Broccoli, Spinach and Pinto Beans with Ginger, Garlic and Red Chili Paste

010spinach and broccoli and beans PD

I wish that my meals looked as good as they taste.

How can I convince you that nutritious, yummy vegan meals are satisfying and delicious when they look so awful in photographs?

Food photography is indeed an art unto itself; an art which I have not mastered and do not see doing so in the near future.

However, making this stuff look good must take a talent far beyond my reach so I will have to ask you to indulge me; trust me, this food is great, not just nutritionally balanced but tasty!

When I make a meal like this I consider all the nutritional elements and the flavor notes, as well.

Some ingredients just lend themselves to certain herbs and spice combinations. Sometimes it’s nice to think outside the proverbial box and combine the unexpected.

And getting over the notion that you need a pound of flesh at every meal will liberate you to introduce your palate to flavors and textures that will seduce into a new way of eating.

It will also allow you to obtain necessary nutrition and micro-nutrients from foods which you haven’t been eating.

For my main meal of the day I consider a few things: I like to eat a lot of vegetables, I need to incorporate a healthy fat, and I like to make sure that there is protein.

Herbs and spices are important to healthy body function and can help fight off disease and increase overall wellness.

This recipe includes fresh ginger and garlic as well as crushed red pepper and red chili paste.

Coconut oil and avocado help provide that creamy mouth feel which leads to satiety and provide a vehicle for fat soluble nutrients.

008broccoli spinach and beans PD

Ingredients

1 TBSP coconut oil
2 TBSP red chili paste (or to taste)
1 TBSP crushed red pepper flakes
3-4 cloves garlic, sliced
fresh ginger to taste, sliced
2-3 Cups of broccoli
1-2 cups fresh spinach
1/2 cup pinto beans
1 avocado sliced, for garnish

Method

In a frying pan, saute coconut oil, garlic, ginger, red chili paste and crushed red pepper.

Add the broccoli and spinach and allow to cook; Just a few minutes on high.

Add 1/2 cup of pinto beans and allow to cook on medium heat for about 10-15 minutes.

Serve with sliced avocado.

Enjoy!

  

…It all started with cake!

006 Chocolate Cake with raspberry and whipped cream PD

It all started with cake and a snow storm and the gorgeous organic produce in my refrigerator.

Sometimes when I’m shopping I don’t have any particular recipe in mind. I simply pick up things that catch my eye, are in season, especially ripe, smell good or are just pretty.

So that is how I ended up with a coconut, that gorgeous ginger root and a million organic carrots!

What to do with carrots on a cold snowy day in the middle of winter? Soup, of course!

But to begin my day, baking a cake seemed to be the most natural thing in the world to do to get things rolling. Chocolate, raspberry and fresh whipped cream was beckoning.

Cake would be a nice treat at the end of a long day.

Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup shortening
2 eggs (1/3 to 1/2 cup)
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 ounces melted unsweetened chocolate (cool)

Method

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease and flour baking pan, 13x9x2 inches, or two 9-inch or three 8-inch round layer pans.

Measure all ingredients into large mixer bowl. Blend 1/2 minute on low speed, scraping bowl constantly.

Beat 3 minutes high speed, scraping bowl occasionally.

Pour into pan(s). Bake oblong 40 to 45 minutes, layers 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool.

013Coconut Carrot Ginger Soup PD

Coconut Carrot Ginger Soup

Ingredients

About 20-30 carrots
5-6 cloves of garlic
A nice sized piece of fresh ginger root 5-6 inches long
2 tsp ginger powder
1 can organic coconut milk
One whole coconut ( use the water and flesh)
2-3 cups vegetarian stock
2-3 Tbsp coconut oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Cilantro, for garnish
Avocado, for garnish

Method

Peel and chop the carrots then sauté with garlic and coconut oil.

Start grating the ginger and add to sautéing carrots.

Add the ginger powder.

Let things start to lightly caramelize then add the stock.

Allow to cool then transfer the mixture to the food processor and puree.

Add the coconut milk to the mixture and continue to puree.

Transfer to a soup pot and add the coconut water and flesh.

Add ginger powder if necessary.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve warm with fresh cilantro and avocado garnish.

Enjoy!

037 Carrot soup and empenada PD

Empenada dough PD
I added curry powder to the dough
017 Kale potato coconut Curry PD
Kale, yellow waxy potatoes, garlic, coconut oil, coconut milk, red curry paste, curry powder

Courtesy of Laylita’s Recipes

Making empanada dough is not as hard as it sounds, especially if you have a food processor, and even if you don’t it is still pretty easy because the dough should not be overworked and requires minimal kneading. Also, these days it is very easy to find the empanada discs already made (frozen) in Latin grocery store, and even though I was skeptical at first they are actually quite good, but it also always fun to have them homemade and you can also customize the dough by adding spices, herbs, etc that will complement or contrast with the fillings.

Ingredients for 15 medium size or 25 small empanada discs:

3 cups all purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
6 oz unsalted butter (1 ½ sticks), cold and cut into 12 pieces
1 egg
4-5 tbs water
Mix the flour and salt in a food processor.
Add the butter, egg and water until a clumpy dough forms.
Form a ball and chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
Roll out the dough into a thin sheet and cut out round disc shapes for empanadas (use round molds or a small plate).
Use immediately or store in the refrigerator or freezer to use later.

042 Kale Potato curry empenada PD

032 Empenada PD

035 Carrot inger Coconut soup and empenada PD

044 Chocolate raspberry cake PD

  

Garden Lunch

garden lunch

This was my first meal from my garden. This was my first attempt at a garden! It was actually thrilling to grow my own cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers and basil and construct these humble ingredients into a healthful meal. I felt invigorated all day with these wholesome foods in my belly.

I never realized that I would be so deeply affected by something so simple, so primal. Is this how our ancestors felt? Does this feeling explain the elaborate and brutal ritual sacrifice practices of ancient cultures? Did they realize the tenuous and fragile balance of nature which allowed them to produce food? Were they in awe? Were they grateful?

I wonder if we would be more humble, more grateful for our food if we were more deeply connected to it. Would we eat as much meat if we had to raise, care for, and slaughter animals ourselves? Would we value the complex nutritional components of vegetables and legumes if we watched them grow and saw the sun and rain turning tiny seeds into beautiful plants and fruits?

When you can taste the sunshine in a tomato do you not feel completely connected to the Universe?
I did. If just for a moment I was grateful.

Cherry Tomatoes with Cucumbers and Basil
Cherry Tomatoes
Cucumber
Basil
Olive Oil
Sea Salt
Lemon juice

Chop, toss together, drizzle with olive oil, sea salt and lemon juice.

Tuna Steak with Peppers

4 oz Tuna steak fresh or frozen
Garlic
Pepper

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees
Chop pepper and garlic. Place tuna on foil (enough to completely wrap).
Toss pepper and garlic on top, sprinkle with sea salt. Add a drizzle of olive oil. Wrap completely. Place in oven and cook until the tuna is right where you like it!

  

Black Beans in Coconut Oil

shutterstock_15121396

The secret is in the coconut oil and garlic for this recipe. The coconut oil lends a silken texture and a complexity of flavors that makes this a rich and satisfying component to many dishes. I often use this as a meat substitute or in traditional dishes calling for beans.
The addition of garlic makes this a full compliment of flavors.

Using a high quality, virgin cold-pressed and unrefined coconut oil is important. I like Spectrum and Now brands. They are both organic and widely available. Just read the labels and you can find a quality product near you. It should smell like coconut and it will be solid unless it is really hot out side!

I hesitate to add anything like onion or pepper in the beans because I like the texture and the simplicity of the combination and its ability to adapt in a variety of recipes.

Ingredients

Two cans of black beans
1 Tbn virgin coconut oil
4-5 cloves of thinly sliced garlic or to your taste

Method

Slice the garlic and drain the beans, reserving the juice.
In frying pan or skillet over medium heat add the coconut oil, add the garlic and let them cook together slowly without browning the garlic. After a few minutes add the beans.
As everything starts to simmer it may need a more liquid. Add the reserved juice as needed. For more coconut flavor you could also add a little extra oil; to your taste.
Mash the beans with a potato masher. Slowly pushing down create a creamy mashed bean mixture. Let simmer for about thirty minutes keeping your eye on the consistency and continue to add juice as needed. They should be like mashed potatoes.

Remove from heat and serve.

Serving ideas:

Black Bean Quesadilla:

Fresh cilantro
Corn
Chopped tomato
Avocado
Chopped onion
Manchego Cheese

Black Bean Burrito:

Brown rice
Mexican Blend cheese
Onion
Red pepper
Sour cream
Green onion

Check out this link for more info on the benefits and many uses for coconut oil
http://www.coconut-info.com/

  

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