Thursday, June 21, 2012

Grilling plant foods and Farmers Market

It's the second day of Summer.  Happy Summer everyone!
Yesterday was so beautiful and the Farmers Market was over flowing with beautiful colors and smells.  Happily sampling fruits and pistachios as my friend and I walked amongst the tents of organic goods.  Before we left we hung out and watched my friend's band play.  Good times.
These are local beans from a couple of towns over.  The middle bag are yellow beans which are recommended for Chili.  Since these are local they are fresher which means the cooking time is less.  They turned out to have a nice mellow flavor.  I used them below...
Grilled Vegetable Nachos
Father's Day grilling.  The above is grilled seitan marinated in a chimichurri sauce. The seitan recipe I use for grilling is taken from Veganomicon.  This is one of my husband's favorite meals.  I haven't made it since last year so he was happily surprised with dinner.
 Local artichokes that were steamed then drizzled with olive oil, garlic, lemon and sea salt then put on the grill.  Local corn too.

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms that I grill as well.  Our local health food store had these HUGE  organic Portobello Mushrooms. One of them fed the 3 of us.  We noticed that these Portobello's were really light and airy compared to all of the other ones we have eaten. 

After visiting the Farmers Market I always realize just how lucky we are too have all of this fresh food available to us.  I definitely am so thankful for this!

Getting back to grilling.  This is a great meal to serve to someone who is trying to switch to a plant based diet.  The texture of the seitan and the flavor of the Portobello satisfies everyone's tastes. 
On another note it is my husband's first day of juicing.  Yep he had his first green juice this morning.   He is going to try to follow the Crazy Sexy Diet plan with my help, well with my preparation. ha! 
I'll share my new juicer I bought a couple of months ago next time.

Be thankful for what you have and smile!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Raw Ranch Dressing

Hi everyone!!!  Summer vacation has started for everyone.  How are you enjoying yours?
  My son graduated from the 8th grade last week which was bittersweet.  He has matured and grown so much over the last 3 years of middle school.  Crazy how time flies.  Those of you with kids know and you with little ones enjoy every moment because the next thing you know that are grown.  Okay enough of that.
Let's get onto some yummy stuff.

I've noticed that some of you stumble upon great finds at Costco well the last time I was there I found a bag of

 Raw Hemp Hearts from Manitoba 1.8lbs for $14.99!   These taste really good too. Some of my other buys are organic rice milk, organic coffee, organic spinach, pesticide free blueberries, garlic and organic corn chips and gluten free chips. What are some things you buy at Costco?
We've been eating a lot more salads lately and it's nice to change the dressings up according to the type of salad.  I usually make us an easy vinegar/olive oil or lemon/olive oil with salt and pepper but a creamy dressing once in a while is nice.  There is a nice Raw Caesar Dressing I make but I was looking for a Raw Ranch and found one. The first time I made this recipe I followed the recipe exactly and it was a little too vinegary for my taste but some may like that.  The changes I made on my second try were to only use maybe 2 T. of cider vinegar and more lemon juice.  I also only used 1 T. raw agave.  You can play with this recipe by adding more herbs too. 
Ranch Dressing/Dip
Posted by Snowdrop on Raw Freedom Community

  Number of Servings: 24 (or 3 cups)
1 1/2 cups nuts (cashew or mac or combo) soak them for a creamier dressing (1-2 hrs is fine, then drain)
3/4 - 1 cup filtered water for blending
3 tablespoons lemon juice (translates into approx 1/2 lemon)
1/3 cup cider vinegar
 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons agave (or 3 soaked dates)
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon garlic pwd
3 teaspoons onion pwd
1 teaspoon dill
1 tablespoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon basil
And to add after it's done:
1/4 cup finely minced parsley
another 1/2 t dill, minced

 In blender or food processor blend all ingredients till creamy and smooth except the last 2, then once blended, stir in the last 2 ingredients.

Thickens in fridge.
Thin to desired consistency if using as a dressing- or toss into wet lettuce leaves as is

Carmella's Notes:
~ This yields quite a bit of dressing, so you might want to consider halving the recipe.
~ Last time I made this, I completely forgot to put the dates in and it was still outstanding.

The raw ranch dressing was used on a green salad with crumbled mushroom pecan burgers I made.

Hope you are enjoying your weekend! 
I'll be back on here sooner than later!