Thursday, January 31, 2013

Spicy Tofu and Avocado Maki Rolls


(Quantities are up to you but I have listed what I used)

Sticky rice (I use Annie Chun's Rice Express - 1/2 container or about 1/2-3/4 cups rice per roll)
Rice vinegar (about 1/2 tsp per 1/2 cup rice)
Soy paper or nori (I used these soy wraps that I got at Whole Foods)
Precooked teriyaki style tofu, cut into thin strips (I used the kind by Wildwood and 1/4 of 1 block for each roll)
Sriracha sauce (as much as you can handle)
Sliced avocado (roughly 1/4 of an avocado per roll)
Cilantro leaves
Toasted sesame seeds


These are basically the instructions that I follow if you want to be all professional about it.  But Simply put here's what I did:
Get a bowl of water for dipping your hands so the rice doesn't stick to them. Get your bamboo mat out and wrap tightly in plastic wrap.  Then lay your soy paper sheet or nori on it.  (The soy paper is large so next time I'll probably cut it in half.)

Add rice vinegar to rice and mix.

Dip hand in water, then take a handful of rice, roll into a ball and then press out all over your soy paper or nori.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Toss tofu sticks with a bit of sriracha sauce.  Lay across the center with avocado slices, then sprinkle with cilantro leaves. See pic below.

For rolling I literally just followed how it was done in the video.  I find that watching someone else do it a lot easier than reading step by step instructions. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Vegan Tomato Bisque with Cashew Cream

Another great use for cashew cream.  Making creamy soups healthy but subbing for the heavy cream.  I puree this is 2 batches because it doesn't all fit in my blender and one batch I don't completely puree because I like to have some texture but that's just my preference.  This can also be a very tasty tomato soup without the cashew cream.

Makes 4-6 servings
Cashew Cream
1/2 cup cashews, soaked over night (or at least an hour in hot water)
1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp Earth Balance vegan butter
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp dried thyme
Pinch of salt
3 Tbsp flour
3 cups vegetable broth
1 28oz can whole plum tomatoes (preferably san marzano tomatoes), roughly chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat olive oil and butter in a large soup pot over low heat.  Add onion, garlic, thyme, and salt.  Let cook 10 minutes, stirring a few times.
Stir in flour and cook for a few minutes stirring constantly.  Pour in broth and tomatoes, turn up to medium heat and continue to stir until it comes to a boil.  Lower heat and simmer 20-30 minutes.
While simmering, make cashew cream by cashews (drained from the water they soaked in) with the almond milk until completely pureed.  Add more almond milk if necessary.
When soup is done cooking, stir in cashew cream and salt and pepper to taste.  Puree in blender in batches. 
©2013 Rachel Morris



Sunday, January 27, 2013

Peanut Butter & Jelly Banana Pancakes

I don't even know what to say except these are kind of amazing so go make them. 
Your favorite pancake recipe (I use my vegan pancake recipe)
Sliced banana (make sure it's ripe!)
PB Sauce
Honey roasted peanut butter, like the grind your own at the supermarket (or regular PB and add a little honey or agave)
Almond milk
"Jelly" Sauce
Good quality, all-natural fruit preserves instead of the cheap generic jelly (I love Bonne Maman brand and I used mixed berry)
Splash of water
Begin making you pancakes and add some cinnamon to the batter.  Cook as you would but lay your banana slices on the pancakes before flipping.
For PB Sauce simply add some PB to a small bowl with a little almond milk. If you want to measure I usually go with a 1:2 ratio of PB to almond milk.  Then microwave for about 5-10 seconds, remove and stir adding a little splashes of almond milk and stirring until it's slightly pourable but still thick.  If needed add a little honey or agave for sweetness.
Next put some fruit preserves in a small bowl with a splash of water and microwave for 5-10 seconds.  This will also make a nice pourable sauce. 
Simply pour your these sauces all over your pancakes and dig in. 

©2013 Rachel Morris

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Lemon Basil Cashew Cream Pasta

Behold the power of the cashew.  When soaked and pureed, it morphs into a cream that is vegan's blank canvas to work from.  In this dish you really wouldn't know there wasn't any actual cream.  Refreshing lemony, basil sauce smothered all over pasta and topped with pine nuts.  Yes, pine nuts are expensive but they are well worth it here as they complement the other flavors very nicely. 

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Makes about 1 cup


Olive oil
1/4 cup diced onion
3 garlic cloves, chopped garlic
1/3 cup cashews soaked overnight
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 - 1/3 cup vegetable broth, water from cashews or plain water
1 handful of basil leaves (or more to taste)
Salt and pepper to taste

Toasted pine nuts for garnish
Cooked pasta, cooking water reserved


Heat olive oil in skillet and saute onion and garlic with a pinch of salt over medium heat for about 3 minutes.  Add to blender with cashews, lemon juice, 1/4 cup of broth and basil.  Blend until pureed, adding additional broth as needed.

Heat skillet over low-medium heat and add enough pasta water to just cover the bottom.  Add in sauce and pasta and stir for 1-2 minutes or until heated through.  Add a tablespoon of pasta water at a time if needed to thin out. Add salt and pepper to tasted and drizzle with olive oil if desired.  Serve topped with pine nuts.


Friday, January 18, 2013

Easiest Vegetarian Tacos

Nope, that's not meat.  It's my secret weapon to the perfect vegetarian imitation of the traditional beef tacos I grew up eating.  You know, the old school ground beef with the Old El Paso taco kit, seasoning, taco shells, and sauce. Who kid didn't love taco night!? To mimic that, I take a southwest style veggie burger, crumble it up and use as the "meat".  My favorite to use is the Sunshine Burger Black Bean South West Burger.  It's completely all-natural with whole ingredients, meaning everything in it is something you could purchase to make yourself (see image below).  Other options that are good but not all whole ingredients, are the Morningstar Spicy Black Bean Burger (not vegan) and the Gardenburger Black Bean Chipotle Burger.


1 south west style black bean burger, crumbled
Taco Sauce or seasoning/spices (optional)
Diced onion
Pico de gallo or regular salsa
Chopped cilantro
Guacomole or diced avocado
Cheese, regular or vegan (optional)
Shredded lettuce
2 Taco shells or tortillas


Simply heat your burger, crumble up, toss in some taco sauce or seasoning if desired. Spoon into taco shells, add your toppings and dig in.

My favorite burger

Whole, natural ingredients you can pronounce and buy at the grocery store!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Naked Elvis Banana Bowl

 All the elements of an Elvis sandwich sans bread and of course no bacon. I suppose you could crumble some tempeh bacon on it, but I don't think it needs it.  This it great just as is or incorporate into other breakfasts and serve over plain oatmeal, whole grain pancakes or a frozen waffle, sprinkle with more chopped peanuts for crunch.  Make it a dessert and add some cocoa powder to the sauce or serve topped with chocolate chips.

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1 Tbsp Peanut Butter
2-3 Tbsp Almond Milk or other non-dairy milk 
Honey to taste
1 medium banana, sliced

Add peanut butter and 2 tablespoons of almond milk to small bowl.  Microwave about 10 seconds, then stir until peanut butter is completely dissolved.  Add more almond milk if desired for a thinner consistency.  For the honey you can either stir some into the sauce or drizzle the dish with it at the end, or do both.

Spoon sauce over sliced banana and top with chopped peanuts if desired.


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Greek Garbanzo Bean Salad

A Greek inspired vegetarian alternative to chicken salad made with a simple tahini dressing.  Bonus: no oil!  Love lemon?  Substitute the vinegar with fresh lemon juice. 

Makes 2 servings

1 Tbsp sesame tahini
1-2 Tbsp water
1 tsp red wine vinegar (or lemon juice)
1 garlic clove, minced or grated on a microplane
1/2 tsp dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
2 Tbsp finely diced red onion
1/4 cup diced cucumber (seeds removed)

For serving:
Tortilla or lettuce leaves
Toppings: diced tomato, olives, roasted red pepper, avocado, chopped parsley or cilantro

In a small bowl, whisk tahini, water, and vinegar until blended.  Stir in garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. Set aside.
Add garbanzo beans to a bowl and coarsely mash. Add in onion, cucumber, dressing and stir to thoroughly combine everything.  Serve in tortillas, lettuce leaves, on salad, or as dip with pita chips.


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Spicy, Saucy Kale Chips

Kick off that 2013 diet with a new healthy snack, amazing kale chips!  I went through a time where I was obsessed to Brad's Raw kale chips which turned out to be quite a pricey addiction at $8/package.  When I made these I just couldn't believe how much they tasted like them!
1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked in salted water overnight (or at least 4 hours), water reserved
2 Tbsp chopped pimentos (or roasted red pepper)
1 tsp red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 bunch kale, thick stems removed, torn into pieces
Pre-heat oven to 250 degrees.  Place all the ingredients except kale in a blender or food processor and puree.  It should be a thick sauce (see pic below).  If needed, add some of of the reserved water from the cashews. How much liquid you need will depend on how long the cashews were soaked.  It will need more liquid if you only soaked them for a few hours. 
Add kale to a large bowl, pour sauce over and toss to thoroughly coat the kale.  Spread kale in one single layer onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Or you can used aluminum foil lightly sprayed with cooking spray. 
Bake 30-40 minutes until crisp.