Showing posts from April, 2020

Strawberry Granita

Refreshing and fruity: two of my favorite adjectives when describing a dessert. They definitely apply to this Strawberry Granita, which is a type of homemade water ice made from fruit. Granita is originally from Italy, where it is typically made from lemons and their juice. We made ours with fresh strawberries, citrus juice, and sugar, and it was delightful!

Served topped with vegan coconut whipped cream, this strawberry granita was like cool strawberries and cream on a summer's day. You could also add this icy flaky dream to cocktails, serve on top of vegan ice cream or frozen yogurt, or enjoy all by itself! It takes a bit of patience, but the result is very worth the freezer time.

Granita is sweet and refreshing when made from watermelon, mango, blood oranges (really any fruit with a high water content), or even coffee or wine! Try out this method with your favorite fruit or whatever you have on hand!

1 1/2 lb strawberries (or 1 1/2 large containers), de-stemmed and …

Lentils Masala

I wanted to make daal, or Indian red lentil soup, but I won't dare to call this dish the same as the daal from my favorite Indian restaurant. It isn't as soupy as my idea of daal, but it is, however, warm and aromatic, comforting, and delicious. I used garam masala, dried coriander, and cumin as the spices for this dish.

The lentils are simmered on low until they are the most tender, and then served with basmati rice and freshly chopped cilantro. It isn't spicy per se, more warming and earthy. Perfect for a grey rainy day. We've been having too many of those lately here in NYC!

Not only is it super tasty, but red lentils have great protein, making this a very filling and low cost meal if you have the spices on hand. Please feel free to use your preferred mix of curry spices from your cabinet!

1 tbsp oil
1/2 large yellow onion, finely diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 tbsp Garam Masala
1/2 tbsp …

Green Gazpacho

This is basically a green juice or smoothie, but in soup form! It's chock full of nutritious veggies and flavorful herbs, blending together into a super bright dish (both in color and taste). It's a great way to nourish your body if you're feeling sluggish, or if you're like me and have over indulged in snacks and processed foods and want to reset.

Gazpacho is a cold raw soup typically made with tomatoes, but this green version is a wonderful combination of spinach, herbs, cucumber, lemon juice, made creamy with healthy fats: coconut yogurt and avocado. It is utterly refreshing on a hot day, or a nice light lunch or dinner served with fancy crackers & nut butter. I was inspired by Gaz Oakley's original recipe, but made a few slight alterations to fit our available ingredients and taste buds!

1/2 jalapeno pepper, de-seeded and chopped
1 cucumber, de-seeded and chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 handful fresh mint
1 handful fresh parsley
1 handful fres…

Spanish Beans with Tomatoes

I've never cooked with dried beans before. I have always relied on the convenience and time-saving nature of pre-cooked canned beans. I have a lot of time on my hands these days, so why not start from scratch and see how it goes?

I soaked the beans for 20 hours in plenty of water (they expand a lot!), and then simmered them in water seasoned with salt and a bay leaf for 45 minutes. After that they were very tender and ready to be added to any dish.

This simple dish uses the warm spices paprika and cumin and diced tomatoes for a simple and warm meal that is extremely comforting and satisfying. We also added grilled vegan sausages for even more substance and another texture.

2 cups cooked baby lima beans (either canned, or dried + soaked overnight and then simmered for 45 min)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 tsp paprika, plus more as desired
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp cumin
salt and pepper
1 c…

Vegan Breakfast Casserole

During these uncertain times, it can be difficult to differentiate between weekdays and weekends. To help make the weekend feel special, we treated ourselves to a cooked breakfast with all our favorite breakfast foods: hashbrowns, sausage, and a yummy scramble with veggies....all in one layered and delicious casserole!

This would be a great breakfast or brunch to serve to guests, once we are allowed to have guests again! It would also be a perfect treat for Mother's Day or any holiday morning. Does someone in your household have a birthday coming up? Surprise them with a homemade feast!

We ate the second half of this casserole the next day, and I think it was even better heated up as leftovers! The layers had a chance to bond together and the "cheese" was even gooier and more melty the second time around. I highly recommend this casserole as a make ahead brunch recipe, or even just a meal prep healthy and filling breakfast idea for your weekdays. Enjoy!

1 cup…

Creamy Mushroom Soup with Coconut Milk

Yum yum yum this was such a delicious and easy soup (practically just three ingredients!). It felt like it could have been served at a fancy restaurant. This mushroom soup is so creamy, you will never be able tell it's vegan! The dairy-free secret is the cream that rises to the top of the coconut milk can, but don't worry, there is no coconut taste here; just a creamy velvety umami dream.

I quickly whipped up some homemade croutons by toasting bread cubes in the oven, which were a welcome crunch! Plus, we used the soup leftovers as a creamy pasta sauce, and it was equally as delicious. I love when we can give leftovers a new life.

2 Tbsp vegan butter
1 package baby bella mushrooms, sliced
salt and pepper
1 cup coconut cream (thick cream that rises to the top of full fat coconut milk)
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
7-8 dried porcini or shiitake mushrooms
chopped chives and freshly made croutons for garnish

In a deep skillet over medium heat, add butter. Once me…

Charred Broccolini with Polenta and Chickpeas

Sometimes I like to feel fancy when I cook, and mostly all it takes is a splash of balsamic and some geometric shapes; case in point here and here. This dinner involved making some very tricky polenta triangles (just kidding they were the easiest part of the meal), roasting stalks of broccolini, and quickly sauteing chickpeas with a splash of balsamic. Et voila!

Broccolini is basically broccoli but with thinner longer stalks, almost like asparagus. I removed the lower leaves from the stalks and chopped off the bottom inch which tends to be stringy and difficult to chew. It is slightly less bitter than broccoli, and infinitely more elegant. I roasted it without tossing until the edges were a browned because I wanted the florets to be crispy and full of that char flavor.

Polenta firms up when it cools so it's easy to spread out and then cut into your desired shapes. Feel free to use this method to make polenta fries, circles, hearts, or wherever your imagination takes you.


Roasted Cabbage Wedges with Onion Dijon Relish

Truthfully, we don't often cook green cabbage in our house. Sometimes we buy a bag of cole slaw mix, but I rarely buy a head of green cabbage. So this week I went out on a limb at the grocery store in the spirit of trying new things. Roasting seemed like the best cooking method to achieve the perfect combo of sweet, tender, and char.

The onion Dijon relish is a quick and simple flavor booster. It balances the sweet roasted cabbage with a touch of acid and the warm subtle spiciness of Dijon mustard. The creamy texture also works really well with the still slightly crunchy cabbage leaves. We served ours with fluffy couscous and some simple kale, which was delightful!

Roasted Cabbage Wedges
1 head green cabbage, cut into eight wedges (in half three times - make sure to keep the core in tact)
olive oil

Onion Dijon Relish
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp vegan butter
2-3 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 small yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper
fresh chopped chives …

Lemon Cranberry Scones

Everybody seems to be baking with all their extra time on their hands these days. I've seen lots of photos of dough rising and freshly baked sourdough. Inspired by all the amateur home bakers out there, I got the urge to bake something sweet and special too.

This scone recipe is basically the same as my orange chocolate scone recipe, but this time I used some dried cranberries and fresh lemon juice + zest for a new flavor combination. Honestly, you could switch  them out for any flavors you are craving, like cinnamon walnut, chocolate chip, lemon blueberry, cinnamon raisin, orange cranberry, or whatever your heart desires!

I really recommend trying the tart + sweet combo of lemon and cranberry. The texture of the scones is fluffy, a perfect amount of crumbly, and not too sweet, perfect for spreading with lots of vegan butter and jam. Enjoy!

2 heaping cups flour
1/3 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/4 cup cold vegan butter, cubed

Seasoned Oven Fries (Freeze Ahead)

We love oven fries. In England, oven chips are basically a food group. We don't have them quite as frequently as hubs would like, but I'd say we still have them pretty often, often enough that I was curious to try to speed up the cooking process by making my own frozen version ahead of time. Plus, why buy a bag from the freezer aisle when I could save money and packaging in just over an hour (most of it passive, might I add)?

While I was at it, I decided to season the fries with Cajun seasoning. Seasoned fries are inarguably *SO* much better than regular fries, and it seemed like such an easy thing to do. I'm sure our future selves will thank us when they bite into these spicy garlicky fries crisp from the oven.

You have to freeze them in stages, starting with a flat layer so that they don't freeze all in one clump. Then you can transfer them to a plastic bag, labelled with the cooking instructions if you're a smarty pants! Feel free to scale this up if you have a…

Creamy Butter Beans with Spinach Pesto

I am always searching for a new way to enjoy beans, since they are a top protein source for vegan/vegetarians and we eat them so often! NYTimes Cooking inspired me with one of their recipes a few weeks ago. Their idea of a creamy white bean balanced by a pop of green freshness really appealed to me on both health and taste levels, so I delved into it even further by switching to a starchier butter bean, and adding a powerful pack of spinach.

This couldn't be simpler to make -- and it only took ten minutes! We served ours with just barely sauteed kale (leaving plenty of bite) and a delicious loaf of crusty ciabatta bread. The beauty of this dish is its simplicity, and that it is simultaneously comforting and invigorating. There aren't many meals that do both!

If you're not sure of the difference between butter beans and white cannellini beans, butter beans are actually baby lima beans. They are larger and starchier than white beans. They get their name because of how smoot…