Friday, December 30, 2016

Almond Nog

(recipe origin unknown)

1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
2 Medjool dates, pitted
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 ripe banana
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
pinch of sea salt
1 cup ice

Blend everything in a high speed blender until smooth.  Serve immediately.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

White Bean Soup with Escarole

(recipe from The Food Network)

2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
4 cups broth
2 (16-oz.) cans white cannellini beans, drained
4 fresh sage leaves, cut into chiffonade
8 oz. escarole (or kale!), cut into chiffonade
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
salt and pepper

Heat oil in a 4-quart saucepan.  Add onion and carrots, cover, and simmer 5 minutes or until tender.  If vegetables stick to saucepan, add some water, cover and continue to simmer.

Add the garlic and sauté for a moment.  Add 1 of the cans of beans and mash with a potato masher.  Add the other can of beans along with the broth and bring to a simmer with the sage.  Simmer 10 minutes or until as thick as you like it.  If too thick, add more water; if too thin, boil down until some of the liquid has evaporated.

Stir the escarole (or kale) into the pot, cover, and simmer 5 minutes or until tender.  Uncover, add parsley and adjust seasoning.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Creamy Cashew Macaroni

(recipe from Whole Foods Market)

2 cups raw cashews
3 Tbsp. olive oil, plus more for the baking dish
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
1 Tbsp. white miso
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 lb. whole-grain elbow or fusilli pasta
1 can (14.5 oz.) no-salt-added diced tomatoes

Soak cashews with enough water to cover for at least 4 hours. Drain.

Place cashews in bowl of food processor with oil, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, miso, garlic, salt, paprika, and pepper.  Pulse until cashews are finely chopped.  With motor running, add 3/4 cup water and process until smooth.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350F and lightly oil a 9x13-inch shallow baking dish.  Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain and return to pot.  Add cashew mixture and tomatoes and stir to combine.  Transfer to the baking dish and bake for 30 minutes or until heated through and golden on top.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Lemon Treats

(recipe from Whole Foods Market)

1 cup chopped pitted dates
1 cup raw walnuts
1 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tsp. freshly grated lemon zest
1/2 cup unsweetened dried coconut flakes

Place dates, walnuts, sesame seeds, lemon juice and zest in a food processor.  Pulse and blend until completely mixed.  The mixture will be slightly sticky.  With dampened hands, roll tablespoons of the mixture into balls.  Roll in coconut and chill until ready to serve.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Cauliflower Bisque with Roasted Red Peppers

(I don't know where this recipe is from)

3 Tbsp. oil
1 yellow onion, diced
sea salt
1/8 tsp. saffron threads, soaked in 2 Tbsp. water
2 new potatoes, unpeeled, diced
1 head cauliflower, broken into small florets
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
3 cups water
cracked black pepper
2 roasted red bell peppers, diced
2-3 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped

Place oil and onion in a soup pot over medium heat.  When the onions begin to sizzle, add a pinch of salt and sauté for 2-3 minutes.  Add saffron (and soaking water) and potatoes, add a pinch of salt and sauté for 2 minutes.  Add cauliflower and stir well.  Add milk and water; cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and cook until cauliflower is quite soft, about 20 minutes.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and simmer for 5 minutes more.

Transfer soup to a food processor and puree until smooth.  Return to the soup pot and keep soup on low.

To serve, ladle soup into bowls.  Mix roasted peppers and parsley together and use to garnish soup.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Garnet Pilaf

(recipe from

1/2 cup brown rice
3 sweet potatoes (about 1.5 lbs.)
2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 Tbsp. smoked paprika, divided
sea salt and pepper
1 small yellow onion, diced
1/2 cup red quinoa, rinsed
1 cup water or broth
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
sprinkle of red chili flakes, if you like some heat
1 bunch fresh chives, chopped (about 1/3 cup)

Preheat oven to 425F.

Rinse and cook the brown rice according to instructions.  This takes the longest, so start the rice first.

Wash and dice the sweet potatoes into 1" cubes.  Pile them on a large, rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with 1 Tbsp. olive oil, sprinkle with 1/2 Tbsp. of the smoked paprika and a few pinches of sea salt.  Toss everything together with your hands to coat and spread them all out in a single layer.  Sprinkle with a few grinds of pepper.

Roast sweet potatoes on the middle rack for 23-25 minutes, until the edges are browned and crisp.

In a pot, add a drizzle of olive oil and sauté the diced onion until just starting to brown, about 5 minutes.  Add the quinoa, a pinch of sea salt, 1 cup water or broth and bring to a boil.  Turn it down to a simmer, cover and cook for about 15-17 minutes until the liquid is absorbed.  Turn off the heat, fluff with a fork and cover it for another few minutes to finish.

When both the rice and quinoa are cooked, put them both in a large mixing bowl.  Drizzle with the remaining Tbsp. of olive oil, remaining 1/2 Tbsp. smoked paprika, red wine vinegar, chili flakes if using, and toss everything together to mix.  Taste for salt and pepper.  Top it with the cubes of sweet potatoes and a ton of fresh chives and serve.

*It may not be piping hot at the point of serving, and that is ok.  It tastes best just a tad warmer than room temperature.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Spicy Curried Carrot Soup

(recipe from Shape magazine)

2 lbs. carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 6 cups)
5 cups vegetable broth
1 dried hot chili pepper, any type (optional)
4 tsp. minced fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro

In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients except cilantro.  Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer 30 minutes, or until carrots are tender.  Transfer mixture to a food processor or blender (in batches, if needed) and puree until smooth.  Return the puree to the saucepan and reheat.  Stir in chopped cilantro.

(Super easy and pretty tasty.  May need to add more broth/water to desired thickness.  I would also add cilantro before pureeing.)

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Lima Beans and Mushrooms in Serrano Chile Tomato Sauce

(recipe from The Vegan Gourmet by Susann Geiskopf-Hadler & Mindy Toomay)
2 fresh Serrano chiles
One 28-oz. can whole pear tomatoes, undrained
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup firmly packed fresh cilantro leaves
2 Tbsp. fresh-squeezed lime juice
1/8 tsp. plus 1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 lb. fresh shiitake mushrooms
1/2 lb. button mushrooms
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cups freshly cooked or canned lima beans, drained
1 cup fresh or frozen shelled green peas
1/4 cup Madeira or dry sherry
Several grinds black pepper

Remove and discard the stems of the chiles.  (Also remove the seeds for a less spicy dish.)  In a blender or food processor, combine the chiles, undrained tomatoes, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, and the 1/8 tsp. salt.  Puree to a smooth consistency and set aside.

Cut the shiitakes into 1/4-inch slices.  Quarter the button mushrooms.

Heat the oil over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed skillet or Dutch oven.  Add all the mushrooms and sauté for 3-4 minutes, until they begin to turn golden.  Add the tomato mixture and the lima beans.  Cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, about 15 minutes, until the sauce has reduced to a nice, thick consistency.  If you are using fresh shelled peas, add them for the last 5-6 minutes of cooking time.  If you are using frozen peas, rinse briefly to melt the ice crystals, drain, and add them for the last 2 minutes of the cooking time.  Stir in the Madeira and plenty of pepper and heat through for another minute.  Serve very hot.

(Delicious sauce!  Serve with couscous, rice, quinoa to round out the dish.)

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Winter Squash and Cauliflower Soup with Rosemary and Marsala

(recipe from The Vegan Gourmet by Susann Geiskopf-Hadler & Mindy Toomay)

1 1/2 lbs. winter squash, peeled, seeded, and diced (4 cups)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1/4 tsp. dried red chili flakes
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. dried rosemary, crushed
1/8 tsp. salt
4 cups vegetable stock
1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes
2 cups diced cauliflower
3/4 cup dried small shell pasta
1/3 cup Marsala

Heat the olive oil in a stockpot over medium-high heat for a moment, then add the onion and chili flakes.  Stir and sauté about 2 minutes, then stir in the squash, garlic, rosemary, and salt.  Saute about 7 minutes, stirring frequently, until the squash and onions are beginning to brown.  Add the stock and the tomatoes with their juice.  Cover and bring to a boil over high heat.  Stir in the cauliflower, pasta, and Marsala, and bring back to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to medium-high to maintain a strong simmer and cook about 12 minutes, until cauliflower is fork-tender and pasta is al dente.  Serve very hot.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Spiced Cauliflower with Sesame Seeds

(recipe from

1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil or clarified butter
1 tsp. cumin seeds
2 medium yellow onions, finely sliced
a pinch of turmeric
fine grain sea salt

1 medium cauliflower, thinly sliced

4 dried chiles, stemmed and halved
1-2 tsp. sesame seeds, lightly toasted
1 garlic clove, grated
1 1/2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
1-2 green jalapeno chiles, seeds removed, finely chopped
2-3 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the cumin seeds and cook until they begin to crackle, just 30 seconds or so.  Stir in the onions, along with the turmeric and a few pinches of salt.  Cook, stirring often, until the onions caramelize a bit and turn lightly golden, roughly 7-10 minutes.  Add the red chiles, sesame seeds, garlic, and half of the ginger.  Continue to cook for another minute.  Add the cauliflower and stir well.  Cover the pan and cook the cauliflower over low-medium heat for 3-5 minutes, until just tender.

When the cauliflower is nearly cooked, remove the lid, increase the heat, and stir in the green chiles and remaining ginger.  Salt to taste, sprinkle with cilantro and enjoy.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

South of the Border Guacamole

(recipe from Whole Foods Market)

4 avocadoes, seeded & peeled
1/2 cup chopped white onion
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 tsp. salt
4 (or to taste) serrano chilies, chopped
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
3/4 cup diced tomatoes, seeded & well drained

In a food processor, combine onion, chilies, cilantro and salt; reserve.  Coarsely mash (do not puree) avocadoes.  Fold in reserved onion mixture, then tomato.  Serve with tortilla chips.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Wild Rice with Butternut Squash, Leeks, and Corn

(recipe from Bon Appetit magazine)

1 1/2 cups wild rice
2 tsp. coarse salt
3 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (from 1 1/2 lb. squash)
3 Tbsp. olive oil
6 Tbsp. butter, divided (I used coconut oil)
1 1/2 cups leeks, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups frozen white corn kernels, thawed
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

Rinse rice in strainer under cold water; drain.  Bring 6 cups water and 2 tsp. coarse salt to boil in a large saucepan.  Add rice; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer uncovered until rice grains begin to split and are tender but still slightly chewy, about 45 minutes.  Drain.  Spread on a rimmed baking sheet to cool.  Transfer to bowl.

Preheat oven to 350F.  Oil a rimmed baking sheet.  Toss squash cubes and 3 Tbsp. oil in a medium bowl.  Spread squash in a single layer on prepared sheet; sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast just until tender but firm enough to hold shape, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.  Transfer squash to bowl.  Cool.

Melt 4 Tbsp. butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add leeks and 3/4 cup water; simmer until leeks are tender, about 7 minutes.  Add corn; simmer 2 minutes longer.  Add rice and butternut squash; simmer until heated through and liquid is absorbed, about 4 minutes.  Stir in 2 Tbsp. butter and parsley.  Season with salt and pepper.  Transfer to a bowl and serve.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Chopped Miso Salad

(recipe from

1 1/2 cups shallots, skinned and thinly sliced
splash of olive oil
pinch of salt

2 Tbsp. miso
1/2 tsp. powdered mustard (or a bit of whatever mustard you have around)
2 Tbsp. brown sugar (or honey or agave)
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp. sesame oil (optional)

1/2 of a medium-large cabbage
1 cup silvered almonds, toasted
1/2 medium red onion, sliced
3/4 cup chives, minced
8 oz. extra-firm tofu, or baked tofu, room temperature (tofu cooked in a skillet for a few minutes to take on some color is great)

Stir together the shallots, splash of olive oil, and big pinch of salt in a large skillet over medium heat.  Stir every few minutes, you want the shallots to slowly brown over about 15 minutes.  Let them get dark, dark brown (but not burn).  If needed, turn down the heat.  Remove them from the skillet and onto a paper towel to cool in a single layer.  They should crisp up a bit.

Make the dressing by whisking the miso, mustard, and brown sugar together.  Now whisk in the rice vinegar and keep whisking until it's smooth.  Gradually whisk in the olive oil, and then the sesame oil.  Add two pinches of fine grain salt.  Taste and make any adjustments if needed.

Cut the cabbage into two quarters and cut out the core.  Using a knife, shred each quarter into whisper thin slices.  They key here is bite-sized and thin.  If any pieces look like they might be awkwardly long, cut those in half.

Gently toss the cabbage, shallots, almonds, red onion, chives and tofu in a large bowl.  Add a generous drizzle of the miso dressing and toss again - until the dressing is evenly distributed.  Add more dressing a bit at a time, until the salad is dressed to your liking.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Spicy Black Beans and Rice

(I don't know where this recipe is from...)

One 6oz. jar sun-dried tomatoes (I used an 8oz. jar)
1 large white onion, diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
Two 15oz. cans black beans, rinsed and drained
One 15oz. can whole tomatoes, drained and chopped (I did not drain these)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup cilantro sprigs

4 servings basmati rice
1/2 cup hulled pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup golden raisins

Pour 1 Tbsp. oil from the sun-dried tomatoes (I used several Tbsp.) into a large skillet.  Chop the sun-dried tomatoes and set aside.

Sautee onion and jalapeno in the skillet over medium heat until onions are translucent.  Stir in beans, canned tomatoes (I also added all of the juice from the can), salt and sun-dried tomatoes.  Reduce heat to low.  Simmer for 10 minutes.  Garnish with cilantro.

Fold seeds and raisins into rice, and serve with beans.

(These are not really that spicy - especially if you de-seed the jalapenos.  The various tomatoes and the seeds and raisins in the rice make this dish seem really luxurious.)

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Kale Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Pomegranate

(recipe from Paleo Perfected magazine)

1 1/2 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and sliced crosswise1/2-inch thick
1/3 cup olive oil
salt and pepper
1 small shallot, minced
1 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
12 oz. Lacinato kale, stemmed and sliced crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide strips (7 cups)
1/2 head radicchio (5 oz.), cored and sliced thin
1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400F.  Toss potatoes with 1 Tbsp. oil and season with salt and pepper.  Lay potatoes in single layer on rimmed baking sheet and roast until bottom edges are browned on both sides, 25 to 30 minutes, flipping potatoes halfway through roasting  Transfer potatoes to plate and let cool for 20 minutes.

Whisk shallot, honey, vinegar, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper together in a large bowl.  Whisking constantly, gradually drizzle in remaining oil until emulsified.

Place kale in a large bowl or on the counter.  Vigorously squeeze and massage the kale with your hands until the leaves are uniformly darkened and slightly wilted, about 1 minute.  Add kale, radicchio, and roasted sweet potatoes to the vinaigrette and gently toss to combine.  Transfer salad to serving platter and sprinkle with pecans and pomegranate seeds.  Serve.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Risi E Bisi

(recipe from Food & Wine magazine)

About 7 cups vegetable broth
4 cups fresh young peas (about 4 lbs. in the pod) or thawed frozen peas
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter (I used coconut oil)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese (I omitted this)
salt and freshly ground pepper

In a medium saucepan, bring the broth to a simmer.  Add 2 cups of the peas and blanch over low heat for 1 minute.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the peas to a food processor and add 1/2 cup of the broth.  Pulse the peas to a coarse puree.  Keep the remaining broth warm, at a simmer.

In a large heavy saucepan, melt the butter in the oil.  Add the onion and cook over moderate heat until softened and lightly colored, about 4 minutes.  Add the rice and stir for 3 minutes.

Add the remaining 2 cups of uncooked peas and mint to the rice and stir-fry over moderate heat for 1 minute.  Add the hot stock, 1 cup at a time, and stir constantly until it is partially absorbed before adding more (as for risotto), 20 to 25 minutes.  The texture should be soupy; if necessary, add more stock.  Just before the rice is al dente, stir in the coarsely pureed peas.  Stir in the parsley and half of the Parmesan and season with salt and pepper.  Serve at once, sprinkling with the remaining cheese at the table.

(More like a risotto than a soup.  Very fresh pea flavor, even with frozen peas.)

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Roasted Potato Salad with Shaved Fennel and Salsa Verde

(recipe from

2 lb. small red-skinned or Yukon Gold potatoes, washed and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
3 Tbsp. olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup olive oil
3 Tbsp. thinly sliced chives
3 Tbsp. drained, rinsed, and chopped capers
2 Tbsp. fresh orange juice
1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
1 tsp. finely grated orange zest
1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme (I used a smaller amount of dried thyme)
1 medium shallot, finely chopped
1 medium clove garlic, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 medium-small fennel bulb

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 450F.  Spread the potatoes on a heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet.  Drizzle with the olive oil, sprinkle with 1 tsp. salt and several grinds of pepper, and roll them around to evenly coat them with the oil.  Spread the potatoes in a single layer, preferably with a cut side down.  Roast until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, 20 to 30 minutes.  The potatoes should be browned on the sides touching the pan.  Loosen the potatoes from the pan with a thin spatula and transfer them to a large serving bowl.

While the potatoes are roasting, in a medium bowl, stir the parsley, olive oil, chives, capers, orange juice, vinegar, orange zest, thyme, shallot, and garlic to make the salsa verde.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cut off the top and the bottom of the fennel.  Cut the fennel bulb in half from top to bottom, and again into quarters - remove the cores.  Lay each quarter on its cut surface and then slice crosswise as thinly as possible.

Add the salsa verde and shaved fennel to the bowl of roasted potatoes - they can be added while potatoes are still warm, or at room temperature.  Toss well, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Cauliflower Slaw

(recipe from

1/2 cup thinly sliced almonds
Juice of half a lemon (about 1 Tbsp.), plus more to taste
1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
1/4 tsp. sea salt, plus more to taste
3 Tbsp. dried currants
5 Tbsp. olive oil, plus more for frying
2 Tbsp. brined or salt-packed capers
1 small, compact-looking head of cauliflower (about 1 1/4 lbs.)
Freshly ground pepper
3 scallions, thinly sliced (use green and white parts)
2 Tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley (optional, mostly for color)

Heat oven to 350F.  Spread almonds on a tray and toast them until they're a deep golden color, tossing them once or twice to ensure even cooking.  This will take 10 to 14 minutes.  Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, place lemon juice, vinegar, and 1/4 tsp. salt in a small bowl.  Add currants; set aside and let them soak while you prepare the other ingredients.

If using brined capers, drain and spread them on paper towels until most of their moisture has wicked out, about 5 minutes.  If using salt-packed capers, soak them in water for 10 minutes to remove the saltiness, then drain, rinse, and pat dry on paper towels.  Pour 1/2-inch of olive oil, or another oil that you prefer to fry in, in a small skillet or saucepan.  Heat it over medium-high heat.  When hot enough that a droplet of water added to the oil hisses, carefully add the capers and step back - they're going to sputter a bit for the first 10 seconds.  Once it's safe to get closer, give them a stir.  Depending on how dry they were, it can take 1 to 2 minutes for them to get lightly golden at the edges and then crisp.  Remove with a slotted spoon.  Drain on paper towels.

Trim cauliflower leaves and cut the head into quarters.  Cut stems and florets into 1/4-inch slices.  Add to a large bowl.

Scoop currants from vinegar mixture with a slotted spoon and add to bowl with cauliflower, along with almonds, capers, scallions, and parsley.  Slowly whisk 5 Tbsp. olive oil into remaining vinegar mixture in a thin stream.  Add several turns of freshly ground black pepper.  Pour over cauliflower and other ingredients and turn gently to coat.  Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding more lemon juice, salt, or pepper to taste.  Serve.

(Really different, crisp and tasty.  I didn't mess with all of the rinsing and draining of the capers - I just drained quickly and sautéed in a pan.)

Monday, October 17, 2016

Roasted Ratatouille Couscous

(recipe from The Washington Post)

Olive oil or non-stick cooking spray
1 medium eggplant (about 1 lb.), cut into 3/4- to 1-inch cubes
1 lb. zucchini, cut into 3/4- to 1-inch cubes
1 large red bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch squares
2 medium onions, cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch dice
2 tomatoes, seeded and cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch dice (I didn't seed my tomatoes)
1/3 cup plus 2 Tbsp. olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cups uncooked couscous (I used brown rice)

Preheat the oven to 425F.  Lightly coat a large rimmed baking sheet with olive oil or spray.

In a large bowl, combine the eggplant, zucchini, bell pepper, onions and tomatoes.  Add 1/3 cup of the oil and salt and pepper to taste and toss the vegetables to coat.  Transfer to the prepared baking sheet, keeping the vegetables in one layer.

Roast until tender and just beginning to brown, 60 to 70 minutes (or less - keep an eye on them), stirring every 15 minutes and turning the pan midway through to ensure even cooking.  Transfer to a large serving bowl and set aside.

Prepare the couscous (or rice) according to package directions.  Add the cooked couscous and the remaining 2 Tbsp. oil to the roasted vegetables and stir to combine.  Adjust the seasonings to taste.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Crisp Arugula Salad

(recipe from Christina Cooks)

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. cracked black pepper
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice

2 cups baby arugula
10-12 strawberries, hulled and quartered
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup raisins (I used currants)

Combine dressing ingredients in the bottom of your salad bowl.  Add greens, fruit, nuts, raisins and toss to coat ingredients with dressing.

*You may use berries, pear or apple slices, tangerines, unsweetened dried cranberries, hazelnuts, walnuts or almonds.  You can change the salad completely by adding cherry tomatoes and cucumbers or olives and leaving out the fruit.

(Basic, simple, delicious.)

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Cashew Sour Cream

(recipe from Whole Foods Market)

1 cup raw cashews
2 tsp. cider vinegar
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/8 tsp. fine sea salt

Place cashews in a small bowl and cover by about 1/2-inch with boiling water.  Let soak for 30 minutes.

Drain cashews, reserving the liquid.  Place cashews in a blender with the vinegar, lemon juice, salt and 1/4 cup of the soaking liquid.  Blend until very smooth, adding more soaking liquid as required to puree the mixture.  Makes about 1 1/4 cups.

(This was fairly good as a sour cream alternative - just making note of it.)

Monday, September 5, 2016

Stir-Fried Corn and Tempeh

(recipe from

Olive oil
5-6 thin slices fresh ginger, cut into fine matchsticks
2 cloves fresh garlic, thinly sliced
1 small leek, halved lengthwise, rinsed free of dirt, sliced thinly diagonally
soy sauce (to taste)
8-oz. package tempeh, cut into small cubes
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 cup watercress, rinsed well, hand broken into bite-size pieces

Place a generous amount of oil in a skillet or wok along with ginger, garlic and leek, over medium heat.  When the leek begins to sizzle, add a splash of soy sauce and sauté for 1-2 minutes.  Stir in tempeh cubes, season lightly with soy sauce and stir fry for 3-4 minutes, allowing the tempeh to brown on the edges.  Stir in corn, season to taste with soy sauce and stir fry until the corn is just heated through.  Remove from heat and stir in watercress.  Transfer to a serving platter and serve hot.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

White Bean and Tomato Salad

(recipe from Real Simple magazine)

Two 15-oz. cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained (I used navy beans)
1 small tomato, diced
1/4 cup finely diced red onion
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. minced fresh thyme (or 1/2 tsp. dried thyme)
1/2 tsp. salt
olive oil

Combine all ingredients and drizzle with the olive oil.

(It does not get much more simple than this!  Easy summer salad recipe, good for parties.  Nice served with salad greens.)

Monday, August 15, 2016

Feta and Fresh Herb Quick Bread

(recipe from

a pat of unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. sesame seeds
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
3 large organic eggs
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. plain unsweetened yogurt
1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
7 oz. sheep's milk feta cheese (or substitute goat cheese)
1 bunch fresh herb leaves (flat-leaf parsley, basil, chervil, chives, mint - preferably a mix!), about 1 cup loosely packed, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 350F.

Butter a 9x5-inch loaf pan and sprinkle half the sesame seeds onto the bottom and sides, shaking the pan to coat.

Combine the flour and baking powder in a bowl.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, yogurt, salt, and pepper.  Stir in the cheese and herbs.

Fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture.  Don't overmix the batter, it's okay if a few lumps remain.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, level the surface with a spatula, and sprinkle with the remaining sesame seeds.

Put into the oven to bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until the loaf is golden and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Allow to cool for a few minutes and run a knife around the pan to loosen.  Unmold and transfer to a rack to cool.

Cut into slices or cubes just before serving, slightly warm or at room temperature.  The bread can be made a day ahead.  Wrap tightly and keep in the fridge. 

(Comes together easily.  A nice way to use up any leftover herbs in the fridge.  Tangy and refreshing - especially with mint!)

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Quinoa Tabbouleh

(recipe from the book Clean by Alejandro Junger, M.D.)

2 cups cooked quinoa
1/4 cup currants
1/4 cup raw almonds, chopped
1/2 cup carrots, diced
1/4 cup mint, chopped
1/4 cup scallions, diagonally cut thinly
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 cup olive oil

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and let sit for 20 minutes before serving to allow flavors to blend.

(Easy and delicious!)

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Millet Tofu Stew

(recipe from Christina Cooks)

1 cup millet, rinsed well
1/2 cup tofu, cut into tiny cubes
1 cup winter squash, cubed
5 cups water
1 tsp. miso

Millet tends to hold on to dust, so be sure to rinse it well, until the water running off is relatively clear.  Layer squash and then tofu in a heavy pot, top with millet, gently add water, cover and bring to a boil.  Lower heat to low and cook for about 30 minutes, until liquid is absorbed and millet takes on a lovely creamy texture.  Dissolve miso in a small amount of warm water and gently stir into millet.  Simmer 2-3 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir briskly.  Squash will break apart slightly and incorporate throughout the dish.  Serve hot, garnished with minced parsley, scallion, or toasted nori strips.

(Amazingly delicious flavor for a macrobiotic dish!  I used a whole block of tofu and quite a bit of butternut squash, extra millet - you don't need to be too exact on measurements, just add water to cover everything.  Creamy and yummy.  Be sure to salt and pepper to taste.)

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Tempeh And Vegetable Salad with Miso Tahini Dressing

(recipe from Whole Foods Market)

1 tsp. ginger juice (I used minced ginger)
1 Tbsp. brown rice syrup (I used honey)
3 Tbsp. tamari
3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
3 Tbsp. sesame oil
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes, or to taste

8 oz. tempeh, cubed

1/4 cup tahini
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tsp. miso
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. tamari
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. warm water, or more (depending on how thin you prefer the dressing to be)

2 tsp. oil
1 ear corn, kernels removed (I used frozen corn kernels)
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
2 cups baby spinach
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 cups sunflower sprouts, roughly chopped
2 green onions, minced

Whisk together marinade ingredients until well combined.

In a medium pot with a steamer basket, steam tempeh cubes for 20 minutes and cool slightly.  Marinate tempeh in marinade for two hours, or overnight in the refrigerator, and drain.

In a food processor, blender, or with a whisk, mix together all dressing ingredients until well combined.

Heat oil in medium skillet on medium-high heat.  Add tempeh and sauté first side until golden brown, about 7-10 minutes.  Flip to second side and repeat.  Transfer tempeh to a paper towel to drain and cool.

In a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat, dry roast corn kernels until light brown, about 5 minutes, and remove from heat to cool.  In the same skillet over medium-high heat, dry roast pumpkin seeds until they are golden and begin to puff and pop, about 2-4 minutes.  Combine tempeh, corn, pumpkin seeds, spinach, bell pepper, and sunflower sprouts in a large bowl.  Mix in miso tahini dressing.  Garnish with green onions and serve.

(This salad takes a lot of work, but is really delicious.  The dressing is nice, even to just make alone and use for other salads, etc.)

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Savoy Cabbage, Radicchio, and Apple Slaw

(recipe from Energy Times magazine)

1/2 head savoy cabbage, finely shredded (I used Napa cabbage)
1/2 head radicchio, finely shredded
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 Granny Smith apple, cut into 1" pieces (I cut mine into thin strips)
1 tsp. rice vinegar
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup mayonnaise
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Put the cabbage, radicchio, onion, and apple in a large bowl and toss together.

In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar and orange juice.  Add the mayonnaise, and salt and pepper to taste, and whisk until well combined.  Pour over the cabbage mixture and toss until well coated.

Taste, adjust the seasonings, if necessary, and serve.  The slaw will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to a day.

(So simple and tasty!  I found the slaw kept for a few days in the fridge.)

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Pear and Fennel Salad

(recipe from

3 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. sherry vinegar
1 large fennel bulb, cut in half lengthways, then each half cut widthways into 2mm slices
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. caraway seeds, toasted and lightly crushed
1 tsp. maple syrup
Salt and black pepper
10g picked dill
75g arugula
3 medium ripe pears, peeled, quartered lengthways, cored and cut into 0.5cm wedges
60g pecorino, thinly shaved (I omitted this)

Mix the lemon juice and vinegar in a large bowl.  Add the fennel and leave to soften for about 45 minutes, stirring from time to time.

Put the oil, caraway, maple syrup, 1/4-tsp. salt, and some black pepper into a small bowl.  Strain in the lemon and vinegar from the fennel bowl and stir well.

Add the dill, arugula, pear and pecorino to the fennel bowl, pour on the dressing, toss lightly and serve.

(A tasty and distinctive salad!  Be sure to cut the ingredients into desired pieces - I found the pear wedges to be tedious, and ended up cutting them smaller.)

Saturday, April 9, 2016


(recipe from

2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and diced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 - 1 chile pepper (or to taste), stemmed, sliced in half and deseeded, minced
1 1/2 tsp. salt (or to taste)
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. paprika, smoked or sweet
1 tsp. caraway seeds, crushed
1 tsp. cumin seeds, crushed, or 3/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. turmeric
2 lbs. ripe tomatoes, cored and diced, or two 14-oz. cans of diced or crushed tomatoes
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 tsp. honey
1 tsp. red wine or cider vinegar
1 cup loosely packed greens, such as radish greens, watercress, kale, Swiss chard, or spinach, coarsely chopped
4 oz. feta cheese, cut in generous, bite-sized cubes (I omitted this)
4 to 6 eggs

In a wide skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add the onions and garlic and cook for 5 minutes, until soft and wilted.  Add the chile pepper, salt, pepper, and spices.  Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly, to release their fragrance.

Add the fresh or canned tomatoes, tomato paste, honey, and vinegar, reduce the heat to medium, and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened somewhat but is still loose enough so that when you shake the pan it sloshes around. (Fresh tomatoes may take a little longer to cook than canned.)  Stir in the chopped greens.

If you want to finish the Shakshuka on the stovetop, turn off the heat and press the cubes of feta into the tomato sauce.  With the back of a spoon, make 6 indentations in the sauce.  Crack an egg into each indentation, then drag a spatula gently through the egg whites so it mingles a bit with the tomato sauce, being careful not to disturb the yolks.

Turn the heat back on so the sauce is at a gentle simmer, and cook for about 10 minutes, taking some of the tomato sauce and basting the egg whites from time-to-time.  Cover, and cook 3 to 5 minutes, until the eggs are cooked to your liking.

TO FINISH THEM INDIVIDUALLY:  Preheat the oven to 375F.  Divide the sauce into 6 individual baking dishes and press the feta cubes into the sauce.  Set the baking dishes on a baking sheet, make an indentation in each, and crack an egg into the center.  Bake until the eggs are cooked to you liking, basting the whites with some of the sauce midway during baking, which will take anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes - but begin checking them sooner to get them just right.  If the yolks begin to get a little firm on top before the whites are cooked, drape a sheet of foil over them, but avoid having it touch the yolks.

Serve with lots of crusty bread for scraping up the sauce.

(Such a flavorful sauce!  Very delicious and satisfying.)

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Ginger Coconut Milk Soup

(recipe from 101 Cookbooks)

Two 14-oz. cans full-fat coconut milk
One 14-oz. can water (use the coconut milk can to measure)
2-inch knob of ginger, peeled and minced
3 large shallots, minced
1 tsp. salt, or to taste

Lots of seasonal vegetables, for example (use a bit of each to fill up the broth):
squash (summer or winter)
broccoli florets
asparagus, chopped
scallions, sliced
mushrooms, sliced

to serve:
lots of fresh lime juice and cilantro

In a large soup pot, over medium heat, bring the coconut milk, water, ginger, shallots, and salt to a gentle boil.  Dial back the heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes.

Add the vegetables to the simmering coconut milk, and cook until tender. 

Can be served alone, or over egg noodles or rice.  Finish with a generous squeeze of lime juice and lots of cilantro.

(This is my new favorite soup!  I've made it a couple of times now, it's so easy and flexible!  Just add any veggies you have on hand to the broth, really.  I add the lime juice and cilantro right into the soup pot at the end.  I've used broccoli, butternut squash, asparagus, mushrooms, and scallions in varying groupings, but I can't imagine many veggies that wouldn't taste fabulous with this savory, tangy coconut broth.)

Friday, January 29, 2016

Lemony Gumbo Z'herbes

(recipe from Food 52)

2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped celery (reserve any leaves for later)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cayenne
1 large clove garlic, minced
4 cups water or vegetable stock
2 lbs. assorted greens: collards, turnip, beet, mustard, chard, kale, or spinach, coarsely chopped
All the celery leaves from your head of celery, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves (I used dried)
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary leaves (I used dried)
2 bay leaves
One lemon
1 to 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce (I used soy sauce)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 scallion, finely chopped

In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat until shimmering.  Add onions, celery, bell pepper, and salt and sauté, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned.  Stir in garlic and let it sweat with the other vegetables for a minute or two.  Add water or stock; raise heat until it comes to just below boiling.  Add greens and celery leaves a little at a time, until they are all wilted into the soup.  Add thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves.  Halve and juice the lemon, and add juice as well as both lemon halves into the soup.  Add 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce.  Reduce heat to low and simmer soup, covered, for at least 1 hour.  The vegetables will become mushy and the soup will be very green.  Taste and add salt, pepper, or Worcestershire sauce, if needed.  Fish out bay leaves and lemon halves and discard them. 

Serve sprinkled with scallions.  Can serve over rice.

(This soup is delicious!  I added more onions, celery, and bell pepper than called for, and added the scallions right into the soup instead of as garnish.  The flavor is spicy and lemony and packed with soft greens.)

Monday, January 25, 2016

Carrot Bisque

(I cobbled this together from two carrot soup recipes: Vegetarian Times magazine and

2 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 onion, chopped
2 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
1 Tbsp. curry powder
1 pinch cayenne pepper
2 lbs. carrots, peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch chunks
1 14-oz. can full-fat coconut milk
1 tsp. salt, or to taste
4 cups water, or to cover
Juice of 1 lime
Cilantro, chopped, to taste
to serve: micro-greens (I used watercress)

In a large soup pan over medium-high heat, add the coconut oil and onion.  Stir until onion is well-coated, and allow to sauté until translucent, a few minutes.  Stir in ginger, and cook 1 to 2 minutes, or until fragrant.  Add curry powder, cayenne, and 1/4 cup water.  Cook 1 to 2 minutes, stirring to coat onion and ginger with the curry mixture.

Add the carrots, coconut milk, salt, and water to cover, as needed, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer, until the carrots are tender, about 10-15 minutes.  Puree soup using a blender until the soup is completely silky smooth.  Add more water if the consistency needs to be thinned out, to your liking.  Then taste for salt, adding more if needed.  Return puree to soup pan, and stir in lime juice and chopped cilantro.

Ladle into bowls to serve, and top with micro-greens.

(Vibrant and spicy!  Topping with the greens adds a nice crunch to the smooth soup.)

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Sweet Potato and Vegetable Tian

(recipe origin unknown)

1 red onion, cut vertically into sixths, sections separated
1 green pepper, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
12 oz. mushrooms, large ones quartered, medium ones halved
2 plum tomatoes, cored and cut into sixths
3 medium-large sweet potatoes, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and sliced 1/4-inch thick
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary, or 3/4 tsp. crumbled dried
1/2 tsp. salt
Generous seasoning of ground black pepper
1/3 cup olive oil

The topping:
3 slices bread
1 Tbsp. olive oil

Preheat the oven to 375F.  Combine all of the vegetables, garlic, and rosemary in a large mixing bowl.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and 1/3 cup oil and toss to coat thoroughly.

Drop the vegetables into a shallow 2 1/2-quart ovenproof casserole and press them down evenly.  Bake for 45 minutes.

To make the topping, break up the bread and make coarse crumbs in a food processor.  Scrape them into a small bowl and drizzle on the 1 Tbsp. olive oil.  Use your fingers to rub the oil evenly into the crumbs.

Remove the tian from the oven.  Sprinkle the crumbs all over the top.  Return the dish to the oven and bake 15 more minutes, or until the vegetables are very tender.  Let sit 10 minutes before serving.

(A nice roasted veggie combo.)

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Silky Squash and Celery Root Soup

(recipe from Food & Wine magazine)

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 lbs. Kabocha squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 celery root (about 1 lb.), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 shallots, minced
4 cups vegetable broth
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg (I used dried, doubled)
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Heat the oil in a large heavy saucepan.  Add the onion and cook over moderately low heat until golden brown.  Add the squash, celery root, and shallots and cook until lightly browned around the edges, about 5 minutes.  Add the vegetable broth, nutmeg, and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to moderately low, cover partially, and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.

Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender or food processor.  Season with salt and pepper and serve hot. 

(Because, for winter in Maine, you can never have too many easy winter squash soup recipes!  A typical blended squash soup, but I liked the addition of celery root for a change.  Creamy and quite hearty.)