Sunday, August 31, 2014

Raw Seaweed Salad

I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism a few years back. I am one of the lucky ones who has a mild case . One of my health goals is to support my thyroid and maybe even get off the medication that will surely kill my thyroid completely one day. Sea vegetables provide a great source of iodine which is one of those fabulous thyroid supporting nutrients. I keep looking for yummy ways to incorporate sea vegetables into my meals and this one is going to stay in the rotation.

I am taking a raw food class. Our weekly assignment is to try a raw recipe we have never prepared before. We were super busy working in the garden the other day. It was super hot. I wanted something cool, quick, raw and nutrient packed. So I decided to do my homework and make a dish that would fill the bill all in one shot.

This salad is quick to make. It is raw, full off veggies and anti-oxidants. The lemon makes the flavor nice and bright. The sesame seeds give a nice crunch. You can find Arame at Asian markets, Whole Food and online. Vitacost carries a non-GMO arame. This is where I usually get mine.

Raw Seaweed Salad

Makes 2 servings

1 cup arame
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 clove garlic minced
1 tablespoon nama shoyu (raw soy sauce) if you are not raw, you could substitute soy sauce or tamari
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon filtered water
1 teaspoon non-pasturized red miso
1/2 tablespoon cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
1 medium carrot, peeled and shredded
1/2 large red bell pepper, diced small
2 Tablespoons raw sesame seeds

Soak the arame in a mixing bowl with enough filtered water to cover for 5-10 minutes to rehydrate. Drain.

In a small bowl, whisk together ginger garlic, nama shoyu, lemon juice, water, red miso and olive oil until smooth.

In mixing bowl with arame, toss the dressing, carrots and red bell pepper until evenly combined. If serving immediately, stir in sesame seeds and serve. The salad can be chilled for up to two days in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, stir in sesame seeds.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Cooking from My Cookbooks - The Best Veggie Burgers on the Planet

The Best Veggie Burgers on the Planet by Joni Marie Newman has just about every kind of burger you could dream of. Seriously, she even has recipes for breakfast and dessert burgers! I was once again looking for something quick, easy and tasty. I opted for the Ortega Burger (page. 124). The burger is very soft and fall aparty. But don't let that scare you off. Just use extra caution when flipping if you decide to cook it in a pan. Baking is really the best option for keeping the bugger together. The flavor is yummy! I decided to serve it on corn tortillas like some type of Mexican slider. I sautéed up some fajita veggies and topped it off with home made salsa and beautiful creamy avocados.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Cooking from My Cookbooks - The Candle Cafe Cookbook

I feel like I cheated on this one. There are so many intriguing recipes in this book. It was a busy week, so I opted for an easy and once again very healthy recipe. I love miso soup. This is a good version and super quick to make. Once I get through my first round of my books, I am going to return to this one for sure. Serve this with a seaweed salad and you have a super food bonanza!

Magical Miso Soup (Page 43). by Joy Pierson and Bart Potenza with Barbara Scott-Goodman

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Cooking from My Cookbooks - Appetite for Reduction

I love this book. Isa is one of my personal favorite recipe creators. Her dishes are always creative, full of spice and so delicious. This book gives you all that along with reduced fat and calories. I pull this one out often. This fine day, as I like to do, I wanted to make something I hadn't made before. I had a friend who was recovering from a surgical procedure. I wanted to make something for her and her family that was healthy but super flavorful that would reheat well. I checked out a couple of recipes that fit the bill, cooked 'em up and packaged them for the trip. Of course, I had to try some myself. I loved the creamy "Broccoli pots" on their own. They were a great compliment to the tangy, pungent piccata. The recipe for the potatoes called for russets (which I did use) but I think red and yukon golds would work just as well. Another guilt free success!

Chickpea Piccata (Page 115). Caulipots - Broccoli Pots version (Page 54)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Cooking from My Cookbooks - Ani's 15-Day Fat Blast

I have posted a couple of times about Ani's 15-Day Fat Blast. I did the program last year and lost 8 pounds in two weeks. My energy level was great and I felt fantastic. I have drifted back to some not so great eating habits. When I want to give my body a treat and some love, I pull out her book and make some of her clean and simple recipes. This one is one of my go-to's for breakfast. It really is so simple, anyone can make it. It's a good reminder to give your body some raw love often.

Simple Strawberry Shake (Page 125-126). 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Arugula-Pesto Israeli Cous Cous Salad

This is a perfect summer salad. It has bright lemon flavor and flavorful fresh basil pesto. I love the fun shape of Israeli cous cous. It is a great medium for salads because those little balls get coated in the delicious dressing so every bit pops with flavor. The cous cous cooks up very quickly, so you can have this all ready to chill in about 15 minutes. While you can serve it right away, I totally recommend letting it refrigerate overnight to heighten the flavors. It's also great in a wrap for a portable meal.

Arugula-Pesto Israeli Cous Cous Salad

6 Servings

2 cups water
pinch salt
1 1/4 cup Israeli cous cous
1 medium zucchini, brunoise (very small dice)
3 tablespoons mined yellow onion
1/3 cup pesto (your favorite recipe)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 large tomato, seeded and diced (about 1 cup)
1 - 15 oz. can cannelini beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups baby arugula

Bring water and salt to a boil in 2 qt saucepan. Add cous cous. Cook for about 8 minutes until cous cous is al dente. Place diced zucchini in large mesh strainer. Drain cous cous over zucchini so it gets gently blanched. Stir to combine in strainer. Set over pot to drain and cool. Do not rinse the cous cous! This step is important. If cous cous does not drain well enough, the salad will be too liquidy.

While the cous cous is cooking, in a small bowl whisk together pesto, lemon juice, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper. Place cous cous mixture in large mixing bowl. Stir in dressing mixture until well combined. Gently fold in tomato, beans and arugula. Serve over green lettuce leaf.

* For best flavor, refrigerate for at least 2 hours preferably overnight.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Cooking from My Cookbooks - American Vegan Kitchen

My plan was to go in alphanumeric order, but apparently I can't remember my alphabet. Hee hee. At least I'm still on the correct letter.

I am having fun digging through my cookbooks, however, I may have rekindled my cookbook obsession. I have been really good about not buying new ones…until today. I had to order two raw books for an upcoming class. I HAD to place an order for $35.00 to get free shipping. What's one more added to the collection. I'm looking forward to getting my new copy of Salad Samuri. It's a must have for the summer. Can't wait.

But today is all about an old favorite - American Vegan Kitchen. I was a lucky tester for the book and have written a couple of reviews of it here on the blog already. I've made a lot of recipes from the book; many more than once. My goal for this post was to try something new and fairly healthy all at once. The Portobello Popeye Club Sandwiches (page. 118) sounded like a winner. 

The marinade was super easy to make. The veggies only had to marinate for 15 minutes, plenty of time to whip up the pesto. I found some baby ciabatta bread at Whole Foods and made minis. Today it was actually below 100 degrees, so I didn't have to sweat like a pigaletta at the grill. The herbs in the marinade provided a subtle hint of herby goodness. The veggies are grilled until they are flavorful but still perfectly slightly crunchy giving the onions a sweet flavor. Popeye came into the 21st century as the spinach was replaced with kale. But ladies and gents, the pesto put this bad boy over the top. I highly recommend being strong to the finich when you eat your spina…oh wait.