Bake and Destroy!

by Kelly Behr

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A blogger reached out to us inquiring if we had a good eggs benedict (sans eggs of course!) recipe. And we sure do, in fact it is one of the many recipes in our Celebrations Cookbook. (this is my plug to get everyone to pick one up, and you can thank me later after you fall in love with the shroom burgers) But back to the egg-less benedicts. I wanted to give a shout out to the Bake and Destroy blog which not only has a sweet design behind it but is full of vegan recipes, animal facts and little tid-bits everyone should know to help make our planet a more sustainable place to live.

I invite you to click here to enter the rad world of Bake and Destroy and to see our recipe in all its eggless glory.

V-Lish is Delish

Farm Sanctuary offers a great resource for even more delicious plant-based meals! Try this Mushroom Burger and many more.

Mushroom-Nut-Burgers

Native Foods uses this image courtesy of v-lish.com.

When you choose to go meat-free for lunch, you will soon discover the incredible variety of meat-free foods out there, from standbys like stir-fry to fun new favorites like Southwest Black Bean and Corn Mini Burgers (yes, we have a recipe for that!). Plus, you are taking an important step toward a more vibrant you and a better world for farm animals. Try one of these recipes for lunch today! Click here for the entire recipe!

I Think….Therefore I Cook….

Chef Susen A. Hunter

Native Foods Cafe

 

People often ask me how I come up with recipes so I thought I would take a minute to explain the “process” for me.   The explanation is that there is NO process.  I can find inspiration in a variety of ways –  from tweaking an existing recipe or using a “new” spice, to having a visual in my head and trying to create it, or even just thinking ”what if I…..”.   I LOVE the “what if” game!

There is nothing I find more refreshing than having 3-5 days with nothing do to but be creative in the kitchen.  I may start out with tweaking a recipe only to think of additional new recipes or methods that I want to try.  Or, I may have a theme in mind and try to brainstorm new ways to present foods/flavor profiles that represent that theme. 

I love it when I’m creating new foods and I have a few friends available to try what I’m making…then I don’t have to constantly eat/taste everything myself!!!  I love getting instant feedback during the creation process because it helps me narrow down the precise amounts of ingredients – most usually the spices and salt content. 

I try never to google any of my ideas before I try them….that way I know my recipes are original and I haven’t been subliminally influenced by some other recipe.  Overall, I rely on my decades of cooking/baking/creating experience to guide me in my inspiration. 

I can tell you that as a chef, there is a great feeling of accomplishment when hundreds of people have tried your food and have responded positively.  That, for me, is why I love doing cooking demos for the public…that sense that I shared a unique recipe and the members of the audience love enough to go home and make it.  How cool is that?

Here is a recent creation!

 

Orange and Black PROTEIN POWER PILAF 

 

1 C of Black Forbidden Rice – Steamed/cooked according to instructions

1 C of Black Beans from can – rinsed/drained

1 C of Black Lentils – Steamed/cooked according to instructions

1 TSP Better Than Bullion Vegetable base dissolved in 8 oz water

1 TSP Adobo seasoning

½ TSP Chipotle seasoning +/- by taste

1 C of baked sweet potato – cubed

½ C carrot – diced fine

¼ C orange pepper – diced fine

Vegan Butter- approx. 1 TBS

Pinch of garlic powder, pinch of onion powder, pinch of sea salt

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In a large skillet over medium heat, add the water/veggie base and adobo and chipotle seasoning.  Stir and add in the rice, beans, and lentils stirring to get the flavoring distributed evenly.

In a separate skillet, melt the butter over low heat and toss in the sweet potato, carrot and pepper.  Sprinkle with onion powder, garlic powder, and a pinch of salt.  Stir gently over low heat for about 3minutes then gently fold into the beans/rice/lentils in the larger skillet.  Serve with a dollop of chipotle mayo.

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Optional — Carve orange peppers into Jack-O-Lanterns, rub with EVOO, and stuff with pilaf.  Place in covered baking dish and bake in oven on 350⁰ for about 25 minutes

 

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Vegan Recipe: Rum Point Fruit Fry

By Chef Susen A. Hunter

Native Foods Cafe

This recipe is one of my favorite vegan comfort food desserts.  I first created it whilst living near the beach at Rum Point on Grand Cayman Island.  I didn’t have plantains for my breakfast, so I friend up some bananas instead and threw in some fresh pineapple for good measure.  The resulting breakfast treat morphed into a dessert over time.  It’s really yummy and warm fruit is especially good on a cold, windy day.  The taste takes me right back to the tropics….

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Rum Point Fruit Fry

Recipe:

2 bananas sliced

½ cup pineapple chopped

2 TBSP +/- Coconut oil

1 TBSP +/- Vegan butter

Agave nectar to taste

Cinnamon- just a dash – nutmeg also works

2 teaspoons dark rum

Vegan granola and/or ice cream

Directions:

Heat oil and butter on medium heat and add all ingredients…. Stir until caramelized and when it “dries” up.  Squeeze a little lime juice

Sprinkle with shredded coconut chopped and serve with granola and/or coconut ice cream

Yield —  approx. 2 servings

There are over 300 different species of Agave plants that grow in the Central America region from the top of South America to the southern United States.  Natives called the naturally occurring liquid in this succulent “aguamiel” which means “honey water”.   This substance can be reduced down to form agave syrup or fermented to become tequila.  Centuries ago, agave syrup was used by the Aztecs as a healing salve for wounds, infections, and skin irritations.  

The aguamiel reduction results in a syrup that can range from light to dark without having any overpowering taste other than “sweet”.  Because of its neutrality, agave syrup has become popular in cooking, baking, and as a drink sweetener.   Although gram for gram agave has more calories than regular sugar, it is sweeter so less is needed resulting in less calories overall. 

Always buy Organic Agave Syrup to be certain that it has no added sugars or high fructose corn syrup.

(((Photos below — all mine))))

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Foul-mouthed Vegans!

By Lauren Neuschel

Native Foods Cafe 

 

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The vegan duo behind the completely crass but undeniably entertaining health food blog, Thug Kitchen, is coming out with some offline reading – a cookbook – under the same name “Thug Kitchen: The Official Cookbook: Eat Like You Give a F – – k.” The pair, who cook up, write, and photograph their own healthy vegan creations are putting their own take on your typical cookbook…swear words! A lot of them. Warning: not the right holiday gift for your boss or Grandma.

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The book is set to launch in early October, but even in vegan cooking, there’s controversy. After the authors recently revealed themselves as the tag-team behind Thug Kitchen, they were hit with uproar in the form of protests nationwide. As a white couple from Hollywood, the loose use of “thug” has become an issue for many. Is calling their book “thug kitchen” racist? Expected to tour the Bay area before the launch of their cookbook, the couple have since canceled all appearances in the area due to the protests. Those against the book and both its title and profanity, call themselves ethical vegans, according to SF Weekly and feel that “neither these authors nor this store should benefit or profit from this hurtful work.” Booksellers have found themselves caught in the crossfire.

Still, many are huge supporters of the book and its writers. Gwyneth Paltrow, author of Goop, is singing their praises and helping launch their book. And even with the uproar, it’s hard to take issue with how much press they’ve brought to vegan cooking and their hip blog. It’s definitely a go-to read, and as the blog reads, you should “Sign the f – – k up.”

Vegan Recipe: Arugula-Cashew Crudite

by Kelly Behr

When Chef Susen first made this and brought it to our offices no one could get enough! We were like you must present that as a demo recipe. This crudite is so versatile it can be eaten as just that, a crudite but can also be used as a sandwich spread. This tasty treat is great with chips, pita crisps and or fresh cut veggies. It takes about 2 mins to make from scratch and is both delcious and healthy, a true win win.

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Vegan Recipe: The Mushroom of the Sea Quesadilla

By Alex Placencia

Excutive Chef

Native Foods Cafe

The Mushroom of the Sea Quesadilla

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The Mushroom of the Sea Quesadilla

Corn Tortillas                                                             2 Count

Oyster Mushrooms                                                       1 Lb

Garlic, Chopped                                                          1 Clove

Vegan Mozzarella , Shredded                                        2 oz

Vegan Butter                                                               1 Tbs

Shallots, Chopped                                                        1 Tbs

1)     In a sautee pan over medium heat place butter, garlic, shallots and mushrooms and sautee until golden brown. 

2)     Remove from heat and set aside

3)     In a non stick pan over medium heat, place tortilla in and sprinkle with the  cheese.

4)     Add some of the mushroom mix

5)     Top with other tortilla

6)     Check the bottom to see if it is browning, once it does, flip it over and repeat until the tortilla is golden brown.

Enjoy with your favorite salsa! 

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Vegan Recipe: Chilled Avocado Soup

By Chef Steve Petusevsky

Director of Culinary Innovation

Chilled Avocado Soup Recipe

Native Foods uses this photo courtesy of allrecipes.com. 

This easy no-cook soup recipe features avocado that is pureed with a non-dairy milk, green chiles, broth, and lime juice for a zesty creamed soup. Serve as a flavorful first course or for a light lunch.

Ingredients: 

  • 2 ripe peeled avocados 
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 (4-ounce) can or jar chopped green chiles
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk 
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice 
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Fresh cilantro and/or crushed tortilla chips for garnish

Preparation

  1. Cut the avocados in half, and remove the pits.
  2.  Spoon avocado into a blender, add the remaining ingredients (except garnish), and puree until creamy. Chill the soup for up to 2 hours before serving, or serve immediately. Cover leftovers with plastic wrap, refrigerate, and use within 2 days.
 

The Backyard BBQ Dilemma

By Kelly Behr

 

Ahhh….summer time. The air is warm, the sun is bright and the you are not short on BBQ invites. My friends love to have people over and grill out for the night. The text that usually comes through is: "We are having people over bring your own meat to grill and your favorite drink to share." 

As most of the guest list is stocking up on ballpark franks you are figuring out what you can contribute to give people a good sense of tasty vegan fare while still ensuring that you will be providing yourself something to eat, cause let's face, no one else will be as compassionate about your compassionate diet as you are. 

I have gotten really good at BBQ preparation from years of practice. Gone are my days of trying to bring some dry pre-made vegan patty that usually gets destroyed by the amateur grill master. I now usually just opt for bringing one delicious side that can second as my main course should I become famished. 

My number one go-to is a quinoa salad that is filled with hearty and fun ingredients that leave your tongue happy and your belly satisfied.

(I do not have an exact recipe as this salad changes and evolves based on what I have in the kitchen, but it pretty much goes like this):

1 c quinoa

1 can black beans (drained) 

1/2 onion diced 

1 avocado (cubed) 

1 c roasted corn 

1 tomato (diced) 

1 bunch cilantro (chopped) 

1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil 

Splash of Orange Juice 

1 teaspoon of corriander 

First, cook quinoa per the directions on the package. (for more flavor cook in a vegetable broth, Trader Joe's makes a good version) 

Next cook the black beans and drain

Whisk the splash of orange juce, corriander and EVOO together in a small bowl and then add to the mixture

And voila…a salad that I promise will be a crowd pleaser so get a big portion for yourself before it runs out…I learned this from experience. 

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*BBQ tip #2 bring a small container of vegan butter in case their is corn on the cob to be eaten…you do not want to be left eating it dry 

 

 

S’more vegan s’mores, please!

By Sammy Caiola

Native Foods Cafe 

Hot days and warm nights are fast approaching, and with them the nostalgic and irrefutable desire to eat the signature food of summer: the s’more.

The s’more was first introduced to America by early 20th-century campers, who discovered the simplicity and portability of the snack shortly after the release of the commercial marshmallow. The first s’more recipe was published in the Girl Scout Handbook in 1927.

Now, the s’more is universal. A staple of any summer bonfire or barbecue and a favorite among children and adults alike.  Americans are so taken with the concept that they purchase 90 million pounds of marshmallow and 373 million HERSHEY chocolate bars every year.

Unfortunately,  it’s not all smiles and sticky fingers when it comes to s’more making. All three traditional s’more ingredients are products of animal cruelty, from the gelatin in marshmallows to the honey in graham crackers to the milk in chocolate bars. For many vegans, s’mores—and the awesome fireside memories that accompany them—would appear to be off the table entirely.

But don’t worry- Native’s got you covered! We snooped around for a more ethically and environmentally friendly marshmallow that’s just as tasty, and came up with a few ideas.  Here’s how they stack up:

 

  1. The Graham Crackers

 

-Nabisco Original Graham Crackers

Keebler low-fat cinnamon grahams

-Health Valley Amaranth Graham Crackers

 

** if you’re feeling really bold, try making homemade graham crackers using this recipe from Post Punk Kitchen

 

 

  1. The Marshmallow

-Sweet and Sara (all varieties)

-Dandies Air-puffed Vanilla Marshmallows

 

  1. The Chocolate

 -Endangered Species Dark Chocolate

-Whole Foods Brand Dark Chocolate

-Newman’s Own Chocolate Bars (Espresso flavor)

 

So gather up your supplies (including a few long sticks from the nearby woods) and get ready to make the perfect campfire treat, vegan style.