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  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • Multi-grain Waffles 101

    There is something so simple, and versatile, and personalized about making waffles or pancakes. For many of you, it may seem like a complicated and messy process, reserved only for weekends or special occasions. But it needn't be, and here's why. The basic structure of making vegan, gluten-free waffles is actually very simple and they can even be made ahead of time, to a degree. You start with a good gluten-free flour blend, like Bob's Red Mill, to that you add pretty much ANY flour and/or nut or seed meal of your choice, some examples include; buckwheat flour, oat flour, corn flour, corn meal, almond meal, ground walnuts, ground pecans, ground sunflower seeds, and the list goes on. The key is sticking to a basic ratio (which I will give in a minute), mixing your very minimal dry ingredients, and then adding your wet ones. Once you have the basic mix down, you can add crushed nuts, seeds, or fruit if you desire.  The way to make it a head of time, is to have a batch of dry ingredients pre-mixed and kept on hand, that way you can just spoon the needed amount into a bowl, stir in oil and liquid and you're ready to go.  Contrary to public opinion (which douses them in sugary syrup and whipped cream), these are actually very nutritious. Filled with healthy whole grain flours, nuts, seeds, and fruit, these are like the smoothies of the hot breakfast world. They can be made into pancakes if you don't have a waffle maker, and are delicious that way as well. Give them a try!


    Multi-grain Waffles 101

    Vegan and Gluten-free

    Servings: 1

    2/3 cup Bob's Red Mill GF Flour Blend, (or whole wheat flour if not Gluten-free)
    1/3 cup buckwheat flour, oat flour, quinoa flour, corn meal, etc.
    1/4 cup almond meal, flax meal, hemp seeds, any ground nuts or seeds
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp baking powder
    1 Tbsp oil
    1/2-1 cup non-dairy milk or water

    Additions: chopped fresh or frozen fruit; like berries, chopped apples, pears, dark chocolate chips, jam, coconut flakes, spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or ginger.


    1. Whisk dry ingredients together in a large bowl, add oil and liquid (non-dairy milk or water) and stir well to combine. It will be a thick batter.

    2. Heat waffle iron or skillet and lightly oil. Cook batter in waffle iron on med-high heat, or proceed to make pancakes as you normally would, ladling out by the spoonful onto a seasoned skillet, flipping when bubbles appear, and cooking for 30 seconds on other side.

    3. Top waffle or pancakes with a small spoonful coconut oil (in place of butter, yum) or jam, or fresh fruit, or crushed nuts or seeds. Drizzle with a maple syrup if desired (grade B is best, as it contains the most amount of nutrients) and devour!

  • Crispy Spiced Cauliflower & Okra

    Okra, if you're not familiar with it, is a tasty little pod that is common in Middle Eastern, African, Indian, and Southern dishes. Pros: It has a unique, mild flavor, is very high in Vitamin C, fiber, and folate, and can be cooked a myriad of ways. Cons: it is sometimes hard to find in stores, and the pods contain a somewhat slimy substance, a mucilage, that can either be used to thicken a stew or gumbo, or minimized by roasting in the oven as we do here. Okra can be found in many local international grocery stores, including Indian, Asian, African, and Middle Eastern, and may be available at stores like Whole Foods or Trader Joe's. Our local (and preferred) source in Seattle is Lenny's Produce in Greenwood, which is a great little place for many unique fruit and vegetable finds at great prices. If you can't find okra or aren't a fan, make this with just cauliflower or cauliflower and mushrooms instead! Wonderful with a side of basmati rice, this is a fast and very healthy dish that can be prepared easily on a weeknight. The spices are quite fragrant in this, and not only satisfy our taste buds, but also offer us many medicinal benefits. Spice liberally!


    Crispy Cauliflower and Okra

    Serves 2-4

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

    1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
    3 cups okra, cut into one inch pieces
    1 tsp salt (or more to taste)
    1 Tbsp whole cumin seeds
    1 tsp ground turmeric
    1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
    1 Tbsp brown mustard seeds
    1 Tbsp high heat oil (avocado, coconut, canola, grape seed)
    1 Tbsp rice flour (or potato starch)
    2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
    2 tsp fresh lemon juice


    1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees and place tablespoon of oil on metal baking tray.

    2. Chop okra into one inch pieces, discarding top caps, and pointy bottoms. Chop cauliflower into uniform florets. Place both on baking sheet and use your hands to toss in oil. Sprinkle with rice flour, all spices, and salt and toss to coat again.

    3. Place in oven and bake for 10 minutes, toss well for even browning, and bake for an additional 10 minutes until cauliflower and okra are both browned and crispy. Sprinkle with freshly chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lemon juice just before serving. Enjoy with a side of basmati rice, a nice tamarind chutney, a simple dal, or a la carte!

  • Juniper Rosemary Golden Gravy

    To all of our cooking class participants; past, present, and future, for the holidays this year, Nick and I are gifting you his secret Juniper Rosemary gravy recipe. If you're unsure what you might do with such a gift, let me tell you:

    1. Pour it over everything; mashed, roasted, sauteed potatoes, steamed broccoli, rice and beans, shepherd's pie or any pot pie, tofu cutlets, veggie burger patties, quinoa, well, you get the idea.

    2. Make extra, because it's that good!

    This is a simple and versatile vegan gravy recipe that can be played up, down, or in any direction depending on the herbs and spices you use. A great book to get your creative juices flowing in the kitchen, (and another great gift!) is The Flavor Bible, which is a compendium of flavor pairings, and resource for what ingredients go well together. We use it often when coming up with new taste combinations, like this gravy, here at the Kitchen. For those of you who were at our most recent cooking class on Whidbey Island, (pics, here!), you got to taste a variation of this special gravy first hand. It's golden hue and warming spices are perfect for this time of year, and really breathe something special into earthy, home style dishes like the Shepherd's "Pielettes" we prepared in class. More classes teaching more plant-based recipes, every month! Sign up here. Happy holidays and enjoy!


    Juniper Rosemary Golden Gravy

    Serve 4-6 Prep time: 10 min Cook time: 5-10 min

    1/4 cup flour (Bob's Red Mill Gluten-free blend, or wheat)
    1/4 cup nutritional yeast
    1/4 cup olive oil
    2 1/4 cups water
    1/2 tsp sea salt
    1 tsp crushed rosemary
    1/2 tsp crushed juniper berries
    1/2 tsp turmeric powder
    1/2 tsp black pepper



    1. In a small saucepan, gently heat flour and nutritional yeast over low heat, 1-2 minutes until smelling slightly toasty.

    2. Add oil and whisk together, forming a roux. Let cook for 1 minute, stirring so it doesn't burn.

    3. Add water and whisk in well. Add salt, rosemary, turmeric, juniper berries, and black pepper. Let simmer and thicken for 3-4 minutes over very low heat, stirring occasionally. It will be thick, creamy, and very satisfying.

    4. Serve over potatoes, steamed veggies, pot pies, or brown rice.

  • 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!

  • Rainbow Eggplant Stacks

    It's nearing the end of summer here in the Pacific Northwest and eggplant, tomatoes, greens, and mushrooms are all being harvested. This morning I imagined a simple stack of rainbow goodness to harness the flavors of the season, so here it is. For as fancy as these look, they couldn't be any easier. One of those recipes which relies solely on the simplicity of the ingredients themselves. It's quite versatile and the ingredients are easily substituted. Start with a base of crispy oven baked eggplant, top with a mound of wilted greens, seared mushroom, fresh tomato, and top with another slice of eggplant. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar if you like, and serve. Rich in flavor and phytonutrients, this easy dish could easily become a new staple.


    Rainbow Eggplant Stacks

    Vegan, Gluten-free, Soy-free

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

    Ingredients:

    1 medium sized eggplant, sliced
    1 Tbsp potato starch (or corn starch)
    1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
    1 Tbsp dried oregano
    1/4 tsp sea salt
    1 Tbsp neutral oil (avocado, canola, grape seed)
    1 bunch of swiss chard (or spinach, kale, or collard greens), chopped
    1 large portobello mushroom (or as seen here, 1/2 lb chanterelle mushrooms), sliced
    1 ripe tomato, sliced
    freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
    drizzle of balsamic vinegar (optional)


    1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Coat large metal baking tray with 1 Tbsp of oil. Slice eggplant into 1/2" thick slices and place on baking sheet. Use your hands to gently coat them in oil. Sprinkle with potato starch, nutritional yeast, sea salt, and black pepper and toss to coat well. Spread into an even layer on sheet and place in oven. Bake for 10 minutes, flip them over when browning on bottom and bake for another 5 minutes.

    2. While baking the eggplant, slice the mushroom(s) into 1/4" thick slices and sear in a pan until browning and crispy on both sides, flipping as needed. No oil needed, the juices from the mushrooms will prevent sticking. transfer to a small bowl.

    3. In the same pan, wilt the greens. Simply place chopped greens in pan, cover, and let cook on medium heat for 2 minutes (slightly longer for kale or collard greens) until bright green and wilted. Add water by the spoonful if needed to prevent sticking or burning. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and set aside.

    4. When eggplant is lightly browned and soft inside, remove from oven and begin making your stacks. Simply stack eggplant, a mound of greens, a slice of mushroom, a slice of tomato, and sprinkle of sea salt. Top with another eggplant round and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Repeat! Very yummy!

  • Ketchup Baked Home Fries

    What's better than a ketchup draped pile of steaming potatoes in the morning? Ever consider coating them in ketchup before you cooked them? I did, and this is what we got! With a little garlic and spices tossed in these came out crispy, savory, and delicious. Potatoes are full of potassium, and are a great staple to keep in the pantry. Experiment with different potato varieties, red skinned, blue potatoes, or the darling fingerlings. These will make a lovely addition to your next brunch!


    Ketchup Baked Home Fries

    Serves 2-4 Prep time: 10 min Cook time: 20-25 min

    5-6 medium yukon gold potatoes, cubed (no need to peel)
    2 cloves garlic, finely chopped (optional)
    1-2 Tbsp neutral oil (avocado, grape seed, canola)
    1/4 cup potato starch (or corn starch)
    1/8 cup ketchup
    1 tsp paprika
    1 tsp salt
    1 tsp black pepper
    1-2 Tbsp freshly chopped parsley (optional)


    1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees, lightly oil baking sheet and set aside.

    2. Cut potatoes into roughly 1 inch cubes and place on baking sheet. Cover with remaining ingredients and use your hands to toss to coat.

    3. Spread into an even layer on baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, flip potatoes and bake for another 5-10 minutes.

    4. Serve sprinkled with fresh parsley if desired and ketchup drizzled on top. Enjoy!


  • Fresh Blueberry Shortcake

    Taking advantage of the bounty of blueberries this season, I decided to create this stellar (and so easy you won't believe it) dessert. All you need are a few simple ingredients and and these little  blueberry stunners will be on the way to your table. It's best to prepare all of the ingredients, then assemble them right before serving, or let everyone create their own! This recipe is 100% vegan and gluten-free, uses minimal sugar, and really is a cinch to whip up if you have everything on hand, just make sure to chill your coconut cream ahead of time. Make these now-blueberry season will be over before we know it, don't let fresh blueberry shortcakes pass you by!


    Fresh Blueberry Shortcake

    (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-free)

    Serves 6-12, depending on serving size

    Preparation time: 20 minutes Bake time: 15 minutes

    Shortcakes:
    1 1/2 cups Bob's Red Mill Gluten-free flour blend
    1 Tbsp cornstarch
    1 Tbsp flaxmeal
    1/4 tsp salt
    2 tsp baking powder
    2 Tbsp coconut oil
    1/4 cup sugar
    1 Tbsp vanilla extract
    1 cup water

    Blueberries:
    2 pints fresh blueberries
    1-2 Tbsp maple syrup

    Coconut Cream:
    2 cans full fat coconut milk (chilled overnight in fridge)
    2 Tbsp maple syrup
    1 Tbsp vanilla extract


    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, line a muffin tin with paper cupcake liners and set aside.

    2. Mix dry ingredients, gluten-free flour through baking powder in a large mixing bowl.

    3. In a small saucepan, melt coconut oil, stir in sugar, vanilla extract and water.

    4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and whisk together.

    5. Pour batter into cupcake liners, filling halfway full. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown and they pass the toothpick test. Remove from oven and let them cool completely on a wire rack while you make the blueberries and cream.

    7. Toss the blueberries with the maple syrup in a medium sized bowl.

    8. Open the chilled cans of coconut milk and pour off the liquid, reserving the thick cream. Place cream in a separate bowl and add the maple syrup and vanilla. Whisk together well.

    9. Remove shortcakes from paper liners and gently cut in half forming a top and bottom. Spoon each bottom generously with coconut cream, blueberries, and more coconut cream. Cover with shortcake top and enjoy!

  • 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.

  • Black Bean and Orange Breakfast Tacos

    These tasty little black bean and orange breakfast tacos are protein packed, filled with veggies, and super fresh tasting from a hint of freshly squeezed orange juice. If you make the bean filling ahead of time and pre-slice your tomatoes, you will cut preparation time down to under five minutes! The filling is a combination of sweet onions, crimini mushrooms, fresh corn,  black beans, and freshly squeezed valencia orange juice. Set in a toasty corn tortilla and topped with fresh arugula and chopped tomatoes these are heavenly. Play with the filling and topping ingredients once you have the structure down. Avocado would be great, as would chopped red pepper. These would make for a lovely brunch as well!


    Black Bean and Orange Breakfast Tacos

    Makes: 4 Preparation time: 5-10 minutes

    1/2 cup black beans
    1/2 cup onion, thinly sliced
    1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
    1/2 cup fresh corn kernels (or frozen)
    2 Tbsp orange juice (freshly squeezed if possible)
    1/4 tsp sea salt
    1/4 tsp chili pepper
    1/4 tsp paprika
    1/8 cup nutritional yeast
    freshly ground black pepper
    1 package corn tortillas
    1 ripe tomato, diced
    1/2 cup fresh baby arugula (or lettuce)
    1 avocado, thinly sliced (optional)


    1. In a skillet with a bit of oil, saute onions, mushrooms, fresh corn, and black beans for 4-5 minutes until onion is soft. Add nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, chili pepper, paprika, and orange juice and mash with a potato masher. Set filling aside in a small bowl.

    2. Wipe out skillet, add 1 tsp of oil and heat corn tortillas on each side.

    3. Fill each tortilla with a bit of greens and bean filling. Top with tomatoes and avocado if using. Enjoy!


  • Best Quinoa Veggie Burgers & Pumpkin Seed-Onion Cream

    If you're looking for a recipe for easy to prepare, protein packed veggie burgers that will knock your socks off everytime, then look no further. These fit the bill, and to top it off I've included a recipe for a pumpkin seed-onion cream spread that really is to die for. One of the easiet things you will ever make, and it will become a staple in your fridge for sure. The burgers are packed with high quality plant based protein from the lentils and quinoa, fiber from the veggies, and super anti-inflammatory power from the turmeric. The pumpkin seed spread is full of needed iron and zinc, and provides a healthy dose of healthy fats and protein. It's also completely raw, so it maintains all of it vital nutrients and enzymes. If you don't like the taste of a tiny bit of sweet raw onion, then feel free to leave it out, but i think it adds a wonderful flavor. The spread will keep for about a week in the fridge (if it lasts that long), and is wonderful on crackers or toast, or as a dip for sliced veggies. The possibilities go on and on. Give these a shot!


    Best Quinoa Veggie Burgers

    1/2 c quinoa, rinsed
    1/2 c red lentils, rinsed
    2 cups water
    1 medium yellow onion, chopped
    4 crimini mushrooms, chopped
    1 yellow summer squash (or zucchini), chopped
    1/2 cup corn kernels (optional)
    1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
    2 Tbsp ketchup
    1 Tbsp mustard
    1/4 cup coarse cornmeal
    1/4 cup nutritional yeast
    1/3 cup rice flour (or slightly more as needed)
    1 tsp turmeric
    1 tsp paprika
    1 tsp salt
    freshly ground black pepper to taste

    Pumpkin Seed-Onion Cream Spread (Raw)

    1 cup raw hulled pumpkin seeds (will be green)
    1/2 tsp salt
    2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
    juice from 1 lemon
    1 Tbsp raw onion (red or sweet onion work well), chopped finely (optional, if desired)
    1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
    water, as needed (1/4-1/2 cup)


    1. Prehat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly oil metal baking sheet with neutral oil like grapeseed, avocado, or canola.

    2. Place quinoa, lentils, and water together in a medium pot. Bring to a boil, then cover pot and reduce to a simmer. Let cook undisturbed for 10-15 minutes until water has been absorbed.

    3. While quinoa-lentil mixture is cooking, saute onions, mushrooms, squash, and corn over medium heat in a bit of olive oil until tender. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and set aside.

    4. When quinoa is done, add to veggies in bowl. Stir to help it cool and add rest of the ingredients. Use your hands, or a large spoon to mix it well.

    5. The mixture should hold together well when you form it into patties. If too moist or sticky add a bit of rice flour a little at a time. Gently form into palm-sized (or smaller) patties, and place on baking sheet evenly spaced apart.

    6. Bake for 7-10 minutes, then flip them over, and bake for another 7 minutes or so. They should be golden brown and crispy. (If you prefer to grill them, bake in the oven for 2-3 minutes each side, to firm them up a bit, then transfer to grill to finish cooking).

    7.For the pumpkin seed-onion cream. In a food processor, process pumpkin seeds, salt, and  nutritional yeast into very fine crumbs/powder. Add lemon juice, chopped onion, and black pepper  and process again for 10-20 seconds. Slowly drizzle in water until spread-like consistency has been reached and continue processing for another 30 seconds to 1 minute until super creamy. Store in glass jar in fridge, use anyway you like.

    8. Assemble your burgers- spreading your bun, bread, or lettuce with pumpkin seed cream, topping with a burger, and adding avocado, tomato, and fresh greens. Sprinkle with sea salt and you're done!

  • Fourth of July Berry Crumb Pie

    Here I have your go-to July 4th party pleaser, pure magic in a pie plate. Stuffed with layers of organic blueberries, strawberries & rhubarb, this pie tops them all. Your fourth of July will never again just be about BBQ and sparklers. So go to the store, get these simple ingredients, and spend about 1 hour making this pie. It is easy to prepare, and breathtakingly delicious. Your friends, family, and BBQ mates will adore you (especially since it's vegan, gluten and soy-free-which means most everyone can eat it, and no one will know the difference) Looks like a long recipe, but it's really not. You can simplify by using only one berry filling (just double the filling recipe), or making it with wheat flour (leave out the xanthum gum). Very easy, enjoy!

    Fourth of July Berry Crumb Pie

    Crust:
    1 1/4 cups Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Flour Blend
    1/4 tsp xanthum gum
    1 tsp sea salt
    2 tsp sugar
    1/2 cup coconut oil
    1/8 cup water (or as needed)

    Blueberry filling:
    1 lb fresh blueberries
    1/2 c brown sugar
    1/4 tsp sea salt
    1/2 tsp cinnamon
    1/3 cup white rice flour
    juice from 1 lemon

    Strawberry Rhubarb filling:
    1 lb fresh strawberries (de-stemmed, sliced)
    1 piece rhubarb (about 1 cup, diced)
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    1/4 tsp sea salt
    1/3 cup rice flour
    juice from 1 lemon

    Crumb:
    1/2 cup Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Flour Blend
    1/4 cup sugar
    1 tsp cinnamon
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/8 cup coconut oil

    1. Begin by preheating oven to 350 degrees and lightly oiling a pie plate with a bit of coconut oil.

    2. Make your dough in a medium mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients, whisk together. Add coconut oil and cut in with two forks or your fingers until it resembles crumbs. Slowly drizzle in cold water, mixing with your hand, until dough comes together in a moist but not sticky ball. Place in fridge to chill a bit while you make fillings.

    3. On the stove heat two medium pots or deep skillets. To one add all of the ingredients for the blueberry filling, and to the other all of the ingredients for the strawberry filling. Bring each to a low boil, stir well and let simmer on low heat, covered, for about 15 minutes until fruit breaks down and it is thickening, remove from heat and let cool on stovetop.

    4. Meanwhile, place dough in oiled pie pan and use your hands to press it into the place. You want it to be about 1/4" thick and evenly spread out. Use your fingers to shape the rim so it looks nice. Poke a few holes in the bottom with a fork and pre-bake in oven for 10 minutes while fillings continue to cool.

    5. Make the crumb topping by mixing all the dry ingredients in a small bowl, adding the coconut oil, and mixing it gently with your fingers until crumbs form, set aside.

    6. Remove crust from oven, fill with blueberry filling, then strawberry on top. Sprinkle with crumbs and cover with foil. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes, then remove foil and bake another 5-10 until crust is golden and crumbs have crisped up. LET COOL THOROUGHLY before serving! Serve alone or with a scoop of your favorite vegan vanilla ice cream. Happy 4th!

  • 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!