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These are the BOMB!  I love their products! All grown in the Northeast and organic!
     So I decided to do some experimenting with rice paper and was pleasantly surprised at the way my vegan rice paper rolls turned out! I tried and researched a few different types of rice paper roll and found one that I liked quite a bit more. I used Two Ladies Trung 28 cm wrappers with a picture of two women riding elephants on the package other people seem to like the Three Ladies brand which has a picture of three women on the package.   
  
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Ingredients For Wrap

1 package Organic Soy Boy Caribbean  tofu
1 cup red pepper
1/2 cup yellow onion
1/4 cuppickled ginger carrots
1 cup shitake mushroom
1 cup cremini mushroom
1 TBSP chopped garlic
1 TBSP tamari sauce
1 TBSP oil for cooking
1 TBSP nutritional yeast
2 TBSP chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup cooked King Soba noodle pumpkin and ginger
1 package Rice Paper Rolls  

     First start your noodles by throwing them in some boiling water.  Soba noodles do not take as long as regular pasta to cook so keep an eye on them.  Set aside when cooked. Next take all your chopped veges and throw them in a pan with oil of your choice.  I used sesame oil for this recipe.  

     When peppers and onions are cooked down add the rest of the spices and tamari.  When all the veges are cooked take off burner and throw in the nutritional yeast and fresh cilantro and mix well.  Now add your noodles to the mix and stir together with veges.  Le vege mix cool before wrapping.

     Last carefully take your rice paper wraps out the package and wet and create one by one.  Soak one sheet in warm water for about 5-10 seconds and then lay it out on a plate.  Add a generous scoop of your vegan mix and wrap.  I topped mine with sriracha sauce but I have also used a side of sweet chili sauce and enjoyed dipping them quite a bit.  


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Fried Sweet Potatoes


1 elongated sweet potato sliced as pictured above.  
1 TSP dried rosemary
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp garlic powder
1 TBSP tamari
1-2 TBSP oil 

     First I soften my sliced potatoes in the microwave for about 5 minutes.  Then add oil to frying pan and add sliced potatoes and coat in oil.  Let cook for about 10 minutes and then add the rest of the ingredients.  Let potatoes cook on each side on medium high heat for about 10 minutes each.  Add more or less spice as desired. 


    
How To Wrap Veges with Rice Paper!


    The best picture on the web of how to wrap your rice rolls from My New Roots Blog!  Wrap them just like this and you will have success!  If you cook your ingredients before wrapping let them cool for a bit first! They will be a bit sticky and it takes some practice to get it right so do not get frustrated if you mess up a few wrappers first!
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    The other day I was craving a burger! I went out to eat at a local restaurant and had a great mushroom lentil burger but, of course, I thought I could make one better at home.  So that is exactly what I did the next night when my craving came around again for summer foods.  I would be lying if I said they turned out horrible-  they were so tasty I ate two!  Add a few spicy pickles on the side and yum!
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Ingredients


1/2 cup chopped crimini
1/2 cup chopped portobello
1/2 cup chopped shitake
2 TBSP jalapeno
1/2 cup onion
1/2 cup red pepper
1 TBSP chili powder
1 TBSP garlic powder
2 TBSP tamari
1 can lentils
1 TBSP mustard
1-2 cups bread crumbs or flax meal
3 TBSP olive oil
1 TBSP nutritional yeast
1 TBSP crushed red pepper
 Directions:

Put about 2 TBSP olive oil in a frying pan and add all chopped mushrooms, onion, pepper, 1 TBSP tamari sauce, 1 TBSP crushed red pepper, 1 TBSP chili powder, and 1/2 TBSP garlic powder.  Cook until until veges are tender.

Get your food processor out and add the cooked veges and then the rest of the ingredients ending with the bread crumbs.   Add first one cup of the bread crumbs and then transfer mix to a bowl and add remainder (more or less) until the mix is the consistency of hamburger meat and can form patties.  

Using the same frying pan add some more olive oil and heat pan on med high.  Make your burger patties and fry until outsides are browned.  You can also bake these patties if you prefer at 400 F for about 20 minutes or until brown.  I flip mine half way through.  


Now throw them on buns, garnish and enjoy! They taste good with sliced avocado, jalapenos, tomato, onions, kale, ketchup or spicy mustard! Enjoy!  I also used a bit of Daiya vegan pepper jack cheese on mine


*Tasty Tip*
Before frying burgers put in the freezer for an hour or two first.  You will find they flip better :)  


 
 
Another day, another smoothie!  Lately I have been buying turmeric root instead of using the powder in my smoothies.  I chop off a small piece and grind it up with my ginger.  It adds a small earthy flavor to the smoothie but does not overwhelm the drink.  Below is a picture of the root which is bright orange on the inside.  Why turmeric?  It is great for liver cleansing and is a great antioxidant.  
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Ingredients


1 banana
3/4 cup mango
1/4 cup blueberries
3/4 cup strawberries
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1-2 cups soy milk (or other milk sub)
2 TBSP ginger (or to taste)
1/2 tsp matcha powder
1 tsp turmeric

Makes one large mason jar of smoothie!
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In my last blog post for my smoothie challenge (#5) I brought up adding herbs to your smoothies for various health reasons.  This smoothie is a very special smoothie packed with several herbs that are sure to have you detoxed, focused and healthy.  Of course the fruits in this beverage help a lot too.  

The main herbs and spices that I use in my smoothies are cinnamon, ginger, green tea matcha, turmeric, dried dandelion greens,  slippery elm, and occasionally spirulina.  Other herbs that would be great to use aremilk thistle, cayenne,  echinacea.  Click on any of the above mentioned herbs to read detailed information about their healing properties. 

This smoothie is an herbal power house with matcha for it's antioxidant properties, turmeric for its detox ability and dandelion leaves for the liver, and ginger not just for the flavor but to soothe my irritable tummy!  Let me know your ideas for an herbal smoothie!  This one really gave me a boost for the day! 

Ingredients:

1 banana
1-2 TBSP ginger root
1/2 cup peach
1/2 cup blueberries
1 TBSP lemon juice concentrate
1/2 tsp matcha powder
1/2 tsp dried dandelion leaves
1/2 tsp turmeric


* I am not a doctor, nutritionist, pharmacist or herbalist.  Please read any warnings with the herbs I suggest.  I try to pick milder herbs with no or few potential side effects.  If you want to try any of them and are unsure if they may interact with any medications or health condition you may have talk to your doctor.*




 
 
    The other day I went to our local market and they had organic frozen mango!  I was so excited to use it for my morning smoothies and share it with you!  Mango is one of my favorite fruits to eat next to freshly picked apples.  Of course I add ginger to every one of my smoothies and matcha but you do not have too use them to enjoy a great smoothie! If you want a liver cleanse use 1 tsp turmeric in your smoothies.  Don't like ginger?  Then try slippery elm bark powder for your stomach ailments.  Not afraid of spice?  Add 1 tsp cayenne pepper to any smoothie; supposedly useful for aiding weight loss and inflammation.  Pineapple,  mango, extra honey, and cayenne pepper? Yumm! 
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Ingredients

1 cup chopped mango
1/2 cup pineapple
1TBSP lemon juice
1 banana
1-2 cups soy milk (or whatever milk you prefer) 
2 TBSP ginger
1/2 tsp matcha powder (optional) 

Makes 16oz of juice.  Add soy milk to desired thickness.
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What mushrooms in a smoothie?  You read it right!  I have been using turkey tail mushrooms as a tea recently for its powerful anti cancer benefits and decided that I should not waste the mushroom that way and instead have been adding 2 tsp of turkey tail to my smoothies to ingest the whole thing. If you have not read up on mushrooms you should.  Turkey tail has been studied more than most and is even being used to boost immunity in cancer patients.  For more information read this great article here.  
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Ingredients

2 small beets
1 cup chopped kale
2 tsp *Organic* dried turkey tail mushroom soaked in 2 TBSP water
3/4 cup frozen cherries
1 TBSP ginger root
1/2 tsp green tea matcha powder
1-2 cups unsweetened rice milk

All smoothie recipes make one 16 oz serving.  Rice milk added depends on how thick or thin you like your smoothie.

*I use only organic ingredients with all my smoothies but you only want organic turkey tail mushrooms because of potential toxins that can be absorbed by them.  I bought mine dried from Fungi Perfecti. *


 
 
Red Riot is my second  smoothie recipe for my 30 week smoothie challenge!  30 vegan smoothie recipes in 30 weeks.  Refer to my previous post, here,  for more detailed information about smoothie making.  
Ingredients

4 medium sized frozen strawberries
1/2 cup frozen red raspberries
1 banana
1 TBSP fresh cut ginger root
1 TBSP organic lemon juice
1-2 cups rice milk (or milk sub of choice)
1/2 tsp matcha powder (optional)


I use ginger in almost all of my smoothie recipes.  Why ginger?  Not only does it add a nice spicy flavor that I love it is great for stomach problems including motion sickness and morning sickness.    I have a very sensitive stomach and I find that when I drink my smoothies it heals my stomach.   It is also a great anti-inflammatory so it is also good for muscle aches and pains.  Some studies have shown that it is also effective in preventing certain forms of cancer.  For more information on ginger read this article, here.  To read some medical studies on ginger try this site





 
 
I have had a smoothie every day for the last 20 months.  It is a great way for me to get my fruits and veges for the day.  I like to have a smoothie for breakfast but sometimes I will do one for lunch instead.   I have decided to share with you all the different  smoothies I make for myself and my explorations with new ingredients on a weekly basis.  30 smoothies in 30 weeks? Sure!
Above is my delicious smoothie of the day! Berry Boost! Now I have mentioned before  I use a hand held mixer for my single serving smoothies! It is my most used kitchen gadget! It fits in most large cups, mason jars or the 16 oz mixing cup it comes with very easily for smoothie making! I love to use the whisk attachment for my matcha soy lattes and the chopper attachment for chopping herbs all the time .  In fact I use it when I make my cilantro sauce! Which I will have to tell you about another time.  It is so easy to use and fits right in my utensil drawer.  I just rinse the tip off right after I use with hot water and store.  So much easier than a blender!!  And if you use the cup it comes with you have a single serving for your breakfast!
Lets move on to the ingredients of my Berry Boost Smoothie! 

1 banana
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 cup frozen blackberries
3 frozen peach slices
2 TBSP fresh cut ginger (more or less depending on how spicy)
1-2 cups soy, rice, hemp or any other milk sub you chose!
1/2 tsp matcha powder (for the boost!)

Add all ingredients to your cup or measuring beaker.  Add the milk until it comes just to the top of the container.  Press the hand mixer down hard on the fruit so it sinks in a bit,  I lean right over mine, and hold the button to blend pressing down.  Some chunks are harder than others to blend but it should only take about a minute to blend it all thoroughly.  When you make it to the bottom of the cup swirl around a bit then pull up and down a few times to blend completely. 

All done!  I usually drink it right out of the container I made it in and rinse it after and have it handy for the next days breakfast smoothie! Easy and healthy! 


 
 
This is one of the easiest, healthiest and most delicious breakfast (or dessert!) meals you could ever make for yourself! Amaranth is one of the best grains you can possibly eat!  It is gluten free and has lots of fiber.   Look here for some nutritional values for amaranth.
I have a love hate relationship with coffee.   I love the flavor and the fact that it gives me some zing for my morning shifts at the hospital but I hate what it ultimately ends up doing to my stomach every time I go on a coffee bender.  So for my in between times I have been using loose green tea until recently.  I had been getting green tea soy latte's at a local coffee shop and loving them.  When I found out they used a finely ground green tea powder called matcha powder I was surprised! I went to my local health food store and sure enough they had it! I tried it and loved it!
Green tea alone is so much better for you than coffee because it is rich with antioxidants. Matcha powder is even better because you ingest the ground leaves and get the full benefits.  It is very rich in antioxidants and helps with mood.  I noticed that when I drank it( before even researching it)  that it really effected my mood.  I felt happy and smiled or eat my job.    Find my recipe below for a home made green tea soy latte!
Ingredients for Porridge

1 cup amaranth
1 banana
1/2 cup blueberries
3/4 cup rice milk (or any milk sub you like!)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 TBSP maple syrup

Cooking amaranth is like cooking rice.  Add 1 cup uncooked amaranth and 2-3 cups water depending on how soft you like it.  bring to a boil and then cook on low heat for another 30 minutes.  You can also have it sit in a container in your fridge over night. 

Scoop how much you like in a bowl and chop your banana over it.  Mix in the syrup well  then add blueberries and cinnamon.  Now add your milk and top with a sprinkling of cinnamon.  All set!
First I have to mention that my cup was a gift from my best friend The Pugnacious Vegetarian.  We are both cat lovers and she bought one for herself and one for yours truly.  I use it every day for my green tea lattes!  Thanks Amanda!

Ingredients

1/2 tsp matcha powder
16 oz soy milk ( I use Edensoy organics with vanilla)
1 tsp Vermont maple syrup (of course)
2 TBSP hot water

First heat up your soy milk.  While it is warming add your a powder to your cup and mix it vigorously with the hot water until blended.  I find that this works best to break up the powder other wise it can clump. 

Then add your syrup to the heated milk.  Next take a whisk and whisk the milk over heat until frothy.  I use an electric hand held and it works great.  You do not have to do this but I thought I would give you the full instruction.  Now pour into your cup and drink! 
 
 
Since I have given up dairy and most gluten I have been caving good Mexican food!  I am not usually one to try "substitute" foods (fake meat and cheese etc) but I could not help but use Daiya shredded cheese again for this meal to get that cheesy texture.  I was very happy with how this recipe turned out and you could easily make it with real cheese and it will taste just as awesome! 
First let me give you a few product recommendations for this meal in all its "gleegan" splendor! Click on any product picture to go to the company website.
First I used black beans from a can.  You are probably worried about BPA right?  Not in Eden brand canned foods! So stop boiling your dried beans and waiting (forever) and use this company! If you can not find this brand here is a link to a few more BPA free companies.  
The plain wraps were just OK so if you take a taste without cooking don't worry!  The enchiladas take on the flavor of the sauce and juice cooking around them and ended up not really adding or taking away from the flavor.  
I love tempeh!  It is just a great texture and absorbs the textures of any spice you cook with it sooo well!  I mostly use type of organic tempeh from Lightlife
I used Daiya cheese in a previous recipe and thought it worked very well!  For this I used the pepper jack flavor and loved it!  I would recommend blending it up with other spices then piling it on your enchiladas because it all absorbs the flavor of whatever is cooked around it.  

First things first!  An ingredients list!

The Filling

1 yellow onion chopped
1 red pepper chopped
1 tomato chopped
2 cups of your favorite mushrooms chopped.  I used baby bella.
1 can of rinsed black beans (or any bean you enjoy!)
2 TBSP oil of choice 
2 TBSP tamari sauce
1 TBSP garlic powder
1 TBSP chili powder
1 TBSP crushed peppers
1 package Lightlife tempeh, crumble well



The Sauce

3 large tomatoes chopped small
1 medium onion chopped small
3-4 sprigs fresh cilantro
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup tomato sauce to thicken more if needed
1 green chili pepper chopped small
1 TBSP chili powder
1 TBSP hot sauce of choice
1 TBSP garlic powder
1 tsp cumin
1 TBSP tamari



Toppings and Sides

1 package shredded cheese (once again I used vegan)
1 package wraps
1 avocado
 2 TBSP nutritional yeast
2 sprigs cilantro
spinach
1. Preheat oven to 375 f. 

2. Start with the sauce.  Chop all veges very small and throw in a pot with other ingredients.  Let cook on medium low while you prepare the filling stirring occasionally. 

3. For the filling cut all  fresh veges in strips and put tin frying pan with oil.  Let cook for 5 minutes then add broken up tempeh.  Now add your spices (except cilantro) and tamari.    Cook on med high for 10 minutes and then lower to med low and add beans.  Cook for another 15 minutes or until veges are tender and then add cilantro.  

4. Get a 9 x 13 baking dish and put some olive oil in the bottom.  Take a bit of the liquid sauce and just cover the bottom of the pan.  Now get those wraps ready. Place some of the filling in the middle of each wrap and roll shut leaving the ends open.  Lay each filled wrap the short way in the pan right up close to one another with the seam side down. Do not worry if they are not perfect!   I believe my pan fit about six.  

5. Once your pan is loaded with the wrapped veges pour the sauce over them.  They should all be lightly covered.  Fill in the cracks with sauce well.  Now you can add a sprinkling over the top of nutritional yeast if you so chose. Now mostly cover the top with Daiya shredded cheese or use real cheese if you prefer.  I added a bit of chili powder on the top of my cheese.  

6. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until cheese is melted and sauce bubbles.  Let sit for about 30 minutes and serve either each rolled up enchilada as a serving or cut into it like lasagna.  Serve on a bed of spinach, top with a few pieces of he leftover cilantro and place a side of avocado on the plate!  It is delicious!