Posts tagged with food:
The other day I had a major hankering for vegan caesar salad, & in this house, a caesar salad is not complete without a generous sprinkle of vegan “parmesan.” A few months ago, after running out of my coveted "Parmela," I set out to make my own homemade version with walnuts, nooch, sea salt & garlic. Not only was it a snap to prepare, it was absolutely delicious. I am all about DIY mode these days - from almond milk & salad dressings, to bath salts & body scrubs - I just want to make it myself!
As I prepared all of the fixins for the salad, I realized I was fresh out of walnuts, having used them all for raw cheesecake making over the holidays. I sifted through all the nuts in my pantry - cashews, pecans, sunflower seeds, pistachios & finally pepitas! Ding, ding, ding. I’ve been loving pepita pesto & pepitas on my salads, so why not make a “pepita parm?”
And since they are power packed with goodness, all the more reason to use them! Pepitas, a.k.a. shelled pumpkin seeds, are high in plant-based protein, & an excellent source vitamins, minerals & anti-oxidants such as vitamin E, magnesium & zinc. They are also said to be antimicrobial, anti-fungal & anti-viral. Because of their composition of antioxidant nutrients, studies have shown preliminary evidence of decreased cancer risk in association with pumpkin seed intake. (source)
"Raw Pepita Parma"
- 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon Himalayan pink, or sea salt
- Place all ingredients into a food processor & pulse to combine. Continue to pulse until desired texture is achieved. Store in an airtight container & refrigerate. Lasts for 3-4 weeks.
My go-to vegan caesar lately has been the "Classic Vegan Caesar with Chickpeas & Avocado" from Post Punk Kitchen. I like to doctor it up to my own specifications by adding a squeeze of lemon to the tahini dressing, & tossing in additional toppings to the salad, in this case, sun-dried tomatoes & pepita parmesan. Mmmm…I could eat this salad for days!
While the sprinkle of vegan parm on a caesar salad is a given in my book, I also love this pepita topping on just about anything where a salty & savory bite is desired - sprinkled on pasta, in popcorn, on steamed or roasted vegetables - you name it! It just gives that extra bit of garnish & flavor.
Raise your hand if you’ve tried the chia pudding at True Foods Kitchen. Raise both hands if you’re obsessed with it! (Both of mine are raised!) Seriously though. It’s so creamy & rich & mouthwateringly flavorful. I’ve got to get to the bottom of it.
Last time I was there, I asked the waiter what was in it. "Chia seeds!" he exclaimed. I
replied thought cattily to myself, “Well, no shi*t Sherlock,” & then kindly replied, "Yes, I know that, but what do they soak & blend them with to make it so decadent?" Aaaand…crickets. So he wasn’t any help. And neither was google, at least in procuring the “one & only” recipe. Other bloggers had attempted recreation using, what I had suspected…coconut milk & mashed banana blended with the chia seeds. After an intense craving ensued, at 6 o’clock in the morning, I set out to make my own attempt, as I am sure True Foods would not appreciate me breaking in to the restaurant in a chia fueled frenzy. The only problem — no coconut milk on hand, & only 1/2 of a banana. Wayul…them’s the breaks. But I did have fresh homemade almond milk & chia seeds. So a basic chia pudding recipe, I settled to create. Well…basic with a little something special…a vanilla bean!
“Vanilla Bean Chia Pudding with Blueberries & Bananas”
- 1/3 cup chia seeds
- 1 1/2 cups basic homemade almond milk (or any store bought non-dairy milk of your choice)
- 2 Tbsp. organic raw blue agave sweetener
- seeds scraped from 1/2 split vanilla bean
- optional toppings: organic blueberries, sliced banana, toasted coconut chips, cinnamon
- Add almond milk, vanilla beans, & agave to a blender. With the blender on a very low setting, add the chia seeds, & blend. Pour into a large mason jar. Chill for an hour, then return to the jar & shake or stir. Let chill for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
- To serve, top with banana, blueberries, coconut & cinnamon, or fresh fruit of your choice.
While I absolutely love True Foods’ chia pudding for dessert, this is a little lighter & works wonderfully as a nutritious breakfast treat. Chia seeds are a nutritional powerhouse, containing omega 3 fatty acids, protein, fiber, & calcium. When mixed with liquid, they absorb up to 10 times their weight in water & expand into a pudding like consistency, meaning they also expand in your belly, helping to keep you sated & energized throughout the morning.
Oh & a fun & fancy serving tip….I love to layer the pudding with fresh fruit, & sometimes oats or granola, in a stemless wine glass for a festive parfait presentation.
Now isn’t that so sweet? And while it doesn’t totally hold a candle to the True Foods masterpiece, this does the trick for now. I’m off to the store for more bananas & coconut milk. I’ve got to crack the code!