Category Archives: Food Products & Recipes

Appetizing Asparagus Recipes

Asparagus - jpegAsparagus is a seasonal vegetable and locally grown asparagus is only available fresh for a few weeks at the beginning of the summer. It can be available at other times of the year, if imported from Mexico, at a higher price. Fresh asparagus contains vitamins A, C and E.

Look for an even-sized bunch of spears and do not buy asparagus that is dry and wrinkled or has cracked or woody stems. Open tips are a sign of ageing.

Trim off any woody parts of the stem before steaming or lightly boiling until tender. It can also be grilled. Asparagus is delicious served by itself, with a vinagrette or lemon dressing. Try wrapping individual spears in a slice of Tofurky or Field Roast, secured by a cocktail stick, for an elegant appetizer.

Asparagus recipe selection

vegfeastckbk_small_border lighterGinger Asparagus

by Tawon Thai Restaurant, from The Veg-Feasting Cookbook

The fresh taste of asparagus provides the bass note in this medley of vegetables. Serves 4

2 medium cloves garlic, chopped (about 2 teaspoons)

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 pound asparagus, tough ends trimmed, cut on the diagonal in 1-inch pieces

4 scallions, white parts only, sliced thin

1 small onion, sliced

2 medium celery ribs, sliced

2 medium carrots, peeled and cut crosswise

12 white mushrooms, sliced

1 small red bell pepper, sliced

1 small green bell pepper, sliced

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

1 teaspoon black bean garlic sauce

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce

Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat, add the garlic and cook, stirring until the garlic turns brown. Add all the vegetables, the ginger and the black bean garlic sauce, and stir-fry until the vegetables are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Season with the sugar and soy sauce and serve.

 

The following recipes are reprinted from www.nutritionmd.org with permission

Cream of Asparagus Soup

Makes 7 1-cup servings

2 medium potatoes, scrubbed and chopped
2 cups water
1 bunch fresh asparagus
2 cups shredded cabbage
1 cup loosely packed chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 – 2 cup fortified unsweetened soy- or rice milk
3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Place potatoes in a large pot with water. Bring to a simmer, then cover and cook until tender when pierced with a fork, about 10 minutes.

Remove tough ends from asparagus, then cut or break it into 1-inch lengths; you should have about 4 cups.

When potatoes are tender, add asparagus, along with cabbage, parsley, and basil. Cover and simmer until asparagus is just tender, about 5 minutes.

Use a blender to purée vegetables in 2 or 3 batches, adding some of the non-dairy milk to each batch. Be sure to start blender on a low speed and hold lid on tightly. Return soup to pan, add salt to taste, then heat until steamy.

Asparagus with Garlic and Pecans

Makes 4 servings

3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 pound fresh asparagus, broken into bite-size pieces
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 cup pecan halves

Sauté garlic in oil in a medium skillet. Add asparagus and soy sauce. Cook 4 to 6 minutes, stirring often until asparagus is tender. Add pecans and continue cooking for 1 to 2 minutes. Serve.

Pasta con Asparagi

Makes 4 servings

We have lightened this recipe by sautéing with water or vegetable stock instead of oil.

1 – 2 tablespoon water or vegetable stock
1 medium onion, chopped
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
2 pounds fresh asparagus
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon dried sage
8 ounces dry spaghetti

Heat water or vegetable stock in a large non-stick pan. Add onion and sauté over medium heat for 3 minutes, until translucent. Add tomatoes, asparagus, basil, and sage. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 7 minutes. Remove from heat and keep warm.

Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain spaghetti and place in a serving bowl. Add the asparagus mixture and toss. Serve immediately.

Tip: Because asparagus tips cook faster than the thicker ends, you may wish to thin the asparagus with a potato peeler or chop off the ends.

 

 

Nadamoo – new dairy-free ice cream

Nadamoo HelicoptersThere are so many wonderful products at Vegfest every year and many are new to our region. One of our favorites is Nadomoo!  As its name implies it’s a dairy free ice “cream”.

Nadamoo! was a big hit at Vegfest so we decided to find out more. Here’s how they answered some of our questions. I’ve just got to try the Birthday Cake Cookie Dough!

When did your company start? Our company was started in 2004 in Austin, TX.

How would you describe your product? It’s the best tasting ice cream on the market! We think that just because it’s non-dairy doesn’t mean that it should lack in flavor. We have the creamiest, richest most ice cream-like plant-based product out there, or at least we think so!

What motivated you to begin? What’s Nadamoo! all about? NadaMoo! is a family brand that was created by our founder so that her sister, who suffered from food allergies, could enjoy ice cream with the rest of their family. Needless to say, we are all about family and inclusion. We want everyone to enjoy our dessert regardless of dietary restrictions.

What interested you in expanding into the Northwest? Just like Austin, we know there are lots of customers in the Northwest looking for organic, non-dairy desserts. We believe in transparency and creating a clean label.

How many kinds of Nadamoo! are there? What are the newest varieties? There are currently 15 flavors of NadaMoo! The newest flavors are Birthday Cake Cookie Dough and The Rockiest Road which were released in February 2017. Chocolate Peanut Butter was just released in May 2017!

Where can I buy Nadamoo! products locally?  Our products are currently available in Whole Foods Markets in Seattle, Bellevue, Redmond, Lynnwood, and University Place, and also at the Metropolitan Market in Tacoma (Proctor) and Sno-Isle Coop in Everett.

Vegfest Chef Bravo Recipes

bravoWe’re excited to tell you that one of the chefs presenting at Vegfest this year (2017) will be Chef Ramses Bravo!  Ramses is the executive chef for TrueNorth Health Center in Santa Rosa, California, where his delicious, healthful meals have inspired thousands of people who have transformed their lives at the center. Here we can share with you two recipes from his cookbook Bravo!: Health Promoting Meals from the TrueNorth Health Kitchen 

 

Double Squash with Pecans and Dried Cherries

This recipe combines sweet butternut squash, pecans, and cherries with savory acorn squash, shallot, and sage. The flavors complement rather than overpower each other.

Ingredients

2 butternut squash,
3 pounds each, cut lengthwise and seeds removed
2 acorn squash, 1.5 pounds each, cut lengthwise and seeds removed
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup pecans, toasted (see notes below)
1 shallot, thinly sliced
10 fresh sage leaves, very thinly sliced, or 1/2 teaspoon dried

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
Put the butternut and acorn squash cut-side down on the lined baking sheets and bake the butternut squash for about 30 minutes and the acorn squash for about 20 minutes, just
until tender. Let cool.
When cool enough to handle, peel and cut the squash into 1-inch cubes. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the cherries, pecans, shallot, and sage. Gently toss all the ingredients until well combined, taking care to keep the squash cubes whole. Serve at room temperature or thoroughly chilled.
Note: Butternut squash will generally take longer to cook than acorn squash, depending on their respective sizes. Be careful not to overcook the squash. When the squash is soft, the cubes will break apart. The flavor won’t be affected, but the look and texture of the dish will.

Toasting Nuts and Seeds

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the nuts or seeds on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 3 to 5 minutes.

Raw or Toasted Nuts and Seeds?
Which is better: raw or toasted nuts and seeds? This is a question that many TrueNorth
guests have asked me. My answer depends on what works best for each person.
The style of cooking advocated at TrueNorth and described in this book is designed
for optimal health. To that end, I recommend raw nuts and seeds, which have
greater nutritional value. However, this diet is also restrictive, so I look for ways to make
the food as flavorful as possible. One way to do that is to use toasted nuts and seeds, which
I prefer. My reasoning is that people may return to bad habits if they find their food
bland, and they may be more likely to stay with the program if it is more flavorful.

Breakfast Potatoes

This is a wholesome alternative to the greasy, fried, and overly salted, potato dishes often served at breakfast time. This dish can be prepared ahead of time, so all you need to do is bake it before serving. Note: It takes about 1 hour for the baked potatoes to cool down enough to be peeled. For speed and convenience, the potatoes can be baked 1 day in advance and stored in the refrigerator.

Ingredients: 

8 medium russet potatoes, scrubbed
2 cups small cauliflower florets
2 cups quartered white mushrooms
6 Roma tomatoes, cubed
1 small yellow onion, diced
1/ 4 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/ 4 teaspoon granulated onion
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, or 1 tablespoon dried
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, or 1 tablespoon dried

Assembly: 

Pierce each potato a few times with a fork or paring knife. Put the potatoes directly on a rack in the center of the oven and bake for 45 minutes, or until tender. The potatoes are done when a paring knife can be easily inserted in the center. Turn off the oven. Transfer the potatoes to a cooling rack.

When the potatoes are cool to the touch, peel and dice them. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the potatoes on the lined baking sheet. Scatter the cauliflower, mushrooms, tomatoes, and onion over the potatoes. Sprinkle with the granulated garlic and granulated onion. (At this point, the baking sheet can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for 8 to 12 hours.

When you are ready to bake the dish, bring the vegetables to room temperature while you preheat the oven. Remove the plastic wrap before baking.) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until all the vegetables start to brown. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the basil and parsley. Serve hot.

New vegan dairy and egg products

For those following a vegan diet, dairy and egg alternatives are always welcome.  Producers are experiencing an increased demand as more and more people seek plant-based products to buy, and they are responding by coming up with an ever wider variety of products. According to recent estimates, by 2020 the market for non-dairy products is expected to hit $20 billion. A record number of plant-based products are now available for sale in Washington’s grocery stores and supermarkets, and many more are in the pipeline. Here’s a sneak peak at what some producers are bringing to the marketplace.

daiya-chocolate-cheezecakeWhile most people know them for their popular non-dairy cheese products, Daiya has been innovating some new products lately. For instance, the brand recently launched a line of especially well-reviewed dairy-free cheezecakes, three flavors of cheezy mac, and now, an array of Greek style yogurts. The non-dairy yogurt comes in four flavors, blueberry, peach, strawberry and black cherry, and each serving offers eight grams of protein.  The company also offers a line of cream cheese style spreads, multiple varieties of vegan cheeses (both shredded, sliced and in blocks) and six pizzas (one of which uses the popular meat substitute, Beyond Meat, as a topping).

beyond-better-cashew-sauceFor those looking for an alternative to cheese sauce, a new company, Beyond Better, has come out with an assortment of incredibly delicious sauces. Cashew, Zesty Black Bean, Spicy Queso, and Savory Sunflower are now available, and the variety of ways these sauces can be used is nearly endless.

Closer to home, there are startups such as  Fauxmage, an alternative cheese produce that’s 100% vegan and is made from cultured cashews. They source premium organic cashews from small farmers and their cheese is made by hand, in small batches right here in Seattle. Fauxmage is available in a variety of tantalizing flavors such as Herbes de Provence, Sundried Tomato & Basil, smoky Harisa and, for those who like it on the hot side, Rooster Spice.

betaoats-yogurtAnother local company is Beta Oats yogurt, an entirely new kind of yogurt made from oats. The oats are fermented to yield a rich creamy taste enhanced with all kinds of goodies, such as blueberries, strawberries, and marion berries, with more flavors yet to come. Unlike traditional yogurts, BetaOats has plenty of fiber, especially soluble fiber, it’s rich in probiotics and rich in beta-glucan, a special fiber found in oats and barley. This became the inspiration for the name BetaOats. It’s low fat, gluten and GMO free, and has all natural ingredients. The fruit is sourced from the Northwest.

 

Of course, our good friends at Field Roast make the famous Chao Sliced Cheese right here in Seattle as well. This rich and creamy vegan cheese is coconut based and seasoned with a fermented tofu, traditionally called ‘Chao’ by the Vietnamese. Chao Slices have bold flavors and a cheesy bite right out of the package, or can be melted on your favorite hot sandwich or burger. Look for the Tomato Cayenne Chao and Coconut Herb Chao Slices. You’re in for quite a treat.

VeganEgg_Closed-Carton-318x318Last, but not least, is the new VeganEgg made by Follow Your Heart. Yes, yes, yes! You can now make vegan omelets, quiches, and even fried and scrambled “eggs”. We’ve tried it and believe you me it’s a vegan’s dream come true.  The environmentally-minded folks at Follow Your Heart point out that, in addition to all the health benefits of eating vegan eggs instead of chicken eggs, if America switched over to their new VeganEgg it alone would save the equivalent of 48 Billion car-driven miles worth of greenhouse gas emissions!

You’ll find many of the best new dairy and egg alternative products available at Vegfest this year, April 1 and 2, 2017, along with many other food products.  Don’t miss it!

New Vegan Ice Cream shop in Seattle

frankie-and-jos-ice-creamYes, we know it’s December but this is just too good to wait for summer. A new dairy-free, vegan, ice cream shop, Frankie and Jo’s, has just opened in Seattle. The shop is at 1010 E Union, tucked between Soi and General Porpoise.

Its celebration of plants extends to the decor, palm-fronded wallpaper and a plethora of actual, live greenery. But the real excitement lies in the cooler, and the eight rotating flavors ready to be scooped. There’s a brown sugar vanilla, gingered golden milk (which tastes, in the best possible way, of pure ginger), and salty caramel ash that’s sweet and salty and the color of a thunderstorm cloud. Sorbets include a beet-strawberry-rose combo and concord grape shrub. There’s a pumpkin butter seasonal flavor studded with cornbread and spiced pecans and the very popular—chocolate date, which packs all the richness of a date milkshake. It bears repeating: everything in here is vegan.

You can even sample Frankie and Jo’s by the scoop, rather than taking the full plunge for a pint. Ice cream comes in a cup or gluten free vanilla maple waffle cone and you can top them with things like chocolate magic shell, whipped (coconut) cream, or brownie chunks. The shop will debut more flavors in the coming weeks, and hours will be 2–10pm Sunday to Thursday and Friday and Saturday from 2–11. Track all these happenings, and ogle the ice cream flavors, on Frankie and Jo’s website.

Perfect Parsnip Recipes

Parsnips are root vegetables, similar to a carrot but golden yellow in color, with creamy-white flesh. They have a strong sweet flavor, and provide useful amounts of folic acid, B and C vitamins, plus plenty of dietary fiber. To prepare parsnips, top and tail, then scrub thoroughly or peel them.  You can then boil them until soft, and include them with other vegetables to create a delicious mash.  Another option is a tasty side dish of parsnips sliced like french fries, and roasted in the oven. They can also be a key ingredient in soups or casseroles. For lots of great vegetarian recipes, see The Veg-Feasting Cookbook

Recipes 

Reprinted from www.nutritionmd.org with permission

Apple and Parsnip Soup

Makes 4 servings

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium parsnips, chopped
4 cups Vegetable Broth
2 medium cooking apples, chopped
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 dash salt, to taste
1 dash black pepper, to taste

Heat oil in a medium soup pot. Add onion and parsnips and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes or until tender. Add vegetable broth, apples, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. In a food processor, purée the soup. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Serve hot.

 

Roasted Parsnips

This recipe is always a favorite in my home for holiday meals. One large parsnip easily makes enough for 2 people as a side dish, but you may find they’re so popular, you just can’t make enough!  Amanda Strombom

Serves 4

2 large parsnips & 2 tablespoons canola oil

Preheat the oven to 400F.  Slice off the top and bottom tip of each parsnip.  Peel the skin and wash the parsnips.  Slice them lengthways to make finger-sized sticks.  Arrange them flat on a well-oiled oiled baking tray or cookie sheet.  (You may need more than one tray).

Bake for 20-30 minutes, turning them over midway to help them brown all over.  Remove from the oven when slightly crisp, and place them on paper towels to remove any excess oil before serving.

 

The following recipe is from our cookbook The Veg-Feasting Cookbook

Shepherd’s Pie
This shepherd’s pie is topped with mashed root vegetables, instead of the traditional mashed potatoes. The stew in this recipe can be made ahead of time, even frozen and defrosted before use. Herbes de Provence is a blend of dried herbs including basil, lavender, rosemary, and thyme, often sold in small clay crocks. You’ll need a total of 1 pound of lentils for this dish; experiment with your own mix or use the proportions suggested in the ingredient list. Serve Shepherd’s Pie with broccoli, sautéed kale or other seasonal vegetables.
Serves 6

Lentil Filling
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2.5 medium onions (about 1 pound), diced fine
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 teaspoons Herbes de Provence
2 teaspoons dried basil
1½ teaspoons curry powder
2 bay leaves
¾ cup yellow split peas, picked over and rinsed
¾ cup green lentils, picked over and rinsed
¾ cup French lentils, picked over and rinsed
1 (28-ounce) can tomato puree
4 cups vegetable broth
3 medium carrots, diced
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1½ teaspoons vegetable bouillon powder
1½ teaspoons salt
1½ cups green peas, or 1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas, thawed
1 tablespoon potato starch dissolved in 1 tablespoon water

Mashed Root Vegetables
1½ pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled
and diced medium
1½ pound parsnip, peeled and diced, medium
1½ pound celery root, peeled and diced, medium
1½ pound rutabaga, peeled and diced, medium
Pinch of salt
1 cup soy creamer
3 tablespoons nonhydrogenated margarine
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon white pepper

For the filling, heat the oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat, add the onion and garlic and sauté until the onion turns translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the Herbes de Provence, basil, curry powder and bay leaves and sauté until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the split peas, lentils, tomato puree and vegetable broth; cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the diced carrots, vinegar, bouillon powder and salt and simmer uncovered, until the lentils, peas and carrots are tender, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat. Add the peas and the dissolved potato starch, stir, and remove from the heat. Pour the mixture into a 9 by 13-inch baking dish and let cool. (At this point you may wrap the dish and refrigerate or freeze until needed.)

Preheat the oven to 350°F while you prepare the mashed root vegetables. Bring 8 cups of water to a boil in a large pot. Add the rutabaga and cook for 5 minutes. Add the potatoes, parsnip, and celery root and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. While the vegetables are cooking, heat the soy creamer and margarine in a small saucepan over medium-low heat (or in the microwave). Drain the vegetables, return them to the pot and mash them, adding the warm liquid as you mash. Add salt and white pepper to taste.

Spread the mashed root vegetables evenly over the lentil mixture. Bake until light golden brown on the top, 20 to 25 minutes, and serve.

Chef’s Tip
The mashed root vegetables for the Shepherd’s Pie topping also makes a wonderful side dish; adding color, flavor and nutrients to your meal. Try serving it whenever mashed potatoes would be served. You may choose your own vegetable combination; just use a total of 3 pounds, half potatoes and half other root vegetables.

Nuts are powerful

nuts-mixedNuts are powerful for our health. The evidence is in and there’s a lot of it. Nuts, such as cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds, can reduce the risk of death from diabetes by 40 percent, cut heart disease by 30 percent, and reduce the risk of cancer by 15 percent. They also lower the risk of high blood pressure and gall stones, and can even lower cholesterol and triglycerides.  Even more good news – it only takes a handful or two of nuts two or three times a week to gain these benefits.

Doctors have now discovered how nuts produce some of their beneficial health effects. For instance, nuts reduce oxidative stress, inflammation, body fat accumulation, high blood sugar, insulin resistance, and improve the health of the coronary arteries in the heart.

While nuts do have some calories, the limited quantity needed for their beneficial effect is unlikely to affect your weight. Just as important, nuts create greater hunger satisfaction than many other foods, so you’ll have less tendency to overeat. Nuts are a good source of protein, good fats, minerals such as magnesium, vitamins such as vitamin E, and fiber. Just as importantly nuts have special substances called phytonutrients. These special substances act as antioxidants and help to prevent a whole host of diseases. Every nut is just a little bit different. For instance, walnuts are a good source of omega 3 essential fatty acids, pistachios are high in potassium and vitamin B6, while almonds have the most fiber.

Try to avoid fried, salted and sugared nuts. Dry roasted nuts give the best nutrition. Include them in salads and other dishes or munch on them straight from the bag. Enjoy!

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