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Currently showing posts tagged vegetable

  • Fresh Vegetable and Herb Spring Rolls with Almond Dipping Sauce

    Most folks who've gone out for Thai or Vietnamese food have had these delicious fresh spring rolls and loved them, and thankfully they're not at all hard to make at home. They're wonderful because they're amazingly versatile, beautiful and nutritious. You can fill them with virtually any raw or cooked vegetable, so long as they're thinly sliced. Additional fillings you can try are strips of fried tofu, sauteed/roasted mushrooms, or vermicelli noodles. The spring roll wrappers can be found in the Asian aisle of most grocery stores, get the 8 or 9" ones. The one thing you do not want to leave out of these guys are the fresh herbs. They MAKE the flavor of these rolls. Any combination of fresh mint, cilantro, parsley, or basil will work, but I'd go with at least two, our favorites being mint and basil. The dipping sauce is easy to whip up, and can be made in larger quantities and stored in the fridge for 1-2 weeks.  If you make these to bring to a party, make them as close to party time as possible, and cover the plate with a damp paper towel or plastic wrap to ensure the rice paper wrappers do not dry out. These will become a recipe staple for you once you give them a try, they are that good.


    Fresh Vegetable and Herb Spring Rolls with Almond Dipping Sauce

    Vegan, Gluten-free, Soy-free

    Makes 8 rolls

    Prep time: 15-30 minutes

    1 package of "spring roll skin wrappers"
    1 cup thinly sliced red (or green) cabbage
    1-2 cucumber or carrots, julienned
    1 sliced avocado
    1 cup fresh mint leaves
    1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
    1 cup fresh basil leaves

    Almond Dipping Sauce
    1/2 cup almond butter (creamy or crunchy)
    3/4 cup warm water
    1 Tbsp rice or white vinegar
    1 Tbsp sugar or agave syrup
    1 Tbsp coconut aminos, tamari, or soy sauce
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 tsp fresh shallot or onion
    1/2 tsp (or more) fresh thai chili (optional)


    1. Thinly slice all veggies into strips and place in separate clusters on large plate. Remove herbs from stems and add whole leaves to plate as well.

    2. Boil water and fill very wide bowl or pie plate about half way full, let sit for a few minutes to cool ever so slightly. Two at a time, soften spring roll sheets by dipping them into the hot water, using your fingers to move them around. Depending on hotness of water, it will take about 2-10 seconds for them to soften. They should be pliable but not mushy and falling apart, think al dente pasta, as they will continue to soften even out of the water. Layer two softened spring roll sheets on top of one another on cutting board (wood works well here) and fill bottom third with a a bit of each veggie and herbs, do not overstuff! Less is more here. Roll up like you would a mini burrito, tucking in sides and rolling up tightly. It will conveniently stick to itself, making this very easy. Cut in half and place on serving plate.

    3. In a blender combine all ingredients for almond dipping sauce and process 10-20 seconds until very creamy. Transfer to small bowl and top with chopped scallions or additional chopped chili pepper, if desired.

  • Rainbow Veggie Lentil Fried Rice

    This perfectly seasoned lentil fried rice is studded with a rainbow of fresh veggies, and makes a perfect protein rich dinner, or lunch the next day. It’s become one of our favorites for winter weeknight meals, as it’s easy, nourishing, comforting and colorful all at once. Change up the veggies used based on what you have on hand, just try to use as much color as possible. Fresh herbs like basil, mint, parsley or cilantro are nice additions as well, and add nutrition, color and flavor. Top with toasted nuts or seeds if you like, sesame, almonds, peanuts or cashews are all delicious crunchy additions. Enjoy!


    Rainbow Veggie Lentil Fried Rice

    Serves 4

    Prep time: 20-25 minutes Cook time: 25 minutes

    Ingredients:

    1.5 cups rice (any variety will do, but long grain varieties are nice)
    1 cup brown or green lentils (just not orange/red ones)
    1 onion, or large shallot, chopped
    3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    1" piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
    1 cup carrot, thinly sliced
    1 cup mushrooms, thinly sliced
    1 cup sweet potato, cut into thin strips
    1 cup red bell pepper, thinly sliced
    1 cup kale or spinach, chopped
    1 cup red cabbage, thinly sliced
    1/2 cup fresh herbs of choice; cilantro, basil, parsley, mint (optional)
    1/4 cup toasted nuts or seeds of choice; chopped cashews, almonds, peanuts, sesame seeds, etc (optional)
    2-3 Tbsp sesame oil
    2 Tbsp soy sauce, tamari, or coconut aminos
    1/4-1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
    1 Tbsp agave, sugar or sweetener of choice
    black pepper or cayenne pepper to taste
    3.5-4 cups water, or more as needed


    1. Begin by cooking your rice and lentils in the same pot. Just stir them together and add water, cover, bring to a boil, and lower to a simmer. Let cook undisturbed for 20-25 minutes until lentils are rice are both cooked through and water has been absorbed completely.

    2. While rice is cooking, slice and chop all veggies and set aside. When rice is almost done, begin cooking veggies in the largest pan you have, a wok is perfect, if you have one.

    3. Heat 1 Tbsp of sesame oil over medium-high heat and add onion, garlic and ginger. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes until onion begins to soften and garlic is fragrant (stir frequently so garlic doesn't burn). Add carrots, mushrooms, and sweet potato. Stir fry for an additional 4-5 minutes until sweet potato begins to soften.

    4. Add 1/2 Tbsp of sweetener, a pinch of salt, a pinch of pepper and 1 Tbsp of soy sauce (or substitute) and stir to combine. Add kale and cabbage and let simmer over medium heat until kale and cabbage have wilted, about 3-4 minutes. Transfer veggies to a large bowl and season to taste.

    5. When rice/lentils are done, use the same pan/wok and heat 1 Tbsp sesame oil over medium high heat. Add rice/lentils and stir fry with 1 Tbsp of soy sauce, 1/2 Tbsp sweetener, pinch of salt and pepper. Keep stirring and stir frying until rice and lentils begin to dry out a bit, if they get a little crispy, even better.

    6. Add veggies back into pan with rice and lentils and toss well, add fresh herbs if using, and top with nuts/seeds before serving if desired. Season to taste as needed. Enjoy!

  • Broccoli and Onion Pakora (Oven-Baked Chickpea Flour Fritters)

    Vegetable pakora are chickpea flour fritters made with a wide variety of vegetables, they are traditionally served as snacks in India, but can be eaten as part of a meal as well. Chickpea flour is very affordable, a good source of protein, and can be found in many grocery stores (look for Bob's Red Mill), and especially in markets that stock ingredients for Indian cooking. These can be made with virtually any vegetable, just chop it into small bits, throw it into the spiced batter, and bake them on a baking sheet for 7-8 minutes on each side. Freshly chopped cilantro is a nice addition as well. They come out crunchy, savory, and delicious every time. Here these are served with red lentils and rice cooked together into a creamy porridge, a few slices of avocado, and a drizzle of store bought tamarind chutney. You can't beat belly warming dishes like this in the fall and winter. The combination of easy to find spices is both comforting and flavorful, and turmeric gives a significant boost to immunity and fights inflammation in the body.


    Broccoli and Onion Pakora (Chickpea Flour Fritters)

    Serves 4-6 Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 15 minutes

    1 cup chickpea flour
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 tsp cumin
    1 tsp turmeric
    pinch cayenne pepper
    1 cup thinly sliced yellow onion
    1 cup finely chopped broccoli
    1 1/4 cup water


    1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees, lightly oil baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of oil.

    2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine chickpea flour with salt and spices and stir well. Add water and whisk together until no lumps remain.

    3. Add thinly sliced onion and chopped broccoli to the batter and stir to incorporate.

    4. Spoon large dallops onto the baking sheet, spaced about 1-2" apart.

    5. Bake for 7-8 minutes on each side, flipping when bottoms of fritters have turned brown and crisped up.

    6. Serve with condiment of choice, alone, or over rice.