Tuesday, September 18, 2018

tofu pokē

Here is another recipe that I make all the time but somehow I have never posted! Hawaiian pokē is traditionally made with raw fish, onion, and limu (seaweed). Check out my beetroot pokē for another vegan version of this island style dish.

tofu pokē
  • 1 block tofu, extra firm
  • 1 small sweet onion (Maui onion if you are in Hawaii!)
  • 1 Tbsp Bragg's amino acids
  • 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp furikake (or combination of seaweed flakes and sesame seeds) 

Before cutting the tofu into bite sized cubes, drain and press it between two tea towels or paper towels for a few minutes to get out some of the excess moisture. Adding some weight on top, such as a bowl or pan, will help.

While the tofu is draining, thinly slice the onion. Whisk together the Bragg's, rice vinegar, and sesame oil. Cut the tofu into bite sized cubes and combine all ingredients in a bowl. Toss to combine and refrigerate. Allow pokē to marinate for 30 minutes to a few hours, or even overnight.

Enjoy as an appetizer (pupu) or add to a salad or buddha bowl. This is great with greens and brown rice, or chilled soba noodles, as pictured here.

Thursday, August 30, 2018


Fermenting foods not only extends the storage life of fruits and veggies, but it also enhances their nutritional profile by adding, you guessed it, bacteria! These bacteria are not bad, in fact they play a critical role in maintaining the ecosystem of our bodies. We are host to trillions of bugs, both on and in our bodies, that maintain our immunity and prevent diseases. Fermented foods contain both probiotics, the bacteria themselves, and prebiotics, food for the bacteria. Incorporating these types of foods into your diet helps grow a healthy gut garden.

I was skeptical of home fermenting at first but now I have been doing it for years and am constantly cultivating something in my kitchen. I have a whole fermentation shelf! This kimchi is super simple, quick to prepare, and the perfect amount of spice.

Homemade kimchi
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 inch piece of ginger
  • 1 Hawaiian chili pepper (or 1 Tbsp chili flakes)
  • 2 Tbsp salt
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 daikon
  • 3 green onions
  • 1 head wombok (aka Chinese cabbage, napa cabbage)

Place the garlic, ginger, salt, and chili pepper into a food processor and blend until smooth. In this batch I used Alaea sea salt so the mixture is a bit pinker and chunkier, but with regular salt it becomes sort of a paste.

Grate or shred the carrots and daikon. I have a julienne peeler that I use to make longer strips. Chop the green onions into 1 cm pieces and the wombok into 1 inch pieces.

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Using clean hands, massage the wombok until the liquid begins to pool in the bottom of the bowl. The salt and pressure from massage will help draw the moisture from the vegetables, making the brine for your kimchi. If your hands get tired just take a break! Cover the bowl and set it aside for 10 to 15 minutes, letting time do some of the work. You are ready to jar your kimchi when it has almost halved in volume.

Sanitize a large mouth mason jar with boiling water by either submerging it or pouring it over top. When the glass has cooled slightly start to pack your kimchi into the jar. This size batch usually fits into one quart sized jar. Press kimchi down with each handful, removing any air pockets and allowing the brine to cover the kimchi. If there is any remaining brine in the bowl pour it on top, all veggies should be fully submerged in brine. Top with an airlock lid or a breathable material such as fabric, cheese cloth, or a coffee filter.

Store in a cool dark place in your kitchen. Check kimchi daily, you will need to pack it down as the fermentation creates bubbles throughout the jar. Try to keep the top layer fully submerged in brine throughout the fermentation process. In the heat and humidity of Hawaii, fermentation happens quick. My kimchi is ready within 4-7 days. Taste test along the way to get it how you like it, in colder climates it may take up to 10-14 days. Once it's ready put a proper lid on the jar and place it in the fridge. Refrigeration will slow the fermentation considerably, making it last for weeks in the fridge.

My fermenting adventures were inspired by My New Roots, click the link to check out their Fabulous Fermentation Week post. 

For more info on the microbiome I highly recommend Robynne Chutkan's The Microbiome Solution, or check out her website and blog, Gutbliss.

Friday, August 3, 2018

miso butternut squash tacos

It doesn't have to be Tuesday to have tacos in my house. I love Mexican inspired cuisine. It is so simple and versatile, easy to load up the veggies and still pack with spice and flavor. This dish is a fusion, pairing classic tacos with miso coated butternut and homemade kimchi on top. I am in complete content with these tacos and a fresh margarita. Yes.

As for my homemade kimchi, I just realized I have never done a blog post for it! I have posted homemade saurkraut and karrot kraut, but never my own kimchi recipe. It is so simple, spicy, and I can get everything at the local farmer's market. Until I get that posted, check out My New Roots Fabulous Fermentation Week post, I used this recipe the first time I made kimchi and have adjusted it from there.

And on to the tacos. The farmer's market always has these cute little butternuts for only $1 each! So naturally, I buy two or three. Each one is the perfect size for dinner for two. Miso is another fermented food that I always keep in my fridge. I use it in dressings, sauces, soups, and even spread it on toast with avocado, yum. There are several types of miso paste in stores today, my favorite is Japanese style red miso. Most importantly, I look for the one with the least ingredients.

Stock your tequila shelf and start squeezing some lime because you'll want a margarita with this dinner!

miso butternut squash tacos
  • 1 small butternut squash (about 2 cups peeled and cubed) 
  • 1 Tbsp miso paste
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 2 tsp cornstarch 
  • corn tortillas
  • your choice of toppings- avocado, salsa, cucumbers, red onion, cilantro, or in my case-- kimchi

Peel and cube the squash. Whisk together the miso paste with hot water and cornstarch in the bottom of a mixing bowl. Add the squash and toss to coat. Pour the squash with remaining miso mixture onto a lined baking sheet and spread out into one layer. Bake at 400 degrees F for about 10 minutes, flip and bake for 5 more minutes.

Meanwhile heat up those tortillas and prep your toppings. I like to wrap the tortillas in foil and throw them in the oven at the same time, but you could also heat them on the stove top.

When squash is tender, remove from the oven. Assemble and enjoy!

Saturday, July 7, 2018

broc tots

Yasss! A healthy take on an old favorite. Revamped from the lunch room tray, pre-fried, and frozen version to full of greens, flavors, and oven baked!

broc tots
  • 1 large russet potato
  • 1/2 lb. broccoli florets
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 small or 1/2 large onion
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup garbanzo bean flour

Peel and cube the potato. Boil until just fork tender and drain. Steam the broccoli florets for just a few minutes, also until fork tender and bright green. In a food processor add the garlic cloves and roughly chopped onion. Process until fully minced then add the cooked potato cubes. Pulse until crumbly with no big chunks. If the potatoes are cooked more they won't crumble but mash in the food processor, but both ways work! Transfer into a bowl. Add the steamed broccoli to the food processor and pulse until crumbly as well, no big chunks but not smooth. Transfer the broccoli to the bowl and add the remaining ingredients; oil, salt, and garbanzo bean flour.

Stir to combine completely. The mixture should be thick enough to handle and shape your tots, if it's not, add more garbanzo flour, a little at a time. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and start shaping your tots! You can do whatever size and shape you want, I like two-bite-sized. Once all are shaped and arranged on the baking tray, pop it in the oven at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes. Flip the tots with tongs or a spatula and bake another 10 minutes. They should be a little golden on each size and hold together enough to grab and dip! Yum!

So good with guacamole or herbed lemon tahini dressing. Happy summer!

Friday, June 29, 2018

fig macs

Fig Newtons have been around since 1891! Can you believe that? Needless to say, they are a classic fruity biscuit that was much in need of a healthy upgrade. No offense Fig Newtons. So here is my version: raw, vegan, completely unprocessed, Fig Macs.

These tasty treats are surprisingly easy to make and assemble, and only have 4 main ingredients!

Fig Macs
  • 8 dates, pitted and soaked
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 8 dried figs, soaked
  • sprinkle of flax meal 

Start by pitting the dates and soaking them for a few minutes in warm water. Soak the figs as well while you prepare the rest of the "cookie" coating. Place the oats and walnuts in a food processor and blend into a coarse meal. Drain the dates and add them to the food processor. Blend until a dough is formed.

Transfer the dough into a mixing bowl and divide into two even halves. Line a square or rectangular container or dish with parchment paper. My container is about 8X4 inches. Flatten out half of the cookie mixture into the bottom of the container, making sure to press evenly all the way to the edges.

Drain the figs and blend in the food processor until smooth (ish). Using a rubber spatula, spread the fig filling on top of the bottom layer of cookie. For the top layer, flatten out the cookie dough in your hands as much as possible before placing it on top of the fig layer. It's fine if it breaks into a few pieces because once it is layered you can flatten it and connect the pieces with your fingers. I like to fold over the edges of the parchment paper so I have a less sticky surface to flatten and compress.

Sprinkle with flax meal (optional, just for texture) and place in the freezer for at least one hour. To remove the entire thing from the container just lift the sides of the parchment paper. Place onto a cutting board and unwrap. Slice into even bars, store in the refrigerator, and enjoy!

Sunday, June 10, 2018

easy baked tofu

Summer is here! I am finished with school (finally!) and ready to play and surf all summer! I'll have more time on my hands so I'm planning on posting a lot more recipes, stay tuned!

I am always looking for new ways to prepare tofu. It's a great addition to the vegan diet but can be a bit boring. Not when baked into savory nuggets!

easy baked tofu
  • 1 block tofu
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp Bragg's amino acids (or soy sauce)
  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp water

Drain the tofu from the package and then place it in a colander with a few paper towels. Cover with another paper towel and weigh it down with a bowl or something with a flat bottom. I usually place something heavy in the bowl to really squeeze the water out. Let it drain for at least 10 minutes.

Whisk together all of the remaining ingredients in a large mixing bowl. After draining the tofu cut it into even cubes and add to the mixing bowl. Gently toss to coat the tofu completely.

Spread evenly on a lined baking tray and cover with any remaining sauce. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool slightly and enjoy! These little nuggets are perfect on a salad or buddah bowl.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

protein energy bites

Upon many requests, here are two versions of protein energy bites that I have made for Free Snack Friday's at Orangetheory! These are super easy and versatile, I'll give you a few options here but be creative and add whatever you want!

  • 10 oz dates (15-16 pitted dates)
  • 10 oz oats (3 cups)
  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder (or chocolate)
  • 1/4 cup cacao nibs
  • 1/4 cup almond butter (or peanut butter, or tahini)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • pinch of salt

Pit the dates by cutting them in half and then soak them for a few minutes in hot water. This will soften them enough to blend easily. While the dates are soaking add the oats and protein powder to a food processor and blend into a coarse meal. Transfer the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl. Drain the dates and add them to the food processor along with the almond butter, maple syrup, and a pinch of salt.

Transfer the wet ingredients into the mixing bowl and add the cacao nibs. Mix everything together with a spatula as much as possible and then completely combine using your hands. If your mixture is really sticky you can put it in the fridge for 15 min to 1 hour before rolling into balls. Section off and roll into balls. Makes 25-30 depending on the size. Roll in desiccated coconut if desired. 

These are the best post workout snacks! Keep them in the fridge and enjoy! 

Saturday, April 21, 2018

vegan potato curry

You may have seen pictures of this dish a while ago on my Instagram feed as meal prep, and now here's the recipe. The first time I made this I just threw it together because we had a huge bag of red potatoes from Costco that needed to be eaten, and it turned out ahhhhmazing! So I recreated it so you can all enjoy it too! Oh, and it works really well as leftovers during the week. 

vegan potato curry
  • 2.5 lbs. small red potatoes (about 10-12)
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 2 small or 1 large onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1-2 Tbsp red curry paste (depending on spiciness)
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 2/3 cup water
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp alaea sea salt
  • 2 cups frozen peas
  • 2 huge handfuls of greens (spinach, chopped kale, etc)
Chop onions, garlic, and red bell pepper. Heat the coconut oil in a large pot and add onions, garlic, and bell pepper. While these are sauteing, chop the potatoes into bite-sized cubes. When the onions and peppers are soft add the potatoes and the curry paste to the pot. Stir to coat entirely, cook for a few minutes. Add the coconut milk, water, paprika, and salt. Simmer with the lid off for about 30-40 minutes. When the potatoes are soft and beginning to fall apart add the peas and greens. Stir to combine and heat all the way through. Ready to eat! 

print recipe

vegan potato curry
perfect curry for lunch leftovers!
  • 2.5 lbs red potatoes
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 2 small or 1 large onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1-2 Tbsp red curry paste
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 2/3 cup water
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups frozen peas
  • 2 handfuls greens
Chop onions, garlic, and red bell pepperHeat the coconut oil in a large pot and add onions, garlic, and bell pepperWhile these are sauteing, chop the potatoes into bite-sized cubesWhen the onions and peppers are soft add the potatoes and the curry paste to the potStir to coat entirely, cook for a few minutesAdd the coconut milk, water, paprika, and saltSimmer with the lid off for about 30-40 minutesWhen the potatoes are soft and beginning to fall apart add the peas and greensStir to combine and heat all the way through
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 6-8

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

vegan quesadillas

What do you call a quesadilla without cheese? If the literal translation is "little cheesy thing" then how do we call its vegan version? Verdurdilla? I don't think that's a word, but neither is "zoodles" or "chick'n", so making words up is totally legit in the world of vegan food. For now, before I coin verdurdilla, I'll just stick with vegan quesadillas. It's easily translatable to an edible equivalent and won't sound like gibberish in more than one language.

Life without cheese seems impossible to a lot of people. It is the number one reaction I get when I talk to people about eating vegan, "I could never give up cheese!" And I was the exact same way! Trust me, it isn't easy at first. No one is asking you to give up the things you love most, but when you start to eat more plant based, your mindset shifts. Sure, I saw changes in my body, my skin was clearer and my digestion more consistent, but I also started to pay a lot more attention to what my food is made of, where it comes from, and how it makes me feel. So do I still miss my cheese? Not a chance.

The same thing happened to my husband. He was convinced that a sandwich wasn't a sandwich unless it had cheese. Then, slowly but surely, he started cutting out the cheese and is now completely cheese free! His sandwiches are full of any fresh veggies, roasted veggies, roasted potatoes or sweet potatoes, veggie burgers, tofu, tempeh, hummus, pesto, and sometimes some smoked salmon or hard boiled eggs, but no cheese. There's no room for cheese anymore.

My brother and sister-in-law have a similar story. Cheesaholics turned vegan who have now been 100% plant based for almost two years! I know, you want me to get to the recipe, I'm getting there! I just wanted you to know that you are not alone and that if others have overcome their cheese addiction, so can you.

Ok, moving on.

sweet potato quesadillas
  • roasted sweet potato
  • olive oil
  • mushrooms
  • onions
  • spinach
  • 2 tortillas (at least)

Start by roasting a sweet potato in the oven, about 30-40 min at 400 degrees F. Check if it's done by piercing with a fork. Slice onion and mushrooms and saute in olive oil. 

Season veggies with salt and pepper and set aside. I scraped them onto a plate so I could use the same pan to grill my quesadilla. Sprinkle the bottom of the pan with salt and lay down the bottom tortilla. Spread it with mashed sweet potato, some greens (spinach, kale, chard, arugula, etc.), and mushroom and onion mixture. 

Top with another tortilla and turn on the heat! There is obviously no cheese here to melt so pay attention to how crisp the tortilla gets, this is your call when to flip and crisp up the other side. 

Remove from heat and slice up to serve. I didn't even need toppings for this bad boy but fresh salsa or guacamole would compliment it nicely. Enjoy!