Category Archives: Food Products & Recipes

Enticing Arugula recipes

ArugulaNative to the Mediterranean region, arugula is a green leafy plant from the mustard family, also known as rocket. Arugula has a rich peppery taste, and is a good source of vitamins A and C, folate, potassium, magnesium, calcium and phytonutrients. It has been enjoyed the Italians and French for centuries and now is becoming popular in the US.

Arugula is most often used in salads, particularly in a mesclun or mixed green salad, along with other leaves such as dandelion, chervil, endive, frisee, and baby chard, lettuce, spinach and kale leaves.

In addition to its use in salads, it can be made into a pesto sauce, or sauted or steamed and added to pasta dishes.

The following recipe is from The Veg-Feasting Cookbook, by Vegetarians of Washington:

vegfeastckbk_small_border lighterFingerling Potato and Arugula Salad

This simple salad makes a light lunch or substantial side dish. Arugula becomes more peppery as it ages; baby arugula is mildly spicy while mature arugula packs a bigger bite.

Serves 4

1½ pounds French fingerling potatoes (or substitute other small, waxy potatoes such as Yukon Gold)

4 ounces arugula, plus a little salt

 

Dressing

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

2½ tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 medium shallot, peeled and quartered

⅓ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place the potatoes in a large saucepan, add enough water to cover by an inch, add salt to taste, and bring to a boil. Cook until fork-tender, about 15 minutes; be careful not to overcook. Drain, chill quickly with ice or cold water and refrigerate until ready to use. The potatoes can be cooked a day ahead.

In a food processor or blender, combine the oil, vinegar, shallot, ¾ teaspoon salt and pepper. If no appliance is available, mince the shallot very fine and whisk the ingredients together, or shake them well in a screw top jar.

Slice the potatoes crosswise ¼ inch thick, leaving on the peel, and place in a large bowl. Add the arugula and most, but not all, of the dressing. Toss the dressing with the potatoes and arugula until they are lightly coated and flavorful, adding the remaining dressing if necessary. Arrange the salad on four salad plates, making sure a few slices of potato show on each plate, and serve.

 

The following recipe is reprinted from www.nutritionmd.org with permission:

Italian Stuffed Griddle Dumplings (Consum)

Makes 6 servings (2 pita halves each)

This traditional “griddle dumpling” from Romagna is actually a stuffed Italian flatbread, similar to a calzone but stuffed with greens. This easy version uses whole-wheat pitas.

6 pieces whole-wheat pita bread
1½ teaspoons chopped garlic
¼ cup low-sodium vegetable broth
½ pound Swiss chard, beet greens, spinach, or savoy cabbage, or a mixture
½ pound bitter greens, such as arugula, radicchio, rapini, Chinese broccoli, mustard or turnip greens, or curly endive
¼ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1 freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Cut each pita bread in half and open to form a pocket. Wash, trim, and thinly slice the greens.

Place garlic, broth, greens, and ¼ teaspoon salt in a large, deep non-stick skillet. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook until tender. If any liquid remains, uncover and cook over high heat, stirring constantly, until it evaporates. Season with the salt and black pepper and set aside to cool.

Drain the greens and stuff inside the pita halves. Heat filled pitas on a hot, dry griddle or cast-iron pan over high heat, turning frequently, until hot and flecked with brown spots. Serve hot.

FDA approves plant blood!

Impossible cheeseburgerHow can a plant have blood? That sounds impossible! Well, not exactly. The folks, at the appropriately named Impossible Foods, have invented a burger that actually bleeds just like a real burger with just one exception. While this blood didn’t come from an animal, many will think it could have. The company created a totally vegan burger that “bleeds” just like a real, juicy, half-pounder does, and now the Food and Drug Administration has decided that it’s totally, 100% safe.

The nutrient that causes the bleeding effect is heme — it’s an iron-rich compound that occurs naturally. And as it turns out, it’s the reason that the Impossible Burger turns impossibly blood-red when it’s cooked.

This is just part of the new trend of making meat substitutes, or as the industry calls them meat analogues, as much like the real thing as possible, but without the meat of course. Scientists at the Impossible Foods company say they’ve managed to mimic the particular mouth-feel of meat by using bioengineered plant “blood,” reports the Wall Street Journal.  While not yet available in grocery stores, look out for the Impossible Burger at a good number of restaurants throughout Washington state!

Delicious Black Bean recipes

Black BeansBlack beans are small, black, shiny beans, packed with protein, fiber, iron, and various minerals, plus they are loaded with antioxidants. They have a delicious smoky flavor.

They can be purchased dried, in packets or from bulk bins, or precooked in cans.  Canned beans are more convenient, and very little is lost nutritionally, so they are handy to keep in your pantry. Choose a brand which doesn’t add extra salt or other additives.

Black beans can be added to many different soups and stews.  They can be used in burritos, served with rice, or as a topping for a baked potato. They can also be made into a tasty dip.

Mexican Black Bean Salad

This salad makes a handy lunch and leftovers are equally delicious the next day. For an especially quick meal, you can use a 15-ounce can of black beans, drained and rinsed. Enjoy the cilantro in this dish or substitute parsley if you prefer.

Serves 6

½ pound potatoes, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
2 medium carrots, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 cup frozen corn
1½ cups cooked black beans
1 red bell pepper, chopped
6 radishes, thinly sliced
5 scallions, chopped
¾ cup medium-hot salsa
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
½ cup low-sodium tomato juice
2 tablespoons juice from 1 lime
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 avocado, chopped into bite-sized pieces

In a medium saucepan, cook the potatoes in boiling water until nearly tender. Add the carrots and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes. Add the corn, stir, then pour the vegetables into a colander. Rinse under cold water to quickly cool the vegetables and stop the cooking process. Drain well.

Combine the black beans, red pepper, radishes and scallions in a medium serving bowl. Add the potatoes, carrots and corn.

Combine the salsa, cilantro, tomato juice, lime juice and olive oil in a medium bowl. Mix well and pour over the vegetables. Toss gently but thoroughly. Before serving, top with the avocado.

 

Easy Black bean dip

1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed (or 1 1/2 cups cooked beans)

1 cup salsa (any variety)

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

Combine beans and salsa in a food processor or blender and process until smooth.  Add cumin.  Serve with tortilla chips.

New vegan latte at Starbucks

Iced Vanilla bean coconut latteOh, yes! Starbucks just added a new vegan cold beverage to its permanent menu. The Iced Vanilla Bean Coconutmilk Latte is now a permanent offering. This vegan espresso beverage will keep you going all year long.

The new beverage is part of their commitment to serving more plant-based options. This demonstrates that Starbucks has confidence in the growing plant-based trend.  Starbucks has made significant strides in better catering to its vegan customers. In recent months, it has added vegan macadamia cookies, 3D popsicles, protein-packed cold brews, packaged savory wraps, and coffee smoothies in select locations. The company has also expanded its snack range, offering vegan Hippeas packs, and Justin’s peanut and almond butter cups.

Other coffee companies have also gotten into the act. For instance, Peet’s Coffee has vegan whipped cream. It also has a “Coffee Meets Coconut” summer menu which included 3 vegan-friendly beverages made with the new whip.

Let’s hope all the coffee shops continue to increase their plant-based options.

Pizza Pascalina – the anti-tumor pizza

Pizza-Pascalina-keste-pizza-2Cancer researchers and chefs have teamed up in Italy to create a healthy vegan pizza that actually helps protect you from cancer and heart disease. The team is calling this “Pizza Pascalina”, an “anti-tumor” pizza and “the pizza that extends life.” The Pizza Pascalina team was on a mission to prove to people that even pizza can be healthy, when topped with the right ingredients, and when harmful ingredients like animal products are left out.

The plant-based pizza is based on health-promoting ingredients such tomatoes, olives, nuts, rapini, garlic, and extra virgin olive oil. The cheeseless, meatless pie is devoid of all animal products, from the simple wheat-based crust to the vegetable toppings. Much of the cancer-preventing agents lie in the tomatoes. Based on solid research, the scientists believe that these tomatoes can inhibit certain cancers. They also found that meals low in fat and high in fresh produce can reduce the risk of obesity and heart disease.

Let’s hope that the Pizza Pascalina catches on as a popular option at all pizza outlets. Learn more about how a plant-based diet can reduce your risk of cancer.

 

No reason to celebrate Chick-fil-A

Chick-fil-A Cow Appreciation DayChick-fil-A recently held a “Cow Appreciation Day”, but we’re doing anything but celebrating. Their idea of “appreciating” cows is to give away free chicken. While we’re all for skipping the burgers, substituting chicken has to be one of the worst deals of the century. Let’s look at some of the details of the Chick-fil-A bad deal.

While not quite as high as beef, chicken still has high levels of saturated fat and cholesterol that contribute to clogged arteries and other diseases. Cooking chicken also produces more cancer-causing heterocyclic amines (HCA’s) than any other meat when cooked, and fried chicken is even worse. So there’s no doubt that eating chicken is bad for your health. Read more

Tempting Tofu Recipes

TofuOf all the possible protein sources you could eat, tofu has to be the most versatile, and the healthiest. It is made from soybeans, and is high in protein, low in fat, and also contains good amounts of calcium and some B vitamins.

There are two main types of tofu, regular and silken tofu.  Regular tofu comes floating in water in a small tub. It needs to be refrigerated and used within a few days. It is best used crumbled, sliced or diced, and can be marinated to absorb different flavors. It can be baked, fried, or added to soups, stews and curries.

Silken tofu has a creamier texture which blends particularly well, to make quiches, desserts, smoothies etc.  It doesn’t hold its shape well, so doesn’t work so well sliced. It often comes vacuum packed and doesn’t need to be refrigerated. It keeps for several months.

There are hundreds of different recipes available, and even some whole cookbooks focusing just on tofu. Every style of cuisine can be recreated, so search vegetarian websites or buy a good cookbook, and enjoy the diversity of this nutritional powerhouse.

Recipes

The following recipes are from The Veg-Feasting Cookbook, by Vegetarians of Washington:

Seven-Layer Fiesta Dip

Mexican Seasoning Mix

Tofu Cutlets with Tapenade Sauce

Spanakopita

Read more

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