Pesto Zoodles

Zoodles

Zucchini: The magical pasta.

Have you ever heard of “zoodles” or “zucchini noodles”, well, they do exist. These are noodles made out of zucchini squash or yellow squash.

How to make these? You need a spirilizing tool or, a spirilizer.

Spirilizer on Amazon

It’s super easy and you can make basically anything in a spiral “noodle-like” shape in less than two minutes. This is not just fun to make and eat but HEALTHY and obviously LOW CARB, LOW FAT (or fat free, I guess) and it’s vegan, vegetarian, diabetic, paleo, raw and gluten-free diet-friendly.

One of the many ways you can enjoy zoodles is tossed in a pesto sauce. Let me tell you right now that I will share recipes with pesto quite often because, well, 1. I love pesto 2. It’s healthy (the way I make it) 3. It’s easy.

Pesto is basically basil, any type of nut, garlic, olive oil and cheese, or in our case, vegan cheese. Everything gets blended together and it’s ready to eat. I use some extras in there too sometimes like kale, arugula, parsley in addition to the basil, as well as extra seeds or a combination of nuts just to get some extra vitamins and healthy nutrients in there, plus it also enhances the flavor. The nuts and seeds add the oils and the creaminess to the pesto but no one particular flavor will stand out, so feel free to add as much as you want.

The kitchen is your oyster when you make pesto because you can mix and match what you have to create your own original and nutrient-rich sauce.

So, if you have a way to make your zoodles and you like pesto, keep reading so you can make this delicious recipe ASAP.

For the PESTO you’ll need: (And this is approximate)

~2 cups of fresh Basil (lots of it)

~1/2 cup of Nuts (walnuts, pecans, cashews, almonds, pistachios, pine nuts)

~1/4-1/2 cup of Olive oil

~1/4 cup of Nutritional yeast

~1-2 Garlic cloves

~Salt and pepper

NOTE: optional for pesto, arugula, kale, parsley, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds…

For this recipe you also need:

~Zucchini

~Vegan chick’n (I used Gardein grilled chick’n strips)

~Cherry tomatoes

~Mushrooms

~Garlic

Spirilize as many zucchinis or yellow squash or even Mexican squash (summer squash) as you want. I usually do 1 squash for 2 people or so. Set that aside.

In a power blender or food processor add you pesto ingredients, basil, olive oil, nuts, garlic, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper. Also add any other greens and seeds if you’d like. Here’s the tricky part, I give you approximate amounts in the ingredient list because your preference and your portions will vary; adjust as you see fit, maybe you like it a bit “garlickier”, so add more garlic or you want it to be lighter, not as thick, so add some more oil…you get the idea. But the basic flavor should have plenty of basil and the “cheesiness” will come from the nutritional yeast. This recipe makes abut 4 portions.

Once you have your pesto ready and your zoodles done, toss everything in a pan and cook for a few minutes until the zoodles are coated in the sauce and they get tender.

For your toppings you can really do whatever you want. I made two separate plates because my husband is allergic to mushrooms, so I got the mushroom dish and he got the chick’n.

In a separate pan I added some olive oil and sautéed some minced garlic, mushrooms and the leftover core from the zucchinis after they were spiralized. Once that is tender and cooked through, use it to top your pesto pasta.

For the non-mushroom lovers as well as the ones that want a heartier dish, add some vegan chicken. Cook it in a pan until it’s tender and lightly browned. Serve that and some fresh sliced cherry tomatoes on top of your zoodles.

So there you go, two different dishes out of one recipe, both satisfying, delicious, healthy and meatless.

Enjoy!!!



 

Calabacitas: La pasta magica.

Alguna vez has oído de “zoodles” o “pasta de zucchini o calabaza”? Pues si existen, son fideos hechos de calabacitas como el zucchini o la calabacita amarilla.

Como se hacen? Con un “spirilizer”, un utensilio de cocina que convierte las calabacitas u otras verduras y frutas en fideos y tiras largas espirales.

Esto es super facil de hacer, en menos de dos minutos conviertes tus frutas o verduras en espirales y ademas de ser deliciosos, son SANOS y obviamente SIN GRASA y son perfectos para dietas veganas, vegetarianas, paleo, para diabeticos y gluten-free o bajas en carbohidratos.

Una de las muchas maneras que se pueden hacer estos espirales es con salsa pesto. Van a ver que voy a poner recetas con pesto mas o menos seguido porque 1. Me encanta 2. Es sano (de la manera que yo lo hago) 3. Es fácil.

El pesto es basicamente albahaca, nueces, ajo, aceite de olivo y queso, o en este caso, queso vegano. Todo esto se muele y listo. Hay veces que me gusta agregarle cosas “verdes” extras a mi pesto como kale (col rizada), arugula, perejil y me gusta mezclar las diferentes nueces y semillas que tengo como hemp, semillas de calabaza, semillas de girasol, etc para tener aun mas nutrientes en mi salsa. Las semillas le agregan aceites buenos para nuestro cuerpo y como todo esta completamente mezclado no puedes identificar uno u otro sabor en especifico, solo te sabe a…pesto.

Basicamente usa tu creatividad y lo que tengas a la mano en tu alacena para que hagas tu version original de pesto.

Entonces si tienes manera de hacer estos espirales y te gusta el pesto, sigue leyendo para que hagas este platillo inmediatamente.

Para el PESTO necesitas: (aproximadamente)

~2 tazas de albahaca fresca

~1/2 taza de nueces (nuez del Brasil, almendras, pistachos, nuez pecana, pinones)

~1/4-1/2 taza de aceite de olivo

~1/4 taza de levadura nutricional

~1-2 dientes de ajo

~Sal y pimienta

NOTA: le puedes agregar kale (col rizada), perejil, arugula, semillas de girasol, calabaza, hemp, etc…

Ademas necesitas:

~Calabacita (zucchini, calabacita, calabacita amarilla)

~Hongos

~Pollo vegano (Yo uso Gardein, puedes usar alguna otra proteína vegetal)

~Tomates

~Ajo

Haz tus calabacitas en espirales, toda la que gustes. Yo normalmente hago una para dos personas.

En tu licuadora o procesador de alimentos agrega todos los ingredietes para el pesto y muele hasta que obtengas una crema completamente incorporada y uniforme. Ajusta los ingredientes cuanto gustes. De esta receta te salen aproximadamente 4 porciones pero si te gusta tu pesto con mas sabor a ajo, agrega mas ajo o si lo quieres menos espeso, agrega mas aceite…etc. El sabor basicamente se lo da la albahaca asi es que de esa usa bastante, el sabor a “parmesano” o “queso” se lo da la levadura nutricional, asi es que agrega cuanta tu desees.

Y que tengas estos dos pasos hechos, en un sartén combina los espirales y el pesto y cocina hasta que estén blandos y completamente cubiertos de salsa.

Puedes agregar lo que gustes a tu pasta. Esta receta tiene dos versiones porque mi esposo es alergico a los hongos asi es que a el le toco un plato de pasta con “pollo”.

En otro sartén sofrie ajo, hongos y lo restante de las calabacitas que hiciste en espiral. Es como el corazon de la calabaza, cortalo en pedazos. Ya que esta mezcla este tiernita, usala para ponersela encima a tu pasta.

En otro sartén cocine los “pollos” veganos hasta que se cocinaron bien por dentro y cambiaron de color. Servi ese pollo sobre la pasta y le agregue tomates frescos rebanados.

Ahí están dos versiones de esta pasta, una un poco mas ligera que la otra pero ambas deliciosas, sanas y sin productos animales.

Buen Provecho!

 

 

Vegan Chili …Chili Vegano

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RECIPE FROM MY FRIEND LOURDES (LULI).

I can honestly say we are lucky to have sweet friends that have been supportive of our dietary preferences and have embraced the changes we’ve made. One of my girlfriends’ made this delicious Vegan Chili and told me she was going to make it for me one day…well, luckily for me, that day came!

Chili is usually a hearty stew with beans, ground beef (or some kind of ground meat), spices like chili powder and cumin, maybe some veggies and a tomato-based broth. Well, you can have delicious chili even if you switch some of those ingredients around.

This vegan version is just as hearty, spicy and filling as the non-vegan ones but SO much better because it’s healthier. It’s full of delicious veggies, lean plant-based protein instead of beef, beans of course and it’s all swimming in a delicious vegan broth.

So here is her super easy, super healthy and super delicious recipe so you can also enjoy this Meatless-Chili on this Meatless-Monday.

Makes about 8 portions.

~2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa

~32 oz low-sodium vegetable broth (or water)

~2 tsp olive oil

~1 onion finely chopped

~4 minced garlic cloves

~1 tbsp chili powder

~1 tbsp cumin

~1 can of tomato sauce

~3 cups of cooked black beans

~1 green bell pepper chopped

~1 red bell pepper chopped

~1 zucchini chopped

~2 cups of corn

~1 jalapeño seeded and chopped

~1 tbsp chipotle pepper in adobo sauce

~1 tbsp dry oregano

~Salt and pepper

~Fresh cilantro for garnish

Boil and drain quinoa. In a pot add oil and sauté the onion until translucent then add garlic, chili powder and cumin. Cook for a few minutes and add the rest of the veggies (peppers, zucchini, corn, jalapeño), quinoa, beans, spices and broth and let simmer and reduce liquid for about 15 minutes.

Once it’s reduced and has a thicker consistency, serve and top with some fresh cilantro.

NOTES:

•For more spice, add more jalapeño and/or chipotle.

•Use a different type of bean if you don’t have black.

•Serve some vegan corn bread on the side, here’s the recipe I used:

~1 cup organic cornmeal

~1 cup organic flour

~1/4 cup coconut sugar

~4 tsp baking powder

~1/2 tsp salt

~1 cup almond milk

~1/4 cup coconut oil

~2 tbsp ground flax + 6 tbsp water

In a pan add flax and water and heat for 3 minutes. Add that mix to the rest of the ingredients in a bowl and combine.

Grease baking dish and bake for 20 minutes at 425. (Recipe from @veganmamalove)

Enjoy!!

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Hemos tenido la fortuna de tener amigos que nos han apoyado en nuestra nueva dieta vegetariana/vegana y que han participado en nuestra aventura. Una de mis amigas hizo este Chili Vegano y me dijo que un día me lo iba a cocinar…pues ese día llegó!!

El chili es un tipo sopa espesa que lleva frijoles, carne, especias como chile en polvo y comino, verduras y un caldo a base de tomate. Aún cambiando algunos de esos ingredientes por otros, puedes disfrutar de un delicioso plato de chili.

Esta versión vegana es igual de llenadora, igual de picante y satisfactoria que la no vegana pero hasta mejor porque es más sana. Está llena de verduras, proteína vegetal sana (en vez de carne), frijoles y todo está en un caldo vegano a base de tomate.

Aqui está esta deliciosa, sana y fácil receta para que disfrutes de este chili sin sentirte culpable por toda la grasa y calorías de su contraparte no-vegana.

Salen 8 porciones.

~2 1/2 tazas de quinoa cocida

~32 onzas de consomé de verduras bajo en sodio (o agua)

~2 cucharaditas de aceite de olivo

~1 cebolla picada

~4 ajos picaditos

~1 cucharada de chile en polvo

~1 cucharada de comino

~1 lata de salsa de tomate

~3 tazas de frijoles negros cocidos

~1 pimiento verde picado

~1 pimiento rojo picado

~1 calabacita picada

~2 tazas de elote

~1 jalapeño picado sin semillas

~1 cucharada de chipotle en adobo

~1 cucharada de orégano seco

~Sal y pimienta

~Cilantro para decorar

Cocer la quinoa y colar. En una olla agrega el aceite y la cebolla y se cocina hasta que esté transparente. Agregar ajo, chile en polvo y comino y se cocina unos minutos. Agregar todo lo demás y dejar cocinar unos 15 minutos hasta que se evapore algo del líquido y se haga espeso.

Ya que este más espeso, se sirve y se agrega el cilantro fresco.

NOTAS:

•Si lo deseas más picante, agrega más jalapeño o chipotle.

•Si no tienes frijoles negros, usa los que tengas.

•Sírvelo con un pan de maíz vegano, este es el que yo hice:

~1 taza de harina de maíz

~1 taza de harina regular orgánica

~1/4 taza de azúcar de coco

~4 cucharaditas de polvo para hornear

~1/4 cucharadita de sal

~1 taza de leche de almendra

~1/4 taza de aceite de coco

~2 cucharadas de linaza en polvo + 6 cucharadas de agua

En una olla agrega la linaza y agua y calienta 3 minutos.

En un plato agrega esa mezcla y el resto de los ingredientes y revuelve. Vacía todo en un refractario engrasado y hornea por 20 minutos a 425 grados. (Receta de @veganmamalove)

Provecho!!

 

 

Vegan Quiche

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I love quiches!! I think they’re an awesome invention for a fast, easy, colorful and full meal. Quiches are normally made with eggs or egg whites, which, you can use if you’re not vegan but this recipe is for VEGAN egg quiches.

We eat eggs in our house but mostly just the kids, I would say my husband and I might eat one egg a month, if that; but if we go out and something has egg in it, we won’t completely go out of our way to avoid it.

When I heard there was such a thing as “vegan egg” I knew I wanted to try it. “Follow Your Heart” brand came up with this magical product (made out of algae-based ingredients) and I will say it does taste extremely close to the real thing. It has the fluffy consistency, the color and even the smell, it might just vary a bit on the flavor if you eat it by itself. That’s why it’s perfect for making frittatas, quiches or scrambles because you mix in other delicious ingredients and BOOM you have eggs!

Here is the recipe for a Vegan Quiche with sausage and veggies. It serves 5.

~1/2 pack of vegan eggs (equivalent of 6 eggs)

~1 tbsp olive oil

~1 vegan sausage (I use apple-sage sausage from Field Roast)

~1/2 chopped red bell pepper

~2 minced garlic cloves

~1 cup chopped spinach

~1/4 finely chopped onion

~1 cup cherry tomatoes cut in half (or chopped regular tomato)

~Organic whole wheat pie crust (I use Wholly Wholesome brand)*

~Salt and pepper

~Nutritional yeast (optional to make it cheesy)

In a bowl make vegan eggs according to package instructions (add water and whisk)**. In a pan add olive oil and sauté garlic, onion, bell pepper and sausage. After a few minutes and when juices are released, add tomatoes, salt and pepper and toss for a minute or two, then add spinach and toss for a minute or so making sure the spinach doesn’t wilt too much.

Pour eggs and veggie-sausage sauté in to the pie crust and stir to make sure it’s evenly distributed. Bake in the oven at 380 degrees for 50-55 minutes until top is firm and you don’t see liquid still floating around.

Take out, slice and serve.

*If you don’t have or don’t want to use a pie crust, pour quiche mixture in to a baking dish  sprayed with olive oil so it doesn’t stick and bake the same way.

**If you’re using real eggs, whisk eggs with a splash of non-dairy milk instead of the vegan egg.

A perfectly beautiful quiche, no egg, no dairy, no meat and all the goodness and nutrients you want!

Enjoy!

 

 

Homemade Ganola…Granola hecha en casa

I love granola! I love sprinkling it on fruit, yoghurt, acai bowls, as cereal with almond milk or by itself as a mid-day snack. The problem is that some boxed granolas are high in sugar or have unnecessary artificial stuff. Solution? Make it yourself!!

Making granola is super easy (I promise) and you can customize it however you like. Here’s how I make my own:

~3 cups of oats

~1 cup of nuts of choice, I used pecans sliced in half

~1/2-3/4 cup of seeds (mix it up, I used pumpkin, flax and sunflower)

~1/3 cup maple syrup (pure, not that corn syrup junk)

~1/3 cup coconut oil, melted

~1/4 cup raisins or other dry fruit of choice

~1 tsp of cinnamon and 1 tsp of ground ginger

Mix it all in a bowl and bake on a flat baking sheet or pan for 30 minutes at 300 degrees, rotate pan once half way. Let cool and store in a glass jar.

Sprinkle it on everything!!!



 

Me encanta la granola! Se la pongo a la fruta, al yogurt, como cereal con leche de almendra o sola como merienda. El problema es que aveces la granola empaquetada tiene mucha azúcar o ingredientes no tan sabía que no son necesarios. La solución? Hacerla en casa!!

Hacer granola es súper fácil (lo prometo) y la puedes hacer a tu gusto con los ingredientes que gustes. Así la hago yo:

~3 tazas de aveba

~1 taza de nueces de tu gusto, yo use nuez pecana

~1/2-3/4 taza de semillas, yo use calabaza, girasol y linaza

~1/3 taza de maple (la de verdad no esos jarabes que son puro jarabe de maíz)

~1/3 taza de aceite de coco derretido

~1/4 taza de pasas u otra fruta seca

~1 cucharadita de canela y 1 de jengibre molido

Mezclar todo en un plato y poner en una charola para hornear por 30 minutos a 300 grados, rotando la charola una vez a medio proceso. Deja que se enfríe y guárdala en un frasco hermético de cristal.

Y a ponérsela a todo!!!

 

 

 

Grilled Vegetable and Pesto Sandwich…


Yesterday was “baking day” at our house. Basically any day my son wants to wear his apron and asks me to wear mine so we can cook together, we bake. I was craving some rustic style bread but didn’t want to leave the house to buy some so fresh baked bread was the obvious choice.

I made bread once before and it turned out so perfect that I used the same recipe yesterday. It’s this Whole Wheat Artisan Bread from www.cesraskitchen.com, it’s vegan, only 10 ingredients, all natural, healthy and oh so delicious.

What better thing to make with fresh hearty artisan bread than fancy sandwiches. Fancy doesn’t necessarily mean complicated or expensive, these sandwiches only use a few ingredients but they look and taste fabulous.

Heres what you need:

~Bread loaf of choice, sliced (click link above for artisan bread recipe)

~Tomato slices (2 per sandwich)

~Onion slices

~1 red bell pepper cut in thick slices

~1/2 avocado

~Portobello mushroom caps (1 per sandwich)*

~Tofu block, sliced (optional if you don’t want only veggies or, like in my case, my husband is allergic to mushrooms)

~Vegan pesto spread (I modified a recipe from www.eatdrinkdhrink.com, check recipe below)

On a pan add oil and grill your veggies until tender and a bit blackened (onion, bell pepper, tomato, portobello). Portobello should feel tender and soft to touch. In another pan add oil and sear the tofu slices until both sides are crispy and golden.

To assemble sandwich spread the pesto on one slice of bread (both slices if you want more flavor), place grilled veggies on top {I used portobello on one sandwich and tofu on another}.

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On the other slice add avocado slices and close sandwich.

Done and ready to eat!!

*Recipe for vegan cream cheese pesto butter:

In a blender add basil, spinach and parsley with a splash of olive oil and blend until combined. In a pot melt vegan butter, add minced garlic and cook for a few minutes. Remove pot from the stove, add the basil mix and a couple of spoons of vegan cream cheese. Stir everything together.

Original spread recipe:

Vegan Pull Bread

So you see, sandwiches can be fancy and easy at the same time, and most important, healthy and filled with goodness.

Portobello Sandwich

Seared tofu sandwich

‘Tis the season…for flu!! …Temporada del catarro!

It doesn’t matter how healthy we eat or how good our immune system is, we still manage to get sick with the cold or flu throughout the year. Having little ones doesn’t help either because with play dates and playground time, we come in contact with plenty of nasty germs.

Not to brag but in our house I’m usually the one that dodges the flu bullets most of the time; I’m not sure if it’s because I pack on the vitamin C harder than the rest or, as I’ve read before, it’s because women have stronger immune systems and a higher pain tolerance (sorry guys, it’s not me that said it, it’s the medical research community).

Whatever the reason is, I still make sure we all get as much protection against these annoying bugs. The way to do that is to eat foods that can help us attack them; one of those foods is this “elixir” or as I call it, a “Natural Flu Shot” that’s full of Vitamin C, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and immunity-boosting properties.

Here’s what you need: (enough for two people)

•3 lemons

•1 Orange (or grapefruit)

•1 piece of ginger (about an inch)

•3 pieces of turmeric (about an inch each)

•1/2-1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper

•1 tsp honey (optional if not vegan)

**IF you’re feeling brave, add a clove or two of garlic for extra immune boost (recommended)

Juice the lemons, orange, ginger and turmeric (and garlic). Pour in a glass and stir in the cayenne and honey. Drink up!!

Super simple and easy, and best of all, they’re natural ingredients you have in your kitchen. Drink this before breakfast in the morning for a few days especially if you feel like you’re coming down with something.

Check out these links to learn more about the AMAZING properties and benefits of ginger, turmeric and honey….did you know they have been linked to the cure for cancer?!?

Stay healthy!

Benefits of Ginger

10 Health Benefits of Turmeric

10 Health benefits of honey

Benefits of honey



 

No importa qué tan saludable sea nuestra dieta o qué tan fuerte sea nuestro sistema inmune, de todos modos logramos enfermarnos de gripa durante el año. No ayuda el hecho de tener dos bebes que entre estar con otros niños y jugar en los parques traen a la casa miles de gérmenes odiosos.

No es por presumir pero en la casa yo soy la que menos se enferma; no sé si sea porque yo consumo más vitamina C o será el hecho, como he leído, que más mujeres tenemos un sistema inmune más fuerte y somos más tolerantes al dolor (señores no lo digo yo, lo dicen los estudios en la comunidad médica).

Sea lo que sea, de todos modos tratamos de protegernos de los virus y bacterias lo más posible consumiendo alimentos que ayudan a nuestro cuerpo a combatirlos. Una manera de hacerlo es con este “elixir” o como yo le llamo “Vacuna Natural contra la gripa” que está repleta de Vitamina C y propiedades anti inflamatorias, antioxidantes y que aumentan tu inmunidad.

Esto es lo que necesitas: (salen dos vasos)

•3 limones

•1 naranja (o toronja)

•1 pedazo de jengibre (2 cm)

•3 pedazos de cúrcuma (2 cm cada uno)

•1/2-1 cucharada de pimienta de Cayena

•1 cucharadita de miel (si no eres vegano)

**si te sientes valiente agrega 1-2 dientes de ajo (recomendado)

Agrega limones, naranja, jengibre y cúrcuma (y ajo) en el juguero, sírvelo en un vaso y mezcla la pimienta y la miel. Para adentro!!

Super fácil y con puros ingredientes naturales que encuentras en tu cocina. Tómatelo antes del desayuno por unos días sobretodo si sientes que te estás enfermando.

Aqui te tengo unos artículos sobre las EXCELENTES propiedades del jengibre, cúrcuma y miel…sabías que hasta se les ha relacionado con la cura del Cancer?!?

Cuidense!

Propiedades del Jengibre

Propiedades Medicinales de la Curcuma

Propiedades de la Miel

 

Not everyone knows how to cook but anyone can learn…

I’ve always enjoyed being in the kitchen and learning new recipes. Growing up I had lots of cooking role models: my parents, my grandparents, my great grandma, my aunts and uncles and later on, my friends and co-workers. I’ve also always loved cooking shows and any other “food-related” shows (Especially Master Chef, I love Chef Ramsay!). Now that I’m a full-time stay-at-home mom, one of my job duties is to cook for my family and I have to say, that takes up about 40% of my day.

Back before I became vegetarian two years ago, my cooking looked very different from how it looks now; I used to make dishes with all kinds of ingredients not really caring about health content, calories or source; I just wanted to make delicious food. Two years ago things changed, I believe for the better, and now I can say I still cook delicious food but what goes in it is very different and much more health-conscious than before.

I can’t say I was an expert on healthy cooking, much less vegetarian cooking. Also, I knew in my mind what “healthy food” was, but before then I wasn’t fully convinced that “healthy” was the way I wanted to eat. Once the lightbulb turned on in my head and I decided to make the change, I was ready to do the research, put in the work and embark on a new journey.

First thing I did (of course) was Google as much as I could about vegetarianism; then I read a bunch of blogs that talked about it. I also found some awesome people who personally took the time to help, educate and inspire me to follow this path (if you’re reading this, you all know who you are). Then I got some “vegetarian cook books” and my good ol’ friends Pinterest and Instagram also came to the rescue.

So there I went, cooking away three meals a day, seven days a week (except for the occasional dining out of course) and I have to say I was pretty successful at it. But then one day, through a good mommy friend of mine who is also vegetarian I found out about Miss Karina Paz Kennedy aka Chef Karina (@chefkaryma on Instagram).

Chef Karina offers cooking classes for adults and children from beginners to advanced levels. She also offers workshops in colaboration with a Nutritionist and covers not just the cooking part but also healthy tips to live a healthy life.

I’ve been to three sessions with her and I have loved every single one of them. She’s very personable, super friendly, she helps you throughout the class and she answers every question you might have (aka she’s very patient when we have no clue of what we’re doing). You can tell she does this for the love of cooking and because she wants people to learn the ways of healthy cooking and healthy living.

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The first class I took was “Granos, Semillas y Superalimentos” (Grains, Seeds and Superfoods) and we learned all about cooking with those food groups and incorporating them in to our diet. The next one was “Cocina Italiana Vegana” (Vegan Italian Food) and we made things like cauliflower crust pizza, marinara from scratch and vegan pana cota.

The third class was last night and it was SALADS. You think, “Salads? what’s so hard about salads that I have to take a class for it?”…well, let me tell you that once you learn how to make amazing salads that look like they came from a restaurant kitchen and that you paid $12 for each one but it was actually you that made it in your own kitchen, you’ll understand my excitement.

Spinach Salad with creamy dijon dressing

We had a great time making these salads and it’s actually kind of funny because in the past I used to quote Homer Simpson and say “You don’t make friends with salad!” anytime I had the option of choosing a salad vs a plate of meat…and now I look for salads, make salads and actually like eating them as a meal.

They came out so delicious and so full of flavor. Chef Karina always tells us, “a complete and balanced meal should have a protein, a grain and a healthy fat aside from your vegetables”, and that’s exactly what these salads are, Full Meals on their own because they have all the components. And yes, the protein IS there, it’s plant-based so we used tempeh, seitan, seeds and even avocado, all great sources of protein for vegetarians and vegans.

Just to give you an idea, here’s some of the salads we made:

Green Salad

Avocado Caesar

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Thai

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Red Salad

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Greek

Greek Salad

All of these can technically be made at home in about 20 minutes tops (give or take on ingredients that have to be roasted or toasted) and just look at them! They’re amazing!!

So I’d like to encourage everyone who has the opportunity to join a local cooking class wherever you live, to do it! and if you’re in our neck of the woods, check out Chef Karina’s Facebook page or Instagram for upcoming class and workshop dates. They are held in Tijuana (in Spanish), they’re fun and best of all…you get to eat what you make in class!!! (I bet you can’t say that about your calculus class).

Here’s her info, contact her for questions. She also offers catering and will make dishes upon request. (Prices and dates vary)

Email: kpazkennedy@gmail.com

Instagram: @chefkaryma

FB: Taller de Cocina con Chef Karina

Now I can honestly say “I make GREAT friends with salad!”

~Mrs. H

 

Kale Chips (“Papitas” de Col Rizada)

Not everyone loves leafy greens. I know because I was one of those people. I think the only greens I liked were lettuce and sometimes spinach, depending on how it was cooked; but the one I hated the most was Kale. I say “hated” but now I know that it wasn’t hate, it was fear. I feared the way it would taste, I was unsure about the texture and I was clueless on how to cook it. Kale became more popular in the last few years so I had to jump in on the Kale wagon if I wanted to be a good vegetarian.

I started by adding it to my juice and it was perfect because you really can’t taste any specific kale flavor, it’s all mixed in one homogenous juice flavor. Then I tried kale salads at restaurants and I felt better about it because mixed in with delicious fresh ingredients and dressings, it tasted like any other “lettucy” green.

Then came the Kale chips…ugh.

Packaged kale chips to me tasted like compacted dirt covered with a ton of seasoning. I tried different brands and flavors like “Cool ranch”, “Nacho”, “Spicy” and “Dijon”, none of which tasted good to me. I’m not sure if it’s the powdery consistency once you put them in your mouth or the flavors that seem too intense for me. Whatever it was, I gave up and stopped buying them completely. Then one day I went to a vegetarian/vegan cooking class and we had to make Kale Chips from scratch. I instantly fell in love. I don’t know if it was the fact that I made them myself and felt accomplished or that they actually tasted good! It might have been a combination of both. I might still buy a bag of them one day if I’m hungry and nothing else sounds good, but they’re not on my grocery list anymore.

Homemade Kale chips are SO different from pre-made packaged ones AND waaaay cheaper so why not take the 15 minutes to make them yourself? Don’t know how? well, that’s where I come in.

Here’s what you need:

~2-3 leaves of organic curly kale

~2 tbsp of olive oil

~1 tsp of salt

~2 tsp of nutritional yeast (Braggs brand) optional for “cheesy” flavor

Remove the stem from the kale leaves and cut them in to 2 inch pieces (about the size of a potato chip). Gently toss them in a bowl with the olive oil and salt until they’re fully coated.Place each piece flat on a baking sheet making sure they don’t touch or lay on top of others.Sprinkle the nutritional yeast on top (like cheese). This will make the chips cheesy, hence they’re called “Vegan Doritos”.

Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.

VERY IMPORTANT: Do NOT overcook!! Only bake for this amount of time or else they’ll dry up, burn and flatten completely. I cook them for 11 minutes and they come out perfect. When you take them out they should still look green and be a bit crispy but not completely, once they cool off they finished getting the crunch.

Ta-daaaaaaa!!!! Enjoy by themselves or find something yummy and light to dip them in. You can flavor them with other things like paprika, garlic or onion powder or just plain and simple with salt and pepper.

Enjoy!!

Kale has ridiculous amounts of healthy properties and health benefits, check out this article if you want to learn more:

Kale: Health Benefits, Uses and Risks


No a todo mundo le gustan las verduras de hojas verdes. Lo digo porque yo era una de esas personas. Lo único que me gustaba era la lechuga y las espinacas y eso soo “a veces”. Pero lo que mas odiaba era el Kale o Col Rizada (para ahorrar tiempo lo llamare Kale). Digo “odiaba” pero ahora ya me di cuenta que no era odio, era miedo. Miedo al sabor, a la consistencia y a no saber como cocinarlo. Como el kale se ha hecho muy popular en los últimos tiempos, tuve que entrarle si quería ser una buena vegetariana.

Primero lo empece a poner en mis jugos verdes y todo estaba muy bien porque no sabia a nada en especifico. Después probé ensaladas en restaurantes donde sabia muy bueno porque mezclado con otras verduras y aderezos sabia como a cualquier otra “lechuga”.

Después vinieron las “Kale Chips” o “Papitas de Kale”…ugh.

Las Kale chips empaquetadas a mi me sabian como a tierra hecha forma y cubiertas con demasiado sazonador. Probe diferentes sabores como “Ranch”, “Picantes” o “Mostaza” pero de todos modos me sabian malas. No se si es la consistencia terrosa o los condimentos muy exagerados. Deje de comprarlas y me di por vencida hasta que un dia tome una clase de cocina vegetariana y tuvimos que hacer Kale Chips. Ese dia todo cambio y me enamore. No se si fue el hecho de que yo las hice o el que sabian buenisimas, lo que haya sido me di cuenta que los 15 minutos que tardas en hacerlas valen la pena.

Las Kale chips empaquetadas saben muuuy diferentes a la hechas en casa asi es que si no sabes por donde empezar o nunca las has probado, aquí estoy para ayudarte!!

Necesitas:

~2-3 hojas de Kale organico o col rizada

~2 cucharadas de aceite de olivo

~1 cucharadita de sal

~2 cucharaditas de levadura nutricional (opcional si quieres que sepas a “queso”)

Separa el tallo de las hojas del kale y cortalas en pedazos del tamano similar a una papita. Mezclalas en un platon con el aceite y la sal hasta que esten bien cubiertas. Acomodalas en una charola para hornear asegurandote que no esten tocandose o encimadas. Agregales la levadura y metelas al horno a 350 grados por 10-12 minutos.

MUY IMPORTANTE: No las cocines de mas!! Si las dejas mas tiempo se secan, se queman y se aplanan completamente. Al sacarlas deben estar todavia verdes y un poco crujientes pero al enfriarse se siguen haciendo mas crujientes.

Listo!!!

Disfrutalas asi o puedes usar alguna salsa al lado pero que sea ligera porque son frágiles. Puedes usar otros sazonadores como paprica, sal de ajo o cebolla o simplemente con sal y pimienta.

El Kale tiene muchisimas propiedades y beneficios para tu salud, si quieres saber mas, arriba hay un link con información en ingles si te interesa saber mas de este mejor amigo de los vegetarianos.

 


 

Vegan Polenta Tamales…

Polenta Tamales

Sometimes recipes come in to your head from a craving, a tv cooking show, a restaurant dish you loved or from a friend’s dinner. This one was inspired by one of my wonderful friend’s who made Tamales by substituting the masa and lard with polenta and coconut oil. I would have never thought about it but I figured now that I knew, I had to try it.

I made a few changes and turned them in to VEGAN polenta tamales. If you love tamales because they’re dense, fluffy pockets of deliciousness but you don’t want to feel heavy and guilty after you eat a few, this is the recipe for you!!

Makes 14 tamales:

2 tubes of organic polenta (2 lbs)

•2 tbsp coconut oil

•2 zucchini

2 ears of corn

4 oz of non-dairy cheese (I use Follow Your Heart)

•1 can organic tomato sauce (12 oz)

•1/2 onion

•3 garlic cloves (minced).

•1 jalapeño

•2 tsp olive oil

•salt and pepper

•14 dry corn husks (for wrapping)

Zucchini corn mixture

Soak the dry husks for an hour, then remove and pat dry. Boil corn and remove kernels from cob (if you’re using canned corn, skip this step). Slice the cheese in to thin strips. Finely chop the onion, zucchini and jalapeño.

In a pan heat the olive oil and add the garlic, then the onion, the zucchini,  jalapeño and corn. When that’s cooked and tender, add the tomato sauce, salt and pepper to taste. That will be the tamales’ filling.

In a bowl, break down the polenta tubes and add the coconut oil until it gets to a soft cookie dough consistency (use your hands). Spread about 2 oz of polenta on each husk, enough to cover most of the husk in a rectangle shape; add a slice or two of cheese, the zucchini mixture, roll and tie with a husk ribbon.

Stand them in a pot and steam them with a minimum amount of water on the bottom, covered for 45 min to an hour. Buen Provecho!!!!



 

Hay veces que la inspiración de recetas nos llega por medio del antojo, de la televisión, de algún platillo en un restaurante o de algún amigo. Esta receta fue inspirada por un amigo mío que hizo tamales sustituyendo la masa y la mateca por polenta y aceite de coco.

Hice algunos cambios extras y los convertí en tamales VEGANOS. Si te gustan los tamales porque son densos, esponjosos y tienen rellenos deliciosos pero no te quieres sentir súper lleno y culpable después de comerte unos cuantos, esta es la receta para ti!

Salen 14 tamales:

•2 tubos de polenta orgánica preparada

•2 cucharadas de aceite de coco

•2 calabacitas

•2 mazorcas de elote

•1/2 cebolla

•4 onzas de queso vegano

•1 lata de salsa de tomate

•3 dientes de ajo

•1 jalapeño

•2 cucharadas de aceite de olivo

•sal y pimienta

•14 hojas de tamal

Remoja las hojas por unos minutos, sácalas y sécalas con una servilleta. Pica las calabacitas, ajo, cebolla y jalapeño. Hierve los elotes y cuando estén tiernitos separa los granos de la mazorca con un cuchillo. Rebana el queso en pedazos delgados.

En un sartén agrega aceite de oliva y sofríe ajo, cebolla, calabacitas, elote y jalapeño hasta que todo esté tiernito. Agrega la salsa de tomate y sal y pimienta al gusto. Esto va a ser el relleno.

En un platon desmorona la polenta, agrega el aceite de coco y amasa con las manos hasta que tenga la consistencia de masa de galletas. Embarra 2 cucharadas de la masa sobre las hojas de tamal en forma rectangular y que no toque las orillas; agrega la mezcla de calabacitas, dos tiras de queso, enrolla y amarra el tamal con un listoncito de la misma hoja. En una vaporera coloca los tamales verticales y cocínalos por unos 45 minutos.

Buen Provecho!

Mexican Lentil Soup (Lentejas)

Lentil soup

I’m Mexican so Mexican dishes play a big part in our diet. Sometimes people have the misconception that “ethnic” recipes have to be very rich or high in calories, or that meat has to be the star of the dish. Well, in many cases around the world that’s not true; for the dishes that do require meat as an ingredient, thanks to this little blog, I will prove to you that it is NOT necessary and I will open up your mind to the possibilities of delicious substitutions. Woohoo!!!

This recipe is one of my favorites and we actually eat this quite often. A naturally vegan dish that’s packed with healthy plant-based protein and vitamins. And no, don’t let anyone fool you and tell you it has to have bacon in it. It’s Lentil Soup or Sopa de Lentejas. 

Here’s what you need: (makes about 8 portions)

•1 pckg of dry green lentils

•Water for boiling

•1/2 can of tomato sauce**

•Finely chopped veggies (zucchini, carrot, potato)

•1 tomato, 1/2 onion, 2-3 cloves of garlic, 1 jalapeño (optional for spice) all finely chopped

•Olive oil (about 2 tbsp)

•Salt and pepper or non-MSG veggie seasoning or “boullion”

•2 tbsp of liquid aminos (Braggs brand) optional *

•Avocado for topping

Boil the lentils in the water according to package instructions (should be around 25 minutes). In the same pot add the veggies (zucchini, carrot, potato…). In a separate pan add oil and sauté tomato, onion, garlic and jalapeño for a few minutes until they’re soft and releasing liquid.

Once the lentils and vegetables in the pot are cooked and tender, add the veggie sauté from the pan and stir. Add seasoning to taste and let simmer for a few more minutes. Add more water if it gets a bit thick. Done!!

Serve and top with avocado slices and some hot salsa on the side.

Lentejas

*Liquid aminos are soy-derived protein that contains 16 amino acids the body needs. They come in liquid form kind of like soy sauce and they have a very similar taste. They’re gluten-free, non-GMO, no chemicals, no preservatives, no artificial anything and you can use them as a seasoning, as a dressing or as a condiment. You’ll see I use them in many dishes to enhance flavor instead of using other artificial sauces or seasonings.

**I might not mention the word ORGANIC on every ingredient in the recipe but I strongly suggest you buy as much organic as possible. Most of the ingredients I use are organic and/or non-GMO.

Buen Provecho!!



 

Soy Mexicana así que los platillos mexicanos forman una gran parte de nuestra dieta. Hay gente que piensa que platillos tradicionales de ciertas culturas tienen que ser altos en calorías, o que el ingrediente estrella tiene que ser carne. Bueno, en muchos casos alrededor del mundo esto no es cierto; para los platillos que si requieren carne como ingrediente, gracias a este blog, comprobaré que no es necesario y te abriré la mente a las posibilidades de deliciosas sustituciones. Yayy!!

Esta es una de mis recetas favoritas y la comemos a menudo. Un platillo naturalmente vegano repleto de proteínas de origen vegetal sanas y vitaminas. Y no dejes que te digan que ocupan tocino!

Sopa de lentejas.

Necesitas: (8 porciones aprox)

•1 paquete de lentejas crudas

•Agua para hervir

•1/2 lata de salsa de tomate **

•Verduras picadas finamente (calabacitas, zanahoria y papa)

•1 tomate, 1/2 cebolla, 2-3 dientes de ajo, 1 jalapeño (opcional picante) todos finamente picados

•2 cucharadas de aceite de olivo

•Sal y pimienta o sazonador vegetal sin GMS o consomé de verdura

•2 cucharadas de aminos líquidos (Braggs) opcional *

•Aguacate para poner encima

Hervir lentejas de acuerdo a las instrucciones del paquete (25 minutos aprox). En la misma olla agregue los vegetales (calabacitas, zanahoria, papa). En otro sartén agregue aceite y sofría tomate, cebolla, ajo y chile unos minutos hasta que se ablanden y suelten jugos.

Ya que estén cocinadas lentejas y verduras, agregue la mezcla del sartén. Sazone al gusto y deje cocer unos minutos. Agregué más agua si está muy espeso.

Sirve con aguacate y salsa al lado.

*Aminos líquidos son proteínas derivadas de la soya que contienen 16 aminoácidos que nuestro cuerpo necesita. Son líquidos como la salsa de soya y tienen un sabor similar. Son libres de gluten, libres de OGM (Organismos Geneticamente Modificados), no químicos ni conservadores, nada artificial y los puedes usar como sazonador o como aderezo. Verás que los uso en muchos platillos para dar mejor sabor a la comida en lugar de usar salsas o sazonadores artificiales.

**No voy a mencionar la palabra ORGÁNICO en cada ingrediente de las rectas pero sugiero que compres productos orgánicos lo más que puedas. La mayoría de los ingredientes que yo uso son orgánicos y/o OGM.