Tofu Lettuce Wraps with Peanut Sauce

I am obsessed with Lettuce Wraps! I think it is the ultimate light fresh meal. Typically the filling is cooked and hot, but it being so warm out I wanted a nice cooling easy no-cook meal.

I have always loved the ones at Gobo and also at Wild Ginger. I thought it was about time I made my own 🙂 I am so happy I did, loved this meal!

What is your favorite lettuce wrap recipe? I want to try out some more variations!!

Tofu Lettuce Wraps with Peanut Sauce

2 blocks extra-firm tofu, diced
4 carrots, grated
4 stalks boy choy, shredded
1 sweet onions, grated or diced
2 red bell peppers, diced
1 cucumbers, peeled and grated
4 tablespoons mint, chopped
3 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons lime juice
4 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
3 inches ginger, peeled and grated
2 jalapenos, diced
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
24 large boston bib lettuce leaves, washed and patted dried
24 peanuts, chopped

  1. In a bow, combine tofu, carrots, bok choy, onion, pepper, cucumber and mint.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the oils, lime juice, rice wine vinegar, ginger, jalapeno, and salt.
  3. Add tofu and veggies to the peanut sauce and toss.
  4. Serve on lettuce leaves garnished with peanuts.

Kitchari Challenge – Recipe #3

Many recipes have the option to add chopped veggies to the Kitchari and I’m sure it would be super tasty. But I am a Kitchari purist. Maybe sometime during this challenge I might try some of the chopped veggies, but I am not there yet. This one was simple, easy and deelish.

Cleansing Kitchari
Recipe adapted from Ayurveda for Women: A Guide to Vitality and Health

2 cups basmati rice
1 cup yellow split peas
12 cups boiling water
3/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 big pinch asafoetida
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoon of salt

optional, chopped veggies

  1. Combine the rice with the split peas and wash twice.
  2.  Place rice and beans into boiling water, adding the turmeric and asafoetida.
  3. Cook over medium heat until the water is mostly absorbed.
  4. I usually use an immersion blender to have a semi-smooth consistency. I only blend about half.
  5. Add one more cup of lukewarm water, vegetables, and optional spices if you’re using them. The final dish should be a stew with a very moist and soft consistency.

Love seeing this big pot of Kitchari!

Asian Cold Noodles With Spicy Almond Dressing

I have used Blue Print Cleanse many times over the years and always love their juices. When the fabulous ladies behind the juice company came out with a cook book of course I had to check it out. So far this first one is a winner!

I love pasta, but of course I don’t want to eat plain, white pasta all the time (especially after doing this cleanse). There are fabulous alternatives to traditional pasta – quinoa, rice, buckwheat (soba), etc. Soba is a deeeelish buckwheat noodle that cooks up super fast and tastes great with this sauce. This dish was great for dinner and just as good cold the next day for lunch. YUM!

Check out my Ginger-Poached Noodles with Soba Noodles as well 🙂

Asian Cold Noodles With Spicy Almond Dressing
Recipe adapted from ‘The 3-Day Cleanse’ by Zoe Sakoutis and Erica Huss (The Blue Print Cleanse Ladies 🙂
Makes 4 servings

12 oz. buckwheat soba noodles
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup scallions, sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
Spicy Almond Dressing (see below)
lime for garnish

1. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil and add the noodles.
2. Lower heat and simmer for 6-8 minutes until soba is tender, then remove from heat.
3. Strain noodles and rinse with cool water. Drain.
4. Place noodles in a bowl and add the cucumber, scallions and red bell pepper. Toss with spicy almond dressing.
5. Squeeze of lime before serving.

Spicy Almond Dressing
Makes 8 ounces

1/2 cup raw or roasted almond butter
1 tomato, chopped
2 Tbsp. Nama Shoyu or Bragg Liquid Aminos
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
3 tsp. fresh lime juice
2 tsp. agave nectar
3/4 tsp. ginger, peeled and chopped
1/4-1/2 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. sea salt

Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender until completely smooth.

Spicy Almond Dressing

Spring/Summer Cleanse 2011: Week 1

It is that time of year, cleansing time! I love to do fasts and detoxes a few times a year. I have done so many different cleanses ranging from green smoothie cleanses, to juice cleanses, to the master cleanse and even gallbladder and liver cleanses. I decided this time around to embark on a longer more sustainable cleanse. It is a combo elimination diet and detox. This is helping me cleanse easily and effectively while I am continuing to eat. But I have cut out foods that would interfere with the cleansing process and that I feel I rely too much on in my diet. I used Dr. Alejandro Junger’s, Clean Program as a loose guideline. I am hoping to maintain eating primarily the foods of the Elimination Diet even after I finish the cleanse, while occasionally enjoying some of the other foods.

My Plan for the Cleanse:

Weeks 1-3 (21 days): (I plan on doing this part for 4 weeks)

  • Breakfast: Smoothie/Juice or Protein Shake
  • Lunch: Clean meal made of detox friendly foods (see list below)
  • Dinner: Smoothie/Juice/Soup/Blended Foods
  • Snacks: anything from the approved list, but only snack when truly hungry, not just bored. (I can certainly relate to this!)
  • Drink A LOT of water and/or herbal tea.
  • Also ideally lunch should be the real food meal, but of course since this is an extended cleanse, if you need to switch lunch and dinner sometimes it is fine, BUT make sure you keep
    a 12 hour window between dinner and breakfast free of food for optimal digestion and detoxing. (This actually makes this so much easier to sustain for weeks at a time, knowing that you can still go out for dinner sometimes!)
  • The shakes/smoothies/juices are meant to help decrease the amount of work your digestive system has to do so it can rest and  restore.

The general list of foods to remove for Elimination Diet includes: grains with gluten, anything processed (including all soy products), fatty nuts, nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and eggplant), condiments, sugar and obviously no dairy, animal products, alcohol, caffeine or soda. Click here to see Elimination List. and here to see the Shopping List.

Weeks 4: Juice Cleanse

I love my juice cleanses! See this post for more details.

Weeks 5: Back to the Elimination Diet Cleanse detailed above

With all stages I will include lots of Yoga of course and some cardio exercises.

Here is my first week of the cleanse broken down meal by meal to make it super easy for you to cleanse! Of course adjust times and recipes for your life and preferences. Meals in Bold have recipes listed below. I will post a few more recipes next week to add more variety 🙂

DAY ONE

8am Upon Rising: room temperature lemon water &/or herbal tea
10am Breakfast(at least an hour after waking): Morning Green Smoothie
1:30pm (lunch): Romaine with Caesar Dressing and Capers
8pm (dinner): Apple and Butternut Squash Soup

DAY TWO

8am Upon Rising: room temperature lemon water &/or herbal tea
10am Breakfast(at least an hour after waking): Morning Green Smoothie
2:00pm (lunch): Kitchari from JivamukTea Cafe (they use brown rice instead of white basmati! perfect!)
4pm (snack): A handful of mixed seeds and nuts
7pm (dinner): Shake: 1 serving UltraClear and MetaFiber mixed with water

DAY THREE

8am Upon Rising: room temperature lemon water &/or herbal tea
10:30am Breakfast(at least an hour after waking): Morning Green Smoothie
2:00pm (lunch): Raw Sesame Nut-meat salad from Bonobos
7:30pm (dinner): Shake: 1 serving UltraClear and MetaFiber mixed with water

DAY FOUR

5 am Upon Rising: room temperature lemon water &/or herbal tea
7:30 am Breakfast(at least an hour after waking): Morning Green Smoothie
12:00pm (lunch): Kitchari and a kale side from JivamukTea Cafe
4pm (snack): A handful of mixed seeds and nuts
8:30 pm (dinner): Cucumber and Avocado Soup

DAY FIVE

8am Upon Rising: room temperature lemon water &/or herbal tea
10am Breakfast(at least an hour after waking): Shake: 1 serving UltraClear and MetaFiber mixed with water
1:30pm (lunch): Berry Protein Shake
4pm (snack): A handful of mixed seeds and nuts
7pm (dinner): Coconut/Avocado Raw soup & Lover’s Salad from Caravan of Dreams

DAY SIX

9am Upon Rising: room temperature lemon water &/or herbal tea
11am Breakfast(at least an hour after waking): Berry Protein Shake
1:30pm (lunch): Chocolate Protein UN-Milkshake
4pm (snack): A handful of mixed pumpkin and sunflower seeds
7pm (dinner): Soba Noodle Soup at Souen Ramen

DAY SEVEN

9am Upon Rising: room temperature lemon water &/or herbal tea
11am Breakfast(at least an hour after waking): Mango and Coconut Smoothie
2:30pm (lunch): Leftover Soba Noodle Soup & Small Salad  with Caesar Dressing
5pm (snack): A handful of mixed seeds and nuts
9pm (dinner): Leftover FROZEN Berry Protein Shake (so fun! I was able to eat it like a creamy sorbet instead of drinking it :))

RECIPES

Morning Green Smoothie (2 servings)(We drink this most days as it is now :))

1 cup frozen Blueberries or raspberries
1 cup frozen Mango or Pineapple
big handful of baby spinach or 3 stalks of kale or chard
2 heaping tablespoons Synergy Green Powder, Vitamineral Green or other green powder
1 tablespoon Maca
1 heaping teaspoon Crystal Manna Blue green algae or E3AFA2 heaping tablespoons Psyllium Whole Husks or MetaFiber1 serving of Vegan Protein (soy-free) powder; Vega, UltraClear, Life’s Basics
2 cups Almond, Hemp or Coconut milk
1/2 cup water or coconut water

optional: coconut (unsweetened) or avocado

Blend everything together and Enjoy! Feel free to play around with ingredients (adding or ommitting them) but pay attention to the elimination diet guide (ie no bananas for this smoothie)

Berry Protein Shake
Recipe adapted from Dr. Alejandro Junger

1 cup nut/rice/hempseed milk of your choice (either homemade with 1/2 cup nuts and 1 1/2-2 cups water, or unsweetened)
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
1/2 cup fresh or frozen blackberries (optional)
3 pitted dates
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 serving of Vegan Protein Powder
1 serving of Fiber powder, Psyllium Husks or 2 ounces aloe juice
Handful of Spinach or serving of green powder

1. Blend all ingredients until smooth.

Mango and Coconut Smoothie

  • 1 cup frozen mango
  • 1/2 frozen pineapple
  • 1/2 cup dried unsweetened coconut
  • 2 teaspoons agave
  • 12 ounces almond, coconut milk or coconut water
  • handful of baby spinach

Blend and Enjoy!

Chocolate Protein UN-Milkshake

This was out of control deelish! It was so creamy and chocolatey! I would not have it everyday, but for a treat, especially when cleansing, it was amazing!

4 ounces of water
8 ounces of almond milk (unsweetened)
1/2 of an avocado
2 teaspoons organic almond butter
a pinch of sea salt
1 serving Chocolate Protein Powder – Vega Chocolate is Great!
1 serving MetaFiber
1 tablespoon Agave
1 heaping tablespoon raw cacao powder

1. Blend all ingredients until smooth.

Apple and Butternut Squash Soup
Recipe from Clean Book; Dr. Alejandro Junger

2 cups Butternut Squash, peeled and chopped
2 stalk celery
2 green apples, peeled
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup fresh tarragon, chopped
4-5 cups water

  1. Blend all ingredients except tarragon in a high speed blender.
  2. Check Seasoning
  3. Add the tarragon and blend again for 10 seconds, just enough to be mixed in.
  4. Serve in a bowl or mug slightly warm or at room temperature.

Cucumber and Avocado Soup
Recipe from Dr. Alejandro Junger
1 serving

zest of 1/2 lime
juice of an entire lime
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cucumber, peeled and seeded, roughly chopped
1/2 avocado, peeled and roughly chopped

Blend everything together until totally creamy and smooth.

Kitchari Challenge – Recipe #2

This is a mung dal kitchari which balances all three doshas. It is particularly beneficial for the stomach, lungs, liver, and large intestine.

This Kitchari was completely different from the first one I made Kitchari Challenge – Recipe #1 and we loved it. We loved the first one too but it was nice to have a different one.It was perfect I made such big batches as we were happy to eat them all week-long. YUM! (and that I am still happy to make others too :))

Do you have a Kitchari Recipe that you love? Please let me know, I want to try more!

Kitchari Challenge – Recipe #2
adapted from ‘Ayurvedic Cooking for Self-Healing’
Serves 8-10
2 cup yellow mung dal (split or whole)
2 cup basmati rice
2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped fine
5 tablespoons shredded, unsweetened coconut
1 cup water
5 tablespoons canola oil
2 1/2 inch piece of cinnamon bark
5 whole cloves
8 crushed cardamom pods
15 black peppercorns
5 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
12 cups water

  1. Wash the mung dal and rice until water is clear. Soaking the dal for a few hours or overnight helps with digestibility.
  2. In a blender, put the ginger, coconut and 1/2 cup water and blend.
  3. Heat a large saucepan on medium heat and add the oil, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, peppercorns and bay leaves. Stir for a moment until fragrant. Add the blended items to the spices, then the turmeric and salt. Stir until lightly browned.
  4. Stir in the mung dal and rice and mix very well.
  5. Pour in the 12 cups of water, cover and bring to a boil. Let boil for 5 minutes, then turn down the heat to very low and cook, lightly covered, until the dal and rice are soft, about 30-35 minutes if mung beans are split, and 1 hour if whole. Add water if needed.
  6. Unless you love a spicy bite – be aware of the peppercorns, bay leafs, cloves and cardamom – pick them out :

Spices

Before adding the water

Kitchari Challenge – Recipe #1

I love Kitchari!! Kitchari is typically considered a fasting food and is used to purify digestion and cleanse systemic toxins but is also an amazing meal on its own account. I eat it at least once a week at the amazing Jivamukti (Jivamuktea) Cafe. When Michael and I were in India I expected to eat it all the time, but strangely we never had it, not once! So upon returning home I wanted to take on my very own Kitchari Challenge 🙂 I am going to play around with different takes of this amazing mixture of Dal and Rice. Some recipes have many spices in them and some call for just a dash of salt. This is where my challenge comes in, I want to try many of them out. I will post them as I make them. Enjoy!

I made a super big double batch of this first recipe and Michael and I were thrilled to have it in the house for over a week! It was super enjoyable and very nourishing.

Kitchari Recipe
Recipe adapted from The Ayurvedic Institute

1 cup     Basmati Rice
2 cups     Mung Dal (split yellow)
7 cups (approx.) Water
a bit of     Salt
2 Tbs.     neutral oil (like canola)
3 tsp.     Mustard Seeds
2 tsp.     Cumin Seeds or Powder
2 tsp.     Turmeric Powder
2 tsp.     Coriander Powder
2 tsp.     Fennel Powder
1 pinch     Asafoetida (Hing)(I was very excited to bring this back from India – although you can easily get it at your local Indian store)

I did not adapt my recipe for the specific doshas – but below is what The Ayurvedic Institute suggests to do.
* For Vata or Kapha conditions:
add a pinch of ginger powder
* For Pitta: leave out the mustard seeds

  1. Carefully pick over rice and dal to remove any stones. Wash each separately in at least 2 changes of water.
  2. Sauté the seeds in the oil until they pop. Then add the other spices. Add the mung dal and salt. Sauté for 1 or 2 minutes. Add boiling water, bring to boil, then simmer for 30 minutes or until the dal is about 2/3 cooked.
  3. Add rice and stir to mix, adding extra water if required. Bring back to the boil, then simmer for 20 minutes or until rice is fully cooked. Aim to have minimal water remaining, leaving the lid on the pot to allow any excess to slowly be absorbed.
  4. Stir until the rice and dal begin to mush together and Enjoy!

Raw Tomato Napoleon with Basil Cashew Cheeze and Basil Oil

This was a gorgeous and delish recipe!! It was a perfect addition to the Summer Cleanse or any entertaining situation! Just beautiful!! The Cashew Cheeze is a great recipe to have for other dishes as well. This would be amazing in wraps, sandwiches or topped on Salads! So divine! Enjoy!

Raw Tomato Napoleon with Basil Cashew Cheeze and Basil Oil
Adapted from a recipe on RawMazing

For each Napoleon you will need:
1 small tomato
several  slices of zucchini
Basil Cashew Cheeze Spread
Basil Oil

Cut the tomato in thirds. Spread the Cashew Cheeze on the tomato slice. Layer tomato slice, zucchini and cheese, repeat. Drizzle basil Oil over top.

Basil Cashew Cheeze Spread
1 cup Cashews, soaked at least 1 hour
2 tablespoon Lemon Juice
1 Garlic clove
Pinch Salt
1 cup basil leaves

Start food processor. Drop clove of garlic into processor and run until garlic is chopped. Add cashews, lemon juice and salt. Place all ingredients except basil in food processor and process until smooth. Add basil and pulse until basil is chopped up and combined into cheese.

Basil Oil
Finely chop 4 tablespoons basil and add to 1/4 cup olive oil

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