Month: July 2014

Raw Zucchini Lasagna

10269256_715597485168971_852554004667603025_o

Our good friends Daley and Caitlin Campbell were kind enough to share with us their recipe for Raw Zucchini Lasagna, which they made as one of the many vegan offerings of Kitchen Ahimsa, their raw vegan food business. Originally in Wilmington, NC, Daley and Caitlin have moved to Asheville, where Daley has started a job at the vegan restaurant Plant and Caitlin is continuing to make Kitchen Ahimsa’s delicious kale chips.

Raw Zucchini Lasagna
Serves 4

For the pasta:

2 zucchini (you could also use daikon radish )

Slice these really thin using a mandolin (you could try with a knife but uniform thickness and size is what we are looking for).

For the marinara:

1-2 large tomatoes
Fresh basil
Fresh thyme
Fresh oregano (you can also use dry for these herbs, but fresh is best)
Lemon juice
Salt and pepper

Cut tomatoes into 8 pieces and remove seeds. Cut the skins/flesh into fine dice (concasse).

Next add the seeds to a food processor and blend. Add the herbs, seasoning, and lemon juice and blend some more. The amount of herbs and seasoning is purely down to taste but I would say a good few sprigs of herbs and a tsp of salt and pepper and 2 lemons juiced.

Pesto:

1 cup basil
1/2 cup parsley
Salt
Pepper
Thyme (optional)
Oregano (optional)
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup (optional) pine nuts
1/2 cup cashews

This is a very loose base recipe, meaning you may want to play with the ratios to see what works best for you.

Blend all the herbs in processor/Vitamix. Add salt and liquids. When nicely combined, throw in the nuts/pine nuts (pine nuts are hard to find and super expensive. They do add a great taste but cashews work great too, so just add more if they are all you can find).

Walnut meat:

1 cup walnuts (soak for 4 hours)
1/2 cup sunflower seeds (soak for 4 hours)
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes (soak for 4 hours )
2-3 shitaake mushroom
Tamari/ coconut amino (optional to taste )
2 Tsp sage

Blend the mushroom and sun dried tomato and soak water in a food processor ( sun dried tomato can be very salty hence the tamari is optional.
Drain of the nuts/seeds and add to tomato mixture. Try not to over blend. You are looking for a chunky texture. Stir in the sage.

Cashew cheese:

1 cup cashew (soak 4 hours minimum)
1/4 tsp acidophilus
1/2-3/4 cup water
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
Salt
1/8 cup lemon juice

Drain the cashews and rinse. Add to Vitamix and add the water. Blend on full power until very smooth. Stir in the acidophilus and cover, then leave somewhere warm for 6-18 hours.

Combine with rest of ingredients, adding or subtracting to taste.

Place in a squirt bottle and refrigerate for 2+ hours.

Building lasagna

Get a mold and put down a layer of zucchini. Add a layer of marinara. Add some walnut meat, pesto, cashew cheese, baby spinach (optional), and then add another layer of zucchini and repeat until you have 3-4 layers.

Advertisements

Grant Award for The Microsanctuary Movement

We are excited to announce that Triangle Chance for All founders Justin and Rosemary Van Kleeck have been awarded a grant from The Thinking Vegan (in collaboration with The Pollination Project) to build the microsanctuary idea into a movement: The Microsanctuary Movement.

Read more on The Thinking Vegan’s fantastic blog: http://thethinkingvegan.com/articles/grant-winner-microsanctuary-movement/.

And join us on our new Facebook page, The Microsanctuary Movement!

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

zucc1

Now that zucchini are in season, we feel it almost a duty to make vegan zucchini bread. Zucchini (and other summer squash) have a multitude of uses, fresh or cooked or baked into things, but I always feel a little special when grated zucchini works its way into a loaf of bread. Zucchini bread can be kind of tricky to get right; I have made far too many “loaves” that ended up being pudding bread. The end result will almost always be moist, but this recipe turned out well and mighty tasty.

– Justin Van Kleeck

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup vegan sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup non-dairy milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups freshly grated zucchini
1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a 9″ loaf pan.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, ground flax seeds, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and ground cinnamon. In another bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, non-dairy milk, and vanilla extract until well combined.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry, along with half of the grated zucchini. Mix until well combined, then fold in the remaining zucchini. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Transfer the batter to the loaf pan and bake for 70-75 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. (It is a good idea to check the bread after about 55-60 minutes, just to make sure it is not getting too done on top.) Remove from the oven and allow to cool before serving.

Marinated Tempeh with Balsamic, Maple, and Garlic

Apparently there are people who don’t like tempeh! We love it whether it is tossed in a stir fry, added to sandwiches, or just eaten as is.

– Linda Nelson

Marinated Tempeh with Balsamic, Maple, and Garlic

Ingredients:

1 eight-ounce package tempeh
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 to 3 cloves minced garlic
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

Rinse and slice the tempeh, and slice it into any shape you’d like.

Whisk all of the ingredients together except the tempeh, and pour them into a large glass baking pan.

Add the tempeh to the pan and immerse all of the pieces in the marinade. Cover the dish with foil, and marinate in the refrigerator overnight, or at least for a few hours. Gently toss the tempeh throughout the marinade time to make sure all pieces are coated.

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Make sure the pieces of tempeh are in a single layer in the marinade, and keep the foil cover on. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil, turn the tempeh over, and bake another 15 to 20 minutes until most of the marinade is absorbed.

Adapted from Meghan Telpner’s recipe that was then adapted by Angela Liddon in The Oh She Glows Cookbook.

Plant Profile: Pavement Rose

Pavement Rose

Today’s plant profile features a unique variety of rose, the PAVEMENT ROSE. We discovered pavement roses at our beloved place for all things edible plants, Edible Landscaping in Afton, Virginia.

Pavement Roses are one of the hardiest varieties of roses and have natural immunity to black spots and other diseases. We have also found them to be less susceptible to insects like Japanese Beetles than other, more common varieties of roses.

While there are several types of Pavement Roses available, we have Snow here at the Microsanctuary. They produce a remarkably steady supply of fragrant, pink flowers that (unless nibbled off by deer first) turn into large (up to 1″ in diameter) hips that start off orange but get slightly red in the fall.

Along with being beautiful, the petals of Pavement Roses (and other varieties) are useful fresh or dried. They can be added to teas, used as a garnish in salads or desserts, and infused in water, oil, or vinegar.

Rose hips are very nutritious, being particularly high in vitamin C (though be sure to eat them soon after picking to get the most of the vitamin C). The hips can be made into jam, puree, and tea, among other uses, and they have traditionally been used to treat stomach disorders when taken medicinally.

Check out these fun recipes for using roses!

* Rose water: http://www.organicauthority.com/organic-gardening/make-your-own-rose-water-elixir-of-the-goddess.html

* Rose hip tea: http://www.motherearthliving.com/cooking-methods/rose-hip-recipes-tea.aspx#axzz38UburcRV

* Rose hip jam: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/rose-hip-freezer-jam/

Blueberry Crumble Bars

Alan and I went blueberry picking after a mama deer and her baby ate every berry from our new bushes. We came home with 10.5 pounds of berries!

We froze some, I baked a pie and muffins, and I made yummy, easy bars. I can’t imagine our ever growing tired of anything and all things blueberry! I really do understand why our deer friends cleaned off our bushes so well.

– Linda Nelson

Blueberry Crumble Bars

Ingredients:

1 cup sugar (you can use all vegan white sugar, or brown, or a combination)
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cold vegan butter (2 sticks or 8 ounces)
1 flax see egg (2.5 tablespoons ground flax seeds mixed with 3 tablespoons water, whipped with a fork)
1/4 teaspoon salt

Zest and juice of one lemon
4 cups fresh blueberries
4 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 9×13 inch pan.

In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup sugar, 3 cups flour, and baking powder. Mix in salt and lemon zest. Use a fork or pastry cutter to blend in the vegan butter and flax seed egg. Dough will be crumbly. Pat half of dough into the prepared pan.

In another bowl, stir together the cornstarch, lemon juice, and cinnamon. Gently mix in the blueberries. Sprinkle the blueberry mixture evenly over the crust. Crumble remaining dough over the berry layer.

Bake for 45 minutes, or until top is slightly brown. Cool completely before cutting into squares. Store in the refrigerator.

Plant Profile: Mulberry

Fruit trees are such spectacular beings. We often think of them as part of orchards or as the occasional member of a mostly non-edible landscape in suburbia. But fruit trees can be so much more. For example, one approach to garden design is called the Edible Forest Garden. It mimics a self-sustaining forest ecosystem and features fruit and nut trees as the largest members of a densely layered forest of food. Fruit trees are key to this because they are perennial, provide years of food for harvesting, provide homes for various other creatures, can help to stabilize soil, and retain moisture. And, of course, we all know how helpful trees are as carbon sinks and generators of oxygen. (I could go on all day, so if you have more questions about Edible Forest Gardens and permaculture–from a vegan perspective–get in touch with us.)

Today’s plant profile is of an amazingly *fruitful* tree, the MULBERRY. You may know the tree primarily for the purple stains its berries leave on sidewalks or cars–and all the purple bird poop that speckles, well, everything when they are in season. It has been cultivated over the centuries throughout the world, including China (where, sadly, the native white mulberry’s leaves were used as food for silkworms in the silk industry), Europe, and the Mediterranean before spreading farther. Varieties include White, Black, Red, and American. The trees are relatively hardy and spread easily due to the popularity of the fruit (and thus the widespread pooping of the seeds). They can grow as tall as 75-80 ft., and some varieties have been known to produce fruit for hundreds of years (though it can take as long as 10 years for a tree to start fruiting). They can be grown easily from cuttings or seeds from a fruit left under some soil.

Much like raspberries, blackberries, and similar berries, the mulberry fruit is actually a collection of very small globular fruits, each containing a seed. Beloved by most wildlife, birds especially go cuckoo for mulberry fruits (not Cocoa Puffs), and they are a favorite snack for chickens. We have planted a young tree in our chicken yard for just this purpose–as well as shade and cover–and look forward to those first deep purple, juicy, sweet but not too sweet fruits. If we can get any from the chickens and other birds, that is.

Since the fruits are not as sweet as more common, more heavily domesticated fruits, and because they are so delicate, you are most likely going to need to find a tree somewhere–or plant one!–to enjoy mulberry’s deliciousness. You can often find mulberry in pies, tarts, wines, or jams, though our favorite use is eating them out of hand right off the tree. In recent years, the health benefits of mulberry (particularly white mulberry) have become more popularly known. Its leaves have been used in powdered form to treat diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and even the common cold. The fruits are high in antioxidants, vitamin C, and vitamin K, and they even have a surprising amount of protein for a fruit.

Currently our only recipe for enjoying mulberries involves a tree, the fruit, your hand, and your mouth. But try mulberries next time you make a vegan pie or other recipe calling for berries. (You might need to add a bit more sugar if you like things sweet.)

Window and Mirror Cleaner

I wanted Nutmeg’s view of herself to be clear and comforting so I readied the mirror we offered her with my own homemade window and mirror cleaner.

It costs little to make, and I can be sure that the ingredients caused no harm to other animals and include no animal products either. And, it works beautifully!

– Linda Nelson

Window and Mirror Cleaner

2 cups water
1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon cruelty-free dishwashing liquid

Mix all together, and pour into an empty spray bottle. Let the sun shine in!

Plant Profile: Dill

dill

Although not a staple of American cuisine, DILL is a fantastic herb to grow in your garden … and to bring into your kitchen.

Dill is a native of the Mediterranean region and southern Russia (which makes it no surprise that dill is so ubiquitous in Russian cooking). A hardy annual herb, dill grows to about 2 1/2 feet tall, has feathery green leaves, and produces various heads with yellow flowers. Like fennel, dill’s flowers attract many pollinators while providing a wispy flash of color.

We most likely know dill from its use (particularly the seeds) in making pickles, or using its leaves as flavoring for soups and sauces. Dill seeds are also used for flavoring cakes and pastries.

Dill has medicinal uses, too. The “fruit” and oil of dill has been used for calming the stomach and eliminating gas, and has stimulant and aromatic properties. Learn more about dill’s history and uses here: http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/d/dill–13.html.

Here is a fun recipe featuring dill (as well as mint, which we featured recently): http://www.theppk.com/2011/07/cucumber-avocado-tea-sandwiches-with-fresh-herbs/. We made these for a TCA board meeting a few months ago and were blown away by the deliciousness of the sandwiches.

Do you have any special uses for dill?

Banana Nut Cookies

My “far away grandma” (to differentiate her from my “close by grandma”!) was a gifted baker. My seven siblings and I can talk about Grandma’s bags of goodies for hours when we get together. She had a tradition of sending my family and my cousins’ families home with bags and bags of fudge, cookies, cakes, and popcorn balls every Christmas. How we loved those magical bags!

Now that I am vegan, I’ve taken my grandma’s old recipes and made them my own. With just a couple of changes, they taste just like grandma used to make, but they are true to my ethics. Some traditions are so worth continuing while others should be examined and discarded.

I love knowing that vegans can have their cake, fudge, or cookies while bringing greater peace into the world.

Here is my Grandma Stonebrook’s Banana Nut Cookie recipe veganized!

– Linda Nelson

Ingredients:

1/2 cup vegan butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar (I used 1/2 cup white sugar and 1//2 cup dark brown sugar)
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
1 teaspoon baking soda
the equivalent of one egg replaced, use extra banana, egg replacement powder, or applesauce.
2 cups flour
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup chopped pecans, macadamia nuts, walnuts, or chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a couple of cookie sheets with silpats or parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, cream the butter and the sugar/s until fluffy. Add the egg replacement, and beat until fluffy again.

In a separate bowl, mash the bananas (2 to 3), add the baking soda, and allow the mixture to sit for a couple of minutes.

Add the banana mixture to the butter/sugar mixture, and mix to incorporate.

Whisk the flour with the salt and spices, and add it to the wet ingredients. Mix only until combined. Add the nuts.

Drop tablespoons of dough (it will be of thick batter consistency) onto the baking sheets about 1 inch apart.

Bake for 11 to 13 minutes. You won’t believe the aroma in your kitchen!