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.