Monday, December 31, 2012

Spring Rolls

Savannah, GA

Anyone looking for a healthy, easy, packable lunch idea?  Maybe something you can bring to work instead of buying fast food, something that looks nice to bring to a party or potluck, something light to snack on at a picnic?  Spring rolls look like an ambitious dish to make, but actually they are so easy and require no cooking at all.  They are packed with delicious raw veggies, and wrapped beautifully in rice paper which makes them gluten free and vegan.  I also created a sweet and spicy peanut chile sauce for dipping that make these spring rolls impossible to resist!

Spring Rolls

Spring Rolls
(makes 40, gluten free, vegan, oil free)

For the spring rolls:
20 rice paper wraps
1 large carrot, julienned
1 cucumber, peeled & cut into thin strips
4 oz firm tofu, cut into thin strips, frozen and then defrosted
1 avocado, peeled and cut into thin strips
3-4 cups fresh arugula or spinach
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
dash of lemongrass
dash of ground ginger

Sprinkle a small amount of lemongrass and ginger on the defrosted tofu. 

In a large bowl or pan add about an inch of warm water.
Dip 1 rice paper wrap in water and set it flat on a plate.  Line a small amount of veggies in a strip down the center of the wrap.

It should look like this

Fold left side of wrap over veggies and roll into a tube shape.  Cut the tube in half on a diagonal.  Repeat with each rice paper sheet, until all veggies are used.  That's it!

For the Peanut Chile Sauce:

1/2 tsp hoisin sauce
1/4 cup liquid aminos or soy sauce
1/4 cup natural peanut butter
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp rice vinegar
1/4 cup water

Wisk it all together in a small bowl, and it's ready for dipping!

Pin it! 

Like RVegan on Facebook!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Hoppin' John Good Luck Salad

Charleston, SC

  Since I've been spending the last month in the south, I'm going with a favorite southern New Years tradition.  Black eyed peas and collard greens symbolize good luck and prosperity for the new year.  I made this dish last year for a New year's eve party, and I must admit, 2012 did me good!  I've been blessed with a beautiful new nephew this year, a healthy family, traveling to new places, exploring, enjoying life, and living my dreams in an RV.  What more could I ask for?   I wish you all an adventurous, healthy, and amazing new year.  Happy 2013!

Happy New Year!  Hoppin' John Good Luck Salad

Hoppin' John Good Luck Salad

1 large bunch collard greens, remove veins, chopped (about 5 cups)
2 cups cooked rice
4 or 5 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups cooked black eyed peas
1/2 cup pickled cherry peppers, sliced
2 tbsp olive oil, separated (1 tbsp & 1 tbsp)
salt & pepper
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp liquid smoke
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp fennel seed

Over medium heat in a large pan, sauté 1 tbsp olive oil, garlic, cherry peppers, vinegar for about 3 minutes.  Add collard greens and some salt & pepper.  Sauté just until greens wilt slightly.  Remove from heat.

In a bowl add rice, black eyed peas, 1 tbsp olive oil, liquid smoke, red pepper flakes, onion powder, smoked paprika, and fennel seed.  Stir to combine.  Add the greens mixture, and stir it all together.

Happy New Year!

Pin it! 

Like me on Facebook!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Homemade Party Hummus

Holiday parties can be full of junk food, sweet drinks, and heavy desserts.   Most don't consider healthy eating at a party, but definitely appreciate when healthy options are offered.  Try bringing a tray of veggies for dipping with this delicious, simple, healthy, homemade hummus from scratch and watch those party goers swarm!

Homemade Party Hummus

3 cups cooked chick peas, or 2 cans, drained and rinsed
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup sesame oil*
1/3 of a lemon's juice & zest
1 tbsp rice vinegar or white vinegar
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp smoked paprika

Put all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.  Add more salt if needed.  Process again.

* Try adding 1/4 cup of any of the following into processor for flavored hummus:
- roasted red peppers
- fresh basil and sundried tomatoes
- olives
- roasted garlic (just 3 or 4 cloves)

* You can substitute oil with 1/4 cup tahini paste, and slowly add water (about 1/3 cup) until desired consistency.

Pin it! 

Like me on Facebook!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Peanut Butter Cookies

Savannah, GA

  I am a peanut butter maniac.  I will never tire of peanut buttery goodness.  I will and do practically eat it every day.  Now I don't have much of a sweet tooth, and I rarely do desserts, but the holidays are here and I need Christmas cookies.   Using fresh natural ingredients really livens up everything you eat, including desserts.  So make sure your peanut butter is fresh and consists of peanuts only, no extra ingredients.  Make sure your sugar is unrefined pure cane sugar.  Try using coconut oil to replace shortening in any recipe for a rich, flavorful boost.  These cookies are sure to please!

Peanut Butter Cookies (some with sesame seed topping)

Peanut Butter Cookies
(makes 30 cookies)

3/4 cup unrefined sugar or coconut sugar
2/3 cup natural peanut butter
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup earth balance spread
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Mix sugar, peanut butter, coconut oil, & earth balance in a large bowl.  Stir in remaining ingredients.
Cover and refrigerate approx 2 hours or until firm.

Heat oven to 375º

Shape dough into 1 inch balls.  Place about 3 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Flatten in a crisscross pattern with a fork.

Bake 9-10 minutes or until light golden brown.  Cool 5 minutes; remove from cookie sheet.  Cool on a wire rack.

Pin it! 

Like me on Facebook!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Peanut Miso Soup

Savannah, GA

Food can absolutely be preventive medicine.  If you are hesitant because fresh ingredients like produce can be expensive, wouldn't you prefer to buy quality natural ingredients to feed your body now, than to have to take medications for your health problems later?   To me, it seems like a no-brainer.  There are so many benefits to eating a plant-based diet.

Changing the way you eat to plant-based drastically lowers your risk of other serious health complications such as diabetes, cancer, and obesity.  Making this change in diet alone, has proven to actually reverse diabetes and heart disease, even at their last (sickest) stages.  It also lowers risk of developing some types of cancer.  The standard American diet, rich in meats, dairy, and highly processed foods, is a major factor in causing the onset of the most common health problems in this country.

There are two kinds of cholesterol.  One  type is the kind your body naturally produces.  The other is the kind you ingest from the food you eat.  Plant-based foods don't have any cholesterol.  Not one vegan ingredient contains cholesterol.  So eating only plant-based is a sure way to maintain healthy cholesterol levels.  This is important because high cholesterol leads to countless health problems especially involving your heart, like heart disease, stroke, and heart attacks.   Switching to a plant-based diet can keep you off cholesterol lowering medications completely.

I could go on and on about this, but I'm sure you must be getting hungry and craving your veggies.  If you are interested in learning more about it, and the reasons why they don't teach you this stuff in school, I highly recommend reading a book called The China Study, by T. Collin Campbell.  He has been researching this subject for decades, and has a great way of explaining it all, from soup to nuts.   It is a fascinating read that could change your life.

 Speaking of soup and nuts......

Spicy Peanut Miso Soup

Peanut Miso Soup
makes 2-3 servings, 10 min
oil free, gluten free, vegan

5 cups water, separated to 4 1/2 cups & 1/2 cup
1/2 cup onion, chopped
3/4 cup cauliflower, sliced thin
1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
1/2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
1/4 cup firm tofu, cubed small
2-3 tbsp liquid aminos or soy sauce
2 tbsp red miso (paste)*
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 cup sai fun noodles**
1 cup fresh baby spinach
2 tbsp sriracha (optional, for heat)

In a pot, combine 4 1/2 cups water, onion, cauliflower, mushrooms, ginger, tofu, and liquid aminos.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low.

While that is heating up, in a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup of water, miso, peanut butter, and sriracha (optional).  Whisk until smooth.

Making sure the broth is hot but no longer boiling, stir peanut butter miso mixture into the pot to combine.  Remove from heat and stir in sai fun and spinach.  Serve hot.

* Miso is a probiotic, containing beneficial bacteria and enzymes.  It should never be boiled, to ensure that it remains a living food when eaten.

** Sai fun noodles are made of mung beans and potato starch.  They are done cooking just about instantly, upon touching water or broth.  You can usually find them in the ethnic section of the supermarket.  You can also substitute rice noodles, just follow their cooking instructions for changes in cook time.

Like me on Facebook!