Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Super Happy Eats blog has a new home

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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Super Easy Mango Coconut Sorbet

What you'll need:

1 bag of frozen mango
1/4 cup of light coconut milk
1 food processor
1 fig tree growing in your backyard

OK, you don't really need the fig tree.

Dump mango and coconut milk in the food processor. Hold on tight. Turn it on. Keep holding on tight. You'll have to stop every 30 seconds or so and shove it around with a utensil of your own choosing to make sure all the chunks get close to the blade. Blend until silky smooth.

Eat it right away. Not so good to re-freeze.


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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Improv Tempeh: Stuff It!

Tempeh Stuffed Red Pepper with Roasted Tomatoes and Slaw Salad

This was a total improvised dinner. No plan whatsoever. Threw this together with items in the fridge so the ingredients are sort of random.

I sauteed scallions and beet greens until tender.  Added crumbled tempeh along with splashes of mirin and shoyu, dashes of black pepper, cumin and cayenne pepper.  Let cook for 10 minutes or so.  Stuffed the red peppers with this mixture and baked in the oven at 350 degrees until the flesh of the peppers became soft and tender.  

The cherry tomatoes were tossed with olive oil, salt and black pepper; spread on a sheet pan and roasted until tender.  The salad was a mixture of purple cabbage, fennel and cucumber with a dressing made with olive oil, brown rice vinegar and white miso paste.

It's a good idea to keep items such as tempeh, tofu, dry bean, brown and wild rices, onions, garlic, different vinegars and healthy oils in your fridge and pantry.  You make use of random vegetables in your fridge, such as the beet greens in this case.  My husband just loved this dinner.  The result was bursting with flavor, easy to prepare and super healthy.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Pad Thai on the Fly

Pad Thai with Long Bean Salad

More from last night's dinner... an improvised version of Rena's Pad Thai.  I didn't have all the ingredients called for in Rena's delectable recipe so I made a few substitutions.  I think the key is having the pad thai noodles, something nutty and something spicy.

We have hot chili peppers growing in our yard.  Our trip to Chinatown over the weekend yielded the noodles and I happen to have some spicy thai chili sauce.  Firm tofu is a regular item in our fridge.

Ok, here's Rena Unger's recipe:

Rena's Pad Thai

7 ounces dry rice noodles
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 chilies, minced
1/4 cup sesame oil
1 1/2 cup firm tofu, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 cup scallions, chopped
1 cup Chinese broccoli, chopped
1 cup broccoli, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup peanuts, chopped
1 lime, cut into 6 wedges


4 tablespoons vegan fish sauce (see below)
4 tablespoons peanut butter
4 tablespoons sweet chili sauce 
4 tablespoons brown rice vinegar

Salt to taste

1. Soak noodles in filtered water for 30 minutes
2. Heat half the oil in a large saute pan or wok, add garlic and chilies, cook until soft and add tofu
3. Add vegetables and saute until soft
4, Add noodles and remaining oil, saute and combine all ingredients
5. Add sauce and cilantro
6. Garnish with lime wedges and peanuts

I didn't have scallions so I threw in one thinly sliced shallot. We bought curly bok choy in Chinatown so I chopped that up and used it to replace the broccoli.  I was worried the sauce would be too spicy if I used a full 4 tablespoon of the spicy Thai chili sauce so I added 2 tablespoons plus 2 tablespoons of mirin.

The result was pretty delicious but not quite as scrumptious as Rena's version which I highly recommend.

Here is the recipe for Rena's Vegan Fish Sauce:

1/2 cup tamari
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons umeboshi vinegar
2 tablespoons mirin
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup water

1. Blend all ingredients

If you get a chance to take one of Rena's cooking classes, do it!!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Rena Unger's Long Bean Salad

After taking Rena Unger's "Passport to Health: Destination Thailand" class, I've been obsessed with making the awesome recipes she created. Bill and I went to Chinatown on Saturday and did some shopping. It wasn't easy (the insane crowds aside) finding a mortar and pestle that wasn't marble and didn't weigh 50 pounds.  After pounding the pavement, we had given up and decided to just get the ingredients for the Pad Thai. While paying for our veggies at a market I had been to with Chef Rich LaMarita from Natural Gourmet Institute last year, I looked up and there it was on a high shelf. Seems to be made out of terracotta. 

Here it is in action with the completed Long Bean Salad Rena taught me to make. 

I'll post photos of Rena's Pad Thai as soon as I finish making it. Can't wait to eat dinner tonight.

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Coconut Energy Bars

These are great power packed raw energy bars.  Truly nutritious and wholesome, not empty calories and processed sugar. If you're taking the time to care for your body by working out or participating in sports, then it will be worth your while to take 5 minutes to whip these up and be confident in the knowledge that what you're putting in your body really is the best fuel you can give yourself.

4 ½ cups organic unsweetened dried coconut flakes (or 3 cups coconut butter)
½ cup raw sunflower seeds
¼ cup organic dried figs (stems removed), chopped
1/3 cup agave syrup
¼ cup hemp seeds
¼ cup raw pumpkin seeds
pinch of sea salt

If using the flakes, you’ll need a high-powered blender to process into a buttery texture.  Then transfer the coconut to a bowl using a spatula.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix with a spatula until thoroughly combined. Pour the mixture into a bread loaf pan lined with parchment paper and refrigerate until hardened. Cut into thin bars or 2 inch squares.  Store in refrigerator.

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Beet That Sweet Tooth

Have a hankering for something sweet? Look to the beautiful beet. A starchy vegetable, beet roots are high in natural sugar. The greens have notable amounts of calcium, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus; they also contain vitamins A, B-complex, and C.  As their color suggests, beets are a blood tonic and so are good for anemia, the heart, and circulation. They purify the blood, alleviate constipation, aid the liver, and promote menstruation. In Ayurvedic philosophy beets reduce vata and kapha.

The beets pictured here are from our CSA, Brooklyn Grange. I boiled them, removed the skins and cut into small, equal size pieces.  For the dressing:

2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon of white miso
1 tablespoon of umeboshi vinegar
1 tablespoon minced cilantro

Whisk dressing and toss with beets.

A little something about cilantro

Cilantro is a member of the carrot family whose leaves have an anise-like taste and earthy aroma.  Pungent and sweet in flavor, astringent and cooling, cilantro supports the spleen-pancreas, stomach, bladder, and lung meridians. Cilantro helps regulate energy, is a diuretic and can help treat urinary tract infections. They aid digestion, relieve intestinal gas, pain, and distention, and support peristalsis. It treats nausea, soothes inflammation, rheumatic pain, headaches, coughs, and mental stress, and quenches thirst. The leaves are tridoshic.
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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Brownies for Breakfast? Well, no. But a great midday snack.

I just snacked on a couple after a tough workout.  What a great pick-me-up. Calling them brownies might be a stretch but they taste so decadently delicious, I feel like I'm eating something as rich and satisfying as a conventional brownie. It seems that in the raw food/vegan/vegetarian world, we like come up with foods that approximate to some extent the foods that the mainstream is accustomed to eating. 

The difference between my delightful treats and baked brownies? There are many.  For starters, my treats are not cooked or heated in any way. They are made with raw cacao and raw hazelnuts.  Tahini, coconut butter, maca, organic maple syrup, sea salt and cayenne pepper are the other unconventional ingredients you don't find in your typical baked brownie. My little treats are made in 1/4 of the time of baked brownies.  Here's how:

Using a food processor, grind one cup of cacao beans into a crunchy, powdery consistency. Add one cup of hazelnuts and pulse down to small bits. Add 1 tablespoon each of raw tahini, coconut butter, and maca powder; 3 tablespoons each of raw cacao powder and maple syrup; 1/2 teaspoon each of sea salt and cayenne pepper.  Process and taste. Adjust ingredients to your taste. You may like a bit more heat and salt or more chocolate and sweetness.

Line a brownie pan with wax paper. Empty content of processor bowl into pan. Press down with your hand. Pop in the freezer for 15-20 minutes. Cut into squares and enjoy. Store in the freezer.

Health Benefits of Maple Syrup
Health Benefits of Sesame Seeds (tahini)
Health Benefits of Cayenne Pepper   

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Sweet and Salty Tofu Steaks

Tofu can be a hard sell for some but with the right ingredients even the biggest hater can enjoy this tasty dish.  To make these tofu steaks, I simply cut the block into eight pieces. You want to squeeze as much water out as possible. I lay a dish towel across a plate, then add a layer of paper towels; place the tofu pieces on the plate in a single layer; cover with paper towels and the other half of the dish towel; place a plate on top and store in the fridge for 2 hours.  In the meantime, whisk together white miso, tamari, mirin, sesame oil, salt and pepper. Heat a saute pan, add a teaspoon of canola oil. Brush your marinade mixture on one side of each tofu steak. Sear in pan. While searing one side, use a brush to cover other side with marinade. Flip when the tofu turns a toasty shade of brown.  You can keep brushing on marinade and flipping.  The more you do it, the sweeter the final product. Feel free to sprinkle with some sesame seeds.  

Marinade ingredients:
1 tablespoon white miso
2 tablespoons tamari
2 tablespoons mirin
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

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Monday, August 2, 2010

Heirloom Tomatoes with Almond Basil Cheese and Basil Pesto

One of our favorite dishes this summer was made even more spectacular with the succulent heirloom tomatoes we bought from Brooklyn Grange Farm.  

You can whip up the nut cheese with almonds, cashews or macadamia nuts.... or a combination.  Use your herb(s) of choice. I sometimes use a mix of parsley, cilantro and basil. The cheese pictured here has basil. It's super easy to make. You just need to make sure to soak the nuts overnight. I made this pesto using basil from our trip on Saturday to our new CSA. Here's a quick recipe for each:

Almond Basil Cheese

1 cup almonds, soaked overnight
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon white miso paste
1/2 teaspoon nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt (to taste)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper (to taste)

Place all items in a food processor and process until the mixture takes on a paste-like texture but remains a bit coarse.  Shape into whatever form you'd like. I used plastic wrap to form my nut cheese into a log so that I could slice it and place it nicely on my heirloom tomato slices.

Basil Pesto

I never measure when I make pesto. The quantity of ingredients you use depends on the quantity of herbs you have available.  We bought about a pound of basil from Brooklyn Grange.

1 pound of basil, leaves only
4 garlic cloves
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
2 tablespoons white miso paste
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt (to taste)
1 teaspoon coarse black pepper (to taste)

Lightly toast pine nuts either in the oven or on the stovetop. Let cool. Mince garlic in a food processor. Add cooled pine nuts and pulse until paste-like texture. Add basil leaves, miso, half the salt and half the pepper. With the processor running, slowly pour in the EVOO.  Process until you achieve a creamy consistency. This pesto becomes creamy because of the miso paste. Taste your pesto and determine if it needs more salt and/or pepper.

Slice your heirloom tomatoes about 1/4 inch thick.  Same goes for the almond cheese. Place a piece of cheese on the tomato slice. With a teaspoon, place a nice size dollop of the pesto on the cheese.

As always, try to use certified organic ingredients as often as possible. When buying from a farmer's market, feel free to ask the vendor how they grow their crops.


Sunday, August 1, 2010

My First CSA: Brooklyn Grange

Finally! I found an available share at a CSA within a reasonable distance of our house in Astoria.  Brooklyn Grange, which by the way is in Queens, is now selling to the general public every Saturday from 11am - 2pm at Vesta Trattoria, one of our favorite restaurants in the neighborhood.  It is also the pick-up spot for the CSA. Vesta purchases the veggies they serve at the restaurant from Brooklyn Grange. 

We dropped by Vesta on Saturday and bought all of the amazing veggies pictured above:  heirloom tomatoes, swiss chard, kale, fennel, radish, carrots, bok choy and lemon cucumbers.  So far, the goods have been delightful.  Can't believe fresh, farm grown vegetables could make me so happy. 

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Manna of the Gods

My favorite breakfast:  multi-grain manna bread with raw crunchy almond butter.  Satiating and energizing, you can find both at your local health food store. 

About Manna Bread

Manna Bread owes its ancient origins to the Essenes that once lived near the shores of the Dead Sea, whose legacy survives through the Dead Sea Scrolls and other Aramaic manuscripts.

"...moisten your wheat, that the angel of water may enter it…and the blessing...will soon make the germ of life to sprout... then crush your grain and make thin wafers as did your forefathers..."
—Essene Gospel of Peace

Manna Bread is remarkably simple and wholesome, made entirely from sprouted organic grains, seeds, fruits & nuts. It contains no salt, leavening, yeast, oil, or sweeteners. By fully germinating the grains, the starches are easily converted into digested natural complex sugars, similar to those found in fresh fruits, hence the sweetness. The sprouts are ground and hand-shaped into loaves, baked at a low temperature, then packed and frozen to preserve shelf life, without any chemical additives.

About Almonds

I eat Once Again brand organic raw crunchy almond butter. They mill raw unblanched almonds to create this delightful butter.  Almonds are a protein powerhouse.  A quarter-cup contains 7.62 grams-more protein than is provided by the typical egg, which contains 5.54 grams.  They help lower LDL cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease.  Almonds contain manganese, copper and riboflavin.

Learn more about the power of almonds:

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Power Salad: Kale, Cranberries, Miso and more…

I prepare a variation of this amazing salad several times a week. The dressing can also be used as a marinade and is super simple to make. I never measure. Just mix it to taste.  Follow the general guideline of two to three parts oil to one part vinegar, add a healthy amount of white miso and a dash of something sweet. I like using mirin, an essential condiment used in Japanese cuisine, consisting of 40%–50% sugar. It is a kind of sake (with a lower alcohol content).

The salad pictured here was made with curly kale, red cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, scallions, radishes, cranberries and hemp seeds.  Kale leaves can be thick and tough.   After removing the stems and tearing the leaves into very small pieces, I like to blanch the kale in hot, salted tap water followed by a quick rinse in cold water.  After a few quick spins in the salad spinner, I added the kale to matchstick carrots and radishes, scallions cut on the bias, thinly sliced cabbage and small-diced cucumber (seeds removed).

For the dressing, I used umeboshi vinegar, sesame oil, white miso and mirin.  Whisk the ingredients, pour on the salad, and toss.

Super easy, super delicious, super nutritious.
  • Kale is rich in phytonutrients, carotenoids, pro-vitamin A, vitamin C, manganese, fiber and vitamin E. It detoxifies and is anti-inflammatory.  
  • Cabbage is an excellent source of vitamin C. It also contains significant amounts of glutamine, an amino acid that has anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Radishes are rich in ascorbic acidfolic acid, and potassium. They are a good source of vitamin B6, riboflavin, magnesium, copper, and calcium. 
  • Carrots get their characteristic and bright orange color from beta-carotene, which is metabolized into vitamin A.  They are also rich in dietary fiber, antioxidants, and minerals.
  • Cranberries are a source of polyphenol antioxidants, phytochemicals under active research for possible benefits to the cardiovascular system and immune system, and as anti-cancer agents.
  • Miso is a very good source of manganese and B12 as well as a good source of zinc, phosphorus, copper, protein and dietary fiber.
  • Hemp seed is high in protein and all nine of the essential amino acids. It contains a high amount of fatty acids and fiber as well as vitamin E and trace minerals. It has a balanced ratio of omega 3 to 6 fats.

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Monday, July 19, 2010

Cranberry Quinoa Salad

Quinoa, the gold of the Incas, is an amino acid-rich (protein) seed that has a fluffy, creamy, slightly crunchy texture and a somewhat nutty flavor when cooked.  Most commonly considered a grain, quinoa is actually a relative of leafy green vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard. 

This super east salad is delicious warm but even better chilled.

2 cups quinoa
4 cups water
½ cup dried cranberry
2 carrots, shredded
1 scallion, cut on the bias, greens included
¼ cup hemp seeds
2 tablespoons minced parsley
1 tablespoon minced mint
2 teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon cumin powder
¼ cup agave nectar

Bring the quinoa, water and salt to a boil.  Reduce heat and cover. Cook until all water has been consumed. Remove from heat and let sit covered for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and transfer to a mixing bowl. Add all other ingredients and combine.  Add more salt, pepper and/or agave if needed… to taste.

It’s that easy.

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