Monday, June 29, 2009

Grilled Falafal & Veggie Wrap

These pictures aren't very good, I really need a better camera, but you can get the idea of what the falafel wrap looked like cut in half. I broke out a book I bought during the holidays called The New Vegetarian Grill, Revised Edition: 250 Flame-Kissed Recipes by Andrea Chesman . The book has everything from individual grilled veggies to sandwich's and noodle dishes. It's pretty neat since our bbq will be in use for the rest of the summer. It's been about 100 degrees or hotter out and with weather like that we eat later and don't want anything to heavy.
My first recipe was the Grilled Falafels. These were so very easy to make and pretty tasty too! I sprayed them with olive oil before I put them on the grill, they held together great. I then grilled up, sweet potato, sweet onion, red bell pepper and zucchini. Sliced some tomato and avocado. For the tahini dressing I made the one from VCON but halved the recipe, I didn't have fresh dill so I just added a little bit of dried. Then I wrapped some rice tortillas in foil and heated them up on the bbq for a few minutes. Rice tortillas worked perfect for this because they don't get soggy like a flour tortilla. You can obviously use pita to if you wish. Assembling: I smothered a rice tortilla with tahini dressing, then on one side I layered the falafel and veggies then folded over, cut in half and served with a salad. One half of the falafal wrap was the perfect amount of food but the whole wrap would be fine if you are a bit hungrier and it still wouldn't weight you down.
Below are my changes to the recipe taken from:
recipe from The New Vegetarian Grill by Andrea Chesman
3 C. cooked chickpeas (or two 15oz. cans), drained
4 slices sandwich bread, sprouted whole grain
8 scallions, trimmed and chopped
1/4 C. chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 C chopped fresh parsley
3 garlic cloves
2 tsp. ground cumin
]1 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground red chile pepper (I used flaked chile pepper) or to taste
s& p
2 T. Olive oil
Puree the chickpeas and bread in a food processor. Scrape into to a large bowl. Then puree the scallions, cilantro, parsley and garlic. Add to the chickpea mixture along with the spices. Mix thoroughly adding olive oil. Use your hands to completely mix if needed.
Form the mixture into patties about 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Brush with olive on both sides or use a spray olive oil/canola oil like I did.
Heat the grill or bbq up to a medium heat, about 375. Grill the falafel about 4 minutes on each side, just until grill marks and cooked through.
Note: I think the recipe calls for the bread because it helps bind the ingredients together so they don't fall apart on the bbq.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Grilled Vegetable Salad

We love grilling vegetables on the bbq when the warm weather hits. We kind of bbq all year long but since the move it gets a tad bit colder here so we didn't bbq as much this past year during the winter. Freezing while you grill isn't too much fun. You can grill any vegetables you want and then toss them in a salad. Here are the vegetables and dressing I used for our salad.

First, in a medium bowl I added a nice mixed green lettuce, with tomato and green onion, then put back in the refridger to stay cold.

Vegetables: 2 lg portobello mushroom(kept whole),
1 lg zucchini, sliced long ways
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 lg sweet potato, sliced
2 lg red potatoes, slice 1/4 inch thick
1 lg carrot(grilled carrots rock
1/2 bunch of asparagus
In a small bowl mix olive oil, 3 garlic cloves ( or more)minced, balsamic, salt and pepper. Brush portobello with marinade then toss together the rest of the vegetables with the marinade and set aside.
While the veggies are marinadeing and the grill is heating up, prepare dressing.

Balsamic dressing: Whisk together extra-virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, 1 garlic clove, fresh thyme, salt and pepper. You can add a bit of sugar or agave to sweeten up more if you wish.

I also thinly sliced some organic rustic french bread and brushed with some olive oil on both sides.

When the grill is at a medium heat, grill vegetables until done then grill the french bread on both sides.

Chop up vegetables, slice up an avocado. To prepare plates add lettuce, vegetables, avocado, then drizzle balsamic dressing and serve with grilled french bread. I broke up my bread and tossed it in my salad, it was like croutons but so much better!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Cool treats for the kids!

The weather is getting warm again and the best treats are the cool ones. My son loves popsicles so this is what I do. Most mornings my husband and I have fruit smoothies and if I have any left over smoothie in the blender I make fruit smoothie popsicles! These smoothie popsicles contain flax seed, non-dairy milk, juice and fruit. It's a great healthy treat for your kids, dha, fiber, protein, calcium, all that good stuff. The popsicle on the left is a banana-mango and the right one a berry-banana. It's all good.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

S'mores cupcakes

You know what makes me think of summer and camping? Besides the sun, the beach, long days, etc. S'mores! I finally made the S'mores cupcakes from VCON and I can't believe I waited so long. Taking a bite with the chocolate ganache, light buttercream frosting and then the unbelievingly moist cake all at once, OMG! They have just the right amount of sweetness, i'm not a fan of real sweet treats. My advice to you. Go to your kitchen right now and make these.
I can't wait to go have another.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Garden Loaf with Sweet Potato Salad

Garden Loaf
Sweet Potato Salad
I'm back again! It's the end of the school year and we've been busy, busy, busy!
We have a couple of favorite veggie loaves that we really like but it's always nice to try something new. As you have noticed I posted and will continue to post recipes from Karina's Kitchen and especially now that we are trying to eliminate more wheat from our diet. You can get the recipe for this very tasty Garden Loaf with Apricot Glaze at Karina's Kitchen. The only change I made was to this recipe was that I added more spinach and since it needed to stick together more, I added extra ketchup and agave. That was it! This is so delicious!!! I love the use of Quinoa and the apricot glaze is perfect on top. It's kind of sweet but the flavors are just so......lovely. It was a bit soft to plate but once it's cooler it slices really nice and it made some great sandwich's and lettuce wraps the follwing day. You really need to give this a try!
Now for the sweet potato salad... this was so good! My mother-in-law, son and I were ordering lunch at the local health food store and we saw this wonderful potato salad sitting behind the glass that the gal let us try and it ROCKED!!! We had to get some to go and I will be making this on my own because we wrote down the ingredients that were listed...hee hee. Since the salad is already sweet and the dressing has agave in it, I don't think they used very much. The dressing on here is very, very light, just enough to coat it and you can taste just a hint of dijon, but not too strong. Here are the ingredients if you would like to try this one out.
Sweet potatoes, olive oil, dijon, agave, red onions-very thinly sliced, parsley, salt to taste. I'm not sure if there was any vinegar, if so there not alot.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A change in diet and Pan fried Tofu, Kale w/rice noodles

A change of diet in our house. Yes we are still vegan, get those thoughts right out of your head!According to my sons symptoms his doctor said he has IBS. He said he had to eliminate dairy(already done), cut down on animal protein(well he said meat and we don't do anyways), cut down on fruit(bummer!), up vegetable intake, add more fiber, fiber, fiber foods and cut out junk food. Okay, so I told him we were vegan( I know there are those junk food vegans out there but we are not those) and he gave the head nod of approval and said I wouldn't need to go to a dietician. Cool! The prescription was a diet change and to let him know how he was doing. I'm thinking the only diet change would be to lessen fruit intake(the sugar in fruit is fructose and many IBS sufferers react to fructose)and it wouldn't hurt for him to eat more veggies.

Anyways, I went home and started to do more research and my conclusion is it has to be a food allergy right? He gets so much fiber already it can't be that. So again more research and I found out that wheat is a big time trigger with those who have this syndrome.

So the first ingredient we are taking out of his diet is wheat. Yesterday did a little shopping for him, rice crackers, none of the breads looked good, they were very dense and didn't have very much fiber so I bought a gluten-free bread mix and I'll post about it when I make it. He loves raw veggies so that's a great snack. Now i'm a food label reader and I usually have tamari or's bragg's on hand but when my husband went to Trader Joe's last time he picked up soy sauce from there. So as I was getting ready to make dinner I took out the soy and you know what is listed WHEAT! I totally forgot that it has wheat in it. Why do they need wheat in soy sauce? I know tamari doesn't have wheat as an ingredient or Bragg's Liquid Aminos. So I had to jam back to the store to get a wheat free version. This is where a whole foods diet comes into play. The less processed, the less ingredients, the better for you. But come on soy sauce with wheat what's the deal! Okay, breathe....
Continuing with the diet change my husband and I figure in about a week or so I'll call the doctor and see if we can make an appointment to get a food allergy test done. Until then we will all be on a wheat free diet for the next, at least, couple of weeks and I welcome all comments or advice.

Now let's get onto what we had for dinner last night. So it had to be wheat free and tasty. I opted for the the Pan Fried Tofu, Kale and Rice Noodle recipe from vegan yum yum which was great the first time I made it and was just as tasty his time. The way the Kale is cooked is really good and I sprinkled a bit of sesame seeds on top. Try it out for yourself!