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Mason Jar Creations: Fresh Lemon Lovin’

Since I was a kid. my mother had me convinced that I really liked things that were lemon flavored. Every year she would bake me a lemon cake for my birthday and to this day, I don’t know why or if I ever asked her to. Here I am though, 44 years old, and not fully understanding just why I love lemon so much; could it have been the subliminal suggestion of my mom?

Either way, I enjoy the flavor and I use lemon as often as I can. I like the freshness of it either squeezed into a dish or zested. Luckily, this recipe call for both. Hell yeah! This is a super clean dish and is really refreshing. Here’s what you will need:

INGREDIENTS
1 can garbanzo beans
1 package Lightlife tempeh
1 160z bag frozen okra (or use fresh, your call)
1 12oz bag of riced cauliflower
1/2 of a lemon
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 cup veggie broth

Get a large non-stick pan warmed up, nearly hot. Add in the garlic and saute for a moment, if it starts sticking just add a touch of veggie both. Add the cauliflower rice and the 1/2 cup of veggie broth.

Cook that down a bit and zest the peel of the lemon right into it. Cover and steam cook for about 10 minutes.

Add the tempeh and drained garbanzo beans into another pan. Take the half lemon and squeeze the juice right on top. Cover and cook down a bit.

In a smaller pan get the okra going. It’ll get slimy as it cooks up, it’s normal if you haven’t ever had it.

You can either serve it right away or portion it into 4 mason jars and refrigerate once it cools.

You can use oil, I tried to make this as clean and oil free as possible. I’m on jar three at work today, tastes amazing and fresh!

Baked Tomatoes w/ Lentil PLUS a GIVEAWAY

Ben Bella books has graciously allowed me to giveaway a copy of the upcoming revised edition of “The China Study Cookbook.” The new edition has over 175 amazing recipes, including the one below. I’ve quickly perused the copy I have and it’s absolutely gorgeous and I can’t wait to start cooking from it.

Last night I made falafel in green peppers and can’t wait for lentils baked in tomatoes, which just so happens to be the recipe I’ve shared! I used my air fryer for that so I wonder if I can do the same for this recipe. Hmm I guess I will have to try and report back when the review is done for the book. The following recipe is as clean as it gets (as is the rest of the book), no oil or additives, just real food to fuel your body.

Instructions on how to win this book are on my Instagram page at http://www.instagram.com/vegancableguy

BAKED TOMATOES WITH LENTILS
MAKES 3–4 SERVINGS

Compared to other dried beans, lentils cook quickly and easily. They work well in stuffings and loaves. I especially like them with tomatoes, onions, garlic, and oregano. To make a heartier stuffing, I like to use whole wheat bread crumbs.

3 large, firm tomatoes
½ cup diced onions
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons vegetable broth
2 teaspoons dried oregano
¾ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon black pepper
1½ cups cooked lentils
½ cup whole wheat bread crumbs

1. Preheat oven to 350˚F.
2. Cut the tomatoes in half and scoop the insides into a bowl. Turn the tomato shells upside down to drain while preparing the stuffing.
3. In a nonstick skillet, sauté onions and garlic in vegetable broth over medium-high heat until onions brown.
4. Add oregano, salt, black pepper, and insides of the tomatoes. Cook for 2–3 minutes. Remove from heat.
5. Stir in lentils and bread crumbs.
6. Spoon the lentil mixture into the tomato shells and place in a small baking dish.
7. Bake, uncovered, for 20–25 minutes. Serve warm.

Blueberry Lemon Overnight Oats

I eat oatmeal most mornings. The only times I don’t are when I get bored with “the same old thing.” That’s not as often as you think though, I love oatmeal.

There’s a common misconception that oatmeal has to be served hot. I hope to start sharing more of my oatmeal recipes to dispel that error though. I especially hope to share more of the cold one’s now that it’s summer and hot as Hades outside.

But, how do you make oatmeal cold? Doesn’t the heat soften it up and make it more edible? Yes and no. With a little time and patience you’ll be eating overnight oats in no time

Overnight oats? Yeah, that’s where the time thing comes into play. In order for the oats to soften and be edible, as mentioned before, they need to soak at a cold temp for at least 4-6 hours.

Preparing ahead of time is key, and where the patience comes from. With heat it’s so much easier. You either boil some water and soak the oats for a couple of minutes or you microwave some oats with water and 1 minute later you have ready to serve oatmeal. This process is easy, just not THAT easy.

So here’s my recipe for one of my favorite flavor combinations right now, blueberries and lemon. Some folks add coconut flakes to it, which I do sometimes as well. Or even some he,p hearts for a little nutty flavor. We are gonna keep it simple though.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup plant-based milk (I use soy)
1/2 cup blueberries
2 tbsp ground flax
2 drops of lemon flavoring (or squeeze juice from a slice of fresh lemon)

Add all the ingredients into a small mason jar, shake and put in the fridge until breakfast. Sometimes the flax can absorb to much of the milk so you may want to add a bit more in the morning to loosen it up; depends on how chunky you like your oatmeal to be.

What’s you favorite flavor of oatmeal? How often do you eat it?

ps. image is of a batch without flax, I’ve been adding it recently to try to see some different results in some upcoming blood work.

Guest Recipe: Mozz Cashew Cheese

If you live on Cape Cod and are vegan or veg you surely know how hard it is to get a good pizza that is dairy free. There are a few places that will allow you to bring in vegan cheese and they will make you a pizza. Dennisport House Of Pizza is one of those places, just bring in an unopened bag and within 15-20 minutes they will whip you up something. There is also JD’s in Provincetown that makes it with Daiya, but what about something from scratch that’s a bit more “artisinal”?

You can head to Pizza Barbone in the center of downtown Hyannis, on the bustling Main Street strip. They make an in-house cashew cheese that is absolutely to die for. Anytime a vegan friend visits the Cape and asks where to go, I always recommend Pizza Barbone. It’s where I go all the time so it only makes sense, right?

One thing I’ve been wanting to do here on this site is share some local recipes, not only so you can try to make them yourselves but so you can go to these places and try them out yourself. I’ve been super sporadic about it and only had one post before this and that was for African Peanut Stew from 141 Bradford in Provincetown. With a little bit of focus, I’m back to asking local places again and already have another one on tap soon after this one.

I’ve been coy about asking for this recipe though, but I’ve wanted to get it to share with you all for a loooong time. Well, on my last visit I asked and within minutes the chef came out with the recipe and allowed me to take a pic of it.

It was that easy the whole time?

This recipe is in grams and each ingredient is weighed precisely. I tried messing around with conversions but after going back and forth with the chef I stopped and realized you can’t mess with perfection; and this stuff is just that. So, the recipe is as is and if you attempt it, I’d love to see how it works out for you. I’m set to order the ingredients myself and give it a shot soon!

INGREDIENTS

Cashew Milk
150 grams soaked or boiled cashews
4.5 cups water
8 grams soy lecithin
6 grams acidophilus powder
2 grams nutritional yeast

Mozzarella
5 Cups cashew milk
22 grams kappa carrageenan
2 grams citric acid
100 grams tapioca starch
10 grams salt
330 grams coconut oil

Take all the ingredients listed under cashew milk and blend.

Blend the rest of the ingredients listed under mozzarella with the cashew milk

Heat in pot over medium high heat, will separate but us a hand blender to bring back together.

Scoop into balls or pour into pan to cool.

Are you going to give this a try? Do you have a scale to weigh the ingredients?

Thank you Pizza Barbone for sharing this recipe, I very much appreciate it!!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Avocado Pudding

I’m trying to cut out added, and processed sugar and it sucks; bad! I just want a cookie or something, maybe some ice cream?!? AAAHH!!

I needed a way to satiate the craving and the other day my wife made an avocado pudding for a dinner at her Dad’s that was stupendous!

This time I wanted something extra in it so I added peanut butter and it’s amazing! The only sugar that is in this stuff is the sugar from the peanut butter, and that’s minimal as it’s all natural. The Bee Free Honee doe have cane sugar in it, but again, it’s not anything extra like most recipes.

Try it and let me know what you think!

You’ll need…

2 ripe avocados
2 tbsp all natural peanut butter
2 tbsp Bee Free Honee
1/4 cup raw cocoa
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup soy milk

Put it all in a blend and let it run until it’s smooth enough for you. Chill for 30 minutes and serve with some crumbled peanuts on top!

Simple Mac & Cheese

For the past week my wife has been asking me to put together a mac and cheese casserole and it was about time that I get around to it. I always mean to write down the recipe and never do; until this one. It came out awesome and my wife AND kids went back for seconds.

This is a simple recipe, you don’t need to go crazy and pre-soak or have any more skill than I, and that’s limited. So here’s what you got to do.

Preheat over to 350º

Get some water boiling for the squash, add squash and bring back to a boil, turn down to a simmer once it’s rolling.

Pan cook the tempeh bacon then dice up. Set aside.

Once its soft, spoon it out of the water and add to a blender.

Put macaroni in the water you just boiled and cook as per the package.

Add all the ingredients below minus the tempeh and 1 cup of the cheddar shreds, you are going to use that later.

Blend well

Once it’s nice and creamy, put in the pot that you have the pasta (which should have been drained by now).

Add the tempeh bacon and mix well.

Pour into a 9×12 casserole dish and top with the other cup of cheddar shreds and sprinkle some paprika on top.

Bake for 30 minutes and serve.

Ingredients
1 package macaroni
1 package tempeh bacon
2 cups butternut squash
1/2 raw cashews
3/4 cup of unflavored soy milk
4 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 cups cheddar shreds
2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
paprika

Miso Tempeh Chili w/ Rice

I’ve had this crazy craving for something with miso lately so I started checking out recipes. I found one at (http://dishingouthealth.com/miso-tempeh-chili-vegan) that sounded amazing so I wanted to try it.

I took some liberties with the recipe and manipulated it to my taste, you can check the link to see what I did differently. The major thing I did was add more miso, again, I had a huge craving for it and when I was tasting it as it was cooking I felt like it needed more.

Anyway… on to the recipe.

Ingredients

1 tbsp coconut oil
1/4 cup diced onion
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 package of tempeh (8oz package)
4 tbsp miso paste
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp sea salt
2 1/2 cups veggie broth
2 cans cannelloni beans
1 can pinto beans
1/2 cup quick cook rice (I used Trader Joes Quick Brown Basmati)

Heat up the oil and add the onion and the garlic.

Once they start to brown up a bit add the tempeh and cook for a bit until you get a bit of color on it. If it starts to dry up add a tsp of coconut oil or two.

Add your spices and miso, mix a bit then adds the broth.

Mix well.

After draining and rinsing the beans add them and the rice.

Bring to boil.

Once it’s boiling turn down to a small simmer and cook for 30-45 minutes.

Serve and enjoy!

I loved this and it satisfied exactly what I was looking for!!

Mason Jar Creation: Freekeh Coconut Curry

I was getting really bored of my lunches so I decided to try something new. While perusing the aisles at the grocery store I saw a bag of a grain called Freekeh. I’ve seen it a bunch of times but, being unfamiliar with it, I always passed. It just so happened to be on sale, and being the cheap miser that I am, I bought it. I saw another package next to it, some coconut curry sauce. I didn’t buy it (penny pincher) and decided I had everything I needed at home to make it.

Again, having never prepared freekeh, I wasn’t sure if it was even the right for a curry. I assumed since rice was a grain and freekeh was a grain than it should be good, right? It was, and here’s how I prepared it with a list of what you need first. Do not be daunted by making your own curry sauce, this was my first time too and it came out fantastic. Just cook, you can do it.

Curry Sauce Ingredients
1 can coconut milk (13.5oz)
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp Braggs liquid aminos
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
pinch of crushed red pepper

Other Ingredients
1 package Freekeh 8oz (I used some from this brand http://www.freekeh-foods.com/)
1 package Lightlife Tempeh
1 package frozen petit peas

The freekeh is gonna take a bit to cook, so start that first and prepare per the instructions on the package. Depending on how you prepare you tempeh, you can either pan fry now and set aside, or cube it and cook it in the sauce after. I refer to get a little color on the outside so I cubed it and pan-fried in some coconut oil first and then put it in a bowl.

I was scared my first time doing the curry sauce too, but don’t be. It is super easy.

Add your butter to a pan and melt. Add your minced garlic and let it cook a bit, you want it to brown up. Once you’ve gotten it to where you like it add the coconut milk. Once it’s completely in liquid form you can start adding your spices and the liquid aminos. You do not have to use the crushed red pepper, I wanted a little heat so I did. Once your spices are in, whisk until they are mixed and let it come to a bit of a boil, you don’t want it cranking though. Once it gets to that point add the peas and tempeh. The peas will bring the temp back down so once it’s near boiling again bring it down to a simmer for about 15 minutes, that way the tempeh can absorb some of the flavor, and you will be done.

Now portion sizes, let’s get into that real quick. I work four 10-hour shifts, so when I make my mason jars I only make four. This recipe, broken down into four, is dense. The calories are at 525 and because of the coconut milk, the saturated fat is higher than most like it. I am in the beginning phase of trying to add some weight, so this work for me. You can probably add a 5th jar and bring that amount down quite a bit, that’s up to you though. Regardless, this meal is packed with fiber from the freekeh so that is a huge bonus. The sodium and sugar are way down. The carbs are just right. The protein is 23g per serving!

Wait, what? I thought vegans had issues with protein….

When I jarred everything up I put the freekeh on bottom of the jar and the curry on top.

That’s it folks, how easy was that?

Mason Jar Creation: Crispy Baked Buffalo Tofu with riced Broccoli, Cauliflower and Basmati Rice

I tried to make Buffalo Tofu Nuggets a while ago, and while it wasn’t bad, it wasn’t as good as these turned out. I think baking them, rather than pan frying them, made all the difference in the world. I also changed up a couple other things so forget all about that previous recipe, this is new and improved. Plus, it’s baked so they use a bit less oil than being fried in a pan; less oil is always better!

Tofu Ingredients
1 container of Nasoya Sprouted Tofu
2 tbsp corn starch
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Buffalo Sauce
1/4 cup Franks Red Hot
1/4 Earth Balance Butter

Rice & Veggies
2 cups of riced broccoli and cauliflower
1 cup Trader Joes Quick-Cook Organic Brown Basmati Rice
2 cups water

Preheat over to 425° (yes it’s hot, but it’ll crispen up the tofu quicker)

The great thing about the tofu I bought (and why I linked it for you) is you don’t have to put weights on it to get the water out, it’s already pressed and ready to go. Dice it up into whatever size you prefer, I like mine smaller than bite size. Add the corn starch, pepper and salt to a large plastic bag and shake to evenly coat the tofu. Spray a sheet pan with some oil, place the tofu down on it and make sure there is a single layer or it won’t get crispy and dry out like we want it. Spray just a bit more on top of the tofu so you can move them around later. Place in over for 20-25 minutes or until it’s to your level of crispness.

Add the 2 cups of water and 1 cup of rice to a pan and get boiling. Once it starts to boil turn it down to a simmer and cover for 15 minutes.

Get another pan hot and add a tiny bit of oil. Once it’s hot enough add the riced broccoli and cauliflower. Stir every couple minutes to keep from sticking, should be done in 10-15 minutes. I liked to keep it somewhat crunchy and not mushy.

Take the butter and soften in the microwave or a small pan. Once it’s melted add the Franks and you have a super simple buffalo sauce. When your tofu is done just toss the tofu in this sauce.

I know I still used a bit of spray oil, but by not frying it I went from 2 tbps or more of oil to barely a 1/4 teaspoon of the spray stuff.

You can layer all the cooked ingredients in a mason jar like I have or serve as is. I take mine for lunches at work so the jars work for me. Any questions?

 

 

Simple Brown Gravy

I made a Shepherds Pie for dinner a couple nights ago and wanted to come up with some sort of sauce or gravy to add to it and punch up the flavor. Years back I used to make a decent beef gravy, but haven’t tried to veganize it since going vegan; until now. This is a super easy recipe and I will go through it step by step. There are no photos, I wasn’t thinking of it at the time. Maybe if I make it again soon I will append this post.

Ingredients

2 Cups Veggie Broth
2 tbsp of A1 Steak Sauce
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1 black pepper
1/2 cup water
3 tbsp corn starch

Start by boiling the veggie broth.

While you wait for that to come to a boil whisk together the water and corn starch in a separate dish then set aside.

Once the broth is boiling add the steak sauce, onion powder and garlic powder. Mix well.

Add the water mixture and whisk quickly as it will start to tighten up quite a bit. Take off the heat when you’ve reached the consistency you are looking for. Add salt and pepper, feel free to add more depending on how salty you want it. I find a tsp of each is fine though, especially with shepherd’s pie as there is a bit of salt in the mashed potatoes already.

There you have it!