Yellow Gazpacho

Yellow Gazpacho

Nothing says summer like a chilled soup…or sweet corn, or fresh tomatoes… so what do you get when you combine all those things? This delicious yellow gazpacho!

I saw this recipe and was immediately drawn to it because 1. I love anything related to Spain. 2. To me it is beautiful and simple, which I am always drawn to 🙂 and 3. Who doesn’t love a little twist on anything traditional, right?!

Scott and I enjoyed this last night paired with my Tofu, Peanut Butter and Roasted Tomato Panzanella and we had summer screaming from our happy kitchen. So fresh, so simple, and so beautiful.

Enjoy the final days of summer and the delicious flavors that come with it!… 

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Hearts of Palm Cakes

Hearts of Palm Crab Cakes

When I received Crazy Sexy Kitchen, this recipe was one of the first I wanted to try. It took me a while to get there but here it is.  In her book, she offers them with a remoulade sauce which I made, but for me the cakes are fine just as they are, with a dollop of greek yogurt or a side of something yummy. I served them alongside a good salad such as her Crazy Sexy Salad or  my Sugar Snap and Garden Pea salad. I’ve included the remoulade sauce recipe at the end of the post for those of you who want to try it out. Enjoy!

Hearts of Palm Cakes
 
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Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 sheet of nori, or 2 teaspoons toasted nori flakes
  • Two 14-ounce cans hearts of palm
  • 2-4 Tbsp oil, more as needed
  • ¼ cup finely diced red onion
  • ¼ cup finely diced red bell pepper
  • 3 tablespoons Vegenaise or other vegan mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes
  • 2 teaspoons arrowroot or cornstarch
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
Instructions
  1. Toast nori sheet by holding it with tongs and fanning it over a low gas flame or electric burner. Be careful not to let it burn. Turn the sheet frequently, so that it toasts evenly.
  2. Grind the nori using a spice grinder or a coffee grinder that can be used for spices. Break the nori into pieces, place it in the grinder, and pulse until powdered. Alternatively, crumble it as finely as you can with your hands or pulverize it with a mortar and pestle.
  3. Drain the hearts of palm and press in a towel to dry them. In a food processor, pulse gently until it looks like the consistency of crabmeat.
  4. Place a small sauté pan on medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon of oil and heat for 30 seconds, being careful not to let it smoke. Sauté the onion and bell pepper until soft, 3 to 5 minutes.
  5. In a large bowl, combine the hearts of palm, onion, bell pepper, Vegenaise, 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning, nori flakes, nutritional yeast flakes, arrowroot or cornstarch, and salt and pepper. Mix until incorporated. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  6. Scoop with an ice cream scoop or a large tablespoon to portion into small cakes. Combine breadcrumbs with 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning. Coat the small cakes with breadcrumbs. Form and let sit in the refrigerator until firm (30 – 60 min).
  7. Place a sauté pan on medium-high heat. Add some oil and heat for 2 minutes. Working in batches, sauté the cakes until browned on both sides and heated through, 2 to 3 minutes on each side.
  8. Remove the cakes to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and place in a warm oven until you finish all of the cakes.
  9. Place the cakes on a plate and garnish.

Serving Suggestion: Serve with homemade chimichurri or another one of my dips, sauces and spreads!

Photo courtesy of Kris Carr.

Chickpea and Root Vegetable Tagine

Root Vegetable Tagine

I made this dish for Scott and I a few weeks back and we loved it. This week we were bringing dinner to a friend and his wife and I had to come up with something I could cook earlier in the day and then reheat as I was coming straight from the studio and this was the first thing that popped into my mind. This dish can easily be made earlier or even the night before and then just reheated prior to serving as it allows the flavors to really soak in. A few of the comments I got that night included: “This is exactly what they serve in Morocco” & “This might be the best dinner ever”, so I would say it was a success. I got this from the fabulous Kris Carr and her amazing book Crazy, Sexy Kitchen, but modified a bit to fit my tastes.

For new and improved recipes, please visit my new site The Simple Kitchen!

Chickpea and Root Vegetable Tagine
 
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Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • ⅔ tsp ground cumin
  • ⅔ tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes [adjust based on desired spiciness]
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or pressed
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • ½ cup carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • ½ cup turnip, peeled and diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced (I prefer red or yellow)
  • 2 cups chickpeas, cooked
  • 6 ounces artichoke hearts, rinsed and quartered
  • 1½ cups peas
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • 3 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • 3 Tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp chopped mint
  • Sea salt, to taste
Instructions
  1. In a large heavy-bottom shallow pot or deep skillet [cast iron works best] on medium heat, add oil, onions, and garlic. Cook until onions are translucent and golden, stirring continuously for about 3 to 4 minutes.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the spices, tomato paste, vegetable stock, carrots, sweet potatoes, and turnip. Cover and simmer for about 25 minutes, or until the carrots and potatoes are tender. Cooking time may vary based on the thickness of chopped veggies.
  3. When the root veggies are tender, add the bell pepper, chickpeas, artichokes, and raisins. Continue simmering for about 5 to 8 minutes. Liquid should be reduced and thicker at this point.
  4. Add parsley, cilantro, mint and sea salt, folding in all of the herbs. Cover and remove from the heat. Taste and add more salt if needed.
  5. Garnish with lemon zest, red sliced chili and any leftover parsley, cilantro or mint if desired.

Serving Suggestion: Serve over cauliflower mash, quinoa or grain of choice.

Thai Red Curry with Pumpkin

Red Pumpkin Curry

Scott and I hosted a dinner party last week as part of a reunion for some friends that went to Turkey together and also as a birthday celebration for my friend Brittany. We decided that it was the perfect opportunity to test our our recently learned Thai cooking skills :). The real standout of the dinner party was the red curry. We had to modify from what we made in Thailand because we simply couldn’t find all the right ingredients here so this is the version that will likely work for most of you and it was oh so tasty. Serve over rice or with some noodles (or both!) and you are set. Lucky for us, we hosted 7 but made enough food for almost twice that… and the leftovers were just as tasty.

Thai Red Curry with Pumpkin
 
Cook time
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Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 cup coconut cream – we were told in Thailand that coconut cream is a must in curries… I will test it out with other types of coconut milk and report back.
  • 1-2 tablespoons red curry paste (can find a vegetarian version if you would like)
  • 1 lb pumpkin, cut into 1 in cubes – any yellow flesh squash will work
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ Tbsp salt
  • 1 red bell pepper, even thinly sliced
  • 2 cups or 1 can baby corn, roughly chopped
  • 3-4 sprigs basil – thai basil if you can find it
Instructions
  1. Pour half of the coconut cream into a pot, over medium heat. Add the red curry paste and mix well. If your mixture starts to splatter too much, turn down the heat. Stir continuously to prevent the bottom from sticking and burning. When the reddish oil starts to form, stir until fragrant.
  2. Add the pumpkin and stir to coat with curry sauce. Add the rest of the coconut cream and water. Season with salt; start at ½ tablespoon and taste. Each curry paste has a different salt content so you really need to taste it. Simmer until the pumpkin is soft, about 15 minutes.
  3. Add sliced red pepper, corn and basil. Turn off the heat. Stir to submerge the basil in hot curry to keep the leaves bright green. The leaves will stay bright green for 10 minutes or so. Serve while hot.

 

Crazy Sexy Kale Salad + a little extra!

Kale and Sprout Salad

For those of you who are not familiar with Kris Carr, you should become familiar…quickly. Her story is incredible! She was diagnosed with a very rare and incurable form of stage 4 cancer which encouraged her to make a total lifestyle upgrade inside and out. She focuses on a nutrient dense, plant-based diet and her books (and now her recipes) are so much fun. Her cookbook came out not too long ago so it’s no surprise that my girlfriends thought it would be the perfect hostess gift for me – thanks ladies of WC! The reason I like this kale salad so much (other than the fact that I am obsessed with kale) is that it uses avocado to give it such a great texture. It a modified version of her salad in the book and is oh so yummy (and super easy to modify to make your own)!

For new and improved recipes, please visit my new site The Simple Kitchen!

Crazy Sexy Kale Salad + a little extra!
 
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Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch of kale, shredded by hand (I prefer dino)
  • ¼ cup parsley, chopped
  • 1½ avocados, pit removed and chopped
  • 2 Tbsp flax oil
  • 1½ Tbsp lemon juice (fresh is best!)
  • 1 cup diced bell peppers (I prefer orange, yellow or red over green)
  • 1 cup pea shoots, chopped in half
  • 2 cups of sunflower sprouts, chopped in half
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Cucumber, sliced (for serving, see picture)
  • 2 Tbsp pepitas
Instructions
  1. Combine kale, parsley, avocados, flax oil and lemon juice in a bowl. Massage and mix with hands to wilt the kale and cream the avocado.
  2. Add the bell pepper, pea shoots, sunflower sprouts and salt and mix to combine.
  3. Serve on a plate and wrap with cucumber slice.
  4. Top with pepitas.

Reindeer Cheese Appetizers

What can I say, I am a total sucker for adorable food (one of the many reasons I love the holidays so much)! This one is super easy to make and is a nice way to liven up your cheese platter. Happy holidays to you and yours, ho ho ho!

Reindeer Cheese Appetizers
 
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Ingredients
  • 2 cheese wedges
  • 4 pretzels
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into circles
  • Whole black peppercorns
Instructions
  1. Arrange cheese wedges on your serving platter.
  2. Add pretzels for ears, pepper circle for nose and black peppercorns for eyes.
  3. Serve and enjoy!

Photo Credit: Cute food for kids

Sweet Potato Curry

Potato Roti Curry

I made this tonight and it was divine. It is a soupy curry dish that is quite easy to prepare. While roti is traditional thing to serve with this, whole wheat tortillas or pitas are great accompaniments for sopping up the liquid. You can also saute up beans and spinach and serve over that too for a gluten free version.

Sweet Potato Curry
 
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Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground allspice
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1½ cups chopped onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups (1-inch) cubed peeled sweet potato (about 1½ pounds)
  • 3 cups (1-inch) cubed peeled acorn squash (about ¾ pound)
  • 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 can (14oz) light coconut milk
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
Instructions
  1. Combine first 6 ingredients; set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion; cook 3 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Add garlic; cook 15 seconds, stirring constantly. Add spice mixture; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add potato, squash, and bell pepper, stirring to coat with spice mixture; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in water and coconut milk, scraping pan to loosen browned bits; bring to a boil.
  3. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 25 minutes or until potato is tender. Season to taste (I added a little curry powder at the end). Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

Photo Credit: Cooking Light

Tortilla-less Sweet Potato Tacos

Sweet Potato Taco

So my hubs is going slow carb this month which means I had to get a little creative when I wanted some Mexican food. I had recently seen a recipe for Black Bean and Sweet Potato Tacos on my friends website but was trying to recreate without using the corn tortilla. Instead, I came up with the idea of using the sweet potato as the “taco shell” and putting the filling on the inside. It’s not a taco you’ll be eating with your hands but it was delicious nonetheless!

Tortilla-less Sweet Potato Tacos
 
Prep time
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Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 2-4 small or medium sized sweet potatoes, rinsed and ends cut off
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1-2 bell peppers, diced (color is your choice)
  • 1 cup corn
  • Approximately 2 cups beans of choice, wither homemade or canned
  • 1 package taco seasoning (I prefer Trader Joes as it is all natural)
  • Any additional favorite taco toppings: cabbage, avocado, salsa, cheese, etc.
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400. Bake sweet potatoes until tender, approximately 30-40 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool until you can handle. (This can be done ahead of time)
  2. Slice potato lengthwise and scoop out the center leaving about ¼ in of the potato on the skin. (You can save the extra potato for something else if you’d like)! Increase the heat of the oven to 450. Brush or rub grapeseed oil (or another high smoke point oil) over both sides of the potato skins. Sprinkle with salt. Place on a baking rack or in a roasting pan. Cook for 7-10 minutes on each side, until browned and slightly crispy.
  3. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a pan and add onions, cooking until fragrant. Add bell peppers and corn and cook until peppers begin to soften. Add taco seasoning and beans and saute until cooked through.
  4. Place sweet potato “taco shells” on a plate, fill with vegetable mixture and top with you favorite taco toppings.

 

Black Bean, Chile and Quinoa Veggie Burger

Veggie Burger

I had made an attempt at veggie burgers in the past and ended up with a crumbly mess. These ones turned out quite different. They were a hit among both vegetarians and non vegetarians. The chilies give it some good flavor while the beans and quinoa make it nice and hearty.

Black Bean, Chile and Quinoa Veggie Burger
 
Prep time
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Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup quinoa
  • ½ cup vegetable broth
  • 2 cans (14 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • ½ onion, diced
  • ½ cup roasted red peppers
  • 1 can (7 oz) diced green chilies
  • ⅓ cup cooked corn
  • ¼ cup cilantro
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs, plus extra
  • 2 eggs/egg whites (only needed if burgers do not seem to be staying together)
Instructions
  1. Combine the quinoa and broth in a saucepan, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer covered until the quinoa is tender.
  2. In a bowl, slightly mash the black beans. Mix with remaining ingredients except eggs. Chill the mixture. I chilled for about 5 hours to let the flavors absorb.
  3. Just before cooking, mix the eggs into the mixture and stir evenly. Shape mixture into patties and brown and heat in a frying pan with a little oil.
  4. Serve on a bun with your favorite toppings.

 

Kung Pao Tofu

Kung Pao Tofu

I’m not the hugest fan of chinese food because I don’t like the thick sauces but my husband loves the Kung Pao at our local Chinese spot (we always sub the chicken out for tofu). It is actually quite good because it has a lighter sauce. So I searched far and wide to find a recipe that would give a lighter sauce – FYI, you’d be amazed how hard it is to find a Kung Pao dish without a few table spoons of sugar in the sauce!!! I ended up finding a great recipe at Eating Well but subbed in my own veggies that I thought would be a better combo and made some modifications to the sauce, to give it that extra little kick.

Kung Pao Tofu
 
Cook time
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Serves: 2-4
Ingredients
  • 1 (14 oz) package extra-firm water-packed tofu, rinsed
  • 1 tsp five-spice powder, divided (can be found in the spice section of most grocery stores)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup water
  • 3 tablespoons oyster-flavored sauce, (0yster sauce works if you are not worried about a vegetarian meal)
  • ½ teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp chili garlic sauce
  • 2 cups broccoli crowns, trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 2-inch strips
  • 2 cups sugar snap peas
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted roasted peanuts, plus more for garnish
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce, (omit or find gluten free soy sauce for gluten free recipe)
  • 1 bunch of scallions, chopped
Instructions
  1. Pat tofu dry and cut into ½-inch cubes. Combine with ½ teaspoon five-spice powder in a medium bowl.
  2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add tofu and cook, stirring every 1 to 2 minutes, until golden brown, 7 to 9 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk water, oyster sauce, cornstarch, chili garlic sauce and the remaining ½ teaspoon five-spice powder in a small bowl.
  4. Add broccoli, red bell pepper and snap peas to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, about 6 minutes. Add ginger and garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Reduce heat to low, add the oyster sauce mixture and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 30 seconds.
  5. Return the tofu to the pan along with peanuts and stir to coat with sauce; stir in scallions and soy sauce (if using).

Serving Suggestion: Serve over brown rice or grain of choice.