Thug Kitchen: The Official Cookbook has been around for awhile, but it’s new to us. This cookbook makes vegan cooking more fun and less precious. All of the recipes use ingredients that are inexpensive and easy to find, but the outcome is healthy and tasty! Reading through the recipes can be funny and with all of the expletives, we had to make sure our kids weren’t nearby! Lol!
For this Recipe Friday, we chose Coconut-Lime Rice with Red Beans and Mango. We didn’t have brown rice and substituted barley instead. The barley made the dish really hearty and the brown rice would probably have made it lighter. The flavors were still really good with the creamy coconut and zesty lime. We paired our dish with a Vegan Cesar Salad, also from the Thug Kitchen.
COCONUT-LIME RICE WITH RED BEANS AND MANGO
Recipe from Thug Kitchen
2 cups short-grain brown rice
2 teaspoons neutral-tasting oil (we used light olive oil)
1 cup diced shallots or onion
1 1/2 Tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 cup canned coconut milk
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1 mango (We thawed out frozen mango from Trader Joe’s)
1 1/2 cups cooked red beans
Grated zest and juice of 1 lime
Chopped cilantro or green onions (for garnish)
Rinse the rice under cool water. Heat oil over medium heat in a large soup pot. Add the shallots or onion and saute until they start to brown in some spots, about 3 minutes. Add the ginger and saute for 30 seconds until everything smells choice. Add the rice and keep stirring until the rice starts to smell slightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Add the coconut milk, broth, salt, and cayenne pepper and bring to a simmer. Give the pot a quick stir, cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer for about 40 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. If your rice isn’t done by the time the liquid is absorbed, add a little more broth or water.
While the rice is cooking, chop up the mango into bite-size pieces.
When the rice is tender, fold in the beans, lime zest, lime juice, and mango. Let cook for another minute or so until everything is warm. Serve topped with cilantro or green onions.
VEGAN CAESAR SALAD
Recipe from Thug Kitchen
1/3 cup sliced or slivered almonds
1/3 cup hot water
1-2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp dijon
1 tsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp capers, drained
Place the almonds and the hot water in a small bowl, and set them aside to soften, about 15 minutes.
In the mean time, mince the garlic finely. Once the almonds are softened, throw them into a blender with the water they were soaked in. Add the garlic and the rest of the ingredients (except the capers), and blend well until nice and creamy. Taste and adjust seasonings. If the dressing seems too thick, add a little more water and blend again. Finally, add the capers and blend for 5 seconds. Store in the fridge until ready to eat.
To make the salad: wash and spin dry your lettuce. Cut or tear into bite-sized pieces. Place in a big bowl, top with a couple tablespoons of dressing, and toss well. Top with croutons and serve.
This creamy green popsicle is packed with healthy ingredients to keep the skin hydrated, smooth, and beautiful.
The best foods for the skin are high in water content to keep the skin hydrated, and high in antioxidants and vitamins to bring the best out of your skin. Let’s take a closer look at the ingredients in this creamy green popsicle.
Avocados are a certified super food, containing essential fatty acids, antioxidants, and amino acids. They are known to increase the absorption of important nutrients such as beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, and lutein. The D-manno-heptulose sugar found in avocados helps improve the production of collagen, which is crucial to keeping the skin healthy and young.
Coconut water is packed with fluids and electrolytes that not only keep you hydrated, but your skin as well. Hydrated skin is healthy, glowing skin.
Lime, like all citrus fruits are know for their beneficial effects on the skin. Lime helps rejuvenate your skin and protects it from infections, thanks to its antioxidant, disinfectant and antibiotic properties.
Kiwi is jam-packed with tiny, black seeds that contain the high levels of vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant, that is responsible for improving the moisture and elasticity of skin.
Creamy Green Popsicles
Juice of 1-2 limes
Bee Free Honey to sweeten as desired.
Peel and dice avocados and banana.
Juice 2 limes. (use less if you don’t like tart flavors)
Blend avocados, banana and lime juice in a blender until smooth.
Add 8+ ounces of Coconut Water (or until consistency desired) and blend.
To sweeten add Bee Free Honey to preferred sweetness. (optional) and blend.
Peel and slice kiwi into thin round pieces.
Add a slice or two of kiwi to the popsicle mold. Pour or spoon mixture into molds leaving almost a ¼ inch from the top. As it freezes, the mixture will expand. If using wooden popsicle sticks soak them in luke warm water before setting them in the popsicle molds.
Freeze: Approximately 6 hours.
Ready to eat: Run popsicle mold under luke warm water to release the popsicle from the mold.
We are always looking for ways to include cucumber in our diet. This refreshing fruit boasts so many health benefits and is one of the foods on the zero calorie list too! Cucumbers provide a variety of nutrients, but one in particular called Silica, is particularly supportive of skin health. It helps the skin by improving hydration and elasticity and is a building block of collagen, which helps to reduce wrinkles. Cucumbers are hydrating, help to quench thirst and act as a mild diuretic, which will help with bloat and flush out excess water weight. They help remove harmful toxins from the body, promote optimal nutrient uptake and contain flavanoid antioxidants that prevent free radicals from building up, which can cause premature aging.
Here’s a simple cucumber recipe that is also a perfect side dish to bring to a summer barbecue.
Summer Cooling Salad
½ red onion
Cut cucumber, avocado and red onion into small bite size pieces.
In a bowl mix the cut vegetables with sprinkles of sesame seeds and cayenne pepper to taste.
Add 1-2 TB of Coco-Aminos to taste.
Refrigerate mixture to a cool temperature for a refreshing salad!**
*Optional: For an added nutty flavor, toast sesame seeds in small skillet prior to adding to mixture.
**Serve cucumber salad over a bed of baby greens for a more filling meal.
Do you guys find yourselves eating really well all day long and then sabotaging your healthy diet at night with junk food? When it’s impossible to avoid late night snacking, we try to prepare healthy snacks. Sure, kale chips are nothing new, but it’s been awhile since we made them and we almost forgot how addicting they can be.
You can play around with variations on spices, but this recipe is simple and still really yummy. If you’ve never made kale chips before, one thing that we found is to make sure to start with DRY kale leaves. Otherwise, you end up with soggy chips rather than crispy ones.
CHEESY VEGAN KALE CHIPS
5 large stalks kale
¼ cup avocado oil
2 Tbs nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp sea salt, or to taste
¼ tsp pepper
Preheat oven to 275F. Grease a large baking sheet (or line with parchment paper) and set aside.
Carefully remove leaves from the stalk of the kale then rip or cut kale into large pieces. Make sure your kale is dry before the next step. You can put into a salad spinner or pat down with paper towel.
Place the dry kale leaves in a bowl and add avocado oil. Massage oil into the kale leaves using your finger tips.
Sprinkle on nutritional yeast, salt and pepper. Mix with tongs.
Transfer leaves to 2 baking sheets, arranging in single layer. Do not overcrowd.
Bake kale at 275F for 10 minutes. All ovens are different, so adjust baking time to desired texture of kale chips. Allow kale chips to cool on pan for 5 minutes.
Summer is almost here! For us that means a lot more time with our kids who want sweet treats. This recipe is so easy to make and uses just 2 ingredients! It’s gluten free, vegan, and still satisfies that sweet tooth craving. Yep, you read that right…just 2 ingredients! Bananas and unsweetened organic coconut! So delicious with a crispy edge and chewy center! An easy sweet treat that pairs up well with vanilla nice-cream.
2 organic bananas
1-2 cups unsweetened organic coconut (shredded or flakes)
*Line baking sheet and spread out coconut flakes to bake. Bake at 350 degrees for about 6 min. Be careful to keep an eye on them, they brown pretty quickly.
*Mash up 2 bananas.
*Combine mixture together slowly adding in coconut flakes to your liking.
*Lightly grease a baking sheet with coconut oil spray.
*Drop combined mixture by spoonful on the baking sheet and slightly flatten (for crispy edges).