Wednesday, June 15, 2011

KICKIN' KOLRABI CHIPS

I saw these odd-looking root veggies in the produce aisle and thought, “What the heck… This should be fun.” Then, they sat in the fridge for a few days because I had no idea what to do with it. When I finally decided to plunge in, I cut the tops off, then took a vegetable peeler and peeled until the texture looked different. Pretty technical explanation, isn’t it? Then I smelled it. I fancy myself to have super hero smelling abilities. It smelled bit radish-y, so I was a little nervous. But, when paired with the mesquite seasoning, it all made sense.

Ingredients:
2 Tbs. Earth Balance
1 Tbs. olive oil
3 small kolrabi, peeled and sliced paper thin with a mandolin
2 pinches of sea salt
1 Tbs. onion, minced
1 tsp. smoky mesquite seasoning

Directions:

Heat Earth Balance and olive oil in skillet over medium high heat until melted. Add kolrabi and onion; sprinkle with salt and cook until translucent and starting to brown, stilling frequently (about 8-10 minutes). Remove from heat and sprinkle chips with mesquite seasoning, tossing to evenly coat. Note, these will not be crispy like potato chips (just so that we properly set expectations). My kids like them served with a side of ketchup.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

PB&J QUINOA

Need a new idea for hot cereal in the morning that your kids will embrace? Well, here it is, and it’s vegan and gluten free to boot! Although there are no peanuts, the hazelnut milk and pecans give it a nutty flavor (without being overwhelming), and the preserves on top bring it all together. Need I tell you the awesomeness of quinoa again? Well, in case you haven’t read all of my posts, quinoa is a complete protein. Although it looks like a grain, it is really a seed. It is considered a superfood – it is full of phytonutrients, antioxidants and can even help balance your blood sugar. What more could you ask of your humble PB&J?! Enjoy.

Ingredients:
2 cups hazelnut milk
1 cup quinoa
2 Tbs. raw sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Dash salt
4 dates, chopped (about ¼ cup)
½ cup pecans, chopped and toasted (f you have raw pecans, just place them on a cookie sheet and bake for 5-8 minutes at 350 F. Don’t skip this step)
1 Tbs. Earth Balance
2 Tbs. preserves

Directions:
Place milk and quinoa in a medium sized sauce pan and bring to boil over medium high heat. Turn down to low and let simmer for 10 minutes. Add sugar, vanilla, salt and dates. Cook until most of the moisture has been absorbed (about another 5-8 minutes – longer if your quinoa is older).  Remove from heat. Stir in Earth Balance. Serve in individual bowls and sprinkle pecans and a dollup preserves over the tops.


Monday, June 13, 2011

TOFU SCRAMBLE

I am trying to incorporate more vegan dishes into our overall repertoire. I have to admit, I was a bit nervous to see how this was received from my egg-loving children. With the bacon bits and smoked paprika, the scramble satisfies that Jonesin’ for bacon, and the nutritional yeast gives it a bit of a cheesy element. The kids ate it without prompting, so we will be making this one again.

Ingredients:
1 block extra firm tofu
2 Tbs. Earth Balance “butter”
¼ cup green onions, chopped
2 Tbs. imitation bacon bits
2 Tbs. nutritional yeast
1 tsp. garlic powder
¼ tsp. smoked paprika
¼ tsp. salt

Directions:
Place tofu block between wads of paper towels and squeeze excess water out of it. Cut tofu into small cubes. Using a fork, crumble the cubes. Melt the Earth Balance in a large frying pan over medium high heat. Add tofu crumbles, green onions and imitation bacon bits. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. In separate bowl, mix together remaining ingredients. Sprinkle over tofu and cook an additional 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Note that your cooking times may be less, depending upon your ability to squeeze out the excess water from the tofu. I am impatient and don’t want to place my tofu between paper towels and books for hours, so that is why mine cooks so long. Just keep an eye on it and make sure that you aren’t overcooking it.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

LENTILS AND FRIENDS

I like green lentils. The others tend to have that soapy taste, even after rinsing forever. Lentils are a great little legume – packed with protein, fiber and other good stuff. Throw in a few other veggies with some vibrant colors (like our tomato and pea friends), and you have a party. Nothing extravagant, but the kiddos seem to like it. I think the simplicity is what appeals most to them.

Ingredients:
1 cup dried green lentils
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground fennel seeds
1 Tbs. olive oil
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
15 oz. sweet peas
About 1 cup water

Directions:
Rinse lentils thoroughly. Drain liquid from the peas and tomatoes into a measuring cup (it should equal about 1 cup; add enough water until you have 2 cups total). Put lentils, salt, ground fennel seeds, olive oil and water mixture into a saucepan and heat over high heat until it reaches a boil. Turn down to low, cover and let simmer until the liquid has been absorbed (about 25 minutes). Add peas and tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes more.