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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Chickpea Burgers

With an overwhelming response to these burgers from friends and family, I decided to post the recipe for all to enjoy. Not to be confused by it's name 'Chickpea Burgers', the chickpea patties (or burgers) are actually what makes up the bun of the burger itself. Then it is filled with creamy avocado, radish sprouts, and a spicy mayo made with veganaise. This recipe was adapted from 'Super Natural Cooking' by Heidi Swanson, my idol! I must have made them a hundred times or more over the last two years, they are my husbands absolute favorite. The original recipe is not Vegan because it calls for eggs, but you can make it vegan by substituting veggie broth for the eggs. Start with 1/4 of cup and add as you go, making sure the mixture is neither dry or too wet. The bread crumbs will help hold them together when you turn them into patties. If you are not not a vegan then I encourage you to be mindful of where your eggs come from. Think local, organic and free roaming. Maybe you have a neighbor with a chicken coop that would be into selling you some of their own.

Chickpea Burgers
makes 4

1 can chickpea or garbanzo beans, drained
2 eggs or 1/2 cup veggie broth
1 cup onion, finely diced
3/4 cup corn
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
dash sea salt
dash fresh ground black pepper
1 Haas Avocado
1 bunch Radish Sprouts
4 tablespoons spicy mayo

Spicy Mayo:
1/4 cup veganaise
1/2 teaspoon chili garlic sauce

In a food processor, combine chickpeas and eggs (or veggie broth). Puree until blended and slightly chunky, like hummus. Pour into a large mixing bowl. Fold in diced onion, corn, cilantro and chili garlic sauce. Gently stir in bread crumbs, sea salt and pepper. Let stand for a few minutes.

Prepare the Spicy Mayo by combining veganaise and garlic sauce. Mix well and set aside.

Preheat a frying pan with olive oil over medium heat. Measure out 1/3 cup for each patty. With wet hands, form into 4 inch patties. Fry on both sides until golden brown. Place on a paper towel to cool.

To assemble burgers, lay out each half like you would when making a sandwich. Spread 1 tablespoons of Spicy Mayo over each burger. Layer one side with avocado and sprouts. Top with other burger half and serve warm.

*If using veggie broth, start with 1/4 of a cup. Slowly add until you get a good mixture, not too dry or too wet. If you get it too wet, just add more bread crumbs.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Sesame Orange Tofu Bowl

As a college student in Seattle, I remember going to my favorite Sushi restaurant where everyone knew my friends and I by our first names. They would see us coming and make up these insane rice bowls w/specialties not found on their everyday menu. I always loved the simplicity of the rice topped with sweet morsels of seared fish and tofu that melt in your mouth. Sometimes the simplest food is often the best. Today I decided to try my own version, made up of Sesame Orange Tofu with simple brown rice and garnished with avocado, radish sprouts, nori and toasted sesames. So delicious and light, this dish can be served warm or cold.
Sesame Orange Tofu Bowl
makes 4

For the Tofu:
1 pkg Extra-Firm Tofu, drained
2 tablespoons arrowroot Powder or Cornstarch
1/2 cup Orange Juice
1 teaspoon Orange Zest
3 tablespoons Shoyu
2 tablespoons Maple Syrup
2 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
2 cloves Garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon Sesame Oil
1 sheet Nori, cut into long 1/4 inch strips

Preheat oven to 400' and line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside. In a shallow dish, whisk together orange juice, zest and arrowroot powder. Then whisk in remaining ingredients except for tofu and nori strips. Drain tofu and gently squeeze out remaining liquid using a tea towel or paper towel. Slice tofu into 1/4 inch slabs, and then in half again. You should have 1-2 inch squares. Place squares into marinade to cover. Marinade for 1 hour or overnight. Remove tofu from marinade and reserve liquid. Place each square onto prepared baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes on each side. Let cool. Wrap each square with a strip of nori and set aside.

For the Sauce:
After the tofu is done marinating, reserve the liquid. In a small sauce pan, gently bring the reserved marinate to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer on low until sauce thickens, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat cool. If desired, strain cooled liquid through a fine sieve to remove garlic pieces before serving.

Making the Bowls:
2 cups prepared Brown Sushi Rice
1 Haas Avocado, quartered
1 bunch Radish Sprouts
2 tablespoons Sesame Seeds, toasted
4 round Orange slices

To assemble the bowls, start with placing 1/2 cup each of brown rice in each bowl. Top each bowl of rice with nori wrapped tofu, avocado, sprouts and sesame seeds. Drizzle each bowl with sauce and garnish with an oranges slice. Serve warm or chilled.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Strawberry & Orange Creamsicles

The other day my wonderful husband surprised me with the Zoku Ice Pop maker from William Sonoma. It has to be my new favorite kitchen gadgets!! Today I made these cute little Strawberry & Orange Creamsicles that are so yummy. The greatest thing about the Zoku is that it literally takes minutes to make ice pops, so it's perfect for spur of the moment snacks or treat!

So far I've have made various fruit pops and Cappuccino Pops, they are all so delicious but the easiest by far are the fruit pops. To save some time I bought a few different kinds of Odwalla smoothie juices. All you have to do is give it a shake and pour the juice into the pop maker and follow the Zoku directions. In about 5-10 minutes you have 3 cute little Ice Pops. Also, the calories are significantly low because you use such a minimal amount of juice (a little less then 1/4 cup each). The small Odwalla smoothies will go a long way when making these pops, you don't need much.

Since I have been following a Vegan regiment, I used I 'Vanilla Al'Mondo Super Protein' for the cream filling because it is made with soy and oat milk. It also has a banana flavor which goes great with Strawberry and Orange. But if you are vegetarian or non-veg lover, you can also use a sweetened yogurt or cream. Its important to note when making these pops that sugar is an important factor in keeping them from sticking.

Strawberry & Orange Creamsicles
Odwalla Strawberry C Monster
Odwalla Orange Juice or Mango Tango
Vanilla Al'Mondo Super Protien

Using a measuring cup with a pour spout, carefully pour fruit juice into each mold. Since there are only 3 molds, I did two strawberry and one orange. Wait about 1 minute, it doesn't take long. You will start to see the juice freeze around the edges. Once that edge forms, using a straw, suck out the juice in the middle and pour in cream. Place Zoku in the fridge and you should have three beautiful creamsicles in about 5-10 minutes. That's it! A delicious healthy snack in minutes.

Brown Rice Thai Wraps & Edamame Dip

I sometimes wonder how many people enjoy grocery shopping as much as I do. Since moving to Hawaii a few years ago, I was really starting to miss Oregon with it's monopoly of health food stores. Just last year Hawaii finally got it's first Whole Foods Market! Sadly, it's taken me about a year to make my way down there because it's still about an hour away but the drive was well worth it. Walking into Whole Foods was like coming home. When I find a good grocery store full of unique things and wholesome food I can't help but let my senses and my budget go crazy. This trip my husband and I found some great things like a sweet and milky Sake that was out of this word and these, Brown Rice Tortilla's. They are soft and chewy and mix well with Asian flavors like my Thai Wraps. Serve these up with a side of Edamame Gauc and chips for a delicious lunch, and don't forget the chilled Sake for Dessert. YUM!

Brown Rice Thai Wraps
serves 4

Thai Sandwich Spread:

2 Tablespoons Veganaise
1 Tablespoon Peanut Butter, crunchy
2 Tablespoons Lime juice, fresh
1/2 teaspoon garlic chili sauce
1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
pinch of sea salt

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and chill.


4 Brown Rice Tortillas
1 small head Iceberg lettuce or cabbage, shredded
1/2 cup Red Pepper, sliced into strips
1/2 cup Carrot, shredded
1/4 cup Basil, chopped
4 slices firm tofu
2 gardien 'chicken' breast, cut into 4
4 toothpicks or sandwich picks

To assemble wraps, lay two tortillas side by side overlapping by 2 inches. Spread 'Thai Sandwich Spread' over each side. Begin layering wrap like your going to make one giant burrito, leaving room on the ends to fold them over.
Once you have all your toppings, start rolling the tortilla onto itself while tucking in the sides like you would a burrito. Using two toothpicks, stab each side so wrap does not undo itself. Then, using a sharp knife slice the wrap in half on the diagnol so you get two beautiful wraps. Serve with a side of Edamame dip and & chips.

Edamame Dip

1-12 oz bag shelled frozen Edamame
1/2 cup fresh Cilantro, packed and chopped
1/4 cup sweet onion, chopped
1 clove Garlic
1 tablespoon Miso Paste
1/4-1/2 cup Vegetable broth
1-2 tablespoons Olive Oil
Sea Salt to taste

Bring a 6 cups of water with salt to a boil. Add Edamame and boil for 5-6 minutes, or until soft.
Drain edamame and rinse with cool running water.
In a large food processor, combine edamame, cilantro, onion, garlic, and miso. Slowly add vegetable broth and olive oil while blending. Dip should be nice and smooth like a guacamole. Salt to season. Serve chilled with Chips or Crudites.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

Sweet and nutty, these cookies will rock your world.
Unlike the traditional greasy version, these cookies are made with raw macadamia nut butter, spelt flour, maple syrup and a pinch of cinnamon. They are chewy and oh' so delicious!

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookie
makes 1 dozen

1 cup spelt flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup raw macadamia nut butter
2 tablespoons earth balance butter, softened
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of cinnamon
1/2 cup macadamia nuts, loosely chopped
1/2 cup vegan white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a small mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Set aside.
In a larger mixing bowl, cream together macadamia nut butter, earth balance butter, and pure maple syrup. Add flour mixture to batter. Lastly, stir in nuts and white chocolate.
Using a small cookie scoop, scoop batter onto parchment paper spacing them evenly. Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes. Cool on a cooling rack for 10 minutes.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Grilled Tofu with Asian Slaw, Mashed Sweet Poatoes & Nori Burritos

Another fabulous recipe from Tal Ronnen's cookbook, 'The Conscious Cook'. After stuffing myself on Easter dinner, I still had some mashed sweet potatoes left over so I thought I would finish it off by pairing it with Tal's Agave-Grilled Tofu and Asian Slaw. It turned out so delicious. I was able to use up the sweet potato, but still had a little bit of slaw and tofu leftover so I decided to make some Nori Burritos inspired by 'The Kind Diet' by Alicia Silverstone. Her book is fabulous if you haven't already checked it out ( I feel like she really reaches the average person through her words of wisdom, not to mention her yummy recipe for Peanut Butter Cups! Any way, back to Nori Burritos...

Nori Burritos are a healthy alternative to the classic wrap style sandwich or Mexican burrito. It is essentially an uncut rustic style sushi roll. For my Nori Burritos I made an Umeboshi Plum sticky rice, and layered the burrito with avocado, apple, Asian slaw (carrot & diakon), arugula, and tofu.

Umeboshi Plum Sticky Rice

1 cup short grain brown rice
2 cups water
1 umeboshi plum, pitted and chopped
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon agave

Using a rice cooker, cook rice in water as you normally would. Once it's ready, using a rice paddle fold in umeboshi plum, agave and vinegar. Mix it well until it cools down and becomes sticky. Set aside.

To assemble burritos, spread a layer of rice onto a sheet of Nori. Top with avocados, apple, leftover Asian slaw, tofu and arugula. You could even add some cilantro if you have it. Wrap it up just like you would a burrito and enjoy.
Serve with remaining apple slices and a cup of miso for a healthy lunch or dinner!

Here is my own spin on Asian Slaw.

Asian Slaw
serves 4

1 carrot, cut into matchsticks
1/2 daikon radish, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 scallion, sliced lengthwise very thin (like ribbons)
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon light agave nectar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon shoyu
1/4 cup safflower oil
1 teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted

Throw carrot, daikon and scallions into a mixing bowl. Prepare dressing by whisking together rice wine vinegar, agave, sesame oil, lemon, and shoyu. Continue to whisk and slowly add safflower oil, by pouring a steady stream as you whisk. Pour over veggies and gently toss using your hands. Top with toasted sesames and serve as a side on top of a bed of spring greens, or in a Nori Burrito. Enjoy!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Bran Muffins

These Bran muffins turned out so good! I used no oil or sugar, and added a healthy variety of pumpkins seeds, raisins, and carrot. They turned out very moist and flavorful and make a great snack with your afternoon Latte.

Bran Muffins

2 1/2 cups Wheat Bran
1 1/2 cup spelt flour
2 teaspoons Baking Soda
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon grated Nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt
1/4 cup Molasses
1 cup Apple Juice
1/2 cup Apple Sauce (no sugar added)
1 cup Carrot, shredded
1/2 cup Raisins
1/2 cup hulled pumpkin seeds (or Pepitas)

Preheat oven to 340 and line your cupcake tins with cupcake papers, or lightly oil cups. Mix dry ingredients; bran, flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, sea salt, and set aside. In a separate bowl mix together molasses, apple juice, apple sauce, carrot, raisins and Pepitas. Combine wet and dry ingredients and mix well. Batter should be thick and moist. If it seems too thick you can add more apple juice. Spoon batter into cupcake tins about 3/4 of the way full and bake for 25-30 minutes.