Monthly Archives: January 2014

Day 28

Sweet potato quinoa burger with Avocado Aioli

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For the Avocado aioli I used:
1 avocado
3 Tbs vegan mayo
1 clove garlic
lime juice
salt

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I initially wanted to use jalapeno, but it wasn’t spicy at all, so i used few drops of habanero sauce. I used a hand blender to mix all until smooth and creamy.

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For the burger:

1 cup of quinoa boiled – it rendered 2 cups cooked
1 big sweet potato cubed roasted in a 425F oven for 35 min
1 garlic head roasted in the oven together with the potato
4 oz of firm tofu crumbled
1 medium onion chopped sauteed in olive oil
1/2 cup quinoa flour
1 jalapeno chopped- this one wasn’t spicy either….I had 5 jalapenos that all tasted like green peppers… c’est la vie!
smoked paprika
smoked salt
salt and pepper

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I mixed everything together, formed into patties and cooked them on a grill pan.

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Mike and I had them just like that with no bread.

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Day 27

Vegan Gluten Free Lasagna

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I wanted some kind of white cheesy sauce for this lasagna. I didn’t use a recipe so I just went with it, using the principles of making a béchamel sauce.

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2 Tbs vegan buttery taste spread
3 Tbs GF all purpose flour
1 Tbs cashew butter
2 cloves of garlic crushed
2 cups almond milk
2 Tbs nutritional yeast
1 dash of nutmeg
Salt, pepper, crushed red pepper

I sautéed the garlic in the spread for few minutes.

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I added the cashew butter, stirring constantly until it completely melted.

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Next was the flour. As soon as the flour was incorporated in the ‘butter”, I switched to a whisk and started to add the almond milk, little by little.

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When it became a smooth sauce i added the nutritional yeast, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.

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For the filling I sautéed sun dried tomatoes in olive oil and about 3 cups of chopped mushrooms.
I peeled a big eggplant and sliced it 1/2 inch thick.

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Sprayed the slices with olive oil and grilled them.

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I layered tomato pasta sauce, eggplant, white sauce, mushrooms. I finished with layering white sauce on top of last row of eggplant. Few slices of tomatoes on top of that. Baked it in preheated oven at 350F for 35 min.

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Day 26

I’m back in Calgary for two weeks! Felt so good to be in the kitchen cooking again!

Last night I came  across a soup recipe that I had to try.

It is  David McNally’s “Spicy Noodle Soup”:

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 oz extra firm tofu, diced
4 cups broth (organic veggie)
4 oz rice noodles
2 tablespoons tamari soy sauce
1 tablespoon sriracha hot sauce
1 cup mushrooms
1 stem bok choy
1 cup raw spinach
1/2 cup cilantro
1/4 cup cashews, crushed
1/4 cup green onions
1 tablespoon crushed red peppers

David warned me that it’s spicy, and boy was he right! I added extra broth and skipped the red pepper flakes. This is a great, simple, light but full of fresh flavors soup!

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I started by sauteeing the garlic in olive oil. It only takes a few minutes to brown.

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Added the tofu and cooked for 3 more minutes.

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Next was the vegetable stock. The recipe calls for 4 cups but I ended up adding 2 extra cups because the soup turned out too spicy for me. Note to self: add the spicy element little by little, not all at once!:)

After it reached  boiling point I added the mushrooms, soy sauce and sriracha sauce.

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I let it simmer for about 3 minutes. After that, it’s ready!

I soaked rice noodles in hot water for about 10 minutes before eating. I chopped all the greens and crushed the cashews.

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In a bowl I put some noodles, then soup, and packed it with the greens and crushed cashews.  I added few drops of lime to my bowl. Yummy!

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Those last two spoons of broth with little bits of cashews from the bottom of your bowl, are amazingly delicious!

Day 20 and 21

Great weather in Houston! But it’s supposed to get to 29F by tomorrow night! What the what? I guess I dragged it down here!;)

I just realized I haven’t needed caffeine as much as i used to, I have more energy and haven’t felt bloated or sluggish. I don’t crave diet cokes or any kind of sweets!
Tonight my friend Shannon and I made “Birthday quinoa salad”, a recipe she got from her trip to Napa.

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So refreshing, I could eat this every day!

Day 19

I’ll tell you what!… If they don’t understand you, they judge you! But that’s ok! It’s a normal human being defense mechanism. If it’s out of the norm it must be weird! I remember not understanding why people do the things they do and maybe judge them secretly, or if they were close to me I would ask questions to figure out why they are different. But.. I have never ever been a cookie cutter! I love life and I love my family and my friends, and I love my job- being around women all unique and beautiful in their own way- I love cooking and when I set my mind to something, you bet your marbles it would get done!

So 19 days in, I had my first encounter with one of the best restaurants in Deer Park, TX. Gringos is the best tex mex restaurant ever! The waiter was very knowledgeable , let me know what I can or cannot have and of course they have the best margarita in the world! Had corn chips with salsa and guacamole, and veggie fajitas on home-made corn tortillas! I had just one and was full! Left overs for tomorrow at th e spa. Full day tomorrow too. I love being surrounded by beauty!
Like they say here:” I’ll see y’all soon!”

Gringo’s Mexican Kitchen: http://gringostexmex.com/  check out the gluten guide on their home page.

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Day 18

I’m not sure why I was nervous about being away and still be able to keep up with this new way of eating. I think maybe I didn’t have faith in myself, but I just realized I can do whatever I want! I’m in control and that feels great! Another great day!

I had a banana and half a pear for breakfast, half of a baked potato(a huge potato) with vegan cream cheese and Pace picante sauce. For dinner I had zacusca(Romanian eggplant relish) and sautéed vegetables with jalapeño salsa! Happy girl! I haven’t figured it out how to post pictures without a computer yet! 😦

Day 17

I woke up really early this morning to make my flight to Houston. Got to the airport in plenty of time, and went straight to Starbucks. My first time since this challenge begin! My order used to sound like this: “I’ll have a triple grande, three splenda, wet cappuccino…”! Fancy, right?!?! But instead, I ordered a grande coffee with a splash of soy, bought a cup of fruit and a green smoothie. The green smoothie was way too sweet and I ate only had half of the fruit cup. On the plane I ordered the hummus snack, gave the pita chips to the person next to me, and I enjoyed a really good Bloody Mary! 😉

I got to Deer Park and my girlfriend and I went to the local HEB grocery store to stock up on some wonderful veggies and fruits. I looked for Vegenaise but couldn’t find it! When we were checking out, the funny check out kid was great and asked:
“Did you find everything okay?”
I said : As a matter of fact I couldn’t find any Vegenaise!
“What is that?” he asked.
It’s vegan mayonnaise.
“That sounds terrible!… I’m glad you didn’t find it!”
Lololol! So cute, loved him! I should go back in a couple of days and ask him again!

I’m not able to post pics tonight, but we roasted baby potatoes with olive oil and rosemary, and carrots with zucchinis. We jullienned the carrots and cut the zucchinis a bit thicker, olive oil, salt, pepper and crushed garlic! Oh, so delicious !
First day away was a success!!

Day 16

I’ve been doing great being home, having time to cook, but let’s see how I do when I’m out of town working 12 hrs a day! I have faith! I cannot wait to go back to the spa and see everyone. 

This morning I had my first chocolate banana smoothie. I used one banana, one square of 70% cacao chocolate, 1/2 cup almond milk and a cup of ice.

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So delicious!

My husband came from out of town and he absolutely loved the yam cashew burger.

For dinner we decided to eat fresh salad. I could eat this salad every day! Romaine lettuce, tomato, cucumber, red bell pepper, white onion,  radishes, kalamata olives, sunflower oil, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper.

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My next post will come to you from Deer Park, Texas. Until then, stay healthy!

Day 15

Today I’m trying to recreate the cashew yam burger we had at The Coup last weekend. I bought their cook book by Tabitha Archer and Dalia Kohen.

Here’s the recipe:
550 g yam
1 1/2 cups smoked tofu crumbled
30g garlic -roasted
1/4 cup sesame oil
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup cashews – crushed
3 tsp salt
1 tbsp pepper
1 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup fresh dill

First I crushed the pumpkin and sunflower seeds with the cashews.

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Cut yams into wedges. Mix in bowl with canola oil, 1tsp salt and 1 tbsp pepper. Place on a bake sheet. Roast in pre-heated oven at 350F for 35-40 min.

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Roast garlic bulb at the same time, keeping the skin on.

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In a large bowl, I hand-mixed cooked yams, smoked tofu, peeled garlic, sesame oil, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, cashews, salt and pepper. I only used half of the amount of sesame oil the recipe calls for.

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The garlic bulb I cut off the top and then squeezed out all that goodness!

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Form patties (approx 100 g each) and roll in sesame seeds.

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Bake in oven or pan with a very small amount of canola oil for 10 min.

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The book says it goes best with garlic aioli and dill. I agree!

Garlic aioli:

1 cup vegan mayo
1-2 garlic cloves minced
1/8 cup lemon juice
1/8 cup olive oil
salt and pepper

I had a dilemma on what to serve it on, so I used for one dish GF bread, and for the other GF plain tortilla. At the restaurant they served it with arugula, so I did the same even though it doesn’t call for it in the recipe. Also added a green onion, just because!:)

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