Thursday, March 25, 2021

quick carrot salad

A lot has happened since my last blog post. I mean a lot. Not just a global pandemic causing lock downs, quarantines, and lay offs, that was last year. That was all while I was pregnant. Now I have a beautiful 8-month-old baby girl who is the center of my world. My life now revolves around nap times, breastfeeding, other feedings, and cleaning up after feeding. Being a mom is hard. Finding time to take care of yourself can be the biggest struggle of all. And I'm not talking about getting a massage or doing a face mask. I'm talking about taking a shower, getting dinner on the table every night, and moving your body in ways that don't break your back by lifting and holding a baby all the time.  

 But here I am, 8 months in, and I am finally feeling like I have that little bit of time. I am doing meal prep again which inspires me to make myself and my family healthy and exciting food every week. I am going to a stroller fitness class at least once, usually twice a week. And  I'm even feeling like I can take on more... like a blog post. 

While cooking is still my passion, my focus has shifted. My time in the kitchen isn't spent leisurely listening to pod casts while creating mountains of dishes that I always had time for before. Now I am focused on more versatile dishes that are quick and easy with less clean up. Because let's face it, you can get a lot done if baby naps for two hours, but what if she wakes up after 20 minutes? And what about all of the other things I need to get done during that precious time? 

It's not only moms that will benefit from this kind of cooking though, so keep on reading. This quick carrot salad is the perfect side dish. There are two variations I like, one with sesame oil and sesame seeds and the other is made with olive oil and some chopped almonds for crunch. Great with falafel, as shown here, an addition to any salad or Buddha bowl, or even added to a wrap. Make extra so you can eat healthy later, without the stress. 

quick carrot salad

  • 4 large carrots
  • 2-3 green onions
  • 1 Tbsp lemon or lime juice
  • 1 tsp olive oil or sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp maple syrup
  • 1-2 Tbsp golden raisins or chopped dried apricots
  • 1 Tbsp chopped walnuts or sesame seeds
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Grate or julienne the carrots and chop the green onions. Add all of the dressing ingredients to a small jar (lemon juice, oil, maple syrup, and salt) and shake to mix. Add everything to a bowl, toss to coat, and set aside to rest. This salad is best if it has time to marinate for a few hours in the fridge. Or even overnight! 

Keep leftovers in the fridge for up to four days for a fun addition to lunches, salads, and other sides.

Friday, September 20, 2019

mushroom + black bean burgers

If you aren't into fungi, this isn't the recipe for you. It's chock full of mouthwatering mushies and it holds together on the grill, the perfect addition to your backyard bbq menu.

We have had a summer full of camping and grilling. Hana trips, family dinners, and south side surf missions all require a little bit of creativity for a vegan grill up. I have done several veggie skewers, grilled corn on the cob, and I have an grill plate that is excellent for grilling the small stuff over an open flame. Brussel's sprouts, cauliflower, and asparagus grilled al dente are to die for. We've even done grilled bok choy this summer. But nothing really beats the ease of a good ol' burger to throw on. Many veggie burgers are either mushy or crumbly and fall apart easily, or they stick to the grill and are impossible to flip without complete mutilation. Not these mushroom burgers! Grill tested and camper approved!

Mushroom + black bean burgers

  • 1 lb. crimini mushrooms
  • 1 small onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh herbs (any combination of basil, parsley, oregano, thyme, or dill)
  • 2 Tbsp miso paste (I use chickpea miso)
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 2 Tbsp psyllium husk powder

Dice onion, mince garlic, and rinse and chop all of the mushrooms. Saute the onions and garlic until soft and then add the mushrooms and a pinch or two of salt. Cook until soft and most of the moisture has been released from the mushrooms. Set aside to cool slightly.

Drain and rinse the black beans and add them into a food processor. Add the miso paste, fresh herbs, and black pepper.

Once mostly processed, add the cooked mushrooms, using a slotted spoon to leave the liquid behind. Process until coarse but leave some chunks. Transfer into a mixing bowl. Add the oats and psyllium husk powder to the food processor to blend into a coarse meal. Add this to the mixing bowl and fold to combine all ingredients. The mixture should be slightly sticky but manageable. Form into desired size patties and throw on the grill! Just a few minutes on each side should be enough.

The patties can also be frozen for later use, no need to grill or cook before freezing. When you are ready for burger night, just pull them out of the freezer to defrost in the fridge for a few hours prior to grilling. 

Load it up with lettuce, avo, mustard, or whatever your favorite burger toppings are!

Friday, July 26, 2019

sweet potato falafel

This recipe is so similar to traditional falafel, it's almost too easy! It's basically subbing out the garbanzo beans for sweet potato, all the same spices, and a little garbanzo flour to hold it all together. They are super moist, sweet and salty, and irresistible topped with vegan cashew tzatziki.

I have been batch cooking every Tuesday for a few clients (and myself of course) and this is on the menu this week! Along with some fresh turmeric ginger tonic. If you are interested in becoming a batch buddy and getting in on these goodies every week, just send me an email or message on Instagram (@iamalmostvegan).

To make this one yourself, here's the recipe:
  • 2-3 small sweet potatoes (garnet yams)
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp garbanzo flour
  • 1 handful fresh parsley

Peel and cube the sweet potatoes, roughly chop the onion, and peel the garlic. Add to a food processor and process into small chunks. Scrape down the sides and add the spices and olive oil. Continue to process, scraping down the sides. Add the herbs last, making sure not to over-process and blend the orange with the green. That makes brown. Make sure there are no chunks left but don't process it into a puree. Transfer to a mixing bowl and fold in the garbanzo flour.

I used a small scoop for these falafels but hand rolling would be fine. You may want more garbanzo flour if you are hand rolling falafel balls to make them stick together a little better, it's up to you. Arrange scoops or balls onto a lined baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees F.

Allow to cool before transferring. Serve with hummus, tzatziki, or both. Enjoy!