Vegetable, Lemon and Herb Cream Cheese Bagel

 Only a few ingredients mixed together in a bowl, spread on a fresh bagel…so simple yet so delicious! Unfortunately, here on the Gold Coast bagels are hard to find and most of the time we have to substitute them.

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Chopped Vegetables & Herbs Cream Cheese Bagel
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 1 (227g) vegan cream cheese (homemade-- see recipe-- or store bought)
  2. 1/4 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
  3. 1/4 cup yellow bell pepper, finely chopped
  4. 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
  5. 1 tbsp finely chopped chives
  6. 1/8 tsp lemon zest
  7. 1 garlic, pressed through garlic press
  8. Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  9. 2 bagels, toasted or your favorite type of bread
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and spread on bagels or toasted long fermented sourdough bread slices.
http://plantbasedhappy.com/

Vegan Creme Cheese Sandwich with Peppers, Cucumbers & Tomatoes

 Our kids all still young and they can only fit a medium thick sandwich into their mouth :). Therefore I place only one type of veggies in the sandwich and serve the others on the side. My son actually prefers all his veggies on the side, because he doesn’t like his sandwich “to get all soggy”…

Vegan Creme Cheese Sandwich with Peppers, Cucumbers & Tomatoes
Serves 2
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Ingredients
  1. 4 slices long fermented sourdough bread
  2. Vegan creme cheese (store bought or homemade- see recipe)
  3. 1/2 red bell pepper
  4. 1/4 cucumber, sliced
  5. 1 tomato, sliced
Instructions
  1. Toast bread and spread creme cheese on top. Add tomato slices and top with other slice of bread.
  2. Serve peppers and cucumbers on the side.
http://plantbasedhappy.com/
 

Marinated Beets

Beets are one of our favorite foods. Beets are highly nutritious root vegetables.

BEETS are an amazing source of a broad range of vitamins, antioxidants, minerals and fiber, which may improve your health in several ways:

  • Liver protective: Beets contain the bioactive agent betaine which stimulates the function of liver cells and protects the liver and bile ducts;
  • “Blood builders”: high iron content in raw beets can be helpful for people who suffer from anaemia and fatigue;
  • Protective in regards to spinal cord defects, such as spina bifida, because of their high folic acid content (which is crucial to the development of a baby’s spinal cord)
  • Strong bones: Beets contain the mineral silica, which helps the body to utilize calcium, so it’s important for musculo-skeletal health and reducing the risk of osteoporosis.
  • Stress relief: Beets are a unique source of betaine, a nutrient that helps protects cells, proteins, and enzymes from environmental stress.
  • Cancer fighting potential: The powerful phytonutrients that give beets their deep crimson color may help to ward off cancer.
  • Detox properties: The betalin pigments in beets support your body’s Phase 2 detoxification process, which is when broken down toxins are bound to other molecules so they can be excreted from your body.

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IMG_7668There are a lot of ways to cook beets. In this recipe, I’ll show you how easy it is to marinate them. I keep the marinated beet slices in a mason jar in the fridge and use them in sandwiches and salads. Simply steam the beets and cut them in slices. They make nasty stains so make sure you are wearing an apron to protect your clothes and gloves to avoid staining your fingers.

 the The red color of the beets is called betanin. Betanin is a glucoside, and hydrolyzes into the sugar glucose and betanidin. It is used as a food coloring agent, and the color is sensitive to pH.

Our daughter loves the combination of chickpeas and beets. use a can of chickpeas, rinse and drain them well and mix them with marinated beetroot pieces. Truly addictive!! But not really a dish you want to send to school (stains!!).

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Add them to mushroom burgers or avocado sandwiches… or use cooked and pureed beet roots in a brownie recipe!

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Simple Marinated Beets
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
25 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 red or orange beet roots
  2. 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  3. 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  4. 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Instructions
  1. Wash the beets.
  2. Steam them in a pot with steamer insert until soft, for about 15 minutes.
  3. Let the beets cool off, peel them and cut them in slices.
  4. Transfer them to a bow, and mix with the oil, and vinegar.
  5. Keep in a mason jar with a tight fitting lid in the fridge.
Notes
  1. The cooking time really depends on the size of the beets. Check with a fork whether they are tender.
http://plantbasedhappy.com/
 

Red Beet Pomegranate Walnut Dip

I bought a delicious looking spread at a gourmet supermarket some time ago. The combination on the label intrigues me- a combination of nuts, red beets and pomegranates. It was quite pricey and so I decided to create a similar recipe. The only ingredient that was tricky to get was pomegranate molasses.

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IMG_6940As I have been very busy lately I was in no mood to make my own molasses (sometimes you can’t do it all…) and tried for over a week to find it. Finally, I was successful and got this beautiful bootle of pomegranate molasses. Premium quality Lebanon pomegranate molasses at an upscale supermarket.

Once I had the molasses, the rest was fairly easy. And the result amazing! This dip/ spread tastes wonderful!

We dipped vegetable sticks into it, used it in combination with other veggies in sandwiches, some of them toasted, and even combined them with a plant-based coleslaw that I had in the fridge. No matter which combinations we tried, they all tasted great.

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Finally, I threw together my leftovers in a sandwich (coleslaw, pomegranate spread and avocado) and had little hope that it would turn out edible, but once again IT WAS DELICIOUS!!

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I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as we did!

Red Beet Pomegranate Walnut Dip
Yields 2
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 medium beetroot, washed
  2. 1 cups walnuts, lightly toasted
  3. 3 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  4. 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  5. Sea salt to taste (at least 1 tsp)
  6. Fresh mint (about 8-10 leaves)
  7. Cinnamon
Instructions
  1. I recommend wearing gloves when you handle the beets as they will stain your fingers. Cut the stalks and 'tails' off the beetroot and quarter them. Steam the beets for about 15 minutes until soft. Let them cool off, then peel or rub off the skin if necessary.
  2. Meanwhile, toast the walnuts. Spread them on a silicone mat and toast at 375F (170C) for 10 minutes in the oven. Halfway through the baking time, shake them up a little.
  3. In a food processor, process the beetroot, toasted walnuts, the oil, the pomegranate molasses and a pinch of salt into the food processor and pulse to chop - I prefer a slightly crunchy texture rather than a very smooth paste.
  4. Serve at room temperature.
  5. Will keep in a closed container for several days in the fridge.
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Portobello Spinach Tartines

 

These tartines are a great appetizer or small snack. They taste absolutely delicious!

It’s very easy to make roasted garlic yourself: Trim the tops of a whole garlic bulb to expose the cloves, set on a piece of aluminum foil and rub with olive oil. Wrap tightly up in foil and bake 30 minutes at 400F (200C). Cool and store in the fridge up to 6 days. To use, squeeze garlic from cloves.

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Portobello Spinach Tartines
Serves 2
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup of soft tofu
  2. 5 cloves roasted garlic
  3. 1 large portobello mushroom, sliced
  4. 1 shallot, sliced
  5. 3 cups baby spinach leaves
  6. 1 6" long whole wheat baguette, sliced lengthwise
  7. Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. In a food processor or blender, process tofu and garlic until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium/ high heat and sauté mushroom slices and shallot until softened, for about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Stir in spinach and sauté until wilted. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat.
  4. Meanwhile, toast the baguette slices in the oven.
  5. Spread tofu garlic mixture onto the baguette halves and top with mushroom spinach mixture.
http://plantbasedhappy.com/
 

Coleslaw Avocado Sandwich

This coleslaw recipe is a wonderful light version of a traditional mayonnaise laden coleslaw. Nevertheless, it is crunchy and a little creamy.

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I only had white cabbage at home but the coleslaw would look more impressive if you used both white and purple cabbage.

Cabbage is a member of the cruciferous vegetables just like broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, and bok choy. They all contain phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals and fiber that are important to our health. In fact, health agencies recommend that we eat several servings per week of cruciferous vegetables.

Just a little note on the side- cabbage provides you with more cholesterol-lowering benefits if steamed. Raw cabbage still has cholesterol-lowering ability, just not as much as steamed cabbage. Cabbage in general is an especially good source of Sinigrin. Sinigrin is one of the cabbage glucosinolates that has received special attention in cancer prevention research.

Our children prefer more veggies and less dressing. If you like more creamy coleslaw, simply add more dressing.

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 Dig in and enjoy your cruciferous veggies!

 
Coleslaw Avocado Sandwich
Serves 4
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
5 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
5 min
For the salad
  1. 1 large carrot, shredded (about 2 cups)
  2. 1/4 white cabbage (about 2 cups) or mix purple and white cabbage, shredded
For the dressing
  1. 2 tbsp pine nuts
  2. 2 tbsp activated blanched almonds* (I used almond flakes)
  3. 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  4. 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  5. 1/2 tsp dijon or whole grain mustard
  6. 1 tsp honey (optional)
For the sandwiches
  1. 8 slices whole grain or gluten free bread
  2. 2 avocados, pitted and sliced
  3. 1/2 lemon
  4. Freshly ground black pepper
  5. Fine sea salt
Instructions
  1. To make the dressing, combine all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Adjust to taste.
  2. In a bowl, mix the dressing well with the shredded carrot and cabbage.
  3. Divide the avocado slices among 4 slices of bread and squish them with a fork. Drizzle with a tiny bit of lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Add coleslaw and top with the plain bread slices.
  4. In a panini grill, toast until light brown. joy warm or cold.
Notes
  1. *activating means soaking nuts overnight, rinsing them well, draining and drying them in a dehydrator or oven. Why is this important? To reduce phytic acid.
http://plantbasedhappy.com/

Fake Egg Salad

 This recipe looks like egg salad and tastes somewhat like egg salad,  but is completely cholesterol free and healthy. On the picture you can see a pita bread filled with the salad. Today, I would use a proper long fermented sourdough bread instead of pita bread.

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Fake Egg Salad
Serves 4
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 package extra firm tofu, drained
  2. 1/2 cup dairy free mayonnaise
  3. 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  4. 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  5. 1 tsp turmeric
  6. 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  7. 2 tsp rice vinegar
  8. 1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp sweet onion, minced
  9. Pita bread, cut in half
  10. Salad leaves, washed
Instructions
  1. Wrap Tofu in paper towels and gently squeeze as much water out as possible.Cut tofu in small cubes.
  2. Heat a medium pan over medium heat and saute tofu cubes for a few minutes. let cool off for a few minutes.
  3. Combine tofu with the remaining ingredients except the salad in a bowl.
  4. Fill pita bread halves with tofu salad and add salad leaves.
http://plantbasedhappy.com/

Lemon Basil Cashew Spread

What is yellow, cheesy and super healthy…nutritional yeast flakes. We love the taste of them, but there are a few more reasons to eat nutritional yeast on a regular basis:

  • It is a plant source of Vitamin B12. This crucial nutrient is involved in the production of red blood cells and in producing and maintaining myelin, the protective insulation around nerves. Most sources of Vitamin B-12 are animal based, so nutritional yeast is a major player in the nutritional wellbeing of vegans and vegetarians. One tablespoon will provide an adult with a full day’s supply of B-12.Filled with vitamin B’s, nutritional yeast boasts trace minerals and, being a complete, bioavailable source of protein, contains all 18 amino acids.
  • It is rich in folic acid. Folic acid is a form of the water-soluble vitamin B9. Folic acid is a key factor in the synthesis of nucleic acid – nucleic acid is one of a family of large molecules including DNA  and RNA. The human body does not store folic acid, we have to consume it every day in order to make sure we have adequate amounts.
  • It is not only high in protein, but also contains all 18 amino acids. 2 tablespoons of the yellow flakes contain 9 grams of protein. That’s more than in 1 cup of whole milk (8g), a large egg (6g).
  • Nutritional yeast is high in fiber, which is essential for the proper function of our digestive system.

Spreads and dips are a great way to add nutritional yeast to.

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Another great way is to sprinkle the flakes on cauliflower, together with a little bit of olive oil. Then bake in the oven until golden brown. Yummy!!

 
Lemon Basil Cashew Spread
Yields 1
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for 30 mins or overnight
  2. 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  3. 2 tbsp lemon juice
  4. 1/4 cup water (or more as needed)
  5. 2 large handful fresh basil leaves
  6. 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  7. 1/2 tsp fine sea salt (or to taste)
  8. freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  9. 1/2 tsp onion powder
Instructions
  1. Drain and rinse soaked cashews. With the food processor turned on, drop in the garlic cloves and process until chopped.
  2. Add in the rest of the ingredients and process until smooth, scraping down the bowl as needed.
http://plantbasedhappy.com/

Fermented Vegetables

Though the term “fermented” sounds vaguely distasteful, the results of this ancient preparation and preservation technique – produced through the breakdown of carbohydrates and proteins by microorganisms such as bacteria, yeasts, and molds – are actually delicious.

First of all, “lacto” doesn’t have anything to do with dairy. Secondly, lacto-fermentation is not a weird or even frightening process that involves bubbling jars filled with mysterious contents. Lacto-fermentation is in fact SUPER easy and takes only a few minutes of your time. Lacto refers to lactic acid that is being produced by beneficial bacteria like lactobacillus acidophilus. Fermented foods are so beneficial to overall health that some of these foods are now considered to be “probiotics,” increasing your overall nutrition, promoting the growth of friendly intestinal bacteria, and aiding digestion and supporting immune function, including an increase in B vitamins (even Vitamin B12), omega-3 fatty acids, digestive enzymes, lactase and lactic acid, and other immune chemicals that fight off harmful bacteria and even cancer cells.

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How to ferment vegetables:

  1. download (19)Pile the ingredients (any type of vegetable like cabbage, carrots, bell peppers etc) in a jar. I prefer to use a jar with an airlock which releases carbon dioxide produced during fermentation but block out oxygen. But again, you can use any jar, even a plain old mason jar. if you don’t use an airlock system, you have to open the jar once a day to release the carbon dioxide.
  2. Add salted water, cover the jar and let the bacteria work. Vegetables create their own brine when salt is added. Make sure the vegetables are completely submerged in the water. You can use a small bowl or jar to weigh down the vegetables and keep them submerged. This helps to prevent mold growth. Discard any vegetables that may have floated to the surface and skim off any mold that has been formed. Fear not- as long as there is no mold among the vegetables they are perfectly fine to eat. You can drink the brine (haven’t tried that yet), add it to dressings or use it for your next fermentation project.

I could hardly wait to try my fermented veggies- on the third day, I made myself a delicious sandwich and piled up avocado drizzled with lemon juice, lemon and olive oil marinated chopped kale, dijon mustard, pumpkin seeds and fermented red cabbage and red bell pepper.

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The cauliflower florets were too big for the sandwich. I was simply blown away by the slightly sour but incredibly tasty addition to my -otherwise- plain old sandwich. I think I am officially hooked on fermented veggies! JUHUU!

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By the way, I grilled the sandwich in our panini press.

Lacto-fermented vegetables
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup carrot slices
  2. 1 cup red bell pepper strips
  3. 1 cup red cabbage, thinly cut
  4. 1 cup small cauliflower florets
  5. 1 quart filtered water (=scant litre of water)
  6. 2 1/2 tbsp fine sea salt NON IODISED (iodine can inhibit fermentation)
  7. 1 bay leave
  8. 1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed
  9. 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
  10. 1/4 tsp black peppercorns
Instructions
  1. Combine water and salt in a measuring cup and stir until the salt is dissolved (you can warm up the water to dissolve the salt but let it cool off to room temperature before adding it to the jar).
  2. Place the remaining ingredients in a very clean large jar.
  3. Add salted water. if necessary add more water to completely cover the vegetables.
  4. Add a small bowl or jar to weigh down the vegetables.
  5. Close the lid and let the jar stand on the counter.
  6. Open the jar once a day to try the flavour. Skim off any mold that has formed on the surface.
  7. When the pickles taste to your liking, transfer the jar to the refrigerator. This will slow down the fermentation process.
http://plantbasedhappy.com/

Lemon Parsley Hummus

 I use this delicious hummus in veggie wraps or as a dip. Try to blend it with sun- dried tomatoes instead of  parsley for a different version.

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Lemon Parsley Hummus
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Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 3/4 cup cashews, soaked overnight
  2. 1 1/2- 2 tbsp lemon juice
  3. Zest of 1/2 organic lemon
  4. 1 1/2 tbsp hulled tahini
  5. Handful fresh parsley
  6. 1 garlic clove, minced
  7. 1/4 cup filtered water
  8. Sea salt, freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.
  2. Store in the fridge in an airtight container up to 1 week.
http://plantbasedhappy.com/