Spaghetti Squash for Dinner

So, I though I would get one more winter-like dish in before completely emerging into Springtime. This one has been sitting in my drafts for a while, and I think it’s time to bring it out and get it onto your dinner table! This dish may remind you a bit of pasta with ratatouille, but with a personality of its own.

spaghetti squash with dutch oven vegetables

1 spaghetti squash, cut in half lengthwise, seeds cleaned from middle
1 eggplant, cut into ratatouille sized cubes
2 medium zucchini, cut the same way as the eggplant
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 shallot, sliced or chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/2 – 2 cups tomato concasse (or 1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes with the juice)
2 tsp. herbes de provence
1 tbsp. liquid aminos Read More

Simple Brussels Sprout Brilliance

Brussels sprouts, you either love them, or you hate them. I have both prepared, and eaten Brussels sprouts many different ways: steamed, sautéed, braised in oatmeal stout, grated raw in salads; some preparations good, some not so good. So who knew that the quick and easy, clean and vegan preparation would turn out to be so delightful? Well, not me, but now I am sold. This dish provides the devout vegan with essential B12 from the nooch, essential fats, and a complete amino acid protein profile from the hempseed. But don’t let the word “vegan” put you off. This is absolutely delicious, light, and satiating and can be enjoyed on just about any diet or lack thereof.

brussels sprouts with hempseed & lemon zest

10-15 oz. Brussels sprouts, whole, or cut in half or quarters, depending on size
1-2 tbsp. vegan butter from healthy oils, like avocado, olive, etc. or coconut oil (suit amount to your taste and oil consumption needs)
2 tbsp. hulled hempseed
2 tbsp. nutritional yeast Read More

Roasted Pepper & Avocado Sushi

A couple weeks ago I was riding my bicycle through Little Tokyo, which almost always leads to a stopover at the Japanese supermarket. I stocked up on brown sushi rice, grabbed some fresh produce and ventured into some plant-based sushi making when I got home. I ended up with a pretty good variety of totally vegan sushi. This one with red peppers ended up being one of the favorites, partly because of the way the red pepper resembles traditional sushi fish like ahi tuna. In a recent article on my nutrition blog, I shared some high alkaline foods that people in their day to day cooking. Both red pepper and avocado made the list. So, in a way, you can look at this as a healthy, alkalizing sushi! Enjoy!

roasted pepper & avocado sushi

1 cup uncooked brown sushi rice (I used Calrose)
2 cups water
3 tbsp. rice vinegar
2 tbsp. coconut sugar (or substitute regular cane sugar)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 avocado
3-4 red, yellow, and-or orange bell peppers (depending on size)
Tamari, Teriyaki, or other favorite sushi dipping sauce

First make your rice. Rinse the rice in a fine mesh strainer until the water runs clear. Put Read More

“Chicken” Fried Tofu Comfort

We are having a rainy weekend here in Los Angeles. With rain comes that urge to cook and enjoy traditional comfort food. Typically that would lead to chicken and dumplings, pot pie, or something along those lines. All I had to make this happen was a block of organic sprouted tofu, so I gave this a whirl. The secret to making tofu taste great lies in two simple steps: 1) You need to press the tofu, and 2) you need to marinate it. The marinade should always have an acidic base with flavors that compliment whatever theme you are going for. You should never use oil in your tofu marinade. Since tofu contains a lot of water, and is packed in water, it will naturally repel anything that has oil mixed into it. My experience has been that oil free marinades absorb into tofu the best, resulting in a variety of uses. In this case, I used vegan chicken flavoring to conjure up the experience of eating a chicken fried steak. It came out delicious, tender on the inside, crispy on the outside. This is easy to make, but you need to allow for about 90 minutes to press and marinate the tofu.

“chicken” fried tofu steak

1 block (about 8 oz.) organic sprouted tofu (any tofu will work with this recipe), cut into slices as pictured
1/4 cup “Not Chicken” vegan chicken flavored broth
2 tbsp. tamari or liquid aminos
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp.garlic powder
2 tsp. nutritional yeast
1 tbsp. Italian seasonings or herbes de provence, or mix up thyme, oregano & parsley
1 tsp. smoked paprika Read More

Socca- Niçoise Chickpea Crepes

Socca, in my opinion, is one of the best kept little secret gems in the world of gluten free cooking and healthier options. Socca is a street food from the South of France, that is so simple to make it is almost mind blowing, consisting of just chickpea flour, olive oil, water, and seasoning. It makes a healthy crepe for breakfast, lunch, or a light dinner, or it can be made a little thicker, and cooked longer for a pizza crust or flatbread effect. The trick is in not trying to flip it over, but instead, letting it cook through from one side.

socca with dijon & fresh vegetables

1 cup chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour
1 cup water
1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil, plus extra for cooking
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. herbes de provence

Suggested Toppings: Dijon mustard, baby spinach, sautéed mushroom, fresh tomato, sautéed zucchini, garlic, steamed snow peas, sprouts, artichoke hearts, roasted eggplant, caramelized onion, roasted fennel, fresh herbs, truffle oil, olive oil, nutritional yeast Read More