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  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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!