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Nut Medley Granola

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Laurie made an out-of-this-world granola when we visited last week. It's all nuts, plus coconut.  (Larry exclaimed, "What, granola without oats?!") This version is very keto, but of course you could add oats if you like. I might play with in the future. Serve as cereal or on yogurt! Ingredients Toss: 2 C shredded unsweetened coconut 1 C sliced almonds 1 C raw sunflower seeds 1/2 C raw pumpkin seeds 1/2 C walnuts Stir: 1/2 C melted coconut oil 2 T maple syrup (to replace 10 drops stevia; we don't like artificial sweeteners) 1 tsp cinnamon 1 tsp nutmeg Instructions Preheat oven to 325. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, toss together coconut and nuts and seeds. In a small bowl, stir together the oil, sweetener, and spices. Pour the oil mixture into the large bowl and use your hands to mix together until the nuts are very well coated.  Transfer mixture to baking sheets and spread out evenly. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown, stirring at th

Roasted Beet Quinoa Salad

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Cyndy made this delish salad for us when we visited a few days ago, along with her wild rice salad . This recipe is super fast if you buy pre-cooked beats, which we get at Trader Joes. Trader Joes also carries a good vegan feta, but of course you could use real feta if you prefer.  Ingredients 6 medium roasted beets, chopped 1 C dry quinoa + 2 C water 1 cup fresh spinach leaves, ribboned 3 scallions (green onions), chopped 3 oz feta (vegan, from Trader Joes), crumbled on top 1/4 C pine nuts (best!) or pumpkin seeds, roasted Dressing: 3 T olive oil Juice from 1 lemon or lime juice Salt and pepper to taste Instructions Cook the quinoa: Rinse, add water, cook in the microwave on high 5 minutes, let cool a minute, stir, and cook 2 more minutes. (Or cook in a pot, if you prefer.)  While that's cooking, chop the beets, spinach, and scallions. (To "ribbon" spinach, put a few leaves together, roll, and cut in the short direction.) Toast the pine nuts on a tray in the oven for a f

Pita Pizza

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Visiting Munira in Dallas, we made our favorite homemade pizza using  Trader Joe's Whole Wheat Pita  Bread. They make a nice crispy crust, and it's a super easy way to make tasty personal size pizzas (no slicing required). Use your favorite veggies, and optionally top with sauteed tofu, our new favorite addition (recommended by brother Jeff -- thank you!). Note that you can use pesto in place of tomato sauce as a base for some of them if you want more variety, and let people make/top their own pizzas for some fun. Ingredients TJ's Whole Wheat Pita Bread 1 jar tomato sauce (we use Rao) 1 package firm tofu (drained/pressed) 2 T oil 3 cloves garlic, diced 1 C fresh basil leaves 1 T dried oregano or italian spice mix 2 tsp red pepper flakes 1 small can olives, sliced  Your favorite mix of chopped vegetables, like: Onion (1 large or 2 small), sliced Mushrooms, sliced Bell pepper, sliced Squash or eggplant, sliced in half moons Spinach leaves Tomatos, sliced Instructions Plac

Overnight Oats

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My brother Jeff turned me on to this, and it's my new favorite thing! Delicious, high fiber, and lots of ways to mix it up. Oats are so good for you, as is wheat germ, berries, and nuts. This has replaced morning yogurt for us; it's healthier (more fiber, less sugar), cheaper, and super easy to make. Years ago, I also made an overnight chia pudding that we often had for breakfast and dessert. That's also really tasty, and you can add more chia to this if you like, or a little maple syrup if you want something sweeter.  Ingredients For a small pint jar (more or less; I don't measure): 1 cup oats (regular, not quick cook; sometimes I also mix in some steel cut, but those need to be quick cook) 2 T flax meal 2 T wheat germ 2 T chia 1-2 C vanilla soy milk (to fill the jar) Optional additions for different flavoring: 2-3 tsp cocoa 1-2 T nut butter (almond, peanut) 1 scoop dehydrated strawberry powder Toppings: Fruit (always berries! sometimes bananas) Walnuts Instructions M

Mujadara

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We discovered mujadara at a middle eastern cafe, Zadna , as the tasty base for a hearty mediterranean veggie falafel bowl. Essentially, mujadara is cooked grains + lentils + onion with spices, making it a high protein grain base that's pairs nicely with Indian vegetable dishes and veggie stir fries. It's also super easy to make. Below is a variation with more Indian spicing; I also like mixing quinoa and rice as the grain for some extra protein and variation. Ingredients 1 T canola oil 1-2 onions, chopped (yes, that much!) Spices; I like these, but be creative: 2 tsp cumin seed 2 tsp nigella (black cumin; good for you!) 1 tsp chili pwd or dried hot pepper (break in half) 3 cloves garlic, diced (sometimes :) 1 tsp salt 2 1/2 C water 1/2 C rice (white or brown) 1/2 C quinoa (or can use all rice) 2/3 C lentils, soaked (I like black beluga; vary as you like) Instructions Rinse the lentils and put them in water to soak. Chop the onions, and saute in oil with spices in the Instant P

Lentil Dosa

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Munira is visiting from Texas, yay! We biked over with some fig banana bread , and she treated us to an impromptu, delicious dinner of her lentil dosa and  secret gobi . I thought dosa was super hard to make, but she showed me how -- and it wasn't so hard! I'm very excited because besides their delicate deliciousness, her lentil dosas are high protein, super healthy, and a wonderful pairing with indian veggies. She also cooked up some bhindi masala for her IT guy (Larry) and sent it home with us, along with leftover dosa batter and a (loaner) dosa pan so I could practice my dosa-making skills again tomorrow.  Sweet! She recommended serving with lettuce, tomato, and chopped onion, and filling the center and rolling up into a "stuffed" wrap. Lots of possibilities! Rough measurements for ingredients follow (of course no actual measuring was done :) Ingredients A mix of dry lentils, such as: 1/2 C red lentils 1/2 C green lentils 2/3 C urad dal 2/3 C channa dal 1 tsp salt

Fig Banana Bread

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Larry is harvesting figs by the gallon. In the past I've made fig pie, compote, and jam , and even dried figs . Yesterday I tried a f ig banana bread with a few tweaks: whole wheat flour, less sugar, oil instead of butter, and added pecans. I had put just a few sliced figs on top, but then Larry layered on the figs so that every slice got some -- good call; that made it beautiful! Ingredients Dry: 3 C flour (I used whole wheat) 2 tsp baking soda 1 tsp cinnamon 1 tsp salt 1 C chopped pecans or walnuts Wet: 2 bananas, mashed 3 C figs, chopped 3 flax eggs (3 T flax, 9 T warm water, mixed) 1 C oil 1 tsp vanilla 2/3 C sugar (I used half brown, half white) Sliced figs for topping (maybe 5-7 figs, sliced) Instructions Preheat oven to 350. Make the flax eggs in a bowl; set aside. Mix dry ingredients together. Add wet ingredients and mix.  Pour into buttered loaf pans and top with sliced figs. For mini loaf pans, bake 30 minutes and check. Larger pans may need up to 50 minutes. Large loaves

Allen's Pie Crust

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I like making pies, including  tofu quiche   and   fruit pie and  pumpkin pie .  Good pie crust is hard to make, though. I buy  Wholly Wholesome rolled pie dough  when we can find it. But sometimes it's hard to find it (or any vegan crust), which is the case right now.  Our friend Allen came to the rescue by sharing his oil-based pie crust recipe! It's somewhat similar to this  The Perfect Oil Pie Crust . I try to use at least half whole wheat flour, but that makes it harder (crumblier) to work with. So stick with all white to make it easier, or add in some whole wheat to make it healthier. Ingredients (Makes 2 crusts) 2 C white flour, generous      (option: up to half whole wheat flour) 1 tsp salt 1/2 C canola oil, cold (refrigerator temp) 3 T ice water  Instructions Mix the flour and salt with a fork. Add in the oil and water and mix well. If it doesn't hold together, add a little more oil.  Roll out between sheets of waxed paper on a wet counter. Peel the top layer of

Chicky 'Tuna' Salad Sandwich

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Our grape vines are prolific, but the grapes are teeeeeeny. Larry's sister Cyndy mentioned that she loved putting grapes in any sandwich, like tuna or turkey. That reminded me of a nice "fake tuna" salad I made long ago. So I did a quick search and adapted this recipe by adding grapes. Really good! I might add pickles next time - or at least serve them on the side.  Ingredients 1 can (14 oz) garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed Zest of 1 lemon Juice of 1/2 lemon 1/3 C vegan mayo 1/3 C celery, chopped 1/4 C red onion, chopped 1/2 tsp garlic powder 1/2 tsp pepper 1/4 tsp cayenne or chili powder optional: 2 crushed or shopped nori sheets (seaweed) 1 T chia seeds or hemp hearts (for some omega 3) 1/3 C grapes 1/4 C chopped dill pickle (or dill relish) Instructions Mash chickpeas: Drain and rinse chickpeas, place in medium size bowl and roughly mash about 3/4 of the chickpeas with the back of a fork or potato masher, until desired consistency. Assemble salad: Add the rest of th

Crispy Sheet Pan Tofu

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Purple Carrot's  Crispy Sheet Pan Tofu  was the final meal in the trial, and was among my favorites. It was relatively easy, and not unlike meals I already make, with a couple nice twists, including the lentil grain mix, dressing, and layering of sauce on the bottom with grains, tofu, and veggies on top. The lentil grain mix also reminded me of the mujadara we like so much at Zadna; I should throw lentils into rice/quinoa more often for the interesting flavor and added protein! I don't expect to order more from Purple Carrot, partly because each delivery (a) felt like 3 new tasks I had to do before the ingredients went bad, and (2) it felt wasteful with the shipping (from Las Vegas!),  packaging (many teeny plastic bottles and bags with ingredients), and lots to tear down and recycle. We're trying Thistle prepared meals at the same time, and I like a lot about it: It's very tasty (especially the salads), it appears at our doorstep, and we just put the bag with freezer p

Cashew Cream Sauces

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The best things I've learned so far from a 2-week  Purple Carrot trial are (1) the surprising fun and beauty of layering items on beds of other items, (2) using a peeler to make zucchini ribbons (delicious tossed in a little lime and salt and used as a raw topping, like for soba), and (3) easy, flavorful cashew cream sauces that pull the dish together. Two (of the six) meals in the trial -- Smoky Portabello Tacos and Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Spicy Cashew Sauce   -- both had really good cashew cream sauces. These two were my favorite meals (partly because of the tasty sauce!) and they were the easiest to make, too. Photos and recipes below! See also How to Make Cashew Cream . Ingredients Jalapeno Cashew Sauce: 1/3 C cashews 2 garlic cloves 1 lime, juiced 1 jalapeno, deseeded and roughly chopped Serve on: Corn tortillas topped with Spanish rice, sliced portabellos sautéed in a little soy sauce and liquid smoke, diced scallion, sliced radish, and shredded purple cabbage Spicy Cas

Kira's Soba Noodles with Tahini Sauce

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We had a super fun, impromptu potluck today at Judi and Nick's, featuring soba noodles with Kira's special sauce. So delicious! The amounts below are guesses based on watching Kira mix; no measurements were made. Kira says measure with your heart. Aaaw! p.s.  A week after posting Kira's recipe, I got the ingredients for this tahini-sauce based soba: Panko-Crusted Tempeh with Lemon Zucchini Soba & Avocado  from Purple Carrot. The best part was the zucchini ribbons! Just take off slices with a peeler, toss with a little lemon, and toss on the plate. Easy and yummy. But Kira's overall recipe is better and easier. I'll just toss zucchini ribbons on it next time. Ingredients Sauce: 2 T tahini 1 T white miso 2 tsp sriracha 2 tsp soy sauce 2 tsp rice vinegar 1/2 tsp powdered ginger 1/2 tsp powdered garlic 2 t rice vinegar Toppings: 2-4 Just Egg folded patties 2 Sweet Earth Applewood Smoked Plant-based Ham deli slices 2 diced scallions (optional) 1 zucchini, sliced into

Fried Rice

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Another recipe from Munira! After making us a wonderful dinner, she described how to make fried rice from the leftover rice in her Instant Pot, and sent me home with spiced rice that I could fry up with an onion and veggies. So simple, tasty, and pretty. Here's the (rough) recipe (guessing at measurements). Ingredients 6 C cooked rice (in Instant Pot) 2 tsp chili powder 2 tsp turmeric 1-2 tsp salt 3 T canola oil 1 red onion, diced 1 hot pepper, diced (optional) 2 T mustard seed 1 tsp hing 2 C mixed veggies (peas, corn) 1/2 C cashews (optional) Instructions Cook the rice in an Instant Pot and let it cool. Sprinkle chili powder, turmeric, and salt on the rice in the Instant Pot, and mix it up with your hands. You can store it at this point, and continue the rest later, if desired. In oil, saute mustard seed, hing, onion (and hot pepper, if using), cooking until onion is transparent. Add veggies and stir a few minutes. Add spiced rice. Optionally add cashews. Stir often and cook on lo