I've had several friends recently start a plant-based, oil-free diet and one of the comments I keep getting is that all the salad dressings they try have OIL in them. Yep, very true, that's why most of them you have to make yourself. Here are some ideas to get you started on salad dressings....
Anyone else have a recipe for your favorite salad dressing you would like to share? Share it in the comments below.
We are always looking for recipes that are kid-friendly. The chances of finding something that all three children like is RARE! Had you told me my kids would eat a cabbage tostada and love it, I would have thought you to be crazy! My wife modified another recipe and then changed some things up to come up with this yummy treat. Try this out, I promise you won't miss the meat on your tostada. We just enjoyed this meal with side di
1 small sweet white onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bag shredded cabbage
3 cups salsa
1 cup water
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp oregano
1 cup frozen corn
1 can black beans
1 can hominy
tostada shells (take regular corn tortillas and bake in oven on 400 for about 20 min)
1. Line pan with water and saute onion and garlic over high heat until onion is translucent.
2. Add spices and mix.
3. Add black beans, hominy, salsa and water and cook about 10 minutes.
4. Add corn and heat thoroughly.
5. Add cabbage and cook to desired consistency (about 5 min).
6. Salt and pepper if desired.
7. Spoon over baked tostadas and ENJOY!!
Last night I was looking for something new to do for Sunday morning breakfast. As I perused the Happy Herbivore book (one of my favorites) I came across the Cinnamon Buns (p. 36). I initially passed the recipe up but the beautiful picture Lindsay has of a cinnamon roll got stuck in my brain. Efforts in finding something else to eat became futile....I could only think of that yummy cinnamon roll. I fought the urge but finally, the urge won.
In other recipes in the past, there was always a process of letting the dough rise (usually for an hour) but this ultra simple recipe was quick and done in less than an hour, including bake time. We pulled these six beautiful buns out of the oven and a strange thing happened....all of a sudden three kids were standing next to me asking, "Dad, can I have one?" So we sat down as a family and each had a yummy cinnamon roll. Oh, and yes....they are as good as they look!!! Now I still have to find something new for Sunday morning breakfast.
3/4 cup soy milk
2 1/4 tsp. active yeast
3 cups spelt flour (or whole-wheat pastry flour)
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/4 cup raw sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon (divided into two 1 tsp. portions)
1/4 tsp. fine salt
5 Tbsp. unsweetened applesauce
4 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup soy milk
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray an 8" round cake pan with Pam or rub a thin layer of unsweetened apple sauce.
2. Warm soy milk to approximately 110 degrees (F). Sprinkle in yeast and let dissolve, about 5 minutes.
3. In mixing bowl, whisk 2 cups of spelt flour with baking powder, sugar, 1 tsp. cinnamon and salt.
4. Stir in applesauce, milk/yeast mixture and another 1/2 cup of spelt flour with spatula.
5. Stir in remaining flour and knead in the mixing bowl 15 to 20 times until elastic and not excessively sticky.
6. Flour a rolling pin and roll dough out into a large thin rectangle (see first picture above).
7. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and 1 tsp. cinnamon and then spoon over rolled out dough, leaving a 1 inch margin around the edges.
8. Gently but tightly roll the dough up. Cut the rolled up "log" into 6 equal pieces.
9. Place buns in the prepared pan; a tight fit is okey.
10. Bake for 25 minutes, until slightly golden and thoroughly cooked.
11. While baking, prepare icing by mixing the powdered sugar with milk to make a glaze. You may need to add additional milk.
12. Drizzle glaze over buns while they are still warm.
I'm going to be making some adjustments to my blog. I've always felt a little odd about using my name toddcoston.com as the domain name for this blog. So, I've purchased a new domain called plantexperience.com. Both domain names will still work but don't be surprised as I gradually make changes to the site to reflect the new (and hopefully improved) direction of my site.
TOP SECRET: I'm also getting ready to do some other new and cool improvements......so stay tuned.......
I'm not completely sure how I ended up with this idea but I think it went something like this. First, I was hunting around for some cool Spring Roll recipes. Then I wondered if there were such a thing as dessert spring rolls (there are). I then wondered how to sweeten the fruit up and searched for a tofu whipped cream (which I found and modified). I then took all of that and mixed it together and came up with this yummy fruit spring roll in whip cream recipe. I will say.....this is the PERFECT summer treat and they don't take long to whip up!!
Rather than re-create the recipe here, with all my complicated drawings....just check it out on my Recipes page.
I was quite pleased with how these came out....of course, this needs to be kept in context. Many of the things I "try" do NOT pan out very well, don't taste well or just plain don't work. But, I am proud of this little recipe but once you've done it....you'll see it's not that hard!!
My grandma was a great cook! She had a natural ability to just put different things together and it tasted wonderful! One of my favorites was her banana bread. Unfortunately, she is gone now so there is no way to get the recipe BUT this recipe certainly fills the bill and it is oil free! The recipe is slightly adapted from a recipe in the Happy Herbivore book. If you don't have this book....get it, it has lots of easy, wonderful recipes!
Makes 1 loaf.
1/4 cup non-dairy milk
1/4 tsp. lemon juice
4-5 spotted or browning bananas
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup raw sugar
1 tsp. ground cinammon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 cups of flour (I like to use 1 cup oat flour, 1 cup spelt flour, you can also use 2 cups whole wheat flour)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. You will also need an 8" non-stick loaf pan.
2. Whisk the non-dairy milk and lemon juice together until bubbly and set aside.
3. Combine bananas and sugars in a food processor until smooth and creamy.
4. In a large bowl, whisk spices, flour, baking soda and baking powder together.
5. Add milk-lemon juice and banana mixture, as well as remaining ingredients, to the flour mixture and stir until just combined.
6. Pour into loaf pan using a spatula to evenly distribute and smooth top.
7. Make a tent over the pan with a large piece of aluminum foil.
8. Bake for 45 min. to 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
There is something about the smell of hash browns being cooked that brings up fond childhood memories. I can't necessarily remember specific times we had hash browns, but I can remember the smell of them cooking as the smell permeated the house. When I started this diet, I wondered if I could ever get hash browns that were good without using oil. I initially started with just potatoes and seasoning but the potatoes were always too dry for my preferences. At one point, I threw in a chopped white onion....SUCCESS! The moisture in the onion keeps the potatoes from drying out and gives them a sheen that almost makes it look like they've been cooked in oil. These potatoes are now a weekly Sunday morning staple at our house. They are great by themselves or with salsa or BBQ sauce. My son loves them wrapped into a tortilla with a little BBQ sauce. I hope you enjoy these as much as we do!! Click for recipe!
I had a hankering for some lasagna tonight but wanted a simple recipe. I looked at several recipes and didn't seem to have all the ingredients, so I threw this recipe together with what I had. Give it a try and if you make any adjustments (translated as improvements) please let me know and I'll add them as variations to the recipe.
Simple Spinach Lasagna
16 oz. Lasagna Noodles (I used spelt noodles from Lassens)
1 pkg. silken tofu - extra firm
14 oz. Gimme Lean - Sausage Style
16 oz. frozen spinach
40 oz. spaghetti or marinara sauce
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. basil
juice from one lemon
1/2 cup (approx.) breadcrumbs
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Remove spinach from freezer so it can begin to defrost.
3. Cook lasagna noodles per instructions on the package.
4. Press tofu (see note below on pressing)
5. Brown Gimme Lean in skillet - about 5-6 minutes and then set aside.
6. Crumble tofu into large mixing bowl with your hands.
7. Add salt, nutritional yeast, oregano, basil and lemon juice to tofu and mix well.
8. In a separate bowl mix 12-14 oz of spaghetti sauce and mix with browned sausage.
9. In a large baking dish (I used a deep 9x13, rectangle) spoon in a layer of sauce to cover the bottom.
10. Put a layer of noodles, then a layer of meat (1/2 of the meat), layer of tofu mixture (1/2 of mixture) and half the spinach.
11. Repeat step #10.
12. Put final layer of noodles on top and cover with remaining spaghetti sauce.
13. Sprinkle breadcrumbs on the top.
14. Cook in oven for 40 minutes.
Pressing removes most of the moisture. Open the tofu and put a double layer paper towel on a plate. Set the tofu on top of the paper towel and then put another double layer of paper towel and set a heavy book on it. Let sit for about 5 min. Replace both sets of paper towels, flip the tofu and repeat.
One of the concerns when I first started a plant based diet was my HDL level. HDL is the "good" cholesterol and the thinking has always been the higher your HDL, the lower the risk for heart disease. My HDL number prior to starting a plant based diet was 34 which isn't too bad. After only 3 weeks of being on the diet, my HDL number dropped to 23. At first I was very disappointed because although my other numbers were great, my HDL was lower than my doctor wanted.
After being on the diet for awhile, I ran into an article found at Medical News Today which talked a little more about what HDL really means. It turns out that the HDL number itself is not as important as the efflux capacity of the HDL. The article states, "
This last week I had the opportunity of spending a few days in beautiful Austin, Texas. I was there presenting at an educators conference (NISOD) with some of my colleagues. I was reading one of my favorite blogs, Healthy Girl's Kitchen, and she posted this flyer for a potluck at Rip Esselstyns house. If you don't know, or don't remember, Rip Esselstyn is the author of the famous Engine 2 Diet which advocates a plant based diet. At first, I barely skimmed the flyer but then realized that the potluck was happening on Memorial Day and I would be in Austin on the very day of the potluck. I immediately pulled up Google Maps to find the distance between my hotel and Rip's house. It was only a few miles!!
I wondered if the potluck was truly open to all so I "friended" Rip Esselstyn on Facebook and then asked him via a direct message if the potluck was truly open to all. He said it was open to everyone and feel free to bring a friend. So it was for real.....now I needed a dish to bring. First I looked for grocery stores close to my hotel but because it was downtown, there wasn't much in walking distance. Finally I decided the best option was to bring a can of corn, peas, garbanzo beans and black beans in my suitcase along with a bottle of Trader Joe's Sesame Soy Ginger Vinegarette. The idea would be to mix up the veggies and beans in a bowl and then pour the dressing over it making a quick salad.
Monday after my conference, I went back to my room and threw the salad together. I then called a cab and headed for Rip's house. I was a bit nervous when I arrived, knowing that I wouldn't really know ANYONE. Rip was standing in his driveway graciously meeting all his guests. We had a quick chat and then I moved on to meeting some of the other guests. Overall, it was a cool experience with great food, great company and a genuinely warm and gracious host.
About the Author
Hello, my name is Todd Coston. This site is a dedicated to my journey on a plant based diet. I'm passionate about the benefits of this diet and share my thoughts, resources and recipes through this site. I would love to hear from you, so drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other Plant Based Blogs/Sites:
Happy Healthy Long Life
Healthy Girl's Kitchen
Rocky Road Run