Thursday, February 21, 2013

10 Minute Green Mushroom Tacos

Don't have time to cook?  This one is for you.  The ingredient list is intentionally short to appeal to those who have to lay down in a dark room when they think about making dinner.  (You know who you are.)  You can keep it simple, AND fill up with good food.  Who knew?  This is a great one-pot meal for one, packed with iron, calcium, phytonutrients and protein.  What's more, these tacos will be ready to get in your belly within 10 minutes.

If you're feeling energetic or adventurous, consider adding beans, cilantro, quinoa, guacamole, bell peppers, sprouts, hazelnut parmesan cheese, your favourite vegan cheese...the list goes on and on.

A note on preparation:  I don't use any oil to sauté the vegetables here.  Mushrooms have plenty of liquid to release, which they're happy to do if you place them on a hot skillet and leave them alone for a few minutes.  They also generate sufficient steam to wilt the greens.  If you're going to add salt, add it after you've plated the dish.  You'll use less salt while still getting your salty flavour fix since the salt is on the top.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Raw Carrot Cup Cakes

Let me start by saying that this recipe probably isn't for everyone.  There was a time in my life when I delivered pizzas for a living, subsisted on beer and cigarettes, and regularly made late-night stops at the McDonald's drive through for two cheeseburgers and a large fries, which I would then take home to use as a vehicle the consumption of truly impressive amounts of ketchup.  It was a pretty sexy period of my life.

At that time, my taste buds were shot.  My system craved massive amounts of sugar, salt and fat, and the more of these three things a food had, the better it tasted.  Well folks, things have changed a bit for me since then.  I remember having the realization over a low-sugar, whole-wheat, something-or-other that I had actually come to enjoy "healthy tasting" food.  How lame.  

These Raw Carrot Cup Cakes are probably not going to knock the socks off of those people in your life  who still can't wrap their brains around how you survive without bacon.  I wouldn't dream of feeding them to my married-to-meat-and-potatos father.  Other people in my life, however, will probably appreciate them as a decadent little treat, made all the more enjoyable for their lack of refined flour, oil, eggs, sugar and cream cheese.  If they don't, I'll eat the whole batch myself.  I've already had three.

Cashew Chia Frosting

Rather than rely on icing sugar and oil as thickeners, this frosting makes use of a couple of tablespoons of ground up chia seeds.  The result is a thick, creamy spread that's somewhere between a frosting and a pudding - perfect for dabbing on the tops of Raw Carrot Cup Cakes.  If you would like to frost a larger cake with it, try thinning it out with plant milk - a quarter of a cup at a time until you reach the desired consistency.

Blackstrap Almond Fig Balls

These are a quick and easy snack that can have a broad range of uses from providing quick fuel during a day of activity, to classing up a (faux)cheese plate.  The figs provide plenty of sweetness and quick carbs, making additional sweetener unnecessary.  However, I've added a couple of tablespoons of unsulphured molasses to boost the mineral content.  I try to sneak it into my diet here and there because it's so high in iron.  Just 1 tablespoon can meet 15 to 20 percent of your daily requirement of iron (depending on age and sex).  It's also very high in magnesium (good for the immune system, healthy bones), potassium (important for a well functioning nervous system, fluid balance, and muscle contraction), calcium (healthy teeth and bones), and B6 (healthy brain and nerve function, formation of red blood cells, synthesis of disease fighting antibodies...).  You can read more about it here, here, and here.  

Friday, February 8, 2013

Dyno Bars

Dyno:  [dahy-noh], noun: A dynamic move (in rock climbing) to grab a hold that would otherwise be out of reach. Generally both feet will leave the rock face and return again once the target hold is caught. Non-climbers would call it a jump or a leap.

These bars are guaranteed to make you dyno like a monkey, run like Scott Jurek, or jump through with straight legs.  Guaranteed.  Okay maybe not guaranteed.  But they're tasty, energy packed, and easy to make.  

Lots of vegans out there disagree with honey eating.  I respect that.  For the time being, I'm alright with it.  As I see it today, bees still get to live out their lives doing what bees do (unlike animals who live in confinement facilities), and they aren't subjected to tortures like light deprivation and mutilation.  If you don't do honey, try subbing maple syrup or agave.