Tag Archives: Avocado

img_1961

Meatless Monday: Creamy Avocado-Lime Pasta

Creamy, thick, and rich with lots of garlic flavor. This pasta dish is sure to please. The avocado works wonderfully in this recipe to create a sauce so thick and creamy, that you will think there is cream hiding in there. 

 Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup of dry shell pasta of your choice
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • handful of cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 3 Tbsp. of veganaise
  • 1 tsp. garlic paste
  • salt & pepper 
  • chopped cilantro for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta according to the package instructions. Drain well, set aside to cool.
  2. Cut and peel the avocado and remove the pit. Put it in a food processor together with chopped cilantro, lime juice, veganaise and garlic paste. 
  3. Blend it until it’s creamy. Add salt and pepper to taste. (Cover it with plastic wrap and keep it in a refrigerator if you have time.)
  4. Transfer the avocado sauce to a medium sized bowl. Add cooked pasta and toss them well. Sprinkle chopped cilantro on top.
img_1702

DIY Super Bowl 50 Menu

 If you’re into football you’re probably getting ready for the big game today. For some people, the Super Bowl is more about entertaining guests rather than watching the game. That’s certainly not the case for me…it’s all about watching the game. Regardless, today’s post was inspired by Super Bowl 50! Here are a few (meat free) recipes to help you create some delicious snacks to enjoy during the big game later today!
Fresh Guacamole (Serves 4)  

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 medium, ripe avocados
  • 3 tablespoons red onion, finely chopped
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1-2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • ​1 small jalapéno pepper, seeded and finely diced OR 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, for spiciness)

INSTRUCTIONS 

1. Slice the avocados in half lengthwise, tossing the seed and scooping the green innards into a large mixing bowl. 

2. Mash the avocado with a fork or potato masher until it reaches your desired consistency; my recommendation is to keep it a little chunky. 

3. Mix in the red onion, cilantro, lime juice, salt and peppers, if using. Stir to combine. 

4. Serve immediately with chips or as an accompaniment to tacos or fajitas! 

Cauliflower Buffalo Wings  

INGREDIENTS 

  • 1 large head cauliflower, chopped into pieces
  • 1 bottle Frank’s Red Hot Wing Buffalo Sauce 
  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk (I used almond)
  • 3/4 cup chickpea flour
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp paprika 

INSTRUCTIONS  

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  2. Lightly spray a large non-stick baking sheet with oil.
  3. Combine the flour, paprika, and onion/garlic powder in a bowl and stir until well combined.
  4. Coat the cauliflower pieces in almond milk and then with the flour mixture. Place on the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until crispy.
  5. While the cauliflower is baking, combine the hot sauce and earth balance in small saucepan on the stove top and heat over low heat until the Earth Balance is completely melted.
  6. When the cauliflower is looking crispy and lightly browned – pull it out of the oven and place it in a large bowl. Pour the hot sauce mixture over it and toss to coat.
  7. Bake coated cauliflower for an additional 8-10 minutes, or until cauliflower is crispy, and sauce looks absorbed.
  8. Remove from oven.
  9. Let cauliflower bites set out for at least 20 minutes before serving. 
  10. Serve with dairy-free blue cheese dip!

Vegan Mozzarella Cheese Sticks  
This recipe is perfect for an appetizer when you want to show off in the kitchen, or just to enjoy as a snack any time. And these nondairy Mozzarella cheese sticks taste so good that I guarantee you won’t even believe their vegan! 

INGREDIENTS 

INSTRUCTIONS 

  1. Cut the block of vegan mozzarella into stick shapes.
  2. Put ¼ cup of the flour in one shallow bowl. In a second bowl, create the batter by combining the remaining flour, cornmeal, cornstarch, salt and garlic powder. The consistency should be like pancake batter. If it is too thick, add more water. If it’s too thin, add more flour. In a third shallow dish, combine the rice cereal, the spices and the grated parmesan to create the breading.
  3. Roll the cheese sticks in the flour. Shake off the excess and dip them into the batter. Shake off the excess batter and cover the sticks in the breading. Lay the mozzarella sticks on a baking sheet and put them in the freezer for 30 minutes.
  4. Heat about 3 inches of oil in a large pot to 350 degrees. Fry the mozzarella sticks, about 4 at a time, for about 5 minutes until they are golden brown and you see the cheese starting to ooze out. Turn them halfway through to make sure both sides get browned. 
  5. Place on a cooling rack so they stay crisp. 
  6. Serve while hot with a simple marinara sauce. 
  7. Enjoy!

    Nondairy Queso Dip  

    INGREDIENTS

    • 1/2 c cashews
    • 3/4 c cauliflower
    • 1 oz carrot
    • 1.25 c unsweetened almond milk
    • 1/4 c vegetable broth
    • 1-2 chipotle peppers, to taste
    • 1/4 tsp mustard
    • 1/2 tsp white vinegar
    • 1 clove garlic
    • 6 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
    • olive oil spray
    • 1/4 c onions
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp cumin
    • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/4 tsp cayenne
    • ground chipotle pepper, to taste
    • 1 15-oz can diced tomatoes with green chiles (I use Muir Glen Organic), well drained

    INSTRUCTIONS 

    1. Pour boiling water over the cashews and let sit at least 10 minutes.
    2. Meanwhile, place cauliflower and carrots in a large bowl, add 1/2 c water, and boil until tender. 
    3. Drain cashews. Add soaked cashews, cauliflower, carrot, almond milk, vegetable broth, chipotle peppers, mustard, vinegar, garlic, and nutritional yeast to a blender. 
    4. Puree until smooth.
    5. Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat and spray with olive oil.
    6. Add onions and sauté, stirring, until softened and translucent, about 3-5 minutes. 
    7. Pour almond milk mixture into the saucepan and bring to a simmer. 
    8. Add salt, cumin and black pepper and simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
    9. Stir in diced tomatoes and adjust seasoning to taste. 
    10. Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy.

    Recipe from Home Sweet Jones.

    Happy Super Bowl 50, everyone! Enjoy the game…. And Go Panthers!!!


        IMG_0864

        Meatless Monday: Kale & Black Bean Burritos

        If you haven’t tried a kale and black bean burrito yet, then you’ve got to give these burritos a try and see what you’ve been missing! 

        Avocado is a great substitute for cheese or sour cream, as you get all the creaminess with none of the dairy. And, the red onions offer a little crunch. 

        Kale and Black Bean Burritos (Servings: 4) 

        INGREDIENTS

        • 1 large bunch of kale, de-stemmed and roughly chopped into bite-sized pieces
        • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
        • 1 lime, juiced
        • 1 Tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil
        • 1/2 tsp. of cumin powder
        • 1/4 tsp. of chili powder
        • 1/4 tsp. of Himalayan sea salt
        • ½ teaspoon seeded and finely chopped fresh jalapeño (optional)
        • 1-2 garlic large cloves, minced 
        • 2 (15 oz.) cans of black beans, rinsed and drained 
        • 4 large burrito-sized flour tortillas
        • 1 avocado, diced
        • 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped 

        INSTRUCTIONS

        1. In a bowl, combine the lime juice, olive oil, cumin, chili powder, sea salt, jalapeño, cilantro and kale. Toss to mix well and set the bowl aside to marinate.
        2. Warm the beans and minced garlic with a couple of tablespoons of water. You can do this in a small sauce pan on the stove over medium-low heat (sauté the garlic in a drizzle of olive oil before adding the beans). Add small amounts of water as necessary. Use a fork to mash up the beans a little and add salt to taste, if necessary.
        3. Warm the tortilla in a skillet or in the microwave for a few seconds. Top the tortilla with the black bean mixture, diced avocado, marinated kale (you may end up with more kale than will fit in your burrito, reserve the extra and serve it on the side). Top with red onion. 
        4. Roll up the burrito by first folding the tortilla over from the bottom to partially cover the beans and greens, then fold in the 2 sides; finish rolling and place the burrito seam side down on a plate. 
        5. Slice in half and serve with guacamole or hummus on the side, if desired.

          Recipe adapted from Cookie and Kate

          IMG_0478

          Guacamole Potato Skins with Ranch Dressing

          These guacamole potato skins are perfect to snack on for Meatless Monday Night Football.  

           INGREDIENTS

          • 5-6 small Russet potatoes, about 3″ long
          • 2-3 tablespoons Earth Balance (vegan butter), melted
          • Kosher salt
          • Freshly cracked black pepper

          Guacamole

          • 3 ripe avocados, halved, seeded, and flesh scooped out
          • 1 lime, juiced
          • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
          • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
          • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
          • ½ teaspoon cayenne
          • ½ medium onion, diced
          • ½ jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
          • 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
          • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
          • 1 clove garlic, minced
          • 2 green onions, sliced thin
          • 1 jalapeño, sliced thin, optional, for garnish
          • fresh cilantro, chopped, optional, for garnish

          Ranch dressing

          • ¼ teaspoon lemon juice
          • about ¼ cup unsweetened unflavored Silk almond milk
          • 1-2 cloves garlic, peeled, smashed, and minced
          • Kosher salt, to taste
          • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
          • 2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
          • 1 cup Just Mayo (vegan mayonnaise)
          • ½ cup Follow Your Heart Vegan Sour Cream
          • A couple drops of white vinegar
          • Fresh dill, to taste, optional
          • Cayenne pepper, to taste, optional
          • Paprika, to taste, optional
          • Kosher salt, to taste
          • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

          INSTRUCTIONS  

            Make the Ranch Dressing

            1. Make the “buttermilk”by pouring lemon juice into a measuring cup then filling to ¼ cup level with almond milk. Set aside and allow to curdle, about 10 minutes.
            2. On a cutting board, sprinkle some kosher salt on the minced garlic cloves and then, with the back of a fork, begin to smush and mash the garlic and salt into a paste. 
            3. Combine garlic-salt paste, parsley, chives, vegan mayonnaise, and nondairy sour cream in a medium bowl; whisk until smooth. 
            4. Add “buttermilk” mixture, as necessary to thin to desired consistency. When desired consistency is reached, add a couple drops of white vinegar and any other additional ingredients, as desired. Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding more salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. 
            5. Chill in the refrigerator and allow flavors to meld while you make the potato skins.

            Make the Potato Skins: 

            1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. 
            2. Wash potatoes well and pierce all over with fork. 
            3. Place potatoes directly on middle oven rack and bake until skins are crisp and a knife or fork pierces the potatoes easily, about 50 minutes. 
            4. Let the potatoes cool for about 10-15 minutes, until they are cool enough to handle.

            Make the Guacamole:

            1. In a large bowl combine the avocado meat and lime juice and toss to coat. 
            2. Drain the lime juice off and reserve in a small bowl. 
            3. Add smoked paprika, salt, cumin, and cayenne and mash with a potato masher, leaving some chunks for texture. 
            4. Fold in the onions, jalapeño, tomatoes, cilantro, garlic, and 1 tablespoon of the reserved lime juice. 
            5. Set aside while you…finish the potatoes 

            Finish the Potatoes:

            1. Once the potatoes are ready, remove and let cool about 10 minutes on a wire rack, or until the potatoes can be handled. 
            2. Set oven to broil.
            3. Slice each potato in half, lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out the flesh, leaving about ¼” of the flesh intact. 
            4. Using a pastry brush, brush the insides of the potatoes with the melted, nondairy butter and season well with salt and pepper. 
            5. Turn the potatoes over and brush the skin sides with butter, and again season well with salt and pepper. 
            6. Place potato halves skin-side up on a baking sheet and broil them until the skin begin to brown and crisp, about 2 – 3 minutes (watch carefully so they don’t burn). 
            7. Flip skins over and broil another 2 – 3 minutes, or until beginning to brown and crisp.
            8. Remove potato skins from oven and place on serving platter. Spoon dollops of guacamole on the potato skins and garnish with sliced green onions, sliced jalapeños, and chopped cilantro. 
            9. Serve with ranch dressing immediately.

            Join the Meatless Monday Nights Sideline Meat challenge!

            Recipe adapted from 40 Aprons

              IMG_7080

              What do Vegans Eat?

              About the Vegan Diet… 

               
              A vegan diet is one that consists of only plant-derived foods. Vegans do not use or consume any animals or animal products including flesh (land or sea animals), milk, eggs, or honey.

              People have their own reasons for becoming a vegan which could be health reasons, their personal belief to promote a more sustainable planet, and/or for ethical reasons such as avoiding animal-produce because of how inhumane animals are treated in factory farms. 

              Veganism might cause a few raised eyebrows or doubts from others because those who are non-vegan are frequently puzzled and want to know..What do vegans eat?

              The answer to the question of “what do vegans eat?” is a simple one. There are several alternatives to animal-products and by-products which are able to provide the necessary nutrients. This post will provide you healthy vegan food sources that are good for protein, fat, calcium, and iron.

              Protein   
              Because animal-based foods are high in protein, it’s a common misconception that vegans don’t get enough of it. In fact, vegans can get all the protein they need from lentils, tempeh, tofu, beans, nuts, seeds, and even vegetables.

              Healthy Fats 

              Although people have the preconceived notion that all fat is bad, it isn’t. Fat is an important nutrient for our bodies because it allows the body to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, D, and K, it also promotes good brain functioning, supports good health, protects the body, and allows your body to have energy. With the increase in processed food, many people automatically associate fat as bad but the fats that are considered “bad” for the body are called saturated fats, trans-fat and other derivatives.

              However there are fats, called unsaturated fats, which occur naturally. These are found in foods such as avocados and coconuts. It is important for vegans to incorporate these in their meals but not all the time since, as the saying goes, “too much of anything can be bad.”

              Calcium  
              We are all aware that calcium is important for bone growth as well as making sure that the teeth are strong. In general, calcium is building block of the skeletal system and it also plays important roles in blood clotting, nerve function, muscle contraction and cell signaling. 

              There is a common perception that calcium can only be found in dairy milk and other animal-based products, this is not correct. Vegans and those who consume mostly plant-based diets can find excellent sources of calcium by eating food such as: such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, butternut squash, sweet potato, chickpeas, leafy green vegetables-(kale, collards), okra, figs, oranges, almonds, pistachio nuts, hazelnuts, flaxseed, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, soybeans, navy beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, lentils, tempeh, and many more.

              Iron

              Iron is a very important nutrient because it is important in helping red blood cells transport oxygen to the different cells in the body. Whether vegan or non-vegan, there are a lot of sources for iron yet iron deficiency is very common in North America. I diagnose (and treat) iron deficiency in several patients (non-vegan) on a daily basis!  

              Among the great sources of iron are legumes (lentils, soybeans, tofu, tempeh, Lima beans), grains (quinoa, brown rice, fortified cereals), nuts and seeds (pumpkin sunflower, cashews, and unhulled sesame seeds), vegetables (Swiss chard, collard greens), blackstrap molasses, and prune juice. It is also highly suggested when eating iron-rich meals, vitamin C rich foods should also be a part because it allows better absorption and caffeinated drinks such as tea and coffee should be avoided one or two hours before and after meals.

              References:

              http://vegankit.com/eat#about
              http://www.nomeatathlete.com/iron-for-vegetarians/

              IMG_6915

              Meatless Monday: Cucumber Avocado Rolls

              These are super simple to prepare and they make a great appetizer for vegans, vegetarians, gluten-free, and healthy eaters. All you have to do is whip up this avocado spread and smear it across a slice of cucumber and roll it up! 

              Cucumber Avocado Rolls

              Ingredients:

            1. 1 Avocado
            2. ¼ cup of basil leaves (a small bunch)
            3. 1 clove of garlic
            4. 1 cucumber
            5. 2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lime juice
            6. ¼ teaspoon Salt
            7. 1 Tbsp. of Nutritional Yeast
            8. Several grinds of black pepper
            9. Smoked or Sweet Paprika for garnish 

            10. Instructions 

              1. Toss all the ingredients (except the cucumber and paprika) into a food processor or blender. Or if you would like to do it by hand, finely mince the garlic and basil, and mash all the ingredients together with a fork until smooth and creamy.
              2. Use a mandoline or potato peeler to cut long thin strips from the cucumber. 
              3. Take a cucumber strip and spread a thin coat of the avocado mixture along the length of the cucumber. A little goes a long way! Make sure to get some avocado all the way to the end, so it will stick the roll together.  
              4. Roll it up! No toothpicks needed. Do the same with the rest of your cucumber strips. Sprinkle with a little paprika and serve right away.  

              Cucumber is watery and softens quickly, so if you plan on taking these to a party, prepare the avocado spread that morning, and store in an air tight container. Bring a whole cucumber and potato peeler and assemble at the party.

              Recipe from itdoesnttastelikechicken.com

              IMG_3070.JPG

              Dietary Fats: What’s Good and What’s Bad ?

              Certain fats should be part of your healthy diet. They can lower your risk of disease. But you should make sure that you’re eating “good” fats instead of “bad” fats.

              Why do I need fat in my diet?

              Your body uses fat for energy. It also uses fat to build nerve tissue and hormones and to control inflammation. Fat also helps your body absorb vitamins A, D, E and K from the foods you eat.
              But consuming too much fat can contribute to obesity. Fat calories turn into body fat more easily than carbohydrates or proteins. Fat in your diet can confuse your appetite, so you can’t tell when you are full. Some fats also raise your total cholesterol and blood pressure, and may increase your risk of some cancers, heart disease and diabetes.

              How much is too much?

              Fat contains 9 calories per gram – more than twice the calories of carbohydrates and protein, which have 4 calories per gram. Everyone has different calorie needs. Your doctor can help you figure out how many calories you need and how many of these can come from fat.

              If you are overweight, the American Heart Association recommends that you get less than 30% of your total calories from fat. So, if your body needs 2,000 calories a day, you can have up to 65 grams of fat each day.

              What are the “bad” fats?
              Limit or avoid these fats:

              Saturated fat is usually found in animal products, such as meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products such as cheese, cream and whole or 2% milk. Palm, coconut and other tropical oils, as well as cocoa butter, also contain saturated fat. Many snack foods, such as desserts, chips and French fries, are high in saturated fat. A diet high in saturated fats can increase your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels and can put you at risk for heart disease.

              IMG_3075.JPG
              Trans fats are a type of hydrogenated man-made fat usually found in processed foods, such as cookies, cakes, doughnuts, crackers, snacks and frozen foods, and in fried food, such as French fries and onion rings. Trans fat is especially bad for you. It lowers your HDL (“good”) cholesterol while raising your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and triglycerides. All food manufacturers are now required to list trans-fat on nutrition labels. However, foods can have up to 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving and still be labeled trans-fat free. To avoid them completely, check the ingredients list and avoid partially hydrogenated oils.

              The American Heart Association recommends that you get less than 7% of your total calories from saturated fats and less than 1% from trans fats. So, if your body needs 2,000 calories a day, you should eat less than 15 grams of saturated fat and less than 2 grams of trans fat.

              The good fats

              IMG_3069.JPGMonounsaturated fats are found in canola, olive, avocado, and peanut and other nut oils, as well as in legumes (dried beans and peas), olives, seeds, nuts, nut butters and fresh avocados.

              Polyunsaturated fats are found in vegetable oils like corn, sunflower and safflower oil, as well as sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, corn, soybeans, and many other kinds of grains, legumes, nuts and seeds.

              Omega-3 fatty acids are usually found in seafood, such as salmon, herring, sardines and mackerel. They can also be found in flaxseeds, flaxseed oil and walnuts.

              Studies have shown that these fats, if used in place of saturated fat, can help you lower your total cholesterol level. Omega-3 fatty acids are especially beneficial—studies have shown that they can also decrease your risk of inflammation or heart attack if you are at risk for heart disease.

              IMG_3073.JPG
              Tips for a healthy diet

              You don’t have to cut all fat out of your diet, but you should limit the amount of fat you eat. Try to eat foods made with unsaturated fat and avoid foods that are high in saturated and trans fats.
              Other things you can do include:

              Avoid fast food. It almost always contains trans-fat.

              Limit the amount of red meat you eat. Instead, try to eat baked or broiled fish, poultry and vegetable proteins.

              Use canola oil when you are baking.

              Use olive oil when you are cooking, for salad dressings and as a spread on bread.

              Make healthier snack choices. For example, snack on a small handful of unsalted peanuts or edamame (soy beans) instead of potato chips.

              Try a slice of avocado on your sandwich or in your salad, or add nuts or garbanzo beans to a salad.

              Use liquid or soft tub margarine instead of butter. Look for margarine that has low saturated fat and no trans fat.