Nutrition Ambition

Welcome to my vegan food blog! When it comes to food, my philosophy is that taking time to lovingly prepare your own meals can result in better health and greater life satisfaction. I use natural, whole ingredients to create nourishing, exciting meals which replenish mind, body and spirit. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Curried Tempeh with Sweet Potato and Dried Mango

Last night I so needed to clean out the fridge of some overabundant produce, so I put on my thinking cap. I had a little pouch of Lemon Curry Powder that smelled too irresistible to pass up. A peek in the pantry revealed some ButterCream potatoes, a sweet potato, and a can of coconut milk. I also spied some Chile Spiced Dried Mango I picked up when last I was at Trader Joes. In addition, I thought a little lime would be delicious squeezed over all this spicy-sweet madness. The potatoes, while usually cooked inside the curry, I thought would be good pan-fried and served more or less alongside. Check it out; it's several ingredients and a few steps, but worth it. The myriad textures and flavors is sure to be delightful. By the way, it was entirely too hot last night to be spending this much time in front of the stove, but it was worth it!

* about 10 golf ball-size thin-skinned potatoes (washed and cut in half), or fingerling potatoes
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into small chunks
* 2 large carrots, cut into small chunks
* 1 package tempeh
* 1 additional tablespoon olive oil
* 1 generous teaspoon lemon curry powder (or regular curry powder)
* 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
* cayenne pepper, to taste
* 2 teaspoons Braggs
* 2 garlic cloves, chopped
* 1 (15 oz) can coconut milk
* 1/2 cup water (or as needed)
* Diced dried mango and lime sections

Begin by placing the potatoes in a pot of cold salted water and bring to a simmer. Let cook about 10 minutes, or just until fork-tender. Drain. Heat a medium size saute pan and add the first tablespoon of oil. When hot, put in the potatoes cut side down and pan fry until golden, then flip and cook another minute. Remove the potatoes and set aside.

Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil and crumble the tempeh into the pan. Cook until nicely golden then add the garlic. Stir in the spices followed by the braggs, carrot, sweet potato and coconut milk. Place the lid on the pan and simmer until the sweet potato and carrot are tender, about 15-20 minutes. When ready to serve, top with the mango, a few lime wedges and pile on those potatoes!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

mini key lime pies!

Today while I got my hair colored, I purused Teany by Moby and Kelly and the key lime pie recipe (in the "petit fours" chapter) caught my attention. So, while I was at Trader Joes (which I am in love with, by the way), I picked up the ingredients I would need to make this tempting recipe. Well, as is were, Trader Joes does not have the biggest nor the best selection of products (mind you, they do have some pretty cool stuff), so the "vegan vanilla pudding mix" needed for the key lime pies (which I can only assume is the Mori Nu Mates brand) was no where to be found. This component of the recipe serves many functions: A.) sweetener B.) thickener C.) vanilla flavoring. So, I had to change the recipe. Here's my version:

Ingredients (makes 12 adorable mini pies):
for the crust:
* 1 1/2 cups natural gharam cracker crumbs
* 2 tablespoons melted earth balance margarine
* 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons agave nectar or maple syrup
* 1 (8 oz) container Tofutti Cream Cheese
* aprox. 1/2 of a 1-lb. block of soft water-packed tofu, drained and well-blotted
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 tablespoon lime zest
* 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons key lime juice (this is about 10 key limes--you can also buy the juice bottled, but I doubt it would taste as fresh)
* 1 tablespoon cornstarch or arrowroot
* thinly sliced key limes as garnish (optional but really, really cute!) or extra lime zest

Line a regular sized 12-cup muffin pan with 12 paper cupcake liners. Mix together the cracker crumbs and margarine then spoon about a tablespoon of this crust mixture into each muffin liner.

In a food processor, combine all filling ingredients and pulse until smooth. The mixture will be quite loose, but don't panic. Fill each crustified muffin cup with about 3-4 tablespoons of the filling. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. When you jiggle the pan, the centers should be springy while the outter edge is firm. Let cool completely and the centers will become firm. Top with a slice of lime and enjoy! Warning: don't fool yourself into thinking that you will eat just one of these.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Coconut Raspberry Goodness

Recently I picked up Dreena Burton's cookbook The Everyday Vegan and knew the first thing I had to make was her Coconut Raspberry Squares. Who would have guessed that coconut and raspberry flavors would be so good together? Dreena, apparently. This delicious sweet treat reminds me of something a Southern grandma would make, or Paula Deen. The recipe says to use 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of raspberry jam as the filling, but I didn't measure, just slathered it on there. Next time I will use more jam, probably more like 2/3 of a cup. I really like the gooey wet texture of the jam along side the cookie-like texture of the bottom layer of the bars. By the way, I used Trader Joe's Organic Raspberry Jam, and damn if it isn't the best jam I've ever tasted. I can't put my finger on why it is so good, it just is. Also, I left out the coconut extract (I didn't have any) and increased the vanilla extract amount from 1/4 teaspoon to a full teaspoon. Lets just say this recipe barely made it long enough to be photographed. That may be an exaggeration, but not by much.

I wonder if I'll fit into my bikini this year?