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Nutritious Bok Choy Recipes

Bok Choy is a member of the cabbage family, although it doesn’t look much like the cabbages we’re used to.  Its texture is more like celery at the bottom and a leafy green such as spinach at the top.

Bok Choy is common in Chinese food, but rarely used in other cuisines.  It is extremely nutritious. It has a particularly high level of calcium, with 870mg per 100 calorie serving, and an absorption rate of 53%.  When you compare that to cow’s milk, which has only 188mg per 100 calorie serving, and an absorption rate of 32%, you can see that it makes a good addition to any diet.

To prepare bok choy, you can wash the leaves and stem, then simply steam or stir fry it.  Sprinkly a little soy sauce on if you like.  Alternatively you can chop it up and use it as you would any other vegetable, in soups, stews, curries or pies. Add this to as many of your recipes as possible, for a real nutritional boost!

For lots of great vegetarian recipes, see The Veg-Feasting Cookbook.

Recipes

  • Broccoli and Bok Choy with Baked Tofu
  • Spicy Thai Soup
  • Zippy Yams and Bok Choy
  • Macaroni with Creamy Tofu Sauce

Broccoli and Bok Choy with Baked Tofu


Makes 6 1-cup servings
This simple recipe is a delicious way to add healthful greens and soy to your diet. It is served with brown rice, but can also be served with pasta or grilled polenta.

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cups broccoli florets
3 – 4 cups thinly sliced bok choy
2 tablespoons water
4 ounces baked tofu, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 – 3 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
6 cups cooked brown rice

Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet, then add onion and cook over high heat, stirring often, 2 to 3 minutes.
Add broccoli and bok choy and continue cooking, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.
Stir in water, along with tofu, black pepper, and soy sauce. Cover and cook until broccoli and bok choy are just tender and tofu is heated through, about 3 minutes.
Serve over brown rice.


Spicy Thai Soup

Makes 6 1-cup servings

What a delicious way to enjoy healthy green vegetables!

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
4 cups Vegetable Broth
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 – 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped (or more to taste)
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup bite-size broccoli florets
1 cup packed finely chopped bok choy
1 green onion, finely chopped, including top
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro

Mix broth, ginger, garlic, and jalapeño pepper in a pot and bring to a boil. Add mushrooms and simmer 2 minutes.

Add broccoli and bok choy. Simmer until broccoli is tender but still bright green and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Do not overcook.

Stir in green onion and cilantro. Serve immediately.


Zippy Yams and Bok Choy

Makes 4 servings

2 small yams, cut into bite-size chunks
1 onion, quartered and sliced
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon Thai chili paste
2 small heads bok choy, finely sliced
1 juice of 1/2 lemon

Put yams in a deep skillet and just cover them with water. Cover skillet and boil yams for 5 to 10 minutes, until soft when pierced with a fork.

Add onion and garlic and continue to simmer until about half of the water has boiled away.

Add vegetarian Worcestershire sauce, chili paste, and bok choy. Simmer until bok choy is soft. Sprinkle lemon juice over the mixture and serve.

Macaroni with Creamy Tofu Sauce

Makes 8 1-cup servings

Here’s a healthy version of a traditional “comfort food.”

8 ounces dry macaroni
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 bell pepper, seeded and diced
3 cups sliced mushrooms (about 3/4 pound)
3 – 4 leaves bok choy, chopped (about 2 cups)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups fortified unsweetened soy- or rice milk
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3 tablespoons rice flour
1/4 cup potato flour
3 tablespoons non-hydrogenated, dairy-free margarine
1 pound firm tofu, crumbled

Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain and rinse, then set aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet and cook onion over high heat until soft, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.

Add bell pepper, mushrooms, bok choy, parsley, poultry seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and black pepper. Cover and cook until mushrooms are soft and bok choy is just tender, about 5 minutes.

Combine non-dairy milk, onion powder, garlic powder, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, flours, and margarine in a blender. Blend on high speed until mixture is thick and smooth.

Add to vegetables, along with tofu and pasta. Stir to mix, then cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until heated through, about 5 minutes.

Mouthwatering Melon Recipes

melonsMelons are large, edible fruits with a thick yellow or green skin, and juicy, fragrant flesh. Since the flesh has such high water content, melons are low in calories even though they are so sweet to taste. They provide potassium, sulphur, Vitamins A and C and Folic Acid.

Watermelon is particularly high in lycopene, an antioxidant, and has iron as well, which makes it the star of the melon family nutritionally speaking.

All melons are particularly delicious in the summer months, at the peak of their ripeness. They can be eaten by the slice, cut into cubes or scooped into balls. They are delicious eaten alone or as part of a fruit or vegetable salad. Pureed melon can be served chilled to make an attractive summer soup.

Recipes:

Read more

Perfect Peanut Recipes

PeanutsAlso called groundnut, goober, or monkey nut, the peanut is the seed of a small leguminous plant, so it is strictly a legume and not a nut. Peanuts are rich in protein and monounsaturated fats, and provide reasonable amounts of dietary fiber. They also contain potassium, calcium, magnesium, and many other valuable nutrients.

While most common as a snack food in this country, they are used as major cooking ingredient in many Asian and African dishes, either whole or as a tasty peanut sauce.

Always try to find dry roasted, unsalted peanuts, either whole or as peanut butter, as many popular sources of peanuts are very high in salt and added fats.

The recipe below is from our own cookbook – The Veg-Feasting Cookbook.

Untitled-1Nigerian Groundnut Stew with Tempeh

In Africa, as well as other places, the peanut is known as the groundnut and is a popular ingredient in many appetizing dishes, like this high-protein casserole.

Serves 4

  • 2 tablespoons corn oil
  • 1 pound tempeh, poached (see chef’s tip) and cut into 1-inch dice
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 green bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup peanut butter, or more as needed
  • 1 cup vegetable broth, or more as needed
  • 1 large tomato, peeled and chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup white or brown rice

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tempeh and sauté until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in a casserole dish. In the same skillet, cook the onion, bell peppers and garlic until the onion is transparent, about 5 minutes. Add this to the casserole.

Place the peanut butter in a saucepan and add the broth slowly, stirring to make a thick creamy sauce. Place the saucepan over medium heat, add the tomato, salt and pepper, and simmer gently for 2 minutes; pour over the tempeh and vegetables in the casserole. If the sauce is too thin, add more peanut butter; if it’s too thick, add more stock. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. While the casserole is in the oven, cook the rice according to package directions. Spoon the tempeh casserole over the rice and serve.

Chef’s Tip

Poaching commercially prepared tempeh before using it in a recipe improves its flavor and digestibility. Slice or cube tempeh according to individual recipe, or leave in slabs, depending on use. Place the tempeh in a saucepan, add enough water to cover it and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the tempeh from the water and proceed with the recipe.

Tofu and Jicama Summer Rolls with Sweet and Sour Garlic Sauce

Summer rolls are a Southeast Asian favorite because they’re so refreshing and versatile. Throughout Southeast Asia, from China, Vietnam, Thailand to Malaysia, fresh noodle rolls are different in each country. My version uses jicama and fried garlic for maximum impact in both texture and flavor, and I pair the rolls with a seductively spicy dipping sauce. My summer rolls reflect the influence of my hometown in Thailand, and are prepared without the cooked rice vermicelli found in other versions; however, feel free to add them if you like. Sweet chili sauce is sold at natural food stores and Asian markets…Pranee Halvorsen

Serves 10

Sauce

  • 4 tablespoons canola or peanut oil
  • ½ cup chopped garlic (about 2 heads)
  • 1 cup sweet chili sauce
  • 1/3 cup vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • ¼ cup ground peanuts
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves plus
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Salt and pepper

To make the sauce, heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat, add the garlic, and fry until light golden brown. Whisk the chili sauce, vinegar, water, peanuts and ¼ cup chopped cilantro in a small bowl to blend. Add 3 tablespoons of the garlic along with some of the cooking oil, then add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Filling

  • 1 cup jicama, shredded
  • 1 large red or yellow bell pepper, julienned (sliced very thin)
  • 2 medium carrots, shredded
  • 8 ounces extra-firm tofu, shredded
  • 20 (6-inch diameter) rice paper spring roll wrappers

To make the rolls, place the remaining garlic and oil in a small bowl. Have the jicama, bell pepper, carrot, tofu and 1 cup cilantro leaves ready in separate bowls. Select a saucepan with a diameter slightly larger than the spring roll wrappers, add water to a depth of 1 inch, bring it to a boil, and then keep it simmering over medium-low heat. One at a time, place each spring roll wrapper in the water for 5 seconds then remove and set it on a plate.

Place some of the jicama, bell pepper, carrot, tofu and cilantro on the lower third of the spring roll, leaving a 1-inch border. Sprinkle a little of the garlic over the vegetables. Bring the bottom edge of the spring roll up and over the filling, then tuck in the sides and continue rolling until completely wrapped.

Repeat with the remaining rolls. Cut the rolls in half and serve with the sauce.

Six things you can do while stuck at home!

Stuck at home

During this coronavirus outbreak, many of us are either forced or choosing to stay home to keep the virus from spreading.  This can be frustrating, but I urge you to look on it as an opportunity to take some time to move toward a more plant-based diet, or if you’re already following a plant-based diet, to try some new recipes.  This will enable you to use your time constructively, improve your overall health, and have fun trying some new recipes!

Here are some options for steps you can take, depending on your starting point, while you’re stuck at home! Read more

Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes

Here’s a special selection of Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes for the holidays:

Bryanna’s Squash with Wild Rice and Chanterelle Stuffing

almost-no-fat-holiday-cookbookfrom “The Almost No-Fat Holiday Cookbook” by Bryanna Clark Grogan, reprinted with permission.  Serves 6

If you’d like to make a colorful stuffed winter squash the centerpiece and main dish of your vegetarian Thanksgiving, choose a large, meaty pumpkin; Boston marrow squash; turban squash; hubbard squash; banana squash; or the pale blue-grey New Zealand squash, which is my favorite. Read more

Creamy & crunchy cashew recipes

cashewsCashews are native to South America, specifically Brazil, and were introduced by colonists to Africa and India. These regions are the largest producers of cashews today. Cashews are sold both raw or roasted, and salted or unsalted.  Choose raw unsalted

They are a soft and somewhat sweet nut, so can be used to make various dairy alternatives, such as cashew milk, cashew cream and non-dairy cheeses.

A 1-ounce serving of cashews is about 18 whole cashews. Cashews are high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and a good source of protein. They’re also a good source of magnesium, which is important in over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a health claim for food labels that “eating 1.5 oz per day of most nuts as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease.”

Recipes

  • Cashew Cream – basic recipe
  • Vegan Mac n Cheese
  • Cashew Tacos
  • Broccoli and Cashews over Millet
  • Cashew Coconut Date Cookies

Read more

Vegan Backpacking Recipes

Vegan Backpacking Recipes:

Lentil stew for backpackingLentil Stew (per person – multiply up as needed)

Put the following ingredients in a ziplock bag, (multiplying for team members as needed)

  • 1/3 cup green lentils (per person)
  • 1 stock cube
  • 1 tsp onion flakes
  • 1 tsp garlic flakes
  • ½ tsp thyme
  • ¼ tsp rosemary
  • ¼ tsp oregano
  • ¼ tsp Black pepper
  • ½ tsp Cumin
  • Chili flakes (to taste)

Optional –

  • Pre-chopped fresh carrot, broccoli, cauliflower as desired
  • 1/4 cup dried potato flakes to thicken and add calories as needed
  • 1 pita bread pocket per person

At camp, bring 2-3 cups water (depending on how many servings) to boil.  Add lentil mixture and boil until lentils are soft (20 mins), adding any extra veg after 10 mins.  Pour into bowls or eat from the pot, with pita bread on side.

Cashew Curry recipe

Makes enough for 4 meals – 2 people evening meal and lunch the next day!

Put the following ingredients into a ziplock bag:

  • 1½ cups quinoa (or couscous)
  • 2 Tablespoons curry powder
  • ¼ cup dried onion flakes
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar (optional)
  • 1 vegetable low sodium bouillon cube
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric

Put 1 cup raw cashew halves into a separate ziplock bag.

At camp, bring 3 cups water to the boil in a pot.  Add the quinoa mixture.  Let it simmer until quinoa is cooked.  Boil off any excess water, stirring to prevent burning.  Stir in cashews.  Enjoy!

This can be eaten cold for lunch the next day, so bring a suitable container to store it in.

 

20190808_104954Warming Breakfast recipe

Put the following ingredients in a ziplock bag:

  • 1 cup quinoa (rinsed, dry toasted)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup dried blueberries, cranberries, raspberries and/or raisins
  • 2 tablespoons dried soymilk or coconut milk powder
  • ¼ cup hazelnuts or pecans (dry toasted)

At camp, bring 2 cups water to boil.  Add quinoa mixture.  Simmer until quinoa is cooked.  Serve quinoa in a bowl, topped with nuts.  Milk powder can be included with quinoa mixture, or rehydrated separately and poured over the cooked quinoa.

This recipe would also work with oats, but oatmeal might make it a little harder to clean the pot afterwards!

Chef Ramses Bravo at Vegfest

We are delighted to have Chef Ramses Bravo back with us at Vegfest this year.  Chef Ramses is the chef at the TrueNorth Health Center in Santa Rosa, CA.  He will be giving a cooking demonstration at Vegfest on both Saturday March 30th and Sunday March 31st.

Bravo Express_COVERAs a special treat for us, he shared a couple of recipes from his new book Bravo Express  where he demonstrates how a healthy, whole-foods diet can be not only delicious but also quick and easy:

  1. Yellow Curry Lentils
  2. Quinoa and Arugula Salad

Read more

Nutritious Collard Greens – recipes

collard greensAs a green leafy vegetable, collard greens are among the best available for your health. They’re actually a member of the cruciferous family, along with broccoli and cabbage, and as such they’re packed with vitamin C, soluble fiber, and numerous cancer-fighting phytonutrients.

Collards are available year round, but they are actually tastier and more nutritious in the cold months, after the first frost. For the best texture, they should be picked before they reach their full maturity.

Popular in southern cooking, they are usually stewed with meat for a long period of time, losing much of the nutritional benefit, but there’s many healthier ways to incorporate them into your diet.  They hold up to cooking much better than other greens, so they can be added toward the end of preparing soups and stews and still keep their texture. Sliced thinly, they can be lightly steamed and tossed with a vinegar dressing.  Steamed whole, they are strong enough to be used as wraps for a burrito alternative.

Recipes

Portobellos with Collards and Cannellini Beans

Collard Greens with Almonds

Tempeh Collard Wraps Read more

Wonderful Walnut recipes

walnutsThe walnut is the nut of a deciduous tree.  It has a hard, wrinkled shell and an oily, two-lobed kernel.  Nuts in general are extremely healthy for you, and walnuts in particular are packed with several valuable nutrients. Just one quarter cup of walnuts will give you over 90% of the recommended daily amount of Omega 3 fatty acids, so there’s no need to resort to fish for these important fats. Omega 3 fatty acids give us all kinds of health benefits from better cognitive function to relief from inflammatory diseases such as asthma and eczema. In addition, walnuts contain an antioxidant compound called ellagic acid that supports the immune system and appears to have several anticancer properties.

Choose fresh shelled walnuts which don’t look rubbery or shriveled. Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.

Walnuts are great raw or toasted.  They can be served chopped in salads or on fruit or yogurt as a topping. They’re delicious in baked goods such as muffins, zucchini bread or pancakes.

Recipes:

Mushroom Walnut Roast

Walnut and Pomegranate Spread (Mukamarra)

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