Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Food Journey: Healthy Vegan Holiday Options

Hi Folks!

Due to participating in my first Fall CSA, I have been laden with awesome produce. About 50% of each shipment has been root vegetables.  Many of which, I've never eaten before such as radishes, turnips and rutabagas.  I have been exploring new recipes and I've come up with a few to share as part of the Healthy Holiday Food Carnival sponsored by Soul Food Therapy.

Check out 3 yummy holiday alternatives I've made using my CSA treasures!

#1 - Root Vegetable Mash (vegan, soy, gluten free)

Root vegetables are full of minerals and are in abundance during the cold weather months.  This is a good alternative to the classic mash potatoes we consume for holiday dinners.  This simple recipe actually calls for some tubers in the form of white and orange sweet potatoes and regular white potatoes. You'll get more minerals with this mashed recipe.

1 large turnip
1 white sweet potato
1 orange sweet potato
4 white potatoes
hemp seed milk
coconut oil
garlic (fresh)
cilantro (to garnish)

1. Cut up all vegetables in small pieces
2. Boil until soft
3. Drain water
4. Mash with standard potato masher
5. Add coconut oil, hemp seed milk and other seasonings to desired taste and consistency

You can add any herbs you wish.  Dill would be a great addition to this dish!

Time: 25 minutes

#2 - Curry Lentil Soup (vegan, soy, gluten, free):

Soup is just right for the cold weather season plus it's a good appetizer for the big holiday meal that's coming up.  Here is a twist on the run of the mill lentil soup I make quite often for Caleb. It's filled with carrots, turnips and hearty potatoes.

2 cups of green lentils (soaked overnight)
1/4 cups of black beans (soaked overnight)
1 onion
1 large turnip
1 potato
1 large carrot
1 small butternut squash
2 cloves (fresh garlic)
2 tsp of curry powder
salt to taste
coconut oil
coriander seed to taste
2 -3 large bay leaves

1.  Soak beans and lentils overnight (or quick 2 hour quick soak)
2. Wash beans, lentils, coriander seeds and bay leaves and boil until semi tender (20 minutes).
3. Add onions and cook for 10 minutes
4. Add carrots, turnip, potato, butternut squash and cook until veggies are tender
5. Add curry powder and salt
5. If water level gets low, add more.
6. After all vegetables are tender add garlic and carrots.  Cook for an additional 2- 5 minutes.
7. Lastly add coconut oil.  Stir well and let the soup sit for 15 minutes prior to eating so all the flavors can mingle.

The key to making soup is to start cooking the ingredients that take the longest first.  Then add the other ingredients according to their cooking times.  I add most spices and oils towards the end to retain their medicinal properties.  Heat can remove key nutrients and degrade flavor (like garlic).

Time: 30 - 35 minutes.


#3 - Peppery Sautéed Kale (vegan, soy, gluten free)

Kale has been called the Queen of the greens!  It's full of vitamins, minerals and even protein.  I received some Russian baby kale in the latest CSA shipment so I had to figure out what to do with it.  I wasn't in a juicing mood, so I decided to sautee it.  Although raw is the best way to eat leafy greens sauteeing helps retain some vitamins and keeps the minerals on your plate so you don't loose them to the leftover pot liquor. Great alternative to the boiled down greens we typically eat.

1 bunch of Russian baby kale (although any kale will do)
1/2 onion
2 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon of coconut oil
cumin to taste
banana peppers to taste
salt to taste

1. Wash kale
2. Chop onions and garlic and sautee until tender or brown in coconut oil
3. Add kale and sautee for about 2-5 minutes.  Don't let the kale get too soft or discolored.
4. Add cumin, salt and banana peppers
5. Remove from heat and enjoy!

I encourage you to deviate and free style any recipes in this post and on my blog.  Add any ingredients your taste buds are yearning for to make it your own.

Hope your holiday season is full of yummy healthy alternatives!

Peace and blessings!