Tag Archives: sun dried tomatoes

Zucchini Noodle “Ramen” w/Mushroom Miso Broth – Raw Vegan

raw vegan ramen - zucchini noodles in a mushroom miso broth

The weather was a bit chilly again this evening, but I’ve also been feeling that I wanted a greater amount of raw food today, so I made a flavorful warm raw vegan ramen dish with zucchini noodles and a mushroom miso broth. 

This dish was actually a happy accident. I had marinaded the mushrooms and other vegetables with the intent of using them in sandwiches, but when I tasted the liquid after everything had soaked overnight, it seemed like a very perfect soup base, so I just added the zucchini noodles and some seaweed after gently heating the broth, and everything turned out to be really delicious. The whole dish required very little work, which is my favorite kind of meal. 😉

raw zucchini noodles

Zucchini noodles, stacked in the center of the bowl, softened with some sea salt, and ready for the soup.

raw vegan ramen - zucchini noodles in a mushroom miso broth raw vegan ramen - zucchini noodles in a mushroom miso broth raw vegan ramen - zucchini noodles in a mushroom miso broth

Zucchini Noodle Ramen w/Mushroom Miso Broth
Serves 2
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Noodle Ingredients
  1. 2 zucchinis, cut into noodles with a spiral cutter or julienne peeler
  2. few pinches of sea salt
Soup Ingredients
  1. 1.25 cups very warm water (do not exceed 118 degrees)
  2. 1 TB gluten free white miso paste (or another variety of miso if you prefer)
  3. 2 TB tamari or coconut aminos
  4. 1 large portobello mushroom, chopped into 1/2" slices, and then 1/4" pieces
  5. 2-3 TB sun dried tomatoes, julienne sliced
  6. 2-3 TB sweet onion, shaved as thin as possible on a mandolin
  7. Optional: 1 TB seaweed
Instructions
  1. Prepare the broth 12-24 hours in advance. Slice the mushroom, sun dried tomatoes, and onions. Put them in a bowl and set aside. Heat the water (you can use the stove or a kettle and let it cool down to about 110 degrees) and then mix in the miso and tamari. Ensure the miso is completely dissolved into a broth. Pour the warm water over the vegetables and allow it to sit for 20-30 minutes or until room temperature. This helps to soften the vegetables and blend the flavors. Cover this bowl and let it everything marinade in the fridge 12-24 hours.
  2. When you are ready to eat this, spiral cut your zucchinis and sprinkle them with a few pinches of salt. Massage it in and let them sit on the counter to soften and release some of their liquid for about 10 minutes. As the broth has enough salt in it, rinse and drain the noodles when you feel the texture is to your desired consistency.
  3. Strain the liquid broth from the marinaded vegetables and, if a warm soup is desired, while monitoring the temperature (I use an IR thermometer), gently heat the liquid either on the stove top, or in a Vitamix blender until it is warm to the touch, not exceeding 110 degrees (to ensure you don't accidentally go over 118).
  4. Add half of the zucchini noodles to each of two bowls in a "pasta nest" (a twisted noodle tower). Arrange some of the marinaded vegetables around the edges of each bowl. Divide the warm broth and pour over each bowl. Reserve a few pieces of the sun dried tomato for garnish.
  5. If desired, add a bit of your favorite seaweed as well.
Notes
  1. This dish would probably work beautifully with other types of seasonal vegetable noodles in place of the zucchini.
  2. You can also substitute the mushroom variety if you like. I used portobellos because I used some of the marinaded pieces in a sandwich.
  3. You do not have to use white miso. It has a rich flavor that I like and I found a gluten free variety. You can use a different kind of miso if you would like.
A Taste of Two Plates http://tasteoftwoplates.com/

Zucchini Pasta with Raw Vegan Tomato Basil Marinara Sauce

Zucchini Pasta with Raw Vegan Tomato Basil Marinara Sauce

This is a light and easy zucchini pasta with raw vegan tomato basil marinara is a dish that I have enjoyed preparing in the past for its simplicity and the easy availability of seasonal ingredients. It is great when you would like something quick and healthy without having to think too hard about it. It is literally slicing the zucchini and blending the sauce.

Zucchini Pasta with Raw Vegan Tomato Basil Marinara Sauce

Now that I have tomato plants which are producing a few newly ripened tomatoes for me every few days and a healthy basil plant that gives me a giant handful of leaves every few weeks, I have really enjoyed putting them to good use. It’s really rewarding to be able to make something with ingredients that I’ve grown myself, and perfectly ripened garden tomatoes are one of the most amazing things I’ve ever eaten. Truth be told, most of them don’t even make it into a tomato basil marinara sauce. I eat them as soon as I pick them. 😉

Now that I have tomato plants which are producing a few newly ripened tomatoes for me every few days and a healthy basil plant that gives me a giant handful of leaves every few weeks, I have really enjoyed putting them to good use.

Below is a breakdown of the health benefits for each of the main ingredients.

Zucchini

  • High in fiber, which helps to maintain blood sugar and lower cholesterol. It also helps to keep the colon clean, which puts you at a lower risk for cancer.
  • Good source of vitamins A & C, which prevent cholesterol from oxidizing in the blood vessels. This stops hardening of the arteries and heart disease. 
  • Vitamins A & C, along with the folate in zucchini, act as antioxidants, which additionally help to prevent certain types of cancers and reduce inflammation in the body.
  • Men! The phytonutrients in zucchini can improve prostate problems. 😉
  • Ladies! Zucchini is high in magnesium, which helps to stave off chocolate cravings (which are often a sign of magnesium deficiency).
  • Source: http://www.healthdiaries.com/eatthis/8-health-benefits-of-zucchini.html

Tomatoes

  • Tomatoes are good for your heart! They have been shown to help lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides, and to prevent your blood platelets from clumping together. Tomatoes are one of the best foods for accomplishing the latter of those. 
  • Tomatoes are high in vitamin C and lycopene (an antioxidant). When tomatoes are cooked, you absorb more lycopene, but the vitamin C is destroyed. As humans cannot synthesize their own vitamin C, eat your tomatoes raw, and with a little fat, you can still boost lycopene absorption! If you eat the yellow and orange tomatoes instead of the red ones, you can actually absorb the lycopene better too. 
  • 1 cup of tomatoes also contains 24% of the DRI (daily recommended intake) of biotin – they are good for your hair!
  • Source: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=44

Basil

  • You might not always think of health benefits with regard to fresh herbs (admittedly, flavor is usually first on my mind), but basil has some great ones. 
  • Basil contains high amounts of compounts which may be useful in treating arthritis and IBS (inflammatory bowel disease). 
  • Likewise, it has also been shown to be beneficial with other types of inflammation and swelling. 
  • It has anti-aging properties, protecting against free radical damage in the liver, brain, and heart. 
  • It’s a great source of antioxidants, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, iron, potassium, magnesium and calcium (as all leafy greens are).
  • Source: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/266425.php
Raw Vegan Zucchini Pasta with Tomato Basil Marinara
Serves 2
A light and healthy pasta alternative made with seasonal summer ingredients. Unlike its grain-laden counterpart, these ingredients work together to reduce inflammation, provide you with useful fiber to keep your intestines clean, and give you a boost of vitamin C, which would otherwise be destroyed by cooking.
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Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
1 hr
Noodle Ingredients
  1. 2 zucchinis, sliced or spiral cut into noodles
  2. 1/2 tsp salt
Marinara Ingredients
  1. 1 cup fresh tomatoes
  2. 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes
  3. 3/4 cups water (for soaking - do not discard)
  4. 1 cup fresh basil leaves (pack loosely or tightly, depending how much you like basil)
  5. 1 TB first cold press extra virgin olive oil
  6. 2 dates
  7. 1 tsp garlic (probiotic upgrade: 1 pickled/fermented garlic clove)
  8. 1/4 tsp dried parsley
  9. 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  10. 1/8 tsp sea salt
Optional Garnish Ingredients
  1. 2 TB hemp seed
  2. 2 TB nutritional yeast (not raw, but non raw family members will find this vegan ingredient pleasant, as it has a cheesy flavor)
  3. Sprig of fresh basil
Preparation Directions
  1. Add the 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, 2 dates, and 3/4 cups water to a bowl and let them sit for about an hour (longer is fine if that is more convenient for you) so that they become soft and plump. Do not discard the water. It goes into the blender with the tomatoes and dates.
Noodle Directions
  1. Cut the zucchini into noodles (I use this tool: Spiralizer Tri-Blade Spiral Vegetable Slicer. You can also use a julienne peeler.)
  2. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp salt over the zucchini noodles and massage it in for a minute or two. Let it sit about 5 minutes or until they become pliable and more noodle like.
  3. Rinse zucchini noodles.
Sauce Directions
  1. Add all the tomato sauce ingredients to the blender. The sun dried tomatoes and their soaking water both go in. Blend until everything is smooth.
Assembly Directions
  1. Split the zucchini noodles in half and add to two plates.
  2. Top with the marinara.
  3. Add optional garnishes if you desire.
Notes
  1. A high speed blender works best for this recipes. If you have a Vitamix, you can even warm the sauce in the blender, which is a nice treat.
  2. I like the sauce because it is raw, but if you have someone in your house that is not ready for a raw marinara yet, you could serve them a cooked marinara over the zucchini noodles and it would still be a healthier alternative.
A Taste of Two Plates http://tasteoftwoplates.com/

Creamy Carrot Soup with Dill (Raw Vegan)

Creamy Carrot and Dill Soup (Raw Vegan)

Down here in sunny Florida, winter is definitely over, and we’ve already had some warmer days in the 80s this year (don’t hate!). As such, I’ve been preparing lighter recipes to cope with the heat. This light and fluffy raw vegan carrot soup recipe will leave you satisfied, but not overwhelmed on a warm day.

Sometimes I wander around my local grocery store’s produce aisle (big shout out to Publix for always having great produce and striving to get more organics into their stores) and farmers markets and let the vegetables that are randomly placed next to each other inspire my recipes, and sometimes I like to select plants that are botanically related, as in the case of this carrot soup recipe, where carrot and dill pair wonderfully together. The rest of the seasonings and ingredients just fall into place nicely after that.

Light and fluffy raw vegan carrot soup with dill

Besides being delicious, carrots are also very beneficial to health. The name “carrot” comes from its primary nutrient, beta-carotine, which is an antioxidant that is important for prevention of cancer and heart disease. Carrots also stimulate and cleanse the liver, and help to lower cholesterol due to their high fiber content. Let’s all celebrate the carrot! 🙂 

Creamy Carrot and Dill Soup (Raw Vegan)
Serves 2
This light and fluffy raw vegan soup is both nutritious and delicious. It is satisfying without being overwhelming on a warm day. It is also quick to prepare.
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Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 & 3/4 cups filtered water
  2. 4 medium organic carrots, chopped into 2-3" pieces
  3. 2 pearl onions, peeled
  4. 1 TB fresh dill, packed
  5. 1 clove AVC fermented garlic (substitution: 1 tsp garlic powder)
  6. 1/2 cup raw cashews (soak in water for a few hours for better digestion)
  7. 2 TB sun dried tomatoes
  8. 2 TB coconut aminos
  9. 1/4 tsp sea salt (or to taste)
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients into a high speed blender (e.g. Vitamix, Blendtec, etc.)
  2. Blend on high speed until all ingredients are thoroughly blended.
  3. Serve and enjoy. 🙂
Notes
  1. My husband prefers his soup a little more watery than I do. If you'd like to thin it out, simply add a little more water.
  2. If you decide to garnish with some extra dill on top, it's very delicious. I ate that bowl of soup in the photograph right after I snapped the picture. 😉
A Taste of Two Plates http://tasteoftwoplates.com/

Sun Dried Tomato Quinoa & Avocado Pumpkin Seed Pesto (Vegan)

Sun dried tomato quinoa with pumpkin seed avocado pesto

This quinoa and pesto dish was inspired by an over-abundance of basil on my porch, and some ACV fermented garlic that I’ve been culturing for the last 6 weeks. I’m a big fan of cultured foods. I try to incorporate some into my diet every single day.

I created a twist on traditional pesto based on the ingredients I had on-hand and my dietary restrictions, and I’m quite happy with the results! Pumpkin seeds are a lot more budget-friendly than pine nuts. They add a little bit of texture and some health benefits, like being a good source of zinc, which is a great immune booster. The avocado provides a familiar creamy texture that pine nuts and cheese would have provided, and is a healthier source of fats than dairy.

apple cider fermented garlic and fresh basil, waiting to become pesto

Garlic cloves fermented in unfiltered apple cider vinegar and fresh home grown basil. Pesto is a natural thought that comes to mind when pondering the ways to marry these flavors.

Here in sunny Florida, we’ve already got a head start on our spring planting, even those of us without yards. Right now, on my small 3rd floor terrace, I’ve got tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, marigolds, basil, aloe, a small avocado tree (which will eventually need a yard), and some micro-greens.

I am looking forward to creating more unique pesto recipes throughout the warm weather season as my little plant continues to blossom and produce more basil leaves. By the looks of it, I should have some fresh tomatoes to add to my homegrown ingredients list within a few more weeks!

Sun Dried Tomato Quinoa with Avocado Pumpkin Seed Pesto
Serves 3
This recipe is a delicious and filling vegan appetizer or side dish that is quick and easy to prepare. The quinoa contributes protein, the avocados add fat, and the pumpkin seeds are a good source of zinc, which helps to strengthen the immune system.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Quinoa Ingredients
  1. 1 & 1/3 cup water
  2. 2/3 cup dried quinoa
  3. 2 TB sun dried tomato, chopped
  4. pinch of sea salt
  5. 1 TB extra virgin olive oil
  6. Fresh squeezed juice of 1/4 lemon
Pesto Ingredients
  1. 1 cup fresh basil, packed
  2. 1/3 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  3. 1/2 avocado
  4. 2 cloves of AVC-fermented garlic (substitution: 2 tsp garlic powder)
  5. 2 TB extra virgin olive oil
  6. 1/4 tsp coarse gray sea salt
  7. 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
Directions for the quinoa
  1. Rinse quinoa thoroughly in a fine mesh strainer.
  2. Add water and a pinch of sea salt to medium sized pot on the stove until boiling.
  3. Add quinoa and sun dried tomatoes to pot and reduce heat - simmer 15-20 minutes until water is absorbed (alternatively: you can use a rice cooker).
  4. When finished, transfer to a bowl and stir in the 1 TB of extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice.
  5. Add another pinch of salt if you like (I do).
Directions for the pesto (prepare while quinoa is cooking)
  1. Add all ingredients into a variable speed blender and mix until well-combined. The basil should be shredded and the pumpkin seeds should be chopped. I have a Vitamix and the mixture incorporated well on the 4-5 setting.
Assembly
  1. If you want to make it fancy like the photo, use a 2.5" ring mold and layer the ingredients so there is roughly a 3:1 ratio of quinoa to pesto.
  2. Garnish with thinly sliced basil leaves, a bit of extra quinoa, and fresh ground pepper.
Notes
  1. If you decide to use a ring mold, twisting it gently will keep the top layer smooth as you remove the tamper.
A Taste of Two Plates http://tasteoftwoplates.com/