Tag Archives: nuts

Treats from seeds

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Seed bars work for many occasions. Relatively quick to make, they can replace trail mix, pastries and cookies. After eating too much chocolate, it was time for me to  go a step healthier. Raw seedbars often contain chocolate powder or raw chocolate nibs, which have no sugar or dairy added and are not heat processed.
Depending what you have at home, you can make this recipe truly raw, or nut free, you can also replace some ingredients that are heat processed for a vegan treat. The bars will harden in the freezer, and can be stored in the refrigerator, you may also add some time in the food dryer to remove moisture.
Despite the large amount of ingredients, the amount of servings is relatively small, reminding me again how nutrient dense this food is. See recipe

You made truffles from what?

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Valentines’ is chocolate season, with sinful sweets and chocolate gifts for loved ones. All the reason to experiment with your own truffles, before the chocolate craze starts.
As in the earlier mayonnaise post, the emulsifier does not need to be from eggs or cream, the blend does not need to contain loads of dairy or fats.

The filling is instead made from a blend of pecans with sweet potato mash(!), they surprisingly taste very much like traditional hand made truffles which makes me wonder, what companies can blend into chocolates these days… DIY and you can influence ingredients; which sweetener or chocolate you use to make it vegan and/or healthier. See recipe

Reconstructed Mayonnaise, vegan and raw

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Mayonnaise is technically an emulsion, a blend of oil, an emulsifier, a sour element, sweeteners and spices. Traditional emulsifiers are eggs, agents, that enable and stabilize the blend of oil with watery substances. You can use other emulsifiers, likely something that has a certain oil content, are soy or nut milk, or as I have heard even cauliflower…
First we were looking for alternative store brands. There was Nayonnaise, then we found Vegenaise more convincing. Alternative brands are often made with soy or canola oil, and it is not clear if these ingredients are derived from GMO plants, I highly recommend checking labels. The Vegenaise Grape seed oil version is also Non GMO verified. Taste and consistency was right, although very salty and we bought it in large containers as a base for potato salads and remoulade dips. 
After I met the very nice Cherie Soria and Dan Ladermann at a recent health conference in New York, I started reading their book ‘Raw Food for Dummies’. They use a very simple raw mayonnaise base which I can recommend; it is close  to the creamy dressing recipe which I posted some time ago. The blend is softer at room temperature and will get the right consistency in the fridge. My recipe is a bit different, mostly because I never have the right ingredients in the house. It also tastes great as a sauce over shredded kale. See recipe

Nutty schmear

SchmearDSC_5858What will go on my bread? If you don’t do cheese, cold cuts or liverwurst, you may wonder what will go on your bread. While you can make your own cream cheese or paté, even ajvar in summer, I recommend to experiment  with a wide selection of nut and seed butters.
Europeans grew up with chocolate noisette creams, such as Nutella and Americans have their Peanut butter. Real peanut butter, technically not a nut butter, but a bean butter, is avoided by some because of high aflatoxin and allergy risk. Stores readily sell alternative butters from ‘real’ nuts and seeds, some are even made from peas.

With a food processor, you can make some fresh butters yourself with ingredients of choice, which may also qualify as RAW food.
Doing it yourself  also brings you awareness of how highly concentrated food a butter is. See 1/2 cup of tree nuts turn into concentrated spoonfuls of delightful butters that will be gone quickly. For example hemp butter, which also adds healthy Omega3’s. See recipe

The one that didn’t make it…

BSproutDSC_5151Thanksgiving has to include a brussels sprout… I had this unusual recipe but did not have time to include it this Thanksgiving. It requires cutting the little heads in half and then deliberately slicing them to fine shreds. For this side dish, had to make a couple of changes as I did not have cranberries or pistachios at home. Pistachios do well with the sprouts, several recipes list this combination, instead I used sliced almonds and vegan parmigiano. Also, instead of cranberries, I used soaked raisins, chopped even smaller. Although a bit more work, this variation on brussels sprouts recipes is well worth the effort. See recipe

Breakfast alternatives

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My posts become sparce when we are busy… and food goes fast when you are sharing with visitors. We like the blueberry bread from our farmer’s market, but the one we usually buy contains eggs and white flour. Looking for alternatives, we found a sweet version of sprouted Manna bread, nice for a change. However I also like this nut and pumpkin bread in my veganized recipe: See recipe. 

New York Deli

ThunaDSC_3181New York Delis have fooled many city visitors. Expecting a real ‘Delicatessen’ store, which in Europe is a premium feast for the eye and the palate, visitors enter a Deli in New York, but calling it such is a joke at best. A NY Deli sells coffee and sandwiches in a quality found in gas stations all over the country. One staple in delis, sandwich chains and bagel cafes is the common tuna salad. An often soupy concoction with only two distinguishable ingredients: mayonnaise and celery, other ingredients, hopefully tuna, hidden in the mesh. As tuna taste is addictive and vegans commonly miss it, there is now relief: The very convincing and most healthy vegan un-tuna blend. Just what I had for lunch!

Bars and Balls

PowerDSC_3128Some time during the 80’s, there were aerobics, and then there was the advent of power bars. I remember the first ‘Muesli Bars’ sold before my time in college. We ate several ones during breaks, convinced they were healthy and got quite addicted. Then we noticed weight gain as the contents were just a tad nicer as in regular candies. Today, there are so many different bars; bars for athletes, for meal replacement and weight loss programs and Vitamins, even once a ‘Snooze bar’. Most of the commercial ones taste stale, rancid or sticky. But when you find out how easy you can make them fresh, there is really no reason to put up with ‘saw dust and sugar’. The ones I made, were handy when we skipped breakfast today before the snow storm and are a great snack during meetings. Just be aware that it is very concentrated food, a small bite would be more than double the size of nuts and fruits to eat. See recipe

Artisanal Cheeses

A challenge in plant based diets are cheeses. …or better, the lack of it. The addictive taste has been for many a reason to stray from a vegan diet. While commercial solutions have been more or less acceptable, there has been recently a trend in homemade cheese recipes. I tried already the Mozzarella style cheese from the VegNews article. Another recipe I tried now is for a french chèvre style cheese, that can taste like ‘Boursin’, I also changed it to a very garlicky spreadable ‘Le Tartare’. I altered both from the basic chèvre mix, that includes making Rejuvelac to incubate the cheeses. The process takes several days. So far, I love the results of the spreadable cheese. Contact me for recipe

Seasonal baking

Traveling along the Moselle, visiting the German wine country a year ago, we quickly adapted to a southern speciality called Nussecken ( Nut Triangles ) that I haven’t seen in the North yet. Back here I tried a recipe and then forgot about it, now with new baking energy in Advent season I am veganizing existing recipes. Nut triangles need a big amount of nuts, a blend of almonds and also hazelnuts. The triangles have two layers of dough and are filled with jam and are finally dipped in very dark chocolate. See Recipe

Crunchtime

Recently I started liking biscotti.  Some centuries ago, the hard Italian, twice baked cookie was a non perishable food staple for Roman Legions, today it is a popular coffee dipper. Perfect with a Veggechino!
As often, I am curious to know what I am eating, and it happened that I found a recipe. Continue reading

Superfoods

Kale is the new Super Food. The list of nutrients and benefits to  circulation, skin, immunity and energy is long. If you knew only cooked kale in winter, you will be surprised that steamed kale can make a wonderful salad or side dish any time of the year. Truly a keeper is following recipe of steamed kale with creamy dressing, from Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s book ‘Eat to live’, which I will write about soon. See recipe

Giganteas

Giant puffballs have been mistaken with sheeps in a meadow. On our morning run, we found this little ‘giant’. Giant puffballs (Calvatia Gigantea) are safer to identify. Smaller puffballs under 10 cm size, may be mistaken for other mushrooms, such as juvenile versions of the destroying angels or stinkhorns. Therefore, determine the species of the mushroom by cutting it in half. Continue reading

Not your Polly O’s

I did it, I made vegan Mozzarella from scratch. Vegan Mozzarella! It comes a little late as we just had pizza night; the process needs certain ingredients which I needed to buy, plus a day to sit. So I had some for lunch with home grown yellow heirlooms plus handy garden basil. The recipe is from the October edition of Veg News. As there are not many convincing commercial veg cheeses to find, I had been looking into veg cheese recipes in different places. It seems as with Genome sequencing, different people were recently eager to solve the veg cheese challenge. Continue reading

Poor man’s Caviar

Oh my; Liverwurst… from early teething, little children in Europe are reared on liverwurst, just the way U.S. children eat peanut butter. There are fine ground, and coarse country styles, some with herbs, onions, even burdock. Call it paté if you want to be more sophisticated or ‘foie gras’, use upscale packaging and maybe rare ingredients, such as truffles… However, it will always be a variation of a childhood memory just as the Ratatouille of Mr. Anton Ego. I was surprised how easy it is to make real good tasting paté without meat. So last week, I made my first coarse country style paté, D’Artagnan’s favorite! Oh, and did I mention the cinnabar chanterelles I put in there? See recipe

Try this at home!

Our first heat wave is here… How about a refreshing, vegan Mango Lassi, that doubles as protein drink. Original Indian Restaurant Lassi’s are wonderful, fruity, sweet and refreshing treats that also leave you full before you even finish your food…
To get the sweet and sour taste, I was looking to replace the thick yogurt or kefir with a guilt free vegan version. There is even probiotic vegan yogurt and vegan sour cream. Add lots of crunched ice and survive the heat!
Try this at home…

Sunday mornings

I always loved waffles and pancakes! The yummy pictures in the Veg Starter Kit once convinced me that Veg life can be fun and tasty! So easy to follow, with ingredients that are at home without much planning. On Sunday mornings, maybe outside if weather allows, the waffles and pancakes are a great treat, especially after a long run. My pancake recipe is here…

Battle of the pestos

 

Earth Day weekend paints the town green. NY City exhibits cars, green drinks and alternative snacks, with a party at Javit’s Center, Westchester retreats into volunteer garbage cleanups and weed cutting. And then I thought about eating an invasive weed that day… Traditionally, seven ingredients make an Italian Pesto: fresh basil, pine nuts, olive oil, parmigiano and pecorino, garlic and salt. However without sacrificing on flavor, pesto can be done in many different ways with aromatic herbs, without cheese and less oily nuts.

Continue reading

A Super Bowl – or how do veg’ns get enough protein

Real men need protein!  Usually the last argument against a plant based diet, as nutrition pyramids list animal food equal to protein, the Avantgarde may add soybeans to the list. Other foods that also contain protein however, are listed elsewhere as vegetables, grains or nuts. Most mushrooms for example have around 20-30% of protein by dry weight… To see if I am getting ‘enough’ protein in my diet, I did some math:  Continue reading

Functional Foods

Brendan Brazier, professional Ironman Triathlete from Vancouver, BC  is also vegan. His early research in the nutritional field has been circling around how to improve performance with nutrition, by minimizing the stress that ordinary and high acidic foods may cause to the body. Brazier moved to a diet that uses naturally ‘functional foods’. Continue reading