Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Triathalon Tostadas

These triathalon tostadas are outstanding. A few months ago I tried this two-week wellness solution cleanse. It's not one of those cleanses where you eat nothing but soup or take pills. It's basically a really healthy vegan diet with LOTS of fresh vegetables, minimal processed foods, no alcohol or caffeine, etc. Anyway, I made a ton of recipes from The Two-Week Wellness Solution cookbook and I fell completely in love with these tostadas. I didn't take photos of most of the things I made during that time because I made so many things, but I just had to take a photo of this and share it with you guys. It's super tasty, healthy, and filling. To me it tasted like a healthy dorito. I'm not sure whether that will sound appealing to you but even if it doesn't, I'm sure you will enjoy this dish. An oven crisped corn tortilla is topped with a black bean mixture (lime, cumin, onion, garlic), quinoa, fresh vegetables (carrots, green onions) with lime juice, and topped with avocado.

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Black Bean, Zucchini & Olive Tacos with Garlic-Lemon Yogurt
Garlicky Broccoli, Corn and Bean Burritos
Black Bean and Zucchini Chilaquiles
Frijoles, Etc. Casserole

Triathalon Tostadas
Adapted from The Two-Week Wellness Solution

I used 3 large corn tortillas, and they were a bit awkward to eat since they were so large. But if you can't find small corn tortillas the large ones definitely work.

Serves 3

Un-fried Crunchy Tortillas
6 6" or 3 large (10"-12") round corn tortillas
1/2 tbsp oil

Quinoa Layer
1/3 cup dry quinoa, rinsed and drained
2/3 cup water
1/4 tsp sea salt

Black Bean Layer
15 oz can black beans (1 3/4 cups cooked beans), drained and rinsed
1 1/2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
3 large cloves garlic, minced

Vivacious Veggies
1 cup grated carrots
3 green onions, finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 1/2 avocados, peeled and chopped

1. Preheat oven to 375F. Brush or spray the tortillas lightly on both sides with the oil. Lay them out on a cookie sheet in a single layer. Bake for 3-5 minutes, then remove from the oven. Flip each tortilla over and place back in the oven for another 3-5 minutes (or until they are crisp and lightly browned).

2. Put the quinoa and water in a small pot with a tight-fitting lid. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until all of the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Once done, stir in the 1/4 tsp sea salt and set aside.

3. Put all of the "black bean layer" ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend well until very smooth. Transfer to a small pan and heat over low until warm, stirring occasionally.

4. In a small bowl, toss the carrots and green onions with lime juice. Set aside.

5. To assemble, place the tostada shells on plates and spread with some of the black bean mixture. Next, add quinoa and then the veggies. Garnish with avocado chunks.

If you're not going to eat everything right away, store the ingredients in separate containers.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Orange Sesame Tofu & Coconut-Lime Basmati Rice

I never do fancy things with rice, but after making this simple coconut-lime basmati rice it makes me want to more often! You can't really see the rice in this photo but it's there under some sauteed kale. I paired the rice with orange sesame tofu and kale, as suggested in the cookbook and really enjoyed the combination.

I couldn't choose between these 2 photos so I had to post both!

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Kung Pao Noodles with Peanuts and Wok Fried Vegetables
Broccoli Cashew Teriyaki Tofu Stir-Fry
Pad Thai
Tarragon Pecan Asparagus

Orange Sesame Tofu
Adapted from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan

2 tsp cornstarch
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
Zest of 1 orange
3 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
3 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 pkg (350 g) extra-firm tofu, diced into 1/2" squares
1/4 cup green onions, thinly sliced
1 tbsp sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 400F. In a 9x13 inch baking dish, combined cornstarch with 2 tbsp orange juice and stir until fully dissolved. Add remaining juice and ingredients, except tofu, green onions and sesame seeds, and stir to combine. Add tofu and turn to coat both sides. Cover and refrigerate to marinate for 1 hour or more, or bake it immediately.

To bake, cover with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes. Turn over tofu, gently stir to cover tofu with sauce, and bake again uncovered for another 6-9 minutes, or until sauce thickens and is bubbling at edges (sauce will continue to thicken as it cools). Remove from oven, sprinkle with green onions and sesame seeds, and serve.

Coconut-Lime Basmati Rice
Slightly adapted from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan

1 cup dry brown basmati rice
1 can (400 mL) light coconut milk
1/2 cup water
2 1/2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice (zest limes before juicing)
1/4 tsp sea salt
Zest of 1 lime

In a saucepan, combine rice, coconut milk, water, lime juice, and salt. Bring to a boil on high heat, stir, then reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 35-45 minutes, until liquid is absorbed and rice is cooked through. Turn off heat, stir in lime zest and let sit for 4-5 minutes.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Quinoa Corn Salad

Is anyone else currently obsessed with any and all forms of salad like I am?

I actually eat quinoa fairly regularly, so it's odd that I don't have a single recipe on my blog with quinoa. Usually I just use it in place of rice rather than doing something special with it, like this salad. This salad is full of flavour with corn (can never get enough corn in the summer!), red onion, jalapeno, red pepper, cilantro, green onions, lemon and lime. I actually made this salad long before corn was in season and used frozen corn, so either fresh or frozen would be good here.

I'm submitting this to Ricki's Wellness Weekends.

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Meditteranean Pepper Salad
Broccoli Slaw
Last Minute Sesame Noodles
Orzo Salad with Chickpeas, Dill and Lemon

Quinoa Corn Salad
Adapted from Rebar: Modern Food Cookbook

I added 1 tbsp oil to the original recipe but it's not necessary if you don't want to add it.

1 cup dry quinoa
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 tsp salt

2 1/2 cups corn, fresh or frozen
1 small red onion, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 red pepper, finely diced
3 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp lime juice
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup green onion, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp oil (optional)

1. Bring water to boil in a small pot, add the quinoa and salt and bring to a boil again. Cover and reduce heat to low for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and keep the pot covered for an additional 5 minutes. Strain off any excess liquid and set aside to cool.

2. Steam or lightly saute corn until just tender and cool to room temperature. Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and gently toss. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve with fresh lime wedges.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Chocolate Raspberry Cake

I made this cake last March for my stepdad's birthday. It sounded like it would be really yummy with 3 layers of chocolate cake, and layers of chocolate sour cream filling and raspberry jam. But it was just okay. I really like sour cream frosting, but if you don't know this is sour cream frosting and take a bite, I'm not sure if you'd like it. (It tastes a bit sour, shockingly!) I like this sour cream frosting better though. The cake was quite dense, and is best at room temperature so it can soften a bit and isn't quite so crumbly.

Fresh raspberries would have been nice on top, but at the time they weren't very available so I went with the red berry candy. I seem to have lost my desire to make layer cakes like this so this may be the last one you'll see for a while! (Though I haven't been posting layer cakes very often anyway.)

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Black Forest Mousse Cake
Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Cake
Chocolate Beet Cake with Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting
Orange Chocolate Chunk Cake

Chocolate Raspberry Cake
Adapted from The Complete Canadian Living Baking Book

1 1/2cups butter, softened
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs
1/4 cup thawed raspberry cocktail concentrate
2 tsp vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups sour cream

Filling and Icing:
1 lb (454 g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate , chopped
2 1/3 cups sour cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup seedless raspberry jam

Grease sides of three 9-inch (1.5 L)round metal cake pans; line bottoms with parchment paper. Set aside.

In large bowl, bet butter with sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, then raspberry concentrate and vanilla. In separate bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt ; sift again. Stir into butter mixture alternately with sour cream, making 3 additions of dry ingredients and 2 of sour cream. Scrape into prepared pans, smoothing tops.

Bake in centre of 350°F (180°C) oven until tester inserted in centre comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool in pans on racks for 20 minutes. Turn out onto racks; let cool completely. Remove paper.

Filling and Icing:
In large bowl over saucepan of hot (not boiling) water, melt chocolate, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Whisk in half of the sour cream; whisk in remaining sour cream until smooth. Whisk in sugar and vanilla.

Brush off any crumbs from cake layers. Place 1 layer on flat cake plate. Spread top of layer with 1/3 cup icing. Spread jam over bottoms of remaining 2 layers. Place 1 layer, jam-side down, over icing.

Spread 1/3 cup icing on top of second layer; top with third layer, jam-side down. Spread remaining icing over side and top of cake. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Black Bean, Zucchini & Olive Tacos with Garlic-Lemon Yogurt

This past week has been so busy! I've been trying to finish up my reports which are due next week (for a certification exam in October). And we've done some out of town field trips this week (Squamish and Sechelt, for those of you that know the area). Time has been flying by! E has been cooking a lot of the meals recently which has been amazing. These tacos I made a couple of months ago though, and they started my love for Appetite for Reduction. I remember reading the reviews before buying the book and someone complained about there being a whole chapter for salads. But they're meal salads, which I'm always looking for recipes for. They include protein, grains and tons of vegetables and I love them. I'll be sharing some of them soon.

This taco filling is really flavourful. I was skeptical of adding in olives with black beans and salsa verde, but it works really well. These are actually the first soft tacos I've ever made at home. I've made burritos many times but not cute little tacos like these. I used regular 2% yogurt for the sauce, but use soy yogurt to make these vegan.

I'm going to go pick up my CSA vegetables now. I can't wait because we're getting tomatoes this week!

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Garlicky Broccoli, Corn and Bean Burritos
Black Bean and Zucchini Chilaquiles
Lentil Veggie Burrito Casserole
Refried Beans

Black Bean, Zucchini & Olive Tacos with Garlic-Lemon Yogurt
Adapted from Appetite for Reduction

1 tsp olive oil
2 zucchini (1 lb), small dice
2 jalapenos, seeded, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
6 oz salsa verde
19 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup finely chopped green onions
8 (6 inch) corn tortillas

Preheat a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini and jalapeno to the oil and sprinkle with the salt. Saute for about 7 minutes, until the zucchini is lightly browned. Add the garlic, olives, cumin, and coriander, and saute for 2 minutes more.

Add the salsa verde and black beans. Cook for 5 more minutes; the salsa should reduce a bit so that it's juicy but not soupy.

Place the tortillas in a moist paper towel and heat in the microwave for 1 minute on high. Serve with Garlic-Lemon Yogurt and chopped green onions.

Garlic-Lemon Yogurt

1 cup 2% plain yogurt
2 cloves garlic, grated with a Microplane or finely minced
zest from 1/2 lemon
juice from 1 lemon (about 3 tbsp)
1/2 tsp agave nectar

Add all ingredients in a bowl and stir well.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Perfectly Crunchy Granola

I've made this granola many times. The first for my mom's birthday, the second time when Janet came to visit, and again this past weekend because I just wanted it. It's crunchy and flavourful, and most importantly it clumps up as a good granola should (and only has 1 tbsp oil). Each time I've made it I've changed a few things and it's turned out well every time! Agave instead of brown sugar seems to make it more crispy. Subbing fruit juice for applesauce doesn't make much of a difference. Sometimes I add more cinnamon, the last time I added more oats and less nuts. And I don't add dried fruit if I'm making it for myself because I'm not a big dried fruit fan.

If this sounds good, you might like:
Coconut Raspberry Walnut Power Bars
Granola Bars
Caramel Walnut Chocolate Chunk Granola
Low-Fat Winter Fruit Granola

Perfectly Crunchy Granola
Adapted from Oh She Glows

Yield: ~6 cups

3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup raw almonds, roughly chopped
1/2 cup raw walnuts, roughly chopped
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/2 cup raw sesame seeds
2 tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp kosher salt

4 tbsp brown rice syrup
1 tbsp agave nectar
1 tbsp coconut oil OR other oil
2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce OR fruit juice
2 tbsp peanut butter
1/3 cup packed brown sugar

Optional add-in
2/3 cup dried fruit (ex. cranberries, raisins, dates, apricots)

In a medium pot over medium heat, add the wet ingredients. Stir well. Bring to a boil and then simmer on low for 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently.

In a very large mixing bowl, mix together the dry ingredients.

Add the wet mixture (while still warm!) over top the dry mixture and stir well. It will be very thick and hard to stir, but keep at it until everything is thoroughly combined.

Spread onto a pan lined with parchment paper or a non-stick mat and bake in the oven at 300F for 45 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven every 15 minutes and give the granola a good stir to ensure even baking.

Allow to cool for 20-25 minutes on the pan before serving. The granola will stiffen up as it cools. Once the granola cools, add the dried fruit (if using).

Monday, August 1, 2011

Apple Fennel Celery Salad

This apple fennel celery salad sounded like it would be so crunchy and refreshing. And I love halved grapes in salad. While it did prove to be crunchy, it wasn't as good as I'd hoped it to be (though was still good enough to share). But it's a nice change for a side salad. And if you're like me and get some fennel in your CSA and have no idea what to do with it, this is a great option especially with the hot weather we're finally having.

How's everyone's long weekend? I've been mostly plugging along with my research paper, and finished a first draft last night. Such a relief! And then I realized I left a book that I need at work to write my other report, so I'm enjoying the unintended day off from report writing. I went for a run, cleaned the bathroom and baked some granola. I love productive mornings! I have plans for more baking later - maybe some muffins or cookies.

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Last Minute Sesame Noodles
The Diva Salad
Portobello Salad with Mustard Dressing

Apple Fennel Celery Salad
Adapted from Canadian Living: The Vegetarian Collection

1 cup thinly sliced fennel
1 cup sliced celery
1 cup red seedless grapes, halved
2 red delicious apples, chopped
1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts

Poppy Seed Dressing
1/2 cup 2% plain yogurt
2 tbsp liquid honey
4 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp poppy seeds
pinch salt
pinch paprika

Poppy Seed Dressing: In large bowl, whisk together all dressing ingredients until smooth.

Add remaining ingredients, toss to coat.