Category Archives: Appetizers

Spicy Garbanzo Spring Rolls

I don’t know about you, but I love a spicy kick!  These spring rolls are low fat, vegan, and full of kick!  Get my lips burning!  The spiralized zuccini in these is a new twist from what I’ve made before, lending a wonderful crisp texture and adding extra satiety via nutrients!  It’s pretty simple really!  

Spicy Garbanzo Filling:

1 can garbanzos 

4-5 steamed new potatoes

1/2 jalapeño, finely minced

Black pepper, dash

1/4 lemon juiced

Mash together a can of drained/rinsed/organic garbanzo beans, along with steamed potatoes. Incorporate lemon juice, black pepper, and jalapeno to taste to make a lovely chick pea salad that you could eat all on its own. But isn’t everything better with some crispy veggies?!

To Assemble:

12 rice wrappers

2 spiraled Zucchinis

4-5 oz fresh baby greens 

1/2 red bell pepper, sliced thin

1/2 cucumber, sliced thin

Moisten wrappers one at a time with warm water, transferring to your work surface to fill er up.  I started with the greens, then the zuccini, then the garbanzo mash, then bell pepper and cucumber. Fold on up and set aside on a plate as you continue with the other 11. Then whisk together a quick light dipping sauce below.

Mix together:

1 tbs liquid aminos

1/4 lime juiced

1-2 lemon juiced 

* A wedge of orange juiced in there would also be awesome!

Keep up to 24 hours in a sealed container in the fridge, beyond that, the wrappers will really start to dry out. Serves 2 generously!! Enjoy!





Vegan Pajeon

This is a healthified version of an amazing Korean bar food 🙂 I’m sure I don’t do the real thing justice, but for me, it is amazing! Vegan and gluten free, a real treat!  I love my roommate’s kimchi version or a good seafood hamul pajeon at a restaurant, but you can’t go wrong with the classic scallion version. I went with green onions and added in some red bell pepper for pizzaz. Really yummy. This recipe makes 2 pancakes, serves 2 as an appetizer, serves 1 if you are me. Pretty simple, definitely delish.

You need:

A drizzle of sesame oil

1/4 red bell pepper, sliced fine

2 large green onions, sliced fine longways for green tips, sliced into rounds for white base

1/8 cup +1tbs brown rice flour

1/4 cup chick pea/fava flour

1/2 cup water

1tsp liquid aminos

1tsp crushed red pepper

Sauce (optional but yummy)

1 part lemon juice

1 part liquid aminos

Using a drizzle of sesame oil,  sauté slivered green onions and red bell pepper over medium heat until just crisped/golden. Remove 1/2 veggies and set aside for your second pancake. Combine pancake ingredients and pour half of batter over veggies.

Cook on medium heat, 1-2 min each side. Flip when like a regular pancake you see bubbles/the batter firming up.  If it falls apart in the pan, as my first one did (I simply tried to flip prematurely) just mush it back together with your spatula and carry on!  Doesn’t have to be perfect, it will taste great either way 🙂   Place second half of veggies in pan with another drizzle of sesame oil, and pour second half of batter in, repeating instructions.

These could be more rich/decadent if using more oil, or less indulgent with only a drizzle enough to thinly coat pan of the sesame oil. I went less decadent, but feel free to use more if you want an even crispier and more authentic pajeon. I just like mine a little healthier 🙂

Squeeze 1/4 fresh lemon into small dish. Mix with 1 part liquid aminos and 1 part water to taste. You could also add more crushed red pepper to taste, but the pancakes themselves are pretty good. This just helps enhance the flavor, and what is any semblance of Korean food without some spice!! Garnish with some fresh cilantro for a pefect balance between cool and hot.  Enjoy!





Twice Baked Spinach Stuffed Potatoes

Vegan, gluten-free, extra creamy!! These don’t need cheese, they have their own creamy “cheese” sauce!

I had some yukon gold potatoes that needed eating, and this turned out wonderfully!

Inspired by a recipe on PCRM, here, a wealth of vegan recipes!

Clean potatoes well, cutting out any “eyes” or deformities, about 1/2 bag. Bake 350 for 45min-1hr, until somewhat soft. Remove and let cool enough to handle.

Cut potatoes lengthwise and scoop out flesh, careful to leave enough behind to keep skins intact as little round “boats”.

Puree in a blender until thick and creamy:
1/2 cup chick peas, 2 tbs cashews, 2tbs water, about 1/2 of potato flesh, nutmeg, crushed red pepper, parsley, black pepper

Sauté 2 cloves garlic, 2 green onions, with other half of potato flesh and spinach (about 8oz frozen) until spinach is warm and water is evaporated.
Then add sauce and stir well.
Scoop this filling into potato halves, drizzling extra sauce over the tops if you like, and place on cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 for 10 minutes until well heated and skins are slightly crispy! Enjoy!

These were so rich and creamy, I may try omitting/reducing the cashews next time I make this recipe!





Creamy Edamame Pockets

These are a lot like the fresh spring rolls I’ve made before, but I experimented with making an edamame purée and using cooked veggies in addition to some fresh ones. The result is a warm version of the still amazingly good for you spring rolls, and is truly comforting and satisfying!

Prepare 12 oz shelled edamame, put in your blender or food processor.

Saute in 1 tsp sesame oil:
3 clove garlic
1/8tsp minced fresh ginger
1 tsp jalapeño chopped fine
organic mushrooms sliced, 4oz
1/4 yellow onion well chopped

Sauté until mushrooms are well cooked,
then add 1-2 cups fresh spinach while turning off heat and covering to just wilt. Let sit 5 minutes.

Then remove spinach and set aside. Next remove mushrooms from the pan. For me the easiest way to do this is to kind of stab at them, so that the larger mushroom pieces come out but the smaller onions and minced stuff stays in the pan. Then scrape remaining contents of fry pan into blender, along with edamame, making sure to get all the oil and liquids that remain. Blend on high until puree forms.

Moisten one spring roll wrapper at a time to make pliable, and set handful of baby kale in the middle.
Spread the puree over the center of the wrap followed by
Sauteed mushrooms and spinach
Raw carrot slivers
Red bell pepper slivers
Fresh parsley and cilantro

For the spicy dipping sauce, whisk together:
Liquid aminos 1 tsp
Vinegar 1 tsp
Juice of 1 lemon
1tsp agave
1 tsp tahini
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Enjoy!

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Garlic Dino Kale Chips

Wash and de-vein 1/2 large bunch dinosaur kale. Tear into desired chip sized pieces. Lightly spray cookie sheet with oil spray of choice, place in a single layer, lightly spray again over the top of the kale, then sprinkle on desired seasonings. I simply used garlic powder. Then bake at 325 F for 15min! Enjoy and store in a sealed container and ziplock. Easy peasy good for you!

olive oil spray
garlic salt
1/2 large bunch dinosaur kale

other suggested toppings:

-nutritional yeast

-sea salt/pepper

-finely crushed walnuts

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Fresh Spring Rolls!

Fresh, flavorful, filling… good for you?? SO good. I could eat asian food every day, but I am usually not the most successful in cooking it. However, no cooking is required here, simply chopping and assembling. And they end up looking so festive, colorful, fancy even. 8 rolls feeds 2-3 people, they are very satisfying. Making them at home is way cheaper than buying them out (the ingredients are not expensive) and they are not hard to make, I promise. These would make a super impressive party or pot luck tray, note to self 🙂

Ingredients:
8 rice paper wraps (vietnamese, i found mine at target!)
15-20 tiny cooked shrimp (*optional) (i sautéed them in coconut oil, liquid aminos, and garlic)
Green onion
Cilantro
Basil
Red bell pepper
Cucumber
1/2 avocado
Greens/lettuce
Carrots

Cut all veggies (except greens) into thin slices.

Prepare a wide shallow bowl with warm water for dipping the rice paper sheets into one at a time.

Sauce:
1/2 jalapeño, chopped (i love spicy)
3tbs natural peanut butter
1tbs vinegar (i used TJs muscat vinegar)
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1tsp liquid aminos
1lemon juiced
Blend the sauce ingredients well, using a wisk or small blender.

Assemble spring rolls by dipping one rice paper at a time into the water, taking time to make sure all sides are completely wet, spend some time to make sure all surfaces are wet or they will be too fragile to wrap. Place on your cutting board/work surface. Lay some greens/lettuce in the center in a linear fashion as if you are making a burrito. Add layers of your ingredients over the greens to taste, putting the avocado for vegan or shrimp on top for appearance. Tuck one long side over the toppings and in, stretching slightly to keep it tight. Tuck in the sides on the ends of your “burrito” and then fold the other long side over, pulling taught but not too tight. It will “stick” to the rest of the wrap and you can plate. Repeat and dip in sauce! Keeps well if sealed well in tupperware overnight, but will dry out if left too long. Not that any leftovers will make it to the fridge…

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Spinach Artichoke Dip with Butternut Squash “Chips”

This was a yummy Christmas Eve treat! I have a vegan version using cashews instead of dairy, but I was prepping for family in a nut-free household, so opted for low fat dairy instead. This recipe is high in protein and flavor!

For the dip I used:
1 bag frozen spinach
1 can un-marinated and 2 small jar marinated artichoke, drained
8oz low fat cottage cheese
8oz fage non fat Greek yogurt
1 clove garlic
handful basil
1/4 red onion
crushed red pepper
oregano
garlic powder

Over medium heat, sauté all ingredients except garlic, cottage cheese, and yogurt. Blend those 3 ingredients on high in a blender or food processor.

Meanwhile, wash and cut your butternut squash into even strips or shape of your choice. Spray with olive oil or coconut spray. Shake some oregano and sea salt on and roast at 375 for about 40min until crisp on the edges.

Combine your cream from the blender with all other dip ingredients. Serve and enjoy!

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Vegan Phyllo Dough Pockets

These are so versatile, and almost as fun to make as they are to eat in all their flaky goodness! I used SEVERAL variations of this recipe, and really the sky is the limit with these little babies! Fill em with whatever your hearts so desires!

I made one basic recipe using tofu, spinach, onions, garlic, mushrooms, and peppers sauteed on the stove before stuffing.

I did one with peppers onions and cabbage with a lemon tahini sauce.

I stuffed some with my dal recipe (recipe to come…) and veggies.

And then finally the sweet ones! I did one with apples cinnamon and chocolate, and one with banana, coconut, cinnamon, and chocolate! The chocolate “sauce” I made by combining cocoa powder with coconut milk, boom, no sugar added!

Actually in all of these fillings, there was zero sugar added, and only a little coconut oil in the pan for sauteing onions and garlic. That’s it. And while most recipes I have read using phyllo involve oil/butter/spray between ever layer, i found a tiny sprits of olive oil spray between every other layer did the trick! So there’s some healthy tips for your own creative endeavor!

Another tip is to cover the dough not in use at the moment with a very light weight damp towel. They are so thin that they dry out very easily, and weight will make them stick together. You’ll see and learn how to handle them delicately 🙂

I used Trader Joe’s phyllo from the frozen section. I used 4 sheets of dough, cut into 4 quadrants to make mine, (so nutrition-wise, each “pocket” is one sheet of phyllo and one tiny sprits of olive oil spray). Stuff em, press the corners together, and bake! I did 375 for about 20 min until tops golden brown, but this will depend both on your oven, and how full you fill the little guys. Enjoy!!!

PS: my personal favorites were the cabbage/onion/pepper ones, and the banana, chocolate, coconut. Try these and invent your own to share with me 🙂

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