Toasted Walnut Sauce

This sauce is the dressing for the Arugula and Fig Salad (see Main Dishes). I also used it on my Asparagus Falafel (see Main Dishes). I love how nutty this sauce is but it also has a little bit of sweet to it thanks to the maple syrup. To make it, I used my single serve container on my Ninja to whip this up. I found that it was definitely a thick sauce and therefore it required some water, as recommended, to thin it out.  I only added about a 1/2 cup of water to thin it out a bit. That way it still had some consistency to it and it didn’t get watered down.

With thanks to Sarah Britton of the cookbook Naturally Nourished

vegan, gluten-free, grain-free

Makes approximately 1 cup

Ingredients:
1 cup (125g) raw, unsalted walnuts
1 garlic clove
2 Tbsp cold-pressed olive oil
4 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp pure maple syrup or raw honey
2 generous pinches of fine sea slat, plus more as needed
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F/108 degrees C
  2. Spread the walnuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast until they are golden and fragrant, 7 to 10 minutes, watching them carefully so they don’t burn. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.
  3. Add the toasted walnuts, garlic, olive oil, apple cider vinegar,and maple syrup to a blender. Blend on high, adding 1 cup (250ml) water to thin the dressing as needed- you are looking for a consistency of melted ice cream. Season with salt. Store in an airtight glass container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

 

Dry-Fried Tofu

As promised, this little project goes with the Vegetable Pad Thai with Dry-Fried Tofu recipe.

With thanks to the guys at Thug Kitchen

Enough for 2 to 4 people or to add to one entrée recipe

Ingredients:
1 block extra-firm tofu, pressed for at least 30 minutes**
pinch of salt
  1. Cut the tofu into planks about 1/4 inch thick and then cut those planks in half width-wise. You should end up with around 20 squarish pieces.
  2. Preheat a large wok or cast-iron skillet* over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add the tofu in a single layer. You might have to do this in two batches depending on the size of your pan. You’ll want the tofu to sizzle once it hits the pan so if that *&$% is quiet, turn up the heat a little.
  3. Sprinkle a pinch of salt over the tofu and start gently pressing down on the tofu with your spatula. You’ll hear the steam escape from under the tofu as you do this. It sounds like screams, but keep the *&$% on. Don’t try and flip it yest; you got to let that *&$% get toasted. After 3 to 4 minutes, the bottom sides should look golden brown. Flip them over and repeat. When the tofu is cooked all over, you can cut it into strips, triangles, or smaller squares, whateverthe*&$% you like in your food. It’s just easier to keep that shit bigger for flipping purposes.

Thug Kitchen Tips

*You want a really well-seasoned pan here so that the tofu doesn’t stick. If all else fails, grab a non-stick pan.

Kathryn’s Tips

**Tofu comes in a liquid. You will need to prep it before you cook it. Seems weird, but it works.

  1. Wrap the tofu in some paper towels or a clean dish cloth.
  2. Put it between two plates and put some weight on it like a can of beans or some heavy books. This presses all the water that is packed inside it out. This will take 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Vegan Parmesan Cheese

I know, how can you mess with cheese? You just might be surprised. This vegan version is cheesy thanks to the nutritional yeast and crumbly from the pulverized nuts/seeds.

With thanks to Angela Liddon of Oh She Glows Every Day

Vegan, gluten-free, nut-free option, soy-free, grain-free, oil-free

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Makes 3/4 cup (175 ml)

Ingredients:
1/2 cup (125 ml) raw cashews or raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
2 Tbsp (30 ml) nutritional yeast
1/4 to 1/2 tsp (1 to 2 ml) fine sea salt, to taste
1 clove garlic, or 1/4 tsp (1 ml) garlic powder, or to taste
  1. If using fresh garlic, mince it in a mini food processor. Add the cashews or pepita seeds, nutritional yeast, salt, and garlic powder (if not using fresh garlic). Process until a coarse meal forms. The parmesan will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Buttermilk Ranch Dip

So good with Buffalo Cauliflower and Kale Salad (see Main Dishes). I substituted dill for the parsley and really liked it. It makes a great salad dressing too.

With thanks to Mary Mattern from the cookbook Nom Yourself

Makes a little more than 2 cups of Ranch Dip

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups vegan mayonnaise (or not vegan, I used Hellman’s)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp dried parsley
1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tsp organic apple cider vinegar
  1. Whisk the mayonnaise, garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, parsley, almond milk, and apple cider vinegar in a medium bowl.
  2. If the dip is too thin, add more mayonnaise to make your preferred consistency.

Homemade Vegetable Broth

This is a great Sunday afternoon activity. Grab your stock pot and a bunch of veggies and make yourself some veggie broth for the week. This recipe uses fresh whole vegetables but there is another option. As you are preparing your other whole food recipes, save your ends and peels. Our friends over at Thug Kitchen suggest keeping a bag in the freezer for your scraps (ends of onions, carrot peels, celery, garlic, shallots, green onion pieces, and the ends of leeks). Veggies that are starting to turn or wilt like mushrooms, herbs or peppers, are good to add too. For either the fresh veg or the scraps avoid the strong flavoured vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. And, always avoid anything that is starting to rot or is moldy. Just to get a health Public Service Announcement in, don’t store your food in plastic – ever. Use glass containers. For your stock, large Mason jars (I like the wide mouth kind) are a great choice. They store easily and they hold lots.

With thanks to Angela Liddon at Oh She Glows

Makes 10 to 11 cups (2.4 to 2.6L)

Prep Time: 30 minutes              Cook Time: 1 1/2 hours

Gluten-free, sugar-free, nut-free, soy-free, grain-free

Ingredients:
1 1/2 tsp (7ml) extra-virgin olive oil
3 onions, roughly chopped
1 head garlic, peeled entirely and cloves smashed
Fine grain sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 medium carrots, roughly chopped
4 stalks celery, roughly chopped
1 bunch green onions, roughly chopped
1 cup (250ml) shiitake or cremini mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 large tomato, roughly chopped
2 bay leaves
10 sprigs fresh thyme
2-inch (5cm) piece kombu (optional)
1 1/2 tsp (7ml) whole black peppercorns
2 tsp (10ml) fine-grain sea salt
  1. In a large stockpot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes. Season with a pinch or two of salt and lots of pepper.
  2. Add the carrots, celery, green onions, mushrooms, tomato, bay leaves, thyme. kombu (if using), and peppercorns and sauté for 5 to 10 minutes more.
  3. Finally, stir in 12 cups (2.8L) water and 2 tsp (10ml) salt. Bring the mixture to a low boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for about 90 minutes, or longer if you have the time.
  4. Carefully pour the broth through a strainer into a large bowl or pitcher. Compost the solids. Transfer the broth to large glass canning jars, leaving about 1 inch (2.5cm) at the top for expansion. Cool the broth completely, then screw on the lids and place in the freezer. The broth will keep in the freezer for 1 to 2 months or in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Angela’s Tips:

If you’d like to season the broth even more, add a splash or two of tamari. Keep in mind, however, that it will no longer be soy-free. For a soy-free option, use coconut aminos.

 

 

Cashew Cream and Cashew Sour Cream

I love this stuff! As a plant based eater and someone who can’t do sour cream this is a great substitute.

With thanks to Angel Liddon at ohsheglows.com

In a bowl, combine 1 cup (250ml) raw cashews and enough water to cover them and soak for 8 hours or overnight (for a quick soak method, put the cashews in a bowl, pour boiling water over them until the cashews are covered, and soak for 2 hours). Drain and rinse the cashews and transfer them into a blender with 1/2 cup to 1 cup (125 to 250ml) water. Less water will give you a thicker sauce. Blend on high speed until the cream is smooth. If using the cashew cream for a savory recipe, add a pinch of salt, if desired.

To make Cashew Sour Cream, add the following ingredients to the blender with the cashews and water and blend on high speed until smooth:

2 tsp (10ml) fresh lemon juice
1 tsp (5ml) apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp plus 1/8 tsp (2.5ml) fine grain sea salt, or to taste

Easy Kimchi

This was my first (successful) attempt at fermenting food. After 5 days of sitting I gave it a try. Awesome! The chili adds some heat to it so adjust as needed. We loved this with stir fry and sticky rice. Next time I am going to try leaving the cabbage in twoonie sized squares to add more texture.

With thanks to meghantelpner.com

Yield: 6-8 cups

Ingredients:
1 head napa cabbage, cored, shredded (makes about 8 cups)
6 green onions, chopped
2 carrots, grated
1 daikon radish, grated
10 red radishes, grated
5 garlic cloves, minced
3 Tbsp grated ginger
2Tbsp sea salt
3 Tbsp chilli flakes or 1 1/2 Tbsp chili powder
  1. Prep all vegetables as directed in ingredients and place in a large bowl. Add salt and chili flakes. Use a larger bowl than you think you might need, as it lends to better veggie massaging.
  2. Massage cabbage mix for about 10 minutes and then set aside. While resting, the salt will help the veggies to ‘sweat’, releasing some of their water.
  3. Return to massage for another 10 minutes, until cabbage and other veggies are softened and a few tablespoons worth of water have been released.
  4. Divide the mix between two 1 gallon/1 litre mason jars.
  5. Press kimchi down, helping get out any air bubbles and ideally have some of the liquid come to the top.
  6. Seal jar loosely and place in a warm spot (like on top of or beside your fridge). Let sit for 4-5 days. If foam starts to form, you can skim that off. After about 4 days, taste the kimchi (with a clean fork, never double dip) and decide if you want to let it ferment longer or you’re ready to enjoy it.
  7. Once ready, seal the jar and store in your fridge. Will keep for 2-3 months sealed.