Vegan Sugar-free Alcohol-free Detox Apple Mojito Recipe

January 18th, 2011 yum Posted in Dairy Free, Egg Free, Nut Free, Soy Free, Spa Food, Vegan, beverage 8 Comments »

I was delighted to meet the charming Nicola, the Gluten-free Mom, at the recent Blogher Food Blogger’s conference in San Francisco. We shared a table for breakfast and I enjoyed hearing about her family and experience with gluten-free living. I enjoyed our conversation so much that when she approached me about her upcoming Detox food event, I didn’t hesitate for a moment. Of course I wanted to participate! Ironically, as the event approached, I found myself in sore need of detoxification. I have a miserable cold! I was torn between making either some nice but slightly naughty version of a Jamba Juice chocolate moo-d, perhaps with coconut milk, almond butter and cocoa powder, or an all around nice alcohol-free riff on a mojito. I just love the sweet, tangy taste of a mint-infused fizzy lime beverage, what can I say. Lime juice also evokes very pleasant memories of the lime sodas we enjoyed on our trip to India so long ago. *nostalgic sigh* Obviously, the virgin mojito recipe sounded healthier. However, the whole concept of detox has “NO SUGAR SYRUP” written all over it, so my job was to make a beverage that was tangy like a lime soda but less sweet without being too tart. I considered agave nectar, but I know many people wouldn’t think of it as a “detoxifying” ingredient, so that was out. I ended up going with a combination of whole apples (for the fiber, if you please) and one luscious date, combined with club soda for fizz and lime juice for the punch. Mint made everything just a bit more complex, and avocado added a much-needed creaminess to the beverage. I made just enough for one, and sipped it slowly while browsing the other Detox event entries. Maybe it was the cold talking, but I enjoyed every sparkling drop, and I hope you do too. Detoxing should taste good as well as being good for you, darn it, and I think this beverage fits the bill perfectly.

Peruse the other January detox juices, smoothies, and soups and give Nicola a shout-out while you are there!

This drink is an entry in D-tox January.

I also shared this recipe with Slightly Indulgent Tuesday and Real Food Weekly.

Vegan Detox Mint-Avocado Virgin Mojito Smoothie
1 small organic granny smith apple, peeled and chopped (1/2 cup)
1/2 cup club soda
Juice from 1 lime (2 scant tablespoons)
15 mint leaves
1 medjool date, soaked in water for 30 minutes
1/8 cup avocado

more crushed mint leaves, for garnish

Serves one.

Blend your apple in any old blender. You do not need a Vitamix, however much you might think you do. Or want one. Desperately. Maybe this is just me. Anyway, back to the recipe. Add your club soda after the blender stops blending the apple nicely. Blend until it gets all nice and frothy and smooth. Add your lime juice and mint leaves. Blend some more. Finally add your soaked medjool date, no water. Throw that water out. Really, it won’t help anyone to keep it around. Blend that baby in until you can’t see little brown specks any more. Add your avocado, blend one final time for ultimate creamy goodness, and pour into one beautiful glass. I didn’t have one, so I used little this tiny metal cup. Garnish with crushed mint leaves. Drink and let the virtuousness of your detoxifying beverage flood your body with seratonin. Then go eat something naughty. You’ve earned it.
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The Quick and Easy Vegetarian Spa Meal… at home

June 18th, 2007 yum Posted in Buckwheat, Japanese, Soy, Spa Food, Vegetables, Vegetarian 6 Comments »

sobayum2.jpg Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about how much time it takes to prepare a tasty, healthy meal. Although we try very hard to make healthy, nutritious meals centered around vegetables, when we get really busy it’s easy to start relying on boxed meals and filling starches. This is one reason I love dinner parties- you put a lot of effort into making an elaborate meal to share with your friends, and when it’s all over you usually have leftovers to eat for a few days. High level of yum, and (after the fact), not so much effort required. We ran out of the leftovers from our Friday dinner party this afternoon when DH enjoyed the last of the lettuce wraps and potato salad. So, when I came home starving after a great yoga class and saw DH chomping happily on wheat yakisoba noodles, I wasn’t quite sure what to eat. I remembered my new resolve to eat better- and thought it just wouldn’t feel right to waste all that healthy energy expended on yoga with a lazy meal- but I was tired. Luckily I’d bookmarked a recipe in the April issue of Cooking Light for what they called a “Spicy Cucumber Noodle Salad with Edamame” that sounded both easy and full of healthy ingredients. Only thing was- I didn’t have a lot of the ingredients it called for, like cucumber or bean sprouts. I didn’t let that discourage me, though. We also had a surplus of broccoli in the refrigerator, so first I chopped up some long stemmed florets for my favorite chili garlic roasted broccoli recipe, tossed that in the oven and then got down to converting the soba noodle recipe to be both gluten free and use the vegetables I had on hand. Cucumber is sweet and crunchy, so I substituted my favorite sweet, crisp vegetable- jicama. And while we didn’t have any bean sprouts, we did have a green pepper, and I thought if it was cut thinly enough it just might approximate the crunch of fresh bean sprouts. The dish looked a little bland without any colorful accents, so I added some leftover julienned carrots for color and additional crunch. It was a little different from the original, but even more to my taste- and I was able to complete it by the time the broccoli was ready to come out of the oven. I sat down- took a bite, and was in heaven. I felt like I had been transported to some alternate spa universe of yoga and crisp, light meals- and it was lovely. DH wasn’t really hungry, but he tried a bite on my urging and agreed that it was really yummy. I guess fast food actually can be good, and good for you… So the next time it comes up, I’m really going to try to reach for the broccoli instead of some starchy thing I think will fill my stomach- it makes me so much happier, and makes me feel better too.

Yoga Worthy Soba Noodle Salad
8 oz uncooked soba (100% buckwheat noodles- I use a Japanese variety which has one of the factory disclaimers but doesnt seem to bother me. Orgran has a dedicated Gluten free buckwheat pasta, though it is spiral)
1 cup frozen shelled edamame AKA green soybeans (For soy allergy, substitute white beans or green peas)
1 cup diced english cucumber, sans seeds OR 1 cup diced jicama
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4 cup Carrot Matchsticks
1/2 thinly sliced green pepper
1/4 cup reduced fat mayonnaise (OR vegan for egg intolerance)
1 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tsp white GF miso (you can use specialty chickpea etc. miso for soy allergy)
1 tsp Braggs GF soy sauce (leave out, try balsamic vinegar or vegetable stock for soy allergy)
1 tsp chile paste with garlic
1 tsp dark sesame oil

1 1/4 cup fresh bean sprouts (Optional)
Grilled tofu for extra protein (Optional)

Cook soba in boiling water for two minutes or so, and add edamame. Bring back to a boil and let boil for two more minutes. Place in strainer and submerge in cold water, drain again and let cool. Put noodles in bowl, add assorted vegetables up to sliced green pepper. Combine dressing ingredients and whisk, pour over pasta and mix thoroughly. Top with Bean Sprouts if desired and Tofu if desired.
This was an awesome, light noodle salad. Yummy dressing, loved the crunchy veggies. You can modify vegetables to taste and to match your pantry.

IF YOU ARE PACKING THIS FOR THE NEXT DAY, KEEP THE DRESSING SEPARATE! The next day the dressing had soaked into the leftover pasta and made it gummy. Just dress the amount of salad you intend to eat at the time…

Chili-Garlic Roasted Broccoli Recipe
broccoli tops, equiv. to about one lg broccoli.
1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil or so.
5 to 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
dash of chili powder
1 tablespoon grill seasoning blend (I used Trader Joe’s)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Place extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, chili powder and grill
seasoning in the bottom of a large bowl and add the broccoli spears.
Toss to coat broccoli evenly then transfer to a large nonstick
baking sheet. Roast the broccoli until ends are crisp and brown and
stalks are tender, 15-17 minutes.
I made this tonight with a baked potato(washed, dried, pricked and
baked in the oven on a bed of kosher salt), and my favorite southern
fried tofu recipe. (That recipe should be already in the recipes
file).. It was really satisfying. And I was just thinking that one
way to expand what we can eat is by expanding how we prepare what we
eat… Roasted broccoli is very different (to me) than steamed or
sauteed… So, give it a try. I thought it was delicious!

I’ve also enjoyed this recipe with half organic cauliflower florets. You can tone down or up the chili powder to taste.

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