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  • Rainbow Veggie Lentil Fried Rice

    This perfectly seasoned lentil fried rice is studded with a rainbow of fresh veggies, and makes a perfect protein rich dinner, or lunch the next day. It’s become one of our favorites for winter weeknight meals, as it’s easy, nourishing, comforting and colorful all at once. Change up the veggies used based on what you have on hand, just try to use as much color as possible. Fresh herbs like basil, mint, parsley or cilantro are nice additions as well, and add nutrition, color and flavor. Top with toasted nuts or seeds if you like, sesame, almonds, peanuts or cashews are all delicious crunchy additions. Enjoy!


    Rainbow Veggie Lentil Fried Rice

    Serves 4

    Prep time: 20-25 minutes Cook time: 25 minutes

    Ingredients:

    1.5 cups rice (any variety will do, but long grain varieties are nice)
    1 cup brown or green lentils (just not orange/red ones)
    1 onion, or large shallot, chopped
    3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    1" piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
    1 cup carrot, thinly sliced
    1 cup mushrooms, thinly sliced
    1 cup sweet potato, cut into thin strips
    1 cup red bell pepper, thinly sliced
    1 cup kale or spinach, chopped
    1 cup red cabbage, thinly sliced
    1/2 cup fresh herbs of choice; cilantro, basil, parsley, mint (optional)
    1/4 cup toasted nuts or seeds of choice; chopped cashews, almonds, peanuts, sesame seeds, etc (optional)
    2-3 Tbsp sesame oil
    2 Tbsp soy sauce, tamari, or coconut aminos
    1/4-1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
    1 Tbsp agave, sugar or sweetener of choice
    black pepper or cayenne pepper to taste
    3.5-4 cups water, or more as needed


    1. Begin by cooking your rice and lentils in the same pot. Just stir them together and add water, cover, bring to a boil, and lower to a simmer. Let cook undisturbed for 20-25 minutes until lentils are rice are both cooked through and water has been absorbed completely.

    2. While rice is cooking, slice and chop all veggies and set aside. When rice is almost done, begin cooking veggies in the largest pan you have, a wok is perfect, if you have one.

    3. Heat 1 Tbsp of sesame oil over medium-high heat and add onion, garlic and ginger. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes until onion begins to soften and garlic is fragrant (stir frequently so garlic doesn't burn). Add carrots, mushrooms, and sweet potato. Stir fry for an additional 4-5 minutes until sweet potato begins to soften.

    4. Add 1/2 Tbsp of sweetener, a pinch of salt, a pinch of pepper and 1 Tbsp of soy sauce (or substitute) and stir to combine. Add kale and cabbage and let simmer over medium heat until kale and cabbage have wilted, about 3-4 minutes. Transfer veggies to a large bowl and season to taste.

    5. When rice/lentils are done, use the same pan/wok and heat 1 Tbsp sesame oil over medium high heat. Add rice/lentils and stir fry with 1 Tbsp of soy sauce, 1/2 Tbsp sweetener, pinch of salt and pepper. Keep stirring and stir frying until rice and lentils begin to dry out a bit, if they get a little crispy, even better.

    6. Add veggies back into pan with rice and lentils and toss well, add fresh herbs if using, and top with nuts/seeds before serving if desired. Season to taste as needed. Enjoy!

  • Sesame Brussels Sprout Curry

    Today I have a lovely recipe for you that could easily become a staple in your house. It has certainly been one for us for the past few years. By varying the veggies used, you can easily turn this into at least 10 different curries. Serve it over any kind of brown rice (brown jasmine and bhutanese red rice are our current favorites), or over rice noodles, soba noodles, or quinoa. Very satisfying comfort food, perfect for these fall nights. Any leftovers make excellent lunches as well. Rich in calcium, protein, and healthy fats from the sesame seeds, cancer fighting and immunity boosting compounds in the brussels sprouts, onion, and garlic, circulatory benefits from the chili pepper, and beta carotene in the carrot. To top it off, turmeric and black pepper are an anti-inflammatory powerhouse combination. Your body will thank you for the flavor and nutrition contained in this curry!


    Sesame Brussels Sprout Curry
    Serves 2-4

    Prep time: 15-20 minutes

    Cook time: 15 minutes

    Ingredients:

    3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
    1" piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
    1 small chili pepper, thai, serrano, ancho, all ok (de-seeded if less heat desired, chopped finely)
    1 medium yellow  or red onion, diced
    1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
    1 medium red or yukon gold potato, diced (or 1 small sweet potato, diced)
    1/2 lb of brussels sprouts, bottoms cut off and sliced in half
    1 can of coconut milk, full fat
    2 Tbsp tahini (or nut butter of choice)
    1 tsp turmeric
    1 Tbsp rice vinegar, or other vinegar
    1 Tbsp agave, or sweetener of choice
    1 Tbsp tamari or coconut aminos (soy sauce substitute)
    1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
    1/4 tsp black pepper
    1/4 cup sesame seeds, toasted in skillet until golden (or chopped toasted peanuts)
    1/4 cup cilantro, chopped (optional)
    1 tsp sesame oil (optional)


    1. In a skillet, saute onion, garlic, ginger, and chili pepper in a tsp of sesame oil, or if omitting oil use a non-stick skillet. Cook over medium heat 2-3 minutes until softening and fragrant.

    2. Add potato and brussels sprouts and toss well to coat. Add coconut milk through black pepper and stir well. Bring to a gentle simmer and cover pan, cooking 5-10 minutes over medium low heat until potato and sprouts are cooked through and tender.

    3. Toast sesame seeds or nuts over low heat until turning golden. Remove from heat and grind in mortar and pestle if you have one, or a quick whir in a coffee grinder works too. If you want to skip this step, that's fine, but grinding them lightly really enhances the flavor.

    4. Season to taste with salt and pepper, top with cilantro if using, and sesame or nuts. Serve over rice, noodles, or quinoa.

  • Savory Chickpea Flour Pancakes with Tamarind Syrup

    For those days when you crave a simple savory breakfast, this recipe will have you covered. With just the tiniest hint of Indian infused flavor, these chickpea flour pancakes cover all the breakfast bases and straddle the line between pancakes, omelettes, and veggie crepes. Free of meat, dairy, and eggs, and using only minimal oil, these are high on nutrition and flavor, and pack a satisfying punch. I've included our recipe for tamarind syrup/sauce, which though super easy to make, does take a little prep, mostly in the form of actually having the tamarind on hand. If you do make a batch it will last quite a while in the fridge. Tamarind has a really unique flavor, it's tart and rich, when mixed with a sweetener and some spices it becomes a really unique, wonderful condiment. Most Asian, Latin, and Indian groceries carry it, as well as many mainstream supermarkets (in concentrate/paste form; sometimes fresh). Whatever form you can find, it will work in the sauce. Simply adjust the water and seasoning as necessary to accommodate. The finished chutney should be sweet, tangy, and a tiny bit spicy. If you can't find any tamarind, or want the easier route, look for this pre-made tamarind chutney, which is our favorite, or any tamarind chutney you can find locally. If you want pre-made, just be sure it says "chutney" on the jar, not paste or concentrate, or you will be in for one sour surprise :) If you don't have all of the ingredients for the tamarind chutney, or don't have any pre-made on hand, these pancakes will still be delicious on their own, with a drizzle of Sriracha, ketchup, or any condiment of choice.


    Savory Chickpea Flour Pancakes

    Serves: 1 (Can double recipe)

    Prep time: 10-15 minutes Cook time: 15 minutes

    Ingredients:

    Pancakes:
    3/4 cup of chickpea flour
    3/4 cup water
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp cumin, ground
    1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
    1/4 tsp turmeric, ground
    freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
    1 tsp fresh ginger, finely chopped, minced, or grated
    1/4 cup sliced crimini/or white mushrooms (or spinach or chopped greens)
    1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (or parsley)
    1-2 Tbsp medium-high heat oil (avocado, canola, grape seed, refined coconut)

    Tamarind Syrup:
    1/2 cup tamarind paste
    1 cup brown sugar (or 3/4 cup agave, or 4-5 dates)
    1/2 tsp ginger, finely chopped
    1 green chili, finely chopped
    1 Tbsp med-high heat oil
    1/2 tsp cumin seeds, whole
    1/8 tsp asafoetida, also known as hing powder (optional)
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp black salt (optional)
    3/4 cup water (more as needed)


    1. If making tamarind syrup from scratch, cook the ginger, chili, and cumin seeds in 1 tablespoon of oil in a small pot until sizzlling. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a low simmer. Let simmer uncovered for about 10-15 minutes until reduced down to a rich brown sauce. When done, strain through sieve into a bowl or jar and let cool. If not making sauce from scratch, proceed to next step.

    2. Prepare you pancake batter by combining chickpea flour, water, salt and all spices in a medium bowl and whisking well until no lumps remain. Let rest while you prepare vegetables.

    3. Add chopped onions, ginger, cilantro, and mushrooms to batter and stir well to combine.

    4. Heat oil in a skillet (non-stick or well-seasoned cast iron is good here), and when oil is hot, add one ladle of chickpea vegetable batter. Swirl pan around to spread batter out slightly. Let cook uncovered for 3-4 minutes on first side until edges begin to dry and curl up a bit. Very carefully, use spatula to lift up and flip over (they can sometimes stick a bit, so just gently lift it up). Cook on other side for 3-4 minutes until cooked through, crispy, and well browned. Repeat with remaining batter.

    5. Serve drizzled with tamarind sauce/syrup/chutney/Sriracha/condiment of choice, and sprinkle with additional cilantro if desired. Enjoy!

  • Sesame Drenched Asparagus

    This recipe is likely one of the simplest I've put together in quite a while. Only 6 or so ingredients, and it comes together in about 15 minutes. For all it's simplicity, it looks quite fancy, so you can easily fool your friends (and yourself) into believing it took a while to prepare. The generous helping of sesame adds many needed nutrients, including excellent amounts of copper, calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc. This dish furthers your absorption of sesame's iron by adding a bit of lemon juice (vitamin C helps you aborb iron more easily). As asparagus is a seasonal vegetable, don't wait too long to make this, grab the next bunch of fresh asaragus you see and have at it. Enjoy!


    Sesame Drenched Asparagus

    Serves 4

    Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 10 minutes

    Ingredients:

    1 bunch of fresh asparagus
    1 lemon
    1/4 cup tahini
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/4 cup sesame seeds
    freshly ground black pepper, to taste


    1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees and place washed and dried asparagus spears on a baking sheet. Place in oven and bake for 10 minutes until bright green and tender. They may brown in some spots, this is good.

    2. While cooking asparagus, toast sesame seeds in a skillet on LOW heat (they burn easily). Stir them pretty continuously, in five to ten minutes they will start to smell toasty, and be browning slightly. Take them off heat and set them aside.

    3. When asparagus is done place on a wide plate and drizzle tahini and lemon juice over top. Toss them to coat. Sprinkle with salt and sesame seeds and toss again. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper and serve immediately.

  • Red Cabbage & Jicama Spring Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce

    Most folks who've gone out for Thai or Vietnamese food have had these delicious fresh spring rolls and loved them, and thankfully they're not at all hard to make at home. They're wonderful because they're amazingly versatile, beautiful and nutritious. You can fill them with virtually any vegetable, so long as they're thinly sliced. Additional fillings you can try are strips of fried tofu, sauteed/roasted mushrooms, vermicelli noodles, carrot strips, and avocado. The possibilities are endless. Jicama, if you're not familiar with it, is a most delicious tuberous root vegetable from Mexico. It's flavor is mild, slightly sweet, with a one of a kind texture and crunch. Worth seeking out, it can be found in most grocery stores, or try your local Asian or Mexican market. If you can't find it you can substitute carrot, radish, or broccoli stem strips. The spring roll wrappers can be found in the Asian aisle of most grocery stores, get the 8 or 9" ones. The one thing you do not want to leave out of these guys are the fresh herbs. They MAKE the flavor of these rolls. Any combination of fresh mint, cilantro, parsley, or basil will work, but I'd go with at least two, our favorites being mint and basil. The dipping sauce is easy to whip up, and can be made in larger quantities and stored in the fridge for 1-2 weeks. It's tasty on pretty much everything, and if you're a peanut fan like we are you'll see why. If you make these to bring to a party, make them as close to party time as possible, and cover the plate with a damp paper towel or plastic wrap to ensure the rice paper wrappers do not dry out. These will become a recipe staple for you once you give them a try, they are that good.


    Red Cabbage and Jicama Spring Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce

    Vegan, Gluten-free, Soy-free

    Makes 12 rolls

    1 package of "spring roll skin wrappers"
    1 cup thinly sliced red (or green) cabbage
    1 cup thinly sliced cucumber strips
    1 cup thinly sliced jicama (or carrots, radish, or broccoli stems)
    1 cup fresh mint leaves
    1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
    1 cup fresh basil leaves

    Peanut Dipping Sauce
    1/2 cup peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)
    3/4 cup warm water
    1 Tbsp rice or white vinegar
    1 Tbsp sugar or agave syrup
    1 Tbsp coconut aminos, tamari, or soy sauce
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 tsp fresh shallot or onion
    1/2 tsp (or more) fresh thai chili (optional)


    1. Thinly slice all veggies into strips and place in separate clusters on large plate. Remove herbs from stems and add whole leaves to plate as well.

    2. Boil water and fill very wide bowl or pie plate about half way full, let sit for a few minutes to cool ever so slightly. One at a time, soften spring roll sheets by dipping them into the hot water, using your fingers to move them around. Depending on hotness of water, it will take about 2-10 seconds for them to soften. They should be pliable but not mushy and falling apart, think al dente pasta, as they will continue to soften even out of the water. Layer two softened spring roll sheets on top of one another on cutting board (wood works well here) and fill bottom third with a a bit of each veggie and herbs, do not overstuff! Less is more here. Roll up like you would a mini burrito, tucking in sides and rolling up tightly. It will conveniently stick to itself, making this very easy. Cut in half and place on serving plate.

    3. In a blender combine all ingredients for peanut sauce and process 10-20 seconds until creamy. Transfer to small bowl and top with chopped scallions or additional chopped chili pepper, if desired.

  • Garlic Broccoli with Coco-Peanut Sauce

    This simple sauce of peanuts and coconut milk is draped over tender garlic broccoli creating a perfect union of savory flavors. It's one of those dishes that comes together so quickly, you may feel unsure you included all the ingredients. But worry not, it really is that easy. Perfect by itself over a bowl of verdant broccoli, or add a bowl of steamy brown rice, or toss it with a mound of chewy rice noodles for a filling meal. Add in more sauteed veggies to up the ante, thinly sliced mushrooms, onions, peas, asparagus, you name it. Give it a try, really tasty and satisfying!


    Garlic Broccoli with Coco-Peanut Sauce

    3 heads broccoli, chopped into florets and small stems

    2-3 cloves garlic, chopped

    1 Tbsp olive oil

    Coco-Peanut Sauce

    1 cup canned coconut milk

    2.5 Tbsp creamy peanut butter

    1/2 tsp sea salt

    1 tsp brown sugar

    1 tsp rice vinegar

    1/2 tsp turmeric

    1 pinch cayenne pepper


    1. In a skillet saute garlic in olive oil on medium-low heat for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add broccoli and turn heat to med-high. Saute for 3-5 minutes until broccoli is bright green and browning in some spots.

    2. Prepare your sauce. To a small saucepan, add all sauce ingredients. Whisk together over medium low heat until combined, thick, and bubbly.

    3. Spoon generously over broccoli; and rice if desired. If serving with rice noodles, toss to combine.

    Enjoy!

  • Baby Bok Choy Stir-Fry

    Bok Choy, or Chinese cabbage is one of our favorite vegetables, for good reason. It has a mild yet wonderfully distinguishable flavor. It is easy to prepare, easy to grow (especially in the Pacific Norhwest), extremely versatile, and is a powerhouse high in Vitamins A and C (good for boosting immunity and skin health), calcium, and fiber. You can find bok choy in most markets these days, but Asian markets for sure; look for full size or baby bok choy. I prefer the baby bok choy as they're tender with a nice delicate flavor, but both are excellent. Look for ones with firm green leaves, not wilted, yellowing, or torn up. Preparation is simple, you can cook it like you would any green (stir-frying, steaming, add to soups, stews, etc). Since it is a fairly delicate green (like spinach) it doesnt need much cooking time, and will wilt into a soft pile of buttery greens in no time. For this recipe all you will need is 2 lbs of bok choy (baby if you can find it), 2-3 cloves of garlic, 1 shallot, and a bit of sesame oil. It's a really yummy side dish with some brown rice or quinoa, add some seasoned tempeh, tofu, or beans and you have a complete meal. This dish is also great to serve guests or to bring to a potluck, as everyone will inevitably love it, it looks beautiful plated, and it can be served hot, cold, or at room temperature. I saved the cut bottoms of the bok choy because they are too beautiful to throw away and they look lovely surrounding the greens, especially on a big platter being served to guests. Give it a try!

    Needed:

    2 lbs bok choy (baby bok choy, if available)

    2-3 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped

    1 shallot, coarsely chopped

    1 tsp sesame oil (if you don't have it, skip it; still good)

    sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

    1. Wash all of you bok choy thoroughly, then chop 1" off the bottom. The bottoms will look like little green "rosettes", set them aside.

    2. Set your bok choy leaves aside and begin sauteing your chopped garlic and shallot in a bit of high heat oil (like grapeseed, avocado, peanut, or coconut) over medium heat for 2-3 minutes in a deep skillet. Making sure garlic doesn't burn.

    3. Add all of your bok choy to the pan (squish it in if you have to-it will cook down immensely) and cover.

    4. Turn your heat to medium-low and let the greens thouroughly wilt, the white stems of the leaves will become translucent when they are done. Will take appoximately 3-5 minutes depending on your pan/heat etc. When completely wilted, season with a teaspoon of sesame oil (if using) and sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Transfer to a serving plate and surround greens with the bok choy "rosettes". Enjoy!