Recipes

Category

Currently showing posts tagged fire and earth kitchen

  • 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!

  • Potato Leek Hash Brown Pancakes with Homemade Ketchup

    Ever have a craving for hash browns but don’t want to go through all the steps to make them? Well you’re in luck, because this recipe gives you all of the flavor and non of the fuss. All you need is a basic blender and a bowl and you’re on your way to fast, hashbrowny goodness in about 5-10 minutes.  You can add in other veggies like spinach, or use half sweet potato half russet potato. Serve with condiments of choice, though ketchup is the good ol American standby. I’ve included our recipe for easy homemade ketchup if you want to give it a try. Tastes better than store-bought, is healthier, and keeps a while in the fridge. Enjoy!


    Potato Leek Hash Brown Pancakes with Homemade Ketchup

    Vegan, Optionally Gluten-free, and Soy-free

    Servings 2 

    Prep time: 5-10 minutes Cook time: 15-20 minutes

    Pancake Ingredients:

    1 cup russet potato, chopped (skins on)
    1 cup leek, chopped (or onion)
    1/2 cup water
    1 cup flour (GF all purpose or wheat)
    1 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp black pepper
    1/8 cup finely chopped red bell pepper 
    2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped


    Homemade Ketchup
    6 oz can tomato paste
    1/4 c agave syrup 
    1/2 cup white vinegar
    3/4 tsp brown sugar 
    1/2 tsp salt 
    1/8 tsp garlic powder 
    1/8 cup water


    1. For pancakes, combine potato, leek, and water in a blender. Blend for a few seconds to turn into a slurry, you don't want it completely creamy, a few small bits are good.

    2. Combine flour, salt, black pepper, bell pepper, and parsley in a medium mixing bowl and stir. Add potato slurry and stir well until combined. You will have a batter.

    3. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Use a nonstick skillet, or use 1 tsp of medium heat oil to coat pan. Add a ladle of batter at a time to hot pan and cook until edges begin to dry out a bit and its starting to crisp on bottom, usually 1-2 minutes. Flip over and cook on other side, 2-3 minutes until browning and cooked through. Taste test for doneness. Transfer to a plate to keep warm and cook remaining pancakes.

    4. If making ketchup, simply combine all ingredients tomato paste through water in a small sauce pan and whisk to combine. Simmer on low heat for 5-10 minutes until fragrant and bubbling and transfer to a bowl to cool. Store in fridge and use as needed.

  • 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!

  • Breakfast Tortilla Pesto Pizzas

    This particular pizza recipe requires no making of crusts, and is only baked briefly in oven or toaster oven. If you roll it up to take it on the go, you will have yourself a breakfast pizza-burrito :) This pizza comes together in two easy steps (and can be reduced to 1, if you make pesto ahead of time or buy pre-made). Get yourself a tortilla, brown rice, whole wheat, corn, teff, whatever you like. I used a 9" Food for Life brown rice tortilla. Make pesto in a blender or food processor. Spread pesto on top of tortilla and top with thinly sliced veggies of choice. I used 1 small purple potato, a tiny bit of fresh onion, a crimini mushroom, and some fresh corn off the cob. I popped it in the oven and baked it for 10 minutes at 400 degrees. When the tortilla was crispy I added some thinly sliced avocado and Chinese spinach leaves,  sprinkled it with salt and pepper, and devoured it. The beauty of this recipe is it's versatility. If you keep tortillas, some kind of nut or seed, garlic, herbs and veggies on hand most of the time, you're good to go any day of the week. If you make a batch of pesto once a week and keep it in fridge, you'll only have to slice a couple of veggies and you'll be on your way to morning pizza heaven. To boot, these pizzas are protein, vitamin, and mineral packed (thank you nuts and seeds!) and are filling. So you'll be happy and energized until lunch time. Give them a try!


    Breakfast Tortilla Pesto Pizzas

    Makes 1 personal pizza
    Prep Time: 10-15 min Cook Time: 10 min

    Ingredients:

    1 tortilla of choice
    Pesto (throw everything in blender or food processor)
    1/4 cup nuts or seeds of choice (I used pumpkin, but sunflower, walnuts, pine nuts, pecans, almonds would also all work well)
    1 clove garlic
    2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
    1 Tbsp lemon juice
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/2 cup spinach (or kale, swiss chard, arugula, any greens will work)
    1/4 cup fresh basil (or parsley, mint or cilantro if you're feeling adventurous!)
    1/3 cup water

    Toppings:
    thinly sliced potato, mushroom, onion, corn, chives, spinach, greens, peppers, avocado, broccoli, etc

    I used:
    1 small purple potato, thinly sliced,
    1/4 small onion, thinly sliced,
    1 crimini mushroom, thinly sliced
    1/4 cob of corn, de-kerneled
    1/4 avocado, thinly sliced
    few Chinese spinach leaves (hence the red-purple color of my pesto)


    1. Preheat oven or toaster oven to 400 degrees. Make your pesto by combining all ingredients in a blender or food processor and processing for 30 seconds (scraping down sides a few times), until creamy.

    2. Pour onto tortilla and spread out evenly with a spoon, it should be a nice thick layer of pesto.

    3. Top with your thinly sliced veggies, though leave avocado off until it comes out of oven. Place on baking tray and bake for 10 minutes or until tortilla starts to brown and get crispy and toppings are soft and cooked through.

    4. Remove from oven and top with avocado if using, salt, pepper and any other favorite flavors. Cut into slices or roll up like a burrito. Enjoy!

  • Rosemary & Zucchini Tart

    Dishes like this, that look quite lovely but are actually so easy to make, are great for impressing guests but also impressing yourself.  I've been rethinking what goes into making a "nice" meal lately, and have been working on meals that focus on one or two ingredients, and really let them shine. Here I make a simple gluten-free rosemary crust, press it into a small baking sheet, and layer with rows of colorful zucchini and summer squash. Drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt, white pepper, and rosemary leaves, it really lets the fresh zucchini's taste and texture come through. What an easy dinner with a salad, or beautiful summer appetizer for a picnic or BBQ. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar after baking and serve!


    Rosemary & Zucchini Tart

    Serves 4-8 (depending on portions)

    Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 20 minutes

    Ingredients:

    Crust:
    1 cup Bob's Red Mill Gluten-free AP Flour
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 tsp crushed rosemary
    1/4 cup coconut oil
    1/4 cup + 1 tsp water

    2 medium-large zucchini/summer squash (I used one green and one yellow), sliced thinly
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp white or black pepper
    1 Tbsp olive oil
    1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar


    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees, lightly oil small baking sheet or pan (I used 9"x9") with a bit of oil.

    2. Combine all dry ingredients for crust in a mixing bowl and add coconut oil. Cut in using fingers or two forks until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add water in slowly, and mix until dough comes together in a ball.

    3. Gently press dough into pan, pushing from the center outwards until it's evenly pressed into all sides. Be patient, it takes a minute or so.

    4. Layer top of tart with alternating rows of zucchini and squash slices (see photos above). Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt, pepper, and rosemary. Bake uncovered in the oven for 15-20 minutes until crust is firm and golden brown, and zucchini slices are lightly browning and cooked through.

    5. Remove from oven and let cool. Cut into squares and drizzle lightly with balsamic vinegar if desired. Serve immediately, or at room temperature. Enjoy!

  • Summer Roasted Red Salsa

    Tired of buying those not very good, expensive salsas in the jar? Homemade salsa really is as simple as it gets. Quarter your vegetables and throw them on the grill or in the oven until roasted (10-15 min). Toss everything in a food processor and blend away! Sooo much better than store bought, and much, much cheaper too! For some smokey flavor I like to add in a bit of chipotle pepper or smoked paprika. You can also add some fruit to brighten it up. Mango and pineapple are both great. Simply cut them up and roast with the veggies. Makes quite a bit and keeps in the fridge for about a week. Perfect summer snack!


    Summer Roasted Red Salsa

    Serves 8-10

    Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 20 minutes

    Ingredients:

    1/2 medium yellow onion, cut into quarters
    4 ripe roma tomatoes, halved
    1 jalapeno (or chipotle) pepper, halved (seeds removed if you like a mild salsa)
    3 cloves of garlic, peeled
    1 Tbsp brown sugar (or agave or maple syrup)
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 tsp apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar or lime juice)
    1/4 cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped


    1. Heat oven or grill to medium high heat (if oven, 425 degrees). Prepare all veggies and lay them on aluminum foil (on top of baking tray, if you're worried about juice dripping from tomatoes). Cook undisturbed for 10-15 minutes until veggies are starting to brown.

    2. Remove from heat and let cool for 2-3 minutes. Add all veggies and remaining ingredients, sugar through cilantro, to bowl of food processor and process until you reach ideal salsa consistency (some like it chunkier than others). Season to taste and chill for 20-30 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

  • Zucchini Polenta Fries & Zucchini Polenta Scramble

    From one simple thing can come many. This recipe is an accurate reflection of my cooking process and how I often come to the tasty recipes that I share with you all.  I'll explain my thought and action process briefly so you can understand how this recipe quickly evolved into two very different preparations. I had a bounty of farm fresh zucchini in the fridge (straight from the Port Townsend farmer's market) and wanted to turn them into a crispy zucchini fry type dish. I thought about possible binding options and decided I would combine the ease of polenta fries with freshly grated zucchini and see how they came out. I prepared polenta as I normally would, added some salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast for flavor, set it to cool, cut it into strips, and baked in the oven on an oiled baking sheet. It just barely worked. While they came out sort of fine, mid-way throught the baking I realized they weren't drying out as quickly as I had hoped and were quite mushy in the center. When I tried to flip them over (prematurely) they started to fall apart on the tray. I decided to give them a final chance and just left them in the oven to see if they crisped up on their own with extra baking time. Meanwhile, I looked at the remaining zucchini polenta fries I had left (not all would fit on baking sheet) and decided I would try to fry them. I don't often fry (mostly because it's messy), but I thought this was for a good cause, so I gave it a shot. I put some oil in a pan, gently placed the zucchini fries in, and let them get nice and golden brown. But as soon as I tried to flip them, they too fell apart. Even worse than in the oven. There was nothing left to do but give up on the pan fry idea. But wasting food isnt an option here, so I grabbed my spatula and turned them into a scramble, letting it get quite crispy and just scrambling away every few minutes. The oven baked fries actually turned out quite tasty in the end when left to bake for a little longer than I had expected, though not as pretty as I had hoped.The scramble, also delicious, was an unexpected creation. One that if I were to make again I would certainly add some sauteed onions and mushrooms. It's a lovely substitute for tofu scramble, and very filling as well. Here is the basic recipe I used to make both of these surprise creations. I hope it gives you a sense of my process, the freedom in cooking openly, and what can come of a recipe that doesnt turn out quite as you expect, if you let it just be itself. This happens to me constantly! Just remember to keep an open mind and try to envision what else can come of it. Here are my two surprisingly tasty variations.


    Zucchini Polenta Fries and Zucchini Polenta Scramble

    Serves 2-4

    Prep time: 5-10 minutes Cook time: 20-35 minutesIngredients:

    1 cup polenta
    3 cups water
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp black pepper, or to taste
    1/4 cup nutritional yeast (optional)
    1 Tbsp oregano
    1 Tbsp rosemary
    1 cup grated zucchini, water squeezed out
    1 Tbsp medium-high heat oil

    Zucchini Polenta Scramble Add-ins:
    1/2 yellow onion, sliced
    1 cup crimini mushrooms, sliced
    1/4 cup chives or green onions, chopped


    1. Bring water to a gentle simmer in a small saucepan. Add polenta in a thin stream, stirring with a wooden spoon to incorporate. Add salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast, if using. Add grated zucchini. Keep stirring over low heat for the next few minutes as it thickens. When thick and bubbling, pour into a lightly oiled pan (anything with a lip will work; square or rectangle baking tray, even pie plate, though 9"x9" square pan works well). Smooth out and let cool for 10-15 minutes until edges pull away from sides of pan and it's cool to the touch. Gently flip out onto a cutting board, and if making fries cut into rectangular pieces roughly 3"x1" and preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lay fries out on lightly oiled baking sheet (or parchment paper) and bake for 10-15 minutes, then gently flip over (if too soft to flip, bake a few minutes longer) then bake an additional 15 minutes until very crispy on the outside and soft inside. You'll know they are done when you can easily lift them from the pan with no fear of breaking them. Serve with favorite condiments of choice.

    2. If making into a scramble, lightly saute onions and mushrooms in a skillet over medium heat. When browning, crumble polenta/zucchini block into pan (as you would tofu) and let cook, mostly undisturbed, for 10 minutes or so over medium heat, scrambling occassionally for even browning. When done, stir in green onions or chives if using. Serve alone or with a nice green salad. Very filling, enjoy!

  • Blueberry Breakfast Bread

    Today I share with you a brand new recipe I just whipped up on a whim. Sitting on our deck, dreaming about the fresh blueberries I had just picked up, and all of a sudden it hit me: blueberry bread! To be fair, this is somewhere between blueberry bread and blueberry cake, but it has just the right sweetness (with no refined sugar), the right crumb (see above), and is unbelievably moist (especially for gluten-free baked goods that sometimes suffer in that department). It is without a doubt one of the best vegan, gluten-free sweet treats I have made, and to top it off, so simple. It's a really basic recipe, so feel free to add more cinnamon, nuts, extra fruit, crumbs, etc, and know you can use ANY berry or fruit and it would be delicious.


    Blueberry Breakfast Bread

    9"x9" pan

    Prep time: 5-10 minutes Bake time: 20 min

    Ingredients:

    2 cups Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour (or wheat flour)
    1 Tbsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 tsp cinnamon
    1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    1 cup non-dairy milk (I used almond)
    1/2 cup maple syrup
    1/3 cup oil (I used avocado, but any neutral oil or melted coconut would be ok)
    1.5 cups fresh blueberries


    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, and lightly oil square 9"x9" baking pan. Mix all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add all wet ingredients and stir together just until most lumps disappear. Add blueberries and stir to fold in.

    2. Pour into baking pan and bake for 20 min (9"x9" pan) to 30-40 min (loaf pan) or until knife inserted into center comes out clean, and top is golden brown. Let cool before cutting, 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!

  • 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!

  • Peanut Buttery Sandwich Cookies

    If you are a peanut butter fan like me, you should definitely double this recipe and make an extra batch. If you’re not a peanut butter fan you should absolutely make these with almond, cashew, or sunflower seed butter instead. Really buttery and not-too-sweet, these are full of healthy fats and protein from the nuts, important omega 3s from the flax meal, and body soothing benefits from the coconut oil. They are 100% vegan, no eggs or dairy here, and gluten-free if you use gluten free flour and oats (which I did-but you don't have to). You can use any nut butter to make these, and add in other additions (like chocolate chips, nuts, seeds, etc) as you see fit. Very nice breakfast on the go or after school (or pre/post workout) snack.


    Peanut Buttery Sandwich Cookies

    Makes 7 Sandwiches or 14 cookies

    Prep: 10 minutes Cook: 12-15 minutes

    Ingredients:

    1/2 cup coconut oil
    1/3 cup creamy peanut butter + 1/2 cup for filling
    1/3 cup brown sugar
    2.5 Tbsp vanilla extract
    2 Tbsp flax meal
    1/4 cup water
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp cinnamon
    3 Tbsp rolled oats
    1 cup all purpose flour (gluten-free or wheat)


    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

    2.  In a medium bowl combine coconut oil, 1/3 cup peanut butter, and brown sugar and cream together using a fork.

    3. Add vanilla extract, flax meal, and water and mix well to combine.

    4. Add salt, baking soda, cinnamon, oats, and flour and stir well to incorporate.

    5. Roll into golf ball sized balls and place on parchment paper. Gently flatten with the palm of your hand. Leave a few inches between each one.

    6. Bake for 12-15 minutes until turning golden and lightly crisped on bottoms.

    7. Remove from oven and let cool thoroughly, 10-15 minutes, before filling. Once cool, gently coat the bottom of one cookie with a tablespoon or so of peanut butter and spread with a butter knife. Attach second cookie and gently press to adhere. Enjoy!