Healthy Chinese "Chicken" Salad

Healthy Chinese Chicken Salad | Recipe Makeover | Vegan

Oh boy, I think I just created a new weekly staple. This Healthy Chinese "Chicken" Salad will not only leave you satisfied but it will have your taste buds jumping for joy! There are so many different flavors and textures; it's like a party in your mouth. Ok, yeah, that sounds a little weird, but I'm totally serious. There is a little peppery flavor, some hot spice, a little sweet, tons of different herbs, toasted oils and nuts and a touch of salt all combined with the fresh crunchy flavorful cabbage, carrots and greens. 

Chinese Chicken Salad | Vegan Recipe Makeover
Chinese "Chicken" Salad | Vegan Recipe Makeover | Detox Friendly!  #puremamas #purekitchen

This recipe not only tastes delicious but is easy to make - takes only 15-20 minutes max - and requires not cooking. I love Tofurkey's vegan oven roasted "chicken" that my local health food stores sells. The texture is like chicken but the flavor is better (of course), the ingredients are pretty clean and there's tons of protein. This healthy vegan Chinese "Chicken" Salad is filling and would be a great pot luck dish. 

Fresh & Tangy, this Chinese Chicken Salad will knock your socks off and have you coming back for seconds! It's a perfect New Year's Resolution Detox meal! enjoy this delicious Recipe.
Recipe Makeover: Chinese "Chicken" Salad Recipe now vegan! Enjoy! #puremamas #purekitchen

I have so many friends on a detox right now after the indulgent holiday! If that's the case for you as well, you need to make my healthy Chinese "Chicken" Salad recipe! It is guilt-free, high in fiber, high in protein and healthy fats but also abundant in antioxidant rich veggies. The dressing combines fresh ginger, lemon and garlic (great for cold prevention) with almond butter and toasted sesame oil. What are you waiting for - grab these ingredients while you're at the store and make this salad - you'll be so happy you listened to me! (wink)

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Healthy Chinese "Chicken" Salad
The Chinese Chicken Salad has a fresh new look and feel: no real chicken meat in this recipe; just tons of veggies and mock chicken protein. You'll love the tangy yet toasted flavor with the crunchy raw vegetables.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup, finely sliced or grated purple cabbage
  • 1 cup, finely sliced or grated green cabbage
  • 3, julienned carrots
  • 2 cups other greens of choice (i.e. romaine or arugula)
  • 2 thinly sliced and chopped radishes
  • 1/4 cup, chopped fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup, chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 cup, shredded or chopped (I use Tofurkey Brand) "chicken"
  • 2, finely chopped green onion (scallions)
  • 3 Tbsp toasted almonds or peanuts
Instructions
Prep veggies by chopping, slicing and shredding. Add to a large salad bowl. Toss well. Add chicken and nuts, then toss again. Dress the salad when ready to serve. Toss well. Serve immediately.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 3 dinner salads
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Chinese "Chicken" Salad Dressing
This dressing is so tangy, not too sweet, and a touch spicy! Makes a perfect dressing for any Asian style salad.
Ingredients
  • 3 cloves, minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp, grated fresh ginger
  • 1 Tbsp rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp almond butter
  • 3 Tbsp tamari
  • 3 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp (or to taste) honey or agave nectar
  • 1/2 tsp red chili flakes or tabasco
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon or lime juice
Instructions
Place everything in a high speed blender or large measuring cup. Whisk until completely well combined or blend on medium until well combined. Dress the salad when ready to serve. Toss well. Serve immediately.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: dressing for 1 large salad

Mushroom & Chickpea (vegan!) Korma

This mushroom and chickpea korma is a unique dish. Dairy and meat free but high in protein, fiber, healthy carbs and tons of flavor - this dish is a perfectly complete vegan meal. The creamy "curry" base is a mixture of spices and coconut cream with the addition of tomato paste.

Vegan Mushroom Korma | #vegan #purekitchen #puremamas
Vegan Korma | made with mushrooms & chickpeas #puremamas #purekitchenblog

Korma is a type of curry dish but doesn't taste like your typical yellow or red curry. The spice combination of garam masala, coriander and the cardamom make it really unique and flavorful but not too over the top, so kids enjoy it as well. Typically made with yogurt and meat, we are doing things differently around here, as usual. 

Unlike the majority of my recipes featured on my blog, I chose to try another food bloggers recipe and modify it as I saw fit. The original recipe comes from QuiteGoodFood.co.nz. Here photos are quite good as well. I adapted the recipe just a smidge and it turned out great!

What I love about this Chickpea Korma Indian dish:

  • it's got quite a bit of protein (13g per serving - add rice and there's more). 
  • it's extremely flavorful but also not too much - so kids love it as well. 
  • it's hearty, warm and fills you up. 
  • perfect for a Winter evening. 
  • the left-overs taste even better. 
  • you can sub mushrooms for small potatoes if you aren't a mushroom fan. 
Vegan Curry with Chickpeas Recipe #purekitchen #puremamas

If you don't follow me on instagram it's a good time to do so because I've decided to share some recipes on instagram ONLY! Meaning, you will find an entire recipe and photos on my social media account that aren't featured here on the blog or in my newsletter. For example, I recently posted this Creamy Roasted Red Bell Pepper Sauce Recipe exclusively for Instagram. 

Mushroom (vegan!) Korma | #puremamas #purekitchen

Now back to Korma, if you are new to Indian dishes, this is a good place to start. One thing I loved about creating another bloggers dish is that I learned something really valuable when it comes to curries: "A little secret to making more-authentic home-made curries, is to blitz your onion, garlic and ginger first (or grate if you don’t have a food processor). Your curry sauce will have a far better flavour and texture." - Amber of Quite Good Food

Cool, right? Yeah yeah, it's an extra and kind of annoying step, but it really is worth it! I love the way the curry smell fills up the kitchen when I'm making it as well. It always cheers up my tired grumpy kids after a long day of school and sports. 

Healthy Curry with Mushrooms & Chickpeas (vegan!) #puremamas
Vegan Korma with Mushrooms and Chickpeas! #puremamas

INGREDIENTS

Spices:

Chickpea and Mushroom Korma
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom

Korma base:

  • 1 large onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped or minced
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger, roughly chopped
  • 2 Tbsp vegan butter or coconut oil 
  • 2 cups button mushrooms, whole if small, or chopped if larger
  • 1 can chickpeas (beans only, not the liquid)
  • 1 can coconut cream (just the thick white part, not the clear stuff)
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp almond meal or flour (ground almonds)
  • 1 tsp salt

To serve:

  • Cooked rice
  • Cilantro
  • Toasted nuts

DIRECTIONS

  1. Measure out all of the dry spices into a bowl. Set aside. 

  2. Blitz onion, garlic and ginger in a food processor with 1/2 cup of water, until it is a thick, rough slurry. 

  3. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat and add 2 tbsp coconut oil. Once hot, put the onion mixture into the saucepan. Cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring often, or until the liquid has evaporated and the onion mixture is golden brown. Turn down the heat if it is browning too quickly. 

  4. Add the dry spices, stir and cook for another 1-2 minutes until fragrant. 

  5. Add the mushrooms, turn the heat up a bit and cook for another 1-2 minutes to coat the mushrooms in the spice mixture. Season with 1 tsp salt. 

  6. Add coconut cream, chickpeas, tomato paste and the almond meal. Stir and then simmer for another 10 minutes. 

  7. Serve with cooked rice and garnish with your favorite toppings like toasted nuts and cilantro.

Enjoy! Have a wonderful first weekend of December. What are your plans? I'm going to our holiday parade here in town on Saturday and I'm really looking forward to it. 

Recipe heavily adapted from QuiteGoodFood

To-Die-For Sautéed Noodles [vegan gf]

So lately I have been obsessed with noodles or grains and greens. Dinner is a giant bowl of chopped greens, dressing and starch. The red leaf lettuce is my favorite; it's so delicate, bitter but subtle, crunchy, light and is perfect with dressing of any kind. My kids LOVE red leaf lettuce; they would eat an entire bowl full without even one complaint. 

simple red leaf lettuce salad | vegan gluten free

The greens look something like this. I usually add a dash of lemon and some vegan mayo. Then I add garbanzo beans (uncooked). Protein, vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, nitrates, and the list goes on. It's filling and has a high water content. No frying, no baking, no sauteeing. It's so easy and simple, right?

red leaf lettuce salad | sautéed noodles | gluten-free vegan

The starch I add to my greens are usually one of the following:

sweet potatoes

baked baby potatoes

noodles with my no cook magical marinara

white rice or brown rice

quinoa

This combo is really easy to to digest, quick and easy to make on a school night and my kids love it as well, so that's a win. Add some seeds and beans of any kind or some beyond meat or mock meat of your choice (optional).  

to-die-for simple sautéed noodles | gluten free & vegan

But this particular Saturday night I wanted something special. So I boiled noodles, as usual, and this time I sautéed them up in a hot pan with other sweet, salty and spicy ingredients like garlic, [vegan] butter, chili paste and tamari. It was to-die-for! Add these to-die-for sautéed noodles to your basic chopped red leaf lettuce and you've got a bomb ass healthy vegan dinner for the whole family! I made it twice just to be sure I wasn't crazy and that this was in fact so tasty. So you can trust me on this one. My kids devoured it and agreed they are to-die-for. 

to-die-for sautéed noodles [vegan & gf]

The list of steps and ingredients looks long but it really only takes 10 minutes to make this entire dinner. It might take a few more minutes the first time you make it but once you get the hang of it, it takes no time at all. Remember, as I always say, have fun and add your own spices or herbs or ingredients. 

to-die-for sautéed noodles with red leaf lettuce! perfect vegan dinner for the whole family!

 

TO-DIE-FOR SAUTEED NOODLES & RED LEAF LETTUCE RECIPE

serves 3 adults or 2 adults and 2 kids

to-die-for sautéed noodles {vegan + gf}

INGREDIENTS

for the salad:

  • 1 head red leaf lettuce, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp vegan mayo
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • 1/3 - 1/2 cups garbanzo beans (just rinsed, no cooking needed)

for the noodles:

DIRECTIONS

  1. Boil the Lotus Foods noodles for 3-4 minutes according to package. 
  2. While it's boiling, chop the red leaf lettuce and set it in a bowl. Add the garbanzo beans, mayo and lemon. Mix well with your hands or utensils of choice. Set aside. 
  3. Warm the butter or oil in a pan with minced raw garlic and chopped onion for about 2 minutes until onion is translucent.
  4. Add the boiled noodles and toss. Cook for about 1 minute and then add the rest of the spices (agave, tamari, onion powder, chili flakes and chili paste). 
  5. Toss and cook for about 3-4 minutes until noodles are dry in texture and cooked well. (see photos). 
  6. Serve with the greens and topped with toasted sesame seeds or fresh herbs. 

NOTE: do not use regular spaghetti noodles. You must use the chow mien style noodle. Or pad thai style. They are totally different in texture and will yield much better results. 

NOTE #2: the original recipe posted on Oct 8 has been edited due to an ingredient not being completely vegan. I didn't even realize my chili paste had anchovies in it 🙀. Totally my bad. But I modified it and this version is even better. I have made it 3 times and it's BOMB still. Enjoy. Truly sorry for that, guys! 

Cauliflower & Raisin Stuffed Bell Peppers

Fall is around the corner so I have been testing more recipes in the oven lately. This stuffed bell pepper recipe isn't new though; I've been making it for years now. In fact, I got my mom hooked years ago and she make it all the time (see photos below). We love to play around with different ingredients. This time it was Cauliflower, raisins and toasted pine nuts. 

cauliflower and raisin stuffed bell peppers recipe [vegan] [gluten-free] #purekitchenblog #puremamas

Stuffed bell peppers are exciting because they are so versatile in what goes in them. My Cauliflower and Raisin Stuffed Bell Peppers recipe is exact but please feel free to use your favorite vegetables, nuts or seeds and herbs. 

You can even add cheese like feta (my mom's favorite) if you're not vegan or a Daiya or Kite Hill vegan style would be my choice. 

Simple & Versatile Stuffed Bell Peppers [vegan] [gluten-free] [plant-based] #purekitchenblog #puremamas
Cauliflower & Raisin Stuffed Bell Peppers | #purekitchenblog #puremamas #vegan #glutenfree

I try and eat low fat most of the time but I find roasting or pan sautéing without any oil is difficult, so I add as little as possible. Usually I use a little water first to steam and cook the veggies down and then add a touch of oil for the final sautéing. The other option is to dry sauté or use a tiny bit of oil first until the juice from the veggies seeps out and you can use that for the rest of the cooking process. 

When I use oils to cook I try not to use cheese or avocado. That way a least the fat content isn't too high. Don't get me wrong I love fat but I don't like too much oils. I like to get my fat from avocados, nuts coconut etc.

What's your favorite fat? Do you think low-fat is almost impossible and boring? I sometimes do, I have to admit. So I def splurge from time to time. 

Vegan Cauliflower & Raisin Stuffed Bell Peppers #puremamas #purekitchen

Not to mention I have spent the past week on a low-fat raw vegan diet. Have you checked out my raw vegan cleanse? I created a meal plan and helpful shopping guide with loads of inspiration, motivation and 30+ recipes to have on hand. Click here to see more photos and pricing.  

So now just al little fat for flavor and texture because I reset my palate after that week. It helps to cleanse from time to time; the body really appreciates it. You'll be so glad you did it. 

[vegan] Stuffed Bell Pepper Recipe | super simple! delicious!
vegan stuffed bell pepper recipe | via #purekitchenblog @

Cauliflower and Raisin Stuffed Bell Peppers

yields 8 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 4-5 bell peppers, cut in half, seeds removed
  • 2 cups cauliflower rice (or make your own)
  • 2 cups cooked white or brown rice 
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh corn 
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tsp olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted or dry roasted
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • fresh parsley, chopped (or other herbs like basil, cilantro, arugula, etc.)
  • sea salt, to taste
  • spices like pepper, cumin, red chili flakes, etc. 

DIRECTONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 
  2. In a large baking dish or cookie sheet, place the bell peppers that are cut in half already and seeded. Cook them for about 20 minutes, until soft. They might produce juice/water, so be careful when taking them out of the oven. 
  3. While the peppers are baking, put the olive oil or coconut oil into a frying pan or skillet on the stovetop. Press the garlic (or mince it) into the warm oil along with the chopped scallion. Cook until scallions are translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Don't let them burn. 
  4. For the cauliflower rice, I suggest just buying it pre-made to make your life easier. Even Costco and Target have it pre-made and I think Trader Joes as well. Same with the rice; just cook it ahead of time in a rice cooker or buy it frozen (pre cooked) at your local health food store. 
  5. Add the rice and cauliflower rice to the hot skillet. Add the chopped tomatoes, corn and pinch of salt. Add any spices you feel like adding. I only added pepper, salt this time and red chili flakes for spice. 
  6. Cook for about 4 minutes, tossing and coating. Cook on medium or medium/high until most of the water has evaporated (about 2 more minutes). 
  7. Turn off heat. Add raisins and mix well. Fill each bell pepper half with the mixture. Fill them full and well - pushing some into the corners of the bell peppers. 
  8. This is where you can add vegan cheese (or regular if you wish). Cook in the oven for another 10 minutes. 
  9. Remove from oven. Let cool. Then serve. 
  10. Garnish with toasted pine nuts and tons of fresh herbs. 
  11. Enjoy! 

Cauliflower Sauce Risotto with Herbs + Kale

Going dairy free or even just eating less dairy requires getting comfortable with getting creative in the kitchen and thinking outside the box. Making things creamy isn't easy when you don't eat half and half, milk or cheese. What then? Do you have to give up creamy comfort foods for good? No, not exactly. 

Creamy Cauliflower Sauce Risotto | Vegan | Gluten-free | #puremamas @julinovotny

My 5 top favorite plants to cream things up:

  1. Cashews
  2. Potatoes
  3. Cauliflower
  4. Tofu
  5. Dairy-free Yogurt and/or Milks combined with nutritional yeast
Creamy Cauliflower Sauce Risotto | Vegan | Gluten-free | #puremamas @julinovotny
Creamy Cauliflower Sauce Risotto | Vegan | Gluten-free | #puremamas @julinovotny

Today I'm going to introduce you to a creamy cauliflower sauce that works well for risotto or as a soup base or even a vegan fettuccini. This recipe is adapted from the wonderful Pinch Of Yum blog. I had yet to make one of their recipes before but seriously drool at every photo of their plant-based creations. This recipe is originally not vegan, it's made with chicken stock and real butter. So I adapted it to fit my diet. And it worked very well. The sauce gets an A in my book. 

This risotto is really simple and basic but is garlic-y and really really creamy! The color of the sauce also gives the illusion of dairy, which is nice because comfort foods are all about past memories. Physiology studies show that comfort foods we crave are actually artifacts from our past. Crazy right?

Creamy Cauliflower Sauce Risotto | Vegan | Gluten-free | #puremamas @julinovotny

What are your comfort foods? I'd love to try and recreate them without dairy or meat. Let me know if you have any suggestions or foods you just can't live without that you'd like to give a makeover. Do you have any other memories associated with food?

Creamy Cauliflower Sauce Risotto | Vegan | Gluten-free | #puremamas @julinovotny

I personally crave bagels! All throughout high school I was obsessed with bagels. I ate them daily topped with honey, cream cheese, butter with salt, berry jam or even almond butter. I mostly crave cream cheese. I shared a photo on Instagram the other day of my everything bagel (gluten-free) topped with Kite Hill cream cheese (dairy free). It did the trick. Craving cured. 

Back to this recipe (wink) - it was also approved by my kids. That's a big deal. When my kids like something I know it's a winner because it's hard to find something that both kids and parents will eat that is healthy. They truly loved it. Also, If you are still new to being dairy free then add some regular parmesan to this dish after making it. Just fold in the parmesan shreds. You will think the entire dish was made from cheese. Just a little goes a long way. Trust me. My mom tested this out and she loved it. She said she didn't need to add the parmesan at all but even just a little bit did add that cheese flavor she was craving.  Plus it's topped with healthy fibrous toasty kale

Creamy Cauliflower Sauce Risotto | Vegan | Gluten-free | #puremamas @julinovotny
Creamy Cauliflower Sauce Risotto | Vegan | Gluten-free | #puremamas @julinovotny

Creamy Cauliflower Sauce Risotto Recipe

Yields 4 dinners

INGREDIENTS

Risotto

  • 1 1/2 cup dry uncooked risotto rice
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 2 cubes or tsp bouillon 
  • 6 cups water
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 7 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 3 Tbsp vegan butter (I used Myconos)
  • 1/2 cup soaked cashews
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup of lightly dried or fresh herbs like cilantro, parsley and basil  

Garnishes (optional)

Kale Chips:

  • 1/2 head kale, chopped into 1-2 inch strips
  • 1 tsp olive oil or avocado oil
  • sea salt + pepper

Vegan Cashew Parmesan Cheese

DIRECTIONS

Prep:

  1. Cook the risotto rice in the same way you would cook normal white or brown rice. I used a rice cooker. 
  2. Set the cashews in a bowl covered with water and let them soak. 
  3. Preheat oven to 400 for the kale chips. 
  4. Get out the following: food processor to blend the sauce, blender for the cashew cream, a cookie sheet to make the kale chips, a saucepan for the onion and garlic and large pot for boiling the cauliflower. 

Now Get Cooking:

Cauliflower:

  1. Cut the large stem off the cauliflower. Chop the rest into big pieces. Set the cauliflower in a large pot on the stove. Cover it with the 6 cups of water and the bouillon cubes/paste. 
  2. Boil the broth. And then turn the head down to medium/low and cook covered with the lid until cauliflower is soft and fully cooked. About 8 or so minutes. Do not discard the water.
  3. Using a slotted spoon you'll want to remove the cauliflower from the hot broth and put it into a food processor for blending. 

Onion, Butter & Garlic: 

  1. Add the butter and onion only to a saucepan on medium heat. Let the onions cook for about 5 minutes until they are translucent and start to caramelize a little on the edges.
  2. Add garlic and cook 1 more minute. Remove from heat. 
  3. Add this mixture to the cauliflower in the food processor bowl. 

Cashew Cream:

  1. Add the soaked cashews to a blender with 1 cup water. Blend this up until creamy. 
  2. Add 1/2 cup this cream to the food processor bowl with the cauliflower and butter mixture. 
Creamy Cauliflower Sauce Risotto | Vegan | Gluten-free | #puremamas @julinovotny

The Cauliflower Sauce:

  1. Now that everything is in the food processor you'll want to add the salt and pepper. 
  2. Blend away. And keep adding the cauliflower broth for more liquid if needed. You don't want this sauce to be super duper creamy and thick. But you don't want it to be a soup either. So play around and keep adding broth by a spoonful until you have the perfect texture. No chunks. 

Risotto:

  1. Add the cauliflower sauce to the warm risotto rice. Blend gently with a large slotted spoon or wooden spoon. Gently fold the sauce into the rice. Add all the fresh or lightly dried herbs. 

Mini Kale Chips (optional):

  1. Chop the kale. Large stems removed. Add the pieces to a cookie sheet. 
  2. Gently massage the olive oil, salt and pepper into the kale. 
  3. Lay the pieces evenly across the cookie sheet. Do not overlap. 
  4. Cook about 6 minutes in the oven. You'll know when they are done. They are very flat and the color changes to a darker brown. They should not be burnt
  5. Garnish the risotto with these little kale chips. 
Creamy Cauliflower Sauce Risotto | Vegan | Gluten-free | #puremamas @julinovotny

If you're in the mood to really play around with innovative ways to make creamy foods without dairy, sign up for my newsletter because I am sharing a homemade ricotta recipe that uses macadamia nuts and is to die for. You can use it in so many recipes to add serious creaminess. The texture is similar to goat cheese.