Kale Caesar with Marinated Portobello Mushrooms – Kale Salad Challenge #5

I love all Kale Salads and this one was especially deelish. Not everyone is into sea vegetables, but this dressing manages to be chockfull of them without anyone being the wiser, super healthy goodness! They add such a great saltiness to this already super creamy dressing.

Kale Caesar with Marinated Portobello Mushrooms

Kale Caesar with Mar

2 heads of Kale

Chop up or tear pieces of Kale. Massage the dressing into the kale with your hands and top with mushrooms. Yum! Enjoy 🙂

Avocado Sea-sar Dressing (vegan, almost raw, gluten free, soy free)
Recipe from choosingraw.com
Yields over 1 cup

1 large Hass avocado
1 tsp vegan Worsterchire sauce
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
Juice of two large lemons
3 tbsp mellow white miso
1 small clove garlic
1 tsp spirulina
1 tbsp nori, kelp, or dulse flakes (or a mix of all three, which is what I used)
3/4 cup water (or more if needed)
*2 tbsp olive oil (optional)*

Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender till smooth. The olive oil is totally optional, but it lends a little added creaminess and richness to the dressing.

Marinated Portobello Mushrooms

3 1/2 cup portobello mushrooms, sliced
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup agave
2 tablespoons  Nama Shoyu or Tamari
2 tablespoons Herbamere
3 tablespoons herbs of choice – I used oregano and bail

Blend all ingredients except mushrooms for about 10 seconds. Place the marinade, along with mushrooms, in a large plastic container or zipped bag and seal well. Toss around until well coated. Refrigerate and let sit overnight, tossing to coat from time to time. Strain the mushrooms out prior to serving, but reserve the marinade to use as a salad dressing for another time.

Kale Caesar – Kale Salad Challenge #4

Back to the Kale Salad! YUM! This one is so creamy and deelish it will please even people who think they don’t love kale. This dressing can be used with any other salad or even as dip!

Kale Caesar Salad

2 large bunches kale, stems discarded, chopped
Caesar Dressing
1 bunch red radishes, sliced super thin
3 tablespoons capers
1/2 ripe avocado, chopped

  1. Massage Kale and Dressing in a large bowl. Use your hands to massage and make sure to really get in there to soften the kale and evenly distribute the dressing.
  2. Add radishes, capers and avocado and toss.

Caesar Dressing
2 cups water
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup cashews
1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons dark miso
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon rice vinegar

  1. Place all the ingredients into a high speed blender and blend till creamy.
  2. Chill until ready to use and shake well.

Pecan Miso Soba

This makes a big bowl of noodles, so you could always half the recipe if you don’t want so much. But this is such a deelish recipe it might be good to have leftovers or just more people to feed! Such a simple sauce to whip up but with such a complex flavor. I am sure this sauce would be amazing sauteed up with some veggies or just drizzled over steamed veggies. Yum!

Pecan Miso Soba Recipe
Serves 4-6

12 ounces soba noodles
1 small bunch of asparagus, sliced thinly, 1/4-inch thick
1 1/2 cup pecans, toasted
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 medium clove garlic, peeled
6 tablespoons mellow white miso paste
6 tablespoons white wine vinegar
3 teaspoon agave
2 big pinches salt (or to taste)

  1. Boil a large pot of salted water. Cook the soba as directed.
  2. 30 seconds before the pasta is done, add the asparagus to the pot and then drain the noodles and asparagus together.
  3. Toss with about 1/2-whole recipe of the sauce – adding more to taste. I ended up using most of the dressing.

Pecan Miso Sauce

  1. Puree the pecans, olive oil, garlic, miso paste, vinegar, and agave together until smooth. Adding salt to taste.

Carrot Ginger Dressing

For as long as I can remember I have been obssessed with Carrot Ginger Dressings. Here is a quick recipe for one that keeps pretty well in the fridge, so you can make extra and break out whenever you want a quick salad or even as a dip.

This is a quick salad with avocado, romaine and the dressing.

Carrot Ginger Dressing

  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large shallot, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons ginger, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sweet white miso
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon roasted sesame seed oil
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
  • 2 tablespoons water

Pulse chop carrot, shallot and ginger until finely chopped. Add the miso, rice wine vinegar, sesame seed oil, grapeseed oil and water and blend. Enjoy!

Thanksgiving Post: Mom’s Stuffing – Vegan

HUGE bowl of stuffing with glimpses of tofurkey, brussel sprouts and apples & squash. Happy Thanksgiving!!

This Thanksgiving was a really great one! It has been quite the amazing year!

I am so thankful for my life and what this last year has brought. Although I have taught just a few yoga classes, cooked just a few meals and had literally just brief moments alone with myself (things that I always valued and still do) I am brimming with happiness and joy! There are not words to express how much I love these two angels, being their mama, how much I love my husband and how much I love being present to him being the world’s greatest and most loving father!
SO much has gone on this year with birthing and loving twins as well as buying and renovating a house all while the 4 of us live in a small 1 bedroom apartment and still this has been the best year ever. It has come with its frustrations and tensions but at the same time has brought such an overwhelming love between us and our children as well. I feel so blessed to have the amazing experience of raising and being raised by my children. Each and every moment has been amazing, even when I don’t have any free seconds, (Like right now as I type this I am still the “mama jungle gym” with the babies climbing all over me!)

This Thanksgiving we all gathered at my Sister-in-Laws apartment. Lots of great food and great family fun! (imagine her 4 year old twin girls running around everywhere and my twins crawling in every direction!)

I made enough brussel sprouts and stuffing as if there were 3x as many people but believe me, the leftovers did not disappoint us 🙂 I made my go-to brussel sprouts recipe, with 3 pounds of brussels.

Last year during my pregnancy when I was finally feeling well enough to cook again the first thing I made was Butternut Squash Cornbread Stuffing. So it only felt right to make stuffing again after another long departure from the kitchen! This year though I asked my mom for her amazing recipe and we were very happy with the results 🙂 (you can always halve or third the recipe if you don’t feel like you need enough stuffing for an army!)

The best thing (besides the stuffing of course!) is that this mixture can be prepared in advance and refrigerated or frozen until ready to use. It can also be used at a vegan/vegetarian side dish, a condiment or a bread spread. We have used it for spreads on sandwiches, a relish for vegan hot dogs, an easy tofu scramble recipe and in a pasta sauce so far this last week alone!

Also a great thanksgiving leftover idea (Inspired by the Thanksgiving sandwich as Terri’s): take a wrap, spread cranberry sauce all over, and add tofurkey and stuffing. ENJOY!! We loved these!

Whole Lotta Stuffing!

Mom’s Stuffing – Vegan

  • 1/2 cup oil (your choice)(I used olive)
  • 3-4 lbs of chopped onions
  • 5 stalks of celery
  • 10 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3-4 peppers, chopped (assorted colors, if possible)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Basic recipe for 3 boxes or bags of bread stuffing (I used some corn and some multi-grain) (I used about 1.5 cups of margarine & a 32 ounce box of veggie broth. My mom says to use slightly less broth and butter than specified on the package to compensate for liquid in vegetable mixture.)
  1. Saute onions until soft – about 15 minutes.
  2. Add celery and garlic and continue to cook another 15 minutes.
  3. Drain mixture into a large colander or strainer, reserving liquid.  Pour liquid back into pot, add peppers and saute for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add onion mixture back into pot and cook for 2 minutes to blend flavors.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Day of serving stuffing, prepare according to box/package with broth and margarine. (see my notes above) Add onion mixture and bake in a casserole dish (or several) according to the package. (Mine was 350 degrees for 30 minutes)

the onion mixture! fyi: my mom makes hers finer which is better for using it as a spread

Stuffing: Pre-baking

Italian Potluck Night!!

As you know I LOVE Potlucks! And now we have a pretty regular Vegan Themed Potluck Party happening 🙂 Last nights theme was Italian Night! (last month was Asian) SUPER YUM! Not kidding this meal was out of control. We didn’t end up having dessert, but we all happily had seconds of the deelish food!

Lisa Dawn made this OUT of this world lasagna! We have seen her amazing Ricotta Cheese in her Stuffed Shells, but to taste this you would think that this was gourmet ricotta cheese made in Italy. But happily it was Vegan (but still super gourmet :)) And the homemade tomato sauce was also deelish!

Joey made this amazing pesto pasta sans cheese of course. It was so gorgeous with the fresh grape tomatoes and basil! Beautiful and super tasty!

I made my favorite Raw Crisp Caesar Salad with Pinenut parmesan and Artichoke Guacamole with mulit-grain pita chips. Yum!!!

On a side note, I can’t help but brag about Lisa & Paul’s overly impressive and adorable son Luke! Lisa had this great deck of cards with all the US Presidents pictures on them. Luke was able to go through all of them and name them!!! SO CUTE!! And he is under 2 years old!

Such a super great night with friends and deelish vegan food!

Amazing photo courtesy of Lisa's fabulous husband Paul!

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.

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