Friday, October 31, 2014

Asian Edamame Salad

1 head cabbage, preferably purple, shredded
1 cup shelled edamame
4 carrots, cut into matchsticks
1 red bell pepper, cut into matchsticks
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 piece ginger (2-inch), grated
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbs white miso
2 Tbs sesame oil
1/4 cup rice vinegar

1) In a small bowl, whisk together the ginger, garlic, miso, sesame oil and rice vinegar.
2) Combine all remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Add dressing and toss to coat.

Review: I couldn't find purple cabbage and subbed in the smallest head of cabbage I've ever seen. Despite it's small size, I had a ginormous salad that made 8-10 servings. Eek!! Mike had a bowl, but the rest was all on me. Luckily, it was tasty. It didn't have a very exotic flavor, but was more of an Asian inspired coleslaw.

Adapted from:

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Miso-Lime Sweet Potato Dip

2 medium sweet potatoes
2 Tbs white miso paste
2 Tbs lime juice
1 tsp grated fresh ginger

1) Pierce sweet potatoes with fork and microwave 7 to 10 minutes, or until soft (or bake 1 hour in 400F oven). Cool sweet potatoes 10 minutes, or until easy to handle, and then halve and coarsely chop (leave skins on).
2) Transfer chopped sweet potatoes to food processor, add remaining ingredients and pulse until smooth, adding up to 2 Tbs water, if necessary to achieve desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Review: This was pretty tangy, which I wasn't expecting. It was filling and had an exotic taste. However, I wasn't wowed and wouldn't make it again.

Adapted from:

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Broccoli Raab with Spicy Almond-Miso Dressing

1 lb broccoli raab, ends trimmed
3 Tbs almond butter
1 Tbs rice vinegar
2 Tbs sweet white miso
1 tsp chile-garlic sauce

1) Bring 2 inches of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add broccoli raab, cover pan, and cook 4 minutes. Turn with tongs and cook 4 minutes more, or until bright green and tender. Drain, then cool.
2) Whisk together almond butter, 2 Tbs water, vinegar, miso and chile-garlic sauce in a small bowl. Pour dressing over broccoli raab and toss to distribute evenly.

Review: Every time I make a "dressing" with miso or almond butter, the directions always say "pour" it on. However, mine is NEVER pourable. I had a double whammy tonight, since it had both miso and almond butter. So, I clumped it on and consciously scooped a bit of dressing with every forkful of broccoli raab. It worked for me. The dressing was unbelievably delicious, just on it's own. It was savory, with just a hint of sweetness and spicy heat. This, combined with the sharp bitterness of the broccoli raab was just heavenly.

Adapted from:

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Roasted Cauliflower & Kale Salad with Miso Dressing

1 large head of cauliflower, chopped into florets
1 bunch of kale
4 Tbs olive oil, divided
1 Tbs apple cider vinegar
2 Tbs white miso paste
1 Tbs lemon juice
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

1) Preheat oven to 415F. Spray a baking sheet with olive oil. Spread out cauliflower florets and spray with olive oil. Roast in oven for 20-30 minutes, until browned.
2) In a large bowl, place kale, 2 Tbs olive oil and apple cider vinegar. Use hands to massage oil and vinegar into kale, until leaves turn bright green and begin to soften.
3) In a small bowl, whisk together 2 Tbs olive oil, white miso paste and lemon juice.
4) To serve, place kale in a bowl, top with cauliflower, drizzle miso dressing over the salad and garnish with pine nuts.

Review: This recipe originally called for tossing the cauliflower in the miso dressing and then roasting. However, the last time I tried that, it lost the miso flavor and everything tended to burn. So, I tried to make a dressing. It wouldn't thin out, so once I put some dressing in the bowl, I tossed it all and it worked ok. White miso has a sweeter flavor than regular miso. It also costs several dollars more!! I like the new flavor and it was a great addition to the flavors of kale and cauliflower. I still have quite a bit of white miso and will be using it the rest of the week!!

Adapted from:

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Spicy Corn Chowder

2 Tbs olive oil
1 stalk celery, diced
2 yellow potatoes, diced
2 1/2 cups frozen sweet corn
1/2 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, diced
1 bay leaf
2 cups vegetable broth
13.5oz can coconut milk
1 Tbs chopped fresh parsley

1) Heat oil in large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add celery and saute 5 minutes, or until soft.
2) Add potatoes, corn, chipotle chile, bay leaf and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil and cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
3) Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 10-15 minutes, until potatoes are tender. Remove bay leaf.
4) Stir in coconut milk and parsley. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Review: I used a whole chipotle pepper and a few spoonfuls of the adobo sauce from the can. So, my chowder was REALLY spicy. It was so good, but hard to manage at work as I looked like I had been crying after eating this! It's full of flavor and very filling, however. Adjust the spices to your own comfort level.

Adapted from:

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Pozole Rojo

5 large dried guajillo or ancho chilies, toasted
2 cups warm water
5 cloves garlic
2 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp olive oil
8 oz tempeh, chopped
2 tsp soy sauce
29oz can hominy, drained
1 zucchini, chopped
1 Tbs dried oregano
2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp salt

1) Soak chilies in the water for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove chilies but hang on to the water. Cut off chili tops, remove seeds and chop the chilies. Blend them in a blender with garlic, cocoa powder and pepper water, until well blended.
2) Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add tempeh and saute 3 minutes. Flavor with soy sauce.
3) Add hominy, zucchini, oregano, cumin and salt. Stir together, then add chili-garlic sauce. Toss it around so everything is well coated. Cover and let simmer for 10 minutes.

Review: This was such a cooking disaster! The directions said to make the chili-garlic sauce in a food process or blender. I put it in the food processor and much of the water gushed out of the back of my food processor, where the lid and bowl connect. It was such a mess. Mike helped me transfer it to a blender, where it still oozed a bit out of the lid. Eesh! So, I finally get it all under control and pour it into the pot. Now it looks like stew, but the original recipe asked for another 4 cups of vegetable broth - why?! Needless to say, I left that out. This was not a spicy pozole, but was pretty flavorful. I prefer the recipe I'm used to making, but this has more variety to it.

Adapted from:

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Big Apple Punch

8 cups fresh apple cider
4 cups dry hard cider
4 cups ginger beer
1 1/2 cups apple brandy
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 dashes Angostura bitters
1 apple, cored and diced

1) Combine all ingredients.
2) Serve over ice.

Review: I made this for a family celebration. I brought apple cider that was fresh pressed from an orchard down the street and the apple brandy was also made with New Hampshire apples! This had an awesome 'fall' flavor. Oddly, every ingredient could be tasted in this punch. It didn't taste strongly of booze, so it was a nice drink. Everyone gave it a great review!

Adapted from:

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Lentil-Quinoa Pilaf Over Wilted Arugula

2 1/2 Tbs olive oil, divided
4 cups vegetable broth
1 3/4 cups green lentils, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
3 Tbs pine nuts
8 cups baby arugula
1 Tbs balsamic vinegar

1) Heat 1 Tbs olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Add broth, lentils and quinoa; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, partially covered, 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and let rest, covered, 10 minutes.
2) Meanwhile, toast pine nuts in small skillet over low heat 3 minutes.
3) Toss arugula with balsamic vinegar and remaining 1 1/2 Tbs olive oil in a bowl. Serve lentil mixture over arugula mixture, sprinkled with pine nuts.

Review: This was a pretty basic, but hardy meal. However, the balsamic vinegar and pine nuts prevented it from tasting bland.

Adapted from:

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Smoky Black Bean & Butternut Squash Ragout

3 Tbs vegan butter
1 lb butternut squash, peeled and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
15.5oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 tsp fresh lime juice
3 tsp pure maple syrup, divided
2 Tbs adobo sauce from can of chipotles in adobo
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted

1) Heat butter in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add squash and season with salt, if desired. Cover pan and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2) Uncover pan and add garlic and black beans. Cook 3 to 4 minutes, or until squash is tender. Remove from heat.
3) Stir in lime juice, maple syrup and adobo sauce, coating butternut squash evenly.
4) Serve topped with toasted pumpkin seeds.

Review: This was DELICIOUS. It was sweet and smoky, without being weird. It had a bit of heat (use less adobo sauce if you don't like spicy), which I love when I have a cold. It helps clear the sinuses!!

Adapted from:

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Pumpkin Pie Pudding

3 Tbs cornstarch
1 1/2 cups almond milk
3 Tbs maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp salt
15oz can pumpkin
gluten free gingersnaps

1) In a saucepan, whisk together the cornstarch and almond milk, over medium heat until bubbly. Reduce heat to low and whisk 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
2) Stir in maple syrup, vanilla extract, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Set aside to cool.
3) Once cool, whisk in pumpkin. Refrigerate until cool. Serve with gingersnaps.

Review: I was super excited to try this. Unfortunately, I'm allergic to nutmeg and tend to make my own pumpkin pie spice using all the other ingredients. However, I somehow only have cinnamon! Looks like I forgot to restock some spices . . . so this was more pumpkin flavored than pumpkin spice. It was still good. I think it could have been sweeter (maybe more syrup?) and it doesn't solidify like most pudding. The gingersnaps were a great addition.

Adapted from:

Slow Cooker Squash

2 Tbs vegan butter
3 Tbs gluten free flour
1 3/4 tsp salt
1 cup almond milk
1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, minced
2 small acorn squash, peeled, quartered and sliced 3/4-inch thick
1 leek, halved, light green and white parts cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 Tbs chopped fresh sage
3 cloves garlic, minced

1) Line the slow cooker with a liner. Add vegan butter, cover and heat on high for 10 minutes, or until butter is melted.
2) Whisk flour and 1/4 tsp salt into butter 1 minute, or until smooth. Gradually add 1/4 cup almond milk, whisking constantly 2 minutes, or until completely blended. Whisk in remaining 3/4 cup almond milk and minced chipotle. Cover.
3) Meanwhile, combine squash, leek, sage, garlic and remaining 1 tsp salt in a large bowl.
4) Uncover slow cooker, and whisk sauce 2 minutes, or until smooth. Stir squash mixture into sauce. Place single layer of paper towel across top of slow cooker, extending over edges, and securing with lid. Adjust slow cooker setting to low, and cook 3 to 4 hours, or until squash is tender.

Review: I always forget how hot slow cooker meals are - it's like lava when I serve it!! This was originally supposed to be a gratin, with Gouda and breadcrumbs. I didn't even miss it, though. This was really rich and quite savory. The spiciness of the chipotle chili didn't make the dish hot, instead just adding flavor and dimension. I'm glad it turned out tasty, as it made a tremendous amount of food. I think the acorn squashes that I bought were bigger than this recipe called for! They were a horrible pain to peel and I ended up breaking my peeler in the process. Oops!

Adapted from:

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Mixed Vegetable Salad with Almond Dressing

2 Tbs coconut oil
2 Tbs gluten free soy sauce
8oz package tempeh, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 medium red potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
6oz green beans, trimmed
4 cups bite-sized cauliflower florets
3 plum tomatoes, diced
2 cups mung bean sprouts
14oz can light coconut milk
1 cup almond butter, at room temperature
4 Tbs lime juice
4 Tbs gluten free soy sauce
2 Tbs fresh ginger, minced
1 Tbs sriracha sauce

1) Heat oil and 2 Tbs soy sauce in a wide skillet over medium-high heat. Add tempeh and stir-fry 3 to 5 minutes, or until golden and crisp on most sides. Remove from heat and set aside.
2) Place potatoes in a deep skillet with just enough water to keep bottom of pan moist. Cover, and bring water to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and steam potatoes 8 minutes, or until just tender. Drain and rinse under cold water. Transfer to serving platter and add tempeh.
3) Wipe out skillet and arrange green beans and cauliflower side by side without mixing together. Add more water to pan to keep bottom moist, cover and steam over medium heat 4 to 5 minutes, or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Remove from heat, drain and rinse under cold water. Add to serving platter.
4) Add tomatoes and mung bean sprouts to serving platter.
5) In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the light coconut milk, almond butter, lime juice, 4 Tbs soy sauce, ginger and sriracha sauce. Drizzle over the salad in the serving platter.

Review: I tinkered with this recipe and made an AMAZING dish. The coconut oil and soy sauce gave the tempeh a flavor I've never experienced before. I want to always cook my tempeh like this!! It crisped really well, too. The sauce was supposed to be a peanut sauce, but I've been so in love with almond butter sauces that I had to make the switch. It was well worth it. This is a cold salad dish (great for leftovers!!), but one where you can serve it with the dressing and not worry about greens wilting. This was a yummy, savory, a little spicy dish. Adjust the sriracha to please, of course. This had just a bit of exotic flavor, without being overwhelming. I think it would please most palates. This made four large servings.

Before the dressing:

After the dressing:

Adapted from:

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Roasted Pumpkin & Pomegranate Salad with Toasted Pumpkin Seed Oil Vinaigrette

3 cups pumpkin, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
6 cup mixed winter salad greens
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
8 tsp lightly toasted pumpkin seeds
3 Tbs toasted pumpkin seed oil
2 Tbs champagne vinegar
3 Tbs orange juice
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 small chopped shallot (about 1 Tbs)
1 tsp honey

1) Preheat oven to 400F. Toss pumpkin with olive oil, salt and pepper. Arrange in one layer on a lipped baking sheet. Roast until pumpkin is tender-firm and edges are caramelized, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
2) Combine pumpkin seed oil, champagne vinegar, orange juice, Dijon mustard, chopped shallot and honey in a small jar with a tight fitting lid and shake until dressing emulsifies and has a creamy appearance.
3) Divide the greens evenly among 4 salad plates. Scatter 1/2 cup roasted pumpkin, 1 Tbs pomegranate seeds and 2 tsp pumpkin seeds on top of each plate of greens. Drizzle with 2 Tbs vinaigrette.

Review: This was AMAZING. There was a great fall flavor with the pumpkin, seeds and oil. The sweetness of the pomegranate balanced well with the sharpness of the shallots. The recipe originally called for crumbled goat cheese on top. I'm sure that'd be awesome. I was really happy with this salad and found it to be filling. If you're curious where to find toasted pumpkin seed oil - it's at Trader Joe's. Now, for $9.99, I need to find more uses for this oil!!

Adapted from:

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Wild Rice Stuffed Pumpkin

1 lb wild rice blend
2 lb fresh spinach, stemmed
1/4 cup, plus 2 Tbs olive oil, divided
6 cups sliced button mushrooms
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup diced celery
9 cloves garlic, minced, divided
3 Tbs chopped fresh sage, divided
4 tsp chopped fresh thyme, divided
2 cups frozen corn
15oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup chopped toasted pecans
1 6-8 lb cooking pumpkin

1) Prepare wild rice blend according to package directions. Transfer to bowl.
2) Bring 1/2 cup water to a boil in bottom of skillet. Add spinach, and cook 4 minutes, or until wilted. Drain, and cool, then squeeze dry, chop, and add to rice in bowl.
3) Heat 2 Tbs oil in skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms, onion, celery, 4 tsp garlic, 1 Tbs sage, and 2 tsp thyme; saute 10 minutes, or until all liquid has evaporated. Stir in corn and kidney beans, and saute 3 minutes. Stir mushroom mixture into rice mixture. Fold in pecans, and season with salt and pepper, if desired.
4) Preheat oven to 350F. Line rimmed baking sheet with foil. Cut top from pumpkin, and scoop out seeds and pulp.
5) Combine remaining 1/4 cup oil, remaining 5 tsp garlic, 2 Tbs sage and 2 tsp thyme in bowl. Brush oil mixture over inside of pumpkin. Fill pumpkin with rice mixture, cover with top, and bake 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until pumpkin is tender when side is pierced with knife tip. Uncover, and bake 10 to 20 minutes more.

Review: This serves 12. I don't need that much food. I've been dying to make this and was able to scale it down quite a bit to serve in a small pumpkin. It's still a lot of food for just me - 4 large servings! The rice mixture had a very savory flavor that was wonderful. The pumpkin added a sweetness that rounded out the dish. It was messy to serve, though. I cut wedges of the pumpkin, which means everything spills out onto the baking sheet. I wasn't sure how to eat it without eating the skin, but I quickly noticed the skin peels right off. After taking the picture, I peeled the skins off and lightly chopped up the pumpkin for the leftover containers. Mmmmm.

Before roasting:
 After roasting:

 Sliced and served:

Adapted from:

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Thai Red Curry Stew

4 cups vegetable broth
3 stalks lemon grass, outer leaves removed, lower part only chopped into 2-inch pieces (discard grassy top)
2 Tbs Thai red curry paste
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
15oz can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1) In a large saucepan, combine broth, lemon grass, curry paste and sweet potatoes. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook over medium heat for 7 minutes.
2) Stir in beans and salt to taste. Cover and cook until sweet potatoes are tender, about 3 more minutes. Remove pieces of lemon grass and serve.

Review: I had a jar of Thai red curry paste in the fridge that I needed to use. This recipe was a great way to use up some of it (half the jar!). This didn't taste spicy, but instead actually tastes really sweet. The lemon grass and curry and a little bit of exotic flavor, but it's not prominent. This is a great alternative to soup and is really filling.

Adapted from: