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Archive for the ‘side dish’ Category

Delectable bbq zucchini chips, fresh from the dehydrator.

When my generous and amazing older brother gifted us a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share, I had no idea how much I would grow to love each weekly dose of random veggies. The element of surprise is a great motivator to try new recipes! This season, our CSA has been blessed with a great zucchini harvest. Although July 4th has passed, barbeque season is still in full swing–enjoy these zucchini barbeque chips and savor the flavor of summer–healthfully!

Oh, and by the way: if you do grill, watch out for bristle brush residue! This NYT article says that some grill-cleaning bristle brushes have been getting stuck in grills and are ending up in food, causing medical issues for BBQ lovers around the country.

Stay safe, and enjoy this grill-free recipe!

Zucchini chips in the dehydrator.

Raw Vegan BBQ Zucchini Chips

(Serves 1-3)

Ingredients:

Zucchini (1-2 large zucchinis, or 3 small)

Barbeque sauce (Confession: I used a store-brought kind! check out these links for ideas: here, here and here)

Instructions:

Thinly slice zucchinis. Use a special slicer gadget (mandolin, etc.) if you have one on hand. Lightly coat the zucchini in BBQ sauce, and place evenly on dehydrator trays or sheets. Dehydrate for 5 hours. Enjoy!

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This glorious veggie medley was spawned from the delicious CSA my brother gifted us. Pre-soaked goji berries and pistachios topped this lightly sauteed treat. Experiment with whatever veggies you have on hand.

Ingredients:

Farmers’ Market Veggies or CSA veggies – whatever you can get your mitts on

1 Tbs Coconut Aminos

1 can or jar crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce

1 Tbs Apple Cider Vinegar

1 tsp Coconut Oil

2 tsp curry powder

1 tsp garlic powder

Pre-soaked goji berries (optional)

Pistachios (optional)

Instructions:

Sautee veggies and add sauces and spices. Cook for 5-20 minutes, depending on how cooked you like your veggies! Garnish as you please.

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To celebrate moving into a new apartment, this morning I baked a celebratory batch of gluten-free, low-glycemic chocolate chia morning muffins! These muffins are sweetened only with coconut nectar, and contain only amazing, hearty ingredients that are sure to boost your energy in the morning, or whenever you crave lots of fuel. Hope you enjoy them!

Chocolate Chia Morning Muffins (Makes 16-18 muffins)

Ingredients:

GF flour (1 cup, or 1 1/2 cup if you plan to omit almond flour)

Almond flour, optional (1/2 cup. If not using, see above)

Vegan chocolate chips (1/4 to 1/2 cup, your call!)

Cacao powder (1/4 cup)

Raisins, optional (1/4 cup, more if desired. Goji berries also work!)

Unsweetened applesauce (3/4 cup)

Coconut oil (1/2 cup)

Coconut nectar (1/2 cup, more or less sweetener if you desire)

2 Tbs flax + 1/4 cup hot water

Hemp seeds (1 Tbs)

Ground chia seeds (1 Tbs)

Baking powder (1 tsp)

Cinnamon (1 tsp)

Salt (pinch)

Instructions:

Add flax + hot water to liquid ingredients. Mix dry ingredients. Add liquid to dry.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare muffin tins. Add mixture to tins and put desired toppings on muffins (additional dried fruit, chocolate chips, etc.) Bake for 22-25 minutes! Enjoy! 😉

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735991_351465048285557_250974881_oThese dark green kale leaves were beautiful when I picked them up at the Glendale Farmers’ Market near our new home, but wow, did they look crazy amazing after being doused in their spirulina-Vitamineral green coating! The above photo represents my first-ever attempt to make dehydrated kale chips with an algae coating. The Spirulina Junkie and I agreed that the recipe was a huge success.

I am pretty sure you’ll want to make these immediately. Here is the recipe:

Raw Spirulina-Garlic Kale Chips (Serves 1-3, can be easily doubled)

Ingredients:

Raw kale

2 Tbs Hemp seeds

1 Tbs Spirulina

1/4 cup cashews

1/4 cup Lemon juice

1 Tbs Miso

1 tsp garlic powder or 1 clove raw garlic

1 tsp Vitamineral green

1/8 cup water

Instructions:

Vitamix all ingredients except the kale. Coat the kale evenly, using your fingers to get into all the little leaf grooves and so the kale is well-covered in topping. Dehydrate for 4-6 hours. Enjoy.

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I became vegetarian at age 12, right after my family spent the summer in the south of France. That trip, I remember my family ate lots of dead animals that were often served in forms that did not try to hide what these animals had looked like while alive: fish and lobsters were served with their eyes bulging out of their poor steamed heads, cooked frogs were served in frog shape, etc. In the United States (and elsewhere) our food culture tends to disassociate meat consumed from its living animal origin. Carol J. Adams, one of my personal heroines and author of The Sexual Politics of Meat, points out in SPOM that our culture has specific language that renders dead animals “absent referents,” and thus keeps us from acknowledging the life and creature who suffered before reaching the dinner table. This defense mechanism keeps people from feeling what I felt in France–uncomfortable with eating animals after realizing the connection between what was on my plate and the cruelty it endured to arrive there.

After one particularly creature-filled meal eaten while traveling in the Loire Valley, my brother took me aside and told me why he thought I should become a vegetarian like him. My brother became vegetarian at age 11. When I was 12, he helped me realize that in order to live in accordance with my beliefs, I needed to be vegetarian (Note: later, I realized that for the reasons I became vegetarian, it was hypocritical for me not to be vegan. I wrote a post about this, if you want to read it here.) My brother became vegan around the same time I did, and now our parents largely eat vegan, too. He and I have both been vegan for more than six years, and our parents eat almost 100% vegan when we, the spawn, are visiting them, which I think is just about the most respectful, kind thing a family can do to support their vegan offspring (and animals, and the planet!)

This weekend, my brother hosted an engagement party dinner for two of his lovely women friends who just proposed to each other a little over a week ago. Eight of us vegans and vegetarians enjoyed an entirely vegan, delicious home-cooked meal. I met a vegan fashion blogger who was as worldly and interesting as she was kind, and shared great conversation and laughs with some old friends. While our gay friends can’t yet get married in California at the time, they have been together for more than three years and are committed to being engaged in the hopes that one day the government will honor their union and right to equality. In the meantime, they will be honored by the friends and family who love them.

A friend serves the home-cooked plated vegan dinners prepared by my brother.

It felt fitting, this vegan lesbian engagement party. On this blog, I attempt to illuminate some of the connections between human- and non-human animal rights and welfare, and so it made perfect sense that a night of celebrating our hope for equality for our friends naturally involved compassionate cuisine. As I sipped kombucha out of a champagne flute, and later ate the delicious braised kale-beet salad, white bean mash, pan-seared citrus marinated tofu strips and Kind Kreme vegan ice cream that my brother so lovingly prepared for us, I felt deep gratitude for the family and friends and compassion this meal represented.

Whether our vegan family is blood-related or otherwise, the connections we create and sustain with those around us have the potential to elevate our activism, and inspire us to live truthfully and earnestly. I am so proud of my extended vegan family. Whether individuals are totally vegan or not, it helps animals and the environment to seriously reduce animal product consumption.  I am totally vegan (Note: I am 100% vegan to the best of my ability–I recognize that by driving cars I support animal products in the tires, etc. but I choose to not use animal products in anything I wear, consume, use or own to the best of my ability), but I also honor those in my life who are not fully vegan but support the vegan cause through eating mostly vegan and supporting the vegans in their lives.

May we all be blessed to be surrounded by folks who really understand and appreciate our mission and purpose to spread compassion for human- and non-human animals! I would love to hear about your family, vegan, blood-related or not, or whatever group supports you on your path in the comments.

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Long ones are rutabaga, pentagon-shaped ones are parsnip!

One of the greatest losses the world faces is the rapidly diminishing availability of heirloom produce. While I’m no fan of Michael Pollan’s hypocritical and, in my humble opinion, very misguided perspectives on the so-called virtues of omnivorism, it was his book The Botany Of Desire, which I read in my high school botany class, that first alerted me to monocrop issues when I was 17. Through Pollan, I learned how plant diversity has been seriously undermined in the past century by human preferences and influences. I am disappointed that Pollan’s nostalgic foodism (for more on this topic, I suggest checking out Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s excellent podcast on the subject of “pasturbating”) contributes to his erroneous and dangerous conclusions about eating animals and animal byproducts, but I will forever remember and be grateful to him for being the person who showed me the importance of heirloom produce.

Last week, I found myself at the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market buying heaps of gorgeous produce. I just moved to Los Angeles a little over a week ago, and my friend Josia was determined not to let any significant amount of time pass before we hit up the mecca of beach-side produce. It was amazing to breathe in fresh Pacific Ocean air as I filled my canvas bag with purple carrots, heirloom root vegetables, thick and robust curly kale, and more.

Santa Monica Farmers' Market. Image via: Dripwear.com

A few days later, our friend Puki came over to the little apartment Court and I share in Hollywood for dinner and we made spirulina salad. We decided that we wanted something a bit heartier in addition, when I thought I would make some raw parsnip rice (note: this is an amazing dish, I highly recommend it!). Then, it dawned on me that I could make parsnip into fries, and use the rutabaga I got as well. It worked out beautifully! Here is the recipe:

Heirloom Rutabaga-Parsnip Fries

(Serves 1-3)

Ingredients:

Rutabaga

Parsnip

Coconut Oil

Salt

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 385 degrees. Cut rutabaga and parsnip into desired shapes, and then thinly coat with coconut oil and salt. Roast for 40-50 minutes, depending on desired texture. Enjoy!

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Try this festive nori veggie rice bowl if you’re in need of a quick recipe to whip up for yourself, your family or the in-laws. Feel free to experiment with tossing in different vegetables that you have on hand. For this version, I included nori strips, but spinach would also work very nicely.

Holiday Festive Nori Veggie Rice Bowl (Serves 4)

Ingredients:

1-2 cups cooked brown rice

1 cup raw sauerkraut

1/2 cucumber, diced

4 stalks celery, diced

1 tsp corriander

1 tsp curry powder

2 carrots, diced

2 Tbs miso (I used chickpea miso)

4 raw nori sheets ripped into shreds OR spinach

1/2 cup chopped onion (optional)

1-2 cloves garlic (optional)

Instructions:

Cook brown rice using whichever method most pleases you. When cooked, remove from heat and add in onion, garlic, chopped veggies, nori raw sauerkraut (we make our own batches of raw probiotic sauerkraut, but store-bought kinds will work, too) miso, and spices. Serve, eat, love!

Happy holidays, friends!

 

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I have only cooked with wild rice a handful of times, but each time I have I’ve felt that it would make a fantastic substitution for white or brown rice in risotto. I love working with chickpea miso, as it adds a depth and umami flavor to all kinds of soups and raw and cooked dishes, and I thought that it would help improve the texture of the risotto. With these two ingredients as the base, I whipped up a batch of some super queer risotto on this gorgeous Saturday afternoon.

Wild Rice Sweet Potato Onion Risotto (Serves 2-4)

Ingredients:

Wild Rice

2 Sweet Potatoes

1 Onion (optional)

3 Cloves garlic

2 Tbs Coconut Oil

2 Tbs Chickpea miso

Instructions:

Bake 2 sweet potatoes. While these are baking, cook a pot of wild rice. Chop an onion and garlic and sauttee in coconut oil until pleasantly browned. Once sweet potatoes are done, chop them up into little pieces and add to the rice, which should by now be almost fully cooked. Stir in onion and garlic the rice. Add in miso. Let cook for another 5 minutes or so then enjoy. Yay!

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Note: Please excuse the lame photo quality! All I had was my phone's camera and this recipe was too awesome not to share.

There’s something decidedly magical about kabocha squash. It bakes and steams beautifully, and adds flavor and texture to salads and main dishes. Kabocha is great enjoyed with a bit of salt and a touch of any high-quality oil of choice. But what to do with kabocha innards?

I decided to write this post for anyone who’s open to reaching into kabocha’s gooey abyss and turn its seeds into crunchy yummy goodness. Yes!

Kabocha squash is so beautiful!

Here’s what I ended up doing: First, I cleaned off the seeds and rinsed and dried them. Then, I coated them in coconut oil, added some hemp seeds, salt, lemon juice, pepper and a dash of maca (so queer!), and baked the mixture in the oven for 35 minutes on 375 degrees. Magic! Feel free to experiment with quantities of maca. Enjoy!

Lemony Maca Kabocha Squash And Hemp Seeds (gluten-free, vegan, soy-free)

Ingredients:

Kabocha squash seeds

Hemp Seeds

Lemon Juice

Pepper (optional)

Salt (optional, but I think it helps)

Maca (optional, but I think it REALLY helps)

Coconut oil

Bake for 35-40 minutes on 375 degrees. Enjoy!

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