Recipes

Fennel Potatoes

Burger, salad and potatoes

This is a family favorite.

6 potatoes, sliced

2 onions, sliced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 quart vegetable broth

olive oil

fennel seeds

Salt and pepper

Peel and slice potatoes and onions. Place in a sauce pan. Add garlic. Sprinkle w fennel seeds, salt, and pepper. Pour in vegetable broth, enough to almost cover potatoes. Add just enough oil to cover mixture. Cook with high heat until boiling. Then reduce heat to simmer. Cook until potatoes are soft, about 15mins. You can substitute the garlic cloves with either garlic salt or garlic powder to taste.

Can serve this as a side dish with a vegan burger and salad.

Try my plant-based curry burger https://elainemd.com/2018/06/14/v-burgers-for-the-4th-or-anytime/

Recipes

Tasty Earth Friendly Chili

Chili

All of these portions can be customized to your own taste preferences. Serves 6-8.

2 1/2 cups of dried red kidney beans (Prepare in Instant Pot pressure cooker. You can also prepare with traditional method of soaking for several hours and boiling)

6 cups of vegetable broth *

1 cup raw coarse bulgar **

1.5 cups marinara or spaghetti sauce

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 large onion, chopped

Olive oil to sauté

1 cup each, chopped:

  • celery
  • carrots
  • sweet green peppers

2 cups tomatoes, chopped

1 Tbsp lemon juice ( juice from 1/2 lemon)

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp chili powder (more or less, depends on how spicy you like it)

3 Tbsp of tomato paste

3 Tbsp cooking wine

Parsley, chopped

Salt and pepper

Rinse beans. Place in Instant Pot and add vegetable broth. Make sure there is a few inches of liquid above the level of the beans (water height should be at least double height of dried beans). Cook in pressure cooker, high pressure for 20 mins. You can do quick release of pressure for al dente beans or let it slow realize for softer beans. Strain beans and set aside.

Meanwhile, add bulgar to tomato sauce. Let sit until all the liquid is absorbed. Let it stand at least 30 mins.

Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil. Add rest of carrots, celery and spices. When vegetables are almost done, add peppers.

Combine all the ingredients and heat by simmering, stirring to prevent burning. If too thick, add more fresh vegetable broth.

Serve topped with chopped parsley.

ADDENDUM:

*I do not reuse the bean broth. Although tasty, it is high in sugars that can cause bloating and gas. If you want to thin out the chill, add more fresh vegetable broth. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12489819/

**The grain used in this recipe is for texture. It need not be bulgar. I tried the grain Folio the other day (in photo). It’s from Africa, grows in poor soil conditions and drought tolerant. Follow the package direction. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fonio

Fonio Grain

Recipes

Delicious Vegan Double Chocolate Cupcakes

If you like dark chocolate, you will love these cupcakes. The secret is in the zucchini. It adds moisture and a “vegetable”. Yields about 18-24 cupcakes. Make them various sizes to give people some choices. Some may want more, some may want less. During Covid serving cake in the form of cupcakes is a great idea. It is much more sanitary and easier to handle.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup soy or oat milk
  • 1/3 cup and 1 tbsp organic canola oil
  • 3/4 cup of organic cane or coconut sugar (can use 1/2 cup if you prefer a semi-sweet bitter chocolate taste, my preference)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce
  • 3 medium zucchinis, finely shredded. With water squeezed out should be about 1 heaping cup
  • 1 cup vegan dark chocolate chip

Preheat Oven 350 degree F. Line cupcake tray with (unbleached) paper cupcake liners.

Prepare the zucchini by finely shredding and putting a handful of it in a cheesecloth or tea towel and wring out as much fluid as you can. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, cocoa powder, baking power, baking soda, salt.

In another bowl, mix together milk, oil, sugar, vanilla, apple cider vinegar, apple sauce.

Gradually mix liquid mixture into the into the flour mixture. Mix well.

Then fold in the zucchini and chocolate chips.

Spoon into cupcake tray.

Bake 20-25 minutes. Ready when the tops start to crack open.

Preparing Zucchini

Cupcakes baked, cooled and ready to eat.

Recipes

Vegan Italian Black Truffle Linguine

Plate of linguine with truffle and cashew sauce

This recipe is super easy and so elegant. Delicious meal for some lucky mom on Mother’s Day!

Serves 2-4 depending on your portion sizes.

Ingredients:

1 cup raw cashews, soaked in 2 cups of water for at least 2hrs

Linguine (use about 1/2 pack for 2 servings)

1/2 jar Truffle Carpaccio in olive oil (6.35 oz) (use 1/2 of the jar for every 1 cup raw cashews). I bought mine at Costco. I have seen it on Amazon too.

1-2 tsp Garlic, minced

2 tbsp Fresh basil, chopped (optional)

Crushed red pepper 

Salt/pepper to taste

Boil water, add 1 tsp salt. Add linguine bring to rapid boil. Turn heat off. Cover for 12-14 minutes. Then drain.

While linguine is cooking, drain cashews, saving 1/2 cup of the water. Put cashews and 1/2 cup water into a blender and blend until creamy.

Mix cashew cream, truffle, garlic, basil.

Put linguine on individual serving plates, top w sauce, sprinkle w crushed red pepper, decorate w a piece fresh basil, truffle, red pepper.

Buon appetito!

Recipes

Instant Pot Vegan Butternut Squash Tagine

An easy family favorite.

Squash and Chick Pea Tagine

If you like the texture of Japanese squash that just melts in your mouth, you will like this recipe. Serves 4-6.

Ingredients –

1 cup dried chick peas (or use 2 x 15. 5 oz cans. The dried tastes much better)

1 onion, chopped

2 tbsp cooking oil (avocado or coconut)

3-4 cloves of garlic

1 can tomato paste – 6oz

1 can chopped tomatoes, drained – 14.5 oz (or 2 fresh tomatoes, chopped)

1 Butternut squash, peeled and cubed; or Delicata Squash, sliced (no need to peel Delicata). Can use Pre cubed or frozen squash (Trader Joe’s or Costco). Approximately 2 cups.

1 tsp each Paprika, Cumin, Coriander

1/ 2 tsp Turmeric

1/8 tsp Cayenne Pepper

Salt and Pepper to taste

1.5 cups Veggie broth (can use 2 Veggie Bouillons and 1.5 cups water)

4 dates, chopped

Rinse chick peas. Place in Instant Pot and cover with enough water to be at least 1 inch of water above the top of chick peas. Cook Instant Pot High pressure x 40 mins.

Then drain the chick peas and set aside.

Saute the onions (use Instant Pot if you have that function) with oil. When onions are caramelized, turn Instant Pot off. Add rest of ingredients. Mix well.

Set Instant Pot to high pressure x 10 mins. Let it rest for 5 mins.

Serve over brown rice or sour dough bread on side.

Recipes

Queer Eye Eggplant Dish

Queer Eye Cast Tan, Antoni, Bobby, Jonathan, Karamo

If you haven’t watched it already, Queer Eye is a Netflix series where 4 guys and a person AKA the Fab Five go around solving people’s life problems. In each episode, they coach someone who is stuck in their life, move on and thrive. Each of the Fab Five specializes in different life topics that the writers of the show believe you need to optimize in order discover your bliss.

What are the life topics? You need to have a beautiful cut hair and updated flattering clothes, which help to increase your self confidence. A home makeover, designed to reflect your personality and lifestyle. How eat better and to cook something delicious. Lastly and the most important aspect, to find clarity in your mental health. They bring joy and laughter through kindness and affirmations by basically being their fun and loving selves.

It is a dream makeover. Oozing with empathy and compassion, while cheering everyone on.

They presented this easy and delicious plant based recipe that I actually made.

It is from the episode “The Anxious Activist”.

WARNING. This recipe is very high in sodium. If you have a medical condition that requires you to limit your daily salt intake, this recipe is NOT for you. Although you could skip the step where the eggplant is sprinkled with salt. But it will taste different and have a different texture. I have not tried it this way.

Ingredients:

Brown Rice, Vegetable broth, Lentils, Eggplant, Salt, Onions, Garlic, Bay leaf, cooking oil like Avocado or Almond

1 1/2 cups of dry brown rice to be cooked in vegetable broth (buy rice grown in California, organic preferred. Rice from other parts of USA have been found to be higher in arsenic. If concerned, soak brown rice over night in water. Throw out that water and rinse rice well. Might help remove some of the arsenic).

1 cup dried brown lentils, rinsed. Put four cups of water into a pot. Add lentils and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Then reduce to a very low simmer, cover and set your timer for 20-25 minutes. Drain.

1 medium to large eggplant, sliced thinly (like 1/16-1/8 inch). Sprinkle both sides of eggplant slices with salt and let weep for 30 mins, then rinse and dry to remove salt. Note, I just swipe off salt and water with a paper towel. This gives the eggplant a real salt punch, which I like but it does add a lot of salt to the dish. How much salt you can consume is between you and your doctor. Heat some oil in frying pan and fry eggplant until brown. Cut eggplant into 1/2 inch pieces.

2 sweet onions– cut in half and slice thinly

Garlic minced, as much or as little as you like

Pan fry onions, garlic with oil until very brown.

Mixed the above cooked ingredients together. Serve hot with a side salad.

Please leave any comments or questions. Look forward to them.

Side Note about Arsenic in grains:

California Basmati rice lowest in Arsenic. Brown Rice has more Arsenic than white of the same type. Low arsenic in Quinoa, buckwheat, millet. Texan Rice amongst the highest in Arsenic.
I saw this in the ancient Palace of Sintra in Portugal.
Reminds me of Jonathan.

https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2015/01/how-much-arsenic-is-in-your-rice/index.htm

https://www.netflix.com/watch/81149795?trackId=200257859 at 27 minutes

Recipes

Natural Immune Boosting Ideas

It is a preventive so you do this before you get sick

  1. Raw Garlic (as Toum*)
  2. Ginger (tea). Also ginger pieces boiled with scallions as a tea*
  3. Chrysanthemum tea
  4. Pineapple ( I can only handle a piece a day. Too much Bromelain can cause canker sores)
  5. Shiitake and Maitake mushrooms cooked (These are the easiest to find. Check out the 99 Ranch Market)*
  6. Manuka honey ( do not heat it or put in hot tea- heat destroys benefits. Can have on toast, in warm tea or straight from the spoon)
  7. No Dairy
  8. No sugar or refined carbs
  9. Make sure your Vitamin D intake is sufficient
  10. Probiotic rich foods https://elainemd.com/?s=probiotic&orderby=relevance&order=DESC
  11. Bone Broth
  12. Get a good night sleep. Be asleep between 11pm to 3pm at least. Seven to 8 hours per night is recommended.
  13. Avoid stress as stress can weaken your immune system. Practice mindfulness.
  14. Home made hand sanitizer with tea tree oil or other essential oils to keep viruses at bay https://elainemd.com/2017/05/11/toxic-shopping-cart-cleaner-alternatives/

Other helpful ideas are: humidify the air. Indoor heated air can be super dry. To increase the humidity without a humidifier – try hanging a damp towel over a chair and place near the heat vent or radiator, Vicks steam vaporizer ( It is very powerful. Might see streaks of water on your walls. If not careful could increase risk of mold), boil some water but need to watch it so you don’t burn you place down by causing a fire, Diffuser, facial steamers, steam from a hot cup of tea. The humidity helps ensure more intact mucous membranes in your nose and some viruses seem to thrive in dry air.

Acupuncture can boost your immunity.

I am not going to recommend any supplements here because if taken incorrectly, can potentially affect autoimmune disorders, trigger malignancies, allergies. Plus the quality of supplements in the USA is not reliable. Best one can do is to find a product that is GMP certified or 3rd party tested from a certified lab. Always check with your doctor if you have any personal concerns.

*Details

*1. Toum = 3 heads of garlic (it has to be fresh, smashing with a knife is the fastest way to peel them). Put peeled garlic cloves in food processor or blender with 1 tsp salt. Add juice of 1 lemon (1 tsp of juice at a time alternating with 1/2 cup of Canola oil or avocado oil. Do not use olive oil). I usually use a total of 1 1/2 cups of oil. Blend until looks like mayonnaise. After you eat this, your breath will be so bad that no one can come within 6 feet of you. LOL.

*2. Ginger and scallion tea- slice about 1 tbsp of fresh organic ginger and scallions (AKA green onions). Add to boiling water. Steep 10 mins. You can freeze them down so they keep longer.

Freeze Scallions and Ginger pieces

*5. Mushrooms – I slice up the mushrooms and toss in olive oil salt and pepper and then put in air fryer at 375-400 deg for 5-10mins…watch it does not burn. Cooks up fast.

Have 1 piece of pineapple- its up to you how much you can tolerate- too much gives me canker sores

Air Fryer Cauliflower, Brussel Sprout Chips and Shiitake Mushrooms

Please let me know what works for you in the comments.

What are your home remedies?

This blog is in no way meant to give any medical advice, diagnosis or treat. 

Everyone’s situation is different.

Recipes

Try these Hot Cinnamon Rolls for the Holidays

These super fast home-baked organic cinnamon rolls are from Costco. When you and your friends/family are together for the holidays, this is one of the comfort foods. On top of being organic, they are also vegan/plant-based.

Prior to baking it in my toaster oven, I did not space the rolls out like it recommended on the label. Makes for a prettier presentation with the rolls touching side by side. In the box, there are 3 individual containers containing 5 rolls per container. Fifteen cinnamon rolls did not last long at our house. Label does say potential milk contamination. So many labels say this for (maybe) liability reasons. But if you have a serious allergy or intolerance, better not risk it as cross contamination is a real thing.

For the purist, this is a cheat. But a good cheat nonetheless. Not the healthiest but not the worst. Who has time to make this from scratch? Your time is better spend relaxing and enjoying your family and friends.

I love Costco and the affordable organic options they have. My biggest concern with Costco is the packaging overkill. The double packaging leads to excess garbage. I sent Costco an email about my concerns. If you agree with me, please take the time to send them an email too. Hope they take heed especially if many of us write in.

Recipes

Healthy Blender-Free Smoothie Recipe

This is a great smoothie. Easy to make. Healthy ingredients. Sugar free. Tasty. I make it the night before, leave in fridge overnight and grab it on my way out the door in the morning. It will be my lunch. All of the ingredients are from either Costco or Amazon.

The amount of each ingredient is variable. How much you put in will be dependent on your current diet, supplements and health status. Remember to treat food as medicine. The right balance both in ingredients and amounts (calories) is important. You want to get the correct nutrients by eating foods that will prevent disease and the right amounts to prevent obesity. You don’t overdose on your medicines, so you don’t overdose on your food.

With all of these ingredients, you can check the packaging for serving sizes and nutrients.

Here is how I make mine. I start with a pinch of mushroom powder and Dulse seaweed. Then a teaspoon of beet powder. Then scoop of protein powder.

Add one frozen fruit smoothie pack, few spoons non dairy yogurt, some green drink and fill up the rest of my smoothie container with a non dairy milk (I have been avoiding the organic almond milk from Costco because it lacks calcium and protein). Shake and refrigerate.

You will need a thermo container that comes with a shaker ball. This is a must because the protein powder clumps and the shaker ball breaks it up.

Other options to add instead of fruit or green drink.

To wash my smoothie container, I put in some hot water and dish soap then shake it around. If the water is very hot be very careful when opening the top. It can be under pressure and spray all over. Need to open it gently as possible as far away from anyone and yourself as you can. Release the pressure first before you continue to open.

*Raw mushrooms or powders may contain a naturally-occurring toxin called agaritine. it can be deactivated by cooking, boil for 5minutes, heating in microwave 30 seconds or freezing. I store my powder mushrooms in freezer. Reference: How Not to Die by Michael Greger Part 2, Dec 2015.
Let me know if you have any questions or comments.

Final note: This blog is in no way meant to give any medical advice, diagnosis or treat.

Recipes

Green Tea Instant Oatmeal

Thaw out berries in a covered glass container in fridge. Keeps for a few days.

Make a cup green tea with hot water. Steep for 3-4 minutes.

Put Oatmeal in a bowl. Add the hot green tea. The amount of tea you use will be determined by how thick you like your oatmeal.

Top with Berries.

Optional : Raw honey, Non Dairy Yogurt. You can use flavored oatmeal like cinnamon or apple, flax, etc

Recipes

How to make “decaf” Tea

Add your tea bag to hot water. Wait 30 seconds. Pour that water out and add fresh hot water to bag. Steep for another 3 and half minutes.

When tea is steeped for more than 4 minutes total, the oxalates start to leach out. Oxalates are associated with renal stones.

Now I don’t have any proof of any of this. I learned this at a nutritional seminar years ago.

If anyone has the ability to test for caffeine or oxalates, let me know if the above formulas hold true.

Recipes

Baked Tofu Bowl as Main Dish

Topped with Kim Chi and Asian Pickled Greens, Sweet Potatoes, Spinach

This recipe is for the Baked Tofu. The bowl is filled with Brown Rice, then topped with Seasoned Tommy’s Sweet Potatoes from Costco, Spinach, Pickled Veggies, Baked Tofu recipe is below. To keep it low carb, you can skip the rice and use a bed of your favorite lettuce.

Set Oven for 400 degrees.

One package of Organic Extra Firm Tofu (14oz). Do not buy the super extra firm because it is so hard, it does not absorb the marinate, hence lacks flavor.

Drain fluid off Tofu. While still in box, cut Tofu into 1/2 x 2 inch pieces.

Cut Tofu in the box

Place into a medium glass dish and pour in enough marinate to cover the tofu pieces. Examples of marinates are Teriyaki, Curry or Gyoza dipping sauce. Cover. Marinate at least 2 hours to over night in refrigerator.

Grease a baking sheet with coconut oil. Spread out the Tofu pieces evenly onto sheet.

Bake at @ 400 degrees 15mins x 2 -> At 15min mark, flip tofu over and continue to bake for another 15mins. Although I don’t bother with flipping. It seems to turn out ok. You could use a metal rack to have the underside bake. I prefer to use Pure Convection setting on my oven. You get crispier results. For my oven, if I am using convection, I lower the temp by 25 degrees and reduce time by 10%. You need to know your oven…bon appétit.

Let me know how yours turn out in the comments.

Recipes

Roasted Cauliflower with Vegan Aioli Dip

Ingredients:

One head of cauliflower cut into floret pieces, or buy ready cut

olive oil spray

salt and pepper

1/2 cup Trader Joe’s Vegan Spread and dressing

1 tsp minced garlic

Sriracha Sauce optional

Prep:

Spray a baking sheet pan with olive oil. Put the florets in pan, spreading them out. Spray the Florets with olive oil.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake at 425 deg x 25-30 mins. Until tips are golden brown. I use pure convention, adjusting the time and temperature accord to your oven.

Meanwhile to make the dipping sauce, mix the remaining ingredients in a bowl.

Serve while still warm. Use as appetizer or side dish.

Recipes

Honey Tofu Chocolate Pudding

Does not require any cooking

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:

5 tbsp raw honey,

1/4 tsp salt.

One squeeze of lemon,

1/2 cup Cacao powder

14 oz soft Tofu- put into a food processor or blender 

Coconut oil 2 tsp

Coconut milk  3-6 tbsp

Vanilla 1 -2 tsp

18 Raspberries and Fresh Mint leaves to decorate

Prep:

Blend all the ingredients (except Raspberries and Mint) until smooth, divide up to fill  6 ramekins. Cool in refrigerator at least 30 mins or cover tightly store overnight.

Top w fresh berries and garnish w fresh mint before serving.

Recipes

Sauté Spinach and Onions

Side dish for 6

Ingredients:

1 small or 1/2 large onion, chopped

1-2 tsp garlic, chopped

1 tsp ginger, grated

2 tbsp Avocado oil

1 – 16 oz bag of frozen organic spinach

1/2 cup Vegetable broth or 1 tsp Vegan Bouillon

Squeeze of lemon or sprinkle of apple cider vinegar

Salt and Pepper

Prep:

Heat oil in a wok. Add onions, garlic, ginger, sauté over medium heat, until onions look clear.

Add bag of spinach, broth, continue to stir until liquid evaporates. Add rest of ingredients

You have option to add 1/2 cup mushrooms in with the onions

Serve on top of brown rice, noodles or pasta along side a protein like grilled Tofu or Vegan Chili.

Recipes

Valentine Almond Cookies

This is a recipe from the Island of Malta. You can shape them into Hearts and decorate with a Maraschino Cherry (Whole Foods has sans food coloring). These cookies have 2 versions: vegan and traditional with egg whites.

Bake @ 400F for 8-10 mins. Makes 84 x 2inch round cookies

Ingredients:

4 cups ground almonds

1.5 cups oat bran

2 cups sugar

5 egg whites (or egg substitute)

2 Tbsp Almond Essence

Pinch of salt

Sliced Almonds or Maraschino Cherries, cut cherries in half, let it drain, set aside.

Edible Premium Wafer Paper 8.25″ x 11.75″ Pkg of 20 for Cake or Food Decorating (I bought these on Amazon) – cut these into circles or hearts for Valentines one sheet should give you 12 circles (about 2 inch or so diameter) or 4 hearts

Mix almonds and bran in a large bowl and set aside. Mix the rest of the ingredients (except decorating cherry and sliced almonds) and mix with an electric beater until well mixed. Fold this into the dry ingredients.

Put the Wafer Paper cutouts on baking pan. Roll the cookie mixture into 1 inch balls and place on Wafer Paper. Use dampened fingers and press down dough, leaving a small edge of Wafer Paper.

Be careful not to get the dough onto the baking sheet as the dough will stick to the pan. Decorate with sliced almond or cherry before baking.

Bake 400 degree F x 8-10 until cookie edges are a very light brown

Will be bringing these to share at work on Valentine’s Day.

Remind people that the paper is edible. Some people waste quite a bit of time trying to peel the paper off 😉

Recipes

Holiday Vegan Main Dish – Stuffed Squash

This is easier to make than a Turkey….

Ingredients:

  • 2 Medium Acorn Squash
  • 1/2 cup Orange Juice
  • 1 good sized onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Wild Rice
  • 2 tbsp Avocado oil or coconut oil
  • 2 cups Vegetable Broth
  • Spices- 1/2-1 tsp Curry powder; 1/2-1 tsp Cinnamon; 1 tsp Cayenne pepper, salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 – 1 cup Dried Cranberries or Cherries
  • 1 cup fresh Parsley, then chop (save 4 pieces for garnished)
  • 1-2 tbsp fresh Sage, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Walnuts

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan, add wild rice. Stir until rice is well coated and slightly toasted. Heat 2 cups of Vegetable Broth in microwave for about 2 minutes. Put broth and wild rice into Rice Cooker. Cook as per your Rice Cooker. Rice grains will split open when done.

Microwave Acorn Squash one at a time for 1 minute (this will make it easier to cut in half). Let it cool and cut each squash into 2 equal halves. Remover the seeds. Place 2 halves face down in a microwavable dish, with about 1/4 inch of Orange Juice in dish. Microwave until soft – about 8-10 minutes. Repeat with the other Squash. When cool enough to handle, scoop out the center of squash, leaving 1/4 inch rim of squash on rind. Set aside.

Add rest of oil to pan, medium heat and then add onions. Stir until onions are browning. Stir in the rest of the ingredients ( except walnuts) including scooped out Squash pieces and cooked rice.

Scoop this mixture back into the Squash Halves. Sprinkle with walnuts and garnish with parsley. Serves 4.

For sides you can serve Miso Soup, Mash Potatoes with Kim Chi, Stir fried Spinach or kale with garlic and onions.

Let me know if you have any questions or comments. I want to hear…

Recipes

Easy Dinners in Bowls

IMG_3191

This meal’s prep time is not 10 mins but around 25 mins with some pre-planning.

Pre planning –> Make ahead:

Miso dressing (See Sept 2017 blog for recipe or way down at bottom of this recipe) and set up rice cooker with brown rice. Turn on rice cooker few hours before guests arrive. Serving a whole meal in a bowl is simple and it was a hit with guests.

The base is organic Brown Rice or whatever grain you prefer. You can buy precooked rice in frozen food aisle. I like to use my Rice cooker because once it is set up, I don’t have to think about it until I am ready to serve the rice. For added flavor, I prefer using vegetable broth instead of water to cook up brown rice.

Best to soak rice over night to remove most of the Arsenic and then make sure you rinse the rice out well. (1)(2)

Set your oven for 400 deg.  Toss precut Butternut Squash with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Best if all the Squash cubes are about same size so cubes can bake consistently, preventing small ones from burning and bigger ones from undercooking. Bake 20-30 mins, until soft.

IMG_3182

Meanwhile: Toss ready to serve pre washed Baby greens with Miso dressing.

Heat/prepare your protein. You can use, for example, Smart Tenders (see below) or some chickpeas or tofu cubes.

I added some sliced pre cooked beets and Kim Chi for sides.

Best to serve Bowl Meals in some 6-8 inch diameter bowls. Asian markets are the best place to find these.

IMG_3195

Putting it together –> First layer in some brown rice, then the Miso greens then squash, beets and Kim Chi (can use Sauerkraut too) on top.

Bon Appetite 🙂

 Miso Lime Dressing with Honey 

1 1/2 tablespoons miso paste*
2 tablespoons rice vinegar*
1 1/4 tablespoons raw honey*
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 1/2 teaspoons lime juice
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds (optional)
Add toasted almonds (optional)

Mix the above ingredients. Serve in a mixed green salad

*these ingredients are rich in probiotics

(1)Breyer, M. (2017, Feb 17). How to Cook Rice to Remove the Most Arsenic. Retrieved from https://www.treehugger.com/green-food/how-cook-rice-remove-most-arsenic.html

(2)Consumer Reports (2014, Nov 18). How much Arsenic is in your Rice? https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2015/01/how-much-arsenic-is-in-your-rice/index.htm

Recipes

Easy Vegan Dinner #2

This dinner takes about 10 mins to make.IMG_3037

Needs to get these ingredients together from Trader Joe’s and some basics from Costco.

Prepare Carrots as per package but bake convection oven at 400deg for about 8 mins to brown carrots. Then Microwave covered for about 2 minute to soften (depends on wattage of your microwave). Salt and Pepper optional.

Then for stir fry –

Add to frying pan, olive oil, garlic, ginger, stir a little and add veggies, and sliced sausage. Keep on medium – low heat, stirring as needed to prevent from burning.

Meanwhile in microwave heat up rice and use Coconut Aminos to season to taste.

Recipes

Easy Vegan Dinner #1

 

IMG_3010You can make this in 10 mins- I was at Costco and bought these 3 things-

Potato and Spinach Pierogies, Korean Gondre Herb Rice and precooked Beets

 

I pan fried the Pierogies with avocado oil over medium heat, covered, 4 minutes on each side with a splash of water in the last minute to steam and soften a bit.

The Rice was heated in microwave. Beets sliced and served cold.  It was deliciously simple!

You might think this is cheating because I did not make everything from scratch. But it is still higher quality food than fast food, and you know the ingredients. This meal not as expensive as restaurant food, saves time because a trip to restaurant takes more time than you think, and finally you can certainly have food delivered but there is an energy carbon foot print cost to that if it is a gasoline powered car (plus some electric car depending on how the electricity is generated). The amount of foods that I bought is enough for several meals too.

 

Recipes

Curry Vegan Burgers

IMG_4949

Makes about 4-6 burgers.

Ingredients 

1 can of green jackfruit, drained and rinsed

1 L of vegetable broth

1/3 Cup Chickpea/Garbanzo Flour (Sprouts or Indian grocery store)

1/3  Cup chopped red onions

1 tsp of grated Ginger

2 tsp minced Garlic

1/4 Cup Cilantro, chopped

1 tsp of Curry powder

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp Sriracha Sauce (optional)

1/2 tsp salt

Ground Black Pepper to taste

1 tbsp. of healthy cooking oil

1 tsp psyllium powder mixed into 2 Tbsp water (binds burger together)

Coconut oil spray for pan / grill and olive oil spray for buns

Burger buns (I used TJ Whole Wheat Slims – photo below)

Condiments of your choice – see below for suggestions

Instructions

1. Boil the green jackfruit in enough veggie broth till fork tender. Drain the water and transfer to a food processor along with the chickpea/garbanzo flour, chopped onions, grated ginger, garlic, cilantro, curry powder, paprika, Sriracha, salt, black pepper , oil, and psyllium mixture.

Give food processor a few pulses till everything comes together. Don’t over blend or the texture will be like a smoothie! Keep it the texture of ground meat. See below for a picture.

2. Take the patty mix out and place in a bowl. Add little more chickpea flour if the mix feels too sticky. Shape into patties (about ⅓ cup each) and chill for about 30 minutes in the fridge.

3. Heat pan sprayed with coconut oil.  Fry the patties for about 2 to 3 minutes on each side until desired brown.

4. Spray the undersides of the hamburger buns with olive oil spray. Toast on same skillet (if you have room do it at the same time)

5. Serve with buns and condiments – ketchup, pickle, tomato, lettuce.

Condiments Baby lettuce, mustard, ketchup, sauerkraut.

Happy 4th everyone!

Recipes

Coconut Lentil Soup with Roasted Golden Beets and Mango Slaw

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This recipe is only going to work easily if you have a Trader Joe’s near by. You could make everything from scratch but that would take much more than the 5 minutes it takes to make this meal.

Mix about 1/2 cup of canned coconut milk (note this is not the coconut milk substitute for drinking but the cooking coconut milk that comes in a can) to the 20 ounces of Lentil Soup (this soup also comes in a tetra box). The amount of coconut milk depends on your personal taste. You can start with 1/4 cup, taste it and then add more if you want.

Add 1/4-1/2 tsp of turmeric (optional). Mix well. Put into a glass or ceramic bowl. Microwave until desired temp.

Mango slaw just toss together. TJ Beets are ready to eat. I served it cold, but could be warmed too.

Dessert: Watermelon.

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Bon Appetite!

 

Recipes

Vegan Black-Eyed Peas with Collard Greens

My motto for cooking: healthy, simple, fast, plus delicious.

Menu

  1. Black-Eyed Peas with Collard Greens
  2. Spanish Rice
  3. Avocado (right now in California, Avocados are everywhere)
  4. Dark Chocolate Tequila Strawberries (Fondue optional)

The trick is to have a dish that looks like this. Any food served in this heart shaped dish will be “Valentine’s” appropriate.

Main Dish: Black-Eyed Peas with Collard Greens

  1. Large bunch of collard greens, washed, tear leaves up into small 2-3 pieces. Do not include any of the stems
  2. Vegetable stock plus water, enough to boil greens
  3. Red Onion, chopped
  4. 2 garlic gloves, chopped
  5. 1 teaspoon paprika
  6. 1/2 tsp turmeric
  7. Everyday Seasoning (Trader Joe’s) to taste
  8. 1 tbsp White Miso paste
  9. 1 14.5 oz can organic diced tomatoes, drained and rinsed
  10. 1 15.5 oz can organic black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
  11. Ground black pepper to taste (adds to healing effects of turmeric)

Boil water and stock. Add collard greens and simmer for about 20mins until greens are soft. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of cooking water.

Add onion, garlic, paprika, turmeric and Everyday Seasoning to reserved cooking water. Simmer until onions are soft. Add in the rest or the ingredients, including collard greens. Stir until heated throughly.

Serve with rice, quinoa, sliced avocado.

Dessert: Dark Chocolate Tequila Strawberries

1 bag of dark chocolate chips or chunks

Optional- 1 tsp vanilla, 1 tbsp Tequila

Organic strawberries with green tops

Soy based wax paper

Wash strawberries. They must be dried completely. I use paper towels. If they are wet, the chocolate dip may harden.

Put the dark chocolate in a microwavable ceramic or glass bowl with the other optional liquid ingredients and microwave gently until the chocolate is melted. For stove top melting, you need a double broiler. Microwaving is much easier. I was inspired to make this fondue because I found a brand new fondue kit at the Salvation Army Thrift Shop. It looked like something form 1970’s.

Hold the strawberries by the green tops, dip into chocolate mixture half way, twirl to stop the chocolate from dripping. Place onto wax paper to cool. Use the fondue skewers if you have and eat them directly. Recommend you put down extra table protector’s because the chocolate can be very messy but fun!

Recipes

Try this Miso Paste

I bought this at my local Korean Grocery store. 99 Ranch Market may have too.  It tastes pretty good.

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*Although miso is high in salt (risk factor for stomach cancer and high blood pressure), the anticancer and antihypertensive effects of soy may counter the effects of the salt.

*The How Not To Die Cookbook by Michael Greger, M.D.

Recipes

Eat Some Probiotics with Every Meal

Why are probiotics important? These healthy microbes are an essential part of our body. Without them we would not survive. Most of these healthy bugs are found in our gut. Also 70% of our immune system is located in our gut. There is communication between our gut microbes and our immune system and even with our brain via our vagal nerve.  Our immune system and brain cannot be healthy and balanced if we have the bad gut microbes. Healthy gut microbes tell our immune system and brain that everything is “OK”. Our gut microbes affects a lot of disease processes such as – infections, cancers, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, inflammation, obesity, arthritis, mental health etc. Isn’t it amazing that these bugs have such a huge influence on our health?*

Our microbes are one of our forgotten organs. It is unique in that this is our only organ that not contain our own DNA.  Yet these microbes have profound affects both good and bad on our health. The good news is that we can directly affect this organ’s DNA. We do this by what we eat and with whom we hang out! Yes, it’s composition can be changed by our actions.

So sterile environments prevent us from getting good microbes*.  Some examples where we lose the opportunity to get good microbes: Vaginal vs C-section babies,  breast vs formula fed babies, drinking chlorinated vs filtered water, eating foods that contain pesticides vs organic foods, antibiotics, diets high in sugar, alcohol.

Other probiotic boosters that come to mind are sharing your home with a dog or cat. Our furry friends are beneficial in more than one way. Our dogs give us love and beneficial microbes!

We also share microbes with family, friends and community. There is now something called fecal transfer, where a person with a certain health  problem gets inoculated with fecal material from a healthy donor by swallowing capsules of donor feces.

If your gut is not healthy, you are not  healthy.

Correcting your gut microbes (esp if you are on and recently taken antibiotics) is essential.

This is so powerful, that the right microbes, can even reduce our anxiety and worry!

Hence I am recommending you eat some food rich in probiotics with each meal.

FOODS RICH IN PROBIOTICS

Remember: Probiotics when heated will destroy the beneficial bacteria. So you can’t eat these foods heated or microwaved. Also avoid chlorinated water. The chlorine disinfects and can disinfect some of your your gut bacteria too. Drink filtered water only.

Yogurt / Kefir – Non dairy preferred. It is possible that the fermentation process of dairy reduces the pro-inflammatory factors in cow’s milk. Although this has not been my personal experience.

Kombucha – fermented tea. Saccharomyces Boulardii is used in the fermentation process. This probiotic is in the yeast family and can survive the antibiotics used to treat bacterial infections. Hence it is useful in treating Clostridium Difficile infections.

Miso (paste) salad dressing

Soy sauce

Coco-Aminos

Natto- fermented soy beans

Tempeh

Fermented Bean curds

Hard cheeses e.g. Comte (Dairy)

Apple cider vinegar- dilute with water

Manuka Honey (helps immune system fight off upper respiratory infections) or any raw honey (mix with 1 cup water 1/4-1/2 tsp vinegar and honey)

Kim Chi,  SauerKraut (might be too salty for some people)

Pickled foods e.g. Pickled beets, olives, cucumbers, radishes, etc

Asian Fish sauce

Probiotic capsules (Brand and storage matters. Some have been tested and found to contain nothing. Vary the brand to increase the variety of probiotic stains.)*

How Best to take your Probiotic Capsule:

I recommend to take on empty stomach with a glass of room temperature filtered water and adding some “Just Like Sugar” which contains Inulin, a prebiotic derived from chicory.  Just Like Sugar has is a natural sweet taste to it and calorie free. Ingredients are Chicory, calcium and Vitamin C.

I have asked around my contacts about whether to take probiotic with or without food. No clear answer. I could not find any studies to say which is better either. Until there is more reliable information, I am going with the FDA recommendation for the use of oral live vaccines (which by the a way is like a probiotic because the goal is to colonize your gut with the microbe in the vaccine to give you protection from that particular disease).

For example, for oral typhoid vaccine, this is how it is taken:

  1. Take each capsule on an empty stomach (1 hour before eating or 2 hours after eating)
  2. Take each capsule with a full glass of cool or lukewarm water. Not hot.
  3. Keep capsules in refrigerator; The purest Probiotics should be refrigerated.
  4. No drinking Alcohol at least 2 hours after

Please leave me your comments.

* There still is a need for sterile environments such as during a medical procedures. If you are immunosuppressed, please ask your doctor if extra bacteria could harmful to you or not.  Examples – AIDS, Chemotherapy, genetics

( https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09zxl63 )

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23474283 )

 

Recipes

Yummy Probiotic Rich Salad Dressing

 

 Miso Lime Dressing with Honey 

1 1/2 tablespoons miso paste*
2 tablespoons rice vinegar*
1 1/4 tablespoons raw honey*
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 1/2 teaspoons lime juice
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds (optional)
Add toasted almonds (optional)

Mix the above ingredients. Serve in a mixed green salad

*these ingredients are rich in probiotics

 

Recipes

Super Quick Lunches

The balance between a healthy Vegan lunch and the rush to get out of the house before 6am to beat the traffic. This is easy. You will need some ceramic or glass containers. A Trader Joe’s helps…

My base is some pre washed organic dark greens, frozen Vegan bean/grain mixture (see below), top with Coco Amnios, favorite hot sauce, pickled beets or Olive tapenade.  I warm it up in microwave at work. Yummy.

It’s not peas that you are seeing but Green Garbanzo Beans.

Here are the package photos:

Hope you can see the ingredients by zooming in. Otherwise contact me for more details.

Let me know if you like it 🙂

Recipes

Coco Aminos Tofu, Beets and Fennel

The SAD (Standard American Diet) is sad because it is unhealthy. I encourage everyone to be plant-based. Most people say they can’t live without their meat. But please remember even more so, you can’t live without your plants. Plants have so many healthy phytochemicals and nutrients to help maintain weight and prevent disease.

This is what I commonly hear too: “What, I got to eat Tofu?” Tofu can be really tasty. It’s my kids favorite food. They started eating it as babies.

I like recipes that are simple and quick: that I can just put together off the top of my head. So I rarely measure anything (unless I am baking cookies or cakes).

Need:

-Oil- avocado or coconut

-Fennel bulbs – cut into wedges (8 per bulb), make sure when you cut the hard core to not cut all of it out so your wedges will not fall apart (if you never prepared fennel b4- here is a nice link

https://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?fr=yhs-iry-fullyhosted_011&hsimp=yhs-fullyhosted_011&hspart=iry&p=how+to+cook+fennel#id=56&vid=80258c5be6997755e373d16df9bea8ed&action=view

-Vegetable broth

-Salt and Pepper

-Sprouted Organic Tofu, crumbled into small pieces

-Garlic (buy pre chopped to save time)

-Coco Aminos sauce

IMG_4512– Nutritional Yeast AKA Brewer’s Yeast. Tastes a like a mild cheese.

– Beets, ready to eat, sliced ( I brought mine from Costco.  Beets contain nitric oxide – helps protect brain)

Preheat oven to 350.

Use a pan that can be placed both on stove and in oven (no plastic parts).

Heat oil over medium high heat. Add fennel wedges to brown on both sides, lowering heat to prevent burning. Once browned add vegetable broth to cover fennel about 50%. Add salt ad pepper. Bring to boil. Remove from heat. Cover and put in oven for 15minutes.

Meanwhile, heat some oil in a frying pan like you did for fennel above. Add garlic. Stir it around a bit then add Tofu. Stir fry until lightly browned. Remove from pan. Cool. Then stir in Coco Aminos and Nutritional Yeast. By not heating the Coco Aminos, it helps to preserve the probiotics.

The Fennel wedges should be ready by now.

Serve together on plate: Tofu, fennel and beets.

Bon Appétit 🙂

If you want to enjoy more posts and recipes, please click on Follow. Thanks for reading and cooking. Keeping you and the planet healthy!

Recipes

Teriyaki Tofu, Brown Rice and Kale

This is the easiest dish to make. It has a complete protein- whole grain and legume.

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Ingredients:

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This is the easiest dinner (but you need to live near a Costco and Trader Joe’s (TJ)).

Cut Tofu into 1cm thick squares. Put some Coconut oil into a non stick ceramic frying pan and heat to medium heat. Then add a single layer of Tofu. Sprinkle some TJ Island Soyaki sauce (or your favorite Teriyaki sauce) on top of tofu. Brown- takes about 4 minutes each side. Meanwhile put Brown rice into a glass dish and microwave as per directions. Stir.

Flip over tofu. Cut Nori seaweed into 1×1/4 inch pieces (you can get these already cut to this size in Asian markets). Mix into or sprinkle on top of Rice mixture. Serve immediately if you want seaweed to crunch.

Optional sprinkle with nuts. Sauerkraut on the side.

Bon Appetite.

 

 

Recipes, Uncategorized

Examples of Delicious Vegan Food

About time to show you some examples of delicious vegan foods:

Lunches from Trader Joe’s

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Costco Gluten Free Bread to eat with Peanut or Almond or Cashew Butter

 

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First dish I made-  Vegetable Stew (recipe below), Costco Sauerkraut and Stuffed Grape Leaves

 

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2. From Target Restaurant called Freshii – the dish is called

Bamboo: Brown rice, broccoli, carrots, cabbage, coconut, mushrooms, cilantro, lime wedge, green curry sauce

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Maltese Vegetable Stew (Minestra)

2 zucchini
4 potatoes, peeled
2 onions
1 lb squash / pumpkin
1 small cabbage
1 small cauliflower
2 turnips
2 tomatoes
2 carrots
1 tsp tomato puree
1/2 cup dry lentils
Fennel seeds (optional)
3 cups vegetable broth
1 tsp olive oil or butter

Cut all vegetables into 1 to 1.5 inch cubes.

Bring to boil. Add olive oil.
Simmer, covered 45- 60 mins until vegetables are soft.

More to come.