Archive | Recipes

Curried Butternut Squash Bisque

In a few weeks, summer will be here in full swing however sometimes you just want a delicious spicy warm soup. Butternut squash is considered to be a winter squash however, you can find it in grocery stores all year round. This squash is super versatile, you can make it sweet, savory and anywhere in between.

 

?….

Squash has been eaten for well over 10,000 years and began as wild squash, which was grown in Guatemala and Mexico. This type of squash had little flesh and was bitter to taste. There are now varieties of squash that have been transformed into more meaty produce with a mildly sweet taste.

Let’s learn a little more about the history of this awesome food, shall we

Biology

  • The butternut squash is a member of the gourd family in the Curcurbita moschata species and related to the pumpkin.

Origin

  • Native Americans once believed squash was so nutritious that “they buried it along with the dead to provide them nourishment on their final journey.” Squash was originally grown for the seeds because they were believed to increase fertility; however, with the evolution of the butternut squash, plants produced fruit that had a thicker skin, fewer seeds and less waste. Butternut squash has a buttery orange flesh and a sweet taste.

Geography

  • The butternut squash is a Native American gourd, which wasn’t commonly eaten until the 19th century, but is now “the most widely grown winter squash.” They are planted during the summer months and are in full season during October and November, although they can be eaten year round. Florida is the largest producer of butternut squash in the United States.

The original article about the history of butternut squash can be found here.

 

Butternut Squash Bisque Recipe:

Ingredients:

  •  1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 cups/3lbs  butternut squash (large squash, or 2 bags of frozen & pre-chopped)
  • Pinch each sea salt + black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1 1/2  Tbsp curry powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon cardamom (optional)
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2-3 Tbsp maple syrup or coconut sugar/agave
  • 1  shallot
  • 1 caramelized sweet onion
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk

Cashew Cream

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Raw, Unsalted Cashews (soaked overnight)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth ( more if needed)
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 glove garlic
  • 1 caramelized sweet onion

FOR SERVING optional

  • Toast butternut squash seeds

 Instructions

        Baking squash halves-

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F
  • Place squash, cut sides down, in a 9×13 baking dish. Pour water into dish around squash halves.
  • Bake in the preheated oven until tender and easily pierced with a fork, about 45 minutes. Carefully remove the skin with a fork; it should be very easy to remove. Set aside and let squash cool until ready to add to the pot.

Cashew Cream

While the squash is cooling, make your cashew cream.

  • Pour 1/2 cup of vegetable brothalong with the cashews, onions, garlic and pinch of pepper into the blender and blend until completely smooth. This could take up to 5 minutes depending on your blender.
    Set the cream aside.

 Cooking Squash 

  • Heat a large pot over medium heat.
  • Once hot, add oil, shallots, and garlic. Sauté for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Add butternut squash and season with a pinch each salt and pepper, curry powder, and ground cinnamon. Stir to coat, then cover and cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add vegetable broth, maple syrup or coconut sugar, and chili garlic paste (optional – for heat).
  • Use an immersion blender, or transfer soup to a blender, and purée on high until creamy and smooth. If using a blender, return soup back to pot.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more curry powder, salt, or sweetener as needed. Continue to cook for a few minutes over medium heat.
  • Serve with cashew cream topped with crunchy roasted squash seeds(options).

Leftovers will last in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, or store in the freezer for up to a month.

 

 

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Portobello Fajita Recipe (Vegan)

The History Of  The Fajita

The first serious study of the history of fajitas was done in 1984 by Homero Recio as part of his graduate work in animal science at Texas A&M. Recio was intrigued by a spike in the retail price of skirt steak, and that sparked his research into the dish that took the once humble skirt steak from throwaway cut to menu star. Recio found anecdotal evidence describing the cut of meat, the cooking style (directly on a campfire or on a grill), and the Spanish nickname going back as far as the 1930s in the ranch lands of South and West Texas. During cattle roundups, beef was butchered regularly to feed the hands. Throwaway items such as the hide, the head, the entrails, and meat trimmings such as skirt were given to the Mexican vaqueros (cowboys) as part of their pay. Hearty border dishes like barbacoa de cabeza (head barbecue), menudo (tripe stew), and fajitas/arracheras (grilled skirt steak) have their roots in this practice. Fifth-generation McAllen rancher and cookbook author Melissa Guerra heard very similar stories in researching her first cookbook, The Texas Provincial Kitchen, and her upcoming work, Dishes of the Wild Horse Desert. Considering the limited number of skirts per carcass and the fact the meat wasn’t available commercially, the fajita tradition remained regional and relatively obscure for many years, probably only familiar to vaqueros, butchers, and their families.

Original Article can be found here.

Many people including myself love fajitas, just like any of your favorite foods you can totally veganize it. All you do is replace the animal product and use a plant with a similar texture. In this portobello fajita recipe,  you guessed it You use portobello mushrooms. As you can see by the picture this portobello fajita looks like portobello fajita steak strips. I bet you can fool the average meat eater, trust me they won’t know the difference (hehe, Chuckles to self)

 

First, you make the season then follow up with the mushrooms. Throw away the packet of unrecognizable ingredients that’s loaded with sodium, msg plus other man-made chemicals.  I have two video the will show you step by step how to make this delicious entree the whole family will enjoy.

 

 

Portobello Fajita Season Recipe:

1Tablespoon oregano
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1 Teaspoon pink Himalayan salt
1 Teaspoon of paprika
1 Tablespoon black pepper
1 Tablespoon onion powder
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon cumin
1 Teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

Mix well and store in an air tight container.

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100% Delicious Vegan Pancakes

Growing up pancakes was everyone’s favorite on lazy Saturday mornings, brunch or maybe even dinner time.  Just because you may have opted for a plant based lifestyle doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy pancakes every once and a while. You can easily make homemade 100% vegan pancakes just by swapping a few ingredients, but first here’s a quick history lesson about pancakes.

Our prehistoric ancestors just may have eaten pancakes.

Analyses of starch grains on 30,000-year-old grinding tools suggest that Stone Age cooks were making flour out of cattails and ferns—which, researchers guess, was likely mixed with water and baked on a hot, possibly greased, rock. The result may have been more akin to hardtack than the modern crepe, hotcake, or flapjack, but the idea was the same: a flat cake, made from batter and fried.

Pancake Day: The Most Wonderful Day of the Year

By the time Otzi the Iceman set off on his final hike 5,300 years ago, pancakes—or at least something pancake-like—seem to have been a common item of diet. Otzi, whose remains were discovered in a rocky gully in the Italian Alps in 1991, provided us with a wealth of information about what a denizen of the Neolithic ate. His last meals—along with red deer and ibex—featured ground einkorn wheat. The bits of charcoal he consumed along with it suggest that it was in the form of a pancake, cooked over an open fire.

Whatever the age of the primal pancake, it’s clearly an ancient form of food, as evidenced by its ubiquity in cultural traditions across the globe. The ancient Greeks and Romans ate pancakes, sweetened with honey; the Elizabethans ate them flavored with spices, rosewater, sherry, and apples. They were traditionally eaten in quantity on Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day, a day of feasting and partying before the beginning of Lent.  Pancakes were a good way to use up stores of about-to-be-forbidden perishables like eggs, milk, and butter, and a yummy last hurrah before the upcoming grim period of church-mandated fast.

In the American colonies, pancakes—known as hoe cakes, johnny cakes, or flapjacks—were made with buckwheat or cornmeal. Amelia Simmons’s American Cookery—thought to be the first all-American cookbook, published in 1796—has two recipes for pancakes, one for “Johny Cake, or Hoe Cake,” which calls for milk, “Indian meal,” and molasses, the other for “Indian Slapjack,” which drops the molasses, but adds four eggs.

Thomas Jefferson, who was fond of pancakes, sent a recipe home to Monticello from the President’s House in Washington, D.C., picked up from Etienne Lemaire, his French maître d’hotel (hired for his honesty and skill in making desserts). Lemaire’s “panne-quaiques” were what we would call crepes—made by pouring dollops of thin batter into a hot pan.  Modern pancakes—in Jefferson’s day known as griddlecakes—generally contain a leavening agent and are heftier and puffier.

Original Source: The Original article can be found here–>>http://theplate.nationalgeographic.com/2014/05/21/hot-off-the-griddle-heres-the-history-of-pancakes/

 
Vegan Pancake Recipe:
INGREDIENTS
  • 1 cup of your choice of gluten free flour mix
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup almond milk or dairy-free milk of choice
  • 1/2 cup of plain dairy free yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil or vegan butter
  • 2 tablespoons agave or sugar of your choice
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • More oil to grease your pan/skillet, if necessary

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a 2-cup liquid measuring cup or another mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract until thoroughly blended. (If your coconut oil solidifies on contact with the cold milk, gently warm milk and coconut oil in saucepan)
  2. Pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture. Stir until combined, (don’t over-mix or your pancakes). You can add extra goodies such as chocolate chips or blueberries, gently fold them in now. Let the batter rest for 5 minutes so your pancakes will be nice and fluffy.
  3.  If you’ll be using an electric skillet, heat it to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Otherwise, heat a heavy cast iron skillet or nonstick griddle over medium-low heat. Check the surface of the pan is hot enough that a drop of water sizzles on contact.
  4.  Lightly oil the cooking surface with additional coconut oil.
  5. Using a ¼-cup measure, scoop the batter onto the warm skillet. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until small bubbles form on the surface of the pancakes (you’ll know it’s ready to flip when about ½-inch of the perimeter is matte instead of glossy), and flip. Cook on the opposite sides for 1 to 2 minutes, or until golden brown.
  6. Repeat the process with the remaining batter, adding more oil as needed. You may need to adjust the heat up or down at this point. While cooking the other pancakes make sure to keep your pancakes warm in a 200 degree Fahrenheit oven.

Strawberry Sauce Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon of agave

(No need to add water because the strawberries will release liquid when the berries cook)

 

Instructions:

Place thawed strawberries in a saucepan over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon agave nectar stir until thickens, this should take about 2-3 minutes. Make sure not to overcook the sauce

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Pistachio Vegan Ice Cream aka Nice Cream

 

Pistachio Vegan Ice Cream is a chip off of the ancient creamed ice and iced cream block. Yes, ancient…surprised?

Before there was ice cream or an ice cream industry…before there was an ice cream truck with carnival music or the “I scream- You Scream-We all scream for ice cream” ode to America’s favorite dessert was pinned…before there were top tier makers like Breyer’s, Blue Bell, Ben and Jerry’s, or the world’s largest ice cream specialty shop franchise, Baskin-Robbins, or the Eskimo Pie and Klondike Bar—which all dared to outdo the others to satisfy America’s frozen milk and cream-delectable dessert craving–there was Vegan Ice Cream.

Now known as Nice Cream, Vegan Ice Cream can be traced as far back as the 2nd century B.C. What makes it nice now, is what made it even nicer then…back during a time when organic fruit, vegetables and nuts were all there was: Plenty of Snow. No Milk. No gluten. No additives like colorings and stabilizers.

Can you even imagine that?  

And what about the fact there was no refined sugar nor artificial sugar substitutes, and absolutely no chemical fertilizers to expedite the growth or fruits and vegetables? Well, quite simply, it’s a fact…yes, there really was a time when “Green Food Goodness” (nutritious, organic fruit and vegetables, etc.) was the norm for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and for what we now call snacks and desserts.

So, go ahead and brace yourself: there was no chocolate nor caramel to add to the creamed ice concoctions for that “eyes rolled back to the back of the head” effect. And, while we’re at it—lactose intolerance was not a reality because the use of cow’s milk was nonexistent.

No bubble guts. No feelings of tiredness or sleepiness. No fighting the feelings of upchucking…Yes, Chuck could keep it all down!

What the earliest forms of frozen desserts offered were healthy, nutritious, and delicious treats,

that were simple to prepare and fun and exciting to eat…

…this is exactly what you’re being offered with this Pistachio Nice-Cream recipe and you’ll soon be able to offer it to your children…or someone you know who is diabetic or has a health concern that demands a change in diet and lifestyle…you can become an expert Nice Cream maker and be sought after by friends and family for birthday parties, company events and more.

You and others will love this summertime treat 365 days a year!  An ancient treat with a full blown modern desire…

Now, interesting enough, many individuals and cultures throughout the world and history, have staked their claim on originating the precursor to ice cream, as well as ice cream itself. Asking who invented ice cream is like asking who invented the desire for dessert… or chewing and swallowing.

Before there was ice cream, froyo (frozen yogart), a milkshakes or sundae…before there were different types of ice cream such as frozen custard, sorbet, gelato and others—there was what now is and will forever be: Nice—Cream.

If you are wondering why I referred to Nice Cream as NYCE Cream in the heading, here is the backstory: New York City is on record as being the first to offer ice cream to the general public in 1777 after years of being the dessert of privileged of the elite. NYC is also my birthplace and where I grew up…the place where I first got my first taste of frozen-creamy heaven…yes, there were ice cream parlors in the Big Apple that served some of the best ice cream on the planet…

…so, to honor the place where I first fell in love with conventional ice cream, and to honor the influence NYC’s cultural food diversity has had on my desire to create foods, meals, desserts and snacks that match the texture, taste, and flavor of popular fast foods and junk foods—but exceed them in nutritional value and health benefits—NYCE Cream is my way of offering you a recipe that combines a touch of my southern heritage with a huge measure of New York City Excellence (NYCE)!  

Please check out the video to learn how to make Pistachio Vegan Ice Cream (aka Nice Cream; Chef TR’s NYCE Cream) perfect every time. This recipe is simple and inexpensive to make, and is an excellent alternative to conventional ice cream for those who desire that junk food taste but want a dessert healthy enough for vegans.

So, whether you’re making dietary changes by choice or by force for better health—this Nice Cream favorite is sure to put a smile on your face and help you take inches off your waste…and, will become that healthy treat that children start to scream even louder for. Whoopy!

For fun facts on the history of ice cream and more, please check out these links below:

http://www.idfa.org/news-views/media-kits/ice-cream/the-history-of-ice-cream/

http://www.almanac.com/content/history-ice-cream

1925 Version of “I Scream, You Scream, We all Scream for Ice Cream”, Song:

https://youtu.be/3viALESh4JI

 

I hope you enjot this recipe 🙂

 

Recipe:  Pistachio Vegan Ice Cream

2 cups coconut or almond creamer ( I used the So Delicous brand)
1/2 avocado                                                                                                     IMG_20160621_144913
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
3 tbsp sweetener* such as coconut sugar,  turbinado sugar, agave or maple syrup
1 cup fresh spinach, lightly packed
2 cups ice cubes (if you do not have a ice cream maker)

 

 

 

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Living Pizza- Raw Vegan Style

PIZZA—ONE OF AMERICA’S TOP 10 FAVORITE FOODS GET’S A MAKEOVER AND FINDS NEW LOVERS

 

It should not come as a shock or be the least bit surprising that pizza is one of America’s Top 10 Favorite Foods. If there is an “ooh-wee!” factor about it being highly ranked, for many it would be the fact that it’s not #1.

It becomes abundantly clear why the Cow in the Chik-Fila advisements is pleading with us all to eat more chicken instead of beef (besides the obvious which is to increase product sales for chicken on steroids like profits). Reports show there are enough hamburgers consumed by Americans each year to circle the earth 32 times. Huh?

Yep, that’s because the average American consumes at least three hamburgers each week, for life…not I! Personally, I will remain among the pizza-faithful contributing to 100 acres of pizza consumption each day at a whopping 350 slices per second. Only, I will do this in a way that is healthy enough for vegans and vegetarians, yet, tasty and flavorful for enough for maniacal, pizza loving-junk food junkies…can you say delectably delicious green pizza?

Now, before we go any further and before your gag-reflex kicks in, there are a few things you should know. Growing up in neighboring Brooklyn to one of two Pizza Capitols of the world, NYC. Yes, Chicago is credited as being the first city in America to receive introduction to Italian pizza by way of street peddlers in the early 1900s. Yet, the 1970s and early 90s found me engaged in a little self -serving ‘eat-peddling” at the corner pizzeria.

How can I ever forget that awesome smell of baking dough, herbs, spices, cheese, tomato sauce, sausage, you name it? The way that oily cheese would pull away from the dough when taking my first bite would regrettably make me wish that I didn’t have to take my last bite…Yes, Chicago may have been the first toPizza Box (1) go all in on this Italian food with an ancient and romantic history, yet, I am so thankful for the magic that took place on Spring Street in New York City in 1905. 71 years before I was born in a Brooklyn hospital, Gennaro Lombardi was granted the first American license to bake pizza becoming the first to “legally” open a pizzeria. And yes, I have had my share of pizza all over the state of New York City and in as many cities as I’ve visited throughout the years…not all Italian pies is created equal.     

Now, as a professional mother, wife, and chef (have to be all three!), I am always experimenting in my stove centered laboratory to recreate that authentic New York City-Brooklyn quality taste with a healthy twist. Okay, do you remember when I mentioned green pizza? Well, I am sure you know I didn’t mean the color green, right? Just so we’re clear as to what is meant by “green”: nutritive, living and all natural ingredients.  It may be difficult to believe a delicious, un-cheesy, un-meaty pizza can taste just as good.  This is exactly what my kids, co-workers, and healthy meal prep clients used to think.

Green, or Living Foods are foods that contain enzymes, the protein based chemical-reaction machines in the cells that are vital for the processes and activities that keep the cells healthy and allow them to grow and reproduce.  Here is the deal: as tasty as the pizza we’ve all grown to love is—there is NO nutritional value. Period. When food is heated to over 116 degrees Fahrenheit, enzymes in the food are destroyed. Enzymes are far too important for us to trade off proper nutrition and well-being for a super tongue pleasing bite of pizza or any other food. Enzymes are complex, specialized proteins that can only be gained from raw foods and are essential for digestion to daily bone and tissue maintenance.

So, doesn’t it make sense to marry the best of both pizza worlds? Well, kind of…the crust is made with sprouted spelt berries, herbs, and olive oil. The pizza sauce is made from delicious sundried tomatoes and the cheese is the tastiest “un-cheese” on the planet, besides Chef TR’s Un-Cheesecake™—well, it’s not time for desert yet, or is it?  

Now, as for the cheesiness: this is successfully accomplished to your palate’s delight by perfectly blending cashews and nutritional yeast. Enough saucy, cheesy, oily pizza was devoured over the years before my healthy/vegan lifestyle change, to both steer and stir you in the direction of total ingredient “substitution satisfaction”…especially the cheese! Yes!

When I (and my family) first made the switch to healthy eating, the thought of losing pizza was like morning a death of sorts. Moving from New York to the South in my teens forced me to find “pizza love” from among the national franchised, commercially crafted pizza restaurants—a long way from the pizzerias that first warmed my heart in New York. Frozen commercial pizza? Don’t even think about it!

For a New York City/Brooklyn spoiled, pizza connoisseur: Green/Living pizza has been a game changer with multiple healthy benefits. For a food that dates back 7,000 years ago I think we’ve finally found the perfect combination of great taste and health. To join me, please check out the video and recipe below.

 

 

Living Pizza Recipe:

Crust

2 Cups Sprouted spelt flour

2 Tbsp dry Italian herb blend

1/2 Cup spring water

1 Tsp Himalayan salt

2 Tbsp Evoo

Marinara Sauce 

1 Cup sun-dried tomatoes

1 Tbsp Garlic infused Evoo (1 clove garlic)

2 Tbsp Dried Italian herbs

1/2 Cup Spring water

Himalayan salt and black pepper to taste

Cheeze Sauce

1 Cup Cashews

1 Tbsp Dry Italian herb blend

1/2 Cup Spring water or as needed

1 Tsp Evoo

1 Clove of garlic

Himalayan salt  and pepper to taste

Toppings

Two handfuls of spring mix

1/2 Red onion

1/2 Red bell pepper

1/2 Green bell pepper

Cherry tomatoes

Sprinkle of red pepper flakes

*Actually you can add any topping of your choice (just make sure it’s raw)*

***If you do not have a dehydrator you can use your oven at the lowest temp possible.***

 

Additionally to learn some fun facts about pizza please check out the following links:

 

http://visual.ly/top-10-americas-favorite-foods

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_pizza

http://ezinearticles.com/?The-History-of-Pizza-and-the-First-Frozen-Pizza-in-America&id=7253896

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TORTILLA SOUP (Vegan)

 

How to Make This Quick and Easy  Tortilla Soup, Delicious and Nutritious Vegan  Recipe

For Meatless Mondays—In Minutes

Vegan tortilla soup recipe–ideal meal to go meatless on Monday or any day of the week. Now that you’ve decided that going meatless on Mondays is worth its weight in meatless gold (light weight, that is)—deciding once each week what you’ll prepare for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, can be as delightfully challenging as…well…your initial decision to give up meat. Ouch!

Delightfully challenging? Are you thinking, “Yeah, Right?”

Well, my wise friend, you’ve made a very wise decision that will pay dividends to your body and health even if only for one day each week. Over time you could even find yourself under the persuasion of the MM equation: 52w X 3m = 156mm (annualized)Tortilla Soup

Yep! That’s 52 weeks each year at a minimum of 3 meals per day for a total of 156 meals void of seasoned animal parts and flesh. Yes, the idea of that last statement is to tug at your gag reflex and trigger your animal protection consciousness. Your health, the animal kingdom and the planet will be much better off because of it.

Now, before we get into the “meat” of exactly how to prepare this ultra-simple to make, quick and easy, delicious and nutritious, low cost, Tortilla Soup meal—let’s tip our bowls to visionaries, both past and present, who played major roles in sparking national and international interest in “going meatless”.

And the honorees are:

*President Woodrow Wilson and Herbert Hoover—Meatless Tuesdays during World War I  

*Sid Lerner in association with John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health—restarted Meatless Monday in 2003 and has grown into an international health initiative

And let us not forget the peasant who invented tortillas for his hungry king in ancient times, according to Maya legend (yes it’s okay to smile), and all of those who have come after to lend cultural influence to tortillas from wheat flat bread to corn chips.

Now, best wishes to you on your quest to live a healthier lifestyle. I hope you find the video helpful to creating an awesome meatless meal that’s great for any day of the week. May the final product create your craving for meatless meals 365 days a year…at some point!

PBS has an interestingly entertaining article on the history of Meatless Monday that full of fun facts. Be sure to check it out by clicking here , I hope you enjoy this Tortilla Soup recipe.

Let’s get started!

Tortilla Soup Ingredients

3 cups vegetable broth

2 Roma tomato, halved or about 1/2 cup chopped

1 carrot

1 rib celery

1 avocado

1 Tablespoon onion  chopped

1 garlic clove, peeled

1 thin slice of red bell pepper

2 Tablespoon taco seasoning

1 teaspoon ground cumin

Salt and ground black pepper, to taste

1/2 fresh jalapeno

1/4 cup frozen corn, unsalted

1 can black beans

1/4 cup chopped cilantro (add after soup in blended)

2 ounces (60 g) tortilla chips

1-2 Chopped green onions (for garnish)

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Jerk Cauliflower Wraps

Cauliflower is one of my favorite veggies of all—its super food qualities are earning the praise of professional chefs, nutritionists and mouthwatering meal do-it-yourselfers, alike. It fits the bill of a vegetable chameleon—it literally takes on the color and flavor of most all seasonings you throw its way…one of the main reasons a little food-prep coaching could make the cow in the Chick-fil-A commercial point to cauliflower as the rising edible star.
Fast becoming one of the newest “IT” foods, creativity and imagination in the kitchen could prove the greatest compliment to this nutrient dense veggie that you’ll almost forget is just that: a vegetable! It contains vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and B9. Vitamin C and manganese gives it a powerful antioxidant packed punch—along with being a good source of proteins, phosphorus potassium and containing omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin K—what we have here is like the Muhammad Ali of  healthy food from nature’s garden. It’s all about cauli-power!
Now, for a translation of the benefits of cauliflower that has inspired me to give it the moniker “cauli-power”: it’s a veggie that boosts metabolism and enhances the immune system and nervous system, keeps skin and muscles healthy, while encouraging cell growth. It promotes healthy joints and vision and is good for the brain and heart, lowers cholesterol, has anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties—all while protecting the cells from free radical damage caused by our chemical ladened world that can lead to cancer and other chronic ailments.
It is very low in calories, contains no starch, and can be eaten in unlimited quantities. Yep! 100g of a head of cauliflower means only 26 calories. When trying to lose fat limiting calorie intake is imperative. As a health conscious professional chef, wife and mother—nutritiously delicious meals are also imperative. Cauliflower, full of “cauli-power” can be prepared to create many different dishes. Make you kitchen your laboratory along with a little guidance and a few helpful hints from me, you’re on your way.   .
By the way, plant based foods don’t have to be boring. Cauliflower has become my chicken substitute. Once you know how to prepare it, you’ll make it a favorite among friends and family they’ll literally beg you for. One of my favorite recipes is the perfect marriage of Jamaican jerk seasoning and cauliflower to make a chicken nugget substitute that has proven to easily fool the palate of the uninitiated. A super versatile veggie, it can be transformed into rice, low carb pizza crust, whipped into a mashed potato substitute, on and on. The creative possibilities are endless. You just have to get started.

Let’s make some delicious jerk cauliflower wraps…one bite, and chicken nuggets will be a wrap!

Jerk Cauliflower Wrap Recipe:

Cook 1/2 cup of Chinese black rice (boil in 1 1/2 cup of water for 30-45 min)

1 head of cauliflower cut into florets

*Cauliflower Batter*

1/2 cup almond meal

1/2 cup spelt flour

1 cup filtered water

*Veggies*

1 red bell pepper (diced)

1 green bell pepper (diced)

1 -2 hand fulls of spring mix, kale or any raw leafy green of your choice (roughly chopped)

Jamaican Jerk Sauce (get the recipe here)

 

 

 

 

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Jamaican Jerk Sauce Recipe

JAMAICAN JERK SAUCE- —PALATE “MAJIC” FROM JAMAICA

A popular destination for travelers from around the world, Jamaica is known not only for its beautiful beaches, pristine waters, coral reefs, and the legalization of that green leafy substance that many Americans are flocking to Colorado for—Jamaica is as famous for being the birthplace of Reggae music, Bob Marley, and the bobsled team that inspired the movie, as it is for the MAJIC— the Most Amazing Jerk Intentionally Created. Sauce, that is!

Now, before we get into the recipe to make Jamaican Jerk sauce a part of your tasteful future—let’s take a quick minute to discover its meaningful history.

Of African origins, Jamaican jerk sauce can be traced back to the pre-slavery days of the Coromantee hunters of West Africa. What is now known as “jerk” refers to the spice rub, wet marinade, and particular cooking technique these African people brought to Jamaica with them as Spanish Slaves. It was the invasion of Jamaica by the British in 1655 that caused the Spanish colonist to flee leaving behind these creative pre-culinary arts geniuses.

Escaping into the mountain regions of Jamaica and later being absorbed into the local culture, they would elude being re-enslaved by the British. The MAJIC that began in 1655, in 2015, has spawned a following in the United States, Western Europe and other parts of the world, to join Jamaica’s tropical neighbors. What’s more is this West African process for drying meat now known as “jerking” (in English), gave rise to one of America’s most popular meaty snacks: beef jerky. According to an article in the Washington Post in January of this year: the market for beef jerky has ballooned into nearly a 1.5 Million dollar market in the United States alone. Exactly 360 years since its introduction to the West, now known as Jamaican Jerk, there seems to have been a complete 360 moving in every direction of it’s influence.

Now, just as the Coromantee people of West Africa were forced to modify the basic ingredients of the original sauce and use what was available to them in their new home, the global spread in “palate popularity” of Jamaican jerk over hundreds of years, has yielded a vast number of culture influenced twists. Of course today is no different than the many yesterday(s) ago—many of those who have success by following the basic recipe will come to add their own personal touch for a uniqueness that’s all their own. I suspect this was the case with those who gave this MAJIC to the world.

The MAJIC in the form of the dry rubbed or wet marinade seasoning is traditionally applied to meat. Today the MAJIC is added to tofu, and my favorite—vegetables, this is an awesome way to jazz up a plant based diet. The two main ingredients are allspice (called pimento in Jamaica) and Scotch bonnet peppers. Other ingredients may include: cloves, cinnamon, scallions, nutmeg, thyme, brown, sugar, ginger, and salt. For Chef TR’s special version of the Jamaican Jerk Sauce check out the recipe below as you follow along with the video above.

For now you have all you need to make your own Palate MAJIK from Jamaica!! Enjoy, and don’t forget the Reggae music—you’ll find plenty of create choices to set the mood, on YouTube.

Jamaican Jerk Sauce Recipe:

3 tablespoons ground allspice 

1⁄4 cup molasses

1⁄4 maple syrup

6 -8 garlic cloves

2-3 scotch bonnet peppers (deseed if you want less heat)

1 tablespoon ground thyme or 2 tablespoons thyme leaves

1 -2 bunch scallion (green onions)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 cup sesame oil

1/4 cup Bragg Liquid Aminos

Juice of one lime

salt and pepper

Follow instructions in the video above.

 

 

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Vegan Crab Cakes (AKA Grab Cakes)

 

For Vegans and Vegetarians, the appeal and benefits of coastal living do not translate to pescatarian palate pleasures.  Although crab meat boasts myriad health benefits, in the world of Veganism/Vegetarianism: not even its impressive attributes of being a great source of vitamin B12, and a complete source of protein offering the 20 essential amino acids is enough to overlook the fact that—crab meat is the product of what was once a living creature.
You’ve got to the love the PETA consciousness of the meatless advocates of dietary meal creativity employing fruits, vegetables, nuts, herbs, spices, and more—to keep our bodies and brains healthy and well, through “real deal meals” and food items that are:  nutritious—AND—delicious! When it comes to Vegan Crab Cakes (aka Grab Cakes), made of a little of this and a little of that…once you’ve experienced pure palate ecstasy, there will be no turning back.
Unlike our coasting living, sea-creature eating counterparts living on the coast of the Atlantic, Pacific, the Gulfs, with vast food choices, the real seafood flavored offerings for Vegans/and Vegetarians are few and far in between. And although technology has not advanced to the point of being able to send and receive choice seafood items via email or text, there are seafood markets around the country eager to ship to those residing “seafooders” dwelling inland—you are about to get your Vegan Crab Cakes delivered to you right here and now—with a twist.
Coming straight to you from just 30 minutes outside of Charleston, SC, the Low-Country, as it is affectionately called is famous for its you-know-what (seafood)—I am about to share with you how you can devour “you-know-what” in a tasty matter of a few minutes with only a few plant based ingredients…and with a clear conscience.

Now, Vegan CraHearts of palm- Vegan Crab Cakesb Cakes is an oxymoron in of itself, I must admit. The key ingredient is hearts of palm. This is what gives the Vegan Crab Cakes(aka Grab Cakes) that crab meat texture. Once the hearts of palm is processed and the other ingredients are added—you’ll be able to trick a real crab cake junkie every time! Let’s get started!

 

 

 

 

 

Vegan Crab Cakes:

1 14 ounce can hearts of palm, drained, rinsed, dried

1/2 medium sized  red onion, chopped

1 celery stalk,  finely chopped

1/2 red bell pepper, chopped

1/2 green bell pepper, chopped

3 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise

2 tablespoons dijon mustard

2 tablespoons Old Bay Seasoning

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp lemon juice

1 cup panko breadcrumbs

(Reference the video above for instructions)

Vegan Tartar Sauce Recipe:

½ c vegan mayonnaise

1 Tbsp sweet pickle relish

1 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced

1 Tbsp lemon juice

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100% Vegan Black Bean Burgers

 

Vegan black bean burgers are perfect for meatless Mondays or anyone transiting to a vegetarian or vegan diet.

Vegan black bean burgers is the perfect meat substitute because the are very high in protein, not only are they nutritious are high in fiber and antioxidants, they also aid in disease prevention.

 Recipe:

1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 chopped sweet onion

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1/4 cup minced green bell pepper

1/4 cup minced red bell pepper

1 cup flaxseed

1 cup warm water

2 tablespoon sweet relish

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon seafood seasoning (such as Old Bay®)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 /2 

 

 

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