Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Pineapple Habañero Cauliflower Steaks

Do you need some hot stuff? Do you need it, baby, tonight?

Maybe you, like Donna Summer (the queen of the "come hither look," by the way), are sittin' there, eatin' your heart out, waiting...

Waiting for something to eat besides your heart. Because you love your heart, and eating it just doesn't seem like a healthy way to express your love.



Know what is a good way to love your heart? Choosing foods that are heart-healthy, like cauliflower, which may have cardiovascular benefits, due to its natural ability to diminish inflammation.



While we're on the topic of healthy foods... We were, right? You weren't distracted by Donna Summer's come-hither eyes, were you? While we're on the topic of healthy foods, let's talk about the health benefits of hot peppers. Thanks to a terrifying, but awesome, component called capsaisin, eating hot peppers may actually lower your cholesterol, reduce blood pressure, fight weight gain, and even help prevent cancer.

NOTE: If habañero is too spicy for you and your crew, you can tame this recipe by substituting serrano, jalapeño, Anaheim, or even banana peppers, although the capsaicin content in these peppers is lower. 

So, let's get cooking with a "hot stuff" cauliflower recipe!



Pineapple Habanero Cauliflower Steaks

1 medium to large head cauliflower

1 1/2 c. pineapple juice
1 habañero pepper, finely chopped (Tip: Wear gloves when handling hot peppers)
1 t. liquid aminos
1/2 T. Cajun seasoning
2 T. agave syrup or natural sweetener

You will also need:

a broiler pan
a pastry or basting brush

Remove leaves and base of stem from cauliflower.

Slice about an inch off each of two sides, forming a rough rectangle of the head. This will provide you with some florets, which you can reserve for another use, or include in the marinade and broiling process, below. (Be sure to keep an eye on smaller florets, which will require less broiling time, if you use them.)

Cut into four thick "steaks" by slicing in half down the center, and then slice each half again. Again, if some florets fall apart, you can still use them.

Need help with this? See a good tutorial, here.

In a blender, whiz pineapple juice, habañero, liquid aminos, Cajun seasoning, and sweetener until smooth, with no remaining hunks of pepper.

Using a deep casserole dish, marinate the cauliflower "steaks" and chunks in the pineapple mixture for about ten minutes. This will keep the cauliflower from drying out as it broils.

Do not dispose of pineapple marinade.

Place marinated cauliflower on broiler pan, and set aside.

In a small saucepan, heat pineapple marinade over high heat until boiling, then continue to boil until liquid reduces to half or one-third its original volume, stirring frequently. The liquid should thicken as it reduces, creating a glossy glaze for basting. Remove from heat.

Broil cauliflower steaks on top oven rack for seven minutes, then turn over and broil on the other side for seven minutes.

Tip: If your oven does not have a "broil" setting, heat your oven to 500 degrees.

Remove from oven. Using a basting or pastry brush (do you know the difference?), apply half of glaze to cauliflower.

Broil for three minutes, then turn cauliflower over and apply remainder of glaze. Broil for another three minutes.

Remove from oven, and enjoy!



"Like" Sexy Vegan Mama on Facebook! Don't forget to swing by The Gonzo Mama's place to see what she's up to. Get my vegan dessert cookbook (co-authored with William Maltese), Get-Real Vegan Desserts: Vegan Recipes for the Rest of Us, on Amazon!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Gluten-Free Mango Chipotle Pasta

Mango and chipotle just go together, like... Like...

Like rama lama lama ka dinga da dinga dong
Remembered forever
As shoo-bop sha wadda wadda yippity boom de boom
Chang chang changitty chang sha-bop
That's the way it should be
Don't tell me you don't know what I'm talking about. Surely, you remember this:



Anyway, there it is. Mango and chipotle. And pasta, because I love me some pasta. I made it twice for you, so you can see the difference between using fresh tomatoes, versus canned, and a couple different types of pasta. Here's how to throw it together:

Mango Chipotle Pasta

8 oz. gluten-free pasta (I used quinoa spirals in one version, and brown rice penne in another)

2 T oil (I used avocado oil)
1 small onion, sliced
1 T agave syrup or sweetener of your choice
2-3 cloves garlic
1 medium tomato, diced (or one can diced tomatoes, drained -- I made one with fresh, one canned)
1 mango, diced
1 c. fresh or frozen peas
1/2 t. chipotle powder
1 T. balsamic vinegar


Quinoa spirals, and canned tomatoes. Glorious color on those 'maters, no?


Prepare pasta according to package ingredients.

Reserve up to one cup of starchy water from noodles before draining, and set aside.


Brown rice penne, and fresh organic tomatoes. The fresh tomatoes may not be as vibrant in color, but their flavor is awesome!


In a large skillet or deep-sided pot, heat oil over medium heat.

Add onion and sauté lightly, just until onion begins to soften.

Add agave syrup and garlic, cooking for one minute to allow onion to absorb sweetener and garlic flavor.

Add tomato and mango, tossing for about two minutes to allow natural juices from the fruits to marry into the onion garlic mixture.

Stir in peas, chipotle powder and balsamic vinegar. Allow to simmer for about one minute.

Add drained pasta to onion and mango mix, stirring to evenly distribute pasta.

As needed, add in a bit of reserved cooking water to achieve desired liquid level in sauce.

Continue to cook over medium heat until pasta is thoroughly warmed, then remove from heat and allow to stand five minutes before serving.




"Like" Sexy Vegan Mama on Facebook! Don't forget to swing by The Gonzo Mama's place to see what she's up to. Get my vegan dessert cookbook (co-authored with William Maltese), Get-Real Vegan Desserts: Vegan Recipes for the Rest of Us, on Amazon!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Recipe Makeover: Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies


Can you improve upon perfection?

Sometimes, you can.

I'm not talking about, say, trying to improve the greatest song ever written and performed (which, by the way, is Maxine Nighingale's "Right Back Where We Started From" -- this is not a debate). Some perfection can't be outdone.


But, let's say you have a perfect cookie recipe. The kids love it, the hubby loves it, it's a hit at classroom parties, and everyone in the world look forward to indulging in your amazing, can't-be-beat creation during the holidays.



Can you improve that?

Well, sure, if you can make it gluten-free, without sacrificing any of the flavor, texture, or awesomeness!



I made over my well-tested and well-loved Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe, and dare I say it's even better without the gluten?



Here's the new version:

Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 c. sweet rice flour
1/2 c. oatmeal, blended into a fine flour in a blender or food processor
1 c. oatmeal
1 t. sea salt
1 t. baking soda

1/2 c. cane juice crystals or natural sugar
1/2 c. dairy-free stick margarine
1/2 c. creamy or chunky peanut butter
1 t. vanilla extract
1 T. powdered egg replacer (such as Ener-G Foods egg replacer), prepared with 4 T. warm water
1 package dairy-free chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium bowl, combine rice flour, oat flour, oats, salt and baking soda.

In a large bowl, cream together the cane juice crystals or sugar, margarine, peanut butter, vanilla extract, and prepared "egg."

Add oat and flour mixture to creamed peanut butter mixture in large bowl and stir until well-combined.

Add chocolate chips and mix until evenly distributed.

Drop dough by tablespoons about two inches apart on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.

Bake for approximately 12 minutes, and allow to rest on sheet for about two minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

Makes about four dozen cookies.

Enjoy!


"Like" Sexy Vegan Mama on Facebook! Don't forget to swing by The Gonzo Mama's place to see what she's up to. Get my vegan dessert cookbook (co-authored with William Maltese), Get-Real Vegan Desserts: Vegan Recipes for the Rest of Us, on Amazon!



Stir-Fried Vegetables with Raspberry Chipotle Reduction

Even a super-creative Wonder Woman like Sexy Vegan Mama gets stuck in a rut, sometimes.

Seven kids with lives, a rockstar husband (literally), a bustling sexual health education business to run (I'm a popular girl)... Dinner has taken a backseat, and our local pizza delivery guy probably expects to be written into our wills by now. He's practically like family, at this point.

I'm tired. Let's face it... I'm pooped.



So, I put on my big girl panties, pulled myself up by my bootstraps, and decided to actually cook dinner for my family. I know -- novel idea. I even ventured to the grocery store for fresh vegetables! Red-letter date, considering how busy the summer has been.

Stir-fried veggies and brown rice are relatively easy to prepare, but my favorite spicy peanut sauce (pardon the craptastic photos at the link) has to simmer for 30 minutes after all the prep work is done. 30 minutes! Ain't nobody got time for that!

Instead, I whipped up a fantastic raspberry chipotle reduction I'd been dreaming of creating.



Raspberry Chipotle Reduction

1 1/2 c raspberries (I used frozen)
2 T natural sweetener, or to taste
2 T apple cider vinegar
1/2 T minced garlic
1-2 t chipotle powder
2 t pectin granules

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan.

Heat over medium heat, bring to a boil, and continue to boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.

Sauce should reduce to less than half its original volume.

This particular recipe requires doubling for my family. We like it saucy. ;)

Oh, oh, oh...! Know what's also splendid? Toss all those ingredients in a blender, and whiz them into an awesome salad dressing!



Serve over stir-fried vegetables, and enjoy!




"Like" Sexy Vegan Mama on Facebook! Don't forget to swing by The Gonzo Mama's place to see what she's up to. Get my vegan dessert cookbook (co-authored with William Maltese), Get-Real Vegan Desserts: Vegan Recipes for the Rest of Us, on Amazon!ShareThisShareThisShareThisShareThisShareThisShareThisShareThisShareThisShareThisShareThis






Thursday, April 30, 2015

Gluten-Free Spicy Sweet Sriracha Cauliflower Bites with Creamy Cilantro Dipping Sauce

I don't know if you're hip to the cauliflower thing that's going on, but it's kind of a big deal. Like, taking over Pinterest kind of big.

People are using cauliflower for all sorts of things that cauliflower might not have even known it was capable of, itself. Like for pizza crust. And pie crust, believe it or not. And "steaks." (Get my recipe for Broiled Balsamic Peanut Cauliflower Steaks here.)

I've had a few recipes for Buffalo cauliflower "wings" pop up in my feed, but nearly all of them call for flour. I'm sure a more refined search would lead me to plenty of gluten-free recipes, but I decided to figure it out, myself. 

Spicy Cauli + Perf Dippin' Sauce - Gluten = .....



PROJECT!





Here's what I did:


Gluten-Free Spicy Sweet Sriracha Cauliflower Bites with Creamy Cilantro Dipping Sauce

1 head cauliflower

For batter:

1 c rice flour
1/2 c garbanzo flour
1 c water
1/4 c Sriracha sauce
4 T agave nectar
1/4 c non-dairy milk (I used cashew milk)

For spicy-sweet basting sauce:
2 T oil (I used avocado oil)
2 T agave nectar
2 T Sriracha sauce

For Creamy Cilantro Dipping Sauce:
2 T non-dairy milk
1/2 c vegan sour cream (I used Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream)
1 T agave nectar
1/4 c vegan mayonnaise (I used Vegenaise)
Small handful fresh cilantro

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Cut the cauliflower into bite-sized pieces.


Prepare the batter by combining flours, water, Sriracha, agave and milk. Whisk together until smooth.


Toss the cauliflower pieces in the batter until each are well-coated.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, and spray lightly with oil or non-stick spray.

Place the battered cauliflower pieces onto the cookie sheet.


Bake for ten minutes.

Remove from oven, and carefully flip each of the pieces.

Bake for five more minutes.

Prepare the spicy-sweet basting sauce by combining oil, agave and Sriracha in a blender or whisking together until blended.

Remove battered cauliflower from oven and flip each of the pieces again.

Using a basting brush, lightly "paint" each piece with spicy-sweet sauce.

Bake for five more minutes.

Remove from oven and flip each piece again.

Baste the other side of the pieces, and return to oven for another five minutes.


Allow to cool for five to ten minutes before removing from cookie sheet. This is a great time to prepare your dipping sauce.

For dipping sauce, combine milk, sour cream, agave, mayonnaise and cilantro in a blender and blend until smooth.


Serve together while watching the game, or as a perfect appetizer! The "cool" dipping sauce evens out the "heat" of the cauliflower bites, like magic. Enjoy!

"Like" Sexy Vegan Mama on Facebook! Don't forget to swing by The Gonzo Mama's place to see what she's up to. Get my vegan dessert cookbook (co-authored with William Maltese), Get-Real Vegan Desserts: Vegan Recipes for the Rest of Us, on Amazon!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Creamy Sweet Chili Pineapple Curry One-Pot Gluten-Free Pasta

I'm still loving the one-pot pasta thing, like the rest of Pinterest . After doing this recipe makeover, I was hooked! Put all your stuff into one pot, boil and stir... How easy is that?!

For this one, I was craving something a little sweet. And a little spicy. And really creamy.

Actually, I was kinda premenstrual, but I personally feel that's when the best recipes come about. (Hello, Salted Cashew Crispy Marshmallow Bites!)

Anyway, I started with the idea to make a pineapple pasta. Then, I thought, What if it was creamy, as well as fruity? Finally, I realized if I didn't add a little kick to it, I was probably going to melt into a sugary pool of vegan premenstrual sweet-creaminess. So, the spice entered the ensemble.



Here's how to get your spicy-creamy-sweet groove on, no matter what time of the month it is:


Creamy Sweet Chili Pineapple Curry One-Pot Gluten-Free Pasta

8 oz. gluten-free spaghetti-style pasta
1 - 20 oz. can pineapple chunks in their own juice, drained (save juice)
1 c. pineapple juice (drained from can)
1 c. vegan sour cream (I use Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream)
1/4 c. sweet chili sauce
1 - 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 c. fresh or frozen peas
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 zucchini, sliced lengthwise and then into 1/4" half-moons
1 1/2 c. water
1 t. curry powder
1 - 15 oz. can baby corn, drained


Tip: Spray gluten-free pasta with non-stick cooking spray or oil and roll the pasta sticks between your palms, coating the noodles, before placing in pan. This will help keep them from sticking together while they're cooking.


Put all ingredients into a deep skillet, pan, or wok. The liquid should just rise to the top of the ingredients, covering the noodles. Rearrange ingredients, if necessary. (This photo was taken before the water was added, just to show how I arranged the ingredients in the pan.)


Bring all ingredients to a boil, stirring occasionally.

Boil for about ten minutes, stirring constantly.

Let stand for ten minutes before plating, and then enjoy!


"Like" Sexy Vegan Mama on Facebook! Don't forget to swing by The Gonzo Mama's place to see what she's up to. Get my vegan dessert cookbook (co-authored with William Maltese), Get-Real Vegan Desserts: Vegan Recipes for the Rest of Us, on Amazon!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Vegan Sweet Potato "Cheesy" Shepherd's Pie with Daiya (Gluten-Free)

I may or may not have tied one on (a green one, at that) during St. Patrick's Day festivities in the past. You know, during my younger years?

These days, with work, kiddos and a schedule that makes the Marines look like wussies, a good Shepherd's Pie is as Irish as I can get on March 17th.



This is how this year's went down:

Sweet Potato Cheesy Shepherd's Pie

Mashed Sweet Potato Topping:

3 pounds sweet potatoes
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup vegan margarine
a few splashes non-dairy milk (I used cashew milk)

Filling:

2 medium turnips, peeled and diced small
1/2 medium onion, diced medium
1 cup fresh broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
3/4 cup fresh or frozen petite peas
1 - 15oz. can garbanzo beans
8 oz. Daiya Deliciously Dairy-Free cheddar-style cheese shreds

Sauce:

1/4 cup vegan margarine
3 T garbanzo bean flour
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
2 T oil (I used avocado oil)
1 t dried basil
1 1/2 c non-dairy milk



Sweet potato topping:

Peel sweet potatoes and dice into large chunks.

Place in a large pot, and add enough water to cover potatoes.

Bring water to a boil, and boil potatoes for about 20 minutes, or until easily pierced with a fork and tender.

(I use a stand mixer for this part.) Mash potatoes, adding minced garlic and vegan margarine.

Add non-dairy milk as necessary to make a creamy texture.

Set aside sweet potato topping.

Filling:

(I do this prep while the potatoes are boiling.) In a large bowl, combine diced turnips, onion, broccoli, peas and garbanzo beans with "cheese" shreds.

Mix well, and set aside while you're preparing sauce.

Sauce:

(Save yourself the dishes, and wash and dry your potato pot for this next part.) Over medium heat, melt 1/4 cup margarine and add garbanzo bean flour and nutritional yeast to create a roux.

Blend in oil until a smooth paste is created.

Add basil and stir.

Whisk in non-dairy milk until well-blended.

Gently increase heat and bring mixture to a boil.

Boil for about three minutes while stirring, or until sauce is thickened.

Assembly:

Pour sauce over filling and mix well.

Dump into an oiled 10" x 10" casserole dish.

Top with sweet potato topping.


Bake at 350 degrees for one hour, covering with foil for the last 30 minutes to prevent topping from burning.


Let stand for five to ten minutes before serving, and then enjoy!




"Like" Sexy Vegan Mama on Facebook! Don't forget to swing by The Gonzo Mama's place to see what she's up to. Get my vegan dessert cookbook (co-authored with William Maltese), Get-Real Vegan Desserts: Vegan Recipes for the Rest of Us, on Amazon!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Broiled Balsamic Peanut Cauliflower Steaks


I was a bartender for years, so maybe it's just business-as-usual when someone says to me, "I heard about this recipe... I don't really know what's in it, but... could you make it for me?"

Mr. Wright and I were recently on vacation in Scottsdale, Arizona (by the way, if you're in town, you've gotta try out The Herb Box for awesome service, food and atmosphere!), and while I was soaking in a colossal tub, Mr. Wright was channel-surfing -- a rare treat for him, as we don't have television.

He ran in to tell me, "Honey! I just saw this chef on some food channel make steaks out of cauliflower, and they looked AWESOME! Can you make some?"

"Well, sure... can you tell me how he did it? Did he marinate them, or brush them with anything? Did he sear them, or roast them, or grill them, or broil them?"

*blank look*

Aha! A challenge!

I have no idea what Mr. Wright saw on television, but I whipped up this little magical recipe, and it was the bomb!

Broiled Balsamic Peanut Cauliflower Steaks

4 T balsamic vinegar
2 T agave syrup
1/4 c smooth peanut butter
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t chili powder
1 t dried basil
1 t Sriracha sauce

1 large head of cauliflower (tightly-packed florets work best)

You will also need:

Broiler pan with grilling rack to fit on top

In a blender, combine vinegar, agave syrup, peanut butter, garlic powder, chili powder, basil and Sriracha sauce.

Blend until smooth, and pour into a large, shallow, flat-bottomed dish.

Using a large knife, slice the cauliflower into one-inch-thick "steaks," starting by slicing down the middle, then moving toward the outside in one-inch increments. Toward the edges, you may have some pieces that aren't attached to the stalk simply fall to pieces. That's okay. We'll marinate those, and broil them, too!

Place "steaks" and random pieces into sauce, allowing to marinate for about ten to fifteen minutes, then flip over, and marinate for about ten minutes on the other side.

Tip: Use a spoon or basting brush to get sauce into those little pockets that don't make contact easily.

Carefully arrange marinated "steaks" and pieces on grilling rack on top of broiler pan.

Place under broiler for three to six minutes. Be sure to watch the "steaks" as they broil, and remove from heat when the sauce just starts to develop a deep brown, toasted appearance.

Gently flip over cauliflower, and broil on the other side, following the recommendations above. Cauliflower should be tender, and easily pierced with a fork.

Remove from heat and serve hot. Pile the little random pieces around your larger "steaks," and enjoy!

This recipe works as a phenomenal main course, or you can serve it on the side, or as an appetizer, cut into smaller pieces.




"Like" Sexy Vegan Mama on Facebook! Don't forget to swing by The Gonzo Mama's place to see what she's up to. Get my vegan dessert cookbook (co-authored with William Maltese), Get-Real Vegan Desserts: Vegan Recipes for the Rest of Us, on Amazon!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

NOLA On My Mind: Vegan Po'Boy Sandwiches


Last November, Mr. Wright and I found ourselves in New Orleans for a business conference. I'd been dying to try some of the local vegan fare -- which, by the way, is becoming easier to find in the Big Easy -- and we had an evening to kill.

We hitched a pedicab to Seed, which served us not only amazing Southern vegan comfort food, but the best matcha tea ever brewed this side of Tokyo.

If you go to Seed, by all means, try the Southern Fried Po'Boy. It'll knock your socks off, f'true and f'sho!

Living in Washington state, and without a NOLA trip on the horizon, I was desperate to recreate the delicious sandwich, and all I had to work with was the description:

fried tofu, light chickpea flour breading, lettuce, tomato, vegan mayo, poboy bread


Hmmmm... Okay. I'm up for a challenge!



I used this recipe from The Vedge as inspiration (notably, I froze the tofu, omitted the salt, used mustard powder in place of wet mustard, tossed in some extra seasonings, and added olive oil to the batter, which helped mine "cling" a bit better), and knocked out this delicious knockoff:

NOLA Vegan Po'Boy Sandwiches (with Gluten-Free Option)

1 - 14 oz. block extra firm tofu (not silken)

1/2 c. chickpea (garbanzo) flour
1/4 c. nutritional yeast
1 t. mustard powder
1 T. Cajun seasoning
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. ground black pepper
1/4 t. ground sage
2 T. olive oil
1/2 c. + about 1 T. water

Canola oil for frying

A deep fryer or deep skillet to fry in, and a candy thermometer to check oil temperature.

First, drain your tofu, put it into a plastic zipper bag, and freeze overnight. Do not skip this step. Freezing the tofu helps it hold its shape, encourages it to really grab onto the breading, and creates a delicious, chewy texture.

Thaw the frozen tofu, then press firmly between paper towels to remove all excess water. It may take a few pressings to achieve this, but be patient... and thorough.

Slice the tofu block into 16 equal pieces.

Heat oil to 350 degrees F, and hold at that temperature.

In a baking dish or flat-bottomed bowl, combine chickpea flour, nutritional yeast, mustard powder, Cajun seasoning, garlic powder, black pepper and sage.

Stir in olive oil and 1/2 cup water.

Check batter consistency. It should resemble a thick, pourable batter. If necessary, add water, a teaspoon at a time, to reach the appropriate consistency.

Dunk the tofu pieces into the batter, coating well on all sides.


Fry battered tofu until crispy and golden; about one or two minutes on each side.

Remove from oil and drain on paper towels.

Now, to assemble your po'boy sandwiches, you'll need:

1 baguette loaf, sliced lengthwise (use a Gluten-Free loaf, if desired)

Sliced tomatoes
Lettuce or spinach leaves
Vegan mayo

Note: I also added a delicious hummus and a few slices of leftover breaded eggplant from my Eggplant Pomodoro recipe, which can also be made with Gluten-Free breadcrumbs in place of whole wheat. Traditional po'boys come "dressed" with lettuce, tomato and mayo, so mine is rather "fancy dressed," but I'm a Northerner, so I'm pleading ignorance.

Cut that baguette into sandwich-sized lengths, slather it in vegan mayo, and pile on the greens, tomatoes and tofu nuggets.

Then, open WIDE, 'cause this sandwich is more than a delicious mouthful! Call up ya mom'n'em, too... There's plenty to go 'round!




"Like" Sexy Vegan Mama on Facebook! Don't forget to swing by The Gonzo Mama's place to see what she's up to. Get my vegan dessert cookbook (co-authored with William Maltese), Get-Real Vegan Desserts: Vegan Recipes for the Rest of Us, on Amazon!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Oh, Snap! Recipe Makeover: Umeboshi Bean Salad

Let me tell you a thrilling story about a recent grocery shopping adventure...

What? What's that? You say grocery shopping is neither thrilling, nor adventurous?

It IS, when you're a mommy, and shopping is the closest thing to "me time" you'll be able to hope for over the next decade or so.

Anyway, there I was, browsing the clearance bin -- because, you know, I'm thrifty like that -- and I ran across six containers of Eden Foods Umeboshi Paste. And, for some reason, they were marked down from around $11.00 to FORTY-NINE CENTS each!

To tell the truth, the discount stickers claimed they were affixed to clearance single drink pouches, but I didn't care about that, because I felt exactly like this:


I don't think I have to tell you what happened next, because it's so obvious I grabbed every last one of those buggers and tossed them in my cart!

I know, I know... you're like, "But, Sexy Vegan Mama, what IS umeboshi paste?"

Well, I'll tell you.

It's magic. It's this amazing, magical combination of plums and pickling stuff that's ground into a paste and you can use it for anything in the whole wide world. Or, at least, some really awesome sauces and rice balls, and dips and other amazing stuff.



(Bonus on the allergy front: Eden Foods doesn't use Red 40 in their umeboshi, unlike many commercial sellers.)

So, I used this spectacular find to massively make over my already pretty awesome bean salad recipe for a funky twist on a classic.


Warning: This recipe makes enough to feed an army, so adjust accordingly, or invite your local high school football team over for a meal.

Umeboshi Bean Salad

1 can each:

Baby corn
Great Northern beans (a.k.a. white beans)
Pinto beans
Dark red kidney beans
Chickpeas (a.k.a. garbanzo beans)
Butter beans (a.k.a. lima beans)
Wax beans
Green beans

1 c mukimame (a.k.a. "shelled edamame")

1 green bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 small onion, cut into thin strips

1/2 c rice vinegar
1/2 c canola or vegetable oil
2 T sesame oil
3 T agave nectar
1/4 c umeboshi paste
1 t garlic powder
1 t onion powder
1 t ground ginger
1/4 c fresh cilantro leaves

Drain and rinse the cans of beans and baby corn. Dump into a GIANT bowl.

Add mukimame, bell pepper and onion.

In a blender, combine vinegar, oils, agave, umeboshi paste, spices and cilantro, blending until creamy and smooth.

Pour dressing over beans and vegetables, stir well, and chill before serving.

Enjoy!



"Like" Sexy Vegan Mama on Facebook! Don't forget to swing by The Gonzo Mama's place to see what she's up to. Get my vegan dessert cookbook (co-authored with William Maltese), Get-Real Vegan Desserts: Vegan Recipes for the Rest of Us, on Amazon!