Monthly Archives: August 2017

Blueberry Kale Salad

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Sure you love kale salad. Why not try another version of the favorite with fruits and nuts tossed in. This salad is quick to throw together and has a sunny, cheerful flavor. Great for lunches, brunches and guests. Or just for grazing while you sit at your desk.

Blueberry Kale Salad

Salad:

1 bunch kale, stemmed and torn into bite-size pieces

1 cupĀ  green (or purple) cabbage, finely shredded

1/2 cup red onion, minced

2/3 cup walnuts, chopped

1/3 cup dried cherries or cranberries

1/4 cup shelled sunflower seeds (sometimes we use hemp seeds or pepitas instead)

1 cup fresh blueberries

 

Dressing:

4 Tbs. canola oil

3 Tbs. orange juice

2 Tbs. red wine vinegar

1 Tbs. agave nectar

1 tsp. balsamic vinegar

1/2 tsp. dried ginger

zest of one lemon

pinch salt (optional)

pinch ground white pepper

pinch ground nutmeg

 

In a jar with a lid, combine all dressing ingredients. Close jar tightly and shake until well combined.

Add all salad components expect blueberries to a large serving bowl and pour dressing over. Massage salad until kale and cabbage are tender. Fold in blueberries and serve.

 

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Matcha Energy Balls

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Everyone needs a pick-me-up sometimes, but not always a whole meal. Try these tasty and sustaining Matcha Energy Balls. They’re sweet, hearty and will get you through it all with those green tea antioxidants!

Makes about 20, depending on how you roll them. Vegan and gluten-free as written.

 

Matcha Energy Balls

2 cups pitted dates, soaked in hot water

1 1/2 cup rolled oats or quinoa flakes

1/2 cup almond meal flour

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

2 Tbls. chia seeds

2 tsp. matcha green tea powder

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. orange extract

 

Drain dates. Add dates, rolled oats, almond meal, applesauce, chia seeds, matcha powder, vanilla and orange extracts to a powerful food processor or blender. Pinch off tablespoon-ish size pieces and roll them into balls. Use cool water on your hands if they stick, or add more oats to the mix and blend again until less sticky.

Keep stored in the fridge and eat in a week.

Ranch BBQ Pasta Salad

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Summer is winding down, but that doesn’t mean you’re out of picnics and potlucks to attend. Yeah, neither are we. Try this AMAZING BBQ Ranch Pasta Salad. It’s got all the comfort and love of noodles, but the surprise of savory BBQ sauce and Ranch. As written, this recipe is vegan and gluten free.

We do use a very local ingredient in this, This is Vegan Foods Bleu Cheese Crumbles. You can mail order from TIVF, or just skip the ingredient. We haven’t run into ANY other brand that makes a bleu crumbling cheese like TIVF. Try it, if you can.

 

BBQ Ranch Pasta Salad

1 bag Tinkyada pasta spirals, cooked per directions and cooled

1 can kidney beans, rinsed

1 can black beans, rinsed

1 can chickpeas, rinsed

1/2 cup fresh parsley, minced

1/2 red onion, minced

1 can chopped tomatoes, drained

2 jarred roasted red peppers, drained and chopped

1 bag Beyond Meat or Gardein chicken strips, thawed and chopped

1 cup frozen corn, thawed and drained

Sauce:

1/2 cup vegan ranch salad dressing (Hampton Cree/Just, Daiya or Vegenaise brands)

1/4 cup Annie’s BBQ sauce

1 tsp. dried basil

1 tsp. dried oregano

1 Tbs. A1 sauce or vegan Worchestershire

splash sriracha, or to taste

Topping:

smoked paprika

1/2 block This is Vegan Foods Bleu cheese crumbles

 

Cook pasta per package directions and set aside to cool.

Mix together sauce ingredients in a bowl.

When pasta is room temp or chilled, add in kidney beans, black beans, chickpeas, fresh parsley, red onion, chopped tomatoes, roasted red peppers, Beyond Meat chicken strips and corn. Pour pre-made sauce on top and gently fold all ingredients together.

Top with smoked paprika and crumbled TIVF Bleu cheese. Serve cold.

 

Oh, here is that amazing vegan cheese – if you wanna see it up close and personal. We love it…

Kim’s Magical Blackberry Salad

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Kim is no ordinary hostess. When you dine with Kim and her husband Henry, you’re in for an evening of fine entertaining. We were treated to just such a meal. And dang it, we didn’t have a camera along. The decor, the tablescape – every detail was considered and lovely, yet casual and non-intimidating.

Not to mention the food. I wish there were images to share. We did save the printed menu card… check it out below the recipe. Yeah, that was dinner!

After the feast, Kim was kind enough to share her amazing Blackberry Salad recipe with me. It’s really special – you’re going to want to make it for someone you’d like to impress. Maybe a date or SO, perhaps a parent or neighbor or co-worker. Maybe you just want a special meal for yourself. You deserve it.

Kim’s Magical Blackberry Salad

Dressing:

1/3 cup pomegranate juice

2 Tbs. red wine vinegar

2 Tbs. olive oil

2 tsp. agave nectar

juice and zest of one lime

salt and pepper, to taste

Salad:

1 bunch leaf lettuce, chopped

1 cup fresh kale, chopped and masssaged

1 avocado, sliced

2 kiwis, peeled and sliced

1 cup fresh blackberries

2 green onions, chopped

 

Combine pom juice, red wine vinegar, oilve oil, agave nectar, lime juice, lime zest and salt/pepper in a jar with a lid. Shake well until combined.

Toss the leaf lettuce, kale, avocado, kiwi, blackberries and green onion with the dressing and serve immediately.

Cook’s Note: Kim made this extra special by tossing pom seeds into the salad, but we couldn’t find any. If you got ’em, add ’em. Other optional additions she suggests include apple or pear slices, or make this a main dish salad by adding a protein like chickpeas. We love the dressing so much, we often make a triple batch and use it on our daily lunch salads. It keeps in a fridge for about a week – if it lasts that long!

 

Kim’s Menu ~

 

Sweet and Sour Eggplant

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In our non-blog life, the Dirty Hippie and I are commercial photographers, and for the past seven years, we’ve had a great assistant named Jess. She’s been much, much more than any one else affiliated with our little photo company. Over the years, Jess has become a close friend and annually, we celebrate the day she started working for us with a special meal. Eggplant is her favorite veggie, so this recipe is a healthier version of the Chinese-takeout classic Jess adores. Thank you Jess! It’s been a wonderful seven years working with you!!

Try Jess’ new fave at home served over steamed rice. It’s vegan and gluten-free. Serves about 4 to 6 for dinner with rice.

 

Sweet and Sour Eggplant

2 lbs. Asian eggplant, sliced and sweated

1 cup fresh red peppers, chopped

1 cup white onions, chopped

1 block extra firm tofu, drained and cubed

1 Tbs. peanut oil

Sauce:

6 Tbs. rice vinegar

1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar

6 Tbs. tamari sauce

2 Tbs. cornstarch or arrowroot

4 Tbs. coconut sugar

4 to 6 cloves minced garlic

1 Tbs. minced fresh ginger

4-5 Tbs. peanut oil

hot pepper paste (to taste)

1 tbs. minced hot pepper, such as jalapeno (optional)

To garnish:

chopped scallions

chopped cilantro

sesame seeds

chopped peanuts

To sweat your eggplant, slices them into long pieces and place on paper towels on a cookie/baking sheet. Sprinkle salt over all cut sides and sit aside to rest for about 30 minutes. By then, sweating process will make the eggplant less bitter. Blot off and get going on the rest of the recipe. We usually start this and then start the steamed rice, so everything is ready at the same time.

In a bowl, combine all sauce ingredients. Stir well and set aside.

Add eggplant, chopped onion, chopped red pepper, and cubed tofu to a large pan or wok. Toss with 1 tablespoon peanut oil and lightly saute over medium heat, stirring often, until onions begins to wilt and tofu lightly browned. This will be about five to seven minutes.

When veggies are warmed through and tofu is getting crispy, pour in the sauce and fold to coat evenly. Lower heat and stir occasionally, allowing veggies and tofu to take on the flavor of the sauce. As it cooks, sauce will thicken and reduce. Leave on heat for 15 to 20 minutes or until sauce is at desired texture.

Serve warm over steamed rice. Garnish with chopped scallions, chopped cilantro, sesame seeds and/or chopped peanuts.

 

Oh, and this is Jess. She’s stealing a smooch from our hound Valerio…