I'm very excited to share this recipe with you. Bitchin' Sauce has been on my radar for quite some time since we live in San Diego county and it originated here. Every time I'm at the farmer's market where it's sold by it's originator
, it's calling my name. This sauce is great as a dip, spread on toast, put on vegetables or thinned a little for a dressing. One bite and you're hooked. It's vegan and gluten-free. The trouble is, you could eat the whole carton and it does have oil. But, thanks to The Healthy Librarian
, we have this inspired version without added oil. So enjoy to your delight, but it does have nuts. Although nuts were recently in the news as something healthy to eat, it's easy to over do it. So keep that in mind. To quote from an article
about the recent nut study, this was "the biggest study yet into whether nuts can add years to your life shows that people who ate nuts every day were 20 percent less likely to die from heart disease, cancer or any other cause over 30 years than people who didn’t eat them." I've changed up this original version a tad by using smokey paprika instead of regular but use the regular if it's all you have. You can also add cilantro, jalepenos or cipotle for a different version as the Healthy Librarian has. Bitchin' Sauce Original Recipe
Serves 4 Ingredients
- 3/4 cup raw almonds
- 1/2 cup water
- 14 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tsp. Bragg's liquid aminos or low-sodium tamari
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cumin
- 1/2 tsp. cumin
- 1/4 tsp coriander
- 1/4 tsp. smokey (or regular paprika)
- Place all of the ingredients in a high-powdered blender. Slowly blend for one minute. Turn the dial up to high and continue to blend until smooth and creamy.
- Store in the refrigerator. The sauce may separate, but stir it if it does.
Spinach Bail Dip
Are you hungry in the afternoon? Just a little snack, you promise yourself! But, as I can attest, it's easy to give in to the dark side and eat items you shouldn't. Of course, the ideal would be to not have those items in the house. My downfall is gluten-free raisin toast, nuts, crackers, chocolate and cereal. I'm posting a delicious, plant-based, no added fat Basil Spinach Dip to help you over the hump. While making this dip, I also roasted some butternut squash for lasagna. It dawned on me that I could also use the dip in the lasagna as a layer. Look for that recipe soon. If you leave out the spinach in this recipe, you'll have a different, tasty tofu dip. What are your snacking downfalls? And, what snacks do you choose that are healthy? I'd love to hear from you. (This dish was inspired by Julie Marie's recipe
at Protective Diet.) Basil Spinach Dip Serves 8 Ingredients:
- 1 block of tofu, drained and pressed (optional - it'll be a little looser if you don't press)
- 1 10 package of frozen spinach, defrosted
- About 1 cup packed basil leaves
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 T. spicy mustard
- 2 T. light miso
- 1/2 tsp. granulated garlic
- 1/2 tsp. onion powder
- 2 T. nutritional yeast (optional)
- 1 can water chestnuts, drained
- In a food processor, blend tofu, apple cider vinegar, mustard, onion powder, granulated garlic, miso and nutritional yeast on high until well blended.
- Squeeze the water out of the spinach and add to the bowl of the food processor along with the water chestnuts. Pulse a few times to break up the water chestnuts leaving some chunkiness.
- Chill for a few hours and serve with veggies or baked tortilla chips.
Are you looking for a healthy snack? I've tried baked tortilla chips before, but they've never been as tasty as this batch. When I worked with a nutritionist a few years back to loose weight, she recommended using corn tortillas as part of my diet. They're a great choice. First, these chips are virtually guilt free! No oil at all - just sprouted corn, filtered water, salt, and lime. Cut them into six chip-size pieces, pop them in the oven and in 8 minutes you'll be crunching to your heart's delight. These were even great without added salt. And, you can't beat the price compared to purchased chips. The mango salsa isn't bad either. Try papaya if you can't find ripe mangos. Baked Tortilla Chips
Makes 72 chips Ingredients:
- Corn tortillas, 12 count (I used Food for Life's Sprouted Corn Tortillas)
- Preheat over to 390 degrees
- Stack about 3 tortillas at a time and cut into six equal chips.
- Place in a single layer on a baking sheet.
- Sprinkle or spray a small amount of water over the chips and lightly salt.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes. Watch them carefully as they're easy to overcook.
Mango Salsa Serves 4-6 Ingredients:
- 1 mango, peeled and diced
- 1/2 cup peeled, diced cucumber
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped jalapeno
- 1/3 cup diced red pepper
- 1/3 cup diced red onion
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1/3 cup roughly chopped cilantro leaves
- Salt and pepper
- Combine the mango, cucumber, jalapeño, red onion, lime juice and cilantro and mix well
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Since we're eating less meat, I do try to get protein from other sources and tofu is a great one. See my post, "Is Soy Bad" here
if your wondering about eating soy... This dish was inspired by Chez Cayenne's recipe
, but it was a bit mild for my taste so I added extra spices and left out the margarine... No cheese, no eggs and it was a very satisfying dish. Top it with a bit of fresh salsa or enchilada sauce for a Mexican flavor. Serve with a salad or use crackers and eat it as a dip. printable recipe Baked Corn Casserole with Spinach & Chilies
Serves 5-6 Ingredients
- 1 14-16 oz. block of firm tofu
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1 1/2 cup water
- 3/4 cup milk alternative like almond
- 1 pkg of frozen spinach, thawed and water squeezed out
- 2 cans diced mild chilies
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 ears fresh corn, taken off of cob, or pkg frozen, thawed
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. Salt & Pepper to taste
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- Condiments: Store-bought Salsa or Enchilada sauce
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Prepare cornmeal by heating 1 1/2 cup water in a medium saucepan with 1/2 cup of the milk alternative until almost boiling. Slowly whisk in the corn meal and stir constantly until mixture thickens. Transfer to a large bowl.
- To a food processor, add the garlic, tofu, 1 cup corn and remaining 1/4 cup milk alternative. Process until smooth. Stir into the cooked cornmeal in the large bowl.
- Add the spinach, remaining whole corn, diced chilies, baking powder, spices, salt and pepper and mix well. This may take some elbow grease.
- Bake for 60-70 minutes until crispy and firm at the edges. The middle will be a bit wiggly still. Let stand for 20-30 minutes before serving.
- Serve topped with salsa or enchilada sauce
You can't have too many hummus recipes. Still my go-to that works for a party or every day snacking. This recipe is inspired from Chef Matthew Purnell's recipe and the "vegan Nights" cooking class I took in May. He used sprouted chickpeas, but it works as well with canned garbanzo beans. To reduce the calories and fat, I've eliminated the oil and reduced the amount of sun-dried tomatoes in oil in his recipe. Serve with crackers or veggies or you can also use it on your sandwiches or lettuce wraps in place of mayonnaise. It's one of the most delicious hummus recipes ever! Enjoy.
Sun-dried Tomato, Basil Hummus Serves 6
- 1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
- 2 cloves garlic roughly chopped
- juice from 2 lemons
- 1 cup basil leaves
- 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil
- 2 T. tahini (found near the peanut butters in the store)
- 5-7 shakes of Tabasco sauce
- small amount of water
- Salt to taste
- Rinse the sun-dried tomatoes in a strainer under hot water to remove most of the oil.
- Add all of the ingredients into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine and then stir mixture with a spatula. Continue to run processor, adding a little water to thin to a consistency you like.
- Serve with a side of raw vegetables or crackers.
Kale is at the top of the list for super foods. And, if you aren't a fan, yet - try these delectable Baked Kale Chips. They are fast and easy to make. I love, love this recipe because it's made without oil. Read about it's incredible super powers here
. Although I changed it up just slightly, thank you Heather Nauta at healthyveganrecipes.net
for this fabulous recipe! Try them with a Falafel Burger. Ingredients
- 4 stems kale, washed and torn into large pieces
- 2 Tbsp sunflower seeds (or ground nuts)
- 2 Tbsp (approx) water
- 1 tsp onion powder, or 1 Tbsp fresh onion (I used 2 tsp. garlic powder instead)
- 1 tsp nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tsp dill (I left the dill out)
- sea salt, to taste
- Grind the sunflower seeds in a coffee grinder or a mini food processor. If you're using the food processor, add 1-2 Tbsp of water - just enough water to form a paste of the seeds - then blend in the fresh onion (if using) seasonings. Don't try this in a large food processor. The coffee grinder works well.
- If you're using a coffee grinder, transfer the ground seeds to a bowl and mix with 1-2 Tbsp of water and the seasonings. You'll have to blend the onion as well if you aren't using powder.
- Dip the pieces of kale in the mixture to coat them, then lay them out on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake the chips in a dehydrator or oven. You can dehydrate or bake at any temperature - the higher the shorter the time until the chips are done, but the lower the more nutrients will be retained. In a dehydrator, I go with 115 degrees F and they take about 2 hours. The chips should be super crispy, like potato chips.
- In an oven, the lowest temperature is usually 200 degrees F, and they'll be done in about 20-30 minutes. If you go up to 350 degrees F, they get crispy in about 10 minutes.
I'm on a roll with snacks and since I only had lima beans in the freezer I thought - why not... So, here I present, Baby Lima Bean Hummus. I'm not sure, but I think lima beans have gotten a bad rap in the past. But, check this out...like other legumes, lima beans are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber. According to a Whole Foods post, their high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising too rapidly after a meal, making these beans an especially good choice for individuals with diabetes, insulin resistance or hypoglycemia. When combined with whole grains such as rice, lima beans provide virtually fat-free high quality protein. See their full goodness here
. PS: These could be served warm as a dinner side. Ingredients
Make about 2 cups
- 1 bag of frozen baby lima beans, cooked according to directions
- 1/2 cup cilantro
- 2 T. red miso
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 T tahini
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- 5 shakes of Tabasco sauce
- 1/8 cup water as needed
- Place all of the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and process. Stop and scrape down the sides to incorporate all. Add water to thin as needed.
- Serve with sliced apples, vegetables or whole grain crackers.
You've been trying to be good, but those afternoon snacks are killing your diet plan. That's what was happening to me. I would do so well early in the day and then wham, the cheese and crackers would come out. Ouch! That's when I realized I needed to find some healthy snacks that were just as satisfying as the bad stuff. It can be done. My first substitute was homemade traditional hummus (find the recipe here
) served with veggies or wholegrain crackers. Easy to make and less expensive than store bought. It did the trick, but I need other ideas. So here is a dip made with edamame beans, easily found shelled in your store's freezer section. Edamame Dip
Makes about 2 cups Ingredients
- 10 oz package of shelled edamame, cooked per directions on the bag and rinsed with cold water
- 1/2 cup tightly packed fresh cilantro
- 1 large clove garlic, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime (or lemon) juice
- 1/2 of a 6 oz container plain yogurt
- 1 small avocado
- 1 1/2 T. miso (Japanese paste-like flavoring made form fermented soybeans. Read more here.)
- 5 shakes of Tabasco
- Salt to taste (be careful because the miso is salty)
- Note: you can leave out the miso, but you'll need to pump up the other flavors - Tabasco, lime, garlic)
- Place drained edamame in a food processor and pulse several times. Add the chopped cilantro and pulse again. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until well pureed. Add more water if it needs to be thinned slightly.
- Serve with sliced vegetables or whole grain crackers.
I was watching Ina Garten make crab cakes and they looked very yummy, but I was wondering if I could make them with tofu. So I enlisted my friends to be taste testers and, phew, it was thumbs up all the way :) Serve with any kind of salsa, but I like a fruit salsa like mango. You won't be disappointed in the this dish. Could be served as an appetizer if made a little smaller. I halved the mayonnaise and "fried" them in only a little butter. I didn't have any Old Bay seasoning either. After looking up what ingredients are in Old Bay, I added a pinch of this and that and crossed my fingers. printable recipe Tofu Crab Cakes Serves 6-8
- 1/2 pound tofu, cut in half lengthwise and press between paper towels and newspaper to take out some moisture. Once wrapped in newspaper, put something heavy on top to help press out the moisture. Let it sit for 20. See procedure here.
- 3/4 cup small diced red onion (1 small onion)
- 1 1/2 cups small diced celery (4 stalks)
- 1/2 cup small diced red bell pepper (1 small pepper)
- 1/2 cup small diced yellow bell pepper (1 small pepper)
- 1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tablespoon capers, drained
- 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (recommended: Tabasco)
- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 1/2 teaspoons crab boil seasoning (recommended: Old Bay) or use the following spices: 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard, 1/2 teaspoon sweet or smoked paprika, 1/8 teaspoon ground celery seeds, 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger, pinch crushed red pepper flakes, pinch ground cloves, pinch ground mace, pinch ground cardamom, pinch ground allspice
- 1/2 cup plain dry bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 2 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
- For frying: 1 T. butter
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Place onion, celery, red and yellow bell peppers, parsley, capers, hot pepper sauce, Worcestershire sauce, crab boil seasoning, salt, and pepper in a large saute pan over medium-low heat. Add about 1/4 cup of water (in place of oil) and sauté until the vegetables are soft, approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
- In a large bowl, break the tofu into small pieces and toss with the bread crumbs, mayonnaise, mustard, and eggs. Add the cooked mixture and mix well. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Shape into bite-sized crab cakes.
- Heat the butter and olive oil for frying over medium heat in a large saute pan. Add the crab cakes and fry for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, until browned. Drain on paper towels; keep them warm in a 250 degree oven and serve hot.
- Serve with salsa and a dollop of plain yogurt.
A great way to easily eat a lot of vegetables is to make a soup or stew that you can then keep for days and eat when you get the urge. Combine that with a salad every day and you rock in the "plant-based" arena. This soup was inspired by a recipe from Dr. Fuhrman's 2-volume book, "Eat for Health." I didn't have all of the ingredients that it called for so this is modified. And, I discovered, quite by accident, a new addition that I think you're gonna love when I needed something to replace the carrot juice. Canned pumpkin - which, by the way, is quite nutritious. I opened a can that I thought was just plain pumpkin, but it turned out to be pumpkin pie mix. Yes, it contained some sugar, but the spices were just perfect - cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg - no milk or cream. I decided to use it anyway. What a pleasant surprise. It was excellent. I know added sugar isn't the best, but the original recipe called for 2 cups of carrot juice which is sweet, too (although more natural). Give it a try. Hearty Vegetable Soup
Serves 6 Ingredients
- 1/2 cup red lentils
- 4-6 cups water
- 1/2 head cauliflower florets, bite-sized
- 2 medium bell peppers, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup carrots, cut 1/2 inch thick
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 bunch kale, washed, leaves removed from stems and chopped
- 1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes
- 1 can pumpkin pie mix (or straight pumpkin)
- 1 can red or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- Place lentils and water in a large soup pot and begin to simmer.
- Add all of the prepared vegetables to the pot and simmered covered for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Add more water is necessary.
- Add the pumpkin and the beans and heat through.
- Serve with a green salad.