Saturday, October 29, 2011

Mashed Potatoes Parsnips and Cauliflower with Roasted Garlic

Every autumn I look forward to cooking and eating late harvest vegetables. I love all the flavors. I haven't made mashed potatoes in a very long time and with the change in weather I've been anxious to experiment making them. This is my vegan take on mashed russet potatoes... and its a family approved recipe!
Mashed Potatoes Parsnips and Cauliflower with Roasted Garlic

Roasted Garlic

1 bulb of garlic
Olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Peel away the outer layers of the garlic bulb skin, leaving the skins of the individual cloves intact. Cut 1/4 inch off the top of the bulb. Lay the garlic bulb on top of a piece of parchment paper with a slightly larger piece of aluminum foil underneath. Drizzle the bulb with a couple teaspoons of olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt. Close the aluminum foil  and bake for 55 minutes. The cloves should be soft when pressed. Set aside and let cool as you finish the mashed veggies.

Mashed Potatoes, Parsnips and Cauliflower

2 lbs. russet potatoes, peeled and cut into large cubes
2 thin parsnips (or one large) peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
2 C cauliflower florets (heaping above the measuring cup), cut into 2 inch chunks
1/2 C Vegenaise
1 whole bulb of roasted garlic
2 T fresh parsley, chopped
Sea salt to taste

Begin by bringing the potatoes and parsnips to a boil in pot of cold salted water. Add the cauliflower florets as the potatoes begin to become tender (after 10 - 15 minutes). Continue to cook until all veggies are tender. Drain and put back into the pot. Add the Vegenaise, roasted garlic and parsley. Mash and season to taste.

Note: The pictures are not mine.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Breakfast Berry Smoothie

No matter how hard I try, I'm usually late getting out the door in the morning. I've tried all kinds of healthy fiber-filled breakfasts and it seems I always go back to smoothies. In an earlier post, I talked about the nutritional benefits of strawberries. Now I'd like to spend a little time on flax seed.

The following information on flaxseed is taken from the Mayo Clinic website. It explains the benefits of ground flaxseed in greater detail than I ever could.

"Most nutrition experts recommend ground flaxseed because your body is better able to digest it. Whole flaxseed may pass through your intestine undigested, which means you won't get all the health benefits.

Flaxseed is high in fiber, omega-3 fatty acids and phytochemicals called lignans. Flaxseed is commonly used as a laxative (to improve digestive health or relieve constipation). Both flaxseed and flaxseed oil have been used to help reduce total blood cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or "bad") cholesterol levels and, as a result, may help reduce the risk of heart disease. Although flaxseed oil also contains omega-3 fatty acids, it doesn't have the beneficial fiber that the seeds have."

This recipe can't be beat. It's quick, easy and halleluiah, it gets me to work on time!

Breakfast Berry Smoothie
Makes 1 large glass

1/2 C unsweetened almond milk
1 C fresh strawberries, cleaned and cut in half
1/2 C fresh raspberries
1/2 banana
1 T ground flax seed
1/2 C ice

Put all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Cold Busting Pineapple Juice

 I've had a juicer for nearly a year. I'm not an enthusiastic user, but whenever I make fresh juice I'm reminded just how much I love having this gadget in my kitchen. Recently I had a cold and I was feeling terrible for days never really making any progress, so I decided to try juicing. I made this juice once or twice a day. I know it made a difference in how quickly I recovered. 

There are only three ingredients in this recipe and all are helpful when you're feeling under the weather. Pineapple is a good source of Vitamin C and it fights bacterial and viral infections. Navel oranges are also high in vitamin C and strawberries surprisingly have higher levels of vitamin C and potassium than oranges. All of these fruits will give your immune system a boost, and juiced together they are delicious.

Cold Busting Pineapple Juice
Makes 1 large glass   

1 pineapple  (don't juice the core)
1 navel orange, peeled but leaving some of the white pith on
1 C fresh strawberries, cleaned and cut in half

Juice the pineapple, orange and strawberries. Stir, pour into a glass and enjoy!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

It's All About The Dessing... Ranch!

I have a daughter that only eats Ranch on her salads. In her world there is only one dressing and she'll go without a salad if Ranch isn't on the menu. So I set out to create something with a similar taste, texture and look, but more flavor and complexity. I don't like using soy products because they can be difficult to digest, so I turned to Vegenaise (the grape seed variety, but any Vegenaise will do) and threw in an avocado. This dressing is wonderfully creamy and perfect for people who aren't fans of vinegar and oil dressings. It can be put together quickly and gives you a nice alternative. Does my daughter like it? Yes!

Vegan Ranch Avocado Dressing 
Enough dressing for a large salad for four

1 avocado
1/2 C. Veganaise
1 t dried minced onion
1/4 t onion powder
1/4 t garlic powder
1 t - 1 T drained capers (optional)
pinch of white pepper
sea salt to taste

In a small bowl smash the avocado with the back of a fork. Add the rest of the ingredients combining well. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing down on the dressing so air doesn't get to it, and refrigerate for about 30 minutes. Pour dressing over salad greens and toss until coated.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I'm Feeling Honored!

I am proud to be the recipient of the Liebster Award!  The word Liebster means 'Beloved' in German--and a show of love and support is what this award is all about.  The idea is to bring attention to new blogs with fewer than 200 followers. 

The rules of winning this award are the following:

1. Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.

2. Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know
by leaving a comment at their blog.

3. Post the Award on your blog.

4. Enjoy the love of some of the most supportive people on the Internet!

A huge THANK YOU to Tracy at Eating Smart for awarding me this honor! Please visit her amazing blog; you'll be glad you did.

These amazing people have not only been very supportive of my blog, but they write beautiful blogs as well.  Please check them out!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Vegan Stuffed Green Peppers

Vegan Stuffed Green Peppers
Serves 4 

1-2 T olive oil
1 C chopped white onion
2 cloves minced garlic
1 C sliced button mushrooms
1/2 C sliced celery
1 package of Trader Joe's Beef-Less ground beef (12 oz.)
1  28oz. can of diced tomatoes
1  6oz. can of tomato paste
1 T vegan worcestershire sauce
1/4 t garlic powder
1/4 t onion powder
1 C brown rice
water for cooking rice
4 green peppers
Panko bread crumbs for topping

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Cook the brown rice according to the package directions. While the rice is cooking, in a saute pan heat the olive oil and add the onion, garlic, mushrooms and celery. Saute until the vegetables are tender, between 5 - 10 minutes. Add the package of "beef-less" ground beef and stir into the vegetables. Once the "beef-less" ground beef and the vegetables are well combined, add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, worcestershire sauce, garlic and onion powder. Gently simmer. Once the rice is cooked add it to the vegetable mixture. Cut the top off of the green peppers and fill each with the mixture. Sprinkle with bread crumbs. Lightly oil a baking dish. Place the peppers open side up on the baking dish and bake covered for 30 - 35 minutes.

You can see where I got the idea... ;-)