Pumpkin Seed Pesto Recipe

January 31, 2012

Pesto is one of the easiest, most gourmet-tasting recipes to play with—and it's raw food! Using pumpkin seeds makes this version not only tasty, but high in essential fatty acids and protein (pumpkin seeds have about 29% more protein than most other seeds). Plus, pumpkin seeds contains most of the B vitamins, C, D, E and K, as well as calcium, potassium, and phosphorus. Use this pesto as a veggie dip, mix it onto pasta, spread it on crackers, in tortilla wraps, or keep it raw on salads, or in lettuce rolls.

Here I blended the following:
•1 bunch of basil leaves.
•About 2/3 c. of raw pumpkin seeds.
•Olive oil (just enough to blend ingredients smoothly—add a little at a time if you're unsure).
•1 clove of garlic.
•Salt to taste.
Optional additions: a spoonful of nutritional yeast, parsley, sun-dried tomatoes (on top or blended in). You can also use pine nuts, cashews, or macadamia nuts in place of pumpkin seeds.

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls Recipe

January 26, 2012

Though my honey and I are from completely different worlds, we somehow share Hungarian ancestry...which may explain why we both love this dish? It has an eastern European grandmother's feel, very warm and comforting, sweet and savory.

I dislike following recipes, and I'm doing nothing not to pass that on to you with this vague recipe explanation, but I think you'll find it's all you need. I feel that we should all develop our instincts about food prep rather than worry about exact TSP and C. So here ya go...

In one big bowl, combine the following:

1 chopped onion after sautéeing in a little water until soft.
1-3 big handfuls of chopped walnuts (via Vitamix, food processor, or by hand).
A grip of your favorite chopped herbs (I used parsley, rosemary, and oregano).
About a cup+ of cooked grains (I used millet because we were out of quinoa; breadcrumbs would work, too).
Sea salt, black pepper to taste.
Tomato sauce (use just enough to bind the ingredients. The rest will be poured over the top of the rolls).

Place the entire head of cabbage in a pot of boiling water, turn off the heat, and let sit, covered, until the leaves can be peeled off without too much breakage. Just a few minutes.
Cut out the cabbage spines in a "V" shape for easy folding.
Spoon the mixture into each leaf, fold the cabbage edges in, and roll to your liking. Then place each roll face-down in a lightly oiled baking dish so they don't unravel.
Blend the remaining tomato sauce with a little agave to sweeten, and drench the rolls in sauce.
Cover with tin foil and bake at 350°F for 30 min.

These were even better the following day when the flavors had settled. Next time I think I might let them marinate over night before cooking. Note: Our 7 year-old loved these rolls, surprisingly, as well as a meat-eating friend who exclaimed "I could be vegan if I could eat like this everyday!" And this is a BIG dude. So if this dish can satisfy a kid and a 300 lb. rhinoceros look-a-like, we know we've got a winner.

Sweet and Savory Spiced Kale

January 16, 2012

Before we were vegan, neither Bua nor I had ever had kale. Now, 16 and 9 years later, respectively, our weekly farmers market purchase usually includes 4-10 bunches. And it's not just us vegans (though I do believe we are responsible for the trend). This deep, hearty green has become the new romaine apparently. Our basic raw kale salad recipe is still great, but if you're looking for a new variation, try this Indian-spiced dressing:

Coat chopped, raw kale with olive oil.
Add sea salt and Braggs to taste (or shoyu), and a good dose to taste of both turmeric and cinammon.
Mix and bruise until kale is soft, or mix and let sit to soften.

Turmeric is known in Ayurvedic and other natural medicine traditions for it's anti-cancer, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties (which applies to pretty much every disease or malady one might have)—all in all, a great thing to have in your spice pantry and weekly repertoire. Read a great description of the benefits here. Cinnamon as well is considered to have beneficial properties for the digestive, circulatory, and respiratory systems.