Thursday, March 17, 2011

Super Easy Banana Smoothie & Black Bean Puree

I had leftover cilantro salsa from yesterday's tacos, so I threw it in the frying pan with 1/2 can of black beans and veggies.

To accompany the tacos, I turned the other 1/2 can of black beans into a puree by processing them with 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1/2 tsp paprika, dash cayenne, dash cracked black pepper, dash garlic powder, dash cumin.

Then, I made the easiest and creamiest banana smoothie ever. I remember when I was younger and my friends and I would go to this smoothie place on the outskirts of town and the servers would look at me like I was insane when I requested "just bananas". They fools, homie.

Easy Banana Smoothie
1 large banana
1 1/2 cup of ice
1 cup unsweetened Almond Milk (mine is only 35 calories per cup)
1/2 cup orange juice

You could toss in a couple of tablespoons of peanut butter (for protein), some strawberries, or 6 oz of soy yogurt. I find that the simple combo of almond milk and bananas makes for the best smoothie/milkshake. The unsweetened milk is the best because it has a simple smooth flavor, much like mellow bananas themselves.

Okay, now off to dinner to try a new restaurant & some Jameson.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Cilantro-Lime Tofu Tacos! (quick dinners)

I just got back from my latin dance class... and of course I had to come home immediately after and have tacos and beer! This is a quick dish you can cook up in less than twenty minutes.

Cilantro-Lime Tofu Tacos

Taco filling:
(1) I used pre-cut supermarket veggies (onions and peppers), sauteed them in an 1 tbsp of sesame oil (sesame oil doesn't change its molecular structure when heated to high temperatures, thus it stays safe for your heart!). Sautee for about 7 minutes or until the onions are translucent.
(2) Add one 12oz package of firm cubed tofu into the pan, smash with a fork
(3) Top with 8 oz of cilantro-lime salsa. I used Frontera brand, they're great. It's got roasted tomatillo & green pepper. This flavoring will give the tofu a more "chickeny" taste, there's also a great cumin & tomato variety that will give the tofu the "ground beef" flavor we all love in tacos!
(4) Cook for 7 minutes, remove from heat.

I also whipped up a quick guacamole with an avocado, 1/2 white onion, 1/2 tsp garlic, pinch salt, pinch cracked black pepper, 1 tbsp lemon juice. Throw in the food processor and you're done.

Other toppings:
store-bought fresh salsa
1/2 can of corn, seasoned with a bit of cracked pepper and lime juice

2 low-carb whole wheat tortillas, burnt over the grill (you could just use your stove too!)

PS. Bud and Bud-Light are vegan-friendly beers!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Brazilian Orange & Blackberry Cheesecake

Yay, the cheesecake returns! I just finished a massive piece of this and eff, if I do say so myself, it's effing good. The awesomeness makes my brain hurt and also makes me want to samba. But I promise, there's no "goodnight Cinderella" inside of this cake. If you don't know what that is, consider yourself lucky. (Also be careful in Rio).

Brazilian Orange & Blackberry Cheesecake

2 cups of Brazil nuts
juice of 1/2 an orange
rind of 2 oranges
2 tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla

3 1/2 cups cashews (soaked for 1-4 hours)
juice of 1 1/2 orange
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 cup coconut oil
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup honey

1 1/2 pint blackberries, mashed with fork

1) Simple food process all of the ingredients for the crust and then press them into a 9-inch pie plate.

pretty grated orange rind!

2) Next food process all filling ingredients. Make sure to melt down the coconut oil in a small bag (it's easy to do this in a bowl of hot water) to liquify it. Pour the filling mixture over the crust. Let this sit in the freezer for 4 hours, yo.

It was so sunny and wonderful today!

3. Take cake out of the freezer. Mash up the 1 1/2 pint of blackberries with a fork in a small bowl and spread over the top of the cheesecake. Serve!

You can store this in the fridge for up to 5 days. Or until the blackberries start to get moldy. Yeeeah.

Vegan Vatapá

Your Vegan Zombie is going Brazilian. I've been soooo intensely interested in South American cuisine lately, especially since almost every dish consists some type of meat or lard. My goal is to rework these fabulous and colorful plates so we vegans can enjoy them too! Blasphemy, you say? Hopefully Our Lady of Guadalupe can forgive us, mi amor.

BRAZIL is the best place on the planet.

They have incredible food, art, music, history, people, the Christ the Redeemer Statue (just beautiful, though!), cities, an up and coming economy, sun, the World Cup in 2014 (I am totally going to GO MAN)  ...and uh, did I mention food?

Brazilian cuisine has a wide array of influences including African, Portuguese, and Italian. The food utilizes the country's rich and abundant tropical fruits, the bounty of the gorgeous coastline, and native nuts.

This dish, called vatapá, is typically made as a "seafood stew" and has West African influences. Of course, we couldn't include shrimp like the locals do (or sometimes white fish), so I veganized this puppy with a grain that has a similar rubbery quality to it--- barley. If left a little al dente, you can get the same feeling. For added "seafood" flavor I could have added a little nori, but no one in my family would have eaten it that way... and I'm a slave to feedback and compliments, what can I say?

The brilliant yellow coloring comes from the Brazilian dendê oil, a palm oil frequently used in Brazilian cooking. The texture of this dish is extremely unique... too thick to be a stew. I don't know. It owns.

Vegan Vatapá

2 chopped onions
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
4 malagueta or jalapeño chile peppers, chopped (use 1 or a gentler pepper if you aren't into spicy!)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 cup vegetable stock
1/2 cup organic peanut butter
1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs (or just put two slices of whole wheat bread in a food processor)
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cup barley, cooked and drained
2 cups coconut milk
1/4 cup Dendê oil

1) Chop up the onions, peppers, and garlic. Toss it into the food processor.

2) Add this mixture along with 1/2 cup of your cooked barley onto the stovetop. Cook in 2 tbsps of olive oil for about 7 minutes to meld flavors.

3) Next, add the vegetable stock and peanut butter. Whisk until everything is smooth. Add breadcrumbs, salt, and pepper. Let the mixture boil, then lower the temp to a simmer for another 8 minutes.

4) Add the coconut milk and cook for another 5 minutes on a low temperature.

5) Lastly, stir in the dende oil, remaining barley, and serve! I topped the dish with tomatoes and paprika.