Tag Archives: Esselstyn

Chocolate Mousse with Cinnamon Cream

No-fat Vegan Chocolate Mousse with Cinnamon Cream

One of my favorite quick and super satisfying sweet fixes is mousse. Using silken or firm tofu as a base, you can build a wonderful dessert in a couple of minutes.  Today, I’ve found a way to dramatically improve my favorite flavor – Chocolate.  Using Wax Orchards spectacular fudge sauce improves both the flavor and the texture, and served with silken cinnamon cream, it is beyond luscious, and a little goes a long way!

Vegan Chocolate Mousse with Cinnamon Cream

Chocolate Mousse:

1/2 of a 1 lb. package of firm tofu (8 oz.)
3 large TBSP Wax Orchard Fudge Sauce
1 pinch salt
1 TBSP agave or grade A maple syrup

Process for 1 – 2 minutes in food processor and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

Cinnamon Cream:

1/2 of a 1 lb. package of silken tofu (8 oz.)
1/4 C maple syrup
1 pinch salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Process for 1 – 2 minutes in food processor and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

To serve, place 2 to 3 heaping tablespoons of chocolate mousse in a nice serving glass.  Drizzle 2 to 3 teaspoons of cinnamon cream over the top and garnish with mint or fresh berries.

Wax Orchards’ Fudge Sauces

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Today, I’m cleaning and reorganizing my pantry.  My new no-fat vegan lifestyle requires some major changes in there!  Away go the convenience foods that contain a formidable array of fats used in food manufacturing (oils of all types, lecithin, hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated). It is stunning to realize that practically every baking mix, cracker, canned soup and salad dressing – virtually every single jar, bag or can in my pantry – contains fat. I am truly getting a sense of how the food industry’s manufacturing processes can contribute to heart disease and obesity without awareness on my part as the consumer.

Imagine my surprise and delight though, at the discovery of a jar of completely fat-free fruit-sweetened fudge sauce! I immediately went after it with a spoon, and (uh-0h) I’m in love.  Wax Orchards is a local Washington company who makes 5 amazing flavors of fudge sauce, 4 beautiful fruit syrups, and a fruit-based sugar/honey substitute called Fruit Sweet. I’ll get back to you on the Fruit Sweet after I’ve had a chance to use it in some baking, but in the meantime, for your morning mocha, your evening berries, or anything you eat that would be enhanced by warm fudge (which is everything, right?) get yourself a jar of Wax Orchards Fudge Sauce.

Fieldroast

I use meat substitute products infrequently, but there are a few excellent products on the market that I’ve found really enhance what I can produce in the kitchen. Fieldroast is a Seattle-based company that is now distributing their amazing products worldwide. Their Quarter Loaf is a great product for the Esselstyn lifestyle, because it has no fat in the recipe (most of their other products contain added fat).  Quarter loaves come in 3 flavors: Smoked Tomato, Wild Mushroom, and Lentil Sage.  Each one is a delicious combination of rich flavors and can really add interest to a soup or vegetable dish.  Not inexpensive, but potent when sliced or chopped and used sparingly.  I buy mine at several stores locally, including Whole Foods and Central Market.

Individual No-Fat Barbecued Pizza

I’ve spent a lot of time lately cooking outside on the grill while I wait for my new oven to arrive.  Fortunately, I benefit from my college-age son’s vast experience at this.  He has taught me that if you are really doing it right, barbecue  can be the centerpiece activity for your family or your guests  Don’t just cook outside, party outside! Take your time. Don’t try to do 5 other things. You wait until the coals are really ready. You gather your people in comfortable chairs by the grill so they can enjoy the smells and watch the lusciousness emerge. Everybody loves to help, even if it is just to offer advice!

To really pull people into the scene, I love to do individual pizzas, where everyone assembles their own from an assortment of ingredients. For an easy crust, I use Basson Pita Bread.  It stands up to the coals well without charring, and crisps up perfectly after 20 minutes on a low grill.  You can use any sauce you like, but I like a raw sauce where the flavors are bright and stand up to the smokey grilled flavor of the crust. I also enjoy using a good no-oil barbecue sauce.  Spoon your finished sauce onto the pitas, lay out your array of ingredients and let your eaters make their masterpieces.  Grill for about 20 minutes on low heat, covered, checking often to be sure your coals are not too hot for the bread. Use the indirect method of grilling if possible, discussed here at BBQ University. With this pita bread and the correct low heat, you will not need to oil the grill, making this an Esselstyn diet success.

Quick no-cook tomato sauce:

1 can chopped tomatoes, drained
1 – 2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 TBSP agave or maple syrup
1 tsp salt
dash ground chipotle or black pepper to taste

Process all ingredients in food processor or blender until smooth.

Set out your pizza toppings. For the most part, be sure you have pre-cooked the toppings, since they will not be on the grill long enough to cook. I’ve found a couple successful exceptions: finely chopped garlic, thinly slice red onion, and of course, fresh sliced tomatoes or halved cherry tomatoes.  Some of my favorite combinations are here:

BBQ sauce with Smoked Tomato Field Roast, pan-grilled onions, broth-sautéed sliced sweet potato/yam, sunflower seeds and fresh chopped basil

Tomato sauce with fresh sliced tomato, broth-sautéed sliced fennel root, chopped garlic, steamed snow peas, fresh chopped parsley and toasted walnuts

Sun-dried tomato (water packed or re-hydrated dried), chopped artichoke hearts and toasted walnuts w/fresh chopped herbs (basil, mint, parsley)

Tomato sauce with sautéed wild mushrooms and fresh herbs

Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps

If you are a no-fat vegan, and you are anything like me, you are eating constantly. I eat three meals a day, but often I snack in between.  I love a good dip or salsa, and that requires a good sturdy chip or cracker.  These crisps are really just a flattened pretzel, but unlike most of their standard cousins, contain no oil. If you know of a brand of pretzel that contains no oil, please let me know and I will feature it in this blog! Pretzel crisps come in several flavors, but only the Original and Everything types have no  fat listed in their ingredients.  I buy mine at Fred Meyer or Target here in Seattle.

Basson Pita Bread

I’ve been looking for a fresh local pita that contains no oil in the recipe.  Basson is a local bakery in Lynnwood and I buy their delicious product at Costco. It is perfect as a dipper for hummus or pico de gallo, and for any other use where you need a firm bread.

It works beautifully on the grill over very low coals as the foundation for individual pizza.  Try spreading each pita with a fresh or uncooked tomato sauce and sprinkle with broth-sauteed fennel root and red onion, chopped garlic, cherry tomatoes and chopped parsley.  Slow grill with a nice lump wood charcoal until crisp and infused with smokey summer flavor!

No-Fat Vegan Ras el Hanout Couscous

No-Fat Vegan Ras el Hanout Couscous

Good news: my long-suffering oven has finally gone to meet it’s maker. Bad news: it is Sunday night and although I have a luscious long list of recipes to test bake, my oven is kaput.  I’m going to Plan B, which is to use the Ras el Hanout spice I was gifted recently to build an exotic batch of stove-top Moroccan couscous. The spice is widely available in the U.S., but it differs greatly in composition from brand to brand.  Mine has warm, fruity scent, almost like the spiced winter holiday pudding I love so much. Wherever you find yours, be sure to sniff to make sure it tempts you, and acquire only small amounts, freshly ground.

This recipe is savory, with sweet dried fruit, but pulls its bright flavor from fresh lemon juice and orange zest. It is finished with crisp toasted walnuts, scallions and chopped cilantro, for a fresh-out-of-the garden texture.  Oh my!

No-fat Vegan Ras el Hanout Couscous 

2 C dried dates and apricots, chopped
Juice of 1 fresh lemon
1 C dry couscous
2 C water or vegetable broth
1 TBSP Ras el Hanout spice
1 14 oz. can garbanzo beans, drained
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 C coarsely chopped green onion
1/2 C cilantro, chopped
1/2 C walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
Zest and juice of 1/2 orange

Instructions

1. Put chopped fruits in a small bowl and marinate in lemon juice for 1 or 2 hours.

2. In a saucepan, bring the couscous, water or vegetable broth, Ras el Hanout spice, garbanzo beans and chopped onion up to a boil.  Cover and simmer on low until the liquid is absorbed, or 20 to 30 minutes. Remove lid and cool for 10 minutes.

3. Mix together the fruit with its marinade, couscous, & green onion.

4. Place the Ras el Hanout couscous in a favorite serving bowl and finish by squeezing the juice of 1/2 orange over all. Garnish with walnuts, cilantro and orange zest.

JJ Flats Everything Crackers

I keep looking for convenience foods that are vegan and also completely free of oils. For the category of crackers and snacks, there are shockingly few products available when I get the munchies.  I love JJ Flats Everything crackers because they are a good all around dipper with enough body to hold a chunky salsa, but also just the right amount of flavor to enhance a dip or eat plain.  FYI, depending on where you look on the internet, there are different ingredient lists published for this product.  I go by the actual packaging, which indicates no oil used in production. I get mine locally at Fred Meyer.

Sunlight Cafe

You are looking for a  relaxing, light-filled setting to have a delicious meal. You want a server who immediately understands your dietary lifestyle and offers suggestions from the menu with an expression of “no worries” and a smile that says “you belong here”.  The Sunlight Cafe is my home-away-from-home for food in north Seattle.

The existence of this food oasis is probably not news to anyone in living in Seattle, since they’ve served the vegan/vegetarian community here for many years.  Maybe this will just be a happy reminder if you haven’t been there in a while.  For those of us who are looking for no-fat vegan eats, these guys are already there with us.  They actually have items on the regular menu that fit beautifully.  Try the Brown Rice Salad and make your own honey-balsamic dressing at the table or ask them to mix it in the kitchen.  The Steamed Vegetables with Tofu is also good, and the nice garlic-ginger sauce is fat-free.

The Sunlight is open from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. everyday.  Love it!

No-fat Vegan Creamsicle Mousse

No-Fat Vegan Creamsicle Mousse

I have been playing with flavor variations on a basic vanilla vegan mousse. This one brings the bright sweetness of oranges together with vanilla, and reminds me of those creamsicle ice cream cups we used to buy from the neighborhood ice cream man in summers past.  It is wonderful served in a parfait topped with fresh raspberries or strawberries, or you can make the almond cookie tartlet pictured above.

There are a number of recipes on the internet for tofu-based mousse.  This one differs only in that I use both firm and silken tofu to give the mousse good body, which helps it stand up well to whatever flavors you choose to stir in.

No-fat Vegan Creamsicle Mousse

Stir together and chill until serving:

1 Recipe Basic vanilla Vegan Mousse
1 C no-sugar orange marmalade

Basic vanilla Vegan Mousse

1 container firm tofu, drained
1/2 container silken tofu, drained
a pinch of salt
1 to 2 TBSP. vanilla, to your taste
1/4 to 1/2 C maple syrup, agave, or honey, to your taste

Instructions

1. Process all ingredients in food processor for about 1 minute, or until very smooth.  Taste and adjust flavor until you like!

You may add any number of extracts and flavors at this point. Try 2-4 TBSP Hershey’s Special Dark Unsweetened Cocoa, or some Amaretto!  Use your imagination and enjoy! This makes about 3 cups.