Or “carobsicles” if you make them like I did. I have been using a lot more carob lately because I really enjoy the flavor.
These popsicles were inspired by a “Cocoa-Bean Ice Cream” recipe I saw on Dr. Fuhrman’s website. The “bean” in the title is just that…beans.
You know I like packing as much nutrition into a recipe as I can and adding beans to the mix actually adds creaminess to the frozen treat in addition to fiber. I promise you will not even taste a hint of the beans…the carob OR cocoa takes care of that.
I chose to make popsicles vs. ice cream which resulted in 7 popsicles vs. the 4 servings the recipe originally made.
This recipe is made with WHOLE FOODS and is a wonderful way to end your day.
2 ripe bananas, frozen
1/2 cup raw cashews
3/4 cup cooked aduki beans, rinsed and drained (the original recipe called for black beans)
1/4 cup toasted carob powder (the original recipe called for 3 Tbs. cocoa powder)
4 dates, pitted
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract (alcohol free)
1 cup soy, hemp, or almond milk
Blend all of the ingredients in a high-speed blender until very smooth. Pour into popsicle molds, freeze, and enjoy.
While admittedly HIGH in sodium, I am a fan of these dressings. I used them on seaweed salad and to lightly marinade some cucumbers (they tasted best after only marinading 30 minutes…when left overnight they became too salty). I did however cut the dressing with a bit of rice wine vinegar because I like a more “vinegar-y” dressing and I also added some red pepper flakes to the cucumbers.
Using the dressings on a regular salad produced a great result. My favorite 2 dressings were the Tamari Peanut and Tamari Ginger since they had more flavor than the Tamari Sesame.
Some more good news…San-J has Reduced Sodium Tamari now…yay!!! HOPEFULLY they will come out with Reduced Sodium Travel Packs soon (I keep the travel packs in my car for when I go out to Asian restaurants).
San-J graciously shared a recipe for one of their favorite ways to use the Tamari Peanut Dressing…
TAMARI PEANUT PASTA WITH ZUCCHINI
Created by: Amie Valpone
INGREDIENTS –Serves 4.
12 oz. whole grain spaghetti
1 Tbsp. olive oil (eliminate if water sauteing)
1 large zucchini, diced
1 (15 oz.) can white beans, drained and rinsed
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
3 Tbsp. San-J Tamari Peanut Salad Dressing Sub out for either ginger or sesame dressing and add 1Tbs. peanut butter
1 Tbsp. sesame seeds
Cook the spaghetti according to package directions. Then, drain and return to the pot.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat (eliminate if water sauteing). Add the zucchini; cook for 5 minutes or until tender. Add white beans, garlic, sea salt, pepper and crushed red pepper; cook for another 4 minutes. Remove from heat; add bean mixture to the spaghetti along with San-J Tamari Peanut Salad Dressing and mix well to combine.
Sur La Table recently had a big sale (still going on) on the Cuisinart Multi-Cooker and I couldn’t resist. With holiday gift cards in hand I marched right in and upgraded my slow cooker. Man, I am glad I did. It is SO nice to be able to brown onions in the slow cooker and then just pour in the rest of the ingredients. This slow cooker is going to get some major use in my household.
I saw some split red lentils at Trader Joe’s the other day and I was inspired to make a red lentil based slow cooker curry sauce. I love that this “sauce” is packed with protein and fiber.
This recipe makes A LOT of sauce, so get ready to freeze some for later. I have also enjoyed the sauce as a soup…simply add broth and thin it out. Good stuff!
INGREDIENTS – makes an ENTIRE crockpot full…more than enough to freeze for later
1 onion, diced
3 celery ribs, diced
2 carrots, diced (I do a rough chop since I like carrot chunks)
1 bag Trader Joe’s trimmed leeks
2 Tbs. curry seasoning (I used Spice Hunter)
two 6 inch stalks of lemon grass, cut into four 3 inch pieces and smashed
1-2 Tbs Gourmet Garden lemon grass paste (I used 2 Tbs…LOVE lemongrass!)
2 cloves of garlic, pressed or finely chopped (Dorat makes an incredible ready to use product)
1-2 Tbs. fresh ginger, minced
1/4-1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (depending on how spicy you like your food)
2-3 cans (depending on how “saucy” you like it) light coconut milk (approx 14 ounces each)
1 bag Trader Joe’s split red lentils (about 2 1/2 cups)
32 ounce container vegetable broth
2 cups water
cilantro, chopped (as a garnish)
parsley, chopped (as a garnish)
Serve with Sriracha for those who like extra spice (ME!!!)
Water sauté the onions, celery, carrots, and leeks for 5-7 minutes. Add the curry seasoning, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes. Stir together to combine the flavors and cook for 1-2 minutes while continuing to stir (If the mixture is getting too dry, add a tiny bit of water).
Add the light coconut milk and stir to combine. Add the split red lentils, broth and water.
Set your slow cooker on high for 6 hours or low for 8-10.
Serve on top of roasted squash, steamed veggies (cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, summer squash) potatoes, brown rice, etc. Would be fantastic over brown basmati rice. Have each person salt their own food upon serving…that way the food will taste salted, but will not be LOADED with sodium.
*Remember to remove the lemongrass stalks before serving
I originally blogged about this Skinny Bitch chili recipe HEREand thought I would re-post the recipe since it is an awesomeFAST and EASY one to make for the Super Bowl.
This chili tastes great over polenta, brown rice, with a side of cornbread or on its own.
DEB’S CHILI – Yields 6 servings
2 Tbs grapeseed oil (I omitted this)
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 (4-ounce) can green chilis, diced
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 (28-ounce) can tomatoes, diced
1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup salsa
2/3 cup vegan cheddar cheese, shredded (I omitted this)
1/4 cup vegan sour cream (I omitted this)
In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat and sauté the onions until soft, about 5 minutes (I water sautéed mine). Stir in the chilis, taco seasoning, tomatoes, kidney beans, and black beans. Let the mixture simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes (after water sautéing the onions I threw all of the ingredients in the slow cooker around lunchtime and kept it on low until dinner).
I have been making this well-loved tofu dish for years, however due to my hypothyroid issues (click HERE for more details) I have avoided soy for a while now. If it weren’t for my thyroid issues, I would include tofu, tempeh, and edamame in my diet…I don’t think there is any harm (actually there are benefits) to including unprocessed soy items in your diet rotation. Having said that, I would avoid the processed soy foods that are über plentiful in the market today.
The creator of the EZ Tofu Press ($26.99) recently contacted me and offered to send me a free sample of his product to test and review. I own the TofuXpress which retails for $39.95 now, but I paid nearly $50 for it when I purchased it…ouch!!!
I was curious to see how the two tofu presses compared. While I like the fact that the TofuXpress I already own and use is a completely self-contained unit, it takes a hours for the tofu to drain completely which is a drag and means that you absolutely have to plan ahead. The new EZ Tofu Press seriously drained completely within 7 minutes! I put the tofu in the press, prepared the rest of the ingredients for my meal, and the tofu was ready to go. Major bonus.
The EZ Tofu Press was also easy to clean…all I needed to do was rinse it off. Make sure you go to the bottom of the post and learn how you can enter to win your very own EZ Tofu Press.
The traditional way to prepare this tofu dish is to fry it in a bit of oil. I thought I would try “frying” the tofu in a dry pan (I used my ceramic pan) and I was happy with the results.
The sauce I always served this dish with is Black Bean Garlic Sauce, which is NOT gluten-free. If you would like to serve the tofu with a gluten-free sauce, SAN J has some really tasty ones (their Szechuan sauce rocks). Keep in mind that you want the sauce to be a bit overflavored, oversalty, etc. since you are serving it with absolutely plain tofu.
block of tofu, pressed
1 Tbs. black bean garlic sauce (or sauce of your choosing)
1 tsp. fresh ginger, finely minced
chilies, finely minced (optional)
green onions, minced
Slice the tofu into 1/4″ thick slices. Now slice the slices into thirds (See image above).
If using black bean garlic sauce, mix the sauce, the ginger, chilies if using, and 1-2 Tbs. water (depending on your personal taste) to a bowl and mix to incorporate.
Heat your pan on HI. Place the tofu slices in the pan and dry-fry them for 2-3 minutes per side until browned. If you insist on using oil, use it sparingly.
Serve immediately topped with a drizzle of sauce and garnished with the minced green onions.
I know we are all in the market for fast dinners. When I was little I would get so excited when my parents would announce that dinner was going to be grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup. My parents probably thought they were making a cop-out dinner, but I seriously loved it. Those dinners cemented the relationship between tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches in my mind.
The other day my son announced that he wanted a grilled cheese sandwich for dinner. We were short on time and in all honestly I hadn’t given dinner much thought that day, so I went along with the plan. When trying to figure out how to round-out the quick meal, tomato soup popped to mind, however we didn’t have any on hand.
I have tried so many tomato soups through the years and most of them are too sweet in my opinion OR they have cream / milk in them.
Well…necessity is the mother of invention, so I popped into my pantry and came-out with a jar of pasta sauce, a can of navy beans, and some broth. In the time it took for the Daiya grilled cheese sandwiches to brown, semi-home made tomato soup was on the table as well.
I couldn’t for the life of me come-up with an interesting name for this meal, but that doesn’t mean that this meal doesn’t rock…because it does. This salad in a pepper bowl covers all the bases; protein, complex carbs, and vitamins galore not to mention the fact that you eat the bowl…no dishes!!!
A few weeks ago I was talking to my daughter’s Kindergarten teacher after school about food and recipes…an almost daily occurance between the two of us (my daughter knows to keep playing when we get on the subject of food, because we are GUARANTEED to be there for a long while) and she mentioned that the last time she was at Trader Joe’s they made a yummy salad by mixing together pre-cooked lentils and bruschetta. Um, yum!
I think I might be single-handedly responsible for purchasing all of Trader Joe’s bruschetta. While I can make my own, this product has saved me so much time and the flavor is amazing. What is NOT amazing is the amount of olive oil they add to it. Rest-assured, I have a solution for this problem. When I buy the bruschetta I put it in the coldest part of my fridge for a day and all of the olive oil floats to the top and solidifies a bit making it quite easy to skim-off and throw in the trash can (better the trash can than my arteries!).
I have been eating this like crazy and it is now a staple in my fridge. I took the liberty of adding some rice to the salad and really enjoy the results.
As many of you know, I am the only vegan in my household. While the rest of my family eats less meat than they used to, they do eat meat. Lately my son has been on a chicken salad sandwich kick. When I was younger I made a mean tuna fish sandwich (mean to the tuna, right/?!?!) and I remember the flavors well.
This is my vegan version of tuna / chicken salad and I enjoy it so much that I have been eating it for lunch and snacking on it like crazy. In an attempt to drastically reduce the amount of mayonnaise used, I made a sauce with some of the chickpeas and let me tell ya…you won’t even realize that there is only 2 Tbs. of Vegenaisein this entire creamy recipe.
2 15 ounce cans chickpeas (Eden Organics Low Sodium BPA free)
1/3 cup dill pickle juice
2 Tbs. Vegenaise
½ cup onion, finely diced
½ cup celery, finely diced
½ cup dill pickles, finely diced
2 Tbs. Dijon mustard
Drain and rinse the chickpeas.
Place 1 cup of the chickpeas in the food processor with the pickle juice and Vegenaise. Blend until very smooth (you may need to stop and scrape down the sides a few times). Pour the chickpea/pickle/mayo mixture into a bowl.
Place the remaining chickpeas in the food processor (no need to clean it) and pulse until it reaches the texture you desire; I prefer chunky.
Combine the chickpea/pickle/mayo mixture, texturized chickpeas, chopped onions, celery, and pickles in a bowl and fold together gently.
NOTE –The mixture will firm-up a bit once it has been refrigerated.
Serve over toasted bread, crackers, on top of salad, etc.
"The diet that helps to reduce weight in the short run needs to be the same diet that creates and maintains health in the long run."
~T. Colin Campbell
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