Herbaceous Babe is going to be a little less regular in the days to come as the author gets launched in her professional career. Keep checking back, because there's no telling when a new post will appear!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Raw Collard Wraps

So... yesterday was a holiday, right? Very deceiving. I forgot it was Monday - sorry about that!

Okay, now anyone who has been a vegan for long has heard of collard wraps. They're one of the staples for plant-based life-forms. Can you believe it that I was vegan for over a year before making one of my own? (I did eat a Raw "Chili Cheese Burrito" at Ecopolitan.

Tomato, Carrot, Yellow Capsicum, Alfalfa Sprouts, and Mushroom
Tip #1: Don't be shy. Obviously, your collard needs to be able to close, but you want to feel like you actually ate something when you're done.

Tip #2: Use some kind of spread and/or dressing (italian-style is my preference) to add a little pop of flavor. It's like eating a salad... without a fork.

Tip #3: It may look prettier to wrap from the narrow end of the leaf to the outer edge, but it's easier to maintain a uniform shape when starting from the wide end.
Besides sprouting the alfalfa (which you could buy...), this meal is simple and fast. I just stood at the counter, trimmed the main stem, and sliced the veggies directly into the leaf.

If you like having a few recipes to follow, or simply to inspire:
Here's one from Edible Perspective.
And another from "Avocado Pesto."
And one involving sprouted quinoa from The Sprouted Kitchen.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Baked Spring Rolls

You know that moment when you realize that you've substituted almost everything in the recipe? Yep, I've been there.

This is the third attempt at spring rolls this month and, sadly, the closest I've followed the recipe so far. Instead of bok choy, there's cabbage. Instead of green onion, there's white. Instead of green pepper, there's crushed red pepper flakes. And tomato instead of beet. In one final devious act, I served my rolls with the lemon-ginger dipping sauce from last week's sushi. It was good.

...And because my autism lends me the great gift of tasting both words and pictures, I can assure you that the  original recipe is even more scrumptious.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Courgette Fettuccine with Tarragon Cream Sauce

For those of you who are not subscribed to Russell James, The Raw Chef - Get it! This man knows what people like us are looking for. He's constantly making deals and sending free recipes. He even has a section on his site called Weekday Raw (for those of us who can't make meal-planning our full-time job) and a tab in the recipe box for dehydrator-free meals.

Now this recipe is probably the best vegan alfredo you will ever eat. Plus, because it's raw, you'll be satisfied both with your meal and with life in general. True story.

The sauce is pretty standard (cashews, water, oil, lemon juice, and salt), but the tarragon really gives it the Wow factor. Now, Russell used a couple ingredients than I didn't (that's what I get for not planning ahead), such as red bell peppers and green onions, but as always, I managed to find something comparable. To substitute, I threw in a bit of chili powder and onion powder.

Easy; delicious; healthy. In no particular order. Get it!

P.S. I almost forgot: pretty sure the link to the recipe requires login/membership. If you aren't signed up and don't want to be, but still want to make this dish, follow any basic cashew cream recipe and add tarragon.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Flashback: Sauces and Spreads

So... remember the post back in January: Packed Lunch Ideas? Well, I'm beginning to realize just how essential sauces and spreads are to maintaining vegan sanity. My minimalist approach to plant-based cuisine has been kinda scraping by lately (again). Then it hit me: I hadn't made cashew cheese or hummus in an embarrassingly long time, and I couldn't remember the last time I had made dressing...

Both of these unceremoniously-displayed spreads are recipes from Practically Raw by Chef Amber Shea. The hummus was especially delicious with a very strong kick (due to my exceptionally large clove of garlic). The cheese... needs something (perhaps more nutritional yeast, maybe just some salt, I'm not sure...). Whatever the recipe, every vegan should have both of these in the fridge at all times, right next to some home-grown alfalfa sprouts.

These guys are beyond easy, and you can grow them as-needed and know they're always fresh. Just soak about a tablespoon of seeds in water overnight, drain in the morning, and rinse every 8-12 hours. For best results, store the jar upside-down so any excess moisture can drip through the wire-mesh lid.

Oh, and while we're at it, I just wanted to encourage the sushi-lovers to make this lemon-ginger dipping sauce. In fact, the entire recipe is fabulous, phenomenally better than my first attempt at Nori Rolls.