Smoked Alaskan Sockeye Salmon Fettuccine “Alfredo”

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This is a slight departure from my typical vegan recipes, but it was a special occasion in that my sister had sent me some smoked salmon from Canada for my birthday. I am, as I have mentioned on here before, 99 percent vegan/1 percent salmon. ūüėČ I couldn’t wait to have some, so I decided to concoct a vegan version of Fettuccine Alfredo, and then add the smoked salmon to the sauce. The classic Fettuccine Alfredo would include dairy (cheese, cream, butter), but I replaced those ingredients with unsweetened, organic soy milk, Knorr Leek Recipe Soup Mix (1.8 oz Packet), and organic ground flaxseed. It was a delectable dairy-free, low-fat dish packed full of protein and other nutrients. I’ll definitely make it again.

INGREDIENTS

Smoked salmon (about 8 oz)
16 oz fettuccine pasta
1.8 oz pkg Knorr Leek Recipe Soup mix
Organic ground flaxseed (about 2 tbsp…depending on thickness desired)
Unsweetened organic soy milk (I used 1 cup less than in the soup mix recipe)
1 sweet onion, finely chopped
3 cloves finely chopped garlic
2 tbsp EVOO
Sea salt, and pepper to taste (best to add salt at the end because the Knorr mix and the smoked salmon are both salty)
Garnish of basil and/or rosemary

METHOD

Bring a large pot of salted water over high heat to a boil. Add the 16 oz of fettuccine, and cook according to package directions. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large, non-stick pan. Add the chopped onion and garlic, and saute over medium heat for about 3 minutes until they’re golden brown. Turn heat down to low, and then stir in the Knorr Leek Recipe Soup mix. Gradually add the soy milk, stirring constantly, and turn heat up to medium-high while stirring. The mixture will thicken, but not enough to make an Alfredo sauce. Add the desired amount of ground flaxseed, continue stirring. Once the mixture is of the right consistency, turn the heat off. Mix in the smoked salmon (broken into small pieces). Taste for seasonings, and adjust. Drain the cooked fettuccine, and add to the sauce; mix well. Garnish with rosemary and basil.

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Thai-Style Quinoa Salad

This savory and sweet salad is perfect as a main dish or served with greens and fruit or vegetables. ¬†I served it with a mix of greens and some fresh mango that I’d just gotten from the local farmer’s market. ¬†There’s a variety of fresh¬†vegetables you could use in this salad¬†besides¬†carrot, cucumber, and onion. ¬†I would just use the freshest vegetables you have from the farmer’s market. ¬†If you use tomatoes, they should be deseeded, just as the cucumber was. ¬†And I would stick with cherry or grape tomatoes for this recipe, if you decide on using them. ¬†The dressing is really what makes this salad super delicious, and tweaking that to suit your own tastebuds is what’s important.

INGREDIENTS

2 cups cooled and cooked quinoa

3 grated carrots

4 large pickling cucumbers (my favorite, but you could use English), peeled and deseeded

6 green onions, finely chopped

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 tsp Kosher salt

1/2 tsp coarse-grind pepper

4 limes, squeezed

3 tsp tamari or soy sauce

1 tbsp EVOO

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp rice vinegar

about 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (less or more, to taste)

METHOD

Mix the quinoa with all the ingredients up to an including the salt and pepper. ¬†If you want to add other fresh, crunchy chopped vegetables, I would choose bell peppers, corn, fresh peas, or snap peas. ¬† It’s a matter of choice, but the ones I listed are the ones I used. ¬†For the dressing, mix the squeezed lime juice (should yield about 1/4 cup), and add the remaining ingredients. ¬†Taste it to see if you need to add more acid (rice vinegar or lime), or more sesame oil. ¬†If you want it more sweet and sour, adjust the tamari or soy sauce to suit your taste. ¬†I absolutely loved the dressing by the time I was done tweaking it to my taste. Add it to your quinoa mixture, a little at a time as you mix. ¬†You may not want to use it all, and instead serve some¬†on the side to pour over the quinoa salad and whatever else you are serving it with. ¬†I garnished it with a little mint from my garden.ThaiQuinoaSalad

Sweet Potato, Black Bean, and Quinoa Veggie Patties

VeggieSweetPotato

These veggie patties outdo any others I’ve made thus far. ¬†I’ve been trying for a few years to come up with a hearty, healthy, protein-packed, flavorful veggie patty, and this one is as close as it gets. ¬†The beautiful thing about this is that you can tweak and change up the ingredients to flavor it to your palate’s delight. ¬†I don’t like heat, so I omit chilis and spicy pepper. ¬†But I do love garlic, onion, and Indian spices A LOT. ¬†I didn’t add any garlic to these patties this time, but next time I will add some. ¬†I made one batch, and froze a batch¬†of two patties per baggie. ¬†They are very firm, and the texture is much like that of a regular meat patty, so they hold up very well in a bun like a regular meat hamburger. ¬†These would be great done on a grill, too, atop a grill pan. ¬†So, here we go.

INGREDIENTS

1 cup precooked and cooled red quinoa

2 cups mashed baked sweet potatoes (skins removed)

1 cup black beans (homemade or canned/drained/rinsed)

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped very finely

1 cup finely diced green onion

3 tsp. cumin

2 tsp. smoked paprika

1 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 tsp. coarse-grind pepper

METHOD

Preheat oven to 350. Wash and bake the sweet potato on a parchment-lined baking sheet for about 45 minutes (or until soft). ¬†Remove and set aside to cool before pulling the skin off. ¬†Meanwhile, cook the quinoa according to the package directions. ¬†Be sure to rinse the quinoa in water a few times before cooking to remove the residue. ¬†The water should come out clean before you begin cooking them. ¬†Chop up your green onions, and walnuts¬†(if¬†you care to add some garlic, chop that up, too), set all aside in a small bowl. ¬†Remove the skins from the sweet potatoes once they’re cool enough, and mash them into a large mixing bowl. ¬†Mash¬†the rinsed and well-drained beans into to the sweet potato mix,¬†leaving some whole. ¬†Add the rest of the ingredients, and mix all very well. ¬†Lightly grease a baking sheet with EVOO, and shape the patties into rounds (about 1/4 cup each), and place them on the sheet. ¬†When done with all of them, turn them over and flatten them to your desired thickness (adjust baking time according to thickness). ¬†By taking this extra step to turn them over, both the bottom and the top of the patties will have some light oil coating that will produce a nice brown¬†crispness to the outside. ¬†Bake for about 20-25 minutes, then turn. ¬†Bake another 20-25 minutes, depending on how thick you’ve made your patties. ¬†They should be firm and nicely browned before you remove them from the oven. ¬†Let cool, and serve in a bun or with vegetables, or just with fruit.

I made some of my homemade guacamole, and then used the patties as the “bun” for the guacamole. ¬†Along with that, I had some vegetables and fruit. ¬†Really worth making, and as I said earlier, you can freeze them in singles or doubles. ¬†This recipe made about 20 patties.

Seaweed Salad with Rice Vinegar Dressing

SeaweedSalad

I love seaweed salad. ¬†I’ve wanted to make it for quite some time, so I watched about a dozen YouTube videos on different variations of how to make it, and the different ingredients used. ¬†I strolled through this new Asian market in my neighborhood yesterday, and found everything I needed to make my own version. ¬†It turned out to be really tasty. ¬†There was a combination of crunchiness from the thinly sliced carrots and daikon radish, the rich flavor of the reconstituted seaweed, and the tartness and bright color of the pea sprouts and cilantro. ¬†The sweet and tart dressing and roasted sesame seeds pull¬†the flavors together so nicely.

INGREDIENTS

About 2 cups of dried seaweed

1 cup of chopped cilantro

1 cup of chopped chives

3 small carrots cut in fine sticks

1 cup of daikon radish cut in fine sticks

4 tbsp. rice vinegar

2 tbsp. soy sauce

1 tsp. sugar (or other sweetener of your choice)

1 tsp. sesame oil

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 tbsp. grated ginger

4 tbsp. roasted sesame seeds

Handful of fresh pea sprouts

METHOD

Soak the dried seaweed in cold water for five or ten minutes, depending on how soft you like it.  Drain and rinse a few times, then squeeze as much of the water out of it as you can.  Place in a large bowl.  Before adding the next four ingredients (cilantro, chives, carrot, and daikon radish), reserve about a cup of them to add to the top of the salad as a garnish at the end.  Mix well with the seaweed, preferably with kitchen chopsticks.  Set aside.  In a small mixing bowl, add the rice vinegar, soy sauce, sugar (or substitute), sesame oil, garlic, and ginger.  Mix well and set aside.  Add half of the roasted sesame seeds to the seaweed salad, and gently mix together.  Then, mix in the dressing.

Serve the salad over a mound of fresh pea sprouts on a platter or individual plates.  Top with a little of the carrot, daikon, chive, cilantro mixture that you set aside, and sprinkle with the remaining sesame seeds.

Vegan Slow-cooked Pinto Beans

pintobeans

I’d said (on Instagram) I would post this wonderful recipe a few days ago, but time just got away from me. ¬†It is so delicious that I cannot let any more time pass before posting the details. ¬†So, here they are! ¬†It’s a recipe that I originally found on food.com. ¬†I followed¬†their recipe to a tee the first time, and I loved it. ¬†The second time I made it, I tweaked a few things, and once again, it was so tasty. ¬†This time, I tweaked it to perfection (at least, to MY¬†ideal of perfection). ¬†Lots of people like spicy hotness in their food, and for those of you who do, you’ll definitely want to spice this up with some pepper flakes (as in original recipe), or whatever else you like that gives it that¬†extra heat.

INGREDIENTS

4 cups dried pinto beans, washed and rinsed

4 tbsp cumin

1 tbsp plus one tsp of smoked paprika

1 tbsp plus one tsp of garlic powder

2 tsp onion powder

2 tsp oregano

1 tbsp plus one tsp of Himalayan pink salt

4 tbsp olive oil

1 large sweet onion, finely diced

1 1/2 cups Pomi strained tomatoes, or tomato passata

6 garlic cloves, minced

1 bunch of cilantro, finely chopped (or, 2 tbsp dried coriander seed)

10 cups of filtered, fresh water

_______________________________________________________________________

Prepare the slow cooker¬†with a coating of olive oil (either sprayed, or lightly coated with your favorite¬†oil). ¬†Wash and rinse your dried pinto beans, and add them to the slow cooker. ¬†Add all the spices and the olive oil, then mix well. ¬†Add the onion, tomato (Pomi or tomato passata), garlic, and cilantro. ¬†Mix again. ¬†Lastly, add the 10 cups of filtered water, and stir all together. ¬†Cover your slow cooker, and set to LOW for 14 hours. ¬†(I’ve done them on HIGH¬†for less time, but they were not nearly as good.). ¬†They will be so delicious, you will want to make them once a week! ¬†If you put them on¬†around 7 pm (as I did), and wake¬†up in the morning around 7 or 8, you will be wanting to eat them for breakfast, I guarantee it!

I served them with a freshly steamed batch of spiralized noodles on top (steamed and spiralized zucchini), which just made them a perfectly balanced meal.

Black Bean Patties

BlackBeanPatties

These are filling and protein-packed. ¬†I added ground flaxseed and chia seeds to the mix, and along with the many spices, they’re totally delicious!

INGREDIENTS

3 15-OZ cans of black beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup chopped sweet onion

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup grated carrots (small ones–I always buy them with the tops on so I know if they’re fresh)

3 tbsp cornstarch

3 tbsp warm water

1 tbsp of Pico Pica hot sauce (or more, if you like it hot)

1 tbsp chili powder

1 tbsp ground cumin

1 tsp pink salt or sea salt

1 tsp ground pepper

8 tbsp ground flaxseed

2 tbsp chia seeds

METHOD

Grease a baking sheet with olive oil, and preheat the oven to 350F. ¬†Mash the beans in a large bowl, and add onion, garlic and carrots. ¬†Mix well. ¬†Add the remaining ingredients in a separate bowl — minus the flaxseed and chia seeds — you will add those last. ¬†Mix all the liquid and seasonings well and then add to the bean mixture and mix. ¬†Then add the flaxseed and chia seeds. ¬†If the mixture is too sticky, add a little more ground flaxseed. ¬†It should be the consistency of cookie batter. ¬†Shape into meatball-sized patties and place on greased baking sheet. ¬†Press down to desired thickness (about 3/4 inch). ¬†Bake about 10-15 minutes on each side. ¬†Remove from oven and let set for a few minutes. ¬†Serve in a bun with condiments, or (as I did) serve with fresh vegetables.

Fresh Tomato, Kale, and Herb Pasta Sauce

Among other vegetables, herbs, and flowers, I’m growing Portuguese and curly kale on my patio. I eat kale almost every day; it has been a staple ingredient in my green smoothies, salads, sauces, and soups, etc. Since these kale plants have been doing so well on my patio (in pots), I’ve been able to harvest some almost every day. If you’re interested in kale’s health benefits and more, I would encourage you to read more about it. Here’s a good place to start, and this site includes recipes as well: http://www.discoverkale.co.uk.

That said, I thought this simple recipe was worthy of a post here. It was not only delicious, but it was healthy, organic, fresh from my garden (mostly), and it provided enough leftover for other recipes. I wound up using this sauce recipe for three days, in a few different recipes.

KaleTomatoSauce

So, here is the first recipe for a pasta dinner that I posted on Instagram three days ago, using this sauce.

INGREDIENTS

2 cups finely chopped kale (variety of your choice)
4 stalks of celery, chopped
7-8 vine-ripened tomatoes, blanched, skin removed, and mashed
1 finely chopped cooking onion
4 organic carrots, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 cup drained and rinsed sliced black olives
olive oil
Himalayan pink salt, and pepper to taste

METHOD

Heat skillet over medium-high heat with the olive oil. Add the kale, celery, onion, carrots, garlic and saute until softened. Add the tomatoes, parsley and olives. Simmer for about 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

While the sauce was simmering, I cooked a little al dente penne pasta. I saved a little water from that, added it to the drained pasta, and then mixed some of the sauce into it. I garnished it with some fresh parsley.

I refrigerated the remaining sauce, and I used it for other toppings for the next few days; it was great!

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