A good sauce will dress up any meal and make it even more delicious, so it pays to have a few easy to make favorites in your culinary toolbox.
You can pour sauces / dressings on roasted veggies, raw veggies, falafel patties, bean burgers, baked tofu, pan seared tempeh, salads, macrobowls or use them for dipping anything and everything into!
Check out my 3 favorites below. All should last about 5 days in the fridge.
Creamy Tahini Dressing - makes about 3/4 cup
1/4 cup tahini
1/3 cup water
1.5 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp fresh parsley
1.5 tsp EVOO
1 tsp sunbutter (optional but it makes the dressing pop)
1/4 tsp sea salt
Place all in a mini food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Adjust seasonings to taste.
Green Goddess Dressing - makes about 3/4 cup
1 ripe avocado (or tahini or blend of two)
1/2 cup parsley
1/4 cup green onion
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 clove garlic
2.5 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp EVOO
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
In food processor blend avocados, herbs, water, salt, and garlic. Slowly add in vinegar, EVOO and lemon juice, and blend until smooth and creamy. Adjust seasonings to taste.
Lemon Oregano Vinaigrette - makes about 3/4 cup
1/2 cup EVOO
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 tsp dried oregano
1.5 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
Whisk together until thoroughly blended. Store in fridge, but take out about 15 minutes before serving so the olive oil can come back to room temp.
Almost every day I interact with someone who either has or knows someone with gluten intolerance. And the biggest challenge they face is finding a way to enjoy sweet treats (which we all know are good for the soul!).
Having a gluten intolerant child is even worse in a society that is full of flour laden birthday parties, school cafeteria snacks, and basically any event where there is kid food.
BUT, thankfully, gluten free baking has gotten a lot easier and is way more accessible these days. There are blogs, cookbooks, gluten free flour blends, and so much more that will allow you to find ways to enjoy sweet treats that actually taste good too.
Before re-stocking your pantry, check out these resources below.
For foodies who love the science of baking check out America's Test Kitchen Guide to Gluten Free Baking. I love all of their books and resources!
Gluten Free Girl has a great introduction to gluten free baking with resources and a how to MAKE YOUR OWN FLOUR BLEND.
And another one of my favorites is King Arthur Flour, a New England company, that offers an all purpose gluten free flour blend and a GLUTEN FREE BAKING GUIDE.
Bob's Red Mill has a ton of great products on the market for gluten free baking, so please do check them out too. They sell gluten free flours like almond flour, brown rice flour, sorghum flour, garbanzo bean flour as well as an all purpose gluten free flour blend. And the bags all have recipes on the back!
You may notice that gluten free baking is usually not vegan and can have 2-4 eggs per recipe. It is possible to sub out the eggs with flax eggs (1 Tbsp ground flax + 3 Tbsp water / egg) but you may have to experiment. There are also great recipes online that are gluten free and vegan. And follow my blog as I like to make plant based desserts with alternative flours.
Stay tuned for my gluten free vegan dessert cookbook which will hopefully be out this summer and will have lots of amazing sweet treats for you to enjoy. As well, if you would like to purchase the recipes for one of my gluten free vegan dessert classes please email me. There are 6 recipes for only $5!
Happy gluten free baking!
Photo by Stephanie McCabe on Unsplash
When it's late at night and I realize I need to prep a healthy lunch for the next day I think of soba noodles!
They are packed with nutrients, taste delish cold, and are ridiculously easy to make.
You can make endless variations of cold soba noodles or simply eat them with just soy sauce, sesame oil, and a dusting of crushed red chili pepper flakes.
When creating, use what you have in your fridge, freezer, or pantry. Examples include:
This is exactly what I did the other night and when I busted out my cold soba noodles for lunch I made everyone around me drool! And I tell you it took less than 10 minutes to chop up the veggies, boil the noodles, assemble, pop in container and into the fridge.
Give this recipe a try. Or create your own in under 10 minutes and tell us what you used!
Quick & Easy Cold Soba Noodles - makes 1 serving
1 bundle of your favorite soba noodle (I love Organic Planet)
1/4 cup frozen peas
1/3 (or more) cup of fried tofu (I have this on hand so I can just eat it as is with soy sauce and tamari or to pop into meals. Always found in fridge at Asian Markets. Here is ex.)
1/2 cup chopped bok choy
2 Tbsp chopped cashews
1 green onion, chopped
handful of fresh cilantro chopped
Optional sliced jalapenos or a sprinkle of crushed red chili pepper flakes
1 Tbsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp soy sauce (I prefer tamari)
1 tsp agave
1/4 of a lime, juiced (I love using ume plum vinegar, so if you have that try it instead!)
In a small sauce pot bring about 3 cups of water to boil. Add soba noodles and the frozen peas. Cook about 3-5 minutes or until noodles are al dente. Drain and rinse with cool water.
Add sesame oil, soy sauce, lime and agave, and stir to cover noodles thoroughly. The noodles will soak up the dressing so don't worry if it looks soupy at all.
Add the rest of the ingredients and season to taste. Place in fridge overnight and enjoy how the flavors have come together the next day!
It is still winter in New England and although I had the opportunity to escape to a tropical climate during February, there are many people who have endured this long winter and are in need of something tropical and exotic.
Enter the papaya.
Although papaya is native to Central America it is imported to New England grocery stores and can be found right now in the produce section. It is a funky looking fruit from the outside, but down right beautiful on the inside. The salmon colored flesh and large peppercorn looking seeds can both be eaten.
Papaya flesh and its peppery seeds are very nutritious and contain needed digestive enzymes known as papain that help digest proteins. Rich in antioxidants, bioflavonoids, and Vitamin C, papaya is an excellent fruit to add to your diet. Papaya is also a good source of fiber, folate, potassium, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and Vitamin K.
Devour the papaya flesh when it is ripe and juicy by simply eating as is or
-scoop out the seeds and add more fruit to the center allowing it to be a fruit salad bowl -chop it up and add coconut yogurt and granola
-dice it up into a papaya salsa
-or make a papaya sorbet!
And don't forget to save the seeds! I like to eat a teaspoon of the seeds daily when I have fresh papaya around as I like their peppery taste and it helps my digestion. You can also use all the seeds from one papaya in a creamy papaya seed dressing to be used on salads or even steamed veggies.
Here is a recipe I created...
PAPAYA SEED DRESSING (makes about 1/2 cup)
1/2 inch piece of fresh peeled ginger
1 Tablespoon sweet onion
1/2 of a papaya's seeds
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup water
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon sugar or agave
5 mint leaves
splash of chardonnay vinegar (optional)
salt to taste
Optional for non vegans, add 1/4 cup plain yogurt to make it creamier
Put all in a blender and blend until seeds look like pepper flecks. Cover and refrigerate or serve immediately on a gigantic salad!
Remember, in cooking you can be creative, so play with this recipe and try out new combinations. Add lime or orange juice instead of lemon, or use raspberry vinegar instead. Many recipes for the dressing called for mustard and tarragon, which I did not have on hand, but plan on trying another time.
Now go grab a papaya or any other favorite tropical fruit, close your eyes, place the juicy flesh into your mouth and envision yourself in Hawaii, Thailand, Costa Rica or another exotic place just to make your spirit feel good!
If you want to make cooking a lot more fun and efficient you need the right tools. You wouldn't believe how many home cooks I see using steak knives and plates as their prep stations, and metal spoons on non-stick pans. And don't forget the lack of important tools (fine strainer and food processor) that limits their culinary creativity.
It's time to step up your game Home Cooks! Here are a few basic tools that every future family chef needs:
-Wooden spoons/spatulas with long handles (I use these more than any other spoon or spatula because they are great on non-stick surfaces and just feel more authentic).
-A fine strainer as well as a spaghetti strainer (I use this for rinsing small grains like quinoa and rice, to strain nut milks, for getting seeds out of pureed berries, and basically everything that requires a strainer with a small hole)
-A real chef's knife that feels good in your hand and is actually sharp (Get use to this knife, trust me you will thank me. And make sure to regularly sharpen it. For this knife I would go to your local kitchen store and try them out rather than buy online. See how the knife feels in your hand. This knife is a favorite in the kitchen I used to work in and it's only $20 at Kitchen & Co.)
-Wooden cutting board (Not a plate please. I love the bamboo boards. If you are cooking with meat get a plastic or glass one as well and use it just for the meat)
-Food processor (Preferably a regular sized one, but the small ones like this Ninja food processor/blender hybrid would work if that's all your budget can allow. Prep veggies using the shredder, make hummus/salad dressings/sauces/dips/raw desserts, etc.)
-High powered blender (For smoothies, soups, dressings, nut milks, etc. You can also use the Ninja food processor/blender mentioned above. The best ones on the market are Vitamix, but Warner's are good and people like the Ninja brand)
-Liquid measuring cup and dry measuring cups (Yes these are different. The glass cups are for measuring liquids and the little plastic/metal cups are for dry goods. It does make a difference in baking especially.)
If you have any questions about kitchen tools please comment below. I believe the right tools makes cooking so much more enjoyable. Now get in the kitchen and have fun!
This blog is an exploration of life, love, adventure and art primarily through the medium of food.