stairway to vegan

Sharing a journey into the world of fabulous vegan food.


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Quick, easy and delicious, Zucchetti with Sundried Tomato Marinara Sauce #veganmofo #vgnmf15

Day three of MoFo and all is well……. Well, sort of.

Zucchetti with Sun Dried Tomato Marinara Sauce

Zucchetti with Sun Dried Tomato Marinara Sauce

I was browsing around the internet, soaking in all the wonderful vegan posts, and wham, go attacked by a computer virus. Basically the virus attached a secret encryption to all my files and the only way to get my files back was to go to a website and pay to get the secret code…………..I think not……. fortunately I do regular back ups, so a quick loading of the original dvd’s that came with the computer, everything is wiped off and reloaded. Thank goodness for external hard drives and backups. A little inconvenient but nothing too serious.

Zucchetti with Sun Dried Tomato Marinara Sauce

Zucchetti with Sun Dried Tomato Marinara Sauce

Continuing on with the theme of quick and easy (didn’t take too much time or effort to restore my computer) and delicious, todays recipe is for Zucchetti with Sundried Tomato Marinara Sauce. You could sub out they zucchetti (spiralized zucchini) with a pasta of your choice if you prefer.

This meal can be totally raw or if you like (as I did) you can add in fried mushrooms.

Enjoy,

96B4F31D4DF30EE65A022CF611762965

 

 

Zucchetti with Sun Dried Tomato Marinara Sauce

Serves 2

  • 2 or 3 zucchini spiralized (or 2 cups of cooked pasta of choice)
  • 1 Cup sun dried tomato’s soaked in 1/2 cups hot water for 10 mins (reserve water)
  • 1 Tblspn olive oil
  • 2 plum tomato’s
  • 1 handful fresh basil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Sauteed mushrooms and nutritional yeast if desired to garnish

Place spiralized zucchini on paper towels to absorb excess moisture.

Combine drained sun dried tomato’s, olive oil, plum tomato’s, basil and garlic in a blender or food processor. Process until fairly smooth. Add reserved tomato soaking water a tablespoon at a time until you reach the desired consistency.

Place zucchini on two plates. Spoon marinara sauce over top and sprinkle with sautéed mushrooms and nutritional yeast if using.

You may also gently heat the marinara sauce in a small pot before serving if you prefer a cooked sauce.

I like the sauce “raw” and it avoids one more pot to clean, adding to the “quick and easy” part of the recipe…….and it truly is delicious.

Zucchetti with Sun Dried Tomato Marinara Sauce

Zucchetti with Sun Dried Tomato Marinara Sauce

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Salad Jars #vegan #saladinajar

Salad Jar's

Salad Jar’s

I love salad in the summertime. I take one to work with me every day for lunch. Sometimes I make it in the morning and other times I just take all the ingredients with me to work and construct the salad in the kitchen there.

Recently I was at a Chapters bookstore and I saw the front cover of a book dedicated to making all kinds of different salad’s in large mason jars. What a great idea.

Here I put my dressing in the bottom and then added chickpeas, and then layered the other salad ingredients until finally I added the lettuce, spinach, arugula mix at the very top. This way the lettuce does not get the dressing on it until you are ready to eat and does not get all soft and wilted.

I also cheated, slightly, by using whole cherry tomato’s. Not only do they look incredibly pretty in the jar, but because they are whole and not cut, the tomato’s also dont get soft.

You can use your imagination for the ingredients, I am thinking of adding mushrooms, snow peas, corn, dried fruits, nuts…….there really is no limit to what you could add (other than avocado or perhaps banana or any other item that will brown upon cutting). Just keep in mind that the idea is to keep the dry ingredients at the top and the wet at the bottom.

Salad Jar's

Salad Jar’s

I made three jars to see how well they keep and am happy to advise that on day two, everything is just as fresh and delicious as day one. How nice to open my fridge in the morning and just grab a jar and head to work. And they look really pretty sitting on the shelf.

Enjoy,

96B4F31D4DF30EE65A022CF611762965

Salad Jar's

Salad Jar’s

Salad Jar’s with Dijon and Olive Oil Dressing

Makes 3 jars

Dressing

  • 2 Tblspn’s olive oil
  • 1 Tblspn balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tblspn dijon mustard
  • 4 Tblspns water

Salad Ingredients

  • 1 can chickpeas rinsed
  • 1 1/2 red peppers diced
  • 1 English cucumber diced
  • 1/2 Head Fennel chopped finely
  • 1 pint cherry tomato’s
  • 6 cups salad greens
  • 3 large mason jars

 

To make dressing, combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until completely combined and emulsified.

Divide the dressing between the three large mason jars.

Divide the salad ingredients between the three jars layering:

chickpeas then red peppers, then cucumbers, then fennel, then cherry tomato’s then salad greens.

Store upright in fridge until ready for use.

When ready to serve, shake briefly then empty out onto plate. You may need to help the salad greens out.

Salad Jar's

Salad Jar’s

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 579 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 562
Calories from Fat

144
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 16.0g 25%
Saturated Fat 2.0g 10%
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 190mg 8%
Potassium 1364mg 39%
Total Carbohydrates 85.0g 28%
Dietary Fiber 26.1g 104%
Sugars 14.7g
Protein 27.4g
Vitamin A 96% Vitamin C 103%
Calcium 23% Iron 51%
Nutrition Grade A
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

Nutritional Analysis

Good points
Salad Jar's

Salad Jar’s

 

 


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#Raw #Vegan #BLT

Raw Vegan BLT

Raw Vegan BLT

It seems I am on a Raw kick at the moment. The weather is finally nice, sunny and hot, and heating up the kitchen with cooked food is not that appealing.

Making the bread and bacon in a dehydrator lets me spend my time outside enjoying the fresh air and sunshine. I usually make a double batch of the bread and freeze the extra.

This BLT is made with Eggplant Bacon and Raw Onion Garlic Bread. The bacon is crisp and smokey and tastes great. The bread is soft and has a light onion/garlic taste. Add in some lettuce, sliced tomato and creamy sliced avocado and voila a tasty raw BLT

The Eggplant Bacon stores well in an airtight glass jar and will remain crisp for weeks as long as you make sure it is completely dry before removing from the dehydrator. If you do  not have a dehydrator, you can also make this in the oven. Put the oven on at the lowest possible temperature and cook with the door slightly open. I have not done it this way so I am not sure how long it will take, I would check every half hour or so.

Enjoy,

96B4F31D4DF30EE65A022CF611762965

Raw Vegan BLT

Raw Vegan BLT

Raw Onion Garlic Bread

  • 1 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 sweet onions roughly chopped
  • 1 cup ground flax
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 4 Tblspns tamari

Place sunflower seeds in a food processor and process until ground. Add garlic and onions and process until onions are finely minced. Add in remaining ingredients and pulse a few times until well combined. The mixture should be moist but not wet. If it is too dry  add a little water, a tablespoon at a time.

Spread mixture onto parchment paper or dehydrator sheets about 1/8 of an inch thick (or to your own preference). Score into slices. Dehydrate for 1 hour at 115 then for 4 hours at 105. Remove from dehydrator and turn over. Dehydrate for 2 more hours or until they reach your desired texture. I like my bread to be soft, however you can leave them to become quite dry and more cracker like if you prefer.

Remove from trays when ready, allow to cool completely then store in an airtight container in the fridge, or freeze for future use.

Eggplant Bacon

  • 1 small eggplant sliced thinly on a mandolin lengthwise
  • 2 Tblspn tamari
  • 2 Tblspns agave or maple syrup
  • 2 tspns olive oil
  • 1.1/2 tspn finely diced sun dried tomato’s
  • 1 tspn liquid smoke

Whisk together all ingredients except eggplant in small bowl.

Place eggplant in large baking dish or bowl. Pour the liquid mixture over the eggplant slices and using your hands, gently massage each slice making sure it is well coated. Let sit for 15 mins in liquid.

Place slices on parchment paper or dehydrator sheets. Make   slices are overlapping.

Dehydrate for 6 – 8 hours at 105 or until totally dry and crisp. Cool completely before storing in glass airtight container in fridge.

Raw Vegan BLT

Raw Vegan BLT


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Raw Pad Thai #vegan #raw #padthai

Raw Pad Thai

Raw Pad Thai

Growing up in Australia, Asian food was readily available and totally delicious. I love all Asian food, but especially Vietnamese and Thai. These cuisines are vibrant both visually and in taste. Fresh lime juice, cilantro, peppers and lemon grass all  work to give amazing fresh tastes.

Pad Thai is one of my favourites, and I am trying to keep my diet as clean as possible at the moment so this is perfect.

The sauce is very rich, so add a little to the veggies and taste. If you want more, add it in. If there is any left over, it can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for a week or so. I am not sure if it will keep longer than a week, as I can never get it to last that long.

Enjoy,

96B4F31D4DF30EE65A022CF611762965

Raw Pad Thai

Raw Pad Thai

 

Raw Pad Thai

Serves 4 – 6

Sauce

  • 1/4 cup tamarind paste
  • 1/4 cup tamari sauce
  • 1/4 cup sunflower oil
  • 1/4 cup raw cashews roughly chopped plus extra for garnish
  • 2 tblspn hot pepper flakes
  • 4 tblspns water
  • 3 cloves garlic roughly chopped

Noodles

  • 2 zucchini
  • 1 small daikon radish thinly sliced
  • 1/2 small red cabbage shredded
  • 2 red peppers cut into thin strips
  • 1 yellow or orange paper cut into thin strips
  • 1/2 cup green onion thinly sliced
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro roughly chopped
  • fresh lime juice

 

Place all sauce ingredients in blender and process until thickened and mostly smooth. Place in fridge to chill while preparing

using a spiralizer or mandolin, cut the zucchini into thin strips (noodles) and place in a large bowl. Add in the daikon radish, red cabbage, red and yellow peppers, green onions and cilantro. Mix together well.

Add the sauce and mix to coat the veggies well. If you do not use all the sauce, it can be stored in a glass jar in the fridge for a week.

Place a mound of vegetables on a plate, sprinkle with extra raw cashews and drizzle with fresh lime juice.

Raw Pad Thai

Raw Pad Thai

 

 

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 213 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 175 Calories from Fat 109
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12.1g 19%
Saturated Fat 1.5g 7%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 30mg 1%
Potassium 542mg 15%
Total Carbohydrates 16.3g 5%
Dietary Fiber 3.3g 13%
Sugars 7.8g
Protein 3.7g
Vitamin A 22% Vitamin C 213%
Calcium 6% Iron 9%
Nutrition Grade A-
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

Nutritional Analysis

Good points
Bad points
Raw Pad Thai

Raw Pad Thai


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Vitality Salad with Oil Free Zesty Italian Dressing

It’s SPRING……Finally, we made it through the winter. There is always a thought around the begining of March, that we might be stuck in winter for ever…..well, the thought crosses my mind anyway.

Unfortunatley, it is still quite cold and the ever present threat of snow continues.

So, to celebrate the soon to be here warm weather, it is time for a wonderful salad.

 

Vitality Salad with Zesty Oil Free Italian Dressing

Vitality Salad with Zesty Oil Free Italian Dressing

This salad was delicious. A nice mix of greens and fresh vibrant veggies. To make it even more interesting I added in sprouts that I had just sprouted in my kitchen. For those of you who have not tried growing your own sprouts, it is really simple and the end result is a wonderful tasty vitamin packed sprout. I usually end up eating them as a snack before they make it into a meal.

The Italian Dressing is oil free but nice and thick and spicy. You can adjust the ingredients to your own liking. I love garlic, so lots went in.

Vitality Salad with Zesty Oil Free Italian Dressing

Vitality Salad with Zesty Oil Free Italian Dressing

Enjoy,

96B4F31D4DF30EE65A022CF611762965

 

 

 

Vitality Salad with Zesty Oil Free Italian Dressing

  • 1 cup cold water or light vegetarian broth
    2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
    1 Tbsp Dijon-style prepared mustard
    1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
    1 tsp fine sea salt
    1 tsp dried basil
    1/4 tsp paprika
    pepper to taste

Gently heat water and cornstarch in small pot. Simmer gently until liquid is almost clear and thick.

Remove from heat and cool.

Combine cornstarch liquid and all other ingredients in a jar and shake vigorously to combine.

This will make approx 1 1/4 cups of dressing. Store in airtight container in the fridge.The dressing will thicken up even more once completely chilled.

 

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 9 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 10
Calories from fat 3
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0.3g 1%
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 188mg 8%
Potassium 16mg 0%
Total Carbohydrates 1.2g 0%
Protein 0.3g
Vitamin A 1% Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 1% Iron 1%
Nutrition Grade A
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

Nutritional Analysis

Good points
Bad points


2 Comments

Raw Seed Granola #vegan #healthy #breakfast

 

 Raw Seed Granola

Raw Seed Granola

To start a fresh new healthy year, you need a fresh healthy breakfast. Part of my New Years plans are to improve my diet (it is amazingly easy to find vegan junk food) and eat more raw food, so the first thing I needed was a healthy raw vegan granola.

This granola was born out of a walk through the bulk food store. A quick trip down the nuts and seeds aisle, followed by dried fruit, a grain and some cinnamon and here it is.

Raw Seed Granola

Raw Seed Granola

This granola is made in the dehydrator, allowing it to remain raw, however, you could also cook it in a very low oven.

The nuts and seeds I used required a short soaking time ( 3 hours), but if you decide to use harder nuts like almonds, you will need to let them soak for 12 hours. The soaking softens the nuts and seeds which in turn makes them easier to digest.

This granola is delicious served with almond milk, but is also great eaten dry as a snack, it is crunchy and sweet and satisfies my munchie attacks.

Enjoy,

96B4F31D4DF30EE65A022CF611762965

 

 

Raw Seed Granola

Raw Seed Granola

Raw Seed Granola

Serves 20

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup dates
  • 1/2 cup water
  • juice of 1 orange
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1/2 cup grated coconut
  • 1 cup spelt flakes
  • 2 tspns cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 apple cored (I leave the skin on)
  • 1 banana peeled

Combine cashews, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds in a large bowl. Cover with water and let sit for 3 hours to soften.

Place dates, water and orange juice in blender and process until smooth, scraping down the sides and adding a little more water if necessary. Set aside.

Mix orange zest, coconut, spelt flakes, cinnamon and raisins in large bowl.

Place drained nuts and seeds into food processor and using pulse button mix until roughly chopped. Remove and add to bowl with coconut and spelt.

Add apple and banana to empty food processor and again using the pulse button, pulse until roughly chopped.

Add this mix to other ingredients in the large bowl. Mix together well. Add date mix and continue mixing until totally incorporated.

Place on dehydrator trays directly onto mesh liners or parchment paper. Dehydrate at 118 F for 8 – 12 hours until completely dry.

Remove from trays, crumble if necessary and store in airtight glass jar in cool dry place.

Raw Seed Granola

Raw Seed Granola

 

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 62 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 134 Calories from Fat 47
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5.3g 8%
Saturated Fat 1.3g 7%
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 3mg 0%
Total Carbohydrates 1.6g 7%
Dietary Fiber  2.6g 10%
Sugars 12.8g
Protein 3.0g
Vitamin A   1% Vitamin C 11%
Calcium 2% Iron 8%
Nutrition Grade B+
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

Nutritional Analysis

Good points
Bad points


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#Festive Bites….. #hors d’oeuvres with #pomegranate and #avocado

Festive Bites

Festive Bites

Jingle bells…..jingle bells…..jingle all the way….., fortunately you cannot hear me singing (I have the worst voice) so you will just have to use your imagination.

Most of my gifts have been bought, except the last-minute purchases, traditionally done on Christmas Eve. Dont you just love going out on Christmas Eve and experiencing the energy (and sometimes desperation) of all the other shoppers?

With a couple of weeks left till the big day, I want to try to come up with the perfect main course. As the only vegan in my family, I usually make my own main dish, leaving my daughter and son-in-law to focus on the traditional dishes. This year I would love to have a spectacular dish to share with them. While I agree vegans do not need to replicate a “turkey”, I must admit, I am drawn to that taste and aroma. I guess I am a just sucker for tradition, (growing up in Australia, we would have a full tranditional hot meal complete with hot Christmas pudding even though it was the middle of summer and the temperature was usually north of 30 C). So if anyone has a favourite recipe crammed full of sage, cranberries, stuffing etc, please let me know.

One of the other nice parts of the Christmas season is getting together with friends and family, either a planned get together, or a spontaneous visit. With a few simple ingredients kept on  hand, you can whip up some delicious hors d’oeuvres in two minutes flat.

This week, while I was out doing Christmas shopping recon, I found these individual spoons for serving bite size hors d’oeuvres. What a wonderful idea.

The two recipes below use fairly common ingredients and deliver a great taste and festive visual.

Enjoy,

96B4F31D4DF30EE65A022CF611762965

Festive Bites

Festive Bites

Two Festive Bites:

Pomegranate Mango Guacamole Bites and Avocado Cucumber Ceviche

Pomegranate Mango

makes approx 2 1/2 cups

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1/2 cup onion finely chopped
  • 1 fresh serrano (or jalapeno) chile, finely minced
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/2 cup mango, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro (or parsley)

Mash avocado. In separate bowl, combine onion, chile and lime juice. Add avocado and mix well. Fold in pomegranate seeds, mango and cilantro.

Place 1 tblspn of mixture onto individual serving spoons. Keep chilled until ready to serve.

You could also have this as a spread/dip with crackers.

Avocado Cucumber Vegan Ceviche

makes approx 2 cups

Vinegarette

  • 1/2 small onion finely minced
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 1.2 tspn tabasco (or other hot) sauce
  • 2 Tblspns olive oil
  • sea salt and ground pepper to taste

Ceviche

  • 1 small or 1/2 large cucumber diced finely (if possible, leave skin on for green contrast)
  • 4 roma tomato’s finely diced (remove seeds if desired)
  • 1/2 avocado diced finely
  • parsley or chives to garnish

Make vinegarette by combining all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together. Let sit for 10 mins to allow flavours to mix.

In separate bowl, combine cucumber, tomato’s and avocado. Add in vinegarette and mix well.

To serve, place tablespoonfuls into individual serving spoons. Top with sprig of parsley or a couple of chives. Keep chilled until ready to serve.

This is also delicious as a dip with corn chips, or you can leave the cucumber and tomato in large slices and drizzle the vinegarette over the top as a side salad.

Festive Bites

Festive Bites

 

Nutrition Facts Mango Pomegranate
Serving Size 30 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 37 Calories from Fat 29
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3.2g 5%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1mg 0%
Total Carbohydrates 1.4g 0%
Dietary Fiber 1.2g 5%
Sugars 0.7g
Protein 0.5g
Vitamin A   2% Vitamin C 13%
Calcium 0% Iron 1%
Nutrition Grade B+
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

Nutritional Analysis

Good points

 

Nutrition Facts Cucumber/Avocado Cerviche
Serving Size 57 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 29 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2.0g 3%
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 3mg 0%
Total Carbohydrates 2.9g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0.9g 4%
Sugars 1.1g
Protein 0.6g
Vitamin A   4% Vitamin C 14%
Calcium 0% Iron 1%
Nutrition Grade A
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

Nutritional Analysis

Good points