Thursday, July 7, 2011

Strawberry Shortcake

PLEASE NOTE: This recipe was posted prior to Marty's transition to a gluten-free diet. It will be re-written soon to fit into the gluten-free model of this blog!

This dessert was an all-time favorite growing up. It represented the true return of Summer in the flavor of the sun-kissed strawberries. This vegan variation is, in my opinion, even better than what I remember tasting as a child (don't tell my Mother...:)). I found the original recipe for the yummy shortbread and strawberry sauce at, but have altered the ingredients to suit my dietary preferences and re-written the instructions in my own words. This recipe yields 8 servings.

Shortbread Recipe

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2 cups all purpose organic, unbleached flour
1 Tbs. aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
4 Tbs. cold vegan butter, like non-soy Earth Balance
2 Tbs. raw sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk

Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Using a pastry cutter, add the cold vegan butter, cutting the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles course crumbs. Stir in sugar. Add coconut milk and combine just enough to form a soft dough.

Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Kneed dough 6-8 times to form a soft dough. Pat or roll dough to a square or rectangle shape (I do this by hand, no roller), adding a small amount of flour to dough surface if sticking. Cut dough with a knife into 8 rectangles or squares. Place squares onto a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes or until just starting to brown (try to avoid a hard bottom crust).

Cool completely before assembling shortcakes to serve.

Strawberry Sauce

1 pint organic strawberries, washed, topped, and diced small (maybe reserve a few berries for garnishing)
1 - 2 Tbs. raw sugar, based on desired sweetness

Combine diced strawberries and sugar in a small bowl, cover and chill until ready for use.

To assemble your shortcakes, slice each shortcake in half vertically, like you would slice a biscuit to butter it. Place lower half of the shortcake on your serving dish, add about 1/2 cup of the strawberry sauce, and top with the second half of your shortcake. Garnish with reserved sliced strawberries and serve with a dab of vegan whipped cream topping or a scoop of vegan vanilla ice cream. Serve immediately and enjoy thoroughly. :)

Remember, use local and organic foods as much as possible. This is just as important as our choice to remove/reduce animal products from our diet!

*contains gluten, soy-free

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Thai Red Curry (vegan, gluten-free)

Heat over a medium flame:
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
Add and saute until onions become translucent:
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup ginger, sliced thin and small or grated
  • 1 medium jalapeno, diced
  • 8-10 white button or baby Bella mushrooms, sliced thin
Add and saute until zucchini softens
  • 1-2 medium zucchini, in a large julienned-style cut
  • 1 medium tomato, diced or 1 cup Muir Glenn Organic Fire Roasted Crushed Tomatoes (preferred)
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups frozen pea and carrot blend
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, diced
Add and stir until mixed well; bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer for 5-10 minutes:
  • 1-4 Tbsp prepared Thai Red Curry Paste, adjust to desired spicy factor (I used Thai Kitchen brand, labeled vegan)
  • 2-3 cups unsweetened coconut milk
Serve with sticky rice or jasmine rice (both cook in a rice cooker nicely).

Note: You can add a grain/veggie meat to this dish (remember most of these contain gluten and/or soy), like the one pictured here. I sauteed them in a separate pan and added them at the end of the veggies and before the Red Curry paste.

Remember, use local and organic foods as much as possible. This is just as important as our choice to remove/reduce animal products from our diet!

*gluten free if not adding a grain/veggie meat, can be soy free if you choose a non-soy grain/veggie meat or omit

Lemon Ginger Iced Tea (vegan, gluten-free)

Make in advance, needs time to chill!

Brew 12 bags of lemon ginger tea (I used Stash brand) in 4 cups of boiled water for 8-10 minutes for a strong brew; give tea bags a good squeeze upon removal. Add tea to serving jar (10-12 cup capacity, I use a x-large mason jar). In same pot, bring a second 4 cups of water to high enough heat to dissolve 1 cup raw sugar or sweetener of choice. Chill in the refrigerator 4 hours or overnight. Serve with lemon slices and ice if desired. This tea has wonderful healing properties including anti-inflammatory and digestive ease.

Remember, use local and organic foods as much as possible. This is just as important as our choice to remove/reduce animal products from our diet!

*gluten/soy free

Indian Inspired Curry (vegan, gluten-free)

Heat over medium-high flame in a large skillet (steel preferably):
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil 
Add  and let them 'pop' for about 30 seconds:
  • 1 Tbsp whole cumin seed
Add and saute until onions are beginning to become translucent:

  • 1/2 cup (1 small) onion, diced 
  • 1/4 cup fresh ginger root, sliced small and thin or grated
  • 1 medium jalapeno, diced (adjust for desired spicy factor)
  • dash of sea salt
Add and saute until the oil releases from the tomatoes (you will begin to see the oil leaving the ingredients and returning to the pan). Experiment to adjust spices to your preference:
  • 1 medium tomato, diced (or 1 cup Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted Crushed Tomatoes, my preference)
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
Add and saute until veggies are soft:
  • 1 cup frozen broccoli, diced to bite size pieces
  • 1 cup frozen peas and carrot mixture
  • any other veggies that you like such as spinach, green onion, asparagus, etc. (note: if adding mushroom, add them in the second step with the onions)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
Add and cook until milk reaches a soft boil, reduce heat and simmer up to 10 minutes:
  • 1-2 Tbsp agave nectar (adjust to desired sweetness)
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups unsweetened coconut milk (to desired consistency)
  • 1 tsp at a time of corn starch once boiling if you desire a thicker curry
Taste test and adjust spices and add sea salt as desired. Serve over rice or with roti (Indian flat breads).

Note: Top photo of curry is a version with Gardein cutlets (this adds gluten/soy). If you are adding a grain/veggie meat, add this between the onion step and the tomato step.

Remember, use local and organic foods as much as possible. This is just as important as our choice to remove/reduce animal products from our diet!

*gluten and soy-free if not adding a grain/veggie meat.