Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Mexican Lettuce Wraps

Every time I go to P.F. Chang's I have to order their vegetarian lettuce wraps. I love the warm veggies and tofu combined with the crispy lettuce leaves. While I was home for a month, my mom was craving a mexican- inspired dish. We had some beans in the cabinet but I wanted to do more than just a burrito or bean salad (that came a different night). The result was inspired by my favorite aforementioned dish just with a different filling. Some of the spice quantities are approximate because I was improvising at that point. I highly suggest you pick your seasoning and add it a bit at a time until you're happy with the flavor.

Mexican Lettuce Wraps
By Caroline Mac

1 yellow bell pepper, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

1/2 zucchini, chopped

1/2 sweet onion, finely chopped

1 c fresh cilantro

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 can each low sodium black and pinto beans, drained and rinsed

1 t Penzey's Arizona seasoning, or equivalent mexican spices

1-2 t Penzey's Southwest seasoning, or equivalent southwestern spices

1-2 t smoked paprika

Chile garlic Cholula hot sauce, to taste

Lots of lime juice, to taste

Olive oil for cooking

1 head butter lettuce, leaves left whole

1-2 heads romaine, whole leaves

1 Avocado, sliced

Step 1: Coat the bottom of your saute pan with olive oil and heat over medium- high heat. Add all veggies and garlic and saute until they begin to become tender.

Step 2: Add cilantro and spices, stirring for a minute or two longer. Reduce heat and add beans, lime, and hot sauce. Stir and until everything is thoroughly mixed.

Step 3: Remove mixture from heat and allow to cool. Spoon mixture onto butter lettuce leaves and into romaine boats. Top with avocado and serve immediately.

Note: You may want to have a spoon and fork handy, as this dish can get a bit messy...


Friday, June 21, 2013

Overnight Oats with Chia

After making my chia breakfast bowl, I decided the next step would be to create a recipe for overnight oats! This dish tastes very similar to the chia bowl I posted, but I'm definitely going to work on coming up with some other combinations. Despite the flavor similarities, I ended up enjoying these oats so much that I'm sharing it with you!

Strawberry Overnight Oats with Chia
By Caroline Mac

Serves 2

2 bananas
1/3 c quick cooking oats
2 T chia seeds
1 c unsweetened soy milk
1 t unsweetened cocoa powder
Cinnamon and vanilla extract, to taste
Fresh Strawberries for topping

Step 1: Mash bananas so that they're still a little chunky. Combine all ingredients except for the berries in a bowl and let soak overnight in the fridge. 

Step 2: Spoon into bowls and chop strawberries for topping. Serve cold. 


Monday, June 10, 2013

Raw Vegan Zucchini Lasagna

What's better than lasagna? Raw vegan lasagna! I recently came across this recipe on Pinterest and after a few alterations produced my own! This is truly delicious and, despite some doubts on my part, held its shape remarkably. The flavors really jump out at you and the texture of the zucchini noodles is great. You can pack even more veggies and toppings into the "casserole" to make this dish unique!

Raw Vegan Zucchini Lasagna
By Caroline Mac, after This Rawsome Life

1 zucchini, thinly sliced lengthwise

Cashew Cheese
2/3 c cashews
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 T lemon juice
2 t Italian seasoning
3 T nutritional yeast

Broccoli Pesto
1/2 head broccoli
3 T sun dried tomatoes, packed in olive oil
1 T olive oil
3-4 leaves fresh basil
Lemon-garlic seasoning (I used Penzey's Trinidad)

Toppings- To taste
I used...
3 mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 tomatos, thinly sliced
Basil leaves, ripped into small pieces

Step 1: Blend all cheese ingredients in a food processor, adding water until mixture reaches a creamy, spreadable consistency. Set aside.

Step 2: Blend all pesto ingredients, adding water until it reaches a spreadable consistency.

Step 3: Layer your ingredients in a small casserole dish, starting with a layer of zucchini noodles, until you have used all ingredients. My pattern was "noodle, cheese, pesto, tomato, mushroom, basil, repeat". I ended with a layer of cheese and pesto.

Step 4: Slice and serve!



Friday, June 7, 2013

Foodie feature: Nutritional yeast! Vegan Cheezy Rosemary Chickpeas

Here's a recent Foodie Friday post from the company I blog for, Real Food Barre. Check them out at realfoodbarre.com!

Nutritional yeast. Ever heard of it?
Despite its less than appealing name, this yeast comes from the same family as brewer’s yeast and baker’s yeast. The primary difference is that it’s inactive, so you can eat it without cooking it! It can be bought in small or larger flakes and has a nutty, cheesy flavor. I use it all the time as a topping for popcorn, pasta, salads, and cooked veggies. It’s honestly one of the most versatile seasonings around.
Like most foods I talk about on this blog, nutritional yeast is not only tasty, but has quite the array of health benefits. I referred to MindBodyGreen.com to learn more about them. Here’s a little bit of what holistic health coach Sarah Seinberg has to say about nutritional yeast…
~It’s a vegetarian source of B-12, which is something that vegetarians and vegans need to focus on incorporating into their diets.

~It’s high in protein, with a whopping 9 grams in 2 tablespoons!
~It’s high in fiber, which is great for digestion.

~It’s gluten free. Yay for allergy avoidance!
~It’s high in folic acid, which is good for cell maintenance and production, as well as being beneficial for pregnant women.

Now that you’re itching to boost your diet’s health factor with nutritional yeast, here’s an ultra healthy recipe for you to try! Thanks Anja’s Food For Thought for the basic recipe!

Vegan Cheezy Rosemary Chick Peas
Adapted from Anja's food for thought

2 cans unsalted chick peas, drained and rinsed
2.5 t olive oil

4 T nutritional yeast

3 T chopped fresh rosemary

Flower pepper or other freshly ground pepper, to taste

Step 1: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Stir all ingredients together in a bowl until chick peas are thoroughly coated in mixture.

Step 2: Spread chick peas on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper in a single layer and bake for 75 minutes, or until crispy.

Enjoy them on your favorite salad or on their own!