Category Archives: Soy

Easy Spring Rolls with Shrimp and Crunchy Veggies

Spring rolls are a snap to make once you get the basics down. You may have eaten them at an Asian take-out restaurant before, or have seen them on a buffet somewhere. They are light and fresh and can be filled with almost anything you like.  I like to add whole grains like Bhutanese Red rice for an earthy, chewy texture which contrasts excellently against the succulent, salty-snap of fresh shrimp. I include powerfully nutritious green herbs in this recipe which will align well with your diet plans, and I hope you will make it and enjoy it.

You will need:

  • 1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons turbinado sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons chili flakes (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil (toasted if you can find it)
  • 4 each 8-inch diameter rice paper rounds (you can use brown rice rounds if you can find them)
  • 1 cup cooked Bhutanese Red rice (cook per package directions)
  • 2 1/2 cups of cole slaw mix prepared (you can find it at the grocery store and it has shredded cabbage and carrots)
  • 1 small avocado halved and sliced
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh Thai basil (regular sweet basil will work if you cannot find Thai)
  • 6 teaspoons chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 8 each cooked and peeled (deveined) shrimp (medium or large) cut in half horizontally
  1. To begin have a bowl or shallow dish of warm water with a splash of the rice vinegar on hand, as well as a clean dish towel or several layers of paper towels at the ready. You will soak the rice paper wrappers to soften them in the warmed water and lay them out on the paper or towel to drain off excess water.
  2.  Combine the first seven ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together with a little sesame oil until the sugar dissolves. This will serve as your dipping sauce, which you can divide into four small portions.
  3. Soften a spring roll wrapper until it is soft and pliable enough to wave gently in the liquid. Remove it to the towel gently, and add several slices of avocado, then two halves of shrimp. Next add some of the cole slaw filling and the green herbs.
  4. Leave about an inch and a half at the top of your spring roll and at the sides. Make sure you place the filling toward the bottom edge of the wrapper.
  5. Now fold the sides up and roll your wrapper like a burrito up and around the filling, pressing gently at the seam. Set your spring roll aside and finish the others in the same manner.
  6. When you have finished, slice each spring roll at the center in a diagonal slice.

You should have 4 servings of an appetizer portion of these delicious spring rolls. Now that you have the technique figured out the sky is the limit for what you can add. Steamed or grilled chicken slices and a creamy, citrus peanut sauce would be a filling treat, as would a spring roll chock full of crunchy veggies alone! If you cannot find fish sauce, or do not particularly enjoy it, feel free to omit it and instead substitute 1/8 cup tamari sauce with 1/8 cup of citrus juice; such as lemon, lime or orange, or even some stock if you have it handy.

 

Dragon Fruit Smoothie

So you may have seen this leathery, hot pink or fuscia fruit with it’s strange curly spikes at the grocery store more frequently, and thought to yourself “now what is that and what would I do with it?”

Dragon fruit has a flavor and texture similar to kiwi fruit. It is a member of the cactus family (think prickly pear). The skin of the fruit is inedible, but the flesh is white and flecked with little black specks that look like vanilla or poppy seeds.

Select ripe fruits without bruises. You can just slice them in half with a sharp knife and scoop out the fruit with a spoon by running it around the inside of the skin. Then you can eat it right away or dice it up and add it to fruit salsas, fruit salads, or smoothies. It is versatile and mildly succulent.

You will need:

  • 4 ripe Dragon fruits, scooped out of the skin, and diced
  • 1 ripe banana, sliced
  • 1 fresh mango, diced
  • 2 cups soy or almond milk
  • honey to sweeten if preferred (shouldn’t need it)
  • 1/4 cup ice

In a blender add all the ingredients and puree until smooth and creamy.

Serves-4

Golden Borscht

Farm fresh beets
High in Betalians and Phytonutrients

I really enjoy making Borscht. A traditional Russian soup that is said to be the reason for so many centenarians living there! A big pot of iron-rich soup that is satisfying and fortifying. Now that the end of Summer is here and Fall is peeking around the corner markets are rich with golden beets, red beets and chioggia beets.

Beetroots are chock full of phytonutrients called Betalains‘. There are two main types of betalains in beetroot: betacynins (red-violet) and betaxanthins (yellow). Both are a water soluble type of betalains found only in a few of the worlds foods like: prickly pear fruit, beets, beet greens, swiss chard, quinoa and amaranth.

These nutrients help strengthen your cells and keep them healthy and strong against bad bacteria and disease. The phytonutrients in beets are strongly anti-inflammatory. Which is wonderful news for you because all autoimmune disorders are associated with, or caused by chronic inflammation.

Betalains in particular contain water soluble fiber that helps reduce LDL cholesterol, as well as cartenoids and flavonoids which help keep cholesterol from being deposited in the arteries. They protect the cells of the liver and brain from toxins, as well as containing both potassium and magnesium.

When you buy beets, you want to look for small or medium-sized beets whose roots are firm, smooth-skinned and deep in color. Smaller, younger beets may be so tender that peeling won’t be needed after they are cooked. Avoid beets that have spots, bruises or soft, wet areas, all of which indicate spoilage. Shriveled or squishy should also be avoided as these are signs that the roots are old and will be too fibrous.While the quality of the greens does not reflect that of the roots, if you are going to consume this very nutritious part of the plant, look for greens that appear fresh, tender, and have a lively green color.

To keep the greens, cut the majority of the greens and their stems from the beet roots, so they do not pull moisture away from the root. Leave about two inches of the stem attached to prevent the roots from “bleeding.” Do not wash beets before storing. Place in a plastic bag and wrap the bag tightly around the beets, squeezing out as much of the air from the bag as possible, and place in refrigerator where they will keep for up to 3 weeks. Raw beets do not freeze well, but cooked ones will.

For the soup you will need:

  • 2-medium sized golden beets, or 1-large one, peeled and small diced (or grated if you feel like it)
  • 2-Tablespoons yellow Miso paste
  • 1-small onion, minced
  • 1-large garlic clove, smashed
  • 2-cups beet greens, chopped (may substitute chard, collards or kale)
  • 1-medium carrot, peeled and small dice
  • 1-teaspoon sweet paprika (smoked paprika is  also good!)
  • 2-Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, or grape seed oil
  • 4-cups low-sodium vegetable broth (or chicken broth if you have reached the poultry part of the diet)
  • 1-teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 1-Tablespoon apple-cider vinegar
  • 2-teaspoons dried dill
  • 1-fresh bay leaf (dried is ok)
  • 1\2 cup plain Greek yogurt

In a large soup pot over medium heat, use the oil to sweat the carrot, onion, garlic. When just beginning to soften, add the beets, beet greens, bay leaf, paprika and dill. Stir well for about a minute and add the Miso paste. Cook for another five minutes and make sure to stir so the Miso doesn’t scorch on the bottom of the pot. Add the beets and stock and stir again. Bring to a boil, then immediately turn down the heat to a low simmer. Let cook,uncovered,  stirring occasionally for another 15-20 minutes. Test for doneness and  stir in vinegar and season with salt and any extra pepper you may like to add.

To serve add a good dollop of Greek yogurt to the top of your bowl of Borscht. Feel free to stir it in.

Serves about-6

Variations: Use red beets and add 1-12oz can diced tomatoes, or 2 tablespoons tomato paste (instead of Miso) for a more traditional Borscht. You could also go full-stop, and add shredded red cabbage, about a cup, instead of (or in addition to) the greens.

Spicy Asian Edmame Spread

  • 1 12 oz bag of thawed, frozed edamame (shelled)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons tahini paste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons wasabi paste (paste works better than powder)
  • 2 tablsepoons tamari
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil or neutral vegetable oil

In a food processor puree all the ingredients except the oil until smooth. With the processor running pour in the oil in a light stream to emulsify. You will probably have to scrape down the sides once or twice.

Check for seasoning and add spices if you like.

This dip is great with veggies both raw and grilled, as well as crackers and on a sandwich!

Makes appx: 1 1/2 cups

Kale Salad with Creamy Ginger-Tahini Dressing

You have probably heard by now about Kale. How it is one of the new super foods. An all star leafy green that packs a powerful nutritional punch.

Just one cup of raw Kale ( and you can eat many, many cups if you like) has 6% Daily Value for Iron, 134% Vitamin C  ( helps absorb iron), 206% Vitamin A, 5% Folate, and 9% Calcium. Wow. I’m not done: it has 2 grams of protein per cup. Yep, you read right: protein in a leafy green! What’s more is that for you in particular it is strongly anti-inflammatory. Strongly. And very filling.

Tahini is sesame seed “butter” : ground sesame seeds, just like peanut or almond butter. It has a lot of oil from the seeds and is often used with chickpeas to make hummus. It is runnier than peanut or almond butter and that makes it easy to work with making dressings. 1 Tablespoon of Tahini has 3 grams of protein and 1 gram of fiber, as well as 6% calcium and  2% iron. It also happens to make a delicious dressing for raw leafy greens.

You will need:

  • Bunch of organic Kale m washed well, stemmed and chopped in bite sized chunks
  • Tablespoon Tahini paste
  • 1 medium or large garlic clove, smashed with broad side of knife and ground into a paste
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon organic honey
  • 1 dash of cayenne pepper to taste (more if you like heat)
  • 1Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Tamari, preferably organic
  • 3 Tablespoons water
  • About a teaspoon freshly grated Ginger (more again if you like ginger)
  • 2 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar (regular works as well but raw has health benefits. I like Braggs brand)
  • 1 medium apple, organic, small dice
  • 1/4 bulb fennel, sliced very thin ( I use a small mandoline slicer)
  • Tablespoon grated parmesan cheese or parmesan style soy cheese

This makes a large salad, so it can be for up to 4 people or if you’re like me and are just hungry for some kale, just one person as a meal.

In a mixing bowl add the garlic, tahini, honey, cayenne, ginger, vinegar, tamari and whisk well to mix. Thin with the water to dressing consistency. Add lemon juice and stir well.

Next add kale and apples and fennel and mix well with tongs or you hands. You could mix in the parmesan or sprinkle on top. Like I said I eat this thing right out of the mixing bowl so I toss it Caesar style with the cheese and go to town on it!

Couldn’t be easier! And boy is it tasty. If you don’t like sesame or have an allergy try while miso paste instead of tahini, or even very firm tofu, about an ounce will do. You may have to adjust seasoning to saltiness.

I hope this inspires you to try kale raw. You might find it so satisfying and decide to add it regularly to your Pain Free Diet.

Some fun variations : Add cooked, drained lentils or shaved red cabbage or even Vidalia onion and dried cherries.

Vegan Thanksgiving recipes courtesy of Robin Asbell’s The New Vegetarian

Thanksgiving is upon us and I am proud to share these amazing recipes by a fantastic chef and author with whom I was acquainted when I lived in Minneapolis. Here are two easy recipes which pack a lot of nutrients, a teensy splurge factor, and are vegan! The recipes are from the book Big Vegan by Robin Asbell. I hope you will try them out and add something new to your table this Thanksgiving.

 

Homemade Mock Turkey Roast with Stuffing

For those of you who miss the turkey on holidays, or just want a home-style vegan meal anytime, this is a good way to mock up a bird. It’s really not much trouble, now that we can use gluten flour to make mock turkey with no kneading required—and lots of tasty, chewy goodness. Serve it with Basic Mushroom Gravy and all the traditional trimmings.

It’s great fun to share your vegan food with family and friends, so go for it. The salad will certainly win some converts. Enjoy!

Mock Turkey

2          tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

½         cup/60 g minced onion

2          cloves garlic, minced

2          cups/255 g gluten flour

1          cup/115 g chickpea flour

½         cup nutritional yeast

1          tsp salt

6          oz/170 g reduced-fat or regular firm tofu, drained and pressed

1          cup/240 ml vegetable stock

¼         cup/60 ml tamari

½         tsp ground sage

Stuffing

1          cup/55 g cubed bread

1          tsp extra-virgin olive oil

½         cup/60 g chopped onion

¼         cup/60 ml vegetable stock

½         tsp ground sage

½         tsp dried thyme

½         tsp salt

2          tbsp walnuts, chopped

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The Mock Turkey in a Wide Loaf Shape

1. Preheat the oven to 350° F/180° C/gas 4. Oil a 3- to 4-cup/720 to 960-ml metal bowl or a small loaf pan. Put a teapot of water on to simmer for the bain marie later.

2. To make the mock turkey: In a small sauté/frying pan, heat the oil, then sauté the onion and garlic until soft and sweet, 5 to 10 minutes. Mix together the flours, yeast, and salt in a medium bowl. In a blender or food processor, puree the tofu until very smooth. Add the stock, tamari, and sageto the tofu and blend. Add the onions and all the oil from the pan and puree. Stir the contents of the blender into the flour mixture until smooth. Scoop about two thirds of the dough into the oiled bowl.

3. To make the stuffing: Put the bread cubes in a medium bowl. Heat the oil in a small sauté/frying pan over medium heat. Sauté the onions until soft and clear. Add the bread, stock, sage, thyme, and salt and stir until the bread is soft. Stir in the nuts.

4. Press the stuffing into a ball (or if you are using a loaf pan, into an oblong) and press it into the center of the mock turkey dough, then cover it with the remaining dough. Flatten the top, brush it with oil, and cover with foil. Put the bowl in a baking dish and pour in boiling water to make a bain marie. Carefully transfer it to the oven and bake for 2 hours. When the “turkey” is quite firm, take it out of the water bath, then put the bowl on a rack to cool. Run a paring knife around the edge to loosen it, then invert it onto a cutting board or platter. Slice the “turkey” and serve it with gravy and trimmings.

Big Salad with Caramelized Pumpkinseeds, Pears and Pomegranate

From The New Vegetarian (Chronicle Books)

Serves 6
This is a great wintertime salad, with the pomegranates that only appear around the holidays and pears and pumpkinseeds. To take seeds out of the pomegranate, cut through the skin from stem to tip, dividing the fruit in quarters. Hold it over a bowl and pull apart the sections, then tear apart the pieces, gently freeing the seeds.

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Score the skin in quarters, then break open

1 cup pumpkinseeds, raw
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 large romaine lettuce, washed and dried
2 small shallot, thinly sliced
2 large bosc pears, sliced
1 large garlic clove, peeled
2 tablespoons fresh mint, optional
2 tablespoons pomegranate juice concentrate
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon agave or organic sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup toasted pumpkinseed oil
1 small pomegranate, arils (seeds) removed

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the pith around the arils floats in water….

1. Make the pumpkinseed topping up to a week ahead. Heat the oil for a minute in a medium non-stick skillet. Add the pumpkinseeds and toss in the pan over high heat, until the seeds are popping and browning, about 3 minutes. Take off the heat and add the brown sugar and toss constantly until seeds are coated with melted sugar (careful-it will burn easily). Quickly mix in the spices and salt, then spread on a plate to cool. Cool completely and store in an air tight container until ready to use.
2. Make dressing in processor by mincing garlic and mint. Add pomegranate concentrate, lemon, honey and salt and pulse to mix. Gradually drizzle in oil with machine running.
3. Wash and dry romaine, then slice across the leaf in 1/2 inch wide strips. Arrange on plates or in bowl. Top with shallots, pears. Drizzle over the dressing and top with the pomegranate seeds and pumpkin seeds. Serve right away.

Nutty Curry-Stuffed Squashes

These colorful, single-serving squash halves are speckled with golden millet, green jalapeño, and crunchy nuts. Redolent of spice and a touch of coconut, they will draw your guests to the table by scent alone.

Serves 6

 

3          small sweet dumpling squash or mini pumpkins (about 13 oz/370 g each)

1          tsp canola oil

½         cup/60 g chopped onion

1          tbsp minced peeled fresh ginger

1          tsp black mustard seeds

1          medium jalapeño, chopped

1          tsp whole cumin seeds

1          tsp ground coriander

¼         tsp ground turmeric

¼         tsp ground cinnamon

¼         cup/50 g millet

½         cup/120 ml coconut milk

½         tsp salt

½         cup/55 g raw cashews

½         cup/55 g whole almonds, toasted

2 tbsp shredded unsweetened coconut

 

1. Preheat the oven to 400° F/200° C/gas 6. Cut the squashes in half from the stem to the tip, or if you are using pumpkins that sit flat, cut off the tops as shown in the photo above. Scoop out the seeds and place them cut-side down on oiled baking sheets/trays. Bake for 10 minutes (they will not be completely cooked). Take the pans out and flip the squash halves over. When they have cooled, use a spoon to cut into the flesh, loosening it in spots but leaving it in the shell. Reduce the oven temperature to 375° F/190° C/gas 5.

2. In a 2-qt/2-L saucepan, heat the oil and add the onion, ginger, and mustard seeds. Sauté over medium-high heat until the onions are golden, about 5 minutes. Add the jalapeño, cumin, coriander, turmeric, and cinnamon and stir until they are fragrant. Add the millet and stir to coat, then add the ¼ cup/60 ml water, the coconut milk, and salt and bring them to a boil. When it boils, cover the pan and turn the heat to low. Cook until the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the nuts, then stuff the mixture into the squashes. Sprinkle each with 1 tsp of coconut.

3. Bake the squashes until the filling is set and bubbling and the squashes are easily pierced with a knife, about 20 minutes. Let them cool slightly before serving.

Photo by Kate Sears

Soy-Nut-Butter Cookies

There are few things in life more comforting than cookies. Knowing that they are Pain Free Diet approved is one of them. Just a quick and easy variation on a classic peanut-butter cookie that will also give you some energy from protein!

3/4 cup soynut butter
1/2 cup ricotta cheese, drained.
1 1/4 cup firmly packed light-brown sugar Splenda
3 Tbs soymilk
1 Tbs vanilla extract or almond extract
1 egg
1/4 cup soy flour
1 1/2 cup brown-rice flour
3/4 tsp kosher salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
Begin by preheating your oven to 375.
Combine soynut butter, ricotta, brown sugar Splenda, soymilk, and vanilla extrat in large bowl. Beat at medium speed of electric mixer until well blended. Slowly add the egg. Beat just until blended.
Combine flour, salt, and baking soda. Add to creamed mixture at low speed mixing just until blended. Chill the dough a little while then drop teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart on parchment lined baking sheets.
You can even press the cookies down with a fork for the classic peanut butter cookie look.
Bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until just set and just beginning to brown. Remove from oven and cool 2 minutes on baking sheet.
You can then remove cookies to wire rack to cool completely if desired. These are great with a chilled glass of soymilk as an after lunch snack.

Simply Soy

SoThere is really nothing “simple” about this power house member of the Pea family. Used in Asia for over 5000 years as a source of vegetarian protein fondly called “Tuna of the forest”, and in Chinese medicine. Soy is universal in today’s nutrition. Click Here for nutrition analysis of edamame, or the simple soybean. Derivatives made from the soy bean are everywhere. Tempeh, Tofu, Tamari, Soy Sauce, Miso Paste, Soy Milk, Soy Cheese, Soy Mayonnaise, Soy Yogurt, Tofu Sour Cream, Soy Nuts, Soy Nut-Butter, Textured Soy Protein, Soy bean oil, Soy flour, and you get my point? High in fiber and protein, containing heart healthy Omega-3’s, Soy helps reduce blood pressure and menopause symptoms as well as increasing bone strength to ward off Osteoporosis. It helps reduce risk factors for many types of cancer as well as for diabetes.

It is so easy to add it to your diet and many of my recipes in the book contain Soy based ingredients already! Let’s start with Tofu. You have your extra firm, firm, medium, soft and silken. All are great to add to your diet and all require you to rinse and drain them prior to use. Generally speaking extra firm or firm are your best option when using in dishes such as a stir fry. If you freeze these two prior to use they take on a “chewier/meatier” texture that can be a little more satisfying if you are one who is coming of a basic “meat-and-potatoes” diet to the Pain Free Diet. You can get something called “pressed Tofu” which is void of almost all the moisture already and you can grill it or stir fry it. Tofu is basically of a sponge-like texture and while that can seem gross it also means that is soaks up marinades very well. So take advantage of that. To press out the liquid just gently squeeze it with a clean dish towel or paper towels, or let it drain out in a colander with a gentle weight on it overnight. A basic marinade for tofu that I really like is as follows for1 cake of Firm Tofu, rinsed and drained (pressed) :

  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons Tamari
  • 1 teaspoon Chili Paste or Siracha brand chili sauce (Can substitute 1 teaspoon chili flakes also)
  • 2 Tablespoons Sesame Oil
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, smashed really well
  • 1 stalk of scallion (green onion) sliced thinly on a diagonal
  • 1/2 teaspoon Splenda or 1 teaspoon sugar since this is such a small amountOptional: 2 Tablespoons Fish Sauce

I like the fish sauce for the “umame” flavor it brings, it doesn’t really make it taste fishy at all and adds a bit of mystery.
Just whisk together and marinate for a few hours or overnight. Then blot dry and use in stir fry or grill or pan sear, or bake it. You can play around with ingredients like Soy-Butter if you want more of a Satay flavor. Or even go Italian by using Balsamic, olive oil, and garlic, black pepper and a little sea salt. Think of your Tofu as a substitute for meat and you get the picture. You can even Barbeque it if you want to. Make sure that the sugar content in your sauce of choice is low enough to fit in the diet though.

That covers the firm Tofu but what about Silken or Soft? This is the preferred Tofu for dressings, smoothies or shakes, dressings and desserts like custards of substitutions for fats in desserts. You should not freeze this kind of tofu as the texture is very delicate, think “flan” as a reference to texture for this type. A cup of this Tofu is a great addition to a smoothie with fresh berries and a banana, or a half of an avocado and strawberries and some form of allowable sweetener. Tempeh is the Indonesian meat substitute. This is going to sound gross but it is okay; it is made by injecting the soy beans and other grains and allowing it to ferment. It is pressed into a cake and sold as tempeh. It is very safe to eat and actually pretty tasty! Well, you used to eat Cheeses with blue mold! Don’t even ask me what is in the Fish Sauce you just put in your Tofu marinade! Before using Tempeh it is best to steam it for about 10 minutes or simmer it, to soften it. Then you use it just like you would meat or firm tofu. You can marinate this as well. It has a chewier, saltier, nuttier flavor than regular Tofu and for that it is liked by vegetarians or health conscious people like yourselves. Tempeh can even be crumbled like ground beef and used to make chili or sauces. You can also find “Textured Soy Protein”, and this is used in products like “Chick Patties” and “Garden Burgers”.

Another great by-product of Soy is Miso-Paste. It comes in a variety of colors and strengths. It is a thick paste made from soybeans and grains that has been fermented and then aged for up to three years. It’s a staple in Japan, where it’s used to flavor soups, dipping sauces, meats, and dressings. There are literally hundreds of varieties of miso, and the Japanese match them to dishes with the same care that Americans match wines to meals. The darker kinds are saltier and more pungent, the lighter are sweeter and milder. Two types that are easily found in American markets are white and red miso. White Miso, or “Shiro-Miso” is the lightest and sweetest of them all. It can be used to make miso soup, or broths for soup or to make dressings or marinades. 1 Tablespoonwhite miso can substitute 1 bullion cube and reduce a lot of sodium and still offer flavor and more nutrition.

Red Miso or “Aka-Miso” is red in color, and generally has barley or rice as an ingredient. It is more pungent and is the preferred miso in most Asian countries. It is great for rubs, or marinades. You can also use this to substitute bullion in soups. Always add miso to soups and stews at the end, since boiling it destroys beneficial bacteria and causes it to curdle.

Lemony-Miso Dressing:

  • 1/2 Cup White Miso
  • 1/3 Cup water
  • 2 Teaspoons grated, fresh ginger root
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 1 whole lemon, cut into 1/4
  • 1 packet or teaspoon Splenda brand sweetener or 2 Tablespoons Agave Nectar or Honey for sweetness
  • 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive oil

In a blender add all ingredients except oil and blend really well. Add the lemons as they are and the oils in the rind will help add texture and a very lemony-punch. Add the olive oil last and blend until emulsified. Check for flavoring and add a little black pepper and sea salt if desired. You can go so far as to add fresh Edamame to your salad. You don’t have to actually do anything to it. You can get it frozen shelled or in the shell and you can shell them yourself. A lot of people like to microwave or steam them prior to eating and this is okay, but not necessary. This dressing would also be great with some asparagus as well!

As far as desserts and baked goods remember to use Silken Tofu, or Soy Milk. You can also make quick Summer treats like Popsicles by blending soy yogurt and fresh berries together and freezing in popsicle molds. Click Here for a link to Soy Foods desserts that are made with Soy products. I would use extra virgin oil instead of vegetable but you can use any with “good” fats of course.

I hope this helps you ease into eating more Soy based foods and enjoy the health benefits. Try some of my recipes from the book like the snack bars which contain soy flour and dried berries!

BBQ!!!

bbqIt’s BBQ season now that Summer is in full swing and I bet you are all salivating in envy at the smells wafting up over your neighbor’s fence! I do apologize for the lack of prior inspiration but let me quell your fears now and let you know I am with you on this. I feel your pain and I understand the need to sink your teeth into some MEAT this season with great and reckless abandon! But of course you’re on the Pain Free Diet and you have to have some restraint. Aw shucks….hey don’t worry! That’s why I am here! There are dry rubs that can substitute brown sugar Splenda! Grilled salmon, veggies, stone fruits and even…dare I say it? Tofu.

Let’s start off with a simple dry rub recipe and work our way into some specific things to do which can at least take your mind off the pit that guy is digging down the block in preparation for his big pig roast bonanza.

  • 1 Cup Splenda brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup smoked paprika (or regular)
  • 1/4 cup fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 Tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 Teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper(optional)

Combine all ingredients well and store in an airtight container until needed. This is a great rub for turkey meat, salmon fillets, stone fruits or even shrimp!

Barbecued Shrimp Kebab

Shrimp_Kebab

  • 2 pounds 16/20 shrimp (peeled and cleaned leaving tail on)
  • 8 each bamboo skewers soaked in water (or metal skewers)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 handful chopped cilantro (or parsley if you don’t like cilantro)
  • 1 cup of marinade (recipe follows below)
  • 2 sweet bell peppers cut into large chunks
  • 1 large red onion cut into 1/8 pieces or large chunks
  • Fresh pineapple chunks (optional)

Marinade:

  • Juice of 3 limes or 1/2 cup
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped cilantro (or parsley)
  • 1/2 cup Tequila
  • 1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon Cholula brand hot sauce (or other favorite)
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

Mix well and refrigerate until needed. This recipe also works with Firm, drained Tofu!!!

To Grill!

  • Turn on the grill
  • Toss shrimp and veggies in marinade and let sit 15 minutes
  • Skewer 4 shrimp per skewer alternating with veggies and pineapple (if using)
  • Brush skewers with Olive oil
  • BBQ over medium heat for about 5 minutes each side

You might enjoy this Chipotle Rub instead, it has a smoky spicy flavor:

Chipotle in Adobo

    chipotle

  • 1 can chipotles in adobo
  • 1 small onion, grilled or roasted
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, smashed
  • 12 ounces Tamarind puree (can find in ethnic aisle)
  • 4 or 5 sun dried tomatoes, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes and drained
  • Spritz of half a lime (optional)
  • Kosher salt and fresh black pepper
  1. Toss all into a blender. Add a teaspoon of water, if needed, at a time to process.
  2. Refrigerate until needed.

You might like to make some Cole slaw to accompany this delightful meal and I happen to have a good recipe right here:

  • 2 pounds shredded cabbage or mix of cabbage and Salad Savoy
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 small sweet onion, julienne
  • 1/4 cup splenda granulated sugar substitute
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons celery spice
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 1 &1/4 cup low-fat soy mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar or rice wine vinegar

 

  • Combine sugar, celery spice, garlic powder and pepper.
  • Mix in horseradish and mustard.
  • Add mayo and vinegar, stir well.
  • Mix in veggies and refrigerate until needed.

Or you might like to grill some veggies like asparagus:

  • Turn on the grill!
  • Snap woody ends off clean asparagus
  • Toss in a little olive oil
  • Sprinkle a little kosher salt and fresh pepper
  • Place on grill for about 3-5 minutes
  • Turn once and cook until edges begin to just blacken.

Serve with a spritz of lemon juice if desired!

Vegetable Kebabs

  • 8 skewers (if using bamboo pre-soak in water to prevent scorching)
  • 16 button mushrooms or porcini
  • 8 each small patty pan squash
  • 8 large cubes of Japanese eggplant or regular eggplant
  • 8 large chunks of sweet bell pepper (you choose your color)
  • 8 peeled shallots or pearl onions
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 2 or 3 smashed cloves of garlic
  • 2 or 3 fresh sprigs of rosemary
  • Kosher salt and fresh black pepper

 

  • Mix oil, garlic and rosemary. Stir to incorporate flavors and set aside.
  • Skewer veggies and having a mushroom on either end is recommended to hold everything in place.
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • Brush oil mixture over veggie kebabs and place on a medium grill.
  • Grill about 5 minutes on each side.

You could do the same with firm stone fruits and pineapple, apple and pear chunks. Just marinate them in the shrimp kebab marinade and grill.

Or make this Basil-Tarragon Dressing which can be used as a grilling marinade.

  • Handful fresh basil leaves
  • handful fresh tarragon leaves
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Juice of 1 small lemon
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar or champagne vinegar
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

 

  • Throw all ingredients in a blender and puree until well mixed.
  • Use as salad dressing, Cole-slaw dressing or marinade for grilled vegetables.

All of these marinades, rubs, dressings are versatile. Remember that. You can use them on fish, shrimp, scallops, veggies, tofu and fruits to create wonderful Summer BBQ experiences for you and friends. The bonus? You will be sticking to the Pain Free Diet and staying healthy while perhaps your very own neighbor will be green with envy at the fantastic fragrances wafting up over his or her yard as well!