BUCKWHEAT BANANA BREAD

BUCKWHEAT BANANA BREAD
BUCKWHEAT BANANA BREAD

Meet my new favorite banana bread!

BUCKWHEAT BANANA BREAD

Nutty, delicious buckwheat has been a great addition to my kitchen pantry! Since revisiting the Buckwheat Chocolate Waffles, I mentioned I was going to bring more buckwheat recipes to the collection and this is a great start. The recipe is adapted from my classic Banana Tea Bread. It's been a 'tried and true' recipe for years and I have no doubt this new version using buckwheat flour will be just as successful. I bake a loaf of banana bread at least once a week. Bananas are inexpensive in my area and I always have them on hand in different stages of ripeness. This was a natural place for me to start subbing in buckwheat flour. I was able to keep the recipe almost the same only changing up a few ingredients. I usually use 4 bananas for my banana tea bread but here I used 5 with good results, you'll have the option of using 4 or 5. I also used a hazelnut oil I had on hand and it was delicious pairing well with the nuttiness of the buckwheat flour. Any neutral oil or coconut oil will do. I added a nice dose of cinnamon. Use a teaspoon more if you really want to bring the cinnamon essence forward. This recipe is extremely simple with few ingredients, most you'll already have on hand, if not all of them. If you're a lover of banana bread and buckwheat, you're going to enjoy this bread immensely! And if you've never tried buckwheat flour, I suggest giving it a try for yourself to see if it's a new must have flour to keep stocked in the pantry. Happy buckwheat loving my friends!

FYI: I just updated this Vegetable Frittata and Garden Quinoa Salad + Garlic Dressing, they're both delicious as ever! 

BUCKWHEAT FLOURBUCKWHEAT FLOUR

Buckwheat is not wheat at all but is in fact a seed making it a wonderful gluten free flour option for baking. Its flour is very distinct. The dark buckwheat flour you see here has been ground from the whole seed retaining all of its nutrition. I find it's slightly grainier than other flours but not in a bad way (it's only very slight).  If this is new to you, you may find you need a few bites to adapt but once you do you'll be a believer in this highly nutritious flour. You can swap buckwheat flour 1 - 1 for other flours but if you prefer you can mix other flours with it in whatever ratio you like. Sometimes I'll mix spelt and buckwheat flour together with delicious results. The nutritional profile of buckwheat is excellent. For every 1 cup of flour there is approx. 402 calories, 15 grams of protein, 12 grams of fiber and 3.7 grams of fat. It's a good source of vitamin B6, thiamin and niacin, and is rich in trace minerals such as magnesium, manganese, iron, phosphorus and folate. It's a great addition to your healthy kitchen! 

BUCKWHEAT BANANA BREADBUCKWHEAT BANANA BREAD

BUCKWHEAT BANANA BREAD

Ingredients
  • 1 3/4 cups buckwheat flour
  • 1/3 cup pure cane or coconut sugar (or maple syrup)
  • 2 heaping teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 heaping teaspoons baking powder
  • pinch of mineral salt
  • 4-5 large very ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 3/4 - 2 cups)
  • 1/3 cup light flavored olive oil, coconut oil (in liquid form) or hazelnut oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium/large mixing bowl, combine the buckwheat flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder and salt, mix well. Add the mashed bananas, oil and vanilla, mix to combine. Place batter in a lightly greased 9x5 loaf pan and bake on the middle rack for 50 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool about 10 minutes and enjoy. 

Pairs wonderfully with a little homemade almond butter!

Makes 8 - 10 slices.

Notes:

I used and loved hazelnut oil here. Another oil to consider would be walnut oil.

Add 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts to the batter or sprinkle some on top for extra texture and nutrition.

If you're used to baking with baking soda, feel free to add 1/2 teaspoon in addition to the baking powder. Baking powder contains baking soda which is why I don't include it here and use a little extra. 


ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH + BEANS & BARLEY BOWL

ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH + BEANS & BARLEY BOWL

A life uncomplicated, that is the way to live. Tonight's dinner was a perfect example of simplicity and elegance. At least I see it that way. Colorful, tasty and extremely satisfying, this is a wonderful complete meal including lots of protein from the beans & barley, as well as tons of fiber. The butternut squash with its sweet roasted flavor gives life and warmth to the dish while adding its benefits of iron, potassium and vitamin C. Add spinach, avocado, a touch of thyme and this has rounded out nicely without breaking the bank. These simple easy dishes are so many times overlooked. Let's embrace them more often!

The barley in this recipe does a while to cook but it will give you time to bring everything else together. If you're following a gluten free diet, I suggest using quinoa or brown rice. As for the beans you can use your favorite. You may opt to replace the spinach with baby kale or chopped lacinato. Other herbs that would be great here with the butternut squash are rosemary and sage. 

This recipe is brought forward from the archives, it was first posted in July 2012. I've also updated this Farmer's Market Shephard's Pie if you're craving a good ol' homestyle meal. It's a definite keeper!

ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH + BEANS & BARLEY BOWLROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH + BEANS & BARLEY BOWLROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH + BEANS & BARLEY BOWLROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH + BEANS & BARLEY BOWLROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH + BEANS & BARLEY BOWLROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH + BEANS & BARLEY BOWLROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH + BEANS & BARLEY BOWL

ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH + BEANS & BARLEY BOWL

Ingredients
  • 1 cup dried pearl barley
  • 2 3/4 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 small butternut squash (about 2 1/2 cups), diced
  • 1/2 small onion, sliced
  • 1 can (15oz.) great northern or cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 - 3 handfuls baby spinach
  • dash or two garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • mineral salt & fresh cracked pepper, to taste
  • avocado, to serve

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a medium size pot add barley, a pinch of salt and water, bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes. Remove cover and let set 5 - 10 minutes, fluff with a fork. 

While your barley is simmering, prepare your butternut squash by cubing into 1 inch pieces. Place on roasting pan lined with parchment paper, a silpat or lightly greased. Toss the squash with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with the thyme and salt. Place on middle rake for 25 - 30 min, stirring once. Squash is ready when fork pierces easily.

In a medium size pan, heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat, add onions and cook about 5 minutes. Add spinach and cook until wilted (using a cover will help wilt the spinach faster), add beans and a dash or two of garlic powder, cook until heated through. 

Serve with avocado and season to taste with salt & pepper. 

Serves 3.

Notes: 

To make this gluten free use brown rice or quinoa. 

Just about any bean will work here, use your favorite or what you have on hand. 

Other herbs to use are rosemary or sage.


SIMPLE UDON NOODLE BOWL

SIMPLE UDON NOODLE BOWL

I absolutely love a good noodle bowl! There's just something about them that's comforting and satisfying. Udon noodles in particular are fairly new to me but I have a feeling they will be reappearing in my meal rotation more often. Having a package on hand I rummaged through my refrigerator and pulled out some produce I thought would be great and went to town. The vegetables and seasoning in the recipe are really simple adding to the ease of this overall noodle bowl. Noodles and stir-fry's are a match made in heaven and they cook up fast which in this case was perfect because I was very hungry...and this was really scrumptious!

On a side note: I'm slowly trying to update all the recipes that need it to keep TSV looking clean and fresh for years to come. I recently updated this Smoky Lentil & Quinoa Soup if you've got a soup craving. It's hearty, nutrient dense and delicious! If you're in the mood for a salad, try this Chopped Vegetable Salad + Garlic Dressing. It's great alone, mixed with leafy greens or pasta making it really versatile. You might like these Apple Cinnamon Muffins using delicious almond flour making them gluten free. Lastly, this vibrant and filling Skillet Asparagus & Tomato Medley is a perfect spring/summer meal.

This recipe was archived and brought forward, it was first posted in August 2012.

SIMPLE UDON NOODLE BOWLSIMPLE UDON NOODLE BOWL

The first time I made this recipe I used another brand of udon noodles. I've since learned that not all udon noodles are the same. These are now my favorite. I can only imagine that fresh udon noodles would surpass these. After devouring this meal udon noodles have become a new favorite. They are unlike most noodles as they cook up plumb and hearty. I enjoyed slurping these up! 

SIMPLE UDON NOODLE BOWLSIMPLE UDON NOODLE BOWLSIMPLE UDON NOODLE BOWL

The vegetables I used can be switched up, just be careful because some may take longer to cook than others. I highly recommend using the ingredients I have here, I think you'll love them. The mushrooms and zucchini will sweat leaving some extra flavorful juices at the bottom of the wok/pan creating a wonderful broth. Some other veggies that would be great here but take a little longer to soften and don't sweat are broccoli and carrots. You could also switch up the mushrooms and use shitake. As for the basil, the more the merrier I always say. Add as much as you like of anything here! 

SIMPLE UDON NOODLE BOWLSIMPLE UDON NOODLE BOWLSIMPLE UDON NOODLE BOWL

Scrumptious to the very last bite, plump udon noodles are the best!

SIMPLE UDON NOODLE BOWL

SIMPLE UDON NOODLE BOWL

Ingredients
  • 1 package udon noodles
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 large or 3 small zucchini, cut in half and sliced
  • 3 - 4 scallions, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • large handful bean sprouts
  • handful of basil, whole leaf or roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup water or vegetable broth
  • 3 tablespoons tamari, coconut amino's or soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • toasted sesame seeds, to garnish

Cook noodles as directed on package, set aside. 

While you're waiting for the water to boil, begin slicing up your veggies. 

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat, add onion (not the scallions) and cook about 4 minutes or until onions soften. Add mushrooms and cook another 3 minutes. Add the zucchini, scallions, bean sprouts, basil, water/broth, tamari, maple syrup, garlic powder and red pepper flakes, cook another 3 - 4 minutes, or until zucchini has just softened. A cover will help cook your vegetables faster. Remove from heat, add noodles to the pan and toss together. You can also keep the noodles and vegetable mixture separate if you like and mix in your bowl.  


Serve in individual bowls with a little of the juice from the bottom of the wok/pan. Top with toasted sesame seeds (and more red pepper flakes if you like). A little sriracha wouldn't hurt either! 

Serves 3.

Notes: 


Add some cubed firm or extra-firm tofu for added protein.
 


SPINACH + ARTICHOKE WHITE BEAN DIP

SPINACH + ARTICHOKE WHITE BEAN DIP

Creamy and delicious, this recipe is a fairly classic vegan version of an otherwise dairy filled dip. For those who find healthier and/or cruelty free versions more satisfying, you'll fully appreciate what I share with you today without missing a thing. After playing around with the ingredients I've adapted this recipe from the lovely Angela at Oh She Glows. It's an easy and flavorful recipe for when you're craving a creamy, rustic style dip or spread. It's versatile in a way that you can use it as a dip for chips and crackers, or maybe you'll prefer to layer some on a slice of your favorite crusty bread. It comes together easily and can be ready in about 35 minutes or so.

For this recipe I used baby spinach but you could use baby kale or chopped large leaf kale. There are herb options so use your favorite or what you have on hand. I chose to use thyme here and it was delicious. Fresh herbs would be fantastic too. The lemon will add an overall brightness and the optional nutritional yeast will lend a cheesy note. Once complete the ingredients come together creating a nice flavor combination to scoop up or spread in whatever way you like. Feeling like adding a bit of freshness, cut up colored bell peppers into scoopable slices and enjoy that way.

SPINACH + ARTICHOKE WHITE BEAN DIP
SPINACH + ARTICHOKE WHITE BEAN DIPSPINACH + ARTICHOKE WHITE BEAN DIP

Create the creamy base by adding the beans along with the spices and liquids, blend until smooth. This isn't as smooth as it could be. I'm generally a little impatient and stopped before it was completely smooth. Do what you feel...we either like it or we learn from it! 

SPINACH + ARTICHOKE WHITE BEAN DIP

Saute the onions, garlic, artichoke hearts and spinach.

SPINACH + ARTICHOKE WHITE BEAN DIP

Add in the pureed beans. Scooping it just like this would be delicious too!

SPINACH + ARTICHOKE WHITE BEAN DIPSPINACH + ARTICHOKE WHITE BEAN DIP

Place mixture in small baking dish, top with bread crumbs and bake. Enjoy this warm creamy dip with pita chips/crackers, serve as a spread for your favorite crusty bread or scoop up with fresh chunky sliced bell peppers. Either way it's delicious!

SPINACH + ARTICHOKE WHITE BEAN DIP

SPINACH + ARTICHOKE WHITE BEAN DIP

Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 large shallot or medium onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 jar/can (14 oz.) artichoke hearts in water, drained and chopped
  • 5 oz. baby spinach or 1 bunch spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1 can (15oz) cannellini, navy or great northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 lemon, juice of
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast, optional
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme, basil or oregano (I used thyme) or 2 teaspoons fresh minced
  • mineral salt & fresh cracked pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a small bowl combine the bread crumbs with 1 tablespoon olive oil, mix well using your fingers, set aside. Add a little extra oil if you feel you need it.

Heat the remaining oil in a skillet/pan over medium heat, add onions and saute for about 5 minutes, until onions are translucent. Add in garlic and cook 1 minute more, add artichoke and spinach, cook until spinach wilts. 

In food processor, add beans, lemon juice, water, nutritional yeast, herbs of choice, salt and red pepper flakes. Process until creamy scrapping down the sides as needed. Add the puree to the sauteed artichoke and spinach mixture and mix well.

Fill a small baking dish with mixture, add a layer of the olive oil bread crumbs over top and bake, covered for 10 minutes (I don't use foil anymore and covered my dish with a small silpat, worked well). After 10 minutes, remove cover and cook an additional 10 minutes. If top doesn't turn golden, place the dip in the broiler to brown, about a minute or two should do. Just be careful it doesn't burn. Let cool a few minutes before serving.

Serve warm as a dip with pita chips or crackers. You can also serve this as a delicious spread with crusty bread of choice.

Makes 3 cups.

Notes:

If using frozen artichokes and/or spinach, thaw before use. Use 1 cup, or about 9 oz.. thawed spinach that's been squeezed dry.

If using garlic powder, add to the bean mixture with the other herbs and spices.


BUCKWHEAT CHOCOLATE WAFFLES + MAPLE NUT BUTTER SYRUP

BUCKWHEAT CHOCOLATE WAFFLES + MAPLE NUT BUTTER SYRUP

Buckwheat Chocolate Waffles + Maple Nut Butter Syrup = pure love!

BUCKWHEAT CHOCOLATE WAFFLES + MAPLE NUT BUTTER SYRUP

If these waffles seem at all familiar to you from here, it's because they are actually from the archives and being updated and shared again. I had a post entitled, 'Chocolate Waffles Two Ways', that was in serious need of updating. One of the waffles featured a whole wheat version and the other a buckwheat one with this maple nut butter syrup. I decided it was best to separate the two recipes leaving the Whole Wheat Chocolate Waffles in the archives and sharing these Buckwheat Chocolate Waffles (revisited) in this new post since it's the most involved. The original of this recipe used both whole wheat and buckwheat flour but this time around I have made this recipe 100% buckwheat with great results.

On another note, I've also updated a few other recipes over the last couple weeks. Looking for pancake recipes? Try these BFF Pancakes or maybe these Lemon Chia Seed Pancakes. Looking for soup inspiration? How about this Spicy Thai Curry Corn Soup...it's absolutely delicious! I'm slowly making my rounds and updating the oldies but goodies. Enjoy!

Buckwheat FlourMaple Nut Butter Syrup

Buckwheat flour is highly nutritious and gluten free. Despite its name, it's not related to wheat at all and is in fact a fruit seed related to rhubarb and sorrel. Buckwheat in its raw natural state is known as buckwheat groats and once toasted its called kasha. I much prefer the raw version and have used it in this Bircher Muesli recipe and these raw Coconut Lemon Bombs truffles. I haven't worked too much with buckwheat flour and intend on playing with it more frequently. I stocked up on a few packages from Amazon and look forward to recipe testing. Buckwheat flour can be a little tricky to work with on its own but in these waffles it worked fine. If you like feel free to use half of another flour such as spelt, whole wheat, rice flour or a gluten-free blend of choice. 

As for the maple nut butter syrup, it's amazing. I can eat it all by itself! It will add a fair amount of protein to your meal as well. The syrup serves 2 and provides about 7 - 8 grams of protein per serving. Not too bad at all for this ultra-decadent topping! This would also be fabulous on non-dairy ice cream or chocolate cake. Definitely need to try it out!

BUCKWHEAT CHOCOLATE WAFFLES + MAPLE NUT BUTTER SYRUP

Once assembled these buckwheat chocolate waffles are simply delicious! They're also nutrient dense and healthy making them a perfect fit for those following a healthy lifestyle. They cook up crispy on the outside with an almost cake like center. The chocolate is subtle and pairs well with the nuttiness of the buckwheat flour creating a nice balance. Fresh banana slices will add a touch of freshness. The nut butter syrup will tie everything together with its decadence and richness. It's a great flavor combination and I think you'll agree! Incredibly filling, they will keep you going for hours. If you happen to have leftovers, they store well and can be reheated when ready to serve. If you don't have a waffle maker handy, you can use this recipe to make pancakes. 

BUCKWHEAT CHOCOLATE WAFFLES + MAPLE NUT BUTTER SYRUP

 Chocolate Buckwheat Waffles + Maple Nut Butter Syrup

Waffles
  • 1 1/2 cups buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 cup organic raw cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup organic pure cane or coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon mineral salt
  • 1 2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk, or milk of choice
  • 1/4 cup light flavored olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla, optional

Maple Nut Butter Syrup (serves 2)
  • 4 tablespoons almond butter or nut butter of choice
  • 4 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons water, + more as needed

First, mix your nut butter syrup. Combine ingredients in a small bowl and stir until smooth. For thinner syrup use more water. Set aside.

Preheat waffle maker to manufacturer's instructions. 

In medium size bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, salt. Add nut milk, oil and vanilla, mix until combined. 

Pour batter onto waffle iron, close and cook about 3 - 4 minutes (or according to your waffle makers instructions). Gently remove waffles and serve right away. You can also keep waffles warm in a preheated oven at 200 degrees F., keep waffles on a cookie sheet until all waffles are ready.

Serve with the maple nut butter syrup and sliced bananas.

Store any leftovers in the refrigerator or freezer. If freezing, when ready to use let thaw. Toast your waffle and you're all set.

Makes 2 extra large waffles (the size shown here) or 6 - 8 smaller ones.

Notes:

Make vegan buttermilk: Add juice of 1/2 large lemon to non-dairy milk and let set for about 10 minutes.

If using coconut oil, be sure to warm the milk or use room temp milk. Cold milk will solidify the coconut oil making it lumpy. For best results, warm the milk and coconut oil together.

These will turn out just as well without any oil added. Waffles shown are oil-free.


TRIPLE BERRY CHIA JAM


If you've never made your own jam, it is a must do! It's so simple to make and better than any jam I've ever eaten. I can eat it right out of the jar! It's a great way to use those fresh or frozen berries you have on hand. I seem to always have a mix of fresh berries on hand these days to add to my muesli mix, top over ice cream or blend into smoothies of all flavors. I felt it was time to try something new with my berries and ventured out to make a berry chia jam. My first try was a success! You really can't go wrong here at all. The ingredients are minimal and the instructions simple making this an easy staple to make and have on hand. Originally I wanted to make this a 'simply fruit' chia jam but ultimately added a very small amount of pure maple syrup. I love that you have control of what sweetener you use, if you need any at all. My blackberries were so sweet and delicious, which is why they are the main berry here, that I probably would've been fine without any sweetener but added some for good measure. Use the berries in any arrangement you like, even adding strawberries if you like. You could just as easily use one type of berry. This is just a template to use as a guide for whatever berry chia jam you desire. I encourage you to try making a batch for yourself. I've given you 2 ways to make this, either stove-top or raw. Both ways are delicious! Get ready to be amazed at just how wonderful making your own jam can be!

Spread on your favorite toast or a slice of this banana bread. Make a PB & J sandwich using this raw almond butter recipe. Add a dollop to oatmealpancakes or waffles. You can even treat yourself to these oat jam thumbprint cookiesThere are many ways to use this lip smackin berry chia jam!

TRIPLE BERRY CHIA JAMTRIPLE BERRY CHIA JAM

This jam is loaded with powerful antioxidants! Blueberries, raspberries and blackberries are all rich in polyphenols, essential vitamins and trace elements. Alone these berries are amazing but together they promote optimal antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anticancer benefits. I highly recommend seeking out organic berries as an added measure of heart smart eating. If you decide to make the stove-top method in this recipe, you can be sure that most of the polyphenols will still be intact.

The chia seeds are also considered a superfood. Although they are used sparingly they will add some omegas while adding textural thickness to the jam.

Recently I watched this TED talk entitled, Can We Eat To Starve Cancer, by Dr. William Li. In a word...YES we can! This has been my food philosophy. I believe prevention is key. The food we eat directly affects every part of our being. Your body is an amazing eco-system and has the ability to ward off and prevent many diseases by simply eating whole foods. In this video Dr. Li will discuss what he has learned about the connection between cancer and angiogenesis. He'll also discuss how foods, and the combining of certain foods, can create an even more powerful healing effect. If you get a moment, it's a pretty informative talk lasting about 24 minutes.

'Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food'. - Hippocrates

TRIPLE BERRY CHIA JAM

TRIPLE BERRY CHIA JAM

Ingredients
  • 1 heaping cup blackberries (about 6 oz.)
  • 1/2 heaping cup raspberries (about 3 oz.)
  • 1/2 heaping cup blueberries (about 3 oz.)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

Stove-top: Add berries to a small saucepan, heat over medium stirring occasionally until softened. Using the back of a slotted spoon or fork, mash the berries along the side (or bottom) of the pan. Let mixture come to a gentle boil. The entire cooking time will be from 4 - 6 minutes. Once boiling occurs, remove from heat, add sweetener if needed and slowly add in chia seeds while stirring to combine.

Fill jar and let cool a few minutes. Cover and place in the refrigerator to thicken. Store in fridge. Will last up to 2 - 3 weeks (I've never had it longer than a week, it may even last up to a month).

Raw: Place berries and chia seeds in blender/food processor and pulse until desired chunkiness/consistency. Add maple syrup as needed and blend again.

Fill jar, cover and place in refrigerator to set for a couple hours. Keep stored in fridge and use your raw chia jam within 1 week. 

Makes about 1 - 1 1/4 cup (8 - 10 oz.).

Notes: 

Use any berries you prefer equaling approx. 12 oz. If using strawberries be sure to chop them up before measuring unless using a scale.

If using frozen berries, be sure to let them thaw before measuring.



I'd love to see your re-creations!
#thesimpleveganista


TOASTED AVOCADO-TOFU SANDWICH + CARAMELIZED ONIONS

AVOCADO-TOFU SANDWICH + CARAMELIZED ONIONS

It's no secret I love my sandwiches! You could say that's pretty apparent by the chickpea salad sandwiches I've shared over the years along with a few other sandwiches that are amazing in their own way. The 'Sandwich & Wrap' section is growing nicely giving us sandwich lovers plenty of vegan options. What I have today isn't anything new but I have layered it up with some caramelized onions and various mustards. It's an absolute lovely combination in my book and I'm super excited to share my version of this delicious sandwich with you!

GRILLED TOFU & AVOCADO SANDWICH

This sandwich came about as my version of an avocado-egg sandwich. Tofu reminds me a great deal of cooked egg whites. If you enjoy egg whites, you should take to tofu with not trouble at all. Plain cooked tofu and egg whites resemble each other in both texture and flavor. I can completely appreciate all of tofu's qualities and nuances. Here I've left the tofu as simple as possible because that's what you would generally do with egg whites. I only added mineral salt and garlic powder while cooking to give a slight flavor. And frankly, once the sandwich is complete that's all it needs. Cooking the tofu on a hot griddle/skillet will sear and give the tofu a nice golden color. To add even more flavor I've added some caramelized onions. I have a thing for them lately and they never disappoint! If you're not a fan of onions, feel free to leave them out. Adding tomato slices will add some good flavor and juices too. I've also added mustard to mine but vegan mayo would work too. I love all the spicy flavored mustard's I'm seeing lately and used a combo of dijon and habanero mustard...it was so good!

This sandwich is loaded with protein not only from the tofu but also from the bread I used. At the moment I'm loving Dave's Killer Bread. Make great bread and they will come! Two slices of this bread gives me 10 grams of protein and 10 grams of fiber. That's pretty amazing in itself. The tofu will add another 15 grams boosting the protein content of this sandwich to 25 grams. That's slightly more than half of the day's recommended amount for the average adult female and slightly less for males. Not too shabby at all and it's a killer sandwich!

I'd also like to mention that I'm so happy to see tofu has been given a good seal of approval from World's Healthiest Foods. I value their opinion and use their information all the time when researching. They are an unbiased group with the health of the consumer in mind.

AVOCADO-TOFU SANDWICH + CARAMELIZED ONIONS

Once you've layered your sandwich with all the desired ingredients, slice in half and serve.

My apologies for the following in your face picture. Lol My only wish is that you could taste this amazingly simple, yet flavorful, sandwich! For all those tofu nay-sayers out there, give this one a try you may just fall in love!

AVOCADO-TOFU SANDWICH + CARAMELIZED ONIONS

AVOCADO-TOFU SANDWICH + CARAMELIZED ONIONS


Ingredients
  • 1 block organic extra firm or firm tofu, about 14 - 16 oz.
  • 2 tablespoons olive or grapeseed oil, divided
  • garlic powder
  • mineral salt
  • fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tomato, thinly sliced, optional
  • 1 - 2 medium avocados
  • 6 slices bread of choice
  • leafy greens of choice
  • favorite mustard or vegan mayo, to spread

Slice and press tofu: Remove tofu from package, turn on it's side and carefully slice into 3 slabs. Place slabs between 2 clean dish cloths or towels, lay a heavy object over top to press out excess moisture. I used my large cutting board but a heavy cookbook will do the job too. Let set under pressure for about 10 minutes. 

Saute onions: Peel and cut the ends off the onion, lay onion cut side down and cut in half. Slice onion into thin strips, about 1/8 - 1/4 inch. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet or medium size pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring frequently, until golden and browned on the edges, about 10 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside. If you happen to leave your onions in the pan take note that they may continue cooking from the heat of the pan, pay close attention so they don't burn too much.

Pan-fry tofu: Heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat in a cast iron skillet or pan. Add tofu and cook without touching for about 4-5 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Sprinkle with salt and garlic powder after the first flip.

Prepare bread & avocado: Toast your bread, or not, and slice your avocado. You may even prefer to mash your avocado right in its shell with the back of a fork and spread like butter. I find I use the latter method most often.

Assemble: Layer your sandwich as you like. I layered mine from bottom to top with mustard (dijon and habenaro mix), leafy greens, tofu, sauteed onions, salt & pepper, avocado and more mustard. Every bite was so delicious!

Serves 3.

Notes:

I suggest using only non-gmo, pref. organic, tofu. Tofu is very inexpensive and non-gmo/organic tofu is only a few cents more. Make the splurge!

The addition of sliced tomato on the sandwich is delicious but here I chose to eat them separately. 


I'd love to see your re-creations!
#thesimpleveganista


CRISP APPLE & COCONUT BACON SALAD + GINGER PEANUT DRESSING


As a salad lover, I'm always looking for new ways to dress them up and simplicity is always a plus. I threw this salad together quite a while ago when I put together the Coconut Bacon recipe in the archives (it's also in the The Archives eBook!). I shared it on Instagram but it never made it to the recipe collection. I've finally come back to this one and it was as good as I remember. Maybe even a bit more so! Today, I gladly share with you this simple and delicious salad to keep your saladspiration alive! There's so much to love here. You can't go too wrong with fresh, crisp apple, flavorful coconut bacon and a creamy ginger peanut dressing. I do think you'll love it too! 

APPLE + COCONUT BACON SALADAPPLE + COCONUT BACON SALAD 50/50 SPRING MIXGinger Peanut Dressing

Feel free to use your favorite apples. Mine happen to be Fuji but you may prefer tart green apples or other red varieties. I added some currents and slivered almonds to my dish. You can surely use raisins or dried blueberries instead. The addition of the peanut dressing will give you a good dose of protein (about 8 grams) and some delicious creaminess at the same time. I used ginger powder since it's what was on hand but fresh grated ginger is ideal for maximum ginger flavor. Use your favorite leafy greens. I chose a 50/50 spring mix but arugula, spinach, baby kale, oak lettuce or any mix of these would be great.

Grab whatever ingredients make you happiest, or have hand, and give it a go. Happy repeat salad days ahead!

APPLE & COCONUT BACON SALAD

CRISP APPLE & COCONUT BACON SALAD 

Ingredients
  • 1 Fuji apple (use your favorite apple), cored and diced
  • coconut bacon
  • currents or raisins
  • slivered almonds (pumpkin, sunflower seeds or hemp hearts would be great too)
  • favorite salad mix

Ginger Peanut Dressing
  • 2 rounded tablespoons natural peanut butter or almond butter
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider or rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon ginger powder or 1/4 teaspoon fresh grated
  • pinch of mineral salt
  • pinch of garlic powder
  • water as needed to thin

In a small bowl, mix together the dressing ingredients. Add water, a teaspoon or two at a time, as needed to create desired consistency. Taste for flavor adjusting as needed. If dressing becomes to thin, add a bit more peanut butter to thicken. Set aside. 

Create your salad by adding a few large handfuls of salad mix to your serving bowl. Top with diced apple, handful of coconut bacon, currents and slivered almonds. Drizzle ginger peanut dressing over top and enjoy.

Serves one. 

Notes:

For the dressing I used raw almond butter, if using other nut butters containing salts and sugars you may not need as much maple syrup or pinch of salt. Just something to consider.

Don't feel like making coconut bacon, you can purchase some already prepared from Phoney Baloney's. It's delicious! Look for it at your local grocery store or order online from participating retailers.

If you have nut allergies, try using tahini in place of the nut butter. 


I'd love to see your re-creations!
#thesimpleveganista