Costume SuperCenter

1 cup vegetable broth
1 TBL tamari (soy sauce)
1 TBL brown sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vegetable oil
2 tsp Asian sesame oil
1 package of firm tofu, drained, rinsed, patted dry and cut into 1×1/2-inch cubes (I like House brand)
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into small pieces
1 red pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 green onions (scallions), sliced thin
2 garlic cloves, pressed through garlic press
1 TBL minced, peeled fresh ginger (or use frozen Dorot cubes)
8 oz mushrooms, thinly sliced

Combine broth, tamari, brown sugar, cornstarch, and salt until well blended and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil and sesame oil over high heat. Add cubed tofu and stir fry, turning frequently, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl once done. In the same large skillet, add in carrot, red pepper, green onions, garlic, and ginger and stir fry until tender yet crisp, about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and continue to stir fry for 3 more minutes.

Add in the broth mixture and the cooked tofu cubes and stir fry until the sauce bubbles and thickens, about 3 more minutes.

Serve over brown rice, long grain rice or quinoa.

Serves 4

South Beach Diet

non-stick spray for pan
2 slices of your favorite bread
non-dairy butter (I like Earth Balance)
2 slices Rice Cheddar Flavor cheese singles (Galaxy Nutritional Foods brand)
1 heaping TBL of Daiya Mozzarella shredded cheese

Butter one side of each piece of bread. Heat pan and lightly coat with a non-stick spray. Lay 1 piece of buttered bread in pan, butter side down, lay on 2 cheese singles and sprinkle on Daiya mozzarella, then top with remaining piece of bread, butter side facing up.

Cover and fry over medium to high heat for 3-4 minutes. Check the underside and flip over once golden brown. Repeat on uncooked side until golden brown.

Makes 1 grilled cheese sandwich

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Brazil Nuts (raw)
Macadamia Nuts (dry roasted unsalted)
Marcona Almonds (roasted and salted, can use other almonds, but these are my favorite)
Cashew Pieces (roasted and unsalted)
Walnuts (raw pieces)
Pecans (raw and unsalted pieces)
Sunflower Seeds (raw and unsalted)
Pumpkin Seeds (raw and unsalted)

In a medium size bowl, mix together all nuts and seeds, using 1/4 cup each. You can always add in a little more of what you enjoy most. Eat a handful as a snack for a quick protein energy boost.

You can also add in raw pepitas and pistachio nutmeats (dry roasted, unsalted halves & pieces).

Trader Joe’s has a wide variety of nuts and seeds at reasonable prices. I get my pumpkin seeds at Whole Foods.

The Story of Nuts:
Many people avoid nuts because they are high in calories and fat. Nuts are a great source of protein and do contain fat, but this is the type of fat you want in your diet. Nuts provide unsaturated fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated), delivering omega-3. Eating nuts can help lower the risk of heart disease. Nuts provide many vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants. They contain fiber, vitamin E, selenium, folic acid, copper, magnesium, boron and the amino acid arginine, which boosts the immune system and lowers elevated blood pressure levels. The plant sterols in nuts help to reduce cholesterol absorption from fatty foods.  Some nuts, like pecans, walnuts and almonds, contain tryptophan, an amino acid that stimulates the production of serotonin, the happy feel-good hormone, which can help against depression. Here are a few of my favorites:

Almonds – this nut comes in many varieties and can be used in all sorts of recipes. Almonds are probably the most nutritious of nuts, delivering magnesium, potassium, iron, calcium, vitamin E, zinc, and lots of protein.

Brazil Nuts – a provider of selenium, which is a powerful antioxidant that helps to neutralize free radicals that can attack healthy cells and increase the risk of heart disease and various forms of cancers, like breast, lung, bowel, and prostate. Rich in zinc and magnesium, Brazil Nuts are great for anti-aging.

Cashews – provider of a high iron content, as well as zinc, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, and are rich in protein and carbohydrates.

Macadamia Nuts – this nut has the highest level of monounsaturated fat (the good fat) over any other nut, but can lower harmful blood cholesterol.

Pistachios – you can buy the ‘nutmeats’ already removed from the shells, or in a shell, but then you have to work for the nut. Pistachios are high in iron, protein, fiber, and magnesium and make a delicious topping on roasted butternut squash.

Walnuts – this is the only nut high in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid, so eating these after you consume fatty foods help disperse the saturated fats and lower triglycerides. Saturated fats come from animal protein and dairy products, so cut these out of your diet to be a true vegan.

You can consume from 1-2 oz of nuts per day. It is best to mix so you consume a variety and take advantage of the benefits each nut provides. Always look for nuts that are raw and unsalted. Store nuts in the refrigerator to keep fresh.  

Buy nut butters and seed butters (my favorite is Sunflower Seed Butter Trader Joe’s), but read ingredients to make sure you are buying unsaturated fats (mono and poly). The butters will have the oil separated, so you will need to stir to combine before each use. Some need to be refrigerated, so read the container.

Allergies can be an issue for some, so know what you cannot eat if you do have allergies. An allergy from nuts can result in a skin rash or hoarseness in the throat.

A mix of nuts makes a delicious and satisfying movie-going snack. For sweet and salty, I like to add in a few chocolate chip vegan morsels along with a couple of pretzels broken into pieces. Get creative!

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1 lb dried penne pasta
2 TBL olive oil
8 oz package fresh mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
1 clove garlic, pressed through garlic press
1 package Tofurky Italian Sausage (use 3 of the 4 sausages, diced into bite-size pieces)
1/2 cup pasta water (from penne you cook)
1 cup Silk Soy Creamer
1/4 tsp salt
fresh ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup SoyaKaas grated parmesan (soy parmy) in can
1 cup Daiya mozzarella cheese (divide into two 1/2 cups)

In large pot, cook penne pasta until done to your liking. Reserve 1/2 cup of this pasta water once pasta is done cooking. While pasta is cooking, in a skillet heat olive oil on high heat and add mushrooms and garlic and saute for 4 minutes. Add in diced sausage and saute for another 4 minutes on high heat. The pasta should be done at this point. Drain pasta in colander, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water.

Add 1/2 cup of pasta water, Silk creamer, salt and pepper to taste to the mushroom sausage mixture. Boil over high heat to thicken, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Turn on broiler.

Place pasta in 3 quart baking dish and pour mushroom sausage mixture on top. Sprinkle SoyaKaas parmesan and 1/2 cup only of Daiya mozzarella evenly over the top. Turn pasta cheese mixture in baking dish to gently combine. Lightly salt top of mixture. Finish off by sprinkling remaining 1/2 cup of Daiya mozzarella on top. Broil until cheese is melted and slightly golden brown in some areas, about 5 minutes.

Serves 6

Each sausage contains 29 grams of protein and only 3 grams of sugar

Costume and Party SuperCenter

4 cups rolled oats (I like Bob’s Red Mill brand)
1/3 cup ground flaxseed
pinch of salt
2 cups unsweetened coconut
3 oz agave nectar (light or amber)
1 TBL maple syrup
1 cup cashews
1 cup whole almonds
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4-6 oz of dried cherries (I like unsweetened dark sweet cherries Trader Joe’s brand)
4-6 oz dried cranberries (I like Trader Joe’s brand)

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine all ingredients, except for dried fruit, in a large bowl. Stir to combine. Place on a large cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Once done, stir in dried fruit. Enjoy with Silk Soy Very Vanilla or other dairy-free milk.

Tip: Always buy raw and unsalted nuts when possible. Sub in other dried fruit, like golden raisins or dried dates, to your liking. Since the fruit is added in after baking, you can divide the granola in half and mix each half with different dried fruits. Stores for about 2 weeks in an airtight container. Makes a delicious and wholesome topping for non-dairy ice cream.

Costume and Party SuperCenter

1/2 gallon apple cider
5 cinnamon sticks
zest of 1/4 lemon
zest of 1/4 orange
3/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1 1/2 cups clear spiced rum

In a large pot, add cider, cinnamon sticks, zest of both lemon and orange, cloves, and allspice. Over high heat, bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and add in rum. Serve and enjoy!

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1 small container non-dairy yogurt ( I like 6oz Whole Soy Co. Plain)
1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 banana
2 tsp almond butter
1/2 cup vanilla soymilk ( I like Silk Very Vanilla)
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
5 ice cubes

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Tastes like holiday in a cup.

Makes 1 serving

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1 yam, peeled and cut into small bite-size pieces
fresh thyme, leaves removed and finely chopped
1 TBL Earth Balance
1 TBL olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a small skillet on high heat, melt dairy-free butter and add in olive oil. Add in 1/2 tsp thyme and yams and cook on medium to high heat for about 5 minutes, until yams are tender and browned. Remove from pan and place yams on a paper towel. Plate the yams and season with sea salt, pepper, and a light sprinkle of thyme.

Serves 2

Great side dish for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Add as a side dish to quinoa.

Costume and Party SuperCenter

4 large yams
1 cup olive oil
fresh rosemary, pull off needles and finely chop
sea salt
4 cloves garlic, peeled and cut in half

Peel and slice yams into 1/4 inch thick rounds. In a small deep bowl, pour in olive oil and chopped rosemary. Drudge each yam slice through the oil mixture, picking up pieces of rosemary with each slice. Lay yams flat on baking sheets. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and place cut garlic pieces on the baking sheets to infuse the yams.

Bake 400 degrees F. The first side will take longer to bake. First side should bake for approximately 30-35 minutes until bottom side down against pan is browned. Once bottom sides are browned, flip yams over to continue baking and now browning the other side that is down facing the pan. Second side bakes faster, so check in 12-15 minutes. Serve as a snack or a side with a main meal. Great cold or reheated as left-overs. Great for the holidays.

Tip: these are delicious crispy, so the more browned they look, the better.

Serves 4-6

Costume and Party SuperCenter

2 egg replacers (2 TBL Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer whisked with 6 TBL water)
1 1/4 cup Silk Pumpkin Spice drink (seasonal at Whole Foods)
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin (do not use pumpkin pie filling)
1 9-inch unbaked frozen pie crust (Wholly Wholesome dairy-free)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a large bowl, whisk together prepared egg replacer and Silk. Add in sugar, spice, and salt and whisk to combine. Add pumpkin and whisk until smooth.

Place frozen pie crust on cookie sheet. Pour mixture into unbaked frozen pie crust. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees F, leaving pie in the oven, and bake an additional 50 minutes. Cool on counter and then refrigerate over night. Enjoy with non-dairy whipped topping (SoyaToo)