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Vegan MoFo PMA Burgers: Engine 2 Pumpkin/Mushroom/Adzuki Burgers

18 Oct

I’m sick of paying 6 dollars a box for Sunshine Burgers. I love them, but I am calling shenanigans. The Engine 2 website has a great post with a sort of master make-your-own-veggie- burger “matrix”:

http://engine2diet.com/the-daily-beet/simple-guide-to-plant-strong-burgers/

I used this to come up with my own fall-themed burger. I’m on a pumpkin rampage, people!

PMA burgers: Pumpkin, Mushroom, Adzuki Bean/Positive Mental Attitude Burger

(best made while listening to Bad Brains!)

2 tbs ground flax seeds

1 can Eden adzuki beans, drained and mashed

1 cup cooked, diced mushrooms (portobello or porcini work really well)

1 tsp tamari

1 tasp vegan Worcestershire sauce

1 cup bread crumbs of your choice (hint: 2 slices toasted Ezekiel bread in the Vitamix makes exactly enough!)

1 tsp chives

1 tsp parsley

1 tsp thyme

1/2 tsp onion powder

1 tsp nutritional yeast

3 shakes smoked paprika

4 twists fresh ground black pepper

2 tbs non-dairy milk of your choice

1/4 cup pumpkin puree

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Prep a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Sautee the finely chopped mushrooms with tamari and Worcestershire sauce and a little water so they don’t stick. Set aside. Mix flax seeds with 3 tbs warm water and set aside. Drain and rinse your adzuki beans. Mash your adzuki beans in a large bowl, then add bread crumbs. Mix and add mushrooms, then add your pumpkin, flax seed mixture and spices. Add the non-dairy milk last. Mixture should be sticky and firm enough to make patties with your hands. Form six evenly shaped patties and place on parchment paper covered cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes and flip them over. Bake ten more minutes and then eat them up!

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Engine 2 Vegan BBQ MoFo Lunch Box

16 Oct

 

 

This took me under 30 minutes to make. Oil-free, totally plant-based, from scratch and yummy! The cornbread is the recipe from Happy Herbivore (go buy it, you won’t be sorry). I marinated 6 ounces of Wildwood firm sprouted tofu in BBQ sauce and then grilled them on the stovetop. Cooked greens are a mainstay of my diet. I try to eat at least 4 cups a day of them. They are magic! Here’s the recipe for my greens:

By Any Greens Necessary:

1 tbs minced garlic

3/4 cup veggie broth

1 cup mushrooms of your choice (I love shiitake)

2 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce

4 cups any rinsed, drained greens, torn into pieces. I used rainbow chard in the picture, but you can use kale, collards, mustard greens, dandelion greens, spinach or bok choy in any combination. I am particularly fond of mustard/dinosaur kale/collards together.

Sautee the mushrooms and garlic in the broth for about 2 minutes. Add the greens and the Worcestershire sauce and cook until wilted but still bright green.

Variation: add a dab of dijon mustard and hickory smoke sauce. If you really want an exciting twist, vegan bacon bits or tempeh bacon with a dab of dijon is super excellent.

I will be eating this tomorrow while my poor coworkers eat Carl’s Jr and Chinese take out. I always offer to share!

Engine 2 Chocolate Dipping Sauce for Fruit…and Pretzels…and Fingers!

5 Oct

 

I wanted dessert in a serious way tonight. So here it is:

It is, after all, the Vegan MoFo—vegan month of FOOD for us denizens of the vegan blog-o-sphere.  I don’t usually partake, but I have been so busy traveling, working and doing conventions that I haven’t had much time to cook. Tonight, cooking sounded super exciting. Not that using my Vitamix really qualifies as “cooking”, I suppose!

E2 Chocolate Dipping Sauce

1 package lite firm Mori-nu silken tofu

1/4 cup agave

2 packets Truvia

3 tbs Wonderslim cocoa powder

Throw it all in the Vitamix and blend until smooth. You could make it a little thinner if you like very drizzly sauce, and thicker if you like pudding.

Makes 23 1 tbs servings. According to myfitnesspal (if you care about these things), here are the stats: 18 cal/0 gm fat/3 gm carbs/1 g protein

You could also probably dip strawberries in the sauce, lay them out on parchment paper and freeze them for a little while. Banana slices done that way would probably be awesome! Or even whole bananas on a stick rolled in nuts and then frozen…yeah, I’m not having some kind of peri-menopausal chocolate freakout here or anything!

Samurai Soba Noodle Bowl: Engine 2 Recipe

5 Aug

 

When I have a cold or flu, I crave this soup. It was my comfort food in college, but I used to use ramen and hot sesame oil. Sometimes I leave the udon noodles out–it depends on my appetite. This is a very filling dish if you use soba noodles. Soba noodles are usually made out of a combination of buckwheat and wheat. Soba happens to contain all 8 essential amino acids (if you believe Wack-i-pedia), including Lysine. Soba noodles are also high in B vitamins, so much so that they became popular in Tokyo because they prevented beri-beri (which happens when you live on white rice because the B vitamins are stripped out). I prefer the Eden brand that you can find in most health food stores. I also stumbled across an organic Japanese brand at my local Korean supermarket, Greenland. The youtube video above is in Japanese and is an instructional video—kinda neat!

Samurai Soba Noodle Bowl

Ingredients:

Large handful of fresh shiitake musrooms, washed and sliced

4oz extra firm sprouted tofu, sliced

Dash of Tamari

2 green onions, diced

4 tbs miso (any color)

one serving organic Soba noodles

veggie broth for sauteeing the tofu and mushrooms

Siracha sauce to taste, or if not following Engine 2, hot sesame oil for sauteeing

Optional and tasty: a little crumbled nori as a garnish. I do not use a lot of seaweed due to my thyroid condition, but you can!

Instructions:

Veggies: Sautee the tofu in veggie broth with just a dash of tamari and as much Siracha sauce as you can tolerate (helps break up congestion!). After 5 minutes, add the shiitake mushrooms (great for the immune system) and sautee until they are well cooked.

Broth: Boil 4 cups of filtered water. Bring to a low simmer and add the miso (do not let it boil again—makes the broth bitter!). Stir until miso is dissolved and leave on very low heat until all soup ingredients are ready.

Noodles: cook according to directions on your particular brand. Strain, rinse in cool water and then place in bottom of large bowl.

Assembly: pour tofu and mushrooms on top of noodles. Cover with broth and add green onions last.

Finished product looks like this:

Engine 2 Snack Attack: White Bean Artichoke Dip Recipe

5 Aug

 

I’ve been trying some new snack ideas out lately. When healthy, plant-based eating starts to seem very boring and complicated, it makes me feel trapped and restricted. And then the evil little voice in my head tells me to go get vegan chocolate chip cookies and vegan mac ‘n’ cheese from Red Velvet Cafe because who is going to know? *I* will know, and my body will know when I feel like I have cement in my stomach when I am on my yoga mat. Not worth it! I know that many diet gurus (and even Ayurveda!) will tell you that snacking is bad when you are trying to lose weight. I’ve tried it both ways, and I stick to what my Eating Disorders Specialist Registered Dietitian told me and I have my snacks. Otherwise, I am an angry hungry vegan and I want to ATTACK. End of story.

Clearly, the ideal snacks are fresh fruits and veggies. Sometimes that is exactly what I want, and sometimes it seems like The Ghost Of Bad Dieting Past is visiting me and shoving carrot sticks in my face. No bueno. Since this is all about progress, not perfection, I need to have alternate snacks to nosh on when I am in the mood for something more substantial.

Here’s my new snack action—take it for what it’s worth!

1. Edward and Sons Rice Crackers

I hate rice cakes. They make me think of dieting and starving and they make me mad. These are, well, technically similar to rice cakes but very crunchy and with flavor. There are several different kinds—some are vegan and some aren’t, so read the labels. Also, some have oil and some don’t. I mainly buy the Tamari Sesame and the Tamari Seaweed. These are the same people who make the Chreeze sauce that I mentioned in my E2 cheese post. I think these might be mentioned in the E2 book as well.

2. Oskri Quinoa Bars

Due to the sesame seed content, this is one of those things that skirts the line as far as E2 is concerned. But there’s no added oil, and they are sweetened with brown rice syrup and date syrup. And they are sooooo crunchy! Yum! I’ve been experimenting with making homemade “granola” bars without oil and refined sugars, but my experiments have either been awful or waaaay too tasty. I like things to be in the middle: tasty enough that I am not pissed off that I have to eat this crap but not so tasty that I want to eat the entire batch, now. Until I can find the perfect recipe, I have these very crunchy Oskri bars. I usually eat them with an apple or a glass of unsweetened almond milk and they hit the spot.

3. Zen Bakery Peanut Butter Carob Chip Cookies

I get these in the refrigerated bakery section of my favorite Whole Foods. They are more like a severely healthy muffin than a cookie, honestly. But they taste good and fill me up, especially if I have a long time between when I leave work and dinner. I like to warm them up and have them with almond milk. And anything Zen is always A-OK with me!

4. La Reina Baked Tortilla Chips with Salsa and/or Vegan Queso

From http://www.thehealthyvegans.com, very cool oil-free plant-based eating website!

La Reina is the only tortilla chip that I can find that does not use oil. Guiltless Gourmet has started using oil so I leave those alone now—they used to be my old stand by. I don’t eat this very frequently since my body doesn’t like corn (no matter what Ayurveda says about it being good for Kapha dosha) but when I do, I really enjoy it. If you are not able to get this where you live, you can bake your own chips at home. Set oven at 350 degrees and put the tortillas directly on the rack. You have to flip them several times until they are crispy. I can never remember exactly how long it takes! Probably depends on your oven.

5.  White Bean Artichoke Dip

I really get sick of hummus really fast. When I first started exploring vegetarian eating in the late 80’s, early 90’s, that was frequently all there was to eat. Hummus and lentils. Lentils and hummus. Hummus with a side of lentils and…rice cakes! Needless to say, I still sometimes associate hummus with deprivation and struggle. And I just can’t be down with the new Cedar’s fat free hummus. It tastes like…beany snot. Sorry. So I came up with this instead, and for some reason I like it much, much more.

Mo’s Engine 2 White Bean Artichoke Dip 

Ingredients:

1 can drained, rinsed Cannelini beans

1 can drained, rinsed Artichoke hearts (set aside the water to use to thin the dip)

1 lemon

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

1 tsp salt

1 dash cayenne pepper

Instructions:

Put everything in the Vitamix or food processor except for the artichoke water and the lemon. Squeeze the lemon (really get all of that juice out) into the mixture and then blend until it’s smooth. If you’re really motivated, you can add some grated lemon zest, too. Use the artichoke water to thin the dip as needed. Chill overnight to let the flavors marry and then eat up! Great with crackers, tortilla chips or (gasp) veggies. I had it last night with celery sticks as a side for my veggie burger.

6. Amande Almond Milk Yogurt

From the amandeyogurt.com website.

I think I heard Rip mention these when I heard him speak here in Vegas. These are almond milk yogurts that are sweetened with fruit juice instead of refined sugar. I have a serious problem with refined sugar (it makes me act like a junkie) so I avoid it. It also makes PCOS way, way worse. It is not my friend.

Happy E2 snacking!

Engine-2-Friendly, Oil Free Vegan Alfredo Sauce

4 Aug

Gotta give props to the Happy Herbivore cookbook yet again—thanks for another great recipe, Lindsay!

 

I have to say, I was extremely skeptical about her Fettuccine Alfredo recipe because I have tried to do this in the past and most of the recipes that did not involve heavy use of macadamia nuts just straight up sucked. This was a pleasant and delicious surprise, and took 5 minutes to whip up in the Vitamix and then heat up on the stove. I did not tamper with the seasonings at all. Here’s a link again to her website, where there are lots of free recipes to try: http://happyherbivore.com/recipes/. Unfortunately, this one is not free but you should just BUY THE BOOK. So worth every penny if you want simple, satisfying, healthy plant-based recipes. Also great if you, like me, are following the Engine 2 plan of plant-based eating. There’s not a ton of recipes in the E2 book (Rip: please come out with a huge, companion recipe book!) so this is my go-to cookbook and has been for the past year. I think tonight I am making Hippie Loaf–I will let you know how it turns out!

I decided to use some vegan butternut squash ravioli that I had in the freezer since I had no fettuccine on hand:

 

These are delicious—just don’t let them get freezer-burned. Here’s the ravioli before I loaded the veggies on:

 

I sauteed what I happened to have on hand in the fridge: diced carrots, broccoli, snow peas, mushrooms, peppers and onions. Finished result:

Engine2 Recipe: Smoky “Bacon” Beans, Broccoli and Cheeze Stuffed Potato

23 Jul

One of the things I love about eating a plant-based diet is that I can freely worship at the Altar of the Divine Spud:

Worship at the E2/McDougall Potato Altar!

 

Under $3.00 for a LOT of potential meals.

One thing I always loved before I started eating this way was loaded baked potatoes. I was a bacon, cheese and sour cream junkie. When I first transitioned to being vegan, this meant lots of vegan sour cream, green onions and Fakin’ bacon:

Last night I realized that I had a dilemma: no Fakin’ Bacon and I needed to eat *now*.  Hmmm…what if I could make beans taste like bacon? Problem solved!

Smoky Vegan Bacon Beans Recipe

Ingredients:

1 can Cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

1 1/2 tsp. Liquid Smoke or hickory smoke seasoning

1 tsp tamari

1 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 /2 tsp onion powder

Instructions:

Mix it all up and let it marinate for at least an hour. You can cook your potato while it you are marinating the beans.

 

 

I steamed the broccoli, warmed up the beans, threw everything together on top of the potato and used Road’s End packaged vegan “Chreeze” sauce. The Cheese sauce recipe from Happy Herbivore is really yummy on potatoes, too. Check my blog entry on vegan cheese substitutes if you are curious:  https://heavymettayoga.wordpress.com/2012/05/28/it-aint-easy-being-cheezy-vegan-cheeses-for-the-engine-2-diet/

 

This version was actually much more filling than using the Fakin’ Bacon. I think I have a new favorite, although Fakin’ Bacon will always be near and dear to my heart. I’ve been eating it since 1990 or 1991!

It feels good to be back in the kitchen again. I haven’t wanted to cook or even be in that room since Enzo died. Enzo didn’t really like potatoes or beans, but he sure did like tempeh bacon, tofu scrambler, pancakes and vegan sausage. That dog was a vegan breakfast eating machine!

Did you say, “Vegan Sausage??”

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