Category Archives: vegetarian

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Pesto stuffed Cucumber

In an effort to get more creative with snack time around this house, I’ve been trying to mesh together some of my favorite foods.  The other day I thought, why not stuff a cucumber with somethingand then I found the pestoand then I was a happy girl when it tasted excellent.  This is my daughter’s new favorite snack, and I have to say, it’s very filling.  

Ingredients:
-1 large cucumber, seeded
-1 batch of Vegan Walnut Pesto
-Top with dried parsley and a dash of smoked paprika

How To:
1.  Stuff cucumber with pesto
2.  Eat and enjoy

In other news
We had a fabulous time in Napa Valley.  My husband and I enjoyed a little getaway (sponsored by my husband’s work).  We stayed in Calistoga at The Solage, a very luxurious, fancy spa resort.  It was much needed time away for a busy mommy and daddy!  I was so inspired by the food we encountered!  I will be preparing some inspired dishes this month from our trip.  Can’t wait. 

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Labels: GAPS, Paleo, raw, SCD, snacks, summer cuisine, vegan, vegetarian.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Cool Kohlrabi Salad

If you’re looking for a little something different to munch onplease look no further.  Meet kohlrabi.  It’s hard to describe the texture and flavorit’s like cucumber meets radish meets carrotI don’t know, that sounds like a strange combo so just try it and see what you think!  If you are familiar with this delicious (root-looking but not actually a root) vegetable than you are a lucky-duck.  I envision endless opportunities with kohlrabi.  However, I kept this recipe simple and easy.  It’s a stifling 100 degrees here in Northern California and so I wanted something cool, crunchy and delicious.  Kohlrabi gets a check, check and check on that list.  
Ingredients
-3 to 6 kohlrabi, julienned 
-Drizzle of oil (I like walnut oil) 
-Lemon juice to taste 
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-Dried or fresh herbs such as parsley, mint, basil, dill, etc. 

How To
1.  To kohlrabi, add lemon juice, salt and oil to taste 
2.  Toss and place in fridge for 30-45 minutes
3.  When chilled garnish with favorite herb

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Kohlrabi Benefits

Kohlrabi is high in bioflavonoids, plant pigments that work with vitamin C and other antioxidant to prevent the cell damage that promotes cancer.

Kohlrabi is also high in indoles, chemicals that reduces the effects of estrogen, and thus may reduce the risk of breast cancer.


Kohlrabi helps stabilize blood sugar imbalances and is beneficial for hypoglycemia and diabetes.


Kohlrabi is a good source of vitamin C; a 1/2 – cup serving provides 50% of the adult RDA. This vitamin so essential for maintaining healthy skin, connective tissue, and a strong immune system.


Kohlrabi is a good Source of Potassium. Potassium is one of the most important minerals in the body. Potassium is important for proper functioning of every cell in the body and is critical for muscle contractions and controlling the heartbeat. It also helps to lower blood pressure. Studies have shown that a potassium rich diet can also reduce blood pressure in those who are hypertensive.


Kohlrabi is high in dietary fiber. A serving of kohlrabi provides five grams of soluble fiber – the kind that’s important for heart health.


Kohlrabi is low in calories and fat, with only 36 calories in a cup of raw kohlrabi, it’s a food you can enjoy without regret. Its little fat content is needed to absorb the fat soluble vitamins.


Nutrient Content 
per 1 cup (140g) raw Kohlrabi

Vitamin C: 84mg

Potassium: 472mg

Carbohydrates: 8.4g

Protein: 2.3g

Fiber: 4.9g

Calories: 36 

 

    Shared on: Summer Salad Sunday
Posted by Amber at

Labels: raw, salad, sides, snacks, summer cuisine, vegan, vegetarian.

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Friday, September 16, 2011

Jamaican Red Bean Stew with Coconut Rice (gluten and dairy free)

Okay, I knowwhat am I doing with STEW when we are still burning up here in Northern California!  The fact is, this is the most delicious meal and a family favorite.  Hot weather or not, I make it and we all eat it up like maniacs! 
Stew:
Ingredients
-1/2 red onion, diced 
-2 carrots, chopped 
-1 large sweet potato, chopped 
-2 cups cherry tomatoes, halfed
-3 cups cooked red beans 
-1 can full fat coconut milk
-1 cup water (or broth of choice)
-2 tablespoons green curry paste
-1/4 teaspoon Jamaican allspice 
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme 
-3 tablespoons of coconut oil 
-1 1/2 tablespoons garlic granules 
-Salt for seasoning and to taste
-A few turns of the pepper grinder
-2 tablespoons tapioca starch for thickening stew (or preferred thickener) 

How To
1.  Add oil and a touch of salt to a large pot such as a dutch oven and saute onions for a few minutes.  Add carrots, sweet potatoes, cherry tomatoes, beans and saute together; add a pinch more salt. 
2.  Add allspice, garlic granules, curry paste, thyme, and pepper to vegetables and combine until cozy and beautiful
3.  Add coconut milk and water and bring to a boil.  Add in vegetable bullion cube and turn to low and simmer.
4.  Cook covered for about 45 mins or until sweet potatoes are tender. 
5.  In a small bowl add 4 tablespoons of the hot liquid with 2 tablespoons tapioca flour/starch.  Add back into pot and incorporate.  
6.  Turn off heat and let sit for a bit before serving

Coconut Rice:
Ingredients
-2 cups brown basmati rice
-2 cups full fat coconut milk
-2 cups water
-Oil of choice 
-Dash of salt  

How To
1.  Bring rice, coconut milk, water, oil and salt to a boil
2.  Turn to low and cover for 35-40 minutes

Notes
*Add red pepper flakes for additional spice
*Garnish with dried thyme 
*This meal would also taste great with a meat of choice.  If using raw meat, cook with onions.  If cooked meat, add with the other vegetable ingredients and combine with spice…add more liquid to this dish if using meat, I would add equal parts water and coconut milk

Enjoy! 
Posted by Amber at

Labels: fall cuisine, main dish, vegan, vegetarian.

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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Baked Veggie Spring Rolls (gluten free, dairy free, sugar free with soy free option)

What’s better than stir fry?  Stir fry wrapped up in a cute little package!  What’s a good word to describe more than craving something?  I don’t know, but this is how I feel about egg rolls/spring rolls, but alas my weak digestion doesn’t love the trifecta factor, the deep-fried/sodium/gluten factor.  So for this month’s Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten Free challenge hosted by the beautiful and talented chef, Iris of The Daily Dietribe, I figured why not make a healtheir and gluten-free version of my favorite Asian cuisine: spring rolls.  I nearly cried over these.  First, because they were hopelessly delicious, and two because I tripped and smashed my toe sprinting to the oven when the timer went off.  I also burned my mouth.  Yes, I’m that impatient when it comes to taste testing…no control.  The true test came at dinner.  The verdict:  Husband loved them.  Daughter loved them.  Son loved them.  Happy bellies.  Happy mommy.

I served these spring rolls with vegetarian fried rice and cold cabbage salad. 

Ingredients
-1 small red pepper, julienned
-2 carrots, julienned
-2 celery stalks, julienned
-1 cup shredded cabbage
Rice noodles, about 2 cups cooked 
-2 1/2 tablespoons coconut aminos 
-1 tablespoon garlic granules
-2 teaspoons onion powder  
-Red Pepper flakes, to taste 
-Oil of your choice (GS, sesame, olive, coconut, etc)
-Rice wrappers 

How To
1.  Saute veggies (carrots, celery, pepper & cabbage) with some oil. Add the coconut aminos, garlic granules and onion powder. 
2.  Cook the rice noodles.  In a large pot, bring water to a boiland add noodles.  Drain and rinse noddles. 
3.  Add cooked rice noodles to veggies.  Cook on medium until the flavors meld (you can add red pepper flakes to taste, but I left this out for my kids)
4.  Let this mixture cool completely…nice to make this earlier in the day and have it ready to assemble the rolls, but it only takes about 20 minutes to cool

After mixture cools:
1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees 
2.  Add some filtered water to a flat wide pan or dish and soak the rice paper until pliable.  Add the filling and roll – while you are filling one, have another in the water waiting
3.  Fill rice wrappers and place on baking sheet.  I use my favorite silicone baking mat 
4.  At this point you can spray the rolls with oil if you so desire, it makes them very shinny.  Be forewarned, however, oil sprayed or not, the tips and ends of the rolls get very poky when cooked
5.  Bake for 15 minutes.  (I didn’t test these any longer than 15 minutes, so I’m guessing they will become crispier if left in longer.  I happen to prefer the chewy texture at the 15 minute mark). 
6.  Walk with caution to the oven, minding chair & table legs, toys and furniture 
7.  Do not eat these right out of the oven like a wild animal (like moi)

Notes
*You can add just about anything you like to these rolls.  Other suggestions include: mushrooms, bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, chicken/pork, onions, cilantro, basil or fennel.  Have fun with your food! 
*Traditional spring rolls call for oyster sauce, but I couldn’t find any gluten-free brands.  The rolls taste absolutely delicious with the coconut aminos. 
*I didn’t bother making a dipping sauce for the rolls, they were tasty all on their own.  But see comments for suggestions. 
*These take a while to cool.  Have these out and cooling a good 15 minutes before you eat, 30 minutes if serving to children.  

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Labels: appetizer, gluten free, snacks, vegan, vegetarian.

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Saturday, September 3, 2011

Garden Summer Pasta (gluten free, diary free, vegan)

This dish was inspired by our summer garden harvest.  It’s a simple meal that takes very little time to prepare and little time to cook.  No fuss with minimal ingredients.  You’ll be back outside in no time running through the sprinklers with your kids!  Follow this meal with some refreshing strawberry coconut ice cream or fruit-full popsicles and it’s a summer meal to remember! 

Ingredients
-Brown rice pasta (I boil up to 1 1/2 pounds at a timeI love leftovers)
-5 yellow crookneck yellow squash*, chopped 
-2 green zucchini* chopped 
-1 yellow onion* chopped
-3 cloves garlic*
-2 cups cherry tomatoes* cut in half 
-1 tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil  
-2 tablespoons Apple cider vinegar (or to taste) 
-Salt & pepper to taste (start with 1/4 teaspoon) 
-Dash of red pepper flakes (I omit for my children)

How To
1.  Bring a gallon of filtered water to a rapid boil and add pasta with a bit of oil and a dash of salt.  Stir for a bit to prevent sticking 
While the pasta is cooking
2.  Saute onion with the olive oil for 2 minutes, then add garlic and saute for another minute  
3.  Add the squash and zucchini with a touch more oil and saute for a few more minutes
4.  Add tomatoes and stir to incorporate 
5.  Add apple cider vinegar, stir
6.  Add salt and pepper 
7.  Stir and covercook on low until veggies are soft and there is a nice liquidy sauce (taste and adjust seasonings as needed)
Back to the pasta
8.  When pasta is soft, drain and rinse with clean, cool water  
9.  Add pasta to large bowl and incorporate your sauce
10.  Add dried or fresh parsley, red pepper flakesand always adjust seasoning as needed

Notes:
*All these foods are super easy to grow in any garden!  
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Labels: main dish, summer cuisine, vegan, vegetarian.

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Friday, September 2, 2011

Cilantro Hummus

Over the years I have made many variations of hummus.  This delicious dip is a family favorite so we always have some in the fridge.  I’ve never thought about cilantro in hummus and I’m sorry I didn’t figure this out sooner! It’s delicious.  

Ingredients
-2 1/2 cups prepared garbanzo beans* (or two cans garbanzo beans) 
-1/4 cup tahini 
-3 tablespoons lemon juice (or more to taste)
-3/4 teaspoon garlic granules (or 1 clove) 
-1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste) 
-1/2 cup of olive oil 
-3/4 cup fresh cilantro (or more to taste)
-1/4 teaspoon chili powder (or to taste)
-Filtered water (to bring the hummus to a preferred consistency)

How To
1. Add beans, tahini, garlic granules, salt, cilantro and optional chili powder to a food processor and blend.  
2.  With the food processor running, drizzle in oil.  
3.  Check for texture.  Too thick?  Add in 1 tablespoon of water at a time until you reach your desired texture. 

Notes
*Soak beans in filtered water for at least 8 hours, I soak mine for 24 hours and change the water 2x.  Boil in filtered water until tender and store in fresh water until ready to use. I soak & boil around 6 cups of beans at a time and freeze the leftovers for another day (they do great in the freezer!).
*A word about the beans:  I go back and forth between garbanzo beans and chana dal beans.  Chana dal yields a nice smooth hummus but with a much milder flavor so you really need to increase your ingredients.  Garbanzos are rich and flavorful with a thicker consistency.  I love them both but lately I’ve been using garbanzo beans for that full hummus flavor.  
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Labels: dips and spreads, snacks, vegan, vegetarian.

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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Raw Dairy Free Cashew Sour Cream (SCD/Paleo/GAPS)

When I came across a recipe for cashew sour cream in one of my favorite cookbooks from Cafe Gratitude I thought, “Yeah, we’ll see.” There’s like 3 ingredientshow is this going to turn out.  I haven’t had real sour cream in years and I so miss this addition to our taqueria night.  I am opposed to soy sour cream and so what’s a dairy-free girl to do?  Can I tell you I nearly fell off my chair when I bit into my burrito.  DELICIOUS.  I couldn’t believe it.  My kids loved it too, and of course my husband was very impressed.  Please try this and be dazzled by delicious simplicity.


Ingredients
-1 1/2 cups soaked cashews (4-8 hours)
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-2+ tablespoons lemon juice 
-Approximately 3/4 cup filtered water 

How To
1.  Place soaked cashews into blender, preferably a high-speed
2.  Add salt, lemon juice and half the water
3.  Blend slowly and add more water until a desired consistency in achieved 
4.  Add more lemon or saltthis is how to turn this creation into a sour cream.  

Note
*You can change the flavor or color of this cheese very easily by adding one or more of the following: cumin powder, turmeric powder, parsley, cilantro or bell pepper   
*Be creative and have fun with your food

Shared on: Allergy-Free Wednesdays, Wellness Weekend 

Posted by Amber at

Labels: dips and spreads, GAPS, Paleo, raw, SCD, vegan, vegetarian.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Raw Vegan Walnut Pesto (SCD/Paleo/GAPS)


 I have to sayI’m very pleased with vegan pesto.  I don’t miss the the cheese at all.  And I use walnuts instead of pine nuts.  I guess there is a global pine nut shortage which prompted my local coop to put the pine nuts they did have in these ittty-bitty tiny plastic bags.  I laughed so hard and thought, I can’t make pesto with 5 pine nuts!!  Thus, the walnuts made their debut and the outcomesooo tasty!


Ingredients
-2 ounces of fresh basil (sort of hard to measure in cups, probably 4 cups)
-1 cup raw organic walnuts (you could also toast the walnuts, but do not if making raw)
-3 to 4 tablespoons fresh lemon (to taste)
-1/2 cup olive oil (or preferred oil)
-1/2 teaspoon garlic granules (or one clove of fresh garlic – or to taste)
-1/2 teaspoon salt


How To
1.  Place toasted walnuts in food processor and pulse a few times.   
2. Add basil, garlic granules, salt and pulse.
3. Turn on food processor, add in lemon juice and drizzle in oil.  Scrape down sides now and then.
4.  Test for seasoning.  


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Daddy and Ethan gathering basil from the garden. 

Shared on: Just Another Meatless Monday  Melt in your Mouth Mondays, Monday Mania, My Meatless MondaysMealtime MondayMade From Scratch MondayAllergy-Free WednesdaysAllergy-Friendly St. Pattie’s Day Fat Tuesday,Slightly Indulgent TuesdaysTraditional TuesdaysWhole Food Wednesdays, Real Food Wednesdays, Gluten Free Wednesdays, Potluck Party Friday, Wellness Weekend

Posted by Amber at

Labels: dips and spreads, GAPS, Paleo, raw, SCD, snacks, vegan, vegetarian.

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