Monday, September 12, 2011

Loaded Quinoa Salad

This is one of my favorite salads, it's loaded with protein (Go Quinoa!) and it tastes great hot or cold! It's a crowd pleaser (omni approved) and super easy to make.
Quinoa salad, sweet chili tofu & corn

1 1/2 cups quinoa, dry
3 cups vegetable broth
2 medium carrots, finely diced
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1/2 orange pepper, chopped
2 sprigs green onion, chopped
1 small zuchinni, small cubes
1/3 cup chopped walnuts

1 part olive oil *(1/8 cup)
2 parts lemon juice *(1/4 cup)
pinch of salt
couple shakes of Italian seasoning

*I did not measure the dressing, amounts are approximate.

Rinse quinoa and combine in a pot with vegetable broth. Bring to a boil and simmer on low for 15-20 mins. While the quinoa is cooking, chop all your veggies. In a small container, combine dressing ingredientsm shake until mixed. It will seperate a bit so give it a good little shake before you toss it will the salad. Put all the veggies & walnuts in a bowl, pour warm quinoa overtop and stir. Add the dressing, serve warm or refrigerate to serve cold. Enjoy :)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sweet Chili Sesame Tofu, Roasted Veggie Fried Rice & Grilled Asparagus

This is the perfect end of summer meal, so fire up your bbq and get ready to enjoy some seriously good food! You can marinate the tofu overnight if you wish but 20 mins is usually all the time I have and it always turns out. I like to make a whole bunch at once and then I have deliciously flavoured tofu on hand for a few days, if it lasts that lonh before I gobble it up! I usually do not measure the marinade, I just huck all the ingredients in a ziploc bag and add the tofu but for your sake I will add approximate measurements. I love roasting veggies, it takes a little longer but that deep, rich roasted flavour is so worth it!

Sweet Chili Sesame Marinade

1-2 tbsps Sesame Oil
3-5 tbsps Sweet Chili Sauce
2 generous squirts of Braggs

1 175g package extra firm tofu, sliced into 8 pieces

Yep, that's it! Combine in a ziploc baggie, mix it around a bit and add in your sliced tofu. I have started pressing my tofu before I marinate as often as I can remember, it seems to hold in the flavour better that way. I wrap the slices in a dish towel and stack some heavy books on top for 15 mins. To save time, you can sandwich the tofu (wrapped in cloth) between two cutting boards and stand on it for a minute. I like to use extra firm tofu because I know it will hold up well on the bbq. How long you cook it on the bbq depends on how you like your tofu. I like to cook it on the top rack for maybe 5-7 mins on each side, just enough to get those nice grill marks.

Roasted Veggie Fried Rice

2 Carrots, quartered lenthgwise
1 cup Brocolli, chopped into florets
1 small Yellow or sweet onion, quartered and layers split 
1 1/2 cups Bell Peppers, 1 inch pieces
2-3 tbsps Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375. Toss veggies in a large bowl with olive oil, salt & pepper to your taste. Cook in oven for about 30 mins, flipping at the 15 min mark. Remove any pieces that look cooked enough if needed.

1 cup basmati rice, dry
2 cups vegetable broth or water
2 tbsps margarine or olive oil

While the veggies are roasting, it's time to make the rice. I like to make my rice in a deep frying pan rather than a pot, that way when the veggies are done, I can add them right into the pan. The less dishes, the better! I also like to fry my rice until it is see through in a bit of margarine or olive oil before boiling. Just straight boiling will work just fine though. Add broth or water, bring to a boil and then simmer on low for 20 mins. It's that easy! Let the veggies cool down and roughly chop them up before adding to rice.

Lemon Garlic Asparagus

1 lb asparagus
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lemon, juiced

Wash the asparagus and trim the ends off. Arrange asparagus lengthwise in tinfoil, sprinkle with garlic, salt & lemon juice. Wrap it up and it's ready to toss on the bbq. I don't know about you but I like my asparagus just lightly cooked so it is still crisp but tender. Cook for 10 minutes at the most on the top shelf. Do not leave it on the bbq to stay warm, it will overcook and become too chewy. Remove when it is done and it will stay warm in the foil until you are ready to eat :)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Brocolli "Pesto" Dip

This recipe was inspired by Adam Crisis' Kale Pesto recipe that he posted on the Post Punk Kitchen forums. I simply subbed brocolli for the kale, used a bit less miso and added lemon juice. This dip has a decent amount of protein and is low in fat. It is super tasty, even omni approved! Goes well with crackers or pita, you could also use it as a spread in wraps or on a sandwich.
Brocolli "Pesto" Dip

1-2 large heads brocolli, chopped into florets and lightly steamed
1 1/2 - 2 cups walnuts
5 cloves garlic
3 tbsps nutrirional yeast
1 tbsp miso
1-2 tsp lemon juice (adjust according to tastebuds)
salt & pepper (to taste)
1/4-1/2 cup water (start with 1/4 cup & slowly add more to get the consistency you like)

Combine first 6 ingredients in food proccesor & blend. Slowly add water to get the consistency you like. Add lemon juice, salt & pepper to taste. Serve with warm pita or spread on toast, enjoy!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Roasted Carrot & Ginger Soup

The cauliflower gives this hearty soup a thick, creamy base without the added fat of cream or nuts. Roasting the veggies adds a nice depth to the soup and brings out the sweetest of the onion but you could also steam the veggies for a subtler taste. Make sure to check on your veggies while roasting so they don't overcook or burn. The onions tend to cook a lot faster than the cauliflower and carrots so you may want to remove them at the 15 minute mark or you can leave them in for an extra roasty/charred flavor.

Roasted Carrot & Ginger Soup (makes about 6 cups)

1 medium/large head cauliflower, cut into 2 inch florets
4 medium sized carrots, cut lenghtwise into quarters or sixths if they are very thick
1 small yellow or sweet onion, cut into sixths and seperated
3 tbsps olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
2 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
1/2 tsp powdered ginger
2-3 tsps lemon juice
3 tbsps brown sugar

Preheat oven to 375. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, coat cauliflower with 1 tbsp olive oil and spread out on baking sheet. Toss the carrots & onions with 2 tbsps olive oil and spread out on second baking sheet. Sprinkle both sheets with salt & pepper. Bake in oven for 15 mins. Flip veggies, check the onions as sometimes they cook much faster and bake for another 15 mins. Once you veggies are done, transfer them to a blender or food processor. Add 2 cups vegetable broth and blend. You will probably need to do the rest of the blending in 2 batches. Pour out half of the mixture into a bowl. Add 1 cup water, 1 tsp lemon juice, 1 1/2 tbsps brown sugar and 1/4 tsp ginger, blend well. Transfer mixture in blend to a pot or other bowl. Blend the other half of the vegetable mixture with the remaining 1 cup water, 1 tsp lemon juice, 1 1/2 tbsps brown sugar and 1/4 tsp ginger. Add the blender contents into the pot or bowl and mix well. Taste and add salt & pepper to your liking. You may also want to add the other 1 tsp of lemon juice.

This soup freezes well, I like to do 1-2 cup portions. Let the soup cool, pour into freezer bags and lay flat on a baking sheet to freeze in nice thin, space saving shapes.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Cheese Onion Bread

This is a super simple recipe that I found in the user manual for my Black & Decker, All In One bread machine. I can't say that I am 100% in love with this recipe as it as not as cheesey & oniony as I was hoping for, but it is good. I plan on playing with it a bit to see how much cheese I can get away with adding as well as, maybe next time I will try using fresh onion instead of dehydrated onion flakes. This recipe is for use with the Rapid Bake setting which only takes 70 minutes. There is also another cheese onion bread recipe but it take 3.5 hours, I think that one might actually work better with the fresh onion & more cheese. *I have no idea why there are different measurements for US & Canada in the second recipe.

Cheese Onion Bread (Rapid Bake setting)
1 2/3 cups water
3 Tbsp powdered soy milk
3 Tbsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt
4 1/4 cups All Purpose or Bread Flour (US, use bread flour)
2 Tbsp dried onion flakes
1/3 cup shredded vegan cheese (I used cheddar Daiya)
4 tsp yeast (rapid or bread machine)

Cheese Onion Bread (Sweet Bread setting)
1 1/4 cups water 
2 Tbsp powdered soy milk
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt (1 1/4 tsp in US)
3 1/4 cups All Purpose or Bread Flour (US, use 3 1/3 cups Bread flour)
1 Tbsp dried onion flakes or 1/4 cup chopped fresh onion
1/4 cup shredded vegan cheese (I used cheddar Daiya)
1 tsp yeast (rapid or bread machine)

*Make sure you measure the ingredients into the baking pan in the order that they are listed.