Peach & Cilantro Tempeh Salad :: Vanilla Fig Coconut Ice Cream

Summer is officially in full-effect! It's not only sweaty hot around here but the beaches are full of people, stores and parks are crowded, traffic is crazy and well, my taste buds are all over the place. 

Instead of craving comfort food, I crave fresh produce, sweet coffee {really weird}, green drinks, watermelon, crunchy veggies, white wine and yes, ICE CREAM and popsicles.

Today I have decided to share a really flavorful, Summery but light dish followed by FRESH in-season banana fig ice cream for dessert. No dairy and not a lot of cooking.

Tempeh is one of my favorite vegetarian proteins because it comes from WHOLE fremented soy beans, not flour or soy milk. It's got a lot of protein and vitamins. It also has a really hearty taste. I like to cook it the same way I would cook salmon had I been cooking salmon or stir fry meat in a wok {which I don't eat}. By the way, did I mention, it's meat-eater approved?

Makes a great lunch or light dinner. 

ORANGE TEMPEH & PEACH CILANTRO SALAD
serves 2 dinners, 3 lunches/snacks

1 package tempeh, chopped into chunks
1 peach, thinly sliced
1 large handful chopped cilantro
4 TBLS tamari
1/2 TBLS oil of choice
1 orange
1 avocado

In a small bowl combine tempeh, tamari and oil. Cut the orange in half. Set aside half the orange. Squeeze the juice over the tempeh mixture and using a grater or shaver, grate the orange peel into the mixture as well. Let sit for 10 minutes. Stirring a few times. 

Meanwhile, in another larger bowl combine sliced peaches and cilantro. Using the other half of the orange, squeeze orange juice into the bowl. 

Heat your stove to low/medium heat. In a frying pan, add the entire tempeh mixture. Let cook on one side until the moisture/liquid starts to harden and turn dark color {aka reduce the sauce}. After about 5 minutes of cooking on that side, using a metal spatula, scrape the pan and toss it again, coating the rest of the tempeh in reduction sauce. The tempeh should be pretty brown from the tamari, about 5 more minutes. 

One a plate slice the avocado into long pieces. Arrange on plate. Top with the peach salad. Then top the salad with warm browned tempeh. 

Enjoy! 

Dessert is especially fresh and healthy. With only honey and bananas as a sweetener it's a perfect way to end the day or maybe even START the day. I love having cold ice cream for breakfast on a hot Summer day, especially one with in-season fruit, coconut and honey. 

FIG NON-DAIRY ICE CREAM RECIPE
About 6-8 servings

4-5 fresh figs, sliced in half, skin on
1.5 frozen bananas
1 can organic coconut milk {creamy & full-fat}
1-2 heaping TBLS raw local honey {add more or less honey to taste}
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cardamom, powder
1/2 vanilla bean
5 mint leaves, choopped

Chop 4 figs and break the frozen bananas in half. Add to a high speed blender. Open can of coconut milk and add that to blender as well. Mix on high until totally smooth and no chunks {you can keep chunks if you'd like}. Add honey and spices. Using a knife, cut open the vanilla bean. Scrape out the seeds in the inside. Use the sticky black seeds, and discard the shell.

Blend again on high until thoroughly mixed.

Add to your ice cream maker and follow directions. Should only take you 30-40 minutes of freeze time.

note: because we don't use dairy, the ice cream tends to take a bit longer to freeze in the ice cream maker. Be patient. If it doesn't completely get hard like traditional ice cream, you can put in freezer for another 10-20 minutes before scooping out. 

Top each bowl with a mixture of fresh figs, finely chopped and fresh chopped mint.

A Peek Into Meredith's New Book

Writing a book is a major case of delayed gratification. By the time the book is published (usually close to 2 years after you sign the contract) you've almost forgotten how it happened. You are essentially in another phase of life. Still equally excited, but some of the nerves have warn off. You've sat with it, gained confidence about it, tweaked it, edited it, shown it to all your friends and family, bragged about it, bashed it, and when the book finally gets published you are pretty excited (ok, cant wait!) to share it. 

Within all of the waiting there are some spurts of major excitement- #1 is definitely getting back photos to share! 

Yesterday was a typical Tuesday, but it became A-typically exciting when I opened my inbox and found an email from Adrian Mueller with a link to his website and photos from my book shoot- which meant, I get to share some of the photos! 

We've mentioned Adrian before. He is the photographer with whom we've worked with on the last 3 books. This was the 4th time that Adrian and I have worked together - and you know, 4th times a charm ;-) Anyhow, Adrian is incredibly talented. I have learned so much about food styling and photography working with him. He is incredibly precise, meticulous, thoughtful and creative when it comes to his work. He has taught me to see things that I would have never before noticed- the details of details. I am so grateful for these experiences. 

I am so excited to share these photos with you! I really think that these might be the best yet. 

For more of Adrian's beautiful photography and some more of the work we've done together - check out his website 

Easy Snack #2 :: Mango Sorbet

This recipe has been perfected over the past few weeks. It was a random combination that I thought up one day and I was pretty happily surprised at the outcome. Even better is that my kids wolfed it down as well. It's refreshing, tangy and great for the entire family. 

It is so easy to make and I liked it as an afternoon snack. Healthy and hits the spot. Enjoy...

MANGO SORBET RECIPE

4 small African mangos, sliced into chunks
2 oranges, juiced {squeeze with hands}
1 lime, juiced {squeeze with hands}
1/2 vanilla bean, insides scraped out, discard the shell
1/2 - 1 Tbls honey {optional}
7 drops stevia {optional}

Chill ice cream bowl in freezer overnight. Mix all of the above ingredients in a Vitamix and blend until smooth and there are no chunks. Remove ice cream bowl and pour mixture in bowl. Start ice cream maker and in about 30 minutes it should be ready. 

note: Sweeteners are optional and not necessary but the small mangos tend to be very tangy/tart. This recipe does very well with the stevia honey combo. But you can use whichever you like best. Or agave nectar or sugar.  

Spinach Pasta with Organic Summer Veggies

It's Summer time and I couldn't be more excited. I have been extremely busy building our new house but have so many recipe ideas up my sleeve...all I need is a little more time in the day, sans kiddos {that won't be happening now that it's Summer, big sigh}. But this dinner came out so wonderful the other night and I just had to share it with everybody. It's the perfect recipe for my household because of its versatility. It can be made vegan or just vegetarian or even raw vegan. It fits everybody's diet needs and tastebuds. 

The base is a brown rice spinach pasta and vegan pesto. The "sauce", which is more of a big summer salad, is a raw dairy-free Summer veggie salad. You can add parmesan for a nutty cheesy flavor or leave it off for a dairy-free version which still tastes fantastic. 

The pasta fills up the hungry people. But leave it out if you're not as hungry and just eat the veggies as a salad. My kids at the pasta only. {of course}.

Pasta Recipe

4oz 1/2 box spinach brown rice pasta noodles, cooked
3 Tbls vegan pesto {cheeseless}
3 Tbls shredded parmesan cheese, optional

After the noodles are boiled and soft, add pesto and parmesan. If you don't eat dairy, leave the cheese off. It's still very very tasty. 

Summer Salad "Sauce" Recipe

1c chopped cherry tomatoes {quartered or chopped in half}
1 large or 2 small zucchini squash, thinly sliced using a peeler
1 ear corn, kernals cut off using a knife
1c sugar snap peas, cut lengthwise or in half
2 Tbls olive oil
2 Tbls seasoned rice vinegar
1 1/2 pinches sea salt
pepper, to taste
1 heaping teaspoon vegan pesto sauce, optional

Combine all of the chopped veggies in a bowl. Add the vinegar, olive oil, sea salt and pesto. Mix again and let sit an hour or so before eating. You don't have to let it sit but the flavor combine better as they sit. 

Pour the salad/sauce over the pesto pasta for a delicious dinner.

Top with fresh basil and/or parmesan cheese for added flavor. 

Enjoy!

note: I buy vegan pesto at the local health food store. If you don't have vegan pesto, substitute traditional, cheesy pesto. You can also make your own fresh pesto at home and store in fridge for weeks at a time. 

 

Meredith's {Vegan} Pad Thai Amazingness

Meredith is amazing in general and today she completely blew me away with her Pad Thai recipe! She kills it in the kitchen and I'm so excited to share this with you. Here is her story:

Working in the food biz- doesn't always make for the most creative cooking at home. Sometimes when you think about food all day, you just want something really simple for dinner. We have a rotation of about 3 dishes that we always do variations of. 

But sometimes.... we mix it up! As I mentioned in my last post, we have a lovely intern Carly Gross here helping us this summer which gives me more ambition in the kitchen (does that rhyme?) and an extra set of hands. Not that you couldn't easily make this dish solo. It is very very easy.  

Anyways, the other night we made a lovely version of Pad Thai. It was absolutely a crowd pleaser, and not hard to put together at all.  It will certainly be a major player all summer long. 

The only special equipment need is a spiral slicer, but you could easily get away with doing a very thing julienne to the vegetables. 

We were serving 5 people so the recipe is kind of big- feel free to cut in half! 

Simple and delicious! 

We served it with an amazing bottle of chilled rose. 

Pad Thai Recipe
Serves 5

Vegetables / Salad

- 2 Zucchini’s, made into noodles with a spiralizer. Salt the zucchini for a least 30 minutes before serving. Rinse and drain. This takes the excess water out of the zucchini. 
- 3 Carrots, julienned 
- 2 Coconuts worth of meat, thinly sliced
- 2 Cups sugar snap peas, thinly sliced
-1 handful cilantro, chopped lightly
-Juice of one lime

Assembly

Toss vegetables with sauce. Garnish and serve immediately. 

Pad Thai Sauce

- 1 Cup Almond Butter
- Juice of half of a lime
- 1 Cup Coconut Water
- 1-2 Tbsp Fresh Ginger, grated 
- 1/3 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2 Tbsp Red Chili, diced 
- 1 Tbsp Sesame Oil 
- 1 Tbsp Nama shoyu 
- 1 Tbsp White Miso 
- Salt to Taste 

Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender. 

Curried Cashews

Toss chopped raw cashews with a few teaspoons sesame oil, curry powder, and lots of salt. This MAKES the dish. If you don't like cashews you could sub almonds. 

Garnish 

Lime Wedge 
Cilantro 
Sesame Seeds 

And look at the set-up. Meredith is SO-COOL in SO many ways! {Thanks Meredith}!