3 Reasons to Love Sunchokes

Jerusalem ArtichokesSunchokes might not be on your radar —but for both culinary and health reasons, you may want to check out these tubers! They look a bit like ginger and come in a variety of sizes, shapes and even different colors, depending upon the soil in which they were grown. They are generally smooth, but can be very knobby, as in the heirloom variety. Not exactly the star of the farmers’ market, they are in the shadow of the more colorful fall and winter vegetables. But, here are three reasons you’ll want to bring them home. Skip the squash. It’s not going anywhere!

THREE REASONS TO TRY SUNCHOKES

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Pumpkin Curry Soup

Pumpkin Curry Soup The most festive and celebrated of gourds, pumpkins, enjoy a near celebrity-status in our apartment. By late September, the scouting begins, first for prospective jack-o-lanterns, then centerpieces and window adornments. Sadly, by early November, the carved ones have been decommissioned and the uncarved ones start giving hints that our time together is coming to a close. Their skin, once bright orange, leathery and taut, begins to dull and wrinkle. Their bodies soften, losing their denseness and familiar “thump” when tapped. Clearly, none of them will make it to Thanksgiving. Soup must be made. Continue reading

Black Bean Chipotle Bisque

Chipotle Bleack Bean Soup

It’s soup and sweater time! This soup, like one of my favorite sweaters, is warm, dark, and comforting —with a little sass. In this version, I added some coconut milk to make it even creamier and cozier. Rich in protein and fiber, it tastes like an indulgence, but it’s not. Bring on the cold. I’m ready.

The chipotle pepper really sets this recipe apart from other bean soups, providing a hint of heat and smokiness. The dried peppers can be found in the ethnic section of most larger grocery stores. You can create your own chipotle powder by simply grinding the dried peppers in a spice or coffee grinder. But, remove the seeds first if you want more smokiness than heat.

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How to Make Chia Gel -in 45 Seconds!

Spoon in Chia Gel

It seems chia gel has a lot of fans! The How to Make and Use Chia Gel has been one of this site’s most popular posts since first published over a year ago. This post’s popularity is no doubt been due to chia gel’s versatility. Add it to drinks, use as a thickener or an egg-replacement to make healthy vegan options, such as smoothies, jam, pudding or other baked goods.

To celebrate, I decided to make my first cell phone video! While the video is only 45 seconds long, the process actually takes 15 minutes. Check it out!

Like videos? Send me your requests!

Raw Avocado Green Soup

 

Blended Green Soup

I’ve never, not once, considered ordering a cold soup off a menu, much less making one at home. In a word, they seemed B-o-r-i-n-g. Note the capital ‘B’? How could a cold soup possibly be satisfying? Gazpacho gets a pass once a year. Otherwise, not part of my cooking / dining repertoire. Next! Continue reading

Zucchini Pesto Noodles

Zucchini Noodles

My first effort with zucchini noodles was a fail and it had nothing to do with not having a spiralizer. The first time I made them, I sautéed them with pesto. By the time I sat down with my plate, the noodles were a lukewarm and slightly watery pile. Note to self: the best way to eat zucchini noodles is cold. Continue reading

Roasted Broccoli with Garlic Cashew Sauce

Roasted Broccoli

When I’m near Union Square and want a quick bite, I think Maoz. This international chain  is known for fast and affordable vegetarian mediterranean food, especially its signature falafel (gluten-free!) and flavorful sauces. But, it’s the roasted broccoli I save room for as I fill my self-serve bowl, then those the lid -with florets bulging at the edges. Yep. I was ‘that customer’. That is, until I was told “the broccoli won’t be ready for a few minutes”.  Then, I saw an employee dump broccoli into the serving container from a large basket. It was one of those tell-tale baskets which screams ‘deep-fryer’. Technically, according to the employee, it was ‘flash-fried’. Continue reading

How to Make Vegan Avocado Pesto

Vegan Avocado Pesto

Pesto adds flavor and texture to nearly any meal, from scrambled eggs, soups, salad dressings, pizza, and of course, pasta. While traditionally made with cheese, it is simple to make a dairy-free pesto. Simply replace the cheese with a perfectly ripe avocado. By doing so, you replace saturated fat with heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. The result is a very silky, fiber-rich and low-glycemic index sauce which is arguably just as tastey as the traditional cheese version. Continue reading

Quinoa & Black Bean Confetti Salad

Quinoa Black Bean SaladIt’s not easy to love a minimum wage job at a mall. But, I loved my part-time job at Pasta & Co. In the 80’s, fresh pasta was a retail novelty. While Pasta & Co was one of Seattle’s first retailers to offer fresh pasta, it was their specialty sauces and prepared foods which captured my imagination. The owner, Marcella Rosene put a creative twist on everything in that store, from selecting unique and defining recipe ingredients, such as black sesame oil to her beautifully hand scripted product labels. In her stores, something as simple as croutons were memorable. Pasta & Co. The Cookbook, the first cookbook I ever bought myself, is still with me today, dog-eared and splattered. The book is now out of print. But, I noticed a few new copies available on Amazon for $215! Continue reading

Daiya Cheese: It Melts!

Daiya Vegan CheeseIf you’ve tried dairy-free cheeses, you know delicious options exist, but few which actually melt. This can be a deal-beaker. Can you imagine nachos without melted cheese dripping, stretching and oozing across the layers? Let’s not go there. Instead, check out Daiya! Continue reading