Friday, September 28, 2012

Lazy Friday Chipotle Black Bean Salad

It's Friday, it's the end of the week, and I got back from the gym and did not want to make the rather complicated Black bean soup I had originally planned on making. However, I still wanted to make something with black beans. Yay for improvisation!

Honestly, I didn't measure anything when creating this recipe. My suggestion is to start with the beans and add the seasoning to taste. One can of beans makes enough for two nights or so.

Chipotle Black Bean Salad
By Caroline Mac
1 can black beans, drained
Chipotle hot sauce
1 yellow bell pepper
Sun dried tomatoes
Salsa verde
Southwest seasoning

Step 1: Add tomatoes, seasonings, pepper, and sauces to beans and mix thoroughly. Serve warm, cold, or room temperature. I had mine as a side with a mixed green salad.


Monday, September 24, 2012

Sweet and Sour Tofu with Coconut Rice

Tonight was my first night of group cooking! Well, two person cooking. I had my friend Emily over for  dinner, who is also a vegetarian and also gluten-free! I eat gluten, but I was totally up for making a gluten-free recipe. This was a relatively elaborate meal, but it was so worth the extra effort. Better yet, I finally know how to make a delicious sweet and sour sauce! We both agreed as we ate this meal that it was delicious. Utterly delicious.

Sweet and Sour Tofu with Coconut Rice
Adapted from Peachy Palate
1 block extra firm, high protein tofu (Drained and cut into triangles)
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 orange bell pepper, diced
1/2 white onion
2 T diced pineapple
1/3 c bamboo shoots
1 T olive oil

Note: Separate 1/3 of the sauce once made for cooking the veggies
4 1/2 T Rice vinegar
1 1/2 T cane sugar
3 T tomato Ketchup
3 t minced garlic
6 T pineapple puree

1 bag Trader Joe's frozen brown rice, defrosted/ cooked
1/2 cup lite coconut milk
3 t shredded desiccated coconut
1 t coconut oil
1/2 t black pepper
pinch salt

Step 1: Combine all rice ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir until rice is evenly coated and sauce completely mixed. Set aside. Reheat rice in the microwave for 40 seconds when everything else is ready.

Step 2: Combine all sauce ingredients and whisk until completely blended. Transfer to a sauce pan and heat until boiling. Stir constantly. Reduce heat slightly and continue to cook sauce until it thickens. This should take less than 5 minutes. Remove from heat and separate 1/3 of the sauce for the veggies.

Step 3: Coat the tofu with the remaining 2/3 of the sauce and set aside to marinate for 15-20 minutes.

Step 4: Once the tofu is marinated, add red bell pepper, orange pepper, and  half of the onions to a pan with olive oil. Saute until onions begin to go clear. Add the bamboo shoots, pineapple, and tofu. Cook until tofu begins to turn golden, constantly stirring (6-8 minutes).

Step 5: Add remaining sauce to the pan and stir until veggies and tofu are evenly coated. Let simmer for a couple more minutes.

Step 6: Serve tofu and veggies over coconut rice with a sprinkling of onion.


Simple Hummus

I've made a rule for myself regarding buying food: If I can make it easily, I don't buy it. My first product I've decided to make myself is hummus! What could be easier to make than hummus??? So I made a basic recipe without extra seasoning, so I can build on it in the future.

Simple Hummus
By Caroline Mac
1 can chickpeas, liquid reserved
1/2 cup Tahini
3 T lemon juice

Step 1: Combine chickpeas, tahini, and lemon in food processor and blend until smooth. Add reserved chickpea liquid until you've reached your desired consistency. I like it to be thick, but creamy and spreadable.

Add ins- Feel free to add some flavorful mix-ins, including sun dried tomatoes, garlic, olives, basil, and anything else you see fit. Don't be afraid to be creative!


Friday, September 21, 2012

Pb(2) and Jelly Smoothie

Smoothie time! Have I mentioned my newest discovery, PB2? I'm a huge peanut butter fan, but you can't really eat that straight out of the jar 24/7... PB2 is essentially dehydrated peanut butter, aka, Peanut butter without the fat. All you do is mix the powder with water and voila! Peanut butter-ish stuff. It doesn't taste identical to the original, but it's pretty close. I used some of this wonder powder in my latest smoothie recipe.

PB2 and Jelly Smoothie
By Caroline Mac
1 banana
1 individual container nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1 cup unsweetened soy milk
1 T PB2
2 T rolled oats
1/2 cup frozen mixed berries

Step 1: Combine banana, yogurt, soy milk, and PB2 in a blender. Puree until smooth.

Step 2: Add berries and rolled oats and blend until smooth.


Fig and Apricot Quinoa Salad

What happens when Caroline plans on making a recipe and then loses the link? She completely improvises and creates her own version! This turned out to be one of my favorite recipes yet. This dish is great both warm and cold and tastes so refreshing!

Fig and Apricot Quinoa
By Caroline Mac
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup chopped apricots
6 fresh figs, chopped in large pieces
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
3 T lemon juice
1t minced ginger

Step 1: Combine quinoa and vegetable broth in a sauce pan and heat until boiling. Lower heat and let simmer until all broth is absorbed by quinoa (about 15 min.). Remove rom heat and fluff quinoa with a fork.

Step 2: Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, and ginger until thoroughly blended.  Set aside.

Step 3: In a large bowl, combine quinoa, apricots, figs and parsley. Stir until evenly mixed. Drizzle with dressing and stir until dressing is evenly mixed in.

Enjoy warm or cold!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Nutty Apricot Energy Cookies

Here's yet another yummy energy bar recipe! This may be my favorite recipe yet. Thanks to Vicki at Watching What I Eat for the inspiration for this recipe!

Nutty Apricot Energy Cookies
By Caroline Mac
1.5 cups rolled oats
1 banana, mashed
1/2 cup sliced almonds
9 dried apricots, chopped
2 T peanut butter, softened
1 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1 T vanilla extract
1 T pie spice

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix and wet ingredients and spices in a large mixing bowl. Add dry ingredients and mix until evenly blended.

Step 2: Spoon out the dough on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. You should get about 12 cookies, depending on the size you want.

Step 3: Bake for 15- 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Refrigerate until eating.


Monday, September 17, 2012

Vegan and Nearly Raw Fettucini Alfredo

One of my favorite restaurants back in Portland is Prasad. It's a vegan cafe located within a yoga studio. If you're ever in the Pearl District, be sure to check it out. Prasad introduced me to a new raw and ultra healthy phenomenon: Veggie noodles. That is, vegetables cut in such a way that they are nearly pasta-like in consistency. The dish I had at Prasad was a zucchini noodle linguini with pesto and a cashew ricotta. It was delicious! Tonight, I made my own version of this tasty dish. I used my Zyliss julienne peeler to slice zucchini into pasta-like strips, made a cashew cream, and cooked up a veggie burger. The end result was delicious!
Vegan and Nearly Raw Fettucini Alfredo
2 zucchinis
1.5 cups raw, whole cashews
1 cup boiling water
1 clove garlic
Pinch of salt
1t Italian seasoning
1 veggie burger (or one per person dining)

Step 1: Run cashews in the food processor until finely chopped. Add Cashews and water to a blender and puree until smooth and creamy. Add garlic, salt, and seasoning and blend thoroughly. 

Step 2: Using a julienne peeler or spiralizer, cut long, thin strips of zucchini so it resembles noodles. Set aside.

Step 3: Cook your veggie burger according to the directions on the package. I used a Dr. Praeger's California Veggie Burger.

Step 4: Dish out zucchini noodles and toss with sauce to taste. Top with a crumbled veggies burger.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Balsamic Beet and Carrot Salad

Hi all! It's been FOREVER since I've posted a recipe, so I figured I'd stop being lazy and post something. I had a bunch of beets from Trader Joe's in the fridge, so I decided to use them up.

I don't think I used as many veggies as the original recipe called for, so there was a lot of excess dressing. Just know that you may have some tasty dressing left over to use on future salads.

Balsamic Beet and Carrot Salad
Adapted from Simple Spoon
1 package Trader Joe's pre-cooked beets (or 3-4 cooked beets)
1-2 cups baby carrots
1/2 cup raw almonds
Crumbled Feta cheese for topping
1T agave syrup
Sea salt

1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette
15 basil leaves, shredded
2 cloves minced garlic

Step 1: Heat saute pan to medium. Add almonds and cook until fragrant, stirring regularly but not constantly. Once they've darkened slightly and are fragrant, turn off heat and add agave. Stir until almonds are evenly coated. Sprinkle with salt. Transfer to a clean plate. Syrup will solidify, creating candied almonds!

Step 2: Steam baby carrots until al dente.

Step 2: Add all dressing ingredients together and mix until homogenous. Drizzle beets and carrots with dressing and top with feta cheese and almonds.


Monday, September 10, 2012

When Caroline gets Busy...

Hello to all of you guys reading my blog!

As many of you know, I've been pretty busy at my new ballet program. This means my posts won't be quite as frequent as usual... Sad day. But I'll still be posting at least a couple recipes per week! I meant to post one tonight and then time just flew away! So, keep an eye out for a new, beet-based, recipe tomorrow! :)


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Lemony Lentil Soup

This may be one of my favorite recipes I've ever made! I love soup and wanted to make something quick the night before the ballet program started. There ended up being enough left over to have for dinner another night and a half, which made life easier too. I started with a recipe from Anja's Food 4 Thought, but ended up altering a lot of proportions and ingredients to accomodate what I already had. However, I did follow her cooking directions, which were great as always. This soup would probably be good chilled as well, but I haven't tried that.

Lemony Lentil Soup
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2 c cooked lentils
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 c chopped spinach
1.5 celery stalks, sliced
Olive oil for sautee
2 cloves garlic, minced
1t curry powder
1t cumin
1t Singapore seasoning
1/2t cinnamon
2 1/2 T lemon juice

Step 1: In a large pan, saute onions, garlic, and spices in olive oil on medium-high heat until onions are tender. Stir in celery, lentils, lemon juice, and vegetable stock.

Step 2: Let simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes. Add spinach. Let cook uncovered for another 5 minutes.


Monday, September 3, 2012

Berry Lemon Water Infusion

This was my first time infusing water at my new apartment and I discovered a trick to seriously increasing the flavor: Frozen Fruit. I would suggest using the frozen fruit if you have a pitcher with an insert, as the fruit gets very soft when it melts. If you don't have an infusion pitcher, just know that you may be getting some berry chunks when you sip your H2O.

Berry Lemon Water Infusion
By Caroline Mac
1 cup frozen mixed berries
4-5 fresh strawberries, sliced
1/2- 3/4 lemon, sliced

Step 1: Press Frozen berries into fruit insert. Put Lemon and strawberries into body of the pitcher. Fill with water, leaving room for the infusion insert.

Step 2: Add insert and lid, refrigerate, and let sit for a few hours. The longer the fruit is in the water, the stronger the flavor will be. I thought the flavor was best after leaving the water overnight.

Refill pitcher as many times as you please until the fruit begins to go bad. The flavor will be more diluted than the first time you filled it.


Basic Spiced Crunchy Bars

Here's the recipe for the first batch of bars that I've made at the new apartment! If you make these bars, feel free to edit the variety of nuts/ fruit/ spices that you use. I just used the ingredients I had available to me, since I didn't want to run to the store.

Basic Spiced Crunchy Bars
By Caroline Mac

1 1/4 cups rolled oats
1 1/4 cups unsweetened soy milk
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup almonds
4 dried figs
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup Joe's O's, Cheerios, etc.
1t Vanilla extract
1t pie spice

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a food processor, rough chop the almonds and figs. Combine those, along with all other dry ingredients, excluding the O's cereal,  in a large mixing bowl, stirring thoroughly.

Step 2: Combine all wet ingredients in a separate bowl and blend thoroughly. Add to dry ingredients and stir until completely blended/ mixed. Let mixture sit for about 10 minutes, or until most of the milk is absorbed by the oats.

Step 3: Add the cereal to the mixture and immediately spread in a baking pan lined with parchment paper, making sure there is an even thickness throughout and the bar "dough" goes all the way to the edges of the pan.

Step 4: Bake for around 30 minutes, or until bar seems firm and doesn't have a lot of extra moisture. Your bake time will probably vary depending on how long you let it soak and the thickness of your bars.

Step 5: Remove from pan and let cool before cutting into individual bars. Refrigerate once they are completely cool.


Saturday, September 1, 2012

Very Berry Mango Smoothie

Here's another tasty smoothie!

Very Berry Mango Smoothie
By Caroline Mac
1 cup frozen mango
1 cup frozen mixed berries
1T shredded coconut, extra for topping
1T rolled oats
6 oz. Plain nonfat Greek yogurt
3/4 cup unsweetened soy milk
1 fresh strawberry for garnish

Step 1: Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.

Step 2: Serve topped with coconut and a strawberry. You may want to eat this with a spoon!


Southwestern Tofu Scramble

Until just a couple weeks ago, I had never eaten a tofu scramble! Crazy right? A vegetarian that has never had this dish... Well, it turns out that I love it. My initiation into tofu-scramble-dom occurred at Whole Foods. They had a Cajun tofu scramble with Cajun sweet potatoes.

It turns out that making a tofu scramble is incredibly easy. I think they're generally made for breakfast, but I did it for dinner. My dad got me a gift of gourmet spices at a cooking shop near my studio, including Southwestern seasoning, a Singapore seasoning, and an Balti seasoning. I've made it my goal to make something each night with these spices as the inspiration. Tonight was Southwestern night. I found a basic recipe online and decided on my own spices and serving suggestion.

Check back in tomorrow for a new Asian recipe!

Southwestern Tofu Scramble
Inspired by Vegetarian Times
1 red bell pepper, diced
4 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1 clove garlic, minced
2t Southwestern seasoning
1 16-oz package extra firm tofu, rinsed, drained, and crumbled
1-2t Mexican hot sauce
2T cilantro, chopped
Salsa verde, for garnish
1/2 avocado, garnish
Olive oil for saute

Step 1: In a large sillet, saute pepper and carrots in olive oil over medium-high heat until tender. Add Onions, garlic, and seasoning and cook for a couple more minutes.

Step 2: Add Tofu and hot sauce, stir until evenly mixed and cook until heated through.

Step 3: Stir in cilantro.

Step 4: Serve topped with salsa and avocado. You can also add more hot sauce if you prefer a spicier dish.