Sunday, September 22, 2013

Vegan MoFo: Antipasto Sub (a.k.a. Sub in a Jar)

You know how sometimes you don't feel like chopping? You just want to eat salty, briny stuff from a jar? No? Just me then. But still, you'll seriously love this delicious sandwich.

Antipasto Sub

4 individual sub rolls or one large French or Cuban loaf.
1 small jar of mushrooms
1 small jar of artichokes
1 small jar of roasted red peppers
1 small jar of olives
1 bunch fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup pesto (or herb spread, garlic spread, or Italian dressing) - optional

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Split bread and spread with pesto or dressing, if using. Layer veggies and top with basil leaves. Wrap in aluminum foil and cook 8 - 10 min. or until heated through. Serve hot.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Vegan MoFo: Easiest Ever Gluten-Free Vegan Chocolate Cake

You would think that by now I'd be through psyching myself out of trying new things in the kitchen. After all, being vegan is all about trying new things! I can't even count the new fruits, vegetables, grains, and new types of dishes that I've tried. Yet, it's been about 6 months since I bought the ingredients to try gluten-free vegan baking. I knew in theory that it shouldn't be that tough, but when push came to shove, I always resorted to the familiar.

Well, that's over now! I finally had a reason strong enough to motivate me to try, and you know what? It's utterly foolish to be intimidated by these things! It's absolutely no harder than conventional baking, which in the case of this recipe is just so easy.

Based on this fabulous recipe from Plant Based on a Budget with just a minor tweak, it only takes 3-5 minutes to prepare and a little more than 30 minutes in the oven. Cool for a few minutes and sprinkle with organic powdered sugar, and in under an hour you've got fresh-baked cake!

Easiest Ever Gluten-Free Vegan Chocolate Cake

1 1/2 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour blend (I use Bob's Red Mill)
3/4 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1 cup organic sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract (or half vanilla, half almond)
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
5 tbsp canola or other light-flavored oil
1 cup warm water
Organic confectioner's sugar for topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift first six ingredients into an ungreased 8x8 cake pan. Add sugar and mix. Create three wells in the dry ingredients. Add vanilla to one, oil to another, and vinegar to the third. Pour warm water and top and mix until well blended and reasonably smooth. There may still be some small lumps, but make sure when you scrape the bottom there's no dry flour showing. Bake 30-35 minutes, until center springs back when touched gently.

Cool 10 minutes and top with confectioner's sugar. Serve warm (or let cool completely and omit confectioners sugar topping if frosting).

Vegan MoFo: Nacho Salad

All the nacho taste, none of the bad-for-you stuff!


You love 'em, right? Everyone loves nachos. But conventional nachos don't love you back. With all that salt and fat, they're hypertension on a plate. So try this scrumptious salad for a tasty nacho flavor and crunch without the fat.

Nacho Salad

2-3 cups shredded romaine
1 cup shredded kale and/or spinach (I use half each)
1/3 cup diced fresh tomatoes
1/4 cup sliced black olives
1/2 cup Spanish rice (great use for leftovers!)
1/3 cup refried beans
1/4 cup taco sauce
1/4 cup crispy tortilla strips

Toss in a bowl, mix, and enjoy!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Vegan MoFo: Green Breakfast Smoothie of Champions!

Nutrition in a glass!

Awhile back, I reviewed a book on green smoothies for This Dish is Veg. I didn't realize it at the time, but I learned quite a lot from it. Chief among those things was the simple reason why blended fruit and vegetable drinks are better for you than juicing - you're not losing anything. It's whole nutrition in a cup.

The other thing I learned was the perfect ratio for taste in a green smoothie: 40% vegetables, 60% fruit. But sometimes it's hard to translate that into real terms, since we're comparing leaves to chunks, so to speak. So I find a recipe can be helpful.

This is my recipe for the ideal beginner's green smoothie. I know folks like to get fancy with it, adding everything from dandelion greens to cayenne pepper but that stuff is intimidating if all you want is a green drink that's palatable and maybe your kids would stomach.

So here is my non-vegan-kid (and husband) tested recipe for a delicious smoothie. It tastes of strawberry and banana, and that's pretty much it. It's a great place to start, or a great base to build from if you want to get adventurous.

Strawberry-Banana Green Smoothie

1 large kale leaf, stemmed and torn (or two smaller ones - should equal about 2 loose cups in blender)
1/2 cup coconut water, chilled
1 small ripe banana (or half a large one)
4-5 frozen strawberries

In a blender, add torn kale leaves and coconut water. Liquefy (about 10 seconds). Add banana and frozen strawberries and blend. Serve!

How sweet this is will depend on the ripeness of the fruit. If it's not sweet enough for you, add 1 tsp agave.