Basic Oil Free Vegan Waffles

IMG_8357

My husband got me a waffle “iron” for Mother’s Day. It’s a Nordic Ware Silver Dollar Waffle Griddle that fits right on my stovetop over the burner and makes 7 silver dollar waffles at a time! Brilliant. Lucky for me, this batter, which I adapted from Fat Free Vegan, makes enough for two rounds.

IMG_8356

These waffles puff up and are fun to eat. All of the little waffle squares are perfectly designed to hold lots of maple syrup! They are oil free and the griddle is non-stick so no oil there either. Topped with fresh fruit, these waffles are a super duper home run for adults and kids alike!

1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 tablespoon ground flax meal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon arrowroot
1 cup plant milk
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix the dry ingredients together in a big mixing bowl. Add the wet ingredients and mix until combined.

Heat up the griddle. Use a big spoon to spoon out a small amount of the batter onto each waffle section. I don’t have an exact amount, just don’t overdo it because the batter spreads. Just make sure there is enough batter covering the entire silver dollar.

When little bubbles appear on the top, carefully flip the waffles over. I used my offset icing spatula to make it easy.

Cut up some fresh fruit and get your maple syrup ready. Enjoy!

Eating Vegan in NYC: Kajitsu

IMG_8077

Kajistu is a fantastic Japanese restaurant in midtown Manhattan that offers an entirely vegan dinner menu. Located in a townhouse on 39th Street, Kajitsu is sparingly decorated and offers only 2 choices for dinner: the 4 course meal (Kaze) or the 8 course meal (Hana). We figured we should go all out and opted for the 8 courses. What an experience.

Everything at Kajistu is very specific. Starting with the name, Kajitsu, which means “fine day” or “day of celebration” in Japanese. Eating at Kajtisu was definitely a celebration – of food, friends, and life!

The cuisine is Shojin which is a type of vegetarian cooking that originates in Zen Buddhism. The logo, the shapes of a square, triangle, and circle, were sketched by the Zen monk Sengai Osho to illustrate one of the most essential principals of Zen: the journey to bring meaning out of something that seems to have none. I love that!

And it is the perfect description for the experience of dining at Kajistu. They found a way to make the entire experience meaningful. From the greeting of the maître d’ when you walk in the door, to the little basket we were offered for our bags, to the warm towel to wash our hands with, to the sparse room with only 8 tables, to the water glasses and little paper coasters, to the presentation of each course on a special dish, and the food itself.

For three hours, we sat, unrushed, and talked, drank, and ate delicate, delicious, well thought out, seasonal, artistic food.

IMG_8083

First, the waitress showed us this basket of seasonal vegetables that were to be turned into our meal.

IMG_8084

This was first. It was “Spring Current of May” and consisted of asparagus, baby turnip, romanesco, cauliflower, malabar spinach and wild cress.

IMG_8085

This was next. It was “Newly Harvested Onion Soup” with potato, mizuna, wood ear mushrooms, and ginger. The potatoes were thinly sliced and kind of almost roasted. So good!

IMG_8086

This was next. A “Seasonal Assortmant” which included mountain yam, avocado, nama-fu, fava bean sushi, burdock root, carrot, yuba, celery, bamboo shoot, fiddlehead fern, konnyaku, tofu puree, beets, shiso, umeboshi, taranome, and hijiki. I cannot tell you what was what on this plate but it was all fantastic.

IMG_8089

This was next. “Pistachio Croquet and Beans Tempura” with pistachio, wild chickpea, snap pea, string bean, young corn, Worcester sauce, and lemon. Those croquettes were delicate and delicious. The tempura was succulent and the chickpeas were roasted. The crumbles of pistachio added just the right touch.

IMG_8090This was next. “Root Vegetables” in a tomato broth with daikon, burdock roots, baby carrots, spinach and pumpkin-fu.

FullSizeRender

This was next. “Vegetable Kakiage Donburi” which was a big pile of fried onions over sticky rice with miso soup and pickled vegetables. This was the yummiest of the entire meal.

IMG_8094 IMG_8096

This was next. “Kashiwamochi” which was like a little taco of azuki beans and white miso. Fun and delicious!

IMG_8099

And this was last. “Matcha with Candy by Kyoto Kagizen-Yoshifusa” which were little candies in the shape of the Kajitsu logo.

Amazing. Spectacular. Delicious. Go!

Overnight & On-The-Go Oats (3 Ways)

IMG_8048

I have read about overnight oats in the blogosphere and I have recently jumped on the bandwagon. I don’t eat them for breakfast because I drink my shake-y shake, but instead, I take them on the go for an après yoga or mid-afternoon snack.

It is so easy: mix up the ingredients before bed and wake up to, you guessed it, overnight oats! The oats soak up the plant milk become creamy and delicious. Here are three recipes I have come up but really they can be anything you want.

Basic overnight oats are just like a bowl of oatmeal, light and creamy. The nutty overnight oats, which I make with either peanut butter or almond butter, make a thick, filling version. The chia overnight oats pack a real nutritional punch. Hello, Omega-3’s!

Sometimes, if I have ripe raspberries, I muddle them in a small bowl and drop them right on top of the oats before I put them in the refrigerator. If you like raisins or other dried fruit, they would make nice additions to the mix.

Note: I use little jars with lids to make the whole thing easier to manage. No tin foil or plastic wrap and they are easy to tote around. I love these 8 1/2 oz. Bormioli Rocco Quattro Stagioni jars which hold the perfect individual serving. I also like to use a small mixing bowl that has a spout and a small spoonula both of which help when pouring the mixture into the little jars.

Basic Overnight Oats (makes 2 servings/jars)
1 ripe banana
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup plant milk
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1/8 teaspoon vanilla powder
Dash cinnamon

Mash the banana in a small bowl. Add the oats, milk, maple syrup, vanilla and cinnamon and mix well to combine. Pour into 2 small jars. Refrigerate overnight.

Nutty Overnight Oats (makes 2 servings/jars)
1 ripe banana
1/4 cup nut butter (room temperature)
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup plant milk
2 teaspoons maple syrup

Mash the banana and nut butter in a small bowl. Add the oats, milk and maple syrup and mix well to combine. Pour into 2 small jars. Refrigerate overnight.

Chia Overnight Oats (makes 2 servings/jars)
1 ripe banana
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1 cup plant milk
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1/8 teaspoon vanilla powder

Mash the banana in a small bowl. Add the oats, chia seeds, milk, maple syrup, and vanilla and mix well to combine. Pour into 2 small jars. Refrigerate overnight.

Personally, I think overnight oats taste better at room temperature. Mix before eating. Enjoy!

A Not Classic Nicoise Style Salad

IMG_7401

I love artichoke hearts and hearts of palm. They look and taste great on this salad. I added leftover steamed potatoes and crunchy tempeh “croutons” along with tomatoes and avocados for a vegan take on the classic Nicoise salad. Piled high over massaged kale, this is the perfect lunch for one! Add as much or as little of the toppings as you wish.

Massaged Kale
6 kale leaves
1/2 avocado
The juice of 1/2 lemon

Toppings, enough for one 
Artichoke hearts
Avocado
Hearts of palm
Grape tomatoes
Steamed red fingerling potatoes
Tempeh croutons *

To massage the kale, chop up the kale and squeeze the lemon juice on top. The cut an avocado in half and squeeze it down over the kale. Using your hands, massage the avocado into the kale until the kale starts to soften.

To make the Nicoise salad, place the massaged kale in the middle of a plate. Top with artichoke hearts, avocados, hearts of palm, grape tomatoes, fingerling potatoes and tempeh croutons.

Enjoy!

* Cube 8 ounces of tempeh. Toss with a teaspoon of high heat oil, the juice of half a lemon, and a tablespoon of tamari. Heat in a nonstick skillet and cook until browning.

 

Roasted Sunchokes (Jerusalem Artichokes)

IMG_7254 IMG_7258

I love these ugly looking things! They are sunchokes AKA Jerusalem artichokes. I am not sure how to describe them. They are like a cross between potatoes and artichokes but are kind of sweet and not starchy.

When I first came across these years ago, I was using them in a soup for which they needed to be peeled. This made them labor intensive, and therefore, not that interesting. But I read in the Vedge cookbook that the skin is edible. Revelation! So, I washed and dried them, tossed them in a very small drizzle of oil and a pinch of salt, and roasted them.

They are great right out of the oven, cold in a salad or dropped into soup.

1 bunch sunchokes
Drizzle of high heat oil
Pinch of salt

Cut the sunchokes into bite size pieces, about the same size. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Roast in a 400 oven for 20 to 30 minutes until golden. Enjoy!

Freezing Lemons? Yes!

IMG_8017

So I came across this article on the internets by a guy called Hesh Goldstein. He is a pretty radical dude and I dig him. He talks about all kinds of things on his website and radio talk show Health Talk Hawaii, like vaccinations, health care reform, gut health, and much, much more!

I find him quite hilarious. In his book, A Sane Diet for an Insane World, he refers to the FDA as the Fraud and Drug Administration, the CDC as the Centers for Deceit Control, the USDA as the US Department of A**holes, and the FTC as the Federal Treachery Commission and that is just the beginning.

This article on freezing lemons really intrigued me. I emailed with him, asked a few questions, and then got the text of the article from Hesh himself. See what you think about it. I have to say I have a lemon in the freezer (see the photo above) and any time I need a little lemony goodness, I reach in for that little lemon and work it over the microplane for a great topping on salad, when I am cooking tofu and tempeh, in my water, and myriad more ideas.

HESH GOLDSTEIN, MSNUTRI
“Health Talk” Moderator, K-108 Radio
P.O. Box 240783
Honolulu, Hawaii 96824-0783
(808) 258-1177 / Fx (808) 848-8640
http://www.healthtalkhawaii.com
heshgoldstein@gmail.com

Who In His Right Mind Freezes A Lemon?

When I get this from a friend, I was in utter disbelief. So, I go to Snopes and they back it up. So, In answer to the question, everyone should freeze lemons.

All kinds of people are saying that the entire lemon should be used with nothing wasted. How?

Simple, take a lemon, wash it, and then put it in the freezer. Once it is frozen you get whatever is necessary to grate or shred the whole lemon without even peeling it first.

Then sprinkle it on your salad, ice cream, soup, cereals, noodles, spaghetti sauce, or whatever. No holds barred. What you will experience is that whatever you sprinkle it on will take on a taste you may never have experienced before.

Why would I do this? Because the lemon peel contains 5 to 10 times more vitamins than the lemon juice itself and the peel is the part that is usually wasted. Not only that, but the peel helps to get rid of toxins in the body.

But wait, there’s more. Lemon is effective in killing cancer cells because it is allegedly 10,000 stronger than chemotherapy.

This has been revealed because there are people out there that want to make a synthetic, chemicalized version that will bring them huge profits. Shades of Monsanto.

The good news is that the taste of lemon is pleasant and does not deliver the horrific effects of chemotherapy.

What’s bizarre is that people are closely guarding this fact so as to not jeopardize the income to those that profit from other’s illnesses.

Another interesting aspect of the lemon is that it has a remarkable effect on cysts and tumors. Some say the lemon is a proven remedy against all types of cancer.

It doesn’t end there. It has an anti-microbial effect against bacterial infections and fungi; it is effective against internal parasites and worms; it regulates blood pressure, which is too high; it acts as an anti-depressant; it combats stress and nervous disorders.

The source of this information, although not specifically named, is one of the largest drug manufacturers in the world. They further say that after more than 20 laboratory tests since 1970, the extracts revealed that it destroys the malignant cells in 12 cancers, including colon, breast, prostate, lung and pancreas and that the compounds of the lemon tree were 10,000 times more effective than the product Adriamycin, which is a drug normally used chemotherapeutically in the world to slow the growth of cancer cells.

Even more, this type of therapy with lemon extract only destroys malignant cancer cells and does not affect healthy cells.

The process is simple: buy a lemon, wash it, freeze it, grate it, and put it on everything you eat.

It’s not rocket science. God puts stuff on the planet to keep the body healthy. The corporations hide this information and create synthetics to treat disease. The synthetic chemical creates other symptoms from its ingestion requiring another drug to combat these symptoms.

And so the cycle continues, which equates to enormous profits coming from an overt intention to keep a body ill and suppressing natural healing foods, minerals and modalities, all withheld by the mainstream media to not jeopardize their advertising dollar income, and payoffs to the politicians to not pass laws that will greatly benefit the people.

If we do not take responsibility for ourselves and go against the mainstream grain, we will inevitably remain a “trick” our whole life.

Aloha!

Eating Vegan in Northport, NY: The Purple Elephant + Watermelon-Cucumber-Avocado-Mint Salad

IMG_8025

The Purple Elephant is right in Northport, my weekend town. Down by the marina, this place has a kind of beachy, surfer, casual hang vibe with a menu that has a section entitled “Vegan” and another entitled “Not Vegan.” Vegan comes first, which I love, and there are some crazy, creative choices that are all delicious.

We recently heard that The Purple Elephant needed some extra support due to some issues with the village. Within 24 hours, hundreds of letters came pouring in and even more people signed a petition asking the village to keep the place open. There is a meeting at the end of the month and hopefully our voices will be heard.

I have eaten great meals at this place including two in just the recent. A few weeks ago, I reconnected with a girl that I went to junior high and high school with. Even though we weren’t friends in school, we are friends on Facebook and on her birthday, I wished her a happy birthday. Then I noticed that she likes the same yoga studios I do and practices energy healing. We clearly have loots of stuff in common so I decided to reach out. We met up for lunch and shared the Burnt Ends Quesadilla (which is strangely addicting) and a fantastic watermelon salad which I have now recreated in my kitchen a few times. See recipe below.

Then we went on Saturday night for dinner and had these crazy good dishes.

IMG_8028

Buffalo Cauliflower Salad: crispy cauliflower tossed with spicy Buffalo sauce, baby greens, avocado, tempeh, red onion, grape tomato and secret vegan Bleu Cheese dressing.

IMG_8030

Rainforest Burger & Yucca Fries: a seared brown rice and black bean burger with baby greens, tomato, red onion, avocado, vegan cheese on a toasted Ciabatta roll.

IMG_8029

Burnt Ends” Enchiladas: baked in white corn tortillas with roasted ancho tomato sauce, vegan cheese, rice and beans.

Here is my version of the salad my friend and I had. These measurements makes 2 bowls but make a bowl just for yourself with however much you want or make a big platter for guests. The combo is a definite winner. I added chives and pine nuts because I always have to add my own touch!

Watermelon-Cucumber-Avocado-Mint Salad

1 cup watermelon
1 small cucumber
1 avocado
6 mint leaves
4 chives
1 small head of Romaine lettuce
2 tablespoons pine nuts, divided
1 lime
Salt, a pinch

Dice up the watermelon, cucumber and slice the avocado. Chiffonade the mint leaves. Thinly slice the chives.

Shred the Romaine lettuce and arrange into two bowls. Top with the watermelon, cucumber and avocado. Sprinkle with mint, chives and and a tablespoon of pine nuts on each.

Squeeze 1/2 of the lime onto each salad. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Enjoy!

IMG_7996

Instant Ice Cream #2: Banana-Peanut Butter-Cacao Nib

IMG_7585

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the moms out there!

IMG_8042

First I got flowers. Then we worked on my Mother’s Day present.

IMG_8055Then we had a combo Mother’s Day and birthday party for my Dad. We went crazy with a big salad bar, meatballs and spaghetti, and Fran Costigan’s The No Oil Added Chocolate Torte to Live For from Vegan Chocolate: Unapologetically Luscious and Decadent Dairy-Free Desserts.

I didn’t have time to make ice cream shmice cream, so I whipped up a quick version of my instant ice cream with a little extra fun packed inside, namely peanut butter and cacao nibs. Holy instant ice cream and a great topper for that decadent and delicious cake.

makes about 2 cups

2 cups frozen bananas
1 heaping tablespoon peanut butter
1 heaping tablespoon cacao nibs

Process together until smooth. Enjoy!

Fiddlehead Ferns!

IMG_7998

Fiddlehead ferns. Just the name alone makes them enticing to eat! I had them once at Candle 79, so when I just found them at Whole Foods, I bought a bunch, and ran home to cook them. I looked them up on Wikipedia to find out that they:

  • are the furled frond of a young fern
  • have antioxidant activity, are a source of Omega-3, Omega-6 and are high in iron and fiber
  • resemble the curled ornamentation (called a scroll) on the end of a stringed instrument, such as a violin
  • only available for a short time in the spring.

They must be washed thoroughly and cooked well. They are kind of earthy, have a texture like asparagus, and have a taste in the realm of artichokes and/or pine nuts.

1 bunch of fiddlehead ferns
1 clove of garlic
1 shallot

Trim the woody stems from the end of each fern and soak in water for a few minutes, swishing them around a few times to loosen any excess anything.

Mince the garlic and slice the shallot.

Steam for 5 minutes until bright green.

While they are steaming, water or oil sauté the garlic and shallots until soft and then add the ferns and cook until throughly heated. Enjoy!

Roasted Turnips with Garlicky Turnip Greens (and Beets, too!)

IMG_7344

Gorgeous organic turnips (above) and beets (below) turn into gorgeous and colorful dishes using the whole vegetable.

IMG_7353

 IMG_7386

1 small bunch of turnips or beets
1 teaspoon high heat oil, for the turnips only
1 small shallot
1 clove of garlic

Preheat the oven to 400.

For the turnips, cut off the greens. Then cut the top and bottom of each turnips. Cut each one in half and half again so you have 4 little pieces. Toss with 1 teaspoon of oil and roast for 20 to 30 minutes or until the turnips start to brown.

For the beets, cut off the greens. Wrap the beets in foil and roast for an hour.

Clean the greens and julienne.

Thinly slice the shallot and press the garlic. Add to a nonstick skillet with a few tablespoons of water or a teaspoon of high heat oil and sauté until very soft and fragrant. Add the greens to the pan and cook until the greens are bright and wilted.

Serve the roasted turnips or beets on top of the greens. Enjoy!