Gourds, Leaves & Seeds…Olé!

I love trying different versions of the traditional enchilada. In these vegan enchiladas, we get some extra protein punch from the pepitas in the sauce. I had some vegan “queso” that I was experimenting with so I was able to make this completely vegan, but you are certainly not limited to that. A good queso añejo would also go well. The grilled tomato was intended to add color to make the picture better, but it turned out being a nice acidic component that brightened up every other bite or so. Butternut squash loves being seasoned with cumin and chile, so this just came together quite naturally.

butternut squash enchiladas with roasted tomatillo-pepita sauce

For the sauce
5-6 tomatillos, husks removed, cut into quarters
1/2 medium onion, cut into chunks
1 jalapeño, seeds removed, cut into large pieces (if you like it less spicy try half a jalapeño)
4 garlic cloves, cut into quarters
2 tsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup loosely chopped cilantro
1/2 cup raw pepits Read More

Vitamins in the “Rough”

You have probably heard the expression “diamond in the rough.” Well, what about “vitamins in your rubbish pile?” That is exactly what you have when you throw away your radish tops. I know, I know, it is probably an automatic reflex to just break those greens off and toss them away. It’s cool, if you are okay with tossing a significant source of calcium, iron, magnesium, folate, vitamin A, C, K and other nutrients into the trash. Not only are radish greens edible, they are the most nutritious part of the plant! It is worth the effort to find a good source of fresh radishes with live, abundant greens. Here is just one example of an easy way to utilize fresh radish greens. The slightly bitter bite of the radish and the fresh, sweet mango are like two peas in the pod…sorry I couldn’t resist the cliche!

radish greens & rice noodles with fresh mango

1 bunch fresh radish tops
2 cloves garlic, slivered
2 Chinese scallions, sliced on the bias
1/4 cup fresh thai basil or traditional basil, julienned
Half a fresh mango, peeled and diced
1 tbsp. coconut oil
Half a package King Soba organic brown rice vermicelli
1 bunch broccolini, cut into manageable pieces
1/2 red bell pepper, julienned Read More

keeping it whole all week

Sometimes weekdays can be tricky for preparing fresh whole food dinners. This probably isn’t news to most readers. But then, sometimes, those rushed days, when all you have are some bits and pieces of vegetables and random bags of beans and grains, end up producing the most memorable dinners. Is it the low expectation going into the meal? I honestly don’t know. All I know is this recent throw together came out great! So I had to share.

spinach & cauliflower bhaji

2 tbsp. coconut oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (1 inch) piece fresh ginger, grated or minced
2 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground turmeric
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (or more if you like spicy)

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vegan yogurt under my nose

Lately I have been thinking this a lot: “A tzadziki would go great with this dish.” But I hadn’t found a great, vegan plain yogurt. Although some will argue that dairy yogurt is good for you, if you are avoiding dairy, or keeping vegan, a dairy yogurt just won’t do. Then the other day I was headed to one of my local grocery stores, but coming from a completely different direction than usual. Surprise! I rode my bicycle right into the South Pasadena Farmer’s Market. I couldn’t get from one end of the market to the other without completely spending all of my cash. Then I found a vegan nut cheese maker called Blode Kuh. And there before my eyes was a sample cup filled with cashew yogurt. Yum and yay, because not only was the yogurt fantastic, the cheese maker accepted my credit card on his “square” thing. Gotta love technology! This recipe is devoted to the people at Blode Kuh! Thank you for your awesome yogurt!!

chickpea & wild mushroom cakes with basil-mint tzadziki

For the cakes
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup chopped celery
3 cloves chopped garlic
2 cups shiitake, crimini, or other flavorful mushroom, roughly chopped
1/4 cup sun dried tomato, julienned
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 tbsp. nutritional yeast Read More

say summer, squash blossoms

Nothing says “summer” like fresh squash blossoms, well except for maybe fresh vine tomatoes, or figs fresh off the tree…um…you get my point..don’t you? I picked up some beautiful ones the other day at the Farmer’s Market. Admittedly, it was pretty hard not to reach for the enchilada cheese when I was dreaming about what to stuff these with. It took a few passes by the cheese aisle, but I managed. And so these delicious, healthy-ish little vegan guys were born.

zucchini blossoms stuffed with macadamia ricotta

1 dozen or more fresh zucchini blossoms
2 cups macadamia nuts, soaked in water for an hour
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp. sea salt
1/4 cup water
Healthy cooking oil
1 cup almond milk
1 cup potato starch (or corn starch) Read More