if you want it hotter by mixing the paste with a small amount of water and then add it to the stew.
  • 4 tablespoons vegan fish sauce, optional.  I don’t always include it in my curries but it makes it more “traditional” ( You can find several simple recipes online, I used the one at veganmiam.com)
  • 2 small zucchinis, medium diced
  • 1 small squash, medium diced
  • 1 tablespoon “chickenless chicken base” mixed with one cup of warm water ( I use the Better than Bouillon Brand”.
  • 5-10 basil leaves
  • Cilantro for garnish

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 400*
  • Roast potatoes for 30 minutes or until fork tender, remove from oven and set aside to cool.  Once the potatoes are cooled dices them into medium size squares.
  • Heat a large wok or a large sauce pan over medium heat for 30 seconds, add the safflower oil and heat 30 more seconds. Add the 1/2 tsp of salt and heat for 30 more seconds, being careful not to smoke.  This will create a non-stick affect.
  • Add the red onion and sauté for 2-3 minutes stirring frequently.
  • Add the garlic and sauté for about one minute, being very careful not to let it burn
  • Lower the heat to a simmer and add the coconut milk
  • Add the curry paste 1 teaspoon at a time tasting as you go for preliminary “spiciness management”
  • Add Basil Leaves
  • Add the pumpkin
  • Add the sweet potatoes, zuccini and squash
  • cover and cook for about 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently careful not to let the stew burn

Serve over rice, or alone (as I enjoy it).  Change it up and add chicken, tofu or other vegetables.  I love to add fresh cilantro when I take down a large bowl of this.  You can also add about 5-6 cups of “chicklenless” stock to make a Pumpkin Curry Soup.  I hope you enjoy!

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Avocado and Mango Salsa

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Ingredients
  • 1 Avocado
  • 1 Mango, diced (Sometimes when the Mango is too ripe it will be more mushy and you will not able to dice it.  This is fine, just make sure you use it all, and include as much juice as possible!)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 2 Tbsp Finely chopped Cilantro leaves
  • 1.4 cup corn of the cob (optional, but delicious)
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1.5 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. Agave
  • Juice from 1/2 Lime
  • 1 Tsp. Garlic powder
  • S/p

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Directions
  • Whisk wet ingredients
  • add salt, garlic powder, pepper
  • add mango, corn (optional)
  • add avocado
  • fold ingredients gently to incorporate

In the picture above the salsa is paired with a Hoisin marinated Tofu, over a bead of deconstructed Veggie Spring Rolls!

This Salsa not only pairs deliciously with Mexican food but also goes very well with many types of pan-Asian cuisine and my favorite, BBQ sauce!  Substituting 1 Cup Pineapple for the Mango is also Delicious!

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Vegetable Tofu Fritters with Hot Pepper Relish

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Hot Pepper Relish

Ingredients
1/2 cup red onion
2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
2 tbsp agave
1/2 tsp celery seed
1/2tsp mustard seed
Garlic powder
1 tsp juice from banana pepper jar
1 16 oz jar banana peppers, drained & chopped
1 cup red cherry peppers, drained and chopped
8 “hot and spicy” or “zesty” pickle variety spears. (Or about 2 large pickles.  I choose spears because I find them to be more flavorful. Chopped.
Salt
Pepper

Directions

  • Mix wet ingredients in medium sized mixing bowl
  • Add all other ingredients, combine thoroughlly
  • Cover and refrigerate.

Tofu Fritters  Preheat oven to convection @ 400*

Ingredients
14 oz firm tofu, drained and pressed to remove access water
2 cups peas, mashed
1 cup pepper, chopped
1 cup yellow pepper, chopped
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup apple sauce
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 cup Panko breading
1/4 sprouted grain flour
1 tbsp garlic powder
Salt and pepper

Directions

  • Mash all ingredients together using rubber gloved hands.
  • Form into patties.
  • Drizzle lightly with olive oil.
  • Bake at 400* for  20-25 minutes.
  • Let rest 10 minutes so they hold shape.

Serve over a bed of greens with sliced avocado and a drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Enjoy!

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