Sunday, May 31, 2015

Tequila Sunrise Sorbet

1 banana, broken into pieces
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups orange juice
1/2 cup tequila
1 cup pomegranate seeds

1) Puree banana and sugar in a food processor until smooth. Add orange juice and tequila and puree until combined.
2) Chill mixture in refrigerator until cold, then churn in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions. When sorbet is thick and creamy, add pomegranate seeds and churn until incorporated. Transfer to 1-quart container and freeze.

Review: My goal is to make frozen alcoholic drinks with my ice cream machine to make my summer a little more fun. I figure it would be nice to always have them on hand and just scoop them out of the freezer. However, this was a little less of a frozen alcoholic drink and much more of a sorbet due to the banana. However, I added a little more tequila to my glass and let it melt a little before drinking and the problem was solved! This was super tasty, but heavy on the banana flavor. Also, this concoction filled my food processor bowl up to the inner limit (the top of the hole that the the blade sits on), so it made quite the mess when I poured it from the food processor bowl into my ice cream machine. Ugh, what a sticky mess!!
Adapted from:

Lentil & Quinoa Salad with Cashews

1 cup quinoa
1 cup red lentils
3 Tbs Bragg Liquid Aminos
2 Tbs Dijon mustard
4 Tbs red wine vinegar
1 tsp French grey salt
1 shallot, finely chopped
4 cups baby arugula
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 cups roasted cashews

1) In a large saute pan, combine quinoa and lentils with 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil, cover and cook 12-15 minutes, until water is absorbed.
2) Meanwhile in a small bowl, whisk together the Bragg liquid aminos, Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, salt and shallot.
3) When the quinoa and lentils are done cooking, stir in the baby arugula until wilted and mixed evenly. Stir in dressing, red bell pepper and cashews. Serve warm.

Review: I've had this recipe for a couple of years and while it fit my dietary restrictions, I thought it sounded incredibly bland. I forgot how good Bragg Liquid Aminos taste. This was so delicious I wanted to eat all the servings, and it made A LOT of food!!! It was tangy, savory, bitter, salty and slightly sweet. It hit all the taste receptors. And the best part - it's incredibly healthy! It also didn't really take long to make. I was eating in less than half an hour. Yum.
Adapted from:

Monday, May 25, 2015

Paella Primavera

2 Tbs olive oil
4 cups broccoli florets
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 cups vegetable broth
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp saffron threads, crumbled
1 cup short-grain rice
1 cup frozen petite peas
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup halved green olives
1 cup halved black olives

1) Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add broccoli and bell peppers; cook 5 minutes. Stir in broth, garlic and saffron; bring to a boil. Sprinkle rice over ingredients, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, 10 minutes.
2) Sprinkle peas, tomatoes and olives over rice. Cover and cook 8 minutes, or until rice is tender. Remove from heat, and let rest, covered, 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Review: I made the mistake of stirring each time I added ingredients. This meant much of the rice was stirred out of the broth and didn't get to cook as thoroughly. I had to keep stirring and add several more minutes to the dish for edible rice. Learn from my mistake and don't stir!!!! This was so tasty and not as briny as I would have expected. It was simply savory and filling.
Adapted from:

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Cashew Chocolate Chip Scones

2 cups cashew meal
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbs honey

1) Preheat the oven to 350F. In a large mixing bowl, blend the dry ingredients together.
2) In a small mixing bowl, combine the wet ingredients. The wet ingredients do not need to be fully mixed, just give them a few spins to give the mixing a head start.
3) Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients with a large spoon. Ensure the dough is uniform.
4) Place dough into a scone pan, making sure to not overfill the slots. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until lightly browned on the edges. Cool at least 5 minutes and then serve. These will keep in an airtight container, refrigerated, for up to 5 days.

Review: I bought a bag of cashew meal awhile back, thinking it would bring me great use. It did not. I struggled to find a use for it. Then, I stumbled on this recipe and thought cashew would be tastier than almond. I was correct. These definitely have a gritty, ground nut texture (which got stuck in my retainer!), but are still fluffy in their own way. I really liked these and will make them again. Do not these are quite filling and not as easy to binge on as regular scones. I ate two and felt full.
Adapted from:

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Golden Thai Curry with Green Beans

1 lb Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch thick half moons
1/2 lb green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 Tbs coconut oil
1 clove garlic, minced
3 Tbs yellow curry paste
2 Tbs cashew meal
13.5oz can light coconut milk
1 tsp sugar
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 Tbs basil, chopped
1 Tbs lime juice

1) Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook potatoes 7 minutes; remove with slotted spoon and drain. Add carrots, cook 10 minutes; remove with slotted spoon and drain. Add green beans, cook 5 minutes; remove with slotted spoon and drain.
2) Heat oil in pot over medium heat. Add garlic, curry paste and cashew meal; cook 1 minute. Add coconut milk, 1/2 cup water and sugar; bring mixture to a simmer. Stir in potatoes, carrots and bell pepper; simmer 10 minutes. Add green beans and basil and cook 2 minutes more. Stir in lime juice just before serving.

Review: I served this over a bed of brown basmati rice, which stretched out the servings. I've never been a fan of curry before, but thought I'd venture into the fancier curries instead of just generic curry. This was worth the effort. The golden curry paste, combined with the coconut milk, was divine. It really tasted like something I'd get from a restaurant, so I was amazed that I could achieve this in my kitchen. It wasn't very spicy, though there was some heat. The prep was tedious, due to the chopping of multiple vegetables and cooking them all one at a time in succession. However, it was worth the effort and I'll definitely want to make it again.
Adapted from:

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Pasta with Braised Squash, Swiss Chard & Pistachios

3/4 lb gluten-free pasta
5 Tbs vegan butter
2 leeks (white and light green parts only), halved and sliced
1 bunch Swiss chard, stems chopped and leaves sliced, separated
Kosher salt and black pepper
2 lb kabocha squash, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
2 cups vegetable broth
1/3 cup roasted pistachios

1) Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and return to the pot.
2) Meanwhile, melt 3 Tbs of the vegan butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the leeks, chard stems, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the squash and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until the squash is tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
3) Add the squash mixture (and any liquid), chard leaves, 2 Tbs butter and 1/2 tsp salt to the pasta and toss to coat.
4) Serve topped with the pistachios.

Review: This was really more of a cold weather dish. However, I loved it anyway. The squash/pistachio combination was absolutely amazing. I'm also consistently thrilled with flavor of leeks. However, they are difficult to cook with as they stick to everything (the spoon, sides of the pans - clean up is quite a chore!). This was really hearty and was quite filling.
Adapted from:

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Broccoli Stir-Fry with Ginger-Avocado Sauce

2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
3 avocados
3 Tbs lemon juice
2 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs honey
2 pinches sea salt
1 Tbs coconut oil
1/4 tsp sea salt
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 head broccoli, cut into florets
4 cups baby kale
4 cups baby spinach

1) To make Ginger-Avocado Sauce: Place ginger in food processor and pulse to mince. Add avocados, lemon juice, olive oil, honey and 2 pinches sea salt. Blend until smooth. Blend in up to 1/2 cup water to thin to desired consistency. Store in refrigerator.
2) To make Stir-Fry: Heat coconut oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, and cook 1 minute. Add broccoli and 1/4 cup water; cover and steam 3 minutes. Add baby kale; cover and steam 2 minutes more.
3) To serve: Place baby spinach on a plate, top with broccoli mixture and drizzle with Ginger-Avocado Sauce.

Review: The ginger-avocado sauce was a little sweet and reminded me of the Avocado Sorbet I made last year. The rest of the dish didn't taste like anything more than steamed veggies. It was a fairly light dish as a result, but didn't induce any guilt when I had seconds.
Adapted from:

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Summer Corn & Quinoa Salad with Pumpkin Seeds & Lime

1 cup quinoa
1/2 tsp salt
3 Tbs olive oil, divided
1 cup fresh corn
1/4 tsp cumin
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 cup jicama, peeled & diced
3 Tbs lime juice
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds

1) Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a small pot; add quinoa and salt. Cover pan, reduce heat and simmer over low heat 15 minutes, or until tender.
2) Heat 1 Tbs oil in a large skillet over medium heat; add corn, cumin and cayenne; saute 3 minutes.
3) Transfer corn to large bowl and add quinoa, remaining 2 Tbs oil, jicama, parsley and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper. Just before serving, ad pumpkin seeds, and an extra drizzle of lime juice, if desired.

Review: I'd never tried jicama before. In peeling it, it left a slime on my hands that took many washings to remove. Ew. As for the flavor, it had the texture of a pear, but little flavor. It was very juicy, however. The lime gave this dish a nice kick and a little sweetness. The rest was fairly savory. I'd like to make it again in which I use 2 Tbs toasted pumpkin seed oil instead of olive oil in Step 3.
Adapted from:

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Emerald Veggies with Dressing

1 cup brown basmati rice
1 head broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets
1/2 lb green beans, trimmed
1 bok choy, stems discarded and leaves torn into bite-sized pieces
1/4 cup tamari
3 Tbs rice vinegar
2 Tbs honey
1/3 cup toasted sesame seeds

1) In a small saucepan, cook the basmati rice according to package directions.
2) In a large skillet, place the broccoli in the skillet, top with green beans, then top with bok choy. Add 1/2 cup water and cover. Over medium heat, bring the water to a boil. Steam the vegetables for 5 to 7 minutes, until bright green and tender.
3) Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the tamari, rice vinegar and honey. Set aside.
4) In a very large mixing bowl, combine the rice and dressing. Mix in the vegetables. Top with sesame seeds.

Review: This was ever so hearty and filling. I loved the dressing, which really just made this taste like a big bowl of sushi filling.
Adapted from:

Monday, May 4, 2015

Cauliflower with Peas

2 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs cumin
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1 clove garlic, minced
4 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
1 head cauliflower, broken into bite-sized florets
1 cup frozen peas
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 Tbs ground coriander
1/2 tsp cayenne
salt to taste

1) Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the cumin. Saute for 30 seconds or so, until fragrant.
2) Add the ginger, garlic and shallots. Cook for about 2 minutes, until the shallots soften and begin to change color.
3) Add the cauliflower, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower is brown and caramelized, about 8 minutes.
4) Add the peas and tomatoes. Stir in the turmeric, black pepper, coriander and cayenne. Add salt to taste. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the spices are incorporated into the dish.
5) Cover and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until the cauliflower is cooked through.

Review: I've never been successful in getting cauliflower to caramelize in a pan. It's always worth trying, though. This had a nice curry kind of flavor to it, but wasn't overly spicy. The peas and tomatoes balanced the dish. It didn't have enough fat to leave me feeling full, but still had a hearty feel to it.
Adapted from: