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Posts Tagged ‘vegetables’

Spicy Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpeas with Pine Nuts

I know that I always carry on about my love of pasta on here, but you’d be surprised to know that for as much love as I have for those delicious carbs, I have an equal and unrelenting love for vegetables. I honestly cannot think of a vegetable that I don’t love. I love them raw, steamed, grilled, roasted, it doesn’t matter. After traveling and eating at restaurants, where many times the serving of vegetables on your plate, if they even give you one, is so tiny you can’t tell if it is an inedible garnish or a side dish, I come home with a craving for anything green, leafy or with a stem. One of my favorite things is to go to the farmers market and pick out new vegetables that I have never tried before and experiment with ways to cook them. This past Saturday we grabbed some of the usuals at the market, arugula, tomatoes, swiss chard, cauliflower plus this time I also bought a purple cauliflower, butter beets and a large bunch of perpetual spinach. The perpetual spinach and butter beets were both brought home for juicing and I haven’t yet decided what to do with the purple cauliflower, I will probably just make this dish again. After looking at all of those delicious veggies at the market, I wanted to come home and make a delicious vegetable feast for lunch, so I decided on this.

I love roasted cauliflower, even on its own with just olive oil, salt and pepper, it is so delicious. Add in one of my other favorites, chickpeas and you have a winner. Together with the spices, the high heat and a little olive oil, it gets beautifully browned, caramelized and it has a wonderful nutty and sweet flavor. This dish was inspired by all of the delicious spices I have been cooking with on this cleanse and I added in chickpeas for protein and fiber and the pine nuts for a nutty crunch, which I am a big fan of. We served this as a main dish, with nothing else so we ended up with 2 big servings, with a small amount leftover. This would be good just as side dish or for a real hearty meal, you could serve it over some brown rice, quinoa or even with some pasta.

 

Spicy Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpeas with Pine Nuts

 

Spicy Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpeas with Pine Nuts
Serves 2 to 4

1 medium head organic cauliflower (about 2 pounds), cut into large florets
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 cups cooked organic chickpeas, drained and rinsed if canned
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
1 teaspoon whole mustard seeds
1 teaspoon finely minced, peeled fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1-2 small red chiles, finely chopped, seeds removed for less heat (I used some dried korean heirloom red chiles from my garden)

Preheat the oven to 450º.

Place the cauliflower, chickpeas and pine nuts on a large rimmed baking sheet. Add the spices, fresh ginger and garlic, salt and red chiles. Drizzle olive oil evenly over everything and toss gently to combine. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes tossing occasionally to ensure even cooking, bake until edges are golden brown, and the cauliflower is slightly tender,

Serve on its own, as a side dish or over rice for an entrée.

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Vegan, Gluten-free Fettucini Alfredo

I have fully admitted to my love-affair with pasta on this blog, many times. It is something I cannot live without and is almost always included in my weekly menu planning. Not only are pasta dishes simple and fun to create but they can easily be made with ingredients you have in the pantry and your refrigerator and many times can easily be made healthy. Even with the healthiest of pasta recipes, to me it is a major comfort food, it always will be. Probably the number 1 comfort food on my list.

Although I am on a cleanse, I wanted to make sure to experiment with at least one cleanse-friendly pasta dish. Of course, as I mentioned in my post about my cleanse, there are many different types of cleanses out there and many different items you can remove from your diet when cleansing. Obviously this recipe may not work on every cleanse. For me already being on a totally gluten-free diet, removing gluten when cleansing is never a major hassle or issue, but it is very important to a cleanse and to detoxify your body. For me one of the biggest things I like to remove from my diet while cleansing is dairy. I am not a milk drinker and I rarely cook with it, but cheese is what gets me. I love cheese. So with that in mind, I wanted to come up with a cleanse-friendly pasta dish that would bring the comfort of any other gluten-free pasta dish I would make, but with cleanse friendly ingredients.

I love gluten-free pastas and find them to be much lighter compared to traditional wheat-based pastas. I personally prefer brown rice pastas and I love Tinkyada brand organic pastas. They have three or less ingredients, organic brown rice, rice bran and water. That’s it. When I cleanse the majority of what I eat is fresh vegetables, legumes and whole grains – I certainly cannot go without pasta. Brown rice pasta falls within the constraints of my cleanse and though I don’t eat a ton of it, a dish like this is a perfect way to forget you are even cleansing at all. If you don’t care much for brown rice pasta, there are also corn and quinoa based gluten-free pastas that are also quite delicious, as well.

I decided when making this alfredo sauce rather than trying to experiment with different nut milks, which I knew wouldn’t give me the thick and creamy affect of an alfredo sauce, I would go the route of a raw nut based sauce. Cashews tend to be great for this. Even without excessive soaking, you can just add boiling hot water to cashews just before pureeing and get a delicious creamy sauce. I took the above photo the next day with the leftovers, since it was too dark to take photos the night we ate it. I honestly don’t think the image fully captures just how creamy the sauce really is, it is incredible. There isn’t an overwhelming nutty flavor to the sauce and by adding garlic, basil and some nutritional yeast, it’s very hard to tell that it is even dairy free. Beyond nutritional yeast’s nutty and cheesy flavor, is a great source of protein and fiber, it is rich in B-complex vitamins including B12 and it contains the glucose tolerance factor that helps in the regulation of blood sugar. If you are a vegetarian or vegan, it is definitely worth exploring adding it into your diet.

The beauty of this sauce is that it doesn’t actually need to be heated up, so if you like to eat raw, you could skip heating it up, use your favorite alternative raw noodle, like thinly sliced raw zucchini (or other raw vegetables), kelp noodles, etc and just pour the raw cashew cream sauce right over for a delicious and healthy raw meal.

I had some beautiful zucchini and yellow squash that we picked up at a farmers stand on our drive home from NYC so I added that and a carrot to the dish for some additional health-benefits as well as the very lovely colors. You could play around with many different vegetables here including fresh spinach, peas, etc.

I had a small amount of sauce leftover that I put in the fridge, I figured it would be delicious on some steamed broccoli or over a baked potato, etc. I have a feeling you will fall in love with this healthy alfredo sauce.

Soaking raw cashews for Vegan, Gluten-free Fettucini Alfredo

Veggies for Vegan, Gluten-free Fettucini Alfredo

Vegan, Gluten-Free Fettucine Alfredo
serves 6

1 1/2 cups raw, unsalted organic cashews
3 cloves garlic
1 cup warm water (you may need more)
3 teaspoons nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
14 ounces of your favorite gluten-free fettucine or linguini, I use Tinkyada’s organic brown rice pasta
handful of fresh basil, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 zucchini, julienned
1 yellow squash, julienned
1 carrot, peeled, julienned (or you can wash and peel the outside, then peel the entire carrot instead of julienning it, which is what I did)
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Place the raw cashews in a glass bowl, cover in water. Let soak as little as a few hours or overnight.

In a large saucepan bring your water to a boil and cook your pasta according to package directions.

Drain the soaked cashews and rinse well, place into your food processor with garlic, salt, pepper and 1 cup of water. You may find you need to add more water if the sauce is too thick, but you can always add more. Process until smooth and creamy. Once it is at your desired consistency, add in the nutritional yeast, pulse a few times to combine. Set aside until you are ready to heat it up.

While your pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a skillet over a medium-high heat, add your julienned vegetables and sauté a few minutes until tender. Remove from heat.

Once the pasta is cooked, reserve 1/2 cup of your cooking liquid, drain and place in a large serving dish. Pour the alfredo sauce into the saucepan you used to cook your pasta and heat over a medium heat, stirring often to keep from sticking. Once warm, pour over the pasta.

Add the vegetables and fresh basil to the pasta and sauce. Toss to combine, adding some of the pasta cooking liquid if the sauce is too thick. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately, topped with freshly chopped basil and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast, if you wish.

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Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie with Lentils and Goat Cheese

We rarely go out to eat anymore, we try to cook and eat at home most of the time and reserve going out to eat for special occasions. We seem to enjoy it so much more. One of my favorite things about going out to eat has always been when I find a dish I really think has potential but it just isn’t quite there, I love coming home and recreating the dish the way I would like it. On the flip side, when you are out and have the perfect dish, everything is just right, I love to still come home and recreate it my way, keeping the integrity of the elements and ingredients that made me fall in love in the first place. This past week our good friends from Toronto, Ben and Esther came up for the day and we went out for dinner. We took them to Betty’s, a wonderful home-style but eclectic restaurant in the neighborhood where our store is. Betty’s has a large menu that features local and seasonal ingredients and dishes that warm your soul just reading about them. I ordered their Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie that had a bit of a goat cheese crust on top. I had never had goat cheese on a shepherd’s pie and it was so perfect. Everything about theirs was delightful, so much so that I found myself recreating it just a mere 3 days later.

What I love most about this dish, besides how delicious it is, is the fact that you can totally make and assemble it a day or two ahead of time and hold off on the baking. It is perfect for a busy week like we are in the midst of this week. I made it all on Sunday, waited for it to cool, popped it in the fridge and pulled it out the next night. I also love how many meals it yields for the two of us, we’ve been enjoying it all week for lunches.

This dish is so hearty and it is the perfect belly-warming meal for a cold winter night. The lentils provide as much protein as any meat that would traditionally be in a shepherd’s pie and it has an incredible amount of healthy goodies in it. You can easily make this vegan by substituting a non-dairy milk and a non-dairy butter in the mashed potatoes and skipping the goat cheese.

Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie with Lentils and Goat Cheese
Serves 6-8

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 red onions, peeled and diced
2-3 organic carrots, peeled and chopped
2 stalks of organic celery, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
a small bunch of fresh rosemary
1 small bunch of fresh parsley
1 cup of dry organic lentil beans
1 28-ounce can of organic diced tomatoes
6-8 organic baby potatoes, peels on, halved and sliced
1 cup frozen organic green peas

2lbs potatoes, peeled and diced
1 large whole clove of garlic, peeled
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup whole organic local milk (use non-dairy milk if vegan)
2 tablespoons organic butter (use vegan butter substitute like Earth Balance if vegan)
3 ounces goat cheese, crumbled (skip if vegan)
1 fresh nutmeg, for grating

Prepare the lentils. Add 1 cups of lentils to a few cups of water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and allow to boil approximately 30-45 minutes until cooked. Once the lentils are cooked, drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, chop and prepare all of your vegetables. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over a medium-high heat, add in the onions, celery and carrots. Saute for about 8-10 minutes, then add in the minced garlic, saute another 2 minutes. Add in your cooked lentils, fresh herbs, tomatoes and their juice, potatoes and salt and pepper to taste. Allow the mixture to simmer approximately 30-45 minutes until the veggies are no longer hard and it is nice and thick. Add in the frozen peas when there is about 10 minutes of cooking left.

While your filling is cooking, peel and dice your potatoes (if they are small/medium sized, quartered are perfect), bring the potatoes to a boil in a large pot with the clove of garlic and a bit of salt, boil for 10-15 minutes until they are soft. Remove the pan from the heat and drain. Pour in approximately a 1/2 cup of milk to start (you can add more as needed), the butter and a sprinkle of kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. Mash by hand, with a ricer or with a hand mixer.

If you are going to cook and eat the shepherd’s pie right away, preheat your oven to 375º. Transfer the lentil mixture to a large 9″ x 13″ glass baking dish, spoon the mashed potato mixture on top and spread it evenly. Crumble the goat cheese over the top of the entire dish and sprinkle with fresh ground nutmeg. Cook for 30 minutes or until golden and bubbling. Scoop a large portion onto each plate, garnish with a sprig of rosemary and a sprinkle of fresh nutmeg. Serve.

If you are making this ahead and plan to eat it the next day, hold off on the goat cheese, allow it to cool, cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate up to a day or two. Sprinkle the goat cheese on just before baking. Baking time will increase when coming from a cool refrigerator, it may take more like 45 minutes.

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Shredded Brussel Sprouts

I am a huge fan of brussels sprouts, always have been. For some reason, getting one of those huge stalks at the farmers market, is one my favorite things in the world. There is something about that beautiful green stalk peaking out of your canvas bag, that feels so right. I had big stalk that I grabbed while I was at the market and I couldn’t decide what to do with it. I absolutely love oven roasted brussels sprouts, but I always prepare them that way, I wanted to do something different. So after a little looking around, I came across many many recipes for sautéed shredded brussels sprouts. This sounded perfect. I was also very happy to discover that my amazing food processor, has an attachment for shredding. Who knew? That made shredding all the brussels sprouts, a breeze, it took me far longer to cut each one off of the stalk then to shred them all.

I didn’t have a large and deep enough skillet to cook the amount that I had, so I just used a large pot. The key is to get whatever pan you are using hot, but not too hot. If the heat is too high, you will cook them too fast. You want them tender, with a tad bit of a brown crisp to the outside. I found that since I had so many sprouts and I was cooking them in a pot rather than a skillet, the key was to keep stirring them around, so they wouldn’t just sit there and steam, only the bottom ones getting browned. Stirring allowed them to cook evenly and for all them to brown up nicely.

This is definitely going to be a winter side dish staple in our house. Perfect with so many different meals and I promise, even those that swear they hate brussels sprouts, would enjoy this. Looking to add a little meat? A bit of smoked ham, bacon or pancetta would be beautiful with this.

Sautéed Brussel Sprouts with Toasted Walnuts and Cranberries

Sautéed Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Walnuts and Dried Currants
serves 6-8

2 pounds brussels sprouts
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large garlic clove, minced
Coarse kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted, chopped
1/2 cup dried currants

Trim root ends from brussels sprouts. Using sharp knife or processor fitted with coarse shredding disk, thinly slice brussels sprouts into shreds. (This can be done one day ahead, cover and chill)

Heat olive oil in large deep skillet (or large pot) over medium heat. Add garlic; stir 30 seconds. Add brussels sprouts; sauté until crisp-tender but still bright green, 5 to 7 minutes. Season with coarse salt and black pepper. Transfer to serving bowl. Toss with toasted walnuts and dried currants. Serve.

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Mexican Frittata

Andrea and I decided on a whim to whip up this Mexican Frittata the last morning we were all together at the beach house and I have to say, I am super impressed with how it came out for completely winging it. I really love cooking for people, I could have stayed at the beach house another week and just continued to cook, enjoy that view and relax. Unfortunately, that wasn’t possible, we leave again in a few days for Seattle, then Chicago. I guess we will have to just make this a yearly trip, then.

My measurements are not exact on some of this, we were trying to use up a lot of the food we had on hand from the week at the beach. I only used half of a green pepper and 11 eggs, because that’s what we had. You can definitely improvise with frittatas, use what you have on hand and get creative. There really are no wrong ingredients. Frittatas are a great way to make breakfast for a large group of people with very little effort. For us, it was a great way to put a lot of the fresh leftover ingredients to good use. I had some ground pork breakfast sausage from Sojourner Farms that I really wanted to make something with, so we came up with the idea to do a Mexican inspired frittata.

Later that same day, we took a trip out to Sojourner to pick up our chickens for the rest of the season, it was so awesome to be able to show our friends the farm where a lot of the food they ate over the week came from and introduce them to the man who grows it all. We even got to meet and pet a bunch of the pigs. Pierre took us around and we really got to spend some quality time on the land. I really cannot recommend enough that you find a pasture-raised farm close by you, that you truly love, that raises safe, healthy and natural animals. Sojourner Farms has pasture-raised chickens, pork, beef and eggs, he also raises bees and makes honey. We are so lucky that it is a short trip to get there and we are rewarded with supporting a sustainable farmer who raises his animals from birth to market and has a great love not only for his practice and the animals, but also for the land he raises them on. It is so important to see where your food comes from and how it is raised. Find a grass-fed farm near you using Eat Wild

Sam and Black at Sojourner Farms

This is Sam and Black from Sojourner Farms, they are huge lovable adults used for breeding.

Mexican Frittata
serves 8

3/4 lb ground breakfast sausage, I use pastured-raised, antibiotic and hormone free, pork breakfast sausage from Sojourner Farms
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
1/2 green pepper, diced
1 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced
1 small yellow squash, halved lengthwise and sliced
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons butter
12 fresh farm eggs, I use brown eggs from Painted Meadows Farms
1 cup mexican blend cheeses, grated (Monterey Jack, Cheddar, Colby, etc)
1 cup of halved cherry tomatoes
2 or 3 scallions, sliced thinly
1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped

Heat large oven-safe non-stick skillet (or cast iron skillet) over medium heat until hot, add sausage and cook until browned. Remove the sausage from the pan and drain off most of the liquid, leave a bit and add olive oil. Once hot again, add garlic and shallot, cook and stir until tender. Add in green pepper, zucchini, squash and red pepper flakes, stir and sauté until tender, about 5-10 minutes. Drain off any excess liquid. Whisk eggs, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the sausage and butter to the vegetable mixture in the skillet, allow the butter to melt. Add the beaten eggs to the skillet, fold gently to combine. Allow the eggs to begin to set. With a spatula, lift up an edge of the frittata and tilt the skillet to allow the uncooked mixture to flow to the bottom of the pan. Continue to lift until the egg on top is barely runny. Top the frittata with the halved cherry tomatoes, sprinkle with grated cheese and slide the skillet into the oven. Bake the frittata until it is firm to the touch, about 5-10 minutes. Slide the frittata out of the pan onto a serving platter, top with red pepper flakes, sliced scallions, chopped cilantro and a bit of kosher salt, cut into 8 wedges. We served a bit of salsa verde on the side.

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