Monday, June 18, 2012

The best waffle you'll ever eat

It's organic cherry season again! Finally!


We have a tradition at home we call: Waffle Saturdays. It's just as delicious as it sounds, too.


Whole wheat flour
Raw sugar
Hot water
Ground flax
Almond/soy/flax/coconut mylk
Optional: 1 small ripe smashed banana


Preheat your waffle iron.

Now gather your ingredients. You'll also need a tiny bowl to proof your yeast and a large glass measuring cup that is larger than 2 cups.

Put a t of raw sugar + yeast + approximately 1/8 c hot water into the small bowl. Let sit 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, measure whole wheat flour up to the 1 cup line in your measuring cup.

Then add to your flour: (approximately) 1 T flax, 3+ T hempseed to flour mix. Next, pour yeast/water/sugar mixture on top of that. Add smashed banana, if using. Now you'll want to add mylk so your batter goes up to the 2 cup line. Stir well! It should be slightly runny, too.

Pour into your waffle iron. Cook as directed.

Serve with tempeh bacon, REAL maple syrup and organic cherries. Trust me on this. Organic fruit, especially cherries, are worth every penny.



Curried sweet potatoes and chard


This is hands-down the best Indian dish I've ever made.

So, grab all of your ingredients before you start cooking. That will make this dish super easy.


Step 1: 
Onions, sliced (I used the green stems only but you could use all of it) 
Garlic scapes, sliced (or fresh garlic if you don't have scapes)
Fresh jalapeno
Sesame oil 

Step 2:
6 c water
1/2 c rice
1/2 c lentils
1 diced large sweet potato 
2 t each: ginger, curry, masala 
1 t cinnamon
More garlic is optional 
1/2 t raw salt of your choice
Up to 1/2 t black pepper 

Step 3: 
2 c washed, 2" sliced chard leaves 

Step 4: 
1 T lime zest
Juice of small lime 

Step 5: 
1/4 c Silk plain, unsweetened yogurt per bowl 


This recipe really is easy once you get the hang of it. 

Step 1: add scapes, onions, jalapeno and some oil to your pot. Simmer until they're well done (less than 10 minutes). 


Step 2: now add water, rice, lentils, diced sweet potato and spices to the pot. Cook at a medium boil for about 30-45 minutes, or until your potatoes are mostly done. 

Stir periodically. 

Step 3: add your washed and sliced chard leaves to pot. Cook another 10-15 minutes or until the chard is done to your liking. I prefer it to still hold its shape but some people prefer it cooked to oblivion. 


When working with colorful Indian foods, using an extra tall pot will help prevent splashing. 

Step 4: add lime juice and zest to pot. Stir and let sit a few minutes while you grab your bowls.


Step 5: put 1/4 c Silk yogurt into the bottom of each bowl. 


Scoop soup directly on top of the yogurt and stir. 

Delicious! Serve with samosas or pani puri or both. Sometimes we make our samosas from scratch... but sometimes we buy some awesome premade frozen samosas and pani puri from Rice N Spice.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Cheesy broccoli rabé and rice

Guess what our CSA gave us yesterday...


Broccoli rabé!

I have never cooked with it myself. Learning these new foods is already fun.. and it's only been two weeks of CSA distributions. I can't wait to see what we get next!

Despite how it sounds, broccoli raab is related to turnips, not broccoli. And it sure is tasty. You should know that the stems are VERY hard. So, dispose of the harder stems (or save them for your homemade broth) If using the stems, you'll actually want to cut off the larger bottoms and half or quarter the remaining stems. I know that sounds like work, but you have to thin them out so they'll cook.

Serves 2 as a meal, up to 4 as a side dish


1 c dried brown rice + 2 c water
About 1 c broccoli rabé, cut into 1" pieces
Saltwater to cover broccoli rabé
4 sliced garlic scapes (or garlic, if you don't have scapes)
1 c almond mylk
1 c nutritional yeast
1/2 c rotel (including juice) 
Optional: melted margarine added to the chreese sauce


Cook your brown rice in the water until done. About 30 minutes.

Slice broccoli raab and boil in salt water for 5-10 minutes. Drain.

Wash and thinly slice garlic scapes. Begin sauteing. Add broccoli raab. You'll need to sautee the garlic + raab for another 10-15 minutes. That's okay, you're waiting for your rice, anyway.

Set your cheese sauce to cook. Mix almond mylk, nutritional yeast, rotel and pepper. Stir as you add the yeast. Cook on med/low.

Everything should be coming together now!

Once all of your ingredients are fully cooking, simply mix them together and enjoy.

NOTE: you'll want to be careful how much stem you use. It is SUPER chewy. So, I recommend slicing down the length of your stems twice (if you use them), effectively quartering your stems. This should help them cook better.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Can you tell what I'm making?

Sneak preview:


Here's a hint.. from left to right is strawberries, then raspberries, then banana + dates and finally raw cashews.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Arugula.. really?

The best thing about joining a CSA is that it forces you to cook seasonally and step out of your comfort zone.


[sorry for the bad photo.. I ate the entire dish before I realized my photo was so bad!]

You know we're vegan.. but we've never actually cooked with arugula. Why? There's no reason that I can think of... just that we've just never thought about it. Have you?

Our first distribution last week included a bunch of arugula.. that I had NO idea what to do with it. I googled and googled and finally came to the conclusion that it takes little preparation to use arugula.


3 garlic scapes
1.5 c prepared brown rice + lentils
3 organic carrots, sliced and steamed
Small bunch of arugula
Olive oil
Optional: Sriracha sauce


I sliced and steamed the carrots. I prefer mine soft, so it takes up to 20 minutes. But in the meantime you can slice and wash your arugula. Toss any super hard stems but keep the rest.

Something handy to keep premade: brown rice + lentils! Just cook 1 c of each with 4 c water. It keeps in the fridge for several days (though it won't last that long.) Great in wraps, soups and as side dishes.

Once carrots are nearly done, I sliced the garlic scapes (you could also just use garlic if that's what you have) and sauteed in olive oil until browned. Then I added some broth and the arugula. Remember, you'll be adding the rice/lentil mix soon so this should be watery.

Once the arugula begins to soften (this only takes 3-4 minutes), add the lentil/rice and carrots. Add salt and sriracha to taste. *My broth has no salt, so I add quite a bit at this stage.

Enjoy in a wrap or with a fork! 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Orange-raspberry carrots

I've had this bottle of blush raspberry vinegar for a LONG time and just haven't bothered to open it. Well, tonight I finally did.. and WOW! Flavored vinegars are amazing.



5 med-large organic carrots (don't even bother peeling.. just rinse and slice)
1 T raw sugar
1/2 t margarine
1/2 t light vinegar (I used blush raspberry)
Juice of 1/4 orange
dash salt


Steam carrots for up to 20 minutes. I like mine pretty soft.

In an easy-to-use mixing bowl mix the remaining ingredients. Once carrots are cooked, put them in the bowl and swirl it around. Once margarine melts, keep stirring and swirling it around until completely covered. Keep warm.

Enjoy immediately if possible but would be just fine reheated.

These are lovely and only lightly sweetened (just how I like them). 

Roasted radishes

For the next few months I'll be posting recipes made with whatever our CSA gives us. This time, for our first distribution, we were given garlic scapes and radishes (among other things.) So, I wanted to put them together.


[roasted veggies with sliced garlic scapes and herbs, served with slightly-sweetened carrots and chard chips]

Serves 2 (as a meal)


1 very large russet potato
6 Brussel sprouts
4 stalks celery
5 radishes (because that's all I had.. you could actually use more)
3-4 garlic scapes
2 T olive oil
1/4 c water
Salt and pepper (optional)


First things first: cut your veggies. I made large potato chunks and only sliced the sprouts in half. I thinly sliced the garlic scapes so they could be eaten with each bite of veggies - however, don't be afraid to slice them in 1" long slices. That would be just as delicous.


Now preheat your oven to 450 degrees.

In a large bowl put your olive oil and spices. I actually saved the salt and pepper until after they were cooked and ready to eat.

Now add your veggies on top of the spice mixtures. Then swirl your veggies until everybody is covered.


Bake 20-22 minutes (approximately). Remove from oven. Stir and add the 1/4 c water directly into your roasting pan. Return the veggies to the oven for about another 5 minutes.

I served with homemade chard chips, which I made just like kale chips... except that I've sold my dehydrator so I baked in a convection oven at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, flipping each piece halfway through. *Honestly, kale chips are easier to make and sturdier. But the chard chips sure hit the spot.

We ate all of this alongside a hearty slice of whole grain bread and sweet carrots. What a meal! We will definitely make this every time we get radishes from our wonderful CSA.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Soupy lentil and rice


I used my veggie broth to make a simple soup for lunch. Honestly, I have pretty simple taste buds.. so I can only experiment with fancy dishes for long before I have to clean my palate.





1/4 c dried lentils
1/4 c dried brown rice
3/4-1 c water
up to 1 c veggie broth
Salt & pepper


Mix water with lentils and brown rice. Bring to boil. Then cover and lower to simmer. Cook approximately 30 minutes until well down.

Now you'll decide just how much broth to add to the mix. I like it soupy. Trust me, your broth will be so tasty that you'll want extra just to drink from the bowl. It's that good.

Top with salt and pepper. It won't take much because you're adding it on top.

Enjoy immediately. This is great with a very-vegetable dish. 

Make your own tasty veggie broth


Do you buy bullion or pre-made veggie broths? They're tasty and certainly helpful when cooking.. but did you know that you can make your own broth from scratch using nothing but scraps? It's true!

You just use whatever veggie ends, rinds, peels and veggies that you have on hand. For even better flavor, you should consider joining one of your local CSAs. Many cities have them and you'll get seasonal, organic, hand-grown veggies! We've joined On The Vine at Richmond Farms in Fort Collins.


They offered 10% member discounts to members of the local Vegan Meetup, so we jumped on the savings. Many CSAs offer discounts for 'working memberships' as well. That means you'll volunteer a certain number of hours (set by the CSA) over the course of the summer. This gives you a discount, and gives the CSA the help needed to grow, weed and harvest veggies all summer long. Plus, it's fun!

Our first distribution was yesterday.. and after talking to one of the other working members about her homemade broth I was inspired to make my own veggie broth with a few veggies I already had, plus something new that I've never heard of or used before: garlic scapes. I used this instead of buying garlic bulbs (which is what you'll want to do if you don't have scapes or garlic chives.. I'm told garlic is KEY to making tasty broth).

TIP: Keep a tupperware container in your fridge and fill with your potato peels, zucchini ends, garlic, onion (remember, all peelings included), garlic scapes, garlic onions, bell pepper, jalapeno or whatever you have.... Then, when you need broth you just throw it all together and cook. It's easy. Fast. Tasty.


Any veggies, scraps, peels, rinds that you have
Dried spices
Fresh herbs
Raw salt optional


Using a large pot, fill halfway with water. Bring to boil. Add anything you want.

Reduce to simmer and cover. Simmer for about an hour. Strain.

Enjoy your broth! Keep in the fridge in a sealed container and use during the week.

NOTE: Don't be afraid of salt. You NEED salt, especially if you're outside sweating and exercising. However, you should know that I don't add salt when I cook things like this. Normally we add salt only when we're eating. That way you'll use less and taste more. But there is one very important thing to know -- table "iodized" salt is BAD. Bad. Bad. Bad for you. Did you know those perfectly white, symmetrical salt crystals have been cooked at temperatures of over a thousand degrees? That kills anything and everything nutritious in the salt. So when you use those salts, all you're doing is raising your blood pressure. BAD. However, you don't need to feel bad about enjoying tasty raw salts.. pink, black, green, plain sea salt.. you name it! Enjoy them. Use them. Did you know these salts have different flavors and textures? Try them.

Going vegan will open your taste buds to so many new flavors. Go vegan: get happy!


Monday, June 4, 2012

Chia gel

What is chia gel and why should you care?


According to Dr. Weil "Chia is very rich in omega-3 fatty acids, even more so than flax seeds. And it has another advantage over flax: chia is so rich in antioxidants that the seeds don't deteriorate and can be stored for long periods without becoming rancid. And, unlike flax, they do not have to be ground to make their nutrients available to the body. Chia seeds also provide fiber (25 grams gives you 6.9 grams of fiber) as well as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, molybdenum, niacin and zinc." explains the benefits of eating Chia.

A 16-oz pouch of chia contains the same as:

  • Fiber of 4 pounds of oatmeal 
  • Protein in 3 lbs of tofu
  • Antioxidants of 2 pounds of blueberries
  • Omega-3s in 10lbs of salmon
  • Calcium in 4 lbs of 1% milk
  • Magnesium of 15 pounds of broccoli

Add chia to anything!.. soups, smoothies, baked goods. You'll notice that it soaks up water.. so, just add more water to your recipe. It really is that easy. This gooey substance is basically what will happen in your belly.. slowing digestion and absorption.

And who wouldn't want that? 

Tempeh joes


I don't know how I came across but he has a tofu sloppy joe recipe that looks delicious! I was ready to throw it together and realized I was out of tofu. WHAT?! How could I let this happen?

I have lots of tempeh on hand so I figured I'd just start there. Tempeh is drier than tofu (obviously) so I did tweak the recipe a bit. Click on his link to see the original and check out my tempeh version below.


1 block tempeh (use gluten-free tempeh for gluten-free joes)
Olive oil
At least 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 can diced tomato
1/2-1 can tomato paste
up to 1 c water
4 t garlic powder
1 t onion powder (or 1/4 c onion diced)
1 t salt
1 t chili powder
1 t cumin
Optional: pepper


Pour some olive oil into your cast iron skillet. Now, crumble tempeh with your fingers. It separates easily.


Add diced veggies. Mix and cook until browned.


Once browned as much as you want, add remaining ingredients (except the water) and stir. The tempeh has no extra water so you'll want to add water to keep your gooey joe mixture very wet. It'll also dry a little more once it cools, so don't be afraid to keep it very moist.

Enjoy on a bed of greens to keep it gluten-free. Or enjoy on your favorite bun. This makes an easy-to-reheat and carry-to-work lunch!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Gluten-free maple cupcakes

First gluten-free cupcake experience. They're oddly colored from the buckwheat flour, which is a bit blue. Cover them with a little icing and you won't even notice!



1/4 t baking soda
1/4 t yeast 
3 T buckwheat flour + 1 T dal flour 
3 T maple syrup 
1 T raw sugar 
pinch salt 
1/4 t yeast 

3 T almond mylk + 3/4 t ACV
3 T chia gel 
1 t almond oil
1 t vanilla


To start, mix 1 t chia seeds + 1/3 c water. Let sit and become gel. Put aside. 

Now, mix almond mylk and ACV and let sit for up to 10 minutes. Then add remaining wet ingredients. 

Next, put dry ingredients into a separate bowl. Add wet to dry and mix well. 

This makes 3-4 yummy, um, interesting cupcakes. They're super mapley and unbelievably moist... that's from the chia seeds! 

It's a great first try. Have tips? Questions? Post them here! 

Gluten-free burger

I'm experimenting with gluten-free recipes because I'd like to go gluten-free for a few weeks. We shall see.


From what I've been reading this weekend... gluten is EVERYwhere. It's on our cutting board and in our utensils. It's in the shared containers of, say, peanut butter - from when my husband double-dips his knife from spreading the PB on his bread. It's on the countertops and refrigerator doors. It's in shampoos, soaps, and other things that I hadn't even thought about. So, this will be quite the endeavor!

Here's a new gluten-free burger recipe that is quite delicious. I cut it on top of a salad and Tyler enjoyed his with a large potato bun.


1/3 c lentils
1/3 c quinoa
2 1/4 c water

1/3 c chia gel (this is really just 1/3 c water + 1 t chia seeds. Mix and let sit up to 12 hours)

Up to 1 c dal flour (or flour of your choice)
1/2 c nutritional yeast 
1/3 c corn
1/2-3/4 c minced carrot (food processor works well) 
1/2 c finely-diced kale 
1 T garlic
1 t onion 
1 T basil
1 T rosemary 
1/4 t cayenne
1-2 T soy sauce 


Mix rice blend, lentils, quinoa and 2.25 c water. Overcook for 35 minutes until easily squishable. 

Now, add 1/3 c chia gel. Mix together. Let cool and squish some more. 

Just add your remaining ingredients and squish together. 

Don't worry, this batter is STICKY. I mean, it's the stickiest batter I've worked with in a long time. But I fried it in quite a bit of olive oil (because this batter has zero fat added). This keeps it from sticking to your cast iron skillet and makes them quite yummy. Don't cook too quickly, so don't put your oil on too high. 

Cook until crispy!

** Most veggie burger recipes can be made gluten-free by using whole grains like brown/red/black rices and flax instead of eggs. Use a gluten-free flour in place of any wheat flour. If using oats, you'll need them to say specifically 'gluten-free' on the package. **