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Currently showing posts tagged dinner

  • Fresh Summer Roll Bowl with Chili Cashew Sauce

    Do you like fresh spring/summer rolls? But want to skip the roll and go straight to the bowl? This recipe is super easy, flexible, and delicious and will get an unbelievable amount of tasty veggies and noodles coated in creamy sauce on the table in no time. Use any nut in place of the toasted cashews, peanuts, almonds, etc, all work. Make it!


    Fresh Summer Roll Bowl with Chili Cashew Sauce

    Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 15 minutes

    Serves: 2-4

    Ingredients:

    • 1 package rice noodles of choice
    • 1 zucchini, thickly julienned
    • 1 carrot, thickly julienned
    • 1 cup red onion or shallot, thinly sliced
    • 1 cup mushrooms, thinly sliced, optional
    • 2 cups red cabbage, thinly sliced, or broccoli floret

    Sauce:

    • 1/2 cup toasted cashews (unsalted)
    • 1/4 cup sesame seeds, hulled
    • 1 Tbsp white or rice vinegar
    • 1 Tbsp sweetener of choice, or 1 whole pitted date
    • 1 Tbsp soy sauce, tamari, or coconut aminos 
    • 1/4- 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
    • 2 Tbsp fresh shallot, chopped
    • 1 red, thai, or serrano chili, de-seeded and chopped (leave the seeds if you like the heat, omit chili entirely if you want it 100% mild)
    • 1" piece of ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
    • 1 clove garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
    • 3/4-1 cup warm water, as needed

    1. Slice all veggies and set aside. Cook rice noodles as directed. While noodles are cooking, heat 1 Tbsp of oil in skillet and add sliced onion, carrot and zucchini. Let cook over medium high heat for 3-4 minutes until softening and starting to brown a bit. Add mushrooms and red cabbage and let cook for an additional 5-6 minutes with cover on pan. Season veggies with salt, pepper, and soy sauce, tamari or coconut aminos to taste and keep warm in pan. 

    2. Put all ingredients for sauce in high powered blender and blend on high for 1 minute until creamy. Add water only as needed to achieve smooth creamy sauce consistency. Either pour over individual bowls of noodles topped with veggies, or toss everything together with sauce in large bowl and serve. Enjoy!

  • Hearty Lentil Broccoli Bolognese

    Hearty lentil, walnut, and mushroom filled tomato sauce blankets a bed of pasta. This sauce is so tasty, satisfying, and filling, we often make a large batch and freeze it for future meals. We add broccoli, cauliflower or kale to our pasta to get even more veggies in, and it pairs wonderfully with the tomato sauce, but you can leave it out if you wish.  Serve over any pasta of choice with a side salad and some toasty bread, perfection!


    Hearty Lentil Broccoli Bolognese

    Serves 2-4

    Prep time: 20 minutes 

    Cook time: 20 minutes


    • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
    • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    • 1/2 cup carrot, diced
    • 1/2 cup celery, diced
    • 1 cup crimini or white mushrooms, chopped or sliced
    • 1/2 cup red or white wine, optional
    • 3 cups tomatoes, diced, fresh or canned
    • 1 can tomato paste, 6 oz
    • 2 cups water
    • 1 Tbsp oregano
    • 1 tsp thyme
    • 3/4 cup green or brown lentils
    • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
    • 1 Tbsp sweetener of choice (agave, sugar, chopped date)
    • 1 tsp salt
    • black pepper to taste
    • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped, optional
    • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped, optional
    • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast, optional

    1. Saute onion, garlic, carrots, celery, and mushrooms in a bit of olive oil over medium heat, in a medium pot or wide, deep skillet, for 3-4 minutes.

    2. When softening and lightly browning add wine if using, if not substitute water or vegetable broth, and stir well to combine. Add tomatoes and cook with lid on for 5-6 minutes over medium heat until tomatoes start to break down. Add remaining ingredients, tomato paste through lentils and bring to a gentle boil then cover and lower to a simmer. 

    3. Let cook for 20 minutes or so until lentil are soft and sauce is thickening. Add remaining ingredients walnuts through nutritional yeast. Only add walnuts at the very end of cooking, if you add them earlier and continue to cook sauce, they will turn it black. After you add walnuts and herbs turn off heat and stir well to combine, serve over pasta of choice with steamed or sautéed veggies added in. We like to throw a few cups of broccoli, cauliflower or kale into the pasta water in the last minute of cooking and then drain all together, perfect every time! Toss pasta with sauce to coat thoroughly and serve hot. Enjoy!

  • Fresh Vegetable and Herb Spring Rolls with Almond 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 raw or cooked vegetable, so long as they're thinly sliced. Additional fillings you can try are strips of fried tofu, sauteed/roasted mushrooms, or vermicelli noodles. 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.  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.


    Fresh Vegetable and Herb Spring Rolls with Almond Dipping Sauce

    Vegan, Gluten-free, Soy-free

    Makes 8 rolls

    Prep time: 15-30 minutes

    1 package of "spring roll skin wrappers"
    1 cup thinly sliced red (or green) cabbage
    1-2 cucumber or carrots, julienned
    1 sliced avocado
    1 cup fresh mint leaves
    1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
    1 cup fresh basil leaves

    Almond Dipping Sauce
    1/2 cup almond 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. Two 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 almond dipping sauce and process 10-20 seconds until very creamy. Transfer to small bowl and top with chopped scallions or additional chopped chili pepper, if desired.

  • 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!

  • Garlic and Thyme Pan Seared Mushrooms

    If you like mushrooms, you’ll love this dish. I like to serve these over pasta, rice, mashed potatoes, toast….the list goes on. You can use any mushrooms, though our favorite is portobello, crimini, or chanterelles as you see in the picture. But regular ol’ white button mushrooms would work great as well. The key to delicious mushrooms is to cook them over medium heat until they release their water and start to crisp up a bit. At that point you can add lots of chopped garlic, a splash of white wine if you like, and a generous pinch of thyme. Salt and pepper to taste and they’re ready to devour!


    Garlic and Thyme Pan-Seared Mushrooms

    Serves 2-4 Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 15 minutes

    Ingredients:

    1 lb mushrooms of choice; crimini, portobello, white button, chanterelle, shiitake, etc, sliced thinly
    2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh garlic
    1Tbsp thyme, fresh is great, but dried is fine too
    1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
    1/4 tsp black pepper, or to taste
    1 Tbsp olive oil, or use non stick pan
    2 Tbsp of white wine, optional
    2 Tbsp fresh chives or green onions, finely chopped, optional


    1. Gently heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, or if skipping oil, heat a non-stick pan. When hot, add mushrooms and cook for a good 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, depending on the water content of the mushroom you're using. (White button and crimini cook fastest, chanterelle, shiitake, and portobello take a bit longer)

    2. When mushrooms have begun to release their water, continue stirring until they begin to brown. Add white wine if using, or skip and add the garlic, thyme, and salt and pepper.

    3. Cook an additional minute or two to mellow the garlic, and get it nice and golden. Take care not to let the garlic burn. Season to taste and sprinkle with chives or green onions just before serving. Enjoy on toast, over pasta, rice, as a side, or served as a nice appetizer. Enjoy!

  • Curried Butternut Squash Lentil Soup

    Here are my two favorite creations so far this fall. I made them both on a whim last night for Nick, as he had a long day at work and had been requesting some curried butternut squash soup for a while. Little did I know how fantastic this particular soup would turn out!  This soup is jam packed with flavor and nutrition. Protein from the red lentils and tons of vitamins and fiber from the squash. 


    Curried Butternut Squash Lentil Soup (Protein packed!)
    Serves 6-8
    Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 25-30

    Ingredients:
    2 lb butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded, and cubed
    1 medium yellow onion, diced
    2 cloves garlic, chopped
    1" piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
    1 cup red lentils
    4 cups vegetable broth (about 1 carton)
    1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, or more to taste
    1 Tbsp cumin seed, whole
    1 Tbsp brown mustard seeds
    1 can coconut milk
    1 tsp salt, or more to taste
    1/4 cup cilantro, chopped (optional)
    1 Tbsp medium-high heat oil
    (optional: add 1 tsp turmeric and 1/2 tsp black pepper, for extra anti-inflammatory benefits)

    1. In a large soup pot, or dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and red chili flakes. Heat until mustard seeds begin to pop, about 1-2 minutes. Do not let cumin burn.

    2. Add onion, garlic, and ginger. Cook over medium-low heat with lid on for 2-3 minutes until onion begins to soften. Add cubed squash and red lentils and stir to coat. Add broth and bring to a gentle simmer. Cover pot and cook over medium low heat for 15-20 minutes until squash is very soft and mashable.

    3. Add coconut milk and stir to combing. Add salt (and black pepper and turmeric if using) to taste. Add cilantro if using. The soup will be chunky at this point. Eat as is, or use an immersion blender to blend until creamy. You can also use a regular blender, but you will have to blend in batches. Keep warm on low heat. Freezes well!




  • 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.

  • Toasted Hazelnut and Eggplant Pasta

    Crispy hazelnuts and tender eggplant slices top a simple and comforting pasta dish. Fragrant with fresh oregano and drizzled with balsamic vinegar, this makes a perfect rainy day dinner. I’m a big fan of including nuts in cooked dishes, and this one is no exception. The crunch, flavor, and healthy fat that’s added makes this dish a winner.


    Toasted Hazelnut and Eggplant Pasta

    Serves 4

    Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 25 minutes

    Ingredients:

    1/2 lb pasta of choice
    1 small eggplant (I used three mini chinese eggplants), sliced 1/4" thick
    1/2 yellow or white onion, diced
    3-4 Roma tomatoes, diced
    4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
    1/2 lb spinach, chopped (optional)
    1/4 cup flour of choice (wheat, GF, rice, chickpea all ok)
    1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
    1/4 cup nutritional yeast (optional)
    3 Tbsp olive oil
    2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
    handful of fresh oregano leaves, chopped or 1 Tbsp dried oregano
    salt and black pepper to taste


    1. Cook pasta until al dente, drain, rinse and drizzle with olive oil to prevent sticking. Set aside.

    2. Place flour, a pinch of salt and pepper, and a pinch of oregano in a medium bowl and stir to combine. Toss eggplant slices in the flour mixture one at a time until coated. Heat a deep skillet with 1 Tbsp of high heat oil over medium heat, and add eggplant slices. Cook on both sides until tender and evenly browned, usually 2-3 minutes per side. When done transfer to a plate and set aside. Keep warm.

    3. In same skillet, cook onion and garlic until lightly browning, and add tomato. Cook covered on medium heat for 4-5 minutes until tomatoes break down a bit. Add spinach if using. Turn heat to medium low and add pasta, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, nutritional yeast (if using), oregano, and salt and pepper to taste. Heat until pasta is heated through, and everything is coated.

    4. Top with toasted hazelnuts and eggplant slices, and drizzle with additional balsamic vinegar just before serving. Adjust salt and pepper as desired. If your hazelnuts are raw, toast for 4-5 minutes in skillet over medium low heat, then chop on cutting board. Serve immediately and enjoy!

  • Velvety Vegan Alfredo Sauce

    This creamy alfredo sauce is so rich and velvety you won’t believe it’s vegan. It’s a beautiful recipe to have under your belt for those weeknights when you just can’t think of something to make for dinner. It’s also ready in about 10 minutes, which is a big bonus. Pour this over your favorite pasta tossed with some steamed veggies and call it a meal!


    Creamy Vegan Alfredo Sauce

    Serves 2-4

    Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 10 minutes

    Ingredients:

    1/4 cup flour (gluten-free all purpose or wheat)
    1/4 cup olive oil
    3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    1/2 cup non dairy milk
    3/4 cup-1 cup water, as needed
    1/2 tsp salt
    2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
    1 tsp lemon juice
    1 tsp soy sauce, tamari, or coconut aminos
    black pepper to taste


    1. In a small saucepan, heat flour on low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon for about 30 seconds until it smells toasty. Add oil and stir to combine into a thin paste. Add garlic and cook on low heat for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly until it begins to bubble slightly.

    2. Keep on low heat and add non-dairy milk, stirring in slowly. It will thicken up. Begin to drizzle in water, whisking as you go until you have a thick, rich sauce consistency, adding more water as needed. Add remaining ingredients, salt through black pepper and stir well to combine. Keep on low heat, letting it bubble gently until serving time. It will be velvety and delicious.

    3. Pour over favorite pasta with mixed veggies, broccoli, or rice. 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.

  • Super Star Lentil Taco Salad

    Dreaming of warmer days and summer fresh vegetables, I made the next best thing and put together a simple and savory lentil taco salad. Fresh tortillas are topped with tomato seasoned lentils and perfectly grilled chili spiced veggies. Finish with sliced avocado or guacamole, some chopped cilantro or parsley and drizzle of hot sauce and you have yourself a lovely meal. This took me about 25 minutes to put together, including the homemade tortillas I made from scratch! (Which are soooo easy, if you'd like to know how please just email) Here is the recipe, very versatile, full of healthy plant protein and perfect for a quick weeknight meal.


    Star Lentil Taco Salad

    Serves 2-4

    Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 15 minutes

    Ingredients:

    1 1/2 cups green or brown lentils
    3 cups vegetable broth or water
    1 cup chopped tomatoes (canned or sun-dried are fine)
    1 1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp turmeric
    1/2 tsp black pepper
    1 tsp chili powder (or to taste)
    2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
    1 cup red onion, sliced
    1 cup mushrooms, sliced
    1 cup red pepper, sliced
    1 cup broccoli, cabbage, or brussels sprouts, sliced
    1/2 cup cilantro (or parsley), chopped
    1 tsp medium-high heat oil (avocado, canola, grape seed, coconut)
    1 avocado, sliced
    corn tortillas, 2 per person

    Other vegetables to use: carrots, potatoes, cauliflower, zucchini


    1. Combine lentils, broth or water, 1/2 tsp salt, tomatoes, turmeric, and black pepper in a medium pot and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer, and let cook for 15 minutes until lentils are soft and liquid is absorbed

    2. While cooking lentils, heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Add chili powder to oil and stir. Add all veggies, onion through broccoli and saute until lightly browning and softening, about 5-10 minutes. Add cilantro, 1/2 tsp of salt (or more to taste) and 1 Tbsp of balsamic vinegar. Stir and remove from heat.

    3. Individually warm tortillas in a pan to soften and gently wrap them in a clean dish towel to keep warm.

    4. When lentils are done cooking, stir in 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar (or lemon juice), and add salt if needed. Place a heaping spoonful of them on plate, top with sauteed veggies and sliced avocado. Cut tortillas into triangles (like cutting a pie) and arrange around lentils and veggies.  Drizzle with hot sauce if desired and serve!

  • Creamy Tomato Thyme Soup

    Looking for the easiest go-to soup for this winter? Look no further than this bowl of creamy Tomato Thyme. Made with minimal ingredients, anyone can whip this up in no time. Serve with a piece of crusty bread, top with some sliced avocado, or a side of vegan grilled cheese and you'll be in warm creamy tomato infused heaven. Perfect for these cold snowy days everyone seems to be having.


    Creamy Tomato Thyme Soup

    Serves: 4 Prep time: 10 min Cook time: 15 min

    1 28oz can of tomatoes, dices, crushed, or pureed
    1/2 cup coconut milk
    1 medium onion, diced
    3 cloves garlic, chopped
    1/2 tsp salt (or leave out if canned tomatoes are salted)
    1/2 tsp black pepper
    1 tsp fresh or dried thyme
    1 cup water
    1 tsp olive oil


    1. In a medium pot heat olive oil on medium low heat, add chopped onion and garlic and saute lightly for 2-3 minutes.

    2. Add tomatoes, and all remaining ingredients. Simmer on medium heat, covered, for 10 minutes until heated through and fragrant.

    3. Serve as is (chunky) or blend to desired creaminess (recommended), using either an immersion blender, or by transferring to a blender and pureeing in batches. If using traditional blender, be sure to let it cool first.

  • Broccoli and Onion Pakora (Oven-Baked Chickpea Flour Fritters)

    Vegetable pakora are chickpea flour fritters made with a wide variety of vegetables, they are traditionally served as snacks in India, but can be eaten as part of a meal as well. Chickpea flour is very affordable, a good source of protein, and can be found in many grocery stores (look for Bob's Red Mill), and especially in markets that stock ingredients for Indian cooking. These can be made with virtually any vegetable, just chop it into small bits, throw it into the spiced batter, and bake them on a baking sheet for 7-8 minutes on each side. Freshly chopped cilantro is a nice addition as well. They come out crunchy, savory, and delicious every time. Here these are served with red lentils and rice cooked together into a creamy porridge, a few slices of avocado, and a drizzle of store bought tamarind chutney. You can't beat belly warming dishes like this in the fall and winter. The combination of easy to find spices is both comforting and flavorful, and turmeric gives a significant boost to immunity and fights inflammation in the body.


    Broccoli and Onion Pakora (Chickpea Flour Fritters)

    Serves 4-6 Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 15 minutes

    1 cup chickpea flour
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 tsp cumin
    1 tsp turmeric
    pinch cayenne pepper
    1 cup thinly sliced yellow onion
    1 cup finely chopped broccoli
    1 1/4 cup water


    1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees, lightly oil baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of oil.

    2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine chickpea flour with salt and spices and stir well. Add water and whisk together until no lumps remain.

    3. Add thinly sliced onion and chopped broccoli to the batter and stir to incorporate.

    4. Spoon large dallops onto the baking sheet, spaced about 1-2" apart.

    5. Bake for 7-8 minutes on each side, flipping when bottoms of fritters have turned brown and crisped up.

    6. Serve with condiment of choice, alone, or over rice.

  • Homestyle Lentil Walnut Bolognese

    This sauce is a universal crowd pleaser, with few ingredients (and easy to find ones at that),  you simply set it on the stove and let it simmer away until serving. Earthy and hearty this is a go-to sauce for spaghetti, as a filling for vegan lasagna, or spooned over steamed veggies. The walnuts give a significant boost of healthy fats, oils and protein, while lending a “meatiness” and flavor that is unsurpassed. This recipe makes quite a large batch, so feel free to half it or freeze some for a later date.


    Vegan Lentil Walnut Bolognese

    Serves 8-10 Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook time: 35-45 minutes

    1 cup yellow onion, chopped
    3 cloves garlic, chopped
    1 can of diced tomatoes, 28oz
    1 can of tomato paste, 6 oz
    3 cups water
    1 1/2 cups green lentils
    1 1/2 tsp brown sugar (optional)
    1 cup crushed walnuts
    2 Tbsp oregano (fresh or dried)
    1 Tbsp medium-high heat oil (canola, avocado, grape seed, etc)
    1 tsp salt
    black pepper to taste


    1. Heat the oil in a very deep skillet, or medium pot on medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring often.

    2. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, water, lentils, and brown sugar and stir well. Let simmer, covered, for 30-40 minutes, until lentils are tender but still hold their shape.

    3. Add crushed walnuts, salt, pepper, and oregano and stir well. Serve over pasta of choice, roasted spaghetti squash, or use as a sauce filling in your next veggie lasagna.

  • Three Bean Chili over Skillet Corn Cakes

    It is officially fall here in Seattle, the clouds have come in, and naturally chili is the first thing we will cook.  After our "Bring on the Beans" cooking class this past weekend, we are still in a bean frenzy. I made about 10 cups too many beans while preparing for class, and while I froze some, there were still too many begging to be eaten. So here it is, a brand new Fire and Earth Kitchen creation. The skillet corn cakes this chili sits atop, are absolutely delicious, but not at all necessary in order to enjoy this colorful masterpiece. If you're short on time, serve it a la carte, or with some bread or tortilla chips. Perfect food to warm a rainy day. As always, 100% vegan, gluten-free, and soy-free. Enjoy!


    Three Bean Chili and Skillet Corn Cakes

    Serves 4-6 Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 25-30 minutes

    Ingredients:

    The Chili:
    1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
    1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
    1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
    1 onion, chopped
    1/4 lb mushrooms, chopped
    1/2 cup celery, chopped
    1 carrot, chopped
    1 cup sweet potato, cubed
    1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
    1 cup broccoli florets
    1 Tbsp high heat oil (avocado, canola, peanut, etc)
    1 Tbsp chili powder
    1 tsp salt (or to taste)
    1 Tbsp maple syrup (optional)
    1 Tbsp turmeric
    1 Tbsp paprika
    1/2 cup nutritional yeast (optional)
    1 tsp "Liquid Smoke" (optional-for smokey flavor)
    1 large 28 oz can of chopped tomatoes (or 3-4 cups fresh tomatoes)

    The Corn Cakes:
    1 cup masa harina (corn flour with lime)
    1 cup Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour
    1/2 cup polenta (coarse cornmeal)
    1 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp baking powder
    2 Tbsp maple syrup
    2 Tbsp oil
    1-1 1/2 cups water


    1. Start the chili in a large pot or deep skillet. Heat the oil to medium heat, add the chopped onion, celery, carrot and mushrooms and saute for 3-4 minutes. Add the sweet potato, corn, and broccoli. Add the kidney and black beans. Process the drained chickpeas in a food processor (or mash by hand in a bowl) until they resemble crumbs. Add to pot as well.

    2. Add all spices, maple syrup, salt, Liquid Smoke, nutritional yeast and tomatoes. Add water if necessary. Bring to a gentle simmer and let cook undisturbed for 20 minutes until sweet potatoes are cooked through and nice chili consistency has been reached.

    3. In a medium bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients for corn cakes, masa harina though baking powder. Add wet ingredients, maple syrup through water. Stir well and heat skillet to medium high heat. Add 1 Tbsp of oil and spoon batter onto pan, tilting pan to spread into a circle. When browning on bottom and bubbling on top, flip over and cook 30-45 more seconds. Repeat.

    4. Serve chili atop corn cakes, with a dallop of vegan sour cream if you like.

  • Black Bean Onion Pilaf

    Simple, hearty fall lunch for you today. Full of tasty immunity boosting alliums (red onion, garlic, and chives) this dish will give you an energy boost and help prevent those persistent colds that start appearing this time of year. It makes quite a bit of food, so set some aside for dinner and save yourself some cooking later. Get creative with what veggies you use, whatever you have on hand will work. The power of simple fresh ingredients and a few spices....Keep it easy, guys!


    Black Bean Onion Pilaf

    Serves 2-4 Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 25-30 minutes

    1 medium red onion, chopped (reserve 2 tbsp, finely chopped, for topping)
    2 garlic cloves, chopped
    1 carrot, thinly sliced
    4-5 crimini (or button) mushrooms, sliced
    1/4 cup bell pepper, chopped (optional)
    2 cups vegetable broth or water
    1 cup brown rice (jasmine, long grain, short grain, basmati)

    1 cup greens, chopped (swiss chard, kale, collard greens, or spinach)
    1/2 cup green onions or chives, chopped
    11/2 cups black beans, cooked (1 can is ok, rinse and drain well)

    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp chili powder
    1/4 cup nutritional yeast (optional, but tasty)
    1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
    1 Tbsp medium-high heat oil of choice 


    1. In a deep skillet, add tablespoon of oil and saute onion, garlic, mushrooms, pepper, and carrot for 2-3 minutes. Add rice and stir 30 seconds until glossy. Add vegetable broth or water, bring to a gentle boil, reduce heat to low and simmer 20-30 minutes until liquid is absorbed and rice is cooked.

    2. Add chives and greens to pan, along with black beans, salt, chili powder, nutritional yeast, and lemon juice. Stir well and cover for 1 min to let beans and greens heat through. Plate and top with finely chopped red onion. Enjoy!

  • Sesame Zucchini Fritters

    These zucchini fritters are the perfect way to use the bounty of summer squash available this season. If you have a food processor they come together in no time at all and are naturally vegan and gluten-free.  Simply gather your ingredients, process, add dry ingredients, and form into balls. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and pop them in the oven. Twenty minutes later crispy orbs of zucchini delight will emerge, ready to be dipped in any number of sauces or condiments. My personal favorite is a lemony avocado mayo. Simply combine 1/4 of a ripe avocado, mashed, with a few tablespoons of vegan mayo and a squeeze of lemon juice. A pinch of sea salt and pepper and you have yourself a  light summer meal or perfect party food. Enjoy!


    Sesame Zucchini Fritters

    Makes 18-20

    Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 20 minutes

    Ingredients:

    2 small-medium zucchinis
    1 small onion
    1 garlic clove
    2 Tbsp fresh parsley
    3/4 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp baking powder
    1/4 tsp black pepper
    1/2 cup rice flour
    1/4 cup nutritional yeast
    3 Tbsp flaxmeal
    3 Tbsp sesame seeds


    1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and lightly oil baking sheet, or line with a piece of parchment paper.

    2. In a food processor, process onion, garlic, parsley and zucchini until all are a uniform size.

    3. Transfer veggies to a large bowl and add all the dry ingredients, baking powder through flax meal. Stir well.

    4. Wet your hands (mixture will be a bit sticky) and form into small golf ball sized dallops. Place on baking sheet evenly spread apart, and sprinkle the top of each with a generous amount of sesame seeds.

    5. Bake for 10 minutes then remove from oven, flip them over and bake for another 10 minutes until crispy and golden brown. You may have to adjust cooking time based on oven, so give them a check around 8 minutes.

    6. Serve with a simple lemony avocado mayo (see above) or any condiment of choice. Lovely on their own, as an appetizer, or atop a salad.

  • Sunflower Seed Pesto Pasta

    Here in Seattle, we wait all year for the local heirloom tomatoes, fresh basil, and abundance of fresh  fruit to enter the markets. And when it finally does, it's time to really take advantage! This savory, light summer fare is the perfect way to end a workday. It's fast, easy, satisfying, and can be dressed up or down depending on the day. The vegetables included are completely flexible, any of your favorites will work, so be creative with what you have on hand. This dish comes together in no time (though there are a few steps), just get all the ingredients out and follow the steps below, it should take 20-30 minutes to come together. The sunflower seed pesto is spectacular on it's own, and if you don't have time for anything else, at least make this and spread it on some toast. The light nuttiness of the sunflower seeds mixed with the punch of the fresh garlic, and the bright taste of basil is wonderful and really captures the essence of summer. As always, completely vegan, gluten and soy free. Enjoy!


    Sunflower Seed Pesto Pasta

    Serves 2-4 (depending on hunger)

    1 box gluten-free pasta (I used Ancient Harvest quinoa spaghetti)

    Pesto
    1 cup basil
    1/2 c sunflower seeds
    1/4 cup olive oil
    3-4 cloves garlic
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp sugar
    1/4 tsp black pepper
    1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
    1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

    Sauteed Veggies
    1 cup chopped broccoli
    1/2 cup chopped red onion
    1 cup sliced crimini mushrooms (optional)

    Tomato Marinade
    1 cup sliced/diced cherry or heirloom tomatoes
    1/2 tsp sugar
    1/2 tsp sea salt
    1 tsp balsamic vinegar
    1 tsp olive oil


    1. Mix tomatoes with oil, vinegar, sugar and salt in small bowl. Set aside.

    2. Bring water to a boil for pasta. Cook pasta as directed. Drain when al dente.

    3. Sauté veggies on medium heat for 5 minutes in a bit of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

    4. in food processor combine sunflower seeds, garlic, basil, salt, sugar, pepper, yeast, oil and lemon juice. Process until creamy, scraping down sides as needed.

    5. Combine pesto with warm noodles, serve topped with sauteed veggies, tomato marinade, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar 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!

  • Red Lentil and Amaranth Protein Patties with Spicy Avocado Mayo

    These little patties are so simple to whip up, amazingly versatile, and almost fool-proof. They come together in no time, and you can change up the ingredients based on what you have in the fridge. They are great on top of a salad, as an appetizer with a nice dipping sauce, or make them slightly larger and serve on a bun as a tempting veggie burger. The possibilities are endless. To boot, they are extremely nutritious, filled with lentils and amaranth which are packed with plant protein, and both of which are great for metabolism and heart health. A good dose of parsley adds a punch of Vitamin K (77% of your daily needs in 1 tablespoon!) Feel free to play with the veggies which are added, though I find the russet potato works wonders as both a binder and a starchy crisp agent. Don't bother to peel it, leave the skin on for extra nutrition, just grate it up. Amaranth is carried in most natural food stores with a bulk section, near the quinoa. It is very similar to quinoa nutritionally with a complete profile of all amino acids, but it's about half the price and easy to digest. If you can't find it, quinoa will work in these as well. Give it a try!


    Red Lentil & Amaranth Protein Patties

    1/2 cup amaranth, (uncooked)

    1/2 cup red lentils (uncooked)

    2 cups water

    1 medium russet potato, grated

    1 small onion, chopped

    2 garlic cloves, chopped

    1/2 cup parsley, chopped

    1 Tbsp nutritional yeast

    1 Tbsp mustard

    2 Tbsp ketchup

    2 Tbsp rice flour

    2 Tbsp coarse cornmeal (or regular)

    1/2 tsp cumin

    1 tsp paprika

    1 tsp sea salt

    1/2 tsp black pepper

    Spicy Avocado Mayo

    1 ripe avocado, mashed

    2 Tbsp Vegenaise (or any vegan mayo)

    1 tsp balsamic vinegar

    1 tsp olive oil

    pinch sea salt

    good pinch cayenne pepper


    1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place 1-2 Tbsp of high heat oil (avocado, organic canola, grape seed) on a baking sheet and spread evenly.

    2. In a medium pot, place amaranth, lentils and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, cover pot, and reduce to a simmer. Let cook undisturbed for 10-15 minutes until water is absorbed and amaranth and lentils are cooked. It will be porridgey, let it cool.

    3. While amaranth is cooking, grate the potato into a large mixing bowl. With your hands squeeze the shredded potato over sink to release excess water. Return to bowl and add chopped onion, garlic, and parsley. Add cooked amaranth/lentil mixture and mix well with your hands. Add mustard, ketchup, spices, cornmeal and rice flour. Mix well.

    4. Form into small patties, then place them on baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes on each side until golden brown and crispy.

    5. While cooking, make avocado mayo. Simply mash avocado in a small bowl with the back of a fork. Add rest of ingredients and stir well. Serve atop the patties, or on the side as a dipping sauce. Enjoy!

  • Pumpkin Seed Pesto Stuffed Mushrooms

    Succulent oven roasted mushrooms, packed with nutrients and an enormous amount of vegetable magic squeezed into each cap. Rich in iron, zinc, and protein, the pumpkin seeds lend their unique power packed profile to this dish.  It's prep time (5-10 min) to "wow your friends" ratio is superb, and you will be the star of any potluck or holiday dinner you bring these to. They also make a wonderful mid-week meal, as you can play with the herbs you use, and dress them up or down as desired. Give 'em a shot!

    Pumpkin Seed Pesto Stuffed Mushrooms

    Makes: 12  Prep: 5-10 minutes  Cook: 15-20 minutes


    12 crimini mushrooms

    1/4 cup yellow onion

    3 cloves garlic

    1 cup cauliflower

    1/4 cup raw hulled pumpkin seeds

    1 cup fresh basil

    1 Tbsp flax meal

    1/4 cup fresh oregano (or 2 Tbsp dried)

    2 Tbsp nutritional yeast

    2 Tbsp olive oil

    1/2 tsp sea salt

    black pepper, to taste


    1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and lightly oil baking sheet with high heat oil (avocado, grape seed, organic canola).


    2. Separate mushroom stems from caps, and place caps on baking sheet.


    3. Place mushroom stems and all other ingredients in bowl of food processor. Run until all pieces are small and uniform and mixture binds together. You may have to scrape down sides of bowl a few times.


    4. Fill each mushroom cap with a generous spoonful of the filling. Sprinkle with salt and nutritional yeast.


    5. Bake for 15-20 minutes until mushrooms have released their liquid and tops have become crispy.


    6. If desired, serve with a side of tomato salad (tomatoes, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper). Enjoy!

  • Pan-Seared Spring Veggies with Seasoned Quinoa

    In celebration of an early spring in Seattle, I cooked up a rainbow of veggies today and served them with a simple quinoa seasoned with leeks and mushrooms. The colors of this dish are stunning, each ingredient brings a lovely shade to the plate, and with it many beneficial phytonutrients to support our health and happiness. The entire meal takes about 30 minutes to prepare, and really does look lovely with all the veggies served together. Feel free to cook just one, or all of the elements. The quinoa is protein, vitamin, and mineral rich and is so easy to prepare. Pan-seared beet slices make a wonderful snack. Feel free to experiment, and enjoy. Happy spring!


    Pan-Seared Spring Veggies with Seasoned Quinoa

    Seasoned quinoa:

    1 cup quinoa (white or red)

    1.5 cups of water

    2 Tbsp of chopped leek

    2 crimini mushrooms, sliced

    1 tsp sea salt

    1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

    1/2 tsp paprika

    1/2 tsp turmeric

    black pepper to taste

    Veggies:

    1/2 lb asparagus

    1 large beet, thinly sliced

    1 leek, sliced crosswise into 1/2" rounds


    1. In a medium pot, saute 2 Tbsp chopped leeks in a bit of olive oil over medium heat. When browning add slices of mushroom and stir to coat. Let cook 2 minutes more. Add quinoa and water. Bring to a boil, then cover and let simmer for 15 minutes or until quinoa is fluffy and water is absorbed.

    2. While quinoa is cooking, prepare your veggies. In a skillet (cast iron is great) heat a teaspoon of high heat oil and add your beet slices. Sprinkle them with sea salt and let them cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, until starting to brown in spots and tender. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

    3. Next the asparagus. Simply break off the bottom 2-3" of asparagus (it's woody) and discard.  Add the rest to the same skillet. Sprinkle with sea salt and a drizzle of olive oil, cover, and let cook for 2-3 minutes until bright green and tender. Remove from pan and set aside.

    4. Lastly, slice your leek into 1/2" rounds, starting at the base and working all the way up to the bottom of the green section (save green tops in your freezer to make a vegetable broth another day). Keep the leek rings intact in their concentric circles. Place them gently in the same skillet, with a bit of high heat oil, sprinkle with sea salt, cover them and let them cook 2-3 minutes until browning on the bottom and bright green and fragrant. Leave in pan, until ready to serve.

    5. When quinoa is fluffy, add balsamic vinegar, sea salt, paprika, turmeric, and black pepper. Stir and serve with pan-seared veggies. Drizzle with extra balsamic vinegar if desired. Enjoy!