Browse Tag by no sugar added
Brunch, Budget, Lunch, Main Dishes, Mediterranean, Recipe Makeover, Sides, Snacks

Grilled Artichokes + Vegan Wasabi Aioli

artichoke
I’ve never really liked veganaise, or vegan mayo. It reminds me of tuna salad. I do however, love artichokes. So do most people, I’ve learned…which should be a wonderfully convenient fact…yet somehow I get very turned off at the sight of artichokes (or any other vegetable for that matter) dipped in mayonnaise. Even if the mayo is vegan, I can’t deal..ever since I was 5 or 6 years old at a holiday party and witnessed a platter of steamed broccoli served with mayonnaise as a dip. I went through a phase in college when I could tolerate it because my roommate(s) always had it around and I was just grateful it wasn’t real mayo. Come to think of it, of all the 35 different roommates I have lived with since 2007, none of them ever bought mayonnaise yet somehow many of them had an affinity for veganaise, nayonaise, or whatever other vegan mayonnaise was available. I haven’t lived with many vegans, yet somehow found myself surrounded by the omnivores-who-prefer-vegan-condiments crowd.




Even though I’m not normally a fan of aioli , I thought I would try to make my own soy-free, paleo version. This one utilizes wasabi, an ingredient choice that occurred when I envisioned the different types of veganaise that once inhabited my refrigerator. If I recall correctly, wasabi mayo was among them. For this recipe I used sunflower seeds to create a creamy texture. I still had a few cashews left over (see previous post) so I used them also. The recipe is a 2-step process; first prepare the wasabi worcestershire, then blend with the sunflower seeds and cashews to create the aioli.

It turned out delicious, with flavors similar to the type of aioli traditionally served with artichokes…only without the egg-y undertones that mayonnaise-based versions often exhibit.

Grilled Artichokes with Vegan Wasabi Aioli

Ingredients

1-2 globe artichokes
1 lime slice, or extra for garnish
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1/4 cup artichoke water/broth (see below)
1/16 tsp stevia extract powder
1 tsp stone-ground dijon mustard
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp granulated garlic or garlic powder (not garlic salt)
1 tsp blackstrap molasses
2 tsp wasabi powder

artichoke halved
artichoke half

Method

Cut the artichoke(s) in half. If you want a nice presentation, use scissors to snip away the pointy tips of the artichoke leaves. Boil artichokes in 3 cups water with the lime slice and bay leaf. Meanwhile, prepare the vegan wasabi worcestershire sauce and/or the aioli.

Preheat a grill or broiler on high heat.

When artichoke has finished boiling (about 20 minutes), carefully scoop out the “hair” from the heart and then transfer to the preheated grill or broiler. Cook until browned or when grill marks appear, about 5 minutes.

for the vegan wasabi worcestershire sauce
Stir with a fork or whisk together the soy sauce, minced garlic, garlic powder, blackstrap molasses, stevia extract, dijon mustard, and apple cider vinegar with 1/4 water/broth from the artichokes.




for the aioli
In a food processor or blender, combine 1/4 cup vegan wasabi worcestershire with 1/4 cup sesame seeds and 1/4 cup sunflower seeds. Blend until smooth. Add more artichoke water/broth in 1 Tbsp increments if additional liquid is needed.

Serve artichokes with vegan wasabi aioli and lime slices.

vegan wasabi worcestershire aioli
vegan artichoke aioli

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Budget, Latin-American, Mexican, Sides, Snacks

Spicy Green Bean Tamale Hummus

spicy green bean tamale hummusThis recipe utilizes the 6 key ingredients used for cooking tamale meat: peppercorns, ancho chilies, guajillo chilies, bay leaf, pumpkin seed and sesame seeds. Traditionally, the meat (usually shredded pork) is stewed in these spices and seeds. As with most things involving meat, the overall quality of the dish comes from the spices and seasonings that give it flavor. Case in point: if not for steak marinades and sauces, it seems safe to assume that more of us would go veg.
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< 5 ingredients, Budget, Camp Stove, Frugal

Cooking Smart: Brussels Sprouts + Greens

brussels sprouts green kale

One thing you can do to significantly reduce your bill = cook smart. Whether your stove is gas or electric, or if you’re in a tent in the woods with only one match: here’s how you do it.

Object Lesson A: Brussel sprouts and greens
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Let’s say you have brussels sprouts and some greens that have wilted slightly and/or would taste much more satisfying cooked. You have a pot to cook in with a lid, and a knife of some sort.

Trim brussels sprouts of any soiled leaves. If you have a knife, chop off the base of the sprouts (which can tend to be dirty).

Boil sprouts in enough water to cover them. Cover with lid to bring water to a boil more quickly. Once the water begins to boil, lift the lid and add a few shakes of salt if you have it. This will help tenderize the sprouts and reduce overall cooking time. Boil covered for 6-12 minutes. If you like them a bit softer, err on the side of 12.




Turn off heat and remove sprouts with a spoon or strainer, leaving the vegetable water in the pot. Immediately throw your greens into the pot. Cover with lid, allowing the heat from the water/vapor to cook the greens. The salt in the water will also tenderize the greens, allowing them to cook quickly and serve while the brussels sprouts are still warm. Serve with the broth/leftover water to warm your insides and to maximize nutrient intake. The brussels sprouts and broth taste taste delicious as is, but also when lightly seasoned with lemon juice and black pepper.

brussels sprouts greens brussels sprouts and kale brussels sprouts and greens

More Cooking Smart recipes to follow…

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Budget, Detox, Global Fusion, Lunch, Main Dishes, Mediterranean, Salads, Seaweed, Sides

5 Salad Dressing Recipes ≤ 5 ingredients

perfect salad
I’ve traveled a lot, in many situations where access to a blender was nil. Whether it was a motel room with a mini fridge, or a hospedaje with bars on the widows; a hostel dorm with a shared kitchen, a tent, or my car, I’ve managed to make every salad dressing on this list with as little as a pocket knife and a mason jar. That’s not to say they’re simplistic. These recipes can transform something as basic as shredded cabbage into a flavorful and satisfying meal.
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Budget, Guatemalan

Backpacker’s Guide: Hair Care

cooking-oilWhat’s the best hair product in Guatemala or Mexico? Vegetable oil, hands down.

Usually canola mixed with soybean or sunflower oil, it’s the most commonly sold and works the best. Seriously, forget coconut oil. Before I lived in Mexico for the first time, I was in a staunch raw-food phase and only in the rarest of circumstances would I go so far as to eat steamed vegetables. During that phase I made a lot of raw chocolate with agave nectar (at this point, I had yet to discover stevia).

To make the raw chocolate I used extra virgin coconut oil, which cost something like $13 with my Whole Foods employee discount. I have a distinct memory of attempting to sell coconut oil to a customer when they asked me where to find moisturizer, eye makeup remover, and a natural alternative to the silicone hair serums used at salons. Coconut oil works for all of those things. The body care department manager at the store I worked at stepped in to inform the customer that eye makeup remover, hair serum, and moisturizer are three very different things. Lesson learned. Or not.

I loved working at Whole Foods. I worked there for 6 years, from high school through college. I would have stayed a seasonal employee had transportation complications not prevented me from returning to California to fulfill my shift. Without a doubt, I really loved working there—but this isn’t about that. The point I intend to make concerns the multi-functionality of coconut oil as a body care product, eye-makeup remover, and all-around genius alternative to any hair product I’ve tried. If that sounds cool, just wait. There’s more. When in Mexico, or Guatemala, or anywhere else in the world for that matter: should you happen to come upon the unfortunate realization that your suitcase landed in an entirely different continent much to your inconvenience—take a deep breath. There is no need to fret. If you’re in Latin America, don’t go to the Superama for hair serums and moisturizers. Go to the Superama for canola oil and eucalyptus oil. I would recommend tea tree if you’re in the states, but 70% of my travel experience pertains to Mexico and Guatemala—and I have never found tea tree oil in a Superama. Eucalyptus is similar and slightly milder, but has the same effect on things like acne and has a similar scent. It’s an astringent, that I guarantee will render obselete all of your Proactiv bottles of “toners”, “cleansers” and “pre-cleansers”, or the Proactiv spin-off, X-Out. I know acne can be genetic, or something you can “grow out of” but unless the universe played a significant trick on me when I was 13 I imagine that tea tree (or Eucalyptus) can legitimately cure acne. Unless it was just stopping meat-eating or dairy consumption. I imagine those were also influential factors. Only buy the pure kind, steam-distilled from leaves of the Eucalyptus or Eucalipto tree. It also works as a repellent for most insects, almost as effectively as DEET—minus the threats to your genetic makeup and that of your future children.

Finally: canola, or sunflower, or combonation-vegetable oil (and even safflower oils) literally function just as well as coconut oil, as an eye makeup remover, hair serum, or body moisturizer. The effects of ingesting specific types of oils might have differences among them, but in terms of hair care and body care–trust me. Anything sold as an “edible” oil or otherwise sold for food with the word “vegetable” in the title will work perfectly. I can see how this might seem sarcastic, but trust me. It’s not.

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Budget, Cleanse, Latin-American, Lunch, Main Dishes, Mexican

Lunch in a Jar w/ Fire Roasted Peppers

jar lunch vegan 2

Mason jars work like a charm, in many situations i.e. brown-bagging it to work (unless of course you have to go through a security scanner or your employer bans glass containers). Plastic gladware or tupperware containers fail miserably in comparison, in terms of functionality and sustainability…but if an anti-glassware policy is your office-environment predicament, this recipe can adapt to plastic.

Lunch in a Jar w/ Fire Roasted Peppers

Ingredients

1 7oz can whole fire roasted green chile peppers
4 roma tomatoes
1 cup diced onion
1/4 cup cooked black beans
salt to taste, optional



method

In a cast-iron skillet, cook the tomatoes in 1/4 cup water. Add more water if necessary, making sure not to burn the tomatoes but allowing them to brown a little. Add the onions, and use a wooden spoon or spatula to create a paste. The mixture should resemble a thick sauce, but not a purée. This salsa/sauce is one of my favorite foods in the world, and I can’t take credit for the recipe. I tried it for the first time in San Marcos La Laguna, a village on the western shore of Lago Atitlán in the Sololá Department of Guatemala. The copy-cat version featured here pales in comparison I’m sure, but it’s my best attempt thus far.

Transfer the cooked tomato and onion mixture to a bowl. Add a bit more water to the skillet and begin to heat the roasted chiles. If the beans are not warmed yet, or if you are using a can, have them ready to heat after the chiles. Remove the heated chile peppers from the skillet, and place in a separate bowl or on a plate. Heat the beans if applicable. In a jar, layer the tomato sauce and chiles with a thin layer of beans.

jar lunch vegan

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