Buckwheat, Apple, Cranberry Avocado Salad

Buckwheat, Apple, Cranberry Avocado Salad

Oh hi – long time no post. Last week, I was a bit sick and down for the count, to say the least. This week, I’m on a healing bender. I have my blender working overtime with crazy green smoothies made with ginger, turmeric and every herb that I’ve read about that contains immune-building qualities. I’m trying to eat lighter and brighter as well because I really do believe that plants can heal.

Which brings me to this recipe from Blissful Basil, a cookbook that couldn’t have arrived at a better time. If you don’t follow Ashley’s blog of the same name, you must! She has the most gorgeous recipes that you can feel great about eating.

In her book, she shares her story about dealing with anxiety as well as other health issues, and how she came to learn that a plant-based diet was just the thing that made her health thrive. The book is filled with 100 creative veggie recipes like Sloppy Shiitakes (her veggie take on a sloppy Joe), Triple Noodle Power Pad Thai, Vegan Snickerdoodle Cookie Bars, to name a few. (I’ve bookmarked practically the whole book).

Buckwheat, Apple, Cranberry Avocado Salad

But today’s recipe is this simple, delightful, hearty, lemon-y salad that I just love. Despite its name, buckwheat is actually a gluten-free grain. I had never cooked with buckwheat groats and I have to tell you that I’m obsessed. They take only about 10 minutes to make and they’re similar in texture to farro or wheatberries. The hearty, chewy bite is just so wonderful in this salad. This recipe makes for either a great packable lunch or a delicious dinner, if you just add whatever protein you like served on the side.

How pretty is her book cover? Vegan pizza here I come:

The Blissful Basil Cookbook

I also have my eye on these Pulled Hearts of Palm Tamales with Chipotle Cream and Pinapple Pico de Gallo:

The Blissful Basil Cookbook A Giveaway: Ashley is so kindly offering a copy of the book to give away – leave a comment to enter! A winner will be chosen at random on Friday. (U.S. and Canadian addresses only)

Or click here to get your copy right now!

Creamy Roasted Cauliflower Soup

Creamy Roasted Cauliflower Soup

Waaaay back at the beginning of this blog, I posted this Cauliflower & Leek Soup that is still one of our most popular recipes. I used cashews to make it creamy without actual cream, but since then I’ve realized that blended cauliflower can become SO creamy and delicious all by itself. Sometimes less is more and I just love the pure simple flavor of this all-vegetable soup.

I start by roasting the whole cauliflower – florets, cores, greens and all. Waste not want not! I also roast shallots and garlic before blending it all with a bit of miso, dijon mustard, lemon juice, and thyme for flavor. As always, the soup tastes better the second day so it’s a perfect make-ahead meal. This one is sure to be on our rotation all winter long.

Happy souping!

Creamy Roasted Cauliflower Soup

Cinnamon Coffee Smoothies

Cinnamon Coffee Smoothies

Happy Christmas Eve!

For this post, I had originally planned to do a cinnamon roll recipe to recreate all of my warm and cozy Christmas morning memories. Obviously – I didn’t get to it. Plan B was to make a cinnamon roll smoothie – all of the goodness of cinnamon rolls but in a healthier format. But then I realized, who am I kidding? A smoothie will never be a cinnamon roll, so instead, I’m sharing the yummy coffee-spiked smoothie that we’ve been making all week and really enjoying. It’s creamy and filling and it won’t leave you with that carb/sugar overload feeling. What it will leave you with is more energy for opening presents and it’ll make you feel better about having a cocktail and a few cookies later in the day!

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Happy Holidays, friends & Smoothie Cheers!

Vegan Gingerbread Cookies

Vegan Gingerbread Cookies

It’s Christmas week! Yay!

So… we still haven’t put up that tree, but I’ve been doing a whole bunch of baking to make up for it (for Christmas and also for other upcoming holidays).

These cookies are so good that I’ve made them quite a few times this month. We (ahem, Jack) kept eating them before actually getting around to taking photos of them. Since no one needs a January gingerbread cookie, we made them again this past weekend. Better late than never! Here we go – these spicy little guys are ready to share:

Vegan Gingerbread Cookies Vegan Gingerbread Cookies

The cookies are naturally sweetened with coconut sugar and molasses which makes them sweet but not too sweet. They’re spiced with ginger, cinnamon and (a surprise spice) cardamom, which gives a nice warm flavor. I mixed in a little almond butter, which makes these so delicious that I couldn’t stop eating little pieces of the dough while I was mixing it together.

Vegan Gingerbread Cookies Vegan Gingerbread Cookies Vegan Gingerbread Cookies

You could definitely decorate these if you like – I took a more minimal approach because these are really tasty on their own, and also my decorating skills aren’t really so hot. (Remember these?)

Vegan Gingerbread Cookies

Make these cookies into your favorite cut-out shapes, OR take the easy (but still very delicious) way out and roll them into balls to make soft, chewy ginger cookies like these:

Vegan Gingerbread Cookies

Mushroom Lentil Spaghetti “Bolognese”

Mushroom Lentil Spaghetti “Bolognese”

Have you seen those lists of the new 2017 trends? You know, the ones that go around the internet this time of year predicting everything from the popularity of coconut oil to the color of pale pink we’ll all be wearing in the spring? One that caught my attention lately is that “they” are saying that staying in is the new going out. And I’m totally on board with that one. If you’ve had a busy holiday season how good does this sound: Stretchy pants, pasta, wine and and a nice dinner by the fire with twinkly Christmas tree lights in the background?

Ok, just kidding. We don’t have a fireplace and we haven’t even put up the Christmas tree because if you remember last year it was FEBRUARY before we got around to taking the thing down. But festivity aside, let’s make pasta, shall we?

Mushroom Lentil Spaghetti “Bolognese”

I’m calling this a “Bolognese” although I realize that Italian grandmothers are shaking their heads right about now. A traditional bolognese has meat and other very specific ingredients. So while this is not exactly authentic, this pasta includes a delicious hearty mix of mushrooms and lentils that get all stewy with onions, carrots, tomatoes, and rosemary among other savory ingredients.

Mushroom Lentil Spaghetti “Bolognese”

Hidden in this recipe are some unconventional ingredients. I find that balsamic vinegar and soy sauce brings out a rich flavor in the mushrooms. Sage (to me) has a sausage-like scent, so I used a bit of dried sage to bring a depth of flavor to the sauce. In addition to the lentils, I also added some finely crushed walnuts that you won’t detect but they add some richness to this no-meat situation.

I used canned tomatoes as the base of the sauce and tossed in some sliced fresh tomatoes near the end for no other reason except that I find brown foods exceptionally challenging to photograph 🙂

Mushroom Lentil Spaghetti “Bolognese” Mushroom Lentil Spaghetti “Bolognese”

Aside from that whole not having a Christmas tree thing – Christmas came early because I got the chance to cook with KitchenAid’s new Stainless Steel Cookware set. The polished stainless steel is so fancy! The 12-inch skillet cooked my stewy sauce perfectly and these pieces were a breeze to clean. Plus, how pretty is this large pot (and Jack’s action-pasta drop shot!):

Mushroom Lentil Spaghetti “Bolognese”

Cook your pasta until al dente, toss it with the sauce and serve it with steamed green veggies if you like!

Mushroom Lentil Spaghetti “Bolognese”