Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Sweet potatoes & sage

It's the first cool morning of Fall, and it came late this year! Apparently today is a morning of firsts, as I have my first smart phone in hand, and am making my first post in months!

I've been working on changing up my business plan lately. I started Sorella 1 year ago as an In-home Classes, Catering & Private Chefwork business. Those are all jobs that I am still interested in pursuing, in fact I love them all! But it doesn't give me much opportunity to work with the public. I have so much good food & knowledge to share that I feel strongly about having more consistent visibility with the community.

For the last few weekends I have set up a "concession stand" at local fairs selling sandwiches, snacks, salad & salsa. It went extraordinarily well. Now I am working to be a more permanent fixture in the Farmers Markets in town, and am dreaming up product lines. I am strongly considering Gluten Free Baking as a option, since there is such a great demand. We'll see!

1 Sweet Potato
1/2 red onion
handful raisins
6-8 leaves of garden sage, crumbled
sea salt
Drizzle coconut oil
handful Kale

Start with the oil. Add the diced sweet potato & salt. Once it is about halfway cooked add the rest of the ingredients, except for the Kale. Once the sweet potatoes are cooked through, remove from the pan. Add 1/2 cup of water to the hot pan, and toss in your kale. Itll be bright green and tender in under 30seconds.
Serve potatoes on top of Kale. Enjoy.

Chocolate Stuffed French Toast

French Toast - Egg free! - even better than the traditional egg battered version?! We think so!

I've got nothing against happy chickens laying happy eggs. But eating those eggs, just doesn't agree with my digestion. I didnt figure this out until "egg class" in Culinary School. We cooked eggs about 20 different ways, and since then eating them makes me nauseous. It was a bummer at first, but I manage! Anyways, enough about that! PLANT BASED FRENCH TOAST!!

1 banana, fresh or frozen
1 c milk, what have you
pinch sea salt
blend well

Dredge your toast of choice in this delicious concoction.. and fry it up. Baking would probably work too, but I would use parchment. Make sure your pan is nice & hot, and add a drizzle of oil. Keep your eye on these, they sometimes stick. Getting the pan hot & using oil liberally (I use coconut) will help.

Once theyre about to come off the stove, sprinkle chocolate chips on top of one slice, and place the 2nd slice on top.. like a sandwich! Those chips should be melted in no time, and its ready to eat!! With maple syrup, of course.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Juice Feast

Basically, these recipes were developed as I was cleaning out my fridge. They're variations on drinks I make all the time. They're freaking delicious. You should make your own!

Pink Juice
3 Grapefruit
1 large bunch grapes
handful kumquats
3 tangerines
1 lime
1 mango

Green Juice
2 apples
2 cucumber
3 celery stalks
1 lime
2 inch ginger
2 bunches kale stems

1 cucumber
8 small apples
3 stalks celery
1 lime
1 bunch kale

4 small beets
2lbs carrots
4 apples
6 oranges

3 grapefruit
2 mango
8 oranges

1lb carrots
3 oranges

Arugula Pesto Stuffed Shrooms

12 Crimini or Baby bellas
1 colored bell pepper
2 c arugula
1/2 c pecans
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 cloves garlic
1/4 small red onion
1 T hemp oil
1 T miso
mushroom stems

Place all the ingredients, except the mushroom caps and 1/2 of the bell pepper, into food processor and blend until smooth. Fill caps with the smooth pesto and place in a glass dish with a touch of water for moisture. Make at 400 for 15 minutes. dice the remaining 1/2 of the bell pepper and use as garnish.

Blueberry Lavender Smoothie

2 c blueberries
1 T lavender
2-3 c coconut kefir or almond milk
1 big handful spinach
pinch sea salt
1/2 vanilla bean

Monday, February 11, 2013

Avocado Chocolate Truffles

Say what? Chocolate Avocado Truffles don't sound so good to you? Allow me to explain.

First, stop thinking about guacamole. Think smooth, simple, creamy, fatty, avocado. Thats the base for the creamy center of these truffles. Avocado, blended with cocoa, vanilla, maple syrup.. til it forms the consistency of a rich chocolate pudding. Way healthier than Russel Stover. Healthier means more bio-available nutrients, good fats that quickly burn into energy, plus its easy to metabolize & digest. Okay? Great!

This concept was 1st introduced to me 3years ago by a dear friend & uber talented culinary classmate, Ms. Kristy Butts. Many thanks to Ms. Butts for the many truffles she fed me over the 2years I lived in Austin.

         frozen avocado creme before being dipped in melted chocolate

Chocolate Avocado Truffles
4 small-med avocados
1/2 c cocoa powder
1/2 c almond milk
1/4 C maple syrup
1 vanilla bean
1 T cinnamon
pinch salt

1 bag high quality chocolate chips

Blend everything except the chocolate chips in a food processor until smooth. Set a peice of parchement on top of a cutting board or tray (somthing that will fit in your freezer) and place small 1/2 T size dollops the mixture onto the parchement. Place in the freezer for an hour.
Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler or in the microwave for 10second intervals, stirring between each interval.
Once the avocado creme has set in the freezer & your chips are melted, carefully drop the avocado centers into the melted chocolate, one at a time, then place on a clean sheet of parchment. They'll take another minute to set, then are ready to eat! Store in the fridge or freezer.

Banana Cacao Smoothie

1.5 frozen banana
2 T cacao nibs
2 T cacao powder
1 t cinnamon
1 T maca powder
2 c almond milk
1 T real maple syrup
pinch sea salt

Almond Milk
3/4 c raw almonds soaked overnight
pinch sea salt
1/2 vanilla bean
dash real maple syrup

For the Almond Milk:
Soak the almonds in a bowl of water overnight. Drain. Pop the almonds out of their skin. Discard the skin, and toss the white almond centers into a blender. Add 4c water plus the remaining ingredients and blend on super high. Pour the liquid through a fine mesh sieve and discard the almond pulp. Keep the Almond milk in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas

6-8 corn torillas
4 small-med sweet potatoes
1/2 c black beans
1/2 red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 bell pepper, diced
1/3 zucchini, diced
1/2 c broccoli florets
drizzle maple syrup
chipotle powder to taste

Enchilada Sauce
1T GF flour
1T oil
1/2 T cumin
1/4 onion diced
2 cloves garlic minced
1/2 T chili powder, or to taste
1.5-2 c water or broth
3 T Tomato Paste

Coat the tortillas lightly in oil, place in the oven at 350 for 6-8 minutes, remove, cover with a towel and set aside.

Bake the sweet potatoes, with holes poked in them, until soft. Scoop the flesh, mix in the black beans, maple syrup, chipotle powder and set aside.

In a small pan, heat 1 t oil and add the onion, bell pepper & zucchini. Cook for a few minutes, then add the broccoli, garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add this to the sweet potatoes and beans.

For the sauce, in a small pot heat up the oil, and add the flour, cumin, onion, garlic and chili powder. Stir continouisly for 2 minutes then slowly whisk in the liquid and tomato paste, adding a little liquid at a time to thicken the sauce.

Fill the corn tortillas with the sweet potato filling, top with sauce and enjoy.


1 red onion, diced small
1 carrot, shredded
1 stalk celery, diced
1/4 lb green beans, cut into small peices
1 zuchinni, diced
3 cloves garlic
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 can tomato paste
4-5 c vegetable broth
1 c white beans
Italian herbs

Heat 1 T oil in a large pot and add the onion, carrot and celery.  Season with salt and cook until tender, about 5minutes. Then add the green beans and zuchinni and cook for a few additional minutes. Now add the garlic, stir well, cook for an additional minute, then add the tomatoes, paste, broth and white beans. Let this simmer for 30 minutes with a lid on. You can toss in the kale and herbs at the very end.

Shepards Pie

1/2 yellow onion
1 carrot, chopped
1 stick celery, chopped
1 sweet potato
5 radishes cut into quarters
1 zuchinni, chopped into large rounds
1/2 c green beans, chopped
1/2 c frozen sweet peas
2-3 cloves garlic
1 c mushrooms, chopped
2 T tomato paste
1 c cooked lentils
3 russet potatos
coconut oil

Start by peeling the russet potatoes, chopping them into uniform size & dropping them into a pot of salted cool water, then bring to a boil until tender. While the water is coming to a boil prepare the stew. I chopped these veggies into much larger pieces than I would normally use for a soup or a sauce, because I wanted it to be super hearty, like the stews I ate growing up.

Heat about 1 T oil in a pot and add the onion, carrot, sweet potato, radishes and celery. Keep a lid on it, and stir frequently, for about 10 min. If the pot is super dry, add a little water or broth just for moisture. Now add the rest of the vegetables & garlic, 1/2 a cup of water and the tomato paste. Stir well until everything is coated with the tomato paste and put the lid back on. Stir frequently for the next 8-10 minutes.

While the vegetables are cooking you can mash the russets with coconut oil, a bit of water or milk and salt.

Then transfer the vegetables and lentils to an oven safe dish and top them with mashed potatoes. Place in the oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Then broil for 5-10 minutes to brown the tops of the mashed potatoes. Top with scallions and enjoy!

Neat Loaf w mushroom gravy

 Okay. Let me start by saying... I've made a lot of Neatloafs and I'm trying to master a gluten free version. Here are some ingredients I've tried as a base: (..you know, rather than ground beef.)
oat flour, oats, GF breadcrumbs, quinoa flakes, almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, garbanzo beans, pinto beans, lentils, organic TVP.

I've learned a few things. Most of these ingredients tend to really soak up flavor.. so you have to keep adding more seasoning until the batter tastes right. Also, it is best to use several of the above ingredients rather than just 2 or 3 because it add texture.. so rather than eating a bean loaf, oat loaf or lentil loaf.. you're eating a lentil-bean-oat-nut-seed loaf. Got it? When these all bake together the moisture tends to soften everything, so it shouldn't be crunchy or overly soft, but be able to hold its shape and provide a small variety of texture components. I used to add ground flax seeds, because they make a good egg replacer, but I dont think its necessary. Everything will bind regardless, and the flax makes it kind of mushy.

1 c garbanzos
1 c pinto
1 c lentils
3/4 c oats
1 small onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 carrot, shredded
1 c mushrooms, chopped
1/2 bell pepper diced
3 cloves garlic
1/3 c sunflower kernels
1/3 c walnuts
1/2 T cumin
1/2 t coriander
2 T Tamari
1 lemon, juice
salt & pepper
fresh parsley

other additions you may want to try adding: sage, thyme, rosemary, mustard, apple, raisin, vegan Worcestershire.

Sauce to Top
1 part ketchup
1 part apple butter
dash of balsamic vinegar

You can pulse all of this in a food processor until it is coarsely mixed, but not mushy. Don't make a paste!  Taste it. If it doesnt have good flavor now, it may be bland when it is done baking. Chances are it may be a little starchy and bland now, and a lot of the flavors will develop more in the oven.. but still.. dont be afraid to add more tamari, cumin, mustard or herbs. Then stir together the Sauceand set aside.

Line a loaf pan, or whatever your using, with parchment and spray it. Pack in the neatloaf batter & generously top with the sauce. Bake in the oven at 425deg for 40minutes. Sometimes I will pull it out, cut the loaf into 4 or more pieces, then stick the peices back in the oven on a tray (try to stand them up) to crisp up more of the edges.

Hot N Spicy BBQ Kale Chips

2 Bunches Curly Kale
1 c cashews, soaked 1-3 hours
enough water to cover cashews in blender
1.5 cloves garlic
2 T nutritional yeast
1/2 lemon, juiced
chili powder blend to taste
1.5 T maple syrup or honey

Wash and de-stem the Kale, trying to keep the leaves large and intact. Combine the rest of the ingredients into a high powered blender until smooth & creamy. In a large bowl, massage the cashew mixture into the kale, and then place the leaves onto Dehydrator trays.  Its okay to have them overlapping. Overnight in the dehydrator should do it. Try to keep the temp under 120deg to keep the living enzymes intact.
These chips are crispy, crunchy, and absolutely packed with flavor.

Greek Quinoa Salad

I love making salads like this in the winter and fall. You could really use any grain. I use quinoa because it is gluten free, it soaks up flavor so well, and its a fluffy little nutritional powerhouse. Anything that you would put into a regular green-leaf salad, you can chop up & stir into quinoa. Remember to season with salt, pepper, a little citrus or dressing and then let it sit in the fridge overnight.

2 cups cooked quinoa
cherry tomato
red onion
bell pepper
1 T balsamic
3 T hemp oil (or olive)
1/2 t mustard
1/2 t honey
salt & pepper

combine the cooked quinoa with the olives and veggies. Then whisk together the remaining ingredients and stir into the salad. Its best to let this sit overnight to let the flavors soak in. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Italian Tempeh Stuffed Peppers

1/4 onion, diced
1/2 c mushrooms chopped
8 oz package tempeh
1 T fennel seed
1 t dried basil
1 t dried oregano
1/2 t red pepper flakes
1/2 t dried sage
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T tamari
1 T oil
juice of 1/2 a lemon
2 green bell peppers
1 c marinara sauce

Crumble tempeh in a pan with 3/4 c water. Simmer until the water cooks into the tempeh. Add the diced onion and oil and cook for several minutes until the onion is tender. Add the remaining ingredients and cook for another minute or two.  Stir in the marinara sauce and fill halved peppers. Place the peppers in a covered dish with 1/4in water at the bottom. Bake at 350 for 35-40minutes.

Brown Rice Crispy Treats

I discovered this recipe from a fellow Vegan Food Blogger named Angela Liddon. Her site is ohsheglows.com. I really love a lot of her recipes & I think we have a similar cooking style, so I occasionally check in to see what she is up to! I've made a couple substitutions from her original recipe, my rendition is as follows:

1/2 c almond butter (or other nut butter)
1/2 c brown rice syrup
1 fresh vanilla bean or 1 T extract
1 T coconut oil
1/2 t salt
3.5 c Puffed Brown Rice Cereal
chocolate chips, melted, to drizzle

Line an 8 x 8 dish with parchment paper.
In a pot, combine almond butter, brown rice syrup, coconut oil, vanilla bean (just the scraped seeds or extract) and salt. Stir until heated through and well combined.

Remove from heat, transfer to larger bowl and stir in brown rice cereal until completely coated.

Spoon the mixture into the parchment lined dish and push down firmly, so that it fills the pan & has a flat surface. Let it set in the fridge for 30minutes-hour, then cut and drizzle with melted chocolate.

Pistachio Citrus Pad Thai

6 T PB2 (or 4T Peanut Butter)
1/4 c fresh lime juice
1/3 c fresh orange juice
2 T tamari (I always use reduced sodium)
red pepper flakes - to taste
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 t fresh ginger, minced
2 T sesame oil
1 t chili powder

Rice Noodles
bell pepper
1/4 c pistachios, chopped
orange zest
fresh basil, chiffonade

Have you heard of PB2? Its pretty much way cool. PB2 is peanuts that have been smashed into a powder, and most of the oil & fat has been extracted. So you buy it in powder form, rehydrate with water, aaand you have peanut butter. No, its not the same thick & sticky texture you're used to.. but the flavor is there and it spreads. And it contains 85% less fat. So, I'm down with PB2.

Start by re-hydrating the PB2 with a little water, not too much because next you are going to add citrus and tamari. Stir to combine, then set aside.
In a pan or wok, heat the sesame oil and add the onion. Cook for a few minutes, until the onion is soft & transparent, then add ginger, garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook for an additional minute, then stir in the peanut-citrus-tamari mixture. Add the chili powder. It should thicken pretty quickly. If it is too thick, then ass a touch more water, a little at a time until your desired sauce consistency is achieved.

You can cook Rice Noodles like regular pasta, they just dont need as much time. 6 minutes should do it. Make sure you stir them often, or else they'll stick together.

I like to blanch or steam my broccoli and lightly saute the bell pepper. Toss the noodles in the peanut sauce, top with the veggies, scallions, orange zest, basil, pistachio and serve.

Falafel Bites

2.5 c cooked chickpeas
1 small red onion, chopped
1/4 c fresh parsley
2 T fresh cilantro, chopped
2 T oregano, dry (or 1/4 c fresh)
1 lemon, juiced
1 t cumin, ground
1/2 t coriander, ground
1 t salt
fresh black pepper
1 1/2 t baking soda
1/4 c + 2 T chickpea flour

Preheat oven to 400

Combine everything except the baking soda and chickpea flour into a food processor. Pulse until combined, but do NOT make a paste. You definitely want to leave some texture. Trust me. After many falafel trials... please, don't make a paste. Cool? Okay. Carry on.

So, transfer to a large bowl, and mix in the flour and baking soda. Line a sheet tray with parchment paper, then lightly spray it or rub it down with oil. Now, you can start pattying the batter into small rounds, and lining them on the try. I also lightly rub the patties with a little oil.

Bake for 10 minutes, flip, then bake for another 10minutes. Awesome!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Jamaican Garlic & Greens Soup

I Love this soup! But, the recipe isn't mine. I first had it last fall, when my friend Marlene brought a pot to a potluck. Marlene is an amazing woman, an incredible chef and one of my favorite classmates from Culinary school. She is from Jamaica and this is a vegetarian version of a classic soup she learned to make growing up. I think it is perfect aaany time of year, and is especially great if you haven't been feeling well. The nutrient rich spicy broth is very comforting, healing and freaking delicious.

The reason I remembered the soup is because I recently happened to have 1/2 gallon of gorgeous, roasted garlic, spinach broth and a need to use it up. I've been making lasagna for a local restaurant and this broth is a by-product of the spinach-garlic filling. I cook 4lbs of spinach with 2 yellow onions and lots of garlic. Afterwards I drain this garlicky green goodness & am left with a thick & incredibly delicious broth. I thought... soup is a must! I better ask Marlene for her recipe! This is my version of the recipe she gave me. I only made slight changes to adjust to ingredients I had available to me. Thank you Marlene!!

2.5 quarts vegetable broth
1 T coconut oil
1 small- medium onion
1 t cumin seeds
2 c diced okra
4-5 sprigs fresh thyme
1 T arrowroot powder
2 bay leaves
1 habanero, punctured
1/2 t cinnamon
1-2 t ground coriander
1/2 bunch kale leave, chopped fine
4 c spinach leaves, chopped fine

Heat the coconut oil in a large pot. Add the onion, cumin, okra, thyme and bay leaves. Once the onion and okra are tender stir in the arrowroot powder (you could also use kudzu or cornstarch) then pour in the broth. Add the habanero (punctured w a for twice) and bring to a boil. I kept the lid on, so that the soup didnt reduce down too much. Once the okra is falling apart add the remaining ingredients and simmer for an additional 15-20 minutes. My friend explained to me that the greens should be melting into the soup. You could add the kale earlier in the recipe, when you add the broth, because it will take longer to break down.

She also adds dumplings. Brilliant! I love dumpling, but am gluten free so I am trying the soup with mochi dumplings. Mochi is dried rice paste. sounds yummy, right? Well, when you stick mochi in the oven it puffs up & is a great dumpling substitute. My favorite use for mochi is to make waffles! Here is a link to the last time I made mochi waffles.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Tempeh Grapple Salad

1/2 c thick Cashew Cream*
1 t honey
1 clove garlic grated
1 T lemon juice
1.5 T poppy seeds

1 package tempeh
1 apple, very small dice
1 celery stalk, small dice
1 heaping T shallots, minced
handful of grapes, cut in half

for the Tempeh.
3/4 c water or oil
2 T soysauce or tamari
2 T balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
1 T minced onion

I like to season and steam my tempeh before using it. It has a great nutty, mushroomy flavor on its own, and you can enhance these savory flavors by following these simple steps. To save on fat I used water instead of oil in this marinade. You could do either. Whisk the ingredients together & bake the tempeh in this marinade at 350 for 15-20minutes. Turn it a few times while its cookin. Allow to cool before chopping & mixing into the salad.

Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl. Then combine the salad ingredients in a medium bowl. Gently stir the dressing into the salad ingredients until they coated. Enjoy this salad on a bed of greens, on bread, crackers, or on its own. This is a serious crowd pleaser! It'd be a great item for a picnic or potluck. Enjoy!

*I use cashew creme as a base quite often. Here it is being used as a thick, smooth & creamy substitute for mayonaise. Use the recipe for cashew milk, but use significantly less water. 1 part water + 1 part cashew in a high speed blender = thick cashew creme.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Turnip Root Soup

 Parsley Garlic Aioli
1/2 c thick cashew cream
splash lemon juice
1 t honey
pinch nutritional yeast
5 cloves roasted garlic
handful parsley

Also garnished with Shiitake Bacon, Carrot Shoestrings & Scallions
         shittakes are sliced thin, tossed in salt, oil then baked to a crisp
         carrot shoestings are julienned, then pan fried

You can also garnish with your favorite teriyaki sauce

Turnip Root Soup
8 small-med turnips
2 parnips
6 gold petite potatoes (or 2 medium Yukon golds)
salt & oil to coat the roots
3 c vegetable broth
1 c milk (I used cashew)
1 small yellow onion
3 cloves garlic
1 t thyme
1 t rosemary
1 bayleaf


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Popscicle Bliss

Chances are if you know me well or have spent much time in my kitchen you know that my ice cube tray never gets used for making ... ice. Normally they're used for freezing soup stocks, broths, pesto, citrus juice, herbs and most recently these beauties.

Balsamic Berry Banana
I started these by making a jam.
Strawberries, raspberries and blueberries into a pot. Add a pinch of salt, a squeeze of lemon and a splash of balsamic vinegar and let it reduce. Let it cool, mash with banana and spoon into your tray.

Chocolate Banana
Straight up cocoa powder and mashed banana. I added a touch of maple syrup for good measure.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana
I've been buying PB2 lately. Have you heard of it? Basically they smash the oil (fat) out of the peanuts and dry the nuts into a powder. You rehydrate the powder into a paste.. now you've got peanut butter w 85% less fat & calories. I totally dig it.
For these pops I made the above choco-banana recipe plus PB2. so easy.

Seed Crackers


  I love having a stocked pantry!
Its super important to me to keep a good
inventory of nuts, seeds, grains, beans and more.
This recipe is a good example why.
I stopped eating bread about a year ago and now I find myself craving a vehicle for spreads & building sandwiches & such. For the time being, these crackers have conquered my craving.

In a large bowl combine equal parts of seeds. In the above photo I have about 2 handfuls each of pumpkin, sesame, sunflower, flax & chia. Chopped nuts would also work. The flax & chia are the most important, because once they get wet they will act like glue to bind the other ingredients together. You dont have to have both, one or the other would be just fine.

 Get 'em wet and season 'em up. Use garlic, onion, dulse, soysauce, herbs.. what have you. The flax and chia soak up water & become a bit sticky or mucilaginous. Go easy with the water, obviously you don't want to add too much, after a couple minutes it should all be soaked up & you can spread the mix in an even layer onto a baking sheet.

Make sure you spray the foil or parchment paper before you spread the seeds. Bake at 325 for 20-25 minutes, flip or break up into smaller peices, then bake another 10-15 minutes. Let it sit out to cool then it'll break into nice rustic chunks. 

This afternoon I enjoyed the crackers with banana, homemade almond butter & concord grape jam. One of my best friends, Billie, made the jam early this fall. Thanks Billie. It's AWESOME!

Kitchen Sink Salad

I totally almost drove to Chipotle for a salad today. As I sat around and considered this option, I realized there was more than enough good stuff to make lunch right here at home. When you've got greens, plus a reasonably well stocked pantry and fridge you've alwaaays got the goods for a healthy salad. Some items I always have to choose from are dried fruit, nuts, seeds & random produce.

Today's Lunch
Spring Mix
Bell Pepper
frozen Peas
frozen Corn
Sunflower Seeds

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Taco Salad

Buttermylk Ranch
1/2 c thick cashew milk*
1.5 t lemon juice
1 small clove garlic grated
1 T scallions, minced
1 t paprika
salt & pepper

whisk the ingredients together and let em sit for at least 20 minutes.
*here is my recipe for cashew milk. for a thicker milk add much less water. try 1 part cashews 1.5-2 parts water. 

Walnut Taco Meat
1 c walnuts, soaked 2 hours
1 t chili powder
1/2 t cumin
few pinches cayenne
2 t hemp oil

drain & rinse the walnuts. throw em in the food processor with the seasonings & salt. drizzle in the oil as the machine is running. Once you're happy with the texture of ground walnuts (should look a bit like ground beef) it is ready to go!

 For lunch today (and dinner last night!) I loaded lettuce, bell peppers, tomatoes, guacamole, plus a little salsa with the walnut taco meat & my Ranch dressing. It was suuuper good. Just go easy on the guac & salsa or else your salad could get goopy. And who wants goop? enjoy!

Granola with Cinnaroll Sauce

Send help! I can't.. stop... eating.. GrAnOla!! Actually, this happens about once a year... I should be able to get through it. As long as I stay hydrated & eat my greens, then granola 2-3times a day can't do any harm. Hey, its probably more whole grains & fiber than many people get a day. There ya go, I justified it. Easy.

3 c rolled oats
1/2 c raisins
1/2 c coconut
3/4 c chopped walnuts
1/2 c chopped pecans
1.5 T cinnamon
pinch sea salt

Cinnaroll Sauce
Maple Syrup 3/4 c
Dates 10-12 pitted
1/4 c water
1/2 T cinnamon
1 vanilla bean
2T Coconut oil
pinch sea salt
pinch nutmeg

Place all of the Granola ingredients into a large bowl. All of the Sauce ingredients go into a high-speed blender. Once the Sauce is creamy smooth, pour 1/2 of it onto the dry granola ingredients. Save the rest because it is freaking awesome.. and if you don't eat it all w a spoon right away, you'll find many ways to enjoy it over the next few days.

Heat the Oven to 300. Mix the sauce into the oat mixture well. Then spread it out onto a baking sheet in an even layer. Bake the mix for 25minutes, stirring a couple times. If it still seems a little wet, no worries, once it cools down it will crisp up.

I've been eating this granola with fresh banana & cashew milk. In the above photo its served with almond yogurt, cinnaroll sauce and a baked banana. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Homemade Pumpkin Butter -low sugar

I am so excited about this! I'm excited about Autumn in Missouri, leaves on the ground, the drop in temperature aaaand local fall produce. The garden has been turned down, the house decorated, pantry stocked, we're ready for winter. My mind has been racing with the flavor possibilities this season has to offer.

I first tried pumpkin butter a few years ago while working at the Root Cellar in Columbia, MO. It drove me wild. I needed another jar almost immediately. At the time I was eating dairy, and spread it on cream cheese. It was near perfection. Now, as a lactose-intolerant vegan food enthusiast I am looking forward to more creative ways to delight in my beloved pumpkin spread.

Makes 5 cups

2 pie pumpkins (also called sugar pumpkins)
2T pumpkin pie spice (blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice & ginger)
1/2 c apple juice or water
1/2 c coconut sugar (or what have you)
1 t stevia
2T maple syrup

Start by roasting 2 pie pumpkins. You can follow my simple instructions by clicking here.
Take all the flesh from the pumpkin and puree it. For this step you can use a high-speed blender, food processor, immersion blender or food mill. Any of these will work fine.

Transfer the pureed pumpkin to a pot and stir in the remaining ingredients. Simmer on low, with a lid tilted so that steam can escape, for 2 hours.Stir the pot about every 10 minutes or so.

Look forward to upcoming posts about different ways to use the pumpkin butter! I'm thinking I'll use this in a smoothie with almond milk, spread on toast or a tortilla with banana, stirred into my morning oatmeal, and as a dip for pears. You could also spread it onto baked goods like a bagel or muffin, it'd be delicious on pancakes or waffles.. use your imagination! I'm sure once its in your fridge you'll find all kinds of excuses to eat it. Enjoy

These are the sweeteners I used: Coconut Sugar, Maple syrup and Stevia.

This is my first time using Stevia. I am very interested in cutting back on sugar in my diet, especially since I eat so much fruit & have no interest in cutting back on that! I decided not to use Stevia as my ONLY sweetener in this recipe because I am new to it and I understand that it can result in a bitter flavor.

Coconut Palm Sugar is a minimally processed, highly nutritious and sustainabily harvested sweetener. What more could you want?? Maybe some maple syrup...? yeah. me too.

How To: Roasting Pumpkins

The pumpkins I'm using are called pie pumkins or sugar pumpkins. They're really the best for any recipe, rather than using big pumpkins. These guys have a much more bold pumpkin flavor. These are'nt the tiny guys that sit in the palm of your hand.. or the big honkers that you carve into jack-o-lanterns.. sugar pumpkins are somewhere in the middle. Quite simply, they're adorable.

 Yes! This is sooo much funnn. I neglected to take before pictures. So imagine this... two perfectly firm, ripe, bright orange pumpkins sitting on the kitchen counter just WAITING to be roasted.

 Turn the oven on to 400degrees. Stab the pumpkins a couple times with a very sharp knife. Be careful! And you reaaally got to stab it. Theres no messing around with these guys, they're tough. So stand back, take aim and swing. Then place them on a baking sheet and into the oven for an hour. By that time they'll become very soft & start to deflate. Now they're roasted.

 Cool them off! I roasted my pumpkins this morning while I was getting ready for work. Then I transfered them to another tray, covered with foil and stuck em in the fridge. By the time I got home they were so cool and soft I could easily poke my finger right through the skin.

 This is the best part. They peel so easily! The skin literally separates from the flesh and peels right off.

Chop em in half. Scoop out them seeds.
I pureed the flesh in my high-speed Vita-Mix blender. You could also puree it in a food processor, a food mill or with an immersion blender. NOW.. you can make pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin butter, bread, muffins, pasta, rissotto, oatmeal, soup, pie, bars, smoothies, ice cream...... YES!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Keep Juicing, Keep Loving

 Daikon Radish, Mint, Cucumber, Lime, Parsley, Celery. Apple, Cilantro,Spinach, Wheatgrass

 Apple, Yellow Beet, Orange, Ginger, Carrot

This post is to give an example of juices you'll make when you have the primary ingredients stocked in your fridge. Other produce that you happen to have on hand keeps things exciting and adds depth & nutrition to your drinks.

Here is a list of items I always keep on hand

Saturday, August 18, 2012

More Green Smoothies make you feel so good

Mango, Blueberry, Goji, Kale, Peach, Spinach, Orange, Coconut water

Spinach, Honeydew, Blueberry, Goji, Kiwi, Kale, Coconut water