Juicy July: Basic Green and Red Juices

Juicy July is coming to a close, but  I hope your relationship with juicing will not end with the turning of calender page.

To help keep you going, don’t forget the basics – basic green and basic red juices.

Basic Green Juice

cucumber

celery

greens (spinach, kale, etc)

apple (green preferred)

lemon (optional)

ginger (optional)

Clean produce thoroughly and juice.

Notes: There aren’t any amounts listed, because it’s really up to each individual’s taste. I typically use two cucumbers, 2 large or 4 small (heart pieces) ribs of celery, a big bunch of greens, two medium apples, and two lemons (peeled). I don’t care for ginger in juice.

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Basic Red Juice

beet

apple

carrot

lemon (optional)

ginger (optional)

Wash everything well and juice. Be sure to scrub the beets well and/or peel them.

Notes: I don’t list amounts because everyone’s taste is a bit different. I typically use two beets, two apples (one apple for each beet), two large carrots, and one or two lemons (peeled). I don’t care for ginger juiced.

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These are two of the juices I go to time and time again. They aren’t fancy, but they taste good, and a lot of people who eat a plant-based, whole-foods diet have these ingredients in their refrigerators anyway.

Enjoy!

Raw Fusion Reset

Since August is a mere four days away, we’re getting ready for a new challenge in the Raw Fusion Reset group on Facebook, and we’d love to have you join us!  August is already Raw-gust, but we’re going to turn it up a notch and use this month of raw food to celebrate the end bounty of fresh veggies and fruits that comes with the end of summer.

 

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Join the Raw Fusion Rest here!

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The New Green Smoothie Diet Solution Review & GIVE-A-WAY!

Farmer’s Markets are starting to pop-up. Strawberries are showing up in droves at the grocery store, and asparagus is available at the co-op down the street. Yup. Summer is just around the corner. (Well, for my Northern hemisphere readers, anyway *wink*) And I don’t know about you, but I’ve got some winter weight to get rid of before the shorts and bathing suits come out of storage.

One way I’m getting myself back on track and celebrating the change in seasons is by doing a 30 day raw challenge. A fellow blogger and I have started a Facebook group, the Raw Fusion Rest, and we’d love it if you joined us. The group is closed, meaning you’ll have to ask for membership, but everyone is welcome – even non-vegans. The focus of the group is raw/high raw vegan, but any percentage of a raw food diet is perfectly fine. Join up! You’ll love it 😉

Now, onto the fun stuff…a give-a-way!

New Green Smoothie Diet Cover

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by Elizabeth Swann who graciously offered to send me a copy of her latest book, The New Green Smoothie Diet Solution, to review and give-a-way. Considering how lax I am on adding greens to anything except a salad, I jumped at the chance!

Elizabeth is an ND (Doctor of Naturopathic medicine) who has been working with clients for more than 10 years. Based in Mount Carmel, Israel, Elizabeth’s goal is to education people about the healing powers of food and how easy it is to make healthy, life-long lifestyle changes.

The New Green Smoothie Diet Solution is really informative. I expected it to be just be a “cook” book, but green smoothie recipes are only part of what you’ll find in this handy little book. The rest of the pages are filled with tons of information about greens and how to use them to overcome sugar cravings, detox, build your immune system, negate the negative effects of stress/feel calmer, improve the look and feel of your hair and nails, and even increase your vitality.

How about a Dandy Pineapple Detox Smoothie, a Kale-n-Orange Weight Loss Smoothie, or a Melon Head Green Smoothie? Sounds good to me!

Elizabeth has graciously offered to give-a-way a digital copy of The New Green Smoothie Diet Solution to one lucky reader of Veggie V’s Vegan Adventure. To enter, just leave a comment telling me how you do or want to incorporate green smoothies into your diet. And, for extra chances to win, signup to follow Veggie V by email (or by WP reader if you have a WP blog), and follow Veggie V on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Pinterest. Leave a separate comment letting me know you did any or all of these things. Contest is open world wide!

Contest open today, Wednesday, May 8, through Friday, May 10 at 11:59 p.m. EST.

Good luck!

 

 

Tahini Dressing

I’ve eating huge salads almost every night for dinner for months. I can’t get enough! Typically, I dress my salads simply with olive oil (organic, first cold pressed) that I massage into the greens (usually kale) and a few squeezes of lemon juice. But, on a recent road trip to Philadelphia (shout out to Phili!), I ate the most delicious kale salad from a Whole Foods cold bar. So good! I was sure to make a note of the ingredients so I could recreate the dish at home – and that I have, my friends; that I have.

Tahini Salad Dressing

2 TBSP tahini

1 TBSP tamari (low sodium)

1 TBSP lemon juice (juice of about half a lemon)

1-2 tsp apple cider vinegar (I use Braggs)

Add everything to a small blender cup (I use a Magic Bullet) and blend until well combined and smooth. If mixture is a bit too thick, thin it with some water. Start with a very small amount and work your way up. (My tahini is very runny, so I haven’t needed to add any water.)

Optional add: Nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder, etc.

Assemble your favorite salad greens, add dressing to the greens, and massage dressing into greens until they are wilted. This works great with a sturdy green like kale. Add in your favorite salad mix-ins and toss together.

This amount of dressing makes enough to coat about 4 cups of salad greens, which, for me, is one serving 😉

*Sorry for the lack of photos. Apparently the photos I had saved on my phone looked so good the phone ate them. Ha! Enjoy!!

 

Beans & Greens Mushroom Burger

I spend most Sundays in the kitchen. I prep food for the week, plan meals, create recipes, and clean out the fridge. The last part is usually what yields the most interesting creations!

Last week, during my clean-out-the-fridge sweep, I found some mushrooms that didn’t get turned into soup and a half bag of kale pieces that didn’t join their other half in kale chip heaven.  I tossed around the idea of adding the kale to my traditional mushroom soup, but I wasn’t sure how that would turn out, so I came up with something else. Having recently run out of 4 Ingredient Bean Burgers, I decided to turn my fridge finds into burgers for the week. After rummaging through the pantry and the vegetable draw, this is what I came up with.

Beans & Greens Mushroom Burger

Beans & Greens Mushroom Burger

14 oz mushroom caps, diced (about 2 cups)

1 med onion, diced (about 1 cup)

3-4 clove garlic, minced (about 2 TBSP, heaping)

2-3 c chopped kale

2 cans beans, rinsed (about 3 cups)

1/2 c nutritional yeast

Seasonings: salt, pepper, garlic powder, etc.

Saute onions and garlic in a splash of water or veggie broth until begin to soften (about 5 minutes). Add mushroom pieces. Continue to saute until mushrooms have cooked down and become soft. Add kale pieces and cover pan to steam/wilt greens. After greens are sufficiently wilted, remove mixture from pan. Set aside. Note: You may have to use a strainer because the veggies tend to give off quite a bit of water.

In a large bowl, add rinsed and drained beans. Puree with a stick blender (or in a food processor or high-powered blender) until mostly smooth. (I like to leave a few pieces for texture and presentation.) Alternately, you can hand mash the beans the with a potato masher. Once beans are mashed, add nutritional yeast, seasonings and cooked veggie mixture. Stir to combine. (If mix is too wet, add additional nutritional yeast or a binder such as quinoa flakes or oats.)

Form 6 large balls from mixture and place on foil or parchment paper lined baking sheet. (Spray foil with cooking spray.) Slightly flatten each ball to desired patty thickness. Bake burgers at 375F for about 45 minutes, or until hold shape when moved and are no longer wet or gooey in the middle.

I used one can each red and white kidney beans.

I used one can each red and white kidney beans.

Mashed beans. Pretty pink!

Mushrooms, Onions, and Garlic in Pan

The mushrooms may seem like a lot before they cook down, but don’t worry; in a few minutes, they’ll shrink to half (or less!) their size.

Your Freezer is Your Friend

With winter here and bad weather coming and going, chances are pretty good you I won’t be able to get to the store some day when the craving/need for veggies hits (This actually happens pretty often, but it’s usually from laziness – ha ha!) That’s when it’s a blessing to have a well-stocked freezer.

I almost always have a couple (or more!) bags of frozen veggies in the freezer.

What is your favorite style of frozen veggies?

I actually keep quite a few things in the freezer: left-over dinners, muffins, frozen fruit (frozen bananas are overtaking the entire left side of the freezer right now), nuts and seeds, Daiya (Who knew you could freeze it?!), misc. meat substitutes (usually a bag or two of Gardein and TJ’s meatless balls), and whatever Mr. M has managed to squeeze in there.

Ignore that turkey pot pie and the dairy ice cream; those, of course, belong to Mr. M. Ah...the joys of a mixed marriage (vegan/SAD).

We use the freezer so much, we’ve seriously been discussing purchasing a small deep freeze. We’ve talked about it before, but we’ve never actually looked at and priced them, nor have we chosen a definitive place to put it in the basement. (It’s going in the make-shift pantry.) I’m excited! I hope we’re able to get one sooner than later.

Anyway, back to why the freezer is your friend. Besides the obvious benefits of being to preserve food for a length of time, the freezer can be home to some great, quick, and easy meals. This is one I came up with last week.

Veggies, Beans & Greens Saute

2 bags frozen veggies (your fav)

1 box frozen spinach, thawed and drained

1 can diced tomatoes (about 1.5 c)

1 can black olives (about 1 c)

1 can white beans (about 1.5 c)

Seasonings to taste (I like Italian flavors: oregano, basil, dried parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, etc)

Thaw and squeeze the excess water from your spinach. (I heat mine for 3 minutes in the microwave then squeeze handfuls until dry.) Add to large, deep sided skillet along with frozen veggies, died tomatoes, rinsed and drained beans and black olives. (I left mine whole, but sliced/diced may be easier to spear with your fork.) Heat everything through until vegetables are thawed and beans are hot.

I eat my veggies on their own, but you may want to add them to a bed of grain, such as brown or wild rice, quinoa, or even some pasta.

Frozen Veggies, Beans & Greens Saute

Chinese Noodle Soup Bowls

I saw a recipe on Rachel Ray the other day that I thought would be delicious veganized: Chinese Noodle Soup Bowls. She included meat balls, which I didn’t today (veggie balls, of course), but I’m going to turn that idea into a new veggie burger recipe later this week. Stay tuned!

Chinese Noodle Soup

4 c veggie broth

2 c water (or more or less depending on how soupy you want your soup)

2 stalks celery, thinly sliced

2 carrots, thinly sliced

1 bell pepper, cut into bit sized pieces

2 bunches scallions, whites diced & greens cut on bias

8 oz mushrooms, sliced

2-3 cloves garlic, sliced thin

1 inch fresh ginger, sliced thin

1 bunch greens, ribbon cut (I used chard)

1/4 c soy sauce (I used tamari)

4-8 oz thin noodles (I used 6 oz soba noodles)

Saute hard veggies (celery, carrot and bell pepper) in a little bit of broth until tender. About 10 minutes. (You could also saute in oil. I suggest sesame oil for a nice flavor kick.) Add remaining broth and desired amount of water. Add mushrooms, scallions (both whites and greens), garlic and ginger. Bring mixture to a boil. Add noodles and cook until al dente. Turn off heat or reduce to very low and add soy sauce and wilt in greens. Serve immediately.  

Click here for nutritional information.

I found the soy sauce to be enough seasoning, but you may want a kick of spice or some more salt. Also, I don’t think this soup will freeze very well because of the starch that’s released from the pasta; it gives the broth a thickness reminiscent of adding corn starch or arrowroot powder. (This effect may not happen if you use  gluten-free pasta.)

I got three GIANT bowls of soup from this recipe. I’d say they’re at least two cups each (which is a lot of noodles and veggies!).

Look at all those noodles!

Back to School Dinners

Ok, so this post is a little late. But at least now everyone that’s going back to school is back to school. And back to their crazy schedules. And back to having no idea what to cook. And no time to cook whatever ideas they do have. “They” includes me. If it doesn’t include you, that’s cool, your schedule is crazy enough without have classes, homework, prepping, grading, students, teachers..yyyaaahhh…to worry about. Regardless of what your days and nights consist of, we can all use a few quick and easy go-to dinners (and hopefully left-overs for lunch!) for busy nights. Enter, the Wilt-In.

What is a Wilt-In? Why, it’s a dish that has greens wilted in, of course.

It’s difficult for me to get my greens in. There, I said it. I have yet to become accustomed to green smoothies (Ok. I’ve only tried one – once – and it was terrible.) I know green, leafy vegetables are good for me. I know I can’t eat enough Cheezy Kale Chips to meet my daily requirement (Trust me. I’ve tried.) So, out of desperation, I began wilting leafy greens into various dishes, and eventually, I found a green I am in love with (Yea chard!), and a way to eat it that isn’t boring; I’ve yet to get tired of, and it’s super quick. O, and it’s a one-pot meal. Did I mention that? That’s right people, give the dishwasher the night off because this quick and easy meal is ready in less than 30 minutes from chopping to eating, and it won’t make a mess of your kitchen. Hello, healthy dinner!

Rainbow Chard Wilt-In

1 med onion, chopped

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

1-2 TBSP vegetable broth

1 bunch rainbow or Swiss chard

8 oz sliced mushrooms

Grain (quinoa works great) or Protein (beans are awesome) – optional

Seasonings to taste (salt, pepper, oregano, basil, parsley flakes, etc)

In a large, deep skillet, saute onion and garlic in 1-2 TBSP veggie broth (no need for oil). Cook until onions are translucent – about 2-3 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook until tender – about 10 minutes.  I also like to add the seasonings here. Typically, salt, pepper, oregano, basil, dried parsley.

If using grain, add now. Uncooked quinoa will cook up nicely in a small amount of added veggie broth and the broth created by the mushrooms. (Add up to 1 cup dry quinoa and about 1/2 c veggie broth. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover, cook 10-12 minutes or until quinoa gives off little spirals.) You may also add beans now, if you’re using. However, if you’re using grains and beans, wait until the grain has cooked to add the beans.

Finally, wilt-in your greens. If you added grains, you may need to add a little more veggie broth to create steam to wilt your greens. If not, add greens in batches, stiring them into the mix. You may want to cover the pan to aid in the wilting process. Continue to add and stir until all greens are wilted.

You can, of course, add additional vegetables to the mix. Make it your own. Try different greens. Kale, collards, spinach – whatever looks good or needs to be eaten.

Stiring in cooked grains at the end works too. Or spooning over a mound of cooked grains or beans. Whatever is left over.

Rainbow Chard Wilt-In with Quinoa

I also love BBQ tofu  and whatever roasted veggies are taking up space in the fridge. Just add about 1 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce to a sauce pan, warm for a few minutes, then add 1 package of extra firm tofu, with the excess water squeezed or pressed. I wrap the tofu block in a double layer of paper towel, then wrap that in a dish towel and press the block with my hands against the counter. The tofu won’t retain its block form (it gets kind of squished), but it works great as chunks in the BBQ sauce.

I make my own, quick BBQ sauce.

Veggie V’s Quick & Easy BBQ Sauce

1 15 oz can tomato sauce

2-3 TBSP tomato paste (more or less to taste)

1 med onion, thinly sliced

1-2 clove garlic, minced

1 – 2 TBSP soy sauce (or tamari for gluten-free)

1 – 2 TBSP mustard

1 tsp maple syrup – optional

Seasonings: chili powder, paprika, salt, pepper, oregano, basil, parsley flakes

Saute onions and garlic in sauce pan with 1 TBSP veggie broth or 1 tsp oil until translucent – about 2-3 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, including seasonings. Simmer for a few minutes to allow flavors to meld. Add tofu chunks and warm through.

Total time from chopping to eating – way less than 30 minutes.

Shaved brussels sprouts from Appetite for Reduction are my favorite side to make this meal complete.

BBQ Tofu & Shaved Brussle Sprouts

I love this cookbook, and I especially love this brussels sprout recipe. It’s crazy easy.  Thinly slice brussels sprouts (a food processor works great here). Add to a pan of sauted onions and garlic (Oil is a must here. 1 -2 tsp is plenty.) Salt and pepper sprouts. Stir to combine flavors. The let it sit on medium heat. The mix forms a little crust from the oil and the caramelized onions. Yum! Try to flip the mix after a few minutes (5 or so) so the rest of the sprouts have their chance in the pan. Cook another 5 minutes or so, and you’re all set!

With a little planning, quick and easy week night/school night dinners can be healthy and filling. There’s no need for take-out in my house 😉