Tuesday, April 27, 2010


O'Cookies Wholesome Bites nominated: Best Baked Sweets, Vegetarian Times' 2010 Foodie Awards!!! Please vote!

This is a very exciting endorsement from the premier vegetarian publication in the country! And we need your help to win! Please help by voting today:http://staging.vegetariantimes.com/community/sweepstakes/55

Thank you so much,Vegetarian Times , for recognizing O'Cookies Wholesome Bites and thank you to all of our clients, family, friends and followers. I have truly appreciated all of your support over the past couple of years and could not have made it this far without you all.

So if you have a minute, you can take a look at all of the Vegetarian Times 2010 Foodie Award Nominees HERE, and vote for O'Cookies Wholesome Bites Vegan Dark Chocolate Raisin Oat! We are in category #13, “Baked Sweets”. 

Even if you haven't had a chance to try Vegan Dark Chocolate Raisin Oat, take it from VT and our happy customers - they rock! A seemingly sinful treat free of animal products - all natural, organic and healthy! All O'Cookies are available online for purchase at www.o-cookies.com or at Cafe Angelique in Manhattan, NY; La Casita Yarn Shop Cafe in Brooklyn, NY; and Smoothie King in Richardson, TX (Dallas area).

With thanks to Vegetarian Times and to you all for your continued support,

Erin O'Leary Stewart
Founder, President

Monday, April 12, 2010

Raw. Real. Radiant.

Fresh and vibrant, stacked high with seasonal elements, this is one of my all-time favorite dishes. Call it a vegetable napoleon or vegan lasagna, I have tried several versions from restaurants and delivery services around the city. I decided to attempt Pure Food and Wine's version from their "Raw Food, Real World" cookbook. Layered with basil-pistachio pesto, sun-dried tomato sauce and pignoli ricotta, their "Zucchini and Green Zebra Tomato Lasagna" is one of their best-selling entrees, not to mention, my very first raw dish ever tried and thoroughly tasted!

Vegetable Lasagna
with basil-pistachio pesto, sun-dried tomato sauce and pignoli ricotta

pignoli ricotta:
1 cups raw pignoli (pine) nuts, soaked for 1 hour or more
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp sea salt
6 Tbsp filtered water

Place the pignoli nuts, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and salt in a food processor and pulse a few times, until thoroughly combined. Gradually add the water and process until the texture becomes fluffy, like ricotta.

tomato sauce
2 cups sun-dried tomatoes, soaked for 2 hours or more
1 small to medium tomato, diced
1/4 small onion, chopped
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp agave nectar
2 tsp sea salt
Pinch red pepper flakes

Squeeze and drain as much of the water out of the soaked sun-dried tomatoes as you can. Add the drained tomatoes to a high-speed blender with the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.

basil-pistachio pesto
2 cups packed basil leaves
1/2 cup pistachios
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
Pinch freshly ground pepper

Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until well combined but still chunky.

3 medium zucchini, ends trimmed
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano
1 Tbsp fresh thyme
Pinch of sea salt
Pinch freshly ground pepper
3 medium heirloom tomatoes, cut in half and then sliced
basil leaves for garnish, sliced

Cut the zucchini crosswise in half. Using a mandoline, cut the zucchini lengthwise into very thin slices. In a medium bowl, toss the zucchini slices with the olive oil, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper.

For individual servings, place about 3 zucchini slices, slightly overlapping on each serving plate, creating a square shape. Spread tomato sauce over the zucchini, top with small dollops of "ricotta" and pesto and a few small tomato slices. Repeat twice more. Serve immediately, or cover with plastic and let sit at room temperature for a few hours. Garnish with basil leaves.

Leftover lasagna should last in the refrigerator for at least a day or two, though it wont look as brightly colored.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Spicy Soba Noodle Stir-Fry

I guess you can say that I've been on a stir-fry kick but I can't help but share this with you- definitely a dinner worth trying for yourselves. I caught a glimpse of Mario Batali this morning on the Today Show making a raw asparagus salad that looked fresh and appropriate for the season. I thought I'd try something similar instead of the usual green salad to start. The Parmesan really adds an bold taste to the dish but it is also wonderful without it if you're doing the vegan thing.

This Spicy Soba Noodle Stir-Fry recipe is taken from the The Candle Cafe Cookbook, one of New York's renowned and one of my favorite vegan restaurants in the city. I actually introduced my husband to tempeh tonight and, let's just say, this is the perfect dish for a meat-eating Texan, "no tofu please" guy to try it. Not only did he enjoy it, he officially approved the dish and has added Spicy Soba Noodle Stir-Fry to our ultimate "dinner rotation". I did some of the prep work ahead of time (the peanut sauce can be made well in advance and Whole Foods does a great job of having prepped vegetables in their refrigerator section!). Don't be intimidated by the amount of ingredients. It really is an easy recipe to follow.
Shaved Asparagus with Parmesan

Asparagus bunch, ends snapped off
Parmigiano-Reggiano, shaved
Juice of a lemon
splash of olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Using a mandolin or vegetable peeler, shave the asparagus into thin long strips. Put the Parmigiano in a large bowl and whisk in the lemon juice, slowly drizzling in the oil. Add the asparagus and toss gently to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Spicy Soba Noodle Stir-Fry

Peanut Sauce
1 1/2 cups smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup brown rice vinegar
1 small red onion, finely chopped
2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
1 Tbsp crushed red chili flakes
1 Tbsp ketchup (I know, I thought this was weird too but trust me)
1/4 cup Tamari soy sauce
1 Tbsp Tabasco
1/4 cup agave nectar
1 Tbsp sesame oil

Soba Noodles and Tempeh
1 8-ounce package Tempeh, cubed
pinch of sea salt
1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb soba noodles

3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp minced fresh ginger
3/4 chopped onion
1 cup shredded cabbage
1/2 cup trimmed and blanched string beans
1 1/2 cups cut and blanched broccoli florets
1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1/2 cup sliced shitake mushrooms
1 Tbsp Tamari soy sauce
2 1/2 tsp sesame oil

To prepare the peanut sauce, place all of the ingredients with 2 cups of water in a blender and blend until smooth. The sauce will keep in the refrigerator, covered, for up to a week. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Place the tempeh cubes in a bowl and cover with the peanut sauce. Refrigerate for at least an hour or up to overnight. Drain and set aside.

To prepare the soba noodles, bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the salt and olive oil. Add the soba noodles and cook until just tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

To prepare the stir-fry, heat the olive oil in a large saute pan or wok over high heat. Add tempeh and saute for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, onion, cabbage, string beans, and broccoli and stir-fry for 5 minutes, then add the peppers and mushrooms and saute for about 2 minutes. Add some peanut sauce and continue to saute, tossing the vegetables, tempeh and sauce together until the desired doneness, about 5 to 10 minutes.

Add the tamari soy sauce and sesame oil and stir-fry for an additional 3 minutes. Serve over the soba noodles with additional peanut sauce. Serves about 6.