Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Red Lentils with Mixed Greens

2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup dried red lentils, rinsed and drained
2 tsp dried rosemary, chopped
7 Tbs olive oil, divided
1 lb baby bok choy, thinly sliced, stems and leaves separated
6 cups baby arugula
2 Tbs fresh ginger, grated
3 Tbs red wine vinegar
1 Tbs Dijon mustard

1) Bring broth, lentils and rosemary to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 15 to 20 minutes, or until lentils are tender. Drain.
2) Heat 1 Tbs olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add bok choy stems and saute 2 minutes. Add bok choy leaves and baby arugula, and saute 3 to 4 minutes, or until wilted. Stir in ginger and cook 30 seconds, or until fragrant.
3) In a small bowl, combine the remaining 6 Tbs olive oil with the vinegar and mustard, whisking well.
4) In a large serving bowl, combine the lentils, greens and vinaigrette. Serve warm.

Review: This originally called for mustard greens, which I decided I don't like and adds too much mustard flavor. I had decided the best substitute would be collard greens. However, the selection at the grocery store was wilted/gross and so I settled for baby arugula. Now, I can't imagine it with any other green. The bitterness of the arugula was the perfect green to balance the mustardy vinaigrette and savory lentils. I really liked this dish and it was fairly quick/easy to make!
Adapted from:

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Blueberry Julep

1oz bourbon
1/4 cup fresh blueberries
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp brown sugar
4oz seltzer

1) In a chilled rocks glass, muddle blueberries with the lemon juice and brown sugar.
2) Add ice and pour in the bourbon and seltzer,
3) Garnish with a blueberry skewer

Review: My drink was so ugly compared to the picture in the magazine article I had saved. This was pretty ugly and the seltzer foamed like crazy around the blueberries and sugar. This didn't have much flavor other than watered down bourbon. I was expecting something a little more exotic and was disappointed. Am I missing something?
Adapted from:

Zucchini with Spicy Romesco & Wilted Chard

1 bunch Swiss chard, stems removed & leaves torn into bite-sized pieces
3 Tbs olive oil, divided
3 Tbs lemon juice, divided
3 red bell peppers
3 roma tomatoes
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 cup raw almonds
1/4 cup raw hazelnuts
4 large zucchini, peeled

1) To make the wilted chard: Toss together the Swiss chard leaves, 1 Tbs olive oil and 1 Tbs lemon juice in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Set aside to marinate.
2) To make the spicy romesco: Place bell peppers, tomatoes, garlic, chili powder, red pepper flakes, almonds, hazelnuts, 2 Tbs olive oil and 2 Tbs lemon juice in a food processor. Pulse until all ingredients are well combined but still chunky.
3) Slice zucchini into noodles with a spiral slicer.
4) To serve, make a bed of wilted chard, place zucchini on the bed of chard, then top with spicy romesco.

Review: This was another great use of my Veggetti. However, this was fairly bland. I didn't think the romesco was spicy at all (and I used more than is recommended here when it came to the spices). I was quite underwhelmed and not sure what I should do to make this tastier.
Adapted from:

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Broiled Zucchini Salad

3 medium zucchini, spiral sliced
French grey salt 
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

1) Spread zucchini onto a baking sheet sprayed with olive oil cooking spray. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Place under a broiler for 10-15 minutes, or until browned. Watch carefully, as it can burn quickly. 
2) Serve topped with pine nuts. 

Review: My nieces got me a Veggetti for Christmas. I looked forward to using it, but this was my first opportunity to use it. As you can see in the picture, there are three things produced from this tool. On the left is the spiral cut zucchini, the middle is the zucchini core that gets pushed through the middle of the veggetti and on the right is the end of the zucchini that becomes a useless top-shaped zucchini bit. It was a lot of fun to make the zucchini and was quick to do. It made a quick side dish, which was savory and so tasty. I served it as a side with some vegan seafood.  I've been loving those products and got too trusting, since they're vegan and gluten free. These 'crab' cakes had nutmeg in them and I didn't know this until I'd already eaten them. Mike gets my leftovers and I get to spend my night miserably sick from my nutmeg allergy. Eesh.

Adapted from:

Thai Iced Coffee Popsicles

1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 cup strongly brewed coffee, cooled (prepared with 1/2 tsp ground cardamom added to coffee grinds)
2 Tbs coconut milk creamer

1) Boil sugar and water in saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and add almond extract.
2) Combine syrup with remaining ingredients. Distribute into popsicle molds. Freeze for 8 hours.

Review: I can only make coffee using a Keurig. I added a 1/2 tsp ground cardamom to a reusable pod and it was clearly too much for just a cup of coffee. I believe the 1/2 tsp is for making a whole pot of coffee. It's a strong flavor and these popsicles strongly smelled of cardamom. However, I got a great taste of the Thai flavor. The almond extract balanced well and the coconut creamer worked well. The recipe pictured a popsicle that had layers of colors. I can't manage anything that fancy!!
Adapted from:

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Fines Herbes Potato Rosti

2 large russet potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
1/2 cup fresh chives
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1/4 cup fresh tarragon
2 Tbs olive oil, divided

1) Toss all ingredients into the food processor. Pulse just a few times, until all ingredients are chopped and potatoes resemble a grated texture.
2) Heat 1 Tbs oil in a 9-inch skillet over medium heat. Press potato mixture into pan, and cook 10 minutes, or until bottom of rosti is golden brown. Loosen bottom and sides of rosti, then slide onto plate. Add remaining 1 Tbs oil to pan, flip rosti back into pan (browned side up), and cook 10 to 15 minutes more, or until second side of rosti is golden brown. Loosen rosti, then slide onto serving plate.

Review: For some reason, I thought this would be fancier than it was. It's really just one giant, herbed hashbrown. Regardless, I found it very tasty and ate the whole thing. That's not very healthy and I didn't have leftovers for lunch tomorrow. Oops.
Adapted from:

Monday, April 20, 2015

Asian Kale, Green Bean & Tofu Salad

6oz green beans, trimmed and cut in half
1 bunch kale, stems removed, leaves torn into bite-size pieces
1 orange bell pepper, cut into thin strips
4 Tbs toasted sesame oil
4 Tbs rice vinegar
2 Tbs brown sugar
2 Tbs soy sauce
1 Tbs chile-garlic sauce, or sambal oelek
8oz smoked baked tofu, diced

1) Place beans and 1/4 cup water in skillet. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover and cook 3 minutes, or until beans are just tender. Drain, and rinse under cold water to cool. Drain again.
2) In a large bowl, massage the kale until tender and reduced in size. Toss with green beans, bell pepper and tofu.
3) In a small bowl, whisk together the sesame oil, rice vinegar, brown sugar, soy sauce and chile-garlic sauce. Pour dressing over salad and toss to coat.

Review: I've been making a ton of Asian foods lately. It's such a great food option for me. The recipes have been wheat-free (check your soy sauce, though!), vegan, easy and tasty. That's rare to find in any other cuisine. But, it also means I've been going through ingredients that once upon a time were a novel ingredient in my kitchen. I keep emptying bottles of toasted sesame oil (it used to rot in my fridge from lack of use!) and I'm about to empty a bottle of rice vinegar! This recipe is another fine example of how well this type of food is for me. This was a quick, easy salad to make. It's a little spicy, but very savory and filling. I thought of using hot chili sesame oil instead, but ultimately forgot to do so. Maybe next time!
Adapted from:

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Chile-Lime Glass Noodles

8oz glass noodles
4 Tbs hoisin sauce
2 Tbs soy sauce
3 Tbs lime juice
1 tsp chile-garlic sauce
2 Tbs toasted sesame oil, divided
8oz pkg tempeh, diced
12oz baby bella mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
1 lb baby bok choy, thinly sliced
2 cups mung bean sprouts
3 Tbs ginger, minced
1/2 cup chopped basil
1/4 cup roasted almonds, chopped

1) Soak noodles in large bowl of hot water 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
2) Whisk together hoisin sauce, soy sauce, lime juice and chile-garlic sauce.
3) Heat 1 Tbs sesame oil in skillet over high heat. Add tempeh and stir-fry 4 minutes, or until golden on all sides. Add 1/4 cup water, and cook 2 minutes. Transfer tempeh to bowl.
4) Add remaining 1 Tbs sesame oil to skillet. Add mushrooms and bok choy; stir-fry 2 minutes. Stir in noodles and bean sprouts, and cook 2 minutes. Stir in hoisin mixture, ginger and tempeh; stir-fry 1 minute. Serve topped with basil and almonds.

Review: This was absolutely amazing. The glass noodles were so light that it really isn't anything close to pasta. The hoisin/sesame/chile-garlic/lime flavor was savory and spicy, without having much heat. The coolness of the basil and the roasted almond was a nice finish. I could easily eat this meal every week. Except I dirtied half the kitchen! Two pots and three bowls, plus all the accompanying utensils (and cutting board/knife). It wasn't an easy mess to clean up, but thankfully dishes are Mike's domain.  ;)
Adapted from:

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Soba Salad with Miso Vinaigrette

4 Tbs white miso
8oz soba noodles
2 Tbs toasted sesame oil
2 Tbs rice vinegar
2 tsp ginger, minced
2 carrots, cut into matchsticks
1 head radicchio, thinly sliced
2 sheets nori, cut into thin strips
2 Tbs toasted sesame seeds

1) Cook soba noodles according to package directions. Rinse under cold water, drain and place in large bowl.
2) Blend miso, sesame oil, rice vinegar, ginger and 3 Tbs water in a small bowl until smooth. Stir carrots, radicchio, nori, sesame seeds and miso mixture into soba noodles. Serve cold.

Review: I don't often make salads, as the greens get wilted and aren't good for leftovers. This was perfect. A great blend of vegetables, dressing and pasta. It had a yummy sesame/miso flavor, but nothing that was really overwhelming. I think this would also make a great dish for potlucks!

before dressing:
 after dressing:
Adapted from:

Monday, April 13, 2015


2 Tbs olive oil, divided
8oz angel hair pasta, broken into 2-inch pieces
2 cups sliced wild mushroom mix
8oz chorizo hemp tofu, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup parsley, chopped and divided
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp smoked paprika
8oz tomato sauce
2 cups vegetable broth
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces

1) Heat 1 Tbs oil in a deep dish skillet over medium heat. Add pasta, and cook 3 to 4 minutes, or until lightly browned and opaque, stirring constantly. Transfer pasta to paper-towel-lined plate to drain.
2) Add remaining 1 Tbs oil to pan, and heat over medium heat. Add mushrooms, tofu, bell pepper, 2 Tbs parsley, garlic and smoked paprika, and cook 5 to 7 minutes, or until most liquid has evaporated.
3) Stir in tomato sauce. Add pasta, broth, and 1/2 cup of water, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add asparagus, and cover; simmer 3 minutes.
4) Serve warm, topped with parsley.

Review: The only gluten free angel hair pasta I could find was made with flax seed, which is an odd flavor. Fortunately, this dish was so flavorful that it drowned that dreadful flax flavor! Asparagus isn't something I would typically match with tomato/smoked paprika/chorizo, but it totally worked in this dish. It was very filling and made for a great meal.
Adapted from:

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Miso-Glazed Cauliflower with Kale Salad

1 large head cauliflower
4 Tbs olive oil, divided
2 Tbs white miso
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 bunch kale, torn into bite-sized pieces
1 Tbs apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

1) Preheat oven to 250F. Vertically slice the head of cauliflower into 1/2-inch thick slabs and place on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray.
2) Whisk together 2 Tbs olive oil, miso paste, lemon juice, honey and salt in a small bowl. Brush miso glaze onto the cauliflower slabs. Bake for 20 minutes.
3) Meanwhile, place kale in a large bowl. Add remaining 2 Tbs olive oil and the apple cider vinegar. Use hands to massage oil and vinegar into kale, until leaves turn bright green and begin to soften.
4) To serve, place cauliflower slabs on a bed of kale and top with pine nuts.

Review: This was designed to fit into the raw cuisine guidelines. For that reason, none of this came with the typical roasted flavors that are usually associated with these ingredients. Yet, it didn't really taste 'raw.' The massaging of the kale is a messy step, but it makes a tremendous difference in it's edible factor. It's also a nice 'detox' dish after my week of jelly bean binges . . .
Adapted from:

Monday, April 6, 2015

Miso-Glazed Sweet Potato & Broccoli

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large head broccoli, cut into florets
3 Tbs olive oil, divided
2 Tbs white miso
2 Tbs creamy almond butter
2 tsp honey
2 tsp rice vinegar
2 cups brown basmati rice, cooked

1) Preheat oven to 375F. Place sweet potatoes on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray and bake for 15 minutes. Add broccoli to baking sheet, drizzle with 1 Tbs olive oil, and return to oven for 15 minutes more.
2) In a bowl, stir together miso, almond butter, honey, vinegar and remaining 2 tablespoons of oil until smooth.
3) Serve vegetables over a bed of rice, topped with miso dressing.

Review: I realize my dressing was thicker than it was probably designed to be. However, I really like miso and almond butter, so I doubled the requested amounts. It was definitely worth it. This had a great savory flavor, that had the sweetness of the almonds and honey, but with a bit of a kick from the rice vinegar. It was well balanced with the roasted vegetables and basmati rice. I loved this dish!
Adapted from:
Women's Health Magazine March 2015

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Spiked Vegetables & Ramen

3 Tbs white miso
1 Tbs cornstarch
8oz shiitake mushrooms
1/2 lb baby bok choy
1/2 cup dry sake
4 cups vegetable broth
2 pkgs ramen, sauce packets discarded
8oz can sliced bamboo shoots, discarded
sesame seeds

1) In a medium bowl, whisk miso with 1 cup water. In a separate bowl, stir cornstarch into 1 cup warm water. Discard shiitake stems, halve the caps, then slice the halves and set aside. Cut off the ends of the baby bok choy and discard. Roughly chop the bok choy and set aside.
2) In a large stock pot over medium-high heat, cook shiitake caps and sake for 4 minutes. Add vegetable broth, miso mixture, cornstarch mixture and bok choy; bring to a boil. Lower heat and let simmer for 7 minutes. Add noodles and cook an additional 4 minutes, until noodles are almost tender. Add bamboo shoots and cook an additional minute, to warm the bamboo shoots and finish the noodles. 
3) Serve in bowls, topped with sesame seeds.

Review: I didn't fully read the instructions before making this, otherwise I would have figured out that I was making soup. I wouldn't do that again. I would have dissolved the miso and cornstarch in cups of hot broth (2 of the 4 cups requested) to reduce some of the liquid, as this was just too much. You may also notice that I have green ramen, but that's what happens when you seek out gluten free foods. The ingredients are outside the norm and therefore the product colors can be, too. Regardless, this was delicious and didn't have a strong sake flavor (though it's definitely present). I had found the cutest little bottle of sake and just dumped it all in, but cooked it longer to try and burn off some of the liquid and alcohol while maintaining the flavor. I think it worked spectacularly!
Adapted from:

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Stir-Fried Bok Choy with Tempeh & Black Beans

1 cup basmati rice
8oz tempeh, diced
4 tsp sesame oil, divided
1 bunch bok choy, chopped
2 Tbs ginger, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
15oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
3 Tbs tamari
1 Tbs brown sugar
1 Tbs chile-garlic sauce

1) In a small saucepan, combine basmati rice with 2 cups water. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium low and cover, cooking 15 minutes or until water is absorbed.
2) Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute tempeh in 2 tsp sesame oil for 10 minutes over medium-high heat, turning occasionally. Add remaining sesame oil and bok choy, stir-frying for 4 minutes. Add ginger, garlic and black beans, stir-frying for an additional 2 minutes. Stir in tamari, brown sugar and chile-garlic sauce.
3) Serve stir-fry over a bed of basmati rice.

Review: There is something magical that happens when tamari and brown sugar are cooked together. It's so delicious that it borders on being addictive. I had seconds tonight, when I usually prefer having a snack or dessert after dinner. This was so savory, but with just a hint of sweet (chile-garlic sauce also has a bit of sweetness to it) and a hint of spicy from the chile. It's not overpowering and all the flavors melded together perfectly. The entire dish took about 30 minutes, including all of the preparation. That's as close to fast food as my diet gets, so this may be a dish that I regularly make!!

Adapted from: