Friday, June 25, 2010
Lettuce Wraps filled with Lemon Marinated Veggies and Topped with Flavored Nut Cheese
Today has been a busy one for me. I had a few errands and need to check on the parents. By the time I got everything finished there wasn’t much time for cooking. When this happens I turn to salad, like I often do. I got some nuts soaking for nut cheese since two hours is enough soak time to make them easy to turn into cheese. At the same time I cut up veggies to marinate in lemon juice. Instead of making salad I decided to go with lettuce wraps tonight. However this works just as well as a salad if you prefer. Dan thinks it is easier to eat as a salad. ;-) Here is what I made tonight:
Parsley and Sun-Dried Tomato Macadamia, Cashew and Sunflower Seed Cheese
Makes 16 servings (approximately 1 ounce each depending on how much water is absorbed by the nuts)
1 cup macadamia nuts, soaked in water for at least 2 hours, and well drained
½ cup raw sunflower seeds, soaked in water for at least 2 hours, and well drained
1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for at least 2 hours, and well drained
1 lemon zested and juiced (less if you aren’t a fan of lemon)
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
2 tablespoons white miso
6 sun-dried tomatoes, finely minced
¼ cup fresh parsley, finely minced
Drain the nuts and seeds well and place them in your food processor. Add the juice and zest from one lemon, garlic and white miso. If you aren’t a huge fan of lemon don’t use the zest and start with half the lemon juice but I think it needs the lemon flavor. Puree until the mixture is smooth. If you want it thinner add water a tablespoon at the time until you get the texture you desire. Stir the sun-dried tomato and parsley into the cheese. If you use the food processor you may get the parsley and tomato too finely ground resulting in a muddy appearance. This will keep in the refrigerator for at least 5 days.
Nutritional Information for 1/16th of the recipe:
Amount Per Serving
Calories - 126.45
Calories From Fat (75%) - 95.1
Total Fat - 11.36g
Saturated Fat - 1.7g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 97.92mg
Potassium - 139.57mg
Total Carbohydrates - 5.31g
Fiber - 1.59g
Sugar - 1.38g
Protein - 3.07g
This is another variation of a mild nut cheese. I posted it to show that you can use many different nuts and seeds to make vegan cheese. I added sun-dried tomatoes and fresh parsley to this one to add a little flavor to an otherwise mild cheese. This recipe makes a lot of nut cheese. If you are single start with ½ or maybe even ¼ of the recipe.
Next Recipe: Lemon Marinated Veggies
One thing I have learned about food without added oil is that it needs flavor. Acid like lemon juice and vinegar works well. Adding a little garlic, ginger, sriracha also makes a big difference. Here is the remainder of the recipe:
Lemon Marinated Veggies for Lettuce Wraps
2 cucumbers, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced into half moons
1 red bell pepper, stemmed and seeded and cut into thin strips
2 carrots, thinly julienned
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 head romaine lettuce for wrapper
2 servings Parsley and Sun-Dried Tomato Macadamia, Cashew and Sunflower Seed Cheese from above
Combine all the ingredients except the romaine and nut cheese in your refrigerator. Stir periodically to make certain all the veggies get coated with the lemon juice. They need to marinate at least 2 hours so they absorb lemon and garlic flavor. Overnight would not be too long to marinate the veggies. I think they are just as good 24 hours later so you may want to make double which is what I do sometimes. To serve eliminate the excess juice so that your salad isn’t soggy.
Amount Per Serving
Calories - 262.84
Calories From Fat (41%) - 107.99
Total Fat - 12.91g
Saturated Fat - 1.91g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 219.68mg
Potassium - 1565.5mg
Total Carbohydrates - 34.83g
Fiber - 13.5g
Sugar - 14.53g
This is a good hot weather dish. The components can be made the night before of in the morning so that all you have to do is put it together when you get home from work. If you are like my hubby you will prefer this as a salad. I like it as lettuce wraps. Either way it tastes great to us.
Fun Facts Friday:
Since I bailed on your guys last week on Fun Facts Friday I knew I shouldn’t overlook it this week. I have some interesting questions for you all today.
1. What is the most unusual food you have ever eaten, not limited to vegan food? I have eaten some pretty crazy stuff so this one is actually a tough question for me. I guess the strangest thing was cotton candy wrapped eel at the MiniBar in DC. Oddly it was excellent and not at all what you would have expected. The couple we were there with was also hesitant to try this but we all agreed it was strangely good. For those of you that can get seats at the MiniBar they can accommodate vegetarians but not vegans or at least that was the case the last time we were there. Just to be clear my husband and I spent the vast majority of our life as omnivores. I suspect many of the things we have consumed in the past would make most of you cringe that is not my intention, just answering the question honestly.
2. If money were no object where would you retire? For me it is Italy hands down. My heart belongs to Dan first and Italy second. Both Dan and I love our trips to Italy. The only problem is where in Italy and that is a very tough question. We love Tuscany, but the Veneto is gorgeous and the Amalfi Coast is so welcoming. I don’t know that we could ever actually narrow it down to one place. ;-)
3. How many fruit and vegetable servings do you eat on average per day? I have been chatting with some friends about this one a lot lately. I have read that most Americans only consume 3 servings of fruits and veggies per day (total not each) and most of those are in the food of potatoes which I don’t even count as a veggie that is a starch. *rolls eye* For years I have thought the minimum fruit and veggie servings per day should be 10 and many of my friends thought I was nuts. So I tracked our servings for a while to get an average. Excluding our fresh pressed juiced which adds many servings we are averaging about 20 servings a day. How about you? And, if you don’t eat a many vegetables and fruits why not? This is a question that has stumped me for a while so I would love to hear the reasons why not.
Vegan Friendly Restaurants in Indianapolis:
Dan will be in Indianapolis next week for a day and a half for work. Does anyone have any restaurant suggestions that would be good for one vegan and one omnivore? I found a few places on line that may work but was hoping one or two or you have personal experience with a restaurant or two in town.
As I mentioned today as a little hectic at our place which is why this is my first post of the day. Like all Fridays I needed to take care of the few things and check on my parents.
After I finished with my errands I got a chance to try out a small handheld vacuum I purchased to clean the carpet on our stairs of cat hair. Much to my surprise this little machine has great suction. It performed much better than I expected for the price. As you all know I have three long hair cat hair makers so our stairs tend to get a little fuzzy. This machine cleaned beautifully. If you own animals and need a hand held vacuum I can vouch for the suction on this machine.
The 2010 Dr. Greger DVD arrived today. If time permits the new DVD will be on my viewing schedule this weekend. I will let you know if I learn anything new and exciting.
For now I need to go clean my kitchen and do a little meditation with Dan. Talk to you all tomorrow.