Creamy Sunflower Deviled “Egg” Dip

There’s nothing I love more than sunflower seeds, for creating blended dips and pâtés. I’ve never heard of anyone having an allergy to sunflower seeds, so they work best as a star-player in my attempt to transition Paleoveganista.com into a completely allergen-free vegan food blog. Continue reading

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Thai Chili Green Pea Hummus

thai-chili-green-pea-hummus

I decided to name this recipe Thai Chili Green Pea Hummus, since Sambal Olek chili paste (the kind with the drawing of a rooster on the gold-tinted label with the green cap) is the inspiration behind it. To give it a more notably Thai flavor I added Thai basil and ginger root along with the garlic. I did not have access to fresh lemongrass, but lemongrass is an ingredient in the green curry paste, so… Continue reading

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Pepita Pancakes w/ Persimmon Compote

pepita pancakes

Pepita Pancakes w/ Persimmon Compote

Ingredients

1 1/4 cup raw, shelled pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1 cup non-dairy yogurt of choice (coconut, almond, or soy)
2 flax “eggs” (see instructions below)
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
Pinch of sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon
stevia extract to taste, optional (for a sweeter pancake)
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Mint-Infused Berry Smoothie

mint-berry-smoothie

Mint helps to ease cramping and nausea. Sometimes during a detox or cleanse, the body responds with nausea or stomach cramping. While ginger stimulates, mint soothes. Both help in instances of food poisoning or the stomach flu; ginger stimulates the production of bile to move the undigested or offending substance through the system to provide eventual relief, while mint soothes the stomach (making the process less painful).



Mint-Infused Berry Smoothie

Ingredients

1 cup frozen raspberries
5 frozen strawberries
1 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 frozen banana
2 cups water
20 fresh spearmint leaves
1 lime (juiced)
a few drops liquid stevia extract, optional, to taste

Method

Combine berries with 1 cup water and purée until smooth. Add the banana, lime juice, and 1/2 the mint (10 leaves). Blend until smooth. Taste-test to determine whether to add more mint leaves. Adjust to your liking, blending after each addition. If desired, add a few drops liquid stevia extract.

Nutritional Info

Per serving (recipe serves 2): 120 Calories; 32 carbs; 1g fat; 2g protein; 9g fiber; 17g sugar.

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Puerto Rican “Crab Cakes”

vegan-crab-cakeConsidering association(s) of the dish with Chesapeake Bay and Baltimore, It surprised me to find crab cakes served in shacks on the beach in Puerto Rico. This recipe adapts the type of crab cake commonly found in Puerto Rico, which differs from other vegan adaptations that tend to emulate the style of crab cake most people expect in the states. Instead of using Tempeh or another “meat substitute” I used heart of palm, which seemed more appropriate in this case not only culturally speaking–but also for the fact that it makes the recipe not only paleo-friendly but paleo-approved. I’d like to hear rebuttals of this statement, if anyone begs to differ.

I find it easier to make the mixture for the cakes the night before, so that the flavors combine and the cakes form more easily. Since this recipe adaptation doesn’t call for breadcrumbs as many crab cake recipes do (which tends to help them to keep from falling apart), I highly recommend going this route if you can. Otherwise: no worries. Just apply a bit more care to the handling of the cakes while frying.

Also—if you make the aoili the day before I guarantee a flavor upgrade. Even a few days before (fyi the lemon juice acts as a natural preservative so no need to worry; it will keep at least a week).

vegan-crab-cake-puerto-rican

Puerto Rican “Crab” Cakes

Ingredients

For the cakes:
1 (14 ounce) can or jar heart of palm, chopped
1 cup water
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil for pan frying
1/2 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
4 Large Garlic Cloves (pressed)
1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro, plus whole leaves for garnish
1/4 cup soy-free vegan mayo
1 Lime, juiced
1 Tbsp celery salt
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp turmeric
1 Tbsp dulse granules

Garlic aoili:
1/2 cup soy-free vegan mayo
1/2 lime, juiced
2 Tablespoons fresh chives, finely chopped
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp celery seed
pinch of cayenne pepper, or a bit more to taste

Method

Thoroughly combine all ingredients for the aioli in a small bowl. This does not require a mixer or food processor. Cover and move to the fridge.

Transfer all ingredients for the crab cakes in a bowl and mash with a fork. You can also use your hands.

To cook the cakes, preheat a thin layer of oil in a cast iron or otherwise non-stick skillet over medium heat. Scoop approximately 1/4 cup dough and form into a ball with your hands. Flatten gently and add to the skillet when ready. Depending on the circumference of your skillet, you can cook more than one at a time. When I developed this recipe I could only fit one in my (ridiculously small) cast iron skillet. I imagine most people own a larger one! But when cooking for 1, it works like a charm. Anyway: fry each 1 or each batch for 3 minutes on each side, allowing for the margin of error that could occur between types of stoves, skillets, oil used, etc.

Serve with lime wedges and garlic aioli. I think it tastes especially great atop flavorful wild lettuce leaves (such as “spring mix” that contains spicy lettuce i.e. arugula in addition to milder varieties e.g. baby romaine leaves). If you want to stick to authenticity of the region from which I adapted this recipe, serve it with shredded cabbage. *Totally unrelated: it’s my favorite vegetable…but I didn’t have any on hand for the photo.

crab-cakes-vegan

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Paleo Vegan Bagels

paleo-vegan-pizza-bagel
Until recently I never attempted to make my own bagels, since I imagined the task required fancy appliances and a lot of skill. The only paleo-friendly bagel recipes I’d found online required eggs–for which replacements such as flax or chia seeds should work in theory–but finding the perfect egg replacer in vegan recipe development can take many tries and several messes to clean. When you live with roommates, a mess in the kitchen can cause arguments and annoyed glances that just didn’t seem worth it in this case. Finally, while house-sitting one day I couldn’t resist the opportunity to utilize the empty kitchen and peaceful, quiet environment to make as many messes as it might take to develop this recipe. On the third try, after tweaking a few of the ingredients and proportions, my efforts paid off.

For this paleo vegan bagel recipe you need neither a bagel pan nor a mixer. Personally I found it easier to mix by hand, since it required significantly less clean-up afterward.

Paleo Vegan Bagels

This recipe yields 6 paleo vegan bagels. You will need:

Ingredients

1/2 cup blanched almond meal aka almond flour
1 Tbsp coconut flour
1/4 cup ground flax seeds or flaxseed meal
1/4 cup psyllium husk powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup almond milk
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup coconut butter, softened
sesame seeds or poppy seeds, optional

Method

1. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl, or in a food processor or mixer if you prefer.
2. Add the 1/2 cup almond milk, 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar, and 1/3 softened coconut butter. Continue to mix until ingredients combine to form a dough.
3. Separate dough into 6 uniform pieces and form into balls
4. Create a hole in each bagel (about the diameter of a quarter)
5. Sprinkle bagels with sesame seeds or poppy seeds, optional.
6. Bake on parchment paper at 350*F for 25 to 30 minutes.

Remove from oven, and let cool for an hour before serving.

To store the bagels for later use, transfer to the refrigerator or a cool, dry space in an airtight container.

Paleo vegan bagel topping ideas, some of my favorite combinations:

paleovegan-bagel-toppings

Savory Toppings

Avocado with red onion and black olives
Cilantro-pesto cheez with sliced heirloom tomatoes
Tahini with raw vegan sauerkraut

Or try my version of a “pizza” bagel:
Raw tahini with sun dried tomatoes, kale or arugula, and artichoke hearts; try it with Tofu ricotta for a low-fat version if you don’t have qualms about soy.

I usually make this open-faced but you can make it a bagel sandwich by spreading a thinner layer of tahini or tofu ricotta on both sides. If you spread it on both sides too thick, the flavor of the tahini tends to overpower the other ingredients. Too much tofu ricotta, on the other hand, will spill out both sides when you try to eat the sandwich.

Sweet Toppings

Tahini with thinly sliced apples, sprinkled with cinnamon
Hempseed butter, lightly sprinkled with cinnamon-stevia “sugar”
Almond butter with blueberries or blackberries (you can add them whole or mash them to make a spread or a “jam”. Add stevia to taste, optional, depending on the sweetness of the berries). Spread atop the almond butter.

Enjoy these paleo vegan bagels with different variations of your favorite ingredients.

bagel-sandwich-paleovegan

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Tofu Rancheros with Quinoa Tortillas

I took all photos with my phone instead of a proper camera, out of eagerness to post this recipe.
tofu rancheros with quinoa tortillas

Quinoa Tortillas – Step 1

To make the quinoa tortillas you have two options: With a tortilla press, or without. I will describe each method to give you an idea of what you have or plan to buy before we start rolling (the dough).

Option A

Use a tortilla press. I’m not talking some sort of “as seen on TV” appliance i.e. “The Perfect Pancake” (someone in my family purchased one when I was a child, and now I associate all informercial purchases with smoke alarms and messes). I’m referring to the “traditional” tortilla press, made of cast-iron or cast-aluminum. I was lucky enough to find another one at Goodwill (after my college roommate took the first one, which was also from Goodwill), so chances are you might find one if you’re willing to sort through bins of kitchen appliances at your local thrift store. If you live near one of the so-called Goodwill “Bins” (where everything is dirt-cheap), you have a roughly 75% chance of finding one–if you are eager for a treasure hunt and have 5 hours to spare. On the other hand, if you are not eager or willing to search for a needle in a haystack, you can buy one on Amazon for under $10 (at the lower end, usually cast-alluminum and could be flimsy but works well) or if you have the cash I recommend the cast-iron version which is around $30 and works like a charm. Tip: Don’t buy a fancy CucinaPro 1443 Flatbread and Tortilla Maker. At $70 I think it’s overpriced and it is “Not recommended for use with non-gluten flours”. This makes no sense, since corn (masa) flour is gluten-free.

Option B

When developing recipes I brainstorm all the possible ways a dish could be prepared in absence of a certain utensil or appliance, because not everyone has a food processor on hand (or in this case, a tortilla press). These methods can take longer, but I like to think that most of my recipes can be done with just a knife, fork, spoon, bowl, an oven or stove and a little creativity. So yes, you can make quinoa tortillas without a tortilla press.

Quinoa Tortillas: Step 2

To make the dough you will need:

Ingredients

2 cups toasted quinoa flour
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast (because it’s rich in B vitamins and otherwise good for vegans, and it gives the tortillas the appearance of yellow corn)
3/4 cup water + a bit more if the dough is too dry
1 teaspoon coconut oil or your cooking oil of choice (I used coconut because it’s paleo and the flavor complements the quinoa)
Salt to taste. Optional

Method

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl, adding water to form the dough. Divide into 12 equal parts and roll each one in your hand to form a ball.

Place each ball between two pieces of parchment paper. Place into a tortilla press if you have one or roll out with a rolling pin, using a small bowl with a circumference similar to that of a standard corn tortilla.

Once each ball of dough is formed into a tortilla, remove one side of the parchment paper and place that side on a skillet over medium heat. Immediately remove the parchment paper from the top side and cook until the edges turn brown and small bubbles begin to form (approximately 2 minutes). Flip and cook for another 1-2 minutes.

Repeat until you have a plate of warm and delicious quinoa tortillas. Set aside.

tortilla press

Image courtesy of Chefscatalog.com, featuring the tortilla-making process in a cast-iron press. I am in no way affiliated with them, but you can purchase this item and other types of tortilla press directly from their website or on Amazon.com

Now for the filling.

Tofu Rancheros – Filling for the Quinoa Tortillas

Ingredients

1 package extra firm tofu, drained
1 cup onion, minced
1 can fire roasted tomatoes. You will find these in tiendas (‘Mexican markets’) in the states, or in the ‘Hispanic foods’ section of corporate grocery stores i.e. Safeway, Lucky, Fred Meyer, H.E.B but if you can’t find them use ‘Mexican-style’ stewed tomatoes instead
1 1/2 cups cooked black beans or 1 can black beans
1 cup fresh corn (or frozen. You can use a can, but it tends not to work well with recipes like this).
1 4oz can fired roasted green chiles – FYI the Hatch brand and the Trader Joe’s brand (which is probably Hatch anyway, since TJ’s tends to rebrand things according to the relationships it forms with independent brands) sell these diced/chopped. If you can’t find them diced or chopped in a can, buy them whole and chop/dice post-purchase. Or, if you have the skills to do so, fire-roast raw green chiles on your own and then slice/dice them like a pro.
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp oregano
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
chopped cilantro, according to taste or number of people you are serving
fresh sliced lime
1 Tbsp agave nectar
(omit the agave nectar if using Mexican-style stewed tomatoes instead of fire roasted tomatoes, as stewed tomatoes contain sugar so with the agave the result would be too sweet and overseasoned)

Method

1. Heat the oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, smoked paprika, cumin, and oregano. Sauté 5 minutes. Stir in smoked tomatoes, tofu, and corn; simmer 5 minutes. Stir in the black beans and simmer for another 5 minutes.

Plate the tortillas (warm them if you made them in advance). Top with tofu rancheros filling and fresh tomatoes, and garnish with cilantro and fresh lime.

¡Buen provecho!
tofu rancheros and quinoa tortillas

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Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

vegan paleo pumpkin spice pancakesWhile it’s obvious Autumn has ended (so pumpkin pie isn’t exactly en vogue), I was brainstorming what could be a nutritious, vitamin-rich, low-carb breakfast recipe– and decided that pumpkin spice pancakes were the way to go. Per 1/2 cup serving, pumpkin contains 1g sodium, 2g fiber, 1g sugar..yet only 6g carbs — at only 25 calories.
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5 Ingredient Tofu Ricotta

pizza101
Lately I’ve tried to avoid soy products entirely. However, sometimes faux-cheese cravings are hard to avoid– especially when wheat and other forms of gluten, corn, oil, and nuts are out of the question (I’m trying an elimination diet, and soy has always been the lesser of dietary evils throughout my life). Next week I will experiment with eliminating seeds if soy proves to be a problem. Whatever your situation in terms of dietary preferences or allergies, I want to share this recipe for a low fat, low carb, oil-free vegan alternative for ricotta cheese… because it is so close to the “real thing” it made me pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming.
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Chickpea flour pancakes

Chickpea Flour Pancakes

High in protein and low in carbohydrate content, chickpea flour is also gluten free and easy to use. I am excited about these pancakes because the chickpea flour works perfectly as an alternative to wheat flour, and its flavor is not overpowering. Despite their containing no added sugar or fat, these pancakes taste great. Also important, they provide sustained energy without spiking blood sugar. Good for breakfast or an afternoon snack. Eat one of these instead of a packaged energy bar after a workout, on a hike, or to refuel at work or school.

This recipe calls for liquid stevia as a sweetener, but you can top these panckakes with whatever you like–sliced fruit, berries, coconut yogurt, pure maple syrup, agave nectar, jam, almond butter, or combination of the above.

Chickpea Flour Pancakes

Ingredients

1 cup chickpea flour.
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp corn starch
2/3 cup water
liquid stevia extract to taste. For this recipe I used Sweet Leaf Vanilla Creme Flavored Liquid Stevia

Method

Combine all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.  Mix well.  Add water and vanilla extract, stirring constantly until batter is smooth.

Preheat pan or griddle with a small amount of coconut or hempseed oil (if using a non-stick skillet, you can omit the oil and use water instead).  Pour 1/4 cup batter onto hot griddle or into the pan/skillet.  Fry until bubbles appear on the surface.  Flip.  Fry until golden brown.  Serve sprinkled with cinnamon and stevia to taste.

 

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