Raw Energy Bites

These bites are just the best for travel, mid meal snacks, and hikes. You”ll see this is more of an ingredient list than a recipe. The only trick here is to adjust the amount of wet ingredients to dry so that the mixture comes together and can easily hold it’s shape. Enjoy the versatility of these yummy treats and improvise with whatever you have on hand.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of medjool dates, pitted and soaked in warm water for 10-15 mins
  • 3/4 of a cup of any nut butter or tahini
  • 3/4 of a cup of walnuts, pecans or any other nut ground (cashews and or sunflower seeds are excellent)
  • ½ cup of ground seeds ( I like a mix of pumpkin and sunflower) and/or desiccated coconut 
  • ½ cup or handful of dried fruits ( apricot, fig, cherries, golden raisins are all delicious)
  • 2 Tbs of chia seeds
  • 1-2 Tbs of coconut oil
  • 2 Tbs of hemp seeds
  • 2 Tbs of 1 raw cacao powder or crushed cacao nibs
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • A splash or two of maple syrup if needed for moisture or sweetening

Prep all ingredients and then add to the bowl of your food processor. Pulsing until you reach a desired consistency. Taste and adjust sweetenings.

You might consider using a mini ice cream scoop for quick portioning.

These bites can be portioned and stored in the freezer or fridge to be ready when needed. 

Enjoy!


Eggplant and Lentil Stew

Here’s a stew inspired by Yotom Ottolenghi to carry you into fall and it is a much deserved helping of pure comfort in a bowl. 

Ingredients

  • Olive oil
  • 1 Red onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • Fresh thyme leaves removed from stems
  • 1 large or 2 small eggplants cut in chunks
  • 24 cherry tomatoes halved or 2 large tomatoes chopped
  • 180 g or 1 cup of Green French Lentils (Puy)
  • Fresh baby spinach or frozen chopped spinach
  • Water to cover
  • 1-2 cubes of vegetable bouillon 
  • Vegan sour cream
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • Fresh oregano sprigs

Directions

  1. Place chopped eggplant and halved cherry tomatoes in a large bowl.  Generously season with salt and pepper and allow to sit.
  2. Add olive oil to a large heavy, lidded skillet on medium heat.  Add onion and saute until soft.  Remove onion with a slotted spoon, leaving oil in the pan.  Return to heat and add thyme, with eggplant and tomatoes, in batches if necessary.  Saute until eggplant has softened and tomatoes have collapsed.  
  3. Add lentils and stir well to incorporate.  Cover with water, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low.  Cover and cook until lentils are tender, about 20 minutes. Add water if necessary.  Adjust seasonings as needed, adding bouillon cubes one at a time. Fold in spinach before serving.
  4. Serve with a dollop of vegan sour cream, pinch of red pepper flakes and a sprig of oregano. 


Nut Butter & Jam Chia Pudding

Maybe it was nostalgia for simple times or perhaps it was the comfort appeal, but this recipe won my attention this week and I’m glad it did. What a treat!

Adapted from Minimalist Baker

Ingredients for 2 Servings

COMPOTE

  • 1 cup blueberries (frozen or fresh)
  • 1 Tbsp orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds

Combine blueberries and orange juice in a small skillet. Warm over medium-high heat until bubbling. Cook until blueberries begin to collapse.  Remove from heat and add chia seeds. Stir well.

Divide the compote between two small serving dishes and set in the refrigerator to chill.

PUDDING

  • 1 cup unsweetened plain almond milk
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk 
  • 1 tsp vanilla 
  • 1-2 Tbsp maple syrup 
  • 3 Tbsp of nut butter with salt, or add a pinch of salt to the mixture
  • 1/3 cup chia seeds
  • Fresh blueberries for topping

Pour almond and coconut milk into a blender, adding vanilla, maple syrup, and nut butter. Blend on high to fully combine. Taste and adjust flavors as needed, adding more maple syrup for sweetness.

Add chia seeds and pulse only a moment to leave chia seeds whole.

Transfer to a jar and set in the fridge to begin chilling.

Once slightly thickened divide the pudding mixture between the two dishes with the berries. Return to fridge and allow to sit 2 hours or overnight.  Top with remaining blueberries and extra nut butter if you like. 


Barbacoa Mushrooms

Despite residing in the Southwest for over 12 years I am not particularly knowledgeable when it comes to chilis. My dear German husband though nearly perfect in many ways is not a fan of spicy food.  I on the other hand adore new flavors—salty, spicy and hot. What I  love about this dish is that it introduced me to guajillo chilis that add depth but not so much heat, and so they passed the Joachim test.  I now have a new friend in the kitchen and thanks to my friend Alina I know where to find the good ones.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large guajillo chiles, soak 15 mins in hot water, then remove stem and seeds 
  • 1 Tablespoon oil grapeseed oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 large onion thinly sliced or chopped
  • 7 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 8 oz (226.8 g) sliced or chopped mushrooms white, cremini or a combination with others
  • 2 chipotle chile in adobo sauce 1 for less heat
  • 1 tsp ground cumin, or a combination of cumin and coriander
  • 1/2 tsp (0.5 tsp) dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp (0.5 tsp) smoked hot paprika or 1 tsp chili powder blend
  • 1/4 tsp (0.25 tsp) ground cinnamon or a dash
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves or a pinch
  • 1/4 tsp (0.25 tsp) or more salt
  • 3/4 cup (176.25 ml) water or veggie broth
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 to 3 tsp lime juice to preference
  • 1/4 tsp (0.25 tsp) sugar or maple – optional

 

Suggested Toppings:

Prepared Salsa 

Guacamole

Vegan Sour Cream

Chopped Fresh Cilantro

Lime Wedges

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add bay leaf, onions, garlic, and pinch of salt and cook until translucent. 5 mins.
  2. Remove half of the onion mixture and transfer to a blender.
  3. Add mushrooms to the skillet with the remaining onion mixture, a pinch of salt and continue to cook over medium heat. If doubling this recipe cook mushrooms in batches.
  4. Add softened chile to the blender along with the chipotle pepper and the next 7 ingredients.  Blend until smooth pouring into mushroom mixture in skillet. 
  5. Simmer on low for 20-30 mins, add vinegar and lime just before serving.
  6. Adjust seasonings, remove bay leaf.
  7. Serve with warm corn tortillas with suggested toppings on the side. 

Notes:

Guajillo Chiles are very mild, chipotle chilies are moderate to hot. Adjust the heat of your dish with varying amounts of these two.  For a very milder sauce seed the chipotle pepper before adding. For more spice add cayenne pepper. 

I’ve now made this several times and it adapts very well to the addition of a can of black or pinto beans.


Tahini-Miso Glazed Eggplant

Here’s a delightfully delicious way to showcase gorgeous Asian eggplant now in season.

Recipe inspired by Hetty McKinnon’s Ginger Scallion Glazed Eggplant, To Asia with Love.  This book is well worth the purchase even if you only use her amazing essential sauce and oil recipes. 

Ingredients

  • 4 Japanese Eggplants, halved lengthwise
  • 1 TBL Toasted Sesame Oil 
  • 1 TBL of white miso paste
  • 1 TBL maple syrup
  • 3-4 TBL of Ginger Scallion Oil ( see below)
  • 2 teaspoons of Sesame Seeds
  • 1 Scallion Finely Chopped
  • A handful of Cilantro Leaves

Directions

Step 1

Preheat oven to 375°. Brush both sides of eggplant slices with oil and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Roast eggplant, flipping once, until very tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven. Arrange a rack in the upper third of the oven and heat to broil.

Step 2

Meanwhile, whisk white miso, maple syrup, and Ginger-Scallion oil in a small bowl. Stir in 1 1/2 tsp. sesame seeds and 2 Tbsp. scallions. Smear a layer of the sauce on the cut side of each eggplant slice. Broil until golden and charred in places, 4–5 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 tsp. sesame seeds and 1 Tbsp. scallions.

Serve with steamed rice and a side of pan roasted broccoli. 

Ginger Scallion Oil

  • 5 ounces of finely chopped peeled ginger
  • 6 scallions finely sliced, white and green parts separated
  • 1 TBL tamari or coconut aminos
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 ¼ cup of grapeseed or other neutral oil

In a heatproof bowl combine the ginger, white of the scallions, tamari, and sea salt.

Warm oil on medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Carefully pour into the bowl.  Allow to cool, add the green part of the scallions, stir to combine, use for the recipe, and store remainder in a glass jar in the fridge. 


Buckwheat Raisin Bread

For nearly a decade of my life, Saturdays meant roisenbrot day from Mahlzahn Backerei in Neuenheim, Heidelberg.  Picking up a loaf generally involved a morning walk across Bruckenstrasse with Sophie our Bernese Mountain Dog stopping traffic as she languished along behind Sebastian’s kinderwagon. Although we’ve said farewell to Sophie and gluten since those days and there was never a replacement for Sophie’s big heart I think I finally found a Gluten-free Roisienbrot that stands the Mahlzahn test.  Thanks once again to Aran Goyoaga for the inspiration. 

You may be pleased to learn there’s no sourdough involved so you can make this bread tonight if you have an enamel cast iron dutch oven handy.  This workhorse of the kitchen makes every oven a bread oven including my countertop toaster oven.  I hope you enjoy this bread as much as we do. Close your eyes with the first bite and you might even see the Heidelberg castle. 

Ingredients

  • 500 g (2 ¼ cup)  of plant-based milk, I use almond
  • 3 TBL of maple syrup, date syrup, or honey
  • 1 TBL yeast
  • 3 TBL Psyllium Husks
  • 240 g Buckwheat Flour ( 2 cups) 
  • 120 g Tapioca Starch ( 1 cup)
  • Grated zest from one lemon
  • ½ tea cinnamon
  • ¼ tea cardamon
  • 1.5 tea salt
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 1 TBL sesame seeds

 

Directions

  1. Weigh all dry ingredients and place in the bowl of a stand mixer or food processor. Blend briefly to mix.
  2. In a saucepan, gently warm milk to 110 degrees, add sweetener, and yeast, whisking to combine.  Allow yeast to activate until frothy.  Add psyllium husks and allow 5 minutes to gel.
  3. Pour wet ingredients into dry and process or mix for 2 minutes. The dough will be sticky.
  4. Turn out onto a floured board knead in raisins and form into a ball. 
  5. Gently placed in flour and sesame seed-dusted bowl or proofing basket to rise, cover with a damp towel, and set aside for 45-60 minutes depending on air temperature.
  6. 30 minutes prior to baking place the dutch oven with the lid on the rack and preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  7. When the dough is ready to bake gently slide it into the hot dutch oven, cover, and place in the oven for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 400 degrees, remove lid from dutch oven and continue baking another 30 minutes. 
  8. Despite temptation otherwise, cool this loaf completely before slicing. Cut in slices for toast or into quarters for freezing.  Warm gently at 175 degrees for 20 minutes prior to serving. 


Tomato Glazed Cauliflower

I really did not believe there was a cauliflower recipe I had not tried and then along came this one, and wow!  It is so yummy and so simple I’d make it again tomorrow! 

Inspired by 177Milk Street, Tomato Braised Cauliflower, Rebecca Richmond

Ingredients

  • 1 large head of cauliflower cut into small florets of similar size
  • 1 whole yellow onion, peeled, halved, and thinly sliced
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • ½ cup of tomato paste
  • A pinch or two of red pepper flakes
  • A handful of raisins
  • ½ tea of cinnamon
  • 2 TBL of honey
  • Cubes or Crumbles of Vegan Feta
  • Chopped toasted almonds
  • Steamed Rice

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  2. Toss cauliflower pieces with olive oil and season liberally with salt and pepper.  Place on a baking sheet ( do not crowd) and roast 15-18  minutes. Edges should brown and pieces should be just fork tender but still hold their shape.
  3. While the cauliflower roasts heat a heavy skillet with a splash or two of olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and saute until soft.  Push onion aside and add tomato paste and pepper flakes allowing the paste to darken and thicken further.  Add cinnamon, honey, and raisins mixing well. Tip roasted cauliflower pieces into the pan and stir gently to coat each piece.  
  4. Serve with rice and top with feta and chopped almonds.


Simple One Bowl Vegan GF Cake

Borrowed and adapted from Aran Goyoaga Cannelle et Vanille, this is the perfect Saturday cake. Whip it up just after lunch so it will be ready to slice with a cup of tea late afternoon. Adaptable recipes are my thing and this cake stands in well with a variety of seasonal fruits. So far I have tested lemon blueberry, almond cherry, and peach all equally delicious. Bake in a 9 “ springform pan or cast-iron skillet.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup or 115 grams of olive oil 
  • 1 cup or 140 grams of superfine brown rice flour
  • ¾ or 150 grams of coconut sugar
  • ¼ cup or 30grams of tapioca starch
  • 1.5 t baking powder
  • ½ t salt
  • Finely grated zest from a lemon, lime or orange
  • ½  cup or 115 grams of almond milk
  • Egg replacer for two eggs ( I’ve tested this with Bob’s Redmill)
  • 1 T of vanilla, or ½ tea of vanilla powder, or almond extract
  • Fresh fruit to top such as 6 peaches or plums,  a handful or two of pitted cherries, 8 ounces of blue or other berries.
  • Powder sugar for dusting

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Brush cake pan or skillet with oil and press a circle of parchment paper in the base. 
  3. In a large mixing bowl combine all of the dry ingredients.  Then add wet ingredients and extract 
  4. Mix well.
  5. Pour batter into pan, carefully placing fruit on top.
  6. Slide into the preheated oven. Check after 50 minutes with a toothpick. 
  7. Allow cake to cool before serving. 

If there’s something to celebrate, and there is always something, you might consider taking it up a notch with whipped coconut cream or a scoop of vegan vanilla ice cream. 

I also think it’s worth experimenting with flours considering oat flour or buckwheat in place of the brown rice.


Saffron Pumpkin Soup

The saffron in this Saffron Pumpkin soup adds touch of elegance that will make it seem like you’ve made a gourmet restaurant style soup – because you just did!

Seed Topping

  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • A pinch of  red pepper flakes
  1. Set oven at 350 degrees.
  2. Toss seeds together in a bowl and spread on a parchment paper-covered sheet pan.
  3. Roast in the oven for 10 mins.  Allow to cool and store in an airtight container until use.

Soup

  • ¼ cup of olive oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and sliced 
  • Medium pumpkin or butternut squash seeded and cubed
  • Salt and Pepper
  1. Set oven to 450 degrees
  2. Toss oil, onion, pumpkin and place on parchment paper covered sheet pan. Season with salt and pepper. Roast until edges darken and fork-tender.
  3. In stockpot heat together
  • 1 liter of veggie broth
  • ¼ tea of saffron threads
  • Zest from one orange
  • A pinch or two of harissa depending on spice preference
  • Bunch of kale, removed from stalks and chiffonade cut, blanched
  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained
  • A handful of cilantro, leaves removed and chopped

When the pumpkin is roasted tip into stock, add kale and chickpeas.  Heat until warm but do not cook further. Divide into bowls, sprinkle with cilantro and seeds, serve and enjoy!


Zuchinni Baba Ganoush

This is one of those amazingly simple recipes with delightful complex flavors. Perhaps you could serve it alongside of this sourdough gluten free bread?

Ingredients

  • 5 medium zucchini
  • 3 heaping tablespoons of tahini
  • A splash or two of olive oil
  • Juice from two lemons
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • A clove of garlic and handful of mint (otional)
  • Sea Salt
  • Water to thin if needed

Directions

Broil zucchini whole on a rack in the middle of your oven for 45-60 minutes, or until they begin to collapse. Turn with tongs every 15 mins.

Allow to cool completely

Scrape flesh out of skins and into a colander, sprinkle with salt and allow to drain over a bowl.

In your food processor combine the remaining ingredients, withholding water until you see if it is needed to thin the dip.  Add drained zucchini and pulse until blended. 

Topping 

  •  A handful of Pine Nuts
  • 1 tablespoon of Vegan Butter

In a small skillet toast pine nuts over medium heat, add vegan butter and toss to coat. Use as a topping over the Baba ganoush


Broccoli Noodles

I love noodles, I love tahini, and I really love broccoli so when I came across Hetty McKinnon’s Sesame Rice Noodle recipe I was thrilled. This comes together in a snap especially if you have prepped the “everything oil” in advance. If you are a fan of this dish may I suggest you have a look at her gorgeous new cookbook, To Asia with Love.

Here is my adapted version.

Ingredients

1 package of pad thai rice noodles
1 Tbs of sesame oil
½ cup of tahini
2 heads of broccoli cut into pieces with a flat side for searing
1 package baby Bella mushrooms sliced
2-3 Tbs. of Hetty’s everything oil
2 scallions finely sliced
Chopped cilantro leaves
Olive oil
Salt & Pepper

Direction

  1. Prepare veggies and heat heavy skillet for searing.
  2. Soak rice noodles in boiling water for 10 mins while cooking the vegetables.
  3. Drain, rinse with cold water, and toss with sesame oil.
  4. Add olive oil to the heated skillet, searing broccoli, and then mushrooms in batches seasoning with salt and pepper. Once nicely charred in spots, cover with a lid briefly until just barely tender.
  5. Set aside on a plate with a lid to keep warm.
  6. Whisk tahini with ½ to 1 cup of filtered water, season with salt and pepper to taste. The amount of water will vary depending on the consistency of the tahini. You will want it pourable.
  7. Pour tahini over noodles and toss to coat. Divide between serving dishes.
    Top with vegetables, a few splashes of everything oil, cilantro, and scallions.

Enjoy!


Spring Pea Soup

A delight for the senses, this soup is an absolute joy to make. Find some fresh sugar snap peas at your local farmer’s market or favorite organic food store.

Adapted from David Tanis, Fresh Pea Soup,  NYT Cooking

 

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoon coconut or vegetable oil
  • 2 young  leeks, diced, both white and tender green parts
  • 1 pound sugar snap peas, trimmed, and chopped ( be sure to remove the threads that run their length)
  • 4 cups of veggie broth
  • 4 tablespoons white or chickpea miso
  • 2 thinly sliced scallions
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Heat coconut oil in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Add leek and cook until softened, 5-7 minutes.
  2. Add snap peas to pot and season well with salt and pepper. Add 1 cup water and simmer until peas are soft, about 3 minutes. Add broth and miso and cooking another minute two.  
  3. Purée mixture in a blender.
  4. You can strain the mixture through a fine siever or use as is. Heat gently, adjusting seasonings as needed.
  5. Serve in small bowls garnished with scallions.