Throughout my years in the culinary world I have received a lot of questions about my favorite cookbooks, kitchen tools, and resources.
Therefore, this holiday season I am going to tally these up for you so that you can give (or request!) these plant based chef approved gifts! They are great for any foodie, home cook, health nut, or for those with specific food allergies.
'Tis the season to live the delicious life!
Vegan Fusion World Cuisine by Mark Reinfeld and Bo Rinaldi
One of my all time favorite vegan cookbooks that is dear to my heart because it was written in Hawaii (where I used to live). I also had the honor to visit Mr. Reinfeld's amazing cafe in Kauai, The Blossoming Lotus, which was the first time my mind was blown away by vegan cuisine. A truly inspiring cookbook with easy recipes, info on veganism, and lovely photos of Hawaii.
How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman
Hands down THE BEST vegetarian reference cookbook. He also has this cookbook with meat proteins for your non-veg friends.
Eating Clean by Amie Valpone
Simple, clean vegan and gluten free recipes with a 21 day detox plan. I have tried many of her recipes and they come out delish!
The How Can it be Gluten Free Cookbook by America's Test Kitchen
I love anything from America's Test Kitchen because they tell you how and why things do or don't work. This is not vegan, but gives you a great understanding of gluten free cooking and baking.
Babycakes Covers the Classics by Erin McKenna
Super fun vegan and gluten free baked goods from the famous Babycakes bakery. Vegan donuts...enough said!
High Powered Blender - the Mercedes of blenders are the Vitamix brand, but I love my Warner professional.
Food Processor - the one I used professionally, that is a total beast, is the Breville Professional. This bad boy will NOT burn out! Mini choppers are also great to have in the kitchen. I have a Ninja mini chopper / blender set.
Knife Sharpener - maintaining sharp knives is essential in the kitchen. Get a good knife sharpening stone like this one.
Assorted Gift Basket - a good fine mesh strainer, wooden spoons, durable glass measuring cups, mini whisk, mini spatula, mini offset spatula, springform pans. I use all of these very often! Add some pretty kitchen towels as those get worn out quickly.
Education - for those who want to learn more, get them a gift certificate to online training. Great educational sites include:
FOR SEACOAST NEW ENGLAND GIFT GIVING
Workshops with me! People are purchasing tickets to my co-hosted yoga & herbalism workshops in January 2019 in the Portsmouth, NH area already. These make a fantastic gift for anyone who wants a relaxing, rejuvenating morning to themselves or with a friend. Click here to learn more.
Have a question about gift ideas? Send me an email!
**I am not being sponsored by any of the above. These are all sincere products and companies that I like!!
For all you banana bread fans who either want to cut down on the amount of wheat you are consuming or are gluten intolerant, here is a DELICIOUS recipe I created for you:
2 cups Gluten Free flour blend (I used Trader Joe’s, but also recommend King Arthur's)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 Tablespoon chia seeds
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 organic eggs (try substituting 6 T water plus 2 T ground flax meal to make vegan)
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil (try coconut oil also)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 mashed bananas (if you are able to find apple bananas try 4 of these!)
If you want to learn more about gluten free baking then join me at my upcoming class at Frinklepod Farm in Arundel, Maine on Sunday, November 18 from 2-5pm. REGISTER HERE. Space is limited!
If you want more recipes on gluten free baking, check out my past blogpost that contains mexican chocolate chip cookies and sundried tomato basil muffins. Bye Bye wheat, hello yum!
Ah, the joys of autumn...the vibrant colors of the trees tantalizing the eyes, the crisp air refreshing our bodies, and of course the fun and joy of the approaching holidays.
This is the time of the year that we enjoy the amazing pumpkin which gives us the gastronomic satisfaction of yummy pumpkin pie and the creative satisfaction of making a scary jack-o-lantern. The other wonderful thing about the pumpkin is its often overlooked seeds. Pumpkin seeds contain enormous amounts of valuable nutrients and are darn tasty too.
A tradition of mine every Halloween is to pick out the perfect pumpkin, open it up and pull out all the seeds to toast, and then carve it. The seeds are easy to get to and fun to pull out as they are surrounded by the squishy pumpkin strings inside that are just plain fun to handle. It makes you feel like a kid again!
Once you separate the seeds from the pumpkin strings, rinse them off and let them dry on paper towels. You can then put them on a lightly oiled baking sheet and sprinkle with spices such as salt or paprika, or cinnamon and sugar, or what ever flavors you want them to have, and then toast them in the oven. Yummy!
So aside from how yummy they are you ask, "what are their nutritional benefits?" Well, according to research pumpkin seeds have high concentrations of zinc. Zinc is important in the treatment and prevention of male prostrate problems, enhancing wound healing, and helps support the immune system.
Pumpkin seeds are a good source of protein, iron, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin E, essential fatty acids, and niacin. These little guys are a powerhouse of nutrition and are easy to incorporate in your diet.
So get a pumpkin, have fun creating a work of art, and don't forget the seeds. Toast them and enjoy!
The transition to fall has officially begun in New England with cool nights, crisp days, colorful trees, and lots of flannel!
Local farms are packed with people excited to pick apples and indulge in apple cider donuts. Markets are filled with all sorts of funky pumpkins and gourds. Festivals are happening every weekend.
But along with the coziness and hot apple cider comes the common cold. And as the cooler weather progresses, community outings abound, and family gatherings begin, the immune system can easily get run down.
Thankfully, holistic practices like relaxation and herbalism can help keep your immune system strong during this time of year.
A few of my favorite cold fighting tips include:
I hope these tips are helpful to you and your family this cold and flu season. Please share in the comments below your favorite natural remedies for keeping your immune system vibrant and strong.
I just created this divine semi-raw summer dessert because I had an overabundance of fresh picked blueberries from a friend's farm.
And, also I was craving a pie but didn't want the white flour and feeling of empty nourishment associated with traditional pies. Instead I wanted one that was nutrient dense and filling, and frankly one that I wouldn't feel guilty for eating at breakfast. (wink wink!)
This tart has a rich, raw hazelnut pecan crust and is completed with a gooey lemon blueberry filling. It is flavorful, hearty, full of nutrients and d*mn delicious...to the point where I exclaimed how good it was after every single bite. Seriously.
So go pick the last of the blueberries this season, gather your ingredients, and create this beautiful vibrant dessert now!
LEMON BLUEBERRY HAZELNUT TART - makes one 9" tart
1 cup toasted hazelnuts
3/4 cup raw pecans
1/2 cup dates
1.5 Tbsp hemp hearts (probably ok without if you don't have)
1/2 tsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp maple syrup
1/8 tsp sea salt
Place nuts in a food processor fitted with an S-blade and grind to a powder. Add dates and blend until they are broken down. Add the rest and blend until a dough forms.
Dump the dough into a tart pan with a removable bottom and push dough evenly around. The dough will come slightly up the sides, but not all the way. Make sure it is packed down evenly. Place in the fridge while making the filling.
3 cups fresh blueberries, divided by 1.5 cups
1/3 cup organic white sugar
1 Tbsp tapioca starch or arrowroot powder
1 tsp coconut oil
zest of one lemon
1 tsp lemon juice
In a small saucepan over low heat add 1.5 cups of berries and cook about 5-10 minutes until they are broken down. Use a potato masher to squish them and assist in breaking them down into a liquid.
Remove from heat and add the rest of the ingredients and stir. Place back onto low heat and stir about 5-10 minutes or until the mixture starts to thicken. It will also thicken more in the fridge after assembly.
Remove from heat and let cool about 5 minutes then pour it evenly into your tart crust. Place back in the fridge and let sit for about an hour to thicken. When you cut in the pie the whole thing should hold its shape. If not, who cares, it will still be delish!
Finished pie should last about 5 days in the fridge if not devoured sooner.
Love & blueberries to you!
This blog is an exploration of life, love, adventure and art primarily through the medium of food.