Friday, July 13, 2018

Salted Caramel Cashew Ice Cream



With summer heat waves in full force across the country, ice cream has been on my mind. But let's face it, probably not the best treat to be indulging in every day, which is roughly how often we seemed to be consuming it. So I decided to go searching for a healthier version that I could feel good about serving my family. A simple search found that I was not alone.

The key to these cashew based ice creams is the dates. Not only do they deliver a caramely sweetness, but they keep the ice cream silky in texture, as opposed to solely sweetening with syrup or honey, which yields an icier result.


The ingredient list is simple, there is no churning or ice cream machine involved, and you'll have healthy ice cream to enjoy directly out of the freezer. If you do not have a high powered blender, such as a Vitamix and Blendtec, I would recommend soaking the cashews and pitted dates for several hours in the milk, to soften them up enough to blend smoothly. 

The cinnamon packs a punch- you can take it down a notch by halving the amount if you prefer. The flaky sea salt is also optional. I love it, but my three year old is less sure, so know your audience. 



Finally, this is not the kind of ice cream you want sitting around for too long in your freezer, I find that after a few days it starts to loose some of it's silky texture. Best made in small batches and enjoyed often.

Salted Caramel Cashew Ice Cream

Inspired by Blissful Basil

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups unsweetened plant-based milk
1 cup pitted and packed soft, sticky medjool dates (about 12 dates)
3/4 cup raw cashews (heaping)
2 tbs. maple syrup
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. fine-grain sea salt
1/8 tsp. flaky salt for top

Directions

Place all ingredients except for the flaky salt in a high-speed blender and process until very smooth, scraping down sides as needed. Pour into a parchment paper lined dish and sprinkle with flaky salt. Freeze until hard, at least 6 hours. In the first few days, this scoops beautifully right out of the freezer. If it lasts more than a few days, let sit for a few minutes before serving.


Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Curry Almond Burgers



A few weeks ago I served these burgers as part of my Prepared Meal Service, and so many people requested the recipe that I immediately added this blog post to my to-do list. And it's happening!

They can come together fairly quickly, especially if you prep the rice and carrots in advance, so that they are cooked, cooled and ready. It is also a great project to make with kids- can you guess who shaped which burgers below? My two year old was excited to help, and ate an entire burger once they cooled. Undeniable bonus of letting them get their hands dirty (and they were, as well as turmeric stained!)


For a full meal, you can serve these with roasted veggies on the side. For a lighter one, you can use the burgers to top a salad and forgo the bun altogether. 


Curry Almond Burgers

Serves 8

Ingredients

1 cup short grain brown rice
2 medium carrots, chopped (about 1 cup)
2 cups water or stock

2 garlic cloves
3/4 cup raw almonds
1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds
1 tbs. ground flax seed
1 tbs. curry powder
1 tbs. tamari
2 tbs. tahini
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1- 1.5 tsp. salt, to taste

To serve: burger buns, avocado, sprouts, ketchup or favorite spread

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place rice, chopped carrots and water in a small pot with a tight fitting lid. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to a simmer and cook, covered, for 35 minutes. Let cool.

Meanwhile, mince garlic cloves in food processor. Add almonds and sunflower seeds and grind until they are the texture of gravel. Add remaining ingredients, including rice and carrots and process until fairly smooth (small chunks are fine). Taste, and add additional 1/2 tsp. of salt if desired.

Shape into 8 patties and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, rotate, and continue to bake for another 10 minutes.

To serve, place on top of toasted buns, spread with your favorite schmeer, and top with avocado and sprouts.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Silky Pumpkin Soup


I ended up with an aging population of pie pumpkins in my possession a few weeks ago, from a farmer who was about to jet and didn't want his stock to go to waste. We're talking 60 pounds worth. The wrinkles were already forming, so I decided to roast now and freeze later.

And thus my "add pumpkin to everything" adventures began. So far I have made Crustless Pumpkin Pie, Indian Pumpkin and Split Pea Curry, Pumpkin Risotto and Spiced Pumpkin Donuts. Today we are going down the sweet-meets-savory route with a Silky Pumpkin Soup, perfect for this winter wonderland kind of day. Slightly reminiscent of pumpkin pie, while keeping it dinner table appropriate.


If you are curious about how to roast and freeze your own pie pumpkins, it's quite simple. Split pumpkins in half, remove seeds, rub with oil and roast at 375 degrees, cut side down on a baking sheet, for 30-45 minutes, until very soft. Let cool, remove flesh from the shells with a large spoon, measure and place in freezer bags, labeled with the amount inside. I did mostly 4-8 cups increments. Stack the freezer bags flat and let them freeze that way, for organizational convenience. 


Silky Pumpkin Soup
Serves 4-6

Ingredients

1 tbs. coconut oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
3 cups of roasted pumpkin
1 cup coconut milk
1.5 cups water or vegetable broth
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1-3 tbs. of maple syrup, to taste
1 tsp. salt
black pepper or chili flakes to taste
Optional garnish: a sprinkle of garam masala

Directions

Heat coconut oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until translucent. Add garlic and ginger and continue to sauté for one more minute. Stir in pumpkin, coconut milk and water/broth, as well as cinnamon and nutmeg. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Add maple syrup and salt and puree with an immersion blender until smooth. Taste, and add additional syrup and/or salt to taste, as well as black pepper or chili flakes. The amount of syrup needed will depend on the natural sweetness of the pumpkins you used.

Garnish with a sprinkle of garam masala, a warming Indian spice blend, if desired.


Saturday, November 11, 2017

Banana Flax Muffins


I have a policy where if I make a recipe on the regular, I make sure to add my personal touch and get it to the blog. This is a great example of that in action. It helps me collect my favorites, and easily share them with others. 

These days I sometimes have a two-year old baker's helper, so I try to stick to vegan batters, since almost as much goes in to her mouth as in to the pan. So I swapped the eggs out for soaked flax seed, and added some grain diversity to make sure we're benefitting from all the various grains have to offer. Feel free to try out quinoa, buckwheat or amaranth flour in place of the millet flour if you're feeling adventurous, they all lend a unique flavor and nutritional profile. 


If you can’t find millet flour, you can use an extra ½ cup of oat flour instead. If you’d rather use whole wheat, you can replace both the oat and millet flour with 2 cups whole wheat flour. 

Final note, we love making these as mini muffins, which seem like the perfect snack size. They freeze really, if 36 seems like an intimidating number.

Banana Flax Muffins
Makes 16 full-size muffins or 36 mini muffins

Ingredients

3 tbs. of ground flax combined with 3 tbs. of warm water
¼ cup maple syrup
3 ripe bananas, mashed
2/3 cup applesauce
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbs. vanilla
1 1/2 cup oat flour
1/2 cup millet flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Oil muffin tins with a paper towel and dash of oil

Combine the flax and water mixture and set aside until thickened.  In a medium bowl, mash the bananas, add applesauce, oil, and vanilla.  In a large bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Mix well. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir until combined.

Scoop batter into your muffin tins, about 2/3 full.  Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes for full size muffins or 12 minutes for minis.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Teriyaki Tempeh Meatballs



You may remember a Tempeh Meatball recipe I posted last year, which often graces our table with Italian style meals. Think Spaghetti Squash Lasagna, or Summer Pesto Pasta. This dish borrows the base from those meatballs, and brings it East with a homemade Teriyaki Sauce. I like to serve it with a quick stir-fry of broccoli and bell peppers.

If you are unfamiliar with tempeh, this is a great intro recipe. Tempeh is a fermented soybean cake, which renders the soy easy to digest and assimilate. Rich in protein as well fiber- it is the kind of dish that sticks with you. I love to have my fridge stocked with meatballs for both snacks and a quick meal.


This is a great recipe to get kids involved in. My daughter loves to add all of the ingredients to the food processor, and then help roll them as well.  Just expect a mess (always). She can barely wait for them to cool before she starts gobbling them down.


Teriyaki Tempeh Meatballs
Serves 2-3

Ingredients

½ cup water
2 tbs. tamari soy sauce
¼ tsp ginger powder
¼ tsp. garlic powder
2 tbs. honey
¼ tsp. sriracha
1 tsp. arrowroot powder
1 tbs. cold water

8 oz. tempeh
1/4 cup brown rice flour
2 tbs. neutral oil
1/4 tsp. salt

1 tbs. oil
1/2 cup chives, chopped
1 tbs. toasted sesame seeds

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

To prepare teriyaki sauce, place water through sriracha in to a small pot and bring to a simmer. In a small bowl, mix cold water with arrowroot. Add to boiling sauce, continue to simmer stirring constantly, until thickened, and remove from heat.

Cube tempeh and add to the bowl of a food processor. Process until crumbled. Add 4 tablespoons of prepared teriyaki sauce, as well as flour, oil and salt. Continue to process until dough gathers in to a ball.

Roll mixture into 12-16 meatballs and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, rotate and roll over and continue for another 10 minutes, or until golden brown.

To finish, heat last tablespoon of oil in a large skillet. Add chives and stir-fry for one minute. Add meatballs and remaining teriyaki sauce and cook until sticky and golden. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus




The genius of this recipe is in the preparation of the chickpeas. Soaking and cooking the chickpeas with baking soda changes the acidity, and allows for a pillowy bean that purees away in to a silky dip or spread. It's truly magical.

I definitely did not come up with this one on my own- it is greatly inspired by Chef Solomonov of Zahav in Philly.

Don't be afraid to make this in a bigger batch- say triple, and then portion and freeze it. The originator might disagree, correctly explaining that hummus is best served fresh and never refrigerated. However, we all live in reality, where time is precious and frozen staples can be your ticket to healthy eating during the busy work week. So I give you permission.

The variations are endless here- we like to try to change it up every time we make a batch. Take out the roasted red peppers and add cilantro or basil. Or roasted garlic. Try a healthy pinch of berbere spice blend for a Ethiopian flavor. Or curry powder for an interesting kick. Keep it simple, or play with complexity, it's all good.



Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
Inspired by Chef Solomonov's recipe Hummus Tehina

Ingredients
1 cup dried chickpeas
2 tsp. baking soda, divided
2 garlic cloves
1 lemon, zest and juice
1 tsp. salt, plus more to taste
1/2 cup tahini, best quality you can find
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
2 roasted red peppers, about 1 cup chopped
Garnishes: a drizzle of olive oil and sesame seeds or z'atar

Directions

Soak chickpeas along with 1 teaspoon of baking soda overnight in plenty of water in a large bowl. Drain and rinse. Place in a medium pot with the remaining teaspoon of baking soda and water to cover the chickpeas by a few inches. Bring to a boil, and turn down to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, until very very soft, about an hour. You want them softer than normal- basically until they have no bite left to them. Drain and rinse with cold water.

In a blender, combine remaining ingredients. Process until very smooth, letting the blender run for almost a minute, scraping down the sides as necessary. Add water as needed so that it is blending easily.

Place chickpeas and tahini sauce in a food processor and blend until completely smooth. This may take a few minutes. Again, add water as necessary to reach the right consistency. Taste and adjust with additional salt and pepper. Serve garnished with a drizzle of olive oil and sesame seeds (and chive blossoms if they are in season!)

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Cracklin' Cauliflower


Guys, this one is good. Like eat an entire head of cauliflower good.

The spices almost create a breading which toasts up while the inside gets tender. The key is a longer roasting time in the oven with fairly frequent stirs.


My favorite uses are with some sort of Asian noodles (think peanut ginger sauce) or next to falafel, as we will enjoying them tonight. Or as a snack to pop in your mouth every 5 minutes as you struggle to pound out a blog post with the sun shining outside.

Cracklin' Cauliflower
Serves 2-3

Ingredients

1 medium head of cauliflower (4 cups florets)
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/4 tsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. garlic granules
a few grinds of black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbs. nutritional yeast
1 tbs. coconut or grapeseed oil

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Chop cauliflower head into small florets and place in a large bowl. Toss with turmeric through nutritional yeast. Drizzle with oil and toss again to coat.

Spread on to a parchment paper lined baking sheet so that each floret has some wiggle room. This will ensure a crisping effect.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, or until all florets are a golden brown and very tender.